Weekend Open Thread

Random fodder to get you started:

· TownHall.com is still running Frank Gaffney's column with the fabricated quote from Abraham Lincoln. Gaffney's non-apology here (debunked by Editor & Publisher here ). Also, see a deliciously "could have been from today" quote from a Congressman Lincoln in this Playboy interview with author Kurt Andersen.

· The new skinny on Al Gore's carbon offsets.

· Why February only has 28 days.

· In the NY Times, Ann Althouse is upset about a case where political correctness stifled the open exchange of ideas and academic discourse. Irony here.

· A new poll shows that a majority of Americans favor government-guaranteed health care for everyone.

· Which picture is stranger, this one or this one (yes, that's Lou Ferrigno with Malkin)?

· Strom Thurmond's ancestors owned Al Sharpton's ancestors as slaves.

· Ape foot found.

· Eagles are awesome!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Your Hulk link doesn't work.

  • ||

    Anyone interested in a St. Louis meet up. Send me an email. When I get a dozen or so, we can start talking about time and place.

  • Grotius||

    On the issue of speech by members of Congress I'd like to point out this language in the Constitution:

    Art. I, sec. 6:

    "...and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place."

  • ||

    Unfortunately, Grand Diva Althouse's current pique is hidden behind that veil of ignorance known as TimesSelect. Surely you don't expect Reason readers to pay good money for that drivel, do you Mr. Balko?

  • Grotius||

    How fast would civil disorder come into being as a result of arrests of members of Congress for treason? That is civil disorder a kin to the crowds which tried to defend escaped slaves from slave hunters.

  • ||

    If our cars got as much mileage out of gasoline as Bill Hobbs gets out of the word "presumably," we wouldn't have a global warming problem.

    "Gore is chairman of the firm and, presumably, draws an income or will make money as its investments prosper."

  • ||

    Oh, and by the way, rumor has it that further findings of that CBS poll indicate that 64% of the population favors government guaranteed ice cream and ponies, too.

  • Tim Lambert||

    The Bill Hobbs item on Gore's offsets is flatly wrong -- Gore does not buy his offsets from GIM. Details here.

  • bj||

    Imagine anyone expecting government to guarantee adequate healthcare. Why that's almost like expecting government to ensure that we get clean drinking water. Don't people realize that government is evil and everything it does is bad? Anybody with any moral sense would rather die an early, painful death than accept anything that the evil government can do. Why can't people see the light? Human beings didn't always have government, and the caves were pretty darned comforatble.

  • SIV||

    OK I want my 6 minutes back.

    WTF is with the awful eagle flash video link?
    I watched 6 minutes of pure shit assuming the "punchline" made the thing then it ends.

    Do not waste your time.

  • ||

    Tim Lambert's link mentions that Gore's carbon offsets support a "damless, run of the river hydro-electric project in Bulgaria."

    That is an awesome technology, like wind turbines in the water.

  • ||

    Ok following some of the links above:

    Slate magazine has titles that seem very interesting, but when you read the articles they are boring and don't contain what attracted you in the title.

    With the lame ass lineup of GOP candidates this election, if Ron Paul cannot gain recognition and popularity, and a chance to win. Then I don't know if he ever can.

    No conservatives like McCain, Guliani, or Romney. I mean on the fist two, they are liked for what they did in the past, but not for their politics.

  • ||

    I found a comment on an Economist thread that nicely states the problem I've seen with carbon offset schemes all along, but haven't been able to word as well:

    When companies sell the public carbon offsets, carbon savings expected to be made in the future are counted as savings made in the present. This is known as 'future value accounting' and is the same technique used by Enron to inflate its profits with such disastrous consequences. Offset companies give the idea that emissions are instantly 'neutralised' when in fact the supposed 'neutralisation' can take place over periods of up to a hundred years. Regular offsetting worsens the problem because the rate at which carbon emissions are 'neutralised' is far slower than the rate at which they are generated.



