7 of 7
7
Mormons in Politics
Posted: 20 November 2012 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2012-11-20
TheCoolinator - 20 November 2012 11:34 AM

But we aren’t talking about the esoteric idea of some God existing.  We are talking about a specific testable God hypothesis in which the same spirit responsible for the creation of our planet some 6 thousand years ago authored the book which describes that event.  The probability of that Christian God existing is exactly 0, not 1x10-30 as you estimate – which may be a good estimate for some God existing, I don’t have the skills to attempt any kind of probability analysis on the point, but I won’t object to your offer since seems small enough to be feasible.

Well, maybe that’s what you’re talking about, but I don’t think it’s what Dawkins was talking about and you do sort of take him to task in your original post.  I think the probability of some version of the Christian God existing with the attributes that some version of Christians would find essential, is greater than zero.  Or, put another way, there is a version of the faith that one can test against versions of other faiths, such as Mormonism, in terms of plausibility.


I’m ok with the main thrust of things you are saying, but the “nit” issue that I selected is important personally to me.  I tend to agree with the Dawkins formulation of atheism, as I understand it.  There are, to be sure, some or many falsifiable propositions in the Christian Bible, but as mentioned, I do think one can construct an essential version of the “faith” that to date hasn’t been falsified, and may not be falsifiable.  I am as uncomfortable declaring that to be false as I am when an evangelical declares it to be true.  I find either to be based on belief and faith. 


The trap, as Dawkins notes, is to claim as many theists do that since the existence and non-existence of God are both as yet unproven, that it’s a 50/50 proposition.  Dawkins skewers this theory, and notes that it’s a matter of probability, and on that score, theism is down by 1x10 to the whatever in the fourth quarter.  But I do not have a problem with atheists of this stripe discussing relative probabilities and still find the point, as I said, important.


Nor do I think the angels dancing on a head of a pin arguments are without value.  The more relatively implausible religion becomes the more it says about its adherents and the human mammal’s capacity for bullshit, which is important sociologically and politically. 


If what you really want to talk about is the destructive power of various faiths viz. one another, then I guess I don’t understand the point of much of your original note.  With respect to Mormons, to the extent anyone gives a crap about my opinions, I know many and would say that, by and large, they are productive citizens, no more or less pernicious than rank-and-file Christians.  I find their particular version of child abuse to be more pernicious than that of some types of protestants—say, unitarians—and less so than that of most non-reform Catholics and others.  If find their particular views about women slightly more repulsive than the views of many of my rank-and-file Christian colleagues.  But not approaching that of, say, orthodox Jews.  I find them a touch more clannish and tribal than some of my non-evangelical Christian colleagues, but not in a way that seems to matter too much. 

 

[ Edited: 20 November 2012 04:26 PM by regularguy]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 20 November 2012 08:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  226
Joined  2012-09-10
regularguy - 20 November 2012 04:23 PM

Well, maybe that’s what you’re talking about, but I don’t think it’s what Dawkins was talking about and you do sort of take him to task in your original post.  I think the probability of some version of the Christian God existing with the attributes that some version of Christians would find essential, is greater than zero.

An idea is either true or false. There is no probability involved. We cannot meaningfully predict whether or not an idea is true. That sounds like Beyasian epistemology, which is false.

regularguy - 20 November 2012 04:23 PM

Or, put another way, there is a version of the faith that one can test against versions of other faiths, such as Mormonism, in terms of plausibility.

There is no possibility for creating a testable theory that God exists.

regularguy - 20 November 2012 04:23 PM

The trap, as Dawkins notes, is to claim as many theists do that since the existence and non-existence of God are both as yet unproven, that it’s a 50/50 proposition.  Dawkins skewers this theory, and notes that it’s a matter of probability, and on that score, theism is down by 1x10 to the whatever in the fourth quarter.  But I do not have a problem with atheists of this stripe discussing relative probabilities and still find the point, as I said, important.

Dawkins does the Bayesian epistemology too? ugh. Thats not how truth is determined. It works like this. There are two rival theories (the God one and the no-God one). We criticize each theory. And we criticize the criticisms. And we continue criticizing until no one has any more criticisms. The theory left unrefuted is the true one. The other is false.

