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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2008 :  14:56:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On further thought, what I most like about this possible course of action (which doesnt even have to be physically done in order to make its point) is this:

Religious people will be offended or "injured" precisely to the degree that they are infected by the meme of authoritarian, theist magical thinking. No more, no less. How much it hurts them is entirely up to the individual.

Moderate religious people will simply sigh and shrug their shoulders, or perhaps even chuckle tolerantly. Anyone who doesn't think that a cookie is the actual body of their God will simply go on with their daily activities.

The real fruit-bats will punish themselves, perhaps being driven to a red-aced apoplexy and dropping to the round in a quivering heap.

And, IMHO, thats a good thing.

Edit:

Oh, and here's a bonus idea: Get a "sanctified" communion wafer and feed it to your dog. Then put a bumper sticker on your vehicle:



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 07/21/2008 15:17:08
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/21/2008 :  15:10:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

On further thought, what I most like about this possible course of action (which doesnt even have to be physically done in order to make its point) is this:

Religious people will be offended or "injured" precisely to the degree that they are infected by the meme of authoritarian, theist magical thinking. No more, no less. How much it hurts them is entirely up to the individual.

Moderate religious people will simply sigh and shrug their shoulders, or perhaps even chuckle tolerantly. Anyone who doesn't think that a cookie is the actual body of their God will simply go on with their daily activities.

The real fruit-bats will punish themselves, perhaps being driven to a red-aced apoplexy and dropping to the round in a quivering heap.

And, IMHO, thats a good thing.




Oooo, the return of the Flagelents! That's an excellent thing!



If they're flogging themselves into bloody rags, they're leaving the rest of us alone.




"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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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  05:21:06   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by chaloobi

Whatever the particulars, nothing good will come of it and a whole lot of upset is likely. Why do it?
Getting a whole lot of people upset is the point. Being nice to them has gotten us nowhere, but getting some people into a frothing rage can polarize the internal structure of the church and maybe even cause schism (recall that over the last seven years, when someone suggested that all Muslims are terrorists, the moderate Muslims came to the fore and said, "oh, we're not like them").

We can use the data gathered to establish priorities. Everyone who calls for PZ's head on a spike is a friggin' dangerous lunatic, and we should pay most attention to them and getting them marginalized. Next would come that much larger group that does nothing more than fail to condemn the un-Jesus-like behavior of the first group. Last, there will be a tiny group within the church that actually will come to PZ's defense (or at least question the Christianity of the first group). That last group, even though they're still believers in a magic sky fairy, they need to be encouraged and supported.

And by ensuring that the rabid nutcases continue to get more and more worked up (if we could arrange for wafergate-level affronts every week, that'd be something), we could guarantee that more people in the second group join the third group, further marginalizing the first group.

Along those lines, simply declaring one's desire to desecrate a cracker is working. One doesn't even have to do the deed.
As long as we're throwing around wild speculative fantasies about the benefits of desecrating the most sacred religous beliefs of the vast majority of Americans (it's not just the Catholics that perform communion - and many Christians would be very sympathetic to the plight of Catholics facing the systematic desecration of their key beliefs)why not examine some of the possible negatives?

Like a political backlash involving people who ordinarily wouldn't vote religous conservative but who are so threatened by the liberal "war on Communion" they elect a very religously conservative government that leads eventually to pogroms against the liberal atheist dogs and sets back the progress of free thinking culture in America by a hundred and fifty years? No, that could never happen.

Give up on live and let live and interested parties will move to protect themsleves and in this case the majority is interested in the sanctity and dignity of their religous culture.

-Chaloobi

Edited by - chaloobi on 07/22/2008 05:24:26
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  06:10:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Have fun storming the castle, boys...
You bet! After all, lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for and God is on their side!

TO ARMS! TO ARMS! SET UP THE BALLISTA AND THE TREBUCHET, AND RAZE THE BATTLEMENTS OF THE UNHERETIC!




