Re: Debunk All Religiosity Equally (D.A.R.E.)

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Jul 08 2001 - 23:13:13 MDT

Lee Corbin wrote,
> I think that your definition of "psychologically disturbed" is too broad.
> Sad to say, lack of critical thinking ability (or desire) isn't that
> uncommon, even among good citizens that would make very good neighbors.

OK, I'll go along with that. The point I was making is that religionists
(people who claim to believe in some variety of organized religion) are
_dishonest_, because the only other explanation is that they are totally
messed-up to believe the nonsense that they claim to believe. IOW, sensible,
reasonable observers will not take seriously their claims that they sincerely
believe their dogma. Or, to put it as succinctly as I can, no one but an
imbecile could actually believe that crap, and they're not imbeciles, hence
they're liars (and devious ones at that).

> Sexual liberation threatens all conservatives (not just the religious)
> because it dangerously counters hard-won traditions established over
> hundreds of years that perhaps enabled the society to become stable
> and prosperous. To what degree societal traditions (e.g. belief in
> God) can be discarded requires careful thought and good judgment,
> and should be addressed one at a time (see the works of Hayek for
> a thorough discussion).

No sweat, I'm feeling generous
So, I'll let that one go. Who cares about conservative prudes. They're not
much of a hazard to transhumanists (some of whom may not care that much for
sex anyway).

> Delusions? "Come to your senses"? You and I may disagree with
> the statements, but that hardly makes them delusional.

Sorry about that, but I still consider it delusional to believe in more than
one reality.

> I don't think that it's a delusion. The extent of the
> integrity of behavioral responses and information
> processing make "selves" as real (in many people, at
> least) as many other higher level patterns.

You're right. A delusion is not an illusion. I meant illusion, not delusion.
Thank you for catching that. You make a dynamite editor.
Selves are illusions in the sense that perfect circles are illusions. These
higher level patterns exist only as ideals, not as demonstrable articles.

> You have to expect that anyone who disagrees with you will
> interpret this in the worst possible way. Were we all on
> the same wavelength, then perhaps disclaimers like "of course
> individuals (or their parents) would be the ones authorizing
> such removal" wouldn't be necessary. But they are here.

Well, people usually volunteer themselves (with or without their parents'
permission) to have warts or tumors removed. So, I just took it for granted
that this side of the issue would obtain. I see what you mean, though. If
they're crazy enough to self-identify as religionists, they'd probably want to
keep their warts and tumors... Christian Scientists and so forth...

> How can you be so sure? I'll be really impressed if you turn out
> to be right, but in the mean time, what are the signs that M. E.
> Smith doesn't just have an honest difference of opinion?

1. Bringing in "economic systems" and implying that to be against religiosity
extends to being against them as well.
2. Stating that I proposed to "attack" things other than religiosity, even
though I never even proposed to attack religiosity, never mind anything else.
(Debunk does not equate to attack.)
3. Lying about what I had identified as a justifiable target for debunking,
and conflating it with something entirely different.

You'll know that I'm right when this one does not de-lurk to demonstrate a
difference of opinion rather than an intention to disrupt or proselytize or
waste the list's time.

> Probably the writer was merely over-reacting to some of your
> strongly worded statements (some of which really ought to have
> been qualified, like I said). Still, the writer is entirely
> unjustified to state that you (or anyone else here) favors
> violent suppression of religion. At most he could have been
> uncertain, and so should have inquired as to what you meant.

You're right, of course. If you and I had collaborated on a response it would
have turned out differently. Qualified statements resemble pulled punches in a
way, and I didn't feel in the mood to play that game. Who wants a qualified
debunking? Let's make it decisive. Backfired.

> What do you mean by rant? I thought that a rant was a lengthy,
> highly charged emotional attack on someone or something. Quite
> frankly, what you've written is closer to a rant (well, what
> I think that "rant" means) than what Smith wrote.

Right again, I should have written "outburst" or something similar. I was
trying to call attention to the CAPITAL LETTERS shouted in that paragraph.

> If that's what people are doing, then I couldn't agree with you more.
> We have too much of a tendency in this society to excuse behavior
> once we understand it.

Isn't that bizarre? Someone murders their five children, and the media say,
OK, it was post partum depression, happens all the time, lets find a counselor
for the grieving parent. Someone else has an unexplained relationship with a
missing White House intern, and the media are poised to string 'im up. Oh,

> Again, how the devil do you know that it was deliberate? Or
> rather, was a deliberate trick? Couldn't it have been just
> erroneous views coupled with misunderstanding? Or am I being
> naive?

No, you're not being naive, and on second thought, it would have been
awesomely more effective to give my adversary the benefit of whatever doubt
may have been possible. Debaters who manage to do this get my highest regard
(contingent on the ligitimacy of their position, of course).

> Many things besides weakness cause over-reaction and
> defensiveness, e.g., (1) fear of ridicule (2) fear of
> being shouted down [yes, ridiculous on an email list,
> but nonetheless a real feeling] (3) anger at having
> been insulted or made light of (4) impatience or
> frustration at unexpected opposition or argument (5)
> inarticulateness.

Damn, you're good. I'm taking notes. Besides alluding to weakness, I could
have asked which of these (fear, anger, impatience, frustration, or
iarticulateness) could explain the previously mentioned over-reaction and
defensiveness. That sounds more potent than a mere accusation of weakness.

> Talk about over-reaction! Or do you have a lot of
> previous experience with Mr. (or Ms.) Smith?

I've a lot of previous experience with over-reaction, but don't want to talk
about Smith anymore.

Thanks for all the pointers,

--J. R.

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, CYC, and ELIZA

     Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once,
     but an infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever.
     (Everything that can happen = more than anyone can imagine.)

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