    Is there something missing from this analysis, or is it, as I suspect, accurate?

  • ||

    Gaffney's problem is that he thinks if Lincoln did or said something, that makes it OK.

    What about the "voluntary deportation" of black people? Is that OK, too?

  • ||

    Why that's almost like expecting government to ensure that we get clean drinking water.

    I get my drinking water out of a well. My parents get theirs from a private company.

  • ||

    I know it's hard for people not to get distracted by the election, with it being only a couple of years away...

    ...but maybe someone at Hit & Run could cover the danger of regulators overreacting and pushing the American dream out of the reach of millions?

    "The regulators said the guidelines, if formally adopted by the agencies and followed by lending institutions, could result in fewer borrowers qualifying for subprime loans. The mortgage industry had hoped for less stringent guidelines.

    John Robbins, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said the group was concerned that the guidelines "may restrict credit to many consumers in high-cost areas and deny credit to many deserving low-income, minority and first-time home buyers."

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070303/regulators_subprime_lending.html?.v=2

    God forbid Congress should get involved.

  • ||

    Lincoln, in 1862, proposing a constitutional amendment to let congress pay for colonizing free blacks "with their own consent:"

    "Heretofore colored people to some extent have fled North from bondage, and now, perhaps, from both bondage and destitution. But if gradual emancipation and deportation be adopted, they will have neither to flee from. Their old masters will give them wages at least until new laborers can be procured, and the freedmen in turn will gladly give their labor for the wages till new homes can be found for them in congenial climes and with people of their own blood and race."

    http://www.infoplease.com/t/hist/state-of-the-union/74.html

  • Scott Stein||

    Since it's an open thread ... My essay, "Losing My Religion Over 'Handy Manny'," is being published in the April 2007 issue of Liberty. I think the issue will be available in the magazine section of Barnes & Noble and Borders within a couple of weeks, in case anyone is interested. Unfortunately, it isn't available online (they only make a few articles available online from each issue), so if you do want to read it, you'll have to get a copy. Yes, one made out of paper and ink. And no, I do not make any extra money if you buy the magazine, so I am only telling you all about it because I think some of you would enjoy it. I have a bit more information about the essay on my blog.

  • ||

    I will go read that issue of Liberty at B&N while my son is home watching Handy Manny.

  • ||

    I don't really think it's interesting that anyone's ancestor's owned anyone else's.

    Since it has come out that Obama's ancestors owned slaves, it might be interesting if Obama's ancestors owned Al Sharpton's.. But Strom Thurmond's- not that interesting.

    Of course Al Sharpton was introduced to Strom by his buddy James Brown..

    And if you paid ANY attention at all to the James Brown death/funeral/will saga, you know that James Brown's main attorney is STrom Thurmond, Jr.

  • ||

    I've always wondered, why doesn't Reason put a direct link to the H&R discussion thread for an article at the end of each one? There's a "latest on H&R" section, but you have to hunt for a "New at Reason" link & hope it's for the article you just read. A "Discuss this more here" link would be much better & might draw some new faces as well.

  • ||

    $1,200 a month electric bill? Damn those grow lights suck up the power.

  • megs||

    I think the lesson is this: link to too much on an open thread and it's really hard to comment!

    Gore's energy usage and whatnot makes me feel really good about my "footprint". I walk and bike everywhere and keep the heat on low all winter. Not out of some guilt or so I'll feel justified telling other people to do it - but because I like it like this. And I'm way cheap.

  • ||

    Graphite,
    I have had the same thought. I still look for the discussion link every time I read an article.

    You hear us, webmaster?

  • uncle sam||

    Paraphrase

    Imagine anyone expecting government to guarantee adequate healthcare. Why that's almost like expecting government to ensure that we get enough food to eat.

    bj | March 3, 2007, 11:28am | #

    Human beings didn't always have government, and the caves were pretty darned comforatble.

