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This is a place for general chit-chat about virtually anything that doesn't fit anywhere else.
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RationalWiki:Forum
  1. This site is cheapened considerably by its bias. (16:06, 18 Dec 2014)
  2. Shocking! New World Order! Proof! (11:01, 17 Dec 2014)
  3. Serious question! (Very possibly offensive) (20:40, 16 Dec 2014)
  4. Satanic Events going on everywhere! (01:17, 16 Dec 2014)
  5. RFID chips! Sweden is issuing them! Dogs have them! (22:01, 15 Dec 2014)
  6. Dirk Steele said something (16:44, 14 Dec 2014)
To do list

Contents


[edit] What is the point in this wiki?

I have seen a lot of wikis in my time, but there are none so worthless and useless as this! I mean what the hell is this? What is the point of this wiki and what does it aim to achieve? — Unsigned, by: 86.167.196.109 / talk / contribs 16:24, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Our purpose here at RationalWiki includes:

  1. Analyzing and refuting pseudoscience and the anti-science movement.
  2. Documenting the full range of crank ideas.
  3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism.
  4. Analysis and criticism of how these subjects are handled in the media.

We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue. Ikanreed (talk) 16:29, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

That information really should be put somewhere obvious. At the moment it's hidden away as the first thing you see on the main page. I can understand our IP editors confusion.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:16, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I would just like to point out how ironic it is that the user who answered the OP is named "I can read". Abed Nadir (talk) 22:37, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Wait, this is a wiki? 94.1.131.150 (talk) 20:41, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

No, it's actually an intergalactic space monster posing as a wiki. Common mistake. Ikanreed (talk) 20:44, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
..."there are none so worthless and useless as this..." Seriously? You haven't seen many wikis, have you? :-D Refugeetalk page 20:48, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I'll have you know that wookiepedia, memory alpha, friendswiki, and wickerpedia provide an important service Ikanreed (talk) 20:59, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Not as important as RationalWikiWikiWikisWiki. SophieWilderModerator 21:10, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Well that goes without saying. Ikanreed (talk) 21:19, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
as long as we stay better than timecube. wikis have points ? Hamster (talk) 20:20, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh dear. Not another disciple of Dirk Steele. Yahoo! 78.147.164.89 (talk) 15:56, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
This wiki was created by godless liberals that wanted to corrupt the minds of young internet users with evolution, communism, atheisticamist oppression on America's god given religious rights, and science. Juneathan (talk) 03:28, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I will endeavor to use atheisticamist all over the tubes from now on. 94.1.137.43 (talk) 13:39, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Islamophobia in atheist circles

I've seen a lot of Islamophobia from a number of atheists. For instance in this video Jaclyn Glenn, who is normally fairly sane, essentially claims that all Muslims are extremists, then of course you have [Dawkins] and at some point I remember Bill Maher saying that there isn't enough criticism of Islam in the United States (which seems absolutely ridiculous given how the media portrays Islam). To me it seems like they have much more ire towards Islam than they do towards Christianity. Why is this so acceptable in this community? I highly doubt I'll ever convert to Islam (or any religion for that matter) but I don't think believing in Allah inherently makes someone a radical, sure the Koran has some fucked up shit, but so do the Bible and the Torah. Samstr (talk) 16:41, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

It's my impression that most Western athiests talk more about Christianity than about Islam as it's the religion which most Western people are most engaged with. Indeed, I've heard the opposite complaint - the many western athiests are too soft on Islam or ignore it.
However, while Christian fanatics are more likely to be involved with getting Creationism taught in schools or whatever, Muslim fanatics are more likely to be involved in killing people. So when criticism of Muslim extremism is voiced it perhaps more likely to be more intense.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:17, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif DMorris, on the EIP Network 1 855 282 2882 14:00, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
The way I see it, the only difference between Christian fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists is that, in the countries where Christian fundamentalists usually operate, the rule of law is often strong enough to clamp down on their worst impulses. And when that's not the case, you get what we have in the less developed parts of Africa, where you still have literal witch hunts. (And that's not even getting into Uganda's track record on LGBT rights.) Likewise, when Muslim countries have the rule of law (as in Turkey and Malaysia), you still have cranky fundamentalists trying to push their religion on everyone, but they do it in much the same way that the Christian Right operates in the US -- through ballots, not bullets. KevinR1990 (talk) 17:36, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's simple really, all people are fully defined by the subset of similar people who make the news. Clearly no further examination of facts is necessary beyond that. Ikanreed (talk) 17:45, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
The reason why many Western atheists are islamophobic is largely the same as the reason why many Western Christians are islamophobic; Islamic culture is seen as inherently inferior and morally reprehensible compared to Western culture (specifically Western modern (secular) society or Western traditional (Christian) society). In the case of atheists, their islamophobia may seem like a logical extension of their general anti-religious stance (and to some extent, it can be), but when you look at the generalizations made about Muslims and the whining about some Muslims not dressing according to Western dress norms, it's quite clear that the perceived "problem" isn't the religion, but the people and their non-Western customs. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 19:49, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
It's even simpler than that: bigotry is easy. It takes no work at all, mentally, to just hard classify people and be done with it. It takes work to treat groups of people as diverse individuals. Ikanreed (talk) 20:13, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 21:31, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
It also takes exposure and immersion to help overcome preconceived ideas, so if you are already bigoted against a group you are much more unlikely to spend any time with any members of that group. Instead you are much more likely to spend time with the people who hold the same views as you, and so you can end up reinforcing your own prejudices. Add in the fact that humans just love to form tribes and, well, yeah…--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 21:40, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Let's take a moment and acknowledge that rationalwiki is one of those tribes. There. I've acknowledged it for the sake of self-awareness; I'm now going to go right back to off-handedly dismissing entire categories of arguments and beliefs. Ikanreed (talk) 21:46, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
Couldn't an atheist by definition be considered Theophobic, Christophobic, and Islamophobic? As identity politics goes, Islam isn't really in the same group as blacks, women, or gays. The only thing that identifies a Muslim is their belief in a sky-daddy and fairytales. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 02:06, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Atheism, as most atheists define it, is simply a lack in the belief of a God. Being an atheist doesn't necessarily make someone oppose religion as a whole or any religion specifically. I don't think many atheists really fear Christianity or want to prevent people from practicing it, we just don't hold the same beliefs. Samstr (talk) 14:55, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Right, but there's a lot of militant atheists that want to eliminate any public display of religion. While on one hand we have people putting those coexist bumper stickers on their cars and pushing tolerance and diversity, militant atheists are like "I don't believe in God and I don't want to see or hear any of that religious crap." DMorris, on the EIP Network 1 855 282 2882 14:07, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Ugh please use better language, they don't want to "eliminate any public display of religion", just the parts that are so egregiously contradictory to the secular government that we were supposed to have! The fact lawmakers are constantly trying to shove Christianity into peoples' faces ("In God we Trust" is the most crappy and worthless example of mandatory religion ever, and all those 10 commandments statues are ugly as sin) has nothing to do with the popular perception that there are any militant atheists period. Radical ones, sure, that is a thing they are literally being. Calling them militant is ludicrously misleading. Calamondin (talk) 17:13, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

