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The Budster

Member Since 18 Feb 2011
Offline Last Active Jun 22 2012 01:42 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Another reading of the Qeiyafa inscription

07 June 2012 - 05:47 AM

Palis are holding their breath, waiting to find out if these laws are still on the books.

In Topic: The Lost World of Genesis One - a review

30 May 2012 - 12:17 PM

I think the missing ingredient is that the ANE reader would have a function-oriented cosmology that played a similar role for him as our scientific cosmologies do us. In other words, they thought it was factual just as we do ours.

There's a danger in creating a false dichotomy between "functional" and "factual" cosmologies. Among other things, that leads to the erroneous notion that they were self-aware about the fact that their model was ahistorical. They weren't; that's what made it a "cosmology" as opposed to a "mythos." I think the key is the fact that they had no means of verifying their hypotheses anyway, so verification simply wasn't important. A sufficient test of a good theory was that it was consistent and useful. A recent miraculous creation was perfectly self-consistent, so no problems on that score. And a functional creation was quite useful to a pastoral civilization: it laid the groundwork for a discussion of seasons, the planting cycle, weeding, husbandry, etc. It was the shortest possible path from A to B, where A is "where did everything come from?" and B is "how do we go about surviving in this world?"

To them a bad cosmology would be bad because it was not self-consistent, or because it was inconsistent with the realities of their lives. One which taught them to plant in winter, for example, or condemned farming, or encouraged them to eat toxic plants, or undermined civic virtues like cooperation at harvest time.

In Topic: John Loftus throws in the towel

25 May 2012 - 07:11 PM

My beef is with the use of the perjorative 'indoctrination' to describe a process which is not, in fact, indoctrination.

Sounds like a piffling quibble. When someone says, "You're indoctrinating your kid," you reply that you're not, because you aren't strapping 'em down; I reply that I certainly am, and so is every parent who ever lived since our rodent-like ancestor in the age of the dinosaurs.

My answer is a bit more accurate than yours. I freely acknowledge that I am raising my child with the overwhelming likelihood of belonging to the Christadelphian church, and liking science fiction, enjoying country music, Asian food, and the shooting sports, and rather disliking cops. And yet I am unusually scrupulous about giving him choices and not imposing my will on him. And yet... he recently told me that after meeting he'd like to go to the shooting range, then to a hibachi restaurant, and finally come home and watch Buck Rogers. It's quite obvious that I'm indoctrinating the living daylights out of him, despite the utter absence of any cult-like mind-control techniques, nor even the slightest desire to instill my personal likes and dislikes in him.

I have no doubt that it occurs in our community, but using this word as a blanket generalisation simply not accurate.

On the contrary, it's not nearly blanket enough. If you aren't profoundly influencing your child's views in almost all areas of life, then you are either a non-custodial parent, or dead.

In Topic: John Loftus throws in the towel

25 May 2012 - 07:00 PM

There's nothing arrogant about saying you're not indoctrinating your kids when you're not. It's only arrogant (and false) when you are.

Please read again from the top, with comprehension. When we say we're "not indoctrinating our kids," we are claiming that "we aren't profoundly influencing their views on practically every subject." Which is false, because we are. If we aren't, it's because we don't have custody, or are dead.

If instead we interpret that statement to mean, "we aren't systematically using cult brainwashing techniques, but have instead decided to go about profoundly shaping our kids views on practically every subject using the more mundane technique of raising them in our household as dependents," then the question arises what the hell we're so proud of. But I suppose we deserve a cookie for not doing this:

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In Topic: John Loftus throws in the towel

25 May 2012 - 04:24 PM

Yes the stats show you are more likely to do what you perceive as normal according to the environment in which you grew up. BUT there are lots of exceptions. That's the wonder of human free will.

Agreed. However, it puts the lie to arrogant claims that one isn't indoctrinating one's kids. The best you can claim is that you aren't actively trying to brainwash them.