Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: For Good Friday

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  • Islander,

    O I *do* Sacha, I do!

    (Now, where was that recipe about 3-yrold palms???*)




    (*I hate to say it, there is one...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That sounds awfully.. specific.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Yessssss-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    A bit sad that no-one has taken my carefully-offered fly about the underlying physiological/psycological/indeed,*genetic* reasons as to *why* humans believe in irrational things.

    I read that article but found it a bit tendentious, although evolution must have lots of interesting implications for philosophy and religion, you know, with the overman and whatnot.

    I think inferring the non-existence of god or spirituality from the fact that our spiritual impulses must have evolved is an example of the genetic fallacy.

    What did you think about it?

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    WH - I'll skip over 'overman & whatnot.'
    There is no evidence that "our spiritual impulses must have evolved."
    There is some evidence that our kind of primate has a propensity to
    ascribe meaning to random events. There is quite a lot of evidence that our kind of primate 'personalises' much of what occurs, happens to us, as a way of dealing with the summary chaos of being. And again, some evidence that we do this by inventing an outside-of-ourselves factor/being that causes/determines.
    Hence the 40,000 or so godlets/entities thus far created by us (goodness knows what Neanderthals or H. floresensis thought about all this, but given they were almost certainly homonins also-)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    There is some evidence that our kind of primate has a propensity to ascribe meaning to random events.

    I split this up into three: our tendency to look for causes, our tendency to look for patterns, and our tendency to interpret the world and ascribe it meaning.

    I think it's easy to say something like, 'ha ha, cargo cultists, rain dancing and people believing in fairies, how silly is that, now we know evolution happened, therefore religion is a maladaptive evolutionary response'. I agree that humanity has a tendency to misinterpret the world but am reluctant to extend that into a claim that philosophy and spirituality is the product of a malfunctioning vestige of our primitive brains.

    Maladaptive primitive brain = spirituality, advanced rational brain = no spirituality has some real hurdles to clear, not only in the sense that it engages only indirectly with the truth claims under discussion, but also in the way that it prioritises it's own viewpoint before establishing the validity of that viewpoint.

    Having said all that, I acknowledge the possibility that you are right.

    I'll skip over 'overman & whatnot.

    I was being facetious, but that was not directed at you. I'm just feeling intimidated by the fact that I am clearly not as well read as others here.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Yes, we look for patterns and causes. Some of these have given us material advantages, such as recognising the pattern of the seasons and so knowing when to plant crops. Others, such as believing that the seasons are caused by the gods, might seem ridiculous. But they might have had value, such as giving reassurance to people. Believing irrational things is not necessarily bad for you.

    I'm just feeling intimidated by the fact that I am clearly not as well read as others here.

    We are just showing off. We do that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes, we look for patterns and causes. Some of these have given us material advantages, such as recognising the pattern of the seasons and so knowing when to plant crops. Others, such as believing that the seasons are caused by the gods, might seem ridiculous.

    Yes, often those stories were very plainly useful, Matariki being a prime example of a mythical narrative enabling the community to mark an important seasonal date. Stories of moral instruction also had a very concrete social purpose.

    On the subject of dates and seasons, I've seen two presentationss by an Italian astrophysicist over the last few months concerning the religious and secular history of the Jewish and the Julian/Gregorian calendars, and they were just about the most fascinating things I had ever heard.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    There are really good reasons to explore these circumstances, and they have nothing to do with spookiness. There is mystery associated with bush & sea - because we dont know enough yet-

    And the closer we look, the less we know we know. The nature of nature is spooky at its most fundamental level. It offers and promises phenomena that do look a lot like magic in the context of the understandings we use to be human.

    The remarkable thing is that we live in an era where our ability to make measurements has become so good that we can more confidently theorise about once-unknowable things. It's a fun time to be a cosmologist.

    But that still doesn't mean that it's not rational, salutary and fulfilling to experience awe and wonder at the scale and complexity of the universe. It is awesome.

    I realise that the reasons people fall in behind Brian Tamaki are not exactly the same as those I am awed by the universe, but it still puzzles me that people would choose the former over the latter.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The nature of nature is spooky at its most fundamental level.