I seem to remember something Christopher Hitchens once said that I rather agreed with. He basically stated that Islam is more dangerous than the other two monotheistic religions in its finality. All three religions make grandiose and absolutionist claims. However, Islam is different in that it claims to be the final revelation, that is, no other words from God could ever happen that would be able to change the Koran. I might not have put it so eloquently as he did but I think the point is there. A religion that claims that nothing new will come after it, that nothing can change the message, seems to me, to be a rather dangerous one. I would also argue that increased islamaphobia in atheist circles may have to do with the reality that we live in a culture (Western countries) where Christianity is, for the most part, under control and non-violent. What we see is a radicalized Islam in the Middle East and a recent history of terror attacks by radical islamists. Frankly, it isn't surprising. AyzmoCheers 22:26, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

I suppose that makes sense, but it makes more sense to focus specifically on radical Islam. I would imagine that in general many Muslims ignore many of the more...unpleasant...parts of the Koran particularly in the United States. I don't think the real problem is so much the religion as religious governments that not only allow Sharia Law but actually govern from it. Samstr (talk) 22:44, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that many atheists are islamaphobic, as such. Criticism of Islam is legitimate: it is a system of beliefs that is often brutal ("faggots in the fire of hell", anyone?), espouses immoral practices that cannot be conscienced in a rationalistic worldview (aggressive war, slavery, polygamy), and factually incorrect. A surprising number of Muslims do support violent actions "to defend Islam from its enemies"(Pew), and saying that extremist groups represent an entirely negligible portion of the world Muslim population is flat-out wrong. Also, the widespread support expressed in countries such as Egypt and even Turkey for Islamist parties has to be noted. Stating these facts cannot be considered islamaphobic; they are facts, and phobias/racism are/is by definition irrational. However, there is a vast difference between criticizing religious beliefs and noting trends in the worldviews of a group and the disturbing view of Muslims expressed in much of the American media and by many members of society at large. Most Muslims disregard the more distasteful aspects of the Koran and actually do practice Islam as the religion of peace that it is often claimed to be. This shows their strength as individuals - they are overcoming the brutality of their holy text and developing positive worldviews despite it.(Agrajag (talk) 23:01, 10 December 2014 (UTC))
In my opinion the really dangerous thing is the mixture of politics and religion. I know that Islam does have a disturbing number of people who approve of violence, but I think a lot of that comes from modern culture and a fairly justified anti-American sentiment. Historically Islam hasn't been more violent than Christianity, indeed with the crusades it seems that Christianity was more prone to violent extremism. In that sense I don't think it is just the religion, it's also the culture and how that culture interprets religion. Multiculturalism is a difficult subject but I guess my rule of thumb is, my tolerance extends as far as your tolerance for others. Tolerate all but intolerance. Samstr (talk) 14:51, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
"Tolerate all but intolerance". I can't agree with that. Tolerating others can't be the sole measure of moral rightness. I agree that it's a pretty good yardstick, but it isn't the sole arbiter of anything. Sure, you should accept people who wear funny hats and sing strange songs and all that (you should really celebrate it), but there is a limit. Something can be wrong even if no-one's forcing it on anyone. Burka bans are wrong; so is polygamy. Of course, the government/the rest of society can't stop people from doing certain immoral things if those things don't hurt others, but it/we can still condemn them. I do agree that Islam's mixture of politics and religion is to be expected - when a lot of people believe something, it becomes political pretty much no matter what. Islam itself isn't really to blame for it, and I'm sure that Christianity/Judaism/the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster would be just as bad if they had the grasp on society in the West that Islam does in the Middle East.(Agrajag (talk) 00:53, 12 December 2014 (UTC))
I think it's more a rule of thumb. I don't think any moral rules can truly be applicable in all situations. I just like it because it's something my Father said, and something that I thought was very insightful. As for the second part that we both seem to agree on: that's why separation of church and state is so incredibly important. I can't say the world would be better off without religion, but I think it would be a hell of a lot better off without religious governments. Samstr (talk) 03:52, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

I think there is a growing schism within the atheist movement/community (such as it is), including within RationalWiki, over attitudes towards multiculturalism, and Islam in particular. It's not getting as much press/blogging attention as the schisms over attitudes to feminism (elevatorgate etc), but it's there nonetheless & draws on many of the same blind spots. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:09, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

I think it's a combination of a few things. One being a trickle-down effect from Hitchens and others cribbing neo-con talking points in line with Hitchens. Another is a superficial knowledge of geopolitics. Basically, they try to apply "Religion bad! Smash!" to complex political issues and it doesn't work out so well. A third is the overzealous dismissal of any criticism of Islam as Islamophobic, which in turn leads the atheists to dismiss real Islamophobia and not being able to separate legitimate criticism from xenophobia and crankery. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:20, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Normally this would go to the talk page but since it's relevant to this discussion what about Ayaan Hirsi Ali? I've tried to place her under the "Islamophobia" category but there's a very, um, energetic user who fervently defends her and hates my guts. As far as I can tell she walks the line between "critic" and "crazy" so I thought she belongs under both categories but I don't know what would you guys consider her? ClothCoat (talk) 01:13, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Never read anything by her, but her connection to AEI raises my eyebrow. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 01:18, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
She has experienced Islam in ways we cannot imagine. This entitles her opinion to some weight, IMO. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 04:48, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
It's actually kind of sad, she was given the cold shoulder by all the liberal activist groups for telling the truth about radical Islamic cultural practices and could only get a job...at a Neoconservative think tank? Hilarious, way to support humanity, liberal fools! Calamondin (talk) 17:13, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't think we have to make shit up about Muslims to criticize them. There's enough legitimate criticism already. Necromancer 02:12, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
And here's the problem: you're criticizing Muslims and not Islam. Often people do that by extrapolating statements about some Muslims to all Muslims, and that's a problem. There's not one thing you can tell me about all Muslims besides that they believe in Islam. Ikanreed (talk) 15:17, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
This ^^^^ 192.231.234.1 (talk)
There's a great deal of Islamophobia throughout the West because, well, we've always been at war with Easasia. The Atheist community - whatever that means - is no more immune from this than any other. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 18:08, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

"Islamophobia in atheist circles - I've seen a lot of Islamophobia from a number of atheists." Gimme a break, that is anecdotal flame-baiting one-eyed nonsense. "A lot of", "a number of" - oh, come off it, that is classic weasel language. And, what, exactly, please, is an "atheist circle"? please elucidate, I've never heard of any such nonsense. Don't just post a cherry-picked video or two. One of the innertube cesspits I visit (Yahoo Answers - Religion & Spirituality) is infested with (self-styled) Christians criticising atheists for not being islamophobic enough. I'm calling Poe on OP here; I hope I'm right, the alternative is truly depressing. ProblemChimp (talk) 01:03, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

That Yahoo Answers page is a gem. I haven't laughed that hard for about a week. Seriously. (Agrajag (talk) 02:00, 12 December 2014 (UTC))
"Jaclyn Glenn, who is normally fairly sane" - unless sprouting forth about how awesome Thunderf00t (or the Amazing Atheist, I forget which) is, how bad feminism is, and how awful Muslims are. I used to watch her stuff, until I realized that she'd just another vacuous bobblehead, with no credentials at all, making money off YouTube videos, with the ever-more reprehensible Dawkins as her little fanboy. PsyGremlinKhuluma! 12:03, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
It's not that atheists are a bunch of sexists. But a number of prominent atheists have either said some unfortunate things (Dawkins) or tuned out to be full-on sexists (Thunderf00t and the Amazing Atheist). I would expect sexism from biblical fundamentalists; I would expect it from New Age earth-mother bullshitters. But from rationalists? Many of the Gamergater people were sane enough to be discomfited when Colbert denounced the hashtag. One even said that he expected Neil Gaiman to insult him or Edgar Allen Poe to rise from his grave and hit him. These people are often "people like us" (to briefly get tribal).(Agrajag (talk) 12:59, 12 December 2014 (UTC))
Atheism isn't really about rationality, more like skepticism? Anyway there are tons of sexists around apologizing for anti-feminism. Calamondin (talk) 17:13, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I suppose sane is more or less a relative term. Most of her videos are about how stupid fundamentalists are but she certainly does hold a lot of questionable beliefs including her strawman caricatures of feminism and Islam. Also she's apparently a gun nut... and she does seem to like the Amazing Atheist... So yeah I guess she really isn't all that sane at all. Samstr (talk) 16:23, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

RationalWiki would be an example of a (largely) "atheist circle" and it's not hard to find examples of Islamophobia - propped up with such platitudes as "there's no such thing as Islamophobia" or "Islam isn't a race so criticising Muslims can't possibly be racist". Just take a read through talk:Islamophobia for plenty of examples. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:41, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

"Islam isn't a race so criticizing Muslims can't possibly be racist". How is this wrong, exactly? (I'm sure I'm not the first to ask this, but whatever)TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 15:56, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
When it's functionally indistinguishable from plain old ethnic discrimination, as in the UK - where the neo-Nazi groups have suddenly decided that hating Muslims is a safer and more marketable option than hating blacks - David Gerard (talk) 20:53, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
It's an apologetic strategy that seeks to represent islamophobic claims in a non-racist light, meanwhile downplaying the xenophobia and Western supremacism (which are quite similar to plain old racism) inherent in many of them. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 21:06, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Geez, this is the same sort of contorted conspiracist reasoning one finds in reading jihadist publications. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 23:08, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
It's wrong because it's a simplistic attitude that gives racism a free pass when it's cloaked in superficial concerns about something other than race. In case you haven't been paying attention for the past forty-odd years, overt expressions of racism have become unfashionable. But this doesn't mean racism has just gone away. Look beneath the surface at the implications of Islamophobia, or birtherism, or immigration panics, & there's frequently a lot of implicit racism passed off under the guise legitimate social concern. But of course, you can just pretend it's not racism if you want to since nobody is talking directly about race. That's how dog whistle politics works. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:59, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
So if I criticize Islam it's because I'm harboring racism? I'm confused. Is it only in certain situations?TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 00:58, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
No but if you do it in a way that sounds like Fox News then the chances go up that you are. Criticizing Islam needs to be done with a great deal of awareness, much like criticism of Christianity works best when hasty generalizations are avoided. There is a great deal of internal conflict within Islam-many Muslims are fighting against ISIS and burning the ISIS flag was a thing Lebanese Muslims did. I think it is important to remember that both violent and peaceful Muslims are true Muslims. Terrorism must be considered in light of how we have behaved towards them-they are indeed immoral for their actions but the US and Israel suck for killing civilians and committing other abuses. Human rights violations are a more serious problem where Sharia law is enforced-most victims for these are Muslims and ex-Muslims. Arachne1988 (talk) 02:06, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I think at least at this site that talking about Muslims in the same way that Christians are talked about would be considered "racist" then. Plus, there are plenty of white muslims, and the majority of Muslims are South-east Asian. Associating criticism of Islam with racism is basically based on the conception that they're all "brown people" (doesn't even matter if they're one race or not) and therefore criticizing an aspect of their lives is racist. Associating a race with a religion, though, is actually kind of racist in and of itself, since you are assuming that a certain religion is an inborn trait of that race.TheriziπosaurusG (talk) 00:24, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
We're not doing that, we're really playing off the bigotry of the people who support Islamophobia. Think about it, when Republicans say "thug culture", we know they're talking about black Americans but are too cowardly to say it. When people criticize the Muslim "terror"/etc, we know they're talking about Arabs and other Middle Eastern groups. It's nothing more than dog whistle politics and hidden racism.BlackProg (talk) 06:00, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
No what I was saying is that awareness and qualifiers need to be made when we criticize groups so we do it accurately. There is nothing wrong with criticizing Islam or criticizing Muslim extremists, but you have to be clear about who you are talking about and that you do not treat Islam like it is a monolithic bloc or make No True Scotsman fallacies. The death cult vs religion of peace thing is a false dichotomy. Neither is true. We criticize/describe fundamentalist Christians and liberal Christians on this site in very different ways and are clear on those, and the same should be true for fundamentalist Muslims and liberal Muslims. There is nothing wrong with saying that Sharia law is bad and hurts Muslims, but acting like it is coming to the US to take over is just insane. Saying ISIS is bad and run by some Muslims is correct, but denying that so very many Muslims hate it and oppose it is ignoring the facts. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has some religious motives, but it is fallacious to act like that is primary and has nothing to do with the foolish decision to give Jews already inhabited land. Islam has problems but the specifics are complicated and need to be described without use of hyperbole/logical fallacies. We can even be mocking and snarky about Islam, while still being honest. Arachne1988 (talk) 06:57, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
  • As much as it pains me to say atheists have a good argument on something, Islam is probably one of the best things for a militant atheist to use in argument against religion; I think most of the world would agree that terrorism committed by radical Muslims is a detriment to society. DMorris, on the EIP Network 1 855 282 2882 14:18, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Militant atheists. Fucking lol. Since you're talking about detriments to society, let me just point out the obvious here: fundamentalist christianity is far more dangerous in the US, where we're in more danger of our children being raised to be morons incapable of critical thought and who believe the earth was created by a savage creep of a desert god 6000 years ago than we are of getting our limbs blown off. Nutty Roux (talk) 17:09, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
To say Islamophbia is cloaked racism is an apples and oranges argument; by the same reasoning one can extrapolate that un-Christian and anti-Christian (and maybe even atheist) sentiments are racist. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 19:03, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
People do it. Just as public examples, Andy Martin and Bryan Fischer have spouted off about how Obama as a secret Muslim because, well his name and his father. Not anything about what he actually does or believes, his faith, or his actions over any period in his history...since those are all lies. It just adds another layer to the "outsider" like a tribal fear of strange people. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:30, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Ok, we see your point; does that make Obama a jihadi or the proponent of beheadings and things people fear, simply because a guy who is not a Muslim was an organizer (according to the Encyclopedia Britannica) of Louis Farakhan's Million Man March? nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 20:57, 19 December 2014 (UTC)!

