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Richard C. Johnson - Religion: The Failed Narrative
Posted: 26 October 2011 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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How many logical fallacies and factual errors did Price make when he characterized the Occupy Wall Street protestors as Marxists who want to destroy capitalism? Let’s see: (1) Straw man; (2) False dichotomy; (3) Slippery slope ... I’m sure there are more. The point is not whether Price agrees or disagrees with the protesters - it’s that he has absurdly caricatured the movement’s goals. I defy Pat Robertson to make a more dishonest and intellectually lazy statement.

Truly a pathetic moment in what is supposed to be a skeptical podcast. Perhaps Price can compare the protesters to Hitler next week.

As far as the Johnson interview goes, it was a low point for this podcast. The author is just rehashing the same topics without any new insights. Much of it was a folksy exposition along the lines of, “Well, it seems to me that ...” without supporting scientific or other factual rigor. Price did nothing to direct the interview in a useful direction, letting Johnson ramble for many minutes at a time. I usually enjoy the show but it was painful this week.

[ Edited: 26 October 2011 04:36 PM by eyeconoclast ]
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Posted: 26 October 2011 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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To eyeconoclast:

Do you have any comments about the interview?

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Posted: 27 October 2011 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I understand how frustrating this has to be for you Richard, but try looking at it from the PoI listeners’ reference frame. Robert Price has alienated many PoI fans. At least one long-time forum member quit subscribing to PoI because she was so fed up with Price. There are several threads here filled with people who signed up for the forums for the sole purpose of venting about Price. I considered canceling my PoI subscription, but Karen Stollznow and Chris Mooney are delivering excellent interviews, so I listen to their podcasts and delete the Price interviews without listening to them.

Adam Isaak seems unconcerned that many people dislike Price as an interviewer and is driving people away from PoI. My advice to potential interviewees: if want to be on PoI request that Stollznow or Mooney interview you. Refuse to let Price conduct the interview.

And please, Richard, let Adam Isaak know people are not listening to your views because they are so frustrated with Price.

[ Edited: 27 October 2011 11:45 AM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 27 October 2011 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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To DarrenS:

Thank you for your considerate words and advice.  I note that you may be one of if not the most posted members (2856 posts!).  I was unaware of the feelings some of the members have toward the interviewers and I certainly didn’t foresee the strong reaction I’ve read in some of the comments to my interview.  I am personally very sympathetic to the “Occupy” movement and identify with its participants.

But if I might redirect attention for a moment, I do welcome comments about the interview itself.  I know that some members apparently do not take me seriously, making it seem that I am an “armchair critic” of religion.  I have spent considerable time studying the subject for the better part of my professional life actually.  I am not an anthropologist, sociologist, psychologist, philosopher, or theologian - the folks who usually write the religious criticism stuff.  But as a scientist, I believe I have valid credentials to write on this subject.

I still welcome constructive comments on my interview if commentors can focus away for a moment on any animosity they might have on the interviewer.

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Posted: 27 October 2011 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Richard, I downloaded the episode again and listened to it all the way through. Although I wish you had called out Price on his comments about the Occupy Wall Street movement I enjoyed your hypothesis that religion is a failed narrative. I especially liked your hypothetical $500,000 bet on someone proving anything religions claim. Your comments on Mormonism were on the mark too. After listening to the interview I ordered the Kindle edition of your book so I can read it on my iPad2.

I encourage everyone who gave up at the 11-minute mark to try again. This one is worth your time.

[ Edited: 27 October 2011 02:54 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 27 October 2011 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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DarronS:

Thank you so much for your kind words.  And thank you for ordering the book.

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Posted: 28 October 2011 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I was also surprised by Robert Price’ strange conclusion that the “Wallstreet Protestors” want the fall of capitalism and the rise of communism.  Strange for the host of a podcast series that advocates reason and critical thinking to have reached such a jarring conclusion regarding the meaning of the protests.  I make no claim regarding their meaning other than I don’t comprehend how Price allowed himself to voice such monochromatic interpretations himself.

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Posted: 30 October 2011 05:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I’m a big fan of this show and I always get excited when I hear The Ol’ Bible Geek is going to host the show, but this was probably the worst episode I have ever heard. A rambling folksy talk on the part of the guest a kind of grab bag of reflections and opinions. I was about to turn it off but it was too late. I’d already listened to it. Hope not to hear any more of these kinds of interviews. I didn’t even have a log-in for this forum but on account of this episode I got one. I kept asking over and over, is this guy ever going to present some data or some solid reason for his beliefs, lack of beliefs, perspectives etc. etc.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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To Dave Gann:

I was wondering what kind of “data” you were expecting?  My arguments do not rely on statistics.  I believe the major problem facing folks who invest in interfaith dialogue is failure to examine what I call immiscibile doctrines (Jesus is the one true Savior of Mankind for Christians and Allah is the one true God for Muslims).  Until these irrational propositions are brought to the table and discussed honestly, conflict will continue.  My argument that we have a fundamental identity problem imbedded in the fact that we are self-aware animals is admittedly conceptual.  But I invite you to read my book “Religion: The Failed Narrative” where I discuss this in greater detail.  It’s hard to do a concept such as the ramifications of consciousness justice in a half hour interview.

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Posted: 31 October 2011 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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To tinyfrog, nickscott79, Owen Hammer, Flick, Denrotho, Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon, tamoore, eyeconoclast, and d19jordan57

I can’t speak for host Dr. Robert Price.  In the style of the standard disclaimer, his views do not reflect my views.  For the record, I am completely sympathetic to the “Occupy” movement.  I identify with the general tenor of the movement. Having said that, I would encourage all addressees to listen to the interview itself factoring out any distraction from the direction of Dr. Price.

I am interested in feedback both from the interview and from my book “Religion: The Failed Narrative.”  I want to bring every aspect of religion - its alleged benefits and its documented warts - to the table for the same kind of discussion one would have about a city planning project.  I welcome this from all of you.

Thanks,

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Posted: 01 November 2011 03:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I’m just now getting around to reading the book, and have a couple comments. In location 146 of the Kindle edition there is a wod missing. Near the bottom of the page, “Social interaction results, says Carley, because the to see ourselves as a monolithic spirit…”

In the first paragraph of chapter two you state our ability to reason did not appear until two thousand years ago. The Sumerians, the Egyptians and the Greek philosophers might disagree with that statement.

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Posted: 01 November 2011 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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DarronS:

Thank you for your comments.  With regard to the missing word, the text should read Social interaction results, says Carley, because the “ability to see ourselves as monolithic spirits different from the material world would naturally lead to seeing others the same way.”  I don’t know how the transcription process works to generate Kindle, but obviously a word was dropped.

With regard to “our ability to reason,” I was really thinking of the Greek philosophers (Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates) who lived a little less than some 2500 years ago.  It’s not to say that reason absolutely began at that point (because I’m sure that it was a gradual process with many beginnings, interruptions, and beginnings).  But I believe there is a popular identification with this period (2500 years ago) as the beginning of reason in the same sense that the voyage of Columbus is popularly associated with dispelling the notion that the world is flat.  Some Greek thinkers perceived that Earth is a globe but as a popular notion, the idea didn’t gain much traction until the time of Columbus.

I appreciate your comments and look forward to more if you care to make them.

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Posted: 01 November 2011 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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I’ll make more comments. I finished chapter two, and like the ideas you discussed. I’ll probably make more editing comments also. It’s one of my habits. I should really take a notebook with me so I can jot down some thoughts as I read the book. Kindle isn’t the easiest app for making notes in books.

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Posted: 01 November 2011 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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DarronS:

Thanks so much.  I really appreciate it.

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Posted: 12 November 2011 03:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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CFI is one of the regular things I listen to while walking the dog through Wiltshire, England. Half listening to start with, I slowly warmed to Richard’s approach. In the end, after all the scientific evidence has been presented, something still has to feel right for it to hold sway for most people. At the evidential level the battle is won. At the social narrative level, hearts can be won, rather than brains, and it is at this level that I sense Richard is urging us forward. I don’t think of myself as an academic, though I taught mathematics up to university level for 20 years, but I will need to look up the meaning of metaphysics online now, and then I think I’ll buy Richard’s book.

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