Sunday, October 12, 2014

Political Action by Atheists: Why Gnus are Different

Apparently, it is having an impact over in England. For example, Christian couples have been denied the right to adopt on grounds that the children might be brainwashed. Here. 

Being told you can't adopt a child because of what you believe about religions strikes me as an extreme form of anti-religious discrimination.  Jim Crow returns in the name of reason and science.

One would have to wonder what would happen if Richard Dawkins had a son or daughter who, say, decided to be received into the Catholic Church. Would he say "Well, we taught you to think for yourself, and this is what you have decided. I don't agree personally, but far be it from me to brainwash you and make your decision for you."

No?

A lot of Christians on this site respond differently to New Atheists than they do to other atheists, I think there is a reason for this. New Atheism is socially divisive in a way that Old Atheism is not. Even in discussions with some passionate atheists, I always had the feeling that there was a common purpose underlying the exchange, a desire to understand our differences better. I think that common purpose is lost with New Atheism.

Even strongly atheistic philosophy professors would tell me that the presence of Christians like Plantinga, Swinburne, and Robert and Marilyn Adams were good for philosophy.

I think that New Atheists have contributed nothing of substance to argumentation for and against the existence of God. So, in one sense, a successful critique of New Atheist arguments shouldn't be confused with a successful critique of atheist arguments in general. But New Atheism has to be recognized for what it is as a social phenomenon, and I find very harmful.

94 comments:

B. Prokop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B. Prokop said...

Christianity has survived Saul's persecutions, the Roman Empire, the Arians, the barbarian invasions, the Norsemen, the Mohammedan hordes, the Black Plague, the Protestant Revolt, the Turks, the French Revolution (with its bloody "Cult of Reason"), Bolshevism, and the Nazis. It will survive secularization and the gnus.

Centuries after Dawkins and his ilk are nothing more than footnotes within footnotes, billions of human beings will still be worshiping Christ... and Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Dante Alighieri (and yes, the Bible) will still be read.

(Re-posted to clear up some awkward wording in the 1st attempt.)

Papalinton said...

Prophesying again, Bob?
Those that would witness Jesus' return before they died [Mat.16:28}, died two thousand years ago. Even this prophecy from the supposed king of prophecy had the wings of a lead balloon.

Papalinton said...

There is no difference between old and new atheism, Victor. It is just that new atheism is a little less accommodating to the nonsense that is peddled as being epistemologically sound, such as faith, or a supernatural world festooned with live non-human entities, and the like. And of course, the robustness of today's debate questioning and challenging the role and value of religion in contemporary society, would seem to come across to those who have been inculcated in medieval superstition and thought, as harmful.

Your example of christian couples unable to adopt in England because of atheists exercising political power is a classic case of hyperbole. It is more a case good, concerned, right-thinking people, both government and community leaders, representing all walks of British life, have come to the conclusion that concern of the high probability of religious brainwashing was not mitigated by the evidence, and the risk assessment of the greater likelihood of religious indoctrination was valid and appropriate. Thus in keeping with the international convention protecting the rights of the child, the British authorities have defined public policy in this area of family life.

And if the protection of the child is deemed harmful then perhaps we can put it down to society sometimes having to be cruel to be kind. No?

B. Prokop said...

"the high probability of religious brainwashing was not mitigated by the evidence, and the risk assessment of the greater likelihood of religious indoctrination was valid and appropriate. Thus in keeping with the international convention protecting the rights of the child, the British authorities have defined public policy in this area of family life."

Thank you, Linton, for providing clear and unambiguous evidence for Victor's fears being spot on and 100% called for. It is precisely such "reasoning" which is the problem here. Do you not see what you have just advocated? You appear to be happy to give an All-Powerful State coercive power over the family in the upbringing of children. Quite literally and with no pun intended, I respond "God preserve us" from such a horror being unleashed upon Western Civilization.

Go ahead, drag out your charges of hyperbole. Was the League of the Godless hyperbole? Or the French Revolution's Cult of Reason? Maybe North Korea is just suffering from hyperbole? Are they really such desirable models for our own society?

It's not often when such we can see one side in a discussion (yours) being so helpful in demonstrating the veracity of the other side's (Victor's) position as in this current instance. So once again, we thank you for your assistance.

"cruel to be kind"

No. Just cruel.

B. Prokop said...

Linton,

You (and everyone else, really) ought to read THIS. Written totally dispassionately, with neither a religious nor a secular slant, and totally skewering the notion that some bright, humanist future lies just around the next corner.

Not gonna happen.

Legion of Logic said...

Those that would witness Jesus' return before they died [Mat.16:28}, died two thousand years ago. Even this prophecy from the supposed king of prophecy had the wings of a lead balloon.

Theological answers for this exist. You don't care, I'm sure, but this is hardly the mighty attack you think it is.

It is just that new atheism is a little less accommodating to the nonsense that is peddled as being epistemologically sound

By countering with nonsense that is even less sound, yes. New atheists are much better at this, but then again, the internet has allowed the most idiotic and loudest atheists an equal voice with those who aren't quite as prone to spouting gibberish, so it does make the new atheists look pretty bad.

And of course, the robustness of today's debate questioning and challenging the role and value of religion in contemporary society, would seem to come across to those who have been inculcated in medieval superstition and thought, as harmful.

Heavily ironic when you later demonstrate the complete moral depravity of new atheism, and the dangers of secularism, by saying "And if the protection of the child is deemed harmful then perhaps we can put it down to society sometimes having to be cruel to be kind. No?"

Papalinton said...

Bob, please don't be such a drama queen. To imagine good, concerned, right-thinking people both government [people chosen by the people every five years in the case of Britain] and community leaders, such as parent and children advocates, social service organisations for the elderly, for the poor etc etc as the "All-Powerful State" is melodramatic in the extreme. Remember Britain is a democracy in which the government of the day is chosen by the people. The community, through its elected representatives define the public policies that best reflect the constituency. The tired and clichéd examples of the old Soviet Union and North Korea do not in any way match the British model. Any comparison of the US with North Korea or the Soviet Union is equally a most stupid analogy. In respect of the French revolution, we can be thankful for the French Revolution and the age of reason because the result was a democratic country that had overthrown the cosy, incestuous and utterly dissolute relationship between monarchic and religious totalitarian hegemony. I largely subscribe to the more generally accepted historical account of the French Revolution, an accurate account of the antecedents that signaled the dramatic decline of powerful monarchies and churches and heralded the rise of democracy. And that is a good thing. Your apologetical slant of the French Revolution is misconstrued and, well, silly.

