KC, you're a twit.
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20-11-2012, 03:46 AM (This post was last modified: 20-11-2012 04:20 AM by cufflink.)
RE: KC, you're a twit.
The current unpleasantness has made me think about a few things.

First, when do you neg someone? Is it for their behavior, or for their ideas, or for how they think? Or for all three? I was always under the impression it was mainly for behavior: you neg someone for being a dick. But what about ideas? I have no problem negging (man, that’s an ugly word!) a Holocaust denier, even if he spouts his poison politely. And what about someone who insists, politely but resolutely, that two and two is thirty-seven? Should I neg him or her for irrationality, for being a loon? Or is that laughable but not neg-worthy? It’s not clear to me.

The part of this that’s relevant to the present situation is whether it’s appropriate here to neg a theist for being irrational. If someone puts faith before reason in matters of theology, do they deserve a neg because of that? This case is clearer to me: I think the answer is no. Thing is, virtually everyone here (with a couple of notable exceptions) thinks that all theism is irrational. Belief in God is ipso facto irrational! There’s no valid, rational justification for it. But if such a belief deserves a neg, then every single theist who joins TTA should automatically be negged for irrationality, not just KC. Do we want that? We say we welcome everyone—atheists, agnostics, deists, theists, Satanists, Pastafarians . . . Negging every theist wouldn’t be very hospitable, would it.

Not only that, but classifying people as rational or irrational is simplistic. It’s an uncomfortable fact but nonetheless true: people compartmentalize. What Girly said above bears repeating:

GirlyMan Wrote:I work with plenty of brilliant research scientists from a variety of disciplines who still maintain their religious beliefs. But they use them to guide their moral compass, they don't view their religious beliefs as inconsistent with their daily rational work. Compartmentalization? Sure. Cognitive dissonance? Sure. But intellectually dishonest? No. Most of them realize it's cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization and know exactly what they're doing. I think KC is also well aware of this. And that's how I interpreted KC's comment "My theology could be affected by a number of reasons; however, Biblical alignment takes precedence over science, history, logic, rationale, etc." It was made in the context of things which could affect his theology, his moral compass.

I’ve met scientists like that too. A genius-level friend of mine who works on nonlinear astrodynamics and has been featured in Discover Magazine goes to church every Sunday. The author of a famous textbook on classical mechanics on my shelf adds a Hebrew religious acronym to the end of his preface. Newton was a theist. So were some other great mathematicians—Euler, Cauchy, Riemann . . . A person can be a paragon of critical thinking in the lab and think totally differently in a pew. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but it’s a fact we need to acknowledge.

All of that being said, is the animus directed towards KC really a result of his irrationality? Nah. It’s due to his position here in relation to who he is theologically.

You’ve gotta admit we have an odd situation at TTA: the single most esteemed individual on the board (based on rep—I realize it’s a horse race between KC and Erx, but KC is currently ahead by a nose) is a theist, and not just a theist but a Calvinist. Yet he’s not only honored but even serves as a moderator. That’s irksome to some, and it’s not hard to see why. Many have come here to escape the unreason and oppression that KC’s religious beliefs seem to represent. And yet he’s the one who gets the most props. That seems, well, disordered.

But think about it. What exactly is it about KC’s beliefs that's so threatening? The key question has got to be, How do his beliefs affect the way he relates to other people? Because you are what you do, not what you think. On this measure, it’s hard to deny that KC comes out damn well. I don’t need to recount his good qualities—his friendliness, helpfulness, politeness, humor, lack of preaching, support of gay people, support of science, . . . He’s the last person to try to impose his beliefs on anyone. And he has the good sense to realize that atheists are a much cooler group to hang with than churchy types. Big Grin I’ve had some great discussions with him both publicly and privately, although not about his theology. It’s possible to be friends with someone in a situation of mutual respect even if one person thinks the other’s theology is not only wacky but reprehensible. It’s actions that count, not beliefs.

So I for one have no problem with a theist being a major TTA Big Shot. Actually, I think it’s kinda nice. Smile

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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20-11-2012, 06:08 AM
RE: KC, you're a twit.
(19-11-2012 10:11 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  ...minding my own business, someone picks a fight, and when I start to defend myself, I get told to stop fighting.


Like I said, it's a testosterone thing. Or maybe a general hormonal thing, given how young girls fight these days. (some sort of evolution happening here?)

You feel slighted, or "attacked", you have to bite back.

That is not a rational stance, it's hormonal. Rationally, you'd sit back for some time since there is no actual danger, and you'd evaluate the seriousness of the situation, the various aspects of the topic, and whether "fighting" serves any purpose, etc. This is NOT a fight or flight situation, it's not even the real world.

