Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Oh, God

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  • mark taslov, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    most of them end up with a vague “there is something more to life”, and something has to last after death because the alternative is too bleak to accept.

    Perhaps attributable to the size of your sample, you’re trying to pin people down(?). I’m as skeptical about the deeply held beliefs of theists as I am about the authenticity of these beliefs as characterized by athiests. Taking what someone claims to believe at anything more than face value has never struck me as a significant revision. Take Judith Collins for example:

    "I have publically stated that I believe there should be a specific offence of inciting suicide. The potential consequences of this kind of harassment are too serious to ignore."

    WRT to rationality; personal conflict between the Wertrational and the Zweckrational is not unusual. Which is more rational? I guess that depends what you’re rationalising. As far as debating or discrediting what anyone else believes, obviously like anything the pastime has its devotees, but as I see it organized religion exists to plug a hole and provide some semblance of meaning to inate sensations that a vast demographic are susceptible to.

    The egg came first there and I can tolerate that, doesn’t mean I’ll respond mind. However when these beliefs are exploited or serve as a springboard for political/ social action/ activism, that’s an entirely different kettle of fish, Colin Craig doesn’t oppose adolescent access to abortion because he’s a Christian, he opposes it because he’s anti-certain-human rights. There are correlations, but when I see someone wearing a crucifix, I lack the clairvoyance to know more about a person than assuming they might just like wearing one.

    Quite arbritrarily, and speaking exclusively for myself, I recall being pinned down by this piece of fluff for all seasons from a religious fulla a few years back:

    “Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them."

    Siddhārtha Gautama, 563 BCE-ish

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to andin,

    arsehole too boot

    I'm sure I once read somewhere that down in Texas, kicking arses is known as "doing the Lord's work".

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Surely that would be "asses", no?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. (…) Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. (…) The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. (…) Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower.

    Karl Marx - Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1843

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to mark taslov,

    Right, no less than Andrew Geddis was recently given arseholes over that very distinction.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to mark taslov,

    “asses”,

    Only because 'mericans spell it different 'cause it reminds them of donkeys.
    The proper way offends their sensitive souls HAH!

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to andin,

    With their Rhotic-accents and the [ɔr]/[ɑr] merger, I’d assumed kicking Equus africanus asinus was preferable to the possible misinterpretation: kicking Equus ferus caballus.

    mantellum/petasus

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth, in reply to tussock,

    "Yes, common law isn’t static, but it’s not so fluid that it can disown its own source."

    "I’m only interested in English common law, as it applies to NZ"

    Right, but not it’s sources

    Common law without its sources is hollow.

    The connection to Christianity is unavoidable because of the common values which which originated in Judaic law and are found in the gospels, but there is also Christian doctrine which has no place in the common law.

    "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law." ~ Jefferson.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth, in reply to Moz,

    Interesting that your god is so democratic. Most of them are more “my way or the highway”.

    Understanding the connection between theism and English democracy involves going back the the advent of kings in the Judaic tradition. If it hadn't been a popular idea at the time then kingship would never have been implemented.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    “Only if you are an atheist, which is a more irrational position given the number of witnesses who support the idea of theism, and the fundamental difficulty in proving that they are wrong.”

    That argument can be reversed to demonstrate the opposite, leaving you with two positions that are “more irrational” than the other.

    No, the essential point is that you've got to be omniscient before you can truthfully deny that deity exists, but you don't have to be omniscient to truthfully state that you've witnessed something that is most simply explained as evidence of deity interacting with the world, eg fire and brimstone.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to UglyTruth,

    evidence of deity interacting with the world, eg fire and brimstone.

    That's your "evidence"?
    Try a little harder would you.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Understanding the connection between theism and English democracy involves going back the the advent of kings in the Judaic tradition

    I think that your emphasis on the link between religious belief and the legal system is a kind of genetic fallacy, to put it mildly. Having gone all Voltaire on your behalf, I feel I have to say that I don't think your argument is right.

    As an agnostic, I agree with your sentiments about the strong/hard/positive variants of atheism, but it's a problem that arises for all kinds of belief. Failing to recognise this is just going to annoy people.

    I think a version of secular virtue ethics should be taught in schools on a mandatory basis. I figure it could just be worked into the existing curriculum without the need for special classes if needed.

    Overall, though, I think you were clearly told not to do this.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to WH,

    Having gone all Voltaire on your behalf

    Although no-one is actually stopping UT from freely expressing themselves. Even if they're copping some flak here, they have their own blog, which has been linked to at least once. If anyone suggested forming a mob armed with torches and pitchforks to cleanse it with fire, I must've missed it.

    Being free to express an opinion doesn't necessarily mean I have to listen to it, respectfully or otherwise. Or respond/not respond, respectfully or otherwise.

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

  • WH,

    Although no-one is actually stopping UT from freely expressing themselves

    I guess.

    Being free to express an opinion doesn't necessarily mean I have to listen to it, respectfully or otherwise. Or respond/not respond, respectfully or otherwise.

    True.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to WH,

    Overall, though, I think you were clearly told not to do this.

    Swine are much maligned and mistreated,
    And that verse can be used by so many it renders it meaningless.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    I think that your emphasis on the link between religious belief and the legal system is a kind of genetic fallacy, to put it mildly.

