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ThePriestSays: The Holocaust & US Groupthink Blindspots ThePriestSays: The Holocaust & US Groupthin

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Aug. 9th, 2007 | 08:52 pm
mood: melancholymelancholy
music: (Sound from TV: The First 48 Hours)
posted by: dremwkr in interfaith

As evil as the holocaust was, you have to remember it was a top secret operation, "for national security purposes". Yes there were whispers amoung the German citizenry, but since the government never confirmed this in the media, or through its own impressive Propaganda machine, it kind of fell in the category of a groupthink blindspot.

Don't think this is only an issue with German society. In our own country we have our own collection of the same, where issues people don't want to think about, and frankly don't want to know fall it. Anyone that points out that there IS something in these blind spots is shunned, labeled a nut case. In old testament times these people where called Prophets. They not only pointed out these denied issues, but also what the consequences to society would be based on society's own choices in regards to these things. Lastly, they could see the underlying spiritual darkness that gave birth to these issues in the first place.

Our own modern collection includes such conventional groupthought as: There are no UFOs, There is no God (science), Trust officials, just because they say trust us, That in general any family arrangement is just as good as a married hetrosexual couple raising children, That in general, homosexuals have just as good or better lifestyles in terms of mental, physical, or spiritual health as hextrosexuals, That in general the way, frequency and casualness of how homosexuals have sex doesn't have costs and dangers to general society and to themselves, The US dosn't torture or ship people "out of sight" for torture and imprisionment, That the laws and executive orders in regards to "the war on terror" do not breech our national charters, That "Excutive Privilage" trumps all laws, that the three WTC buildings collapsing within their own footprint was an accident, in general blacks and nonblacks are just as smart in school (IQ), That blacks and nonblacks have no real difference of criminality and antisocial attitudes, That blacks are less raciest than whites, In public schools (no child left behind) the measurement standards (MAP, graduation rates) are actually valid, that higher graduation rates means that relatively speaking more graduates can read and do math at a 12th grade level, abortion as a form of birth control doesn't have consequences in the whole (physical, mental, spiritual) to society or its victims, etc.

What groupthink blind spots do you see, what unspoken darkness do you sense?

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Comments {19}

Les

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from: fizzgig_bites
date: Aug. 10th, 2007 12:49 pm (UTC)
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There is no God (science),

As your post points out painful, that people believe that science excludes G*d. There are plenty of people who are scientific and believe in G*d. Your post and many people around me (Bible Belt) seem to think they are mutually exclusive. G*d and my science self get along just fine. I don't understand why people have such a problem with it other than religious officials telling them they should have a problem with it and like sheep they follow it. People are too lazy. That(laziness) has been said every time there is a unspoken darkness and every prophet reminds us of it.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 10th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
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I have three hard science degrees and worked as a military and gov. scientist for 20+ years. I have dealt with the most brilliant minds in the hard sciences that represent the elete top tiers in there field and controls which science is "real" and what is not. They do have a fundamental believe that there is no God, and concieve the universe and all living things operating under such a "reality". To them everything is hapenstance, that there is no purpose to the Universe other than to run down and turn into chaos (Enthalpy is their unspoken god) physical/astrophysical sciences) or by genitic mistakes (mutations) and habitat adaption weeding out the physically weak (selection) life survives until it can not reproduce to replace the maladjusted (Genitics/Evolution) is their unspoken God-Life Sciences). In both realms of science, creation and revolution is just a random event.

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Les

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from: fizzgig_bites
date: Aug. 10th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
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You've made the first mistake that all beginning sociologists make. Three people do not make all scientists Atheists. There are a lot of Atheists in science. Most scientists grew up with religion in their families and for them G*d starts at different levels. Also, religion is defined differently to many different people. G*d starts in other places. Want proof? Go look at the numbers of people who consider themselves Atheist and then go see how many people work in a scientific field. There is a huge difference.

I believe in evolution and laugh at creationist museums as a big joke. Creation relies on faith. Science relies on the senses, brains, and the world around us. Humans interpret what they see. They see it right, wrong, or some where in between. I have faith that humans will find solutions to the question of how G*d did things. G*d has never had a personal conversion with me nor have I ever seen anything that gives me faith that there is a G*d. To me, G*d is not personal but he is to others and you have to accept that.

