Sunday, October 4, 2015

control which guns?

"Gun control" is a term that refers to non-state guns only. Everyone just gets what you mean when you say it. Somewhat amazingly, no one feels the need to indicate that they're not referring to state guns, which are the biggest and deadliest guns. F-16 guns, cops with guns and tasers, etc., are not considered guns, just as Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not considered violence. What the ingroup does is the very definition of good. And just about everyone's in it for the state, completely unaware they're referring to guns as not-guns.

atheism exists, naturally

To understand what "God (or Thor) exists" and "God (or Thor) doesn't exist" mean, you need a brain and an act of cognition. Each takes place in a brain and involves natural systems embedded in natural systems (that, conveniently for Harris, are mostly opaque at this point in human history). To take a position on the existence of God is an event, not the absence of an event or a non-event. 

If you're a rock, baby, or monkey, nothing happens involving the term God. There's an absence of things happening related to the term God. That's a non-event.

Harris rejects the assertion "God exists." He doesn't admit as much, but he does reject it. 

What atheists do lack is the cognitive act of agreeing to the proposition that God exists. If you think that's what atheism is, maybe you're as misguided as Sam Harris. Again, atheists reject God belief. They answer negatively to the "does God exist?" question. They've dedicated considerable brain resources to the question of God. Absence of an affirmative is part of a complex process, and, unlike monkeys' thoughts on God, it exists. And unlike beliefs about Thor, it matters.

So why do New Atheists denaturalize and deobjectify atheism? I'd suggest it's so that it can't be studied and measured against theism. This is, ironically, an intellectual move theists are known for -- remove God from the material world and declare him off limits to scientific investigation.

Now it's really quite simple to naturalize non-God-belief (NGB). I just did, in fact. You simply situate it in the brain, identify it as the brain event it is. It's also very easy to make apples to apples comparisons between atheists and theists. This is as good a time as any to admit my bias -- I believe that atheists exist. The only reason the ontological status of atheists' belief that God doesn't exist is relevant is that so many atheists insist on using it to immunize themselves from scrutiny. Apples to apples, theists to atheists. 

Theism versus atheism, on the other hand, is a philosophical question. It deals with unmeasurable abstractions. If it turns out that no harm comes from theism, no 21st century intellectual should have a problem with it. There'd be no good argument for antitheism. But Harris claims that harm comes from theism. Theism versus atheism, the philosophical debate about God's existence, has nothing to say about harm. To answer that question, you study atheists versus theists. 

Harris implies that God-belief (GB) causes bad things whereas NGB doesn't cause anything. If he wanted a decent hypothesis, doing away with the absurd "absence of belief" angle and comparing apples to apples, he could suggest that GB causes more of these or those specific bad things than NGB, then compare, for example, atheist and theist levels of violence, and speculate about what causes the difference in violence levels, whether it's really GB or something else and if GB, what about GB it might be. In order to compare violence levels, you'd need to factor out rationalizations for violence (because they near-universally accompany it), which means, contrary to Harris's line of argumentation, that F-16s, napalm, white phosphorous, nuclear weapons, etc. all get filed under "violence" when used, regardless of who uses them, at which point Harris would be (further) exposed as the western secular violence apologist he is.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What is New Atheism?

New Atheists:

1. ...are proud of non-God belief. NGB is an important part of their identity.

2. ...consider God-belief a significant cause of violence (and other ills). Think a world without God-belief would be more peaceful. Think this is obvious.

3. ...consider atheism categorically incapable of causing violence because no one ever says "I kill you in the name of the no-God." By implication, metacognitive reports in regards to one's own motivations are seen as both important and reliable. If you say "I did the bad thing because FDR told me to," that's the reason. To phrase it less generously, self-ascribed motivations are taken at face value and assumed to be causal. ("I killed her because I loved her"-- "cause of death: love")

4. ...think or assume western state violence (WSV) is either generally well-intended and therefore not actually violence so much as, say democracy and freedom (good violence = 0 violence) or, far less often, that it is actual violence but simply not religious because it's rarely (NAs seem to assume never) accompanied by God-words. So WSV is either non-religious nonviolence or non-religious violence. Either way, WSV is entirely distinct from religious violence.

5. While atheism is responsible for 0 violence, religions, whose adherents sometimes proclaim their God belief as the reason for their violence (and when they don't, c'mon you know they're thinking about it), are not all equal. Rather, violence varies by religion, depending on geopolitics how, um, bad they seem to be if you use your western ideals and kinda think about it. So Christianity and Judaism are bad but Islam is considered, in the words of prominent New Atheist Sam Harris "the motherlode of bad ideas." No evidence has been given by New Atheists. You just kinda know.

Bonus Q & A

Q: What if an atheist kills someone?
A: They do it for non-religious reasons.
Q: Doesn't that make non-religious reasons a cause of violence?
A: Yes, but...
Q: So atheists can be violent, but atheism never is?
A: That's right. Atheism is the good and the true and people who follow its teachings can call themselves Brights, or, to paraphrase, The Finders of the Way. 
Q: I want to be good and true. Can I be a New Atheist?
A: Probably.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

in the name of the no-God

I've been over the following several times but someone on twitter called me a "religtard" so I feel especially confident, like I've leveled up, in addressing a common refrain he used to the effect that no atheist ever killed in the name of God. Apologies if you've heard this before.

