Skeptics of Tucson Message Board › Do you consider yourself part of the reality based community as opposed to t
Los Angeles, CA
Here is a quick article I found in Wikipedia. It references a supposed 'derogatory' term used by someone in the Bush administration to label people who focus on facts and data as opposed to ideology / faith. What is your take on this concept called 'reality based'. Do you take it as a complement to be associated with 'reality based' people. Or do you think the guy makes a good point? His main premise is that there are two kinds of people. There are those who focus too much on discernable reality that they fail to take action, and there are those who use a practical and loose assessment of reality to get things done. Either you study the intricacies of reality to an extreme degree and are confined to a lab or classroom, or you use facts in their more general form to get things done. Do you think there is a danger in studying reality too much? Do you think there is a danger in analyzing reality too much? Do you see how other people use a general approach to knowledge to get things done, while you are studying things too much? What do you think about that?
Here is the article. Any pro or con responses appreciated
Reality-based community is a popular term among liberal political commentators in the United States. In the fall of 2004, the phrase "proud member of the reality-based community" was first used to suggest the commentator's opinions are based more on observation than on faith, assumption, or ideology. The term has been defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from [their] judicious study of discernible reality." Some commentators have gone as far as to suggest that there is an overarching conflict in society between the reality-based community and the "faith-based community" as a whole. It can be seen as an example of political framing.
The source of the term is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Commentators who use this term generally oppose former President Bush's policies and by using this term imply that Bush's policies (and, by extension, those of the conservative movement generally) were out of touch with reality. Others use the term to draw a contrast with the perceived arrogance of the Bush Administration's unilateral policies, in accordance with the aide's quote. Its popularity has prompted some conservative commentators to use the term ironically, to accuse the left-leaning "reality-based community" of ignoring reality.
PS: I am not interested with arguments about my syntax or word choice. I am asking for general responses. I don't want to argue about my presentation of the issue. Just react to the wikipedia article as you interpret it and understand it. This is for fun.
Edited by Andrew on Feb 5, 2009 8:23 AM
|A former member||
For our entire existence, we had no choice but to think in non-reality based ways because we didn't know reality. Now that we understand reality much better, yes we do, we see that most of us do not adhere to beliefs based in reality. Reality is that most do not think about reality, and for an entire human existence have not been able to.
Can one think about reality too much? Well, there is a lot to think about before one acts. Given over 300,000 years of marked misunderstandings, and all the reasons and intentions behind antiquitous belief systems, it really is no wonder that the human race hesitates to act upon the false realities that we have created. They serve purposes that we have not yet been able to fully supplant with reality based ideas, ideologies, systems of understanding existence.
It is beginng to appear in my thoughts more often that humans obviously do not think that they are enough to keep themselves satisfied and happy. They feel a sense of necessity to imagine the existence of something other than us. Therefore, humans perceive that "we are not good enough for ourselves". I tend to think that we are just fine, very interesting and quite exciting. However, 99% of the "interesting" aspects of human beings and their mental "worlds" really, really, really should not be taught in schools. Reality is simple. All that we have made up about it, over the millenia, is staggeringly convoluted, to say the least.
My movement is based on this premise: We have tried not believing reality for thousands of years. It is high time we give reality a shot. Of course, we can only understand reality in approximations. Therefore, my book outlines what I have chosen to call "apparent truths". For instance, we die. That's it. Begin one's mental existence with that apparent truth, then move to entertain possibilities. Replacing mental premises is an ability.
The above example that Andrew so eloquently presented, serves as a distraction and an attempt at defamation. I think the term "reality-based" thinker, or community, is pretty clear cut and to the point. And regarding immobility of reality-based thinkers: when one decides to think about reality, there is a lot to think about, especially at first (just like getting into any new way of understanding anything). The result is like a mental version of being a dear caught in headlights. One needs many moments to understand the impact of chosing to think about reality in a society that choose, on a grand scale, to ignore it in lieu of stories and fables that serve to answer questions about existence, the universe and our position within it all. Yeah, we're not children of some deity. We are obviously children of ourselves, and we have done plenty to ourselves to reflect upon.
My point. There is a lot of reality to deal with. So let's do that. Role model it. Be it. Be reality. Is it real that you can literally transcend your body? I haven't met anyone today who can. Nor ever, for that matter. Do people lose loved ones? Everyday.
There are two primary reasons that people do not like to deal with reality. Two very good reasons. These reasons are part of the "danger" of our work, which has everything to do with these points.
1) Death. What comes after? Two choices, as usual. Something. Nothing. To begin, I think we should go with the latter. It puts life into perspective. This is an "apparent truth". People really like existing. Not existing does not sound like fun to me either, but what am I supposed to do, lie to myself? Apparently that is the million year trend.
2) Ultimate Purpose. That is to imply that there is some purpose beyond those we create given our perceptions. Again. Two choices. Some purpose beyond us. And none. The latter, is also an "apparent truth".
Reality? People on a planet, stuggling to govern themselves while most pubilcally denounce government and fear it. And struggling to understand ourselves, while many denounce education while government provides a trickle of resources to education.
I t seems to make obvious sense that to deal with reality, one might want to have some handle on understanding reality.
Here's a better example:
Should people not be somewhat well versed in the following questions. I can tell you from first hand surveillance that most are not. Here they are.
Where are we?
What are we?
When are we?
Who are we?
How are we?
Why are we?
Here are the "realest" answers that are thoroughly outlined in my smash hit book, Matthew 10:10; TravelS of an AwarenesS.
Where? On a planet in space, together.
What? Energy, in the form of human (and not to go beyond this form)
When? Now, smack dab in the middle of an infinite continuum of change (time).
Who? We are awarenesses of existence.
How? We elvolved on this planet.
Why? We do not exist for any reason at all. There are no purposes that we do not fabricate given our perceptions. There is no "why". That makes things much simpler.
Reality/ the truth, is not what people want to believe, so they make up whatever they want to, and trust others stories that are inextricably intertwined with logical fallacies.
Next point: All of this (cognitive social development, beigning with atheism) would not be necessary if people could have ever shown over 300,000 years of history that they could live harmoniously believing false descriptions of reality, especially fundamentally.
It short. It wouldn't be so bad if people were not being hurt mentally, physically and emotionally. For these are the ways that we exist.
Come on. Let's move closer to approximations of understanding reality, rather than going with something that is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off base. Seriously. I have got it. I think you all should see it. We can make a bigger difference. Today!
Reality-based community! Wooooooooooooooo Whooooooooooooo
Simple. You break everything down that we know to exist, and we are energy. Real energy. Not wooified, f-ed up transcedent energy! Now, with this type of identificaiton, what do we think of race, and gender, and culture, and community. Come on! National borders. right. Patriotism. Sorry. We're on Earth. This is my nation. Earth. I am human. What the &*^% are you?
We have work to do. Let's meet up. I am so active right now. All of my time is devoted to movement.
Very nice post Andrew.
Frankly, I am surpised at the lack of response. Keep moving dude. And call me and Don to check in.
Atheists. We're through the door. We know what we have found on the other side. It's not more atheism. How will you share it? Rudely, or appropriately? I admit the feelings we all share on these subjects, but they must be transformed into positive action within our communities. It is quite logical to provide many of the functions that religions have provided, but we have to do it better. How? Think about it. Hold a local monthly secular BBQ, for example. Live with those around you, shy guys. I will say that my website reflects much of what is presently entailed. How far Matthew 10:10 gets is up to supporters like you.
Secular Humanism and CFI
Give it to them. Unless you have something better. I spent twenty years looking for it.
These ideologies can do wonders for humnaity, if understood. Because all of this begins with immoble, understanding.
Society doth need us.
Think before you act, as you think others should do. see ya.