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11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Do Words From a Random... · 0 replies · +2 points

Think of it this way:

The use of foul language is considered profane by a sub-set of the population. This (admittedly irrational) offense is a result of the fact that some people are:

A) Strongly persuaded by moral taboos against profanity
B) Made uncomfortable by strong displays of emotion
C) Enjoy keeping others in line by imposing moral rules on others about what one can or cannot say

If one accepts that this is the social reality that one is living in, it follows that one must use one's judgement about how and when one is to violate taboos of profanity. I would suggest that doing so is a perfectly legitimate use of one's social power, the question becomes what circumstances, what purposes and what outcomes are served by this decision to "cuss."

So in other word's if you want to cuss, cuss, but be aware of how and why you do it and to what effect. If you are going to cuss, cuss so it counts!

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Can Science Education ... · 0 replies · +1 points

What makes the US exceptional is NOT our “can do attitude” or even the rule of law. What makes us exceptional is that we FACE REALTIY and we use our understanding of reality (imperfect though it may be) to solve problems and create new possibilities. Religion is the ENEMY of American exceptionalism, because religion encourages adults to live in a fantasy land of children’s stories.

WE KNOW the truth of this, this is what our movement has to OFFER the nation. If anything is going to turn this culture around it’s US.

But rest assured, if we succeed, the Christians will take credit for our work ;-)

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Can Science Education ... · 0 replies · +1 points

The United States is in a period of decline. We are a moribund empire with many upstart countries nibbling at our fringes. The religious right is terrified that the Muslims are going to supplant their bizarre worldview with a bizarre worldview of their own. Meanwhile “American Exceptionalism” is being seriously challenged by the simple fact that several nations are out-competing us.

If we atheists REALLY BELIEVE that our approach to understanding reality is better (and I for one do), then we need to USE the political landscape to our advantage. One of the ways we can sell our worldview is as a solution to the decline of the US. I even believe it to be true. The REASON the US is in decline is because we have allowed the religious right to undermine our relationship with knowledge in favor of “tolerance.” Tolerance has become a rationalization for permitting willful ignorance.


11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Can Science Education ... · 0 replies · +1 points

If we are losing this battle, it is because we are using tactics that speak to OUR needs and values, and not the needs and values of the credulous.

We know from social psychology that people will literally believe that they see things that are not there in response to peer pressure, yet we try to argue rationality as its own reward. The reason the churches are winning is simple: They have no scruples about using peer pressure to make people believe things that serve their political ends.

Given that the human need to conform and the human need to belong are SO strong that they can cause hallucinations in subjects, why should we expect rational argument to prevail?

We know we are right, but we need to use effective tactics for spreading our worldview, or it’s just going to get driven underground as the US sinks further into willful ignorance. While that sounds alarmist, we do have some aces up our collective sleeves :

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - S. E. Cupp: Conservati... · 0 replies · +2 points

Assuming she sincere in her non-belief, I think her conservatism is a possible clue. Studies have shown that conservatives are more motivated by in-group loyalty than liberals or libertarians. She may be conflicted because, while she doesn’t believe in God, she still feels loyal to her (conservative & religious) family and friends. So she has to negotiate an emotional world which is dissonant with her intellectual position, and so we get this weird mix of atheist worldview, and Christian political view.

If I’m right about this, I would be glad to serve as her therapist. She clearly needs help managing this inner conflict, and I am qualified to provide that service.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - S. E. Cupp: Conservati... · 0 replies · +5 points

I have not watched much of Cupp, mostly because I don’t find network news to be a credible source for world events. Rather, I find them to be a source of propaganda, which, in its own way can be informative, if you read between the lines. To do this you have to work (hard) to understand what’s really going on in the world, to fully understand the context of what you are seeing. No I am not a conspiracy theorist – I just recognize corporate spin when I see it.

That said, my first impression of Cupp was that she’s a plant by the religious right to discredit the atheist movement: A good-looking vacuous woman who offers shallow and ill-informed arguments about the world. I haven’t seen anything to challenge this impression. She CAN’T be on TV because she is well-informed and has interesting things to say – because she doesn’t. She MUST be on TV for some other reason. She is nice to look at though – probably that’s all it takes.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Am I a Feminist? · 0 replies · +1 points

Hmm. I had a 3rd post in the series, and it seems to have disappeared. Well darn.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Am I a Feminist? · 0 replies · +1 points

Human beings are a species of ape. Evolution has equipped us with behavioral and emotional response patterns that must be engaged in order to establish social structures, engage in reproductive behaviors, care for our young and obtain resources. Culture provides the context for when and where that behavior is OK (if ever). These behaviors and experiences are clearly NOT the same across the sexes OR across the genders. The political goal of creating gender equality must take this reality into account for the goals of feminism to succeed.

The primate brains that want to use power and privilege for advantage also want safety, equality and social justice. Bringing out the best in us requires taking a realistic appraisal of human nature into account.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Am I a Feminist? · 0 replies · +3 points

These findings do not fully discredit post-structural analysis of power in human society, but they do provide evidence that another causal relationship is at work in that power structure: Namely, biology. Feminism has long fought against this interpretation because feminism is a political movement and biological explanations can be used to rationalize and justify the patriarchy.

This political agenda does not invalidate these scientific findings however.

Personally, I think that it is a mistake for feminist intellectuals to ignore these findings – any argument for patriarchy can be turned on its head, and feminism has suffered many political setbacks for the simple reason that it is hard for the average person to relate to a message that says that your experience of gender is somehow not ok.

11 years ago @ Atheist Revolution - Am I a Feminist? · 0 replies · +2 points

I consider myself a feminist, but I feel myself constrained by that label.

On the one hand, feminism promotes a value I agree with: Gender equality.

On the other hand as an intellectual tradition, feminism has largely been a post-structuralist ideology. Post-structuralism is largely an exploration of how language and the assumptions inherent in our use of language structure the power and privilege in our society. I also agree with this set of ideas.

The problem is that post structuralism largely stops there. There is lots of research that show how biological processes (for example, hormones) shape our brains and shape our behavior, and how these processes differ between the sexes. What's more there is lots of research coming out pointing at developmental processes at work in both sexual preference and gender identity. This new research is based on the (Well founded) assumption that consciousness emerges from our bodies, and that human beings are not blank slates to be written on by culture alone.