Thursday, September 03, 2009

Back-pedal, back-pedal, back-pedal!!!

83 comments:

Cephus said...

Sorry, not to insult this guy, but what a pussy! The idea that we can't dare label someone what they are because we might actually make them feel bad about themselves isn't a good reason not to report the truth. The reason homosexuals were removed from the DSM-IV wasn't because having them in there might make them feel bad, it's because they didn't actually have a psychiatric disorder! Judging by what most theists believe, you could make a case that many, perhaps most of them *DO*!

This whole namby-pamby "make everyone happy" nonsense is really getting to me, the purpose of science is to get closer to the truth, as he started off saying, then he tries to argue some non-scientific, emotional bullshit so everyone will be happy, hold hands and sing kumbayah.

That's asinine.

John Evo said...

The "pussy" would be me.

I probably won't convince you, but my first concern (the one you mention) has nothing to do with creating a "everyone feel good" society. It has everything to do with legitimate concerns about psychiatric abuse which go far beyond what happened to the homosexuals. More generally, yes, I'm also worried about "us" abusing labels. Every label is a another layer of in-groups and out-groups.

But I'd be interested to hear what you think of my second concern. How is religiosity a "mental disorder" when many people are constantly giving up religion and reporting they did it because they started using their powers of reason and rationality? I can assure you that a truly psychotic person who is hearing voices which command his obedience doesn't "get well" by deciding anything.

I'm inclined towards Phillychief's thoughts that what we really need to do is figure out a way to make people value reason and rationality. It seems when a person comes to value these, they tend to drop or ease off of their past religious connections.

Gideon said...
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Spanish Inquisitor said...

Has anyone been able to figure out WTF Giddyup's blabbering about now?

PhillyChief said...

Actually, it's not an issue of making people value reason and rationality for they already do, and rely on it for most everything in their day. The issue is to both remind them of that and remind them of how ridiculous it would be to not rely on them, from deciding if it's ok to cross the street to even how they should dress themselves each day. If this faith things is so great, then why wouldn't you even consider it for the mundane things in life?

Gideon said...
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cl said...

Well geez, John.... it only took you just over ten minutes to convince yourself that your insinuations about believers and mental disorders were silly. At least it turns out we agree.

cl said...

Gideon -

"Gee... now WHERE have we seen THIS kind of behavior, before? LOFL!"

I am certainly not afraid to agree wholeheartedly with you there! What an ironic joke that was!!

cl said...

Gideon - wait - lemme get this straight: SI is deleting comments and practicing censorship, after all that crap he talked about DefCon??

Tell me it isn't so..

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

cl - "Well geez, John.... it only took you just over ten minutes to convince yourself that your insinuations about believers and mental disorders were silly. At least it turns out we agree."

Please don't mischaracterize what I said, and I seriously doubt we turn out to be in full agreement (on this). But, most importantly (to me), where do you come up with it taking me "ten minutes" to change my mind? It was roughly 2 days.

Gideon - seriously man? You are going to use your space here to talk about whether you are (or aren't) being censored elsewhere in atheist-ville! LOL!

Come on, man. Has anyone - anyplace - given more latitude to you expressing your thoughts? If so, please direct me there! I have to see the place because they must be my kind of people.

Cephus said...

Evo:

I don't think we have to worry about any western society declaring religion to be a DSM-IV style mental disorder so your worries are entirely unfounded. One of the major reasons homosexuality ended up on the list in the first place was because of religion, going by the criteria for mental disorders, homosexuality never was a good fit and as we discovered that it was a genetically coded phenomenon, it was even harder to justify.

Secondly though, it depends on whether you're talking about a biological mental disorder, something which results from bad brain chemistry or a methodological mental disorder where people are failing to apply the same standards to all elements of life. I'm sure there are people who think they're Napoleon or similar who have nothing whatsoever wrong with their brain chemistry, they're simply mistaken and delusional. You have to admit that religion certainly qualifies as delusion and as such, is a mental disorder. Even if you're going to talk about a biological problem, someone who "talks to God" simply doesn't get the same treatment as someone who talks to invisible gnomes on their shoulder because religion is not properly categorized.

