Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Contradicting Evo (or, really, Ancient Atheist)

I posted my first shot at a YouTube video and received largely positive feedback on it. Today another blogger (xxxThePeachxxx) posted a video that was a very effective rebuttal of much of what I said. It is something from the Non Prophets radio show.

As I commented there, let it not be said that I can't admit to being wrong and, as one so disdainful of religion, I should have thought it out at little more. Damn, I hate being wrong.



Still, a good portion of my thoughts still stand. I do think it was primarily mental illness and I'm sure we have to reduce the stigma of such.

33 comments:

PhillyChief said...

The point that religion engendered his mental illness is purely speculative.

The point I did like was that the religious aspect can serve as a mask, making it either harder to see someone has a problem or perhaps make people overlook or ignore symptoms. That's a point that you can potentially investigate, but I don't see how that's possible for the first point.

So I think your original video was on the mark as far as religion not necessarily being the motivation or cause for him to do what he did. I immediately think of the morons who shot themselves while listening to Judas Priest and the family accusing Judas Priest. Hello, your kids were mental. If it wasn't Priest, it would have been something else probably.

John Evo said...

So I think your original video was on the mark as far as religion not necessarily being the motivation or cause for him to do what he did.So do I. Where I think I over-stepped was in my statement "his religion had nothing to do with it." First of all, I couldn't possibly KNOW that. Secondly, I agree with the point that a sick mind "treated" with delusional writings will likely be worse off for it.

PhillyChief said...

I agree with the point that a sick mind "treated" with delusional writings will likely be worse off for it.Still, that's not the fault of the delusional writings.

Cephus said...

I don't think religion caused the mental illness by any means, but certainly, the religion gave it a direction and the delusional nature of religion fed the illness. I'm not sure how anyone can argue otherwise.

PhillyChief said...

The religion gave the direction to commit a murder-suicide? What page is that on in the bible? Is that one of those new fangled translations?

the chaplain said...

The point I did like was that the religious aspect can serve as a mask, making it either harder to see someone has a problem or perhaps make people overlook or ignore symptoms.This is why religious beliefs have to be open to the same standards and methods of scrutiny as all other beliefs.

John Evo said...

Still, that's not the fault of the delusional writings.No, you're right. I should have expanded my remark to "and in a society where many people think those delusional writings are real and a good way to treat mental illness, this can lead to an even worse result".

No one thought (that I'm aware of) that kids with disorders would be best treated by listening to Judas Priest. Many people DO believe that psychosis is best handled in a biblical way. And almost no one (other than us) would think you should keep a bible out of their hands.

sunnyskeptic said...

I don't think religion helps mental illness, or any other kind of illness, especially when it's taken too far. Hello, exorcisms anyone? I think it's fairly obvious that most religious people are middle of the road and just don't really care that much about their religion, and although they still do harm, it's not as obvious as some of what the fundagelicals do.

Sabio Lantz said...

Good insights.
Suggestion, keep the swearing down.
Atheists tend to put low value on "purity" issues and thus perhaps are drawn more to the profane.
Show people we are bigger than that.
Use a different way to express your emotions.

Wait: "Christians have the largest hard-on for the martyr thing" (???? have you been listening to the news? -- and see your language again?)

PhillyChief said...

Suggestion Sabio - go fuck yourself.

Have a nice day. :)

Vitamin R said...

I think what that one commentator said, comparing religious nuts to Jedi-wannabes was bullshit. He can make that comparison when a "Jedi" persecutes non-Jedis or kills them, or molests Jedi-in-training. . . .

It was a stupid, unbalanced analogy.

Anthony Powell's religion may not have created his insanity, but let's face it, if he went gaga over Jainism, none of us would be talking about him now. And if he'd chosen, say, Jedism to obsess over, he'd have been stashed in the booby hatch a long time ago.

The responsibility to stop the insanity rests firmly with the people who buy into religion. They wanna believe all the crap that's in their holy books? Then take responsibility for everything that comes with it. For every upright, do-gooding clergyperson, there's a fanatic waiting to kill someone or blow up something. Religionists shouldn't be allowed to laud one without accepting blame for and decrying the other :/

Suggestion Sabio - go fuck yourself.

