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  #11  
Unread May 17th, 2006, 04:44 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

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MM: Your willingness to bring my gender identity in as a weapon for your mission is proof enough of the lengths that ideologues are willing to go, to campaign for their ideology.
Nonsense. The only reason I knew of the gender identity thing was b/c I belatedly became aware of it from your own reference to your own website. Perhaps you missed it, but here’s what I posted back in March—
Quote:
P.S.—Margaret—I just read your interesting article, “Autogynephilia, a Narrative,” by Margaret McGhee, at http://www.geocities.com/margimcghee/Articles/AG.htm.

I’m a bit irritated with myself—I should have paid more attention to your web site and referenced articles when you first started posting here—I’d have had a better appreciation for where you’re coming from. I’d almost certainly have argued differently, or perhaps not at all. My bad. Maybe I need to up my Ritalin dose.

Anyhoo, I now actually have some empathy for your POV, why you see things as you do, and perhaps even your contempt of “conservatives,” and/or the “right.” In your article under “Our Gender Narratives Become Our Controlling Beliefs,” you write:

Trans-women on the female-essence side of this dispute generally hold the strong belief that they are in some sense female. I find myself in this group. We believe that in a better world we would have been born with the bodies of women and would have had lives to match our gender identity. That belief feels so right to us because it closely matches our emotional experience. Many of us also hold a high level belief that self-realization, as long as it doesn't hurt others, is every person’s right. We demand that right for ourselves.

I’m inclined to agree with much of what you say in this paragraph—I doubt that we humans have much “choice,” or free will, probably none, when it comes to this “gender identity” thing, and that it is more or less hardwired, or at the very least a propensity, at a subcortical emotional/motivational level.

And BTW Margaret, if anyone on this forum is a “heretic,” it’s me. And if you think that my absence really will allow you to pursue those “many things” you want to discuss, and will keep you and others from being “driven away,” hell, I’ll stop participating in these threads. But give Carey—you know, that fawning undergrad psych student—my love.
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  #12  
Unread May 17th, 2006, 08:12 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

I'd forgotten I posted those links. My bad. Sometimes you sound so damned reasonable. If you'd just deal with ideas and not personalize things by questioning the honesty and the motivations of those who disagree with you you'd be a great person to have a discussion with. I don't mind disagreement at all. That's what forums are for. I only get angry when people start throwing their ideology at me and questioning my honesty.

Regarding free-will: You do have a problem with that. No-one here who disagrees with you about that is going to change their mind. Why keep attacking them? I'd even be willing to discuss the concept of free-will - if you could do that objectively - and not insist that only those who share your view of free-will are capable of being moral persons.

But, don't leave because of me. Unless something more interesting starts happening here I won't be around much anyway - and I seem to be the only one really bothered by your posts.

Margaret
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  #13  
Unread May 18th, 2006, 09:05 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

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MM: I'd forgotten I posted those links. My bad.
Yep, your bad, among many—your likening of my expectation of at least some semblance of intellectual rigor/consistency/honesty in these discussions, with your “personalizing things,” is yet another one of your bads, especially since you yourself don’t hesitate to personalize things the instant you imagine that your ideology/beliefs are being threatened.

Regarding freewill, best I can tell, very, very few people, including most atheists, and including guys like Pinker, LeDoux, and Damasio, would argue or believe that we humans lack any freewill—in fact, I’d guess that most would consider the notion that sane human adults are somehow not morally responsible (the essence of free will) for their behavior to be ridiculous.

Perhaps the contention that we humans lack freewill/moral responsibility is a projection of sorts . . . regarding whether “something more interesting starts happening here,” I’m reminded, MM, of those lyrics by Eminim:

Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody just follow me
Cuz we need a little controversy,
Cuz it feels so empty without me.

There's a concept that really works
20 million other white rappers emerge
But no matter how many fish in the sea
It'll be so empty without me….
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  #14  
Unread May 18th, 2006, 11:01 AM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

Do you ever actually try to understand what other posters say? You said,
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. . . especially since you yourself don’t hesitate to personalize things the instant you imagine that your ideology/beliefs are being threatened.
Almost my whole last post was devoted to a careful explanation of why, when you press an ideological attack in a public forum, the inevitable result is a spiral of escalating verbal violence that leaves the topic of the discussion in the dirt. That's what we are engaging in now.

I have not defended my ideology here. I have strongly and angrily criticised your ideological aggressiveness. Of course, to an ideologue any criticism is seen as an attack on their strongly held personal beliefs. But, I haven't revealed much of what I'd call my ideology here, other than an abiding distaste I have for bullies. And I really don't care about your higher level beliefs, except for your attempts to impose them in every thread and highjack every topic.

Note that one's ideology is a belief that they can not allow to be challenged. Yes. I think bullies are assholes and I will not hesitate to say that to their face. Call that my ideology if you like. But any logical proposition I have offered in this forum has been offered with an open invitation to show me where I am wrong. I have read papers and books that were suggested and I have encouraged different views, respectfully - except when others cross that line and personalize their disagreement. I precede almost every assertion with I suspect, or IMO, or it seems to me, etc.

Attacking someone's ideology (or throwing your own in their face) is questioning their self-worth at the most fundamental level. When you do that publicly they have to attack you back or be seen by others as admitting that their whole identity, their personhood, is a sham. That's why there are wars.

Most sane people understand this. They don't go around throwing sand in the face of others' beliefs. Knowing that no-one ever wins in these exchanges - and that everyone loses - they actually take some pains to avoid it in a conversation. Those who aggressively attack others' beliefs publicly are insecure people who have formed their lives around their ideological mission. Their self-worth depends on their ability to discredit others' ideology and champion their own. They need to do it every day and must take every opportunity. It's very much like a drug addiction - and I suspect it has a similar chemical etiology.

There are plenty of places on the internet where ideologues can gather and throw sand in each others' faces - try the alt news groups. This was advertised as a scientific forum which is a different thing. Or should be. When the moderator has a personal ideological agenda and repeatedly throws it in members' faces - that kind of sets the whole tone. I guess I can see why you like it here.

Your ego has you convinced that you are some brave warrior for the notion of personal responsibility and morality in a dangerous and atheistic world. I may disagree with your notion of free-will but that is only a technical difference, semantics. Every person in this forum has a sense of morality, most of them superior to yours, IMO. I make no claim that my notion of free-will makes me a better person than anyone else - nor that yours makes you any worse.

When I confront you over my dashed hopes for reasonable discussion in these already toxic waters I could care less whether you see free-will through a different window than I do. I am simply calling you out as a bully (and a coward for attacking others from behind the anonymous safety of the internet).

Margaret

Last edited by Margaret McGhee; May 18th, 2006 at 03:16 PM.
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  #15  
Unread May 18th, 2006, 03:43 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

I don’t see how my stating the reality that very, very few people, including most atheists, would argue or believe that we humans lack freewill or that we are somehow not morally responsible for our behavior, is an ideological attack or necessarily makes me a “bully,” or a “coward,” or an “asshole”; although your rant suggests that those characterizations may apply to you.
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  #16  
Unread May 18th, 2006, 04:15 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

Isn't this fun - calling each other nasty names. It's so intellectually fulfilling and I'm sure everyone reading this thread is learning so much.

</sarcasm>

THAT'S MY POINT FRED!

You have repeatedly suggested that people who don't see free-will the same way you do are immoral and you liken them to serial killers - you have called their arguments bullshit - you have called them intellectually dishonest.

You do it repeatedly - especially when a thread gets going in a direction of reasonable discourse. You can't stand that no-one is worrying about atheists and free-will and how immoral everyone is but you. You have to jump in and highjack it and start attacking. You initiate those attacks. Others don't start them. I am showing you what happens when you do that - and you are helping me.

Most people are too polite to raise the stakes on you. I'm not. I'm ready to go all-in when I'm faced with this kind of crap. Online or off. That's how I handle bullies. I may (foolishly) try to reason with you - but I will always be ready to come back stronger and more in your face if you choose the wrong path.

I've got a great idea. Let's both stop talking about this and focus on real ideas. Can you do that?

How long will it take you to again prove my point?

Margaret

PS - Gotta go now.
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  #17  
Unread May 19th, 2006, 03:48 AM
Carey N Carey N is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

Jeeeze . . . . why don't you two just shut your traps and ignore each other already? Every post takes up space on this forum server, and entails an maintenance cost. In all likelihood, most of this energy is derived from fossil fuels; therefore, you two are needlessly contributing to global warming. Also, every time you make a post with the word "ideology" or "immoral" in it, God kills a kitten (example). So please, lighten up.


Carey

Last edited by Carey N; May 19th, 2006 at 01:19 PM.
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  #18  
Unread May 19th, 2006, 09:56 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

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Carey: Jeeeze . . . . why don't you two just shut your traps and ignore each other already?
Well, that would seem to require freewill, which MM claims she doesn’t believe in. OTOH Carey, if you’d provide MM with your promised “restatement of your premise on equality and discrimination,” that MM is “still looking forward to,” perhaps that would get her off, so to speak, in another direction, enabling her to reveal how your premise justifies "discrimination" in “politically acceptable ways” and “loftier means,” such as by “freedom of association” and “freedom of thought.”

But maybe I was being insensitive when I suggested that the nasty (and needless) characterizations employed by Margaret—i.e. “bully,” “coward,” “asshole,” “ideologue,”—might apply more to her own rant rather than to my candid assessment of her post?
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  #19  
Unread May 19th, 2006, 10:51 AM
TomJrzk TomJrzk is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred H.
Well, that would seem to require freewill,
No, it doesn't require freewill. It only requires the modules of your brains to have the chemical state where you each choose to ignore each other in the name of peace and fluffy kittens.

But, that assumes you want this to be a peaceful forum where atheists can trade ideas and strengthen their theories and ties. My chemicals doubt that this is the case so kittens will forever be the worse for it.
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  #20  
Unread May 22nd, 2006, 09:34 PM
Margaret McGhee Margaret McGhee is offline
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Default Re: Damasios: Professors of Creativity

In the interest of saving as many kittens as possible I will try to ignore Fred once again. He is good at pushing my emotional buttons though. That's one of the very interesting things about the power of the more primitively-derived, non-intellectual emotions. Even when you know something is really stupid - sometimes you just have to do it.

Margaret
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