Questionable Motives

October 11, 2012

Should we just dream of civil rights… for gender equality?

Filed under: civil rights,Equality,misogyny,sexism — tildeb @ 11:36 am

The video of Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard  tearing a new one for the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott’s blatant sexism and hypocrisy has gone viral. In Pakistan, we have the shooting of a 14 year old girl who dared criticize the Taliban’s condemnation of education for people with vaginas. In atheist circles, we have the ongoing debate about SkepChick telling guys not to accost women in elevators late at night. We have Jessica Ahlquist threatened with rape and murder for advocating the removal of the Lord’s Prayer from her school. And the list of those daring to point out sexism grows daily in the face of anger and resentment, threats and hatred. Courage, as we can see, is a quality of character. We need more of it.

Martin Luther King gave a speech about civil rights where he eloquently explained to those of us who assumed race to be an important and defining aspect of our identity to dare to dream… dream that his four children would one day live in a nation where they would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Powerful words…. words just as true for race as they are for gender.

What this means in action is that we are responsible for keeping racism alive when we empower it. That means we are the ones responsible for practicing racism when we allow ourselves to use it as a meaningful part of an individual’s identity rather than allow that identity to be based on the content of the individual’s character. Likewise, we are individually responsible for empowering sexism when we assume gender defines the content of an individual’s character. We become sexist when we do this. When a child advocates for education, and gets a bullet in the head for doing so, no other excuse than ignorant sexism of the shooter can account for delivering this blow to a girl rather than a boy. But the shooter doesn’t target boys and in comparison boys are not assassinated for seeking education. Girls are. Globally. And that kind of misogyny practiced by so many is just as obscene to King’s central point as is assuming leadership in matters theological is dependent on possessing a penis. Sexism – like racism – reduces both the character of the practitioner as well as the rights of the target to be treated fairly.

We know we have arrived in the promised land of civil rights when we don’t see skin colour as meaningful, when we don’t treat people differently based on knowing their sexual orientation, when we do not even consider gender to play a part in defining abilities and character. When we treat people fairly – as we ourselves wish to be treated by others – then we do our individual part to eliminate these artificial impediments others must face… at least in our personal dealings.  And what a world this would be if more of us would set out to do our small part in elevating the content of our own characters by having even a modicum of courage exhibited by so many women of removing these stupid and damaging -isms we impose on others and thus directly improve in some small way the lives of those with whom we interact.

Each of us can do this. And the time to start is now.

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84 Comments »

  1. The reason the patriarchy that rules some countries don’t want women educated, is this would lessen their control of the society. Keeping people ignorant is the best tool for maintaining control. It is used by religious and political leaders in all societies to varying degrees. People or groups that have power are loathe to relinquish control.

    Comment by Davey — October 11, 2012 @ 8:45 pm | Reply

    • Oh, I agree; I think it’s all about power… not to elevate one’s self through exercising a better character but to suppress and reduce the character of others to a lower level. That’s why it’s so ironic that religions – whose adherents insist that only through exercising this shared belief can objective morality be found to elevate the human condition – seem oblivious to achieving the opposite reality.

      Comment by tildeb — October 11, 2012 @ 10:23 pm | Reply

  2. You know that MLK Jr was a minister right? Cause your post echos his thoughts. I would dare say that this post is near a sermon. Not unlike ones I give on a regular basis.

    Comment by zero1ghost — October 17, 2012 @ 11:33 am | Reply

    • Of course. But this topic is not a religious topic; it’s one of unjust discrimination (granted, religions by and large are founded upon maintaining discriminations that serve its promotion while subjugating adherents to its authority). I can only hope you sermonize accordingly but I sincerely doubt you apply its principles broadly or you wouldn’t be religious!

      Comment by tildeb — October 17, 2012 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

      • “I can only hope you sermonize accordingly but I sincerely doubt you apply its principles broadly or you wouldn’t be religious!”
        -Based on…? To be clear: are you making the claim that religious people can’t be inclusive? Can’t be against unjust discrimination?

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 18, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

      • I am making the claim that religious people can be against only specific discrimination but cannot apply the same principle broadly without creating discordance with their religious tenets. That’s why we find misogyny and bigotry rampant in religions, because divine authority is accepted by the religious to justify and excuse discrimination. In other words, the broad principle is not upheld by religious belief but competes against it whenever it comes into conflict with respect for divine authority.

        Comment by tildeb — October 18, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

  3. I disagree. Religious people have battled against discrimination starting with the William Penn and the Quakers in the founding of PA. Then there’s abolitionism, fair rights to ordination, sufferage, anti-Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, and now LGBTQ rights. People of faith have been on both sides, and to focus only on those who can’t uphold the broad principle is short-sighted, inaccurate, and shows a surface knowledge of history.

    Comment by zero1ghost — October 18, 2012 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

    • Yes, many religious folk have been at the front lines of many specific discrimination battles. This is not a counter to my criticism, however, about supporting the justice of legal equality over and above divine authority. Every example you list is mostly a forced shift of the wider christian interpretation away from an acceptance of a previous unjust divine authority to a more modern just one to align with the shift in the secular moral zeitgeist. We still fight this battle with the more entrenched christian mindset upholding discriminatory practices while the more liberal believer tries to catch up with the secularists. (So much for objective moral laws supposedly revealed from scripture… depending on the a particular squinting, I guess.)

      One needs to look no further than current religious impediments to equality rights in a host of fields for women and gays, religious impediments to ownership of ourselves concerning beginning and end of life issues, religious impediments to getting religious discriminations (and privilege) out of law and out of public policy (both foreign and domestic). Although we can find religious people in the vanguard of all kinds of issues of legal discrimination, their contribution does not come from their religious views but their endorsement of the secular value of equality of rights in specific cases. Religions and those who maintain them don’t care or support or endorse equality rights broadly if this means undermining or reducing respect for its divine authority! The broad principle of establishing equality rights in law does not serve but conflicts with religious authority and privilege; it only will be supported by religious people who do not feel that their religious belief is in danger of subjugation, and this occurs only in the specific.

      Importantly, this shift to support the moral zeitgeist can occur with christianity only because divine authority has been de-fanged from public power to form the basis for a more just, a more secular, society. But note that this moral shift to fairness and reciprocity of equal rights does not occur in theocracies where religious power has not been de-fanged. That’s a clue, by the way….

      Comment by tildeb — October 18, 2012 @ 5:24 pm | Reply

      • “We still fight this battle with the more entrenched christian mindset upholding discriminatory practices while the more liberal believer tries to catch up with the secularists.”
        -Please, we invented the secularists. The Enlightenment stands on the shoulders of Aquinas and the Protestant Reformation. The vision of the Kingdom of God has had this vision long before you or I came along. The vision of the prophets of the lion laying down with the lamb and people beating their swords into plowshares (note: no tribe, creed, or ideology mentioned) and not learning war any more.

        Sad thing is, this radical Christianity has been pushed underground and oppressed by those who would make it a puppet to their own ends. Just as any ideology is used as a puppet to ends of those who seek to oppress other and gain power for themselves. Science used only in the pursuit of corporate profit? Cover ups from fracking wells? Using voting identification methods to swing the election toward a particular party? This is the same narrow view you claim only religion people have and look! no mention of religion anywhere in these examples. Yet it’s the same story, same ends, different methods.

        I’m not denying that the majority of Christian history nor the current popular culture strawman of religion is what you describe. What I am saying is don’t act like there hasn’t been a consistent counter-voice within Christianity (of which you cite MLK jr who is a proud example of that history) nor can you act like your position is bloodless and pure.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 22, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

  4. “…about supporting the justice of legal equality over and above divine authority.”
    -I’m the type of Christian that states that the divine authority authorizes and calls us to support the justice of legal equality. I’m not the only one. We fight against the same things. I work from within. You work from without.

    The broad principle of establishing equality rights in law does not serve but conflicts with religious authority and privilege;”
    -Assuming the tradition is top-down. Most bottom-up traditions (Baptists, UCC and Reformed traditions) have been on the front lines pushing for these reforms historically. Yet even within top-down traditions (Methodists, Roman Catholic and Orthodox) change has come from within there, if you’ll recall the nuns on the bus tour from this past summer, and continues on. I fear you paint with too broad a brush.

    Comment by zero1ghost — October 20, 2012 @ 4:12 pm | Reply

    • My apologies. I failed to grasp just how important are the religious organizations leading their followers to promote women’s equality rights in such issues as reproductive technologies and choice, how many religious leaders take a firm stand on equality rights in marriage regardless of gender, how so many baptists are on the front lines of these issues urging politicians to fund public sex education.

      Z1G, you’re so full of shit it’s beyond belief and the world so full of contrary evidence to your assertions that I have no clue what colour the sky might be where you dream your dreams… but it sure isn’t this world.

      Comment by tildeb — October 20, 2012 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

      • “how so many baptists are on the front lines of these issues urging politicians to fund public sex education.”
        -The American Baptists are. And for this reason, we see many individual churches going Southern Baptist cause they would rather oppress than help. Rule rather than serve. You and I speak out against the same enemy. I use theology, and you use rhetoric that only speaks to those who already agree with you. Using phrases like “so full of shit…” are a great way to win and influence friends.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 22, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    • Let me rephrase my rather rude comment: those religious people in the narrow sense support of particular equality rights in the practice of law are not an equivalent balance to the pernicious effect religion exercises in the broad sense of effect that religion globally and historically plays to fight against its application in principle. What you are doing is incredibly frustrating to me: you cherry pick only those bits of data that give the appearance of supporting an equivalent opinion that is – in fact – not true. Religious authority granted to some divine creator to own and then disburse human rights and human freedoms as it deems fit is diametrically opposed to the Enlightenment idea of a bottom-up authority to governance. If god, rather than the individual, has authority over equality rights and freedoms in human law, then we do not possess those rights to grant to an oversight body like the judicial system. And this notion is antithetical to the very notion of people owning their legal equality.

      Comment by tildeb — October 20, 2012 @ 7:47 pm | Reply

  5. “What you are doing is incredibly frustrating to me: you cherry pick only those bits of data that give the appearance of supporting an equivalent opinion that is – in fact – not true. ”
    -As a minister of a progressive Christian church, this is the very thing I accuse you of time and time again. All you are able to respond to is the fundamentalist and Catholic versions of Christianity and ignore the large swath of mainline Christians that once dominated the US and have subsequently lost it’s voice against the other two groups. We’re also losing members (from around 40% of the population in the 1970s to around 18% today).

    These are empirical numbers, not contrary and subjective dreamings. This is history, not the shallow and amnesic stereotype you cling to.

    Who set up the first women’s clinic’s, shelters, and harbor-houses? Mainline churches. Who marched for suffrage? Mainline churches. Who were the first to ordain them, get them into offices both in the private church and the public sector? Mainline churches.

    This is the history of America. It’s not a dream.

    “Religious authority granted to some divine creator to own and then disburse human rights and human freedoms as it deems fit is diametrically opposed to the Enlightenment idea of a bottom-up authority to governance.”
    -Not in the polity of the UCC and Baptists traditions. Yet one would have to have a working knowledge of history, the Protestant Reformation and it’s impact on the Enlightenment to see this.

    Comment by zero1ghost — October 22, 2012 @ 2:06 pm | Reply

    • Your ‘large swath’ has lost its voice of finally coming to recognize its historical mainstream support for causing past injustices? Well, no wonder the numbers are dropping; you are becoming far too secular in your social engagements to rectify these historical problems that accompany mainstream religious bigotry.

      Do I ignore them? No, because it is generally from these (depleted) ranks that we find today’s execrable apologists, who pretend that as followers of social change they must be the cause of it, who – like you – wave away and ignore the fountain of bigotry and misogyny that comes straight from the scripture you hold dear (that was then institutionalized and justified as tradition the maintenance of fifteen hundred years of social inequality, ongoing misogyny, and regularly exercised bigotry) You forget this little scriptural faux pas in your post modern and latest interpretive incarnation of holy secularists concerned with equality rights and freedoms in law. God, in the context of now having to address this issue of religiously-supported social injustice, is hardly an ally! But I understand why you want to bring him to this bed anyway… so that you can later claim that he caused social justice.

      Good grief, but you are easily addled.

      Anyway, let’s review:

      You write I’m the type of Christian that states that the divine authority authorizes and calls us to support the justice of legal equality

      When I explain how this placement of where authority resides conflicts with the Enlightenment value of personal – and NOT divine – authority (necessary in practice for it to be granted to governance for legitimacy), you flip and then claim that this divine authority is Not in the polity of the UCC and Baptists traditions!

      I call Bullshit.

      You can’t have it both ways, Z1G. That makes you duplicitous. So once you make up your mind where authority comes from for the kind of social justice that is reflected by equality rights in law – god or humans – perhaps you’ll be so kind as to let us know which of these two incompatible positions you eventually settle on. Maybe then you can stop talking out of both ends.

      Comment by tildeb — October 22, 2012 @ 4:17 pm | Reply

      • I often forget that trying to talk mysticism to a materialist is like trying to explain the Standard Model to my dog. Yet even the dogs get the scraps, so I try anyway.

        Is there a large swath? Yes. It used to be bigger. There are still holdouts. And no, there is not just a choice to be a religious bigot or secular superior as you keep trying to cast. There’s a whole large middle of the mainline denominations.

        “I’m the type of Christian that states that the divine authority authorizes and calls us to support the justice of legal equality”
        What part of this do you not get? Where do we get our personal authority? Did it not say in the Noahic Covenant that we have dominion? And where did the Enlightenment get this value? It’s hardly there nor is it hardly ‘secular’ as Locke himself argued this very stance. It’s the same mindset that wrote the declaration and framed the constitution.

        I call ignorance of history. I call you on your bullshit of trying to re-write history into your own image.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 22, 2012 @ 4:59 pm

      • You make the same arrogant assumption that continues to drive religious misogyny and bigotry: that we receive authority by divine fiat, that we receive our life from your god, that we receive the universe from this creative agency. You have not one shred of evidence extraneous from your belief alone to back up this assumption, yet you will gladly insist that it is a solid foundation to make religious misogyny and bigotry divinely sanctioned.

        I have no compelling reason to think your assumption is correct. In fact, I see compelling reasons to call it a danger to all of us, and this is exactly what is played out in every area where intentional religious interference causes – and knowingly causes – harm, harm found in such areas as equality rights in law, abortion rights, end of life control, reproductive technologies, medical therapies, public education, and so on. This assumption that YOUR god grants us anything is fictitious independent of those who simply believe it to be so, yet the assumption is carried forward and inserted into law and medicine and palliative care and research and education and so on. You assume the harm is not reason enough to separate this religious assumption of ownership away from your imaginary divine creator and p[laced exactly where it is: in each fully franchised citizen. You hide your arrogance of religious belief by asserting that because god granted us dominion over a very specific list, that we can safely assume that each of us acts as if we had ownership. But this, too, is a lie, isn’t it? Because when push comes to shove, you are going to insist that your assumption trumps my ownership of my life, which then grants you the greater authority to codify laws that you know causes me a reduced authority over myself. I call this imposed reduction a harm based on an arrogance of assumption that your beliefs are right and proper and just.

        They’re not.

        It is this insidious religious assumption that makes a mockery of the Enlightenment value of self-authority, self-governance, self dominion. It is this this painting only the lipstick of ownership on the religious pig that makes apologists execrable, that makes you stand in opposition in principle to the side of personal dignity and personal value by making each of us a representative of what your god has bestowed. This makes your mercy and social work in practice nothing but a selfish expression of your arrogant religious assumption. You don’t help another for the well-being of the another alone; you help another to please your god, to restore one of his creations to a greater glory for the sake of the Master, the Dear Leader, you serve. Your motives are thus tainted by your religious beliefs (and we see this played out wherever the religious use need as a stepping stone for recruitment) even if they seem to be in tandem with secularist morality concerned strictly with well-being. That’s why religious morality is an oxymoron, an example of how and why Hitchens was right: religion poisons everything.

        Comment by tildeb — October 22, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

      • You continue to demonstrate your bullshit of trying to re-write history into your own image. The Enlightment was a product of the Reformation and aside from Hume was carried out in theological circles and settings. No amount of white-washing will change this fact. It is the core of the Enlightenment which sits upon the mountains of tomes that these truths that are self-evident and endowed to us by a creator.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 22, 2012 @ 6:25 pm

      • That must be why the French and American constitutions reflect the bestowed authority of your god.

        Oh, wait…

        Look, these constitutions reflect the Enlightenment of the opposite value: self-authority. This is the revolutionary idea (I can’t believe I have to spell this out). Your claim that these ideals were birthed by theology is obviously false when no mention of this authority can be found in these founding documents. That’s why you borrow from the Declaration… it is not transferred to the secular state. At. All. (The Declaration was written as a letter of intent to the King of England, in case you’ve also misplaced that but of historical context.) There’s a reason for that intentional absence and it’s not because these values derived from some belief in a mysterious celestial head-of-state… a belief that is itself predicated on receiving authority from some god. Your oft-repeated point about the christian roots of secular values is not just absurd but ludicrous. Sure, the Enlightenment followed the Reformation but – because you fail yet again to appreciate why correlation does not mean causation – it was the growing discontent specifically against religious values of divine authority transferred to the state that was intolerable. The revolutions make no sense (even in your altered historical reality) unless you grasp this most basic point: these were revolutionary ideas in direct conflict with the traditional values of church as state, state as church, mutually supporting pillars of authority. The point made clear by the revolutionary fathers was that this authority was ILlegitimate because it governed without consent of the governed. For a government to be legitimate, it had to gain its authority not from some other divine authority but from where authority actually resided: from the individual. This authority was to be transferred to the government by consent. It makes no sense to suggest that theologians led this charge to remove god’s authority and replace it with individual.

        In addition, we see the same problem of incompatibility your assumption continues to foist over the fundamental secular values of state that allows it to work played out wherever democracy tries to gain a foothold without individual rights upheld in law: these efforts are doomed. Individual rights cannot be derived from some other authority – including your god or any other divine creator, some charismatic leader or some nationalist tyrant – without undermining them AS individual rights independent from the organs of state (including whatever state sanctioned religion there may be). The assumption of ownership of these rights belonging to some other agency than the individual alters them into dependent rights and freedoms, which remains antithetical to the legitimacy of the revolutionary governments. Why you simply cannot grasp this fundamental historical understanding of your own country (I suspect you can but reject it because it causes you conflict with your assumption) makes all your ancillary but related historical understandings highly doubtful.

        Comment by tildeb — October 22, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

      • The white-wash continues. I reject every word of what you wrote. Your a-historical nonsense devoid of any true understanding of historical context. As per usual you are all sound and fury devoid of meaning or context. Keep drinking the Hitchens Kool-Aide, you’re a worthy parrot.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 23, 2012 @ 10:06 am

      • I know you reject what I write because you cannot counter the valid points I make. You do what you always do: either wave the whole assembled evidence away or cherry pick an exception and call it the rule. You come with an agenda to make a white-wash of faith-based belief’s harmful and ongoing pernicious effects by pretending that there is compatibility between faith arbitrated by belief and knowledge arbitrated by reality. The only way you can do this is by rejecting the compelling contrary evidence in principle by substituting only favourable evidence from practice. This is why you seem incapable of appreciating the secular principle raised by MLK without assuming it somehow MUST derive from his religious practice. Your confusion is made evident by continuing to show secular principles in action by religious people as evidence for the inherent goodness of religious practice while completely ignoring all the religious practice that stands in conflict with the same principled secular values!

        And, as is typical, you blame me for pointing out the discrepancy you yourself make, you yourself refuse to acknowledge, as a causal effect in reality of faith-based beliefs in action. You will attribute all negative effects of faith-based beliefs in action never to the principle of empowering faith to arbitrate reality (which is my core criticism) but to the shortcomings in character of the participants who carry them out… even when the stated and direct cause is not individual at all but scriptural. You will always reject this compelling evidence as simply some poor interpretation of the scripture you assume MUST be good. And that’s is why you have created a bubble world that alters your ability to see the reality we share as it really is, where faith-based beliefs continue to give motivation and divine sanction to misogyny and bigotry.

        Comment by tildeb — October 23, 2012 @ 11:16 am

      • “This is why you seem incapable of appreciating the secular principle raised by MLK without assuming it somehow MUST derive from his religious practice.”
        -It does. Dude’s a minister. His principles were not secular at the time, he preached sermon after sermon about these values, devoted countless hours to the study of his tradition and the Bible.

        Let’s talk about the Secular values at the time. Y’all were just getting over the psuedo-eugenics craze which stated that blacks were inferior to whites by nature of Lamark’s view of Evolution. That’s why there’s so much religious fervor against evolution, esp. with the Scopes Trial, you’d be against what they would have taught in that class room too! (Scopes never taught the theory of evolution btw, all of this is myth surrounding the trail thanks to the ahistorical play and subsequent movie Inherent the wind. i guess it’s easy to watch TV than to pick up a history book: Summer of the gods is a great place to start).

        My argument is that your secular values rest upon the unnamed tradition of the mainline. Like civil rights? A minister led the charge and gave his life for it and was staffed and marched in by religious people like Abraham Joshua Heschel, Vernon Johns, and William Sloan Coffin. Like higher learning? Cool, we founded Harvard, Yale, Howard and many more and then we pushed for wider education and founded Mount Holyoke for women and Oberlin here in my hometown. And that’s just the UCC tradition!

        We gave you your “secular principles” and yet you try to white-wash history into your own image because you’re a fan of a few books you’ve read by the ‘four horsemen’ (who are instead, extremely clever marketers because they can brainwash people to believe that there’s a conflict between science and religion so they can sell their books. to make matters worse, both these new atheists and the religious fundamentalists agree on this! different sides of the same coin).

        But don’t take my word or my degree in history or my master’s degree with the emphasis on church history or my current DMin track of Science and Religion at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, just go with your gut and narrow ideology. Let’s attack this yet another way.

        Do you think it’s reason or empiricism that makes you lash out? Nope. It’s your irrational emotional attachment to your ideological world view which claims: “religion poisons everything.” Well that’s a really easy claim do dismantle because I just need to show one example of how religion made life better and I can do that with my own personal testimony, my congregation, our impact to our community and our area (just our fight against modern day slavery in human trafficking in our area which ranks #4 in the nation is proof enough), as well as our history empirically prove that statement false. Yet you cannot conceived of this notion. Instead your beloved ideology was magically thought up by Vulcans in a vacuum where religion has never influenced anyone’s thoughts or could be easily removed from social and historical context.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 23, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

      • See? You’ve done it again.

        Comment by tildeb — October 23, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

      • Convictions spawn actions. Belief informs and influences behavior. MLK was a pastor, his convictions spawned his actions. You admire his actions and try to ignore convictions based on your ideology. That is wrong.

        Game, set, and match.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 23, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

      • You are making causal links that are, at best, co-relational. Substitute his womanizing in your reasoning to prove my point.

        But you won’t, will you?

        Why?

        You won’t even consider how your method of reasoning is broken when it comes to your allegiance to apologetics! You will continue to do what you always do: assign just values independent of religious belief (and often contrary to scripture) to be dependent some vague religious motivation but without reflection or question assign unjust values dependent on religious belief to belong only to those who do not represent your – and, by coincidence, the correct – interpretation. How very convenient for you and your religious beliefs!

        Not that it matters one whit to you in your role of peddling your religious beliefs and claiming all authority to implement just values happen to come straight from your god!

        Comment by tildeb — October 23, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

      • “Substitute his womanizing in your reasoning to prove my point.”
        -No, cause then I would substitute context, doctrine of sin, and we’d be having a different conversation.

        And you’re trying to change the conversation and you’re also trying to draw me into your own box of purity and sinlessness of my beliefs. That’s your problem, not mine.I know about the blood on the hands of religion and have never denied them. What I argue with you about is acknowledging that religion has done some shred of good for the world in a few areas.

        But you won’t will you.

        So let’s get back to the issue at hand from your little emotional outburst:
        Does belief informs and influences behavior?
        Give that MLK was a pastor, would his convictions would have had a role in spawning his actions?
        Are there certain Christians who you can find that would support many of the things you do: women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ Equality and civil unions (if not outright marriage), against all the -isms, as well as supporting science and education?

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 23, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  6. “That’s why religious morality is an oxymoron, an example of how and why Hitchens was right: religion poisons everything.”
    -Hitchens wasn’t right, he was a fire-brand out to sell books and make un-nuanced statements like “religion poisons everything” cause it easily fit into a marketable world view.

    Comment by zero1ghost — October 22, 2012 @ 6:27 pm | Reply

  7. Z1G, you continue to confuse the actions of the individual as a representative of a principle (that religious conviction sometimes produces just actions) – by carefully agreeing to attribute just actions to religious convictions but diverting unjust actions to anything but. This methodological approach undermines your position thoroughly and pollutes your understanding of the role and effect religious belief – as a principle supported by many – has had on human history.

    When you look at religious belief alone (and not the specifics of a particular belief) you will quickly see the obvious: faith-based beliefs do not allow the use of reality to arbitrate its faith-based claims; doing so replaces faith with knowledge. Holding religious convictions by faith alone is perverted by the religious to be a virtue (are we surprised?), whereas in all other human undertakings, faith alone is well known to be the very best way to fool ourselves (associated with credulity and gullibility) and so is avoided in all human enterprises as the vice it really is.

    Faith-based belief is a broken methodology (if we are concerned with finding out what’s true about reality)… regardless of what particulars are actually believed on this basis, or what convictions emerge from it (we should expect to find the probability from this method to be at best .5…. that the religious conviction so developed divorced from reality’s arbitration of it is equivalently just or unjust). You continue to make the fundamental mistake of attributing the actions of the .5 that are just to represent the moral value of holding and exercising faith-based beliefs enough to compensate for the .5 actions that are unjust. What I am trying to explain is that the hypothetical .5 that is just is still poisoned by the broken methodology used to justify it.

    We can do much better than this. We can develop and support just causes for reality-based reasons shown to be of greater value by compelling comparative evidence from reality. We don’t need – and we shouldn’t want – a broken methodology divorced from reality to aid us (as well as hinder, in equal measure don’t forget) in achieving this laudable goal.

    In spite of metaphysical arguments to the contrary from earnest believers that their faith is generally a force for good, there is a growing body of compelling evidence from reality that faith-based beliefs are a negative correlation to societal health and welfare (the latest is referred to here). Anyone with a modicum of intellectual integrity needs to account for this data because it starkly highlights the disconnect between religious believers who attribute and assume just actions to exercising faith to the reality we share that clearly indicates the opposite. The prevalence of religious belief is a sign of a wider social insecurity and a reliable indicator of the depth of societal woe. If the probability was .5 that religious convictions produced equivalent just and unjust actions, then this correlate should not exist in reality. But it does. And this truth matters to all of us if we wish to address the insecurity and the societal woes that accompany it. Waving this reality away with more metaphysical arguments and pretending that all is mitigated by a religious person who has done good in no way allows us to even begin to address why exercising and promoting religious belief in the public domain is actually bad for us a society, a hindrance to making the kinds of public policy changes necessary to improving the health and welfare of our societies for the benefit of all. Just causes require just reasons based from this reality to be worthy. This is why MLK’s point is legitimate: it stands independently of any faith-based belief justification and rests securely on its reality-based merit. No faith-based overtones add one jot or tittle to this merit.

    More religion is not the answer to anyone but a crazy person, defined as one who expects different results from the same action. But that’s where we continue to find the faithful today: chained to a broken and dysfunctional method of reasoning that is in this realistic sense crazy, a method of thinking detached from its causal effects in reality that can be shown to reliably and consistently produce a greater probability for creating harm than good, a method of thinking that continues to impede and undermine support for realistic and obtainable solutions through wise public policies. The religious continue to hold fast to the discredited notion that religious conviction is a force for good, that good derives from religious conviction. This is exactly backwards and compelling so. Those who hold to the conviction that faith-based beliefs are a public good are doing so contrary to reality-based evidence, which is hardly surprising to those of us who understand that faith-based believers have already rejected reality’s role in arbitrating some/most/all the claims religious belief makes about reality.

    Comment by tildeb — October 24, 2012 @ 10:12 am | Reply

    • So let’s get back to the issue at hand from your long and emotionally laden rant (i’ll even space them out and number them so you can read them clearly):

      1.Does belief informs and influences behavior?

      2. Give that MLK was a pastor, would his convictions would have had a role in spawning his actions?

      3. Are there certain Christians (despite the metaphysics that you assume) who you can find that would support many of the things you do: women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ Equality and civil unions (if not outright marriage), against all the -isms, as well as supporting science and education?

      Comment by zero1ghost — October 24, 2012 @ 11:40 am | Reply

      • Me: Waving this reality away with more metaphysical arguments and pretending that all is mitigated by a religious person who has done good in no way allows us to even begin to address why…

        Z1G: So let’s get back to the issue at hand from your long and emotionally laden rant…

        I was thoroughly addressing the issue at hand. You failed to notice, so busy were you mislabeling what I was writing under irrelevant categories of your own choosing. When your comprehension abilities catch up with your arrogance, let me know so that we can get back to the issue at hand: why MLK’s point has nothing to do with his faith-based religious convictions but stands in stark contrast on its own reality-based merit.

        Comment by tildeb — October 24, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

      • It was really unreadable to me because of how emotionally laden it all was. One big strawman. You could just stick to the questions, that would have been easier, preferable, and a better way to see if we’re on the same page.

        So what I garner from you is (the stuff after the dashes is how i read you answering my questions):
        1.Does belief informs and influences behavior?
        -Yes, but that belief must be founded in pure reason.

        2. Give that MLK was a pastor, would his convictions would have had a role in spawning his actions?
        -No because any good that comes from religion is on accident.

        3. Are there certain Christians (despite the metaphysics that you assume) who you can find that would support many of the things you do: women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ Equality and civil unions (if not outright marriage), against all the -isms, as well as supporting science and education?
        -No.

        So all of this would point to an ideological purity that’s akin to religious dogmatism or doctrinal purity in the name of reason. Sound like what you’re going for?

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 24, 2012 @ 8:30 pm

    • BTW just watched a Bill Moyer’s interview with Martin Marty. Here’s what he states:

      MARTIN MARTY: I think one of the problems that happened in the transmission of knowledge in our adult world is the way– on so much of television now you always choose the two most extreme figures who will lose everything if they yield any point. And it never contributes to truth. I’ve been invited several times to debate one of the new school of atheists-

      MARTIN MARTY: And as you and every listener has to know that these four or five all say that if you just get rid of all religion the world would be benign and peaceful.

      Well– my question is how do you explain Mao and Stalin and Lennon and all of the great totalitarians, all of whom set out to get rid of God and religion and killed several hundred million people. I’m not defending the religious record. There’s horrible stuff out there.

      BILL MOYERS: Right.

      MARTIN MARTY: And I make a lot of my living in my noisy books about describing that. But you’re not going to get rid of religion. You can’t suppress this impulse.

      It’s increasing not decreasing. And you can’t sit at Oxford or Harvard or Chicago and say, “The world would be nice if other people would get their PhDs in Physics and learn enough to know that isn’t it.” Religion in the villages of– Latin America.

      It’s in the villages of the Islamic world. Every 7th person in the world was a Muslim 50 years ago. Now every 5th person is. It’s growing. In sub-Saharan Africa– 18,000 new Christians everyday.

      You’re not gonna have somebody sit up here on television and talk them out of it. So the issue, I change it– to the question. Since we’re not gonna rid of science or religion how do we find better ways to get along?

      What say you?

      Comment by zero1ghost — October 24, 2012 @ 3:16 pm | Reply

      • What a pile of horseshit. These tired canards will never rest because they are useful to serve not what’s true but your beliefs. Let them go…

        Comment by tildeb — October 24, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

      • Yeah, I tend to wave away scholars with that much easy too.

        “…they are useful to serve not what’s true but your beliefs”
        -So you are utterly free of this? You serve what’s objectively true and nothing else? You do so how? What methods do you verify this? Do you ever fall short?

        Frankly this sounds like a fundamentalist speaking. No nuance, no consideration of the other point of view, just a quick dismissal and a return to an assumed objective purity. Doesn’t matter which religion, it’s just a fundamentalists stance. Ironically, Martin Marty is THE author of the history of fundamentalism and it’s rise around the globe. The irony is killing me.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 24, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

      • It’s horseshit because they are canards. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens do not say ‘Get rid of religion and the world would be benign and peaceful.’ It’s horseshit. Mao and Stalin and Lenin did not ‘set out’ to get rid of religion. This is horseshit. That this kind of drivel comes from such an esteemed academic is absolutely typical of how apologists pervert what’s true to try to make the incompatible compatible, that religion is somehow an impulse whose privilege cannot possibly be removed from the public domain and that to attempt to educate people why this removal benefits us is then labeled as some kind of unreasonable war against grannies with cats everywhere. It’s execrable.

        To make my point, replace ‘religion’ with ‘disease’ and see just how warped is the thinking by this esteemed academic that we must learn to ‘get along’, which is code for maintaining religious privilege. For that – not getting rid of religion – is what the ‘new school’ of atheist activists is all about… getting religious privilege out of the public domain. That you cannot see this but attribute all kinds of nastiness to the gnus for daring to do so, for refusing to shut the fuck up, reveals the impenetrable faith you have that religious belief – in all forms, expressed in all ways no matter how harmful it is in action and on the ground today for real people with real suffering due to this perniciousness inherent in privileging faith-based beliefs – is a net benefit deserving of public privilege you will not address. I think there is no evidence to be found anywhere in reality that will alter your unjustified assumption about the righteousness of faith, that your faith in particular is a net benefit that has fathered all values that improve human well-being, that is deserving of public privilege, all because you allow for no avenue of inquiry to honestly question (and perhaps find wanting) the esteemed role you automatically grant to what faith supposedly represents. To show me that I’m wrong, tell me what would. But, of course, to dare criticize the canards raised by Marty to your approval makes me the fundamentalist in your mind. Good grief, but your mental wiring has a short in it somewhere.

        Comment by tildeb — October 25, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

      • Sorry I have been away from our first world squabble, I was busy in real life with people dying and helping people who live on the margins.

        “Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens do not say ‘Get rid of religion and the world would be benign and peaceful.”
        -Oh, that’s just you then. And when you say Dawkins et al. replace ‘them’ with ‘sociopathic marketers’ and see just how warped is the thinking.

        My claims are thus:

        1. Belief informs and influences behavior. Sometimes bad beliefs can influence good behavior. I would hope to have ‘correct and good’ beliefs, but it’s not always the case. Maybe our differing views are echos of the everlasting war between deontological and teleological ethics.

        2. Given that MLK was a pastor, would his convictions would have had a role in spawning his actions. There has always been an undercurrent in Christianity for inclusion. At times it has been really big and at others it’s less (now it seems to be an ebb). A broad brush dismissal of this ignores history, how societies change incrementally, and how nuanced communities really are. Your view is lacking nuance and is reminiscent of a high schooler’s view of history and religious communities; shallow and dualistic. This view seems to go right against the scientific method and your own rantings. This is okay if you’re in high school. I expect more if you’re not.

        3. There certain Christians (despite the metaphysics that you assume) who you can find that would support many of the things you do: women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ Equality and civil unions (if not outright marriage), against all the -isms, as well as supporting science and education. Has been and will always be.

        Just wanted to be clear. You can have the last word on this topic.

        Comment by zero1ghost — October 31, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  8. tildeb: “I am making the claim that religious people can be against only specific discrimination but cannot apply the same principle broadly without creating discordance with their religious tenets.”
    Zero: “I disagree. Religious people have battled against discrimination starting…”

    Zero, you are disagreeing with a point that was not made. Re-read tildeb’s point again.
    I’ll give you a hint. He most definitely did not say that religious people have not battled against discrimination.

    I’m the type of Christian that states that the divine authority authorizes and calls us to support the justice of legal equality.

    Ah, the gift that keeps on giving….

    I’m the type of wizard that states that the magical authority authorizes and calls us to support the justice of legal equality.
    I’m the type of Scientologist that states that the Xenu space alien authority authorizes and calls us to support the justice of legal equality.

    Frankly this sounds like a fundamentalist speaking. No nuance, no consideration of the other point of view, just a quick dismissal and a return to an assumed objective purity.

    Frankly, it sounds like you are clicking your heels together and wishing for the magical balance fairy.
    Bullshit is…bullshit.
    One side can be truly, madly deeply wrong with no redeeming sliver lining at all. It really can happen that way in the real world.
    Sometimes there’s no “nuance” however much you strain and wail.
    Sometimes…all that there is….is bullshit.
    Pure, unrefined, fresh bullshit.

    But you’re not going to get rid of religion. You can’t suppress this impulse.

    Religions die out. Precious few people worship Odin any more. In fact, history is full of dead religions. People will always be susceptible to bullshit. Yet people can learn.

    It’s in the villages of the Islamic world. Every 7th person in the world was a Muslim 50 years ago. Now every 5th person is. It’s growing. In sub-Saharan Africa– 18,000 new Christians (typo?) everyday.

    That’s because they were born there. Religion is geographically based. No magic is involved. Right now Islam is on the upswing. Once upon a time, Baalism was on the upswing.
    (shrug)

    Since we’re not gonna rid of science or religion how do we find better ways to get along?

    Ah, the gift that keeps on giving….
    Since we’re not gonna rid of science or magic how do we find better ways to get along?
    Since we’re not gonna rid of science or con-artistry how do we find better ways to get along?
    Since we’re not gonna rid of science or superstitions how do we find better ways to get along?

    You’re not gonna have somebody sit up here on television and talk them out of it.

    Nope, that’s not the job of TV. That’s the job of the INTERNET. No religion survives contact with the Internet.

    The Internet: Where religions come to die

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — October 27, 2012 @ 9:12 am | Reply

    • Just so.

      Comment by tildeb — October 27, 2012 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

    • Hey Cedric, thanks for weighing in… kind of.

      “He most definitely did not say that religious people have not battled against discrimination.”
      -Yup, I got that. He is saying that they can’t be for broad inclusion. I am saying they can be. He is saying they are incapable based on his assumptions of what Christianity and religions in general are. I disagree and state that he is ignorant of history and focus only on the present day stereotypes and generalities projected into the past.

      Both of you are making the claim that all religions are magical-thinking, anti-science, equivalent to disease, and incapable of doing good. I say those are huge generalizations and they are largely wrong.

      Comment by zero1ghost — October 31, 2012 @ 12:36 pm | Reply

      • Sorry I have been away from our first world squabble, I was busy in real life with people dying and helping people who live on the margins.

        Eww.
        Most people would be uncomfortable wanking like that on the internet.
        (shrug)

        A broad brush dismissal…

        Yeah, yeah. We get it. tildeb is dismissive. He ignores stuff. He ignores nuance. His view is lacking. It reminds you of high school. He’s shallow. Dulaistic even! He ‘s going against stuff. He’s ranting. You expect more blah, blah, blah….
        He’s a very naughty boy and now you’ve had a chance to express your feelings.
        Support your claims with evidence or abandon them.

        Yup, I got that.

        Your “getting it” looks a lot like you ignoring it completely and just talking past him.

        I am saying they can be.

        Then show us. MLK clearly did not work.

        I disagree and state that he is ignorant of history…

        Your postion must stand on it’s own merits. Tildeb’s ignorance or lack thereof does not allow you to win by default. Courtier’s reply and all that.

        I say those are huge generalizations and they are largely wrong.

        Then we look forward to your evidence.
        What religions out there are not magical thinging, for example?

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 2, 2012 @ 5:58 am

  9. “Most people would be uncomfortable wanking like that on the internet.”
    -My American mind can’t translate that sentence.

    “Support your claims with evidence or abandon them.”
    -See the conversation above. And which claims would you like support for specifically? I feel we’re coming from such different places and interpretations and understandings of history that I frankly don’t know where to begin. Easier to say “no, you’re completely full of crap” that it is to give someone a proper education. But of course you know that. Just look at all that “religion is complete crap and incapable of doing any good” stuff flying around this comment thread alone.

    “What religions out there are not magical thinging”
    -Not magical thinking would be many mainline protestants, Presbyterian Church USA, Episcopal Church, ELCA, and UCC. Certain UU churches of the Christian bent are particularly non-magical what with stained glass windows to Darwin and Kepler and such. Nichiren Buddhism has a wonderful history of inclusiveness and non-magical thinking.

    “MLK didn’t work”
    -It didn’t? How so? Oh the womanizer thing… yeah, let’s talk about African-American culture and how far it’s progressed since then. Not very far.

    Comment by zero1ghost — November 3, 2012 @ 2:09 pm | Reply

    • See the conversation above.

      I did. That’s why I wrote in plain English that you should support your claims with evidence or abandon them.

      And which claims would you like support for specifically?

      Pick one. I don’t mind. They are your claims so you get to choose.

      I feel that…

      Emote in your own time. I don’t care how you “feel” nor do I have any deep-seated need to relate you. Can you dig it?
      You interpret history differently, blah, blah, where to being, blah, and it’s really all my fault anyway blah, blah, blah.
      Whatever.
      (shrug)
      Put up or shut up.

      Not magical thinking would be many mainline protestants…

      They have a magical, invisible friend in the sky. They have magical incantations directed at the ceilings. They also use blessings. It’s called magical thinking.
      Standard stuff for all religions.

      “MLK didn’t work”
      -It didn’t? How so?

      “…religious people (such as MLK) can be against only specific discrimination but cannot apply the same principle broadly without creating discordance with their religious tenets. That’s why we find misogyny and bigotry rampant in religions, because divine authority is accepted by the religious to justify and excuse discrimination. In other words, the broad principle is not upheld by religious belief but competes against it whenever it comes into conflict with respect for divine authority.” (…) “Yes, many religious folk (such as MLK) have been at the front lines of many specific discrimination battles. This is not a counter to my criticism, however, about supporting the justice of legal equality over and above divine authority. Every example you list is mostly a forced shift of the wider christian interpretation away from an acceptance of a previous unjust divine authority to a more modern just one to align with the shift in the secular moral zeitgeist.”

      Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 3, 2012 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  10. Nor did you counter my MLK example. How was he not broad in his movement? This stuff with civil rights, having an openly gay man plan the march on washington, the acceptance of all races in the movement, are somehow diminished because he slept around? Or because he didn’t treat women as equals (which needs some support BTW)? Talk about throwing your own cultural assumptions on historical context. That’s like the first law of history broken right there.

    Plus there’s an assumption that you seem to carry that there’s this secular moral zeitgeist out there.. wow. how can you support that claim? put up or shut up Cedric. The current secular thinking is simply the mainline protestant thinking of the 50s-70s thanks to theologians like MLK, Vernon Johns, Reinhold Neibuhr, William Sloan Coffin (who dealt with with issues of poverty, war, disarmament, racism and bigotry,), and Harry Emerson Fosdick (the liberal minister who took on the fundamentalists)sans the theological tone to name but a few.

    We do not operate in a vacuum. There is no clear and easy secular and sacred divide in history. History is messier than you or the ardent marketers make it out to be.

    “Every example you list is mostly a forced shift of the wider christian interpretation…”
    -Which is exactly what i’m talking about. There’s always a push within Christianity that is giving a wider interpretation, that is keeping the doors open. To ignore this is folly. To write them off for magical thinking and treating them with scorn doesn’t further your message. In fact, your enemy is often one in the same (bigoted creationist fundamentalists). Standing outside and yelling doesn’t work as well as having friends on the inside. Just say’n.

    Comment by zero1ghost — November 6, 2012 @ 10:37 am | Reply

    • Nor did you counter my MLK example. How was he not broad in his movement?

      “…religious people (such as MLK) can be against only specific discrimination (such as his movement) but cannot apply etc.etc.”

      …are somehow diminished because he slept around?

      I don’t see what his sleeping around has to do with anything.

      Plus there’s an assumption that you seem to carry that there’s this secular moral zeitgeist out there…

      “Seems”? “Assumption”? Where are you going with this?

      …how can you support that claim? put up or shut up Cedric…

      Ah, shifting the burden of proof. Nope, won’t work.
      I’m not making a claim.

      And which claims would you like support for specifically?

      Pick one. I don’t mind. They are your claims so you get to choose.

      Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 9, 2012 @ 4:57 am | Reply

  11. “I don’t see what his sleeping around has to do with anything”
    -Then MLK did work.

    “I’m not making a claim.”
    You in the 11-3 comment: “Every example you list is mostly a forced shift of the wider christian interpretation away from an acceptance of a previous unjust divine authority to a more modern just one to align with the shift in the secular moral zeitgeist”
    -Claim made: there is a shift in the secular moral zeitgeist. Support it.

    “They are your claims so you get to choose.”
    -Already done in the November 6, 2012 with supporting links. Specific sentence is “The current secular thinking is simply the mainline protestant thinking of the 50s-70s thanks to theologians…” Should also state that current mainline protestant thinking aligns more with secular thinking than evangelical thinking. Simple glance at the denominational synods and what issues they are working on support this claim. The UCC is my home and so i know the most about it: current issues include: LGTBQ rights (specifically T this year and the establishment of funds for a T national resource group), equal pay for women movements in government position at the state levels (specifically Ohio but other states like Maine, Vermont, and Rhode Island have signed on), support for our historic mission partners like Back Bay Mission, African-American Colleges and Universities, and various shelters. Can’t see how we’re not broad and inclusive with that slate of proposals.

    Comment by zero1ghost — November 9, 2012 @ 10:17 am | Reply

    • 11.“I don’t see what his sleeping around has to do with anything”
      -Then MLK did work.

      Um, I’m sure he did do work. Most people work. What are you talking about?

      “I’m not making a claim.”
      You in the 11-3 comment: “Every example…

      Nope, that was not me. That was tildeb and he’s supported it very nicely.
      Lipstick. Pig.

      “The current secular thinking is simply the mainline protestant thinking of the 50s-70s thanks to theologians…”

      Where do you get this stuff from? What are you talking about? Put away the lipstick.

      Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 11, 2012 @ 7:58 am | Reply

      • “Where do you get this stuff from? What are you talking about? Put away the lipstick.”
        -History. See the links in 11-3. Supported claim.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 12, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  12. Z1G, all you’re doing over and over again is applying your favourite brand of lipstick, waxing on about the compatibility of the specific colour choice, and applying it to a pig. You then insist that it’s not a pig because it’s wearing lipstick. When criticized for this misrepresentation, you blame the lack of fashionable lipstick knowledge to be the problem. When shown repeatedly how the application of lipstick doesn’t change the pig into something else, you then point to the lipstick and insist it does.

    It’s tedious. Your line of thinking is tendentious, which leads you to being mendacious.

    Because the broad principle of equality of rights is applicable to all as part of the nation’s founding for legitimate citizenship, this means its source of authority is what we high schoolers call a bottom up value, one held by each of us as a citizen and so held in common by all. It’s not dependent on any other authority for its value; it can be clearly demonstrated to be a net benefit to the social good when this principle is put into practice – that all are equal in rights in practice – which then informs the value with real world merit, which is why it presents a solid foundation upon which a fair and just principle for law can be made. This independence from needing any authority other than itself is why it’s a secular value. You seem incapable of understanding this fact of the roots for your own legal authority. This purely secular value of equality of rights for all citizens is the very principle MLK endorsed for establishing equal civil rights for blacks in the practice of law.

    You now want to call this example ‘evidence’ that religious faith-based belief in god was the foundation for this principle and that MLK was motivated by it and not the secular value itself. This is undiluted horseshit.

    The principle of an individual right of equality stands in direct confrontation with the root authority for all religious faith-based beliefs: what we high schoolers call a top down value, one granted to those below depending on the wishes and preferences and favoritism of the authority who so bestows them.

    In case you’ve forgotten, you have written I’m the type of Christian that states that the divine authority authorizes and calls us to support the justice of legal equality. Well, bully for you. We’re so lucky to have christians like you kicking about. But this insidious anti-secular arrogance is not in the least bit surprising but it is very disappointing that in spite of graduating high school you still don’t see what empowers your civil rights. But you are all too willing to continue to delude yourself that secular values you enjoy are not in fact bestowed but owned in the eyes of the law because you are a citizen. My criticism is that your sight is based on bias, on religious befuddlement, that it is done by cherry picking equality here but not there depending on what god has to say about it and you’re okay with this because your understanding is polluted by your religious obsequiousness and servitude, that religions for their authority do, in reality, rely on this top down authority from GOD as you yourself proudly proclaim in your misunderstanding of the root from which this principle of your legal equality has come into practice.

    Of course, and not surprisingly, in the case of your specific denomination, this application of equality just so happens to align with the secular value. And that’s the fucking lipstick! The pig – the authority of GOD for our secular rights – still remains but you don’t admit it’s still a pig! When other religious faith-based beliefs stand in conflict with equality rights you claim comes from god, you insist it’s because all those other practices are somehow misguided from what GOD truly calls us to support and so it’s not a pig! But the value MLK talked about doesn’t COME from god for its authority, you nit; the secular values you enjoy like legal equality come from each and every individual INDEPENDENT of what his or her specific faith-based belief in the authority of some other god might be. That’s why it’s a secular value first, last, and always even if you continue to delude people into believing otherwise. You are factually wrong in this understanding and if I were to put on my professorial hat and mark your historical understanding of your rights and freedoms, you would not be a high school graduate because you don’t understand basic civics.

    Comment by tildeb — November 9, 2012 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

    • Pig and lipstick and lots of profanity. Well done! You’re totally a scholar and mature.

      “But the value MLK talked about doesn’t COME from god for its authority, you nit; the secular values you enjoy like legal equality come from each and every individual INDEPENDENT of what his or her specific faith-based belief in the authority of some other god might be. ”
      -I don’t see it that way and you haven’t made an argument to support your claim despite your ad hominem. I have made the argument that plenty of Christians have, because of their beliefs, fought for broad rights for all. These so-called “secular values” haven’t been around forever nor did they come from no where or just pure reason. MLK was a pastor and his values were informed and influenced by his religious heritage and training.

      You’re “secular zeitgeist” and “secular values” are simply the mainline protestant thinking of the 50s-70s thanks to theologians. I have cited by sources. Since you have no idea about the mainline protestants and their influence on American History, any argument I make is simply trumped by your ignorance.

      Comment by zero1ghost — November 12, 2012 @ 9:17 am | Reply

      • I don’t see it that way…
        Then you need to explain yourself better and back it up with evidence. Read your links. They didn’t help you at all.

        ….despite your ad hominem.

        FUCK.
        I hate it when religitards misuse ad hominem.
        Find out what it means first, you moron. What is the matter with people like you? Use google. Look it up. It’s not that fucking hard!!!

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 12, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

      • “They didn’t help you at all.”
        -Sure they did. You must misunderstand the point. What was the claim were they backing up?

        “Find out what it means first, you moron”
        -That’s an ad hominem. So is religitard. You can’t argue logically on the issue, so change the subject and attack the person which is the very definition of the logical fallacy.

        For peeps that supposedly hold logic in high regard, you fail to use it. Which again goes to support my claim that your blind adherence to the ardent marketers, emotionally driven bias against all things religious, and plain ignorance on the subject of religion clouds your judgment and understanding of any of the issues at hand.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 13, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

  13. “Find out what it means first, you moron”
    -That’s an ad hominem. So is religitard.

    Sweet-krazy-magic-jebus-bouncing-up-and-down-on-a-stick.
    (…facepalm…)

    You are as thick as two planks.
    A genuinely dumb git. How do you even tie your shoes?
    Did you not even pause for a moment when I bluntly warned you about looking up the term “ad hominem”?

    I could not have made it any clearer….

    Find out what it means first, you moron. What is the matter with people like you? Use google. Look it up. It’s not that fucking hard!!!

    Now go off and do it. Get onto google and type in “ad hominem”. Find a good, solid explaination what it actually means. (Preferably with multiple examples.)

    No.
    Don’t bother to reply until you have googled it. Look it up. Do it now.
    Ad hominem does not mean what you think it means.
    Seriously, don’t take my word for it.
    LOOK IT UP. IT’S NOT THAT FUCKING HARD!!!!

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 15, 2012 @ 4:37 am | Reply

    • Ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent, not their argument. Like all of what you just wrote.

      All of what you and tildeb try to do is what the age old propaganda tries to do in every time and place. Stereotypes are at the heart and the job is to create the perception that our efforts are honorable and ethical while “their” efforts are always dishonorable and unethical.

      Comment by zero1ghost — November 15, 2012 @ 9:25 am | Reply

  14. Ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent, not their argument. Like all of what you just wrote.

    Arg, the stupid! It burns.
    Did you notice the first bit of what you wrote? Let’s read it together, shall we?
    S.L.O.W.L.Y.

    “Ad hominem”.

    Yep. Ok. So far, so good.

    ” …is an argument made personally against an opponent…”.

    Bingo.

    Let’s read that again for effect, boys and girls.

    ” …is an argument made personally against an opponent…”

    Yet what did you, oh rider of the short bus, label an ad hominem?

    “Find out what it means first, you moron”
    -That’s an ad hominem. So is religitard.
    .

    See?
    No?
    (sigh)

    I’ll lead you through this slowly….

    The word moron is not “an argument made against an opponent”.

    (No, leave the keyboard alone for a split second and switch on you tiny brain. Read your own definition.)

    I can call you a moron as much as I like but…it doesn’t add up to an ad hominem.
    Neither does religitard.
    Or dolt.
    Or tool.
    Or stupid, lazy, brain dead twat.
    Or wanker.
    Or git.
    Or ninny.
    Or clueless godbot etc.
    None of those are actually ad hominems.

    Did you remember me advising you to find a good, solid explaination of what it actually means?
    I even stressed the importance of finding one with with multiple examples.
    Yeah?
    Had you done so, you would…NOT…. find any good explanation of the meaning of “ad hominem” that says anything even vaguely like…” Someone calls you a mean name then they’re making an ad hominem attack”
    Look it up. Find a good couple of definitions-complete with working examples.
    I’ll wait.

    (…looks at watch patiently…)

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 15, 2012 @ 11:12 am | Reply

    • Cedric, I believe the misunderstand is on your part.

      Ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent, not their argument. (that was from the wiki entry)

      Your specific use in this last post is an Ad Hominem Abusive.

      Ad Hominem Abusive: a variety of the argument against the person fallacy that occurs when an arguer verbally abuses a second arguer for the purpose of discrediting that person’s argument. Example: Allen Ginsberg argued to legalize marijuana, only because he was a pot-smoking homosexual miscreant. (A Concise introduction to Logic. Patrick Hurley. 7th Edition, 2000 page 126).

      Another example from another source:
      B’s argument here is ad hominem. He concludes that A is wrong not by addressing A’s argument, but by appealing to the negative image of A the person.

      A: “All rodents are mammals, but a weasel isn’t a rodent, so it can’t be a mammal.”
      B: “Well, you’re a moron and an asshole, so there goes your argument.”

      So yes, you’re not dealing with the argument itself, you’re dealing with my person. So, yes, name calling would be an ad hominem when you’re not dealing with the argument itself.

      Plus it’s rude. And didn’t this post have something to do with civil rights and broad inclusion?
      Oh how quickly we devolve.

      And specifically:
      “oh rider of the short bus”
      Would be an Ad hominem circumstantial which is an argument against the person alluding to certain circumstances that affect the opponent (Hurley, page 126).

      I do indeed ride the short bus because I volunteer with our Downs community. So tell me again how that’s “a broad base inclusion” that you secular new athiests types have on lock and religitards can only do in part or give lip service to? That is incredibly offensive to those of us who have loved ones who have special needs. Reminds me of a recent letter to Ann Coulter.

      None of this has anything to do with the price of tea in china. And especially the subject at hand. Instead you’re now exemplifying the very definition I’m supposedly ignorant of.

      Comment by zero1ghost — November 15, 2012 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  15. Your specific use in this last post is an Ad Hominem Abusive.

    Not according to the definition you provided. Read it.

    Ad Hominem Abusive: a variety of the argument…

    Ah, did you spot that bit? The part where they call it an argument? Take note.

    … an arguer verbally abuses a second arguer for the purpose of discrediting that person’s argument.

    Hey, did you read that bit?

    They did not write “an arguer verbally abuses a second arguer”. Nope , that’s NOT what they wrote.
    They took the time and effort to add the very important part of ….” the purpose of discrediting that person’s argument

    There is no point in looking up a definition if you are not going to apply it properly.

    Let’s look at the example, shall we?

    He concludes that A is wrong…

    Nope, Calling you a moron has no conclusion per se. Unless the conclusion is that you are a moron.
    .
    …not by addressing A’s argument….

    Nope, I’m happy to address your argument, as is tildeb. You may not like our replies but but we have been actively quoting you and rebutting your argument.

    …but by appealing to the negative image of A the person.

    Nope.
    Me calling you a moron is not appealing to your negative side. I’m not making an argument by doing that.
    I’m just flat out calling you a moron.
    It’s a different thing altogether.
    It’s not an argument (good or bad) in any way, shape or form.

    “Well, you’re a moron and an asshole, so there goes your argument.”

    So here, the arguer is saying that you are a moron and and asshole “so therefore” etc, etc.
    That’s an ad hominem.

    And yet, and yet, it’s not what I’m doing.

    I’m calling you a moron.
    However what I am not doing is calling you a moron and therefore….etc.etc.

    Same goes for religitard.
    Or dolt.
    Or tool.
    Or stupid, lazy, brain dead twat.
    Or wanker.
    Or git.
    Or ninny.
    Or clueless godbot etc.

    None of these examples can be construed as abuse for the purpose of discrediting an argument. None of them are an appeal to a negative image so as to avoid an argument.

    Here’s an example of an ad hominem…” Of course, you say that x equals Y. That’s what you Jews always say.”
    See?
    Has this finally penetrated your thick skull?
    No?

    Ok, maybe this will help…

    The Ad Hominem Fallacy

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 15, 2012 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

    • Here’s a question: what type of logical fallacy is this: “You don’t know what an ad homenium is because you don’t know what it is.”

      Calling someone a moron is a claim. Even in passing. It’s a conclusion. It has no place in rational discourse.
      It belays an emotional vomit of frustration because you can’t argue against a person’s argument, so you attack the person and attempt to discredit the argument that way.

      So indeed “I’m calling you a moron.” would be such an attempt. Just as this conversation is the same attempt: “I know more about logic than this person because he’s a religitard and thus has no capacity for reason.” is the implicit argument.

      Post all the youtube clips you want, this is what you’re doing.

      I have made the argument that secular thinking is not easily distilled from religious influence and in fact, has been historically spawned in religious settings and contexts. Specifically, the secular values you’re trying to lift up in this post: Civil Rights, Gender Equality, etc were spawned, fought for, and won by the mainline protestant churches during the age of ecumenicism, the hey-day of the mainlines and I cited the leading philosophical voices of the movement. Tildeb hadn’t a clue what the mainline even refers to thus revealing his historical ignorance. MLK was cited, he’s a pastor, so this positive thing you lift up is indeed dripping with religious underpinnings which you both try to deny because 1. you’re prejudiced against religion and 2. try to dismiss by saying “MLK slept around” for what reason, i’m not sure; but this would also be an example of an ad homineum (just see the hitler example in your own video).

      You and tildeb have not been able to support your claim that religious and secular thought are completely independent. Thus you resort to arguing about definitions instead of refutation. All the while using ad homineum and with a heaping helping of judgmental language – insulting or pejorative language to influence the recipient’s judgment which even Hurley states “Has no business in a debate as it shows the frustration of one arguer against another. Such emotion should never come out in a rational discourse.” (Hurley page 172)

      Comment by zero1ghost — November 16, 2012 @ 10:56 am | Reply

      • Calling someone a moron is a claim. Even in passing. It’s a conclusion. It has no place in rational discourse.

        You are a moron. You didn’t know what ad hominem meant.
        Now you do. You just can’t bring yourself to admit it.
        Reality is not your friend.

        Calling someone a moron is a claim.

        Yes, I claim you are a moron. A complete idiot in fact.

        It’s a conclusion.

        Yes, I conclude you are a moron. We’ve covered this.

        Nope, Calling you a moron has no conclusion per se. Unless the conclusion is that you are a moron.

        See? I was very clear in my previous post.

        It has no place in rational discourse.

        I don’t give a rat’s ass, you pathetic tool.
        Focus!
        You screwed up. You accused both tideb and myself of using ad hominem attacks. You were flat wrong. Deal with it.

        So indeed “I’m calling you a moron.” would be such an attempt.

        Not according to the literate community.

        But the value MLK talked about doesn’t COME from god for its authority, you nit…

        Tildeb called you a nit. It’s not an ad hominem. You lose.
        When someone calls you a nit like that, there’s a a technical term for it.
        It’s called…an insult.
        Can you say that?
        Insult.

        “Find out what it means first, you moron”
        -That’s an ad hominem. So is religitard.

        Nope. It’s just a common garden-variety insult.
        Insult is a real word. Look it up.
        It’s not a synonym for “ad hominem”.
        Ad hominem is something different.

        Morons like you confuse the two.
        (See? That was me insulting you. Again, it’s not an ad hominem. DUH!)

        You owe me and tideb an apology for falsely accusing us of making ad hominem attacks.
        You also need to apologise to your English teacher for your public internet spanking.
        When someone tells you to look something up, its a good idea to look it up.
        If you do (eventually, grudgingly, tardily) actually look it up, then pay attention to the definitions and examples given.
        Only an idiot would do otherwise.

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 16, 2012 @ 11:17 am

      • “You are a moron.”
        -Case in Point. Ad homenium. Correctly labeled logical fallacy. That means you are in the wrong. I’m so happy you’re proud of that fact.

        “Tildeb called you a nit. It’s not an ad hominem. You lose.”
        -Ah, there’s the assumption. Was I referring to tildeb calling me a nit? Or the ad homenium on MLK’s character? Which one could I be referring to in that comment?

        To be clear: It was MLK in that comment (he was a womanizer thus religion is poisonous or whatever muddled claim he was making.). Please note the sentence “MLK was a pastor and his values were informed and influenced by his religious heritage and training.” The subject was MLK. The values you like are spawned from religious underpinnings.

        Subsequent posts have been in reference to your attacks on my character. Esp. the short bus comment. Icing on the cake, that one.

        Both are ad homeniums. Both are examples of your immaturity and inability to hold a logical conversation.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 16, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

  16. “You are a moron.”
    -Case in Point. Ad homenium.

    No. It’s called an insult, you moron.

    Correctly labeled logical fallacy.

    Not according to both the definitions you yourself provided and the rather helpful video I provided,

    Ad Hominem Abusive: a variety of the argument against the person fallacy that occurs when an arguer verbally abuses a second arguer for the purpose of discrediting that person’s argument.

    Neither tilde nor myself have done that.

    Example: Allen Ginsberg argued to legalize marijuana, only because he was a pot-smoking homosexual miscreant. (A Concise introduction to Logic. Patrick Hurley. 7th Edition, 2000 page 126).

    “Allen is a pot-smoking homoesexual miscreant.”

    This is…an insult. Not an ad hominem.

    “Allen Ginsberg argued to legalize marijuana, only because he was a pot-smoking homosexual miscreant.”

    This is an ad hominem. Spot the difference.

    We can even change the grammar a little.

    “Well, you’re a pot-smoking homosexual miscreant.”

    Insult.

    “Well, you are a pot-smoking homosexual miscreant, so there goes your argument.”

    Ad Hominem.

    Now stop being so bloody thick!

    The Ad Hominem Fallacy

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 16, 2012 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

    • Once Z1G gets a belief into his head that he grants status as true, it cannot be jarred loose by well reasoned, articulate argument because it must be wrong, you see. Evidence contrary to the belief becomes an impenetrable mystery to comprehend, reasons no matter how well explained are insufficient, video aids are too video-ish and not enough belief-ish to matter. The belief is true because Z1G holds the belief to be true and reality’s second class function is to provide support or – LA LA LA, I can’t HEAR YOU!

      The bottom line is that Z1G simply does not care about what’s true. Z1G cares only that his beliefs MUST be true and he thinks this is the virtue gained from an educated mind like his. That’s why he cannot grasp why his charge of ad hominem is consistently and reliably wrong: the notion itself stands contrary to his belief what it MUST be and his belief must be right. He sees this as his job – to maintain and promote his beliefs – and no doubt revels in the idea of being persecuted verbally for it. Oh, the burdens he carries for his faith!

      Comment by tildeb — November 16, 2012 @ 8:34 pm | Reply

    • Your dedication to obfuscation is impressive. Once again, case in point: “Ad Hominem Abusive: a variety of the argument against the person fallacy that occurs when an arguer verbally abuses a second arguer for the purpose of discrediting that person’s argument.”
      -Insults are some how immune to verbal abuse now? And the sky is falling. The insults are simply not dealing with the question. You assumed my reference was to tildeb calling me a nit, I demonstrated your assumption was wrong. Prove otherwise? No, just go to insults? That’s an ad hominem abusive. Class dismissed.

      The evidence is in my favor. The charge is consistently and reliably right. Once again, you lose by the very method you claim to represent. Reading comprehension suffers when one is so emotionally charged and frustrated by their own assumptions getting in their way time and time again.

      To throw another log on the fire: it is incredibly ironic that almost every single one of these posts happens to be a classic example of Begging the Question. This particular post is exempt from this charge, but damn lot of ’em are.

      A refresher: “Begging the question (Latin petitio principii, “assuming the initial point”) is a type of informal fallacy in which a proposition relies on an implicit premise within itself to establish the truth of that same proposition.” (wiki)

      Q:”What’s the harm of a little religious belief exercised in the public domain?”
      A: Because religious belief is harmful when exercised in the public domain.

      Q: “Why is it your civic duty to address faith-based beliefs in the public domain with public scorn and public ridicule?”
      A: Because it’s your public duty to address faith-based beliefs with scorn and ridicule.

      Once you and tildeb get a belief into your collective head that the ardent marketers have stamped as true, it cannot be jarred loose by well reasoned, articulate argument because it must be wrong, you see. Evidence contrary to the belief becomes a new insult to throw from our internet bunkers and reasons no matter how well explained are insufficient, because our minds are made up dammit, and unless one of the 4 Horsemen of Marketing say otherwise, we’re not going to believe it.

      Comment by zero1ghost — November 17, 2012 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

      • Your dedication to obfuscation is impressive.

        By using the examples you yourself provided and by adding even more? No. That won’t do.

        Once again, case in point: “Ad Hominem Abusive: a variety of the argument against the person fallacy that occurs when an arguer verbally abuses a second arguer for the purpose of discrediting that person’s argument.”

        Read the definition.
        You are ignoring the second part. It’s not there by accident.

        Ad Hominem Abusive: a variety of the argument against the person fallacy that occurs when an arguer verbally abuses a second arguer…

        Nope, don’t just stop there. Keep reading it, you moron. Finish the definition.

        Ad Hominem Abusive: a variety of the argument against the person fallacy that occurs when an arguer verbally abuses a second arguer for the purpose of discrediting that person’s argument.

        See?

        Insults are some how immune to verbal abuse now?

        You have shit for brains. Insults are verbal abuse. Verbal abuse are insults. How could it be otherwise?
        However, (…drum roll please…) mere insults and verbal abuse are not ad hominems.
        Read the definitions. Read the examples.

        And the sky is falling. The insults are simply not dealing with the question.

        Even if that’s true…it doesn’t magically become an ad hominem.
        There’s that whole purpose of discrediting of a person’s argument thingy, remember?

        You assumed my reference was to tildeb calling me a nit…

        Not an unreasonable assumption considering that you said that…
        “Find out what it means first, you moron”
        -That’s an ad hominem. So is religitard.

        By all means, feel free to quote the part where tildeb made an ad hominem….if you can.

        No, just go to insults? That’s an ad hominem abusive.

        Insults =/= ad hominem.
        You are making the classically stupid mistakes that religitards make all the time on the internet.
        Watch the video.
        Learn.
        You are in the wrong and making yourself look like a total dick by not being able to accept it.
        The English language and it’s borrowed latin terms are not going to magically change just because you want them to. Life doesn’t work that way.

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 18, 2012 @ 1:22 am

      • A new low. Ignoring your continued obfuscation, I’ll deal with your one question:

        Tildeb and MLK:

        My claim: “Convictions spawn actions. Belief informs and influences behavior. MLK was a pastor, his convictions spawned his actions. You admire his actions and try to ignore convictions based on your ideology. That is wrong.”

        Tildeb: “Substitute his womanizing in your reasoning to prove my point.”

        Against.the.man. This is logically fallacious because it relates to the opponent’s personal character, which has nothing to do with the logical merit of the opponent’s argument. How was MLK not broad in his movement? This stuff with civil rights, having an openly gay man plan the march on washington, the acceptance of all races in the movement, are somehow diminished because he slept around? Or because he didn’t treat women as equals (which needs some support BTW)?

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 18, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

      • MLK was a pastor, his convictions spawned his actions.

        Your claim is that his convictions spawned his actions. Womanizing is an action. When we substitute the action of womanizing we see the problem in the line of reasoning that attributes good action to religious convictions but bad actions to flaws in personal character. Is his womanizing from his convictions… specifically his religious convictions? Why or why not. Well, your claim don’t offer us any means to differentiate why your attributions are correct; you simply state over and over that his womanizing is derived not from his religious convictions but from his personal character and carry right on stating over and over again that his stand against racism of blacks is due wholly and fully to his religious convictions and not his personal character. I call foul.

        I do not think you have supported your case. At. All. I think you attribute good actions to his religious convictions and bad actions to his personal character, not because you differentiate how one belongs here and the other there but because of confirmation bias. You attribute good actions to religious belief and you attribute bad actions to personal failings because it supports your faith-based belief that good actions are caused by religious belief and bad actions are caused by personal failings. So you cherry pick your history to find someone religious who supports actions you agree with to be evidence for the goodness inherent in religious belief and cherry pick your history to find someone religious (or not) who supports actions you agree to be evidence for the badness inherent in personal character. What you do not see is the arbitrary component of your attributions based only and wholly on your faith-based belief. In effect, this means that all evidence is positive evidence for your confirmation. That’s why it’s biased. This is why I ask what evidence you would accept that would show your attribution to be wrong?

        I posted about the inability for the religious to broadly uphold any secular principle because its authority derives from each of us. In most religious terms, authority to be legitimate must come from god. These are contrary to each other, and thus incompatible. The comparative goodness of actions stand or fall on its own merit to the broad principle at stake. The broad principles of fairness and equality involve a respect for each individual, based on the authority in law each individual possesses. This is purely a secular value because its authority is not dependent on any top-down supervisory agent who distributes fairness and equality; each individual owns fairness and equality. No god or gods are needed to show why these are values stand on their own merit. MLK made reference to these secular principles, but he did not apply them broadly on their own merit to his own actions consistently… or he wouldn’t have been a married man who had a multiple of affairs, which are neither fair nor equitable to his wife. This selective application of secular values is very common amongst the religious not because the values are in any way dependent on religious belief but are exercised in spite of it. religious freedom is a perfect example of a secular value, but you would never know this by listening to the claims made against secular values by the religious. They are a rather confused bunch.

        Comment by tildeb — November 18, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

      • Your claim is that his convictions spawned his actions. Womanizing is an action. When we substitute the action of womanizing we see the problem in the line of reasoning that attributes good action to religious convictions but bad actions to flaws in personal character. Is his womanizing from his convictions… specifically his religious convictions? Why or why not.

        Yep, seems pretty clear to me that tildeb is not making an ad hominem.
        Let’s lash out and substitute the action of womanizing. To hell with the expense…

        “Convictions spawn actions. Belief informs and influences behavior. MLK was a pastor, his convictions spawned his actions. You admire his actions and try to ignore convictions based on your ideology. That is wrong.”

        Okey dokey.
        So that makes it…

        My claim: “Convictions spawn womanizing. Belief informs and influences behavior (such as womanizing). MLK was a pastor, his convictions spawned his womanizing. You admire his womanizing and try to ignore convictions based on your ideology. That is wrong.”

        Against.the.man. This is logically fallacious because it relates to the opponent’s personal character, which has nothing to do with the logical merit of the opponent’s argument.

        No, it doesn’t.
        It’s not an ad hominem.
        It’s a substitution to demonstrate the flaw in your claim.
        You suck at English comprehension.
        Repeatedly.

        An ad hominem would be ” MLK argued that blah, blah blah but that’s wrong because he was a womanizer.”

        Example: Allen Ginsberg/MLK argued to legalize marijuana/ civil rights, only because he was a pot-smoking homosexual miscreant/ womanizer.
        or
        “Well, you’re a moron and an asshole/ black pastor, so there goes your argument.”

        It’s not what tildeb is saying at all.

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 19, 2012 @ 8:11 am

      • Okay, let’s test this. Is it an ad homenium or not.

        “I think you attribute good actions to his religious convictions and bad actions to his personal character”
        -Now this is something worth exploring!

        Tildeb, I’ve NEVER made the case that religion is pure and blessed. I have stated that the religious traditions do indeed have blood on their hands. You on the other hand, will only see the harm religion causes and have NEVER stated that one good thing could possibly be spawned from religious belief.

        So when I point out that MLK’s religious belief spawned something good, you immediately try to dismiss it. This is the propaganda you have bought into. And when we do indeed find someone who has broad based inclusion, MLK; you immediately bring up womanizing as a mark on his character.

        So to substitute “womanizing” is a mistake because it’s not the same as his broad based inclusion he was fighting for. “Convictions spawn womanizing. Belief informs and influences behavior (such as womanizing). MLK was a pastor, his convictions spawned his womanizing. You admire his womanizing and try to ignore convictions based on your ideology. That is wrong.”

        Is this true?
        Did he give sermon after sermon about it?
        Did he march out in support of it? Or are there other factors in this instance?

        Being chased around by the FBI, receiving death threats and attempts daily from the racists, being extremely unpopular in the white general populous toward the end of his life, as well as being the leader of an entire movement would have a lot of pressure. And he caved under the pressure of all of this and took comfort in sex.

        Did his religious convictions get him into this high pressure mess? Yes.
        He was very public and quoted a ton of Bible and used his religious heritage and church networks to leverage for what he believed in on a national scale. Every.one.of.his.letters put his belief in inclusion and the elimination of racism in theological terms and every argument was made on theological grounds.

        Did his religious convictions have him sleep around? That’s a much harder argument to make. It’s one that brings out a character flaw and tries to make the argument that way. I consider that an ad homienum.

        So let’s put it on grounds you both understand: Did Hitchen’s belief spawn his hard drinking and womanizing? (para. 5) I don’t know. I wouldn’t make that argument. I’m unsure of what his beliefs were aside from “Religion poisons everything” and that’s such a broad brush statement it’s largely meaningless to me.

        I will however state that his belief did lead him to write all those books you enjoy, to put himself into very public debates, as well as to stand up for his brand of secular humanism. Did his life match his high ideals exactly? No. He was a womanizer too. Does this tarnish the high ideals that led him into the fight in the first place? I would love to hear your answer.

        If yes, then belief influences behavior on some level. Even if they fall short of their beliefs.

        If no, belief does not spawn any behavior and thus is useless and unimportant.

        If I were to make the statement: “Convictions spawn womanizing. Belief informs and influences behavior (such as womanizing). Hitchens was an atheist, his convictions spawned his womanizing. You admire his womanizing and try to ignore convictions based on your ideology. That is wrong.” Would that not be an ad homenium? Which BTW, if I were writing it, the last sentence would read “You admire his convictions and try to ignore his womanizing based on your ideology. That is wrong.” because that is the thrust of the argument, correct?

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 19, 2012 @ 10:20 am

      • Did he give sermon after sermon about it?

        Not relevent. Focus on the claim.

        So when I point out that MLK’s religious belief spawned something good, you immediately try to dismiss it.

        No, he didn’t.

        Did his religious convictions have him sleep around?

        English comprehension fail.

        Stop heaving goal posts and building strawmen.
        Go back to the original claim and deal with the substitution. Even you should be able to do it properly.

        Your claim is that his convictions spawned his actions.

        There’s the claim.

        Womanizing is an action.

        Yep, it is an action. No getting around that.

        When we substitute the action of womanizing we see the problem in the line of reasoning…

        Doesn’t get more basic than that.

        Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 19, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

      • Z1G, the problem with your line of reasoning is the ability to differentiate between what action is caused by religious belief and what action is cause by character. (It would help significantly if you used the term ‘understanding’ to relate to a belief concluded by a preponderance of evidence tested against reality for verification, and the term ‘faith’ to relate to a belief assumed to be true by divine fiat without any compelling evidence from reality.) MLK’s call to treat people on the basis of character over colour stands on its own merit. No respect granted to the authority of a divine creative interactive agency adds to this merit at all. This means it’s not a ‘religious’ idea… not because I am biased, as you continue to claim, but because the call requires no divine authority to back it up to show compelling evidence from reality why is enhances human well-being. Any atheist could make the identical call and it would fully possess the same merit.

        So when you write I point out that MLK’s religious belief spawned something good, you are assuming the conclusion you are trying to make, that religious belief properly called ‘faith’ informs a value… a value that clearly requires no faith! This is why I dismiss your claim… not because I have to in order to maintain an anti-religious bias but because I understand the value of the call MLK makes – it’s merit – to respect character over colour. The value is independent of any need for divine authority to back it up. You misunderstand – and seem determined to do so – why I immediately try to dismiss your claim: because there’s zero evidence you have offered for it. MLK’s call requires no religious addition for it to fully possess value on its own merit.

        Rather than deal with this fact, you continue to build on your misunderstanding why I dismiss your claim, which leads you to make the false accusation that This is the propaganda you have bought into.

        No, it’s not. You are factually wrong.

        You then misrepresent my point that any broad secular value that stands on its own merit directly competes with the faith-based claim for the necessity of divine authority for its value when you write And when we do indeed find someone who has broad based inclusion, MLK; you immediately bring up womanizing as a mark on his character.

        That’s not why I brought up the womanizing, as I’ve written many times; I did it to show that we have no means at our disposal to know how to independently attribute good actions to be motivated by faith and not so good actions motivated by character flaws. You simply assume good actions cannot stand on their own merit (without a nudge and a wink to god), whereas not so good action should (no god here). You still own this problem I continue to point out of providing the means – the methodology – for anyone to be able to accurately attribute which actions belong where because you’re the one claiming that merit of the character over colour call is evidence of how faith informs value. I call bullshit.

        I call bullshit because there isn’t any example you have provided to shows that faith is a necessary component that leads to any meritorious value; meritorious value belongs to reason concluded from its effects on reality. Such value is an assignment we make and not a preordained fuzzy law stamped into our DNA by a creator agency. Because you brought the Hitch into this discussion, let me quote him directly about this very issue: Name me an ethical statement made or an action performed by a believer that could not have been made or performed by a non-believer. In other words, claiming that certain actions are sanctified by god for their merit is bullshit… bullshit spouted again and again by the pious while ignoring the mountain of evidence that backs up Weinberg’s astute observation: With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

        I claim it’s not religion, per se, that causes these ‘evil things’; I claim it is a root problem in methodology for anyone anywhere at any time to respect any faith-based belief. Merit for any value acted upon must come not from divine authority, which is so fundamentally disrespectful of our most cherished values that I consider them en masse to be anti-human – anti-human rights, ant-human freedom, anti-human well being, anti-human dignity, responsibility and choice, anti-human respect – but from reality: is this action meritorious for its life-enhancing effects in the here and now on real people in real life? If so, then no god is required; the evidence of merit doesn’t come from there! This is the method by which we can assign and differentiate value. This is the method that would have helped clarify to Irish healthcare professionals why letting a woman die in the name of respecting ‘pro-life’ faith-based legislation is not a meritorious value in effect… because exercising this kind of faith-based ignorance and faith-based stupidity kills! That’s the measurement, and not the piousness of metaphysical hand waving about respecting divine authority.

        Comment by tildeb — November 20, 2012 @ 12:11 pm

      • “Go back to the original claim and deal with the substitution.”
        -I have. And then I have asked clarifying questions substituting Hitchens instead of MLK. Both had high ideals, both had convictions they argued for very publicly. What caused them to enter the public sphere and march for their beliefs if not their beliefs? And if they marched for what they believed is right, then what about their mutual failing?

        MLK’s religious belief caused his womanizing is a hard claim to make. How would you explain this failing? You don’t. You simply imply “Belief does not influence behavior.” What are you arguing here?

        Me:”Did he give sermon after sermon about it?
        You: Not relevent. Focus on the claim.
        -Incredibly relevant (notice the a). It is the proof that his theology was the belief his actions for broad-inclusion stemmed from and relied on. If fact, it is the evidence I am using to back up my claim and thus it would support my claim that religious people are capable and engaged today in broad-based inclusion (the original argument). Thus, to substitute womanizing is an apple and orange argument. Not the same thing. An argument against the man without dealing with the argument that belief influences action.

        Substitute womanizing… well substitute driving a car, or petting a cat or smoking cigars or drinking (dude was a baptist right?) or any negative example. What do you get? Doctrine of Sin. The problem of evil. Not a counter argument to my claim that belief influences behavior. Rather, an ad homenium.

        Focus on the claim and the clarifying question: “Did his religious convictions have him sleep around?”
        If it did, then did Hitchens’ convictions and argued against them also cause him to sleep around? I am asking you to be clear on your counter-claim to mine. What is the relationship between belief and action?

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 20, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  17. Oh, that makes perfect sense. “MLK’s call to treat people on the basis of character over colour stands on its own merit.” Gotcha. Even though he cites his religious tradition, the Bible, the character and inclusion of Jesus in each.and.every.letter/sermon/speech he.ever.gave.

    An atheist could make the claim and would be coming from their own philosophical understanding of the world. It is not the claim “You simply assume good actions cannot stand on their own merit ” Damn right I don’t. That’s the point. Belief influences behavior and indeed plays a big part in interpreting our world. There’s no such thing as “standing on it’s own merit.” WTF kind of claim is that?!

    MLK looks at the world and see a Biblical mandate and hope of a new creation where there is no Jew or Greek, no slave or free, no man or woman, but all free and one in Christ and thus is the basis of his philosophical argument.

    Hitchens has no biblical mandate. And Weinberg’s astute observation: With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion is bullshit because of the Doctrine of Sin.
    Good people do bad things, like MLK and Hitch and they act against their beliefs.
    Bad people do good things.
    We’re all mixed bags.
    It doesn’t take religion to do evil things, we do it all the time!
    Hitch womanized and was capable of being a dick just as much as the religious people do it.
    Only he was an asshole with no excuse. Religious people at least cite chapter and verse for their awful behavior and thus have some semblance of rationale. Hitch had no excuse. It is infinitely easier to fight misguided believers than misguided nonbelievers because I have a basis of conversation and can trump their theology by showing them the implications of their beliefs and interpretive lens.

    I claim it is a root problem in methodology for anyone anywhere at any time to respect any faith-based belief. And that’s your inherent flaw. Faith is not a methodology. It’s an interpretive lens. Just as your atheism and adherence to the Four Horsemen of Propaganda is an interpretive lens.

    t=0 is a scientific theory. A fact in the standard model of physics. When this came out, many atheists decried it because it sure looked like a “prime mover” argument and thus supported a creator. But now all sorts of people, theist and atheist alike use this theory; they interpret differently. SAME. METHODOLOGY. Different interpretation based on ideology. Hence we have religious scientists working with atheistic scientists.

    Just as we have religious and atheistic scientists working on the multi-world/verse cosmology and having varying interpretations.

    It’s interpretation. Not methodology.

    Thus when I read MLK, I see how his faith played a role in his belief and argument for broad based inclusion. It’s not just my interpretation, it’s history that is backed up. Evidence you ignore. How his beliefs were h is so fundamentally disrespectful of our most cherished values that I consider them en masse to be pro-human – pro-human rights, pro-human freedom, pro-human well being, pro-human dignity, responsibility and choice, pro-human respect. And about choice… let’s look at history YET.AGAIN.

    Who historically argued for women’s rights, including reproductive rights? CHRISTIANS. My mainline churches in urban Boston in the 1960s. Even your hated evangelicals. History is not your friend. Your ignorance of religious history and it’s impact on secular policy is apparent.

    When you read MLK, you ignore this and cherry pick what you like because of your prejudiced ideology against religious people and belief that it’s poisonous in every.circumstance and in every.stituation. cause religious belief is simply incapable of producing any good. An unfounded belief you interpret the world through regardless of history.

    Wrong.
    Only religion makes evil.
    Please.
    That’s your come back?!
    Propaganda.
    Case.fucking.closed.

    Comment by zero1ghost — November 20, 2012 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

    • Well, if you’re going to reject faith as a methodology different than the one that draws tentative conclusions from reality, then you are simply a hypocrite being intentionally dishonest:

      Faith: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. [Source: Hebrews 11:1 (King James Version)]), versus

      Science: The use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process. [Source: National Academy of Sciences.]

      We’re right back to my original criticism of your method (that you refuse to own when it is shown to be dysfunctional) that pretends to be able to bestow upon you the remarkable ability to be able to differentiate what actions are owed to flawed character and which are owed to religious convictions. As Cedric pointed out:

      Your claim is that his convictions spawned his actions.

      There’s the claim.

      Womanizing is an action.

      Yep, it is an action. No getting around that.

      When we substitute the action of womanizing we see the problem in the line of reasoning…

      Doesn’t get more basic than that.

      (Hint, Z1G: ignoring the glaring problem of this broken methodology you use on behalf of your faith doesn’t magically make it get any better in some other application of it. It’s broken here. It’s broken there. It’s broken everywhere.)

      Comment by tildeb — November 20, 2012 @ 3:50 pm | Reply

      • “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
        -Still not a methodology. I see gravity. I have no need of faith in it. Scientifically tested and observed in daily life. Just like water boiling at 212 F. No need to have faith in it. I see those things.

        I do not see things like peace, nonviolence and hope in the face of overwhelming death and destruction done in empirically tested ways nor can they really be measured. Those are things unseen. Thus I need faith in it. Faith is not a methodology. It’s an interpretive lens.

        You:Your claim is that his convictions spawned his actions.
        Me: Yup, the convictions you like. They stand on theological grounds.

        You: Womanizing is an action.
        Me: And how are they related to his theological grounds? Did he ever mention he cheated due to his beliefs? Where is the connection? Apples and oranges. Not the same thing as his advocating for board-based inclusion which he did on religious and theological grounds that religious types you claim aren’t about to do.

        Good people do bad things, it’s called the Doctrine of Sin. We all fall short despite our best intentions. Hitchens had NO theological grounds and he womanized. So womanizing is not dependent on belief, specifically religious belief; it is moral-shortcomings. Doesn’t get more basic than that.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 20, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

      • What has happened is a cheap rhetoric move. An ad homenium. Argument against the man, using an action that is unrelated or at best circumstantial to the topic at hand. Your inability to stay on your own topic is fascinating to me in your quest to deny that faith based beliefs can provide anything positive to the world.

        A reminder for you of said topic: I am stating theists are indeed capable of broad based inclusion and MLK is an example of that. His advocacy on the particular issue of inclusion was theologically grounded and thus other Christians can and do follow suit. Do you dispute that? You can’t.

        Now are ALL his actions contingent upon his belief? I have no idea. That is not the topic at hand. Is his inclusion and actions towards fighting for inclusion based on his belief. And easy yes.

        You’re a smart fella, you understand my argument. Yet you still obfuscate, nay-say, and try to steer the debate towards methodology and fail as well as try to steer towards MLK’s womanizing and fail.

        So your task now will be to either prove MLK’s inclusion was unrelated to his theological beliefs (simply impossible given the historical case and primary documents of his movement) or that his womanizing was related to his theological beliefs and thus render his inclusion narrow (which you would need to provide support for). And you can’t do either. It can’t be done.

        Thus, theists are capable of broad based inclusion. The UCC and other mainline protestants you were ignorant of until this debate do so. Your own United Church of Canada is extremely progressive and open. Even certain Vatican II Catholics and Jesuits are very open despite the tyranny of Rome and it’s backslide to the dark ages.

        I have provided the backup to his theological inclusion to be broad (openly gay man march organizer, ecumenical mindset working with various denominations and faiths even atheists and agnostics, his inclusion of women as stump speakers in pivotal positions) all has been offered to you by me and by history. Thus his actions as a womanizer are
        1. not the topic at hand
        2. evidence of a faith based doctrine of sin, unrelated to his belief in inclusion
        3. equally as troubling as your own Hitchens, a secular atheist who is supposedly capable of broad based inclusion committing the same sin as a theist
        4. extremely hard to connect to his beliefs and are more circumstantial and contextual than anything.
        5. the relationship between belief and action are complex yet are consonant in many matters

        As I stated before. Case closed. Check mate. You have bought into the propaganda if any of this is denied and guilty of an anti-theist prejudice that clouds your very judgment, view of history, and renders any interpretation you give to any set of facts (even your beloved methodology of science which i affirm, love and share) immediately suspect.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 20, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

      • So womanizing is not dependent on belief.

        I never said it was. Why do you keep avoiding the point? The point is that you presume a means to differentiate actions that are due to religious faith-based CONVICTIONS and actions that are due to character flaws. I call bullshit and you haven’t shown me how you can do that. You have shown me no METHOD to do that. All you keep doing is avoiding the point and then stating the conversation is over, the case is closed, the issue put to rest, because you PRESUME I don’t meet your educational standards, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I don’t know enough history, my fault, my bad, my lack, yada yada yada, without ever addressing the method by which you CLAIM links faith-based convictions to cause this action but not that action. Every time I point out your failure to do so, you blame me. Fuck. Off. It’s your claim, your means, your method that is lacking here. Faith-based beliefs lack a reliable, testable, consistent methodology and substitutes assumption, assertion, and wishful thinking…. exactly what you’ve done in the case of MLK and his SECULAR support against racial discrimination of blacks.

        So here’s the deal, Z1G: put up or shut up.

        Comment by tildeb — November 20, 2012 @ 10:19 pm

      • What junior high study did you crawl out of? I have put up! MLK’s action on broad inclusion was founded on THEOLOGICAL GROUNDS. Done.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 21, 2012 @ 10:42 am

      • “exactly what you’ve done in the case of MLK and his SECULAR support against racial discrimination of blacks.”
        -That’s your counterclaim. Where is your support? How do you get around that the dude is a minister?

        http://www.usconstitution.net/dream.html The “Dream Speech”

        How many times does he quote the Bible? Four. Two Direct, two inferred.
        Amos 5:24 (NIV): “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”
        Isaiah 40:4-5 (KJV): “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain….”
        King makes more subtle references to at least two other Bible passages as well. Did you notice these?
        Psalm 30:5 (NIV): “…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
        Galatians 3:28 (NIV): “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

        Letter from Birmingham Jail? Written to other clergy in the city telling them to take up the cause because the cause is.. wait for it… BIBLICAL! http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

        MLK was about as secular as a cross. He pressured the secular American government and fought for policies in our secular law and he did so ON.THEOLOGICAL.GROUNDS.WITH.THEOLOGICAL.LANGUAGE. and largely with theists.

        There’s your support. I’ll wait while you move the goalposts yet again and still kick it through the uprights yet again.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 21, 2012 @ 11:51 am

      • I wrote, you presume a means to differentiate actions that are due to religious faith-based CONVICTIONS and actions that are due to character flaws. I call bullshit and you haven’t shown me HOW you can do that. You have shown me no METHOD to do that. All you keep doing is avoiding the point and then stating the conversation is over, the case is closed, the issue put to rest, because you PRESUME I don’t meet your educational standards, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I don’t know enough history, my fault, my bad, my lack, yada yada yada, without ever addressing the method by which you CLAIM links faith-based convictions to cause this action but not that action. Every time I point out your failure to do so, you blame me. Fuck. Off.

        Your response?

        “What junior high study did you crawl out of? I have put up! MLK’s action on broad inclusion was founded on THEOLOGICAL GROUNDS. Done.”

        Foot, meet mouth.

        In your second response, you tell us MLK told us his conviction for the value of anti-discrimination on the basis of race was theological, which seems to convince you that it must be so because he refers to biblical quotes.

        SO WHAT?

        How does MLK rather than Z1G determine that to be evidence for the theological cause? After all, biblical quotes have also been used to support slavery, misogyny, bigotry, and racial discrimination! Both cannot be true, so by what means , what method, can we determine which belongs to theology and which belongs to character flaws? By what method does MLK use to differentiate which values are derived from theological authority? Simple, according to you: all you need is to base which is which merely on what someone else says is theological authority… without addressing the fact that no theological connection is needed to fully inform the value to be a social good. Case closed, apparently… except it’s not to any mind concerned with intellectual integrity (that seems to have been ‘educated’ right out of you).

        You just keep reiterating the authority you presume to make this determination comes from a theological basis while smothering everything your attribute to be good with it, thinking yourself clever and educated. You’re neither. And here’s why:

        It is an error in thinking to lend weight to what people CLAIM to be true because they BELIEVE it to be true. This METHOD does not work to produce reliable knowledge. Ever. Yet this is exactly the method you demonstrate in your line of reasoning in this thread over and over and over. I have shown that legal equality requires no reference, no authority, no reliance at all on ANY theological grounds to have merit for improving the social welfare of all, to be considered a ‘good’ value. In fact, I have shown that the value of legal equality is entirely independent of any theological link because it places authority NOT with god but with each individual of the state. Legal equality is purely a SECULAR value because its authority rests not with god nor with what people like you CLAIM belongs to god, but with each of us… regardless of our different religious beliefs and theological claims. That you cannot grasp this point … regardless of what thieving theists would have us believe (and make no mistake: stealing a secular value and dressing it up with biblical quotes does not a religious value make)… is not an indictment against me, you nit. It continues to belong solely to you revealed in the emptiness of your claims because your method – I can make biblical references to the the secular value, so my holy book must be its parent – is clearly broken. That’s why your claim remains as empty of intellectual integrity now as it did with your first comment.

        Comment by tildeb — November 21, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

      • Goalpost once again shifted. Now instead of trying to link MLK’s belief in inclusion to his actions for inclusion, you’re stating my method of doing so is broken?

        MLK was clearly and definitely committed to social justice due to his BELIEFS and convictions BASED IN HIS THEOLOGICAL TRADITION. You have not made the case that King wasn’t. Dude was a pastor. In all of his writings and speeches he has Bible quotes and his morality based in his theology and his belief caused his actions and changed our secular law for the better.

        You: In your second response, you tell us MLK told us his conviction for the value of anti-discrimination on the basis of race was theological, which seems to convince you that it must be so because he refers to biblical quotes. SO WHAT?
        Me: That’s exactly the point you dimwit. But since you won’t take my word for it, let’s go with a scholar here from my shelf:

        “MLK jr provides a disciplined calmness, reason, and hope in the face of death threats and ominous signs of disillusionment within the African American community. He stood for a world free of bigotry and brimming with faith, hope, justice, love and justice firmly rooted in the Christian tradition. He dared to dream of a better day in the midst of the nightmare that surrounded him. He dared to believe and sacrifice his life for a future that some believe we are beginning to occupy.” -James M. Washington, editors note from I have a Dream: Writings and speeches that changed the world.

        I can and will do this all day. I have 4 more books on King I can go through. How many quotes is it going to take?

        You: It is an error in thinking to lend weight to what people CLAIM to be true because they BELIEVE it to be true. This METHOD does not work to produce reliable knowledge.
        Me: What MLK CLAIMED he BELIEVED in his speeches and sermons PRODUCED not reliable knowledge but SECULAR LAW against discrimination and voting rights for African Americans. This METHOD is solid. It has nothing to do with producing knowledge, it has everything to do with INTERPRETING the world and deciding what to do about it and then ACTING on it and PRODUCING LAW. Civics 101. You’re scheduled to take that next semester, so I’ll wait until then to pick this convo back up and receive your apology.

        Let’s look at Washington’s quote here and see how it links my claim and wins the argument: King was in “the midst of the nightmare that surrounded him.” And he “dared to believe and sacrifice his life for a future that some believe we are beginning to occupy.” Why? Because he looked at the FACTS, objective things like the Jim Crow Laws and subjective things like his own experience of being black in America and he DID something about those because he was firmly rooted in the Christian tradition.

        Keep on saying “No.” and moving the goal posts but the fact remains King’s actions were spawned by his beliefs and changed our world for the better. You lose. So you can move the goal posts yet again, or you can go back to insulting me. You could try dolt.
        Or tool.
        Or stupid, lazy, brain dead twat. (I wouldn’t say that because that would be sexist)
        Or wanker.
        Or git.
        Or ninny.
        But the fact remains: Theists are indeed capable of broad based inclusion and MLK is an example of that. His advocacy on the particular issue of inclusion was theologically grounded and thus other Christians can and do follow suit.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 21, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

      • Z1G, you are trying to argue that secularism is rooted in theological grounds. I say this a very stupid conclusion that stands contrary to what is true.

        I have stated that I sincerely doubt you apply its principles broadly or you wouldn’t be religious! Naturally, you disagree, so I have taken some pains to explain to you my reasons:

        Religions and those who maintain them don’t care or support or endorse equality rights broadly if this means undermining or reducing respect for its divine authority! The broad principle of establishing equality rights in law does not serve but conflicts with religious authority and privilege; it only will be supported by religious people who do not feel that their religious belief is in danger of subjugation, and this occurs only in the specific.

        What I am pointing out is a difference in authority; the difference between values attributed to secularism and attributed to theology lies exactly here: on whose authority?

        Recall:

        I stated, Let’s take just a moment and understand what this term – secularism properly means unencumbered by what the religious have warped it to mean:

        From Wikipedia we get a pretty good idea: namely, from Latin saecularis meaning “worldly” or “temporal” that describes the state of being separate from religion, or not being exclusively allied to any particular religion.

        Yet here you are telling us with apparent sincerity that legal equality advocated by MLK is the child of religion because its roots are grown from theological grounds (handily ignoring all those other ‘children’ of religious discrimination, religious pogroms, religious bigotry, religious misogyny, and even slavery. How conveeeenient)!

        This is so contrary to what the term ‘secularism’ actually means that it’s clearly an attempt to invert the language to serve a theological need, where by just the right interpretation, we can keep a straight face insisting that ‘up’ has always been correctly interpreted to mean ‘down’, that when the bible states ‘white’, only an ignoramus would think this doesn’t mean ‘black’, that sophisticated theology like the mainstream protestant churches has just now correctly identified all good to come only from theological grounds. It’s so blatantly stupid a shift in the goal posts of what is under examination – that only by our empowerment do we keep anti-secular values alive and operative in the world.

        Your line of reasoning eliminates what secularism means, namely, values separate from and not allied to any particular religion, and replaces it with theology so that you can claim all good to be religious and all not-so-good to be evidence for man’s fallen nature. It’s a damned lie! It’s disingenuous. It’s intentional. It’s a tactic to misrepresent, misunderstand, misinform others about what secularism means, and does this not to reveal what’s true about the world and how to make it a better place but to serve the promotion of religious beliefs under false pretenses. You do this, I presume, so that secular values appear not to stand in conflict with the authority you claim empowers it. Telling lies like this is probably an acceptably small sacrifice you are willing to make in the service of your faith-based beliefs not because they can stand on their own merit but because they can’t.

        Obviously, legal equality, as I’ve pointed out repeatedly to no avail, fits this secular – not religious – definition about where it gets its authority… not from some mainline or fundamental or long dead god some would have us believe has authority over all and everything – with or without consent but… from each person who lives under its rule empowered SOLELY by consent of those of us so governed. The authority of legal equality comes from us to our government and then into law. It cannot be shown to be dependent in any way, shape, or fashion on any particular religion… except by inverting the definition. This is religious dishonesty in action and on demonstration. Thank you, Z1G.

        Because we already know, and you’ve agreed, that the interpretation of divine authority has been accepted by the religious to justify and excuse past discriminations, we are now to take your word for it that MLK’s support for a secular principle – one without any need for tethering to some particular religious ally – is evidence for the secular principle to be rooted in theological grounds.

        Not going to happen, I’m sorry to tell you… except perhaps to those foolish enough to believe you serve what’s true endorsed by intellectual honesty in spite of compelling evidence to the contrary. The only remaining question is whether or not the terms currently used to describe your underhanded methods are accurate enough or strong enough to do the job. I’m thinking ‘nit’ is not.

        Comment by tildeb — November 21, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

      • “Z1G, you are trying to argue that secularism is rooted in theological grounds. I say this a very stupid conclusion that stands contrary to what is true.”
        -Partly. I’m trying to argue that MLK argued on theological grounds a shift in secular and religious cultures. It’s a perfectly reasonable, backed up, and founded claim.

        And let’s look at the term secular, good idea. “From Wikipedia we get a pretty good idea: namely, from Latin saecularis meaning “worldly” or “temporal” that describes the state of being separate from religion, or not being exclusively allied to any particular religion.”
        -Note the OR. Our republic was founded on not being exclusively allied to any particular religion. That doesn’t mean faith does not or should not have a voice in shaping public policy. I means the state should show no legal preference to or fund a particular religion. James Madison and many of the founding fathers argued as such. So the “the separation of church and state” is in terms of funding, not ideological as you think it is.

        When bills are passed, they are passed for all people of all faiths or no faiths. Faith can inform these laws and they can be interpreted theologically and along political ideologies and argued pro and con. That’s the cool thing about the republic.

        It’s not about authority. It’s not about methodology. It’s not about some phony division of secular vs. religion.

        It is simply the fact that religious belief spawns action. You can’t ignore the fact that President Johnson and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. were virtually co-conspirators in the critical months leading to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. MLK was in the game and argued it on theological grounds. And he changed secular law. Because of his beliefs.

        Religious people are able to be broadly inclusive and fight for those beliefs in the public square. Civil rights were championed by MLK. He was a pastor. His voice was big. Proven time and time again no matter how you shift your goal posts or standards. You.are.wrong. You haven’t touched my arguments nor have provided any unbiased or any back up for any of your arguments. You lose you prejudiced historical nitwit/lightweight/ignoramus.

        Comment by zero1ghost — November 21, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

      • So the “the separation of church and state” is in terms of funding, not ideological as you think it is.

        In terms of legitimate political authority, it is night and day. The government’s legitimate authority only comes from those who consent to be governed. This is root of secularism: authority completely disconnected from any and all top-down agencies – no matter how divine others assure with a straight face this agency really, really, really is – and firmly grounded in the individual.

        If you don’t get this, if this understanding of legitimate authority eludes you, then you will not be intellectually bright enough to appreciate how secular values stand on their own merit independent of your enthusiasm to commit religious thievery.

        Comment by tildeb — November 21, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  18. Did he give sermon after sermon about it?

    Not relevent. Focus on the claim.

    -Incredibly relevant

    Not according to you. Again, focus on the claim. I certainly am.

    Convictions spawn actions.

    See? No mention of sermons;either repeated or solitary.

    If you think it’s relevent then you should have said so in the first place. If it’s incredibly relevent then you need to incredibly explain why it’s incredibly relevent.
    You original claim makes no mention of it.
    Not a sausage.
    Bugger all.

    Withdraw your original claim and reword it so that sermons fit in there somehow to your satisfaction and level of relevency.
    (shrug)

    I have. And then I have asked clarifying questions substituting Hitchens instead of MLK. Both had high ideals…

    Yes but it does not rescue your claim. Again, your claim is…

    Convictions spawn actions. Belief informs and influences behavior. MLK was a pastor, his convictions spawned his actions. You admire his actions and try to ignore convictions based on your ideology. That is wrong.”

    If we look at one of MLK’s actions (such as womanizing) then your claim is broken. It doesn’t matter who we’re talking about. It just happens to be MLK.

    Substitute womanizing… well substitute driving a car, or petting a cat or smoking cigars or drinking (dude was a baptist right?) or any negative example. What do you get? Doctrine of Sin. The problem of evil. Not a counter argument to my claim that belief influences behavior. Rather, an ad homenium.

    (…facepalm…)

    No. If there really was an an ad hominem, then what stops you from taking the classic examples that you yourself approve of and quoting the actual ad hominems that either tildeb or myself have made?
    Do it already.
    Why is there such a strange hold-up from your end?
    Don’t just insist that there is an ad hominem like a ranting half-wit.
    Demonstrate that it is so.
    Preferably before we all die of old age.

    Comment by Cedric Katesby — November 22, 2012 @ 4:58 am | Reply


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