Christopher Hitchens Dies, Age 62

As a 'fer instance (re: "supernaturalism"): name a few of the most prominent deniers of AGW--that is, the ones whose "denial" is not so much grounded in the spirit of scepticism as it is in, well, something other. Now, what do they hold most in common? Is it their curious brand of (say) Christianity, or is it their reverence for Ayn Rand, et al?
 
What? Really?

Fraggle Rocker said:

An academic definition? That was my own definition, and therefore somewhat colloquial. I attempted to extract the points that are salient to this argument.

Okay, an abstract definition. Like if you pointed to the problems of Stalinism, and I replied that Communism isn't a governmental philosophy. Technically, I would be correct; that's why Marx wasn't a Marxist. Like Marx's Capital, Smith's Wealth of Nations is simply what it is, an observation and critique.

This is the capitalism you seem to address when you write that, "'Capitalism' is nothing more or less than the management of the production process by private citizens."

I would tend to agree, but that is only an abstract argument. Functionally, "capitalism" is something far different in our society, and I think it would be rude of me to presume you ignorant of that fact. The practical definition of nearly anything is different from its abstract (academic, textbook, formal, metaphysical, &c.) definition. More classically expressed: The Platonic form of anything differs greatly from its practical reality.

On this occasion, your insistence on the Platonic form led your consideration in an exactly useless direction.

Hitchens was enough of a scholar to understand that capitalism is not a religion, so your point is unmade.

Actually that sounds like one of the best chest-thumping arguments I've ever heard from an evangelical anti-theist.

And I think, maybe, that's why the "atheism" movement that makes folks like Dawkins and the late Mr. Hitchens so important always manages to make itself a laughingstock: It's a neurotic symptom. Furthermore, I admit it's a hard thing to express in terms that I can expect someone who cannot tell the difference between Platonic forms and practical reality to understand.

Okay, that last is a bit of a jab, I admit, but it's true, it's one of those things that is so obvious that I have to consider carefully how to express it.

It just seems that evangelical atheists don't even know what they're after—

Certainly baseball, shopping, and various economic systems have a few similarities to religion, which is precisely why the metaphor makes sense. But that doesn't make them religions. To expand a discussion of religion, especially a highly critical one, to include things that have only a vague similarity to religion does not enhance the discussion. It's presumably possible (according to Hitchens and I concur although for me it's a hypothesis that has not been sufficiently tested) to identify the commonalities among all religions and use them as a basis for a scathing criticism of all of them. But we won't find all of those commonalities in baseball, shopping or capitalism (or communism, for that matter, which has a vaguely religious origin--a quote from the Book of Acts asserting that what a man takes from civilization need not correlate with what he gives back and reworked by Marx into his motto--and a vaguely religious cult, and caused as much damage to civilization as a religion, and is therefore slightly more deserving of the metaphor), so to attempt to include them in the harassment campaign would be self-defeating.

—because it's only about the behavior as long as God is involved.

The members of all communities, including nations and whole civilisations, are infused with the prevailing ideologies of those communities. These, in turn, create attitueds 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

Do you really—really—believe that if you actually manage to eliminate "God" from the discussion, people still won't find practical ways to deify even more limited ideas?

Certainly, in the abstract, capitalism can be defined so simply and purely. But in its practical form—you know, as it is practiced—it can very, very justly be said to have creed, code, cult, community, and a transcendent aspect°.

The difference between the abstract and the practical is all the difference in the world to your critique. I know that sometimes I can be oblique, but—

Smith would sit quietly, head in hands, near to weeping. Marx would nod sagely and ask him if he wants to go get a drink. (#28)

—I didn't really think that was a particularly subtle expression of the difference.

What just kills me, though, is that you're looking right past what was actually happening, which was simply a question of whether sentences within a paragraph have any relationship to one another. So, yeah, sorry, the bit about Smith weeping was left out of it, because it was a separate paragraph, and therefore has even less to do with anything else that might have been written in the one that came before it than anything in that preceding paragraph that had nothing to do with anything else written therein. Or something like that.

To the other, you've managed to bring light to a rarely explored corner of this grand theological stage.

