Monday, June 18, 2007

Not a Christian country

Unsurprisingly, New Zealanders aren't all that keen on theocracy. I wonder if "Bishop" Tamaki thinks we're all treasonous?

Actually, I think this is a nice example of the false consensus effect in action. Everyone Tamaki knows is a right-thinking theocrat, so of course the majority of the population must support theocracy.



I look forward to you discussing the same false consensus effect phenomenon on global warming. Or the false consensus effect phenomenon on Labour's theft of public money to steal an election. Or the false consensus effect among the Left that says we should tax the crap out of people, spend the money as fast as you can, irrespective of any productivity gains, and claim you are acting in the best interests of taxpayers.

Posted by Insolent Prick : 6/18/2007 02:12:00 PM

Prick's right - most people agree that the false consensus effect is nonsense.

Posted by Danyl : 6/18/2007 03:46:00 PM

You've just provided an example. Right-wing nut jobs keep telling themselves we're overtaxed - their eyes go all blurry when they see an OECD report stating the very opposite.

Posted by Rich : 6/18/2007 03:57:00 PM

I've always found Brian Tamaki's position confusing, because I've never been able to work out what he means by "a Christian nation".

If it means acknowledging that the majority of religious believers in New Zealand are Christian, or that most of the people who founded New Zealand were Christian, or other matters of statistical or historical fact, then there doesn't seem to be any issue to debate. Everybody agrees on these points.

If it means that New Zealand should have an established church, then he faces the problem that it's pretty unlikely to be his. I can't imagine that he would be satisfied to live in an Anglican or a Roman Catholic New Zealand. Minority religious groups generally find it expedient to oppose establishment, and New Zealand doesn't have a majority religion unless, arguably, you count all Christian denominations together.

If he means that Christian denominations should put aside their differences and advocate for New Zealand society to accord with their shared values, then again he would receive plenty of agreement from many Christians. However, to the best of my knowledge he disdains ecumenical organisations, and has shown no obvious sign of action in this direction.

Posted by Isaac : 6/18/2007 04:55:00 PM

Brian Tamaki is like Graham Capill was (and I'm not speaking of his revolting crimes btw) - he's a great sound bite for the sensationalists. Tamaki gets to say something controversial and then it gets air time because it's exciting.

What you don't see getting big air time are things like this:

We celebrate the right to share our faith in this democracy, and we wish to reciprocate that right with other faiths. We believe this right is offered and guaranteed in what is commonly referred to as the fourth article of the Treaty of Waitangi of 1840, the founding document of our nation. In response to a question from Bishop Pompallier, Governor Hobson said he would protect and recognise not only major western religions, but also Maori customary beliefs and practices.

From the Catholic and Anglican Bishops’ Statement on the National Statement on Religious Diversity

Posted by muerk : 6/18/2007 08:05:00 PM


The Prick is not correct - in the sense of aligning global warming to this phenomenon - regardless of whether the phenomenon is true or not. Global warming is a scientific consensus built up by a mountain of evidence. The inter-governmental panel on climate change looked at the evidence from peer reviewed scientific evidence. That means based on evidence that has survived being tested and challenged by fellow scientists. This is not, as IP implies, a left-right issue. It's a science versus anti-science issue. It's an evidence versus no evidence issue. It's a fact versus opinion issue.

If you're objective then you go where the evidence leads you. The evidence is clear that humans are most likely to be the cause of global warming and that we either act now to minimise its impact (an impact already partially embedded in the environment) or we sit on our hands until it's way too late and we have immense environmental challenges. Either way, we have a massive challenge.

But this kind of denialist crap just makes you a bit irked. It's like holocaust denial or denial about the Apollo moon landings. Only this time it's not just an annoying parlour game played between those who understand science and the ill-informed or mentally ill. This time it's an attempt by some on the Right to represent this as some sort of left-right issue. Fuck that shit. You need to call this crap out when it's spewed out. IP and his fellow denialists are partly right in that the solutions to global warming will be highly politicised. There are going to be some rip-roaring debates about re-prioritising productive technologies and revenue. But these guys can't wait for that debate. They want to "shoot their loads" off before the main show starts. The first order of business is to actually recognise and acknowledge the problem. And the only way to do that is through science and evidence.

The irony is that IP uses the concept of "false" in his/her post. And yet, "false" is a scientifically derived concept. To render something false you need to falsify it through rigorous scientific testing. I wonder what peer reviewed journals or peer reviewed evidence IP is using to suggest that global warming is not an observable, measurable fact and that the cause of this effect is most likely to be human? I suspect he's getting his/her "evidence" from fellow denialists - thinking that's the way science is done. What IP doesn't understand is that most scientists, unlike him/herself, do not assume that the world operates in accordance with their own little biases. What they do is they go out and gather and analyse evidence.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/18/2007 09:01:00 PM

These people are generally some years behind the rest of us. Has their global-warming denial not weakened since say 10 years ago? Some time ago these people thought that homosexual law reform, civil union, anti-smacking etc. etc. would ruin the country.

It’s a symptom of stupidity. Global-warming is a huge and difficult problem, one that we all wish would just go away. Stupidity says ‘if I believe this, that and the next then the problem does not actually exist’. I can rest easy, carry on as I am – and that is what is most important.

Stupid people like IP have an inability to see beyond their own selves and interests. Most likely IP left school at 15 to go about his business in the ‘real world’. None ‘o that book larnin’ for IP and co.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/19/2007 10:03:00 AM