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

Mon, 29 Mar 1999 23:33:19 -0800

TheHermit wrote:

> Oops, KMO I apologize. As you know, I invested a fair amount of time into
> the phaith/faith discussion myself - because I really think that you have
> made a significant step in easing and improving communications. I am already
> using your system in other forums.

I THOUGHT you were on board the good ship Phaith. Apology unnecessary but accepted.

> I encourage you to continue and maybe
> expand your "language" to cover "belieph/belief" as well.

I'll assign a few homunculi to that one and have them report back to me when they've got something.

> I just was not
> thinking about it when I responded here, but replied to the 'ph' usage. I
> will plead that I have used 'ph' for 'f' for a variety of purposes (e.g.
> "phuque" for "fuck" and "phin" for "fin") for years in other forums (you'll
> recall my saying I had "personal reasons" for liking it).

Fair enough.

> They need to be
> added (with definitions) to the virus web site and extended at need.

Well, David McFadzean would be the one to make changes to the CoV site.

> You are also correct when you suggest that I am passionate about
> these issues. Unlike Tim, I see assaults on "reason" from all directions,
> many of them apparently succeeding.

I agree with Tim in that any God who needs His worshippers to stick up for Him isn't much of a God. I do think rationality could use a few more champions however. When you hang out with well-educated, creative people all the time and spend time in on-line discussion/debate forums like Virus, it's easy to forget what a small percentage of the population it is who actually enjoy this kind of interaction and exploration. I have a friend who works for Americacorps, and he has relayed stories to me which are very much in line with the appalling statistics you provided on how many kids get through high school without ever learning to read at anything approaching the level of proficiency needed to read a novel, much less scrutinize public policy. The schools in which he works in Boulder, CO are all wired, and the kids have ready access to the web, but very few of them ever take advantage of it because, at this stage in its evolution, using the web involves reading, and the kids HATE reading; ANY reading.

> Given the very small number of
> "rational" people in this world, I don't believe that it is advisable (no
> matter how phunny, clever, demulcent or even memetically correct it might
> seem :-) ) to appear to be supporting an irrational position. That platform
> has more than enough demagogues lurking behind it.

Agreed. The evidence of the on-going assault on critical thinking is as close as your television.

> While reason (and her sister, science) has provided the bulk of the
> population of first world countries with more benefits than anyone could
> have imagined 100 years ago, it seems to me that reason and science have not
> had worse reputations since the dark ages.

I don't know that that's true. I'm not saying it's false. I just don't have much information concerning Joe Citizen's view of science in 1799.

> I don't know why this should be
> other than the ongoing assaults of religious figures on reason and the lack
> of interest in defending reason from "meaningless" attacks by the few people
> who might be competent to do so.

Well, the extreme specialization and esoteric nature of scientific research effectively exclude non-scientists and scientists from other disciplines from participation, and it's comforting to dismiss that which one does not comprehend as being unimportant, or even harmful.

Of course, that doesn't explain why more people don't go in for analytic thought, the basics are easy to learn, and the potential applications are everywhere.

Anyway, I'm glad for the reassurance that we're reading from the same page on the faith/phaith issue.

Take care.