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Third Party Bids are Purely Selfish

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Dr. Ron PaulRon Paul still hasn’t ruled out the possibility of running as a third party if he fails to attain the Republican nomination. His supporters — or at least the most vocal among them — seem to be actively encouraging him to take this track.

Let’s be clear: a third-party bid would be purely selfish. When a candidate enters a primary, he agrees to accept the primary’s outcome. If the candidate is planning to run as a third-party, he should do so from the start. A third-party bid by Paul means deliberately sabotaging the winner because he didn’t like the primary outcome.

Paul’s supporters who support a third-party run for the presidency should stop to think about the consequences of their argument. What would they say if Paul managed to win the Republican nomination only to have any chance at the presidency swiped out from under him by a third-party Romney bid?

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About Erik

  • bman

    WELL, for me I’m voting for Ron Paul. That’ll be the only one I vote for, I’m an independent now registered Republican for the primaries.

    I’d rather vote for honesty, end of wars, a true small government, and the constitution then vote for a flip flopping crook. Obama, Romney, Newt, why should I vote? I don’t see much of a difference, one crook/liar is as good as the next.

  • http://www.soderstrome.com Erik Soderstrom

    I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t vote for Dr. Paul, and I would support him over Obama. I’m not even suggesting Paul won’t/can’t win the nomination. However, assuming he fails to attain the nomination, I think it would be disingenuous for him to have participated in the Republican primary only to undermine that system because he didn’t get the outcome he wanted.

    Again, how would it be any different than Romney (or Santorum, Gingrich, etc.) declaring a third-party bid if Paul won the nomination?

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Perhaps you should study thinking rather than the ugly twins Political Science and Economics, both of which are failing we the people.

    There is zero connection between taking part in the Republican Presidential nomination process and subsequently launching a third party.

    Although Ron Paul is clearly a more honest person than anybody else wanting to be the Republican candidate, as a President hew would be a disaster for the USA and the world.

    You and bman seem to want to live in a very simplistic black and white world. Time to grow up…

  • Baronius

    I think Eric’s point is solid. And I don’t see why Chris has to mix insults into his opinion and analysis.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    as a President he would be a disaster for the USA and the world.

    Quoted for truth! Without even addressing his belief that businesses have a right to discriminate on basis of race, creed, color, and religion, in one fell swoop Ron Paul would devastate America’s economy. How? By his determination to no longer fund the National Flood Insurance Program, which is the only reason that anyone in Florida, anywhere living in flatlands in the Mississippi River Basin from Minnesota to Louisiana and everywhere in between, anyone on the coasts, and anyone living in a city near a river has any flood insurance.

    Why is this important? Because NO bank will approve mortgages in such areas without flood insurance…but insurance companies were getting out of the flood insurance business back in the late 1960’s, which is why our government started the NFIP. Get rid of that, and all of a sudden zero mortgages get approved in over half our nation.

    Imagine that – our real estate market (which is the biggest single slice of our economy) goes Tango Uniform overnight because of the loss of a single taxpayer program! But ask any Realtor worth his or her salt if he can sell a house or building without flood insurance – ask them! (Disclaimer – I was a Realtor once, and most of them are conservative as is the Realtor organization).

    But Ron Paul would still get rid of the NFIP. Why? Because he is an ideologue…and an ideologue is a very, very dangerous person to have as a nation’s leader.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Baronius, please point out any insults in my comment…

  • Igor

    Chris and Glenn are right: Ron Paul would be a disaster. His naivete and simplemindedness make him an easy target for the expert connivers and manipulators of the Potomac.

    The nation would end in chaos and anarchy with regional brushfires across the country. Why, it would be a lot like the middle east.

  • 68vette

    Regarding Glenn Contrarian– Given the choice (that I don’t have) to with hold my taxes that contribute to National Flood Insurance is vary appealing. I certainly don’t want to pay to rebuild some idiot’s house because they didn’t obtain or can’t obtain insurance. If you can’t obtain insurance than perhaps you shouldn’t live there to begin with. It’s called being personally responsible and using common sense. It’s the reason so many people never returned to New Orleans,they know better. Private insurance companies are reluctant to offer flood coverage in flood prone area’s because of the risk. That should raise an obvious red flag… LIVE HERE AND GET WET. NFIP is yet another entitlement program that endorses bad decisions made by people that knowingly exercise bad judgement. As for ideologue and very dangerous…right-wing ideologue Thomas Jefferson said, “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive.” Radical right-wing ideologue Thomas Paine added, “Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.” And get a load of this anti-government sentiment by radical right-wing ideologue George Washington: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and fearful master.”
    You get to exercise your 1st amendment rights thanks to these ideologue’s. And yes, I have flood insurance.

  • Baronius

    Seriously, Chris? You don’t think that telling someone to “study thinking” or to “grow up” is insulting?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    68vette –

    You don’t think you would be directly affected if half the nation’s real estate market came to a screeching halt? Really?

    Dude, have I got some swampland to sell you!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @68vette

    Glenn is our resident marionette, vette, imagining himself to represent the liberal’s conscience, so I wouldn’t put much stock in what he has to say if I were you. Everyone who disagrees with him is an ideologue, especially if they’re “right wing.”

    A recovered racist, by his own admission, he acquired a keen sense of smell for everybody else’s hypocrisy except his own.

  • Costello

    Christopher proves with his own words why he’s incpabale of doing the job properly. He admits to being a bigot toward those of faith and is unaware of the insults he hurls. He should be replaced. A comment editor shouldn’t be a lifetime appointment

  • Paul Christoforo Jr.

    When a candidate enters a primary, he agrees to accept the primary’s outcome.

    Do you have a citation for this? Because it sounds like you just pulled it out of your ass. I donated money to Paul because I want him to be President and if his best route means doing it outside the party, so be it. The two parties are part of the problem with Washington. If you don’t see that, you shouldn’t being writing about politics

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    … you shouldn’t being writing …

    When you first introduced yourself to me, Paul, didn’t you say you were an attorney?

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Baronius, no, I don’t, although I may of course be mistaken.

    I think someone displaying immaturity and/or presenting poor reasoning is pretty insulting though, albeit indirectly.

    Costello, you appear to have such a large chip on your shoulder that is it making you unbalanced.

    I’ve explained to you more than once that there is a clear distinction between my personal participation on this site and the exercise of my duties.

    I looked up the definition of the word bigot and got this: “intolerant person: somebody with strong opinions, especially on politics, religion, or ethnicity, who refuses to accept different views”.

    I can see how to a careless or inattentive reader my views could be characterised that way but if one pays closer attention they will find that I am tolerant of anybody’s right to choose to believe whatever they want to.

    When they present those views however, on whatever topic, they are open to robust debate and, indeed, that is part of what this space is all about, the free exchange of views.

    Unlike many sites, including some you apparently frequent, we don’t have a party line that must be adhered to so the exchanges can sometimes be strong, even heated at times.

    My view, and why I still care so much about this site despite its shortcomings, is that this openness to passionate debate is really important.

    None of that impinges on my ability to manage and edit the comments space, and the general consensus has been that I do a difficult job well, which I hope will continue to be the case, despite some inevitable criticism, sometimes founded and sometimes for motives that remain opaque at best…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Isn’t this interesting? Chris said:

    I looked up the definition of the word bigot and got this: “intolerant person: somebody with strong opinions, especially on politics, religion, or ethnicity, who refuses to accept different views”.

    Let me see – I never attacked him for his atheistic views, never insulted him about them but even said “You’re quite right that there are so many things that I don’t see – absolutely! I am very much aware of how ignorant I am of so many things.

    And his very next reply was that I was incurious and had a lack of humility because I would “let go of my beliefs”, apparently to become an atheist like him. In other words, I was the one who was incurious and had a lack of humility because I would not think as he thought I should think!

    Ah, but I forget – I’m the intolerant one, and Chris is the free thinker! See? It’s all so simple now!

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    The thing is Glenn, you say these things but you don’t actually walk the walk, which makes you either deluded (my bet) or a liar.

    Two of the most important things in the world are politics and spirituality and on both you have your set beliefs – or second set to be precise – whereas I question and challenge both.

    I didn’t say you were intolerant, what I am saying is that you are irrational and can’t actually substantiate your opinions, so yet again your remarks are both confused and confusing.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    No, you didn’t say ‘intolerant’ – but your words certainly fit the rest of the definition.

    That’s okay, I’m not offended. I will say, however, that as the years go by, you might find that ‘challenging religion and politics’ come to mean something quite different from what you now believe.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, until you can actually follow the meaning of what people say, basic comprehension skills, this conversation is going nowhere.

    I have explicitly stated more than once that I defend and support everybody’s right to believe whatever they want, yet you still keep trying and failing to make the case that I am being intolerant.

    Of course you’re not offended, that would mean that you were taking words and their meanings seriously, that you were capable of actual analysis and thought.

    As to your final words, you retreat into obscure and meaningless mumbling mixed with condescension, so typical of the magical thinker. How disappointing yet so predictable…

  • Jordan Richardson

    Oh puh-lease, Christopher.

    Quit acting like it’s such a magical stretch to consider you intolerant of religious people. Glenn doesn’t lack “basic comprehension skills” because he sees you differently than you see yourself. I bet you don’t think it’s an insult or a personal attack to suggest that Glenn isn’t “capable of actual analysis or thought.”

    You say you “defend and support everybody’s right to believe whatever they want,” yet you consistently belittle those beliefs and believers.

    Your approach is not exactly respectful and you’ve stated numerous times that you don’t respect religious belief systems. You consider them “dangerous” and recently told Glenn that his persistence is “in service of such determined dimwittery” that it depressed you.

    You also recently referred to religious believers as “superstitious muppets” and stated that what religious people believe is an “insult to humanity.” That doesn’t exactly sound like tolerance to me.

    And honestly, why would you be tolerant of religious beliefs? It doesn’t seem like the natural stance for someone with as much disdain for believers as you. Why not own your intolerance and be done with it?

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Jordan, as you are normally a reasonable chap, I wonder if you got out of the wrong side of the bed today?

    It is absolutely a stretch to consider me “intolerant of religious people”, I’m not. Glenn doesn’t lack basic comprehension skills because he sees me differently, he lacks them because he continuously misunderstands what is said to him.

    I would have thought you were smart enough to see the difference between supporting people’s right to believe what they want and trying to debate what they are believing. You do, right?

    I’m not respectful of ludicrous arguments or sloppy thinking and do consider monotheism a cruel deception but I’m not advocating blowing up churches or imprisoning or killing theists, things that other theists do all around the world.

    I’m not tolerant of religious beliefs, I’m tolerant of people’s right to believe them. It follows then that I AM owning both my right to debate with offensively lazy arguments that lack any demonstrable foundation other than “belief” AND people’s right to believe them.

  • pablo

    11 Roger:
    Referring to AuContrarian

    “A recovered racist, by his own admission, he acquired a keen sense of smell for everybody else’s hypocrisy except his own.”

    Touche

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Chris,

    Though the distinction you’re making is a logical one, I don’t believe it can be realized in practice. No matter how hard one tries, I don’t think it’s humanly possible for at least some of the contempt one has towards “religious beliefs” not to spill over to the very people who hold them. After all, if you do have such contempt, it didn’t come about in isolation, purely as a result of your own thoughts on the matter, but surely also in conjunction with the kinds of arguments that are typically advanced on behalf of those beliefs, arguments which you consider “magical” and thoroughly unconvincing, So for you to insist there is a workable distinction of the kind you’re pressing for is, in a manner of speaking, a fool’s errand.

    I’ll be the first to admit that most of the “arguments” we hear here on behalf of a religious belief are very ill-conceived. If anything, the emphasis ought to be more on faith (one’s stance with respect to the universe and how we see ourselves in relation to all there is) rather than on the content of the actual belief (which is the imagined object of our faith). But that’s another subject.

    As to “monotheism,” it’s not such a beast as you make it out to be, whether in religious or other applications and contexts. If anything, it represents an advancement in human thought in having come to regard the universe, in spite of the many apparent contradictions, as having a kind of unity. Even the ancient, Aristotle for instance, spoke of a telos — an end/purpose towards all things aim, a movement from the actual to the potential — and Aristotle wasn’t a deist by any stretch.

    In fact, the very project we call science is predicated on a sort of belief on the part of the practitioners that there is a certain unity underlying the universe and nature, a belief which informs and defines the practice as a quest for discovery of the unifying laws.

  • pablo

    13 – Paul Christoforo Jr.
    “When a candidate enters a primary, he agrees to accept the primary’s outcome.” So says the author of this article

    “Do you have a citation for this? Because it sounds like you just pulled it out of your ass. I donated money to Paul because I want him to be President and if his best route means doing it outside the party, so be it. The two parties are part of the problem with Washington. If you don’t see that, you shouldn’t being writing about politics”
    Says Paul

    Instead of addressing a quite reasonable question the author hope over to his blog and posts this cute tidbit:

    “Not only does this comment entirely miss the point of my article, it’s illustrative of the selfish attitude that pervades Dr. Paul’s base. If Paul’s best route to the presidency lay outside the party system, then he should have taken that route. He chose not to; he chose to participate in the Republican party’s primary.”

    The point of Paul’s post was quite simple. Can the author point to a citation of this absurd claim? Nope instead he says that Paul misses the point! Now that truly is ironic, not to mention about as evasive as his hopping over to his own blog site to say it!

    The current republican corporate New World Order candidates, with the exception of Dr. Paul are a bunch of scumbags. All of which have been branded by their masters by being members of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Dr. Paul is the only one of them that has shown any integrity and dare I say honor of the lot of them. He stands out like a healthy thumb, in a pack of sniveling, lying, conniving vipers. He exudes humanness, whereas the others exude bought and paid for slime.

    Just so no one gets the idea that I am partisan in this race, the current commander-in-thief is worse than all of them put together.

    Then the author of this piece goes on to say even more! He actually said:

    “If Paul’s best route to the presidency lay outside the party system, then he should have taken that route.” HUH?

    Ron Paul has said numerous times that the best way to get to the White House is through one of the two parties, he has said so publicly and often. Amazing.

    I do suggest that the author of this piece take a remedial lesson in logic, and plain common sense before he writes such a half cocked load of bull again.

    Ron Paul has every right, to run anyway he sees fit, and he will have millions supporting him when he does.

    Another cute thing that I have noticed about Paul’s race, is that virtually EVERY poll done online he has won hands down, usually beating the nearest rival by a 2-1 margin. Of course all of the naysayers and corporate shills will always say that Paul’s fans fix the polling data, instead of using their heads and seeing its the other way around. The fix is in, he has been negated, ignored, chastised, ridiculed, and maligned in every way possible by the lying whores of the MSM, right up to and including the last debate.

    I hope he runs as an independent, he sure is more independent than Newt the fascist, Romney the silver platter boy, or inSanitorum the fake bible thumper. Just my two sense folks. :)

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, I truly do distinguish between, as I see it, the deception and the deceived.

    If I saw it the way you put it, that would be the same as feeling contempt for the victims of crime rather than the perpetrators.

    I agree that it is an advance to see the universe in unitary terms but I don’t really see that there is much real difference between worshipping multiple gods or just one.

    I’ve no idea if there is an end purpose, although I do like the idea that intelligence, of which we humans are the best iteration to date (although very much a work in progress), is the process of the universe understanding and exploring itself.

    On a scientific level, there is a unity underlying all things. In terms of life on this planet, all life shares DNA and an atomic structure and on a universal level I was quite excited to learn recently that apparently no two electrons can be on the same energy level, so if any electron anywhere in the universe changes its energy level, some or all other electrons instantly change their energy levels too. I’ve no idea how that information is transmitted or that process happens.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Christopher, that’s exactly what I thought you’d say. Thanks for a labyrinthine, goofy, condescending “explanation.”

    You really think name-calling is akin to “trying to debate what they are believing?” Calling someone a “superstitious muppet” is, to you, part of “debate?” Please. Watching you wriggle around the webbing of your usual round of excuses isn’t even fun anymore, dude.