 Signature 

—Rami Rustom

If you agree with my ideas, you’d enjoy these:

http://ramirustom.blogspot.com
http://fallibleideas.com/
http://groups.google.com/group/beginning-of-infinity/subscribe
http://groups.google.com/group/taking-children-seriously/subscribe
http://groups.google.com/group/rational-politics-list/subscribe
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autonomy-Respecting-Relationships/messages

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 November 2012 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29
regularguy - 20 November 2012 04:23 PM

Well, maybe that’s what you’re talking about, but I don’t think it’s what Dawkins was talking about and you do sort of take him to task in your original post.

I have very few criticisms of Prof. Dawkins who I admire greatly.  My criticism of him in my initial post was limited to the following statement:  “The Mormon religion is so obviously fake, founded by a transparent charlatan in the nineteenth century, Joseph Smith. Nothing could be more obvious than that that man was a fake and a charlatan and a liar, and yet now we have a Presidential candidate who is prepared to say that he believes in this mountebank” 


This is not an off-the-cuff remark, but a recurring laugh line he has used repeatedly when asked by his fans about his views on Mormons and (I think) a fair representation of his views on the topic.  I’ll grant him that it is funny, but it is also intellectually beneath him.  It implies that Mormons are more gullible than other Christian believers, and that’s the kind of intellectual sloppiness I expect someone of his caliber to avoid.

regularguy - 20 November 2012 04:23 PM

I think the probability of some version of the Christian God existing with the attributes that some version of Christians would find essential, is greater than zero.  Or, put another way, there is a version of the faith that one can test against versions of other faiths, such as Mormonism, in terms of plausibility.

We won’t find any room for agreement unless you retract this position.  Briefly:
Chance the world is approximately 6 thousand years old = 0
Chance that rain fall once submerged 100% of the world’s land mass = 0
Chance that Jesus was conceived by a virgin = 0


Now, we can carve out all of the Christian claims that are actively falsified and assign some non-zero probability to what remains, but I think both believers and non-believers would rightly be opposed such a disingenuous strategy.  I won’t let you get away with it. 

regularguy - 20 November 2012 04:23 PM

If what you really want to talk about is the destructive power of various faiths viz. one another, then I guess I don’t understand the point of much of your original note.  With respect to Mormons, to the extent anyone gives a crap about my opinions, I know many and would say that, by and large, they are productive citizens, no more or less pernicious than rank-and-file Christians.  I find their particular version of child abuse to be more pernicious than that of some types of protestants—say, unitarians—and less so than that of most non-reform Catholics and others.  If find their particular views about women slightly more repulsive than the views of many of my rank-and-file Christian colleagues.  But not approaching that of, say, orthodox Jews.  I find them a touch more clannish and tribal than some of my non-evangelical Christian colleagues, but not in a way that seems to matter too much.

This, precisely, is the point of my remarks.  I agree with this paragraph 100%, I only wish I could have put it so well.  Dawkins, Harris, Maher, Krauss and others do not.  The goal of my initial essay was to point out that the Atheist Intelligentsia is missing this rather obvious point.


They are making the same error that so many posters on this thread have made – they are confusing the truth probability of a belief (not appreciably different for any religion) with the harmfulness of those beliefs (this varries a great deal more).  Pointing out that what the Mormons believe is laughably improbable does not expose them to any censure that could not equally be charged any other faith based believer. 

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 November 2012 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2012-11-20

Whether using Bayesian methodology or otherwise, one must always make determinations about the relative plausibility of unfalsified theories.  If you a reviewing grant applications for cancer research and one seeks limited funds to research whether alien cattle experiments are poisoning the water, one must make a determination of relative plausibility viz. an application seeking to research heavy metal poisoning in neighborhoods downstream from factories that use mercury.


I don’t know whether the scientific method is a special case of Bayesian methodology, a hybrid, or simply outside the realm of deductive/logical probability.  I’m neither a philosopher nor a scientist.  But, either way, all that Dawkins is proposing is, in analyzing god claims, use of the scientific method.


I do not dispute that, in nature, a proposition either is or is not true.  The issue under consideration, however, is the extent to which a human mammal can know it to be so.  The answer, as I think Dawkins believes and as I do, is that one cannot know something to be true, but can only prove it to be false.  (When I say something, obviously, I’m talking about objective facts about nature, not statements like, “the moon is beautiful tonight.”)


