Re: The Extropian Religious War--thank you

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Wed Jul 11 2001 - 12:10:53 MDT

From: "Lee Corbin" <>
> 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).

An example of someone who affirms religious belief while not being a liar or a
fool is (thank you for allowing me to see) someone who feels personally
benefitted by religiosity. Therefore, I'd amend my previous statement such
that anyone who truly believes in religiosity is a liar, a fool, or a
pyschological cripple. Or, as Jessie Ventura reportedly said, "Religion is for
weak-minded people" (which statement ignores liars and categorical idiots).
Ventura's statement roughly approximates saying that eyeglasses are for folks
with weak vision. This does not demean such people, it merely describes
(accurately) the function of their eyewear.

I've heard some people argue that we should not try to restore the sight of
certain blind artists, such as Stevie Wonder or Ray Charles, because if they
could see, their creative talent may be diminished. In fact a few blind
artists have themselves argued that they would not be what they are if they
could see.

Certain deaf people have also contended that they would be impaired more by
being excluded from the company of their deaf peers and friends (note that) if
they could hear. Of course that might seem selfish, but then there's nothing
wrong with well-directed selfishness.

If religiosity provides the cognitive crutch that some people need in order to
do their best, then that's fine. Debunking religiosity doesn't require us to
demean those who need and use religion in private. It does, however, prompt me
to praise those who have managed to rise above it, and to admonish those who
would pretend religiosity is an asset rather than a liability for those who do
_not_ need it.

To summarize: religiosity is an asset for those who need it, and a liability
for those who do not. I think that for those who need it to suggest that those
who don't need it should nevertheless embrace it, is an ugly position to take.
Just because I need eyeglasses to see well doesn't give me the right to
chastise people who work toward ending all impaired vision.

In a world full of cognitive cripples, it seems everyone hates the
able-brained (or denies their existence).

[on blocking senders]
> 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.

Or perhaps it's a modicum of courtesy to other list members who may
(otherwise) wonder why the offending party's messages are no longer being
engaged. In effect, announcing it says to the whole list: My lack of response
is not to be misconstrued as inability to rejoin, but rather as refusal to
feed the troll.

Stay hungry,

--J. R.

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

We won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.

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