A Different Approach
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08-08-2012, 04:19 PM
RE: A Different Approach
(08-08-2012 04:15 PM)kim Wrote:  
(08-08-2012 01:42 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Kim.
I don't appreciate that kind of response, so I'm moving on.

Rolleyes

I bet you feel suitably fulfilled now, Kim, and not even remotely short-changed about reading the wall of text and offering your position on it.

Peace and Love and Empathy Laughat
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08-08-2012, 05:04 PM
RE: A Different Approach
Wow.

It took until page five for someone to attack me. You're slipping, folks.
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08-08-2012, 05:45 PM
RE: A Different Approach
I'm a lover, not a fighter Wink

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08-08-2012, 05:59 PM
A Different Approach
(08-08-2012 05:04 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Wow.

It took until page five for someone to attack me. You're slipping, folks.

Oops.
Sorry, Asshat!

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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08-08-2012, 06:36 PM
RE: A Different Approach
I like your post. What you're describing -- a person with a world view presented with information that conflicts with that world view -- is cognitive dissonance. I think you're right that most people will rationalize or deny information in order to resolve this, but it's certainly not true of everyone. I know that because I used to be a creationist, and now I'm not. You think I got here without anyone trying to convince me that I was wrong?

This isn't true about just the creation vs evolution debate, but about all debates; it will change minds a very small percentage of the time because people hate to admit that they're wrong, even when it becomes obvious to observers. That's why I believe that these debates, while worth having, pale in comparison to teaching people how to think like rational beings. If we all acted as rationally as possible, debate would be a useful tool, not a way to assert dominance.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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08-08-2012, 09:23 PM (This post was last modified: 08-08-2012 09:52 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: A Different Approach
Ghost is saying attacking creationism is like shooting a beehive with a bb gun.

His remedy is to do nothing, and focus our energy on our respective fields, and those who investigate will come to atheism all on their own.

I'm not exactly a fan of the idea at all.

I don't see it as if we don't do something they win.

I see it as, letting crazy delusional people do what ever they want at everybody else's expense. At some point the benefits out way the costs.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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09-08-2012, 01:44 AM
RE: A Different Approach
(08-08-2012 11:10 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Thanks for the responses everyone.

...

Hey, DLJ.

Quote:Matt said:
"... the nature of cultural transmission is such that if one side articulates the other's memeplex, their cultural system collapses. That outcome is not desirable ..."

Why is it not desirable? Is that not what has happened in the UK with the CofE accepting the Darwin meme?

What I mean is, our understanding of the universe and our ability to interact with it comes from our construct of reality. When that construct collapses, all hell breaks lose in your head because you can no longer effectively understand and interact with the universe. It's what's refereed to as an identity crisis and to put it mildly, it's a shitty thing to go through. Imagine something like, say, being raised a boy and at 43 finding out that you're a girl. That's the kind of thing that can bring down your entire understanding of the world and your place in it. Or imagine you're an Atheist and God taps you on the shoulder and takes you to Vega 9 for a Sternklantchle milk shake. Or you're a Christian and a long lost Carl Sagan manuscript proves unequivocally that there is no God. It's like the keystone in an archway, yank it out and the whole thing comes down. And the aftermath sucks. So if you recontextualise what I wrote:

I Wrote:So the reason that this culture war is intractable is not because people are stupid or stubborn, but because the nature of cultural transmission is such that if one side articulates the other's memeplex, their cultural system collapses. That outcome is not desirable and, more to the point, their cultural systems are naturally resistant to such invasions.

What I'm saying is that the negative outcome of a system collapse is not desirable and wanting to avoid the shittyness of it is part of the reason that the conflict is intractable.

I'm not at all familiar with your Church of England example. Could you elaborate?

And just to tidy your language, Catholicism is a memeplex that is made up of memes rather than simply a meme. But again, I don't know why it might disappear because I don't know your CofE example. Hook a brother up?

Yup, I know what you are saying. As Marx said "Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please; they do not make it under circumstances chosen by themselves, but under circumstances directly encountered, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living.”

There are good few on this forum who have gone through / are going through this shittyness. So "intractable"... fine. And ok, sure, "undesirable" as in "shitty" at a personal level but not necessarily "undesirable" for a person or for society if it leads to an outcome with greater well-being (consequentialism etc.). So it could be considered to be the "storming" part of the forming / storming / norming / performing model; or more dramatically, revolution... which presumably, in context of this thread would be seen as the smashing of one memeplex by another (no doubt you will correct me if I am incorrect).

For the Cof E reference... I am affirming Red Celt's reference to the passivity and toothlessness of the official church of my homeland. Essentially, because this church has not had to compete in a marketplace of ideas (as there is no separation of church and state) its relevance to the masses (not in the catholic sense) has declined to the point where it is largely irrelevant (except for ceremonial duties, i.e. traditions that make people feel nostalgic, warm and fluffy). It has, therefore, a noticeable lack of extremism.

So, be it correlation or cause, could there be a connection to the fact that the Bishops etc. have no problem with evolution. I was then extending that thought into the catholic space where also evolution is accepted.
If all of the godly were as harmless (and indeed, as lovable) as this guy (see vid), there would not be a need for atheism just a need for truth-seeking. It’s almost as if Hitch didn’t need to show up. Note his declaration to choose science over religion.
I chuckled at: “My ancestors were worshipping coconuts” :-)




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09-08-2012, 07:32 AM
RE: A Different Approach
Hey, fst.

Why are you speaking about me in the third person?

1 - I grudgingly accept your BB gun reference (I feel that there's a connotation there that I'm not totally cool with). Attacking any cultural group, whether that attack me military, economic, cultural, whathaveyou, gives the extreme, which already exists and will always exist, a pulpit from which to speak that they would not have otherwise. It leads to a mass migration from the moderate position to the extreme position. We can see this phenomenon in action all over the world. So yeah, bees, who are capable of stinging you and ruining your day, are content to go about their business. But if you jab a stick in there, they defend the hive with vigour. There is no eradicating bees, so the only question is, if you don't like getting stung, then why are you poking that hive with a stick?

2 - My remedy is not to do nothing AND focus energy on building, my remedy is to make the something you do focusing on your energy on building. Some may come to Atheism on their own, some may simply learn to accept that everyone co-exists. But the main benefit is that ranks of the extreme will shrink while the ranks of the moderate view grow.

3 - For what reason are you not a fan?

4 - I am in no way shape or form suggesting that we let "crazy delusional people do what ever they want at everybody else's expense." That's a total mischaractarisation of what I'm saying. I'm saying that the action of attacking is CAUSING the crazy delusional people to appear in greater numbers. There is currently a positive feedback loop at work. The more you attack, the crazier they get, so the more you attack and the crazier they get. On a long enough time line, that leads to terrible things for everyone. The way to escape it is to call off the attack. That siphons the fuel out of the extreme movement.

Hey, Starcrash.

Thank you.

Yeah, cognitive dissonance is resolved one of two ways, by ignoring the new information or by accepting the new information. Ignoring it is the manifestation of what I mean when I say "resistance to invasion". Accepting it is articulating it. To articulate it, you must disarticulate that which was in conflict with it. That swap of parts can have catastrophic effects on the system.

Quote:You think I got here without anyone trying to convince me that I was wrong?

Could you elaborate on the process as you experienced it?

Quote:This isn't true about just the creation vs evolution debate, but about all debates; it will change minds a very small percentage of the time because people hate to admit that they're wrong, even when it becomes obvious to observers.

Indeed, it's true of all debates/cultural conflicts.

This is what I mean when I say that things are not intractable because people are stupid or stubborn or insert derogatory term here. It's intractable because there is a mechanism at work. Everyone has a system in place that is resistant to invasion and that could collapse like a Jenga game if you yank out the wrong piece. The ego may have something to do with it, but people know when something is going to shatter their worldview and they avoid it as a matter of self-preservation.

Hey, DLJ.

I love that you quoted Marx Cool

Yeah, I simply meant shitty on a personal level. As far as on the societal level, my contention is that cultural diversity is as much of a necessity as genetic diversity. For me, the struggle is not to eradicate Theism, because that's not only foolish, it's gonna get a lot of people killed. For me, the struggle is between moderates and extremists. Moderates can work together and live together and build together. Extremists just want to fuck each other up.

Quote:...the battle front is not between Muslims and non-Muslims. The real battle front is between moderates on all sides of all the faith traditions and the radicals on all sides. The radicals actually feed off each other. And in some kind of existential way, need each other. And the more that the radicals are able to control the discourse on one side, it strengthens the radicals on the other side and vice versa. We have to turn this around.
-Iman Feisal Abdul Rauf

I don't quite understand how you're applying Tuckman's group development theory to this issue. Could you elaborate on that, and also the bit about one memeplex smashing another?

Yeah, I would say there is definitely a relationship between the CofE's comfortable monopoly and it's lack of extremism.

What is the relationship like between English Anglicans and the English secular community? Strained? Cooperative? Something in between?

Quote:So, be it correlation or cause, could there be a connection to the fact that the Bishops etc. have no problem with evolution.

I would say decisively yes. The extreme version of Christianity (primarily the Biblical literalist American far right Evangelical movement) places an huge emphasis on the absolute truth of Creationism. So the Earth is 6 000 years old, Adam's rib, the flood, etc... The notion that humans are millions of years old and just one of many organisms that evolved on this planet over the last 3.5 billion years is incompatible with that absolutist account of things. But, from what I gather from you, the CofE is moderate. Their world view is more porous because it's less rigid and absolute. So there's room for the evolution idea to co-exist alongside other ideas.

For realz, dude, that monseigneur was awesome! And totally, he's the perfect example of a moderate Catholic.

For me, the reality is that ideas never die. Pandora's box is in full effect with ideas. There's like a billion Catholics in the world. Anyone who thinks that that's going to drop to zero is deluding themselves. Maybe it will drop to a fraction of what it is today, who knows, but it will never disappear. So the reality of the situation is that non-Catholics are going to exist in the same world as Catholics. The two are going to have to interact. If that interaction is hostile and aggressive, then it will produce extremists. If the interaction is friendly and respectful, it will produce this monseigneur guy.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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09-08-2012, 08:23 AM
RE: A Different Approach
(09-08-2012 07:32 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, DLJ.

I love that you quoted Marx Cool

Yeah, I'm a big fan of the brothers.

(09-08-2012 07:32 AM)Ghost Wrote:  I don't quite understand how you're applying Tuckman's group development theory to this issue. Could you elaborate on that, and also the bit about one memeplex smashing another?

Tuckman: Well, I have observed new starters in the work environment given their job description and working towards objectives without first trying to understand existing team members' objectives or they just have different ideas about how to go about things. They can be resented for disturbing the status quo. Sometimes the "moderate" approach works best (slow evolutionary integration of ideas) but sometimes the revolutionary approach has more benefit. If the latter occurs (with much storming) some parties (new and old team members) get that shitty feeling while they are outside their comfort zone (inside their learning zone or panic zone) until the new ideas are accepted or dismissed.

In the latter scenario, I was visualising memeplexes smashing into one another - you painted an image in my mind of nodes and articulates as like spider's webs of steel threads - so for example, Seth seeing his first Hitch debate would be the snapping of one or more thread and his subsequent research about the truths of the bible hastening more twanging and unraveling whereas e.g. 9/11 would be the collision of two webs that rebound off each other and cause both spiders to reinforce their structures.

(09-08-2012 07:32 AM)Ghost Wrote:  What is the relationship like between English Anglicans and the English secular community? Strained? Cooperative? Something in between?

The English show their displeasure as follows...
"tut, tut" *slow shaking of head*
So I would describe it as: civilised irritation.

(09-08-2012 07:32 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:So, be it correlation or cause, could there be a connection to the fact that the Bishops etc. have no problem with evolution.

I would say decisively yes.

Actually, mine was a rhetorical question. Hence no question mark at the end. Subtle but meaningful.... much like myself. hehehe. But nice answer nonetheless.

(09-08-2012 07:32 AM)Ghost Wrote:  There's like a billion Catholics in the world. Anyone who thinks that that's going to drop to zero is deluding themselves. Maybe it will drop to a fraction of what it is today, who knows, but it will never disappear.

Happening right now. See Jeff's post:

http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...it-Ireland

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09-08-2012, 10:29 AM
RE: A Different Approach
Hey, DLJ.

Lol. Communist humour.

Tuckman: still don't get it. You mentioned something about revolution before. I don't see how they're linking up. Is it something about moderate works well sometimes but going balls out works well other times?

Spider web: The spider web is a decent model, but be sure to remember that the strings are the articulations and the points at which they intersect is the node. The node is the part, the string between is how the nodes relate/interact with one another.

So if the overall culture is the spider web, then each point is a memeplex. If the spider web is itself a memeplex, then each node is a single meme and the spider web is one of many that form a larger system.

So that intersection, that nexus, that point, the node, is what gets disarticulated by "severing" the articulations. So you sort of cut around the point, yank it out, then substitute another one and then re-attach the strings.

So whatever truth Seth encountered in that Hitch video forced the disarticulation of the old idea and the re-articulation of the new Hitchian idea in it's place.

9/11 is slightly different. The meddling of the West in the Arab world was the attack that radicalised the terrorists that did it (Osama Bin Laden declared war on the US in 1996). The destruction of the towers (and the less referred to Pentagon strike and plane crash in the field) is the attack that radicalised the US. Arabs are still Arabs, Americans are still Americans, there's just more of the extreme versions in both camps.

Memeplexes are resistant to invasion, but moreso for foreign ideas. A Christian memeplex with a meme like "God created the world" is pretty resistant to the meme "there is no god", but less resistant to the meme "God created the world 6 000 years ago". That resistance is further diminished in times of crisis. Extremists use this back door to disseminate their rigid, absolute, on-steroids version of memes that already have a place in the memeplex. So the overall memeplex stays the same, it just hardens at certain points.

I've mentioned it elsewhere but I figure it might bear repeating.

Imagine there's 10 people in a given culture. You can plot them on a graph based on how moderate or how extreme they are.

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQltxPm666KLyNyDksYz5J...Sm0HaHx25Q]

The centre point is the sort of ideal moderate position. You can move away from it in 360 degrees. You'll note that 6 of the 10 points fall in (or just on the orbit of) the centre circle. 2 fall just outside the second circle and 2 fall just outside the outermost circle. This is kind of what life is like most of the time. There are more moderates than extremists. So when I say that people are migrating out to the extreme position, I'm talking about people being replotted further out from the centre. The reason they migrate out is because they are in crisis, looking for answers, and those already at the extreme are more than willing to give them hard and fast answers (regardless of whether or not those answers are full of shit).

The rebound thing is nice, but it's more apt for the resistance to invasion idea.

Quote:The English show their displeasure as follows...
"tut, tut" *slow shaking of head*
So I would describe it as: civilised irritation.

Lol. Perfect.

Quote:Happening right now.

I buy it.

Actually, it's been happening for a few hundred years. Religion simply isn't the dominant social institution anymore.

Still, reduction in representation isn't extinction.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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