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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:49AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the green-skinned-dancing-metaphors dept.

Alva Noë has an interesting piece on NPR about how some scientists, and cultural defenders of science, like to think of themselves as free of prejudice and superstition, as moved by reason alone and a clear-eyed commitment to fact and the scientific method. "I'm pro-science, but I'm against what I'll call "Spock-ism," after the character from the TV show Star Trek," writes Noë. "I reject the idea that science is logical, purely rational, that it is detached and value-free, and that it is, for all these reasons, morally superior."

According to Noë, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, Spockians give science a bad name because if you think of science as being in the business of figuring out how atoms spinning noiselessly in the void give rise to the illusion that there are such things as love, humor, sunsets and knuckleballs, then it isn't surprising that people might come to think that the inner life of a scientist would be barren. "The big challenge for atheism is not God; it is that of providing an alternative to Spock-ism. We need an account of our place in the world that leaves room for value. What we need, then, is a Kirkian understanding of science and its place in our lives. The world, for Captain Kirk and his ontological followers, is a field of play, and science is a form of action."

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:53AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:53AM (#93774)

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! Not that here !!!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:26AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:26AM (#93789)

      Da-da daaa-daaaa daaa da-da ...
      http://youtube.com/watch?v=AphxyjrH4SE [youtube.com]

      My money's on the cable guy ...

    • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:40AM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:40AM (#93796)

      I agree with this. We can just walk away from this and pretend it never showed up here. It's not too late.

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:00AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:00AM (#93776)

    Is to find the next Blue Babe to Bang.

    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:15AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:15AM (#93782) Journal

      Is to find the next Blue Babe

      Do you mean Babe the Blue Ox? I think that is Paul Bunyan, not Star Trek.

      Kirkian? That there be such a school of _thought_ does boggle the mind. Hey, did you ever hear of the Round River?

      --
      Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TrumpetPower! on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:01AM

    by TrumpetPower! (590) <ben@trumpetpower.com> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:01AM (#93777) Homepage

    First, the rant itself is equally incoherent and has no more substance than the summary.

    ...and neither has any bearing on reality whatsoever. All the scientists I know, and especially the brazenly-godless ones, are passionate people who live life to the hilt. This "Spockianism," whatever the fuck it's supposed to be, lives only in the minds of non-scientists and believers.

    That, and Alva clearly never actually watched any Star Trek. The whole point of Spock's character was to out-emote everybody else in the clinch, and to constantly wrestle with his emotions at all other times.

    b&

    --
    All but God can prove this sentence true.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:09AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:09AM (#93780)

      > First, the rant itself is equally incoherent and has no more substance than the summary.

      That's philosophy for you. They throw everything at the wall in case something will stick.
      That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it tends to anger people who like to think of themselves as realists.
      Nobody is a realist, we all have our own delusions it is part of being human.
      The trick is to recognize your own delusions and accept them rather than try to deny that you are delusional.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:31AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:31AM (#93859)

        Incoherent rants are not a hallmark of philosophy. Many call themselves philosophers when what they really mean is dreamers or ponderers. Philosophers use reason. It is through philosophy that things like logic, math, science, and the like were created. Go ahead and check out the classics on the subject, you will be surprised but not disappointed.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:06AM (#93807)

      Spock was one of my favorite characters. He was addressing the same situations I was getting into with emotions. Only thing they did was seem to endlessly get me in trouble with somebody else, usually resulting in my being "disciplined" for failing to allow someone else to run all over me, or being disobedient for failing to do something someone else wanted done.

      Very rarely was it something I did, but mostly something someone else wanted me to do that I did not do.

      I was used to being told "no" a lot, but the givers of "no" are usually not very good takers of "no". Those type like to have enforcement mechanisms in place to ensure their will can be forced onto others.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by gman003 on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:02AM

    by gman003 (4155) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:02AM (#93778)

    If you're going to post stuff that was on Slashdot days ago, can you at least make sure Slashdot didn't hate it first? They're not the best judges of quality, but if *they* find something too inane and clickbaity to deal with, odds are pretty good we won't like it either.

    • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:19AM

      by tathra (3367) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:19AM (#93783)

      do you also bitch over at slashdot when they run stuff we [slashdot.org] ran [slashdot.org] first? [slashdot.org]

      • (Score: 2) by gman003 on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:36AM

        by gman003 (4155) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:36AM (#93795)

        No, because there's so many more things about Slashdot to bitch about.

