Re: Remember KISS?
I remember KISS.
964 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Feb 2012
Shutting off the water and electricity won't work. They must surely have some contingency plans in place. They are paranoid, after all. The only way the NSA will be reigned in is if some Enlightened Country's Air Force bombs every NSA facility on Earth back to the stone age.
Gotta run, I hear the black helicopters comin'...
We have come to opposite conclusions based on our acknowledgement that the human race has no way of determining truth with absolute certainty. I figure if one cannot prove with absolute certainty that another's position is wrong then it follows that one cannot prove with absolute certainty that one's own position is right. So I don't worry too much about how someone else raises their kids as it is entirely likely that there is more than one way to raise a viable human. As long as they don't do something really egregious like making their kids wear inadequate clothing in the winter or brush their teeth with butter, that is.
It looks like we have become like Humpty Dumpty in "Through the Looking Glass" in that words mean what each of us say they mean neither more nor less when it comes to our definitions of faith. I think it is absolutely essential to have that little sliver of doubt that comes from knowing I can't be absolutely certain that I'm right to keep my brain engaged. Anyone who chooses to turn their mind off is an effing moron.
One of these days you will meet another who uses the same style of argument as you and it could take months to figure it all out. Loads of cash will be made by popcorn vendors while everyone watches :)
But, once you got done with the trolling, you did give me a viewpoint to consider that I had not seen before. Didn't change my thoughts on the matter under discussion but the exercise was valuable nonetheless.
So, in a nutshell, you just do not like religion. Fair enough.
As for your comments about truth (and lies), it may come as a shock to you but the human race has no way of determining with absolute certainty just what truth is. This is the first thing they teach you in Logic 101 in college. Even the scientific method is based on a formal fallacy of logic called "Affirming the Consequent". Wikipedia is accurate enough for the purpose of this discussion:
So your statements calling Richard Dawkins a champion of empirical truth and me a purveyor of lies cannot be made with absolute certainty. Don't get me wrong, seeking truth is important, just don't be surprised if we all come up with different results. I am also not saying that truth is relative. This is a self-refuting statement for if "Truth is relative" is a true statement, it must also be relative.
You are almost right about "one true faith" being a weakness and a chink in the armor except for one thing - I agree with you. I have my beliefs, I think they are right just as much as you think you're right. I also know there is no way to figure out absolutely if I'm right, let alone what others believe which is why I don't hold on to my beliefs too tightly. This is where faith comes in. You see, faith is not "accepting the word of another over your own judgement"; faith is simply taking the next logical step into the unknown based upon what I already know.
The shouty stuff has more to do with the overall tone of the whole collection of your posts in this thread. Was a little concerned that you might blow a gasket a couple of times there. I must also congratulate you on the "forehead-slanted idiot" insult - that one struck me as quite inventive.
Finally you have posted something that is not a total barking-at-the-furniture-mad rant. Thank you. You utter lack of an explanation for your views has led to me and several others wondering just what you were so upset about. The whole free will and critical thinking hypotheses was based on your earlier lack of clarification.
I agree with you that the anecdotes in the Dawkins article are bad. But, just as it would be terribly inaccurate to claim that all mothers are bad because your's abused you, it would be terribly inaccurate to paint every last religion with this brush. I submit to you that it is possible to present a religion to a child in a positive manner, one that does not fixate on negatives like Hell or demonize those who do not share such beliefs. It is possible to have a religion that does not teach hatred and violence. Jesus was the antithesis of a douchebag, I submit to you the idea that he could use a whole new fanclub - one whose members actually try to live like him.
But I must point out that Richard Dawkins is no mental health professional - he has an axe to grind. And the anecdotes about the excesses of the Catholic Church are just that - anecdotes, not peer reviewed scientific literature. The article also comes close to conflating sexual abuse with the mental trauma you no doubt want me to notice. Not the best source.
We can agree that religious instruction received in childhood often does stick around for life. But, outside of those cases where ham-handed assholes have done damage, is that necessarily a bad thing? We all need some sort of "lens" to view and make sense of the world around us and we largely get that from the people around us whether they be family, community, teachers or, in some cases, churchy types. This lens will be acquired long before the child reaches an age you consider appropriate for making informed choices, can't be helped thats just how life works. If the lens is not based on hatred, violence or negativity does it really matter where it comes from?
Yes, morality and religion are not joined at the hip. You may find "The Abolition of Man" by C.S. Lewis to be worthwhile reading.
Facts are facts and reality is objective but resorting to personal attacks does weaken your argument because your argument is the *use* of the facts. Makes you look desperate.
As for me being a self-important cockbag, look in the mirror - you're the shouty one. Seriously.
Your ad hominem attacks weaken whatever argument it is that you are trying to make and, quite frankly, are getting tiresome. Same goes for the straw men you attack.
You have continually accused me of engaging in heinous criminal activity without even telling me what it is about teaching a child only one religion that dooms that individual to a life as an automaton unable to engage in critical thinking or to exercise free will. Keep three things in mind before replying with a reasoned, calm response. First, I have never said that I am subjecting my child to the horrible things you say I do. Second, the "handicap" of growing up knowing about only one religion has afflicted probably the majority of humans that have ever lived yet we still managed to come up with the scientific method, mathematics, women's suffrage, engineering, medicine, logic, the civil rights movement and critical thinking among other fine things. Third, children are not idiots. They may be born ignorant but by the time they are around 10 years old they do start thinking for themselves and start asking the hard questions. So any parents truly wishing to keep their children blindly following in their footsteps are pretty much doomed to failure.
As for being a "forehead-slanted idiot", there is a 99% chance that my IQ is bigger than yours.
The ball is now in your court.
You have come to the most fanciful conclusions about me based on... I don't know what. Nowhere have I claimed a "right" to tell my daughter what to think. So just stop it. Has it occured to you that I might *want* my daughter to make *her* own choice about such things? Just to make things clear, I *do* want her to make her own choices about these things. If you would actually have comprehended my posts you would also have picked up on me agreeing with you that parents don't own their progeny. So just stop that too. And to be clear, my progeny is learning critical thinking which is why she is enjoying sitting on the sidelines watching this exchange.
Also, to be clear, I only advocate letting the looneys do what they want is based on nothing other than a lack of evidence that what they are doing is harmful. Just. Being. Pragmatic. Nothing. More.
Homeschooling does not automatically mean teaching things like science is evil, Muslims are evil and that blacks are subhuman and everyone who doesn't worship Jesus in exactly the same way as we do is also evil. Those who hold such ideas usually pass them on quite adequately without homeschooling. So stop with the caricatures already.
As for indoctrination, anyone who has kids knows you can't avoid teaching them to be like you. You are their biggest influence before they reach school age, they naturally imprint on you. Even if you send them to any public or private school of your choice, you can still have an enormous influence on them. Watching mom and dad is primarily how girls learn to be women and what to expect from men and how boys learn to be men and how to treat women. Watching you is also how your children learn an entire moral code and other things like whether or not chiropractors are quacks, for example. This is why I call it unavoidable - kids watch what you do and what you say and internalize it. Anyone who had to clean up their manner of expression because their child's first word was "shit" will know what I'm talking about.
Frankly, Trevor, you know very little about homeschooling.
And now to deal with the internal inconsistency in your argument.
1. You have no problem with adults choosing a religion because you see positive psychological effects from such a choice. It doesn't seem to matter what they choose, apparently its all good.
2. You have a big problem with children only being exposed to one religion and you seem to see negative psychological effects even though you haven't enlightened me about them.
So, if its good gor an adult, why is it bad for a child. The artificial reduction of sample size should not matter because they are apparently all good.
"I demand that parents be prevented from abusing children psychologically in the form of religious indoctrination by the state, using guns if necessary."
So you admit my main argument against your position - that you cannot handle people thinking differently than you and that you do support using the power of the state to enforce Orthodoxy.
I made no claim of a right to teach my child religion. I admit that indoctrination is unavoidable, much like gravity or breathing, and admit to knowing just what my a priori assumptions about life, the universe and everything are and am, therefore, capable of mitigating the effects of this unintended behavior. The only things I have said about homeschooling is that it works better than public education in the US in general and in my own child's case in particular and that we do not teach her creationism because its a load of crap. Again, I do what I think is best, your opinion does not matter.
I do think society is better off letting the looneys do their own thing WRT teaching things you or I don't necessarily agree with. The punchline from a Dilbert cartoon says it best "When you find a big kettle of crazy, sometimes its best to leave it alone". Prove to me the deep psychological harm that always results from teaching a child about god, sky fairies, invisible pink unicorns, flying spaghetti monsters, tree spirits and Santa Claus. I don't doubt its possible to damage a child in certain cases that probably incorporate real abuse, but I have seen no evidence of harm to children in general resulting from such instruction. And, yes teenagers do rebel when you try to squeeze them into your mold to hard.
As for Scientific Fundamentalists, its not whether Science has any doctrine its about individuals who place Science on the same mental pedestal as God - they have doctrine. I have seen numerous examples of this sort of creature in my life. If you are no such animal, my mistake.
Getting to the general tone of your posts, you are coming across as increasingly shouty and strident. Perhaps you should start using recreational drugs. Heavily. Or maybe you illustrate my boast about my teenage daughter being more socially well adjusted than a lot of Reg commentards. She just shakes her head and smiles when told about all this.
1. If you cannot accept that other people can and do think differently than you on this and many other subjects, why should anyone else grant you the privilege of thinking for yourself?
2. We agree that parents don't own their children but it is my responsibility to raise my child in a manner that gives her the tools and abilities she needs to make her way in the world. And since it is *my* responsibility, I will make choices that seem best to *me*. This also includes trying to develop some good moral character to keep her from becoming another Ken Lay or Ed Gein.
3. Why is it *my* choice. Home schooling is not done without sacrifice. One parent has to stay home to do the schooling, making all home school households one-income families in a two-income society. Not impossible to do, but we do have less shiny things. By homeschooling my wife and I save the school district we are in about $10,000 per year and still pay our full share of income, sales and property taxes to support other people's kids public education. We get no significant tax breaks - the textbooks and other approved materials we purchase knocks about $30 off our taxes. These same tax breaks are also available to parents of public schooled kids so its not like we're getting special treatment. So, given that I am paying the full cost of both raising and educating my daughter, I get to decide what is right for her. Your opinion doesn't mean squat. Sorry.
4. Indoctrination to some sort of belief system *is* inevitable no matter how much you try to avoid it. I. at least, know where I am coming from and can take steps to mitigate it. You seem to be some sort of Scientific Fundamentalist and don't know it which means you would probably do an even more egregious job of it.
5. I think you discount the incredible pig-headedness of teenagers too much. They have an amazing tendency to throw off crap that people try too hard to dump on them.
6. As for me being a liar or fool for thinking you want to indoctrinate other people's kids your way, when you call something a crime you give every indication that you want to use the power of the State to enforce Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy here being defined as "the one right way to think". The power of the State, by the way, comes out of the barrel of a gun. You wrote it, we read it. What are we supposed to think?
I still say society is better off letting the lunatic fringe teach their own kids creationism no matter how much I disagree with them than to try to corral and control them as they will fight back and just might succeed in getting their curriculum taught to everybody's kids. They have had some success here in the Land of the Free, learn from our example.
You are the bigger danger to society than the few members of the lunatic fringe because you cannot handle people thinking differently than you. Your's is the same narrow minded attitude the Catholic Church had in the medieval and Renaissance times that persecuted Galileo and didn't allow doctors to admit that men had the same number of ribs as women. Same attitude, different "facts". The reason facts is in quotation marks is because the Catholic Church had it wrong and because science is a moving target - read a college astronomy textbook from a century ago and marvel at how wrong it is compared with modern ideas.
As for indoctrination, everyone iindoctrinates. You want other people's kids indoctrinated your way, homeschoolers are content to keep their noses out of other people's business.
And do not even think about equating something that does no physical or psychological damage, no matter how looney it is, to real child abuse. You make a mockery of the damage done to abuse victims.
A world where we are not free to think for ourselves, no matter how poorly some of us do it, or raise our children as we see fit is worse than the fustercluck we have now. It is the world of "1984".
The folks who tout public education because kids learn to deal with bullies make a better argument than you. Homeschooling is about keeping kids out of public school because public school does a crap job of *educating*, it mostly manages to condition children to conform and obey. Pink Floyd's "The Wall" illustrated this sentiment quite well. Studies show that homeschooled children generally score better on standardized achievement tests than public schooled kids and are better adjusted socially, see this: http://www.nheri.org/research/research-facts-on-homeschooling.html
Colleges (at least in the US) are waking up to these facts and are actively trying to recruit homeschooled high school graduates.
My wife and I have been homeschooling our daughter for nearly 10 years. We had to start using college level history textbooks a few years ago and had to start using college level physics textbooks this year. Standardized test put her on average 1 grade higher than her age and she is better adjusted socially than teens her age. I'd also wager that she's better adjusted socially than many of the Reg commentards too. An added bonus is that she doesn't get taught creationism, she gets taught real science.
As for the question about what constitutes a good headache, we all know that the only good headache is a dead headache.
"What next ? Poilce cars sponsored by Pizza Express ? "
They tried something similar in St. Paul, MN a few years ago - every police car had a huge ad for Qwest wireless emblazoned on the back as the cops all had wireless phones in the cars. Finally managed to convince the Mayor's office that public property, paid with money collected at gunpoint (try not paying taxes and see how fast the guns come out), should never be used for corporate advertising.