My Worldview

Cpt_pineapple
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My Worldview

Hamby requested that I write an abstract about my views with the evidence that led me to it etc...

I was told to keep it brief and concise, but I had to dig up the referenced studies.

 

 

It has long been observed and accepted that applying reason and critical thinking [Reason Based thinking or RB] is better and more likely to produce positive outcomes than non reason critical thinking [Faith Based of FB]. While people who use FB thinking can occasionaly stumble on positive outcomes and RB can have limited information and make a negative outcome, it is logical that the latter is more likely to produce positive outcomes than the former.

 

What experiences wider deviation is how do we deal with it? That is how do we make RB more frequent than FB? Simply acknowledging that driving sober is better than driving intoxicated, is a far cry from getting people to stop driving drunk.

 

Pointing out the cognitive mechanism that drive FB thinking isn't to say that it is impossible to overcome. For example Asians are less likely to fall to The Correspondence Bias or Fundamental Attribution Error [Choi et al 1999, Norenzayan et al 2000] Plus other difference in intuitive vs formal reasoning. [e.g Nisbett et al 2001, Norenzayan et al 2002]

 

However, I think it is clear that using FAE or CB to get people to stop people from using FAE or CB isn't going to help.

 

I propose that there is not a singular solution to FB just like there isn't a singular solution to drunk driving. We must approach the problem from multiple angles, being careful not to favour one more than another without empirical evidence to support it.  For example, in dealing with FB thinking we mustn't underestimate the power and appeal of memes. Memes [religious or not] can most certiantly be a powerful source and if a negative meme gets it's hooks on then it can most certainly drive negative behaviour. However it says nothing on how to deal with memes and how and why they form in the first place [see Boyer 2001] and empirical research is required as to how best to combat them [see Atran 2008b and Ginges 2007]

 

Also, we need to make sure we are attacking the right memes and in fighting memes, we don't produce wrong memes about the negative memes. For example the "conventional wisdom" about terrorism is mostly wrong and don't hold up to empirical evaluation [see Atran 2008a and Sageman 2008].

 

But these critisisms don't mean we can toss out memes as a factor or that we should focus on other factors in favour of it. Nor does it mean that addressing the memes can't reduce them [Shariff 2008]. However the study doesn't have a solution of how to deal with the people who had lower religousity once they get back to their groups.

 

As to the role of religion and it's spreading of memes, I feel there is mounting evidence that religion isn't as big as a factor as either Theists or anti-Theists think it is. For example secular primes induced pro-social behaviour as frequently as religious ones [Shariff 2007] despite the claim of Theists that it is required to do [or at least increase the frequency of] pro-social behaviour. However there is also evidence against the claim of anti-Theists that it is required to do [or to at least increase the frequency of] anti-social behaviour as non-devoted people showed the same level of ills as devoted [Hansen 2006].

 

Hamby has brought up the objection that the study did not take into account the role of memes in creating and maintaning cohesion. However, a group need not be formed on a meme [compare a group  formed from Conservatives or Liberals as opposed to randomly assigned by flipping a coin]  in order for the negative outgroup memes to form [see the discussion in  Bloom 2007]. Also cognitive dissonance can induce increased group cohesion [Aronson et al1959 see also Travis et al 2007]

 

Another point is that in regards to terrorism, memes have been tested against cohesion and cohesion was a better predictor [Ginges et al 2009]. This does not excuse memes, but it shows addressing cohesion will be more effective.


 

So the point is to not get caught chasing our tails. Trying to get rid of memes and ignoring how they are formed will not get us anywhere. Also merely focusing on group dynamics won't get us anywhere if we ignore the memes that keep it.

 

While [Shariff et al 2008] showed that religiousity can be reduced in wake of Dawkin's arguments, [Boyer et al 2001] shows that that religiousity is a result of cognitive mechanism and simply getting rid of the religious manifestation of them doesn't mean they won't pop up elsewhere.

 

If we merely focus on certain aspects of memes, we won't be prepared for when they pop up somewhere else.

