Breivik’s terrorism and science

People gather around a makeshift memorial outside the Domkirken church in Oslo on July 25, 2011 where a minute of silence was observed. Photographer: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

OK, the connection between the Norwegian terrorism and science may not be immediately obvious. And I don’t refer here to the chemistry of his bomb manufacture (which he relates at length in his compendium).

No, I refer to his attitude towards science as demonstrated by the little tirade in the compendium about climate change (see Chapter 2.72: Green is the new red – Stop Enviro-communism.)

Here he presents climate science as having an agenda “to contribute to create as world government lead by the UN or in other ways increase the transfer of resources (redistribute resources) from the developed Western world to the third world.” He calls it the “Anthropogenic Global Warming scam.” He recommends a video starring our old friend Christopher Monckton. And presents the classical denier rave about “climategate.”

It’s all stuff we had heard before – and actually local climate change denier Ian Wishart presents this very same conspiracy in his book Air Con (which I reviewed in Alarmist con).

And that is the thing about his compendium. it mostly reads like a cut-and-paste from conservative websites, blogs and forums. Sure, he may have added a little in terms of a programme to assassinate many people throughout Europe, listing organisations and political parties he targets. And the explicit threat or programme of violence is not usually articulated in those conservative sources. But his whole justification is based on that conservatism and the conservative issues like anti-communism, climate change denial, promotion of patriarchy and theocracy and opposition to liberalism and feminism. These conservative issues have fed his hatred, advocacy of violence and assassination programme.

I am actually intrigued that almost all the local blogs who have in the past promoted the ideas covered by this compendium have been strangely silent on the terror in Norway. There hasn’t (so far) been a squeak of condemnation or comment from the usual list of climate change denier and conservative Christian blogs. It must be embarrassing for them to see such an inhuman terrorist advocating for the same issues they have in the past.

Conservative “catalysts”

But there have been commentators who have argued in support of Breivik’s ideas. Usually they start by clarifying that they are opposed to the murder and terrorism, “, but . . . .!.” As a mate of mine used to say you can usually ignore everything that comes before the word “but.”

For example, a commenter here claims “the “multi-cultural” issue has provided the catalyst for this act.”  I bet conservatives throughout Europe are doing the same thing – opportunistically using this dreadful event to argue their extreme approach to the cultural problems in Europe. Fortunately the Norwegians have adopted a far more adult and humane response – and most people admire them for it.

This “catalyst” argument can, and probably will, be used on all these issues – feminism, religion, climate change, immigration, religious privilege, etc., – to divert the discussion onto conservative hobby horses. And away from the immense and real problem of hatred and terrorism.

And if we want to look for real catalysts none of these issues really qualify. The real catalyst for Breivik’s terror is the climate of conservative hatred that is so often promoted on these issues. The “them vs us” mentality promoted on issues like feminism, politics, reproductive rights, family, climate change, etc.

It’s not a terrifically big step to go from Christopher Monckton’s advocacy of prosecuting climate scientists and imprisoning the to the final solution – assassination of one’s political foes, even those with the same ethnicity and religion. Even children or teenagers (as in the Labour Party camp on Utøya).

So you don’t have to

Breivik has been very clever in preparing and making his compendium freely available before his acts of terror. He obviously fantasised that these ideas could lead to popular support for a patriotic, conservative, European revolution.

I certainly hope it has the opposite reaction. Once people see these relatively populist conservative issues connected with sich inhumane terror, surely this will help discredit those ideas? (Perhaps that’s why the local conservative bloggers are so quiet). So in a sense I think it is worth becoming familiar with his programme.

Few people will bother reading this tedious 1500 page document but much of it will be repeated on the internet and in newspapers. I recommend anyone interested to follow JeffSharlet (@JeffSharlet) on twitter. he is currently reading, and briefly reporting on, that document. Follow the tag  #ReadingBreivik. Sharlet is a published author – I recommend his books C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy and The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.  Jeff will probably be writing some in-depth articles on Breivik and there is rumour of a Blogging Heads interview.

Breivik has made problems of “multi-culturalism” worse

Finally, Sam Harris makes some valid points in his blog post Christian Terrorism and Islamophobia. He is critical of the presentation of  as a “Christian fundamentalist.” He is clearly a cultural Christian and advocates elements of theocracy and religious discrimination. But his writing don’t across as that of a fundamentalist. Clearly conservative and anti-Islam.

But that introduces another problem. There are religious and cultural problems in Europe. There is a lot of Islamophobia. The later makes proper discussion of these problems difficult. A simple discussion of religious privilege, problems of Sharia law, tax exemptions, faith schools, etc., can cause a naive liberal response involving charges of islamophobia.

So the diversionist tactic promoting the idea that the cause of this terrorism is the “catalyst” of Islam or “multi-culturalism” will only increase the reluctance to sensibly discuss these issues.

As Sam says: “the final irony of Breivik’s despicable life is that he has made that truth even more difficult to speak about.”

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103 responses to “Breivik’s terrorism and science

  1. So your thesis is that, by not “condemning” this act, “conservative” bloggers are tacitly supporting the mass murder of 90+ people.

    Is that a correct assertion Ken?

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  2. The UK Telegraph provided a link to the “English Defence League” which has a website which roundly condemns this act, I am glad to see.

    Telegraph article:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/norway/8661139/Norway-killer-Anders-Behring-Breivik-had-extensive-links-to-English-Defence-League.html

    EDL:

    http://englishdefenceleague.org/

    For the record, I had never heard of EDL until the DT article

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  3. Andy, do you have trouble reading or comprehending?

    This us what I said: “There hasn’t (so far) been a squeak of condemnation or comment from the usual list of climate change denier and conservative Christian blogs. It must be embarrassing for them to see such an inhuman terrorist advocating for the same issues they have in the past.” Since I wrote that Thinking Matters linked to a US site arguing that the guy wasn’t a fundie (which I agree with). That is all! Rather pathetic, isn’t it?

    So you are pleased that the EDL condemned the terror. Why is that? Do you have links with them or belong to a similar group? Their statements don’t actually get noticed by me – I have no interest in them.

    The EDL did have dealings with the terrorist and he mentions them in his manifesto.

    But again read my article. My point is that the conservative hate mongers, whether they be cultural, political anti science, deniers, Christian or whatever, provided the catalyst for this terrorism. Their condemnation of the specific acts if terror doesn’t change that fact.

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  4. Conservative “hate-mongers”

    Sorry Ken, I don’t visit those kind of blogs.

    However, I do visit your anti-Christian militant atheist blog, cunningly disguised as a “science” blog.

    Perhaps, Ken, you’d like to show me the post that condemned the 7/7 London bombings? Was there one?

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  5. Andy – you do have trouble reading and understanding, don’t you?

    Again, I repeat my comment: : “There hasn’t (so far) been a squeak of condemnation or comment from the usual list of climate change denier and conservative Christian blogs. It must be embarrassing for them to see such an inhuman terrorist advocating for the same issues they have in the past.”

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  6. As for the London bombings – from memory I actually mentioned them in my article yesterday. I can’t remember if I wrote something in 2007 – perhaps you could do your own checking. I am not able to from my iPod.

    But what is your point? How does my blog of 4 years ago justify the silence of people like Treadgold, Matt and Glenn or the other conservative Christians now when they have promoted the same issues this guy did?

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  7. RIchard Treadgold runs a climate sceptic blog.

    I don’t really expect an “announcement” anytime soon about the Oslo massacre.

    You are really clutching at straws here Ken.

    I watched a piece on TV news tonight. The NZ Labour party were letting off balloons in solidarity for “our people”.

    Sorry, but I find this a bit nauseating. This is a tragedy that should transcend political boundaries and religious beliefs.

    Why a political party would use a massacre as political propaganda in an election year beggers belief really.

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  8. Yes, not a blog I follow . But they certainly went off half cocked, didn’t they?

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  9. Treadgold runs a denier blog. He and particularly his commenters peddle the one world government conspiracy that the terrorist and Wishart peddle. I guess both these people ate a little embarrassed to be caught out on the company they keep. Reminds me if Glenn Beck’s little “slip”.

    Perhaps that is also your motive for wishing to divert attention away from the atrocity and blame the victims or those that support them?

    Now, Key also expressed his horror at the terror – as he should have. It is sick to accuse anyone doing so of having a purely political
    Motive.

    It’s part of being human – called empathy. Only sickos like the terrorist would refuse that. Where is your humanity? – you seem to only be loopkinf to excuse the guy.

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  10. Andrei – you are a man of few words, eh. Unfortunately to headline the massacre as a benefit of multiculturalism is advocating exactly the terrorist’s justification. An extremely inhuman justification.

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  11. Treadgold runs a denier blog. He and particularly his commenters peddle the one world government conspiracy that the terrorist and Wishart peddle.

    Have you got some links to substantiate these claims, or are you continuing the tradition of NZ “science” blogs of just making shit up to suit your political agenda?

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  12. Read my post, Andy. It’s quite easy and links to my review of Wishart’s book.

    Bloody hell, what else do people gave to dr for you?

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  13. Well, I agree with you, Ken. Breivik is an extreme right winger and he seems to have grabbed right wing articles of faith (of which climate change denial is clearly one) from a range of sources, as you noted.
    I was also struck the similarity between the bizarre letter from John Ansell – too objectionable and extreme even for the ACT Party – published in the DomPost where he decries the ‘feminisation’ of our leaders, specifically John Key; and between a profile of Breivik published in yesterday’s DomPost where he complained about having to learn knitting at school and the ‘feminisation’of Norwegian manhood. Another article of faith?