A fundamental question, then: Must an idea be "supernatural" in order to be regarded as transcendent?
_____________________

Notes:

° have creed, code, cult, community, and a transcendent aspect — That such behavior does not equal religion in your atheistic critique is because of the focus on the transcendent while ignoring the behavioral. I can't help you cope with your inability to see God as just another Platonic form of abstraction itself. What people do with God is no different from what they do with any other abstraction. One may call it a nascent cult, with inchoate creed and only vague parameters of code, but it has a long-enduring community and The Economy is emerging not only as the transcendent, but also the redeemer, as it justifies, through some philosophical—or, perhaps, neurotic—turn, Greed, which is the hidden name of God.

No, seriously, you're an atheist. For all the attention you give "religion", have you never explored the questions of how and why human beings fashioned gods in such images as they did? Have you never considered the psychopathology of religious behavior?

What the hell, man? Really? You really can't tell the difference between the abstract and the practical?
 
A fundamental question, then: Must an idea be "supernatural" in order to be regarded as transcendent?

I would say, most emphatically, "no"; but a more pertinent question, perhaps, would be: Are we all working with the same--or even a similar--definition of "supernatural"? Something I discovered years ago is that there's nary a formal definition for "supernatural" that isn't implicitly contradictory.
_____________________
What the hell, man? Really? You really can't tell the difference between the abstract and the practical?
[/font]

I often have great difficulty discerning equivocation from just plain ignorance, or obliviousness, to the distinction between theory and practice when perusing this forum.
 
And in all that, the allegedly socialist Hitchens never really seems to get around to the kind of scorn he aims at religion.

It's kind of like a question we have going on at Sciforums right now: Does religion cause violence?

Whether it is Catholics molesting boys, Jews and Muslims trying to tear each other's throats out, or even the Christianized determination against Communism that led Americans to proclaim national theistic faith on their currency, it's never actually religion. Rather, religion is the metaphor exploited to hide the underlying greed. In this context, there are a number of nontheistic religions that never receive the sort of critical scorn so many, including Hitchens, pour on theistic faith.

One can easily suggest that Hitchens' antipathy toward religion stems from, or was exacerbated by, his mother's suicide pact with a Christian preacher. But in all I've ever seen of the man, I never heard him indict the marketplace of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century with anything comparable to the ferocity he showed religion.

Simply addressing the "capitalist-communist duality" is what it is. But he never seemed to actually strike after the heart of the matter. Whether church or capitalism or communism or whatever, the fundamental problem rests within our very humanity, and as long as we continue to argue about symptoms, we will never be able to even attempt to cure the disease.

Even back in ancient times, the Jewish genocide against the Amelekites was not really about God and religion. The early fitnas were not actually about religion, nor were the Crusades. The Pilgrims, what happened in Salem, and even the Protestant usurping of Maryland were not about religion. None of it is ever actually about religion. The same problems religious faith seems to bring to the world can be found with or without religion.

Not China against Buddhists or Falun Dafa; not Protestants and Catholics in Ireland.

People will do anything for greed, even steal the very breath of the gods.

Hitchens, much like Dawkins, was not so much about liberating humanity from the human neuroses manifesting themselves through religious conduct, but, rather, legitimizing his own hatred of other people.

This is why his cultish canonization is problematic. In twenty or fifty years, perhaps Hitchens will, in fact, stand out as a luminary of the age. I rather suspect, though, that he will be recalled in the long memory of our human experience, as a popular fad, perhaps merely symptomatic of a troubled age.

I see, it's not about religion, it's about some kind of original sin. So what kind of greed causes people to believe in things without evidence? When someone kills a queer for Christ, are they just trying to secure more of the nation's wealth for themselves?

Religion or rather our attitude about who we are and where we came from underlies everything we do. If you think this life isn't the real one, just a preparation for an eternal afterlife, doesn't it cheapen life? Doesn't it make suicide or mass death for a religious cause that much more palatable?

