Thursday, October 03, 2013

Social Pecking Order in Fundamentalism

Every so often Young Earthist guru Jason Lisle's blog gets purged of selected content. In order to ensure the preservation of some significant comments I've published them below. These comments contain interesting material that touches on my primary interest in Lisle; namely Christian fundamentalism as a social phenomenon; in this particular connection I highlight the deferential demeanour of the follower toward his leader. 

William Irwin Thompson says this about gurus and their disciples:  

The gurus are tolerant and merely condescending now because they have no political power; but even without power they show full evidence of human frailty and vanity and tend to think that their own yoga is bigger and better than the other guru’s. And what is often only a case of mild condescension in the guru becomes in the disciples a fever of zealotry.  

After I published Thompson's quote on my blog here I wrote: 

This comment (by Thompson) applies to Christian "gurus" and their followers as much as it does to New Age gurus and their followers.

Below I've netted a  fine example  that bears this out:  Here we find a zealous disciple's chagrin at  seeing the maestro he so looks up to addressed in a way he perceives as disrespectful; and we must  remember here that anything other than metaphorically prostrating one's self before the guru's teaching is regarded as an affront. Talking to a guru as an equal (or worse, making that guru look less than one's equal) means of course that in the pecking order of the guru's social nexus one is placing one's self  very much above his fawning disciples and so by implication these disciples are insulted and (greatly) offended by one's behaviour. For these reasons what I publish below is a priceless gem.

I hardly need repeat that I'm not at all impressed by Lisle's mature creation cosmology ; Like AiG's Biblical literalist's theme park it's burlesque science; this is the ugly edifice of teaching  one is required respect. Below I mention another of Lisle's followers called "Preston". Find out about him using the link I have just given.

Hi Jason: Still waiting for that serious of blogs you mention above. However, there’s no rush as I realise that that sort of thing, if it is to be done properly, takes as long a it takes; so I’m sure you’re taking your time. However, you’ll be glad to know that I’m looking forward to you coming out to play.
  • Wayne says:
    You really are proud, aren’t you? It is a wonder that you really think Dr. Lisle would deign to respond to you, as there really is no point. You have formed your own opinions in concrete, and you are not going to change them unless God changes you. So what then would be the point of your statement of Dr. Lisle coming out to play? Do you suppose yourself to be the bully on the playground who is pushing down a child? Dr. Lisle is a well respected Astrophysicist, and has contributed a great deal to science as a whole.
    Perhaps you should work on being humble, I am not making a proud statement such as I am more humble than you, however I would not condescend so obviously to someone so obviously my senior.
    • Well respected astrophysicist? You be can’t serious! Can you show me where in the professional (tax payer funded) literature Jason Lisle’s mature creation cosmology has had so much as a serious mention?
      Deigned to respond to me? Really? I count it a mixed blessing when for reasons beyond my control I come to the notice of fundamentalist gurus and their following, as I have on more than one occasion. But in spite of this not necessarily welcome attention, as a private researcher of Christian sectarianism (No tax payer money needed!) such contact can sometimes have the consolation of yielding useful data as has been the case here: Thank you, and thank you very much “Preston” for the fine work you have carried out.
      Clearly Jason isn’t being taken seriously as an astrophysicist in any professional capacity, but you will be pleased to know that as a free-lancer who works outside the social nexus of the established science community this won’t bias my considerations or make me think any worse of Jason. But by the same token, as I’m not in the sphere of influence covered by the social hierarchy status markers of the Biblical-literalist community your reference to pride issues are in my case totally without meaning.
      And a word of advice for you Wyane: If the social status of your guru-equivalent awes you, you have that much less chance of thinking independently.

      [TVR Addendum 06/10/13:  While I'm here I may as well add the precious gem below as a further sample of the sort of people who hang out with Jason Lisle. The first post below is what I thought to be my rather innocuous reply to an "Old Earther" like myself called Kenny who was posting on Lisle's blog. But just have a look at the response it evokes from one of Lisle's disciples called Preston!  Like other fundamentalists of my experience he goes for the spiritual equivalent of the nuclear button straight away! Find out more about Preston here:  mature creation cosmologyIn that post I do wonder if Preston is in fact a troll!

      Thanks for the reply, Kenny
      I think Jason will tell you (and at one level I agree with him) that he is simply using a (Biblical) coordinate transformation on a straight Einstein space-time. However, gravitational issues do emerge eventually (as we shall see in due time). But running with Jason’s maneuver as simply a coordinate transformation, questions still arise that threaten his ASC model. I’ll look at these at some date on my blog.
      So you’re old Earth like me! I have lot of respect for William Dembski and friends (and also Hank Hannegraph) although I wouldn’t say I’m entirely at one with the way ID is being handled by his community. However, sad to say that as far strict and particular fundamentalists are concerned a state of war exists between us!

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