The Wedge Strategy
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27-07-2014, 12:15 AM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2014 03:32 PM by thespiritualanarchist.)
The Wedge Strategy
Please Join My Wedge Strategy Against Fundamentalism


There is a war going on between religious nuts and the rest of us. And in my research I came across the new strategy of the religious right in something called The Wedge Document.

Now most of you may already know what this is.

But for those of you who don't here is the context for this post.


Quote:The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Institute, the hub of the intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Institute manifesto known as the Wedge Document,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and "reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions."[2]
Wedge strategy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To me this is a brilliant idea. And I doubt it was thought up by a Christian. But that is just my bias.

I would like to support the idea that the wedge strategy wasn't invented by Christians by pointing out that Christians rarely have come up with their own ideas. And that the Discovery Institute is a Think Tank so it was designed around greed and politics. That is they hired a public relations firm to clean up the clown fest called creationism. So they realized they were not smart enough to bs people and hired somebody that could.

After reading how they intended to implement The Wedge Strategy I realized that we as Atheists can also use this strategy to our advantage.

Quote:The wedge metaphor is attributed to Phillip E. Johnson and depicts a metal wedge splitting a log to represent an aggressive public relations program to create an opening for the supernatural in the public's understanding of science.[5]

This was the essence of the strategy and we can use it as well. In fact I have already began implementing this my own Wedge Strategy .

The idea of an Atheist Wedge Strategy is simple. It is based in part on the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

So I have begun to make friends with Universalist on the Evangelical Universalist website. And I also belong to the Progressive Christian Forums on John Shelby Spong website.

Now don't get me wrong I am not going over there posing as a Theist. I am doing the same thing on their sites as I am doing on this one. Only on the Thinking Atheist and other Atheists websites I already agree with over 90% of what you say. So since I am not trying trying to be a wedge against Atheism I am more than willing to point this out.
I do love debating the 5% or whatever it is on the things I disagree on. And I am trying to strengthen the Spiritual Atheist movement. But I am up front on all of this from the beginning. And I do align myself with Atheism by referring to myself as a Spiritual Atheist.

So let me be clear about the first part of my Wedge Strategy.

I have noticed two things.

1. Progressive Christians websites are full of Atheist and Recovering Christians
2. Universalist are very open to getting rid of Hell as a concept or at the very least divorcing their understanding of Salvation from Hell

And of course the majority of people in both movements despise the Religious Right.

So to me by supporting their communities I can weaken fundamentalism and thereby the religious right. Once I get my book published I am going to work on a company called Heretics Tshirts.

I will have shirts that say things like "Proud to be a Heretic" or Jesus was a Heretic.

I have many more ideas and I would like to hear yours. That is why I am posting this thread.

My Alliance With Atheists and Why I Came Up With The Wedge Strategy

Ok I do have some views on Reality and Philosophy that make a lot of Atheists uncomfortable.

But Atheism is like anything else. There are closed minded people and open minded people of all kinds including both Atheists and Theists.

And of these people some are hostile to certain ideas or thoughts and some are hostile to me because they think I am my thoughts.

Some Atheist are under the false assumption that any one that uses the word "God" is a Theist. Now as an Atheist I find this a little insulting.

But I know I must take some of the responsibility not only for using words like "God" in a completely different way then Theists ever intended but also because as a Spiritual Atheist I have some times been a bit of a traitor to the cause.

This is a little bit embarrassing but sometimes when I am on a Christian message board and backed into a corner I say things like look I am not an Atheist.

But in my defense I only go on Progressive Christian boards and I am only saying that I am not an Atheist in the ironic way that a Pantheist, Agnostic , or Ignostic would use.

Also when pressed on these message boards I make clear that I am not any type of Christian ...Progressive or otherwise. I also tend to mock Theologians and Theology alot on these boards so give me credit where credit is due.

So why do I go on these Christian message boards at all? Well there are a few selfish reasons like promoting my book or researching for the book I am writing to be more accurate since I have nothing finished and I am not published yet.

But I have another more subtle reason that is my nature to sting horses or in this case sheep. You see Socrates is my idol. Also having Buddha as a teacher I do have compassion for their suffering.

So my motives are somewhere between being a Philosopher and a Buddha.

Which brings me to my true alliance. When asked about my view point I often refer to my Pantheism or ideas about Reincarnation. But this does not align me with anyone. Heck was I once accused of being a Gnostic which was an offshoot of Christianity. Not only did I deny this but I pointed out the cult aspect of Gnosticism and what I disagreed with them about.

