Text 12 Apr 343,027 notes

joelbyeman:

"you choose your favourite character because they remind you of yourself"

image

I’ll stop identifying with serial killers and murderous automatons when people start writing heroic characters that are legitimately rational rather than absurd stereotypes of what dumb people think smart people are like.

Text 7 Jun 5 notes

darziel:

Lost My Fear Of Falling: but how did ‘skeptic’ come to mean ‘so-called-‘rational’ atheist who…

disappearing—boy:

but how did ‘skeptic’ come to mean ‘so-called-‘rational’ atheist who feverently defends beliefs even when they’re contradicted by reason just as much as fundamentalist Christians do’

i mean

it’s not even close to the actual meaning

most of the people I’ve met who could be described as actual…

Ras we had this conversation but I can’t remember how it went.

Well, there are two relevant conversations. The first one went something like this:

Ideologies are dangerous. I’m pretty sure that the way it works for a lot of people is that they have a bunch of ideas, and they find a community of people with similar ideas and, in fact, a much better developed structure that accounts for things you didn’t consider, most of which you agree with. So you join that group; you start calling yourself a skeptic (or a communist or a yoan or whatever; let’s stick with ‘skeptic’ for the purpose of this text), because that’s a fitting description.

Besides, you need friends. Because your system is better, right? I mean, you wouldn’t be calling yourself a skeptic if you didn’t believe the scientific method was in some way superior to the alternatives. Unfortunately, a lot of people are doing it wrong. Not only are they wrong, some of them are dangerously wrong. Corporate shills denying global climate change, cults brainwashing kids, desperate cancer patients pissing away their lives and savings to be fed lies by quacks. They’re hurting people. They’re killing people. So of course you fight them.

But the more you fight, the more you see the kind of bullshit those people do, and it makes you angrier and angrier. Pretty soon, they’re not just people who are wrong - they become the enemy. I mean, you can only hear “if people evolved from monkeys, how are there still monkeys? lol got you see I proved all fags deserve to die” so many times before “I think believing in the divine is scientifically unsound” turns into “FUCK YOU AND YOUR SUPERSTITIOUS BRONZE AGE HORSESHIT!”

You lose sight. You drown in very human irrationality - your genuine quest for truth turns into “us vs. them.”

That’s what happened to me, anyway.

I got over it.

Mostly.

The second conversations is also relevant, and it went like so:

In my experience, people don’t pick a core ideology and then extrapolate the rest of their beliefs from that. Instead, they take the sum of their pre-existing beliefs and then choose to identify with an ideology that they see as appropriate or just.

This usually involves crowbaring all your biases under the heading of that ideology. Religious racist? God says black people are inferior. Secular racist? Science says black people are inferior. Either will cherry-pick and creatively interpret sources to support their position.

It’s just human nature, honestly. We’re really bad at changing our minds. Think about it; the first time someone tells you something, you usually accept it at face value unless you have specific reason to doubt. But when someone contradicts that something, you immediately assume the contradiction is false unless they can provide evidence - something you didn’t even ask for the first time.

I think skeptics are extra vulnerable because we have a nasty tendency of thinking we’re “above” base human instinct, effectively becoming blind to our own irrationality.

tl;dr: humans are stupid pack animals and those who think they’ve moved on from that end up as just another pack

Text 8 Oct 5 notes

darziel:

Look at otherkin article on Rational Wiki.

Rainbow-dash-laughing.gif

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Otherkin

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Debate:Otherkin

Although Otherkin beliefs deviate from the definition of religion, they share the primary interest in the unprovable.”

The otherkin subculture”

Assumptions that that being Otherkin is an intellectual position comparable to religious belief.

Belittling on the basis of implied (mental) health problems. (lol u hav rabiers)

The classical “people cannot be wrong for any other reason than being CRAZY AND STUPID” (note ableism)

Assuming you can just choose to be or not be… well, anything.

This is some 19th century bullshit, guys. I thought we were done with belittling and “correcting” the neurodivergent. Even if otherkin do have “a serious mental problem” like some of you seem to think, you can’t argue them out of it. Even if it’s an acquired trait, you can’t argue them out of it. There isn’t even much reason to try. It’s not exactly crippling. You can’t dismiss the entire friggin’ condition on the account that it’s linked to some unscientific ideas. These are (biologically) human beings we’re talking about, here. We’re more complicated than that.

This is why nobody likes us.

Link 26 Aug 354 notes BONK!: i was arguing about Pe'Sla with a new atheist yesterday and i realized the horrible truth about new atheism»

blackenedbutterfly:

ayiman:

basedstalin:

new atheism is the death of history.

this person didn’t think a sacred site was worth the money being put in to save it. because “their traditions and beliefs were never true in the first place, it’s time to move on.”

you know, when…

Do you realize what an enormous oxymoron “liberal subjects” is? Because that’s the entire point of rationalism; liberty. To free people from untrue, counterproductive and opressive ideas. It’s how the entire mechanism of progress works; discard that which is holding you back, acquire, keep and perfect what propels you further. This applies to technology, art, people, cultures, ideologies, everything. Every facet of life. It’s how you move forward as a human being, as a human race.

And it’s not like all history or culture is irrelevant or meaningless. They’re actually pretty goddamn important. But you don’t get to pretend that they’re relevant and meaningful JUST BECAUSE they’re history and culture. I mean, just look at modern western culture. Sexism, homophobia and racism, for instance, are all deeply entrenched in our culture (and many others, for that matter). But when people try to defend them by going “but that’s how it’s always been,” or “but it’s our culture,” they are scorned, and deservedly so. If an aspect of your culture is damaging, you fight against it. We happen to think that religion is damaging.

And seriously, where the fuck did you get the idea that New Atheism is imperialistic? It obviously opposes all religion on principle, but it tends to fight mostly the dominant, most oppressive form of religious thought, which in most places New Atheists live is Christianity (and sometimes Islam), and the atheists are usually in a stark minority. I hardly think being the underdog in a centuries-long struggle with your own culture counts as “imperialistic.”

(And for the record, I think the original New Atheist sounds kind of douche-y. While I agree that the Oceti Sakowin could probably benefit from thinking real hard about how much sense their system of belief really makes, saying that they should just ‘move on’ from their culture and traditions is a very White Asshole thing to do. I myself practice many secularized traditions of Christian and Pagan origin, and I’ll bet you serious money this guy doesn’t sit out on Christmas for ideological reasons. Perhaps the money could be better spent, and perhaps I don’t quite approve of the reasoning behind the Siox Nation’s desire to keep it intact, but the fact is that it’s an area of historical, environmental and cultural interest, not even considering that to develop it would be yet another spit in the face of an already beleaguered people.)

Text 1 Jul 6 notes Why people suck

I think the most depressing thing I’ve noticed about the way humans function is that we’re shit at empathy and rationality. Take politics. Consider who makes up the right wing: rich, priviledged people. Old, white men who want to maintain the status quo because it benefits them. Egotistical fucks, rights?

But then look at the left wing. Who do we have here? Workers, poor people, people of colour. The downtrodden and disenfranchized. They support an ideology that preaches equality for all because they support justice and utilitarianism, right? Wrong. They want to upset the status quo by moving wealth from rich people to less priviledged sectors of society, because that would benefit them.

And look at any marginalized group. Rich queers are still classist. Bronies, whose entire schtick is not conforming to popular gender roles, have alarming racist and sexist tendencies. When the allies finally learned of the nazi concentration camps, they immediately freed all the jews. When they found out there’d been homosexuals in there, they put them back in. Most activists aren’t upset because injustice has been done; they’re upset because they got the short end of the stick. Put the exact same person on the opposite end of the priviledge spectrum and I can almost guarantee you their rhetoric would do a 180 along with them.

This is the problem with the social justice movement as a whole. And the anti-social justice movement. Any movement, really. Instead of taking a sound, utilitarian moral code (“As many people as possible should be as content with their lives as possible”) and then deducing the particulars (“Homophobia is stupid and unwarranted,” “Free speech ought to be a human right,” “Universal healthcare is beneficial to the nation”) through facts and logic, they jump straight to whatever cause is relevant to them and start screeching and preaching.

It’s also why I don’t go to protests and rallies. I hate slogans and catchphrases, because they’re clear signs that you’ve given up on arguing and have defaulted to propaganda and groupthink. I hate arguments from emotion, because they’re not valid, only manipulative. I hate any call to unity, because you are telling me to put aside the power of reason in favor of power in numbers.

The worst part is that it has to be this way, specifically because humans are not rational creatures. A show of force in the form of ten thousand protesters shouting slogans does a lot more to change the minds of people than the most carefully thought out rational argument. The disenfranchized need group identity and emotional validation to effect real change.

I just wish it didn’t have to be that way. So please, just think about your underlying moral principles. Think about why you have certain opinions. If you start really reasoning with yourself (and listening to others), I think you’ll find that a lot of the things you think, you think for really dumb reasons. And don’t let yourself be fooled because your opinions and theories happen to be correct; if you believe the right thing for the wrong reasons, you are still wrong.

Way too much stupidity exists because people fail to analyze their own motives.


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