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Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunty!

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Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunty!
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DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunty!

He guys! I wanted to drop in and say hi, see how everyone is doing. It's been a long time!

Lots and lots new with me. I'll share later. I think last I was here I had been kicking around the idea of joining the Satanic Temple. That happened. It's exactly what I expected to find and I'm glad for it.

As they did when I was active, my views have continued to shift and grow with me. Tonight I'm going to share some insight in a debate with Matt Dillahunty in Newport, KY - just 15 minutes from the fucking Creation Museum no less. It should be recorded and available to his patreon subscribers I believe? Not 100% but I'll post what I can when I can.

The topic: Is Religion a Good Thing?

My answer: yes.

I'll bring that to the Religion forum later and we can talk through it there too! Should be interesting.

So what's new witchoo?
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:36 pm
Gnug215ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2554Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:31 pm

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

DepricatedZero wrote:He guys! I wanted to drop in and say hi, see how everyone is doing. It's been a long time!

Lots and lots new with me. I'll share later. I think last I was here I had been kicking around the idea of joining the Satanic Temple. That happened. It's exactly what I expected to find and I'm glad for it.

As they did when I was active, my views have continued to shift and grow with me. Tonight I'm going to share some insight in a debate with Matt Dillahunty in Newport, KY - just 15 minutes from the fucking Creation Museum no less. It should be recorded and available to his patreon subscribers I believe? Not 100% but I'll post what I can when I can.

The topic: Is Religion a Good Thing?

My answer: yes.

I'll bring that to the Religion forum later and we can talk through it there too! Should be interesting.

So what's new witchoo?


Hey!

Long time indeed.

So what exactly is the Satanic Temple, and what do they stand for and do?
And why did you feel compelled to join them?

Not much new here. Same old crap. Work, kids, and then trying to relax when I'm not at work or taking care of my kids.
Don't feel compelled to join... anything these days. Less so than ever before.

So yeah... :)
- Gnug215

YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/Gnug215


The horse is a ferocious predator.
Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:29 pm
Sparhafoc
Online
Posts: 1290Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

DepricatedZero wrote:He guys! I wanted to drop in and say hi, see how everyone is doing. It's been a long time!

Lots and lots new with me. I'll share later. I think last I was here I had been kicking around the idea of joining the Satanic Temple. That happened. It's exactly what I expected to find and I'm glad for it.


Hi, never met you before - I'm Gary, pleased to meet you - but that sounds really interesting, and I would be interested to hear more about it if you have the time to share your experiences.


DepricatedZero wrote:As they did when I was active, my views have continued to shift and grow with me. Tonight I'm going to share some insight in a debate with Matt Dillahunty in Newport, KY - just 15 minutes from the fucking Creation Museum no less. It should be recorded and available to his patreon subscribers I believe? Not 100% but I'll post what I can when I can.


Sounds fun. I don't engage much in the theist-not theist debate, but I've seen Matt a few times, and he is a nice guy, and understands Christianity well enough to make his responses to its premises worth listening to.


DepricatedZero wrote:The topic: Is Religion a Good Thing?

My answer: yes.

I'll bring that to the Religion forum later and we can talk through it there too! Should be interesting.



Shame there's no Medical subforum, or I could put up a corollary topic... is trepanning with a shit covered wooden spoon a Good Thing?

Reasonable answer: yes... depending on the demands of a given circumstance, but just not in every other imaginable circumstance. :)
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:10 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3309Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

DepricatedZero wrote:Tonight I'm going to share some insight in a debate with Matt Dillahunty in Newport, KY - just 15 minutes from the fucking Creation Museum no less.


Good luck and have fun.
_BONES AND FOSSILS = LOVE_
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Sun Jul 16, 2017 10:57 pm
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DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

That was fun as hell. I'm gonna go pass out now. I'll recount it tomorrow. It should be on his patreon soon I think - I have no clue what the turnaround time is on it.

I lost the debate - but I went in for a dialectic anyway. Something he said in his opening statement kind of kicked me in the chest and disarmed me haha. But it's better to be correct than to be right, ya know?

Fun times. And he's just as nice and genuine a person as I've heard. I feel fortunate.
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:31 am
VisakiUser avatarPosts: 758Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

DepricatedZero wrote:That was fun as hell. I'm gonna go pass out now. I'll recount it tomorrow. It should be on his patreon soon I think - I have no clue what the turnaround time is on it.

I lost the debate - but I went in for a dialectic anyway. Something he said in his opening statement kind of kicked me in the chest and disarmed me haha. But it's better to be correct than to be right, ya know?

Fun times. And he's just as nice and genuine a person as I've heard. I feel fortunate.

Matt has a lot of experience on debates, so you shouldn't feel bad if you think he beat you. But having fun it, I think, more important than winning.
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:04 am
DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Yea. I knew full well what I was getting into when I said I'd do it.

Ok now that I have more than 15 minutes at a computer:

GNUG HI!

The Satanic Temple is an atheistic religious organization. You've probably heard of our activism. The debate moderator last night described us pretty well as "the Nuclear Option." I love it.

For those who don't know me or don't recall my old posts here, I frequently explore concepts of ethics and secularism. I've always thought it interesting - but I came to a point of wondering "why?" Discussing it here started to feel a bit like a circlejerk, honestly. We all kind of agree on the major points. I don't want to explore my thoughts in an echo chamber, I want dissenting views that challenge me. So between losing all the freetime I used to spend here, and that perception, I've kind of just faded off.

What drew me to TST is the ethics and activism. The Tenets are values I had already come to hold dear.

  1. One should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.
  2. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions.
  3. One’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.
  4. The freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forgo your own.
  5. Beliefs should conform to our best scientific understanding of the world. We should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit our beliefs.
  6. People are fallible. If we make a mistake, we should do our best to rectify it and resolve any harm that may have been caused.
  7. Every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word

They weren't verbatim how I had conceived my own views, but they are pretty much the same. Even now I don't think of them word-for-word, but I summarize them as seven virtues: Compassion, Justice, Autonomy, Freedom, Reason, Responsibility, and Wisdom.

The Satanic Temple's activism is probably anything you've heard in the news. The Baphomet Statue in Oklahoma that prompted the removal of the 10 Commandments monument, the Satanic Veteran's Monument, the distribution of Satanic childrens literature in Florida schools that prompted a ban on handing out bibles in Orange County Schools, or the After School Satan Club that's currently countering school-based church groups such as the Good News Club. There's plenty of other stuff going on, too - we actively fight against pseudoscience.
Embracing the spirit of rebellion, we fight for secularism by encouraging the privileged religious groups to cut off their noses to spite their faces. Religious Freedom sounds great until Satanists are free to practice.
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:08 pm
Sparhafoc
Online
Posts: 1290Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

I could tell from the first words I saw you write here that you are a unique individual, and this post underscores that we hold many of the same objectives and desires. More than any other reason for me to join this forum was because I always want to test my ideas, to find out if they're worthy of holding, and it's only when you put them out, verbalize them, and offer them up for criticism that you can hope to identify that.

At a very abstract level, I don't do beliefs. Beliefs tend to be stop-gaps for lack of knowledge, but given the imperfect nature of human knowledge, I feel that some beliefs can be justified, so long as you do actually go to the trouble of justifying those beliefs. Usually, I make a distinction between believing in quantities, and believing in qualities; believing in human values, morals, and principles, rather than the existence of things unseen or unexperienced.

Tenets, to me, is a better term than most churches would aim for because it doesn't suggest rules, or laws, or final arbitration independent of circumstance. No laws, rules, or final arbitration is to be had in a complex universe with moral agents interacting. Flexibility is essential because stasis = death, if not for us, then for someone else who holds a different value that might, if allowed to be said, be superior to our own. So tenets sound aspirational - principles that embody one's hopes and expectations, not demand rote behaviors or homogeneous cognition.

As such, I find 1, 2, 5, and 6 are very acceptable to me, and they are all things I've written about at length before.

3 and 4 are mostly acceptable to me, but there are some pertinent issues that make accepting them as is untenable for me.

Finally, 7 is a bit woolly, and seems to conclude with a false dilemma. Initially, I am not content with the word 'nobility', as it has emotive baggage to it, the actions and behaviors of an elite who had the luxury of behaving in certain ways because they weren't toiling in the fields to put bread on their tables. Perhaps it's just one of those definitional shortcuts where nobility means 'kindness', 'compassion', 'empathy' etc. For the last sentence, there's no reason that written or spoken word cannot be compassionate, wise, or just etc... plus there are genuine demands resulting from the events of a complex universe to set these aside temporarily and kick someone rudely up the arse to get them out of the way of the oncoming car, for example. Sometimes we do need to be minimally/temporarily cruel to be maximally/ultimately kind.

