Information icon.svg Results for the 2023 RationalWiki Moderator Election have now been posted. Thank you for participating in this election, and congratulations to the winners!

Debate:Is the government a religion?

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Debate.png This is a Debate page.
Feel free to add your own spin on the story. Please keep it civil!
Information icon.svg This debate was created by LogicMaster777.


Is the government a religion? I think it is. Tell me why I'm wrong or right.— Unsigned, by: LogicMaster777 / talk / contribs

No. A religion worships the supernatural. Power is not supernatural. To obey the government is not to worship the supernatural. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 20:09, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Is believing that imaginary, unseen, unproven, or unprovable "entities" do in fact exist, based on blind faith rather than evidence a "supernatural" belief? Is attributing phenomena which is observed in the physical universe to the doings of imaginary entities a "supernatural" belief?LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:26, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Marriage is an unseen entity, too, isn't it? So would be a corporation, too then. Government is a human institution designed to keep the murderers and thieves in check; elsewise they'd have the run of the planet (as we plainly see in this lawless institution called the Islamic State). nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 21:53, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Marriage is indeed an abstraction. When a marriage "breaks up" there is no actual physical object referred to by the word "marriage" which has broken up. You can't weigh a marriage on a scale. Same with corporations. Corporations are actually part of the government religion themselves. The "invisible higher power" called "Wal Mart" is just an idea. When Wal Mart appears as a plaintiff or defendant in court, that is a type of reification. That is why corporations can only be "represented" in court by a lawyer(person educated in legislative scripture who has taken a religious oath to the constitution). Wal Mart as an "entity" cannot itself write up a legal brief because it's imaginary. A human has to do it.LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:12, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
"Government is a human institution designed to keep the murderers and thieves in check; elsewise they'd have the run of the planet (as we plainly see in this lawless institution called the Islamic State)." Isn't the Islamic State a government? Aren't religious laws (like the laws of Abraham and Moses, 10 commandments, sharia law, etc) "designed to keep murderers and thieves in check"? In what way does the intended "keeping" "in check" of "murderers" of government laws distinguish them from religious laws?LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:21, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
So there's good governments and there's bad governments. The government of Saddam Hussein, for example, had a chief murderer in charge who ruled by terror. He doled out murder to who ever challenged his sovereignty to decide who gets murdered where and when. Once he was gone, all the wannabe murderers crawled out of the woodwork in an effort to play king-of-the-hill and murder their way to the top. It's still being played out. Stalin. Mao, Castro, Idi Amin, Mugabe, they all did the same. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 00:10, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Almost all religions are considered "good" by their believers.LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:21, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Toynbee's theory in the breakdown of civilizations is that the dominant minority seeks to preserve its power and influence by creating a universal state, and their class antagonists the internal proletariat (who resent governmental dominance) seek to preserve its position, values and customs (I'm paraphasing) by creating a universal church. So they are two different things in origin. Then again, what exactly do you mean by religion? nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 02:53, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
By religion, I mean to describe a belief system. I guess it would be more precise to say government is a RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION than a religion per se. All religious organizations are based on a religious belief system. So is the government. It has a core belief system which is based on blind faith in dogma, belief in an abstract "invisible higher power" or an imaginary entity called "the state" which is "reified"(believed in as "real") among other imagined entities and magical thinking. This is what I mean by the "government religion".LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:01, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
God I love this concept of reification - its the creative germ of all entrepreneurship. Thanks. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 03:22, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
What reification process did the lady who sells fruit on the sidewalk use? What imaginary unseen entity did she have to believe in to run a fruit stand?LogicMaster777 (talk) 16:41, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Hey "a computer program" sent this message for you. It's not a real think, it's an abstractions, therefor you made no post. Core point here: you're an idiot. Your core philosophical concepts you're arguing from are idiotic, and reflect a beyond-autistic need for excessive categorical strictness that makes no sense. Let's list some other things that are abstract and therefor not real or meaningful: beliefs, words, friendship, plans, wealth, contracts, science, philosophy, sanity, memory, health, mathematics, and, of course, Theseus' ship. If you want concrete proof of the relevance of the notion of "the state". All you have to do is completely arbitrarily violate one of "the states" completely abstract "laws" and see the physical consequences of the states' existence. No individual person will necessarily be involved at all. That's a a trivial hypothesis test. Ikanreed (talk) 16:55, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
So the proof of the validity of your belief in the State's existence is a fallacious appeal to violent consequences? If Isis beheaded you for being a christian, have they also proven the truth of their belief system? They think so. Simply threatening a violent consequence is not a logical argument. Believe x or [insert violent consequence] or x is true because [insert threat of violent consequence]. Okay, to use your other abstract concepts. Can "plans" sue you in court? Can "friendship" write legislation? Can "mathematics" arrest you and lock you in jail? Can "Theseus' ship" execute a prisoner? What is so special about the state as an abstract idea that it can perform these physical feats acting on the physical universe yet these other abstract ideas can't? Sorry if you feel I am insulting your sacredly held beliefs but threatening violent consequences and insulting someone doesn't actually make for a rational argument.
I can understand why you feel the need to lash out. LogicMaster777 (talk) 17:17, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Appeal to Consequences requires that the person make a value judgement about the consequences not just state they exist. This is simple modes ponens. If the government takes actions that do not require the involvement of any one person, then the government exists separately from the people who comprise it. The government takes actions that do not require the involvement of any one person. Therefore, the government exists separately from the people who comprise it. So, while ISIS's executions are not proof of their brand of Islam, they are a quite solid proof of ISIS's existence.--TiaC (talk) 18:33, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
From Wikipedia: Appeal to consequences, also known as argumentum ad consequentiam (Latin for "argument to the consequences"), is an argument that concludes a hypothesis (typically a belief) to be either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences.
He's trying to prove the hypothesis that the state exists by stating a consequence. The consequence implied, as I interpret it(although it's not explicit) is that some sort of "enforcement" action would be taken if a "rule" is "broken". The state is "real" because someone will do something violent or punish you or is able to punish you in essence.

Believe x or [punishment/violence]. He doesn't make it explicit in his argument that there is a value judgment of whether the "consequences" are good or bad but I think most would interpret the "consequences" of breaking the "rules" would imply punishment which also implies they are "bad consequences".LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:01, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

@TiaC: Can you give a concrete example of an action that has been taken by the "government" which did not involve a person?LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:10, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
You really are dense. Argumentum ad consequentiam goes "If X were true, Y would happen. Y is bad. Therefore X is false." this is completely different from Ikanreed's argument of "If Y happened, X would be true. Y happens. Therefore X is true." I never said "did not involve a person" I said "any one person". It's obvious that the cop who arrests you is not just individually deciding to do so because the same action would be taken by any other cop.--TiaC (talk) 19:14, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry if you feel I am undermining your sacred cows but insulting someone is not a rebuttal. You are cherry picking one type of appeal to consequence and saying since it doesn't follow this one specific formula it's not an appeal to consequence. The hypothesis presented is that the state "exists". He says "evidence of the states existence" is this threat of punishment.
"Appeal to Force
An appeal to force is an attempt to persuade using threats. Its Latin name, “argumentum ad baculum”, literally means “argument with a cudgel”. Disbelief, such arguments go, will be met with sanctions, perhaps physical abuse; therefore, you’d better believe.
Appeals to force are thus a particularly cynical type of appeal to consequences, where the unpleasant consequences of disbelief are deliberately inflicted by the arguer."
Of course, the mere fact that disbelief will be met with sanctions is only a pragmatic justification of belief; it is not evidence that the resultant belief will be true. Appeals to force are therefore fallacious."LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:35, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The problem being he isn't threatening you in order to convince you, he's pointing out the state's ability to enforce its laws is the evidence that it exists. If you believe that is threatening you directly, you're deranged as well as stupid. King Skeleton (talk) 19:37, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Now you are back to reification. How does the "state" enforce laws? When you say the state does this, what is the actual physical referent? Are you saying PEOPLE enforce laws? Then why do you have to ascribe the actions of flesh and blood humans to this abstract entity called the "state"? What if I said the proof that Allah exists is that Isis will punish/hurt/kill those who break sharia law? Would you accept this proof as logically sound? Why or why not?LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:03, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The term "state" describes a collection of concepts, people and things. Since all of those people, concepts and things exist, the state, as a sum of the parts, exists too. Unless you believe "Allah" is a term which describes the sum of ISIS and their actions, the two are not alike. Your argument is not equivalent to saying that ISIS' real actions prove that Allah exists, but that ISIS itself does not exist because its actions are taken by individuals, not by an abstract directly measurable entity called ISIS. King Skeleton (talk) 20:12, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
What naturalistic principle do you use to determine that this collection of things all have the quality of being "state"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 14:10, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
What are the "things" that exist as parts of the whole state? If you are saying that by "State" we are referring to an actual physical corporeal object, or collection of objects, then if I have a bucket of "state" what is in the bucket?LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:24, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
This is your idea of a genius counterpoint, isn't it? I quite specifically said the state contains concepts as well as physical things. What's in a box of language or a drum of ethnicity? How much logic can I put in the back seat of an average family car? Are you saying these things don't exist either? How about your irrational belief that these arbitrary squiggles on the page somehow correspond to spoken words, how do you justify that? King Skeleton (talk) 20:30, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
If it contains physical things what physical things specifically?LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:57, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
You seem to be construing my argument in such a way as if to imply that I am arguing that all abstract thought is a fallacy. The specific fallacy I mean by reification is describing abstract ideas acting in the physical universe as if the ideas were actual corporeal entities with weight and mass. If I said language itself demands you pay a tax, and it will be enforced, and this is the proof that language is a physical entity with weight and mass, and language has the intention that the proceeds from this tax will be used to buy lots of of logic and ethnicity for poor kids, would you accept that as a rational statement? If there is a fallacy there, what is it?LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:57, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Again, you loop back to a point that's already been refuted, and again show you have no idea how a comparison is supposed to function.
Nobody is saying that the state being able to extract taxes prove it has weight and mass except you. We are saying this proves it exists. Electromagnetism has no weight or mass and yet holds entire planets together. Nuclear fusion does not have weight or mass and we are all alive because of it.
So then are you trying to imply the state is some sort of invisible physical force like magnetism?LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:39, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
No. King Skeleton (talk) 01:45, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
When Humans "extract taxes" from other humans by threatening them with punishment(like jail), how do you prove those humans are "state"? What naturalistic principle actually demonstrates their quality of "state"-ness? The scripture says so? Magical thinking? Wishful thinking? Are those the naturalistic principles upon which your identification of these humans as "state" is based?LogicMaster777 (talk) 14:06, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Fusion refers to a process where particles (matter with weight and mass) undergoes a nuclear reaction. Electromagnetism is a reaction between physical objects with weight and mass. The magnet has weight and mass and the field is part of its properties.

These are phenomena of the physical universe. LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:29, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

And yet they do not themselves have mass or weight, and are only implied to exist by their consequences. Oh shit, that's one of those appeals to consequences! Fusion and electromagnetism must be make believe!
Also electromagnetism doesn't just come from magnets, you fucking dolt, it's the fundamental force that's responsible for the existence of solid matter. King Skeleton (talk) 01:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Electromagnetism is a physical property of matter. All matter will have weight and mass even an electron or quark etc. Are you saying the state is an invisible energy field?LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:50, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Electromagnetism does not have weight or mass, but it exists. You are trying admirably to evade the conclusion that is staring you in the face: something that exists does not have to have mass or weight. Thought does not have mass or weight either, and you are doing a much better job of disproving the existence of that than you are of disproving the existence of the state. King Skeleton (talk) 01:54, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Does the state have weight and mass? Or is it one of those things like electromagnetism that is a real component of the physical universe but has no weight and mass?LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:17, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
You don't know if the state has weight and mass? LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:24, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
...You're...not very bright, are you? King Skeleton (talk) 02:27, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
The fact that language and ethnicity do not function exactly like the state does not defeat the point that real things do not have to have a concrete existence. And you keep avoiding the point that LOGIC IS NOT A CONCRETE THING EITHER. King Skeleton (talk) 21:12, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
How does that support your point? Are you saying that the state is somehow outside of the bounds of logical comprehension? That we should believe in it whether there is evidence/logic to support it or not? LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:29, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
No, but I'm beginning to suspect the state (along with a great many other things) is beyond the bounds of your personal comprehension. King Skeleton (talk) 01:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
In order to refute my point, you have stated the "state" contains physical items. Yet when I ask you to tell me what they are you don't. Why should I take your word for it that these items alluded to our out there and comprise a "state"? You won't say even what they specifically are or how you know they exist or how you know that they are "state". I cannot prove the non-existence of a thing. I can only logically prove that which is based on facts. The facts are that I have repeatedly asked for concrete evidence of a concrete physical entity that does these "deeds" ascribed to the "state" when someone does something violent and someone says, "Oh, the state did that." Since statists have never been able to meet such an evidential burden, proving the corporeal existence of a state, I draw the reasonable inference that they base the belief in this unseen entity on faith rather than evidence.LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:29, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Then please, prove logic exists. Using logic to do so will count as a circular argument, obviously. King Skeleton (talk) 21:31, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is like physics envy, but for awful political beliefs. You've got this obsession with physicality, and people have told you that's irrelevant. I have a proposition: If you cite physicality in your next post, you're banned for a half hour. That's a totally abstract promise, using an abstract concept "banning". You can see how real it is. Ikanreed (talk) 21:36, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

But but but consequences don't prove something is real, Ikanreed! Don't you realise LogicMaster has completely refuted the experimental model of science by linking to a fallacy article on wikipedia? King Skeleton (talk) 21:44, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The experimental model of science is based on claiming something is supported by evidence, and then when asked for evidence, just challenge the person asking for the evidence to prove something really hard to prove, then it becomes irrelevant that you still haven't provided evidence and that your faith-based claim has no evidence? Person A: Bigfoot is real. Person B: Prove bigfoot is real. Person A: Prove blackholes are real. Person C: If you talk about the "realness" of bigfoot one more time[insert consequence]. Whether bigfoot is "real" is irrelevant to the issue of whether belief in bigfoot is based on faith or whether it has evidence and science to support it. Person B: Don't you realize person A has just refuted science? Therefore, Bigfoot is real and based on evidence, not just faith.LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:58, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The experimental method is based on the idea that if the hypothesis is true, the consequences of its truth will be revealed by an experiment designed to falsify it. For example, if electromagnetism does not exist it should be possible to put your fist though a steel bar; it is not (feel free to test this as many times as you like, though) and therefore we take this as evidence of the truth of the original hypothesis, even though we have not directly observed electromagnetism as some independent concrete thing. Similarly, if the state exists, it should enforce the law (since the law is a component of the state), therefore if the law is enforced this serves as proof the state exists.
We'll add science to the ever-extending list of things you don't understand. King Skeleton (talk) 00:06, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay, and how would your experiment FALSIFY the state exactly? If one breaks a law and gets away with it, then they have proven that the state does not exist? In what outcome of this controlled scientific experiment would the hypothesis of the state be falsified exactly?LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:19, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
If one breaks the law and the law is not enforced, that experiment will indeed cast doubt on the original hypothesis. You would then be called on to repeat it to ensure it is not a fluke. You seriously don't understand the scientific method, do you?
There are of course plenty of additional experiments one could perform. For the basic definition of state, you could try setting up your own government and seeing if the existing one stops you in some way, attempt to have someone placed in prison based on a jury you personally convened, or attempt to travel to another country without a passport. Of course, since you should try to isolate the variable you're testing, you would have to ensure you were breaking the law in the most visible and measurable way possible and not attempting to evade any consequences of doing so.
A great many such experiments have been conducted by others. Many of them are now in prison, implying the truth of the premise that the state exists. You would require an exceptional level of proof to show this apparent evidence is just a statistical blip and the state is in fact imaginary. Or you would just have to be a fucking moron. King Skeleton (talk) 00:28, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
How does a person in "Prison" prove the existence of a state? Don't other religions also put people in jail?
So basically, your experiment can cast doubt on the hypothesis but not disprove it? So it's set up so that either two outcomes can happen: 1.The state is proved 2. The state is neither proven nor disproven. So then it cannot falsify the state, right? Are you sure you're not just using a fallacious appeal to force/consequence, and then trying to wrap it up some pretense of science as further evidence to support your confirmation? You still haven't said how your experiment can disprove a state. You just keep repeating it forever until the end of time and if you have broken every law in existence every day till infinity, the state can therefore be disproven? So it's basically you think your experiment will either prove you right or else fail to prove you wrong(in which case you should still be presumed right, although there will be some doubt)? Teach me more of this "science". So in what outcome do you actually falsify the hypothesis?LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:42, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Let the null hypothesis be "the state does not exist." It is easy to find plenty of examples to falsify that, in the form of the experimenters "now in prison" that King Skeleton mentioned. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:55, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
How does a person being in prison prove a corporeal existence of a state? Are you saying the prison is the state? That if you prove a prison exists you prove the state exists because a prison is the state? Can a prison exist outside of a state or only as a state or as part of a state?LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:03, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Nobody ever said the state exists in a solid form except you. The prison system, the court system, the state prosecution service, the police and the law are all separate parts of the apparatus of the state. If breaking the law results in you being put in prison, it implies all of those things exist. Or do you think a policeman just sees you breaking the law and you magically appear in a cell with no intervening steps? King Skeleton (talk) 02:09, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
"The prison system, the court system, the state prosecution service, the police and the law are all separate parts of the apparatus of the state." What naturalistic principle proves this is true? Magical associative thinking?LogicMaster777 (talk) 14:16, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
If a cop puts you in jail, how does that prove the existence of a state? I can see

how it could prove the existence of the person who locked you up and how it can prove the jail exists. Are those things the state or part of the state? Is the jail the state or part of the state? Is a cop?LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:31, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

I just told you that being in jail proves that more than just the cop and the jail exist. A cop can't sentence you to prison, so if you're serving a sentence the police, the law, the court system, the prison system and the state prosecution service must all exist. All of those things are part of the state, and so people in prison serve as indirect proof of the existence of the state.
We'll add "basic reading comprehension" and "the court system" to the list of things you don't understand. And what the od template does. King Skeleton (talk) 02:39, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In addition, no complex mechanism can be falsified by a single experiment which only tests one aspect of it. The law is just an easy one to try: a good way would be to go out and punch a policeman, thus ensuring the crime did not go unseen and you could not evade any consequences of it. How many times do you think you could get away with doing that?
As for the "fallacious appeal to force / consequence," how is that different from the broken hand that shows the existence of electromagnetism? The fallacy is only present in cases where the threat of force is not relevant to the truth of the conclusion. Your argument is effectively "Mike Tyson could not possibly beat me up because it is an appeal to force to claim that Mike Tyson could beat me up." King Skeleton (talk) 00:59, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

"Mike Tyson can beat you up, so therefore my hypothesis is correct." Is an appeal to consequence. Unless your hypothesis is proven this way. Like if your hypothesis is that there is a guy named Mike Tyson and he beats people up. If you are trying to characterize my argument as following the form of ""Mike Tyson could not possibly beat me up because it is an appeal to force to claim that Mike Tyson could beat me up." that is a mischaracterization. My objection to your argument as a type of appeal to consequences would be more like: "Mike Tyson beating me up or threatening to would not prove the hypothesis of the state because it is an appeal to consequence to just use violent consequences as a form of "argument". Unless you are claiming as part of your hypothesis that the "state" is Mike Tyson or that it's a "punch" or a "beating" or a "Fight" or if you can otherwise draw the conclusion from the facts. "Stalin has the right to rule because his goons kill people." would basically be the same form of "argumentation"(appeal to the stick)."You should obey so you can live" is not a fallacious appeal to consequence, but it's a different argument.LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:15, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
You fucking don't understand logic at all. Holy mother of god, you just don't. Appeal to consequences means something more specific than "consequences exist". You're a moron an abject fucking moron. That's an ad hominemem, but see, I'm not interested in entertaining your complete lack of concern for learning from debate. Ikanreed (talk) 15:24, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Wow. "An appeal to consequences means that consequences exist." has no relation to any of my premises. Seriously, are you even trying to understand my actual argument? You just make up some strawman that barely even resembles anything I said and then insult me and think you have refuted something? I expected the statists to start having an emotional meltdown at some point. Is there a way to ban people if it gets too disruptive? I don't want the page to get all cluttered up with this sort of emotional outburst. I would rather have a rational adult debate on the issue.LogicMaster777 (talk) 16:27, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
At this point saying LogicMaster Number 777 is a fucking moron who doesn't understand logic isn't an as hominem at all, it's a sound conclusion based on empirical data. King Skeleton (talk) 21:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
"How many times do you think you could get away with doing that?"
IMO, that is a nice way to work "the plural of anecdote is not data" into the discussion. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:04, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I want to look more at the threat of consequences because it's a great example of statist magical thinking. Notice there is a threat that if one breaks the rules, there are "physical consequences". If you grow the forbidden tree, for example, you are to be cast out of paradise. So lets look at what is implied in such an "argument". Person A does something forbidden by government scripture. Person B who wears the magic jewelry of authority apprehends person A by a show of force or show of "authority" like magic jewelry or wearing a costume which are meant as ornamentation to designate person B as one of the "chosen ones" of the invisible higher power of the "state". Now notice "No individual person will necessarily be involved at all". Person B isn't even doing what he's doing since he is possessed by the invisible entity called the "state", it's just the state "acting through" his body. This is exactly the type of reification I'm talking about. The actions of person B aren't attributed to him, those phenomena are instead ascribed to some other invisible entity. That is where the magical thinking comes in and it is almost without exception used as a rationalization for statist violence.LogicMaster777 (talk) 18:32, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
My THEORY ON WHY STATISTS BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT RELIGION:The state as an idea is whatever helps the statist rationalize the double standard inherent in the moral dilemma that on some level there is the realization that things like murder, theft, and aggression are morally wrong with the conflicting realization that they perceive that the government is necessary to ensure their personal safety with the realization that the government they perceive that they depend on requires murder, theft and aggression on a MASSIVE SCALE. Perhaps they are unable or unwilling to face this contradiction on a conscious level because it threatens their self perception of themselves as the "good guys". They want the benefits they perceive the violent aggression provides them insofar as they perceive it to be in their rational self interest but do not want to see themselves as a party to organized aggression because it threatens their self image. They do not want to consciously think about this moral contradiction so as a rationalization mechanism they use these magical entities to pin the culpability of the aggression or other statist violence on.LogicMaster777 (talk) 18:12, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
That one's called bulverism, genius. Again, you might want to ask one of the 776 LogicMasters who outrank you for some advice. King Skeleton (talk) 19:12, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
What do you think I am trying to prove to be true or false by stating my theory of why I think people are motivated in reifying the "State"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:14, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The entire real world? King Skeleton (talk) 20:18, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
wp:American civil religion.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 20:08, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Government is not itself religion, but it will take and be given, particularly since the era of nationalism, elements commonly defined by their inclusion in religion for it's own purposes, as the link CivicCat posted shows. --Miekal 20:12, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Posting with a fair amount of ignorance—my link being somewhat quick—the question leads to what is religion. Also, while I agree that government isn't a religion per se, it can be the subject of religion, or religious-like reverence.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 20:27, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Civic cat: also what is government? Fuzzy cat: Do you automatically obey any power or anyone you perceive as powerful for only that reason? Or is there another reason you obey government? User:LogicMaster777/sig
The qualities I associate with religion: It is a system of belief. It contains doctrines that are taken on blind faith. It contains beliefs which are supernatural or unproven or unprovable. It contains a system of morals or "right and wrong". Some tendencies of religions that are not really defining characteristics: A system of hierarchy where there is a "priest class" and a sub class who pays/subsidizes the priest class. An us and them dynamic and violence/war, "saints" and "sinners". A scriptural doctrine that is taken on faith. It tends to get handed down over generations. A system of rewards and punishments. A system of laws/rules/principles. I would say these all apply to the government. User:LogicMaster777/sig

I would surmise because the alternatives of living in the wilderness or being in jail are not all that attractive. --Miekal 20:36, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

So, the main reason to obey is threat of jail? User:LogicMaster777/sig
What is your preferred alternative? And as i said, the other alternatve of "living in the wilderness" isnt an appealing idea --Miekal 20:45, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
What is government? Another good question.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 20:47, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Empirically, what sets governments apart from other types of organizations is that governments use threats of violence, force and punishment in order to force people to pay them.
The justification used for the violence is based around the belief in the invisible higher power called "the state". The perceived difference between governments which use threats to force people to pay them and mafias which also do this is that there is a perception that when the government operates this way they are doing so on behalf of an invisible higher power called "the state" which is where the superstitious religious aspects come into it.User:LogicMaster777/sig
and supposedly on behalf of "The People."Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 21:06, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

A government is an entity with a monopoly on legitimate violence. Governments are inherently coercive. But modest coercion is better than no coercion in anarchy or total coercion in jail, so many governments survive. Plus, coercion can be good if it coerces a negative person, like a murderer. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 21:14, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Ah, but is it modest?Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 21:16, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
"Is the government a religion? I think it is." Why do you think it is? If you are making the claim then you have the burden of proof.--Weirdstuff (talk) 21:21, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
FuzzyCat, when you say "legitimate" in your definitional statement you are using a value statement. That is like saying the definition of Government is "Good" violence, it is a subjective value statement, not an empirical observation. Empirically, government is a group of men and women forcing others to pay them. User:LogicMaster777/sig
"Legitimate" is not a value statement. "Legitimate" means only that certain actions are sanctioned by the government. For example, the suppression of protests by Chinese officials is legitimate violence, while the evasion of paying taxes by Al Capone is illegitimate violence. Please don't read into my words what is not there.
Futher, my argument that "coercion may be preferable" is unattacked. Does this mean that we agree here? FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 22:10, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah, so counter-revolutionaries and those engaged in unpatriotic activities have no right to protest. We'll said, comrade.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 22:20, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if coercion is preferable. Even if coercion is preferable, it still wouldn't prove the constitution is empirically true or that belief in government is anything more than blind faith in an invisible higher power of "the state". Even if I could pull out pie charts and graphs that show kids believing in Santa is preferable in that it leads to better behaved kids, I still haven't proven Santa is real. If we show that Mormons are less inclined to steal, we haven't proven the book of Mormon to be true, etc. You can't prove a belief to be true by showing that believing it will lead to good consequences.User:LogicMaster777/sig

Socratic method. 3/10, trying too hard, lost points for lack of subtlety. --Maxus (talk) 03:10, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Good =/= legit. Suppress = legit. Suppress =/= good. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 03:17, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
No, but raising children to believe in a deity is EXACTLY like raising a child to believe in the Great Political Leader.--Palaeonictis (talk) 05:37, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Not really. A dictator exists independently of any one person's subjective perceptions; nobody had to have faith that there was a Stalin or Mao somewhere in the world. Having faith in someone's personal virtues when they are not apparent (for example, that the great leader is kind and wise and generous when he lives in a palace and you're surviving on three grains of rice a day) is still a matter of believing in a property of a real thing, which is different to believing in something you have no way of demonstrating the existence of outside of your subjective experiences. King Skeleton (talk) 07:08, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
They had to have faith in the invisible higher power of "the state" as a necessary component of the cult of personality of Stalin or Mao. No one has to have faith to believe David Koresh existed. The faith element comes into it when you start to believe Koresh represents God. Likewise, the belief in the Cult of Stalin is predicated on faith in the state.

If you didn't believe in a "state", why would you ever worship Stalin?User:LogicMaster777/sig

No. Nobody had to believe there was a Stalin, they had to believe he was a capable leader. If you lend five bucks to your friend, it's not an act akin to religion to trust them to pay it back, it's assuming a property of a concrete thing. Believing someone to have capabilities like kindness, competence and mercy which you have observed in others is not the same as believing them to have supernatural powers observed in no other people. Also indent your posts properly.King Skeleton (talk) 22:14, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Do you think Stalin, as part of his "leader"ship was not presumed to have powers beyond others? Why did the army have to obey him in particular rather than some random russian? Was it was part of the Russian political belief system that Stalin had extra powers beyond those observed in others due to him being the figurehead of "the state"?User:LogicMaster777/sig
So you believe any hierarchical structure is a religion? That's utterly fucking stupid. King Skeleton (talk) 23:26, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
When it uses a belief system based on reification and blind faith in dogma and magical thinking.LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:46, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
So not here, then. Gotcha. King Skeleton (talk) 02:30, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Stalin's claim of "authority" is based around the reification of the "state" of which he is the figurehead. LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:54, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
No, it was based on the fact that the departments of the Soviet Union said he was in charge of them. If they haven't done that, Stalin wouldn't have been the leader of the Soviet Union. The fact that you're too stupid to understand reification is a logical fallacy which applies to arguments and not a physical law which applies to reality (and therefore that things which can only be described in imprecise abstract terms can exist as concrete things, eg the body, a city, the universe) is entirely your problem. King Skeleton (talk) 03:21, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
If the state is not real(he referred to an "international state"), what is the factual basis of Stalin's claim to "legitimate authority"? The government likes him? He's just a really cool guy? He's able to kill people he doesn't like? He's super smart? His mustache is suave? You say the support for your argument is "the departments said he was in charge"? So in essence it's blind faith in "some guys said so"? "x is true for no other reason than y said so."? That's not blind faith?LogicMaster777 (talk) 06:21, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
If the argument is "support Stalin or Stalin will have you killed" and you have good reason to believe this is so, it is not an act of faith that you support Stalin. It would be an act of faith only if you could not demonstrate that Stalin had people who did not support him killed. It's actually fairly rational to do things out of self-preservation, in fact.
In a democracy the claim is more usually "supporting the government will be beneficial to the majority of the people." While it is often dubious as to whether this is actually the case, we can actually see if people are benefiting from a particular government's policies or not. We don't have to just believe they are benefiting in some vague way as one would with religious faith, because the things the government does happen in the real world. King Skeleton (talk) 07:45, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
So is there any other reason why people obey Stalin, or any other political figure than the threat of violence? Or is there another reason?LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:42, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
I just told you one, dummy. King Skeleton (talk) 22:08, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
"Is the government a religion?"
That depends on what is meant by "government" and "religion". Both can be used to refer to organisations with a set of values and rules prescribing behaviour, but then so can your local McDonald's. Where they differ is that while the government doesn't lay any claim to your thoughts (with the notable exceptions of theocracies and quasi-religious totalitarian states), religion tends to. Also, as have been pointed out, governments are not founded on supernatural experiences, but on legal documents which can be changed through legal processes. While I could name religions where orthopraxy (right outward behaviour) seems at least as important as orthodoxy (right thoughts), I cannot name a single religion which are founded on legal documents and allow their scriptures to be modified through a politico-legal process (see answer to the "Constitution question"). ScepticWombat (talk) 08:29, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
From Sceptic Wombat:"the government doesn't lay any claim to your thoughts". Really, it doesn't? Does it coerce children to go to school? Does it punish parents who don't send kids to school? Does the school teach the government belief system? As part of the "education" are the children coerced to engage in flag-worshiping rituals? Do the flag-worshiping rituals have a purpose? If so, what is it? What do you suppose might be the psychological effects of 12 years of compulsory flag worship upon one's thoughts and/or thought processes? Is the financing used to pay for this indoctrination system voluntary, or is it compulsory? Do the facts actually support the premise that the government doesn't lay a claim to your thoughts?LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:50, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
"Also, as have been pointed out, governments are not founded on supernatural experiences, but on legal documents which can be changed through legal processes." 1. Is believing in imaginary, unseen, unproven or unprovable "entities" as "real" a supernatural experience?

2. Are all governments "founded" on "legal documents which can be changed through legal processes"? Or only some of them? Do religious institutions file "legal documents" such as articles of incorporation? Do they register with the government for "tax exempt" status as "government recognized" religions? Do churches like the church of Scientology and Latter day Saints have registered corporations? Are these corporations used to further the aims of the religion? Are these corporations "founded" upon legal documents like any corporation normally is? Are these documents not subject to corporate re-structuring? Do the facts actually show that religions or religious institutions are not commonly based on "legal documents" or that those documents aren't subject to change? LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:11, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

1. You're still conflating abstractions describing connotations of actual stuff (i.e. a population being labelled a nation) with supernatural deities which are completely uncorrelated to such "actual stuff". A "nation" is most emphatically not supernatural, any more than "the market". Just because these abstractions have connotations beyond a mundane headcount of persons, doesn't mean that these connotations require us to go beyond the natural world. Nor does the fact that certain people idolise "nations" or "markets" to a degree which is verging on the line between fetishism and the religious mean that either "nations" or "markets" need to be explained by referencing something beyond our physical (i.e. natural) world - and since you've been told why this analogy of yours is wrong by several people, I find your reiteration of the question to be rather tiring.
You are conflating the physical nation of people with the abstract entity called "the state". If "The state of California" sentences someone to death, then are you collectivizing those people whom we could characterize as members of the nation of California who do not believe in the death penalty into that "entity"? Is a baby part of that nation? Is he a party to the killing? What part did he play in that? Being born? He is part of the "nation" just by being there. The reality is that "the state" didn't sentence the person. A magic man in a Harry Potter costume did so(not an imaginary "state", and not the nation) while reifying the notion that this abstract idea called "the state" was doing so. Just like when a parent places a present into a stocking and reifies the idea that "Santa" is doing so. And then another guy kills him, while again pretending it's not him, that it's this other "entity" doing so. LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:06, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
"The state" is no more supernatural than "the nation", so I really don't think your argument becomes any more sensible by doing this switcheroo.
The fairly obvious objection to your Santa parallel is that "the state" does not claim to be able to conduct supernatural feats (à la delivering presents on an insane time schedule), so once again your attempt to make "connotation = *MAGIC*" fails.
"The state" abstraction acting through designated officers is no more *MAGIC* or religious than "Apple" acting through Steve Jobs. Or are you back to designating as supernatural/*MAGIC*/religious any abstraction not immediately reducible to a "headcount of individuals" (unless applying reductio ad absurdum)?
"Apple acts through Steve Jobs" is magical thinking if by "act" you mean it affects the physical universe and by "Apple" you have no actual physical referent and you mean it literally, rather than as metaphor. If "Apple" refers to an actual physical being, then no it is not necessarily reification or magical thinking. If we put this "apple" in a box and weigh it, how much would it weigh? Any time you have physical phenomena explained by fictitious entities you have reification. Does Spider Man "act" through Spike Lee? Does Mickey Mouse act through Walt Disney? In a metaphorical sense perhaps. Not in a literal sense. Mickey Mouse cannot act directly upon the physical universe. He can't make cartoons. He can't create a theme park. He didn't do any of that. Actual flesh and blood people did it. If I told you Mickey Mouse literally built a roller coaster would you detect a fallacy? What fallacy?LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:48, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
For crying out loud, you're not even able to keep your own terminology straight: Yes, a baby might be part of "the "nation" just by being there", no, the baby is not "a party to the killing" for the fairly obvious reason that in the case of state executions, minors have no say in the law. Neither do state actions convey collective guilt on all state citizens (in that sense the state actually operates pretty similar to a limited liability company).
A baby can be part of the nation. You agree, right? Yet if the "state" executes someone, the baby was in no way a party to that action, right? So then the "state" cannot be the same thing as the nation. The nation, that is to say the PEOPLE who reside in the geographic area, has a physical referrent. We could even calculate an approximate weight, and extrapolate its approximate mass. The state is just an idea. Am I wrong? Can you supply me with some "state"? If I offered you a thousand bucks for a pound of "State", how soon could you get it to me? What would you charge for a little state? Or if you don't have any, do you know where I could find some?LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:06, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Can you supply me with some "corporation"? If I offered you a thousand bucks for a pound of "corporation", how soon could you get it to me? What would you charge for a little corporation? Or if you don't have any, do you know where I could find some?
Can you supply me with some "sports club"? If I offered you a thousand bucks for a pound of "sports club", how soon could you get it to me? What would you charge for a little sports club? Or if you don't have any, do you know where I could find some?
Can you supply me with some "family"? If I offered you a thousand bucks for a pound of "family", how soon could you get it to me? What would you charge for a little family? Or if you don't have any, do you know where I could find some?
Can you supply me with some "intelligence"? If I offered you a thousand bucks for a pound of "intelligence", how soon could you get it to me? What would you charge for a little intelligence? Or if you don't have any, do you know where I could find some? ScepticWombat (talk) 02:32, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Family is a physical item. The "belief system" of "family" or genetics is based on science and is empirically proven through studies of DNA and other evidence. It's not an arbitrary dogma based on blind faith in "some guy said so".LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:54, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm guessing you can easily nap out and get a pound of family then. Oh, and as King Skeleton has already explained to you family is not just "genetics". If you need more hints, family is also a social construction (how else could we have the notion of adoptive parents/families?). ScepticWombat (talk) 03:24, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
It is not a blind faith belief to believe some people have a genetic relation to others. Okay, yes the idea of "family" can be stretched using abstract thinking. Using abstract reasoning in itself is not necessarily a fallacy or reification. Let's say the youngest child in the family has an imaginary friend. The family sets a place at the table for him at dinner. They offer him some mashed potatoes. No, he's not hungry just right now. They pour him a glass of water. After the son leaves the room, the mom drinks the water. This would be reification. Using abstract thinking isn't a fallacy per se. Adding seven plus seven in my head is logically sound, but if I said the number seven is mad because it hasn't eaten all day and it's hungry, that's reification. Pretending an abstract idea has an actual personality or intention or that it acts upon physical reality.LogicMaster777 (talk) 16:55, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Are you now claiming that families with adopted children constitute "abstract thinking" and that such adopted children referring to their adopted parents or siblings simply as mom/dad/brother/sister are engaging in the equivalence of inventing imaginary friends? That would be an, eh, interesting point of view... Oh, and I'm still waiting for my pound of family/intelligence/corporation/sports club, btw. ScepticWombat (talk) 17:38, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
No the point (I know ironic I have used so many parables) is that just conceptualizing a HUMAN who exists as part of your family social circle is not reification because it doesn't involve inventing something imaginary and pretending it's real. When I talk about anthropomorphizing and reification that's what I'm talking about: the family sets the imaginary friend a seat at the table and treats the "idea" like a "person". Or sets out cookies for "Santa". To a child that reification can literally be "real". Adults use this same type of magical thinking, that is to say, IMAGINING INTO EXISTENCE "the state" as a rationalization for statist violence. "The state" can literally be imagined to be anything if it rationalizes statist religious violence the same way the idea of Santa can be ritualistically reified with cookies or socks or milk or a movie. The Idea is that this government system of make-believe is "necessary" because it is what provides order or "safety." That's what keeps the make-believe of "the state" running 24/7/365 for over 200 years.LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:44, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
And will you bloody well quit your moronic "the judge is just a magic man in a Harry Potter costume"-nonsense: The principle of delegation of power should be fairly obvious, and collective, though not necessarily unanimous, decisions are not *MAGIC* either.
Is it because you subscribe to some sort of half-baked solipsism that means that no one should ever tell you what to do and you should remain the final arbiter of anything and everything that concerns you? Or is it just the gub'mint you don't like?
How about the market? Is that a religion?
Are corporations religions?
Isn't price setting *MAGIC* because, after all, it's just some guy in stupid clothes who slaps stickers on the goods, right?
Now aren't we all getting really clever by asking inane questions of each other?
Gee, this style of argument is slipping fast into something reminiscent of Frank Turek and Norman Geisler's "roadrunner tactic", what fun... ScepticWombat (talk) 01:13, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
2. All governments are founded on such documents - name one which isn't and doesn't also happen to be a theocracy or operation on the rather similar logic found in quasi-religious totalitarian regimes.
I really don't see what your questions about religions registering to receive particular benefits has to do with whether the government is a religion. Not to mention the fact that you ask about whether "the church of Scientology and Latter day Saints have registered corporations?" which seems to once again make the same conflation of "religiously-driven organisation = religion" that I've already pointed out lead to such absurd conclusions as labelling bible societies or the Jesuits as religions in and of themselves. Oh, and the fact that these religiously motivated corporations can change their corporate charters is of course irrelevant if changes to these charters don't actually change the religious scriptures and dogmas which lie behind the original religious motivation.
Religious organizations and organized religion are inextricably linked. Every religious organization or institution is organized around a religious belief system.LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:55, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
It's really simple: While religions encompass religious organisations, religious organisations do not necessarily constitute religions in an of themselves. Changing the business charter of, say an Evangelical Protestant fast food outlet, does not change the religious tenets of Evangelical Protestantism. I thought that this was blindingly obvious. ScepticWombat (talk) 01:13, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The point I'm getting at is that religions and/or religious institutions are often founded on legal papers. So that doesn't really distinguish a religious institution from a "Secular" institution. LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:18, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
And I've already explained to you why this contention doesn't hold or at least misses the important distinction between these type of documents. Hell, you can read the post just below this one to see the explanation, again. Methinks you've now reached the point where it seems that you're just JAQing off since your misconceptions have been explained to you umpteen times by me and others. ScepticWombat (talk) 01:13, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
You also seem to miss my point about the difference between changing religious scripture and changing a constitution in that the latter is changed "through a well-defined process of (hopefully rational) debate, not by someone claiming to have had a revelation from Saint Washington." That quite clearly implied that while religious scripture can be changed, it is not designed to be changed and certainly not through the sort of well-defined politico-legal process found in constitutional documents (again, name one constitutional corpus that doesn't contain a procedure by which it can be changed and/or amended). Instead, religions have to change either surreptitiously through changed interpretations of scripture/dogma, or outright change based on revelations, which is pretty much the opposite of a well-defined politico-legal process (as the aforementioned example of "Saint Washington" already illustrated).
Courts actually do frequently just "overrule" previous dogma with "new improved" dogmas based on changed interpretations of constitutional dogma/scripture and will completely reverse previous rulings based on differing interpretations of the same dogma. And in doing so they frequently DO cite "revelations" from the "Founders" such as "Saint Washington". I could provide some examples if you want.LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:23, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
No, courts cite precedent not revelation, I've already explained this to you. Judges don't claim to receive some supernatural inspiration from the founding fathers, nor is the law restricted to whatever the founding fathers may have thought, but a combination of legal documents and precedent. And please DO cite one example in which a judge or jury claimed that "Saint Washington" revealed to them what the proper verdict should be and why. ScepticWombat (talk) 02:43, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Once again, your approach of just asking questions seems to be veering farther and father away from a genuine Socratic dialogue and heading towards a kind of "I don't like your answers and will continue to ask questions that have already been answered until I get an answer I like". ScepticWombat (talk) 23:03, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Now I don't know where you live, but I can't think of any democratic society in which the government "coerce children to go to school". Government requires that children be educated, but whether this happens at public, or private schools, or at home tends to be up to the parents, though certain tests need to be taken in order to certify that the child is actually being educated (and these, to my knowledge, don't require specific skills in "flag worship"). That fact alone cuts the ground out under the rest of your hypothetical diatribe. ScepticWombat (talk) 23:39, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
When I was in school I remember there being an ubiquitous and omni present threat of punishment for truancy/cutting class/being late/etc. You really just went to school by your own choosing, not because adults forced you?LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:30, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
If "The state of California" sentences someone to death, then are you collectivizing those people whom we could characterize as members of the nation of California who do not believe in the death penalty into that "entity"?
Good question. The State of Wisconsin doesn't have the death penalty. The State of Wisconsin Sentenced Jeffrey Dahmer to life in prison. Jeffrey Dahmer was murdered in prison. If the State is unwilling to execute him, but restricts his movements, does the State have a responsibility to keep him alive in such a dangerous environment? Is the State complicit in his murder? Are the citizens of the State complicit in his murder? Is locking up convicted killers together and allowing them to kill each other a form of cruel and unusual punishment? nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 02:27, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
This is a great example of Statist reification. "The State of Wisconsin Sentenced Jeffrey Dahmer to life in prison." This is exactly what I'm talking about. A guy named Laurence Gram sentenced Dahmer. Saying "the state" did it is reification. It's the same as saying "Santa brought you a present." You are ascribing an action taken by a physical flesh and blood human and pretending it was done by this imaginary entity called "The state".LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:43, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
So how is saying he was sentenced by the state different to saying he was sent to prison? Prison is an abstract concept too, you know, he was actually sent to a room in a building. Logic is also an abstraction, there is no objective "logic" with weight and mass that exists in the world. So what is the basis of your claim? King Skeleton (talk) 03:06, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Because the state is an abstraction. By saying the state sentenced someone we are anthropomorphizing and reifying it as an actual "person". We wouldn't say the prison sentenced someone.LogicMaster777 (talk) 16:12, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I'm with ya. The Judge signed the order on behalf of another entity, like a parent co-signing something on behalf of a minor child. Then how would you read Psalm 82, particularly verse 6? nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 03:09, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
On behalf of an "entity" which was imagined into existence like "Santa" was imagined into existence(yes I know he's partly based on a real guy). A judge signing "on behalf" of a "state" is like giving a present on behalf of Santa(unless you can prove by some naturalistic principle that he really does represent something which can also be proven to be "state" by some naturalistic principle supported by EVIDENCE, in which case you have falsified my premise that the state is imagined).LogicMaster777 (talk) 14:38, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Is the Constitution a Religious scripture[edit]

Is the Constitution the bible of the local Statist religion? Are there any facts that go beyond blind faith in some variant of "Some guy said so" to actually prove that it is the supreme law of the land or to actually prove any of what it says is true or that it is applicable to anyone alive today or that it is legally binding?— Unsigned, by: LogicMaster777 / talk / contribs

It seems more like declarations of what the state should and shouldn't do. More assertions are made in the Declaration of Independence.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 20:29, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
And what is "the state" when used in such a context?User:LogicMaster777/sig
Socratic Method? --Maxus (talk) 20:45, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
What is the state in this context? A buncha guys trying to justify what some would call a rebellion: a half -decent job in theory and in practice.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 20:49, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Is there an actual physical object you can point to and say "That tree is the state" or "that rock is the state"? Or is the state in this context really just an idea?User:LogicMaster777/sig

No. It's an abstraction like money or corporations.Civic CatTalk to Civic Cat 21:05, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

The basis of your argument is reification. You also can't show someone a can of blue or a specific bucket of water which is the sea. Does that mean nothing is blue and there is no sea?
I can show you the organs of the state and the principles by which it operates, the papers which show precisely what the state does and the people who make the decisions which guide it. If none of these is sufficient, I suppose you would also have to argue evolution is a religion due to my inability to demonstrate the entire process of evolution independently of chemistry, biology or physics. King Skeleton (talk) 04:05, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
I can show you the temple of Poseidon and the principles by which he rules the seas. The papers that document precisely what Zeus does. There were people that made decisions about what happened at his temple. If I haven't just proven the existence of Zeus and Poseidon then maybe black holes are a religion, since I haven't seen a picture. Just like how belief in non- state religion may have better enabled people to survive, belief in the state religion may also have enabled survival. Why? Because it enables them to engage in organized gang violence. If there were no "State" of Rome then how would the Romans organize to loot and pillage the rest of the world? The civilizations that had no concept of a state didn't organize armies as efficiently and got taken over or wiped out by those who had a state/army. I think there is strong evidence that the concept of government has UTILITY value. I do not think there is any evidence to show it has any TRUTH VALUE. The idea of a tooth fairy might have utility value.

It gets kids to get over their anxiety of losing a tooth. Like the state, ultimately the tooth fairy only exists as a mental abstraction. User:LogicMaster777/sig

Your argument is the same as saying the body doesn't exist because only the organs do and the body is an arbitrary label assigned to a particular assembly of them, and therefore an article of faith. Or that no particular bolt or screw is a car and therefore acknowledging the existence of a car is blind faith. The state is a complex entity (it is also a label assigned to several distinct entities, which doesn't help with a demand to identify one and only one thing as it). King Skeleton (talk) 21:46, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
My body weighs about 220 lbs. How much does the "state" weigh(rough approximation would be fine)?User:LogicMaster777/sig
What the fuck is this, the political equivalent of phlogiston theory? King Skeleton (talk) 22:15, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
And just to come back to the example: is the defining feature of your body its weight? If you gained or lost weight, would it no longer be a body? Are all things that weigh 220lbs your body, or all bodies that weigh 220lbs yours?
All objects which exist in the physical universe have a weight and mass. User:LogicMaster777/sig

TiaC (talk) 00:08, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Justice and Mercy are ideas, not tangible corporeal objects, that is the distinction I am trying to make. That's why you won't find an "atom" of "justice".LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:50, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Body is a name given to a largely arbitrary collection of parts. If a body loses all flesh it becomes a skeleton, if it loses all limbs it remains a body. This does not mean there is an intrinsic, empirically measurable "bodyness" which is circulated from some organ in the torso to the limbs while they are attached. And the lack of such does not mean there is no such thing as a body, or that one requires faith akin to religion to proclaim they have one.
Same for the state. The state is the sum of a great many parts, including government, those so governed, its body of laws, organs of state, and so on. All of these things exist, "state" is just a label for the whole. Your problem is you're conflating a belief in the good intentions of the state with having to believe the state exists at all. The state is not the higher purpose, it is the entity through which that purpose is served. King Skeleton (talk) 23:16, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Catholicism is is the sum of great many parts, including the Church, the parishioners, the scriptures, its bodies of cannons, the vatican, and so on. The state is everything. And everywhere. Why would I assert that the state has any intention? I think it is you who is conflating. My position is that "The state" is an abstract idea, not a concrete physical object. You are conflating many different people and objects with a mix of intentions and collectivizing them into one "whole" "entity". In different contexts "the state" can be used to mean whatever statists want it to be mean, depending on what serves the purpose of best justifying statist violence. In one context it is a chunk of land, in the next it is a lawyer. Then it becomes "The laws". Then it becomes a gun. Kind of like how Santa is Grandma, or it can be a tree ornament, or it can be a cartoon. Whatever helps us play the make believe and keep the reification going. Whatever helps serve the "higher purpose." The purpose of Santa is to have a rationalization for giving. "The state" as a concept works in reverse. It is used to justify taking. Government is empirically just a group of men and women using violence to force others to pay them. "The state" is the rationalization.User:LogicMaster777/sig
The thing is, there is a difference between the Catholic Church (a body which demonstrably exists in the real world) and the Catholic faith (the religion which the church exists to serve). You don't seem to understand that.
All groupings are abstract ideas. A body is an abstract collection in which no specific part grants it "bodyness." No part of a car will grant carness to something that isn't a car. A lion won't become a gazelle no matter how many gazelles it eats, and yet it does not shit elemental gazelleness. Hell, we can't measure the whole of the universe, does that mean the universe isn't real?
And the state exists to do more than take, unless you currently live in the middle ages. Hell, even then it also existed to keep the peace and defend its borders. King Skeleton (talk) 00:12, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
I get it. There is a difference between the government the group of men and women who force others to pay and the belief system by which they justify the aggression. It is the belief system, the government faith. I would identify its doctrines(there are probably many others) as: 1. The constitution is the supreme/highest law 2. Separation of church and state: Part of the religious doctrine is that it's not a religion. 3. The "state" is "sovereign"(king/god/deity/higher power): They have replaced the concept of "Divine right to rule" with "state right to rule"(since society at that time was becoming less homogeneous religiously, divine right to rule was losing its credibility with the masses (hence Americans losing faith in the King and his authority). A more secular-appearing PR version of the doctrine was needed. 4. The citizens are protected by the government and state, and owe them their allegiance/money. 5. Democracy = majority rule (demonstrably false). 6. "The people" consent and contract to be ruled by political overlords by majority consensus(demonstrably false, but it is part of the religious doctrine) through democratic processes and popularity contests. LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:59, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
The belief system is not the state. The beliefs define the purpose of the state. Please learn to put your answers in the right place. King Skeleton (talk) 01:15, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
The state is the deity of the government religion. In canada they have a "higher power" they call "the crown". It is the same thing, basically. There is no actual "crown" they are referring to. They file law suits in the name of a plaintiff called the "crown" like how in America a lawsuit is filed in the name of "the state". But it's not actually referring to an actual physical entity or physical item, it is an abstract embodiment of this concept of "sovereignty" kind of like how "Aphrodite" was an abstract embodiment of other abstract concepts like "love and beauty", etc.LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:42, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
No, the state is the apparatus. In religious terms the state is the equivalent of the church, a body dedicated to a series of principles. The state arises from the city-states of old and is effectively just a scaled-up version of the abstraction we call a city. In your bizarre world, is a city also an object of worship that doesn't exist?
Depends on the context in which you use the term. City, as in a geophysical location? I'd say the geographic area called Washington DC exists. But the "City of Denver" which appears on a parking ticket as a plaintiff, no I don't think he's a real guy. I think it is just a d/b/a or corporate fiction used by the government to get money(what they do) when used in that context. Or is the ground the plaintiff? LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:17, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
The city of Denver on a parking ticket is a label for the government of the city of Denver. But where does Denver begin and end, and why there? Because some governing group said so? King Skeleton (talk) 05:01, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Ya, imaginary lines based on "some guy(s) said so. They are only "real"

for that "reason". The "boundaries" of the gang's turf. Within that turf the gang claims a unique right to threaten people to force them to pay. Outside of those imaginary lines, other religious gangs are recognized as having to have "jurisdiction"(monopoly on "legal" extortion and aggression due to a claim of being the "chosen ones" of the invisible higher power of the state, and ultimately under the pantheon of the united states). LogicMaster777 (talk) 06:53, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

They're not imaginary if they're being enforced. King Skeleton (talk) 07:35, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Fallacious appeal to consequences. One could "enforce" any belief. "Enforcing" a belief is not a rational argument to show the belief has truth value. "Enforcing" anti-witchcraft laws doesn't empirically prove magic. When the Greek "Authorities" "enforced" the state religion and the belief in the "Gods of the state" by the trial/execution of Socrates, did they empirically prove the factual existence of "the gods of the state"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:20, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
No, they proved the factual existence of the law. King Skeleton (talk) 00:19, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Also, could you address my point about complex groups generally being vague abstractions which cannot have their properties empirically defined from the sum of their parts? I'd like to know how you can believe a body to be something that exists when there is no way to demonstrate the property of bodyness exists in any part of it. King Skeleton (talk) 02:09, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
There is a principle of bodily integrity. A tooth that falls out isn't part of the body. If someone loses 5 pounds of fat and 5 pounds of water, that material(actual physical atoms and molecules) is not part of the body. If someone has a steel plate put in their leg, it is part of the body. The body is an integral unit. When you cut your hair, the clippings are no longer integral to the unit. So there is a principal we can use to differentiate. But when I use the word body to describe a person I am referring to a physical object. Let's say I have a bucket of "state", what am I looking at? A guy? A rock? A building? What would be in that bucket? A stack of papers? Air? LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:55, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Nice try, but in what way is the bodyness transmitted to the steel rod? Is being with in the body enough? Most people wouldn't regard the contents of their stomach, bowels or lungs as part of their body.
By the principle of bodily integrity, that is to say the steel rod is an integral part of the unit. That is the principle by which the rod becomes part of the body or acquire "body-ness". If you put a supercharger on your engine it is an integral part of the car. If you put it in the trunk to move it but don't actually install it it's not integral even though it is in the car. LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:28, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
The reality is that many terms in a language do not address concepts in particularly precise ways, and many concepts are themselves complex. By demonstrating a thing that fits the properties assigned to a body exists in the place you feel you are, you show you have a body, even if you can't exactly define what one of those is.
You can't have a bucket of state. You can't have a bucket of language or a bucket of World War 2 either, does that mean language isn't real and World War 2 is an article of faith? Of course not. Reification is the fallacy of doing exactly what you are currently doing. King Skeleton (talk) 04:58, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
No, using abstractions in itself isn't reification. Now let's say you asked who is the plaintiff exactly in this lawsuit, and I said "language" is the plaintiff, would you recognize that as reification? What if you asked who wrote the laws and I told you "World War Two" wrote them? Would you detect a fallacy(assuming it was taken literally)? What would the fallacy be?LogicMaster777 (talk) 07:03, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
But under your argument, if I said World War 2 was fought between Nazi Germany and the Allies, I would be committing it because I'm naming state entities and according to you those are imaginary. The same if I said the US Marines were at the D-Day landings, since the US Marine Corps is an abstract label applied to a group of people, equipment, rules, doctrines and concepts which is not specifically contained within any one of those things.
An abstract entity which summarises a series of parts exists if all of its parts exist. The Catholic Church objectively exists because each thing that forms it exists on this Earth independently of the whole. The Catholic religion does not objectively exist because many of its doctrines appeal to things which cannot be proven to exist.
Therefore, a "state" exists if all of its claimed parts are things that exist. For example, the Oxford English Dictionary defines "state" as "an organized political community under one government." Therefore, to prove there is such a thing as a state, we must prove that the government exists, that it is in charge, and that there is an organisation to it. All of these things are trivially easy to prove.
Prove that it is "in charge" without using an appeal to the stick [x is true because of (insert violent consequence)] or naked assertion or "some guy said so" or some variant like "(A piece of parper written by) some guy said so" or "Some guys said so", etc.LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:45, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Proving it is in charge only requires proof that it can enforce the law. Which it can. King Skeleton (talk) 00:21, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
The fact that I can't show you all of the state at once is as irrelevant as that I can't show you all of music, all of the sea, or the entire universe. The fact that I can't show you a specific small portion that is still the state is as irrelevant as that I can't show you a molecule that is human.
It requires some abstract thought(since we can't directly observe the whole ocean at once) but when you refer to the "sea" I believe you are referring to an actual physical object with weight and mass. We could likely form an approximate extrapolation of what it would weigh based on empirical data, if not weigh it directly. LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:01, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
One might argue that the purpose of the state is an article of faith (for example, the US Constitution holds the truths within it to be self-evident), but that's axiomatic faith, not religious faith. With your example of David Koresh, if we knew objectively that there was a God and that it was possible for a human to be that God, believing that Koresh was God would require that we believe a human was telling the truth, not that a supernatural being existed (because we already knew that). Hence, the faith would not be religious in nature. King Skeleton (talk) 07:35, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Is reifying an imaginary "entity" or believing in an imaginary "entity" as "real" a type of "religious faith"? LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:49, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Is "logic" a real entity? King Skeleton (talk) 00:21, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
A mental abstraction. It is basically like a corporate fiction. When we think of abstractions doing things in the actual physical universe, and writing up a book to say what an abstraction can or can't do in the physical universe, this is a form of magical thinking. In the same way it is magical thinking to conceptualize Santa sliding down a chimney with presents we REIFY this abstraction of "the state" by treating the abstraction as an actual physical entity. There actually is no actual physical state but people play make believe like with Santa at Christmas. And due to the violent system of reinforcement(school,jail, etc)THEY ACTUALLY START TO BELIEVE IN THE STATE AS "REAL" and will start to perpetrate violence because of this belief and will justify the violence on account of this belief.It becomes a religious belief system. Historically, every government which has survived over generations has had a religious element. The Pharaohs claimed to be gods, the emperors claimed to be gods or descended from gods. The king later claimed he was the chosen of god. Kingdoms that did not have this religious element, like Ghengis Khan would get usurped rather quickly. Without a government religion, the government gets overthrown within a generation or two, historically speaking. User:LogicMaster777/sig
[citation needed] FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 03:26, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
By this reasoning, chess is also a religion. King Skeleton (talk) 04:16, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
What has "chess" done in the physical universe? What abstract element of chess do "believers" perceive as actually performing physical feats? The abstraction of "the state" can kill people, it can write legislation, it can sue people, etc. Yes in an abstract sense we talk about pawn taking knight. However, we do not perceive that the character in the game is actually moving the pieces. We realize it is an abstraction. We do not worship chess flags or kill people because of our strong faith in chess. There is no religious devotion to an invisible higher power in the context of a chess game.User:LogicMaster777/sig
And yet no property of chess is inherent in either the pieces or the board. Does this make chess a religion? King Skeleton (talk) 21:47, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
They are similar in some respects. Chess is a game. Religions are games. Governments are games. When I say game I mean in the mathematical sense. Yes governments have other purposes than to take because governments are a conglomeration of people with varied and often conflicting intentions/goals. But the winning strategy of the government game is to take as much stuff as possible with the least amount of violence necessary to take it. Strategies like Hitler's of using as much violence as possible tend to back fire. The US has a highly efficient system of violence/coercion. Ancient Egypt did as well but the strategy that won out was taxation rather than slavery. Due to higher efficiency. Defending its border is part of this strategy of taking/winning stuff(land). The government religion is part of its survival strategy. Without a government religion there is no clear order of succession. People fight over the throne. When a ruler rules by naked violent gangsterism then as soon as a more powerful gangster has his chance, it's revolution time. For a government dynasty to last successively generation after next, it needs the religion and the tradition. The emperor/King/Pharoah has historically either claimed divine status as god or a representative of god or a god. As secularism and the renaissance emerged government needed a new survival strategy. Statist quasi-secular religions came to dominate the successful governments. Gangster governments have come and gone while the governments that have created a lasting religious tradition tend to stick around. In Canada they have a similar deity to the "State" which they refer to as the "crown". Like the state the "crown" represents the government patron deity, the abstract notion of "sovereignty". It doesn't actually refer to a physical crown, it is another statist abstraction. But they believe in this "crown" as a literal higher power which must be worshiped and obeyed(and given money).LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:35, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Your arguments seem to inevitably circle back sooner or later to "I don't wanna pay taxes, waaaa." King Skeleton (talk) 01:41, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Except the part where I never said that and that's a total strawman.LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:06, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
People who have real points can explain what they are rather than just accusing their opponent of a strawman. You do constantly come back to the issue of paying taxes. And you're a crappy "logicmaster" if you don't know attacking your motive for doing so is an appeal to motive, not a strawman. Maybe you should send in one of the 776 logicmasters who came before you to show you how it's done? King Skeleton (talk) 02:12, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
So, when you said my argument was "I don't wanna pay taxes, waaaa" that was a quote of one of my actual arguments? You weren't just putting up a superficially similar position so you could shoot it down, making it seem like you had refuted something I actually said? That's what a strawman is. Where are you getting "I don't wanna pay taxes,waaaa"? I thought you just made it up and attributed it to me?LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:07, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
So, when you complain about the government robbing people (see almost everything you've posted that's longer than one line) you aren't complaining about paying taxes, you're saying members of the government literally go into people's houses and steal things from them? King Skeleton (talk) 03:16, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
I stated the observation that all governments use violence, force and punishment to force people to pay them and that is the only empirical "governmentness" as such that they have. "Will of the people" is not a defining government characteristic, because government frequently acts contrary to public sentiment. Isis were a gang. Now they have instituted taxes. They are now a government and that is why. If you want to construe this as a complaint, that's fine. I don't really want to get into whether the government religion is "good" or "bad" because it's a whole separate issue. As far as government going in and stealing stuff from people's houses, they have been known to. That's not uncommon at all, historically.LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:26, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
"Is the Constitution the bible of the local Statist religion?"
No, it was meant to be a flexible, if tricky to change, document. It was meant to be changed through a well-defined process of (hopefully rational) debate, not by someone claiming to have had a revelation from Saint Washington. Of course, this doesn't deter certain segments from elevating the Constitution to a (quasi-)religious sanctity along with their misty eyed talk of WWFFD ("What would the Founding Fathers do?"), conveniently ignoring the number of times the Constitution has de facto been changed through the amendment process.
Have the books in the Bible ever been changed? Have the doctrines of Buddhism, Islam, or Wicca ever been changed? Did the Council of Nicea put this codification of the bible through a debate and a ratification procedure?LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:37, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
"Are there any facts that go beyond blind faith in some variant of "Some guy said so" to actually prove that it is the supreme law of the land or to actually prove any of what it says is true or that it is applicable to anyone alive today or that it is legally binding?"
Eh, the U.S. justice and law enforcement system are pretty good examples... ScepticWombat (talk) 08:20, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Examples of what? How does the U.S. justice system "prove" the constitution is "true" or that it is the supreme law? Because a magic man dressed up like Harry Potter said so? And then ritualistically hit the magic hammer on the magic desk?LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:58, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
Nice example of just asking questions beginning to shade into moving the goalposts. You're now asking me to "prove" that something is "true" without defining what you actually mean by either. I provided a pretty good example of why a court and law enforcement system is an appropriate answer to the question of why the Constitution in practice really "is the supreme law of the land" and that it is indeed "applicable to anyone alive today" as well as being "legally binding". But now you're just hand waving everything away by a sort of "well, that's just, like, your opinion man"-non-answer. There is nothing fictional or supernatural about law courts, precedent or law enforcement. You may disagree that they represent your personal ideal of "true justice" (however you define either term), but any denial of their "relevance" or whether it's "applicable" to you is going to run into the same problems as denying that gravity or driving on the right side of the road (I presume) is "relevant" or "applicable" to you. Yes, you may not like it, no, it may not be simply reduced to "guy in robe/uniform says so" (unless you go full reductio ad absurdum), but that just doesn't make it supernatural. However, if you're so dissatisfied, and think that laws, constitutions and governments are all just supernatural myths based on what people in funny clothes say to oppress you, there's always the option of going Galt.ScepticWombat (talk) 23:30, 30 November 2014 (UTC)
You could equally argue that in his case "logic" is an article of religious faith since logic is built on axiomatic principles and does not refer to some rarified substance that has weight and mass. King Skeleton (talk) 00:30, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Well King Skeleton, I've just asked whether LogicMaster777 considers markets, corporations, and price setting to be variously supernatural, religions, and *MAGIC* (hey, prices are just "made up" by people in silly clothes, right? So why should I have to pay whatever the price of something is?). I await with baited breath for the answers to this reverse-engineered style of just asking questions. I don't think it has much to do with the much vaunted Socratic method, though. Mainly because answers that LogicMaster777 doesn't like just seems to result in the question being repeated, despite LogicMaster777 having received numerous corrections of the flawed logic and/or terminology the questions rely on.ScepticWombat (talk) 01:25, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, by LogicMaster's definition anything that isn't an existing physical object is magic, a god, and supernatural. If I imagine a chair I want to build, it is a god that could be worshiped up until I build it. This is like a schizophrenic 5 year olds version of philosophy and religion. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 01:01, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
This is a strawman. Imagining a chair with abstract thinking isn't magical. To claim that your imaginary chair is the plaintiff in a lawsuit or that it passed a new piece of legislation or that it enforces its borders or instituted a new tax would be pretty magical however.LogicMaster777 (talk) 14:52, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
In what sense would an imaginary chair doing what statists say "the state" does NOT be "supernatural"? For example, if I claimed the "court system" was part of an imaginary chair, would you accept this "deduction"? Why or why not? Remember, the legal "system" of Canada actually is claimed by Canadian statists to represent an imaginary "crown". Why couldn't an imaginary chair work just as well? Is there something particularly magical about a crown specifically that makes it more special than an imaginary chair? It's made of imaginary gold instead of imaginary wood? What if we imagine the imaginary "crown" had "state" written on it in imaginary lettering? Would it then be a scientific certainty?LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:05, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

HELL no[edit]

Let's stop for a moment, and consider that this argument is fundamentally constructed on the intent to deceive. It conflates government and religion by similarity with the intent, should the argument be accepted, of asserting that several unspoken properties of religion are also present: namely that it's based on silly or flimsy presumptions, and can be dismissed as irrelevant. This is, of course, a separate argument to asserting that the social behaviors that effect and affect both are similar. Governments have the advantage over religious entities of most sorts that they are real, and they affect people in a real way, and that's a trivial assertion to test pragmatically or empirically.

