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Brainwashing as child abuse
Posted: 24 February 2006 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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[quote author=“alkaimakhan”]But should we penalize parents who brainwash fictions of Santa Clause and fairies into their childrens’ minds?  That is another question entirely.

  Yeah that’s a good point.  I guess I would argue for what Sam calls intellectual honesty:  for whatever “good” or benefit is coming out of something, just say what it is.  Santa Claus is a story of fiction that gives parents an excuse to give their kids presents because they want to (or something like that)  Don’t argue that because I want to give my kids presents and have time off to spend with my family everything about Santa Clause is therefore true.  I wouldn’t underestimate the dangers of fantasy mapping some how to reality.  I realize inventions and other “fictions” had to exist as a fiction before they could be realized but I would argue that’s something different.  Could be a slippery slope here, I could be wrong, but I do think that believing “harmless” nonsense makes it that much easier to accept anything else.  More to your point I don’t know how to “police” this or if that’s even a good idea so I’ll say I would encourage being honest.

[quote author=“alkalmakheim”]I completely agree with you: do not own your beliefs.

Good to hear!

[quote author=“alkalmakheim”]But then again we don’t live in a perfect world.  Be careful that you do not create your own Juggernaut—an iron clad belief that prevents you from attaining even more productive goals in society.

Yeah you’re right here.  I’ll have to think about this for a while…tolerance without tolerating intolerance - yeah…I’ll have to think about it. 

[quote author=“alkalmakheim”]Like Harris said, you cannot choose your beliefs—therefore in the mean time we have to show this world that religion is a fake and we are will have to reason with the moderates because last time I strapped a Southern baptist to the strappado and tried to convert him to rationalism, it didn’t work;)

Tell me more about not choosing your beliefs; I think you can - you mean that children basically accept what their parents tell them right?  And yes, just as a person ultimately accepts faith only the same person could realistically deny faith.  Reason, while vital for when something is seeking answers, is irrelevant at some level (and why this is such a pain) when someone is not, the person has to be willing to change like is arguing for like veracitatus is arguing for here .  veracitatus really hit the nail on the head, “What can I learn today?  How can I change?”  Hmmm, let me think.

[quote author=“alkalmakheim”][quote author=“damon”]So it’s true you can believe whatever you want and not be arrested until you break the law but that doesn’t mean you have the right to believe whatever you want until you break the law.

I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here, but people can believe whatever they want as long as the actualization of their beliefs don’t get them in trouble with the law…

Right, I didn’t explain as well as I could have, even after rewriting it.  Given a right, there is a responsibility (a duty) required to follow the law that gives the right.  Sometimes when people can’t get any further in an argument, one will say something like,“Of course you’re entitled to your opinion, or you have the right to your opinion but…”  But in a legal sense we aren’t entitled or have rights to our opinions. There’s no law that states this.  And you’re right of course that people can (and do) believe whatever they want; I guess my real point there should have been to say if you mean people can believe, say that and not they have the right to believe.  This goes further to your first sentence, it’s difficult to say exactly what we mean but it’s essentiall that we do so (or at least try to improve a little bit as we go along)

[quote author=“alkalmakheim”]I’m not talking about you personally, but everyone on this forum is getting so worked up about manifestos and legal consequences.

No you’re right about me here as well.  I often post after reading something with my blood boiling…wait! wait! what about this…It’s vital to take a step back, remove my emotions, and find what I think the problem is (if there is one).  If we can’t accept that we can just as easily fall in to the same tunnel vision and whateve dopamine produced from, “See, see how I’m right. See I’m right,” we’ve lost or losing what probably caused us to not believe in the first place.

[ Edited: 24 February 2006 08:34 AM by ]
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Posted: 24 February 2006 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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T.O.:
A manifesto could perhaps be a great tool if used as such.  I just worry that it could be misinterpreted as a “Rationalist Bible” and engender a convergence of thought.  It is exactly the debate and discussion that is the rationalist strong suit.

