Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Reason Rally … not quite


Hip hip, Major premise!

Hip hip Minor Premise!

Yay! Yay! Yay!

Uh, no. Not if you go by supporter group Deep Fried Thinkers (March 19, 2012),

Responding at the Reason Rally: There’s been a bit of upset in the secular community about some of the people invited to speak at the Reason Rally. Some people don’t think Bill Maher should be speaking because of his vaccine denial, support for alternative medicine, and allegedly misogynistic views. Others are unhappy that Senator Tom Harkin will be speaking because he’s a Catholic and a big friend to alt med as well. I even saw that some are unhappy that Laurence Krauss will be there because of his defense of a pedophile.

Wow. Maybe it was wiser not to hold a Reason Rally if all this unsorted stuff comes tumbling out of the laundry basket at once … ?

Meanwhile, Hey Hey, Ho Ho
Contradiction gotta go …

Also, True Reason’s Tom Gilson contacted a key organizer to ask if there could be a dialogue component (Dawkins vs. Craig is preferred), and received the reply,

Make no mistake – you are not welcomed guests at the rally. We are not going to DC for ‘dialogue’ with people who believe ridiculous things – we are going to have fun with other like-minded people. Those who proselytize or interfere with our legal and well-deserved enjoyment will be escorted to the 1st Amendment pen by security, which will be plentiful, where you can stand with the Westborough Baptists and shout yourselves hoarse.

Spreading out among the crowd is not a substitute for a permit. Indeed, I will be meeting with the Parks Commission on Thursday to discuss how to handle your infiltrative permitless counter-protest.

Dr. Dawkins has made it clear that he doesn’t want to debate Mr. Craig. I am not sure how much clearer he (or I) could be.

Fun with other like-minded people … yay

“Spreading out among the crowd is not a substitute for a permit”? So far as we know, spreading out in a crowd for free speech purposes is a constitutional right in the United States, if not an inevitability.

Hey Hey Ho Ho
Constitution gotta go?

This is something the news desk has been trying to talk about for a long time. These new atheists’ bitch is not just with organized religion. It’s way deeper and broader.

It’s a war on human nature and on reality.

No question who’ll win. It’s the prospective casualties that concern us.

Note: Deep Fried wants us to know that “We are a people who support free speech. Let’s show the world how it works.” Actually, they could get started in their native Britain, which rivals Canada for speech police, but certainly not in activism against them.

"you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” signed Jesus tgpeeler
News: You cite Goldberg:
Goldberg defines it, correctly in my view, as the belief that politics is redemptive. That is, the government can bring in a millennium of peace and plenty just by controlling everything.
This is political messianism, of course, but the further implication is that this is about statism and government control. Looking to the government to deliver utopia, and in the face of the current crisis that calls for the messianic leader leads to big government control. And of course the standard way to do this is by the state bureaucracy and regulations that lock in industry and commerce into the system. That aptly illustrates how fascism is an ideology of the left, one that has historically had a lot of success in co-opting established traditional and economic power centres, by promising to lock in their own power base, just tie into the party-line. (Most people overlook the other definition of ownership: control.) In short, fascism is a kissing cousin of socialism. So much so that socialist systems tend to fall into it, not just capitalist ones with a big government facing crises that seem to call for political messiahs and for letting such act the part of the Nietzschean superman. The basic dynamics are the same, what varies is how much power the superman-state can extract, based on the balance of power with the existing institutions -- for the moment. After all, all it takes to trigger a panic enabling act is a half mad Dutch boy and a burning Reichstag. The core problem with this is that it is idolatry, idolatry of the state -- often, personified in some new Nero or Nimrod. Idolatry ALWAYS leads to slavery. KF kairosfocus
I quickly scanned Cashmore's article. What utter nonsense couched as "science." The very idea that there is a "seamless" transition from physics and chemistry to biology is an intellectual conceit that has poisoned biology for over 150 years or so. The dividing line between life (biology) and non-life (physics and chemistry) is INFORMATION. No information, no life. And information is, in principle, inexplicable in terms of physical laws. Anyone who says so either hasn't thought it through or is a fool. tgpeeler
Mike Lafontaine needs to read Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism. Fascism is an attitude, an approach to government. Goldberg defines it, correctly in my view, as the belief that politics is redemptive. That is, the government can bring in a millennium of peace and plenty just by controlling everything. Non-fascists don't see politics as redemptive. They do think that government has some serious obligations to fulfil that, when fulfilled, will not bring about a millennium, just make a given nation a better place to be a citizen. So government must not trample carelesslyon traditional rights and freedoms in the name of doing some kind of good. Fascists can be quickly identified in the United States to the extent that they have a real problem with the First Amendment to the Constitution. If only the government could just shut down people who don't go along with the program, they say ... News
@Mike. I don't think we disagree. I never said the radical secularists are the only fascists. Barry Arrington
Barry, in comment 1, you present the chain link enclosed free speech zone as a tool of the radical-secular left. While that most certainly true, it is also has been used folks on the opposite end of the political spectrum. Marginalizing unpopular speech by moving it away from polite company (and TV cameras) is a tool of any group of people with power to wield and narratives to manage. Mike LaFontaine
@Mike, I am not sure what you mean. Please unpack your comment for me. Barry Arrington
I am the author of the Deep-Fried Freethinkers' post and I'd like to make a clarification or two if I may. First, we are from Mississippi, not Britain. We're both American - born and raised. Second, my point was that we secular people don't have to agree with whatever we're told. That is our strength - we can think for ourselves. We can voice our dissent and settle our differences through reason, not scriptures or dogma. Third, we do support your free speech rights. If you come up to me at the rally and offer me literature, I will take it and say, "Thank you." Then I will write a response on my blog when I get home. Unless you harass others, then I think you are well within your rights to mingle. It's my hope that you might hear something there that would disabuse you of your misconceptions about us. tweenkyd
link for above: http://www.pnas.org/content/107/10/4499.full.pdf+html Blue_Savannah
Reason rally? How can mere bags of chemicals without free will (according to atheists), 'reason'????????? The reality is, not only do we have no more free will than a fly or a bacterium, in actuality we have no more free will than a bowl of sugar. The laws of nature are uniform throughout, and these laws do not accommodate the concept of free will..... .... as living systems we are nothing more than a bag of chemicals. http://www.pnas.org/content/107/10/4499.full.pdf+html Perhaps that's why they have the "first amendment pen" ...they don't want anyone bringing up such things and ruining the "bags of chemcals'" good time. Blue_Savannah
I love what you do here, Barry, and I generally agree with you. But Free Speech Zones have a long and sordid history on both sides of the political spectrum. Mike LaFontaine
"Those who proselytize or interfere with our legal and well-deserved enjoyment will be escorted to the 1st Amendment pen by security, which will be plentiful . . ." Thus we get a glimpse of the ugly fascist underbelly of the radical-secular left. They are usually so careful to keep their fascism hidden under happy faced “rights” talk. But it is clear that to them freedom of speech means everyone who agrees with them is free to speak. The rest, off to the pens with ya. It is worrisome that they now feel bold enough to let us get a glimpse under the mask. If they are giving us glimpses now, one wonders how long we have before the mask comes off completely, and instead of hauling their opponents off to the pens they will begin emulating their fascist forbearers and haul them off to the chambers. Barry Arrington

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