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Daniel Dennett - The Scientific Study of Religion
Posted: 18 December 2011 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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It suggests that we’re the smart guys over here, and over there you have a bunch of idiots like Aquinas, Augustine, Plantinga, Swinburne and C.S. Lewis. Ironically, the result is that Dennett ends up looking like an idiot! Apologists are having a field day with this term ‘Bright’, rightly mocking it and making fun of Dennett for using it. There are always going to be very smart people on all sides of this debate, and so I just find this term offensive and embarrassing.

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Posted: 18 December 2011 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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As regards rationality, they believe that there are very good reasons for believing the Bible to be trustworthy. 

As to the harm question, my point is just that it’s crazy trying to work out whether Christianity, Judaism and Islam have done more harm than good. The problem I have with these religions is that THEY ARE NOT TRUE.

[ Edited: 18 December 2011 05:11 PM by Dom1978 ]
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Posted: 20 December 2011 01:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Dom1978 - 18 December 2011 03:38 AM

The term ‘Bright’ is absolutely ludicrous. It’s just an embarrassment and we need to get rid of it immediately and pretend we never said it or took it seriously. I was hoping that everyone had forgotten about this term and no one was using it any more, but this interview shows quite clearly that this is not the case. Everybody, including fundamentalists, thinks they’re bright, rational, evidence-based, and committed to critical thinking. It’s crazy to use these kinds of words to try to separate yourself from religious people.     

To his credit, though, Dennett doesn’t make ridiculous claims about religions always being harmful or on balance doing more harm than good or anything like that.

I’m ambivalent about this point.  On the one hand, it does seem excessively self-congratulatory to use the word “Bright” instead of “Atheist”.  “Naturalist” has the connotation of nudism, other than that it would be ok.  “Materialist” also has negative connotations.  How about “Wolves” (as opposed to sheep)?  It has possibly fewer negative connotations now that Farley Mowat has made wolves somewhat more positive characters in the tapestry of life.

The idea that we need to do what homosexuals did with “Gay” to come up with a word with positive connotations to designate their life styles seems to be applicable to Atheists.  “Bright” probably wasn’t the best choice.  By analogy with this idea, homosexuals might have chosen “Supermen” (or “Superwomen”) to designate themselves.

Dennett comes across as the archetypical intellectual.  He goes for analysis over value judgement at every opportunity.  He does (correctly, IMHO) point out that while the majority of religions are pretty innocuous, they do provide ideological cover for those which are not.  An example of the danger is the constant debate in western countries about allowing Sharia law and female genital mutilation as valid applications of the concept of freedom of religious expression. 

Dennett’s analogy of aliens coming to earth and destroying earth culture by seducing young people all over the world with their cultural memes and toys is very apt and insightful for getting non-believers to understand how religious traditionalists feel in today’s rapidly changing global youth culture where everyone can instantly communicate with almost anyone else on earth.  The analogy of the cell membrane with the religions’ ignorance-based maintenance of their meme-based isolation of their members from the competing memes from other religions and from us “Wolves”...( I’m gonna push that term for Atheists smile  ) ... makes a lot of sense. 

This was one of the best Point of Inquiry podcasts I’ve run across so far.  In terms of intellectual depth, it is a match for the best of the Center Stage podcasts, some of which are quite breathtaking.  Thanks to all involved.  I’m obviously going to have to go out and buy the books Dennett has written since the last one of his that I have.  (Not literally out into the physical world, just out to amazon.com. )  smile

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Posted: 20 December 2011 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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The last thing you want to do is make religious people think that you feel superior to them or look down on them. Many people already look at the likes of Dawkins and Anthony Grayling and think of them as belonging to some kind of snooty elitist club that doesn’t care about ordinary people. So how do you think they’re going to feel when they hear these people calling themselves ’ brights’?! It’s just a terrible word to use, so bad in fact that I’m struggling to think of a worse one.

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Posted: 20 December 2011 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Dom1978 - 20 December 2011 06:14 AM

The last thing you want to do is make religious people think that you feel superior to them or look down on them.

It’s identity politics to draw in those who are attracted to Brightness rather than pursue a catholic embrace. On comparing to the tactic of identifying as"gay”, it does seem that “bright” is riskier. Being “bright” is not so risible as was being “gay”. It claims a border within religious territory.

Still, being a-theist will continue to be alien. The contempt for “brights” is more deeply rooted than in contention over superior intelligence.

Much more is at risk in the battle against theism than intellectual ego. Yes, the identity politics strategy has casualties. Yes, the Dawkins offense has an odor of elitism. But I think that anyone drawn into this conflict should be able to see which side is more anti-egalitarian.

Most importantly, the religious need enemies and will have them. They will have the wrong ones. Will some beyond the fray scoff at the audacity of “brights”? I think they would rue the day that atheists give up their banner.

[ Edited: 20 December 2011 12:03 PM by DEareckson ]
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Posted: 21 December 2011 02:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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DEareckson - 20 December 2011 11:29 AM

Much more is at risk in the battle against theism than intellectual ego. Yes, the identity politics strategy has casualties. Yes, the Dawkins offense has an odor of elitism. But I think that anyone drawn into this conflict should be able to see which side is more anti-egalitarian.

 

This is an interesting point. What you’re seeing in the UK now is a growth in what I like to call left-wing Christian fundamentalism. These people are anti-evolution, anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality and so on, but at the same time they’re also anti-capitalist and fiercely egalitarian. It is precisely these types of people who will stress the elitism of Dawkins and those like him. They will say that these hardcore scientific materialist types are not at all interested in social justice, and they can say that what working people really need is true Christianity and the real gospel.

In this kind of climate you don’t really want Dawkins referring to himself as a ‘bright’! It just sounds very elitist, regardless of what was actually intended by it.

[ Edited: 21 December 2011 02:44 AM by Dom1978 ]
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Posted: 21 December 2011 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Dom1978 - 21 December 2011 02:40 AM

They will say that these hardcore scientific materialist types are not at all interested in social justice, and they can say that what working people really need is true Christianity and the real gospel. [...] In this kind of climate you don’t really want Dawkins referring to himself as a ‘bright’!

I would look forward to such a confrontation. The Brights should be addressing inequality and capitalism and it’s links to theism. This, of course, would be very dicey for them. Likewise, it will be difficult for left-wing Christians to address the historical interdependence of their faith and capitalism and empire. That hole is an example of what is at risk that is evaded in the battle against theism: Religion and Empire.

Furthermore, the Secular Humanists and Scientific Materialists, as I have observed, project societal decline on religious fantasists. Might such a confrontation end this great tussle of evasion? More Christian Christians and more Humanist Brights would be an improvement.

If I were to speculate further, I might think that Brights would separate from their humanism before Christians. If that is the consequence of their treasury of intellect, I would readily condemn “Brights”.

P.S. - On one hand, the Brights have no dogma in favor of authoritarianism. On the other, I don’t have much confidence in their communion of humanity. So, while I say that Christians are doctrinally more inegalitarian, it’s quite possible they may be more egalitarian in practice.

La lucha continua ...

[ Edited: 21 December 2011 08:55 AM by DEareckson ]
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Posted: 21 December 2011 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Dom1978 - 21 December 2011 02:40 AM
DEareckson - 20 December 2011 11:29 AM

Much more is at risk in the battle against theism than intellectual ego. Yes, the identity politics strategy has casualties. Yes, the Dawkins offense has an odor of elitism. But I think that anyone drawn into this conflict should be able to see which side is more anti-egalitarian.

 

This is an interesting point. What you’re seeing in the UK now is a growth in what I like to call left-wing Christian fundamentalism. These people are anti-evolution, anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality and so on, but at the same time they’re also anti-capitalist and fiercely egalitarian. It is precisely these types of people who will stress the elitism of Dawkins and those like him. They will say that these hardcore scientific materialist types are not at all interested in social justice, and they can say that what working people really need is true Christianity and the real gospel.

In this kind of climate you don’t really want Dawkins referring to himself as a ‘bright’! It just sounds very elitist, regardless of what was actually intended by it.

I think a big part of the battle for the minds of the offspring of religious zealots is to fight the idea that there is something wrong with being elite.  Dawkins et al clearly are elite.  They are smarter, think faster on their feet, and are more articulate than the average joe.  That’s why the average joe doesn’t write, read, or sell many books and the elite do.  Not all ideas are equal.  A big problem with (for example) the anti-vax fiasco is that the press under the leadership of the Faux News propaganda machine has successfully pushed the concept that any idea is as good as any other and any opinion is as valid as any other.  We can all vote on whether to accept the law of gravity or not, but we’re still stuck in the earth’s gravity well.  We can vote on whether to accept the fact of evolution or not, but regardless of how you vote, your DNA (among other things) still attests to your evolutionary connections with so-called lower animals. 

Blind anti-capitalism, is IMHO no better than blind “invisible hand” capitalism.  The trick is to regulate capitalism so that it meets everyone’s needs.  Sometimes the free market works just fine, other times it needs a lot of tweaking and prodding to align incentives with the needs of society at large.

We need experts.  We need intellectual elites who have the intelligence and persistence to study complex issues in great depth.  The problem isn’t triggering peoples’ “identity politics”, the problem is the politics of anti-intellectualism.  When Faux News bandied “elitism” about as a derogatory term, Jon Stewart quite rightly pointed out that he wanted his president to be smarter than he was (and Jon is definitely no dummy himself).

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Posted: 21 December 2011 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Dom1978 - 20 December 2011 06:14 AM

The last thing you want to do is make religious people think that you feel superior to them or look down on them. Many people already look at the likes of Dawkins and Anthony Grayling and think of them as belonging to some kind of snooty elitist club that doesn’t care about ordinary people. So how do you think they’re going to feel when they hear these people calling themselves ’ brights’?! It’s just a terrible word to use, so bad in fact that I’m struggling to think of a worse one.

 

How about “clowns” ?  that would, IMHO be worse.  smile  Just trying to help.  wink

Seriously though.  It isn’t all that bad.  No matter what we call ourselves, the focus needs to be moved to the actual argument.  I still think “Wolves” (as opposed to Sheep) would be a good substitute for “Brights”.  Notice however that the number of hate crimes against homosexuals hasn’t changed a lot since they adopted the word “Gay” to refer to themselves.  No matter what we call ourselves, our big offense will be that of blasphemy.  We just need to keep hammering away on the idea that blasphemy is, in fact a victimless crime and is protected by the right of free speech.

Hmmm.  How about FortyTwo-ers?  In honor of the late great Douglas Adams?  I could get behind that.  It’s pretty value and connotation neutral outside THGTTG lore.

Or we could just stick with the original descriptive term “Atheist” but hammer away on its real meaning, gradually moving the public perception of the term from “Spawn of Satan” to “One who does not have a belief in any God or Gods”.  Slogans like “I just believe in one fewer God than you do.” should eventually accomplish that.  Also things like the CFI blood donation drive should help… as would putting lists of famous and beloved atheists in front of the public whenever possible.

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Posted: 22 December 2011 01:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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ullrich - 21 December 2011 07:14 PM

I think a big part of the battle for the minds of the offspring of religious zealots is to fight the idea that there is something wrong with being elite.

That wasn’t my impression at all. Not only are the “minds of offspring of religious zealots” programmed to believe in their elite, they are programmed to believe they themselves are elite and some of them to believe they should be commanding you. Perhaps they are more an “elite” collective as opposed to elite individualists. Do you hope Brights are battling to turn the minds of those offspring to accept elite individualists? I’d say then that the Brights have chosen an awful time to do that.

ullrich - 21 December 2011 07:14 PM

The trick is to regulate capitalism so that it meets everyone’s needs.

Capitalism is a ferocious and mock-blind machine of destruction. It devours itself, let alone “regulators”. Is there such a thing as tamed capitalism? That sounds like desperation.

ullrich - 21 December 2011 07:14 PM

We need intellectual elites who have the intelligence and persistence to study complex issues in great depth.

Yes and no. We need people with the intelligence and desire and drive to study ..., not elites. Intellectuals opportunistically blame our multiple crises on a lack of intellect, but in fact there are “intellectuals” who’ve fomented the crises, there are many “intellectuals” who lack the daring to respond, and there are those with the wrong diagnoses. Moreover, what makes you think elite individualist intellectuals will put themselves out for the collective, anyway?

The capitalists in America agree with you about the elite. They used that bunkum anti-intellectualism to hoodwink the fundies (and a lot of other fools). It does not seem wise, now, to battle for elite intellectuals. We need perspicacity, sure, but courage too, and honesty. Perhaps you intend intellectuals to have all the necessary qualities. If so, you should include those criteria.

ullrich - 21 December 2011 07:14 PM

The problem isn’t triggering peoples’ “identity politics”, the problem is the politics of anti-intellectualism.  When Faux News bandied “elitism” about as a derogatory term, Jon Stewart quite rightly pointed out that he wanted his president to be smarter than he was

I can’t believe that an identity politics of intellectuals or an intellectual president is what we need most. Plus, George Bush was an elite criminal; his seeming stupidity may have been enough for John Stewart to make a living off of, but it’s no serious explanation of the state of the world.

[ Edited: 22 December 2011 07:56 AM by DEareckson ]
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Posted: 22 December 2011 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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ullrich - 21 December 2011 07:14 PM

Dawkins et al clearly are elite.  They are smarter, think faster on their feet, and are more articulate than the average joe.  That’s why the average joe doesn’t write, read, or sell many books and the elite do.  Not all ideas are equal.  [...] We can all vote on whether to accept the law of gravity or not, but we’re still stuck in the earth’s gravity well.  We can vote on whether to accept the fact of evolution or not, but regardless of how you vote, your DNA (among other things) still attests to your evolutionary connections with so-called lower animals.

Thanks for demonstrating this aspect of Dawkins’ appeal. Perhaps it is not so clear which side is more inegalitarian; perhaps that ambiguity is intentional. Are the ignorant to blame for the failures of democracy? I believe this is an opportunistic inversion of our state of affairs. Rather, societal-level management has never had so many tools, nor the excuses it has today (the failure of democracy being one of them).

Perhaps Dom is right that the appearance of elitism is counter-productive. But perhaps the atheist movement is actually elitist and practices evasions more sophisticated than those of theists. The Hitchens himself called “the essence of American politics….the manipulation of populism by elitism.” Is the solution a forthright elitism? No and not likely anyway.

A prime reason I like Dennett the most of the four horsemen is that if he is a polemicist, he is the most careful and and measured of the bunch.

[ Edited: 22 December 2011 10:46 AM by DEareckson ]
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Posted: 22 December 2011 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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DEareckson - 22 December 2011 08:32 AM
ullrich - 21 December 2011 07:14 PM

Dawkins et al clearly are elite.  They are smarter, think faster on their feet, and are more articulate than the average joe.  That’s why the average joe doesn’t write, read, or sell many books and the elite do.  Not all ideas are equal.  [...] We can all vote on whether to accept the law of gravity or not, but we’re still stuck in the earth’s gravity well.  We can vote on whether to accept the fact of evolution or not, but regardless of how you vote, your DNA (among other things) still attests to your evolutionary connections with so-called lower animals.

Thanks for demonstrating this aspect of Dawkins’ appeal. Perhaps it is not so clear which side is more inegalitarian; perhaps that ambiguity is intentional. Are the ignorant to blame for the failures of democracy? I believe this is an opportunistic inversion of our state of affairs. Rather, societal-level management has never had so many tools, nor the excuses it has today (the failure of democracy being one of them).

Perhaps Dom is right that the appearance of elitism is counter-productive. But perhaps the atheist movement is actually elitist and practices evasions more sophisticated than those of theists.

This is a prime reason I like Dennett the most of the four horsemen: if he is a polemicist, he is the most careful and and measured of the bunch.

I like Dennett for that reason as well.  I think we have a problem in this discussion due to a lack of a common definition of the words “elite” and “intellectual”.  Elite to me means just having superior abilities as compared to the average in whatever aspect of the person we’re talking about.  Evidently, some posters here assume that some of the negative connotations attached to those words are necessarily part of their definitions.  I disagree.  Those connotations are stuck on to those words by the fine folks at Faux News in order to maintain the absurd religion based ideological alliance between the Teabagger idiots and the psychopaths who have managed to steal enough resources from the rest of us (elite intellectuals as well as ordinary joes) to get us to the absurd levels of wealth inequality we now see pretty much everywhere on the planet.

I make a distinction between intellectuals and psychopaths.  I don’t begrudge people like Dawkins or Dennet their relatively greater wealth than that of the average person.  They’ve earned it by writing books and giving lectures which many people want to learn from.  No problem there.  That, in fact, is part of the definition of intellectual.  It is not just about being more intelligent than average, but also about coming up with and sharing generally useful new ideas.

The infamous 1% in the US which controls more wealth than the remaining 99% is no better than the feudal upper class which they have generally replaced at the top of the social heap over the past several centuries and their “organization charts” within the companies they control are no more democratic either.  If humanity is to survive the challenges that the real elite intellectuals have been pointing out to us for the last few decades, we desperately need their intelligence to come up with a way to wrest power from the psychopaths before they destroy civilization.

Fulminating about “tamed capitalism” being an impossibility isn’t helpful.  “Tamed” communism has proven to be just as big a disaster as “Untamed Capitalism”.  The problem in both systems is the ability of psychopathic, highly intelligent people being able to corrupt either system to their own aggrandizement.  Not all capitalists are psychopaths and vice versa.  Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are two members of the 1% who see these problems and are lobbying to do something about it.  Both are undeniably very intelligent so are, by definition elite in terms of intelligence.  They are not (for example) elite swimmers, cyclists, or hockey players.  Neither are they intellectuals since they have not personally expanded the boundaries of human thought significantly.  Gates has been instrumental in producing products which have helped intellectuals do that, but he personally is not an intellectual.  Neither is Buffet an intellectual.  Both of them are, however concerned with what is happening to the world and are working to do something about it.

In terms of the “Bright” vs “Atheist” designation, I lean toward Dennett’s position that it is analogous to “Gay” vs “Homosexual” except that the word “Gay” has the added benefit of having a syllable reduction ratio of 5 to 1 vs the word it replaces while Bright only has a ratio of 3 to 1.  smile

I agree that there is a slight problem with “Bright” having connotations of presumed superiority, but I disagree with the idea that we need to worry about being accused of elitism.  I maintain that in this case it is more important to fight the Faux News implication that there is something inherently wrong with people who are smarter than the average Faux commentator (which if we assume that they believe what they say would put their intelligence level at roughly equivalent to the proverbial bag of hair).  Also, the idea that political leaders should be chosen on the basis of who you would like to have a beer with instead of who you think would do the best job in the position needs to be combated. 

Also, if we are to pry the minds of the offspring of religious nutbags off the “one true path”, we need to convince them of the fallibility of their parents and religious advisors.  In many cases, that involves showing that the 4 horsemen are, in fact, elite in terms of intelligence and that they have a better method of explaining how the world works than the rather useless cop-out of assuming you know the answer to everything is “God did it.”

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Posted: 22 December 2011 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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ullrich - 22 December 2011 10:57 AM

Elite to me means just having superior abilities as compared to the average in whatever aspect of the person we’re talking about.

Here’s a “common” definition:
Elite - A group of people considered to be the best in a particular society or category, esp. because of their power, talent, or wealth.
Perhaps this will give further pause:
aristocracy - from Greek, aristokratía, meaning rule of the best.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 10:57 AM

I don’t begrudge people like Dawkins or Dennet their relatively greater wealth than that of the average person. [...] The infamous 1% in the US which controls more wealth than the remaining 99% is no better than the feudal upper class [...]

The infamous 1% attained their devastatingly precarious position by selling the 99% a POS called free-market capitalism (some of whom continue to treasure their purchase). “Tamed capitalism” is a delusion prior.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 10:57 AM

[...] to survive the challenges that the real elite intellectuals have been pointing out to us for the last few decades, we desperately need their intelligence to come up with a way to wrest power from the psychopaths [...]

Ah, we must follow “real elite” intellectuals versus psychopaths. Amidst our toxic intellectual pollution, it is not wise to react to the propaganda of an enemy. Faux anti-elitism is a tragic motive for Pro-elitism.

Your “real elite” intellectuals are not defined, I hope, by their elitism.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 10:57 AM

The problem in both [Communism and Capitalism] is the ability of psychopathic, highly intelligent people being able to corrupt either system to their own aggrandizement.

No. Capitalism works mostly by seduction and it’s pathologies infect the entire population. This parallels Hitchen’s analysis of the elite manipulation of populism; elite moralism faults (and punishes) the conned population. I needn’t defend communism to see how crooked capitalism is; by now, you should be on to that game anyway.

Gates and Buffet? Puhlease!

ullrich - 22 December 2011 10:57 AM

[...] it is more important to fight the Faux News implication that there is something inherently wrong with people who are smarter than the average Faux commentator

As Fanon explained, it is important to keep your eye on the devil at home while fighting the devil abroad. In addition, per Lakoff, when battling your opponent’s frames, they define the game.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 10:57 AM

to pry the minds of the offspring of religious nutbags off the “one true path” [...] involves showing that the 4 horsemen are, in fact, elite in terms of intelligence and that they have a better method of explaining how the world works

That’s sad. From one elite to another? Explaining the better method, yes; inculcating a new form of worship, I’m sorry, absolutely not.

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Posted: 22 December 2011 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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That’s sad. From one elite to another? Explaining the better method, yes; inculcating a new form of worship, I’m sorry, absolutely not.

Wow.  A real live old style lefty!  I used to use a lot of your arguments myself when I was in University, several lifetimes ago.  smile 

You’re correct with the argument about framing and one of the framings that need to be fought is that everyone who is smarter than you is a nasty elitist and part of a conspiracy to keep you down.  Being intelligent is a virtue not a fault.

It is true that you can focus on the conflation of the concept of an elite with the concept of a ruling class chosen by alleged “Gods” who created the ruling class in their image…. but there is more to the concept of elite as per my earlier definition.

Most of the progress of humanity has been due to “elite” (as per my earlier definition) intellectuals.  Most of the horrors of the world and backward steps of human progress have been perpetrated by highly intelligent psychopaths who have used the loopholes in the laws of whatever society they infested in order to garner more wealth and power than anyone else.  So far no one has figured out a way to thwart these people.  You can blame the capitalist system if you like, but the core idea of a free market and free competition clearly does work until it is subverted by the mechanisms Marx explained in incredibly tedious detail in his works.  That’s why the New Deal lasted as long as it did and why when Reagan and his devotees managed to push through the agenda of deregulation, things started to go downhill again.

It is unfortunately true that the struggle continues (sounds just as good in English as in Spanish smile )  but I suspect that it will never be won by just railing against capitalism.  I suspect a better approach is to demand fairness and regulation.  In the US, now that the Supreme Court has been captured by the psychopathic CEO cabal, the struggle will only really get going once the Teabagger idiots realize that their material interests are diametrically opposed to the ideology they espouse.

The better method I referred to is the opposite of worship.  It is the scientific method, where you put forward hypotheses willy nilly as they occur to you or as you hear about them and test them against the real world to find out what is really working.  The method involves never taking anyone’s word for anything of importance, but instead following the evidence.    Don’t take my word for the above, check it out.  What is working?  What has worked?  What hasn’t been tried yet?  Questions and what you do with them are more important than answers that someone gives you without explanation.

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Posted: 22 December 2011 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

one of the framings that need to be fought is that everyone who is smarter than you is a nasty elitist

Straw man. Faux news allows you to be smarter as long as you’re on His side. That’s how all their crooks get into the tent. Worshiping the smart not on His side is not the remedy to this corruption.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

So far no one has figured out a way to thwart [psychopaths].

The neocon dilemma: the source of evil is the source of progress. Another neocon sanctimony: one must do evil to defeat evil. It seems obvious that a way to thwart psychopaths is to not adopt their belief system.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

[...] the core idea of a free market and free competition clearly does work until it is subverted by the mechanisms Marx explained

Is that from the Skull and Bones pocket guide to Marx?

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

Reagan and his devotees managed to push through the agenda of deregulation, things started to go downhill again

That’s the partisan line. However, the pushback began before Reagan, and Carter had to play some of their tune. The capitalist counter-attack really got rolling with Reagan, but Reagan was not the cause, he was a symptom.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

I suspect that [la lucha] will never be won by just railing against capitalism.

It certainly won’t be while it’s praises are being sung.

ullrich - 22 December 2011 04:25 PM

the struggle will only really get going once the Teabagger idiots realize that their material interests are diametrically opposed to the ideology they espouse.

You realize the Teabaggers are heavily populated by upper-middle class white males who short the market and profit from the great American collapse, no? It’s part of the con, my friend.

The capitalist cynics are having idealists for dinner.

[ Edited: 22 December 2011 07:07 PM by DEareckson ]
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