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Robert Fischer › Comments

Robert Fischer
Re: Tokaido - Gag Reel - TableTop Season 3 Ep. 1 - http://geekandsundry.com/shows...
""Tinkerbell Says GTFO". I need this t-shirt." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Torchlight II Let’s Play: Co-Optitude Ep 66 - http://geekandsundry.com/shows...
"I don't know about riding a dog, but some dogs were/are used to pull carts, especially in mountainous regions." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Co-Optitude Special Edition! - http://geekandsundry.com/shows...
"Love the Minnesota shirt!" - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"I'm making that claim based on conversations with my atheist friends and with non-Christian homeless people about their experience of Christianity, along with where I see Christianity getting play in the media, which is almost always aligned with worldly powers or hate. I also find the Evangelical literalism itself (including the obsession with purity, esp. sexual purity) to be a form of Satan-bred theology and opposed to Christ's messages. So maybe my perception's off, but most conversations that I have in the non-Christian world (including among non-Christian Quakers) seem to circle back to how Christians act (or at least present themselves) in very anti-Christ-like ways. Stuff like the "Christian" in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... So I'm not sure how to fix that perception if it is off..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"Thanks for the back-up! BTW, where are you getting "distraction" from? I'm mildly familiar with Hebrew, and I've mostly encountered "haSatan" as "opponent" or "challenger" or "prosecutor". I'd like to be enlightened about this other meaning." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Rethinking “Rethinking Sex…” - http://admin.patheos.com/blogs...
"Also, I wish Christians would be more careful with the term "addiction" with regards to pornography. People need to get some exposure to AA or (especially) NA, and see what a genuine addiction looks like before they start using that term to describe a relationship to pornography. There are people in the church with genuine addictions to pornography—but, for most Christians I know concerned with their "porn addiction", their use is a consequence of easy access and strong temptation. That's no more "porn addiction" than swinging by fast food too often is "food addiction". Let's keep the term "addiction" for the truly extreme (yet common) cases where it belongs, and not muddy it. Your struggle and frustration to change is valid without having to label it an addiction." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Rethinking “Rethinking Sex…” - http://www.patheos.com/blogs...
"Also, I wish Christians would be more careful with the term "addiction" with regards to pornography. People need to get some exposure to AA or (especially) NA, and see what a genuine addiction looks like before they start using that term to describe a relationship to pornography. There are people in the church with genuine addictions to pornography—but, for most Christians I know concerned with their "porn addiction", their use is a consequence of easy access and strong temptation. That's no more "porn addiction" than swinging by fast food too often is "food addiction". Let's keep the term "addiction" for the truly extreme (yet common) cases where it belongs, and not muddy it. Your struggle and frustration to change is valid without having to label it an addiction." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Rethinking “Rethinking Sex…” - http://admin.patheos.com/blogs...
"Your rethinking and your rethinking of your rethinking are signs of a mature, growing, and compassionate soul. Thank you for both doing this and for doing this in the public sphere, so that we can start to shake the stigma around the phrase, "I changed my mind." Seriously: thank you. And before I weigh in, let me state that I'm a Christian with an M.Div from Duke Divinity School focusing in embodied spirituality; I also wrote for a sex blog on the topic of sexuality and spirituality. So this isn't an off-the-cuff answer or a reactionary answer. One of my concerns about evangelical culture is the religious literalism. I understand Jesus to be fighting against the religious literalism of his age, and then we Protestant went and reinvented it. (Now, there are reasons we reinvented it, but still...) Nowhere do I find religious literalism more prevalent than in evangelical treatment of sexuality. Yet they still have a good point amidst all of that, in that sex is a Big Deal: to my..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Rethinking “Rethinking Sex…” - http://www.patheos.com/blogs...
