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September 07, 2010

Thought for the Day

Let me ask you a question here today. How many of you here today used to believe something? Used to, past tense. Whether it was flying saucers, psychic powers, religion, anything like that.

...Now, let me ask you a second question. The second question is, "How many of you no longer believe in those things - you became a skeptic - because somebody got in your face, screaming, and called you an idiot, brain damaged, and a retard?

CWCID: Discover Magazine and the always interesting Arts and Letters Daily.

Posted by Cassandra at September 7, 2010 08:18 AM

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Comments

I believe the same things fundamentally now as I did back when I was six.

I used to believe people want the truth. People do not want the truth.

Here's some more data and truth. Humans are not motivated by truth so much as belief. And belief is not necessarily based upon good things.

In so far as humans are not motivated by such things, the reality of truth in relation to humans and what you can get them to do, what you can get them to make true, is concurrently disparate and different in alignment from datum truth or factual/static reality.

What's not true about that?

It's not reason you need, but strength. Because people who feel weak or insecure in their lives, need certain beliefs and it is not so much the beliefs that lead them stray as the fact that they by their own actions spread their problems to others.

A person need not have the correct belief in god, if they themselves have strong character, are heroic, wise, or has obtained some epic life experience. As Christian beliefs have said, so long as the individual lives a good life, no matter which god he knows by name, the Christian God will know their names in the afterlife. Belief, then, no longer has a negative hold on them, precisely they lack the Weakness to make belief do evil.

Reason manipulates the rational. Reason utilizes logic in the context of base rules and mutual contracts. Human societies are simply not naturally balanced for equality.

Frustration is weakness. Until the organization of skeptics provides a solution that people need, and not simply a promise that the world would be better "one way", they risk contamination.

Contamination from the Left. Contamination from Islam. Contamination from cults. Contamination from enemies of certain belief systems.

They cannot be trusted. A diplomat? A diplomat that cannot be trusted is simply an enemy spy, saboteur, and kabuki mask. For humans to work together, trust is a fundamental foundation. And faith is often times the method that can produce trust required to make society better.

Skepticism knocks down institutions, but they have nothing to replace it with. They have nothing to fuel the NEED of humans in their hearts, their desires. They may have the "truth", by limited definition, but it may not be what people want or need.

Skepticism is a Leftist movement. And that says much by itself, that people need to tell others that it isn't. You wouldn't have to say it isn't if it wasn't and had no danger of being so.

no, you slow down the 10 thousand by charging them. That's how you slow em down. Unless you got somewhere to retreat to or a trap device.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 7, 2010 11:15 AM

To answer your question (I'll assume you echo the question, since that's the sole part of the lecture that you cited or paraphrased), I believe in the existence of God, and I believe three things that are mutually contradictory (that's allowed, as they're beliefs): the inherent, breathtaking stupidity and venality of the human species (after all, we sprang from Lucy's loins 400,000 years ago, and we're still planet bound and slaughtering each other over the flimsiest of reasons); I believe that there are some very good individuals in the species (indeed, I've met more worthy people, by far, than I have idiots, evil persons, etc) and that it's only when we act collectively that we're capable of engaging in awesomely destructive behavior; and I believe that, through democratic institutions, the vector sum of each of us acting in our own self interest trends toward the greater good and general improvement.

To address Dr Plait, I have to ask what, indeed, is the goal of the skeptic? Why do they, really, want to convince us of the error of our ways? How is this not simply an ego trip on their part--the same as they accuse "us" (and I do not address who "us" is deliberately, whether it's believers in this or that religion, in this or that form of medicine, etc) when we reject their ideas. Specifically, why are they so anxious to disabuse us of our religious faiths? Of what are they so afraid in our beliefs? A clue here is his remark concerning all the killing our religions do. The logical skeptic has conflated some things here. It's not the religions that do the killing. The religions are not of God, or Allah, or Jehovah, or a Hindu pantheon. Religions are institutions of man, attempting to formulate a relationship with God, Allah, Jehovah, the pantheon, etc. It's men who do the killing, not the religions, and men do the killing from an imperfect understanding of God, etc; this has nothing to do with religion (or faith, generally) itself.

