In the Spirit of ‘Rationalia’

The Internet has been blowing up about how Neil deGrasse Tyson proposing a new one-line constitutional society. I really have nothing to add to that . . . well, nothing specific to that. However, it reminded me heavily of a debate I and fellow CG author Ross Windsor had almost two and a half years ago on a mutual friend’s Facebook wall, insisting that “survival” is itself a moral system superior to all others.

Now, to appreciate the scorn we heaped on this individual (who shall henceforth be known as Smart Guy), you have to understand that he, Ross, Monica, and I all graduated from Christendom. Unfortunately, Smart Guy has fallen away from Catholicism. Also, I can’t actually figure out how he managed to graduate in the first place. All I can say is that our alma mater does not produce such people except as aberrations. (No, not the D&D monster type . . . well, okay, maybe.)

Regardless, I pulled out the full transcript and cleaned it up for this site (though I left in the original formatting and did not add the extra snarky memes I tend to use these days), in the hopes you might enjoy it.

Oh, and CONTENT WARNING: weapons-grade stupidity and snark (though not at the same time) ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

Happy reading!


Monica McCord Krause
February 16, 2014 ·

“All that right and wrong stuff your religion teaches is bullshit. There is no right and wrong. So what I’m saying is you are wrong, because there is no right and wrong. But somehow, abusing children and killing kittens is WRONG!!!”


Matthew Bowman

Abusing children is only wrong if they’re outside the womb. Before that, it’s a Good Thing, even though good doesn’t exist.

February 16, 2014 at 2:57am · Like · 2


Bystander 1

Kittens are sacred, and fuzzy, so no kitten abuse.

February 16, 2014 at 3:04am · Like · 2


Monica McCord Krause

“Also, your opinion doesn’t matter, but mine does. Why? Because I’M RIGHT!! If I had my way I’d force you to do things my way, instead of making sure we just respected our differences civilly.”

February 16, 2014 at 3:10am · Edited · Like · 1


Matthew Bowman

And stop arguing, because if you disagree with my intolerance, you’re intolerant. And bigoted. And racist. Definitely racist.

February 16, 2014 at 3:13am · Like · 3


Monica McCord Krause

We’d all get along a lot better if people didn’t feel the need to do a mass broadcast of their beliefs. I never bring up my religion on my own, but people do it for me in a disparaging way all the time. Belief that religion is bullshit IS a belief, people, and I’d appreciate it if you kept yours to yourself like I do.

February 16, 2014 at 3:13am · Like · 2


Matthew Bowman

Well, aside from sharing links and Catholic meme photos. 😉 But I suspect you’re talking about something far more in-your-face than that.

February 16, 2014 at 3:15am · Like · 2


Monica McCord Krause

Lol, FB is very censor-able. I -do- share a lot more than I should, probably as a side effect of silently enduring so much!!! But why would I bother presenting an opposing side? I’m just gonna get called all the adjectives you used up there. People who make their case so loudly and vehemently aren’t looking for a logic lesson, or a consideration of the other party’s side.

February 16, 2014 at 3:17am · Like · 1


Monica McCord Krause

I’m hateful because my opinion is different. But there is no fair consideration of WHY I have a different opinion–no reason could ever be good enough. I get the impression this means that the opposition has made a decision based on emotion, and my case would be hopeless. /sigh

February 16, 2014 at 3:19am · Like · 1


Matthew Bowman

Your impression is correct. Emotion takes less effort than reason.

And you don’t share more than you “should.” And even if you did, you have to ask yourself who decides how much “should” should be. If it’s you, then it’s kind of hard to overstep that boundary. 🙂 If it’s someone else, then who — and what — gives that person that authority? Last I checked, even the Pope didn’t have that kind of power over you.

February 16, 2014 at 3:23am · Like · 2


Bystander 2

Wish I could help in some way. But, I’ve never found the solution to this dilemma myself. I used to think that is was just a ‘Catholic’ thing for me. Then I realized that there was ‘intolerance’ because I just didn’t do, think or like things the way SOMEONE else did. Come to think of it, though, what we do, think or like is formed by our beliefs. So, I guess if we make the full circle, it is a ‘Catholic’ thing. Never the less, the truth is that these people are bullies and they will never respect you or anyone else but themselves. Do you really need these people in your life?

February 16, 2014 at 7:27am · Edited · Like · 2


Bystander 3

I’m sorry, Monica.

February 16, 2014 at 2:12pm · Like


Smart Guy

meh i just go with the concept that “I’m a human, therefore the continence of the human race is the determining factor if an action is good or bad.” This lets me create an entire moral system based purely on logic.

February 17, 2014 at 12:30am · Like


Matthew Bowman

How exactly does the capacity for self-restraint determine the nature of morality?

(I assume you’re not referring to the more common uses of the term to either mean refraining from sex or the ability to forego diapers.)

