the ueber-rant

i had a debate with a Philosophy student yesterday. it went like this:

Lepht (on way to coffee shop, having ended up in casual conversation in transit): ... of course, that's a faith-based conclusion, and if that's all she's got -

Student: You know, this thing you've got against faith is something you should really work on before you really insult someone.

Lepht (momentarily taken aback): What? I don't care if I insult people with faith, Harry.

Harry: You should care. You've got to respect it, even if it's not right for you. You always seem to write things off if you disagree with them, just because they're not right for you, and that doesn't seem fair.

Lepht (by now absolutely astounded): It's not that it's "not right for me". It's that faith is based on an absolute lack of evidence. That doesn't make it "not right for me" and "right for some others", it makes it wrong for anyone who lives in the real world. By your logic, everything's right for someone - hell, Nazism is "right for some people". You can't say it's wrong, just "not right for you".

Harry: That's not the same. I'm talking about spirituality, not religion.

{i usually do end up in this kind of fight with students. in this case i ignored his blatant change of subject and went with his next point.}

Lepht: They're both based on faith. Where's the difference? Why should I leave one alone but not the other?

Harry (becoming agitated): No! Religion is, is dogma and rules and regulations. Spirituality is about... (turns away) It's about personal (inaudible).

Lepht: Look, what do you even mean by spirituality?

Harry: They're not the same!

Lepht: But what does the word mean?

he just wouldn't, or couldn't, define "spirituality", or tell me how it was at all different from religious faith, or why i should respect either of them. i've had thousands of these conversations, with all kinds of believer, and none of them can ever tell me why either faith or spirituality deserve respect.

that's it, of course: every human being deserves respect. the human genome is so beautifully adapted, the body such a wonderful product of evolution over an inconceivably long time, that i couldn't conclude otherwise; it's one of my core tenets, that everyone on the planet has a brain worthy of the most complex theories we can imagine, and then some. i respect all people for what they are, no matter how foul and reprehensible their behaviour or stupid their choices.

what i can't respect is their silly, mushy beliefs. i won't sit back and be told that Jesus will save my soul. i won't be sermonised about my immorality. and i won't allow philosophers and Pagans to demand my tolerance of their vague and ill-defined notions of non-religious faith, either, no more than i would tolerate someone touting Peruvian creation myths as truth or trying to stop my security classes because they're against the teachings.

i respect humanity. i serve humanity. but i despise faith, and i'll afford it no tolerance.

it doesn't deserve tolerance.

(about to be blown off the face of the earth by angry Pagans)


Equus Pallidus said...


Thanks for the hacking info over at the octagon, much apreciated. My front page on my computer was defaced. So I guess it was the childish kiddies, I am glad of that, do I need to check for anything else, I also found malware, but I could have got that from any where.

Lepht said...

you can bet any amount of money that it was someone under the age of twelve, using a GUI tool. believe me, professionals don't stoop to that level.

what you should really do is look over your weblogs, and see if you can find the IP that the malicious traffic was coming from. usually it'll be a simple ping scan, followed by a brute-forcing tool, or sometimes not even the ping scan; these people aren't smart. in my experience they always leave traces.

if you're not too experienced, and you trust baby-eating atheist immoral scum, you can always bung a copy of the logs my way and i'll see what i can see.

you're also really gonna wanna update your defences; if a script kiddie could get in, that's not a good sign. do you have an IDE? if so, which, and if not, you might want to consider getting one. unfortunately these days just a firewall and antivirus doesn't cut it when you've got a website.

oh, and yeah, remove the malware ASAP. it's capable of more than you'd think.


Equus Pallidus said...

i respect humanity. i serve humanity. but i despise faith, and i'll afford it no tolerance.

Hope you don't mind me posting here, because I have faith. I have faith in my two brothers, I have faith in my mother, that when I am in trouble they will come to help, even if I did a real stupid thing. You better difine faith before you say such silly things.