The wringing of hands and desperation exhibited by you and Victor to paint anything counter-religious in Britain or the US as the coming of the Apocalypse is simply theatre of the absurd.

The only fear you need to overcome is how religion can best be preserved, one that is sufficiently relevant it will find a useful niche in a post-christian age. After all, placebos are an important feature of bettering the human condition.

Crude said...

Mandatory reminder that Linton is a liar and a known plagiarist, and arguing with him is a waste of time - at least if you expect him to A) know what he's talking about and B) have a productive discussion. The man is filled with hate, ladies and gentlemen, of the sort that leads him to tell bald-faced lies. Thankfully he's not exactly bright, so it's easy to tell what he's up to.

The Cult of Gnu is already on the outs, and Dawkins shall die a pariah by his own people. Harris may well follow suit. And Dennett? He retreated years ago, never fully embraced because he was *snort* a philosopher.

But at least it's a funny show.

Papalinton said...

Speaking of "All-Powerful Sate" coercive powers, Bob, here's a recent interesting case where the State attempted to impose a religious condition on a rehabilitating criminal atheist. See SEE HERE.

But in the end, in a court of law, justice trumps religious coercion.

I guess you and Victor would see this as just another dangerous and harmful anti-religious incursion by an 'All-Powerful State'.

Crude said...

Meanwhile in North Korea, erecting a Christmas Tree is seen as a deadly provocation, worth risking war over because such a thing is clearly Christian Indoctrination provided in the service of undermining The State.

North Korea, aka, 'If the Cult of Gnu actually had political power.'

Papalinton said...

To be sure, there are many religious people who respect the wider community As this news report shows.

A clear example of good, decent, right-minded, citizens observing the protocols of living in a great democracy.

Crude said...

Some good news, by the by. The world's most powerful New Atheist recently reappeared, after a month-long absence. People were worried!

Dave Duffy said...

It's not a good idea to speculate, even for Richard Dawkins, what he would do if his daughter decided on Christianity. Our children bore into us in a different way than other people. We don't know what he would say.

We have lost the American ideal of limited government. It was originally conceived because they knew power was great when people we agreed with had it and was dreadful when those we disagreed with could use it against us. We lost the ideal because we couldn't figure out a better way to alleviate suffering and because men desire power and were able to convince the citizens to give them more of it.

Victor Reppert said...

Well, actually we don't have to speculate.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/richard_dawkins_letter_to_his_10_year_old_daughter_how_to_warn_your_child_about_this_irrational_world

Papalinton said...

Terrific letter, Victor, isn't it? Beautifully crafted and properly structured for a ten-year-old. But then when one understands Dawkins is not only an inducted Fellow of the Royal Society, the world's most eminent and oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, but also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, it stands to reason why he has been acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent and influential thinkers of the modern era. He among many other foremost thinkers has provided the focus and the momentum in nudging the community, which had largely fallen into hiatus in the intervening period following the momentous changes ignited by the Enlightenment, to wean itself off and progressively divest childish and irrational spectral superstition.

It's wonderful to indulge in mythology and fable. But we must eventually put away childish things. And the now is upon us.

Legion of Logic said...

Thanks for that last post Papa. My coworkers wondered what I read that made me laugh out loud. If an idiot like Dawkins is a great thinker then heaven help us all lol

B. Prokop said...

I didn't laugh. The letter just made me sad. Such a potentially great mind, not only wasted but actively misused.

Papalinton said...

"Thanks for that last post Papa. My coworkers wondered what I read that made me laugh out loud. If an idiot like Dawkins is a great thinker then heaven help us all lol."

Spoken like a Christian.

Dave Duffy said...

That letter is more of the setting of the stage than a reaction should his daughter accept the faith.

Dawkins is a good writer. I wish my prose and ability to communicate my thoughts were as skilled.

I genuinely don’t understand what scientific inquiry, what field of knowledge, what academic pursuit, what intellectual curiosity is somehow closed to Christians and open to atheists? What is this scientific evidence that is somehow denied by Christians? I’m honestly at a loss. Perhaps Papalinton or Imsceptical can help me on this one (if you have the humanity in you for a conversation, that is. If you’re going to carry on with your internet persona of pounding away at the same five or six points, don’t bother).

Like Bob, my reaction (other than being impressed by his English skills), is one of sadness. I wonder if there is some atheist’s equivalent to Christian community for his daughter. Reflecting on a few of my experiences with my daughter: was there a group of ladies that brought over home-cooked meals for a couple of weeks to her mother after she was born while delivering experienced advice about newborns, some advice helpful, some politely dismissed. What about being ten years old and helping out adults on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings with rambunctious preschoolers, keeping them occupied while their parents had the opportunity to talk and study with other adults. Is there some atheist’s equivalent to Youth Group where she can sit around, eat pizza and talk with peers about avoiding the ruinous impulses of the current cultural malaise? Is there something like a high-school short term missions to impoverished countries to give some perspective and avoid being another self-absorbed teen? And most important, I don’t understand denying someone a place where God can make Himself known.

My kid’s life was not ideal, they had me as a father for heaven’s sake, but the alternative seems to be true deprivation. Bob, choose the right word, sadness.

Legion of Logic said...

Actually Papa, I adopted my tone from atheists. I tried the civil, respectful tone for years, but then I realized how silly that was. Why hide my contempt for the illogical and irrational beliefs of Gnus? They generally act like a bunch of juveniles and have nothing thoughtful to say. Dawkins is nothing but a bigot who has little to offer society except hatred.

Crude said...

Where did atheists get this idea that Christians aren't able to laugh at the stupider atheists, or make fun of them?

With Dawkins, it seems the 'true atheists' now regard him as a pathetic ex-scientist who's also a bigot and a misogynist. Perhaps, with even atheists turning against him, the man will finally realize some of his folly.