Do I believe in the Bible/Torah? Parts of it I suppose. I believe in what Jews call "G*d Time." Torah/Old Testament states that the everything was created in six days. Some people believe that literally means six days/six turns of the Earth. To me, how can you have six days when the Earth isn't around for all six? Then it calls into question the definition of a day. Perhaps a G*d day is really ten billion human years. Who knows? Nobody but G*d.

Where does G*d start for me? What was the Big Bang, where does it come from, where is it stored, what holds the universe together? Those are the lines between science and G*d to me.

As for your science co-worker/friends, in certain fields, you have to check your religion in at the door. I would say that goes for a lot of hard scietists and definitely in the military if you are Christian/Jewish/Islamic or any religion that bans murder, lying, and taking G*d's name in vain. I honestly don't know how military people live with themselves and be fundamentalist at the same time. I still laugh at the military general who said his G*d was better than their G*d (Allah.) Dude, it's the G*d!

Given the choice of praying to G*d to help me or the doctor, I would go to the doctor everytime.

I also have to throw in the idea that Anthropologist came up with. G*d was invented to serve a important purpose. During times of crisis we get scared. Wouldn't it make you feel better to focus on praying to G*d for help if there is a tornado outside and you are about to die? Probably. Would it make things a little less scary if there was so explanation for the magical. Yeah.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 10th, 2007 09:07 pm (UTC)
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I need to clarify:
1. I am not a sociologist, I am a sociobiologist (ethology), the difference being that sociologists base everything on self-reporting, sociobiologists base findings on emperically observed actions.

2. I have had contact with many, many of the best minds of elete science (DARPA, NAS, NSF, DOD, itellectuall property, scientiffic exploration etc), and to boot I related to more than a few in my family, and extended family, not just three. I am not saying ALL scientists are agnostic or athistic, what I am saying is there is an elete, the top of the pyramid so to speak that are the shakers and movers of science thought. Don't take my word for it, there are numerous studies that show the higher someones IQ is, the much more likely he/she is deny or doubt the reality of God.

3. When Genesis discusses the week of creation, the hebrew used does not mean specifically 24hrs, it simply means a finite interval of time, one with a beginning and and ending. You see this type of hebrew phrase used throughout the scriptures, e.g "In the DAY of Noah", "There shalt come a DAY", "in those DAYS to come", etc. It is clear from context and orgininal tongue, (and in the Talmund) that it is NOT referring to a regualar standardized 24 hr DAY.

5. I have a radical concept of God, so please bear with me. I percieve God as an intregal part making up the core of me as person. Everyone has an "inner life" as such we have conversations with God all the time, it is so normal, and so universal, we just don't think about it. You do this every time you do what we called in the Military, "a gut check". If this was not so, we would not have a conscious, operate consciously with free will, or be able to know compassion, and the felt thing of beauty, music, and love. That core part of you has its home within your body (thus the concept of the body being the true temple of God taught by the Christ and the Prophets), but it prexisted your body and survives discarnation, that is because it is an endless continuity of the divine spark of life. I'll put it like this, your soul, your inner core, the part of you you share with God, does not need a physical body, the physical body however needs its transendent spirit and thought to function. This is why the Sages thoughout time has commanded we "know self".

4. The concept that prayer and modern medicine are mutally exclusive is false, it is never an either/or situation. Why because God exists in the Physician as well, you don't have to say a formal prayer for hearts to talk in the perfect language of love and compassion.

5. I would say Anthrophogist have a bad habit of making EVERYTHING look like mankind. God is not limited human being, rather he is constrained or limited by the mankind's greed for material and carnal things, and by mankind's own selfishness (ie. it is hard to percieve God when you think the universe and everyone else spins around you).

6. I have survived a tornado, my first hint was when the 80,000 lb tractor trailer next to me on the interstate was suddently picked up and was just gone. My car felt llke it was moving through perfectly still air and was not effected at all. Rather than pray I listened to my "inner voice" it told me to stay the course. I felt a profound sense of peace and safety. As irrational as it was, I followed what my "gut" was telling me, and myself and family, with all of our belonging in it, as well as the Sable Station wagen moved through the distruction untouched. Later I found out the driver of the 18 wheeler was severely injured. Less than one yard separated us while we where both doing about 70mph. I was so focused on what I was doing, I didn't feel fear, just determined mission. I didn't pray until we where through it, when I pulled over, and gave voice to an overwhelming sense of thankfullness. Call it magic or a mircile, me deluded or crazy but after that I knew that God was personally involved in the lives of man.

