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Jack of Spades

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Everything posted by Jack of Spades

  1. I don't buy into the anti-journalistic "they brainwash us with editorializing" - paranoia, sorry. That's way overblown and part of the conspiracy theory - world view I hate. I'm fine with mainstream media. It's the best alternative we have available. Anti-journalism throws out the baby with the bathwater. If I want to watch European or Finnish news, I read Finnish or British newspapers for that. I always prefer local news channels to follow the events in some other country, if I know the language. That's why I get my US news from US news channels. CNN is my favorite, but I watch few others too occasionally. Honestly, I'd love to watch a center-right US channel for balance, but there isn't one.
  2. Sorry can't do that. Chris Cuomo of CNN has never disappointed me. Until that happens, I remain a militant moderate and keep the faith in high quality journalism!
  3. Everyone is a great guy if we judge people based on their better moments and overlook their dark side. If someone beats their wife, they shouldn't get any credit for all the women they didn't beat. It's how far we go in our worse moments that defines how bad people we are. Someone who murders one person and doesn't murder 5 million others, is a murderer.
  4. Making better jokes would help. Seriously though, I am here talking to people over the internet whom I have never met, in a language that is not my native language, in the midst of a contentious topic, and we also probably all have plenty of cultural and age differences, so I think what you're asking would pass as a pretty good joke!
  5. See my earlier comment for you. You assume that people can't work against their own interest. Which is not some obvious truth. It's untrue historically, people, and groups of people, do work against their own interest all the time.
  6. I get it that this is your new running joke that everybody who disagrees with someone is a bigot. It's a very funny joke. Or actually it's not. It's just an annoying intentional misinterpretation of what I've been saying, but I guess that is your point, to try take cheap shots at what I've been saying.
  7. Bigotry is not limited to violent intentions. We already have a word for that, it's called "violent". Let's try what Dawkins said some other ways. Maybe you see what I see better when it's not directed at a group you happen to like to criticize: "Mock homosexuals, ridicule them, in public!" - just strongly disagreeing with homosexuals ideas about sexuality? "Mock immigrants, ridicule them, in public!" - just strongly disagreeing about immigrants ideas about where they should live?
  8. Do you think the religious persecution of the state atheists started as death squads out of nowhere? It didn't. It started as "strong rebutals" of religion, as you would put it. I recommend reading the communist atheist propaganda from the time period before there were any killings to demonstrate what kind of ideas led to the horrible killings.What defines an ideology is it's nature, not the amount of power it has. That nature will determine how the future power will be used. Dawkins and his peers have never had the power to execute anyone, so we don't know whether they would use it or not. Dawkins has said repeatedly that religious people's privacy should not be respected, because their ideas (even the ideas of nice religious people, who don't push their beliefs) are dangerous. The only thing we know for certain is that Dawkins has had the power of a big microphone, and he has used that microphone to encourage his followers to publicly mock and ridicule religious people. To put it another way, he has encouraged open, public bullying. Hardly a definitive proof that he would go Stalin if given power, but I don't think that's a good omen either. First, I am well aware how arbitrary all these measures are. But, your earlier claim of religion having been "so much worse" is hardly historical. I can see the point that atheism has existed before but it has never been popular enough to become the dominant world view in any country, until the 20th century state atheist countries. Atheists have had roughly 100 years time "in office", those were the first times their ideology was dominant enough to get to define state policy. If we compare the first 100 years of state Christianity (in the late Roman Empire) to the first 100 years of state atheism (20th century), atheism is hands down the one with much worse record. It took a few centuries before Christian state religion turned really dark, for state atheism, it took less than a decade.
  9. Not so fast conclusions. You brought up "being told by white males" implying that the channel can't be against white males, because there are white males. Right? So, I followed by demonstrating why the presence of white males is irrelevant for the argument, one way or the other. I have said what I wanted to say, I won't repeat it.
