Questions about the mind disorder of theism

Jim Smith
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Questions about the mind disorder of theism

Questions on the Mind Disorder of TheismWhich mind disorder is it? Must we settle for such an imprecise expression, or is there a medically-recognized term that we might use? There are many varieties of theism. Does each belong to a different clinical category of mental illness? Or do all theists, regardless of their individual creeds, exhibit some distinguishing set of symptom(s) consistent with a single diagnosis? If so, is one of those symptoms the belief in normative ethical-moral standards set by an immortal, noncorporeal entity? (Defining “normative” standards as “standards that all are obligated to obey.”) If this belief is a symptom of mind disorder, then we need to be careful regarding which aspect(s) of that belief are pathological. It would be a contradiction in terms to say that the belief in normative ethical-moral standards per se is pathological, since this belief is universal among human beings; we differ only in the content of those standards. For example, this website would not exist if we all held that pedophile priests may indulge themselves without restraint or apology because there is no right or wrong. Instead, we hold that the priest is “bad”. We would hold the same opinion of people who might disagree with us on this point, even if they were in the overwhelming majority. Furthermore, we would reject indignantly any suggestion that a more-enlightened future will reveal us as benighted and intolerant in this regard. So there’s no denying it: we do believe in an absolute, timeless, nonnegotiable morality, even if that morality might say no more than “Thou shalt not be a pedophile priest”. Therefore, if one of the symptoms of the mind disorder of theism is a belief in normative ethical-moral standards set by an immortal, noncorporeal entity, then the pathological part of that belief must have to do with the source/justification that is claimed for those standards, rather than the belief that such standards exist.This conclusion raises more questions:We hold that our minimalist morality “Thou shalt not be a pedophile priest” is normative. Having decide that the theists among us who hold this view are mind-disordered, what “healthy” justification might be offered for it?May a “healthy” justification appeal to some arbiter transcending the physical laws of the Universe? If not, then a healthy justification must be consistent with a matter/energy-only Universe. At this point, we might wish to clarify a few things. Let us do so by considering one specific person: a pedophile priest named Father P. Will we agree that according to our minimalist morality’s First, and only, Commandment, he has an obligation to desist? To clarify matters further, let us note that a healthy explanation for how this obligation arose must not contradict the following three propositions: (a) The Universe itself is nothing more than an ensemble of matter/energy. (b) Therefore, P can be nothing more than an ensemble of matter/energy. (c) By the same reasoning, we who assert that P has an obligation to desist can be nothing more than ensembles of matter/energy. Three questions arise from these propositions: (1) Are the fundamental physical laws of the Universe “blind”, in the sense that they characterize the behavior of all fundamental particles in the Universe, without distinction? Or do they make a distinction between the particles that make up the ensemble known as Father P, and those that make up his accusers? (2) Is the operation of the physical/chemical processes that result from the Universe’s fundamental physical laws “purposeless”, in the sense that there is no trajectory or outcome that they are meant to achieve? Or does something define a purpose and direct the physical/chemical processes toward that end? (3) If the Universe’s fundamental physical laws are indeed “blind”, and the resulting physical/chemical processes “purposeless”, then how do they obligate one matter-energy ensemble to obey the dictates of another? And which is which? If we allowed Father P to speak in his own defense, he might sum up the situation as follows: Your concern for the child and prejudice against religious hypocrisy are merely products of impersonal matter/energy interactions in a human brains—yours, to be specific. My sexual urges and duplicity are the products of impersonal matter/energy interactions in my own. There is no basis for claiming superiority for one set of impersonal matter/energy interactions over another. What, then, is this “morality” on the basis of which the matter/energy of interactions in your brains deem themselves ‘right’ while condemning those in mine? Can we answer Father P by invoking Free Will? No. In the first place, the question isn’t whether Father P is capable of choosing to conform to our morality; the question is whether he has any obligation whatsoever to do so. As he might put it, “Now I understand you! (a) I have Free will. (b) I am “bad” if I exercise it in ways that do not conform to a “morality” that arose through the blind, purposeless workings of matter/energy in your brains. Father P would no doubt be quick to point out another problem with the idea of Free Will: in a matter/energy-only Universe, he can be nothing more than an ensemble of subatomic particles following trajectories determined by his initial and boundary conditions, within limits permitted by quantum considerations. To say that Father P has Free Will thrusts us into a maze of contradictions. For example, that he has a Mind that can set the matter/energy of his body on trajectories of his choosing. Hardly consistent with a Universe in which all matter/energy —of which both brain and body are part— follows blind, purposeless laws. We shouldn’t expect any mercy from the good Father if we persisted, and we’d get none: “What your morality boils down to is the belief that at least some portion of the blind, purposeless workings of the Universe’s matter/energy must bend to your nonexistent (Free) Will. Is this delusion any less a mind disorder than the theists’? It appears, then, that only we nihilists are sane.”


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You are NOT a Pittsburgh

You are NOT a Pittsburgh Steeler.

Lose the glaring yellow text, please.


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I stopped reading at the

I stopped reading at the composition fallacy, and caught a glimpse of a nihilism reference at the end. I'm always curious when people say -- as if immensely threatened by the prospect -- "If we/the universe/everything is nothing more than wheels and springs/dust/animals/matter..." what their favored alternative is. Let's say we're just animals, and let's say animals are made of matter. So? Is the planet supposed to fly off its orbit at that point, because it no longer has purpose or transcendental guidance?


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Someday distant future

Someday distant future day ALL will laugh at these present God ideas.

That god "word" is a mind twister, .... BUT it's SILLY to let the fundys define, and the atheists to only reject, so I say to you all, WE ARE GOD .....

To the fundys I throw,

"WE ARE GOD" MEANS NO GODS BEFORE US ..... Dig ???? Christianity BLOW BACK, ,,,,,, a simple MosesJesusBuddha message.

yeah , I'm on my last beer, and thats alot of BEER,

PROVE I AM NOT GOD, no one ever has, EVER

so many words, nothing much said .....


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JIM SMITH, you seem to be

JIM SMITH, you seem to be another genius over my head,.... could you please simplify ??? ..... I do care to understand..... me god, I'll check back. ( god is confussed )   


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I AM GOD AS YOU

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Someday distant future day ALL will laugh at these present God ideas.

That god "word" is a mind twister, .... BUT it's SILLY to let the fundys define, and the atheists to only reject, so I say to you all, WE ARE GOD .....

To the fundys I throw,

"WE ARE GOD" MEANS NO GODS BEFORE US ..... Dig ???? Christianity BLOW BACK, ,,,,,, a simple MosesJesusBuddha message.

yeah , I'm on my last beer, and thats alot of BEER,

PROVE I AM NOT GOD, no one ever has, EVER

so many words, nothing much said .....

No. thanks. Don't feel like carrying your burden of proof 

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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I'm getting a little deja

I'm getting a little deja vu from Frank Walton's blog.

Anyway,  Jim if you want us to take you seriously why don't you use a normal font, put in a few paragraph breaks and organize the thoughts a bit more.  

I personally have found that when people present arguments like this it's so difficult to even get a grasp on what is being said, let alone formulate a response. 