        • (Score: 2) by fadrian on Wednesday September 17 2014, @12:10PM

          by fadrian (3194) on Wednesday September 17 2014, @12:10PM (#94499) Homepage

          Point taken.

          --
          That is all.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:22AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:22AM (#93785)

      > If you're going to post stuff that was on Slashdot days ago, can you at least make sure Slashdot didn't hate it first?

      Slashdot and apparently you too missed the point. Missed it so badly that in all the flaming you guys are actually agreeing with the author.

      He takes a swing at "head down" types - the sort of people who think there are no moral implications to the results of scientific inquiry. But even more, the article is a criticism of religionists who think atheism equals this fiction of a value-free life. That it is a strawman. The guy's point is that religionists mischaracterize atheists in a way that ignores most of what makes atheists tick - that atheism does not equal nihilism and anyone who thinks so is misinformed.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by aristarchus on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:35AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:35AM (#93794) Journal

        Wow, well said! I doubt it will make any difference, though. The Kirkians are already all up in arms, and legs, and realism.

        --
        Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:50AM

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:50AM (#93798) Journal

        Slashdot and apparently you too missed the point. Missed it so badly that in all the flaming you guys are actually agreeing with the author.

        (note: of course I didn't RTFA, but) after reading TFS and your comment, I can't see any relation between the two.
        Which, if you are right, speaks quite a lot about the quality of TFS (or the quality of my intellect, I admit. But if so, it seems I'm not alone).
        Any way, TFS is so convoluted and I can relate so little with it that there's nothing to push me reading TFAs.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:10AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:10AM (#93812)

          So you are willing to put in the time to criticize Hugh Pickens's take on the article but not willing to read the article itself.
          I think that reflects even more poorly on you than anything you could say about what Pickens wrote.
          Because, unless you are some kind of weird savant, reading the article would have taken less time than it took you to write that.

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:23AM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:23AM (#93873) Journal

            So you are willing to put in the time to criticize Hugh Pickens's take on the article but not willing to read the article itself.

            I'll read TFA iff TFS raises an interest to me, yes. Otherwise, no.

            I think that reflects even more poorly on you than anything you could say about what Pickens wrote.

            I'm old enough not to care anymore how I'm reflected on a Web site (especially a site where I'm pseudonymous by choice).

            Because, unless you are some kind of weird savant, reading the article would have taken less time than it took you to write that.

            Really? Maybe I'm a very fast writer, but I don't think reading 500+ words FA (using freshly invented "-isms/-an" like Spokism and Kirkians and trying to translate figure out WTH the author means by them) takes less than writing <80 words which essentially say: "I didn't got TFS, it's so convoluted it created no deside in my to go and RTFA. Reading other comments, I guess I'm not alone".

            On the line of "less time" in general: while on SN, I'm not after increased efficiency, I'm after a quality leisure time, and mind you... quality in my acceptance of the term. I don't see why would anyone imagine they are pertinent in their attempts judge what I consider quality - but... hey... whatever floats your boat: you are free to spend your time as you see fit, including making impertinent value judgements.

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:45AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:45AM (#93883)

              > I'm after a quality leisure time, and mind you... quality in my acceptance of the term.

              Yeah, and so too are public masturabators. Feels great for you, a handful of onlookers might even get excited, but everyone else is just icked out.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:07AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:07AM (#93810)

        This prof makes such a blatant popularity appeal to the kinds of college freshman who can talk day and night in their dorms about science and religion and Star Trek and never manage to crack open their textbook (or scroll through it, I guess nowadays). Much to the annoyance of their dorm mates who are actually serious about getting work done.

    • (Score: 2) by arslan on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:15AM

      by arslan (3462) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:15AM (#93817)

      What is this Slashdot you talk of? :)

    • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Tuesday September 16 2014, @10:47AM

      by q.kontinuum (532) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @10:47AM (#93914) Journal

      So you think to do a good job, the authors have to follow slashdot? Maybe they contribute here because they didn't like slashdot that much anymore in the first place :-)

      I didn't monitor the submission pipeline, and also don't follow Slashdot. Are you certain the submitter submitted it after reading it on Slashdot? Or before? Is the summary that similar that it looks like a clone?