I also agree that finding a way to increase overall rationality culture-wide is a great idea, mostly by teaching children critical thinking skills from the youngest age, but we can't sit idly by and pretend that loony theists who talk to imaginary friends are somehow just as normal and rational as intelligent, reasonable critical-thinkers. They are not equivalent positions, nor should we ever treat them as such.

John Evo said...

@ Philly - yes and no. Do they use reason in other parts of their life? Of course. We all know that. But do they cherish and value that reason? Do they even stop to consider how important it is, or do they just stop and look both ways before crossing?

I'm guessing most of them (not all, but most) are desperately in need of being educated on the intrinsic value of using rational thought - in every aspect of living.

John Evo said...

@ Cephus -

Well, I'm not sure you answered my question. Let me try it another way, since we both agree that "delusion" is a disorder:

The guy you mentioned with the Napoleonic complex (do they still use that designation? I doubt it); can we simply get him using critical thinking skills and expect that at some point he'll connect the dots and figure out that he isn't Napoleon? Because this is pretty much **exactly** what many former believers claim about their own turn away from religion.

Gideon said...
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cl said...

Evo,

"..do they cherish and value that reason?"

I do.

The "ten minutes" thing came from the length of the video, of course, and I don't think I mischaracterized what you said, did I? Over the past week or so, I distinctly recall you making certain comments implying that religious thinking was delusional thinking. Here in your video you seem to be rethinking that. No big deal.

John Evo said...

cl - no, it's really no "big deal", but in fairness to what I said, you can't come away with me concluding that my earlier thinking was silly. That is a mischaracterization.

I continue to observe religious thinking as delusional, though not in a strictly medical sense. Just as I wouldn't say a Utopian was suffering from a psychiatric disorder - but I might very well say "it's crazy".

If you go along with all that - then, yeah, we're in full agreement. I'll save you the time - I know you don't fully agree (based on what you have said in the past).

Gideon - SI was right. What are you babbling about?

All I asked was why you are complaining about being banned? Go piss at whoever banned you. I didn't, nor am I likely to.

What the fuck does your being banned somewhere else have to do with my conclusion that religious thinking should not be considered a psychiatric disorder?

At least, if I had censored you in the past, I might let it pass without note, but you can talk all the dogmatic crap you want here. Personally, I think your mindset supports my points. But if I let you leave comments like that unchallenged, someone could stop by here and assume I must reign in the speech around here and that's bullshit.

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

Gideon said: "it wasn't all that long ago when it wasn't possible for viruses to exist - they (the 'science' of the day) referred to them as "miasma." Something made people sick, but, they couldn't observe what it was, therefore, it simply didn't exist.

I do love it when the spiritualists point to times when science didn't have the best answer as evidence for why **they** are right. Of course, like in this example, at a time when science is postulating something like "miasma", they forget to tell you that the spiritualists of the day weren't saying "no, it's more of what we might describe as a 'virus', just as it says in the bible". No. The spiritualists of that time were saying "no, it's more what would would call a bad spirit, allowed by god to infect us due to sin, like it says in the bible".

The hardest thing I have with being a secular humanist, is being sympathetic or merciful with the stupid.

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

Really. Are you saying that with the help of science we are now just catching up to a small tribe of middle-easterners from 4,000 years ago?

Praise the lord!

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

"He believes his ancestor was a fish... now, really, who in their RIGHT MIND would even THINK such a moronic, stupid, idiotic, bullshit, half-witted, shit-for-brained, pus-nutted, pencil-dicked, pea-brained, pointy-headed, asshole thing as that?

I'm sorry... I lost my place. Were you talking about your fellow Christian cl here, or someone else?

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

Oh, OK. Because it just sounded like cl but I suppose it could apply to Dawkins also.

By the way, Ben Stein didn't do anything other than expose his own ignorance. Truth is a bitch.