"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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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  06:14:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.
(recall that over the last seven years, when someone suggested that all Muslims are terrorists, the moderate Muslims came to the fore and said, "oh, we're not like them").
I think this is what's important. For awhile now, people on the far right have loved to say "look how insane those crazy Muslims are" while contrasting it with the sane, enlightened Christian religion.

The fact is, though, that there really are myriad Christians who are biblical literalists and ardently subscribe to things like young earth creationism and the rapture seems. The media ignore them because by and large, they're fairly harmless.

However, the example PZ noted in his blog demonstrates that such people, when pushed, clearly are just as loony as any other fundamentalist group. We will never see an American cartoonist drawing mocking images of Jesus for this very reason. The artist would almost certainly receive death threats, and the newspaper would be out of business within a year. All because the far-right Christians would act in just the same way Muslims did.

This will do well to expose-- at least to fence-sitters and more liberal religious groups-- that there really is a far-right fringe out there that's just as loony as any other, even if they are Christian.
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  06:22:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by chaloobi
Like a political backlash involving people who ordinarily wouldn't vote religous conservative but who are so threatened by the liberal "war on Communion" they elect a very religously conservative government that leads eventually to pogroms against the liberal atheist dogs and sets back the progress of free thinking culture in America by a hundred and fifty years? No, that could never happen.
This is a good point, and I was thinking about that, too-- that those on the far right who, for instance, were thinking of staying at home on election day might see this as an attack from the secularists and rally in hopes of stopping them.

Stupidly, in my mind, I sort of assumed that the media would do a good job about noting that there's no "secularist" attack worth mentioning against Christianity, since Christians make up the vast majority in this country. But as the "war on Christmas" thing showed, we should never assume such things.
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  06:27:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
chaloobi, the "culture war" has already begun, and the first shots were fired by the religious conservatives. Your sarcasm is misplaced, because all those nasty things you detailed are already occuring (as I'm sure you know), but not as a backlash to any actual atheist attacks. The fundamentalists fabricated the horrors of their liberal atheist dog enemies as a false flag operation in order to play the persecution card (for example, "atheists want to remove all mention of God from the public square"). All this began decades ago, when the most-vocal anti-religion slogans heard were along the lines of "keep your rosaries off my ovaries" (a "live and let live" attitude).

As I've said elsewhere, it is suicidal to "live and let live" when your opponent wants you eliminated. When Bush senior said that he didn't think atheists should be considered citizens, it became foolish to try to play nice any longer. If you want to roll over and expose your soft white underbelly to the wanna-be theocrats, you go right ahead, but the movers and the shakers are not interested in a peaceful resolution.

On another note, the fact that it's not just the Catholics who practice communion is a testament (haha!) to the power of instilling divisive ideas. The Anglicans and Episcopalians are no longer Roman Catholics due to some nice schisms in the past, and the Episcopalians are currently splitting themselves up even further over the issue of gay clergy. A better example are the most-rabid of Protestant fundamentalists, those who call the Roman Catholic Church "the whore of Babaylon" and geniunely think that the Pope is the antichrist (the "vast majority" might take communion, but the vast majority also think that Catholics are lunatics). Internal strife amongst a congregation works to split the group, and many of those splits result in long-term grudges and massive bitterness. These smaller, less-powerful groups will often not rebuild those burnt bridges in response to a threat to one of them.

Furthermore, it won't matter than "many Christians would be very sympathetic to the plight of Catholics facing the systematic desecration of their key beliefs," because they'll be too busy facing the systematic descecration of their own key beliefs at the same time. Anyone who tries this on a single front will, indeed, lose.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  07:20:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

chaloobi, the "culture war" has already begun, and the first shots were fired by the religious conservatives. Your sarcasm is misplaced, because all those nasty things you detailed are already occuring (as I'm sure you know), but not as a backlash to any actual atheist attacks. The fundamentalists fabricated the horrors of their liberal atheist dog enemies as a false flag operation in order to play the persecution card (for example, "atheists want to remove all mention of God from the public square"). All this began decades ago, when the most-vocal anti-religion slogans heard were along the lines of "keep your rosaries off my ovaries" (a "live and let live" attitude).

