Monday, June 30, 2008

If you don't have anything nice to say...

This is not a new Pat Condell video that I’m posting. It’s from late last year. But this was the first time I’ve seen it and I’m guessing you haven’t seen it yet either.

I have to say the point he is making is outstanding. You might say, well, if you think it is outstanding Mr. Evo, it certainly doesn’t sound much like how you do things. And this would be true. I’ll have to give some thought to the possibility that I’m doing things wrong.

In the meanwhile, I do think I do the next best thing. I rarely debate theists. I mean, I do respond to things they say to me and I think when I do I say it in a strong manner. I don’t go looking for theists to debate and I’m not trying to deconvert them.


The Exterminator said...

Well, I'm ashamed of myself now, because before viewing this video, I was so committed to polite discourse that I never engaged in mockery.

But I'll be different from now on. So the assholes of the world better watch out.

grumpylion said...

Mock, mock, mock. So many mockeries, so little time.

grumpylion said...

And oh, yeah, one more thing. Fuck polite discourse.

John Evo said...

Well, yeah, this post could have been dedicated to The Lion.

And then there is Ex:

I was so committed to polite discourse that I never engaged in mockery.

Or sarcasm.

PhillyChief said...

Religion is Owed no Respect

Also, you can subscribe to Pat via iTunes so you can be up to date on his rants, but then you'll just have the audio so you'll have to simply imagine his sarcastic expressions. ;)

yunshui said...

Religion is indeed owed no respect. Religionists, however, are. Just because someone hold beliefs which we find laughable, just because they refuse to listen to reason, just because they insist on following the dictates of their delusional nonsense does not make them any less worthy of respect. People are people, and deserve to be treated as equals. If anything, they deserve more compassion and tolerance than rationalists, since they have been brainwashed into the acceptance of a lie.

As the Christians would say: hate the sin, not the sinner.

Mind you, they're a bunch of dicks, right?

The Exterminator said...

yunshui said:
People are people, and deserve to be treated as equals.
Yes, equals under the law.

But certainly not as equals in all respects. Philly is a fucking giant and Evo is pretty tall himself. I'm not their equal in height. On the other hand, I'm a few years older than Evo and a century older than Philly. They're not my equal in age.

Seriously, equality doesn't work when you look at intellectual ability and talents. We all have far better intellects than most theists. Why should we treat them as equals? They're not. And as long as they embody their ideas, they don't deserve respect any more than their ideas do.

John Evo said...

I think you go a little far with your elitism at times. Isn't it good enough... doesn't it satisfy you, just to know you are are intellectually superior in that part of your life?

What if it had nothing to do with religion? What if it (here's the perfect analogy) you are superior in terms of your command of the English language. I have no doubt that you are superior to me in this area. Hell, you've worked as both writer and editor. But I'd think you were an obnoxious blow-hard if you held that over me. And I know you well enough to know you'd think the same thing about yourself.

I think Yunshui's point about "equal" is not a legalistic definition, but that in our everyday lives we treat people as equal in terms of our common humanity.

The Exterminator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Exterminator said...

I'd like to know what you mean by "equal in terms of our common humanity."

Look, there are some intellectual areas in which you'd defer to me and some areas in which I'd defer to you. Both of us would unquestioningly defer to Philly on art, to SI on law, or to grumpy on cantankerousness.

I don't think that's Condell's point. In this one area, there's no reason for us to be tolerant. Now that doesn't necessarily mean that we have to go out of our way to be intolerant. Far from it. However, I'd expect you to be intellectually miles above most theists in the area of a well-thought-out philosophy, and you'd expect the same from me. If I'm challenged by a theist, I have a responsibility to bring my superior intellect into play -- and so do you, and so does yunshui, and so does grumpy, and so does Philly, ... etc.

Why would we conceivably treat him or her as an equal?

PhillyChief said...

To counter, Evo, if you were to act as if you were equal to another in an ability that you were clearly not, that other, imo, would have grounds to be upset. The failure to acknowledge advantage can potentially be as obnoxious as lording it over another.

Another reality is that, although we say that all are equal in the eyes of the law, the truth is we aren't. Some are far more equal than others. People of a certain celebrity and/or wealth are afforded privileges, and certainly if you're rich your chances in court are increased since you can hire more and better skilled lawyers.

As far as elitism, who doesn't like elitism? When you need a plumber, a mechanic, a doctor, what have you, do you want to pick a name out of a bowl or pick the best one available? Elitism is good, and we all aren't equal.

I have to admit I'm struggling to define your "equal in terms of humanity". I think I know what you mean but I can't quantify it. At first I wanted to say everyone deserves equal chances, but that fails as an absolute. Certainly some chances need to be earned, like the chance to be my doctor. :)

John Evo said...

First of all, I'm not arguing against any form of elitism. I specifically said, "I think you go a little far with your elitism at times" [emphasis added].

If you, Philly, were to argue that the rich and celebrities should in fact be afforded certain privileges in the legal system (beyond the fact of being able to afford the best counsel) then I'd say you were going too far.

This is an example of what I mean in terms of "equal in our common humanity":

I run in to two people on the road who are in need of my assistance (which I'm willing to give), one is an atheist and one is deeply religiously devout. These are the only facts that differentiate the two in my mind. I have no other information about either. I can only help one of them. After weighing it out, I can probably do more by helping the theist. Maybe not a lot more, but more. I would hope that I'd help him. If I'm able to do that, then in that case I have judged them equally in terms of our common humanity.

So I'm clearly not talking about acting "equal in terms of ability". I'm an elitist there too, as I would suspect Yunshui is. It is, in my opinion, irrational to act as if I'm am a better person than a theist. That's all. Maybe I am. Maybe not.

While Pat's message is well-taken, I'll stick to my style - for now.

PhillyChief said...

Well the fact that one could afford better counsel does establish an inequality, doesn't it? That's one of those things that makes my head hurt and I can't resolve. The poor have a right to bitch that they get shitty counsel, but the rich should have the right to whatever is at their disposal to defend themselves, right? ugh

I prefer the tolerance instead of respect idea, but even tolerance implies an imposition, doesn't it? I mean, if they don't do anything to bother me, what's to tolerate? When they do, why should I tolerate it?

John Evo said...

I hear you on tolerance, but I think it's a slightly different thing than I'm talking about.

Now, fact that you get a headache over the inequities which are built-in is a good thing. Enjoy your well-deserved headache you secular freethinker!

There is - maybe - a resolution to that problem. Many people won't care for it. As I get older, I like it more and more. It's a socialist answer. I think we are overly wed to capitalism, but try selling America on that. You think it's hard to get acceptance as an atheist?

Daniel Paul Cadis said...

There is a difference between disagreeing with someone concerning their faith and being a deuce about it.

I really did enjoy Pat Condell's video, up until the end when he began his little tirade against religion. That is being a deuce.

I prefer the Dawkins Way, which is to take the superior route and showing, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that faith and belief in some cosmic deity is absolutely absurd and that his (or her) existence is highly improbable.

John Evo said...

Thanks for dropping by, Daniel. You might enjoy a podcast some of us do every week called "Another Goddamned Podcast". You can click on the link at the top right of my main page. Keep recovering!