The Wonder of Guadalupe

So a family friend retired and moved to a 3rd world country to be a missionary. Ten years later she fainted while walking and quickly died. She was already kind of sick and prone to fainting, but she refused to see a doctor because she thought she could pray it away. Before she died she sent me this- the wonder of Guadalupe by Francis Johnston.

She wanted me to give out flyers to my family too. And to give the book to her half brother after I read it, even though he is already a Catholic pharmacist and he flew to the Philippines for her funeral. Btw I barely even know her, I haven’t talked to her in six or 10 years, so it was weird getting this. Catholics always do this shit.

Pg 51 had testimony of a dead man rising in the 1500s due to a Mexican group’s prayers after being shot through the neck with an arrow. There is also a part where a cathedral is slowly being flooded which could destroy a relic, a friar prays to god, and the water slowly exceeds which is a miracle.

Reply:

As someone living in Latin America, Virgin of Guadalupe is one of my favorite hoaxes in history.

95% of it is mass hysteria, fabricated in folk process and then assimilated by the Church for its strategic value. Needless to say the Vatican’s 2 greatest clients nowadays are Latin America and Sub-saharian Africa. They go after the poorest and dumbest, for they are they easiest to get convinced by bullshit and the most likely to breed irresponsibly, thereby passing the virus down generations more effectively.

liberty is bleeding

Catholic miracles are really shitty and unspectacular. Look, I have as much proof the statue of liberty bled blood as you do that your statue is a message from God.

bleeding-lain-statue-gif

Miracles are a dime a dozen these days.

Advertisements

Thought leaders

This kind of manipulation using well-known marketing techniques is annoying. It’s why I hate Jordan Peterson and am often suspicious of Sam Harris. A good trick when you’re done listening to a presentation is to remove the distractions and just look at the words that were said and ask yourself precisely what new insights you learned that you didn’t know before?

I love the tag-team of comments that observed:

“Average Baptist Sermon: a ted talk is pretty much a religious sermon in our modern world.”

Race realists are full of shit

The magic words which decisively convinced me the race realists are full of shit is that there is no possible test to compare the intelligence of someone who went to school in America, to a guy who lived in a jungle eating worms and mastering how to gather food to survive. You really think the guy in the jungle is going to ace a math test? No way, but it doesn’t mean you have tested his genetic IQ.

In most of Africa people have very little schooling and what they have is sub-standard, and add to that disease and malnutrition. Meanwhile blacks in America have been held back by segregation, racism and sub-standard education in poor neighborhoods. There are way too many variables to accept Charles Murray’s views.

For the record there could indeed be genetic differences between groups of people that share similar physical characteristics which we might someday discover, but there is no way you can credibly measure that right now. For all we know it could be that whites have lower genetic IQ, but as a result of the vicissitudes of history enjoy systematic advantages that create the illusion that race realists point at. If you saw evidence then you could justify racism, but there’s just no evidence, and anecdotal evidence isn’t the kind of widespread study that we would need to know it.

And as for Asians, well they’re trained like robots from a young age. The kind of militaristic education implemented in Japan before the pacific war still exists, and they’re forced to study for long hours, and to conform and be disciplined. Of course if you’re raised in such a Spartan culture you’re going to ace more math tests. And I think a similar argument can apply toward why Jews do well, given how they value education, thriftiness, and use their hereditary wealth to help one another.

Old Post: Convincing zealots and Trump fans?

There are posters who are trying to convince Trump fans that he is another Richard Nixon, and we need to have a serious debate about the best way to debrainwash them. This is not a thread about whether Trump is bad, this is a thread that goes beyond that premise, and tries to find the best way to show his fans they are gravely mistaken. It is a general thread about convincing true believers to listen and question what they believe. The thread therefore doesn’t have to be only about Trump, which is just an example, but can branch into psychology and philosophy and logic without being off topic. That is all you need to know if you want to skip the rest of my post and get to the replies. TL;DR end.

Longer post for the patient readers:

What we liberals are doing to change minds is generally not working, even if we speak the truth and sound the alarm for years. We need to discuss how to teach critical thinking to people who do not was to learn it, and we need to understand how we can resolve this without sounding so condescending that they refuse to listen to what we are trying to teach. Subversive humor can defuse tension whine making a point that stocks and is a useful strategy too. If only it were this easy to get a Trump fan to read a book so that he might change his mind:

But more seriously, I believe the best way to counter deflection about “Grab her by the pussy” to Democratic politicians they claim behaved more badly like Bill Clinton is to point out that Trump is an especially poor family man who cheated on his wife which didn’t get enough attention. Republicans that believe in family values need to be given cognitive dissonance if we are to have any influence, while we also learn to avoid inadvertently triggering the backfire effect.

