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Messages - Lord Cataplanga

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1
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: November 06, 2013, 01:57:47 am »
What I really like about that ideological Turing Test is that it's very effective in making you actually think like the other "side". I think that is much more useful and effective than laughing at Christians for being stupid and mean, or laughing at Atheists for being stupid and mean.

2
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: November 06, 2013, 01:46:53 am »
Yeah, this isn't actually an atheist-bashing thread. It's OK to poke fun at inconsistencies and hypocrisies that some Atheists perpetuate, but the main drive of the thread is not "Atheists suck", but rather "Look out, Atheists! People are saying some fucked-up shit in the name of Atheism, and you might want to look at it reealllll close because it might stick to you".

Honestly I would really like to see more examples of other Atheists speaking up against bigotry within the community, if you happen upon them.

Have you read about the Atheist Turing tests? I'll look for a link in a little while. They happen once a year.

EDIT A WHILE LATER:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/ideological-turing-test-contest
Quote
This is a contest inspired by a post by Bryan Caplan in which he came up with the idea of an Ideological Turing Test. The conventional Turing Test is a computing challenge — the goal is to build a computer that can carry on a conversation via text well enough that a panel of judges can’t tell the difference between the computer and a group of human ringers.

Caplan challenged partisans to see if they could explain and the positions of their opponents well enough to pass as one of their ideological enemies. He offered his original challenge to Paul Krugman for an economics-off, but I’ve borrowed the idea and put a religious spin on it. Here, Christians will sham amidst a group on genuine atheists and vice versa. The plausibility of their conterfeits will be determined by open voting.

If you want to see if you are capable of telling the difference between an Atheist (or Christian) and somebody who is just pretending to be an Atheist (or a Christian), you can play that game here:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/2013/09/turing-2013-christian-round-entries-index.html
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/2013/09/turing-2013-atheist-round-entries-index.html

3
I remember watching a documentary on Animal Planet about some people who worked in a reservation. They were raising endangered animals that had lost their families and the idea was that they would later be released in the wild.

They details varied with the species, but most of the time they didn't have to "teach" the animals how to act natural. Mostly they tried to interfere as little as possible and stay out of the way so the animals would grow independent and with a healthy mistrust of humans.

4
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 26, 2013, 04:05:42 am »
Earlier LMNO asked me why I chose the comparison with White Supremacists rather than some other group. I thought about it as I walked to school, and honestly although the choice was pretty spur of the moment, I could not think of a better example. I've known quite a few White Supremacists. Most of them are perfectly decent human beings who just happen to think less of people who aren't like them.

They just think that brown people are stupid and their ways are wrong and backward, and they don't see why they should be expected to respect them when they're so clearly inferior.

Is all.

I had a little trouble understanding that at first. I thought you must not have a lot of experience with actual atheists, as opposed to their stereotype.
Then you explained and I realized that it was I that had no experience with white supremacists, as opposed to the stereotype. I think most of the indignation in this thread was because, like me, many people thought that white supremacists were terrible people, and that they couldn't possibly be like that.

Also, if you are still curious about those "funny" pictures atheists share with each other, it's helpful to compare it to those apologetics books written by Christians. They like to pretend that those books are made to convince unbelievers, but those books are mostly bought, read and talked about by christians, who are the actual target audience.

Some christians like to discuss those books among themselves because it reinforces intra-group bondings. Roger is understandably horrified by this, because pretending to use reason to justify faith is like blasphemy in his belief system, but when you consider it not as an attempt at justification or proselitization, but simply as a bonding ritual, it doesn't seem so crazy.

My favorite theory that explains the important social function that both Christian apologetics and Atheist "jokes" serve is this one. I like it because it's very neatly explains the very different attitudes taken by different kind of atheists, as well as the very different attitudes taken by different discordians (think Really Real Discordians vs pinealists vs PD).

The most relevant quote in that article is this one, but you should read the whole thing if you have the time:
It’s much easier to be charitable in political debates when you view the two participants as coming from two different cultures that err on opposite sides, each trying to propose advice that would help their own culture, each being tragically unaware that the other culture exists.

A lot of the time this happens when one person is from a dysfunctional community and suggesting very strong measures against some problem the community faces, and the other person is from a functional community and thinks the first person is being extreme, fanatical or persecutory.

This happens a lot among, once again, atheists. One guy is like “WE NEED TO DESTROY RELIGION IT CORRUPTS EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES ANYONE WHO MAKES ANY COMPROMISES WITH IT IS A TRAITOR KILL KILL KILL.” And the other guy is like “Hello? Religion may not be literally true, but it usually just makes people feel more comfortable and inspires them to do nice things and we don’t want to look like huge jerks here.” Usually the first guy was raised Jehovah’s Witness and the second guy was raised Moralistic Therapeutic Deist.

It kind of all boils down to the same reason some of the most heated and rage-filled arguments I've ever seen are those on mom forums about natural childbirth vs. epidurals. People tend to think that anyone who does not make the same choices they make are on some level invalidating their choices, and they feel threatened by that. Of course, background (and backlash) also have a lot to do with it.

I am familiar with those little apologia booklets. Jack Chick, classic, right? They're simultaneously awful and hilarious. And ridiculous. And there is no particular reason for them to exist other than to reassure the in-group that they're doin' it right and everyone else is doin' it wrong; they, too, are a reaction to insecurity.

The one girlfriend I lived with was an atheist (and you know, was never an issue in our relationship, ever. She had no gods I had several, and whatever, lol) but her best friend was a Muslim, and Jack Chick used to fire her up because of the way that he portrayed non-Christians, and specifically Muslims. She'd be like, "What, like [name redacted] never thought to herself whether Islam was the religion she believed in in the face of everything else? So it's all 'I've never heard of this Jesus guy before and based on our very brief and one sided conversation, I see the error of my Islamic ways and am ready for barbaric Arabs to cut my head off, thus making me a martyr.'" I mean yeah it's stupid as shit. Jack Chick thinks that (Protestant specific, he has some funny notions about us statue worshiping Papists as well) Christian Fundamentalism is an entirely logically consistent system that any truly rational person (unlike those scientists of course) would subscribe to if only shown the error of their ways.

Yeah, you can tell those pamphlets are made for "internal consumption only", because they are so completely clueless about how people outside their group actually think. What's interesting about apologetics is that it's not just those hillarious/offensive Chick tracts. There are whole books like Mere Christianity, The God Who Is There, and others that are supposedly very well written, and must have taken a lot of effort. Books like The God Delusion are also in that category.

5
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 26, 2013, 02:58:07 am »
Earlier LMNO asked me why I chose the comparison with White Supremacists rather than some other group. I thought about it as I walked to school, and honestly although the choice was pretty spur of the moment, I could not think of a better example. I've known quite a few White Supremacists. Most of them are perfectly decent human beings who just happen to think less of people who aren't like them.

They just think that brown people are stupid and their ways are wrong and backward, and they don't see why they should be expected to respect them when they're so clearly inferior.

Is all.

I had a little trouble understanding that at first. I thought you must not have a lot of experience with actual atheists, as opposed to their stereotype.
Then you explained and I realized that it was I that had no experience with white supremacists, as opposed to the stereotype. I think most of the indignation in this thread was because, like me, many people thought that white supremacists were terrible people, and that they couldn't possibly be like that.

Also, if you are still curious about those "funny" pictures atheists share with each other, it's helpful to compare it to those apologetics books written by Christians. They like to pretend that those books are made to convince unbelievers, but those books are mostly bought, read and talked about by christians, who are the actual target audience.

Some christians like to discuss those books among themselves because it reinforces intra-group bondings. Roger is understandably horrified by this, because pretending to use reason to justify faith is like blasphemy in his belief system, but when you consider it not as an attempt at justification or proselitization, but simply as a bonding ritual, it doesn't seem so crazy.

My favorite theory that explains the important social function that both Christian apologetics and Atheist "jokes" serve is this one. I like it because it's very neatly explains the very different attitudes taken by different kind of atheists, as well as the very different attitudes taken by different discordians (think Really Real Discordians vs pinealists vs PD).

The most relevant quote in that article is this one, but you should read the whole thing if you have the time:
It’s much easier to be charitable in political debates when you view the two participants as coming from two different cultures that err on opposite sides, each trying to propose advice that would help their own culture, each being tragically unaware that the other culture exists.

A lot of the time this happens when one person is from a dysfunctional community and suggesting very strong measures against some problem the community faces, and the other person is from a functional community and thinks the first person is being extreme, fanatical or persecutory.

This happens a lot among, once again, atheists. One guy is like “WE NEED TO DESTROY RELIGION IT CORRUPTS EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES ANYONE WHO MAKES ANY COMPROMISES WITH IT IS A TRAITOR KILL KILL KILL.” And the other guy is like “Hello? Religion may not be literally true, but it usually just makes people feel more comfortable and inspires them to do nice things and we don’t want to look like huge jerks here.” Usually the first guy was raised Jehovah’s Witness and the second guy was raised Moralistic Therapeutic Deist.

6
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 11:06:35 pm »
Everybody I know believes all manner of dumb shit, including me. That the beliefs are, in this case, theologically-related carries no special import. That people don't like being told they believe dumb shit is, of course, not news. It also doesn't mean the shit's not still dumb. Nowhere is it written that just because somebody is a friend we have to validate or accept their dumb shit.
Well what exactly makes it dumb shit? Your oversimplified caricature of a specific god?

That's not very relevant, is it? If he didn't think that particular belief was dumb, there would definitely be something else that you believed that he thought was dumb. Doesn't mean he thinks you are dumb.

Everyone has some beliefs that are dumb, and obviously different people won't agree on which is which. It's not the end of the world.

7
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:51:46 pm »
Thank you, Roger. You may return to your incoherent rage while I contemplate your words in my pretended state of absolute zen clarity.

I think it's an aesthetic difference, that I simply prefer to pretend absolute calm even when not appropriate, while you prefer to mantain a healthy state of righteous indignation. I was wrong to say that my way was better than yours.

I suppose there's no chance of getting back to the original topic, then.

I've been thinking about that, but I just don't see what was so controversial, anymore.

8
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:38:41 pm »
Well, the faster we start acting like emotionally mature human beings

Leaving now.

Did you get to the part about the reverse game of chicken?
Because breaking your steering wheel is what you are supposed to do in a normal game of chicken, not an inverted one  :sad:

Emotionally mature adults cannot be offended, never feel hurt, and don't mind being told that either of those things means they are not emotionally mature adults.

You arrogant bastard.

But I do mind and so do you. It is because we feel hurt and offended that we should stop retaliating and break from the wheel of dharma, so to speak.

9
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:34:28 pm »
Well, the faster we start acting like emotionally mature human beings

Leaving now.

Did you get to the part about the reverse game of chicken?
Because breaking your steering wheel is what you are supposed to do in a normal game of chicken, not an inverted one  :sad:

EDIT: Sorry Roger. Sorry Hoopla. I'm like a walking Cassandra curse.

10
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:32:42 pm »
I don't see why it being a fucking choice makes any fucking difference whatsoever, assuming it IS a choice.  I don't see that for even one Goddamn minute.

I see The Other being created, over something that neither picks anyone's fucking pocket nor breaks their stupid fucking leg.  And it doesn't fucking matter why.

Except for the whole "I could be killed for saying what I believe" in many parts of the planet I am stuck on.

Wow.  You went there.

DOUR,
Chopping apostate's heads off, BRB.

I don't paint a bunch of people with a broad brush, Roger, but yes there are places where people are murdered for being an apostate.  If you think I'm lumping you in with them, well then I guess you didn't know me very well to begin with.

Because, you know, when I complain about a drummer I saw in New York City, I'm actually talking about LMNO, because you know... all drummers are the same.

Perhaps, then, you can explain the difference between your response, and the retard shit I quoted just a little upthread?

Because it would really make me feel better if you did.

My post was directly in response to you saying that it all amounted to "something that neither picks anyone's fucking pocket nor breaks their stupid fucking leg", and I just wanted to point out that in some places it does amount to more than that.

Yes, and the relevance to this conversation is, after all, huge.  I should have been more sensitive to all the honor-killings and beheadings that occur in Toronto and Tucson.

You DO see that the brush in your hand is exactly as wide as the one Nigel used, don't you?  Because you tarred me with Mullah Omar, even if only marginally, by stating that Twid's and my beliefs are in fact connected with his?  And in doing so ignoring that such killings are political and not religious?

Yes, he sees that. He is retaliating for a perceived insult, just like you. Both of you stop escalating, already.

11
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:30:54 pm »
I agree with this. In fact, unless you are like O'brien from 1984, I don't think you can actually choose to believe something.

It doesn't fucking matter if it's a fucking choice.

That too. It's not like you are hurting anybody with your choice. Can we talk about something that isn't our hurt feelings, now?
What happened to German debate?

Why, yes, I'm perfectly capable of having a rational debate after being told by people I have known and respected for a decade that I'm not fully functional as a human being and that my choice of beliefs leads to peoples' heads falling off.

I am an emotionless robot.  I am actually not a seething fucking mass of resentment and hatred right now.

Well, the faster we start acting like emotionally mature human beings and stop escalating the insults, the less lasting damage we will do to our abilities to take each other seriously. That goes for everyone here, not just you.

Really, the only way to stop this is for someone to let an insult slide instead of responding, so the stupid part of the discussion stops and we can go on with the intelligent part of the discussion.

It's like a reverse game of chicken. Now where did I put that steering wheel...

12
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:24:09 pm »
I don't see why it being a fucking choice makes any fucking difference whatsoever, assuming it IS a choice.  I don't see that for even one Goddamn minute.

I see The Other being created, over something that neither picks anyone's fucking pocket nor breaks their stupid fucking leg.  And it doesn't fucking matter why.

Except for the whole "I could be killed for saying what I believe" in many parts of the planet I am stuck on.

Wow.  You went there.

DOUR,
Chopping apostate's heads off, BRB.

I don't paint a bunch of people with a broad brush, Roger, but yes there are places where people are murdered for being an apostate.  If you think I'm lumping you in with them, well then I guess you didn't know me very well to begin with.

Because, you know, when I complain about a drummer I saw in New York City, I'm actually talking about LMNO, because you know... all drummers are the same.

You responded to something he said about his choice not hurting anybody. Saying that sometimes it did hurt people.
Of course he is going to think you were talking about him, given the context.

13
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:18:56 pm »
I agree with this. In fact, unless you are like O'brien from 1984, I don't think you can actually choose to believe something.

It doesn't fucking matter if it's a fucking choice.

That too. It's not like you are hurting anybody with your choice. Can we talk about something that isn't our hurt feelings, now?
What happened to German debate?

14
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 09:14:23 pm »
I also think I've never encountered one of these Atheists that Nigel is talking about. If I did I'd give them just as hearty a dose of SHUT UP as any other preacher, but I have to wonder if this isn't the theological equivalent of "Loveshade is a pedo so Discordianism must condone pedophilia".

Obviously, different people have different experiences. The world is a big place, and it's perfectly possible that Nigel was unlucky and found a disproportionate number of Atheists. It's also possible that we were lucky and found a disproportional number of "normal" atheists.

We can argue about whose experience is more representative, I guess, but that doesn't sound very interesting.
How about we take Nigel's argument in good fate, assume she is telling the truth as she sees it, and talk about a potential failure-mode present in all of us?

I don't see why it being a fucking choice makes any fucking difference whatsoever, assuming it IS a choice.  I don't see that for even one Goddamn minute.

I see The Other being created, over something that neither picks anyone's fucking pocket nor breaks their stupid fucking leg.  And it doesn't fucking matter why.

I agree with this. In fact, unless you are like O'brien from 1984, I don't think you can actually choose to believe something.

Nigel's actual point, about some atheists believing they are superior to theists just because they got the right answer in one of the most useless questions of philosophy is a good one, and it's not like atheists haven't talked about it to death and back already. It shouldn't have been controversial.

It shouldn't have been, but opening the thread with Godwin's Law right in the subject line sure didn't help.

I honestly thought it was satire the first time I clicked the thread. Really surprised when it all of a sudden hit 8-9 pages.
I agree the title was a stupid idea. Especially in this forum, where everyone agrees that communication is mostly the responsibility of the sender and charitable interpretation is taken as a some kind of sign of weakness.

I don't see why it being a fucking choice makes any fucking difference whatsoever, assuming it IS a choice.  I don't see that for even one Goddamn minute.

I see The Other being created, over something that neither picks anyone's fucking pocket nor breaks their stupid fucking leg.  And it doesn't fucking matter why.

Except for the whole "I could be killed for saying what I believe" in many parts of the planet I am stuck on.

Enpugh with the bravery debates already

15
Apple Talk / Re: Atheists and White Supremacists
« on: October 24, 2013, 08:52:25 pm »
Great post LMNO! Can we now talk about what Nigel was actually saying again?
I was trying to actually engage in a productive conversation with Nigel ten pages or so ago, but it seems everyone prefered to talk about their hurt feelings, and about which religious group is more "privileged".

Anyway, back to what Nigel was saying, I agree that some assholes call themselves atheists, but saying that they "hijacked" the term and ruined it for the rest of us is a bit silly. Even if it were true, wouldn't saying that make you part of the problem? Like I said before, the only ones in this forum who actually use the word Atheist to mean something other than "someone who is not a theist" are Nigel and Roger, so from Cain's perspective (to put an example) it isn't assholes who have hijacked the term. It's Nigel. That's probably why he got angry.

He probably also made some unfortunate associations between what Nigel was saying and the kinds of idiotic things he often reads in tumblr, a subject he complained about before. Of course, Nigel isn't going to stop using the word "privilege" to mean what it actually means just because morons in tumblr are using the same word, just like Cain and Vex aren't going to stop using the word "atheist" just because some assholes in Reddit or wherever use the same word.

Nigel's actual point, about some atheists believing they are superior to theists just because they got the right answer in one of the most useless questions of philosophy is a good one, and it's not like atheists haven't talked about it to death and back already. It's shouldn't have been controversial.
Here's a lesswrong post about it, in case you can only take this idea seriously if it comes from someone of your own tribe:
lesswrong.com/lw/1ww/undiscriminating_skepticism/‎

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