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

The abrupt nature of Dawkins and his impatience are attributable to the fact that Stein was so insecure about his subject that he asked Dawkins to interview him on one subject and then ambushed him.

This is confirmed by multiple sources (I don't know that even Stein denies it), and that Stein used the same tactic on every scientist he interviewed.

You know, that's a funny way to try to prove something. If you think you're right, can't you stand on the the truth of the issue? Like I said, it's a bitch, and that's not sour grapes.

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

Also, I do remember being taught certain things about Evolution in school, and, now, Dawkins is saying that things have changed... like they don't know how matter came into existence.

You weren't taught very well. Where matter comes from has precisely nothing to do with evolution. That's cosmology.

How life gained a toe-hold on earth - has precisely nothing to do with evolution. That's abiogenesis.

Evolution is about explaining the mechanism by which life changes over time.

He makes blanket statements about statistics, then has to admit that he really knows nothing, he's only guessing. Just how much he's guessing on many things, I'd like to know.

Sure. Because it's not his field. If you asked him to cite laws and regulations concerning inter-state and international trucking, he might be able to make some educated guesses, but he wouldn't know as much as *you* do. What a moron, huh?

He sure isn't as sure of himself, one on one, with a knowledgeable man

Ben Stein? Knowledgeable about biology? You are silly. Francis Collins (a Christian) is a knowledgeable man. He went "one-on-one" with him and did pretty well. Why don't you go check out those clips.

John Evo said...

Just proves my assertion about the arrogance of atheists

What is proven is that you are shallow, in thinking you can lump all atheists into *any* category, other than "does not believe in gods".

I might be the most arrogant person in the world. It doesn't mean I'm right and it doesn't mean I'm wrong. Irrelevant.

Why fucking continue living at all?

Some people arrive at exactly that conclusion. Most see life as something pretty incredible, that they only get one shot at. We can both agree on that much. Whatever you think heaven is, you certainly don't think it's life. At least not if it's perfect. There would be nothing to propel you forward without fear or need. So you enjoy it while it's here. Why not? If I want to snuff myself, I can do that anytime I want. It's the one and only absolute choice I can make.

Gideon said...
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Cephus said...

@ Evo: I have no idea if they still use Napoleon in psychiatric circles but it's still useful for discussion because everyone understands it as a concept. And if there's nothing biologically wrong with the individual, then certainly correcting him on his delusion may, and in fact probably will correct the delusion, assuming he's open to correction and a critical evaluation of his beliefs. If he's a fanatic, then he's no more likely to give up being Napoleon than a fundamentalist Christian is likely to give up Christianity, fanatics cannot be reasoned with. However, in both cases, that doesn't stop what's happening from being a delusion and that's the whole point.

cl said...

You said, "..you can't come away with me concluding that my earlier thinking was silly."

John, I didn't mischaracterize you; I was speaking colloquially, giving you a little bit of grief. That's all. Relax.

You said, "..I wouldn't say a Utopian was suffering from a psychiatric disorder - but I might very well say "it's crazy". If you go along with all that - then, yeah, we're in full agreement."

Sure, why not? By this note, lots of atheists suffer from delusional thinking, too, so I see where you're coming from here. The only part where I disagree with you is that you bolster the connection between religious thinking and delusional thinking; in typical strategy, you simply label all religious thinking as delusional. That's where you're in error, and really just showing your own bias - and hypocrisy.

For example, John - to Gideon, you said, "What is proven is that you are shallow, in thinking you can lump all atheists into *any* category, other than "does not believe in gods"."

Isn't that hypocrisy, though? Didn't you just tell me that you lump all religious thinking in the "delusional" category, even if not necessarily in the "medical" sense of the word?

Come on now.

Gideon,

You said, "..if you're not an 'atheist', you don't use reason."

Yes, the superficiality does get annoying after a while.

You said, "Reason, to them, doesn't allow for things unseen, therefore, that which can be directly observed and tested."

Gideon, you don't have to explain the stupidity of their position to me..