I respectfully disagree with you about the legal matters.  I will, however, continue your parallel with the regulation of commerce as I find it leads to an interesting interpretation.  The way I see it, you are instituting a double taxation of sorts.  In the economy, the government is justified in intervening in 2 ways that are applicable to our discussion: in correcting externalities and in regulating natural monopolies (or encouraging competition).  Continuing with the former, the government therefore penalizes (or rewards) companies and individuals who engage in activities that are not taken into account by commerce.  This seems logical, as, for example, a government might fine a mining company for the toxic materials it releases into the soil.  In the real world, however, people are already penalized for infractions: we call them laws.  If a crazy preacher—based on his beliefs—violates one of our laws or incites others to do so, they will already be tried and punished on the basis of these laws.  Condemning them for their beliefs and for the results of their beliefs is what I would call double taxation.  Furthermore it is simply unacceptable to curtail the right to express one’s beliefs, no matter how heinous you feel they are.  While my first reaction to neo-Nazis and Rev. Phelps and his Wesboro Baptist Church gang is disgust, a close second is pride that our country allows (even protects) these peoples’ right to speak their beliefs.  In turn, we lock them up without hesitation when they commit hate crimes against African-Americans or gays.  A rationalist society demands these basic rights which allow for open discussion and free speech.  Now we come full circle to the second justification for gov’t regulation in commerce: to encourage free and open competition of companies, industries, thoughts and beliefs—no matter how they were formed.
Cheers

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Posted: 24 February 2006 08:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Damon:
Choosing your beliefs: I think Harris explains what he means by this in chapter 2 of EoF.  While it could be misconstrued as mere determinism, he has a good point.  I personally cannot choose to believe that God exists (I was raised godless) or that my laundry will naturally clean itself, because that simply doesn’t coincide with the reality that I experience.

...tolerance without tolerating intolerance

That’s the thing: tolerating people without tolerance.

Cheers

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Posted: 24 February 2006 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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[quote author=“alkaimakhan”]T.O.:
A manifesto could perhaps be a great tool if used as such.  I just worry that it could be misinterpreted as a “Rationalist Bible” and engender a convergence of thought.  It is exactly the debate and discussion that is the rationalist strong suit.

I respectfully disagree with you about the legal matters.  I will, however, continue your parallel with the regulation of commerce as I find it leads to an interesting interpretation.  The way I see it, you are instituting a double taxation of sorts.  In the economy, the government is justified in intervening in 2 ways that are applicable to our discussion: in correcting externalities and in regulating natural monopolies (or encouraging competition).  Continuing with the former, the government therefore penalizes (or rewards) companies and individuals who engage in activities that are not taken into account by commerce.  This seems logical, as, for example, a government might fine a mining company for the toxic materials it releases into the soil.  In the real world, however, people are already penalized for infractions: we call them laws.  If a crazy preacher—based on his beliefs—violates one of our laws or incites others to do so, they will already be tried and punished on the basis of these laws.  Condemning them for their beliefs and for the results of their beliefs is what I would call double taxation.  Furthermore it is simply unacceptable to curtail the right to express one’s beliefs, no matter how heinous you feel they are.  While my first reaction to neo-Nazis and Rev. Phelps and his Wesboro Baptist Church gang is disgust, a close second is pride that our country allows (even protects) these peoples’ right to speak their beliefs.  In turn, we lock them up without hesitation when they commit hate crimes against African-Americans or gays.  A rationalist society demands these basic rights which allow for open discussion and free speech.  Now we come full circle to the second justification for gov’t regulation in commerce: to encourage free and open competition of companies, industries, thoughts and beliefs—no matter how they were formed.
Cheers

1. I should be more specific when talking about regulating commerce. Take deceptive and false advertising. It is currently illegal and I think it serves well everybody.

2. Regarding legislation. It doesn’t work when we talk abstract. Yeah, the ideals you defend are nice in mature secular societies where they work. Ours, unfortunately, is not such a society and neither is Europe when you put it in context of Islamic immigration. Somewhere in this forum somebody provided a reference to the article on Tunisia where legislative measures and tough policies on radical Islam worked. Tunisia was initially decried and condemned for human rights violations and the usual stuff; now, however, European leaders seem to appreciate what Tunisia accomplished and changed their rhetoric.

3. One may argue that our Constitution worked sometimes against the wishes of majority, which would want to see this country more openly embrace Christianity. Isn’t it therefore the Constitution the legislative solution you decry?

4. Turkey provides another example what happens when you try to adopt enlighted democratic principles in a society, which is not ready for it. The entire progress of Turkey towards becoming a modern country is solely due to the determination of Turkish military elite to keep the country on course started by Ataturk. Whenever they try to relax the military grip the country starts sliding back into its Islamic origins. Such will be the fate of Iraq unless somebody like Saddam Hussein or George Bush intervenes and such, I am afraid, will be the fate of the America if the liberals keep accepting the beating they get.

5. If Lincoln didn’t prevent the secession of Southern states I would be very optimistic today regarding the future on one half of the country, the North, and indeed I would agree with you that the liberal approach will prevail. But that didn’t happen and today I am a pessimist. In addition, I see the same process destroying Poland, the country where I was born.

T.O.

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Posted: 28 February 2006 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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[quote author=“alkaimakhan”]Damon:
Choosing your beliefs: I think Harris explains what he means by this in chapter 2 of EoF.  While it could be misconstrued as mere determinism, he has a good point.  I personally cannot choose to believe that God exists (I was raised godless) or that my laundry will naturally clean itself, because that simply doesn’t coincide with the reality that I experience.

Right, I remember now.  I used to think God exists but now I don’t…it would be difficult, given what I know now/where I’m at, to change even if someone pointed a gun at me and said, “believe in god or I’ll shoot!”  This is strange to me in a way because even though I think to myself, “Okay, because I don’t experience Jesus talking to me, the bible is too full of contradictory statements and is generally poor philosophy, and Christian religion demands faith where evidence points to otherwise and so on I accept that a Christian (or otherwise Anthro) god doesn’t exist,” isn’t this choosing in way?  I realize that, at least perhaps among athiests, the evidence isn’t there and so there’s agreement about that; but I’m still choosing in way.  It’s more like I thought, “I don’t want to believe in god and there just so happens to be evidence (or lack thereof) that supports this position.  I think people are good at lying to themselves and we generally see what we want to see.  My point here is how often do we rely on experience and more generally evidence?  Christians choose to ignore the evidence right?  ( IgnoranceIsBliss’ link comes to mind for example - to me, thinking these things are true is just ridiculous!) So in a way evidence is irrelevant and that makes bridging the gap a difficult one in terms of trying to reconcile the two (a view that represents evidence vs one that does not).

Take this post as another example: because I want to say that people can choose their beliefs (better yet not believe but think is true) I found a way that they can.  It doesn’t make sense logically, it doesn’t make me right, and don’t get me wrong, I don’t think people should think whatever they want is true despite not really wanting to enforce or mandate such an idea, I just wonder about the idea, we can’t choose our beliefs.

I’d like to end by saying in a meaningful way it doesn’t matter but I can’t.  Sure it’s obvious in all of our experiences laundry won’t clean itself yet despite observation and experience Christians don’t accept the evidence (or worse, claim evidence) no matter how damnimg the contrary.  I’m still left thinking people make a choice.  Does the evidence of people believing whatever they want (Christianity when it seems there is no reason to for example or Eistein’s, “God does not play dice with the universe”) not seem to indicate this?  Am I posting philosophical tripe or, perhaps worse, my own belief about this (oh no!), what do you think?

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Posted: 28 February 2006 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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I don’t understand how a person can choose what to believe. Choice has nothing to do with belief, although maybe I’m mistaken here since “belief” contains doubt. Otherwise it would be “knowledge.”

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 28 February 2006 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“homunculus”]I don’t understand how a person can choose what to believe. Choice has nothing to do with belief, although maybe I’m mistaken here since “belief” contains doubt. Otherwise it would be “knowledge.”

I wouldn’t agree with that.  Belief, to think something is true.  Beliefs may match observation/evidence although it is not a requirement that they do.  The word also represents many states of certainty from a guess to intransigence.  Jim Walker has an excellent page on beliefs and argues (I think accurately) that belief is unnecessary.

It is because beliefs do not need to map to reality that I argue people can choose what they believe.  Some scientists believe in their hypotheses and theories when they shouldn’t and again Christians obviously think that god exists and that Jesus rose from the dead and will be coming back soon and on.  This can only be by choice.

When alkaimakhan write “...that simply doesn’t coincide with the reality that I experience,” this is a nice way to put a limit and say, for him/her (sorry a I don’t know what pronoun to use) beliefs must map to reality and when they don’t we can’t think that they’re true.  But note that it’s required to do so.  The word belief doesn’t stand on it’s on.  So while I can see what you’re saying, as Christians are evidence of, the idea that beliefs = mapping of what is throught to be true doesn’t apply to everybody and because of this either our language should change or we should be explicit of what we mean by using other words.

Is there a another word that means to think something is true because of observation?  If not any suggestions for creating one?  At first I thought of experimenting but I believe (gotcha, I mean think) that false experiments are just as equal true experiments from the word by itself.

I guess I could argue the same about the word think but I still think it’s a better word than believe.  Again check out no beliefs if haven’t already (I know I know - I just want to post it again).

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Posted: 01 March 2006 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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What you’re saying makes sense, Damon. Certain words in their current use are so slippery that I tend to avoid them whenever possible. So I’ll rephrase the point I was trying to make:

I have no ability to choose what I consider to have credibility or validity. All I can do is to examine various angles of an issue using as much time and energy as I feel appropriate. Then my studies inform me about how to approach the issue. Choice on my part is not a factor.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 17 July 2009 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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In the U.S. what lies can parents legally tell a child, and what lies are illegal to tell a child?  That is, what lies, if a child repeated them to others, might cause Social Services to visit a home, and possibly take the child or children away from the parents’ custody?

For example, it is legal to tell your child that his ancestry began 6000 years ago, when in reality his ancestry began as much as 3.5 billion years ago.

It is legal to tell your child that he or she is going to be tortured forever unless he believes what is written in the Bible is true.

Q:  Is it legal to tell your child that his science teacher is guided by the devil?  That his friend next door is going to hell when she dies?

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 29 May 2011 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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You want to talk about brainwashing ... this is how bad it is ... we accept it as normal that it is okay to grind up living animals into corpse carcas tissue and then we set that corpse carcus tissue on fire and we ingest it knowing the entire process. this entire european society is insance. we worship a zombie and search for easter eggs because thats what we have always done. then we do mundance useless tasks instead of creating art so that we can chase coins given to us by people who we allow to hold us down with their subservient militia force that we call the police. then on top of all of this a plant called marijuana offers some semblence of introspection into this mess and they outlaw it but you can smoke cigarettes and cigars except from cuba. you cant smoke anything from cuba.


again does any of this make any sense? i didnt ask to be created i just showed up one day, what are you people doing, who are you, and how did you let your idiots get ahold of the gunpowder?


oh and your religions , your strange occult books clubs, your nuts and there are far too many nutty people for me to care anymore. im out. i give up. ive been on the receieving end of too much ridiculousness to care.


im studying web design, nothing wrong with that, im writing poetry at my website, nothing wrong with that, and i am selling raw foods, nothing wrong with that, and i am performing poetry, nothing wrong with that. i just take life one moment at a time and i just keep asking myself is this normal because if it isnt then im not doing it. now i know listening to some guy talk about a book that he didnt write is insane so im not doing that, i know a circle of metal is just a circle of metal so im not chasing that, i know that creating artwork is the highest calling i can imagine at this point in my life so yeah thats what i am doing. im an author in training a writer with a carte blanche attitude.


nicholas

[ Edited: 29 May 2011 10:46 PM by NicholasLawson]
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cool hmm  cool hmm  cool hmm http://www.knowledgenation.us cool hmm  cool hmm  cool hmm

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