Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Reply To Hugo P.

This will take some time. Here are items as I come to them.
1 . ”"I have filled the side bar with specific values issues regarding Atheism and Atheists"
Yes, but quantity does not equal quantity and, sometimes you don't seem to understand the actual 'values' you talk about. People tell you 'Stan, you don't understand' and you take that as an empty insult, it means nothing to you. You said:”

And I take this as an attempt at insult, as I always take such unsupported claims. And there is more, in part 2, next.
2. ”Contrary to what any and probably every Atheist might claim, there is no such thing as a common set of “Atheist moral principles”which is a complete misunderstanding. Because we agree that there is no such thing as a common set of “Atheist moral principles”. Atheists insist that Atheism is not something that provides any moral principles. Of course Atheism has an influence sometimes, we cannot deny that, but it's not, and cannot even possibly be, a supplier of moral principles.”
This I have addressed previously; it is an example of non-coherence, where the second part contradicts the first part, in this case by a) declaring that when Stan states X, he doesn’t understand X, and then b) by agreeing that X is valid and actually is the case.
3. "And I outlined in fair detail the values issues in my long reply to you. That was too long for you to read, apparently. So try the article today, I’m sure you’ll have comments on that."
It was not too long to read; I did go through the entire long comment, thrice I think. And I just did the same with today's article: It's mostly, if not only, generalizations and attacks on the ability to reason, and intentions, of people you disagree with. Sorry but I see nothing interesting to address; I'll have to skip. Here however, on this thread, you raised some specific issues.”

You have given an opinion without any detail to discuss, a judgment without any actual charges of specific errors in reasoning or evidence. That is just an act of rejectionism, not analysis, nor detailed defense.

4. ”"I gave lengthy reasons and I have given examples including the daily news reports (only a few, not all of them) regarding the assaults of the Left on the nation."
Anecdotes are not evidence; it's easy to find a few, on any topic, that support one's views. And the anecdotes you show are never assaults from the Left on the nation, as you put it, because there is no such thing. You can disagree with the opinions of the Left, but claiming they are assaulting the nation is simply cheap exaggeration. People on both the Left and the Right devote their lives to try making their nation better. Respecting enemies, especially your own co-residents, is not a bad thing, and that respect includes accepting that different opinions do not equal lesser motives.”

You have requested specifics and then deride them as anecdotes. Your stealth claim that attempts to produce legal silencing of political/philosophical icons are not assaults by the Left on the nation are interesting considering the continual barrage of such legal assaults which add up to quite a stack of precedent which is becoming available for legal use in future cases. This case did not result in any precedent. Many have.

I do not agree that both Left and Right are devoted to comparable objectives derived from comparable moral positions; the term “better” is subjective and non-specific. The Right is devoted to personal freedoms and human values as outlined in the protective, founding document. The Left has been devoted to subverting that protection and document ever since the “progressive era” of the late 19th century and early 20th century. Sowell writes,
”The vocabulary of the anointed is filled with words reflecting their rejection of incremental trade-offs and advocacy of ‘categorical solutions’. This is most clear in the law and in writings among the legal intelligentsia, where individual and social trade-offs are transferred into categorical legal ‘rights’. Ronald Dworkin perhaps best expressed this view when he said, ‘Individual rights are political trumps held by individuals.’ Just as the smallest trump beats the highest card in any other suit, so these ‘rights’ take precedence over the weightiest other considerations which are not in the form of rights. Thus the ‘rights’ of criminals take precedence over crime control, the ‘right’ to various social ‘entitlements’ takes precedence over the interests of taxpayers, the ‘rights’ of those entitled to compensation for past injustices take precedence over the interests of displaced contemporaries who complain of ‘reverse discrimination’, and so on. Rights trump interests in this vision.

At its worst, this line of argument arbitrarily singles out some parties to be sacrificed on the altar to this sacredness. The particular beneficiaries chosen may range from racial or ethnic minorities to people with AIDS or endangered species of animals.”

I did not invent either the concept of legal overreach or the concept of the self-anointed who make sacred their moral declarations onto designations of classes for value weighting and class warfare. It didn't even start with Marx or Hegel; it is part of the darkness of the abandoned human soul.

Respect, as I have said, is earned, not demanded. As for enemies, it is possible to respect their power and cleverness while not respecting either their methods, morals or intentions. I give these enemies of freedoms exactly that kind of partitioned respect. I consider your type of respect to be too encompassing, frivolous, wasteful, and hazardous. I do, exactly, consider their motives to be not only lesser, but negative in value, culturally and morally. In fact, negative to the point of installing barbarism as the cultural standard. This is historical for the elitist New Man worldviews.
”Apparently you do not accept the government’s assault on the nuns to be worthy of your concept of “specific examples”.
Correct, no freedom is violated. As an employer, there is no reason for them to have the exemptions described here.”