    There we have it, our war making agency is responsible for the amenities of civilization.

  • ||

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/03/opinion/03althouse.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Here's the Times piece without the TimesSelect bullshit.

  • ||

    From Althouse's column, deploring the fact that some law-school administrators won't support professors' speaking freely on racial matters:

    "You might think that a law school would want to teach scrupulous procedure, including a passion for the search for the truth and the need to find the facts before devising the remedy. But the notion instead seemed to be that we could simply treat the feelings and try to make everyone feel good again."

    Part of the problem is federal "civil rights" laws by which speech which hurts students' feelings can be used as evidence of a "hostile environment." The greater the amount of hurt feelings from controversial remarks about race and sex, the greater the danger of being sued for "discrimination." Since law professors are often supporters of the "civil rights" laws when applied to private businesses, this is kind of the chickens coming home to roost.

  • ||

    Deriding Carbon Offsets as ineffective while promoting Hydrogen Fuel Cells as the answer to anything? Can I get another Real Skinny(tm)?

  • ||

    Slate magazine has titles that seem very interesting, but when you read the articles they are boring and don't contain what attracted you in the title.

    Are you kidding me?

    Just this week they had articles about what happens to female suicide bombers in Islamic thought, a review of a gameshow where adults battle fifth graders, soviet feminism, a book review of a chapter in the bible, articles on Rudy Guilliani and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, book review on a book about the history of vegetarianism and daily roundups of the blogoshpere and what's in the major papers.

    Slate is the best non-porn website online. And all free!

  • ||

    Yeah I think Slate is terrific. The only writer there I really hate is Bruce Reed, who's nothing more than a shill and would be more at home somewhere like HuffPost. Even when I disagree with their more left-wing writers I usually find the articles enjoyable and thought-provoking.

  • i missed something||

    What ever happened to Julian Sanchez?

  • speculator||

    Will Eliot Spitzer run for prez or will he be happy as governor indefinitely?

  • ||

    ...but maybe someone at Hit & Run could cover the danger of regulators overreacting and pushing the American dream out of the reach of millions?

    Not that I encourage Congress to do anything, but you are obviously ignorant of what's been going on in the mortgage game. Many of these people are not getting the American dream; these people are are getting mortgages they can't afford and ending up bankrupt. Anyway, this entire situation was created by the government. Ever heard of government-guaranteed mortgages?

  • ||

    "Not that I encourage Congress to do anything, but you are obviously ignorant of what's been going on in the mortgage game. Many of these people are not getting the American dream; these people are are getting mortgages they can't afford and ending up bankrupt."

    The market turned on some people--but not everyone in the subprime market is going to go delingquent or went delinquent. There were a lot delinquencies on loans made in calandar '06, but what about the people who kept up on their loan or refied before prices went south and rates went up?

    You don't think federal regulators are better at making decisions about who should and shouldn't get a home loan, do you? ...better at making those decisons than lenders and borrowers?

  • uncle sam||

    Imagine anyone expecting government to guarantee adequate healthcare. Why that's almost like expecting government to ensure that we get clean drinking water. Don't people realize that government is evil and everything it does is bad? Anybody with any moral sense would rather die an early, painful death than accept anything that the evil government can do. Why can't people see the light? Human beings didn't always have government, and the caves were pretty darned comforatble.

    I am reminded of how the British provided life essential salt to the people of India. It's always good to have politicians controlling the necessities of life.

  • ||

    ...and I don't agree that the government caused the recenttheatrics in the subprime market.

    Most of those subprime loans were packaged and sold off to speculators world wide--which is exactly the best way to handle high risk loans.

    The subprime lenders who lowered their lending standards and are suffering higher delinquencies as a result... The subprime lenders who have to buy their loans back from speculators and didn't keep enough reserve are getting pummeled in the marketplace and the warehouses are refusing to finance their further operations--and that's exactly what should happen. ...and that's exactly what is happening with no help from regulators, thank you.