[edit] Baphomet statue

http://www.vice.com/read/oklahomas-satanic-statue-is-coming-along-nicely I don't know about you guys but I actually think that the park in Oklahoma might actually be a pretty cool demonstration for American plurality. Make it like a sort of exhibit for all of the different religions that exist in the United States. That's assuming the local government doesn't chicken out. What's your thoughts? Necromancer 01:05, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

I always thought the best way to protest intrusions of religion into the American government was to use those new rules to advocate non christian religions. I would personally go with Islam (because I feel like there are more people who actually do seriously believe in Islam) but I think this works well also. I can't wait for a wingnut to unironically claim that this infringes on their rights while supporting gigantic monuments of Christ. Samstr (talk) 03:53, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Problem with Islam in this context is that it doesn't lend itself to making statues. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 17:41, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Let's go with Hinduism then-they are the third biggest religion and their gods look freaking cool. Arachne1988 (talk) 04:31, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
You could always make some literal pillars of Islam. Compro01 (talk) 07:39, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
I wonder how are they going to smooth out that weld across the mouth.--ZooGuard (talk) 11:34, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
I've always thought that Zoroastrianism had a nice aesthetic to it. (Agrajag (talk) 00:43, 15 December 2014 (UTC))
Baphomet isn't Zoroastrian, it's a made-up god that the Knights Templar were accused of worshiping. Frederick♠♣♥♦ 03:22, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Since it's going to sit next to a Ten Commandments monument, a golden calf would be more appropriate. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:05, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Outsider science

I see where pseudoscience and anti-science fit into the RW mission, but what about outsider science (as in "outsider art")? There are people making well-meaning scientific proposals who aren't professional scientists. Prime example: Alternative cosmology. These people don't seem to be cranks in that they aren't making crazy conspiratorial kinds of claims. Even if their arguments are sometimes (often?) unfounded, they're not anti-science (maybe odd-science). Do we cover them or just wait 'til they make big waves by saying/doing something crazy? MarmotHead (talk) 15:56, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Amateur scientists definitely can and have made a number of observations (one of the largest areas is the identification and discovery of new asteroids). I certainly don't deny that but I don't think its really relevant to our wiki's mission. We already discuss things like credential bullying which I think are more relevant and connected to this issue. I think the bigger problem is scientists who think a degree in one field makes them an expert in another, that's where all of the more silly and stupid arguments from authority come from. Samstr (talk) 17:46, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
If they can get it peer reviewed, published and generally accepted then it's science. If they can't then we would hardly be in a position to support or even comment meaningfully on them. Reviewing alternative science is simply outside of our remit and would simply attract cranks. In the case of alternative cosmology we may already have done so. What next? Alternative gravity? Alternative magnetism?
And if go down the road of alternative science - how can we object to alternative medicine?--Weirdstuff (talk) 19:02, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
I think it's not notable unless they are pushing crank positions. The example that comes to my mind is amateurs or other laypeople making archaeological finds on or near the surface. This then gets analyzed and incorporated into research. Nothing really notable there, unless said amateur is now claiming that the finds are actually evidence of aliens or something. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 03:50, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
That makes perfect sense. If I develop cold fusion in my garage, it's irrelevant until it reaches the world as, say, a conspiracy theory or a scientific revolution. Thanks! MarmotHead (talk) 16:33, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
There have historically been lots of amateur scientists who did mundane work in natural sciences, most of which is probably redundant but whatever, we have plenty of space on the internet for all kinds of pictures of weird beetles or clouds or whatever!Calamondin (talk) 17:13, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Opinions?

