Bucky
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30-08-2011, 04:28 PM
Bucky
In my time here, I have, more than once, been called a religious apologist and even an outright Theist.

I'm not stupid. I know where it comes from. I've got a pretty low bullshit tolerance and when people say things that I feel are outrageous, inflammatory, demagogic or, which is the worst crime, insupportable, I call them out. Often I'll say something along the line of, "religion isn't like that." I can absolutely see how one might perceive that to mean, "religion's awesome, you dumbface!"

In defending reason, I've often found myself taking religion's side (or more often looking like I was). This, to me, is odd, because while I am an ardent supporter of cultural diversity and a steadfast opponent of monoculture, I have no particular love of religion. If it went extinct, I don't think that I'd cry too hard (although as a defender of diversity, I oppose stamping it out). Furthermore, I'm a person that believes strongly that we are in the grips of some pretty dangerous ideas (unlimited growth, unlimited competition, addiction to hierarchy for example) and I would like to see them gone and I even promote their extinction. So when I find myself staring down people who simply think that religion is dangerous and that it's gotta go, I find it odd to be saying, "simmer down now."

So I started thinking, with all this defending of Theism, is there some sort of Stockholm Syndrome thing going on? Like am I getting all gung ho about religion, like, out of spite or something? After closer inspection, not only do I appear to be wearing loafers, but no, no I am not gung ho about religion.

But I still had a difficult time sorting in my head my desire to see certain ideas go and my resistance to the demonising of a people and the desire to see religion go. Turns out it's one of those things I understood previously but forgot about.

I forgot that these things that I dislike, and that you dislike, are nested in a larger system. My goal is not to change that system or to stop anyone from adhering to it. That is to say, my goal is not to wipe anything out.

I thought about Bucky.

R. Buckminster Fuller Wrote:You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

My goal is to figure out how to transition to an alternative system that can compete alongside the existing ones and flourish.

That has been my focus for a very long time. It's funny what you forget. But there are some serious difficulties associated with this goal.

The most obvious is that you have to have an alternative system. This is incredibly problematic. First, one must fully understand the existing system and its problems so that an alternative can be made without the same problems. My boy Pirsig says:
Quote:But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.
— Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and The Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance)

This is why I always harp on going deeper than religion. I'm not trying to say religion is fine. But in the grand scheme, who gives a shit what it’s done? Are we trying to punish them for past ills or are we looking to the future? I'm just saying that if we focus on punishing religion and we manage to destroy it but leave the reasons for its existence intact, simply because we refused to look within our own selves, we accomplish nothing.

The second difficulty is that you can't just create a culture from scratch. Cultures evolve. So creating an alternative requires either incredible luck, or engineering. This is why memes are so fascinating to me. Understanding memes means understanding cultural engineering means being able to engineer an alternative.

The next problem is the transition. There's all kinds of problems with that one. To leave a flawed but predictable system for an untested one is terrifying for many reasons. I won't get too deep into this one, but it's problematic.

Then there's competition and flourishing. We can't know what's adaptive until it's adaptive but we do know what failed previously. To date, that's pretty much every single other system. The current system is vicious. It's hard to come up with something that can actually compete with it.

All of this is to say that my many objections are not based on a love of religion. I believe in +/- rating. You take the good and subtract the bad and if it's + then it's good and if it's - then it aint. Religion has positives, but it has a -rating as far as I'm concerned. My objections are based on what I see as a missed opportunity.

People are saying so vocally today that we need to use reason. We need to look seriously at problems and not shy away. But when I see people firing petty and spiteful attacks at religion I just gotta say something because that's not what we're talking about it's just more of the same and more of the same we do not need. The problem isn't religion. It goes way deeper than that. Way deeper. It’s in all of us right now, me included, and if we don’t recognise that then we’re doomed. So when I see brilliant men like Dawkins, who has the capacity to go deep, but settles for snide comments about religion, I go nuts. He’s just spouting outrageous, inflammatory, demagogic and insupportable crap. He has within him the same source code as religion. If we gather behind him and wipe out religion on his terms, as Pirsig says, we’ll just wind up with more of the same. We have a climate now where serious inquiry is possible but no one's taking advantage of it. That's it. That's all I'm doing. I'm just saying, please, for the love of God, let's take advantage of it. Let's figure this one out.

Let’s focus on the reasonable, the inclusive, the honest and the supportable.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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31-08-2011, 03:33 PM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2011 03:42 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: Bucky
(30-08-2011 04:28 PM)Ghost Wrote:  In my time here, I have, more than once, been called a religious apologist and even an outright Theist.

Re Dawkins and Scientism.
I agree with you that there are great dangers in society --that are not directly linked to religion.
Corporate greed, a lunatic consumerism fed by a burgeoning servile population are two instances that come to mind.
Religion is part of the problem and in its best instances may be part of the answer.
(I'LL get howled down for that!We have has thousands of years of religion and it is part of our enculturization (memes) like it or not.
If we have taken billions of years to evolve to our present crazy state it is foolhardy to think that scientism will rectify things in the short term.
TRue, Dawkins is very clever ;he is also very egocentric. I have a letter from the late great atheist mentor Antony Flew; I can assure you he is no fan of the former.
There is nothing wrong with being an open ended atheist, agnostic, ponderer or whatever. Fanaticism in all its dark forms is what we need to fear.


