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Louis
Southern California
Interests: Movies, sci-fi/fantasy, chess, gay rights issues, Shakespeare, classical music, Buddhism, hot, muscular men, technology, bashing right-wing religionistas, cats, Obama, animation/anime/toons, good wine/dark chocolate/hot sex.
Recent Activity
It just seems to me love is a description of an emotion. It is not a method to explore reality. That's because you are so totally mired in rationalism that you literally can't see any other way. Thus, you demand I use the tools rationalism provides to "prove" my point: in effect, I must submit to your worldview in all respects or else. Well, I choose else.
Toggle Commented Jun 11, 2010 on Hitchens argument is not great at two or three . net
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If one can investigate reality solely with an emotion like love Now you're distorting what I said. I only make the observation that there are other valid ways to explore and know reality than rationalism or revelationism. I do, indeed, think that reason is one extraordinarily powerful way to go, but not the only one. There are important areas of human experience which do not fall exclusively under its sway (Robin's ludicrous example of measuring love notwithstanding). Since I've entertained philosophical wankery this far, I suppose I might as well go all the way. Since your arrogance and bad manners are at least as bad as the religionists you deplore, I see no reason to engage you.
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Define reality. Btw: you guys are doing the same thing Aaron and other religionists do: you propose to use the very same methodology to prove that that very same methodology is superior. Why should I just accept your assertion that rational tools (like Cin enumerated) are the only means of discerning and having a relationship with reality? Why, in turn, should I just accept what religionists propose (ie, the Bible, the "will" of God, Natural Law, etc)? Your arguments chase their own tails. In Robin's stacked deck of a hypothetical, she maintains a different type of knowing from that I seek. Indeed, I do think you rationalists are bloodless: not literally, as you would assume, but poetically, metaphorically. There are other ways to investigate reality which don't conform to rationalist or religionist norms: love is one (I can "know" my beloved much better through love than by hooking him up to machines and measuring his physiological responses or dissecting him, or than by praying for God's will in the matter); art and poetry are other ways.
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one could back up such a proposition with various lines of evidence, such as your behavior, your physiological reactions, or oxytocin levels in your brain. We could even see love on an MRI. Typical answer of the soulless and bloodless rationalist, ignoring an entire universe of experience and thinking it can be "measured" and quantified down to "physioloical reactions or oxytocin levels." Pathetic. Reading these answers I can kind of understand someone like Aaron and his motivations (though I profoundly disagree with him, especially when he reveals his ignorance about gay people). Love is also not a way of knowing or investigating reality. Another bloodless reaction from the rationalist camp. Please provide evidence for your assertion.
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Note, I didn't try to argue that these are "separate but equal" methods to true knowledge, just different and incompatible. I was merely trying to illuminate why you guys continue to argue to no avail: your methods of investigating and knowing reality are so different as to be mutually exclusive. I, myself, do not accept revelation at any point, but I do see where the religionist might. I do think reason is a better avenue for assessing reality, but it is not the last word as Robin has stated. For instance, can you rationally prove why you love someone? Rationalism has its limits too.
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It seems to me that there are at least two types of knowing on display here: rational argument and revelation (I do think there are others - like love - but they aren't at issue here). It's clear that these are two avenues which may parallel each other, but which don't intersect at any obvious point - which is why you guys continue to argue past each other. Revelation is a matter of faith which, though it may have its rational points, is based mainly on some sort of divine revelation. Now, the rationalist (Cineaste, Robin) will, of course, dismiss revelation as superstition or, at least, something not supported by evidence or reason. But that's the point, isn't it? The rationalist demands that revelation conform to its standards of judgment and knowing when the very point of revelation is that it is knowing which bypasses the rational faculty. Just because the rationalist doesn't accept this "supernatural" form of knowing doesn't automatically mean that divine revelation is wrong, just that it doesn't conform to rules of logic or the presentation of evidence. It has its own logic. The same is true from the opposite direction I think it's a mistake for the religiously-minded person to accept the rules that the rationalist demands. Just say, I accept it because I believe it is true revelation - I have been touched by God directly, or I know with my heart it's true. That's all that's necessary. The same goes for the rationalist: he can state that he doesn't accept divine revelation, that reason and logic are more compelling. At that point (the point we see above), paths diverge and each side talks past the other to their increasing frustration. For those of us who cannot accept either avenue there are other forms of knowing (including the possibility that we can't "know" anything for certain - an attack on both avenues). The rest is silence.
Toggle Commented May 26, 2010 on Hitchens argument is not great at two or three . net
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Souder in 2004: “I believe people can have a propensity to alcoholism. I believe they can have a propensity to look at pornography on [the] Internet. I believe they can have a propensity to be homosexual. But I believe that it’s wrong and it’s controllable. That is a fundamental, biblically based view that doesn’t leave a lot of room or comfortability in a society where they don’t want you to have absolutes.” It's not just the hypocrisy. It's that these "family values" Christian thugs consistently seek to demonize and scapegoat gays as a smokescreen for male, heterosexual privilege. Of course, their hypocrisy is especially smelly ("Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites all!"), but I expect that. But as a gay man, I am particularly incensed by the Christian, Republican right and their attacks on me, both as an individual and a citizen, to promote their proto-fascist agenda. Of course, without the vast swath of Christian evangelicals, fundamentalists, and other no-nothings, these demagogues would get nowhere. Shame on all of you!
Toggle Commented May 26, 2010 on Yes, hypocrisy makes it worse at two or three . net
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If you are private about your faith, why is that? Because I don't trust religion, the religious, and organized religion. As to the rest, certainly one's private spirituality may inform your public actions.
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btw: You asked below why I am private with my faith? You've just answered yourself above.
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Thanks daniel, yet another reason to dismiss christianism as irrelevant to my life. Zen Buddhism for me!
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Anything out there that will download Hulu vids? I want to collect Stewie Griffin clips.
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I don't fall into any of your categories, but I dislike common talk about something as profound as faith or my Higher Power. I also dislike the "God-talk" that seems so common among Evangelicals and Fundamentalists. To me, they cheapen something which is infinitely precious - especially when used for political purposes (eg, Sarah Palin). To me, the true meeting place between a man and his Higher Power lies within. Loud and public piety is the domain of the hypocrite and the shallow. True, existential, faith (ie, connection with God), to my mind, goes beyond language and, finally into the realm of silence. "Be still and know that I am GOD." Christ recognized this when he advised his followers to pray in secret to the Father Who is in secret.
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Your analogy is amusing, but breaks down when you compare a dog to a man. A vast difference, I think, starting with the fact a man's relationship with his Higher Power is not that of a pack to its alpha male. Men are vastly more complex.
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A philosophical dog? God must exist.
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An excellent occasion for Hitch's aphorism: Assertions without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Please provide evidence that a "private faith" equals an unexamined, insecure faith. Also, please provide definitions of your terms.
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There's a vast difference between WWII and today, and it's not "politically correct" to point that out.
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So, one guy on CNN has an opinion? Big deal! I've watched Republicans' bald-faced lies about Obama for two years now and it sickens me. Disgusting a--holes.
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I would be satisfied if the right would at least respect the President. Unfortunately, that seems to be beyond the reach of most of them. I'm not a professional historian, and America has been contentious from the beginning, but the current atmosphere seems to be the worst since pre-Civil War times.
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Since you obviously value fairness, let's commit some: I agree with you that it's unfair to blame an entire political philosophy because some deranged person commits an atrocity (supposedly) in its name. Thus, I don't blame all anti-abortion people because one or two assassinate doctors. But since the subject here is the media, and how some in the MSM may distort matters, shall we also consider how the right-wing media treat those of us who don't toe the conservative line? I don't have time to enumerate the times they attack, distort, and out-right lie about Obama and the Democrats in general, but I've seen it and read about it - the answer is plenty! Fox News, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Shawn Hannity, and all the usual suspects on hate-radio have made a living out of demonizing Obama and those of us who have the temerity to disagree with them. So, it goes both ways, depending on whom you listen to and whose ox is being gored. I also don't think you can compare the media with Karl Rove. After all, he was a government official and wielded much more power more directly. I've also noticed how deranged anti-government nutjobs can come from both the right and the left. A good friend of mine, lefty and all that, thinks that the government was behind 9/11 and nothing I can do will dissuade him (we had to quit talking about it). Crazy, paranoid beliefs come in all shades and sizes and persuasions. Clear thinking and reasoning are the only defense. Unfortunately, these are qualities which get short shrift in today's addle-brained society. End times, anyone?
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My comment addresses conservatives in general. Still, I think it's miraculous that any right-winger could defend Obama.
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My concern is not motivations, but words and actions. My observation of conservative Republicans and Christians in this poisonous political atmosphere is that any attempt at all to be fair to Obama is a true miracle. You should rejoice: the age of miracles is evidently not over.
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I don't "assume," I observe.
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Look Cin, Aaron providing proof that miracles do happen: a conservative Republican trying to be fair to Obama.
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The Iraq situation is not over yet: need I point that out? We aren't out, nor has the situation "stabilized." In fact, if anything, violence is growing. Now the Sunni parties are vowing to "sit out" the coming elections. The surge took place to give the Iraqi government breathing room to form a stable government with elections and so on. It remains to be seen if this will work out. I hope Biden's right, but it's not over til it's over. There's no "disconnect" as you put it regarding the health care debacle. The facts on the ground are that 60 votes are needed to get anything done in the Senate - ANYTHING. The Republican party is violently intransigent in not agreeing to anything at all that Obama wants to do. Thus, he was dependent on getting ALL 60 "Democrats" (is Lieberman really a Democrat? NO!) lined up in his corner, including the conservative ones. Ever try to herd cats? I still find it "interesting" that you combine these issues. They are not linked. Still, let us all just erase history so we can scream and holler and condemn Obama for not producing a true miracle and end the two Bush wars and restore the economy to health within one year of assuming office especially in the face of fanatic Republican opposition. 2001-2008 just didn't occur, in this view, and Republicans didn't control all three branches of government for 6 of those years. Yes, Clinton made mistakes, but if Bush was the savior as the Republicans believe, why were things worse at the end of his term than at the beginning? Oh, right, it's all the liberals fault (as is everything in the universe). Myself, I blame the American people - a more spoiled, soft-bellied, ignorant group of whiners I have never encountered. We want everything NOW, and we don't want to pay for any of it! Don't cut ANYTHING but taxes! And if the President can't give us everything we want NOW, then down with him! A bunch of three year olds. Arguing about it is pointless and, I believe, a sign of mental derangement. After the Supreme Court let the cat out of the bag (giving corporations rights reserved for living, breathing human beings), we have had confirmed my notion: our true masters are big money and big corporations: big oil, Wall Street, the Military-Industrial complex, big Insurance, big Pharma, and so on, ad nauseum. After all, we have the best congress money can buy! Only fools and the deluded think our political opinions count for anything.
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Weird. We're talking about Iraq, and then suddenly health care. Republicans used to complain that Democrats blamed Bush for everything. Now they are trying to blame Obama for everything. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, they suddenly see the light. Obama can't get health care passed because the big corporations don't want it and they control Congress (and the Supreme Court, for that matter). He won't get us out of Iraq or Afghanistan because the military/industrial complex wants us there. Simple. I'm beginning to understand how things work. Finally. The game is rigged folks.
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