Meanwhile, your mom tells you to stop fighting or you get no dinner. So you go sulk, contemplate how unfair the world is...

It is also a general forum thing. Happens in all forums periodically, even very tightly moderated ones have these explosions. It's happened here before, and it will happen again. People's egos get involved and feel slighted. Hormones rage and people attack each other. It's the human condition, and it's not rational, no matter who is "right" or "wrong".

I hope that rationality wins here and everyone goes back to business as usual. I hate to see good contributing members opting out over such things.

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20-11-2012, 07:14 AM
RE: KC, you're a twit.
(19-11-2012 10:11 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  Maybe I just have blinders on, I don't know, but I've never seen anyone else on the forum treated like this so consistently.
Plenty of people come to my mind. Janus VI, The Theist, Egor, TrainWreck, etc.

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20-11-2012, 07:20 AM
RE: KC, you're a twit.
Y U go "raging hormones," I go GirlyMan? With the Trojan Man voice even?

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20-11-2012, 07:57 AM
RE: KC, you're a twit.
(20-11-2012 03:40 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  
(19-11-2012 01:45 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I suddenly feel like watching Iron Man...

I am NOT HAPPY with the lack of a Gwyneth Paltrow action figure. Undecided


By 'action figure' I would guess you mean life-size, anatomically-correct doll?

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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20-11-2012, 08:11 AM
RE: KC, you're a twit.
(20-11-2012 07:57 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(20-11-2012 03:40 AM)houseofcantor Wrote:  I am NOT HAPPY with the lack of a Gwyneth Paltrow action figure. Undecided


By 'action figure' I would guess you mean life-size, anatomically-correct doll?
Big Grin
No. That would be creepy. Tongue

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20-11-2012, 09:17 AM (This post was last modified: 20-11-2012 09:23 AM by Logica Humano.)
RE: KC, you're a twit.
(20-11-2012 03:46 AM)cufflink Wrote:  The current unpleasantness has made me think about a few things.

First, when do you neg someone? Is it for their behavior, or for their ideas, or for how they think? Or for all three? I was always under the impression it was mainly for behavior: you neg someone for being a dick. But what about ideas? I have no problem negging (man, that’s an ugly word!) a Holocaust denier, even if he spouts his poison politely. And what about someone who insists, politely but resolutely, that two and two is thirty-seven? Should I neg him or her for irrationality, for being a loon? Or is that laughable but not neg-worthy? It’s not clear to me.

The part of this that’s relevant to the present situation is whether it’s appropriate here to neg a theist for being irrational. If someone puts faith before reason in matters of theology, do they deserve a neg because of that? This case is clearer to me: I think the answer is no. Thing is, virtually everyone here (with a couple of notable exceptions) thinks that all theism is irrational. Belief in God is ipso facto irrational! There’s no valid, rational justification for it. But if such a belief deserves a neg, then every single theist who joins TTA should automatically be negged for irrationality, not just KC. Do we want that? We say we welcome everyone—atheists, agnostics, deists, theists, Satanists, Pastafarians . . . Negging every theist wouldn’t be very hospitable, would it.

Not only that, but classifying people as rational or irrational is simplistic. It’s an uncomfortable fact but nonetheless true: people compartmentalize. What Girly said above bears repeating:

GirlyMan Wrote:I work with plenty of brilliant research scientists from a variety of disciplines who still maintain their religious beliefs. But they use them to guide their moral compass, they don't view their religious beliefs as inconsistent with their daily rational work. Compartmentalization? Sure. Cognitive dissonance? Sure. But intellectually dishonest? No. Most of them realize it's cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization and know exactly what they're doing. I think KC is also well aware of this. And that's how I interpreted KC's comment "My theology could be affected by a number of reasons; however, Biblical alignment takes precedence over science, history, logic, rationale, etc." It was made in the context of things which could affect his theology, his moral compass.

I’ve met scientists like that too. A genius-level friend of mine who works on nonlinear astrodynamics and has been featured in Discover Magazine goes to church every Sunday. The author of a famous textbook on classical mechanics on my shelf adds a Hebrew religious acronym to the end of his preface. Newton was a theist. So were some other great mathematicians—Euler, Cauchy, Riemann . . . A person can be a paragon of critical thinking in the lab and think totally differently in a pew. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but it’s a fact we need to acknowledge.

All of that being said, is the animus directed towards KC really a result of his irrationality? Nah. It’s due to his position here in relation to who he is theologically.

You’ve gotta admit we have an odd situation at TTA: the single most esteemed individual on the board (based on rep—I realize it’s a horse race between KC and Erx, but KC is currently ahead by a nose) is a theist, and not just a theist but a Calvinist. Yet he’s not only honored but even serves as a moderator. That’s irksome to some, and it’s not hard to see why. Many have come here to escape the unreason and oppression that KC’s religious beliefs seem to represent. And yet he’s the one who gets the most props. That seems, well, disordered.