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Les

(no subject)

from: fizzgig_bites
date: Aug. 10th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
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RE: #1 I am not a sociologist

Never said you were. I was saying that you are making the same mistake that many beginning sociologist do and in turn many people do. Also, your post painful shows that you have no idea of what sociologist do. At least in quantitative sociology we never talk to people except as a number of many. The closest you get to a person is if you are a qualatative sociologist bordering on cultural anthropologist.

RE: #3 Number three is just restating "G*d Time." Most fundamentalist in Christianity and Judaism take six days as literal. Our believe is the unusual one.

RE: Your #5. You are very wrong about that. By the way, even though I work in engineering, I have degrees in sociology and anthropology. My focus was in Tulmundic scholars. I highly disagree with you on so many levels. The absolute first rule when talking with people within the anthropological context is leave everything you understand at the door and don't assume anything. You listen to the person/people/tribe/culture and try to understand them from their point including their G*d and the world around them.

RE: #6 Too bad G*d wasn't with the poor driver of the truck.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 11th, 2007 12:41 am (UTC)
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The driver was on TV and gave thanks to God he wasn't killed.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 11th, 2007 12:49 am (UTC)
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Wow! A student of the Tulmund. I'm impressed, most folks don't even know what it is or why it is important. My professors at my Seminary didn't have a clue. Of course they were experts on the Old Testament.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 11th, 2007 01:08 am (UTC)
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I have taken both graduate and undergraduate coursework in Sociology. I must admit it was mostly from an Educational Sociology perspective (I went to a teacher's college). Most all data used in looking social related relationships and trends was ultimately at its basic level depended on self reporting by the folks that collected the data in the first place. If you want to look for junk science, look no further than anything educational related.

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geascian

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from: geascian
date: Aug. 10th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
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You say that things like Enthalpy or Evolution is scientists unspoken god. This isn't an accurate representation of things really. Scientists do not see them as anything that could be reasonably be described as god. They see them as the best fit models that explain the observed universe.

The other problem with what you say is that if somebody accepts that there is a deity of some sort out there you have to ask which one? Given nobody seems to have found any way to show which of the competing deities are in fact the real one, mine is of course, it isnt really an area for science and scientists at all.

I am happy to listen to the scientists when they speak to their area of expertise and listen to the Goddess in hers.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 10th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
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I guess I should clarify further:
When I say Enthalpy or Evolution is/are the unspoken god's of science. I am not saying that Enthalpy or Evolution IS God, what I am saying is that they are their idols to focus thought on, and have belief in. To direct mental and spiritual energy as an object of "worship". No scientist has ever seen anything in a state of true and total Enthalpy, but they believe such a low temparture state can exist. Dispite searching the fartherest extremes of the Universe, and the most extreme attempts to produce it in a lab, no one has ever actually observed it. It is well known that no scientist has been able to "prove" evolution dispite a king's fortune trying, but it is taken as a matter of fact, faith and doctrine. As so a man thinkest, there his heart will be found. They do not see Entalpy or Evolution as a part a lawful and purposefull God's creation, but as something like an intellectual concept in which exists in a vacume to itself.

The question of which God is the right God is not as important as the Search for God by His children.
When I say He, I don't mean God is male, it means I don't know if God even has a gender.

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geascian

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from: geascian
date: Aug. 10th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC)
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Saying that they believe that a state exists is a little different to saying that you believe a deity exists. Ground state energy has been observer, albeit indirectly, and it is a reasonable extrapolation to say that any given isolated system can reach such a ground state energy. The belief is based on other observer phenomena that have been observed.

Now a belief is a deity can not be extrapolated from observation in the same way as we have never seen any verifiable example of a behaviour in the universe that would extrapolate to the conclusion that there is a deity.

The main problem is comparing the two is that science is a process where as faith / belief in a deity an attribute of a person. Now it would be fair to suggest that some atheists hold their views in a way that is indistinguishable from theistic beliefs but that is rather different to suggesting that science, and scientists do.

The question of which god is the right god can be very important, for a couple of reasons.
Firstly if the deity is a monotheistic god, on the Christian model then picking the right one to believe in is rather important, if the scriptures are to be believed. Secondly when people make statements, or even laws, based on the rules and guidance laid down by that god, or what they believe to be the moral guidance of that god, then picking the right god is important.