    Do you really think the fact that you’re not sitting online advocating blowing up churches makes you “tolerant” in light of the other shit you say? You’re essentially calling yourself tolerant for not openly wishing religious people dead. Forgive me if I don’t throw you a parade.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And really, if you can’t see how viewing as religious adherents as “victims” of some sort of broad, vile crime is about as insulting as can be, there’s not many respectful places for “debate” to go with you on the topic.

    You seem to fail to realize that you are attacking the core of these “muppets,” Christopher, not just part of their lives that they could take or leave. Roger’s right when he says that it’s not humanly possible for the contempt to spill over “to the very people who hold them” because you’re arguing that they’re effectively “insane” for holding their beliefs. You’re arguing that they’ve somehow been hypnotized, that their beliefs aren’t valid but rather accidental and that they can be “rescued” from the horrors of faith if they only “wake up to reason.”

    You are intolerant of the idea that some religious people have arrived at their respective faiths through reasonable consideration because you don’t think it’s possible to be reasonable and faithful at the same time.

    But you don’t want to blow up their churches, so I guess that’s one for the win column.

  • Jordan Richardson

    *contempt NOT to spill over “to the very people who hold them”

  • http://www.soderstrome.com Erik Soderstrom

    In response to Pablo, here is the post he referenced in it’s entirety. Note, the quote formatting didn’t carry, so I’ve added notes in brackets:

    In response to my recent article on Blogcritics suggesting that Ron Paul should not run as a third-party candidate if he fails to attain the Republican nomination, a Paul Supporter writes:

    [Quote] When a candidate enters a primary, he agrees to accept the primary’s outcome.

    Do you have a citation for this? …. I donated money to Paul because I want him to be President and if his best route means doing it outside the party, so be it. The two parties are part of the problem with Washington. If you don’t see that, you shouldn’t being writing about politics. [End Quote]

    Not only does this comment entirely miss the point of my article, it’s illustrative of the selfish attitude that pervades Dr. Paul’s base. If Paul’s best route to the presidency lay outside the party system, then he should have taken that route. He chose not to; he chose to participate in the Republican party’s primary.

    That which is legal is not always right. It’s true there is no legal mandate that a candidate accept the outcome of the party primary. There is no binding contact prohibiting him from running under some other banner, or without one. But if every candidate shared this attitude, the primary would serve no purpose.

    Paul may not have signed a contract, but the simple act of entering the Republican nomination process implied his consent to be bound by the decision of primary voters. To run anyway after losing the primary would be the political equivalent of taking your ball and going home, but with far more disastrous consequences. If that’s the attitude we’re going to have, we may as well tell the Democrats to make a permanent set of White House keys.

    It bears repeating, this is not an attack on third party presidential bids in general. I’m not claiming Dr. Paul can’t or won’t win the Republican nomination. I am merely asking Paul supporters to answer the following: if Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination, would you support third party bids by all of the other candidates which would inevitably keep him out of office? After all, if Paul wins the nomination, the best route to the presidency for Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, et. al. will suddenly lie outside the Republican party.

    The above post is available at Paul Supporters Miss The Point/

  • http://www.soderstrome.com Erik Soderstrom

    Additionally, I do not think Dr. Paul’s best route to the presidency is as a third-party, and obviously Dr. Paul agrees or he wouldn’t be in the Republican primary. However, this proposition was directly raised by the comment I quoted:

    “I donated money to Paul because I want him to be President and if his best route means doing it outside the party, so be it.”

  • zingzing

    as an agnostic (hedging my bets, i guess), i find “they’re effectively “insane” for holding their beliefs[…] they’ve somehow been hypnotized, that their beliefs aren’t valid” is rather close to the truth of the matter, like it or not.

    i certainly don’t believe in the god of the bible and i do have a bit of a hard time believing other people could be so foolish as to fall for it. but hey… it’s a strange world.

    but i don’t think i’d get all nasty about it without provocation, and i’m totally tolerant of a person’s religious beliefs right up to the point where they use those beliefs in hateful ways or to spread ignorance. (fucking morons trying to teach creationism to kids… that’s a burnable offense. i meant fireable… fireable.)

    so glenn’s cool. ruvy’s not (and not because he’s jewish). santorum is a fucking asshole. jesus is alright (and not just because he’s jewish). islamic jihad sucks. the 9/11 mosque is wonderful (at least as an idea). (rick perry, with his appeal to christian values in that commercial where he gets all homophobic, is not fabulous. seriously, that one pissed me off… how can he think it’s okay to appeal to hatred? i’m certainly glad it backfired in his squinty rat-face. is the sun so bright in texas that all the politicians squint?)

    in the end, being a good christian or a good jew or a good whatever is dependent on the same criteria as the rest of us have to follow. if you’re a good person, who cares what you believe? if you’re a bad person, and it’s your religion that’s making you a bad person, you deserve to have that religion shoved up your ass.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Jordan, I’ve no idea what has got you all bent out of shape but you are really trashing your prior reputation as someone of good sense. For lack of any other idea as to why, tell me, are you a faithist too?

    My response to you was honest, precise and clear, and not at all “labyrinthine, goofy, condescending”, unlike your rather baffling rants.

    This post is going to be rather longer though and cover a lot of ground, so may very well be considered labyrinthine. Hang on to your hat, it might be a wild and bumpy ride in places. I’ll try to leave enough breadcrumbs along the way…

    Let’s try to clear up some of your mis-statements:- I didn’t say that name-calling was debate, you did. I’d also argue that the name calling I did was accurate name calling, so are you trying to argue that to call something that which it actually is, is rude? Personally, I think talking unsubstantiated nonsense whilst ignoring obvious contradictory evidence and expecting others to believe it is about the rudest thing one can do.

    I’m not wriggling around anything or making any excuses for anything, dude.

    I absolutely think I’m tolerant in the sense of defending people’s right to believe and say whatever they want, just as I believe that I have the same rights.

    You are apparently turning into quite a spiteful little Canuck when you make such blatantly false statements as “You’re essentially calling yourself tolerant for not openly wishing religious people dead”. I didn’t say that or anything like it.

    The established churches of monotheism are deeply embedded in the political systems of their host nations to the extent that it is impossible to become successful in politics without their support.

    At the same time as having this incredible political access and control, the vast majority of these organisations pay no taxes on their vast incomes, so live in incredible wealth and comfort whilst their supporters are left in often abject poverty.

    Whilst enjoying this largess, these organisations then make it difficult for anyone who deviates from their standards of “proper”, “moral” life to survive, never mind thrive. Talk about an iron fist in a velvet glove. I do hold these churches in contempt because they are based on a lie.

    As I have remarked before, there is absolutely zero evidence that the big lie at the heart of all this, the alleged creator, actually exists.

    Is it a co-incidence that almost all political systems all over the world that are, um, impregnated with these religious organisations are failing to serve and protect people or even function properly? Maybe…

    It isn’t insulting to tell the truth as I see it and that is all I am doing. If people are being sold a set of beliefs which are based on a big lie, the creator myth, they are being deceived and are indeed victims, regardless of whether they see it that way or not.

    I do realize that I am addressing a core belief for many people, but that doesn’t mean either that I am wrong or wrong to do so. Apparently pointing out these things that I passionately believe to be self-evident brings out irrational responses in some, but I didn’t expect you to be one of them, hence my question to you in my opening paragraph.

    Roger and you are both wrong in your assertions that it is not humanly possible to feel contempt for what I see as deceptions without it spilling over onto those believers. It is and I don’t. If you actually knew me, you would hopefully see that I am a very positive, supportive and compassionate person. That is, at least, how I am trying to live.

    I’m not arguing that the faithful are insane and if that was what I meant to say I would have done so; please don’t put words into my mouth, I am mostly in control of my words, unlike some apparently.

    How would you describe the condition of someone that is brought into a more contemporary cult?

    I think deceived is a fair description and so it follows that, as the monotheist conjecture remains unproven after at least five thousand years, deceived also applies here.

    You employ some pretty colourful and emotive language in the second paragraph of your #27 but I didn’t use those terms, deliberately.

    There is an interesting article about new religious movements on Wikipedia which quotes part of a book called “Theory of Religion”, which I’ll reproduce here.

    “…the formation of “cults” can be explained through a combination of four models:

    1. The psycho-pathological model – the cult founder suffers from psychological problems; he develops the cult in order to resolve these problems for himself, as a form of self-therapy.

