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Switch to Forum Live View Laughable 'reasoning'
4 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2014 - 8:29AM #1
Kwinters
Posts: 24,617
Want to see a pathetic attempt to think intellectually?  Check it out: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryA8PafooQ4

Note how 'rational' is never actually defined, and he doesn't even introduce the concept of rational choice theory or the concept of utility.

There need to be better standards for what gets to call itself a university!

iFrame Removed
Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2014 - 9:51AM #2
Blü
Posts: 26,191

I agree with the speaker that reason is a tool, and as such can be used to pursue any purpose (thus including purposes that our culture might hold to be good or bad).


But it's absurd and meaningless to assert (as the speaker does) that conscience and the making of moral judgments arise in reality because man is "made" in the "image" of an imaginary being.


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4 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2014 - 4:08PM #3
TransJ
Posts: 731


I agree reason is a tool of thought as is belief.  The value that each individual attaches to them is more to the point of what the speaker is talking about.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2014 - 6:03PM #4
steven_guy
Posts: 11,879

The bloke giving the talk is a right berk and he doesn't seem to understand reason, rationality and irrationality. 


I knew that the talk was going to be junk as soon as he said "the so-called Age of Reason".

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2014 - 6:04PM #5
steven_guy
Posts: 11,879

Mar 11, 2014 -- 4:08PM, TransJ wrote:



I agree reason is a tool of thought as is belief.  The value that each individual attaches to them is more to the point of what the speaker is talking about.




Belief is irrational. How is it a tool of thought?

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2014 - 6:10PM #6
steven_guy
Posts: 11,879

rationalwiki.org/wiki/Dennis_Prager



Dennis Prager


We should missionize for the American Trinity (Liberty, In God We TrustE Pluribus Unum) as least as passionately as the left has missionized for its antithesis --EgalitarianismSecularism and Multiculturalism. Or we will lose America as we have always known it.
—Dennis Prager on one of his "good" days.[1]

America is engaged in two wars for the survival of its civilization. The war over same-sex marriage and the war against Islamic totalitarianism are actually two fronts in the same war -- a war for the preservation of the unique American creation known as Judeo-Christian civilization. One enemy is religious extremism. The other is secular extremism. One enemy is led from abroad. The other is directed from home.
—Dennis Prager on one of his bad days

Dennis Prager is a Religious Right radio host, professional tone troll, and conspiracy theorist who believes that the United States is a Christian nation, and that it's under attack from "secular leftists" who control the mediauniversitiespublic education system, and other institutions. Despite being a fairly extreme conservative, to the point of being a weekly WNDcolumnist, he does moderate on certain issues such as abortion and, to his credit, he does seem to know quite a bit about religion and aspects of United States history.


Unfortunately, for every reasonable position he has he seems to say at least ten things that are either blatant lies or bizarre. He is also notable for having one of the worst cases of psychological projection ever, even by wingnut standards and for possibly being a worse offender of Jonanism that Jonah Goldberg himself. He is well known for his opposition to "the left" allowing their "feelings" to get in the way of policy, but when policy hurts his "feelings" he loses his freakin' mind. Hmm...


Prager is notable for having a history of being extremely homophobic despite denying it every ten seconds in his articles and radio show. He has claimed that the legalization of gay marriage is a greater threat to America than economic depression.[2] He claims that this is because legalizing gay marriage will redefine the concept of "gender itself". He is credited with writing the 1993 essay Judaism's Sexual Revolution: Why Judaism rejected Homosexuality in which he writes,[3] well, we'll let the man speak for himself:


Judaism cannot make peace with homosexuality because homosexuality denies many of Judaism's most fundamental principles. It denies life, it deniesGod's expressed desire that men and women cohabit, and it denies the root structure that Judaism wishes for all mankind, the family.

Imagine his reaction when he realizes that most of today's Jews vote Democrat (and the state of gay rights in Israel). Moving on:


But the major reason for anyone concerned with women's equality to be concerned with homosexuality is the direct correlation between the prevalence of male homosexuality and the relegation of women to a low social role. The improvement of the condition of women has only occurred in Western civilization, the civilization least tolerant of homosexuality.

Which is why in Iran, where homosexuality is punishable by death, there is perfect gender equality, right? And the crowning gem of the article:


While the typical lesbian has had fewer than ten "lovers," the typical male homosexual in America has had over 500.




