Tag Archives: reality

More Abject Liberal Stupidity

I can’t possibly make this stuff up.  So anyhow, there’s a discussion going on about Trump supporting women and of course, the liberals are all up in arms because Trump is literally Hitler or some crazy crap like that.  So one of these special little snowflakes pops up and says “If he really did he would support equal pay for equal work for women.”

So, facepalming all the way, I posted “It already exists and has for more than 50 years. Have you honestly never heard of the 1963 Equal Pay Act?”  And she comes back with:

I just about fell out of my chair.  Here’s this special feminist snowflake who has never even heard of the 1963 Equal Pay Act.  Well of course not, she’s completely ignorant of history and reality, she only pays attention to the feminist echo chamber, where other ignorant snowflakes know no more about anything than she does.

But this is really typical of the childish regressive left.  They have no clue what’s actually going on in the world, they refuse to venture outside of their Tumblr and Twitter safe spaces and picking up a history book to find out what’s actually happened in the past?  Heresy!  Why bother when they can just rail on about all of the crazy things their side has to say! And you wonder why I rarely manage to have productive conversations with these people, because they’re incapable of understanding anything that doesn’t come from women’s studies courses or feminist authors.

And they don’t care either!  This conversation continued for a couple of exchanges and she refused to admit she was wrong. Because all of those feminist “scholars” couldn’t have been lying to her all this time, no!  That’s impossible!  Therefore, history has to be wrong!  The data has to be wrong!  Reality has to be wrong!  There’s no other explanation.  And then she just stopped responding because things weren’t going her way.

But you know, what else is new?

Is a Censorship-Free Internet Registrar Worthwhile?

The newest thing on free-speech social media sites like Gab and Minds is the call for a free speech Internet registrar that cannot be censored, as though this will solve all of the problems that the far left monopolistic giants like Google are causing.

I hold that it will do absolutely nothing because these people have no idea how the Internet actually works.  These people are living in a fantasy world.

The problem is, even if you can get your domain registered, that doesn’t guarantee that anyone will ever know you’re there.  And this all comes from the brouhaha caused with the Daily Stormer and the problem that Gab.ai’s registrar caused for Daily Stormer owner Andrew Anglin.  But the reality is that even if you have a domain registered, the Internet is set up in such a way that the very existence of your web site can be quashed and there’s nothing at all you can do about it.

See, there are these little things called DNS servers, which most major ISPs maintain, but there are plenty of independent ones out there.  They’re the ones that, when you type in website.com, they translate that to the actual IP address that is required to get to your site.  Website.com has no meaning whatsoever to the computers that actually route your web browser request without various DNS servers telling them where the heck website.com actually is.  Even if you have a domain, if whoever owns those servers decides to strip away the actual IP address from them, then your site will forever be unfindable.

Seriously, that’s all the dark web is, a series of servers that are not indexed by normal DNS servers. It isn’t some bizarre magic, it’s just servers that you can’t get to unless you know the technical tricks to do  so.

And if you don’t think that the first thing Google and most other search engines would do if Daily Stormer came back online is remove them from search results, you’re nuts.  Just having a domain name doesn’t mean that anyone will direct traffic to you.  If Google shuts down search results and all of the major DNS servers delist your site, you’re dead in the water, except to those very few who have the technical know-how to get there anyhow.

I’m not saying I agree with this, I’m saying this is the state of reality that we live in any anyone who wants to circumvent that reality has to understand.  Go ahead, create your own free speech DNS servers. Most people neither know how to change their DNS settings in their computers, nor care.  They rely on what their ISP set up for them.  They don’t know any better and have no interest in learning. They aren’t going to go to DuckDuckGo for their search engine when Google produces better results. The only way to change things is to demolish the entire Internet as it currently stands and rebuild it from scratch and I hate to break it to you, but that’s just not going to happen any time soon.

Besides, what do you do about countries like China and Pakistan who have a vested interest in censoring the Internet?  How do you convince them to adopt free-speech regulations when they have no interest in doing so?  It’s like people haven’t thought these things through because when I point out all of the problems, I get no response.  They just want to live in their own little fantasy world that somehow, they’ll be able to get their message out far and wide and nobody will be able to stop them.

Not on this planet buddy.

Everyone Isn’t Like Me

I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing this, but when I end up in a discussion about personal responsibility and I bring up the fact that I can and do live within my means, that I do make responsible decisions and that I do all of the things that my personal philosophy calls for, I invariably get people saying “yeah, but everyone isn’t like me!”

So the hell what?

I don’t make that argument to be “holier than though”, I make it to show that my philosophy actually does work in practice and can be successfully used.  I am living proof.  I’m nothing special, I’m just a responsible person living a responsible life, who has dramatically bettered my own life and that of my family by living responsibly.  This isn’t magic, it’s just following a particular philosophical system that works as advertised.  Yet you have people, particularly on the left, disparaging the philosophy, saying “not everyone can do that”.

Yes, they can, they just won’t.  There is a difference.

When people refuse to act responsibly, that isn’t an example of the failure of responsible living, it’s an example of the failure of the individual.  The fact remains, responsible living works just fine, there are plenty of examples of it out there, myself included.  Saying “it doesn’t work because I choose not to even try it” is ludicrous, but this is the tack that a lot of liberal debaters take.  And it doesn’t matter if it isn’t easy, if it doesn’t make you happy or if it gets in the way of your liberal philosophy either, it works, as demonstrated by the many people who live that way.  That you don’t want to put in the hard work is irrelevant to reality.  It’s a ludicrous argument to say “I don’t even feel like trying, therefore you are wrong”.

So why does this come up so often?  Because people on the left don’t want to acknowledge human agency.  Responsibility is a bad word to those on the left who think that everyone deserves to be given things on a silver platter and the idea of having to earn anything for themselves is anathema. Therefore, just because it can be done doesn’t mean that it ought to be done.  It’s too hard and it might make people unhappy, therefore they simply ignore the fact that people who put in the effort are actually successful.  Success doesn’t matter, feelings do.

The more I think about it, the more I realized that this applies to the religious right too.  If I say that I don’t “need God”, I invariably get the response that not everyone is like me.  They certainly could be if they chose to be, they simply prefer the emotionally comforting path over the rational one.  Making an emotional choice doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it means you choose not to.  That’s not much of an excuse in my book but it’s the only excuse they have.  Wanting something to be true doesn’t make it any more likely to be true.  Being emotionally uncomfortable with the state of reality doesn’t make reality change one bit.  What is wrong with these people who think that it does?

Liberals Hate Business But Don’t Understand It

I hate to feel like I’m always picking on liberals, but they just deserve it.  They earn my derision.  Here’s another  case where a self-professed liberal attacks a private business because a government entity “beats” it by putting out a product that is honestly like comparing apples to oranges.  This guy lives near Denver, Colorado, where his town put in fiber optic Internet service that is much faster than the private alternative, Comcast.  Now I have no love for Comcast, in fact I think they’re a shitty company, but if you’re going to criticize them, at least criticize them for something legitimate.

