HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Religion & Spirituality » Religion (Group) » The Problem with Religiou...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 12:51 PM

The Problem with Religious Moderates

The Problem with Religious Moderates

We can no longer afford the luxury of political correctness. When religion causes violence, its root claims must be challenged.

People of faith fall on a continuum: some draw solace and inspiration from a specific spiritual tradition, and yet remain fully committed to tolerance and diversity, while others would burn the earth to cinders if it would put an end to heresy. There are, in other words, religious moderates and religious extremists, and their various passions and projects should not be confused. However, religious moderates are themselves the bearers of a terrible dogma: they imagine that the path to peace will be paved once each of us has learned to respect the unjustified beliefs of others. I hope to show that the very ideal of religious tolerance-born of the notion that every human being should be free to believe whatever he wants about God-is one of the principal forces driving us toward the abyss.

We have been slow to recognize the degree to which religious faith perpetuates man's inhumanity to man. This is not surprising, since many of us still believe that faith is an essential component of human life. Two myths now keep faith beyond the fray of rational criticism, and they seem to foster religious extremism and religious moderation equally: (i) most of us believe that there are good things that people get from religious faith (e.g., strong communities, ethical behavior, spiritual experience) that cannot be had elsewhere; (2) many of us also believe that the terrible things that are sometimes done in the name of religion are the products not of faith per se but of our baser natures-forces like greed, hatred, and fear-for which religious beliefs are themselves the best (or even the only) remedy. Taken together, these myths seem to have granted us perfect immunity to outbreaks of reasonableness in our public discourse.

--snip--

With each passing year, do our religious beliefs conserve more and more of the data of human experience? If religion addresses a genuine sphere of understanding and human necessity, then it should be susceptible to progress; its doctrines should become more useful, rather than less. Progress in religion, as in other fields, would have to be a matter of present inquiry, not the mere reiteration of past doctrine. Whatever is true now should be discoverable now, and describable in terms that are not an outright affront to the rest of what we know about the world. By this measure, the entire project of religion seems perfectly backward. It cannot survive the changes that have come over us-culturally, technologically, and even ethically. Otherwise, there are few reasons to believe that we will survive it.

Moderates do not want to kill anyone in the name of God, but they want us to keep using the word "God" as though we knew what we were talking about. And they do not want anything too critical said about people who really believe in the God of their fathers, because tolerance, perhaps above all else, is sacred. To speak plainly and truthfully about the state of our world-to say, for instance, that the Bible and the Koran both contain mountains of life-destroying gibberish-is antithetical to tolerance as moderates currently conceive it. But we can no longer afford the luxury of such political correctness. We must finally recognize the price we are paying to maintain the iconography of our ignorance.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Secular-Philosophies/The-Problem-With-Religious-Moderates.aspx?p=1




IMO, THIS is where the conversation regarding religion needs to be taking place. Many of our moderate believers right here on DU claim that they want to find "common ground" where we can work together, and I agree with them. But in the way of finding that common ground is the obstacle that Sam is getting at in this article.

I urge you to read the entire article at the link, and then lets have that real discussion we all really want to have, and put an end to the snipe-fest that this Group has become. Any takers?

119 replies, 8957 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 119 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Problem with Religious Moderates (Original post)
cleanhippie Nov 2012 OP
aletier_v Nov 2012 #1
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #2
aletier_v Nov 2012 #10
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #19
longship Nov 2012 #3
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #4
trotsky Nov 2012 #5
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #6
humblebum Nov 2012 #17
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #20
skepticscott Dec 2012 #76
humblebum Dec 2012 #85
Lacipyt Dec 2012 #73
Leontius Dec 2012 #74
trotsky Dec 2012 #98
humblebum Dec 2012 #99
prefunk Dec 2012 #100
humblebum Dec 2012 #101
prefunk Dec 2012 #102
cleanhippie Dec 2012 #103
humblebum Dec 2012 #106
Lacipyt Dec 2012 #107
trotsky Dec 2012 #108
Lacipyt Dec 2012 #109
trotsky Dec 2012 #110
Lacipyt Dec 2012 #112
trotsky Dec 2012 #113
Lacipyt Dec 2012 #114
trotsky Dec 2012 #115
Lacipyt Dec 2012 #117
trotsky Dec 2012 #118
Lacipyt Dec 2012 #119
humblebum Dec 2012 #111
rug Nov 2012 #7
Leontius Nov 2012 #8
humblebum Nov 2012 #9
skepticscott Nov 2012 #11
humblebum Nov 2012 #16
Leontius Nov 2012 #12
LARED Nov 2012 #13
Leontius Nov 2012 #66
CrawlingChaos Nov 2012 #14
dimbear Nov 2012 #15
LARED Nov 2012 #18
humblebum Nov 2012 #21
skepticscott Nov 2012 #24
humblebum Nov 2012 #26
skepticscott Nov 2012 #34
humblebum Nov 2012 #35
skepticscott Nov 2012 #36
humblebum Nov 2012 #37
skepticscott Nov 2012 #38
humblebum Nov 2012 #40
skepticscott Dec 2012 #77
tama Dec 2012 #80
skepticscott Dec 2012 #87
tama Dec 2012 #89
humblebum Dec 2012 #90
tama Dec 2012 #91
tama Dec 2012 #92
skepticscott Dec 2012 #94
humblebum Dec 2012 #95
humblebum Dec 2012 #96
skepticscott Dec 2012 #93
tama Dec 2012 #97
dimbear Nov 2012 #22
LARED Nov 2012 #23
dimbear Nov 2012 #27
LARED Nov 2012 #28
dimbear Nov 2012 #29
LARED Nov 2012 #30
dimbear Nov 2012 #31
LARED Nov 2012 #32
dimbear Nov 2012 #33
tama Dec 2012 #82
dimbear Dec 2012 #83
tama Dec 2012 #84
dimbear Dec 2012 #86
tama Dec 2012 #88
Leontius Nov 2012 #25
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #39
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #41
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #42
JKingman Nov 2012 #43
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #45
JKingman Nov 2012 #46
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #49
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #69
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #71
cleanhippie Nov 2012 #72
trotsky Nov 2012 #50
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #51
trotsky Nov 2012 #52
LARED Nov 2012 #54
trotsky Nov 2012 #58
dimbear Nov 2012 #53
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #55
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #56
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #57
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #44
JKingman Nov 2012 #47
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #48
okasha Dec 2012 #116
dimbear Nov 2012 #59
LARED Nov 2012 #60
trotsky Nov 2012 #61
LARED Nov 2012 #62
trotsky Nov 2012 #63
LARED Nov 2012 #64
JKingman Nov 2012 #65
LARED Nov 2012 #67
JKingman Nov 2012 #68
dimbear Nov 2012 #70
okasha Dec 2012 #75
tama Dec 2012 #78
LeftishBrit Dec 2012 #79
tama Dec 2012 #81
4_TN_TITANS Dec 2012 #104
cleanhippie Dec 2012 #105

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:07 PM

1. "religious moderate" is an oxymoran.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aletier_v (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:09 PM

2. Perhaps, but that does not open dialogue with moderates here on DU.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:34 PM

10. sometimes there is no point in "dialog"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aletier_v (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:14 AM

19. So what would be point in commenting at all then?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:29 PM

3. Excerpt from "The End of Faith"

I've read the book, and will likely read it again. Of the four horsemen, Harris' argument is the most challenging to decipher. (IMHO) However, I like his arguments in that they challenge people to start thinking about these things.

Also, there is his TED Talk:


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to longship (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:32 PM

4. I recently read The Moral Landscape.

Yes, difficult to decipher in parts, but I think he is on to something.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:13 PM

5. IMHO, this is one of the most important points to discuss.

As long as moderates seek to legitimize religious faith as "another way of knowing," it opens the door to all sorts of whackadoodlism. How can you say it's alright to "know" your god wants you to feed the homeless, but not to "know" that your god hates homosexuality and will punish the USA for allowing it? If you legitimize these "other ways of knowing," there's no mechanism to determine which "other way" is valid and which isn't!

Another edit: And because this is from Sam Harris you do realize that you won't get any kind of actual substantive response from certain believers but just ad homs launched at him, right?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:33 PM

6. I do know that, trotsky, but I will continue to try.

What else can one do?

