George Gilder on "The Israel Test," Obama, the Internet…and the Gays?

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Earlier this week, after being criticized for the omission of "God" and "Jerusalem" from their party platform, Democrats quickly amended the text. Whether it was an "oversight," a "technical error," or a "mistake," the controversy surrounding the wording and the dubious floor vote that followed will be ammunition for those seeking to paint Democrats as hostile to religion and Israel.

During a wide ranging interview with Reason TV last year, author George Gilder discussed Israel and why he feels the country is "a vital asset to the United States."

Here is the original text from the Aug. 31, 2011 video:

"What [President Barack Obama] is doing to the U.S. energy economy couldn't be done with a nuclear bomb," says author George Gilder, who adds that if "Newt [Gingrich] wasn't such a jerk" he'd make a great president.

Over the past 40 years, Gilder Gilder has been not just one of the most influential public intellectuals but one of the most perplexing. He's a utopian visionary who simultaneously predicted the rise of the World Wide Web and the liberatory power of networked computing while fretting that the erosion of traditional gender roles is destroying the country; as co-founder of The Discovery Institute, he's a major proponent of intelligent design theory as well.

His 1981 best-seller, Wealth and Poverty, made such a persuasive case for what became known as supply-side economics that it became the bible of the Reagan Revolution. In it, Gilder used the work of anthropologist Marcel Mauss to argue that capitalism is a "gift economy" in which entrepreneurs create demand by offering up new goods and services, typically at a loss. Visonary volumes such as Microcosm (1989) and Life After Television (1990) anticipated the rise of the Internet as a mass medium that would replace hierarchy with "hetarchy" or distributed intelligence and power. His latest book, The Israel Test, argues that anti-Semitism and the anti-capitalist mentality are effectively the same thing and that Israel provides the best-available model of social organization, a blend of knowledge-based economy and group identity.

A proponent of intelligent design, he railed against Barry Goldwater's anti-intellectualism in 1966's The Party That Lost Its Head and argued that American society was committing "sexual suicide" in a 1973 book of the same name by embracing female equality. The supposed existential threat posed by unmarried men in American society is a recurring theme in Gilder's oeuvre, as is the dread fear that gays are actively recruiting boys to the "homosexual lifestyle." Fully appreciating how the World Wide Web has broken the monopoly of the culture industry in our lives, Gilder nonetheless bemoans the state of "secular culture" as "corrupt" and "depraved."

At FreedomFest 2011, Reason's Nick Gillespie sat down with Gilder to talk about the mix of the utopian and the apocalyptic in his work.

Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 libertarians and advocates of limited government. Reason.tv spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. For an ever-growing playlist, go here now.

About 21 minutes. Shot by Zach Weissmueller and Jim Epstein and edited by Meredith Bragg.

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  1. Will I be the first to say it looks like Gilder has gone over the edge for real?

    1. I don’t know, will you?

  2. Gilder is a complete kook. No questions about intelligent design?

  3. If Newt Gingrich wasn’t such a jerk, we wouldn’t know just how nuts he is. We’re much better off with his dangerous behavior out in the open, where we can safely keep an eye on it (by NOT having him as President), than we would if Newt acted like a nice guy.

    Case in point: Barack Obama. Acts pretty nice, but a terrible, terrible President. At least Bush’s lunacy became more obvious over time; people still believe Obama’s a great guy.

  4. His latest book, The Israel Test, argues that anti-Semitism and the anti-capitalist mentality are effectively the same thing

    That’s been true since the first medieval screeds against ‘usury’.

    and that Israel provides the best-available model of social organization, a blend of knowledge-based economy and group identity.

    Woah, woah, woah… If it weren’t for outside pressures uniting the population, the ‘group identity’ of Israel would have imploded decades ago. You have secular vs. religious, socialist vs. market economy, Ashkenazi vs. Sephardi, and so on. While Israel doesn’t deserve the demonization it gets from much of the world, it is far from the best of all possible worlds.

    1. Yes, Gilder is highly exaggerating Israeli capitalism and society. Certainly they’ve moved in the right direction over the years, but they’re far from the deregulated economy he describes.

      1. A bit of an irony that Netanyahu has been the foremost leader on free market liberalization given his relation with traditional forces. I admit, if I were an Israelis he would be my guy. However, that is not my fight and I only hope for the best for those who want peace and prosperity, and, yes, I realize waving two fingers in the form of a peace sign is the least likely means to that outcome.

    2. Yep. Israel is arguably the least free market economy of the developed world in most respects.

    3. While a lot of anti-capitalists are also anti-Semitic, I definitely wouldn’t say the two things are the same thing, or that all anti-capitalists hate Jews

      1. Sure. After all I’m sure there’s one or two jews who were socialists.

    4. “If it weren’t for outside pressures”
      You mean if history had progressed in a totally different way and the cultural landscape of the greater region was completely different as well? Couldn’t you say that for every nation in the world?

      1. Couldn’t you say that for every nation in the world?

        Of course. Which shows how silly it is to point to any nation as “the best-available model of social organization”.

  5. Als, George is nowadays accmpanied into the room by a carivorous elephant called The Discovery Institute that seems bent on eating the brains of the Republican party .

    Why is Gilder’s cohort agin both Darwin and Einstein?

    1. Gilder himself is a big ID-proponent.

  6. If it weren’t for outside pressures uniting the population, the ‘group identity’ of Israel would have imploded decades ago.

    Also, if not for that meddling Uncle Sugar, they would have long ago been obliged to come to a reasonable settlement with the Palestinians. And, in the extra double-dog irony of all the bleeding ironies, that settlement would have been more favorable for Israel than anything they’re going to get now by any means short of utter genocide.

    1. Also, if not for that meddling Uncle Sugar, they would have long ago been obliged to come to a reasonable settlement with the Palestinians.

      That’s a huge assumption about the people who “have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”

      1. World-class sound bite, no doubt, but I don’t think most of those “opportunities” were all they were cracked up to be.

    2. Actually, it was often America that pressured Israel into self-sacrificial and fruitless peace talks with the Palis whose main guiding force is hatred for civilization. If you can’t see what the movement for a Palestinian state really is after the 2006 Gaza withdrawal then you are willfully blind.

      1. whose main guiding force is hatred for civilization

        You just can’t make up these sort of opinions, folks. Unfortunately.

        1. Truth hurts.

          1. Truth hurts.

            If only.

          2. We can’t actually know that until Israel grants a blanket and unconditional right of return. Because until that happens there are huge numbers of people with a perfectly ethically valid reason to hate Israel and undertake violence against it.

            If there was some kind of race war in New England tomorrow and I fled my home to escape it and whatever successor state got set up in Vermont expropriated my house and said I could never come back, I would quite properly hate that successor state and any violence I undertook against it would be 100% justified, forever. I would be entitled to kill every representative of that state, wherever I found them, all the way down to teachers and city hall janitors, until they returned to me what they had stolen, or forever, whichever came first.

            Sometimes it stuns me that motherfuckers around here are perfectly content contemplating violent direct action when a cop kills a dog, but are apoplectic that people who have been victims of outright expropriation and murder don’t just shrug their shoulders and call it water under the bridge.

            1. I would be entitled to kill every representative of that state, wherever I found them, all the way down to teachers and city hall janitors,

              I disagree. Even with what happened, randomly killing people who didn’t cause the event to happen wouldn’t be warranted. Not to mention that you’re not killing people to save lives, but just in retribution. That’ not warranted at all. And obviously, killing ANYONE over there will have the exact opposite effect that you want; killing those people won’t get you your home back, but it WILL ensure everyone in that area hates your guts and is out to get you. Your reasoning reminds me of the Hatfields and McCoys: a recipe for generational violence.

            2. Well gosh Fluffy they don’t want to let in a people who are at war with them. *shocked-face*

              When Israel was formed, Jews were kicked out of Arab lands and vice versa. You know what other nations did this? EVERY FUCKING ONE.

              1. So what?

                Maybe in the New England race war, lots of bad shit is going down around me.

                Maybe after the New England race war, there’s an ongoing low-intensity insurgency against the winners.

                Both of those would be irrelevant to the question of whether I’d be morally entitled to undertake violence against the successor state. I don’t have to care what their fucking problems are, and I don’t have to care what any person other than me did.