    2. The entrepreneurial model – the cult founder acts like an entrepreneur, trying to develop a religion which he/she thinks will be most attractive to potential recruits, often based on his/her experiences from previous cults or other religious groups he/she has belonged to.

    3. The social model – the cult is formed through a social implosion, in which cult members dramatically reduce the intensity of their emotional bonds with non-cult members, and dramatically increase the intensity of those bonds with fellow cult members – this emotionally intense situation naturally encourages the formation of a shared belief system and rituals.

    4. The normal revelations model – the cult is formed when the founder chooses to interpret ordinary natural phenomena as supernatural, such as by ascribing his or her own creativity in inventing the cult to that of the deity”.

    We can easily see all of that and more at play in monotheism.

    You also assert that I am “intolerant of the idea that some religious people have arrived at their respective faiths through reasonable consideration because you don’t think it’s possible to be reasonable and faithful at the same time”.

    You are probably right here; I have never, ever, heard a reasonably considered explanation of faithism but would love to do so. I don’t think it is possible but may be mistaken on this.

    Any such explanation would have to start by attempting to prove the existence of a deity though and I’ve never seen that done. There is always the possibility though, in theory at least.

    Returning to the Wikipedia article, it goes on to say that “…typical reasons why people join cults include a search for community and a spiritual quest.

    …Jeffrey Hadden summarizes a lecture entitled “Why Do People Join NRMs?” …as follows:

    Belonging to groups is a natural human activity;

    People belong to religious groups for essentially the same reasons they belong to other groups;

    …Social scientists have offered a number of theories to explain why people join religious groups;

    Most of these explanations could apply equally well to explain why people join lots of other kinds of groups;

    No one theory can explain all joinings or conversions;

    What all of these theories have in common is the view that joining or converting is a natural process.

    In the 1960s sociologist John Lofland lived with Unification Church missionary Young Oon Kim and a small group of American church members in California and studied their activities in trying to promote their beliefs and win new members.

    Lofland noted that most of their efforts were ineffective and that most of the people who joined did so because of personal relationships with other members, often family relationships.

    Leaving

    There are at least three ways people leave a NRM:

    1) by one’s own decision,
    2) through expulsion and
    3) or through intervention (Exit counseling, deprogramming)”.

    If you’d like to consider any of this my own little intervention, albeit possibly futile, be my guest.

  • Igor

    #22-pablo, “Touche”.

    I believe that only the person who is touched by his opponents epee may declare ‘touche!’.

  • Costello

    That’s right, Chris. Everyone else is wrong about your behavior and you are the only one who is right. If you had any sense, you would consider what people are saying but you’re so sadly desparate to be right you bury you head further up your behind and look even worse. You behave like an idiot, which is not an insult based on your previous comments indicate are not an insult

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Chris,

    Do you consider reason and faith to be by definition contradictory rather than different dimensions of human personality?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Chris, one last big kick at the can.

    When I first brought up what I believe to be intolerant treatment of “faithists” (your usage is the first time I’ve heard that term), you wondered if I’d gotten up on the “wrong side of the bed” and wondered if I were smart enough to digest the point you think you’re making. I’m far from the first person to point out what appears to be a rather intolerant attitude on your behalf and I promise I won’t be the last. Baronius did it on this thread and you undermined him by simply denying that you were being insulting. When you call a group of people “superstitious muppets,” to use one example, you’re certainly not treating them with dignity and I would argue that you certainly are being insulting. But whatever, it’s your rodeo.

    Now because you coated your post to me in your usual condescending, insulting tone, it was a little difficult to get through with a straight face. My hope is to return the favour.

    Of course, you probably don’t think you were being insulting or condescending in the least so we’ll just have to agree to disagree. After all, if you really were insulting the other comment editor would’ve been on the ball, right?

    You said this:

    I’m not respectful of ludicrous arguments or sloppy thinking and do consider monotheism a cruel deception but I’m not advocating blowing up churches or imprisoning or killing theists

    So what’s your point if not to pat yourself on the back for not going as far as “theists” or “faithists” or whatever you choose to call them? You were using the above phrase to express your tolerance, after all, so I’m not exactly sure why you think my reading is such a stretch – especially given your contempt.

    As much as you’d like to think so, I actually haven’t abandoned my senses. I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I’m not throwing a temper tantrum and I’m not being a “spiteful little Canuck,” either. You probably consider the above okay, though, because it would be “accurate name-calling.”

    For lack of any other idea as to why, tell me, are you a faithist too?

    I’m in the undecided column, but that’s not what this is about at all – at least to me. This is about you being an asshole.

    My response to you was honest, precise and clear, and not at all “labyrinthine, goofy, condescending”, unlike your rather baffling rants.

    No, you’re wrong. See? We both can do it!

    I didn’t say that name-calling was debate, you did.

    No, I didn’t.

    so are you trying to argue that to call something that which it actually is, is rude?

    Yes, actually. If you call people “superstitious muppets,” it’s rude. No question about it. It’s “accurate” in your view, just like it’s “accurate” in my view that you’re a hypocritical asshole.

    I bet I don’t get away with that.

    I think talking unsubstantiated nonsense whilst ignoring obvious contradictory evidence and expecting others to believe it is about the rudest thing one can do.

    A hysterically ironic comment. Man, I hope you did that on purpose.

    I’m not wriggling around anything or making any excuses for anything, dude.

    Of course YOU think that, Chris. But your entire post so far has been an excuse. You treat me like I’m batshit crazy because I see you differently, just the same as you treat anyone else who sees you differently.

    Instead of facing the possibility that you aren’t the most tolerant person on earth, you dance around it whilst suggesting that you can’t possibly be wrong. Oh well.

    I absolutely think I’m tolerant in the sense of defending people’s right to believe and say whatever they want, just as I believe that I have the same rights.

    Your usual verbal assault of believers, like the assault that drove Ruth Lantham away for instance, doesn’t read like “defending people’s rights to believe and say what they want.” Or when you accosted Nadia Gilchrist by saying “I didn’t even read this one, nor do I understand why it has been published as Blogcritics doesn’t publish fiction…” or, on a later article, “I hate people who write baseless nonsense. When will you stop?”

    Yeah, you certainly stood up for her rights by asking her to stop with the “baseless nonsense.”

    I do realize that I am addressing a core belief for many people, but that doesn’t mean either that I am wrong or wrong to do so.

    Absolutely. You’re not wrong to question the beliefs of others or criticize what they think. I wouldn’t suggest otherwise. You’re wrong to pretend you’re tolerant whilst insulting and abusing people for what they think, though.

    If you actually knew me, you would hopefully see that I am a very positive, supportive and compassionate person. That is, at least, how I am trying to live.

    I’m sure you are. Want a cookie?

    I’m not arguing that the faithful are insane and if that was what I meant to say I would have done so

    Please. At the very, very least you’re treading awfully close to that point. You have stated that “Christianity…is a delusion, therefore a disease, and a corrupting one at that.” And you’ve stated that religion is an “insult to humanity.” You referred to the words of Irene as being “rather mad” on more than one occasion. So seriously, is it really much of a stretch to consider insanity added to the bubbling cauldron, Chris?

    Any such explanation would have to start by attempting to prove the existence of a deity though and I’ve never seen that done.

    Untrue. There are those religious adherents that consider the existence of a deity to be symbolic or even metaphorical in construct, so the notion of proving the existence of something or someone isn’t on the table.

    But you, tolerant and open-minded as you claim to be, haven’t even considered that notion. You haven’t considered other avenues that “faithists” may take in their respective journeys and define the spiritual life so narrowly as to be innately insulting.

    At the end of the day, none of this matters. You are being accurate; I am being “spiteful.” You are being tolerant; I “got up on the wrong side of the bed.” You are defending the rights of religious people everywhere (and with EXTRA compassion!); I am ruining my “reputation.”

    So whatever. I’ve essentially wasted my time (again) trying to get through to you, as many others have before me. Like Costello said, you’re right and everybody else is wrong. Considering another possibility would take a major leap of faith.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Damn this comments system, which has just eaten my latest.

    Can’t reconstruct it but basically it said:

    Costello, I’ll engage with commenters one by one. In your case you’re wrong.

