User Profile: The Third Archon

The Third Archon

Member Since: November 02, 2010

Comments

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  • [1] March 26, 2015 at 5:28pm

    How about “exceedingly underwhelming?” Is that still on the table?

  • [1] March 25, 2015 at 11:04pm

    You left out one fun fact–that according to his PolitiFact page at least, every time he opens his mouth to say anything about an issue of major importance, he’s almost always LYING–no wonder Glenn Beck loves him. I’d post a link, but the Blaze’s ****** website won’t let me do that for some reason, and besides, you’re all adults–if you really care about investigating the candidates you endorse (LOL) and want to find this information, it’s not that hard to so, as if you’re reading this, PRESUMABLY you have access to the Internet.

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  • [4] March 25, 2015 at 8:35pm

    “Do Atheist have some moral high ground”
    Answer–YES, yes we do. For STARTERS, you’ll never hear an ATHEIST claiming that it’s LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE to be moral if you believe in god/gods. WE certainly haven’t advanced some absurd notion that without a the existence of god and/or belief in the same, SOMEHOW all morality would suddenly evaporate, and people would SUDDENLY be somehow INCAPABLE of seeing why WANTON RAPE AND MURDER were BAD ******* ideas!

    I also think that when you have an ideology, that you refuse to subject to the SAME standards of proof as EVERY other ideology (because you CAN’T), you’ve BASICALLY ceded the moral high ground–and in fact, I can think of few ways more totally and quintessentially “ceding the moral high ground” than that abdication of the primary and essential moral duty to the truth.

  • [-2] March 25, 2015 at 7:35pm

    “In the interest of more informed debate, perhaps Dawkins and others like him should instead open their eyes.”
    Well now, that IS ironic coming from a religious apologist! XD

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  • [2] March 25, 2015 at 7:35pm

    “CNN asked Dawkins what he would say to people who didn’t like the show about atheism. Dawkins responded on-air: “Grow up!””
    Okay, again, I have to say, that DOES sound more than a bit patronizing. That being said, his seeming impatience and irritation MAY stem from both the URGENCY of the question being addressed (having SIGNIFICANT repercussions on our capacity to even SURVIVE, let alone THRIVE), and the THOUSANDS of years religion’s apologists have had to prove their claims, demonstrate the truth, value, and moral rectitude of religion, and in the process religion has not ONLY catastrophically FAILED in EVERY case (i.e. no particular religion can claim victory, or anything even remotely close to it, on that score), but has ALSO inspired the vicious suppression (with violence, up to and including lethal violence, when necessary, and often when NOT necessary, but just for the hell of it) of ANY and EVERY possible competitor ideologies/philosophies that, god forbid (see what I did there? ;) ) might have met this test BETTER than it, it felt REMOTELY threatened by. So, GIVEN that this is perhaps the first time and place in EVER that atheists have been able to OPENLY voice their dissent and not fear the IMMEDIATE, and SANCTIONED by public authority, reprisals of theists, you MIGHT BE able to see why he might feel that way.

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  • [-1] March 25, 2015 at 7:34pm

    I know that it might be hard, perhaps even impossible, to see, or even conceive, of these (foregone) possibilities from within the confines of the religion itself, but from outside it, they are CLEAR AS DAY. And those alternatives are the very REAL opportunity cost of religious belief.

  • [1] March 25, 2015 at 7:34pm

    “What more evidence could he want that religion has value?”
    Well now we’ve moved from its “truth” to its “value,” with no acknowledgement of this clever rhetorical sleight of hand. But generously indulging the assumption (borderline, if not outright, appeal to popularity fallacy) that it IS of some value (and it probably has SOME valuable aspects–it would be MORE surprising if it was as diverse as it is, and were TOTALLY worthless, yet also this long lasting, as if you through ENOUGH **** at a wall some of it’s BOUND to stick), that does not tell us if it is NET, i.e. ON THE WHOLE, valuable when weighed against its COSTS and OPPORTUNITY COSTS. In that vein, it doesn’t mean, even if it IS valuable in some respects, that it is either the ONLY way to attain those values, or even more importantly the BEST, of all the mutually exclusive alternatives, way to attain those values, or maximize the value derived from one’s actions and beliefs generally. And THAT’S the real test–what sum of beliefs and actions will yield the MOST amount of value, properly charaterized as such. And I would hazard a guess, that truth is an indispensable, principal/primary even, value to acheive this ideal, or come as close to it as possible, and THAT is where the primary fault of religious ideologies lies–placing themselves above scrutiny, above the value of truth.

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  • [3] March 25, 2015 at 7:32pm

    “Yet for some reason he refuses to see that literally billions of people take comfort in religion.”
    Well no, he probably sees that, it’s just irrelevant to the issue–whether or not religious claims are TRUE. Moreover, the fact that people take COMFORT in an ideology doesn’t mean they SHOULD, doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY possible way they can find comfort, and CERTAINLY doesn’t mean it’s the BEST way to find comfort of ALL the mutually exclusive possibilities for finding comfort (whether from an ideology or otherwise). The fact that plenty of serial killers seemed to deprive a great DEAL of ‘comfort’ in/from the activities for which they are named, or that slave-owners were probably EXTREMELY ‘comforted/comfortable’ with their own namesake and the supremacist/separatist ideologies that supported it, should put to bed THAT absurd notion.

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  • March 25, 2015 at 7:32pm

    And THAT is really the heart of the whole matter here, the heart of Dawkins opposition to religion, and the heart of atheists’ critiques of religion.

  • March 25, 2015 at 7:31pm

    “Ironically, Dawkins frequently returns to a position of demanding evidence before he’ll believe in something.”
    Yeah, that’s generally how reason, and our standards for believing LITERALLY ANYTHING ELSE BESIDES RELIGIOUS CLAIMS (i.e. EVEN religious people generally demand that standard for everything BESIDES their religious beliefs–like they don’t just go around taking eveyrone’s words for things unless there is little to no personal risk of doing so and the claim does not seem particularly implausible; few of them are THAT credulous in general, even if they ARE that credulous when it comes to their, and I do mean THEIR, religious beliefs SPECIFICALLY) work. It’s not ironic at all–it’s actually EXACTLY what you’d expect based on the position he asserts. What’s IRONIC is that religion DOESN’T feel the need to comply with the demand for some evidence of its claims for before they’re accepted as true, and takes issue with this, when it’s expected and completely uncontroversial for LITERALLY EVERY OTHER KIND OF CLAIM. What’s REALLY odd, interesting, and revealing, is how little this seems to strike you as deeply PROBLEMATIC for your ideology–it speaks VOLUMES, more than entire books of careful analysis could do, as to what kind of values (and regard for truth) in FACT animate religious ideologies, and are instilled by those same ideologies in their adherents.

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  • March 25, 2015 at 7:31pm

    “The way to understand religion is not by asking religious people but, rather, by asking scholars of religion.”
    Yeah, they don’t fare any better, and they’re often PRECISELY who prominent atheists like Dawkins are speaking too/about–have you ever even WATCHED one of the many debates between apologists of theism and a prominent atheism? You can find plenty, including some with Dawkins himself. Also, I have DISTINCT feeling based on everything I’ve just read, that any time someone would propose a person to be a “scholar of religion” for the purposes you speak of, you would “No True Scotsman” them away if and when at any point they didn’t seem to do a flawless job defending the impossible position of the “reasonableness” of religion. SO, if you really SERIOUS about this “fair and honest” discussion that you don’t think has happened regarding the value and truth, if any, of religion (or which religion–since unlike atheists, y’all are divided into a WIDE variety of sects that can’t ALL be right, but CAN all be WRONG), why don’t YOU propose a few “scholars of religion” you’d think would be up to the job your propose?

    “And in any event, one thing is abundantly clear: people like religion, even if they may not know why.”
    It’s certainly a frequently indulged in practice yes–not unlike how slavery, imperial conquest, or debtors prison, were widely accepted and frequently indulged in practices at one point in time or another.

  • March 25, 2015 at 7:30pm

    “But lots of people embrace something they do not fully understand.”
    Yeah, and that’s IRRATIONAL and FOOLISH (dangerous), insomuch as by “embrace” you mean “believe [that something is true].” That’s his whole POINT.

    “Even the devout cannot be expected to be experts in how religion works,”
    You’re only digging your grave deeper here.

    “…any more than concert-goers are all experts in acoustic technology…”
    That’s an ABSURD analogy–being a concert-goer is COMPLETELY UNRELATED to understanding the technology and skill that goes into a concert!!! Knowledge of that might enhance your experience of it–but it’s HARDLY necessary to it, or enjoying it!

    “…or coffee-drinkers experts in food engineering.”
    Ditto the critique of your immediately preceding false patently absurd analogy.

  • March 25, 2015 at 6:42pm

    Hypocritically and hilarious doing the VERY thing you purport to simultaneously condemn I might add.

  • March 25, 2015 at 6:42pm

    “We see a pattern here. Professional atheists — perhaps unknowingly — pick a single religious practitioner such as Mr. Gormley on CNN and use that person to represent all of religion. Worse, they use that person as an authoritative source of information about religion.”
    Uh, no actually, there are many many many theists to chose from, both prominent and not so promin\ent, for a broad sampling of the diversity, and similarities among both the religious adherents, and religious ideologies, whether of a particular religion, or religion writ large. There are also statistics which have been gathered on many of the various facets of religious phenomena, and its effects. And of course, there are the artifacts of the religions themselves (their books and other various sources to which they attribute theological authority), on which the various diverse sects of various religions stake their theological claims and disagreements. From this a great deal can be said, of varying degrees of accuracy and reasonableness–but almost ALL of it (certainly virtually all of the analysis by any atheist which rises to public prominence among the sea of theistic majoritarianism that permits FAR more mediocre thinkers from among their ranks to rise to such places, when they STILL, for no clear logical reason, command a majority) is FAR more nuanced than the HIGHLY uncharitable, and probably disingenuous, presentation you give of it here.

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  • March 25, 2015 at 6:34pm

    “More generally, lots of great scientists embrace religion.”
    Not that an appeal to popularity, or in other words what any group of people of any particular size believe about any particular thing has ANYTHING to do with whether or not that belief IS true, OR whether or not that particular belief IS reasonable, but SINCE YOU BRING IT UP–it’s ANOTHER empirically demonstrable statistic that a greater proportion of scientists are atheists relative to the general population. And another interesting empirically demonstrable statistic relevant to your line of reasoning is that the National Academy of Sciences, one of the “best and brightest” clubs (selected by fellow scientists I believe–i.e peer-reviewed, like science generally) of the sciences shows this trend in an even MORE pronounced fashion (i.e. an even HIGHER proportion of atheists), I believe even having an atheist MAJORITY (like you, I’m getting lazy with this writing and couldn’t be bothered to verify it for sure–but anyone interested could easily do so, and I’m pretty sure it’s true, and in any case I AM sure that they have a much higher, an amount higher that is statistically significant, proportion of atheists among their ranks relative to the general populace).

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  • [-1] March 25, 2015 at 6:33pm

    In that sense, he could be said to be about as “religious” as I, a self-described atheist, am (as I share a number of similar philosophical similarities with them). I simply choose a different term (not that Einstein himself probably chose these terms–they are almost invariably those attempting to describe him, with varying purities of motive, after the fact, after his death, and after he cannot contest the characterizations) partially because of the changing language of the zeitgeist, partially because I recognize the inherently political nature of all ideology and want to take a clear stand, and partially because I wish to make it as difficult as possible for disingenuous historically revisionary fascists to misrepresent me, my values, and my beliefs, after I am dead and gone and no longer able to defend them actively and correct their mischief (unlike Einstein who no longer has such ability, may he rest in peace). But in ANY case, ALL that is ultimately an irrelevant and fallacious appeal to authority–it makes no DIFFERENCE to whether or not a particular, or ANY, religious belief is either true or reasonable (or good, or useful). I only mention it, because you seem to think it mattered enough to merit mention.