Have a nice day. :)
LMAO--Philly, is there a possibility you might be from NYC? That was gorgeous.
::salutes::

John Evo said...

VitaR - agree 100% including re: Philly!

PhillyChief said...

Philly is to NYC what Avenue Q is to Sesame Street.

Vitamin R said...

Wishful thinking. NYC is both Sesame Street and Avenue Q. All other cities, with the possible exception of London, are Romper Room. Or maybe Zoobilly Zoo.

cl said...

I like that you make posts where you criticize yourself and your own arguments and seem to have no problem admitting when you're wrong. I extended the same courtesy to you on my own blog regarding the "call for vigilance" thing and am still awaiting your response. As I said over there, a truly scientific mind welcomes correction, and I wonder what you'll have to say about this..

cl said...

In spite of the smacktalk, so far my argument against you two (and all prayer studies) has been called "devastating," and that by the first skeptic who read it. To each their own, I suppose.

PhillyChief said...

I think the only thing "devastating" is the shear abundance of text. Shame to see so many words go to waste.

The amusing result of cl's argument would be that no one could make any claims whatsoever about the efficacy of prayer. I have to admit, it would be nice to never hear anyone claim anything about the efficacy of prayer ever again. Maybe it would go the way of rain dances then.

cl said...

PhillyChief said, "I have to admit, it would be nice to never hear anyone claim anything about the efficacy of prayer ever again."

Does that mean you've finally come out from under your blankie to see the light of reason? If you were smart, you would have realized my argument helps you as much as me instead of making your typical knee-jerk replies, which only reveal how easy it is for a theist to knock you off your stance. You are a martial artist, too, correct? Do you handle physical attackers with such imbalanced displays of emotion? I hope not, as the stakes are much higher in the streets. Or are they?

I may or may not be an atheist having fun at other atheists' expense, but feel free to hat tip me whenever you skewer the next believer who makes claims regarding the efficacy of prayer. Same goes for you too, Evo.

PhillyChief said...

I'm merely curious why someone who believes in prayer would argue against being able to make claims of any kind about the efficacy of prayer. That seems like the proverbial 'cut off your nose to spite your face' tactic. Pretty extreme just to try and kill claims that prayer doesn't work.

But I suppose that's all you could do, right? Faced with the charge that prayer doesn't work, you can't counter that it does, so all you can do is eliminate anyone's right to make any claim whatsoever about prayer, sort of a scorched earth policy, or how people before being driven off their land would poison the water supply first. How sad.

cl said...

Faced with the charge that prayer studies are not credible and your original comment was unfalsifiable and unscientific, all you have done is shift focus to your assumptions concerning my possible motives. Is that rational?

I make the claims I make on atheist sites because I'm not trying to uphold God, but rationalism, logic and science. While you gas on irrelevantly and controlled not by reason but by the desire to belittle someone you imagine to be different than you, I remain amazed how you've successfully made the issue about me when it's really about your own misunderstanding of science. When theists make silly, unfalsifiable claims, you grill them harshly - and rightly so. You're so good at dishing it out, but so bad at taking it.

Remember, I'm the dummy here and you're the smarty-pants atheist who's "almost always right" so your pronouncements concerning science should be pretty tight - not as loose as Fast Sally on a Saturday night when the block's hot.

What makes you burn against me so much, anyways? Ever wondered about that?

PhillyChief said...

The charge is nothing I have to defend against, it's one you have to justify, and that's no small task. I can't help but wonder why one would pursue such a task, but then I'm the curious type.

Anyway, while you try and complete that task, I'm left here twiddling my thumbs, so all I can do is speculate about your motives. Of course I could just go do something else...

cl said...

Twiddle away, eventually you'll get tired and quit or rise to the challenge. You act like you still don't get it, but I believe you do.

You and Evo made the positive claim that prayer studies - of which you refuse to cite even one - are credible. That's a positive claim, and you've already been corrected on that. I've denied that claim, and asked you to support it with evidence. Evidence in this case could be consistent with you producing even a single study along with a reasonable explanation of how said study is credible, or how said claim is falsifiable.