      --
      Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:52AM

      by CoolHand (438) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:52AM (#93931) Journal

      Who reads that sight anymore to even know what they've posted? I, for one, haven't been by there for months, so would have no idea what they post..

      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:25PM

      by JeanCroix (573) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:25PM (#93981)
      Presumably, the submitter takes the Spockian view on Slashdot.
    • (Score: 2) by LaminatorX on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:28PM

      by LaminatorX (14) <reversethis-{moc ... ta} {xrotanimal}> on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:28PM (#93984)

      We don't monitor /.'s feed. Hugh and other authors regularly submit to both sites, and are welcome to do so.

      --
      Banjo - Fiddle - Tolkien: The Lonely Mountain String Band. lmsb.me [lmsb.me]
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:12AM (#93781)

    As I recall he left the other site in disgust after a story just like this was posted.

    *gets popcorn*

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:00AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:00AM (#93838)

      And nothing of value was lost.

  • (Score: 1) by JimmyCrackCorn on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:31AM

    by JimmyCrackCorn (1495) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @02:31AM (#93791)

    Science, or good science, is about good data. If you let the bias steer your data that is not good science. Collect some data and show others how hard it can be to remove bias, that might be good science. You need to account for bias and you need to account for yourself, that is good science. Leave you shit at the door and get to some science. Show others that your breed of science is illusion of form of science. Most, if not all people can see that the rest is bullshit.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:05AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:05AM (#93806)

      Unless your studying bias ..

      • (Score: 1) by JimmyCrackCorn on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:07AM

        by JimmyCrackCorn (1495) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:07AM (#93809)

        HA!

      • (Score: 2) by MrNemesis on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:24AM

        by MrNemesis (1582) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:24AM (#93887)

        Leave my studying bias out of thi's!

        --
        "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by MrGuy on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:09AM

    by MrGuy (1007) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:09AM (#93811)

    "I reject the idea that science is logical, purely rational, that it is detached and value-free..."

    It's always easier to make your point if you allow yourself the lattitude to re-define words arbitrarily. Because "logical, purely rational, detached, and value-free" is pretty much EXACTLY what science is (or, at least, strives to be).

    Belittling the definition of the word as a "misconception" is a convenient way to always be "right." It's easy to win an argument when you get to decide what words mean.

    Fortunately for TFA, no one's ever claimed language was logical or rational.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:47AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:47AM (#93892)

      > "logical, purely rational, detached, and value-free" is pretty much EXACTLY what science is (or, at least, strives to be).

      Don't be silly - papers are written by people, people are morons (irrational, attached, prejudiced). Science can't strive for anything as it is an abstract notion.

    • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:29PM

      by JeanCroix (573) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:29PM (#93985)

      It's easy to win an argument when you get to decide what words mean.

      From what I recall of just about every conversation I ever had with philosophy majors when I was in school, that is their standard operation procedure.

      • (Score: 1) by hendrikboom on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:04PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:04PM (#94196) Homepage Journal

        And often the philosopher finds that several different plausible definitions of a word yield completely different answers to an important question.

  • (Score: 2) by khallow on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:40AM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:40AM (#93829) Journal

    For me, the bigger problem with science is that it is way too often viewed as a sort of lottery by the public and scientists themselves. You spend a bunch of money and get varying amounts of science. Some of that science will pay off like a big lottery pot, but in a completely unknowable way. It's an act of faith with a built-in easy way to rationalize unproductive or dumb expenditures - we just didn't get lucky that time.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by q.kontinuum on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:09AM

    by q.kontinuum (532) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:09AM (#93852) Journal
    First the promised SBMC [smbc-comics.com].

    Now to the article itself:

    The definition of the term "Spockism" is extremely beside the point when describing an atheists/scientists life style, and by that it's use in this context more accurate than the author is presumably able to comprehend. According to the StarTrek universe, vulcans have extremely deep running emotions - they just learned to control them instead of being controlled by them. It's non-empathic self-righteous half-wits like the article-author who don't grasp the concept that spread the word of unfeeling vulcans.

    Paradoxically, this comparison becomes quite accurate when considering that few (if any) current atheists usually fall into the category of "Spockism" as defined in the article. It takes some nerve to question all the indoctrination one receives from childhood on, to let go of all (imagined) safety-nets, and in case of some nerds, the last (imagined) friend they have in childhood. Also, to be a scientist requires a deep interest / inner drive for the surrounding.

    Yet many "believers" paint atheists as not empathic and cold, because they also often can't grasp the difference between not giving in to every emotion and not having any emotions. Just because they need an imagined warden to be good people, they automatically expect that people who do not have an imaginary warden are bad people, which probably tells more about the believers than about atheists.

    BTW: Personally, I'm not an atheist and find atheism nearly as arrogant as most religions. I'm an agnostic, as in I don't believe there is any god as proposed by most religions, but since science is afaik no step closer to understand the step from emerging self-organizing chemical structures to self-consciousness than it ever was, I see no reason to dismiss the idea of some spiritual aspects of our existence. The point is, it doesn't really make all the difference if there is a god or not. Unless you hear gods voice directly, it always comes down to either trust other people or your own judgement. Since humans are all sinners according to most religions, of course you'd have to follow your own judgement like a good atheist. (If you, on the other hand, do hear gods voice, it probably comes down to a thorough psychiatric examination...)

    For those of you who want to believe it might be interesting to hear that my Linux laptop crashed (as in got stuck and didn't react on anything except power-key) while I typed this blasphemous text, nearly before I finished typing it. For those of you who don't want to believe in god, when it started again, Iceweasle didn't only reload all previous tabs, it also kept the whole comment I previously typed, and it was the first time I saw such a good recovery in a browser :-)

    --
    Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:29AM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:29AM (#93858)

      Minor tech miracle? or warning?

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:41AM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:41AM (#93863) Journal

        Well, he wasn't running windows, so that rules out miracle. Just saying. . . .

        --
        Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
    • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:00PM

      by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @03:00PM (#94040)

      Just because they need an imagined warden to be good people, they automatically expect that people who do not have an imaginary warden are bad people, which probably tells more about the believers than about atheists.

      I take exception to this as a strawman argument. Following Jesus is a higher responsibility than simply not being "bad" because of the threat of hell. I'm not going to get preachy at you, because I'm Catholic, and we don't really evangelize. But to me, following Jesus means each action I take and each thought I choose to harbor I do so considering the impact of my decisions on myself, on those around me, and on society as a whole, and act in accordance with His teachings, at all times. Of course I fail, constantly, as I am a sinner, but I keep trying.

      There's more to being good than not being bad. And you might also ask yourself where you got your enlightened ideas of what "good" and "bad" are. Don't put the cart before the horse. Western civilization's concepts of good and bad are built upon Judeo-Christian ideology.

      Following Jesus means taking positive actions, not just avoiding negative ones. It means turning the other cheek and loving your enemy. It means loving and not retaliating against Steve at work when he badmouths you to the boss to make himself look better. It means finding compassion for Dick Cheney, despite the whole wars on false pretenses, mass murder and torture thing. It means loving the atheists who will respond to this post to tell me how evil and stupid I am for believing the things I believe.

      It means looking at your actions in the larger context of their impact on society, even though no one will ever know, you won't get caught and you won't get punished. So it means not buying illegal drugs (even though there's nothing wrong or sinful in smoking pot) because the money winds up in the hands of people like the Zetas. It means not watching porn because that contributes to a system that exploits and degrades desperate men and women. It means not downloading the celebrity leaked nudes because they don't want you looking at their private pictures.

      It means actively caring for the poor and dispossessed, not just voting for politicians who say they'll tax somebody else and hand out money. So it means actually following through and giving to the food bank, showing up at the soup kitchen, mentoring disadvantaged kids.

      Do not think that the faithful are merely cowering in superstitious fear of hell. Although that said, hell is pretty awful. It would be best to avoid that place all the same.

      --
      Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:21PM (#94144)

        > I take exception to this as a strawman argument.

        I think it is far less of strawman argument than you may realize. Hellfire and brimstone are very easy to understand and most people's understanding of their faith isn't very nuanced.

        > It means loving the atheists who will respond to this post to tell me how evil and stupid I am for believing the things I believe.

        It seems you've got more than a bit of that strawman thing going on too.

        • (Score: 2) by metamonkey on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:51PM

          by metamonkey (3174) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @07:51PM (#94187)

          It seems you've got more than a bit of that strawman thing going on too.

          But they're so easy to beat up on!

          --
          Okay 3, 2, 1, let's jam.
      • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Wednesday September 17 2014, @07:01AM

        by q.kontinuum (532) on Wednesday September 17 2014, @07:01AM (#94417) Journal

        Just because they need an imagined warden to be good people, they automatically expect that people who do not have an imaginary warden are bad people, which probably tells more about the believers than about atheists.

        I take exception to this as a strawman argument. Following Jesus is a higher responsibility than simply not being "bad" because of the threat of hell.

        Ok, maybe I didn't express myself clearly. I don't think this was a strawman argument, I heard it a couple of times. But not from all believers, probably even by a minority of them. Of course, the conclusions drawn from these kind of arguments should only be applied to those believers as well. I don't consider the church generally a bad thing. Believe can be a source of strength in times of need, and it can be a crystallization point for good people to get organized to help others. I think that religion developed through evolution on society-level. An individual might not gain any big evolutionary advantage from religion, but imagining multiple societies, one with religion, many others without, I would expect that the religious society is much stronger bonded and will therefore fight stronger and with less fear for individual physical survival. Basically I think, this makes religion a good thing.

        The drawback (from the point of view of an agnostic or atheist) is, it also helps people to organize to discriminate others. As in, you know someone from church and therefore help him to get a good free position. Or you are biased in witness-hearings etc. to believe those who pray to the same god. If religion makes it into laws, you get the situation where good, honest people can't get some of the government jobs because they are not able to truthfully end an oath on "so help me god". Atheists/agnostics just lack this crystallization point. This is also one of the key arguments Charles Dawkins makes to try to convince agnostics to become active atheists and to rally together with other atheists.

        I was raised catholic and prayed and believed for > 20 years, and since even retrospectively I don't consider myself dumb, I also wouldn't call believers dumb now. Also I know that many (good) things I did were not because of fear of hell or in expectation of reward, and also the fear did not very successfully keep me from doing more questionable things. I think that everyone in the end creates his/her own heaven/hell, through a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirror_neuron>mirror neurons. Rationally, we have philosophy to "justify" helping others instead of pushing for our own survival, but in the end, helping others will make a healthy person feel better for himself, just as treating other people bad makes a healthy person feel bad himself as well. Especially when we get old, lonely and demented, we will re-live the most intense moments over and over again in our heads, without being able to change or even to fully understand it still. People who treated others badly will live through "hell" at that time of life. Some more sensitive types start this kind of heaven/hell even earlier through vivid recollections, trauma etc.

        The only point which makes me hate some believers of some religions is when religion is used as an excuse to treat others badly[*], or those few black sheep who find so much relieve in their confessions that they forget working on their personality instead of confessing afterwards. Unfortunately I know several cases of very religious people who run to church on a very regular base, consider themselves on the moral high-ground because of that, and still behave like dickheads towards others. Because, well, god forgave them everytime, so it's not too bad afterall. Again, this is not meant as a generalization.

        [*] I know most Christians will associate this sentence with Islam/sharia. It's not meant that way. I know lots of decent and tolerant Moslem, living modern and tolerant lives in modern societies, interpreting the rules from the Koran as a set of rules belonging to that time which must be adjusted an developed to match modern times. The catholic church did terrible things in its past, and there are some really nasty passages about Onan (killed for masturbation), Abraham (willing to kill his own son) and others in the old testament which the catholic church will never renounce. Still, most Christians nowadays would consider it inappropriate to consider killing their child because a voice told them to.

        • (Score: 2) by q.kontinuum on Wednesday September 17 2014, @07:50AM

          by q.kontinuum (532) on Wednesday September 17 2014, @07:50AM (#94437) Journal

          Oh hell, give be an edit button... Richard Dawkins of course, not Charles. That was Darwin.

          --
          Registered IRC nick on chat.soylentnews.org: qkontinuum
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @04:28PM (#94104)

      on wanting or not wanting believe...

      you've got that backwards. satan asked God if he could test you by making your computer crash mid-post. God said, 'Sure!', with an inner smirk. satan crashed your computer mid-post and jumped up and down with glee as you became frustrated. God, with a wink and a smile, restored your computer's memory contents and whispered, 'Jesus saves.' - but you weren't listening and didn't hear it.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:34PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16 2014, @05:34PM (#94123)

        satan asked God if he could test you

        Anyone who's read the Bible knows this is fact. The Book of Job explicitly spells out that everything Satan does, he does only with adonai's permission. People who think Satan is just as asshole rather than a loyal servant of adonai are just demonstrating their ignorance of their own Holy Book.

  • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:21AM

    by Lagg (105) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:21AM (#93885) Homepage Journal

    Firstly even though I'm not a fan of Star Trek in general (or rather I am but not to the extent a lot of people are. I pretty much just like TNG.) even I know that Spock was meant to be the guy who like other Vulcans says that they evolved beyond emotion into pure logic but then turn around and have outbursts way bigger than any human. It was meant specifically to show that they weren't devoid of all emotion and that it's impossible to truly be. That's just the bullshit as far as lore goes though.

    The real bullshit is this idea that because scientists know and acknowledge the nature of emotion they're somehow less fulfilled in life than the next bible thumper. I can pretty much disprove that just by virtue of existing. I've found so much more fulfillment and quality of life in science than I ever did trying to treat the nature of the universe and emotion as something it wasn't when I was religious. And frankly if someone acts like knowing the nature of emotions at a low level is a bad thing they're probably not very good scientists in the first place.

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:33AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:33AM (#93888) Journal

      Chill, Lagg, it's just the Pon Farr! It will be over soon.

      --
      Someone please explain to Hemo that my AC posts never get moderated because no one understands them. (Stolen AC sig. )
  • (Score: 1) by Tanuki64 on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:37AM

    by Tanuki64 (4712) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @08:37AM (#93890)

    ...because I don't believe in beards. Yes, I finally decided to admit it: I shave every day. I just don't believe in beards.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:40AM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 16 2014, @11:40AM (#93929)

    Where is the author from? I clicked thru and looked at his bio on the university website and couldn't figure it out.

    What I'm getting at is I spent a year in the deep deep south in my youth and something civilized modern non-rural people don't understand is in the more rural areas ALL social activity revolves around church. Not most, all. So if your only non-familial non-business human contact is at church, and you don't go to church, that means you're a hermit. And hermits get quite a weird rep because they're hermits. So the logical argument is atheism inevitably leads to utter hermitism (in a highly rural areas) which leads to lets trash talk hermits because its fun to have an opponent and we outnumber them and they're not here to fight back.

    Note that there's also the social effect where most of the people in a church don't believe and don't find that to be much of a problem for them. They get their social activities, and theres some ritual or another that flows over them like water, but whatever. So they get really confused about non-believers too. Stop being rude and drink beer at the church sunday afternoon ice cream social like rest of the town, don't be a jerk with all this whatever that no one else believes in other than the priest, maybe.

    And a final aspect of rural life is some sillier things that are said are ritual. Just like the exact text of some formal prayer is unthinkingly said by church members who don't really believe it but its practiced ritual, outside church you get a similar boat load of ridiculousness. People who rant about evolution and abortion didn't just make this up out of thin air, they were egged on hundreds of times by dozens of other people, then they say something particularly inappropriate, maybe at a school board meeting or something, and they just don't have the good taste to know its inappropriate, because thats just how they behave. Of course they didn't figure this out logically or rationally, its just gossip. And a lot of this weird article about spock-ism or whatever smacks pretty badly of this.

    These weird beliefs usually come from people who grew up where the only possible social interaction is at church, so I'm guessing the prof here grew up in the swamps of Alabama, or as a secondary option is accurately simulating those beliefs.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17 2014, @12:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 17 2014, @12:14AM (#94315)

      Where is the author from? I clicked thru and looked at his bio on the university website and couldn't figure it out.{Half-baked theory connecting Kirkians vs Spockism with churchgoers in the deep South}

      So you are debunking one half-baked theory with another half-baked theory? All based on spending a year--an entire year!--in the deep south sometime during your youth?!? At last, sir, have you no shame? Oh, the irony! Well, at least you didn't proudly thump your chest and claim to be more rationally superior to the author of TFA. There is that I suppose.

  • (Score: 2) by efitton on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:30PM

    by efitton (1077) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @01:30PM (#93987) Homepage

    Forgot to look at the byline. Are we bringing back Katz?

  • (Score: 1) by Jiro on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:57PM

    by Jiro (3176) on Tuesday September 16 2014, @06:57PM (#94163)

    (Note: The site is a fork of TV Tropes)

    https://allthetropes.orain.org/wiki/Straw_Vulcan [orain.org]

    The concept has been recognized already. But it's by people who understand that it's a straw man to compare rational people to Spock.