So he posts the following graphic, showing the difference in speed and price between the two.  Oh look, he says, the government is far superior to private enterprise!  Well, never mind that the Comcast price includes TV and phone service, something the Nextlight service does not.  Never mind that the Nextlight price is an introductory offer that goes up to $100 a month for anyone who signs up after the initial 3 month intro period.  The government is just better!

Well, not if you actually compare apples to apples.  The Comcast service is for DSL, not fiber optic.  Obviously, fiber is a lot faster, especially when you realize that Nextlight has 1% of the subscribers that Comcast does and that if they both were serving the same number of customers, the Nextlight speed would be a lot slower.  So this idiot starts saying that it’s Comcast’s fault that they don’t put in fiber lines, it’s a failure in private business that they don’t have millions of dollars to throw around.  I mean, it isn’t like the city got money from bond issues to install their fiber optic lines or anything.  Oh wait, they did!  And it isn’t like the city isn’t getting preferential treatment in billing.  Oh wait, they are!  They’re getting lower rates for their electricity costs and leveraged extremely low interest rates for their bond issue, something that a private company simply cannot get.

Yeah, but private companies suck.  Tell me another one.

And everyone points this out to him.  Everyone.  But he refuses to budge.  Private industry sucks, the government rules, so there!  And when people pointed out how ridiculous his comparison was, he decided that all he cared about was how things “seemed to him”.  Never mind the reality of the situation, he was going to compare two entirely non-analogous things and use whatever personal criteria happened to appeal to him at the time so he could believe what he wanted to believe whether it made any sense or not.  And then he started throwing insults and ran away because that’s apparently what immature liberals do.

A lot.

I honestly wouldn’t pick on these people as much as I do if they didn’t work so hard to earn it.  There’s another self-described liberal socialist who just showed up, declaring that liberalism has made the world great and then complaining that anyone who dares to disagrees is oppressing him.  Oh, and it turns out this mental midget is 15.  No surprise there either.

Avoiding Religious Reality

I’m tired of trying to debate people on religious subjects who can’t see outside of their own religious echo chamber.  This came up several times recently when, in discussions about various religious subjects, my opponent simply declared that because they didn’t think that way, that nobody could possibly think that way and therefore, they just won.  Reality is just inconvenient.

Yes, it is as stupid as it sounds.

The first was in regards to Islam and the ability for non-radical Muslims to become radicalized in the west.  Of course, we know this can and does happen, just ask the victims of Omar Mateen, an American citizen who became a radical Muslim and gunned down 49 gay people in a bar in Orlando, Florida. This isn’t even a question for most people.  But no, to this dipshit, because “most Muslims” don’t believe in radical ideas, no Muslims believe in radical ideas.  So I trotted out a lot of statistics, including the fact that 14% of American Muslims think religious violence, including suicide bombing attacks, can be justified as a legitimate part of religion.  But nope, he doesn’t care because “most” Muslims don’t support it, then no Muslims support it.  It’s just a desperate attempt to defend Islam because not doing so is somehow racist.  In fact, it’s so bad that I’ve seen people trying to differentiate between “Muslim” and “Islamic”, as though Muslims don’t have Islamic beliefs.

The other came when I argued, offhandedly, that there are a lot of people out there who think that this life just doesn’t matter, the whole goal of life, according to a lot of religious people, is to get to the afterlife where everything is wonderful.  And a theist who has been a long-time thorn in the side of reason pops up and declares that because she personally doesn’t believe that, it just can’t be true, evidence be damned.  Even when I produced direct quotes from other theists who said that, she refused to believe it, because anyone who believes anything differently than she does must be “doing it wrong” and therefore doesn’t count.

Finally, the topic of Mother Teresa popped up and, as expected, the crazy Catholics came out in droves to defend her, claiming that all of the horrible things she did to the poor, she did for the best of intentions.  Who gives a damn about her intentions, she starved, abused and made thousands of people die in squalor while she traveled the world, scamming millions of dollars from people who thought that it was going to go to actually helping the poor in India, when in fact it was just going into the Vatican coffers.  But no, her faith is all that matters and so long as she had faith, she can get away with virtual murder!

It’s like these people have no interest in reality if it gets in the way of their precious little feelings.  All that matters is what goes on inside their head.  I find that utterly pathetic.

Why Can’t Liberals Face Reality?

I can’t tell you how many discussions I have with liberals where they simply are unable to deal with reality, they have to create strawmen and shift the goalposts because they fundamentally can’t handle what’s actually out there.  Take a recent example, I was debating someone on welfare, specifically welfare in the inner cities.  I produced a ton of evidence about kids dropping out of school, out of wedlock pregnancies, crime and imprisonment rates, gang membership, etc.  All of these things are personal choices.  I was pointing out how these people are poor because of their own decisions and because of the decisions of their parents and community.

But no, my liberal opponent couldn’t answer any of those positions.  They instead kept bringing up all kinds of things that had nothing at all to do with the discussion at hand.  People who lost their high paying jobs and the 2008 financial crash.  People who had a run of bad luck.  Anything they could do to get around the lack of personal responsibility of the people that we were actually talking about.  And when I pointed out what they were doing, they tossed a whole host of insults and blocked me because they simply couldn’t deal with the facts.

Now I’m not saying that bad things didn’t happen in 2008, or that people can, and do, have bad luck, but the idea that we can ignore all of the demonstrable cases of poor people who have caused their own problems because of their own personal and cultural failures, just because that doesn’t describe every single conceivable case is ludicrous.  These people demonstrate some serious black-and-white thinking.  If it doesn’t fit into their ideology, then they pretend it doesn’t exist and run around the field with the goalposts, hoping to find some way to get the discussion back on track.  They argue strawmen.  They shift the burden of proof.  Anything to keep from actually having to face the facts that everyone isn’t a victim.

But what do you do with these people?  When they get backed into a corner, they spew vile and run away declaring victory.  They are no different than the religious who do the same thing, or the libertarians who do the same thing, or even vegetarians who do exactly the same thing.  None of them are interested in actual facts.  They want emotional comfort and when denied that, or when the facts get in the way of their emotional comfort, their heads explode and they lash out because the real world doesn’t accurately represent their ideology.  These people cannot be rationally debated because none of their positions are at all rational.  They are emotional.  That’s why their ideas are so crazy.  It doesn’t take long to find out if your opponent is completely off their rational rocker, just suggest that they are not completely correct in any of their assertions and watch the sparks fly.

Reality Has to Mean More than Fantasy

I came across a debate today, one that I wasn’t involved in, but you had a crazy libertarian on one side proclaiming that natural rights were real, so there, and on the other, you had a skeptic who kept asking him a lot of the same questions that I ask regularly.  Questions like “how do you know what natural rights are?” and “how do you objectively define what is a natural right and what is not?”  Well, our libertarian friend couldn’t, or more properly wouldn’t, answer any of the questions, he just kept repeating his unsupported claims over and over and over again.  He apparently doesn’t care about reality.