Finally, on the matter of faith, generally, Dr Plait elides the role that (blind) faith plays in skepticism, as well as in religion--or astronomy. In the end (which is to say at the beginning), everything we know, or think we know, or merely we believe, stems from a pretty small set of First Principles. First Principles are the foundations of any system--and by definition, these are things that cannot be tested, cannot be measured, must be taken solely on faith. We may, through testing, measuring, etc, discover that this First Principle is wrong, but that just means that it wasn't a First Principle, it doesn't mean that First Principles don't exist.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 7, 2010 11:51 AM

Oh, yeah, and no, I've not changed my mind on my beliefs as a result of anyone getting in my face over them. I'm just too stubborn and arrogant for that. Besides, if the best they can do is an ad hominem attack on me, I just take that as their admission--if only sub rosa--that they have no argument against my position, so my position is getting corroboration from the existence of their attack.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 7, 2010 12:05 PM

I used to believe people want the truth. People do not want the truth.

If you substitute "...that most people are rational" for "people want the truth", you have a great example of something I, too, once believed (but was disabused of by people who think screaming and name calling are effective argumentation tactics) :p

Posted by: Cassandra at September 7, 2010 12:08 PM

No one has ever changed a belief I had by getting in my face, screaming, or calling me an idiot, brain damaged, and a retard. The ones that tried it had their own belief about the efficacy of that method changed -- they now believe that it is a very, very silly thing to do.

Especially to someone who considers such behavior *threatening*...

My core spiritual beliefs remain unchanged, although I now know more about why I believe them and the reasons for continuing those beliefs. My beliefs about some things in the physical world changed from disbelief to belief simply because I had seen or experienced things that I had previously been told didn't exist.

However, I still retain my life-long belief that most politicians are solipsists who view the rest of us with the same dispassionate eye that a weasel views an occupied henhouse...

Posted by: BillT at September 7, 2010 12:13 PM

If someone has to use name-calling to get their point across, they've lost me.

I don't care for the message. Dr. Hawking says that God didn't create the universe; the laws of physics did. Who made those laws?

I have a faith and a belief in God. I prefer to think of God as a He, the Supreme Gentleman of the Universe.

Posted by: Cricket at September 7, 2010 01:22 PM

To address Dr Plait, I have to ask what, indeed, is the goal of the skeptic? Why do they, really, want to convince us of the error of our ways? How is this not simply an ego trip on their part--the same as they accuse "us" (and I do not address who "us" is deliberately, whether it's believers in this or that religion, in this or that form of medicine, etc) when we reject their ideas. Specifically, why are they so anxious to disabuse us of our religious faiths? Of what are they so afraid in our beliefs? A clue here is his remark concerning all the killing our religions do. The logical skeptic has conflated some things here. It's not the religions that do the killing. The religions are not of God, or Allah, or Jehovah, or a Hindu pantheon. Religions are institutions of man, attempting to formulate a relationship with God, Allah, Jehovah, the pantheon, etc. It's men who do the killing, not the religions, and men do the killing from an imperfect understanding of God, etc; this has nothing to do with religion (or faith, generally) itself.

I was going to write a comment myself, but that one pretty much covered it for me.

My belief seems to threaten some people. I'm not sure why, since I try to follow Francis of Assisi's advice to "Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary."

So if I'm not going to go around hitting people on the head with my Douay-Rheims Bible, and I don't feel sorry for them because they miss all the awesome spaghetti feeds and pancake breakfasts, why do they feel it necessary to "educate" me?

People like to pick causes and then force others to bow within them. Some people thump Bibles, others hit back with suggestions of idiocy to anyone with even an open mind to the idea of a deity of any sort. There are also Breastfeeding Fascists and the Church of Global Warming. Perhaps we're all hardwired to be bullies in one way or another?

Posted by: airforcewife at September 7, 2010 01:36 PM

Stephen Hawking is enamored of his M-theory, which essentially says that if something needs to exist, it will suddenly appear from nowhere -- merely because it *needs* to exist at that time.

Problem is, scientists who become enamored of their theories tend to regard them as reality, much as computer modelers come to regard their models as reality. Okay, that, in and of itself, isn't the problem, the problem arises when reality blithely ignores all the elegant theories and computer models and proceeds along its merry way -- usually pausing only long enough to bite them on the butt in passing...

Posted by: BillT at September 7, 2010 01:48 PM

AFW:

I often find it amusing to listen to self avowed scientists and skeptics. Somehow, their much vaunted skepticism never seems to be applied to their own beliefs (the self evidently self evident truth of their world view being so compelling and all).

Question for the day: do skeptics ever doubt the value of skepticism?

Posted by: Cassandra at September 7, 2010 02:13 PM

Answer for the day: It's doubtful.

Posted by: BillT at September 7, 2010 02:33 PM

If you substitute "...that most people are rational" for "people want the truth", you have a great example of something I, too, once believed (but was disabused of by people who think screaming and name calling are effective argumentation tactics).

Hey, that's nifty: you found the exception that proves the rule.

Posted by: Grim at September 7, 2010 02:35 PM

I really dislike when someone gets in my face and tells me what to believe...yanno, things like "I believe you've had enough." Which completely contradicts my belief of "I believe I'll have another beer."
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at September 7, 2010 02:39 PM

Oh ARRRRGGHH! Stephen Hawking again! That man drives me batty! Not because his beliefs on religious matters are 180 degrees from mine (as long as you aren't hurting anyone, whatever floats your boat, Dude), but because he's so SMUG about it!

Not that he can prove his Divine Theory one way or the other, either. He just seems to be in love with the idea of being better than everyone else.

Without a doubt he is exponentially smarter than I am, but there are smarts and then there is common sense, and I've noticed an inverse relationship between the two.

I'm sorry, but I wouldn't give up my ability to run, box, talk, cook, etc in exchange for Hawking's intellect. Given that fact, I don't see where the sense of smug superiority comes from. Or, maybe that is where it comes from.

Anyway -

Cass - self professed skeptics seem to apply skepticism to their own beliefs as often as those who preach tolerance tolerate other belief systems in their own lives (that's completely leaving aside the fact that people seem to have forgotten what the word tolerate actually means).

So, an inverse relationship between preaching and practicing what one preaches, maybe?

It's a good conversation to distract me from the boredom in between helping my kid finish his school work, though!

Posted by: airforcewife at September 7, 2010 02:59 PM

I finally got enough bandwidth to listen to Doc Plait's pontifications.

He's unintentionally hilarious in the vid -- he's actually quite the rabid member of the Church of Anthropogenic Gorebull Worming, and most of his on-line arguments against the "climate skeptics" consist of "they're ignorant fools and we're all going to die because of them"...

Posted by: BillT at September 7, 2010 03:52 PM

...self professed skeptics seem to apply skepticism to their own beliefs as often as those who preach tolerance tolerate other belief systems in their own lives (that's completely leaving aside the fact that people seem to have forgotten what the word tolerate actually means). So, an inverse relationship between preaching and practicing what one preaches, maybe?

I suppose this would be the moment for me to imply that the fact that he obviously doesn't practice what he preaches somehow renders the message worthless. The problem is that I can't say that with a straight face :p

Posted by: Hmmm...there seems to be something in my own eye.... at September 7, 2010 03:56 PM

I don't know about you, but my eye seems to be absolutely full of sawdust. Probably more than enough to create a log or two.

Posted by: airforcewife at September 7, 2010 04:05 PM

I can think of a few beliefs that have been removed by yelling and shouting, etc; the problem is that the yelling and shouting was supposedly being a demonstration that my belief was correct, but it was an effective demonstration that my belief was false (and perhaps further evidence that I'm actually an alien creature in human skin.) Some people have "negative spines", that flop about when challenged (kind of like the Google logo today.) Yelling at them seems to change their beliefs (or at least the outward expressions of their beliefs.) Yelling at me seems to stiffen my spine.

Posted by: htom at September 7, 2010 04:31 PM

Perhaps we're all hardwired to be bullies in one way or another?

It's actually what Plait said. He just doesn't apply it to himself. Which he also stated is a weakness of others. That they don't notice this about themselves or that they don't want to notice it.

You knock down one belief of a person, and that person just gets another belief and believes in it even stronger. Because people need something to believe in. For all kinds of reasons. And part of that need, is making other people believe in the same thing. Humans are social animals. We like to be part of a group. And if the group isn't going our way, we either leave or we make them miserable.

Only rare individuals are able to change the entire make up and direction of a group. Those are called leaders. Good and evil ones.


Without a doubt he is exponentially smarter than I am, but there are smarts and then there is common sense, and I've noticed an inverse relationship between the two.

It becomes his personal identity. The things he thinks about for most of life. Cause, unlike some of us who spend time with special people and think about them all the time, Hawking thinks a lot more about his theories and the universe. He feels more familiar with the universe. His identity is more intertangled with such. When he claims to know what the universe is and what it consists of, from his perspective he's just going to his bathroom and brushing his teeth with his toothbrush. He doesn't believe that toothbrush is in use by anyone else. But in point of fac,t the universe is not his, but a shared existence with all of us. He can no more dictate what goes on there, than I can dictate when Obama's head gets cut off.

Hawking knows physics. As a result of that insect specialization, he knows far less of human behavior. The same was true of Einstein. To focus so much on physics. somethings from his life he had to let go. Vague on.

I finally got enough bandwidth to listen to Doc Plait's pontifications.

They unblocked you?

Reason manipulates the rational. Reason utilizes logic in the context of base rules and mutual contracts. Human societies are simply not naturally balanced for equality.

As a corollary, from this what we have is that reason breaks down in the context of non-mutual (or asymmetric) social relationships (You vs Me, Tribe vs Tribe, nation vs nation, Democrat vs Republican, Social welfare vs risk taking businesses) and logic is made non-functional when there are no base rules.

The skeptic is disarmed and witless in the battle of arms and wits amongst humans warring with no fundamental logic or reason. They just do, because they believe. Disarmed and witless people are easily made slaves and tools of the powerful and the cunning. They become a liability when building a better tomorrow. Skeptics claim they know best. They can't even promise me that they are free from external manipulation and control. They can't even guarantee that their actions are of their own free will. And they think they know what is even conceivably the best thing for this world of 6.5 billion human beings?

They don't even know how to kill a single human being, let alone save 6.5 billion. They are not qualified to judge.

"Breaking convention", sir, is not a solution. Human likes and dislikes are irrational on the face.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 7, 2010 04:43 PM

"Self-selection" doesn't make you anything, except part of a new cult.

If "skepticism" was "hard", then you couldn't simply "self-select". Nature, reality, standards would select it for them, and it would be a low success rate if it was "hard".

Studies have shown that people who lose their belief, find something else to believe in.

Of course it is a rare case. Not all religious people get debunked and turn into a critical thinker. They can lose their religious beliefs and turn into a skeptic, a new cult member, instead.

In terms of quality, thinking, education, or judgment, selection criteria is made on objective criteria. If the standards are subjective, based upon what "the self decides", then it isn't a matter of skill or quality, but quantity.

The Marine sniper school selects for quality and intentionally goes out of their way to make the course hard and easy to fail in. Yet skeptics wish to make it "easier" to convince people to change their mind. Actually, if they really believe skeptics are "critical thinkers", then they should believe people should be really really hard to change their beliefs. Cause critical thinking takes "time". And people who think differently, should "disagree" due to sample non-bias. Critical thinking in analysis for subjective human views always produce different and variegated results. If you get the same result, like the belief in Skeptic Organizations, what you have is bias and group think. It's actually harmful in getting accurate truth out of data.

The person that jumps from one belief to another, is lacking in spine and is easily swayed by human influences, the gun, and the whip. A person that has spent most of his life working for his beliefs, cannot be turned except in special circumstances.

This is basic tradecraft. Some people are easier to turn. Others are harder. Some people are true believers. Others are pragmatists and believe whatever is useful to them.

A "rational, reasonable world" is what the skeptic speaker says they are working for. Reasonable by whose definition? A lawyer says lethal force used in self-defense is not reasonable. Or at least he'll claim it if he has a reason to. So what's really reasonable to people is really what benefits them or what is in their interests. It makes sense to kill if killing is good. It makes sense to steal if stealing nets benefits. It makes sense and is perfectly to lie, when telling the truth will get you killed whereas lying will make you rich and secure.

Those that do not understand human behavior, have a particularly prejudiced and bigoted view of what is "reasonable" for humans.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 7, 2010 04:57 PM

I finally got enough bandwidth to listen to Doc Plait's pontifications.
They unblocked you?

No, the guys who live in the room with the server finally stopped streaming movies and went to bed.

Now all I have to do is hang around until the power cuts out...

Posted by: BillT at September 7, 2010 05:07 PM

the guys who live in the room with the server

Since they live there, they got a dead man's switch in case of overrun right?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 7, 2010 05:10 PM

Another kind of dogma.

The fact that people "self-select" to call themselves skeptics and to voluntarily join an organization, is data that says nothing. What people interpret from the data, says everything. Data is not the Koran. In the sense that one person's interpretations of it, make it the Sole and Absolute truth. The Koran isn't data, either. It's interpretation. Just evil interpretation.

The Tooth Fairy is exciting in the sense that Global Warming is exciting as it enriches Al Gore and lets environmental criminals get away with "pardons" if they invest money in the "right groups". Put X under a pillow and get something for it? Of course it's radically different and inferior to guilty humans putting money in Green stocks and getting a pardon to crap over the environment the rest of us have to live in. At least the child'll run out of teeth. The human won't ever run out of money for bribes. Guess which one they think is superior. And they think it, because they are ignorant of human behavior.

There are numerous things he says in the speech which I would stop him there and challenge him on. Too numerous. Speaking to the choir, obviously. But I'm not in his choir.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 7, 2010 05:13 PM

Question for the day: do skeptics ever doubt the value of skepticism?

Posted by: Cassandra at September 7, 2010 02:13 PM

Maybe.

AFW, I just want Mr. H. to answer the questions about the laws of physics. He didn't discover them; they were always there, which is why earth hasn't gone spinning off into the Void of Space or gone nova.

When he can tell me who Made the Laws of Physics,
then we might have a dialogue.

I agree with you..he is smug. But what I find vastly amusing about the Unbearable Rightness of his Being, is that Scripture has salient scientific points.

Posted by: Cricket at September 7, 2010 07:00 PM

Let's just say I'm a little skeptical of some of Plait's assumptions. It would appear that he believes that if there were no religions the human race would never have had so much warfare. My sole question is: What is your evidence of this?

On the other hand I can name a dozen reasons people have used to excuse warfare that had no ties to religion. Empire, resources, territory, are just a few.

Posted by: Allen at September 7, 2010 07:37 PM

These Utopians believe that a better world can come from sublimating humanity to a technocracy of reasoned and rational rulers.

Doesn't really work, if only because these Utopians have no idea how to build a functional society that provides security and economic prosperity.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 8, 2010 07:12 AM

These Utopians believe that a better world can come from sublimating humanity to a technocracy of reasoned and rational rulers. I think one thing these folks miss is that what they're looking for is, essentially, a return of man to his original state of nature--just with better science and technology. However, as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, et al., recognized so long ago, human existence in that state of nature was, umm, Hobbesian: we were born in terror; lived short, brutish lives; and died alone and in misery. With the social contract and the creation of our first employee--a government--we gained a chance to live longer and less brutishly. With God, we get to avoid the terror of our beginning and the solitary misery of our end. And we didn't have to create Him (look at the imperfections of our varied descriptions of Him to see the outcome of such a creation); He has always been around, looking after us in the way we need at the time.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 8, 2010 08:29 AM

Like everything else, skepticism has it's place. For example, conspiracy theorists. In fact, just about every conspiracy theorist I've ever met happened to be an atheist (or at least an agnostic). It's just one belief filling the void left by another. But I'm eternally grateful to Popular Mechanics for writing the definitive article on 9/11 and the collapse of the twin towers. Mind you, I do not really believe they'll ever convince everyone that the US government wasn't behind it, but at least they helped.

Or what about Gorbal Worming? It's not like most here aren't skeptical of that. I disagree in the strongest terms with Ymar's statement that skepticism is a Leftist movement. Skepticism as a movement may be irreligious. But many of them fight against the ideas of AGW just as hard as they do against faith. Is that a Leftist stance? Or a stance any Leftist would take?

I do NOT agree with all of the beliefs espoused by the good doctor in the video. And yet, his core point remains valid REGARDLESS of if we're talking about convincing someone their religion is wrong, or that aliens are not among us, or that AGW is politically motivated anti-Capitalist bunk, or anything else... DON'T BE A DICK.

Posted by: MikeD at September 8, 2010 10:16 AM

I agree that skepticism is a very valuable way of looking at the world--whether philosophically, scientifically, religiously, or etc-ly. This is the stuff of organized, objective inspection and introspection, and progress. However, what Dr Plait seems to be espousing is not so much skepticism as a technique of enquiry, so much as Skepticism as a belief system. Nothing wrong with that, either, but I view Skepticism with, umm, skepticism.

In fact, just about every conspiracy theorist I've ever met happened to be an atheist (or at least an agnostic). Umm, well, I think the geologic record demonstrates that Aliens are out there throwing rocks at Earth every time we act like we're evolving an intelligence....

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 8, 2010 11:38 AM

Oh, I know some fundamentalist Christians who are great believers in conspiracy theories.

Posted by: htom at September 8, 2010 11:47 AM

Heh. He'd have more cred if he actually practiced what he preaches...

Posted by: BillT at September 8, 2010 12:08 PM

But many of them fight against the ideas of AGW just as hard as they do against faith.

it's no different from the Feminist movement, the civil rights movement, or early unions of teachers.

Once contaminated with the Left and its interests, they inevitably turn sooner or later.

Feminists fought long and hard for equal rights and choice for women. Now their movement fights to ban female choice (Sarah Palin) and female prosperity and forbids women from leaving the plantation. It's not as if they didn't succeed. They succeeded and thus was doomed due to their success.

If skepticism as a movement isn't fully controlled by the Left, it is only precisely because it is not popular. If it becomes popular and widely accepted, then it will be fully co-opted.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 9, 2010 12:02 AM

Is that a Leftist stance? Or a stance any Leftist would take?

Alinsky tactics necessarily mean that the community will accept as solid and socially agreeable the things the Left lies about. So the Left has no problem deceiving average people into thinking the Left is for "X". X could be poverty elimination, getting blacks off the plantation, or "equal rights".

All of that, coming from the Left, are simply lies. They're not honest. They don't tell you what their real intentions are. A Leftist can take any stance, and you won't even know it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 9, 2010 12:05 AM

DON'T BE A DICK.

Leftists are also, coincidentally, vulgar and prone to using profanity and intensity as substitutes for truth.

They, fallaciously, mistake intensity for truth. I don't care if the good Doctor wants to argue that intensity isn't truth. he should just be more consistent about it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 9, 2010 12:07 AM

Ymar,

I think this may need to be the last time I converse with you. When you make statements like:

Leftists are also, coincidentally, vulgar and prone to using profanity and intensity as substitutes for truth.

The implication is that Right-wingers do not. If you can HONESTLY tell me that you do not believe those on the right are guilty of, or capable of the same behavior then you are delusional. Otherwise I will need to accept as fact that you are so very hyper-partisan that you are perfectly willing to un-equivocally state untruths as facts merely to score points for "your side".

If you believe that all on the Right are clean-mouthed, never-vulgar, always respectful and otherwise always nice people, you've never in your life spent time in or around a military barracks. I will confess that I never was pure as the driven snow when I entered the Army. Basic Training ended whatever non-vulgar verbal impulse control I managed to build prior to it. There's a reason Bill's stories are "TINS" rather than "Once upon a time"'s. One's a war story, the other is a fairy tale. What in the world did you think the "S" in that formulation stood for? Does that make Bill a Leftist? Or how about the military spawned acronym "FUBAR". Or "SNAFU".

I apologize for the hijack. I think I need a time out.

Posted by: MikeD at September 9, 2010 09:13 AM

The implication is that Right-wingers do not

If you want to talk about right wingers go ahead. But don't assume I am just because you see an implication somewhere. The subject is the Left and this organization. Let it remain as it is, uncomplicated by human side routes.

Don't make me call you on red herrings.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 9, 2010 09:41 AM

There's a reason Bill's stories are "TINS" rather than "Once upon a time"'s.

So now we're talking about Bill. Whose comments I have read on and off for more than 2 years even. Trying to convince me he is vulgar or uses profanity, is rather hard. If only because the evidence of my eyes attest to it not. This argument is more fit for you to argue with Bill that he's being vulgar with TINS than with me. I have never made the claim and it's a useless one for my purposes besides.

