Saturday, October 3, 2009

To the brain, faith is fact

Sam Harris of the Reason Project has completed a study that shows people of faith take their "belief without evidence" as fact.

You can read commentary on the study here:

And the study details here:

This seems to offer a hypothesis that supernatural claims of knowing are not what they appear to be. To put it more bluntly, there is no such thing as a Holy Spirit. Victor Stenger in his new book The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason argues for the material manifestation of mind. Harris' study offers confirmation for material reality over supernatural claims and shows that faith as belief without evidence may feel like fact to the person comprehending it but, it does not mean that it is fact.

I find this science fascinating because it supports my understanding of faith and the availability heuristic.

It's amazing that people of faith will activate their brain in such a way to endorse as fact untestable claims. I understand now how people can fly planes into buildings or why James Dobson can shamelessly compare concensual homosexual relationships to some kind of mental illness.

To their brains their faith is a fact and they will do whatever is necessary to animate these facts into righteous action.

It doesn't make faith any more noble but it does explain the power of self-righteous delusions.


Barb said...

This is science? Ha!

Of course, when we have faith in something it is fact to us --just as your faith in NO God is fact to you--or whatever it is you BELIEVE.

What we BELIEVE IS TRUTH TO US! Of course --and it is subjective --but we believe that what we believe is objectively true--or we wouldn't "believe it", now, would we???

I hope he didn't get a research grant for this nonsense.

Barb said...

As for the homosexuality issue, you factually believe there is nothing wrong with homosexual behaviors and affections --and I do believe the opposite. I believe we have choice in what we do with our attractions --whether or not we nurture them, cultivate them and indulge them--or not. We have society's approval through milennia to indulge heterosexual attraction between consenting adults -and coupling --but not any other. We have nature's seal of approval on it --in that it produces the next generation --and the women and men are ideally suited for their respective roles of mothering/nurturing and supporting/protecting. Together they make the ideal team to prepare the next generation to survive and succeed as civilized, humane beings.

Gandolf said...

"We have nature's seal of approval on it --in that it produces the next generation --and the women and men are ideally suited for their respective roles of mothering/nurturing and supporting/protecting. Together they make the ideal team to prepare the next generation to survive and succeed as civilized, humane beings"

With the world fast becoming over populated,nature has put its seal of approval on it.That for sure we need as many more male female couples as possible to couple to create as many more people as possible.

Natures seal of approval only ever could = overpopulation

Theres no room in this world now for happy contented same sex couples,to adopt children without a home.Though we know we dont live in a perfect world these children all need a mother and father,and society around them could never grow to help bridge that gap.

Which is why widowed womens kids are never able to find a way to still survive.

Its a ideal team to prepare the next generation to survive and succeed as civilized humane beings,that we must be ridged in not ever be prepared to even take a small glance outside what we might see as only being the black and white of life.

Hi Chuck hope you dont mind me poping in to your blog.I have been quietly just reading whats been said for awhile.

Personally i agree with you many of Barbs thoughts seem to be simply based upon old religious assertions.And full of biggotry and bais.

mud_rake said...

"many of Barbs thoughts seem to be simply based upon old religious assertions.And full of biggotry and bais."

That's for sure.

Barb has been blogging ever since I blogged on one of her anti-gay letters to the editor of the Toledo Blade a few years ago. She is a born-again homophobe and runs the best homophobe blog in Ohio.

The trouble is, she doesn't think she is; but then, people with OCD have difficulty with reality.

As the main thread above points out, people like Barb live 'self-righteous delusions' 24/7.

Barb has been banned from more blogs than you can shake a stick at, including the famous Pharyngula blog where she was laughed into banishment with her delusional comments.

One ought not take her too seriously because, as I have discovered time after time, she will flood a blog with fundamentalist tripe and homophobic disertations if given the chance.

Barb is a case study all to herself for Harris's 'confirmation for material reality over supernatural claims and shows that faith as belief without evidence may feel like fact to the person comprehending it but, it does not mean that it is fact.'

