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Old 09-29-2006, 11:05 PM #1
The Dread Pirate
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Jesus Camp - HOLY ****!

http://www.apple.com/trailers/magnolia/jesuscamp/

I was going to make this thread a while ago, but then I reminded myself that this board has an IQ comparable to that of mayonnaise. Anyway, I saw a commercial for this on TV and it just put me over the edge. What the **** is wrong with this country? Have we abandoned logic and intellectual rigor in favor of blind dogmatism? If that is the case, how should this be remedied?

I don't have a solid answer for this, but I would expect the first step would be to educated children on how to judge the validity of an idea or claim. This is something that was lacking all throughout my education in elementary, middle and high school. I had to learn it on my own outside of the classroom.


Since there are only about 5 posters here that can discuss this intelligently, I'll spell it out for the rest of you.

What this thread is about:
- Discussing the pitfalls of blind dogmatism and how extremism of any kind is counter-productive
- What should be done to teach children to evaluate ideas and reason on their own instead of accepting whatever people tell them

What this thread is NOT about:
- Bashing religion
- Creationism
- Bush
- Democrats
- Liberals
- Conservatives
- Canada
- Iraq
- Islamic terrorists
- Dodgy/fleshlights/any other current ST fad
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:18 PM #2
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What about the pitfalls of complete and total immorality/relativism?
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:22 PM #3
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well I thought about posting something sarcastic like: I agree but I like to use my fleshlight But then I watched the trailer. HOLY ****ING ****!!

In reality I'm 100% for freedom of religion, I could care less if you believe in God, Allah, Flying Spaghetti Monster, or anything else you want to.

BUT,!!! If there is one thing in the world that I hate, its when religion stands in the way of scientific progress, which is where I see most evangelicals heading. It infuriates me with such passion.
Either it must be some kind of coincidence that 99% of children choose the same religion as there parents, or they are being brainwashed.....watch and you decide.

Edit: Dread I don't know under what circumstances you were de-modded, but I like how you shut down fools BAD!!!!! Feel free to put me down anytime, I await to see you in OSST......
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:26 PM #4
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Morality is what the society as a whole defines it as through enforcement of sactions, laws and incentives. For instance, I do not think it is immoral to have sex outside of marriage as long as both parties consent, know the risks, take proper precautions and have the resources to deal with any unintended results (e.g. I could support a kid). In my scenario, nobody is harmed and both parties walk away from the transaction satisfied. Others believe that practice is immoral (obviously) but fail to give a valid reason other than the fact "someone else said so" (see "Appeal to Authority" logical fallacy).
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:30 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dread Pirate
Have we abandoned logic and intellectual rigor in favor of blind dogmatism?
Yes.
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:31 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dread Pirate
Morality is what the society as a whole defines it as through enforcement of sactions, laws and incentives. For instance, I do not think it is immoral to have sex outside of marriage as long as both parties consent, know the risks, take proper precautions and have the resources to deal with any unintended results (e.g. I could support a kid). In my scenario, nobody is harmed and both parties walk away from the transaction satisfied. Others believe that practice is immoral (obviously) but fail to give a valid reason other than the fact "someone else said so" (see "Appeal to Authority" logical fallacy).
I agree, and its very easy to prove, I sure you could find an immoral religious person, and a moral atheist.

BTW: argumentum ad verecundiam (appeal to authority) can be a logical argument if the person is a qualified authority.
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:34 PM #7
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I think you hit the nail on the head with your idea, and it is the same thinking that I have had for a long time. Children need to be taught individuality, not standardization. As it stands now, the schooling is just "memorize this, memorize that, if you challenge the teacher you lose points" (for everyone that I have talked to, at least.) The most important idea should be to seek to understand, not to pass. However, it is hard to be a public education system that isn't standardized, because there will always be people who just are not motivated to do well.

Personally, I think that education should be specialized at the high school level, which would allow kids choices in what they study, allow them to choose things that they are interested in, and thus will be motivated to succeed in. You are right though, there is no solid answer.

As for the extremism part, there is no eliminating it in a "democratic" society; those people have a right to express their opinions, and to end their right to do that would be to end American democray. I think the line needs to be drawn at the point where extremists' children do not have a chance to develop their own opinions, but the only practical way to do that would be intervention on a governmental level. Again, that would take away some rights and dive into some pretty dicey territory involving morality, which I don't believe any government should be involved in on a family by family basis (taking kids away from people with extremist views, for example.)

Any discussion about extremism in a democratic society is going to end up in a loop similar to what I began above; this would include issues such as human rights and the generalization of ideas. By the generalization of ideas I mean that intervening with the parenthood of extremists is going to bring up an even more difficult issue of who has the right to determine what an extremist is. The government, or fellow citizens, could turn against any set of ideas at any time because they are extremist, because extremism is entirely a relative term. I don't think that anyone has a right to determine whether someone else's beliefs are right or wrong; to keep a democracy in a form similar to what it is now and has been in the past, no ideas can be discriminated against. I think that our country needs to change, because while our form of democracy has worked in the past, the world is rapidly changing. The downfall of democratic Greece was due in a large part to its lack of adaption to the rest of the world. Our country needs to adapt our form of democracy, just as it has been adapted from Greek democracy. If we don't, we fall from grace; simple as that. However, I digress.

I guess the real question boils down to this: What, in your opinion, is more important to have: democratic society or the elimination of what you consider to be extremist views?

My answer: democratic society


Edit: I am going to sleep, I have to go to my brother's football practice at 8 tomorrow morning. I'll check back in here over the weekend; I think that this thread has serious potential. (beyond even Dread's normal abilities, of course )
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Originally posted by ElTwitcho: "I personally have found that not only is it not necessary for everyone to see your viewpoint and agree with it, but often times it would not even be beneficial to both parties for such an arrangement to take place. He sees things differently from you, there's really no reason to take issue with that or even really worry about it. Observe his position, listen to it, evaluate it's merits and take what you will from it. Beyond that... who cares?"

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Old 09-29-2006, 11:40 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elTwitcho
Yes.
lol, that pretty much sums up my posts............
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Old 09-29-2006, 11:45 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dread Pirate
Morality is what the society as a whole defines it as through enforcement of sactions, laws and incentives. For instance, I do not think it is immoral to have sex outside of marriage as long as both parties consent, know the risks, take proper precautions and have the resources to deal with any unintended results (e.g. I could support a kid). In my scenario, nobody is harmed and both parties walk away from the transaction satisfied. Others believe that practice is immoral (obviously) but fail to give a valid reason other than the fact "someone else said so" (see "Appeal to Authority" logical fallacy).
If you believe in Morality existing at all you fall under that same logical fallacy. There is no logical argument why premarital sense ISN'T immoral either, so you can't really toss that stone at anyone for making an arbitrary decision and saying it is. You can say "well nobody is getting hurt" or "it benefits the couple" and therefore it isn't immoral, but ultimately those are just qualities you've attached to your arbitrary definition of morality and they aren't any different at all than another person saying "it is immoral because my arbitrary definition requires that the catholic church sanction it".

So... logical fallacy yourself, sucka.
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Old 09-30-2006, 12:01 AM #10
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Old 09-30-2006, 12:11 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elTwitcho
If you believe in Morality existing at all you fall under that same logical fallacy. There is no logical argument why premarital sense ISN'T immoral either, so you can't really toss that stone at anyone for making an arbitrary decision and saying it is. You can say "well nobody is getting hurt" or "it benefits the couple" and therefore it isn't immoral, but ultimately those are just qualities you've attached to your arbitrary definition of morality and they aren't any different at all than another person saying "it is immoral because my arbitrary definition requires that the catholic church sanction it".

So... logical fallacy yourself, sucka.
Touche. I was hoping one of the five people I had in mind would post.
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Old 09-30-2006, 12:29 AM #12
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First of all... I think this is the second thread on the front page about Jesus Camp.

Second of all. Keep in mind that this is a *trailer* for a *movie*. Not only are we not getting the point of the movie from this, but much less the point of "Jesus Camp" in real life. Think about it... then pack that away.

Third, and finally for now. You mentioned blind dogmatism in your original post, and I have to agree with you that it is wrong. But let's each try to be impartial here... I can certainly see how many children raised "to be a Christian" can quickly fall prey to "blind dogmatism." They can't justify their beliefs, can't stand those who don't believe, and are generally pious until freshman year of college. It's not uncommon, I'm not going to lie.

But on the flipside, we're not doing our children any better by raising them "to be atheists." What I mean is, if we're going to force them to listen to any ideas regarding religion, regardless of what those ideas are, we are by definition indoctrinating them. As silly as these "Jesus Camp" children seem, well, I feel the same way about the eighth graders who spout about Proof of Evolution and the like. For the sake of discussion here, I really don't even care if evolution *is* proven. Forcing children to attend a class that teaches them there is NO god, is equally as bad as packing them off to "Jesus Camp." I think that's fair to say; feel free to call me out.
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Old 09-30-2006, 12:56 AM #13
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^^ I would like to once again like to state that evolution says nothing about the existence of God. Its not as though you open a biology book and read about common descent and then the book says therefore....there is no god
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:34 AM #14
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Yeah I was gonna start with "evolution =/= atheism" but then I remembered this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dread Pirate
What this thread is NOT about:
- Bashing religion
- Creationism
and this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dread Pirate
What this thread is about:
- Discussing the pitfalls of blind dogmatism and how extremism of any kind is counter-productive
- What should be done to teach children to evaluate ideas and reason on their own instead of accepting whatever people tell them
So I decided to write this:
The first part of the discussion is pretty much obvious. I quote Will Durant, "Intolerance is the natural concomitant of strong faith; tolerance grows only when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous." When one believes that he follows an authority of absolute certainty, his bigotry towards other opinions becomes impossible to avoid. In this specific case I think my friend summed it up perfectly (I'm not sure if he was the first to say this), "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."

On the second front I have this to add to the discussion: education as an institution should not be designed to teach anyone anything. The idea of 'teaching' to me means that the student is to be influenced by the material shown him. In laymans terms, memorizing information and being told it is truth. Instead, I am a firm believer in the education method of instructing the student how to learn. The ability of the student to research information, digest as many different sources as possible, and determine what is as close to the truth as possible from an unbiased standpoint. No one should be told what is truth and what is falsehood, they should be presented with information and taught how to discover the truth for themselves.
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:53 AM #15
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Weren't you an admin, Dread?
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Old 09-30-2006, 01:55 AM #16
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Well, I wasn't trying to start an evolution debate, that's why I threw in the clause about not caring whether or not it's true, for the sake of this discussion. But my bad, for using the hot-button word, I should really know better. Sorry. [/absence of sarcasm]

What I meant was, in the spirit of preventing bias in teaching, there are two approaches... A, present all sides of the issue, giving equal time and attention to all. Or B, present niether side.

Naturally if we try to present all sides of every issue, no one will ever learn anything. And if we present no side to any issue, likewise, we're not making a hella lot of progress. Thus, avoiding bias becomes pretty damn costly to an education. Kinda like how political correctness hinders the military... oops, sorry, my bad on that one, I'm not supposed to say that [/presence of sarcasm]

I think Dowell's educational goals are pretty reasonable. But how do you go about that, without presenting a bias? Maybe we can hire teachers from all walks of life to teach every class their own way every day... no, that's anarchy and it never works. Maybe we've got the wrong idea in our heads about the definition of tolerance....
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Old 09-30-2006, 02:27 AM #17
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My suggestion would be to change the way we define 'classes'. Instead of teaching religious doctrine we should have a class on 'virtue', look up "The Book of Virtues" if you want a definition. Instead of having classes on history, social studies, literature, art etc. we should have a class on 'humanity'. Mathematics and sciences are both incredibly important and shouldn't be changed, if anything, we should increase the rate at which we introduce new scientific material. No one should spend two years in grade school studying the same thing.

There's more to this idea, I'm kinda tired.
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Old 09-30-2006, 02:38 AM #18
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Art must decrease, methodicism must increase?

Maybe I'm reading you wrong... I probably am, admittedly... but I disagree.
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Old 09-30-2006, 02:41 AM #19
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If you want to be a painter, go paint. Don't pay someone to tell you about old dead painters and their methods.

I think art as a practical vocation should be seperated from the school system. Many vocational activities should be as well. They can still be taught, but should be in a specialized school. Like a "School for the Arts" or Juilliard.
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Old 09-30-2006, 02:43 AM #20
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I am unable to see where one would use quantum physics in the workplace.

You're placing a lot of emphasis on numbers, and taking plenty away from everything else... that's your perrogative, and I'm not going to argue "Letters vs Numbers." But I think the place for your kind of education is college, where you can be a mathematical sciences major and have the time of your life.
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Old 09-30-2006, 02:55 AM #21
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Name ONE job where you don't use math.

In twenty years, you may need to know quantum as well as you know geometry today.

http://www.cs.caltech.edu/~westside/quantum-intro.html
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