Print Story I'm not so certain that this is a good thing
Diary
By lm (Fri May 18, 2007 at 04:16:57 AM EST) (all tags)
Alternatively titled: How I thought of a really clever diary title earlier today but can't remember it is to save my life

My head is sort of swimming. I think it was the teaspoon of banana flavored dihydrocodeinone enhanced elixir I had for a night cap last night.

Let me just say for the record that banana flavored cough medicine is just plain wrong.



I guess being ill hacking up my lungs for two weeks has some advantages. When I went to the doctor's office yesterday, I clocked in at just over 13 stones. Considering I was wearing both my boots and my trousers, this was much better news than it sounds. So this morning I hopped up on the scale wearing only a tee shirt and my underpants to find that I'm down to just under 12 stones. Yes, it's true. My trousers weigh three fourths of a stone all by themselves. Go, go, double knee work dungarees!

Hopefully I can keep up my self discipline to keep the weight off. But me and self-discipline? In some areas the two of us don't do so well together. I do have to admit that in some situations my resolve is icy and cold as steel. But in others like when we are holding a training class at work and the siren song of free donuts wafts down from the break room above ...

Anyway, the dihydrocodeinone is good stuff. Despite that I'm still coughing horribly, I don't really care. Would you believe that having feelings of euphoria is a common side effect of dihydrocodeinone? I'm shocked. Just shocked, I tell you. It's also supposed to be habit forming. Color me surprised.

The down side is that last night I get the vital things finished that I had wanted to finish. I knocked away two of them this morning, translating a spot of Hesiod and washing up the dishes from dinner last night. The last item, the one really important item on my mental list of things to get done, did not get done. I blame the drugs.

The essay I'm presently working on for Doxos is on happiness. I'm putting Billy Joel, Aristotle and Jesus in a steel cage death match over what true happiness is. Three men die. One man gets up again. But after that I'm not certain what to write about. My goal is one serious article per week. I've no clue what to do for next week. Hence, I'd like some suggestions. Is there topic in ancient or medieval philosophy or in Christian antiquity that you've wondered about? If so, leave a comment and it may inspire me.

So there's another boycott of Starbucks shaping up. I found out about this through a grass roots effort. A fair number of Catholics are sending out an email to everyone in their address book bemoaning this quote which is printed on some of Starbucks' coffee cups:

Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.

My initial reaction to this is that it's tempest in a teapot. This statement is not the view of Starbucks. In fact they clearly state that it does not necessarily reflect their views and it is part of campaign to put what they view as provocative statements by their customers on their cups to stimulate dialogue in the grand old coffee house tradition. Some of the other comments that they considered putting on the cups can be read at Starbucks web page dedicated to the Way I See It campaign. At the abstract level, I think this is a good thing, even if derivative of This I Believe.

But the more I reflect on the particular quote they chose to print up from one coast to another, the more I'm a bit offended. I would imagine that they've gotten thousands of submissions since they started the campaign. It would surprise me if a large percentage of those didn't offer similar trains of thought. And of those, they appear to have picked one that was being intentionally offensive to theists. There are a large number of ways that the above statement could be worded without being overtly hostile. Rather than serving to extend public discourse, I think the above statement serves only to polarize it. It's the atheistic equivalent of the type of rhetoric used for so long by the Jerry Falwells of the Christian world. Just as Dr. Falwell offends me, so does this. The intent isn't to dialogue, it's to browbeat.

On the other hand, maybe I should just be glad that it wasn't the atheistic equivalent of Fred Phelps.

I heard about ten minutes of an an interview with Alice Cooper on the way back from Greek class yesterday. It was pretty interesting to hear the comments of one of the originators of shock rock on the difference between what he did and what all the cool new kids are doing in the shock rock arena. He claims that, at least at the beginning, he strived to use no profanity, portray no sexual immorality and put nothing on stage that was incompatible with Christianity. Despite his intentional restraint charges of Satanism and witchcraft were leveled at his stage show. His response was that Shakespeare's MacBeth contained far more foul language, immorality and Satanism than his music and stage show.

Oh, I wish I could focus. It's been twelve hours since I took my cough medicine and my head is still up in the clouds.

< Renderlog. May 18, 2007 | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
I'm not so certain that this is a good thing | 77 comments (77 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Starbucks quote by Herring (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri May 18, 2007 at 04:51:47 AM EST
Predictably, I disagree. You will see/hear the equivalent of "Without Jesus you are rubbish" and "If you don't follow God's law you are bad" absolutely everywhere. Atheists like myself don't kick up such a fuss. I'm not boycotting hotel chains that have bibles in the rooms.