    Without at all meaning to be glib, the word earthquake has preoccupied me a bit in the last few days.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    We are just showing off. We do that.

    I was on the verge of a gentle admonishment about it ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    The The, Jackson Browne, Christian rock? Come on, give the poster some credit. These are not the sort of people you see at Parachute.

    No, they're not Christian rock. It's music that just happens to be made by people who may, or may not, be Christians. And that belief may, or may not, influence their art.

    Christian Rock itself is deadly dull for the same reasons that Satanic Metal is deadly dull - it's a one-trick pony. Once you've set your agenda that narrowly, you're bound to run out of good material after about half a track.

    And what's so wrong with the letter I that it has to be changed to Y?

    How should Y know? Yt can look kynda cool yf done ryght, but you have to be careful not do do yt too much.

    I think it's a nod back to mediaeval writing styles, where 'y' was used more or less interchangably with 'i'.

    I get my back fixed up by an osteopath, when I know that osteopathy's core tenets are bunkum.

    This doesn't actually strike me as an irrational belief. Just because you get your discs manipulated by someone who believes that your body is, uh, 'somatically dysfunctional', doesn't mean it doesn't work.

    I wouldn't give a stuff if my car mechanic sincerely believed that a gremlin lived in my engine, and could only be appeased by changing the oil every 20,000K. Right solution, wrong reasons.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I realise that the reasons people fall in behind Brian Tamaki are not exactly the same as those I am awed by the universe, but it still puzzles me that people would choose the former over the latter.

    Some prefer the snake oil to the snake?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    No, they're not Christian rock. It's music that just happens to be made by people who may, or may not, be Christians.

    Both Matt Johnson and Jackson Browne are very critical of organised Christianity. It is a shame that people here did not watch the videos before pronouncing judgement. Knee-jerk Atheism is no better than any other prejudice.

    Christian Rock itself is deadly dull for the same reasons that Satanic Metal is deadly dull - it's a one-trick pony.

    And because the message is more important than the music.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I was on the verge of a gentle admonishment about it

    My bookshelf is bigger than your bookshelf...? :)

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Hey, I like it that people here know way more than me about specialist subjects.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Speaking of Christian bands. Who remembers Alan Parsons Project and they mysoginisty hit Eve? What a crock of shit that was.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    See, I did not know that and am unlikely to ever devote any braincells to learning about xtian rock.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    The thing about Alan Parsons Project is that I used to like them (I know, I know, there are no excuses) before I started learning English. Sometimes there's nothing like starting to understand lyrics to realise that a musician you liked sucked all along.

    (Sting would be another. Are there any worse lyrics in the history of pop than Russian's? Damn, I used to love that song.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    By which I mean Russians'.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Luckily I largely ignore lyrics. Was that the one about loving their children too?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19728 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Yes. The opening stanza is a masterpiece of crappitude:

    In Europe and America, there's a growing feeling of hysteria
    Conditioned to respond to all the threats
    In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
    Mr. Khrushchev said we will bury you
    I don't subscribe to this point of view
    It'd be such an ignorant thing to do
    If the Russians love their children too

    But I'm going OT. Eve as I recall was all about how women really are worthy of maximum contempt.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Eve as I recall was all about how women really are worthy of maximum contempt.

    You Lie Down with Dogs and the ever so subtle I'd Rather Be a Man . Eve struck me as the kind of album a fifteen year old boy would write after breaking up with his first girlfriend.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I agree that for utterly shite lyrics you can't go past Sting - it's official.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Eve as I recall was all about how women really are worthy of maximum contempt.

    It's a concept album. The concept is hating women.

    Until I started looking up the lyrics, two minutes ago, I had thought the Alan Parsons Project was just crap. Now I realise it was quite nasty crap:

    Get out and find yourself another lover
    Why don't you find yourself another lover
    Open up your eyes and realise
    You don't mean nothing to me I'm not your mother
    You gave me all that you had to give
    But there's a whole lotta fish in the sea

    Aren't you glad Alan Parsons is not your mother? This is the sort of thing you learn on PAS.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

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