As I've said elsewhere, it is suicidal to "live and let live" when your opponent wants you eliminated. When Bush senior said that he didn't think atheists should be considered citizens, it became foolish to try to play nice any longer. If you want to roll over and expose your soft white underbelly to the wanna-be theocrats, you go right ahead, but the movers and the shakers are not interested in a peaceful resolution.

On another note, the fact that it's not just the Catholics who practice communion is a testament (haha!) to the power of instilling divisive ideas. The Anglicans and Episcopalians are no longer Roman Catholics due to some nice schisms in the past, and the Episcopalians are currently splitting themselves up even further over the issue of gay clergy. A better example are the most-rabid of Protestant fundamentalists, those who call the Roman Catholic Church "the whore of Babaylon" and geniunely think that the Pope is the antichrist (the "vast majority" might take communion, but the vast majority also think that Catholics are lunatics). Internal strife amongst a congregation works to split the group, and many of those splits result in long-term grudges and massive bitterness. These smaller, less-powerful groups will often not rebuild those burnt bridges in response to a threat to one of them.

Furthermore, it won't matter than "many Christians would be very sympathetic to the plight of Catholics facing the systematic desecration of their key beliefs," because they'll be too busy facing the systematic descecration of their own key beliefs at the same time. Anyone who tries this on a single front will, indeed, lose.
Good luck with that. I personally think desecrating the eucharist as a tactic to further the cause of objective thinking and drive back the slide to religous conservatism is fundamentally wrong and will ultimately achieve the opposite. There's nothing more effective than anger, outrage and fear for galvanizing a sloppy in-fighting group of people who are nontheless devoted to a common idea under threat.

-Chaloobi

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  07:36:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by chaloobi

Good luck with that. I personally think desecrating the eucharist as a tactic to further the cause of objective thinking and drive back the slide to religous conservatism is fundamentally wrong and will ultimately achieve the opposite.
Well, good luck with being a doormat (which already has achieved the opposite).
There's nothing more effective than anger, outrage and fear for galvanizing a sloppy in-fighting group of people who are nontheless devoted to a common idea under threat.
Except when the outrage is so insane that most of the group shies away from the rabidly vocal minority. You're not thinking big enough.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  12:19:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave:
Well, good luck with being a doormat (which already has achieved the opposite).

Oh please. That was uncalled for. You're either with us or you're a doormat?

Do you actually believe that there is only one course of action to achieve our goal of demonstrating the hypocrisy of some religious groups? Do you have no concern at all that being provocative in this way may well turn out to be counter productive? Are there no other ways to be provocative that will produce more rational thought among the people we are targeting?

It's my opinion that pulling a prank like the one Myers has in mind will mostly serve to drive more moderate christians into the conservative camp. Sure, some will see it for what it is, and get it. But will those few be worth it if this serves to make the conservatives stronger? Hell, I am not convinced that this method for not being a doormat will play right into the the religious rights hand.

I can understand the satisfaction of showing them up for what they are. But is this particular brand of protest only tool we have to accomplish that?

There were many effective protests back in the sixties that shed a light on a terrible thing our government was doing. But I have to admit that burning down a few Bank of America's did nothing to help that cause and actually turned some moderates away from what we were trying to accomplish, based on what they saw as a larger threat to their security (so to speak.) I see the same thing happening here. The target may be right in theory, but the results were not what we hoped for. At best we were seen as a fringe group of leftist whackos and at worst we were seen as representing the communist threat that Nixon was warning people of. Nixon won a second election based on that kind of fear mongering. Do we really want to give our enemies more fuel to fan that fire? And if we don't, are we doormats? Been there, done that. It didn't work. Protesting the war itself is what worked. I can see the parallels...