Every argument that "X is a religion" tends to make the same conflation to the same ends, and taken aside from that hidden fallacy, it's a moderately interesting question to contemplate. The social science literature on the subject is pretty interesting to read, but almost exclusively, when someone asks this question, they're trying to prove some point that's intuitively stupid. Ikanreed (talk) 05:46, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

If governments are not based on flimsy presumptions, can you show any actual EVIDENCE that

Pharoah was indeed a god? Was that a pretty rock-solid scientific concept? How about the presumption that the king represented God, and his authority came from God? You have evidence to support that presumption? Now, how about the modern government? DO YOU HAVE ANY FACTS THAT EMPIRICALLY PROVE THE CONSTITUTION IS THE LAW OF THE LAND, THAT ANY OF IT IS LEGALLY BINDING, AND THAT IT APPLIES TO ANYONE ALIVE TODAY, aside from blind faith in some variant of "some guy said so"? If so, please provide your non-silly, non-flimsy factual basis which empirically proves the constitution is true. That it's not something you take on a blind faith belief. Something beyond "some guys said so". No, Thomas Jefferson said so isn't proof. A lawyer who has taken a religious oath to support and defend the constitution said so isn't proof. A politician who won a popularity contest said so isn't proof. (A piece of paper written by) some guy said so isn't proof. My motivations are irrelevant to the argument or debate. Prove the existence of this invisible higher power called "the state". Have you ever observed it yourself? Aside from ritual indoctrination such as flag worship, how did you ever come to believe in it? What facts led you to accept it as real? Some guy said so? User:LogicMaster777/sig

Before he does, could you please prove without any possible doubt that you are not a program that exists in my computer? King Skeleton (talk) 21:49, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
I get the impression that when I say this stuff it can come off as if I am being somehow disingenuous in questioning the state. It's not. I really do not believe in your constitution religion. The thing is, this religion is SO widespread and SO deeply inculcated(12 yrs of coerced flag worship has powerful psychological effects) into the population that most people really cannot even bring themselves to question this "sacred cow" or even conceive of someone not believing it; it seems so real to believers. So when you question it, to a believer it is like questioning the blue sky. It seems so obvious(due to repeated ritual indoctrination). But the blue sky is an empirical observation. It is self evident in that we can observe it directly. Have you ever laid eyes on the "state"? In forming rational beliefs, should we start with the facts and derive our conclusions from the facts, or should we start with our conclusions and then disregard whether facts support them or not? What facts led you to conclude that the constitution is the highest law of the land? Or did you just start with the conclusion? User:LogicMaster777/sig
@Ikanread: I get it that governments exist. There really is a group of men and women forcing others to pay them. The pope exists. The Dali Lama Exists. I get it. During the crusades people were affected in a real way. I think Isis is affecting people in a real way. Is it then not a religion? You would surely recognize the islamic state as a religion, no? But your state is different, it's special. It's magical. You've never seen it. But you know it's there. Because the authority figure said so. The one who only gets paid if you believe. Aside from an authority figure who makes money off the perpetuation of the belief said so, got any actual evidence? User:LogicMaster777/sig
Roads. King Skeleton (talk) 23:19, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

I would not recognize ISIS as a religion. It's a state, one with religious motives. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 00:11, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

This is the concept of tawhid hakamiyya - the right of God alone to rule. Here's a portion from [1] Yahoo Answers] (written by an ISIS apologist no doubt):

there is a vicious conspiracy championed by wicked scholars & their apostate Paymasters to erase this Tawheed from the hearts and minds of the Muslims. The apostate leaders and the wicked scholars are part & parcel of the New World Order. Islam is the threat to this Dajjal system Called New World Order. Hence the wicked scholars are vehemently trying to deny Allah his right to be the only Lawgiver. They claim Tawheed Al-Hakimiyyah is Bidah [Innovation], by making this claim they apostate from Al-Islam because Allah said in regards to his governance, "And he Allah doesn't allow anyone to share with him in his rule." [Al-Quran, Surah Al-Kahf, Ayah 26]

Wikipedia doesn't have an article on this fundamental jihadi concept yet. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 00:32, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Isis has declared that they are chosen by GOD, that they are the "Caliphate" - that they have a right to rule as successor's of Mohammad. What characteristic of a religion does ISIS not have? I mean the ISIS belief system - if it's not a religion, what is the principal difference?LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:34, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
I know it's like really obscure knowledge, but actually ISIS follows this really obscure religion called "Islam" rather than being itself a religion. I KNOW RIGHT total blindside.
Idiot. King Skeleton (talk) 02:45, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
They are a distinct sub-set or faction within the broader ISLAMIC religion. If you were to examine their doctrines and those of other sects they can be quite different and idiosyncratic.

The beliefs are distinctly different from other sects. They are part of Islam like Mormonism is part of christianity. It is still a distinct religion unto itself distinct from catholics. You have insulted me, and deliberately mis-characterized my argument. I get why you are so hostile. What I am saying is essentially sacrilegious to your sacredly held beliefs and you have no rational rebuttal. I understand why you feel compelled to lash out, but I will only participate insofar as the discussion can remain on an adult level. I realize this thread takes a controversial stand on both religion and politics(same thing) and I expected it to take a turn like this and I'm actually pleasantly surprised it has been such a mostly-adult and intellectually honest conversation. I'm surprised it took this long to go to name-calling. Is there a way to ban trolls if they disrupt with personal attacks and name calling and such?LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:37, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Are you finished stroking yourself in public now?King Skeleton (talk) 05:02, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Liberals want to teach children that the government is a religion. Melissa Harris-Perry said that children belong to the government, and supported redistribution of childbearing responsibilities, and parents in essence do not have control of and have no rights regarding their children. Public schools also want to feed students two meals a day on the taxpayer dime to teach them that the government provides, not the work that their parents do, and will encourage these kids to receive handouts as adults in lieu of getting a job. It is quite clear that leftists believe that the state is a god, and provides for all. Which is why liberalism and atheism go hand in hand. --Elvis is King (talk) 02:21, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

"Isis has declared that they are chosen by GOD, that they are the "Caliphate" - that they have a right to rule as successor's of Mohammad. What characteristic of a religion does ISIS not have? I mean the ISIS belief system - if it's not a religion, what is the principal difference?" So, when a follower of an established religion does something they claim is based on an order from their deity, that undertaking becomes a new religion? So all the U.S. businesses which have some form of Christian beliefs incorporated into their "vision & mission" and whose founders claim divine inspiration, are actually new and distinct religions? Are bible societies or the Jesuits religions (as opposed to religious)? I hope it's obvious why this argument is problematic. ISIS itself has, so far as I know, not claimed to innovate anything, nor have they produced any new theology or revelations that do anything to move their branch of Islam into a category separate from other violent Wahabbi Islamist groups. ISIS didn't invent either the notion of a caliphate or the idea that it must be resurrected through violence. Similarly, Al-Qaeda wasn't a religion - it followed a (specific version of a) religion. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:10, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

"HELL no" - Agreed. Only by a very selective and butchered interpretation of "government" and "religion" and a cherry picking of specific characteristics of each can one reach a "yes" answer. However, the arguments used to reach this point would likely lead to pretty much any reasonably complex organisation being labelled a "religion" which empty the term of meaning. To me, the arguments for a "yes" end up sounding a lot like apologetics which also has a tendency to trip up in its own logic. Just because we cannot literally point to such elements as "nation" or "citizen", as both are mental abstractions meant to convey the idea of social cohesion and the legal implications of this, or because we may be opposed to either government in general or specific types of them or their policies, doesn't mean that government is some sort of "sacred organisation". Any corporation or voluntary organisation has a set of visions/a mission/goals and a code of conduct with accompanying sanctions. This combination of "intangible ideal + prescriptive code + enforcement" is just simply too vague a definition of "religion" to be useful to distinguish it from other phenomena.ScepticWombat (talk) 08:47, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

"This combination of "intangible ideal + prescriptive code + enforcement" is just simply too vague a definition of "religion" to be useful to distinguish it from other phenomena."
Agreed. That set of facts doesn't distinguish government from a mafia or gang, which aren't necessarily religious in my opinion (although some of them may have an official gang religion). But that's not really what sets government apart as religious. It's the reification of the abstract "entity" called the "United States of America" as a "real" person based on faith in dogma and magical thinking that really distinguishes the USA belief system a religion.LogicMaster777 (talk) 16:12, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Nope, still missing the goddamn point[edit]

I can prove governments exist trivially. I cannot do that for any religious belief. Period. Things that exist should be treated differently than those that don't or have no substantial evidence of existing. Way to miss the goddamn point. Ikanreed (talk) 04:32, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Prove that the state exists as any more than a mental abstraction. Prove that it has any more corporeal existence than Santa Clause or Poseidon. When the state of wherever it is you live appears as a plaintiff in the thousands of traffic tickets show me a photo of that entity. I have seen pictures of Chupakabra and Bigfoot and aliens, can you please link to a picture of that entity who deposits checks into bank accounts saying "State of xxxx" as the account holder. When a "state" employee cashes their paycheck, show me a photo of that entity, the "state" for whom they work and who pays them. There are hundreds of "states" in the world, right? Surely you can produce a photo of one of these "entities" to prove they exist outside your mind, right? If not, can you explain why? LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:50, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Is it because the "higher power" of the state is invisible? LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:54, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Can you show me a photograph of your family? I don't mean any people, I mean the "family" itself independent of them. If you can't, you must just come from some loose assembly of people who are related to one another or something. King Skeleton (talk) 07:50, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't think you ever responded to my burden of proof question. You are making the claim - shouldn't it be up to you to demonstrate it is true rather than for others to prove it is false?--Weirdstuff (talk) 06:55, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

My argument hinges on the reasoning used to reach the conclusion. Basically, I am putting forth the argument that the statist government belief system is based on faith rather than evidence. As such, I can't really prove to you what your faith is or isn't without some sort of brain scan or polygraph. Perhaps you do actually have evidence to support faith in "state". How do you know what the pope bases his belief in god on? Do you know it is faith? How do you know he doesn't have a phone that dials directly to god? Doesn't that require a lot of presumption on your part? We can look at the bible where it says to believe based on faith, so we can see there is evidence the belief is based on faith in some people. How do you know why a particular individual believes though? I try to take an approach of trying to avoid presuming to tell people what they believe or why and try more to look at what the statists themselves say and my interpretation of what it means. If you don't find it convincing then I'm fine with it. I don't presume to just dictate to you what your religious beliefs should be or shouldn't be. We are talking about a belief system that professes the idea that government and religion are to be kept separate(separation of church and state). Part of the scriptural doctrine of the faith itself is this idea that it's not itself a religion, that it is somehow separate and distinct unto itself from the realm of the religious. So to say it IS a religion is in a way itself a sacrilege to a statist. And ironically, the stronger their religious faith in the belief system, the more they will deny it is actually a religion (because it is one of its doctrines).LogicMaster777 (talk) 18:31, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

"HELL no" - Agreed. Only by a very selective and butchered interpretation of "government" and "religion" and a cherry picking of specific characteristics of each can one reach a "yes" answer. However, the arguments used to reach this point would likely lead to pretty much any reasonably complex organisation being labelled a "religion" which empty the term of meaning. To me, the arguments for a "yes" end up sounding a lot like apologetics which also has a tendency to trip up in its own logic. Just because we cannot literally point to such elements as "nation" or "citizen", as both are mental abstractions meant to convey the idea of social cohesion and the legal implications of this, or because we may be opposed to either government in general or specific types of them or their policies, doesn't mean that government is some sort of "sacred organisation". Any corporation or voluntary organisation has a set of visions/a mission/goals and a code of conduct with accompanying sanctions. This combination of "intangible ideal + prescriptive code + enforcement" is just simply too vague a definition of "religion" to be useful to distinguish it from other phenomena.ScepticWombat (talk) 08:47, 29 November 2014 (UTC) Whoops, posted in wrong section, sorry. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:48, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

"Can you show me a photograph of your family? I don't mean any people, I mean the "family" itself independent of them. If you can't, you must just come from some loose assembly of people who are related to one another or something"
OMG, King Skeleton! You've just demonstrated that LogicMaster777's family is a religion! All hail the true born son/daughter LogicMaster777!!! ScepticWombat (talk) 09:28, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Holy shit there's some refusal to accept reality going on here. State is an abstraction that describes a real collection of people acting in a specific manner. Being abstract isn't the same as non-existant. This is some stoner-philosophy going on here and I'm not about to give you guys any credit for this painfully awful line of reasoning. Ikanreed (talk) 17:11, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Maqdisi, the foremost jihadi theorist of our time says democracy is idolatry and obedience to democratic laws is a form of worship. This has becomes the mainstream belief of a majority of anti-Imperialist Middle Easterners. Debating the nature of religion or whether obedience to a secular civil authority is Satanic is interesting, but the debate is over as far as millions of people who resent Western influence is concerned. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 17:39, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Hey, Ikanreed, you want a shot glass of pure science? They say it's 100% proof. King Skeleton (talk) 22:27, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

It is so simple. All forms of authoritarianism such as liberalism are government worship. --Elvis is King (talk) 23:04, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Ya, probably but that's not really an argument. You would have to do more than just state a conclusion to prove it. Would be real interesting to see.LogicMaster777 (talk) 18:44, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Why haven't we server-side banned Elvis is King yet?[edit]

It's clear he has nothing to contribute but being a unfunny troll.--Madman (talk) 01:20, 1 December 2014 (UTC)The Madman

Proposition: Inability or unwillingness to comprehend, just good old-fashioned trolling, or something else entirely?[edit]

Since LogicMaster777 is apparently not able to let go of the idea that if something transcends a collection of individuals it must somehow be supernatural, that such collectives greater than their constituent parts don't really exist and that this non-existence makes them equivalent of God or Santa Claus, that legal powers vested in individuals are not "true", and that officials therefore are just illegitimate people in funny clothes, I present the following possible explanations.

Is LogicMaster777:

A) Someone who is suffering from some sort of learning or comprehension disability, meaning that (s)he's unable to actually understand the answers (s)he receives?
B) Someone who thinks (s)he's engaged in an incredibly sophisticated Socratic dialogue and is thus unwilling to stop asking questions that have already been answered?
C) Someone who just likes to troll the hell out of anyone who cares to respond?
D) A twat who combines the least attractive qualities of JAQing off, Frank Turek & Norman Geisler's "roadrunner tactic", and what appears to be a rather bizarre and diffuse antipathy towards the gub'mint, 'cause it's all just another religion don't ya' know?

Answers and alternatives are welcome. ScepticWombat (talk) 03:13, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

When you believe you're smarter than everyone else, being proven wrong requires you accept everyone else was smarter than you. King Skeleton (talk) 03:15, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I make it a mix of B, C, and D. I do not see any indication he is arguing in good faith. LM began this by immediately setting himself up to take the attacking side. He stated his idea then asked if the reader thought he was wrong or right, instead of doing the correct thing and presenting his own rationale for examination so the reader could have stated if they agreed or disagreed with his reasoning. I believe he understands it's easier to attack rather than defend in these sorts of semantics-heavy discussions. He's been doing nothing but trying to use Socrates' good old standby of asking questions until someone's answers contain a contradiction and then going "AH-HA, QED MOTHERFUCKERS". He's also been posting in each branch of the conversation, often multiple times to every reply, making it more and more work to respond to him (you've done some yeoman's work there, by the way, if I wasn't so new to it myself I'd demote you to sysop). LM's argument, so far as he's had the honesty to state anything definite, has been a sort of ideas-oriented Treachery of Images as if it's a huge revelation that organization and government can't be sold by the pound. The main value in his arguments are the exercise in noting all the ways he doesn't really answer questions--and counting the question marks in his own posts. --Maxus (talk) 03:31, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
No, Logic is thinking outside the box. He must've read, Democracy: A Religion! (it's a big seller in the Islamic State) and helping Western nitwits understand the idioms they are soon to face with boots on the ground. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 03:40, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Rob, would you kindly shut up? I really don't care on the substance of his beliefs. It's his dishonest "debate" style that I really draw issue with. Even then, the idea that social constructs and shared ideas are, well, non-physical is hardly a revelation or thinking outside of the box past adolescence. --Maxus (talk) 03:48, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I actually have never read that particular book but I am interested to. I/we should put together a bibliography on this subject.LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:48, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Re-reading some of LogicMaster777's earlier posts I think that a couple of the points where the argument went off the rails are:
First, the repeated assertion that states are based on "blind faith" and "dogma" and that this equates with being a religion (missing the obvious point that even if true, this lacks the supernatural element of religion and thus would merely make the state an irrational/arbitrary construct)
What is the "supernatural" element of the religion of the cult of Zeus? Isn't the primary supernatural element the reification of Zeus? Would it be fair to say that what makes a "supernatural" belief "supernatural" IS the reification involved in accepting an imaginary or unproven entity as a concrete physical entity or an imaginary or unproven "mechanism" or "force"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:24, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Are you really this ignorant? How about Zeus changing into a bull, or a golden shower? Or is that something you consider natural? You're also misapplying reification (surprise, surprise). The concept refers to confusing a model with the reality which this model represents. This doesn't mean that the concept doesn't reflect very real things, or that the concept is somehow magic or supernatural. If you follow the link from reification, you'll find this definition: " We think, e.g. of "Norway" as if it were one thing, while in reality it is a near-infinite agglomeration of people, projects, actions, expressions and objects, in constant movement and conflict, within a landscape which is neither homogeneous, stable or geographically bounded. When I say "I am a Norwegian", this is a reification, which hides the countless other things I also am." Note what this doesn't say: It does not claim that "a Norwegian" is somehow unreal, but that it is a simplification, a useful short cut, not that it is a wrong or unreal statement. ScepticWombat (talk) 00:33, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Zeus changing into a bull only becomes a supernatural BELIEF if you reify Zeus, that is to say to BELIEVE in him as "real". Watching "clash of the titans" and realizing it is a fantasy is not a supernatural BELIEF. By supernatural BELIEF I mean something actually BELIEVED. Superman might have "supernatural" powers but it is not necessarily a BELIEF to read a comic if one knows it is fantasy. If you know the "United States of America" isn't "real", that it is only an abstraction then it's not a belief. From the reification link: "A similar term is "reification", where abstractions are taken to be a real thing." This is what I mean by reify: to treat an abstraction as a "real" thing, or to believe in it as "real"(although reification does not necessarily mean belief, belief CAN BE a type of reification). Watching the night before christmas isn't necessarily reification. But putting cookies out for Santa to eat starts to reify him since we know imaginary people don't eat real cookies. When we anthromorphize (imagine him as having human characteristics like being able to eat cookies) and reify Santa, we are treating him like a real person: feeding him real food. We might say "thank you Santa" when opening a present he "brought" for us which would also be anthromorphizing and reifying him (both in playing make-believe that he brought us a present and talking to him like he is real). LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:20, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Second, the fact that LogicMaster777 seems to conflate reification and magical thinking. To take an example that has already been mentioned: Usually when we say "family", we don't refer to (only) genetic relatives, but to the social construction "family" (think of Norman Rockwell's Freedom from Want for instance). It is this social construction, created and maintained through reification that we normally refer to when we talk about having a family dinner. According to LogicMaster777's definition, this social unit must therefore be a product of magical thinking, and anything we do in consequence of our relation to this product of magical thinking is therefore equivalent of writing a wish list to Santa Claus or believing that Santa fills the stocking.
Basically, the problem seems to be an inability to distinguish between symbolic/social and supernatural/magic. ScepticWombat (talk) 03:52, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
What is the distinction exactly?LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:32, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
The fact that you have to ask is demonstration of either stunning ignorance or obstinate denial. I can use the abstract notion of the social "bond" (which is after all not physical) between friends, without having to appeal to supernatural notions of "kindred spirits" or magical ideas such as karmic balance. ScepticWombat (talk) 00:33, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Why is asking a question "proof" of ignorance? Can one ask a question one already knows the answer to? Wouldn't an inability to answer the question be a more reliable indicator of ignorance? Wouldn't refusing to confront the actual question asked and actually provide a responsive answer, but instead lashing out with verbal aggression be a more reliable indicator of denial?LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:21, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps it's that demanding he think for you is utterly fucking obnoxious. You do realise it's possible to end a sentence with something other than a question mark, right? King Skeleton (talk) 23:50, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Add what seems to be an underlying premise on the line of Margaret Thatcher's statement "And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families." (except that in LogicMaster777's case there aren't even any families beyond the basic genetic affiliation), and I can begin to see the (deeply flawed) logic behind the argument - just not why the explanations and corrections don't seem to have any effect whatsoever. ScepticWombat (talk) 04:00, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
He's definitely using Freeman on the Land talking points. I've noticed a tendency to ignore the reality of society among them. E.g. the numerous court appearances where they are repeatedly told that things don't work the way they think and nevertheless persist. He's combining the Socratic Method with their style of argument by assertion. --TiaC (talk) 04:48, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually that fits the sovereign/Freeman personalities I have experienced to a T. They are usually isolated people as ignorant as cargo cultists thinking anything they don't understand, like politics/business/government/etc, is like the only thing they usually have experienced in a group...Sunday church. Often an authoritarian one. People aren't throwing out ideas or working as a group. The pronouncements come from above and they follow. So everyone else must be as well.
This is also why many go through very ritualized actions in order to get what they want. You just need to do the right rituals (saying, actions, clothing, punctuation) and it get what they want. They just haven't witnessed the rituals, and don't understand them, but those rituals are being sold to them by people exploiting their stupidity. Like the redemption movement going over ritualized sayings and actions so the "program" will be overridden and they will get what they want.
The saddest part is that many claiming others think governments as being like religion actually do think so. Like Saint Reagan, Paul Ryan, or Sarah Palin. When people fact checked things they said and proved they were wrong, not just a little bit either, it didn't matter. Their voters judged them to be people of good character they had faith in almost as prophets. Which fits as most said they were speaking for God and listening to the divine voice to lead America. Then reality hit and it turns out they were talking to the voices in their head...which doesn't matter for those who still believe. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 18:30, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

"It's not argument by assertion to reiterate and clarify your position because it's being mischaracterized into a strawman version." Pot meet kettle. Just look at what happened when I pointed out that your definition of "family" as based on genetic relation would make adopted family members "unreal" and abstract and hence, by applying your notion that such abstract ideas are not "real" (e.g. your example with judges), would make them superstitions. After all, a family not based on genetic ties is a prime example of reification if "family" is defined solely in genetic terms, because the ties involved are purely based on mental and social constructs. You then immediately changed the subject by claiming that it was like setting the table for an invisible friend. That's just avoiding the fact that your definition of "family" was flawed.
You've also been told why punishment does constitute excellent evidence for the existence of states - that you apparently find such arguments inconvenient and/or such punishments illegitimate, doesn't make that evidence disappear. What you're doing is trying to avoid facing evidence by redefinition, which is exactly analogous to what creationists do when they invoke microevolution.
You really must have a very high opinion of yourself and your definitions, since pretty much every commenter have told you the same reasons why you're wrong, yet you just keep repeating "But I'm right!" - that's the very definition of argument by assertion.
You can, as I've pointed out again and again, apply your logic to any corporation and end up with the result that it's a religion. McDonald's has the same level of (non-)existence according to your definitions that the state has. McDonald's also has a set of rules that it requires its staff to follow. It also demands a certain behaviour. It has certain values (e.g. speedy service) on which it insists. It also cannot be "weighed", or "observed" aside from the actions performed by its constituent persons. Not to mention that it also punishes those who don't follow the rules, and there is no more reason why the CEO should be obeyed any more than judges (they're all just people in funny clothes). Therefore, it must be a religion, right? I mean, it's only because of reification that we think of McDonald's as a single entity, right? However, when confronted with this, you just reiterate your "the state doesn't exist and judges are Harry Potter figures"-shtick, which again is a prime example of both arguments by assertion and ad nauseam.
Oh, and you've also been told why your invocation of argumentum ad baculum is wrong several times, yet you blather on regardless. Nevertheless, allow me to recap: An argumentum ad baculum is not pointing out that, say, the ability to bomb a house is good evidence of the existence of the U.S. Air Force. Instead, an argumentum ad baculum is one (and I'll quote directly from the article): "in which the adverse consequences are administered deliberately as a punishment rather than something which follows logically from the premise". Pointing out that cops exist is not tantamount to an appeal to "adverse consequences administered deliberately as a punishment". Or don't you think that the U.S. Army or Air Force exist either, because pointing out the physical evidence of their destructive abilities would be an argumentum ad baculum? (not to mention that they're also just people in funny clothes claiming some esoteric authority, similar to judges)
You miss the point of why you're called a moron: It's not to detract from your arguments, but a conclusion springing not only from the (lack of) merits of your arguments, but also from your (lack of) salient response to or engagement with criticism. That's also analogous to why creationists are called morons, btw. Basically, "arguing" with you has turned out to be in the sense of having a row, because just like kicking a ball against a wall, your critics don't get any active feedback, only stonewalling. ScepticWombat (talk) 00:17, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
No, I get it there is a group of men and women who call themselves airforce. I don't presume the criticism of my argumentation style is "wrong" or that I need to necessarily rebut it as it arises. Some of the criticism is perhaps valid. I don't think I need to respond to every poison the well fallacy since the fallacy is so blatant. About the McDonalds, yes I accept your conclusion that corporations according to my reasoning are themselves religious in nature. I own that. If you think that shows a reductio absurdum I disagree. I think it is perfectly reasonable to say that "corporations" as we know them today are essentially religious institutions. If you think that is a far-out premise and you just are not prepared to accept it because it seems so "far out" or "kooky" or whatever, I'm fine with it. I don't need to persuade you. Perhaps you will provide some evidence that McDonalds the legal person wasn't just invented by imagining it and prove me wrong. That's fine if so. If I were a true skeptic I wouldn't "need to be right". If the data proves I'm wrong and that McDonalds the corporation or "legal person" has some corporeal non-imaginary existence then let the data be known. LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:25, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
"Pointing out that cops exist is not tantamount to an appeal to "adverse consequences administered deliberately as a punishment""

Again, I get it. Cops exist. By what naturalistic principle do you determine cops are "state"? Magic jewelry? "We say so"? Lol. LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:30, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

If by state you mean government then fine I concede cops are part of the government and the naturalistic principle we can use is to look at how they are financed. Using sound principles of economics we can prove they are part of a larger organization called "government" which operates on a business model of taxation(forcing people to pay using conditional threats like pay or go to jail). If by state you mean government, then ya. Cops are state(government). If you mean something else other than "government"(that is to say, funded by an organization that operates on taxation revenues) by "state" and cops are it, tell me how you know.LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:46, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Now LM at least agrees that corporations are also religions under his definition, which illustrates that he now embraces the extremely broad "any complex organisation is a religion"-definition I highlighted earlier and hence tacitly accepts that he now can't distinguish between Christianity, the Catholic Church, the United States, the U.S. federal government, and McDonald's. As I've already pointed out, this leads to the problem for those who wants to refer to just one of the categories to which these belong (a religious faith, a religious organisation, a state, a government and a private corporation).
And LM, why do you ask for "data" to "prove" that you're "wrong and that McDonalds the corporation or "legal person" has some corporeal non-imaginary existence then let the data be known"? You've already demonstrated that you don't accept the kind of data everyone else agree is sufficient. Basically, you're using another creationist trick and defining your category of evidence/data in such a way that your claims can't be falsified. You now also appears to be redefining "naturalistic" to mean something like "simple physicalism", because we've already given you more than one "naturalistic principle" by which to "determine cops are "state"". Once again, making up your own definitions is another technique creationists use to define problems into or out of existence - just like you have done from the beginning of this endless thread. Your insincerity is by now becoming glaringly obvious, since you've resorted to the "I don't need to persuade you"-retreat, which is really odd, as the idea behind a debate actually is the (perceived) need to convince others. Btw, we're not just criticising your "argumentation style" (though that also has come in for some flak for being obnoxious and trollish). The main criticism has targeted your actual arguments and especially the definitions they're based on. It seems like you've finally come clean and admitted that you're just going to remain in your own little world of home-grown cobbled together definitions that yields the conclusions you like, and that, despite no one else agreeing with your definitions, you're not going to accept any alternatives. OK, cool, coffee is spiders, have fun. ScepticWombat (talk) 16:25, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
My hypothesis that the legal person of McDonalds is imagined into existence with "the secret" is falsifiable: All you have to do is provide a photo of the "legal person" of McDonalds. It's really that simple. Just because you have no such evidence doesn't mean it's not falsifiable.
Your argument is mainly based around strawman mis-characterizations of my actual position. Like where you say I supposedly "embrace" "any complex orgainization is a religion" - definition. I do not base my argument on any such premise.
I'm trying to avoid engaging your strawman arguments beyond pointing out their irrelevance since it just clutters the page with distractions.
I mean seriously, you think you can just make up a strawman where you invent your own definition, pretend it's someone else's definition, and then acuse them of trying to "argue by redefinition" by refuting YOUR definition which you falsely ascribe to your "opponent"? You really do not see how intellectually dishonest that is?LogicMaster777 (talk) 17:02, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

I fed the troll, discussion moved[edit]

Bro, this is the "beyond-autistic" categorical nonsense I was talking about. You talk about legislation, jailing, and other characteristics specific to governments and then expect me to be staggered when other abstract non-governmental things don't have them. Like "mind-blown" staggered, not "Are you a goddamn idiot?" staggered. Of course mathematics can't put people in jail, but it can solve problems, and friendship can't write legislation, but it can save you from drunk driving. Thesus' ship can't execute anyone, but it's damned good at sailing. You're being childishly illogical for a "logicmaster". Ikanreed (talk) 19:19, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

I think you are equivocating "government" with "state". The government does these things. People. But people will say that the "State" does them. There is no state, aside from an idea. I think you think when I talk about the "state" I am using it as a euphemism for "government".

The state is the invisible higher power of the government religion. If it exists as anything other than an idea, then where is the evidence? Or do you believe in it on blind faith? How much can I get, say a pound of "state" for? A million bucks? The men and women who call themselves a government are actual flesh and blood beings. We could weigh them. We can observe their physical properties. We can have a pound of government(human) just like we can have a pound of beef(cow), although it's implications are kind of gruesome to think of it like that. But where is this entity called the state? What physical corporeal "entity" are we referring to by the "State"? What is its weight and mass? Have you seen it? If not, how do you know it's "real"? Because you were indoctrinated?LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:52, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

I'm begining to suspect you suffer from some kind of undiagnosed mental disorder. You demand corporeality, for no stated reason. I can demonstrate ecosystems exist, but they aren't corporeal, and they're quire scientific; I can demonstrate software exists, and it's not corporeal; You've quite effectively demonstrated your obnoxiousness, and it's not corporeal. Like, you call yourself "logicmaster", right? Logic isn't fucking corporeal. You just demand that things that exist arbitrary be physical and the only reason for this is because your noxious argument demands it.
Let's take a look at the scientific method for a second. Where in its processes do you see the notion of physicality being necessary? Evolution is a process, not a thing, but we have extraordinary evidence of its existence, and it has profound implications. Photons are massless, but they nonetheless interact with the world. Chemical bonds don't have mass and weight, and yet, they're extremely foundational to chemistry. You're really just engaged in incredibly basic reality denial under extremely bullshitty pretenses.
The most generous interpretations of your arguments are still "X and Y have [characteristic] in common and are thus the same". You're absolutely wrong, and you're not going to stop being wrong by demanding evidence of obviously extant things. Ikanreed (talk) 20:07, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
By "obviously extant" you mean obviously, as in by faith? I like how you say I'm "wrong" and then brush off whether there is actually any evidence to support your position, it's just so obvious no evidence is needed. Nice. LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:03, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
So then, what is the difference between a government belief system and a religion? You say showing what they have in common doesn't prove they are the same. So then, doesn't that imply that they are different somehow? How specifically?LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:53, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
This is rapidly devolving into a Schlafly-esque discussion: "Eating a pound of state does not cause one's energy to increase by the speed of light squared." --Inquisitor (talk) 22:40, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

"I like how you say I'm "wrong" and then brush off whether there is actually any evidence to support your position, it's just so obvious no evidence is needed. Nice" Pot, meet kettle. I wonder if LogicFail LogicMaster777 realise that (s)he's following the creationist script on how to deny "debate":
1) Argument by assertion,
2) claim that the opponent is actually just espousing "blind faith",
3) deny that any evidence your opponent presents constitute actual evidence,
4) demand "proof",
5) use vague terms and change your definitions to suit whatever is convenient at the moment,
6) and repeat Argument by assertion ad nauseam.
ScepticWombat (talk) 09:38, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
It's not argument by assertion to reiterate and clarify your position because it's being mischaracterized into a strawman version.LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:29, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I guess the proof is in the punishment, right? Jail,punishment, therefore state. That's the evidence? Let's say you wanted to formulate an argumentum ad baculuum to argue for the state. What form do you suppose it might take?LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:37, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
"You are keep repeating the same argument every time I try to mischaracterize it. I already said you're wrong. It's obvious. Why don't you get it? Because you're an idiot. I win."LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:47, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
There's also the old classic "accuse your opponent of using the exact logical fallacies you're using in the hope they'll look petty if they say you're the one using them" in there. King Skeleton (talk) 10:26, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the problem with that strategy here is that none of us are especially worried about looking bad. We know the standards for debate that everyone but WordMaestro here doesn't. Maybe we should try a different approach and give him an honest chance to defend his thesis, under a more structured approach. Hey, LogicMaster, I'm going to post a new section below, and I'd like you to put your argument in a few different framings. Ikanreed (talk) 16:30, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
He's increasingly relying now on the old fallback of demanding every single term and concept be explained to him in detail in the hope his opponent will trip up and give him something to attack. He's proved to be a pretty classic example of a guerilla debater: always attack, avoid giving away anything you'll have to defend, instantly drop anything that becomes untenable without conceding and attack elsewhere. Sadly his attacks are so mind-numbingly stupid and poorly concieved that they reveal he's a idiot regardless of his position. King Skeleton (talk) 02:34, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposition: LogicMaster777's proposition that governments are religions is a religion[edit]

Evidence for:

  • You can't get a bucket of "belief that the government is a religion"!!!!!
  • When was the last time you ever saw with your eyes "a belief that government is a religion"?!!!!
  • People who "believe that government is a religion" often use their "belief that government is a religion" to further their own political agenda, much like members of religious organizations!!!!!

Evidence against:

Two tumbleweeds rolling across the screen, from left to right.

Verdict: LogicMaster777 believes in a religion, and a stupid one at that.

FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 19:30, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

Maybe it is a religion. I do not just presume that I am not religious or that religion is "irrelevant" or even unnecessary and I am not calling the government belief system a religion as a form of ridicule to imply it is "silly" or "irrelevant". I do not believe my argument fits MY definition of religion because I did not have to use magical thinking to imagine any entities or supernatural forces into existence to reach my conclusion. My theory is completely understandable using naturalistic thinking and it is falsifiable. It doesn't require we use faith or magic to reach the conclusion. I also don't necessarily mean to argue that naturalism and science are "better" than faith and religion just that government is faith, not science. We could argue even that science itself can be made into a quasi-religious belief unto itself. To me athiest prostheltizers like Hitchens and Dawkins can themselves take their zealotry to an ALMOST religious degree (although Hitchens was himself a strong believer in the government faith and in my opinion was thus highly religious in that regard - from what I know of him that is my impression anyway.)LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:05, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Question oriented breakdown[edit]

Dear LogicMaster777, I'd like you to take a look at the 7 standard questions, and how they interact with your idea. Please fill in each section below. Ikanreed (talk) 16:36, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Looking at the answers, the best word to describe this person is "simpleton." Not in the normal sense of being stupid, but that rather than trying to understand complex concepts they simplify them until they fit within the framework of their existing understanding. In this way a human being can incorporate an unlimited amount of information into their mind without ever actually learning anything.
It's almost Zen, but not in a good way. King Skeleton (talk) 22:29, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Not only that, but it's pretty reminiscent of the most demented creationists' approach to dealing with evolution. Just look at LogicFail LogicMaster's response to the "What?" question below where LogicFail LogicMaster insists that government "entities" (uh, scare quotes really substantiate assertions, right?) are asserted(!) to be "ABSTRACT, UNSEEN, UNPROVEN, OR UNPROVABLE" (and in ALL CAPS no less, boy I'm so convinced). Of course as LogicFail LogicMaster has already been told, only one of these ("ABSTRACT") even remotely applies and the rest LogicFail LogicMaster simply makes fit by redefining them to exclude the actual countervailing evidence put forth. This is once more a classic creationist technique (e.g.crocoduck and microevolution) ScepticWombat (talk) 09:00, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Honestly, I just laughed my fucking ass off when he brought in the allcaps. |₹Λ¥$€₦₦ Red rose 02.svg So you're telling me cocaine comes from scorpions? 01:52, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Wow, glad I wasn't the only one thinking that. I knew someone who related things to a 4 cycle engine, being mentally disabled, because it was the most complicated thing he could understand. Wonderfully nice kid but it was hard to communicate anything that didn't fit in that framework. This guy seems to treat government and law like a cargo cult like series of rituals (voting, oaths, court), not really understanding them beyond what he sees, and hoping he is rewarded with what he wants...or changing it because it's not doing so. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 02:13, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
The situation is not improved by the fact that it now seems abundantly clear that LogicFail LogicMaster doesn't actually understand the concepts (s)he employs in the "argument".
Note how LogicFail LogicMaster asked me above what was "the "supernatural" element of the religion of the cult of Zeus?"(?!?! Zeus turning into a bull or a golden shower is "natural" now?) and what was apparently all seriousness asked me to explain "the distinction exactly" between between symbolic/social and supernatural/magic.
In other words, when LogicFail LogicMaster use the concept "magical thinking" (s)he doesn't actually know what it means and simply assumes it means something like "abstract thinking".
Likewise, LogicFail LogicMaster's much touted concept of "reification" is either misunderstood, misapplied or simply butchered, just as LogicFail LogicMaster now seems to do with "anthropomorphic", and has already done with argumentum ad baculum. Reification doesn't refer to magical thinking where one thinks that supernatural elements affect something to which it has no relation (sympathetic magic is a prime example). Instead, reification mistakes the model for the real thing, or it mistakes useful "rhetorical shorthands" such as the "I'm a Norwegian"-example above for an all-encompassing description.
In a wonderful ironic twist, LogicFail LogicMaster now seems to be falling prey to reification him-/herself, by bringing up the notion of an "anthropomorphic" state, apparently mistaking the rhetorical shorthand and/or allegorical reference to states as persons (e.g. the U.S. does this, or Uncle Sam says that, rather than the Obama administration does/says whatever) for the real thing. Basically, LogicFail LogicMaster seems to think that when people are referring to the state in anthropomorphic terms, they are seriously thinking of the state as a person, and not using this imagery as a convenient shorthand or useful allegory.
Lesson 1: Before you engage in an argument, be sure you understand the terminology you employ
Lesson 2: Engaging in an argument not understanding your own terminology leads to you having this pointed out immediately and repeatedly (unfortunately, LogicFail LogicMaster seems either incapable or unwilling to actually learn anything, including being corrected on faulty terminology and reasoning - a pretty good description of a fundamentalist, no?) ScepticWombat (talk) 09:24, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
The reification to which I refer is thinking the "state" is "real" rather than recognizing that the state is only a mental projection. There is no "state" except in the mind of statists. All you have to do to prove me wrong is link to a photo of the state and a naturalistic, falsifiable scientific principle and some EVIDENCE for how you determined that what is in the photo is in fact "state". Then the debate is over and you "win." LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:17, 15 December 2014 (UTC)


Redundant with your million other posts, but restating it here is just fair. What is your idea? In your own words, as clearly defined as you can manage.

Main Idea: The government is a religious institution. The institution is based upon a religious belief system.
Supporting ideas:
1. It is based on a scripture ( sacred writing based around a faith-based system of belief ).
2. It is based on dogmatic beliefs ( often though not necessarily scriptural ) which are arbitrary and not necessarily founded upon fact or reason and several are demonstrably false.
3. Involved in the belief system and its rituals like court proceedings, oaths, voting ( among many others ) is a PERVASIVE ANTHROPOMORPHIZING AND REIFICATION of abstractions and ABSTRACT, UNSEEN, UNPROVEN, OR UNPROVABLE "entities" and a system of magical thinking. This is what essentially amounts to a superstitious, magical, emotion-based and supernatural basis behind the institutionalized, organized GOVERNMENT BELIEF SYSTEM OR GOVERNMENT RELIGION.
These 3 main premises are what I believe shows that the government is a religious institution.
Name 1 idea that doesn't fit these. FU22YC47P07470 (talk/stalk) 04:25, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Well ideas like "electricity" are based on observable empirical data. We don't design schematics based on the "sacred writings" of Tesla where we just accept his ideas because of an appeal to his "authority" like statists do when quoting "Case law" or "the constitution". In other words, it's not arbitrary dogma, it's evidence-based.LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:24, 15 December 2014 (UTC)


Who benefits from your *ahem* "unique" understanding of government? What's the more personal utility this understanding can bring?

People can learn to look past "the authority said so", "it's tradition" as their basis for forming conclusions and thus reach a clearer understanding on the subject and resolve the conflicts inherent in the irrationality of government.
Having said that, I do not claim that my theory derives its truth from the good consequences, or as you say "benefits". It is possible that delusion actually has a utility value in itself. Getting a child to believe in a tooth fairy could be argued to have utility value if it gets a kid to stop freaking out about teeth falling out. Believing in the government religion may itself have a utility value even if its belief necessitates religious faith and magical thinking to believe in things which aren't necessarily "real" as "real"(reified supernatural "entities" and similar religious abstractions of the government belief system). There have been made rational arguments against pursuit of truth as an absolute "good". There's the story of the Russian weightlifter who was lied to by his coach about how much he was lifting and it is hypothesized that based on his believing the lie he may have been enabled to break his record. "Power of positive thinking" or the secret-type philosophies may actual have a high utility value. I do not argue that the fact that government belief systems and statist imaginary "entities" fall into such a category of faith-based and magical and thus religious rather than scientific and evidence-based somehow invalidates them as "useful" even if these beliefs require a sort of self deception or even shared delusion to believe in them. There may be more utility in believing a lie or delusion than in knowing the truth. I do not claim my idea is "better" because it is based on logic and empirical observation rather than faith and magic or that just because it leads to a clearer, truer and more accurate understanding of the reality of the government belief system that you are better served by accepting, or by others accepting the conclusion. The lies and delusions of statism may be serving your rational self-interests. Faith and magic may arguably be legit (even at the expense of knowledge of truth or at the risk of self deception) in some sense and I do not argue that they are not. Whether belief in palmistry serves the rational self interests and has good consequences for a fortune teller (and thus can be shown to have utility value) has no bearing on the TRUTH VALUE of palmistry. The pep talk from the fortune teller may enable positive thinking that may have some benefit for the client(or it may be worth the money for its entertainment value). The fortune teller has a job and makes money. Both the fortune teller and the client may receive a "benefit". That doesn't necessarily validate the belief in the palmistry as scientific. But then science isn't the answer to everything so maybe you are better served by non-scientific ideas. Science also does not disprove palmistry. LogicMaster777 (talk) 04:46, 19 December 2014 (UTC)


When did this idea become relevant to the world? What's its relationship with the history of government?

Historically, the large dynastic societies which had a succession of rulers (kings, emperors, pharoahs) have always had a government religion. The Pharoah claimed his right to rule came from the "fact" that he was God or a god. Later the king claimed his right to rule came from the "fact" that he was the chosen of god. I think any intellectually honest look at history will show that where "big government" exists, historically there is almost always an organized government religion. Part of the modern religious dogma is the doctrine that it's not a religion.

Superstition and dogma may be an adapted evolution. With their capacity for abstract thought beyond animals, humans have the double edged sword that they also have the capacity for self deception. This actually may be an adapted response. The government religion may have been an effective survival strategy. It allows nations to organize due to the centralized belief system, which means they can compete and defend vs. their rivals. It may even be genetically programmed through natural selection. Societies which had organized into large empires and dynasties had stronger armies. The believers killed the non-believers which over generations may have actually selected those more predisposed to the types of magical thinking necessary to believe in a government religion as "real" as having a higher chance to survive.
We are now in the information age. This idea over time will be a less and less effective strategy for society. The arms race for survival is mental now. Being able to convince 100000 people to go stab each other with spears because you claim to be god is harder today and has no clear benefit or importance in today's world.
Who made the Pharoah a Pharoah? himself or the society he ruled? nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 17:05, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
It's another claim like David Koresh's. Believe in him who is the chosen. Same as Obama, basically. He's a religious figure. He is conceptualized as such through faith rather than logic. Pharoah, Obama, Koresh, take your pick. They are all 3 cult leaders so in that regard the same if the particular details of the belief systems of their respective cults are superficially different. Whether one worships a pharoah or worships the living personification of the "United States of America" as a supreme being you are still dealing with a religion.LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:33, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
The modern cult of "America" uses rituals where the "chosen one" is he who wins a political popularity contest. And then if say 26% of "Americans" vote for Obama then through the magical power of "state" reification 26% is then "the Majority". 26% = 50%+. The state works in mysterious ways. Minority special interest groups violently forcing their agenda are magically transformed into a benevolent "majority" through the magic of "states". The faith in the pseudo-science of political democracy is kind of one of the foundations of the cult's philosophy.LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:40, 15 December 2014 (UTC)


Really not too topical here, but does your idea only apply to people of some backgrounds? In some places is it irrelevant?

It will be more and more relevant as government becomes less and less relevant and the cost/benefit ratio will lead to a major paradigm shift which is already happening. The money system will blow up and Isis could be the catalyst that makes that inevitability happen. Even if not, it will eventually happen. I would imagine that is when the Federal government will collapse. When their money becomes worthless, people will ask, what are they good for and they'll probably go to a more localized government and anarchist societies will likely become a reality in North America.
Poor people who just keep worshiping the government until financial Armageddon who depend on a government check will be fucked the most. If people never talk or think about this till it happens, they'll be double fucked. Sorry liberals, but the American empire will end like they all have, no reason to think America is a special case. The money system is too big to fail but too intrinsically flawed not to.LogicMaster777 (talk) 17:46, 2 December 2014 (UTC)


Why is this idea a necessary one? Why do you think anyone needs to agree with you?

It's the information age. Believing in magical superstitions from 1776 will just hold society back. The government religion becomes increasingly unnecessary, irrelevant and dangerous as we move into the real high tech era when nuclear technologies or other WMDs will become easy to make.
Basically imagine the Cody Wilsons of the cold fusion era. Armies will be irrelevant when you can make a nuke in your kitchen or buy nanobot drone assasins on the internet. Organizing into armies in such a high tech reality will have the likely consequence of blowing up the planet or making it near uninhabitable with little to no clear benefit.
Well, to say it is necessary proves it is true would be an appeal to consequence. Both this question and my answer here is irrelevant to the debate and is not intended as an argument to further the main hypothesis. I don't really care to defend the answer here because it is just meant to honor the etiquette of the site and it's not really a logical argument. If I were a 100% skeptic, I wouldn't necessarily have to "be right". Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is a dragon who lives in a tower called "state" and when I thought the cops worked for the government I was wrong and this whole time they represented the dragon and the traffic tickets saying "The state" is a plaintiff meant I was being sued by a dragon. I say let the data speak. If the data shows the existence of a distinct "entity" called "the state" then let the data speak. Whether I am right or wrong. Show me the tower and the dragon or whatever this "state" is that sues people for not using a turn signal and how we know this entity is "state" without just resorting to threat of punishment or citing scripture or an appeal to authority or other naked assertion "some guy said so" type of argument or some other fallacy and you have completely annihilated my hypothesis. Have at it please. Show me I am wrong, maybe I am. If my hypothesis is true or false is not just a matter of getting emotional and calling names and my or your emotional "need to be right".LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:00, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Ah, the old "the missing link is still missing" argument. Given you refuse to accept any definition of state which could allow its existence to be demonstrated to you, you can just keep on moving those goalposts. Who the hell do you think you're fooling with this act? King Skeleton (talk) 23:10, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
K then define it for me but go beyong the use of magical thinking and imagining it into existence with the secret. Give me a naturalistic principle by which you determine this "real" "entity" has an actual "existence" other than as an idea in your mind. Because others also share the faith? Because the magic parchment says so? Because believers use violence as punishment? LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:22, 19 December 2014 (UTC)


How would embracing this idea change anything?

It's the inevitable paradigm shift. The next big step for society requires it. Eventually humans will have to leave the planet. So much growing up necessary for that to happen. This is that next major step in that maturation into human adulthood. Humanity is now entering its "adolescence" period. That's when the individual will start moving toward independence from the Paternal figure of the "state".LogicMaster777 (talk) 17:53, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
"Bro, fire the retro thrusters or we're going to crash into the sun."
"Dude, you're not the boss of me!"
Is it possible to change his username to "Anarchist Space Program?" King Skeleton (talk) 21:32, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
"Anarchist Space Program" will be the name of my next band. --Ymir (talk) 23:05, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Cue irony. Not only does LogicFail LogicMaster ideas seem far more reminiscent of the 7-year old screaming "You're not the boss of me!" at the grown ups. For someone who has constantly been protesting that states are just imaginary supernatural entities and constantly defining concepts in terms of a very simplistic crass physicality, LogicFail LogicMaster is certainly willing to engage in some very woo'ish notions of the "maturation into human adulthood" of our species - perhaps LogicFail LogicMaster is waiting for/expecting a new age? ScepticWombat (talk) 00:48, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
It's my opinion that the renaissance isn't over. Every society has had its superstitions. It's easy to look back on with hunts and say "Wow, wtf were they thinking?" and recognize the superstitiousness but they didn't think of it as such at the time it was happening. Just like to a statist ritualistically worshiping and praying to a magical piece of cloth doesn't necessarily seem particularly odd or "bizarre". Anyway I was just giving my opinionated answer based on prophesying into the future, which is speculative. My answer to this question is not intended as a logical argument to support the main premise. I am trying to avoid using this type of rationale to argue the main point because it's mostly irrelevant. I think the statist position is largely based on the appeal to consequences. The state is real because believing it is real leads to perceived "good" consequences and not believing it is real leads to perceived "bad" consequences. Further, we can deduce the "realness" of the state from forcible abductions. If a person who wears the magical jewelry of authority abducts someone and takes them to jail they have proven the existence of an abstract "entity". The hypothesis is proven true by inflicting or threatening to inflict punishment. I am trying to avoid appeals to consequence, which is why I want to make it clear I'm just answering the question to humor Ikanread, since to say this answer proves my central premise would be an appeal to consequence. Whether or not accepting my hypothesis as true would "change anything" is irrelevant to its correctness.LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:11, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
"...government becomes less and less relevant and the cost/benefit ratio will lead to a major paradigm shift which is already happening. The money system will blow up and ... the Federal government will collapse"
"Eventually humans will have to leave the planet. So much growing up necessary for that to happen. This is that next major step in that maturation into human adulthood. Humanity is now entering its 'adolescence' period."
I suspect that LM777 seriously underestimates the time needed for either one of those things to happen. The US will need to spend a lot of time with the watchers asleep at the switch, before the moneyed landlord class becomes so oppressive as to prompt a China-style communist revolution, for example. Same with humanity reaching out into space— without help from the Greys or the Taelons, centuries of iteration need to elapse before tourists go beyond low Earth orbit, to say nothing of any significant exodus to Mars or beyond the solar system.
One doesn't need religious faith to believe in the state. Last month I made a telephone call to one of the state's agents, a helpful fellow in my city's Department of Public Works. About a week later, a crew came out and did some digging, which found and fixed the disconnect that had left the streetlight dark in front of my house. Pile up enough news like that, and I'm willing to call it evidence. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 22:48, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Your premise contains your conclusion(circular reasoning/begging the question); how do you know he was a state agent without your conclusion (there is a state) being true?LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:05, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
"How can I use my own existence to argue that humans exist, that requires I assume I'm human." Great work, humans don't exist, we can all stop listening to you. King Skeleton (talk) 23:16, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Do you think presuming a person to be an agent of God carries the implicit assumption that there is a God? Would you accept "I met an agent of God" as logical proof of God's existence?LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:58, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
If you argued "God" was a term that applied to the sum of those mortal agents, their remit and their actions, meeting such an agent would indeed prove God existed. However, I would point out that the term "church" applied to such an organisation, and that a god requires a supernatural element this organisation did not have.
You tedious idiot. King Skeleton (talk) 04:11, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
[ec] "how do you know he was a state agent?"
Parsimony of assumptions. For all I know, he could have been an infiltrator from parts unknown, able to spoof answering the DPW phone number. Perhaps the big yellow truck with DPW markings was also rolling under a false flag, and the guys in it only pretended to get at the buried wire. Maybe the light only came on after that by coincidence, since correlation is not causation, right?
In a world that makes sense to me, the state exists, no matter how you tap-dance around it. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:25, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Lol an emblem painted on a truck is the proof of the state as a distinct entity? Do the cave paintings left by indians prove the entities depicted are "real"? Why or why not?LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:35, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Not just the emblem alone, Sparky. The marking on the truck is just one part of a coherent whole. The observable facts are consistent with an entity, a civil state, that maintains public infrastructure, and does plenty of other stuff. I live in a world where boundaries aren't always distinct, and that's a workable reality, when approached with a certain kind of attitude. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:52, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, a certain kind of attitude. One that's not concerned with The marking on the priest's robe is just one part of a coherent whole. The observable facts are consistent with an entity,
"In a world that makes sense to me, the state exists, no matter how you tap-dance around it." That's cool. I respect your right to whatever faith you wish to believe in. I don't mean to try to take away from anyone's right to their religion.LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:40, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
They prove the concept of those entities existed, certainly. In much the same way that, say, Star Wars shows there is such a thing as a Death Star. The concept "Death Star" refers to among other things a story device, a series of special effects shots and models, and the idea of a moon-sized superweapon. The fact that not all of these things physically exist does not mean referring to them as "Death Star" is reification. Since the state is also a concept it is only necessary to prove the parts it is a summary of exist to prove it does. That includes "state entities" and so proof of those entities serves as corrborating evidence. Saying otherwise is like saying a giant board covered in bits of battleship model kits isn't proof of the concept of the Death Star because you must assume the term can be applied to the board: it's totally ass-backwards reasoning. King Skeleton (talk) 23:47, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't doubt that the entities in a cave painting existed as a concept. They may have been abstract representation of actual anthropomorphic beings. Some probably are for all I know but just looking at painted symbols isn't proof.LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:12, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay, and what proof is there of a "state entity"? A guy called another guy and three other guys showed up later? We can explain this phenomena by the first guy contacted the other three in the intermittent time between the original phone call and the time the three show up. We don't need to conjure up an abstract entity as "real" to explain this phenomena.LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:12, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Thing is, you're the one arguing the state is not a concept. And your belief that only the people you directly see are involved in excavating a fucking road is excellent proof of how little grasp you have of reality. A state works project like digging up a road implies the existence of hundreds of people, not four. This is the same as your dumbshit idea that it only takes one cop to sentence you to prison. King Skeleton (talk) 00:20, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay, so then if the state is just a concept then the state cannot "argue". Yet the "state" lawyers(priests) will make assertions such as "the state argues" in their reasoning, and even the high priests of the the "supreme court" will personify the state in such a manner when writing up their faith based dogmas. Not only that, but their scriptural interpretations talk of the state using the death penalty. What if I said "Zeus" argues as the defendant in a lawsuit in his appeals brief that the Zeus should be able to execute people because the laws of Zeus say it is so? Would you think there is a fallacy there? If the state is just a concept, why do the scriptures of the government personify it doing these physical feats in the real world as if it is a real person and base their doctrines on this sort of reification? Because "the state argues" carries the weight of "authority" whereas "because I said so" doesn't have quite the same effect. The state is just blind faith in "some guy said so". A religion based on the Milgram effect basically.LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:27, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Nobody said the state is just a concept except you, either. Honestly, if you refuse to listen to what people are telling you there's not much point doing anything but speculating on what kind of mental disorder you have. You do realise that's what people are doing, right? You're convincing nobody by repeating this horseshit. King Skeleton (talk) 03:32, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
He's all yours, King Skeleton. Ciao, Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 23:52, 3 December 2014 (UTC)
I wish I hadn't come across this page in the recent changes. Reading this was the biggest waste of time since my cousin played Grown Ups 2 while I was in the same room. And this is coming from the guy who tried to reason with Burkean on the Thomas Sowell talk page. The fact of the matter is that LM isn't trolling (as far as I can tell) but seems to suffer from a disorder of some sort meaning it will be impossible to prove anything to him, even if its already been proven a million times over. Just for the sake of it (and because I'm an idiot) I'll give it a go though. LM, I can demonstrate a government exists by breaking the law and being arrested. If the government didn't exists I wouldn't be arrested. And because you're crazy and I know what you're going to say no, that is not argumentum ad baculum because it's not necessarily a case for the gubmint to exist merely proof that it does. If I break religious laws by sleeping with my neighbors wife there's no proof that God would punish me however. In fact there's no proof for any religious belief. That's the point, it's based on faith. Laws are not based on faith because we can see they exist when people are prosecuted for breaking them. ClothCoat (talk) 00:33, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I do not doubt that if people defy the scriptures of statism there is a ubiquitous likelihood if not an imminent inevitability of being arrested by people who call themselves a government and such a scenario would prove those who call themselves government exist and I think such a conclusion would not be a fallacious appeal to consequences. We do not have to use reification in this argument. And I don't deny that there are threats of punishment for defying the scriptures or that those threats are credible. They probably still stone people for defying sharia law too. People punish people. It happens. How about in the example of stoning? Does that prove sharia law is not based on faith? LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:52, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
What the hell?! "I do not doubt that if people defy the scriptures of statism there is a ubiquitous likelihood if not an imminent inevitability of being arrested by people who call themselves a government..." Even for conspiracy theorists this is pretty insane! EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 03:05, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Seriously? Don't you think defying a statute for example, carries a likelihood of being arrested by someone who is part of the "government"? Why would such an assumption be insane?LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:33, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
How is a law a scripture of satanism? EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 04:08, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Scripture of statism. Scripture of the government religion.LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:30, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
You'd understand if you had more logic in you. Logic is that gas that makes paint come out of a can, right? King Skeleton (talk) 03:13, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
"They probably still stone people for defying sharia law too. People punish people. It happens. How about in the example of stoning? Does that prove sharia law is not based on faith?" The funny thing is that after posting that comment I was wondering if you'd be crazy enough to make that argument but I didn't think you would. If someone punishes you for not following religion that would not prove the religion is real, though it would prove that there are governments and/or organizations who could punish you for not following those religions. Your argument works against itself, since religion can't punish you an organization working on behalf of it still can and that's proof that organization does exist even if the religion doesn't. One is clearly SEEN existing when whereas the other isn't that's why this entire argument is idiotic.ClothCoat (talk) 04:17, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
To use better linguistic specificity, government is a religious INSTITUTION. There is a distinct belief system that goes along with the government that is used as its justification or rationalization for its "authority" or its "legitimacy". This belief system is centered around reifying abstract "entities" as "real" which is what makes it religious in nature. This belief system is what I mean by "government religion".LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:35, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Summary of AnarchistSpaceProgram's position:[edit]

"A football team isn't real, and it can't win a game. Only the football players can win the game." (Crosses arms and acts like he's just split the fucking atom)

"A football team is comprised of football players, you tedious knobwit."

"If the team were real show me a team winning a game without players. Ha, you can't."

(Repeats endlessly) King Skeleton (talk) 03:49, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Lol Ok. A team is real. The players are the team. Insofar as the "team is real", that's it. And yes there is an observable "teamness" to their existence as a team because they cooperate toward an organized activity. Pretty much what makes the government "real". There really is a group out there working as a team called government. Company would be a more accurate term. The observable evidence of continuity of organization is the money trail. If the "team" charges taxes or gets funded by taxes, it's government. That's my definition of government. I believe it is the principle empirically observable distinction of "government". If you have another, please let me know. Taxation/slavery being essentially the same thing. Slavery is basically when they raise your taxes to 100%. So aside from employing taxes or slavery, is there any other universal principle of "governmentness", that you know of which we can prove?LogicMaster777 (talk) 04:12, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
"Taxation/slavery being essentially the same thing. Slavery is basically when they raise your taxes to 100%." Yes I'm sure the largest concern of African slaves was that they needed their taxes lowered. Not to mention that they were literally largely owned by private citizens and plantation owners not the government you fucking dolt. ClothCoat (talk) 04:21, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Slavery is the institutionalized and systematic forced taking of all of the property of another to such an extent that the enslaver has taken the body itself as property as well as all of the labor proceeds of the property. Taxation is the systematic taking of some of the taxpayer's property and labor proceeds instead of taking all of it (including the body itself). Yes I get that non-governments can own slaves. The Mexican Mafia charges taxes too. I never said these things were exclusive o government. Government is a group of men and women who force others to pay them. Usually that takes the form of taxes where they just take some of your property and/or labor proceeds/labor capitol but sometimes it can be to the extreme of slavery where they take everything (time, body, labor proceeds/labor capitol). As to the question about the African slaves, I would think it would have been nice to de-escalate the systematic taking of their property to at least where they could own themselves. I would think it would be pretty high on their list of concerns, possibly not as high as "what am I going to eat" and "where the fuck am I".LogicMaster777 (talk) 04:46, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
So government exists but state (a sum of the government, apparatus, laws, and the body so governed) does not exist. So the government governs nothing, and therefore is not a government.
Great work, moron! Come on, tell us, in what way does the team exist that the state does not? King Skeleton (talk) 04:48, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
His point seems to be that governments are not just without the state. So, he's just another Freeman on the Land who wants to live in a modern society without providing anyof the necessary support for that society. --TiaC (talk) 05:06, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Cool strawman. I don't think "justness" is necessarily a measure of religiosity. My hypothesis is that the government belief system is a religion. I don't think "unjustness" is a necessary quality of a religion so whether it is just or unjust is irrelevant. What I want is irrelevant to the debate. Trying to use poison the well lumping me in with freemen, yeah, I know you think you are making a point, but these are fallacies. First you present your version of my premises which is really just something you made up which you think superficially resembles my premises. Then you use the poison the well fallacy of lumping me in with some group you think are kooky to try and shoot down the strawman position. Hilarious.LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:57, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
No the point is you are taking a bunch of different things and collectivizing them into one cohesive abstract "entity" with its own anthropomorphic personality. By what observable principle are the government, apparatus, "laws", and "body governed" all the same thing? By what principle are they all "state"? Because that's what the scripture says?LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:17, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Government, apparatus, "laws" and "body governed". Is that about the definition of "state" you are using?LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:19, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
And yes there is an observable "teamness" to their existence as a team because they cooperate toward an organized activity. Pretty much what makes the government "real". There really is a group out there working as a team called government. Company would be a more accurate term. The observable evidence of continuity of organization is the money trail. If the "team" charges taxes or gets funded by taxes, it's government. That's my definition of government. I believe it is the principle empirically observable distinction of "government". If you have another, please let me know. Okay, I'll take an honest crack at this, for the good of my own conscience.
Territory is a thing, right? An area that someone inhabits and controls and manages for their use. And territory can be too big for one person to keep an eye on effectively. So more than one person can band together to keep and manage territory as a group, whether out of warm feelings or enlightened self-interest (realizing that what they can get more with a group is much more than what they can do on their own).
Government is the evolution of that--ideally, anyway. It's an organization managing its territory and its resources so all prosper, settling disputes and keeping the peace so stability reigns (ideally with some sense of justice and impartiality towards its citizens). Taxes are, ideally, for the upkeep of the organization, keeping everything going. Or you can think of it as paying the bills for the roads and infrastructure and services that you use, if you want to call the government a company as you did above. Even if you don't call the police this month, it's still better for all involved if the costs are spread out, so, while everyone pays, hopefully no single one is being ruined by onerous bills. And payroll taxes suck, but they're more fair than not collecting the cut before people spend it, the way it was done in medieval times.
So, are any of these "ideals" actual empirical observations of qualities that are inherent to government? Pol Pot's organization was a "government" because he managed the resources so all would prosper? Part of what made Vlad the impaler part of the "government" was how he kept the peace and settled diputes so "justly"? I mean this stuff is all nice feel goody utopian sounding theory. But what would we ideally like the government to be and what it is are two different things. You can't define what a thing is by defining what it ideally should be in utopia.LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:26, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Pol Pot's government was based on a specific set of ideals which was designed to bring about a more prosperous state for all, yes. Sadly, ideals don't always work out the way you want, particularly when you're a primitivist nutcase who thinks your state needs to go back to the bronze age. As for Vlad, yes, actually, his policies were effective in protecting Romania from the Ottoman Empire (to the point he's actually still considered a national hero over there). But even if taken at face value, neither of these prove anything, any more than saying the idea weather forecasting is to accurately predict the weather (the ideal state) can be undone by pointing out that weather forecasts are frequently inaccurate. King Skeleton (talk) 09:44, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, government still requires force to keep other organizations, from within or without, from trying to take everyone's stuff by force of their own. The organization has to be able to force smaller organizations or individuals to comply with the laws to ensure everything stays stable and no one single person or small group ruins things for everyone else by being greedy backstabbing short-sighted twats (see the sub-prime mortgage crisis as an example of what happens when you don't keep people from practices which aren't sustainable). So the organization has decreed it'll make the rules and states outright that it'll punish you if you don't comply or if you mess things up for other people. (There's a quote somewhere about all power being based on a threat of punishment, and the ones who are good with power rarely need to follow through on the threat.)
When I say 'government', of course, I mean the organization which has divided up labor and responsibilities to manage its territory more effectively, with a stratified structure so ultimate decision-making power (and blame) rests on someone. People cooperating out of mutual interest for the betterment of themselves, at the least, and all, at best. Not some mythical voice in the sky. The US Constitution was an attempt at fair play, intended to be an upfront statement and description about how this new-fangled Representative Democracy works and some promises about what the won't do. A contract, if you will. And, yes, it has the power
A contract? It has the power? Contract between whom? How do you know it has the "power"? Because it says so?LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:51, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
We live in an imperfect world, of course, and even governments which have stated good intentions can/will fall short of their own ideals, like various episodes in US history. Or just not give a damn about fair treatment and effective management of its territory to begin with, like North Korea or Cambodia. But governments still exist and serve a function. Their power is real, and it mainly serves to keep everything going without any one individual or small group really fuckulating things for everyone else. --Maxus (talk) 06:56, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
The point of the example is that it is not anthropomorphising the state to say it can prosecute someone any more than it is anthropomorphising a football team by saying it can win a game. Like it or not, this is your argument, and as soon as it's bought down to a scale you actually comprehend it becomes obvious how fucking absurd it is.
"State" is a convenient shorthand to refer to both the government and the mechanisms of the country which are not the government itself; for example, the fire department is not part of the government in any meaningful sense (because it does not govern), but it is paid for by the government, follows rules laid down by the government, and reports to the government. When a firefighter hacks down your door to save you from burning to death, they are doing so by the power vested in them by the legislature their department is administrated by, with training standardised and administered by that legislature. But they are not doing this because any specific member of the government told them to, so it is incorrect to say they work for the government; rather, they are an employee of the people their job requires them to protect, and whose taxes pay for their job, their equipment, and their training. They work for the state.
Your pisspoor idea of what the government does isn't helping you either; the vast majority of taxes do not go towards staff salaries, they are used to pay for services and departmental budgets. The US government in Washington DC doesn't get anything by demanding that trains in Kentucky have brakes that have passed safety certification or that tap water in Illinois doesn't contain dangerous levels of mercury. Why then, in your world, do they bother to do that? King Skeleton (talk) 07:43, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Lol. What makes a government a government is they are funded through forcing people to pay. I never said they don't use some or a lot of of the money for good stuff. Pablo Escobar used his millions for philanthropic projects too, that doesn't mean he was a government.LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:12, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
No, that's just what you think a government is because you're an idiot. What makes a government is that it governs, it's cunningly hidden right there in the fucking word. You are aware that most people don't have to be forced to pay their taxes because they accept the authority of the government, right? King Skeleton (talk) 09:21, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay, and what is govern? LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:27, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Open a fucking dictionary, you lazy sack of shit. King Skeleton (talk) 09:31, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Lol. Statist meltdown. Throw out a bunch of faith based emotion religious theories then when asked to define your terms of your abstract theory start flinging poo. LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:42, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
You just have to believe that, don't you? The fact that nothing you've said has convinced anyone of anything but your flimsy grasp of reality proves that we're desperate. It must be hard maintaining such a complete detachment from common sense. King Skeleton (talk) 09:50, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
"The government is that which governs. What is it to govern? I refuse to say. I just presume you haven't convinced anyone and call my presumption a "fact". This coupled with calling you a moron is the basis of my argument in support of my circular statement. Therefore, you are wrong and I am right. You clearly don't understand logic or you would get this (proven by my pouting and name calling)." SighLogicMaster777 (talk) 10:00, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I am not defining a common English word for you, you egotistical prick. King Skeleton (talk) 10:02, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I completely understand your frustration, but just remember you're replying to the kind of person who asks for an explanation of the difference between symbolic/social and supernatural/magic - basically we're dealing with either a moron or someone who's just ranting on in bad faith. Seeing that LogicFail LogicMaster is now reduced to "you don't want to explain well-known terms to me, so I WIN!!!!1!!!"-idiocy, I don't think there's much mileage left in this "argument", other than the fun of responding to LogicFail LogicMaster's trollish behaviour. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:44, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Lol. "A refrigerator is something that keeps food cold." "You are a wrong. A refrigerator is that which refrigerates." He was trying to refute my fact-based assertion with a circular definition. "The government is that which governs" doesn't actually say or prove anything. It's a circular definition/meaningless platitude. What's funny is he was trying to use this as a logical refutation of my assertion. And then insults me. Ya meaningless circular statements and insults is not arguing in good faith. I didn't ask you to explain the terms earlier, I asked you what was the difference since your argument asserted or implied there was one. Yet you couldn't articulate what it might be...LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:35, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
A refrigerator is a machine which refrigerates, dumbass. King Skeleton (talk) 11:43, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Lol. Please look up "circular definition" and "circular reasoning" before you subject any more literate people to possible brain damage with your spew. When a fallacy is pointed out, just double down on it. And when that fails, fling poo.LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:56, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Nice try, but "refrigerator" and "refrigerate" are not synonyms. One describes a process, the other a machine which enacts that process. You'd know if you understood how to use a dictionary. But you don't, because you're a lazy idiot and a truly textbook example of Dunning-Kruger effect in action. King Skeleton (talk) 12:04, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
This is the sort of thing that I think, at least anecdotally, supports the hypothesis that statists are possibly hard-wired for aggression and magical thinking. If logic is used to debunk their medieval religious superstitions, they tend to go on a poo-flinging tirade while thinking they are making some sort of "point". "I can fling poo, therefore I "win" the debate." So basically, aggression or verbal aggression appears to act as a substitute for reasoning in the statist brain.LogicMaster777 (talk) 12:16, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
If all these "statists" end up insulting you, maybe it's some issue with you? I mean, you're the only constant. Perhaps it's some combination of your ridiculous overestimation of your own abilities, nonexistent grasp of logic and debating style which boils down to demanding increasingly trifling definitions of common words and declaring victory when people get fed up with your tiresome bullshit?
Let's set this straight: not one single person at any point in this discussion has been convinced by a single thing you said. Nobody. Everyone has pointed out your definitions are reductive or plain wrong, your conception of government is simplistic to the point of being outright childish, and you have no grasp of what religion even is. Most are currently speculating on whether there is something genuinely wrong with you. You have been banned several times by several different sysops for your tedious debating style. Has none of this got through to you? Are you that fucking dense that you don't understand you're making no headway and everyone thinks you're full of shit? King Skeleton (talk) 12:25, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I get why this type of logical challenge to the statist religion can be quite upsetting for believers. Especially on a site like this, with its heavy emphasis on logic and debunking anti-science. And also the heavy religiously liberal cyber culture on here. This is about the most controversial topic one could have brought here I think. It must be frustrating trying to use logic to defend a faith based religion. I know you think you are making some sort of rational argument with this wall of poo flinging. How do you complain or ban someone on here if they just want to clutter up the page with personal attacks? I think King Skeleton was trying to sincerely debate earlier, but it is clear his emotions have gotten out of control and it's becoming detrimental to the actual debate of the debate page. It's just post after posts of personal attacks, it's kind of distracting and cluttering the page. If he can't actually debate this in good faith without the poo flinging and personal attacks can we ban?LogicMaster777 (talk) 12:43, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
You are one of the most intolerably stupid people I have ever had the misfortune of meeting and I used to mod a politics forum with actual Nazis in it. Please reflect on that while you're jerking off at how you pwned the statists. King Skeleton (talk) 12:47, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
If someone actually wanted to come here to look into the topic they will have to go through pages of your trolling comments. Please stop bro. You are cluttering up the page with this poo flinging. It is obvious you have given up any pretense of any legitimate good faith attempt to engage the debate as an adult. Please leave and do not clutter up this page by spamming it with poo flinging troll posts. I thought you were being sincere earlier but either you were concern trolling or you have just lost your emotional equilibrium, either way, please stop. It's not all about you. Even if you have given up others might have an interest in the topic and if it is cluttered it up with this shenanigans it makes it harder to read.LogicMaster777 (talk) 13:12, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
That implies there was ever anything of value in the debate. You have been debating in bad faith from the beginning and relying on semantic shell games.--TiaC (talk) 13:17, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, but are you serious? This moderator banned me after King Skeleton told me why I was supposedly wrong and as his supporting argument he said "The government governs". So then I pointed out how this is circular and without a definition of "governs" fails as a definitional statement. Next thing I'm banned. That shows bad faith on your part. Now you accuse me of bad faith? Based on what?LogicMaster777 (talk) 13:25, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
And that's why it's counter productive to block the likes of LogicFail LogicMaster777 - it only feeds their persecution complex and they will probably continue to harp on it as an example of how they're really Socratian figures speaking truth to power - well done... ScepticWombat (talk) 23:30, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Are there any techniques from "The Creationist's Debating Handbook" that LogicMaster777 hasn't used (yet)?[edit]

