31 January 2006

Atheists are too tolerant of religious idiocy.

Christians are pushing for the nonsensical 'intelligent design' to be included in science classes.

Atheists should push for the atheist philosophy of Russell, Nietzsche, Kant, etc. to be taught in religious classes. This makes far more sense than the unscientific intelligent design and would be of far more interest and far more informative to children.

Children rarely, if ever, get to hear the case against religion, which is why we need more people like Richard Dawkins.

24 comments:

  1. You get worse Neil, but at least more amusing. Kant's hardly describable as an atheist; quite the opposite, in fact.

    I am, though, all in favour of teaching "the atheist philosophy" of Nietzsche to schoolchildren. I'm not entirely sure how on earth it would benefit your hopes of a more equal, more compassionate society. One herd without the shepherd, perhaps. Have you actually read any Nietzsche?

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  2. Nietzche: "In Christianity the instincts of the subjugated and oppressed come to the fore: here the lowest classes seek their salvation. The causistry of sin, self-criticism, the inquisition of the conscience, are pursued as a PASTIME, as a remedy for boredom; the emotional reaction to one who has POWER, called 'God,' is constantly sustained (by means of prayer); and what is considered unattainable, a gift, "grace." Public acts are precluded; the hiding-place, the darkened room, is Christian. The body is despised, hygiene repudiated as sensuality; the church even opposes cleanliness (the first Christian measure after the expulsion of the Moors was the closing of the public baths, of which there were two hundred and seventy in Cordova alone). Christian too is a certain sense of cruelty against oneself and against others; hatred of all who think differently; the will to persecute. Gloomy and exciting conceptions predominate; the most highly desired states, designated with the highest names, are epileptoid; the diet is so chosen as to favor morbid phenomena and overstimulate the nerves. Christian too is mortal enmity against the lords of the earth, against the 'noble'-- along with a sly, secret rivalry (one leaves them the 'body,' one wants ONLY the 'soul'). Christian, finally, is the hatred of the SPIRIT, of pride, courage, freedom, liberty of the spirit; Christian is the hatred of the SENSES, of joy in the senses, of joy itself." ["The Antichrist", 1888, Chapter 21]

    In the 'groundwork of the metaphysics of morals', Kant argues that it is not moral to do good only because of fear of punishment (i.e. religion). To be moral you have to respect moral 'rules' themselves. Religion is worse than a distraction, it is actually detrimental to morality.

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  3. Blimpish: What do you think of the 39% of the UK public (75% in the US) who reject evolution and support creatinism or 'intelligent design' instead?

    As a Christian, don't you feel even slightly responsible for nurturing this nonsense?

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  4. Methinks you miss my point about Nietzsche, Neil. Yes, indeed, he is a penetrating critic of Christianity (far more than you'll ever be), but he does so for reasons you should find discomforting. As far as he's concerned, Christianity, because of its emphasis on fairness and charity is a "slave morality," which is wrong because it works against greatness. My guess is you've never read any Nietzsche, and that's why you know nothing about him.

    Re Kant, you again simply demonstrate your ignorance. Kant's metaphysics were predicated on the existence of God. Your perpetual wish to reduce "religion" (an absurd abstraction itself) to simplistic proposition ("fear of punishment") blinds you to even basic facts. That's why most of us end up hurling abuse at you, because you don't bother to actually think, FFS.

    Re the poll number - not seen the poll, but I'm surprised the UK number's so high. I really find it difficult to care that much. Most people can blissfully go through their whole lives believing all kinds of obviously untrue theories without it seeming to impede their progress. I mean, look at you...

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  5. Well, if you want to be technical about it, Russell wasn't an atheist either, but his writing contained a powerful criticism of religion and the idea of God.

    Kant may well have been religious but he recognised that religion and morals were separate and outlined this thinking in detail.

    Nietzsche, of course has this tainted reputation because of Hitler's misunderstanding of his philosophy, (something you seem to share, which is not surprising considering your nasty oppressive right wing beliefs!). Just as Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' idea was distorted and misused by Social Darwinists, Nietzsche was distorted and misused by the Nazis.

    It doesn't surprise me that you are not frightened that nearly 40% of the population have embraced creationist dogma, since this fits in nicely with your doctrine of selfishness and fear. I however am deeply frightened. How long before atheists are frightened to speak up, for fear of damaging their job prospects etc. This is already the situation in the US, I don't want to see it here also, but that is the way we are heading. Religion is more powerful now than it has been for many decades and it scares the hell out of me (if you pardon the pun).

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  6. Oh Neil, this is just too easy.

    "Kant may well have been religious but he recognised that religion and morals were separate and outlined this thinking in detail."

    So, you accept Kant's philosophy wasn't atheist. Point made, thanks. (I "recognise" religion and morality are separate, so I'm not sure what this means?)

    "Nietzsche, of course has this tainted reputation because of Hitler's misunderstanding of his philosophy, (something you seem to share, which is not surprising considering your nasty oppressive right wing beliefs!). Just as Darwin's 'survival of the fittest' idea was distorted and misused by Social Darwinists, Nietzsche was distorted and misused by the Nazis."

    It's fairly obvious you don't know anything about Nietzsche. True, Nietzsche was abused by the Nazis, but even if we ignore this minor aspect, the idea that he was in any way friendly to liberalism or social democracy is laughable. He venerated the strong over the weak, and greatness above the crowd. Read his description of the Last Men (in the Preface of Zarathustra) to see what he thought of the world liberalism and communism would create. I love Nietzsche, but he was big-time nutty (cf. the Eternal Recurrence), and the idea that somebody on the Left should want his philosophy taught to children is somewhat barking.

    Now to the funny bit:

    "It doesn't surprise me that you are not frightened that nearly 40% of the population have embraced creationist dogma, since this fits in nicely with your doctrine of selfishness and fear."

    My doctrine of selfishness and fear, eh? Heavens. Thanks for telling me what I think Neil, but I have no such doctrine. (Nietzsche was closer.)

    "I however am deeply frightened. How long before atheists are frightened to speak up, for fear of damaging their job prospects etc."

    You're not paranoid, Neil - they really are out to get you. Oooooooh. Give over.

    "This is already the situation in the US, I don't want to see it here also, but that is the way we are heading."

    No it isn't. Bill Prior nearly missed his spot on the federal bench because he was a devout Catholic. This paranoia's amusing.

    "Religion is more powerful now than it has been for many decades and it scares the hell out of me (if you pardon the pun)."

    I don't pardon the pun. You're metaphysics admits of no 'hell' and therefore the metaphor is meaningless. 'Religion' in this country has never been less powerful. You're talking wank, Neil. But as long as you want to think like that, fine.

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  7. Blimpish;

    Kant shows that to be truly moral you have to reject religion. He may not have been an atheist but his philosophy is.

    I agree Nietzsche was 'a big time nutty' (he regularly contradicted himself and drove himself insane), but you misunderstand his slave mentality idea. He was highlighting the weak position of the poor, not advocating it as a good thing. Just as Darwin's idea of natural selection was not a moral argument.

    As for it being 'barking' for the Left to like Nietzche, you obviously don't know your history. You have read 'textbook' Nietzsche for your university studies (or whatever) but you don't understand Nietzsche at all. This is from answers.com;

    "The German right-wing didn't like Nietzsche's thought until the Nazis. Nietzsche was popular among left-wing Germans in the 1890s. Many Germans read Thus Spoke Zarathustra and were influenced by Nietzsche's appeal of unlimited individualism and the development of a personality. The enormous popularity of Nietzsche led to the Subversion debate in German politics in 1894/1895. Conservatives wanted to ban the work of Nietzsche. Nietzsche influenced the Social-democratic revisionists, anarchists, feminists and the left-wing German youth movement."

    Blimpish, you ARE right-wing. You are a member of the Conservative party who backed David Davis, you want to see a return of the death penalty, you oppose abortion and get your morals from a book that advocates stoning people to death for eating shellfish. Your blog is probably one of the most right-wing I have ever seen.

    Finally, nearly 40% of the UK population think the Earth was created after the domestication of the dog, and you think I'm unduly worried about religion? Look at the Mohammed cartoons farce going on at the moment and tell me religion is intelligent?

    And don't try to argue Christianity is any better, if it wasn't for atheists and secularism, we would be just as oppressed by Christianity in Europe as the Middle East is by Islam. The Bible is just as bad as the Koran.

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  8. "Kant shows that to be truly moral you have to reject religion. He may not have been an atheist but his philosophy is."

    Kant, one of the great philosophers of the modern age. Harding, the man who knows Kant's philosophy better than he did. Hmph.

    "...you misunderstand [Nietzsche's] slave mentality idea."

    Slave morality, I think you mean?

    "He was highlighting the weak position of the poor, not advocating it as a good thing."

    Nietzsche as concerned citizen? Interesting. It's, erm, a different view. Totally wrong, but certainly different. F.N. would be in hysterics now.

    "Just as Darwin's idea of natural selection was not a moral argument."

    No, not at all. Darwin was a biologist, Nietzsche was a philosopher - his whole concern was with the question, how are we to live? The difference is massive.

    "As for it being 'barking' for the Left to like Nietzche, you obviously don't know your history. You have read 'textbook' Nietzsche for your university studies (or whatever) but you don't understand Nietzsche at all. This is from answers.com;"

    Ah, answers.com - that well-known oracle. If that's your source, then I'll leave you to it. I don't do a 'textbook' Nietzsche, and I don't rely on Answers.com. Don't judge me by your standards.

    The quote is all fine, but misses the point. Conservatives didn't like Nietzsche because he was a radical. But radical doesn't mean Left. From my 'textbook' knowledge, I'll call on Allan Bloom (who didn't, oddly, write for Answers.com): "The Left's conscription of Nietzsche is much like Stalin's invocation of God: it makes no intellectual sense, but it helps with the simpletons." Neil, I think you embody the truth in this quote.

    "Blimpish, you ARE right-wing."

    Neil, that's undoubtedly true but it wasn't the question. You said I had a "doctrine of selfishness and fear" - unless you have a comic, parody version of what 'Right-wing' means, your point remains undemonstrated. So shut up.

    "And don't try to argue Christianity is any better, if it wasn't for atheists and secularism, we would be just as oppressed by Christianity in Europe as the Middle East is by Islam. The Bible is just as bad as the Koran."

    Yeah, watch out for those Methodists flying planes into skyscrapers. The Beeb shows Jerry Springer and there's lots of complaints. A Danish newspaper dares to have a few cartoons and there's a boycott of goods and withdrawal of diplomatic relationships.

    Neil, you know nothing about the differences between Christianity and Islam, as you know nothing about philosophy (in particular Nietzsche), and know nothing about scientific method. And you can't write for shit, and your politics are frankly beyond comical - to Left-wingers as much as Right-wingers.

    I've enjoyed kicking you about again, but I tire. Cheery bye.

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  9. "Harding, the man who knows Kant's philosophy better than he did."

    I was only arguing what Kant said himself. He argued that morals and religion were incompatible. An effectively atheist position. In Kant's time it was virtually unthinkable to question the existence of God even if you thought religion to be rubbish. This was pre-evolution theory and look how scared Darwin was to publish that.

    Anyway, if you are such a fan of Nietzsche, why do you like religion? It's perfectly possible to pick bits of Kant's philosophy and reject the rest, just like you do with Nietzsche's philosophy.

    I like Nietzsche's atheism and left-wing anarchism. His 'slave morality' (I wrote 'mentality' by mistake on that occasion) idea was effectively arguing that change will only come from below. This is what I believe. It is up to the weak and powerless to improve their position themselves (which is why I support political power being fairer - proportional representation, citizen's income, free media etc. etc.). Progressive change only comes by the grassroots pressure on those at the top. Like Marx, I believe it is eventually inevitable (but I'd like it to hurry up in my lifetime, hopefully).

    "Ah, answers.com - that well-known oracle. If that's your source, then I'll leave you to it. I don't do a 'textbook' Nietzsche, and I don't rely on Answers.com."

    It was a convenient link. I could have searched the net for others, but it said what was needed, so why not use it? It's not wrong, as you admit...I doubt you have ever read beyond the preface of Nietzsche's work and your own lecture notes anyway!

    "The Left's conscription of Nietzsche is much like Stalin's invocation of God: it makes no intellectual sense, but it helps with the simpletons."

    The point is, you didn't even know that Nietzsche was popular with the Left. It is only 'barking' to people like you, there is plenty of left wing anarchists and social democrats that use Nietzsche. Anyway my focus on Nietzsche was his critique of religion, which is why I suggested him and Kant and Russell, being taught in religious classes. Their philosophies all take atheist positions on morality and religion, i.e. morality and religion are incompatible. This is an incontrovertible fact that you eventually had to admit. You persist with your line of arrogant insults even though you are wrong.

    "You said I had a "doctrine of selfishness and fear"

    You have argued (on the Sharpener) that being 'selfish' is a good thing. You also argue in favour of inequality (something the Tories are now trying to disown). Your whole philosophy is based on fear. Your support for the death penalty and harsher punishment, your religious belief, your fear of the electorate and fear of democracy with your support for FPTP and the unelected Lords.

    Do you now deny all this, like your party is trying to do?

    "Yeah, watch out for those Methodists flying planes into skyscrapers. The Beeb shows Jerry Springer and there's lots of complaints."

    It is no thanks to Christians. It was the rejection of religion in the enlightenment in Europe that restricted Christianity. The Middle East has not yet been through the same process.

    It is getting worse every day in the US. Bush declares 'God told him' to bomb Iraq. Doctors are threatened and killed by Christian fundamentalists, science teaching is restricted and distorted, etc, etc. Remember Waco? Wake up?

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  10. Oh, more cripple-kicking opportunities. I won't go through the whole thing because I've got better ways to waste my time, but a couple of Harding gems:

    "[Kant] argued that morals and religion were incompatible."

    Absolute rubbish - he did no such thing. Find me a quote where he said that. Good discussion, Neil, requires that you don't make stuff up to fit your argument.

    "I like Nietzsche's atheism and left-wing anarchism.

    Left-wing? Ludicrous. Left-wing surely means belief in the fundamental equality of man. Nietzsche despised such talk. Anarchism? He was anarchic, but no anarchist, as much as he had any political doctrine.

    "His 'slave morality' idea was effectively arguing that change will only come from below."

    Er, no. Slave morality is the consequence of the Christian ideal (also shared by liberalism and socialism) that we were all equal; it leads us to a lowest-common-denominator world, where we are all sheep. Slave morality was something Nietzsche despised, not something he celebrated. You know nothing on this Neil.

    "... your own lecture notes anyway!"

    Neil, I studied economics at Uni; Nietzsche wasn't on the curriculum. So fuck off.

    "The point is, you didn't even know that Nietzsche was popular with the Left."

    As the Bloom quote indicates (and I've used it more than once before, it's a favourite), I'm more than use to the Left's attempt to conscript Nietzsche. So fuck off, again.

    "It is only 'barking' to people like you, there [are] plenty of left wing anarchists and social democrats that use Nietzsche."

    And they're wrong.

    "Anyway my focus on Nietzsche was his critique of religion, which is why I suggested him and Kant and Russell, being taught in religious classes. Their philosophies all take atheist positions on morality and religion, i.e. morality and religion are incompatible."

    But you know nothing of which you speak. Kant was no atheist, and Nietzsche wasn't a happy one either. But more to the point, Nietzsche didn't believe that morality and religion were incompatible - just that religious morality was for the weak, and damaged the cause of nobility.

    "Their philosophies all take atheist positions on morality and religion, i.e. morality and religion are incompatible. This is an incontrovertible fact that you eventually had to admit. You persist with your line of arrogant insults even though you are wrong."

    Neil, your assertions of "incontrovertible fact" don't constitute evidence. Even Russell, who is closest to your position, would be embarassed to be so chracterised. The "insults" are simply statements of obvious fact.

    "You have argued (on the Sharpener) that being 'selfish' is a good thing."

    Where? Give me a quote, in full context, to prove that. I don't believe it and I haven't in all the time I've been a conservative. So, once again, fuck off.

    "You also argue in favour of inequality (something the Tories are now trying to disown)."

    So does Rawls, up to a point. Not sure what your point is. Most people believe in inequality up to a point.

    "Your whole philosophy is based on fear."

    Untrue. My whole philosophy is based on the fact that I have been born blessed, for I am not Neil Harding and therefore I have a brain.

    "Your support for the death penalty and harsher punishment, your religious belief, your fear of the electorate and fear of democracy with your support for FPTP and the unelected Lords."

    Thanks for the third-rate psychological reductionism, but one of those is plain not true and the others have little to do with fear and much to do with basic intelligence. Maybe one day you'll discover what it's like to be able to think. But until then, fuck off.

    I'll leave your foam-flecked Christophobic rantings where they belong. But I can't resist another.... fuck off.

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  11. Blimpish, from the frequency of personal insults and swearwords I gather you are somewhat upset.
    Keep them coming, it only highlights how you are losing the argument.

    You might want to check out this book; 'Kant and the Problem of God'
    by Gordon E. Michalson


    'This radical new reading of Kant's religious thought suggests that he is in fact more accurately read as a precursor to nineteenth-century atheism than to liberal Protestant theology. Michalson locates major themes in Kant's philosophy that are more continuous with nineteenth-century atheism than with constructive theology. The 'problem of God' in Kant turns out to be the problem of retaining authentic references to God in light of the 'self-inventing' character of Kant's theory of human freedom. The book explores several ways in which this problem comes to light in Kant's philosophy, including an extended examination of Kant's own moral proof of the existence of God. Finally, Michalson suggests that, in his effort to develop a theory of human freedom consistent with his Enlightenment ideals, Kant produced a philosophical vision that ultimately absorbs heaven into earth. In addition to providing an alternative perspective on Kant's religious thought, this book raises serious questions about the idea of theological 'mediation' which attempts to accommodate both intellectual autonomy and divine transcendence.'

    To give a specific quote to back up the incompatibility of morals and religion in Kant's philosophy is difficult, because it is the theme that runs right through his 'groundwork of metaphysics' book. Michalson has written an entire book on the subject. Basically, it all stems from Kant's 'categorical imperative'.

    'I ought never to act except in such a way that I could also will that my maxim should become a universal law'.

    To be moral according to Kant means respecting this rule regardless of a fear of punishment or anticipation of reward. So, according to Kant's philosophy, a fear of God and anticipating a reward in heaven disqualifies you and other religious people from being truly moral.

    "Left-wing surely means belief in the fundamental equality of man."

    Equality of opportunity, yes. This is a different thing. Of course everyone is not equal, we all have different aspirations and abilities.

    How can you argue that Nietzsche found religion moral? I refer you again to the 'Antichrist' quote, you clearly didn't read it.

    Nietzsche did indeed argue that charity from the top wouldn't properly change the inequality of society and he was right. We need to change the very levers of power and that will only happen with pressure from the masses. This is a belief shared by Marxists. Next you will be arguing they are not left-wing!

    As for the society of the 'lowest common denominator' that you talk of, you clearly don't understand how inequality makes a society more inefficient by restricting the potential of those at the bottom.

    A good example of this can be found with a tennis analogy. Why is a small country like Sweden overflowing with good tennis players while Britain produces hardly any? Maybe because only the upper and middle class have the opportunities to make it in the UK, while the Swedes are much more inclusive.

    Of course there will always be inequality, but you actually argue for MORE of it, in a country that is already one of the most unequal in Europe and where 94% of the wealth lies with the top 50% of the population.

    As for the 'selfish as a good thing'. My memory failed me, that was actually Andrew arguing that on the Sharpener. You two are generally so joined at the hip on your Tory views that you all seem the same after a bit! Ahem..well ok I apologise for that I suppose. See how nice I am (especially after all the f words you fire in my direction).

    Which of these have I got wrong about you then?

    Bring back the death penalty
    make abortion illegal
    harsher punishments for 'gypos and pikeys' as YOU like to call them!!
    FPTP
    unelected Lords.

    I distinctly remember you arguing how democracy was a bad thing and how it's better to have a dictatorship (or something like that), but as you have no search facility on your blog, I couldn't face trawling through the mountains of dirge on there to find it.

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  12. By the way Blimpish, Russell has this to say on religion and morality;

    "As to morality, a great deal depends on how one understands that term. For my part, I think the important virtues are kindness and intelligence. Intelligence is impeded by any creed, no matter what;" (is there a better example of this than you?), "and kindness is inhibited by the belief in sin and punishment." i.e religion and morality are incompatible, which is what I said. So you are wrong yet again Mr Blimpish!

    As I first stated; Kant, Nietzsche and Russell all argue an atheist philosophy that demonstrates how religion is immoral.

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  13. '"Left-wing surely means belief in the fundamental equality of man."

    Equality of opportunity, yes. This is a different thing. Of course everyone is not equal, we all have different aspirations and abilities.'

    Nel, are you disputing the fundamental equality of humanity? Idiot.

    Neil, Marx and Nietzsche are antithetical. I think you've misunderstood them both - either that or you're so desperate to win you'll say anything. You're losing, give it up.

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  14. "are you disputing the fundamental equality of humanity?"

    It depends what is meant by that. I believe all humans should be equal before the law and have equal rights and have equality of opportunity but that does not mean equality of wealth.

