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Thu Jan 12, 2017, 10:28 AM

Sessions Goes Blank

Funny on GD this sank like a rock

When Asked if Secular Americans Can Understand the Concept of Truth

Of the many highlights from Sen. Jeff Session‘s confirmation hearings to become our next Attorney General, perhaps the most relevant to readers of this site was the question Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) asked him, in a roundabout way, about church/state separation.

A little background helps. During the Republican National Convention this past summer, Sessions criticized Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for her alleged irreligiosity:

The senator recalled one quote from Sotomayor that, he said, “still makes the hair stand on my neck.” He explained: “She said there is no objectivity, just a series of perspectives.” He suggested that the problem may be that Sotomayer and other judges aren’t sufficiently religious: “If you have secularization in the world and don’t believe in a higher being, maybe you don’t believe there is any truth.”

It was bad enough that Sessions misrepresented Sotomayor’s religious views. (She’s a Roman Catholic who believes in God.) But this idea that disbelief in God meant you couldn’t tell right from wrong? That there was no such thing as truth? It was the sort of ignorant attack against Secular Americans that the Christian Right loves to make.

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Sessions Goes Blank (Original post)
HAB911 Jan 2017 OP
guillaumeb Jan 2017 #1
AtheistCrusader Jan 2017 #2
guillaumeb Jan 2017 #5
AtheistCrusader Jan 2017 #6
guillaumeb Jan 2017 #7
AtheistCrusader Jan 2017 #8
guillaumeb Jan 2017 #10
AtheistCrusader Jan 2017 #12
AtheistCrusader Jan 2017 #9
guillaumeb Jan 2017 #11
AtheistCrusader Jan 2017 #13
Act_of_Reparation Jan 2017 #3
pokerfan Jan 2017 #14
nil desperandum Jan 2017 #4

Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Thu Jan 12, 2017, 11:17 AM

1. Truth and right/wrong are terms that are interpreted quite differently

depending on the culture.

There is scientific truth. Something that can be proven.

And there is right and wrong when describing behavior and beliefs.

I do not see the connection between scientific truth and social conceptions of right/wrong.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 12:20 PM

2. You are religious are you not?

When you invest in a source of truth, it's difficult to perceive another.

Philosophy is a 'soft' science, but it most certainly delves into truth or right/wrong.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 01:33 PM

5. As Pilate asked:

"What is truth?" Is it unchanging, a constant that remains the same in every culture?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 01:48 PM

6. Being in accord with fact or reality.

Not difficult.

A truth:
The speed of light is 299,792,458 meters per second in a vacuum.
Change the 'reality' and the limit is lower in a transparent medium, like water.

Time is absolute and relative, but never universal. Etc. (In this reality)

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 01:49 PM

7. "We hold these truths to be self-evident............"

There is truth, and there is truth.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 01:52 PM

8. If only the people of the age could have seen those words that way. There would have been no

3/5ths compromise, no civil war, etc.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 02:25 PM

10. If there had been no compromise, would there have been a United States?

And if there had been no United States, how long would independence have lasted?

Ground for alternative history novelists.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 04:07 PM

12. Well, if the words of the Declaration had been universally adopted, yes.

Because they would have backpedaled from and ended slavery of their own volition.

Absent that, no, the general historical consensus is, the US would not have formed at that time.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 01:53 PM

9. Also, again to the soft science of philosophy, I would support that claim of truth

with much groundwork on the axiom of self-ownership, and internally consistent principles like the non-aggression principle.

One can construct a very logical, and fully internally consistent worldview, of only one works at it a little bit.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 02:29 PM

11. Replying toy our last assertion, I agree.

But there might be numerous such worldviews with little consistency among them.

I would say that "Do unto others" is a prime example of the non-aggression principle, but the large number of wars started by Christians is evidence that the principle is not followed so much as merely cited.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 04:09 PM

13. Agreed.

I always base 'do unto others' in self-ownership.

I cannot claim to own myself, and be secure in my person/labor/property, if I do not also respect your self-ownership. No one would ever respect my claim, if I went and took their stuff/life/etc.

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 01:05 PM

3. I don't think Jeff Sessions is stupid. So he's probably a liar.

The quote attributed to Sotomayor actually belongs to Harvard Professor Martha Minnow. Sotomayor was quoting her in a lecture.

Not that it matters much, because Sotomayor agrees with Minnow. Not that it matters much because both Sotomayor and Minnow are essentially correct. Humans can try to be objective to the best of their ability, but their relationship to objective reality is indirect at best.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 08:50 PM

14. I subscribe to Carlin's triage approach

Think of how stupid the average person is and then realize that half of them are stupider than that. And it doesn't take you very long to spot one of them does it? Take you about eight seconds. You'll be listening to some guy... you say... "this guy is fucking stupid!"

Then... then there are some people, they're not stupid... they're full of shit. Huh? That doesn't take very long to spot either, does it? Take you about the same amount of time. You'll be listening to some guy..and saying, "well, he's fairly intelligent......ahht, he's full of shit!"

Then there are some people, they're not stupid, they're not full of shit... they're fucking nuts! Dan Quayle is all three! All three! Stupid, full of shit, and fucking nuts!

George Carlin: Doing It Again (1990 TV Special)

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Response to HAB911 (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2017, 01:18 PM

4. Here's a truth

that no senator who believes in some form of a god seemed able to grasp, we are allies with people who find bacha bazi an acceptable practice. Sessions allies and critics alike have done exactly nothing to address the fact the US is allied with those who find this barbaric act enjoyable.

Perhaps the good Senator Sessions could explain that, if anyone had the balls to ask the question of him.

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