The burden of proof falls on the positive claimant, and that's you. As it is, you skirt your responsibility not unlike an ID'r asked to put their money where their mouth is. What studies, Philly? How are they credible? Justify your claim, big talker! Otherwise admit that it's irrational, atheist blind faith.

After we decide whether or not you've justified your claim, I'd be happy to discuss the implications of this discussion on free will arguments. One thing at a time. If you're so right, it should be quite easy to prove.

PhillyChief said...

Last time, you're making the claim, thus your burden of proof.

Have a nice day

cl said...

Are your innocently dense or purposely dishonest here? Or perhaps anything else but correct?

YOU made the POSITIVE CLAIM that the credibility of prayer studies has been established. I deny your claim on grounds of insufficient evidence. How many times do we have to review the basic rules? The burden of proof falls to the POSITIVE CLAIMANT, and that prayer studies are credible is a positive claim. I've denied your positive claim, and your response is to hide under your Scarlet A blankie and say, "Nuh-uh!"

That's okay. I'm loving this. Surely the truly rational people will start to question your glaringly obvious lack of citations after awhile. All this talk, yet not one published study to compare against my what, three now??

Go ahead and deny away, but rationalism is a way of life, not a T-shirt for intellectual posers who simply wish to look the part.

PhillyChief said...

That's nice you deny the credibility of peer reviewed experiments.

There's this homeless guy near campus who denies the credibility of anyone unless they're wearing red (apparently you can't lie when wearing red). Naturally he doesn't think highly of the police, but he trusts me because of my Chiefs cap (also, being on my head, then I REALLY can't lie). Come visit Philadelphia and I'll introduce you to him. I think you two would get along smashingly. Make sure to wear red though, and perhaps a clothespin on your nose.

cl said...

Yes, I do deny the credibility of all prayer studies - just as you continually deny that it's your responsibility to support positive claims with evidence.

Are you ever going to get serious about this stuff? Or will you forever remain an emotional poser wearing a rationalist's T-shirt?

PhillyChief said...

Didn't you say insults and snide remarks weren't rational? Are you giving up the claim of being rational, or the claim that such things aren't rational?

I'm being as serious as the conversation warrants.

cl said...

I did say those things, and I believe them. I make special exception for you because you're such a dick to me all the time, and your error is to presume this discussion is rational. Insults detract from rational discussions, which is not the type of discussion we're having, because you (and Evo) refuse to justify your positive claim that prayer studies are credible (or even cite a single prayer study). Let me guess, you've got a fire-breathing dragon in your garage, but I just can't see it?

Now, if you want to get serious and actually have a civil conversation, I'll drop all the snark and sarcasm and get serious, but you have to take the initiative.

Does the fact that nobody's challenged your DL mean that all DL's are credible? Do you deny that you've made a positive claim? Are you finally ready to discuss the studies you've kept conveniently veiled thus far? Can you at least name one?

PhillyChief said...

you're such a dick to me all the time.

You reap what you sow.

your error is to presume this discussion is rational.

Oh no, this discussion of yours is absurd.

Does the fact that nobody's challenged your DL mean that all DL's are credible?You completely missed the point of the analogy, either willfully or due to your inferior intellect (or the meds, or you were distracted by something shiny).

cl said...

As usual, statements with no evidence. As far as reaping what we sow, indeed we will - and do.

Do you deny that you've made a positive claim? Are you finally ready to discuss the studies you've kept conveniently veiled thus far? Can you at least name one prayer study you feel is scientifically credible?

PhillyChief said...

Evidence lies in your infamous blog commenting history, including these recent doozies of yours.

cl said...

Red herring. Do you deny that you've made a positive claim? Are you finally ready to discuss the studies you've kept conveniently veiled thus far? Can you at least name one prayer study you feel is scientifically credible?

cl said...

Thanks, Evo. I'll leave this well alone now, at least on your blog. Sorry Philly is in such denial. Anticipating his next comment, I submit that I'm done here, and I pre-emptively challenge Philly to do something else besides dance.

Anyone can wear a T-Shirt that says rationalist.