But think about it. What exactly is it about KC’s beliefs that's so threatening? The key question has got to be, How do his beliefs affect the way he relates to other people? Because you are what you do, not what you think. On this measure, it’s hard to deny that KC comes out damn well. I don’t need to recount his good qualities—his friendliness, helpfulness, politeness, humor, lack of preaching, support of gay people, support of science, . . . He’s the last person to try to impose his beliefs on anyone. And he has the good sense to realize that atheists are a much cooler group to hang with than churchy types. Big Grin I’ve had some great discussions with him both publicly and privately, although not about his theology. It’s possible to be friends with someone in a situation of mutual respect even if one person thinks the other’s theology is not only wacky but reprehensible. It’s actions that count, not beliefs.

So I for one have no problem with a theist being a major TTA Big Shot. Actually, I think it’s kinda nice. Smile
I don't want to ever see you criticize, laugh at, or make fun of anyone for what they think or believe then. No one. I see what is going on here. The only reason you feel a need to protect him is because many members know him on a far more personal level. Eric Hovind? I can guarantee that most of you have never even met the man, but you continue to make fun of him. I recall the Reason Rally, everybody continued to call him a retard and that he was stupid. Irrational. So, when someone does the same to Kingschosen, how is it any different? You know him? So what? Does that excuse the same qualities he shares concerning theology with Eric Hovind? Sure, KC may accept evolution, but that is only because he is not constrained by the quality of benevolence. He, himself, has said that the Bible takes a much more important role when concerning theology.

Kingschosen may be smarter and more educated than Eric Hovind, but he is still theologically similar. Does that disqualify his moderation position? No. Does that separate him from the majority of members? Yes. Does that frustrate me? Yes. It is like creating a Liberal website and putting a Conservative up as a moderator. It would not be recieved to well. I see KC's potential as a rational, logical, thoughtful debater when it comes to many things. But theology, the subject this forum is centered around, no. Hell no.

I am convinced that a good portion of the reps on KC's wall are simply because many atheists feel apologetic. Here is a Christian who we have taken time to know, and we see that he, as a person, is not so bad. Yet if another theist, someone we do not exert the energy to meet and know, starts to speak, we quickly shut him down.

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20-11-2012, 09:27 AM
RE: KC, you're a twit.
Or it could be that KC is a member here while Hovind is not. Everyone is entitled to say whatever they damn well please about whoever or whatever they want, but starting a thread about a member for the sole purpose of insulting them is childish. Starting a thread doing the same for Hovind would be too, but Hovind is not going to come here to debate. KC may be a theist, but he has stuck around to debate.

And your comparison of starting a liberal website and putting up a conservative moderator is absurd. A) I would enjoy that. B) They are not the same thing. C) Is part of the point not to have a debate?

So what the website is called TheThinkingAtheist and there is a theist who is a moderator. Why the hell does that bother anyone? I would be okay with a fundy christian being a moderator as long as they didn't abuse their power and contributed to discussion and debate. Who gives a rats ass if I disagree with them theologically? I (and I suspect many others) don't participate in the forums as a means by which to eliminate religion from the face of the Earth. I use it to connect with other people and discuss matters related to religion, but also many other topics. If I want to see religion go down the drain (and I do), I can't do it via this forum. If that is what you want, organize a secular group and meet with people face to face and discuss ways to get your message out. Do what Seth does and develop a podcast but do it like the Atheist Experience and go after the theologians. If you have a problem with Hovind and Ham, write them emails, organize protests against them, write about them and how their arguments fail.

But nowhere in there would insulting them be useful in discrediting them.

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20-11-2012, 09:28 AM
RE: KC, you're a twit.
(20-11-2012 09:17 AM)Logica Humano Wrote:  ...
I am convinced that a good portion of the reps on KC's wall are simply because many atheists feel apologetic.
...

Dude, for the record... I repped him for two reasons:
1) The time and effort he puts into being part of the Welcoming Committee for new members. Whatever the motive in doing this, it is important and necessary.
2) The upside down dogs used to diffuse tension. That was clever.

Please don't project. Thanks.

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20-11-2012, 09:32 AM
RE: KC, you're a twit.
I've watched a lot of debates that Hitchens has been involved in. I have never seen him personally insult someone during a debate. The man has written books discrediting mother Theresa and Henry Kissinger (I have not yet gotten around to reading those) and God is not Great is a direct attack on religion. And yet still, he refrains from personal insults as a means by which to show their flaws and the weaknesses in their arguments.

Why?

Because it is pointless and gets you nowhere. It lands neither side any points and makes you sound like an arrogant child trying out a new toy.

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