RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

Pages: (2) < [1] 2 >   
  Topic: Necessary Education needed to debate, Are there basic thingsyou need?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,11:56   

On one of AFDaves many, many AiG related threads, I asked a series of questions that Seemed like necessary understanding to have to post the kinds of questions he posts.  My questions were:
 
Quote
I have read this thread patiently, waiting for you to utter an informed sentence Mr. Dave, but, not to my total surprise, you haven't. You are so totally lacking in the fundemental understanding of the entire subject you are taking on that there is no point arguing these finer details.

If you can tell me things like:

1-What is the geology of the area you live? When did it start to look like it does now?

2-What fossils have been discovered that fit into that time scale?

3-Why do specific flora and fauna (plants and animals-sorry) live in particular places? Why do they move around geographically as climate changes?

4-What does a top level predator provide to an ecosystem?

5-Why is there a system of ridges and trenches under the oceans? What do they signify?

6-Why do scientists think that dinosaurs existed? Why do they think it was so long ago? How do they arive at that belief?

7-Why do you think that echinoderms as varied as a sea slug and a starfish share certain characteristics but other similar creatures like molluscs (I'm thinking particularly about squid or octopus) don't share those same characteristics?

8-What does the magnetic orientation of rocks on the sea floor tell us?

And other questions like these I would be surprised. My bet is that at least half of those questions you can't answer off the top of your head. My other bet is that most of the sciency types here can answer all of those questions off the top of their head and that at least some can point out the problem with one of those questions.

Until you can gain that basic knowledge, you really can't discuss finer and more nuanced details that relate to those questions. Chimps and humans question really encompasses all of them to some degree.


It got me thinking. Most of the people I know can answer these questions to some degree even if they have NO college level science or very little. And they are very basic science concepts.

My hypothesis is that only those on the extraordinary self-dilusional side of the spectrum on the fundy spectrum CAN answer more than two of these.

So my question is: Is the debate possible, lets say in genetics, if the AiG type doesn't understand these concepts?

Ignorance fueled by the desire to remain ignorant is a foreign concept to me so I am not really sure of the answer. But I think you will just go round and round between the disciplines if the other guy isn't aware. It's a matter of the core. How all the sciences are inter-related.

Anyone?

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,12:17   

I would also ask :

How did the solar system appear?

Where were your atoms formed?

What is a protein and how is it synthesised?

What is a species?

...

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,12:40   

Well, AiG nutjobs aside, I think noone needs any kind of education to participate in a scientific discussion.
Seriously.
On the contrary, I think that uneducated people should be encouraged to participate in such debates. They should be able to state their views; the worst (and most likely) they can turn out to be is, well, wrong.
The important thing, however, is that they have to be prepared to accept the fact that they might be wrong, if (when) it is demonstrated to them. It's the only way they'll eventually learn something.
And we all know on which side AiG denizens usually are...

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,12:53   

Quote
The important thing, however, is that they have to be prepared to accept the fact that they might be wrong
Agreed. For someone to be a professional evolution debater you need knowledge in a lot of fields. Im a biologist, and I have absolutely no clue about the geology of my area. But if I am having a discussion about geology, Im not going to just paste sections form talk origins, I will actually ask one of my friends who is a geologist to explain the concepts to me, same with physics etc. That being said the way AFDave's going with this he will need a pretty good background in biology chemistry geology and physics.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,13:05   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ May 13 2006,17:53)
 
Quote
The important thing, however, is that they have to be prepared to accept the fact that they might be wrong
Agreed. For someone to be a professional evolution debater you need knowledge in a lot of fields. Im a biologist, and I have absolutely no clue about the geology of my area. But if I am having a discussion about geology, Im not going to just paste sections form talk origins, I will actually ask one of my friends who is a geologist to explain the concepts to me, same with physics etc. That being said the way AFDave's going with this he will need a pretty good background in biology chemistry geology and physics.

I assume that you are a scientist and circulate in a scientific community.

Most of us do not have those resources. Personaly I have to rely on popular science books to learn anything "scientific" (oh, and the patience of some posters here).

If I try and read technical articles the language is (or may as well be) foreign.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,13:49   

I second what Stephen Elliot has said.  If I hadnt gone to University myself and now have a job in a science related area, I would know maybe one person with whom I could talk about scientific stuff.  

The thing is, related to communication, the science over the past 100 years has gotten so complex and deep that it is rather hard for a layman to get to grips with it.  I have a chemsitry degree, and am generally interested in science.  Yet it has taken over a year of reading stuff on here, Pandas thumb and elsewhere, as well as the reading of a couple of popular science books, before I have a reasonable idea of evolutionary things.  I dont even know much biology.  In order to know much about anything I would have to go through first year university level courses on biology, evolution, information theory, etc etc.  Theres just so #### much to learn, that is is quicker and easier to leave it to other people.  We can win som ebattles with national efforts, but the war will have to be one one mind at a time.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,13:50   

The friends I am talking about are old schoolfriends, but I get your point, not everyone can ask a scientist. My point was that if somebody told me something about a subject I would not just read the first article that comes up on google, and then decide Im an expert, which is what a lot of creationists seem to do. Reading popular science books is I think the way to go, unless of course you are talking about The Genesis Flood, and Darwins Black Box.  :D

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,14:19   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ May 13 2006,18:50)
The friends I am talking about are old schoolfriends, but I get your point, not everyone can ask a scientist. My point was that if somebody told me something about a subject I would not just read the first article that comes up on google, and then decide Im an expert, which is what a lot of creationists seem to do. Reading popular science books is I think the way to go, unless of course you are talking about The Genesis Flood, and Darwins Black Box.  :D

LOL No. For me it is astro physics that really interests me. For that I have to rely on the explanations of Stephen Hawkins and Brian Green.