                Even with what happened, randomly killing people who didn’t cause the event to happen wouldn’t be warranted.

                If I killed random people, yes, that would not be justified.

                If I killed employees of the successor state that is undertaking a policy of denying me my property and patrimony in continuity with the original policy, that’s not “random people”.

                If that’s not true, then all wars against any state are unjustified. “Hey! That German soldier wasn’t one of the guys who invaded Poland! They just drafted him a few weeks ago! You can’t shoot him!” Nope.

                Your reasoning reminds me of the Hatfields and McCoys: a recipe for generational violence.

                “Fluffy, you should just give in. Then there won’t be generational violence.” Well, there also won’t be generational violence if the other guys give in. Why don’t you go tell them to give in instead?

                1. Nope. Israel is the only legitimate ME nation Turkey (maybe) aside. They have the right and obligation to do whatever it takes to self-preserve and denying right to return is part of that. We wouldn’t allow immigration from a nation at war with us, same applies.

                2. If I killed employees of the successor state that is undertaking a policy of denying me my property and patrimony in continuity with the original policy, that’s not “random people”.

                  Nope. The only way killing would be alright here would be if they were attacking you. The land has already been taken. Killing those people isn’t preventing defending yourself aginst the use of force, it’s just initiating a separate use of force against them.

                  If that’s not true, then all wars against any state are unjustified. “Hey! That German soldier wasn’t one of the guys who invaded Poland! They just drafted him a few weeks ago! You can’t shoot him!” Nope.

                  Killing soldiers of a force occupying your recent home who would try to kill you if they could is hardly the same thing has killing civilians who are merely descended from the people who kill your home. Nice try though.

                3. “Fluffy, you should just give in. Then there won’t be generational violence.”

                  Do you really believe that the only way to solve something is through random violence against people who didn’t actually initiate force against you?

                  Well, there also won’t be generational violence if the other guys give in. Why don’t you go tell them to give in instead?

                  There you go again. “Give in”? Did it occur to you that there isn’t any good solution, let alone a violent one, to something like this? I don’t think that land should have been taken and given to the Jews who settled there generations ago. That doesn’t mean I support violent action 50+ years down the line against their descendents. That sort of “they started [action 1], so I’ll do [action 2] at them” is EXACTLY the sort of thing that produces generational violence. Now we’re at maybe [action 3000] in retaliation for [action 2999]. It. Just. Never. Ends.

  7. Things I love mixed in with things i hate.

    Gilder is America.

    His premise on gay marriage family, gay sex does not propagate, and impressionable young males seems to be self defeating.

    Lets say a free society chooses to ‘teach’ impressionable males that gay sex is ok. So a bunch of men “become” gay get gay married and then have no kids…the other men get married and have kids….after a generation one would think the choice to ‘teach’ impressionable males that gay sex is OK would have less effect on impressing young boys into gayhood. He does say gayhood is 50% genetic. Certainly if gays stop having children natural selection would kick in. Also the other 50% choice would select out as well. As much as we like to think we do not want to become like our parents we do become like them. Impressionable boys will choose to be like dad and forgo a decision to choose being gay.

    The logical conclusion of his various theories on homosexuality do not fit his justification for prohibiting gay marriage.

  8. one of the most influential public intellectuals
    he’s a major proponent of intelligent design theory

    Nick, why in the world are you calling this superstitious twat an intellectual?

    -jcr

    1. Nick, why in the world are you calling this superstitious twat an intellectual?

      Cuz this:

      http://www.amazon.com/Wealth-P…..1558152407

      1. Wow, new hardcovers start at $900. Luckily, you can get it on 9 audio cassettes for only $62.95.

      2. Creationism is nothing but a long-winded “nuh-uh” to everything mankind has learned about biology, geology, physics, and chemistry. Any adherent of an anti-intellectual position is not an intellectual.

        -jcr

        1. Click on the link.

          The book shown has nothing to do with creationism.

          Anyway I have a questions for you:

          Do you think man more evolved then apes?

          1. Your question shows a misunderstanding of evolution. “More evolved” is a nonsensical term. Evolution doesn’t have goals.

            -jcr

  9. Enrico Fermi was Jewish?

    1. WTF. I had to watch that again.

      Jews…won the Second WOrld War through the Manhattan Project…

      Yup. He said it.

      From a person of Italian dissent: Go fuck yourself, asshole.

      1. *descent.

    2. Mr Whipple| 9.8.12 @ 5:59PM |#
      “Enrico Fermi was Jewish?”

      No, but his wife had a Jewish ancestor and she was in trouble over the ‘one drop’ (or 1/16th, or…) rule.

      1. So, we’re all Keynesians Jewish, now.

      2. From Wikipedia: [The Fermi family’s] decision to move to America and become American citizens was primarily a result of the Manifesto of Race promulgated by the fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in order to bring Italian Fascism ideologically closer to German Nazism. The new laws threatened Laura, who was Jewish. Also, the new laws put most of Fermi’s research assistants out of work.

        1. Laura was his wife. Marrying a Jew doesn’t make you a Jew. Unless, there’s some new rule I don’t know about.

          1. No, it just makes you a ger toshav.

            1. No, it just makes you a ger toshav.

              Only if you live in a Jewish community.

          2. Seriously though, it’s kind of silly to take umbrage at Gilder’s remark. Yes, Fermi was instrumental, but he was not the Manhattan Project alone. Furthermore, considering you had Szilard, Wigner, Bohr, Einstein, and Teller (off the top of my head), who were all Jewish. It’s kind of accurate.

  10. I subscribed to Gilder’s Macrocosm newsletters before I knew he was a fundie nutjob and the tech bubble burst.

  11. a lot of reasonoids slagging gilder are mirror images of nationoids slagging hitchens back when hitchens came out anti-islamofascist/proiraq war

    all of a sudden, a man who they lauded as a powerful intellectual, a brilliant thinker, an iconoclast etc. instantly had all sorts of vitriol slung his way, and the idea that he could be an “intellectual” while holding those views was simply UNpossible

    with gilder, his ID viewpoints are throwing many reasonoids into a similar tizzy and all of sudden the idea that he is wicked smaht, let alone an intellectual etc. – well , it’s UNpossible. NOBODY could give credence to ID and have those qualities.

    it’s the same kind of litmus test. you can’t be accepted “one of us” (cue ramones/freaks) with such a heterodox viewpoint. heck, you can’t even have certain qualities (like searing intelligence, etc.) if you dare to hold that viewpoint

    it’s as doctrinaire and close minded from reasonoids, as the attack on hitchens was from the progressives

    1. this is not a defense of (god forbid) ID, which i find ridiculous at worse and a serious kludge at best.

      however, i can recognize that a person can be fucking whipsmart, a powerful intellectual force, a voice worth listening to, etc. EVEN IF they hold some (what i consider) whacktastic viewpoint (such as ID).

      i mean i fully accept i could be wrong about ID… or for that matter, pretty much any belief i hold. it’s called being open minded. if it wasn’t for listening to people i thought were wrong on guns, i never would have become pro open carry.

      and several other issues.

      look, gilder holds some heterodox views and god knows if there is any button pusher for a libertarian, it’s probably going to be religion related (just look at some of the frothing derision applied to religion here), but gilder doesn’t suddenly lose all cred, and all intellectual chops because he has a viewpoint on ID that is not reason approved

      1. Gilder had real cache in the 80s/90s.

        He is nothing now. He pissed it away. Kind of down the toilet drain with Bushism and conservatism – they are worthless ideologies.

        Fact-based realism is replacing conservatism.

        1. So I must suppose you haven’t watched the Democratic convention?

          1. I watched only Bill Clinton and Obama speak.

            Clinton was brilliant. He is more beloved than ever while Dumbya is loathed throughout the world.

            Obama = Blah speech. His only good point was that Romney was sabre-rattling by calling Russia our #1 enemy. Romney is pathetic in every way.

            1. Palin’s Buttplug| 9.8.12 @ 7:06PM |#
              “Clinton was brilliant. He is more beloved than ever…”
              Monica, is that YOU?
              Sorry, pathological liars are not beloved, except by those who aren’t real bright.

              1. Fuck you. Look at Clinton’s favorability ratings.

                Compare to Dumbya.

