[FoRK] Debunking the Right Schiavo spin

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Mar 23 14:36:13 PST 2005


Hey, whatever works!

There are more than a few peer-pressure theists, especially men who file 
into midwestern churches to keep their wives, who in turn file into 
churches to have a social life.  People, other than I, would be shocked 
at how much peer-pressure theism exists in the US.  Making a stand on 
the issue is not something that most are interested in.  A good 
percentage more are probably "fake it until you make it" theists.  The 
coupling of theism to coupling is memetic genius.  Therefore, we can 
blame the scarcity of strong, rational women for the apparent scarcity 
of rational men.

The insidious part is the fact that nearly everyone knows very religious 
people who have worse morals in ways that count than non-religious 
people.  "Ways that count" meaning legal, ethical, interpersonal, karma, 
big picture, pay it forward, etc.  How about a part-time preacher who 
spends a good portion of his government paid workday preparing sermons?

sdw

Regina Schuman wrote:

>SDW encourages Kelley: Come on, stand up for your convictions!  But keep
>your head down!
>
>stand up and bend over?    
>
>  
>
>>>>"Stephen D. Williams" <sdw at lig.net> 3/23/2005 4:43:55 PM >>>
>>>>        
>>>>
>Kelley wrote:
>
>  
>
>>At 03:23 PM 3/23/2005, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
>>
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>>>>You can't possibly live in a red state! People here mock you if you
>>>>        
>>>>
>
>  
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>>>>say you're spiritual, not religious. You might as well tell them 
>>>>you're Wiccan.
>>>>        
>>>>
>>>Maybe you should tell them that the GOP has convinced you to become
>>>      
>>>
>
>  
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>>>Atheist.
>>>
>>>sdw
>>>      
>>>
>>
>>:) Are ya trying to get me shot? Pretty soon, here in the Giant Wang,
>>    
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>
>  
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>>that might just happen:
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>Come on, stand up for your convictions!  But keep your head down!
>
>  
>
>>http://www.blogwood.com/archives/001086.html. I'm pretty sure a
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>goodly 
>  
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>>portion of evangelicals ("just christians") would think I'm attacking
>>    
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>
>  
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>>them if I said that.
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>
>I actually understand this legislation, although it is going too far.
>On the one hand, you need to be able to protect yourself.  On the
>other, 
>you don't want to be injured if you aren't really at fault or intending
>
>to do harm.
>
>The problem is that in any circumstance outside a protected environment
>
>like a house, to function in society you must allow yourself to be 
>exposed with almost no protection.  A classic example might be a barber
>
>with a straight edge razor giving you a shave.  He could cut your
>throat 
>and you would have no chance to protect yourself.  All society can do
>is 
>limit how long he can do that.  Similarly, any of a thousand passerbys
>
>in a large city could harm you first, possibly fatally, without even 
>much of a likelihood of being caught.  As a security analyst (one of my
>
>stack of hats) I see these kinds of dangers everywhere.  If you really
>
>feel that you are a target, you should be able to mount at least 
>somewhat effective self-defense.
>
>The problem of course is the accidental or apparently accidental 
>escalation caused by being paranoid, trigger happy, or simply 
>misunderstanding.  My best friend at the time, over 17 years ago,
>almost 
>shot me because of an odd circumstance coupled with my bad handwriting.
> 
>Luckily he decided to take a swing at me first rather than pull out the
>
>gun in his glove compartment and my complete ignorance of the problem 
>led us to resolve the misunderstanding.  (He was dead in a year at 29
>of 
>an apparent heart attack, so don't get any ideas.  My karma index must
>
>be high.  :-) )
>
>  
>
>>Two stories. Years ago, when the Jehovah Witnesses were pestering our
>>    
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>>neighborhood, (this was in NY, where I'm from), I was taking a soc of
>>    
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>>religion course. When they came to the door, I told them I was an 
>>Atheist thinking that would would get rid of them.
>>    
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>
>At 12 or 13 I was invited to go to "church" with the JWs.  I never went
>
>proselytizing because I never went beyond "I don't believe in God".  
>They run on a different set of memes than traditional religions.  They
>
>try to be more rational, but end up a perfect illustration of: "Reason
>
>is a system whereby one may go wrong with confidence."
>
>I also went to an Apostolic church, Methodist, Baptist, and others in
>my 
>tiny little Ohio town full of churches.  I even was pulled into a 
>traveling preacher tent thing.  All of it just made it clear how much
>of 
>a business it was and how irrational everyone was.  I also then 
>understood the pseudo-mystical group inducement of magical feelings
>that 
>people think of as being "in touch with God".  I can see now that it 
>probably involves not only the mythology and peer-pressure, but also
>the 
>strange combinations of limbic emotion cues generated by "true 
>believers".  (Apostolics have "speaking in tongues" fits as part of 
>services.)
>
>  
>
>>That just made them come back more often. I think they believe that
>>    
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>if 
>  
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>>they turn atheists around, that's better than snagging a Catholic.
>>    
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>
>If I have the time and energy, they risk getting a good dose of 
>anti-religion memes.
>Actually, the most religious person I've met in a long time was in 
>Helsinki, Finland.  Holy Roller to the max.
>
>  
>
>>A couple of years later, I was teaching at a university in NY. I 
>>mentioned something in class about not believing. Most of the
>>    
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>students 
>  
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>>in the room gasped. They were horrified. Good upper middle class,
>>    
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>blue 
>  
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>>state children of parents wealthy enough to afford the, at the time,
>>    
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>>$30k tuition. Aren't they the supposed liberal humanists that 
>>evangelicals are constantly going on about?
>>    
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>Freshmen or seniors?  I bet it probably makes a big difference.
>
>  
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>>When I transplanted to the Giant Wang, well, lemme tell ya, teaching
>>    
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>>in the Giant Wang's Bible Belt was a real anthropological experience.
>>    
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>>I taught on the coast and in the Bible Belt. It was like traveling 
>>between two worlds.
>>    
>>
>
>Giant Wang eh?  That's a new one for my poor sheltered soul.  I'll
>never 
>look at a map of the US the same.  An analysis of masculine and
>feminine 
>continents, countries, and regions might be funny.
>
>  
>
>>The weird thing is, I used to defend communities of faith against 
>>unfair attacks. That was in NY. In the Giant Wang, having it 
>>constantly in my face drives me guano. Here, a school functions, we 
>>don't pray to any generic deity. We have to pray to the dead guy on a
>>    
>>
>
>  
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>>stick. I couldn't believe it. A school function!
>>    
>>
>
>Virginia, amazingly enough, has become a bit progressive.  They have a
>
>minute of silence every day, but with strict rules.  I don't know that
>
>the rest of activities are "clean" however.
>
>sdw
>
>  
>


-- 
swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw



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