I'm not stupid. I know where it comes from. I've got a pretty low bullshit tolerance and when people say things that I feel are outrageous, inflammatory, demagogic or, which is the worst crime, insupportable, I call them out. Often I'll say something along the line of, "religion isn't like that." I can absolutely see how one might perceive that to mean, "religion's awesome, you dumbface!"

In defending reason, I've often found myself taking religion's side (or more often looking like I was). This, to me, is odd, because while I am an ardent supporter of cultural diversity and a steadfast opponent of monoculture, I have no particular love of religion. If it went extinct, I don't think that I'd cry too hard (although as a defender of diversity, I oppose stamping it out). Furthermore, I'm a person that believes strongly that we are in the grips of some pretty dangerous ideas (unlimited growth, unlimited competition, addiction to hierarchy for example) and I would like to see them gone and I even promote their extinction. So when I find myself staring down people who simply think that religion is dangerous and that it's gotta go, I find it odd to be saying, "simmer down now."

So I started thinking, with all this defending of Theism, is there some sort of Stockholm Syndrome thing going on? Like am I getting all gung ho about religion, like, out of spite or something? After closer inspection, not only do I appear to be wearing loafers, but no, no I am not gung ho about religion.

But I still had a difficult time sorting in my head my desire to see certain ideas go and my resistance to the demonising of a people and the desire to see religion go. Turns out it's one of those things I understood previously but forgot about.

I forgot that these things that I dislike, and that you dislike, are nested in a larger system. My goal is not to change that system or to stop anyone from adhering to it. That is to say, my goal is not to wipe anything out.

I thought about Bucky.

R. Buckminster Fuller Wrote:You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

My goal is to figure out how to transition to an alternative system that can compete alongside the existing ones and flourish.

That has been my focus for a very long time. It's funny what you forget. But there are some serious difficulties associated with this goal.

The most obvious is that you have to have an alternative system. This is incredibly problematic. First, one must fully understand the existing system and its problems so that an alternative can be made without the same problems. My boy Pirsig says:
Quote:But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.
— Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and The Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance)

This is why I always harp on going deeper than religion. I'm not trying to say religion is fine. But in the grand scheme, who gives a shit what it’s done? Are we trying to punish them for past ills or are we looking to the future? I'm just saying that if we focus on punishing religion and we manage to destroy it but leave the reasons for its existence intact, simply because we refused to look within our own selves, we accomplish nothing.

The second difficulty is that you can't just create a culture from scratch. Cultures evolve. So creating an alternative requires either incredible luck, or engineering. This is why memes are so fascinating to me. Understanding memes means understanding cultural engineering means being able to engineer an alternative.

The next problem is the transition. There's all kinds of problems with that one. To leave a flawed but predictable system for an untested one is terrifying for many reasons. I won't get too deep into this one, but it's problematic.

Then there's competition and flourishing. We can't know what's adaptive until it's adaptive but we do know what failed previously. To date, that's pretty much every single other system. The current system is vicious. It's hard to come up with something that can actually compete with it.

All of this is to say that my many objections are not based on a love of religion. I believe in +/- rating. You take the good and subtract the bad and if it's + then it's good and if it's - then it aint. Religion has positives, but it has a -rating as far as I'm concerned. My objections are based on what I see as a missed opportunity.

People are saying so vocally today that we need to use reason. We need to look seriously at problems and not shy away. But when I see people firing petty and spiteful attacks at religion I just gotta say something because that's not what we're talking about it's just more of the same and more of the same we do not need. The problem isn't religion. It goes way deeper than that. Way deeper. It’s in all of us right now, me included, and if we don’t recognise that then we’re doomed. So when I see brilliant men like Dawkins, who has the capacity to go deep, but settles for snide comments about religion, I go nuts. He’s just spouting outrageous, inflammatory, demagogic and insupportable crap. He has within him the same source code as religion. If we gather behind him and wipe out religion on his terms, as Pirsig says, we’ll just wind up with more of the same. We have a climate now where serious inquiry is possible but no one's taking advantage of it. That's it. That's all I'm doing. I'm just saying, please, for the love of God, let's take advantage of it. Let's figure this one out.

Let’s focus on the reasonable, the inclusive, the honest and the supportable.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt


(31-08-2011 03:33 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(30-08-2011 04:28 PM)Ghost Wrote:  In my time here, I have, more than once, been called a religious apologist and even an outright Theist.

Re Dawkins and Scientism.I agree with you that there are great dangers in society --that are not directly linked to religion.
Corporate greed, a lunatic consumerism fed by a burgeoning servile population are two instances that come to mind.
Religion is part of the problem and in its best instances may be part of the answer.
(I'LL get howled down for that!We have has thousands of years of religion and it is part of our enculturization (memes) like it or not.
If we have taken billions of years to evolve to our present crazy state it is foolhardy to think that scientism will rectify things in the short term.
TRue, Dawkins is very clever ;he is also very egocentric. I have a letter from the late great atheist mentor Antony Flew; I can assure you he is no fan of the former.
There is nothing wrong with being an open ended atheist, agnostic, ponderer or whatever. Fanaticism in all its dark forms is what we need to fear.


I'm not stupid. I know where it comes from. I've got a pretty low bullshit tolerance and when people say things that I feel are outrageous, inflammatory, demagogic or, which is the worst crime, insupportable, I call them out. Often I'll say something along the line of, "religion isn't like that." I can absolutely see how one might perceive that to mean, "religion's awesome, you dumbface!"

In defending reason, I've often found myself taking religion's side (or more often looking like I was). This, to me, is odd, because while I am an ardent supporter of cultural diversity and a steadfast opponent of monoculture, I have no particular love of religion. If it went extinct, I don't think that I'd cry too hard (although as a defender of diversity, I oppose stamping it out). Furthermore, I'm a person that believes strongly that we are in the grips of some pretty dangerous ideas (unlimited growth, unlimited competition, addiction to hierarchy for example) and I would like to see them gone and I even promote their extinction. So when I find myself staring down people who simply think that religion is dangerous and that it's gotta go, I find it odd to be saying, "simmer down now."

So I started thinking, with all this defending of Theism, is there some sort of Stockholm Syndrome thing going on? Like am I getting all gung ho about religion, like, out of spite or something? After closer inspection, not only do I appear to be wearing loafers, but no, no I am not gung ho about religion.

But I still had a difficult time sorting in my head my desire to see certain ideas go and my resistance to the demonising of a people and the desire to see religion go. Turns out it's one of those things I understood previously but forgot about.

I forgot that these things that I dislike, and that you dislike, are nested in a larger system. My goal is not to change that system or to stop anyone from adhering to it. That is to say, my goal is not to wipe anything out.

I thought about Bucky.

R. Buckminster Fuller Wrote:You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

My goal is to figure out how to transition to an alternative system that can compete alongside the existing ones and flourish.

That has been my focus for a very long time. It's funny what you forget. But there are some serious difficulties associated with this goal.

The most obvious is that you have to have an alternative system. This is incredibly problematic. First, one must fully understand the existing system and its problems so that an alternative can be made without the same problems. My boy Pirsig says:
Quote:But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.
— Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and The Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance)

This is why I always harp on going deeper than religion. I'm not trying to say religion is fine. But in the grand scheme, who gives a shit what it’s done? Are we trying to punish them for past ills or are we looking to the future? I'm just saying that if we focus on punishing religion and we manage to destroy it but leave the reasons for its existence intact, simply because we refused to look within our own selves, we accomplish nothing.

The second difficulty is that you can't just create a culture from scratch. Cultures evolve. So creating an alternative requires either incredible luck, or engineering. This is why memes are so fascinating to me. Understanding memes means understanding cultural engineering means being able to engineer an alternative.

The next problem is the transition. There's all kinds of problems with that one. To leave a flawed but predictable system for an untested one is terrifying for many reasons. I won't get too deep into this one, but it's problematic.

Then there's competition and flourishing. We can't know what's adaptive until it's adaptive but we do know what failed previously. To date, that's pretty much every single other system. The current system is vicious. It's hard to come up with something that can actually compete with it.

All of this is to say that my many objections are not based on a love of religion. I believe in +/- rating. You take the good and subtract the bad and if it's + then it's good and if it's - then it aint. Religion has positives, but it has a -rating as far as I'm concerned. My objections are based on what I see as a missed opportunity.

People are saying so vocally today that we need to use reason. We need to look seriously at problems and not shy away. But when I see people firing petty and spiteful attacks at religion I just gotta say something because that's not what we're talking about it's just more of the same and more of the same we do not need. The problem isn't religion. It goes way deeper than that. Way deeper. It’s in all of us right now, me included, and if we don’t recognise that then we’re doomed. So when I see brilliant men like Dawkins, who has the capacity to go deep, but settles for snide comments about religion, I go nuts. He’s just spouting outrageous, inflammatory, demagogic and insupportable crap. He has within him the same source code as religion. If we gather behind him and wipe out religion on his terms, as Pirsig says, we’ll just wind up with more of the same. We have a climate now where serious inquiry is possible but no one's taking advantage of it. That's it. That's all I'm doing. I'm just saying, please, for the love of God, let's take advantage of it. Let's figure this one out.

Let’s focus on the reasonable, the inclusive, the honest and the supportable.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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31-08-2011, 03:47 PM
RE: Bucky
Hey, Mr. Woof.

Quote:Fanaticism in all its dark forms is what we need to fear.

Amen, brother. Amen.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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31-08-2011, 06:13 PM
RE: Bucky
Mr Woof could you please fix your quotes? Kinda hard for me to read your reply. Sorry if I bother.

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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01-09-2011, 12:03 AM
RE: Bucky
(31-08-2011 06:13 PM)Efrx86 Wrote:  Mr Woof could you please fix your quotes? Kinda hard for me to read your reply. Sorry if I bother.
Sorry, I am a bit new to these forums, will try and do better re quotes.Wink
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