    Andy – Breivik systematically targeted and slaughtered young people who were members of the Norwegian Labour Party, many of whom were friends and colleagues of young NZ Labour Party folk, specifically because of their support of multiculturalism in Europe. You might think the tragedy ‘transcends political boundaries’ – but actually it was all about politics. I find your comments boorish, insensitive and nauseating.

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  14. “The EDL did have dealings with the terrorist and he mentions them in his manifesto.”
    Are you dishonest or just plain uninformed? Yes, he mentions them in his manifesto. These are his words:
    “”..‘The EDL are in fact anti-racist, anti-fascist and anti-Nazi. They have many members and leaders with non-European background (African and Asian)…EDL and KT (Brievik) principles can never be reconciled as we are miles apart ideologically…The EDL harshly condemns any movement that use terror as a tool, such as the KT. This is why, we, the KT, view the EDL as naïve fools.’..”

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  15. Global conspiracies don’t work. They are a contradiction in terms.
    Conspiracies by their very nature can’t be global. It’s insane.

    Have you got some links to substantiate these claims, or are you continuing the tradition of NZ “science” blogs of just making shit up to suit your political agenda?

    Wow.
    Andy Scrase.
    The man that just can’t figure out google.
    Took me 15 (20?) seconds to get a interview from the man himself talking the same paranoid conspiracy talking points.
    The title is a bit of a giveaway.

    Global Warming is a scam for world government Ian Wishart on The Vinny E
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uZ6NAyAUZQastwood Show May 24

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  16. There is nothing that the Norwegian nutjob wrote that was new. It’s a rambling cut-and-paste job taken from the internet. He even gives a selection of climate denier blog sites. Blogs you and Treadgold and Wishart know very, very well.

    Treadgold runs a denier blog.

    Well, yes. He runs a denier blog.
    A very orthodox denier blog complete with bog-standard climategate stupid and bog-standard fawning mention of Monckton and every bog-standard demented climate denier zombified talking point ever mentioned. It’s routine denialist drek.

    He and particularly his commenters peddle the one world government conspiracy that the terrorist and Wishart peddle.

    Why yes. So they do. In fact, that defines them. It’s what they are into.
    Beware everybody!

    The UN (Boo Hiss) has a mission.
    They want to rule us, not love us.
    Author : Treadgold
    Date: July 10, 2011

    Will that do or is Andy Scrase going to keep on being a noxious wanker?

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  17. “One section of Breivik’s manifesto points readers to a video clip of Lord Christopher Monckton, the climate change sceptic who is nearing the end of an Australian tour supported by mining magnate Gina Rinehart, The Climate Sceptics political party and part-funded by the Association for Mining and Exploration Companies.

    The video is an excerpt of Lord Monckton’s October 2009 speech to Bethel University in St Thomas, Minnesota. The comparison to Breivik’s manifesto is chilling.

    In the video, Lord Monckton evokes former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the fall of the Berlin Wall and suggests moves to kerb greenhouse gas emissions is cover for the creation of a global government.

    Referring to the 2009 UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, which was just weeks away at the time of his speech, Lord Monckton said: “A world government is going to be created. The transfer of wealth from the countries of the West to Third World countries in satisfaction of what’s called coyly a climate debt because we have been burning CO2 and they haven’t and we have been screwing up the climate — we haven’t been screwing up the climate, but that’s the line.

    “Now the apotheosis is at hand. They are about to impose a communist world government on the world.”

    Lord Monckton told the audience: “In the next few weeks, unless you stop it (the signing of the Copenhagen accord), your president will sign your freedom, democracy and prosperity away forever. It’s here in your great nation,” he said.

    “It is here that perhaps at this 11th hour at the 59th minute at the 59th second you will rise up and you will stop your president from signing that dreadful treaty.”

    Link

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  18. I think Ken’s got a point. I think this man (Breivik) is obviously a nut job (the least of a large number of worse words I could use), and of course not every (or many) far-right extremist is going to do anything so horrible, but the culture of paranoia and hatred which the far-right constantly postures certainly adds fuel to the possibility of things like this happening. If such a toxic sub-culture exists, where people look at equality, indigenous rights, feminism, multi-culturalism, tolerance, and human rights in general (aside from the rar-right’s obsession with poorly understood rights to ‘free speech’) with not only contempt, but hatred, imagine how this affects an already highly imbalanced individual.

    This Andy fellow seems to be an apologetic of the far-right, playing a game of cognitive dissonance. This tragedy happened in part because, to a large degree, a nutter was fueled by the hatred which oozes from the far-right. As with almost any form of extremism (extreme far-right, far-left, religious, atheistic, etc. etc.) bad things happen when people stop respecting each other. Your posturing merely reinforces this, with your talk of conspiracy, athiests, the Labour party etc. I agree with Carol, I think you are “boorish, insensitive and nauseating.”

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  19. I agree with Carol, I think you are “boorish, insensitive and nauseating.”

    What I find “boorish, insensitive and nauseating” is people like Ken Perrott who use this tragedy to further his personal vendettas.So utterly selfish it beggers belief

    I am not an “apologist for the far right”, but you champagne socialists really should take a trip to Bradford, Oldham or Burnley, to see how successful “multiculturalism” is.

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  20. I am not an “apologist for the far right”, but you champagne socialists really should take a trip to Bradford, Oldham or Burnley, to see how successful “multiculturalism” is.

    Wow.
    Not that you are an apologist for the far right or anything.
    Talk about an own goal.

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  21. I can only second that comment, Cedric.

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  22. Thinking that extreme positions on many socio-policitcal issues often breeds hatred and violence = ‘champagne socialist’….?

    I’m also facinated by the reaction people often have to relatively recent social phenomena. As though multiculturalism, a recent (post-WWII) endeavour, should have immediately and spontaneously reached equilibrium. It’s as though there is no recognition or understanding of historical context, social processes, or the passage of time. Social movements (democracy, for example) have beaten a rather bumpy track through history, yet now many take it for granted as a given. It’s as though history and existing political power structures in countries are expected to disappear overnight. Hence calls such as Andy’s to go to areas where cultures clash as ‘proof’ that multiculturalism cannot and never will work. I wonder if it is either wishfull thinking, or an inability to think outside of one’s own generation or so (say, 60 years)? There are many issues which people said would never be overcome, and history has shown differently. That’s why I think the far-right are so dangerous – they are short-sighted and have no tolerance or faith in humanity, and this breeds hatred. Andy seems to be defending the ramparts of a rather suspect world-view, where proponents of tolerance are the ‘enemy’ and conspiracies lie around every corner. Sounds familiar to me.

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  23. Andy – what could you possible mean by this: “you champagne socialists really should take a trip to Bradford, Oldham or Burnley, to see how successful “multiculturalism” is.”?

    Given your persistent refusal to actually detail the problems of your “multi-culturalism” would I be correct to assume that the shocking thing you think we would see is people with a range of skin colours and dress?

    If so why should that shock anyone?

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  24. The places that I cite are basically Moslem ghettos. These are places where gay men get attacked, white women are spat on, and generally people are afraid to tread.
    Maybe you haven’t been to these places? They are pretty frightening.
    Honour killings are now commonplace in the UK, radicalised Moslems preach hatred of the West, and a blind eye is turned to this by the government.

    When the electorate complain and bitch, they are branded as “racists”.
    Maybe you have some vision of “United Colours of Benetton”? This is the image of my son’s school where multiple races happily play together, and my schooldays in the UK were multicultural. Half my schoolmates at primary school were black/West Indian.

    The political and racial climate in Europe is quite different now. There is an undercurrent of hatred. A survey of young Moslems indicated that 30% of them supported the murder on the London Underground on the 7th July

    Again, I am in no way supporting the actions of Breivik, which I consider dispicable and cowardly.

    However, I am trying to provide some social and political context (from my own experience), which may help frame this issue.

    My key point is that I don’t think this man’s actions can be considered a “one off”. If he has sown the seeds of a pan-European revolution, then poverty and the collapse of our financial systems that will fuel this, along with the race issue, should make us very afraid indeed.

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  25. Andy – I notice you have substituted “however” for “but”!
    Still, the social problems you describe are noted. Some of them are a result of “NAIVE multi-culturalism”. Others, religious bigotry and other social problems.

    These are all things that need to be dealt with – and societies do try to. It is made far more difficult though when people like this guy create situations where some people start to see things in racial terms and others get defensive and won’t face up to problems becauye it might give credence to that sort of extremism. As you say “When the electorate complain and bitch, they are branded as “racists”” and Breivik’s terrorism is now going to make that reaction even stronger. This is the point that Sam Harris made. This terror makes dealing with “naive multi-cultualism” and advancing a genuine responsible multi-culturalism much more difficult.

    Andy – take a look at what is happening in Norway now. There has bgeen an extreme reaction of unity. His ranting is not getting support.

    Here and in the US and the UK the support he gets are from people who already think the same way. Don’t forget his manifesto is basically a cut and past of hate mongering easily found on the internet. It is the sort of stuff previously presented here by people like Treadgold and local conservative Chrsitians and that you yourself are advancing.

    This is the social and political context of this guy’s extremism. If that didn’t exist he is less like to have resulted.

    And because most of the world is reacting to the terror in Norway in a humane empathetic way some of these hate mongerers are starting to be a bit apologetic, or pulling their heads in for a while.

    Consider Islamophobes distance themselves from Breivik and In response to Norway attacks, right-wing bloggers suddenly demand nuance.

    At the moment Breivik’s terrorism and inhumane murder has created exactly the opposite reaction to that he wished to promote. Andy, that is why people are offended by your rant on “multi-culturalism” and the inhumanity of using this act of terror to push your own form of hate mongering.

    Real societies always have problems and we will deal with its social, cultural, relgious and political (and psychological) problems. Hate mongerers are not helping.

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  26. Ken, I somewhat take offense to the term “rant”.
    I am not ranting at all. I am trying to convey my personal experience in a calm and collected manner.

    When you say to push your own form of hate mongering. I find that statement offensive in the extreme.

    It seems to me, Ken, that you are not actually interested in my experience at all( I did live in Oslo too, as it happens)

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  27. No Andy, I am not interested. Why should I be? I also spent some time in Oslo and Norway but don’t see that was a necessary background to a human reaction to the atrocities committed there. (And you have not called on any of your experiences in Oslo to justify your reactions -have you?)

    You aren’t talking about experiences, just trying to establish an “authority” for your conservative ravings.

    OK – you are welcome to your offense at my bluntness. But please take not that some of us are offended by the way that conservative hate mongerers are attempting to use this atrocity to justify the manifesto’s message.

    Have a look at that huge demonstration in Oslo – One quarter of the cities population. They are also offended by such attempts at justification.

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  28. No Andy, I am not interested. Why should I be?

    Dunno.
    Can’t think why anyone would be interested in your opinion either. Clearly this post is merely troll bait for your resident attack muppets to have a bit of sport.

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  29. Dunno.
    Can’t think why anyone would be interested in your opinion either.

    You really are determined to make Andy Scrase look like a nasty, petty piece of work. Do you even think before you post?

    It seems to me, Ken, that you are not actually interested in my experience at all

    Yeah, nobody cares about anecdotes. People just make up anecdotes all the time on the internet. The plural of anecdote is not data. Your experience is not relevant to the discussion. Why can’t you work this out for yourself? Are you really that dense?
    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    I also spent some time in Oslo and Norway but don’t see that was a necessary background to a human reaction to the atrocities committed there.

    See? That’s how it’s done. Ken doesn’t bring up his personal experiences of Norway at all. It’s neither here nor there so he does the sensible thing and doesn’t bother to offer it in the first place.

    I somewhat take offense to the term “rant”. I am not ranting at all.

    Oh yes you have. You’ve been getting all defensive and passive-aggressive over Breivik. He’s subscribes to the exact same stupid conspiracy theories that you eagerly promote. You never thought about the possible consequences. You don’t like it. You have nothing left to do nothing but rant. Other people have noticed your antics, Andy Scrase.

    Have you got some links to substantiate these claims, or are you continuing the tradition of NZ “science” blogs of just making shit up to suit your political agenda?

    Oh yes. You don’t like it at all. Yet every time you post something you can’t help but sound like his brother.

    Yes, you got it! Hard left marxist driven statist IPCC
    (…)
    As for “hard left”, well you only need to look a the EU and see how it is destroying the UK economy through its marxist totalitarian views
    (…)
    So, you are OK with the destruction of western culture at the expense of your myopic ideology?
    (…)
    but you champagne socialists really should take a trip to Bradford, Oldham or Burnley, to see how successful “multiculturalism” is.
    (…)
    These are places where gay men get attacked, white women are spat on, and generally people are afraid to tread.
    Maybe you haven’t been to these places? They are pretty frightening.
    Honour killings are now commonplace in the UK, radicalised Moslems preach hatred of the West, and a blind eye is turned to this by the government. When the electorate complain and bitch, they are branded as “racists”.

    Toxic.
    An extreme case of foot-in-mouth disease.
    Here’s a clue. If you don’t want people to directly compare your talking points to Breivik’s talking points then stop making it so jaw-droppingly easy.
    Read his manifesto. Or if you only have 12 minutes…watch his video.
    You won’t find anything in there that you won’t quietly agree with.
    It’s all there.
    He’s one of your kind and hangs out at the same blogs.

    And for bonus points:
    Never, EVER start a sentence with “I am not an “apologist for the far right”…BUT…”
    Never ever.
    It sounds too much like “I’m not a racist or anything…but…”
    (shrug)
    2083 – A European Declaration of Independence (De Laude Novae Militae, 2011)

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  30. Dunno.
    Can’t think why anyone would be interested in your opinion either.

    You really are determined to make Andy Scrase look like a nasty, petty piece of work. Do you even think before you post?

    It seems to me, Ken, that you are not actually interested in my experience at all

    Yeah, nobody cares about anecdotes. People just make up anecdotes all the time on the internet. The plural of anecdote is not data. Your experience is not relevant to the discussion. Why can’t you work this out for yourself? Are you really that dense?
    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    I also spent some time in Oslo and Norway but don’t see that was a necessary background to a human reaction to the atrocities committed there.

    See? That’s how it’s done. Ken doesn’t bring up his personal experiences of Norway at all. It’s neither here nor there so he does the sensible thing and doesn’t bother to offer it in the first place.

    I somewhat take offense to the term “rant”. I am not ranting at all.

    Oh yes you have. You’ve been getting all defensive and passive-aggressive over Breivik. He’s subscribes to the exact same stupid conspiracy theories that you eagerly promote. You never thought about the possible consequences. You don’t like it. You have nothing left to do nothing but rant. Other people have noticed your antics, Andy Scrase.

    Have you got some links to substantiate these claims, or are you continuing the tradition of NZ “science” blogs of just making shit up to suit your political agenda?

    Oh yes. You don’t like it at all. Yet every time you post something you can’t help but sound like his brother.

    Yes, you got it! Hard left marxist driven statist IPCC
    (…)
    As for “hard left”, well you only need to look a the EU and see how it is destroying the UK economy through its marxist totalitarian views
    (…)
    So, you are OK with the destruction of western culture at the expense of your myopic ideology?
    (…)
    but you champagne socialists really should take a trip to Bradford, Oldham or Burnley, to see how successful “multiculturalism” is.
    (…)
    These are places where gay men get attacked, white women are spat on, and generally people are afraid to tread.
    Maybe you haven’t been to these places? They are pretty frightening.
    Honour killings are now commonplace in the UK, radicalised Moslems preach hatred of the West, and a blind eye is turned to this by the government. When the electorate complain and bitch, they are branded as “racists”.

    Toxic.
    An extreme case of foot-in-mouth disease.
    Here’s a clue. If you don’t want people to directly compare your talking points to Breivik’s talking points then stop making it so jaw-droppingly easy.
    Read his manifesto. Or if you only have 12 minutes…watch his video.
    You won’t find anything in there that you won’t quietly agree with.
    It’s all there.
    He’s one of your kind and hangs out at the same blogs.

    And for bonus points:
    Never, EVER start a sentence with “I am not an “apologist for the far right”…BUT…”
    Never ever.
    It sounds too much like “I’m not a racist or anything…but…”
    (shrug)
    2083 – A European Declaration of Independence (De Laude Novae Militae, 2011)

    and the relevance of this rant is what, exactly?

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  31. Andy, when you cite specific problems, as for Bradford, discussion is possible. The causes can be pursued. Possible solutions considered.

    When you say you lived in Oslo therefore we should accept your rant on “multiple-culturalism” there is nothing to discuss accept your stupidity.

    Sure, the word “multiculturalism” can refer to a host of things and problems. But one has to be specific to determine causes and solutions. Vague references to the evil of “multiculturalism” really does nothing but fuel bigotry and evil.

    I have made clear I accept there are problems with the particular immigration policies of some European countries and particularly of religions, indigenous as well as imported. But this Norwegian terrorist offered as many solutions as you do. Exactly none.

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  32. …and the relevance of this rant is what, exactly?

    Ah, psychological projection.
    That’s all you have left.
    You have issues.

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  33. Andy, when you cite specific problems, as for Bradford, discussion is possible.

    No Ken, discussion is not possible. It is quite clear that you are not interested in “discussion” at all.

    Good bye

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  34. No Ken, discussion is not possible.

    Yep. Evidently Breivik didn’t think was possible either. He chose a more physical method.

    It is quite clear that you are not interested in “discussion” at all.

    You are making stuff up to salve your wounded ego. Ken is always up for a good discussion. He doesn’t even need to create sockpuppets.

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  35. Goodbye, Andy.

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  36. Richard Christie

    Muslish? Journalism at it’s finest.
    Thanks for the link to that clip Cedric.

    I’m rather curious to see how Pat Condell, one of the more polemic anti-religion commentators, will address this event. He has previously held Norway up as an example of liberalism capitulating to encroaching Islamic influence.

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  37. I hear you Ken. When I had a quick flick through his compendium I recognised a lot of critiques of Western society that I could identify with as a Christian with a love of Western culture and history, and a concern with the erosion of this religious, cultural and moral capital by popular culture, globalism and relativism. The way Islam is seen as equal to Christianity, and the marginalisation of theology as a rational discipline, are things that any sincere and intelligent westerner should be concerned about. I think Andrei was off with his first post. Multiculturalism may have been a structural influence for Breivik’s abhorrent crime, but it shouldn’t be the first thing to point to in response. We have multiculturalism in NZ, but it hasn’t caused a massacre, and I trust and pray it never will. If anyone is going to blame structural causes they could start by looking at Breivik’s estrangement from his natural father, and his excessive relationship with his mother – apparently he didn’t leave home until 30. But of course these are facts we are only just learning. The real lesson is that humanity is partly good, but – though we so quickly forget – also partly evil. Sadly Breivik demonstrated the fact that human beings are capable of choosing truly wicked courses of action. But of course this is not news to anyone with a traditional right-wing Christian worldview. To articulate this would merely be to say “I told you so.” And no-one wants to be that guy at a time where simple mourning is the only real option. Po-tee-weet.

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  38. “I am actually intrigued that almost all the local blogs who have in the past promoted the ideas covered by this compendium have been strangely silent on the terror in Norway. There hasn’t (so far) been a squeak of condemnation or comment from the usual list of climate change denier and conservative Christian blogs. It must be embarrassing for them to see such an inhuman terrorist advocating for the same issues they have in the past.”

    P.S. Would you mind naming which blogs you would like to make a comment on Oslo? I’m sure we are all intriugued to know what blogs you think have promoted ideas covered in the compendium.

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  39. p.s. Breivik shouldn’t be thought of as Christian because a Christian who honours the Bible knows that, even where a society has become so perverse it is basically spitting God in the face, the only person entitled to put things to rights “by the sword” so to speak is Jesus on his return. In the meantime, all Christians are required to respond to evil with kindness. The scriptures overwhelmingly show that God forgives a thousand times over before he judges. And if a Christian ever takes up a sword it is only on a battlefield, man-to-man. I think we all know that it takes a madman to think that such atrocities as the Oslo massacre could be committed in the name of Christendom.

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  40. Thanks for the link to that clip Cedric.

    Happy to pass it on. Colbert knows how to make a point with wickedly funny satire. Big fan.

    …his excessive relationship with his mother – apparently he didn’t leave home until 30.

    Hmm. I didn’t know about that tidbit. To complete that particular stereotype, all that’s needed is for him to have his computer in his bedroom in the basement.
    PZ has some details about him that just boogle the imagination. Breivik really was someone who needed to get out more and build a life.

    He also claims to have met with about a dozen anonymous guys to set up this organization — that’s about it, at best a handful of kooks, and who knows how many of them were products of his egotistical imagination. Amusingly enough, after mentioning these stalwart, unnamed few, he goes on in further obsessive detail to describe all the different ranks in his order (more than there are members!) and to list with illustrations the various medals that can be awarded, including campaign ribbons for places all around the world.

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  41. Would you mind naming which blogs you would like to make a comment on Oslo? I’m sure we are all intriugued to know what blogs you think have promoted ideas covered in the compendium.

    Breivik gave the links himself in his “manifesto”. The man was meticulous about details.

    Breivik shouldn’t be thought of as Christian because a Christian…

    Meh. He probably wasn’t even a True Scotsman either.

    No True Scotsman

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  42. AJ, some responses to you points and questions.

    1: Is Breivik a Christian? Well you and I don’t get to define that,– just as we cannot decide who the true Scotsmen are. And clearly you are completely wrong to say “it takes a madman to think that such atrocities as the Oslo massacre could be committed in the name of Christendom.” Many communists could have denied Stalin was a communist, etc., but that just refuses to consider all the background problems to his terror.
    (I was impressed how in the 1980s many Soviet people were prepared to disuses other reasons for the Stalin Terror beside Stalin’s personality. Like the nature of their revolution and the ideologies of its other leaders. It would be nice if Christians could develop the same objectivity in looking at their own ideology).

    Breivik declares himself a Christian. He writes about praying during the frustrations of preparing his bomb. Neither I nor the many commenters who recognise his declarations of Christianity are mad.

    However, the information does suggest that some of the early suggestions he was a “fundamentalist Christian” were wrong. I would describe him more as a chauvinistic cultural conservative Christian. And there are plenty of those around. In fact your acceptance of much of his writing and remarks on Western culture and theology in your first comment suggest that in some ways you also belong to that classification.

    2: Blaming his background. Well that is an easy way out to – but easily countered by pointing out (as you do with multiculturalism) that other people with similar backgrounds have not become terrorists. This sort of explanation can be an easy psycho babble explanation covering up the real problems. Are we going to be satisfied that Stalin’s terror can be explained purely by his psychological background with no influence of the political and social realities of his time?

    We will have to await Breivik’s psychological testing but I would not be surprised to find he has psychological problems. He does come across as completely without empathy. Words like evil can cover up the reality that there is a psychological diversity within humans and a small number will be naturally psychopathic.

    3: Whatever his personal psychology his tirade and his intelligently selected targets do indicate an effect of political/ideological/religious factors. That is why his manifesto provides some insight, despite the fact that it is so long winded and largely cut and paste.

    Mind you it is too simple to just take all his selections as indicating evil intentions by the original writer or people referred to. Many people will be embarrassed. For example I am unhappy he quotes someone who advocates one of my heroes, Ayan Hirsi Ali, for a Nobel Peace prize. He has obviously used her sensible comments on Islam to support his evil intentions. And that is a big problem in the area of multiculturalism and immigration. One can make sensible points about the privileges of religions (Christianity as well as Islam) and the value of democratic culture and suddenly find oneself alongside absolute racists and hate mongering conservatives.

    Nevertheless, it is clear from his selections and comments which writers, blogs, etc., would be peddling the conservative Christian nationalism he articulates.

    4: You ask which blogs I “would like to comment on Oslo?” Actually, I don’t care who comments – I just made the point that some NZ blogs who have a history of peddling the sort of conservative Christian chauvinism and anti-science hysteria which he used, have been strangely silent. For example I would have expected Matt and Glenn to have commented already – because both their blogs pushed similar arguments attacking local climate scientists and supporting mad Monckton. That also applies to Treadgold’s blog. (Monckton’s writings and talks include such things as suggesting scientists should be required to have a religion, climate scientists should be prosecuted and imprisoned – not terrifically far from suggesting that perhaps they should be assassinated). But those local blogs have probably taken the wisest path of keeping away from even the no true Scotsman argument and just keeping their heads down.

    Similarly those Conservative Christian blogs have pushed an argument of Christian uniqueness and historical rights that is also used by Breivik. This particularly comes through in claims for a Christian essential role in science and democracy.
    The Herald provided an example of this sort of thing in Norway shooter quoted NZ speech. Quadrant magazine editor Keith Windschuttle is upset to be quoted – but what did he say:
    “The concepts of free enquiry and free expression and the right to criticise entrenched beliefs are things we take so much for granted they are almost part of the air we breathe,” he quoted from the paper. “We need to recognise them as distinctly Western phenomena. They were never produced by Confucian or Hindu culture.”
    Without this concept there would have been no Copernicus, Galileo, Newton or Darwin.

    This is the negative part which promotes chauvinism and justifies terrorism in the mind of people like Breivik. It is completely disparaging to other cultures and ideologies. People like Glenn and Matt have advanced this sort of argument on the origins of science and the causes of the scientific revolution. They are not just wrong – they are disparaging to the rest of humanity.
    It is one thing (and perfectly correct) to point to the advantages we have in our modern, pluralist, non-theocratic, secular, democratic society and to adopt an immigration policy which doesn’t threaten that. It is another to claim that somehow white skinned Europeans came to this naturally, or through their religion, while others couldn’t and can’t. That is the cultural equivalent of racism.

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  43. A. J. Chesswas

    Culturism or not, doesn’t matter what you label it, if one can empirically show Christianity can and has sustiain freethought and independent inquiry better than any other worldview, then I think their argument is justifiable. It may be a position that someone like Breivik will skew to support his agenda. But it won’t change his agenda. It might, however, challenge a Muslim to question the extent to which he and his society are willing to subject his religion to rigorous critique, or even a far-right atheist fascist, and to contrast that with Christians who do take a crititical approach to their religion. Unfortunately it is more difficult to measure instances where evil has been pre-emptively mitigated.

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  44. Strange, AJ., for a religionist to talk about “empirically” showing when it’s epistemology relies on the opposite – revelation and declaration.

    The scientific revolution required a philosophical break with that epistemology and with theology and religious philosophy. And the advantages of that break are clear as science has shown itself to be a very successful way of discovering and understanding reality. Christianity has been, and is, a demonstratable failure at this. In our society I think it is the arrogant Christians who need challenging. And perhaps some reminders of the role of medieval Islam in preserving and advancing science would be in place.

    The development of science and human freedom is the result of human endeavor and it is pure hubris for one ideology to claim it played the essential role. A hubris which provides a conservative cultural basis for this act of terrorism.

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  45. A. J. Chesswas

    Not strange if you consider that theology and biology require different epistemological frameworks. Apples and oranges mate. That’s why the scientific revolution required no such break with theology and religious philosophy. Ask Newton, Faraday – don’t tell me you’ve never met a Christian scientist, or a Christian who practices both theology and what you would call a scientific discipline. Oh wait, there’s me. We should do coffee.

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  46. Richard Christie

    I’m rather curious to see how Pat Condell, one of the more polemic anti-religion commentators, will address this event. He has previously held Norway up as an example of liberalism capitulating to encroaching Islamic influence.

    Didn’t have to wait long, :-) , warning to listeners: Condell is, as always, um, shall we say ….forthright…. and this time obviously angry.

    Violence is not the answer [and a few comments on guilt by association]

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  47. AJ – I notice you left our mate Galileo off that list! Of course when Galileo, Newton, Faraday were doing science they weren’t doing relgion – despite their relgious beliefs. They were consiudering reality in a philoosophically materialist way – and that’s why they succeeded.

    I don’t know what you speciality is – but answer this – when you do your science don’t you use the same epistemological approach as any other scientist (or at least that is the aim)? No credible scientist would use theology in their science today.

    And tell your apples and oranges to the Roman Inqisition who prosecuted Galileo. Or to the Discovery Insitute who promote theistic science! Or the Catholic and other Christians who are claiming today that Galileo was wrong! Chritianity has an umpleasant record, and many Christians still behave this way, or using theology to understand and explain the real world. Intervening in the sphere of science.

    And yes I have worked with Christians, as well as Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, agnostics etc. during my research career. Mental compartmentalisation is a wonderful thing. It’s possible to be a scientist and be religious, or whatever. I have known scientists who also believed in astrology. Scientists can be just as irrational as anyone else.

    Hell, I even knew one scientists who was a member of the ACT Party.

    But you do accept my point that theology anhd science differ epistmologically. That was not always the case and that is why the break with tehology and relgious phiolosophy was an essential compontent of the scientific revolution. If effect you acknowledge that.

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  48. A. J. Chesswas

    Does science really = “consiudering reality in a philoosophically materialist way”? Is psychology a science? Sociology? Political science? My “science” is environmental planning. To do my job successfully I need to be able to critically and rigorously evaluate all sorts of fields of science – biology, chemistry, hydrology, ecology. I also need to have a scientific understanding of social relationships in communities, and of people to the environment. That is, an understanding based on gathering & evaluating information, critically and rigorously. I take the same approach to my religious beliefs and practice. To theology. No compartmentalization here at all. Different epistemological tools, but complementary. Dice the apples, peel the oranges, but eating fruit in general. While there are epistemological differences, these differences are only between hard sciences which require no subjective or introspective information gathering. Physics at one end of the spectrum, philosophy at the other. Chemistry towards one end, theology towards the other.

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  49. Andy may have a point.
    Countries which have had liberal immigation policies (France, UK, USA) have been enriched in all sorts of ways as a result. This has usually been because immigrants willingly assimilated themselves into their host societies.
    It may be that this paradigm is changing, and an unwillingness to assimilate by some minorities will lead to all sorts of unwanted outcomes.
    We should beware of ponificating too freely from our privileged vantage point in New Zealand.

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  50. AJ, of course aspects of the “soft sciences” may well be more wishful thinking, prejudice and make believe. But that derives from their difficulty. We still aspire to derive our ideas from the real world (whether that be electrons or people) and to validate our ideas against reality. That is science. The make believe part isn’t. (And lets face it real science is not algorithmic. There is plenty of scope for fantasy and emotional creative input in the process. But we don’t call it science if there is not reliance on, and validation against, reality.)

    I can appreciate how environmental planning, as any social activity, will involve real science but also a lot of personal and social interaction which is not science. And we should be very careful about confusing the two. I think that is what you are doing.

    And by the way – data/information may be “subjective or introspective.” but one should hope that the “information gathering” and processing is not. That would be very bad science.

    Theology leads to the situation where a church can declare that it is heresy to assert a heliocentric universe becuase the Church fathers have interpreted their “holy” scriptures a particular way. And to then threaten imprisonment or worse to Galileo because he asserted that those sciptures were not a source of knowledge about the external real world. That one had to go to nature for that.

    The Galileo affair is actually very instructive as illustrating the actually process of science breaking away from relgion – an essential step in the scientific revolution.

    Hence he two epistemologies – revelation (authority and power) on the one hand = theology. Science on the other = consulting and validating against reality.

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  51. Mike, no one denies there are problems with immmigration and assimilation. There are and there always have been. That’s part of human society to have problems. The question is how we solve those problems.

    Terror and mass killing is obviously worng. So is just the hate mongering conservative complaint about “multi-culturalism” Because it is non-specific and is usually a dog whistle for some rather anti-human ideas.

    Andy’s problem is that his bitching was non-specific and conservative. Nothing constructiuve but just an attempt to diver attention away from this act of terrorism or provide a justification for it.

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  52. A. J. Chesswas

    “Theology leads to the situation where a church can declare that it is heresy to assert a heliocentric universe becuase the Church fathers have interpreted their “holy” scriptures a particular way.”

    Yes, and climatology leads to a situation where a group of scientists can declare that it is heresy to assert human-induced climate change because the scientists have interpreted their “expert” data a particular way.

    So there is good theology and bad theology. Good climatology and bad climatology. Good science and bad science.

    Science didn’t “break away” from religion as though the two were somehow one and post-Galileo became entirely independent and separate. There is a tradition at last 2 millenia old of scholars who practice both philosophy/theology and the physical sciences, and allow both fields of knowledge to inform their behaviour and ethics. This has never come to an end. Galileo himself was a Christian – he didn’t break from religion, he broke from particular religious leaders. Unless you think Roman Catholicism has a monopoly on theology – you’re not a closet RC fundamentalist are you Ken? (I bet you are an ex-RC or your parents were RC) – your argument does not stand.

    My reading of history shows me there was nothing anti-Christian about western scientific institutions at least until the time of Darwin and the rise of positivism. But this anti-Christian scientific tradition is merely a dominant tradition living alongside Christian scientists. Breaking from Christianity was not an essential step to advance any scientific revolution, apart from in evolutionary biology.

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  53. AJ this outrageous and silly . “climatology leads to a situation where a group of scientists can declare that it is heresy to assert human-induced climate change because the scientists have interpreted their “expert” data a particular way.”

    Yes people like Monckton try to make climate science heretical but they are hardly scientists. There is a very wide scientific consensus around current understanding of our influence on the climate. The opposition comes from a small group of deniers, contrarians and sceptics – often with the financial backing of energy and mining companies. ”

    Somehow I get the impression you were trying to say something else with this so I won’t pursue it.

    You continue to confuse the membership or religious adherence of people with their epistemology. Galileo clearly remained a committed catholic in much the same way most of Stalin’s victims remained committed communists. But clearly his epistemology was not Christian. And who were these “particular religious leaders” you think he broke with? Don’t forget he did not initiate the inquisition’s actions. He was the victim.

    Galileo’s declaration that one must look to nature, interact with nature and verify against nature is the reason we see him as a hero and one of the fathers of modern science.

    The conflict between religion and science arose because religions (not scientists who were religious) rejected that scientific method and stuck with revelation. That epistemological conflict remains today and the fact that scientists have a range of ideological, social and political views doesn’t change that.

    Just as well as without the powerful epistemology of science where would humanity be? Revelation would get us nowhere.

    Yes scientific attempts were informed by theology in the past – that’s what slowed human discovery down. Today no one proposes the theological arguments that Kepler or Newton did in their scientific work. They would quickly lose any credibility if they did because that would not be science.

    Now what about putting your money where your mouth is re “I bet you are an ex-RC or your parents were RC”.? I am completely willing to bet against you on that one.

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  54. A. J. Chesswas

    “Galileo clearly remained a committed catholic in much the same way most of Stalin’s victims remained committed communists.” Wild!!! lol… I can see why you would think that though. I am amazed at your inference that somehow we are entirely indebted to science, but that revelation has got us nowhere. Absolutely amazed. I cannot begin to think how different my life might be if I had no experience of Revelation. Open parachute. The mind doesn’t work if its closed. You should print your banner and attach it to your mirror. Such hypocrisy, would be laughable if it were not so sad…

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  55. So that is how revelation works, is it, AJ?

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  56. Yes, and climatology leads to a situation where a group of scientists can declare that it is heresy to assert human-induced climate change because the scientists have interpreted their “expert” data a particular way.

    Stupid, ignorant, paranoid…and very silly.

    Climatology is a scientific field. It’s a branch of the atmospheric sciences.

    Therefore…

    …leads to a situation where a group of scientists…

    No. There is no “group”. Nor is there a “club” or a “cabal” or a “secret society”. Climatology is much, much, much bigger than that. It relies upon multiple independent lines of evidence from all branches of the Earth Sciences.
    No one “group” controls it all. There is no conspiracy. No more than there could be a “group” in Geology or Chemisty.

    …a group of scientists can declare that it is heresy…

    No, there is science and there is religion. They work differently.
    There are no prophets in science. There are no “holy books”. There is no orthodoxy and so, logically, there is no heresy. Scientists are not priests by another name. Scientists do real work in the real world. Science is the study of reality.
    If a “group” of scientists were to try and act like a cult or private club then other scientific communities would not back them up. They would point their fingers and rip apart their work in the peer-reviewed literature. Controlling scientists is like trying to herd cats.
    They are born iconoclasts.
    There is no conspiracy. Nobody earns a Nobel prize by for doing the same old thing yet again.

    …because the scientists have interpreted their “expert” data a particular way…

    No. You are not getting this. There is no “they”. We’re talking about all the scientific communities on the planet. From all the different branches. That’s not a “group”.

    You need a “group” for your conspiracy to take flight.
    You instinctively know that a global conspiracy is unmanageable. It’s self-evident contradiction in terms.
    As the Italian saying goes “Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead”.

    Yet there is no “group”. Nobody is going around with any unquestionable authority and making pronouncements and shutting down research to defend some magic dogma.
    There is no mechanism that could make that happen.
    There is no great super-scientist to wave a badge and command obedience.
    There is no badge in the first place.
    There’s no way to control a single branch of science; let alone all of the Earth Sciences all at once, all of the time for the last 40-odd years or so.
    It’s just silly.
    NASA did not lie to you about the Moon-landings.
    NASA is not lying to you now about climate change.
    Breivik did not understand that.

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  57. A. J. Chesswas

    Cedric Katesby, I was not promoting any such paranoid conspiracy theory about climate change scientists. I was actually saying that people who wear a “scientist” hat can get things wrong just as much as people who wear a cardinal’s hat. Read me again. I am not defending climate change denial, I’m saying that the deniers are doing bad science just like Galileo’s opponents were. You seem to think human beings act one way when it comes to being scientists, and act a completely different way when doing religion. It’s just not true. Your comments are full of wild allegations, and short of the sort of empirical analysis you demand.

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  58. I was actually saying that people who wear a “scientist” hat can get things wrong just as much as people who wear a cardinal’s hat.

    No.
    I know what you were actually…
    Wait a minute!
    (Re-reads the paragraph)

    How can you possibly say that you’re not…
    (Again re-reads the paragraph.)

    (…)

    Ah.
    You were indeed not writing what I thought you were writing. My mistake.
    Sorry. :(
    I had you pegged as a denier who decided to leap out of the birthday cake.
    Grrr.
    Please, please, PLEASE do not write a paragraph like that again. It’s as confusing as hell. The only thing that makes me feel a little bit better about this is that Ken seemed thrown by it too.
    I don’t know how much you know about climate denialism so forgive me if I’m preaching to the converted but…
    Climate deniers promote conspiracy theories and they use specific repeated pejoratives.
    Scientists become “high priests”, a scientific field becomes a “cult” etc.
    Further, climate deniers try to portray all the scientific communities on the planet that work on and support the science of climate change as a small group. Or a gang or a secret club or team etc. (You get the idea)
    This makes their conspiracy theories seem a little less weird.
    So when you referred to “a group of scientists”, from the context it looked clear that you were taking a shot at the working scientists in the field of climatology. You were dismissing them as a “group” that behaved in a religious manner as opposed to behaving like scientists. Standard denier-speak.
    Yet what you were actually referring to were the climate deniers themselves.
    Bugger!
    The thing is that climate deniers don’t have anything to do with climatology. They can’t be accurately described as a group within a scientific field. Nor is it usual to refer to their antics in religious terms (though it is curiously appropriate).
    The actual number of working scientists within the field of climatology that deny climate change can be counted on the fingers of half a hand. The rest are just wannabes and nursing home escapees. (Please see the video below)
    Again, sorry for launching into you. My mistake.
    (sigh)
    9. Climate Change – Meet the Scientists

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  59. You seem to think human beings act one way when it comes to being scientists, and act a completely different way when doing religion.

    I have no idea what you are talking about.
    I don’t see how it’s possible to compare the two as being similar in any way except perhaps in the most trivial sense.
    Doing religion isn’t the same as doing science.
    Watching the actions of a religious person spraying chicken blood and muttering incantations does not bring to mind the acts of a scientist hard at work in the laboratory.

    Christopher Hitchens. Religion and science not reconcilable!

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  60. A. J. Chesswas

    I just mean that both scientists and priests can be motivated by power, status and personal gain rather than by truth. It seems to me that the cardinals Galileo faced off were in that category. That doesn’t make their religion bad – only their integrity. A 16th Century Catholic with greater integrity might not have acted the same way.

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  61. A. J. Chesswas

    ps. thanks for taking a second look at that, you’re right, it was a bit confusing!

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  62. Cedric, I had indeed read AJs comment incorrectly initially but fortunately reread it before making a blistering reply. I think that word heresy got to me as it is the sort of thing deniers say. Interesting example of how minds work.

    However the criticism stands. Heresy is just not a concept in science. In fact doubt and debate is encouraged in science. Another difference to theology.

    The essential thing about deniers is that they are not doubting or being sceptical. They are misrepresenting, More politics than science.

    AJs example was quite inappropriate. Bad science can be corrected in the normal operation of science – it happens all the time. But in religion charges of heresy are not bad theology – they are normal. And without reality to keep one honest one theologians heresy is another’s good theology.

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  63. A. J, thanks for accepting my apology.

    Scientists are people too. They can be liars or be corrupt become crackpots. However, infallibility is not something you will hear the scientific community claim. Nor do they have any authority invested in them by mysterious “others”.
    It’s all about the work. It’s all about the evidence and the repeatable experiments and the verifiable, recorded observations.
    A scientist, no matter how illustrious their reputation, cannot get away with making a claim and saying “Trust me on this. I’m a big shot in science.”
    Others, even former students or collegues, will still gleefully demand that the “big shot” scientist enters the scientific arena and takes their lumps like everybody else.
    In science, it’s a permanent state of ‘put up or shut up’.

    Climate deniers or Intelligent Designer Creationists etc. are in the same bag of pseudo-science because they never step up to the plate and successfully defend their claims in the scientific arena of peer review. They crave the hard-won respect of working scientists and play act at being scientists on TV but they shy away from the scientific process.
    Personally, when I think of the difference between science and religion (or science and denialism) , I think of the explanation in the following video:

    Evolution vs. Creationism:Experts vs. Scientists-Peer Review

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  64. Richard Christie

    AJs example was quite inappropriate.
    Well, it wasn’t a particularly good analogy, at least.

    I’m interested in his experience with revelation “I cannot begin to think how different my life might be if I had no experience of Revelation.”

    Sounds spooky.

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  65. AJ I don’t buy the “bad apple” analogy implicit in your assertion “It seems to me that the cardinals Galileo faced off were in that category. That doesn’t make their religion bad – only their integrity. A 16th Century Catholic with greater integrity might not have acted the same way.”

    As I said previously this would be like putting all the problems of undemocratic actions in the USSR down to Salin’s personality. An easy cop out but not a full explanation.

    Phillip Zimbardo has researched these ideas and tried very hard to counter the US explantion for their atrocities in Vietnam and Libya as down to a few bad apples. His research shows that insitutional effects have the major influence.

    In the case of Galileo his “crime” was to hold an opinion whn the church had ruled that he was not allowed to. That seems to me more insitutional and ideological than bad apples.

    And are we to explain away creationism and climate denial attacks on science and scientists as down to a few bad apples? Come off it.

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  66. A. J. Chesswas

    Ken. I am religious. I practice a scientific discipline. I apply the same standards of rigour and analysis to both areas of my life. If I was listening to Galileo I would probably have accepted his thesis. I don’t fit into your view of the world. That is a shame.

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  67. So AJ you accept that revelation of scripture and church cannot tell us anything about the real world? This was Galileo’s point that was rejected. Mind you the church has since recently admitted that Galileo was correct theologically. Rather hypocritical though because they still attempt to dictate their theological concepts of man despite the science. In other words the science religion conflict continues because of the epistemological difference. Revelation and authority are not acceptable ways if knocking in science.

    As for applying the same standards of rigour – what about examples? I can’t see how revelation and theology has any real standards as they font allow verification against reality. If you claim otherwise give us examples of where this has happened.

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  68. Richard Christie

    Yes please AJ, please tell us about your experience with revelation.
    Voices? visions? just knowing?
    What has been your experience?

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  69. A. J. Chesswas

    I meant I would have accepted Galileo’s heliocentrism. I wasn’t aware he made a comment that revelation of scripture and church cannot tell us anything about the real world. I would have rejected this as well. And I have know knowledge of “the church” comprehensively and collectively accepting such a thesis.

    The primary means of revelation for the Christian faith is the person on Jesus Christ. The primary means of accessing this revelation is through the gospels, the letters and the prophetic tradition found in the Bible. And then there is the work of Christ’s spirit in the world. Any person can collect information on these fronts, test that information for consistency and clarity, and compare and contrast that information with other claimed modes of revelation. And, just as a scientist does, one can do this with reference to their own interests, but also their own intuitions, to ensure they are being appropriately critical and reflective. Theology that reflects such an ethic is comparatively MORE scientific than the kind of theology which you seem to think speaks for the whole church – blind, untested, bigotry.

    Like

  70. Richard Christie

    Sounds like bafflegab to me.

    The primary means of accessing this revelation is through the gospels, the letters and the prophetic tradition found in the Bible. And then there is the work of Christ’s spirit in the world.

    The authority of a magic book and claiming to see the work of a ghost.

    How did you test that whatever you attribute to a ghost was indeed the work of the ghost? Like, scientifically test it?

    Like

  71. A. J. Chesswas

    It is rather absurd that your only source material for your view on religion pertains to an episode in history that happened 5 centuries ago!

    Like

  72. A. J. Chesswas

    On what basis do you label the gospels “magic books”? Have you ever read Habermas on communicative rationality and strategic rationality? Your use of language would suggest that in this thread you are employing the latter. I’m not interested in a war of words, I’m interested in understanding you, and you understanding me.

    Like

  73. AJ, Galileo was found guilty (In1633) of having an opinion (namely that the earth moved and theat the sun was the centre of the universe) after he had been told not to have that opinion (Iin1616). While apologists attempt to justify that even today, incredibly, the difference between theology and science, epistemology, is very clear.

    Galileo and his treatment are important because they illustrate an essential condition for the scientific revoloution was the need for independence of scientific epistemology and the breaking away of science from religion in that sense (I have never claimed individuals cannnot hold both relgious beliefs and a committment to scientific episteomoly, never).

    Now, AJ, you are just being silly to say “It is rather absurd that your only source material for your view on religion pertains to an episode in history that happened 5 centuries ago!” Have a look thorugh this blog and you will find I often review current books, etc., on this subject, and am happy to volunteer my own thoughts on the subject. It is disingeious to jump on specific examples and then claim that is my sole knowledge.

    You say you don’t know of “the church comprehensively and collectively accepting such a thesis” (that scripture is not a reliable source of information of the rela world). I will see if I actually have a documentary quote. Recently I have been reading through documents from the time and the response of historians and the chuirch since to the Galileo affair. I read that the catholic church had made that judgement – I will see if any specific document is quoted.

    Of course – I pointed out that the church crossed their fiungers behind their back when that made that ruling – they still regularly interfere in scientific issues. So “comprehensive” may bge your out.

    But look. You have not given a single spoecific example of how your apply scientific rigour to revelation. We can easily do that with specific scientific ideas or knwoledge. Can you do that with revelation? Specifically?

    Like

  74. Richard Christie

    Still sounds like bafflegab to me.

    The authority of a magic book and claiming to see the work of a ghost.

    How did you test that whatever you attribute to a ghost was indeed the work of the ghost? Like, scientifically test it?

    Like

  75. Richard Christie

    Any person can collect information on these fronts, test that information for consistency and clarity, and compare and contrast that information with other claimed modes of revelation. And, just as a scientist does, one can do this with reference to their own interests, but also their own intuitions, to ensure they are being appropriately critical and reflective.

    LOL, test revelation by comparing its consistency with previous claims of revelation. Yeah right.

    Like

  76.  AJ I promised to check out that document. It is actually Pope Leo XIII’s 1893 Encyclical “Providentiddimus Deus.”

    He didn’t refer specifically to Galileo but used Galileo’s exact arguments and quotes from St Augustine:

    On the nonscientific authority of scripture “the holy ghost . . . did not intend to teach men . . . the things of the visible universe”;

    On the priority of demonstrated physical truth (nature before scripture) “whatever they can really demonstrate . . . we must show to be capable of reconciliation with our scripture.” 

    My source is Maurice A. Finocchiaro’s “Retrying Galileo 1633-1992″ – he is reliable and recognised as such. He says:

     ” It is not surprising that Leo’s encyclical has been widely perceived as the Church’s belated endorsement of the second fundamental belief for which Galileo had originally been condemned, namely that scripture is not an authority on astronomy. . . This interpretation was also endorsed by Pope John Paul II in 1979-1992.”

    Like

  77. Pandasthumb has done a facinating in-depth look at what make Breivik tick and how the ID mob have already tried to spin things to their advantage. The bit where Breivik prayed hard and his god delivered the goods was…a genuine WFT moment.
    A.J, if you are still interested, it also give a lot of interesting details on the blogs he cut-and-paste from.
    Recommended reading.

    Like

  78. as a staunch aetheist who is open to the idea that society is in fact better off with morally minded deistic leadership rather than marxist/fascist control worshiping of human beings in charge of other human beings……..

    i am constantly amazed by how sheep minded many intelligent people are. the problem of sheep mindedness is a problem of perspective not of ‘intelligence’. perspective that i am pointing to is the predisposition to view problems and analyses from a certain point of view. the sheep views from a singular point of view, frequently the one presented to them. a person can be a religious sheep, and aethesit sheep, a global warming sheep, a lesse-fair sheep. there are many colors of the rainbow , one for each idea that is peddled to the many different groups of people who are sought to support the interests benefitting from each respective group mindlessely following a point of view supporting the interest groups ends.

    with global warming there are many different interest groups involved. I have always been happy to see scientists getting money to do research, even if there is always a certain percentage of it that is corrupt and bogus. this the price to be paid. there is waste in every system and i prefer the price of waste in science than waste in other areas that the government and non profits whould otherwise choose to spend their money on .

    however, there are also other interest groups. these groups include many financial institutions, banks and other financial product ‘innovators. these are the very same institutions responsible for the debt epidemic that is destroying western economies and itself threatens to derail science funding ( for example the u.s. has just shut down the shuttle program and no longer can afford to fund the international space station ) ………
    these financial interests seek to ‘use’ ANY and ALL crisis as opportunities to enrich themselves at the expense of the public. carbon credits, and other trading schemes have already been proven to be RIFE with scams. Also, Tax schemes are themselves frequently driven to enrich the government without actually bringing about any intelligent POLICY, and just wind up being passed by industry onto consumer. needleslly higher energy costs DO NOT result in progressive science or in the invention of progressive technologies which can replace coal. government rarely proves itself succesful at organizing complex tax schemes to bring about any effect other than enriching the biggest industries, .. coal and oil benefit from tax incentives far beyond any carbon tax could reverse. the beauracratic logic of tax incentives used to rationalize carbon taxes as a policy for remediating global warming are the same logical roots that uphold tax schemes which directly cause global warming by encouraging the status quo ( that is , if you believe in global warming being caused by fossil fuel combustion ) .

    it is not remarkeable that the global warming crowd is , like most crowds, comprised mostly of sheep. and that the many, who follow blindly, do not give a thought to the persepctive of WHO stnads to gain by manipulating the global warming argument toward certain policies as opposed to other policies. any discussion of this sheep like perspective naturally results in counter attack with the sheep like labeling practice of closing off the argument by labeling it as simply ‘denial’.

    this is typical of the ‘you are with us or against us’ mentality of the bush administration and of other ‘black or white’ thought dynamics which are typical of anti-scientific perspectives . alarmists’ oversimplification is characteristic some of the very ‘deniers’ that they attack. there are legitimate reasons to listen to someone who is talking about why the political movement of global warming is itself a dead end, regardless of the extent of truth contain in the climate change prediction/hypothesis. one of those reasons is to understand how a real solution is not brought about by sheep, but by intelligent thoughtful planning of solutions which are designed to bring about change of behavior rather than change of financial firms’ and governments’ bank accounts.

    Like

  79. It’s old news, Zeev.
    The whole Marxist/Fascist, science corruption, global warming hoax sheep thingy….it’s all been said before. Breivik has alreadly stated it better. You are late to the party.

    Green is the new Red – Stop Enviro-Communism!

    You might know them as environmentalists, enviro-communists, ecoMarxists, neo-Communists or eco-fanatics. They all claim they want to save the world from global warming but their true agenda is to contribute to create a world government lead by the UN or in other ways increase the transfer of resources (redistribute resources) from the developed Western world to the third world. They hope to accomplish this through the distribution of misinformation (propaganda) which they hope will lead to increased taxation of already excessively taxed Europeans and US citizens. The neo-communist agenda uses politicised science to propagate the global warming scam in order to implement their true agenda; global Marxism. Marxism’s ultimate goal blah, blah, blah…

    Like

  80. Are you not (like the conservatives you condemn) using this tragedy to promote your own ideology? Just a thought.

    Like

  81. No, Whima!

    And I can’t see how you got that idea as you don’t explain yourself.

    Like

  82. Think about it a little Ken. It is not complicated. Just something to consider.

    Like

  83. Whima, the fact that I wrote this article indicates I have thought about the issue.

    The fact that you can’t explain your accusation leads to a rather self evident conclusion.

    However, you obviously are not interested in expressing or exchanging ideas. You can lead a horse to water . . . . .

    Like

  84. Are you not (like the conservatives you condemn) using this tragedy to promote your own ideology?

    If you want to make a point then…make it and back it up.

    You, however, are just JAQ’ing off.
    Stop being a troll.

    Usually JAQing off (aka a type of Playing Devil’s Advocate) is a form of Trollism where rather than make declarative statements that you might then have to defend, you disguise the statement as a question and coyly claim that “I’m Just Asking a Question.” For example, in climate Denial you can JAQ off the false statement “CO2 is insignificant as a greenhouse gas” by simply prefixing it with “but isn’t it true that … ?”

    JAQing off has several advantages:

    1.you get to make the claim without having to defend it beyond the initial statement;
    2.it can make Trolls indistinguishable from people who are legitimately curious or confused and hence are less likely to be simply dismissed as a Troll;
    3.If the Troll is dismissed without an answer it will look as if the science proponent is intolerant and/or unable to answer the question;
    4.if the science proponent cannot answer the question, the point goes to the Troll;
    5.it will pull the science proponent into a long explanation of the facts if they are able to do so, at the very least wasting their time if nothing else.
    The disadvantage of JAQing off is that the questioner cannot pretend innocence and then suddenly start responding to the answer, at least not without exposing themselves as a Troll. To engage in any depth it is necessary to pretend a series of linked “yeah, but…” questions, and those can only be carried so far without exposing the deceit.

    For the Troll another problem is that “the question” is necessarily limited in the amount of alleged information that it contains, at least if it is to remain plausible as an innocent question. However, it creates a context where the science proponent get’s to lay out as many facts as they are able in order to answer “the question”. As a form of public theatre this can backfire badly. As such JAQing off is not that effective a technique when engaging informed science proponents.

    In print form JAQing off obviously does not suffer from the disadvantages associated with a back and forth exchange. However, it is not credible to JAQ off an issue in depth without revealing that you are being duplicitous, so it is not useful to approaching the main subject this way. Instead the way to do it is to JAQ off a number of associated issues with only one or two questions each such that they cast doubt on the actual facts.

    Global Warming and the sun, JAQing off with NRO’s Jonah Goldberg

    Like

  85. It was just an observation. Take it or leave it. That’s fine.

    Like

  86. It was just an observation.

    No, you were jacking off.
    It’s a form of trolling and it’s not acceptable behaviour amongst adults..
    You want to make a genuine observation?
    Really?
    Then stop acting like a wanker and make it. State it properly instead of cowardly hiding behind a question and back up your reasoning with evidence.

    Like

  87. Jacking off? Odd thing to say.

    Like

  88. Jacking off? Odd thing to say.

    Usually JAQing off (aka a type of Playing Devil’s Advocate) is a form of Trollism where rather than make declarative statements that you might then have to defend, you disguise the statement as a question and coyly claim that “I’m Just Asking a Question.” For example, in climate Denial you can JAQ off the false statement “CO2 is insignificant as a greenhouse gas” by simply prefixing it with “but isn’t it true that … ?”

    JAQing off has several advantages:

    1.you get to make the claim without having to defend it beyond the initial statement;
    2.it can make Trolls indistinguishable from people who are legitimately curious or confused and hence are less likely to be simply dismissed as a Troll;
    3.If the Troll is dismissed without an answer it will look as if the science proponent is intolerant and/or unable to answer the question;
    4.if the science proponent cannot answer the question, the point goes to the Troll;
    5.it will pull the science proponent into a long explanation of the facts if they are able to do so, at the very least wasting their time if nothing else.
    The disadvantage of JAQing off is that the questioner cannot pretend innocence and then suddenly start responding to the answer, at least not without exposing themselves as a Troll. To engage in any depth it is necessary to pretend a series of linked “yeah, but…” questions, and those can only be carried so far without exposing the deceit.

    For the Troll another problem is that “the question” is necessarily limited in the amount of alleged information that it contains, at least if it is to remain plausible as an innocent question. However, it creates a context where the science proponent get’s to lay out as many facts as they are able in order to answer “the question”. As a form of public theatre this can backfire badly. As such JAQing off is not that effective a technique when engaging informed science proponents.

    In print form JAQing off obviously does not suffer from the disadvantages associated with a back and forth exchange. However, it is not credible to JAQ off an issue in depth without revealing that you are being duplicitous, so it is not useful to approaching the main subject this way. Instead the way to do it is to JAQ off a number of associated issues with only one or two questions each such that they cast doubt on the actual facts.

    Like

  89. Odd to call a stranger a “wanker”.

    Like

  90. I thought this sums up Cedric perfctly

    Reverse Trolling

    When someone of little or no intelligence on the internet gets into a discussion, debate, or argument that they cannot keep up with because of their inability to think and process information outside of their closed little mind, and respond by calling the other person more intelligent than them (A TROLL)! This act is therefore TROLLING because it’s a cop out to an intelligent conversation by which the one more intelligent is falsely accused of being a troll as a trolling diversion tactic of the Reverse Trolling which is always done by stupid trolls. Also, to call someone a Troll when they are Not A Troll.

    Trolling is when you purposely do or say something to get a response for the sake of a laugh or attention. However, most people being shit brain stupid confuse this with popularity of already being famous and actually thinking so as to not follow stupid sheep that all do and say the same thing all the time. The inability to see these differences combined with a habit of calling people trolls too often will always result in Reverse Trolling.

    Example A:

    First Person: A person of average or less than average intelligence can only perceive and conceive others as intelligent or less than intelligent as they themselves are. Very rarely, if at all, will they try to understand that which they are not open to, for they are not neutral and are still using labels to identify who and what they are, even though it is all misrepresentation of how they feel and think.

    Second Person: You’re a Troll.

    First Person: No, you’re a Troll for Reverse Trolling. It’s not my fault you are too stupid to keep up with the conversation.


    Example B:

    First Person: Did you hear what the president said on t.v.? He’s trolling!

    Second Person: He’s the President you dip shit, he’s not trolling, if anything he says as little as possible to keep people calm. Quit Reverse Trolling and grow a brain!


    Example C:

    First Person: I’m an Atheist.

    Second Person: So do you use The Scientific Method or do you always prematurely make up your mind about everything before knowing the facts? Most Atheists are just rebelling against everything and find it cool not to think at all, often telling other people what to think, and any belief system is a religion, so this makes Atheism just another religion.

    First Person: You’re a Troll.

    Second Person: No, you are Reverse Trolling for not being able to speak back with anything other than calling me a troll. Forget it, I’m leaving, come and find me when you grow a brain.

    Like

  91. Richard Christie

    This act is therefore TROLLING because it’s a cop out to an intelligent conversation by which the one more intelligent is falsely accused of being a troll
    Whima, might you please enlighten readers as to the intelligent conversation you brought to the discussion after Ken’s request of you for explanation and/or Cedric’s responses.

    Like

  92. Stop being a troll Richard.

    Like

  93. Meta-trolling seems to fit the bill here

    My posting was a “meta-troll”, in which I posted something with a
    completely straight face in hopes that someone else would try to make it
    look like I was being sarcastic. I evilly manipulated Dana with my
    sociopathic charms into HAVING SOME FUN–whether Dana wanted to or not!

    There are also “meta-meta-trolls”, which are sort of complicated to
    explain (if they even exist–I might be lying about whether there is
    such a thing as a meta-meta-troll solely to get people to try posting one)
    and then there’s “accidental trolling” and “self-trolling”.
    Self-trolling probably will never occur in a group like
    sci.anthropology, though–it only happens in places where people are so
    clueless that they can confuse themselves, like alt.sex.

    Like

  94. Was this post about Norway or something?

    Like

  95. Usually JAQing off (aka a type of Playing Devil’s Advocate) is a form of Trollism where rather than make declarative statements that you might then have to defend, you disguise the statement as a question and coyly claim that “I’m Just Asking a Question.” For example, in climate Denial you can JAQ off the false statement “CO2 is insignificant as a greenhouse gas” by simply prefixing it with “but isn’t it true that … ?”

    JAQing off has several advantages:

    1.you get to make the claim without having to defend it beyond the initial statement;
    2.it can make Trolls indistinguishable from people who are legitimately curious or confused and hence are less likely to be simply dismissed as a Troll;
    3.If the Troll is dismissed without an answer it will look as if the science proponent is intolerant and/or unable to answer the question;
    4.if the science proponent cannot answer the question, the point goes to the Troll;
    5.it will pull the science proponent into a long explanation of the facts if they are able to do so, at the very least wasting their time if nothing else.
    The disadvantage of JAQing off is that the questioner cannot pretend innocence and then suddenly start responding to the answer, at least not without exposing themselves as a Troll. To engage in any depth it is necessary to pretend a series of linked “yeah, but…” questions, and those can only be carried so far without exposing the deceit.

    For the Troll another problem is that “the question” is necessarily limited in the amount of alleged information that it contains, at least if it is to remain plausible as an innocent question. However, it creates a context where the science proponent get’s to lay out as many facts as they are able in order to answer “the question”. As a form of public theatre this can backfire badly. As such JAQing off is not that effective a technique when engaging informed science proponents.

    In print form JAQing off obviously does not suffer from the disadvantages associated with a back and forth exchange. However, it is not credible to JAQ off an issue in depth without revealing that you are being duplicitous, so it is not useful to approaching the main subject this way. Instead the way to do it is to JAQ off a number of associated issues with only one or two questions each such that they cast doubt on the actual facts.

    Like

  96. Cedric appears to have gone into an infinite loop, having repeated the same JAQing off quote three times.

    Do you need to be rebooted Cedric?

    Like

  97. Jacking off? Odd thing to say.

    Like

  98. JAQing off

    JAQing off is the act of spouting accusations while cowardly hiding behind the claim of “Just Asking Questions”.[1] The strategy is to keep asking leading questions in an attempt to influence listeners’ views; the term is derived from the frequent claim by the denialist that they are “just asking questions”, albeit in a manner much the same as political push polls. It is often associated with denialism in general.

    Famous JAQers

    Loose Change is a great example of JAQing. Replete with semi-truths and highly questionable leaps of logic, this documentary purports to show that the US government was behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001. This also applies to other 9/11 truthers, especially David Ray Griffin, whose work is merely meant to “ask disturbing questions.”
    Glenn Beck is possibly the most famous current implementer of this technique. His technique of raising issues without actively accusing anyone was parodied on the Did Glenn Beck Rape and Murder a Young Girl in 1990 website, which Beck tried and failed to shut down in 2009 by filing a dispute over the domain name.

    Or even

    The act of asking leading questions to influence your audience, then hiding behind the defense that they’re “Just Asking Questions,” even when the underlying assumptions are completely insane.
    “Did Obama kidnap and murder Natalee Holloway, then dump her body into the ocean?”
    “Quit JAQing off.”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=JAQing%20off

    BClimate change Denier writers and journalists like Jonah Goldberg have a very difficult challenge. How to report a story such that you can end with a conclusion that is the exact opposite of the obvious truth?

    Often they don’t have the luxury of too much outright lying such as much of the Denialosphere practices, at least if they write for publications that hope to retain some shred of credibility. So what to do?

    I thought it would be useful to look at how National Review Online’s Jonah Goldberg handled one recent Denier meme to underscore the principle techniques used. By being aware of them we are able to pick them out quickly and expose them for others.

    A week ago Meehl et al published “Amplifying the Pacific Climate System Response to a Small 11-Year Solar Cycle Forcing” in Science Magazine. This quickly found it’s way into the popular media in articles like ” Study says shines light on sun spot-climate link” (???) and and the even more poorly titled (in terms of accuracy, not grammer) “How Sunlight Controls Climate.” From there it jumped to the Denialosphere as the standard ‘It’s all just the Sun’ meme … again.

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/09/04/global-warming-and-the-sun-jaqing-off-with-nros-jonah-goldberg/


    I want to follow up Jesse’s excellent post on this ridiculous tide of people pretending that there’s legitimate, unresolved questions about intelligence differences between black and white people as groups, and I want to continue teasing out something Jill picked up on. The defenses of Stephanie Grace from the likes of Eugene Volokh and others—-and her own email—-are a classic example of what skeptics like to call “JAQ-ing off”. Ironically, I just was dealing with a cruder, stupider version of this from Jill Stanek and the other folks claiming that aborted fetuses in vaccines cause autism. But because the people that are “Just Asking Questions” about whether or not black people are stupider are more sophisticated, it might be hard to see that they’re doing the same thing to the same effect as the fetuses-in-vaccines nutters, which is making ridiculous, unscientific claims while pretending to be interested in scientific inquiry.

    http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/jaq_ing_off

    Like

  99. I suspect that Cedric is actually just a random text generator. The posts under Cedric seldom have any relation to what has been said but just cut and paste seemingly random bits from other blogs which seem to be chosen from key words in the previous post. A sort of auto-troll if you like.

    Like

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