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The CFI us a Leftist political advocacy organization….but with a particuarly valuable contribution all its own…..
Posted: 23 June 2011 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 10:57 AM

The logo. It looks like a sperm entering an egg. grin

haha good one!

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Posted: 23 June 2011 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Actually, why not? “CFI, where ideas have sex.”  cheese

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Posted: 23 June 2011 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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sex=kids=more ideas

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Posted: 23 June 2011 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I guess, but that’s not what I meant.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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yes i know what you meant sir smile dont worry.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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pdenorte - 23 June 2011 09:25 AM

When politics become ‘scientific’ it’s a good bet that Science will become politicized.  I very much see that happening today.  We shouldn’t forget that in his farewell address Eisenhower saw fit to warn as much about the government, academic, scientific “complex” as he did the so commonly referenced military industrial one.

I just listened to Eisenhower’s farewell address (available on the Great Speeches podcast) and what he was warning us about was a “scientific elite” determining public policy. That has clearly not happened, and one could argue it would be better than the current disinformation campaign Sen. James Inhofe runs of behalf of the energy companies that support him. Yes, science has become politicized, but it in exactly the opposite way Eisenhower warned about and you imply.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I disagree with you DarronS….I see exactly the “Scientific Elite” (trying to dictate energy policy with Synfuels, Ethanol and Carbon restriction…) only they’re agenda is like that of all elites…self aggrandizement and enrichment, not some grand conspiratorial game!

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Posted: 23 June 2011 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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No, I do not think we agree with each other at all. What you call the “Scientific Elite” are large corporations. If the scientists were in charge idiots like James Inhofe would be waiting in bread lines for food and our cars would be getting 50 mpg. The scientists are warning us that we are destroying our ecosystems. Monsanto got our Congress to subsidize ethanol as a fuel additive.

And you still have not told me what you find so horrifying about CFI.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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DarronS….  I’d not considered WHY I had the impression CFI was such a Leftist group, in general.  It was just a decided impression by a casual observer.  But your challenge prompted me to explore a bit….so:

here’s a very cursory and preliminary pass that seems to support my being right (at least by my lights…of course, one may’s “Leftist” is another’s “Reactionary”...but I suspect I’m not too atypical of ‘average’ “America”)

Is there ever any issue where the CFI suggests a Conservative position?  I haven’t noticed any…  All I’ve
seen are position after position that’s consistent with the political Left….  The CFI doesn’t cover every issue,
but where it is interested there seems a ‘lock-step’ with Leftist positions.  Maybe this is just
coincidence…maybe just illusion…but it certainly does seem so to the casual observer.

The inital post was merely commentary on a strong personal impression.  It wasn’t analystical, or decided.  Since you asked I decided to look into the reason why I might have such an impression…who knows, I might be mistaken after all….While the impression would nonetheless be ‘real’ even if mistaken (a thing perhaps worth consideration in its own right…), mistaken impression is not uncommon…especially where one doesn’t pay close attention to exactly what another is saying…I have certainly made plenty of mistakes, so .....

But on preliminary examination, I think not.  Here are a few “policies” I think show a definite Leftist slant and a clear ideological prejudice for Leftist positions….


1) Petition against Wal-Mart selling homeopathic junk

Why single out one company…what about Walgreen’s, CVS, K-Mart….the list goes on, and on….

Why demonize one merchantile concern already the whipping boy of every dime-store demogoge in need of some big

(successful) organization to demonize as the source of all the evils in the world?  This strikes me not only as

‘Leftist’, but as smarmy elitism of the worst sort, too.  It’s not like every retail establishment in the known universe doesn’t peddle this crap….  How about trying to petition for the government to at least not allow federally funded health care to be wasted on this crap (and other stuff like it….) instead of just trying to hold Wal-Mart to a higher standard than any other establishment.  I bet these folks have a “I hate Wal-Mart” bumper stickers and support “local foods” and all that silly bosh too…..

2) The way LGBT rights issues are Framed….it’s not the issue, it’s the context…it perpetuates and reinforces

optional and completely unscientific grouping of humans. 

