Sunday School

Sunday School 21st February 2021

This topic contains 75 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  _Robert_ 11 months ago.

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  • #36525

    In fact, I think the Christian ideal of judging behavior rather than people is a good one….

    Simon, it is my experience that while atheists are trying to see the reasons behind peoples’ actions Christians are bending down to gather stones.


    Simon Paynton

    I think morality has two sides: promoting norms, and punishing offenders.  A lot of religious people seem to really love punishing offenders, to the point where it destroys normal human empathic concern.  In fact, this shows up how fragile empathic concern can be.


    In fact, this shows up how fragile empathic concern can be.

    I think it shows the paucity of religious morality. It is weak when moral standards are derived from or based upon ancient supernatural beliefs rather than from an understanding of our evolved and shared humanity.

    Religious morality is built upon a work of fiction. Secular standards are developed over time and are relative to each society. You will find that freethinking societies are better places to live than those that insist that their imaginary god laws are facts.

    Secular societies are open and progressive and look to a better future for all. Religious ones keep welding the links of their chains back together as they drag themselves back to dark ages.

    That is why a “lot of religious people seem to really love punishing offenders”. Yes, for what they consider to be breaches of their religious standards, even by those not belonging to their religion.



    I think it shows the paucity of religious morality.

    Indeed. There is no Christian society out there that doesn’t pick and choose from their “source of moral authority” book they call the bible. As they slowly reject one old rule after another to keep their rules compatible and palatable with modern secular society…their Christian morality becomes more and more pointless, ridiculous and a generation behind (despite the fact they try to take credit for their new seemingly humanitarian approach to a morality they had resisted kicking and screaming before).


    Simon Paynton

    Steven Pinker says that the reduction in religious moral rules has contributed to a reduction in religious moral anger, and therefore, a reduction in religious moral violence, like torture and witch burning.



    What’s the world coming to? Are the witches just supposed to burn themselves then?


    Simon Paynton

    Woke people are the new witch-burners – unfortunately.  They make their own good ideas look bad.



    Woke people are the new witch-burners – unfortunately.

    This is a ridiculous over exaggeration. Sometimes what they are opposing is entirely reasonable. It’s easy as a straight white male to see racism, homophobia and sexism as a problem that is mostly resolved requiring soft activism but that is blatantly untrue. They are still rampant and attack us in one form or another every day of our lives leading to forms of discrimination and non-equality all the time. The level of apathy in society is immense and saying “we aren’t going to take it any more” is an entirely reasonable position and you should utilise every tool you have in your tool box. I agree that on a few occasions SOME activists go to far and make a big deal out of the tiniest “percieved” slight but most of it is entirely reasonable. When you think about it…people like Martin King Luther were seen as unreasonable woke activists by some and this whole fear of woke is just a 21st century version of what happened in the 1950s when desegregation began.

    Left cancel culture is definitely NOT the only kind of cancel culture. It also comes from conservative forces (especially in America). Remember the reaction to “kneeing” during the national anthem, how quickly you would lose most jobs if you Instagram “I don’t support the troops” and so on.

    Cancel culture has always existed, you could always lose your job if you said something highly offensive or outrageous…its just you cannot get away with saying things that are destructive towards marginalised people that you used to get away with saying. That’s a good thing. Nobody is stopping you from saying it. You still have that right. You just pay a social consequence which is the way things have always been and the way they should be.


    Simon Paynton

    I agree broadly with woke ideas, but witch-burning is never a good thing.  In other words, nobody does themselves any favours by being aggressively self-righteous.



    Yes Simon then be careful with your words. Say “woke activists who go to far are modern witch hunters” and try not to over generalise. This whole “fear of cancel culture” as though its some rampant out of control problem is a product of conservative reactionaries. They’ve been doing it forever and will keep on doing it. It takes our attention away from the goals of social justice and creates outrage over a few extreme cases and that outrage should be directed towards horrid injustices happening every day. That is literally their plan and by overgeneralising you are actually doing their bidding.


    Simon Paynton

    Well, I’ve been put off woke ideas in the past by people screaming in people’s faces.  If they’re trying to change the world, they can’t act like big babies.

    I didn’t used to believe a word about white privilege, intersectionality etc., because of the ways they were presented (obnoxiously).  And I’m an open minded person.



    Simon, if you generalise about an ideology by the craziest people then you learn nothing. Imagine if we thought of conservationism entirely through the actions of far-right idiots or for those who supported “leave” only through the actions of Nigel Firages stupidity. That would be completely unfair to most moderates who had non-crazy reasons for following their ideology. It would be like branding Islam as all jihadist fanaticism or the feminist movement as all militant feminaziism.