Call me a doormat for wanting to think this thing through. It's an appeal to emotion and I know you can do better than that, Dave.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  13:23:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil
Are there no other ways to be provocative that will produce more rational thought among the people we are targeting?
Well, no, I don't think these people are capable of rational thought. They can't be reasoned with, only made to look ridiculous, and be thus made less relevant. Alienating these people is the goal.


"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
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  13:33:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

Oh please. That was uncalled for. You're either with us or you're a doormat?
Oh, please, yourself. chaloobi seems to be a doormat because he appears to be advocating appeasement in the face of active harrassment, coercion and threats (both to life and civil liberties). I certainly wasn't generalizing, I was only talking about chaloobi.
Do you actually believe that there is only one course of action to achieve our goal of demonstrating the hypocrisy of some religious groups?
There is not necessarily only one course, but the point is not to demonstrate the hypocrisy, but to take advantage of their self-demonstration of it.
Do you have no concern at all that being provocative in this way may well turn out to be counter productive?
Of course, and I'm willing to look at evidence that it will be. On the other hand, history shows that sewing dissent within a group is a successful tactic as a part of a divide-and-conquer strategy.
Are there no other ways to be provocative that will produce more rational thought among the people we are targeting?
That, actually, must come later.
It's my opinion that pulling a prank like the one Myers has in mind will mostly serve to drive more moderate christians into the conservative camp. Sure, some will see it for what it is, and get it. But will those few be worth it if this serves to make the conservatives stronger? Hell, I am not convinced that this method for not being a doormat will play right into the the religious rights hand.
Doing nothing has made the conservatives stronger. Doing nothing has played right into the theocrats' hands. Aside from (for example) murdering televangelists in the name of atheism, I am unconvinced that any other strategy will make the situation worse than continuing to do nothing. However, I am willing to try something other than the strategy that we know does not work.
I can understand the satisfaction of showing them up for what they are. But is this particular brand of protest only tool we have to accomplish that?
I'll wait for suggestions.
There were many effective protests back in the sixties that shed a light on a terrible thing our government was doing. But I have to admit that burning down a few Bank of America's did nothing to help that cause and actually turned some moderates away from what we were trying to accomplish, based on what they saw as a larger threat to their security (so to speak.) I see the same thing happening here. The target may be right in theory, but the results were not what we hoped for. At best we were seen as a fringe group of leftist whackos and at worst we were seen as representing the communist threat that Nixon was warning people of. Nixon won a second election based on that kind of fear mongering. Do we really want to give our enemies more fuel to fan that fire? And if we don't, are we doormats? Been there, done that. It didn't work. Protesting the war itself is what worked. I can see the parallels...
Oh, I can see the parallels, as well. Desecrating a wafer is analogous to protesting the war, not to burning down a bank.
Call me a doormat for wanting to think this thing through. It's an appeal to emotion and I know you can do better than that, Dave.
And you can do better than poisoning the well, Kil.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  15:58:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
chaloobi:
Good luck with that. I personally think desecrating the eucharist as a tactic to further the cause of objective thinking and drive back the slide to religous conservatism is fundamentally wrong and will ultimately achieve the opposite. There's nothing more effective than anger, outrage and fear for galvanizing a sloppy in-fighting group of people who are nontheless devoted to a common idea under threat.

Dave:
Well, good luck with being a doormat (which already has achieved the opposite).

Me:
Oh please. That was uncalled for. You're either with us or you're a doormat?

Dave:
Oh, please, yourself. chaloobi seems to be a doormat because he appears to be advocating appeasement in the face of active harrassment, coercion and threats (both to life and civil liberties). I certainly wasn't generalizing, I was only talking about chaloobi.

The thing is, I agree with the quote from chaloobi that got the doormat response. So you might as well have been talking to me. (There may have been more to his argument and I missed it.) Now, don't get me wrong. I am not for appeasement in the face of active harassment. I just doubt the wisdom of this plan for combating it. What I think is that by purposely offending people who have yet to weigh in, or aren't even aware of what went down, because this would be a much bigger story than the Cook/ Myer affair, we may be handing the conservatives the frame to frame us with.