For example if the Christian god is indeed the true god then as you suggest Homosexuals are in for a rather rude awaking at some point, however if the deity is more like the one imagined by Spinoza then such moral riles regarding sexual conduct are not in evidence.

If you are going to base a legal, or moral code that you expect other to take notice of, then the choice of deity is rather important. After all would you like it in a world run on moral principles based on "do as thou will shall be the wholof the law"?

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 12th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC)
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I think you are missing my point, that both religion and science in the final analysis is faith and belief in something. Both are dealing with ultimates and eternities. Both have the same degree of conviction.

To them on the search for God, you must understand, is it primarily a transcendent spiritual that depends on non-physical evidence. It is found in intution, empathy, dreams, meditation, study with an open mind and heart and using insight. This is not an alien thing to science, think about it.... the insight of genius had to come from somewhere. The inspiration comes first (the 1%), then the search, the trials and error (the 99% perspiration). Real science in my experience is real work. Real spirituality in my experience is even harder, because it deals with issues that go to the core on ones existance and is most personally painful, and requires ultimate sacrifice of one's very self.

Other people may think of God as a superman, but I have found God, not as a person of parts and passion, but a universal spirit building through the instrumentality of mind the physical. I have found the life of my Master helpful in showing the process in terms comprehendable in gaining gestalt of the creator. In as much as any of God's children shows beauty, compassion, love and self sacrifice for others, he/she reflects there true spiritual nature of the presence of God within them.

The difference between Science and Spiritualy is this: Science looks at God indirectly through the physical which is a reflection of the creator but is not the creator, just as artwork by my own hand, is not me, but is my own craft. In a spiritual sence, the artwork has part of my spiritual nature as an intregal part of it. It takes another sensing with an inner spirit within them to really feel it, that is to "get it" as art.

The sages and prophets look at God through the spiritual directly, and physical indirectly. The evidence of God comes through the unity of the spiritual within us, the physical world bears the maker's mark, and is recognized not by physical signs but by insight, not eyesight. Felt within that resonates in the heart and mind.

God exists independent of man's opinion, and God is not a man. In as much as one's pick/faith of deity leads him/her to understanding that they are truely spiritual beings, that the "Kingdom of God" is within, they fullfill their sojurn's mission and purpose.

I believe that the Holy Scriptures to be authoritative, not because Luther, the Pope, or any man says it is, but because I sense the maker's mark and the Maker in it, in an intutive way. Without being able to tap into this very real "pool" of shared consciouness with God, the reader catches only the very tip, maybe nothing at all of the true reality. This knowlege has been called "hidden", because it resides or is seated in the realm of the spiritual therefore is "hidden" or unseen by physical eyes. Of course it not,its in plain sight but one must first give up the delusion that the physical is all that there is.

Acted out homosexuality is interesting in that not only are the fruits of it not good in the long term in the general, or for socity but it represents an acted out rebellion against the Maker, literally using the creative and divine power that sex is, 180 degrees opposite of the hard and difficult life lession that they themselves set up before they were born to "meet themselves" (karma). It literally represents a sojurn wasted that will have to be repeated until self IS fully met.

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from: akuratnik
date: Aug. 12th, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
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1) Religion and science tend to oppose each other, because people who study one usually tend to ignore the other. In fact, this is true with almost any discipline. A person who engages the study of one thing tends to not care much about any other. This is not to say that this statement is ultimately true. However, I've met few scientists who have any understanding of religion; when they talk about it, they exhibit the fact that they probably haven't thought about it much in life.

That's what science does. It doesn't annihilate religion, like some religious people claim. It simply is good at taking people's minds off of it. Science seems to provide answers, so people don't think about religion as much, though if they do, they often find that the two can coexist together. That is the error.

Now I am a scientist and I am also a believer and I do not see how the two can be separated. Science is a great method for exploring God's creation. And also, the higher aspects of mathematics and physics lead to its own kind of religion, which I do not think is actually blasphemous.

2) About the frequency and casualness of sex of homosexualness... uh... I don't know about you, but I know plenty of heterosexuals who can beat any gays out there in their frequency and casualness of sex. In fact, I think that this is mostly a heterosexual problem. Being a teenager, I would know. I don't see how their sexual activities are any more "damaging" to society than those of heterosexual people.

And in general, I hate how this much attention is given to them. Why do people care so much about one sin and not another? Quit discussing it.