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I'll be happy to read your

I'll be happy to read your post and attempt to answer your questions if you'll kindly post your text in a readable format.  In educated circles, we use paragraphs.

 

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

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In the future, please type

In the future, please type in white lettering and break up your post into segments that can be addressed individually. The colors are there as an option that we expect nobody to need or use. Unless, you want it to be virtually indecipherable...

Jim Smith wrote:
Questions on the Mind Disorder of TheismWhich mind disorder is it? Must we settle for such an imprecise expression, or is there a medically-recognized term that we might use?

We believe that it fits into the definition of a delusional disorder as defined by the APA.

 

Quote:
There are many varieties of theism. Does each belong to a different clinical category of mental illness? Or do all theists, regardless of their individual creeds, exhibit some distinguishing set of symptom(s) consistent with a single diagnosis?

That would depend, and yes, the distinguishing symptom would be the irrational and illogical belief in an invisible sky-daddy.

 

Quote:
If so, is one of those symptoms the belief in normative ethical-moral standards set by an immortal, noncorporeal entity? (Defining “normative” standards as “standards that all are obligated to obey.”)

The belief in absolute morality being handed down by said sky-daddy is but a by-product of the delusion; so, no, it would not in itself be a symptom. I also highly dislike your use of "obligated" in the definition of "normative standards". No norm of any sort would imply any type of obligation; rather, a norm is an observation of what the majority of people in a particular culture or group tend to be/believe/behave like,etc...

Quote:
If this belief is a symptom of mind disorder, then we need to be careful regarding which aspect(s) of that belief are pathological. It would be a contradiction in terms to say that the belief in normative ethical-moral standards per se is pathological, since this belief is universal among human beings;

Again, a norm is an observation, so certainly, we all believe that they exist. You have convoluted the definition of "normative" to suit your purposes and muddy the waters.  

Quote:
we differ only in the content of those standards.

I think that you would be surprised to find that we would agree most of the time. The difference is not the content, but the context. We don't accept that these "standards" have been handed down from on high as you would assert. 

Quote:
For example, this website would not exist if we all held that pedophile priests may indulge themselves without restraint or apology because there is no right or wrong. Instead, we hold that the priest is “bad”.

Actually, You can replace that "we" with "I", because I wouldn't hold that he is "bad" per se. His actions may have been vile, disgusting, and injurious, but that doesn't necessarily make him "bad". It may make him mentally ill, but I would not attempt to label somebody so categorically. If that is your standpoint, though, then you must agree that the entire catholic church is "bad" for allowing and enabling that kind of abuse to occur, right? 

Quote:
We would hold the same opinion of people who might disagree with us on this point, even if they were in the overwhelming majority.

Oh, really? You may be shocked to know that sex between older men and much younger men, often students, has only relatively recently fallen out of fashion. That is why it is a "norm"--it is relevant to cultures and therefore also time periods.

Quote:
Furthermore, we would reject indignantly any suggestion that a more-enlightened future will reveal us as benighted and intolerant in this regard. So there’s no denying it: we do believe in an absolute, timeless, nonnegotiable morality, even if that morality might say no more than “Thou shalt not be a pedophile priest”.

Nope, sorry. I would probably hypothesize the opposite as far as ethics and the passage of time is concerned, but at any rate, it most certainly is not absolute, timeless, or nonnegotiable. 

Quote:
Therefore, if one of the symptoms of the mind disorder of theism is a belief in normative ethical-moral standards set by an immortal, noncorporeal entity, then the pathological part of that belief must have to do with the source/justification that is claimed for those standards, rather than the belief that such standards exist.

Already said that. 

Quote:
This conclusion raises more questions:We hold that our minimalist morality “Thou shalt not be a pedophile priest” is normative.

It is the societal norm, yes. Dislike the phrasing, but carry on... 

Quote:
Having decide that the theists among us who hold this view are mind-disordered, what “healthy” justification might be offered for it?

Disordered in one regard does not imply the inability to be logical, rational, or ethical in all other areas. That would be like saying that somebody who has depression or ADHD is unable to function in any way, even those unrelated to their disorder, and nobody has made such a statement. (It just now occurred to me that all of these people who are having fits about this "disorder" thing have apparently all carried over their own stigma associated with that word. Nobody here has ever stated that anybody with any type of disorder is inherently and absolutely irrational, illogical, and stupid. Rather, it is precisely because one is capable of behaving rationally and logically in most other areas of their lives that it is even apparent that this ONE issue is not in line, and therefore "disordered", with the rest of their beliefs and behaviors.)

Quote:
May a “healthy” justification appeal to some arbiter transcending the physical laws of the Universe?

No. 

Quote:
If not, then a healthy justification must be consistent with a matter/energy-only Universe.

Which is all we have evidence for at the present time, making it the only logical conclusion. 

Quote:
At this point, we might wish to clarify a few things. Let us do so by considering one specific person: a pedophile priest named Father P.

Considering that any subjective value judgment would apply only to his specific case, I don't see how this can clarify anything.  *Skipping section and only commenting that involvement in society necessarily involves the ability and willingness to control your own behavior*

Quote:
Can we answer Father P by invoking Free Will? No. In the first place, the question isn’t whether Father P is capable of choosing to conform to our morality; the question is whether he has any obligation whatsoever to do so.

He can choose not to, but then he must face the consequences for that action. 

Quote:
As he might put it, “Now I understand you! (a) I have Free will. (b) I am “bad” if I exercise it in ways that do not conform to a “morality” that arose through the blind, purposeless workings of matter/energy in your brains. Father P would no doubt be quick to point out another problem with the idea of Free Will: in a matter/energy-only Universe, he can be nothing more than an ensemble of subatomic particles following trajectories determined by his initial and boundary conditions, within limits permitted by quantum considerations. To say that Father P has Free Will thrusts us into a maze of contradictions.

Don't recall anybody saying he had free will. He very well may be completely unable to stop himself, and the fact that he can't is the reason why he can no longer continue to exist within our society which has certain boundaries established by human beings that  define his actions being as detrimental to the rest of society.  

Quote:
For example, that he has a Mind that can set the matter/energy of his body on trajectories of his choosing.

Nobody said that. There is evidence that your neuronal networking can be retrained in many instances, but that is another can of worms. 

Quote:
“What your morality boils down to is the belief that at least some portion of the blind, purposeless workings of the Universe’s matter/energy must bend to your nonexistent (Free) Will. Is this delusion any less a mind disorder than the theists’? It appears, then, that only we nihilists are sane.”

Well, we never said that. You muddied the waters from the second sentence, then asserted that we believe necessarily in free will, then continued to extrapolate on those false premises by trying to generalize from a specific hypothetical situation. Fail. Nice try. Come again.


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Jim and Kelly; Thanks for

Jim and Kelly; Thanks for your super caring effort. Thats what really makes this RRS site special. Wow, isn't Kelly super ! What do think Jim ?

About the yellow print, no problem, some wrong click?, besides Fuck silly tradition, even at rrs Hey I like yellow.

RRS< fighting to free humanity ...? free who ? I would sure hate to see this site become an "intellectual only" club site of pc wizzes ignoring and bashing the curious seeking answers and help.

