‘Then all my servile works were done’

YouTube Preview Image

“We are not forgiven, therefore, because we made ourselves forgivable or even because we had faith; we are forgiven solely because there is a Forgiver.”

“If heaven is better than what exists today, it will probably only happen when we are somehow drawn out of self-absorption by something greater.”

“His name is like purified oil; therefore the maidens love Joel.”

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has — or ever will have — something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”

“I’™m deeply troubled by my fellow conservative evangelicals’™ skepticism — even hostility –“ towards much of modern science, and believe that barring change, this disposition will prove spiritually catastrophic to our children and grandchildren, who are today being taught that assertions of an ancient universe and macro-evolution are unequivocally incompatible with the Cross of Christ, and tomorrow will enroll in universities that powerfully demonstrate the integrity of these scientific claims, thereby setting the stage for devastating crises of faith for countless thousands of young believers.”

“Despite an increasingly obvious track record of lying on reports, framing innocent people and many other forms of misconduct and abuse, juries tend to automatically believe police officers when they testify in court.”

“In order to show that someone is using the ad hominem argument fallaciously, you need to show that they have no reason to distrust their opponent, or to show that the argument is valid regardless of who they are.”

“Some of our store managers expressed concern over the sheerness of some of our women’s black luon bottoms.”

“Actually, we would really much rather have our eccentric criminals stay safely within the pages of novels by Carl Hiassen or Elmore Leonard, because those characters don’t quite so clearly call attention to how fucked up our system is when it comes to caring for people who are poor, unstable, and maybe not so bright. Stupid lieberal empathy.”

Church Sign Epic Fails: ‘Big Bone’”

 

  • aunursa

    In the link about the mislabeling an argument (in online debates) as ad hominem, the writer moves his goalposts. He writes, “It can be perfectly logical to discount someone’s argument because of who they are.” — suggesting that an argument can be discounted merely based on the person making the argument. But in both examples that he gives (“you’re a stupid-head!” and the dishonest car salesman,) he adds evidence for rejecting the argument that is independent of who the person (making the argument) is.

  • http://twitter.com/shay_guy Shay Guy

    Didn’t move the goalposts after all?

  • schismtracer

    [the integrity of scientific claims leads to] devastating crises of faith for countless thousands of young believers.”

    I honestly don’t get this, which is jarring, since I used to be one of those young (well, college-aged) believers myself. For me, reconciliation was easy; 1) realize that the scientific concepts I was told were evil and wrong were, in fact, neither, 2) realize that Christianity was fundamentally intertwined with lies about science (and a host of other subjects besides), therefore 3) jettison Christianity like I would any other demonstrably counter-factual belief. No crisis of identity required.

    Though I suppose the Luddistic factions would say I was never really a Christian in the first place. Apparently, I’m meant to find that insulting.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I honestly don’t get this

    Some people find jettisoning Christianity difficult, or are unwilling to do it.

    Some people feel the same way about being a resident of their home town, or about being heterosexual, or about being a lawyer … even when actually living in their home town, dating members of the opposite sex, and practicing law, makes them unhappy. Identity is like that sometimes.

    I’m not sure what else there is to “get”. Do you mean you can’t empathize with it, or that you disapprove of it, or… well, what, exactly?

  • schismtracer

    I’m not sure what else there is to “get”.

    I meant clinging to an idea in spite of all evidence to the contrary. I’m aware it’s common, but that just means a lot of people don’t make sense to me.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    that just means a lot of people don’t make sense to me.

    Fair enough.

    For my part, there are all kinds of systems in the world whose outputs don’t reflect an unbiased analysis of all available evidence, and many of those systems are human. (One such system is my own brain.)

    That doesn’t stop me from trying to understand the processes that generate those outputs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

    How do you shovel slush? :-D

    I’m just glad my roof doesn’t seem to be leaking right now.

  • James Simmons

    I was actually on a jury and had to decide who to believe: a police officer or the accused. The accused spoke no English but had signed a confession written in English that had supposedly been read to him in Spanish. He signed the confession in the wrong place. He was Hispanic and so was the officer. He had been accused of molesting a very small child yet there was no evidence that anything had actually happened and the child’s testimony wasn’t that compelling. We ended up with a hung jury. I sided with the officer, but if I had it to do over again I would have sided with the accused. We spoke with the public defender on the case and he told us that everyone he defends has already signed a confession.

    I don’t generally mistrust the police, but being on this jury gave me a lot to think about.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I would find it exceedingly difficult to believe the accused wrote a confession that is not in a language the accused knows, and I refuse to believe that the accused confessed if the accused merely signed a confession someone else wrote.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Agreed. I’m just not seeing where the “devastating” comes in. Sure, the friends and family I know who deconverted had periods of time (of varying length) in which they doubted, questioned, studied, even felt fear (the Hell thing). But I have never known one who was not happier on the other side of it.

    For those whose “identity” is so wrapped up in their faith, they’re probably just the ones who will never question their parents and pastors: their professors are evil, hellbound, ivory-tower intellectuals, who have “preconceived doubts about Christ” (to quote my favorite Biblical archaeologist*). They’ll just drop that silly biology class, take “rocks for jocks” (if they have to take a science course at all) and walk through the Creation Museum, nodding and smiling.

    *http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/babylon-rising-chapter-7-part-2-2/

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    The friends and family I know who have divorced their spouses had periods of time of varying length in which they had various negative emotional reactions, and are typically happier on the other side.

    That said, I don’t have trouble describing some of their divorces as emotionally devastating.

    And describing them with a phrase like “someone whose ‘identity’ is so wrapped up in their marriage they’ll probably never question their spouse” would seem deeply unfair.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    I saw some talks recently by researchers who study false confessions and it turns out it’s surprisingly common even when there isn’t a language barrier. Apparently people often think the fact that they’re innocent will protect them, when in fact it doesn’t necessarily: juries tend to believe confessions, and there’s even evidence that a confession can influence other evidence (for example, that the forensics lab might be more likely to interpret a test as showing the defendant is guilty if they know that he/she confessed).

    The take-home I got from these talks was that if you have even the smallest suspicion that you might potentially be a suspect, never EVER talk to the police without a lawyer, even if you’re innocent as the driven snow. (I admit that where one gets a lawyer I’m not totally sure. Maybe I should look that up in case I ever find myself being questioned by the police. :-) )

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    “And describing them with a phrase like “someone whose ‘identity’ is so wrapped up in their marriage they’ll probably never question their spouse” would seem deeply unfair.”
    Then I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t do that.

  • stardreamer42

    For those whose “identity” is so wrapped up in their faith, they’re
    probably just the ones who will never question their parents and pastors

    Yes, you did do exactly that. Do you think we can’t read?

  • Fanraeth

    It most likely has a lot to do with what their childhood was like. The fear of hell was so deeply ingrained upon me as a child that even now that I’m mostly agnostic, I find it difficult to completely let go of my religion because of that fear.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Presumably they think the difference between talking about a marriage and a spouse that way on the one hand, and talking about a faith and a parent that way on the other, is significant enough that they aren’t relevantly similar.

    Well, either that, or they’ve retreated into pure sophistry.

    Anyway, I try not to be surprised by people’s ability to treat as completely unrelated things that to my mind clearly share salient properties.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    It’s not necessarily a good thing; nor is describing people in ways that seem unfair to me necessarily a bad thing.

    Or do you mean that you agree that it’s unfair to describe, as having an ‘identity’ so wrapped up in their marriage they’ll probably never question their spouse, someone who finds leaving a marriage emotionally devastating?

    If so, can you clarify why you agree? I find that surprising.

  • J_Enigma32

    I saw something like this just the other day in a debate over abortion. One of the debatees (who believed that abortion was “wrong”) started quoting Catholic scripture from the church. Well, the church is in about the same position to lecture morality to us that NAMBLA is in, so I came with two stories that showed just a horrible Church “morality” actually was (the horrific story of the 9-year-old in Brazil who was raped and her mother and doctor summarily excommunicated for preforming an otherwise life-saving abortion and the story of Savita). I also linked to a third story out of Colorado; a man had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the church in an effort to sue the church for the death of his “unborn twins” after his wife had already died (since, you know, the wife doesn’t mean anything). The church came back with a rich argument for their defense: under Colorado law, the fetus is not considered a person ergo, the lawsuit was irrelevant. It’s a smart legal move, since that’s exactly what the law in Colorado says, but this is was the RCC that was making this argument in a court of law rather than absorbing the cost and standing up for what they “believe” in.