The “employer” gambit was destroyed by the US Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” decision, which upheld the First Amendment right of “free exercise of religion”. The USSC’s “Citizens United” case decided that groups of people called “corporations” have many, even most, of the constitutional rights of single individuals, especially where corporations can act in a single unity as an individual would act. Thus, as in Hobby Lobby, the religious freedom of a religious unity or functional "person" (Citizen's United) cannot be violated.

In the nun’s case, it is against Catholic doctrine, even under this bizarre and self-contradictory new pope, to engage in birth control or abortion in any manner. That you consider their First Amendment religious rights to be invalidated because they are an employer is nullified by the Supreme Court’s stare decisis (precedent) of Hobby Lobby. This case will not be allowed to reach the Supreme Court in all likelihood, and is merely the harassment of the religious order by an Atheist activist in a position of prosecutorial power (Prosecutor immunity from consequences of misbehavior is another area of local dictatorship). Hopefully the nuns will be compensated for their expenses. But I doubt it.
”Nothing is forcing them, as individuals, to do anything differently. Why would a company hold a right to freedom of religion? It's the individuals that do; and they can continue to practice their religion as is. They are not asked to provide birth control themselves, not asked to take any of course, and not even asked to provide direct coverage as I understand it; there are alternative ways to achieve the same results. They mostly did not want to file the paperwork... You can convince me that I am wrong if you can show me how the Nuns' practices have been affected, just 1.”
I have done better than that; I have shown you the legal system working at both its worst and best in the issue of the First Amendment guarantees. That you consider this to be absurd does not make it so.
”Why are the nuns under assault?”
For the same reason that Hobby Lobby was under assault: the institution of new, extra-constitutional rights as discussed by Sowell, above. In both of these cases, the “new” rights were created by the Democrat Party, which by itself passed ObamaCare and which was immediately declared a “new” right, one which the Left has asserted trumps the old rights with which it conflicts. ObamaCare is a purely socialist, redistributionist federal assault on many of the original constitutional rights. This will continue to play in the (mostly Leftist) court system, as holders of the original constitutional rights are deprived of those rights by government agents. This process will not stop until either ObamaCare is heavily modified or rescinded, or all the conflicting original rights are removed by Leftist Courts (unelected, uncontrollable in this republic structure).

”So the question now is whether or not that (specific example) seller story showed yet another case of assaults on the nation. Actually, what's interesting here is that I am not sure how you call it as you did not even say what was wrong in that last comment. You would think that when mentioning the example, you would use at least a few words to describe what was wrong with the (specific example) seller story. I need to go back to previous posts:

"There is SJW morality and that only, forced upon this story, which is a story of SJW hysterical ideological reaction to discomfort which MUST NOT BE ALLOWED. There is no thought of "I disagree, but will fight to the death for your right to disagree", a la Voltaire (dead white man in deep dark history). These same people would likely walk around a crowd of anti-capitalists burning the American flag, give them a thumbs up, and keep shopping.
Vomiting due to encountering an ideological difference, does make one mentally unstable, which mental instability is related to ideology. Demanding enforcement of personal moral proclivities by civil authorities is totalitarian."

That's where I think you exaggerate and create false drama, exactly like the shopper did actually. The shopper overreacted, but so did you by writing these claims regarding the people involved in the non-drama that ensued. Thankfully your comments have no impact so it's just interesting talking points; no harm done of course, unlike what 'could' have happened.

First you say that the shopper's hysterical reaction was incorrect. Then you compare my analysis, which was that (a) the event was about a hysterical reaction implemented toward silencing someone’s freedoms; (b) that everything in the story was, in its own manner, sympathetic to that cause, and/or lamented the inability to implement the proposed silencing of individual rights; (c) that the reaction to an icon which includes vomiting and physical incapacities indicates mental instability; (d) demanding enforcement of personal ideology by silencing opposing views is totalitarian.

This, you claim, is hysterical drama of the same sort which demanded the silencing of discomfiting materials (censorhip). And you claim that harm could have been done by what I wrote but was not, and that was due merely to "lack of impact", and presumably not due to dissimilarity. Yet I made no similar claims, and I made no similar demands; I did not vomit, threaten to, or become incapacitated; I did not contact any authorities to implement censorship on my behalf. In fact, there is nothing non-factual in what I said, and you did not claim that there was. So your complaint is not about factual error; it is in fact a Tu Quoque charge which is both a logic error and a tactic of rhetoric, as opposed to dialectic (Schopenhauer). It might be your opinion; but the facts do not support it. It is false, when considered factually.
”1. The morality of the shopper was presumed to be Law; the shopper demanded enforcement of the shopper's morality, calling not just the chief of police, but the mayor as well."
I don't think anyone presumed the shopper's morality to be Law. The problem is more that the shopper's reaction should have been promptly dismissed, but is it really that easy when someone call 911 and pretend there is something intense going on? It's only compassionate, but wrong I repeat, to attend to someone's needs.”

The shopper presumed so. The mayor didn’t know otherwise. Yes, the shopper’s demand should have been dismissed (and possibly medical attention provided). I don’t understand your last sentence.
”And that's where I need to insert note (2) from above: it does matter, a lot, whether it was just some flags being sold or some cheap Nazi symbols replica; it mattered to the seller a lot because they have strong emotional ties to the message behind the symbol. For them, it represents a regime that literally killed millions of people and came very close to do so to their own grand-parent apparently. Can we really blame that person to be sensitive about the topic? No, but it still does not excuse their extreme behavior... it only explains 'why' they reacted like that. It's not completely random and very few items would cause such a stir.”
Your compassion for this individual is beside the point. His actions were not short, momentary reactions; they were sustained, and they were focused. The “why” in this and any case is a purely subjective call. The “what” – his actions – are what is important, and what determine whether the reaction was or was not rational, benign or malignant. Further, if only actions are to be judged, then the “why” doesn’t even matter. This last point goes directly contrary to the “new” thought crime anti-rights.
”"2. Police Chief says that the merchandise "could be 'precluded'", indicating that the merchandise is actually evil in his eyes, even if not illegal."

He is wrong, and was proven wrong. Who said he could not understand why? Nothing from the story warrants concluding that he is an anti-American bully who would try to shut down any selling table he disapproves of.

Moreover, he said "the owner could preclude this merchandise", which is slightly different from your sentence under #2 here; that small difference makes it sound as if the Police could preclude the merchandise, when in reality they were implying that the seller could (should?) do it themselves if they wished to not offend others. The seller could then just tell them to go F*** themselves, and that would be his right...”

There is no rational reason for the police chief to be making this statement other than to show his opinion on the subject, which did not require his opinion. Of COURSE the owner could “preclude the merchandise”; it's obviously true, an incontrovertible fact. The statement therefore is absurd except in the context of his opinion that it should be precluded. His opinion merely muddied the previous clarity of the issue, which is that the seller has the perfect right to sell that merchandise and there is no other statement to be officially made.
" 3. NAACP says it's on private property so nothing can be done. Like everyone else, doesn't point out Free Speech. Just can't get at it, legally."

Here you contradicted yourself regarding Free Speech being mentioned or not; the NAACP did mention Free Speech, you even included that bit in your extract.

Improper choice of the word on my part; I should have said, "no one there defended Free Speech; they all lamented it".
”Poor analysis on your part I am afraid... However, I agree with you regardless, there was no reason to say 'it's difficult' because it's not: it's totally legal and there is nothing to do. The only thing that's difficult is not being insensitive to the shopper's reaction, because of what was being sold (note 2...), but again, wrong way to approach it.”
Wording was incorrect. Since you are agreeing on the analysis, your conclusion seems odd.
”"4. The Mayor wanted to see if it was "actionable" - it wasn't."

The problem I see with the mayor is that he needed to check, which is quite stupid as it's obviously not actionable. Again, nothing shows that he is some crazy totalitarian mayor trying to shut down sale of specific items he does not like.”

I disagree. Had he known and supported any concept of Free Speech at even the most simplified level, he would not have pursued the “actionable” path. He did not say that he needed more information on the alleged offense; he merely wanted to see if it could be shut down.
”" 5. Anti-Defamation League claims it amounts to "hate symbols", because: cheap replicas.
6. Joshua Sayless says the right to sell this is "unfortunate" and that they should not, a moral statement. Also says that this Hate is a "South" characteristic (bigot, who hates)."

Same person for 5 and 6; with the worst comments in my opinion. The only part that makes sense is those cheap replicas are not collectibles, so it removes that reason from why someone might buy the items. But there are still tons of innocent reasons to buy these other than to display hate. Plus the comment on the "South" is just useless rhetoric.”

So we agree here – except to observe that the hate display came not from the vendor or any customers, it came from the official representative of the NAACP.
”Finally, in the end, what we need to ask ourselves is this: what was the consequences of all of this non-drama? Nothing. Nothing at all. The people who made the comments were wrong, and I completely agree, but then if nothing happened, if the law was respected and followed, why label these people as totalitarian with hysterical ideological reaction who want to make any discomfort a cause for censorship?”
Their actions and words were blatant. Their support, such as it was, was not for Free Speech; Free Speech merely hampered them.
”The 'discomfort' here was pretty unique, though exaggerated, and nothing warrants concluding that all these people, even Joshua Sayless, would not understand that selling stuff is not the same as encouraging hate.”
You have jumped out of judging actions and into presumption of what they would “understand”, a presumption for which there is no evidence presented in the article.
”It's not remotely close to yelling 'FIRE' for no reason, as you pointed out. And I think that the average person can understand that. But when reading an article, we cannot talk to them directly, so it's wrong to infer any intentions.”
You just above inferred more than intentions, you inferred comprehensions. That’s not a fact present in the article. What is present in the article is their actions and their statements. Those are sufficient to derive the concepts I have arrived at.

I prefaced the article by saying that the article was afflicted with SJW viewpoint. While the words, however I said it, might not be the best, what I meant was that even the writing of the article appeared to have been written so as to emphasize the improper stifling of SJW efforts: by which I mean that there was an appearance that the author of the article was playing to SJW worldviews and sympathies, and thus likely was an SJW sympathizer who put his bias into the article. The unbiased truth will likely never be known; but the content of the story can be analyzed.

That concludes my comments.


Steven Satak said...

Sometimes I think Hugo comes here just to spin you up, Stan. His stance never changes, there is no sign he ever changes one whit due to what you've said.

I know, he's a good example of a bad example, but dang.

Hugo Pelland said...

Thanks, there were a lot of great points in there!

Take care

Stan said...

I get one liners almost daily from the other HUGO. He uses lots of names, but his ID number is always the same, as is the kiddie drivel.

This Hugo, Hugo Pelland, is definitely NOT the other one. His ID is far different, as is his language. He is not a troll in the sense that the other HUGO is.

Stan said...

Oh, and yes, that other HUGO did pretend to be this Hugo for a short while, and that got cleared up early on.

Hugo Pelland said...

Steven, I actually did change a lot of my views over time, and Stan was among the ones that help me adjust certain misconceptions.

Stan said...

Hugo P.
I know you have expressed a desire not to comment here any more. However - and this is not necessary, of course - it would be interesting to hear from you regarding which issues changed for you, your thought process regarding how you arrived at a different viewpoint, and what your thoughts are now.

I promise to leave it alone and let it stand as you present it.

It is vanishingly rare for an Atheist to come here and find reason to change an opinion or thought process.

If you choose not to contribute that, I understand and respect that.

Hugo Pelland said...

Sorry I will have to pass on giving much explanations, but I can give 2 examples quickly, just to show that I meant there are many small details, and some broader ideas, that change over time.

1) Freedom, especially Free speech: Roll back 10 years and I had no idea that the Right/Conservatives cared about Freedom above anything, almost literally everything. This influenced me into changing some specific opinions such as: I am now against the notion that countries like Canada and France have where Free speech has a big 'but' attached to it.

2) From the Nuns discussion: I had forgotten the corporations can also have religious exemptions as if they were individual people. That's 1 detail, out of many, that I liked to be corrected on.


Stan said...

You are right about what happened a decade ago. The US went into war mentality in 2001 and under similar rules as in WWII clamped down using the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act should have been canceled within two years. It was not, and it is now being used against US Citizens by the current Leftist government. The fact that it still exists is an indication of the intent of the government for its people.

"The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. Its title is a ten-letter backronym (USA PATRIOT) that stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001"."

The presidency was weaponized by Bush under the advice and guidance of Dick Cheney; Bush could have de-escalated the weaponized powers, but did not. Congress has not rid the USA of the Patriot Act, nor reigned in presidential overreach for the past decade and a half. So Obama has taken the bit in his teeth and maximized presidential powers, plus has ignored legal constraints. The track to totalitarian presidency has been exponential since 2008.

Since 2008 the Department of Homeland Security has considered anyone who promotes constitutional restrictions on governmental actions to be potential or actual "Right Wing Terrorists", and has issued several directives to law enforcement to that effect. In other words, under this Leftist government, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the US Constitution are terrorist philosophies.

Since 2008 Obama has armed most or all of the unelected government agencies, which now have their own, independent armies which are outside of the control of the Secretary of Defense and congress.

Since 2008 Obama has used government agencies to attack "Right Wing" organizations, using primarily the (well armed) Internal Revenue Service, but also other agencies as well.

Since 2008 Obama has used the NSA for domestic surveillance.

Since 2008 Obama has linked with Google for purposes unknown; Google is ubiquitous and acquires data on its users. This site is a Google application - I am, as you said, small potatoes and I'm not in the line of fire so far.

Since 2008 Obama has continually attacked congress, the supreme court, Fox and Drudge News, and all critics as racist.

Since 2008 Obama has clamped down on news releases by developing a new White House "Ministry of Disinformation"; even the Leftist news outlets have complained steadily about this; Obama has spied on journalists, violating their rights under the Fourth Amendment.

Obama has now guaranteed that Iran will have the atomic bomb, and it is guaranteed to happen out of sight, in those centrifuges which are not dismantled and are not to be inspected.

Obama has cut ties for all intents and purposes with the one civilized nation in the middle East, Israel.

Obama set a red line for Syria and immediately retreated in what was either cowardice or complicity - Syria being attached to Iran.

Obama and Hillary destroyed the civilization of Libya, allowed Americans to be massacred, and gave over the country and its neighbors to Boko Haram

The list is almost endless now.

Robert Coble said...

I just finished re-reading George Orwell's Animal Farm and 1984. I first read those books a long time ago (when I was a youngster). Big Brother is alive and well in the United States of America in 2015. Orwell wrote of IngSoc (English Socialism) but the American variety seems almost to have used that book as a blueprint (weaponized, of course, with Alinsky's Rules for Radicals). We have not "progressed" to the level of thought control described, but do seem to be headed lickety-split toward it.

It remains to be seen if even the illusion of Constitutional government will remain in the near future, or if the apparently inevitable conversion (according to history) from democracy to dictatorship will be officially completed by Obama or his immediate successor, Hillary Rodham Clinton. I have suspected for some time that Obama might remain in office beyond two terms, utilizing some "crisis" to declare martial law and suspend elections (for the good of the proles, of course, and just until the "crisis" has been averted), or by the desires of the Leftists to "revise and amend" (nullify) the 22nd amendment to the Constitution to allow him to continue in office indefinitely, a la FDR. With an armed Federal government (against its own citizens, apparently), there would be nothing to stand in the way except armed citizens, who are fast becoming a marginalized minority. (Recall the 2009 intelligence report on potential terrorism produced under Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano designating, among others, veterans, the religious, and opponents of restrictive gun controls, illegal immigration, and abortion as examples of "right-wing extremists" who pose a terrorist threat.) An armed conflict between civilians and the massively armed Federal government supported by the US military does not bode well for the citizenry. Think Branch Davidians in Waco, TX, for a burning example. The only hope for a counter-balancing force would be that the US military would counter the takeover by the rest of the Federal government. In either case, Constitutional government would be destroyed. The majority of citizens couldn't care less and wouldn't notice any difference as long as they continued to get their government provided benefits at somebody else's expense and their "bread and circuses" (check out the top TV shows).

Is that merely my cynical viewpoint about the proclivities of the majority of my fellow citizens? Perhaps, but it is more realistic than the faint hope that the direction of the country will be changed significantly.

Phoenix said...

Stan,I have a new found respect for your work.This is after I had a lengthy discussion with a skeptic on NDEs,although he claims not be an Atheist but he seem to use their exact tactics,which includes the false comparisons of UFO's.The burden of proof I had to present was extremely onerous.This went beyond the usual experimental,observation and replication.In addition to that,I also had to produce a very detailed account of statistical analysis and how the researchers acquired their data and sample size.The peer reviewed article I gave was not enough,because it was not part of a meta analysis study.And according to the skeptic,peer reviewed data does not mean the data is peer reviewed,it is sort of like a pre-peer reviewed journal.
Wow,I can now truly appreciate your debates and objections against evolution.

Stan said...

Yeah. Good grief.

Hugo Pelland said...

Hi Stan,

Just to be clear, I was talking about my own personal perception changing over the last 10 years, but it's interesting that it does coincide with the post-2001 frenzy. It probably did influence the perspective I had on the US conservative government at the time, and thus its supporters indirectly. But I moved to the US only 4 years ago and was not paying as much attention to US politics directly before that.

Also, fyi, it's not that I intend to not come here at all anymore, I am actually quite interested in continuing reading, but I will exclude myself from any debates / critiques / long explanations of what I think and why, etc... so I hope you don't mind if I do post short comments/questions here and there.


Stan said...

Thanks for the clarification. And do here just as you wish.