With the latest response (as of this post) to King Skeleton, LogicFail LogicMaster777 has now also invoked the persecution complex, which I think ticked the last box yet left unticked from the creationist's bag of debating tricks. Can anyone else think of any creationist techniques LogicMaster777 hasn't used (yet)? Note that I ask for techniques, not specific arguments (e.g. why are there still monkeys? or where you there?). ScepticWombat (talk) 13:59, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Well, I suppose there's always "were you there" or it's rhetorical equivalent, equating all knowledge with personal experience. Ikanreed (talk) 14:55, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Possibly, and it is a special trick that is hard to apply outside of to past events, and hence difficult to use when discussion states/governments. Still, LogicFail LogicMaster does something similar when insisting that only his (her?) own experience, or at least interpretation, of judges ("a guy in a Harry Potter outfit without any legitimacy") is the correct or pertinent one. Basically, and I've mentioned this before, the argument seems to be that because LogicFail LogicMaster thinks that government coercion is illegitimate, that means that it's just an action of some random individuals, and thus inadmissible as evidence for the existence of governments and only indicative of the existence of "guys in Harry Potter outfits". That's an appeal to the unique validity of one's own interpretation over that of everyone else's, and it's being used to dismiss evidence - in this sense it's at least reminiscent of asking "where you there?". ScepticWombat (talk) 15:08, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

(Moved LogicFail LogicMaster's replies down for consistency and readability - my own response follows it) ScepticWombat (talk) 22:58, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

If you want to argue like an adult I have no problem. I don't mind if you actually want to challenge my ideas with rational arguments. I have no problem with disagreement. But if you think you can just bully someone and hijack the page with repeated troll posts and then when called on it say "Oh, you have a persecution complex." Uh, no. Stick to an adult debate and I won't call you a troll. If you act like a troll, I will call it.

If you want to lump me in with some group as a type of Poison the Well tactic, you are not actually refuting anything in the main debate. Nice try. How about we stick to a relevant debate on relevant issues.LogicMaster777 (talk) 18:56, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Um, if you want to argue like an adult I have no problem. I don't mind if you actually want to challenge my ideas with rational arguments. I have no problem with disagreement. But if you think you can just bully someone and hijack the page with repeated troll posts and then when called on it say "Oh, you have a persecution complex." Uh, no. Stick to an adult debate and I won't call you a troll. If you act like a troll, I will call it.

If you want to lump me in with some group as a type of Poison the Well tactic, you are not actually refuting anything in the main debate. LogicMaster777 (talk) 18:56, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

"I never used "government coercion is illegitimate" as a premise. I guess you think all you have to do is create a superficially similar position that isn't my real position and then shoot it down and you "win".I never said governments do not exist. Another strawman. Do you simply not understand my actual position, or is the mis-characterization deliberate and done in bad faith?LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:00, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
You claimed that jailing someone wasn't evidence of the existence of governments, because it was just down to arbitrary decisions by guys in Harry Potter outfits - if that's not basing your argument on the premise that ""government coercion is illegitimate", what was it?
"I never said governments do not exist" WTF?!?!? Don't you realise what you yourself is writing? Allow me to quote a few examples:
"And yes there is an observable "teamness" to their existence as a team because they cooperate toward an organized activity. Pretty much what makes the government "real". There really is a group out there working as a team called government. Company would be a more accurate term. The observable evidence of continuity of organization is the money trail."
"I do not doubt that if people defy the scriptures of statism there is a ubiquitous likelihood if not an imminent inevitability of being arrested by people who call themselves a government and such a scenario would prove those who call themselves government exist and I think such a conclusion would not be a fallacious appeal to consequences."
"Maybe there is a dragon who lives in a tower called "state" and when I thought the cops worked for the government I was wrong and this whole time they represented the dragon and the traffic tickets saying "The state" is a plaintiff meant I was being sued by a dragon."
OK, so you think governments exist (albeit in a vague enough way to merit the qualifier "called") but not states, because these governments are just trying to oppress you by their nefarious statism which all the sheeple are obviously falling for.
I'm so sorry, then allow me to rephrase: You claimed that states are non-existent in the same way that gods are non-existent, and that governments are illegitimate and hence non-existant in the usual understanding of them as representatives of the state (and in democracies ultimately the people), because governments are just arbitrary religious institutions based around the "statist religion". Now you're back-pedalling by yet again trying to "semanticise" your way out of the nonsensical conclusions inherent in your argument - pretty much par for the course for you so far.
Oh, and it's pretty hilarious to see you accuse others of mischaracterisation and bad faith, since that's pretty much all you've been serving up from the get-go. Yet another pot-meet-kettle moment, priceless.
Not to mention that you're once effin' AGAIN misapplying a fallacy term: I'm not poisoning the well, because I'm not making these statements about your moronic arguments and pathetic adherence to the most idiotic techniques used by creationists in advance of your arguments, but subsequent to them and based on the empiric observations of your actual behaviour. That's the opposite of poisoning the well - it's called a conclusion based on empirical data. But thanks for providing yet another example of your inability to actually understand the conceptual toolbox you're attempting employ.
Finally, I really wonder how much of this mile-long thread is actually lodging in your brain, or rather what kind of mental processes and images it creates in what I, for the sake of argument, will call your mind when you begin to act all haughty, butt-hurt and morally superior by asking "How about we stick to a relevant debate on relevant issues." - That's what ALL of us have tried to do, and you have singularly failed to keep up your end. Not only that but we've actually pointed this out to you and encouraged you, but your inane entrenched ignorance has finally led those of us who're persistent as well as exasperated to do an autopsy of this stillborn debate. It appears this has been a wake-up call for you, but rather than it getting any of our countless reasonable arguments and objections across and maybe make them register behind that apparently reinforced thick skull of yours, you now have the gall to play the martyr... I mean is this an example of the dickwad theory or are you behaving this way off-line too? ScepticWombat (talk) 22:22, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Should we coin the term "Socrates Complex" to describe the behaviour of people like LogicFail LogicMaster777?[edit]

Reflecting on the exchange I and others have had with LogicFail LogicMaster777 so far, I suggest to sum up the latter's behaviour in the concept of the "Socrates Complex" (SC for short).

A person with SC asks what they think are incredibly sophisticated questions, but without realising that the questions are, in fact, moronic - and pretty much everyone else are able to spot the flaws immediately. The SC kicks in when the questioner is confronted with the problems inherent in his or her questions, and that the answers that the questioner thinks follows from the questions are thus invalid:

A normal questioner will be able to at least partly assimilate criticism to either rephrase the questions to (attempt to) circumvent the moronic elements in the original questions, or outright concede the flaws.
Sufferers of the SC, by contrast, will instead entrench in their ignorance and behave as if the rest of the world, as represented by the critics, is just too stupid to understand the "brilliant" questions. Thus, the SC sufferer will just restate their questions and either straw man any criticism or trying to "define it out of existence". When the critics persist in their objections, pointing out that the questioner is being unreasonable and is actually avoiding responding to the criticism, and, finally, call out the continued idiocy of the questioner clinging to the moronic questions and their conclusions, the SC sufferer will play the victim and pretend they're some kind of latter day Socrates speaking truth to power and being persecuted for their efforts.

Rather than being some sort of Socrates, LogicFail LogicMaster777 is actually the equivalent of a person from my native Denmark's nursery rhymes: "Spørge Jørgen" (lit. "Questioning George").

The nursery rhyme has little Jørgen/George asking silly questions all day until his parents are finally fed up with him. His father spanks him and puts him to bed without dessert (I know, it's from before nursery rhymes became "sanitised"...)

Spørge Jørgen A literal translation by ScepticWombat
Nu skal jeg fortæller jer om Jørgen:
Jørgen var en tem’lig artig dreng.
Men han plaged’ alle med sin spørgen,
fra han vågned’ til han gik i seng.
Far og mor de blev så trætte af det –
det, han spurgte om var noget pjat.
Tit han spurgte bare for at drille:
Hvoffer, hvoffer dit og hvoffer dat?
Now I'll tell you about George:
George was a pretty well-behaved boy.
But he tormented others with his questioning
from when he awoke until he went to bed.
Mom and dad got so tired with this -
what he asked about was silly.
Often he only asked to tease:
Why, why this and why that?

Hvorfor har en buko ingen vinger?
Hvorfor si’r den buh og ikke vov?
Hvorfor sidder neglen på min finger?
Hvis den sad på næsen, var det sjov.
Hvorfor sidder øjet ik’ i nakken?
Hvorfor er jeg ikke ble’t en kat?
Hvorfor kan min støvle ikke tale?
Hvoffer, hvoffer dit og hvoffer dat?
Why does a moo cow have no wings?
Why does it say moo and not bow-wow?
Why is the nail on my finger?
If it was on the nose it would be fun
Why is the eye not on the neck?
Why did I not become a cat?
Why can't my boot talk?
Why, why this and why that?

Hvor har en loppe ingen bukser?
Hvorfor er den lille fisk så våd?
Hvorfor bli’r en kylling ikke malket?
Hvorfor si’r kommoden ikke no’et?
Hvorfor er der mænd på mine seler?
Hvorfor skal vi altid gå med hat?
Hvorfor spiser løven ikke jordbær?
Hvoffer, hvoffer dit og hvoffer dat?
Why doesn't a flea have trousers?
Why does the little fish become wet?
Why is a chicken not being milked?
Why doesn't the dresser say anything?
Why are there men on my suspenders?
Why do we always have to wear a hat?
Why doesn't the lion eat strawberries?
Why, why this and why that?

:Men en dag blev det hans far for meget.
Jør’n fik smæk og Jør’n blev lagt i seng.
Men nu lå han der igen og spurgte,
næsten som en helt fornuftig dreng:
Hvorfor fik jeg ingen pandekager?
Hvorfor må jeg ikke lege mer’?
Hvorfor har jeg dog så ondt i numsen?
Jeg skal aldrig spørge fjollet mer’.
But a day it became too much for his dad
Georges was spanked and put to bed
But again he lay there and asked questions
almost like a completely sensible boy:
Why didn't I get any pancakes?
Why can't I play any more?
Why does my bottom hurt so?
I'll never ask silly questions again.

ScepticWombat (talk) 14:52, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

(I've moved the one of LM's objections I apparently missed the first time around down to this part so as not to have a coherent and consistent post chopped up into unreadable bits 'n pieces) ScepticWombat (talk) 12:00, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I propose that before doing so you provide a reasoned criticism that goes beyond just calling something moronic. Something that uses logic to demonstrate your position instead of just name calling and ad hominem.LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:19, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
So in other words this whole section doesn't apply? You haven't actually made a reasoned argument as to any specific objection. You just say my questions are "moronic".

Sorry but calling someone moronic and saying they have a complex is not a logical objection to a fallacious question. You aren't actually giving a rational analysis of WHY the question is objectionable or even specifying what question. Sorry you don't just "win" a debate" by saying "Your questions are moronic. I win."

Criticize lol. Criticize implies actual critical thought, not just calling someone a moron.LogicMaster777 (talk) 19:10, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I've moved your replies down, because there's no reason to have your inane responses lodged in the middle of an otherwise coherent post.
That said, I'm really wondering what the hell is going on behind your forehead when you can characterise the oodles of reasonable, well-reasoned, critical response you've already received (look at the length of this discussion for pity's sake!) as nothing more than "calling someone a moron".
This section is, as I've now mentioned in the section above, meant as part of a post-mortem to try to see what we may learn about your technique, since you haven't been able to come up with anything more substantial to support your original claims than repeated (re)assertions that accepting the existence of states and the legitimacy of governments are just examples of reification, magical thinking and irrational religious beliefs in the "statist religion". Your answer to this substantial criticism has been to try to redefine the excellent countervailing evidence presented out of existence as if such rhetorical shell games were somehow the height of sophisticated debate.
(Well, to be fair that's pretty much the approach of "professional philosopher" William Lane Craig, so I guess that apart from the religion thing you would get along famously - a debate between the two of you should be a wonderful spectacle of fractal wrongness) ScepticWombat (talk) 22:42, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
You may notice I've blocked LM for nine hours, a significant chunk of the day for the rest of us (and him) to get things done. I blocked him because of his recent 'contribution' where he completely ignored all the discussion that came before and just homed in on being called a mean name a few times. Since he's unable to have an honest discussion, I sent him to the corner for a while, so others can respond and hopefully LM will take the time to read through all of what other people say without being able to home in on a couple of words. I hope no on reverses the block, but I'll bow to the decision of any wiser mop jockey. --Maxus (talk) 19:29, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I've unblocked LM. We don't block people because we don't like their arguments. If you think responding to him is a waste of time then ignore him. Marlow (talk) 20:04, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
He's still blocked, you didn't undo the IP autoblock.--TiaC (talk) 20:48, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
IP unblocked. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:51, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Ah! Now we see the violence inherent in the system! King Skeleton (talk) 21:10, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
The only people whose time is being wasted are those who feel the compulsion to respond. If you don't wish to waste your time in this way your solution is simple. Remember - you can always find somebody who is wrong on the internet.--Coffee (talk) 21:33, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Look. Look at all these words[edit]

We can't help ourselves can we? It can be the same argument 30 times, and we can't help ourselves in taking it apart. I feel bad I wasted my attempt to delivery a structured on argument on the 7 questions, because I'm realizing I missed my favorite system: formal symbolic logic.

Can I ask for a do-over?

LogicMaster, can you tell me what predicates/assumptions you'd like us to take for your argument to work? I know I'm too demanding, but I'd seriously like to see it as p->q. Ikanreed (talk) 21:27, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

I think we should totally restructure the page. Yes I agree with your challenge. I should do just that. But I think another issue has presented itself is the emotionally charged nature of the discussion can make it get away from real debate and turn into poo flinging.

Those who are interested in logic and who are not just here to "win" using whatever dirty trick, including hijacking the page with spam etc deserve to have an actual debate so I propose a troll free zone while still allowing a troll section that allows statists to get their aggression out without feeling like I'm trying to censor their "points". Anything that is blatant poo flinging I ask be moved to the troll zone or posted in the troll zone. Post message after message about how I am an idiot or whatever.

If you feel the need to use an ad hominem. If you feel the need to deliberately use a strawman. If you need to fling poo. If you need to do any of that, please keep it out of the troll zone. If you think a post is in the no troll zone that is blatant poo flinging, please move it. Other than poo flinging, please only move it if you can defend with logic why it is considered bad faith or trolling. And please keep it on the honor saystem where it doesn't clutter up the page and require another intervention.LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:56, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Cue persecution complex, irony/hypocrisy, oh and of course Troll (this is where my hypocrisy is showing since I've fed LogicFail LogicMaster777 enough to start making troll foie gras...) ScepticWombat (talk) 23:07, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I know you are thinking you are making a point. But this is the kind of thing I'm talking about. If you have to clutter up the page with this irrelevant personal attack can we at least keep it to its own section since its irrelevant to the actual debate. This is a blatant ad hominem and it just bogs downm a real debate from moving forward.LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:09, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm just disappointed you couldn't work the phrase "poo flinging" into your reply... --Inquisitor (talk) 23:13, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Too bad, the user got bonus points for mentioning "ad hominem". LEFTYGREENMARIO 23:17, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
K go ahead and keep it going, just please keep it out of the adults section of the page.LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:15, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


I never get tired of seeing this. Alec Sanderson (talk) 23:21, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Hey, --Inquisitor and LEFTY, perhaps we're making some actual progress here? Maybe the lack of "poo flinging" in this reply signals a change of tack? Perhaps LogicMaster777 will now start serving up all of those brilliant and relevant responses that (s)he's been so keen on requesting from others (who've already provided them, of course) in the last couple of posts? Getting the "real debate" to "move forward" and all that? Hope springs eternal! ScepticWombat (talk) 23:21, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
LogicMaster777 has already served up brilliant and relevant responses if you consider that amount of time face-palming at them and amount of times the word "poo" is used is positively correlated to the quality of the argument. LEFTYGREENMARIO 23:25, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

If you think it's okay, then just do it. Give us your assumptions(as symbols), deduction(using symbols), and conclusion, please. Ikanreed (talk) 23:23, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm not going any further till this gets resolved. The page has been hijacked by trolls. And no I do not mean troll is someone who disagrees. I want a real debate but this is hijacked. I'm not doing an edit war with a hijacker which is what this has turned into. Until we resolve the edit war this page has been hijacked.LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:27, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Ad hominem and personal attack free zone[edit]

This is a section for rational debate without personal attacks and ad hominem arguments. LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:36, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposition 1.1[edit]

Responses 1.1[edit]

Okay, while government and organized religion both have bureaucracy-like organization, the main difference between government and religion is that government serves to create laws and keep society in check, like managing the economy, enforcing conduct, and other things. Religion is a system based on belief and can define ethics, certain rituals, cultural practices, (pleasing gods, keeping the spirit in harmony with things, etc.). While government and religion have overlapping concepts (like striving to keep order), and there are government whose laws are defined by the religion (theocracies), the main difference between government and religion is that religion is based on supernatural beliefs and adherence to them while government is about imposing and enforcing laws for society. Government practices may arise from basic human morals, but it has evolved to the point where it and religion are separate.

I'm sure this argument has been reiterated the thousand times. Please let me know. I can't fill in the nitty-gritty details, so I might be off in some points. LEFTYGREENMARIO 00:02, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

So I guess there's no argument against this or...? LEFTYGREENMARIO 02:17, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Your definition of government is based on its assumed 'purpose' rather than simply what it is. Unless I specifically say otherwise when I say 'state' what I mean is the imaginary fictional 'person' of the state. What Hobbes refers to as 'Leviathan'. I think this is what has caused a lot of confusion. If a person gets a traffic ticket when the plaintiff says 'the state'. That fictitious person or 'entity'. The imaginary 'person' or entity a statist is making promises to when they talk to a flag. These are Leviathan types of entities. The 'corporate personhood of the state. If it's not a supernatural belief then why do we need to talk to the 'United states' as a person through a flag? Usually when we talk to a real flesh and blood person we don't call them on a flag. Yet people often do talk to supernatural entities through an idol which represents the entity in symbolic form.LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:02, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Again, you're ignoring what people are telling you. The pledge of allegiance isn't about talking to the state, it's about swearing an oath to abide by the principles the flag is a symbol of. You're not trying to use the flag to talk to someone. The "state" used in court documents is a legal shorthand used to refer to an aggregate of government departments, in order to, for example, allow the government to be held responsible for policy decisions. There is no "imaginary fictional person" (also that's a double negative). King Skeleton (talk) 08:08, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Not to mention the irony that what LM is doing has a name: It's called reification... And he continues to employ his erroneous definitions despite being corrected numerous times and refers to those who disagree with him as "statists", now what does that remind me of...? ScepticWombat (talk) 08:18, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Only symbolic logic allowed in this section[edit]

Heed ye, the wise words of Ikanreed and write according to this sagely advice:

"If you think it's okay, then just do it. Give us your assumptions(as symbols), deduction(using symbols), and conclusion, please."

ScepticWombat (talk) 23:56, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

(It's been a few years since I've done this. Let's see if I still know what I'm doing.)

Let S(x) be defined as "x contains a supernatural element"

Let g be "government"

Let r be "religion"

∀rS(r), ~∀gS(g)


Let S be defined as "The State exists as a collective that can be said to statistically make decisions"

Let P be defined as "Agents of the state take statistically predictable actions in accordance with the law"



Anything goes zone[edit]

Statist* Zone[edit]

* "Statist" is defined as those who fail to agree or are constitutionally incapable of agreeing with LM777. MarmotHead (talk) 23:18, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Where do people go if they fall in both terms? LEFTYGREENMARIO 23:19, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
To the chair of honor ... beware of the poo. MarmotHead (talk) 23:21, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, I do need a place to sit. LEFTYGREENMARIO 23:32, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Hurrah! I managed to beat LogicFail LogicMaster to the punch and insert a Troll in this section - take that you damn dirty statist trolls! ScepticWombat (talk) 23:24, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Solution to statists: form a hierarchical structure based on arbitrary rules dictated by you, enforced by threats of punative action, where you make all decisions as to what is right or wrong. That'll show those illogical bastards! King Skeleton (talk) 23:26, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
And don't forget to include those special holy scriptures which can be changed following a precisely defined political and legal process - you know, like all other religious scriptures... ScepticWombat (talk) 23:34, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, I was more talking about what he's trying to do to this page. Maybe the page's constitution will be the great book of poo (which art not to be flung). King Skeleton (talk) 23:38, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Twilight Zone[edit]

This has to be here, it just does. King Skeleton (talk) 00:03, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

This story starts with a man. Not just any man, but a logic master. He's just entered a universe very different from the one he came from. One where logic has rules and structure. One where people disagree with him. A world... in the twilight zone. *theme music*. Ikanreed (talk) 00:13, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay, maybe I'm not a master of logic. But I try to use it. How's this Ikan If p then q

If religion is a belief in supernatural based on blind faith and dogma or magical thinking, And if supernatural is belief in unseen or unproven entities, forces, or "mechanisms" based on blind faith reification and/or magical thinking, and if collectivizing lots of different things together as one single abstract entity and ascribing a personality to that abstract entity and ascribing physical characteristics and anthropomorphizing it with its own personality {example: The forest spoke to me], and if the state is such an abstract entity, and if the scriptures of the government are such dogma then the government belief system is a religion.LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:01, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

But we don't really say the state does things, it's just a shorthand for people acting on its behalf. Being prosecuted by the state of California for drink driving means you're being prosecuted by an appointed representative of the body of laws of California, created by the government of California on the presumed permission of its people and their implied consent (because there is no meaningful way to enforce a law if nobody is willing to try to follow it).
Okay presumed permission. In other words if you call it a presumption rather than faith it's somehow magically different cuz it's the government?LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:36, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
So you have people acting on its "behalf" without presuming it has any corporeal existence? Like you can do a good deed for an entity that only exists in your mind. OK. How is this different from doing the work of "Santa" for his "behalf"? How does this idea, this abstract "being" need anything from us?LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:36, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
You still aren't getting that there are multiple types of belief and not all are religious. We must believe we can climb Everest because we don't know if we can until we've done it at least once, but we know Everest has a top and sides, that's grounded belief. We believe in principles we can't meaningfully prove or disprove but which are vital to a particular idea (for example, that the laws of physics are not summoned into existence only when we measure them), that's axiomatic belief. Religious belief requires some element of the supernatural.
You're still ignoring the definition you're being given. "State" is a term like "body" which refers to an imprecise grouping of things. When someone acts on behalf of the state, we mean they are acting within the laws of the state and as an appointed representative of those laws and the body that makes them. For example, we allow a firefighter to kick down your door and go into your house without charging him with vandalism and trespassing because a body appointed by the government has judged him to be a trustworthy and capable person.
You don't have to have faith the state exists because you can see its laws, speak to its representatives and look up how every part of it functions. Like I've said, if you're comparing it to religion the state is the church, not God. King Skeleton (talk) 02:57, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay so in the definition of state as you are using it here specifically as an imprecise grouping of things how do you group them together but by referring to scripture?LogicMaster777 (talk) 16:44, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
How do you know your body is your body? Your body doesn't need to have arms or legs to still be your body, but we still say arms and legs are body parts, right? Terms that are used to describe things that exist usually have some lack of precision to them, it's the nature of language. King Skeleton (talk) 02:15, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
I do not presume I am not "religious". I believe in god on faith. I go into a museum and see a painting I have faith it wasn't just some random ink blot raurshack effect when I recognize it as "created". I don't say "I'll believe a person painted this when I see the video."LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:10, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
As before, in principle it's the same as "the team won the game" when actually Erika won the game by scoring the winning whatever. Or maybe Sue won the game by tying up the defenders so Erika could score the winning whatever. Or...See? It's easier to refer to the whole rather than breaking it down, because you don't really need to break it down to get the point you're trying to make across. If Jimmy Jones was executed by the state or by Bob The Axeman Who Works For The Taxman it's the same from our perspective and Jimmy Jones'. King Skeleton (talk) 02:21, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Could someone be a part of the collection of objects collectivized as "the state" without there being any facts to show the individual had any knowledge or participation, yet still have been a participant in an action taken by the "state"? And by what principle do you determine the Axeman is more "state" when he chops off heads at the prison while his cousin Bill the Knife kills hookers he picks up in bars? The scripture says so?LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:40, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't see where you're going with this, but yes. King Skeleton's point is that an execution by Bob The Axeman Who Works For The Taxman is basically /span> 02:17, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
First, I'll just restore LEFTYGREENMARIO's content from yesterday, then I'll expand on it:
"I don't see where you're going with this, but yes. King Skeleton's point is that an execution by Bob The Axeman Who Works For The Taxman is basically the same as an execution by the state, since Bob "Works For The Taxman" (he works for the California government and is therefore, representative of the state). How did you end up with hookers and Bill the Knife?" (by LEFTYGREENMARIO)
My own addition is more of a comment/elaboration, namely that unlike "Bob The Axeman Who Works For The TaxmanBob The Axeman Who Works For The Taxman" who actually represents others when he gives the chop to Jimmy Jones (Bob represents "The Taxman", "the California government" and is, ultimately, a "representative of the state"), his cousin "Bill the Knife" don't represent anyone when he apparently "kills hookers he picks up in bars".
It would seem that LogicMaster777 is denying the former's representative aspects because he denies the legitimacy of government (as per the earlier "it's just arbitrary religious belief"-stuff), but LogicMaster777 forgets to explain how cousin Bill of the blade represents anyone or anything at all.
If the answer is that Bill the Knife is hearing voices that commands him to kill hookers, then that's quite different from the quite visible chain of "representation" that ties Bob The Axeman and The Taxman to the California government and the state and back again to the people who had the option of participating in the (s)election of their duly constituted representatives. Claiming that all of this is just religious is not only wrong, it ignores that Bob's claims to be a representative is obviously based on a body of evidence a great deal more tangible than anything that might bolster Bill the Knife's claims to the same status. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:54, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
What is the proof that Bob woks for the government? The money trail. As you say he is paid by taxes. How is that proof the people are represented in doing so? Forcing someone to pay you doesn't mean you represent them.LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:37, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
This has been answered. It is more than taxes. Are you an AI with 2K of cache so you have to forget everything you know in order to speak or something? King Skeleton (talk) 08:40, 8 December 2014 (UTC)\

Only symbolic logic allowed in this section[edit]

Heed ye, the wise words of Ikanreed and write according to this sagely advice: the same as an execution by the state, since Bob "Works For The Taxman" (he works for the California government and is therefore, representative of the state). How did you end up with hookers and Bill the Knife? LEFTYGREENMARIO 02:50, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I just to ask something: the premise of the argument needs clarification, which should've been made much, much earlier: what kind of government are we talking about? You can't say "government in general" because how government is structured depends on the consent of who actually builds it. A democracy can't have dogma by definition because it's an agreement between citizens and leaders to create and handle the government and the way they live. A theocracy, on the other hand, is a religious government and that's maybe where your argument that government is a religion can stand (or even in an autocracy). But it seems to me that you're talking about government in general, and since democracy is the most common type of government in the world and therefore, the government we're probably discussing about, government can't be a religion. LEFTYGREENMARIO 02:38, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Any kind that meets the premises of my argument. So about >99+++% of formalized governments as we would think of them in the plain language sense. imo. When "The Pharoa is God" was literally the writing on the wall the dogma was maybe not in a "paper" form, or there may not even have been any written dogma in some gvt religions, but I think there is always some sort of blind faith dogma. By government I mean to say a group of Men and women who take money from the population at large by threatening them to make them pay like with conditional threats like "pay or go to jail" or "pay or get shot." Beyond this, I don't think there is any empirically observable quality about them that distinguishes them from other mafia type pay or [insert punishment] business models. Besides the scripture or dogma of the believers. LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:48, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
So a theocracy fits this premise the best because it is literally government controlled by religion. We have also the concept of divine rule and autocracy, where there is unquestioning rule. "The Pharoah is God" is part of divine rule. But, as I said, the majority of government are democracies, not theocracies nor governed by divine rule. And nope, "pay or go to jail" is what we citizens and government have agreed on because it's a sustainable way to maintain an effective government and therefore have a stable population in terms of violence and other disorder. If government made taxes optional, hardly anyone would pay them and government and the bureaucracies we depend on will collapse from a lack of funds. No public education, no clean parks, no laws, no enforcement; taxes are the backbone of a stable society. Just view them as giving a bit of your fair share for a good society. In stark contrast to mafias. LEFTYGREENMARIO 02:59, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
How did all the violent conquerors in history receive funding? How was the Holocaust funded? What about Sadam's gas attacks? How much killing is paid for by tax? Have you looked up the research studies on democide? Do you dispute the findings? About a million killing to two million per year paid for by taxes BEFORE YOU FIGURE WARS INTO THE NUMBERS. LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:53, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
But Nazis! Try harder.--TiaC (talk) 08:56, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
"Democide?" Seriously, you're climbing into bed with the corpse of that racist fuckwit Rummel now? King Skeleton (talk) 09:07, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Religion of the Everyday[edit]

In a sense I agree. I think it was Slavoj Zizek (a known "statist") who brought up the idea of "religion of the everyday" or some such term, regarding the object of ideology. We know deep down that when we buy a pack of gum using a dollar bill that we are exchanging a simple piece of paper, but we act as if that paper has intrinsic value. The same goes for law, a judge may just be some guy in a Harry Potter, but we act as if his word has special power. It's not just government or religion, it's everything; I'm just looking at a grid of LEDs but I assign meaning and value to certain patterns and shapes. Hell, a football game is just a bunch of guys chasing each other around, but we act as if the score has a real meaning. It's all part of the deep seated and rarely examined ideology that underpins everyday life. Your mother is just an ever shifting pile of atoms, but you give those atoms special significance. The thing is, we're all believers. LM may decry the statist sheeple, but I imagine he's just a much a believer in the ideology of the everyday as anyone else. When he's hungry he takes his bits of paper to a man he knows will give him food in exchange, when someone is stealing his TV he presses the buttons on his phone that he knows will summon an armed man who sometimes stops people from stealing. Existence in the real world requires this kind of ideology. The thing is if LM wants to say anything significant he would need to show that government somehow differs from the multitude of abstractions we constantly navigate. Marlow (talk) 00:35, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I accept what you are saying is true, that To be a religion there must be more than a system of abstraction. A couple points: I am not arguing from the "need to win"(or trying not to, I also do not just assume I am not biased). I do not just presume myself correct and if you don't agree you are wrong. Maybe the data will prove I am wrong, a true scientific inquiry does not just presume a hypothesis and try to "force" the data. Also, my argument isn't based on calling you a sheeple if you don't agree. I respect your right to believe what you think is true. I do not base this argument on saying you are bad if you disagree or that the consequence of believing the government religion are necessarily bad. LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:02, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Do you have anything to say regarding my central point that in order to say anything meaningful you'll need to distinguish government from any of the myriad abstractions we use in our daily lives? Marlow (talk) 01:07, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
(Aside to @LM777) That is one approach (humility) that would have made this whole exercise much less painful. Nice! Now, take that tone to @Marlow and play nice!MarmotHead (talk) 01:09, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
My problem with this definition of "religion" is that it's basically equating "religion" with "abstract ideas & rituals", omitting the supernatural element that I think is crucial to avoid beginning to label pretty much anything a religion (a point I've already made). Such an extremely wide concept of "religion" would empty it of much of its meaning because it could refer to almost anything. The point of having specific terms is that they describe "something" which can be clearly distinguished from other "somethings" through the definition of the term in question.
No. It's not omitting it. Lets look into this. What is supernatural? My opinion is based on the idea that what makes a belief "supernatural" is that it conjures up

abstractions such as "entities", "forces" or "mechanisms" and then uses faith, magical thinking or blind faith to believe in them as "real" although they are unproven, or unprovable. Like saying "Why did the cookies disappear?" "It must have been the elves". Here we are making up an imaginary, unseen entity based on magical thinking, thus "Supernatural" "How'd the elves get in?" "Must have been sorcery", imaginary "force" or "mechanism", thus "supernatural". LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:36, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Then these unseen entities are imagined acting on the physical universe. Eating cookies. Using magic to open doors, etc. This is the "reification" process.LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:38, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that isn't the definition of supernatural. Supernatural means "attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature." That works for your example of elves, but state entities are not beyond our understanding. As below, the problem here is you're expecting us to accept your homebrew definitions of terms in order to disprove something based on our definitions of those terms, and you can "prove" anything that way.
This is the fallacy of begging the question: your argument includes multiple terms which are at least as contentious as its conclusion. King Skeleton (talk) 08:28, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Of course "we're all believers" to a first approximation; the question is: Which kinds of beliefs are we talking about? Generally the belief that others will accept a dollar bill as a medium of exchange is a sound one. By contrast, the religious belief that prayer will cure cancer has an extremely bad track record. While ideology and religion may be overlapping, they are not synonyms. Only when ideologies begin to treat its writings as scripture and denying empirical evidence (e.g. at least parts of the Austrian school's inability to accept market failures, or doctrinaire Marxists who ignore the fact that Marx's predictions haven't panned out) does it clearly move deep into religious territory (though the appeal to a sort of quasi-supernaturalism is still implicit, rather than the explicit supernaturalism found in "true" religion). We don't give a piece of paper as payment while thinking that the piece of paper in itself is "magic", but because it represents a convenient medium of exchange based on various kinds of trust (in the banking system and ultimately in the government and state's ability to back this piece of paper through sound economic policy, including sensible use of the power of taxation). This is fundamentally different from magical thinking, in which a ritual (e.g. a rain dance or a prayer) is performed in the hope that some supernatural being or force will intervene in the natural world. ScepticWombat (talk) 01:15, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Yikes. Ok, if you say so. That's what the Germans probably thought right before their money system collapsed. Maybe the Keynesian fountain of debt can keep running forever, I think if the OPEC gang were to lose its monopolistic mafia rule in the Mid East it's over and hyperinflation 1930's Germany style but it's irrelevant. Just think this dollar thing is more of a bubble than is realized. Why do you think they all of a sudden started QE recently? What do the Keynesian wizards in the FED know that we don't. Sorry conspiracy theory, this is irrelevant to the main debate, but this has a lot of assumptions(faith in dollar).LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:37, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
The money system collapse doesn't have much to do with faith in the dollar. But if you're going to portray Keynesian economics as something potentially dangerous, you're not in the right place. And before you make assumptions, know the facts, do some good research. Emphasis on "good". LEFTYGREENMARIO 03:43, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Note that I wrote: "Generally the belief that others will accept a dollar bill as a medium of exchange is a sound one" which clearly implied not always. Also, as LEFTY pointed out, it's simply fallacious to mention Keynesianism alongside German hyperinflation. The Weimar Germany of 1921-'24 was decidedly not following any sort of Keynesian economic policy, and the reasons for the hyperinflation were quite different. Not to mention that it seems that yet again you employ terms in a way that strongly suggests you don't know what they actually mean: Keynesian economics do not prescribe a policy in which the "fountain of debt can keep running forever" but counter-cyclical government intervention (spend to stimulate demand during busts, tax to bolster the coffers and cool demand during booms). In conjunction with the sort of reasoning evinced elsewhere and the character of your other misapplication/-understanding of various terms lends credence to those who early concluded that all of this rests on a sort of freeman-on-the-land logic which is rightfully lampooned elsewhere on this wiki. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:03, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

It's another topic, but considering that Confucianism is sometimes treated like a religion, sometimes, religion doesn't even have any supernatural aspects. The categorization of Confucianism itself is kind of weird, and I'm not saying it's a religion at all (it's more a philosophy than anything), but just consider that it has been categorized and lumped with stuff like Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Shinto. That being said, the vast majority of religions invoke the supernatural, so while not everything supernatural is necessarily part of a religion, religions have a supernatural element to them, so it's crucial part of the definition of religion. LEFTYGREENMARIO 02:16, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

The "problem" with Confucianism is that it no longer simply encompasses Confucius' ideas on how to organise a society (though that also included some at least quasi-supernatural ideas of society reflecting some general/cosmic harmony). Confucianism, because of its respect for your elders etc, has incorporated the sort of ancestor worship which is definitely supernatural (appeasing/not angering the ancestral spirits in order to have them provide the living with some benefit, such as harmony and prosperity). It is mainly due to this "Confucianism in practice" that I think we can, without being too arbitrary or playing fast and loose with our definitions, refer to Confucianism as a religion - even if an odd one compared to more classic (mono- or poly-)theistic religions, or even the less clearly theistic religions such as Buddhism. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:03, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

How statists can prove my logical proof false[edit]

1. Prove there really is an anthropomorphic being "the state". 2. Prove that when actions are ascribed to "the state" everyone encompassed in the perceived "state" action participated in a distinct team effort and we are not collectivizing as in just taking someone out into the forest and shooting someone and saying "The forest did it because I am part of the forest. And the trees also did it because they were there." This would prove an entity referred to as the state insofar as THAT ACTION. SO this could prove the government. And if "the state" is ONLY a euphemism for "the government" then in that sense the state(that is to say government, men and women forcing others to pay them as a coordinated team) would be proven. This is how I know there is a government and this is not a fallacious appeal to consequences. If by state we mean something beyond then we need to show an empirical phenomena beside one group is "legitimately" forcing another to pay (appeal to consequence in the form of you owe the money because [threat of punishment] and/or [scripture says so].). Unless by "state" we mean to say a system of financial predation or extortion slavery type system. In which case we do prove there is a "state" if by "State" we mean an institutionalized social dynamic of forcing people to pay. This is not a fallacious appeal to consequences. The observed institutionalized and successful organized "team effort" of the threat and use of force and the observed taking of property. This would prove that there is an institutionalized taking of property. So if that is the "state" then that is not itself a religious belief. This is like the Mike Tyson beat me up and took my money so he took my money so Tyson exists. This is a logical proof. Tyson exists because his representative beat me up is not a logical proof because it assumes tyson exists to prove tyson exists. Unless Tyson only exists as a reified abstraction (imaginary)and only that.

OR 3. Prove that the scriptures are empirically true AND applicable AND legally binding without using threats of punishment as "proof" of your entity. "Fire and brimstone proves my magic book is true" type arguments are not logic. "The scriptures prove themselves because the scriptures say so" will not count as "logic" either. "Do what daddy says or he will spank you." or arguments that follow this "Logical" form are not logical proof of the truth value of the scriptures. "The government punishes people" is proof of a government but it does not prove existence of a state unless by state we mean only government. And please don't try arguing "some guy said so" or "some guys said so" type fallacies or make me explain why that's not a logical proof.LogicMaster777 (talk) 04:50, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

The problem with your argument is that you're demanding we prove our argument but you get to use nonstandard definitions of all the terms in it, such as redefining "religion" to not require a supernatural element. You could use the same process to prove that black is white or coffee is spiders, it's just semantic trickery.
If you want us to accept the state is a religion, you need to prove it according to how we define religion, not how you define it. King Skeleton (talk) 07:15, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Can you give definitions for "religion" and "supernatural"?

Let's look into the origins of the concept of a state; it goes back to cities. Cities require services; for example, someone needs to build the outer wall. Now, an outer wall is a funny thing; it's expensive and of no use to anyone unless the bandits are attacking, but you can't just build one when the bandits are already there. So, a bunch of people get together and say "we're going to need citizens to give us money to pay people to build and maintain the outer wall according to this plan we have. If you don't like that idea, we're going to have to ask you to leave, because it wouldn't be fair for you to benefit from the outer wall if you had no role in paying for it."

Most people stay and pay the tax, thus implying their assent to this rule. This assent means that the wall-builders are justified in punishing those who attempt to both stay and not pay, because the greater body of people agrees that's what people ought to be doing. It's this assent to the law, not simple ability to make the law, that grants a state legitimacy.

A state can't function if the majority of people refuse to abide by its rule; this is why America and India are not part of Britain and why South Africa is no longer governed by the minority white population. It either has to accept that it has to change the rules, or it has to accept it can no longer govern the people. You can't put the majority of your population in jail and still have a functional country, after all.

The "legal person" of the state and the idea of the state as an employer exist as shorthands. When we say "the state sentenced Mike to 30 years in prison," what we mean is "in accordance with the law of the land, a duly summoned court of citizens instructed a judge to pass judgement for Mike to be imprisoned for 30 years, despite his defence in a legal case which presumed he was innocent." This is a little more thorough than "a cop put Mike in jail" which doesn't even begin to describe the process involved. The main point is that all of this was done within the auspices of the law, which, because the majority of people are willing to follow it, is presumed to have their assent. Thus, it is done on their behalf. The law does not empirically exist, but neither do language, logic or the scientific method.

The state is also a method of centralising services on the basis that disinterested persons will be more impartial. The state court system replaced citizen courts and lynchings with a system for selecting juries who did not have immediate interests in the case in question; this removed the possibility that someone would be hanged simply because the local people thought they were an asshole. The centralisation of the fire service and use of tax-derived funding ended a situation in the US where private fire companies would refuse to extinguish fires if the building owner didn't have fire insurance. And so on.

There is simply no way to construct a complex standardised system like a national telephone grid without having some appointed body which is able to speak with authority on how things ought to be and ensure it is done safely and adequately. The reason you didn't have to wire all of your electronic goods directly into the mains when you moved into your house is because a state body standardised plug sockets and ordered construction companies to follow that rule, on the basis most people would want it to be so. Sure, they didn't go out and ask every citizen if they wanted two, three or five pins in the plug, but they did what made sense to them, since members of the government are citizens, and assumed it would make sense to other people too (the results of this are notoriously variable). The punishment for non-compliance is based on this idea that the average citizen desires that people comply with the rules. Would you like to move into a house and find that you have to buy new plugs and transformers for all of your things because someone in the construction crew didn't feel like following the rules for mains voltage and socket installation? If the answer is no, then you are one of the people who legitimises the state's punishment for breaking this rule.

Now, one could argue a state like North Korea which is bound up in an ideology which is based on denial of reality have a religious component, but that's in the ideals of the state, not the existence of the state. Like I've said, if we insist on using a religious analogy then the faith element is in the ideals the state is founded on, and the state is a church dedicated to fulfilling those ideals. King Skeleton (talk) 09:13, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Examples of Statist religious Reification in everyday american life[edit]

1. A kid gets up early to go to the school so the "state" can educate him. 2. When he gets there a bell goes off and a ritual commences wherein the kids ritualistically worship a flag. Promises are made to the idol which represents the pantheon of "the united" "states". Statists believe that when you add 1+1=3 you + me equals me, you and "us"(state)(like when new money gets imagined into existence) "Us" actually becomes its own anthromorphic person. So, using statist logic when the states came together yet another "Entity" was "created" (made up). This entity is worshiped in the flag ceremony. 3. A cop writes a ticket. He gives a ransom note threatening punishment for breaking scriptural law disguised as a "lawsuit". He's different from other pirates because the scriptures say he represents "the state" and he wears the magic jewelry. 4. The "judge" dresses up in a priest/wizzard-style robe and orders the victim to pay. The fancy suit and ritualistic pomp are designed to impart that this isn't just an ordinary guy. He's special. He is chosen of state. He has taken a religious oath to the constitution and wears the magical robe. HE pronounces the order and ritualistically bangs the hammer of justice and signs the magic scroll. 5. The guy now "owes" the money because the magic man in the harry potter "said so", the scriptures say so, and the guy who said so wore a robe and did a magical hammer ritual before he wrote it down.LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:24, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

You might want to take a look at this for the problem with what you're doing here. King Skeleton (talk) 08:10, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, well whoever said 12 guys slamming their heads into 12 other guys heads till half of them have permanent brain damage was a "logical" conclusion to the question "What should I do for ten years straight?" He's saying football is a modern primitive ritual. I don't follow the second paragraph. I would say the first is pretty much mostly right.LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:51, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Discussion on "The Social Contract" and Rousseau's reasoning[edit]

Skeleton, can you tell me, what do you think of this language:

"The dogmas of civil religion ought to be few, simple, and exactly worded, without explanation or commentary. The existence of a mighty, intelligent and beneficent Divinity, possessed of foresight and providence, the life to come, the happiness of the just, the punishment of the wicked, the sanctity of the social contract and the laws: these are its positive dogmas. Its negative dogmas I confine to one, intolerance, which is a part of the cults we have rejected."

"The second is good in that it unites the divine cult with love of the laws, and, making country the object of the citizens' adoration, teaches them that service done to the State is service done to its tutelary god. It is a form of theocracy, in which there can be no pontiff save the prince, and no priests save the magistrates. To die for one's country then becomes martyrdom; violation of its laws, impiety; and to subject one who is guilty to public execration is to condemn him to the anger of the gods
Now that I have laid down the true principles of political right, and tried to give the State a basis of its own to rest on, I ought next to strengthen it by its external relations, which would include the law of nations, commerce, the right of war and conquest, public right, leagues, negotiations, treaties, etc. "LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:12, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Anyone recognize where this is from? IT's quoted as fair use.LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:12, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
And double bonus question: What is the fallacy of the author?LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:16, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
So you have finally totally snapped or what? Sorry I'm just checking in and saw you rambling and muttering to yourself and was concerned. Ok not really concerned but at least curious. ClothCoat (talk) 09:18, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Ok thank you mister concern troll. Can you please tell me who was the author I just quoted and what was the book? Perhaps you can explain the text?LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:37, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Stop being so fucking lazy - if you cut and paste into Google you can find out for yourself. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 09:43, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
It's Rousseau but he's such a crazy idiot he's taking Rousseau's metaphor to it's logical extreme. Rousseau appears to be arguing that those who punish people for questioning civil laws are just as intolerant as religious fundamentalists and/or theocracies. Nowhere is he explicitly saying that the government is literally a religion even if it's a theocracy. ClothCoat (talk) 09:47, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

The thing is he skipped, immediately before that, the line "There is therefore a purely civil profession of faith of which the Sovereign should fix the articles, not exactly as religious dogmas, but as social sentiments without which a man cannot be a good citizen or a faithful subject." He's talking about the interaction between the laws of the state and personal religion, which requires that the two be separate things. Also the "the second is good" section does not actually follow the first, in the original text it's way before it. Rousseau follows with "On the other hand, it is bad in that, being founded on lies and error, it deceives men, makes them credulous and superstitious, and drowns the true cult of the Divinity in empty ceremonial. It is bad, again, when it becomes tyrannous and exclusive, and makes a people bloodthirsty and intolerant, so that it breathes fire and slaughter, and regards as a sacred act the killing of every one who does not believe in its gods. The result is to place such a people in a natural state of war with all others, so that its security is deeply endangered." So it's just stuff taken out of context. King Skeleton (talk) 09:57, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
And what is meant by the term "civil religion" as you interpret it? Why is the "tutelary god" called the state taken, as in the section as you quoted "profession of faith" by the magic man in the black robe? Why does he take a solemn oath, or "profession of faith" to that piece of scripture, the source of his "power" and "authority", the constitution? And to the state?LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:18, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
This is the problem, you haven't read it. Rousseau says that three paragraphs above, "The other, which is codified in a single country, gives it its gods, its own tutelary patrons; it has its dogmas, its rites, and its external cult prescribed by law; outside the single nation that follows it, all the world is in its sight infidel, foreign and barbarous; the duties and rights of man extend for it only as far as its own altars. Of this kind were all the religions of early peoples, which we may define as civil or positive divine right or law." The tutelary God is an actual god figure.
When he talks about civil religion he is talking about actual religion, that's why he mentions the afterlife, which is not a service generally provided by the state. King Skeleton (talk) 10:21, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Does the scripture (constitution)say:

"and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,"LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:30, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

What is posterity in such a context?LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:30, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
It almost horrifies me that you ask for explanation of "posterity" in this context, because it's so blindingly obvious: It refers not to an afterlife (as you apparently think or at least strongly imply) but to comparatively mundane meaning of legacy or future (for one's descendants, incl. the broader sense of "those who comes after us). ScepticWombat (talk) 10:35, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Logicmaster, when a devoutly religious person talks about the "life to come" he means the next life, not the future. King Skeleton (talk) 10:38, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh, and what makes you think Rousseau was devoutly religious? What religion did he believe?LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:07, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Raised a Catholic, considered himself a deist. But come on, look at the words on the page, he is talking about religion as a necessary part of society. How can you possibly conclude from this that he is not religious? King Skeleton (talk) 11:15, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh he was devoutly religious all right. In the same sense Joseph Smith was.LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:17, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
As in...he was? And this is a meaningless attempt to sidetrack: the main point is that he was talking about an actual religion in that paragraph, hence the mention of the afterlife and the existence of an almighty divine figure (and he capitalises divinity, again meaning he's talking about god, not the state). Either concede that or dispute it, but stop playing these silly semantic delaying games. King Skeleton (talk) 11:21, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh really, LogicMaster777, you wonder why people (and note the diversity and unanimity of this category as represented by basically all commenters here) think you're arguing in bad faith? Here is a cut and dry example of you claiming that a word ("Posterity") is an indication of a supernatural concept ("afterlife") and several persons pointing out that the context is obviously referring to the quite non-supernatural notion of a future/legacy (btw, when has "posterity" ever been a synonym for "afterlife"?). Instead of either accepting that you're wrong, or arguing for why your interpretation is the correct one, you just fall back and insist that the author was religious and therefore he was writing about religion as if that magically would make your interpretation of "posterity" the correct one. So let us get back to the point, shall we?
Why do you think that the "Posterity" referred to by Rousseau in this passage refers to a supernatural afterlife, rather than a mundane future? Can you perhaps cite other examples of "Posterity" being clearly used as a synonym for "afterlife"? Is this interpretation equating "Posterity" with "afterlife" a typical/recurring feature of Rousseau's writings? ScepticWombat (talk) 11:35, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
That's not quite what he's doing. Rousseau mentioned "the life to come" as one of the things "civil religion" should be about, which is a clear reference to the afterlife. Logicmaster's attempt to counter is that the US constitution mentions "posterity," ie the future; it's another example of begging the question, since it requires I change what I define "life to come" to refer to in order to agree with him. King Skeleton (talk) 11:38, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ah, I apologise for the error, King Skeleton. It's so easy to get confused with these random detours this "debate" seems to take every time LM finds himself in a tight corner. I really think we need to keep hammering on single points if we're to get anywhere (my hope is sinking fast at this point). So, I'll just get back to the Constitution and its "Posterity" (hehehe) and let you two play with Rousseau. OK, revised and corrected question to : Why do you think that the "Posterity" cited to in this passage of the U.S. Constitution refers to a supernatural afterlife, rather than a mundane future? Can you perhaps cite other examples of "Posterity" being clearly used as a synonym for "afterlife"? Is this interpretation equating "Posterity" with "afterlife" a typical/recurring feature of the U.S. Constitution or other similar documents (feel free to dig around in the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence etc.)? ScepticWombat (talk) 11:51, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

No, I think the idea is that he's saying "the life to come" in Rousseau's writing means "the future" and so the US Constitution is referring to the same thing when it says "posterity." Which is daft, the phrase "the life to come" in a religious context always refers to the afterlife. King Skeleton (talk) 11:56, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
If your interpretation is correct, it's doubly "daft" for the simple reason that Rousseau didn't write the U.S. Constitution... I mean in what world can you simply take one term in a work by one person and then claim that it provides definition of an entirely different term, written at a different time, by a different group of authors? How does this even have the semblance of a good line of reasoning? That's why I never even considered the connection between these two. ScepticWombat (talk) 12:05, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

LogicMaster's informal dissertation on Rousseau's argument.[edit]

Rousseau starts out talking about primitive theocracies. In a primitive theocracy he's saying there is no distinct difference between the religious and the political. They are an integral "government religion" or "religious government". He's saying they are the same under a theocracy, that the religious law is the civil law.LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:45, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Then he goes on to talk about societies that have both a government religion and a government, but that they are two seperate bodies with a seperate and distinct institution with its own "laws" and that since the political power is divided up between two institutions, the "state" has less political power. He uses "State" similar to modern use of the word by statists, where he means "kingdom" in essence or something similar some of the time and government some of the time.LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:45, 7

He switches back and forth between using it to mean "kingdom" and "government" and he seems to equivocate them.LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:47, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Then he goes on to say:

"I believe that if the study of history were developed from this point of view, it would be easy to refute the contrary opinions of Bayle and Warburton, one of whom holds that religion can be of no use to the body politic, "

So, he implies the proposition that religion is useful to the "body politic."LogicMaster777 (talk) 02:52, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

December 2014 (UTC)

Then he goes on to say:
"the philosopher Hobbes alone has seen the evil and how to remedy it, and has dared to propose the reunion of the two heads of the eagle, and the restoration throughout of political unity, without which no State or government will ever be rightly constituted."

After discussing the problems with having a seperate government religion from the government itself, as in the Pope having such political influence over the "state", and after repeatedly making the argument that religion is useful and necessary for a strong government, he now says Hobbes has seen the answer and it is to COMBINE BOTH HEADS OF THE EAGLE.LogicMaster777 (talk) 03:01, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Does anyone know of any governments that might be based on this philosophy? Maybe one also big on eagle symbolism?

Dude, seriously, you hacked all this in between two replies. It's now impossible to follow the discussion. What the fuck are you even doing? King Skeleton (talk) 08:15, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

K I moved it.LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:14, 8 December 2014 (UTC)


"A PERSON is he whose words or actions are considered, either as his own, or as representing the words or actions of another man, or of any other thing to whom they are attributed, whether truly or by fiction."
"When they are considered as his own, then is he called a natural person: and when they are considered as representing the words and actions of another, then is he a feigned or artificial person."LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:44, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"So that a person is the same that an actor is, both on the stage and in common conversation; and to personate is to act or represent himself or another; and he that acteth another is said to bear his person, or act in his name (in which sense Cicero useth it where he says, Unus sustineo tres personas; mei, adversarii, et judicis- I bear three persons; my own, my adversary's, and the judge's), and is called in diverse occasions, diversely; as a representer, or representative, a lieutenant, a vicar, an attorney, a deputy, a procurator, an actor, and the like."LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

"Of persons artificial, some have their words and actions owned by those whom they represent."

"And then the person is the actor, and he that owneth his words and actions is the author, in which case the actor acteth by authority. For that which in speaking of goods and possessions is called an owner, and in Latin dominus in Greek kurios; speaking of actions, is called author. And as the right of possession is called dominion so the right of doing any action is called authority. So that by authority is always understood a right of doing any act; and done by authority, done by commission or license from him whose right it is."
"There are few things that are incapable of being represented by fiction. Inanimate things, as a church, a hospital, a bridge, may be personated by a rector, master, or overseer. But things inanimate cannot be authors, nor therefore give authority to their actors: yet the actors may have authority to procure their maintenance, given them by those that are owners or governors of those things. And therefore such things cannot be personated before there be some state of civil government."LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:49, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"An idol, or mere figment of the brain, may be personated, as were the gods of the heathen, which, by such officers as the state appointed, were personated, and held possessions, and other goods, and rights, which men from time to time dedicated and consecrated unto them. But idols cannot be authors: for an idol is nothing. The authority proceeded from the state, and therefore before introduction of civil government the gods of the heathen could not be personated."LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:52, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"This is more than consent, or concord; it is a real unity of them all in one and the same person, made by covenant of every man with every man, in such manner as if every man should say to every man: I authorise and give up my right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition; that thou give up, thy right to him, and authorise all his actions in like manner. This done, the multitude so united in one person is called a COMMONWEALTH; in Latin, CIVITAS. This is the generation of that great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak more reverently, of that mortal god to which we owe, under the immortal God, our peace and defence. For by this authority, given him by every particular man in the Commonwealth, he hath the use of so much power and strength conferred on him that, by terror thereof, he is enabled to form the wills of them all, to peace at home, and mutual aid against their enemies abroad. And in him consisteth the essence of the Commonwealth; which, to define it, is: one person, of whose acts a great multitude, by mutual covenants one with another, have made themselves every one the author, to the end he may use the strength and means of them all as he shall think expedient for their peace and common defence."LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:59, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"And he that carryeth this person is called sovereign, and said to have sovereign power; and every one besides, his subject."LogicMaster777 (talk) 06:03, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"The attaining to this sovereign power is by two ways. One, by natural force: as when a man maketh his children to submit themselves, and their children, to his government, as being able to destroy them if they refuse; or by war subdueth his enemies to his will, giving them their lives on that condition. The other, is when men agree amongst themselves to submit to some man, or assembly of men, voluntarily, on confidence to be protected by him against all others. This latter may be called a political Commonwealth, or Commonwealth by Institution; and the former, a Commonwealth by acquisition. And first, I shall speak of a Commonwealth by institution."LogicMaster777 (talk) 06:09, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"It belonged therefore to him that hath the sovereign power to be judge, or constitute all judges of opinions and doctrines, as a thing necessary to peace; thereby to prevent discord and civil war."LogicMaster777 (talk) 06:21, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Leviathon/Hobbes quoted for fair use. I think this Leviathon Hobbes describes is the most similar to what I'm talking about by "the state". The imagined person who is refied and anthropomorphized as a collective "us" who takes on his own/its own anthropomorphic "personality". And the sovereign is kind of like government or king but he describes it in magical terms so his definition is kind of based on his religious ideas.LogicMaster777 (talk) 06:34, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Maybe I should start using "Leviathon" to describe the statist dieties so it makes it clear what exactly what I'm talking about by "state".LogicMaster777 (talk) 06:39, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"it is a real unity of them all in one and the same person"

"the multitude so united in one person" "one person, of whose acts a great multitude" "This is the generation of that great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak more reverently, of that mortal god" Notice he makes distinct use of "man" to mean human and "person" to represent Leviathon, or as it is known today, the state or "United States"(the "entity") to show he means an abstract person, and then the "sovereign" government "personates" that "entity" of "the state" or "Leviathan".LogicMaster777 (talk) 06:50, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Could you please explain what you're doing inserting this giant block of text halfway through the discussion? We've already told you we don't accept your point about reification. Making it again in a slightly different way isn't likely to make us accept it. King Skeleton (talk) 08:13, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

A discussion on the philosophies of Hobbes and Russeau[edit]

Kudos LogicMaster777, you're able to cite correctly, now you just have to master the art of comprehending what you're citing: The simple reason why Hobbes distinquished between "man" and "person" was to make a distinction between a human being and what is today known as a "legal person" (incl. corporations etc.) is that Hobbes was able to distinguish between a concept applied literally ("man"), and a similar (note: not identical), abstract, but useful term ("person") which does not entail the full amount of meanings encompassed by the former term. I've pointed this out several times: For one who is so keen on invoking the concept of reification in a context in which it doesn't apply (i.e. that people in general think that the U.S. is a person in the sense of a personal deity, rather than simply using such terms as a useful shorthand), you seem to be a victim of reification yourself, since you seem completely unable to understand abstract concepts and insist on simplifying them until they become literal, which is ironically the very definition of reification ("mistaking the map for the territory"). Subsequently you claim that this reductio ad absurdum, no, scratch that, it's not even a reductio ad absurdum, that because this literalist straw man is an anthropomorphic entity that means that "statists" are worshipping a "super-being" called "the state" - and then you go with the standard creationist'esque style of argument from there (insisting that only your decidedly odd definitions should be used, that "statists" are just another religion etc. etc.). ScepticWombat (talk) 08:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Damn! I've just realised that I've let LogicMaster777 sidetrack me again in my reply to his new Hobbesian detour. So I'll just restate my former question again:

I) Why do you think that the "Posterity" cited to in this passage of the U.S. Constitution refers to a supernatural afterlife, rather than a mundane future?
II) Can you perhaps cite other examples of "Posterity" being clearly used as a synonym for "afterlife"?
III) Is this interpretation equating "Posterity" with "afterlife" a typical/recurring feature of the U.S. Constitution or other similar documents (feel free to dig around in the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence etc.)?

ScepticWombat (talk) 11:21, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

"1. A kid gets up early to go to the school so the "state" can educate him" Only if the parents choose not to either send the kid to a private school or homeschool themselves. Not to mention that since you don't consider the "state" to be something other than a collection of of powerful individuals making arbitrary decisions, the "state" can hardly "educate" anyone, right?
"2. When he gets there a bell goes off and a ritual commences wherein the kids ritualistically worship a flag." No, it's not worship, unless you think that they believe the flag is somehow magical. I think that the problem is a misunderstanding of symbolism: While "magic" typically entails symbolism, symbolism need not entail magic.
"Promises are made to the idol which represents the pantheon of "the united" "states"." No, it's not an idol, and if you say it is, I'd like to hear the definition that makes a symbol into an idol. Is the club banner of a sports club also an idol? Because you can find plenty of similar rituals in which fans pledge some abstract allegiance to the club colours - but perhaps sports fandom is also a religion?
"Statists believe that when you add 1+1=3 you + me equals me, you and "us"(state)(like when new money gets imagined into existence) "Us" actually becomes its own anthromorphic person." No, you once again misunderstand the use of symbolism and convenient rhetorical shorthands such as "Uncle Sam" or reference to "legal persons" as signs that people are really thinking about the state as anthropomorphic. Ironically, your mistake has a name: It's called reification.
"So, using statist logic when the states came together yet another "Entity" was "created" (made up). This entity is worshiped in the flag ceremony." Okay, I really don't see what your point, argument or straw man logic is supposed to be here. What is criticised here is pretty much the same as claiming that a corporate merger doesn't "create" another "Entity". Anyway, I can't help but notice that the term "statists" is used in a way that is exactly analogous to creationists talking about "evolutionists".
"3. A cop writes a ticket. He gives a ransom note threatening punishment for breaking scriptural law disguised as a "lawsuit". He's different from other pirates because the scriptures say he represents "the state" and he wears the magic jewelry." When are a ransom notes usually not something based on a transgression of religious scriptures? This "argument" seems simply to string together a series of terms with negative connotations with no regards for the (lack of) internal consistency thus created. Not to mention that I'm really not sure what the connection (if any) there is between writing a ticket and the point that not following a set of rules has consequences. I could just as easily exchange the cop for any officer of a corporation giving a warning about the corporation's code of conduct not being followed and the threat specified in the sanctions to follow if the behaviour isn't rectified. These officers also wear either the equivalent of "magic jewelry", or the even less substantial (and thus, following the definitions used, presumably more magical) authority of a mere title. Are corporations also religions or religious institutions/organisations when they behave in a similar way to your "statist religious institutions"?
"4. The "judge" dresses up in a priest/wizzard-style robe and orders the victim to pay. The fancy suit and ritualistic pomp are designed to impart that this isn't just an ordinary guy. He's special. He is chosen of state. He has taken a religious oath to the constitution and wears the magical robe. HE pronounces the order and ritualistically bangs the hammer of justice and signs the magic scroll." Exchange the judge with any CEO or other corporate leader (even lower-level leaders) and the rituals of the court room for that of the corporation's firing or sanctioning process and presto, corporations must be religious organisations. After all, the CEO has also "taken a religious oath" to the company charter either explicitly or implicitly. Not to mention that CEOs, even though there are rarely any formal dress codes also dress in a very particular and ritualistic way (the suit, the "power tie" etc.) to illustrate their symbolic or, using the logic evident here, religious status and mandate.
"5. The guy now "owes" the money because the magic man in the harry potter "said so", the scriptures say so, and the guy who said so wore a robe and did a magical hammer ritual before he wrote it down." Following on from 4., the same can be said for the employee, or contractor or whatever: They now owe money, or face specific consequences because the guy in the religious costume (suit & tie) "said so", the scriptures (company rules or contract) say so, and the guy who said so wore the religious costume and did a magical ritual (following the procedures laid down in the aforementioned company or contract scripture) before he wrote it down.
Once again, when the analytic framework and definitions used to reach the conclusion, that the state is a religious entity and its various enforcing elements mere religious authorities, is applied to other cases, the conclusions are that these other cases also turns out to be religions/religious organisations. Yet I see no willingness to either accept that there is something wrong with the analytical scheme, nor the recognition that these conclusions are valid, or even a serious argument as to why not. Not to mention that several terms are simply misapplied due, apparently, to a lack of understanding of their meaning, as demonstrated by "idol" and "anthropomorphic". ScepticWombat (talk) 10:32, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
What is an "idol"? What is "anthropomorphic"? How did I misuse?LogicMaster777 (talk) 07:11, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
You mean like corporations? Yes, I agree McDonalds the corporation is such an "entity", I guess that's what you mean? The only reason the "entity" exists is a piece of paper says so.LogicMaster777 (talk) 07:06, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"When he talks about civil religion he is talking about actual religion," Ok, so then I have persuaded you?LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:35, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
No, you haven't. He's talking about a religion which is suited to functioning within a state. The preceding line makes it very clear he is not talking about the laws of the state, but the individual beliefs of citizens. You're just taking it completely out of context. King Skeleton (talk) 10:43, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
"2. "When he gets there a bell goes off and a ritual commences wherein the kids ritualistically worship a flag." No, it's not worship, unless you think that they believe the flag is somehow magical. I think that the problem is a misunderstanding of symbolism: While "magic" typically entails symbolism, symbolism need not entail magic"
Thought experiment: replace the flag with a cross and instead of pledging loyalty to the states pledge allegiance to Jesus. Ya, what was I thinking, what was the similarity?LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:38, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Because your "higher power" is "real"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:40, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
And the flag has answered your prayer right? You have liberty and justice because of the "States" right? How great to reinforce your -ahem- self fulfilling prophecy with perfectly circular logic.LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:50, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Logicmaster, talking to people as though they are children is not how adults debate. King Skeleton (talk) 10:51, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

1. A kid gets up early to go to the school so the "state" can educate him" Only if the parents choose not to either send the kid to a private school or homeschool themselves. Not to mention that since you don't consider the "state" to be something other than a collection of of powerful individuals making arbitrary decisions, the "state" can hardly "educate" anyone, right?LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:14, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

And what kind of private school might they go to? Catholic?LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:14, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
"Thought experiment: replace the flag with a cross and instead of pledging loyalty to the states pledge allegiance to Jesus." & "And the flag has answered your prayer right? You have liberty and justice because of the "States" right?"
Well, I'll bite - mostly because the answer is quite obvious and simple:
A) Jesus is not the symbol of God.
B) The flag ceremony doesn't appeal for intercession/intervention, unlike a prayer to Jesus (yes, that's even in the most common prayer, Our Father/Pater Noster)
See, I didn't even have to go into the whole nebulous definition of what is "real" or not to illustrate why the supposed analogy is false. Nor did I have to employ any ridicule to do so. Adding the stuff about the difference between the kinds of "unreality" evinced by a deity and the state would only serve to further illustrate the wrongness of the analogy, but as that has already been done extensively elsewhere, I need not reiterate them here.
PS. I seem to recall someone asking for an "adult debate" that avoided "ad hominems" - can't remember the name at the moment, but I'm sure it'll come to me. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:21, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
"And what kind of private school might they go to? Catholic?" ??? How is this even an argument against my point? And I do hope you realise that there are non-religious private schools, right? Once again pointing out the holes in your argument is almost too easy. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:21, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
IDK I thought your point was that since you can take your kids to different schools that that implied that gvt schools weren't religious. Was that the point you were making?LogicMaster777 (talk) 04:47, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
The point in my rebuttal of 1., is that even using your own flawed terminology it literally makes no sense. It makes even less sense when we factor in that public/state financed schools aren't religious - your claim to the contrary is what I dealt with in my response to 2. (incl. A) & B)), as well as in pretty much every reply I've made to you so far.
"What is an "idol"? What is "anthropomorphic"?" Well, it would be nice if you knew since you brought them up... You see people in general don't think there's something "magical" about a flag, hence it's not an idol (look to my response to 2. as well as points A) and B), for why the pledge is not worship). When people complain of such things as desecration of the flag, it's because the and the people doing the desecrating both understand what you seem incapable of: That flag desecration is a symbolic protest against the action of a state, not a magic ritual intended to "hurt" the state or change its policies. This point, which I've already explained to you, applies to "anthropomorphic" as well: Unlike you other people are able to comprehend abstract concepts which aren't supernatural or personal even if they are discussed using terms normally ascribed to people as well. You see, it's exactly because they describe different phenomena that we have such words as "abstract" and "symbolic" in addition to "supernatural" and "magic". ScepticWombat (talk) 11:15, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
By Anthropomorphic or Anthropomorphized I mean an abstract idea being imagined as having human like qualities. The American Leviathan characterized as human or characterized as its own "person". The abstract Idea of "America" in human form: Uncle Sam, Captain America, Obama, Kennedy - but not necessarily in human form. It could just be giving it human characteristics. Usually people don't make promises to a piece of cloth. But they imagine, or "reify" the abstraction as a symbol of "America" and then when they pledge allegiance they are speaking to the Leviathan, the "person" of "the state" that is to say the abstract "person" of America. By talking to it they are treating it like a human. Or to speak of "State's" rights. When I use state in such a context I mean to say the same thing as by "Leviathan." I think some of the issues was that when I kept using "State" to describe this "entity" it was confusing to people."What do you mean the state doesn't exist as a physical being? You mean the government isn't real? GTFO". So to clarify, I use Leviathan because what Hobbes calls Leviathan is what I mean by "State" and when he says "Sovereign" he means king or government. The "plaintiff" "State of x" on a traffic ticket is the Leviathan. The imagined "person" of the state. LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:30, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
So, standard tactic of asking questions we've already answered and using homebrew definitions of your opponent's terms. That's not what reification is. Repeating your definition is not likely to make us accept it. King Skeleton (talk) 23:35, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Hey, LogicMaster777, I have to agree with King Skeleton. I've already explained why it is not all the "statists" who're guilty of reification and "anthropomorphication" here, but you. I specifically did so in my first response to your (mis)application of Hobbes in my earlier post in this beginning with "Kudos LogicMaster777, you're able to cite correctly". It's not that either "statists" or Hobbes think that states really are personal entities, it's that you, through reification(!), misunderstand useful rhetorical shorthands and abstract concepts for a simple belief in a personal state. Just because I use the term "legal person" of a state or a corporation, doesn't mean that I think either is actually a person in the sense that a human individual is. I'm not setting either up as some sort of fetish, but merely referring to a useful way of regarding a particular aspect of states/corporations, namely that they can be sued or sue others, which again is useful because it means that I don't have to, for instance, find a specifically culpable individual if the collective of a state/corporation has wronged me and I want to seek legal redress. Seriously, how hard can this be to understand? ScepticWombat (talk) 00:40, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

On the Supernatural aspects of the Leviathan[edit]

The Leviathan Described by Hobbes describes the type of "Entity" I am talking about. What he describes is what I mean by "The State". An entity that represents "the community" that is "collectivized" into an abstract "being" which is then anthromorphized or "personated" into a distinct "person" unto itself and then reified as "real" and spoken of acting in the physical world as an actual physical "person". LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:07, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

To many statists this doesn't "feel" like a "supernatural" experience. But I ask you, by what criteria do you define "supernatural"? This seems to be a "sticking point" on the debate that repeats so here is a place to put a discussion on this topic since it keeps coming up.LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:07, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
If by "religion" we mean a belief in "supernatural" then how do we define "Supernatural"? The way I use it is a belief in abstract, unseen, unproven "entities", or unseen or unproven "forces"/"mechanisms" as "real" based on faith or dogma or magical thinking. Some people have implied I'm using a particularly "loaded" type of definition.

1. If it is loaded, then explain how so. 2. Please also give your own definition for "supernatural". 3. Please explain how this reification of the "Leviathan" or "state" abstraction is different than what you would consider "supernatural"? By what principle is it NOT supernatural? LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:07, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Dictionary: "attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature." Already posted that once. Like I said, you can't win an argument by just using homebrew definitions of your opponent's terms. King Skeleton (talk) 11:08, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
So, since bigfoot is a big monkey man and not a "force" would you therefor not consider a belief in bigfoot to be a supernatural belief? Or unicorns, etc? What if I start the cult of Unicorns and bigfoot where we talk to bigfoot in the form of a stuffed doll and light candles? Would this be a religion? I would take this sort of thing as religious because we are imagining into existence bigfoot and unicorns with magical thinking which is where I think the supernatural element comes in. Compared to if I go to a horse exhibit or a monkey exhibit at the zoo that is an observation, so based on evidence, and not supernatural necessarily. So I would consider a druid worshiping a forest to be a "religious" or "supernatural" experience or based on a supernatural belief.LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:40, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Because it uses magical thinking to collectivize the forest into its own person with its own quasi-human characteristics and personality.LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:43, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Would you not consider druids worshiping a forest religious?LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:43, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Depends why they're worshipping it. If they expect the worship to have some tangible effect on the forest that's a supernatural belief (there is not way under the laws of science or nature that the worship can affect the forest). If they're simply treating it with care and giving thanks to it, then no, because they don't actually believe they're doing anything they aren't doing.
Bigfoot is a legend; that's not quite the same thing. The lack of quality evidence suggests the creature called Bigfoot doesn't exist, but if it did exist there would be nothing about it that would not be explainable by science since an ancestral ape-man is something we know did once exist. It's similar to stories of lost cities: they're myths because we have no proof they're true, but there's nothing mystical about a city. King Skeleton (talk) 23:51, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
To relate this to rituals of state: when American children pledge allegiance to the flag they are declaring their support for the values the flag is a symbol for, but this is not actually supposed to provoke a response from the flag. This differs from, say, saluting a magpie, where you are doing so because you believe the magpie can somehow transfer bad luck to you unless it is appeased, or the belief certain configurations of magpies can summon sorrow, joy, etc.
Regarding the issue of symbols, there is nothing illogical about symbolism itself. You use it yourself when you use abstract Arabic numerals instead of tally marks to do math: why do two arcs stacked one on the other mean "three?" Because some dude said so. King Skeleton (talk) 00:05, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

From the rationalwiki page on "supernatural": is it wrong, and if so why?[edit]

The definition I use for "supernatural is similar to how "rationalwiki" defines it:

"Supernatural is an adjective which can refer to events, entities, or explanations, or to powers claimed to be possessed by certain individuals. What all these have in common is that is that they they do not conform to a naturalistic worldview."
"Supernatural beings include gods, fairies, ghosts, spirits, and suchlike."
"Specific gods, goddesses, and other supernatural entities are apparent in the mythology of early civilizations such as the Sumerians, Egyptians, and Greeks."
Should we presume belief in a fairy requires an belief in an unknown "force"?
Many definitions one can find by googling the word "supernatural" will include references to unseen or unproven "entities" or "beings" in the definition.
Are we sure that by narrowly construing supernatural (root words meaning simply: "beyond natural") to only refer to a "force" which is beyond scientific understanding, we are not merely trying to define the word in such manner as to attempt invalidate the argument? Plenty of definitions one can find will include a much broader word usage than to describe a "force" and only a "force". Why do we have to stick to this one specific narrow definition of "Supernatural" as only referring to a "force" specifically? LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:24, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
What these definitions have in common is they exclude things which are real and observable. You are not going to BS your way into a definition of supernatural which applies to something which exists entirely in the real world. That's called a suppressed correlative. King Skeleton (talk) 09:54, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

What is a religion[edit]

What is a religion, and what distinguishes it as such? If I'm using a "loaded" definition, then explain how. LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:09, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

What? People have already defined a religion for you and unlike the state it has unprovable supernatural aspects. Also you are once again asking people to define common words for you which you could look up on the internet. Remember the whole "Socrates method" thing people were complaining about? The one where you pose as a pseudo-intellectual by just asking obvious questions? You're doing it again. ClothCoat (talk) 09:01, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

The corporate personhood of the state or Leviathan is imagined into existence through magical thinking. It's not real.LogicMaster777 (talk) 16:03, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

a religion is "that which binds"; for example a healthclub, the girl scouts, or the Democratic Party bind people together with common ideals, hopes, expectations, and codes of conduct. Some religions are more stringent than others in regards to membership qualifications. The unspoken meaning in translation from the original sense of "binding" isn't just binding people together, but also that the individual is scatterbrained or lost without being bound to a social group. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 17:14, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. " "a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects". --Maxus (talk) 17:49, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
The root word, religio has a dual meaning: (1) "that which binds" to a social group or order; (2) that which binds, or girds an individual to continency and aids against incontinency. Much more can be added about the meanings of continency and incontinency on both the physical and moral plane. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 18:05, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
I think you're committing the etymological fallacy there. As for all the people saying religions have to include a supernatural element — really? There are religions that worship aliens (Raelism), religions where the existence or non-existence of gods is completely irrelevant (Buddhism) and outrightly atheistic religions that embrace earthly values (LaVeyan Satanism). Insisting that religions have to include a supernatural element is just begging the question to create a false dichotomy between naturalistic science and religion. Religions are belief systems pertaining to the nature of the world and one's place in it that are expressed socially through various public behaviours/rituals. What makes a religion a religion isn't primarily the content of the beliefs, but the way the belief system is expressed in a social context. (talk) 19:18, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
How is worshipping aliens who's existence is not confirmed not supernatural? Also supernatural doesn't just apply to "Gods" Buddhism also believes in the concept of rebirth and so on. The fact Laveyan Satanism is atheistic actually does make it highly debateable if it's a religion to most people as much as it's just a philosophy. Religions are generally expected to have a mythology and, in practice, at least some supernatural elements. ClothCoat (talk) 19:56, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Um, I dunno what your definition of supernatural is, but positing the existence of an advanced alien civilization doesn't involve anything supernatural that I'm aware of, unless you imagine them to have supernatural powers. Since Buddhists don't believe in a soul, their concept of 'rebirth' basically amounts to the idea of 'conservation of life energy'. Maybe it's not a rigorously scientific idea, but I wouldn't call it supernatural either. If you can give me a proper reason why an organized belief system typified by certain rituals and traditions that contains a supernatural element is categorically different from an organized belief system typified by certain rituals and traditions that lacks a supernatural element, by all means, please do so. (talk) 22:07, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Positing the possible existence of aliens is different from a faith in aliens not support ed by evidence. My argument is that that is what makes it a supernatural belief.LogicMaster777 (talk) 12:49, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Buddhism is kind of unique in the sense is that it has no gods, it advocates people to seek out for themselves, and there are no speculative views. That being said, though, Buddhism does have some fantastical legends, and there are supernatural aspects: karma, reincarnation, heaven, and hell. There is a concept of a soul in Buddhism, but it's not the same soul as the Christian definition; the Buddhism soul is changing and can be improved, compared to the static Christian one. So yeah, I guess Buddhism is unusual in that aspect, and no doubt there has been discussion on its classification either way. LEFTYGREENMARIO 22:23, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
My argument is that "belief" in aliens is a supernatural belief. IF and only insofar as the BELIEF is based on faith or magical thinking instead of evidence. POSTULATING and belief being distinctly different from believing.LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:44, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Also, yeah, the vast majority of the religions invoke the supernatural, so it's naturally part of the definition of what makes up a religion. We do have a section on secular religions, if I'm not mistaken, in RationalWiki that discusses about this, but the article is more about refuting assertions that some beliefs are like religions (atheism, environmentalism, liberalism, the market). We do have one relevant section, the "Does secular religion exist?" one, so I think it's worth an examine since it's incredibly relevant to this debate. In the meantime, maybe we can include tidbits of this debate into that article... Finally, don't try to make connections between naturalistic science and religion. LEFTYGREENMARIO 20:08, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
"the vast majority of the religions invoke the supernatural, so it's naturally part of the definition" Um, do you even know how definitions work? The vast majority of real numbers are irrational. That doesn't mean every real number is assumed to be irrational from the getgo or something. >.> (talk) 22:18, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
I think I worded it a bit badly, but my point is religions tend to invoke the supernatural. I was thinking about making classifications based on generalization. So, yes, we have stuff like Wicca, Christianity, Islam, Greek mythology, Shinto, the multiple pagan religions, the African religions, Native American religions... they all have something in common, and they all have supernatural elements to them. So with this, we construct a definition of religion from these generalizations. They all don't have to perfectly fit within the definition, like Buddhism, but it's a good framework. Now, I don't think your analogy to mathematics is quite what I'm thinking about, especially how it doesn't allow for flexibility when it comes to definition. LEFTYGREENMARIO 22:29, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
""the vast majority of the religions invoke the supernatural, so it's naturally part of the definition" Um, do you even know how definitions work? The vast majority of real numbers are irrational. That doesn't mean every real number is assumed to be irrational from the getgo or something." I don't really think that invoking mathematical definitions is a very good parallel here, because numbers aren't something we need to define to correspond with physical entities or social phenomena. In this sense they're not descriptive in the same way the word "religion" is. To use a counterexample to illustrate the problem by the same criteria:
The vast majority of elephants are grey, but there are also albino elephants, so it's natural to include "grey" as part of the definition of the word "elephant". I really don't think that pointing out that a few albino elephants exist is going to be regarded as a huge problem for such an inclusion of "grey" in defining the term "elephant".
Thus, I really do think that even with the few less clear-cut examples of religions having a supernatural aspect, a definition of religion benefits from including "has some sort of supernatural aspect" as part of the definition. As I've also pointed out below, the "alien religions" are at least skirting on including supernatural element, because their claims about what aliens do and how they influence our lives, while not outright supernatural to a first approximation, is still using a vary vague concept of "supertechnology" in a way which is, in Arthur C. Clarke's words, indistinguishable from magic. Postulating a natural mechanism which can't be detected isn't that different from magic. "The Force" doesn't become any less supernatural by being "explained" through the existence of "midichloridians". Sure these incredibly powerful aliens and their undetectable technology might exist without breaking the laws of physics, but since we have no indication of either, invoking them as a concrete explanation of what happens around us in the way "alien religions" do is virtually indistinguishable from invoking supernatural deities. If asked to explain X, instead of receiving the answer of "Woo" Goddidit"" and no testable mechanism, "alien religions" simply answer "Woo aliensdidit!" and no testable mechanism. I might as well claim that souls are not supernatural, but that we just haven't discovered the right technology to detect them yet - would that mean that my claims of the influence of souls on various observed phenomena would not be a supernatural one? ScepticWombat (talk) 11:02, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
"How is worshipping aliens who's existence is not confirmed not supernatural?". As long as these hypothetical aliens are not supposed to break the laws of nature, I don't think I'd label them "supernatural". However, in contrast to such aliens, the existence of states is readily observable and entirely explainable through natural mechanisms (unless you're LogicMaster777, of course). What would at least border on the supernatural would be a belief that unobserved and so far entirely hypothetical aliens are somehow running our world and affect our daily lives. This would be parallel to the quasi-supernatural claims that the stars and other celestial bodies influence our daily lives: These celestial bodies' existence is neither in doubt (or is it?) nor are they supernatural in and of themselves. However, the claims that such celestial bodies influence our lives is tantamount to supernaturalism, because there is no reason to suppose this to be the case, nor is there any natural scenario through which a mechanism could provide such an influence. ScepticWombat (talk) 22:32, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
I think you're confusing paranoid conspiracy theories with the supernatural there. While the stars and planets influencing our lives in the way astrology implies would require some very weird stuff that goes beyond our understanding of nature, if an advanced alien civilization came across the Earth and decided to mess with its population, hiding their presence probably wouldn't be that difficult. It wouldn't require any supernatural mumbojumbo. While God and aliens are similar in their redundancy for explaining observed phenomena, I'd still say there's a difference between positing that the mafia was secretly behind the JFK assassination and positing that occultists used Satanic rituals to possess the body of Lee Harvey Oswald to do the killing. (talk) 23:14, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
The thing is, an entity with incredible, mysterious powers we have never witnessed the like of (like Rael's aliens) who is conveniently concealed basically is supernatural. I'd say that things like the WTC magic satellite laser conspiracy theory is an appeal to the supernatural as well, given that it makes no fucking sense according to anything we know about science. This is different to saying that a real organisation shot a dude with a gun. Those are all known to exist. King Skeleton (talk) 23:22, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Then you're basically redefining the supernatural to refer to any perceivedly farfetched explanation that involves a pervasive influence. Really, first you insist that religions have to incorporate some 'supernatural' element and then you change the meaning of supernatural so it's vague enough to be applied to any religion's idea of a deeper meaning to existence. Do I really need to point out how fallacious that is? The theory that the Nazis have led the world into believing they were defeated in 1945 when they've in fact taken complete control of human civilization is clearly ridiculous, but there are no supernatural elements inherent to it. Changing Nazis to highly evolved intelligent dinosaurs that survived the KT-event doesn't make it supernatural either. Conspiracy theories can be ridicilously farfetched without implying any level of supernaturalness. (talk) 11:26, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
I think that where a conspiracy theory would turn into a religion would be the point in which it employed such completely unsubstantiated mechanisms dressed up in "sciency" lingo (think Scientology) to argue that we need to appease the hidden Nazis/highly evolved dinosaurs through certain rituals in order for them to provide us with benefits/avoid harm from their "woo technology". This is basically what both Scientology and Raelism does, unlike the claims of, for instance, the influence of the Illuminati, though I'll admit that the literal tinfoil hat crowd is doing something that lies on the border between these two categories. However, tinfoil hatters are solely engaging in one particular example of "negative ritual" (avoiding harm), unlike Scientologists or Raelians, and the "reasoning" underpinning the ritual lacks the kind of "explain-all" feature of a fully fledged religion. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:43, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
I agree, and that was pretty much my original point; what makes a religion a religion isn't any supernatural element in the beliefs, but the way the belief system is expressed socially through the rituals etc. associated with it. (talk) 12:41, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but these rituals tend to involve clear aspects of magical thinking, which is hard not to classify as supernatural at heart, because they rely on unobserved, and/or unobservable/unfalsifiable causal relations for their supposed efficacy. To get back to LogicMaster'ish territory, it's the difference between burning a politician in effigy to show your displeasure, which of course may change that politician's behaviour, and pushing pins into a doll of the politician thinking that such a ritual is going to directly affect him. If we don't include this type of supernaturalism/magical thinking in our definition of religion, we risk ending up, as I've pointed out several times, with such a broad definition of religion that pretty much any organised human endeavour involving social codes and rituals can be classified as "religious". Such a definition would be so broad that it would be meaningless, because employing it we would be unable to distinguish between the local sports team and the Catholic Church. ScepticWombat (talk) 12:57, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
What I'm saying is that "supernatural" and "paranormal" are effectively synonyms. Raelianism invokes mysterious aliens with powers which defy scientific explanation to explain how they can contradict evidence. This is functionally just changing "gods" to "aliens." Hell, their Bible interpretation is literally that. King Skeleton (talk) 20:52, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
You guys treat religion as something you browse and compare and toss in a shopping cart. The few successful religions which have survived longer than a millenia never functioned that way. People had a problem -- incontinency, for example. What is incontinency? Is it (a) pissing you're pants because of lack of bladder control (b) sexual promiscuity with resulting STDs, unwanted pregnancy, and shot-gun weddings (c) inability to think straight and running off at the mouth of incoherent bullshit, or (d) all of the above. Religio sought to answer these problems. Girding ones loins and ordering one's thoughts is all part of a binding of oneself to a likeminded social group. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 22:49, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
This just in: Rob thinks bondage technically counts as a religion. King Skeleton (talk) 22:56, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Here's two scriptures to give the sense of Christian binding and Judaic binding. The New Testament verse refers to girding or binding your loins, and the Isaiah passage refers to binding or bandaging the body, the body in this case being society. Continency is from continent, or a self contained body. Restoring the body by a relgio or binding means stopping a running issue, which can be gonorrhea, lack of bladder control, an illegitimate bastard issue, the Nation magazine, or a host of other unholy things. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 23:21, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Aside from revealing you have an odd obsession with tying people together and peeing (something you'd like to tell us, Rob?) it doesn't matter where the word came from. The Latin meaning "tie together" is irrelevent because we are not speaking Latin. King Skeleton (talk) 23:25, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Ok so u don't know what ur talking about and making it up as u go along. Science! Definitive! Ignorance! nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 23:34, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Things we can learn from Rob, #2: Rome was the first state to have any concept of religion. King Skeleton (talk) 23:37, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh really? Where in the fuck did I say that? Didn't I just quote Isaiah saying the body politic of Israel was neither mollified or bound up and filled with sores? Now ur really inventing shit out of your asshole. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 23:49, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
If you rely on the Latin root meaning of religion to define the concept, you are saying it is the definitive meaning of "religion," ie that nobody prior to ancient Rome had a concept of religion. Really, dude, it's called thinking, you should try it sometime. King Skeleton (talk) 23:56, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and their dog Spot. You guys are using the Latin word, religion. If you need a pre-Roman equivalent or semi-equivalent, it could be furnished replete with idioms to fill out meaning from your corrupted, parochial, 21st century secular Anglo-Centric perspective. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 00:09, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
We're using the English word religion, you fucking dolt. Because we're speaking English. You can't define the current meaning of a word based on where it came from: "fuck" comes from the German fokken which is an imitative hitting sound like "thwack," does that mean the police should arrest anyone who says they're going to fuck their significant other on suspicion of domestic abuse?
What you're doing here is how you would interpret a text from ancient Rome, because it would then be important to determine what the words the author was using meant to them to grasp the significance of what they're trying to say, but it's completely inapplicable to apply two thousand year old definitions to posts written within the previous few days. There is no way anyone here was referring to the Latin root of the word "religion," given it isn't even the same word. King Skeleton (talk) 00:14, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how this argument trivializes religion as RobSmith implies here. Beliefs can be classified as religion, "religion" is a definition for things, and we've defined this numerous times. I don't know if RobSmith has a tendency to make offhanded comments like this; nevertheless, while I shouldn't be doing this myself, these kinds of silly arguments with allusions to pee isn't worth a discussion here (as if the discussion here is really thought-provoking or anything). Anyway, I'd like to bring up the word origins for "planet" and "comet". Quite different from what we're thinking about today! LEFTYGREENMARIO 01:11, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
So nobody knows what they're talking about or why, or even cares to define or understand what the four word premise above, Is government a religion means. Great. nobsIt all depends what ISIS is. 01:19, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
But we've defined it. It's just that the debate has been running around from tangents and circles so long enough, even I don't even know what exactly are we debating aside from the definition of religion. :P LEFTYGREENMARIO 01:22, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
Picture Logicmaster after swallowing every third page of a copy of Strong's Concordance and you have Rob. King Skeleton (talk) 02:06, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

Just wondering, but LogicMaster777, why are you asking us this question?

Also, this whole debate ultimately doesn't actually debate if government is a religion, but how "religion" should be defined. I feel like we're going in circles if we're not getting sidetracked. Finally, with LogicMaster777's implications of being afraid of the gubbermint (conspiracies, comparisons of state and mafia, being irrationally scared of taxes, comparisons of taxes to slavery), I don't feel like it's an honest debate, but again, it's just my suspicions. LEFTYGREENMARIO 20:03, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

I would think the relevance would be obvious. Is a spider is an arachnid depends on what is an arachnid, or more specifically what are the criteria for it to be defined as such? If we are trying to categorize a thing we must determine what the criteria are for the category otherwise our categorization will be arbitrary and lack meaning. LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:34, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

different definitions of state[edit]

I think a lot of the confusion in this debate is the equivocation and confusion that comes from the many homonyms and different definitions of the term 'state '.LogicMaster777 (talk) 13:15, 8 December 2014 (UTC) From The Social contract book 1

"Each of us puts his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will, and, in our corporate capacity, we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.

At once, in place of the individual personality of each contracting party, this act of association creates a moral and collective body, composed of as many members as the assembly contains votes, and receiving from this act its unity, its common identity, its life and its will. This public person, so formed by the union of all other persons formerly took the name of city,4 and now takes that of Republic or body politic; it is called by its members State when passive.Sovereign when active, and Power when compared with others like itself. Those who are associated in it take collectively the name ofpeople, and severally are called citizens, as sharing in the sovereign power, and subjects, as being under the laws of the State. But these terms are often confused and taken one for another: it is enough to know how to distinguish them when they are being used with precision."LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:35, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

My use of the term state is meant to mean the Leviathan, the idea of corporate personhood of the state, similar to how Rousseau describes it as a public person. In the modern vernacular public person means 'celebrity' but here Rousseau is using it to describe the abstraction and though he uses statist anthromorphizing in describing it as a person it's really just an idea.LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:39, 8 December 2014 (UTC)LogicMaster777 (talk) 15:49, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I don't usually use it to mean government or kingdom or geophysical area or social system.LogicMaster777 (talk) 13:35, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
I Look at the Leviathan as a religious superstition. It's just an abstraction. But statists worship it as if it were a god. LogicMaster777 (talk) 13:42, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
Argument by assertion. King Skeleton (talk) 02:17, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

What's Rousseau's conclusion?[edit]

In the foreward, Rousseau calls it a treatise. If we look at Rousseau's book as a logical treatise making a logical argument, what is the conclusion? There is a section called conclusion but it's really just a closing. It's not the actual conclusion of the argument he puts forth. If the book as a whole is taken as an argument, if we if p then q it what's q? What conclusion is he leading up to from his series of propositions? LogicMaster777 (talk) 14:09, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Durr, I dunno, it's not like Rousseau himself gives a nice short summary of what the think he demonstrated.

Now that I have laid down the true principles of political right, and tried to give the State a basis of its own to rest on, I ought next to strengthen it by its external relations, which would include the law of nations, commerce, the right of war and conquest, public right, leagues, negotiations, treaties, etc. But all this forms a new subject that is far too vast for my narrow scope. I ought throughout to have kept to a more limited sphere.

Some quote like that, included in the book might suggest, I dunno, an intended point to be demonstrated by the rest of the tretise. Unfortunately, he didn't write an incredibly brief chapter very much like that under the title "conclusion". Because, if he did, that might be an inane question. Ikanreed (talk) 20:14, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Is his argument "P therefore I have laid down the true principles of political right, and tried "to give the State a basis of its own to rest on"? Is "therefore I tried" his conclusion? Is "therefore I have laid down" his conclusion? Him saying he tried to give the state a "basis" is not the conclusion. "Blah blah blah therefore I tried to give the state a basis" is not the argument he makes. He does state his conclusion, but it's earlier in the book. Can you tell me what it is?LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:49, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Natural language books aren't symbolic logic. I asked you to state your argument in that form because it's helpful to digest errors, not because it's required by some law of debate. He was articulating a philosophical and ethical justification for nations, within the specific purview of democratic self-rule. Ikanreed (talk) 21:31, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
We can still "translate" his argument into symbolic logic. Also, how is his purview limited to democratic self rule? He includes "Monarchy" and even "Tyranny" in his analysis, not ordinarily thought of as "democratic self rule", and certainly not treated as such by Rousseau.LogicMaster777 (talk) 08:16, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Anthropomorphic or Anthropomorphized graphical depictions of the Leviathan, or "Corporate Personhood" of the "United States" religious figure[edit]

File:Anthromorphic Uncle Sam.jpg
Uncle Sam, the anthropomorphic depiction of the "Leviathan", or "corporate personhood" of the "United States" religious figure.


Captain America in New York Comic Con 2013


Mt Rushmore


Lincoln Memorial (Lincoln contrasty)


Barack Obama speaks at Camp Lejeune 2-27-09 8


John F. Kennedy speaks at Rice University


...aaaaand to everyone's complete lack of surprise, LM thinks that Captain America is a religious personification of a deified state... How do I even satirise this? ScepticWombat (talk) 21:23, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Oooooh, and carving state leaders' faces onto rock is a clear sign of deification... Yes, and I'm often worshipping at the statue of the Little Mermaid, or the various dead kings whose statues dot the urban landscape of my homeland... ScepticWombat (talk) 21:26, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Any particular reason you call him Captain America? Remember, in the movie the character's proper name was Steve Rogers, why do you refer to him as "America" rather than "Rogers"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:28, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Any particular reason there 4 men were chosen for Mt Rushmore? Was Washington chosen for only his "Washington-ness" or was he selected for his "President-ness?"LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:30, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
And by carving their likeness, and thus preserving it for posterity, are we granting the figures of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Jefferson a sort of after-life, or quasi-immortal quality?LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:47, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
(ec)I know the answer to this: Mt. Rushmore was a private for-profit tourist attraction that was converted to a national park, after it stopped being profitable. The selection of Washington and Jefferson was due to their particularly famous stature of being both primary founders and presidents. Lincoln was popular as the protector of the union. Roosevelt was chosen just for being the current(and popular) president. The maker, Doane Robinson, was mostly after mass-appeal. Ikanreed (talk) 21:35, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
And does their quality of being "president" relate to them representing perhaps a certain idea, of them as Hobbes says "Personating" a particualr idea, perhaps? If so, what idea do they "personate" as "President"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:47, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
The fuck you talking about? Mt Rushmore was actually originally going to be Western Folk heroes (check wikipedia), but the artist decided presidents would be a better selling point, being a more appealing theme. And personifying is the damn word you're looking for. You don't need to make one up. Ikanreed (talk) 21:54, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
I didn't make the word up, I'm using terminology coined by Thomas Hobbes which he uses in "Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil." He may have an earlier source for the word; I don't know if it was a common Olde English word or whatever. I only know it from his book.LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:00, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, it's hard to deny that some US presidents are glorified to a(n almost) religious extent. Though this has pretty much nothing to do with LM's proposed 'statism' supposedly inherent in the practice of government and everything to do with overzealous patriotism. (talk) 21:32, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Does Obama's executive order derive its "force of law" (supernatural Invisible Force going beyond the physical universe)

from his Obama-ness or his president-ness? Does his quality of being "president" relate to him representing the "corporate personhood" of the "United States"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 21:57, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Referring to a fictional character by his "superhero name" is apparently a sign of worshipful behaviour... I guess LM always refer to Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, or, to take a real life example, refer to a certain well-known former heavyweight boxing champion as Cassius Clay, right? In the remotely possible case that LM is sometimes talking about these two characters and one real person by their better known monikers, I have to conclude that LM apparently worships Superman, Batman and Muhammad Ali...
IS THERE NO END TO THE STUPIDITY WITH THIS ONE?!?!? ScepticWombat (talk) 21:57, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
By the question I mean to inquire not so much into why you call him by his name so much as why do you presume that is his name?LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:42, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Does superman have a particular super-ness to him? Does Batman have a particular bat-ness? Does Cpt America have a particular America-ness in the same sense? If so, what does America mean in such a context?LogicMaster777 (talk) 22:08, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
1. Yes: he's literally got super powers. 2. Yes: he's a man who dresses like a damn bat. It's kinda dumb, but it's just a silly character. 3. Yes: he wears a damn American flag as clothes. It's kinda dumb, but it's just a silly character. Ikanreed (talk) 22:15, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Does the American Flag itself represent any sort of "entity"? What "entity" is represented by the flag?LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:46, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
LM constantly brings me into "I don't know whether to laugh or cry"-mode. Is Iron Man an indication of the worship of technology? Sure! In LM's Twilight Zone, anyone concocting a character with certain specific traits is clearly creating an anthropomorphic avatar of a deified concept. I think this merits a new expression: "Not even stupid" (an argument so stupid, it's not even wrong). Oh, and asking "Does superman have a particular super-ness to him? Does Batman have a particular bat-ness?" is a great example of "not even stupid" as Ikanreed has just pointed out. I truly wonder whether LM really is this stupid, or is just playing the extremely obnoxious troll? ScepticWombat (talk) 22:26, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Captain Crunch is proof of reification and worship of crunch. Can you show me this crunch? How much would a box of crunch weigh? No nurse I don't need to have another inj King Skeleton (talk) 23:08, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
About 14 oz. "Crunch" in this context refers to a sugary breakfast cereal. Cpt crunch isn't the "personation" of the cereal so much as he is the personation of the "brand" of cereal, he represents the cereal brand in the same sense Ronald McDonald personates McDonalds brand or McDonalds corporation(fictitious leviathan-type "corporate entity" of McDonalds) or McDonalds Company(team of people participating in organized economic activity of selling food). He's the "mascot" of the idea. In a similar sense Cpt America and Uncle Sam are mascots of the "U.S.A." Leviathan-type "entity" or corporate personhood or collectivized "person" of "The United States".LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:33, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Iron Man and Hulk may arguably not represent specific "concepts" personified (although we could argue Hulk represents a Jeckle and Hyde "archtype" and Iron man represents an "armored knight" cultural archetype) What about Captain America's buddy Thor? Is Thor an "anthropomorphic avatar of a deified concept."?LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:51, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
How many times do you have to be told that nobody accepts these arguments before you stop repeating them? It strikes me that your belief that chanting the same thing over and over will cause us to accept your argument is the closest thing to a religion here. King Skeleton (talk) 00:55, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Is Thor an "anthropomorphic avatar of a deified concept"to use your terms? If so, what makes him so?LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:03, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Marketing. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 01:10, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Are you really this stupid LM? Do you realise how bad the example of Thor is? Thor was indisputably regarded a deity and worshipped as such, so what the hell is this example of yours supposed to illustrate? If it's because you think that Thor is an "anthropomorphic avatar of a deified concept" then obviously not. Unlike your argument by assertion that depicting or writing about the state in personal terms indicate state worship, Thor wasn't made up to "personalise" or deify lightning as he also represented a load of other aspects (such as his classic "slayer or chaos creatures" role). I guess I should thank you for bringing up Thor because it aptly illustrates why your claims are just plain silly and demonstrates how your examples of symbolic depictions of the state are easily distinguishable from actual religious worship, which makes your argument yet another example of the "not even stupid" phenomenon. But again, that you bring up such an obviously false analogy really makes me wonder if you actually are too stupid to see the easily spotted differences, or whether you're just JAQing off in order to play the troll. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:21, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Another strawman. I never said writing about the state in personal terms was necessarily a form of worship. What I said was that is it a form of anthropomorphizing. Anthropomorphizing does not necessarily imply worship. We don't worship santas reindeer in saying they "call rudolf names" but we are anthropomorphizing them, that is to say, imagining them as having human-like characteristics.LogicMaster777 (talk) 00:31, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Sort of[edit]

Not necessarily, but it can have religious elements. It's more accurate to talk about the nation-state in this context, though. The social engineering projects that produced the modern nation-states we have today heavily manipulated the same social mechanisms that organized religions have typically. The implementation of patriotic rituals to arouse emotional responses (e.g., national anthem) and unifying symbols or iconography (e.g., coinage) are two examples. If we want to go back further, rulers of early states typically claimed legitimacy based on divine mandate or lineage. Robert Bellah's concept of the "civil religion" and Josep Llobera's work on nationalism are informative research to look into. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 21:47, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

True, but make ideas general enough and look at pieces in a specific way and anything looks like each other. If you look at the general idea of a organizational hierarchy that is similar between government and religion, taking away the divine aspect of religion, then religion also resembles business, medium to large clubs, the military, large close nuclear families, hate groups, and charity organizations. Look at symbolism in general and religion resembles the same groups. Just like if you look at plants in general a rose looks like an oak tree. If someone argued they were the exact same thing it wouldn't result in anything posative.
Government leaders often used religion as a form of control. Nothing like breaking a law to make not only a criminal but damned for eternity, and who cares what you do to them because they are a sinner. Many military dictatorships use the military to keep control through force, and often are led by top level military officials like theocracies were led by religious officials. Nationalism uses very select parts of religion and military ideas. They are a piece of those governments but a government is not the military any more than it is a religion, and parts of each can be separated and still look similar on the very surface.
That the military or government or religion exists doesn’t mean they are the exact same thing. Just to make an analogy my car, a coke can, and my phone are made of aluminum (but doesn’t need to be)…it depends on how the things are used in combination or at all. Just because they are made of the same thing I am not going to be driving my coke can around. Well, if I want to stay out of the loony bin.
This is why specific definitions are important, and why there are pages of asking the OP how they define what they are looking at. Also, after the same amount of time everyone is fucking frustrated trying to get a straight answer out of him to address it. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:07, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
The basic problem with LM's arguments is that he's doing the whole Golden Bough thing of processing a society's symbols and ideas according to an assumption of similarity with other ideas, while ignoring what the society itself says those symbols and ideas mean. So he assumes Uncle Sam is like a religious figure and just grabs the similarities which "prove" this while ignoring the differences. You can also see this in how he quotes 18th-century political texts like they're scriptures that any "statist" must believe in.
His point is made ridiculous because he has a horribly flawed understanding of what religion actually is, to the point he can't understand the difference between a church and the faith that church exists to promote.
That and he's set his argument up so he automatically loses if we can define what we mean by "state" and so he can only win by trying to gaslight everyone who disagrees with him into ignoring the contents of their own mind. King Skeleton (talk) 23:41, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it pretty much shows a loss of sanity to put out there that anyone who doesn't agree with them believes X or takes X as scripture. There is the caveat that if someone themselves state they believe everything in X book, or document, or by a speaker as true/right and you point out then by their own statement they must believe something it says explicitly. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 23:57, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm not quoting Leviathan or Social Contract to say, "If you are a statist you necessarily believe what Rousseau believes verbatim exactly as he states it." I quote them to show: 2. where the ideas behind the Declaration of independence and the Constitution, and the conceptualization(s) for "the state(s)" and "the United States of America" corporate entities are derived from through the influence of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Washington, Thomas Paine (who were all heavily influenced by "enlightenment"-era "Classical Liberal" philosophies such as Rousseau and Hobbes put forth), and the main reason: 1. Because they describe some of the concepts I am referring to. I especially like Hobbes' use of "Leviathan" to distinguish the "personhood" of the "state" from other uses of the term "the state" because to simply call it "the state" is too liable to lead to confusion and equivocation with other uses. So I started using his term "Leviathan" or leviathan-type entity to refer to the "corporate person" or "entity" statists talk to through the flag(the United States of America) or the "corporate person" who appears as a plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit in the name of "State of xxx" or "United States of America". That same "corporate personhood" or "entity" who is listed as "Plaintiff" in a lawsuit in the name of "the United States of America" is the "entity" which is "personated" by the "President" of the "United States of America". "United States of America" in both cases(lawsuit plaintiff and as an "entity" represented by the "president") refer to the same "fictitious person" or "corporate personhood" or Leviathan-type "entity". This same "entity"(the United States of America) is also "personated"(to use Hobbes' term) as an anthropomorphic person in the form of Uncle Sam.LogicMaster777 (talk) 04:20, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
If Obama personates "the office" (job title, not literally referring to the oval office) of "president" and "the president" "personates" the "United States of America" then Obama, in personating the "president" also "personates" "The United States of America". In the same sense that Julius Caesar as "dictator" "Personated" "Rome" or Elizabeth in "Personating" the "Queen" also "Personated" "England". According to the government belief system "The President" doesn't merely "symbolize" "the United States of America", he actually is presumed to speak and act on its behalf (even though it is only an idea, not an actual flesh and blood "person" as such). LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:01, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
My mind refuses to process anything with that many asshole quotes in it. King Skeleton (talk) 04:22, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Surprise, surprise, LM still hasn't grasped the concept of delegation, representation and the difference between symbolic language, simplistic physicalism and religious/magical thought. Can anyone (bother to) come up with new ways of explaining these concepts (that everyone else seem to easily comprehend) and the differences between them to him? I'm really out of ideas, but suffice it to say that Obama is occupying an office designed to carry out a series wholly naturalistic and generally rather mundane administrative tasks.
The fact that Obama is referred to as "the face of the U.S." is yet another of the useful rhetorical shorthands that LM insists on (mis)understanding in their most simplistic literalist terms. If it wasn't for the language used by LM, I could almost think that LM is a small child (around 4-10 years old), because these often take such abstract and symbolic concepts literally.
Then there's of course the ahistorical conflation of modern Western, democratically elected leaders whose mandates comes socially constructed, but wholly naturalistic, ideas about the nation; a remnant of a pre-modern institution (UK monarchy) founded with explicit references to divine mandate (monarch by the Grace of God); and an example from classical antiquity which LM (surprise, surprise) also apparently doesn't understand (or at least misunderstand by including it here). LM seems to have missed the fact that a Roman dictator was (meant to be) appointed only in extreme circumstances as an emergency measure and hold office for as brief a period as possible (typically one year, but expanded to "the duration of the emergency" if necessary).
It would really be a nice change of pace if LM actually learned something about the examples he just keeps tossing in here, before making false analogies so bad that they're "not even stupid". ScepticWombat (talk) 08:50, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Is the concept of religion a religion?[edit]

You can't prove it exists, after all! Therefore, since Godel's incompleteness theorem apparently doesn't exist, the concept of a religion itself is a religion! Sun goes up sun, sun goes down! Can't explain that! --Madman (talk) 00:43, 13 December 2014 (UTC)The Madman

Religion can be quantified, and in my argument I quantify it as: 1. Belief System. 2. Uses faith or magical thinking. By magical thinking I mean imagining things or "forces" into existence rather than arriving at the conclusion through empirical evidence. This is what I call "supernatural". By faith I mean believing in something unproven or unprovable.LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:08, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
The belief is that religion as a concept exists, and the faith is that religion exists since the existence can't be proven true. Fits pretty damn well. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 01:29, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
But the state is different in that it can be proven true? By what naturalistic principle do you prove whether a particular thing is or is not "state"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:14, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
By the magical power of "the secret"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 01:15, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
That is so META!!! I will go with it-we can totally argue this with some vague reference to ideas that sound kind of like social constructionist views and postmodernism. You see following religion is not just a social construct but it goes further. The idea people have religions instead of just independent actions indicates that we not only have constructed this idea but have actually decided to believe other people act on this fabricated idea. It is a belief in belief. Being religious is no more real than is being cool. Before you have been told religion exists there is no reason to act like others believe it so clearly the idea of religion is made up and it is religious to believe religion exists. (just to be clear-no I am not serious about what i just wrote)Arachne1988 (talk) 01:19, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Idols and religious symbolism of the government religion[edit]

(Lots of images of thiiiings)

If the last set doesn't convince anyone, just try some more? Nobody worships any of these icons or holds them to be symbols of a supernatural being. Like I said, you're just ignoring the differences and focusing on the similarities, and you can prove coffee is spiders if you define coffee and spiders as small brown-black vaguely spherical things. King Skeleton (talk) 07:31, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Mmmmmhhh, I think it's about time for my morning cup of spiders, lovely.
And you can at least have spiders hyped up on caffeine - the results aren't pretty, though. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:58, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
So do these "icons" symbolize anything in particular? (Or do they just look cool)? If they do symbolize something, what exactly do they symbolize?LogicMaster777 (talk) 09:36, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the answer to this perplexing question lies somewhere in all the things we've said that you've ignored? King Skeleton (talk) 09:51, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Do you rebut the conclusion that these all symbolically represent the "United States of America" as a distinct abstract entity?LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:39, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
This is no more relevant than that the Arabic numeral "4" represents the abstract concept of four. King Skeleton (talk) 10:40, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
And this "United States of America" represented by the symbols is the same "United States of America" which is spoken of in the Pledge as the "Republic" for which it[the flag]stands? And the same "United States of America" which appears as a defendant or plaintiff in a lawsuit? And the same "United States of America" said to be represented by SCOTUS POTUS and congress and which is referenced in the constitution as the "United States of America"? Would you disagree with any of these conclusions?LogicMaster777 (talk) 10:56, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
No, it's a completely different United States of America, don't you know they come in packs of six? King Skeleton (talk) 10:58, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, the "United States of America" is sometimes also used to refer to the southern portion of this land-mass:
Complex storm system over the eastern United States
But for some reason, I don't think when the USA shows up as a plaintiff, we mean to say the ground is suing someone. Do we?LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:07, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Also, call it a hunch, but when statists pledge allegiance to a "republic" they aren't making promises to a chunk of land, am I wrong?LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:09, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
PROGRESS!!! LM realises that we can speak in symbolic terms about such concepts as the U.S.! Now LM just has to figure out that people are using such symbolic language not to postulate that the U.S. is a "supernatural person", but as a description of one specific aspect of a collective (e.g. that states, corporations and similar organisations are legal persons because it makes it easier to seek judicial redress against the group(s) of people they represent). ScepticWombat (talk) 11:14, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
You'd actually be completely wrong about that since that is the "continental United States" (you forgot Alaska and Hawaii). That is called a territory, and it is defined by the areas in which the authority of a specific state is not challenged by that of any other state in a meaningful fashion. The territory is in a sense the physical extent of the state. King Skeleton (talk) 11:16, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
"states, corporations and similar organisations are legal persons because it makes it easier to seek judicial redress against the group(s) of people they represent".
Your conclusion is supported by the good consequences of accepting the conclusion i.e. "it makes it easier". "It makes it easier" for kids who lost a tooth to believe in the tooth fairy is not proof that the tooth fairy is "real". Likewise "it makes it easier" to conceptualize a collective state is not proof of concept.LogicMaster777 (talk) 11:24, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
You are confusing making something emotionally easier for making it physically easier. Having round wheels on a car makes it easier to make it go than if it has square wheels. There is nothing illogical about giving a car round wheels. In addition, as our own appeal to consequences page notes, political decisionmaking is not about seeking an objective truth (because there is no such thing in politics) but about trying to find the most desirable option. Having good consequences is a perfectly rational reason to do a particular thing in such circumstances. (In religious arguments the good consequences tend to only kick in after you die or are administered in a way indistinguishable from them not happening, which is the key difference).
For another example of desirability as a legitimate factor: let's say we're going to a restaurant as a group. We can go to Bob's House of Unidentifiable Gunge, or the bistro. Nobody likes the food at Bob's and everyone likes the food at the bistro. Would you argue it is an "appeal to consequences" to go to the bistro for the better consequence of everyone enjoying their meal? King Skeleton (talk) 11:26, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
A car is not a collectivized "person". We also wouldn't prove a car HAS round wheels by showing round wheels make it easier. We can prove a car SHOULD HAVE round wheels. But the argument isn't "states should be legal persons". The argument is "states ARE legal persons" which conclusion is supported by "because it makes it easier". Also no proof is given that it does actually make it easier. The conceptualization of "Divine right to rule" made it easier for the King to govern. That is not proof of concept (divine right of Kings). The conceptualization that Europeans automatically own Africans as property may have made it easier for cotton to get picked, etc. We can't prove a conclusion just by showing that accepting the conclusion as true would make something easier for someone(assuming it even would make it easier to receive redress).LogicMaster777 (talk) 12:18, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
We argued that the state should be a legal person, so we made the state a legal person, and now it is one. It is because it should be, it should continue to be because it should be. Same as the round wheels: we didn't give the car square wheels because it should have round ones, it now has round ones. It has round ones because it makes sense for it to have round ones, because it makes it easier to make the car go.
Slavery was abolished because it has unacceptable consequences. Divine Right was abolished because it has unacceptable consequences. These things no longer are. Also you're full of shit about "Europeans automatically owning Africans," we had to buy them. That's why it was a slave trade. The argument was that their race made them less human, which allowed slavery, even though we had already abolished all other kinds of slavery. In fact, the American South during the era of the slave trade was effectively a feudal society where around eight hundred wealthy landowners owned everything. King Skeleton (talk) 12:33, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
How did we make the state a legal person except in imagining it as such? Usually people are "made" through sexual intercourse pregnancy and childbirth. Is this how the "state" "person" was "made"? Or did we just imagine it into existence through magical thinking or what? It was written in the scripture? How do we prove that we made the state a legal person? Why couldn't I say the proof that there is not a legal person called the state is because it would be bad if we did? What if I could show evidence proving that conceptualizing "the state" enabled and "made it easier" for a state prosecutor to prosecute an innocent person and send them to jail? Have I disproved your theory just by showing that conceptualizing the idea itself or accepting your conclusion made it easier for a bad consequence to happen? Why/why not?LogicMaster777 (talk) 13:03, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
It's a metaphor, you idiot. King Skeleton (talk) 13:05, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
I know it's a metaphor. It's all abstraction. There is no "United States of America" except in the imagination. Without referring to the sacred scriptures, how do you prove where the territory of the USA begins and ends? If there is no magic piece of paper to "say so" then by what naturalistic principle do we determine where the borders of this supposed "state" begin and end? And who its "agents" and "employees" are? Who its citizens are? Or even that it exists at all? Other than scripture, alleged desirability of alleged consequences, or "some guy said so" or some variant like "a piece of paper(written by some guy) said so" how do you prove the state is even real other than as an idea in your mind(with which perhaps you find agreement with others of this particular faith)? Any organized religion can point to the mere belief of its adherents as evidence.LogicMaster777 (talk) 13:18, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh, for effin' ef's sake LM, we've been over this I don't know how many times already: Without a "paper trail" there is effectively no modern state (or modern law, for that matter - btw, pre-modern states/law are a slightly different case), but to imagine such "paperless" states and then argue that the state is unreal and therefore based on irrational religious beliefs is like imagining McDonald's without a company charter or any other guiding documents and then claim that because we then wouldn't be able to identify McDonald's' ""agents" and "employees"" this is evidence that McDonald's is unreal and that any acknowledgement of the existence of McDonald's is solely based on irrational religious beliefs. In the absence of such McDonald's documents ("other than scripture, alleged desirability of alleged consequences, or "some guy said so" or some variant like "a piece of paper(written by some guy) said so""), how do you "prove [McDonald's] is even real other than as an idea in your mind(with which perhaps you find agreement with others of this particular faith)?" Do you see the problem with you definitions and reasoning here? ScepticWombat (talk) 13:34, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Your other example: to argue we SHOULD go to the bistro wouldn't be appeal to consequence. Thomas Hobbes argued there SHOULD BE a Monarch based on the supposed good consequences of a Monarch. Also not an appeal to consequence(although we can debate on whether those consequences would actually be good). But to say that since we should have a monarch, and Divine right of Kings as a concept makes it easier, that therefore Divine right of kings is a proven conclusion would be fallacious.LogicMaster777 (talk) 12:18, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Divine Right of Kings isn't a conclusion, it's an argument. And that's not what you're saying, you're saying if we can't prove Divine Right of Kings is true, the entire monarchy is imaginary. King Skeleton (talk) 12:37, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Like you pointed out earlier, saying one should obey Stalin isn't necessarily fallacious.LogicMaster777 (talk) 12:23, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Even if this argument is based on a threat of "bad consequences" (Punishment or retaliation from Stalin or his Agents)LogicMaster777 (talk) 12:25, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
It's not fallacious to say one does not want a ticket so one should not j walk.LogicMaster777 (talk) 12:26, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

What my argument is not[edit]

I want to address some of the strawman versions and misconstruances of my argument or position in one place.

1. I am not arguing that the men and women who call themselves the government do not exist. I concede on this point that they do exist and I believe reasoned evidence supports such a conclusion.
2. I am not arguing that government, taxes, or religion are necessarily bad. Although I do believe the government superstitions are detrimental to human progress (and I do not presume myself to be unbiased in such regard), I do not base my argument on this premise (as it would be a fallacious appeal to consequence to do so).
3. I am not arguing that mystical or magical thought processes are bad or that the conclusions they arrive at are necessarily inferior to logic and evidence-based thought processes or methods of deduction. If you want to use "the Secret"-style magical thinking to imagine a "state" into existence and imagine it into a "person" and even believe in it as "real" a la the medieval philosophies of Hobbes and Rousseau (or Plato)- I say go for it!!! But please own it for what it is and do not try to pass it off as "science" or "logic" or use aggression to further your religious agenda.
4. I am not arguing that naturalistic thought processes or methods of deduction are "better" or necessarily arrive at more valid conclusions than faith based or magical thought processes.
5. I am not arguing that those who believe in the government religion are necessarily bad or less moral or less intelligent and if I used this premise to support my argument it would be irrelevant ad hominem anyway. Likewise I do not suggest that accepting my conclusion means one is necessarily smarter or a "better" person.
6. I am not arguing that anarchist ideologies or ideologies which are contrary to government-sponsored religious doctrine are necessarily "better" than governmental religious doctrines or governmental-religious ideologies.
7. I am not arguing that religious beliefs or faith-based beliefs are necessarily "wrong" or that they necessarily lead to "bad" consequences.
8. I am not arguing that science is "better" than religion.
9. I am not trying to argue or defend freemen, "sovereign citizen", communist, zeitgeist "movement", Alex-Jones-style "patriot" ideologies, or other alternative or fringe faith-based political "belief systems".
10. I am not arguing that governments don't do some good stuff.
11. I am not arguing that using abstract thinking in itself is necessarily "magical thinking", religious, reification, "wrong", "bad", or that it necessarily results in "wrong" conclusions or "bad" consequences.

LogicMaster777 (talk) 16:08, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

12. I am not arguing that "any complex organization" is necessarily religious or that a "any complex organization" is or should be a "definition" for religion.LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:15, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Maybe if you spent more time figuring out what your argument is there wouldn't be pages of confusion and references to what points you have made don't make sense. You've had the opportunity repeatedly. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:21, 14 December 2014 (UTC)
Cool story bro. The key word here is maybe. Not likely since there seems to be a deliberate pattern of trying to deceptively mis-characterize mis-represent and misconstrue my argument through the use of strawman arguments. Sorry but just making up a superficially similar-sounding argument to shoot down is not a refutation. If only it were so easy to refute an argument, statists would have already "won" the debate through such dishonesty. I notice you didn't provide a naturalistic principle of science, you just attack my debate style by asserting my "points" "don't make sense" without actually explicitly refuting anything. I mean, cool opinion. But you haven't actually presented an actual argument. 20:39, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
All I asked was to define what you are talking about.
A round of applause for making a stink about straw manning as you straw man me as the evil statist, accusing me of things others did, and ignoring the pages of people refuting the constantly changing opinion of what a government/religion is in the wall of text above. This kind of willful ignorance should win awards. Thank you. EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 21:31, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but the argument you are making is just by means stretching the definition of "religion" to the point of meaninglessness. With enough flexibility in definitions you can prove anything is anything, and then have absolutely zero insight that can be extracted from that relationship. Again, Theseus' ship becomes the metaphor of the day. Ikanreed (talk) 20:23, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
"Religion: dogmatic faith-based or magical thinking-based belief system with supernatural beliefs"
"Supernatural": beyond the "natural" world. Specifically: Imagining into existence imagined entities or "forces" through magical thinking or believing in them through faith."
I don't think that's so hard to follow. You are saying these definitions are flawed because they are "meaningless"? I think I could get a high school english teacher to verify my definitions are legible english of about a high school reading level. By what criteria are they meaningless? Have you provided your own definition? Or you just say my definition is "wrong" because you think it's "meaningless"? Do you really not understand the meanings?LogicMaster777 (talk) 20:39, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I still don't think you've sufficiently shown that the government is different from any organization. Are corporations a religion? Is family a religion? The point, I think, is that, your definitions for government and religion fail to make any meaningful insights. Using the principle of charity I'd say that maybe you're arguing that belief in the legitimacy of government is similar to religious faith, but the fact is the US government exists just as much as McDonald's, Manchester United or the Lohan family. Marlow (talk) 20:49, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, LM has now admitted that he thinks corporations are religions towards the end of this section: "About the McDonalds, yes I accept your conclusion that corporations according to my reasoning are themselves religious in nature. I own that. If you think that shows a reductio absurdum I disagree. I think it is perfectly reasonable to say that "corporations" as we know them today are essentially religious institutions."
However, all of the examples flowing from this (overly) broad definition he has already been presented with weren't making any impression on LM, because "If you think that is a far-out premise and you just are not prepared to accept it because it seems so "far out" or "kooky" or whatever, I'm fine with it. I don't need to persuade you."
And then, LM just returned to his apparently default "I'll keep asking for evidence while rejecting the evidence you've already presented based on yet more fucking around with definitions"-mode: "Perhaps you will provide some evidence that McDonalds the legal person wasn't just invented by imagining it and prove me wrong. That's fine if so. If I were a true skeptic I wouldn't "need to be right". If the data proves I'm wrong and that McDonalds the corporation or "legal person" has some corporeal non-imaginary existence then let the data be known."
In response to me pointing out (again) that LM was just a tad bit hypocritical in asking for evidence (again) when he has already made it clear that his definition of "evidence" excludes exactly the evidence that everyone else accepts, LM just banged on regardless with his own (re)definitions: "My hypothesis that the legal person of McDonalds is imagined into existence with "the secret" is falsifiable: All you have to do is provide a photo of the "legal person" of McDonalds. It's really that simple. Just because you have no such evidence doesn't mean it's not falsifiable."
The real nugget of insincere hypocrisy came just afterwards, though, when LM went full "pot meet kettle" and insisted that his opponents using any definition but his (idiotic ones) or criticising them (for being idiotic) was somehow not fair: "I'm trying to avoid engaging your strawman arguments beyond pointing out their irrelevance since it just clutters the page with distractions. I mean seriously, you think you can just make up a strawman where you invent your own definition, pretend it's someone else's definition, and then acuse them of trying to "argue by redefinition" by refuting YOUR definition which you falsely ascribe to your "opponent"? You really do not see how intellectually dishonest that is"
So, it's clear that LM accepts that his (overly) broad and (ridiculously) simplistic definitions lead to a very large category of "religions", but simply refuse to acknowledge this as a problem, or that it suggests, let alone demonstrates, the dubiousness of said definitions. It is equally clear that LM considers that everyone else is being unfair to him by not accepting his (re)definitions and that LM uses these allegations as a shield to avoid being drawn out of what I called his "own little world of home-grown cobbled together definitions that yields the conclusions [he likes]." It's in making up his own ridiculous definitions and ignoring the problems with them as well as demanding "evidence" that conforms to only his unfalsifiable and/or nonsensical criteria that LM resembles a creationist. LM is basically doing a Kirk Cameron and demanding the state/McDonald's parallel of the crocoduck: When reality yields inconvenient results, redefine reality and presto, your conclusions magically become sound... ScepticWombat (talk) 21:40, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
What's the point then? If, according to LM's definitions, essentially all organizations are religions, then what about government's status under this set of definitions makes it bad. I'm also not really sure how LM's understanding of government makes any difference in his actual life. I assume he still pays his taxes and stops at stops signs, probably for exactly the same reasons I do: a combination of fear of punishment and belief that doing these things is in my general best interest (you can probably throw in some herd mentality too). Marlow (talk) 21:58, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I will quietly submit that he doesn't think that it's "in his best interest", and that he thinks that because the validity of the state comes down to the ability to use force(and acceptance of that fact), that he's being oppressed by these laws. That attitude and this one go hand-in-hand. Ikanreed (talk) 22:09, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
But that's just him. For some people, a functioning government are materially important and the whole "religion" semantic debate is entirely irrelevant. Marlow (talk) 22:17, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes. That's how semantic debates work. Redefine shit until definitions are useless for gaining actual insight. Ikanreed (talk) 22:36, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
I have to agree that LM's relentless tirades bear more than a passing likeness to a sort of Freeman on the land apologetics and that his fucking around with definitions and refusal to accept what everyone else regard as perfectly valid evidence specifically reminds me of the presuppositionalists, in particular of Alvin Plantinga's attempts to "sophistise" away evolution by claiming that it can't produce reliable senses (apparently unlike goddidit). Likewise, LM's continued reference to his critics as "statists" is analogous to creationists whining about evolutionists, while LM's insistence that he is the only rational person able to correctly assess the real state of the world and his rejections of "statist bias" is reminiscent of apologists rechristening methodological naturalism (and philosophical naturalism too, of course) as "anti-supernaturalist" or "anti-miracle" bias. The difference in the latter case is that apologists accuse scientists (as well as historians and others) of ignoring other ways of knowing, i.e. of being too limited in what they regard as evidence, while LM is doing the opposite and rejecting that various social phenomena (for instance as expressed through legal codes) count as evidence, explicitly excluding them from his definition of of "naturalism". ScepticWombat (talk) 22:44, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

By what naturalistic principle can we prove State?[edit]

1. By what principle do we prove what is or is not "state"?
2. My impression is that statists imagine "state" into existence using "the secret"(magical thinking), scripture and faith. But perhaps I am mistaken. Statists, is there a naturalistic principle we can use to prove whether a particular thing is or is not "state"?
3. By what principle of science do you prove something is or is not "state"? Scripture? Faith? "The secret"? Or is there something else?LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:56, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
4. Is the moon "state"? Is the Sun "state"? If not, what naturalistic principle of science do you use to prove it is not "state" while something else which you think is "state" is in fact "state"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:56, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

How is the state falsifiable?[edit]

1. Is the state falsifiable?
2. How is "the state" falsifiable?LogicMaster777 (talk) 05:56, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
We've been over this. Take a law written and composed(and actively enforced) by the state. Violate it. If the consequences prescribed by the law don't happen, that's a low-grade falsification. Do with repeatability and control for other relevant variables, like, say, actively avoiding agents of the state, and you've totally broken the state hypothesis. Ikanreed (talk) 22:38, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

I knew I'd seen this debate before[edit]

this comic strikes me as relevant Ikanreed (talk) 20:13, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes, since you have zero evidence to support your theory of "state" you scour the internet for a strawman argument which you think superficially resembles the argument I have made so you can use an appeal to ridicule to shoot down the strawman instead of actually addressing whether you have a falsifiable premise supported by evidence or whether your theory of "state" is based on faith/"the secret". Yes of course I have seen this debate tactic from statists. It is basically the same debate you are right. The issue is not "are revolutions real" the issue is: is the theory of "state" actually supported by a naturalistic scientific principle or is it based on faith/magical thinking? Either you have a scientific principle to prove "state" or you don't. Unless you account for the possibility of a shrodingers cat paradox where you have a scientific principle and at the same time you also do not. Which seems to be the way statists want to address the issue, to just leave it ambivalent enough that it's unclear whether they have evidence or not to support the theory of "state" and use strawman arguments and ad hominem attacks to divert away from the actual issues being debated. Do you have a naturalistic principle to prove that "state" is what you think it is or do you not have such a principle? Do we use "the secret" to figure out what is or is not "state"?LogicMaster777 (talk) 23:15, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
lol you chumps still believe you're editing RationalWiki! (talk) 23:35, 15 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually, I've thought of that comic several times, because I think it misses the point that creationists are also behaving in exactly this way when history yields results that don't fit with their beliefs, e.g. on the resurrection, the explicitly secular nature of U.S. founding documents, or that modernity since the Enlightenment has seen dramatic gains in human well-being (which doesn't fit their view of an inverse relation between secularity/depravity and human well-being or their general framework of escalating depravity and misery indicating that their beloved apocalypse is just around the corner).
Thus, the comic simply illustrates the lack of awareness of its author that it's not only the results of research in natural science that are rejected by creationists. When it comes to the results of historical research, creationists also use "crocoduckish" arguments to redefine what constitutes evidence while ignoring basic methodology to reach predetermined faith-based conclusions. ScepticWombat (talk) 22:08, 16 December 2014 (UTC)


A section for links or reference material relating to governmental belief systems, governmental religion, civil religion, the particular beliefs of the "United States" belief system, the religious political and philosophical ideas of statism and government in general or of the founders of the constitutional belief system specifically.