This is a meetup of great people to talk about current events, science, literature, whatever.
Bring your thinking cap because debate is sure to ensue!!
Can't wait to see you all there!
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Lots of hate promoters out there to take up the cause for Phelps! http://www.bilerico.com/2014/03/dozens_of_activists_demand_stoning_at_harlem_hate_.php
0 · April 1, 2014
It takes a lot of effort to actively hate, not to mention how unpleasant it feels. Makes me wonder why anyone bothers.
1 · April 1, 2014
1/2 the effort to understand and accept
You are looking at things from a logical and reasonable perspective. This hate is simply beyond reason; just based on blind faith in a ridiculous interpretation of an ancient book.
1 · April 2, 2014
At the last meeting, in regard to Fred Phelps and again in response to my post on the “Demand (for) Stoning at Harlem Hate Church”, you mentioned how difficult it is to understand how people can hate the way they do.I wonder if they are capable of doing any different. I think you said you had read Sam Harris’s book Free Will; I think he brings up some good points in this regard. Are those individuals that hate in this way simply products of their nature x nurture? Are they able to be different considering who they are and what they know?
0 · April 2, 2014
Also, the Dunning-Kruger effect may apply here - The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Why The Incompetent Don’t Know They’re Incompetent (or to be blunt – the stupid do not know they are stupid). http://www.spring.org...Conversely, do you give yourself credit for what you do know? Don A. Moore did work on the opposite to the Dunning-Kruger effect; the The Worse-Than-Average Effect: When You’re Better Than You Think.Are you giving those like Phelps too much credit? You see the effort required to actively hate and you are able to understand; are they simply incapable of being different than they are?
Rings true. I don't seem to be able to turn off my compulsion to think and analyze.
Would it change anything if I feel that I consciously chose to be what I am now, like it or not, out of a sense of responsibility and obligation to be 'right-minded' and minimize the risk of being a negative influence in the world?.
Regarding your compulsion to think and analyze, have you ever investigated mindfulness meditation? It's essentially scientific and does not involve any spiritual element like most forms of meditation, so many rational and scientific thinking people really find it useful to clear their minds and allow calmer and more organized thinking to prevail, both during meditation and after. Jon Kabat-Zinn is a major proponent of mindfulness meditation and a very good speaker. Here's a talk he gave at Google http://m.youtube.com/.... Also here's a sample video of a meditation session http://m.youtube.com/...
Watching the vid now.I don't concern myself about whether or not something is 'spiritual'. There are good things everywhere and rarely any need to tie it to anything else.
Good video - reminds me of a familiar anxiety reduction, relaxation method.
0 · April 3, 2014
I was raised a Jehovahs Witness and even in that extreme religion there consists a small percentage of eccentric individuals who out-do even the most rigid of its imperatives -- a father requiring his wife and daughter to maintain waist length hair and ankle skirts, or my mother pulling us from school when evolution or sex-ed is being taught. The other 95% of members are, well, bearable. They use ancient scripture to justify man being head of the household or gays as sinners, but as functioning members of society, they rarely effect you and me. We may not choose the religion we're brought into, but we still choose the way we act and how we treat (or mistreat) others. The fact remains that a hater is a hater, a bigot a bigot, a racist a racist; they exist. We will never be friends, but in my experience, these people rarely have friends, even within their petty walled-up society they live a fear soaked, miserable and pathetic life. And good on them.
2 · April 3, 2014
I so want to agree (that we choose) but I having trouble accepting that anyone would choose to be fear-soaked, miserable or pathetic.
It may be simpler to be a hater, bigot or racist but it's a horribly dark head-space to cling to. Why not seek to understand and accept, given a choice, rather than dwell there? I mean, if you not even making friends within your walled-up society or group, you gotta notice at some point that something seems to be wrong, no?
You would think so. It would be great if a young dropout who's been beaten by his father all his life turns out to be a nice person but... My point is that our society, even our fringe societies, have modes of conduct that are acceptable or not and the extremists who don't get the hint suffer for it in the end. Although when you get an entire country on their side, like gay intolerant Uganda, we start to have problems. But that's another discussion.
0 · April 4, 2014
Greg, when you state "you gotta notice" and Aaron when you say "You would think so", I believe you are giving some of these people too much credit. They may not have a choice to change. If they are genetically predisposed toward hate, and socially they have been further conditioned, they may not be able to change to be something they do not understand. Why are some sociopaths serial offenders and others corporate CEO's? The CEO's have the social learning the criminals do not, though they may have very similar foundational characters. Nate obviously has similar genetics to Fred but does Nate have an ability to see hate where Fred simply was unable to see it? I agree with you, the effort to hate just seems so counterproductive, but is it obvious to all? Some of us allow reason to interfere with our actions; some do not or can not. I think Harris covers this quite well in both Free Will and The Moral Landscape.
1 · April 4, 2014
I think Sam Harris has an interesting, neuroscience based, perspective on behavior; quite a different philosophy than Dennett. He is doing a lecture series on secular spirituality (an oxymoron??). I think it may be worth a trip to San Francisco - it could be interesting. https://www.samharris....
Another lecture that could be good is this Lawrence Krauss one: Great Debate Transcending Our Origins: Violence, Humanity, and the Future - at U of Az: https://origins.asu.ed... but it is on tomorrow - missed it!
The ASU Origins lecture does stream live at 8:00 PM, Phoenix time on - http://www.ustream.tv...
I very much hope you're wrong William. I wasn't convinced by Harris's 'Free Will'. Reading Moral Tribes now. Prolly Moral Landscape next.
My life's experience has been to notice the things I think 'right' or 'wrong', examine the reasons why I think so, and avoiding being or believing that which I evaluate to be 'wrong'. I would not be content to believe or be what I was raised to believe and be and I can't fathom anyone simply defaulting to what they are told or taught by others, but that seems to be more the norm. However, I doubt that it must be so and I suspect the difference may be as simple as exposure to information and alternatives. Willingness and self-importance seem to be the barriers.
Yes, it is difficult to fathom people who ignore reason and resist change (and growth) but sadly, too often it does appear to be the norm. I am not saying it ‘must be so’ in all instances but some people may not have the knowledge and therefore the free will to move forward whereas with others, it is the arrogance and self-importance, often fueled by religion that is the barrier.
I think The Moral Landscape is a better book and it has more to it than Free Will. Another book, The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity, by psychiatrist Bruce Hood discusses how we develop our sense of self – he says we all at times have inconsistencies in our thinking that we rationalise our way around.
0 · April 5, 2014
William, I missed the ASU livestream. Do you know where I can find it online now?
0 · April 9, 2014
No, I do not know if it is available yet. I see they have some older presentations on http://www.ustream.tv... and on youtube under Project Origins. Hopefully they will post it yet. It was a good presentation but 2 hours was far too little time - it was in 2 x 1hr segments with 5 speakers in each hour, plus Q&A so it was just an overview; no time for any depth.
Greg, are you looking at going to the Imagine No Religion 4 conference in Kamloops this summer?
other vids from the Origins Projects
Yes the presentations are getting posted so I expect this last one, Transcending Our Origins: Violence, Humanity, and the Future, will get posted in the coming weeks. I think the ASU site will be a good one to follow.
0 · April 10, 2014
magic shows and everything
Nate Phelps - Leaving Hate BehindMRU, March 20th
0 · March 30, 2014
"It's a sad fact that people won't trust their own valuing of their numinous experiences." - Daniel Dennett
2 · March 30, 2014
Just a bit more hate, perhaps not as abrupt as Phelps but............ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/interview-franklin-graham-homophobic_n_5035640.html
2 · March 29, 2014
Oh ya, but he follows the bible!!! The old and new testaments!
1 · March 29, 2014
Cover to cover, he said ... really? How can a person read from cover to cover and not see the book for what it is: a collection of writings of misogynistic desert dwellers, who back at that time had the most money and time to write. Back then only those with money had access to education via tutoring, they could afford to buy the then expensive parchment and ink and had the time to sit, contemplate, and write - while others tended to them. I wish I could talk to my close ones about these things without being ostracized for not conforming to what I was taught, but ever since I understood how the book was put together, I came to realize how wrong I was to take the "scriptures" as a holy book. I'm glad I left all that behind ... I'm FREE! :D
Link to one of Jane Elliot's racism experiments:
2 · March 28, 2014
Wow, I really enjoyed the video, thank you! - Angelica "BrownEyes" ;)
Good video - Bill, Blue Eyes
Here's a link to the full video - https://www.youtube.co... . There's also a bbc piece on jane elliots continued work - https://www.youtube.co... . Darren - open eyes :-)...well brown, with a dash of green I like to think.
Fascinating! - Lori, Blue-eyed gal
3 · March 29, 2014
Here is an quick article discussing the potential connection between homosexuality and population control. I have no idea if there have been any reputable studies done yet that strengthen the hypothesis, but it is an interesting concept.
1 · March 28, 2014
Interesting article. Here's info on homosexuality in the animal kingdom - http://en.wikipedia.o... , http://news.nationalg... . This article discusses some more scientific possible explanations for the continued prevalence of homosexuality - http://chronicle.com/... .
These two articles are on the same recent study that indicates some genetic influence on homosexuality. http://www.theguardia...http://www.telegraph....
Here's a link to the Skeptoid episode regarding the Stanford Prison experiment - http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4102
1 · March 27, 2014
Thanks Lori. Always love a good Skeptoid episode.
0 · March 28, 2014
Hi, great meetup. Was wonderful to meet like minded people and discuss some very interesting and important topics. Everyone very friendly and encouraging. Looking forward to the next one.
4 · March 28, 2014
Thanks for the link Lori; Yes, even Zimbardo was self-critical in his book on this.1. His group, selected from the university study applicants, was not representative of the general population.2. He did get too involved and there certainly was confirmation bias; his girlfriend, another psychologist if I remember correctly, actually pointed out problems and talked him in to stopping it when he did. He later questioned the ethics of the study.
I think the “John Wayne” character suggests that “Bad” character can emerge in some individuals in bad situations. Some of us can think it through and overcome those bad impulses; some cannot and act them out. People like Fred Phelps actually get bad behavior reinforced by their immediate group and also as the Times article states, by the US constitution!
Here is the link from out discussion tonight.
0 · March 27, 2014
Will try to attend.
Hi everyone I have not said yes or no as I am unsure.I will try but have been ill & work overnight. starting at 9:30. If up to it I will be there!
1 · March 26, 2014
Fred Phelps died, what about his hatred? Do you think that he will become a martyr to the cause of religious intolerance or will he and his family and church be forgotten?
0 · March 21, 2014
Nope. His legacy will live on. Hopefully social pressures will drive the extreme phelps down though.
1 · March 21, 2014
Perhaps, but was it not the social pressure that drove Phelps to his "madness"? Was he, and this can be said about other fundamentalists, was he not a symptom of modernity leaving people behind? After all his views were widely accepted as normal few decades ago. Could it be that we are creating our own monsters like, Phelps by allowing their religious ignorance to fester in our own communities unchallenged by the legal system, or communal outrage?
1 · March 23, 2014
I'm hoping his death draws attention to who and what he was and gets people thinking about the error of his, and their, beliefs.
0 · March 24, 2014
As they say, no press is bad press
1 · March 24, 2014
Next: Invite friends
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