1 of 3
1
Has Anybody Charted Sam's Slippery Slope?
Posted: 22 November 2006 02:58 AM   [ Ignore ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1076
Joined  2005-12-22

Maybe I'll do so.  One thing that's gnawed at me since reading TEoF has been his use of the slippery slope that:

1. if faith
...
...
...
n. then armageddon

Though I haven't actually charted steps "2" through "n-1"—I'm wondering if somebody else has.

He's a non-closeted religious person (hidden in plain sight on pp. 208-209 of TEoF).  Also the assertion that all moderates only fuel extremism is wrong.

Given that, I'm curious about the details of his slippery slope and wonder if anybody else has thought about it.  If I feel motivated maybe I'll just tackle it myself if nobody else has.

For background on what a "slippery slope" argument is, just google it.  They are not always fallacious, but frequently are.  They're generally characterized by pat over-simplification of just about every relevant fact.  However, the stakes are inevitably so high (end of the world AS WE KNOW IT!!ONE!) that slippery slope arguments are often taken very seriously. 
For textbook example, see Malthus.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 November 2006 03:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  5404
Joined  2006-09-27
[quote author=“mudfoot”]Also the assertion that all moderates only fuel extremism is wrong.

Much as I would like to believe that assertion, I cannot. However, that does not eliminate my wish that religious moderates (along with their extremist counterparts) would all just take a pill and go die. How d’ya like them apples, mudfoot? Pretty intolerant, isn’t it?

 Signature 

INVEST in cynicism!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 November 2006 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  318
Joined  2006-03-23

[quote author=“mudfoot”]He’s a non-closeted religious person (hidden in plain sight on pp. 208-209 of TEoF).

If you flip the page (pp210), this characterization becomes a non-starter.

[quote author=“mudfoot”] Also the assertion that all moderates only fuel extremism is wrong.

  Also, the assertion that moderates fuel extremism is an opinion.  Sam has made a rather convincing case for its validity in his two books.  Your protestation on the issue is noted but your argument is thin.  Most notably because of your use of straw men (see above).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 November 2006 06:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  112
Joined  2006-10-23
[quote author=“Salt Creek”][quote author=“mudfoot”]Also the assertion that all moderates only fuel extremism is wrong.

Much as I would like to believe that assertion, I cannot. However, that does not eliminate my wish that religious moderates (along with their extremist counterparts) would all just take a pill and go die. How d’ya like them apples, mudfoot? Pretty intolerant, isn’t it?

You’re an idiot dude. There is no reason to take you seriously. Have a good day, Hitler.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 November 2006 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1763
Joined  2006-08-20

[quote author=“mudfoot”]Maybe I’ll do so.  One thing that’s gnawed at me since reading TEoF has been his use of the slippery slope….
Though I haven’t actually charted steps “2” through “n-1”—I’m wondering if somebody else has.

I think the recipe is pretty simple. I don’t know that SH ever used a slippery slope analogy but I see it more like a slippery cliff.

Step 1 is establish a non rational mode of conduct that allows for and even encourages conflict and justifies suicide, of both the cultural and national as well as the individual kind. So religious nation states like Iran, Israel, and the US also justify and motivate their agressions by their religious context.

Step 2 is to mix in modern weapons of mass destruction and modern warfare into a medievel mindset.

The key of course to inauspicious events, aka, armageddon, is the presence of modern military forces and weapons of mass destruction.

[quote author=“mudfoot”]
He’s a non-closeted religious person (hidden in plain sight on pp. 208-209 of TEoF).

I just re-read those pages, and I don’t see how you get that (religious) from his discussion of conciousness. You might imagine that the subject of conciousness would be of interest to a neuroscientist as well as to any number of religions.

[quote author=“mudfoot”]
Also the assertion that all moderates only fuel extremism is wrong.

I don’t think Sam uses the words “all” and “only” in this context.

[quote author=“mudfoot”]
Given that, I’m curious about the details of his slippery slope and wonder if anybody else has thought about it.  If I feel motivated maybe I’ll just tackle it myself if nobody else has.

Have at it, you could probably come up with a regular Tom Clancy tale…don’t forget the scene where the christian pilot kisses his crucifix before dropping the tactical nuke on Tehran.

 Signature 

The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind, the ants are blowing in the wind.

Dog is my co-pilot

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2006 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  45
Joined  2006-11-28
[quote author=“mudfoot”] Also the assertion that all moderates only fuel extremism is wrong.

No, it’s actually a very simple, straightforward and virtually irrefutable truth, namely: by presenting a face of “moderate” Christianity, for example, while not really holding to the central tenets of that faith, one furthers a greater acceptance for Christianity in the public square, and through this greater acceptance come running into the public square the non-moderates who actually believe what the religion teaches, and have power and respectability that society should have never granted them in the first place.  It’s not that moderate religiosity *fuels* extremist religiosity, but rather than moderate religiosity *enables* extremist religiosity by raising overall the general respectability and tolerance for religious perspective in general.