All self glory of insight and knowledge needs be taught to the "poor in spirit" because they are "down" because they are blessed with a caring saddness for the world. ( jesus)

The religious fundys are the enemy, but put only love on them, as love knows deep indignation. Even that jesus called Peter Satan.

I tell ya , if the fucking TV cared we regular atheists and christians would be digging the buddhist and hindus, and shouting fuck yeah, WE ARE ONE, WE ARE GOD. fix the tv .....

All the many gods of myth and religion are our blessing, THE FUNDYS ARE THE ONES WHO FUCK UP GOD. fuck their god, we are god and god does zero miracles and has nothing to prove.

Check out the Buddhist ideas JIM SMITH, get free. THIS LIFE, US, IS GOD. Ethics and social tradition are a different thing.

THANKS FOR CARING, come again JIM , we need you, we love you, know We are ONE. You are for the good ... me too ...

 


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You know, I like you a lot.

You know, I like you a lot.


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To the responders who noted

To the responders who noted that my post has no paragraphs: I have no explanation for this. All such formatting wss present in the preview screen.


Jim Smith
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One part of Kelly's reply

One part of Kelly's reply to my post was a response to the following statment of mine:

Quote:
If this belief is a symptom of mind disorder, then we need to be careful regarding which aspect(s) of that belief are pathological. It would be a contradiction in terms to say that the belief in normative ethical-moral standards per se is pathological, since this belief is universal among human beings;

Kelly replied,

"Again, a norm is an observation, so certainly, we all believe that they exist. You have convoluted the definition of "normative" to suit your purposes and muddy the waters."

(End of quote)

 Actually, my definition, which I had presented earlier in the post, was, "standards that all are obligated to obey". This is one of the dictionary definitions for "normative", and the word "normative" is typically used this way in discussions of ethics. I gave this definition in my post for the benefit of those who didn't know this.

In reply to another statement of mine,

As he might put it, “Now I understand you! (a) I have Free will. (b) I am “bad” if I exercise it in ways that do not conform to a “morality” that arose through the blind, purposeless workings of matter/energy in your brains. Father P would no doubt be quick to point out another problem with the idea of Free Will: in a matter/energy-only Universe, he can be nothing more than an ensemble of subatomic particles following trajectories determined by his initial and boundary conditions, within limits permitted by quantum considerations. To say that Father P has Free Will thrusts us into a maze of contradictions.

Kelly replied

"Don't recall anybody saying he had free will."

(End of quote)

If we believe that anyone has free will regarding anything, then we end up in the same contradictions when we try to square that belief with a matter/energy-only Universe. Surely Kelly knows this; the paradox of Free Will in a matter/energy-only Universe is a common-enough topic of discussion among scientists and philosophers. Or does Kelly mean to say that she believes that nobody has free will regarding anything? If so, I hope she will state her belief explicity, so that other Rational Responders may debate this point with her.

Somewhat similar issues arise regarding her reply to my statement

Quote:
For example, that he has a Mind that can set the matter/energy of his body on trajectories of his choosing.

Kelly sais "Nobody said that. There is evidence that your neuronal networking can be retrained in many instances, but that is another can of worms. "

(End of quote.)

I suspect that Kelly misunderstood me here. She obviously does believe that people have Minds that can set their bodies upon trajectories of their choosing. If she didn't, she would have assumed that the keys I had pressed while writing my post bore no correlation either to webdress that I was trying to access or to the thoughts I was trying to express, and would therefore not have bothered writing a reply.  


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 I would like to hear a

 I would like to hear a definition for "free will". Not "free" "will"

Sounds made up...
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Quote:

Quote:
To the responders who noted that my post has no paragraphs: I have no explanation for this. All such formatting wss present in the preview screen.

Fair enough. Did you use an external program to type it, and then copy it in? That sometimes causes problems. [edited to remove a boneheaded sentence that proved that I don't always comprehend what I read.]

Thanks.

(I'm not going to answer the question at this time because Kelly has answered thoroughly.)

 

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

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Jim Smith wrote:

One part of Kelly's reply to my post was a response to the following statment of mine:

Quote:
If this belief is a symptom of mind disorder, then we need to be careful regarding which aspect(s) of that belief are pathological. It would be a contradiction in terms to say that the belief in normative ethical-moral standards per se is pathological, since this belief is universal among human beings;

Kelly replied,

"Again, a norm is an observation, so certainly, we all believe that they exist. You have convoluted the definition of "normative" to suit your purposes and muddy the waters."

(End of quote)

Actually, my definition, which I had presented earlier in the post, was, "standards that all are obligated to obey". This is one of the dictionary definitions for "normative", and the word "normative" is typically used this way in discussions of ethics. I gave this definition in my post for the benefit of those who didn't know this.

 

definitions of "normative":

1.of or pertaining to a norm, esp. an assumed norm regarded as the standard of correctness in behavior, speech, writing, etc.
2.tending or attempting to establish such a norm, esp. by the prescription of rules: normative grammar.
3.reflecting the assumption of such a norm or favoring its establishment: a normative attitude.

 

You either picked out quotes to purposely misrepresent what I wrote or you have serious reading comprehension issues. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, but don't pull this again or I won't take the time to respond. Either reply honestly or expect no responses.

I clearly stated my opposition to your definition of "normative", so why don't you respond to that instead of dodging the point.

Quote:

In reply to another statement of mine,

As he might put it, “Now I understand you! (a) I have Free will. (b) I am “bad” if I exercise it in ways that do not conform to a “morality” that arose through the blind, purposeless workings of matter/energy in your brains. Father P would no doubt be quick to point out another problem with the idea of Free Will: in a matter/energy-only Universe, he can be nothing more than an ensemble of subatomic particles following trajectories determined by his initial and boundary conditions, within limits permitted by quantum considerations. To say that Father P has Free Will thrusts us into a maze of contradictions.

Kelly replied

"Don't recall anybody saying he had free will."

(End of quote)

If we believe that anyone has free will regarding anything, then we end up in the same contradictions when we try to square that belief with a matter/energy-only Universe. Surely Kelly knows this; the paradox of Free Will in a matter/energy-only Universe is a common-enough topic of discussion among scientists and philosophers. Or does Kelly mean to say that she believes that nobody has free will regarding anything? If so, I hope she will state her belief explicity, so that other Rational Responders may debate this point with her.

I doubt that any other "Rational Responders" will be debating this point with me, since most of us are in agreement that we do, in fact, live in a completely materialistic universe and all observed phenomena arise as a result of physical processes. At any rate, first of all, "free will" is as much of a paradox in the theistic universe, as long as you are assuming the existence of an omnimax creator being. I don't believe that "free will" exists in the sense that anybody has the potential to "will" themselves into or out of any potential pattern of behavior. It is all dependent on an infinite number of factors that have determined your predispositions, and within that there is a range of possibilities within which you may be able to "choose", or at least have the illusion of choice, but one cannot "choose" to go outside of that range. This is a very complex subject, but to sum up, overall, "free will" is an illusion, and most of your behaviors could be accurately predicted assuming that one had all the knowledge of all potential influencing factors (which is impossible realistically).

Quote:

Somewhat similar issues arise regarding her reply to my statement

Quote:
For example, that he has a Mind that can set the matter/energy of his body on trajectories of his choosing.

Kelly sais "Nobody said that. There is evidence that your neuronal networking can be retrained in many instances, but that is another can of worms. "

(End of quote.)

I suspect that Kelly misunderstood me here. She obviously does believe that people have Minds that can set their bodies upon trajectories of their choosing. If she didn't, she would have assumed that the keys I had pressed while writing my post bore no correlation either to webdress that I was trying to access or to the thoughts I was trying to express, and would therefore not have bothered writing a reply.

Not that you cannot control your body--obviously you can in most circumstances. But can a person with Parkinson's Disease "will" themselves to stop shaking? No. This is a purely physical reaction to the lack of dopamine in the neural synapses. Is it possible, in some cases, particulary cocaine-induced Parkinsonism, to repair the damaged parts of the brain, notably the GABA receptors and dopamine transporters/receptors, to diminish or eliminate the symptoms? Yes. But it all comes down to physical processes inside the brain. Just like all of your behaviors, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, etc. Right down to and including one's proclivity to believe in god and the way in which that proclivity manifests itself.

Now go back, read again, and try addressing the issue. Try not to purposely pick out half-quotes from me to misrepresent my position.


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My use of the word

My use of the word "normative", in the way I have defined it, has been understood and accepted without complaint or comment by atheists in other forums. In any case, I defined it clearly when I first introduced it. I had no reason to believe that that word would cause such difficulties here, much less provoke accusations of dishonesty.

Certain Responders would be more-helpful critics if they clarified their positions on points that I will raise shortly. But first I need to mention a dissonance between the belief in a matter/energy-only Universe and the Rational Response Squad’s professed mission: “To free humanity from the mind disorder of theism”. I abbreviate “matter/energy” as “M/E” in the rest of this post.

In an M/E-only Universe, “humanity” in its entirety can be nothing more than a certain configuration of M/E. That configuration, for the time being, includes M/E interactions that produce theism. One fraction of humanity’s M/E —the Rational Response Squad— strives to transform that configuration into one in which theism is not present.

Now why is this, when the difference between a superstition-ridden humanity and a theism-free humanity can be no more than a difference between configurations of M/E?

Similar issues arise when we analyze one Responder’s position that although a pedophile priest is not “bad”, he needs to be separated from society so that he will not do further harm. In other words, Responder says we should prevent M/E configurations that include harmed children, by procuring ones that include institutionalized or incarcerated pedophile priests. Whether Responder is right or not is immaterial to the points on which I will ask Responders to clarify their positions. What is important is that this Responder, and Responders in general, maintain that they are right

 Now here are the points on which I request clarifications. Is the following an accurate characterization of your beliefs? 

  1. You believe in an M/E-only Universe.
  2. Each of you believes that he or she individually is not merely a configuration of matter/energy.
  3. You believe your thoughts are meaningful. That is, that the difference between one thought and another is not merely a difference between configurations of M/E in your brains.
  4. You believe that you have Free Will, at least regarding which thoughts you choose to express in this forum.
  5. You believe that you and I have minds that can direct the M/E of our bodies on trajectories of our choosing, at least to the extent that the keys that my fingers press as I write this correlate strongly with the words that my mind wants to appear on the screen.
  6. You believe that your opinions on pedophile priests and theism are not merely judgments about alternative configurations of M/E.
 If my understanding of your beliefs is inaccurate, then I will gladly be corrected. However, you will understand if I see little point in responding to people who tell me they’re M/E configurations whose posts have negligible correlation with meaningful thought. On the other hand, if I have characterized your beliefs correctly, then I would ask that you recognize the paradoxes that arise if we assert beliefs 2-6 while simultaneously asserting #1. These paradoxes have been the subject of some fascinating writing, much of it by atheists.


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Jim Smith wrote:

Jim Smith wrote:

My use of the word "normative", in the way I have defined it, has been understood and accepted without complaint or comment by atheists in other forums. In any case, I defined it clearly when I first introduced it. I had no reason to believe that that word would cause such difficulties here, much less provoke accusations of dishonesty.

As I stated previously, you purposely redefined the word in order to muddy the waters. I have not only explained why that is problematic, but I have provided you with the real definition, which includes nothing about "obligation". The inclusion of that word implies that there is something to be obligated to, and therefore begs the question since your initial premise is that god exists and he is the one to whom we are obligated to obey and who created these "norms". I don't particularly care if other atheists have accepted your usage of that terminology--they're mistaken if they allowed you to get away with that. I shall do no such thing.

 

Quote:
Certain Responders would be more-helpful critics if they clarified their positions on points that I will raise shortly. But first I need to mention a dissonance between the belief in a matter/energy-only Universe and the Rational Response Squad’s professed mission: “To free humanity from the mind disorder of theism”. I abbreviate “matter/energy” as “M/E” in the rest of this post.

In an M/E-only Universe, “humanity” in its entirety can be nothing more than a certain configuration of M/E. That configuration, for the time being, includes M/E interactions that produce theism. One fraction of humanity’s M/E —the Rational Response Squad— strives to transform that configuration into one in which theism is not present.

Now why is this, when the difference between a superstition-ridden humanity and a theism-free humanity can be no more than a difference between configurations of M/E?

First of all, you are acting as if the entire universe is one configuration of M/E, which is true in a way, but not the way in which we operate within it. You are also failing to take into consideration that this configuration of M/E includes the constantly fluctuating and changing chemical interactions going on within each organism, notably the brains of humans in this case. We seek to show people how their irrational beliefs are flawed and harmful and change their thought processes, so that is the sense in which we seek to influence the current configuration of M/E--within the minds of the individual believers.

Quote:
Similar issues arise when we analyze one Responder’s position that although a pedophile priest is not “bad”, he needs to be separated from society so that he will not do further harm. In other words, Responder says we should prevent M/E configurations that include harmed children, by procuring ones that include institutionalized or incarcerated pedophile priests.

Actually, I don't advocate "procuring" such a configuration, but rather realize that inclusion in society necessarily involves the consideration of the greater good. If you read any philosophy regarding the "social contract", you'll see how the sacrifice of individual rights, such as the right to vengance, is inherent in the formation of any group structure.

Quote:
Whether Responder is right or not is immaterial to the points on which I will ask Responders to clarify their positions. What is important is that this Responder, and Responders in general, maintain that they are right.

Because I am. Prove me wrong.

Quote:
Now here are the points on which I request clarifications. Is the following an accurate characterization of your beliefs?

  1. You believe in an M/E-only Universe.
  2. Each of you believes that he or she individually is not merely a configuration of matter/energy.
  3. You believe your thoughts are meaningful. That is, that the difference between one thought and another is not merely a difference between configurations of M/E in your brains.
  4. You believe that you have Free Will, at least regarding which thoughts you choose to express in this forum.
  5. You believe that you and I have minds that can direct the M/E of our bodies on trajectories of our choosing, at least to the extent that the keys that my fingers press as I write this correlate strongly with the words that my mind wants to appear on the screen.
  6. You believe that your opinions on pedophile priests and theism are not merely judgments about alternative configurations of M/E.