    I ended the argument with something to the effect of “it’s apparent they don’t believe in their own dogma, so why do you?”

    I got a response that the individual was no longer interested in debating (keep in mind: they’d injected their opinion), and that there was no way I could change their mind at all on the subject. There was some stuff about the church in there, too, but I was too busy shaking my head to read it.

    When confronted with the fact that *their own church* was hypocritical, they apparently shut down, went into full defensive mode, and refused to have anything more to do with the argument, facts, or reality. This is a mirror of the same exact problem one runs into whether you’re talking evolution with a creationist or gun control with a gun fetishists: they retreat back into their little sphere and refuse to let facts impinge on that, since their identity is so wrapped up in the lies that they’ve come to believe, they can’t see sacrificing them without sacrificing a part of who they are. It’s not the case *all* the time, but I’ve seen something like that happen far too often.

    It really gets dangerous when you have the ever popular “well, let’s agree to disagree.” No, let’s not. See, if we always “agree to disagree” then nothing is going to get done. Things will stay the same. People whine and kvetch about how nothing gets done in congress, when congress is living by that mantra, apparently – “agree to disagree, ergo, agree to do nothing”. It’s another psychological defense mechanism to shut down debating, especially when they’re losing, while giving their position an air of authority and “reason” that it wouldn’t normally have otherwise.

  • alfgifu

    For me, reconciliation was easy as well: 1) realise that I had been taught a pack of lies; 2) realise that none of these lies were integral to Christianity (it helped that I met a lot of liberal Christians at about the right time); 3) Ditch the lies and keep the faith, no problem.
    The crisis of faith in itself was pretty straightforward. The devastating part of it was the emotional turmoil that came as a kind of aftershock, and the distress of seeing friends and family still trapped in the same toxic lies. Probably exacerbated in that I was recovering from a serious depression at the time.

  • caryjamesbond

    Presumably they think the difference between talking about a marriage and a spouse that way on the one hand, and talking about a faith and a parent that way on the other, is significant enough that they aren’t relevantly similar.

    I’m sure we can dig up similar properties, but a relationship with a real, touchable, standing-right-there person is fantastically different with an untouchable, unconversant sky-ghost.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if bad divorces are more emotionally devastating- God doesn’t call you a worthless bastard and take your stuff. You don’t have kids with God. You and God didn’t go halvsies on the big screen and scream at each other for three hours over who deserves it more.

    Ending a relationship with real people means dealing with real things- like their feelings, anger, the pressures leading up to the end of that relationship- all the real, human things that a relationship with God, whether or not he exists, CANNOT have.

  • Carstonio

    Apparently people often think the fact that they’re innocent will protect them

    I might have assumed that the police were explicitly or implicitly intimidating people into signing confessions, or else many people were didn’t want to sign were too afraid to refuse.

  • Lori

    That happens, but it’s not a given. The point is not the all confessions are coerced or false, it’s that not all confessions are legit.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Sure. But the line I quoted wasn’t about a relationship with a possibly non-existent sky-ghost imaginary-friend untouchable unconversant whatever. It was about relationships with parents and pastors, both of whom are typically flesh and blood.

    And if my thinking about religion is such that I find myself automatically discounting real, human relationships (such as those with parents and pastors) as worthless or nonexistent when the context of the relationship is a shared religious faith rather than a shared household, that’s probably a sign that I should back up and re-examine the foundations of that thinking.

  • Carstonio

    And that was my point as well. The latter is driven by the fact that just being questioned by police can be intimidating.

  • caryjamesbond

    She didn’t say DISCARD those relationships- she said they would go UNQUESTIONED. No one is saying to get rid of relationships with people just because they’re of a different faith or your faith changes. But questioning what your pastor says isn’t breaking up with him.

    Also- she said that the people most likely to be seriously damaged by losing religion were the most likely to let religious claims go unquestioned. In other words- if religion was so fundamental to your worldview, you’d just let it be instead of trying to find a reason to discard it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    Yes, I think it’s more that the police tend to go into questioning with the idea that “This guy is guilty and it’s my job to get him to confess” than that police are deliberately extracting false confessions from people they know are innocent (which presumably happens, but I suspect represents only a small percentage of false confessions).

    It also turns out that the popular “antagonistic” style of questioning suspects disproportionately increases false confessions relative to true ones: the evidence seems to suggest that a more laid-back “tell me what happened, I’m trying to get all the information I can” style actually decreases false confessions and increases true ones. (To quote one of the speakers quoting someone uses the informational questioning style, “It’s amazing what people will tell you if you’re nice to them.”)

    Another interesting factoid is that sometimes questioners will say a confession MUST be true because the suspect knew things that weren’t released to the media that “only the killer would know” and upon watching a recording of the interrogation, it turns out that the questioner actually dropped the details that “only the killer would know” during the course of the questioning without even realizing it. (One excellent reason to record interrogations, IMO.)

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    Yes, I agree that Ruby_Tea didn’t say “discard.”
    And I agree that nobody ihas suggested n this thread getting rid of relationships with people just because they’re of a different faith or your faith changes
    And I agree that questioning what your pastor says isn’t the same as breaking up with them.
    And I agree that Ruby_Tea implied that the people most likely to be seriously damaged by losing religion were the most likely to let religious claims go unquestioned (what she actually said was stronger than that, but that may have been hyperbole). I even agree that this is probably true (though I suspect the stronger claim isn’t).

    If you thought you were disagreeing with me, then it seems we’re not communicating, because you haven’t identified any points of disagreement in your comment.

    OTOH, if your intent was to reinforce our agreement, cool.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    I think that’s one of the reasons that a more relaxed “information-gathering” style decreases false confessions — less pressure. (The speaker suggested the reason it seems to increase true confessions is that while false confessions seem to be driven by external pressure, true ones seem to be driven by internal pressure… in a nutshell, that guilty people who confess are often driven by feelings like guilt, and you’re more likely to feel bad about whatever it is you did if the person asking you questions is being nice to you than if they’re being a jerk.)

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Ending a relationship with real people means dealing with real things-
    like their feelings, anger, the pressures leading up to the end of that
    relationship- all the real, human things that a relationship with God,
    whether or not he exists, CANNOT have.

    Speak for yourself. My relationship with God has included all of those things.

  • Carstonio

    I agree. My suggestion wasn’t that police are deliberately extracting false confessions from people they know are innocent, but instead that departments are under pressure politically to produce suspects and to close cases. Some officers might have their professional pride wounded when they have no solid case against a suspect.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    No, I think you didn’t see who wrote what. I was talking about religious faith, Dave was the one who brought up marriage and spouses.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Wow. Discounting relationships as worthless or nonexistent. What a deeply unfair person I must be to have said such a thing.

    Except I didn’t. In fact, I wasn’t talking about marriage at any point. Apparently, that’s something only you want to discuss.

    Look, Dave, I’ve already done my time at Ye Olde Slacktiverse. And the result of my time there is that I have lost my taste for conversing with people who put words in my mouth and ascribe bad motives to me before I’ve even had a chance to respond. Been there, done that, not in the mood for that game. You obviously have a hobby horse you want to ride, but you’ll have to ride it without me.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I take your word for it that you don’t understand how what you said discounts religious people’s relationships with their parents and pastors, and accept that you don’t wish to discuss it further.

  • stardreamer42

    You were talking about religious faith in the context of relationships with parents and pastors. Dave pointed out that these relationships are frequently just as strong as those that make up a marriage, and that in either case it is unfair to brush them aside with a snide comment about how it shouldn’t be “emotionally devastating” to break with your faith (or your marriage). You obviously don’t get that he was making an ANALOGY, not saying that you had said anything about marriage.

    Nobody is putting anything in your mouth that you didn’t come out with first.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X