 


References



Aronson, E. & Mills, J. [1959]. The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 59, 177-181

http://faculty.uncfsu.edu/tvancantfort/Syllabi/Gresearch/Readings/A_Aronson.pdf


Atran, S. [2008a] Looking for Al Qaeda: The Evolution of Terror Networks. Lecture at Gerald R Ford School for Public Policy

http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/video/?bcpid=28911012001&bclid=32548957001&bctid=44952859001


Atran, S., Axelrod, R [2008b] Reframing Sacred Values.Negotiation Journal.

http://sitemaker.umich.edu/satran/files/negj0708.pdf


Bloom, P [2007]   A Person in the World of People: Morality. Lecture at Yale

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpmESnTeZP8
 

Boyer, P.,  Ramble, C. [2001] Cognitive templates for religious concepts: cross-cultural evidence for recall of counter-intuitive representations. Cognitive Science 25 (2001) 535–564

http://artsci.wustl.edu/~pboyer/RelCogWebSite/CognitiveTemplates.pdf


Choi, I., Nisbett, R.E., & Norenzayan, A. [1999]. Causal attribution across cultures: Variation and universality. Psychological Bulletin,125, 47-63.

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/psychbull%20causal%20attribution.pdf


Ginges, J., S. Atran, D. Medin, and K. Shikaki. [2007]. Sacred bounds on rational resolution of violent
political conflict. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104: 7357–7360.

http://www.pnas.org/content/104/18/7357.full.pdf



Ginges, J., Hansen, I. G., & Norenzayan, A. (2009). Religion and support for suicide attacks. Psychological Science, 20, 224-230

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/GingesHansenNorenzayan2009.pdf


Hansen, I. G., & Norenzayan, A. [2006]. Between yang and yin and heaven and hell: Untangling the complex relationship between religion and intolerance. In: (P. McNamara, Ed.), Where God and Science Meet: How Brain and Evolutionary Studies Alter Our Understanding of Religion. Vol. 3, pp. 187-211. Wesport, CT: Greenwood Press--Praeger Publishers.

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/Hansen%20&%20Norenzayan_religion_chapter.pdf


Nisbett, R.E., Peng, K., Choi, I., & Norenzayan, A. [2001]. Culture and systems of thought: Holistic versus analytic cognition. Psychological Review, 108, 291-310

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/PsyRev2001.pdf


Norenzayan, A., & Nisbett, R. E. [2000]. Culture and causal cognition. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9, 132-135

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/Norenzayan&Nisbett%20current%20dir.pdf


Norenzayan, A., Smith, E. E., & Kim, B., & Nisbett, R. E. [2002]. Cultural preferences for formal versus intuitive reasoning. Cognitive Science, 26, 653-684.

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/CogSci2002.pdf


Norenzayan, A., Choi, I., & Nisbett, R.E. [2002]. Cultural similarities and differences in social inference: Evidence from behavioral predictions and lay theories of behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 109-120


http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/PSPB2002.pdf


Sageman, Marc. [2008] Jihad and 21st Century Terrorism. New American Foundation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWcH5sDHzPQ


Shariff, A.F. & Norenzayan, A. [2007]. God is watching you: Priming God concepts increases prosocial behavior in an anonymous economic game. Psychological Science, 18, 803-809

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/Shariff_Norenzayan.pdf


 Shariff, A. F., Cohen, A. B., & Norenzayan, A. [2008]. The Devil’s Advocate:  Secular arguments diminish both implicit and explicit religious belief. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 8, 417-423.

http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/shariffcohennorenzayan2008.pdf


Travis, C., & Aronson, E. [2007] Mistakes were made but not by me. Harcourt publishing

http://www.amazon.ca/Mistakes-Were-Made-But-Not/dp/0151010986




 


Hambydammit
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 Gads.Alison, have you ever

 Gads.

Alison, have you ever written an abstract?  The reason I wanted you to do it in that form was to force you to isolate your thesis.  So... I have to ask... What's your thesis?

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Cpt_pineapple
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Ok Hamby, from your

 

 

Hamby, from your blog

 

Quote:


{X Meme} is being propagated through the atheist community(1). {X Meme} is believed to facilitate {X Change} in meme recipients(2). However, current evidence(3) suggests that it is ineffectual, or actually produces {Y Change} in meme recipients. Current research(4) suggests that {M Meme} would be more effective at producing {X Change}.



 

 

I DID do that.  Just not in that format. I assumed that people would read the studies and see how they are relevant. If I went through each individual meme in the atheist community that I think is wrong, this would be way longer. [I don't think they're ALL wrong.]