Except he states no evidence for that at all. Also notice how he basically says "I'm cool with lesbians but gays are gross." Many of Prager's fans will cry out "he wrote it in '93, he could've changed his views since then!" If that is the case, then he certainly shows no remorse over writing it since he has neither apologized for the article (nor even brings it up that often, probably hoping everyone will forget he wrote it). The essay in question is still used by openly homophobic sites such as the Catholic Education Resource Center. Besides even if Prager has completely changed his views since then he really shouldn't act dumbfounded when people think he's homophobic, since this article is the first result on Google for "Dennis Prager" + "homosexuality," and him acting as if he's being persecuted by gay activists for his beliefs when called out for his apparent homophobia is ridiculous.


A glaring problem with Dennis Prager's opposition to gay marriage is the fact he's been divorced twice and married thrice. He actually talks about this on occasion, saying that the argument that divorce threatens marriage is a non sequitur. He goes on to defend his position with an hilariously non sequitur argument himself, saying that "divorce itself no more undermines the institution of marriage than car crashes undermine the institution of driving."[4] This is, of course, an example of a false analogy, since you don't swear to be with your car til death do you part.


Fighting der Muslims!


When Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison was elected to office Prager decided to harass him in the worst way possible, writing an article on Townhall that Ellison should not be allowed to take the oath on the Koran but instead the Bible, which would essentially violate the First Amendment.[5]


He states in the article that allowing Ellison to use the Koran would be more devastating to American values than 9/11. This was a manufactroversy since, according to the Anti-Defamation League: "No Member of Congress is officially sworn in with a Bible. Under House rules, the official swearing-in ceremony is done in the House chambers, with the Speaker of the House administering the oath of office en masse."[6] Only in private ceremonies held after the official ceremony can religious texts be used. Prager also ignores the Establishment Clause, but it's likely the Constitution isn't American enough for Prager. He attempted to bullshit his way out of what he wrote on Hannity,[7] saying that he was merely making a "request" for Ellison to not use a Koran, despite his article explicitly saying "He (Ellison) should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization." He later attempted to state that the liberal media was on Ellison's side, a sign that he was being persecuted for his "Islamophobia." He is probably too stupid to recognize that there is a difference between criticizing Islam itself and targeting the human rights of a single Muslim who isn't breaking the law, hurting someone, or even a fundamentalist for that matter.


Most confusingly, Prager said that Ellison's beliefs were irrelevant, it was the ceremony that mattered since it was an "unbroken tradition" since George Washington. This is incorrect since John Quincy Adams was sworn in on a law book, Franklin Pierce simply affirmed the oath as opposed to being sworn in, LBJ used a Catholic Missal, and Congressman Henry Waxman never used a Christian Bible. Some Jewish officeholders, such as Governor Linda Lingle, have also been sworn in on the Tanakh, but Prager said this was irrelevant since any Jews who used the Tanakh were "Secularists who didn't believe what was in it anyway." Firstly, a secularist may just want a separation between church and state (like many of the Founding Fathers), they can still be personally religious and believe in a holy book, such as the Tanakj, and there is no way for Prager to know their personal beliefs. Secondly, this contradicts Prager's claim that the officeholders belief is irrelevant and that it's only the ceremony that matters.


Prager's comments led to him being criticized by the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Only the theocratic American Family Association and Virgil Goode supported Prager.


Creepiness


One of the most disturbing articles he's written is "The Rape of a Name Is Also Rape" in which he writes that being falsely accused of rape is just as bad, if not worse, than actual rape.[8] While defamation is a terrible crime, it is obviously not on par with rape, but again that is somehow a "leftist" view.


When it comes to relationships there's no one to go to for worse advice then the Pragernater. This is made especially apparent in his essay "When a Woman Isn't In the Mood: Part II" where he gives eight reasons as to why women should submit to having sex with their husbands even when they’re not in the mood.[9] He is just able enough to write it in a way so he can plausibly deny that he was advocating for marital rape. However, he sure as hell wasn't being sensitive to victims of marital rape and at one points calls "childhood trauma" one of the "myriad" of reasons that women try to get out of sex. By the way if you take his advice by constantly pressuring your wife into having sex as opposed to trying to "get in the mood" together the relationship will probably end in resentment and divorce.[10] Also, having sex with someone who's not in the mood doesn't sound pleasant to most sane people.


Later, in an article on Todd Akin's rape comments, he is impressively hard on Akin, showing some hope that he will be sensitive to rape victims.[11] He ends up blowing this opportunity when he tries to say that some rapes may not really be rape, so long as they're not "forcible rapes." Of course if you point out his borderline sociopathic attitude towards rape victims he will just call you another "leftist" who lets "feelings" get in the way of "logic" (aka. his feelings).


Prager's creepiness reached its height when he wrote an article that was horribly titled "Sandusky Abused Children, NCAA Abuses History" in which he attacked the NCAA for stripping Penn State of their football wins in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal.[12] He accused the NCAA of trying to rewrite history and then went off on a separate rant on how the evil libs in California were "rewriting" history to include minorites. Most of the creepiness came from how callous he was towards the rape victims, thus proving that he's not one of those feely lefties who are controlled by emotion. For those who believe this to be an exaggeration the article includes this paragraph:


The lesson the NCAA is teaching young people — that history and truth don’t matter if enough powerful people don’t want them to matter — can be as injurious to society as the cover-up was to the victims of Sandusky.

One would think that if the media was as liberal as Prager claimed they are they could've simply used this single, fucked up sentence to destroy his career but instead it was largely ignored and the article itself still managed to get 34 Facebook "likes."


Fear-mongering


Prager's greatest enemy is not the gays, or even the feminists, but instead "the left". Who Prager believes the left consists of is unclear since his definition of the left apparently means that Barack Obama is our first leftist president, with the possible exception of FDR.[13] This is another blatant lie since JFKLBJCarter, and even Nixon and Eisenhower governed to the left of Obama. The left is also working hard to turnuniversity students into bisexuals.[14] He has even accused the "secular left" of being anti-Semitic (that must be a lot of Jews, then); during a debate Christopher Hitchens confronted him on this claim and Prager couldn't back it up, which led to Hitchens accusing Prager of being "evasive."[15]


Basically "the left" is based off of overgeneralizations that are built on either straw man logical fallacies or the spotlight fallacy if he bothers to find some left-wing fringe group. Ironically he repeatedly accuses thepinko liberals of generalizing the poor conservatives.[16][17] Sadly, his fans pretty much buy into whatever he says and seem utterly convinced he is one of the greatest intellectuals of our time, even though he basically just scares them into thinking that everyone (the media, public schools, universities, Hollywood) is out to turn them and their children into liberal homosexuals which can only be avoided by listening to Prager's show or buying his books so he may show you what American values really are. Groupthink at its very best.


Breakdown


Since Barack Obama's reelection and the repeal of DOMA, Prager appears to have grown increasingly crazy. Prager compared the repeal of California's Prop 8 to the Egyptian coup, because he believed it was anti-democratic. He blamed the repeal of DOMA on the "Supreme Court of the United States, colluding judges and the Democratic Party of California".[18] After all this is the first time courts have overridden the will of the majority.


Recently he went even further off the rails and wrote a column about how efforts to promote LGBT tolerance would lead to a fascist takeover of America.[19] What tolerance has to do with a nationalistic, corporationist, and anti-democracy political philosophy that believes in quashing the rights of minorities we can't be entirely sure of. He still think it's the left that's hysterical, by the way (remember what we said about psychological projection?).


Recently, in an article on Intelligent Design, he basically pulled the old "atheists have more faith than creationists",[20] and then exaggerates the theory of a multiverse as being more influential than it actually is.


Fun Facts


Ever since I attended college, I have been convinced that either “studies” confirm what common sense suggests or that they are mistaken.
—An inspiring quote from Dennis Prager[21]
  • Prager wrote an article in 2011 that "predicted" that during Obama's State of the Union address the "Under God" motto in Congress would not be shown based off how it hadn't been seen in recent years due to godless cameramen.[22] The first statement was incorrect, since about five minutes into the address the motto is seen several times and the second statement was a blatant lie as seen by a picture of the 2010 SOTU address.[23][24]
  • Is a global warming denialist and DDT denialist (of the "DDT was banned in Africa which killed millions" sort), despite his rants on how the left is dictated by feelings and he by logic.[25][26] He even says that "leftists" believing in global warming shows how "illogical" they are.
  • Claimed that feminism and women abandoning marriage for careers was responsible for higher depression rates among women,[27] despite studies showing that housewives have higher rates of depression than working women.[28][29][30] Whoopsie!
  • Claimed liberal teachers and CBS News (it doesn't make much more sense in context) was responsible for "indoctrinating" young girls with feminism which was making them "oversensitive" to men's advances, which in turn explained the reason higher levels of sexual harassment were being reported by young girls.[31] The idea that girls had a better idea of what sexual harassment was and weren't as afraid to report it never crossed his mind.
  • Counts as one of his fans Mike J. Nelson (of MST3K and Rifftrax fame) -- heartbreaking.
  • Persistently claims that his preference for children to be raised by heterosexuals than homosexuals is a perfectly rational one despite studies showing it makes no difference.[32][33][34]
  • To his credit, he's managed to anger Randroids and Ron Paul fans in the past, mainly when he raged on Paul for saying that blacks are disproportionately executed.[36] Unfortunately for Prager, Ron Paul was actually right in this case.[37] Also, the fact that Prager accuses Paul of being a "radical lefty" during his rant makes his definition of a "leftist" even more confusing.
  • Even the libertarians have taken potshots at him due to his anti-marijuana legalization stance.[38] Plus, he basically lumped them in with "leftists" (again). Wonkette went after him as well, briefly uniting libertarian and liberal bloggers in their disdain for the man.[39]
  • His lax attitude towards rape made him a favorite target at liberal blog Sadly, No!.

Note: Though this page could be much longer due to it's subject saying something outrageous or batshit every other week, we ask you to refrain from adding any more examples or this could enter Gish Gallopterritory. If you must, replace one of the other "fun facts" instead.


Prager "University"


He has also started his own non-profit online program called Prager University which, keeping up with his paranoia around universities turning students into secular bisexual leftists, has the totally not bizarre motto "Undoing the damage of the University... five minutes at a time." It actually presents history and politics from a hard-right point of view, which includes rampant New Deal denialism, promotion of the Laffer curve,Europhobia, and an off the walls weird interpretation of liberalism.[40] Guest hosts on the site include Jonah Golberg and Amity Shlaes.


Prager also has a video explaining reasons marriage is healthy to a couple for non-legal reasons, which is kind of dickish given his position on gay marriage.[41]


The Pragertopians


Prager's more hardcore fans believe him one of the greatest intellectuals of our time, despite the above instances of intellectual laziness. You might be a Pragertopian if:

  • You think Dennis Prager is a small government conservative, despite him being in favor of torture, the Iraq WarGitmo, the USA PATRIOT Act, the War on Drugs, the death penalty, a massive military, and gay marriage bans (on a federal level too!).[42] Then there's his hatred for libertarian Ron Paul and objectivist Ayn Rand. If you take similar positions you may also try to pass yourself off as small guv'mint libertarian conservative but anything longer than a five minute conversion gives you away as right-winger with authoritarian leanings and some laissez-faire fiscal beliefs thrown in to the mix.
  • You buy his overpriced podcasts and books.
  • Again, trying to emulate Prager's style, you abuse the hell out of conservative correctness. (You don't just have right wing beliefs, you have "American Values". You aren't a global warming denialist, you're just "skeptical")
  • You think of Western Europe as a hive mind of narcissistic welfare queens. You KNOW it was the welfare state and poor work ethic that damaged Europe's economy, deregulation and austerity couldn't be a part of it because socialists would never endorse such things.

But, most importantly of all,

  • It really doesn't matter what Prager writes, it's brilliant and must be defended by the meanies on the Left. No matter how batshit crazy his writings, you will defend them. If he only implies something stupid you will twist his words to make the implications sound "nicer" and easier to defend. It's basically benefit of the doubt taken to the absurd.





Moderated by world citizen on Mar 11, 2014 - 07:55PM
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 12, 2014 - 9:41AM #7
Kwinters
Posts: 24,617

Thanks for the expose!  Post that on the clips! :)

Jesus had two dads, and he turned out alright.~ Andy Gussert

“Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law.

If someone says, “Oh, I’m not a feminist,” I ask, “Why, what’s your problem?”

Dale Spender
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 12, 2014 - 9:50AM #8
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,839

Sure would be refreshing if curiosity about claims resulted in sleuthing like Steven's as a matter of course, and we who do that weren't reduced to educating those who don't/won't. I sometimes wonder for every critical thinker who examines the views of those opposed how many people there are who simply "know" they're right as are all who agree with them.


How many theists do any of us encounter who've actually READ The God Delusion, for example?

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 12, 2014 - 9:41PM #9
TransJ
Posts: 731

Mar 11, 2014 -- 6:04PM, steven_guy wrote:


Mar 11, 2014 -- 4:08PM, TransJ wrote:



I agree reason is a tool of thought as is belief.  The value that each individual attaches to them is more to the point of what the speaker is talking about.




Belief is irrational. How is it a tool of thought?




Just thought I would stop in and see if anything had changed, I believe not. This a rational judgment base on you're response. Thank you bye for now.

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 12, 2014 - 10:12PM #10
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,839
Well, that's enough to make me wonder what TransJ thought likely to have changed here.

Maybe that s/he would drop back by and hear us singing hymns as we paint over the "A" of "Discuss Atheism"?
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