The faith you hate is the faith many people (incuding myself) have in God. It seems atheists will tolerate about anthing but faith in God. They hate something that doesn't exist, gotta go to be cont...

Lepht said...

not at all. i encourage debate, both here and in the meatspace; that's why comments at SA are always open, and why i spend hours talking over things that aren't even in my faculty's disciplines with students who don't know me.

what you've just described is not the "faith" of those who believe in gods. that is trust, and i possess it too. faith is belief in the absence of, or indeed in spite of, evidence. that is what i cannot abide, and it is in no way silly for me to require evidence for my beliefs.

oh, faith exists, my friend. i might wish it did not, but that won't take it away. indeed, if it existed only as a benign reason for belief in a benign idea, i would tolerate it, and where it does, i do. it is where faith leads to untruths like creationism, violence like a jihad, and evil like the hatred of fundamentalist Christians for homosexuals, that i begin to despise it.


Equus Pallidus said...

I cannot stand evagelical "Christianity" The have Hijacked Christianty and made it a politcal force. The Lords Prayer in whinch we ask "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done"

They say this prayer every day and the idiots can't comprehend a simple phrase. We are asking Jesus to bring his kingdom here at his time and will. They are the opposite of what God wants a Chritian to be in many ways.

I am a Catholic, not a real good one, but I try. You will never hear politics preached at a Catholic Mass. We got some wild ass ones on EWTN, but other than that, Catholicism is a personal relationship God and anti-political.

If people have faith, which I do, then why don't they pray that Jesus protect them. And who gives a flying frick in Gays Marry, we don't habe to marry them in our church. Hell let them be subject to the family courts too, and pay the marriage penalty tax.

Why we ever let the state (satan's bueacracy)get involed in marriage is beyond me. Marriage is between an man, a woman and God atleast in Catholicism at least. The got no buisness in there.

And as far as faith vs trust go's I have faith, therfore I trust God to do what he says he will. And unlike most people I have seen into heavens realm darkly. I know it's there, but had faith even before the incident.

Creationism in the sensne that the world, universe was created in six days is flat out BS I'm sure you read my proposition for a god in creatio at the octagon. The universe is about 20 billion years old. these are observable facts, after Michael post his rebutal Iam going to get more int the creator side.

The six days in Genisis are 6 Epochs, not days. People don't understand the bible because some charismatic picks one up who gets a bunch of idiot followers tell em them that Christ is fixin to come give us your money and God will make to rich which is nonsensical BS.

Did you know that Jimmy Swaggart is Jerry lee Lewis's cousin. That should tell you something right there.

I believe homosexuality is a sin, but I pray for them. I people really beiled in the God they claim to believe in they would be petitoning politicians they would be petitioning the omnipotent God.

Sorry for the rant, but I just get so angry.

Equus Pallidus said...

For example I sent this letter to the editor to the ft worth star telegram, and they said shorten it an we will print it. I said no, I wouldn't sjorten it, so it never got printed. Below

The "Right" to be Wrong

As a Christian and a conservative, I have been silent too long. The War in Iraq was successful as far as wars go. We marched to the Capital of Iraq in three weeks. However, the Nation building has been a dismal failure and it is time to leave. These are the arguments we are having now, but this started years ago, before Bush II was President.

It started with the high jacking of Christianity, wherein the evangelicals started a political movement known as the moral majority, with figures like Falwell, Dobson, Robertson and others. There main issues involved abortion, homosexuality, Drugs and other evils from a Christian perspective.

I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and just call it shortsightedness. The Moral majority was the main push behind the war on drugs, and instead of preaching about the evil’s of drugs from the pulpit, they decided they wanted beefed up penalties and enforcement. The result has been, over crowding of prisons with mandatory prison sentences and ninja looking creatures kicking in doors in the twilight of the night.

If at the time you had asked them if they thought it was a good idea for law enforcement to be able to kick in doors in the middle of the night, it would have brought visions of Nazi Germany to their mind. Now it has become accepted police behavior, the fourth amendment took a hit.

Then we started on gay marriage, as the gays increasingly demanded it. What a waist of time and energy, as southern general once said, "We should have freed the slaves and then fired on Fort Sumter". Wisely spoken; the Christian political Right keeps on insisting on more government to stop that which they find repulsive (Which should have been big government). Why not let the state give out marriage licenses to gay couples, the churches are not obliged to marry them inside their doors. Let them be subject to the divorce courts and the marriage penalty tax. The State should have never involved itself in marriage in the first place. It is a Christian sacrament between a man, woman and God, the State should have no jurisdiction.

Now comes the hardest part for me to write. Some really smart Republican strategists got together and figured out how easy it was to manipulate the religious right. Some of their names are Karl Rove, Dick Chaney, Paul Wolfowitz and then Governor George W Bush.

Bush Started out his Campaign as a "compassionate conservative", whatever the hell that means, but it does sound good. Then in the famous debate when the Republican candidates were asked who their favorite philosopher was GWB answered "Jesus". Noticed the subtlety here, not Jesus Christ, the Lord or the Lord Jesus Christ but just the word, "Jesus" was used. A very calculated Pavlovic response was engendered by the word "Jesus". That simple word, got them their war in Iraq, not the twin towers or weapons of mass destruction, but just by simply uttering the word "Jesus" he could do no wrong in the eyes of the religious right.

What else has the religious right given us in this administration? The almost complete destruction of 4th and 5th Amendment rights by the so called patriot act. Our privacy is being stolen and we are going to all be issued national ID cards, not because of the terrorist, but because of the lemmings in evangelical Christianity who decided to make the personal, political.

As the Bible says, "Beware of those who come to you in sheep’s clothing…"

Lepht said...

excellent; that makes two of us. evangelism is one of the very few things i would be content to outright ban in my home country, though i'm aware that it's very much more prevalent in yours. the separation of religion from State affairs is very much a core part of human rights, i think.

Catholicism is unpolitical in Texas? that is truly impressive. the situation is not at all the same in Europe, especially within Vatican City itself. added to that, we have a great deal more trouble with the current clash between Islam and Christianity on a day-to-day basis. i wish more religious people held your viewpoint on politics.

as for marriage, being myself utterly outside the realm of couples or children and the like, i'd be inclined to agree; it seems twisted somehow for paralegals to be involved in it. marriage does seem to be a religious affair. the rub comes, of course, when legally married couples are afforded benefits over those not legally married, and thence our current brouhaha.

i shan't go into the faith vs. evidence debate, seeing as you came here looking for security information. it generally does dissolve into the religious one saying "I have faith and that is enough," and i saying "Your faith is based on nothing," and round and round in circles, in any case.

yes, young earth creationism is absolutely flat-out bullshit. currently we can date the Universe to be about 13.7 billion years old, and Earth 4.54 billion; however, as an atheist, there's no way i can subscribe to any form of creationism at all. design arguments simply have no evidence whatsoever, reducing this to yet another issue of faith.

by the way, i have read the Bible cover to cover, as well as the holy books of the other five major world religions, the rogue Gospels and a lot of cult scriptures. iirc Genesis does not say epochs, but it does most definitely refer to days - what is the standard Catholic interpretation?

ah yes, Pentecostalism. it always did frighten me. i think apart from the Southern Baptists, they're one of the groups i'm most worried about in America. i can't agree with you more on the dangers of the religious right obtaining such political omnipotence.

while i know the genetics of homosexuality perhaps a little better than yourself and can't agree that it's wrong on any level, i like your style, Equus. feel free to come back if you ever have any questions about security, or you feel like a debate with a devil's chaplain. you're welcome anytime.


Equus Pallidus said...

My understanding is that the RCC doesn't count the days as days, but the don't call them epochs, I do, but they mean the same thing only Epoch better descibes it. Thee RCC does not believe the world is 10,000 years old or whatever, it also as John Paul II said does not reject the possibility of evolution of species. It however does believe as you know in a creator as I do. The Church and I both believe in a begging and the cause was the creator GOd.

You asked...

Equus Pallidus said...

By they way something else you might want to know about me over here in the states. I don't Vote, I believe voting is immoral, it simply legitimizes a illegitimate government that has abandoned the rule of law. As President Bush said, when queried about some his actions and the Constitution called it "A god damned piece of paper"

That is pretty much what it is. The players ar not the politicians but the money behind the scene. For me to vote is to be duped by the system and an immoral action because I legitimize the illegitimate.

PS. The Omnivore has promised yo post his rebuttal tonight in his latest over at the topical octagon, if you are interested.

Equus Pallidus said...

as for marriage, being myself utterly outside the realm of couples or children and the like, i'd be inclined to agree; it seems twisted somehow for paralegals to be involved in it.

I don't know what country you live I assume Great Britain just because you are well spoken in English like a first language. Europe has pretty much abandoned marriage as a friend of mine in the know has told me. They think it it is old fashion and cohabitate and no or mabey one child. Now he was talking about Germany where his wifes folks live.

He said Europe is dying, that they are way below replacement levels, and the Arab immigrants are producing like rabbits. You live there, Is this rue.

Lepht said...

i didn't think young-earthism would be the Catholic Church's official stance. it wouldn't surprise me if it was Ratzinger's, though, as we know that he does reject the Origin of Species - regardless of the fact that evolution is not an explanation of the origin of life itself and could therefore be made to fit with his views, and regardless of the overwhelming evidence.

i myself do vote, living in a democratic state; in your position, i'm not sure i would. it must seem rather pointless in a place like America.

i shan't be over at the Octagon; theology for an atheist is like art criticism for a mathematician. it's just not relevant.

i don't generally let those kinds of details slip, though you could probably trace my IP if i weren't using a proxy string. British English is my first language, yes, but i also speak fluent German and French.

your friend is... misinformed in extremis. about 60% of couples in Britain are married, and the figure averages out across Europe to about 65-70%. people from the latest two generations are getting married less than their forebears, but they haven't abandoned it in any sense of the word. in Germany, less people marry, it's true, but some always will. the population is as diverse as America's, you know.

dying? not at all! Germany has a very slowly shrinking population in some years, but it's about the only member state of the EU that does. "way below" is way out. the immigrants to Europe constitute about 3%-10% of the population, depending on the area, they're not "breeding like rabbits", and they're mostly from other areas of Europe, not Saudi Arabia.

your buddy's one hell of a misinformed European.


Equus Pallidus said...

i don't generally let those kinds of details slip, though you could probably trace my IP if i weren't using a proxy string. British English is my first language, yes, but i also speak fluent German and French.

Why in the world would I want to trace you IP address. I just like you and was asking a question. You can spoof all you want, but I don't even trace the IP addresses of people who visit my blog. I ain't afraid anymore, because I am not afraid of anyone. I used to be, but the I grew up. I don't care if I Idie I am a Christian, I have made my stand and won't back down neither will I go quietly into that goodnight.

I don't know how secure TOR is but I used to use it when I visited certian sites, I say fuck it, don't care any more. It is much better to dire free on your feet than to die a prisoner on your knees.

But that is just me.

Lepht said...

ha, i wasn't insinuating you'd want to trace me out of malice - where i grew up, you stood risk of being traced every time you connected, just out of curiosity, especially if you hung around the bulletin boards and sites i did. it's nothing personal.

besides, i don't keep my anonymity intact out of fear; it's one of those "hacker things", i guess. i do it to keep the two worlds separate, and to ensure my freedom of speech as much as i can. censorship and data monitoring aren't illegal in my country.

tor? the network of secure tunnels? that's impressive. tor is very secure indeed, especially because it's UNIX-based. congratulations for mastering it.

agreed; your open identity and my cloaked one both ensure our respective freedoms. i would die if i lost mine.


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