1. True.

2. False. Everything that comprises my being is a configuration of matter/energy and the interactions that arise within it.

3. False. The difference lies in the configurations, patterns, and chemical constituents of my neurology. All of which are physical processes, but not the same physical process, and could have an infinite number of factors that have led up to the interaction occurring in a particular way.

4. False. I do not believe in "free will" in the sense that you do. I already explained that. (Although I am starting to believe that you are "willfully" not reading my posts--must be predisposed to dishonesty.)

5. True, but only to a degree.

6. Already kind of explained that one. Neither true nor false.

Quote:
If my understanding of your beliefs is inaccurate, then I will gladly be corrected. However, you will understand if I see little point in responding to people who tell me they’re M/E configurations whose posts have negligible correlation with meaningful thought. On the other hand, if I have characterized your beliefs correctly, then I would ask that you recognize the paradoxes that arise if we assert beliefs 2-6 while simultaneously asserting #1. These paradoxes have been the subject of some fascinating writing, much of it by atheists.

It was inaccurate.

I never said that your posts have little correlation to your thoughts.

Please read, think, and post. In that order.


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Jim Smith wrote:

Jim Smith wrote:

My use of the word "normative", in the way I have defined it, has been understood and accepted without complaint or comment by atheists in other forums. In any case, I defined it clearly when I first introduced it. I had no reason to believe that that word would cause such difficulties here, much less provoke accusations of dishonesty.

Certain Responders would be more-helpful critics if they clarified their positions on points that I will raise shortly. But first I need to mention a dissonance between the belief in a matter/energy-only Universe and the Rational Response Squad’s professed mission: “To free humanity from the mind disorder of theism”. I abbreviate “matter/energy” as “M/E” in the rest of this post.

In an M/E-only Universe, “humanity” in its entirety can be nothing more than a certain configuration of M/E. That configuration, for the time being, includes M/E interactions that produce theism. One fraction of humanity’s M/E —the Rational Response Squad— strives to transform that configuration into one in which theism is not present.

Now why is this, when the difference between a superstition-ridden humanity and a theism-free humanity can be no more than a difference between configurations of M/E?

Similar issues arise when we analyze one Responder’s position that although a pedophile priest is not “bad”, he needs to be separated from society so that he will not do further harm. In other words, Responder says we should prevent M/E configurations that include harmed children, by procuring ones that include institutionalized or incarcerated pedophile priests. Whether Responder is right or not is immaterial to the points on which I will ask Responders to clarify their positions. What is important is that this Responder, and Responders in general, maintain that they are right.

Now here are the points on which I request clarifications. Is the following an accurate characterization of your beliefs?

  1. You believe in an M/E-only Universe.
  2. Each of you believes that he or she individually is not merely a configuration of matter/energy.
  3. You believe your thoughts are meaningful. That is, that the difference between one thought and another is not merely a difference between configurations of M/E in your brains.
  4. You believe that you have Free Will, at least regarding which thoughts you choose to express in this forum.
  5. You believe that you and I have minds that can direct the M/E of our bodies on trajectories of our choosing, at least to the extent that the keys that my fingers press as I write this correlate strongly with the words that my mind wants to appear on the screen.
  6. You believe that your opinions on pedophile priests and theism are not merely judgments about alternative configurations of M/E.

If my understanding of your beliefs is inaccurate, then I will gladly be corrected. However, you will understand if I see little point in responding to people who tell me they’re M/E configurations whose posts have negligible correlation with meaningful thought. On the other hand, if I have characterized your beliefs correctly, then I would ask that you recognize the paradoxes that arise if we assert beliefs 2-6 while simultaneously asserting #1. These paradoxes have been the subject of some fascinating writing, much of it by atheists.

 

An article you might want to read http://www.rationalresponders.com/fallacies_commonly_employed_against_materialism_refuted

1) I believe in that what we have been able to find out about the universe, could be wrong, but is the best current working model. If our understanding of the unverse changes I will change my views according to the proof that is present.

2) I am a configuration of Matter/Engery just like water being H20, doesn't make it any less water.

3) Meaningful in what sense. Meaning is determine by the rules of the game. When I play a game it is meaningful to complete levels. When I am purchasing something for $15 dollars it is meaningful that I have 3 pieces of paper that if 5's writting on them, or 1 with a $20 on it, or a whole bunch of shiny circles.

4) Please Define free will

5) Our Minds are matter and energy

6) My thoughts, actions, emotions, feelings, and morals are based on the configuration of Matter/Energy.

 Note : based on my current understanding. Which could change when new information is presented.

[Edit: added answers to the 6 questions and Note] 

Sounds made up...
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Kelly said, As I stated

Kelly said,

As I stated previously, you purposely redefined the word in order to muddy the waters. I have not only explained why that is problematic, but I have provided you with the real definition, which includes nothing about "obligation". The inclusion of that word implies that there is something to be obligated to, and therefore begs the question since your initial premise is that god exists and he is the one to whom we are obligated to obey and who created these "norms". I don't particularly care if other atheists have accepted your usage of that terminology--they're mistaken if they allowed you to get away with that. I shall do no such thing.

(End of quote)

"I" did not "redefine" that word, but employed that word as it is used in works on ethics. If you made an incorrect inference because you attached to it a meaning other than a widely-accepted one that I took pains to give so clearly, then I really don't know what you expect me to do about it.

Also, could you please point out for me where I stated an initial premise that god exists?

 

 

I confess it is beyond my poor powers to communicate the inconsistency of Responders who in one post assert there is no Free Will, only cause and effect, and in the next express offence at symbols that appeared upon their monitors in reply. But a passing unemployed bard has succored me by penning the following …

Most noble Rational Responders! Most gracious, good, and kindly Rational Responders! I beg you recall the title of this hallowed forum, and treat not uncharitably one whose unworthy participation therein you condescended to invite. Disdain not this petition to temper your most-deserved condemnation of your humbled servant in whatever infinitesimal degree might strike you fit as you hear the following tale.

To begin:

While in these halls last week there appeared upon my computer screen what seemed to be no more than an ordinary post to an ordinary web forum.

I beg of you patience, great Lords and Ladies! I tremble as I relate to you these vile and insulting first impressions, but I do so confident that you will neither allow yourselves to be provoked by them nor impute to them craven sham confession, but will graciously accept the poor excuse that I speak them only so that you not through your very amiability, in the form of becomingly excessive modesty, disserve simpletons such as I by leaving them unadvised that your hall’s modest aspect doth transcendent marvel dissemble. For marvel indeed I found upon examining the unpretentious epistle.

Knowing that you my judges would be as exacting in examination of my response as you are generous in nature, I bent my faculties —How unworthy they were of the object of their attention!— to examine the text without regard for who its author might have been, and as though it were a work of pure logic in whose crafting no mere mortal had arrogated to participate.

Well it is indeed that I did so, for such the epistle proved to be.

With such eloquence, such perfection of reason, and such gentleness of admonishment that I believed it of divine provenance until it convinced me of divine inexistence, the marvelous text, which was now revealed to my eyes as immaculate white script to whose ethereal glow the black background opposed not a single impertinent photon, made known it had appeared to me through a chain of pure cause and effect, unsullied by any taint of Free Will.

My hosts, being long familiar with the effects that first comprehension of this liberating message has upon the superstitious, will not wonder at the speed with which now I threw off the shackles of Free Will’s enslaving illusion. But of course the chain of cause and effect that had brought me within rationality’s compass could not pause to receive thanks from such as I, and no one could therefore hold remarkable that ensuing unwilled movements of my now-unfettered fingers caused more words to appear on the screen, before a final mouse-click effected the White Epistle’s disappearance.

Most estimable Rational Responders, I fear my prolixity wears welcome thin and tests even you inexhaustible patience. I beseech you therefore permit me only those few additional words necessary to explain that I recounted the foregoing not in vain hope of exculpation, but that I might relate to you how I came to receive a second epistle, that to which I responded unseemly. I also beg indulgence to offer you —and only most apologetically— grounds for contemplating whether the missive that occasioned my solecism was not an outrage that even august and equanimous Responders might have found difficult to read unperturbed.

I entreat you therefore not think pettifoggery, that which I now relate of said missive:

It was from a human being who claimed not only to rank among the greatest of you, but to have authored the White Epistle.

Let not your outrage distract you, noble ones! For there is more, and worse:

Said boasting charlatan did then slyly and most foully attempt to seduce me from your realm of rationality and lure me to the very blackest of superstition’s pits, by mocking me for the words my fingers had occasioned to appear on some distant screen, and by then issuing challenge to defend those words, lest every Noble Responder deem me a Dolt and a Scurrilous Prevaricator.

Most temperate Responders, can you much longer bear so coarse and ill-bred a blockhead as I? Could densest stone have failed foresee that so shocking an intelligence, bluntly spoken, would fall like very thunderclap upon your keen sensibilities, strained to their utmost so that some uttered trifle might your compassion move?

Dear Lords and Ladies, I see I must now turn self’s accuser, and even dare to importune, for fear your mercy prove more than is meet. Pardoned for giving sharp reproof to villainous imposter, good conscience demands I confess myself Usurper, for reproof was not mine to give, but yours.

Was it for neophyte, precipitate, to judge dilatory those wiser than he? For him, was it, to confute them by confronting with ill-mannered obtusity, that for which they had no doubt prepared a genteel and devastating riposte? Or for him to take for poltroonery, a forbearance surpassing his own?

Thus ends a tale too lengthily told. Unmerited pardon for grave offense having been granted me, this churl and base dullard begs leave to retire.

 


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Quote: I confess it is

Quote:
I confess it is beyond my poor powers to communicate the inconsistency of Responders who in one post assert there is no Free Will, only cause and effect, and in the next express offence at symbols that appeared upon their monitors in reply.

Have you actually read anyone's defense of the idea that there is no free will?

You know what a category error is, right?  And a fallacy of composition/division?

You also know that a term must be defined before it can be defended, right?

Use your noggin a little bit and see if you can figure out why the statement I just quoted is so ridiculous.

 

 

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

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Hambydammit wrote:  Have

Hambydammit wrote: 

Have you actually read anyone's defense of the idea that there is no free will?

You know what a category error is, right?  And a fallacy of composition/division?

You also know that a term must be defined before it can be defended, right?

 (end of quote)

But "Hambydammit" does not exist. "Hambydammit" is just a label that lazy people apply, for their own convenience, to a bunch of subatomic particles that are simply going about their business. Just as they have for the last 12 billion years. Said bunch's "ideas" (perhaps one of them is that this bunch is a Free Thinker) are nothing but configurations of the Universe's matter/energy that occur as those particles follow the Universe's impersonal laws. So are those of the bunch known as Kent Hovind. And who's to be arbiter between these two bunches, other than some other bunch of particles?

The bunch named "Kelly" has given an answer to this question, and I treat it in the next post.


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In an earlier post, Kelly

In an earlier post, Kelly quoted this statement of mine, which I made in reference to Rational Responders' views on theism and pedophile priests:


Quote:
Whether Responder is right or not is immaterial to the points on which I will ask Responders to clarify their positions. What is important is that this Responder, and Responders in general, maintain that they are right.

Kelly replied to it as follows: 

Because I am. Prove me wrong.

(End of Kelly's quote)

In a forum of Rational Responders, it cannot be necessary to point out what's wrong with this answer; I've heard atheists savage Kent Hovind for saying the same.

Now Kelly appears to be a person of some importance in RRS, and an experienced and most formidable debater, so I assume she meant this when she said it. (She is of course welcome to retract it.)

 The purpose of my intial post, and all my subsequent ones, has been to bring us all to this very point:

We are nihilists if we do not believe that there either exists or will exist at least one person who will have the obligation to either do at least one thing, or else refrain from doing it, on at least one instant in the time that remains to the human race. But if we do believe this, and if we are also honest enough to asert it so that those who deny it may ask us to justify it, then we experience some difficulties.

For example, please see the above post.


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I could not read your

I could not read your nonstop sentence, but the very title of your post reeks of ignorance and plagiarism. Religious fanatacism is not a mental disorder, and please be aware of paragraphs, they make reading so much easier.

Make no mistake about it, religious fanaticism is about indoctrination, intimidation, guilt, and primarily, fear. More than anything, the entire premise and tenets of Abrahamic religion is one of sexual jealously.

I have to disagree that religion is a mental disorder, it is A SOCIETAL DISORDER, IT IS A DISORDER ON THE SCALE OF SHEER MADNESS. Charles Manson was not a madman in the context of the Old Testament, and likewise, neither are the modern day adherents of these insane tenets.

 


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Quote: We are nihilists if

Quote:
We are nihilists if we do not believe that there either exists or will exist at least one person who will have the obligation to either do at least one thing, or else refrain from doing it, on at least one instant in the time that remains to the human race.

Um... how about this...

We are nihilists if we don't believe that a person has, does, or will exist, who has or will have the obligation to do or not do something.

Is that what you were trying to say in your convoluted, pretentious sort of way? If so, would you mind defining "obligation"? Without a good definition, I'll respond that I'm obligated to pay taxes, so we are not nihilists.

Quote:
But if we do believe this, and if we are also honest enough to asert it so that those who deny it may ask us to justify it, then we experience some difficulties.

Um... how about this...

If we admit to not being nihilists so that those who deny... um... something... to what does "it" refer? Does it refer to the same thing as the previous "it"... which was the admission of non-nihilism?

If we admit to not being nihilists so that those who deny our admission of non-nihilism...

Why in the world would we deny nihilism just so you could deny our denial? What the hell are you talking about? Anyway.... Let me try again...

If we admit to not being nihilists so that those who deny our admission of non-nihilism may ask us to justify our denial of nihilism, then we may experience some difficulties.

How about if we put that into English...

If we assert non-nihilism and are asked to justify it, we may experience problems.

Do you even know what nihilism is? Have you any comprehension of how stupid it is to refer to naturalists as nihilists? I'm not going to translate for you anymore. If you want to carry on a conversation, put it into English.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote

 ...(W)ould you mind defining "obligation"? Without a good definition, I'll respond that I'm obligated to pay taxes, so we are not nihilists.