    It's not just about origins. Blackstone describes how the common law survived the Norman conquest, and the religious role of the head of state of NZ should not be ignored either.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    St Elmo's Fire Warning...

    evidence of deity interacting with
    the world, eg fire and brimstone

    ask and you shall receive:

    EARTH-DIRECTED X-FLARE AND CME: Sunspot AR2158 erupted on Sept. 10th at 17:46 UT, producing an X1.6-class solar flare. A flash of ultraviolet radiation from the explosion ionized the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere, disturbing HF radio communications for more than an hour. More importantly, the explosion hurled a CME directly toward Earth.
    STORM WARNING (UPDATED): Among space weather forecasters, confidence is building that Earth's magnetic field will receive a double-blow from a pair of CMEs on Sept. 12th. The two storm clouds were propelled in our direction by explosions in the magnetic canopy of sunspot AR2158 on Sept. 9th and 10th, respectively. Strong geomagnetic storms are possible on Sept. 12th and 13th as a result of the consecutive impacts. Sky watchers, even those at mid-latitudes, should be alert for auroras in the nights ahead.

    source

    ...Fire in the sky!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7950 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    It's not just about origins. Blackstone describes how the common law survived the Norman conquest, and the religious role of the head of state of NZ should not be ignored either.

    I think we will have to agree to disagree. I've already said more than I originally intended, and I'm mindful that Emma Hart will probably not thank me for my involvement to date.

    While Christianity played an important part in the history of the Commonwealth, and while religion is an important part of New Zealand's social fabric, the modern legal system eschews explicit religious influence in the same way that parliamentary processes carry on without the direct involvement of the Queen.

    Section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1993 and s.15 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 provide a more reliable guide to the modern approach than Blackstone's Commentaries (which are necessarily a product of their time).

    I will leave it there.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to WH,

    I think that your emphasis on the link between religious belief and the legal system is a kind of genetic fallacy

    I think his/her whole line of reasoning is a more general kind of fallacy, the non sequitur. There’s no need to put a deeper or more specific name on reasoning that is so broken, disconnected and unengaged.

    I think I fell into a fallacy earlier. UT did not walk into this dojo and claim his Fu is strong so that he could then do a Bruce Lee and beat up everyone. It wasn’t even really of interest to him/her whether the first white belt beat them half to death in seconds. The main purpose of entering the Dojo was to deliver pamphlets, and every beating endured only increases the number of pamplets delivered, and perhaps inspires people who are inclined to believe people they feel sorry for (prime targets for Christians), to pick up one of those pamphlets. They might even think “Wow, how do they take such a beating? There must be something in what they say!!”.

    The fallacy I fell into is “don’t compare a forum to a dojo, because some people are completely immune to all intellectual influence, and may not even be there for the martial arts”. Also known as the fallacy of feeding the troll.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    the modern legal system eschews explicit religious influence in the same way that parliamentary processes carry on without the direct involvement of the Queen.

    Much of the religious influence is implicit, for example the doctrine of universality (aka one law for all) that was part of the discussion for the first parliamentary prayer (Catholic means universal).

    This is similar to the implict reference to the values of the head of state via the oath of allegiance.

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    It wasn’t even really of interest to him/her whether the first white belt beat them half to death in seconds.

    Yeah, I'm still all butthurt from being called an asshole.

    LOL

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to UglyTruth,

    I don't expect you to even be touched at all. You're an intellectual ghost, blows pass right through you, and your blows pass through others. You don't engage in a meaningful way with any criticism, you just reiterate your points. And your points are all the words of dead people.

    The ghost of Blackstone past haunts the invisible web, the substrate of our thought! All shiver! Brrrr! Then as you were, because it signifies nothing, has no practical outcome at all. You're not saying anything that would actually in any way affect the way anyone would come to a decision about something in the law, except maybe you. It's all mystical connections, sound and fury.

    It stops at monotheism for some unknown reason, possibly because the more you delve into antiquity the more ridiculous it gets, to the point that even you can see it. The roots of our legal system pass right through the polytheistic Romans into a world beyond, when worshipping animals and fertility symbols was normal. Possibly even further, before we could even meaningfully talk to the concerns of more primitive animal ancestors. Maybe we should consider just what the first invertebrates thought about law. They are, after all, subject to the Law of Nature. Must-Eat-Squid! Mmmmm! Squid!! But why stop there! Think on the quark soup, from thence came all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • UglyTruth,

    You don’t engage in a meaningful way with any criticism

    What criticism of my position was relevant and meaningful?

    New Zealand • Since Sep 2014 • 89 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to BenWilson,

    Maybe we should consider just what the first invertebrates thought about law.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to UglyTruth,

    What criticism of my position was relevant and meaningful?

    You work it out. Come back when you have a list of at least 6 :)
    Or just identify and discuss the fallacies in this statement:

    “Only if you are an atheist, which is a more irrational position given the number of witnesses who support the idea of theism, and the fundamental difficulty in proving that they are wrong.”

    No more than 2000 words, with appropriate references to show you've done the required reading (so from orthodox sources in philosophy of religion, not Blackstone or any other legal source) to be handed in by 5pm Monday :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

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