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Credulity may be a form of innocence, and even innocuous in itself, but it provides a standing invitation for the wicked and the clever to exploit their brothers and sisters, and is thus one of humanity’s great vulnerabilities.  Hitchens God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

  1. September 25, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Interesting quote from Hitchens. I dont know if you have ever seen him speak, but if you have, does it look like he really even gives a shit about humanity?

  2. September 25, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    Such traits as fastidiousness vs. comfortable-disorder, shy vs. Outgoing, slow-moving vs. fast-moving, and credulous vs. suspicious may all be highly genetically predisposed. One thing we can be certain of, we all make virtues of our dispositions ! (Well, all happy people do)

  3. September 25, 2009 at 9:48 pm


    Which means Hitchens virtue is he’s a shithead?

  4. September 26, 2009 at 5:58 am

    @ T4T — Which of your own dispositional traits have you turned into virtues?

  5. Anoat Ozzel
    September 26, 2009 at 11:35 am


    I have read a couple of books from him and seen him lecture Via Youtube. I don’t necessarily agree with all he says, however most of information makes a lot of sense to me. I also understand that he is a bit of a drunkard as well, but that doesn’t diminish the quality of his writing in my view.

    TO Sabio: I like yout term ‘comfortable disorder.’ You have been to my house and you know that is how my family lives. I would not say that I consider this trait virtuous, especially having been brought up in a ultra-fastidious household, that valued ordered-guilding over everything else!


  6. September 26, 2009 at 4:25 pm


    I know lots of people whose info makes complete sense. The thing is they are so angry it usually isnt worth listening to. I have seen him talk several times, he’s bright, and he brings out the worst in me.


    Never viewed any of my traits as virtuous. How about you?

  7. Anoat Ozzel
    September 27, 2009 at 12:58 pm


    I agree completely with your point about angry speakers. I have chatted with some folks online recently that were so Anti-religious and Anti-emotion that I could not even converse intelligently without getting a fiery response. It only takes about 10 minutes of listening to a skinhead talk about racial superiority to know exactly what he is going to say in the next ten minutes.
    Maybe you could send me some links to the Hitchens lectures that you are talking about. I would love to see them. What I really enjoy about Hitchen’s writings is that he cites a lot of sources, which I ultimately buy and read. So, in a way he kinda brings the ‘Best’ out in me, because he stirs my curiosity to read and experience more.

  8. Anoat Ozzel
    September 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm


    Keeping in line with T4T, can you give an example of ‘dispositional traits’ that one may consider virtuous? Do you have a post on your cite about this topic? I think I have a grasp of your logic, but would love to read more!!!


  9. September 27, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Shy (“quiet”) folks say:

    “It is important to give people space, to listen, to care.”

    Outgoing (“talkative”) folks say:

    “It is important to show people a good time, to keep a conversation going, to be open and trust that people want to hear your views, to share, to engage, to take a chance.”

    Now write your own rationalization of their own disposition for:
    * Sloppy (disorder-tolerant) vs Fastidious (order freaks)
    You can explore the other OCEAN traits at your leisure.

    Now, imagine your brain is inclined toward ecstatic feelings and perceptions, or, your brain is not. How would those people “virtuize”. Or imagine a passive person vs an aggressive person. They are so by nature, not because they have thought all this out carefully — but mind you, their brains tell them otherwise and they are totally convinced.

    Hope that helps.

  10. September 28, 2009 at 5:34 am

    @ T4T — I have viewed many of my traits as virtuous — I am human.

  11. Earnest
    October 2, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    I think the answer is in titfortat’s name! Game theory (at one point) suggested that the most competitive ethical construct in a transactional competition was the titfortat. If you were nice, titfortat would not stab you in the back. If you stole from titfortat, it would steal back from you. This allowed titfortat to build allegiences with the chronically nice and remember to defend itself against the chronic burglars in the game.

    One advantage to having credulity is one does not waste effort on fear and fighting and instead trusts all to share food and then share gametes in a massive rave-like love-fest. Objectively many invertibrates live their brief sex-filled lives in just this manner. If sheer numbers of organisms mean anything, this would seem to be as competitive as any trait blend humans have come up with.

  12. Anoat Ozzel
    October 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    I agree that on the surface this Titfortat approach seems logical. Certainly in a setting of non-human creatures, that are not ruled by an unevolved, largely irrational brain this would work. The problem is humans are so multilayered and multi-dimensional that titfortat soon breaks down. Titfortat always seemed like a very dualistic approach.

    What many people forget in that we started as those simpler invertabrates with ‘sex on the brain’ and slowly evolved into these more complex forms with ‘sex on the brain.’ Credulity certainly served our anscestors very well, at least in a macro-survival sort of way. That same credulity spelled certain doom for countless others.


  13. October 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    What many people forget in that we started as those simpler invertabrates with ’sex on the brain’ and slowly evolved into these more complex forms with ’sex on the brain.(anoat)

    Screwing in the back alley like dogs or Screwing in the penthouse…………its still screwing.

    (Administrator note: No deliberate Foul language. Please see my policy on commenting.)

  14. Anoat Ozzel
    October 4, 2009 at 12:10 pm


    I agree implicitly. There is no distinction. Religions try to sanctify our sperm and eggs, but no matter what people say about them they are still sperm and eggs. I think the difference is that in order to separate us from ‘Dogs in the back alley’ we have to be conscious of our decisions and understand that our desires and urges come from the same places as those organisms we think of as less evolved or simpler.

  15. October 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Anoat….have you ever asked yourself why screwing is not profane and f…… is? The point of my post was that we may “think” of ourselves as more evolved but our actions speak otherwise.

  16. October 5, 2009 at 7:53 am


    Check comment #14. I agree with you ‘implicitly!’ I just felt I needed to personally expound on the idea. I argue with my wife all the time about teaching my young children cuss words. It drives her nuts! She won’t say ‘God Damn’, but will use ‘gosh dang’ and ‘gee wiz’ emoting the exact same message.

    Please don’t hesitate to comment and be conversive. Maybe the changing of text was a little ‘knee jerk’ on my part.

    Humble Monkey,


  17. October 6, 2009 at 6:02 am

    “Shoot” and “S___t” don’t have the EXACT same emotive message. Neither do “Screw” or “F____”, and on down the line.
    These have been measured before.
    But to me, before the science proved it, it was reflectively obvious.
    The brain has a taboo section where taboo ideas (biological AND cultural) are stored. We use those taboo items to get effects in ourselves and others that non-taboo items do not effect as well.
    Taboo IS partially culturally relative, but it is cultural. The question is, even if it is all relative, what type of relationships do you want with others?
    It is easy to curse.
    Think of the subcultures in your area of do it as matter of course. Now try to figure out why.
    Then ask yourself why you do it? As yourself why you are teaching your kids to do it. The closer you get to understanding your own motives, the more truths hides from you.

  18. October 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Words are words, the intent behind them is probably where the effect lies. So tell me this Sabio, if one of your friends lightly remarks “ah fuck you, youre just kidding” or very intently says “screw you, Sabio”. Which one will have the more emotive impact? Im curious, if we live in a multicultural society which culture gets to determine the “curse words” in the workplace?

  19. October 6, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    My words won’t make clear any difference, I am afraid.

  20. December 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    What difference does a personal Creator make?

    If there is no creator, human existence is a cosmic accident. We do not exist by design or purpose; we exist by chance. This is a necessary, logical conclusion in the absence of a personal creator. And, if this is the true accounting for our existence, all notions of ultimate meaning are reduced to wishful thinking or irrational fantasy. Morality is reduced to personal or societal opinion. Matters of right or wrong cannot be determined in any final absolute sense since there is no transcendent morality. And the so-called problem of evil cannot be addressed. The logical outcome in the absence of a personal creator is that final human destiny is death. There is no true hope of anything outside of this life. Without God, we are cosmic accidents who exist by chance in a deterministic universe governed by raw natural selection.

    If there is a Creator, a personal God who made us male and female in his own image, life has value, meaning and dignity beyond the limitation of human opinion. Personal identity, human freedom and responsibility are genuine markers of existence. Transcendent truths (which we intuitively recognize, Ecclesiastes 3:11) lift us out of the despair of human relativism, and the limitations of human inquiry. Yet it must be acknowledged that this belief in God can also be threatening to our continual bid for autonomy and self-sufficiency. Our determination to live by bread alone must be dislodged from our hearts.

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