Creationism sub-thread

For the serious discussion of weighty matters and worldly issues. No off-topic posts allowed.

Moderators: Azrael, Moderators General, Prelates

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:18 pm UTC

Silence effectively ends a conversation. You can't discuss if no one responds. It doesn't require the phrase fuck off. It's that simple. Conditionals don't matter. The form is of the type, if you disagree with this fuck off. With the implied, if you don't we can continue.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Oct 04, 2015 7:43 pm UTC

Okay, yes, I see that I was wrong to imply that it might be productive to continue the conversation. Enjoy nitpicking your dogpile for as long as it lasts.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
krogoth
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:58 pm UTC
Location: Australia

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby krogoth » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:37 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
krogoth wrote:That creationism is demonstrably wrong? Astronomy, Geology, Archaeology, Biology, to name a few sciences give a consensus to it being wrong.
I agree, but the point is moot. I can believe that the moon is made of green cheese if I so desire. Science isn't law. And if what you can demonstrate meant anything then there wouldn't be Creationists in the first place. And quite frankly you would play hell demonstrating anything. What you really mean is that people that the major portion of the public will never see have gathered data and done experiments leading to conclusions about how things have occurred over geologic time.

I'm going to go back to this, and show how easy it is to explain and demonstrate the universe is older than 6000 years, and how easy it is to test if someone wants to. If you want believe in bullshit and spout it you can continue to do that, I'm just offering to show the truth is demonstrable to common folk even if you reject that claim.

In year 12, I had an astronomy elective, we know the speed of light, it's used in GPS, this isn't disputed afaik, using the parallax effect the same way sight works for 3d vision: It's where you know the distance between two angles of a triangle and work out the distance to the 3rd angle, not excessively hard math. we can calculate the distances to stars at close to 300 light years away (light travels one light year in a year, if you didn't know), then this gives us a measuring stick to work out other methods for more distant stars, we can catalog their spectrum,(the type of light they put out) to tell if it's similar to a known star on our measuring stick, then we can use work out how bight it is compared to a star on out measuring stick to work out the distance.

Maybe I could make it simpler :
We make a catalog of stars by calculating the distance they move over a period of time as the earth revolves around the sun, in the same way you can work out how far a tree on a hill is as you drive past it. We then categorize by spectrum(light it emits), that is unique to the type of star, and it's brightness at it's distance, Then we just find stars that a farther away and work out how far they are by comparing them to a similar close star and using the difference in brightness.

We have a local observatory here you could even do most of it at, they offer night time supervised use of the telescope at a small cost $16 an adult not sure how long they give you(weather permitting), & at the least they can show how it's done, show you the data they collect and how/if it matches other people around the world.

Don't tell me it's hard, we know people are lazy.
morriswalters wrote:The law doesn't forbid it because it's dangerous, it forbids it because of the Constitutions establishment clause. Which prevents it from expressing any opinion at all.

Where I'm from teachers will comment on it simply if requested. We teach what is demonstrably true, to facilitate the growth of knowledge of the students. Creationism, sometimes sold as ID, has no demonstrable truth. So that's why it's not taught. It does demonstrable harm to people who want to go into the sciences to teach them that god created everything some 6k years ago. Failed tests, failed classes/grades, poor critical thinking skills are all detriments that Creationism cause, It is demonstrably harmful and false.
R3sistance - I don't care at all for the ignorance spreading done by many and to the best of my abilities I try to correct this as much as I can, but I know and understand that even I can not be completely honest, truthful and factual all of the time.

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:43 am UTC

I wrote a long post and then deleted it. It occurred to me that I was wasting my time. Your post was funny however. The most amusing part was where you questioned my knowledge of the value of c. I should have dropped out of Engineering school sooner, and not wasted my time taking all that Math and Physics and learning all those physical constants.

Were I going to demonstrate it I would take them to a museum and show them some dino's. The Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington has some good ones. If that didn't work I would take them to a limestone fossil bed below the dam at the Falls of the Ohio. Really beautiful fossils. Millions of them. Either should be sufficient.

However since their trusted authorities are magical they won't believe me. God did it. From your point of view they are dangerous, and quite frankly I'm tired of disputing it. However if you ever get to Louisville visit the Falls of the Ohio Interpretive Center. It would convince any rational person.

User avatar
krogoth
Posts: 411
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:58 pm UTC
Location: Australia

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby krogoth » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:28 am UTC

It wasn't written to convince you, it was written to explain how I would convince them.

Fossils fail in my opinion because as you correctly said proving to a lay person a rock is as old as it is, is difficult. But the distant light problem can be written out fairly clearly, and some simple diagrams show either the distant stars have been there a while or their god is deliberately deceptive.

What should convince you that it is detrimental/dangerous to believe these things, is the demonstration that believing in a young earth means not trusting in critical thinking, that for some reason while science can provide you genetic proof of ancestry, the same models can't be used for species. Creationism is the idea that the method that can be used to get from one end of the block to the other would be insufficient to get to the other side of the continent. You know it's false you just wont accept that it's detrimental to teach it to people because you can't see the issues it causes them, or the affect of it causing them to effect others in demonstrable dangerous ways because they fail to have any critical thinking skills.

If you believe in creationism, you will reject answers that are based on not just evolution but all of science.
AIG. quote:
"No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record. "

Stop teaching evolution and we might run out of vaccines, plagues of antibiotic resistant bacteria, viruses and parasites,Not like they can evolve right? Can't breed High yeld crops, or alter them for disease resistance since they were made perfect as God planned 6000y ago, and we can't go changing them. Yep you are right nothing demonstrably disastrously dangerous could ever from from teaching YEC.
R3sistance - I don't care at all for the ignorance spreading done by many and to the best of my abilities I try to correct this as much as I can, but I know and understand that even I can not be completely honest, truthful and factual all of the time.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:50 pm UTC

Okay, I'm not going to touch the "dangerous" or "good of humanity" items anymore, but there really is something I really do want to really understand about the alternate reality bubble that fundamentalist Christians have created for themselves in the US in recent years. I'm taking as an assumption that fundamentalism, creationism, and strict social conservatism are closely enough linked to be effectively the same phenomenon.

I understand confirmation bias, and I understand that an us-vs.-them mentality helps it along; I know that I experience both of these things. I know that where those of us on the outside think of confirmation bias either as a potential for mistake or a vice, there are doctrinal threads in Christianity that allow fundamentalists to see it as a virtue in its own right. I know that similarly, there is an expectation and pressure that those of us on the outside temper us-vs.-them sentiments, and that Christian groups can be convinced that they're under active persecution or otherworldly attack.

The most fundamentalist groups also associate change with decay and believe or say they believe that the world is ending sometime soon, so there's no notion of social progress, period - society will get worse until it ends. I'm even aware that people under active active threat are more likely to lean conservative in survey questions than people who are not, like, give two people the same political survey and put a snake in one of the test rooms....

The thing I feel I'm understanding less is the role of all the actual preaching. I've been seeing a bit of it lately, as I'm staying with my creatioservamentalist grandmother, largely because I walk through the living room and it's on the television. There's of course an impressive range of flavors, from people making theological arguments about irrelevant arcana to people giving motivational speeches about how to be a nice person with some God sprinkled over the top, and some lovely hate-filled, terrified, fat old white men screaming about the dangers of drugs and homosexuality in between. It's hard not to notice that the anecdotes and "I don't remember where I heard this but"s that are usually offered as evidence for the various claims made wouldn't qualify as such, and it's astounded me on occasion that the theologically-leaning guys seem just as likely as the others to take a particular verse of scripture out in obvious contradiction to its context to claim as ironclad evidence for a particular point. (Understand, I do know that there are respectable Christian theologians, but not on this continent.)