    Blimpish was arguing that it is a left wing term, so by that I assumed he was implying a strict equality of wealth, either that or Blimpish was saying HE doesn't believe in the 'fundamental equality of humanity' (which actually is probably the case).

    "Marx and Nietzsche are antithetical"

    In their belief that religion and morality were incompatible they are in agreement.

    "Nietzsche takes for granted — not implausibly — that our moral and religious traditions are incompatibilist at their core"

    Marx also believed that charity wouldn't truly help the proletariat, a view shared by Nietzsche.

    I have provided quotes that show that Kant, Nietzsche and Russell all argued that religion is immoral (albeit Kant did it unwittingly). This was the original point that I made, that Blimpish contested, he has failed to provide quotes that contradict this.

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  15. The Blue Foxxx7/2/06 12:08 am

    "It depends what is meant by that. I believe all humans should be equal before the law and have equal rights and have equality of opportunity but that does not mean equality of wealth."

    This is a liberal view, not any kind of socialism (not ANY kind!)

    Nietzsche and Marx were similar in believing that religion provided false succcour and created a sheep mentality - similar but certasinly not in agreement.

    Beyond this Nietzsche thought this held back the noble superior people (men) in society and Marx that it prevented class consciousness and revolution. No difference there, of course!

    Blimpish is correct - Nietzscian perspectivism is used by the left; that is all that can be taken from it within an egalitarian framework. Do try to keep up Neil.

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  16. Neil Harding7/2/06 3:01 pm

    "Nietzscian perspectivism is used by the left; that is all that can be taken from it within an egalitarian framework."

    That is true, it is also true to say that Nietzsche does not advocate a right wing political philosophy. Elements of his philosophy are used as leftwing and as fundamental anarchism but his 'anti-realist' moral perspective is limited to the 'overman'.

    Blimpish claims to like Nietzsche but rejects his criticism of religion entirely and misunderstands the meaning of his 'slave morality' idea.

    Both Nietzsche and Marx criticised charity, but from this criticism you cannot judge their overall political philosophy.

    It would be like me saying that from a financial point of view, rich people are better off voting Tory. From this you couldn't say I was a Tory because it is only the financial perspective and I am only talking about the rich. The same can be said of Nietzsche. Anyway this is a side issue, a diversion.

    This whole thread started because Blimpish claimed that Kant, Nietzsche and Russell didn't criticise religion as immoral (and therefore support an atheist viewpoint). I have provided quotes to prove they did just that. Blimpish is not restating his original criticism because he has been proven wrong (yet again).

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  17. The Blue Foxxx7/2/06 6:05 pm

    Blimpish probably hasn't responded because he's bored of you.

    Look at the first comment in the thread - it is your misunderstanding of Nietzsche and his incompatability with social democratic politics that is being argued. Both have been proved.

    "Both Nietzsche and Marx..."

    I can't believe I let you sucker me into any comparison. This kind of eclecticism shows a misunderstanding of their respective methodologies/philosophies.

    Your point essentially was why isn't philosophy taught in schools. A fair enough point but not so when set up in a false opposition to the history of religious thought. As you must know, these traditions developed together and are incomprehensible without one another. Neither philosophical or religious thought can be truly understood without some grasp of the contemporaneous social and intellectual terrain - a point you make yourself, though without understanding it:
    "In Kant's time it was virtually unthinkable to question the existence of God", but unthinkable in the doxic sense (Bourdieu, look it up) of being truly unthinkable, or beyond conceptualisation.

    Where does this obsessive hatred of religion come from? Why do you attempt to separate any thinker you like from their religious beliefs (by stating they didn't 'really' believe it)?

    As to why it isn't taught: the
    teaching staff are probably mostly incapable of doing so; employers/business don't demand it from the education system (and would probably oppose it). Selling off our state schools will, of course improve this situation no end by removing any public control and conception of public good from education.

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  18. "Look at the first comment in the thread - it is your misunderstanding of Nietzsche and his incompatability with social democratic politics that is being argued."

    In the post, I describe the use of the 'atheist philosophy' of Kant, Nietzsche and Russell.

    Blimpish misses the point by saying Kant is not an atheist which of course he isn't, I never said he was, but I have shown his philosophy unwittingly is atheist, which Blimpish disputed.

    The thread then develops with Blimpish arguing that Kant and Russell's philosophy cannot be described as calling religion immoral. I demonstrate that is exactly what IS being said.

    Blimpish mocks my calling of Nietzsche's philosophy atheist and also as you point out, says that it doesn't fit in with a more equal and compassionate society (this really is an unimportant side point, not relevant to the original post because it doesn't matter if it is left or right as to whether it is important for children to learn, but as it happens he is wrong, it is neither, all I was saying is that it can be used as left wing just as easily as right).

    I follow this with a cutting quote of Nietzsche's opposition to religion.

    Blimpish then says that Nietzsche's philosophy is incompatible with liberalism and social democracy, calling it 'barking' to suggest it is.

    I show that Nietzsche has always had a left-wing following and that you cannot deduce an overall political philosophy from Nietzsche because he is an 'anti-realist'. His dismissal of charity is no different to that of Marx.

    "but unthinkable in the doxic sense (Bourdieu, look it up) of being truly unthinkable, or beyond conceptualisation."

    I'm sorry mate, you have lost me here. Kant could definitely conceptualise there not being a God, because that is why he was trying to prove there was one. In so doing he managed to realise that all the previous proofs were flawed, so he came up with a moral proof of his own, that also managed unwittingly to disprove a moral God.

    I think it was unthinkable in the sense that you would be thought of as mad and maybe had your livelyhood and life threatened, so you would obviously keep quiet about your beliefs or lie about them.

    "Where does this obsessive hatred of religion come from?"

    I could turn this question around. Why are so many people obsessed with religion when it is clearly nonsense? I see a huge nonsense that is causing many injustices and virtually no-one is speaking out against it, that is why I am obsessed. If people weren't affecting my life with this silly obsession I wouldn't be interested in religion.

    There are a few simple policies I believe would change the world for the better but few are getting the message.

    Think logically instead of hiding behind religion.
    Citizen's Income - most efficient way to redistribute wealth.
    Proportional Representation - best way to improve electorate accountability.
    Free Media - cannot be left in the hands of a few wealthy owners if it is to be truly free.

    "Your point essentially was why isn't philosophy taught in schools. A fair enough point but not so when set up in a false opposition to the history of religious thought."

    My point was why wasn't atheism taught in religious classes? Especially when you have the ridiculous ID being pushed by creationists to be taught in science.

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  19. The Blue Foxxx7/2/06 10:49 pm

    "Blimpish misses the point by saying Kant is not an atheist which of course he isn't, I never said he was, but I have shown his philosophy unwittingly is atheist, which Blimpish disputed."

    I thought he congratulated you on understanding the philosophy better than Kant himself.

    I think we can return to the question you ignored:

    "Why do you attempt to separate any thinker you like from their religious beliefs (by stating they didn't 'really' believe it)?"

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  20. "I thought he congratulated you on understanding the philosophy better than Kant himself."

    This is hardly difficult, I only share the point of view of Simon Blackburn, Professor of Philosophy at Cambridge University and numorous other philosophers. It is hardly a controversial view.

    "Why do you attempt to separate any thinker you like from their religious beliefs (by stating they didn't 'really' believe it)?"

    In the past it was quite difficult for any atheist to speak out, so it is quite likely a number of famous people were atheists but never spoke publicly or even privately about this. But reading the implications of their writings it can be deduced as a strong possibility.

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  21. The Blue Foxxx9/2/06 12:36 am

    "In the past it was quite difficult for any atheist to speak out, so it is quite likely a number of famous people were atheists but never spoke publicly or even privately about this. But reading the implications of their writings it can be deduced as a strong possibility."

    What other elements of their thought were culturally conditioned? How do you separate their writings out (without serious mutilation) - what parts can you trust, only those 'radical' elements?

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  22. The Blue Foxxx9/2/06 12:40 am

    '"I thought he congratulated you on understanding the philosophy better than Kant himself."

    This is hardly difficult'

    Yeah you're right, sorry for wasting your time challenging your interpretation (of course any religious individual could never have a difference of interpretation over a religious text - just shows how superior we atheists are huh?)

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  23. "How do you separate their writings out (without serious mutilation) - what parts can you trust, only those 'radical' elements?"

    It depends on how supported with evidence the analysis is, some of it is open to interpretation, as is anything.

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  24. "of course any religious individual could never have a difference of interpretation over a religious text - just shows how superior we atheists are huh?)"

    There is interpretation and obvious falsification. Nobody defends a scientific theory by saying it should be seen as metaphorical.

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