Mobbing

Rabid unthinking atheists, SJW mobs, and fake-liberal thought cops

Recently I participated in yet another Facebook discussion, initiated by a good friend, about atheism and religion. In the discussion, I referred to some (not all) atheists as “rabid, unthinking atheists,” which caused an heated debate. I promised to write a longer and hopefully thoughtful post, and here it is with a deliberately provocative title. TRIGGER WARNING FOR SJWs: you won’t like this post, perhaps you should stay in your safe space.

I have nothing against atheism and atheists: First, I am for live-and-let-live and against thought policing, so I affirm everyone’s right to form and hold their own opinions. Second, while given the believer/atheist polarization I prefer to call myself a believer, my unconventional form of religious belief has been compared to open-minded atheism inspired by highly imaginative science and science fiction (see comments to my article “Yes, I Am a Believer“).

If there is something that I hold as a primary, non-negotiable value, it is that people must be free to think with their own head. In particular, everyone must be free to embrace and practice a religion, or to reject all religions, and their free personal choice must be respected.

Religions (and political ideologies, and all other forms of organized shared thinking) have not always respected the right of others to choose, but too often they have oppressed outsiders (or worse). Some atheists blame religious belief for the atrocities committed by, or in the name of, or with the (explicit or silent) consent of, organized religion.

Of course, the real cause of oppression and atrocities is not theology and philosophy, but greed for money and power. Ideas and books don’t harm people. Other people do, and there are always people ready to use religions, or politics, or sports as pretexts to victimize others. In sports, we call them hooligans – but we shouldn’t blame the peaceful sport fans for the actions of the violent hooligans.

Most atheists are nice and decent persons – but so are most believers. There are billions of believers on this planet, and the vast majority of them are nice and decent persons. I call “rabid unthinking atheists” those who take pleasure in mobbing believers for the sole fact that they believe. For example, I remember a Facebook discussion where an atheist nazi proposed forced mental therapy for believers.

If you argue calmly and civilly in favor of atheism and against the excesses of organized religion, I will probably agree with some of your points and I certainly won’t call you a rabid unthinking atheist. But I call the person who proposed forced mental therapy for believers a rabid unthinking atheist, and a nazi, and an asshole.

I call rabid unthinking atheists those who don’t accept that peaceful believers who don’t harm anyone must be left in peace. I call rabid unthinking atheists the disciples of Stalin who want to expel believers from “liberal” colleges. I call rabid unthinking atheists the scientifically illiterate “bureaucrats of philosophy” who dismiss even science when it starts to sound like religion. I call rabid unthinking atheists those sadists who take pleasure in telling grieving people that their loved ones are gone forever.

Note that I am not arguing for religion, but only for free thought and free expression. To make this point clear, I hereby claim the right to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. I call rabid unthinking atheists those who have a problem with that, and I will defend my right by any means.

I consider rabid unthinking atheism as part of a wider cultural (or, better, un-cultural) package that is invading the West – the totalitarian, witch-hunting, thought-policing attitude of the so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJWs).

In his recent best-seller “SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police,” author Theodore Beale (nicknamed Vox Day) defines SJWs as:

“They are the Social Justice Warriors, the SJWs, the self-appointed thought police who have been running amok throughout the West since the dawn of the politically correct era in the 1990s.”

I disagree – at times strongly – with other positions taken by Beale, but his definition of SJWs is right on point. Before SJWs Always Lie, Beale wrote a book titled “The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, And Hitchens” to criticize the totalitarian, thought-policing “New Atheism” promoted by the three authors (and too many others). A free version of the book is available online. Here again, there is much in the book that I disagree with, but there is also much that I agree with. In particular, I think Beale’s blunt and often hilarious book is much needed to counterbalance the unthinking atheism that is an integral part of the fashionable PC/SJW mind virus.

That I find myself quoting Beale with some degree of praise, and reading the ultra-conservative Breitbart News for a bit of fresh air, are very disturbing indicators of the toxic effects of the rabid unthinking atheists, SJW mobs, and fake-liberal thought-cops. I don’t like agreeing with Beale and Breitbart News – but sometimes I can’t disagree.

I insist on “fake” because I still wish to think that real liberalism is something else. Unfortunately, liberalism in the hands of SJWs is becoming a sad, pathetic, and dangerous caricature of its former self.

I used to support, and wish to continue supporting, all sorts of liberal positions: equal opportunity for everyone, women rights, minority rights, LGBT rights, gay marriage, anti-racism, liberal immigration laws, welfare, wealth redistribution, public health care, basic income… I am essentially in favor of all that. I said already that I have nothing against atheists, and I firmly support their right to stay away from religion.

But I find myself turning away from liberalism because I can’t stand the rampant fake-liberal intolerance of free thought and free speech, and I can’t stand the mobbing attitude of the SJWs. See some disturbing examples here and here and here and here, and use Google to find thousands of equally disturbing examples.

Usually reasonable people can discriminate between the good and the bad parts of a cultural package and choose à la carte what to support, but sometimes – when cultural tensions reach the breaking point – one has to choose the entire package and swallow it whole, otherwise his positions become illegible and therefore irrelevant.

I am afraid that, just like the rabid unthinking atheists make me side with the believers, the SJWs will make me side with the #Gamergaters. Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are the primary values that I choose to support. Too bad if swallowing Breitbart‘s cultural package whole is the only way to support freedom of thought and freedom of speech legibly.

However, it appears that our collective mind is finally beginning to react to SJW excesses. New “Cultural Libertarian” voices are emerging, and masses of internet users are starting to ridicule the SJWs, which is the best way to react. The current season of the popular TV show South Park is mocking SJWs, and the viral video “Modern Educayshun” (more than three million views in two weeks) hilariously ridicules the SJWs’ “educational” philosophy.

“Political correctness still reigns on campuses across America, and in Hollywood as well, but no totalitarian ideology can long withstand ridicule.” – LifeZette

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

  • While I agree with the tenets of your statement I find the tone of your argument a little out of bounds of practical decency.

    “When You Have To Kill A Man It Costs Nothing To Be Polite”
    – Winston Churchill.

    • Giulio Prisco

      But when you want to avoid killing a man, perhaps being a little blunt helps. Like “get the fuck out of my house or I’ll shoot.”

      The tone of this post is deliberately blunt. I am saying that I am fed the fuck up with certain things, and I hope somebody will listen.

  • René Milan

    Being one of the two other participants in the previous discussion, here is my response:

    While i could write a long piece (in fact i had written 600 words already when for the first time in my experience notepad++ crashed and all was lost) in response to the lack of definitions of terms like religion an atheism and the implied or unaddressed social, psychological and genetic background underlying these topics, i will instead just address a few issues here.