    ...and I feel sorry for people that bit off more loan than they could chew, I guess, but I don't see why future subprime borrowers should be cut out of the American dream, just because there's a certain percentage of...

    ...and it's not like we don't have any laws against fraud.

  • Guy Montag||

    Why February only has 28 days.

    Isn't it obvious? Black History Month has only 28 days because George Bush hates black people! He only gives it 28 days and calls it Black History month too.

    Don't believe that Al Gore nonsense, come over an buy the Montag Carbon Credit Card Program, it will make you feel better.

  • ||

    ...and I don't agree that the government caused the recenttheatrics in the subprime market.

    Most of those subprime loans were packaged and sold off to speculators world wide--which is exactly the best way to handle high risk loans.


    I guess we'll have to disagree. I certainly do not agree that MBS are the best way to deal with risk. For example, removing the risk from the originator of the loan encourages the making of bad loans.

  • methodman||

    Why should the originator bear any risk, and why should any non-party to these transactions be involved?

    The investors had an easy way to force originators to bear risk if they thought it would have helped: "No, I will not give you the loan without your brokerage bearing any of the risk - insurance, credit default swaps, etc."

    Instead, they hedged on their own (and continue to do so, of course) and are now reacting by tightening up like motherfuckers on guidelines to resolve the issues. Imagine that, a market taking in new information, learning from the past and making adjustments after learning lessons the hard way.

  • ||

    Instead, they hedged on their own (and continue to do so, of course) and are now reacting by tightening up like motherfuckers on guidelines to resolve the issues. Imagine that, a market taking in new information, learning from the past and making adjustments after learning lessons the hard way.

    This is how the market works. Fine. Remember the SnL crisis? The taxpayer will take it in the rear again.

  • ||

    This week is Islamic Awareness Week at my school. I think its important that people become aware of Islam.

    So I'm looking for quotes from the Koran on women, sex, slavery and what happens to unbelievers. I'm going to put them on a flier and pass them out.

    Anybody know a good site where I can find what I'm looking for?

  • ||

    The Skeptics's Annotated Bible now has a section with the Quran. Make sure to take big juicy quotes so they can't accuse you of taking anything out of context.

    Also, yours will be an awful doom.

  • ||

    Not to belabor the point... Well, okay, I wanna belabor the point. I keep waiting for a motto change from "Free Minds and Free Markets" to "Election Coverage 2008".

    I'm sure plenty of people find it riveting--what a bunch of party people said to a bunch of hacks. I bet there are even people out there who read past terms like "Mormon hater". ...I mean, if there's a market for nipple rings, there must be a market for that too. I guess I've just never met anyone who was interested, personally.

    I remember in recent elections, Hit & Run ran a parallel blog about election coverage so it didn't interfere with all the good stuff. I thought that was a great idea--the good stuff, rather than election coverage, being what's great about Hit & Run.

  • ||

    For example, removing the risk from the originator of the loan encourages the making of bad loans.

    That argument would carry a lot more weight if it wasn't that... My understanding is that FMT is exiting the sub prime loan market and putting itself up for sale. I understand NEW is having issues with some of the warehouses that fund their operations and that if they can't get waivers... It endangers their very existence as an ongoing concern. It's my understanding that it's so bad at NFI that it couldn't get the waivers it needed and that, because they aren't going to make a profit for the foreseeable future, they're no longer going to be a REIT.

    How's that for discouraging sub prime lenders from making more bad loans?

  • ||

    Ken,

    What you see as the market working, I see as the market being screwed. Fraud was rampant during this specu-bubble and little if any of it was prosecuted, or likely will be.