We already know humans can be greedy, and that will probably always be the case. There would be wars without religion, but it would be beneficial to humanity if we had one less reason to go to war. Religion is an irrational reason to go to war. I'm not against war and neither was Hitchens. But faith is learned, it produces all sorts of fears and practices that would not have come about on their own. Who would have a cute little baby boy and decide that it would be best to chop off the end of his dick? No one without religion would do that unless they were insane.

Hitchens certainly didn't hate anyone just for being religious. His wife was religious and he was friendly with many of his debate partners.
 
Betty & Veronica

Spidergoat said:

I see, it's not about religion, it's about some kind of original sin.

That is certainly one way of putting it, depending on the poetic or mythic license.

So what kind of greed causes people to believe in things without evidence?

It certainly doesn't help to simply say, "To each his own," but that is the starting point. One can look at greed in this context as a question of justification counterpointing individual and collective psychological insecurity. How does one fill the lack, or salve the wound?

The basic question of filling lack through mystical belief has been addressed many times over the years; Sir James Frazier, Mircea Eliade, Sigmund Freud, and others. Indeed, it evolves into an aspect of a quote I throw around here all the time:

... it is a Freudian theorem that each individual neurosis is not static but dynamic. It is a historical process with its own internal logic. Because of the basically unsatisfactory nature of the neurotic compromise, tension between the repressed and repressing factors persists and produces a constant series of new symptom-formations. And the series of symptom-formations is not a shapeless series of mere changes; it exhibits a regressive pattern, which Freud calls the slow return of the repressed, "It is a law of neurotic diseases that these obsessive acts serve the impulse more and more and come nearer and nearer the original and forbidden act." The doctrine of the universal neurosis of mankind, if we take it seriously, therefore compels us to entertain the hypothesis that the pattern of history exhibits a dialectic not hitherto recognized by historians, the dialectic of neurosis.

—Norman O. Brown

The simple fact of desire does not equal greed. The transition from one into the other is a subject of debate going back millennia, and with no definitive answer.

Myriad examples buzz about, but I have yet to seize one and track through its history, such as why a sexual partner might believe without evidence that the other is cheating, or why the question matters to that individual in any particular context.

Meanwhile, it would be easy enough to simply assert that people believe in gods in order to answer a question that, itself, defies expression. However, while I believe that a reasonable statement, it is also incomplete, as it leaves us pretty much where we begin.

To the other, though, a couple of brief assertions in response might help:

When someone kills a queer for Christ, are they just trying to secure more of the nation's wealth for themselves?

One must find the reason someone kills a queer. Christ is the justification. A specific form might be lashing out against homosexuals because one was sexually abused. A more generic form might be lashing out against homosexuals because, despite claiming to have God on one's side, a person might well still feel effectively impotent in the world.

Religion or rather our attitude about who we are and where we came from underlies everything we do. If you think this life isn't the real one, just a preparation for an eternal afterlife, doesn't it cheapen life? Doesn't it make suicide or mass death for a religious cause that much more palatable?

That's one of the big hints that redemptive theism is a neurotic symptom. The march on Qom is, perhaps, a better actualization than, say, the suicide bomber, but something about neurosis goes here.

Who would have a cute little baby boy and decide that it would be best to chop off the end of his dick? No one without religion would do that unless they were insane.

You get more blowjobs if you don't reek of unwashed, smegmatic foreskin.

Really, though, I don't know where that one comes from. But it has led to some great rhetoric over the centuries, like being circumcised in one's heart, so that being circumcised otherwise is unnecessary. Of course, I don't think the Hebrews were really thinking, "God told us how to make our dicks smell better than yours!" It just seems so ... I don't know, Betty and Veronica?
 
... it is a Freudian theorem that each individual neurosis is not static but dynamic. It is a historical process with its own internal logic. Because of the basically unsatisfactory nature of the neurotic compromise, tension between the repressed and repressing factors persists and produces a constant series of new symptom-formations. And the series of symptom-formations is not a shapeless series of mere changes; it exhibits a regressive pattern, which Freud calls the slow return of the repressed, "It is a law of neurotic diseases that these obsessive acts serve the impulse more and more and come nearer and nearer the original and forbidden act." The doctrine of the universal neurosis of mankind, if we take it seriously, therefore compels us to entertain the hypothesis that the pattern of history exhibits a dialectic not hitherto recognized by historians, the dialectic of neurosis.

--Norman O. Brown

Hmmm. I was actually thinking along the lines of William James--who was in fact a Christian, but nevertheless, I think his brand of pragmatism still appeals to many an atheist, even the so-called "new" atheist types--before you posted this, but this is even better. No matter how divergent the thinking with respect to other concerns, there's a certain commonality I see amongst those who fail, or simply refuse, to consider capitalism as religion--specifically, a tendency to emphatically deny their own tendencies towards reification and erecting altars of sorts.
 
Certainly baseball, shopping, and various economic systems have a few similarities to religion, which is precisely why the metaphor makes sense.


if i say "______ is my religion" it is because i am reverential towards whatever is referenced. that is all the metaphor indicates. an attitude not some postulated similarity to an actual religion

/scoffs
 
On this occasion, your insistence on the Platonic form led your consideration in an exactly useless direction.
Perhaps you find it useless but I don't. When people on a science board debate religion, they're usually focused primarily on its antiscientific basis: unshakeable belief in phenomena for which there is no evidence... but moreover phenomena which, if true, would falsify all of science by disproving its fundamental premise that the natural universe is a closed system whose behavior can be predicted by theories derived logically from empirical observation of its present and past behavior.

I don't know about you, but this is precisely why this atheist hates religion. My father, who had a bit of a scientific education, put it pretty much the same way. When I present this summation to other atheists who are not scientists but who are scholars they say yes, that's exactly right. If we allow these people to take over (as if we haven't already) they would, for example, overturn our evidence-based judicial system because evidence is irrelevant to them.

I realize that there are other atheists who do not think this way and they have their own reasons for their own particular antipathies to religion. It's often a disgust for the way members of competing religions treat each other, even though from our point of view there's barely a hairbreadth's difference among them.

But I don't believe these are the people who populate SciForums and I don't believe I'm talking to very many of them in this thread. I think most of the people here are at least fellow-travelers of the scientific community, whose main problem with religion is the same as mine: its cultivation of unreason and hostility to reason, which make it, exactly, anti-science and therefore anti-us.
And I think, maybe, that's why the "atheism" movement that makes folks like Dawkins and the late Mr. Hitchens so important always manages to make itself a laughingstock: It's a neurotic symptom. Furthermore, I admit it's a hard thing to express in terms that I can expect someone who cannot tell the difference between Platonic forms and practical reality to understand.
Frankly I'm not sure I do understand you, yet I've never been attracted to the "atheist movement" and I've already given my opinion of its spokesmen. It seems to me that they don't understand that you can't talk someone out of being unreasonable by appealing to his sense of reason. We have no choice but to find a way to get along with the religious majority and to influence them more subtly to desist from their worst excesses, such as, oh for example, the Nuclear Holy War that is on the verge of erupting among the Christians, Jews and Muslims.

As I've said before, I don't go around advertising my atheism or trying to convert religious people to it. I only talk this way in places like this where atheists have achieved critical mass and we might be able to collaborate and accomplish something.
It just seems that evangelical atheists don't even know what they're after—
I don't believe that atheistic evangelism is worth the effort. We might "convert" one believer out of a thousand, and he might have come to the same conclusion without us. On the contrary, at a time when religious tolerance in the West has reached the point where even atheism is grudgingly tolerated, we're pissing them off and making them wonder if extending their tolerance this far was a big mistake. As a trained risk analyst I see no point in taking this rather large risk for the vanishingly small reward.
Do you really—really—believe that if you actually manage to eliminate "God" from the discussion, people still won't find practical ways to deify even more limited ideas?
Do you mean, will they take those other ideas as true on faith without evidence? Perhaps. But those other ideas may be falsifiable. Theism is not. All we have is the Rule of Laplace, categorizing it as an extraordinary assertion because it claims to falsify all of science, for which there is half a millennium of solid evidence, and therefore requiring it to be accompanied by evidence before we are obliged to treat it with respect. This is too complicated for the average citizen to understand.
Certainly, in the abstract, capitalism can be defined so simply and purely. But in its practical form—you know, as it is practiced—it can very, very justly be said to have creed, code, cult, community, and a transcendent aspect°.
I think you are attributing events and conditions to capitalism that are merely direct results of the Industrial Revolution. When a community reaches the tipping point at which more than half of its wealth is manifested in goods and services that have nothing to do with the first two steps of Maslow's Hierarchy (survival and security), some order will naturally emerge to manage that surplus wealth. Socialism is common in smaller communities with homogeneous populations in which everyone feels a genuine sense of kinship with his fellows--even a place as modestly large as Sweden or Bulgaria. The larger and less homogenous the population, the more transactional the management of that surplus wealth must be to prevent actual or perceived cheating.

This is the case in both capitalist and communist cultures. In fact very much the same problems occur in both types of economies. The major difference is that capitalism produces a much larger surplus so even the people who are prey to cheating still usually make out okay. Communist communities are so poor that when those in power steal from the powerless they leave the powerless in the Dickensian conditions that characterized the early decades of the development of capitalism, before the surplus became as large as it is today.
What just kills me, though, is that you're looking right past what was actually happening, which was simply a question of whether sentences within a paragraph have any relationship to one another.
What I was looking past was what I have already characterized as a playground squabble among our members, in which most of their verbiage is about the person they're addressing rather than about the ideas they're discussing. I generally overlook discussions of this type because they're so common on this website that it would be impractical to moderate them. As I've also mentioned, I wish I had done what I meant to do and moved this thread to the Comparative Religion subforum where it would have been more at home, and where the moderator might have more experience and better judgment in dealing with playground squabbles.
A fundamental question, then: Must an idea be "supernatural" in order to be regarded as transcendent?
Surely this question would be more at home on the Philosophy board than here.
]have creed, code, cult, community, [/i]and a transcendent aspect — That such behavior does not equal religion in your atheistic critique is because of the focus on the transcendent while ignoring the behavioral.
As I already said, in a place of science I don't think it makes sense for the behavioral aspect to be the dominant issue in the discussion, although it certainly should be part of it.
I can't help you cope with your inability to see God as just another Platonic form of abstraction itself.
But that conveniently squeezes out exactly what is wrong with religion: it tells people that it's alright to believe in things for which there is no evidence, and which in fact purport to falsify science. The average Platonic form of abstraction (whatever that might be, I haven't got my Handbook of Alchemy and Metaphysics handy) presumably does not need to possess that key attribute.
What people do with God is no different from what they do with any other abstraction.
But what they do with religion is different. They use it to justify belief in substantive differences between the races, skepticism of global warming, and outright rejection of evolution; and that's just in our country. In some of the more benighted ones they use it to justify killing people.

Yes of course they can and have used other ideas to justify all of these things, but those other ideas might be falsifiable.
One may call it a nascent cult, with inchoate creed and only vague parameters of code, but it has a long-enduring community and The Economy is emerging not only as the transcendent, but also the redeemer, as it justifies, through some philosophical—or, perhaps, neurotic—turn, Greed, which is the hidden name of God.
You seem to have slept through the implosion of the economy of the Soviet Bloc. There was very little difference in the distribution of greed and all the other categories of evil that you have correctly identified in our economy. The important difference is that our capitalist economy can survive it because it produces a larger surplus. Theirs could not, because it produced a negative surplus. When they finally dissipated the leftover surplus wealth from their pre-communist economy, and then the surplus wealth from the nearby countries they annexed, they ended up with shortages of damn near everything.

This is far worse than the worst economic crisis in America or Western Europe.

To rail at capitalist nations for their rampant greed, and to categorize them as worse than non-capitalist economies which have just as much greed, is to be blind to the fact that the only reason you see the greed here and not there is that there are enough goods and services here for greed to be acted upon. Perhaps you never visited the Warsaw Pact countries in the heyday of communism. I did. Those people were just as greedy as our people. They just couldn't exercise their greed because there was nothing to covet. The only thing the governments made sure was in ample supply was alcoholic beverages.
No, seriously, you're an atheist. For all the attention you give "religion", have you never explored the questions of how and why human beings fashioned gods in such images as they did? Have you never considered the psychopathology of religious behavior?
I addition to being a Buddhist (the atheistic American kind) Mrs. Fraggle is also a Jungian so I have participated in many discussions of these issues. I even had the good fortune to attend a lecture by Joseph Campbell before he died. Jung merely identified belief in the supernatural as archetypal, which in today's terminology we would define as a collection of instincts passed down in our DNA, probably through a genetic bottleneck since it seems to have no survival advantage.

Jung found the pantheons of the traditional polytheistic religions to be remarkably similar and therefore probably manifestations of distinct areas of our personalities--a rich, multidimensional model of ourselves. This allowed us to say things like, "Sorry I wasn't much of a Lover or a Hunter yesterday, little Billy was sick so my Parent and my Healer assumed control."

He had the deepest contempt for the pathetic oversimplified paradigm of monotheism, in which everything we do lies somewhere on a linear scale between Good and Evil. His dismissal of Abrahamism was summed up in the quote, "The wars among the Christian nations have been the bloodiest in human history." I think he overlooked Genghis Khan, but his point was well taken.
It certainly doesn't help to simply say, "To each his own," but that is the starting point. One can look at greed in this context as a question of justification counterpointing individual and collective psychological insecurity. How does one fill the lack, or salve the wound?
As I said, you almost sound like an apologist for communism, claiming that greed is a phenomenon unique to capitalism. I saw greed firsthand in Hungary, Romania and then-Czechoslovakia and -Yugoslavia. The slogan of the "contented workers" everywhere was "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us." Why work when somebody else will produce the food? The productivity of the average citizen of the Communist Miracle made the most stereotyped U.S. government bureaucrat look like a paradigm of decency and an engine of prosperity.
The simple fact of desire does not equal greed. The transition from one into the other is a subject of debate going back millennia, and with no definitive answer.
I think whoever said that missed the Industrial Revolution. As I already pointed out, it effected a quantum change in the nature of greed. In the old days to be greedy was to want to take your neighbor's necessities so he might die. In the Industrial Era it is to want more luxuries than he has, by taking his or somebody else's; for which nobody will die. But... also by simply becoming a more productive worker or a more clever inventor or a more skillful manager so there are more luxuries to be had and your reward as their creator will be disproportionately large but everyone will share.

Industrialization, and its offshoot of capitalism, have made greed something it never was before: potentially respectable.

This is one of the many reasons we use the term Paradigm Shift to describe a fundamental change in the way humans live. Not only do 99% of us no longer have to work 100-hour weeks producing food largely by our own musclepower, not only do we now all know how to read and write, not only do we now have friends on the other side of the planet, making war increasingly distasteful and unlikely, but now we can be greedy without feeling naughty.
Myriad examples buzz about, but I have yet to seize one and track through its history, such as why a sexual partner might believe without evidence that the other is cheating. . . .
Because his or her parent cheated on the other so it seems like a normal situation, or because her partner happens to act like the cheater in a movie that she greatly enjoyed and therefore internalized, or (and this is arguably the most common reason) because he himself harbors thoughts of cheating so he assumes that everybody does and is simply waiting for the opportunity to get away with it.
Meanwhile, it would be easy enough to simply assert that people believe in gods in order to answer a question that, itself, defies expression.
It doesn't defy expression any more. So why do they still do it?
One must find the reason someone kills a queer.
Most men are "homophobic" in the literal sense of the word: We fear sexual activity with another man.

I lived in Hollywood for ten years and discovered that where gay men can form a community and develop a culture, they pool their senses and experiences and find subtle ways of determining whether a guy is straight or gay from the most casual observation. I was never once hit on by a gay man in Hollywood, but I have been in other places where the gay man in question was probably the only one within a mile. Back on topic, spending ten years surrounded by gay guys and never being "attacked" by one rinsed the homophobia out of me. Most men never have this epiphany. To avoid the risk of being hit on by homosexuals (which because of homophobia is exaggerated into feeling "attacked), they kill them.
You get more blowjobs if you don't reek of unwashed, smegmatic foreskin.
The medical community (although not unanimously) tells us that you're less likely to contract HIV without a foreskin, and they claim to be proving it in Africa.
Really, though, I don't know where that one comes from.
I don't think anyone does. Yet another Profound Mystery waiting to be solved.
if i say "______ is my religion" it is because i am reverential towards whatever is referenced. that is all the metaphor indicates. an attitude not some postulated similarity to an actual religion
It's a postulated similarity to religion in general. Most of them involve reverence.
 
