RE: The Extropian Religious War--thank you

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Tue Jul 10 2001 - 21:07:14 MDT

Natasha writes

> > Thank you Samantha for some lucid thinking on this
> > thread. I agree with almost all posts except those
> > whose aim is to chastise religion, spirituality or
> > the church.

What does "chastise" mean here? I can form almost an
inverse statement by affirming "I agree with almost all
posts whose aim is to criticize religion, spirituality,
or the church", by merely using "criticize" instead.
Criticism is vital to rational thought. If by "chastise"
you mean "criticize in an unhelpful way", well, then I
guess that I can hardly disagree :-)

> People who go to church, people who value ideas other
> than extropian ideas, people who have a desire or
> need for spirituality are not backward and unintelligent.
> Many are creative and highly intelligent and who simply
> see things a different way because of deeply ingrained
> belief systems, early imprinting, fear of the unknown,
> social conditioning, professional affiliation, or simply
> like the music, atmosphere and wine.

Exactly so. "Many" is exactly correct, IMO. I agree with
you and not J. R. when he wrote something to the effect of
"all those who affirm religious beliefs are either liars
or idiots". But I think that we often greatly underestimate
the number of those to which that DOES apply (here "idiot"
meaning someone who is pretty stupidly buying a lot of crap).

L B (Meriss) says

> I rather enjoy a minor skirmish. But there was some
> slashing going on and I don't know what contact [means
> context, I think] to take it in. Are you all just
> kidding when you threaten to block someone's address
> just because you don't want to hear what they have to
> say or to punish them?

"Slashing"? Like "war" these are totally undeserved
analogies and metaphors. Some, like the great semanticist
Count Alfred Korzybski, would say that you are making
yourself un-sane by such liberal usage of such terms (he
had a way of sometimes overstating things himself, but,
well, it was only 1933).

As for "threatening" to block someone's email delivery,
it's no threat. The people who say they're doing it
really are doing it. I don't blame them a bit because
of this: one has only so much time, and many people
have concluded that they don't have time to read
everything on this list. So it's the same thing as
judging that they probably don't have time for so-and-so's
posts, only this way, they're not distracted by the
appearance of the email item.

What I don't understand is why they have to announce it.
That seems a might peculiar. Probably they only want to
offend and insult the party that annoyed them.

> So if it was all in jest, fine, but there was a lot of
> fur flying.

Interesting. Another tooth & claw metaphor.

> I think it was J.R. Malloy who was so angry with M. E.
> Smith, but I'm not sure. Anyway, the polarization began
> there.

J. R. blasted away at religion, and, though I tried, I
couldn't find anything to criticize in his particulars
and in his denunciations. You may have not liked the
tone---I wasn't too fond of it myself---but go ahead and
argue with the content if you'd like. Besides, many
people who've steeped themselves in the details of certain
atrocities, and then decry them, often naturally do so
in pretty strong language. You, on the other hand, seem
to want to decry the tone and language without even a nodding
reference to the specific shortcomings of religion and
spirituality that were addressed.

> If we are going to make this extropian life work, the
> hours we spent regarding this issue with such heat could
> have been spent more constructively.
> If I am mistaken, I apologize.

Well, who knows if you are mistaken?? That's what we are
trying to figure out!

> I am with you, although I do not agree with chastising
> atheism or anti-theism.

No one was, to my knowledge.

> So it doesn't matter if it [religiosity or spirituality]
> is debunked or not, perhaps.

It most certainly does! Everything that is false needs to
be debunked (and nothing, of course, that is true should be.)

Lee Corbin

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