I feel like there are two things that keep hitting me about all of this. One is the weak nod to the concept of supporting evidence - sure, okay, it's disingenuous, it is not the process by which the speaker came to the conclusion he's using it to support, but I keep asking myself how much work it's actually doing. Neither the speaker nor the uncritical recipient needs it, and a critical recipient wouldn't be convinced. It's like there's this whole world of rhetorical exchange completely devoid of the check provided by critical auditors. I guess I see what this tactic is for, how it functions, how it's an inoculation and things. I just didn't expect to see so much of it. Like, I honestly think of intellectual dishonesty as an actual fault of character, and a pretty serious one. So far, I really-actually think it's a base requirement. It seems like one thing to say that an institution is fundamentally wrong, and another to say that all of the people involved are fundamentally bad people. I'm being convinced of the latter and having difficulty reconciling that.

The other thing that I find myself thinking about all of this is, I'm trying to sort out what secular institutions exist where we expect to be told something we already agree with and have it affirmed, and receive that affirmation uncritically. I think we do quite a lot of that through narrative - overtly in Christmas movies and less overtly in all of the others - but very rarely through naked statements in the speaker's own voice. There are certainly things that come close to sermonizing and use all of the same techniques and mechanisms, like motivational speakers, but that's still not a weekly program with pervasive community attachments. Understandably, I've always been critical of such things and associated them with religion, and I think it's not unhealthy if we are averse to them otherwise, even if we partly make up the deficit, for good and for ill, in narrative forms. But I feel like that's a naive assumption to make in the first place. Is there something really obvious I'm overlooking (fish don't see the water and things) where secular society does indulge in that kind of overt, periodic, uncritically received norm-setting? Or would I be right to think that that's unique to the religious tangle?
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1484
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Quercus » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:56 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Is there something really obvious I'm overlooking (fish don't see the water and things) where secular society does indulge in that kind of overt, periodic, uncritically received norm-setting? Or would I be right to think that that's unique to the religious tangle?

I'm not sure about the periodic part, but there's certainly a lot of (usually) uncritically received pretty overt norm-setting in secular society, and they can indeed be quite hard to notice if you fit into those norms. I'm not sure if this is the sort of thing you mean, but here are some examples:

  • Certain articles and styles of clothing are inherently gendered.
  • Romantic relationships are only ever between two people (except if one or both of them is cheating)

Those are the two most obvious that I notice, and I pretty much never see them challenged outside of specific spaces that exist, in part, in order to challenge them, others that are starting to get challenged more often include:

  • All people experience romantic and sexual attraction
  • All people are either straight or gay
  • All people are either male or female

That's a pretty biased list, based on what is most obvious to me because of who I am and who my friends are, but it might serve as a jumping off point.

I do think there is a difference in how open people tend to be to push-back on such norms in secular vs religious contexts. It also tends to be less explicit in secular contexts - it's not, "these are the norms, they are right and good and you should follow them", it's more "here is a load of stuff based on these assumptions, because these assumptions describe everyone, right?"

I'll acknowledge that I don't have much experience with (traditional) religion, and also that I'm of course approaching this with a whole load of privileges and associated biases that are going to limit my perspective on it.

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:24 pm UTC

The question you might ask yourself, is if you have ever been exposed to a truly secular society?

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1484
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Quercus » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:39 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Like, I honestly think of intellectual dishonesty as an actual fault of character, and a pretty serious one. So far, I really-actually think it's a base requirement. It seems like one thing to say that an institution is fundamentally wrong, and another to say that all of the people involved are fundamentally bad people. I'm being convinced of the latter and having difficulty reconciling that.

I think on this point that it's important to recognise that, for many people, fundamentalist religious belief comes, at least partially, from a place of fear - fear of uncertainty, of the unknown, or the other, of death, of lack-of-love, lack-of-control, lack-of-meaning. Those are some pretty deep fears for most of us, including me, so it's not that surprising that some people find it more comfortable to live with some intellectually dishonest thinking than to confront these fears.

User avatar
Sizik
Posts: 1123
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:48 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Sizik » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:43 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Is there something really obvious I'm overlooking (fish don't see the water and things) where secular society does indulge in that kind of overt, periodic, uncritically received norm-setting? Or would I be right to think that that's unique to the religious tangle?


Politics, perhaps? Anything where you have two diametrically opposed sides where each believes that their viewpoints are right and the other's are wrong (e.g. feminists vs. MRAs on the internet).
gmalivuk wrote:
King Author wrote:If space (rather, distance) is an illusion, it'd be possible for one meta-me to experience both body's sensory inputs.
Yes. And if wishes were horses, wishing wells would fill up very quickly with drowned horses.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:20 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Okay? They're dangerous. They can cease being dangerous, if they wish.
I don't live with snakes, I kill them. They can't be different then what they are. If YEC's are truly dangerous I would do what I do with snakes. I wouldn't want them next door, ever. The list of humans that I consider dangerous is also the list of humans I have no compunction with pulling the switch on, the day they come up for execution. We currently label people as sex offenders and put them in a shadow world were the punishment never really ends. And we do so because we consider them dangerous. Labels count.


That is...not the only possible response to danger.

Maybe your definition of dangerous or your reaction is perhaps disconnected from the norm, but normally one does not wish everyone they consider dangerous put to death.

I certainly am not advocating for putting anyone to death here. That would be a really bad response.

morriswalters wrote:
Quercus wrote:That's a very, well, binary definition of dangerous, and I would argue, not a very useful one.
This isn't about reality is it? Labels are shortcuts, like the label faggot. They aren't chosen to accurately portray the target. They paint a picture. So while while labeling a YEC as dangerous may have an element of truth, in terms of what they might accomplish, that isn't the point is it? What you are attempting to do is to paint an easy picture, one that is desirable to your goal. You want the binary, even though it is a lie. So dangerous works. They do the same thing.


I do not. I want the accuracy. The binary view you propose is less accurate, not more so. It is undesirable, and a wild mischaracterization of the objections most people have to creationism.

You are prioritizing feelings over accuracy, and this is the consistent thread of your argument. You're arguing about how they will inevitibly feel, from a ridiculously extreme viewpoint. If someone DOES hold such a ridiculous viewpoint(which seems rare and/or unlikely), that is only further evidence that they are dangerous, because a view of "all groups dangerous to me should be killed" is...pretty goddamned dangerous. Maybe dial that shit down a notch.

Copper Bezel wrote:Like, I honestly think of intellectual dishonesty as an actual fault of character, and a pretty serious one. So far, I really-actually think it's a base requirement. It seems like one thing to say that an institution is fundamentally wrong, and another to say that all of the people involved are fundamentally bad people. I'm being convinced of the latter and having difficulty reconciling that.?


Sure. It's not necessarily *all*, of course. One must give a certain degree of latitude to the children being brought up in this culture, as they don't yet have as much experience to realize that it's crap. But...at a certain point, when you knowingly set out to deceive others, yeah. You're kind of a bad person at that point. It is difficult for me to describe the concept of creationism without indicting the people that actively push it, at least. Sure, there's people that don't really think about it, and just don't bother...they're sort of on the fringe, not so actively engaged. But, if you're actively avoiding evidence, and trying to force falsehood on people, ehhh. It's certainly not a good act.

As for your larger question, nah, it's not unique to religion. I direct you to the arena of politics. Yes, there is a layer on top, where people at least attempt to use data and logic to devise a self-consistent methodology to approaching things and what not. This is roughly the equivalent of the serious, respectful theologians in the religious community. They exist. They are few. Underneath there is a seething mass of something else entirely, that relies on memes, associations, truthy invented anecdotes, and so on.

It's not entirely unique to religion, but some religious factions truly embrace it.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:38 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:The question you might ask yourself, is if you have ever been exposed to a truly secular society?

Any other inherently fuzzy words you'd like to question the meaning of? Why stop there? I'm sure you could make some hay out of "norms" or "uncritical" or "clothing" or something.

Quercus wrote:I'm not sure about the periodic part, but there's certainly a lot of (usually) uncritically received pretty overt norm-setting in secular society, and they can indeed be quite hard to notice if you fit into those norms.

True. I guess I'm thinking more about the activity than the goal of setting those norms themselves - society obviously has a panoply of taboos and prescriptive formulas. I imagine that any one person accepts and enacts the vast majority unconsciously, notices a minority and values them as virtues or cultural or personal identity, and takes issue with a tiny remaining fraction where they contradict what that person wants to do or be.

Partly, I'm looking at, say, the My Little Pony forum community I'm a part of and my grandmother's church, and considering in what ways these communities resemble or differ. Both expect a weekly message that is very likely to be an affirmation of shared, preexisting beliefs. I was beginning to think that secular society still resists having that kind of message presented without at least the guise of humor or narrative, but then Tyndmyr and Sizik pointed out the obvious thing that I was being oblivious to.

The broader point you're making, that there are plenty of non-obvious judgements we uncritically receive and repeat regardless of any religious flavoring, is certainly among the most important things to keep in mind when considering a topic like this one.

Sizik wrote:Politics, perhaps? Anything where you have two diametrically opposed sides where each believes that their viewpoints are right and the other's are wrong (e.g. feminists vs. MRAs on the internet).

Tyndmyr wrote:As for your larger question, nah, it's not unique to religion. I direct you to the arena of politics. Yes, there is a layer on top, where people at least attempt to use data and logic to devise a self-consistent methodology to approaching things and what not. This is roughly the equivalent of the serious, respectful theologians in the religious community. They exist. They are few. Underneath there is a seething mass of something else entirely, that relies on memes, associations, truthy invented anecdotes, and so on.

It's not entirely unique to religion, but some religious factions truly embrace it.

True. And people frequently cluster around particular mouthpieces for those philosophies, too. This really does make a very close resemblance to the way religious groups operate, and it's not at all difficult to see how they could end up overlapping the way they do in the US.

Quercus wrote:I think on this point that it's important to recognise that, for many people, fundamentalist religious belief comes, at least partially, from a place of fear - fear of uncertainty, of the unknown, or the other, of death, of lack-of-love, lack-of-control, lack-of-meaning. Those are some pretty deep fears for most of us, including me, so it's not that surprising that some people find it more comfortable to live with some intellectually dishonest thinking than to confront these fears.

Fair point. I mean, for a lot of people, the absolute first function of religion is to reduce anxieties about death or cosmic insignificance, and people stepping out of a particular faith tradition often have a lot of emotional adjusting to do on those points. Which kinda reflects back on the "defensive" or "defense mechanism" discussion earlier in the thread, because it's very possible that the whole stack is really a protective emotional barrier against asking difficult questions or accepting difficult conclusions. And if I'm honest with myself, I have to say that that doesn't help me not judge, because that immune reaction to disquieting realities is something I find distasteful regardless of whether religion is involved, too.

Tyndmyr wrote:Sure. It's not necessarily *all*, of course. One must give a certain degree of latitude to the children being brought up in this culture, as they don't yet have as much experience to realize that it's crap. But...at a certain point, when you knowingly set out to deceive others, yeah. You're kind of a bad person at that point. It is difficult for me to describe the concept of creationism without indicting the people that actively push it, at least. Sure, there's people that don't really think about it, and just don't bother...they're sort of on the fringe, not so actively engaged. But, if you're actively avoiding evidence, and trying to force falsehood on people, ehhh. It's certainly not a good act.

Yeah. Yeah, that's fair. And they're in an environment that encourages and rewards that kind of behavior and thinking, and those forces encourage a statistically higher proportion of that population to that particular moral deficit in the same way that poor and disenfranchised people are encouraged toward criminal activity and violence. If I can resolve that for myself and not be racist or classist, I should still be able to do the same for prejudice against religious people, even if I think they're prone to something I perceive as a fundamental fault of character.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:14 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:You are prioritizing feelings over accuracy, and this is the consistent thread of your argument. You're arguing about how they will inevitibly feel, from a ridiculously extreme viewpoint. If someone DOES hold such a ridiculous viewpoint(which seems rare and/or unlikely), that is only further evidence that they are dangerous, because a view of "all groups dangerous to me should be killed" is...pretty goddamned dangerous. Maybe dial that shit down a notch.
Would you prefer a list of things that have been defined as "dangerous" at one moment in time or another , among them Jews, gay people, young black males. And am not prioritizing feelings over accuracy. I'm making a observation about how the label dangerous is used. It's generally the first step in asking society to do something about it. And if you think violence associated with labels is all that rare I suggest you go to Serbia, Rwanda, and go look at some extremely amusing cages built around statues of some Indian politician who was also an "untouchable". While you're at it consider the way your fellow citizens treated other citizens who had the misfortune to be of Japanese descent after Pearl Harbor. They were dangerous as well.
Copper Bezel wrote:Any other inherently fuzzy words you'd like to question the meaning of? Why stop there? I'm sure you could make some hay out of "norms" or "uncritical" or "clothing" or something.
There is nothing fuzzy about it. Assuming you live in the US you are literally drenched in Christen culture, almost from the moment of birth. In the language, literature and film. The Pledge of Allegiance, the Founders used it to justify their rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And of course the First Amendment. It may be secular one day, but not today. Having said that, it wasn't what I was pointing out. Given that what I said is true, and you are welcome to disagree, then you should understand how deeply embedded in your makeup that non secular part is. Your morals, your opinion about almost everything, is influenced it.

mcd001
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:27 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby mcd001 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:21 pm UTC

I'm revisiting this thread after several days absence, and catching up on the shit-storm currently raining down on morriswalters. As I recall, the whole thing started when mw suggested that people might want to moderate their dealings with the YEC crowd, because we still have to live together when all is said and done. It was an argument against a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners style, and it seemed like reasonable advice to me.

All the venom being directed at him now serves to underscore his original point.

User avatar
LaserGuy
Posts: 4300
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:31 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I feel like there are two things that keep hitting me about all of this. One is the weak nod to the concept of supporting evidence - sure, okay, it's disingenuous, it is not the process by which the speaker came to the conclusion he's using it to support, but I keep asking myself how much work it's actually doing. Neither the speaker nor the uncritical recipient needs it, and a critical recipient wouldn't be convinced. It's like there's this whole world of rhetorical exchange completely devoid of the check provided by critical auditors. I guess I see what this tactic is for, how it functions, how it's an inoculation and things. I just didn't expect to see so much of it. Like, I honestly think of intellectual dishonesty as an actual fault of character, and a pretty serious one. So far, I really-actually think it's a base requirement. It seems like one thing to say that an institution is fundamentally wrong, and another to say that all of the people involved are fundamentally bad people. I'm being convinced of the latter and having difficulty reconciling that.


A couple things to be mindful of here. One is that I strongly suspect that most people talking about creationism/ID/whatever have not done the homework. The arguments that they present are, by and large, developed by a few specific meme factories (eg. Answers in Genesis, Foundation for Thought and Ethics, Discovery Institute), and these ideas are disseminated through various networks to a broader audience who simply repeats them. Now, in some sense, this isn't that much different from how things happen in most other fields, even in science, ideas are propagated similarly through journals and conferences or whatever, to lay people who largely just read it off of websites or pop-science books, but there's a difference in the sense that scientific results are (ideally at least), independently validated and self-correcting. It's worth remembering that religion in general, and fundamentalist Christianity in particular, is hugely dependent on appeal to authority. The Scriptures (and, to a lesser extent, pastors and other church leaders) are seen as the ultimate authority on subjects, and the believers are expected and trained to take their word on things uncritically. This spills into creation/evolution debates in interesting ways, namely that creationists often focus a lot of attention on Darwin and his writings specifically, looking for errors or contradictions there, whereas scientists who work in the field are unlikely to reference these early works directly (and may not have ever read them), since they've been superseded by modern works, and are pretty willing to accept that there are specific things in Darwin's works that are inaccurate based on what we know now.

The other thing that I find myself thinking about all of this is, I'm trying to sort out what secular institutions exist where we expect to be told something we already agree with and have it affirmed, and receive that affirmation uncritically. I think we do quite a lot of that through narrative - overtly in Christmas movies and less overtly in all of the others - but very rarely through naked statements in the speaker's own voice. There are certainly things that come close to sermonizing and use all of the same techniques and mechanisms, like motivational speakers, but that's still not a weekly program with pervasive community attachments. Understandably, I've always been critical of such things and associated them with religion, and I think it's not unhealthy if we are averse to them otherwise, even if we partly make up the deficit, for good and for ill, in narrative forms. But I feel like that's a naive assumption to make in the first place. Is there something really obvious I'm overlooking (fish don't see the water and things) where secular society does indulge in that kind of overt, periodic, uncritically received norm-setting? Or would I be right to think that that's unique to the religious tangle?


News and politics are probably the most obvious examples. Particularly in the arena of, say, foreign policy, domestic, mainstream news outlets tend to give a flattering and biased view of their own country. For example, the coverage on the Ukraine crisis is very, very different if you compare American sources (who overwhelmingly adopt the White House's "blame Putin for everything" line) to European sources.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:56 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:You are prioritizing feelings over accuracy, and this is the consistent thread of your argument. You're arguing about how they will inevitibly feel, from a ridiculously extreme viewpoint. If someone DOES hold such a ridiculous viewpoint(which seems rare and/or unlikely), that is only further evidence that they are dangerous, because a view of "all groups dangerous to me should be killed" is...pretty goddamned dangerous. Maybe dial that shit down a notch.
Would you prefer a list of things that have been defined as "dangerous" at one moment in time or another , among them Jews, gay people, young black males. And am not prioritizing feelings over accuracy. I'm making a observation about how the label dangerous is used. It's generally the first step in asking society to do something about it. And if you think violence associated with labels is all that rare I suggest you go to Serbia, Rwanda, and go look at some extremely amusing cages built around statues of some Indian politician who was also an "untouchable". While you're at it consider the way your fellow citizens treated other citizens who had the misfortune to be of Japanese descent after Pearl Harbor. They were dangerous as well.


So, since someone, at some point, used a word wrong, it is now impossible to use the word correctly?

Or do you have some actual data you'd like to use to compare modern day treatment of christianity with persecuted minorities?

mcd001 wrote:I'm revisiting this thread after several days absence, and catching up on the shit-storm currently raining down on morriswalters. As I recall, the whole thing started when mw suggested that people might want to moderate their dealings with the YEC crowd, because we still have to live together when all is said and done. It was an argument against a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners style, and it seemed like reasonable advice to me.

All the venom being directed at him now serves to underscore his original point.


No. Nobody is arguing for scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, save when morris suggested that anyone or anything dangerous ought to be killed.

Other folks are discussing more moderate things, like awareness, and being willing to call out dangerous ideas for what they are. This is significantly less extreme.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25399
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:09 pm UTC

Yeah, the fact that "dangerous" has been misapplied doesn't mean it's never the correct word to use.

Jewish people are not dangerous, but Nazis are, and no quantity of examples of "dangerous" being misused in anti-Semitic propaganda will ever convince me it isn't a totally apt and justified label to attach to Nazis.

Obviously most fundamentalist Christians are not white supremacists (though the overlap is disproportionate), but the point remains: Past misuses of "dangerous" aren't enough to demonstrate that any present use is mistaken. Sure, take care when to apply the word, but the people in this thread sticking to it for YECs have already taken care to explain their reasoning.

The word can be used to oppress harmless groups, and that's bad, but it can also be used to keep harmful groups in check, and that's good.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:37 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:So, since someone, at some point, used a word wrong, it is now impossible to use the word correctly?
I don't know. The only way to know is if you are put in the position to be able to exert power, something you currently don't have.
Tyndmyr wrote:No. Nobody is arguing for scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, save when morris suggested that anyone or anything dangerous ought to be killed.
Here I believe is the quote.
morriswalters wrote:I don't live with snakes, I kill them. They can't be different then what they are. If YEC's are truly dangerous I would do what I do with snakes. I wouldn't want them next door, ever. The list of humans that I consider dangerous is also the list of humans I have no compunction with pulling the switch on, the day they come up for execution.
It's a little more complex than what you infer. If you were to label a person as dangerous, would you live next door to them. Say John Wayne Gacy? And in the next sentence I mentioned another group that is labeled dangerous. Sex offenders. Exactly how do we treat them? Again this is all about relative power. If it came to it and you had the power, how would the label change? Not what can you do now.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:39 pm UTC

mcd001 wrote:I'm revisiting this thread after several days absence, and catching up on the shit-storm currently raining down on morriswalters. As I recall, the whole thing started when mw suggested that people might want to moderate their dealings with the YEC crowd, because we still have to live together when all is said and done. It was an argument against a scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners style, and it seemed like reasonable advice to me.

All the venom being directed at him now serves to underscore his original point.

Tyndmyr wrote:No. Nobody is arguing for scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, save when morris suggested that anyone or anything dangerous ought to be killed.

Other folks are discussing more moderate things, like awareness, and being willing to call out dangerous ideas for what they are. This is significantly less extreme.

I remain unconvinced that morriswalters has any substantive difference with anyone in the thread. If he has any opinions on the subject, he might well consider stating them, rather than, say, trying to convince gmal that he's afraid of pit bulls or redefining randomly selected words from the dictionary. My venom for him is wholly in response to his behavior.

LaserGuy wrote:News and politics are probably the most obvious examples. Particularly in the arena of, say, foreign policy, domestic, mainstream news outlets tend to give a flattering and biased view of their own country. For example, the coverage on the Ukraine crisis is very, very different if you compare American sources (who overwhelmingly adopt the White House's "blame Putin for everything" line) to European sources.

Good point. I might very well be giving mainstream society far too much credit for capacity for skepticism.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:40 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:So, since someone, at some point, used a word wrong, it is now impossible to use the word correctly?
I don't know. The only way to know is if you are put in the position to be able to exert power, something you currently don't have.


Wait...the only way...to know if a word can be used correctly...is if the speaker is in power? What the actual fuck?

Tyndmyr wrote:No. Nobody is arguing for scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, save when morris suggested that anyone or anything dangerous ought to be killed.
Here I believe is the quote.
morriswalters wrote:I don't live with snakes, I kill them. They can't be different then what they are. If YEC's are truly dangerous I would do what I do with snakes. I wouldn't want them next door, ever. The list of humans that I consider dangerous is also the list of humans I have no compunction with pulling the switch on, the day they come up for execution.
It's a little more complex than what you infer. If you were to label a person as dangerous, would you live next door to them. Say John Wayne Gacy? And in the next sentence I mentioned another group that is labeled dangerous. Sex offenders. Exactly how do we treat them? Again this is all about relative power. If it came to it and you had the power, how would the label change? Not what can you do now.