Scream it from the rooftops. Figure out how to make what went down, or regularly goes down, known to as wide an audience as possible. But do it in a way that doesn't drag us down with the story. It's their hypocrisy that should be the story. Not what some angry atheist did to provoke their hypocrisy, because I suspect that the angry atheist angle will become the story and the religious hypocrisy will be lost in the static. We will be spending our time defending Myers while perhaps a few Christians will get it but the vast majority won't. Worse yet, they will go the other direction.

Dave:
Oh, I can see the parallels, as well. Desecrating a wafer is analogous to protesting the war, not to burning down a bank.

I don't agree. But I see that you have to believe that in order to maintain your position.

And look. I'm not full of answers. I wish I were. I wish I could lay down the plan that would work. And maybe I'm wrong. (It has happened.) But what I see here is a feel good half-cocked plan. There is nothing that I can say that will stop Myers from doing what he will do. And while the choir is busy cheering him on and being aghast at some results that we already know will happen, I fear that we will loose ground where it counts the most.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  18:33:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

The thing is, I agree with the quote from chaloobi that got the doormat response. So you might as well have been talking to me. (There may have been more to his argument and I missed it.)
And yet you know there's more to the doormat remark than simple emotionalism, but you're not going to mention that.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not for appeasement in the face of active harassment. I just doubt the wisdom of this plan for combating it. What I think is that by purposely offending people who have yet to weigh in, or aren't even aware of what went down, because this would be a much bigger story than the Cook/ Myer affair, we may be handing the conservatives the frame to frame us with.
They've been framing us that way for decades already, while we've largely been meek and passive in response, mostly just saying, "no, we're not." It doesn't work, as evidenced by the fact that religion has invaded more and more of the government over time, and people feel free to say that atheists shouldn't be allowed to be citizens, and they feel obligated to make movies that say that Darwin's ideas led to the Holocaust.
Scream it from the rooftops. Figure out how to make what went down, or regularly goes down, known to as wide an audience as possible. But do it in a way that doesn't drag us down with the story. It's their hypocrisy that should be the story. Not what some angry atheist did to provoke their hypocrisy, because I suspect that the angry atheist angle will become the story and the religious hypocrisy will be lost in the static. We will be spending our time defending Myers while perhaps a few Christians will get it but the vast majority won't. Worse yet, they will go the other direction.
The way to shout it from the rooftops is to get the press involved, and the way to do that is to be outraged and legally and non-violently outrageous. The few interviews PZ has done are nothing more than a small beginning.
Dave:
Oh, I can see the parallels, as well. Desecrating a wafer is analogous to protesting the war, not to burning down a bank.

I don't agree. But I see that you have to believe that in order to maintain your position.
I take it that actually burning down a church would then have to be analogous to Nixon's assassination. And assassinating the Pope would be like what, then?
And look. I'm not full of answers. I wish I were. I wish I could lay down the plan that would work. And maybe I'm wrong. (It has happened.) But what I see here is a feel good half-cocked plan. There is nothing that I can say that will stop Myers from doing what he will do. And while the choir is busy cheering him on and being aghast at some results that we already know will happen, I fear that we will loose ground where it counts the most.
Where it counts the most has already been lost through non-action. And there's nothing particulatrly "feel-good" about this sociopolitical war. It angers me greatly that it's gotten to the point it has. Something has to change. I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

But the idea that anything currently going on is "half-cocked" is to assume that no thought has been applied (again poisoning the well). Yet most of the effectiveness of PZ's threat has been as nothing

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2008 :  19:13:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It would be poisoning the well if I said something like "Myers" or "Dave always goes off half-cocked, so his argument must be half-cocked."

When I say how I see it, I have qualified it as my opinion, so it's not poisoning the well.

Dave, we obviously don't agree on this one. That'll happen sometimes...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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