    Your comparison of con artists operating in religion to hooligans is misleading. While in the trillion dollar show business called sports the regular punters are main stream and hooliganism is a fringe phenomenon, in the trillion dollar business called religion extracting value from the faithful is main stream while those engaged in sincerely exploring metaphysical realms are unfortunately the fringe phenomenon.

    “I find myself turning away from liberalism because I can’t stand the rampant fake-liberal intolerance of free thought and free speech” – this made me smile because it is in fact an admission (later confirmed in “the rabid unthinking atheists make me side with the believers”) that you are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It is not sensible to blame liberalism for “fake-liberal intolerance”, in fact it is absurd as non-fake, true liberalism is at its core a commitment to tolerance; and that the RUA are wrong does nothing whatsoever to make believers right.

    Another one we already touched on in our previous discussion: “the disciples of Stalin who want to expel believers from “liberal” colleges”, “those sadists who take pleasure in telling grieving people that their loved ones are gone forever”. I mentioned then that i do not know where and why you come across all these people and that i do not know any such persons and would not maintain contact if i did. To which you responded that you meet them because you make it your job to seek them out. Well that is your choice, but just as to the man with only a hammer every problem looks like a nail, to a witch hunter every woman tends to look like a witch. But i think in this case you are complaining about an undoubtedly real problem after exacerbating it intentionally. Yes there is a lot of pc bullshit going around, a recent example was the attempt to boycott Germaine Greer, which she handled quite beautifully, but as i am not subject to college culture it does not concern me directly. But it is a symptom of a much wider societal problem, which is the reign of fear and the loss of autonomy. The best, actually worst, and most globally pervasive example is the instillment of permanent fear, and thereby the suffocation of initiative, in children. They are not allowed to play outside or unsupervised, to go to school or other activities by themselves, and so we see an already paranoid generation of parents raise a generation of psychological cripples. All the pc attempts to “protect” others from certain ideas are essentially based on the same kind of existential helplessness.

    While you are not directly grouping Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris (where is Dennett btw ?) in with the disciples of satan you are so attached to, this quote seems to imply that perhaps you do: “the totalitarian, thought-policing “New Atheism” promoted by the three authors (and too many others)”. If so i would challenge you to show me one quote by each that would allow their characterisation as “totaliarian, thought policing”.

    Your right to believe in Santa and the Fairy are undisputed. I believe in Sitchin’s AA and in Sheldrake’s morphic fields. But, in contrast to organised religions, and i mean all major religions, neither one of us would want to base political decision on those ideas before they are substantiated.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Thanks Rene’ for the thoughtful comments, especially “Your right to believe in Santa and the Fairy are undisputed,” which is really my main point here.

      re “Yes there is a lot of pc bullshit going around, a recent example was the attempt to boycott Germaine Greer… [Children] are not allowed to play outside or unsupervised, to go to school or other activities by themselves, and so we see an already paranoid generation of parents raise a generation of psychological cripples. All the pc attempts to “protect” others from certain ideas are essentially based on the same kind of existential helplessness.”

      Here also we seem to agree, and your points are well chosen. I thank my family and parents for not over-protecting me and not shlelding me from life. I thank them for helping me become a (more or less) balanced and reasonable person, and I tried to use the same courtesy to my child.

      Our point of disagreement seems to be: “in the trillion dollar business called religion extracting value from the faithful is main stream while those engaged in sincerely exploring metaphysical realms are unfortunately the fringe phenomenon.”

      Here you are conflating the business called religion with the sincere transcendental feelings and aspirations of the faithful, and your numbers are surely wrong: for every rich and greedy cardinal or televangelist there are hundreds of thousands of honest, peaceful believers who draw happiness from their faith, without harming anyone.

      Re “you are throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” – No, I said that I wish to avoid that, but if I am forced to choose between free thought and other important values I will choose free thought, because I see it threatened in today’s world.

      • René Milan

        “I thank my family and parents for not over-protecting me” – as you, and i, should. But let us remember that this was the default during our childhoods, while now it is a rare exception.

        As for our remaining divergent view: perhaps i have a different way of counting. Just over half of the world population define themselves as xtians or muslims. Most of theses support their religious institutions in one way or another, regardless of how sincerely they believe in their creed. I dare say most of them are cultural xtians and muslims who do it merely out of tradition and adherence to social norms, which has not much at all to do with seeking metaphysical understanding. And plenty of studies have shown that these institutions they financially or materially support are much less effective in providing services that we as transhumanists probably both would welcome, if they even try, than dedicated NGOs and even GOs. In fact much more often churches and mosques are involved in actively obstructing things that we strive for, such as gender equality and freedom of research. But back to the individual seeker: another problem with faith based or exoteric religion is that it takes over the process of dealing with the divine, the sublime or the metaphysical from the individual, and hands it over to paid pretenders, thereby obstructing the faithfuls’ autonomy and right to self determination. But there is a form of investigation based, esoteric religion which encourages the seeker to encounter and deal with these forces directly, and shares methods and results like an academy. This is true religion, which is numerically small but growing, while exoteric religion is the continuation of the world wide con game that was first started in sumerian times, when after the agricultural revolution people were enabled to aggregate in towns and cities, and when in the process of necessary division of labour the priesthood was established as a political power. While as a practicing occultist i am an adherent to esoteric “religion”, i have a rather dim view of exoteric ones, which by no means implies that i regard the many individual sincere practitioners as stupid or evil. Perhaps you can understand that my view has always been coloured by this differentiation.

        “I will choose free thought” – as will i, which makes us both liberals. And no, not those fake liberals but real ones. Glad we agree !

        • Giulio Prisco

          Same here, and thanks for spelling out the difference between exoteric and esoteric religions. My own form of religion is certainly more esoteric than exoteric. But I am afraid the difference would be lost to today’s SJWs and militant atheists, they would (rabidly and unthinkingly) lump the two kinds of religion together.

        • spud100

          Regarding the tyranical behaviors of much of academia, I will quote somebody who is a law professor at the university of Tennessee. He wrote, “what starts as liberalism, soon progresses to stalinism.” I am not sure what is driving the progressives psychologically, but I cannot help but feel all this will lead to civil war, simply because their ideology (faith movement) triumphs over stark realities. We all can wittness this with Obamas views on foreign policy, especially, recently. For example, if one dismisses ISIS as a minor annoyance, as he and his party do, the faster there will be another bad day for the US. My point is that when ideology beats reality, so often with the progressives, this will always breed chaos and violence, given enough time. This is true now on US campuses, and in the bloody streets of Paris.

          As for refugees from the Islamic world, the progressives must view them as a means of importing voters, so to maintain a majority in congress, in parliament, once the locals grow wiser to the elites lies.

          • Giulio Prisco

            I think Liberal and Libertarian policies are both “good,” but they are in a quantum uncertainty relation, the more you have of one the less you can have of the other.

            They are both needed, and therefore Liberalism and Libertarianism should be in a healthy balance and always keep each other in check. Liberalism without Libertarianism degenerates into a nightmare, but so does Libertarianism without Liberalism. I am currently supporting Libertarianism because I fear the balance is being lost.

            The refugees issue is complex. As you say, liberals want to import refugees because they (or their children) will become voters and vote for them. But there is another reason, especially evident in Europe: without refugees, our societies are becoming old. In many European countries native population growth is below replacement level, so without the refugees in a couple of decades there won’t be enough young people around who pay taxes to support a large population of retired seniors.

            Therefore, either we take the refugees in, or we start having children again. A society that stops having children is committing suicide.

            Of course there is also another problem, especially evident here: there are terrorists hiding among the refugees.

            I wish I could offer a solution, but I can’t. The issue is complex.

          • spud100

            Here is my overly-simplistic (stupido) ‘solution’ for refugees and migrations as such. I have zero idea if this could ever work but I try to learn from everybody, both friends and enemies, and so here is a hopefully, brief, sumary.

            I attack via economic freebies, especially free medical care. If the ‘refugees’ stay in Lybia, and don’t go to Italy, they have EU style medical care. If they do migrate, legally or illegally, they lose free med care for themselves and their famlies. Note: amongst progressives and transhumanists (Transhumanists defined as people who demand impossibly advanced medical technology as a goal), we have discussions of Universal Annual Income. So, I will add this to my Witches’ Brew of a solution. Arrive in Hungary unannounced? You, and your family, get no payouts for meds, or an annual salary. Simple, yes? Heh!

            Economically, this may be impossible, for I am no economist on either medical or guaranteed annual income schemes. If the pay-out countries demand NO immigration, in return and Enforce this via cut off of services, I am believing it would have an impact. The Muslims call this ‘Bak-Sheesh,’ or basically, a Bribe. In the US, there was this comedy called Seinfeld, and in one episode, there was this chef from Argentina, whose specialty was soup. The Chef often turned away customers who upset him by yelling, “No Soup for You!” This has become sort of an American traditional joke since the 1990’s, The character was call, The Soup Nazi.

            Alours!

  • Extropia DaSilva

    “Unthinking Atheist” seems an inappropriate term to me. Evolutionary psychology and other sciences have shown humans to be naturally inclined towards a worldview in which persons persist after the body dies, and things happen for a reason. There can be, in other words, such a thing as an “unthinking theist” because that would fit with how we are psychologically evolved to understand the world around us. But there can be no such thing as an “unthinking Atheist” because it takes some considerable rational effort (and knowledge of what science has discovered about the world) to break free from the natural inclination towards spirits, gods and all that.

    I am not saying, BTW, that it is incorrect to believe in the afterlife or gods, only that disbelief in such things needs thought. Belief in them does not (although the world religions have taken innate beliefs and created some pretty complex systems of thought from them, which did entail considerable mental effort).

    Maybe something like ‘intolerant atheism’ would be better?

    • Giulio Prisco

      Extie, what you say would be correct in other times and other places, but today atheism is the cultural norm in Western liberal intellectual circles, especially in universities.

  • Hi Giulio,

    I agree with much you have written, and not all.

    I hold life and liberty as my highest values, in that order; and part of valuing life is questioning and testing everything.

    In 1978, when I returned to university after a couple of years of running a business, I restarted the university branch of the humanist society. About a dozen people joined, and we used to often visit Christian groups for discussion. Most often I found myself siding with the Christians as they were being more humanist than many of my supposed humanist companions, who were, for the most part, more interested in ideological righteousness than in honouring individual humans and their liberty to think and to judge for themselves.

    I usually mounted a strong argument for both freedom and active skepticism, and the diversity that must logically follow from that.

    In my reading of the bible (and I have read it, cover to cover, and some bits many times) the story of Jesus goes something like this. A kid raised in his religious culture sees the hypocrisy of the established religious bureaucracy, goes out in the desert for a bit, contemplates things, decides that individual life and individual liberty are about the greatest things there are, and comes back and starts saying so (defying his religious culture in the process), and does so within the dominant explanatory framework of his time (god).

    Now since then, the Roman empire picked up the story, modified it a bit here and there, over time, to deliver an effective tool for political control, and something of the original seems to remain.

    For me, Dawkins is far more accurate than any theologian, and he is perhaps a bit too strident to communicate effectively to most. We disagree on style, but very little on content.

    As to warfare etc, that seems a rather simple matter of games theory in action, as per Axlerod et al.

    Human beings seem to be highly evolved, highly cooperative species, and we all have two major strategy sets at the base of our genetic strategic toolkit.

    If there is enough for all in our group, then we can be highly cooperative, and punishing of cheats, and our group does very well as a result.

    If there is genuine scarcity (such as major famine due to volcanism or crop plague etc), then we can be highly competitive to ensure personal survival in those most difficult of circumstances. The more threat we perceive, the smaller the size of group we are likely to feel cooperative towards.

    The probability functions around how we tend to act towards others are very much determined by our intuitive understanding of the degree of scarcity and risk present. The greater the risk, the greater the probability of competitive rather than cooperative behaviour. This is all fairly basic stuff from games theory.

    Evolution seems to operate recursively.

    On the genetic level it seems to operate at the molecular level, at the cellular level, at the organism level, at the population level, and at the ecosystem level, all simultaneous, and over deep time.

    On the cultural level, again it seems to operate recursively at many levels, from the narrowest sense of the nuclear family to tribe, to local district, to wider region, to wider and wider groups. And within those it can operate at other levels, at the level of groups within groups, churches, sports clubs, schools, schools of thought, disciplines, trading groups, political groups, etc.

    And in all of that complexity, there is this fundamental tension between the tendency of any individual brain to switch between fundamentally cooperative, to fundamentally competitive behaviour, and of course there is a full spectrum in between.

    So yes, most people do respect most other people, if they are feeling reasonably secure.
    And the more insecure people are, the more likely they are to adopt competitive (non-cooperative) strategies (at every level).

    Then there is the whole dimension of the degree to which people are willing to question assumptions is strongly correlated to the degree to which they have the free time and social freedom to think about and speak about such questions. In that respect, I strongly align with Dawkins that the tendency of organised religions to prevent discussion of such questions (heresy) is a major factor against the continuance of any religion with such a notion.

    It seems to me that the very notions of truth and causality are illusions in a very real sense. Truth may exist, and all the indications we have from both quantum mechanics and logic are that we can have no certainty that what we use as operant principles are accurate correlates to how reality is.
    It seems clear that all knowledge is fundamentally heuristic knowledge at base – a sort of best guess at some level. In this sense, any sort of absolute certainty is an indicator of hubris.

    And it seems clear to me that the concept of god is a reasonable heuristic for people who do not have either the time or interest for a deep investigation of the physics, chemistry, and patterns of life, or the deep study of mathematics and logic.