                1. Kim Kardashian’s are higher. Maybe we should elect her President.

                2. servile gringo power worshipers toady up to rapists….so what’s new?

                  1. What’s new is “defenders of women” worshipping sexual harassers, rapists, and killers of women because of the laws they get passed.

        2. Progressivism is worthless too, by the way.

          The only worthwhile philosophy is classic Liberalism. Let markets decide all – even in the voting booth.

          1. Palin’s Buttplug| 9.8.12 @ 7:10PM |#
            “The only worthwhile philosophy is classic Liberalism. Let markets decide all – even in the voting booth.”

            It’s not overly surprising that you posted something with such an internal contradiction.
            Not real bright, shriek.

          2. Let markets decide all – even in the voting booth.

            51% of cola drinkers drink Pepsi!! Out law Coke!!

            Markets have decided.

            1. . . . Out law Coke!! Markets have decided.

              Ouchie.

    2. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 6:47PM |#
      …”it’s as doctrinaire and close minded from reasonoids, as the attack on hitchens was from the progressives”

      Uh, false equivalence.
      Hitchens and the progs disagreed over political views.
      ID/evolution may have political dimensions, but the issue has to do with overwhelming evidence, and the ignorance thereof.

      1. imo, your post is about as perfect an example of what i am talking about as i could ask for.

        it’s a distinctions w/o a difference.

        and like any issue, it depends on how you weight competing evidence, what your underlying visions are (a la sowell etc.) etc.

        again, *i* can look at ID and say “ridiculous”

        i cannot and will not, look at a man like gilder and say he loses worth as an intellectual force, as a voice to be heard, as an iconoclast etc. because he happens to hold certain views on ID

        i can look back at the history of science and philosophy and recognize that there have been ideas in the past that turned out to be correct that were equally as reviled by “those in the know” and by apparent scientific evidence.

        again, i do NOT believe that will be the case with ID, but it comes from a fundamentally different vision *we* have. i don’t think holding whacktastic views on ID (imo and i recognize it’s my OPINION) invalidates one’s intellectual worth on a host of subjects etc. and CERTAINLY does not justify the kind of derisive ridicule that he is getting from some people

        1. and for many people the iraq war and the fight against islamofascism have a huge religious (and certainly NONscientific ) component

          i see your distinction, again, as one without a difference

          ID asks, rightly or wrongly (wrongly imo) to be considered as a SCIENTIFIC theory.

          assuming arguendo it is, then its outright dismissal could certainly be viewed as a political stance by those in a power structure not willing to even consider a heterodox viewpoint

          i, again, remain respectful of linder.

          imo, your dismissal of ID is just like the progressive dismissal of th iraq war or the idea that islamofascists were evil as fuck.

          that was viewed as something that COULD NOT be a conclusion that a person who looked at evidence could COME to

          so, i think you are demonstrating my point, as you believe that nobody could look at evidence and science and also support ID

          1. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 7:10PM |#
            …”ID asks, rightly or wrongly (wrongly imo) to be considered as a SCIENTIFIC theory.”

            It cannot be considered as a SCIENTIFIC theory, in that there is no evidence for it whatsoever.
            Fail.

            1. again, you really don’t get my META point

              *i* agree that it is not a scientific theory and i agree with you as to why.

              i also concede that SOME people think DIFFERENTLY.

              like linder. i think he is wrong. but that is not the point

              there is no need to explain to me the problems with ID, since i guarantee you i am AT LEAST as critical of it as you are. it’s hogwash.

              that’s not the point i am making though

              1. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 7:30PM |#
                “again, you really don’t get my META point”
                Your META point fails as a result of the details.

                1. no, it doesnt

                  that you THINK it does reinforces my point

                  and it is EXACTLY what a progressive critic of hitchens would say too

                  let me put it this way… it does not matter HOW ridiculous ID is, or how unscientific it is , in regards to my point about linder qua linder

                  that you think the absurdity of ID proves my meta point wrong is just reinforcement of what i am trying to say.

                  but i accept you think differently. as i suspected.

                  i can respect that.

                  1. Dunphy, you equate scientific issues with political issues, then accuse us of a lack of understanding. While there can certainly be overlap, disagreement about the falsifiability (or lack there-of) of Intelligent Design is nowhere near the same thing as disagreement over the nature of Islam, Muslims, and their potential dangers. That you want us to believe that is astoundingly stupid.

                    1. that was viewed as something that COULD NOT be a conclusion that a person who looked at evidence could COME to

                      When a person uses poor reasoning, it undermines the notion that they have sound reasoning. So yes, when he promotes such an unscientific, unfalsifiable idea as ID, it certainly undermines the proposition that he has sound reasoning. To say that we shouldn’t doubt his reasoning skills, considering that we have a grand example of poor reasoning on his part, is very silly. It should not be the only thing we use to evaluate him, and we certainly shouldn’t discard good reasoning on an issue because we’ve heard poor reasoning on another issue; but to reprimand people for doubting him a bit because of poor logic just makes you look foolish.

                      ID asks, rightly or wrongly (wrongly imo) to be considered as a SCIENTIFIC theory.

                      Regardless of what it’s proponents “ask”, it isn’t a scientific theory. It doesn’t meet the requirements to be considered as such. To say otherwise is to say that we should consider something scientific simply because people want us to, rather than by checking it against the actual standards of the scientific method.

                    2. its outright dismissal could certainly be viewed as a political stance by those in a power structure not willing to even consider a heterodox viewpoint

                      Then those people don’t have an understanding of what the scientific method, and falsifiability, actually are.

                      so, i think you are demonstrating my point, as you believe that nobody could look at evidence and science and also support ID

                      It rips your point to shreds since yes, it is IMPOSSIBLE to follow the scientific method AND honestly declare that Intelligent Design is scientific. The scientific method does not change depending on what subject it’s being applied to.

                      i also concede that SOME people think DIFFERENTLY.

                      That they think differently doesn’t make it scientific. Saying they don’t follow the scientific method consistently, and finding that this undermines the notion that they know what they’re talking about, is perfectly reasonable. That does not mean that we should discard anything said by such a person, but no one here (to my knowledge), has suggested that. He’s just going to get a lot of flack for being inconsistent in his reasoning.

        2. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 7:08PM |#
          “imo, your post is about as perfect an example of what i am talking about as i could ask for.
          it’s a distinctions w/o a difference.”

          So you think political views are as solid a science as evolution?
          Fail.

          1. again, ou are missing the point

            you are just interesting in “winning” an argument. FAIL etc.

            you are failing to grok the point i am making

            we both agree – ID is not science

            i ALSO think ID is full of shit

            those two are not the same thing

            one could concede, for example, that ID is not science, but ALSO think the ideas underlying ID are sound

            i believe neither

            and i think it’s rubbish.

            but that’s not the point

            NOR do i think his views vis a vis ID are as SOLID as evolution

            again, you are failing, because you are devolving this into some kind of attack against a defense of ID

            i am not defending ID

            i think it’s absurd

            but that is simply not the point. the point is i can accept that linder can hold the views he holds on ID (which i think are absurd) and that does not mean he is to be dismissed as an intellectual force or that many of the criticisms of him here are a syndrome i disagree with

            calling him a “superstitious twat” was my favorite

            look, i’ve made my point clear. clearly, either you don’t get it, or you strongly disagree with it. fine

            like i said, *i* accept that smart conscientious well meaning people can disagree. so, i still love you.

            but i don’t agree with the idea that gilder is a “complete kook” or that all of his ideas should be dismissed or that he should be dismissed because of them.

            hth

            1. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 7:35PM |#
              …’look, i’ve made my point clear. clearly, either you don’t get it, or you strongly disagree with it. fine”

              AFAICT, your point is rejecting a whacko’s opinion on one subject as a result of his obviously whacko opinion on another is analogous to the Progs rejecting Hitchens over his support of Israel, right?
              Wrong. Rejecting a whacko’s opinion as a result of a whacko opinion is an exercise in looking at evidence. The first opinion may be correct, but the whacko can be ignored regardless and the opinion examined independently.

            2. the point is i can accept that linder can hold the views he holds on ID (which i think are absurd) and that does not mean he is to be dismissed as an intellectual force or that many of the criticisms of him here are a syndrome i disagree with

              I agree it shouldn’t mean a complete dismissal, the final decision should be based on the soundness of the argument.

              However, that doesn’t mean I’ll take him as seriously when he holds such ridiculous viewpoints. And yes, that he applies reason so inconsistently means that he is less of an intellectual force, in my opinion. I would not define someone who believes “Intelligent Design is scientific” as an intellectual. Smart, sure, but not what I’d consider an intellectual.

              1. calling him a “superstitious twat” was my favorite

                I think he’s pretty superstitious if he not only believes in those things, but believes in their scientific soundness even when it obviously doesn’t meet the standards. In fact, I find most people to be somewhat superstitious, especially considering that I’m not a religious person. However, that doesn’t mean I’m completely dismissing everyone who is religious.

                but i don’t agree with the idea that gilder is a “complete kook” or that all of his ideas should be dismissed or that he should be dismissed because of them.

                Neither do I. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t get some flack over them. And this is hardly the same thing as the attacks on Hitchens, which were purely political. Though some attacks on Gilder may be political in nature, I’d say most of it is just ridicule over someone promoting a non-scientific idea (and a pretty discredited one), as legitimate science. People who promote Flat Earth theory get the same sort of ridicule, by I wouldn’t suggest they’re analogous to Hitchens because of it.

          2. You seem to be conflating science and intellectualism. Not the same thing at all.

            1. ^ that was meant for Sevo

            2. Fatty Bolger| 9.8.12 @ 7:37PM |#
              “You seem to be conflating science and intellectualism. Not the same thing at all.”

              Uh, care to explain?

              1. You can be an intellectual and not base all of your beliefs in science.

                1. Fatty Bolger| 9.8.12 @ 9:15PM |#
                  “You can be an intellectual and not base all of your beliefs in science.”

                  In which case, why would anyone bother with your beliefs regarding anything that can be decided by the scientific method?
                  I mean, someone can claim, oh, JL is the height of beauty, and I have no problem with looking at other claims.
                  If someone claims astrology is a valid predictor, I’m gonna ignore whatever that person has to say on other issues.

                  1. Interesting. So if your plumber believes in astrology, are you going to ignore what he says about why your toilet might be backing up?

                    1. He doesn’t say so, so I can’t be sure; but I think he means on other issues of science.

        3. And:
          Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 7:08PM |#
          “imo, your post is about as perfect an example of what i am talking about as i could ask for.
          it’s a distinctions w/o a difference.”

          If he promoted astrology, would you call that a distinction w/o a difference?

          1. if he promoted astrology, i don’t think it would mean that linder as a whole could be dismissed as an intellectual or that all of sudden his other viewpoints lose validity.

            that’s my point

            we both think ID is unscientific horseshit

            that goes without saying

            1. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 7:39PM |#
              “if he promoted astrology, i don’t think it would mean that linder as a whole…”

              He can be ignored.

              1. I disagree. The fundamental thing we should look at in evaluating an argument is the argument itself, and not it’s source. Certainly, I don’t argue with the proposition that he discredits himself somewhat because of his promotion of ID, but ultimately we should decide based on the merit of his ideas, especially when those ideas are ones generally considered outside of the hard sciences (i.e. economic ideas).

                Just because someone holds poor views on science doesn’t mean he knows nothing about economics. Similarly, I wouldn’t dismiss someone’s scientific credentials just because he thinks the economic stimulus package was a success. Would you?

                1. That was to Sevo, not Dunphy.

  12. If Gilder had talked about only the purely economic issues, he would to this day be a star in the libertarian constellation.

    But he discusses other issues and disagrees with the cosmos, so he becomes “perplexing” (ie, why doesn’t he agree with me on *everything*?) or a kook (OMG he believes in traditional marriage, and he predicted the decline of the family all the way back in 1973!).

    1. well put.

      fwiw, i agree with linder that, for example, traditional gender roles result in a healthier society.

      i am libertarian because i believe women should have the same opportunities as men, the right to be considered equally, and certainly have no govt imposed barriers.

      it doesn’t therefore follow that i dont also believe that society benefits when a substantial proportion of women CHOOSE traditional gender roles

      i just believe it should be a choice, in a free society.

      i certainly think that, ceteris paribus, families w/stay at home moms are more optimal for the kids than those where both parents work

      1. The benefits of stable traditional families are becoming obvious even to social scientists and to other people of otherwise-reliable progressive credentials.

        It’s gotten to the point that gay-rights supporters are pointing to the benefits of stable families to argue that gays should get in on that, too (not endorsing the argument, but it’s quite popular).

        But don’t expect Cassandras like Gilder to get any credit. He will always be some Handmaid’s Tale villain.

        1. yes, exactly. and i support gay marriage. and in a lot of gay marriage w/kids couples i’ve seen, one DOES take the traditional “mom” role and stays home. i actually had a call a couple of weeks ago with an out of control kid, called in by a gay couple who met that criteria. one stayed at home and was the de facto “mom”. the other worked and assumed the “dad” role. i’m not saying one was more “femme” than the other, but they did naturally kind of assume the different archetypal roles

          1. Or, perhaps, you were just viewing their situation through your (ideological) eyes.

            Jus’ sayin’

            1. of course i was. there is no way one CANNOT do so.

              i didnt’ ask them this. i have little parts of a report to fill out. they include employment. i was also getting a background (god forbid) fact pattern as to when the kid starting acting out, if there were any triggers, suspected drug use, behavioral changes, how was he doing in school, you know … shit like that

              dad 1, the guy who stayed at home with the kid, naturally had more knowledge of the kids daily behavior since he STAYED at home and saw the kid more.

              it’s a natural facet of the investigation that this info would come out whether with a hetero or a gay couple.

              one dad volunteered that he’d quit his job when they adopted the kid (they had 2) since he wanted to stay home iwht the kids.

    2. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 6:59PM |#
      …”But he discusses other issues and disagrees with the cosmos,…”

      Dunno what the cosmos has to say about it, but ID is Xian religion in lab jackets.
      There is not a shred of evidence to support it. Might just as well say humans came from unicorns.

      1. I would have to see his specific statements about ID.

        To some cosmos, even the bare statement that there is a Creator (as in “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”) is a sign that you’re a knuckle-dragging fundie.

        1. In short, I would like to see evidence that Gilder is somehow more superstitious that Thomas (“the God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time”) Jefferson, that fundamentalist hack.

          1. let’s also remember, that there are two seperate issues.

            there is

            1) is ID correct?
            2) is ID science

            i think the answer to (2) … which is NO, imo, is a much easier answer than (1)

            iow, the idea that i might be wrong about the underlying concepts of ID is imo more likely than i might be wrong about ID being science.

            and of course one can accept that ID is not science, but still believe it is correct.

            1. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 7:43PM |#
              …”and of course one can accept that ID is not science, but still believe it is correct.”

              WHAT?
              How about, oh, ghosts? Angels? Fairies (not the gay sort)?

              1. Sure. Just because we don’t have a way to prove or disprove them right now doesn’t mean they couldn’t exist (I don’t believe in any of those things, by the way). They’re outside of the realm of science right now because most of the underlying assumptions aren’t testable. Just because something isn’t testable right now doesn’t mean it’s incorrect (though there is no evidence, which is why I don’t believe in them).

          2. We’ll have to ask Gilder what he thinks of the Book of Revelation. The book that Jefferson thought were the scribblings of a madman and edited out of his Jefferson Bible.

            1. Nice red herring, but ID is about the existence of a Creator, not necessarily the Judeo-Christian God.

              Jefferson believed in the former, not the latter.

              I happen to think that God doesn’t need to put on a lab coat and call Himself scientific in order to get respect from humanity, but I can certainly understand the *impulse* behind ID while being vague on the details of their argument.

              1. Just saying that what is considered “Christian Fundamentalism” today would be alien to many of the Founder’s ideas of Christianity. To claim that Jefferson’s Christianity is as mystic as the current-day “Fundies” is not honest.

                1. “To claim that Jefferson’s Christianity is as mystic as the current-day “Fundies” is not honest.”

                  Not for the first time, you are (a) making a false claim and (b) following it up with an accusation of dishonesty.

                  I most certainly never said that “Jefferson’s Christianity is as mystic as the current-day “Fundies”” and you really have to tie yourself into knots to read anything resembling that into my remarks.

                  I said Jefferson believed in a Creator.

                  I also said, and I repeat:

                  “To some cosmo[tarian]s, even the bare statement that there is a Creator (as in “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”) is a sign that you’re a knuckle-dragging fundie.”

                  There’s not a enough wisps of straw there to build your straw man.

            2. i wonder what jefferson would have thought of the nag hammadi books

              based upon what (little) i have read of jefferson, he had a leaning towards deism. he also apparently had an issue with immaterialism (according to wiki at least), but that was a lot more understandable in his day.

              just as his jefferson bible edited out miracles, i think it might have included a lot of stuff from book of thomas especially.

              he was fiercely critical of the clergy for example, and probably would have liked the “personal” jesus of the book of thomas, immaterial aspects of it aside (im under every stone, bla bla)

        2. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 7:33PM |#
          “To some cosmos, even the bare statement that there is a Creator (as in “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”) is a sign that you’re a knuckle-dragging fundie.”

          You may not be a fundie, but bleeving in superstition isn’t going to add to your rep.

          1. So let’s let it all out – did Thomas Jefferson believe in superstition because he claimed there was a Creator?

            1. *shrugs*

              As a Buddhist, I believe the universe neither was created, nor does it have a creator.

              But what I, or Jefferson, or Gilder believe is worth a hill of beans in the long run.

              Is a person a good person; does he or she treat others with respect? That’s what matters.

              1. ^this

                we need more buddhist cops!

              2. I was thinking about folks like heller, who said Gilder is a “kook.”

                I contend that this proves too much, unless of course you want to call Jefferson a “kook.”

                (And of course, I did not say Jefferson was as mystic as the fundies or whatever)

                1. I don’t think people are calling Gilder a kook because he is a Creationist. I believe people call him a kook because he believes that there is a conspiracy to “convert” young boys into the “homosexual lifestyle”.

                  1. Heroic Mulatto| 9.8.12 @ 8:20PM |#
                    “I don’t think people are calling Gilder a kook because he is a Creationist.”

                    *I* am.

                2. Gilder isn’t a kook because he believes certain things. It’s his “reasoning” and eccentric sentimentalities that make him a kook.

            2. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 7:51PM |#
              “So let’s let it all out – did Thomas Jefferson believe in superstition because he claimed there was a Creator?”
              If he did, yes.
              He also held slaves. Times and knowledge change.

              1. He knew slavery was wrong. He signed a bill to ban the importation of slaves. He supported a bill to keep slavery out of much of the American West.

                If only he’d posted sarcastic comments against slavery on the Internet, his record would have been perfect!

                1. And what knowledge do we possess, denied to Jefferson, that there is no creator?

                  1. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:04PM |#
                    “And what knowledge do we possess, denied to Jefferson, that there is no creator?”

                    You’re kidding, I hope?
                    What knowledge do we possess, denied to Jefferson, that there is no Santa Claus?
                    Sorry, you’re claiming the existence of some fantastic entity. Let’s see some really fantastic evidence of such.
                    Or even one, tiny, miserable, infinitesimal bit of evidence. Just one.

                    1. You said “times and knowledge change,” and I asked what changes in knowledge between his day and ours applied in the case of Jefferson’s belief in a creator.

                      Lord forbid (so to speak) that I would try to defend the larger position of why Jefferson was right. I just want to know how we have come to have more knowledge than him about God, and by what definition of knowledge?

                      As to slavery, I was simply trying to give some mitigating factors, not to deny he owned slaves. He knew it was wrong, said so, and actually did something about slavery – but alas, didn’t free his slaves. Not because he lacked knowledge of the ill effects of slavery (which he said was harmful to master and slave alike), but because he lacked the will to act on his knowledge.

                    2. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:12PM |#
                      “You said “times and knowledge change,” and I asked what changes in knowledge between his day and ours applied in the case of Jefferson’s belief in a creator.”

                      Evidence, Eduard, not Arthur Murray crap, evidence.
                      Got it? Let’s see it. Can the crap.

                    3. BTW, you’ve yet to prove that he believed in a sky daddy. Using the term creator does not do so; Einstein once claimed ‘god doesn’t throw dice’, and bleevers ever since have claimed that meant he was superstitious.
                      Hogwash.

                    4. Of course Einstein was superstitious. He was a socialist.

                    5. Heroic Mulatto| 9.8.12 @ 8:28PM |#
                      “Of course Einstein was superstitious. He was a socialist.”

                      And pace Dunphy above, that sort of superstition isn’t sufficient to reject the rest of his efforts.

                    6. My claim was that I have yet to see evidence that Gilder is more “superstitious” than Thomas Jefferson.

                      From this, you want to bait me into a broader debate.

                      Don’t see what good that would do.

                    7. “you’ve yet to prove that [Jefferson] believed in a sky daddy.”

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T…..d_religion

                    8. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:42PM |#
                      “you’ve yet to prove that [Jefferson] believed in a sky daddy.”
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T…..d_religion”

                      Nope. A wiki cite is only gonna get snickers.

                    9. From a letter of his quoted in the article:

                      “I am anxious to see the doctrine of one god commenced in our state. But the population of my neighborhood is too slender, and is too much divided into other sects to maintain any one preacher well. I must therefore be contented to be an Unitarian by myself, altho I know there are many around me who would become so, if once they could hear the questions fairly stated.”

                      So he claimed to be a Unitarian at a time that Unitarians believed in God (“the doctrine of one god”).

                      His opponents, and his modern secular admirers, look at his rejection of orthodox Christianity and assume he disbelieved in God. His opponents had an excuse – they were politicians exaggerating a case in order to get the other guy (Adams) elected. What excuse do modern people have, what with their full access to his private letters (such as the above) not to mention his public statements about a Creator and a just God (“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just,” etc.)

                    10. “His opponents, and his modern secular admirers, look at his rejection of orthodox Christianity and assume he disbelieved in God.”

                      And there is no proof otherwise.

                    11. Except for the proof I cited, and a whole lot more.

                      Are you wearing special evidence-proof spectacles?

                    12. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:55PM |#
                      “Except for the proof I cited, and a whole lot more.”

                      No, you have claims.
                      Now, evidence of the sky daddy. Got it? Let’s see it.
                      Evidence Eduard; cut the crap and deliver.

                    13. Do you mean I haven’t shown evidence Jefferson believed in God, or that I haven’t shown evidence of God?

                      Because I’ve already said I’m not debating the latter today, thank you all the same.

                    14. That was a nice goal post move from prove TJ believed in a sky daddy to proving the sky daddy exists. Bravo.

                    15. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:37PM |#
                      “My claim was that I have yet to see evidence that Gilder is more “superstitious” than Thomas Jefferson.”

                      Someone mentioning “creator” in the 18th century is the equivalent of someone claiming to be an intellectual in the 21st century and denying evolution?
                      You can try to sell that sort of bullshit to someone, but not me.

                    16. Educate me about ID – in what way does it deny evolution?

                    17. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:48PM |#
                      “Educate me about ID – in what way does it deny evolution?”

                      Sorry, socratic questioning is a capital offense.

                    18. And try to avoid the darwinism=evolution trope. There was evolutionary theory before Charles Darwin.

                      Anyway, casting someone into the outer darkness because he’s supposedly wrong about some politically-correct topic is like rejecting a *Reason* editor for being a Bears fan.

                    19. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:55PM |#
                      “And try to avoid the darwinism=evolution trope. There was evolutionary theory before Charles Darwin.”

                      Evidence of the sky daddy, Eduard. Evidence. Let’s see it. Evidence. Got it? Where is it Eduard?

                    20. And:
                      Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:48PM |#
                      “Educate me about ID – in what way does it deny evolution?”

                      That evidence, Eduard. Let’s quite dancing around the floor.
                      Evidence or can it. Evidence. Got it? Let’s see it.

                    21. I showed you some of the evidence about Jefferson, but apparently you didn’t “see it.”

                      That is, you didn’t didn’t just say Jefferson was lying in the letter I quoted, or in the Declaration of Independence, or in his statement about the justice of God, or that he was trying to suck up to the superstitious masses – you literally claimed there was no evidence at all.

                    22. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 9:00PM |#
                      “I showed you some of the evidence about Jefferson, but apparently you didn’t “see it.””

                      Cut the crap Eduard.
                      Evidence of the sky daddy, Eduard. No more ‘well, *he* said so’.
                      Cut the crap; let’s see the evidence Eduard. Evidence; let’s see it. Now.

                    23. I showed evidence Jefferson believed in God.

                      As for arguments in favor of God’s existence, I’m flattered that you think I can improve on other peoples’ arguments, but I still decline to engage that issue.

                    24. You’re very persistent – I bet it gets you a lot of dates.

                    25. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 9:05PM |#
                      “You’re very persistent – I bet it gets you a lot of dates.”

                      Evidence, Eduard. Evidence. Let’s see it. You make claims, let’s see some evidence for those claims Eduard.
                      Your bullshit is getting real worn out; let’s see the evidence.

                    26. To reward your persistence and your refusal to give up, I give you this link:

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_b7RDuLwcI

                    27. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 9:20PM |#
                      “To reward your persistence and your refusal to give up, I give you this link:
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_b7RDuLwcI

                      There’s a term for those who make a claim, and then duck, dive and misdirect attention rather than support it; I’ll let you guess what it is.

                    28. Educate me about ID – in what way does it deny evolution?

                      Interesting. Considering this question, I suppose in some ways you could consider it as a denial of evolution, seeing that evolution is an undirected process of change in creatures over generations, while intelligent design is a directed, deliberate, and intelligent change in creatures by a “designer” that doesn’t necessarily happen over time.

                      Since a big part of evolution is the notion that these changes in species are undirected, while intelligent design is predicated upon the notion of intentional meddling of genes, I’d say yes, it does deny evolution. I suppose another way of naming intelligent design would be “divine eugenics”. Additionally, consider that it’s proponents promote it entirely as an ALTERNATIVE to evolutionary theory, it’s again pretty simple to conclude that it is, or at least is MEANT TO, refute evolution as a leading theory.

                    29. When it comes Evolution, the science is settled.

                    30. When it comes Evolution, the science is settled.

                      Science is NEVER “settled”. However, for the moment there is no disproof of evolution, or more specifically genetic evolution. I don’t expect we’ll find any evidence contradicting it.

                2. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 8:02PM |#
                  “He knew slavery was wrong. He signed a bill to ban the importation of slaves. He supported a bill to keep slavery out of much of the American West.”
                  And he held slaves. Times change.

                  “If only he’d posted sarcastic comments against slavery on the Internet, his record would have been perfect!”
                  Ha and ha.

                  1. So which fairy tales can we believe in and not be a kook?

                    1. It depends at what point you consider someone to be a “kook”.

      2. cosmos=cosmotarians

        1. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 7:34PM |#
          “cosmos=cosmotarians”
          Dunno what this means.

          1. The left wing of libertarianism.

            Pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, contemptuous of religion.

            1. Consider me cosmo in your definition; first time I’ve every been called ‘left’.

            2. Hey now, libertarians can and do (and should, IMO) disagree about abortion. But if you don’t support the right of adults to form family units as they see fit, you’re not a libertarian at all.

              1. A useful quiz on cosmo v. paleo:

                http://www.okcupid.com/tests/t…..bertarians

                1. Way too fucking long. No analysis of your answers at the end. Thumbs down

                  1. Also looks strongly like it represents caricatures of libertarian views; written by a statist.
                    Either a So Con or a Commy?

            3. The left wing of libertarianism.

              Pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, contemptuous of religion.

              I always thought the Cosmo/Paleo divide had something to do with Jews.

              Namely that cosmos hate and love Jews while paleos love and hate Jews.

              Or maybe I am confusing Jews with the Civil War.

              Sooo confusing.

              1. No no paleos want to bring back the confederacy and re-enslave blacks.

                1. No no paleos want to bring back the confederacy and re-enslave blacks.

                  That’s a myth, of course. Modern paleos want to enslave other minorities, and the poor, too.

          2. Cosmos are usually consequentialists while paleos are near universally natural rights

            Back when I first started reading the comments here the obvious divide was government-funded fetal stem cell research. Paleos were agin it as government shouldn’t fund scientific research at all (except maybe as directly applicable to a constitutional function of government if you approve of such things), so any limit was good. Cosmos tended (not always) to favor it “as long as government is going to fund science why not an area that offers great potential to end suffering and besides, it pisses off those sky-daddy worshiping Christ-fags.

            1. paleos are near universally natural rights

              Except for black people circa 1860s.

    1. Hate to nitpick the awesome, but that shit about carrying a gun made my eyes roll.

      Sorry, I’m not a world class martial artist. That’s why I carry a gun.

      1. I believe (or I hope) that was Gracie being sarcastic.

  13. i’ve always liked trey parkers take on theism vs. atheism

    “Basically … out of all the ridiculous religion stories which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous ? the silliest one I’ve ever heard is, ‘Yeah … there’s this big giant universe and it’s expanding, it’s all gonna collapse on itself and we’re all just here just ’cause … just ’cause’. That, to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever.”[28]

    iow, the only think more ridiculous than theism… is atheism

    1. “iow, the only think more ridiculous than theism… is atheism”

      Argument from ignorance. How………….
      silly.

      1. i think there’s a lot of wisdom in what trey says.

        either way, imo – what’s important is not what we believe, it’s how we live

        be loving and respectful towards others.

        fight injustice

        have fun

        1. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 8:52PM |#
          “i think there’s a lot of wisdom in what trey says.”

          That’s not ‘wisdom’; that’s an admission that he’s not real familiar with the issue.
          But that convinces people who are equally unfamiliar with the issue.
          Have fun

          1. ah
            yes

            the STOCK elitist answer for all occasions. i was commenting on this syndrome the other day

            the “if they don’t agree with me, it’s because i understand the issue better” argument

            lol

            never fails

            you simply cannot accept that rational, intelligent, conscientious people can have DIFFERENT opinions or can you?

            i dont’ assume because somebody disagrees with me that they are ignorant. but that is a very stock reasonoid response (quite common amongst progressives too). brought it up in another thread

            it’s the “if only they understood this complex issue as well as i do, they would agree with me” syndrome

            it really is the height of arrogance.

            i think it’s why so many niche political types are such social misfits. you can’t simply disagree with the guy. nope, he just doesn’t UNDERSTAND like you do. you and yer big brain. YOU are “real familiar with the issue”. he isn’t. QED. because he comes to a different conclusion

            and me, by extension because i find his statement wise (note I didn’t say i agreed with what he said. i said there was a lot of wisdom in it)

            it must be wonderful to go through life being so much better informed and so much smarter than anybody else. and to be assured that whenever somebody disagrees with you, why they are a KOOK, or just uninformed

            jesus christ. over and over again, the same syndrome of elitism

            1. Dunphy (the real one)| 9.8.12 @ 9:28PM |#
              “ah
              yes”

              Ah, yes. The stock ignoramus comment answer for all occasions:
              “Why, no one knows for certain!”
              Bullshit, dunphy; just plain bullshit. Some things are pretty well known, and claiming to be ‘open minded’ about them just means you’re an ignoramus.

            2. Oh, and yes, it is a pleasure going through life and not wasting time looking at the same damn crap that ignoramuses continue to argue over.
              Sorry; stories about sky daddies, silly bleefs about creationism, stupid comments about “chemicals!”, why, all that, I get to ignore or laugh at.
              Oh, and it you really want an example of ‘elitism’, bozo, how about ‘well, I really don’t know anything about anything and that makes me superior’. Willful stupidity really doesn’t confer superiority on anyone.
              Stuff it, dunphy, and learn to use the shift key.

            3. REALLY, Dunphy? That’s your response? “Cosmology = atheism and anyone who disagrees is elitist”? Because that’s what Trey Parker is ACTUALLY referring to there. Cosmological theories, not atheism. It’s the dumbest conflation I’ve heard all week.

        2. i think there’s a lot of wisdom in what trey says.

          There is no wisdom to be found in conflating being non-theistic with believing in cosmological theories.

      2. I think Dunphy makes a point. Atheism is guilty of the same sin as it claims for theism: Claiming an affirmative condition without proof. In fact, it’s probably weaker than the proof offered by theists.

        The farthest someone who truly believed in science could go is to say that he’s agnostic, that there is not evidence for the existence of God, but that it may turn up one day. To assert one’s atheism is to say without reservation that the evidence says there is no God…and that just isn’t possible.

        1. Brutus| 9.8.12 @ 10:04PM |#
          “I think Dunphy makes a point. Atheism is guilty of the same sin as it claims for theism: Claiming an affirmative condition without proof.”

          Bullshit.
          I make no claim there isn’t; I make the claim there isn’t a shred of evidence to support the claims there is.
          Got any? Eduard seems to be very accomplished at dancing around the issue. Maybe you’re not.
          Got any evidence? Let’s see it.

          1. Then you are an agnostic. A fair cop.

            There have been many cases of documented miracle healings, for one.

            The behavior of Christ’s apostles after the crucifixtion, for another.

            1. Brutus| 9.8.12 @ 10:14PM |#
              “Then you are an agnostic. A fair cop.”
              No, I’m an atheist; I do not believe in that which is not shown until it is. My certainty is similar to my a-santaclaus. I do not believe this fantastic creature exists; what proof have you of your claims?
              I do not state that it does not; you state it does; let’s see the evidence.

              “There have been many cases of documented miracle healings, for one.
              Cite missing.

              “The behavior of Christ’s apostles after the crucifixtion, for another.”
              There isn’t a shred of evidence for either an historical Christ or a crucifixion, so let’s start from facts.

              1. The Roman historian Tacitus specifically mentions Jesus Christ, the early Christians and His crucifixion in his work, “Annals.”

                There are plenty of web pages with documented healings. You can find them if you want. Here’s one regarding Lourdes:

                http://olrl.org/stories/lourdes.shtml

                1. Brutus| 9.8.12 @ 10:46PM |#
                  The Roman historian Tacitus specifically mentions Jesus Christ, the early Christians and His crucifixion in his work, “Annals.””
                  He mentions that people mention such a person.”

                  That piece of crap has been floated around for years as “evidence” of a mythical being; it isn’t. It’s evidence that other people have repeated a myth and Tacitus recorded the claims.
                  Sorry, I want *evidence*; walking on water, loaves and fishes, *miracles*! If not, you got Sam down the corner who says his wife once claimed her hair-dresser’s cousin…
                  ————————-
                  “There are plenty of web pages with documented healings. You can find them if you want. Here’s one regarding Lourdes:”

                  Fail. There are all sorts of web pages claiming all sorts of miracles.
                  Are you familiar with the term “evidence”?

                  1. So I show you evidence and you dismiss it? You even mischaracterize what Tacitus wrote. You can find it here:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ

                    Nothing about “people mentioning such a person.” It was about official acts of the Romans, of which Tacitus is considered the best historian of the era. I’d call that more than a shred of evidence of His existence and the existence of a fairly large Christian community at the time.

                    Each and every one of Christ’s apostles couldn’t get away from Him fast enough after His crucifixion, yet each and every one of them went to his death proclaiming Christ was the Son of God. Now why would that be?

                    Lastly, there have been more than 4,000 claims of healing from Lourdes. These aren’t just “stories.” From those 4,000+, the RCC has confirmed more than 60 where terminal or acutely chronic diseases vanished after being there in hopes of such a miracle.

                    Someone intersted in science might look at that as evidence of something, no?

                    1. Brutus| 9.8.12 @ 11:25PM |#
                      “So I show you evidence and you dismiss it?”

                      No. You show me hearsay, and I dismiss it. ‘Considered reliable’ by bleevers means that bleevers bleeve. That is *not* evidence of miracles; let’s see evidence. Repeat: Evidence. You know, like confirming statements by someone living within a hundred years or so. Like an actual fish that was turned into many of them. You know, *evidence*. You do know what that means, don’t you?
                      You claim a miraculous being; let’s see even one bit of evidence.
                      Fail.
                      —————
                      “Each and every one of Christ’s apostles couldn’t get away from Him fast enough after His crucifixion, yet each and every one of them went to his death proclaiming Christ was the Son of God. Now why would that be?”

                      Begging the question. That’s what you did. Are you familiar with the term?
                      You presume a miraculous being and you then use the presumption to prove same.
                      Fail.
                      ————-
                      “Lastly, there have been more than 4,000 claims of healing from Lourdes.”

                      Evidence. That’s what you don’t have. Are you familiar with the term?
                      ————-
                      “Someone interested in science might look at that as evidence of something, no?”
                      No. Someone interested in science would see it as a load of bullshit.
                      Sorry, one more silly bleever with no more data than the last ignoramus.
                      Go away.

                    2. All of these are from your desired period:

                      http://www.miraclehunter.com/m…..cles3.html

                      You will notice a lot of use of “medically inxplicable.”

                      Would you like to proffer your explanation as to why the Apostles happily went to their deaths in full belief that Christ (and I think we’ve established His existence, no?) was who he said he was, when they couldn’t put enough distance between themselves and Him after the crucifixion?

                      And please, let’s not try to pretend foul language makes for convincing argument, shall we?

                    3. You will notice a lot of use of “medically inxplicable.”

                      Meaning they can’t prove anything. Hardly proof of them being “miracles”.

                      Would you like to proffer your explanation as to why the Apostles happily went to their deaths in full belief that Christ (and I think we’ve established His existence, no?) was who he said he was, when they couldn’t put enough distance between themselves and Him after the crucifixion?

                      Nope. Just because I don’t have proven explanation doesn’t mean you’ve proved yours, though. You make claims. You cite OTHER people who makes claims. You don’t provide any evidence that these claims are true. Just more claims.

                    4. Perhaps God should give out Certificates of Authenticity with His miracles.

                      Again, if the Apostles were all about hightailing away from the crucified Jesus, one has to ask why they all, to a man, reversed direction and went to their deaths – deaths preventable had they renounced Christ’s divinity – proclaiming it.

                      This magazine is called “Reason.” Why not use it?

                    5. Brutus| 9.9.12 @ 12:28AM |#
                      “All of these are from your desired period:
                      http://www.miraclehunter.com/m…..cles3.html
                      You will notice a lot of use of “medically inxplicable.”

                      You’d note the use of “idiot”. Care to offer evidence, idiot?

                    6. Why are you so hostile bro? I get the hostility towards shithead and his ilk. But why towards believers? It’s not like that and libertarianism are incompatible.

                    7. DesigNate| 9.9.12 @ 11:48PM |#
                      “Why are you so hostile bro? I get the hostility towards shithead and his ilk. But why towards believers? It’s not like that and libertarianism are incompatible.”

                      I make no comment about libertarianism and bleevers.
                      I make comment about those who bleeve in superstitions trying to pawn them off as anything other than superstition.
                      Sorry, suffering fools, regardless of their political views, isn’t one of my skills.

                    8. Dude, whether or not you believe in miracles, doesn’t mean there was no historical Jesus. We know that there were a lot of “messiahs” during that time period of Roman occupation. To discount a historical possibility of one existing because someone gave him magic powers is fucking retarded.

                    9. This magazine is called “Reason.” Why not use it?

                      Says the guy who claims that not knowing what causes something means it must be a miracle.

                    10. Dude, whether or not you believe in miracles, doesn’t mean there was no historical Jesus.

                      It also doesn’t mean he DID exist. All we want is actual evidence of it, not claims he did that were written years and years after the times in question.

                      To discount a historical possibility of one existing because someone gave him magic powers is fucking retarded.

                      No, to ACCEPT a historical possibility (possibility, not fact) without evidence just because it’s popular with a lot people today is “fucking retarded”.

                    11. Evidence would be great. The best we have are multiple writings from multiple sources, not all of which are Christian.

                      And completely discrediting someone for thinking that he existed (a position that even most non-Christian scholars accept as fact based on the evidence at hand) does nothing but cause hostility between us and others.

                    12. DesigNate| 9.9.12 @ 11:44PM |#
                      “Evidence would be great. The best we have are multiple writings from multiple sources, not all of which are Christian.”

                      Yes, we have others stating Xians make claims. So what?
                      ————
                      “And completely discrediting someone for thinking that he existed (a position that even most non-Christian scholars accept as fact based on the evidence at hand) does nothing but cause hostility between us and others.”

                      Uh, got even one shred of evidence?
                      Your bullshit is showing.
                      EVIDENCE, not claims, not bleefs: EVIDENCE!
                      Got it? Let’s see it.

        2. Atheism is guilty of the same sin as it claims for theism: Claiming an affirmative condition without proof.

          Except being atheist isn’t “affirming” ANYTHING. It’s like saying that “I don’t play sports” means I play a sport. Not to mention, AGAIN, that what Trey Parker, in all his ignorance, is referring to is cosmological theory, NOT atheism.

          The farthest someone who truly believed in science could go is to say that he’s agnostic, that there is not evidence for the existence of God, but that it may turn up one day.

          That is exactly what I believe, and I AM an atheist. “Not believing in religious ideas” = atheist. THAT’S WHAT IT IS. I don’t believe in any of them; some of them COULD be true, but I have no reason to believe they are. That could change; it probably won’t. Agnosticism is not being able to make up your mind. “There are good arguments for and against. I just don’t know.”

          1. Poor analogy. We aren’t talking about playing sports, we’re talking (using your metaphor) the existence of sports. You’re saying that, because you don’t play, they don’t exist.

            1. I’m saying that, because I don’t play, I’M NOT PLAYING. Similarly, I’m saying that because I’m an atheist, I DON’T BELIEVE IN RELIGIOUS IDEAS. Not believing in an idea /=/ believing in an idea. Is it really that hard to understand?

            2. We aren’t talking about playing sports, we’re talking (using your metaphor) the existence of sports.

              In my analogy, sports /=/ religions. Sports = religious beliefs. If you’re suggesting I don’t acknowledge religious beliefs exist, then I don’t what know you’re thinking.

        3. To assert one’s atheism is to say without reservation that the evidence says there is no God…and that just isn’t possible.

          NO, it’s to say that there isn’t evidence of religious ideas being true. Which I believe to be the case, hence atheist. It’s impossible to have evidence against non-falsifiable beliefs, which is what religious beliefs are. The only way to prove something doesn’t exist is to prove what that something else exists in it’s place. Which is why we don’t believe that disease is caused by demons or bad blood anymore; we have germ theory to explain those.

    2. Shorter Trey: it’s ridiculous because it should be and therefore is.

      1. Cytotoxic| 9.8.12 @ 10:41PM |#
        “Shorter Trey: it’s ridiculous because it should be and therefore is.”

        He’s not a dummy, but he’s been very successful and people interview him about matters of which he has no knowledge. He needs to learn to shut up.
        Again, ‘argument from ignorance’.

    3. Nobody bats a thousand, but this is a particularly embarrassing whiff on Trey’s part.

      1. ubercynic| 9.9.12 @ 1:55AM |#
        “Nobody bats a thousand, but this is a particularly embarrassing whiff on Trey’s part.”

        He’s a comic writer; he should STFU when it comes to issues where he has no data.

  14. ?But believe it or not, you won’t find it so hot
    If you ain’t got the do re mi.?

    In California the poor are reduced to subsisting on Obama chicken

    1. In Paris, toward the end of WWII, food was getting scarce. Rat was referred to as ‘roof chicken’.
      Obama has a future!

      1. Rat was referred to as ‘roof chicken’.

        I think you mean pigeon not rat.

        1. Corning| 9.8.12 @ 9:41PM |#
          “Rat was referred to as ‘roof chicken’.
          I think you mean pigeon not rat.”

          Could be; maybe rat had another euphemism? I didn’t drag out the book…

    2. Hey at least he gets food and shelter for two months!

  15. speaking of meth and violent behavior…

    i have friends with vancouver PD. maybe one of my buddies arrested this scumbag

    VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) – A woman who threw her boyfriend’s dog into freeway traffic last December has been sentenced to seven months in jail – and five years without pets.

    The Columbian newspaper reports that Shellie Hubbard of Portland, Ore., pleaded guilty last month and was sentenced Friday in Clark County Superior Court for first-degree animal cruelty, third-degree assault and possession of methamphetamine.

    Judge Barbara Johnson noted that in addition to the dog’s death, the 46-year-old’s actions endangered drivers on Interstate 205.

    The incident began last Dec. 22, when Hubbard and her boyfriend began arguing. She struck him with a broken coffee mug, slicing his hand, and he pulled the car over. Hubbard let the Catahoula leopard hound dog, named Peanut Butter, out of the car, then scooped it up and threw it into traffic.

    The dog was struck and killed as it tried to walk back to the side of the road.
    http://www.komonews.com/news/l…..45396.html

    1. Is there honestly a jury in the world that would convict him for, lets say, pounding that cunts head into the concrete until it was a red smear? What kind of psychopathic bitch would do something like that?

      It’s like I’m always so amazed these cops shoot dogs and get away with it. If someone shot my dog for no good reason I’d tear their fucking heart out and piss in the hole. There wouldn’t be no paid suspension, I’d kill them where they stood.

      1. Well, if he did so and I were a juror on such a case, I’d vote to convict on third-degree murder. There’s clearly extreme provocation, but unless she were trying to kill or injure him or some other innocent person, he’s not justified in offing her. I wouldn’t convict him for kicking her ass, though.

        -jcr

  16. Eduard van Haalen| 9.8.12 @ 9:02PM |#
    “Do you mean I haven’t shown evidence Jefferson believed in God, or that I haven’t shown evidence of God?
    Because I’ve already said I’m not debating the latter today, thank you all the same.”

    So, you made the claim and you’re not ‘debating’ it? IOWs, you admit you have zero evidence for it, Eduard?
    Do I have that correct, Eduard, that you claim a mystical being and then blow off any support for that claim, Eduard?
    So can we presume you’re a bullshit artist, Eduard? What other possibility might there be, Eduard?
    Knave or fool, which is it?

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Eduard’s initial comment was about Thomas Jeffersons belief in a creator. Not of the flying spaghetti monster actually exists.

      1. DesigNate| 9.9.12 @ 2:31PM |#
        “Correct me if I’m wrong, but Eduard’s initial comment was about Thomas Jeffersons belief in a creator. Not of the flying spaghetti monster actually exists.”

        Yes, but what I’m quoting isn’t that statement. It’s his statement that s/he won’t ‘debate’ the claim of a skydaddy.

  17. That Democrats would take such a position on God and Israel is a dark, dark day for America.

    FYI – There is a new Obama video on youtube that’s had ~350,000 hits in 6 days – folks might enjoy and find of value to share. See at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8R5GvwUFU8

  18. Well this thread went in a depressingly predictable direction…

  19. Geezus Kryste Nick. Treating wack-a-loons like rational people, undermines your credibility.

    1. I think we’d do well to avoid the Sovietization of libertarianism. Just because people have a belief in God does not make them irrational or insane. By this yardstick, we should avoid the use of calculus because Liebniz and Newton were religious men.

      1. It does make them irrational, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t engage.

      2. Brutus| 9.9.12 @ 2:29PM |#
        “I think we’d do well to avoid the Sovietization of libertarianism.”

        Yep, and we’d to better to avoid silly bleevers.

  20. Wait, is Reason now ‘Supply Sider’? I can still be a libertarian without believing that crap can’t I?

  21. Not all anti-capitalist are anti-semites but all homophobes are closet queens.

  22. DesigNate| 9.9.12 @ 2:38PM |#
    “Dude, whether or not you believe in miracles, doesn’t mean there was no historical Jesus. We know that there were a lot of “messiahs” during that time period of Roman occupation. To discount a historical possibility of one existing because someone gave him magic powers is fucking retarded.”

    DUDE (idiot), if you’re claiming someone with the name of Jesus existed, you’re right.
    But DUDE (idiot) the claimed Jesus is a miracle-worker, DUDE (idiot). You got proof of that, let’s see it, DUDE (idiot). Or STFU DUDE (idiot).

  23. Brutus| 9.9.12 @ 2:17PM |#
    “Perhaps God should give out Certificates of Authenticity with His miracles.”

    Perhaps bleevers should grow a brain-cell instead of invoking a mythical being.

  24. Traditional marriage is a man buying me from my father for two goats and a camel.

    1. That’s not true, you know.

      Usually your father had to GIVE the guy two goats and a camel to get him to take you. A dowry was a bribe from the bride’s family to the groom.

      It usually had two purposes: to compensate the groom for taking a mouth to feed off the father’s hands, and also to serve as a lump of property that would revert to the bride if the husband abandoned her or died prematurely.

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