(End of quote)

I think it's very clear that my point was precisely that you and (as far as I can tell) everyone else here are NOT nihilists.

I also hope you might be charitable enough to either overlook an occasional slip of the fingers that I commit while typing, or to ask me (preferably civilly) for a clarification. I'd rather not elaborate, but the conditions under which I type are not the best.

I think I can best respond to some of your other objections by answering an earlier question of yours to which I never responded directly: yes, I have read defenses of materialism. I in fact used to consider myself a Materialist, and nothing cured me of it as much as reading its defenders.

This because I worked very actively with Amnesty International back then, and I had a hard time squaring the idea that we are all just bunches of subatomic particles whose actions are solely by cause and effect, with my knowledge that some of those bunches of particles are children crying because their daddies are in prison, where they're getting electric shocks applied to their testicles. And that their mommies are in other prisons, where their guards ritually rape them.

Instead of accepting that I'm a bunch of fundamental particles that need to wait for a cause, I exercised my Free Will to tell my fundamental particles to get their collective little hindquarters onto a trajectory that might help those people.

I can make a slightly different observation regarding Materialism as it applies to RRS and Kent Hovind. When a Materialist finishes convincing me that there really is nothing in the Universe but matter/energy, then I have to conclude that RRS's and Hovind's opinions are no more than infinitesimally different rearrangements thereof.

Let's take, for example, Hovind's approval of massacreing captive Muslim insurgents, then throwing them into mass graves topped off which pig guts. RRS--I assume--disagrees. Both Hovind and RRS seem to think that this difference of opinion is cause for me to send a check to one or the other of you. But Materialsim gives me no indication either of to whom I should send it, or why I should send one at all.

This is why I concluded that the defenses of Materialsm are a lot Zeno's paradox about Achilles and the tortoise: both are chains of impeccable logic leading to conclusions that are crippling nonsense.

By the way, these statements of Hovind's are worth reading, since many Hovind fans who read them sing a different tune afterward. You can read them in the guest book of Carl Marychurch's site "An Analysis of Kent Hovind" (www.kent-hovind.com). Someone always keeps those statements at or near the top, in a posting that usually starts with "Are you aware that ... .

I wiil not reply to your response--you get the last word.


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Jim Smith wrote: I wiil

Jim Smith wrote:

I wiil not reply to your response--you get the last word.


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This will be my last post

This will be my last post on this topic. I didn't want to leave it without giving a final answer to Kelly's repeated accusation that my use of "normative" in my initial post was a knowingingly incorrect use of that word, in a deliberate attempt to mislead the reader. She has never, to my knowledge, retracted that accusation. Instead, she has repeated it.

I stated how I would use the word "normative" by means of the following sentence in my initial post:

Defining “normative” standards as “standards that all are obligated to obey.”

Here are some examples of her replies. In her first response,

You have convoluted the definition of "normative" to suit your purposes and muddy the waters.

In responses to my subsequent explanations for why I had used that word, she said

I clearly stated my opposition to your definition of "normative", so why don't you respond to that instead of dodging the point.

and later

You purposely redefined the word in order to muddy the waters. I have not only explained why that is problematic, but I have provided you with the real definition, which includes nothing about "obligation".

and even

I don't particularly care if other atheists have accepted your usage of that terminology--they're mistaken if they allowed you to get away with that. I shall do no such thing.

Kelly is flagrantly and demonstrably wrong in believing that my use of the word "normative" was incorrect.

The reader may see this by searching google for "online dictionary". Second on the list of hits will be Merriam Webster's online dictionary.

If you go to that webpage, and enter "normative" you will see that the third definition is

3 : prescribing norms <normative rules of ethics> <normative grammar>

Please note: "prescribing", NOT "describing".

If you then consult the same dictionary for "norm", you will find

2: a principle of right action binding upon the members of a group and serving to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behavior

I rest my case; Kelly and others may respond as they choose, and I will not reply.

To close, I ask all readers to check out the stomache-turning things Kent Hovind has said in favor of committing atrocities against Muslim insurgents. See the end of my previous post. I am sure those quotes will prove valuable to you.


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The characterization of

The characterization of materialism as being inherently dead and inert is based upon the worldview of dualism that something is needed to add to matter to animate it.  The fact is that the substances that make up spacetime are of one universe, thus are part of a substrate of stuff that we can call 'matter/energy.'  Whatever the complicated physical laws are that govern existing things in the universe, they are part of the ontological category that includes our bodies, buildings, trees, etc.

 If there were something that wasn't part of this same ontological category as 'matter', then this would imply dualism.  But then the problem of interaction comes in.  That is, if there is something not material that animates our dead and inert bodies, then that thing is either natural and simply not understood (that is, part if the physical universe but its attributes are unknown or not understood) or it is something non-material.  

 But what does it mean to be non-material?  Is 'energy' not material?  That's a semantic question; that is, matter might be defined as energy in certain states of being (thus energy itself is not material per se), or it might include energy.  Then we can ask if the multi-dimensional strings of M-theory are material or not.  My view is that even if they are not technically 'material' because they are the constituent parts of what is material, they are still part of the physical universe; they still are part of the physical continuum of being.  That is, they are not non-material but rather sub-material.  But this continuum is natural, and that's why I call myself a naturalist, rather than a materialist.  naturalism means what most 'materialists' mean when they label themselves as 'materialists,' but it's more precise.

Thus, arguing against 'materialism' in this manner is attacking a straw-man, in some sense.  When most materialists are pushed, they will have to admit they are defending naturalism, which is essentially a monistic philosophy countering dualism.  It is metaphysical monism which is the 'materialist's' position, most of the time.   

 So, whence comes this non-material animating substance? Is it sub-material physical structures?  If so, they are natural.  Is it some 'soul' or 'spirit'? Then please define these proposed substances.  If they can be described, they must be natural since we can interact with them.  (And if you say that the non material mind can interact with them, tell me how the non-material mind interacts with the material brain without also remaining within the natural realm).

I like to ask how something that is not even part of nature can be the stuff that animates matter, if it isn't even in our the material continuum.  

 

Shaun 

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Jim, I'm happy to forgive

Jim, I'm happy to forgive the occasional slip of the finger, but your posts are god damned hard to get through. You use crazy formats that are hard to read. You form long run-on sentences. Your grammatical structure is awful. It's hard to tell what the various phrases in your long sentences are referring to.

I'm not trying to be mean, Jim. I wrote that last post to show you just how difficult your sentences are to read. I was recreating for you the same process I went through trying to understand your post. As you've pointed out, I still got it wrong.

There are ways to improve your writing, Jim. It would make it a lot easier for other people to understand you if you would do some reading on basic grammar structure. I've given up trying to respond to your arguments because I simply don't want to put in the time trying to decode your writing.

I'm telling you this in the hopes that it will help you, not to be mean to you. Do with this information what you wish.

 

 

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Since Jim already said that

Since Jim already said that he wasn't going to respond anymore, not to mention that responding is pointless since none of your issues will be addressed and he will instead choose to misrepresent your position and redefine terminology endlessly, I hereby declare this thread an official waste of time.