February 17, 2014 at 12:48am · Edited · Like


Smart Guy

no I miss spelled. continuing humans, preserving the human species.

February 17, 2014 at 4:00am · Like


Matthew Bowman

So any action is good if it preserves human life?

February 17, 2014 at 4:01am · Like


Smart Guy

no it is good if it furthers the human races survival. and while most human life should be preserved those humans that have an over all detrimental effect should be removed. and since I believe that humans should start working on space travel as soon as possible because it is unknown how long the earth will last we need to get into space so all are eggs aren’t in one basket. Also since peaceful, benevolent, stable law abiding cultures produce more good scientists, good actions are also ones that support peaceful, benevolent culture/society and or government.

February 17, 2014 at 6:45am · Like


Matthew Bowman

Ah. So forced sterilization is good. Eugenics shall be the law of the land. The people shall be required to stick to strict diet and exercise programs. The government shall assign tasks to people based on their aptitude and what the needs of the society as a whole shall be.

Let me Google that for you.

February 17, 2014 at 6:58am · Like · Remove Preview


Matthew Bowman

What you should really be asking yourself is “Why is the continuance of the human species the ultimate good?”

February 17, 2014 at 7:04am · Like


Smart Guy

no all of those things would have a negative impact on humanities ability to do science which is what Is the most important. and as for Why the continuance of the human species the ultimate is simple. I’m a human so I want the human species to survive and thrive although surviving is more important than thriving in most cases.

February 17, 2014 at 7:15am · Like


Matthew Bowman

You need to figure out what your morality is based on, then — is “survival” or “science” the most important? Or do you perhaps mean that science is the tool by which survival is possible?

You have declared that survival is the ultimate good, and thriving the penultimate good. Therefore, all things that support these goods are themselves good. Further, since you note that undesirable individuals (those who have an “overall detrimental effect”) should be removed, so obviously your morality system is only based on preserving those who are the best specimens. “Best” according to which standard is unknown, but not relevant to the question of your morality system.

One can easily see that few people voluntarily give up their lives on account of their being a detriment; further, it is self-evident that those who possess defects widely considered undesirable are themselves willingly passing on their genes. If forced sterilization is therefore not a good thing in your morality system, perhaps you mean forced euthanasia of these undesirables?

And since we have therefore begun the first part of eugenics — namely, that undesirables shall be removed — it further becomes obvious that the next step shall be scientific breeding. After all, why stop at just removing the bad when we can encourage the good? Survival is the ultimate goal, after all, so we must encourage that in all things. And what’s more, it’s science, which you also hold in lofty esteem.

Maintaining physical perfection (or at least a close approximation thereof) would also be necessary, since a population of healthy bodies inevitably leads to a better chance of species survival due to better immune systems, greater endurance, and a lack of associated health problems. As such, we must have our master race engage in a strict diet and exercise regimen, which of course would be scientifically-tested and -approved. We might have to experiment a lot to figure out whether Cheerios really does lower cholesterol and whether red wine really is good for the heart, but that’s science for you.

And to perform that science, we shall require a central authority. Granted, we already need one to encourage all these good things that support the ultimate good, but since they support that good then authoritarian government is good . . . as long as it’s benevolent, of course — you were quite clear on that. I assume that “benevolent” in your morality system is also based on survival as the ultimate good, though, since you claim everything must logically proceed from that idea.

So our survival-conscious benevolent authoritarian government shall then proceed to ensure that the right people are in the right jobs, assigning them to each sector of society according to their aptitude. To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability. It supports survival, after all. And so there shall always be enough scientists, those who show the most aptitude while in school; and those who do not, but still possess some usefulness to society, well, there shall always be a need for unskilled labor, at least until science has wiped that out anyway.

Shall I go on? Or do you get the picture by now? Tell me where I’m wrong. If survival is the ultimate good, and all morality extends from that, how does any of this wind up being an immoral thing?

Of course, perhaps — just perhaps — the survival of the species IS NOT the ultimate moral goal. After all, it is at once fulfilled and unfulfilled at every moment, because survival is attained and ultimately unattainable at all times. It is a paradox of a goal, for as a goal it must be an infinity without an end, but with a beginning. It is a goal without purpose — for if it could ever be obtained, it would exist within itself.

So perhaps, just perhaps, morality might be based on something beyond mere biology . . . beyond mere materialism. Your morality leaves no room for intelligence, for art, for glory; it leaves room for nothing beyond biological instinct. You might argue otherwise, at least in the area of intelligence, for you claim that we must escape Earth and move into the stars; and to do that, we must have SCIENCE! And yet, there shall be no higher goal than survival itself, which means that any shred of human activity that does not support this ultimate good becomes a detriment.

And so, in the interests of the survival of the species, anything which does not support the ultimate good must be removed — for its “overall detrimental effect,” as you put it.

Tell me where I’m wrong.

February 17, 2014 at 8:43am · Like


Matthew Bowman

Logic and Morality

February 17, 2014 at 8:50am · Like · 2


Smart Guy

yeah unfortunately your arguments against my system are based on incorrect ideas on how humans produce science. scientists come from all different back grounds and come from parents with different levels of intelligence so any type of eugenics would only hinder the making of new scientists. while scientists need the proper culture, schooling, motivation and the ability to work on there science the culture must be free enough that potential scientist are not suppressed by the culture or government.

February 17, 2014 at 7:40pm · Edited · Like


Smart Guy

As for those that need to be removed those are those who work in opposition to humanities long term survival, drug dealers, corrupt politicians, pimps, serial killers and the like those that would damage the culture and humanity for there own selfish reasons not people with some sort of defect genetic or otherwise because those people provide incentive for people to work on correcting what ever problem they have, plus we don’t know what mutations could prove useful in the future. art would also still be valued under my system due to the fact that it helps create the correct atmosphere to stimulate peoples including scientist minds also it helps them and the working masses that provide the infrastructure to relax and be content with there lot in life. so most of your arguments just don’t work because you have incorrect ideas about what would be helpful for the preservation of humanity in the long run.

February 17, 2014 at 7:45pm · Like


Matthew Bowman

Then, contrary to your claim, you do not hold survival to be the ultimate good. You hold self-interest to be the ultimate good, and survival as penultimate. There is a difference, but your focus on materialist heresies has blinded you.

February 17, 2014 at 10:18pm · Like


Matthew Bowman
Color me surprised. This is my shocked face.

February 17, 2014 at 10:18pm · Like


Smart Guy

what? um how did you get self interest is the ultimate good from what i said? In fact I’m pretty sure hat is the opposite of what i said.

February 18, 2014 at 2:15am · Like


Matthew Bowman

Heh. Nope. Are you perhaps confusing “self-interest” with “selfishness”? I wouldn’t be surprised, considering the sloppy definitions you insist are “logic.”

February 18, 2014 at 2:23am · Like


Smart Guy

Self-interest generally refers to a focus on the needs or desires (interests) of oneself. so no Selfishness is placing concern with oneself or one’s own interests above the well-being of others. so not that either. and I’m still puzzled how you could get self interest as being the greatest good from anything that I said. no the human races preservation and supremacy are the two greatest goods.

February 18, 2014 at 5:05am · Like


Matthew Bowman

Supremacy? You’d never mentioned that one.

Anyway, you’re now emphasizing freedom of expression, self-determination, and the need to inspire. That requires self-interest. Or did you sleep through your economics classes the way you slept through your philosophy and theology?

February 18, 2014 at 5:11am · Like


Smart Guy

no motivation for science can come from many different sources besides just self-interest. Besides self-interest is inherent in humans so it needs to be channeled toward the good of the whole by rewarding actions that benefit humanity. but self-interest dose not effect the morality of an action, but rather how the action effects humanity as a whole. Humans need supremacy to insure survival and to thrive as a species. if your not at the top of the food chain you live at the mercy of those more powerful than you. so the same thing as I said before that you wrongly assumed was a flaw.

February 19, 2014 at 12:21am · Like


Matthew Bowman

Ah, so self-interest must be directed, but self-interest is not the only thing. Only those which benefit humanity must be muddle muddle muddle. Wow. Do you even use the same dictionary as the rest of those who speak the English language?

Okay, so science comes form many different sources. What is science? What are those sources? If the ultimate good is still survival, then why are not all actions that support survival good? Why do you refuse to make sense?

Oh, right, because you can’t.

Honestly, this is pitiful.

February 19, 2014 at 12:26am · Like


Matthew Bowman

I think you need to go take some remedial logic, economics, general philosophy, and history classes. You’re seriously digging yourself a rhetorical hole here.

February 19, 2014 at 12:29am · Like


Smart Guy

no you are trying to use bad logic to try and disprove something you don’t understand. Half of your arguments are just wrong/not applicable and the other half are arguments are based on a bad understanding of how to achieve the desired result. Science as I’m using it means learning things which will allow humans to make new and better tools or better use there current tools and to learn new truths that will lead to new ideas so we can make more better tools. and by tools I mean anything that humans use to make there life better. some actions that would support survival would make humans no longer be humans, for one reason or another. As for reasons that people do science a couple of examples are devolving something to help someone else like finding a cure for a disease, or devolving weapons so your country can win in a conflict. or they could learn something that will help future generations. there are as many reasons for people to do science as there are for people to do most other things. as for where science comes from it comes from people. but it takes special people, scientists to be able to come up with useable new ideas and to turn these ideas in to something that can be used. and these people arise from all kinds of different backgrounds and gene combinations. but there are some culture that make it easier for new scientists create ideas and refine them into something usable.

February 19, 2014 at 4:28am · Like


Ross Windsor

You seem to use a different definition of science than the rest of the world. Let me see if I understand what you’re trying to say (which is very difficult, considering your deplorable grammar)…

Science = technology + medicine + philosophy + whatever the heck you feel like. Correct?

I’m sorry, but I do not follow anything you’re saying at all. Your arguments and definitions have no logical correlation.

Survival is your number one good for a society (except when SCIENCE is). But not just survival; survival that betters mankind. What would be better for mankind if survival is the number one good? How can something be detrimental to humanity if it accomplishes the absolute best thing for humanity?

February 19, 2014 at 5:42am · Like


Ross Windsor

And, to be honest, I don’t see how anything you’ve said qualifies as a moral system. A societal/governmental system, sure, but how is it morality? A moral system concerns itself with what is right and wrong; you haven’t addressed what makes something right and something else wrong, according to you. And don’t say “yes, it’s the survival of humanity,” because you’ve flip-flopped all over that. You have stated that survival is the number one goal for humanity, BUT you have also stated that some things that would accomplish survival (such as the selective breeding of humans) aren’t good things because they are somehow detrimental to humanity and the pursuit of SCIENCE. So, what makes selective breeding bad according to you? It would accomplish the survival of humanity, so if survival is your moral compass, then selective breeding should be a good thing. SCIENCE can’t be your compass either, because selective breeding falls under the realm of SCIENCE (especially with your very broad definition of it). What is your moral compass?

February 19, 2014 at 6:00am · Like


Smart Guy

no science = advancing or making better technology+medicine+philosophy+ what ever helps humans.

February 21, 2014 at 6:16pm · Like


Smart Guy

and no selective breeding is bad because it would not help humans survive in the long run which is what maters. and yes it works as a moral system because it gives you a system by which you can know if an action is good or bad. you simple have to ask will this help humanity in the long run or will it hurt humanity in the long run.

February 21, 2014 at 6:19pm · Like


Smart Guy

Its like you guys are deliberately trying to be dense about what I’m saying because you seemed a lot smarter than this at college.

February 21, 2014 at 6:21pm · Like


Ross Windsor

Here’s the definition of science, according to the Webster Dictionary: “Knowledge gained by observation and experiment.” You are using the word to mean something different than how Bowman and I (and the rest of the world) use and understand it. This is why we can’t comprehend you: you are using your own definitions for preexisting terms. If you want us to understand what you are saying, explain your terms, or use the terms as they are meant to be used.

Okay, so your morality is based on how actions benefit humanity. If it help humanity IN THE LONG RUN, then it is good; if it does not, then it is bad.

Let’s say an injured man is lying unconscious in the middle of the forest, bleeding profusely. It is clear he will be dead within minutes, at most. As stated, he is unconscious, and therefore unable to impart any final knowledge before he dies. According to your moral system, I could rob or kill the man without guilt, since neither action would affect HUMANITY in the long run. Of course, I could try to get help for him, but since he will die before help can get to him, why should I? It will not affect humanity in the long run one way or another.

Now, back to our selective breeding example. If an action that benefits humanity in the long run is good, then how is selective breeding bad? The whole point of it is to benefit humanity in the long run! It is a process designed to weed out undesirable traits or genes, both physical and mental, and/or promote desirable traits or genes. It could make humans more resistant to decease, less likely to have birth defects, or maybe even increase the reasoning and memory capabilities of the brain. Aren’t all these things beneficial to humanity in the long run? Wouldn’t an overall boost in human brain capability be excellent for science, which would in turn create even greater long-term benefits for humanity?

February 22, 2014 at 12:48am · Like


Ross Windsor

If there is debate on whether an action would benefit or hurt humanity in the long run, how would such a debate be resolved? If the long-term effect is unknown, or experts cannot agree, is the action moral or immoral, or would it be amoral until the effect is known?*

* Science requires experimentation. Just because you get an effect once, does not mean you will always get that effect. So, keep in mind that scientists would have to do the action more than once to get sufficient data to ascertain whether an action always or sometimes creates a certain effect, and whether any other effects are common.

February 22, 2014 at 12:54am · Like


Smart Guy

“Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”[1]) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.” or “In modern usage, “science” most often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge” this is the definition on Wikipedia and its pretty close to what I said so yeah my definitions aren’t really that far off. Of course if you want to quibble over semantics fine, but don’t claim they are legitimate arguments. as for your guy in the woods argument the reason that it would be better to save him is because humans are made up of there choices so by choosing to rob and murder him you would be damaging your own conscience so you would be more likely to to perform selfish action in the future also if people found out about it then also would be more likely to perform selfish actions. and your other arguments don’t really work for a variety of reasons. and i already addressed why selective breeding is bad because we don’t know what combinations of genes make a scientist because if you look at most of the great inventors most of them had some problem with them from a normal eugenics view point, but another reason that selective breeding is bad is that selfish and power hungry people would try to control and subvert any eugenics program for there own ends. when your making plans that involve humans you have to take all kinds of humans into account and what kinds of human try to take power and how your plans will influence the mass of sheeple.

February 22, 2014 at 4:51pm · Like


Matthew Bowman

“no you are trying to use bad logic to try and disprove something you don’t understand.”

Talk about the cast-iron pot telling the shiny stainless-steel kettle it’s black. Here’s a hint: if something is logical, then it must inexorably follow from certain self-evident statements — that is, statements that prove themselves. These are called “axioms.” I tell you this because you obviously never paid attention to the subject in college, and right now your logic seems to consist of saying “Because I wish it really hard.”

—–

“Half of your arguments are just wrong/not applicable and the other half are arguments are based on a bad understanding of how to achieve the desired result.”

I’m really impressed at how you, and only you, know what’s best for humanity. If you’re the only person who understands your genius, well, you must be REALLY smart! Why, you’re so smart, you don’t even need to give detailed explanations! (Or learn grammar, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re really smart.)

—–

“Science as I’m using it . . .”

I’m glad you admit that.

—–

“. . . means learning things which will allow humans to make new and better tools or better use there current tools and to learn new truths that will lead to new ideas so we can make more better tools. and by tools I mean anything that humans use to make there life better.”

You confuse science with innovation in technology. Science is knowledge. It need not act to be science. OH WAIT I keep forgetting, you use a different definition of science.

—–

“some actions that would support survival would make humans no longer be humans, for one reason or another.”

And yet in your materialist heresy, you claim that the only standard must be physical, which means the definition of human is biological. Therefore, no action can make one less human without changing DNA.

—–

“As for reasons that people do science a couple of examples are devolving something to help someone else like finding a cure for a disease, or devolving weapons so your country can win in a conflict.”

“Devolving”? Seriously? Is this more from the Dictionary of the English Language According to [Smart Guy]? Normally I’d just assume this was a typo and you meant “developing,” but considering your tendency to change words to fit what you wish really hard, I guess anything is possible.

—–

“as for where science comes from it comes from people. but it takes special people, scientists to be able to come up with useable new ideas and to turn these ideas in to something that can be used. and these people arise from all kinds of different backgrounds and gene combinations. but there are some culture that make it easier for new scientists create ideas and refine them into something usable.”

And yet you claim it’s immoral to help encourage that through restructuring society, even though you want to restructure society to encourage that. Because you wish really hard. Also, SCIENCE!

—–

“and yes it works as a moral system because it gives you a system by which you can know if an action is good or bad. you simple have to ask will this help humanity in the long run or will it hurt humanity in the long run.”

Well, in your system, we must remove all selfishness. And yet, what if we each feel that the best way to help humanity is to make ourselves better first? After all, I’m sure that if you had to pick between saving your life and saving mine, you’d pick yourself, because obviously you’re the super-genius (at least according to your own estimation), and therefore the world will benefit more from having you around.

Or maybe you’d just focus on profession — you drive truck, and I write stories, and obviously your profession is more moral than mine because you deliver things essential for SCIENCE. I just do stories.

—–

“Its like you guys are deliberately trying to be dense about what I’m saying because you seemed a lot smarter than this at college.”

Or, JUST MAYBE, you’re not nearly as smart as you thought.

. . . nah. It can’t possibly be that. The rest of the world is just dumb!

—–

“‘Science (from Latin scientia, meaning ‘knowledge'[1]) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.'” or “‘In modern usage, ‘science’ most often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge’ this is the definition on Wikipedia and its pretty close to what I said so yeah my definitions aren’t really that far off.”

I quote you: “no science = advancing or making better technology+medicine+philosophy+ what ever helps humans.” I don’t see that in the Wikipedia definition. Perhaps you should create an account and correct them, because obviously you know better than anyone else in the world!

—–

“Of course if you want to quibble over semantics fine, but don’t claim they are legitimate arguments.”

Ha! You hypocrite. We are pointing out flaws in your unprovoked rant on Monica’s wall, and then you try to insist that the dictionaries used by the rest of the English-speaking world are inferior to yours.

Who’s doing the semantics? Hmm?

—–

“as for your guy in the woods argument the reason that it would be better to save him is because humans are made up of there choices so by choosing to rob and murder him . . .”

Thank you for proving that you only read what you want to read. And before you get indignant, try re-reading the hypothetical again.

—–

“you would be damaging your own conscience so you would be more likely to to perform selfish action in the future also if people found out about it then also would be more likely to perform selfish actions.”

Wait, wait, what is this “conscience” you speak of? That doesn’t sound properly materialist! Whatever works best for survival is good, and therefore conscience is just something for people who go to church or sumt’in’.

—–

“and your other arguments don’t really work for a variety of reasons.”

Thank you for that STUNNING rebuttal. Oh, the logic.

—–

“and i already addressed why selective breeding is bad . . .”

Actually, you didn’t. Your explanation was, and I quote, “selective breeding is bad because it would not help humans survive in the long run which is what maters.” Which, since you’re having some trouble remembering how logic works, is functionally the same argument as “BEKUZ I SEZ.”

