Probable Result of RRS Campaigns [Kill Em With Kindness]

Jim Smith
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Probable Result of RRS Campaigns [Kill Em With Kindness]

The article www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/03/01/7401/ , which is entitled "One Nation Under Elvis: An Environmentalism for Us All", gives some clues as to what RRS may accomplish with its efforts to eradicate certain beliefs, and to have theism classed as a mind disorder.


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"Possible result" instead of

"Possible result" instead of "probable result" is more accurate.  Here is the other side of the coin, and why it would be equally as valid to say "the destruction of religion is the probable result of a long term RRS style dialogue" (if you're right, however with years of research I believe you are not)...

 

Q. What is the most likely way that American society, if not the rest of the world, will eventually abandon irrational faith?

A (Sam Harris) SOURCE: I think this is a war of ideas that has to be fought on a hundred fronts at once. There’s not one piece that is going to trump all others.

But I think we should not underestimate the power of embarrassment. The book Freakonomics briefly discusses the way the Ku Klux Klan lost its subscribers, and the example is instructive. A man named Stetson Kennedy, almost single-handedly it seems, eroded the prestige of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s by joining them and then leaking all of their secret passwords and goofy lingo to the people who were writing “The Adventures of Superman” radio show. Week after week, there were episodes of Superman fighting the Klan, and the real Klan’s mumbo jumbo was put out all over the airwaves for people to laugh at. Kids were playing Superman vs. the Klan on their front lawns. The Klan was humiliated by this, and was made to look foolish; and we went from a world in which the Klan was a legitimate organization with tens of millions of members—many of whom were senators, and even one president—to a world in which there are now something like 5,000 Klansmen. It’s basically a defunct organization.

So public embarrassment is one principle. Once you lift the taboo around criticizing faith and demand that people start talking sense, then the capacity for making religious certitude look stupid will be exploited, and we’ll start laughing at people who believe the things that the Tom DeLays, the Pat Robertsons of the world believe.  We’ll laugh at them in a way that will be synonymous with excluding them from our halls of power.

 

 

 

 

- Brian Sapient


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 Haha - yeah, anyone with

 Haha - yeah, anyone with the sense of the odds that are stacked against them should just give up. That's quitter talk, Captain Quitter.

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Jim Smith

Who the heck is this guy?


aiia
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I believe he is a theist, a

I believe he is a theist, a christian who hates hovind for making christians look like fools (cough)

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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aiia wrote:I believe he is a

aiia wrote:

I believe he is a theist, a christian who hates hovind for making christians look like fools (cough)

I guess if I were a christian, and someone made me look like an idiot strictly by association, I'd be sore, too.

...

But to cut the list short at Hovind would be just plain remiss. Let's not forget Benny Hinn, Jim and Tammy Bakker, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, John Hagee, and the immortally beloved team of Kirk Cameron and his talking chimpanzee.

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now lets not forget christian fundmentalists

HisWillness wrote:

aiia wrote:

I believe he is a theist, a christian who hates hovind for making christians look like fools (cough)

I guess if I were a christian, and someone made me look like an idiot strictly by association, I'd be sore, too.

...

But to cut the list short at Hovind would be just plain remiss. Let's not forget Benny Hinn, Jim and Tammy Bakker, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, John Hagee, and the immortally beloved team of Kirk Cameron and his talking chimpanzee.

Westboro "GodHatesFags" or lets go with VenomFangX and of course all the ones that want to misquote people and/or lie and use hitler and evolution in same phrase. yea Patriot College that always help you in science phds ask hovind lmao wait didn't thunderf00t shut this creationist bs up yet? i hope so i hate dealing with the bible belt and god created you. sorry i just want to finish this life and cease to exist i do want repeat after repeat of my life especially upto now aint been good by any means. so why can't i just be left alone by you have to believe or you going to hell and you know you don't want that.

 

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Regarding Posts by aiia and HisWillness, and "Who is this guy?"

You can read about who I am, and my 6+ years of defending atheists, in the quoted material that I'll give present shortly. It's from the post

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13976?page=9#comment-171369.

 

You can read some of my defenses of atheists in

 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13976?page=10#comment-172288 .

 

The article I cited in my initial post is relevant because it talks about the consequences (specifically, to the environmental movement) of turning opponents into enemies unnecessarily through 
       
        (1) bad manners,
        (2) promoting dishonest stereotypes of our opponents, and
        (3) communicating, through our words and actions, that because we are
        better people than that stereotype, we are better people than our opponents.

The author explains this better than I could, and RRS members active in environmental movements will have more to say than I do, so this will be my last post on the topic.

 

Here's the material that I said I would quote:

 

Back in September, when Creation Science Evangelism was asserting bogus copyright claims to suppress videos debunking its materials, I offered a YouTuber named trebob27 portions of correspondence that I had carried on with Kent Hovind. In that correspondence, Hovind had waived copyright to his videos. I later sent trebob the link to a page on CSE’s website, which confirmed that Hovind had sent me an email waiving copyright.

Trebob made a video quoting that waiver (

www.youtube.com/watch?v=44nj-kmXMjs). His video also directed viewers to www.kent-hovind.com, which presents the correspondence in full along with an extensive rebuttal of Hovind’s materials that I wrote in 2001.  

In addition, trebob mentioned that I am a regular contributor to the

guest book of www.kent-hovind.com. Therein, you will find over 4 years of entries in which I have maintained unwaveringly that Hovind is a liar, slanderer, criminal, and hate-monger, as well as a willfully ignorant incompetent. I have unfailingly defended atheists for combating Hovind and his followers, whom atheists rightly see as dangerous ideologues who believe they have a divine mandate to rule over nonbelievers.

Someone at RRS apparently considered my information useful enough make a link to trebob’s video. At least that’s how I interpret the presence of

www.rationalresponders.com/fuck_creationism_17_years_old  in the list of sites linking to it. (See the video’s Statistics & Data.)

 You will also find that at the end of a discussion that will be mentioned shortly, I provided Kelly and Hambydammit with Hovind quotes that I have used to great effect in online debates with his supporters.

I hope that in view of my years of service to atheists, RRS members might spare me the sort of personal attacks that they have been directing at Paisley.


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Jim Smith wrote:   

Jim Smith wrote:

        (2) promoting dishonest stereotypes of our opponents, and
        (3) communicating, through our words and actions, that because we are
        better people than that stereotype, we are better people than our opponents.

The argument would hold more weight had you said "possible" and not "probable" in your title.

Quote:

hope that in view of my years of service to atheists, RRS members might spare me the sort of personal attacks that they have been directing at Paisley.I

We disagree with your conclusion because we have data to back "conversational intolerance" and have no need to bag on you personally.  We simply disagree with methodology, and I personally condone your respectful approach if you feel it's right for you.  If there weren't people using that respectful tone and everyone embraced ridicule as a weapon, I would be the first one asking people to approach the issue as you have.  Just as a scientist can reach a conclusion based on several different types of experimentation, theists are able to reach a conclusion based on several different types of approaches.  We are not all susceptible to the exact same approaches, and if the overly polite approach actually worked every time, religion would've been gone a long time ago. 

Keep fighting, however it is you choose to fight, but disparaging others who are succesful isn't proactive or positive.  Your better bet is to engage Christians in dialogue and if approaches like ours come up, you can say something like, "yes some atheists are very frustrated with religion and believe that through ridiculing religion they are effectively shaking people up so that they reconsider their religious beliefs.  I don't agree with that tact, I prefer a more passive approach, but I can understand their frustrations, and plan to treat you with a different level of kindness.  Now could we discuss the sorts of proof you feel you have for a diety, as the approach of groups like the RRS doesn't take away from the fact that to this point in history, nobody has sufficiently proved that a god exists... however I'm willing to listen and discuss it with you."

 

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 Jim Smith wrote:(1) bad

 

Jim Smith wrote:
(1) bad manners,

Maybe it's my contrarian streak, but I try to be polite online, even though I'm blunt in person. Implicit in your argument is that some of my favourite people will fail at their goals if they continue to act naturally. Perhaps you misinterpret the point of the website, because from what I see, more and more people are joining and expressing relief at being able to discuss theism without walking on eggshells. Those people get to experience a very real feeling of relief (a goal you may have missed). That's a win as far as I'm concerned. So what if they tell some people to go fuck themselves? PETA and Greenpeace seem to be going strong, and they chain themselves to things

Jim Smith wrote:
(2) promoting dishonest stereotypes of our opponents

Our real opponents are silly ideas, and those who promote silly ideas. Note that "Rational Response Squad" is the name. What dishonest stereotype are you talking about?

Jim Smith wrote:
(3) communicating, through our words and actions, that because we are better people than that stereotype, we are better people than our opponents.

Are you taking that kind of "theists are jerks" talk seriously? It's tongue-in-cheek! It's obviously inflammatory baiting. On an internet forum, no less!  

Jim Smith wrote:
I hope that in view of my years of service to atheists, RRS members might spare me the sort of personal attacks that they have been directing at Paisley.

Did you notice the first few hundred posts where members of this site tried desperately to reason with Paisley? I was in there, myself. That is, until I realized that he was just baiting me. It seems he relishes the game of wasting everyone's time with strange and mutable definitions of materialism and deflecting questions with accusations that have no bearing on the topic at hand. So sure, it degenerated into insults.

But maybe we have a hair trigger here because almost every theist who stops by does so to tell us we're wrong wrong wrong, and we'll never be right until we behave and follow their advice. Meanwhile, more people keep joining and saying how much they like the forums. Who do you figure I'm going to listen to?

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With Reference to Post by HisWillness

Hello HisWillness,

I think I should break my promise not to post any more on this topic, because when you said

[M]aybe we have a hair trigger here because almost every theist who stops by does so to tell us we're wrong wrong wrong, and we'll never be right until we behave and follow their advice.

it reminded me that I left two quotes out of my collection of defenses of atheists in

 http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13976?page=10#comment-172288 .

 

One was (I'm quoting by memory from my post to an atheist  about our discussion of ethics on Carl Marychurch's site)

One thing that complicates discussions like ours is the recognition (on my part as well as yours) that the slightest philosophical concession by an atheist will be wrenched out of context by the Hovinds, then blown out of proportion and used to ram their agenda down your throats.

 

Another, which I've told to a few churches, but don't recall posting on Marychurch's site, was

The perception of Christians as a bunch of hypocrites who can't get along with each other, but want to tell everyone else what to do, has ample basis in fact.

 

As I mentioned in http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/13976?page=9#comment-171369,

the Hovinds are dangerous ideologues who really do believe that they have a divine command to rule over you.  His behavior toward atheists is incontrovertibly evil. As I said in the above links, you're welcome to quote my posts in your own defense, if RRS will agree.  I hope you find them useful.

 

 

 

 


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Don't take yourselves so

Don't take yourselves so seriously. People don't avoid environmental responsibility because someone told them mean things, behaved inappropriately, stereotyped, or thought themselves superior. The suggestion's absurd. The article essentially asks people to stop treating them as if they were infantile because they will probably respond in an infantile manner—that's hypocricy and irony in their purest forms.

Stultior stulto fuisti, qui tabellis crederes!


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The perception of Christians

"The perception of Christians as a bunch of hypocrites who can't get along with each other, but want to tell everyone else what to do, has ample basis in fact." ~ Jim  ////

   --- INDEED ..... Jim. What is your simple message to the kids ??? 


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Simple Message

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

"The perception of Christians as a bunch of hypocrites who can't get along with each other, but want to tell everyone else what to do, has ample basis in fact." ~ Jim  ////

   --- INDEED ..... Jim. What is your simple message to the kids ??? 

 

I don't have a simple message for kids. Talk is cheap. Part of my message is living many years in a foreign country, and doing without things that the poorer kids themselves have, so that I can teach them math and science (NOT CREATIONISM!!) for free. Another part of the message is defending atheists against the attacks of people like Hovind, even while the Hovinds call me a tool of Satan, and the atheists call me mind-disordered.


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Quote:I don't have a simple

Quote:
I don't have a simple message for kids. Talk is cheap. Part of my message is living many years in a foreign country, and doing without things that the poorer kids themselves have, so that I can teach them math and science (NOT CREATIONISM!!) for free. Another part of the message is defending atheists against the attacks of people like Hovind, even while the Hovinds call me a tool of Satan, and the atheists call me mind-disordered.

We do appreciate the defense.  I don't know how much you've read around here, but I'm probably the main proponent of the idea that moderate religion is more dangerous than fundamentalism in the post industrial world.  If you haven't read this essay, I'd like you to, and perhaps offer your opinion if you'd like.

Religious Moderation

After reading this, I want you to bear in mind that I don't think you're a bad person.  It sounds as if you have a real moral imperative to help those less fortunate than you.  That's commendable, and I believe, completely rational and natural.  There are lots of people who do the same kind of work for no other reason than innate human compassion, and it pains me to see people like you give credit where it's not due.  You deserve all the credit for standing behind what you know to be a good thing, and you give it to a masochist who demands that women be given poison to determine if they've been faithful.