Two things occurred to me.  First, they have no idea how their core principles came about and second, that they have no clue how to get there rationally.  This reinforces my idea that libertarianism operates largely like a religion because the religious have the same two problems.  Neither of them are capable of getting back to core principles and explaining how they came about to anyone who doesn’t already swig the same Kool-Aid.  How do you objectively define a natural right?  They don’t know. How many natural rights are there?  They have no clue.  They lack a fundamental understanding of the core concepts of their own political philosophy.  And when they fail, all they can do, like the religious, is run back to their holy books.  “This is what Thomas Paine said” or “this is what John Locke said”.  I don’t care what they said, I’m not debating them, I’m debating you.  Show me that you know that you understand your philosophy in your own words.  They can’t do it.

The same is true of the religious.  Their core belief is that some god exists.  How do they know this?  They have no answers.  I want to know how you personally determined, on your own, that your god actually exists in objective reality.  I don’t care what your silly religious book says.  I don’t care what  your pastor says.  I’m not going to look at the trees.  I care what evidence you can present that supports your contention that this thing that you worship is actually real.  But they can’t do it.  They have no argument, they have no evidence, they just have blind faith, just like the libertarians.  If you can’t explain why you believe what you believe in your own words, demonstrating your own understanding of the belief, then you have no intellectual reason to believe it, period.

Both of these groups live in their own little fantasy world, where what they want to be true is more important than what is actually true.  When I point this simple fact out, I have been told, I shit you not, that it is unfair to require people to think rationally about their beliefs because being rational isn’t important.  Yeah, let me say that again: being rational isn’t important.

And you wonder why I think these two groups have problems.

Are Christians Persecuted in America?

This is nothing new, we’ve heard claims from fundamentalist Christians for years that they’re being persecuted, but a new study shows that an increasing number of Christians are adopting this ridiculous view.  According to a Lifeway Research poll, 63% of those polled say that Christians are facing a growing degree of intolerance.

Now Lifeway is a specifically evangelical Christian organization so I can’t speak to the accuracy of their poll, but it comes as no surprise to those of us who spend a lot of time debating the religious.  But this isn’t now, nor has it ever been about tolerance, it’s about a loss of power.

Greg Jao, vice president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, says “Because of the high media attention on a couple of key cases, I think Christians are more aware and feel more persecuted or less tolerated than they did before.”  In other words, Christianity is no longer the default position and Christian values are no longer automatically accepted by the world as a whole. Apparently, these people have no idea what persecution actually is.  Slave owners were not persecuted because they were no longer allowed to have slaves.  Christians need to stop thinking that it’s their way or the highway.  No one is stopping them from worshiping as they please, they are only being stopped from acting on their anti-social beliefs and that’s not persecution, that’s reality.

They’re so used to having the dominant voice in society that now that society has decided not to listen anymore, they see it as a crime against their faith, not a fundamental shift in the way society operates.

Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer, says “As the diversity-inclusion movement grows, and more and more companies become diversity-centric, what you really begin to see is a glaring gap that exists. As a Christian, you begin to see that you’re being excluded from the culture, excluded from the conversation.”  But you’re not.  You can take part in the conversation, you just can’t expect to control the conversation because that’s what you’re traditionally used to doing.  And whenever I read these quotes by Christians, it seems clear that they understand the problem, they just don’t want to deal with it.

The Faith Driven Consumer publishes a Faith Equality Index, which seeks to rate businesses on how friendly they are to believers.  But that’s a pointless index because businesses don’t exist to be friendly to believers, they exist to be friendly to customers.  Apparently, Christians want to be treated like they’re special.  According to the FEI, “Faith Driven Consumers are Christians who proactively live out their faith throughout their life – including where they shop, what they buy and the entertainment choices they make. Faith Driven Consumers make daily decisions in the context of their biblical worldview and view their choices through that lens as a matter of stewardship.”  They don’t want businesses to be friendly toward them, they want businesses to specifically cater to them.  Their FEI scorecard shows that they want businesses to be Christian, their particular brand of Christian, and anyone who doesn’t comply is apparently “persecuting” them.  This is insane, but what can you expect from people for whom their religious beliefs are the central focus of everything for every second of their lives?  This isn’t persecution, it’s demanding to get their own way or they’ll cry.

Maybe Christians need to grow up and realize they’re not in charge anymore and just be part of the world instead of holding themselves apart from it.  Dealing with reality as it actually is, that’s part of the basic maturation process.  Time to stop being so immature, Christians.

 

Discussions with the God-Soaked

I walked into Yoshinoya today for lunch and at one of the tables was four guys, all holding hands with their heads bowed and their eyes closed.  They all had Bibles sitting on the table.  So I went and got into line and they all stopped praying and one of them got up to go order lunch for everyone else.  Now I have no idea what they were praying about, but it struck me that they were asking for God’s guidance for their lunch menu.

So I told that story because it reminded me of this. Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with someone, on any subject you care to name, and they were unable to engage on any level without bringing religion into the discussion constantly?  These tend to be the people, I’ve noticed, that carry a Bible with them constantly and read from it every second they have.  I guess it  could be a Qur’an for the more Islamically slanted.  But these are people who are unable to talk about any subject under the sun without making it about God.  Politics?  God!  TV shows?  God!  The weather? God!  These are people who are just incapable of speaking rationally about any subject there is.

Now I suppose that a lot of them are new converts, “on fire” for Jesus or whatever.  They’re just obnoxious.  I have literally seen discussions about the most innocuous television shows ruined by these God-botherers and I don’t even think they intend to be disruptive, they simply can’t think in any terms outside of religion.   I mean, you try asking if they saw Dancing With The Stars and there first reaction is to start quoting the Bible at you.  You can be talking about food and they’re talking about what people ate in the Old Testament.

These people are just sad.  They have no friends outside of their insular little church group.  They cannot relate to anyone who doesn’t share their religious beliefs.  It isn’t like they’re trying to proselytize all the time, they just have nothing else that they know but the contents of their silly religious book.  As frustrating as it is to have to deal with them, it’s really pretty sad to see how horribly their religious beliefs have poisoned their ability to deal with the real world, even talking about mundane day-to-day things.  Living 24/7 within the pages of an ancient book of mythology and entirely unable to climb out, even for a moment, really destroys your quality of life.  I’m not mad at these people, I pity them.  So should you.

And before anyone asks, I couldn’t identify any particular religious group or sect of the four men, they weren’t wearing white shirts and nametags and there were no bikes parked outside that I could see. All of their Bibles were different so it didn’t look like they were all from any weird sect.  I wasn’t about to ask what kind of religious stupidity they were engaged in, I just got my lunch and left shaking my head.

So has anyone else run into these unrepentant Bible-thumpers?  How did you deal with them?  I’d really like to know.

Does Reality Have a Liberal Bias?

There’s a meme going around that says that reality has a well-known liberal bias and unfortunately, a lot of liberals that I run into seem to take this seriously.  Now I don’t want to get into a discussion on the ultimate stupidity of memes in general, but I really don’t buy this idea one bit.

In fact, as I’ve said in the past, liberalism builds upon the success of conservatism.  It is only once a society is well established through the hard work and dedication of the conservative mindset that liberalism is free to take over, once people don’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from or how they’re going to put a roof over their heads, then they can worry about social issues and the like.  Every advanced nation stands on the shoulders of conservatism and, whether you want to agree with me or not, I think rampant liberalism is the sign of a declining culture, not an advancing one.

But this is a question about reality and, of course, reality has no such biases whatsoever.  Reality doesn’t care about politics, it has no capacity to consider social, economic or political issues, it just is.  Obviously the statement, as stated, is simply false.  But as intended, I don’t see “reality” as having any more of a liberal bent than it does a conservative one.  It all depends on your perspective.  There are just as many crazy people on the left as there are on the right.  I’ll be the first to admit that the right wing has a ton of real wingnuts, but then again, so does the left.  Anti-GMO morons, social justice warriors, anti-vaxers, you name it.  While I think that the religious right is infamous for simply ignoring reality when reality interferes with their beliefs, the liberal left does exactly the same thing, just on different subjects.  There is no evidence whatsoever that GMO is bad for you, in fact, if it wasn’t for GMO and other modified foods, we would be unable to feed the human population of this planet.  Organic and natural farming methods take too much land, require too much water and too many pesticides.  If we went back to the “good old days” you’d end up with a lot of dead people.  The same with feminists.  Feminists refuse to acknowledge the undeniable fact that there is no significant gender wage gap.  It’s part of their religion, therefore they keep the faith, even if the evidence doesn’t support them.  The list goes on and on and on.

So we get back to the original question, does reality have a liberal bias?  No.  But liberals are no better than conservatives and both sides need to be a lot better.  They need to be more rational, they need to be more evidence-based and they need to be less emotional. But this isn’t the way things are going, both sides are running down the emotional primrose path, wanting desperately to “feel good” instead of just being intelligent.  That will spell the doom of us all.

Not How Reality Works

I find it funny, in light of other posts I’ve done recently, how the far right is getting just as bad as the far left.  It used to be, and maybe this is just my perception, that it was mostly the left who had a tenuous grasp on reality, but now I’m seeing it from the right as well.

In a recent discussion about the Supreme Court, someone kept saying that the Supreme Court couldn’t legislate law, they couldn’t do this and they couldn’t do that.  They even pointed out a statement by Justice Scalia in the recent gay marriage case that the Supreme Court has no ability to legislate law. Okay, fine, it isn’t supposed to work that way, but in reality, it does.  You can say how things are supposed to work all you want.  It really only matters how they actually work.  The rest is wishful thinking.  It’s like saying everyone is  supposed to follow the law so we can just disband the police.  Well, in reality, everyone doesn’t follow the law, that’s why we have police in the first place.

But a lot of people just can’t seem to get it through their heads.  The real world doesn’t always work as we think it’s supposed to. Our ideals aren’t always the same as the harsh facts.  There is an unfortunate subset of people who are convinced that the ideals are always true, even when it demonstrably isn’t the case, and they spend a lot of time whining when the ideals aren’t followed. Yes, everyone ought to follow the speed limits.  No, everyone isn’t going to do it.  As I’ve said many, many times, one of the basic parts of maturation is accepting reality as it is, not as you desperately wish it might be.  In the political arena, the Supreme Court is supposed to rule only on the Constitutionality of various laws and cases brought before them.  They are not supposed to use their own social, political or religious beliefs to make decisions.  They do anyhow.  Even Scalia, heck, especially Scalia, does this every damn day.  Is it right?  No.  Is it supposed to happen?  No.  Is it going to change any time soon?  Unfortunately no.  So let’s stop pretending that everyone is going to magically realize how wrong they’ve been and change their ways.  They’re not.  They’re going to be hypocrites, like Scalia, who only pays attention to some things and entirely ignores others, just because it makes them happy.

The world would be a much better place if we could just do that, but again, that’s not reality and accepting reality… well, you know.

Pie-in-the-Sky vs. Reality

PieintheSky-262x300In a recent discussion with a libertarian, he asked why I criticize a lot of their ideas because, as he points out, the world would be a lot better if we just implemented all of the libertarian ideas.  Sure.  That might be true, at least for some subset of those ideas, but that’s not the way the world works.  Hell, the world would be a much better place to live if religion just went away, everyone stopped thinking irrationally and just behaved logically. It would be a wonderful planet if all disease magically vanished and everyone had a trillion dollars in their bank accounts. It’s a great thought, it just isn’t going to happen and we actually have to deal with reality as it is, not as we wish it was.

That’s actually a problem that I run into a lot, people who are so enamored with an imaginary, magical world where everything is perfect that they’re convinced that kind of world either really exists or is possible to achieve.  I disagree.  There are some problems we will never solve, at least not in the short term.  Sure, I can foresee a day that medical science might eliminate the vast majority of diseases and genetic disorders, but that day is not today.  It is not tomorrow.  It isn’t going to be in my lifetime and probably not in the lifetime of my children.  So let’s stop pretending that we shouldn’t vaccinate our kids and deal with the world as it actually is.  So far as we know, there isn’t a magical land we all go to when we die and even if there were, that doesn’t mean we should needlessly squander the resources we have in this life because you think it doesn’t actually matter.  To quote Nick Fury, “Until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.”  That means you don’t burn down the forests, just because you think some imaginary man-god is coming back to pick you up.

Unfortunately, this seems prevalent across all manner of issues; religious, social, political, you name it.  People pretend that just  because they can invent some magical land in their head that really. really appeals to them, that must be true and we can all bring it about if we just try hard enough.  That’s not realistic.  The magical land that Christians want isn’t realistic.  The imaginary world that libertarians want isn’t realistic.  The planet where everyone links arms and sings kumbaya that a lot of liberals seem to want, that isn’t realistic either.  It’s time to do away with the fantasy and deal with the reality on reality’s terms. I don’t care how much you want to live forever, you’re not going to.  I don’t care how much you want everyone to believe in your version of some imaginary god, that’s not the way it’s going to be.  Lower your sights, deal with the world as it really is, not how you wish it might be, and maybe we can solve some problems with actual solutions, not pie-in-the-sky fantasies.

Liberals Don’t Get Basic Economics

system-failure-720x340Over on Google+, a liberal and self-identified socialist brought up this article about having a 4-hour work day as a way to improve the world. Even though I wouldn’t think most people in the community were conservative, at least they were all critical thinkers and everyone, without exception, came down on this guy like a ton of bricks, myself included.  Why don’t these people get the most basic parts of economics?  Let’s take a look, shall we?