I can't be the only person who thinks that our current article on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is terrible. I've drafted another article, User:Brenden/Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and would appreciate any feedback. брэндэн (talk) 08:31, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

I am inclined to favor yours as well. Conservatives aren't wrong all the time. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 03:59, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Enlightenment ideology has been found to have major problems see here

That means you can tell people the facts and they won't "get it" tragically. The human brain is much worse than we thought.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYmi0DLzBdQ — Unsigned, by: 72.38.60.35 / talk / contribs 08:28, 14 December 2014‎ (UTC)

At last! A voice of reason and rationality on this site.. 78.147.164.89 (talk) 15:54, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
From what I could tell this video mostly discussed how humans reason and perceive the world. What this means is that we can't solely use logic and evidence to convince people of an argument. If that is all you are trying to say I will agree with you wholeheartedly, if people could be swayed solely by evidence and logic there would be a lot fewer young Earth creationists (I'm sure that many would still remain because they simply haven't been shown a fair analysis of the evidence). If, however, you are arguing that we should abandon rational thought because of this fact I must disagree. I don't think there is necessarily a problem with enlightenment philosophy but more how we present it. That's the beautiful thing about the truth, it's true whether or not you believe it.
The philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment (Hume, Smith, etc.) were ahead of the game, then, because they said the same thing. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 06:12, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Snowy brain?

Thumb

Break out the Santa hats! Unleash the snow! The holidays are right around the corner, and the brain in the corner is just itching for some snowy action. Do the magic! ĴάΛäšςǍ₰ hi there! 04:25, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Anyone who can do images can do the Santa hat, it doesn't require sysadmin magic - David Gerard (talk) 12:08, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't have snow. Michigan is currently engaged in a brown Christmas.Necromancer 13:36, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Ho, ho, ho.--Stunteddwarf Jabba de Chops 15:14, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
we had snow in wisconsin, but it melted yeaterday ;-( , maybe a white xmas yet though. Hope everyone has a good new year. Hamster (talk) 03:06, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Atheist Terrorist Groups

Do these even exist? I mean, unless you count the numerous acts of terrorism committed in the name of communism, I can't seem to find any.BlackProg (talk) 05:21, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

I know there was anti-clerical action taken in some central American countries but I think most of them were, as you said, commmunist. I know some so-called "radical liberals" instituted anti-Church measures in Porfirio Diaz's Mexico but I don't know if it was violent or necessarily atheist. ClothCoat (talk) 05:30, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
There are plenty non-religious terrorist groups around, some of them openly rejecting religious thought. But they usually group together under the banner of nationalism, socialism/communism, anarchism or environmentalism. I guess they don't find atheism alone sufficiently motivating as a cause. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 10:17, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Terrorist in favor specifically of atheism? No, of course not. There's no point. Atheism just doesn't make strong claims about how things should be. Terrorism is a thing that comes from strong motivations. Terrorists who are' atheists? Almost certainly. Nothing keeps us from having strong motivations about other things. Eliot Rodger, for example, was an agnostic. Ikanreed (talk) 15:23, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
I just find it so interesting that apparently the SWAT police across the nation were practicing drills and one was "Atheist terrorist group takes over Church or something". I'm just like "this wouldn't happen".BlackProg (talk) 17:44, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
care to place a hypothesis to be tested? Ikanreed (talk) 18:42, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Atheist terror group?? What is the likelihood that a group of people united only by the lack of a single supernatural belief could ever become sufficiently organised to form to form such a group? It's pure fantasy.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 11:48, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Attack of the lunatics

I must say that we seem to be getting more than our usual share of lunatics posting here at the moment. Or perhaps just one who is legion.

While I was a little irritated at first I am now really starting to appreciate the comedic value of some of this nonsense.--Weirdstuff (talk) 15:24, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm sorry I post so much. Ikanreed (talk) 15:35, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
It's kind of fun but talking to a nut is like talking to cleverbot. The crazier and less turing capible they are the easier it is to point out their ideas are nuttier than squirrel poop...but the less likely it is for them to realize it. Then it is down the rabbit hole or they run away giving very little satisfaction. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:37, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Yea, but I'm off sick at the moment so it's giving me some mild entertainment between coughs.--Weirdstuff (talk) 15:38, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Ugh, that sucks. Hope you feel better soon. I can say it is fun to do when at home feeling like crap and on cold medicine. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:50, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. :-)--Weirdstuff (talk) 15:54, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

The problem with the latest round of cranks is that none of their nonsense is fresh. I'm an admitted crackpot junkie, and my tolerance has gotten too high. I need the pharmacy grade pure uncut crazy. --Inquisitor (talk) 19:51, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm really not enjoying the constant NWO/illuminati WAKE UP posts. I'm sure they must all be coming to us from somewhere (e.g. RW being mentioned on a crank forum recently or something) but I haven't been able to figure it out. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 19:00, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
We were mentioned on Free Republic AND The American Thinker fairly recently so I'm assuming that's it. ClothCoat (talk) 20:40, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Have the levels really been that different. Can we get a decent p value for any objective definition of "lunatic"? Are these people drawn to rationalwiki because we're so in their face about disagreeing with them, or because they perceive our skeptical attitude as secretly aligning with their craziness of choice? Honestly, I get more questions than concerns when it comes to this sort of thing. I don't actually understand them. Ikanreed (talk) 20:52, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Its my birthday

GIVE ME MONEEEEEY — Unsigned, by: N7.Geth / talk / contribs

Merry birthday. Nullahnung (talk) 21:00, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I've just developed a new cryptocurrency called ikankurrency. I'm delivering the entire market of it to you. It's embedded in this hash "aGFwcHkgYmlydGhkYXk=". Don't spend it all in one place. Ikanreed (talk) 21:03, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Congratulations. You are now one year closer to your inevitable demise.
Sorry, just not feeling it today. --Castaigne (talk) 23:02, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
С днем рождения брэндэн (talk) 23:15, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Beatam diem natalem annumque completum tibi spero. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 04:35, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Name the fallacy

Assuming that this is some sort of formal/informal fallacy. A snarky climate denier has linked this list of things caused by global warming. Obviously the intent is to say 'look at those stupid liberals, they blame EVERYTHING on global warming!'
For starters, while there are many silly items in this list, there are also many real and non-trivial items.
Furthermore, even assuming some people blame really stupid things on global warming, that doesn't undermine the data and science behind it.
Is there a name for this dishonest tactic? Apokalyps2547 (talk) 13:53, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Rnun of the mill non sequitur. Assuming you're correct in your characterization, the author's intention is to present the pro-science arguments as paper tigers. To the extent pro-science supporters do not hold these positions or they're misrepresented, they're simple straw men. Nutty Roux (talk) 14:13, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I feel like it's a gish gallop of red herrings. Ikanreed (talk) 14:22, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
You're not even close and I see a lot of this kind of facile misuse of terms like this from you a lot.
Run of the mill non sequitur. Assuming you're correct in your characterization, the author's intention is to present the pro-science arguments as paper tigers. To the extent pro-science supporters do not hold these positions or they're misrepresented, they're simple straw men. Nutty Roux (talk) 14:13, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Run of the mill non sequitur. Assuming you're correct in your characterization, the author's intention is to present the pro-science arguments as paper tigers. To the extent pro-science supporters do not hold these positions or they're misrepresented, they're simple straw men. Nutty Roux (talk) 14:13, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I feel like it's a gish gallop of red herrings. Ikanreed (talk) 14:22, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Ok saw the list. Many items are arguments that have been raised, although I'm not sure how often or if they're raised by scientists vs. as extrapolations, which themselves may actually be appeals to adverse consequences. The author's list (This site is devoted to the monitoring of the misleading numbers that rain down on us via the media), being so long, is overwhelming. Although he doesn't bother to make any actual argument beyond this " misleading numbers" claim, it's akin to a Gish Gallop in the sense that it would be pointless to attempt to respond to such a large number of vague claims. Claiming that these arguments are false and then listing them as if pro-supporters advance such a huge number of bogus claims, the list is also implicitly an appeal to ridicule. These are all instances of non sequiturs.
I'd like to point out that I see the term "logical fallacy" get used incorrectly more and more, although I do recognize that it's become a colloquialism for "something's fishy here". Some may be informal logical fallacies; some are special or specific cases of actual logical fallacies. I don't get the impression that people who like referring to logical fallacies as a way to dismiss arguments rather an engage them or explain why they're difficult or unworthy of a response know what they're talking about. I sometimes see crummy ddbaters, like I've seen among some of our recent influx of editors, talking into an eho chamber and reinforcing their biases as they pile on. Things like The Gish Gallop are not logical fallacies at all. They're tendentious and uncharitable rhetorical strategies, which I think this list is best characterized as. Nutty Roux (talk) 14:32, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I gave an informal impression of what was wrong and you unleash a bunch of bullshit on me about how I'm contributing to the demise of the logical fallacy. I'd rather you didn't. Ikanreed (talk) 14:44, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
At this point I believe your username is unironic. As to me alone, I've now seen you struggle with the truth and reading comprehension. There's no bullshit in my brief comment about you - just what did I "unleash" and where did I say anything about you contributing to the demise of the logical fallacy? Your problem seems to be the you don't know what these informal fallacies are that you casually refer to. I'll be happy to dissect one of your exchanges this weekend if you wish. Nutty Roux (talk) 18:02, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
A. My username has always been ironic. I mean come on. What other interpretation is there?
B. Don't pretend it's not about me when you said, verbatim "You're not even close and I see a lot of this kind of facile misuse of terms like this from you a lot. ". I had a pretty damned good reason to say exactly what I did.
C. I know exactly what these damned terms mean, and exactly why I chose them. The page is just a big long list of distractions from meaningful argument. My impression, that I described as an impression was totally fucking reasonable.
You're a real piece of shit, you know that? Smug, and condescending, and over the pettiest goddamn thing. I was pretty content with MarmotHead's "not aligned in desire for precision" interpretation below, up until this "How dare you accuse me of exactly what I did"... thing. Ikanreed (talk) 18:19, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
You two just weren't aligned in your desire for precision. I agree with Nutty that terms like "fallacy" are overused. It's a compelling word that sounds definitive, but isn't it better applied to the kinds of mistakes that can be well described using 'P', 'Q', '->' and so on? The Gish Gallop is just "P & Q & R & S & ... & I win because you didn't have time to address my alphabet soup." It's bullshit (to be imprecise), but not fallacious.
OTOH, it was fun imagining a bunch of sunburned fish galloping like Duane into the sunset. MarmotHead (talk) 17:03, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
One possible symptom of groupthink: my attempt to smooth over differences ... MarmotHead (talk) 17:08, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Ironically, about half these links must be to that bastion of scientific integrity the Torygraph. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 17:15, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Why the world is moving towards religious fanaticism?

Why is this? Why people are attracted to religion? --LobPo (talk) 14:26, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

You're right - the US should invade right now! Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 14:38, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Considering that some U.S. states still have (unconstitutional) laws barring atheists from holding public office, I have to agree: Send the Marines to Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas! Oh, and Scotland too, apparently, since it's specifically mentioned in the Indie article. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:26, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much about Scotland: with its sectarian history, having a CoS and an RC representative on education boards makes sense to me. Neither will have an interest in promoting extremism.
Interesting that the Indie dug out a picture from something that happened five years ago to head its article. ProblemChimp (talk)
Well, I think we all need to understand that religion is generally more of a tool used to put people in line when it is mixed with government rather than a show of honest belief. It is a tool of oppression and deny belief in the state sponsored faith is to really take a lot of power away from the state. That is one thing I really hate arguing with other Atheists on, especially when it comes to the Middle East, so many of them are so quick to say" "Islam is the problem in the M.E" and I'm like "Really? It isn't the massive poverty, inequality, strict gender norms, authoritarianism, vestiges of European colonialism and imperialism, ethnic and tribal tensions or the amount of foreign aid given to "secular" dictators"?
Sorry, went on a bit of a tangent lol. TLDR: Religion is being used a political weapon in many of these places, as long as there is authoritarianism and a need to rule others, religion will provide a handy tool of doing so. -BlackProg (talk) 15:33, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
massive poverty, inequality, strict gender norms, authoritarianism, vestiges of European colonialism and imperialism, ethnic and tribal tensions or the amount of foreign aid given to "secular" dictators
You can say that again. Sadly, religion, like a lot of other cultural features of questionable utility, is organically entwined in societies all over the world. Untangling all that will not be a simple matter, nor swiftly done. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 16:06, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Simply put, LobPo, it's because of futureshock. --Castaigne (talk) 22:16, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Looking at LobPo's original post there are really two quite distinct questions. You can have fanaticism without religion and vice versa. Now, I don't particularly like either but they don't actually have to be linked.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 16:37, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

That's a good point, people can be fanatics about anything...and not everyone who is religious is a fanatic. That kind of overgeneralization is not very honest. It also demonizes people with religion while trying to speak against being demonized.
There are fanatics that wish everyone believes like them. I think it is because their believe is so flimsy, and with such crazy ass shit (like Bryan Fischer), that pointing out the problems with their beliefs causes painful cognitive dissonance. Better to have everyone think the same so you can turn off your brain. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:01, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Cat of the Endtimes here : there should be MOAR fanatics worshipping ME ! catnip, cream and toy mice are acceptable offerings. I offer less rending during the FINAL BATTLE ! Terror Trinka (talk) 17:26, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Arnold J. Toynbee says a Universal Church (see his definition) is the result of a breakdown of civilization, each group getting what it wants: the dominant minority a Universal State to preserve its position, the internal proletariat a Universal Church to preserve its norms and values, and the external proletariat a bevy of barbarian warbands to bring about revolution or jihad. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 21:08, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

In point of fact I think the premise of the initial question is even more wrong. I don't think "the world" is becoming more religious - or more fanatically religious. Even the states is becoming more secular according to the polls I read. Typically the better educated people are, the less religious they are (I understand there are exceptions.) The consequence is that the bits that remain in the dark ages show up even more clearly.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 21:21, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Has the propaganda reached your town yet?

My local catholic church has been trying to raise awareness for a "free" (at the cost of your brain cells) movie veiwing at the local theatre. I dont have a problem with it, except for the fact that they keep getting students to put up flyers around my (public) school. The movie in question? "God's not Dead." Needless to say the name kept me away from it. But I found out that towns other than mine had this movie showing too. So it made me wonder if this was organized by a religous orginazation around my local area, or just a weird coincendence that all these local churches had the same idea for the same movie?— Unsigned, by: ‎LAN Megalodon / talk / contribs

God's not dead probably just hit some point where it's availalbe for non-ticketed mass showings, like being out on DVD or something. It's an awful movie who's central purpose isn't establishing theological validity, but instead fueling persecution complexes. It shouldn't be condemned for having a stupid religious message, but instead for the viscous and hostile stereotypes it throws out. Ikanreed (talk) 18:40, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Honestly it was a bit entertainingly bad, sort of like Troll 2. It's basically Atheist Professor: The Movie, so naturally it has one of the worst straw men atheists I've ever seen in my life. Samstr (talk) 00:01, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I have not seen it (not worth my money), but I heard both Christian and atheist friends talk about it a lot when it first came out. I am surprised it had not gotten to everyone by now-extremely popular because it is a rich source of confirmation bias for Christian fundamentalists-it supports so many of their unquestioned stereotypes plus an urban legend. There were a lot of reviews and commentaries I ended up reading on it-if you are going to read any I recommend the AV club, very mocking.
Worth mentioning, The God's Not Dead thing gets worse. They plan on making a sequel. Unfortunately, it will not be named, "God's Not Dead Undead: Zombie Jesus.Arachne1988 (talk) 01:03, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
So who can give the best sequel title? "God's still not dead." "God's not dead yet." "God rides again." --Weirdstuff (talk) 11:35, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
How about a prequel? "God - Before Creation!". (It could be uneventful and rather long.) ProblemChimp (talk) 16:45, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Prequel? I an think of an exciting one. "Young God!" - the story of how a young super-being became involved in homosexuality, premarital sex, shrimp and making clothes from wool and linen woven together. How he then turned from all that and created a people who would be forbidden from doing any of those things(or anything else mildly enjoyable really). That could be quite exciting - though the weaving might need some spicing up.--Weirdstuff (talk) 16:55, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure how one would get involved in all of that, but it sounds like a weird German porno... -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:58, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Speaking of Germans, the most important question I have about this movie is whether the "God is dead" statement was ever explained the way Nietzsche explained it, or was it just left as a dangling phrase, left to be interpreted as the fundamentalist audience wants to interpret it. Ikanreed (talk) 17:03, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Of course it wasn't explained. The bully atheist teacher just demands that all his students sign a declaration that "God is dead" in order to get a passing grade. I don't think Nietzsche or Thus Spoke Zarathustra are even mentioned in passing. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 17:17, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
It is rather odd, it seems like a more atheistic standpoint would be "God never existed in the first place." I guess they never thought of that. Of course it isn't like there's anything about atheism that this movie accurately portrays. How the fuck did that professor pass any classes in philosophy? Isn't debating over things like God the entire point of a philosophy class? Samstr (talk) 19:52, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
To be fair the movies tactic of propping up a straw man of what others believe, projecting their issues onto it, and arguing to that would result in an F in a 101 class. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:37, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
If we ever had a rationalwiki protest(about what, I dunno), I've now made up my mind that I'd burn a straw-man argument in effigy. Ikanreed (talk) 20:47, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I just wish people would stop using it. I get so tired of people accusing others of things they have never said, and don't believe, because that is what the caricature in their mind believes. In my experiance all it does nothing but make the person who does it look like an asshole or a liar. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:56, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Many evangelicals do not understand what atheists actually believe. Too many of them can't imagine that other people can hear about Christianity and totally dismiss it. To them it seems like you can't cease believing in god so surely if you claim that you do then you must be really hurt and are mad at god. In conversations with friends in RL, many of us have been told by Christian family that being an atheist is "just a phase." Such short-sided views can't see that they actually have created a straw man argument-the straw man looks legitimate. Arachne1988 (talk) 00:18, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
That's the thing that seems funny to me about all of the chick tracts. Does Jack Chick believe that there are any Americans in the modern world who haven't heard the story of Jesus' life and the Crucifixion and all that? Samstr (talk) 20:07, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think he sincerely does. I grew up around independent fundamentalist baptists and they always made it sound like Christians were very rare. They describe the world so it sounds like hardly anyone has actually heard about Christianity outside the church, its missionary activities and affiliated groups. Christianity was defined rather narrowly, of course. There were a lot of very egocentric interpretations of what people outside their group believe and why they do. Their exposure to what other groups actually think is extremely limited. Arachne1988 (talk) 20:29, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
We all know that people who don't follow my particular sect aren't True Christians™, so it's necessary to preach The Truth™ to show them how they've been deceived by Satan. --Ymir (talk) 20:36, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Superiority of masculine characteristics

People say stuff like "Real men don't abuse women. If you don't understand and strive to apply self-control, you can't claim masculinity. Self-control isn't a specifically masculine trait, but it is a component for any claim to masculinity. Having a penis is no more a feat than being born a certain skin color or in a certain location, and is thus not a measure of value or character in itself."

So basically, the subtext is, masculinity is superior to the alternative; therefore, you should strive to have those qualities that together comprise masculinity. What are the alternatives, though?

Femininity? So then, the qualities that come more naturally to most men are better than the qualities that come more naturally to most women?

Gender-neutrality? So then, the gender-neutral are inferior to the masculine?

Stereotypically gender-appropriate characteristics? So then, effeminate men are inferior to masculine men?

Or is this referring to a specific kind of masculinity, namely adult masculinity? This implies that either (1) a man is superior to a boy in general, or (2) those who have the body of a man should also have the mentality and behavior characteristic of men.

So it ultimately boils down to either a sexist, cisgenderist, or ageist theory, or an exhortation for age-appropriate behavior.

Why not just cut to the chase and say "good people don't abuse women"? That too, though, oversimplifies things, because goodness and badness of a person are not binary; they're more of a spectrum. So one could just say "it's bad to abuse women" or "it makes you a better person if you don't abuse women" and leave it at that. Landmartian (talk) 04:17, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

If anybody dared say anything like "If you don't understand and strive to apply modesty, you can't claim femininity. Modesty isn't a specifically feminine trait, but it is a component for any claim to femininity," I'd wager there'd be hell to pay. And of course there would be: it's an obnoxiously officious and judgmental thing to say. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 05:42, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
Who are these people who say these things? Any examples? WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:34, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
People who are selling something? If someone says, for example, "real men eat steak," you can guess what that person is selling.
There are people who think themselves as big masculine men, and pointing out that punching a smaller person who is not likely to fight back can bruise their ego. Which seems like an appropriate use of shame for people who like to think of themselves as big tough guys. The rest seems a bit off by generalizing to "people" based on zero people actually saying anything about that...and asking a bunch of questions based on statements no one made. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 13:55, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
It's not appropriate, as it deprives them of the basic right of self-defense. --Someon (talk) 19:04, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I think you'll find that this is a saying, not some kind of law. It's not appropriate, but that's not the reason. Ikanreed (talk) 19:12, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
It's a PR oriented phrase designed to appeal to people who have obsessive ideas of masculinity, and to appeal to the insecurities that implies. It's sexist as all hell from a number of different perspectives, but the people it's aimed at are also sexist. There are a number of phrases of this sort that target bigots through their bigotry. I can't speak to whether any of them actually succeed. Ikanreed (talk) 14:17, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Need to add Creative Commons 4.0 support

Minor thing here, but rationalwiki's license list for uploaded content isn't up to date. We only support 3.0, but content is being published under 4.0. I'm pretty sure sysop status isn't sufficient to do that. Ikanreed (talk) 15:39, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Licenses once we have the pile of templates - David Gerard (talk) 17:07, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
3.0 isn't obsolete simply because they released a new version. 3.0 and 4.0 appear to be compatible anyhow. Btw 3.0 applies to all content unless stated otherwise. Users may specify any license, whether they're the grantor or grantee, they wish for uploaded content. Nutty Roux (talk) 17:49, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but it helps to document the right thing, right? If it was released under 4.0, we should show 4.0. Ikanreed (talk) 17:53, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
It's not actually wrong. The laundry list strikes me as excessive already, but these are all actual use cases. Forest of templates to reference first though. - David Gerard (talk) 18:57, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Btw, that 4.0-licensed image you uploaded gives me a thumbnail error. Is there a problem with the image or is my browser just outdated? 141.134.75.236 (talk) 21:46, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
I dunno. I don't have any trouble. Hard to make a diagnosis. Try refreshing bypassing cache? It's just image/png, which isn't going to be a browser specific thing. Ikanreed (talk) 21:52, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Ah, yup. I hard-refreshed and now it's working. 141.134.75.236 (talk) 22:19, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Hard-refreshed? Does that mean you threw out your computer and bought a new one? --93.71.73.187 (talk) 17:30, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Nah, I'm too poor for that. ;) 141.134.75.236 (talk) 17:34, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

[edit] Merry Christmas

So I'm probably going to be offline for the rest of the holidays, so I'm saying merry Christmas in advance. Go forth and get wasted on eggnog. Necromancer 16:49, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Better, Merry Xmas or Happy Holidays; those expressions really piss some people off. Anywayz, same to you :-) ProblemChimp (talk) 23:43, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Felicitous Festivus! Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:45, 20 December 2014 (UTC) (for the rest of us)

[edit] Mencius Moldbug

What do you all think of Moldbug and his writings and especially his hypotheses for American progressivism?74.14.72.118 (talk) 20:23, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

Never heard of him or of it. Links? Scream!! (talk) 21:05, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Founder of the Neoreactionary movement apparently, so at a rough guess he's probably a gigantic prick. SophieWilderModerator 21:11, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
"His political treatises are heavily informed by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and George Lucas. What set Yarvin apart from the typical keyboard kook was his archaic, grandiose tone, which echoed the snippets Yarvin cherry-picked from obscure old reactionary tracts."[1] Hmm, not keen so far. SophieWilderModerator 21:16, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh! Couldn't be arsed to google him if the BoN couldn't give us a link or two. Scream!! (talk) 21:18, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
His prose can be entertaining in small doses, but it doesn't come packaged that way. I still don't get how he imagines how he could build his Ruritanian political system while still having stuff like the tech industry and the internet. - Smerdis of Tlön, for the defense. 21:20, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
The invisible hand of the free market will solve that, presumably. SophieWilderModerator 21:25, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

This is a good link to his writing and an introduction to neoreaction. 74.14.72.118 (talk) 21:41, 20 December 2014 (UTC)

First reaction... --Inquisitor (talk) 22:22, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
A lot of waffle about red pills and Orwell and our government isn't a bunch of Nazis but bear with me and I'll explain. or something. SophieWilderModerator 22:36, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
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