Of course, I know you believe in a very soft and gentle form of Christianity, but there's no way to draw a dividing line.  Your dividing line happens to correspond with your existing morality -- just like everyone else's!  Fundamentalists, however, would not have the political or social license to be insane if they didn't have the justification that faith in god is a good thing.

So, Jim, I commend you for your work, and I thank you for your tolerance of my beliefs.  I do think you're a very good person.  I regret that I find your beliefs intolerable, but like you, I must stand for what I believe is morally right, even if that means that I have to deny your request to go easy on the moderates.  However, you have my word that unless I am very mistaken about you, I will never attack you personally.  You treat us with respect, and if the majority of theists did that, both personally and politically, I wouldn't need to do this anymore.  I do wish you all the luck in the world convincing other theists that we're ok.  Like I said, we will probably always be on opposite sides of the battlefield, but I respect you, and will confine my disagreement to issues.

 

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

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Thanks, but there's this one big assumption.....

 

Hello Hambydammit,

Thanks for your Post #14. I appreciate your kind words and sentiments, but you do make one big assumption about me. It’s expressed most clearly in your statement

 

Like I said, we will probably always be on opposite sides of the battlefield, but I respect you, and will confine my disagreement to issues.

 

Just like many Fundamentalists, you see the opposing sides of the theism/atheism debates as armies on a battlefield. A central assumption behind this metaphor is that everyone on the field is there to fight.

What this assumption overlooks are the people who happen merely to live where the armies have decided to do battle. These people –I’m one of them– see the preliminary skirmishes; hear both armies broadcasting dehumanizing propaganda; and recognize that something very bad might be in the making. So we raise our voices against both sides’ propaganda.

A few of us manage to make ourselves heard, but neither army looks to see where our voices are coming from. Being stuck in the “battlefield” paradigm, each assumes that anyone who criticizes its propaganda, no matter how respectfully, must be lined up on the other side of the field.

There are other, related assumptions in atheists’ warnings about “moderate religion”. The best way I can think of to discuss those assumptions is indirectly, in the context of the first on the list of beliefs that RRS would like to eradicate.

That’s the Christian America myth. Of course it’s historical hogwash; I knew this even before many RRS members were born. In fact, it was one of the big reasons why I ridiculed and hated Christianity for most of my adult life. I didn’t realize it was hogwash in more-important ways until shortly before my conversion.

Those ways have to do with how, after Constantine, The Good News of forgiveness and healing mutated into a belief that Christians are entitled to privilege and power over others. To the extent that America was founded as a Christian nation at all, it was founded upon that “religious”, post-Constantine perversion of the Good News.

Much “moderate” religion still transmits that post-Constantine mutation. Atheists are right to warn against it, and I reject it emphatically.

There’s more that I would like to say, especially since many beliefs that RRS wants to eradicate are even more ridiculous and pernicious than RRS seems to think. However, I’ll leave it at this. That’s because according to the terms to which we agree in order to participate in its forums, anything we post here becomes the property of RRS. Here is the relevant phrase:

 

You understand that any Content you post becomes the property of RRS …

 

For that reason, this will be my last post on this website.

 


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Jim Smith

Jim Smith wrote:

 There’s more that I would like to say, especially since many beliefs that RRS wants to eradicate are even more ridiculous and pernicious than RRS seems to think. However, I’ll leave it at this. That’s because according to the terms to which we agree in order to participate in its forums, anything we post here becomes the property of RRS. Here is the relevant phrase:

 

You understand that any Content you post becomes the property of RRS …

 

For that reason, this will be my last post on this website.

 

Darn, we were just about to publish a book with the work you've posted on this site. 

FWIW: That's a fairly standard disclaimer to avoid legal liability if someone asks to remove everything they've ever written.

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Quote:Just like many

Quote:
Just like many Fundamentalists, you see the opposing sides of the theism/atheism debates as armies on a battlefield. A central assumption behind this metaphor is that everyone on the field is there to fight.

Not exactly.  I view myself as an army on a battlefield, but I make no such assumption about anyone else's intentions unless I have reason to do so.  The folks who built the Creation Museum?  Armies on a battlefield.  Average Joe at Sunday School?  Hell, I dunno.

I do see the philosophies of theism and materialist rationalism to be unavoidably opposed.  I can't find any other way to view them, since each must hold that the other is incorrect.  Both cannot be correct.