In the real world, reason and critical thought is winning the day. And just like any institutionalized belief, religion is hanging-on to the ideas of yesterday as it grapples with irrelevance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 03:31 AM

17. If you legitimize these "other ways of knowing," there's no mechanism to determine which "other way"

 

there's no mechanism to determine which "other way." LOL

So, IOW you are talking about a very controlled type of thought - group think. So much for "free thought."

These "other ways of knowing" of which you speak have been used long before your very narrowly-focused, very limited, one way of knowing. And they are widely used today.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:15 AM

20. Your posts are always great for a laugh.

Have a great turkey day, HB.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #17)


Response to skepticscott (Reply #76)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:23 PM

85. I think it has already been acknowledged that you and I disagree on what constitutes knowledge.

 

However, since different types of knowledge have been recognized for centuries, I really am not concerned about your narrow perspective.

The simple fact that you cannot carry on a civil intelligent conversation without ad hominems and brazenly boneheaded comments only reveals your inability to do so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:01 PM

73. Why Stop At Religion?

The argument essentially seems to break down as "moderates enable fundamentalists," but if this is the case, why is religion the only matter where this breakdown is appropriate. Should pro-choicers be grouped with people like Pete Singer, who argue in favor of infanticide? Do evolutionary biologists have to answer for "memes" and similar whackadoodism that arose from that theory (Social Darwinism, anybody)?

Moderates seek to legitimize religion as a perspective of the human experience, to call it "another way of knowing" misses the point. You're failing to understand that there are different ways of "knowing" something. In French, there are two verbs for "know," savoir and connaitre, if you aren't aware, look up the difference and you'll see what I mean. Or consider this scenario: You walk into a kitchen with a kettle of boiling water and three people sitting at the table. You ask, "Why is the water boiling?"

The first person responds, "I turned on the burner."

The second explains "By increasing the temperature of the water, the molecules begin to move faster, thus creating energy..."

And the last person says, "We're going to have some tea."

Now, which of those three is "correct?" Religion, as a subject, concerns itself with the third answer.

As per people who feel that God wants them to hate homosexuals? Well, intolerance and bigotry are not monopilized by religion. If a person is infected with the "meme" that blacks are inferior, are we supposed to tolerate such a "memeplex" that harbors viral ideas of that nature, because that's just the way he is? Such issues are far more complex that just taking the most extreme, destructive potential for an idea and declaring all variations equally bad.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lacipyt (Reply #73)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:07 PM

74. Hopefully your post will be food for thought.

Welcome

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lacipyt (Reply #73)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:01 AM

98. Because only religion seeks to justify claims using "other ways of knowing."

When we declare these "other ways" just as valid as reason and experience, especially in the political sphere, YES, we enable the fundamentalists. If we should feed the homeless because I think Jesus wants us to, then what's wrong with Fred Phelps seeing to execute homosexuals because he thinks Jesus wants us to? Can't have one without the other.

No, it has nothing to do with intolerance ALSO having roots outside religion. It has to do with its justification, which religion provides quite well - especially when you legitimize it in other areas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #98)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:52 PM

99. No. Actually law, art, entertainment, psychology, cooking, etc. utilize other ways of knowing.

 

It's hardly restricted to religion.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #99)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:19 PM

100. What does that mean?

What do you mean when you say that those thing utilize other ways of knowing?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to prefunk (Reply #100)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:49 PM

101. An epistemology that arrives at a conclusion utilizing evidence that is less than totally

 

objective. For practical purposes, I will consider science to use 100% objectivity though it is close but not quite 100%.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #101)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 01:55 PM

102. If something is not 100% objective, how can one be assured that the conclusion is correct?

Can you give me an example of what you are talking about. I'm not really grasping what you are saying.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to prefunk (Reply #102)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:02 PM

103. Sorry man, you are participating in an exercise in futility.

You will never get humblebum to answer you directly, or provide any example of his "other ways of knowing." Save yourself a headache and frustration and let this one go.

Oh, and wait for the "militant atheists", Stalin, Mao, billions of people killed in the name of atheists nonsense too. Strap in if you are staying, its gonna be a bizarre and wild ride...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to prefunk (Reply #102)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:36 PM

106. Sure. I'll try. Generally the only disciplines that are considered any produce knowledge to the

 

Last edited Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:51 PM - Edit history (1)

point of 100% objectivity are math and science (and even science itself is not 100%, but very close). The Scientific Method has a mechanism for change with the introduction of new evidence.

Some of the so called "soft" sciences utilize more subjective methods to arrive at a conclusion and base their knowledge on an established standard.

How is a certain theatrical production determined to be "good," or how is a politician labeled as a "great" politician? Does that mean that everyone thinks that politician is truly great? Both examples are based upon subjective opinion. The politician goes down in history as a great politician and eventually becomes the standard by which others are judged to be great or not so great.

If a hundred people witness an unbelievable UFO/alien event, to them the event is empirically true and they would have no doubt, if each person had the same experience. However, objective proof does not exist. Not everyone accepts the existence of UFOs from alien worlds, and would undoubtedly raise other possible explanations for the event. Does knowledge of the event exist?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #98)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:13 PM

107. No. Not Only Religion

Despite Sam Harris' claims, there is no emperical, rational means to determine morality. Maybe a theory will arise, but right now, ethical quandries are not solved by simply inserting a formula to determine who is right and wrong.

And I believe you're confused in thinking that breaking down a situation into different components (like the tea kettle) creates equally valid explanations in a scientific sense. I never claimed that.

As per your last point, yes, indeed, religion can be used as a justification, but, here's the rub, what cannot be used in such a way. As I mentioned, wasn't evolution used to justify Social Darwinism, eugenics, etc? If you only look to extremes, you'll find virtually all human endevours abused in some way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lacipyt (Reply #107)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:08 AM

108. I see the point you're missing.

Striving to find out what is the best behavior as we live in the societies we do, which of the following methods do you believe is better:

1) We should analyze actions and their consequences. Observation and reason and human compassion, all weighed carefully in the context of how we treat each other. How somebody thinks a god feels in the matter is totally irrelevant.

2) We should do what somebody thinks a god wants us to do. If that coincides with what we think is moral, great, but god takes precedence.

Of course many ideas have been used and abused to promote bad things. But the point you are missing is that religion is the ONLY method that can say, "You need to do this because god orders it." No questions asked. There is no other equivalence to cosmic dictator decree - IF we grant that as within the realm of possibility. Do you?

Evolution is not used to seriously support social darwinism or eugenics today. But god is still being used to support horrible atrocities - all the time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #108)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:33 AM

109. Not So Simple

The mistake in your question about the "following methods" you offer is that you assume they are the only two options available.
I stand firmly with Richard Baxter, a 17th century British clergyman, in his declaration, "In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity."

You are right in that some people use religion to argue that one "needs" to do this because they believe "God" has ordered it, but such fanatacism is itself a problem, and whether the individual is offering an appeal to God, the state, or "progress," an absence of liberty is rarely something to celebrate.

But your "cosmic dictator decree" only affects others in situations with those who feel themselves a) appointed to make such declarations and b) feel it their responsibility to enforce such declarations. Reading itself is an act of interpretation, that some will take a fanatical approach to the letter of the law and not its spirit is hardly the sole property of religious zealots.

I would qualify your last statement that evolutionary theory is not used to support those ideas on the large scale that it once was, but on an individual basis, I think the practice is alive and well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lacipyt (Reply #109)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 12:03 PM

110. I see that Baxter didn't bring god into the equation either.

So thanks for the quote, it supports my position pretty well!

There are only two options when it comes to the central question, by the way. Either we include in our morality calculations the opinion of a god (partly or entirely), or we do not. So what do you think - does god's opinion matter? Let me know what your answer to that is.

You are right in that some people use religion to argue that one "needs" to do this because they believe "God" has ordered it, but such fanatacism is itself a problem, and whether the individual is offering an appeal to God, the state, or "progress," an absence of liberty is rarely something to celebrate.

There are many people who say we need assistance programs for the poor because their god wants it. Are they fanatics?

And actually, the "cosmic dictator decree" affects us all when the people who support said position have an influence on the government that makes laws for everyone. I need only to point to a few blue laws, or the Bush ban on stem cell research, for current real-world examples.

I would qualify your last statement that evolutionary theory is not used to support those ideas on the large scale that it once was, but on an individual basis, I think the practice is alive and well.

But god's still being used on a large scale. Ever heard of the RCC?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #110)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 06:19 PM

112. You Are Welcome

But I think you’re asserting your own prejudices here, acting as if a person must reference God directly as a means to justify their moral positions. Baxter was a clergyman, so I’m pretty sure his faith had some influence on his views.

There are only two options when it comes to the central question, by the way.

How so?

Either we include in our morality calculations the opinion of a god (partly or entirely),

Whoa, stop right there. You’re anthropomorphizing a deity that if one follows Judeo-Christian traditions (as I do), is not meant to be shrunk down to our size so we can better understand. Writers as far back as Augustine, and probably further into the past, have warned about creating a small god for us to worship and fully understand and speak for. You seem to be adopting the Richard Dawkins’ view of God as just a chap who happens to be super-evolved.

or we do not. So what do you think - does god's opinion matter? Let me know what your answer to that is.

So does God’s opinion matter? Well, according to me beliefs, I don’t believe in a God that has “opinions.”

There are many people who say we need assistance programs for the poor because their god wants it. Are they fanatics?

I don’t know, I guess it would depend upon the means they use to accomplish their goal.

And actually, the "cosmic dictator decree" affects us all when the people who support said position have an influence on the government that makes laws for everyone.

True enough, but from what I know about politics, there are plenty of ostensibly religious folks who toe the party line on issues like abortion while ignoring their claimed faith’s decrees on the matter. Or is Joe Biden, a Catholic, a rabid anti-abortionist?

I need only to point to a few blue laws,

Beware of the genetic fallacy, in which you assert that the reason a person holds said belief makes it wrong. Don’t forget that it was the progressives and scientific-minded who supported eugenics while dismissing the bass ackwards religious folks suggested that it wasn’t a good idea to stand in the way of such progress.

the Bush ban on stem cell research, for current real-world examples.

Actually, Bush restricted federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, not banning of all stem cell research. Private and state governments were allowed to do as much research as they wished in that area. The state of California spent quite a bit of money on ESCR.

But god's still being used on a large scale. Ever heard of the RCC?

So it’s the size that matters? It’s OK to practice eugenics, just not on a large scale?

That nail is already in the wood, so you’re hammering on it as if disagreed with your claim. My argument is not that religion doesn’t have extreme or potentially dangerous components, but rather why is it the only area where we should allow extremism to judge all participants.

But, as I said, if you focus solely on extreme elements of any philosophy or belief system, you will find some dangerous behavior. You have yet to explain why we shouldn’t castigate Al Gore for enabling eco-terrorists, or how Bill Maher, with his anti-vaccination rants, isn’t encouraging creationists to question the validity of scientific study.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lacipyt (Reply #112)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:32 AM

113. I'm not really interested in playing a game with you.

Clearly, you're quite anxious to put your god well outside the realm of analysis for this discussion. Perhaps your personal prejudices are at work here, too.

A couple hundred million people or so in this country DO believe in a god that has opinions and moral edicts that we should follow. It's great that your belief is so refined and advanced that you personally don't. I'm happy for you. But recognize that you are in a teeny tiny religious minority in that belief. Commenting that your god doesn't fit into this is irrelevant.

>There are many people who say we need assistance programs for the poor because their god wants it. Are they fanatics?

I don’t know, I guess it would depend upon the means they use to accomplish their goal.


Prior to that statement, you had made a very general claim, that those who say we should do something because god wants it are fanatics. Now you say you don't know. Are you retracting the claim, then? Please explain.

My examples of blue laws and the Bush ban are specific real-world cases where policy that affects us all was determined because someone thought that's what god wanted. They have nothing to do with eugenics or any other red herring nonsense you're trying to bring in to muddy the issue. So unless you have some specific commentary to counter what I've said with an actual defense of these actions, it appears you've conceded the point.

The comparison to the RCC was made because you're the one who brought the size claim up. Evolution is not used to support eugenics or social darwinism. "Except for some individuals," you said. Great. How about the billion-member RCC that to this day is trying to use their religious beliefs to either fight against social progress (opposing gay marriage, for instance) or taking away rights of non-Catholics (working to outlaw abortion).

A few nuts who support eugenics (many of who are also religious, BTW) is hardly a comparison to what the RCC does, and yet you're trying to make that false equivalence. The RCC isn't just a "few extreme elements," it's a global organization with tremendous political power to this day.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #113)

Wed Dec 5, 2012, 07:08 PM

114. Three Things

1) The mindset of religious believers is not uniform in its approach to all matters public and personal. I don't doubt some feel the way you describe, but others do not. Rarely can a group be so easily categorized. I can answer your questions about my beliefs, but you would be better served speaking with someone whose beliefs match up more perfectly with you views of them.

2) The reasons for holding a belief do not, in and of themselves, make the viewpoints invald. This is what I tried to convey. If Bush did cut federal funding for ESCR, as you say, because God told him to, that does not mean it was be default the wrong choice. Is that a bad decision-making process? Horrible. But you bring up issues assuming everyone agrees with you and your position. Some abolitionists opposed slavery for religious reasons, were they nosy busybodies who should have stayed away from social issues? Shoudl Daniel Berrigan, who destroyed draft records to protest Vietnam, have kept his collar on and avoided poltiics? You've brought up the RCC, and I'm sure you were equally miffed about their role in helping get debt reduction in Africa, as was atested by many of the leaders of that issue becaue, you know, religion has no role in public life. You strike me as being a knee-jerk liberal, who reacts rather than contemplates and responds. As Noam Chomsky once said, "When dealing with religion, it's best to avoid cliches - the world is far too complicated."

3) Eugenics. How do you know of its adherents, "many of who are also religious?" Do you have some statistical data on this I can see? The point of eugenics, and perhaps I'm kicking against the goad here, is you seem to think we've learned our lesson and it can't happen here. That the scientists and experts who supported the "progress" it would enable were misguided but that we, as present people, are incapable of such mistakes. You've clearly made up your mind about issues, but don't seem to have the sightest interest in examining those of others except to tell them how wrong they are.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lacipyt (Reply #114)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:29 AM

115. Three replies, and a challenge.

1) Of course no two believers think exactly alike. I've never claimed otherwise. I would ask that you please address my claims, and not ridiculous straw men of your own creation.

2) I never claimed a viewpoint was invalid because of the reasons it was held, either. Another straw man of yours. No public policy should ever be based solely or even primarily on religious beliefs - this is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. President Obama agrees with me on this, by the way:

"Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons , but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

"Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what's possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It's the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God's edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one's life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing. And if you doubt that, let me give you an example.

We all know the story of Abraham and Isaac. … It's fair to say that if any of us leaving this church saw Abraham on a roof of a building raising his knife, we would, at the very least, call the police and expect the Department of Children and Family Services to take Isaac away from Abraham. We would do so because we do not hear what Abraham hears, do not see what Abraham sees, true as those experiences may be. So the best we can do is act in accordance with those things that we all see, and that we all hear, be it common laws or basic reason."


3) Here: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=religious+eugenics You will find many links there.

Since you have proven either unwilling or unable to argue against things I've said and instead have made up ridiculous exaggerations, it appears this discussion may be at an end. I'm willing to give you one last chance, though - perhaps you could explain how the President was wrong above. That would certainly also undermine my position as well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #115)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:28 PM

117. Okay

Of course no two believers think exactly alike. I've never claimed otherwise. I would ask that you please address my claims, and not ridiculous straw men of your own creation.

What, exactly, is your claim, that a certain percentage of religious people believe God’s “opinions” matter in their morality? That’s not one I deny, but that attachment can be made to a number of people and their beliefs. PETA opposes animal testing even for medical experiments. Ingrid Newkirk boasted during the height of the AIDS crisis that she would still object to the testing even if a cure could be procured from the experiments. She does not speak for all animal rights activists on this matter, nor can I for all Christians. There are any number of stances that people refuse to budge on, regardless of whether or not they think God “told” them to have them.

The problem, I would argue, is extremism in all its forms, not merely religious.

I never claimed a viewpoint was invalid because of the reasons it was held, either. Another straw man of yours.

You do appear to be inferring that from your constant referencing religious persons/groups and their opposition to issues that you support without any exposition on why you feel the only counterarguments are purely religious. As with Bush and ESCR. You even wrote, falsely, that he “banned” the practice, when he simply removed federal funding, allowing states and private industry to partake. If he thought it evil because God told him so, you’d think he’d indeed “ban” the practice outright.