 

But I did pick out a few memes. I would quickly like to add the disclaimer that I do not think you personally hold to ALL of these memes, but I did include ones that you do think. Another thing I would like to add is that I know not every atheist in the community holds to these memes.

 

But anyway I'll translate.

 

I wrote:

Pointing out the cognitive mechanism that drive FB thinking isn't to say that it is impossible to overcome. For example Asians are less likely to fall to The Correspondence Bias or Fundamental Attribution Error [Choi et al 1999, Norenzayan et al 2000] Plus other difference in intuitive vs formal reasoning. [e.g Nisbett et al 2001, Norenzayan et al 2002]

 

This is about the localized meme that I think it's impossible to improve our rationality.

 

I wrote:

 However it says nothing on how to deal with memes and how and why they form in the first place [see Boyer 2001] and empirical research is required as to how best to combat them [see Atran 2008b and Ginges 2007]


 

The meme that we should first get them to discard their sincerly held religious belief [i.e sacred values] in order for there to be peace in, for example, the Middle East is being propagated through the atheist community [Or even better, peace is impossible unless they discard their sacred values] [yes, I know not every atheist in the universe thinks this]. It is believed that the spreading of this meme will get others to speak out and question religion and the sacred values and hence encourage them to discard it and by extension bring peace [or at least significantly less violence] in the people who receive said meme. Current research  [see Atran 2008b and Ginges 2007] suggests that, not only will won't work seeing as it's extremely difficult to get them to discard it seeing as it assumes that they are seeing it from our rational prespective and will backfire, but instead spreading the meme that we should reframe their sacred values will get them to accept peace more readily than sticking to the first meme.

 

Those studies seem to call into question your approach [attacking the memes head on]. [That results most likely won't just apply to the Middle East]

 

I wrote:

 

Also, we need to make sure we are attacking the right memes and in fighting memes, we don't produce wrong memes about the negative memes. For example the "conventional wisdom" about terrorism is mostly wrong and don't hold up to empirical evaluation [see Atran 2008a and Sageman 2008].

 

Another point is that in regards to terrorism, memes have been tested against cohesion and cohesion was a better predictor [Ginges et al 2009]. This does not excuse memes, but it shows addressing cohesion will be more effective.

 

 

The meme that it is the religious memes that are causing suicide terrorism [for example 72 virgins or the bombers were indoctornated into Islam at an early age]  ergo it is most effective way to quell terrorism by addressing said memes by showing them that Islam is nonsense and fully of hooey is spreading in the atheist community. [Yes I know not every atheist in the universe thinks this].  However current evidence [citied in the quote] suggest that the bombers know little about Islam, very few were indoctornated into Islam at a young age, and very few do it for 72 virgins and hence the suggestions in the meme are ineffective. The same research suggests that other memes [such as stop calling it a war on Islam, incorporating Muslims more in society etc...] will produce the desired result.

 

I didn't mention this, but I think it's good to point out that not a lot of those solutions resonate with some atheists and there are memes against them [yes I know not every atheist in the universe does this].

 

 

I wrote:

 

As to the role of religion and it's spreading of memes, I feel there is mounting evidence that religion isn't as big as a factor as either Theists or anti-Theists think it is. For example secular primes induced pro-social behaviour as frequently as religious ones [Shariff 2007] despite the claim of Theists that it is required to do [or at least increase the frequency of] pro-social behaviour. However there is also evidence against the claim of anti-Theists that it is required to do [or to at least increase the frequency of] anti-social behaviour as non-devoted people showed the same level of ills as devoted [Hansen 2006].

Hamby has brought up the objection that the study did not take into account the role of memes in creating and maintaning cohesion. However, a group need not be formed on a meme [compare a group  formed from Conservatives or Liberals as opposed to randomly assigned by flipping a coin]  in order for the negative outgroup memes to form [see the discussion in  Bloom 2007]. Also cognitive dissonance can induce increased group cohesion [Aronson et al1959 see also Travis et al 2007]

 

 

I'll shorten your format:

 

Atheist meme: Devotion is one of the best predictor of certain ills [yes I know not every atheist in the universe does this].

 

Current evidence: Cohesion is one of the best predictor of certain ills.

 

Effective at producing change: It didn't really go into how do we reduce the ills, however it does show the meme wrong.

 

 

 

 


Hambydammit
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 Quote:I DID do that. 

 

Quote:
I DID do that.  Just not in that format. I assumed that people would read the studies and see how they are relevant. If I went through each individual meme in the atheist community that I think is wrong, this would be way longer. [I don't think they're ALL wrong.]

Alison, the reason people publish meta-studies is that not everyone makes the same connections or comes to the same conclusions when reading multiple studies.  For instance, my friend G Felis, who has a PhD in the philosophy of science, and whose dissertation dealt with the very subjects you're discussing, is familiar with all of the research you've cited, and he regularly chides you for the conclusions you reach.  What you're doing now is disingenuous.  You're claiming to have this wonderful knowledge of human nature that will save atheism from itself, and then you're telling us we have to reach the same conclusions you have without your help.

Connect the dots, Alison.  Simply and concisely, connect the dots into something you could put in front of a busy CEO and make him want to fund the research.

Quote:
This is about the localized meme that I think it's impossible to improve our rationality.

That's not specific enough to be meaningful.  Do you believe that no person is capable of making a higher percentage of rational decisions in the future than he/she is today?  Do you believe that it is impossible for a population to increase the number or percentage of rational decisions in aggregate?  If it's not either of those two, be specific.  What EXACTLY are you proposing?

Quote:
The meme that we should first get them to discard their sincerly held religious belief [i.e sacred values] in order for there to be peace in, for example, the Middle East is being propagated through the atheist community [Or even better, peace is impossible unless they discard their sacred values] [yes, I know not every atheist in the universe thinks this].

So, your biggest gripe with me is that other atheists believe in eradicating Islam as a means to achieving world peace?  Who, by the way?  I've spoken with both Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, and neither of them thinks that negation of religion would equal peace in the Middle East.  That's a very naive view, and I've heard it more from theists aping atheists than from atheists.

Quote:
 It is believed that the spreading of this meme will get others to speak out and question religion and the sacred values and hence encourage them to discard it and by extension bring peace [or at least significantly less violence] in the people who receive said meme.

Uh huh.  

Quote:
Current research  [see Atran 2008b and Ginges 2007] suggests that, not only will won't work seeing as it's extremely difficult to get them to discard it seeing as it assumes that they are seeing it from our rational prespective and will backfire, but instead spreading the meme that we should reframe their sacred values will get them to accept peace more readily than sticking to the first meme.

So you're saying that to achieve peace in the Middle East, we should "poison the well" of fundamentalism, and try to get people to re-invent their religion into a loving, rational version of Islam?

How, precisely, do you think we should do that?

And while I'm on the subject, how is that any different than asking them to abandon their beloved religion?  You've obviously never been to a fundamentalist church in America.  I tell you the truth:  Fundamentalists despise moderates more than atheists.

Quote:
 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

 

 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Fundamentalists (Christian Fascists) take this passage very, very seriously.   They think Catholicism is a cult.  They say, "Atheists are misguided, immoral, and lost, but at least they have the guts to be either hot or cold."  They despise denominations like Episcopalians and Lutherans who allow women to do more than Paul would have liked.

So, what's the answer?  There are already at least fifty nice, loving, moderate versions of Christianity in America, and many of them have bigger budgets than atheists.  So why aren't the fundamentalists flocking there, since that is what Atran predicts?  Why do they in fact view them as well meaning dupes who believe false prophets?

Quote:
Those studies seem to call into question your approach [attacking the memes head on]. [That results most likely won't just apply to the Middle East]

I, for one, do not address peace in the Middle East.  It's a bigger question than I am capable of answering.

Is it possible that your grasp is exceeding your reach here, and that you're lumping Christianity and Islam into one group to which they don't both properly belong?

Quote:
The meme that it is the religious memes that are causing suicide terrorism [for example 72 virgins or the bombers were indoctornated into Islam at an early age]  ergo it is most effective way to quell terrorism by addressing said memes by showing them that Islam is nonsense and fully of hooey is spreading in the atheist community. [Yes I know not every atheist in the universe thinks this].

I also disavow this meme, and have often said that World War II is evidence that suicide bombing is more of a strategic maneuver than a religious maneuver.  So why you bitching?  

For what it's worth, Alison, the research on suicide terror has already made the rounds through significant portions of the atheist activist community, and it's had the appropriate effect -- that is, people who believed it was largely religious have begun to change their minds.  That's why RB thinking works, Alison.  So thank you for pointing out this meme.  It seems like my prediction might bear some weight... present evidence and logic, and some minds will change.