"Your rethinking and your rethinking of your rethinking are signs of a mature, growing, and compassionate soul. Thank you for both doing this and for doing this in the public sphere, so that we can start to shake the stigma around the phrase, "I changed my mind." Seriously: thank you. And before I weigh in, let me state that I'm a Christian with an M.Div from Duke Divinity School focusing in embodied spirituality; I also wrote for a sex blog on the topic of sexuality and spirituality. So this isn't an off-the-cuff answer or a reactionary answer. One of my concerns about evangelical culture is the religious literalism. I understand Jesus to be fighting against the religious literalism of his age, and then we Protestant went and reinvented it. (Now, there are reasons we reinvented it, but still...) Nowhere do I find religious literalism more prevalent than in evangelical treatment of sexuality. Yet they still have a good point amidst all of that, in that sex is a Big Deal: to my..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"People have a lot of difficulty using God talk, and (at least according to outward perception) the Christian community is dominated by voices that are more in line with Satan than Jesus. This is precisely why those of us who are loving, compassionate, relational Christians need to use the label more--and more loudly! To do so is a prophetic act, because you are living truth in the face of the power of WBC and their kin. This prophetic act is revolutionary both to yourself and to those around you, as Lisa discovered. I think it is especially important to exercise Christian identity because of the long history of spiritual abuse that so many have suffered. It's news to some people that love exists wearing the Christian label, and demonstrating that love breaks down the anti-Christian bigotry and anger that Christian abuse has generated." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Congratulations! She’s Pregnant! You’re Screwed! - http://blog.enfranchisedmind.com/2013...
"Thanks for your response: I appreciate it. The "gamify" part of it you're talking about is something that I'm excited for -- I'm looking forward to having an actually interactive kid. But that's over a year off at this point. And maybe the level of appreciation will change once the baby is actually on the scene, so the father actually has some relevance again. But, at this point in the classes and among the people I'm talking to, I'm (at best) a helper for Mom, and mostly ignored and irrelevant. It gave me a lot of appreciation for the kind of anger that fueled the women's lib movement...I couldn't imagine having an existence saturated in that kind of treatment. I do suspect that there is more than a little regional difference here, in that gender roles in NC are a lot stronger than they were in MN (even in the more rural areas), and that plays out in people being surprised that I'm actually interested and involved in my wife's pregnancy. That is, after all, "women's stuff"." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Congratulations! She’s Pregnant! You’re Screwed! - http://blog.enfranchisedmind.com/2013...
"My issue with the complaining behind your #2 was that this was not a cost-less enterprise, and so what exactly was I supposed to be happy about? I'm losing all the things that I found enriching and could be proud about, and instead I'm sitting in classes being neglected and trying to play catch-up on an ever-growing list of largely mindless and unfulfilling chores. Nobody seemed to be able to appreciate the fact that this whole season of life sucks, and I felt like I was consistently being "made wrong" for experiencing it that way, but nobody could really explain to me how exactly I was wrong. Where Avdi helped was by basically giving me permission to experience it as suckage, and as an opportunity to grow. That approach gave me a way to relate to this phase of life which worked for me. And your second #5 is contrary to most of the reports that I had been getting, but I'm starting to think there's a kind of hazing done by parents upon parents-to-be, where they all conspire together..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Congratulations! She’s Pregnant! You’re Screwed! - http://blog.enfranchisedmind.com/2013...
"Where'd you come up with this way of relating to your wife's pregnancy and the consequences thereof?" - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
robertfischer on I am Joel Hodgson, the creator of Mystery Science Theater 3000, ask me anything. - http://www.reddit.com/r...
"Hey there! It's my 31st birthday today, and I've been a fan back since when you were on KTMA and I was too young to really get the jokes. I also saw you when Cinematic Titanic came through Durham, NC and played the Carolina Theater. My question is: What the heck happened with "The TV Wheel"? I thought that was a great format, but there was only that one episode!" - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Congratulations! She’s Pregnant! You’re Screwed! - http://blog.enfranchisedmind.com/2013...
"This comment is awesome. And it's exactly what I needed to hear. It's strange that this is the role for the partner, and meanwhile the mother is supposed to get buried in love and affection and care and etc., etc., etc. Watching this go down lead me into the mistaken impression that it should be the same for me. But it's increasingly clear that if I'm going to be or do or enjoy anything in this time period, it's going to be "despite of", not "because of". So I just need to reposition my entire self to this situation in opposition, instead of trying to be a cooperative part of it. This time is something to be conquered." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Congratulations! She’s Pregnant! You’re Screwed! - http://blog.enfranchisedmind.com/2013...
"That response is awesome. And just what I needed to hear." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Congratulations! She’s Pregnant! You’re Screwed! - http://blog.enfranchisedmind.com/2013...
"Thank you for this very long and thoughtful response. I really appreciate it, even if the conclusion is "This is going to be kinda miserable forever.", it's nice to hear some, "...but here's how to make it slightly less miserable." Part of the reason I'm so angry and frustrated is because I had the pregnancy and its surprise time-sucking sink one book offer that was out there. I'm having to fight for time to get my one side project any time at all. This long blog post got to be written only because my wife slept in longer than she was supposed to. So I'm still trying to figure out how to work the time/activities issue, and it's not going well for me. I've just got nothing good to say about my wife being pregnant at this point. Life was much better beforehand. And nothing any of my friends are telling me gives me any hope for it being better in the near future. So it's good to know that you're only about three years out, and you've managed to make it work somehow." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Congratulations! She’s Pregnant! You’re Screwed! - http://blog.enfranchisedmind.com/2013...
"This was the general consensus advice from the dad's class that actually addressed this concern: "Your baby will be cooler than other babies, so just hang on through the suckage of pregnancy and it won't suck as bad as you think on the other side." Which is somewhat cold comfort, and has left me just biding my time..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Book Review - A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans - http://www.circlesoffaith.org/updates...
"As a heterosexual (and non-celibate) Christian man, the question of "Biblical Womanhood" mainly impacted me when I'm looking for a woman to marry—to be my life partner and to be the mother of my children. Relationality is the key there: I'm looking for someone to participate in the self-giving, abundant, and ever-hoping/-faithful love of God that the Bible points to. We each have different roles within the family—she's the one who is carrying the child, and she's the one who will have to breastfeed and pump, and since I'm paid more and have the freedom, I'll be the one who will be working and providing financially—and those real-world practicalities will shape who we are and express that love. (It's one of the blessings of the Bible and God-as-revealed-in-it that the real world practicalities are constantly the order of the day, with abstractions and context-free theologizing having only limited space.) Although she will have a certain physical and practical reality, and I will have..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Book Review - A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans - https://circles-of-faith.squar...
"As a heterosexual (and non-celibate) Christian man, the question of "Biblical Womanhood" mainly impacted me when I'm looking for a woman to marry—to be my life partner and to be the mother of my children. Relationality is the key there: I'm looking for someone to participate in the self-giving, abundant, and ever-hoping/-faithful love of God that the Bible points to. We each have different roles within the family—she's the one who is carrying the child, and she's the one who will have to breastfeed and pump, and since I'm paid more and have the freedom, I'll be the one who will be working and providing financially—and those real-world practicalities will shape who we are and express that love. (It's one of the blessings of the Bible and God-as-revealed-in-it that the real world practicalities are constantly the order of the day, with abstractions and context-free theologizing having only limited space.) Although she will have a certain physical and practical reality, and I will have..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
Re: Grails Database Session Plugin - http://blog.enfranchisedmind.com/2012...
"My work is a fork of his. I store data more efficiently than he does and have some additional functionality. He's Burt. So it's probably about even. :)" - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"What makes you think the world will be filled with selfish assholes if you're acting selfishly? Note that—as I said before—you can be selfish and also be polite, charming, and charismatic. Just because you would ultimately screw someone if it came to your benefit doesn't mean you're an apparent asshole—in fact, you're pretty bad at maximizing your benefit from other people if you are an apparent asshole. I don't think that the morality you're laying out is inferior to one derived from believing in a supreme being. To say it's "human born", though, is nonsense and betrays a lack of self-reflection. You're a product of your culture and your surroundings—you even describe your morality in Christian terms: "the golden rule". So there's no primacy to your morality except that it's the one you happened to be born into. The fact that you cling to the Golden Rule is ultimately irrational, un-empirical, and generally all those things which atheists deride believers for being." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"I'm using "utilitarian" here simply to mean "most beneficial", and leaving it to context to specify who receives the benefits. This isn't big-U Utilitarianism, which I'm very well aware of. However, big-U Utilitarianism isn't a rationally defensible position for an atheist to take—what justifies an atheist to sacrifice themselves for someone else? The immediacy of the atheist's experience of themselves and their own life provides the justification for the kind of Enlightened Hedonism that Brian advocates, and which I actually advocate for atheists, too—I just follow Nietzsche to its rational conclusion, and note that this does mean that an atheist, given a sense of more benefit than harm to screwing you over, should go ahead and screw you over. And an atheist should also be a Loyal German. I distinguish morality as being a personal sense of right and wrong, and ethics as being a systematic approach to right and wrong. I don't necessarily add an additional layer of "individual" vs...." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"To answer more explicitly what was probably the underlying question -- namely, "What algorithm are *you* using to make moral decision?" -- let me say this: I'm not using one. I reject the whole project of having an algorithm to decide between right and wrong as fundamentally irrelevant and unnecessary for me. (The anti-nominalism is strong in this one: http://blog.enfranchisedmind.c... ) I have a sense of right and wrong which is ultimately arbitrary and innate. I have a community of people who encourage me to become what I identify (non-algorithmically) as better than as I am, and they are my Friends, my friends, and my family. I have the story of Jesus and Israel which provides a way for me to challenge myself and reflect on my own actions and decisions. In some cases (such as getting involved in Quaker House of Fayetteville), I feel compelled by my sense of right to perform actions and join into communion with a group. In some cases (such as when I was editing some writing for Hugh..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"Sure. "*IF* there is a problem here...". The point is that in your system, *there is no problem.* There is no way that you can say the bankers or the soldiers or the Loyal German is bad. They're acting totally in alignment with your ethical system. You have left yourself no way to get outside of your ethical system to critique those decisions, so you have to affirm them. Your ethical systems backs the Loyal German, backs the bankers, and backs the soldiers who kill the innocent reporters. And I have a problem with that." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"I have never heard a Quaker say "We should not do X, because God will punish us", nor "We should do X, because God will reward us". There are a variety of systems for making moral decisions which aren't utilitarian cost-benefit analyses: that is, they aren't optimizing for the best case for someone's own well-being (even if you expand "well-being" to include some kind of post-mortal "well-being"-ness). You've got legalistic modes of morality, where you do X because That's What You Do, and there's no real analysis of benefits or costs beyond that point. You've got other-centric/group-centric cost-benefit analyses, where you do what's best for the group. You've got hierarchical modes of morality, where you do what someone above you tells you to do. And you've got wishy-washy affective modes of decision making, where you do what feels right at the time, without actually performing a utilitarian analysis to see if it is advantageous to your well-being. And, beyond all of this, there is..." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"Yes, you're not a sociopath. Few people are. That's the Original Sin in the Nietzschean worldview, and it's something to be sought to be overcome, at least insofar as it limits yuour ability to maximize your pleasure (As an aside, I've always been curious to see a comparison of Buddhism's detachment and the Nietzschean Will to Power individualism, and where -- if anywhere -- they differ. I'm assuming Buddhists would want to distance themselves from Nietzschean individualism, but I'm not sure how/where they can.) The fact that we pay to go see people hurt and killed speaks contrary to the idea that empathy is some kind of ubiquitous state, even in the most pure physical version you're laying out. The success of the UFC is an interesting case to consider." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"Do you have a basis for morality aside from your own experience? If not, where's the flaw in the logic? What I know about atheism came from being an atheist (of the LaVeyan Satanist flavor) and spending a lot of time figuring this stuff out." - Robert Fischer
Robert Fischer
"There are a number of assertions in your post that are just plain wrong, and they deserve a distinct thread, so here goes. The biggest problem is that your assumption that all human beings do this cost-benefit analysis is just plain wrong. The idea that we're just bad at heuristics is just wrong. Despite its popularity, the idea that we are energy-miserly optimizers and naive scientists has been empirically disproven. The book to read on this is White's "Psychological Metaphysics". He's got the actual experimental citations for you in there, along with some underlying philosophical work and a proposal for an alternative paradigm that is more coherent to evidence. More directly, you assert that religious people are engaged in this same project, yet I do not recall any conversation of morality among Quakers boiling down to this kind of cost-benefit analysis, which brings me to my second point... I do not participate in a religion of certainty. The kind of certainty you're asserting as..." - Robert Fischer
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