Wednesday, November 09, 2011
No, really ... Wow!
Here is David Klinghoffer, an Orthodox Jew, who dismisses science because "the dullness, the flatness, the aridity of the evolutionary picture of how the world works" compared to the "enchantment" we experience from religion ... and Dungeons & Dragons ... proves that religion is a better explanation of the natural world:
I just watched the video [of the Coyne-Haught "debate"]. I don't know what Haught -- who I noticed stands about a head taller than Coyne -- is so bent out of shape about. Coyne is a little cartoon Jewish atheist who makes Woody Allen look deep. At one point he calls himself an "apostate Hebrew." Oh please.I don't care how tall Klinghoffer is, Woody Allen, not to mention Jerry Coyne, makes him look like a shrimp.
I wonder if the next time the Thomas Moore 'Law' Centre defends a creationist board, they'll try to get Jerry Coyne in as an expert witness to show that teaching evolution as true is teaching atheism as true.
It has not been shown that Haught has actively worked to promote his religion in public schools - in fact, he actively worked against that by testifying in Dover.
That doesn't exempt him from criticism of his religious beliefs, if you are so inclined to do so.
But if you are so inclined - as Coyne is and has been with other religious believers like Haught- there is nothing that exempts him from criticism about his choice of targets, how he goes about striking them and whether his vitriol is proportionate to the actual "crime."
Klinghoffer has shown himself to be an enemy of reason and science, Haught has proven himself a friend.
Haught and his beliefs may be a problem in some abstract, indirect-enabling way - or he may not be. It has yet to be satisfactorily proven to me that he and others like him are as much of a problem as creationists who are really trying to undermine religious liberty in this country and elsewhere.
We need a new phrase to describe this phenomenon, because "friendly fire" is usually thought of as accidental.
how he goes about striking them and whether his vitriol is proportionate to the actual "crime."
So this is Coyne's actual crime(a few harsh blog posts? a couple of harsh reviews?) and if your responses are proportionate , then why aren't Coyne's?
Also answer me this - if you donate money to an organization (even if it is 5 bucks a week)which uses some miniscule proportion of it to pay of victims of rape (in return for silence) and part of it to fund anti - gay campaigns - and part of it to fund anti contraception crusades - what is an appropriate response - Especially if you add that you don't actually support any of the above.?
Actually - and I'm assuming you're referring to catholic collections during mass - if you've ever gone to a catholic mass you would know that they tell the congregation exactly what the money will be used for before they hand out the collection plate.
"So this is Coyne's actual crime(a few harsh blog posts? a couple of harsh reviews?) and if your responses are proportionate , then why aren't Coyne's?"
To answer that question, you would have to evaluate the content of what each person says fairly. But since you think Coyne is saying only harsh things, I can't see that you're able to do that.
"Also answer me this - if you donate money to an organization (even if it is 5 bucks a week)which uses some miniscule proportion of it to pay of victims of rape (in return for silence) and part of it to fund anti - gay campaigns - and part of it to fund anti contraception crusades - ..."
You do the same thing that you do when the country you live in passes legislation you don't agree with or commits crimes in war. You speak out against it and work for change, or you leave. And since plenty of Catholics have done or are doing that, smearing them along with the catholics who haven't is wrong.
By your reasoning, everyone in America - including Coyne - is personally responsible for crimes committed by their government. Doesn't matter if they've spoken up against it or worked for change - they didn't stop paying their taxes or renounce their citizenship, so they deserve to be condemned.
Moreover, Haught's focus is on theology and science.
Here's Haught taking on the council of bishops for science: http://commonwealmagazine.org/unevolved
You may think his opinion is hooey, but that's not the same thing as it being in conflict with science.
And why does he have to be held responsible for not leading every charge? Isn't that a straw man?
Here's some Catholics who are working for change
Look through those links, like the snap network, and you'll find things like this: "Our relationship with the Catholic laity has never been better. More parishioners express sympathy towards us and believe we were truly abused. More of them understand that our experiences are not "isolated incidents" caused by "a few bad apples," but rather widespread hurts caused by bishops who lack the will to effectively root out pedophiles and punish those who cover up the crimes."
What kind of person cheapens their efforts in order to advance their own personal prejudices? Have you never read "To kill a mockingbird?"
One of the problems I see is a hatred of religion leading people to draw incorrect correlations. It's certainly not as bad as what fundamentalists do, but it's interesting to see people who purport to support rational thought holding such irrational beliefs. That's not supposed to happen in the skeptic community, and to see leaders in that community advance on the basis of those irrational thoughts is alarming.
The Penn State scandal, for instance, proves again that predators and their enablers are not a strictly religious problem. Predators go where their prey is, and the biggest mistake people make is assuming it "can't happen here." Or choose to shield their institution first instead of stopping the abuse.
a percentage of the collection does go upward to the diocese.
is another example of defending an institution
I have no idea who this is directed to, nor indeed what the institution being referred to is .
a. Never said/implied that Catholics accept everything the Vatican says. Even assumed that Haught doesn't agree even though he hasn't specified what he does or doesn't believe.
b. Never said/implied that Catholics dont help people , dont actively oppose Vatican policies (some do - but not a majority by any means)
Neither as far as I know does Coyne.
Which means most of your post is a wasted exercise.
But since you think Coyne is saying only harsh things, I can't see that you're able to do that.
And I can say the same of you. The question isn't whether you agree/disagree - it is what is Coyne's crime and what is proportionate response and how does your response differ from Coyne's given that you have different views. If Coyne is guilty of poor reasoning , so is Haught (I believe you are agnostic so you dont buy what Haught is selling either) - so that isn't the issue at hand. If all Coyne does is write reviews/blog posts of people/views he disagrees with what is the problem? If you wish to disagree go ahead . If you wish to make vitriolic comments go ahead - but then why complain when Coyne or random commenters do the same? Why the double standard?
You do the same thing that you do when the country you live in passes legislation you don't agree with or commits crimes in war
Oh but ofcourse. with a couple of differences.
a. Do you know in advance?
b. What choice did you have?
In America the political choice is between the evil and the incompetent(so you are stuck no matter what you do). This is not the case for Haught who has many Christian sects to choose from (see I dont even mind if he is religious !)
But it's naive to think that a fiscal conservative who knowingly votes for a Tea Party candidate has no responsibility for Tea party policies. Whats more If I asked a republican why he donates or identifies himself as a tea party member when he doesnt accept most of their policies - you wouldn't blink an eye! The only time you do is when politics becomes religion.
Have you never read "To kill a mockingbird?"
twice. once after watching the awful Gregory Peck movie.
And why does he have to be held responsible for not leading every charge?
Its not a question of leading every charge. Its a question of why does Haught identify/support a corrupt organization. And why cant a member of society pose this question to another member of society. The harshness only occurs after this is repeatedly blocked by people who pretend that such actions are the same as being a fundamentalist.
Take a look at the recent vote on granting personhood to a fertilized embryo. By itself the concept of a soul is harmless - believe it if you want. But if left unchallenged you get idiotic votes like the one above.
You are thinking like a Protestant here. The differences among most Protestant sects aren't that large compared to the differences between Catholicism and the various Protestant denominations. A Baptist these days can go to a Methodist church or a non-denominational Protestant church without much thought or even a need to be rebaptized upon switching churches. There was even an American movement, called the Restorationist movement, that encouraged the downplaying of denominational differences. Switching from Catholicism to a Protestant sect, on the other hand, is a sea change. For example, Catholics--at least officially--don't buy into sola scriptura or into the notion that faith alone is enough to be saved. It's not as if a Catholic Church is like a non-denominational church with more smells and bells.
So, no, it's not as if Haught can change his membership in a religious sect like he could change his socks or his preferred restaurant. It's more like changing his citizenship, just with less physical travel.
Run away! Run away! But OK, that's fine. Doesn't change the fact that I was talking about unjustifiably smearing people with the sins of others.
Deepak: "And I can say the same of you."
Actually, no, you can't in this case. You're the one who asked the question in such a way that you answered it - or at least tried to influence the answer - by characterizing my complaint to say he's only being "harsh." When you start out with a mischaracterization, there's no reason to think that won't continue. And, you do continue that.
Deepak"a. Do you know in advance?
b. What choice did you have?"
Sorry, how does this contradict my point? The Iraq war started years ago - anyone who opposed it beforehand - and many did - but is still paying taxes or still an American citizen is, by your logic, just as morally responsible as those who supported the war.
Deepak: "But it's naive to think that a fiscal conservative who knowingly votes for a Tea Party candidate has no responsibility for Tea party policies. "
Which does not address my point, nor does it address the condition in your own previous question, that they may oppose the actions you described. So you're kind of all over the place here.
Deepak: "This is not the case for Haught who has many Christian sects to choose from (see I dont even mind if he is religious !)"
This ignores the option of staying with an organization and working for change. Like it or not, it is an option. Haught does this for science, those other organizations i linked to do it for other issues.
Your own logic demands we hold victims of church abuse morally responsible for their own abuse if they continue to be members of the church that abused them, even as they seek to cihange the church to make sure that abuse never happens again. I won't do that.
Deepak: "Its not a question of leading every charge. Its a question of why does Haught identify/support a corrupt organization. "
And we're back to my original point, which is that people can stay within an organization and work to change it. Haught clearly is working on that for science - why are you faulting him for the pedophile scandal? There are people working on that too, and they say church members are supporting them.
Now we must criticize them for not being atheists.
I was talking about unjustifiably smearing people
So if I say why do you voluntarily identify as a member of a corrupt organization (which gets some of its influence by its numbers) when you don't actually believe in its theology/practices is a smear?
In order words you cant criticise Haught (but you could if this were a political issue with the Catholic church replaced by the tea party).
If I tell Haught that his religion cannot be the arbiter or source of morality and give a bunch of crimes committed by the Church , then that is a smear?
In other words religion is above criticism.
When you start out with a mischaracterization,
Alright. Given that Coyne disagrees with some people - what are his crimes?. Don't waste my time explaining why you disagree with Coyne(you disagree with Haught as well). Given the disagreement - what are his crimes?
This ignores the option of staying with an organization and working for change.
The question is still valid. Whether a republican should effect change from inside or simply become an independent or Democrat.
Your own logic demands we hold victims of church abuse morally responsible for their own abuse if they continue to be members of the church
The equivalent to your question is a wife who is stuck in a repeatedly physically abusive relationship and doesn't divorce because her religion says so. You might tell her to try and change the marriage from within or her religion from within to allow her to divorce. I would prefer telling her to leave(given that it occurs repeatedly) and if it needs her to leave her religion, so be it. Does that imply she is morally responsible for her beatings - no. Is she responsible of continuing the culture where men do beat their wives? No but you could ask her why not set an example. You can legitimately ask why be part of a religion that encourages bad behavior.
Haught clearly is working on that for science
No Haught is working to make his religion less laughable by trying to identify gaps in science and fitting his religion there.
Oh and I could always list the good things I do(unbelievable as that may be) and tell you to stop criticising me , no?
For instance, you say "You might tell her to try and change the marriage from within or her religion from within to allow her to divorce. I would prefer telling her to leave."
That's such a flawed analogy that I have to conclude you're deliberately mischaracterizing my point. A better analogy would be supporting that woman's efforts to get out of that marriage and put the abuser in jail. But not give up on the institution of marriage altogether just because people fail at it.
And then you deny that you're insinuating anything about that one person's marriage.
see this is why its wiser for you to not respond to me (or vice versa).
I'm using "crime" loosely (the exact sentence is from TB - how he goes about striking them and whether his vitriol is proportionate to the actual "crime.").
To me it looks hypocritical.
see this is why its wiser for you to not respond to me (or vice versa). "
Because you deliberately mischaracterize other people's arguments? Because you change the conditions of your argument in ways that it even conflicts with points you yourself made earlier? Because when I point that out, you don't like it?
Deepak: "I'm using "crime" loosely (the exact sentence is from TB - how he goes about striking them and whether his vitriol is proportionate to the actual "crime."). "
And used to describe my interpretation of what is implied by the amount of vitriol Coyne directs against Haught.
If Coyne were playing golf, he would be employing a full swing with a driver on the putting green. And when he does, it is not out of line to note the ball does not go in the hole.