If a 100% atheist country invades a 100% Muslim country, slaughters millions and takes their diamonds, stating "Islam is evil and scary" as their rationale, were any atheists responsible for mass-killing? Not according to New Atheist math. As long as you don't say "in the name of the no-God," not only is atheism not responsible, atheists aren't either. By the law (fallacy) of no True Scotsman, they weren't acting AS atheists. This transparent tribalism is exactly the kind regularly used by god religions. Atheists are the good guys by definition, a classic ingroup scam. Of course in this example, the atheists are imperialists using a bullshit rationalization, using language to turn murder into heroism.

Maybe Stalin killed "in the name of communism." Maybe Hitler killed "in the name of nationalism." What did Charles Manson kill in the name of? What did Teddy Roosevelt kill in the name of? Why would you take what people say about their own motives at face value? People killed before god religion, they'll kill after god religion. God is one tool in the human "rationalization of killing and thieving" kit. The difference between cause and rationalization eludes people whose tribalist interests require they not understand this difference and that they not understand the actual causes pushing humans actions and world events.

Monday, September 7, 2015


The liberal call for demilitarizing the police means things like:

1. don't treat the domestic population with the same level of violence you use on state enemies abroad
2. take the militarization of police down to 19xx levels 
3. smarter or more cost-effective militarization
4. militarization I can get behind, this is embarrassing 
5. militarization that doesn't scare the shit out of me

But in fact police are militants through and through. If you lose the militancy, you lose the police. Demilitarization means "no more police."

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

gaijin gawking, or whenever I go outside

Hello [gaijin caricature, welcome to our land!
to show you how OK we are,
shall I shake your hand?
that's how you do it, right?
You're super white,
Did you have a nice flight?
You're not in Japan,
your feet aren't touching land,
this is a dream,
you're in between here and, hey,]
where are you from?

I live down the street.

No, where are you from?

My mom.

No, no, where are you from?

Your mom?

No, I mean where [which gaijin tribe] are you from [do you belong to]?

Where the fuck are you from?

Haha, I am Japanese.

Is this your land?

Yes, of course [and welcome, we are very friendly here].

Did you fight for it? Can you sell it? Can you do what you want to it? Can you shit wherever you want without consequence?

I am Japanese! [I don't understand.]

I know.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

the valves that control transitude

Rachel Dolezal played a black woman but was outed as white. She was acting black, but was actually white. Actually white. So there's an interesting notion. In order to exclude Dolezal from the group "black," race, and its actualness, is invoked.

But the origin of race is this: several centuries ago, tribalist lines were rearranged according to a color-oriented phenotypic scheme to serve an emerging global order violently dominated by light-skinned humans. Blackness was created as an outgroup term by the same people who created whiteness as an ingroup term. But in order to resist white encroachment, appeals are made to blackness, which was created by whiteness. The actualness of both whiteness and blackness were created by whiteness.

Power externalizes costs while internalizing gains. Everything is power. Existence is power. Everything wants more existence, or, to repeat. 

Where tribal lines are drawn, you'll find valves. The group that controls the valve is the group that built it. For a new group to take power, it needs to define its outgroup and in doing so, build a new valve. Whiteness built the valve between itself and blackness. Whiteness will take what blackness has to offer but will give much less in return -- just enough to maximize the take.

Here's a metaphor: shit flows downstream. For blackness to say: "you can't enter here" is to build a dam, to control the valve to some extent. 

Blackness evolved for centuries without access to knowledge of the socially constructed character of race. Heels were dug in. Blackness did amazing things in the face of almost indescribable horrors. 

When the Dolezal story surfaced, comparisons were made to Caitlyn Jenner. If transgender is OK, why not transracial? Caitlyn had been Bruce Jenner, the epitome of white male bogus empowerment (my term for privilege). Moving from a downstream group to an upstream group is a good thing, on the lefty view (extensive norm). But wasn't Caitlyn Jenner moving downstream, collecting benefits without all the costs? That's where we get into the murky business of lived experience. You can make the case for Caitlyn's actually having suffered through the abuses heaped on trans-ness, but it's hard to show it, and she certainly "benefitted" empirically from being perceived as white, male, etc. 

Blackness and the exclusion of Dolezal is racist in the way that self-defense is violent. In a vacuum, excluding people from a group is bullshit. In a shitstorm, bullshit is often the best kind of shit.

Where a shat upon group's argument is victimhood, its virtue is the same as Democrats' and Republicans' "not them." Dichotomous excellence. Goodness is the sum of not-themness.

Where its argument is excellence, its argument is against other possible worlds and non-existence.

Its argument for excellence is an argument for power, and as such is rationalization.

Every group is shat upon. Every group is limited, every group dies. Every group is pushed in upon. Every group has the life sucked out of it.