Thursday, January 10, 2008

Poor Thinking

Ah, a convert.

I was pleased to read this morning that kelly at the rational response squad has come to the conclusion that:

despite what I had come to believe, religion is not the biggest danger to society. Poor thinking is.

But, then, what is 'poor thinking'?

She tells us that we atheism is not bound to a single code of behavior and that it is compatible with people doing different things.

Then she complains that the problem with atheism is that its members do not march in lock-step behind a single drummer - that we are too busy fighting each other rather than uniting against a common enemy.

She writes, with a certainty that she is right and those who disagree are wrong, that the problem is with atheists who write with a certainty that they are write and those who disagree with them are wrong.

She calls the use of words like 'should' and 'ought' offensive in a post filled with protestations on what others 'should' (and 'should not') do.

I do agree that 'poor thinking' is a problem. I believe that the solution is to find instances of 'poor thinking', identify it by name, and demonstrate that it is poor thinking. It does not matter of the person one is writing about is atheist or theist. It only matters whether their reasoning is sound or unsound.


kellym78 said...

I hate to point out that you either missed the point entirely or just wanted to use the opportunity to take a shot at me, but I will. I actually use the word "should" twice, both times in reference to the way that groups with similar goals interact publicly. If you don't share those goals, feel free to disregard that. I was speaking to people who at the very least would like to see the stranglehold of religion loosened in the public sector. Assuming that the goals of said groups are similar, then it would be irrational to act the way that many of the groups/individuals act towards others with which/whom you could be allied .

Alonzo Fyfe said...

Actually, the proposition that I spend my time looking for an opportunity to take a shot at you is . . . well . . . false.

And, in fact, it is exactly the type of ad hominem attack you complain about since, instead of questioning my statement, you decide to make claims about my person (my moral character).

You decide to assert that I am the type of person who looks for opportunities to attack others.

What evidence do you have that this is a part of my character?

Why not simply assume . . . until you have proof beyond a reasonable doubt to the contrary . . . that I am interested in pointing out poor thinking. And, if I misinterpreted your remarks, offer to correct the misinterpretation.

And why should you hate to point out that I missed your point? If I missed your point, then you should be more than pleased to point that out. I am certainly more than pleased to have my mistakes pointed out to me, so that I can cease making those mistakes.

I will agree that allies working together need to 'overlook' insignificant differences in favor of obtaining a larger goal. Military units and religious organizations both obtain a lot of their power by practicing this craft. The individual is told to follow the doctrine that, "Your opinions are of less important than the goals of the collective."

Combining this message (that we should voluntarily agree to become members of a collective) with the message advocating noncomformity seems to me a contradiction.

It still seems to me to be a contradiction.

Frank Walton said...

Then she complains that the problem with atheism is that its members do not march in lock-step behind a single drummer - that we are too busy fighting each other rather than uniting against a common enemy.

What hypocrisy!! Let's not forget what Kelly try to do to Richard Dawkins. She had the audacity (along with her dipstick boyfriend) to claim that Richard Dawkin had an affair with another woman. If there's anybody fighting each other it's her.

kellym78 said...

I never implied that you spend any significant time searching for reasons to attack me; rather, it may have appeared to be an easy target. I was making no implication regarding your behavior towards anybody else--it seemed to me to be so far off the mark that those were the only two options.
I think that I did elaborate on your misinterpretation in my previous comment, but to clarify further, I never intended to diminish the importance of personal opinion--i fact I think that I affirm the importance of that in the last two paragraphs. What I was asking for is acceptance of the nonconformity of people within the atheist community, and particularly in activism.
I have no desire to promote conformity nor adhere to such ideologies. I just feel that we should be able to throw off the typical post-religious modes of thought that lead others to judge people and then place them in a predefined category from which they can never escape.Also, I want to encourage people to move beyond the superficial details such as my wardrobe or one mistake and look at the bigger picture. So, sorry if you misunderstood me.
Pay no attention to my stalker above. He's had a hard-on for us for over a year now. He really needs to get a life that consists of more than following our google alerts.

Alonzo Fyfe said...


I think it would be a mistake to interpret your remarks as intending to diminish the importance of personal opinion. In fact, I think that your original comments had the opposite intent - to extol the virtues of individual differences and diversity. However, I think you also advised a form of behavior that conflicts with this original intent. It is not that you intended it, but it was there nonetheless.

I am an advocate of each person doing what he or she thinks best. I think that diversity is good. I have admitted that my method has some significant problems. My essays are too long, I post too frequently, I am not very good at humor, and some of my subjects are too tightly focused to interest more than a small number of people. However, I do not apologize for it. Instead, I hope that somebody who does not lack the flaws I have may find something valuable in what I write, and find some way to present it in a more entertaining manner.

The way to proceed is to simply not pay attention to those who criticize your style. Instead, you should be your own critic. You should be asking yourself, “Is there anything I should be doing different that will allow me to achieve the goals that I want to achieve more efficiently?”

I’m trying new methods. This blog – with its shorter and more frequent posts, is meant to be a contrast to the longer and deeper essays of my other blog. Shortly, I will be announcing another project – one that I actually patterned in part on your Blasphemy Challenge (which I defended, by the way).

Other people have their own ideas of what you (and I) should do. Well, that’s their opinion. Listen to them, determine if any of it actually makes sense. If it does, then accept the remarks and make the changes. If not, then ignore them and move on.

Personally, I am not going to criticize what you wear or the language that you use to express your opinion. I am only going to look at your arguments and judge them valid or invalid, or whether your claims are true or false. Where I see a contradiction, I will call it a contradiction.

That’s what I do.

Frank Walton said...

It's funny how ex-stripper and lapdancer Kelly completely dodged her hypocrisy, which I had the luxury of pointing out. But she did take the time of attacking me. Figures.

Divided By Zer0 said...

Frank, I do not see what Kelly's previous jobs have to do with this discussion.
Oh wait, now I noticed who you're a troll...

Jason said...

"Pay no attention to my stalker above. He's had a hard-on for us for over a year now. He really needs to get a life that consists of more than following our google alerts."

Isn't it interesting how Kelly again resorts to ad hominem when presented with facts that she cannot deny or defend.

FrankWaltonJunior said...

Awww poor Frankiepoo. Have to have your butt handed to you repeatedly by Miss Kelly.This is all you ever needed to know about Frank Walton, the stinky turdball, and then some! Learn the truth about this hate mongerer by reading more about Frank Walton and his atheism sucks friends.
Good job Kelly!