    There is a certain comfort in the certainty of god that is not available from the eternal uncertainty of continual questioning, and evolution seems to have disposed us to prefer comfort over discomfort – which was certainly a useful trait over most of our history to date, and perhaps not so utilitarian in our exponentially changing present and near future.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Thanks for the thoughtful post Ted, I am about to logoff for today but I’ll address some of your points tomorrow.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Hi Ted,

      I think science works perfectly well without “absolute Truth.” We build “local truths,” theoretical models of reality to make sense of experience, predict what will happen, and build better machines. When a model breaks down – and all models eventually break down – we build a better one that works in the application scope at hand. That’s it. I suspect the process ob building better and better models will go on forever in an endless fractal zoom. See my essay “The BIG Infinite Fractal Onion Universe”:
      http://turingchurch.com/2012/12/02/the-big-infinite-fractal-onion-universe/

      Is there an absolute Truth with capital T?. Of course the question is philosophically fascinating, but it isn’t very relevant to science and engineering, which work perfectly well without Truth.

      Or in other words, the “eternal uncertainty of continual questioning” is the only Truth. But as you say, most people find the simple dumbed-down Truth in pills offered by traditional religions comforting. And I see nothing wrong with that, provided they enjoy their personal Truth without harming others.

      Re “Most often I found myself siding with the Christians as they were being
      more humanist than many of my supposed humanist companions, who were,
      for the most part, more interested in ideological righteousness than in
      honouring individual humans and their liberty to think and to judge for
      themselves.”

      Same here.

  • Atilio Victor Falco

    Well, starting an article in a self confessed provocative way is not the path toward objective exchange of ideas. It has the flavour of biases and pre-conceptual thinking, in fact. But I will never call such thing “rabid” or “unthinking”.

    And just to complete the initial impression, “rabid” and “unthinking” are clear slurs, intended or not.
    Rabid is associated with dogs and rats, both used as insults for thousands of years, particularly in islam since it is consider an “impure” animal (being “impure” a dangerous nonsense said everyday without Giulio or anybody else complaining about) and unthinking is an impossibility in humans unless you are referring to vegetative states.

    So, any claim to be “the good guy” in the story has now gone out of the window without any need to argue against.

    I apologize if this comment contains mistakes. I spent a good part of the day in the pub with a Lord friend of mine here in Britain. This Lord is the son of another Peer of the Land who proposed a motion to allow guide dogs for blind people to be get into public buildings and mainly buses. This was because Muslim bus drivers did not allow blind people with dogs to get into the buses arguing they are “impure”, like a girl who had sex before marriage for the Christians or another who married outside her faith, when is not killed to save the honour fog the family.
    So much for innocuous religious nonsense…

    Anticipating people´s reactions is a form of patronizing as well and claiming the moral upper ground without evidence is a petitio principii ( http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/circular.html ).

    So, we did not start well.

    For example, to say “rabid, unthinking atheists” and in the next sentence to say “I have nothing against atheists” is a clear contradiction only allowed by a bias and self image of moral superiority. Of course, I am not refusing such elevated position, only asking where do you get it from.

    As far as I am concerned, I do not know of the existence of thought police. That looks to me like another fallacy, the straw man one. Or perhaps you are referring to ancestral religious authorities pattern of behaviour all over the world and during whole history.

    If, on the other hand, our friend Giulio is talking about the impact that opinions produce on other people´s minds and that sometimes science proves some fantasy wrong with a consequential feeling of disarray on the believer, then I understand. But that is called “learning” and yes, it can be painful. Tough luck, ins´t it?

    To say that organized religions “have not always respected the right of others to choose, but too often they have oppressed outsiders (or worse)” is truly surprising because is putting the cart in the place of the horse. It violates a large number of logical principles obver which we hacve built civilization. For example, religions use their designs as default with exceptions occationally showing, it is the case of “Accessorium non ducit sed sequitur suum principale” An accessory does not draw, but follows its principal. And you Giulio, inadvertently are committing an error known as “Accessorium non ducit sed sequitur suum principale” An accessory does not draw, but follows its principal, although you are only an “Accessorius sequitur” One who is an accessory to the crime cannot be guilty of a more serious crime than the principal offender.

    It is an intrinsic and necessary attribute of, at least, monotheism, to be exclusive of any other belief system. This is a direct derivation of their claim to be correct and you cannot have religious beliefs without that claim (in monotheisms).
    If the Jews today do not appear like that, please read the Torah to see how they were before, said in their own words (I consider myself almost an honorary Jew, so this is not anti-Semitic). I do not think anybody needs examples with the other major monotheisms.

    I find the idea that only money and power are the causes of pain and sufferance a superficiality like saying that biology is responsible for lions eating zebras.
    But I find saying that “books and ideas do not harm people” a flagrant contradiction with the fact that Giulio says in the beginning that using the expressions, words and ideas he used before, created a heated debate. Do you think Giulio such debate was provoked for money and power? Or are the ideas mentioned in your written words the ones who produced the reaction?

    Brains are like computers in the sense that instructions are followed.

    I strongly suspect Giulio is coming up with yet another straw man when he mentions “atheists that attack believers for only being believers”, having previously said that there are good believers.
    I do not know anybody like that. I do not know of the existence of any atheist who attacks without mercy and want to kill anybody who is a god person only because this person believes there is “something” up there who is looking at her, albeit I have seen people angry within certain contexts.

    What Giulio constantly forgets here is that to hear some believer giving moral lessons is a common thing but that does not make it less abusive.
    But when an theists points this out and resist, it becomes “rabid” and “unthinking”.

    let´s repeat this, just in case. We are used to moral lessons given ALL THE TIME in mosques, churches and other temples, in the streets and in the papers coming from ignorant people who are always ready to condemn what is wrong in their world view. THIS IS A FACT OF LIFE but that does not makes it acceptable and clearly the same right is not allowed to atheist in Giulio´s peace seeking position.

    To cut the chase, nothing new under the Sun, only the complains and whining of those who prefer the status quo.

    Are believers calm and rational? Those are the demands from Giulio to the atheists in order to listen to them and perhaps agree in something (no mention of the opposite, of course).
    Do you think a soft spoken Cardinal of the Catholic church saying that kids are sexy and they know it and that is why they tempt the priests is something calm and rational to say?
    Do you think a smiling mullah saying the whole world will be Muslim weather they like it or not is something rational and calm, even with an smile of his face?

    This stinks of emotional biases against atheists in a unhappy tentative to bring peace and love to the world while looking somewhere else when the “good and calm”! religious preachers talk. I salute Giulio for his kind heart but not for his argumentation nor for his world view.