Just satiate my curiosity: who deleted your comments? SI? Philly? Both?

Gideon said...
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PhillyChief said...

Claiming your comments were deleted is just like claiming there's a god, you can't demonstrate confirmation or non-confirmation of either.

I like that Cephus brought up that there's biological and non-biological disorders, because these days most people tend to think there's only biological, thus, a pill can solve everything.

cl said...

"Claiming your comments were deleted is just like claiming there's a god, you can't demonstrate confirmation or non-confirmation of either."

That's actually untrue. I've taken screen shots of comments that were later deleted and used them to cause quite the embarrassment to the censoring party.

So Chief: did you censor Gideon? Or not?

Gideon said...
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Cephus said...

@ Philly: That's mostly because we've got a society that believes everything is "a disease". Smoking, drinking, anything you do that other people might not like is suddenly a "disease". Alright, can we consider religion "a disease"? Makes about as much sense.

Gideon said...
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John Evo said...

cl asked: "Isn't that hypocrisy, though?"

Well, if it's not, I'm quite certain you could find other examples of my hypocrisy. I know I could.

But in all honesty, in this case, I don't think you have a point. Atheism is an extremely minimalist position. There really is not much that you have to ask after determining that a person is atheist. You could ask questions that have nothing to do with that person's religious thinking, but then you are off into completely different areas.

With "religious", there are a number of accompanying aspects that you can be certain of, and all kinds of things that you might ask about for further and further clarifications. So I think you can do a certain amount of cautious lumping.

This doesn't mean I'm correct in the statement you take issue with - just that I see it as qualitatively different from what I said about atheists.

You're free to disagree - I'm not wedded to this idea for better or worse.

Cephus said...

Funny how Gideon and cl can claim elsewhere that atheist blogs censor "valid criticism" yet they can both act like 2-year olds whereever they go and they don't get banned.

Go figure.

cl said...

Cephus,

You're saying I act like a 2-year-old and here you are running your mouth calling people names... go figure.

Gideon said...
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PhillyChief said...

I'm going to have to assume "banned" means 'won't bother to respond to my comments'. If so, yes, Gideon is one of the few "banned" at my blog. Everyone's comments, regardless of how moronic they are, are still published sans moderation.

Providing a platform doesn't mean I'm under any obligation to also provide responses, though.

Oh, and if for some reason anyone is too much of an idiot to figure out how to leave a comment on my blog, well I suppose that's probably for the best.

Happy Proletariat Day!

ThatOtherGuy said...

Man, the scorn, immaturity, and hatred dripping from Gideon's posts... christians are so unlike their christ.

PhillyChief said...

In fairness, Trekkies are so unlike their Kirk, too. ;)

Get a life

Spanish Inquisitor said...

OK. Now I'm beginning to see what Gideon was talking about over at SI. I haven't been over here to read these comments, as I had company and a busy weekend.

It seems he was, but may now not be, under the mis-impression that I deleted his comment, then somehow made it re-appear. I don't know what happened, but here's how Wordpress comments work.

If I actually deleted a comment, it would be gone forever. I would have no way of un-deleting it. I'll have to check to see if I can "hold" a comment unseen. I've never done that, but I'll check to see if that's possible.

OK. I just checked. I can hold it as "pending", but I'll say here I've never done that. I didn't even know I could until now.

I have never, not once deleted a comment, other than those that are caught in Wordpress spam filters (it's call "Askimet", whatever that is). I do, however, see each and every comment that is caught as spam, and I can make an independent judgment as to whether to keep or delete them. The overwhelming majority of them get deleted, because they are usually porn, or selling something. My dashboard tells me that I have deleted 19,713 spam comments compared to only 4,897 approved comments.

Occasionally a valid comment will be caught, and if it's from a regular (and I consider Gideon a regular) I will allow the comment to be posted. So it's possible that you won't see a comment until I've logged in and checked the spam filter. That did happen recently, within the last week or so, but to be honest I can't remember if it was one of Gideon's or not. I think it was, but don't hold me to that. In any event, I see that the "Bag of cement" comment was posted at 8:13, and Evo commented on it at 8:44, only 31 minutes later, so if that was the one, I must have caught it and posted it quickly.

For future reference, if you post a comment that has 3 or more hyperlinks in it, it will be held in the spam filter until I release it. It's set up that way, because one of the most common types of spam is the one loaded with links. It was set at 2 but I changed it to three because I was catching too many valid comments.

And I don't know why Gideon's was caught because I don't think he had three links in it.

I've only threatened to ban one person, cl, and that was for practicing sock-puppetry, and not for his content. Sock-puppetry is dishonest and antithetical to what we do, and I still think it's a valid reason to ban someone. I will never ban someone because I don't agree with them.

And in all honesty, my threat to ban cl, in hindsight, was somewhat empty. It was against my principles as I said from the beginning of that post. In the end, I couldn't violate those principles. I think I just wanted to air the problem, and send a message that sock-puppets will not be tolerated.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Gideon - wait - lemme get this straight: SI is deleting comments and practicing censorship, after all that crap he talked about DefCon??

Tell me it isn't so


Tell him Gideon. It isn't so.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Archaeology is making new discoveries of ancient cultures and civilizations that were previously thought (by the arrogant humanists) to be myth and fable. Such is the way in a humanist-run system and world. The Bible mentions all of those places, but, the stupid just laugh at the scriptures.

Really? When did they find the Tower of Babel, and where is it?

Spanish Inquisitor said...

I apologize to the asshole,

Apology accepted. ;)

cl said...

Happy Labor Day!

John,

You said, "This doesn't mean I'm correct in the statement you take issue with - just that I see it as qualitatively different from what I said about atheists."

Fair enough. I see it as an inconsistency.

SI,

You said, "Sock-puppetry is dishonest and antithetical to what we do,"

The concept of Team Scarlet A bitching about sock puppetry is hilarious. Does this extend to "Trinity" as well?

You said, "..in all honesty, my threat to ban cl, in hindsight, was somewhat empty. It was against my principles as I said from the beginning of that post. In the end, I couldn't violate those principles. I think I just wanted to air the problem, and send a message that sock-puppets will not be tolerated."

Yet, the message you sent was that sock-puppets who mock believers are tolerated, and that degree of special pleading really bothers me.

Gideon said...
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Vitamin R said...

But I'd be interested to hear what you think of my second concern. How is religiosity a "mental disorder" when many people are constantly giving up religion and reporting they did it because they started using their powers of reason and rationality?

Well, people use methadone to get off of heroin. They make a choice, even in their compromised state (some of them) to get well.

I think becoming an atheist after a lifetime of theism is like being in recovery. It's a constant process. It is for me, anyway. Not the god disbelief, but continually not accepting "I wish it was so" as a rationale for believing anything whatsoever, be it alien abduction theories or the theory of Atlantis (whatever, aliens and Atlantis are way cooler than Jeebus. And they have lasers).

Unquestioning belief really is like heroin: it makes everything okay, puts you to sleep, and many die locked in its grip. Reason, logic, and rationality are the methadone, and they have to be used constantly. Critical thinking has to constantly be reaffirmed and reexamined before it becomes so integral, it's automatic.

I can assure you that a truly psychotic person who is hearing voices which command his obedience doesn't "get well" by deciding anything.

Not all crazy people hear voices, just like not all religious people hear god. None of those things go hand in hand, necessarily. But I know psychoses progress if they go untreated. So there's some threshold, beyond which the person suffering from psychosis is no longer rational enough to know/ care they may not be playing with a full deck and so need psychiatric help. But early on, before the psychosis takes root, there're probably sign-posts, hints of I'm maybe not well, that get acted on, or ignored. Either way, a choice is made.

It's probably the same way with religion. There are religious people who understand faith in an idea is just that. Then, there are the people that kill in the name of their faith, convinced it's true and factual.

