Dooltaz Correspondence

UPDATED (3/19/07) – Dooltaz responded to me, and I responded back. It’s at the bottom of the other post.

I received a YouTube message from someone named dooltaz who wanted to respond to my videos on atheism. I have his message and my reply printed below. (I’ll continue to update our correspondence as it develops.)

I saw one of your Athiest Response Videos. It is well done and well thought out, however history has proven over and over again that this kind of “perfect society” that you are dreaming of will never happen.

Plato’s Republic is and will only be a figment of the imagination of a dead man. This is why.

1) You have a very narrow perspective, and assume wrongly that mankind is or can be naturally good. History again and again tells us that there is a common defect in humanity, and the core of the problem is selfishness. Even darwin recognized this concept and called it survival of the fittest.

2) You basically said that you base your morals on a sliding scale, saying that one day something will be right, the next day something will be wrong. How could you hope to practically apply that to society and not have society becoming more and more corrupt over time? Simply consider the overall moral trend of America over the past 50 years.

3) Your thinking is very narrow minded and simplistic. You don’t take into account the fact that people are VERY easily influenced (particularly when it appeals to their self-centeredness), wide-spread emotional instability, as well as vast differences in human intelligence and reasoning ability. Everyone is NOT just you and your college friends, and people may agree with you all day long, but when it comes to act on those beliefs, no one is going to care.

4) You assume that others are willing or would want this utopian society you seem to desire, when in fact most people would rather sit of the rear-ends and watch tv, surf through porn, and/or get drunk. People would rather drown their cares in these methods than work for some fantacy world dreamed up by college professors who have very few real-world problems. They will not cooperate.

5) Because you acknowledge that your moral system changes, and that it is perfectly legitimate for other people’s moral systems to be different than yours in their own justifications, you must hold that all personal beliefs must be equally valid. The problem is that this directly conflicts with your own sense of Justice. Your roomate owes you $200. Let’s say that your roomate has no problems morally for not paying you back. He justifies it by saying that you gave it to him and that since he did not “steal” your money, then there is no need to pay it back. His moral assertions are equally justified and he has not committed a crime according to the “Law”. So how can you maintain a sense of Justice and at the same time hold up all moral justifications as being valid? If society’s laws are determined by society’s changing moral values (most of which come through the media), then how can a society expect to uphold justice at all?

YOUR SOLUTION

When you look at the consequences of ideas and the consequences of following and applying ideas, you can come to conclusions about the usefulness or futility of such ideas.

So what consequences would your ideas bring. I see that they will lead 1 of 2 directions.

1) The first direction is lawlessness, in which every man eventually does whatever he wants. By your own definition, your moral system will never be the same as another person’s moral system (unless by sheer chance). Because each person’s moral system can not be “better than” another person’s moral system, all you can do is try to influence them verbally while holding that their logical conclusions for moral behavior must be valid. Moral degridation will continue as apathy, drunkenness, and perversion prevails. Then at that point, money will be the center of all justice and authority in the nation as moral corruption sweeps the land.

2) The second direction is a military dictatorship and a harsh degree of punishment under one central party. Authority will be held through fear and harsh punishment. This is more likely the direction where things are heading. Most “free thinkers” as I could only assume you are, want a form of unity of not just the nation but the world.

Why do I assume these two consequences? Because you are embracing both unity and diversity which are paradoxical concepts. Unity is based on similarities. Diversity is based on division. The two can not go hand-in-hand and last. One will always dominate the other.

If unity stands, then conformity to one standard under one set of laws is essential to survival, and if the laws are not based on an absolute moral law, then it must be based on one human authority. Hense you get dictatorship style government.

If diversity stands, this leads to more division over issues, and leads to less and less global laws. Diversity divides people into small gang-styled competing powers that enforce their control of people through corruption and fear.

Shortly afterwards he also sent:

I’m curious? Why do you embrace such a fatalistic mindset? I’m not talking post-modernism, but rather Athiesism.

My response:

I think taking what I said to mean that morals are completely malleable is a stretch at best. I don’t endorse this sort of drastic moral relativism that I think you imply. What I am saying is that we should allow the possibility that we can be wrong, and if we find out we are wrong we must be willing to change. This doesn’t mean that my moral system changes with the slightest shift in the wind.

