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FF Podcast 64 (Audio): Google Ranks Truthiness

FF Podcast 64: Google ranks truthiness

Alternative medicine practitioners and conservatives are worried — Google is coming out with an algorithm that ranks truthfulness in articles.

You may also download the podcast file here.

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) feed

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

Filipino Freethinkers Podcast (Audio) on iTunes

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You guys are just mean

God, when used in arguments defending conservative morals, is the ultimate bull whip. If God says that X is Y, then it must be Y! Period! At this point, Conservatives hurrah and expect liberals to shut-up and follow suit. If that doesn’t work, they use good ‘ole fear and anger mongering to rile the conservative masses, bully politicians, and push their bigoted agenda as far as they can. But let’s explore this God thing a bit. It’s a way too abused argument weapon to overlook.

Here’s my guess. The concept of morality stuck to us as a way to create the basis of order within human society. It’s likely a result of socialization, transmitted and changed, however gradually, throughout the generations. Conservatives, of course, don’t acknowledge these truths. They assume that morals are God’s will or something.

Lots of these moral laws are both practical and rational. Altruism, communal bonds, and other behaviours that promote cohesion and cooperation are often considered moral as they ensure that society grows in harmony. Murder, theft, rape, selfishness, and violence are things that loads of societies loathe since they make life awful. And of course, these are counter-productive behaviours to societies who want their progeny to thrive. Obviously they’re labelled as immoral.

Practical and rational morals, like the ones I said above can be proven through observation and analysis of what actually happens in the real world. Defenders of these sorts of morals can demonstrate through concrete examples and unbiased study that these value judgments are correct. Preventing selfishness while promoting altruism makes sense since you can’t expect prosperity and economic progress to spread if people don’t know how to share and let go of their greed. But how can you defend moral laws that deem homosexuality, and other non-harmful behaviours, but still considered taboo, as immoral and even harmful? God! That’s how!

All a conservative moralist has to do is to pull up scripture, mix in some bile-filled social commentary, and prodigiously spread the word God around, and then voila, you have yourself classic right-wing punditry against whatever progressive thought out there. The term God is simply a cop-out from a decent rational debate. He (or is it She or It, doesn’t really matter anyway) is just used to scare conservatives and the conservative-ish to follow the old ways.

To avoid this gawdawful mess of conservative morality, it’s best to assess acts/behaviours/ideologies based on why they were acted out, how they were done, and how it affects all that’ll be involved. Take the example of gayness.

A guy or a gal expressing romantic love for their own sex will, at most, make conservatives batshittingly mad–some to the point of bloody violence. Yes it has the potential to break families but that only happens if the non-gay members and/or non-liberal relatives refuse to accept their gay kin. How being gay and being gay with your lover in formal union breaks other people’s families is a mystery to me. And as for corrupting the youth, blah. That assumes being gay is an aberration, but only conservatives think that. Unbiased studies show that it is a natural variant of human sexuality, so I say wholesome knowledge of gayness enlightens the youth, not fuck them up. Besides, every gay stereotype is a result of oppression–from the conservatives!

So, is being gay harmful and therefore immoral? Intrinsically, no. Things only go bad when you mix in prejudice, and it generates harm against the gay person. This in fact points to how conservatism is harmful and immoral since it promotes oppression, limits healthy emotional and psychological development, and contributes to the violation of human rights–with all the anal rules it has.

I think it’s better for conservatives to just outright say that they’re mean and that they hate the different. Because their continued reliance on the term God as an excuse for their bigoted agendas just shows how intellectually weak they are. I bet my knickers that when you ask them to give a secular and rational defence for their point, they’ll give something totally bible-ish or twistedly bigoted instead.

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