No public policy should ever be based solely or even primarily on religious beliefs - this is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

I agree with the President. When he writes, “I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all” he is correct. However, there are writers, even religious ones, who eschew referencing religious belief in making their arguments against that topic. Some, like Nat Hentoff, are openly atheist. By referencing the RCC’s opposition to abortion as an attempt to force Catholic beliefs on others, you are inferring by omission that they possess no support on any grounds but religious ones. This is simply untrue.

3) Here: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=religious+eugenics You will find many links there.

I was under the impression you were referring to the modern view of eugenics. Of course some religious figures supported it, as I mentioned, not all believers are uniform in their stances on social issues.

My point in bringing it up is that people were using effectively the same arguments you are today, writing how the RCC opposed “progress” like eugenics for “religious” reasons, as if they had no other points to their arguments.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lacipyt (Reply #117)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:35 AM

118. Since you have proven yourself unwilling (or unable) to give up the straw men,

I cannot see this discussion going anywhere. You're also constantly shifting goalposts and muddling the issues to such an extent that no dialog is possible. Which, given the consistency in that behavior, is something I can only assume you intended to accomplish all along.

You agree with what the president said, so you agree with me. A religious reason for a policy isn't a valid reason. The rest of what you've said is a confusing mixture of equivocation, personal attacks, straw men, and red herrings. I suspect your personal prejudices against atheists and/or atheism are what's driving that behavior.

Returning to the main topic of this thread, when religious moderates enable religious belief as "another way of knowing," they are (unwittingly) empowering religion to be a valid reason for a policy - which you have now agreed is wrong. Took a while to get here, but you ended up being in agreement with me anyway.

You may have the last word now, and I'll let you use all the straw men and red herrings you want. Take care!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #118)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 01:03 PM

119. Ay Caramba

Returning to the main topic of this thread, when religious moderates enable religious belief as "another way of knowing," they are (unwittingly) empowering religion to be a valid reason for a policy

I can't support that as I don't agree with it.

which you have now agreed is wrong.

I agree that taking an entirely faith-based approach to governing is an awful way to partake in the political process, but I do not feel that moderates "enable" such behavior anymore than any more or less than others forms of extremism are validated by moderation. I try to use real-world examples to illustrate my points. You clearly, based on your response, seem to think I'm engaging in red herrings and straw men.

But, please, inform me as to why religion is unique in this regard, as I am truly curious.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #108)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 05:00 PM

111. "But god is still being used to support horrible atrocities - all the time."

 

As if the same doesn't apply to several other reasons - all the time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:46 PM

7. Is this the same Sam Harris that considers the elimination of religion more important than the

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:57 PM

8. Great way to start the discussion, where to first

the part about my help in driving the world to the abyss or my ignorance and backwardness. Help me out here which prejudice and bigotry is better the one on display here or the religious prejudice and bigotry you so lament, I think I'll pass on both kinds and on this "real discussion". It just doesn't pass the smell test.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 05:26 PM

9. The problem is and has always been humanity, as is evidenced by the massive numbers killed

 

Last edited Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:52 PM - Edit history (1)

by and for non-religious causes, including militant atheism. The numbers dwarf religious wars.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:01 PM

11. Lie, misleading and self-contradictory

did I miss anything?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:38 PM

16. The usual smokescreen and spin.

 

True, and the only thing contradicted is the massive lie that religion has been responsible for a majority of the world's calamities.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:37 PM

12. Well let's be fair,

adjusting for the increase in mankind's ability to kill, you're still right and that pisses off the 'religion is the greatest evil' people as much as any other truth that exposes their lies and bigotry.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:17 PM

13. It would have been useful if Mr. Harris told the reader

 

how he defines a religious moderate. There exists a diverse group of denominations and belief systems with "moderate" believers. For instance he states many religious moderates embrace pluralism. Many don't. Many embrace pluralism within a set of basic doctrines. All within different religious systems.

Or this from the opening paragraph

I hope to show that the very ideal of religious tolerance-born of the notion that every human being should be free to believe whatever he wants about God-is one of the principal forces driving us toward the abyss.

This abyss moderates are inexplicably driving the rest of us towards is never mentioned again. Maybe it does not exist.

Next paragraph

We have been slow to recognize the degree to which religious faith perpetuates man's inhumanity to man. This is not surprising, since many of us still believe that faith is an essential component of human life.

Really? Seriously? You expect to have a serious discussion based on tripe like this. So faith dulls religious moderates from recognizing inhumanity.








Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:06 PM

66. Amazing how anyone can think starting with,

You're ignorant and backward and it's destroying the world now let's have a productive discussion of where we have common ground is a good way to start a conservation isn't it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:55 PM

14. Sam Harris, the torture apologist?

The man who advocates a preemptive nuclear strike on the Muslim world?

I'd just as soon read the musings of Donald Rumsfeld.

Doesn't it bother you to promote the work of someone like this?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 10:22 PM

15. Dr. Harris presents a persuasive case. Sure to be well received here.

We're all open to a well wrought argument.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 06:45 AM

18. Perhaps you can tell me why this is such a persuasive and well wrought argument

 

Mr. Harris did not feel he needed to. He seems to believe hyperbole and his opinion should be enough.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:44 AM

21. Harris' arguments are always framed within a very narrow epistemology

 

and any logic or ideas that are outside the recognized parameters of that epistemology are automatically discarded as irrelevant or nonsensical.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:56 AM

24. And what is that

"narrow epistemology"?

Just so you know, if you respond with your usual schtick about "other ways of knowing" or "anything that can't be seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled", you'll be demonstrably wrong and exposed as utterly ignorant of what Harris has written.

Have at it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #24)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 01:04 PM

26. It's pretty evident that you already know the answer. By your response

 

you clearly demonstrate that your POV is very exclusive, limited, and repressive.

It has been shown time and again that other ways of knowing exist and are utilized. Whether you agree with them or not is irrlevant. And it has also been demonstrated that Empiricism is based on input from the physical senses and that Rational Empiricism, by its very definition, utilizes both the physical senses and limited deductive and inductive inferences.

Now then, if you can demonstrate that any other ways of knowing are being used, be my guest.

And I would expect that you would reply with ad hominems, red herrings, ad hoc arguments, and spin as usual.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #26)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:54 AM

34. No, I'll respond by pointing out yet again

that your claim "It has been shown time and again that other ways of knowing exist and are utilized" is still unsubstantiated nonsense. Your "evidence" for the claim that these "other ways of knowing" exist is always and forever to say "that evidence has already been given and I'm not ever going to give it again". Sorry dude...that ain't evidence, and everyone reading this knows it.

If YOU can demonstrate that "other ways of knowing" (as opposed to other ways of thinking that don't increase knowledge or understanding) are being used, be my guest. But we all know you won't be able to. You'll just be back with more of your usual evasions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #34)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:41 AM

35. Um, Yeh. other ways of knowing has been discussed and referenced here for a very long time.

 

Last edited Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:15 PM - Edit history (1)

Your lies and evasions just keep piling up. Your spin, your ad hoc arguments, and your ad hominems just keep on coming. However, the description of Harris' reasoning is very obvious and undeniable and you are ducking my questions. Just more spin.

Tell me this ss. Have you ever participated in any thread or discussion on DU where myself or others presented examples considered as other ways of knowing, or where references were given, or where subjective evidence was discussed?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #35)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:37 PM

36. Every time you repeat the same empty claim

with no evidence to back it up, you make my point even better.

And you've been asked over and over to link to threads where your "so-called" evidence was presented, and you've never been able to..not once. So you've answered your own question.

But go ahead..link to one now...you have a chance to win this argument with facts, once and for all, and to make me look foolish.

Come on, bummy...everyone is watching to see which of us is right...they're tired of your lame failure...Tick Tock. Any response without the requested link will end the discussion with you on the losing side.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #36)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:04 PM

37. I asked you a very direct question, and you only evade.

 

Why is that? I have said that the subject has been addressed ad nauseam and that examples, references, and explanations have been presented. It really doesn't matter whether you agree or not.

Now if you have never participated in such discussions, then I can understand how you think the subject has never been discussed. However, if you have participated in such exchanges then you are indeed lying or very forgetful.

And it seems that after each discussion you deny that such even took place. so I can only assume that you would do so again. Therefore, tell me that you have never been involved in such discussions if you think that the matter has never been discussed before.

I don't play your games anymore. Two ways of knowing, no three, have already been been mentioned in this thread. Empiricism, Rational Empiricism, and by implication, Rationalism.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #37)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:16 PM

38. No link, no evidence

just more evasion. The burden of proof is on you and you failed.