I believe in the Silver Rule as a guiding principle, an aspiration. It is something to be strived for, to never do unto others what you wouldn't like done to you. But it is, I freely admit, a childish aspect of my nature that I treat others as they treat me. Perhaps I should be more aspirational in this sense, but I have to admit I take pleasure in dismantling ignoramuses' undue certainty. There's a kind of justice there, a cosmic irony that only humans seem able to enjoy, and thus I think not necessarily all bad.

Back to the specifics of 3 & 4

3) I agree with this mostly. The problem is that it's too sharp a divide. One's body is inviolable, but isn't the foetus' body therefore equally inviolable? Why would we put a full grown, perfectly capable and healthy woman's right to corporal inviolability over and above the inviolability of the helpless developing infant which just happens to temporarily live in her womb? It's a genuinely complicated question that no absolutes satisfy - well, at least they don't satisfy me. Of course, I am pro-choice, there's no genuinely sensible or rational way to be against the abortion of a day old foetus in the absence of dysfunctional metaphysics. However, I've never met a pro-choice person who would argue that a woman has the right to abort a foetus a day before she's due to conceive. There has to be some grey area. So 3 seems to be negotiable, needs more input to make sense of, and therefore doesn't sit quite so well in the abstract for me.

4) I think freedoms need to be very clearly defined. What is it that people should be 'free' from? If an individual defines their sense of freedom as being unfettered by empirical facts, then I don't feel obliged to acknowledge that freedom existing beyond the confines of their minds. As soon as they insert it into the public sphere, it's no longer theirs, and they can no longer hold me accountable for their definition. However, I think a society that's worthy of striving for is one in which every human action, belief, and desire is assumed to be free, their right to engage in, unless otherwise stated by rational laws intended to ensure that one person's freedom does not encroach on other peoples' freedoms. So it's a bit too complex for me to accept wholly in the abstract.

Not sure if I will ever challenge your thoughts, DepricatedZero, and I may just be circlejerking away with you here... but I can tell you absolutely honestly, if you change my mind and offer me a better way of thinking about something, I will always be grateful to you! ;)
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:55 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5000Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Hey DZ, great to hear from you!

This is where I heal my hurts.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:30 pm
DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Sparhafoc wrote:I could tell from the first words I saw you write here that you are a unique individual, and this post underscores that we hold many of the same objectives and desires.
From your post - yes, it sounds as if we share a lot of the same views. So I'll expound on what you note.

Sparhafoc wrote:At a very abstract level, I don't do beliefs. Beliefs tend to be stop-gaps for lack of knowledge, but given the imperfect nature of human knowledge, I feel that some beliefs can be justified, so long as you do actually go to the trouble of justifying those beliefs. Usually, I make a distinction between believing in quantities, and believing in qualities; believing in human values, morals, and principles, rather than the existence of things unseen or unexperienced.
Just like "faith" I don't see a need to not use "belief" to describe something I believe. Belief can be swayed by fact. I believe in gravity - that's a scientific belief based on the soundness of the theory. I believe in my band - that's a more nebulous belief about the quality of my bandmates and our ability to push forward. I believe in reason - that describes a conviction I hold dear. I won't let mystics ruin words for me. Believe in me as I believe in you. I believe in the Smashing Pumpkins, too.

Sparhafoc wrote:Tenets, to me, is a better term than most churches would aim for because it doesn't suggest rules, or laws, or final arbitration independent of circumstance. No laws, rules, or final arbitration is to be had in a complex universe with moral agents interacting. Flexibility is essential because stasis = death, if not for us, then for someone else who holds a different value that might, if allowed to be said, be superior to our own. So tenets sound aspirational - principles that embody one's hopes and expectations, not demand rote behaviors or homogeneous cognition.
Up until reading this I had honestly never considered the 'tenet' vs 'virtue' vs whatever else. But I agree, for the reasons you lay out.

Sparhafoc wrote:Finally, 7 is a bit woolly, and seems to conclude with a false dilemma. Initially, I am not content with the word 'nobility', as it has emotive baggage to it, the actions and behaviors of an elite who had the luxury of behaving in certain ways because they weren't toiling in the fields to put bread on their tables. Perhaps it's just one of those definitional shortcuts where nobility means 'kindness', 'compassion', 'empathy' etc. For the last sentence, there's no reason that written or spoken word cannot be compassionate, wise, or just etc... plus there are genuine demands resulting from the events of a complex universe to set these aside temporarily and kick someone rudely up the arse to get them out of the way of the oncoming car, for example. Sometimes we do need to be minimally/temporarily cruel to be maximally/ultimately kind.
I think, perhaps, you're looking too hard at the wording. The Seventh Tenet means that the first 6 are not meant to be commands, kind of like your point about tenets as a word choice. It means that they aren't to be taken as literal-to-the-word, that reason should be applied in any situation to determine which to give precedence if they conflict, that they not be used verbatim to define a hard line that can be skirted. The tenets are just codified ideals, and as such it's the ideals that are important, not how they were phrased - especially in 200 or 1000 years when our language has evolved to the point that those words no longer mean what they do.

Sparhafoc wrote:I believe in the Silver Rule as a guiding principle, an aspiration. It is something to be strived for, to never do unto others what you wouldn't like done to you. But it is, I freely admit, a childish aspect of my nature that I treat others as they treat me. Perhaps I should be more aspirational in this sense, but I have to admit I take pleasure in dismantling ignoramuses' undue certainty. There's a kind of justice there, a cosmic irony that only humans seem able to enjoy, and thus I think not necessarily all bad.
I've always been fond of Wil Wheaton's simple rule: "don't be a dick." But I have no problem returning dickery.



Sparhafoc wrote:3) I agree with this mostly. The problem is that it's too sharp a divide. One's body is inviolable, but isn't the foetus' body therefore equally inviolable? Why would we put a full grown, perfectly capable and healthy woman's right to corporal inviolability over and above the inviolability of the helpless developing infant which just happens to temporarily live in her womb? It's a genuinely complicated question that no absolutes satisfy - well, at least they don't satisfy me. Of course, I am pro-choice, there's no genuinely sensible or rational way to be against the abortion of a day old foetus in the absence of dysfunctional metaphysics. However, I've never met a pro-choice person who would argue that a woman has the right to abort a foetus a day before she's due to conceive. There has to be some grey area. So 3 seems to be negotiable, needs more input to make sense of, and therefore doesn't sit quite so well in the abstract for me.
Science is a good determining factor, imo. As you point out, there's no argument against abortion that doesn't rely on mysticism.

I'll frame a rare but not unheard of scenario: if a child dies in childbirth due to a defect, do we charge the mother with criminal neglect for letting her child die? Like she would be if, say, a TV fell on her 2 month old.

A foetus is nothing more than potential. It is a potential person for a long time. I think there is a point in utero at which it can be considered fully human, but not until very late into development. But to that extent, at the moment it has its own rights, then those rights are subject to the same rule as all: your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. The bodily autonomy of a foetus never takes precedent over the bodily autonomy of the host it's reliant upon.

Sparhafoc wrote:4) I think freedoms need to be very clearly defined. What is it that people should be 'free' from? If an individual defines their sense of freedom as being unfettered by empirical facts, then I don't feel obliged to acknowledge that freedom existing beyond the confines of their minds. As soon as they insert it into the public sphere, it's no longer theirs, and they can no longer hold me accountable for their definition. However, I think a society that's worthy of striving for is one in which every human action, belief, and desire is assumed to be free, their right to engage in, unless otherwise stated by rational laws intended to ensure that one person's freedom does not encroach on other peoples' freedoms. So it's a bit too complex for me to accept wholly in the abstract.
Free from tyranny. Free to self-govern. I don't really see a problem leaving it nebulous. It's the ideal of freedom in all aspects, not just the US Bill of Rights or Locke's natural rights. You're free to express your opinion, for instance, and I'm free to express mine - you're free to flail your fist about so long as you don't flail it into anyone's face. Satan represents the eternal rebellion against arbitrary tyranny - Satan is Freedom.

Can you hear Adam Sandler saying "Freedom is the devil!"?

It's good to meet you Gary - I'm sure we'll get along fabulously. I'm Mark. Or Jingo. Either or if you don't want to use DepricatedZero.
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:21 pm
DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Prolescum wrote:Hey DZ, great to hear from you!

This is where I heal my hurts.