So where is my alliance? To Atheism. Of course I am never satisfied with specifying exactly where I stand. So when I tell people I am an Anarchist and they try to put me in a box reserved for lunatics or fools I specify that I am a Spiritual Anarchist.

In fact Spiritual Anarchist is one of my most used names or handles in chat and on message boards. But to me Spiritual Anarchism is the combination of Spiritual Atheism and Anarchism. So because I am debating both sides on this issue I have decided to make clear that my alliance is with Atheists not Theist.

If you are willing to check out my website you will see that this is the case. Now in order to do this I have to align myself specifically with Spiritual Atheism and not just any atheists. But given my views I could have gone either way.

So to sum up as a Spiritual Atheist I have many advantages that allow me to both fly under the radar when I use this strategy ...

...and help other Atheists in implementing a Wedge Strategy for Atheists.

The combination of hypocrisy and closed mindedness along with substituting manipulation for reasoning can bring out hostility in me. Facepalm
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27-07-2014, 04:29 AM
RE: The Wedge Strategy
If this thread is asking people for ideas then you may want to shorten the OP - it's interesting (some of which I agree with and some of which I don't), but if you wanted to ask for ideas then say so earlier in the essay...Wink


"Name me a moral statement made or moral action performed that could not have been made or done, by a non-believer..." - Christopher Hitchens



My youtube musings: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfFoxbz...UVi1pf4B5g
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27-07-2014, 03:19 PM
RE: The Wedge Strategy
Quote:RE: The Wedge Strategy
If this thread is asking people for ideas then you may want to shorten the OP - it's interesting (some of which I agree with and some of which I don't), but if you wanted to ask for ideas then say so earlier in the essay.

Thank you for that suggestion. I am going to work on an edit now

The combination of hypocrisy and closed mindedness along with substituting manipulation for reasoning can bring out hostility in me. Facepalm
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28-07-2014, 10:44 AM
RE: The Wedge Strategy
A proggresive Christian still believes in centuries old fairy tales. An acceptance of reality and an end to religion should be the end game.
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28-07-2014, 12:27 PM
RE: The Wedge Strategy
(28-07-2014 10:44 AM)Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:  A proggresive Christian still believes in centuries old fairy tales. An acceptance of reality and an end to religion should be the end game.

I agree with this by and large, although I'd be happier with an outcome where fundamentalists weren't taken seriously and had a good chance to succeed than an outcome with no religion with a smaller chance to succeed.

Progressive Christians might say things that I find silly, annoying, or sometimes even cringe-worthy, but they tend not to say anything that makes me not like them as a person. Fundies have a way of opening their mouth in such that all I can see is hatred and ignorance.
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28-07-2014, 08:11 PM (This post was last modified: 28-07-2014 08:17 PM by thespiritualanarchist.)
RE: The Wedge Strategy
Quote:Fodder_From_The_Truth Wrote:
A progressive Christian still believes in centuries old fairy tales. An acceptance of reality and an end to religion should be the end game.

I agree with this by and large, although I'd be happier with an outcome where fundamentalists weren't taken seriously and had a good chance to succeed than an outcome with no religion with a smaller chance to succeed.

Progressive Christians might say things that I find silly, annoying, or sometimes even cringe-worthy, but they tend not to say anything that makes me not like them as a person. Fundies have a way of opening their mouth in such that all I can see is hatred and ignorance.

This is exactly what I am getting at. The Wedge Strategy for Atheists does two things

1. It strengthens the Progressive Christians, Universalist, Heretics,etc....thereby it weakens the Fundamentalist movement
2.It more successfully plants the seed of doubt by exposing more Progressive Christians to the skills of Skepticism and Free Thinking which will lead to more Agnostics/Atheists

A lot of these Progressives feel more alienated then us Atheists because they are not accepted by either side

If we start a movement to join their groups and and share what we have in common without being ahole to them in anyway it will give us good PR

I know most Atheists like being seen as badass and some are actually badass.

But i think a lot of Atheists like myself wouldn't mind seeing Atheism become a little more mainstream and Fundamentalist lose more and more power because of it.

I got a hardcore Catholic Neighbor. If you start a religious conversation with her then she will sound like a religious nut. She probably vote based on her religion but I am certain that she is not an activist. To my knowledge she has not done one thing to support the religious right either by money or by volunteering or by protesting.

To me this means that even the most nut case type religious person is in no way politically active as a general rule. So the only threat to us are the extreme extremist of the religious right.

Over the years I have managed to neutralize many people like her by getting better and better at explaining the civil rights of nonbelievers or other religions. When people like her ask if I believe in God I say yes without going into detail about God not being a person. And I make no attempt to hide that I am Buddhist and I do not think that Jesus is God and I do not believe in Hell.

I then demonstrate by being. That is I just be myself as they get to know me. They will then see that I have morals or that I am compassionate. And I will argue any thing that will give us an edge.

An example ...

...she was taught that life begins at conception. She demanded that I look up what a fetus looks like at 2 months. This was all about her views on abortion. I told her that I agreed that there should be a limit but I didn't know where to draw the line. My point is usually these arguments get emotional and heated and do not end up good.

But I asked her point blank if she really thought that an egg had a soul. I told her point blank that I did not believe that fertilizing an egg made a soul. When she asked me when the soul entered the body I told her I had no idea. In other words I worked with her to make her see that this issue could not be settled by religion.

I do this all the time with the most devout religious people on any and every subject that bothers them. I do hit and runs where I just make a comment and leave it up to them to come to me to discuss things. I push them to think it was their idea to bring up religion then once the conversation starts I make my best point and drop it. I do this to tease them into confronting me. I am neutralizing their tactic of saying I always bring it up or I wont drop it etc.

I have a thousand tactics to make these people question and think. But it is exhausting. That is why I came up with the Atheist Wedge Strategy. It is much easier to use my tactics on Progressives than Religious Nuts. And when I am confronted by Religious Nuts I feel much stronger in taking them on.

The combination of hypocrisy and closed mindedness along with substituting manipulation for reasoning can bring out hostility in me. Facepalm
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28-07-2014, 08:27 PM
RE: The Wedge Strategy
Watch this Nova documentary on the 2005 Dover evolution trial.

It not only references the wedge strategy, but it interviews the guy (a senior lawyer) who thought it up. Apparently, though, this lawyer is not up on his constitutional law and the Establishment Clause.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HZzGXnYL5I

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28-07-2014, 09:02 PM
RE: The Wedge Strategy
Quote:A progressive Christian still believes in centuries old fairy tales. An acceptance of reality and an end to religion should be the end game.

Yes it should still be the end game. Definitely. The goal hasn't changed. The end of all man made religion. But I am using the military strategies of

1. Choose your battles
2. Always strike at the weakest link
3. Divide and conquer (Wedge Strategy)
4. The enemies of my enemy are my friends

In many military strategies soldiers are warned that they can win the battle and still lose the war. This why the first part of strategy 1. Choose your battles is so important...

The enemy is fundamentalism. The religious nuts are the allies of the fundamentalist. So religious nuts need to be neutralized. I already explained how I do this. Let me be clear on this. I used my religious nut neighbor as an example of what I do. Let me clarify this.

My Catholic Neighbor loves the Pope. To me this is dangerous. She comes to me often complaining about the world being Evil and people being selfish and apathetic.

I see this as a potential for political activism. So I neutralize it.

1. I point out how the apathy comes about
2. I point out corruption is based on power and greed which is most prevalent in politics
3. I suggest spiritual alternatives to political activism (I don't mention political activism when I do this)

How do I this? Mental Judo. I point out that there is too much Morality.

Of course she goes off. But I then point out what I mean is there is too much Moralism based on Ego and Judgment.

See to me Judging is the Achilles heal of religious nuts. Jesus said judge not. So I use this against them all the time. But to really put this whole thing to rest I point out that it is not technology that has made man evil any more than it is money that makes man evil.

By wording it this way I make her confront her fear that money is the root of all evil. If that was the case what would that make charity? Also I am showing the conflict between that and her belief that technology is the root.

I do this with the shovel analogy.

If I give you a shovel to dig and build a beautiful garden you could still choose to use this shovel to kill your wife and bury her to collect the insurance. If you do this it is you that is evil. The shovel is still a potential gardening tool. Only a sick mind would use it for murder.

I point out to her when she says that people hide behind technology like the net because they are apathetic and do not want to deal with people as they are that she has a point.

But I make clear that this is a reaction to judging people. Any outlet that a human being does in public is harshly judged. If you drink your an alcoholic if you hit on women to get them in bed your a pig etc What I was hinting at was that a Christian world makes everything a sin and turns people viscous and righteous and judgmental. And this can lead people to want to withdrawal from society. So when the technology becomes available it will create the desire to hide and indulge in vices privately where you can not be judged.

If you are horny and lonely where do you go? A strip club or internet porn? Well most men would say strip club. But even that is judgement. The implication is you are not man enough to go see a real woman if you don't go. But what if you do? Then judgement will get you from both sides. The righteous will say you are a pig. Then pigs will ask why you are not man enough to go to a bar to get laid.

Now I know that most men are out there looking for real women and very few are so addicted to porn that they would avoid all human contact. But I was explaining to my neighbor why the men that do get addicted to the net are that way, And I was using porn as an example. And I was blaming judgmental and righteous people.

She didn't agree with me of course. But I planted the seeds. The seed I was trying to plant was the only good Christian is a politically neutral Christian as far as activism goes. Stay out of other peoples lives with your judgement or you are part of the problem.

I do this all the time to every Christian I know with any topic they bring up. I am careful not to attack the religion but just the religious behavior. That is I don't go into to detail about the Inquisitions or blame the Puritans for what we are discussing about problems in our culture. I attack at the root and point out how the self righteous and the judgmental ruin human connection and shutdown human kindness leading to apathy and corruption of the self.

So my point is that I have not given up on the fight to neutralize religious nuts. I am simply developing a strategy to bring us more allies to our war.

1. Neutralize Religious Nuts (As Political Activists)
2. Ally With Progressives and convert them to our side in the war
3. End Fundamentalism by cutting off all support from the mainstream

The best way to put out a fire is to take away the oxygen

The combination of hypocrisy and closed mindedness along with substituting manipulation for reasoning can bring out hostility in me. Facepalm
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28-07-2014, 10:30 PM (This post was last modified: 28-07-2014 10:40 PM by thespiritualanarchist.)
RE: The Wedge Strategy
Quote:The Wedge: A Progress Report

Phillip E. Johnson
Berkeley, California, April 16, 2001

Approximately ten years ago, I formulated the Wedge strategy with two related goals. The first was to legitimatize the topic of intelligent design, and hence the critique of Darwinism and its basis in naturalistic philosophy, within the mainstream intellectual community. The second was to make the critique of naturalism the central focus of discussion in the religious world, replacing the deadlocked debate over the Genesis chronology which had enabled the Darwinists to employ the "Inherit the Wind stereotype" so effectively.

The goals are intertwined because the approach which is capable of challenging the dominant philosophy in the secular world will also tend to attract the most interest in the religious world. Likewise, the secular world finds it fairly easy to ignore a view which it can categorize as marginal in the religious world, but very difficult to ignore a view which has widespread and growing public support. I believe that getting the right issues on the table for unprejudiced discussion is the all-important step.

Once that is accomplished, it will be impossible to conceal for long that Darwinism is based on naturalistic philosophy rather than on scientific testing, and that unprejudiced evaluation of the scientific evidence points to the existence of intelligent causes in biology.

I optimistically predicted at the beginning that both goals would be achieved by the start of the new millennium. That could be dated either at January 1, 2000 or, to give a bit of wriggle room, a year later. I was not ready to declare success on either of those dates, although I knew we were very close.

The recent front page stories in the Sunday Los Angeles Times (March 25) and the Sunday New York Times (April 8), in the context of other developments, meet the criteria for success I have specified.

One key development has been the publication of so many excellent articles and books written or edited by Wedge participants. The books by Michael Behe, William Dembski, and Jonathan Wells are already well known, and others just as important are on the way.

Another key development has been the increasingly cordial and mutually respectful relations among the differing factions of those who advocate creation, or who merely oppose the dominant naturalistic system of thought control. Indeed, my own personal friendships cut right across the traditional divisions. Everyone who wants to encourage open-minded critical thinking about fundamental issues is our ally; only those who want to keep minds closed or confused are adversaries.

Ok below is my way of taking over this strategy First I cut and pasted the key points from the Discovery Institutes Wedge Strategy then below each strategy I explain how I will adapt the strategy to Atheists Wedge Strategy

Atheist Wedge Strategy

1. legitimatize the topic

I want to legitimize the topic of Metaphysics and the subjects of God,Free Will, and the Soul by getting Atheists to reject Theologies right to define Metaphysical Topics

No doubt most Atheists will do their best to show that these Metaphysical topics hold no weight. That is fine with me but my wedge strategy here is to force Theologians out of the debate.