Wouldn't that be a sight?

B. Prokop said...

Dawkins likes to portray himself as a person who came to his atheistic beliefs through some sort of process of scientific inquiry. But how many people were paying proper attention to his own testimony, as recorded in his autobiography, where he tells the reader that he came to the conclusion that religious belief was all wrong at the age of nine. In fact, he goes out of his way to say that he knew this with certainty! Think about that. It means that he was certain there was no God prior to his becoming a scientist, prior to any of his studies in evolutionary processes, prior, in fact, to just about everything he ever learned.

So Dawkins went through all but his earliest years of education certain about what conclusions he would come to - not on the basis of any evidence (for he had yet to see or hear any) and not on the basis of any argument (for he had yet to engage in any).

Dawking basis his atheism on faith alone. How utterly ironic.

B. Prokop said...

Arrggg, Typo!

Should have written "Dawkins bases" - not "basis".

(Not only that, but I had to re-post this, due to yet another typo in the correction!)

Crude said...

Better than Coyne, whose moment of intellectual atheism apparently came in the form of 'I dropped acid while listening to the Beatles and suddenly realized there was no God!'

B. Prokop said...

Seriously?

im-skeptical said...

Dave Duffy, my reply.

Crude said...

Seriously?

Whoops. Sorry, it's even worse than that.

One of the more colorful scientific de-conversion stories comes from Jerry Coyne, a professor of genetics and evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago. It happened in 1967 when Coyne, then 17, was listening for the first time to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album while lying on his parents’ couch in Alexandria, Va.

Suddenly Coyne began to shake and sweat. For reasons he still doesn’t understand, it dawned on him at that moment that there was no God, and he wasn’t going anywhere when he died. His casual Judaism seemed to wash away as the album played on. The crisis lasted about 30 minutes, he says, and when it was over, he had left religion behind for good. He went on to study how new species evolve, and found the Darwinian view of nature perfectly in tune with his abandonment of faith.


He's apparently on record as having been doing drugs at 16, so I apparently had my wires crossed there. Mea Culpa.

So he can't even blame a drug experience on his conversion. Being for the Benefit of Mister Kite is the culprit.

Behold, these knights of reason.

B. Prokop said...

Amazing! Now if it had been Nancy Sinatra's These Boots are Made for Walking, I could understand. That's enough to cause anyone to lose faith in a benevolent Creator.

B. Prokop said...

Classic im-oblivious over on his website. He tells Dave that (horrors!) someone has lied to him about atheism, whilst studiously ignoring Dawkins's own lies about how one ends up an atheist. Read his pathetic letter, and you'll get the (totally false) impression that the path to godlessness is through something called "reason", or maybe "science", or even "inquiry". But then read Dawkins's very own autobiography, and you learn that he himself arrived at his certainty that there was no God at the age of nine!!!

As I posted above, this would have been long before he could possibly have started any process of rational inquiry. He was certain of the outcome before he even looked into the question!

What a liar!

im-skeptical said...

How utterly false. In his own words. Shame on you, Bob.

Papalinton said...

Dave
You ask: 'I wonder if there is some atheist’s equivalent to Christian community for his daughter. Reflecting on a few of my experiences with my daughter: was there a group of ladies that brought over home-cooked meals for a couple of weeks to her mother after she was born while delivering experienced advice about newborns, some advice helpful, some politely dismissed. What about being ten years old and helping out adults on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings with rambunctious preschoolers, keeping them occupied while their parents had the opportunity to talk and study with other adults. Is there some atheist’s equivalent to Youth Group where she can sit around, eat pizza and talk with peers about avoiding the ruinous impulses of the current cultural malaise? Is there something like a high-school short term missions to impoverished countries to give some perspective and avoid being another self-absorbed teen?"

These are great questions. Indeed they are humanist questions. There are about humans relating with humans, kids and adults. All that you ask, and illustrate, are no different to how atheists relate to others and their environment. There is not one thing, not any activity you mention that would differentiate a christian from an atheist. I, my family, wife, kids, grandchildren, my mother, friends, have taken great pleasure at contributing to the common good of the community, the family, society. Each and every activity, pursuit, occupation, interest, hobby, pastime, recreation, venture, that you cite is humanism at work. We all do it; cook dinners for the poor, help out neighbours in distress. In fact, my wife and I, together with out immediate neighbours are inviting and hosting our local neighbourhood 'end-of-year christmas-get-together'. And would you believe it, many of our neighbours are christian, although some may generally be 'cultural christians' at best. But they are good people nonetheless. Indeed my next door neighbour actually believes in God. And my being an atheist has never stood in the way of he and I becoming the closest of friends. In fact we each hold the other's house keys and look after each other's homes and property when on vacation or away on business.

The only difference between your family and my family, and more particularly, you and me, is really only an artifice, an altered mind state, all other things being equal. You believe in supernaturalism, I believe in naturalism. You invoke [putative] live non-human entities as the reason for your existence. I don't. Such belief is a redundant distraction that takes our eye away from the main game. Belief in christianity, or islam, or Wiccan, or Jehovah;s Witness, or scientology, or the Satanic Temple , or the countless other supernatural and new age beliefs is, at base, a mental construct that only defines our social or cultural setting. It does not define our character, our humanness. A belief in the supernatural in no help at all in defining what is good. Indeed it is an unnecessary impediment to understanding and discovering what makes us tick as humans.

Its a start.

Papalinton said...

A couple of spelling errors. Should read:

"They are about humans relating with humans, kids and adults."

"In fact, my wife and I, together with our immediate neighbours are inviting ...."

"A belief in the supernatural is no help at all in defining what is good."

"It<'>s a start."

B. Prokop said...

"Shame on you, Bob."

Shame for what? For citing his own autobiography? He said it, not me.

im-skeptical said...

Bob: "Who you gonna believe? Me, or your lyin' eyes?"

Dave Duffy said...

Thanks Papalinton for some insight into your life and family. I'm still getting used to interactions on the internet. My business is almost all face-to-face and I have developed some skills at reading people in a conversation.

Sometimes when I read your stinging diatribes, I wonder about the person behind the persona. As you say, it's a start. God Bless.