    If you could guarantee that no taxpayer money will be used to bail out the fools that were or will be burned by the bubble, I would be right there with you. The fact is that privatizing profits while socializing risks is unfair. Any libertarian should be against it. If the taxpayer is responsible for bailing out buyers or lenders, the taxpayer should have the right to regulate buyers and lenders. I prefer no responsibility and no regulation. It seems that you prefer responsibility without regulation. Maybe you dislike both, but you should recognize that having one without the other is unfair (and taxpayer responsibility is always there, whether we like it or not).

  • ||

    Ditto Schultz on the election stuff...

    Fraud was rampant during this specu-bubble and little if any of it was prosecuted, or likely will be.

    My wife and I bought a house last spring, pretty much at the top of the bubble as it turns out. We'll take responsibility for that. But it was absolutely, batshit insane. An email we got from a mortgage broker (not spam) said that maybe 400k seems like a stretch now, but hey, you are sure to get raises at work and the house will be worth $1 million in 10 years!

    If that's not a fraudulent claim, I don't know what is. Fortunately, I knew that's bullshit.

    The first time I applied for a mortgage, the *lender* made sure I would be able to afford the payments. We came to rely on that as a way that lender and lendee look out for each other. The second time, in California, *we* had to be the ones to watch out for that. The mortgage agent had no such qualms. He made no debt-to-income ratio conditions; it had to all be self-imposed. Perhaps it's not fraud, but when the mortgage market has operated a certain way for decades (i.e. we will not loan you more than we know you can afford) it is rather dishonest to suddenly change the rules without fully making clear what changed and make sure everyone understands.

  • ||

    Not that I encourage Congress to do anything, but you are obviously ignorant of what's been going on in the mortgage game. Many of these people are not getting the American dream; these people are are getting mortgages they can't afford and ending up bankrupt. Anyway, this entire situation was created by the government. Ever heard of government-guaranteed mortgages?

    Subprime mortgages are not guaranteed by the gov't.
    You are clueless. Please do not spread crap propaganda. This is not a personal attack. I am in the mortgage business. I have read your posts. Please stop acting as if you understand the mortgage industry. It is very clear that you do not.

  • ||

    I went to a concert at my university the other day mostly because of the "hey, free dummy" principle. The concert was free. It was also mostly awful. To what extent is there a connection here?

  • Guy Montag||

    whacked,

    You get what you pay for. Sometimes you even get less.

  • Guy Montag||

    Over at Amy's 'blog I learned that Ann Coulter called a fairy a faggot during CPAC. Scanning through Reason I discovered that a writer, who I stopped reading several weeks ago, is having a big girlie fit about it.

    Perhaps that reason writer should use a better defense for Edwards than he is married. Sir Elton John was married to a woman before too.

    Seems there are many things to be discovered!

    Back to The Ann: Calling the Jeff Gordon of the Democrat party effeminate is not a slander, it is basic observation. Just go back and look at his hair primping video. Should be a link to it somewhere here on Reason.

    Sorry, I should not equate Edwards with Gordon. Gordon has had a lot more wins. BTW, he has been married to women before too, just like Tom Cruise and Sir Elton John.

  • Guy Montag||

    Interesting set of stories on FNC this AM.

    Colorado politicians are whining that the federal government is behind on their "payments" for housing illegal immigrants that they have jailed. As far as I could tell, every one of the illegal immigrants was in jail for an infraction within Colorado and their illegal status was a side issue.

    I have a better solution. If you don't want to pay the price for incarcerating someone, don't put them in jail.

    Following that story, and this was kind of hard to follow, Colorado is proposing or offering to lend prisoners to private farmers as cheap labor. Seems the farmers are complaining that since their illegal laborers have been jailed they can't find others to do the work at a price they are willing to pay.

    Farmers of Colorado, I am available to consult with you on a solution to this problem! Okay, since you can't afford food pickers I will give it to you free: improve wages and conditions on your farm and you will get lots of workers! Another solution: automate like the farms of Europe.

    A better solution: stop your whining and go into a different business, something you can handle, like becoming prison guards.

  • ||

    Strom Thurmond's ancestors owned Al Sharpton's ancestors as slaves.

    How is this any kind of shocking revelation?

    The vast majority of blacks in the USA are the descendants of slaves, so it is highly likely that that Al Sharpton's ancestors were slaves, who had to belong to somebody.

    And unless I am mistaken it has always been a widely known fact that Strom Thurmond's ancestors owned slaves.

    So beyond the somewhat curious coincidence that one notable white politician's ancestors happened to own one particular notable black politician's ancestors as slaves, what is so remarkable here?

  • ||

    guy montag:

    maybe nobody's ever pointed it out to you, but you're kind of a world-class knucklehead. this ain't slander, just simple observation.

    by the way, nobody really cares about your car that you seem to mention at least every few posts. your slashdot journal, either. maybe you can give those a rest.

    but yeah. you should probably not be calling people fairies. some of us fairy-types ain't so fairyish, if you get my drift.

  • VM||

    Mr. Crane: "What A" Guy Dienstag drives a DODGE STRATUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He's blogged about it.

    Haven't you guy! oooh! what a big Guy! You burst in, "It's a Dodge", with your codpiece of righteousness, and everything! "I'm a part time stripper, and I do hair", to quote the Juggernaut.

    And you blog about it!

    Wacko did that a few years ago, "look kids, I blogged my way across America". Woo hoo!

    Mr. Crane - guess who really should put the "love and pride" EP (by King) 8 track back in the player, crank the volume, and drive off in his Dodge Stratus!!!!!

    Then maybe someone could blog about it...

  • ||

    what the fuck is this a motherfuckin' spaceship?

    "this is a dodge."

    zap yo' dumb ass.

  • ||

    jf,

    The problem with that Economicst article is the statement that the carbon offsets are "counted as savings made in the present." No, they're really not, not in any significant way. When Enron counted future profits as current profits, they actually counted the current profits - they asserted to their employees, shareholders, and the gubmit that they had XXX dollars on the books that they didn't acually have.

    Carbon offsets, on the other hand, aren't tabulated as having any real value, like Enron's funny money. Let's remember what carbon offsets are - subsidies for programs to reduce global warming, by either removing carbon from the atmosphere of subsidizing some company's green energy projects. No one is claiming that the value of carbon offset purchases (the economic value, by itself) is changing the atmosphere, while in the case of Enron, they really were claiming that the non-existent money was increasing the company's dollar value.

  • ||

    yah, sure thing there, joe.

    They will still end up enriching people who end up providing nothing of any real value.

  • ||

    I wonder, if a comment lacks any meaningful content AND contains a logical fallacy, does it actually reduce the amount of thought in the universe?

  • Guy Montag||

    Craine,

    How can you be fairish without being a fairy?

    It is purly your own deal, the way you present yourself to the world. Nothing wrong with being all Bobby Trendy and all, but if you don't present yourself that way you are not behaving as a fairy.

    Are you confusing being homesexual with acting effeminate? Rock Hudson and that Rifleman guy did not act that way publically. Don't be ashamed if you don't either. Everybody of your taste does not need to be Jim Jay Bullock.

    Otherwise, a pink Rambler might be just the thing for you.

  • dhex||

    guy, i can't figure out why some liberal female writer would think you would make a good test subject for an article about those whacky conservative hetero males.

    i just can't.

  • Guy Montag||

    "Ah don't feel no ways tired"
    - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Selma, AL. 4 March 2007

    Mrs. Clinton, are you trying to speak "Southern"? STOP IT! YOU HURT MY EARS WHEN YOU DO THAT!

  • dhex||

    "Anybody know a good site where I can find what I'm looking for?"

    why not read the primary sources?

    rather than relying on the kindness of strangers.

  • Guy Montag||

    guy, i can't figure out why some liberal female writer would think you would make a good test subject for an article about those whacky conservative hetero males.

    Many a dollar was wasted at Yale.

  • dhex||

    or perhaps your straw is particularly robust?

    considering the blogging mileage you've gotten out of it, perhaps it was money well spent?

  • Guy Montag||

    dhex,

    Now you have lost me. Apparently you are imagening some intent on my journaling other than my writing about what I feel like writing about there.

  • ||

    why not read the primary sources?

    rather than relying on the kindness of strangers.


    I was planning on it but the think is a million frickin pages long. And not the most easy text to comprehend.

    Allah sure is prone to rambling.

  • dhex||

    has it not added fire to your belly?

    did it not bring a bit of magic into your life?

    if nothing else, was it not impetus and inspiration?

  • Guy Montag||

    dhex,

    Only if laughing my ass off at someone calling me a hybrid driver counts.

  • dhex||

    most assuredly. laughter salves and heals the million cuts of conscience far better than any drug.

    "I was planning on it but the think is a million frickin pages long. And not the most easy text to comprehend."

    things worth doing rarely are.

    i'm just saying, rather than be like some puppet-making leftist pothead layabout activist type, angry about cause xyz they know little about, why not dig into a bit first? otherwise the first mildly educated type on the subject who can control their temper in the face of obvious baiting is going to hand you your hat.

  • Guy Montag||

    Lost me again on the concience thing there buddy, but it is no matter.

  • dhex||

    why do people blog?

    three reasons:

    1) informational
    2) social
    3) performative

  • ||

    i'm just saying, rather than be like some puppet-making leftist pothead layabout activist type, angry about cause xyz they know little about, why not dig into a bit first? otherwise the first mildly educated type on the subject who can control their temper in the face of obvious baiting is going to hand you your hat.

    I know enough to know

    A) The Koran is false
    B) Its harmful

    and

    C) It says a lot of horrifying things and nobody can explain away lines detailing torture God has planned for unbelievers.

    I got my practice arguing with Christians growing up. I used to think that there was actually a case for religious belief but now I know that a man with the least bit of common sense can debunk anything said by anybody with a PHD from the Harvard Divinity School.

    My hat will be just fine. If anything, I should be worried about losing my head.

  • dhex||

    "I know enough to know

    A) The Koran is false
    B) Its harmful"

    i hear the same thing from people about libertarianism all the time. how they hate the poor, how they just want businesses to exploit everyone and fuck dogs and sell crack to babies. it's very interesting what people know in their hearts, and how they presume this carries over into the real world.

    "I used to think that there was actually a case for religious belief but now I know that a man with the least bit of common sense can debunk anything said by anybody with a PHD from the Harvard Divinity School."

    i'm not a huge fan of the ineffable (my motto being "don't eff with the ineffable" after all) but this seems somewhat shortsighted. or it may misunderstand what "debunk" means in the context of religion, a social phenomenon.

    "My hat will be just fine. If anything, I should be worried about losing my head."

    there's nothing wrong with a taste for drama, i guess, but it seems misplaced here. you're looking for an inflammatory response; a peak experience, right?

  • ||

    i'm not a huge fan of the ineffable (my motto being "don't eff with the ineffable" after all) but this seems somewhat shortsighted. or it may misunderstand what "debunk" means in the context of religion, a social phenomenon.

    I've read Christian apologetics and have never seen an argument that I've found convincing. In order to be secure in my atheism I don't have to read every religious text in the history of the world.

    I've read books on Christianity and atheism and am familiar with the classic arguments. I don't think the Muslim God presents any new challenges.

    there's nothing wrong with a taste for drama, i guess, but it seems misplaced here. you're looking for an inflammatory response; a peak experience, right?

    Nothing less than delaying the coming of the new dark age!

  • dhex||

    "In order to be secure in my atheism I don't have to read every religious text in the history of the world."

    the issue isn't your security or insecurity; it's avoiding the appearance of jackassery.

    "Nothing less than delaying the coming of the new dark age!"

    stop war; end racism.

  • ||

    Religion is a social phenomenon? I thought it was a set of mystically-derived metaphysical and ethical claims (with the chance to hobnob with other churchies on Sunday as merely a tangential benefit of taking Christ into your heart or submitting to Allah or whatever).

  • ||

    Christianity and Islam are middle eastern religions. Taoism, Buddhism, and yogic Hinduism are eastern 'religions' but they share so little in common with the middle eastern orthodox view of the spiritual that they really don't belong in the same category. To say you don't need to read more than Christianity or Islam to understand all of religion is arrogance and ignorance supreme.

  • dhex||

    "Religion is a social phenomenon? I thought it was a set of mystically-derived metaphysical and ethical claims (with the chance to hobnob with other churchies on Sunday as merely a tangential benefit of taking Christ into your heart or submitting to Allah or whatever)."

    of course religion is a social phenomenon. why are there thirty million flavors of christianity? where did calvinism come from? seventh day adventism? just the last 100 years of american protestantism show a tremendous shift both in reaction to social causes and attempting to direct them, successfully and not.

    religion is more than apologetics or extremists or liberalisers, but all of their social and theological efforts taken as a sum whole.

  • ||

    "Apparently you are imagening some intent on my journaling other than my writing about what I feel like writing about there."

    Apparently your constant blog-whoring suggests otherwise.

  • Guy Montag||

    Apparently your constant blog-whoring suggests otherwise.

    Who put a gun to your head and made you read anything I ever wrote anyplace?

  • ||

    That's why it's called "blog-whoring" and not "blog-enslaving."

  • dhex||

    "That's why it's called "blog-whoring" and not "blog-enslaving.""

    that's a roflcopter of love.

  • Guy Montag||

    joe,

    Talk about redefining a word. The only link I put in any comment on this thread is to someone else's 'blog and it is quite relevant.

    When you see me linking to . . .

    Never mind, we are not supposed to feed your kind.

  • ||

    Never mind, we are not supposed to feed your kind.

    The Irish?

  • ||

    dhex, it's starting to look more and more like this para

    i'm not a huge fan of the ineffable (my motto being "don't eff with the ineffable" after all) but this seems somewhat shortsighted. or it may misunderstand what "debunk" means in the context of religion, a social phenomenon.

    was just a clever-dick stringing of words together with no real factual content behind it. Perhaps you can explain what you mean when you claim that religious beliefs cannot be debunked because they are a social phenomenon without resorting to postmodernist-style linguistic gymnastics.

  • dhex||

    i'm big on clever dick, to be sure, but i'll make it a bit more obvious, how does one "debunk" faith? could one debunk love or compassion? i don't think so. you're dealing with something that exists beyond proof by its very definition. debunk is not the right term for countering religious claims, and even in applicable cases - i.e. we prayed for girl x and now her cancer went away v. this chemotherapy made the tumor shrink - i think the attitude misses the point about social meaning and other explanations of cause.

    debunk is a great term for the pulling apart a fraudulent theory or explanation - the psychic surgeon throwing chicken wings, or a counterfactual political claim, etc.

    obviously this does not mean religious claims should be taken at face value - i.e. god told me he wants xyz, pronto, or the whole of the ID movement - but the idea of somehow factually proving a social phenomenon wrong (without additional force or fraud to actually dissuade aboveground religious gatherings and observance) is counter the examples of history. and a misunderstanding of what makes religion compelling and seemingly necessary (or nearly necessary) for social groups of human being.

    i mean, someone could debunk punk rock using these standards, but who cares?

  • ||

    I really should know better than to engage posters with broken shift keys. Up *or* down.

  • Guy Montag||

    highnumber,

    You capitalized that as if you think they are human.

  • dhex||

    graphite - not feeling it, eh?

    oh well. ;_;

    i don't think i can simplify it further. one can debunk libertarian claims; one cannot debunk the libertarian party, for example.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement