Mocking religion

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monkey
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by monkey » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:23 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 9:58 am
Alice Roberts' tweet won't really affect anyone who believes in this stuff, because they disagree with her. Christians can, in general, take a joke, and even mild criticism or pushback (which is where I'd place her tweet). I made a gently teasing post on Easter Sunday about my Christian friends' propensity to write "He has risen! Alleluia!" on facebook by posting a photo of the two loaves (no fishes) that I'd just baked, captioned with "They have risen! Alleluia!". I received no blowback, and a few laughing emoji responses. Most of the Christians that are my friends can take a joke. If someone starts being a c.nt to them, they'll probably either walk away, cut that person out of their lives or argue back and then start being even more annoying to that person.

Roberts' tweet won't make the blindest bit of difference to anyone's faith. It won't have any positive (from her humanist perspective) impact on shifting any Christian's point of view. All it'll do is make people see her as someone who isn't worth listening to on the matter, and weakening the position of humanism as the sort of field that c.nts like Dawkins live in, and very few people want to be like that. My identity is in a strange place, and it's important to me - sort of post-Christian, but I'll be f.cked if I ever identify as a humanist with shite like that going on.
But was the intention to try to change people's minds? Seems to me that it was more about making herself and her group feel smug. Kind of like when people do a post about the correct use of grammar. Feeling smug is nice I suppose, but "Want to feel smug? Join the Humanists" probably won't get too many people joining.
jimbob wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:11 pm
But yes, especially as there is a distinct undercurrent in the US of a weird reflection of Marxist Leninist substitution of (pseudo)reason for theology. There is a distinct right-wing Skeptic movement who combine a love for Darwinism with a greater (and I use the word after thought) "worship" of Social Darwinism and a dismissal of any science that they dislike (global warming springs to mind). I first noticed this in one of the worst Science Fiction books I've read "Fall of Angels" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle - a combination which was obviously inspired by Heinlein but seems to think he was too nuanced and not right-wing enough. There is also a moderate number of such people on what was the James Randi forums now internationalskeptics.ocm - probably not that many, but quite prolific.
Don't forget that Ayn Rand was and is influential in the US. She was all about being her version of rational and loved by a certain type of right winger.


(As for my own views on faith, 'cos we all seem to be sharing, I was raised Catholic, but it didn't catch. I used to be an Atheist, but now I don't particularly care because it just doesn't seem important. Most of the time it doesn't seem to matter if someone believes in the virgin birth or whatever, as most people seem to be able to keep their religion to themselves, and they get something positive about it. I don't feel I need anything like that in my own life. I only have a problem when people impose their religion on others, or it blinds them to reality to a harmful extent. I recognise there is a certain amount of privilege in being able to have this position.)

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Tessa K » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:33 pm

Grumble wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:19 pm
nezumi wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:30 am
you get more bees* with honey than vinegar.
* Or flies, if you're my Gran.
https://xkcd.com/357/
Image
Surely the best way to catch flies is with rotting meat?

The most charitable interpretation I can put on Roberts' tweet is that she was sick of her kids coming home from school repeating what they'd been told, there was a final straw and she snapped. Instead of reaching for a glass of wine/bar of chocolate, she tweeted. Even so, it was unwise and not very humane. But humanist and humane are not always the same thing.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Grumble » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:34 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:33 pm
Grumble wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:19 pm
nezumi wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:30 am
you get more bees* with honey than vinegar.
* Or flies, if you're my Gran.
https://xkcd.com/357/
Image
Surely the best way to catch flies is with rotting meat?

The most charitable interpretation I can put on Roberts' tweet is that she was sick of her kids coming home from school repeating what they'd been told, there was a final straw and she snapped. Instead of reaching for a glass of wine/bar of chocolate, she tweeted. Even so, it was unwise and not very humane. But humanist and humane are not always the same thing.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by jimbob » Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:21 pm

monkey wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:23 pm

Don't forget that Ayn Rand was and is influential in the US. She was all about being her version of rational and loved by a certain type of right winger.