We're done here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #38)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:50 PM

40. That what I thought. You are well aware that we have had these discussions before and

 

that OWOK were demonstrated. Three were pointed out here. And no the burden of proof is not on me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #40)


Response to skepticscott (Reply #77)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:18 PM

80. Pleading ignorance

 

We all know you have also participated in those discussions. It may be possible that willful denial has blocked memories of those discussions, but that is doubtful, so the main hypothesis is cheesy and dishonest tactic of pleading ignorance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #80)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:44 PM

87. I've stated the kinds of discussions I've taken part in

If you have evidence to the contrary, let's see it. Now. Otherwise crawl back where the F you came from and take your lame accusations with you.

Somehow, I'm guessing you'll have no more evidence for your BS claims than bummy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #87)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:56 PM

89. OK

 

If you honestly claim that you have never participated in those discussions nor read them, I'll take your word for your ignorance instead of wasting my time searching for huge pile of old topics. But in that case, would it not be your responsibility to get an update on all that has been said in this group about "other ways of knowing", instead of making any claims based on pleaded and now accepted ignorance?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #89)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:13 PM

90. And he will go on making such claims. However there is evidence to the contrary that goes back

 

Last edited Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:17 PM - Edit history (1)

a long way in time, e.g.:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=214&topic_id=314570&mesg_id=314674

And throughout that entire thread, i.e. #118

There are also many more examples in the DU history files, and many scholars over the years have accepted the concept of different types of knowledge:

http://archive.org/stream/DegreesOfKnowledge#page/n3/mode/2up

http://realphysics.blogspot.com/2006/10/degrees-of-abstraction.html

http://www.trinity.edu/cbrown/modern/locke-knowledge.html

http://www.waysofknowing.net/

http://www.reference.com/motif/Society/carper%27s-four-ways-of-knowing

The list goes on and on but rest assured that ss will continue to deny that the subject has ever been addressed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #90)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:01 PM

91. From your link

 

This is interesting:

One major difference between love and hate appears to be in the fact that large parts of the cerebral cortex – associated with judgement and reasoning – become de-activated during love, whereas only a small area is deactivated in hate.

"This may seem surprising since hate can also be an all-consuming passion like love. But whereas in romantic love, the lover is often less critical and judgemental regarding the loved person, it is more likely that in the context of hate the hater may want to exercise judgement in calculating moves to harm, injure or otherwise exact revenge," Professor Zeki said.

"Interestingly, the activity of some of these structures in response to a hated face is proportional in strength to the declared intensity of hate, thus allowing the subjective state of hate to be objectively quantified. This finding may have implications in criminal cases."

"Scientists prove it really is a thin line between love and hate," The Independent, 29 Oct 2008

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-pr...


It is not very surprising, as e.g. many novel writers testify that it takes a huge amount of hate of cold rage - and a creative and difficult ego trip - to produce a good novel from the chatter of inner dialogue. Without rage, they can't write. Maybe it's the same with creation of a new scientific theory, a physicist friend of mine says that cold rage gives much of his creative energy.

On the other hand meditation etc. practices to let go of or silence the inner dialogue is connected with non-judgemental compassion, and zen monks usually don't write much more than short poems.

Quite likely also musicians playing in state of flow - "knowing" as praxis and sofrosyne instead of episteme to use Aristotelian concepts - have their cortex and inner dialogue inactive for their full body to be more open and participant to the vibrant flow of music.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #91)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:24 PM

92. Little google

 

According to Meyer, it is the suspenseful tension of music (arising out of our unfulfilled expectations) that is the source of the music’s feeling. While earlier theories of music focused on the way a noise can refer to the real world of images and experiences (its “connotative” meaning), Meyer argued that the emotions we find in music come from the unfolding events of the music itself. This “embodied meaning” arises from the patterns the symphony invokes and then ignores, from the ambiguity it creates inside its own form. “For the human mind,” Meyer writes, “such states of doubt and confusion are abhorrent. When confronted with them, the mind attempts to resolve them into clarity and certainty.” And so we wait, expectantly, for the resolution of E major, for Beethoven’s established pattern to be completed. This nervous anticipation, says Meyer, “is the whole raison d’etre of the passage, for its purpose is precisely to delay the cadence in the tonic.” The uncertainty makes the feeling – it is what triggers that surge of dopamine in the caudate, as we struggle to figure out what will happen next. And so our neurons search for the undulating order, trying to make sense of this flurry of pitches. We can predict some of the notes, but we can’t predict them all, and that is what keeps us listening, waiting expectantly for our reward, for the errant pattern to be completed. Music is a form whose meaning depends upon its violation.
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/the-neuroscience-of-music/

http://www.aan.com/elibrary/neurologytoday/?event=home.showArticle&id=ovid.com%3A%2Fbib%2Fovftdb%2F00132985-200804030-00020

http://www.amazon.com/Cognitive-Neuroscience-Music-Isabelle-Peretz/dp/0198525206

etc.

There is lot to read about the subject, but do you know how to play?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to humblebum (Reply #90)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:39 PM

94. As stated many times

I'm aware of your incessant CLAIMS of EWOKS. But they're just other ways of thinking that any idiot or insane person can lay claim to. "Knowing" in any meaningful sense has nothing to do with them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #94)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:49 PM

95. And again, your concept of "knowing" is not shared by everyone, to say the least.

 

IOW, You are right and everyone else is wrong.

You cannot understand the fact that most others accept and use your idea of knowledge, but that many of those others also accept the validity of these other types. There are ways of thinking but there are also ways of arriving at conclusions, which are the other types of knowledge you do not recognize.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to skepticscott (Reply #94)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 10:54 PM

96. AS I recall, you claimed that no examples of other ways of knowing had ever been demonstrated.

 

it really does not matter whether they fit your paradigm of "knowledge" or not. It has been clearly demonstrated that there are other POV's besides your own.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #89)


Response to skepticscott (Reply #93)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:16 PM

97. Scott

 

Do you know how to play music?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:06 PM

22. In all honesty, it's a matter of personal judgment. Those who approach with an open mind,

not wrapped in preconceptions, will see a closely reasoned argument. Others may not. Dr. Harris is (to me) unquestionably a very capable writer and reasoner, those who don't see that probably don't for reasons not dependent on capable writing and reasoning.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #22)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:43 AM

23. Two things

 

It should be a simple task to identify the "closely reasoned arguments" from such a "unquestionably" capable writer and reasoner. Something you don't seem willing or are incapable of doing.

Something you may want to consider is that, in my experiences, a capable or articulate writer is not the same thing as providing a solid or truthful argument. I point this out because many people see or hear an articulate writer or speaker and automatically assign a far higher value to their views or position than is warranted. Even very bright people get fooled. This is particularly true when confirmation bias may play an large role in ones interpretation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #23)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 04:58 PM

27. For the same reason that I'm not penning a precis of the Gettysburg Address, I'm not rewriting

Dr. Harris. There are those who read him and agree, others not. He enjoys an outsider perspective as do I. I remain grateful for the thoughtful reception he gets here, everyone taking him on full face and point for point on the merits. For added perspective on the issue, look upstream in this discussion. Note how specifically Dr. Harris' views in this particular article are criticized.

We're all liberals here. We oughtn't disregard or bench Dr. Harris for sharing a few opinions with the more radical Zionists, because we understand his natural emotional inclination toward his own people. For those few who might object, it's best to mentally replace that particular conflict with another, such as India-Pakistan or any other of the myriad religiously fueled quarrels.

It is true there are authors who write well and write things that are false. Time usually exposes them.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 06:58 PM

28. No one asked you to provide a precis of the article or Harris

 

Last edited Fri Nov 23, 2012, 08:17 PM - Edit history (1)

You believe Harris provided a persuasive and well wrought argument. I asked you to explain why you thought it was such article.

I don't see it. I see a list of anecdotal observations muddied by his own bias while conflating all forms of religious moderates into a bunch of people clinging onto tradition out of hope and ignorance, immune to progress; and apparently dangerous.

His thesis seems to be that moderates are driving all of us into the abyss. Since he never bothers to tell the reader what abyss he is referring to, it is difficult to decipher where the article is leading or what his argument actually is.

Moderates seem to be defined by Harris as those that fall between homicidal zealots and agnostics. A less than useful definition especially when these same folks are driving all of humanity into the abyss.