What goes on inside the head of one obsessed with religious delusion cannot be rationalized or debated- reality is optional for these folks.

My suggestion is ignore her comments until she finds another blog to infest. She will.

Barb said...

And look who's obsessed with me? heh heh

Nice you could drop in Mudly--I'm sure you'll visit more often now that you know I'm here. Too bad you can't stand disagreement on your own blog. and too bad you NEVER NEVER EVER address the issues raised by your commenters who disagree with you --and never substantively comment- You only run around to troll. You are the most miserable soul I've ever encountered. Many of MY friends think you are not only nuts, but dangerous --printing people's personal info, e.g., as you have done to me.

Barb said...

My saving grace was when the Christian network revealed your identity --address and all --and noted YOU had been kicked off blogs --but not mine --just censured when you published addresses and spam. Mudrake --foiled again!

You obsessively change your commenting policies, your blog, stop your blog, start new ones --and just seem to be spittin' mad and fuming all the time if any Christian gets near your blog or someone else's --you once said we should all be rounded up and put in internment camps.

What YOU believe is FACTUAL or based on fact in your mind, Mudrake --and Gandolf. Allow me the same privilege, please.

But, in truth, I bet one of us is right about God as Christ has given us the way to go. I listen to a resurrected man who performed miracles and taught about love and forgivenss --

and thus it is, I frequently offer an olive branch to my nemesis mudrake.

Ken Pulliam, Ph.D. said...

Thanks for the post and links. I encounter people who have substituted faith for fact all the time. My own mother, bless her heart, is that way. I was talking with her about the injustice of the penal substitutionary theory of the death of Christ and her response was: "you are thinking too much, you have to just have faith." I understand where she is coming from and I would never try to strip her of faith. She is 75 and has lost her husband (my dad) and her only other child (my brother) within the last 10 months (both to pancreatic cancer). Her faith is what keeps her going.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Thanks Dr. Ken,

I am with you. My wife is a strong believer and her faith makes her personality very attractive. I am not against people who revel in the mystery of faith but I am against fundamentalist theology that honors faith over reason. History seems to show that people who have that type of pyschological mix usually end up justifying horrible atrocities due to their presupposed status. James Dobson is an example of what I mean by this. I find his ideas to be exclusive and hurtful. They offend my ethics.

Ken Pulliam, Ph.D. said...


Have you read Frank Scaheffer's book: Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All? In it he talks about his experiences rubbing shoulders with James Dobson among others and if I remember right he says that Dobson is "power-crazed" and has a super-sized ego. As you may know, Frank Schaeffer is the son of the famous Christian apologist, Francis Schaeffer. I am looking forward to his new book: Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don't Like Religion (or Atheism).

PhillyChief said...

No surprise really. We see everyday people who start with a presumption and then work to prove it true (or make it true), regardless of any contradictory evidence. For instance, my bet is that if they were to definitively conclude that homosexuality is genetic, people like Barb would then just shift their view to it being a genetic defect, perhaps a test, a "cross to bear" if you would, for the person so "afflicted" to resist. Then of course they'd raise money for a "cure", or not if they were adamant that it was a test from their god because then they couldn't dare tamper with their god's intent (except perhaps if they themselves were having trouble conceiving a child, in which case any fertility method would be ok).

To (hopefully) lesser degrees we're all susceptible to this. Maybe we ignore evidence that our kids are lying or doing something bad, or that our candidate might be wrong, or something. It can be a challenge to always be open-minded, but that's a valid cross to bear. ;)

Chuck O'Connor said...

Dr. Ken,

I haven't read Schaefer's book but, when I started encountering doubts I saw him on an interview and his perspective mirrored my own. I think it would be a good one to get. Thanks for the tip.


I agree with you. The evolutionary changes to Christian moral absolutes accompanied by selective memory of current Christians offends my sense of honesty and morality. It is one contiuous and constant example of why Christianity seems to fail for me. It lacks the rigorous honesty necessary to provide a mature and accoutable ethic. Believers seem to be so caught up in their own salvation and the love affair they are having with their Jesus that they fail to engage with current injustices and politically seem to side with the powerful. Accountability matters little because they serve Christ and their actions are not their own, they are governed by the Holy Spirit. It seems like childish self-love predicatd on popular obedience.

PhillyChief said...

Add to that how the Christian variant of the Golden Rule removes empathy, and you really have a recipe for narcissistic self indulgence.

Barb said...

Philly Chief --how does the "Christian variant" of the Golden Rule "remove empathy?"

I doubt if little Franky Schaffer has a smaller ego than Jim Dobson. I'm sure Dobson knows it's a sin to indulge or have a big ego. I do think Dobson has a big heart, evidenced in his writings and his teaching videos. I think he really wants to help kids grow up secure and happy in happy homes.
I'm sure he believes that homosexual sodomy is neither reasonable nor healthy. Likewise with atheism. I don't think he lacks empathy or sympathy.

So how do you think Dobson's positions are hurtful? Because of homosexuality and gay marriage? What if homosex and gay marriage are hurtful?

I had a wonderful Christian grandfather --a most jolly, empathetic, sympathetic, and humble man, also a PhD, book author, college pres/seminary chair, headquarters pastor --etc --very accomplished, yet humble --despite some ego! Enough ego to not appreciate the guy that moved a pier on to the little lake landing he had cultivated and claimed squatters' rights to for himself --enough ego to resent snobs in the seminary or church hierarchy. But he knew and recognized these manifestations of ego and that in itself, kept him humble!

You laud reason and facts over faith-- how is it reasonable to ignore the facts about homosexuality and its high rate of HIV infection--and the fact that sodomy is just perverse and vulgar and unnatural --a substitute for real sex with its procreative, natural male-female design?

John Wesley said we know God and His will through scripture, tradition, experience(the Holy Spirit) and REASON!

So not all Christians are unreasonable in their faith.

But the man who thinks his unbelief is more factual than another's belief, is deluding himself. Everyone who holds opinions thinks his are based on fact/truth. We can't all be right.

Barb said...

PhillyChief --you are probably right in thinking I would consider homosexuality a genetic defect if they could prove it WERE congenital in some way.

the orientation is one thing--I can imagine all kinds of ways one might be attracted emotionally/romantically to persons of the same sex -especially in one who thinks of himself as the opposite sex -thinks LIKE the opposite sex --having been effeminized by family--or lack thereof-but to PREFER intimate relations via sodomy is really gross --and I believe it starts with the activity more than the attraction--the orgasmic activity in youth becomes the attraction and the addiction--an unhealthy fixation. ANY promiscuity becomes a fixation and unhealthy. People who have learned to drop trou easily are severely weakened in their ability to resist libidinous thoughts and opportunities --even in public parks and rest rooms! They become driven by their perversity. And for that, are to be pitied --but not celebrated and their perversities ought not be legitimated by law as "marriage" --as a foundation for family life.

PhillyChief said...


Golden Rule

The Christian variant says "do unto others as YOU would want done onto YOU." That's all well and good if the others you encounter share your opinion of what's good. For instance, if you'd like a burger if you were hungry and you encountered someone who was hungry and who happened to like burgers, then it would be kind to give them a burger, but what if they didn't care for burgers? What if they were Vegan? They then could be insulted by your gift (especially if say they were Vegan for religious reasons), and you'd be puzzled as to why. You might even be insulted or angry that your gift was rejected.

Now that's a very basic example, and one which (I would hope) would get sorted out pretty quickly based on basic human empathy (not the Christian Golden Rule, mind you), but what about something more complicated like laws which prohibit the sale of adult materials? In such a case, you might deem the material evil and thus would naturally not want that material in stores. Others might not share your opinion of such material being evil though, and would want access to them, but to allow others access would require personal empathy again, like in the burger example, for the CGR makes no account for it. Instead, it encourages you to do for others what you'd want done for you, and if you would want someone to protect you from such material then it would seem logical that they'd similarly appreciate being so protected. This then promotes actions which, believed to be beneficial, are actually impositions upon others. Clear examples of this would be Blue Laws, bans on sales of alcohol and sex toys, and it's what fuels attempts to ban reproductive rights as well as equal rights for gays.

"You laud reason and facts over faith-- how is it reasonable to ignore the facts about homosexuality and its high rate of HIV infection--and the fact that sodomy is just perverse and vulgar and unnatural --a substitute for real sex with its procreative, natural male-female design?"

What exactly are you trying to say by pointing out that there's a higher concentration of HIV in gays than straights? There's a higher rate in minorities than whites and there's a higher rate in lower income people than higher income people. What does that have to do with discussing rights for whites, minorities, rich or poor?

If you valued facts, you'd realize your opinions on sex are just that, opinions, and not facts. You'd probably realize that easier and not work so hard to impose your opinions on others if you didn't have your empathy retarded by the CGR. Oh, and sex if for more than merely procreation AND there's nothing to suggest that it's a product of design but rather it's a result of evolution. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of examples in nature where homosexuality occurs in animals, which is quite a conundrum if you happen to be correct about design. ;)

"Everyone who holds opinions thinks his are based on fact/truth. We can't all be right."

Well you would have a better chance if your opinions actually were based on some evidence, but your anti-gay opinions aren't. You might want to take a gander at a previous post of mine where I refute most of those opinions with ones based on logic and evidence.

Gandolf said...

The CGR is very flawed in my opinion.

Christians wish to ban the rights of Gays for instance.

Yet Christians wouldnt find it quite so pleasing if Gays wished to ban Christianity.Funny that.Wonder why?,if we do unto others which includes banning things,by the CGR we should surely expect the same in return .No?

The Golden Rule of Christianity is worthless.Its a one sided load of rubbish.Thats my opinion of it anyway.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Hi Barb,

Nice to see you back. I still find your point of view nothing more than bigotry.

You might also want to check out Dr. Dobson's rules for child rearing before you appeal to him as an authority on domestic peace. I am a survivor of child abuse and have worked with children who have survived it and my estimation of Dr. Dobson's suggestions in child rearing amount to abuse. He is not someone I would define as you define him.

Philly, love your insight and your blog is very smart. Thanks for posting.

Gandy, very intelligent again.

Barb said...

I know some children who needed to be spanked --not beaten--in their toddler years --who are now uncontrollable brats. spanking is a proper option in an array of other child-correcting/teaching methods. Time-out works, also--but not with the brat. If you don't MAKE a kid sit in time out, it won't work, obviously--and some parents cannot MAKE their kid do anything --because the kid is begging for a whoopin on the hiney --to humble him so he can respect the authority of the parent enough to go into time-out when told to do so.

I believe an undisciplined child is a miserable child --who makes everyone else miserable, too.

Dobson is cautious in recommending corporal punishment these days -- not wanting to give abusers a license.

I have seen classrooms where a principal with a paddle was needed --these little tyrants run classrooms to their own detriment all through school years.

There IS a weakness in the Golden Rule --Say you were a Chester the Molester, who wanted someone to caress you sexually --By the Golden Rule, you would therefore try it on others--since you want it done to you. Which would get you into a heap o trouble!

Obviously, Jesus is saying we should treat each other well, kindly, generously, forgivingly --because that's the treatment we want toward ourselves. It does depend on people agreeing as to what is good treatment of oneself.

Barb said...

Jesus often talked to audiences who agreed about basic morality --the Jews. So when He teaches the golden rule, the listeners are in agreement about the nature of good and evil.

When I oppose porn, as I do, and other immorality, there are golden rule issues involved. Would the wife like the husband to be a porn user? Would the husband like his wife to be unfaithful in any way? Would parents want their daughter to be into porn, prostitution and drugs --as so many porn stars have been? Are porn stars and prostitutes generally "happy hookers?" or would they prefer to be respected, cherished, protected, supported without selling sex -- and married --like "Pretty Woman," in the movie?

Do we want a culture that destroys family security and happiness --or one that enhances it?

Chuck O'Connor said...


I recommend this link:

It is from a Christian organization. There is nothing sane about Dr. Dobson's methods and they constitute abuse.

Barb said...

So you think a spanking is abuse? I don't like to see any punishment in anger --without self-control by the parent or principal. But there are kids who need their gargantuan and willful egos restrained --and a whack on the fanny can do it sometimes when nothing else works. A child out of control is headed for bigger trouble than a spanking.

Barb said...

The reviewer is taking phrases and words out of context to make them appear as "name-calling." Didn't sound like a Christian writer to me --way too critical of a man who has done a lot of good to help parents --and get fathers to "turn their hearts toward home."

Dobson isn't like the reviewer describes him. I've read all his books but the new one--and I'm sure he's consistent with what I've read by him before. And he's right --some kids are tyrants in their homes --anarchists.

I agree that some children don't need naps ----there is an awkward age --where if they don't nap, they fall asleep during dinner --and then want to wake before dawn. But there comes a point when they aren't really sleepy in the afternoon --so a better choice is to just have them spend time being quiet in their beds for awhile --"resting," --usually the mother needs a rest or a chance to do something without having to supervise the child so closely.

And bed time is enforced in a well-parented home --whether in the afternoon or evening --but of course, no one can force someone to fall asleep.

The reviewer says Dobson isn't ordained in any church or an MD. No, he's a member of the Nazarene church historically --4th generation or so to about 3 generations of ordained ministers. He is a child psychologist with the PhD from a secular uni --and taught on the staff of a state university in California. Maybe UCLA --or Southern Cal.

He's been very successful in giving direction to parents --and he's not all about the rod --or any harmful discipline. He also wrote "hide or seek" to develop positive self-esteem in children. He spoke of the children who don't get the gold coins of looks, intelligence, or talent --and how all children need to feel successful in something --and be helped in their academic and talent pursuits.

Gandolf said...

My father passed away when i was 18months of age,there was 5 other children all atleast 10 years + older than i.When i was growing up mum got my oldest brother to dish out punishments ,not for me but mostly the older kids.My mother disciplined me and like she had been disciplined herself.

It went ok until i reached about 13 years old when one day id finally had enough of it,and all i did was grab her hand and simply said anymore of that and you best expect the same back in return.

From that day on the violence stopped...Had my father lived it wouldnt have made much diff,as i grew up quite hard and strong and fast.

But i remembered all the violence i`d seen ...Remembered what was lacking and what was lacking the most was real honest love and effection.

I decided to try my best to not allow myself to ever get violent with my own children.And thankfully i only ever slipped up on this vow i made once.But it was quite often extremely hard going as really the violent attitude still hung on within me,being that what i had learned from peers.

My kids both had toe to toe heated discussions with me....But never except the one time did i raise my hands in violence against either boys.And never did either of my children show any violences towards me.

Both my children are very very respectful of other people, both are well respected and liked all around town.Neither has been in trouble with the law other than the odd driving fine for carrying passengers without the full licence and such like.One lad learned karate for self protection becoming a brown belt,but never has he used it to attack others.

Im very proud of both my boys and humbily and freely admit they are both far better humans that i.

So i dont know Barb ..Sure we have rat bags around ...But somehow i think society plays quite a big part in the problems we often see.Personally i cant help wondering maybe if the adults overall were better role models alround,kids might learn more from the good examples.After all isnt society at large really all just part of an extended family or tribe?....And if big huge gaps within tribe grow,then big differences soon do appear

Its so easy for us to say stuff like oh you dont know how lucky you are ...And when i was a kid we had it much tougher than you do etc etc.

With many things there is no easy answer is there.Often it takes years and years to create a problem ,and so its a bit unfair maybe to expect things to change and return to better days overnight.

So often there is more than one sides to every story and maybe we need to consider all angles a little more.

Just a few thoughts.

Chuck O'Connor said...


I recommend you investigate the work of Murray Strauss. He is a social scientist who did longitudinal studies against two age cohorts to positively correlate childhood spanking (of the type Dr. Dobson suggests) and lower IQs, depression, anti-social behavior and sexual problems. His work is very compelling and scientifically proves that spanking your child leads to future psycho/social dysfunction. His work factored out income and ethnicity and was validated internationally. Your conviction that your experience and Dr. Dobson's "faith-based-psychology" are valid measures of reality simply reinforce the "faith as fact" conclusion of Mr. Harris' study and my observation that the availability heuristic allows people of faith to assume their god is more than a fallacy. It really amounts to nothing more than the church denying Galileo his theories of heliocentricity or carbon-dating. In short, it is self-centered and superstitious.

Chuck O'Connor said...


You are a former educator so, out of charity, if you wish to educate yourself I offer you this link:

Barb said...

I don't think I was ever spanked --I was a "good" and compliant child. My brother got whooped a few times for sass --and we both learned not to provoke mother to wrath. Her shriek of intolerance was powerful enough. We basically respected her authority --but I do think a lot of kids are miserable in their formative years because they are not under their parents' authority when it comes to their dispositions --they can be surly and nasty to be around --and miserable in themselves --because no one insists they stop making everyone else suffer --starting when they are young.

Kids who are MADE to be respectful to their parents as children will continue that respect. But it's not just about forcing adult will over the child --there's a lot involved in nurture, reason, teaching the child to love God, people and goodness.

13 is too old to be spanked --there are other more effective incentives to cooperation and respect for older children and adults.

I recommend a one whack limit policy, by the way --unless it's ineffectual and the child, in effect, says, "Do it again! You can't make me mind!"

Actually, my child with the measured genius I.Q. got the most spanking for obstinancy. She's fine now--always was good for others --and an excellent mother --who occasionally spanks. I must not have been too tough --as I asked her how come she was so well-behaved at school and less cooperative at home (on some occasion or other --she was usually pretty good at home, as I recall) --Anyway, she said, "I know what YOU'LL do; I don't know what the school will do --if I would misbehave."

I told my teen boys before they got to be teens that teenagers were often grumpy gus-es and we weren't having it! and we didn't.

The occasional spanking for a kid out of control and for rebellious sass can be a good tool.

As for your "study" on I.Q. and corporal punishment, studies are very subjective in both how the subjects respond to questionnaires and interview --and how the researcher applies his findings.

The persons with the higher I.Q.'s probably have very smart parents who may also know how to parent well--and the kids are smart enough to know how to respect and cooperate for smart parents --and thus avoid any resort to corporal punishment. So which comes first --chicken or egg? i.e. intelligence and cerebral cooperation on the part of the child and parent or low intelligence with a need for more Pavlovian training!

personally, I know that intelligence doesn't really make people "good" compared to other people -- but there are so many variables in parenting.

I think Dobson's works are excellent on loving, understanding, nurturing --and disciplining children -- and staying happily married --so children can succeed in life and also have respect for God.

Barb said...

BTW --when Dobson talks about the permissive era in the middle of the 20th C. he's talking about the Dr. Spock years --which resulted in the hippie decade --all those unwashed, undisciplined, free-lovin', drug experimenters, MJ addicts of the 60's --who had influenced the whole youth culture for the 70's, in particular --when the girls wore skirts no longer than their underwear --and the guys wore their hair the same as the girls, etc.--and Junior brought home a girl and expected his parents to let him share his room with her --youthful rebellion against all convention.

It's a tendency of every generation to reject the values of the previous generation, but out of each generation, many STILL retain their respect for God and family --despite the craziness of the mob around them. Those who remain appreciative of parents and church and traditional morals keep passing on those values successfully to their children --despite the noise of media and educational folly around them. And some youngsters still convert out of chaos INTO christ's kingdom because they long for the stability and security offered by faith in a risen Savior --they "hunger and thirst for righteousness," and truth -- having seen the other side and recognizing the lies of hedonism with all its downsides--often within their own families.

I appreciate that you are pleased with your kids, Gandalf. Me, too. Family is a great blessing.

Chuck O'Connor said...


Thanks for your input.

You are however once again arguing from ignorance.

I'm glad your personal experience is pleasant but your problems with the study I cited only define your lack of experience with logitidinal research design. There is no moderato bias because you are working with a fixed cohort observed over a time series and not a randomized sample calculated to simulate a census.

If you don't know what I just said then I suggest you educate yourself on research methodology before you comment as to its efficacy.

Additionally, I think your comments further enforce the ingrained availability heuristic faith claims empower. Your experience is made the primary input to observable phenomenon. You argue it yourself when you say that the chaotic randomness of life inspires young people to seek something they can assign as truth. That is the avaialability heuristic, you experience it then it must be absolute reality. You don't ever consider that maybe you are the statistical outlier you claim the research is biased towards.

Dr. Dobson endorses a system of child rearing where "might makes right". It was born from the frustrations he felt in observation the cultural revolution of the 60s. He fallaciously blamed the techniques of Dr. Spock for this rebellion.

The work I cite refutes Dobson's claims to coroporal punishment's efficacy. Might does not make right. It does invite self-hatred, further rebellion and dysfunction.

You might want to assess your arguments to ensure that the point you are trying to make doesn't ironically refute the position you claim.

Barb said...

I know that research shows that children with intact parents in their home do better on every social measurement --on average. Granted, there are exceptions to the average.

I know that some kids need spanked --and that some are messed up because no one can control them--and they cannot control themselves.

I don't say that spanking has to be done on every child or for every infraction --that good parents can't find good alternatives --but I'm sure an occasional spanking when needed doesn't ruin the child.

I recall a school sup't who said it was the paddlings he got in the 3rd or 4th grade that civilized him --he believed in keeping a paddle in the principal's office as a last resort for disrespectful students who would not mind the teacher.

You still haven't explained how the high IQ's of the unspanked can be said to be a result of not being spanked --instead of a result of intelligent, good parents whose kids were smart enough to respect their parents. I don't think you can prove that the intelligence isn't a factor in such children's cooperation.

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chuck O'Connor said...

Thanks Jim.

Interesting perspective.

Maybe you want to start your own blog.

I'd read it.

Barb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb said...

Mudrake wrote Barb has been blogging ever since I blogged on one of her anti-gay letters to the editor of the Toledo Blade a few years ago.

IN fact --I think he's wrong about that. My letter that he first responded to had to do with why the pro-ID school board candidates lost at the state level --the newspaper said it was because people didn't support intelligent design being included in public science ed. I countered that the voters had no clue as to what any school board candidates thought on the subject --talk about "stealth candidates." All of them were --not wanting to lose votes from those who disagreed with them--so people just voted on name recognition or no reason at all. I tried to find out the science ed philos of the state board candidates and was unsuccessful. The newspaper could not truthfully say that ID lost the election!

On that occasion, Mudrake wrote, not to disagree with me, but to libel me --telling about his view of me as a school board member in the district where he taught --lied that I had no interest in the students, only in my right wing fundamentalist agenda, etc. etc.

When I ran for board, I made it clear what my concerns were during a very liberal and permissive era in public ed.

PhillyChief said...

I want to thank you Barb for helping to validate my point about the Christian Golden Rule.

Gandolf said...

"This doctrine ['that the condition of man cannot be ameliorated, that what has been must ever be, and that to secure ourselves where we are we must tread with awful reverence in the footsteps of our fathers'] is the genuine fruit of the alliance between Church and State, the tenants of which finding themselves but too well in their present condition, oppose all advances which might unmask their usurpations and monopolies of honors, wealth and power, and fear every change as endangering the comforts they now hold." --Thomas Jefferson: Report for University of Virginia, 1818.

mud_rake said...

Several days ago Chuck wrote, "Nice to see you back. I still find your point of view nothing more than bigotry."

Are you really serious about having Barb back? As I pointed out on 3 October, she needs no invitation and "she will flood a blog with fundamentalist tripe and homophobic disertations if given the chance."

The evidence of that appears above.

Perhaps you enjoy toying with her, like a cat with a snared mouse? It ought to be apparent that her self-righteous and fully-cemented biblical brain invite no logic, no give and take, no discussion. It is a one-way rant and, regardless of the obvious stupidity of her arguments, what is said in rebuttal makes no impact. None.

Thus, I offer this advice once again: ignore her and she may go on to infest another blog; she always does.

Chuck O'Connor said...


As long as Barb does not resort to ad hominem against me or anyone else and continues to try to make her case no matter how feeble, I will be okay that she is here.

I'm of the mind that a person's arguments allow for illustration of the value of their position (or in this case lack of value) at a much greater rate than silencing or shaming them will.

Barb said...

Philly Chief --are you saying I shouldn't tell the truth --since the Golden Rule says that I should treat Mudrake the way I want to be treated?

I want people to tell the truth about me and not to lie --if they must talk about ME at all! And so I shall treat Mudrake with the courtesy of the truth --he should appreciate historical accuracy as I do.

Thank you, Chuck, for your blog philosophy of letting truth speak for itself --including what I believe to be true which you believe to be nonsense.

Chuck O'Connor said...


I may disagree with all that you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.

PhillyChief said...

"Philly Chief --are you saying I shouldn't tell the truth --since the Golden Rule says that I should treat Mudrake the way I want to be treated?"

You want people to lie to you? That's strange.

Barb said...

Just where do you get that I want people to lie to me, Philly Chief?? If you want to make a point, be more clear.

I want people to neither lie to me or lie about me. Mudrake should expect the same from me.

PhillyChief said...


I have no idea why you asked me if you shouldn't tell the truth earlier. Perhaps you could explain why you asked me that.

Barb said...

Philly Chief, you wrote: You want people to lie to you? That's strange.

I'm saying I don't get your point here. Since I certainly want people to neither lie TO me or ABOUT me!

Therefore, I shall follow the Golden Rule and neither lie to or about others!

PhillyChief said...


Again, please explain what you meant by your question posed October 21, 2009 @ 9:32 AM. Since my initial response to it seems to reflect a misunderstanding of your intent, repeatedly harping on that doesn't do anyone any good, does it? So please explain what you originally meant or just drop it.


Barb said...

I said Philly Chief --are you saying I shouldn't tell the truth --since the Golden Rule says that I should treat Mudrake the way I want to be treated?

Philly Chief I have no idea why you asked me if you shouldn't tell the truth earlier. Perhaps you could explain why you asked me that.

This is why:

You said I want to thank you Barb for helping to validate my point about the Christian Golden Rule.

You said this after I defended myself against Mudrake's error as to what I had written to the newspaper about --when he had first blogged against me. He said it was homosexuality. It was not.

So I assumed you were saying I had demonstrated some twist on the Golden Rule --and I don't get your point. I was responding with truth --the way I wish Mudrake would write truthfully instead of hatefully.

PhillyChief said...

Ah, well I wasn't following your discussion with Mudrake. I was referring to comments of yours from the morning of Oct 13th. They validate my point.

Barb said...

Philly Chief wrote I want to thank you Barb for helping to validate my point about the Christian Golden Rule.

You still didn't explain at what point or points I validated your point above!!! ; D