(As for my own views on faith, 'cos we all seem to be sharing, I was raised Catholic, but it didn't catch. I used to be an Atheist, but now I don't particularly care because it just doesn't seem important. Most of the time it doesn't seem to matter if someone believes in the virgin birth or whatever, as most people seem to be able to keep their religion to themselves, and they get something positive about it. I don't feel I need anything like that in my own life. I only have a problem when people impose their religion on others, or it blinds them to reality to a harmful extent. I recognise there is a certain amount of privilege in being able to have this position.)
Oh yes, Rand - and even the name of her philosophy, "objectivism" which is at best misguided for ANY ethical framework, where the axioms are inherently subjective.

The bolded bit: It might be from a position of privilege but it is what secularism is aiming for in public life. And yes one can be secularist and religious - one can believe in one's deity of choice and believe that one doesn't have the right to impose that on anyone else.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by malbui » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:07 pm

I’ve been told many times that I’m an unreasonable intolerant absolutist but I’m OK with that. I view the religious in the same way as I view brexiters and US Republicans. No common ground and I can’t be bothered to engage at all.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by jimbob » Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:50 pm

malbui wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:07 pm
I’ve been told many times that I’m an unreasonable intolerant absolutist but I’m OK with that. I view the religious in the same way as I view brexiters and US Republicans. No common ground and I can’t be bothered to engage at all.
I know several devout people with whom I have a lot of common ground. I know some fundamentalists too. The fundamentalists have turned their brains off for a large part of critical thought.

However, all the Quakers I know, for example, tend to be pretty keen on the thinking for themselves. I disagree with various aspects but respect their views, in a way that I don't for someone practicing wilful ignorance.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by dyqik » Tue Apr 06, 2021 4:57 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:11 pm
dyqik wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:21 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:13 am
That's it. To go back to the OP's question, I don't think any sceptic or atheist or anyone else will have especially altered their opinions on the matter. But I think that many have changed their approach to dealing with it, to be kinder, more considerate and thoughtful in how they interact with people. Which is a good thing. Overall, the cultural space of scepticism is still sceptical, but it's developed a bit more thoughtfully. Obviously, there are still c.nts out there, naming no names, quack but things seem to be better now.
I have a serious problem with the "sceptic/atheist" movement(s?) anyway, which to me seems to be just as much about identity and a chunk of politics (which also seems to be trending rightwards) as white US evangelicalism is.
One noun, which sums that up for me: "Brights"

But yes, especially as there is a distinct undercurrent in the US of a weird reflection of Marxist Leninist substitution of (pseudo)reason for theology. There is a distinct right-wing Skeptic movement who combine a love for Darwinism with a greater (and I use the word after thought) "worship" of Social Darwinism and a dismissal of any science that they dislike (global warming springs to mind). I first noticed this in one of the worst Science Fiction books I've read "Fall of Angels" by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle - a combination which was obviously inspired by Heinlein but seems to think he was too nuanced and not right-wing enough. There is also a moderate number of such people on what was the James Randi forums now internationalskeptics.ocm - probably not that many, but quite prolific.
I was thinking far more of the UK than the US here, including several former members of the old place, who are now presenting online as massive raving bigots.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by lpm » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:17 pm

Religions demand - and nearly always receive - special treatment. They chuck about words like sacred and respect while offering nothing back. We all slam reiki healers and take the piss out of Qanon adherents and abuse vaccine deniers - yet some of us curl up into little balls of cowardice when it comes to religion.

The reason is because religions are so powerful and they manage to intimidate us. The instinct of "let's all be nice" to religions gets enhanced when it's a woman expressing an opinion on the internet, where a confrontational tone goes against the sexist presumption that a woman's strength lies in mediation. This thread has an embarassing list of comments like "stupid", "cheap point", a comment implying looking good got Roberts her job, someone else saying she should "calm down", "antagonistic", "mean spirited" and a comment implying she should quit her job. Shut up woman, or at least keep to uncontroversial utterings about kittens.