  10. If you interpret everything that is said in the most benign light possible, and assume that they would never imply such a thing, then maybe so. Note that one could interpret Trump's speeches the same way. In his famous opening speech, he spoke against some Mexicans not all Mexicans. That is the truth of what he said. Does it mean that there was absolutely no anti-Mexican tone? What I hear on MSNBC is that white males are the bad guys of every story and white males should be sorry. As an argument for anything, the presence of white men on MSNBC is irrelevant. There were also women marching against women's voting rights 100 years ago. In hindsight, these women were simply comfortable with being discriminated against, and their presence in the movement was an expression of their poor self-esteem.
  11. Okay I was probably a bit too figurative. What I meant is that the anchors, commentators and panelists on MSNBC mention white males in some negative context in a very predictable, repetitive fashion, many times a day, every day 365 days a year. If someone grows up listening to that, they'll blame white males for everything that has ever been wrong in the world. Do an experiment yourself; turn on MSNBC, check what the time is when you start, and when you first hear "white males" see how long time it took and whether the context was negative, neutral or positive. Then just repeat and see how many "white males" in a negative context you get before you get bored.
  12. I agree with pretty much everything you said and I'm glad whenever I hear someone address the topic in a sober-headed fashion that recognizes the reality of all the shades of grey. There is more mainstream version of that than posters in a trash can. I watch MSNBC myself occasionally and what I very often hear is: "White males... ddzzzz.... white men.... dzzzz.... white people.... dzzz.. white males.... dzzzz... men....dzzzz... white males... dzzzz" (that "dzzz" refers to speaking of unspecified words) It's like a sneaky brain-washing tape from a scifi-movie that is indoctrinating the audience to see an enemy when they look at white males. Or to put it another way, it's racist and it's sexist. What makes it worse is that it's promoted, not by extremist edge cases but by well-read, smart and sophisticated people so it has the aura of intellectual legitimacy. To be clear, it's not as bad as some right-wing conspiracy-mongering propaganda is, I think Breitbart etc. are far worse, but it's still pretty bad. But, we are getting badly off-topic. Excuses moi!
  13. My speaking of justice was addressed to Blur, when he mentioned the present day cultural perceptions on bigotry. It wasn't a reference to anything said in this conversation. I take it as a sign that the discussion has become overheated when everything I have said the last 5 posts has been interpreted by more than one person to be a reference to Paul, when I was answering to someone about something else. I strongly disagree. I think it's the other way around. I think the recent trend of trying to make bigotry a taboo social stigma, a case of "either horrible 100% or or 0% bigot" and have everyone have a competition of proving that they are never bigoted in way shape or form, is the attitude that has destroyed the topic. In real life these things exist on a scale of 0 to 100. If we keep treating insensitivity, bigotry or intolerance as absolutely unacceptable, unforgivable tabboo, we keep providing the dangerous 100 point bigots cover by condemning the 5, 10 or 15 points bigots the same as them. If you say that the 5/100 bigots are as bad as the 100/100 are, what you end up doing in practice is communicating the opposite; you end up sounding like the 100/100 bigots are just as harmless as the 5/100s are. That's what has gone wrong recently.
  14. How much do you know about the history of atheism? It appears you are not familiar with the other side of the story. The Soviet Union. China. Cambodia. Vietnam. Albania. To name a few highlights. During the 20th century, the first century when state atheism has been practiced, the amount of persecution against Christians and other religions was worse than all the crusades put together were if measured by the amount of victims. The same state atheism - fun continues today in China and possibly in Vietnam (I'm not actually sure about that one, so I say possibly). The centuries of Christian state religion were bad, but at times they were pretty easy-going in comparison. And yes, there were horrible periods, particularly those of the glory days of the Inquisition and the Crusades. Historically speaking, atheism has one of the worst track records, if not the worst, when it comes to religious tolerance. Far worse than Christianity.
  15. Just for the record to avoid any misunderstandings in the future; While I share some opinions with the US conservatives, please don't mistake me as a sympathizer of the MAGA crew or expect me to defend anyone wearing a red hat. I despise them myself. Since I already confessed having certain bigoted or intolerant feelings, I won't make any excuses for my feelings there.
  16. You are right. I wasn't sensitive enough in bringing the adjacent topic of atheist bigotry up in this context. I should have been more sensitive, considering everything you just said in the quote. Sorry. I find atheist bigotry generally to be a legitimate topic to discuss but I should have done so after having put some time and space between the earlier accusation I made about your comments. FYI. The reason why I said that paragraph about Dawkins, was that I wanted to demonstrate that this "equating religion to mental illness" - problem is alive and well, and it's not just a product of my imagination. So I was looking for some practical example to bring up. It was a choice between the Soviet Union, state atheist China and Dawkins. Soviet Union is history (and I was reluctant to get accused of playing the Stalin-card) and China is geographically and culturally far away so I end up with Dawkins. That was the way how my thought process in this case went. I vehemently disagree that a person who tells his young supporters in a prepared public speech to publicly mock and ridicule the people whom he disagrees with, is not an intolerant bigot. It depends how strongly. If they mock and ridicule the another publicly, yes, I consider them bigots. But look, I generally speaking understand that these topics are difficult to discuss without collateral shooting of by-standers who happen to share some traits with the people being accused. Every time, in any context, when one claims "intolerance","discrimination" or "bigotry" by a group, there is another, somewhat innocent group of people who feels it's an accusation against them, their ideas, their way of life etc. This is nothing new. It's the same with women accusing men of discrimination, or accusations of racism, etc. I consider militant atheism in may instances bigoted and whenever I mention this, atheists - including the atheists whom I don't mean to include into my accusation - get defensive. I genuinely understand the reaction. I've been on the other side of the equation in some other topics. Again, generally speaking, in such situations, if one wants to truly understand both sides of such situations, it's a difficult, multi-dimensional balancing act. However, in the particular instance I was referring to, no amount of sugarcoating is going to convince me that Dawkins encouraging his audience to publicly mock and ridicule their religious peers is not bigotry.
  17. I for one, am bigoted and intolerant in few ways. I think pretty much everyone is. Expressions of some form of bigotry or intolerance are too much a taboo in my view. Justice is made of three elements, all of which are equally important: 1) punishing the guilty 2) letting the innocent go and 3) punishing the guilty proportionate to their offense. If someone says something offensive once, the proportionate "punishment" is some social disapproval and that's it. Asking for more harsh, disproportionate consequences (such as labeling the person for life) for such a minor annoyance is to campaign for injustice, not for justice. Punishing the guilty too harshly is a similar form of injustice as letting the guilty go, or punishing the innocent, is.
  18. Note the context. I was speaking of Richard Dawkins there. For one example, during Reason Rally 2012, he encouraged his listeners to treat people who claim to have religious beliefs as follows: "Mock them! Ridicule them! In public! Don’t fall for the convention that we’re all too polite to talk about religion." Is it really that inaccurate to call Richard Dawkins a bigot and his branch of militant atheism a bigoted ideology? Source: https://ladydifadden.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/transcript-of-richard-dawkins-speech-from-reason-rally-2012/
  19. As for the bolded part: If you had been delusional, you couldn't have critically examined your delusions and adjusted your thinking. You would have not had the option of adjusting your beliefs based on your evolving understanding. Delusional people also can't deconvert out of their delusions, like many people deconvert out of religious beliefs. The delusions are overwhelming and will override the delusional person's rational mind. The process how delusional mind develops, is a one-way street, like most mental illnesses are: the condition that makes people delusional typically only deteriorates and the delusions become worse and worse over time. Religious beliefs on the other hand have a wide variety of ways with how they develop, some people become more religious by age, some become less so. There is actually strikingly little in common in the nature of delusions and religious beliefs on a closer examination. The topic makes me think of the name of the famous pro-atheist book "God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. The name of the book is not an accident, it follows the anti-religious tradition of rhetorically equating religion with mental illness. Basically the name could be "Only crazy people can believe in God". It is typical of all bigotry to be rooted in ignorance, and the Dawkins-style "religious beliefs are delusions" - bigotry is not an exception, it's classic ignorant bigotry in the sense that it's based on (either genuine, or intentionally chosen rhetorical) ignorance about the nature of delusions and the nature of religious beliefs. Granted, there are superficial overlappings when it comes to how strong mysticism and some mental illnesses appear to the outside world. Mystics can come off as little bit nuts or at least wierd. But, I think part of the problem with that observation is the silly assumption that our views on God are supposed to develop in the same purist rational fashion as our views on atomic theory do. There are other areas in life that are driven by something else than reason, such as artistic inspiration or falling in love. A person who has fallen in love is also a bit "crazy" and so is a person who is in the midst of a deep artistic inspiration. But, people don't make as much of a problem out of those phenomenons because our culture is more used to people who fall in love, or express artistic eccentricity, than it is used to religious mysticism (in some other cultures, religious wierdness was much more acceptable). Healthy human nature as a whole is not a cold, hard, rational, facts - examining computer. There are highly extra-rational elements to human nature (artistic inspiration, falling in love f.e.). In my opinion, there is no reason to expect that spirituality or beliefs should be made of cold analysis either.
  20. Look, just an honest question; If I said the following, in the following order, what would you think: 1.) I would express interest in discussing the similarities between black people and apes. That is based on a technically accurate observation, there are in fact similarities, such as they both have the same amount of limbs attached to their upper body and neither one lays eggs, for examples. 2.) After having it pointed out that there are glaring differences, I would state that I don't care about the differences, and we should instead focus on discussing the similarities. 3.) I insisted on not having a racist agenda and I would act very surprised if I offended somebody and could not understand what's wrong with wanting to discuss a topic. 4.) I would defend my intentions by pointing out that at no point have I ever claimed that black people are apes, of course. I would just insist on ignoring the differences and discussing the similarities between the two (which is de facto implying that black people are apes or at least somehow specially close to apes). Would it be natural at this point for you to suspect that I am not just objectively discussing my observations, but rather I was using the "word association tactic" by continuing to bring up A and B together, in order to have A emotionally associated with B? It's a well-known defamation tactic, used all the time by political media actors etc. In the word association history, black people & apes is on the same level as religion & mental illness. Both associations are 1) demeaning and 2) also have a bad history, so the concern about either one is not just theoretical. In this particular quote you were referring to, excuse me my poor choice of words. I meant to say something along the lines of "people using the kind of rhetoric you are using here", but it came off as more of a personal character attack than it was intended to be. Sorry. A case of poor self-expression from my part. The way I see it is that you said something bigoted, you got called out. The response you got was proportionate to the offense you made. No further punishments needed. Justice has been served. All is well. Everyone gets to be happy. Let it be stated for the record that there are no hard feelings from my part. Peace!
  21. You are not being oppressed by being forbidden from making an observation or discussing it. You have done so and I have: 1) participated in the discussion 2) generously explained to you why your observation is based on very selective, uninformed usage of the words you are using and 3) within reason, questioned why you are using such emotional, derogatory words, even after being informed that they are inaccurate. I have suggested that you have an agenda in doing so. If you start a bad-faith discussion, you are not entitled to being complimented about how awesome your observations are. Well in this case the medical community has defined what constitutes 1) delusional and 2) psychopath. There is no need to take this one on the existential level of "to be or not to be" since this one is a practical question. There is a well-established definition and it's being used out of context if you use it to describe something that doesn't fit the description. Because it's derogatory, inflammatory and slanderous? And because it's a standard, ages old anti-religious tactic of campaigning against religion; attempt to medicalize religion and claim that religious people are dangerous and equate religion to mental illness. If people like you got to spread your slander unchallenged, the next step would be to suggest that religion should be treated as mental illness. That's the obvious, logical conclusion. If you claim to be a rational, neutral observer and not just a slanderer, you can't afford not to care about the differences between religion and psychopathy, if you insist on observing the similarities. You should either start caring about both the similarities and the differences or you should stop claiming to be a rational observer and call yourself an anti-religious slanderer, just for transparency and accuracy.
  22. The "Imply then deny" - gambit. If this was the only statement of similar nature you've made in a while, I would give you the benefit of the doubt but it isn't. They are violent fanatics. The same way as the atheist NKVD officers who carried out Stalin's purges and tortured "the enemies of the people" for decades as their job were violent fanatics. In today's world, the worst extremists are religious. In the days of the Cold War, the most horrible things were done by atheists. I recommend taking a more historical look into the topic of fanaticism before making too hasty conclusions. To be clear, psychopaths can become the worst kind of violent fanatics but not all violent fanatics are psychopaths. Note: The medical term psychopathy usually refers to individual behavior, particularly to individuals who are out of line with everyone else in their society. People who are indoctrinated to behave violently or have grown up in a violent culture, or in a violent sub-culture, or have been radicalized at some point in their lives, fall under some other label. Psychopathy is a personality disorder which can't be cured or unlearned. The usage of the term "psychopath" in popular culture shouldn't be confused with the anti-social personality disorder aka psychopathy.