3) Proposed ‘remedies’ to CO2 levels are purely political….but the CFI acts as if this is Science….
Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Advances in Global CO2 Sequestration NOV 2009

4) The policy of Church is NOT an attack on ‘Civil Rights’, how ever much they may choose to disagree with public policy as long as compliant with relevant laws where applicable.  Private organization have no obligation to even be consistent with their own expressed values….. I.e.  There’s a huge difference between Evil and Wrong…..If government insists that private action must comply with public mandates, they can’t complain when that action is abstained under those terms.  When we dictate “my way or he highway” we have no right to complain when we get the resppnse, “bye, I’ll be on the highway”.....  Anything else is simple tyranny. 
When Civil Rights Advancement Means Going Hungry NOV, 2009

5) Again…responses, or lack thereof, to phenomenon…or the forms of such, are political issues, not scientific ones…but CFI demonizes those who’s positions on these differ from those THEY believe the science supports.  The science is the science, the response is not science, at all or in any way.  If we try to demonize political positions with Science, we’ll end up making Science itself a demon.
Republicans to Kill Climate Change Committee DEC 2009

6) conflation of issues in defense of ideological positions.  Energy Committee Chairman Says Bible Shows No Catastrophic Climate Change Can Occur NOV 2010.  The issues isn’t whether or not there can be, or how likely is, Catastrophic Change…it’s the basis for argument (in this case purely superstitous bosh…) but CFI conflates this unsound argument as if it applies to ANY argument against such likelihood…including a large number of very well based ones.  This makes it seem that CFI loves the position enough to try to ‘innoculate’ it against any argument…(THe case not being about AGW, but about what the likely results of it are, and what if anything should be ‘done’ about it…)

 

The inital post was merely commentary on a strong personal impression.  It wasn’t analystical, or decided.  Since you asked I decided to look into the reason why I might have such an impression…who knows, I might be mistaken after all….

But on preliminary examination, I think not.  Here are a few “policies” I think show a definite Leftist slant and a clear ideological prejudice for Leftist positions….

 

I’m not even trying to make some objective case that it is…only that it absolutely seems that. 

The managment and membership of CFI is perfectly welcome to dismiss, reject or ignore such commentary, as they see

fit.  The expression is neither judgement nor challenge, just ‘tossed out there’ for whatever it might be worth. 

From where I sit, and that’s no where near the far Right, CFI seems definitely a Leftist group.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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To a casual observer, I could see how people could see CFI as a leftist organization.  Conversation in the US has become so polarized.  Everything has to either be a left or a right position.  However, many of the issues CFI talks about even in today’s polarized society cannot be politicized.  I don’t see how people could interpret CFI’s positions on Bigfoot, Alien Abduction, or Alternative Medicine as leftist OR right wing.  A person would have to focus on the more political areas and ignore the nonpolitical areas to make a political judgment.  This would be a bias to politicize.

A casual observation perspective is not a good position to judge.  I used to hear bits and pieces of information about evolution and genetics and thought I had a little bit of knowledge on the subject.  Turns out that little bit of knowledge along with my own misinterpretation of that knowledge probably made my understandings of the subjects less reliable than someone who had never heard anything about the subjects.  My knowledge was inadequate to draw proper conclusions.  Take for example your interpretation of CFI attacking Walmart for selling homeopathic junk.  You don’t disagree in the post that homeopathic remedies are junk.  I don’t think you criticize CFI for attacking an organization for selling junk.  You attack CFI for its tactics in attacking Walmart and not other businesses.  As a casual observer, how do you know what CFI’s tactics were?  You are projecting your own explanations for its tactics.  You could be right.  It’s possible, but so what.  These are your own interpretations without the necessary information to judge and it’s only guesswork.

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Posted: 23 June 2011 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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pdenorte,

First welcome to CFI, anyone who is drawn to enter this forum IMO is showing a desire to find some sanity in an insane world.

I hope you have read the the CFI homepage, which defines the purpose of the organization. If not, see:
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/

As you can see the Forum is sponsored by CFI, but seperated from the stated fundamental values which CFI seeks to promote. The Forum is a completely open forum where any and all are allowed to voice their viewpoints, be they scientific, religous, conservative, liberal, right, left or nicely balanced based on the merits of the issues.

Most members in the Forum have little in common in geographics, demographics, education, or profession, with one important exception, IMO, we all treasure the value of reason, informed and considered presentations on important matters, and the ability to cite supporting data on which a viewpoint is presented, on all the subjects which are on the Forum list, which is as general in nature as one can fashion in a coherent manner.

IMO, the terms Left and Right are relative terms, depending on the viewpoint. A centrist is to the right of the left and to the left of the right, and those terms are really not very meaningful in any discussion.
I think that you will come to appreciate the efforts of most members to be “objective” in their considerations, trying to avoid speculation and unsupported or unsupportable viewpoints.

I myself have no particular area of expertise, but there are some very learned and knowledgeable people who will seldom engage in subjects which are outside their area of expertise, i.e. politics.

Everyone enters the CFI forum with different expectation, but unless and until you have familiarized yourself with the way this forum works, IMO it is not productive to make blanket statements as “left wing orientation” or the like.