In the UK and the west, its huge power has shielded christianity from its criminality for centuries. The steady erosion of that power since 1945 is one of the most important shifts in our post-war society (so important and well-known I refuse to believe anyone could possibly be unaware of it, anyone pretending to not know this basic fact was clearly not arguing in good faith). Decade after decade agnostic/atheist rates and "not religious" rates have risen until now about half the population identify as not religious. It's no coincidence that as its power has eroded, so have the crimes of the west's christian infrastructure become apparent. The exposure of the institutional protection of child rapists couldn't have happened in 1945 when the churches had the power to crush any investigation, it look until the 1990s when weakened churches began to be exposed by external action and only in the last decade has there been a start to internal action from within religion.

Likewise the power of the church imposed misery on homosexuals, particularly christian homosexuals, until this century, calling them criminals, sinners and a danger to others. The Church of England was actively homophobic in the 1980s pressing for Clause 28 and judgemental in its response to AIDS; in 2000 the CoE was still formally in favour of keeping Clause 28. Again, as its power has been eroded, the ability of the church to damage people has diminished, leading eventually to same-sex marriage by 2014 and the acceptance of gay priests.

It's a long list where the churches were once so powerful they could halt progression to human rights, but are now so weakened they can be defeated by secular campaigners. They fail more and more, yet still attempt to force us into their views on abortion, sex education, blasphemy, religious indoctrination of small children in taxpayer funded schools, assisted dying... Some still attempt to ban evolution, or oppose vaccines due to human tissue beliefs, others still promote conversion therapy, while a few even continue to fight for the right to sexually mutilate children... The Church of England still retains ancient wealth and power, such as ownership of land that should be seized from them and having bishops automatically in Parliament and a permanent voice within the media and corridors of power.

The attacks on religion over the past 75 years have worked and have brought huge benefits to humanity, in the UK and Western Europe. Most within these vile organisations respond by trying to reform from within, hoping to gloss over their deep-seated prejudices and hatred. A few double down and continue to attack the vulnerable, particularly the vulnerable within their own grouping, by verbally abusing women, driving gay people into mental health crises and coercisively controlling children. We need to keep up the pressure, sticking with what has worked for 75 years, a message that has decade after decade weakened the control the religions have over children and teenagers. In particular teenagers - our main target audience - respond well to the provocative and convention-defying approach. Don't make the mistake of thinking what appeals to us middle aged types is a universal appeal, instead try to remember what appealed to our teenage selves. As Nezumi said, know your audience. Roberts knows the audience is the younger people still forming a view of the world.

As it happens, I have a lot more respect for the vague spiritual types who have no interest in reading philosophy, debating theology or tracking current human rights issues. Unawareness is a path to happiness (blessed are those who've never heard of Brexit). Good luck to grandma having a nice morning at church and hippy nephew playing druid on the summer solstice while chanting about Hare Krishna. Here's hoping the people in Tessa's blog post with their personal spiritual inventions find it nice enough without being exploited by those with an eye to the profits from new age crystals or whatever.

I've got a bigger problem with people who actively think about religion, science and philosophy - and then side with a US church that barely bothers to hide its white supremacy, or a UK church that still fights against basic human rights like abortion, or a Northern Ireland church that incites the throwing of petrol bombs, or an outwardly-nice village church where, even after the support for child rape by his institution, the vicar still thinks he has the right to an opinion on sex education in the local CoE faith school.

I think the UK has a particular form of privilege, in that we can fool ourselves into believing the myth of a nice moderate Church of England where Vicars hand out tea and say nice things about muslims - when the whole time it's an institution that has been brutal in its fight against modern progressive rights and is just a whisker away from reverting to its ancient hatreds. It still believes it has the absolute right to be nasty to people who don't share their beliefs. f.ck the "kinder and more considerate" approach. Call them out. Tell them to shut the f.ck up for the next millennium about sexual matters. Drive these institutions out of public discourse.
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Grumble » Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:26 pm

Taking the piss out of religion may be an ineffective way of stopping religious people from being religious. Taking the piss out of the KKK probably didn’t stop anyone in the KKK from being a white supremacist. Alice Roberts isn’t trying to engage the religious, and why should she? She’s adding to the general sense of ridicule that religion deserves to be on the receiving end of. This is helpful when making the U.K. a hostile place for religion to thrive.

I agree with lpm. Alice Roberts wrote a very mild joke.

Religion is ridiculous and deserves to be ridiculed. When trying to end or reduce the power of an institution, such as the church or the KKK, mockery has proven effective time and time again.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by JellyandJackson » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:20 pm

jimbob wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:21 pm
And yes one can be secularist and religious - one can believe in one's deity of choice and believe that one doesn't have the right to impose that on anyone else.
I’m one of those, to the perpetual confusion of those in church leadership.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by KAJ » Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:06 pm

JellyandJackson wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:20 pm
jimbob wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:21 pm
And yes one can be secularist and religious - one can believe in one's deity of choice and believe that one doesn't have the right to impose that on anyone else.
I’m one of those, to the perpetual confusion of those in church leadership.
Unfortunately some people believe that they can - and have a duty to - save others [immortal souls] by imposing beliefs and/or behaviours.
Compulsory vaccinations?

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Millennie Al » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:27 am

nezumi wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:30 am
In sales, you have to get to know your audience, what they enjoy about the product they are currently using (their religion) and use that to show why your solution is so much better. You can't just explain the logical, rational reasons why your solution is better, you have to emote.
Indeed. But I don't think there's much scope for converting religious people into atheiests - that seems to be something that people do to themselves. What can happen is that individuals lose their faith, but then feel unwilling to say so. This may be because of a real fear of repercussions, but may also be
because they are a bit intimidated by the status of their former religion, or they feel like they're in a minority, or just a bit shy. Mocking the outgroup as a way of promoting the ingroup is an effecive way to bring together the ingroup. However, I have no idea if the original tweet was a carefully considered
message designed to work like that.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:33 am

To be honest, I reckon most people who grew up with church and then stopped going did so because at some point they just couldn't be arsed any more, felt like they didn't get a lot out of it, and realised a Sunday spent at home is nicer than a Sunday spent singing with other people. It's where I got to. I work f.cking hard, and want my time to myself at the weekend. It wasn't anything to do with historic oppression or the church being frequently wrong about social issues (which it has been, and often is) or anything like that. Just plain old simple apathy. I do miss the community aspects of it, I don't miss the getting roped into stuff aspects of it.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Seagull » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:44 am

lpm wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:17 pm
The reason is because religions are so powerful and they manage to intimidate us. The instinct of "let's all be nice" to religions gets enhanced when it's a woman expressing an opinion on the internet, where a confrontational tone goes against the sexist presumption that a woman's strength lies in mediation. This thread has an embarassing list of comments like "stupid", "cheap point", a comment implying looking good got Roberts her job, someone else saying she should "calm down", "antagonistic", "mean spirited" and a comment implying she should quit her job. Shut up woman, or at least keep to uncontroversial utterings about kittens.
Yes, this times a million. I'll admit I did a double-take when I first saw the tweet, but it only takes half a second to realise it's not really controversial at all.

On the more general point, I am from a very religious background, but I DID manage to logic myself out of it. Precipitated mostly by a few encounters with a fundamentalist group at my CofE school which rubbed up uncomfortably against the nice friendly hand-wavey, live-and-let-live, coffee morning, and pot-luck-lunch church I grew up in. A further nail in the coffin was provided by having to attend catholic RE lessons during sixth form. The more contradictory versions of Christianity that I encountered, the less any of them seemed at all credible. A statement of fact re dead people remaining dead from well-known and respected (by me) public figure would certainly not have hindered that process.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by warumich » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:35 am

lpm wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:17 pm
The reason is because religions are so powerful and they manage to intimidate us. The instinct of "let's all be nice" to religions gets enhanced when it's a woman expressing an opinion on the internet, where a confrontational tone goes against the sexist presumption that a woman's strength lies in mediation. This thread has an embarassing list of comments like "stupid", "cheap point", a comment implying looking good got Roberts her job, someone else saying she should "calm down", "antagonistic", "mean spirited" and a comment implying she should quit her job. Shut up woman, or at least keep to uncontroversial utterings about kittens.
on this point I admit that my remark on "looking good on tv" was not cool of me. The rest I stand by; I'd make the same point about Dawkins (and have done frequently). She's a professor for the public engagement of science for heaven's sake, and that's just incompatible with what she wrote in this instance, whether or not my comments were sexist, for which you're right to chide me for.

When I was writing about my brother's experiences here, about how some of his transgender friends were ostracised from their family, some driven to suicide, the replies I got from some people in here was a long list of what abouts, what about biology, what about changing rooms, what about elite sports, what about the transgender a..eholes on twitter. Sections of this community are also very good at not listening to marginalised voices when their ideology requires it, I see that as not that different from what some religious people do ("I don't mind gay people, but it is a biological fact that two men can't produce offspring... what about when Peter Tatchell insulted this or that person... what about possible sexual predators in boys changing rooms..."). But funnily enough, the most religious people of our mutual acquaintances have embraced my brother's new identity without question. So it's not about religion, it's about whether people are a..eholes. I get the righteous anger at religious persecution of LGBT people and damn I feel it too (just let's not forget the T), but there's no chain of logic that leads from the belief that Jesus was resurrected to "we must persecute gay people". If you want to be angry, be angry at the a..eholes. And if you really care about the plight of LGBT people then the strategy needs to be gentle persuasion and giving people a way of disassociating the inoffensive parts of their religious belief from the bad stuff. You remember how I tried to engage with your transgender whataboutery? I was boiling inside but really tried to refrain myself from calling anyone names and see your point of view when required. Don't particularly think I succeeded and I know I sometimes say stupid things in anger too, but I tried.

But what absolutely doesn't help is that if you make derogatory comments (this one may have been a quite mild form of that, but I merely opined that the tweet was silly and counterproductive, not that she's an unreformed a..eh.le), because then you push people into affirming their religious identity, and that's the point where you make it more likely that they'll start listening to the unsavoury voices from their ingroup because they're now even more clearly marked as part of their team. At the same time they're less likely to listen to other, unrelated statements Roberts might make in her dayjob about science because she clearly marked herself as the outgroup. It may be unfortunate and illogical, but that's human behaviour and we know this from 70 years of research in social psychology. Her tweet does nothing for the cause of humanism (if that's what she's interested in), it does nothing for the public engagement in science (which she should be interested in), and it does absolutely nothing to help religiously persecuted gay people either.

edit: I quoted seagull rather than lpm by mistake
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:02 pm

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:33 am
To be honest, I reckon most people who grew up with church and then stopped going did so because at some point they just couldn't be arsed any more, felt like they didn't get a lot out of it, and realised a Sunday spent at home is nicer than a Sunday spent singing with other people. It's where I got to. I work f.cking hard, and want my time to myself at the weekend. It wasn't anything to do with historic oppression or the church being frequently wrong about social issues (which it has been, and often is) or anything like that. Just plain old simple apathy. I do miss the community aspects of it, I don't miss the getting roped into stuff aspects of it.
Meh-theist as my daughter puts it.

The trouble is that atheists are partly defined, mainly by people who believe, by what it is they don't believe in. Or as someone put it to me:
"Being an atheist must be very important to you?"
"No not particularly."
"But Jesus and the resurrection are the most important thing ever, not believing in them is a huge thing."
"No it's not. I don't believe in the Easter Bunny either."
"That's not the same, the Easter bunny doesn't exist and I find you equating the Easter bunny to Jesus very offensive."

Rinse and repeat...
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Boustrophedon » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:15 pm

And I really, really don't want a humanist funeral. I want a non religious* funeral, fix that for me please.

*Flying spaghetti monster funeral will do nicely.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by bob sterman » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm

warumich wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:35 am
She's a professor for the public engagement of science for heaven's sake, and that's just incompatible with what she wrote in this instance...
Not quite sure how stating something about biology can been deemed "incompatible" with being a Professor of Public Engagement with Science.

You might argue it's "silly and counterproductive" (as you have) - if you assume her role is to get people to ditch religion - but is that her role?

And the "incompatible" claim is a lot stronger than merely claiming it's "silly and counterproductive". Could you elaborate on the incompatibility?

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by nezumi » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:57 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:15 pm
And I really, really don't want a humanist funeral. I want a non religious* funeral, fix that for me please.

*Flying spaghetti monster funeral will do nicely.
Same! Except I'm of the stick the corpse in a box and have a party (if you want to) mindset. I'll be dead. I will no longer care. I don't care now as it happens...
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by warumich » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:09 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm
warumich wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:35 am
She's a professor for the public engagement of science for heaven's sake, and that's just incompatible with what she wrote in this instance...
Not quite sure how stating something about biology can been deemed "incompatible" with being a Professor of Public Engagement with Science.
She's written this in the run-up to Easter, so it's an obvious dig at Christians. It's not an interesting fact about biology, because everyone knows that, and Christians who believe in the resurrection of Jesus know that too. It wouldn't have been a miracle if it was commonplace. And Roberts surely knows that they know as well, because she's not dumb. So in the context it is mocking, maybe not particularly horribly so, but still. It is not a public engagement communication about biology.
At this point Shpallers will get really angry because it is now the fourth time this point has been made in the thread, but I suppose it needs to be repeated because I've run out of different ways in which to say it. If you disagree with the reasoning show me where, but don't just restate the original opinion and make me have to re-argue my point.
bob sterman wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm
You might argue it's "silly and counterproductive" (as you have) - if you assume her role is to get people to ditch religion - but is that her role?
It's silly and counterproductive if you want to engage people with science. Because what absolutely doesn't help is that if you make derogatory comments (this one may have been a quite mild form of that, but I merely opined that the tweet was silly and counterproductive, not that she's an unreformed a..eh.le), because then you push people into affirming their religious identity, and that's the point where you make it more likely that they'll start listening to the unsavoury voices from their ingroup because they're now even more clearly marked as part of their team. At the same time they're less likely to listen to other, unrelated statements Roberts might make in her dayjob about science because she clearly marked herself as the outgroup. It may be unfortunate and illogical, but that's human behaviour and we know this from 70 years of research in social psychology. Her tweet does nothing for the cause of humanism (if that's what she's interested in), it does nothing for the public engagement in science (which she should be interested in), and it does absolutely nothing to help religiously persecuted gay people either.
bob sterman wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm
And the "incompatible" claim is a lot stronger than merely claiming it's "silly and counterproductive". Could you elaborate on the incompatibility?
I don't see how you can hold down a position with the aim of enhancing public engagement in science if in your spare time you work towards alienating a large part of the population who might have been receptive to your engagement work, but now won't bother because you've been mocking them.
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JQH
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by JQH » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:31 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:02 pm
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:33 am
To be honest, I reckon most people who grew up with church and then stopped going did so because at some point they just couldn't be arsed any more, felt like they didn't get a lot out of it, and realised a Sunday spent at home is nicer than a Sunday spent singing with other people. It's where I got to. I work f.cking hard, and want my time to myself at the weekend. It wasn't anything to do with historic oppression or the church being frequently wrong about social issues (which it has been, and often is) or anything like that. Just plain old simple apathy. I do miss the community aspects of it, I don't miss the getting roped into stuff aspects of it.
Meh-theist as my daughter puts it.

The trouble is that atheists are partly defined, mainly by people who believe, by what it is they don't believe in. Or as someone put it to me:
"Being an atheist must be very important to you?"
"No not particularly."
"But Jesus and the resurrection are the most important thing ever, not believing in them is a huge thing."
"No it's not. I don't believe in the Easter Bunny either."
"That's not the same, the Easter bunny doesn't exist and I find you equating the Easter bunny to Jesus very offensive."

Rinse and repeat...
See also "But you MUST believe in God in order to deny Him!"
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

Fintan O'Toole

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bob sterman
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by bob sterman » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:53 pm

warumich wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:09 pm
At this point Shpallers will get really angry because it is now the fourth time this point has been made in the thread, but I suppose it needs to be repeated because I've run out of different ways in which to say it. If you disagree with the reasoning show me where, but don't just restate the original opinion and make me have to re-argue my point.
I didn't really ask you to re-argue all the points about it being "counter-productive". It was mainly your specific claim, in your recent post, that it was "incompatible" with her role that I was asking about. As that is a much stronger claim.
warumich wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:09 pm
bob sterman wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm
And the "incompatible" claim is a lot stronger than merely claiming it's "silly and counterproductive". Could you elaborate on the incompatibility?
I don't see how you can hold down a position with the aim of enhancing public engagement in science if in your spare time you work towards alienating a large part of the population who might have been receptive to your engagement work, but now won't bother because you've been mocking them.
So you do see this as something so serious that we should be questioning whether she should even hold (keep?) her position??

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Fishnut
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Fishnut » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:28 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:53 pm
warumich wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:09 pm
bob sterman wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm
And the "incompatible" claim is a lot stronger than merely claiming it's "silly and counterproductive". Could you elaborate on the incompatibility?
I don't see how you can hold down a position with the aim of enhancing public engagement in science if in your spare time you work towards alienating a large part of the population who might have been receptive to your engagement work, but now won't bother because you've been mocking them.
So you do see this as something so serious that we should be questioning whether she should even hold (keep?) her position??
While I would never be so bold as to speak for warumich, I took his comment merely to mean that if someone's job is the Public Engagement of Science then it's not exactly a winning strategy to alienate a significant section of that public for no good reason other than to feel smug and that they should maybe rethink said strategy.
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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warumich
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by warumich » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:38 pm

bob sterman wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:53 pm
warumich wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:09 pm
At this point Shpallers will get really angry because it is now the fourth time this point has been made in the thread, but I suppose it needs to be repeated because I've run out of different ways in which to say it. If you disagree with the reasoning show me where, but don't just restate the original opinion and make me have to re-argue my point.
I didn't really ask you to re-argue all the points about it being "counter-productive". It was mainly your specific claim, in your recent post, that it was "incompatible" with her role that I was asking about. As that is a much stronger claim.
warumich wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:09 pm
bob sterman wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:26 pm
And the "incompatible" claim is a lot stronger than merely claiming it's "silly and counterproductive". Could you elaborate on the incompatibility?
I don't see how you can hold down a position with the aim of enhancing public engagement in science if in your spare time you work towards alienating a large part of the population who might have been receptive to your engagement work, but now won't bother because you've been mocking them.
So you do see this as something so serious that we should be questioning whether she should even hold (keep?) her position??

Yes. Alienating such a large part of the public through offhand mockery is pretty much one of the worst things you can do. Most of our troubles with people not accepting vaccines, or believing in creationism, or climate denial or whatever stem from a breakdown in trust, it's not just about explaining things clearly or in terms of one syllable, it's about social identities and people taking up positions that they think they need to have in order to belong to their identified social group. It's pretty paradigmatic in social psychology of knowledge, and you'll find plenty of researchers, including yours truly, who have applied this to the public understanding of science. The evidence is there, it's published, among other places, in two dedicated high impact journals and many others, there are scholarly societies on science communication, and annual conferences where that research is presented (where I've never seen her).

If you either don't read the professional literature on public engagement in science, or you do read it and don't care, then I really don't see how you can hold a professorship of that exact title. If we unearth a professor of physics who doesn't engage with the literature* at any level we wouldn't, I hope, get upset about a post where someone suggest they might be in the wrong job. I don't see where this is different.


* edited to add footnote, but we wouldn't get a professor of physics without at least an undergraduate degree in physics, either. Having said that, it's easier to come to the social sciences later in life, and I know plenty of colleagues who did just that. But at least they made an effort to get up to speed.
Last edited by warumich on Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lpm
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by lpm » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:43 pm

We need a word for the belief that a tweet is the most powerful force in the universe. 55 characters and the earth shudders on its axis. One sentence and a billion people are alienated from another billion people. Twelve words and an exchange of dozens of 20,000 word theses must follow.

How about omnipotweet?
What ever happened to that Trump guy, you know, the one who was president for a bit?

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