I think you introduced me to that before, maybe actually when I was really first considering TST. Either way, I'm familiar with it and I want to say because of you. Missed you all!
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:24 pm
Sparhafoc
Online
Posts: 1290Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:48 am

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

DepricatedZero wrote:Just like "faith" I don't see a need to not use "belief" to describe something I believe. Belief can be swayed by fact. I believe in gravity - that's a scientific belief based on the soundness of the theory. I believe in my band - that's a more nebulous belief about the quality of my bandmates and our ability to push forward. I believe in reason - that describes a conviction I hold dear. I won't let mystics ruin words for me. Believe in me as I believe in you. I believe in the Smashing Pumpkins, too.


Yes, I also have made note many times in the past (I am sure Hack and Rumraket will have seen this from me) of how I refuse to give up a perfectly good word just because someone else is misusing it. I believe in love, honesty, compassion, I believe the sun will rise tomorrow, and that I will continue to change as I grow older.

Beliefs can be justified, in which case they're quite different to the way other people employ believing, or they can be about something internal and that's fine to be belief.


DepricatedZero wrote:Up until reading this I had honestly never considered the 'tenet' vs 'virtue' vs whatever else. But I agree, for the reasons you lay out.


Rules of thumb. Lots of thumbs, admittedly, but that's why the Holy Tetrapod gave us two! :D


DepricatedZero wrote:I think, perhaps, you're looking too hard at the wording.


I have a tendency to do that! :lol: I also know it can be annoying, so apologies if that's the case!


DepricatedZero wrote:The Seventh Tenet means that the first 6 are not meant to be commands, kind of like your point about tenets as a word choice. It means that they aren't to be taken as literal-to-the-word, that reason should be applied in any situation to determine which to give precedence if they conflict, that they not be used verbatim to define a hard line that can be skirted. The tenets are just codified ideals, and as such it's the ideals that are important, not how they were phrased - especially in 200 or 1000 years when our language has evolved to the point that those words no longer mean what they do.


Ahh I see, thanks for clarifying. By 'written word' it means the wording of the 6 above. Got it. That makes sense - very Buddha like.

That said, still have the same reservation about that particular word. Sorry, can't help it! :)


DepricatedZero wrote:I've always been fond of Wil Wheaton's simple rule: "don't be a dick." But I have no problem returning dickery.


Agreed, and a much simpler way of putting it.



DepricatedZero wrote:Science is a good determining factor, imo. As you point out, there's no argument against abortion that doesn't rely on mysticism.

I'll frame a rare but not unheard of scenario: if a child dies in childbirth due to a defect, do we charge the mother with criminal neglect for letting her child die? Like she would be if, say, a TV fell on her 2 month old.

A foetus is nothing more than potential. It is a potential person for a long time. I think there is a point in utero at which it can be considered fully human, but not until very late into development. But to that extent, at the moment it has its own rights, then those rights are subject to the same rule as all: your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. The bodily autonomy of a foetus never takes precedent over the bodily autonomy of the host it's reliant upon.


Sadly, I agree with you. :lol:

But it does make the point that some topics just are too complicated for any general statement. Details are important, and every person and every generation has to dig into the details anew to own them, if for nothing else than for practice for all the new complicated shit that will arise which we can't currently conceive of.

Incidentally, this is why I think that religion can still do good in some very restricted instances. For example, in many modern secular educations, a student can go through all the way until legal requirement never having studied philosophy, ethics, or critical thought. Even if a religious educations teaches bad philosophy badly, it's at least an opening of the necessary door.

In some ways, arriving at university without some proficiency in philosophy is as bad as arriving there without knowledge of the sciences. Comparatively, older brains are better at learning how to do science than they are at being flexible in their thoughts.



DepricatedZero wrote:Free from tyranny. Free to self-govern. I don't really see a problem leaving it nebulous. It's the ideal of freedom in all aspects, not just the US Bill of Rights or Locke's natural rights. You're free to express your opinion, for instance, and I'm free to express mine - you're free to flail your fist about so long as you don't flail it into anyone's face. Satan represents the eternal rebellion against arbitrary tyranny - Satan is Freedom.

Can you hear Adam Sandler saying "Freedom is the devil!"?

It's good to meet you Gary - I'm sure we'll get along fabulously. I'm Mark. Or Jingo. Either or if you don't want to use DepricatedZero.


Hi Mark, and pleased to meet all three of you! :)

This is the most interesting of all the topics above to me, because it's one least discussed at least in my experience, and the one I really can't achieve any degree of certainty in.

I do see that you wrote about it being nebulous and being ok with that, but it's one of those things that I get stuck on. I need to think it out! :)

I sometimes feel that such ideas are... a secular version of heaven? I am not sure if that's quite the way of phrasing it. When I was a Christian, I went to church of my own accord, did Bible studies, prayed, and actually had a proper education in the Bible (incidentally, I get the Lucifer, light-bearer stuff from that as well). However, I could never imagine heaven. It's something I found to be genuinely problematic to conceive of even whilst knowing that I should be striving to go there. What form does it take? What does it look like? How is it made? How does it work? I just can't see how it can be. It seems cartoonish.

I could obviously do what I always do and write reams of words here, but to attempt some brevity....

So... what world has ever existed that is free of tyranny? The universe seems predicated on predation, from animals to atoms, to proton gradients, something is consumed in the process of transition from one state to another. To live, we must hold a tyranny on all manner of things which are necessary to our bodies. Can human societies be developed that don't somewhat reflect the nature of the universe. Can we move outside the clutches of wealth gradients? Can human enterprises operate without incentives due to imbalances? I honestly have no answers to any of the above, and I can't see a world without tyranny. It seems cartoonish, too!

To go back to one of your examples: Locke's natural rights also resulted in a justification for European settlers in the US to seize land that was, presumably to all of our opinion's today, already 'owned' by the people living there.

Basically, if you worked it, you owned it. Indians didn't work it, so they couldn't put a fence round it. An ancient tyranny of the nomad and the agrarian! :)

One of those deep ironies of the memetic notion of the US being the land of the free is that it was built on genocide and slavery. As were all those glorious empires from ancient history. All those Great appellations weren't achieved by being smart, solving famine, helping children... but by killing one's neighbors and taking their loot.

So even if we made a society free of tyranny, it seems to me that it would just present an opportunity to be exploited by a tyrant after all our swords are ploughshares, and that's a factor always at the root of the human condition. Can we really be free of it? Perhaps a thread on it because I can't answer any of this! :)
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:22 pm
DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Sparhafoc wrote:This is the most interesting of all the topics above to me, because it's one least discussed at least in my experience, and the one I really can't achieve any degree of certainty in.

I do see that you wrote about it being nebulous and being ok with that, but it's one of those things that I get stuck on. I need to think it out! :)

I sometimes feel that such ideas are... a secular version of heaven? I am not sure if that's quite the way of phrasing it. When I was a Christian, I went to church of my own accord, did Bible studies, prayed, and actually had a proper education in the Bible (incidentally, I get the Lucifer, light-bearer stuff from that as well). However, I could never imagine heaven. It's something I found to be genuinely problematic to conceive of even whilst knowing that I should be striving to go there. What form does it take? What does it look like? How is it made? How does it work? I just can't see how it can be. It seems cartoonish.

I could obviously do what I always do and write reams of words here, but to attempt some brevity....

So... what world has ever existed that is free of tyranny? The universe seems predicated on predation, from animals to atoms, to proton gradients, something is consumed in the process of transition from one state to another. To live, we must hold a tyranny on all manner of things which are necessary to our bodies. Can human societies be developed that don't somewhat reflect the nature of the universe. Can we move outside the clutches of wealth gradients? Can human enterprises operate without incentives due to imbalances? I honestly have no answers to any of the above, and I can't see a world without tyranny. It seems cartoonish, too!

To go back to one of your examples: Locke's natural rights also resulted in a justification for European settlers in the US to seize land that was, presumably to all of our opinion's today, already 'owned' by the people living there.

Basically, if you worked it, you owned it. Indians didn't work it, so they couldn't put a fence round it. An ancient tyranny of the nomad and the agrarian! :)

One of those deep ironies of the memetic notion of the US being the land of the free is that it was built on genocide and slavery. As were all those glorious empires from ancient history. All those Great appellations weren't achieved by being smart, solving famine, helping children... but by killing one's neighbors and taking their loot.

So even if we made a society free of tyranny, it seems to me that it would just present an opportunity to be exploited by a tyrant after all our swords are ploughshares, and that's a factor always at the root of the human condition. Can we really be free of it? Perhaps a thread on it because I can't answer any of this! :)
Ready for the bombshell?

It doesn't matter that it can't happen.

As you said, something is always consumed in a transition. That's not really relevant to the ideal of personal freedom though. The more useful observation here is that society has always been tyrannical, perhaps by its very nature.

Let's parallel the US with the utopian vision you can't grasp.

There is no way for the US to move forward without benefiting from the African slave trade. The United States, in any context, was built by slaves on land stolen from the First Nations. The government has no right to even operate on these grounds, except that they've got the guns and numbers. And that's the smallest part of the government's evil.

But I'm gonna call back to one of my favorite punk bands, the Descendants. "I come from the land of Ben Franklin, Twain, and Poe, and Walt Whitman, Otis Redding, Ellington - the country that I love. But it's the land of the slaves and the Ku Klux Klan, Haymarket Riot, and the Great Depression, Joe McCarthy, Vietnam - the sickest joke I know. I'm proud and ashamed every fourth of July, you've got know the truth before you say that you've got pride!" This embodies a concept that most people seem to have trouble grasping: that it is possible to appreciate some qualities of a thing while despising others.

But what's the difference between Walt Whitman and the KKK? Tyranny. The KKK are tyrannical - they push their agenda through violence and threats thereof. Contrariwise, Walt Whitman spoke against tyranny and cautioned to remain defiant. I think a Walt Whitman quote will perfectly frame this:

Walt Whitman, "American Democracy," Brooklyn Eagle (1847) wrote:There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their supreme confidence in themselves, and lose their roughness and spirit of defiance. Tyranny may always enter - there is no charm no bar against it - the only bar against it is a large resolute breed of men.


Which bring it back around. The ideal of Freedom - let's give it that capital F - is an escape from Tyranny. We can't undo the past, and we can't change where we've come from. Beyond that, we can't control what other people do - only how we react. Though they were blind to their own tendencies to be tyrants, the men who lead our little rebellion against England believed in an ideal of Freedom. But people are myopic, lack introspection, and don't think to the consequences of their convictions, let alone actions. Of course they were slave owners - that's different, they thought, slaves aren't people, slaves don't have a right to be free. Of course the land was theirs, that's different, they thought - the natives don't own it, they don't even USE it! That doesn't excuse their actions, of course - but it does highlight two important things:

First, that we could easily be doing the very same thing. There are likely things we look at now that in 250 years people will look back on and think, "What monsters!"

Second, that their motives were in the right place - it was their premises that needed review. But, back to that duality problem. Most people want them to be either sacrosanct or villains, without any appreciation that they were just people. But that's all they were - people. Relatively educated, idealistic, egocentric, and error-prone. And that's all we are. They still accomplished good - because they established something that claimed to stand against tyranny.

The only thing we can do is try our best. We can hold ourselves to the highest standards we can conceive of for our ideals. It doesn't matter that it's a pipe-dream. It doesn't matter that the US will never be the "land of the free." What matters is that there are people who want to see it happen, that I live my life each day in accordance with my ideals, and make the world a little better for it. I honestly can't imagine a tyranny-free world either, but that doesn't mean I don't strive for it all the same. And maybe I'll be panned in a couple centuries as a progenitor of AI Slavery. I am a programmer, and don't consider my programs to be people, even if they employ some light AI.

To put it another way: the easiest way to affect change is to start with the world immediately around you. It comes a bit at a time. Encouraging others to do the same will spread your change further. But be the change you want, and focus on the journey before the destination.
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:00 am
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Great post, and you ended with a space fertile to plow a quote I love:

Be the change you want to see in the world.

I'll have a think about what you've written; for me at least, it's not a topic I tend to have the opportunity to discuss, or to hear others discussing.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:00 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3309Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Sparhafoc wrote:Great post...


I will just second that.
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Sparhafoc
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Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

As I said, I have been thinking on it, and there's a lot to think about here! :)

One of the first obstacles that came to my mind is that the opposite of tyranny isn't freedom, it's justice. I think human society tends to be built on pragmatic structures, not supposing that the nature of humans or the world can be changed, but rather that rules can be made for the benefit of the majority, and that transgressors will be punished. A Durkheimian social contract where we give up a little personal freedom to have the protection of the guy with the biggest stick. But we are never asked if we want to give up that little personal freedom; merely by fact of birth, we automatically subscribe to the laws, irrelevant of our own volition. Surely, this is definitionally the opposite of freedom, being installed into a rule that restricts some freedoms before we're even able to conceive of them?

So my point here is that we're still using tyranny to provide the basis for those freedoms.

Can the aim then be to remove tyranny, or is it more practical for the aim just to be to use it wisely?
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:54 am
DepricatedZeroChat ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 1333Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 11:43 amLocation: Cincinnati, OH Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Thanks :)

Well, one thing to consider is that I'm also an anarchist. At my core, I disagree with those rules. More practically, I'm a minarchist, with a lean towards Capitalism (not Corporatism, which is what we enjoy here in the USSA) because in its pure form it is anarchic. (I'm aware that there are a number of white supremacists who rally under the banner - don't mistake me for them). But much like anarchy, it's not tenable, so when it comes to what I support vs what I believe, I have a tendency to let my fervor for anarchy and unadulterated freedom take a back seat to idealistic pragmatism. So I don't have insight to offer into that conundrum other than: I'm aware of it, and I think it's bullshit.

The old Ben Franklin quote applies: Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Now another point: I don't think Justice is necessarily the antipode of Tyranny either, though I can certainly see an argument for it (and I'm pondering on it, I may take that up in the future). Certainly you can enjoy neither justice nor freedom under tyranny, but justice can be perverted easily into tyranny. It's more that they're on one side of the fence while tyranny is on the other. As it goes, though, I don't even put tyranny on the list of 'seven deadly sins' - those would be Apathy, Complacency, Compulsion, Subjugation, Credulity, Entitlement, and Imprudence. Tyranny relies on all of those and is more like the "big bad." It's not that Freedom is its opposite, but more that it's just anthietical.
Why does my life have to be so small
And death is forever
And does forever have a life to call its own?
Don't give me an answer cause you only know
As much as I know
Unless you've been there once
And I hardly think so

Green Day - One of My Lies
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:46 am
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety


I know my response here is contrary to the thrust of much of your post, but to respond to Franklin, or whoever it was that first capitulated this, giving up a little liberty to gain a little safety is exactly what living in a group is all about, whether one is a gazelle or a human. The question is how much of each, and I think the US has some relatively unique paradigms of this thanks to its history and population make up. For example, Libertarianism, as found in the US, is found nowhere else in that form. It's a unique, and to me very odd, expression of the individual over the group.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:10 am
Sparhafoc
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Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

DepricatedZero wrote:Well, one thing to consider is that I'm also an anarchist. At my core, I disagree with those rules.

...

Now another point: I don't think Justice is necessarily the antipode of Tyranny either, though I can certainly see an argument for it (and I'm pondering on it, I may take that up in the future). Certainly you can enjoy neither justice nor freedom under tyranny, but justice can be perverted easily into tyranny. It's more that they're on one side of the fence while tyranny is on the other...... Tyranny relies on all of those and is more like the "big bad." It's not that Freedom is its opposite, but more that it's just anthietical.



Isn't freedom also ultimately freedom from justice?

Personally, I would say that freedom is antithetical to both. Justice and tyranny are down in the mud wrestling no holds barred throughout human history (biological history, to some degree), and freedom is a concept floating in the imagined sky.

There's a line from a song that has nothing to do with this, but which I will borrow anyway as it has struck me as apposite to considerations of human imagination:

Simply Red wrote:So now we've got our independence
What are we gonna do with it?


If we could wave a wand and make people free of all restraints (kind of like the Matrix pill), physical, social, moral etc., what would the world really look like?

To me, it seems like the setting of an 80's 'genie out of the bottle' style film (maybe I should write it! :D ) where a frustrated wish comes true, and the protagonist spends the film learning that their wish has not made the world a better place.

My take on this is a bit different than yours because I think humans are just primates in suits, and I don't think we can be trusted with freedom. We need to have some of our freedoms curtailed by society, or else we'll just crap on other peoples' tables, and fling jizz at them.

Some humans might be trustworthy, but I also believe in equality of law, and freedom for some is tyranny of others anyway.

The first debate I ever lost, and knew I lost, and knew I was losing as it was happening, was with a guy who'd claimed that democracy was just another form of tyranny, of the minority by the majority. Fairer than most, but far from just. I argued my case as best I could, but ultimately I learned more about justice from that conversation than from the video series we'd both been watching, and how we'd 'met' in order to have a debate:



Added the video there in case other people are interested. Grand teacher, and fascinating course.
Faith is not a desirable place to make claims from. It is belief in the absence or even contradiction of evidence. If you're going to do religion; learn how to do religion right.
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:26 am
DustniteUser avatarPosts: 518Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 9:11 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Long time, guys, what's new? I'm debating Matt Dillahunt

Pretty sure this is the debate right?

"But this is irrelevant because in either case, whether a god exists or not, whether your God (with a capital G) exists or not, it doesn't matter. We both are, in either case, evolved apes. " - Nesslig20
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:15 pm
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