3) If you are one of those WTC conspiracy theories, then maybe you should read up on how all those conspiracy theories are completely and utterly destroyed by people who have any sense of what they are talking about. There is a possibility of government involvement in this matter, but none of is due to what people actually say.

4) Most black people that I have known who have actually GOTTEN an education were far more brilliant than any of their white counterparts. IQ is not the issue here. The issue is that the generation of blacks growing up today is the first one that didn't have to deal with any prejudices (or very little at any rate). To think how painful re-integration of schools was only 40 years ago is sickening as it is to think how many schools in black area are still clearly lacking in funds.

It's easy to blame race on any difference in people. However, as far as I've found it, race has very little to do it with it. Culture and social circumstances do. It's easy to claim that the blacks or the Mexicans in the US or the Arabs in Europe are simply stupid irrational. However, only 600 years ago, it was the Arabs that were civilized and educated and it was the Europeans who were barbarous and ignorant. If you think that their whole populace suddenly mutated, think again.

There might be slight genetic difference among different races in terms of their intellectual potential. However, to claim that the struggling of the American blacks in schools is due to their race is trying to fit an easy answer to a complex question. That just doesn't work.

5) I'm not going to get into the abortion argument. It's far too dependent on how a person feels about it. Let me just say that I know several girls for whom abortion saved their lives, not in a medical way, but in any other way besides that.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 13th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
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1. I agree with you that religion/spiritual and science/physicalism are NOT exclusive to each other. I know of no spiritual/religous leader I know that thinks that they are, I know I don't, having parallel careers in both. To me the physical aspects of the universe accurately reflect the Maker and is not an alien (or evil) thing, that God's creation is good. Having at extraordinary effort and hardship learned advanced math and what can be done with it, and having the US military depending on my ability to do it I think it points to a reality transending an "ordinary" 3D + time physical world.

2. Having worked for many years with public health matters, in particular STDs, study after study has shown that: A. The average sexually active Gay in particular has several times more lifetime partners than the average sexually active non-Gay, B. The % of it being anonamous is way higher in Gays, C. The % of it with a monogomous parter is way lower, D. The amount of violence in gay relationships is much higher than straight ones E. The rate of both primary (ie. HVC, AIDS...viral) AND secondary STDs (ie. thrush-nonviral) is much higher in Gays than straights. F. Gays have a significantly higher rate of unprotected sex compaired to straights. G. The lifetimes of Gays is significantly shorter than straights AND their lifetime healthcosts are much higher per capita--Who pays for most of that "extra" health care? The taxpayers and anyone with health insurance...NOT the Gays (treatment for their STD and complications are extraordinarily expensive, even wealthy Gays can't afford it). So their homosexual lifestyle is being directly supported by the public. There are reasons why gay sex tends to be more casual and promiscuous, Gays tend to start their sexual activity usually in an illegal statatory rape situation in which decades older gays "grooms" the young teen, and introduces them to "nameless" sexual encounters related to bathhouses, gay bars, even interstate reststops with other gays looking for the same thing (lots of relationship free sex). I am NOT saying that Gays are bad people, in fact through my Gay friends in showbiz, and their gay friends, as a group they tend to be creative out of the box thinkers, and tend to have artistic gifts. Acted out Sex/Gender issues are not the only important issues in anyone's life, but it is one of key choices we make where the outcome is so life-altering in our relationship to family, mankind and the Creator. We all face temptations in life, drugs, booze, sex, antisocial activity, food, money, position, etc, the choices each of us makes in regards to them is what truely defines our character as a person. I don't recommend active homosexuality, but I don't condemn anyone for it, and never have. It is not a sin for people to have sexual urges for the same sex any more than for people to urge to drink too much, gamble to much, to look at porn, cheat, take drugs, eat too much, etc. It is a sin however to cross the line and give into to it, by doing so it tends to make your life situation more difficult and problematic.