The basic idea here is that we should all only be working 4 hours a day but be making the same amount of money as we do for working 8 hours.  They think that will get rid of unemployment because employers can hire someone else to work those other 4 hours a day, also paying them as much as they’re currently paying an 8 hour employee.  So now companies are paying 2 people working a total of 8 hours as much as they’d be paying for 16 hours of labor and this is somehow supposed to make economic sense?  Seriously?

Oh, but everyone is now much more efficient and productive now, right?  Well, no.  It isn’t really the people that are more productive, it’s the machines that help the people who have increased productivity.  And guess what?  Those machines cost money for the company, the only reason the companies are paying for the machines is because the machines are faster and more efficient than hiring another employee.  If technology reaches the point where the machines can do the work better than the people and can do it without the help of the people, guess who is going away, and it’s not the machines.

They make the claim that technology is supposed to give us all more leisure time but that doesn’t change the reality that in order to afford leisure time activities, you still have to trade your labor for a paycheck and somehow, liberals don’t get that part. The work has to be done, the machines have to run and the people have to toil to get money to trade for products down the road.  That’s how basic economics works.  Liberals don’t get it.

The fact is, the price of goods is based, in large part, on the cost of the materials, labor and processes required to produce it. If you double the cost of labor, prices are going up.  They’ll go up all along the supply chain as each stage costs more to produce and companies will have to pass along the increased costs to their customers.  The money has to come from somewhere, that’s what liberals don’t understand, they think money grows on trees.

This isn’t the American dream, it’s the liberal fantasy.  It doesn’t work in the real world and anyone who suggests that it does really hasn’t got a clue.  So if you really want people to work half as long, they’re going to get paid half as much and therefore will have half as much to spend on goods, which will bring the corporate infrastructure tumbling down and eventually, nobody will have any work, but that’s okay because nobody will be producing anything to sell.  That’s the real world.  To think otherwise is a dream.

Too bad so many liberals refuse to wake up.

Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts

morality2I really don’t respond to editorials and opinion pieces very often, everyone is free to think what they want to think, even if it is utterly idiotic.  This time though, and I’m not the only atheist blogger who picked up on this piece from The New York Times, Justin P. McBrayer asks a question that needs a response because it’s a bit of bad thinking that lots of people are guilty of.

To begin with, McBrayer starts by asking what we would think if we found out that schools were teaching that it is not absolutely wrong to kill people for fun or to cheat on tests.  Therein, he makes his first mistake because it isn’t absolutely wrong, he entirely misunderstands the nature of morality in reality.  He seems to have a traditional Christian view of what morality entails but, like pretty much everything else in Christianity, this view is flawed.  I have no idea from this article if he is, in fact, a Christian, he is an associate professor working in the philosophy of religion and it was very obvious that religion would figure into it somehow.

The simple fact is, morals are relative.  It is very simple to see by just comparing the moral views of society today with those of 100 years ago.  Or 50 years ago.  Or 20 years ago.  Compare the views of mainstream America to those of Iran.  Or Russia.  Or Japan.  You have different people in different cultures with largely different ideas of what is moral and what is immoral. For an associate professor of philosophy, you’d think McBrayer would know this,  but of course, I’ve pointed out that modern philosophy has a vastly over-inflated view of itself so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.  He complains about moral relativism and entirely fails to recognizes that morals are, in fact, relative.  The laments that morals aren’t taught as truth ignores that they aren’t actually true.  They exist within a particular social group, be it a religion or a society, and represent common thought and belief.  That doesn’t make it necessarily true, no matter how much the ardent believer wishes it were so.

I’d like to think that most first world countries have evolved past the notion that something is true just because some book says so.  Sure, the religious lag well behind the curve in virtually every metric, but the rest of us have hopefully moved beyond such primitive thinking.  This is essentially the same thing I’ve been arguing for many years, the move toward rationality and away from primitive religious thinking.  For many theists, the idea of some eternal moral standards that were handed down from on high are comforting.  There are many who wish for the good old days when most people just let the clergy tell them what to do and think and believe, but those days are nearly gone and it’s about time people embraced the new freedom that is upon us.

This kind of thing unfortunately also happens with some secularists as well, that they can come up with a set of objective secular morals, based on some subjective set of criteria that they happen to like.  When it’s pointed out that they are working from subjective criteria, they just wave it all away, ignoring the fact that objective and subjective mix as well as oil and water.  An objective set of morals based on subjective ideals is, by definition, not objective at all.

In reality, a lot of people adopt “objective” morals and ideas because it’s just easier than having to engage in the deep thinking and intricate reasoning that it takes to actually support these ideas.  It isn’t just religion, there are plenty of people in America who think “all men are created equal” is an objective fact, just because it appears in the founding documents of the United States.  Yet if you go to the Middle East and try to tell those governments that all men are created equal, therefore they need to treat women exactly the same as men, they’ll laugh at you.  They do not share that view.  It’s a simple fact that all men are not created equal.  Some are taller than others, some are stronger than others, some are smarter than others.  Women have some characteristics that are superior to men and some that are inferior.  The idea that all men are created equal, ignoring for the moment that nobody was created in the first place, is foolishly false, yet it has value in a culture which agrees to go by that precept.  By the same token, the United States generally accepts freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of speech but you can’t go to a nation where that’s not true and demand they respect your freedom to speak where you simply do not have that freedom.  There are far too many people who insist that their views are the only views that matter.  They are simply wrong.

About the only place I think McBrayer actually gets it right is his idea that we’re not teaching standards in the schools.  Just because there isn’t an absolute objective truth doesn’t mean there are no rules.  It doesn’t mean there are no social standards that people are expected to live by.  There is a middle ground between “this is always true” and “go hog wild, nobody can stop you”.  That’s where both the far right, which McBrayer seems to represent, and the far left are wrong.  There isn’t a set of objective moral truths that everyone has to abide by, but neither are there no rules or expectations whatsoever.  Within our nations or our states or our towns, there are ideas that are shared by the community to which we are held accountable by the social contract.  You don’t kill except in self-defense or as a soldier in a war because society has declared it unacceptable.  You don’t steal.  You don’t cheat.  You don’t rape.  All of these have understood social reasons why they are unacceptable, but they are not eternal and are subject to change over time as society changes.  Most of these will never change but let’s be honest, all of them were, at one point in time, different, and the society of the day had their reasons why it was acceptable to do them.  Just because we live with our current worldview doesn’t mean we’re magically right, just that these are the rules we have to follow today, pending a change in the future.

People really need to get over the idea that there are moral facts that exist for all time because some magical man in the sky said so. It just isn’t so.

Philosophy: You Think, Therefore You Are?

Descartes“I think, therefore I am” is one of the classical philosophical statements, first uttered by René Descartes in the 17th century and most people take it as presented without giving it a whole lot of thought.  However, anyone who stops to consider it rationally for a few moments will realize that it actually is a statement of opinion, not fact, and not even that defensible an opinion at that.  This demonstrates one more area where philosophy goes wrong.

Let’s break this down for a moment.  Descartes was arguing that the very act of thought and existence of internal argument was sufficient evidence to demonstrate independent existence.  Is that really true?  Well, from the perspective of someone living in Descartes’ time, it might have seemed to be a logical conclusion to make, after all, he had no clue that non-human entities might be able to be self-aware and consider propositions, that act alone was probably enough to make him conclude that just thinking was proof of independent existence.

However, today we know better.  We have computers, we’re developing rudimentary AI and it isn’t hard to imagine that sometime in the not too distant future, we could develop extremely advanced artificial intelligence that equals or even surpasses our own mental abilities.  Some have suggested that the way to determine whether an advanced AI was self-aware is if it can think and question it’s own existence.  But what happens if we take one of these hyper-advanced computers and simply program it to think that it is thinking?  What if we hard-code it to question it’s own existence?  Is it then alive? Or is it just mimicking the properties of life?  It isn’t hard to imagine at all that we could take an advanced computer system and program every possible response into it’s electronic brain, such that it thinks it is thinking, it thinks it is making decisions, but in reality, it is just responding to code.  Is this alive?  Is it thinking, therefore it is?  Or is it just responding and being programmed to think it is thinking?

This is a very valid quandary and one we need to consider.  Because it is impossible to solve the problem of hard solipsism, we can never know for certain if we’re actually real, or part of some hyper-complex program like the Matrix, we can only assume that we are actually thinking and not simply following lines of code.  We can only assume that we’re making our own decisions, asking our own questions and seeking out truths, all of that might be a lie, we might just be an electronic brain in a vat, doing what we’re told by faceless experimenters.  In fact, all of reality could be a complete illusion, only one computer-generated “mind” imagining a whole universe that doesn’t really exist and since none of us can ever know what’s really going on in the heads of those that we think surround us, all of their possible responses to our questions could actually be coming from us. Even worse, maybe the world is actually someone else’s fantasy and our own internal monologue is actually part of someone else’s hyper-realistic dream.  How would you know?

Therefore, “I think, therefore I am” really has no objective meaning.  It doesn’t prove anything.  Descartes couldn’t have foreseen the modern world, with the existence of computers performing trillions of operations per second that fit in the palm of your hand.  He couldn’t have had any idea that one day, artificial brains could become so advanced that they might even surpass humanity.  It was totally outside of his realm of experience and understanding.  Given the possibility that all of these things could come to pass, perhaps even in our own lifetimes, maybe it’s time to rethink “I think, therefore I am”.  It just doesn’t pass the rational test anymore.

Extinction Happens

DodoYou know, I get rather sick of seeing conservationists, typically very liberal conservationists at that, whining about how man is ruining the planet and killing off species and we should all be horrified at ourselves because species are dying because of our evil machinations on the planet.  Well guess what?  That’s evolution!  Species die off every day!  New species arise to fill those ecological niches!  Welcome to the real world!

Whether these species are killed off by man or by other animals or by changes in the ecology, that’s how nature operates.  It’s how things have worked since time immemorial.  It’s how things will continue to work long after our own species has gone extinct.  We need to stop pretending that somehow, we’re special and we have a greater responsibility to protect every species of fly and frog and bird.  We do not.  Evolution happens and that means extinction happens.

Now I think we ought to take reasonable measures not to purposely or carelessly cause the extinction of other species if we can help it, but I swear, there are a lot of conservationists who take it way too far.  I think a lot of this comes from liberal guilt.  There are, without question, a lot of liberals out there who feel guilty because they are alive, especially if they are reasonably happy and well-off.  They’re sad that they’re not poor, disabled, disenfranchised and generally hated, so much so that they begin to hate themselves and everyone around them.  Success is awful and no one ought to be successful, so long as people who are unsuccessful exist.

Of course, this is a first-world problem, caused by people who have far too much time on their hands, sitting around drinking their lattes from Starbucks, driving their SUVs and whining about how hard the world is.  You don’t see this in the middle of sub-Saharan Africa, where people fight to survive and don’t really care that the warthog they’re about to kill for food is endangered or not.  So what?  It’s about survival, not social consciousness. Maybe we’d do better to remember that we’re just animals too and that we will have an impact on this planet, just like any other animal species.  Let’s try to be careful, but not become self-loathing like these ridiculous liberals that over-run the country.  Species die.  Animals go extinct.  They always have, they always will.  Welcome to reality.

Now get a grip and live in it.

I Don’t Care What You Believe

Seek_Truth_by_BeautifullyEvilIn any debate with a theist, there is a never-ending problem, they are only too happy to tell you what they believe, what they have faith in, but they are very hesitant, if not completely incapable of telling you why they believe the things they believe and why you ought to do so as well.  I’m not going to argue that some people have faith, certainly that’s true for a large portion of the population, but whether or not that faith is well-founded is another question entirely and one that we need to address.

What I find most disturbing is the unfortunate reality that some people just don’t care if what they believe is true or not.  So long as it makes them feel good, so long as it gives them hope, nothing else matters.  They will argue with you that caring about the reality of a belief is not only not important, but entirely irrelevant if it gives them confidence and allows them to live a happy life, yet I would argue that nothing could be further from the truth.  Comfort, based on a nonsensical belief, is faith placed in a lie and as such, doesn’t actually demonstrably improve one’s life.

And that’s the issue. We’ve seen all of the bad things that these false beliefs can do, it just takes a look through the Religious Horror Show to see story after story of awful things caused by and done in the name of religion.  All the time in the world spent on one’s knees, hoping and wishing and dreaming and praying, it doesn’t bring any demonstrable positive results to one’s life.  It doesn’t get you a job.  It doesn’t put a roof over your head. It doesn’t make you any smarter and it certainly doesn’t make you more rational.  It just wastes your time, talking to yourself, while your life passes you by.

I’ve used a tagline for many years now, “There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.”  I’ve yet to find anyone who can demonstrate a fault in that statement.  At best, and most pathetically, I’ve had people claim they just don’t care about truth, they just want to flood their brains with those feel-good chemicals that I’ve talked about in the past and revel in the emotion without worrying about the reality of it all.  There is nothing worthwhile that religious belief gives us that we can’t get just as well or better without religion.  Religion is just a bandage that gets slapped over problems that stops us from finding real answers and demonstrable solutions that actually help people.  In fact, the “good” that comes from religion is like the “good” that comes from a battered wife staying with her abusive husband.  “But he loves me!”  Sure he does.  But while she’s getting the feeling of being loved, she’s still getting the shit beat out of her and she’s rationalizing her way around the abuse for the emotions she’s desperately seeking. The same is true of religion.  Sure, it might make people feel good to think that Jesus loves them, but the reality is that there’s an insidious mind poison seeping into their brains all the time they’re internally hugging their imaginary friend.  It’s killing their ability to think rationally and critically about their beliefs and it’s opening them to even more absurd woo beliefs that studies have clearly shown, the religiously-addled are more likely to embrace.

So no, I don’t care what you believe.  I don’t care what you want to be true.  I don’t care what makes you feel good and, truth be told, neither should you.  You should actually care what’s true, even if it makes you feel awful, just because it is true.  Your emotional well-being is not paramount.  What makes you feel good isn’t important. Your job, as a supposedly mature, intelligent, rational human being, is to deal with the world as it really is, not to candy coat it in religious goo, brightly colored and scented but ultimately empty.  You ought to be better than that and if you’re not, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Read What the 2nd Amendment Actually Says!

2ndAmendmentIf there is one thing that really gets me about gun fanatics, it’s these silly 2nd Amendment arguments that don’t actually take the 2nd Amendment into account.  These people tend to be mostly Libertarians, who, as we all know, aren’t all there intellectually, but there are plenty of neo-cons too and the less said about them, the better.

Now I’m not anti-gun by any means, I’m entirely fine with people lawfully owning firearms, I always have been and always will be.  What I am is pro-reality and pro-rational argument, which a lot of these gun nuts simply do not have.

I bring this up because, as usual, I got into a pissing contest with one of these delusional Libertarians who kept claiming that the 2nd Amendment gave him the right to own any weapon he wants, up to and including nukes.  So I pointed out to him that the actual language of the 2nd Amendment never says that and he tells me, wait for it… that what the 2nd Amendment actually says doesn’t matter, only how it is interpreted in the modern courts.

Um no.  I know this is hard to understand but the 2nd Amendment is the only gun-related document that was actually ratified by the states and made an official part of the founding documents of this country.  Your interpretation, whatever it happens to be, was never voted on by the majority of American citizens, as required to make it an amendment to the United States Constitution.  If you want to try to get the Constitution amended, knock yourself out but we both know  you have no shot in hell of actually doing so.

I don’t want to spend a great amount of time explaining the history, I’ve done it before and therefore I’ll just touch on it briefly.  At the time the Constitution was written, the fledgling United States did not have a standing military.  In times of conflict, every able bodied white male was expected to come to the aid of their town, state or nation, providing their own arms, and fight against the threat as a representative of the country.  That’s really what the 2nd Amendment was about, it was a guarantee that people would have the weapons available to them should the need arise to fight off a threat.  That’s specifically why it mentions a “well-regulated militia”.  You know, that first part that the NRA and gun nuts never mention in their arguments?  That’s blatantly dishonest, but hey, what can you expect?

Personally, I don’t think the 2nd Amendment has much meaning anymore.  The situation that existed when it was written and voted upon simply does not exist anymore.  You don’t get to just twist it into something that it was never intended to cover.  If we want a new Constitutional protection for gun ownership, we need to put a new amendment on the books.  That’s what the Constitution was intended for, to  be a living document that could be changed by the people.

Anyhow, getting back to this Libertarian nutbag, I kept pointing out that he couldn’t justify his position using the only legal founding document ever ratified by the people and he didn’t even try.  Instead, he kept linking to opinions given by the NRA and other Libertarian sources, forgetting that people’s opinions on the matter have no bearing on the actual  text of the 2nd Amendment.  It went on for a while and then, after realizing he had nothing but his opinion, I gave up.

But as I said, I’m not against gun ownership, I just don’t think there’s a justifiable national permission slip for it.  When the Supreme Court has ruled that people have a right to own firearms without being part of a well-justified militia, a decision I disagree with, I suspect it’s because they realized that the genie is already out of the bottle and there’s no cause to produce political hay when a decision going the opposite way couldn’t possibly be carried out.  After all, if they ruled that Americans do not have a Constitutional right to own a firearm, there are millions upon millions of guns out there in the hands of people who aren’t going to turn them in regardless, therefore why make that ruling?  The Founding Fathers might have understood the same thing, that the citizens of their new nation both needed and wanted firearms regardless and wouldn’t be turning them in no matter what the law of the land said, thus they focused that desire for gun-ownership to national defense as well as a means of justifying it.

And let’s be honest, the Libertarians only conveniently read the 2nd Amendment anyhow.  We forbid the insane and former felons from owning firearms, that’s certainly not something that appears in the 2nd Amendment.  Not only do they leave out the first 13 words entirely, they add a bunch of words that say it’s okay to deny some American citizens access to firearms.  Imagine that.

I just wish people would learn to read and be rational when it comes to their opinions but, as we’re unfortunately aware, that kind of thing just doesn’t happen very often.  It’s also a shame that very few have the courage to call out the irrational on their nonsensical beliefs.  I do.  Do you?

The Realities of Minimum Wage

minwageterrorIt’s really sad that I have to explain to people how things used to work, back when minimum wage actually did what it was supposed to do. Lots of people who just want to turn the minimum wage into a living wage are far too young to have been around when the things I’m going to talk about were true, that’s the problem, they just don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and it shows.

See, there was a time in American history where kids were expected to get jobs when they turned 16.  They were expected to both do their school work and hold a part-time job to make money. I know that’s hard to believe but it’s true.  They got jobs at McDonalds and the like, jobs that paid minimum wage and they learned their way around the business world, just like they learned their way around the educational world in school.  It was a learning experience.  They didn’t make a lot of money  because they didn’t have a lot of expenses, they lived with their parents, they got virtually everything taken care of, this was just extra pocket money.  They learned a work ethic, they learned how to be on time, how to get things done, how to earn money instead of just being given money, how to be a valuable employee so that by the time they got out of high school, by the time they were an adult, they knew how to hold a job and they had enough experience and enough skill to move up the employment ladder.  This is how it used to work and it worked very, very well.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t without problems for the employers.  Underage workers needed work permits, their schools had to agree that the teenager was doing well enough in school to be able to handle a job and kids could only work so many hours a week, they couldn’t work before a certain time and they couldn’t work after a certain time and it was somewhat tedious for managers to make schedules for kids who didn’t have open availability. One of the claims made  by liberals today is that it could never have worked that way because teenagers couldn’t work during school hours and therefore, this was a complete fantasy.  That ignores the fact that people in college still worked these jobs and college flexibility is a lot better.  People who went to school at night could work during the day, people who went to school during the day could work at night.  It all worked out, maybe not as smoothly as companies might have wished but it still worked.

The change started when many state and local governments started applying much tougher regulations to student employment.  As society got more liberalized, more parents didn’t want their kids working and there were more adults who were willing to work for minimum wage, mostly because they had never learned the lessons they needed to learn when they were teenagers.  Therefore, the companies that had previously hired teenagers now hired adults.  It was easier for them, they didn’t have to deal with laws regarding hiring minors, they didn’t have to deal with work permits, they didn’t have to deal with limited schedules, they had people who could work as much as the companies wanted them to work without having to jump through hoops or pay attention to regulations.

It all sounds great until you realize that these new workers, the people who don’t have the skills to move up the ladder, the people who don’t know how to hold a job, also come with a lot of baggage.  No longer are the workers just trying to make some pocket money, they’re trying to live on these low wages and raise a family on these low wages.  This problem is only going to get worse because more and more people are refusing to take a serious job until they are not only out of high school, but out of college.  Many college graduates have never held a job in their lives, they have never learned the lessons that the work world requires you to learn.  They think that holding that degree in their hand ought to give them a high-paying job without going through any of the intermediary stages.  It doesn’t.  However, since they didn’t learn what they were supposed to learn when they were supposed to learn it, since now they have serious expenses hanging over their heads, not only living expenses and maybe a family, but tons of school loans, and they just don’t qualify to have a high-paying job because they haven’t paid their dues at a lower level, they get screwed and rightfully so.  Work and school are two totally separate worlds. Getting an education does not allow you to jump past all of the introductory work experience, it allows you to go farther up the employment ladder than you might have done otherwise.  It doesn’t cut the low end, it expands the high end.  It’s really unfortunate that so many students think that time spent in school ought to apply to time that they should have spent at work.  It doesn’t and it never will.

Today’s students, and a lot of liberals, need to realize a simple lesson.  You are, almost without exception,  going to spend at least some time at a minimum wage job, learning the basics of the working world.  There is no real way around that.  You have a choice, either do it early, when you have the time to learn without the expenses, or do it later when you are going to get yourself into trouble.  It’s an unfortunate reality that most will simply party their way through college and get a degree, expecting it to be a magical document.  It’s not.  It might open doors but it won’t allow you to fly.

I know that this will largely go over the head of people who expect to be given things on a silver platter, but this is why the minimum wage exists and why it was never intended to be used to support a family or anyone with major expenses.  Reality.   You’re just  doing it wrong.

The Truth About Global Climate Change

NCCI really get so tired of this liberal nonsense, that global climate change is only happening because of man.  It’s patently absurd, I’ve talked about it before but that  doesn’t  change liberals from pretending it’s true.  I came across this video that I think explains it very well, it’s only 12 minutes long and I think everyone ought to give it a look because it explains the problem concisely and accurately and why the liberal agenda is really ridiculous.

I find it funny that the liberal in this video is pretty much exactly like the ones I run into, who think that if you don’t accept a humanocentric view of climate change, you must reject that any climate change is taking place at all.  The fact is, there’s no reason whatsoever to think that man has anything to do with it at all.  In fact, if every human magically vanished off the planet tomorrow, climate change would keep happening because it’s got virtually nothing to do with us at all.

So why do the liberals keep pushing this humanocentric view?  Because they desperately want someone to blame for what’s essentially a blameless occurrence.  The same is true of the religious, they blame the devil for their misfortunes when it’s almost always their own fault, or just something that happened for which there was no blame to be assigned.  That’s why they’re always looking for someone to blame for natural disasters.  Unfortunately, that’s why they’re called natural.

So please, if you think for one second that man has anything to do with the weather change, watch this video and think.  Don’t follow around the idiot liberal ideologues, actually think.  Do your own research.  Ignore the political hacks who have something to gain from convincing you to buy their load of bullshit.

Reality, it’s a beautiful thing.

[youtuber youtube=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq4Bc2WCsdE’]

Emotion Gets in the Way of Reality

reality-check

This is something that I’ve mentioned quite a few times in the past but don’t think I’ve ever  gone into a lot of detail.  I’ve been working on a new book where I spend quite a bit of time on this quite simple concept and therefore thought I ought to at least bring it up on the blog.

The unfortunate “reality”, for lack of a better word, is that far too many people employ their emotions in places where they simply should not.  They’re more concerned with what they wish was true and not so much with what is actually true if that factual reality makes them sad.

This isn’t limited to theists by any means.  In fact, the whole of the execrable Atheism+ “movement” is essentially a prime example of this kind of irrationality.  Religion is yet another, where people allow their wishful thinking to lead to them to conclusions about the real world instead of allowing the real world to lead them to factual reality.

You don’t see scientists becoming strongly emotionally attached to a pet hypothesis and only looking for evidence to support their hypothesis.  If they did, they’d get thrown out of the  scientific establishment.  This is the way that pseudo-science operates, not rational thinking.  For that, one must be willing to set aside their emotional wishes and desires and actually care about objective fact.

That doesn’t mean that you should purge yourself of all emotion and walk around like a robot.  Emotion is still important, but it has particular uses, just as reason and rationality do.  You can’t just use emotion for everything, especially where it isn’t applicable, any more than you can use cold logic for everything.  It is important to know where these idea actually work well and where they do not.  Unfortunately, far too many people either don’t understand where those lines are drawn or they just don’t care, probably a mixture of both.

I do get a lot of complaints when I bring this up though, people get defensive, they say that they should be able to think any way they want and I can’t stop them.  That much is true.  That doesn’t change the fact that they’re doing it wrong.  I’m convinced that there is absolutely no point in human life today where pure emotionalism is the best way, or even an acceptable way, to live one’s life, or to attack any single problem or question.  It may help but without reason, the individual is doomed to failure.

Any question?  How about what person you ought to marry.  Surely that’s a completely emotional question, but no, it cannot be.  While certainly, the person that you happen to love may be an entirely emotional matter, deciding if they are the correct one to spend your life with is anything but.  It requires one to measure how much you have in common, whether you have enough similar interests, whether you really get along and can maintain a relationship in the long term.  It requires that you make some decisions, based on actual evidence, and be willing to go with the best alternative.  Love, no matter what sappy songs might say, is not enough to keep you together and those who rely only on emotion to make these important decisions have a much higher rate of divorce and marital problems than those who go into it with their rational faculties in full operation.

This is, of course, true of religion as well.  Those who only want to feel good about their beliefs do not end up with very rational beliefs.  I cannot remember the last time that I had a theological debate and the theist was able to articulate intelligent, evidence-based reasons that they believed.  This is why most debates are fundamentally pointless because the believer neither knows, nor cares, why they believe the way they do, they simply seek out the most emotionally satisfying belief they can and embrace it wholeheartedly.  This  doesn’t get them one step closer to factual reality or a reasonable belief, it’s pure and total emotional bunk and they apparently can’t tell the difference.

We’ve evolved these big brains, capable of reason and logic and critical thinking, for a reason, they’ve made us more fit to become the masters of our environment and our world, but they do no good if people refuse to use them.  There should never be a time when a rational individual throws up their intellectual hands and just acts on emotion.  Every action should be reasoned out.  Every position should be tested critically.  It shouldn’t matter what your emotional instincts call for you to do if that action cannot also be logically justified.  When emotion and reason come to  blows, reason usually ought to win. If humanity could do that, imagine how many problems we could solve.  Isn’t that what we really should be doing?  Certainly that’s my goal for our species, why isn’t it yours?