I wish we could do away with the "sorry about the typos." Like a conversation, we should be able to put our thoughts on the keyboard as they come to mind, warts and all. It seems more honest.

Papalinton said...

Dave
You say: "Sometimes when I read your stinging diatribes, I wonder about the person behind the persona. As you say, it's a start. God Bless."

A couple of things.
Yes, To a christian what I write is generally interpreted as a 'stinging diatribe'. And in part it is. And I also admit, a good deal of it is gratuitous. But there is an historical truth, a reason for the way i respond. Much of my rhetoric is indeed defensive. And of course, as any coach knows, sometimes offense is the best form of defence,

Where would one go to read of atheists characterized as lacking morality, having no guiding sense of right and wrong, unethical, evil, monsters doing Satan's bidding, deceitful, the most untrustworthy and despised people in any society? Where would it be written that atheists kill babies through abortion just for the whim of it or because a child might not suit our particular lifestyle for the moment? In Christian literature, of course. In christian books, magazines, sermons, religious media coverage. Even in Dr Reppert's Blogspot. Indeed there is hardly a Christian who would not think atheists as the pariahs of society. There are millennia of history of this sentiment devised, aided and abetted by the churches. By the manner of your questions, I think you too have been sucked in to believe it. Not because you have researched or investigated whether or not atheists are all those things but rather, you have swallowed whole the rhetoric you have been taught over your lifetime. The phrasing of your queries clearly imputes that perspective.

I take your "God bless" in the good manner you offer it. But I don't believe for one moment the truth of the statement. I take it the way one would accept 'Gesundheit" —used to wish good health to someone who has sneezed. But of course, most people wrongly think, 'Gesundheit', means 'God bless you' or simply 'Bless you'. But it doesn't. Gesundheit comes correctly from the German, 'gesund-' [healthy] and 'heit' [hood], ie. best translated as 'Good health'.

Dave Duffy said...

Papalinton,

I was born in a hospital on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. I grew up, part of my life, in the L.A. county school system, and after abandoning the faith, went into the military and after that received my degree in Chemistry from a California State University. If I had swallowed whole everything I had been taught for my whole life, I most certainly would not be a Christian.

I apologize if I have offended you. Like you, I can find everyday in my home country, and in my home state of California the most vile hatred against Christians.

But, like you, I don't want to whitewash differences. I do believe you are genuinely lost and hope one day you will find redemption.

Papalinton said...

Dave: "I do believe you are genuinely lost and hope one day you will find redemption."

How so am I 'lost'? On which epistemological and evidentiary criteria did you base your assessment? You know not a skerrick about me and yet you have categorized me as lost? Lost from what?

And what have I done from which i have to be redeemed?

im-skeptical said...

Papalinton,

I think this is Dave's way of showing his good will toward an atheist. Consider yourself fortunate. He has expressed no such good will for me.

Dave Duffy said...

I wish all good will toward you Mr. Skeptical. Blessings to you and your family.

Papalinton,

You are absolutely right in that I don’t know a lick about you. This statement makes me question the blog/internet interaction format. I originally started cruising philosophical websites when my two boys were in high school debate. My older son was interested in winning debates. My younger son was always interested in the underlying premises, so he started to devour philosophical books beginning his junior year in high school. In order to continue to have interesting conversation around the dinner table, I tried for a while to keep up with his interests. After I spent a couple of years reading articles online, I found it wasn't for me. It’s not that I couldn't figure it out if I wanted to, it’s that I just don’t care.

I continue reading Dr. Reppert's website, mostly because of the comments. For some reason, I find the cast of characters interesting: Ilion, Prokop, Grant, Crude, Gilison, Rodriguez, and the rest. (If I could have a beer with one of these people, it would be Ilion. That guy intrigues me) Sometimes I throw something out there that pops into my head. For me, it’s like being at a backyard BBQ with people you don’t really know. Throw something out and see how it floats. My comments are probably not what Victor would prefer to raise the level of discussion, but I like that he believes in free speech, so I’m free to make a fool of myself if I desire.

With that personal indulgence, I’m not sure how you would prefer me to answer the question. In a straight-forward way as I understand “lost” and “redemption” or with some context, so that we can find some common ground in our understanding of the two words.

B. Prokop said...

" and yet you have categorized me as lost? Lost from what?"

Don't sweat his question, Dave. There is no need to explain any terms. Linton knows precisely what you meant. (And if he doesn't, then all his talk about having once been a Christian is baloney.)

Papalinton said...

Bob, it would have been nice to read what Dave had to say. The key to my questions was on what epistemological or evidentiary basis did he determine that I was 'lost' and in need of 'redemption'. How can the claim be substantiated?

I understand the Pope has already declared that atheists also go to heaven by doing good works and that I already been redeemed, whether I agree or not. So Ii can't see any merit to the claim that I need to be redeemed.
So, on that score, with the Pope on my side, I'm cruisin' it to bliss.

B. Prokop said...

"The Pope has already declared that atheists also go to heaven by doing good works"

Well, I'll see your link, and raise you THIS ONE, especially points 4 and 9.

So no cruisin' here. Short summary: We're all in the same sinking boat (we're sinners, equally guilty), there's a guy handing out life jackets (forgiveness) to everyone, but some of us aren't putting theirs on (the atheists). That's not sayin' they'll all drown, but it's got to be a lot harder to stay afloat just dog paddling instead of wearing your life jacket.

B. Prokop said...

HERE is why gnus are different, and cannot be trusted.

Dave Duffy said...

Hey Bob,

I appreciate your comments and the life jacket analogy.

Sorry about the O's.

Papalinton,

I can't think of a good way to respond to your questions at the moment (Perhaps I'm just too tired after the day's work). I know you will keep hanging around the Dr's website so I'm sure these matters will come up again. I hope you are well.

Dave Duffy said...

Papalinton,

Sorry, the last post was a cop out on my part. Redemption is the forgiveness of our sins. You are lost because you believe the good you do outweighs the wrong you have done. You also don't understand the freedom to be had in being forgiven.

Steven Carr said...

Apparently councils in Britain are trying to remove Christian place names from towns.

It must be true! Victor linked to an article which said it!

B. Prokop said...

"Apparently councils in Britain are trying to remove Christian place names from towns."

Wouldn't surprise me.

The idiocy of some people never ceases to amaze. Here in the USA, we recently had a bunch of PETA activists who lobbied to change the name of Fishkill, NY, to "Fish Save". They apparently did not realize that "kill" is Dutch for "creek" (New York was originally colonized by the Dutch).

Steven Carr said...

Yes, councils in Britain are trying to change the name of the town 'Christchurch' to 'Dawkinsville'

It must be true. I read it on the Internet.

Papalinton said...

Interesting, about Fishkill

It was originally called "Viskil" because 'fish' is 'Vissen' in Dutch. And the church there became a military prison during the American Revolution.

B. Prokop said...

Here's this little tidbit from Baylor University's website:

In other news, everybody's least favorite animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is back at it again. They recently offered the town of Hamburg, N.Y., $15,000 to change its name to Veggieburg. Why? According to Joe Haptas, a spokesman for PETA, 'the town's name conjures up visions of unhealthy patties of ground-up dead cows.' Unreal.

What's even more unreal is that this isn't the first time PETA has pulled a stunt like this. In 1996, PETA asked the New York town of Fishkill to change its name to Fish save, because the name conjured up 'violent images of dead fish.'

When at first I read this, I thought that surely PETA was kidding, but alas, my laughter was not to be. 'Our offer is as serious as a heart attack,' Haptas said.


I remember hearing about the Fishkill controversy on the radio, back when they were pushing for the name change.

Cale B.T. said...

Steven, it isn't such a crazy idea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal,_Missouri

Ironically, George Walser founded Liberal to be a haven from religion and ended up converting to Christianity.

Cale B.T. said...

Linton wrote
"I largely subscribe to the more generally accepted historical account of the French Revolution, an accurate account of the antecedents that signaled the dramatic decline of powerful monarchies and churches and heralded the rise of democracy."

And, what do you know, the first line in Wikipedia's article about the French Revolution includes the following:

"marking the decline of powerful monarchies and churches and the rise of democracy and nationalism"

Really, papalinton, what goes through your head when you fill up your posts with material copied, pasted and barely altered from the internet? Do you think it makes you look like some kind of intellectual?

Papalinton said...

Have you observed due diligence, Cale B T?

B. Prokop said...

Re: Municipal Name Changes

The funniest instance of this tendency occurred in Florida in 1992. A member of the Saint Petersburg city council, upon learning that the Russian city of Leningrad had just reverted to its one-time name of Sankt Petersburg, introduced a motion to re-name the Florida city to Leningrad... and the motion failed by only one vote!

Papalinton said...

I asked almost a day ago now: "Have you observed due diligence, Cale B T?

One can only acknowledge I gave Cale B T sufficient time and every opportunity to review his charge of plagiarism. My offending words apparently mimicked: "..."marking the decline of powerful monarchies and churches and the rise of democracy and nationalism"

The fundamental flaw and deficiency in Cale's allegation is that it was driven by emotion, that reactive, intense ebullient 'Gotcha!' feeling marked more by passion than rationality. The zealousness of his charge overrode both common sense and good sense.

One of the features of the line: " ..."marking the decline of powerful monarchies and churches and the rise of democracy and nationalism" is its universality of usage. It is by definition 'foundational information' or 'common knowledge'. It is classified as 'common source information' and as such when common source phraseology comprises facts from a whole bunch of different sources, it does not need to be cited and attribution is unnecessary.

Sources for this verbatim phrase comprise books, websites, videos, Wiki and even study guides:

SEE HERE,
HERE,
HERE, an e-Study Guide for: Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human ...e-Study Guide for: Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition by Emily A. Schultz,
HERE,
HERE, another e-Study Guide for: Principles of International Politics. A textbook by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita,
HERE,
and HERE.

You can even buy a collectable mug with that cliché imprinted on it RIGHT HERE.

Papalinton said...

The second last source is AND HERE.

Cale B.T. said...

This is just bizarre, Linton. I didn't respond because I couldn't be sure whether you were seriously contesting whether it was true that you were plagiarising from wikipedia. Let's have a look at your citations:

The "Cram101" "textbooks" you linked to are not just other people that happened to have used the same phrase: they are scummy plagiarists looking to make a cheap buck. Their entire entry on the French Revolution is an exact duplication of wikipedia, and this trend continues all through the textbook. Compare, for example, the Cram101 entry on the "Dirty War" with the wikipedia article. It's a word for word copy.

(For another example of bald-faced plagiarism by Cram 101 see here)

The dimasalanglaonglaan blog is, again, just copying from wikipedia, not independently arriving at the same phrasing. It reads:

"The French Revolution was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France from 1789 to 1799 that profoundly affected French and modern history, marking the decline of powerful monarchies and churches and the rise of democracy and nationalism.

And what does the wikipedia page for the Age of Revolution say?

"The French Revolution was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France from 1789 to 1799 that profoundly affected French and modern history, marking the decline of powerful monarchies and churches and the rise of democracy and nationalism."

It's a copy and paste job, not some other person coincidentally thinking up the same words.

Cale B.T. said...

What about ancient worlds.net?

Well, the first sentence "The French Revolution was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France from 1789-1799, that profoundly affected French and modern society, marking the decline of powerful monarchies and churches, the rise of democracy and nationalism." is an exact reproduction from this page. The following section reads:

"From the social point of view, the revolution consisted in the suppression of what was called the feudal system, in the emancipation of the individual, in greater division of landed property, the abolition of the privileges of noble birth, the establishment of equality and the simplification of daily life"

This is actually an (uncited) exact quote from Francois Aulard which appears verbatim at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influence_of_the_French_Revolution

The rest of that paragraph is an exact quotation of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution

So again, this is just another person copying and pasting from wikipedia, rather than somebody just happening to independently hit on that phrasing.

As for the mug, again: some mug merchant just decided to copy and paste from wikipedia. Further evidence can be found, for example, on his Apollo space mission Each one of the descriptions of those mugs is an exact reproduction of the wikipedia pages on the corresponding Apollo mission.

So, as for providing examples of "its universality of usage." all you've really shown is that other people on the internet copy and paste from wikipedia without citing it.

Cale B.T. said...

The essay you linked to on Braina isn't somebody independently coming up with the same phrasing: it's somebody copying and pasting from wikipedia and tweaking it a little.

The icing on the cake though, is that Braina is, essentially, a website directed to plagiarists: "Welcome to Brainia, where you can search essays, term papers and reports written by students for free!"

The Google algorithms are awfully good at directing you to websites based on your past searches, aren't they, Linton? ;)

im-skeptical said...

Cale B.T.,

One little problem with your accusation of plagiarism: Papalinton didn't copy and paste anything more than a phrase that is commonly found on the internet. If that were the basis of plagiarism, then we'd all be guilty of it. Your accusations prove only your own low moral character.

B. Prokop said...

"If that were the basis of plagiarism, then we'd all be guilty of it."

I for one do not ever copy anything without attribution, or at least making it obvious that I am quoting.

Cale,

Amazing how you are accused of having a "low moral character" for pointing out someone else's plagiarism. How does that work?

im-skeptical said...

To whom should the use of this phrase be attributed?

And while we're talking about moral character, your deliberate butchery of Dawkins' words (above) is noteworthy.

B. Prokop said...

"your deliberate butchery of Dawkins' words"

Butchery? They're his own words. He wrote that at the age of nine, after hearing his teacher discuss religion, he was certain that she was wrong. It's right there in his autobiography! How did I butcher anything, simply by repeating what he himself said?

Papalinton said...

And Skep, like the besieged and desperate christian he is, Cale is not only of low moral character, it also illustrates the low ethical standards to which he is willing to stoop.

Indeed, if he holds true to his pugnacious stance that i have plagiarised, then I am in good company.

A case in point:

Go to Ed Feser's site HERE. Read his OP on cardinal values and counterfeit values. Then pick up the discussion where I write:

Papalinton said...
"They are called cardinal (Latin: cardo, hinge) virtues because they are hinges on which all moral virtues depend. These are also called moral (Latin: mores, fixed)" From: HERE


AND


"They are so called because they are traditionally regarded as the “hinge” (cardo) on which the rest of morality turns." From: Dr Feser's OP


Compare:

"They are called cardinal (Latin: cardo, hinge) virtues because they are hinges on which all moral virtues depend., with,
They are so called because they are traditionally regarded as the “hinge” (cardo) on which the rest of morality turns.

November 28, 2012 at 4:26 PM [The date stamps will help readers to quickly navigate to the relevant spots in this long comment thread] 
Cont

Papalinton said...

Cont:

In follow up, i asked Feser HERE :

Papalinton said...
Dr Feser


What? No comment/ no acknowledgement on your plagiarizing Martin Barrack's work in the previous OP [HERE] on Cardinal Virtues, Prof Feser?

One could argue this was a small transgression of little consequence. But the sentence, "They are so called because they are traditionally regarded as the “hinge” (cardo) on which the rest of morality turns", was no ordinary tittle of information, appropriated without attribution, buried deep within the body of your treatise. This sentence was a framing statement. It was the core around which the framework of the OP on cardinal virtues was constructed. It defined the substance of your argument. 

It would seem fair and reasonable that the appropriate citation and attribution, however belated it be, would be the honourable thing to do. Nothing as yet.
December 1, 2012 at 4:38 AM 

To which Josh, not Feser [a plagiarist if one holds to Cale B T's rationale], responds:

Josh said...
Papalinton,


One could argue this was a small transgression of little consequence. But the sentence, "They are so called because they are traditionally regarded as the “hinge” (cardo) on which the rest of morality turns", was no ordinary tittle of information, appropriated without attribution, buried deep within the body of your treatise. This sentence was a framing statement. It was the core around which the framework of the OP on cardinal virtues was constructed. It defined the substance of your argument. 

It would seem fair and reasonable that the appropriate citation and attribution, however belated it be, would be the honourable thing to do. Nothing as yet."



You are really embarrassing yourself, friend. In the interest of both reputations at stake here, we can see that this idea/formulation/prose is too common, [My bolding] for Mr. [Martin] Barrack to own. From just a cursory look:



Wikipedia:

"The term 'cardinal' comes from the Latin cardo or hinge; the cardinal virtues are so called because they are hinges upon which the door of the moral life swings."



Right and Reason, Fagothey:

"Four virtues have been traditionally picked out as the most important in the ethical order. They are called cardinal virtues, from the Latin cardo, a hinge, because they are the four hinges on which the other virtues swing."



An Introduction to Philosophy, Sullivan:

"The moral virtues, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, are called cardinal (from the Latin word meaning 'hinge') because they are virtues 'on which the moral life turns and is founded.'"



et cetera, et cetera......so just take it easy there with the plagiarism talk.
December 1, 2012 at 8:56 AM

Cale, if you persist with steadfastly holding your rather infantile and discredited stance then you have surely characterized Feser a plagiarist.

Cale B.T. said...

The difference is that Josh's citations actually established that similar formulations exist, whereas yours utterly failed.

1. Do you admit that you were mistaken in claiming that those websites you linked to earlier came up with that phrasing independently?

2. Did you yourself go to wikipedia and copy from it? Come on Linton, be honest here.

Papalinton said...

Cale
"The difference is that Josh's citations actually established that similar formulations exist, whereas yours utterly failed."

Now don't be perverse, Cale. You have had your proverbial rear end served on a platter with stuffed quince. Just accept it.

".. actually established"? Josh's citation does no such thing. The one fact he does note is that: ".. we can see that this idea/formulation/prose is too common ..." that is, too common to establish provenance of the statement. But then when one factors in christian religious and apologetical inculcation, your misrepresentative exegesis comes as no surprise and is all too common. Christians have a pathological propensity to 'interpret' and 'read' into the text whatever comes off the top of their heads, in the misbelief that it bolsters their argument, just as you have amply illustrated with your misconstrual of Josh's observation. Such misleading interpretation at its base heavily falls under the rubric, 'lying for jesus'. Inadvertent? Probably. Why? Because personally, I don't think you even know or even grasp you are doing it. You simply do not possess the conceptual capacity nor the intellectual awareness to know what it is you are doing in the commission of this mendacious fabrication. But it does fit the christian pattern of perpetuating myths, the god myth, the biblical myth, the myth of christian humility, the myth of christian truths, the myth of christian morality, the myth of dead putrescent corpses revivifying, the myth that Josh's citations actually establish .......yadda, yadda. Yes, it fits seamlessly.

Low moral standard, low ethical commitment to the truth, and now, your sensibility perversely contorted. Give it over, Cale. If there is any character in Genesis that best describes your behaviour in this comment thread, the forked-tongue serpent suffices.

Cale B.T. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cale B.T. said...

“Josh's citation does no such thing”
You previously conceded that you had incorrectly accused Feser of plagiarism.
Your words: “Re Dr Feser and plagiarism. Not correct.
Egg all over my face.”
Do you now retract that apology?

You originally posted some links to various sites around the internet. Do you still maintain that they were writers who just happened to stumble upon a particular phrase, or do you admit that they were copying and pasting from wikipedia? Take that Cram101 book. Can't you see how it is blatantly plagiarised from wikipedia? Go back to the page in the book which you linked to and compare the entries on that page to the wikipedia pages:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counter-Enlightenment
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_imperialism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution

They are 100% matches.

I addressed what you posted: how about actually defending your assertions, rather than going on yet another round of free association? Have a go, you mug.

With regards to your quips about “the god myth” and “the myth of dead putrescent corpses revivifying” I’ve repeatedly told you in the past that I’m quite happy to debate you on these topics. How about showing me just how intellectually formidable you are Linton?

B. Prokop said...

This is absolutely surreal. Linton is called out on his plagiarism, and Cale provides the damning evidence. Linton's response? Rather than denying the charge, he simply labels the person who caught him in the act as someone of "Low moral standard [and] low ethical commitment to the truth". Huh?

Interesting strategy:

Prosecuting attorney - "This person was caught in the act of robbing the bank."

Suspect - "How dare you say that? You, sir, are a person of low moral standard and low ethical commitment to the truth!"

Newsflash, Linton. Simply by saying "You have had your proverbial rear end served on a platter with stuffed quince" doesn't make it so. You have to actually disprove Cale's accusation and refute his evidence.

Papalinton said...

Have been away on family business and I haven't been able to get at the computer.

Now, Cale.
This is really interesting stuff. I'm curious. Point me to the substance of your argument from the references Josh offered where:

Fargothey, ""Four virtues have been traditionally picked out as the most important in the ethical order. They are called cardinal virtues, from the Latin cardo, a hinge, because they are the four hinges on which the other virtues swing" and,

Sullivan , ""The moral virtues, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, are called cardinal (from the Latin word meaning 'hinge') because they are virtues 'on which the moral life turns and is founded."

use the almost identical content, words and phraseology that were independently arrived at? And how did they do that? More importantly how did Feser independently arrive at the almost exact same words?: "They are so called because they are traditionally regarded as the “hinge” (cardo) on which the rest of morality turns"

My, my! Cale. How serendipitous that according to your logic they all 'independently' came to use the almost exact same words, to arrive by independent thinking the almost exact same words. [Methinks a miracle occurred here]

You ask:
'"1. Do you admit that you were mistaken in claiming that those websites you linked to earlier came up with that phrasing independently?

2. Did you yourself go to wikipedia and copy from it? Come on Linton, be honest here."


!. I made no such claim. They are your words put in my mouth. The claim I make is that the words and phrases are too common, 'common knowledge', 'common source material' for which referencing and attribution is not needed, exactly the same reasons that Josh puts for his case. The words and phrases about the cardinal virtues and thehinge analogy were simply in too common a use in the public domain to warrant attribution. And it is the very point that I made on Feser's blog with my 'egg on my face' concession. Feser was right to use the cardinal virtues phraseology without citation or attribution. And that's the point Josh makes.

2. On the matter of the second question, the short answer, no. The slightly longer response, I heard of the cosy incestuous relationship between powerful monarchies and churches and the antecedents that precipitated the French Revolution in this You Tube video. All the more interesting, my curiosity was initially prompted by Bob's earlier abstruse comment about the French Revolution and the 'cult of reason', sating it as if the revolution was bad thing.

B. Prokop said...

"as if the revolution was bad thing"

Wait a second! This is way more important than mere plagiarism. Are you actually saying it wasn't? Linton, I never expected you to be such a revisionist historian. Next thing you'll be telling me is that Admiral Nelson wasn't that great? Never took you for a Bonapartist.

Papalinton said...

Bob
"You have to actually disprove Cale's accusation and refute his evidence."

Oh, I don't think so. That is not true. I don't have to disprove anything, not even Cale's assertion. The onus of proof is on Cale. What evidence has he provided to date that the quote came directly from the Wiki source?

At best all Cale has done is pursue a 'guilty by association' or 'guilty by assertion' case. Hardly a ringing endorsement for his brief of evidence.

No, Bob. I don't have to lie, even about this instance. Not in my nature to do so. When I mess up, I 'fess up.


B. Prokop said...

"What evidence has he provided[?]"

I think the two passages side by side is sufficient evidence. The probability of such similarity being purely by chance is vanishingly small. I'll allow that perhaps you read the Wikipedia article and the words made such an impression on you that they subconsciously came out when you made your posting, but I don't really believe that. The phraseology is not so striking that it would readily lend itself to passive memory.

But again, of far greater importance... you're not seriously defending the French Revolution, are you? If so, this is HUGE. That's about 2 millimeters away from praising the October Revolution. I do hope you're not going to do that!

Papalinton said...

Bob, only the apologists' interpretation of the french Revolution deem it a bad circumstance because the dramatic decline of powerful monarchies and churches { :) ] was so singularly momentous from which they were never to recover the halcyon days of hegemonic glory. Indeed the French Revolution ushered in the portentous advent of democratic rule that was to reverberate right throughout the Westenr world.. Governing by monarchic and religious fiat had been utterly smashed.

The rise of Napoleon was simply a very brief period of flirting, particularly by Bonaparte and his ruling minions out of self-interest, a somewhat anachronistic reversion to capture the nostalgic past when monarchic and religious totalitarianism commanded absolute obedience. It didn't work.

I can understand why 'the cult of reason' French Revolution would get under noses of apologists such as yourself. Religion did indeed lose bigtime. And its role and power continues to decline in the western world just as Christian Post recounts here in its review of one of the latest books on the matter. But have heart, Bob, I think you'll find solace in the very last paragraph or so which have been added in to bolster your spirits.

Papalinton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papalinton said...

Bob
I'll allow that perhaps you read the Wikipedia article and the words made such an impression on you that they subconsciously came out when you made your posting, but I don't really believe that. The phraseology is not so striking that it would readily lend itself to passive memory."

Misplaced conjecture, Bob. Speculation, not evidence.
And What? 'Not so striking ... '? Give the amateur detective stuff a rest, will you?. The phrase, 'the dramatic decline of powerful monarchies and churches heralding the rise of democracy' might not lend itself to your passive memory, given the content, but it surely was burned into mine. You would have dismissed it out of hand, because it doesn't fit your apologetical narrative. I did not. I'd hardly forget that little pearl. But had I read it at Wiki, it would have been cited.

What you think or believe is not relevant. Your belief system, such as it is, is governed by supernatural superstition no less and you have a proclivity to believe and imagine all sorts of weird and wonderful concoctions. Delightful and amusing as they are, they are hardly substantive.

B. Prokop said...

Wow. Just wow. How does one meaningfully respond when someone has just spoken approvingly of one of the greatest disasters in human history? Simply unbelievable. And from an (almost) Brit *, to boot!

* At the least, a member of the Commonwealth.

Papalinton said...

Bob
Your potted version of the French Revolution simply does not accord with what the overwhelming consensus of historians say about it. Read the final section under the heading, Historiography HERE at Wiki.

In all, out the maelstrom of the French Revolution the general consensus is that the phenomenon was on balance positive for Western Civilization as bloody as it was, leading directly to the advent of democracy, declaration of the rights of man, the equality of women's roles, the abolition of feudalism, the demise of Monarchic and Religious power and influence, the sustaining influence of republicanism, on which the foundations of the US and France for that matter are based.

I'm no fan of war. And I can't change the past. Only catholics think the French Revolution was a disaster. And truth be told, it was. But a disaster with a good and positive outcome for all the reasons above.

Papalinton said...

Bob
Your potted version of the French Revolution simply does not accord with what the overwhelming consensus of historians say about it. Read the final section under the heading, Historiography HERE at Wiki.

In all, out the maelstrom of the French Revolution the general consensus is that the phenomenon was on balance positive for Western Civilization as bloody as it was, leading directly to the advent of democracy, declaration of the rights of man, the equality of women's roles, the abolition of feudalism, the demise of Monarchic and Religious power and influence, the sustaining influence of republicanism, on which the foundations of the US and France for that matter are based.

I'm no fan of war. And I can't change the past. Only catholics think the French Revolution was a disaster. And truth be told, it was. But a disaster with a good and positive outcome for all the reasons above.

Cale B.T. said...

Because of exams, I'll only be able to respond to this thread in a couple of weeks.

B. Prokop said...

So I must assume you look approvingly upon such things as The Vendee Genocide or the Reign of Terror. Nice to know, when we consider your comments about how beautiful life will be under your hypothetical "humanist" regime in your longed-for future.

And as for "the rise of Napoleon was simply a very brief period of flirting"... well then, I guess Stalin was just some sort of Bolshevik teenage crush. No, Linton, these two historical calamities were intrinsic to the events that caused them. Napoleon and Stalin were the inevitable consequences of their respective revolutions, and cannot be separated from them.

Papalinton said...

And according to you, the advent of democracy, declaration of the rights of man, the equality of women's roles, the abolition of feudalism, the demise of Monarchic and Religious power and influence, the sustaining influence of republicanism, are nothing more than the disastrous consequence of that chapter.

Yes, I can see where you are coming from. You world be very happy to see the return of a Catholic theocracy,

Incidentally, the 'reign of terror' reached a timely ending with its architect and leader, Robespiere being summarily 'dismissed' from the job, and as you and I would both agree the failed Stalin experiment took a little longer to reach the same conclusion.

Crude said...

Oh God, I check in this thread and apparently Linton's plagiarizing again?

Even his intellectual failings are inevitably unoriginal.

B. Prokop said...

Crude,

What did you expect? "As a dog returneth unto his vomit..."

Crude said...

What did you expect? "As a dog returneth unto his vomit..."

Generally dogs won't do that after you grind their noses in it. I thought I did that with him, but hey, not everyone learns as quickly as a dog. ;)

B. Prokop said...

Linton,

You really need to read THIS. And don't just skim it! It's worth deep reflection.

Papalinton said...

Bob
"Crude,
What did you expect? "As a dog returneth unto his vomit..."


This sentiment I would expect from crude. It is after all, de rigeur for him, For a person who I thought valued the pursuit of truth even though you believe I am fundamentally wrong about supernaturalism and the existence of [putative] live non-human entities, I did not expect this from you. I can also understand why saying such a thing would emotionally make you feel better inside when we don't appeal to our own better angels. I guess it just shows how naive I was.

Now to read your suggestion.

B. Prokop said...

Linton,

I use that quote against myself when I do something regrettable for the second time.

Now any fool can see that you plagiarized that Wikipedia article in your posting, with no "amateur detective work" required. All one has to do is compare the two side by side. Your protestations to the contrary, I think the case has been made, and you've been caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Papalinton said...

No Bob. Not true. You know it is. I don't have to lie. If my telling you that I had not used Wiki as the source is not good enough for you to accept there is little I can do about it.

Indeed the Wiki source was one on the list [in fact there were two] that I cited to illustrate the many sources from which it could have come. Had I first seen it at say, one of the Cram101 books or at one of the other written sources, I would have cited it.

I can't make it plainer than that. I can't stop you believing what you will, that is your prerogative. But what I can tell you, is your conclusion is wrong..

B. Prokop said...

Linton and others occasionally like to claim that History is on their side, and the inevitable triumph of atheism is right around the corner. Well, not so fast, according to THIS ARTICLE IN THE ECONOMIST.

Collin said...

New Atheism is just a drop in the bucket. There are far more dangerous ideologies spreading, in which simple questions like "is there a God" are not available for determining whose side someone is on.