Sunday, August 01, 2010

Good Morning: I was trying to decide on what to write about, there is just SO much that is fucked up and so little that I can do about most of it. I spend a fair amount of time at "Dispatches From The Culture Wars", Ed Brayton's site at ScienceBlogs and there's been a thread running for two days under the headline, "Sign at NOM Rally; "Kill the Gays". In that thread a number of bright, articulate, humorous and well read commenters have said their piece--I have also contributed.--and then, of course, the usual "defe nders of the faith" and an assortment of fuckwadtrolls have put forth their arguments, some coherently and some in the "Crayon on butcher paper" style of debate. It's a long thread, but it has some great stuff. This one, from earlier this morning, is as close as I get to the "polite discourse" of behavio, which I find so sadly lacking in our fucking culture.

(@ comment 253)

James Hanley:

This is from Wiki:

"Intellectual dishonesty is dishonesty in performing intellectual activities like thought or communication. Examples are: the advocacy of a position which the advocate knows or believes to be false or misleading the conscious omission of aspects of the truth known or believed to be relevant in the particular context. Rhetoric may be used to advance an agenda or to reinforce one's deeply held beliefs in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence.[1] If a person is aware of the evidence and agrees with the conclusion it portends, yet advocates a contradictory view, they commit intellectual dishonesty. If the person is unaware of the evidence, their position is ignorance, even if in agreement with the scientific conclusion. If the person is knowingly aware that there may be additional evidence but purposefully fails to check, and then acts as though the position is confirmed, this is also intellectual dishonesty. The terms intellectually dishonest and intellectual dishonesty are often used as rhetorical devices in a debate; the label invariably frames an opponent in a negative light. The phrase is also frequently used by orators when a debate foe or audience reaches a conclusion varying from the speaker's on a given subject. This appears mostly in debates or discussions of speculative, non-scientific issues, such as morality or policy." Not that Wiki is the most authoritative source, but I think it's close enough for what I think of Christian Cynic's style of debate on issues re: christianity. That I see it in that light certainly doesn't mean I'm correct, but it is, as is your opinion of the man, one I see buttressed by his words in the comment threads. I will also note that Christian Cynic does not spend a lot of time on the comment threads unless the issue in the thread is christianity. I defer to others (occassionally;)) in the face of superior knowledge. When it comes to factually deficient, woo based nonsense--whether it's flat earth theory, ID, other religious based foolishness or religions themselves I am firmly in favor of people holding whatever views they like (while I am NOT interested in reading/hearing them, generally). What I will never be in favor of is having arguments from those defending such things allowed the advantage of not having to admit that NONE of their precious religions (or those religions tenets, laws and practices) are justified by anything other than their own dogged belief in a supernatural agent--on (or more) who is invisible, unknowable and, apparently, irrationally capricious. I think that the majority of the non-trolls here understand that Mosaic Law was probably of some, or a great deal of, importance, in a time, the "Bronze Age", when rough justice and arbitrary rulemaking by those in power might well make the difference between a society thriving or dying out. That is no longer the case. When people like heddle and Christian Cynic defend the Wholly Babble as a masterwork by an omniscient GOD, while simultaneously saying that, of course "reasonable" christians don't follow the admonitions of The Book of Leviticus it rings hollow. Science is, and must be falsifiable; religious faith is not and cannot be falsifiable. To allow those whose arguments are "faith based" to act as if they are based in fact is unfairly advantageous to them. Most commenters here would laugh and point their fingers at anyone whose sole "evidence" rebutting the theory of AGW, the germ theory of disease, theoretical nuclear physics or any of a host of other real world fact based "theories" was that "GODDIDIT"--and we can't, by our nature, know his mind. This is exactly as it should be. I have no complaint with heddle, Christian Cynic or even the more than slightly deranged mroberts and his ilk holding onto and cherishing any beliefs that do not threaten me or the rest of society in their application. I have a huge problem with such beliefs when they are used to justify the withholding of rights from or the persecution or exclusion of other members of our society. I don't cut Republicans or Democrats slack when they say that folks like Sarah Palin or Charlie Rangel are outliers and, anyway, they would never act on any of their idiotic sociopathic ideas. When christians, other religious types or, indeed, unbelievers don't denounce the douchebags in their midst--particularly when said douchebags are well funded and have the tacit support of media or governing bodies they are being -best co-opted and, at worse, accessories to the acts of those douchebags.

Posted by: democommie August 1, 2010 10:11 AM

And that, folks, is the way I genuinely feel about those who stand mute in their churches or political meetings (at any level) and do not question or disagree with the elements of their congregation or caucus that are hateful, wrongheaded, deliberately indignorant "true believers". If there was a GOD, I would pray that he educate, elevate OR eliminate his most credulous followers--and the lying sacks of shit that egg them on. '


Bukko Boomeranger said...

After that thoughtful and heartfelt commentary, I wish I had something more intelligent to say than -- SQUIRREL MEAT SALE IN NORTH LONDON GROCER PROMPTS OUTRAGE!!!!!

Look, I don't seek these skewrlnooz items out. I hear about them from the glowing tube in the corner of the living room. And I have to let SOMEONE know...

democommie said...

Bukko Canukko:

Skwerl. It's not just for breakfast in the doublewide, anymore.

Bukko Boomeranger said...

In Jollye Olde Englande, they call those doublewides "caravans." They have restrictive gun laws there, so skwerl-craving chavs can't hunt their own and have to buy it at the shoppe. (Do you know about "chavs", the English slang term for anti-social urban rednecks? If you don't, Goggle "I hate chavs" for some snortingly funny snark)

But now to try and say something intelligent. (I had just finished a 12-hour midnight shift when I typed the above inanity, and my brain is loopier than usual after those...)

You mention not staying silent, educating people and speaking up for decency in your commentary. I try to do that one-on-one in person. All the blathering on blogs amounts to nothing, really. Either you're back-patting others in your echo chamber (which is fun and reassuring but ultimately changes nothing) or slinging zingers at unseen opponents whose minds are as made up as your own.

I get a lot of chances to preach at relative strangers at work, though. As an American in (now) two foreign lands, I get asked "Why are you here?" by patients, their family members, co-workers, nursing students, etc. Over the years, I've boiled my message down to a few quick points -- against the immorality of paying taxes to a war regime, and now how Obama is doing the same things as Bush did, only with a smart face instead of a simian smirk. (I don't say "simian smirk" though. "Looking like an idiot" works better.)

I make my pitch quick, three bullet points -- war, torture prisons and bailing out rich banks instead of helping the average people. I don't come off like a pedantic leftist. People hate pedants almost as much as they hate pederasts. And I don't get political with people who don't want to hear it. Someone's mom is suffering with terminal cancer pain, I know better than to launch into my patented rant.

Lately I've also been dropping the "peak oil" bomb on people. It's surprising that this, a fact that will change everyone's life before the 21st Century is even half-over, is a new concept to most folks.

I find that if you make political points succinctly, without jargon, people listen. There are lots of un-opinionated minds out there. (I benefit because I've been talking to Aussies and Canucks about American affairs, so it's relatively unploughed ground there.) I've also had polite debates with conservative-minded people, because most folks aren't as unhinged face-to-face as they are online.

Most of us will never been in a position to have a media soapbox and widespread attention. But we can still do our little bits of education, and speaking for decency, person to person. We are the grass roots, and I try to be a seed.

P.S. You would not believe the kinds of seed I seen for sale here in the land of "B.C. Bud"...

democommie said...

Bukko Cannukko:

I agree with you in most ways. I often have folks tell me that it's all the tax'n'spendliberohedonists' fault that our country is in the shitter and that doing away useless gumming programs and cutting taxes will usher in a new dawn of MerKKKin exceptionalism.

I find that much as I would like to offer reasonable discourse that they consider it to be a sign of sissifacation. Whereas, if I tell them that they are so full of shit that it's backed up to their larynx they leave me the fuck alone.

Bukko Boomeranger said...

Another thing that's good about Aussieland and Canuckistan is that people are mostly sane here. I almost NEVER meet people as crazy as those you mention. On the rare times I do, I sometimes have doctors' permission to sedate them using syringes with big needles. You can't believe the feeling of pleasure... said...


One of the reasons we attended (past tense, we're apostates now) our liberal Presbyterian church is that we weren't afraid to take a stand: like withholding money from the Presbytery when it stopped funding certain programs in favor of building new churches, and most importantly, supporting GLBT equality in the church. We also ordained several GLBT elders, which technically could have gotten our pastors fired and our congregation ousted from the PCUSA though I doubt that would have happened. I think the church was more worried about the money than the gay thing.

sharon said...

I like this quote, all the more so because the author is presumably Muslim, judging by is name.

“True religion invites us to become better people. False religion tells us that this has already occurred.” (Abdal-Hakim Murad)

democommie said...

Bukko Canukko, Southern Beale and Sharon:

Good points from all of you. I love the quote that Sharon put in her comment. It seems that an awfully lot of people think that saying that they're good christians (substitute the faith of your choice) makes them so.