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  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    G'day GeoffreyTransom, Doesn't this, "...the odds seem good that there are entities out there that are sufficiently advanced and powerful as to be 'as gods' to us humans..." merely beg the next question? Who or what created these entities, that perhaps created "us humans"?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    G'day JD, Do you really consider it "reasonable" to believe that your concept of a "free society" is "going [to go] viral" in your lifetime?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Speaking of "amazing arguments", what was it, 'in the beginning', that had no cause, according to Atheists?
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Perhaps I wasn't clear, but, do you think I was saying you called me a "mass murderer?" Really, I'm seriously asking, since that *inference* (Allen=mass murder[er]) was obviously made from the example argument I posted above, *not* in our previous encounter. The "believer" above didn't come out and say "Allen = mass murderer," but what other conclusion can I draw from his argument? Making such an inference is a common process within rational discussion. It was the process of making an inference that I was referring to when I said "the kind of statement you (S2) desired of me..." regarding our back-and-forth over on Paul's thread. I *inferred* a conclusion from what you said, thus I cannot "cut and paste" you making that conclusion yourself. I think I was fairly clear about that and even invited you to clarify what you meant *if* my conclusion missed the mark. I left the possibility open as to my missing the mark. So far, you declined the invitation to show me if and how my inference was unsound. Instead it seems you've become hostile toward me, considering me dishonest for making an inference even while I asked you if it was accurate. Perhaps it will help us if (if you desire to continue) if you assume "good faith" toward me, even if it means you assume that I'm a dullard, though a persistent dullard. Heck, I've been considered worse, and even on par with a mass-murderer given how some believers view us non-believers in God as traveling the road to human toward human slaughter . Picture me as a dullard who really wants to understand you (and I do), rather than becoming increasingly defensive at some imagined "ridicule," or "dishonesty" on my part.
  • GeoffreyTransom's picture
    GeoffreyTransom 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    To my way of thinking, the 'religious impulse' represents a psychological tendency to reach for easily-digestible solutions: this in turn implies a form of truncated 'investment horizon', where the 'project' is the attempt to understand how best to grasp one's place in the world. In much the same way, if I discover that an asset manager is obese or a smoker I know immediately that he is wired to short-term satisfactions - which are inappropriate for any investment methodology that has a horizon longer than a day. Some would call that 'prejudice': those who think that every new encounter should be undertaken with the mind wiped clean as a tabula rasa (even a palimpsest reeks of 'profiling'). I call it 'discrimination' because I think I know what the word means (in sensible usage). Anyway - back to the topic: Gods (shorthand for 'entities possessing apparently-marvellous powers'). In a universe as large, as old, and as interesting as the one we inhabit, it is unlikely that we are the first sentient beings to achieve our current level of technology. Given that within a generation we will probably possess the technical wherewithal to 'transcend' our meatbags, the likelihood that some set of entities has already done so is high. (This is my primary reason for having no interest in 'alien abduction' tropes: any civilisation a generation more advanced than us would have no need to pursue such primitive research methods). So from my perspective, the odds seem good that there are entities out there that are sufficiently advanced and powerful as to be 'as gods' to us humans (even in our current technological state), especially if we take 'gods' to include the old Greek/Roman/Egyptian pantheon style flawed (often mortal) 'superhuman' . BUT (you knew there was going to be a 'but', right?)... The existence of power is not a reason to bend the knee to it. Worship is ALWAYS wrong, because it is the wellspring of exculpation. Examples: it is already the case that US .mil worshippers are saying that we ought to 'forgive' the 'snap' that caused the patsy in the kill-team in Afghanistan last week to slaughter children. Likewise, nobody within the Catholic Church has advocated disinterring the Borgias and burning their corpses, as they did to Wycliff: Wycliff did nothing more than the translation of their book into the vernacular (Wikileaking the appalling contents of that ludicrous primitive Iron Age monstrosity). TL;DR: Even if 'gods' exist, nobody ought to worship them. They ought to be judged on their actions and on those alone. Also: people who have a need to believe are natural patsies.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    If you were directing this at me, you need to get your "noggin" in better working order, my friend, because this accusation, "...Allen=mass murder , the kind of statement you desired of me in the other thread...", once again, is absolutely, completely and totally absurd! Where do you get these cockamamie notions, anyway, Allen?
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    You mean to tell me you've never heard of a believer who equates dissent with an attack on their faith, and thus on their person? If they identify themselves so completely with their faith, that is likely going to be the outcome, even if it is they who broach the non-believer. That's what I'm getting at. I have encountered people like that, Suverans2, people who take great offence at the slightest hint of non-belief. How about this common argument some believers make: Atheism=godlessness Godlessness=lack of morals The lack of morals = the cause of human atrocity Stalin committed such atrocities Stalin was an atheist Allen is an atheist Now I cannot "cut and paste" any statement which directly says Allen=Stalin, or Allen=mass murder , the kind of statement you desired of me in the other thread. But, I can use my noggin to figure out I've just been equated with a mass-murderer. Can't this easily be taken as insult? Can you really not understand how this would evoke ridicule of some atheists? The person making this argument believes this. Are non-believers expected, then, to equate this with something like the sentiment, "God loves us?" Or are non-believers expected to always take a "higher" moral stance for the sake of preserving such beliefs?
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Did I miss something? Was there some ridicule going on?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    It's an amazing argument, S2, isn't it? "Everything must have a cause, therefore there must be an entity that doesn't have a cause." Not sure whether he ever did, but George Carlin could have had fun with that one.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Perhaps, Tzo, yes. The trouble is that there are, I understand, more than 4,000 religions some of which have multiple gods, so it's impossible to discuss either subject until some crisp definitions are offered. Above, I was assuming that since most readers will have some familiarity with Christianity, I could validly use for illustration some of the alleged attributes of that god. Attributes, however, fall far short of a definition in any case. What is, I hope, abundantly obvious is that (absent such a definition and proof of existence) _all_ such religions are superstitious nonsense with no roots in reality. Yes, I'd say that to believe in illogical entities is certainly a sign of an irrational mind; though not, I hope, of one beyond hope of rescue. None of this is to be confused, of course, with a sense of wonder at the awesome magnificence of the universe, nor for a moment is it intended to dampen enthusiasm for understanding it; on the contrary, rational exploration will continue to be a major purpose for mankind after government has been abolished. And I grant your point in another place that it _may_ prove impossible to obtain answers to everything inquiring minds would like to know. It is just to say that when one encounters dogma such as "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" written by some unknown author who pauses neither to define his terms nor present his evidence, one should call rubbish and hokum by their names.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Jim Davies: "...Both myths, about government and god, are totally absurd; if a person comes to his senses fully enough to abandon the first, why would he not also abandon the second?..." Allen: "...I think ridiculing someone is bad manners. It's poor communication..." Tzo: "...Aren't you conflating God and religion here just a bit?..." Me: 'Nuf said. Lest I fall into the bad mannerism of ridiculing the ridiculer, I think I'd better head off to my truckin' business. Sam
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 4 years 37 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    "Still, I'm always pulling for the pirate." Yeah, imagine the nerve of content creators wanting to be remunerated for their trouble. If you want it, just steal it. Help create a bright new tomorrow!
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 4 years 37 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    To clarify, I do agree that government actions against MegaUpload are illegitimate. But I also find comments like the guest editor's to be indicative of today's "entitlement generation", people who expect everything to be given to them for free.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Aren't you conflating God and religion here just a bit? It seems one could believe in God(s), or believe in the possibility of God(s) with subscribing to any authoritarian or over-explanatory religious doctrine. Is this the sign of an irrational mind, prone to believeing in illogical entities?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 years 37 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    Dennis: In your article (linked in your post above) you wrote: '...So rather than becoming frustrated and overwhelmed by the futility of your efforts to "fix" all these problems—which you did NOT create, why not just ignore them and focus instead on something that you actually CAN do, which is FREEING YOURSELF!...' Additionally, you listed what has become my ongoing mantra: If you want to BE free, you must do things that MAKE you free. Your website: http://dennisleewilson.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?topic=18.msg64#... has lots of good stuff and is worth the time reading. Here's an interesting video that goes to the heart of the essay. Sam
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    G'day Jim, Would you say that what you have written here, like, "who created everything that exists and who is closely interested in the conduct of each of seven billion individual humans", and the Old Nick-Devil-Lucifer crap, pertain, in any way, to the First Cause belief of the Deists?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "To ridicule, scorn, or even dissent from their view, is to reject them personally." ~ Allen Paul Bonneau's article, (and its accompanying comment string), had nothing whatsoever to do with mere "dissent", a difference of opinion, no matter how hard you have tried to make it so.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 37 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    G'day calinb, Omnes licentiam habere his quae pro se indulta sunt, renunciare. [It is a rule of the ancient law that] all persons shall have liberty to renounce those privileges which have been conferred for their benefit. Cod. 1, 3, 51 ; Id. 2, 3, 29 ; Broom, Max 699. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991) page 1086 I noticed you changed from my "member-only benefits" to "State benefits" in your reply. The first, (member-only benefits) are STATE benefits/privileges that an individual is entitled to as a "member" of the STATE, that is to say, membership is required in the group order to enjoy them. Enjoy. To have, possess, and use with satisfaction; to occupy or have benefit of. ~ Ibid. page 529 The second may, or may not, require membership in the group. An example of one of these is a "public road", which, according to their own law, is any, "...highway [or] road...for the use of the general public, and over which every person has a right to pass and to use it for all purposes of travel or transportation to which it is adapted and devoted. The proper test in determining whether road is a "public" or "private road" is use to which such roadway is put, and fact that road has been constructed at public expense is not conclusive. Kitchens v. Duffield, 83 Ohio App. 41, 76 N.E. 2d 101, 105, 38 O.O. 142." Another example is the use of FEDERAL RESERVE NOTES. One does not have to be a member of the group in order to use these, and mere use of these does not create membership. This is not, therefor, a "member-only benefit". On the other hand, if an individual, or a group, of which he is a voluntary member, borrows some of this funny munny into existence, a nexus has been created. In summation, it is, in my opinion, entirely possible to renounce "member-only" benefits/privileges. I do my utmost to avoid entanglement with the STATE, I therefor neither apply for, nor accept, plunder, in the form of benefits/privileges, from the STATE.
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 37 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "In the comments appended to what he wrote, some felt that ridicule doesn't hurt much, but I tend to agree that it probably does--if it's directed at the person holding the belief being scorned. That might well offend him, and stop him listening to us further. In any case, it's bad manners." This is the crux of my own points on Paul's article. More than once I stated unequivocally that I think ridiculing someone is bad manners. It's poor communication. The problem is, however, that many believers see themselves *as their belief*. To ridicule, scorn, or even dissent from their view, is to reject them personally. I've encountered this numerous times. Now, I see that a person isn't separable from their actions completely, and this include speech-acts. One is responsible for what one does, no one else. However, we must decide what actions are actually harmful, and where we can apply our principles, such as the NAP. The problem I have with Paul's article and some of the comments, is that many believers want to have it both ways. They want to completely identify with their belief, speak their beliefs, and yet expect to brook no response in kind, and thus be irresponsible for their actions. This becomes more absurd when the believer in question is responding to a non-believer to begin with. They want unilateral empathy for their belief, and if they completely identify themselves with that belief they seem to feel a "hurt" equal to a physical blow. Any challenge to their verbiage becomes an assault on them. I see this an attempt toward irresponsibility on their part. This type of believer is not interested in discussion, but in proselytizing, even if it means denigrating the views of the non-believer. It is the non-believer who must step up and be "kind." I cannot agree with this.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 4 years 37 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Jim and others make good points and clarify/add to the point you make. While I am not interested in religion nor government (even though the latter is both The Most Dangerous Superstition and by *nature an agency of coercion*) it can be helpful as Jim points out to understand how both religion and govt are based on superstition and where that leads. Where's the State? http://strike-the-root.com/wheres-state Here's something about AA and how Anarchic it is: AA is a truly voluntary institution. It has no rules nor regulations, no dues nor fees nor taxes, only voluntary contributions. The expenses of local AA “groups” and AA's significant worldwide services designed to provide help to alcoholics everywhere are the collective obligation of its members. AA's “Twelve Traditions,” which are the closest thing to rules, compel nothing. There are no AA authorities. Our leaders actually are our trusted servants whose only power is persuasion. Each of the multitude of local AA groups throughout the world operates autonomously. Withal, AA has proven effective at achieving its primary purpose, which is to enable its members to remain sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. No small task, which eluded the medical profession and mankind on any significant scale until AA came along in 1935. AA's 76-years of experience may one day prove instructive to the formation of a stateless society. http://www.voluntaryist.com/howibecame/windingroad.html My Winding Road to Voluntaryism By Ned Netterville
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 37 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    G'day my friend, "It probably behooves us to follow Mr. Davies' advice: save ridicule for the predators of state and show empathy for believers." ~ Samarami I may be mistaken, but that doesn't sound like Mr. Davies. That sounds more like Mr. Bonneau, to me.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 4 years 37 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Double post
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 4 years 37 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    And here's something about AA and how anarchic it is...(I only excerpted the part I am interested in) I also do not care about religion nor government for that matter. The Covenant of Unanimous Consent addresses that. I refer to it in Jim's article in link below. AA is a truly voluntary institution. It has no rules nor regulations, no dues nor fees nor taxes, only voluntary contributions. The expenses of local AA “groups” and AA's significant worldwide services designed to provide help to alcoholics everywhere are the collective obligation of its members. AA's “Twelve Traditions,” which are the closest thing to rules, compel nothing. There are no AA authorities. Our leaders actually are our trusted servants whose only power is persuasion. Each of the multitude of local AA groups throughout the world operates autonomously. Withal, AA has proven effective at achieving its primary purpose, which is to enable its members to remain sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. No small task, which eluded the medical profession and mankind on any significant scale until AA came along in 1935. AA's 76-years of experience may one day prove instructive to the formation of a stateless society. http://www.voluntaryist.com/howibecame/windingroad.html My Winding Road to Voluntaryism By Ned Netterville Jim and others make more good points here: To me it is helpful to understand how both religion and govt are based on superstition and where that leads. Where's the State? http://strike-the-root.com/wheres-state And Fred nailed it here: We Were Taught To Suppress Conscience, Morality, Empathy Fred Reed on the real purpose of military training. http://lewrockwell.com/reed/reed230.html Best Regards AtlasAikido
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 37 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Hello Suverans2- Odd. Before I'd made these purported accusations, you said I "seem[ed] to equate "ridicule" with "respectful discussion" even though I had already explicitly said the contrary, and have maintained my opinion throughout this conversation. In a show of complete disregard for what I actually said, you desired to interpret me as saying the very opposite! However, I simply let it go up to now. It's becoming increasingly obvious that we value language, and our even our own opinions, on very different grounds. Once again, I view ridicule as a poor choice for communication and try not to practice it myself. I'm in agreement with you, Paul, and others on this point, and haven't contested it. Things changed, though, when you invoked the NAP as justifiable in the case of ridicule. Unless I'm mistaken, most libertarian-anarchists agree that the NAP can justify defensive violence against aggressive violence. I can only conclude, then, that you equate speech with violent physical action. It also follows, that you equate your subjective feelings and values with your body (life) and property, and would be willing to use physical force in order to "defend" those feeling and values. Being verbally "disrespected" is made equivalent to being mugged or having your home broken into. I cannot agree with this equation. Our feelings and values are subjective and cannot be same as life and property. They are hugely variable from person to person, and even within the same person over a lifetime. Invocation of the NAP on the basis of such variability would not only render the NAP meaningless and unworkable, but would constitute control over speech in favor of one particular valuation. In other words: "Say nothing that 'offends' me because I can justify putting a bullet in you by calling it 'defense.'" With feelings and values there are no lines in the sand or bodies to harm and, like I said, are variable and subject to sometimes erratic changes. As to your "simple" yes-or-no questions: They were *without context,* and thus so general, so unreal, as to be unanswerable in any honest fashion. You are asking for an "absolute" answer that *cannot* exist, since any situation of a man ogling my daughter would happen somewhere, somehow, not in a void involving only the man, me, and my daughter. Simply put, the questions as you posed them are absurd. Here's an illustration: Is the word "nigger" disrespectful? Yes or no? It's a yes-or-no- question. It's simple, right? Come on, yes or no. It is clear that black Americans think the term "nigger" is sometimes derogatory, sometimes not. It varies. *It depends on context!* It differs, for example, if a white American says the word or if another black American says it. Some blacks hate the term no matter who says it. Others don't care. It's how the term is evaluated, who says it, who hears it, where, when. It's not a question deserving of a universal answer applicable everywhere at all times. I think you've read far more into my posts emotionally, than I've actually put there. I've not accused you of anything, but have only gone by what you've written and asked you 1) if my understanding and subsequent conclusions were sound, and 2) for clarification of your position. You've declined both invitations. The ball is in your court, you can choose to play or not...That's up to you. -Joy EDITED FOR CLARITY
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 years 37 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Atlas said: Hi Sam, '...Pleading "shame" "sacrifice" and "selflessness" of self--and then others--as the moral good is the platform of collectivism and religion and the worship of authority that sociopaths use to control, placate and feed on the philosophically ignorant. Precisely what some have good reason to point out as unprofitable and unproductive i.e. "irrational"...' I think I may have off-stepped by using the analogy of priests and nuns of whom I've read who individually devoted their lives to people of need within their community. I failed to stress individually, and you were correct to call my hand at that. I've heard of individual priests (and some nuns, although in Catholicism women seem still to be kept at bay from leadership rolls) who have stepped outside the authoritarianism of "The Church" and set up children's homes and rescue missions without asking for or expecting "stimulus" from functionaries of state. The key word is individually. Virtually all libertarians will agree that religion, like government, is often "a platform of collectivism" and distracts from individuality. But that's religion -- not belief. That distinction, I believe, is very important to finding the essence of Paul's essay. History substantiates the various concordats, along with the incestuous hand-in-glove relationships, many who make up church hierarchies have maintained with predators of state: "inquisitions", outright murder of thousands (millions??) of those who won't step into the fold (and make "contributions", of course) -- and on down the line of infamy. In my post I made reference to Thomas DiLorenzo's blog entry having to do with political involvement by church leadership in the south. Yet there are men and women and their children sitting in the "pews" (what an awful name for a place to put your butt) of some of those churches who may one day be candidates for our forums and our way of thinking here on STR. So Paul's essay is poignant. Tony Pivetta on a previous post at this thread quoted my old friend Fred Reed: "I find myself wondering why the ruling classes of America are so grindingly antagonistic to religion. I understand having no interest in religion. I do not understand the animosity..." It probably behooves us to follow Mr. Davies' advice: save ridicule for the predators of state and show empathy for believers. Most of us believe something, even if it's "zilch" (which probably takes more "faith" than believing in a Higher Power, as they say over in AA). Sam
  • calinb's picture
    calinb 4 years 37 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    >I would add to that, only, "he can simply stop calling himself a citizen, and neither >apply for, nor accept, any member-only benefits and privileges". I think one can simply stop violating the non-aggression principle. There are gray areas in this moral endeavor but voting and participating in political processes must cease, because they are participation in violence as a master. Most people don't realize and assume ownership of the violence because it's accomplished via the proxy of the state. I don't think it's necessary to refuse state benefits, which is impossible, regardless. Refusal of state benefits is just as impossible as it was for a plantation slave to refuse food from their master--food that the slave havested, but was seized for profit and redistribution by the master. In fact, JGVibes is wrong here: "Well this may sound good, but it isn’t at all true, because the government is comprised by a miniscule fraction of the population..." In fact, government is huge! It is nearly everyone in the population, because nearly everyone initiates violence on others via the proxy of the state. The people with the state's guns and associated monopoly on their use to initiate force on others may be only a minuscule fraction of the population (see Larken Rose's, "The Tiny Dot"), but nearly everyone endeavors to be a master of others via proxy violence.
  • calinb's picture
    calinb 4 years 38 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    I don't think the archaeological record supports the belief that people throughout most of history have preferred existence within a political system of one sort or another. Communities of people living under the violence of the state were a manifestation of the Neolithic Revolution and agriculture. Before the advent of agriculture, people enjoyed more liberty, because the state did not exist. After the Neolithic revolution, the state became even more powerful with the dawning of the industrial and technological revolutions and the state's powers are growing to this day. Though people's capabilities have advanced relatively recently in the tenure of homo sapiens on the planet, people's minds have not kept pace. People's beliefs must catch-up with their technological powers in order for human civilization to advance and abolish the state.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 38 weeks ago
    Regulatory Catch 22
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    "...why is moonshine still illegal?" Some might think that it is because those wish to control population are concerned for your health and safety? Think again! "Because the liquor is worth more to the government than beer or wine. Uncle Sam takes an excise tax of $2.14 for each 750-milliliter bottle of 80-proof spirits, compared with 21 cents for a bottle of wine (of 14 percent alcohol or less) and 5 cents for a can of beer. No one knows exactly how much money changes hands in the moonshine trade, but it's certainly enough for the missing taxes to make a difference: In 2000, an ATF investigation busted one Virginia store that sold enough raw materials to moonshiners to make 1.4 million gallons of liquor, worth an estimated $19.6 million in lost government REVENUE." ~ Source: SLATE It's mostly about REVENUE!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 years 38 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    How you feel about those issues will be decided for you.... Never. You can lock my butt away and you can deprive me basic life support and you can do me physical harm and you can even kill me -- but you can never decide how I will feel about "...issues". I am a sovereign state. Your state is not legitimate. Sam
  • Brian Mast's picture
    zygodactyl 4 years 38 weeks ago
    Regulatory Catch 22
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    You can indeed brew your own booze and drink it unless you live in a dry county. In fact, I highly recommend it because the quality and taste is better than store bought stuff, and because you avoid paying that liquor tax to the state. I intend to resume brewing my own beer once I get away from driving truck OTR in about a year. You just cannot sell it without a license, and you cannot brew moonshine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrewing http://www.craftbeer.com/ http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ Alcohol Prohibition is still alive and well in certain counties in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas, and there are limits to how much brew you can make in a year, so be sure to research the laws in your own state, or be careful and sneaky. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_county Brian
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    G'day Allen, I thought this, “That's too bad, but understandable,” deserving of a reply. Yes, it is understandable, for at least a couple of reasons. It is understandable why I might choose not to continue conversing with you, because you FALSELY accuse me by saying, "You already demand that one sits down, shuts-up, and listens in silence to your opinions, or simply depart the premises, if they have a contrasting view", and "Any response that challenges your view would "violate the NAP," and constitute "ridicule," since you equate dissenting perspectives as violent acts toward your person," both of which are not only outright lies, but to even try to make the leap from the truth to those lies, (from what I wrote), is totally irrational, I.M.O. And then, to top it off, you weren't even polite enough to sincerely apologize for jumping to the WRONG conclusion about me, and instead, chose to try to defend your FALSE accusations. So be it. It is understandable why I might choose not to continue conversing with you, because when you were asked simple yes-or-no questions like these... “Would you deem it "aggressive" behavior if a man ogled your twelve-year old daughter and made lewd remarks about her every time you and she walked by him? [Yes, or no?] Though that act, in and of itself, is not "violent", do you think it might incite violence?” [Yes, or no?] ...you chose to skirt around them by answering how you would handle the situation, (and you even danced around that pretty gingerly, I.M.O.), but I didn't ask you that, did I, Allen? Yes or no, (with a long-winded explanation, of course), will be acceptable. If English is your second language, these misunderstandings will be more understandable. Need we go on?
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Many self-proclaimed non-believers are, in my opinion, too emotionally attached to the methods and theories of science, as well as reason in general. Conversations do become heated between these non-believers and believers, just as they have *amongst believers themselves* historically speaking. Discussions revolving around the Big Bang and evolution are certainly flash-points on both "sides" of these debates. In view of reason, there are so-called non-believers, like Stephan Molyneux, who still believe in "absolute truth." The Big Bang is an imperfect *conceptual model* (and a model utilizing language I myself question). Evolution is a scientific theory. It explains as a body of knowledge and evidence. It is not synonymous with "progress" (and I know of few people who actually make this equation). "Absolute truth" is nothing other than God-in-drag, so believers actually have nothing to fear from the likes of Molyneux's brand of "atheism." What isn't being taken into account, and one probable source of the rabid anger against religion in America, is the fact that fear is very often used to spread religious belief. I'm not speaking of charges of "sinner" and "eternal damnation" in the context of adult conversation, but the practice of scaring the crap out of little kids with notions of eternal violence. This comes across to many as a boorish manner in which to force conformity. I agree with this assessment, though there's largely nothing I can do about the children of others. Another thing that frustrates people is the incoherent claim of being a limited, fallible being while also being privy to the absolute truth. One never knows where a believer stands when they speak forth and the hermeneutical gymnastics will be at play. I've found this makes it very difficult, sometimes impossible, to converse with believers. It even gets worse when believers have no idea what differentiates a scientific theory with a mere speculation. Using statements like "Evolution is just a theory" in a manner that equates the theory with idle speculation can really gum-up a conversation. This is particularly the case when a believer makes no effort to inform themselves and further understand the aims of science, yet will continue to make authoritative statements regarding science. Once again, and for the nth time, I'm *not* saying any of this "justifies" the boorish behavior of non-believers, only that it's understandable in view of the multiplicity of people and the differences between them. Believers don't stand in front of a uniform mass of unbelievers who are either simply boorish or polite in mixed company any more than they themselves are either boorish or polite. Another thing: "religion" is a vague concept. Comparing Buddhism with Christianity is like comparing the proverbial apples and oranges. Apples and oranges can fit together in a concept called "fruit," but it doesn't mean they are, therefore, identical cases. Most sects of Buddhism (even religions themselves contain non-identical cases within them) are not evangelical in the manner of most Christian sects. Many couldn't care less about conversion, and many are more or less "atheistic," more like philosophical schools of thought.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Maybe we're talking a cycle of boorishness here. To be sure, even during the High Middle Ages, with the Catholic worldview reputedly at its apex, the village atheist (yes, every village had one, legends parading as historical accounts of the Crusades and Inquisition notwithstanding) was inevitably the village boor as well. No doubt he defended his boorishness as a necessary counteractive to the prevailing superstitions of his day. But something happened between the Siege of Vienna and French Revolution: the village atheist became ascendant. He gained political power. Alas, he proved himself no more apt (far less, in my view) than his Christian predecessors to wield it in socially desirable ways. Fred Reed, as usual, has an interesting take on the development: "I find myself wondering why the ruling classes of America are so grindingly antagonistic to religion. I understand having no interest in religion. I do not understand the animosity. "One might say, 'The world’s religions are so many, so internally inconsistent and contradictory of each other, and so dependent on assertions which seem to me not to be factual, that I cannot believe any of them.' The position is neither unreasonable nor rabid. One holding it might go about his affairs, leaving others to believe as they chose. He might respect the faith of others without sharing it, might regard religions as harmless and colorful folklore, might indeed regard them as socially beneficent. "In the Unites [sic] States, though, we see something very different: an aggressive hostility to religion, a desire to extirpate it and, though no one quite says this, to punish its practitioners. A curious witch-hunt continues in which people seem to look for any trace of religion so that they can root it out. I would call it vengeful, except that I do not know for what it might be revenge. [. . .] "A common reading is that the sciences have become a sort of secular religion, with the Big Bang replacing Genesis, and evolution as a sort of deanthropomorphized god chivying humanity onward and upward. There is a large element of this, yes. The self-righteous intolerance directed by disciples of evolution against religion assuredly resembles the intolerance of religion against heresy. Does this explain the anger of the rooters-out? Is it partly that believers in America tend to be Southern or Catholic, both of which are regarded as politically inappropriate conditions? [. . .] "Yet note the decline of even non-religious contemplation of such matters as meaning and purpose, right and wrong, ultimate good, and so on. It is not that people behave worse without faith, but that they cannot explain why they do not. The use of the sciences as a substitute for belief in God or gods has produced a religion that cannot ask the questions central to religion. It has also made discussion of such questions a cause for eliminating the offender from the guest list for the next cocktail party. "But this does not answer the question of why the hostile stalking of religion that pervades the ranks of the educated and influential in the United States. In almost all times and places, disbelief and secularism have existed, yes. Few educated Romans actually believed in Jupiter the Lightning Chucker. There have been Cathars and Wiccans and Manicheans and innumerable agnostics. Yet, so far as I know, only communism and Americanism (is that the word, perhaps?) have tried to eradicate religion. "Mexico has separation of church and state, and yet a bus driver can display a crucifix without upsetting anyone. I do not know how many Thais are believing Buddhists. Certainly Buddhist symbols are visible everywhere, and it doesn’t seem to have engendered disaster. Why the angry rejection in the US? I will get email telling me that it is a Jewish plot, like everything else, but in fact it is the default attitude of the educated. Why? Who cares?"
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Hello Paul- First off, I'm not irritated. My comments were only what I've observed. A critique ≠ anger, irritation. That you were angry when you critiqued believers also ≠ anger on my part. It simply isn't a given that I must be angry to form a critique of anything. But, let me consider your points. 1. Both you and Suverans2 seem to believe that because I don't wholly condemn ridicule, "disrespectful speech," and put it on par with a physical attack, that I must therefore embrace ridicule as a wholly acceptable form of communication. Where you come up with this dichotomy, I have no idea. Turning my attention to your depreciation of "generalizations": According to your standards, I'd have to come into contact with all religious believers in order *not* to generalize in some manner. This is an impossible expectation. It's like asking you to check under every rock in all deserts to find scorpions, so as to make the generalization: "Scorpions live under desert rocks." and demanding you make no generalization unless you've checked under every rock in every desert! Is this unreasonable? : to form a * heuristic* from experience in dealing with religious people online, or in person, who willingly enter into discussions. The key word here is "willingly." Does this "justify roundhouse attacks," sure, to the person who feels inclined toward doing such! "Justification" is simply rationalizing behavior. It does *not* mean that I think such attacks are therefore good communication. 2. I explicitly said that the venues in question were, in various degrees, "public." Here in the 21st Century where we have no catholic worldview, discussions will inevitably occur where conclusions and presuppositions those participating will come to the fore. This means that religious people who *willingly* put their views out and engaging others will come into contact with those who don't share their worldview, and are just as passionate about their opinions. If they expect no one to respond, then why put it out there in the first place, *particularly if they are responding to the comments of non-believers*? If they desire to put their comments out there, of course they can just "be themselves," but can they realistically expect others not to respond to those comments, and if they do, to be nice about it? No, they cannot. They can, after all, not respond at all to those who've responded to their initial comments. They are responsible for themselves, their actions. 3. No. It doesn't harm me at all to hear another say "God loves us." I hear it all the time, my neighbors are devout. I don't flame them at all. As to other believers, I can't say I'm all that fond of being considered guilty just for living, and even more guilty, lacking even, for not accepting a view of "sin." And I don't care to be shouted down as eternally damned, debauched, without a "moral compass," and other such goodis. But, none of this really angers me. But, all this is beside the point. I've already agreed with you that ridicule is rarely, if ever, conducive for communication. I've not had any problem with this as *a heuristic.* Again, "disrespectful speech" is hardly based on any criteria which will please everyone. As I've said before, some religious people find *any* variation from their view insulting to them personally, yet they *willingly* enter into discussion with non-believers, either in terms of their particular sect, or non-believers in general. And while I see your position as potential helpful advice, I don't think it's reasonable to *expect* the results you desire much less demand them, unless you own a site yourself. Even less do I think the NAP is applicable in any way, shape, or form, in terms of speech. People, non-believers and believers alike, are hugely variable, as to their emotional strength, intelligence, and desires in life. It seems to me, Oonly a totally insular (if not ill) person could deny that this. As Michel de Montaigne put it: "No quality embraces us purely and universally." We vary and we're of multiple qualities, not simply either angry or nice; believer or unbeliever,...You're going to get varying responses in the world which cannot be legislated away and any attempt to do so will be hugely arbitrary.