Biology is a mystery to me. For that I bought the book Biology by Campbell/Reece. Finding time to read it (let alone understand it) is prohibitive. Unfortunately I have to go to work and have other time demands.

Mostly it is easier to just ask a question here and hope somebody explains in simple English, or just accept an experts POV.

I mostly favour the latter. Possibly from being lazy, but I just don't have the time to learn the subject to the same degree.

  
PuckSR



Posts: 314
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,15:03   

I believe that certain skills are necessary for debate...but these are not debates...

A debate generally occurs when some common ground can be agreed upon....
An example might be a debate between abiotic and biotic oil.
They both agree that oil exists, they both agree that the others idea is at least logical.  

These conversations are more of a theological/philosophical clash.  There exists no common ground.
AFDave's most important evidence is the Bible
Our least important evidence is the Bible

I will leave you with a quote...actually two quotes...and I will let you all guess as to the authorship....


Quote
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Quote
For I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,15:31   

All that's really necesary to make a useful contribution to the discussion is a desire to learn and an ego sized small enough to understand and admit that your current 'knowledge' may be wrong.

Unfortunately, finding those traits amongst the YECs I've met has proven just about impossible.  AFDave is merely the latest egotistical dimbulb in a long line.

--------------
"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 13 2006,19:34   

Yeah, reading science books should get you there. It seems to me that the YEC types might have the hinderance of religion and in that respect they are right that scientists and those like myself who use science at work are really not interested in what they have to say about a topic they care a lot about.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 14 2006,03:14   

Quote

So my question is: Is the debate possible, lets say in genetics, if the AiG type doesn't understand these concepts?


I tutored high school kids in math and science for years while getting my physics degree. It was strenuous work under the best conditions. When I see an AFDave type or a Thordaddy type, I know exactly who they are. They're like what my tutoring clients would have been, if the client had not just been ignorant, but actively disputed every single thing I said. That's why you won't find me arguing with them. They don't have the modus operandi necessary to learn things.

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 14 2006,04:59   

Thank you Steve. That is what I've been thinking that has been nagging at me. If I want to know something about genetics, I will go to someone who really knows. And here's the thing, I will place the information gleaned from that encounter in the file marked "newest, probably best information" in my head.

Having gone some of the way, I know why those who have chosen to specialize are indeed experts. I suppose that anyone who can think critically can do that. It's not an appeal to experts like a falacy. It's an appeal to experts to ask for info. That's kind of where the info comes from. Like what you said steve, they come to you asking about math and then tell you that you don't know. It can be frustrating.

Fundies are caught in what k.e. likes to call "cognative dissonance". They have an authority- a pastor or whatever- telling them one thing, and when they go to someone who actually looks at that stuff, they get an opposite answer.

You eventually realize that one of the two is lying. Well, who's it gonna be, the guy who married you to your wife or some scientist who has forgotten how to even speak english?

To keep their heads from exploding, they start shouting as loud as they can:

La lalalalalalalaalallalallallalalalalalalalala, I can't heeeeeaaar you. lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala.

And that is what these discussions are. one side shouting that kind of thing but disguising it as a rational question and another side answering the rational question instaed of just shaking their heads and walking away.

I remember one time when a street preacher walked up to the place I was eating in the main square downtown and started preaching just stupid jesus stuff.  He got right next to the small group of people that were enjoying the sunshine and lunch and started shouting at us. Some of the people asked him to leave but he wouldn't. After maybe an excruciating minute, I got up, walked down to the circle he was standing on, and started telling the story of the 3 little pigs in biblical fashion, at his same volume, complete with hand motions and all. It worked, he refused to compete and left (AFDave, if that was you, I am sorry if I hurt your feelings). I sat back down and finished my lunch. It was the most honest conversattion I've ever had with a fundy.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 14 2006,05:06   

LOL street preaching the three little pigs. You know, that's actually much better than the street preachers we had at NCSU, who mostly discussed who was going to he11. If you're curious, it turns out the answers are "fags", "sodomites", "liberals". I forget the others.

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2006,04:53   

Fornicators. That's what my guy was saying.

So what do you say to a fundy like AFDave who just doesn't know enough to even ask intelligent questions?

It's not that you have to know all that stuff, it's just that if you are going to argue against evolution- then you have to know that stuff. Because you will inevitably not understand the main ideas of niches and geologic time.
??

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 20 2006,20:29   

The necessary education appears to be critical thinking skills. You have to be able to recognize dead ends.
Davey-dog and T-diddy have been going far beyond tthe simple "ignorance is bliss" metaphor.

They are maybe this far.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 20 2006,20:43   

Quote
k.e. likes to call "cognative (sp: cognitive) dissonance".


lol.

ke didn't even need to invent this.

it's standard psychology, and exactly what I've been pointing out is wrong with the creobots for years.

they all suffer from it.

external symptoms include mad spinning of psychological defense mechanisms to give the brain some room to breathe.

these include... wait for it...

projection and denial.

Yeah, there's a reason psychologists get PhDs.
There really is something to the science of psychology.

The kind of stuff exhibited by the likes of good ol Dave can be gleaned from a psych 101 text.

but that doesn't qualify me to treat him, or make a definitive diagnosis, even halfassed in an online forum.

You can google search on the term yourself and see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

It seems blatantly obvious to me, but hey, now I'm trying to play M.D. where i probably shouldn't.

Could do more harm than good.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 20 2006,20:54   

:) Can't slip anything buy you guys can I?