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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 13th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
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3. Having served at the highest levels of the US government and witness to a few things, I can say there is all kinds of things going on/have gone on that the people puting them in motion and doing them don't want Mr. or Ms. Joe or Sally Blow or for that matter their mothers to know about or even think about. I know that in my own career, I have been involved in a lot of things as part of my job, that was very poorly documented, misdocumented by others, nondocumented or "file 13'd". As I have studied American governmental and military history closely, I noticed that as time has gone on the Federal government has been expending more money and expanding secrecy of its operations, especially at the highest levels in an exponential curve. You don't have to be a PolySci genius to figure out that the federal government and it dependent finanical organizations are much less transparent now. I really don't know what it is possible, doable and to what extent, or even possible hidden agendas and goals. I hope nothing, but human nature and history tends to say everything. The truth is in the middle, but zero to infinity makes it hard to say where middle is... Was there a WTC conspiracy or related conspiracy?, Of course it was, the official US and Al Q'da version both say it was. I sense there is a lot that is not being told. Exactly what the true story is I must say I don't know.

However, having served as a firemarshall for a high rise government facility, I do know the likelihood of extremely tall supersized Class-A stuctures totally collapsing due to fire and class-A aircraft loss is just about zero. The chances that if these extraordinarly strong buildings did collapse due to structural damage due to AC impact and fire would inplode and fall mostly within there own footprints is just about zero. Even the US governments NIST modeling showed that the event was from a practical sence impossible. It is true that after running many many modeling tests on the computer, they finally were able to come up with one that resulted in the collapse of one tower, but imput parameters had to be so far altered they had little resemblence to the physical world as we know it, and the way that the extreme model did give way (verical pancaking with the internal core intact) didn't happen in real life.

When the model was run until the last floor had contacted the ground, most of the building's superstructor twisted off with most of the mass of the remains OFF the footprint. For some reason that part was not included in the final NIST report. There have been physical full scale tests of key componets and total building scale tests, none of them structurally failed or even partically collapsed. No carefull study to determine the actual cause of failure was allowed, say in contrast to the I-35 bridge failure. I don't know why the WTC towers fell in the extremely unlikely way they did. I wished I did.

I have read the government's official reports as to cause of collapse, they did not resemble any professional fire investigation report I have written, or by any other qualified NFPA member within the published professional literature. I won't go into it here, but NFPA standards require specific things and in what order to be done in all loss of life fire investigations. Because the WTC towers were a workplace, even a federal workplace, federal law both OSHA and Federal safety standards require the NFPA procedural investigation be done. None of these key things were done. I am concerned that the engineering, human safety factors, etc lessons learned in terms of lost life should not be lost.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 13th, 2007 03:30 am (UTC)
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4. You are right there are the factors of a poverty value driven culture in play in the IQ equation besides race alone. Things like the number of children born out of wedlock, the biological parents IQ, whether you had a married Mom and Dad, the biological parents substance addictions going on at conception (and afterwards), quality of prenatal care, Mom's diet, stabllity of the home, did baby bond with mom and dad, could dad keep a job or provide child support, did Mom know who the Daddy was?, discipline in the home, child sexual/physical/mental/emotional/negligent abuse, age of mom when baby was born, attitudes towards social institutions, ie. Law enforcement, School, Marriage, employer, racism, etc. All of these make a difference and more. Worldwide standardized testing by UNICEF and other international educational institutions consistently show that west and central africa where US blacks came from are the less intelligent people of nations on Earth. To validate this, it must be noted that almost all of them are failed nation-states with a record of catestrophic poor decision making. In fact there is a strong corillation between in IQ between US asians and their asian homeland, US whites and northern europe, etc. so there has to be something to this, I would say that with all things considered it is likely that genetically race does play maybe as much as 1 SD between races and therefore statisticaly significant and more than "slight". Asians typically score higher than any other races in general.

By the way, it has been my own experience (and real data) that the Arab league nations are WAY smarter than US blacks, and are in fact just as smart as their Jewish semetic cousins in Isreal. It is also true that the average mexican IN MEXICO is significantly smarter that the average US black.

I am left with the conclusion that ethnic/genetic heritage does make a real difference in IQ, Personal choices tend to be poorer in racial groups with outcomes that expand not narrow the racial difference, that churches, schools and government in the US are very limited in improving personal life choices (which are seen as rights by the culture), and can not change the genetic base of the kids actually in the classroom, therefore it makes sense to me that the academic learning/IQ racial gaps practically speaking are impossible to eliminate, and there is no evidence that any teaching method, desegragation or increased expenditures per student has actually done so.

5. In terms of abortion, there will come a day for all girls that had abortions as a form of birth control to face the souls of them they denied a lifetime of opertunity of soul progress because it was inconvenient and for their own selfish personal reasons. It tends to be overlooked but when the girl has life concieved within her, she and that "new" soul will share a bond that cannot be broken by aborion or death, it is now forever her stewardship and there will be an accounting for it. Karmatically, it may mean the girl may have to come back here as an unwanted child, suffer the loss of a wanted child, or worse. Yes, by the carnal world's standards she did the "smart" thing...for herself. Yes, childbirth is unpleasent, yes it does interupt the girl's life, yes raising even a normal healthy child can be overwhelming, and NOT ecomonically rewarding. yes it is totally bad for a girl's social life, yes it can interrupt or even terminate further education but these sacrifices carry CRITICAL lessions for the girl's soul as well as her family and the unborn child itself etc. The child is maybe a result of some bad choices by the girl, but that does not mean the child is not a child of God, or whose loss would go unnoticed and unwept by the God of Love within us all. We did not agree to have this earthly sojourn to have an easy,mistake-free, or convenient life, we are here because we all are working on something involving "worldliness" to be fully met, and overcome. In all, ultimately our own physical deaths are required, success in this life means to come to the total state (spirit, mind, body) of willingness to give all for others, not a little, not some, but everything.

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from: akuratnik
date: Aug. 13th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
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1) Agreed.

2) Fair enough.

3) Do you mind if I ask you what your job was in the government? I'm curious. Also, what do you say of this response to Loose Change, probably one of the top conspiracy theories out there (though very poorly made): http://www.loosechangeguide.com/LooseChangeGuide.html

I am not an expert on any of this, but I would like to hear your opinion. The document is quite long, but I'm sure you could catch the gist of it relatively fast.

4) What does this UNICEF test consist of? I don't really buy it. First of all, I'm not a big fan of the term IQ to begin with. I do not consider myself astonishingly brilliant compared to others; however, I was brought up in a good school in Russia and my parents were always forcing me to think. The education I received was much different from that of the US (in terms of the material taught as well the style of teaching). When I came to the US and went to school here, I was proclaimed genius by my fellow classmates (even when I went to a very good private school), because I found even the hardest classes easy.

Now once again, I do not consider myself smarter than anyone else in any way. However, the way I was taught to think has enabled me to grasp material better, find solutions faster, etc etc etc.

Once again, worldwide standardized testing is a concept that I'm not a big fan of, particularly since any kind of test is automatically not only testing the people's IQ, but their education as well (and this hold true even for the youngest children). And let's face it, the current educational situation in Africa is terrible. In fact, I'm sure most people there are more concerned with SURVIVING rather than LEARNING.

Finally, you talk about terrible decision making. Once again this goes back to cultural and historical issues. Do you remember Africa's history for the past 500 years? What it used to be, what its people used to be and have tried to hold on to for so long, and what it's forced to be now? This is the thing. Africa fails by Western standards, because these standards were forced upon them and, unfortunately, the rest of the world. I'm still not sure about their genetical intelligence level.

5. That is a religiously based opinion, though, isn't it? Even Islam accepts abortion up to 40 days of pregnancy in rare circumstances (such as danger to the parent) as the soul has not entered the fetus yet. So how is this OK to implement in a country supposedly secular? Also, just because it is a sin/bad thing, it is the choice of that person.
Finally, there is very little support currently for "accidental" children. They happen a lot and they screw up your life. It is understandable for somebody to want an abortion. Now in a society where people get married early, for example, abortion should be punishable by law, because it is unnecessary. However, American society is not such and moreover, banning abortion would grow the market for illegal and unsafe abortions, which is even worse.
Getting rid of abortions would mean to change the society in such a way that abortions would no longer be desired (it's not like any woman is happy with such a decision, even prior to the hormonal after-effects). However, at this point, it seems like a normal effect of what society we live in.

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Drem'Wk'R

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from: dremwkr
date: Aug. 13th, 2007 08:58 am (UTC)
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3. I will comment after I review the movie carefully. I have heard about the Movie but have not seen it. Thanks for the link.
4. The IQ test used was the WISC, translated into the vernacular, the same test used by most US schools. This is because the WISC is best predictor of a child's ability to learn and was validated as multinational test in every language used. I want to point out the ability to learn and adapt IS a survivial skill, half of the WISC is based on actual PERFORMANCE skills ie. squences, spacial relationships, patterning, visual memory, etc. I don't think you understand how horrible life is in a failed nation state, No police, no health care, no system of justice, no currency, no jobs, no stores or markets, no schools, no marrage, no maintained roads, no fuel, roving armed gangs of children and teens, sociopathic social leadership,etc. I know, my yeoman when I was with HQ 2d MAW grew up and escaped the horror of Liberia, her Father was the Minister of Education in the last functioning government Liberia had and lived through the choas of it coming apart. I knew what she was telling me true, she had the scars of torture to prove it. What she saw and experienced...it was so bad I don't want to think about it. It was like the whole country had gone crazy. No adults above 30 survived the times. Yes there were some really poor choices made by the many AND the few, that killed a nation, it desolved into to tribism and class conflict, the majority committing genocide against the public service oriented minority that represented all the know how the country had. The leader that overthrew and wiped out the government was later captured by a competing warlord, Charles Taylor who wanted the shipping registry money coming in, my yeoman, a USMC Corporal, told me of crying for joy watching a four hour video tape in which Charles Taylor torrtures the other man until he slowly dies, the tape ends with the dead man's body being mutilated in unspeakable ways. I saw part of the tape, I couldn't handle watching 10 seconds of it, I wished I had never seen it, I saw it but I still have trouble believing what I saw. And the Corporal liked it so much she watched it all four hours worth, over and over again, so great was her hate and the need to see vengence. It was not that she like Charles Taylor, but that she had many really bad experences tied personally to his prediscor. Recently, Libera has held elections again and its borders and airport are now open. Fellow ministers and personal friends of mine went on a mission there. The national infrastructure wasn't just shattered, it was gone... UN peacekeeping troops were there to protect the few aid agencies that returned and to prop up and protect the newly elected government...It will take generations for a working nation to stand up again, if ever. The average IQ in her country at its best was in the lower 70s, before the countries collapse, I am sure it is lower now. I myself don't understand how you can sustain a democracy if the average citizen is mentally retarded. The country interestinly enough was founded by US blacks who participated in the "Back to Africa" movement popular at the end of the 19th century lead by charismatic Black ministers who scammed off much of the money to live great luxtury here in the US, never actually travelling to africa. My mind is starting to wander. My point is these black nations are failed states not because of western standards being too high, but by the most basic of humanitarian standards. Having lived in many third world countries I have come to the realization that people get the goverment (or lack thereof) they deserve, it is their group karma in which they are meeting the enemy and it is there own stupidity.

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from: akuratnik
date: Aug. 17th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
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Sorry for a delayed response... some busy days behind me.

I never implied that these nation states were failures simply because of high western standards. If you say that a great part of the population was from the Back to Africa movement... that might explain the low IQs. Though I still don't really buy it. I somewhat agree with you on the last point (that people get the government they deserve), though that wouldn't say much good about the Americans. However, I would claim this statement true if the country lived without outside interference for quite some time. I do not see the current governments throughout Africa or throughout the Middle East the product of the people or deserved by the people. I find them more to be products of Western intervention in governments they don't understand, don't try to understand, and frankly don't care about. The colonial period made these quasi imitations of ruling systems that lasted and went well prior to western influence and drove everyone to brink of madness.

While your stories from Liberia do seem awful, it is no news to me. One can just see what the Iraqis are up to and how anger can easily flame up and how hard it is to put it out afterwards. I do not find the Iraqis stupid, but what is occurring in Iraq right now is no better than what is happening in Africa. So I don't see how the current situation in Africa is indicative of their "IQ". I think it is either simply a sign that western way of governing is not for them.

I just checked out the WISC IQ test online. None of these points of evaluation (except for maybe hand-to-eye coordination) seem to me anything that cannot be ameliorated with education. Abstract reasoning, numerical reasoning, following directions, etc etc is possible to learn and to get used even with small exposure. However, given the fact that many African nations have almost no educational system, I don't find it hard to believe that these kids are scoring very low on the tests. Moreover, it does not surprise me that many African nations are caught in a constant repetition of the same events and the same violence over and over. Education is key here. Of course, there is innate ability. But in my eyes, unless you have a very rare talent, your skills need to be unlocked, your brain wired for thinking like a student.

I will rest my case if these kids are put through exactly the same educational system as in the west and then their kids go through the same and we measure them against the norm. But to pick these kids out of the situation they are in right now, hand them these tests, and compare them to the result of children who go to sleep in calm and safety every night is a bit unfair in my eyes.

I could accept a slight genetic difference in mental capabilities among races. However, a different as drastic as you are proposing seems very unlikely to me.

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