RE: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia

From: Stephen P.
Sent on: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 10:09 PM

Hey Yalchin

 

Check this out! This is the latest post from the group [address removed]

 

Hi Everyone! Again Welcome!

Our first poll is now available for you input. It asks which Authors
are your favourites. If you're favourite Atheist Author is not listed
let us know who it is.

Out of interest Christopher Hitchens latest book "God is not Great -
How religion poisons everything!" is now widely available in softcover
for about $35. If you have read it let us know what you think, but
please can we avoid a flame up over his opinions on the
Iraq question.

Regards

You're Moderator

 

Gee! An Atheists group that talks about “Atheism” not “loony left wing politics”!

How novel!

 

-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Yalchin
Sent:
Wednesday, 18 July 2007 7:50 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in
Australia

 

Steve,

Let me try and describe to you why I think 1-) the fallacy of your position in fact runs deeper than holding ideas that have little truth  in them, and 2-) this is the same attitude theism assumes to defend itself against a rigorous critique.

The "epistemological" undertone of your arguments is basically that of intellectually crippling post-modernism. You talk as though there is no objective reality out there against which we could measure the merit of our opinions. All opinions are just that - opinions - and we cannot say one is better than the other. I have a  point of view and you have a point of view and that is all there is to it. It is almost as if you think objective reality itself is the total sum of opinions held by people, so if more people subscribe to a certain opinion then it becomes more "objectively real".

With this attitude, no science, no rational intelligent inquiry of anything in life is possible. This is what prompted people like Alan Sokal (Intellectual Impostures) and Richard Dawkins (Postmodernism Disrobed) to take on postmodernism. So if you read Julian's last posting in this light, I think you will better appreciate the insights contained therein. Indeed, planet earth was no less round when every mind on it thought it was flat!!!

So, while this postmodernist take has a "politically correct" pseudo-sophisticate ring to it, it is a form of anti-intellectualism through and through. If we are serious about the matters we are discussing, we will be prepared to take evidence on board and potentially change our opinions.

The second point. Isn't this precisely what theists do, and especially in Australia? As soon as you push them into a corner they cannot rationally argue out of, they call on the you-have-your-opinions-and-I-have-mine principle. As an extension of this, there is the "no religion and no politics" etiquette of polite discourse!!! All of which of course serves the purpose putting theistic nonsense above rational critique. Similarly, this is why I think you are frustrating the hell out of Julian. Having adopted Howard's outrageous lies as your own (certainly honest) ideas, you are putting them above rational critique through the same process.

Yalchin

----- Original Message ----
From: Frank Short <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, July 18,[masked]:07:19 PM
Subject: RE: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia

Thankyou Yalchin, I couldn't agree more with you.

Frank Short


From: Stephen Pearce <[address removed]>
Reply-To: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia
Date: Wed, 18 Jul[masked]:47:18 -0400 (EDT)

Yalchin

Debates are only of value if the participants are open to differing points of view. You see things a certain way, you are not going to change your mind, I dare say those with an opposing view won’t either so a debate is futile! It would just degenerate into arguments and insults.

Stephen Pearce

 

-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Yalchin
Sent: Wednesday, 18 July[masked]:53 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia

 

Dear all,

I have just casted my vote re Vonnie's question - no I do not agree with the Howard administration's handling (!!!) of the Haneef case. What I find deeply distressing and disappointing is that 5 out of the 13 that voted so far said they do agree!!! I always did think that atheists are better informed and more intelligent than the norm! Obviously, the Howard's "Goebbelsesque"  propaganda machine is working.

My suggestion is why not debate the issue at the next meeting. Like other's have expressed it before me, the views presented and defended by Steven are a direct reflection of the web of lies and hypocrisy produced by the Howard machine with little or no critical evaluation. These are very important issues, and they must be debated openly.