From your posts I see great potential for meaningful future discussions on a variety of subjects, but (offered in friendship) you need to hone and focus your presentation to specific issues which can be debated on the merits, lest you run into the responses you have received so far.

[ Edited: 23 June 2011 11:07 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 24 June 2011 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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George - 23 June 2011 10:57 AM
DarronS - 23 June 2011 10:48 AM

What, specifically, horrifies you about CFI, and why?

The logo. It looks like a sperm entering an egg. grin

LOL

but on a more sober note, it could be seen as the flame of intelligenge breaking the boundaries of the known universe.

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Posted: 24 June 2011 10:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Brightft

I agree.  “I don’t see how people could interpret CFI’s positions on Bigfoot, Alien Abduction, or Alternative Medicine as leftist OR right wing.”  The judgement applies to the organization as a whole, not every position, policy or program, by any means.  There are aspects of CFI I heartily applaud.  I am actively involved in politics at many levels, try to stay current, and have many interests…I do not have time to dedicate to thoroughly understanding every advocacy group, or even just one.  I have time for only a cursory inspection, then have to move on with judgement on the, imperfect, basis.

Normally I would not come out and make a judgmental statement that I completely expected to be controversial unless I really felt I had some vested interest.  In this case it’s my deep agreement with much of the work I see CFI doing.  If I didn’t feel CFI was something that mattered to me, I would remain silent, regardless any impression!  I am, at least I like to think, idealistic about the the character of of society with respect to speech, but at the same time I have been around long enough to also have been convinced it’s almost always better to just keep my mouth shut, and let the follies of the universe proceed as they will.  Cassandras are hated in all cases, and I am completely convinced that “no good deed goes unpunished”....  But there’s so much pseudo-scientific crap out there (like the ridiculous homeopaths, for example) that’s so readily if not endorsed, at least condoned, by society too hesitant to be judgmental, and so much intrusion of Religion into public policy and affairs, that I think CFI (whatever else I may think of it) extremely valuable.  That’s why I commented….because to the extent it ceases to be an advocate for critical thinking and factual analysis, and becomes a advocate for this or that specific outcome of such analysis, it sacrifices value in the former regard, as it must alienate those with different perspectives.  CFI, or example, is exactly the kind of group I would love to join and support….but I absolutely cannot because its advocacy (in its case of leftist positions) is abhorrent to me in many cases and I cannot support those no matter how much I would like to others.  Except for the value I see in CFI anti-Religion in government, anti-Woo work, I would not have mentioned what I do not like about it, which means I must like those things from the outside of CFI only. Boca cerrado moscas no entrans!

So I spoke up, in the interests of CFI taking advantage of this one bit of feedback to whatever ends it sees appropriate.  One voice is just one, but I think it’s a fairly safe bet to say that for each person who speaks, there are probably a few others in general agreement who (as I usually do) remain silent.  As long as the feedback is noted, I am entirely satisfied.  It’s not a demand, or a challenge… just an opinion expressed, as if by a customer about an establishment they like for some things but dislike for others.  What CFI is is up to CFI, not any commentators, including my own sole and insignificant voice. 

I love the work of CFI fighting pseudo-science and ‘bunk’, but do not like its advocacy of a bunch of social and environmental agendas.  Sorry, but that’s the way I see it.  If CFI feels that’s its best strategy, that is completely CFI business…

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Posted: 24 June 2011 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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pde
Out of curiosity… Without labels (right/left, etc), is there a specific stance/activity that CFI has pursued with which you disagree? While tactically you would not have singled out Wal-Mart (for example) you still agree with the goal of alerting people to junk science. What do you abhor??? And please, let the flies enter…  tongue wink

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Posted: 24 June 2011 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Write4U:  Magnificent summation!  You covered a lot of points I would have liked to express but if I had done it I probably would have taken 6 or seven pages and would still be writing it next week!

pdenorte:  A proper welcome is in order.  Welcome !!  grin I also agree that from your posts I see great potential for meaningful future discussions.  I would like to throw out one more point.  Let’s say after you talked to people and read more about CFI you came to realize that many people at CFI ARE left of center.  However, their arguments are well thought out based on reason, based on evidence, and avoid logical fallacies.  Maybe they just have different values than you do and you can still disagree but at least they have some logical basis for what they believe.  You can try to point out where they are wrong in their thinking and they are willing to discuss their disagreements with you in a civilized respectful way.  If you point out flaws in their reasoning they might even admit it.  They are not closed minded.  What would you do then?  Would you still condemn the organization?  It’s possible you might find that members of CFI or the Forum are more conservative than you thought, but I’m just saying is “leftist” a-priori absolutely negative?

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