I base this on two things which I think are rather common sense enough: first, that we are born not knowing right from wrong, it is something we have to learn and figure out. Second, we are going to inevitably be wrong about something, nobody is perfect. And we have to be on guard for this, including when we are being wrong about being wrong. This takes critical thinking and constant examination of ourselves and the world.

That my moral system can change is its strength, not its weakness; I won’t drive over a cliff while maintaining that there is nothing wrong with my direction as I fall to the bottom.

In this vein, I can argue that my roommate is in the wrong. I can show others the utility bills and what his share of it is. I can point to the many times that he had said he’ll get the money and did not, specific times that he specified when I should come to pick it up and how he always left the house hours before I arrive (and did not leave the money on the kitchen counter when he got back like he said he would). I can show that he acknowledges his share of the bills by his previous payments. I can point to all the beer and mail-ordered steaks he bought as proof that he certainly has the money. And our other roommates would back me up. Whereas all he can say in his defense is “I don’t have to pay him.” Moral relativity won’t save him; nobody will seriously take his side as morally sound.

I think many people idealize the 1950s as a golden era. I’d say it was not. It was a time of cold war paranoia, bitter racial segregation, and keeping women “in their place”. I would say that we have made gains in morality compared to 50 years ago, compared to 100 years ago, and certainly compared to 1000 years ago.

I see atheism as the complete opposite of fatalism: without a god and guaranteed afterlife, our actions in this world truly matter because they have consequence. Criminals and corrupt leaders will get away with their evils if we don’t do something. At the other end, it becomes important that our good intentions translate into effective actions. We cannot resign ourselves to the belief that the virtuous will be rewarded and the wicked punished in some afterlife judgment.

I think your view of the masses as glued to their couches may be somewhat accurate, but your attitude if anything is fatalistic. It takes time and effort for me to create these videos, and respond to the emails I receive from those who argue with my viewpoint. I refuse to give it up as a lost or unworthy cause, and the responses and encouragement that I’ve received make me think that it isn’t.

I think you jump to black-or-white-only conclusions too readily. You seem to make many assumptions about me that puts me into some far off wishy-washy relativism standpoint. Just because I say that it is possible for someone to validly change their moral beliefs, you’ve jumped to saying this will either lead to total anarchy or brutal dictatorship. I have trouble believing that you’ve actually gone to such dramatic conclusions. Just because I say our moral values aren’t cast in stone doesn’t automatically make them made of straw.

I don’t care if there are many people who are completely apathetic to the world’s problems. I think society can make gains in spite of them. For all the racism, misogyny, and bigotry that existed and continues to exist today, we’ve still managed to bring about more and more equality. I’m little concerned with the couch-spectators and more concerned with those that will work with me for change. And if anything, history tells us again and again that people are capable of overcoming their selfishness and recognizing a common ground. I don’t claim this is easy, I just claim that it’s not impossible.

Dooltaz wrote back:

> This doesn’t mean that my moral system changes with the slightest shift in the wind.

How strong does the wind need to be?

> we are going to inevitably be wrong about something, nobody is perfect. And we have to be on guard for this, including when we are being wrong about being wrong. This takes critical thinking and constant examination of ourselves and the world.

There is a difference between “being wrong” and “doing wrong”. You can be wrong due to lack of knowledge, but morals generally deal with doing wrong, which like you said, all of us do. What makes one “doing wrong” worse than another? Is it when it involves others?

> I won’t drive over a cliff while maintaining that there is nothing wrong with my direction as I fall to the bottom.

Unless you’re driving with steep ravines on both sides.

> Moral relativity won’t save him; nobody will seriously take his side as morally sound.

So you’re promoting group-ethics? Whatever your group believes in and holds to be true is right, and everyone else is wrong? Your example is a clear example of mob-rule. Whoever has the most influence is right. Now what if your roomate was somehow able to convince all of the other roomates that he is right in not having to pay you back. Let’s say he justifies it in some way. Now you’re wrong. So you can either submit to the mob rule or fight against it and lose.

> I would say that we have made gains in morality compared to 50 years ago, compared to 100 years ago, and certainly compared to 1000 years ago.

Yes, you’re right. Moral comparison is not a valid argument. Man has NEVER been good. There has never been a time in which man has been morally pure in any civilization. The 50′s was racism… The 80′s was materialism… I could be wrong, but lately there is an emphesis on freedoms to engage in lust.

In fact this goes to support my initial argument that it is impossible to have a utopian society.

> Criminals and corrupt leaders will get away with their evils if we don’t do something.

How can there be evil when there are no absolute moral standards! You believe in mob rule from your example above. So as long as the criminals are elequent in speech and can convince masses of people that they are right, then they can get away. And if there are no absolute moral standards, then there is nothing left but fatalism and constant waring.

> At the other end, it becomes important that our good intentions translate into effective actions.

What do you measure what is good intentions? Is there a standard for that as well, or is that subjective also?

> We cannot resign ourselves to the belief that the virtuous will be rewarded and the wicked punished in some afterlife judgment.

Yes you can. You just don’t want to.

> I refuse to give it up as a lost or unworthy cause, and the responses and encouragement that I’ve received make me think that it isn’t.

Wait, you said you’re willing to change, yet you refuse to change? You make no sense.

> I think you jump to black-or-white-only conclusions too readily.

Is that a problem? Should Judges think in black and white terms or should they think in terms of overall morality? You murder someone, but you do good for the rest of the time, should a judge let you off? If that were true, then to be fair, everyone would get to commit one crime and get away with it, as long as they were good the rest of the time.

> You seem to make many assumptions about me that puts me into some far off wishy-washy relativism standpoint.

I think you did that from your comments. I just pointed them out.

My response:

> There is a difference between “being wrong” and “doing wrong”.

I was using them interchangeably, as we generally act on our beliefs (But Of Course, There Are Obvious Exceptions).

>> I won’t drive over a cliff while maintaining that there is nothing wrong with my direction as I fall to the bottom.
> Unless you’re driving with steep ravines on both sides.

No, in that case you should stop, and retrace your steps back as you’ve obviously taken a wrong turn somewhere. But I think we’re torturing the metaphor at this point.

>> Moral relativity won’t save him; nobody will seriously take his side as morally sound.
> So you’re promoting group-ethics? Whatever your group believes in and holds to be true is right, and everyone else is wrong? Your example is a clear example of mob-rule.

I’m not. I am as against the idea of “might makes right” as much as you are: just because the majority thinks some values or beliefs are virtuous does not make them so. This is precisely why I say it is very important to critically judge our beliefs, because it is too easy to find ourselves in the unjust majority.

Jumping down a bit:
>> I think you jump to black-or-white-only conclusions too readily.
> Is that a problem?

Yes, it is a problem. Because of your rashness, you’ve lumped my arguments into being the same as some whacko relativism philosophy, ignoring the distinctive parts that make them different. You have come to wrong conclusions about what I have said, and seem to be unwilling to accept the possibility that you might be mistaken. A person will never learn anything new if they view every idea that is different from their own as being the same as some flawed argument they’ve dismissed before.

Before I respond any further, I think I’ve found the reason why we’re in such disagreement.

My beef with absolute morality is in how it is applied to the real world. (Godwin’s Law aside:) The Nazis of Germany held a dogmatic, absolute belief that they had the superior morality and clarity of vision, and could not be convinced that they could be wrong. Just as far too much relative morality leads to wishy-washy indecision and a death to vigilance, far too much absolutism leads to arrogance and a brutal, unforgiving form of self-righteousness.

Absolutism is fine if we are in fact correct, but we can’t be sure that we are (although there are plenty of people who will say otherwise). I simply assert that while we stick to our guns, we must acknowledge the possibility that we can be in the wrong.

I would think that the things I have just said are entirely reasonable and that you would at least in part agree, and that we are really just arguing semantics at this point.

17 Responses to “Dooltaz Correspondence”

  1. Kyle Key Says:

    Very good response. Most of Mr. Dooltaz’s arguments don’t make sense: “and if the laws are not based on an absolute moral law, then it must be based on one human authority.” I’m going to assume that by “absolute moral law” they’re referring to a supposed ‘god-given law,’ but in that case, most countries on Earth have secular governments, and I don’t see most of them as anarchistic or totalitarian yet.

    If you have time Al, I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on attitudes toward non-human animals (animal rights, diet, fashion, entertainment.)

    Keep up the good fight.

  2. Erik Says:

    Hey, fantastic reply, and I think I have a viewpoint on the “roommate situation” that Dooltaz appealed to. He appealed to the fact that your roommate can have a lax moral compass and simply decide he doesn’t have to pay you back, especially since he didn’t break any actual laws in obtaining the money from you.

    I submit that the answer to this conundrum is: Yes, that’s very true. It’s unpleasant, but there are consequences the roommate will have to face.
    1. I will not trust him anymore.
    2. People who know me for my good an honest reputation and know what he did to me will not trust him anymore.
    This doesn’t stop the roommate from getting away with his petty crime but it does seriously damage his ability to have any further support or cooperation from the people in this social group. If he keeps up this kind of behavior, he will be shunned by the community and eventually be forced to make his own way honestly or take illegal actions which would allow society’s law to bring him to justice.

    Dooltaz posits that all the roommate needs to “justify” his actions is the deviant moral alignment, but even moral absolutes handed down from the Divine do not stop criminals and psychopaths from breaking the law. Justification for morals in society take more than one person declaring their viewpoint valid. People in general are able to recognize, without the aid of a powerful deity, that our lives would be incredibly difficult if we had to watch our possessions with intense paranoia every minute of the day out of fear that someone will steal them. Thus, we have law enforcement on the grand-scale and the application of trust and reputation on the small scale to keep selfish and destructive behavior in check, and it makes all our lives easier.

    Let me know what you think on these thoughts, I really enjoyed your videos and hope to see many more in the future.

  3. Richard Eng Says:

    excellent arguments. i can see very clearly your point of view.

    i personally loved that driving off a cliff metaphor and your suggestion, which i had in mind before reading your response.

    i was lead to your site first by stumbling upon an old friend’s blog who referenced your “what science isn’t” video which consequently lead to the rest of your videos, then your site and finally, this post. but that’s enough about me.

    i am a fellow atheist and the points you made in approx 40 min encompassed pretty much everything i’ve ever thought of to validate my position on atheism, plus about 38 mins more. also, i am currently enrolled in high school and taking a course in philosophy which i think has a lot to do with religion and religious beliefs. i don’t know for sure, but if i’m wrong, i’m prepared to change my opinion ;)

    heh heh… Santorum…

    if you can, i’d like to hear your thoughts on my latest post on my website. it deals with speculations of the existence of certainty (i.e. extreme scepticism) and whether anything can truly exist. as in simply exist. on any plane of reality. besides sensual reality. i’ll stop now.

  4. Terrence Anderson Says:

    Ugh, dooltaz’s format of argument is enfuriating. He piece-by-piece obliterates your argument. When i say obliterate i dont mean “defeat”, i mean he ripped its meaning to shreds by taking SINGLE sentences from paragraphs that are supposed to have a flow of logic from start to finish. No ONE sentence defines the paragraph. SOOOO many creationist/christians use this format of obliteration. I love how Albert purposely copied his style of format to fight on his terms. Dooltaz made one good point that with our beliefs we would be subject to “mob rule”, but he forgets to take into account the EXTREMELY basic concept of reciprocal altruism and our constant ability to analyze the surrounding environment. A good analogy of this all is how we view mutual symbiosis as “good” because both species benefit, commensalism as “slightly good” because one species benefits at no cost to the other, and lastly parasitism as “bad” because one may gain something, but it is at the cost of the other (often fatally), which through empathy and reason, does not equate to a valuable outcome. There are innumerable factors that add to empathy and creating of morals.

  5. Paul Lammertsma Says:

    Al, I have utmost respect for the way you responded to Dooltaz. It comes across to me that this person is really not willing to hear arguments that counter the theist standpoint, and that he or she is simply frustrated to hear somebody voice a different opinion.

    Although I am an atheist, I find your videos and messages are very enlightening. You have the ability to formulate your view in such a structured manner that it fits together very well. Also, you are very well spoken and have a pleasant speaking voice!

    If I may have one point of criticism — or rather a suggestion: I noticed that you upgraded your microphone to a clip microphone. However, you are clipping it too close to your vocal chords making it difficult to understand. If you attach it somewhat lower, to your shirt, it should sound better. Pity that your webcam isn’t of better quality, but so be it.

    As a independent film maker, I’d really enjoy working together to improve the quality! Too bad I live in the Netherlands! :)

  6. bikingnerd Says:

    It is always amazing to me to see people argue about these viewpoints. The things that always stand out the most to me are the inevitable hypocrisy of those who believe there views should be set in stone. One of my favorites is listed above and now below.

    “Is that a problem? Should Judges think in black and white terms or should they think in terms of overall morality? You murder someone, but you do good for the rest of the time, should a judge let you off? If that were true, then to be fair, everyone would get to commit one crime and get away with it, as long as they were good the rest of the time.”

    Of course murder, like nearly everything else in this world should be thought of in its own “grey area”. If a mad man came into my house and attempted to kill my wife and my two year old I would be willing to end his life. I would be able to do this with little moral strain if I had first come to the conclusion that there were no other possibilities for saving my family. Almost all people, with the proper evidence, would find me not guilty in this case. This is the reason murder is not black and white, someones past good deeds does not come into play. The glaring contradiction I spoke of above is the fact that people that hold on to there convictions (mostly theists) seem to believe that murder is just as grey as I do. The main difference is the reason it is grey. While Christians are told explicitly not to kill and to instead turn the other cheek they have been killing others for believing in a different invisible man than them for 2 millenia. Nearly everyone uses “the grey area” to pick there choices and those who tell you that things are black and white are only saying “I’m right and your wrong and there is nothing you can tell me that would change my mind.” Ohh and I might add that allot of people change there minds about there beliefs and there morals, that is why 2000 years ago there were no Christians and today it is a popular religion.

  7. Aaron Schmidt Says:

    “first, that we are born not knowing right from wrong, it is something we have to learn and figure out”

    I would argue that we are born with an innate sense of what is morally acceptable. How much exactly would be difficult to estimate but, being the social animals we are, my guess would be that the very basics required to uphold social interaction are there from birth. Concepts such as “it is better to get along with those near to you than to be in conflict with them” or “it is better to have trust than mistrust” could very well be imprinted in our genes. A case could be made that a certain amount of “moral conscious” is inbred for all the social animals, i.e. most of our primate cousins.

    Obviously a baby doesn’t “know” right from wrong when it’s very young. It also doesn’t know how to walk or have sex but it has been born with the ability to eventually do so once its mind and body naturally mature.

    I enjoyed watching your videos. You have a very clear and concise way to state your point. Looking forward to more.

  8. Joe Kahn Says:

    Ahmen brada man

    I fail to grasp Dooltaz’s rational that somehow removing “Under God” from the pleadge will inevitably lead us to anarchy. I’m no historian, but as far as I remember, most civilizations through out history with a state-mandated religion are marked by violence and injustice.

    and for the record, the snoopy correlation shows:

    P = K*G + (1/2)*B

    P = Number of puppies in a given contry
    G = Religiousness of country
    B = Total mass of beggin’ strips in country
    K = The Kibble Factor

  9. John David Dunson Says:

    I’ve only seen two of your videos, so I hope I don’t say anything that has already been covered.

    I have come to believe that there are at least three types of people.

    1. Those who will never change because they have blind faith that things are the way they are and they no control over anything.
    2. Those who have been brainwashed since birth to think the same way as those in category one, but who have the personal strength of character to see one too many cracks in the foundation of their logic. All these people need is someone to tell them that there is another way. Then starts the domino effect…
    3. Those who either 1) weren’t brainwashed from birth to think like those from category one, or 2) are from category two and have decided the truth for themselves.

    Of course this is very over simplified and, in some cases, may be taking it to its extreme, but the basic premise, I think, is accurate. Simplification is necessary for understanding. Similar to the way scientists start with something basic and add proofs on top of proofs in order to understand something, you must start with my three basic categories and add in things like “Just because He knows what’s going to happen, doesn’t mean I have no control over my life.” (whatever that means, I’ve never been able to understand that argument, no matter how you slice it.)

    So, Dooltaz’s first message can be taken as the curious brainwashed arguments of someone from category two. However, by his second argument, it is clear that he has no intention of keeping an open mind. He would instead waste his energies on creating (creating is an important key word here) simplistic arguments over selected pieces of a whole. He pretends to follow the scientific method of proof upon proof, while intentionally over simplifying every step along the way in order to force it to conform to his views. What I think he does not understand is that almost every person that comes to this site is open minded enough and has what I like to call “redundant self examination”, so that they can clearly see the light of day through every single hole in his arguments. Just because A = B, and B = C, does not strictly mean that A = C. On paper it may seem so, but life is not black and white like it is on paper. What if B has an evil twin? What if A gets sick, does it still = B? What if C turns out to be an atheist, does A turn and run the other way? Then there’s the whole Kibble Factor…

    His most ridiculous example of over simplification is when he says that proving something to others so that they may agree with you is a clear example of mob rule. What!? That one blew me away, honestly. I was not prepared. Redundant self examination involves proof reading and noticing when you are being a retard (no offense to any actual retard that may be reading this). By the time I had finished my first paragraph I had already changed it a few times because I went back and read through it to make sure what I was saying followed the flow of what had already been said, that it stayed on topic, and that it all made sense together.

    Simplifying and then expanding once you have understanding is absolutely necessary. Human beings cannot innately grasp complex ideas without prior experience and understanding of those ideas’ basic concepts.

    Redundant self examination is necessary in everything you do. When I do a math problem, I do it twice to make sure I get the same answer, then take the answer and see if I can get the question. I’ve made too many small, stupid (some may say retarded), easily avoided mistakes to not naturally develop my redundant self examination as a matter of course in every endeavor I undertake. Whether it be looking in the rear view, looking in the side view, and then turning my head and looking back before I make a lane change, or checking the clock two or three times before I go to bed to make sure it’s set to the right time, it’s not set to 7PM instead of 7AM, and it’s turned on. Again, I’ve had too many close calls and been late too many times not to naturally develop a system of checks and balances.

    The whole point of this message is that Dooltaz creates the illusion of truth by pretending to follow scientific method of proofs. Microsoft employs this same tactic in advertising its products and in bashing their competition. As I said earlier, I’d like to think that most people that actually read this web site are smart enough to see these tactics for what they are. However most of the world would rather take on faith that if big brother says it on TV, it must be true. And if he says it with a smile on his face he must really care about you. And if he cracks a joke at Apple by creating such an absurd over simplification of the truth so that it is laughable in its simplicity, then you should laugh too.

    I just thought someone should point out that Dooltaz’s arguments needn’t be counter-argued. However, argument leads to better understanding, so it is necessary, nevertheless.

  10. Fade Says:

    Excellent videos= Smart, fast, SANE. Great stuff. I have to take issue with Dooltaz calling Atheism a fatalistic viewpoint, when he clearly can’t even believe in the good in human nature. It’s too bad for people like him that can’t even imagine a utopian society because they are so posioned themselves. I, for one, can envision a better world- Because I am a better person. I am n Call that sanctimonious if you will, but I don’t need a religion to instruct me in how to live to make this world better. It’s in my nature to do good acts, help others (even when it doesnt directly benefit me) and strive to empathize with my fellow humans, even the ones I dont agree with- maybe ESPECIALLY the ones I dont agree with.

    Anyway- Keep up the good work. As least you live in SF. I am an outspoken anti-mythologist in West Texas (FEEL MY PAIN, please)

  11. jarek Says:

    “1) You have a very narrow perspective, and assume wrongly that mankind is or can be naturally good. History again and again tells us that there is a common defect in humanity, and the core of the problem is selfishness. Even darwin recognized this concept and called it survival of the fittest.”
    aww im sorry but your arguement there doesnt make sense and since its your first arguement im gonna not read this whole thing because if your first arguement is wrong then the rest will be even worse

    “survival of the fittest” was a term coined by Herbert Spencer a sociologist it was called social darwanism how the succesfull people in the past were able to survive rich rockefeller beilived that too they beilived they were rich of thier own accord therefore they called it “survival of the fittest” darwin never said that it was by herbert spencer its a common misconception darwin coined the term “natural selection” oh well there i thought you’d be intelligent.

  12. Evan Says:

    What is Doolatz’ argument here? We once believed that the sun revolved around the earth. Now, we have evidence that suggests that it is a much, much safer bet to believe the opposite. Are we showing moral weakness by accepting the new conclusion and changing our beliefs? This is not wishy-washy. Some of the best changes in society have come from changing beliefs. At first slavery was just because blacks were not human. Then it became a necessary evil because work had to be done and blacks, although human, were inferior. Then we realized that blacks are equally human and have indeed showed great moral fiber for surviving after generations of abuse. Are we supposed to maintain that blacks are not human because that was our initial belief?

  13. Evan Says:

    And as far as bridging the gap between fleeting belief systems and practical application, being a couch potato is a syndrome common to those who have absolute belief systems. For those willing to reevaluate preconsceptions must remain active in contemplation, and this active mindset unfailingly leads to action, while couch potato people can maintain their preconceptions and allow injustice in the world to continue. It is a FUNCTION of the ever-adapting belief system to bridge the gap between mere thoughts and actions!

  14. Kenny Says:

    I really like your positions and I have seen several of your well-made videos. I am somewhere on the wedge between theism and atheism, but you have expressed many ideas that I wholeheartedly agree with.

    My thoughts on the society argument: we cannot have a perfect society, but we can work to our current system functioning with minimal effort. I think the republican form of government that is used in the Western Hemisphere may be the best system we currently have because it allows for error and the errors can be worked out over time. The republican form, for my stunted vantage point, seems to allow for the evolution of human attitudes the easiest. It is not perfect but it works rather well.

    My personal belief on the rejection of religion is that it may not happen in our lifetimes. Humans seem to be emotionally unevolved to do as such. They need to be told what to do and they cannot handle the responsibility part of living freely. To be honest, atheism as a concept seems to be only a few thousand years old, which is less than 10% of our total time on this earthen plane. Considering that we are still evolutionary youngsters, we may need a few hundred thousand more years, maybe a million more to fully evolve out of a state where religion is a lynchpin in our lives.

    This evolutionary argument (very flawed as it is) also can be applied to my idea on why the perfect society cannot be reached.

  15. Padaxes Says:

    I agree with Al, but he seems to be mired in extremist altruism. my morals are based off of pragmatism. His room mate should pay the rent because it gives him a bad reputation not to, and people will be less prone to make agreements with him in the future. honesty and trustworthiness are rewarded by future clout. Human beings are a very social animal and our rank and reputation decide what we can affect in society.

    The problem with religious morals is that they impose new retraints and taboos which have nothing to do with mutual benefit. they hold us up to unfair and sadistic standards. everything that makes life worth living is one of the seven deadly sins. Now of course I encourage moderation. too much of anything is bad for you, but The occasional nap or prostitute isn’t going to hurt anything. they hold us to impossible standards so that we feel guilty and come back to church, and on top of that they try to take your passion away. if they had their way we would all be thoughtless, dickless, sub-servient worms. when we should stand up and take control of our lives.

  16. Eric Says:

    I believe that Al’s altruism isn’t extremist at all. He would cross that line if he expected everyone to act as morally as he does. I’ve seen no evidence that he holds to that belief.

  17. Padaxes Says:

    taking away what would be freedoms, because he believes they would be a detriment to society, is something i consider extremism. Dooltaz does have a point in that quite a few people have to lay down, and submit so that Al can live in his perfect world. it doesn’t seem to follow a consistent moral code either. he objects to gambling because it is an idle action that saps resources and nothing comes of it…however he remains tolerant of homosexuality which has these exact same traits. alternatively i condone both and a southern baptist condones neither. I suppose i find it inconsistent.

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