As many Atheists on here have pointed out to me there are many Atheists who are Philosophers so Atheism is not in principle opposed to the discussion of Metaphysical questions.


2. critique of naturalism

Here the game get's more subtle. My goal is to define Metaphysical Naturalism in a way that lets me do Metaphysics without inviting in Theology. The idea is to expand Naturalism to include Quantum Physics. The idea here is to throw the dog a bone. Just imagine a debate between me and someone like Dembski or Michael Behe..

Michael Behe we need to get rid of the materialist world view and look to see if there is something called God and we need to find out if we have souls and if we do what this means to society as a whole

Me I couldn't agree with you more. I have good news for you! We no longer need the idea of the Supernatural to answer these Metaphysical questions. Quantum Physics has eliminated both a need to stick to materialism and any need to appeal to supernatural explanations! Thanks to QM we might find out that we do indeed have souls but it will be evidence for a physical soul not a supernatural one.

3. Very difficult to ignore a view which has widespread and growing public support

By using this strategy Atheists will be seen as the open minded or the neutral party. When we bring science into it we will have much more hold on the public opinion on what is accepted as science.

4. increasingly cordial and mutually respectful relations among the differing factions of those who advocate creation, or who merely oppose the dominant naturalistic system of thought control

I am working very hard on fighting Scientism which is still in the dark ages of materialism. This makes me a very hard opponent to debate from a theologians point of view. I accept all of their reasonable arguments against materialism while at the same time rejecting the supernatural explanations.

I am also working hard on bringing Progressive Christians as our allies and neutralizing Religious Nuts.


5.getting the right issues on the table for unprejudiced discussion is the all-important step.

This is my biggest strength. I put the Metaphysical question of God on the table for Atheists to dissect. The Philosophers God of Einstein makes Theologians shudder. This is where I feel Dawkins failed us. He blew off the Philosophers God in the debates as a non topic. I will make this the only possible God Concept worth discussing.

Every time a Theologian brings the Philosophers God to the table in order to get their foot in the door I will drive the point home that this the only idea that science can examine and is why it fascinated people like Einstein so much. I will do the same with the Metaphysical concept of the Soul. The Soul is Physical next...

And when Free Will is brought up I will decimate anyone Theists or Atheists that tries to make this a strictly Moral Question. This will cut them at the knees. No Moral questions then no Bible or Personal God. End of story. Check and Mate.

6.Darwinism is based on naturalistic philosophy rather than on scientific testing, and that unprejudiced evaluation of the scientific evidence points to the existence of intelligent causes in biology''

This will be a bit of a challenge. I support Evolution I tear apart guided Evolution. I think the weakest link here is the Design argument. But I do not accept that there was no guidance just that there was no "person" to guide Evolution.

To me the Universe is aware and you can see this in Evolution. So the ID movement gets a point for being right on this one. But they are still wrong on design.

Why? Because I am replacing the guidance system with Awareness not intelligence. Right now Evolution supports an AI version of guidance. Artificial Intelligence in DNA needs no awareness.

1. Version one DNA AI Enhanced (No Awareness)
2. Version 2 DNA AI Enhanced (Minimum Awareness)

Version 2 has the possibility of awareness increasing as life gets more complex.

But as Dawkins and other Atheists point out this does not support let alone prove a Theistic God. I think my strength here is that I will bring back the Philosophers God of Einstein. Again many Atheists will debate me saying even that is not necessary.

But some Atheists will get my point. And by dividing us over this issue it shows that we are considering the idea of God seriously. If the Atheists that do not believe that any type of God is possible win then the game is over for religion. If the Atheists that support Einsteins God win then God is a Phenomena of the Physical Universe and we still win.

7.front page stories in the Sunday Los Angeles Times (March 25) and the Sunday New York Times (April 8), in the context of other developments, meet the criteria for success

If I am successful with my strategy then Atheism will get a lot more coverage and a lot more good press than usual.

8.One key development has been the publication of so many excellent articles and books written or edited by Wedge participants

I am starting this strategy by putting where my mouth is by writing the first book in this movement. I believe that Sam Harris will have a book out in September that will also advance our movement by bringing Spiritual Atheism to the mainstream

The combination of hypocrisy and closed mindedness along with substituting manipulation for reasoning can bring out hostility in me. Facepalm
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