Quote:
The same research suggests that other memes [such as stop calling it a war on Islam, incorporating Muslims more in society etc...] will produce the desired result.

I agree, and have never endorsed the "War on Islam."  I disagree with Sam Harris on this front.  The war in the Middle East is a political war that isn't being helped by the deep and ancient religious animosity between the warring factions.  Without religion, there would still be oil.  Perhaps without religion, there would be quicker avenues to peace should the political differences be worked out, but I don't care to speculate on that point.

Again, I seldom address Islam, but if I did, it would be in social context, particularly women's rights.  My primary attack on faith based reasoning is on the social/personal/interpersonal front.

Quote:
I didn't mention this, but I think it's good to point out that not a lot of those solutions resonate with some atheists and there are memes against them [yes I know not every atheist in the universe does this].

I have to ask.  Since I apparently don't propagate the memes you find so offensive, why do you keep singling me out to bitch about what a bad job we're doing?  It sure feels like you're upset with me.  Why aren't you on the blogs of these atheists you keep speaking of who are stuck in the psychological and sociological dark ages?

Quote:
Atheist meme: Devotion is one of the best predictor of certain ills [yes I know not every atheist in the universe does this].

Not my claim.

Quote:
Effective at producing change: It didn't really go into how do we reduce the ills, however it does show the meme wrong.

So you're really just bitching, not contributing to a meaningful solution.  Ok.  

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Cpt_pineapple
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Hambydammit wrote:Alison,

Hambydammit wrote:


Alison, the reason people publish meta-studies is that not everyone makes the same connections or comes to the same conclusions when reading multiple studies.

 

 

Says the guy who's blog post on a single study caused this.

 

Anyway since you keep saying this isn't what you wanted. What is YOUR approach? The reason for this topic and format that I didn't go into too much detail of how is because you went first and did the same thing.  I thought "Well seeing as he just said we should market RB effectively, I thought I would just say that we have to do studies to determine if they are effective and maybe use some atheist memes as examples."

 

All you said was that in order to get people to use RB we have to market RB effectively. DUH

 

HOW? What evidence supports YOUR approach? What studies do YOU have that will support YOUR approach?

 

You want me to express me views clearer? Lead by example.

 

Not to say this is completly your fault.

 

You seem to throw around the argument from authority. "my friend has a PhD and studies this issue."  Well, guess what? I can point to others who have a PhD and studies this issue.

 

This wasn't JUST a bitching session.

 

 

Hambydammit wrote:

I have to ask.  Since I apparently don't propagate the memes you find so offensive, why do you keep singling me out to bitch about what a bad job we're doing?  It sure feels like you're upset with me.  Why aren't you on the blogs of these atheists you keep speaking of who are stuck in the psychological and sociological dark ages?

I expicitly said that I know you don't hold to some of these memes. I said explicitly that I know you don't subscribe to some of the memes.

 

Yet despite this you just said "Well I don't hold these memes". But the point was what do you do to prevent their spread?

 

I don't point out flawed atheist memes to accuse you of spreading them or derailing the discussion, but the point is that wide spread negative memes in the atheist community are hurting the atheist community like negative memes in the Christian community are hurting the Christian community. But you seem to miss that point. Everytime I bring it up. All you say is "I don't spread that meme" but you do nothing to stop it.

 

But you did get me somewhere Hamby. You are right that I don't comment directly to the atheists that I feel are directly spreading the bad memes and do indeed seem to dump the responsibilty mostly on you rather than them.

 

My above point still stands, however I will try to limit the dumping on you and then go do it on them.

 

 

But this has been a useful exercise none the less.  For one thing it has taught me to spell out the point which I will gladly do from now on.

 

Also, I will try to get across my points in a more calm and passive manner, but I'll start after this one.

 

Another thing, your blog posts and posts here are usually long so why can't mine be?

 

But let's not let this get between us k?

 

 

 

 

 


Kapkao
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hmph.

Hambydammit wrote:

 

Quote:
I DID do that.  Just not in that format. I assumed that people would read the studies and see how they are relevant. If I went through each individual meme in the atheist community that I think is wrong, this would be way longer. [I don't think they're ALL wrong.]

Alison, the reason people publish meta-studies is that not everyone makes the same connections or comes to the same conclusions when reading multiple studies.  For instance, my friend G Felis, who has a PhD in the philosophy of science, and whose dissertation dealt with the very subjects you're discussing, is familiar with all of the research you've cited, and he regularly chides you for the conclusions you reach.  What you're doing now is disingenuous.  You're claiming to have this wonderful knowledge of human nature that will save atheism from itself, and then you're telling us we have to reach the same conclusions you have without your help.

Connect the dots, Alison.  Simply and concisely, connect the dots into something you could put in front of a busy CEO and make him want to fund the research.

So the nature of your arguments amounts to investment from private enterprise.  And you have a few academic eggheads coming to your aid! How droll, but not intellectually honest NOR productive in illustrating the faults of another person's logic. Not really all that practical in 'sexing up' atheism, either.

"Notice me! I have PhD in impractical, unconstructive criticism! That validates my thoughts on the matter... somehow." More of those great, tried and true and circular 'Education=substance' appeals for intellectual discussion.

Maybe this multithread discussion that both of you are engaging in can lose it's whole 'I got the entire alphabet soup after *my* name in college! (that was probably paid for by a trust fund)' element, but I somehow doubt that. MOVING ON!

Quote:
That's not specific enough to be meaningful.

Please. Define "specific enough" and DO try to leave out the whole "high-priced, Ivy League achievements amounts to everything in life!" meme from your points this time.

Quote:
Do you believe that no person is capable of making a higher percentage of rational decisions in the future than he/she is today?

Not unlike the theistic equivalent "Are people really capable of changing their ways?"...

Pfffttt. NEXT!

Quote:
What EXACTLY are you proposing?

What do you propose, hammy? Abolishing ALL private education? Forcing government- funded and regulated education on EVERY single person in the USA? World? What was it you stated again on wordpress, precisely??? Oh that's right. "We’d insist on intense regulation and testing of home-schooled children."

You're kidding, right?

In a nation that is systematically losing MORE and MORE of it's literacy rate each year to apathy and population influx, and in an education system that is LEGALLY enforced on the population on the most asinine notion of "we have to keep them there youngns outter jail hurhurhur!" the only viable solution is private schooling; particularly so in the case of home schooling.

We have to STOP the cold war phenomena of "Every kid to college..." and we need to give people -particularly kids- the option of NOT having to attend the smoldering-wreck-of-a-steamboat known as "The Public Education System of the US".

On the plus side, I do like the idea of "strict taxation of all religious organizations". Too bad it's piled in the middle of so much impractical, useless, SELFISH garbage from whatever "Atheist Convention" you attended earlier this month that it is quickly diminished in its value.

Y'know... in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in middle of The Age of Enlightenment, there was the power of subtlety on the side of 'nonbelievers' around the globe. Nietzsche, Darwin, "Ernest Hemmingway the Great" (whoever that is), Immanuel Kant (I don't consider him a believer), Svante Arrhenius, Vincent Auriol... et cetera et cetera. These weren't loud and noisy campus kids who went out of their way to 'stir up a ruckus' with Christians and other theists. They didn't demonstrate at cathedrals, trumpeted the latest utterances by some World-Famous Biologist, or go door-to-door trying to convince others of their intellectual superiority. These were bright minds who gently suggested  "Maybe there's a better way than all that kooky, loud, and furious God-related stuff". They weren't trying to win any "battle".

They did, however, generate concepts and ideas that, centuries later, many intellectually gifted people still find useful.

Quote:
So, your biggest gripe with me is that other atheists believe in eradicating Islam as a means to achieving world peace?  Who, by the way?  I've spoken with both Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, and neither of them thinks that negation of religion would equal peace in the Middle East.  That's a very naive view, and I've heard it more from theists aping atheists than from atheists.

Ah, you like gross oversimplification of the arguments coming from your verbal opponents!

So do I.

Quote:

I, for one, do not address peace in the Middle East.  It's a bigger question than I am capable of answering.

Is it possible that you're grasp is exceeding your reach here, and that you're lumping Christianity and Islam into one group to which they don't both properly belong?

"You're"? "You are grasp"? Well... anyways.

Hammy... before you attempt to accuse someone of some sort of fallacy or fault of character, you should also attempt make sure you yourself aren't exhibiting said fallacy or fault of character!

I, at least, try that much on most days...

Quote:

I also disavow this meme, and have often said that World War II is evidence that suicide bombing is more of a strategic maneuver than a religious maneuver.  So why you bitching?

Oversimplified translation:"Hate da game, not da playaz!!"

Quote:
That's why RB thinking works, Alison.  So thank you for pointing out this meme.  It seems like my prediction might bear some weight... present evidence and logic, and some minds will change.

My mind is rapidly changing atm, and it's not in your favor. Plenty of "evidence" and "logic" to substantiate my reasons, between this ridiculously asinine exchange going on with you and Allison, as well. I mean, since you enjoy getting personal and hotheaded with people, and stuff... you can't honestly say you're doing all this for recreational purposes.

It would be fallacious and probably erroneous to claim that you believe there is some sort of 'net gain' to be had from Allison's ideas, but not so much a great leap to assess that you have prioritized your deliriously heated discussions with Allison rather highly.

Why? Why obsess over someone who you claim is:

Quote:
So you're really just bitching, not contributing to a meaningful solution.  Ok. 

??? For that matter, what do you consider yourself to have been doing this entire time you've engaged with Allison in "Freethinking Anonymous"? The exact same thing, maybe?

And who defines "meaningful solution", in this instance anyways?

Nah, Hammy... I'd dare say you've got a royal problem with projecting your faults unto others. Y'know... like what power-hungry theists do.


Now, is all this ferocious, VICIOUS ankle-biting done in Freethinking? And, can we kindly, civilly go back to productive, cooperative exchange of ideas?

Or, are you two going continue to play 'atheistic tug-of-war' while bonking each other on the head in the name of "tossing our ideas in front of an overpaid yesman with a Majors in Business Associates in the very unrealistic hope he'll invest in us"?

I know which outcome I prefer of all this "bitching about bitching"!

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Well, Kapkao's post did

Well, Kapkao's post did serve one purpose Hamby:

 

You at least have the consulatation that no matter how batshit insane my views are towards you, there is always someone MORE batshit insane than me.

 

Smiling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Well,

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Well, Kapkao's post did serve one purpose Hamby:

 

You at least have the consulatation that no matter how batshit insane my views are towards you, there is always someone MORE batshit insane than me.

 

Smiling

You and I both need to work on the "batshit" levels in here. Some stuck-up corporate drone with more money than he doesn't know what to do with... might want to invest in us, after all!

Why does hammy need consulation?

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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 Quote:All you said was

 

Quote:
All you said was that in order to get people to use RB we have to market RB effectively. DUH

 

HOW? What evidence supports YOUR approach? What studies do YOU have that will support YOUR approach?

You're the one with the idea that selling rationality is a bad idea for the purpose of increasing rationality.  I haven't espoused an approach other than the idea itself.  I present rational, scientific information and encourage other atheists to try to sell it.  I haven't written a sales manual.

Quote:
You want me to express me views clearer? Lead by example.

How much simpler can I make it?  HEY ATHEISTS!  Try to put your best "human face" forward, live out as atheists, and try to show people that you can be happy while being a non-believing rationalist."

Quote:
Not to say this is completly your fault.

How is it any my fault?  I don't espouse the views you don't like.

Quote:
You seem to throw around the argument from authority. "my friend has a PhD and studies this issue."  Well, guess what? I can point to others who have a PhD and studies this issue.

No, that wasn't the argument.  You said, approximately, "Read the data.  You'll come to my conclusion."  I pointed out that people with far more experience and credentials than you have read the data and not reached your conclusion.  That's not to say you're wrong.  It's to say that IF you're right, you're onto something that very smart and qualified people don't see, so you need to SPELL IT OUT CLEARLY AND CONCISELY.

Quote:
Yet despite this you just said "Well I don't hold these memes". But the point was what do you do to prevent their spread?

You want me to make the focus of my blog the eradication of the meme that suicide bombing is religiously motivated?  But that's not what I want to do.  That's not what my blog is about.  My blog is about living a fulfilling atheist life from the interpersonal, personal, sexual, and emotional angle.  I dabble in making people aware of the threat posed by Christian Fascists, and I espouse my own philosophical belief that faith based reasoning is a really, really bad thing.  (This is not inconsistent with any of your apparently correct assertions about cohesion, devotion, etc.)

Quote:
I don't point out flawed atheist memes to accuse you of spreading them or derailing the discussion, but the point is that wide spread negative memes in the atheist community are hurting the atheist community like negative memes in the Christian community are hurting the Christian community. But you seem to miss that point. Everytime I bring it up. All you say is "I don't spread that meme" but you do nothing to stop it.

Gee, I'm sorry.  I thought that spreading accurate memes about topics that interest me was a worthwhile pursuit.  I'll drop it and start tilting your windmill instead.

Quote:
But you did get me somewhere Hamby. You are right that I don't comment directly to the atheists that I feel are directly spreading the bad memes and do indeed seem to dump the responsibilty mostly on you rather than them.

You have my support, and maybe even my direct help, should you encounter a particularly irrational atheist who seems to be causing significant harm.  Just let me know.

Quote:
But this has been a useful exercise none the less.  For one thing it has taught me to spell out the point which I will gladly do from now on.

 

Also, I will try to get across my points in a more calm and passive manner, but I'll start after this one. 

 

 

Isn't it awesome how rational thinking can help us get by emotional and psychological hangups?

Quote:
Another thing, your blog posts and posts here are usually long so why can't mine be?

You need more work on flow, direction, and not wandering.

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Lol. Kapkao is jealous of

Lol. Kapkao is jealous of Hamby's smartness.

Omg, it's Haruhi. Do you watch the anime you get your avatars from, Pineapple?

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Lol.

butterbattle wrote:

Lol. Kapkao is jealous of Hamby's smartness.

(whispering) SHHHHHHHH!!!! They don' know that yet! It's going to be a surprise! (Sirens start going off)

 

AW SHIT! Now see whatcha done, BB?! Ya broke my damn cover again...                        

 


Actually, I was trying to distract them both from "biting each other's ankles" NUMB and RAW. Try and yank them away from (what looked like) an endless skirmish of... 'pseudowit' until the other side (supposedly) gives up and says "Uuuugggghhhh. You win. I was wrong. Ow."

 

No real point to that sort of dialog, in truth.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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Quote:You're the one with

Quote:

You're the one with the idea that selling rationality is a bad idea for the purpose of increasing rationality.  I

 

No Hamby, I don't think that. I think that selling it properly is good for the purpose of increasing rationality and selling it based on assumptions, and intuition is a bad idea for increasing rationality.

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Quote:
You seem to throw around the argument from authority. "my friend has a PhD and studies this issue."  Well, guess what? I can point to others who have a PhD and studies this issue.

No, that wasn't the argument.  You said, approximately, "Read the data.  You'll come to my conclusion."  I pointed out that people with far more experience and credentials than you have read the data and not reached your conclusion.  That's not to say you're wrong.  It's to say that IF you're right, you're onto something that very smart and qualified people don't see, so you need to SPELL IT OUT CLEARLY AND CONCISELY.

 

 

Actually Hamby, in the studies I posted I show that smart people with credentials and experience have reached the same conclusions I have. [Or should I say that I have reached the same conclusions they have.]

 

 

Quote:

You want me to make the focus of my blog the eradication of the meme that suicide bombing is religiously motivated?

 

No of course not.  The point is with all your insitince of eradicating bad memes, you seem to focus on religious ones.

 

Quote:

 

 But that's not what I want to do.  That's not what my blog is about.  My blog is about living a fulfilling atheist life from the interpersonal, personal, sexual, and emotional angle.  I dabble in making people aware of the threat posed by Christian Fascists, and I espouse my own philosophical belief that faith based reasoning is a really, really bad thing.  (This is not inconsistent with any of your apparently correct assertions about cohesion, devotion, etc.)

 

 

 

Hamby look at your blog entries.

 

I see two on dating sites which are consistent with you wanting to fulfilling life. However look at your other ones.

 

Pretty much all the other ones are about the threat posed by Christian Fascists and your own philosophical belief that faith based reasoning is bad.

 

So go ahead, count how many deal with the former and how many the latter.

 

 

And then see why I think you focus more on the latter than the former.

 

 

Quote:

I'll drop it and start tilting your windmill instead.

 

Now I can tell you've been in a relationship before.

 

 

Hamby wrote:

 

Isn't it awesome how rational thinking can help us get by emotional and psychological hangups?

 

 

Believe it or not Hamby, not even I am rational 100% of the time.

 

 

ButterBattle wrote:

Omg, it's Haruhi. Do you watch the anime you get your avatars from, Pineapple?

 

No, the only one I watched was Sailor Moon.