    Would you say to a super-intelligence that to rewire your brain in order to be able to understand it is a case of an asshole addressing itself to you?
    I doubt it. It is clear to me that your choice of words is a negative emotional bias and nothing more than that. You Giulio, just do not like whoever disagree with you, I think.
    Having said that, of course, I do not think every atheist who speak against religion is a nice person while you seem to think that they are all “rabid” and “unthinking”.
    I would like to repeat my lack of knowledge of anybody who is against decent people, including Dawkins who said, among so many other correct things: “of course there are millions of good Christians and Muslims. Those are the ones who do not take their religion seriously”.
    Now, for taking religion seriously we mean here not cherry picking. It does not mean that those who do not take their religion seriously do not experience magical thinking, hyper activity of the agency, supernatural agency, teleological thinking and all the other biases and fallacies of reasoning we are prone to. No, it means not taking the tenets of their religion equally seriously.
    C´mon! An infinite small part of Catholics believe that what they drink and eat is human blood and human flesh of a Jew of the first century. Nevertheless, that is a dogma under penalty of excommunication and was a cause of very bloody wars for centuries that now is ignored in the way Dawkins say and celebrate.
    You guys simply do not get it, I think.

    The animosity against Dawkin s is purely an emotional bias, I say.

    You say you do not argue for religion and just for free thought. How do you accommodate progress here? How do you avoid hurting my grandmother who believed that with some passes of her hand and reciting few religious prayers you could cure a kid from indigestion?
    How do you account for so many good people deluded and confused confronted with human scientific progress?
    What do you propose to do with them?
    Shall we protect them like tigers and confine them to zoos or isolated islands?
    Well, there are no more isolated places in the world and it will get worse.
    Please, do not take offence and think I am equalling you to the “rabid” “unthinking” atheist who want to reprogram the brain of believers, presumably to get them back into the human race and the arrival of super-intelligence. I do not think for a second you want to do the same things that scandalize you from others, even if your ideas do not give any other choice, you are like my grandmother and other well intentioned believers…..

    Nobody denies you the right to believe in Santa. In fact, it follows from your tenets. But you cannot refuse the right of other to laugh at your belief. That is freedom of thought in fact, not what you argue.

    Now you get into dangerous waters when you think that atheists are well versed in philosophy but not in science. Please provide a scientific reason to believe in the transmutation of wine to blood, the appearance of a winged horse and why god is against masturbation, just to give you some easy cases. We´ll get into the difficult ones if you answer.
    And after you do that, please provide arguments and evidence for which an atheist cannot say anything against all this nonsense.

    Then you say that you consider the raising of atheism some sort of “barbarian at the gate” kind of thing. Definitely you have a problem with progress.
    Please read today´s article by Matt Ridley concerning why so many Muslims are secretly leaving islam and embracing secularism. That is the real world, not what you hope for it to be. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article4620837.ece

    What Beale does is called “false attribution” and is another fallacy, the same one you commit when you demonize them: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/False_attribution.
    I shall not comment further on this for lack of interest. An objective reading of those authors would show such false attributions. it simply have become fashionable among some lazy minded people to think Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens are just foaming from the mouth monsters, even if in the real world their message is still gaining impetus.

    By the way, no one of the books of the atheists is free on-line and they sell by millions. I know this is the ad populum fallacy ( https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Argumentum_ad_populum ), but what I am trying to say is that there is something that resonates in those books and before you come up with some kind of disqualification I remind you of the very large number of downloads form pirate sites to computers in Muslim countries, a very notable effect (Ridley, if you read the article, says that there are more atheist and secularist in Saudi Arabia than in Italy… a demonstrable FACT).

    You should not consider reading ultra conservative propaganda as fresh air but as indication of where your thinking took you to. “By their fruits you will recognize them” Mathew 7.16, at least you could gain that lesson and understand that if you end up reading such things you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere sometime.
    To do that is called prudence, a cardinal virtue in Christianity ( http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a7.htm ).

    I hope these examples persuade you that: first, I have thought about this before and second and more important, not everything is bad in religion because is a human construct that may have had and still have some residual value.
    But like all human constructs is destined to be left behind and replaced by more efficient ways of explaining reality.

    Then you find yourself turning away form liberalism and proceed to describe not liberal actions, strange.
    But, anyway, how do you react confronted with marriages of under age girls because the Prophet did it?
    Do you also turn around and away form that or you find denouncing that a liberal and wrong thing to do?

    You will not make a better world by swallowing ultra conservative propaganda. Trust me Giulio, give up and you´ll be a happier man.

    Like everybody who is committed with an ideological way of seeing reality, you think atheism is now on decline being ridiculed on the Net and bla bla bla.
    I am afraid one of us lives in the wrong planet and I do not think is me.
    Everywhere secularism and atheism is on the raise, including in Muslim countries as ultra-conservative an criminal a Saudi Arabia.

    They are screaming because we are advancing, that is all. And good people like yourself feel their pain and react emotionally.

    As I said, I spent the whole day in the pub, so apologies if I forgot addressing something or in my writing does not make much sense.

    Kind regards.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Thanks Atilio, welcome here,

      Re “I apologize if this comment contains mistakes. I spent a good part of the day in the pub…” – What is a little mistake compared to the glorious ales in British pubs? I believe Oscar Wilde would agree.

      The glorious ales are also the only way I can make sense of “For example, to say ‘rabid, unthinking atheists’ and in the next sentence to say ‘I have nothing against atheists’ is a clear contradiction.”

      I would think it’s obvious that in the second sentence I am referring to the majority of atheists, who as I say later are “nice and decent persons,” while in the first sentence I am referring to the small (but dangerous) minority of intolerant thought-policing atheists.

      Re “Nobody denies you the right to believe in Santa… But you cannot refuse the right of other to laugh at your belief. That is freedom of thought in fact, not what you argue.”

      But I don’t refuse the right of others to laugh at my belief in Santa. I believe in freedom of thought and freedom of speech for everyone, including those who disagree with me. If you want to laugh at my belief in Santa, feel free! But if you want to limit my right to believe in Santa with coercive means, then we have a problem. I will defend my right to believe in Santa by any means.

      Re “You will not make a better world by swallowing ultra conservative propaganda.”

      But today the conservative media are the only media that say, loud and clear, that freedom of thought and freedom of speech are primary values that must be preserved. The “liberal” media used to support freedom of thought and freedom of speech, but decades ago. Not anymore. Today, and I am really sorry to say that, the “liberal” media support totalitarianism and mind control.

      Your many arguments against organized religions (with many of which I agree) are irrelevant to my point. Once again, “Note that I am not arguing for religion, but only for free thought and free expression.”

      Time to work now, but I’ll come back and say more later today.

      • Atilio Victor Falco

        Hi Giulio,

        Thank you for you welcome and yes, the ales were many… :)

        Can you name the “coercive means” you make reference to?
        Please give concrete examples of legislation, court judgements and acts with COERCIVE power made by “not nice and indecent” “rabid” and “unthinking” atheists

        Could you give clear examples of “totalitarian” and “mind control” measures and acts made by liberal media?