    Roger, you ask an interesting question. I think reason and faith are contradictory but also “different dimensions of human personality”. We are bipolar at least by nature.

    Jordan, I didn’t get a whole lot from your latest but trying to deal with the substance rather than the bile, I’ve never heard of the concept of “the existence of a deity to be symbolic or even metaphorical”. I don’t quite understand the utility or practicality of such a concept but maybe you or someone else could expand on it.

    Who actually believes that? It doesn’t strike me as a Jewish, Christian or Islamic concept.

    I won’t edit or delete your blatant personal attacks on me by the way. Doc D might, although I suspect not.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps it’s easier to think in terms of trust, Chris. Can we have any kind of society, any communal or social life, in the absence of some trust — in our fellow men, their word, the honor system (these are just some of the examples)? Even our monetary system (see my latest article) is to a great extent based on trust, an IOU, a promise to repay (and that’s in spite of the recent abuses in the banking sector).

    So I see the underlying trust-system as the necessary kind of stance which allows us to function in a society. With some, it’s trust in people as generally speaking honorable, with others, it’s trust in a personal God, with others yet, some kind of force that is greater than us (the Romans called it Destiny or Fate, Jordan speaks in terms of a symbolic construct), but in any case, the idea is to provide the individual with some kind of grounding, so that he or she could go on, a kind of grounding that inform them where we stand in relationship to ourselves, other individuals and all there is. Can you imagine normal human life possible without any of that.

    So no, I don’t see anything bipolar about this, just an aspect of us that completes us.

    The problem of course arises once the many possible objects of faith are being compared to, and treated as though on par with, objects of knowledge; but this kind of move is a result of some basic misunderstanding on the part of both the “faithists” as well as the believers. Which is why I’ve always argued for the importance of a conceptual separation between “faith” (essentially an emotion) and any of its particular, cognitive manifestations/forms, namely “belief.”

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Hi Roger,

    Given the state of the world today, clearly we can have some kind of society in the absence of trust, but it isn’t a particularly harmonious one.

    I don’t know how it is possible to trust when a system is built on lies, which to my mind is the case currently in the USA, the UK, the EU, Russia, China, most Arabic countries and many others too.

    I think a lot of other ordinary people feel that way too, which is possibly why democratic participation is at an all time low in many countries.

    To re-generate trust, we need to start speaking honestly and become a whole lot more tolerant of difference. As we’ve seen lately though, honesty of speech and tolerance are not widespread.

    I hope that our political systems are capable of regeneration but fear they may not be.

    I think you kind of shifted the ground with regard to my comment about bipolarity though. I think that is inherent in humans. We have two sexes, two brain hemispheres with different functionality, emotional intelligence and logical intelligence and so on.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I wasn’t talking about any geopolitical scale necessarily, but even at the level of day to day person-to-person relationships, like borrowing a cup of sugar from a neighbor or setting up a meeting, believing they’re gonna show up. None of these things would have been possible if everyone adopted a stance of utter hostility. The stance that most people are honorable and that those who are not are the exception is still a sound workable proposition, however many times we may be proven wrong — in any case, it’s a proposition which makes human communications and human enterprise possible. Even here on BC, “trolls” are regarded as exceptions, and rightly so. Most of the times when we engage a person in a conversation, we assume they’re not “trolling” until we’ve proven time and again that we’re wrong. I just see no other way to proceed.

    In any case, when I spoke of faith or, alternatively, of trust, it’s that kind of necessary grounding that I had in mind.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Setting up a meeting and expecting people to turn up can be a risky proposition. It isn’t even a cultural expectation in some countries.

    These days, I think the way to proceed is carefully, not trustingly. There are too many hidden agendas around these days.

  • Baronius

    Hey, personally, I don’t mind Chris’s comments about religion. They’re usually written in such a way as to inspire the most doubtful person to faith. My complaint is the personalization in his comments (on any subject). If someone says that my last comment on a subject was stupid, well, they might be right. I’ve made a lot of dumb comments. If someone calls me stupid, them’s fightin’ words. They alienate the reader and the original writer. In order to have a lively discussion, we need people to be combative but not rude, and I don’t think that Chris knows the difference – or, to put it properly, I don’t think that Chris’s comments reflect that (see what I did there?).

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    I don’t know how it is possible to trust when a system is built on lies, which to my mind is the case currently in the USA, the UK, the EU, Russia, China, most Arabic countries and many others too.

    So…exactly where is there a governmental system of note that ISN’T built on lies, in your opinion?

  • Igor

    25-chris: I believe you misunderstand about electrons: IIRC, no two in the same electron ring can be at the same level.

    “no two electrons can be on the same energy level, so if any electron anywhere in the universe changes its energy level, some or all other electrons instantly change their energy levels too.”

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Baronius, didn’t know you had a sense of humour, but you certainly made me laugh.

    Glenn, I’m not familiar with every governmental system in the world so couldn’t say, but that’s not the point. The point is that it shouldn’t have to be necessary to lie to be able to elected to government.

    We ought to be able to have a more grown up and open political system, which obviously requires a more honest and tolerant framework than is currently the case.

    Igor, I’m no expert on quantum mechanics, but I watched a lecture on the topic by Brian Cox last month and I’m fairly sure that’s what he said. I’ll see if I can dig it up and post a link.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    Hate to tell you, but in ANY government where people are elected to office, you’ll find lies. It’s not because of the type of government, but because HUMANS are involved. All you can do is try to minimize the lying – which is what we tried to do with freedom of speech.

    There are less corrupt countries in the world…but there are many countries that are more corrupt.

    People lie…and you’ll never, ever design a political system where people get elected to office where some (or most) will try to lie their way into office.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn,

    Hate to tell you, but I already knew that.

    Of course, a large part of the reasons why that is the case is the massive lie at the heart of government that comes from the monotheist movement. Once you accommodate that lie, it is very hard to resist others.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Igor, here is a link to the recent Brian Cox lecture on Quantum Mechanics.

    Haven’t had a chance to watch it again yet but I’ll try to do so soon and try to be more precise about what exactly he said.

    I’d be interested to hear your views on it if you have time to give it a viewing.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    It’s not a matter of a ‘monotheist movement’ – look at India, or China, or Russia. The first is anything but monotheist, the second is atheist, the third is mostly atheist. It has SQUAT to do with religion and everything to do with human nature.

    If there are humans, then there is corruption, whether there is religion or not. That’s why you really need to step back and stop expecting any sort of perfection in government. You can have pretty good government, and sometimes you’ll even get really good government…

    …but things change, the great wheel turns. America has at times had good government, and sometimes great government – but at other times mediocre or even lousy government. The same thing goes for any democracy – and that’s a GOOD thing. Why? Because if you don’t have a government elected by the people, then you wind up with a government that does NOT change. That is rarely a good thing – sometimes there are benevolent dictators who do well by their nations…but that’s usually not the case.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, I don’t know much about them but the fact that India, China or Russia are different to the countries afflicted by theism doesn’t invalidate my point.

    To say that if there are humans then there is corruption is neither true nor logical. If it was, then all humans would be corrupt and that isn’t the case.

    What is corrupt is your grasp of logic and reason, for reasons I’ve already pointed out and that you are simply incapable of considering or accepting.

    Igor, I’ve just re-watched the Brian Cox lecture and he definitely did say that when electrons change energy levels, all electrons in the universe do at the same time, which is pretty amazing.

    The point is that everything is literally connected to everything else on a very fundamental level.

    I guess that means that, on an atomic level at least, the universe is just one thing. Odd that such a big thing is linked on such a microscopic level and the how and why of it is not yet understood.

    Nevertheless, I find the concept profound and quite moving, far more so than the wacky and unproven theories of theists of every hue.

  • Igor

    48-chris: Even though I’m disinclined to watch videos I gave that website a try but never got the video to play.

    Anyway, I’m a little reluctant to accept just all of the startling modern theories advanced for various premises. IMO there’s an instability problem, namely, that by accepting questionable theories that may lead to further conundrums only solved by more outlandish theories the whole intellectual operation spins out of control and heads for utter chaos.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Can’t help with the video issue unfortunately, Igor, but I think you’ll find that it is an accepted scientific theory. Brian Cox is a respectable professor not some new age speculative halfwit and what he was talking about is based upon the Pauli Exclusion Principle, which is the best part of a century old now.