Harris seem barely able to hide his disdain for people of faith. It seeps in all over the article. It is nothing more than a rambling thinly veiled attack on religious moderates. So forgive me if I'm not interested in a real discussion.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #28)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:05 PM

29. Thank you for your considered reply.

It's refreshing after so much mere dismissal upthread. In fact I find the whole thread one of cleanhippie's best efforts. Some solid and to the point thinking going on.

Needless to say I don't agree with you, but that's beside the point. We have a stage to say what we will, and it's well worth the ticket price.

It may (or may not) seem strange that I can see why Dr. Harris' words offend you. They are meant to offend, as seems clear enough. They are trying to get you offended enough to take a specific, important, daring action. Soft words won't do that. Probably rough words won't either, but so it goes. It's not crystal clear how to sound the clear and present danger.

But then that's me again.

It's not for nothing Dr. Harris finds it sometimes convenient to travel with a bodyguard or two, at least so they say.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #29)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:29 PM

30. So permit me to ask as you seem to

 

believe what Harris said is important.

You say "They are trying to get you offended enough to take a specific, important, daring action."

What in your opinion is the specific, important and daring action I'm supposed to be goaded into taking?

Also just to be clear. Harris does not offend me. I am rarely offended by those I disagree with. I think his article is full of crap, but at least he's clever about it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #30)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:44 PM

31. Harris is addressing liberal religionists, he is trying to convince them to stop

providing cover for conservative religionists. Usually that would mean not providing any financial support to a church. In a broader sense it would mean not supporting any magical thinking. We (the nonbelievers) sometimes advise the same here, our success ratio is as you would expect.

Audacious, Harris, hence the bodyguards.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #31)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:02 AM

32. I thought Harris was addressing religious moderates?????

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #32)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 01:38 AM

33. Yes, better term. Just because I see them as the same thing doesn't mean

others need to see them as the same. We're not a united front. I won't be kicked out of the Atheists' Union because I've broken a rule of the atheist catechism.

He writes better than I do. I admit it.




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:38 PM

82. Offending words(?)

 

Why do you, as a liberal and moderate nationalist US citizen, continue to enable US state violence and state terror against other nations and your own people - with your tax money, with your vote, with the work you do?

Are you not asking to be offended enough to take a specific, important, daring action of stopping to support and enable US state violence with your taxes, vote and work? Now will you?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #82)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:06 PM

83. You make an interesting and deep point.

In the end I'm just one person, and I can only fight so many fights. I try to vote the best way that it's possible every election, but refusing to pay taxes is too much for me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #83)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:50 PM

84. No problem

 

Or rather, of course it is a problem in some angle of the big picture, but IMO guilt tripping and personal accusations etc. offending speech very seldom lead to desired outcome (fable about North Wind and Sun remains great source of wisdom). So next time you talk e.g. with a Christian who takes the pacifist and nonviolent teaching of his religion very seriously (even if you may consider that cherry picking) but supports his church financially, maybe you can remember also your own limitations on how far you are ready to go to stop enabling violent hierarchies?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to tama (Reply #84)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:34 PM

86. There are fora available right here on DU where Christians don't run into criticism from seculars.

Judging from their attendance, they aren't big draws. Here in this forum, we sometimes work on the big question--whether religion is the right path at all. Naturally a few who don't notice (or perhaps don't respect) the controversial character of this forum are running the risk of slights.

In the end, I simply represent my views.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #86)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:50 PM

88. Is that all you do?

 

No room for creative thinking and dialogue and change of views and behavioral patterns? I doubt that.

My position is quite clear and I consider it consistent and rational based on ethical axioms: As a rule of thumb I'm opposed to all hierarchic mechanisms of physical and psychological violence, which includes not only hierarchically organized religions but also states and academic hierarchies and belief system of dogmatic materialism when it is behaving similarly to hierarchically organized religions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:04 PM

25. A flawed and slanted view of the state of nonliteralist religious thought is not

"a well wrought argument". Each argument starts with his version of religious viewpoints and he is amazingly ill informed or just plain too lazy to research his background material or has shaped his information to fit his perhaps already conceived conclusions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:21 PM

39. Interesting read.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 03:50 PM

41. The mind of Mr Harris covers almost every topic, like a wide shallow puddle

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:01 PM

42. "Imagine" (says Mr Harris to us) "that we could revive a well-educated Christian

of the fourteenth century. The man would prove to be a total ignoramus, except on matters of faith. His beliefs about geography, astronomy, and medicine would embarrass even a child, but he would know more or less everything there is to know about God. Though he would be considered a fool to think that the earth is flat, or that trepanning constitutes a wise medical intervention, his religious ideas would still be beyond reproach."

Here Mr Harris has forgotten the very most important facts about history: the ancients were in some respects, of course, children compared to us, but our comparative "adulthood" is a product of their considerable labors; our wisdom has been produced by the hard experience of those who came before us; and, in the end, one of our advantages is that we know what latter happened to them, whereas they lived their time, looking ahead into an uncertain future. In exactly the same way, we might expect that shallow future minds will sneer at us, for our ignorance compared to the future, and the only thing we could possibly say in their direction is: We made such advances as we were able, in our own time, and tried to leave for you whatever advantages and insights we could

Here is a fourteenth century clock from Salisbury cathedral


http://www.timetravel-britain.com/articles/towns/salisbury.shtml

Mr Harris may sneer, if he like, but it is a nontrivial assemblage of work by many people: miners and smelters and ironworkers and a clockmaker. To produce it, ore was dug by hand, trees were cut for charcoal, crude iron was recovered from the ore and then purified by adding experimentally-discovered fluxes, and somebody designed that clock, before smiths produced the works and hammered it together. It is not a crude or careless matter

Here are some of the ceilings



http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/salisbury-cathedral

Perhaps it is not brilliant engineering by modern standards, but it must be judged according to what was available when the work was planned and done. Then, it was cutting edge architecture. All work was done with human and animal labor, and enormous ingenuity was involved.

The windows are filled with stained glass. There is quite a lot of it:



Being of an older style, the art may not be to the taste of Mr Harris. But Mr Harris seems entirely oblivious to the technological progress such glass represented, and to the extensive work involved in producing these windows. One needed a good recipe for glass making; one needed skilled workers to produce the colored glass sheets; and one needed excellent artists to do the actual craft work. But Mr Harris sneers at them who came before

An ancient proverb tells us, that the student must finally exceed the teacher, when the student be a good student and the teacher a good teacher. Student became teacher to new student, again and again in every century, century after century, from then until now, and so bit by bit everything that we know now was gained and handed down. That Mr Harris might sneer, at past accomplishments, mostly suggests that he suffers from a certain superiority complex which mainly reveals that his gaping ignorance

Sadly, Mr Harris does not even bother to get historical facts right:

De sphaera mundi ... is a medieval introduction to the basic elements of astronomy written ... c. 1230 ... De sphaera contains a clear description of the Earth as a sphere which agrees with widespread opinion in Europe during the higher Middle Ages ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_sphaera_mundi

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #42)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:21 PM

43. I'm sure Mr Harris is speaking of the common man, not..

 

the few hundreds, perhaps few thousands of scientists, (astronomers), mathematicians, and engineers who studied the physics and nature of the physical world and learned much that was NOT about the spiritual.

Are we forgetting that modern medicine developed much later than the inventions of the first clocks, and later than the re-introduction of very old architectural principles which had been employed by Greeks and Romans centuries before Christ was born? During the times of the late middle-ages, and at the birth of the European Renaissance, most illnesses were still ascribed by Christians to the work of the devil, or to bad character.

I might also point out that the astronomers of the times of the Stonehenge, (around 1500-2000BC) and the work of Egyptian pyramid builders more than a thousand years earlier than the Stonehenge took into account the seasons and the motion of the sunrises and sunsets throughout the skies during a "year".

So inquisitive minds, and minds of logic, reason, recorders and historians and artists and craftsmen and engineers and inventors have been around long before and long outside of the Judeo-Christian period. One realm (that of reason and logic and hard work and discovery), does not necessarily intersect with the spiritual thinkers and proponents of religions. They may come together in a certain historical epoch or time, but there is no causal relationship between the two realms.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JKingman (Reply #43)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:29 PM

45. Reread the quote: Harris imagines "a well-educated Christian of the fourteenth century"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #45)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:42 PM

46. What constituted "well educated" in the fourteenth century?

 

Certainly NOT someone with the knowledge we now possess.

Who were the "well educated"? At least 90% of Europeans in 14th century Europe did not know how to read. Only the clerics and the traders and the royalty had access to learning to read.

Of the estimated several millions of people living in Europe at the beginning of the fourteenth century, which do you consider "well educated"? There were probably tens of thousands of religious clerics, monks, and others of the Christian faith. Of those, probably most read Latin, and perhaps had access to some limited written material in their native language. Most of the lives of priests and other religious leaders, those that had been taught to read and write, spent most of their time devoted to the study of their religion, and to the propagation of their religious beliefs throughout the area.

I am saying that scientists (of that period) and engineers, those who built the churches, made the clocks, and did that math, we probably have a collection of, at most, several thousand. Is this the small number of those, whom you are considering "well educated"?

Remember that the concept of "well educated" in the fourteenth century Europe did NOT include any knowledge of the workings of the human body, and knowledge of disease or illness, a weakness that may have killed up to half the population in many areas of Europe, while the religious leaders spent time deep in prayer, bringing in the masses to their churches to pray, thus spreading the disease of black plague to more and more innocent victims. Religion had no positive effect on human suffering for millions. But it was believed and perpetuated, as the righteous thing to do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JKingman (Reply #46)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:32 PM

49. I personally do not consider it surprising that the knowledge available today

seems better and more reliable that that available six hundred years ago. Perhaps we ought to be surprised instead where we do not find significant advances

But if you are interested in history, do at least try to get the facts right. I think you will then find less reason to sneer at those who came before. I am quite sure all of us are glad we do not have to use flint knives, as was common in the neolithic -- but I also predict that if you would try to make yourself some usable knives and axes and scrapers and arrowheads from flint, you might have more respect for the intelligence and skill and hard work and perseverance of those whom we today regard as primitives in comparison to ourselves

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #49)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 07:39 PM

69. "Perhaps we ought to be surprised instead where we do not find significant advances"

I agree 100%. Religion is one of those places that has had zero advances regarding its claims of truth and fact. None. Zip. Nada.

Surprised?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Reply #69)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:45 PM

71. You and I have so few productive conversations because we cannot even agree about exactly

what we are discussing

I suppose if I held your views about what Christianity was, and what it claimed to accomplish, and why people adhered to it, I would also share your views about how it should be regarded. But my current starting place is entirely different from yours, in that I do not share your views about what Christianity seeks or what it claims or why anyone might follow it, and starting from a different place, I also end at a different place

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #71)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:20 PM

72. Then lets agree about exactly what we are discussing.

Better define just what it is you want to discuss and I'm on board.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #42)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:41 PM

50. Your tactic here is woefully predictable.

First, you insult Harris' intelligence - which is evidently some kind of knee-jerk reaction you have whenever one of the "New Atheists" is mentioned.

Second, you bog down in "analysis" picking over a Harris quote while ignoring the actual point of it. (Hint: it's contained in the latter part of the quote.)

Harris may indeed have passed along some silly fallacies, such as that an educated 14th century person might still believe the earth to be flat. But what did that educated 14th century Christian believe about his or her god? What progress has been made in theology that even begins to compare to the progress that arose from the state of science at that time? I agree with you that we should stand back and admire the scientific and engineering accomplishments of 14th century humans, because we only stand where we do today, technologically, because of a lot of hard work and logical thinking they did.

So where is the comparable theological progress? Surely given the resources the Christian church has had available to it for an equal length of time, we should expect much grander constructions of the nature of god and our role in its creation. Can you present those to us?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #50)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:49 PM

51. Seven links so far from me, zero from you. Have a nice day!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #51)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 08:01 PM

52. That's because this isn't a Google contest.

Instead, I asked you a question. One that is directly related to what Harris is saying. Now I can certainly understand why you would rather ignore it, but of course that IS an answer in itself, and the answer I expected from a very sticky question indeed. This is why you would rather mock and spam a Harris thread than address the actual topic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #50)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:18 PM

54. It is a somewhat pointless comparision

 

Religion is essentially a tradition based epistemology. That's not to say it can't change over time, but because it is a tradition based system where knowledge is handed down it is far more resistant to change (correctly so) and new ways of understanding God. Also given the nature of religion as not being testable, it can't be treated as one would treat say life or material sciences. Something that Harris seems to think is required.

BTW the notion implied by Harris that man's understanding of God is somehow largely static is incorrect. I am assuming when you are expecting a much "grander construction of the nature of God" you really mean a construction of God that makes sense to folks like you and Harris.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/a-history-of-god/



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #54)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:04 PM

58. No, I mean anything that could be considered progress or advancement.

Building on past knowledge, expanding into much more advanced creations. All other human endeavors for knowledge have done this. So where is that progress in theology? What I hear from you is that we can't expect it, because theology is different. Then the question must be asked, what benefit does it bring to humanity? How does it grow and advance as we do? What benefit does it bring us and our descendents if it cannot become more responsive to our needs? Is the only purpose of religion/theology to hold us back and make us cling to ideas that the light of reason has shown to be false, like certain races are inferior or sex with certain people is an "abomination"?

You claim "the notion implied by Harris that man's understanding of God is somehow largely static is incorrect." OK, so you've declared that. Great. Now explain why it's incorrect. What new understanding of your god do we have today that we didn't 100 years ago, 600 years ago, 1000 years ago? What previous theology led to those new understandings, and how? Can you point to the steps of development like I can when it comes to scientific progress?

Be careful now - you need to demonstrate precisely how these ideas grew out of existing theology, and NOT from other areas of social progress, dragging religion kicking and screaming into modern society.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #42)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:09 PM

53. Our Christian might well have thought the earth round, but it would have been a matter of faith to

him/her that the opposite side was uninhabited. As a practical matter, believing that the opposite side of the earth might be inhabited was rather dangerous, since it had been declared a heresy to believe that by Pope Zachary. This was one of the grounds for burning noted figure Cecco D'Ascoli, for instance.

That sort of thing puts a damper on world cruises.


(edited to get my geography challenged pope right)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #53)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:38 PM

55. St. Vergil of Salzburg

Feastday: November 27
700 - 784
... Vergil of Salzburg (fl. VIII Century) was born in Ireland and undertook a journey to Europe in 743. He spent two years at the court of Pepin the Short and travelled to Bavaria to make peace between the French king and Duke Odilo. Odilo appointed Vergil abbot of St. Peter's, and St. Boniface of Mainz twice complained to Pope Zachary of Vergil's "unorthodox" views. In the first matter, a question of baptismal validity, the pope sided with Vergil and agreed that baptisms are valid even if the priest mispronounces the formula. In the second, the pope censured Vergil, who may have written a cosmology under the name of Æthicus Ister, for believing that people exist in the Antipodes but took no drastic action. In 767, Vergil was appointed Bishop of Salzburg, where he dedicated the first cathedral ...

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=841

So it seems that rather than being denounced as a heretic for believing men exist in the Antipodes, and despite the Pope disagreeing with his view, Virgil was appointed a Bishop and later was canonized: his feast day appears to be Tuesday next, should you wish to remember it


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #53)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:45 PM

56. "Cecco D'Ascoli, is the adopted name of Francis, or Francesco Stabili; a native of Ascoli,

in the march of Ancona, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, who acquired considerable reputation, unfortunately for himself, as a critic and poet. Among the many anachronisms and contradictions in the accounts given of his life, which Tirabotchi has endeavoured to correct, we find that when young, he was professor of astrology in the university of Bologna, that he published a book on that science, which being denounced to the Inquisition, he escaped by recanting what was offensive but that the same accusations being afterwards renewed at Florence, he was condemned to be burnt, and suffered that horrible death in 1327, in the seventieth year of his age ... The pretence for putting this poor man to death, was his “Commentary on the Sphere of John de Sacrabosco,” in which, following the superstition of the times, he asserted that wonderful things might be done by the agency of certain demons who inhabited the first of the celestial spheres. This was foolish enough, but it was the prevalent folly of the times, and Cecco probably believed what he wrote. That he was not an impostor wiser than those whom he duped, appears from his conduct to Charles, duke of Calabria, who appointed him his astrologer, and who, having consulted him on the future conduct of his wife and daughter, Cecco, by his art, foretold that they would turn out very abandoned characters. Had he not persuaded himself into the truth of this, he surely would have conciliated so powerful a patron by a prediction of a more favourable kind; and this, as may be supposed, lost him the favour of the duke. But even the loss of his friend would not have brought him to the stake, if he had not rendered himself unpopular by attacking the literary merit of Dante ..."
1812 Chalmers’ Biography / C / Cecco D'Ascoli
http://words.fromoldbooks.org/Chalmers-Biography/c/cecco-dascoli.html

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #53)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:04 PM

57. Of course, the execution of Cecco D'Ascoli is quite disgusting and pointless

And, sadly, the number of such disgusting and pointless medieval deaths rather pales in comparison with the disgusting and pointless slaughters of modern times

WWI, for example, seems to have produced 16 or 17 million deaths, perhaps up to 10 million on the battlefield. WWII seems to have produced 60 million or more deaths, at least 22 million of them soldiers and another 37 million civilian deaths, a nontrivial fraction by outright criminal extermination. The scale of destruction in the World Wars was always, in some sense, a triumph of modern technology, informed by science

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:27 PM

44. Mr Harris thinks a fourteenth century man today "would be considered a fool to think ...

that trepanning constitutes a wise medical intervention"

Emergency Department Skull Trephination for Epidural Hematoma in Patients Who Are Awake But Deteriorate Rapidly.
Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2009
... In T&D patients with CT-proven EDH and anisocoria, ED skull trephination before transfer resulted in uniformly good outcomes without complications.

http://www.tripdatabase.com/doc/930106-Emergency-Department-Skull-Trephination-for-Epidural-Hematoma-in-Patients-Who-Are-Awake-But-Deteriorate#content

Zentralbl Neurochir. 2001 Feb;62(1):10-4.
Trepanations from the early medieval period of southwestern Germany--indications, complications and outcome.
Weber J, Czarnetzki A.
Department of Neurosurgery, Leopoldina Hospital, Schweinfurt.
Abstract
Of the 384 skulls from the early medieval period, 8 (2.1%) exhibited trepanations. Three skulls showed trepanations in the proximity of fractures. One case of infection after borrhole trepanation that resulted in death is identifiable. Seven skulls showed clear evidence of healing and survival after trepanation. The mortality and infection rates for trepanation were low during the 6th to 8th centuries in southwestern Germany.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11496341

Two Trepanned Skulls from the Middles Ages Are Found in Soria, Spain
ScienceDaily (May 9, 2012) — Two skulls with perforations have been exhumed in the area of Gormaz in Soria, Spain by researchers from the universities of Oviedo and Leon. They have been dated from the 13th and 14th centuries -- a period in which trepanation was not commonly practiced ... "As of the Bronze Age, cases of trepanation are common throughout Europe, mainly in the Mediterranean Basin. In the Iberian Peninsula there are many cases that have been dated back to the Copper Age some 4,000 years ago. However, our scientific literature lacks much more in the description of trepanation during the Middle Ages," explained Belén López Martínez, researcher and the University of Oviedo and co-author of the study ... The trepanation technique differs in each of the skulls. The skull of the male has been grooved with a sharp object and it is unknown whether trepanation occurred before or after his death. López Martínez confirms that "if the procedure took place whilst still alive, there is no sign of regeneration and the subject did not survive." In the woman, a scraping technique was used while she was still alive. According to the researchers, she survived for a "relatively long" amount of time afterwards given that the wound scarring is advanced ...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120509092522.htm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #44)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 05:50 PM

47. Explain to us the fourteenth century concept of ..

 

sepsis and antisepsis?

Modern day medical intervention, compared to fourteenth century approaches to illness: is there a point you are making here?

And it has to do with "moderation" in today's religious beliefs, how?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JKingman (Reply #47)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:21 PM

48. One ought to begin with the facts and proceed thence to the analysis, whereas

Mr Harris begins with his conclusion and here and there adds various matters he considers facts as proof thereof. The two most concrete examples, at the site linked by the OP, are the claims of Mr Harris that we today must regard the educated 14th century man a fool, on the grounds that he believed the earth to be flat and on the grounds that he would have supported trepanation. But in both instances, it is Mr Harris here who plays the fool, for not knowing science and for not knowing the history of science

That the world was spherical, was ancient knowledge and was accepted by many educated medieval persons, as I have indicated upthread

Trepanation was independently discovered worldwide in ancient times, as a treatment for head injuries, and would have been known to medieval Europeans through Galen and Hippocrates

On Injuries of the Head
By Hippocrates
http://classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/headinjur.21.21.html

I have already provided links upthread showing (1) trepanation can still be good medical practice under some circumstances; (2)
trepanation was practiced successfully, and sometimes even appropriately in medieval Europe; but (3) there does not seem to be much evidence that it was practiced frequently by the fourteenth century. So on trepanation, no matter how we read Mr Harris, he is blowing smoke

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to struggle4progress (Reply #44)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 03:57 PM

116. Mr. Harris' first mistake

is that the Renaissance was already in progress in the 14th. century. Indeed, for much of southern Europe, it started in the thirteenth.

And Mr. Harris' screed just gets worse from there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:18 PM

59. Just for reference purposes, Dr. Harris received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford in 2009.

His undergraduate studies were in philosophy. Presented as a public service only.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dimbear (Reply #59)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 09:58 AM

60. For reference only; you posted a fallacious appeal to authority. nt

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #60)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 10:17 AM

61. For further reference, dimbear didn't claim the argument was true BECAUSE of Harris' credentials.

He merely listed them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #61)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 11:12 AM

62. For even further reference, dimbear does hold the view that

 

Harris provides "closely reasoned arguments"

While not claiming truth it certainly provides advocacy for his argument. And while we are at it a fallacious appeal to authority does not require that you actually believe the argument to be true it simply means you are holding the position that the authority is accepted as an expert when he or she is not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #62)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:44 PM

63. And yet he still didn't claim that because of Harris' education, his argument is true.

No matter how many straws you grasp at.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to trotsky (Reply #63)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:18 PM

64. So why post his education then,

 

if not to make people aware of his expertise and credentials, making the writer credible.

Are we supposed to believe it was posted just to let people know Harris' expertise has no bearing with the article's content? In case we thought he was an expert in the field. Sort of a warning to all to ensure no one thought Harris actually had expertise in the subject he wrote about.






Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #64)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 04:23 PM

65. Why? Because some people are in favor of KNOWLEDGE about

 

this guy, versus the street preacher Bible folks who never bothered to finish high school but tell us that the world is coming to an end.

Are we supposed to believe it was posted just to let people know Harris' expertise has no bearing with the article's content?


In a word: YES!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JKingman (Reply #65)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:16 PM

67. Well you might be right

 

I had not thought it necessary to highlight his lack of knowledge in the subject he wrote about as it was very evident.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #67)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 05:30 PM

68. I believe everything I read on the internet.

 

What kind of fool would that make me?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LARED (Reply #60)

Sun Nov 25, 2012, 08:18 PM

70. I mention Dr. Harris' degrees because I believe in courtesy to living authors, in general.

Make of it what you will.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:17 PM

75. Drat that nasty old Constitution!

Not to mention several international declarations on Human Rights.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:03 PM

78. The problem of state apologists

 

We can no longer afford the luxury of political correctness. When nation states and their enablers cause violence, their root claims must be challenged.

Deavid Henry Thoreau in his Civil Disobedience (which had great impact on Gandhi and Martin Luther King) adviced refusing to pay taxes to support imperialistic wars and showed example. When Sam Harris and his admirers stop paying taxes to support current imperialistic wars and police state violence against ordinary people, not to mention planetary wide ecological destruction, we can start discussing "moderate" roots and support for violence in greater depth. Put your money where your mouth is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:04 PM

79. The thing is, though...

that one could replace 'religious moderates' with quite a lot of other things. What about 'moderate nationalists' for example? Nationalism has certainly caused as much war and conflict as religion -yet most of us have some commitment to a particular nation. What about moderate consumerism? - this almost certainly puts us in league with corporations that contribute to world poverty and threaten the planet.

I hold no brief for religion myself; but I think that blaming all religious people for the acts of extremists is no better than any form of guilt by association.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #79)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:27 PM

81. Indeed

 

The merit of this challenge is, should we tolerate any violence and how it is enabled by "moderates" - by us - e.g. as tax payers, debt payers, soldiers, police and other workers etc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 02:27 PM

104. I'm a religious Liberal and not sure if this is aimed at me

but I guarantee us UU's are not the problem. We don't coddle ignorance or intolerance in any form.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 4_TN_TITANS (Reply #104)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:06 PM

105. You are 100% correct about that.

I am an atheist that attends a UU Fellowship regularly. The 7 Principles not not require a god, just a good heart. No supernatural entities needed. And UU's are the solution, the best of it all, IMO.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread