RE: The Extropian Religious War--thank you

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Fri Jul 13 2001 - 09:49:07 MDT

Samantha writes

> > "Dead certain"? Obviously, I have to be much less certain
> > that there is something wrong with how they think, than I
> > am that what they think is wrong. Suppose that someone
> > adamantly believes that NASA's people walking on the moon
> > was a hoax. I'm 99.9% convinced that they're wrong. I'm
> > only about 80% convinced that there is something wrong with
> > *how* they think. But what else am I supposed to think?
> Giving no brain examples that have nothing at all to do with the
> complexity of the topic at hand and with the richness of
> spiritual believes strikes me as a dishonest (intentionally or
> not) tactic. It belittles by the implication that spirituality
> is equally as odious through and through as morons who think
> walking on the moon was faked.

Samantha, J.R. and I were trying to describe each
separate category of religious attitude separately
when we wrote some of the things we did. This was
in reference to people that you might consider
religious fundamentalists. Please don't
think that it is implied that what is true of
some religious people is necessarily true of
all religious people.

> > Suppose that I have a computer program that gives what I
> > think is a 99.9% chance of being a wrong answer. I simply
> > MUST entertain the hypothesis that there is something wrong
> > with the program.
> Another poor and off-topic analogy that obscures far more than
> it clarifies. Why not just say you don't want to engage this
> question further? Because you sure aren't really engaging it
> with this type of response.

True! I just don't have time, really. I really do intend
to continue the discussion of spirituality and so forth.

> > There comes a point in disagreeing with people who seem
> > reality challenged that one cannot be blamed for inquiring
> > as to why they are so bad at understanding the world.
> It is precisely because I am not reality challenged that I must
> consider spirituality and in some ways embrace it. Reality,
> including those aspects most consider spiritual, has butted
> heads with me a few times to many to do otherwise. Do you take
> into account that I just might be just as deeply honest and have
> every bit as much integrity as you do despite the fact I see
> some things differently than you?

Of course you do! This has just been a terrible miscommunication.
Evidently in our efforts at rather Aristotelian classification of
all people who claim religious beliefs---and hence our effort to
be as correct as possible---we, or at least I was having difficulty
talking about, as evolved in the discussion J.R. and I were having,
the case of people who, say, belief everything in the bible.

> If I am mistaken you have given me no grounds for seeing that I
> am here.

Yes, exactly so.

> If anything you seem to be clinging harder to the
> position that those who affirm some parts of religion or
> spirituality are damaged in their thinking processes.

My claim is vastly broader than that. Anyone who is
sufficiently reality challenged---again not anyone on
this list---I simply begin at some point to wonder
what is wrong or damaged in their ability to think.

> You also seem to have some difficulty seeing (or
> admitting anyway) that this position is a tad extreme.

My examples were a tad extreme, because I was trying
to be comprehensive, that's all.


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