Or how about the military spawned acronym "FUBAR". Or "SNAFU".

The reason why they have acronyms is to avoid the full spelling.

You got an issue with so called right wingers and their vulgarity, take it up with them. Has nothing to do with me.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 9, 2010 09:46 AM

If you believe that all on the Right are clean-mouthed, never-vulgar, always respectful and otherwise always nice people...

...then you obviously haven't been reading VC for long :p

I do try to be clean mouthed, never vulgar, respectful, nice. But I sometimes fail to live up to my own standards.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 9, 2010 10:36 AM

If you can HONESTLY tell me that you do not believe those on the right are guilty of, or capable of the same behavior then you are delusional.

The good doctor up above in the video noticed that his members were being wild, vulgar, crazy, hostile, and insulting in debates or discussions concerning the topics the Skeptic Lobby group concerns themselves with.

Now the Good Doctor suggests that this isn't the best way to convince people. And he said that this doesn't make them strong. Passion, he said, was good and often useful, just like anger, but he noted that one should not allow anger to dictate all their actions.

The Good Doctor is correct to rein in the minions, so to speak. But the Good Doctor's mistake is that he mistook intensity for truth. He prefaced his speech by saying that people are not convinced by the truth, setting up the corollary that the arguments of his People are passionate, angry, and insulting, but also true in the objective sense. That the reason people don't listen, is not because it is untrue but rather true things people find negative.

It was not true in the objective sense. In point of fact, those members stopped being "critical thinkers" the moment they started "feeling" and letting "emotions" dictate their behavior.

Intensity is not truth. Mistaking it is a serious mistake on a lot of people's part.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 9, 2010 12:37 PM

"I do try to be clean mouthed, never vulgar, respectful, nice. But I sometimes fail to live up to my own standards."

*raises hand, opens mouth to speak*
Um....*ducking under flying marmoset*....well....*dodging flung trivet*....there was that one time....*jumping back from swinging yard stick*....and the crab cakes....*TWHAP*...Hey! No throwing high heels!!
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at September 9, 2010 03:38 PM

"If you believe that all on the Right are clean-mouthed, never-vulgar, always respectful and otherwise always nice people...

...then you obviously haven't been reading VC for long :p

I do try to be clean mouthed, never vulgar, respectful, nice. But I sometimes fail to live up to my own standards.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 9, 2010 10:36 AM

Maybe so, but I can't recall a single time when I've ever though your conduct exceeded the boundaries of that of a lady. Nope, not in any form or fashion.

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The comment does not in any manner purport to reflect the opinion of anyone else either living, dead, or in an otherwise indeterminate state of non-awareness.
The comment was paid for by The Son's of Attila Political Action Committee in cooperation with the For the ChildrenĀ® Global Threat Awareness Trust. =================================================

Posted by: bthun at September 9, 2010 07:00 PM

Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly. That said, I feel nothing over the death of merceneries. They aren't in Iraq because of orders, or because they are there trying to help the people make Iraq a better place. They are there to wage war for profit. Screw them.

One guess who said that.

And he's lying, of course. If he felt nothing for them or their deaths, he wouldn't say "screw em". He would say "forget this" or "this doesn't matter" or "this has no import positive or negative". But "screw em" is a negative diction sourced from some kind of negative emotion.

Intensity is truth for the Left. Whether they feel great Love for Obama or great hatreds for your family, they believe that this emotion is the same as Truth. But it isn't.

Emotion is not truth. It is only a factor. A thing. An observation. A feeling, even. Data, but not necessarily interpretation of data.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 10, 2010 08:54 AM

And certainly not correct interpretation of the datum.

then you are delusional. Otherwise I will need to accept as fact that you are so very hyper-partisan that you are perfectly willing to un-equivocally state untruths as facts merely to score points for "your side".

I don't feel any emotions when I see this. Objective judgment, analysis, and thinking always requires a firm control of one's emotions. But there's a finite difference between Not Feeling anything and feeling something but keeping it in control.

MikeD, you don't need a time out. You need the latter.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at September 10, 2010 09:08 AM

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