To take a pertinent example, there are liberal and moderate Christians who support gay marriage.  In doing so, they present a face to the world that says “hey, Christianity has no problems with homosexual activity or gay marriage, look at my Christian friend/neighbor/colleague, he has no problem with it, Christianity is just fine” ... when in reality Christianity as a faith has been 100% against homosexual activity since day one, and the Christians who are actively organizing against gay marriage are actually doing what their religion teaches them to do, and not the moderate Christians, who are simply walking away from the unmitigated and clear message of Christianity about homosexuality for 2000 years.  In other words, the presence of liberal and moderate “Christian” voices on this issue dilutes the message and muddies the water from the reality that it is the so-called “conservative” Christians who are actually doing what the religion has always taught, and their position of bigotry and intolerance towards homosexuals is INHERENT IN THEIR RELIGION.  The fact that moderate and liberal “Christians” muddy that message only serves to distract some people from realizing just how bigoted the Christian religion truly is when it comes to homosexuals, and of course that’s a bad thing because it encourages people to view Christianity differently than they otherwise would.  Christianity is, in reality, an extremist religion bent on restricting personal freedoms in numerous ways, and when it has the upper hand politically, it does so.  Obscuring this reality by claiming to be ‘Christian’ when holding beliefs that are at complete and utter odds with 2000 years of Christian teaching (and the majority of Christians around today) is simply playing into the hands of the extremists because you are encouraging more people to look away from just how extremely controlling and bigoted the religion actually is, and instead presenting them with a “fantasy” version of Christianity that is, in fact, divorced from Christian teaching.

Sam Harris is dead to rights on this issue, no question.  Liberal and moderate religious people are doing a great, great harm to people who are oppressed by religiously inspired legislation.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2006 08:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1076
Joined  2005-12-22

What you claim to be authentic Christianity is simply a union of every characteristic with which you disagree ever having been expressed by anybody claiming to represent that faith for the past couple of thousand years.  Conversely, everything which you consider to be good is inauthentic when expressed by somebody claiming to be a Christian.

Your bigotry says nothing about the subject other than you attribute every possible bad thing to it as well as make the further claim that even the strong evidence of millions of exceptions to your rule are bad because they merely form some type of camouflage over the rest.

The fact is that there are millions of people who think of themselves as being Christians who share your gonadal political views.  It is these “moderate” and “liberal” Christians, not the strident leather queens shrieking down Market Street, who best push forward your agenda.

Moderate and liberal Christians have formed the backbone of every peacefully waged progressive social movement in modern history.  Further, the tactics of non-violent protest and resolution in the face of power has been at the very center of Christian theology since its inception.  They worship a guy who was unjustly nailed to a tree.  The first couple of hundred years of Christianity involved Christians being persecuted to death because of their beliefs just like their founder, and they didn’t fight back physically.

If you want to further marginalize yourself, then keep wrongly attacking moderates.  They seem to be very adept at believing themselves to be authentic to their faith regardless of the perspective of bigots such as Sam Harris or yourself.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2006 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1763
Joined  2006-08-20

Gotta agree with novaseeker and Sam. Religious moderates really have to be called on for their blanket support for what will always amount to separatist policies. Exclusivity and separatism lies at the base of virtually all religions, especially christianity. All mudfoot is doing is cherry picking the bright spots that he wants to emphasize and ignoring the basic underlying, necessarily fundamentalist, extremist religious agenda.  Moderate and religious christian just excuse their extremist buddies. All christians let themselves be represented by Falwell, Dobson, Pat Roberts, Haggard, etc. They shouldn’t be surprised when we characterize all christians that way.

 Signature 

The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind, the ants are blowing in the wind.

Dog is my co-pilot

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2006 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1076
Joined  2005-12-22

You are a moron.  Like I said, you guys merely place the boogey-man of “the basic underlying, necessarily fundamentalist, extremist religious agenda” at the heart of the theology.  Sam Harris and the rest of you closed-minded hypocrites most emphatically do not represent me, even though you guys claim to be atheists.  Just like Torquemada did not represent George Fox.

You refuse to consider all evidence presented which contradicts your dogma that religious moderation fuels extremism, and simply circularly refer back to the dogma as evidence.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 November 2006 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1763
Joined  2006-08-20

[quote author=“mudfoot”]You are a moron.  Like I said, you guys merely place the boogey-man of “the basic underlying, necessarily fundamentalist, extremist religious agenda” at the heart of the theology.  Sam Harris and the rest of you closed-minded hypocrites most emphatically do not represent me, even though you guys claim to be atheists.  Just like Torquemada did not represent George Fox.

You refuse to consider all evidence presented which contradicts your dogma that religious moderation fuels extremism, and simply circularly refer back to the dogma as evidence.

You’re such a nice, open minded person, mudfoot. :wink: I myself, never claimed to be an atheist and certainly never wanted to represent you.

At the heart of the theology is a belief in nonsense. Moderate religionists, who cherry pick the best lessons promote these beliefs and make them compatible with relgious extremists who cherry pick the worst lessons from them and use the beliefs to justify power and control.

I just see so called moderate and extremists as two sides of the same coin.  What they have in common is a belief system that will justify whatever actions they want to take.

What Torquemada had in common with George Fox is a belief system that is beyond reproach by rational thought. By not allowing their common beliefs to be reproachable, the moderates succor their extremist counterparts. As long as religion provides a free pass past or through rational thought, it will also provide an open door into policy making based on extremist religious agendas.

Historically, the moderates fail to affect policy because they give a pass to religion and functionally they and the extremists become one and the same. We don’t see George Fox and the Quaker religious interpretation with any real influence. We see Roberts and Haggard and Dobson and Falwell and their influence on policy and their hatred of Islam. I wonder how many muslims in the US armed forces? Or the Israeli forces? How many jews in the Iranian military, or work for Al Queda?

All of these religious people have chips on their shoulders and axes to grind, I think it’s pretty simple. The common denominator is religion. Religion is the authority that says it’s ok to shock the subject to death…so they do.

 Signature 

The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind, the ants are blowing in the wind.

Dog is my co-pilot

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 December 2006 02:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  62
Joined  2006-12-14

[quote author=“mudfoot”]You are a moron.  Like I said, you guys merely place the boogey-man of “the basic underlying, necessarily fundamentalist, extremist religious agenda” at the heart of the theology.  Sam Harris and the rest of you closed-minded hypocrites most emphatically do not represent me, even though you guys claim to be atheists.  Just like Torquemada did not represent George Fox.

You refuse to consider all evidence presented which contradicts your dogma that religious moderation fuels extremism, and simply circularly refer back to the dogma as evidence.

Harris is claiming these religions contain members who hold these fundamentalist beliefs, and that their belief is (also) supported by their sacred texts. He is not claiming all members of these religions hold these beliefs.

It is not possible, at present, to get an accurate estimate of what fraction of each religion in each geographic region believes exactly what (due to the nature of self reporting and belief in belief).

While Harris doesn’t feel moderates are standing on firm theological ground, if they took a principled stance against their own extremists (if religious moderates did not tolerate extremist in their midst), moderates would no longer be dangerous.

Please also remember Harris is calling for criticism, not laws and violent oppression.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 December 2006 02:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  62
Joined  2006-12-14

[quote author=“eucaryote”]

We don’t see George Fox and the Quaker religious interpretation with any real influence.

I wonder how many muslims in the US armed forces?

Two nit-picks:

1) due perhaps to their religious pacifism, the Quaker community has a rape problem that is seldom heard about

2) It would be a mistake to suggest there were not many muslims in the United States armed forces, just as it would be a mistake to suggest there were no atheists in foxholes.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 December 2006 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1763
Joined  2006-08-20
[quote author=“B.Dewhirst”]It would be a mistake to suggest there were not many muslims in the United States armed forces…..

Do you really think so? How many? I guess that it must be a very minor fraction.

 Signature 

The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind, the ants are blowing in the wind.

Dog is my co-pilot

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 December 2006 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1076
Joined  2005-12-22

[quote author=“B.Dewhirst”]
While Harris doesn’t feel moderates are standing on firm theological ground, if they took a principled stance against their own extremists (if religious moderates did not tolerate extremist in their midst), moderates would no longer be dangerous.

Citation?  Because it is abundantly clear throughout Western Civilization’s history that religious moderates have taken principled stances against religious extremists and have won.  Erasmus and the reformation.  Wesleyans and Quakers and abolition of slavery.  King and civil rights.  Mel White and buggerers’ rights (though Mel White’s struggle is in progress, best of luck to him).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 December 2006 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  62
Joined  2006-12-14
[quote author=“eucaryote”][quote author=“B.Dewhirst”]It would be a mistake to suggest there were not many muslims in the United States armed forces…..

Do you really think so? How many? I guess that it must be a very minor fraction.

from http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20030924-091208-9162r.htm:

there are only approximately 4,500 Muslims in uniform,

of a total of (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_the_United_States)
2,685,713

(which works out to: (edit for bad math) roughly 0.17)

in the general population: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States#Religion)

Islam (0.6%)

I did another quick web search to try to confirm the above… I found the following link

http://www.pluralism.org/news/index.php?xref=Muslims+in+the+Military&sort=DESC#headline3887
(4200 in 2003)

So someone is less likely than the general population to be a Muslim in the military.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 December 2006 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1763
Joined  2006-08-20

[quote author=“B.Dewhirst”]
So someone is less likely than the general population to be a Muslim in the military.


Thanks for doing the research. It’s an easy enough thing to guess.

I would also guess that the converse is also true, that the number of christians in the US military is very high. It could easily be called a christian army. I’m sure that is how it looks to muslims. And it makes it easy to understand how the US military has no compunctions invading, bombing and killing and stealing from muslim countries.

 Signature 

The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind, the ants are blowing in the wind.

Dog is my co-pilot

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 3
1
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed