Re: [humanism-174] Loads of Fact checking/ Debunking Needed

From: Norm
Sent on: Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:56 PM
Fact:
Kennedy was a Catholic and the Protestants feared a Catholic dynasty in the U.S. It was also during a time when there was a lot of international unrest between the Catholics and the Protestants.

a very possible scenario:

The right wing influenced the international Protestant Extremists to assassinate Kennedy.
There was a coverup to prevent the country from going into a civil war.



-----Original Message-----
From: Randy Pelton <[address removed]>
To: humanism-174 <[address removed]>
Sent: Thu, Nov 29,[masked]:16 pm
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Loads of Fact checking/ Debunking Needed

Russell,

I know you were talking to Tim, but I am going to answer. I, nor you, can be absolutely certain whether Oswald acted alone. And any chance of a reasonable degree of certainty is probably now long since gone given the acrimonious and intellectually polluted discussion this nation has had over the years about this topic. However, while I can't be certain about this topic, I remain unconvinced by the evidence that has been offered up by you and others over the years. It is a string of circumstantial claims and unsupported suppositions and the like, all begging a critical thinker to accept a massive government conspiracy and coverup. Conspiracies do happen. But the one we are asked to believe here is so huge that the application of skepticism makes me seriously doubt the claims. It is akin to the moon hoax conspiracy in its credibility.

I too, though not recently, explored this claim myself. I don't know that I have invested the amount of time you have. But this is of little relevance. Nothing I examined in the past, nor have seen since, is compellingly convincing of the claim that Oswald was a patsy in a large-scale conspiracy, orchestrated by our government and/or other parties, to assassinate President Kennedy. I suspect that the problem here is that you have a much lower threshold for what qualifies as convincing and compelling evidence. And I suspect that this is driven or fueled by some emotionally driven mistrust you have of government in general based on your political ideology. 

You mentioned, in response to comments I posted earlier, you find it frustrating "when people refuse to hear things I think are true." I don't doubt the veracity of this statement. Problem is that just because you think it is true does not make it so. As Richard Fenyman said on more than one occassion, the easiest person to fool is yourself. I suspect you are doing just that where it concerns this topic and perhaps others. By the way, your suspicion was correct. My comment was meant as sarcasm.

You are wrong when you stated there are no "differing degrees or flavors of truth." Just two examples: absolute truth and provisional truth. Somethings are held to be true by some as absolutes. Those same people may hold other truths to be provisional, meaning they may change their mind as a result of reexamination of the existing evidence and/or consideration of new evidence. In fact, the entire discipline of science is built on provisional truths, while much of the foundation of religion is built on absolute truth. So truth does come in "differing degrees or flavors."

Finally, I don't know where Tim is on the continuum between belief and non-belief, but I am as close to certainty as one can get without being absolute certain there is no God. Christianity has had over 2000 years to make its case. Islam has had over 1300 years to makes it case. Judaism has had at least 3000 years to make its case. These religions and all others have failed miserably in substantiating their core claims with a body of compelling and convincing evidence. Using the Dawkins scale, as described in his book The God Delusion, where 7 is absolute certainty that God does not exist, I fall somewhere very close to 6.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999 certainty there is no God. This is based on the evidence, as provided by science, that the material universe and all in it are well explained without resorting to the supernatural and philosophical arguments that lead to me conclude that the concept of God is absurd, a logical impossibility and irrational.

Finally, I find it intellectually troubling and suspect that there are things you "believe might be true." A critical thinker, employing the tools of critical thought, including skepticism, should not be making such statements. The moment you accept that something "might be true" you are susceptible to accepting it as true with a lowered standard of evidence. I refuse to accept or believe any claim to be true or even "might be true" until there is compellingly convincing evidence to support that it is true. And then acceptance of the claim is provisional, meaning subject to revision should additional, more compelling and convincing evidence be presented that requires a revision of the original claim or complete rejection of it. You appear, as I suggested three paragraphs earlier, to accept the truth of a claim with a lower standard of evidence or burden of proof than do I. Claims of large-scale conspiracies involving the government or any other large body or segment of society, strike me as extraordinary claims, requiring an extraordinary body of evidence. Like those who believe in the moon hoax conspiracy or the 911 conspiracy, the evidence offered to date for the JFK assassination conspiracy simply has not risen to the higher standard needed.



From: Russell Stanton <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, November 29,[masked]:59 AM
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Loads of Fact checking/ Debunking Needed

Hay Tim, how about we make a deal - you quit making fun of my paranoia, and other unfortunate conditions, and I’ll stop mentioning the childishness of your insults. OK?                                                                                                                                                                &nbs p;                                                                                                                                                                  ;                              Attempting now to put this discussion on more of a platonic plain,  ..... if you spent years doubting and researching the government’s claims I haven’t seen any sign of it. You really think Oswald acted alone?    Please remember I only joined this group a few months ago, and admittedly, haven’t read every word of all the discussions even since I’ve been here.       That’s a compliment really, because I’m quite glad there is so much discussion in this group.    One of my beliefs is that if enough respectful discussion goes on between intelligent people, there is a chance that grains of truth will eventually be found.      I started this subject with a youtube link making many claims about Nazis being protected and assisted by US citizens after WW2,    and then challenged everyone to prove/ disprove the validity of these claims,  because as I’ve tried explaining before,   the thing I want to know is what is right, not WHO is right. ......and just incase I can help anyone else to see what is right along the way, so much the better.     The responses soon turned into personal smites against me which were discouraging.   But who knows - we just might make something productive out of this yet.     When Randy wrote “
Sounds to me that you have found a higher truth and we poor misguided souls here just refuse to hear it. How frustrating that must be for you.”     I suspect it was meant completely in sarcasm.  But he was exactly right except for the “higher truth” part.     As I understand it, there is no differing flavors or degrees of truth.        We might never actually know the truth (except concerning those parts of the truth within our little realm of provable things of course), but we all may believe things we think are true, and in fact all of us do ....I think. Don’t you? (no matter the number or the severity of the conflicts between all of our various beliefs)    The very nature of truth is a darned interesting subject too but it’s those conflicts I wanted to discuss more here.   Yes Randy it is frustrating for me when people refuse to hear things I think are true. If there are none so blind as those who will not see, maybe it’s also true that none are so deaf as those who will not hear?    But really it’s more disappointing to me than frustrating.   None of us know how much better this world could be if only more of us would consider the beliefs of people we disagree with,  more thoughtfully and respectfully,  BECAUSE SO FEW HUMANS HAVE EVER TRIED THAT.                                                                                                                                                                &n bsp;                                                                                                                                                                &nb sp;                                                                                                                                                                &nbs p;                                  And Tim,  your explanation about the dif between belief and non-belief is as silly as I expected it would be if you would try to make it.   Non-belief remains unconvinced and open to change?    Isn’t it a non-belief in the existence of God that practically everybody in this group has?    I just keep getting the impression that you are thoroughly convinced that there is no God.    BTW I really like an old line a UU minister likes to say to atheists; “tell me all about the God you don’t believe in.  I probably don’t believe in that one either.”    Also BTW,  to help you know me better,  there are many things which I believe might be true,  and yes I am very convinced of that.    If you had lived in the right time and place,  I expect you’d have been a proud member of the French Academy of Sciences ,  that famously stated “rocks do not fall from the sky”  and that anyone who believed they did was totally mistaken.   After all that would certainly be the simplest  answer to any weirdos who found meteorites,  now wouldn’t it be?    and thankyou for inspiring me to find the article I got that trivia from.  The link to that interesting article to help explain my point:  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13556-10-impossibilities-conquered-by-science.html?full=true.     ......All for now,   Peace and Liberty (even if you don’t want it too much),                                                                                                                                                                & nbsp;                                                                                                                                                                &n bsp;                                                                                                                                                  Rus                                                                                                                                                                &nbs p;                                                                                                                                                                  ;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
"Cherish your doubts for doubt is the attendant of truth; it is the
> servant of discovery. Truth, if it be truth, arises from each testing
> stronger" -- Robert T. Weston

 
From: Tim Campbell
Sent: Saturday, November 24,[masked]:41 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Loads of Fact checking/ Debunking Needed
 
So, you don't think that many of the people in this group have spent years questioning, researching, learning, doubting, concluding, and re-testing before coming to the conclusion that many of us have?  I think you are out of your fucking mind.  The difference between belief and non-belief?  Belief is less open to change than non-belief.  Belief has been convinced; non-belief remains unconvinced.
 
Haven't seen much in the way of a coherent post from you. Yes, that is a belief!
 
Tim Campbell
 
In a message dated 11/24/2012 2:31:50 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, [address removed] writes:
More and more lately,  I’ve been realizing how powerful people’s beliefs/ prejudices/ paradigms are,  and how much we tend to base our assumptions (or beliefs)  on other people’s words,  their apparent beliefs,   more than on our own firsthand observations.    The people in this group seem to be just as succeptable to that tendency as most others.   Learning the truth doesn’t seem to be nearly as important to you as having your own beliefs agreed with and/or reinforced.    What is the difference between a belief and a nonbelief anyway.    ....I believe you could think of plenty of explanations of how they are different,  but  doubt that any of them would explain it very well.  : )     If you want to know the truth  it’s a big mistake to fall in love with your first hypothesis.     I think it was Steve Allen I heard that from,  and have allways  thought it was good advice.                                                                                                                                                                 ;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Of course sometimes the simplest answer (or simply the one you hear the loudest)  is correct.     ....it would surely be interesting to get the statistics on what percent of the time it works that way.      But it is not rare for the most popular belief to be not just a little off,  but colossally off from what is true.   Try thinking of when the earth was supported by the three elephants on the back of a turtle,  or the times  when everything important about a human being could easily be determined by the color of his skin.    Why is it so easy for us to forget lessons like these?       .....we want it to be easy to  keep falling in love with our personal favorite first hypohtesis all the time ?                                                                                                                                                                  ;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I’ll bet every single one who reads this will be able to think of at least one time when we were lied to by people in our government.    But still the trend continues -   it’s like the Al Gore hockey stick curve of continuing,   for us to trust (believe) our government  more and more and more.                                                                                                                                                                & nbsp;                                                                                                                                                                &n bsp;                                                                                                                                                              Why is that?                                                                                                                                                                & nbsp;                                                                                                                                                                &n bsp;                                                                                                                                                                &nb sp;                                                                                                     Rus
 
From: Tim Campbell
Sent: Friday, November 23,[masked]:10 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Loads of Fact checking/ Debunking Needed
 
It is not ironic to say that even paranoids have actual enemies!  But without a signed confession from Oswald or anyone else, the JFK assassination will always be fodder for contention and conspiracy.  None of us can state with 100% certainty that LHO did it or did not do it, was involved, or was a "patsy".  Good to be a skeptic, but sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer, and sometimes we just don't have enough hard evidence to be certain.
 
Tim Campbell
 
In a message dated 11/23/2012 6:45:13 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, [address removed] writes:
Is that it?   You mean we can always believe the state?    The state would never lie to us?    Did you watch that video  Mike?   Your argument isn’t very convincing.                                                                                                                                                               & nbsp;                                                                                                                                                                &n bsp;                            Rus                                                                                                                                                                &nb sp;                                                                                                                                                                &nbs p;                                                   
 
From: Mike
Sent: Thursday, November 22,[masked]:33 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Loads of Fact checking/ Debunking Needed
 
Lee Harvey Oswald did it.  The lone gunman.  However, conspiracy theories abound.  Human nature!?
Mike S


On Thu, Nov 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM, Russell Stanton <[address removed]> wrote:
The best way I can think of to mark this JFK Day -  all these claims about Nazis  who escaped justice,  in fact many in pure glorious style,   have been around probably longer than I have.   You all are the best bunch of fact checkers debunkers and nonbelievers I know.   Now here is a link to one of the most outrageous conspiracy theory claims I’ve seen (in only 12 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hKLUpLNLD0.     Is any of this stuff true?   and I’d say the more important question -  if any or all of these claims are true,  why are the masses of WW2 survivors not making sure that some justice is brought to the countless criminals who are still alive?    Have a beautiful JFK remembrance day,                                                                                                                                                                &n bsp;                                                                                                                                                                &nb sp;                                                                  Rus




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