Most good science proceeds on this assumption.  We posit a theory, look to see whether it can be falsified, and if it cannot over a wide range of observations we declare it a good theory, unless and until it can be falsified.  As I understand the problem at hand it is that the claim that the existence of god is not a falsifiable theory and thus not subject to this scientific method.  Actually, the non-existence of god may very well be a falsifiable hypothesis, so I’m not sure I agree with that.  If god were to make himself known, come down from the heavens, and perform miracles, I believe the theory would be falsified.  Or, at least the theory that god exists would go from being a difficult-to-test theory to perhaps a good theory. 


In the meantime, I have no problem with making plausibility determinations about as-yet-unfalsified theories.  For example, one might posit that for large objects general relativity is a valid explanation of the cosmos.  Or one might posit that planets are held in their places and orbits by invisible undetectable beams emanating from a big spaceship.  None can say that either of these theories is true or false.  One can definitely say one is a waste of time.


That said, if you had walked into a science convention in 1850 and offered to take bets from everyone who said that Newton’s view of gravitation was a complete theory, everyone in the room would have taken you up on it, and some would have bet their fortunes.  Yet, if you lived long enough, you would have become very wealthy.  So too, if you made the same bet that a particle could be in two places at once, you would get many takers.  (You’d probably even get some suckers today on this one.)  Yet, none of this means, at this point, you’d be wise to jump off a tall building.


I am as uncomfortable with one expressing the “truth” that god does not exist as expressing the truth that he does.  Both depend on faith.  One is just a whole heck of a lot more likely based on current evidence.  My sense is that claims that one can, through reasoning or argument say yea or nay on the existence of god come from “strong” atheists who affirmatively believe there is no god but do not wish to admit this is a belief of the same species as that belonging to a theist, just a more plausible one.  I am personally comfortable with the view that the existence of god seems about as likely as that our observation of gravity is incorrect and just based on an erroneously small sample size.  I’m as likely to pray as to jump off a building.  But I don’t need the final chapter written definitely.  More fundamentally to the current debate, I have no problem whatsoever evaluating the plausibility of unfalsified claims based on observations to date. 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 November 2012 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2012-11-20
TheCoolinator - 21 November 2012 08:18 AM

They are making the same error that so many posters on this thread have made – they are confusing the truth probability of a belief (not appreciably different for any religion) with the harmfulness of those beliefs (this varries a great deal more).  Pointing out that what the Mormons believe is laughably improbable does not expose them to any censure that could not equally be charged any other faith based believer.

Well, as I said in my original post, I am still having a bit of trouble with this proposition, though I am not quite ready to defend my position yet.  Actually, I am trying to be open minded about it.  But it feels as though one who believes god wants you to wear underwear with symbols is more delusional than one who does not, even if they both believe in god.  (All other things being equal, of course—clearly the one who doesn’t wear the underwear might have some equally or more implausible views on other stuff.)  As I said, I am open to being convinced that this is just prejudice.


Put another way, if I were in equipoise about two candidates for President, I imagine the following:  (1) Mild protestant who believes in an involved creator and that Jesus was the son of god, but eschews much of the rest of the bible as man made nonsense.  (These were my parents, essentially.)  (2) Mormon who believes in the core aspects of Mormonism.  To be sure, I think either should disqualify either from holding public office, but forced to pick between the two, I would probably pick the former as slightly less delusional.


Fortunately, I don’t think this was ever really at stake in the President election.  My guess is that Obama is a privately pretty close to an atheist and that Romney has considerable doubts about his faith as well—at least to the extent I don’t worry too much that either would be a crusader.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 November 2012 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  226
Joined  2012-09-10
regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

I don’t know whether the scientific method is a special case of Bayesian methodology,

Its not.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

a hybrid,

Its not.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

or simply outside the realm of deductive/logical probability.

The Scientific Method is a special case of the Conjectures and Refutations method.


The Conjectures and Refutations method goes like this. Step 1: Conjecture a theory. Step 2: Criticize that theory. Repeat.


The Scientific method goes like this. Step 1: Conjecture a theory. Step 2: Criticize that theory *using physical evidence*. Repeat.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

I’m neither a philosopher nor a scientist.  But, either way, all that Dawkins is proposing is, in analyzing god claims, use of the scientific method.


I do not dispute that, in nature, a proposition either is or is not true.  The issue under consideration, however, is the extent to which a human mammal can know it to be so.

We can’t know for sure that any idea is true. Why? Because humans are fallible. That means that any one of our ideas (aka theories) can be mistaken. And we don’t know which ones are mistaken, which means we don’t know which ones are not mistaken.


All a person can know is that he does or does not have any criticisms of a theory. If he doesn’t have any criticisms, then the theory is true—conjecturally true. And if he does have criticisms, then the theory is false—conjecturally false. For now at least. Because in the future he or someone else could create a new criticism and the cycle continues.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

The answer, as I think Dawkins believes and as I do, is that one cannot know something to be true, but can only prove it to be false.

We can’t “prove” it to be false. We can only refute it, thus making it *conjecturally* false.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

Most good science proceeds on this assumption. We posit a theory, look to see whether it can be falsified, and if it cannot over a wide range of observations we declare it a good theory, unless and until it can be falsified.

Right. Some “scientific” theories are bad. Why? Because they are not falsifiable. This is explained by Popper’s Line of Demarcation. That line separates (real) science from mysticism (aka scientism).

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

As I understand the problem at hand it is that the claim that the existence of god is not a falsifiable theory and thus not subject to this scientific method.  Actually, the non-existence of god may very well be a falsifiable hypothesis, so I’m not sure I agree with that.  If god were to make himself known, come down from the heavens, and perform miracles, I believe the theory would be falsified.  Or, at least the theory that god exists would go from being a difficult-to-test theory to perhaps a good theory.

But the God theory is not falsifiable precisely because included in that theory is the idea that God doesn’t reveal himself to anyone.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

In the meantime, I have no problem with making plausibility determinations about as-yet-unfalsified theories.  For example, one might posit that for large objects general relativity is a valid explanation of the cosmos.  Or one might posit that planets are held in their places and orbits by invisible undetectable beams emanating from a big spaceship.  None can say that either of these theories is true or false.  One can definitely say one is a waste of time.

Yes. But why? Because we have criticisms of the waste-of-time theory and no criticisms of General Relativity.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

That said, if you had walked into a science convention in 1850 and offered to take bets from everyone who said that Newton’s view of gravitation was a complete theory, everyone in the room would have taken you up on it, and some would have bet their fortunes.  Yet, if you lived long enough, you would have become very wealthy.  So too, if you made the same bet that a particle could be in two places at once, you would get many takers.  (You’d probably even get some suckers today on this one.)  Yet, none of this means, at this point, you’d be wise to jump off a tall building.

The point is this. We go from mistaken theory to slightly less mistaken theory to slightly less mistaken theory. We never know whether or not we have the objective truth. We only know that we have conjectural truth.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

I am as uncomfortable with one expressing the “truth” that god does not exist as expressing the truth that he does.  Both depend on faith.

NO NO NO. Faith is void of reason. To believe in an idea because of faith, means to believe in that idea without a reason.


The God theory has been criticized (using reasons). Therefore its false. The no-God theory is uncriticized. Therefore its true.


For a theist, he believes in the God theory on faith (i.e. without using reasons).

regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:23 AM

One is just a whole heck of a lot more likely based on current evidence.  My sense is that claims that one can, through reasoning or argument say yea or nay on the existence of god come from “strong” atheists who affirmatively believe there is no god but do not wish to admit this is a belief of the same species as that belonging to a theist, just a more plausible one.  I am personally comfortable with the view that the existence of god seems about as likely as that our observation of gravity is incorrect and just based on an erroneously small sample size.  I’m as likely to pray as to jump off a building.  But I don’t need the final chapter written definitely.  More fundamentally to the current debate, I have no problem whatsoever evaluating the plausibility of unfalsified claims based on observations to date.

In other words, you have no problem believing in a conjectural truth even though you can’t know whether or not that conjectural truth is an objective truth.

 Signature 

—Rami Rustom

If you agree with my ideas, you’d enjoy these:

http://ramirustom.blogspot.com
http://fallibleideas.com/
http://groups.google.com/group/beginning-of-infinity/subscribe
http://groups.google.com/group/taking-children-seriously/subscribe
http://groups.google.com/group/rational-politics-list/subscribe
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autonomy-Respecting-Relationships/messages

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 November 2012 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2012-11-20

If “conjectural truth” is understood to be the best “belief” we’ve got at the time, I don’t think we’re disagreeing.

I also think you’re using the word “criticism” in a special sense that I might not understand.  But I think one can make comparisons about the amount of criticism that can be leveled at a theory.

General relativity, for example, is not without “criticisms,” at least in the way that I understand the word.  General relativity doesn’t work for small stuff.  That’s a big problem.  But it’s still a better theory than the spaceship one.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 21 November 2012 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  226
Joined  2012-09-10
regularguy - 21 November 2012 09:29 AM

If “conjectural truth” is understood to be the best “belief” we’ve got at the time, I don’t think we’re disagreeing.

I also think you’re using the word “criticism” in a special sense that I might not understand.

A criticism is an explanation of a flaw in an idea (ideas include theories and criticisms).

regularguy - 21 November 2012 09:29 AM

But I think one can make comparisons about the amount of criticism that can be leveled at a theory.

No. The amount of criticism doesn’t matter. If a theory has an unrefuted criticism, then its false. If it has two criticisms, its still false. If it has 1,000 criticisms, its still false.

regularguy - 21 November 2012 09:29 AM

General relativity, for example, is not without “criticisms,” at least in the way that I understand the word.  General relativity doesn’t work for small stuff.  That’s a big problem.  But it’s still a better theory than the spaceship one.

AFAIK, general relativity doesn’t claim to work for small stuff. So, that it doesn’t work for small stuff isn’t a criticism of a theory that doesn’t claim to work for small stuff.


By “big problem” I think you mean that the general relativity theory cannot be a unified theory of all physics. I agree, for the same reason you brought up, which is that it doesn’t explain situations involving small particles.

 Signature 

—Rami Rustom

If you agree with my ideas, you’d enjoy these:

http://ramirustom.blogspot.com
http://fallibleideas.com/
http://groups.google.com/group/beginning-of-infinity/subscribe
http://groups.google.com/group/taking-children-seriously/subscribe
http://groups.google.com/group/rational-politics-list/subscribe
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autonomy-Respecting-Relationships/messages

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 November 2012 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  152
Joined  2012-08-29
regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:50 AM

Well, as I said in my original post, I am still having a bit of trouble with this proposition, though I am not quite ready to defend my position yet.  Actually, I am trying to be open minded about it.  But it feels as though one who believes god wants you to wear underwear with symbols is more delusional than one who does not, even if they both believe in god.  (All other things being equal, of course—clearly the one who doesn’t wear the underwear might have some equally or more implausible views on other stuff.)  As I said, I am open to being convinced that this is just prejudice.
Put another way, if I were in equipoise about two candidates for President, I imagine the following:  (1) Mild protestant who believes in an involved creator and that Jesus was the son of god, but eschews much of the rest of the bible as man made nonsense.  (These were my parents, essentially.)  (2) Mormon who believes in the core aspects of Mormonism.  To be sure, I think either should disqualify either from holding public office, but forced to pick between the two, I would probably pick the former as slightly less delusional.
Fortunately, I don’t think this was ever really at stake in the President election.  My guess is that Obama is a privately pretty close to an atheist and that Romney has considerable doubts about his faith as well—at least to the extent I don’t worry too much that either would be a crusader.

There is nothing harmful about magic underpants and it seems to have been a good tool to foster group cohesion, so I don’t hold it against them.  What is comforting about both Obama and Romney is that neither of them has deviated from the religion in which they were raised.  I think that is a more innocuous circumstance than a convert or Born-Again like G.W. Bush. 


Anyone who takes religion on as an adult is subject to censure regarding their reason.  Therefore, converting into Mormonism would be a more grievous violation than would be converting to most other religions since it would require a more acrobatic suspension of reason.  However, if you were raised in that faith and have only declined to reject it, you are no different than the bulk of Americans.  This is why I find the reason based attacks on the Mormon-ness of a presidential candidate so unreasonable, but would not had that candidate converted to the faith. 


Consider Scientologists.  They are young enough that I’m not aware of any people that were raised in the faith, but if one were so raised would we fault her for joining the mass of humanity in declining to subject her faith to a rational analysis?  Surely we would be as eager for her to do so as we are for all children raised in faith, but it would be an error we if held that her duty was magnified by the ludicrous nature of her default position.  Frankly, I prefer the person that never looks at the issue to the one who, as an adult, does look, then decides to change to Protestantism even though it is comparatively less absurd.  I propose that the latter person is less rational and that Mitt Romney, therefore, would be less rational if he were to convert to a more innocuous religion. 


Of course, this is a different postulation of the argument than in my initial essay, but I find it gratifying that my position has survived the test of the sharp criticisms it has come under in this thread and grown in the process. 

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 November 2012 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2012-11-20
TheCoolinator - 24 November 2012 09:50 PM
regularguy - 21 November 2012 08:50 AM

Well, as I said in my original post, I am still having a bit of trouble with this proposition, though I am not quite ready to defend my position yet.  Actually, I am trying to be open minded about it.  But it feels as though one who believes god wants you to wear underwear with symbols is more delusional than one who does not, even if they both believe in god.  (All other things being equal, of course—clearly the one who doesn’t wear the underwear might have some equally or more implausible views on other stuff.)  As I said, I am open to being convinced that this is just prejudice.
Put another way, if I were in equipoise about two candidates for President, I imagine the following:  (1) Mild protestant who believes in an involved creator and that Jesus was the son of god, but eschews much of the rest of the bible as man made nonsense.  (These were my parents, essentially.)  (2) Mormon who believes in the core aspects of Mormonism.  To be sure, I think either should disqualify either from holding public office, but forced to pick between the two, I would probably pick the former as slightly less delusional.
Fortunately, I don’t think this was ever really at stake in the President election.  My guess is that Obama is a privately pretty close to an atheist and that Romney has considerable doubts about his faith as well—at least to the extent I don’t worry too much that either would be a crusader.

There is nothing harmful about magic underpants and it seems to have been a good tool to foster group cohesion, so I don’t hold it against them.  What is comforting about both Obama and Romney is that neither of them has deviated from the religion in which they were raised.  I think that is a more innocuous circumstance than a convert or Born-Again like G.W. Bush. 


Anyone who takes religion on as an adult is subject to censure regarding their reason.  Therefore, converting into Mormonism would be a more grievous violation than would be converting to most other religions since it would require a more acrobatic suspension of reason.  However, if you were raised in that faith and have only declined to reject it, you are no different than the bulk of Americans.  This is why I find the reason based attacks on the Mormon-ness of a presidential candidate so unreasonable, but would not had that candidate converted to the faith. 


Consider Scientologists.  They are young enough that I’m not aware of any people that were raised in the faith, but if one were so raised would we fault her for joining the mass of humanity in declining to subject her faith to a rational analysis?  Surely we would be as eager for her to do so as we are for all children raised in faith, but it would be an error we if held that her duty was magnified by the ludicrous nature of her default position.  Frankly, I prefer the person that never looks at the issue to the one who, as an adult, does look, then decides to change to Protestantism even though it is comparatively less absurd.  I propose that the latter person is less rational and that Mitt Romney, therefore, would be less rational if he were to convert to a more innocuous religion. 


Of course, this is a different postulation of the argument than in my initial essay, but I find it gratifying that my position has survived the test of the sharp criticisms it has come under in this thread and grown in the process.

Well said.  I think I agree with pretty much all of this.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 01 December 2012 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  119
Joined  2009-05-12

I don’t give a rat’s arse if Morons- oops- Marmots . . . Marmalade . . . Mormons . . . get involved in politics, so long as they, and all other religion nutters, keep church and state separate.


The great tragedy in US politics is that even if you are a sceptic, you don’t stand a chance of getting elected unless you pretend to be a Christian. Which, of course, makes you a lying, opportunistic sack of poo, right from the get-go. And then there are the hot-button “issues” you have to pander to in order to get yourself elected. You pretty much have to claim to be pro-abortion, anti-capital-punishment, anti-discrimination-against-immigrants type in order to be a Democrat, and likewise have to claim to be anti-abortion, pro-capital-punishment, and a right-wing, “family values”, gun-toting Christian nutter in order to be accepted as a Republican (aka the White party).


Which puts the lie to the sayingism, “The truth shall set you free.” The truth will just as often act as a straightjacket and a prison.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 December 2012 03:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  25
Joined  2012-01-31
gsmonks - 01 December 2012 03:25 AM

I don’t give a rat’s arse if Morons- oops- Marmots . . . Marmalade . . . Mormons . . . get involved in politics, so long as they, and all other religion nutters, keep church and state separate.

Isn’t this ultimately impossible?  A politician’s beliefs will impact his/her policy decisions one way or another.  Unless the religion is just a label so as to appear to voters as anything but an atheist.

Profile
 
 
   
7 of 7
7
 
‹‹ Natural Selection      Omar Khadr ››
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed