RE: virus: ((God Pi + Bad dogma) - Any pretense of reason) = Silly Graf

TheHermit (
Mon, 29 Mar 1999 14:29:49 -0600

In a debate, and this is more of a debate than a conversation, a point undefended is a point conceded. I have noticed that the religious are very quick to claim these points. Just look at the whole "The US is a Christian currency" because of the inclusion of "In God We Trust" on their currency for just one example.

Reeling out rope is possibly even less "caring" than correcting egarias errors.

"But you also clearly insist on being an un-listening, unhearing self-righteous, dogmatic ass about it. And in that, I cannot agree with you." Cute phrasing. Are you losing it? So soon? Should I give you some rope? I actually address the points made by the people I am holding discourse with. I don't invent mono-variable functions in x and then refer to values in y.

Excuse me if I observe that a "one-dimensional entity" cannot wriggle. And a one-dimensional entity watching a two-dimensional entity wriggle would simply perceive it blinking on and off.

Tim it sounds more and more as if this is your preferred data space:

 Faith                 Phaith
Caring ............... Arsehole
  Lies                 Truth

While the one below has a great deal to recommend it:


. Belief
. /
. /
Lies . . . . . -. . . . . Truth /. / . / . Proof .

The front right upper quadrant (+C+P+T) is quite attractive. And despite your implications to the contrary can be occupied simultaneously. The either/or choices are purely in your mind.

SnowLeopard is a self-confessed, multi-sexed, schizophrenic borg :-) You will be assimilated.

As I recall, "noŽtic" (from Gk noŽsis a perception), automatically implies reason and the intellect. So if we toss out reason, then "noŽtics" fails to have a subject. Now if you had suggested "fidetics" or even "phidetics" I'd have smiled on the exercise.

I know why the religious believe as they do. For some people it is rewarding (in the same way as T.M. or a dose of ecstasy can be rewarding. Been there, tried that.) and it is comforting not to need to attempt to think, not to need to find answers, not having to find beginnings or explain ends. We are able to reproduce all of the "results" of faith chemically, and have a number of strong indications that a capacity for faith is genetically programmed. A more interesting line of investigation might be what benefits a capacity for faith might entail.

I have no illusions that somebody in the throes of religious ecstasy will take note of either reason or statistics. But when their reason asserts itself - even momentarily as it sometimes does in even the most faithful, if their reason has some arguments available to it, that person may be able to free him or herself of their faith addiction. A small, but not insignificant chance.

TheHermit <Singing all I need is a "Plastic Jesus!" Not!>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tim Rhodes []
> Sent: Monday, March 29, 1999 1:05 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: virus: ((God Pi + Bad dogma) - Any pretense of reason) =
> Silly Graf
> TheHermit wrote:
> >You seem to have completely missed or greatly underestimated
> the power of
> >reason.
> No, I haven't.  My beef is not with Reason.  Reason is a big
> boy and can
> take care of himself quite nicely, thank you.  He doesn't
> need my help.
> >I know exactly where SnowLeopard is coming from, and do not care for
> >it one itsy teeny bit. I'd have kept my mouth shut, only he sat there
> >babbling nonsense, and nobody seemed to want to reply. Which
> might just
> have
> >given him the impression that he was "scoring points", or
> may have lead
> >somebody else on this list who was wavering between the
> reason which is
> >espoused on the website and the insane positions espoused by
> some of the
> >"gurus" here, to believe that there was no answer for Snowleopard's
&gt; >particular challenges or brand of phaith - or any other
> brand no matter how
> >much less poisonous, for that matter.
> This is a silly argument that I've heard all too often.  This is a
> conversation and like any conversation, if you say something
> and no one
> responds, you have not "scored any points".  Quite the
> opposite--you are
> being ignored.  And usually, if one continues to be ignored, they will
> either give up or go off the deep end in an effort to get everyones
> attention.  Did you notice that some were reeling out rope
> quite generously
> to the thoughtful SnowLeopard?
> I'm glad to see that you're so noble as to stand up for that
> poor maligned
> Reason when you see him threatened, TheHermit.  That's quite
> big of you.
> But it reminds me of a x-tian who insists on standing up for
> "God" whenever
> they feel he's being dissed.  Does God really need him to defend His
> interests--or his the x-tian just serving their own?  And
> does Reason really
> need you to defend it's interests, or...
> >So while my response may have been addressed to him, it was
> in fact written
> >more for the benefit of others. If it instilled a slight desire in
> >SnowLeopard to stop accepting what other people tell him and start
> >thinking - or even if it generated a slight uneasy doubt
> that his platform
> >is as well supported as his challenges seemed to indicate
> that he imagined
> >them to be, it might have done him some good. But I suspect
> that there
> would
> >be a vanishingly small possibility of that happening, and it
> would be a
> >rather unanticipated side-effect.
> While I have no beef with Reason, I do, however, have an
> innate distaste for
> self-righteousness that, I admit flares up all too easily.
> You are right,
> TheHermit, about reason.  We are in agreement here.  You are
> even right
> about the biblical points you list, and in that too we can be
> in agreement.
> But you also clearly insist on being an un-listening, unhearing
> self-righteous, dogmatic ass about it.  And in that, I cannot
> agree with
> you.
> I tried to point out that there can be more than one
> dimension, more than
> one criteria, by which _some_ people choose their beliefs.
> You have chosen
> a strict x=y formula.  The more "true", the more you believe.  That's
> wonderful.
> But not everyone is mapping that equation, TheHermit, as much
> as you'd like
> them to.  And you seem so blinded by the "rightness" of your
> chosen function
> that you can't see that you're not getting the same results
> on other peoples
> maps.  As follows:
> >As for your response, it sounds wonderful - only your 'graf'
> phails to
> >reflect that this is not a subject amenable to graphing, so
> your metaphor
> >misses completely. SnowLeopard was talking utter nonsense -
> and responding
> >to that with anything other than cold water is also utter
> nonsense. All of
> >the nervous wiggling seems to be on the side of the phaith holders.
> Which _was_ my point exactly: if someone's viewing an intersecting
> perpendicular line from a one-dimensional POV, they will only ever see
> "nervous wiggling" on the part of the other.  You make my point--your
> viewpoint is as myopic as theirs!  You simply aren't looking
> or hearing what
> each other is saying.  And you never will as long as you stay
> locked in your
> present POV.
> Let me put it this way:  You're using f(x)=x and you're
> trying to point out
> to SnowLeopard that all his/her beliefs fall in the y<0
> range.  Negative y
> numbers--bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD--everyone agrees.  But SnowLeopard's
> function looks a little more like f(x)=(-x)^2-x, you see.  So
> every time you
> say, "See, no historical record of three hours of darkness!  Ah-ha!
>  x= -10!!!"  SnowLeopard can just smile back, think, "hmmm,
> y=90" and say,
> "Well, God works in mysterious ways, doesn't he?  That just
> makes my faith
> stronger!"  And neither one of you has _communicated_ a
> blessed thing to the
> other!  Doesn't that get old after a while?
> You're fighting a losing battle until you learn how they're
> mapping things
> and start from that point.  You were right, to "suspect that
> there would be
> a vanishingly small possibility" of SnowLeopard taking
> anything you said to
> heart.  Why should he/she?  Your arguments didn't have any
> heart to take.
> Just as belief can have more than one dimension to it, the
> same is true with
> communication.  And you seem to think it's advantageous to
> ignore all but
> one of those dimensions here.  And while, admittedly the
> "truth" end of the
> true/false spectrum is a great place to argue from, even you
> must recognize
> that the "caring" end of the caring/asshole spectrum is a
> much better place
> from which to persuade another.
> >So while your words are smooth and your metaphor elegant,
> the semantic
> >content, if not null, seems to have been more along the
> lines of "Gee,
> >aren't I clever" rather than anything more useful. I guess
> my comment on
> >your 'graf' falls into the same category, so to make up,
> take a peek at the
> >postscript which follows.
> Your P.S. was quite amusing.  But you're still missing the
> same point (only
> with much a greater level of detail).
> SnowLeopard doesn't believe because of the probabilities.
> He/She (sorry I
> keep doing that, SnowLeopard, but I don't recall you
> mentioning your sex,
> one way or the other) believes because s/he feels that God
> saved their life.
> Now whether or not some God-thingy actual _did_ save
> SnowLeopard's life
> doesn't matter a rats-ass to this equation.  SnowLeopard
> _feels_ that this
> is the case and is willing to make decisions based in that
> overwhelming
> feeling.  You're simply barking up the wrong tree with your facts and
> statistics, TheHermit.
> I've tried several times to bring the concept of noŽtic
> experiences and
> their bio-chemical nature into these religious discussions,
> but there seems
> to be little interest.  (Yes, I read <silence> as a lack of
> interest rather
> than as an assent to my ideas.)  Most, it seems, would rather
> try to thump
> the religious over the head with rationality until they cave
> in, rather than
> employ the same rationality in an effort to understand the
> nature of their
> experience and question why it has such a profound effect on them.
> So be it.
> -Prof. Tim