—–

“because we don’t know what combinations of genes make a scientist because if you look at most of the great inventors most of them had some problem with them from a normal eugenics view point . . .”

But that should be fine, according to your so-called “morality” system. After all, SIENZ IZ GUD. If we’re attempting to breed out the less-desirable traits while leaving the better ones, we obviously need more SCIENCE! which is what you call for. And since it’s SCIENCE! the human race is better for it, because SCIENCE! is the best thing for everyone. So let’s all call for a kinder, gentler sort of eugenics that will benefit from true [Smart Guy]-designed SCIENCE! — because SCIENCE!

—–

“but another reason that selective breeding is bad is that selfish and power hungry people would try to control and subvert any eugenics program for there own ends.”

But what if their ends are SCIENCE! and survival? Sort of like yours?

—–

“when your making plans that involve humans you have to take all kinds of humans into account and what kinds of human try to take power and how your plans will influence the mass of sheeple.”

Ah, there we go — your true thoughts on all those less worthy than you. “Sheeple.” I knew it was only a matter of time.

February 23, 2014 at 12:43pm · Edited · Like · 2


James McCord (Monica’s father)

Am I seeing signs of a “Correia” like fisking?

February 23, 2014 at 12:14pm · Unlike · 2


Matthew Bowman
Matthew Bowman I was doing this sort of thing long before I discovered Correia. 😉 But I admit, his style is infectious.

February 23, 2014 at 12:35pm · Like · 2


Bystander 4
^ following

February 23, 2014 at 12:43pm · Unlike · 1


Smart Guy

wow I’m frankly amazed not only at how much stuff you trying to say I said but how much of it is wrong. sigh arguing with you is like arguing with a liberal or a prot you deliberately try and twist what I actually say and mean, into something else then you disprove your twisted version or what I said, but since your not actually using what I said, your arguments are meaningless. like you claim that I think that “And yet in your materialist heresy, you claim that the only standard must be physical, which means the definition of human is biological. Therefore, no action can make one less human without changing DNA.” I’m pretty sure I never said anything like this and yet your willing to claim this is what I believe then you try ridicule me for something that I didn’t say and is not something i would say or believe and only a crazy person or someone deliberately trying to be dense could get out of what I said. or how about this one “Of course if you want to quibble over semantics fine, but don’t claim they are legitimate arguments.”

Ha! You hypocrite. We are pointing out flaws in your unprovoked rant on Monica’s wall, and then you try to insist that the dictionaries used by the rest of the English-speaking world are inferior to yours.

Who’s doing the semantics? Hmm? um this was me pointing out that my definition is not that far off from the rest of the worlds and its not unless your trying to quibble over semantics. which i mean you are. Since I don’t really care that much for semantics and I’m not going to bother trying to answer anything that I didn’t say and mean. and as for saving my life over yours well yes i would save my life over yours because I’m younger and healthier and I’m pretty sure that neither of use will make a serious impact on humanity, but also I would choose Monica’s or Ross’s life over mine because they are younger. And yes some skills/professions would get preference like doctors and scientists because they are more valuable to humanity in the long run. And I have no problem with changing cultures and societies along as they are being changed for the better. I’m interested to see how you try and twist my words this time.

February 23, 2014 at 6:50pm · Like


Ross Windsor

“wow I’m frankly amazed not only at how much stuff you trying to say I said…”

He quoted you EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Your words, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. So, yes, you DID say it. Try again please.

“um this was me pointing out that my definition is not that far off from the rest of the worlds”

Yes, it was. Matt already explained why, but you didn’t listen.

Your definition of science involved developing and improving tools. All the other definitions used, including the two you provided from other sources, said that science is about acquiring knowledge through experimenting. Those two definitions are not the same, nor are they alike.

“Since I don’t really care that much for semantics…”

That’s a problem. Your grammar is very bad, too. It is very hard to read a lot of the things you write.

No one has twisted your words at any point. We have merely quoted your words or taken them to their logical conclusion (the same conclusion that people will sooner or later come to if they lived in your society). If your system has flaws, people will eventually exploit them. We are pointing out flaws in your system. You should be thankful that we’re willing to help you develop your system before you try implementing it and finding out that it is doomed.

On that subject: would you like me to explain how your ideas forbid a workable system of justice in your society? Or have you already caught that flaw?

February 23, 2014 at 9:21pm · Edited · Like


Smart Guy

um no he didn’t he took my quotes and spun them to mean things that i didn’t say like saying that “And yet in your materialist heresy, you claim that the only standard must be physical, which means the definition of human is biological. Therefore, no action can make one less human without changing DNA. ” did i say that no or what about “And yet you claim it’s immoral to help encourage that through restructuring society, even though you want to restructure society to encourage that. Because you wish really hard. Also, SCIENCE!” this has so many things wrong with it I don’t even know where to start. and as for my definition of science its seems pretty close to the wiki definition to me. and as for our an taking my idea to there logical conclusion you could only reach those conclusions if your an idiot of your deliberately try to be dense or have no idea how human actually operate.

February 24, 2014 at 3:34pm · Like


Ross Windsor

You’re not even trying to answer any of our objections now. If you want people to accept your ideas, then you have to convince them. Insulting people and ignoring their questions will convince no one.

We don’t know how humans actually operate? Okay, then… how do humans operate?

February 24, 2014 at 10:41pm · Like


Smart Guy

Right like I can answer that question properly with an explanation smaller than a book. and as for ignoring questions that’s like me saying your words mean that you hate smurfs, why do you hate smurfs. then going on an on about you hating smurfs. Most of your objections have about as much meaning to what I actually said, as your hatred of smurfs we should all just talk about your hatred of smurfs. the thing is that almost none of his arguments worked or meant anything because my original statement was “”I’m a human, therefore the continence of the human race is the determining factor if an action is good or bad.” This lets me create an entire moral system based purely on logic.” which once we get over my misspelling, Means if an action is going to help preserve humanity than it is good. What actions someone thinks will help preserve humanity changes depending on what that person knows but that’s true with all moral systems. and most of his objection that weren’t semantic based weren’t real objections but rather objections to his idea of what he thought I meant by what I said.

February 25, 2014 at 4:18am · Like


Matthew Bowman

“sigh arguing with you is like arguing with a liberal or a prot . . .”

You mean you lose arguments with liberals too? Sad, but I can believe it.

And why would you care about a comparison to a Protestant, being an atheist yourself? From your perspective, we’re all just brainwashed Christian weirdos who don’t understand your genius (rather like the rest of the world).

—–

“you deliberately try and twist what I actually say and mean, into something else then you disprove your twisted version or what I said, but since your not actually using what I said, your arguments are meaningless.”

Except of course when I actually quote you and you ignore it. But hey, you’re a genius, why should you be bound by the rules of evidence?

—–

“like you claim that I think that ‘And yet in your materialist heresy, you claim that the only standard must be physical, which means the definition of human is biological. Therefore, no action can make one less human without changing DNA.’ I’m pretty sure I never said anything like this and yet your willing to claim this is what I believe then you try ridicule me for something that I didn’t say and is not something i would say or believe and only a crazy person or someone deliberately trying to be dense could get out of what I said.”

First, “run-on sentence.” Look it up. It’ll be in the Idiot’s Guide to English Grammar that you’re apparently using as toilet paper.

But okay, I’ll give you a logic lesson.

– You claim: Survival is the ultimate good. Yes? Yes. Moving on.
– As survival is the ultimate good, and all other things are secondary, you are primarily concerned with a physical result. This is materialism.
– In order to judge a physical result, one may only use physical evidence.
– The physical evidence used to determine human survival is biological.
– You claimed that certain actions would make one non-human. As your moral system is 100% based on biology, the only actions that would make one non-human would necessarily be biological.

I’d ask if that makes sense to you, but I’m not sure what DOES make sense to you.

—–

“um this was me pointing out that my definition is not that far off from the rest of the worlds and its not unless your trying to quibble over semantics. which i mean you are.”

You attempted to define “science” in a way that the rest of the English-speaking human race does not. We pointed that out, and you alternately claim that not only were you close enough, but that anyone who disagrees with you is invalid. So which is it? Are you concerned with semantics, or aren’t you?

And, just so you know, you can scroll up to confirm that I DID quote you exactly. Just in case you’re not certain what that “up” button on your keyboard is for.

—–

“Since I don’t really care that much for semantics and I’m not going to bother trying to answer anything that I didn’t say and mean.”

Well, there’s a cop-out. You don’t care for semantics (or grammar), but you’ll only answer the stuff that you MEANT to say, regardless of whether you actually SAID it.

Why are you even here, then? If this is your A-game, then the only way you’re ever going to have an intelligent conversation with someone at this level is if you go to an empty room with an echo.

—–

“I’m pretty sure that neither of use will make a serious impact on humanity. . .”

You mean you admit that [Smart Guy]’s Theory of Morality and Human Development won’t catch on? Shocking!

—–

“And I have no problem with changing cultures and societies along as they are being changed for the better.”

What is “better”? If it’s human survival, then you shouldn’t be arguing against changes that would organize society, unless you admit there is something that trumps mere survival.

—–

“I’m interested to see how you try and twist my words this time.”

Oh, poor boy. Here, have a hanky. It’s so sad that you can’t actually present an argument that sounds good to anyone but you.

—–

“um no he didn’t he took my quotes and spun them to mean things that i didn’t say”

So explain how you didn’t actually say WHAT YOU ACTUALLY SAID. I’ll wait.

—–

“did i say that no or what about ‘And yet you claim it’s immoral to help encourage that through restructuring society, even though you want to restructure society to encourage that. Because you wish really hard. Also, SCIENCE!’ this has so many things wrong with it I don’t even know where to start.”

Oh, you need some help? Okay, I’ll dumb it down for you.

– “And yet you claim it’s immoral to help encourage that through restructuring society. . .” This is me pointing out something you said.
– “. . . even though you want to restructure society to encourage that.” This is me pointing out something else you said.
– “Because you wish really hard. Also, SCIENCE!” This is me heaping scorn and ridicule on you because you’re being deliberately dense, slow, and really hate that the world doesn’t function the way it does in your mental fantasy.

Got it? Good.

—–

“and as for my definition of science its seems pretty close to the wiki definition to me.”

Pretty close. Except where you claim that technological innovation and PHILOSOPHY of all things are also science. Because you wish really hard, and don’t care about semantics, because no matter what you say you’re right.

Remember, if you’re a genius but no one else can see it, you’re probably NOT as smart as you think you are.

—–

“and as for our an taking my idea to there logical conclusion you could only reach those conclusions if your an idiot of your deliberately try to be dense or have no idea how human actually operate.”

. . . is there a sentence somewhere in there? Perhaps mangled, battered, broken, and smashed under the weight of [Smart] “I’m Too Sexy for Grammar” [Guy]?

But yes, you’re saying what I’ve been saying all along: you think that the only possible reason that ANYONE could disagree with you is because they’re not geniuses like you.

Why aren’t you working in the Obama Administration? You’ve got the qualifications to be Joe Biden’s stunt double at this point.

February 26, 2014 at 10:07am · Like


Matthew Bowman

“Right like I can answer that question properly with an explanation smaller than a book.”

Well, if that book exists, you can point us toward it. Or, if it doesn’t and you’re the only one smart enough to tell the story, then you should write it.

Just hire an editor who takes hazard pay, because you’re going to need the help.

—–

“and as for ignoring questions that’s like me saying your words mean that you hate smurfs, why do you hate smurfs. then going on an on about you hating smurfs. Most of your objections have about as much meaning to what I actually said, as your hatred of smurfs we should all just talk about your hatred of smurfs.”

Or we could talk about what you actually said, and you could ignore what you actually said. Right now, your arguments consist of poo-flinging monkeys.

—–

“the thing is that almost none of his arguments worked or meant anything . . .”

I find this curious. On the one hand, you haven’t explained how my non-working arguments don’t work beyond saying “You’re an idiot” and “You don’t know how to use logic” and “You don’t know how the human race functions” and “You don’t know science.” You have not yet demonstrated any of those claims, nor disproven anything I’ve brought up.

Again: if you’re the only one in the world who thinks you’re a genius, you’re probably not a genius.

—–

“because my original statement was ‘”I’m a human, therefore the continence of the human race is the determining factor if an action is good or bad.” This lets me create an entire moral system based purely on logic.’ which once we get over my misspelling, Means if an action is going to help preserve humanity than it is good.”

Except when you say that certain actions that preserve humanity aren’t good, because you say so. Which means you’re not basing your moral system on logic.

Which is pretty self-evident, of course.

—–

“What actions someone thinks will help preserve humanity changes depending on what that person knows but that’s true with all moral systems.”

Here’s a little information for you. If you’re following a moral system, then certain actions will always be good or bad, despite what a person thinks. Moral systems are independent of human knowledge, or else they’re not morality — just “Oh, hey, that sounds good.”

I guess we can add Moral Theology to another class you slept through.

—–

“and most of his objection that weren’t semantic based weren’t real objections but rather objections to his idea of what he thought I meant by what I said.”

Your idea of logic seems completely based in semantics. That is, you only consider it logical if it agrees with you. You have an even worse idea of what “logic” means than Mr. Spock, and that’s saying something.

About Matthew Bowman

Matthew Bowman is a traditionally-minded Catholic convert and freelance science fiction and fantasy editor, which means that he's in high demand in a small population. Fortunately, he loves talking about stories. And Catholicism. And history. And philosophy. And lots of other stuff.
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One Response to In the Spirit of ‘Rationalia’

  1. I… think I may have sprained a neuron or two attempting the mental gymnastics which I presume are required to grasp the depth of Smart Guy’s genius. Alas, I was found terribly wanting in this endeavour and as such still haven’t the faintest clue what awful trauma caused him to fixate on the delusion that he is competent to pontificate about any kind of moral system.

    Whatever it was, it clearly happened to poor old Neil deGrasse Tyson too. I’ve never been able to decide to what extent he is exercising blind hubris and to what extent deliberate deception. I have seen him manifest both in the public eye, apparently without shame. I doubt the man claims bats are blind to deceive people, but he also blithely dismisses his blatant quote fabrications as unimportant next to the greater goal of communicating his “message”. Which most often seems to be “People that are not me are stupid and the things they think are wrong”.

    Like

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