There's some maneuvering room between these states, I think. Some people go one way or the other, off religion or seriously, crazily on, but most just linger there, in the middle.

Hah. Least. Organized. Ramble. Ever :D

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Hah. Least. Organized. Ramble. Ever :D

Maybe. But I liked the heroin/religion analogy. I'm going to use it, and if I remember, even give you credit. ;)

Cephus said...

I think most ex-theists had a point in their lives where they really wished they could continue to believe all the comforting myths that they once held dear, just like a lot of ex-theists initially felt very uncomfortable saying things like "God, if you're real, strike me dead!" I like George Carlin's take on it though, there's nothing to fear from demanding God do anything because there's no reason to think there's a God. Oh wait... I have a little chest pain... and I'm blind!

Must have been Joe Pesci!

Vitamin R said...

Wow--feel free, SI. I'm honored.

When I have a halfway non-sucky analogy, it's free to all :)

After $14.95 shipping and handling, that is.

cl said...

[META]

Good one, Evo. Way to completely overlook the fact SI dismissed the video game thing for literally hundreds of posts, only to find he hadn't even considered the argument critically. Way to support your team. I like you, but crap like that is indespicable for anyone who aspires to any sort of rationalism and objectivity.

Now your boy decided to close comments on his thread because he can't handle the heat.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

cl

I'm not sure what you are responding to on this thread, but I did, in fact, critically consider your video game anecdote near the end of my comments, and you responded with a very long comment, with , {ta-da} no reaction. I was going to close comments earlier, but I wanted to allow you the last word, and you failed to take it. Not a single word in response, other than to (again) chastise me for not doing so earlier. No "heat". So don't come on Evo's blog and start whining about how unappreciated you are, how nobody engages your arguments, and we're all such irrational rationalists. You had your chance.

Sorry, I don't read your blog. The few times I did, (once at your specific invitation) I found it to be just more of the usual bullshit you spout elsewhere, including at SI. It's a larger extension of your need for self-gratification, and I'm not interested.

That's all I'll say here. Evo's kind enough to put up with you, he doesn't need you complaining about me.

cl said...

SI,

Well, there's one thing you can be sure of, and that's that I wasn't here to talk to you, right? If you want to continue with me, you shouldn't of closed your comment thread like an angry little baby, especially after talking so big about how much you value free speech. So please, after I dispel your false claims here, bugger off for a moment, let me continue with Evo if he's interested, and if you want to address me, open the thread back up.

BTW, why don't you Team Scarlet A members quit backing each other up all over the internet? You're big boys; you should be able to fight your own battles just fine without the need to act like a pack of skinheads.

Now, you said, "I did, in fact, critically consider your video game anecdote near the end of my comments, and you responded with a very long comment, with , {ta-da} no reaction."

That's true. The reason I didn't respond is twofold: every one of your counter-explanations was hastily uttered and utterly laughable; and I'm not interested anymore. Allow me to explain why.

Facts: way the hell back in July, I relayed all the pertinent details of the video game incident as I did yesterday. Then, I repeated them several times throughout the month of August. Then, I repeated them three times yesterday, and lo - it only took you over a whole month and who knows how many repetitions until you actually sat down and understood the claim, as evidenced here. You ask for more detail, when I gave you all the details six weeks ago. Textbook definition of disingenuous: failing to take account of stated (in this case heavily re-stated) information.

I shouldn't have been surprised though, as I had to repeat myself five times before you understood that you were conflating the concepts of evidence and proof, which you admitted.

So figure it out - it's not that I'm no longer interested because you didn't half-assedly consider the video game incident at the end of a six-week discussion; I'm no longer interested because you sat there and belittled me for six weeks all while you hadn't even really understood the argument you were dismissing. Then, when I pointed it out, your excuse was that you didn't want to make this a multi-blog endeavor, which I can only attribute to special pleading because you seemed to have no problem commenting about the very same issues on jim's blog.

What I take from that is that you're not an impartial rational thinker at all, but a biased, knee-jerk reactor, so, at least for now, I'm done. I see no need to even attempt rational discourse with somebody like that. Like I said, when I read your arguments, I would thoroughly read, and often re-read them. You, OTOH, show that you barely gloss over mine at best - all the while accusing me of avoiding. I'm not interested in that.

About my blog, you said, "more of the usual bullshit you spout elsewhere,"

Hey, perfect excuse to not have to address the arguments and evidence.

You said, "So don't come on Evo's blog and start whining about how unappreciated you are, how nobody engages your arguments, and we're all such irrational rationalists."

Why don't you learn how to keep your opponent's argument in scope? I didn't say a word about being unappreciated, I didn't say nobody engages my arguments, and I didn't say you're all irrational rationalists. I said I disapproved of this stupid Team Scarlet A mentality which leads to things like Evo always getting your back no matter what, and completely ignoring the fact that you spent six weeks belittling me about a claim you didn't even fully comprehend. That's partisan nonsense, not freethought.

John Evo said...

I didn't ask SI to close down comments. I offered a final thought - from *me*, ended with:

"I’ve tossed in all I’ve got to say and, whatever cl comes back with, that’s the last word for now from me."

I know you are more that sharp enough to realize that answers:

"let me continue with Evo if he's interested"

cl said...

"I didn't ask SI to close down comments."

I never once said you did. Read more carefully, and ask yourself why you feel the need to continually have SI's back to the point it completely blinds you to his faults. That's not impartial rationalism John, and you know it.

cl said...

Anyways Evo, to actually comment on this post, you said:

"But I'd be interested to hear what you think of my second concern. How is religiosity a "mental disorder" when many people are constantly giving up religion and reporting they did it because they started using their powers of reason and rationality? I can assure you that a truly psychotic person who is hearing voices which command his obedience doesn't "get well" by deciding anything."

I absolutely agree and this is one of the strongest arguments I've heard you write. Bravo.

Where we disagree is on the peripheral claim of yours that PhillyChief is one of the "great atheist bloggers." I guess it depends what you call great. Uproarious? Yes. A freethinker? Absolutely. Spot-on more often than not. Sure. Yet, I don't consider bloggers "great" when they absolutely refuse to cede ground when reason permits the assumption they know they damn well should. Even Ex calls him on this, so you can't just say it's me being an ass. Either way, I love you guys. Even SI and especially Gideon. Let's hold hands and sing... well, I doubt we could agree on a song to sing.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

John Lennon's "Imagine"?

Sing it!

Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...

PhillyChief said...

Those are actually stupid lyrics for it implies that it's an effort of one's imagination to think of heaven and hell not existing, when it's actually quite the opposite.

John Evo said...

cl - thank you. And re Philly/great -

"great" is both relative and subjective and he is way under-read when I look at some of the atheist blogs that get literally thousands of daily visits. I have a modest 400 subscribers on YouTube, most of them atheist and most of them never even heard of Philly. Permit me a little hyperbole, please!

PhillyChief said...

Thanks, but you could leave out the hyperbole part. ;)

There's a great deal of crap out there in not just the atheosphere but bloggerland in general, and I'm not just talking about the graphics.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

Those are actually stupid lyrics...

I don't know. Put them in the mouth of a fundy and they can be downright radical. Imagine Jerry Falwell or Gideon singing them with enthusiasm. ;)

PhillyChief said...

Imo, they're more suited for those words than you or I since they actually work in imagination. If you can imagine one thing, you can imagine another, easy-peasy.

cl said...

Yes, that's another area in which I put Philly far ahead of the pack: his eye for clean aesthetics. Just fix those damn blockquotes, and figure out the padding issues. Holler at me if you hit a wall there, ChiefyBoy; I'll see what I can do.

Oh, and regarding your comment about Lennon's lyrics beings stupid, stop seeing it through your own eyes. Easy for you to imagine, of course; but not for the majority of the people for whom Lennon was obviously writing the song. For them, it does take a leap of the imagination to question some of these things.

Gideon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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