  • Igor

    Paulis exclusion principle says simply that only one electron in a ring may have a given energy.

    If you think that I’ll find Cox’s talk accepted scientific theory then there is no need for me to view the video. It’s a corollary of Shroedingers Cat (which, personally, I think is bogus, thus the reductio; modus tolens).

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Igor, yes, but it has now been extended to all electrons in the universe, therefore everything everywhere is actually connected in some way.

    As to the viewing of the recording of the televised lecture, I thought you might enjoy it but no problem if you don’t fancy the idea.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    I don’t know much about them but the fact that India, China or Russia are different to the countries afflicted by theism doesn’t invalidate my point.

    You ‘don’t know much about them’? Didn’t you say earlier that you know more about life overseas than I ever will? Do you really know so little about the largest democracy in the world, where a polytheistic religion is much more a part of their everyday life than anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes?

    Actually, it DOES invalidate your viewpoint – because you (1) can’t show me a governmental system extant that meets your expectations, and (2) the governmental systems that killed the greatest number of their own citizens were officially ATHEIST – Soviet Russia under Stalin, China during Mao’s Great Leap Forward, and let’s not forget Cambodia’s killing fields under Pol Pot.

    Now I realize this won’t change your mind, because you are Absolutely Sure of what you think, and whoever disagrees with you on this (even with overwhelming evidence like three of history’s most murderous regimes) need not apply.

    In other words, governments founded on atheism (as the Soviet Union, China, and Kampuchea were) are at least as guilty as the worst of the theistic nations when it comes to cruelty and corruption – and even more so, if we look at sheer numbers.

    But let’s go back to your theory on government. What government, then, do you think would fit the bill? No broad generalities, now – we need some level of detail.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Glenn, you have a really frustrating way of changing the debate and then claiming you are right.

    What I said was that it was not possible to trust western governments when they are based on lies.

    You then demanded that I come up with a country that wasn’t, as if that had any relevance to what I said. It doesn’t.

    After telling you that I don’t know and that it wasn’t the point, you then tried another line of irrelevance.

    I then added that one of the reasons our governments are so poor is because they are accommodating a corrupting and false theist theory and once you have accommodated such a thing it is very hard to be honest about anything.

    Then you tried to point out that there were other countries that are not monotheist, as if that contradicted my point. Again, it doesn’t.

    I don’t have to show you a government that meets my expectations when what I am saying is that our governments have major problems because they are based on lies at their heart.

    What I am talking about is the need for major reform of both political structure on the one hand and public expectation on the other. You may consider such a radical change unlikely but then who’d have thought a southern Republican would become an expat Democrat, to say nothing of other radical changes in your world view?

    That three particularly bad past regimes were not monotheist is also not relevant to my point. You are just grasping at straws because YOU can’t be either honest or objective about something because you have bought into the theist argument.

    The reason none of what you have written will change my mind is because of its irrelevance, that’s all. It isn’t about cruelty and mass murder, these are things that you brought up, not me.

    The point I am making, to repeat myself, is that it doesn’t seem realistic to expect honest and effective government when politicians can’t be honest. That would be like expecting promiscuous people to make good virgins.

    What we should all do is be far more accepting, just like I accept your right to believe whatever it is you believe and expect you to accept that I find it laughable.

    We should also all accept that religion is a private matter that has nothing to do with the effective management of a modern nation.

    In the contemporary American context of the Republican Presidential candidate selection process, there is clearly a large element of the candidate’s campaigns which is pandering to the various religious groupings around the country which is affecting voting patterns.

    I’d like to see Presidential candidates not discussing religion at all except on the one point of guaranteeing plurality.

    Similarly, church leaders should not be using their positions to exert influence on the political process or to push their views onto others.

    I suppose the obvious examples of that would be subjects such as abortion or stem cell research. Various religious leaders oppose them and are trying to get them banned, which I see as unacceptable. If you don’t like something, don’t do it, but don’t try to force others to follow your example.

    I’d much prefer to see a candidate say I don’t share your views but will protect your right to follow your beliefs without harassment.

    It is time our would be political leaders and actual religious leaders start to set far better examples than is currently the case but sure, that is not easy. It requires an acknowledgement that difference is okay and not a threat just for a start.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Chris –

    What I am talking about is the need for major reform of both political structure on the one hand and public expectation on the other. You may consider such a radical change unlikely but then who’d have thought a southern Republican would become an expat Democrat, to say nothing of other radical changes in your world view?

    What you are talking about is a flat impossibility…and you giving my life story as an example doesn’t help. Why? Because social psychology on the macro level is fairly predictable, whereas individual psychologies run the gamut and are quite unpredictable. You cannot use the example of one – or even of a few thousand – to speak for the social dynamic and cultural momentum of hundreds of millions.

    Furthermore, it is illogical to claim the fault of governments is due to theist influence without considering the success or failure of governments that are influenced little or not at all by theism. In studies, this is known as a “control group”, and submission of a study of a certain group without including observation of a control group will be met with scorn and laughter by the peer review.

    In other words, you cannot hold one group responsible for failure without including in your claim an observation of a control group…for without observation of a control group, you have ZERO reliable reference points with which to judge the success or failure of the study group.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Why is what I am talking about a flat impossibility and what relevance does social psychology have to do with that?

    Cultures and values evolve and my opinion is that faithists and old political arrangements are on the wrong end of the evolutionary process. That is why things like the fall of the Soviet Union or the Arab Spring keep happening against the odds.

    I didn’t say that THE fault of certain governments is theist influence, I said theist influence made them inherently unstable because it means accommodating the impossible.

    You REALLY need to get out of this habit of rewording things, it is sloppy thinking and very tedious to have to keep correcting them.

    Thanks for telling me about control groups, I’d never ever heard of that before. Oh, wait, I did!

    It is irrelevant of course, because we aren’t running a scientific research experiment…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Superstitious Muppet

    Christopher, you advise: “To re-generate trust, we need to start speaking honestly and become a whole lot more tolerant of difference. As we’ve seen lately though, honesty of speech and tolerance are not widespread.”

    Specifically, I am wondering about what kind of differences you suggest people become “a whole lot more tolerant of.”

    If it isn’t too personal a question, are there any new vistas of tolerance you’d like to explore personally?

    Thank you for your time.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Drawn away from your strong suit of politics, I see, young muppet!

    There are so many, it is hard to know where to start. The obvious racial and religious ones would be a good place to start.

    Beyond that, I like the growing trend towards more social openness and tolerance. Back in the day it was the norm to keep who you really were a secret if you were any kind of social or sexual minority.

    Nowadays there is a much healthier social dynamic that demands be who you are and keep it real, rather than pretend to be something you’re not.

    I think that step away from secrecy and fear can only be a good thing.

    Let’s see, what else? Ever since the 60s flowering of liberalism there has been a strong backlash, mostly but not exclusively from the right, towards rolling back and controlling that cultural and personal emancipation, to such a degree that liberal is quite a dirty word in some circles. I think that is a bad trend that can only have negative outcomes.

    There has also been a trend against intelligence which I hate and think should change.

    There are certainly many more cultural, technical and legal issues that are overdue a change; in the latter category one obvious one is the whole topic of drugs.

    The war on drugs has achieved nothing except to create, enrich and arm a massive illegal industry which uses the vast profits to fund other ugly businesses such as national and international weapons dealing and people smuggling, the latter usually for sexual exploitation.

    The USA is the source for much of that and it would be great to see most if not all drugs legalised and socially accepted, which would have the added benefits of reducing our ever growing prison populations and the fractured families that creates.

    Beyond that, as a certain quote from the book I posted and know you saw may hint, I much admire the quality of love and I also love empathy, compassion and understanding, all three of which are not as common as one might hope.

    On a personal level, I wish I was more patient and understanding with many things and people, most especially with the Welsh, the French, gingers, the stupid and the mean. Oh, and righthandedness, which is cruelly and casually discriminatory against us lefties!

    There is assuredly far more, but that is probably enough to start with.

    As we are sharing this new level of intimacy, how about you?

  • Igor

    54-chris:

    I got the Cox video to work, it’s an hour long. The first half is some old boring demonstrations but I don’t know why he showed it. Standing waves? Slit diffraction? Huygens principle?

    Then he rather skips over the reasons for his conclusions, in particular, extending the Pauli Principle. What necessitated that?

    Anyway, the impermeability of the diamond is well explained by normal inter-particle electric and gravitational fields.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Superstitious Muppet

    EXCELLENT! “The war on drugs has achieved nothing except to create, enrich and arm a massive illegal industry which uses the vast profits to fund other ugly businesses such as national and international weapons dealing and people smuggling, the latter usually for sexual exploitation.

    The USA is the source for much of that and it would be great to see most if not all drugs legalised and socially accepted, which would have the added benefits of reducing our ever growing prison populations and the fractured families that creates.”

    I wish you and all your atheistic friends could come over to the US, become citizens, and vote for RON PAUL who is the only candidate to espouse this sensible attitude against the the War on Drugs.

    I’m afraid I have a hard row to hoe when it comes to convincing my co-religionists in the States, some of whom use WELCH’S GRAPE JUICE for Communion “wine.”

    I wish they would consider the result of Portugal’s legalizing ALL drugs: NO increase in addictions, and elimination (or significant reduction) of all the other bad effects you mentioned. I’D TELL ‘EM MYSELF, but…

    …I have to spend so much time defending Ron Paul against unfair and distracting charges of racism that I can’t spend as much time as I’d like (and maybe even some of his critics would like) talking about his position toward the War on Drugs, which is unique among the Presidential contenders.

    And THAT’s one of the problems I have with White Liberals. So afraid of being called racists themselves, they adhere to this list of politically correct talking points, dismissing the concerns of a very vocal population of black Americans–the blacks who appreciate what Ron Paul is doing to reduce the number of blacks being sent to prison (and being abused by cops on Texas streets.)

    You ask about new vistas of personal tolerance for ME. Hmmm…I’m thinking of OCCASIONALLY quoting from Biblical paraphrases such as Eugene Peterson’s “The Message” rather than exclusively from the KJV.

    Hmmmm…OK there’s more. I really have a problem with people who brag about all the good things they’re doing. It’s *so* “letting the left hand know what the right hand is doing.” What I could do, instead of finding an excuse to get away quickly, is just go along with it and give them the hero-worship they obviously need, and then honestly try to be inspired and motivated by their example.

    I guess I should be more tolerant of white liberals, too, huh? OK I will buy them all bus tickets to…a delightful resort hours and hours and hours away from where they live…and arrange to have this enlightening and entertaining gentleman as their driver.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What I do see, Irene, is that you want to give the Contrarian a one-way Ticket to Ride (with a driver from Hell?)

  • zingzing

    irene, i’ve read up a bit on portugal’s attempts at tackling their drug problem. while i believe it seems to be going well for them (although it’s really quite hard to accurately quantify the effects of the idea), i have a hard time believing that anything of the sort could be put into law in the us. it’s just too massive a change for middle america to go through. even if parts of such an idea could be put into law, it’s the whole thing that counts. half-assing it won’t work.

    in western culture, addiction has become a part of life. but can you imagine rolling methadone clinics in suburbia? won’t fly here.

    “And THAT’s one of the problems I have with White Liberals. So afraid of being called racists themselves, they adhere to this list of politically correct talking points…”

    “politically correct” is mostly just a right wing term for liberal positions. it used to really mean something, but that’s what it’s become. because the right wing is full of the “straight-talkers,” no matter how much you want to pretend that’s not code for lowest common denominator.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    I’m afraid I have a hard row to hoe when it comes to convincing my co-religionists in the States, some of whom use WELCH’S GRAPE JUICE for Communion “wine.”

    Since you want to bring up my religion – it was obvious, so please don’t deny it – did you know that there’s only ONE place that grape juice – not wine, but grape juice – is mentioned in the Bible? It’s in the Last Supper.

    Oh, if you’ll look in modern translations, you’ll find ‘wine’…but if you look back at the Greek (like I did) you’ll find that it says “juice of the fruit of the vine”. NOT wine. The apostles and Jesus speak of wine often elsewhere, but NOT at the Last Supper, NOT in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Instead, in every description of the Last Supper you will see (in Greek) “fruit of the juice of the vine”…and only during the Last Supper, and nowhere else.

    FYI, the doctrine of the Church is that we certainly COULD use wine (since it was highly unlikely that unfermented juice was available at that time of year) – but you must also admit that it wasn’t beyond Jesus’ power to have grape juice instead of wine…and that’s what the earliest Greek versions state: grape juice.

    Another reason we don’t serve wine is because in order to do so, we would be serving alcohol to minors which, though allowed by law, is really not a good thing to do…and only translations from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate onward say ‘wine’…but ‘wine’ wasn’t what was originally there in Scripture. Didn’t know that, didja?

    So next time, before you start making judgements, try finding out both sides of the story first…

    …and if you really want to discuss religion, let’s take it to the Culture section and we’ll have at it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    Welch’s grape juice was developed specifically for use at Communion. It was 1869, in the USA.

    Offering grape juice at Communion as an alternative is respectful of people who are alcoholic. I have never been to a Protestant Communion service in the USA where grape juice was NOT offered. No, I did not have churches in the Philippines in mind when I made my comment.

    My objection is not to grape juice, but with opposition to psychoactives that blinds people to the carnage that is being reaped by the War on Drugs.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    Hm. In #66 you back off from the scorn that was so obvious in #62…and I can’t help but note that in all the years that I was Episcopalian/Baptist/Southern Baptist/Methodist/Lutheran (and attended Presbyterian and Catholic), I never once saw grape juice offered. Not. Even. Once. Maybe they do so now, but that would be a fairly recent development within the past couple decades. That, and you cannot hide the scorn that was evident (see the all-caps?) in your earlier comment…and it sure seems like you were referring to me elsewhere in your comment…and Roger thought so, too.

    P.S. FYI, your all-caps comment is almost word-for-word from anti-INC websites. Of course that’s no guarantee that you did get it from such a site…but the similarity is very, um, interesting.

  • troll

    …and here I had just about convinced myself that Glenn Contrarian’s use of repetition caps bolds and italics was merely a style issue – but from his last I see that I was um correct in the first place

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s the one-way ticket that does it, with no reference whatever to safe return.

    The driver from hell is just an icing.

  • Igor

    54 – Chris:

    But WHY would you accept this really astonishing proposal so casually? My fear is that you just want to seem ‘cool’.

    Igor, yes, but it (Pauli exclusion) has now been extended to all electrons in the universe, therefore everything everywhere is actually connected in some way.

    Neither Cox nor you have shown WHY this extravagance is necessary, nor HOW that solves the perceived problem.

    As for the question of the ‘some way’ that remote and hitherto unconnected electrons could be connected, even I, lout that I am, can answer that, based on precedence in these airy Physics matters.

  • http://cinemasentries.com El Bicho

    it’s okay to be a faithist when it’s something you believe in

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    #69 Oh now Roger, stop. There are PLENTY of white liberals who deserve that kind of special bus trip.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena
  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Igor, if you can explain the way all electrons are connected, why do you find the proposal astonishing?

    I’m not aware of a perceived problem, what is it that you perceive?

    I could care less about seeming cool, but not much less.

    El B, it’s okay to believe in anything, but would you stake your own or your country’s future on phrenology, numerology, astrology or theology?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Supercilious Mophead

    Well dang, Zingzing, no one is suggesting that the U.S. of A. be turned into a sea-to-shining-sea Amsterdam. If a place like Portugal can legalize ALL drugs and still prevent an increase in the number of addicts, I’m not sure why you think we can’t do the same thing over here. What I read was that in Portugal, resources, instead of being dedicated to drug busts and incarceration of drug-possessing “criminals” were freed up to be more profitably allocated to identifying conditions that might lead to self-medication with drugs, and to rehabilitation programs.

    As to things not flying in suburbia,
    ANYTHING can fly in suburbia with the right marketing campaign.

    “Methadone…
    For everyone!”

  • zingzing

    well, irene, what works for portugal may not work for the us. different culture, different drugs, different distribution of drugs, a different situation in general. portugal’s ports (probably lisbon, but i forget) supply 70% of the drug trade in europe. and the major problem was heroin, which is “treatable,” while heroin does not quite have the same status among american addicts.

    i agree that it would be better to take the funds saved on not busting posession and moving it into preventative and treatment programs. (in fact, it’s legal to have a small amount of marijuana on you–“for personal use”–in nyc.) but i don’t think that legalizing all drugs here would have the same positive effect it’s had in portugal. i’d love to take a stab at it, but i just don’t see it working, and i don’t see the american public liking the idea. try it for marijuana… that’s got public support.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    How the before-and-aft improvement in the USA would compare to Portugal’s is open to debate. That’s not my point, though, which is that things WOULD get better in the USA, not how MUCH things would improve. I guess you’d have to ask some blacks in prison to get more perspective on that.

    And I never said legalizing even MEDICAL MARIJUANA would be easy to do in America (hence the “tough row to hoe” comment.”)

    It will be worth it though, and I think a survey of a hefty proportion of US inmates would be enough to convince anyone of that.

    There is little doubt that the situation in Mexico would improve dramatically if drugs weren’t illegal, or at least a lot of law-abiding Mexicans seem to think so. 40K dead in the crossfire since 2006. For what?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    By the way, Zing. Did you hear I was giving out bus tickets? You might not be THAT kind of white liberal, but maybe you have friends…

    (I am still seething over what happened with the google search the day it became apparent that Ron Paul was going to do well in Iowa. Nothing personal, zing.)

  • zingzing

    what happened with google search?

    and yes, i believe the best reason to legalize marijuana (and, eventually, other drugs,) is the prison situation. i don’t really care to smoke the stuff, and i can get it safely enough anyway.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Interestingly, legalization of drugs has become a standalone issue whereby incarceration rates for a good portion of the African-American community is being featured now as one of the better reasons.

    At least the conservative forces behind the War on Drugs have got it right in tying the campaign, if only as a pretext, to the moral well-being of our society. Which goes to show the extent to which our liberal, well-minded folk are still behind the curve.

    Everything’s an issue to them, their entire political philosophy consisting of any number of more or less loosely related issues. It’s a compartmentalized kind of mind, and no wonder it fails to convince, let alone inspire. But hey, it makes for perfect talking points and areas of contention.

    To borrow from George Herbert Bush, the thousand points of light.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Roger, your comments vary between interesting and insightful to obscure and baffling. The one above is unfortunately more the latter type.

    How is the incarceration rate of African Americans one of the better reasons for the legalization of drugs? It is just a by-product of the process.

    I thought the reason the high rate of incarceration of Black people for drugs related issues is partly because of marginalisation and partly because black people still tend to get more severe sentencing than white people, aka institutionalised racism. Addressing those social issues would surely resolve the former?

    The conservative forces behind the war on drugs haven’t got anything right at all, unless you count fostering and funding a broad spectrum of criminality and creating a climate of fear and suspicion as right.

    You are right in that they use morality as a screen of righteousness for their actions though, presumably so they can sleep at night.

    I find your increasingly frequent putdowns of liberals quite tedious and not a little offensive, particularly as your own predilection for and style of philosophy is classic liberalism; the kind I don’t much like as it is mostly talk and very little walk, in other words, it is largely sterile and unproductive.

    I think it is entirely inaccurate to say that the campaign against the war on drugs has very much to do with liberalism, although there is obviously an element of that within it.

    Apart from the freedom issues around the principle that a free people should be able to live their lives in the way they want to with minimal state interference, which is surely still a core value of the “land of the not so free as they used to be”, there is also a major financial consideration which ought to be of important to all fiscal conservatives.

    The amount of money being wasted on the futile attempt to prevent drug smuggling and consumption, the legal system and the penal system is enormous.

    Add to that the amount of money that is being spent by Americans on drugs, a large part of which ends up outside the country, and the monetary madness of this misguided policy becomes plain.

    Drug abuse, as opposed to drug use, is a medical issue and would be far cheaper and easier to manage if this currently illegal and not a little sordid industry was brought out into plain sight.

    As to your last paragraph, this is classic Nowosielski; whose political philosophy doesn’t consist of any number of more or less related issues? This is the classic meaningless philosophical waffle I referred to above.

    If you want something philosophical to think about, try to think about how it is possible to have both a compartmentalised and a integrated mind at the same time.

    In other words that we can be both granular and panoramic, just as in quantum mechanics particles can be both waves and particles, which is actually a fundamental property of the universe.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    But Christopher, there really are legions of Warriors on Drugs (?) who sincerely believe that they are on a mission to make a safer and more productive America. Now, the people who take advantage of those good intentions have no trouble sleeping at night–when they want to sleep, that is, because usually they’d prefer to stay up to the wee hours devising, for example, devious ways to transmogrify the American evangelical’s sincere concern for the historically persecuted Jewish people into a callous disregard for the life of anyone in the Middle East who isn’t Jewish.

    This sort of cynical manipulation has a long history in the US, and it isn’t always manipulation of conservatives.

    Take the example of the force behind gaining’s women’s suffrage in the US. These were very liberal, not conservative individuals! For them, prohibition of alcohol was also a women’s issue, as they saw the ravaging effect out of control drinking had on families.

    The well-meaning movement to remove alcohol (even in church Communion services) had already gained a lot of momentum in the US before Susan B. Anthony and the suffragettes came along, and so those unscrupulous ones who stood to gain considerable profit from the Prohibition of alcohol had much of the grass-roots “leg work” already done for them when they worked with the Federal government (goverment and industry, ever partners in crime) to make booze illegal.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Hi Irene, the people who believe that sincerely are the victims of the lies as much as the people directly affected by these stupid laws.

    I don’t believe I said that this kind of manipulation was perpetrated exclusively by or on conservatives, so your second point, whilst true, is ever so slightly superfluous.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    And I didn’t say that you said that this kind of manipulation was…etc….although it did look that way because of juxtaposition with the paragraph.

    So the second point wasn’t superfluous in terms of the point I was trying to make to the general reading audience: both well-maeaning conservatives and well-meaning liberals have been tools of an over-reaching federal government at times. There is no political bent which makes one immune to that. Have a good day, must go to work now.

    Do check out the link if you’re interested in the history of Welch’s Grape Juice. :)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Irene Athena

    …juxtaposition with the [first] paragraph…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    The last four comments are perfect examples of how most people really do try to do the right thing in their own eyes…but their opinions on the ‘right thing’ run into conflict. Each comment (except the last) was about good intentions on the part of the people who supported a particular issue…and the replies showed the good intentions tended to go where they often do.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    My comment was about #80 through #83.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @81

    Take it in context, Chris. I’m making an explicit reference to zing’s remark (immediately preceding mine); in fact, am taking an issue with his statement.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    @86

    Misreading my comment, Glenn. It had nothing whatever to do with intentions, good or bad, only about a dire need for holistic type of thinking which is a rare commodity these days.

  • http://www.RosesSpanishBoots.com Christopher Rose

    Gotcha, Irene; I thought you were talking to me not the general reading audience. I sit corrected!

    Completely agree with you, Roger, that holistic or what some here in the UK refer to as joined up thinking is absolutely required, but that’s not to say that tightly focussed or compartmentalised thinking has no usefulness.

  • Zingzing

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say in #80, Roger, but you probably took one little thing I said and ran with it. I don’t like the war on drugs because it puts too much money towards convicting and incarcerating people and ruins more lives than it helps. so you go off on some anti-liberal screed… I guess. Hard to tell.

  • Zingzing

    “holistic thinking?” the dogma writes itself….

  • Lewis

    “Let’s be clear: a third-party bid would be purely selfish.”
    – You don’t know his true intentions. It could be a last resort attempt to fix the nation he is deeply concerned about.
    “When a candidate enters a primary, he agrees to accept the primary’s outcome.”
    – I heard he also once took an oath to defend the constitution.
    “deliberately sabotaging the winner”
    – How do you know it would deliberate? Maybe he’s taking that oath serious. Honestly I think labeling somebody based off assumptions is a better example of someone that’s “selfish”.