I would say that statement is nowhere near a atheist equivalent of a Falwell rant. It's possibly the atheist equivalent of a mild CofE vicar on Thought for the Day saying "You know, you might want to consider Jesus".

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

It's not that it's atheist that offends me by lm (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:01:11 AM EST
I wouldn't boycott a hotel chain that put the Communist Manifesto in every hotel room. Nor do I boycott bookstores that sell atheistic works. And in fact, neither would offend me.

I think the statement itself is very much like a Falwell rant. It's intellectually inconsistent and leaves no real room for honest dispute.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The last sentence is pretty crap by Herring (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:08:15 AM EST
The rest I am OK with.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Feel free to disagree by lm (2.00 / 0) #31 Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:46:49 AM EST
But saying that most catastrophes that people must deal have been started by the people dealing with them isn't much different in my mind from saying that most AIDS victims are suffering God's wrath for their immorality. A subsistence farmer suffering through a drought induced famine had little to no say about bring about that famine.

Further, on the face of things, the power ``within'' that the author of the statement is no more substantial than the idea of God. If his critique of asking God to get through a catastrophe is that God might be only an idea rather than concrete reality, the same critique can be made of human agency. But the author presents human agency as a valid alternative. It is inconsistent to ask ``why depend on something that might not be real?'' and then turn around and ask ``but why not depend on this other thing that might not be real instead?''

I hardly think that's crap.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
That's the sentence I didn't like. by Herring (2.00 / 0) #35 Fri May 18, 2007 at 08:18:50 AM EST
It's also very negative. I see the fact that people can do good without worrying about "the great surveillance camera in the sky" a very positive thing.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
I guess I misunderstood by lm (2.00 / 0) #41 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:19:49 AM EST
I thought you were saying that my last sentence was crap.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The proof of the existence of God by Phage (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri May 18, 2007 at 04:54:16 AM EST
I've looked and there isn't great (ie layman's coverage) of it. Aquinas ? Damned if I can remember. There's never a Jesuit when you need one.

Intellectual rigor by lm (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri May 18, 2007 at 04:57:34 AM EST
The starting point of the statement (that we are cognitive beings) implies that we ourselves might be figments of our own imagination to the same extent that it implies that God may be a figment of our imagination.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I think this was for Herring ? by Phage (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri May 18, 2007 at 04:59:44 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Your comment or mine? [nt] by lm (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:02:02 AM EST


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Your 'rigor' reply by Phage (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:10:00 AM EST
Referred to the quote on the cup. I was referring to something else, albeit on a broadly related topic.
(Or I'm as dumb as today)

[ Parent ]
I thought by R343L (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:22:45 AM EST
That only crazy (modern-ish) prostestant groups tried to "prove" god in a rational sense. Everyone else has since moved on to more immediate subjective "proofs" involving inculcating a sense of immanence such that one knows not because of a logical game, but because of feeling it must be the case.

Or something like that. Certainly more convincing to me than any rationalistic proof I've seen.

Rachael

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
That was about my take as well by Phage (2.00 / 0) #10 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:27:39 AM EST
But I would be interested in seeing the history behind the story. Why did $theist create a proof ? What was the reaction ? Have our thought patterns changed at all in the intervening centuries ?

I admit my ignorance of many things, and I thought the topic would be interesting as I haven't seen it explored anywhere else. A history of religious thought from Aquinas to ID ?

[ Parent ]
Anselm is the usual one by Dr H0ffm4n (2.00 / 0) #13 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:57:04 AM EST


[ Parent ]
It's off to Google I go by Phage (2.00 / 0) #14 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:58:52 AM EST
But I think it's an interesting topic.

[ Parent ]
You mean Aselmo? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:28:31 AM EST
The bloke from Pantera? I don't know how far he went out of his way to avoid offending Christians.

[ Parent ]
It's still bollocks [n/t] by Herring (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:54:24 AM EST


christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Anselm's argument is crap by lm (2.00 / 0) #32 Fri May 18, 2007 at 08:00:33 AM EST
Alvin Plantinga did an excellent deconstruction of Anselm's argument in ``God and Other Minds.'' IMO, the best argument for God is Aquinas' reformulation of Ibn Sina's argument based the distinction between essence and existence. To be defeated, it has to be argued either that plurality does not exist, that there is only one thing which exists. Monists don't have a problem accepting that. Some materialists also don't have a problem accepting it but most balk at the implication that there is no difference in reality between the self and everything else. If there is only one thing, then there is no meaningful distinction between me and the keyboard I'm typing this on.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
That was the only problem with going Baptist by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:49:47 AM EST
I miss the ability to turn to some guy in a black shirt and say "hey, what gnostic heresy thing about, anyway?"

--
Cur etiam hic es?
[ Parent ]
Aye by Phage (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:56:48 AM EST
I used to have great time. There was nothing off limits in a debate with those guys. I was just too young to compete though.

[ Parent ]
sigged (n.t) by iGrrrl (2.00 / 0) #33 Fri May 18, 2007 at 08:01:40 AM EST

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Heh. Flattered... NT by Phage (2.00 / 0) #77 Sun May 20, 2007 at 10:45:56 PM EST


[ Parent ]
I wrote a K5 article on it by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #75 Sat May 19, 2007 at 08:29:27 AM EST
A while back.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Excellent. by Phage (4.00 / 1) #76 Sun May 20, 2007 at 10:44:42 PM EST
I'll get into that when I get home. Ta.

[ Parent ]
Why do you hate God? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:36:02 AM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

It's the facial hair. by Phage (4.00 / 2) #12 Fri May 18, 2007 at 05:40:28 AM EST


[ Parent ]
If you'd only shave more often by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 3) #22 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:50:47 AM EST
it wouldn't itch and you wouldn't be so grouchy.

--
Cur etiam hic es?
[ Parent ]
Starbucks by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:09:36 AM EST
Yeah - I submit they knew exactly what they were doing in what is, in my mind, a rather odd marketing ploy.

Either way - they are getting their name in the press and sent about in emails all over the place which is what marketing is all about.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

starbucks by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #16 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:15:05 AM EST
Religious furore and anti-globalisation issues aside, Starbucks sucks coz their coffee tastes burnt.

IAWTP by Phage (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:35:46 AM EST
I get better coffee in the canteen.

[ Parent ]
Alice Cooper by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:48:02 AM EST
That interview was so cool. Among other things, he claimed a good friendship with Groucho Marx, and that a lot of the gags he used were taught to his band by old vaudevillians.

The image he puts across - of a professional entertainer - and a Christian!? - who merely used the "schtick" to keep the yokels entertained is an interesting contrast to Gene Simmons, who seems to really be his Kiss persona. (It's awfully hard to believe Simmons was ever a school teacher....)

Terry Gross is one of the best parts of living in Philadelphia. Now if only we could get the Wait, Wait, crew to move here....


--
Cur etiam hic es?

VH1 Classic by cam (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:56:40 AM EST
had a history of rock series of documentaries. Alice Cooper came out of it as extremely thoughtful and opposite to what the myth/perception of him is. IIRC on that doco he called his music vaudeville and said he used to get old style vaudivillians (like Marx) coming to his show who loved it for the theatre.

Maybe it was a history of metal documentary. In that one Iron Maiden came out of it really well and thoughtful too. Opposite to their myth/perception. I think a kid did it who was exploring metal through a documentary. Excellent show.

cam
Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
For the record by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #26 Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:06:53 AM EST
Much like Alice cooper I often wear mascara, black lingerie and boa constrictors when I write my blog entries.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
So your dad is a pastor? by lm (2.00 / 0) #34 Fri May 18, 2007 at 08:09:16 AM EST
Wow. I learn something new about my favorite Internet superhero every day.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Aye by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #37 Fri May 18, 2007 at 08:51:21 AM EST
That was one of his better rackets - The Church of Abooey - tax free income baby!!

Say - did you happen to see Christopher Hitchens blast Jerry Falwell? I don't agree with Hitchens belief system but I think he's spot on wrt Falwell!

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
Bwuahaha - his dad was a Pastor by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:21:34 AM EST
More proof that every guy who wears womens clothing had a dad who is a Pastor.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
hey now -- by garlic (2.00 / 0) #46 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:29:21 AM EST
they're fine where they are.


[ Parent ]
I wish I had your doc, sometimes by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:49:48 AM EST
my doctor is great and all that, but she has a real antipathy to prescribing codeinated cough syrup. I'm sorry Delsym doesn't do it for me.


Sigh... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 3) #27 Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:17:29 AM EST
I can never figure out what suggesting there is no God to a theist is offensive while suggesting that there is one to an atheist is not.

I can't figure out why you buying a coffee cup that says "may well be a figment of our imaginations" represents something that shouldn't happen while my buying that coffee cup with a bill that says "in God way trust" is just peachy keen, a-ok, and if I dare mention anything about that statement of belief on the money, I'm suddenly a preachy atheist, pushing my beliefs on others.

I'm fucking sick and tired of being told that I should just shut up about my beliefs because someone else is so insecure in their beliefs that they can't even handle hearing the goddamn words that express it.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Actually by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #29 Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:30:54 AM EST
I can never figure out what suggesting there is no God to a theist is offensive while suggesting that there is one to an atheist is not.

I've seen plenty of atheists get vitriolic when someone suggests there may be some sort of God, some blokes on this very site in fact can get very righteous over the matter.

You're right though - having "In God We Trust" on government issue stuff, like money, is a bit presumptuous. But hey, Americia was founded by a bunch of mostly God fearin folk.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
heh -- "some folks" by garlic (2.00 / 0) #47 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:30:54 AM EST


[ Parent ]
Why it was offensive to me by lm (4.00 / 1) #30 Fri May 18, 2007 at 07:39:55 AM EST
1. ``After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.''

This is blaming the victim and, IMO, is just as offensive as Jerry Falwell claiming that all AIDS victims are suffering the wrath of God for their homosexuality. It seems to me that most victims of catastrophes have little to nothing to do with causing that catastrophe.

2. ``As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome?''

While not explicitly stated, I think an unstated premise for this statement is that no rational people would believe in God if he or she took the time to think about it.

Further, on the face of it, it is inconsistent in that it doesn't apply the same skepticism to self-existence as it does to God's existence. One could easily as ask ``As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance?'' about our own existence.

Rather than being equivalent to ``In God we Trust'' as a slogan, I think it's far more equivalent to statements like that of George H.W. Bush that atheists cannot be good citizens. That's not a discussion starter. That's a discussion defeater.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
unstated premises by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #36 Fri May 18, 2007 at 08:21:05 AM EST
I think an unstated premise for this statement is that no rational people would believe in God if he or she took the time to think about it. As a nonbeliever, I am daily confronted with unstated premises about the sorts of people who don't believe in God that are far, far worse than that. It's constant, and often explicitly stated on national television.

I know that "In God We Trust" seems inoffensive to you, but then, it agrees with your belief system. I honestly find it very offensive. I don't generally say anything about it because I don't believe in showing offense to other people's words, even if they have they full weight of the government behind it and purport to speak for me.

Your number one is quite a stretch, and is somewhat missing the point. Is it not true that most of the problems that human societies face are caused by humans? You seem to me to be reaching for rational reasons to be offended by something that to me seems somewhat innocuous. Would you have even noticed that bit (or even thought about the statement in the first place) if it hadn't had the "no God" bit?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't be offended by ``in man we trust'' by lm (4.00 / 1) #38 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:03:53 AM EST
I think there is a huge distinction between statements of belief (or lack of) and statements about the people who who hold (or do not hold) those beliefs. I am not offended by ``in God we trust'' as a slogan not because I'm a believer but because it's a simple statement of fact and I wouldn't be offended if instead the federal government used the slogan ``in ourselves we trust'' or ``we trust in nothing'' or even ``there is no God.'' But I do take exception when a person holding a certain belief opines ``all who disagree with me are delusional'' or ``all who disagree with me are reprobate.''

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Aye by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #39 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:13:47 AM EST
It's been my perspective that both sides, believers and non-believers, can be extremely condescending in their belief.

Different sides of the same coin IMO.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
Funny by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #42 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:25:43 AM EST
I appear to have missed all the stories about atheists groups calling on boycotts. I appear to have missed the atheist groups protesting "The Passion of the Christ".
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
sure by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #48 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:32:23 AM EST
What percentage of the population are full fledged atheists? It's a very small percentage.

The theists who boycott and protest are likely the very fringe elements. If the number of atheists grew to a critical mass I'm quite certain you would see the same type of fringe behavior.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
I guess you weren't paying attention by lm (2.00 / 0) #50 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:36:56 AM EST
Go back and read the news from when Disney released The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. There were plenty of vocal objections from various atheist groups.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Links please by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #57 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:51:12 AM EST
How many pickets?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Again by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #40 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:19:15 AM EST
That's real easy for you to say, given that what is actually said there agrees with your belief system. It offends me greatly because it purports to speak for me, because it has the force of government, and because it is utterly impossible to boycott.