Quote:
What this assumption overlooks are the people who happen merely to live where the armies have decided to do battle. These people –I’m one of them– see the preliminary skirmishes; hear both armies broadcasting dehumanizing propaganda; and recognize that something very bad might be in the making. So we raise our voices against both sides’ propaganda.

Shame!  The message that RRS promotes is humanizing, not dehumanizing.  I don't know how much of my writing you've read, but in all cases, I view the religious as victims of a meme, not as horrible people bound and determined to wreak havoc on the world.  In the case of theists who are actively pushing theocracy, I oppose them as a matter of politics, not philosophy, and so your accusation doesn't apply.  I have no qualm about harsh political rhetoric.  That's politics.

Quote:
A few of us manage to make ourselves heard, but neither army looks to see where our voices are coming from. Being stuck in the “battlefield” paradigm, each assumes that anyone who criticizes its propaganda, no matter how respectfully, must be lined up on the other side of the field.

On the contrary.  As I've already stated, I recognize that you're on our side on many issues.  Again, by the very nature of the philosophies we hold, we are necessarily philosophically opposed, but that doesn't have much to do with what kinds of things you advocate in the real world.  I think your work is admirable, and I support it wholeheartedly.  I think your philosophy is flawed, and I'd like to see you espouse a more rational one.  If you can sit down and have a beer with someone you know disagrees with your theism, we could sit down and have beer and I'm sure it would be a great conversation.  We seem to have very similar ideas about a lot of things.

Quote:

There’s more that I would like to say, especially since many beliefs that RRS wants to eradicate are even more ridiculous and pernicious than RRS seems to think. However, I’ll leave it at this. That’s because according to the terms to which we agree in order to participate in its forums, anything we post here becomes the property of RRS. Here is the relevant phrase:

 

You understand that any Content you post becomes the property of RRS …

 

For that reason, this will be my last post on this website.

Odd.  Why would that bother you?  It's the same with any website.  Are you on Myspace or Facebook?  They have the same rights to anything you've posted, as do any web forums you might visit.  If I understand internet law correctly (Sapient might be able to correct me if I'm wrong) any privately owned website has the rights to anything on it, provided that it is not previously spoken for -- as in quoting from another site, or excerpts of a book, etc.

Basically, we just said that so that nobody could say we tricked them into giving us anything.  Basically, if we decide to, we can write a book, or make a video, and we have the right to use anything members post without asking for permission.  With that in mind, I would recommend not posting things that you feel would be detrimental to your career if published -- not because we're out to get you, but because it's stupid to post such things anywhere.

 

 

 

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

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Sapient wrote:"Possible

Sapient wrote:

"Possible result" instead of "probable result" is more accurate.  Here is the other side of the coin, and why it would be equally as valid to say "the destruction of religion is the probable result of a long term RRS style dialogue" (if you're right, however with years of research I believe you are not)...

 

Q. What is the most likely way that American society, if not the rest of the world, will eventually abandon irrational faith?

A (Sam Harris) SOURCE: I think this is a war of ideas that has to be fought on a hundred fronts at once. There’s not one piece that is going to trump all others.

But I think we should not underestimate the power of embarrassment. The book Freakonomics briefly discusses the way the Ku Klux Klan lost its subscribers, and the example is instructive. A man named Stetson Kennedy, almost single-handedly it seems, eroded the prestige of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s by joining them and then leaking all of their secret passwords and goofy lingo to the people who were writing “The Adventures of Superman” radio show. Week after week, there were episodes of Superman fighting the Klan, and the real Klan’s mumbo jumbo was put out all over the airwaves for people to laugh at. Kids were playing Superman vs. the Klan on their front lawns. The Klan was humiliated by this, and was made to look foolish; and we went from a world in which the Klan was a legitimate organization with tens of millions of members—many of whom were senators, and even one president—to a world in which there are now something like 5,000 Klansmen. It’s basically a defunct organization.

So public embarrassment is one principle. Once you lift the taboo around criticizing faith and demand that people start talking sense, then the capacity for making religious certitude look stupid will be exploited, and we’ll start laughing at people who believe the things that the Tom DeLays, the Pat Robertsons of the world believe.  We’ll laugh at them in a way that will be synonymous with excluding them from our halls of power.



If that story is true then that's frickin' awesome!!
Stetson Kennedy, I salute you!!