I do not, in fact, strive to live next to creationists, and learning that a community is stuffed to the gills with them would put me off. And that's considering that I don't have kids...those worried about schools would be likely to have even more rational concerns than I. I simply don't want to deal with them.

This is very different than applying your snake-standard. Nor would I wish the snake standard if I had arbitrary levels of power. That...doesn't even make sense.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:49 pm UTC

I like that the new definition for "dangerous" assumes the existence of rightful application of capital punishment. That sure makes it significantly less useful on a board where said practice is very likely to have less than majority support.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:13 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I like that the new definition for "dangerous" assumes the existence of rightful application of capital punishment. That sure makes it significantly less useful on a board where said practice is very likely to have less than majority support.
Yes, I've already moved past the no one should ever be executed phase. And if you support it than I suggest that you should be a pacifist. But that argument for another thread. And I wouldn't participate. Otherwise the label dangerous has no true connection to the word dangerous.
gmalivuk wrote:Past misuses of "dangerous" aren't enough to demonstrate that any present use is mistaken.
In point of fact that label is being used every day somewhere. It's very human. And some of the targets are dangerous. ISIS for example. I believe we are bombing the hell out of them. Israel believes Iran is dangerous, and you should be secure in your belief that they will start killing Iranians if they think they are moving into the neighborhood. And certainly the Nazi's were dangerous, and we proceeded to kill them, in gross lots. Surely you can see a trend.

@Copper Bezel
I hate to disappoint you but I have some really big differences with some of the crap presented here, although I have probably put up my share. And while YEC's are morons, I find for the most part that they are reasonably decent people. Not all by any stretch, but a lot. If I had kids in school they would almost certainly go to private schools, maybe Catholic or possibly a Christian School were no Catholic Schools available. Mainly because in a majority of cases the parents are committed, even if misguided. I could correct the deficiencies of those schools if I needed to, but since the secular world only pays lip service to education you go where you can.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:55 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:I hate to disappoint you but I have some really big differences with some of the crap presented here, although I have probably put up my share.

Communication is generally seen as a skill of delivering a message and having it received. The arbitrary redefinitions are definitely the thing that you've made your priority in the thread. There was the "dangerous" thing, there was the "science is not demonstrable" thing, which was about redefining "demonstrable" and "obvious," and you tried the same thing with "secular" just a bit ago. Any difference of opinion on the concrete referents seems to me to be lost in the noise you've created. Forcing other participants to accept your personal definitions and the values and assessments they're based upon does not help you to communicate your position in the material thing at hand being discussed. You flat pretend not to understand people when they don't use words the way you would prefer them to. There is no reason for others to accept wholesale your terms and frame for the discussion, and you engage in the discussion only so far as others do, except to argue for those frames and definitions.

You've put up a lot of words, and you probably have some opinions, some of which could be extracted, with some great care, from the arguments you've been making not about them. You've contributed next to nothing.

Let's take your point about "secular society." That is a term with a clear denotation - it has an understood and concrete referent. It's also a loaded term with some rather thick assumptions.

The question you might ask yourself, is if you have ever been exposed to a truly secular society?

Now, I didn't specify that there was anything "truly" secular about the society in question - I used it in the perfectly mundane sense of "outside of explicitly religious contexts," which is in fact what the word bloody means. But it does have all those nasty hidden assumptions in that are very well worth taking note of; a word that means "outside the church" does imply more than is probably warranted that it's possible to actually be outside of one in the US, and certainly to isolate a space from it. Can't help picturing neutrino detectors here.

There is nothing fuzzy about it. Assuming you live in the US you are literally drenched in Christen culture, almost from the moment of birth. In the language, literature and film. The Pledge of Allegiance, the Founders used it to justify their rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And of course the First Amendment. It may be secular one day, but not today.

So this is obviously true, but not obvious enough not to bear noting. Since the question I was asking was very clearly referring to something like "social contexts outside of explicitly religious ones", we could very well decide to call that domain "chartreuse" instead for the remainder of the discussion if we liked. But maybe there's some deeper reason for making this point?

Having said that, it wasn't what I was pointing out. Given that what I said is true, and you are welcome to disagree, then you should understand how deeply embedded in your makeup that non secular part is. Your morals, your opinion about almost everything, is influenced it.

But this is instead where we've most completely parted company with the context of your complaint. The question I'd asked was what norming pathways existed outside of religious contexts that might work in the same way. I'm expecting "secular" society to look more like the church and looking for evidence of a particular thing that seems not to translate. Your rebuttal is that I should expect "secular" society to look more like the church. Um, thanks?

I'm not making the assumption necessarily that that comes from religious influence, and if you are, that's a difference worth discussing. LaserGuy's comments seem to assume that slightly more. There might be substantive disagreement on the question. Personally, I kinda tend to think that whatever behaviors religious doublethink encourages, the pathways are quite natural to the participants, or it wouldn't be so damn popular in the first place. But we can't have that discussion if we're talking about why you object to all of the words in it.

So far as I can see, that's been happening quite a lot in this thread. You have said things like this:

My point has been all along that you don't engender trust of these people by calling them dangerous. You engender trust by being patient not letting it become a name calling contest. But I get it that people here don't want to engender trust with Creationists.

I'll admit that I do differ with this. I don't see "dangerous" as name-calling, and if I were addressing a YEC advocate and somehow got around to the subject of why YEC is dangerous, I don't see that that would automatically be a name-calling contest, either. I'm presently interacting on the daily with a lot of people who are YEC, and I haven't been reduced to shouting at them in the street just yet, or in fact discussed the issue at all. In concrete terms, that sounds a fair bit like your solution so far.

I don't see any benefit in calling them dangerous to their face or any hazard in being discovered to have called them dangerous on the internet. This group in particular don't have any reservations about calling gays dangerous and worse when they assume they're among friends, so I'm not creating any particular asymmetry with them here; we've already established that they will make enemies out of opponents regardless of justification, so reducing the justification even further yields some seriously diminishing returns. But I think the more important thing is that I don't know how to bridge any such gap with them, and there's no advantage in raising the issue at all. I also can't well turn around and opt to use inaccurate terminology when they're not even present to be offended. Pretending and playing along is a situational necessity, not a unilateral moral choice. When it's not necessary, I'm going to prefer to be accurate.

Obviously, since the word "dangerous" refers to an entirely different concept for you than it does for me and others in this thread, and since we've established that quite clearly, I recognize that that is not a word you would opt to use for them or think accurate and even necessary in such a context, but hope you'll extend the courtesy not to reinterpret the preceding paragraph in accordance with your private metric for the term. I am using it because I feel it is the correct term, but that's premised on that it does not always mean, imply, or evoke "as dangerous as ISIS", or "worthy of summary execution."

I think this is another reasonably substantive difference:
morriswalters wrote:I don't have to live with the next generation.

Like capital punishment, I get the sense that this enlightened-self-interest-centered philosophy is something you probably feel is self-evident on its face and not worth talking about, regardless of its status as the premise of this or that argument that you're making. I do prefer to take a broader view; there are people that I care about, and there are people who will exist in the future whom I would care about if I had the opportunity, whose lives will be directly influenced by events in our lifetimes. I like history and would be very unsatisfied if the universe were to end with my experience of it. I'm not even sure if that has a direct bearing on the main argument here, but I do think it implies that I would be more inclined to accept some temporary unhappiness for better results in the longer term. As I've said, I'm still more or less at a loss for how to actually achieve any results with YEC proponents at all.

But extending less tolerance in mainstream society to beliefs and actions resulting from that complex, being unapologetic in referring to the reality of the uncomfortable facts that they reject (evolution, the existence of gay people, sex ed, whatever you like,) continuing to force them into a voluntary segregation to protect themselves from the harsh light of day - I know that those are things that played some big roles in my deprogramming, and I'm pretty confident they'll have some decent results in the longer term. No part of that plan requires establishing any trust. (Or breaking it, in particular; I only want to break the people.) So I do have some reason to be inclined to be unashamed of unpleasant accuracy in the general case.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25399
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:17 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:I like that the new definition for "dangerous" assumes the existence of rightful application of capital punishment. That sure makes it significantly less useful on a board where said practice is very likely to have less than majority support.
Yes, I've already moved past the no one should ever be executed phase. And if you support it than I suggest that you should be a pacifist. But that argument for another thread. And I wouldn't participate. Otherwise the label dangerous has no true connection to the word dangerous.
To your bizarre redefinition of the word, you mean.

No one cares or is talking about your position on capital punishment. The point is that you're claiming that in order to be using the word "dangerous" correctly, a person *must* be okay with executing any and all "dangerous" criminals. Which is not true of the majority of this forum or indeed the majority of people in the English-speaking world (i.e. the people who might use the word "dangerous").
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:05 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:But this is instead where we've most completely parted company with the context of your complaint. The question I'd asked was what norming pathways existed outside of religious contexts that might work in the same way. I'm expecting "secular" society to look more like the church and looking for evidence of a particular thing that seems not to translate. Your rebuttal is that I should expect "secular" society to look more like the church. Um, thanks?
Secular society shares precisely the same structure as Religious society. My observation of human society shows me the same structures doing the same tasks, with different naming conventions. The differences lie in trust authorities. Who do you believe? Not in what you believe. So all norming pathways are exactly alike in function. I'm sorry that there isn't anything to see.

Take the idea of demonstrating that the Universe is older than 6000 years. The problems lies in the trust authorities. If you assume a supernatural being with unlimited ability to alter reality, the the distance that light travels in a year has nothing to do with undoing the assumption that the Universe was created 6000 years ago. The basic assumption that God can alter reality at will, makes the speed of light irrelevant. And any demonstration involving it moot.
Copper Bezel wrote:I'll admit that I do differ with this. I don't see "dangerous" as name-calling, and if I were addressing a YEC advocate and somehow got around to the subject of why YEC is dangerous, I don't see that that would automatically be a name-calling contest, either. I'm presently interacting on the daily with a lot of people who are YEC, and I haven't been reduced to shouting at them in the street just yet, or in fact discussed the issue at all.
The interesting part of that quote is that you haven't discussed the issue at all. Which you then follow with this.
Copper Bezel wrote:Pretending and playing along is a situational necessity, not a unilateral moral choice.
I translate that as when there is no social cost. Fair enough.
Copper Bezel wrote:I am using it because I feel it is the correct term, but that's premised on that it does not always mean, imply, or evoke "as dangerous as ISIS", or "worthy of summary execution."
Unfortunately we pick words in rhetoric to evoke responses. The path from your version of dangerous to "as dangerous as ISIS" to "worthy of summary execution" is fairly linear and has nothing to do with your personal predilections. As reasonable as your use of the word is, once it leaves your mouth you have no further control over it. And your statement "Pretending and playing along is a situational necessity" acknowledges that.
gmalivuk wrote:The point is that you're claiming that in order to be using the word "dangerous" correctly, a person *must* be okay with executing any and all "dangerous" criminals.
Sorry, no. What I am claiming is that the word dangerous has connotations, and that it is used for exactly that reason. On capital punishment I said,
And if you support it(the ban) than I suggest that you should be a pacifist.
Portion in parentheses added. I should have been clearer and stated it explicitly . My apologies.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25399
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:38 pm UTC

You were (and are) being wrong, not unclear.

I know what you meant by "it". But not only is that not true (someone can logically consistently be against capital punishment while still acknowledging that violence is sometimes necessary in other situations), it's separate from the point.

You said you'd be find with the death of anyone you'd call "dangerous", and you said it in a way suggesting that's the correct understanding of "dangerous" and that anyone who feels differently is misusing it.

Which is nonsense.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:53 pm UTC

Yeah, let's be clear here. Throwing extra controversial bullshit into the middle of an entirely unrelated topic as a premise is generally frowned upon, mostly because it's unconstructive and leads to derails. By itself in another thread in another lifetime, I'd say it was a bit of an own goal. In context of your behavior otherwise in the thread, mw, it's entirely consistent with the goals I actually see you pursuing.

morriswalters wrote:My observation of human society shows me the same structures doing the same tasks, with different naming conventions. The differences lie in trust authorities. Who do you believe? Not in what you believe. So all norming pathways are exactly alike in function. I'm sorry that there isn't anything to see.

Except that they're most definitely not precisely alike in function, and much of the discussion is precisely about looking for similarities and differences. You can (and do) claim that the differences are superficial, but that is a claim that requires evidence in support. Again, explaining your evidence would be incomparably more productive than taking condescending snipes at people who have not insulted you (I fully recognize and embrace that I am not among that number) and attempting to derail into nonsense semantic games.

Unfortunately we pick words in rhetoric to evoke responses. The path from your version of dangerous to "as dangerous as ISIS" to "worthy of summary execution" is fairly linear and has nothing to do with your personal predilections. As reasonable as your use of the word is, once it leaves your mouth you have no further control over it. And your statement "Pretending and playing along is a situational necessity" acknowledges that.

A game you could play with literally any other word you choose, and have with several others getting here. Language has nuance. Point of fact, the prime hazard of using dangerous words like "dangerous" is idiotic arguments on the internet about the choice.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:26 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:I like that the new definition for "dangerous" assumes the existence of rightful application of capital punishment. That sure makes it significantly less useful on a board where said practice is very likely to have less than majority support.
Yes, I've already moved past the no one should ever be executed phase. And if you support it than I suggest that you should be a pacifist. But that argument for another thread. And I wouldn't participate. Otherwise the label dangerous has no true connection to the word dangerous.


So, you object to language meaning what it does. Fine, go tilt at windmills somewhere. But understand that none of us communicating using this word are using your made up definition for "dangerous".

If you have actual solutions to creationism you'd like to put forward, cheers, do so. "not calling them dangerous" is not a solution, really. It's just arguing over a word.

Also, I note that picking which authority to trust is not the only potential conflict. Me, I like falisifiability, and am inherently suspicious of fully generalizable arguments, which can be used to explain anything. "god is faking evidence without limit to deceive me" is a pretty big whopper. It fails falsifiability hard. It could also be used to support all manner of other ideas about what has "really" happened. Therefore, I view it as very unpersuasive, regardless of the identity of the noun you associate with it.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5093
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby ucim » Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:36 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Secular society shares precisely the same structure as Religious society. [...] The differences lie in trust authorities. [...] Take the idea of demonstrating that the Universe is older than 6000 years. The problems lies in the trust authorities. If you assume a supernatural being...
... but if you do not assume a supernatural being, but instead assume that the universe is comprehensible and runs by logical rules that can be discovered through a process of hypothesis and experimental verification (or rebuttal), then there is no "trust authority". You might, for convenience, choose to trust the results of a scientific community because some of the experiments are difficult or expensive, but you could do your own experiments to verify or rebut the accepted dogma, or join with somebody else to perform them. Indeed, this is done constantly, and is how science advances. It is how (for example) cold fusion was discovered. And then refuted.

To the extent that you can't do everything, sure, tentatively trust the word of others. But this is not an inherent property of science, whereas it is an inherent property of religion.

morriswalters wrote:Unfortunately we pick words in rhetoric to evoke responses.
Some people pick words to convey information, or to elicit information. It's disingenuous to try to "evoke responses" under the guise of "providing information". That's the difference between (say) the Journal of Geophysical Research and the National Enquirer.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:26 pm UTC

ucim wrote:To the extent that you can't do everything, sure, tentatively trust the word of others. But this is not an inherent property of science, whereas it is an inherent property of religion.
Yes I know. I didn't say YEC's were smart, I simply objected to using dangerous to define them. And I am having a severe case of buyers remorse at this moment in time but I'm too stupid to quit. However if you want to start a thread were we discuss limiting the rights of people I consider to be not smart I promise to not participate.
Tyndmyr wrote:Also, I note that picking which authority to trust is not the only potential conflict. Me, I like falisifiability, and am inherently suspicious of fully generalizable arguments, which can be used to explain anything. "god is faking evidence without limit to deceive me" is a pretty big whopper. It fails falsifiability hard. It could also be used to support all manner of other ideas about what has "really" happened. Therefore, I view it as very unpersuasive, regardless of the identity of the noun you associate with it.
Okay. The authority you are using is science. If you felt otherwise I would be shocked. And we agree. So what? This argument has nothing to do with what is true or false. Remind me of the part where the Scientific Method is enshrined in the constitution?
Copper Bezel wrote:A game you could play with literally any other word you choose, and have with several others getting here. Language has nuance. Point of fact, the prime hazard of using dangerous words like "dangerous" is idiotic arguments on the internet about the choice.
But we aren't discussing any other word. And neither do I intend to write a PHD thesis on the construction of human social structures. Look at how all large organizations are structured. And how leaders are selected within them. Under what conditions the people low in the structure are promoted and moved towards the top. This is the easiest. I suggest that the process is the same in the Vatican and Ford Motor Company once stripped of the symbolism. Or for that matter the Chinese Communist Party. Their are a limited number of ways to do any function that humans need to do. And who is more foolish, the idiot or the one who argues with him?
gmalivuk wrote:You said you'd be find with the death of anyone you'd call "dangerous", and you said it in a way suggesting that's the correct understanding of "dangerous" and that anyone who feels differently is misusing it.
I assume you mean fine and not find. And if I truly believed your were dangerous to me I might well kill you. The argument is commonly used on this fora by supporters of handguns and the right to self defense. In point of fact we have a plethora of people whom we define as dangerous. Some we kill. Some we avoid or label so we can avoid them. Others we lock up. If they are young and black we might just shoot them from the perceived danger if they point a toy gun at us. Never have I chosen to live by anyone classified as dangerous. However if you can tell me that you would with a straight face then who am I to disagree.

In terms of executions, I am unsurprised that you don't get it.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:48 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Also, I note that picking which authority to trust is not the only potential conflict. Me, I like falisifiability, and am inherently suspicious of fully generalizable arguments, which can be used to explain anything. "god is faking evidence without limit to deceive me" is a pretty big whopper. It fails falsifiability hard. It could also be used to support all manner of other ideas about what has "really" happened. Therefore, I view it as very unpersuasive, regardless of the identity of the noun you associate with it.
Okay. The authority you are using is science. If you felt otherwise I would be shocked. And we agree. So what? This argument has nothing to do with what is true or false. Remind me of the part where the Scientific Method is enshrined in the constitution?


No. Science is not an authority. Science is a method. It happens to be a method that produces results, and thus, is useful. I prefer methods that work over those that don't, because actual reliable results are awesome.

I do not have to believe any particular person to say, verify global warming exists. You can duplicate tests for yourself. Sure, practicality limits everyone redoing every test, but if enough people are testing enough things, I can pretty easily rule out most stuff as "obviously works" or "obvious bullshit" with a high degree of confidence.

This is nothing like believing the bible because magic sky-god wrote it, totes for real.

I assume you mean fine and not find. And if I truly believed your were dangerous to me I might well kill you. The argument is commonly used on this fora by supporters of handguns and the right to self defense. In point of fact we have a plethora of people whom we define as dangerous. Some we kill. Some we avoid or label so we can avoid them. Others we lock up. If they are young and black we might just shoot them from the perceived danger if they point a toy gun at us. Never have I chosen to live by anyone classified as dangerous. However if you can tell me that you would with a straight face then who am I to disagree.

In terms of executions, I am unsurprised that you don't get it.


If this is your serious understanding of danger, then yeah, you should probably not own a handgun until you get a grasp on basic risk management.

"Shoot everyone who might be dangerous in any way" is not actually something you should do, and is not supported by law. It's also not really a popular theory advanced by any group. If you think it is, you might be seriously misunderstanding some words in addition to your wild redefinition of danger.

When people talk about self defense, we mean against credible threats of imminent bodily harm. Trying to somehow conflate a self defense argument with creationism is just frigging strange. They're not the same thing at all.

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2315
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:10 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:And who is more foolish, the idiot or the one who argues with him?

Believe me, I am profoundly aware that I'm not acting in my own best interests by continuing to participate in this conversation you've occupied, as I think I've previously hinted.

But we aren't discussing any other word. And neither do I intend to write a PHD thesis on the construction of human social structures. Look at how all large organizations are structured. And how leaders are selected within them. Under what conditions the people low in the structure are promoted and moved towards the top. This is the easiest. I suggest that the process is the same in the Vatican and Ford Motor Company once stripped of the symbolism. Or for that matter the Chinese Communist Party. Their are a limited number of ways to do any function that humans need to do.

Organizational advancement would be a new angle. It is not the context of the original comment. I'm not sure how far to follow this particular alien space squid, considering that the question I asked that started this tangent constitutes a concession or qualifier in relation to any argument I could have been said to be making there, so you're asking me to prove myself wrong for you (slightly more directly than has been the case otherwise, I mean.) If you look solely at social dynamics, the philosophies and standards for evidence and so on do not change the shape of the dynamics in broad strokes, no. I mean, you have to actively exclude the one to really meaningfully discuss the other. That doesn't make it a meaningless question to ask "what is the secular analog for [thing]" - in fact, it's the reason a person would ask such a question - and that is in fact the form of question I was asking in the first place.

Tyndmyr wrote:No. Science is not an authority. Science is a method. It happens to be a method that produces results, and thus, is useful. I prefer methods that work over those that don't, because actual reliable results are awesome.

Ech, "science" is a label for all sorts of things. If I say "new science reveals [x]", the word means "knowledge." If I say "science doesn't allow special pleading for [x]," I'm talking about a method. If I refer to the "scientific consensus is that [x]," I'm talking about an authority, and in particularly sloppy or thrifty writing, I might say "science says [x]" for the same meaning. Let's not encourage the false equivalence between religion and science by making them opposing things. It's much harder for a troll to say "but 'my assessment of the best evidence available' is just another authority lulz", because it stops even superficially resembling a sensible statement.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25399
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:27 pm UTC

We kill people in self defense if we deem them to present a clear and immediate danger to life or limb. That is not the only kind of danger that exists, as you well know. And you and I and pretty much every other person who has ever lived would be willing to live next to someone or something that is only a little bit dangerous if the benefits outweighed the danger. (Cities are more polluted and more criminal and also more convenient than rural areas, which is why most people live in or near cities.)

Even those who claim gays or racial minorities or people of a particular religion are dangerous are still generally content to live near them and do business with them and so on. They don't want those ideas to spread, but that isn't the same as wanting them all gone.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:56 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Believe me, I am profoundly aware that I'm not acting in my own best interests by continuing to participate in this conversation you've occupied, as I think I've previously hinted.
Then I will attempt to aid you.
gmalivuk wrote:We kill people in self defense if we deem them to present a clear and immediate danger to life or limb. That is not the only kind of danger that exists, as you well know. And you and I and pretty much every other person who has ever lived would be willing to live next to someone or something that is only a little bit dangerous if the benefits outweighed the danger. (Cities are more polluted and more criminal and also more convenient than rural areas, which is why most people live in or near cities.)

Even those who claim gays or racial minorities or people of a particular religion are dangerous are still generally content to live near them and do business with them and so on. They don't want those ideas to spread, but that isn't the same as wanting them all gone.
Yes I know you don't shoot everyone who is dangerous, we incarcerate about a million or so of them. For sex offenders we place them in perpetual punishment. We maintain no fly lists. And so on. No it isn't the only type of danger to exist. However in this discussion we aren't talking about pollution, we are talking about people. As to your last we worked fairly hard to get to that point and it wasn't always so. See Sundown Towns.
According to author Kate Kelly, "there were at least 10,000 'sundown towns' in the United States as late as the 1960s; in a 'sundown town' nonwhites had to leave the city limits by dusk, or they could be picked up by the police or worse. These towns were not limited to the South—they ranged from Levittown, N.Y., to Glendale, Calif., and included the majority of municipalities in Illinois."[8]
However I'll give it a rest.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 5093
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby ucim » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:40 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:The authority you are using is science.
Science (as used here) is not an "authority". It is a method. It is a method based on evidence that it works. Ok, "evidence that it works" is based on the idea that basing something on evidence that it works, works. If that's the rabbit hole you object to, there's no handle for discussion.

And sure, the word can be used to mean other things. That's an elephant. In this context, science is not an authority, whereas the Holy Book is, and the Constitution is.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:40 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:We kill people in self defense if we deem them to present a clear and immediate danger to life or limb. That is not the only kind of danger that exists, as you well know. And you and I and pretty much every other person who has ever lived would be willing to live next to someone or something that is only a little bit dangerous if the benefits outweighed the danger. (Cities are more polluted and more criminal and also more convenient than rural areas, which is why most people live in or near cities.)

Even those who claim gays or racial minorities or people of a particular religion are dangerous are still generally content to live near them and do business with them and so on. They don't want those ideas to spread, but that isn't the same as wanting them all gone.
Yes I know you don't shoot everyone who is dangerous, we incarcerate about a million or so of them. For sex offenders we place them in perpetual punishment. We maintain no fly lists. And so on. No it isn't the only type of danger to exist. However in this discussion we aren't talking about pollution, we are talking about people. As to your last we worked fairly hard to get to that point and it wasn't always so. See Sundown Towns.
According to author Kate Kelly, "there were at least 10,000 'sundown towns' in the United States as late as the 1960s; in a 'sundown town' nonwhites had to leave the city limits by dusk, or they could be picked up by the police or worse. These towns were not limited to the South—they ranged from Levittown, N.Y., to Glendale, Calif., and included the majority of municipalities in Illinois."[8]
However I'll give it a rest.


I seriously have to question the relevance of all these things you keep bringing up.

A. In general, nobody here is a fan of those things.
B. They have fuck-all to do with creationism.

So...where the hell are you going with this?

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 25399
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:58 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:We kill people in self defense if we deem them to present a clear and immediate danger to life or limb. That is not the only kind of danger that exists, as you well know. And you and I and pretty much every other person who has ever lived would be willing to live next to someone or something that is only a little bit dangerous if the benefits outweighed the danger. (Cities are more polluted and more criminal and also more convenient than rural areas, which is why most people live in or near cities.)
Yes I know you don't shoot everyone who is dangerous, we incarcerate about a million or so of them. For sex offenders we place them in perpetual punishment. We maintain no fly lists. And so on. No it isn't the only type of danger to exist. However in this discussion we aren't talking about pollution, we are talking about people.
Earlier you were talking about snakes and pit bulls. How am I supposed to know where you're going to draw the line from one post to the next? In any case, it's an analogy and I'm pretty sure you knew that.

Things and people alike present different levels of danger to us, and are therefore (by the definition everyone else uses) dangerous to different degrees. Most of these things and people are dangerous to a small enough degree that the benefit of avoiding or eliminating them isn't worth the effort and costs (in every sense of the word). I don't mind having creationist neighbors because most of the time they're not affecting me, but I would actively fight to have them keep their bullshit off the school board or any other powerful decision-making positions. Creationism is dangerous, even if creationists aren't all equally dangerous all the time.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:36 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Science (as used here) is not an "authority". It is a method. It is a method based on evidence that it works. Ok, "evidence that it works" is based on the idea that basing something on evidence that it works, works. If that's the rabbit hole you object to, there's no handle for discussion.
You can define it however you wish, I'll probably go with it. This isn't about me. From the standpoint of the general public Science is some kind of magical mystery thing that says their cousins are monkeys. I know the common belief here is that they are going out on the sidewalk and use their telescopes and spectroscopes to verify the distance to some closer stars. If that is true we have some very different neighbors. Then there are the people who have access to the journals and the labs and who take the time to do peer review. The last are true scientists, everyone else has a little knowledge and the belief that what they are told is correct. There are probably a lot of them here, but their presence here doesn't make them representative of the US or the world in general. So yeah, a lot of understanding of science is based on trust. And quite frankly the bulk of that knowledge isn't needed to do most jobs related to science. Or else Ben Carson couldn't exist.
gmalivuk wrote:I don't mind having creationist neighbors because most of the time they're not affecting me, but I would actively fight to have them keep their bullshit off the school board or any other powerful decision-making positions. Creationism is dangerous, even if creationists aren't all equally dangerous all the time.
As would I. But in the kind of fight you are talking about calling them dangerous becomes counter productive. It makes you look justified and mean spirited and it looks like an attack on them rather than their ideas. But I don't really care about that, labeling any human as dangerous is a last resort for me. I'm sorry I seem to be all over the place, generally when I get involved with this I'm talking to two or three people at a time without the benefit of notes or extended time for reflection. And this lack of focus is why I'm not an Engineer.
Tyndmyr wrote:I seriously have to question the relevance of all these things you keep bringing up.
Those two responses were to Gmalivuk as a partial rebuttal to the idea that we let people we consider dangerous live next door. However feel free to ignore it. I'll aid you with that.

Are the word police in the grass again? See if you can spot what got changed.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Are the word police in the grass again? See if you can spot what got changed.


Word police? Look, why are we playing "guess the change"? This seems a crappy game.

Also, it appears you are now attempting to define science as wrongly as possible. You do not need access to journals and labs to do science. It's handy, sure. However, journals are merely a publishing outlet for once the science has been done. Documenting your work is important, but it isn't essential for replication. Neither is a proper lab for many things.

It's also strange that you see labeling people as a last resort. For someone so quick to advocate wholesale killing, that seems a bit odd. Look, a label is just a label. If it's factual, what's the problem? Sure, labels can be used badly, but that doesn't make labeling things inherently evil always. We're not advocating the use of random slurs or anything, merely an acknowledgement that some degree of danger is presented. This is not a "last resort" type response. It's a reasonably moderate response.

If you avoid stating actual facts for fear of offending people, well...that is Basic Human Decency* by definition. You're more worried about maintaining the status quo than you are about being right.

Creationists are not overly worried about maintaining the status quo. They are actively campaigning to spread their ideology as much as possible, and have no qualms about insulting "evolutionists". They will cheerfully attribute all manners of evil to us in this fashion, facts be damned. So, why on earth would I want to abandon facts as well? So I can "live with" them? Why? I'm living fine right now, despite having, *gasp* used the word "dangerous". What actual change is enacted by avoiding this descriptor?

*I note that typically the right likes to levy these charges, but if we're going to be fair about it, this applies both ways.

morriswalters
Posts: 6505
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Creationism sub-thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:20 pm UTC

The word filter changed a word in my post, the word it was changed to was justified.


Return to “Serious Business”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests