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 Evolution, Scientology Style
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2006 :  21:24:35  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message
This thread is for posting comments about the SFN article “Evolution, Scientology Style.” Please try to keep posts on topic. Only registered users may post comments.

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2006 :  21:59:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Reading Dawn Huxley's fine article, an hypothesis has come to my mind.

Imagine L. Ron Hubbard, a second-rate science fiction author who was looking for a better source of income than his hack writing could ever provide. So he set out upon a well-trodden road, one traveled by too many before him: Start his own religion, then live off the converts. "Big deal, 'Mooner," you object, "everyone knows Hubbard did exactly that."

Ah, but my minor insight is that Hubbard had a twisted sense of ethics that he employed in carrying out his scheme. In Elron's mind, it was wrong to cheat intelligent people, but credulous fools didn't count, and were just asking for it. So he deliberately designed Scientology's scriptures to include so much silly nonsense that nobody with an inkling of common sense would ever join the new religion.

Now I'm going to clam up before I get sand in my mouth.



Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 05/06/2006 21:59:36
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2006 :  22:02:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner
Ah, but my minor insight is that Hubbard had a twisted sense of ethics that he employed in carrying out his scheme. In Elron's mind, it was wrong to cheat intelligent people, but credulous fools didn't count, and were just asking for it.
Believe it or not, this is something with which I struggle mightily. I hate liars and cheats, but at times I feel I hate gullible people more. Especially when they defend the liars and cheats.

But I'm not so sure it's an insight. You just described the mindset of every con artist who ever lived.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 05/06/2006 22:04:40
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 05/06/2006 :  23:17:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message
It is the gullible who are to blame for the existence of the liars and the cheats. If there were no gullible, liars and cheats wouldn't exist.

But alas, that is like blaming someone for having cancer. It's not the gullible's fault they are that way. And I would imagine they certainly don't want to be that way.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2006 :  00:56:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky
But alas, that is like blaming someone for having cancer. It's not the gullible's fault they are that way.

I don't have a problem with those who develop cancer. I have problem with those who develop cancer, shun modern medicine, and believe crystals or special diets will cure them.

quote:
And I would imagine they certainly don't want to be that way.
No, a great many of them do, and that's the depressing part.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 05/07/2006 00:57:09
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2006 :  04:23:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ricky

It is the gullible who are to blame for the existence of the liars and the cheats. If there were no gullible, liars and cheats wouldn't exist.

But alas, that is like blaming someone for having cancer. It's not the gullible's fault they are that way. And I would imagine they certainly don't want to be that way.

It is the gullible who drive the economy. Were it not for the gullible, there would be no less-than-useful products, ad agencies, scumbag politicians, and Jerry Falwell and his ilk would have made careers of pimping hookers on the street corners because religions would never have existed.

Thus, as we all have blind spots, we are all gullible to a degree, are we not? And there is always someone to take advantage of it, only to themselves be victimized in their turn.

An excellent article, as is to be expected from the Huxleys.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13458 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2006 :  10:17:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message
It does take the active participation of the credulous to make a con work. That is exactly why we are here doing what we do. There would be no need to teach critical thinking as a defense against being overly credulous if skepticism came naturally.

The truth of it is, I would like some of the extraordinary claims I have heard to be true just as much as those who fall for such claims. The only reason I don't (often) fall for those claims is that over time I have developed skills that help me to take pause and actually consider what is actually being sold. I have learned to recognize the style of the con artist and I have learned to (usually) recognize when a particular claim really should be approached with, at least, some doubt.

I guess what I am saying is I believe critical thinking and skepticism are learned behaviors. I find it difficult to put blame on those who lack those skills because they are not generally taught as a necessary to our ability to function in the world at the primary and even at higher levels of our educational system. And we need to change that!

Anyhow, I have always liked this particular essay by Dawn and I miss her contributions to our site. Scientology is yet another example of how much work there is for us to do…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/07/2006 :  12:44:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
I'm with you on this one, Kil.

As I see it, we should not treat the credulous as some sort of enemies, any more than a teacher should treat the illiterate as enemies. True, there are people who fall into a spectrum between the credulous and the scammers by being active proponents of the snake oil salesmen, but most of these people accept attractive nonsense simply because they do not have the criticals tools at hand to resist.

If we as skeptics are to achieve anything useful from our somewhat more careful examination of of the world, it is through being the teachers and advocates of critical reasoning. Simply being smug is not enough, in my opinion, though there's nothing wrong with smugness, when done privately and in moderation with a few close friends. (Call it "recreational smugness.")

Look at it this way: If we're so damned smart, why haven't we convinced the world to be smart? Look around at all the stupid beliefs that most of humanity clings to! We skeptics have damned little to be smug about. What we do have is an ongoing mission to do what little we can to arm our fellow planetary residents with better thinking skills. Not trying would leave the world careening into Medieval darkness without brakes.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 05/07/2006 12:50:01
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perrodetokio
Skeptic Friend

275 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2006 :  12:45:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send perrodetokio a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

Were it not for the gullible, there would be no less-than-useful products, ad agencies, scumbag politicians, and Jerry Falwell and his ilk would have made careers of pimping hookers on the street corners because religions would never have existed.

/quote]
quote:

[quote]


I work on an ad agency and have this debate with some of my colleagues all the time: Advertisement is not meant to sell you a product/service by lying to people (although most agencies do exactly that, but no all of them). Advertisement is only meant to identify a specific product/service from similar products/services in a world saturated of them.

The mediocre way which mediocre agencies do it is mostly by lying or "stretching the thruth" (samething). I try with all my strenght to stay away from that. Also, if you create expectations on a customer/client that later won't be satisfied, it ends-up working against the product/service.

Anyway, sorry to get of the thread, but I had my honour to defend (or what's little left of it).

"Yes I have a belief in a creator/God but do not know that he exists." Bill Scott

"They are still mosquitoes! They did not turn into whales or lizards or anything else. They are still mosquitoes!..." Bill Scott

"We should have millions of missing links or transition fossils showing a fish turning into a philosopher..." Bill Scott
Edited by - perrodetokio on 12/15/2006 12:52:57
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2006 :  13:19:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by perrodetokio

quote:
Originally posted by filthy

Were it not for the gullible, there would be no less-than-useful products, ad agencies, scumbag politicians, and Jerry Falwell and his ilk would have made careers of pimping hookers on the street corners because religions would never have existed.

/quote]
quote:

[quote]


I work on an ad agency and have this debate with some of my colleagues all the time: Advertisement is not meant to sell you a product/service by lying to people (although most agencies do exactly that, but no all of them). Advertisement is only meant to identify a specific product/service from similar products/services in a world saturated of them.

The mediocre way which mediocre agencies do it is mostly by lying or "stretching the thruth" (samething). I try with all my strenght to stay away from that. Also, if you create expectations on a customer/client that later won't be satisfied, it ends-up working against the product/service.

Anyway, sorry to get of the thread, but I had my honour to defend (or what's little left of it).

Hi perrodetokio, and welcome to SFN!

I see that I am once again guilty of making a blanket statement, although the whole thing was written somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

But you are correct; not all ad agencies are chronic embellishers of the product. Unfortunately, so many are that all get tarred with the same brush. But an apology is in order, and thus I extend one to you.

Erm, your agency doesn't do such things as magnets in shoes (Florshime a couple of years ago) or Q-Ray stuff....?




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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