One thing I would like to add here is that the invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with "western idealism" or any sort of idealism or respectable positive intent in any other way. It was a completely calculated act of vicious and ruthless political opportunism, aimed at advancing the imperialistic interests of Republican  big  money.  It was a cashing  in of 9/11. Iraq, as a resource rich country, was not attacked because it had weapon's of mass destruction, but on the contrary because it was utterly defenseless - its military having been soundly broken during the 1st Gulf war and since.

Both Howard and Blair, took part in this knowingly and willingly. As such they are guilty of crimes against humanity, no less than those who were prosecuted during the  Nurnberg trials. So if we really are interested in World peace, and the end of terrorism, then we should seriously look at first stopping and second holding accountable the greatest contributors to global terror - Bush, Blair, and Howard administrations.

Yalchin

----- Original Message ----
From: Stephen Pearce <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Wednesday, July 18,[masked]:07:20 AM
Subject: RE: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia

Dear Group

Some respondents to this string have suggested that a public consensus of 70% is a dangerous thing! Is that because the majority don’t agree with their world view or is it just that you know better than 70% of Australians?

I agree in your case it’s very dangerous it could lead to DEMOCRACY!

Regards

Steve Pearce

 

-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Kathryn
Sent: Tuesday, 17 July[masked]:33 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia

 

Dear Fellow Arguing Atheists,

 

Love your work but can you please keep it contained to the meetup site and the meetings. 
I’ve had about 40 emails in my inbox today and as much as I love a feisty debate I would rather choose to attend it than have it show up every 5 seconds.

Also, I am a big fan of arguing, swearing, debating etc etc etc but we’ve sometimes got a bad enough name just because we are not attached to a church or movement of some sort so would be great if you could  keep the fisty-cuffs between yourselves if they’re going on.  If they’re in person, intelligent, well thought out and respectful I will be in those type of fisty-cuffs in 2 seconds flat.

 

As we don’t listen to normal tradition on these things we expect an element of debate.

There’s a time, a place and a way.

Again, keep it up but please keep it out of my inbox unless I want to read it with all the other stuff I go through in a day.

Kathryn J

P.S. Looking forward to meeting you at the next meeting.   Being in front of the people you are arguing (or agreeing with) brings a better element to the discussion.

 

 

 


From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Julian
Sent: Tuesday, 17 July[masked]:05 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia

 

See here's the problem Stephen, if you're going to put forward an argument that was and I honestly mean this, devoid of any intellect at all, and then accuse someone with a differing point of view of mining websites of possible dubious quality and essentially having no valid viewpoint or ideas of their own, you get a big fat fuck you coming your way OK, because that is nothing short of astoundingly moronic. And no matter what you "think", it's fully deserved.

 

I can understand that your position is near and dear to you on an emotional basis, and that you can get shriller and shriller, but simply avoiding any valid points raised and settling on absurdly baseless ad hominems is utterly foolish. I called that original sentiment paff because it was, furthermore if you knew how to read properly you would've noticed that I said your position was simliar to the British paff - you inferred the rest.

 

I explained to you why it was wrong, I even put you in his shoes. You decided that this was a personal attack somehow and claimed it was a personal attack on you while you were in fact personally attacking me the entire time. You claimed the relevant points were irrelevant. Then you claimed I must be too stupid or inexperienced to understand your point of view, when in fact all you'd stated to date was that he didn't have the same rights as us. We're not talking about legal rights you idiot, we're talking about the morals of the situation and the fact the Howard government would be cashing in on years of fearmongering. Then you claimed I must know 'bugger all' when in fact it was you arguing from complete total and utter ignorance the entire time. You claimed I must've ripped my entire argument off the net. In return you had done nothing but cry and spray abuse and ignore every single point raised.

 

Every claim I made was not only backable, but right, especially the reasons I called you an idiot. You said I must be arrested because I knew policemen, do you know what a non-sequitur is?

 

Seriously Stephen, fuck you, you utter moron!

 

And your second paragraph below is priceless! Just priceless! 70% of people agree with you. Yuh duh! It doesn't mean they're right you idiot. If we went with popularism, we'd still be thinking the Earth was flat, God makes it rain and pushes the sun across the sky, disease is caused by sin, or maybe we would be following 30 trillion flies and eating shit! If ignorant mobs were right we wouldn't need a judicial system, we'd just have a good old fashioned lynching every time the crops failed. Popularism is the weak point of any democracy, this is why education and critical thinking are such vital commodities. Knowledge is power. Put the cherry on the cake was you claim the mark of a true society is where it's safe to hold an unpopular opinion. Just remember you were the one that arced up, but after just gloating that apparently you held the popular opinion you try and play the minority card here. Come off it mate, get real.

 

Sorry buddy, but you reap what you sow.

-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed] [mailto:atheists-501@m
   eetup.com]On Behalf Of Stephen Pearce
Sent: Tuesday, 17 July[masked]:13 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia

Vonnie

 

May I say I respect your right to disagree! In fact I welcome an apposing point of view, but I also expect in return to be able to express mine without personal comments like being told to “F myself’, being vilified or be branded a Right winger. I am in the main politically centrist, currently unregistered as a voter and plan like last election not to vote as nether party has gained my interest.

Just out of interest the online polls are running about 70% in favour of my position. I don’t expect that those poll results will change your mind but likewise I am not going to yield to this group’s alleged consensus, according to you, either as I don’t need the Groups approval. Who was it that said “a truly mature society is one in which it is safe to hold an unpopular opinion”. I though my original comment fairly benign, I could have said Martins comment was very ignorant in view of how the law actually works and his view on the separation of powers just plain wrong and paranoid but I was not trying to be incendiary. After all cannot the minister’s decision be overruled by a court of appeal!

I have seen many group studies show in order to avoid or in the face of peer disapproval people will change there original position. My suggestion to you is this is the reason why I received 3 emails in my in-tray off list (including the person who told me about this group) and one during the string supporting my point of view. I hardly think you can speak for the whole group nor should you. Further you do not have the right to accuse them of than “skulking off or tittering behind closed doors”, not that they give a shit what you think anyway, but there again you have the right to believe what you prefer to be true.

If as a group you are not going to tolerate an alternate or centrist point of view call yourselves the Left Wing Atheists of Brisbane so you are not being deceptive. Tell everyone you are intolerant and narrow minded before they join and don’t give me this crap about most atheists being left leaning because that has been proven statistically to be bullshit! At the end of the day Vonnie your attitude is extremely hypocritical, after all is it not freedom of speech a human right defended and exercised loudly by the left.

Stephen Pearce

-----Original Message-----
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Vonnie
Sent: Tuesday, 17 July[masked]:57 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [atheists-501] Worrying times for democracy in Australia

 

For what it's worth, I agree with Martin, Graham and Julian and very much disagree with Stephen's opinions on this matter.  

 

Apart from being a gross violation of human rights, it's yet another of the Howard government's famous last-ditch-fear-mongering-vote-grabbing tactics which, hopefully, the plebs won't fall for... again...  

 

And as for Stephen's claims "Thank you those members who contacted me off list embarrassed by Julian's postings" - I don't believe those members exist and, if they did, surely they would post to the list, rather than skulking off, tittering behind closed doors?  Not the kind people for whom I'd have any respect.  If they existed...

 

Sure, Julian's postings were heated.  But, compared to other groups, actually pretty tame.

 

Stephen, you must understand that most atheists do not subscribe to right-wing "ideals".  You are entitled to your opinion, but do not act surprised when that opinion is very strongly opposed by the majority of members here. 

 

There is no proof whatsoever that Haneef is a terrorist, has ever been a terrorist, has ever plotted with terrorists or ever wants to be a terrorist.  

 

Ignorance abounds.

Next, it'll be "persecute the godless because they have no morals or ethics".  Sheesh. 

 

Vonnie

 


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