Author Topic: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain  (Read 379 times)

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Offline Queefer Sutherland

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2021, 09:30:50 pm »
Why ?

Is there a purpose ?

Yes, because criticizing bad ideas and proposing better ones is the way we improve as a society.

If you didn't want the enlightenment to happen you could go back in time to Martin Luther and wag your finger at him because he was going to offend somebody in the Catholic Church.

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And if there is one - could it be possible for some criticism to be pointless because it clearly doesn't advance the purpose ?

Yes, if you don't like someone's criticism then you're free to criticize those ideas too.  This is called "discussion" and "debate".
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Offline Queefer Sutherland

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2021, 09:38:17 pm »
Ah, I see. 

I have to admit, they haven't changed the blasphemy law in Pakistan yet. 

Still, it would be remiss of me to refrain from criticizing it.

Apostates will die.

If 500 years ago they had killed Martin Luther the moment he opened his big mouth maybe we'd still be living in the Dark Ages like some of the societies in the middle east.  Or is that racist?
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Offline MH

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2021, 06:30:39 am »
Yes, because criticizing bad ideas and proposing better ones is the way we improve as a society.

People repeat that as a mantra, but they have forgotten that it is part of a process that includes discarding bad ideas.  Otherwise, it becomes a cacophony of ideas that society/community/nation/public can't sort through.

You can parse through that process and never even come close to suggesting censorship, or ending freedom of speech.  There are all kinds of guard rails around speech, some of them governmental and some of them social.  Sometimes we just don't say certain things, we self-censor although we have no obligation too.  Or we don't pay attention to speech because it's not helpful.

Liberals, for example, have picked up on the idea that men's views on abortion should somehow count *less*. 

As such, a Jewish podcaster talking about Islam to a captive, American right wing audience is not something I find useful.

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If you didn't want the enlightenment to happen you could go back in time to Martin Luther and wag your finger at him because he was going to offend somebody in the Catholic Church.

I don't care who is offended, and it seems to me you are jumping to conclusions when you bring that into it.

Luther had authority to start a dialogue among adherents about the tenets of their faith.  The medium, the time, and the structure of interchange are all very different so the analogy fails.

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Yes, if you don't like someone's criticism then you're free to criticize those ideas too.  This is called "discussion" and "debate".

People need to stop equating broadcasting and electronic media with speech.  They are not the same thing, and this is something we knew in the 20th century but have forgotten.

Offline Squidward von Squidderson

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2021, 12:01:33 pm »
  Sometimes we just don't say certain things, we self-censor although we have no obligation too.  Or we don't pay attention to speech because it's not helpful.

It is helpful to criticize religion.  We don’t do it nearly enough. 


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Liberals, for example, have picked up on the idea that men's views on abortion should somehow count *less*. 

LOL

What?  We liberals think this?  Some might, I guess.  I think they’re wrong.

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As such, a Jewish podcaster talking about Islam to a captive, American right wing audience is not something I find useful.

If you think Sam Harris is Jewish, you haven’t ever actually listened to him. 


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People need to stop equating broadcasting and electronic media with speech.  They are not the same thing, and this is something we knew in the 20th century but have forgotten.

Of course it is defined as speech.  Speech is a particular legal term and electronic broadcasts clearly fall under that term.

How is it not speech?  What is it?

Offline MH

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2021, 12:19:28 pm »
It is helpful to criticize religion.  We don’t do it nearly enough. 

Why ? 
 
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What?  We liberals think this?  Some might, I guess.  I think they’re wrong.

Well you are Mr. Perfect - go tell them !

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If you think Sam Harris is Jewish, you haven’t ever actually listened to him. 

I have.  His mother was Jewish, so...

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Of course it is defined as speech.  Speech is a particular legal term and electronic broadcasts clearly fall under that term.

Waaaait a second ?  Are you actually a ROBOT Mr. Perfect ?  That would explain this nonsensical answer.

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How is it not speech?  What is it?

When you turn on the TV do you say to your wife or perhaps houseplant:

"Hey honey I'm about to watch a speech"


Or do you use another word ?

If the latter, what do you call it ?

Offline bcsapper

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2021, 12:46:45 pm »
Why ? 
 
Well you are Mr. Perfect - go tell them !

I have.  His mother was Jewish, so...

Waaaait a second ?  Are you actually a ROBOT Mr. Perfect ?  That would explain this nonsensical answer.

When you turn on the TV do you say to your wife or perhaps houseplant:

"Hey honey I'm about to watch a speech"


Or do you use another word ?

If the latter, what do you call it ?

I have to say, I find this response to be nonsensical.

Speech is speech regardless of medium.  "A speech" would be different, being an actual event, but  both would be covered by freedom of speech rules, and both could be delivered using any medium.  Semaphore, if you want.

Perhaps I'm not getting what you mean, exactly.

As to the question at the top of your post.  Criticism ought to be proportional to how much those being criticized deserve it.  That's why.
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Offline MH

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2021, 01:13:45 pm »
I have to say, I find this response to be nonsensical.

Speech is speech regardless of medium.  "A speech" would be different, being an actual event, but  both would be covered by freedom of speech rules, and both could be delivered using any medium.  Semaphore, if you want.

Have you ever heard of a US court ruling called 'Citizens United' ?

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Perhaps I'm not getting what you mean, exactly.

I'm saying that any medium needs to be considered differently from another.  Freedom of speech, freedom of expression is an abstract goal but never a standard.  We have all kinds of modifications and stipulations against lying, misleading information, yelling "fire" in a movie theatre crowded or not, political advertising and other advertising limits.

We can call it 'free speech' but that doesn't preclude there from being lots of things about it that are not actually 'free'.

If you think about that a little, you see that we are actually working as a collective to make sure that the principles we rely on are applied in a way we all agree with.  Every freedom eventually comes up against another freedom.

The idea of 'freedom of speech' is that if speech is free, it can be used to spread good ideas that the powerful may object to.  It can also be used to criticize those in power and keep them in check, and so on.   And yet I see people bring up "freedom of speech" as a defense of speech in many cases where the example begs closer examination. 

So now, we are at a place where we are wondering why/how/when do we restrict speech ?  To answer that, we look at whether the collective is served by the so-called free speech.

Some speech is simply modified socially, and is 'free' from legal action but is addressed and dispersed of socially.  An example would be a madman raving on a corner.  There's no utility in the speech, but any harm that is done by it is outweighed by the costs or even the harm of dealing with it legally.

Back to Sam Harris.   I don't understand what the utility is of a podcaster, who is Jewish (Sorry whose mother is a non-religious Jew and who could thereby be described as an American cultural Jew) criticizing Islam, above other religions.  In fact, I think that his efforts are misdirected and could result in people turning him off rightly or wrongly.  And it makes me question why he even focuses on that topic.

I guess that's a long explanation of where I am with him.

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As to the question at the top of your post.  Criticism ought to be proportional to how much those being criticized deserve it.  That's why.

I think that's subjective and even then is only one factor.

Offline eyeball

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2021, 01:54:43 pm »

If the latter, what do you call it ?
You could call it the message but no one will know what the hell you mean.

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Offline Queefer Sutherland

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2021, 01:57:12 pm »
As such, a Jewish podcaster talking about Islam to a captive, American right wing audience is not something I find useful.

If you find someone's speech not useful you're free to ignore it, condemn it, or whatever you want.  Others are free to listen, and consider the ideas.  The point is these ideas are allowed to be expressed and can't be shut down by force via government because we have legal rights to thought, belief, expression etc.

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Luther had authority to start a dialogue among adherents about the tenets of their faith.  The medium, the time, and the structure of interchange are all very different so the analogy fails.

Luther was dragged in front of court and then excommunicated.  His speech was banned.  Socrates was put to death by the state because his ideas were "corrupting the youth".  Apostates are put to death in certain Muslim countries.  Luckily in the West we have free speech precisely because these things used to happen when we were ruled by the whims of monarchs.  In the US you can say basically anything you want as long as you don't threaten violence, which is the way it should be.

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People need to stop equating broadcasting and electronic media with speech.  They are not the same thing, and this is something we knew in the 20th century but have forgotten.

The courts luckily say you're wrong.  The medium of communication is irrelevant regarding speech.  Are you going to want to ban books next?

I think your ideas are more dangerous than anything Sam Harris has ever said, yet you're free to say them.
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Offline bcsapper

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2021, 01:59:13 pm »
Have you ever heard of a US court ruling called 'Citizens United' ?

No.  I googled it, but its Wiki page is longer than the book I'm currently reading, so still no.



I'm saying that any medium needs to be considered differently from another.  Freedom of speech, freedom of expression is an abstract goal but never a standard.  We have all kinds of modifications and stipulations against lying, misleading information, yelling "fire" in a movie theatre crowded or not, political advertising and other advertising limits.

We can call it 'free speech' but that doesn't preclude there from being lots of things about it that are not actually 'free'.

If you think about that a little, you see that we are actually working as a collective to make sure that the principles we rely on are applied in a way we all agree with.  Every freedom eventually comes up against another freedom.

The idea of 'freedom of speech' is that if speech is free, it can be used to spread good ideas that the powerful may object to.  It can also be used to criticize those in power and keep them in check, and so on.   And yet I see people bring up "freedom of speech" as a defense of speech in many cases where the example begs closer examination.

So now, we are at a place where we are wondering why/how/when do we restrict speech ?  To answer that, we look at whether the collective is served by the so-called free speech.


I disagree that the medium matters.  Other than it's hard to shout fire in a crowded theatre over the radio, I don't see why someone's right to express themselves should change based on the medium.  Always with the understanding, of course, that the owner of the medium has the same rights, and can tell anyone they want to to go and jump in the lake.

I think you're over complicating the issue.  I don't think the idea of Freedom of Speech is what you describe here at all.  It's neither based on its use to spread good ideas nor does it matter whether anyone is served by it.

It's simply based on the principle that the government doesn't get to tell anyone what they can and cannot say, whether you, or I,  like it or not. 


Some speech is simply modified socially, and is 'free' from legal action but is addressed and dispersed of socially.  An example would be a madman raving on a corner.  There's no utility in the speech, but any harm that is done by it is outweighed by the costs or even the harm of dealing with it legally.


Sure, don't listen.  Or disagree.  There would only be any need to deal with it legally if he had broken the law.  Both utility and harm are immaterial.  And even if he does break the law, there would still be an argument here, because who says the law is just?



Back to Sam Harris.   I don't understand what the utility is of a podcaster, who is Jewish (Sorry whose mother is a non-religious Jew and who could thereby be described as an American cultural Jew) criticizing Islam, above other religions.  In fact, I think that his efforts are misdirected and could result in people turning him off rightly or wrongly.  And it makes me question why he even focuses on that topic.


I don't know Sam Harris from Adam, and I have no plans to get to know him any better, but I am sure that if what he is saying does not advocate violence against someone, I probably support his right to carry  on saying it.  Islam is certainly worthy of criticism above other religions.
 


I think that's subjective and even then is only one factor.


I suppose it's subjective in a way that all opinion is subjective.  Pretty hard to argue with the opinion in a lot of cases though. 

What other factors are there?
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Offline MH

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #40 on: September 17, 2021, 02:11:05 pm »
You could call it the message but no one will know what the hell you mean.

Honey, don't stand in front of the TV I'm watching the Football Message !

Offline Squidward von Squidderson

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2021, 02:11:57 pm »
Why ? 
 

Because religion is full of terrible ideas that are terrible for society and need to be refuted. 

Because religious people are trying to legislate what I can/can’t do based on their twisted morality they get from an ancient book. 

Because there are a bunch of anti-vaxxer nuts who are using religion as a reason to not get vaccinated through some sort of twisted tenet of their myths. 

Because there are hundreds or thousands of indigenous children buried around the country because religious people didn’t consider their culture to be worthy of any respect.  And they need to be made to pay reparations for that.

I find those reasons, and many more, to be “useful”.

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Well you are Mr. Perfect - go tell them !

Everyone is entitled to an opinion on abortion.  Mine isn’t worth less because I’m a man.  That’s what men have been telling women for centuries about their opinions.


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I have.  His mother was Jewish, so...

I suppose his ethnicity is part Jewish….  He’s certainly not religious. 

My mother was Lutheran.  I’m not. 


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When you turn on the TV do you say to your wife or perhaps houseplant:

"Hey honey I'm about to watch a speech"


Or do you use another word ?

If the latter, what do you call it ?

WTF? 

We are not talking about a formal speech like that given by a valedictorian.  We’re talking about the legal definition of the word.  Do you really not know the difference?

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Have you ever heard of a US court ruling called 'Citizens United' ?

How is that of any relevance?

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We can call it 'free speech' but that doesn't preclude there from being lots of things about it that are not actually 'free'.

Criticism of religions is absolutely not restricted in any way, so your diatribe on “free speech” is completely irrelevant.  Unless you’re arguing in favour of blasphemy laws, then we could discuss whether that would be a good idea or not.

You seem to be confusing what you think people should talk about with what people are allowed to talk about. 

Those are two completely separate topics. 

Your opinion on what Sam Harris should talk about is, frankly, bizarre in my opinion.  The clip I posted was him talking about Christianity, debating a Christian.  Yet you go on like all he does is make disparaging comments about Islam.  Simply not the truth.  But even if he did, I think it would be useful, as the tenets in the Islamic religion, like in the bible, are despicable and should be criticized.  Unlike with most Christians, there is a serious issue with Muslims taking their holy book more literally.

Burning witches is still a thing in parts of Africa…. It’s straight out of the bible.   (Just another in the long line of reasons that religion should be criticized)

https://www.dw.com/en/witch-hunts-a-global-problem-in-the-21st-century/a-54495289


 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 02:19:40 pm by Mr. Perfect »

Offline MH

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2021, 02:14:43 pm »
If you find someone's speech not useful you're free to ignore it, condemn it, or whatever you want.   

I think I did that.

 
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The courts luckily say you're wrong.  The medium of communication is irrelevant regarding speech.

I don't think so.   There is no 'FCC' or 'CRTC' mediating my comments on a streetcorner.

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I think your ideas are more dangerous than anything Sam Harris has ever said, yet you're free to say them.

And yet, in your note in the top you said I'm 'free' to make comment.  And now you say I'm dangerous.  Hmmm.

Offline Queefer Sutherland

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2021, 02:18:36 pm »
Back to Sam Harris.   I don't understand what the utility is of a podcaster, who is Jewish (Sorry whose mother is a non-religious Jew and who could thereby be described as an American cultural Jew) criticizing Islam, above other religions.  In fact, I think that his efforts are misdirected and could result in people turning him off rightly or wrongly.  And it makes me question why he even focuses on that topic.

Sam Harris criticizes all religions.  It's not his fault that Islam has the worst ideas out of all of them.  If Muslims aren't allowed to criticize their own religion then obviously a non-Muslim is going to have to do it.  Women are basically slaves of men and treated like cattle, gays and apostates are put to death, music and dancing is banned, and you don't want anyone to criticize these beliefs?

I have no idea why you're trying to bring identity politics into Harris's discussion of religion, other than as a tactic to try and invalidate his discussions.  This is a clear ad hominem attack and has nothing to do with the validity of his arguments.
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Offline Squidward von Squidderson

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Re: How Religious Fundamentalism Hijacks the Brain
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2021, 02:22:21 pm »

 
I don't think so.   There is no 'FCC' or 'CRTC' mediating my comments on a streetcorner.


The same legal standards to your speech (the legal sense…. Please try and keep that straight) apply whether on the street corner or on a TV or on the interwebs. 

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And yet, in your note in the top you said I'm 'free' to make comment.  And now you say I'm dangerous.  Hmmm.

YES!  Now you’re getting it…. Speech can be dangerous, yet still allowable.  And these dangerous ideas need to be allowed to be refuted freely. 

Just like many religious ideas are dangerous and should to be refuted. 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 02:25:40 pm by Mr. Perfect »