        And after that, could you explain why religious indoctrination is not susceptible to be accused of those (imaginary) charges using your own words?

        Thank you.

        Kind regards,

        • Giulio Prisco

          Hi Atilio,

          Re “Can you name the “coercive means” you make reference to?”

          This Wikipedia article has a long list:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_atheism

          OK, I guess you want to limit the discussion to Western societies. In the West we still pay lip service to freedom of thought, which is still reflected in our laws, so the atheist thought cops aren’t able to call the real cops. But the growing intolerance against believers in “liberal” intellectual circles makes me wonder what happens when they consolidate their power. This is a slippery slope to a bad place where we don’t want to go. Remember “First they came…”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_

          Re “Could you give clear examples of ‘totalitarian’ and ‘mind control’ measures and acts made by liberal media?”

          The liberal media justify (or explicitly endorse) the ridiculous calls for “safe spaces” where free speech is banned.

          Richard Dawkins (with whom I usually agree when he doesn’t play rabid unthniking atheist) said: “If you need a safe space, leave, go home, hug your teddy & suck your thumb until ready for university.”

          Free speech is one of the most important foundations of Western thinking. The terrorists understand that well, and that’s why they chose Charlie Hebdo as a target. We should understand it too.

          Re “why religious indoctrination is not susceptible to be accused”

          Never said it isn’t. I condemn all forms of fundamentalist mind control.

          • Atilio Victor Falco

            So Giulio, let me understand.
            When you denounce “coercive means” against religious people you are actually talking about the defunct Soviet Union, North Korea and some measures taken in Cuba, so you are selling the communist scare again. When are the witches coming?

            I shall re-phrase then: Can you name a single coercive measure in Western societies?

            Don´t you think the cult of the personality in North Korea with attributions of magic powers like making rain, writing 4,000 operas “each one of them better than any other ever written”, writing over a thousand books in four years, being able to walk and write poems and 15 days of being born and all the other prowess are exactly the same and claiming to walk on water, talking to god or standing up after birth? Those acts are attributed to Jesus, the Prophet and Buddha.

            Am I right in thinking that you consider North Korea an example of atheism in the style, say, Dawkins defends? Do you really think atheists want a world wide North Korea or is a case of false attribution again?

            Because, if it is not, I just don´t understand why you consider the terrible regime that enslave 22 million people (0.003 of the world population) a reason for you to attack atheists in the West as “rabid” and “unthinking”.

            As per the Soviet Union or Cuba, I think it is better if we leave it here… One is dead and the other represents even less in terms of world population.

            One more thing concerning your EVIDENCE offered, do you think the world is about to be overrun by North Korea or Cuba? (the Soviet Union cannot do anything now).

            I now understand that we are both victims of the misuse of the term “liberal” that now means whatever the person talking wants it to mean.

            I am with Dawkins too when he says that university campuses should not be restricted in terms of free speech. So, I guess we agree on that.

            Just as a note, I prefer the terms “wet liberal” for those who are afraid of everything while liberal still carries for me some value as the position that reflects free speech.
            I wonder how do you call those who defend free speech? Totalitarians?

            So Giulio, I am glad we found something we agree about.

            But that is all. I still posit you are agitating a straw man when you denounce “coercive measures” supposedly put forward by atheists. And I ask you AGAIN to provide any one example in the Western world.
            Just as an aside, are you aware that the opposite is extremely easy to do? That is, to provide examples of limitations of free speech in religious societies.

            I think you created a couple of sound-bites and started believing on them and that is all.
            I asked already three times to give real examples of what you say but you seem to be unable to do so.

            As per “mind control”, nothing has been offered as evidence of your sayings neither.

            We are not doing well Giulio.

            Kind regards,

          • Giulio Prisco

            Fortunately, in modern Western societies there are no cases (that I am aware of) of coercive repression of religious freedom by the state. But there are calls for such measures (for example the atheist nazi asshole who proposed forced mental therapy for believers) and I denounce these calls.

            I am happy to live in a society that allows and protects free thought and free speech, and I want it to remain so. As a student of history I know that a modern healthy society can become a totalitarian nightmare in just a couple of decades. That’s what I want to prevent.

            Re “Do you really think atheists want a world wide North Korea?” – That particular atheist, yes, that’s what he wants.

            Re “Just as an aside, are you aware that the opposite is extremely easy to do? That is, to provide examples of limitations of free speech in religious societies.”

            Did I ever say otherwise? Once again, I am not defending religious societies. I am condemning anti-religious societies, which is not the same thing. I am against all limitations of free thought and free speech.

            Good that we agree on the whining SJWs in campuses. Why “wet liberals”? Because they cry a lot?

          • Atilio Victor Falco

            Of course we agree concerning those crying babies that cannot take some truth.
            But I think we disagree in who are they.
            By the way, “wet liberals” as opposite to hard ones.

            So, just to round thing up. You entry, your plurals on “thought police cops”, “rabid unthinking atheists” and the like are all because of one guy, the one you call “nazi” and also because of North Korea and few dancing Cubans….

            Nobody can say your are not thorough…

            But I think it is a wild exaggeration on your side.

            That guy you met who want to rearrange the believer´s minds is just somebody who does nto know that is not possible. Or, if he knows, he is just expressing a hope in a very bad way.

            All the others your plurals refer to do not exist then, not at least in Western societies.

            Free speech means that somebody can say, without fear of being punished, that the Prophet flew in a winged horse given to him by his god while somebody else can point out how provincial and primitive a superstition that is and is also allowed.

            Then, we agree.

            Best.

          • Giulio Prisco

            Don’t worry, I will denounce other examples of rabid unthinking atheists as they come… I am talking of an emerging trend here. If my fears will prove unfounded, I will be happy.

            Re “Free speech means that somebody can say, without fear of being punished, that the Prophet flew in a winged horse given to him by his god while somebody else can point out how provincial and primitive a superstition that is and is also allowed.”

            Of course, both free speech and free criticism of free speech must be allowed and encouraged in a healthy society.

            I think winged horses and virgin births are myths (what I call “geography” as opposed to “cosmology” in the article below), but that’s irrelevant here. I am only defending free thought and free speech.

            http://turingchurch.com/2014/04/08/cosmology-is-not-geography/

          • Atilio Victor Falco

            Well, I gave silly examples on purpose to try to arrive to some closure.
            But the matter gets more complicated when, for example, somebody says the word of a woman is inferior than that of a man or in labour laws when somebody argue that cannot do his job due to some prohibition or obligation and arguing publicly against such state of affairs is considered an infringement on somebody else´s beliefs or that this or that should not be said because it may hurt the feelings of so and so…

            What you do not seem to account, Giulio, is that religious beliefs by definition, demand not to be challenged because they are articles of faith, dogmas, obligations or prohibitions.
            They are the opposite to “free”.
            And it is so tiresome and common to hear that so and so is “hurt” by listening to this or that.
            That is not freedom of speech.

          • Giulio Prisco

            Re “religious beliefs by definition, demand not to be challenged because
            they are articles of faith, dogmas, obligations or prohibitions.”

            Not “by definition,” not always, and not all. Think of Unitarian Universalism, most forms of Buddhism, and the many examples of tolerant interpretations of Christianity and even Islam (Sufi). Think of Nikolai Fedorov and Teilhard.

          • Atilio Victor Falco

            Yes Giulio, I am talking, as I said twice in previous comments, about monotheisms.

            As for the tolerant forms of Christianity, they are a relatively new occurrence in history and is the result of pushing them back.
            Teillard is persona non grata in many Christian circles still today (and scientific nonsense, of course) and Fedorov is a very marginal figure, now in vogue in some transhumanist sectors.

            I am now very happy you do not consider mental pain from religious dudes “actual harm” :)

          • Giulio Prisco

            “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

            I am for using this principle systematically: always allow words, and never allow sticks and stones (except, of course, in defense against sticks and stones). I think that would make the world a much better place.

            Re Teilhard being scientific nonsense, now that is really scientific nonsense, because most of what Teilhard said is not meant as hard science.

            I consider Teilhard’s work as “scientific poetry.” which can’t and shouldn’t be confused with hard science, but has an equally important role. For example, Shakespeare’s immortal “there are more things in heavens and earth, that are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Is also Shakespeare scientific nonsense?

            But Teilhard and Shakespeare are off-topic in this thread. There are lots of articles in this website where we can start that discussion.

          • René Milan

            “liberal still carries for me some value as the position that reflects free speech” – this, if i may butt into this dialogue, is the key point. Why cede hard won territory to those who do not understand the essence of liberalism ? It is like dropping the term communism for no other reasons that it was misapplied, stretched and deformed by a realpolitik practitioner under adverse condition and hence by a criminal thug, completely divorcing it from Marx’s and others’ original ideas. I have never come across a better, more concise or more profound exploration of liberal thought than this one by Jack Parsons. Ironically these days it is regularly misunderstood and mislabeled as being “libertarian”: https://goo.gl/Syj96C

          • Giulio Prisco

            Amen. Very well said. Copying and pasting from another comment of mine:

            “Liberalism and Libertarianism should be in a healthy balance and always keep each other in check. Liberalism without Libertarianism degenerates into a nightmare, but so does Libertarianism without Liberalism. I am currently supporting Libertarianism because I fear the balance is being lost.”

          • René Milan

            Thanks for this Giulio, but i disagree. Libertarianism (incidentally a particularly u.s. phenomenon that never played much of a role in european thought) is in my view merely liberalism freed from the restriction of having to consider the common good. This could not be better illustrated than by the activities of those corporations who, in following Rand’s naive prescriptions, essentially “do what they want”. If there are laws restricting this “freedom” the natural response is to do what it takes to change these laws. Libertarianism is the celebration of Hannibal Lecter and his freedom. You will understand the difference if you one day may take the time to read the Parsons essay. Btw here is a link to a free version: http://goo.gl/ZGdnRi. And for the sake of completeness here is a good explanation of the libertarian concept: http://goo.gl/ipUlYv.

          • Giulio Prisco

            I disagree. It seems to me, these days more than ever, that though liberalism and libertarianism are both “good” things, the mental gulf between them is huge. I am about to logoff, more tomorrow.

          • René Milan

            Gracias !

          • Giulio Prisco

            Rene’, you are using the original European definition of Liberalism, which could be defined as Libertarianism plus the restriction of having to consider the common good. I am all for Liberalism as so defined. In political tests I always score “libertarian left” (same for you I guess).

            But modern US Liberalism is an entirely different beast. What I criticize is the modern fake liberalism popular in the US these days. Unfortunately it’s coming to Europe as well, because we tend to import the worse cultural fashions from the US instead of the best ones.

            Sometimes one is forced to take sides. I prefer not to be eaten, but if somebody must eat me, I prefer to be eaten by a wolf instead of a mob of rats.

          • René Milan

            I increasingly keep thinking that this is merely a matter of semantics. Again you are committing a semantic, if not logical, error in equating liberalism with fake liberalism. If you consider liberalism (in the u.s.) to consistently being fake liberalism, a point of view that i do not share, but which i can temporarily assume for the sake of this discussion, then i completely agree with your attitude of rejecting it. However i think that you do not even equate the two yourself, because if you did you would have no need to talk of liberalism and of fake liberalism as well. Of course there also is the semantic confusion controlling much of the u.s. political discourse after decades of right wing propaganda to be considered. The goalposts have been moved in that country, where Erhard’s social market economy is now equated with communism. But i would really like to hear your opinions one day about the contents of the links i sent you.

          • Giulio Prisco

            I am not equating liberalism with fake liberalism. I am saying that fake liberalism is the negation of important aspects of liberalism. Also, I am not saying that US liberalism is always fake liberalism, I am saying that the trend for US liberalism is to become fake liberalism, and I find that disturbing. I hope the trend is a temporary fashion that will be reversed soon.

            I love the links that you sent me, which are very close to the version of liberalism that is dear to my heart. All I’m saying is that liberalism, especially in the US, is on a slippery slope to become something entirely different, something that I deeply dislike.

          • René Milan

            “I am not equating liberalism with fake liberalism” – okay, that is what i thought and i take your word for this to end my confusion on this point. “liberalism, especially in the US, is on a slippery slope to become something entirely different” – and here too i completely agree. But i do not let them pervert the concept of liberalism, continue (for now) to call myself a liberal, as i think you do as well. Seems we have finally cleared it up !

          • Giulio Prisco

            Good that we agree on something. I prefer to call myself something else, Liberal doesn’t work for the association with fake-liberal SJWs in the US. Libertarian doesn’t work for the association with gun nuts in the US. Perhaps “Grumpy Old Classical European Liberal” ?

            R.U. Sirius’ biography of Tim Leary has a chapter titled “Was Leary a Liberal Libertarian or a Libertarian Liberal”? My position in the political compass is similar.

          • René Milan

            Okay, i understand. Memes being epiphenomena of biological evolution (at least in their material aspect) they are subject to growth and change, and there comes a time when the usage of a term does change its meaning beyond what one might find acceptable. This happened to me with the terms god and religion, apparently to you with liberalism. Glad we could clear that up, as this issue, which i felt all along was merely a semantic one, cast a shadow on our relationship which i for a long time wanted to disperse by shining a light.

            Leary has been a hero of mine for 50 years, and i always assumed that his libertarian stance, which we all, being oppressed by the system quite “systematically” shared, was merely the u.s. version of our european concept of liberalism, as i do not think it included what passes today for corporate liberty or “religious freedom”. But i will read Ken’s book and perhaps we will continue to clarify these issues amongst ourselves.

