"Atheism has a Richard Dawkins problem"

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Musika, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    Your magnanimity is duly noted.
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  3. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  5. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    I should note, as a matter of form, that we can easily criticize Musika's choice to pull you so directly into the present moment, but of the two parts to that, one is that it just never quite goes over well. Having said that, it's true your response at #141↑ was vague in that delightfully traditional way of Sciforums, and one of the interpretations thereof—which Musika accepted—is that you understood the content and meaning of #139↑. And accepting that interpretation is a risk that is easy enough to criticize, especially in wielding it as a jab, tacitly acknowledged in #177↑.

    And he's right about disagreement, too. I'm over three weeks delayed in scoffing at his take on American history, over in the theocracy discussion. Lots happened, since. I can't remember if the post sitting on my desktop is finished, or not, and I haven't taken the time to read through it.
  8. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    who owns the mind of a child to do with what they will ?
    i am not a theologen so bare with me here.
    something about flesh and soul etc...
    the flesh is weak ? or i own the soul or something-something... ? (im not asking you the question in its entirity as i realise those 13 words have a encyclopedia reference lol)

    ... like islamism or christianism or hinduism etc etc...
    racism rapism patriarchalism capitalism fascism communism...

    i think we need to look at what tools are in the tool box.
    what is the measuring stick ?
    what is th emotivator ?
    who is the benifactor ? is the benifactor hidden and exploitative ? open & facist ? etc...

    "rape-culture" is quite the current awareness.
    i wonder if association to male emotional construction is being hidden in the closet deliberately to avoid having to face the culture change to address gender role stereo typing of emotioanl archetypes.
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    It's not necessarily the question of owning the mind of the child. More directly, what I'm after is that once upon a time things went as they did. If we wish to speak of progress, there are ways it occurs, but think about how we get to the point of whatever you're describing as "target children to brainwash them" as an historical process. You are identifying, in targeting and brainwashing, within the standing and operating way of things. From a Sufi author:

    The members of all communities, including nations and whole civilisations, are infused with the prevailing ideologies of those communities. These, in turn, create attitudes of mind which include certain capacities and equally positively exclude others.

    The ideologies may be so ancient, so deep-seated or so subtle that they are not identified as such by the people at large. In this case they are often discerned only through a method of challenging them, asking questions about them or by comparing them with other communities.

    Such challenge, description, or questioning, often the questioning of assumptions, is what frequently enables a culture or a number of people from that culture to think in ways that have been closed to most of their fellows.

    ―Emir Ali Khan

    This is not an overnight process. What, for instance, would the laws look like to stop this behavior? And when in history would a society be capable of mustering such an iteration, and then we might start asking, compared to questions of data sets and subjective perspectives, the political realities, quantifiable and otherwise, of rooting the new perspective and consequences—i.e., logical implications, including downstream and double effects?

    In my lifetime, for instance, the brainwashing line would not necessarily have passed muster, as such; only cults did that, not real religions, or something approximately like that. Now it does. In some settings. More than it used to, but still, try that one on network television, and there might be some blowback, depending on the political weather in the moment. In truth, that's a lot better than it used to be. Over the course of that history, though, the implications of making it illegal for "church groups to target children to brain wash them" are rather quite vast, and as the ranges both targeting and brainwashing behavior expand, perhaps the question is best to wonder who does not see the inevitable problem.

    And we might speculate and argue about ranges and resolutions, but therein lies the question of when it should have become illegal. We can say it always should have been, but the question remains what it means compared to living circumstance and the historical record. When in history would, say, American legislatures, have addressed the problem to, as it is, your satisfaction?

    Why is it legal? Because the argument to make it illegal has not yet prevailed.

    Why not? People.

    What does that mean? Well, these things take a while. Seriously, you don't just challenge the implicit prejudices and expect entire societies to smack themselves on the forehead and say, "Oh, what fools we've been! Here, let us correct that obvious problem we have been far too stupid to notice!"

    Democracy has been around for how long? Why did the Athenians not vote for National Health? I think we're probably safe with hooting laughter and clinking pints at the absurdity of that question. More gravely, I'm uncertain what humanity was supposed to learn, but even more so the institutional capacity to learn, in the decade between what happened in Armenia and the thoroughly industrialized version spun up in Germany. On that point, I am more unsettled by our failure to learn since.

    And it is within a similar framework of humans as individuals and collectives, the institutions they form, and our questions of history, that we find what you're asking. One of the most dangerous things about what is happening in the U.S. and other nations, with this far-right upwelling, is regression. We are losing some of the lessons we have been learning.

    Considering potential ranges of what we might mean by targeting and brainwashing, I do not expect the institutions could have accomplished what you're asking about.


    Khan, Emir Ali. "Sufi Activity." Sufi Thought and Action. Edited by Idries Shah. London: Octagon, 1990.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In your case, and that of the rest of the overt Abrahamic theists here, that "ineptitude" is what needs explanation.
    There's a pattern to it.
    It's the pattern behind the OP garbage - that semi-literate link in support of a Foxframing assertion that means less and less the more carefully one reads (There is no entity one can call "atheism" and assign a "problem" like that).

    What it looks like, under the fog and the insults, is that overt Abrahamic theists have a problem with scientific inquiry itself - especially in the biological fields, such as Dawkins's. And since their natural tactic in any disagreement is deniable personal attack - hundreds of examples on this forum alone - that's what they set up.
  11. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    In case you haven't noticed, I've pretty much given up on asking you to clarify or even expecting your posts to make sense on any substantial level. You've just blown it on too many successive occassions to make it worth the effort to even try and unpack your fevered madness.

    No doubt you will interpret this as evidence of your irrefutable position or as a sly manouver of the abrahamic fundie "if" using skydaddy theists subverting the yada yada, but your posts seem to be computer generated babble that orbits around the topics of american politics, your hatred of theism, a bizarre sort of PTSD triggered by the wotd "if" and the necessary repetition of the word "abrahamic" at a word count ratio of around 1:100 regardless of topic.
    If, by some miracle, you cut back on the terse obscurity to manage something on the radar of communication, its just a prelude to your unabridged madness, as any attempt to ask "what do you mean by that?" just sends you on a spiral down to the mysteries of your private, bitter world.

    I get it that people have different opinions, and different opinions can cause friction, but if that heat simply takes you outside the realm of interpersonal communication and into this weird internal "members-only" world of Iceaura-speak that challenges the ceiling of standard english and narrative, its not any more informative than what one can get for free from any street-dwelling crackhead tweaking at 4am in the morning. Aside from your general repetitive before mentioned topics of orbit, I'm pretty sure no one else has anything more than a remote clue on what threads of relevance you imagine you are bringing with each of your individual contributions.

    I haven't got you on ignore, but I wouldn't interpret that as meaning I read any more than four or so lines of your gibberish, should my eyes happen to encounter it.

    If any other members have the necessary skills in psychoanalysis or whatever to unpack anything you say, they are welcome to perform unto you the greatest charity by attempting to present abridged versions that clarify what you say, because clearly, for whatever reasons, you are not up to the task.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  12. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

    Wow! Post #139 condenses down to eleven words.

    It was addressed to sideshow, I think he knows where I was coming from, that's all that matters to me, I knew later from the following he did know.
    On the subject of Tiassa's style of posting. Is it only me that thinks Tiassa was being something of a hypocrite with the following reply to Rpenner about communicating in posts...

  13. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I don't know what to make of Tiassa. He seems to be a fairly bright fellow but without the ability to communicate.
  14. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    Horses to water, and all that.
  15. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    When dealing with people who are being willfuly silly, brevity is always a good approach.
    I mean, if you read all that, and say you can't find enough substance to pose a clarifying question or two, it seems you would have us believe you are more stupid than what you really are..
  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Yes, it was the failure to lead that I was talking about. The poor horse is left thinking, "What the hell are you on about?"
  17. Musika Last in Space Valued Senior Member

    If you are really thirsty, you can ask Tiassa a question or two.
    He won't bite.
  18. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    What's the point of asking questions if he doesn't make an effort to answer comprehensibly?
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Well, certainly, you can explain what you mean by that.
  20. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    I do not see Dawkins as a problem. I suppose if your goal was to go out and convert people to atheism that could be a problem, but that is not something that is important to me. I am an atheist but I do not have a problem with religion. I know several people that are devout and are nothing less than wonderful and admiral people. I wish that I was as good as those individuals. On the other hand there are religious people who want to do things like block science they do not like, or promote racism or kill people in the name of religion.

    The issue is simply that some people are rotten people, be they atheists or theists. Dawkins is a dick, I can just about guarantee that if he was religious he would be just as much a pain in the ass as he is now.
  21. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

    Well, you seem to go round the houses to say things, and in the process I, and it seems others, find it quiet easy to lose track of what your on about. It is also real odd how out of nowhere you can be real catty, as in your reply to Rpenner (my quote #189). It is one thing for members to be as such, but coming from a mod is another thing.
    Why did I use that quote? It was a reply to this:
    The quote (link in post #189) is an example of your style of posting on Sciforums.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Odd that you should provide an example.

    He is clearly talking about the article. You are clearly talking about the book. In addition to your note on which author is an atheist, there is also this.

    As to reactions, well, it's not like there isn't some history around here on that count. I recently had a couple critics tell me what my religion and holy scriptures are, so that it was easier for them to recite their screeds. And I recently found myself in a weird go-round our neighbor Musika likely finds amusing, in which an ostensibly atheistic advocate behaved like a religious provocateur trying to discredit atheism because the only discussion he will permit must necessarily attend his stations of discourse, and and has managed to achieve that low point of refusing evidence because he does not like what it says.

    I would suggest, however, Musika is being too provocative in the present: He is covering against a real behavioral phenomenon we can witness here at Sciforums, but in a context of disbelievers who care none if they trash their own identity label; they don't care what he's guarding against, except to pretend offense, and now have a hook upon which they might hang a bogus pretense of offense in order to skip out on discussing issues.

    And this is Sciforums: He damn well knows better than to provoke atheists by attending either science or conventional wisdom. There is an if/then in there, and the behavior is pretty reliable.

    Still, though, if that's not you, there is also a "don't worry about it" point that has something to do with the idea of other people and why Musika would need to tie one hand behind his back for anyone else's sake—e.g., yours, mine—in a manner that promotes fallacy and ignorance. That is, if he is in that guard covering against other people, neither you nor I need count ourselves among that group unless we perceive a particular need to.

    Sometimes, though, people throw in, anyway. I've seen this over and over, again. I've seen it in the Gay Fray, and discussions at the intersection of human rights and women. If you watch closely, it's all over American white supremacism; we just don't notice as much because we presuppose it, so as much as we might witness it, much of the behavior slides by unregistered because it's just part of what goes on. And with religion and contemporary atheism, there is a big-tent solidarity among some atheists that seems to prefer articles of faith over rational argument.

    Part of what it works out to is very nearly a Golden Bough story wrapped up in a bit about storytelling from Clive Barker. That is, "Nothing ever begins", as the artist notes, because "each age will want the tale told as if it were of its own making". And around here we can watch people rushing to cast themselves in the role of the slave, to seize the Golden Bough, and thus challenge the King of the Wood.

    In politics, the problem with revolutions is that they do not properly smash the state, but, rather, usurp it. The behavior Musika guards against is real; there are, of course, questions of who else wishes to count themselves among that number, and why. But I've had several discussions, recently, in which critics of religion—ostensibly atheistic, though one might have been a post-Christian provocateur—would appear to require that I play particular roles they have fashioned, so they can act out their argument according to ritual. One of the things these people do is assign religions; this seems at the heart of what Musika is trying to ward off by noting the article author is an atheist.

    And, again, if that's not you, then, sure, it might stand out as a strange guard, but for some who have witnessed and attended the behavior he guards against, the strange part is any pretense of expecting that effort to ward against misunderstanding to have any useful effect. Statistically speaking, the present marketplace suggests the line more likely to backfire than anything else. And no, that burden isn't all on him; in fact, most of it is on the people he's guarding against, and those who might throw in with them for the sake of identity politics.


    Barker, Clive. Weaveworld. New York: Poseidon, 1987.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You are attributing good faith and defensible purpose to a poster who has not posted in good faith or with defensible purpose.

    He is not, for example, "trying" to defend against people who assign religions - he is attempting to misrepresent and wrongfoot other people via that and other handy innuendo, and by that and other means avoid accountability for his personal attacks (the dominant content and apparent agenda of his posting entire).

    His only visible contribution here has been to malign and disparage and slander and so forth a few of those he has identified as the "scientific" wing of the political opposition to the theocratic agenda in the US - them, personally.
    His posting is largely bullshit, innuendo, dishonesty, deflection, and personal attack. That is of course "provocative", in its way - but that's not the usual objection to such posting.
    He is exhibiting a real behavioral phenomenon we can witness here at Sciforums*, and the cover that it has anything to do with "discussion" of "issues" was blown long, long ago.

    And to describe the other posters here - not Musika, but the rest - as the ones "skipping out on discussing issues" is bizarre. Have you been reading the guy's posts?

    "Atheism" does not have a "Richard Dawkins problem" in any sense recognized by Musika or anyone of his ilk. Any such problems are quite different. The OP of this thread is semi-literate and misleading garbage. Start there.

    *Usually put as a question by me, dozens of times: Why do essentially all of the overt Abrahamic theists who post on science forums post dishonestly and in bad faith?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018

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