The problem with the waffling middle



  1. #1 Brian
    August 16, 2007

    OK, who DOS’ed the site? I’ve tried to access it, but get a “too many connections” message. Maybe that priests curse has worked, but on the wrong heathen….

  2. #2 Russell Blackford
    August 16, 2007

    @ #13 … I can’t access Richard Dawkins’ site, either. Same message. Presumably, the rain of fire and brimstone from heaven must have taken its toll at last.

    I love kittens, so I hope no actual kittens were harmed for this thread.

  3. #3 AndrÚs
    August 16, 2007

    Damn, I hate those extremist let’s-not-blend-any-kittensists! Because, you know, not blending any kittens is just as bad as blending all of them!

  4. #4 Brian Macker
    August 17, 2007

    “The problem seems to be that far too many make the mistake of thinking that “religious-type” thinking only correlates with religious belief, or having a (R) after your name, or whatever. Unfortunately,the ability to reject reality in favor of some pie in the sky ideal of what you would like to pretend things should be is a non-partisan, and non-denominational, trait.”

    Exactly, there are a lot of people treating politics (and science – think global warming) like religion. They scream facist and spout theories that are based on the most tenuous of evidence. Just because someone else has mad a different decision from you doesn’t mean there is some alterior evil background motive for their actions. Yeah, sure our government was actually behind 9/11 so we could get middle east oil.

    That’s crazy, especially since it appears that we set to blame the Saudis by loading the plane with Saudi terrorist. After all that trouble we then refrained from going after the largest and most easily “stolen” oil regions with the sweetest oil to instead move into of all places, Iraq. Then we didn’t steal the oil on the cheap but instead not only let oil seek market prices but also turned all the proceeds over to the Iraqi people, plus spent billions of our own money building up their infrastructure. Yeah, that sounds like the actions of a conquering country raping the resources of it’s victims. NOT!

    Can’t tell that to some people because their marxist/postmodernist/pacifist religion is that Republicans are all motivated by greed. Which is insane really, and a gross overgeneralization.

    Then we have what are normally rational people like Dawkins and Myers who I respect for their scientific views making idiotic and frankly looney political claims. WTF is that about? Get used to the idea that other people have their own worldviews. That is what motivates them not their “evilness”.

    In the case of conservatives there is a strong intellectual and scientific underpinning to certain beliefs that runs contrary to the political religion of the liberals. Hayek, Popper, and many economists know why liberal government programs just don’t work but hell the liberals just can’t accept the science. In fact, they often aren’t even aware of it.

    That’s it for that discussion. Oh, and by the way one of these lead religious evangelicals (on the global warming front) just had a big hole punched in his data. Turns out he had a Y2K but in his climate model. That after a shrill attack on Bush.

    “NASA has now silently released corrected figures, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events”

    What’s funny is that this whole global warming crisis is more an economic issue than a issue of climate. The impacts are economic and the “solutions” are economic. That, I am sure, Bush understands and is why he downplays the ridiculously hyper chicken-little level of fear mongering that is going on. Not because he is evil to the core, or a complete fool. Two ridiculous notions.

    My opinion is that humans are having some upward effect on temperatures but that there really is nothing to panic about, with the best solutions not requiring any kind of intrusive Kyoto type plan.

    In fact such a plan would be counterproductive and result the release of even more CO2 per unit of human satisfaction, the reverse of what is desired. Communist countries with planned economies were and are the worse polluters for what were quite poorly running economies.

    That kind of efficiency is desired by only some people. Others really would like to see us back to some kind of tribal society with no cars, no industry, no chemicals, etc. You know, back to nature. I’ve known plenty like that and they are usually liberals. They find this truth so obvious that anyone who is actually pro-capitalism is seen as some kind of evil monster.

  5. #5 Sastra
    August 17, 2007

    This post reminded me of my experiences this weekend, manning a humanist/atheist booth at a local outdoor fair. It was a basically “liberal” crowd, and 3 people who came by made the same (tired) point: “Yes, the fundamentalists are on one extreme. But Dawkins and Harris and all you atheists — you’re on the other extreme, with no God at all. Isn’t it more likely that the truth is in the middle: God exists, but it’s nothing like the fundamentalists think it is, it’s all vague and loving and obscure and tolerant and did you know quantum physics is finding out that the Universe is all about Consciousness?”

    “Some people say there is a God: others say there is no God. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.” (William Butler Yeats)

    “God exists, but, it’s all, you know — weird like. And nice.” I call this the Argument from the Middle. One extreme is too much God; another extreme is too little God; therefore God exists in the warm, fuzzy middle where I am — just enough God.

    When it comes to the topic of religion, an awful lot of people seem to think that truth is going to be decided by applying a Principle of Moderation. It’s all about finding balance, harmony, compromise. How could this not work? Hasn’t it always worked when you tried it, and your life got back on track?

    They’re confusing rules for getting on in the world with determining facts about what really exists — of course. And that’s just what you get when you keep insisting that the proper “domain” of religion is morals and meaning. Religion is how we live our lives, and all that.

    Dawkins’s Law of Adversarial Debate:
    When two incompatible beliefs are advocated with equal intensity, the truth does not lie half way between them.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.