  • [-1] March 25, 2015 at 6:31pm

    “Dr. Albert Einstein, for instance, was both a world-class physicist and a deeply religious man.”
    Mmmmmmmm, but not “deeply religious” in the sense that YOU might be thinking…
    The closest rough approximation of a label for what Einstein was, is a pantheist–which is NOT exactly the kind of orthodox church-going monotheist I think you have in mind when you use the term “deeply religious.” And you either KNOW this, and are thus being intentionally misleading to your readers (in which case shame on you), OR you don’t, and thus are an incredibly lazy writer/researcher (in which case, also shame on you, but for different reasons)–either way, NEITHER credible or trustworthy. Albert Einstein was “religious” in about the same sense (and very similar philosophically) as Baruch Spinoza, was “religious.” Indeed, the divine truth of the Cosmos, reality, and its mystical mysteries and wonders, could be said to be his God and theology.

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  • March 25, 2015 at 6:15pm

    And, an evaluation of how TRUE an ideology is, how it AFFECTS (as ALL beliefs do) the actions one takes, OTHER beliefs one accepts (or is likely to accept) as true, and values one has, is the very ESSENCE of what an ideology is and offers. Without that–WHAT’S THE POINT? What’s the POINT of beliefs if they’re all just equally valid, with no differentiation between how they affect the world whether or not they’re believed? And beliefs AREN’T the people that believe them–beliefs, again, ARE AND SHOULD be subjected to RIGOROUS critique and inspection, and discarded if found wanting. That’s the whole POINT of the freedom of expression, the exchange of ideas, the method (and value) of scientific inquiry, and arguably the source of the moral DUTY to conduct such an inquiry (because it DOES make a difference, and no one else but YOU can decide whether or not YOU believe a particular belief, and thus no one else but YOU can be held RESPONSIBLE for the CONSEQUENCES of believing a particular thing is or isn’t true)–it’s certainly not just to hear yourself talk!

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  • March 25, 2015 at 6:13pm

    “Yet the only movement that is held responsible for everything its members do is religion.”
    Well now your just making whiney, hyperbolic, ridiculous, factually false complaints that have no bearing or relevance on anything–certainly not the truth or falsity of anything. I’m sorry if people can be wrong and/or unfair–there are you happy? The REAL critiques of religion, that the majority of atheists (including publicly prominent atheists like Dawkins) have LITTLE to do with blaming religion for everything wrong that its adherents do (though, when you make as GRAND claims, particularly to the moral authority and absolute truth, that some religions due–you can HARDLY complain about then being subjected to a demanding standard of evaluation), although it IS fair to say that many at least suspect, if not outright believe and argue, that religion is at least partially responsible for SOME of the bad things its adherents do and/or untrue things that they believe (and/or their propensity to believe certain untrue things). But that’s not even NEARLY the same thing as saying that it’s the ONLY kind of ideology that does that (although given the scope and duration of its influence, it’s a little unfair of you to expect it not to receive at least substantial attention, and criticism if found wanting).

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  • [-1] March 25, 2015 at 6:12pm

    Rather it’s to say that (a) they’re NOT obviously mutually exclusive as you seem to imply that Steve Jobs thought (I don’t know if that’s accurate, but I’m responding to a claim you made, not one made by the late Mr. Jobs); (b) the reasonableness of something is based upon its DEMONSTRABILITY at any given point in time, which can CHANGE, which is why scientific theories CHANGE over time, in the light of new information; and (c) that just because something isn’t demonstrable doesn’t mean it’s not TRUE, it just means its not reasonable to BELIEVE that it’s true, until and unless it IS demonstrable to a sufficiently persuasive degree (at least better than “not at all” which is where religious claims, funnily enough UNLIKE folk remedies, which at LEAST have some basis however shaky and unscientific in verifiable human experiences, are at).

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