Half the fucking population uses ``all who disagree with me are reprobate'' on me, and people that share my belief system. I am damn sick and tired at the way theists are so thin-skinned about having to hear the materialist viewpoint on religion once in a while when I have to have a thick skinned about comments implying that atheist == potential ax-murderer because atheists have no threat from the sky to keep them in line.

Given that the number of comments from theists calling atheists "reprobate" in this society probably outweighs comments from atheists calling theists "irrational" by 50-1, my message to the theistic community would be "You guys first". Until then, learn to deal with having your belief system called into question once in a while.
---
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Well by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #43 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:26:28 AM EST
Given that the number of comments from theists calling atheists "reprobate" in this society probably outweighs comments from atheists calling theists "irrational" by 50-1

Maybe that's because theists outnumber atheists by 50 - 1? Really both sides can be just as bad when debating the issue.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
It's not about "debates" by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #44 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:28:47 AM EST
It's the way theists get their panties in a twist simply because of the mere statement of an opposing belief on a throw-away coffee copy. It seems that to the theists of this country, merely hearing the atheist point of view is an offense.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Right-O by lm (2.00 / 0) #51 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:40:53 AM EST
How do you interpret the statement that there are a large number of ways that the above statement could be worded without being overtly hostile with getting my panties in a twist simply because of the mere statement of an opposing belief? I think you're falsely equivocating.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Because by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #58 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:53:41 AM EST
The statement you call "overtly hostile", is only overtly hostile if you want it to be. It pales in comparison to what gets free passes virtually everywhere because it is theistic.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Sure, it can get far worse by lm (2.00 / 0) #61 Fri May 18, 2007 at 10:10:41 AM EST
On both sides. Read just about anything by Madeline Murray O'Hare or Fred Phelps. But just because these two figures are way out on the fringes doesn't mean that people closer to the center on both sides aren't still overtly hostile. The Hitchenses and Falwells of the world are still overtly hostile.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
O'Hare by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #62 Fri May 18, 2007 at 10:14:28 AM EST
She's been dead like ten years and people still bring her up?

Have you ever been afraid to bring up religion at work because it might hurt your career. I have. My wife sure as hell has. Have you?
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Yes, I have by lm (2.00 / 0) #64 Fri May 18, 2007 at 10:35:45 AM EST
Which is why I have long had a rule against talking about religion at work.

That O'Hare is dead doesn't matter. Jerry Falwell is dead and atheists will continue to talk about him for the next decade just as Fred Phelps will continue to be spoken about for decades after he dies.

Largely, it's a numbers game. My hypothesis is that assholes like O'Hare exist in equal quantities across the spectrum of religious belief. In a country where more than 80% of the populace self identifies as Christian and less than 5% self identifies as atheists, about 80% of the assholes will be Christians and less than 5% will be atheists.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The trouble by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #66 Fri May 18, 2007 at 11:50:32 AM EST
Is that you equate people like Dawkins with people like Falwell, when people like Falwell explicitly try to prevent the other guys from talking and people like Dawkins don't.

The bar for "asshole" is far higher for theists than atheists in this society. Dawkins is an "asshole" because he is "pompous" about his views while Falwell is an "asshole" because he tries to get laws past forcing his views on the entire country.

It's a double standard that your own complaint about Starbucks displays in spades.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
That's a load of crap by lm (2.00 / 0) #67 Fri May 18, 2007 at 12:12:41 PM EST
I think perhaps you're not so familiar with some of the public policies that Dawkins supports such as prohibiting parents from identifying their children under the age of 16 as being of the same faith. Between the support of such policies claim such that religious schooling is child abuse, Dawkins is an asshat on every level that Falwell was.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
child abuse by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #74 Fri May 18, 2007 at 06:16:11 PM EST
If you are referring to this, I fail to see how it makes him an asshat. I agree with Dawkins. Using the fear of hell to manipulate children's belief systems *is* child abuse.

("The God Delusion" gives has a chapter on the subject, but the gist is the same as the link.)

But yeah, saying that homosexuals deserve AIDS, and therefore we shouldn't help them is no worse than suggesting that kids ought to make up their own mind about religion.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
I understand your stance by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #55 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:49:08 AM EST
And you're correct to a certain point - questioning the belief of some religious people is a real issue for them, but not all of them and I would guess not even the majority of them.

I used to work with a born-again Christian woman who truly believed it was her lot in life to spread the word of Christ. She used to put scripture in my mailbox - true story. I actually believe in God - more of a Zen Buddha God that I've invented -  not the God you would read about in a Christian Church - and I was a bit annoyed when having to deal with her. So on a certain level I can understand where you're coming from.

But I submit the only reason you have to deal with that is because the God fearin folk are in a whopping majority. Anytime something like this happens there is bound to be someone speaking out about it. I'm certain that would also be the case if the roles were reversed. That's my point. Neither side is by definition more tolerant than the other - it's just that one side far outnumbers the other so it's gets all the press.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
I don't mind dealing with it. by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #59 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:56:20 AM EST
I really don't. I've been doing it all my life.

What royally pisses me off is the idea that somehow I, having been offended daily all my fucking life by people attacking my belief system, am somehow wrong for making any statement at all in support of a contrary one.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
I think by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #60 Fri May 18, 2007 at 10:07:48 AM EST
The fact that you've been offended every day of your life really has no bearing on the issue, it doesn't make your position any more valid.

Actually I think presentation may be more of a factor than content here.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

How's my blogging: Call me at 209.867.5309 to complain.

[ Parent ]
It's a real simple affair by lm (2.00 / 0) #63 Fri May 18, 2007 at 10:26:08 AM EST
In this diary no one told you to shut up about your beliefs but you started this thread with the assertion that you're sick and tired of being told you should and it went downhill from there.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Yes by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #65 Fri May 18, 2007 at 11:17:59 AM EST
You merely told Starbucks to.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Not at all by lm (2.00 / 0) #68 Fri May 18, 2007 at 12:15:20 PM EST
Show me where I told Starbucks to shut up.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Your diary. (nt) by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #69 Fri May 18, 2007 at 12:27:24 PM EST

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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
You lose by lm (2.00 / 0) #71 Fri May 18, 2007 at 02:24:20 PM EST
What I said is simple to understand, the statement on the Starbucks cup offends me and needlessly so because mostly the same thing could have been said in a fashion that doesn't cause offense.

How you get from that to ``shut up'' is beyond me. In this entire discussion, you've been alleging that I'm saying something that I'm not.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Probably because by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #73 Fri May 18, 2007 at 02:52:54 PM EST
Of all the self-censoring I do to avoid offending groups who give no thought to offending me constantly.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Depends on what you mean by `this society' by lm (2.00 / 0) #45 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:29:05 AM EST
If you mean the US of A as a whole, I doubt you're correct. I doubt very much that if you polled that you would find a even simple majority of US citizens saying that everyone who doesn't believe in God is necessarily reprobate. If you mean the Bible Belt, you're probably correct.

Further, I think you should stop making claims about what is easy and what is not easy for me to say. I think that's rude.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I'm talking by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #56 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:49:50 AM EST
About numbers of comments,etc. I hear in daily life, not numbers of believers/non-believers.

Further, I think you should stop making claims about what is easy and what is not easy for me to say. I think that's rude.

As rude as telling me how much offense I should be taking at "In God We Trust"?

Maybe I'm am rude. Sorry. But I'm sick of backing down and making no fuss when people talk of boycotting the mere statement of my belief system in public.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
What? by Herring (2.00 / 0) #52 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:42:49 AM EST
We (atheists) are told every day that because we don't hold a particular belief we are deluded, wrong and probably evil.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
I never claimed otherwise by lm (2.00 / 0) #54 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:48:49 AM EST
But it is also true that there Christians tend to get told every day that they are completely irrational, deluded and incapable of reason. In this diary, I've repeated said that both allegations are equally repulsive. Certainly it is true that there are many places where one of these forms of bigotry is more common than the other. But that doesn't mean that either is acceptable.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
First comment is easy by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #70 Fri May 18, 2007 at 01:54:22 PM EST
most!=all. I suspect that self-destruction (due to own deeds or lack of other hazards) is even more common among people who pay fourbucks for a cup of coffee.

Second comment requires a great deal more knowledge of Neurology than will fit on a Starbucks cup before doubting the existence of freewill (both freedom and the will to use it).

Wumpus

[ Parent ]
we're not talking garden grade self destruction by lm (2.00 / 0) #72 Fri May 18, 2007 at 02:30:11 PM EST
  1. The words used was `catastrophe.' It seems to me that most catastrophes, especially in the USA, are not man made.
  2. I don't get your point. You don't need to know neurology to doubt free will. The Stoics doubted free will and arguably didn't understand any neurology.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
vs2fp by garlic (2.00 / 0) #49 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:35:40 AM EST


Sure, if it will make Egil happy by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #53 Fri May 18, 2007 at 09:44:42 AM EST



[ Parent ]
I'm not so certain that this is a good thing | 77 comments (77 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback