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  Topic: Pointlesswasteoftime's God Fuse, Required reading for the culture wars< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2007,12:45   

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/godfuse.html

I'm a huge fan of David Wong's comical writings.  But every now and then he writes a serious piece.  This is one of those times.  It's not perfect, but I've never read a clearer, more civil and moderate position than the one he takes.

Read, laugh, enjoy.

  
Kristine



Posts: 3061
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2007,18:09   

Yeah? Well, when people stop repeating that repulsive canard that Darwin converted on his deathbed, then we'll talk.

What about the doctrine of hell itself?

We're used to these things - and actually, the guy with the "kill him again" sign makes a good point. It is his followers who kill, in the form of the "least of these," their Jesus again and again. But they don't realize that. They need an atheist to point it out to them (and then they still don't get it).

I don't think people cheered en masse when Falwell died, but people cheered when Paul Wellstone's plane crashed.

There's a difference.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2007,19:37   

Kristine, I don't think you got the point of the article.
 
About Falwell's death, there certainly are those that cheered.  I just caught this cheering by Bill Maher.  And the author links to people in his own forums doing the same thing.  I'm not saying that it was "en masse", but that certainly didn't happen "en masse" with Paul Wellstone either.  It is exactly this type of exaggeration of the opposition that David Wong addresses in this article.   Calm down from your hard day and read it again.

Remember that this article isn't trying to show who's right and who's wrong.  It's trying to encourage temperance and extinguish the hate speech from both sides (see Maher's cheering again).  How can one disagree with the suggestion to lead by example?

Did you disagree with any of his 10 points?

  
Kristine



Posts: 3061
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2007,21:17   

Well I can't load that video at home with my crappy connection, but I got the point. I don't agree. Hitchens won't shed phony tears for Falwell and neither will I. (Frankly, though I'm not exactly glad Falwell is dead I'm glad Uday and Qusay are dead - they can't continue their father's work.) I think this is a condescending and shallow essay.          
Quote
Atheists, even if you reject the idea of God completely and claim to live according only to the cold logic of the physical sciences, you all still live as if the absolute morality of some magical lawgiver were true.

Oh, come on. I don't "claim to live according only to the cold logic of the physical sciences," and I don't "live as if the absolute morality of some magical lawgiver were true." I'm an English Lit nerd, and this is straight out of Freshman Composition. Caricature.    
Quote
No, you think what that guy did was wrong. You want justice. You think he should have acted differently. Even though there's no "wrong" molecule floating in the air and there's no "justice" element on the Periodic Table.

Well, there's no "logic" element in the Periodic Table, either, let alone a "pi" element or a "standard deviation" element, either. This is an idiotic point.          
Quote
You don't think of the swindler as just a fellow animal who happens to behave differently than you.
No, I think he's a competitor and a predator, and as an animal that has evolved responses for that I act accordingly. Of course we have morality! We evolved the capacity for, though not the form of, moral behavior.    
Quote
Yet, the moment you find out that while you were on vacation, your girl got drunk and slept with the entire Chicago Bears...
You know, part of the problem is that the whole thing is really written from a man's point of view (expressing a man's fears and assumptions), and a rather sexist one to boot. For example, I don't have to believe in a lawgiver to tell off some jerk from the ship who made an extremely offensive sexual remark to me. In fact, I don't even have to use logic, or science (or morality), to take care of him, which I did. :) Just an example.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 21 2007,21:24   

Interesting post, but I don't agree with all of it. My thoughts:

 
Quote
Celebrating the death of somebody you disagreed with pretty much makes you a dick.


Not necessarily. Depends on the magnitude and cause of the disagreement. Stalin, for example, was a pretty disagreeable fellow, and I don't think celebrating his death makes you a dick.

Furthermore, suggesting people were celebrating Falwell's death simply because they disagreed with his opinions is a bit disingenuous. In my opinion, Falwell was an evil, hateful, immoral, selfish, self-aggrandizing prick, and the world is better off without him. That's not to say he deserved to die, nor that he had no redeeming qualities at all. I didn't celebrate his death, but I certainly wasn't unhappy about it.

Quote
1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either [Christianity or Atheism]


Yep. Ditto Islam, Buddhism, Scientology, Agnosticism, etc.

Quote
2. Both Sides Really Do Believe What They're Saying


To a point. I agree that many people on both sides really do believe what they're saying. At the same time, I believe that many religious leaders are in it for the power and personal glory. A lot of what they say is simply about furthering those goals, and has little to do with truly believing what they say. Falwell was definitely in that class (IMO).

For whatever reason, this does not seem to be a common problem with leading atheists.

Quote
3. In Everyday Life, You're Not That Different


Agreed. (Although the part about living "as if the absolute morality of some magical lawgiver were true" is a little over the top.)

Quote
4. There Are Good People on Both Sides


Absolutely agreed.

Quote
5. Your Point of View is Legitimately Offensive to Them


This should be "Your point of view may be legitimately offensive to them." Personally, I'm not in the least offended by someone telling me I'm going to H*ll, because I'm quite convinced there's no such place. For the same reason, I don't think it's legitimate for a Christian to be offended if I say I don't believe they're going to Heaven. If they're certain they are, my statement should seem merely ignorant and wrong to them, not offensive.

I do think it's legitimately offensive if a Christian tries to impose his/her religion on me. For example, here in Georgia, it's illegal to sell liquor on Sundays. Why? Because Christians don't like it. I find that legitimately offensive (although a very minor offense). At the same time, it's legitimate for a Christian to be offended if an atheist tries to interfere in his/her religions practice. So, for example, I think it would be legitimately offensive to force Christian shop owners to sell liquor on Sunday against their beliefs.

Quote
6. We Tend to Exaggerate About the Other Guy;

and

7. We Tend to Exaggerate About Ourselves, Too


Agreed (except for the part about no God = no free will, which is quite wrong).

Quote
8. Focusing on Negative Examples Makes You Stupid


I agree it make you look stupid (which I assume is what was meant). It has the additional disadvantage of making your 'argument' easy to refute.

Quote
9. Both Sides Have Brought Good to the Table


Agreed. But then there's this:

Quote
Seriously, what did you think the creationism thing was about? It's about keeping humanity sacred. They think that once you dash the idea of a created humanity, then there'll be nothing to stop strong humans from treating weak ones as cannon fodder.

And logically, there won't be anything.


This is also wrong.

Quote
10. You'll Never Harass the Other Side Out of Existence


Agreed. As for the overall message - be tolerant and courteous, I completely agree (even if I admit I don't always live up to that goal).

  
phonon



Posts: 396
Joined: Nov. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,06:54   

Quote (qetzal @ May 21 2007,21:24)
Quote
1. You Can Do Terrible Things in the Name of Either [Christianity or Atheism]


Yep. Ditto Islam, Buddhism, Scientology, Agnosticism, etc.

Agnosticism? What can you do in the name of agnosticism?

As you blow yourself up in a market, is your battle cry "I DON'T KNOW!!!"

--------------
With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation. - Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,11:05   

Quote (phonon @ May 22 2007,06:54)
Agnosticism? What can you do in the name of agnosticism?

As you blow yourself up in a market, is your battle cry "I DON'T KNOW!!!"

No, it's "God might be great.  Or not.  Boom!"

:)

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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Henry J



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Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,14:11   

Well if you don't know, I'm certainly not going to tell you. So there! :p

  
Rev. BigDumbChimp



Posts: 185
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,14:58   

Pretty lame piece if you ask me. Being happy that someone has passed naturally and can no long spread their specific brand of hate is nothing to be ashamed of. I didn't wish the man dead and had nothing to do with his death, but if his time had come, I can in a clear conscious rejoice that he is no longer around to continue with his actions. There are bad people that don't deserve my pity or faked sorrow.

That's just a childish way of looking at the world. The world is not always a happy playtime jungle-gym. Sometimes it sucks and sometimes it sucks specifically because of certain people. When they die I'm not going to show some false emotion. If they've moved me in one way or another I'm going to say what I think.

  
J-Dog



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Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,15:06   

Do we need Orac's permission to awaken the Hitler Zombie to disprove Point #9?

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,15:18   

Quote
Pretty lame piece if you ask me. Being happy that someone has passed naturally and can no long spread their specific brand of hate is nothing to be ashamed of. I didn't wish the man dead and had nothing to do with his death, but if his time had come, I can in a clear conscious rejoice that he is no longer around to continue with his actions. There are bad people that don't deserve my pity or faked sorrow.

That's just a childish way of looking at the world. The world is not always a happy playtime jungle-gym. Sometimes it sucks and sometimes it sucks specifically because of certain people. When they die I'm not going to show some false emotion. If they've moved me in one way or another I'm going to say what I think.


I don't think anyone is asking you to mourn someone's death falsely, or show any false emotions.  Of course, exaggerating what other people say so that it's easier to argue against is only human (as explained in the article).  The only thing he's saying in the article is that in general one comes across as a dick when one celebrate someone's death.  I personally think it doesn't reflect well on one's character, and it comes across as just another type of hate.  It's tough to rise above it, however.  I certainly wasn't sad with Falwell's passing.  But, a great deal of American's did like the guy.  Imagine what I'd look like through their eyes if I laughed during his funeral.  Would that help or hurt the "culture war?"

  
cogzoid



Posts: 234
Joined: Sep. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,15:23   

A couple of other musings by David Wong that are relevant are:

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/monkeysphere.html

and

http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/horror.html

Mind you, this is a comedy site.  Don't take everything so seriously.  But, he does make a few points worth considering.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,15:42   

Quote
Personally, I'm not in the least offended by someone telling me I'm going to H*ll, because I'm quite convinced there's no such place.


OTOH, if they started telling me I'll spend eternity in Kansas...

 
Quote
4. There Are Good People on Both Sides


that depends on both your definition of "Good", and where you draw the sidelines.  I could easily, and with much evidence, draw a line at "supporters of ID on Uncommon Descent", and I haven't seen ANY good coming out of that camp.  Nothing but lies, misinformation, ignorance, quotemining...

besides which, even if you draw the lines quite liberally (no pun intended), regardless of whether there are "Good" people on either side, it often appears to be the case that a "war" is necessary to resolve the differences.  to use the tired old analogy, there were plenty of "Good" germans and "Good" Europeans, Russians, British, and Americans, too.  It didn't negate the need to resolve the differences through conflict, however.  If someone can find a way to resolve entrenched, basic, ideological differences between two conflicting groups, I'd love to hear it.  I haven't seen it looking at history so far.

   
Quote

10. You'll Never Harass the Other Side Out of Existence


not the point.  You can, however, harrass the "other side" to the point where they are so marginalized as to be ineffectual and immaterial.

much history of success of that strategy (which, BTW, I view as no less a warlike strategy than open conflict, just with fewer physical casualties).

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

-CC

  
Kristine



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Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,17:18   

Liberty U student arrested for bombs meant for protestors at Falwell's funeral.

Two other suspects are sought.

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,17:21   

Quote (Kristine @ May 22 2007,17:18)
Liberty U student arrested for bombs meant for protestors at Falwell's funeral.

Two other suspects are sought.

so would those be the "Good" representatives of the "Other Side"?

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

-CC

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: May 22 2007,19:39   

Quote (Kristine @ May 22 2007,18:18)
Liberty U student arrested for bombs meant for protestors at Falwell's funeral.

Two other suspects are sought.

Did the Church Burnin' Ebola Boys open up a Liberty University chapter? I don't remember doing that....

   
Rev. BigDumbChimp



Posts: 185
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,07:48   

Quote (cogzoid @ May 22 2007,15:18)
I don't think anyone is asking you to mourn someone's death falsely, or show any false emotions.  Of course, exaggerating what other people say so that it's easier to argue against is only human (as explained in the article).  The only thing he's saying in the article is that in general one comes across as a dick when one celebrate someone's death.  I personally think it doesn't reflect well on one's character, and it comes across as just another type of hate.  It's tough to rise above it, however.  I certainly wasn't sad with Falwell's passing.  But, a great deal of American's did like the guy.  Imagine what I'd look like through their eyes if I laughed during his funeral.  Would that help or hurt the "culture war?"

Understandable. However I do not think it is unwarranted, like I said, to be thankful that someone who worked to divide and worked to harm a significant portion of the population is now gone. It's not celebrating the death it's being thankful that a portion of evil or whatever you want to classify it is gone. I'm not going to stop saying someone was an nasty bigoted bastard just because they're dead. It doesn't change that they were a nasty bigoted bastard. And just because a large portion of the population liked or even loved him has zero bearing on that.

  
Lou FCD



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,11:24   

Quote (Ichthyic @ May 22 2007,15:42)
I could easily, and with much evidence, draw a line at "supporters of ID on Uncommon Descent", and I haven't seen ANY good coming out of that camp.  Nothing but lies, misinformation, ignorance, quotemining...

Oh, I dunno, Ich.  There's the comedy...

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Kristine



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Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,13:31   

...and the tragedy... :( :D

Please don't say "face," Denyse.

(Gawd, I am such a B-I-T-C...!;) :)

--------------
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Rev. BigDumbChimp



Posts: 185
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,14:21   

Quote (Kristine @ May 23 2007,13:31)
...and the tragedy...[/URL] :( :D


Oh that's bad. Very very bad. But the comments make it hilarious. The explanations and the sense of outrage are wonderful.

  
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,16:39   

Quote
Oh, I dunno, Ich.  There's the comedy...


I would invoke the peopleless forest analogy here.

If we weren't around to point it out, woud there in fact be humor?

they certainly have no sense of humor, so where does the "good" really arise from?

I mean, I can laugh my ass of at Falwell, but, to wear a phrase to the bones...

"If you gave him an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox".

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

-CC

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,17:28   

Agree or disagree, I gotta hand it to the guy for writing a coherent and well organized essay. The pics made me chuckle too.

--------------
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

   
Glen Davidson



Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,17:49   

Quote
that depends on both your definition of "Good", and where you draw the sidelines.  I could easily, and with much evidence, draw a line at "supporters of ID on Uncommon Descent", and I haven't seen ANY good coming out of that camp.  Nothing but lies, misinformation, ignorance, quotemining...


Yes, but we see only this one aspect of them.  And though it doesn't speak well of them at all (I'm not sure if I'd buy a used car from any of them), they may not be any (or much, at least) worse than your average Joe on the street.

I doubt I'd call any of them "good" based on the evidence I've seen, however.

Quote
besides which, even if you draw the lines quite liberally (no pun intended), regardless of whether there are "Good" people on either side, it often appears to be the case that a "war" is necessary to resolve the differences.  to use the tired old analogy, there were plenty of "Good" germans and "Good" Europeans, Russians, British, and Americans, too.  It didn't negate the need to resolve the differences through conflict, however.  If someone can find a way to resolve entrenched, basic, ideological differences between two conflicting groups, I'd love to hear it.  I haven't seen it looking at history so far.


Of course that's the crucial factor.  

What we probably should do as far, as possible, is to keep as many on the sidelines as we can.  We may indeed be able to harass the leaders into the margins, but we couldn't do so to the entire "other side".  

I doubt that I'm disagreeing with you at all, just putting in my little bit.

Glen D

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http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p....p

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of coincidence---ID philosophy

   
Ichthyic



Posts: 3325
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 23 2007,20:19   

Quote
Please don't say "face," Denyse.


i skimmed that real quick.

gees, talk about a god-of-the-gaps argument done to great extravagance!

I truly pity these people who force themselves into such small little holes.

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

-CC

  
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