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Non-sentient entities, like weapons, can't be bad." If 70% of Americans think Iran should not be invaded, and 30% think Iran should be invaded, we cannot say "Americans don't want to invade Iran" any more than we can say "Americans want to invade Iran". There are two reasons: 1) "Americans" is not a sentient being and does not have an opinion, and 2) "Americans" is improper generalization. Yet, we can still reasonably say "70% of Americans don't want to invade Iran" even though "70% of Americans" is also not a sentient being and also therefore holds no opinion. Why? Because there is no attempt to deceive here (assuming an honest polling) and everybody understands the implication in the statement that individual Americans are the ones actually holding the opinion. We don't have to say, "70% of individual Americans share the opinion that Iran should not be invaded," to get the idea across. Maybe we should say it that way, but good luck controlling language so perfectly. Government is not a sentient being; yet it is like the 30% or 70% in the example above. Everybody in government inherently agrees to violence; they share the opinion that violence and plunder are acceptable for their own personal ends. "Government is bad" is really saying "All individual government employees are bad." Of course they may also have redeeming qualities; but to the extent they work for and support and draw pay from government, they are bad. I can't believe I got sidetracked into arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "However, you will also read that my experience has been nearly the opposite of the way in which Paul presents his case. It has been, by far, religious people who insert their beliefs (opinions) on philosophical and news discussion forums I've encountered, the blogs of unbelievers, YouTube threads, book reviews, etc., who upon being challenged *for these stated opinions* begin wailing about being attacked and "ridiculed." That they've entered a "public" discussion *voluntarily* seems to matter not. They take no responsibility for themselves. " OK Allen, I get it that you are irritated by this boorish behavior. I used to be irritated beyond belief over it. But after getting steamed up about it for years if not decades, I started to use my brain instead: 1) Is this not generallizing? Do all religious people do this, or just a few? A few having done so, does that justify roundhouse attacks on all religious people? 2) Are all these venues only for nonbelievers? Believers center their lives on their (Gg)od. So are they supposed to trim their way of thinking and speaking in such venues to suit nonbelievers? Can't they just be themselves? 3) Does it really harm you to hear someone say, "God loves us?" Yeah, it raises your blood pressure, but what is the source of that? This simple, harmless statement, which is merely an opinion? Or is it something in your own mind? (E.g. intolerance). How hard is is, really, to let such statements roll off you like water off a duck's back? It turns out not to be so hard at all. Try it. The argument seems to be, "they are boors, so I'm going to be a boor". When you start working for your ends, rather than reacting emotionally, you begin to see that the best thing you can do with boorish behavior is to let it stand on its own. It, combined with your keeping your own temper, will drive people away from the boor. I am particularly arguing about unprovoked attacks as I mentioned on facebook. Everyone understands that people get emotional and that flamewars happen. Observers are less forgiving of completely unprovoked attacks. They are not impressive. They are counter-productive to the goal of liberty.
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    " Only people can be bad." Odd. I was under the impression "bad" was an evaluative concept, not an inherent quality of a thing (including "sentient" things).
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...someone claiming as we do that the self-ownership axiom requires the abolition of government." "We" make no such claim. Only you do. If you take that as a premise, then you end up with conclusions such as that libertarians should be welfare queens. Your premise is wrong. Government can go on all it likes. Let the governments multiply, the more the better. All I want from them is one thing, that they leave me alone. You may say this is impossible, yet governments already leave vast numbers of people alone (e.g. the German government leaves French people alone, all governments leave their ruling classes alone, and there are other such exceptions). Not only that, but there are people who DON'T want government to leave them alone, and it would be wrong for us to force them otherwise. It's also counterproductive to bother people, if you want them to let you alone. Making fun of peoples' religions is a great way to motivate them to harm you. It's not rational if you are trying to avoid harm.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 years 38 weeks ago Web link Guest
    Jeez. "We"* don't believe in principles based on words on old parchment and yet "we" refer to them like they were Holy Writ? If people have a "right" to speak at all it's because they're humans and I/we don't need an old parchment allow it whatever it does or doesn't say or what some fucking judges or law profs or the UN say. Can't have both ways can we? * The collective "we" is used here.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Government is indeed inherently bad. The people in its offices establish "sovereign" territory by force and extract taxes to pay for their organization's existence through force. The people who participate in such an organization are inherently doing bad things. Can't really escape that. And if you jump to the "completely voluntary government" argument, I would point out that you are no longer talking about a government, but rather a business.
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    That's too bad, but understandable. That people like Rothbard, Rockwell, etc., made a life's work of rationally putting the pieces together out of what people did say, even while those latter people neither realized the consequences of their own words nor were capable of verbalizing those conclusions, is really remarkable, isn't it? It contributed a great deal to the work ahead of us... -Joy
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Suverans2- "Proof" in terms of a murder trial that of metaphysical postulations are two very different arenas, are they not? At any rate, my murder trial would still depend upon how others *value* the objects and concepts presented at the trial, would it not? If I'm falsely accused, and have no evidence (that is, objects to value) on my behalf, whereas my accusers may, then I'm probably royally screwed no matter my actual innocence or my feelings on the matter. By the way, your OED entry wonderfully illustrates my comments regarding how "proof" is supportive of opinions. It's interesting how you chose "proof" which is a later development and usage of the term "prove" where you can find the origin of both terms. This is the case even when this origin is clearly linked in the very OED entry you provided (as "proof" of your position?) and myself above. You've gone a long way to demonstrate how things/objects are used only to justify the values one already holds in terms of "proof" and "proving." -Joy
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Nope, no need to go on. "You didn't come right out and say those things", nor did I, IMO, even infer such. End of discussion. Thank you for your time.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 38 weeks ago Web link Guest
    Oooops!
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Good morning, Suverans2- You didn't come right out and say those things, but that's no good reason to ignore the very probable consequence of what you *did* say. In invoking your opinion of how you view the use of the NAP as being applicable to speech, you have equated speech you don't like with physical violence. The NAP, if I'm not mistaken, can be used to justify positive*physical force* in one's defense of life and property. In the act of disrespectful speech you see aggressive physical force, that can be met with defensive physical force. Am I unsound in my reasoning here? If so, how so? We could go on all day with endless variations on hypothetical scenarios. This is what usually happens in conversations such as this. Living is indeed complicated. But, I'll humor with your politically-correct innocent little girl vs. evil lusty man scenario. First, I'd do everything I could to remove her from this situation. Given that you and I seem to share the desire for a private-property, market-oriented society, such encounters would in all probability be less frequent than they are in the tax-funded "public" places we have presently. If, in current circumstances, he touches my daughter or makes a positive move for her in public, I'd put myself in harm's way to keep that from happening. If he enters my house in pursuit of my daughter, he'd get a bullet. Period. Need we go on?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 38 weeks ago Web link Guest
    Allow me to venture a guess before reading the article; traffic would move smoother, hence faster, and as a consequence the number of traffic accidents would go down. Now, I shall go read it.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    G'day once more Allen, You wrote: "I think "proof[1]" is highly over-rated." Do you think that you would still feel that way if you were FALSELY accused of murder? _____________________________________________________________ [1] proof early 13c., preove "evidence to establish the fact of (something)," from O.Fr. prueve (early 13c.), from L.L. proba "a proof," a back-formation from L. probare "to prove" ~ Online Etymology Dictionary [Emphasis added]
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Good morning, Paul- You are only saying, here, that you believe someone else is wasting their time, and you don't like it. OK. And? Should we have a prohibition on ridicule so we can save ranters from themselves? It'll be for their own good. What's more, it seems presupposed that positive physical force is being placed upon the target of a rant, that our theoretical believer is constrained somehow against their will, and can neither walk away nor cease reading the rant. What gives? Is it an article of faith that religious believers are helpless and in need of special protection? Are we to imagine believers little more than timid woodland creatures in contrast to the lions, tigers and bears who inhabit the camp of non-belief? Will this latter comment constitute "ridicule" even when I intend it to humorously illustrate my point? Yes, *in my opinion* blatant ridicule is distasteful far more often than it's not, even when it's understandable. But, "disrespectful speech" is a subjective matter. It is dependent upon one's emotional sensitivity. Responding to such speech depends upon one's emotional strength, intelligence, and capacity to change the situation. This is clearly variable from individual to individual. There is no need to invoke fuzzy concepts such as "dehumanization" to make this seem more highfalutin than it is. When someone screams and yells at me, and I don't like it, I do all I can to walk away. If they move to harm my life and property, things change drastically, and defensive action becomes necessary. If someone comes across as disrespectful in writing/online, and it's not clear they are being disrespectful, then I do what I can to see if my perception was correct. If I find it was correct, I simply ignore or cease reading the other party. How difficult is this?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    G'day Allen, First, you seemed to have missed my polite request. Since you accuse me of this, "You already demand that one sits down, shuts-up, and listens in silence to your opinions, or simply depart the premises, if they have a contrasting view"; "Any response that challenges your view would "violate the NAP," and constitute "ridicule," since you equate dissenting perspectives as violent acts toward your person," would you please quote and post, like I have just done, where I have 'said' these things. Thank you. I believe that those are both FALSE accusations. I cannot recall EVER IN MY LIFE making the "demand that one sits down, shuts-up, and listens in silence to [my] opinions, or simply depart the premises, if they have a contrasting view". Nor do I remember EVER IN MY LIFE "[equating] dissenting perspectives as violent acts toward [my] person". Speaking of the "violent acts", the word "aggression", like the word "ridicule", has several definitions. Here is one for your perusal. aggression ...3. Hostile or destructive behavior or actions. ~ American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language With that definition in mind, one more question for you to ponder. Would you deem it "aggressive" behavior if a man ogled your twelve-year old daughter and made lewd remarks about her every time you and she walked by him? Though that act, in and of itself, is not "violent", do you think it might incite[1] violence? I would say that that act too violates the N.A.P. What say ye? _________________________________________________________ [1] incite verb▸to encourage people to be violent...by making them angry or excited ~ Macmillan Dictionary
  • Allen's picture
    Allen 4 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Suverans2- If you are invoking the NAP, which includes, if I'm correct, defensive measures of life and property, or at least "justifies" such measures, then you would be silencing, even indirectly, anything you feel to be ridicule since the threat of force may be used against dissent "justifiably." Again, how one evaluates "ridicule" is subjective, and more importantly, one measures one's response according to that evaluation. So, either you find ridicule as something positively harmful to your life and property or you do not. Again, it is hard for me to find in disrespectful speech a good reason for NAP, or the defensive measures it may justify. Invoking the NAP is considering speech positively harmful to one's life and property. Speaking to a wide array of people, some who feel any dissent as disrespectful, not only renders the NAP completely unusable in the world, but makes speaking to an assortment of people a risky business, don't you think?