But k.e. uses the term frequently. Also provides that particular link frequently. So to me, the phrase has become his. I usally use, um, different* words to describe behavior that exhibits what some call cognitive dissonance.

* More akin to Stupid, idiot, moron, dumber than a shovel handle etc.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 20 2006,21:02   

Whatever the case (I think Pim actually was the first to use it on a PT board in a discussion we were having about a year ago on this very issue), I think if you spend an hour or two checking out the basic psychology involved, you'll start to see a repeated pattern, and it is pretty interesting.  Worth the time if you have an hour or two to spare.

I had to study psych as an behavioral ecologist, of course, but that's about as far as it went.

I do know some psych grads who might have better insight, if i can find them.

the problem is, say you manage to diagnose someone as schizophrenic.  How do you go about convincing them of that?

Do you think if we showed Dave how much the way he processes questions looks like cognitive dissonance, that he would say, "By Jove, I think you're right, I should see somebody about that!"

It's all very frustrating.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 20 2006,21:18   

Well, Dave has the option of evangelizing on this bullitin board or not. If he chooses to, I will torment him, if he chooses not to, I won't.

His psychology is messed up for sure. But we all have our crosses to bear, right?;)

I would love to see rational thought come from the guy. No matter how wrong or misguided. But I have no sympathy for the guy who needs to go out into the world and spread stupidity like a layer of peanut butter.

Stay in your cave and wallow in stupidity, otherwise, serve as an example for my children-the same way a mouse serves as an example for a litter of kittens :)

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2006,05:09   

I have been recording the new(ish) Dr Who series on SciFi, and last night I got around to watching a couple.  As they approached the space station to watch the end of the world, a computer PA voice said "Remember - No weapons, no teleportation and no religion are allowed on the Space Station"  :D

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2006,09:52   

Quote
His psychology is messed up for sure. But we all have our crosses to bear, right?


of course.

After seeing the endless parade of IDiots wander through this forum and preach at us, I thought perhaps that rather than doing the usual; that being trying to actually show them evidence (which never seems to work), I'd try to investigate if there was perhaps a more productive way to approach them.

seeing that most of them appear to share a common psychology, it seems a natural point to press and see where it goes.

What if we actually do get somewhere in convincing a creobot that their thinking processes themselves are disfunctional?

for once, progress other than convincing lurkers these guys are idiots could be made.

I just don't know enough about psych to feel qualified to pull it off.

I decided yesterday i would try to track down some old friends and get their input.

one has a Masters in clinical psychology, and the other a PhD in cognitive psychology.

that should be a pretty balanced perspective, and either dispell my notions right quick-like, or else provide some positive input to act on.

Could take me a week or so to track them down tho.  I'ts been a few years...

  
Leonides



Posts: 3
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,02:27   

Hi there.

I'm a lurker of several months and have been fascinated by the ongoing 'argument'. I jump in at this point since my background is Psychology, (I have a degree from UCL my Masters in Applied Forensic Psychology temporarily on hold due to real life intruding).

>What if we actually do get somewhere in convincing a creobot that their thinking processes themselves are disfunctional?

The problem here is that the thought processes actually are dysfunctional. There is no real way to alter the thought processes through a medium like this. It would probably require intensive deprogramming like you would try on Cult members.

If someone is open to evidence and so on then they can be persuaded. A lot of these people aren't (and in some cases don't want to be). I often feel that looking at the creobot responses, it's like severe anterograde amnesia that is specifically tailored to remove any evidence that is contrary to their world view. They may read and process responses then ten minutes later it's gone, which is why you find the same idiots re-posting on T.O. about Haeckel charts, the gaps in the fossil record and the rest of the PRATTs, despite being given refutations, links to Journals or the fallacies in their logic being shown up. Continuing the anterograde amnesia theme, I think some sort of 'Memento' style tattooing system might be useful, so they can think ''Haeckel', oh, look, on my forearm, um Haeckel, ah can't use that one.'

In case anybody is interested, the guy that came up with the whole cognitive dissonance theory was called Festinger. There's quite a lot of interesting articles available on the net about him and the theory.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,09:09   

so, are you in effect saying that there is no productive way to communicate with folks who suffer such?

I'm not quite clear what your recommendation is here.

  
Leonides



Posts: 3
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,10:25   

>so, are you in effect saying that there is no productive way to communicate with folks who suffer such?

Yup, essentially. I mean how many of the hard-core creationists have ever actually seen the light of reason? From my (admittedly limited) experience, there are a relatively small number of these folk but they are completely immune to evidence no matter how often, simply and patiently it is explained to them. They need deprogramming which can't really be done over the net.

Part of the problem is that all their mental energies go to supporting their world-view in the face of overwhelming evidence. I would imagine that most of the time these people don't arise in a social vacuum and that all their social and familial support mechanisms will be tied to the churches and pastors that have propagated the world-view in the first place and to question what is believed is to risk isolation from those nearest and dearest. A lot of theirs identity is tied up in their belief mechanism. One of those things that I see repeatedly from them is the claim that atheists lives are meaningless or nihilistic. This is a big clue to their own behaviour: if there is no god, there is no meaning to their lives. Clinging to the belief in god is a clinging to identity. When all of their support networks say 'it was all poofed into existence 6000 years ago by a sky pixie', alogn with the however many years of familial indoctrination, what is an argument on the internet against that?

Some people are brave enough to make the leap from faith, others aren't.

>I'm not quite clear what your recommendation is here.

Keep doing what you're doing. You'll convince the waverers and those who are genuinely interested in learning and it's worth it to get through to them. It's entirely possible that a the majority of creationists are creationists simply because they've never had things explained to them properly and are dropping into a 'default' socially derived position. The ones for whom it must take a lot of effort to maintain are those who are relatively bright or educated, guys like Dembski and Behe who know how vacuous the garbage they?re peddling is but have so\much invested in it that they can't let go of it.

