Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Marco Rubio addresses atheist snark

This is great polemic. An atheist approaches Rubio with a well considered question. He is nice enough but the snark and irritation are strong in this one. He has a question that signals and positions, of the sort that some atheist like to talk about, that goes: honestly, when it gets down to it, why should silly superstitions be allowed muck up our rational scientific sanity? Why should materialists be made to suffer spiritualism in government? Atheists are a growing unserved group, you know. We love science.

Rubio is also prepared with well considered answers. Very prepared. Actually, Rubio has several well considered prepared answers. These are subjects he's already written about, already spoken about at length and repeatedly. He's recalling what he's already spoken at length about to various groups. He's picking position papers previous speeches and tacking them together, deciding which rehearsed speech to tack on next and deciding which direction to go and deciding when to stop. He could keep going. He talks a lot.

Do you think this changed the guy's mind? YouTube commenters pick up where the unseen gent in the video started. That is, back at square one. Everything Rubio says here means nothing to them. To them, everything Rubio says is just more annoying superstition and Rubio is quite silly for pursuing it.

And since we're talking past each other and repeating our basic statements I'll restate something the YouTube commenters skip over. Rubio did this poorly with a question: where do they [our rights] come from? They don't bother answering and this is critical because it puts man in place of God. The founders believed our rights come from God and therefore they are inalienable.

Without God then our American rights would come from man and therefore they are alienable.


rhhardin said...

Levinas covers it, first in Difficult Freedom, the first chapter, "A Religion for Adults;" and then about where rights come from in _Outside the Subject_, the chapter "The Rights of Man and the Rights of the Other."

Very quickly, religion is a poeticization of ethics; and ethics appear when the other guy appears as having all the rights. Rights start not as a contest of hostile wills but with taking care of the rights of the other guy.

My own very fast version, humanity starts with susceptibility to literary effects. The science guys miss that. Literary effects aren't superstision. The science guys even use them, with the lab coats and all.

rhhardin said...

I should add, in the rights chapter, that you appear as unique and irreplaceable only when you take care of the rights of the other guy. His key observation.

rhhardin said...

Who is the Messiah? He takes on the suffering of the world. Who takes on the suffering of the world except the being who says "I"? Everybody is the Messiah.

As Levinas puts it in an essay on Messiahism, in some book.

I take that as the valuable point in Christianity.

Much muddied up in mumbo jumbo that made no sense in sunday school and makes no more sense today.

rhhardin said...

The problem is dogmatizing the poetics. Then you get nuts.

bagoh20 said...

Having God given rights doesn't mean much if you don't have men's laws to protect them and men willing to enforce those laws. Where were these God given rights before men coded them in law? Where are they today in places where men have not yet done so? What is the practical difference between the atheist view and the religious? Some believe God given rights include the right to kill your daughter for embarrassing you. Perhaps it's beyond my intellect to understand, but I'm a simple man living within practical limits. I hope our rights are God given, but that is pure faith, and standing on that belief alone leads many to pacifism. Rights unstated or unprotected by men are rights you don't have, even if you claim them in the grandest of terms. The Declaration says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident,...". "We hold these truths..." In other words, we men have decided to believe this. When combined with WHAT they believe, then and only then do I sign on.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

I think this obsession on the identity of some "rights-giver" rather than the inviolability of rights-possession is downright silly. Do you remember every possession you have and maintain the proof of where it came from? If not, do we require you to relinquish it?

And where's the evidence that theists and deists respect rights better than atheists? Where's the evidence that so-called "atheist" regimes of the USSR and PRC aren't just equally theistic, tyrannical leader-worshipping cults?

bagoh20 said...

Unfortunately, history to date has shown that " tyrannical leader-worshipping cults are all we ever come up with instead of God. There is State worship as in Europe, but then the State is just rotating tyrannical leaders who give you what they think you need whether you want it or not, backed by a public demand for conformity. If you don't have a deep respect for liberty of the individual, you get cults. That's just how we roll most of the time. Many of us can't resist it even here with a Constitution based on liberty. What I mean to say is: we suck, mostly.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

" tyrannical leader-worshipping cults are all we ever come up with instead of God."

B-shit. You contradict yourself five sentences later by referencing the U.S. Unless, you meant to say that it is a country not considered by "history".

The way you talk makes it sound like you've never been to Europe.

The "state" is an abstract thing - but a thing that is merely closer to its people because they're more tightly-knit somewhat homogenous parliamentary systems. Closer to the people doesn't mean worshiped by them. Close friends don't "worship" each other. Closely held, private companies aren't worshipped by their owners or labor. Or are they?

In between hatred and deification lies a hell of a lot of ground.

bagoh20 said...

Yes, of course the State is your friend. He takes your money by force, and forces you to let rapists and criminals live in your house, because your friend thinks you should be more open, although he himself lives elsewhere in safety. And he walks around with armed guards yet insists that you remain unarmed, and he suggests you just shelter in place until he comes to collect your body. Well, with friends like that....

I have no friends who force me to pay for their friends desires at the expense of my own friends and family, or who strike fear in me when I get a letter or phone call from them.

"B-shit. You contradict yourself five sentences later by referencing the U.S. Unless, you meant to say that it is a country not considered by "history."

"That's just how we roll most of the time." There is a modifier in there, which means there is at least one exception, which is why we call it "American Exceptionalism", and nobody really talks about Greek Exceptionalism except for those who don't see what's exceptional here.

Bleach Drinkers Curing Coronavirus Together said...

What kind of straw do you use for your straw men, Bag? They seem to blow down with particular ease.