Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Daniel C. Dennett’s profession of faith(lessness)

One of America’s leading apostles of Darwinism shows that he’s a village atheist at heart. This is not profound or thought-provoking stuff.

Discussions - 38 Comments


The radical cultural left is more and more open about what it really believes. Professor Dennett is a fine specimen of the breed and does a nice job of baring its "soul." He goes far toward proving Buckley’s maxim that we would be better off ruled by the people in the first section of the phone book than by the Harvard (e.g.) faculty. God forbid if such a man had real power. He has too large an audience as it is.

Dennett is a very intelligent, learned man who disagrees with many of you. The questions posed in this interview could have been generated by third-graders. Once again, David, you frame positions that threaten your own, personal opinions as "dangerous." How do you leave the house in the morning without a helmet?

My point was that he does not seem to recognize how embarrassingly shallow his answers to some of life’s most important questions are. Although they may formulate them in an unsophisticated way, 3rd graders ask some important questions, questions our adulthood doesn’t entitle us to evade.

The best that could be said for Dennett is that he doesn’t seem to recognize thatnhis approach is just as "faith-based" as is that of those he’s only too willing to criticize for unsophistication. If knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom, Dennett hasn’t begun to be wise.

Fung, you pretentious little dime-store shrink, I take ideas seriously, and ideas about ultimate things very seriously. That is not say that all such ideas are dangerous, even if wrong. But yes, it is possible for an idea to be dangerous. That is especially true if it’s expressed as simplistically, and arrogantly, as in Dennett’s case -- and by someone as important as he is.

David- I am neither little nor a shrink. But, thank you for illuminating the rest of us about your tolerance for expressions with which you disagree, and for your workshop on simplicity and arrogance.

Obviously, I was wrong about you.

Joe- I frankly don’t wee how Dennett can be called shallow, nor his approach "faith-based." To refuse to believe in an entity in the absence of evidence is not faith-based. It is, perhaps, a radical adherence to empiricism, but it is not faith-based.

Fung

, Kant at least recognized that theoretical reason could, on the basis of experience, neither prove nor disprove the existence of God, freedom, and the immortality of the soul. This is an example of critical or self-critical rationality or rationalism.

Dennett’s rationalism, or, if you will, "radical adherence to empiricism" seems willful, rather than self-critical, claiming to know things (e.g., that which I cannot perceive cannot exist) which he cannot prove, given the limits of his own position. In that respect, it seems to me "faith-based," not to say unsophisticated.

If it were some religious authority speaking so dismissively about Darwinism or the Big Bang Fung would be all over it.

And David, he isn’t a shrink...that requires real medical training. Fung is a "behavioral scientist" (AKA overeducated BS artist). And we don’t know about how "little" he is...at least not his physical dimensions. Intellectually...yea, we have a pretty good idea: Hates white folks, religious people, Southerners, and anyone who puts ’Amerika’ first rather than last. In ’short’, a typical blue-state snob who thinks anyone who disagrees with him is either ignorant or stupid (comes from pushing around all those undergraduates, I suppose).

But David, just keep arguing with him...he’s generally ill-prepared to go beyond MoveOn.org talking points and gets flustered easily when someone stands up for another point of view (again, I suppose this comes from bullying generations of hapless undergraduates). Have fun!

Well, thank you, Dain. Your comments
are much appreciated. Explicit support for me is rather rare on this blog, and therefore noted when it occurs.

I am disappointed and a little surprised, though hardly shocked, to hear that Fung is a professor. Do you know this to be true?

If so, what a disgrace to his profession. Not that there aren’t plenty of others.

He is "little" in the ways that really count. I used the word "shrink" deliberately as a nice accompaniment to "little." We all wish he would, don’t we?

Joe - I can see what you mean. Lack of evidence is not the same as evidence of nonexistence. And Dennett’s responses in this particular article are not terrific, though I blame the questions. My reading of Dennett’s work, however, reveals a mind that is anything but shallow!

Dain - Being a shrink doesn’t mean medical training. You are referring to Psychiatry. Plenty of "shrinks" are psychologists, with the same amount of academic experience as I have.

My training is in social psychology, learning, and personality. One of my areas of specialization is Right-Wing Authoritarianism, which partially explains how I stumbled onto this blog. As it turns out, Dain and David, you two fairly epitomize the RWA profile, which also explains how I can behave one way with my students, and another with you.

When I taught in the South, the same was true, though bullying and exploitation of the weak found more institutional support than they find in the North. I still found enough reasonable humanitarians, both in the South and the North, to confirm my overall affection for humanity. I also found more High RWAs in the South than I find in the North.

I should also point out that I have learned a great deal about the Right by participating on this blog. There is a huge difference between the careful, thoughtful, issues-minded conservative and the bullying, angry, knee-jerk hanger-on. This is old news to many of you, but it is not really apparent to many liberals.

There is a huge difference between the careful, thoughtful, issues-minded conservative and the bullying, angry, knee-jerk hanger-on.

And I’m guessing you’d put me in this category, eh? But what does that say about you...given that you’ve lost every exchange we’ve had?

RWA is a pile of crap, as you well know. There are just as many Leftwing totalitarians out there...I suspect more. And I have personal experience with such people. It’s all you can do to get your basic rights respected among the Left.

As for ’shrinks’, you can shoehorn your own group in there if you’d like. In the past it referred strictly to psychiatrists, not the johnny-come-lately psychologists.

And I also note that the disparaging way you’ve talked about us ’bubbas’ in the past, how are you different from those intolerant RWA’s? Same disease, different name. You are fooling yourself (but of course most of us have known that about you from the beginning).

Now go bully some freshmen and let us have some quality blog time!

A carefull reading of Dennett reveals that he doesn’t say that God can’t exist, nor does he say that a soul can’t exist, nor does he say that freedom doesn’t exist.

About God he says simply that "Certainly the idea of a God that can answer prayers and whom you can talk to, and who intervenes in the world - that’s a hopeless idea. There is no such thing." He says nothing of the Deist God whose existence can neither be proved nor disproved. Neither does he say that man doesn’t have a soul, but simply that such a soul is biologicaly based and not eternal, you put enough neurons together and you have a soul.

With the exeception of his comment about evangelical churches not caring about what the congregation believes(almost all care a whole lot)he seems reasonable and I believe his approach is more worthy of study than even a cure for AIDS.

Saying that "that which I cannot perceive cannot exist" is too much of a straw man critique on Empiricism. Rather I take empiricism to say "You have no right to believe in a logically possible claim if you are incapable of perceiving/testing it."

In other words empiricism denies faith as unjustifiable. Dennet’s focus is asking why people have a built in desire to see agency in things that are not agents. Why isn’t this a good question? To those that maintain that empiricism is taken on faith, there can be no good reply because the scientist is not interested in arguing that reality may or may not exist. To the empiricist reality simply exists and science is the best way to understand and catalogue that reality. The scientist might argue that empiricism/science is responsible for all the advantages and discoveries of modern society while unjustifiable faith(a redundancy to the empiricist) is responsible for many of its ills through the propogation of false and or unchecked assumptions. Conversely they might ask somewhere in the debate over whether or not empiricism is itself taken on faith, if this view does not presupose that thought stands apart from the world, and if so how then can its accuracy as an account of the world ever be established?

Has anyone read John Dewey’s The Influence of Darwin on philosophy and Other essays in Contemporary thought(1910)?

I haven’t but its in the middle of my list.

More than once, I have wished that I had said what John Lewis said. Nicely done, John.

Dain-- (1) I have "lost" very few of our confrontations, while I have given up in the same way that I give up talking into an empty barrel. I have also lost a couple of them, which I acknowledge.

(2)"RWA is a pile of crap, as you well know. There are just as many Leftwing totalitarians out there...." As it turns out, RWA is a robust phenomenon, and there are very few Left-Wing Authoritarians. High RWA’s value tradition, obey and defer unquestionning to their recognized leaders, and agree to aggress against groups identified as worthy victims by those same leaders. Thus, High RWA’s line up to aggress against children (paddling), the poor (welfare mothers) immigrants, women (disobedient wives), gays, foreigners, "traitors" (like me and others who refuse to join the band) Basically, any people who don’t know their place.

(3)" In the past it referred strictly to psychiatrists...." Yes, well, in the past "Over There" meant Europe, and Republicans were the party that identified with the war against states’ rights.

(4) "And I also note that the disparaging way you’ve talked about us ’bubbas’ in the past, how are you different from those intolerant RWA’s? Same disease, different name."

As I have described High RWA’s, and you as a good example, we are opposites. You and the other "bubbas" not only believe in "My country right or wrong," but you call the rest of us "traitors" for challenging a lying president. You blame gay marriage for the future decline of the empire, and the poor for their poverty. You are a bully, and there is a HUGE difference between exposing a bully as such, and BEING a bully. Finally, my hostility towards people that you represent is based on your behavior, and not on your membership in any group over which you have no control: age, ethnicity, sex, or SES. Though you apparently aspire to be similar to me, you must once again be disappointed.

Finally, my hostility towards people that you represent is based on your behavior, and not on your membership in any group over which you have no control: age, ethnicity, sex, or SES.

Now who’s the liar?

As for RWA, this is a label that Lefties have given a group of people who value tradition and loyalty..geez, what a sin! As for the "unquestioning" part, what BS. Did you notice just how quickly W’s base turned on him when he picked Hariett Myers for the SCOTUS? On the other hand, how often have we seen the Leftoids remain mum about disgusting behavior out of an overweening will to power (e.g., NOW and Clinton’s behavior).

No, Fung, the reason we on the Right don’t put much stock in ’social science’ is because we know something you apparently don’t -- it’s easy to find what you are looking for. And since most ’social scientists’ are raging Leftists, the fact that there is this Adorno-inspired ’syndrome’ called RWA isn’t a surprise at all. It’s garbage, and it is meant to "medicalize" and ultimately delegitiate a perfectly valid political orientation. Luckily, with champions like yourself, there is NO CHANCE such nonsense will ever "change the world."

BTW, when I read some of your posts I can actually SEE you salivate in hatred...how do you do that? Now THAT’s talent. I’ve never seen anyone so successfully encapsulate psychosis in the written word. Must be a part of that bio-polar thing you "shrinks" are always talking about.

Oops! Of course I meant "delegitimate" and "bi-polar" in the post above.


A very interesting exchange here.

Fung has revealed himself as a devotee of academic hucksterism.

Until I saw this thread, I had assumed that he was a stupid undergraduate with a few body piercings, multicolored hair, etc. But unfortunately, he’s of that class who produce stupid undergraduates.

Hey, David, don’t forget Fung’s K-12 colleagues. Those undergraduates were pre-stupified for Fung’s convenience! All he has to do is give them an ’A’, weed out the odd deviant (e.g.,free-thinkers, religious people, etc.), and BOOM...Bob’s your uncle! Now THAT’S edumocation!

You know, this sarcasm thing’s really easy! No wonder they like to use it.

"Now who’s the liar?" You may hate what I write, and you may disagree with it, but I have never, ever lied on this blog. I MAY have made errors ( I made one about James Garner, for instance), but I have never lied.

"As for RWA, this is a label that Lefties have given a group of people who value tradition and loyalty..geez, what a sin! As for the "unquestioning" part, what BS. Did you notice just how quickly W’s base turned on him when he picked Hariett Myers for the SCOTUS?...." RWA is much more than a label, and there is nothing inherently negative about the one component that you remembered. But, the second and third components are obedience to authority and willingness to aggress. No one made this up-- it has been replicated, factor analyzed, reliability- and validity-checked for over 20 years. Bob Altemeyer has even published a study showing House and Senate members’ RWA scores.

The history of research on Authoritarianism includes the F (Fascism) scale by Adorno, Fenkel-Brunswick et al. (The Berkeley Group) but RWA is a far cry from that outdated scale.

"it’s easy to find what you are looking for." this one interests me. Apparently, you have greater respect for people who CANNOT find what they are looking for: WMD’s, OBL, a clear exit strategy, English words to complete grammatical sentences, for instance. Which branch of science is it that you prefer, and that cannot find what it is looking for?

Finally: " Did you notice just how quickly W’s base turned on him when he picked Hariett Myers for the SCOTUS?"

Good try. I would guess that very few of you jumped ship over this. That is, you turned on Harriett Myers much more than you turned on your leader. Also, no one seems to be questionning GWB’s committment to aggress against our "enemies" in Iraq. In fact, when I question him, you call me a traitor, implying, of course, that I should be shot. How does that depart from the profile I have described?

" I can actually SEE you salivate in hatred...." that observation is unfortunate, but probably true. When you and I began, I had a reluctant admiration for your arguments, and I enjoyed what I thought was a mutual respect. Now, I admit that I hate what you stand for just as I hate previous representatives of fascism. You and yours would silence debate, deport your critics, and kill friends and enemies alike in the name of efficiency. You would marginalize or sterilize those of different colors, different lifestyles, different religions, different gods, different belief systems. You would call it something different, but you would love to replicate the Third Reich. I am guilty of hating that, and I will continue to expose it when you slip.

When you and I began, I had a reluctant admiration for your arguments, and I enjoyed what I thought was a mutual respect. Now, I admit that I hate what you stand for just as I hate previous representatives of fascism. You and yours would silence debate, deport your critics, and kill friends and enemies alike in the name of efficiency. You would marginalize or sterilize those of different colors, different lifestyles, different religions, different gods, different belief systems. You would call it something different, but you would love to replicate the Third Reich. I am guilty of hating that, and I will continue to expose it when you slip.

Well, I’m glad you admitted to being a bit unbalanced and capable of "aggressing" in your own right. That’s progress! As for this stuff you accuse me of, typical Leftist boilerplate. And I would remind you that NAZI stands for National Socialism, and that I most definitely do not believe in. And I do notice that people who "take control" in the name of "social justice" end up having soldiers goose-stepping in the town square...same as Hitler. I believe in time-tested traditions, gradual change, and the right of European-Americans to have their own government reflect their cultural sensibilities. I don’t see any of this as "aggression," but rather conservation and simple respect for the majority of our people. Unlike you totalitarian dimwits, I see the pitfalls in collective governance...I’m all for economic, social and political checks-and-balances.

As for RWA, that has made the rounds in conservative circles. I’ll talk more about it when I have the time, but the speak of it as an accomplished "fact" is stupid. It begs the question of how many leading questions must you ask captive undergraduates in order to accurately describe the real world.

As for Bush, we did what rational political actors should do...we took the POTUS we had and pressured him to represent our views. Doesn’t sound like blind obedience to me.


Fung the college professor speaks of "our ’enemies’ in Iraq." In quotes.

He hangs himself by his words. Maybe he’d like to travel to Baghdad and find some of these non-enemies and give them one of his snake-oil "authoritarian personality tests."

Or are those only operative in the West?

The latter, I think.

Thanks Fung, but for the record, I don’t buy into RWA. I do on the other hand believe that in the United States we are in some danger, of lapsing into Socialism (L) or Facism (R). That said I don’t buy into the Left Right political spectrum. I like Hayek’s essay/book "The Road to Surfdom" which strangely enought is also a "liberal" Australian blog(that I don’t much care for).

Ahead of Dewey on my reading list I have "Ominous parallels" by Leonard Peikoff. The only reason I don’t read it is that I already think I can figure out what it will say.

Perhaps it is telling that Dr. Knippenberg points to Kant on numerous occations... while Leonard Peikoff and Ayn Rand blame the ideas of Kant for the eventuall rise of Nazism.

"Peikoff traces the ideas behind this monstrous system to the influence predominately, of German philosophers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, most notably Kant and Hegel. In the dawning age of science and technology, intellectuals undercut reason; as individual liberty emerged from the feudalism of the Middle Ages, they undercut individualism; and as freedom was born in the shadow of the shackled state, they undercut freedom by enshrining the omnipotent state."

To hate is neither unbalanced nor inherently agressive. I admitted to hating what you stand for, but I would not admit to aggressing against you.

I know what the letters of NAZI stand for, but that doesn’t mean much: Labels (No child left behind, peacekeeping missile, patriot act) can all be frightfully misleading. Hitler was no socialist, and I am not accusing you of being one, either.

You say that you are for checks and balances, but you suggest that people who disagree should either leave, or be imprisoned. You revel in an unfettered Presidency who enjoys a Right-Wing supreme court. You want the USA to reflect "European-American" values, but not any others. That is a strange diversity that you value!

As for RWA, if it made you look good, you would love it. But, it doesn’t, and so you pretend that it has flaws that it doesn’t. Perfect? Nothing is perfect. Stupid? Not even close.

As for the POTUS: How many became Democrats because of the Harriett Miers debacle? How many are falling out of step with Alito?

David-Is that the best you can do? Go to Baghdad?

John -- I’ll take a look at Hayek, and perhaps at Peikoff, as well. At first blush, I wonder which intellectuals Peikoff refers to, becaue I would automatically disagree with the quoted paragraph. I’ll take a look, and see.

To hate is neither unbalanced nor inherently agressive. I admitted to hating what you stand for, but I would not admit to aggressing against you.

So, I take it that "aggressing" is more than just thinking about aggressing. If so, then surely you have lots of evidence that us right wing automatons commit many, many crimes, I guess against black folks, gays, etc.? I’ll be here waiting to see those correlations between RWA and actual aggression in nationally representative samples, Fung.


You want the USA to reflect "European-American" values, but not any others. That is a strange diversity that you value!

I don’t recall ever saying that I value "diversity." In fact, now that I look back on it, no one has ever given me any empirical reason to value "diversity." Except in cuisine, I think history is pretty clear about "diversity" -- it’s almost always a liability, breeding conflict and misunderstanding. Even the Swiss engage in cultural segregation...Fung, diversity is your BS religion, not mine. I live in the real world.

And I think you are a hypocrite. You are quick to demand respect for "diversity," but when it comes to respecting us "bubbas" you have only derision. Yet, as a social psychologist surely you’ve read Culture of Honor. Since there is bona fide SOCIAL SCIENCE demonstrating that we "bubbas" have a real, honest-to-God culture which influences our behavior, how about some respect? Yet you hate us, by your own admission.

"...no one has ever given me any empirical reason to value ’diversity’."

Dain, has it ever blown your mind that the United States is simultaneously the most diverse country on the planet AND the world’s sole superpower?

And, honestly, how much respect do you think you deserve from people who do not share your skin tone and/or your ideology when you have all but mimicked Hitler’s take on lebensraum by calling for putting Others (i.e. those who don’t share your skin tone and/or ideology) on trains to get "some breathing space." Dain, I’ve known wonderful "bubbas" (maybe you should define this for us?) and loathsome "bubbas" such as yourself, and yes, you’re right, I can only muster derision for your variety.

Chris, you are the one talking about "putting others on trains." I’m talking about cultural hegemony, not genocide. But you apparently aren’t realistic enough to understand the difference.

As for derision, right back atcha, buddy. As Fung would say, AMF.

Oh, and Chris, instead of the "holier-than-thou" BS, how about some examples of successful (non-segregated) multiculturalism. And your analogy about "lebensraum" is lame...Hitler was proposing the conquest of Eastern Europe. All I’m suggesting is that a cultural majority has a right to order its own society/polity. If you don’t think they do, then I guess you don’t believe in democracy, huh?

It sort of saps the potency of your "AMF," Dain, when you come back six hours later with an "and another thing." So, you hadn’t really left at all, then. You had more to say, huh?

As your comment -that I conveniently linked to- shows, it was you, and definitely not I, who was talking about putting people on trains. As my carefully chosen words indicated, your suggestion is dangerously close to what Hitler did. Yes, I also get the distinction, Dain (your "breathing space" versus Hitler’s "living room"). You "only" wish to put the minorities on trains and ship them away, whereas Hitler shipped them to concentration and death camps. Of course your utterly "rational" proposal doesn’t really address the devilish details of what is to be done if the minorities don’t wish to board the trains that you’ll so lovingly provide - out of the goodness of your Christian heart, no doubt!

I was speaking specifically about Muslims in Europe in that thread, and no...I don’t think they will settle in, at least not so long as they stay very religious. Even secularized they may prove indigestible.

You people on the Left have always gotten a fair amount of mileage from these bogus Hitler-analogies, but their power is wearing thin. Look at the polls to see if Americans favor your multicultural crap...if ’support’ for continued immigration is any indication, Americans have had enough of being led by nitwits such as yourself.

And I’ll stand by what I said earlier...forced immigration and social segregation beat the hell out of Holocaust-style solutions (you know, like Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Nazi Germany, the boat people of Vietnam)...gee, seems to happen all over the world, and generally with collectivist governments. And your solution is....yea, I know. Re-education camps, speech codes, quotas in hiring and admissions, cultures that turn themselves inside-out to accomodate minority groups, and governments big enough to push their majorities around...big, secular collectivist governments. Not sustainable even in your fevered imagination.

I do think it’s funny that it’s YOUR side of the political continuum that ends up pulling the trigger, you Saddam-loving (censored).

Oh, and AMF...for sure this time.

"So, I take it that "aggressing" is more than just thinking about aggressing. If so, then surely you have lots of evidence that us right wing automatons commit many, many crimes, I guess against black folks, gays, etc.? I’ll be here waiting to see those correlations between RWA and actual aggression in nationally representative samples, Fung."

Of COURSE there is a difference between aggressing and just thinking about it! One hurts the victim and the other does not. There is also a difference between eating and just thinking about eating. Hungry people, for instance, think about eating, but don’t enjoy the benefits of actual eating.

Not only that, but hating an idea, or a set of values (which I have acknowledged I do) is not the same as thinking about aggressing, and even further from actual aggression.

Your other point about RWA and aggression: Obviously, you understand the self-selection problems of measuring the RWA of people who have been caught aggressing and of people who have not. But, we can, and do know that there are huge voting differences between High and Low RWA’s, and that High RWAs tend to vote for stricter punishment for criminals, and for children. High RWA’s support capital punishment, and corporal punishment. They also support laws like sodomy laws, and punishments for flag-burning. Here are some mean RWA scores for Republican and Democrat legislators in 1990: Arizona D: 154, R: 190. Colorado D: 118, R: 175. NY D: 129, R: 181. Virginia D: 144, R: 185.

Read any one of Altemeyer’s books or articles. I don’t need to report them all for you.

Then you said...

"And I think you are a hypocrite. You are quick to demand respect for "diversity," but when it comes to respecting us "bubbas" you have only derision. Yet, as a social psychologist surely you’ve read Culture of Honor. Since there is bona fide SOCIAL SCIENCE demonstrating that we "bubbas" have a real, honest-to-God culture which influences our behavior, how about some respect? Yet you hate us, by your own admission."

In the language of culture and psychology, you "bubbas" are more of a "community" or subculture than you are a culture. Cultures tend to stand alone, to be self-supporting, to share distinct languages and histories and ways of living. Being a volunteer dumbass and advance boot-licker for the storm-troopers is not enough to sustain a culture. It is enough to lend identity and protection for those who can’t carve out a set of values and ethics for themselves. It also provides people who need to feel valued and powerful a shortcut to those feelings. Instead of improving themselves, they can exploit and threaten children, poor people, gays, homeless, and brown people with violence, prison, punishment, and deportation. But, don’t flatter yourself that enjoying the benefits of institutionalized bullying constitutes a culture.

Dain said:

You people on the Left have always gotten a fair amount of mileage from these bogus Hitler-analogies, but their power is wearing thin.

Ok, first off, if anyone is getting mileage out of anything, it’s Dain lobbing the accusation that Leftists are making such analogies here at NLT when they clearly aren’t.

Second, it’s more than a little ironic that while Dain is recommending that the non-white (and presumably left-of-Bush) masses be subject to "forced immigration" (I presume he meant Emigration there, but it could be another one of his famous "typos"!) for purposes of giving his victimized self some "breathing space" AND crying that the libs are always making "bogus Hitler-analogies," a new book is due out this year by someone whom I would not consider to be "on the Left." It’s "Liberal Fascism" by none other than Jonah Goldberg! The same guy at National Review that Peter Schramm has pointed us to in several posts, the same guy who’s the son of Lucianne, she of the Clinton stained-dress crimes. The bookcover even sports a clever smiley face with a Hitler moustache (!!) and is subtitled "The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton." So, who is it again making the "bogus Hitler-analogies?" Something tells me that Dain will be breaking his piggy bank to buy this one and will stand in line for hours to get little Jonah to sign his copy.

And then, to top it off, you called Chris "Saddam-loving." Oh, well isn’t that as original as it is groundless!

So, Fung, essentially you are saying that anyone who believes a life pays for a life is RWA. It is as I thought...you (and Altemeyer) are conflating a valid ideology with a "syndrome." Nice try, but the only evidence you seem to have that RWA-people "aggress" (if such a group exists) is legal voting patterns and political affiliations. Your evidence is pretty thin, whereas the evidence for Left Wing terror and mass murder is quite apparent in the historical record. Of course, Lefties have tried to remake Stalin and Mao into Right Wing fanatics, but we all know they were men of the Left. Hitler was as well, he just organized his movement along racial lines rather than class lines (and no, being a Leftist does not exempt anyone from being a racist...just look at who’s leading the NAACP).

And MES, just read the thread. Who brought up Hitler first? Try comment 19 above, and stop lying about me.

A life pays for a life? I am talking about punishing children by hitting them with boards for transgressions like being late for class, or for giggling while the teacher is talking. I am talking about laws against gays having sex. And yes, I am talking about certain states that can’t let a month go by without an execution or two.

As for your ranting about Stalin and Mao -- I don’t even know where you are coming from. It is not possible to map global extremism onto the fleeting, and mutable right-left dimensions within a society.

Well, you did mention support for capital punishment as part of the "syndrome," yes? Was this not you?


High RWA’s support capital punishment, and corporal punishment

And, more importantly, does this mean that the 64% of Americans who support the death penalty are RWA? I hate to tell you this, Fung, but when a trait is the "norm" it can hardly be pathological. Perhaps your kinder and gentler approach is the deviation, yes? And what do we call it when someone in the minority would impose their will on the majority?

Dain- I said that High RWAs tend to vote for policies representing punitive measures, including capital punishment -- also including corporal punishment, and punishment for oral sex. That does not mean, of course, that everyone who supports capital punishment is High RWA, just as everyone who dies of cancer is not a smoker, and not everyone who smokes will die of cancer. But, the two are still correlated.

"? And what do we call it when someone in the minority would impose their will on the majority? "

How to answer this? (A) I guess we’ll find out after the year 2050??? (B) Sometimes, we call it courage. Copernicus, for instance, would have been out-voted, as would Martin Luther King Jr., and Jesus Christ. (C) Who is imposing whose will? Spreading the word about RWA is no more an imposition than is spreading the word about safe sex, or parenting skills, or about healthy dietary and exercise habits. Is it pathological to eat red meat and cheese? Is it pathological to drink in front of your kids? Is it pathological to support economic policies that increase the disparity between rich and poor? It’s just information, and people are free to ignore it, and continue on with their old ways, or they can learn something, and change.

Is it pathological to label normal behavior as pathology? Sounds like a convenient method for out-grouping those you can’t otherwise dominate. Again, you haven’t linked RWA to anything that is abnormal or criminally violent...only to a legitimate difference of opinion on how to exert social control. I’m still waiting for evidence.

As for "just information," I think you know better than that.

Sorry, Dain, the first mention of Hitler was not in comment 19, but in comment 20 - yours. As for Hitler being such a socialist - because, hey, the Nazis had the word "socialist" right in their name! (Utterly brilliant!) - it sure was strange that those socialists under his leadership abolished trade unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike. It’s probably also why Adolph’s Brownshirts regularly attacked socialists and communists whenever and wherever they gathered. It’s probably also why the first people sent to Dachau in 1933-34 were socialist and communist political leaders (such as Alfred Andersch). Oh but who am I kidding - all the facts in the world can’t undo the thousands of hours of Limbaugh Learning you’ve undergone.

Leave a Comment

* denotes a required field
 

No TrackBacks
TrackBack URL: http://nlt.ashbrook.org/movabletype/mt-tb.cgi/7804