I’ve just got to respond to this spew of ignorance. I’ve had enough. I really have.

When someone tells me that they are “Not religious, but very spiritual,” I want to punch them in the face…

That is what we’re reduced to arguing with. You know what, I’m being asked to take sides, so I will — the last time I saw this crap on the internet it was an ignorant Christian bigot spouting it. I’ve decided I prefer him. Anything but one more tinpot atheist Hitler. Anything. Because the ignorant Christian bigot had one thing left separating him from the level of hell normally reserved for Murdoch journalists — he had manners.

The charge? That I am stupid, because I’ll believe anything. That I am selfish, because I value the ‘inner turn’ and am therefore not fulfilling my duty to actively change the world. And that I am just scared of death.

Now I could argue against this. I had a whole thing laid out — about how evidential I am, how careful, how much I value intellectual integrity, about how there is no evidence for anything the guy is saying, about how long the history of being ‘spiritual but not religious’ is (millennia), about the good it has given the world, about how it can never disappear because it happens to human beings all the time, about the importance of mysticism, about the sheer insolence of trying to cut off rational debate under the guise of advocating it, about bothering to do your research if you’re so damn rational, and above all, about how much I resent be lectured to by just another dickwaving Dawkins on the make.

But you know what? I can’t be bothered. I’ve absolutely had enough. I’m not going to engage with this any more. I would rather be sent to jail or burned at the stake for my beliefs than defend them against such an unworthy opponent.


19 responses to “[FUCKthisquib]

  • liberia88

    Most of what he supposes is that spiritual people (those who pursue the inner journey) live out of context with society. I assume that means there is no involvement politically and culturally. And, I further assume that it means that we are on the wrong side politically and culturally as well, not being conservative Christians – Republicans, espousing the party line that is faithfully promoted by the PJ website.

    This short article is a shallow, ignorant slant typical of defenders of conservative Christian Republican dogmatism and is not worthy of in-depth analysis or rebuttal. You are right, fuck this squib…

    • Jason Wingate

      Actually I suspect he is a leftie, since he’s atheist. It usually goes.

      But whatever — the problem is a) There is no evidence for what he says on ‘social engagement’ — I’ve seen the research –, and there is considerable evidence against it — doesn’t he know how involved in freemasonry all the revolutionaries in the US and France were, how intertwined the spiritual guys were with politics?: b) I’ve covered everything he’s saying here and more, written extensively on facing death, and I also believe a retired life may be an important political statement in itself right now (but then I’m leaving the mainstream behind not trying to make a buck off it as he is doing), I know also all the evidence for qi and so forth having gone through all the science which I bet he doesn’t, yet he has the gall to say he is ‘trying to make me think’; but most of all c) You just don’t talk that way. If someone says they are Jewish do you say that makes you want to punch them in the face? You just don’t do it. If you’re a hoodlum on tv chat show sure, but this guy is a professor of philosophy. He should be absolutely ashamed.

      The irony here is that I looked the guy up and he has written a very sensible-looking academic book on desire in Buddhism that I’d be interested in buying, to compare east-west theories of desire. How can he justify talking this way about his fellow human beings?

      What we have here I think is a professor of philosophy who wants to become a hoodlum on a tv chat show and is behaving like it. It is disgraceful.

  • Nemo85

    Michael Prescott also highlighted Dispirited: http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2012/06/bam-.html

    I read a paragraph and skimmed the rest – not worth reading (i.e. the material concerning the book)

  • miramirorum

    Don’t you feel that something is different now, though? Even a couple of years ago, people like this could spout off in public all they wanted without the risk of facing an honest debate. Now, our sort are having quite a lot to say in return. Here, for ex. http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2012/06/bam-.html#comments
    I sense we’re on a pendulum going the other way–I hope so!

    • Jason Wingate

      I hope so. Listen guys I need your advice — people are tweeting this post and it’s soon going to be my most popular. I’m thinking of deleting it. Thoughts?

  • James M. Jensen II (@badocelot)

    Hear, hear.

    The contemporary atheist movement has succumbed to the perennial temptation to devote large amounts of energy to isolating themselves from criticism. You can’t present the evidence or arguments to these people because they have a list of excuses a mile long they can recite like a mantra and never have to actually think about the issue.

    The problem is that when you isolate yourself like that, the most radical elements get a chance to flourish. We saw that during the last heyday of atheism a hundred years ago, we’re seeing it again now. And while most atheists would agree that the radicals are, well, radical, they don’t see that they’ve created the culture where the radicals get protected from criticism.

    What’s really ironic is that one of their own stars, Sam Harris, has already pointed out this tendency in Christianity. They just can’t see it in themselves because it’s too inconvenient.

    P.S. I hope you don’t delete this because it summarizes the frustration a lot of us feel so well.

  • James M. Jensen II (@badocelot)

    Another thing I just thought of is that since I actually think atheists are wrong, I don’t want atheism to fall out of favor because of atheists’ behavior. I want it discredited, not merely disgraced.

  • Mars

    People who think or believe differently from you (or us or ‘them’) will always be out there trying to persuade you or the audience how messed up your ideas or beliefs are compared to theirs. So what? Is everyone supposed to subscribe to the dominant paradigm unthinkingly? We already have too much of that right now and that type of rigidity is a symptom of our massive social and political and financial dysfunction. Don’t react to the thought police because it will only lead to endless squabbles and create a load of heat and NO LIGHT!

    Don’t take the bait… take the high road. Live and let live. Any conflict will only create karmic ties to your ‘opponent ‘.

  • Jason Wingate

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I’ve taken this further today with a new squib as you see — comments welcome.

  • miramirorum

    Are you still working on this? You might find this interesting:
    The discussion is just getting started, but he (Robert McLuhan) has some very smart commenters.

  • Mars

    Much ado about nothing. This Philosophy Professor is not a Philosopher… you must be a “lover of wisdom” to be a Philosopher. He is another discordian mouthpiece that creates division and then waits for the protesters to churn his sour milk for him so he can get the attention he needs to get on MSM talking heads shows and peddle his sour butter.

    Any freshman critical thinking student could count half a dozen classic fallacies in his premises. Time waster. Nemo85 pegged him accurately. Tripe.

    • Jason Wingate

      As I said on the other thread Sancho, I don’t think you have this quite right.

      If you do end up reading my response to him, I don’t think you’ll think it was wasted time.

  • miramirorum

    This might be more grist for the mill–it’s news to me that people were already this organized. And yet–I cannot tell which side they finally represent! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-michael-dowd/new-theists-knowers-not-believers_b_1586301.html
    I’m getting a little excited about your work here–it’s been needed so long!

    • miramirorum

      P.S. Oh I am silly–check out whose name shows up near the end. More fool me! But just behold their talk!

      • Jason Wingate

        Thanks — interesting — it all connects and there’s big change in lots of directions going on. My angle is set, just have to find the time to write. I think you’ll enjoy it…

        You know it’s funny Sancho bringing up Nemo’s answer. As it happens I’ve known Nemo going on a couple of years now and although he’s very modest and anonymous he’s done some devastating critiques in his time — when it was in his purview, as Webster’s in mine.

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