We need to discuss how to debunk his business acumen, his pretense of loyalty to America and the American working/ middle class, and the pretense he is not a liar but someone who tells it as it is and can be forgiven for being coarse. We need to show he is unethical, and I think talking about how he scammed students at Trump university of their life savings, and then refused to apologize or give any compensation/refunds, instead threatening them with a costly lawsuit, is the easiest way to show his selfish character is not in the best interests of the working or aspirational class. He is not a role model for children.

Then we need to debunk the idea he is a genius who is a strategist and playing 4D chess with foreign and domestic players. We need to debunk the idea that a business man’s experience is applicable to efficiently running government. We need to debunk the idea liberals and their new sources do not need to be listened to. We need to convince the country that Trump has often been dishonest to his fan bade, and that his tweets therefore do not deserve the same credibility or freedom from skepticism as time-consuming and fair investigative reporting.

It is a matter of grave urgency because in a few years another demagogue or psychopath will have the idea try to copy Trump, and he will be more effective from learning from Trump. Many Republicans would rather have a king than a president. They like his royal proclamations, and would rather not have a leader who is held back by a committee of advisors or people he shares power with, laws, policies, and established principles.

We therefore need to convince the next generation that democracy is better than a constitutional dictatorship or monarchy, and we need to have a conversation about the most effective rhetoric out of dozens of valid speeches supported by sound facts. We need to find out how to show that Trump is corrupt, dangerous, and corrosive to democracy, and that you don’t want to elect another man like him.

Moreover faith in democracy is slipping, and we must convince them that democracy is on the whole better and more bloodless because it prevents frequent violent revolutions more than any other known system. We are in danger of forgetting that, and we are about to skip from having centuries of the Roman Republic to the centuries of the Roman dictatorship.

Why you ultimately can’t be allowed to believe whatever you want without criticism

“Why you ultimately can’t be allowed to believe whatever you want without facing criticism.”

(I’ll be paraphrasing Sam Harris here.)

I just want to contradict part of a common hippy logic that we should be allowed to believe in fantasies if they make us happy, or if we are weak and need them to survive. It often goes that they think that anyone who is invested in crapping on their fantasies is an a-hole. Undoubtably there are a-holes, but I think many of us do it benignly because we recognize the danger of bad ideas and if you will be living in the same society as everyone else, then your beliefs and their potential consequences are not an entirely private matter. If you’re going to vote, then it’s not just about you anymore, and you need to grow up and enter the arguments and face the music that you don’t want to hear. Most atheists do not enjoy inflicting emotional distress by telling vulnerable Christians that there is no Santa Clause, but there’s a kind of moral responsibility that can’t be ignored.

If each of us lived apart in our own prison cells, then there would be no harm in believing whatever we want. But there is obvious potential harm from letting someone live within fantasies which we can liken to having a bugged operating system. You never know when the vulnerability will be exploited. The people will also vote and if they don’t know what they are doing then their actions will affect everyone else. Often there doesn’t seem to be any immediate harm in letting someone believe a falsehood (such as that the Earth is flat.) However, since you can never be sure of what the future holds lies are not good in the long-term even if they’re convenient. Because a flaw that seemed harmless can suddenly become significant when the world changes, such as when scientists made findings in STEM cell research, and then the religious conservatives turned reactionary and slowed down science because no one fixed their religious operating system.

Christians would be much better of believing there isn’t such a being, and you’ll be able to see a much more complicated world. Unfortunately, their belief system makes it so that you can discover there really isn’t any debate. Because you simply aren’t going to convince someone that has convinced themself that everything you say that is contrary to their conviction is part of a coverup–as with every argument you’ll have with a flat-earther.

Scattered initial thoughts on Peter Boghossian’s book

I read, “A manual for creating atheists” by Peter Boghossian and am reading a book on very obscure Shinto gods that only primitive superstitious people could believe in. One of the gods explains how stains and dirt gets on your ceiling even if you don’t touch it: sometimes a god licks it with his tongue which makes it dirty. His name is ceiling-licking, or “Tenjouname.”
I’m too lazy to format this entry– my reader base has dwindled after all! So let’s just throw a bunch of stuff together.

Continue reading Scattered initial thoughts on Peter Boghossian’s book

Armored Skeptic has Stopped Being a Skeptic

This isn’t the first time Creationist Cat has demolished the hypocrisy of the alt-right, and as usual he’s right. “You vote Republican you get religion. You get worse outcomes for science, education and the environment. Indeed it’s that simple.”

Continue reading Armored Skeptic has Stopped Being a Skeptic

Christopher Hitchens destroys Zen Buddhism and Shinto

At 5:40 Christopher Hitchens destroys Zen Buddhism and Shinto. He names a mind-glowingly thoughtless action by Buddhists, which he calls a contemplative nonsense, and then says, ““The sleep of reason brings forth monsters–and that’s Buddhism–the faith everyone goes to once they’ve exhausted Buddhism.Continue reading Christopher Hitchens destroys Zen Buddhism and Shinto