    Also…”screaming in your face” is another exaggeration. If 50 years of quietly trying to change things showing few if any results and getting more vocal and disruptive brings about actual change then it is worth the tactic. That doesn’t mean I condone the small minority who are actually shrill and militaristic but they are a small minority and their role in justice activism is blown entirely out of proportion.

    People who supported the end of segregation were seen as “radicals screaming in your faces”. People who today support true equality between genders, race and sexuality are branded the same. They aren’t all obnoxious. And even then, some obnoxiousness is necessary as quietly asking people to relinquish even a little bit of their privilege never ever ever ever ever has never but ever worked in the history of humanity.

    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  Davis.


    Woke people are the new witch-burners – unfortunately. They make their own good ideas look bad.

    Not from where I’m standing. I’m in a lot of majorities, but as a queer trans woman, I also exist in at least a couple minority spaces, one of which has frequently been at the forefront of political and human rights debates lately and which also sees a great deal of propaganda and distortion wielded against us.

    I’ll tell you, I get labelled as woke sometimes before I even open my fucking mouth. I am not implying you do that yourself despite the fact that I am replying directly to you. I am just saying there is a massive wall people have put up to shut down conversation often before its started.

    I’m someone who has frequently remained ‘civil’ in conversations where people were joking about how I should be killed, or talking about how they’d beat the shit out of me in a public restroom, or about how I’m a pervert/ insane/ a rapist (etc.) all so that those looking in on the conversation wouldn’t see something entirely one-sided. And hey, every now and then I actually get someone to consider things from a different perspective, which is cool. But even in the face of hostility and degradation, I have to avoid any hint of anger or frustration or impropriety no matter what is said to me in return, because if I don’t those thin-skinned whiny little fuckheads will shut down in an instant. Hell, I can’t even count the number of ways conversation gets shut down before I’ve even tried to speak.

    Now, if someone wants to say ‘both sides’ have inappropriate behaviour, certainly. That is correct. But there are at least two notable differences, at least as far as I am concerned. 1) Their exposure to this topic is a lot easier to avoid for them than it is for me who lives it as a matter of daily existence. 2) When they walk away, despite all the hysterics and hyperbole, it’s highly likely their life will be affected much one way or the other, but I have to be in the discussion to advocate for my rights.

    And public perception does matter with regard to my rights. When Canada was trying to pass federal protections on the basis of gender identity, it took twelve years to get one piece of legislation possible. A given parliament only lasts for four years before an election, at which point all proposed legislation dies. Why did it take so long? Because politicians pandering to their base with take any dumbfuck excuse they are given to stall the debate until the bill dies. When Jordan Peterson opened his mouth with one of the dumbest fucking arguments I have ever heard from someone that educated, it made it all the way into the Lower House, then into the Senate despite the fact that it didn’t make one damn bit of sense. It was incoherent garbage.

    Right now legislation is proposing a ban on conversion therapy for LGBT+ children and youth, and involuntary adults. Some ass hat MP has glommed on to this stupid argument that the bill inadequately defines conversion therapy such that parents talking to their children could become criminal. She keeps saying she’s opposed to conversion therapy—of course she is as all people are in principle; she’d just like the legislation amended such that churches and parents still have loopholes through which they can legally conduct conversion therapy on kids. And it’s always couched in this bullshit ‘we have to hear all sides’. Not if you’re going to flat out lie, stonewall sincere responses to your criticisms, or just be incessantly fucking obtuse when facts blatantly contradict your dumbfuck nonsense. But it will likely work this time. The bill will get stalled. Time will be wasted in parliament when there are more important matters to address than defending people’s rights to torture and abuse queer kids.

    To be clear, none of this is me being civil. Consider it a sign of respect that I don’t feel like putting on my ‘talking to the fragile’ voice. None of this is even the tip of the iceberg. It’s not even an ice cube balancing on the tip of the iceberg. None of it encapsulates the slow, grinding toll it takes on your spirit and sanity to have the same conversation over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over against the same intractable passive-aggressiveness (which is more brutal than the outright bigots who just want me to be dead or in an asylum or something). And I’ve taken a break from it at points in my life. Did so because it seemed important for my health. But my god these propagandistic fuckheads DON’T. STOP. It will never take the toll on them that it does on us.

    Where am I going with this rant?

    Maybe someday I’ll be walking down the street and someone will say to me something like, “You button your top button? That’s racist.”