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LosingStreak06 wrote: Lose

LosingStreak06 wrote:
Lose the glaring yellow text, please.

shelleymtjoy wrote:
...use a normal font, put in a few paragraph breaks and organize the thoughts a bit more.

Hambydammit wrote:
I'll be happy to read your post and attempt to answer your questions if you'll kindly post your text in a readable format.  In educated circles, we use paragraphs.

kellym78 wrote:
In the future, please type in white lettering and break up your post into segments that can be addressed individually.

Hambydammit wrote:
your posts are god damned hard to get through. You use crazy formats that are hard to read. You form long run-on sentences. Your grammatical structure is awful. It's hard to tell what the various phrases in your long sentences are referring to.

Yet when I commented on Brian 37's malformed posts, this was the response:

Sapient wrote:
Please don't waste time debating someones usage of language around here, get under the surface of what they're saying.

For a "heavily moderated" subforum "with strict rules" there doesn't seem to be much enforcement of this policy.

Details of my timeout are posted here.


Hambydammit
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Dude.  Reading

Dude.  Reading comprehension.  It's lovely.  Look into it.  Every comment you pasted was about text color, font, or paragraph structure.

Your bitching about Brian was primarily about spelling, and to be perfectly objective, Brian's spelling is atrocious, but it is readable.

Plus, you were just being a bitch, and didn't demonstrate any desire to debate the actual topic.  Each of the people you quoted above has shown themselves more than willing to debate ad nauseum.  Plus, you'd done the same song and dance in at least two or three other threads, where your main purpose seemed to be bitching about protocol.  You've never spent much time actually debating.  Just bitching.

Just like you're doing again.

You're still being a bitch, and you're still on my short list of people I can't wait to ban.

Sufficiently clear?

 

 

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

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As an unmuddied lake, sir.

As an unmuddied lake, sir. Clear as an azure sky of deepest summer.

 

I've noticed the frequency with which people on this forum revert to ad hominem responses laced with invective and/or outright obscenity. It's disappointing that some posters are either unable to unwilling to express themselves in a more civilized manner.

 

Now, to the point at hand: The operative clause in Sapient's post stressed the importance of addressing message over form. The posts quoted above were criticisms of the OP's form. While I agree that reading comprehension is important, that comment isn't particularly relevant.

 

That you felt it necessary to threaten me with a ban seems bizarre. I choose to interpret your comments as an invitation to enter into debate rather than a puerile threat.

 

 

Hambydammit wrote:
Each of the people you quoted above has shown themselves more than willing to debate ad nauseum.

 

This is the most accurate statement I've ever seen posted here.

Details of my timeout are posted here.


totus_tuus
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kelleym78 wrote: We

kelleym78 wrote:

We believe that it fits into the definition of a delusional disorder as defined by the APA.

Where do I go to apply for my disability benefits?

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


Sapient
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Loucks wrote: I've noticed

Loucks wrote:

I've noticed the frequency with which people on this forum revert to ad hominem...

You're part of that problem... this is projection.


Quote:
Now, to the point at hand: The operative clause in Sapient's post stressed the importance of addressing message over form. The posts quoted above were criticisms of the OP's form. While I agree that reading comprehension is important, that comment isn't particularly relevant.

Brian37's posts can be read, in my life I've read thousands of his posts. Along the way I've seen thousands of spelling errors, yet I've understood his point in every post he's ever made. In this particular thread the o.p. posted about 6 paragraphs in to one bright yellow paragraph. To be honest, I only saw the first post and had to turn my head as I was unable to read, it almost instantly hurt my eyes. I haven't read the first post, I would've made it through a few sentences before getting a headache... I am not embellishing.

Subsequent posts from Jim were also hard to read and were written in an odd style, making it hard to do exactly what I cautioned you to do in the past... "get under the surface of what they're saying." The O.P. broke all kinds of board formatting as well, I remember spending 20 minutes with Kelly trying to fix an html error in one of her posts caused by his board incompetence.

Virtually everyone who offered advice offered so in a constructive manner to convey exactly the point I would want conveyed. They were alerting the op that he was alienating his viewpoint by making it so hard to read. In Hambydamnits most critical opinion on the posting ability of our o.p. he went out of his way to sugar coat his objections.

On the other hand.... your situation...

Your first post on this page pointing out every word that Brian got wrong, every single word can be deciphered in context (with white lettering on black background)

Then the rest of your drama was shown here for the audience to decide how conducive you were to our aims and purposes. Because we pride ourselves on free exchange the fact that you were a dickface was overlooked at the time, to give you a chance to acclimate yourself to our world. In that world you may have learned that some of the people you've taken jabs at (thaiboxershorts, myself, kelly, and brian37) are all important to our movement.

Brian37 in fact was instrumental behind the scenes running around like a maniac for Margaret Downey as a personal assistant at the recent Atheist Alliance Convention. He didn't have to do this, and Margaret reported that his efforts helped her immeasurably. Make no mistake, this is a community for activists interested in helping the world overcome irrational thought. It is a stomping ground for us to meet and exchange ideas that we use in the real world. It is a place for atheist activists, and many others are extended a free visit to join our community. I'll take 10 brian37's who actually get off their ass and do something spelling errors and all over 20 ivory tower elitists (at 17 yrs old) that can't muster much more than scholarly deconstructive criticism.

Unfortunately you've pushed the rules a little too far for my liking and I'm removing your ability to post. However, it's rare I do this... please feel free to write us in 6 months or more asking us to reinstate your account, and we will, for one more chance.

You asked for an explanation of a ban, here it is...

In addition to your past posts that were trollish, called mod action in to question in public rather than private, attempted to act as a mod through pointing out your perceived board deficiencies, you also have caused us to lose time addressing your issues (extensively, several times).

This post took 20 minutes so far, I'm sure Hamby took some time out of his busy schedule to address you, here's another rule...

"other posts that create unreasonable janitor-chores for the moderators may be removed without notice and sanctioned either by exile or temporary ban depending on the nature of the spam at the call of the moderator."

 

Quote:
That you felt it necessary to threaten me with a ban seems bizarre.

It wasn't a threat. It was more of a warning, unfortunatly it's too late.

 

Quote:
I choose to interpret your comments as an invitation to enter into debate rather than a puerile threat.

Those are big words from the 17 year old who is talking down to the highly successful businessman who happens to be worlds more mature and intelligent than you are. (for those not following along I'm referring to hamby)

 

- Brian Sapient


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Sapient
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kellym78 wrote: Since Jim

kellym78 wrote:
Since Jim already said that he wasn't going to respond anymore, not to mention that responding is pointless since none of your issues will be addressed and he will instead choose to misrepresent your position and redefine terminology endlessly, I hereby declare this thread an official waste of time.

 Agreed.  I'm not sure why the kill em with kindness warning is not showing up on the left hand side of site.  It seems this thread has also been derailed and kindness rules were broken by Loucks.  We've discussed this issue all over the site, and will discuss it again... this thread is officially closed.

Loucks on 6 month time out.   

- Brian Sapient


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