Some find that they are prepared to let go of the intellectual dishonesty.  The others... well there are none so blind as those who won't see.

And mean as it may be, taking the mick out of the people that really need it is funny.

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,10:54   

hmm, as cynical as I usually am, I still am leaning towards trying to figure out if there is a better way of communicating with folks who are as dissonant as AFDave.

there might not be, but one does get weary of the banging-head-on-wall sensation that is sparked by continual diatriabe with such.

Quote
Some find that they are prepared to let go of the intellectual dishonesty.  The others... well there are none so blind as those who won't see.


In the parable depicted by Breughel in "bling leading the blind"

http://gallery.euroweb.hu/html....le.html

Breughel actually includes every known cause of blindness at the time he painted it, except the most common one, willfull blindness.

He should have added a picture of a man, perhaps even the leader, whose hands actually cover his eyes.

did you see Fractatious' response to the same question on the other thread?

There's gotta be something simple to help point these folks towards self-recognition.

I haven't seen negative reinforcement having much effect, and while postive reinforcement works, it's hard to get them to do anything to begin with that's worth rewarding.

We try to get them to read links, which they then promptly process through their distorted worldview and spit back nonsense.

*sigh*

back to the drawing board.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,11:04   

Quote

there might not be, but one does get weary of the banging-head-on-wall sensation that is sparked by continual diatriabe with such.


They're not teachable. They lack the ability to learn anything contrary to their religion. What you have to decide is how much time you are going to spend trying.

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,13:54   

Quote
They're not teachable.


What I'm saying is not a disagreement with that as far as ToE is concerned, but rather that perhaps there might be some way to get through to them just how badly their thought processes differ from what would be considered "rational".

What we've been doing up to now seems to me like trying to convince a smoker to quit by pointing out statistics on lung cancer.

doesn't work.

you have to convince them that there's a psychological addiction they are facing first, get them to recognize that, and go from there.

same with alcoholism, or most addictive behavior for that matter.

again, I'd consider it a major victory if we could just get ONE of these creobots to recognize that they might not be thinking rationally.  Maybe that would be enough to get them a bit more introspective, and hopefully enough that a few might seek to explore that.  Folks as bad as Dave is should seriously be considering seeking professional treatment, as there may be underlying causes to the dissonant behavior that could produce far more unwanted results than depicted here in these forums.

Alcoholism was, until relatively recently (say 60 years?), not considered to be a real problem for society at large.

I don't think very many think this way any more (laws against drunk driving, thousands of treatment programs, AA, etc.).

I'm beginning to suspect that the type of dissonant behavior shown by creobots is becoming a more recognized and pervasive problem now in the US.  Heck, it seems pretty obvious that our own president seems to suffer from it to a greater or lesser extent, based on his reactions to logical questions about his policies.  I'm certainly not the first to notice, either.

Adam, on the PT board yesterday, also made a point of detailing the difference between "religion" and the type of behavior exhibited by AFDave.

again, an alcoholic comes to mind.  Most of us can drink alcohol and not become adversly psychologically affected (addicted) to it, but some cannot.

we realize the best treatment isn't to eliminate the sale of alcohol to cure alcoholics, but rather to remove the individual from the source.  Even before that, however, you have to get the individual to recognize that they have a problem.

I've decided to explore how one would go about doing just that, if there even is a way to do so via an online forum.

It's gotta be more productive than head-banging and ridicule.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,14:07   

Good luck. I wouldn't even try. Listen to Young Earth Creationist Paul Nelson. "The evidence is against me and I don't care. It must be wrong."* Good luck arguing with that. And most of them are too dumb to know the evidence is even against them in the first place (AFDave).


*(I wish I had a source for that. I think I did last year, but I forgot what it was)

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,14:09   

OK, so go through a thread and analyze the methodology Davey or t-diddy uses. That's what I'd do first. See what the pattern looks like linearly. You could potentially find pressure  points.

Do it for 3 or 4 threads and patterns of short circuits should emerge. My guess is that the same "type" of question generates most of the short circuits. Maybe the 80/20 rule.

Devise a way to bypass the short circuiting mechanism and test it. You've got a lab right here. It'd be interesting. I'll help by asking provocative questions to get them blabbering once you know what you're looking for.

I've refined the art of baiting some so I might be able to offer some criticisms.

Good Luck :)

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2006,14:16   

Quote
Good luck arguing with that.


hmm, I think you're missing my point.

Arguing evidence is exactly what I'm saying is so fruitless.  Rather than argue the evidence, we might look at the mindset and attack that instead.  document the clear instances of projection and denial constantly used in their arguments, rather than document their misinformation and ignorance all the time. Not saying there is no value to lurkers (or ourselves sometimes), but that it is of little value to folks like Dave.

as you rightly point out, it's quite clear there is little point arguing evidence with folks like Nelson.

let's get to the pathology of the issue, and see where that leads us.

You gotta admit, it's not a commonly used approach.

and, just to repeat myself... it couldn't be any less productive than the current approach (lurkers aside; as the evidentiary argument mode is the best for that).

You really can't argue that in a month, we have made ANY headway with AFDave arguing from an evidentiary standpoint, can you?

of course not.  If anything, the pressure on his worldview seems to be causing him to spin out defenses at an ever more rapid pace!

the difference in approach would simply be to try to get him to recognize that, rather than to actually accept any of the evidence provided, which he is clearly unable to do.

  
Leonides



Posts: 3
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2006,00:46   

Quote
let's get to the pathology of the issue, and see where that leads us.


The problem here is that unlike, say alcoholism, there probably isn't an underlying endogenous pathology (unless you count, in some cases, crass stupidity), but a socially constructed and maintained one.

Like alcoholism, the first step in dealing with it would be to get folk to admit that there is a problem. As far as most fundies are concerned, we're the ones with the problem as come the Rapture, God knows his own.

Unfortunately, the way to deal with it would be to get them away from the people who enable and facilitate the stupidity. There are obvious problems for an internet forum in this.

Quote
the difference in approach would simply be to try to get him to recognize that, rather than to actually accept any of the evidence provided, which he is clearly unable to do.


I think you're substituting one problem for another here, but it has to be worth a shot. Immunity to logic appears to be a super-power with some of these folk.

Arguing either sort of evidence re evolution or their behaviour, I would expect some BS about the wisdom of humanity being nothing in comparison to the wisdom of god. Whoever wrote that line really knew how to exploit a certain mentality. They will also turn around and say 'look, you don't have an answer for point 'x' and are just throwing ad hom attacks now'.

Still, it's a novel approach and if you can make one fundie at least question their own behaviour then it's probably worthwhile.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2006,05:20   

I got your point. Try to fix their dysfunctional reasoning processes. That's why I posted the bit about Paul Nelson. His reasoning is completely insane. Some creationist here in the last few days said something similar, along the lines of 'autonomous human reasoning is worthless, you have to just assume the bible is true'. It's nuts. It couldn't be more irrational. And that's why you're not going to accomplish anything. They're not going to listen to reason, whether it's reason about evidence or reason about reasoning.

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2006,05:26   

Quote (stevestory @ May 23 2006,10:20)
Some creationist here in the last few days said something similar, along the lines of 'autonomous human reasoning is worthless, you have to just assume the bible is true'.

That was the great Ghost of Paley!

Here's the little gem itself:

Quote
Autonomous human reasoning is worthless as a tool to come to any conclusions about anything. Mankind, being affected by sin, can only reason from the implications of his presuppositions; he can only reason in a circle. Hence, the truth of the Bible must be pre-supposed, and not argued for in order to ground any knowledge claims at all.


Is it just me, but is this awfully retrograde even for GoP? Seems he usually tries harder to pretend to be a scientist than that.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2006,09:57   

Quote
there probably isn't an underlying endogenous pathology


I do recall several fairly recent studies suggesting otherwise; one of which was posted for discussion on the 'thumb a few months back.

However I get the point you're trying to make.

Quote
They're not going to listen to reason, whether it's reason about evidence or reason about reasoning.


yeah, you're probably right.

However, it is a different way of looking at the issue, and maybe it will convince some to think about the ways they themselves process information.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2006,10:17   

at least we can increase the level of cognative dissonance to an uncomfortable level. If you can't change 'em, marginalize 'em.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2006,11:57   

and what would marginalize somebody more than providing clear evidence they are suffering from a long-recognized mental disorder?

just ask JAD.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2006,12:12   

Quote

However, it is a different way of looking at the issue, and maybe it will convince some to think about the ways they themselves process information.

You're right, it is a new approach, and I think it almost certainly has a better chance that arguing the evidence, which'll never work.  You might want to try to get them to understand that something can appear one way to an amateur, and completely the opposite to an expert.

I just think it's not going to work because there are none so blind, as those who will not see. I think you'd have to do some kind of kidnapping-and-deprogramming to make a dent.

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2006,12:16   

Quote
I think you'd have to do some kind of kidnapping-and-deprogramming to make a dent.


I gotta admit I'm a bit stymied at this point as to specific approaches to try.

however...

that's why rational folk would turn to experts in this field for advice, which is exactly what I intend to do.

I'm going to drop this for a while until i can track down some old friends and get their input on how and whether there is a productive way to proceed along these lines within the constraints presented to us in an online forum.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,18:58   

S TJ,

Dija ever get a hold of those folks?
DaveyDH has brought out the little devil in me again.
:O

This thread suddenly seemed appropriate to me again.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 30 2006,19:08   

heh, the thread actually is always appropriate when speaking of creobots like AFD.

I'm slowed by my lack of direct access to the literature, and so am trying to work with a couple of people to process specific articles whenever they have time.

it goes slow, but it goes.  I'm hoping another few weeks will see me at least get a real handle on the underlying psychology involved, and get a nice list of specific supporting articles.

thanks for the inquiry.

--------------
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."

-CC

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2006,09:25   

I think we *have* made a bit of progress in dealing with Dave. 1) He may still try to forward the infallible truthiness of the Bible, but in his mind will always be those images of Tyre. (2) I'm sure that when he started his thread that he wasn't aware of the amount of evidence against a YEC view. He'd swallowed the ICR/AIG claims whole and was really unaware of how shallow their claims were (3) I honestly don't believe he views "us" as quite the evil villains he wanted us to be, even though some of us were pretty rough on him. He realizes that not all scientists are frothing atheists or even foamy agnostics, and that (4)there is an alternative to literalism, and comfort to be found in a Prime Mover-style God that still remains the core of the Bible and -- most importantly-- is not NECCESSARILY antagonistic to evolution or science in general.
About...oh, a year ago, Fractatious and I managed to change to view of a similarly entrenched literalist who had been "taught" by Jehovah's Witnesses. It took a while, but eventually she dropped the literalism and has invited Fractatious and I to lunch when we get a chance. And she's happy...she separated from an abusive husband that was part of her overall problem, found beauty and joy and a *purpose* in the science she once denied: she's active in environmental and global warming causes in particular. And she actually said "thanks" to both of us for it. Kind of moving, I thought.
I guess I wanted to mention "Playing_in_the_Snakepit" (the woman's screenname online) because she was just as rabid and defensive and dissonant as Dave...but a concerted effort worked. Fractatious and I spent a lot of time discussing approaches and what seemed to work was eroding this notion of scriptural infallibility, since the Bible was written by fallible men. Disposing one by one the erroneous claims of the AIG/ICR-style creationists, and offering alternatives that were palatable.
Part of the overall process included the same things we applied to Dave--people (generally) don't LIKE feeling that they are "bad" or "wrong" but the sad fact is that if you are a YEC, you MUST lie, there's just no way around that. Specific instances of that...incontrovertible ones...have to be noted and dangled like dirty laundry that they become ashamed of at some level, I suppose. In a sense, fallibility has to be uncovered, error in the YEC view stomped into their conciousness...Dave getting lied to by the ICR must not have been pleasant. Seeing their exaggerations and sheer duplicity, the quote mines, the perversion of data...that sort of fallibility plays a huge part.
I'm a cognitive psych "fan," I suppose, esp. the cognitive-therapeutic approaches of Aaron Beck et al. I would have gone into the field, but , eh, I can't handle too much of seeing people in pain. I couldn't be a good doctor either. But one of the reasons I decided to come to this forum was to see about sharpening my skills in argumentation and seeing what "worked" against these kinds of global schema that a strong religious "meme" can produce.
And dat's all I gots to say about dat.

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
PennyBright



Posts: 78
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 01 2006,15:19   

I think one of the best things that can be done when trying to get through to a fundamentalist is to be polite to them.

It's been a recurrent theme over the years in any number of the de-conversion stories that I have read - that the internal questioning was triggered by someone  politely but firmly disagreeing.  In my own personal experience I've seen it as well - civility is disarming, and helps avoid setting off the defensive attitudes that are so inhibitory to actual thought.

Michael Shermer covers a lot of this very well in 'Why People Believe Weird Things' - his discussions of how people think themselves into irrationality are invaluable, in my opinion.

And while deadman doesn't say it explicitly,  I agree that simple repetitive correction over extended periods is probably far more influential then we realize.   The seeds of doubt we plant may never bloom where we can see them, but that shouldn't discourage us from the sowing.

--------------
Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 01 2006,15:27   

Quote (Ichthyic @ Aug. 31 2006,01:08)
I'm slowed by my lack of direct access to the literature, and so am trying to work with a couple of people to process specific articles whenever they have time.

Yeah, I have this problem too. The intellectual things I've been most interested in for the last few years are in the field of Social Psychology, and it sucks no longer having online access to journals.

   
ScaryFacts



Posts: 337
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,14:29   

Quote
I think we *have* made a bit of progress in dealing with Dave


Whether or not you have made progress with Dave, you guys and gals have been a tremendous help to me.  While not everything I am learning here is "comfortable", it has still been an almost addictive learning curve forcing me to re-evaluate my belief system.

I know some of you likely have been frustrated when you have carefully structured a 500 word post only to have Dave ignore it, but those posts have been incredibly informative to me and (I suspect) dozens of other lurkers.

One of these days I will give you my complete history and you will realize just how big a deal this is.

Heartfelt thanks.

   
Ra-Úl



Posts: 93
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,15:51   

I have watched the afdave debacle for a while, and I have to say that watching some of the people debating him trump his arguments with logic and facts has been fun, but a problematic kind of fun. For me the climactic point was the Portuguese Moment, since I had some background in languages. Afdave, in his insane delusion of grandeur, thinks his ideas in linguistics, all branches of geology, every flavor of physics, any kind of genetics, trumps the work of thousands of scientists in those fields. To debate him takes a team, because he contains multitudes and contradicts himself more than the Good Gray Poet ever did.
I say it's problematic fun beacause I have some things in common with both deadman and afdave: I was born and raised in Colombia in a religious household, and I majored in Anthro, though I dropped out, and I am now an interpreter. As a kid I was devoted to the reading of jungle travel stories and archaeology, and loved meeting people who had actually travelled in the Amazon. I remember specifically SIL linguist Paul Headland dining with us several times, once at the same time as Dr. Orlando Fals-Borda, the Colombian sociologist. I remember thinking that both the missionary-linguist  and the sociologist did what I wanted to do (I was ten or eleven) which was to study traditional people in the remote corners of Colombia. Though my family was very devout, I was not isolated from other influences and my school (Colegio Americano, Presbyterian affiliated) had a high ratio of non-Protestant students, lots of Catholics and Jews and a few Muslim, Buddhists and agnosstics (I believe the term was freethinker; to this day my Mom hopes I haven't become an [/I]atheist[I], a far worse thing.). We were informally trained in debating religious issues and were in fact accustomed to debating among ourselves or with other schoolkids on polite terms, especially with students from the Jesuit schools, a very well prepared bunch.
I also remembered the first time I spoke at home about Evo, in a joking manner: my aunt questioned whether a good Chritian could ever believe he was descended from primates, and said that it was far nicer to beleive in the Biblical account. I learned to not bring it up around her or Mom (Dad was OK with it), but the house was full of magazines with articles on the evolution of man, and I read voraciously, along with anything to do with physics and chemistry.
When I came to the US at twelve it never crossed my mind that evolution was doubted, until a girfriend mentioned LDS students in her high school bringing it up at biology. I have been more aware of fundamentalist thinking since the mid seventies, but the current crop scares me. I have grown up around missionaries, and never met anyone like afdave. His prose style is irritating enough with its folksiness and false bonhomie, but his obtuseness in the face of evidence puts to shame the most recalcitrant criminal defendants I have met. It's horrifying to read his responses, and his repeating of points he's sure he has proven before he moves on to the next item on his list, but then, it's a pleasure to read, say Deaman's exemplarily detailed responses. I have to say that in my opinion afdave earns ninety-nine per cent of the invective directed at him, even when it makes me wince. I can see the point of those that say it's useless to debate the afdaves of the world, but I have seen people change from mindless fundamentalism to, as someone before has described as a wonder at the way things are. Lurkers will look in and some will be influenced. People like me will be moved to keep up their reading and studying. Others will be brickwalled against anything that questions their faith. As for my fatih, the minister that I remember most fondly was a scholar of the Spanish Mystics, and I was influenced by him to study Kiekegaard, Schopenhauer and Unamuno, not a bad group to be influenced by.

--------------
Beauty is that which makes us desperate. - P Valery

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,16:02   

Quote (deadman_932 @ Aug. 31 2006,15:25)
I think we *have* made a bit of progress in dealing with Dave. 1) He may still try to forward the infallible truthiness of the Bible, but in his mind will always be those images of Tyre. (2) I'm sure that when he started his thread that he wasn't aware of the amount of evidence against a YEC view. He'd swallowed the ICR/AIG claims whole and was really unaware of how shallow their claims were (3) I honestly don't believe he views "us" as quite the evil villains he wanted us to be, even though some of us were pretty rough on him. He realizes that not all scientists are frothing atheists or even foamy agnostics, and that (4)there is an alternative to literalism, and comfort to be found in a Prime Mover-style God that still remains the core of the Bible and -- most importantly-- is not NECCESSARILY antagonistic to evolution or science in general.
About...oh, a year ago, Fractatious and I managed to change to view of a similarly entrenched literalist who had been "taught" by Jehovah's Witnesses. It took a while, but eventually she dropped the literalism and has invited Fractatious and I to lunch when we get a chance. And she's happy...she separated from an abusive husband that was part of her overall problem, found beauty and joy and a *purpose* in the science she once denied: she's active in environmental and global warming causes in particular. And she actually said "thanks" to both of us for it. Kind of moving, I thought.
I guess I wanted to mention "Playing_in_the_Snakepit" (the woman's screenname online) because she was just as rabid and defensive and dissonant as Dave...but a concerted effort worked. Fractatious and I spent a lot of time discussing approaches and what seemed to work was eroding this notion of scriptural infallibility, since the Bible was written by fallible men. Disposing one by one the erroneous claims of the AIG/ICR-style creationists, and offering alternatives that were palatable.
Part of the overall process included the same things we applied to Dave--people (generally) don't LIKE feeling that they are "bad" or "wrong" but the sad fact is that if you are a YEC, you MUST lie, there's just no way around that. Specific instances of that...incontrovertible ones...have to be noted and dangled like dirty laundry that they become ashamed of at some level, I suppose. In a sense, fallibility has to be uncovered, error in the YEC view stomped into their conciousness...Dave getting lied to by the ICR must not have been pleasant. Seeing their exaggerations and sheer duplicity, the quote mines, the perversion of data...that sort of fallibility plays a huge part.
I'm a cognitive psych "fan," I suppose, esp. the cognitive-therapeutic approaches of Aaron Beck et al. I would have gone into the field, but , eh, I can't handle too much of seeing people in pain. I couldn't be a good doctor either. But one of the reasons I decided to come to this forum was to see about sharpening my skills in argumentation and seeing what "worked" against these kinds of global schema that a strong religious "meme" can produce.
And dat's all I gots to say about dat.

I think the lurkers have been helped. I'm not sure you've improved AFDave any. I've seen Sal Cordova do the same oblivious and arrogant act for about 8 times longer than I've seen AFDave do it, and Sal's just as SNAFU now as when he began. A while ago, I thought I detected a whiff of desperation in AFDave's posts, but I could have just been imagining things.

   
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,16:50   

Penny: I agree completely. One can only hope.

Scary: Thanks, I'm  pretty sure everyone that contributes to the site is heartened by the kind posts that I've read from you -- and on a personal level, I know I sure am.

Ra-Ul: Gracias a ti, tambien. Again, I'm sure the contributors would all agree.  "Better to light a candle than curse the darkness." and all that. I like your choices in philosophy, too. Unamuno's "Del Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida"  particularly affected me.

Steve: Yeah, I'm not sure either, but...even if he  tries to put all this from his mind, I *hope* he'll be less successful than he would wish. I'm sure he just had no real idea about the depth of the counter-arguments -- as shown by his unfamiliarity with terms and concepts. He11, I'd be satisfied if he's lost just a tiny bit of his obnoxious braggadocio.

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 02 2006,17:05   

Y'know, in a perverse way, I hope he hasn't been affected as of yet. I hope it's like a time-delayed meme-bomb that goes off in his brain later. To be honest he's been an excellent, if irritating, foil. He's run through a large range of the AIG/ICR claims and it helped me find some new daggers to stick in the hearts of their arguments. Plus I get to steal the ones other folks brought up, and the comments have been really funny at times.

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 03 2006,10:33   

Quote
As for my fatih, the minister that I remember most fondly was a scholar of the Spanish Mystics, and I was influenced by him to study Kiekegaard, Schopenhauer and Unamuno, not a bad group to be influenced by.


Meaning that existential questioning was encouraged. That leads to enlightened* thinking. I think it is safe to say that fundies are not spending a lot of time reading things other than the bible and bible apologetics. And that is the root of the problem and, in fact, the point of this thread.

If kids started reading instead of watching tv and read alot, they would be exposed to enough ideas to vaccinate them against fundy myopia.

Aside: I was in college when I first discovered Christians were real. No kidding. It came as a shock. I thought education cured that issue 100%. I thought it was a way for uneducated people to explain stuff they didn't understand and I also thought they didn't take it seriously.

*open minded

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
ScaryFacts



Posts: 337
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 03 2006,15:10   

I don’t know of a Christian out there—including me—who doesn’t believe “yeah, I agree.  There are stupid (or bigoted, or intolerant, or illogical) Christians out there.  But I’m not like that.”

Of course, we can’t all be right.  I suspect that at one time or another I have been all of those things.  (Heck, there was that night in Phoenix when I was ALL of those, but I digress…)

Humans act out.  Christians are no exception.  And I’m not going to use that bumper sticker excuse for bad behavior:  “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven”

But here’s the rub I have been dealing with for the last several years:  What does a 21st century Christian look like?  How would a Christian live in a 21st century western culture?  

It seems to me that non-Christians might be the best people to ask—Christians have waaaaayyyyy too many “oughts” to get an honest answer and the non-Christians seem to have a better picture of the ways real Christ-ies act.

Christianity doesn’t have a very illustrious history (when looked at objectively.)  The billion or so people who currently profess the faith have far too few notable exceptions to societal norms.  In some areas Christian performance is below societal norms.

I suspect there are many Christians who have lurked over the AFDave thread and have had some of the same reactions I have—that much of what our “brothers and sisters in Christ” are telling us are obvious lies.  Many of the lurkers won’t ever post here.  It’s a little intimidating for the non-scientist.

If there is one thing I respect about AFDave is his courage to take a stand for what he believes.  Sure, you guys fed him his balls with gravy, but he at least put it out there.  I’m actually thankful he did that.  The thread is teaching me a ton.

I guess the point here is that there are Christians out there who are trying not to be ignorant church-bots.  We want to learn the truth—even if it challenges our long-held beliefs.  Any god who is scared of truth isn’t God*.  

(*note the effective use of capitalization)

   
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 11 2006,04:56   

It's OK to have an irrational belief as long as you know it is.

A 21st century christian probably looks like any other Christian (God of the gaps) but nowadays the gaps are getting smaller and smaller. As long as that's OK with you then there is no conflict.

Davey, however "brave" he is to stand up for his myopic view of wonderland, is someone I would like to be able to keep away from my kids. And personally, I would like to be able to call the cops and say "911? Yeah, a Fundy's been around my kids, can you send a couple of officers?" Because, for those of us who want to search for that esoteric idea we call "truth" or even "accuracy", people like Davey are dangerous. They want to shut us down because we expose the basic Lie in their message.

In the end, it is Davey's Lying and belief that there is some noble purpose to his Lying that is generating hostility in that thread. In general it is the Lying that makes Fundy's dangerous. If we put Liars in charge you get America today. You can't even formulate an accurate opinion of what is going on because the only thing you can know is that the Administration pathologically lies. Same with Fundies. Pathological Lying set up to bolster an agenda and put members of the "In" group in power. And it is about power in the end.

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 11 2006,05:14   

Quote (ScaryFacts @ Sep. 03 2006,21:10)
I suspect there are many Christians who have lurked over the AFDave thread and have had some of the same reactions I have—that much of what our “brothers and sisters in Christ” are telling us are obvious lies.

There are christians who are on the side of goodness and light, such as Fred Rogers. There are christians who are average joes. And there are christians on the side of darkness, like AFDave. Christianity is the largest club in the world, it's going to have saints and scoundrels and everyone in between.

   
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 11 2006,06:02   

What discourages me is, I keep bouncing off the sheer bizarre nature of the whole superstructure of Christianity. So OK, here we have a purported historical person, almost surely fictional, who did some ministry work in a locale current archaeologists estimate may have been populated by 25-50 people total. Several generations later, and far far away, we have second-hand (and inconsistent) tales impossible to verify even at the time.

And these tales say this fictional individual was the "son" (in some undefined sense, maybe biological?) of a figment of someone else's imagination! And this imaginary character consists of pure logical contradictions, attested by not one observable datum. It seems to serve as the all-purpose, one-size-fits-all answer to any and every question whose genuine explanation is not obvious, with the effect of prohibiting those whose imaginations are infected from accepting (or even recognizing the existence of) testable explanations of anything.

Finally, we have a bunch of people who claim to sincerely believe this stuff. I mean, people who say they think it's all true and who actually mean it. And we're supposed to take these people at their word (despite the clear and present refutations of those words), and respect their "faith"?

I'm reminded of the Doonesbury cartoon sequence that introduced Duke, who was under the influence of strong hallucinatory drugs at the time. Duke said to himself "wait a minute. Why am I arguing with a lizard?" I find it very nearly impossible to get past the "Duke epiphany". Why argue with people who are making claims insane to the point where you KNOW they can't believe that stuff, and still claim to be human? Arguing with lizards is only briefly entertaining. It's not like they're real people.

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 11 2006,07:26   

Am I the only guy here old enough to remember the Orange Sunshine?

Jesus Crisp, lizards are entertaining.

DaveyDH is a one man case study of the power of brainwashing. It's amazing. I mostly say things just to make the lizard talk.

:)

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 11 2006,09:01   

When lizard brains emerged several things appeared on the planet for the first time: lust, anger, and aggression. Lizard brains are small and simple. They control breathing, vision, bodily movement. They also allow fierce territorial fights, lusty bouts of mating, and displays of anger.


--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
  55 replies since May 13 2006,11:56 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Pages: (2) < [1] 2 >   


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

[ Read the Board Rules ] | [Useful Links] | [Evolving Designs]