    Maybe I’ll say, “I’m afraid I don’t understand why that’s racist. That wasn’t my intention. I’d like to understand?”

    And maybe they’ll say “It’s not my job to educate you. Expecting me to put in that emotional labour is a micro aggression. But what should I expect from a racist.”

    That’s not usually how things go down, but I guess if I were on Twitter it might.

    You know, maybe that person’s being an asshole. Maybe they have a point. Maybe they’ve been dealing with all the shit I’ve hinted at up above and they’re just calling out something they see because they’ve been stuck in a battle they can’t walk away from. And maybe it’s not fair to me, individually, but also maybe it’s not about me. The reality is, as a white person in a predominately white nation where white people hold most positions of power, this is an area where I have less skin in the game so to speak. I have less emotional weight to it. So maybe even if someone is not so polite or tolerant with me, I can still put in an ounce of effort to figure out if their message was worth trying to understand even if their delivery didn’t suit me so well.

    I wouldn’t consider myself particularly woke, but I am sympathetic to how hard it is to advocate for progress and change. People who want to put their fingers in their ears and say ‘la la la I can’t hear you’ can. And significant institutions will often back them up on that for decades by maintaining the status quo without hearing arguments out.

    Can woke people be part of the problem in the breakdown of communication? Maybe. At times. And I’ll admit, I don’t agree with the speed at which people are labelled -phobes or -ists, though definitions of terms have shifted from when I was a kid. But witch hunters? To me that’s like accusing a little old lady of assault if she hits a purse snatcher.

    I’ve been the fucking witch most of my life. I was over thirty when I got the same rights the majority of the nation had when they were born or when they came to Canada. You don’t even know the weird accusations that get thrown my way. Like, if a person hits on me in a bar and I don’t tell them I’m trans I am lying to them even if I don’t say yes, and raping them if I do. That’s the sort of thing that sounds dumb enough you’d only hear it once, but it’s not.

    There are two separate sets of arguments for why I am wrong if I use the men’s room or the women’s room. If I do use a women’s change room, I am apparently there to be a pedophile or rapist. Or I am assaulting them because I am tall (yes, an argument I’ve heard more than once from people who didn’t know how tall I am despite the fact that there are cisgender women taller than I am).

    If I have bottom surgery, I’m a misogynist who is reducing the female form to an artifact. If I don’t have it, I’m a misogynistic liar who wants to appropriate womanhood or just wants to flash women, or something.

    If I behave in accordance with any female-typical behaviour, similar to above. If I don’t, similar to above.

    If I try to “pass” similar to above. If I don’t or can’t, similar to above.

    If I have rights, I’m victimizing Catholics, Muslims, women, and children.

    I am constantly assaulting free speech with my selfish special right to not be harassed in the work place.

    If I think it makes sense that kids learn trans people exist—especially those kids who are like I was—lost without language to help talk about what they are experiencing, I’m indoctrinating kids and sexualizing them.

    I am always trying to get surgeries performed on children, and apparently trying to induce puberty at age six by making kids take cross-sex hrt if they so much play with the wrong toys.

    I’m attacking gay men because apparently I think being trans is a way for gay men to try to become straight women.

    Oh hell, I can’t even remember all the ways I’ve been attacking lesbians.

    It keeps going. Even for me, it’s hard to keep up with all the crazy shit I’ve been doing, and that’s on top of the natural disasters I’ve been making god cause.

    Usually I keep most of that shit to myself, or I do my very best to convey it with stoicism. I have to because I don’t get to cry about how mean people are and how they don’t use nice words all the time if I want to stay in the conversation.

    I mean, honestly, man. Fuck.

    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  Autumn.
    • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  Autumn.

    Simon Paynton

    Kristina, I could listen to you all day long.  I appreciate that you’re attacked from all sides – one of those being the toxic bitch-fest currently known as the Left.  So it must be hard to keep your head or know a way to respond where you’re allowed to win or keep your dignity etc.

    It’s not for me to tell you how to conduct your activism.  All I’m saying is that people who are good examples of behaviour (e.g., Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela) get a lot further than entitled cry-bullies who love nothing more than attacking people’s character when they disagree.  Also, news flash – cancel culture is toxic.

    I like listening to you because you just tell it like it is for you, without accusing me of everything under the sun just because I might disagree about something.



    One of our most basic survival strategies is categorization. Dividing our world into discrete sets and making expedient judgements. Judgments that are often based on poor sources such as religion, culture or an idiotic radio talk program. Unfortunately many will never exist beyond that level of cognition. Ideologs with closed minds pervade our species, the same as it ever was.

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