          • Giulio Prisco

            Same here! But disagreement is good, it’s the only way for ideas to evolve. A world where everyone agree on everything would be quite a static and boring world.

            Ken’s book is here, highly recommended:
            http://www.timothyleary.org/

  • Curt Welch

    The hypocrisy runs deep in this article. It’s an aggressive verbal attack against aggressive verbal attacks against free thinking. It is a classic example of what the article is claiming to be against. It’s using aggressive verbal tactics to try and coerce others to think differently.

    I’ve read a lot of work by Dawkins, Harris, and Dennett, and I’ve seen a little of Hitchens ideas, and in none of that work, have I seen the aggressiveness used in this piece.

    The approach of the true liberal thinker is to share ideas but never to try and force their ideas on others. I get frustrated in debates all the time and use extremely rude and aggressive language when nothing else seems to be working to “get through” to people. But that never really works. It only helps me cope.

    Free thinking is a cornerstone of liberal ideology so to suggest that the militant liberals are not supporting free thinking sort of misses the mark, just at this article is a militant support of free thinking.

    • Giulio Prisco

      As you say, this is an aggressive verbal attack against aggressive verbal attacks, but why “hypocrisy”? I am just using the tactics that the enemy used first.

      Though I said that I consider myself as a believer, I don’t offer the other cheek. “An eye for an eye” is more my thing.

  • Curt Welch

    “Freedom of thought and freedom of speech are the primary values that I choose to support.”

    I would suggest you think a little deeper on that. I find the use of the word “primary” there misguided. Though freedom of thought and freedom of speech are highly important values, I can not see them as primary values for a society that must, by it’s very nature, control people’s actions. Thoughts are a type of action, and will always shape our external behaviors. You can’t grant full freedom of thought, will also restricting freedom of action.

    Some thoughts are simply evil and should be suppressed by society and all thoughts should be shaped and molded to support the type of actions we want in our society. If you do not agree with this, then why did you take the time to write an article attempting to shape and mold the thoughts of others?

    There are only two valid primary values in society. They conflict with each other, but you must pick one or the other, and build all other values from there.

    The two primary values are survival, and hedonism. Survival is the top level value of evolution. Hedonism, is the top level value of intelligence.

    The process of evolution is working to turn is into survival machines. But the top level primary goal of intelligence, is not survival, it’s avoiding pain and seeking pleasure.

    We can either follow the top level goal of our brain, which is pleasure seeking, or we can choose to allow ourselves to be directed by the top level goal of evolution.

    Liberals are in general hedonists. Conservatives are in general, survivalists.

    Where liberals and conservatives clash, is where these true primary goals collide. Liberals and conservatives can’t agree on what their primary goal is, and as such, can’t end the eternal conflict between them.

    Free thinkers (liberals), tend to be overpowered by the goal of their own brain — their intelligence. We see preventing pain as our highest primary purpose in life. Culture based thinkers, tend to be overpowered by their culture, by the memes of their culture, which have been shaped to be survival memes by the power of evolution. Conservatives are overpowered by the belief that surviving is their highest purpose in life.

    “freedom of thought” is certainly a common liberal trait, but it’s not by any means a true primary value in our cultures.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Re “Some thoughts are simply evil and should be suppressed by society and
      all thoughts should be shaped and molded to support the type of actions
      we want in our society.”

      “Society” is an abstract concept, and “we” must be defined. WHO is “we”? WHO judges which thoughts are evil and shapes the thoughts of others? The outcome would strongly depend on who is the judge.

      That different values clash isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Negotiation and conciliation of value conflicts helps moving forward, and the benefit is lost is values and ideas are censored.

      For me, freedom of thought is a primary value.

  • Vivi

    To be sure plenty of SJWs are dicks and morons. And I can’t really say much in defense of that sort of behavior, beyond saying I do have friends involved in that community and I don’t think they’re terrible people.

    I personally find myself arguing against both sides and agreeing with both on different things.

    But I find that the anti-SJW crowd tends towards a toxic level of idiocy and bullheaded dickishness the most.

    They just use “SJW” as a slur for everyone who doesn’t believe society should be like the 1950s and act like a crusader against anyone who doesn’t share their extremist right-wing viewpoints.

    That’s not all of them, mind. Just the ones you see everywhere on blogs, harassing everyone.

    Not to say that criticism of SJWs is invalid. But to me, most of the anti-SJW crowd can go fuck themselves. They’re total losers and they’re annoying how they troll fucking everywhere.

    I don’t dispute that SJWs are dishonest and harass people, but let’s get real here. Anti-SJWs do that just as much if not more.

    Visit some of the extreme anti-feminist blogs out there for instance. You can’t read that and not see the incredible level of doublethink and bold-faced lying, not to mention all the incoherent sentences of people frothing at the mouth in hatred. Not without being brainwashed yourself.

    The things they say without irony will astound anyone who isn’t familiar with their ilk. The unacquainted person could have difficulty trying to comprehend how a person could possibly be that stupid.

    No offense to you Prisco, as far as I can tell you’re a pretty decent person.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Hi Vivi, thanks for writing. I agree with most of what you say. Criticizing SJWs doesn’t mean not criticizing anti-SJWs. In fact, like you, I argue against both sides and agree with both on different things.

      Besides a general annoyance at their mobbing and bullying behavior, my issue with the SJWs is that they are making the ideals of social justice, which are dear to our heart, sound both authoritarian and ridiculous. By doing so, they are giving powerful weapons to the real enemies of social justice.

      As you say, there are plenty of assholes in the anti-SJW camp. Don’t make them sound right!

  • De Ha

    Note that I am not arguing for religion, but only for free thought and free expression.

    ***ME***
    That’s Thank You For Smoking logic.
    There’s a scene where the cigarette spokesperson explained to his son how to debate, and the easiest, cheapest, most pointless tactic he pulled was talking about “Free Speech” and “rights” and “America” when the subject of the debate had nothing to do with that. The son was in no way threatening his right to have an opinion, but the spokesperson was pretending he was for no reason.

    ***YOU***
    To make this point clear, I hereby claim the right to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

    ***ME***
    Oh my satan you’re actually making it worse.

    ***YOU***
    I call rabid unthinking atheists those who have a problem with that, and I will defend my right by any means.

    ***ME***
    I’m not buying your cicarettes!

    ***YOU***

    I consider rabid unthinking atheism as part of a wider cultural (or, better, un-cultural) package that is invading the West – the totalitarian, witch-hunting, thought-policing attitude of the so-called Social Justice Warriors (SJWs).

    ***ME***
    …aaand you’ve gone from thank-you-for-smoking to full blown Tinfoil Hat.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Thanks for writing De Ha.

      You said nothing. Do you have an actual point to make? If so, let’s hear it. Otherwise, thanks for stopping by and I’ll go back to my Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and “cicarettes” (I wonder what that is, sounds interesting).