Tuning up a troll

I would ask you to get honest and actually read the post you're responding to. That is, I suppose I can presume you that illiterate, but given how flossed you get about accurate descriptions of your behavior—filing silly complaints and hoping a sympathetic moderator comes riding to your rescue—I must, in order to keep this discussion at least resembling a functional condition, presume that the problem is not so much in your literacy, but rather in your egocentric desire to carry on a useless argument.

Eh. I decided to kick this one in the nards again. Call me mean.

It's hard to know which end of your own behind you're trying to argue from here: first, that libel and hiding behind your status are a-ok in Tiassaville, or that you think mods have been protecting egregious behaviour on my part. In fact, it's so bass-ackwards as to nearly constitute a Russian Reversal. (I note here that it usually requires you and one other mod on your side simultaneously to lose to me, so you're functionally outnumbered from the start here.) So, it's not useless so much as an example of Tiassa's failed shot at literacy, logic and debate.

Let us do let you reiterate though:

For instance:



You complained of moving the goal posts. Frankly, Geoff, I don't think an expectation of basic reading comprehension is a matter of moving goal posts. I mean, sure, reading comprehension seems optional in your world, but nobody is invoking any new standards in asking you to have a clue.

What you quoted:

Just remember that in all Hitchens had to say about how horrible religion was, he never seemed to get around to that religion known as capitalism.

(Boldface accent in snip quote)

What was written:

Just remember that in all Hitchens had to say about how horrible religion was, he never seemed to get around to that religion known as capitalism. For as much as religion complicates wars, people like to blame it for causing wars because they don't want to get into economics. It's far more acceptable in our society to hate religion than it is to acknowledge the underlying problem of greed. We've turned greed into its own religion, which we call capitalism.​

What was ignored:

.... For as much as religion complicates wars, people like to blame it for causing wars because they don't want to get into economics. It's far more acceptable in our society to hate religion than it is to acknowledge the underlying problem of greed. We've turned greed into its own religion, which we call capitalism.​

The alleged movement of the goalposts only finds validity as an accusation if we ignore what was ignored.

Uh, rather, the latter part of that statement had not a fuck to do with Hitchens at all. It's difficult to imagine a better example of hiding behind fluff, which would make going on-side with you the equivalent of hiding behind a fluffer. :shrug: The 'ignored' part was, not actually being ignored, rather well dispensed with, because it had nothing to do with your initial supposition.

Many people, when ignorant, elect to stay silent. I therefore thank you for your extremity of character.
 
Eh. I decided to kick this one in the nards again. Call me mean.
Not "mean." Just a thread necromancer. By now nobody but you and Tiassa have any recollection of whatever you were arguing about. So the best you can do is reanimate this as a little vanity thread for one or both of you.

* Yawn *
 
A note on Wm. James

Parmalee said:

I was actually thinking along the lines of William James ....

Apologies for being so slow on this part, but, to the one, I had been failing to find what I was looking for; to the other, the recent revival of this thread reminded me to try again. And I did, in fact, finally find it.

Nothing big. Just a "recent" episode of Radiolab. Well, recently broadcast; it turns out the original episode is going on six years old.

Radiolab, "Phantom Limbs" (May, 2006)​

A fascinating episode that even discusses William James' "What is Emotion", and reconsiders its potential relevance in twenty-first century science. (Hint, it turns out James was very nearly correct.)
 
Not "mean." Just a thread necromancer. By now nobody but you and Tiassa have any recollection of whatever you were arguing about. So the best you can do is reanimate this as a little vanity thread for one or both of you.

* Yawn *

Oh please. Everyone else gets to raise the dead from time to time. But aim your gaping zombie jaws at someone else's brain.
 
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