  23. I miss the old days (few days ago) when religious people were only irrationally rejecting the reality in your books, now we have been upgraded to delusional psychopaths... But I'll play along and address the points separately, delusions and psychopathy: That definition is seriously lacking some shades of grey and doesn't do justice for the reality! For example; My grandfather was a communist, he believed that the West is evil and socialism is good. By the time of his old days, there was plenty of evidence to the contrary but he refused to believe it. Was he delusional or just stubborn? Delusion is on a whole different level of crazy than mere holding on to a belief, is. People hold on to their false beliefs for all sorts of reasons. Being emotionally invested in to a belief is not the same as delusion. Shades of grey. Secondly, there is no proof that there isn't God. That negative has not been proven (yes, negatives can sometimes be proven). There is no need to treat the question as if the non-existence of God had been proven, when it hasn't been. A leap of faith there. Hollywood psychopathy aside, the real world definition of psychopathy is also known as anti-social disorder. To put it simply, it means that person lacks feelings such as empathy and remorse and is incapable of normal human attachments. Psychopath "doesn't have a heart". Psychopathy per se doesn't make a person violent but it means that the person might not have emotional breaks stopping his violent impulses, if he has violent impulses. Note; psychopathy is not an on-off condition, only for the purposes of the medical community it has been divided into clinical and sub-clinical psychopathy. It's common for religions to include "knowledge of heart" into the world view. So, actually, atheism is closer to psychopathy than religiousness or spirituality is, because atheism rejects the idea that your feelings or "knowledge of heart" should matter at all in forming your world view. This kind of "brains above emotion" is more typical for atheism than for religious beliefs. Maybe we should rather be discussing does atheism attract / create more psychopaths than religion does, because atheism as an ideology has the same heartlessness and idealization of reason that is detached from emotion, as psychopathy does? Should atheism be considered a form of sub-clinical psychopathy due to rejection of heart as a source for establishing ones world view?
  24. Without referring to PaulS particularly, but as a general statement I've come to realize over the years that there will never be real mutual acceptance between theists and atheists or supernatural-believing and supernatural-denying people. The best we can do is to have a cease-fire and tolerate each others. Trying to find unity while having such vastly different ideas about the reality is unrealistic idealism. It's been said that language is the first weapon of every conflict, and this world view conflict is not an exception. I have personally been involved close-up in one well-intentioned attempt at community building with the idea of including both, theists and atheists. What in practice will happen, is that one side becomes dominant and the other side will then get bullied into submission by constant belittling and neverending arguments over what kind of language is proper and accurate. The dominant side then subtly demands the losing side to adopt the "correct language" and de facto acknowledge rhetorically that the dominant side is right and the other side is wrong (of course stopping short of actually explicitly demanding it to be stated, just implied at every turn). Finally, when the losing side gets fed with the uphill fighting, they will either leave the community or adopt the correct language that the victors demand. That might look like unity, but in fact it's a submission. There is an inbuilt conflict between fundamentally different world views, and more intense and intimate the community is, the more likely it is that the conflict will explode until there is a winner who then becomes dominant.
  25. I already informed you that I'm not going to debate climate change. There is no point in debating it. It's settled science, there is a consensus on the field. Denying it is denying science the same way as denying gravity is denying science. For comparison, I'm myself a professional at something related to money. I'm a capitalist. I could give you a 5 hour lecture about something related to my profession, and you'd walk away thinking that I'm obviously right. That wouldn't mean I'm right, though, I could be intentionally misleading you. It would simply mean that I have too deep background knowledge about my field for you to accurately judge whether I'm right or wrong at all. Professionals can be convincing, even when they are wrong or intentionally misrepresenting something. That is why following the expert consensus is the best way, because amateurs simply don't have all the necessary expertise to interpret the data presented to them.
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