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Anti-rationality quotes

7 Post author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 05:55PM
 

There's a semi-regular feature on OB called "Rationality quotes".  In Marketing rationality, I'm claiming that for conservative religious people, using rationality instrumentally is as epistemically dangerous as for us to use faith instrumentally.  People object.  So to supplement that, I'm giving you a list of anti-rationality quotes.  I originally compiled them to respond to a theologian who claimed that Christianity encouraged inquisitiveness; but I think they apply to reason as well.  Please note that these quotes are not from obscure authors; all of these quotes, with the possible exception of Sturgeon, are from authors who are considered by Christians (either Catholics or Protestants) to be more authoritative than anyone alive today.

Some of these examples come from “Curiosity, Forbidden Knowledge, and the Reformation of Natural Philosophy in Early Modern England”, Peter Harrison, Isis, Vol. 92, No. 2 (June 2001), pp. 265-290; and from The Uses of Curiosity in Early Modern France and Germany, Neil Kenny (2004).  2 quotes come from chpt. 5 of Hitchens, God is Not Great.  (His Aquinas quote, however, says exactly the opposite of what Aquinas actually said.)  Some of them I found myself.

Also see the Wikipedia page on the Syllabus of Errors that byrnema provided.

ADDED:  ICMMT.  I concede that the relation between rationalists using unreason, and Christians using reason, is not symmetric.  But it is analogical.

  • And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  Genesis 3:6 (KJV)
  • There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.  Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25 (NASB)
  • “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?  Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements?  Since you know.  Or who stretched the line on it?”  Job 38:4-5 (NASB)
  • I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.  God, quoted in Isaiah 29:14, NIV
  • Seek not out things that are too hard for thee, neither search the things that are above they strength… Be not curious in unnecessary matters.  Ben Sira (a book of the Septuagint Bible, still in the Eastern Orthodox Bible), circa 200BC
  • Where is the wise man?  Where is the scholar?  Where is the philosopher of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.  St. Paul, 1 Corinthians 1:20-21 (NIV)
  • See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.  St. Paul, Colossians 2:8 (NIV)
  • Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.  St. Paul, 1 Timothy 6:20-21 (NIV)
  • For philosophy is the material of the world’s wisdom, the rash interpreter of the nature and dispensation of God.  Indeed heresies are themselves instigated by philosophy… What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem? What has the Academy to do with the Church?  What have heretics to do with Christians?  Our instruction comes from the porch of Solomon, who had himself taught that the Lord should be sought in simplicity of heart.  Away with all attempts to produce a Stoic, Platonic, and dialectic Christianity!  We want no curious disputation after possessing Christ Jesus, no inquisition after receiving the gospel!  When we believe, we desire no further belief.  For this is our first article of faith, that there is nothing which we ought to believe besides. – Tertullian, circa 200AD
  • The most penetrating mind cannot attain to the knowledge of the least of the phenomena of the world…  Put then a limit to your thought, so that your curiousity in investigating the incomprehensible may not incur the reproaches of Job, and you be not asked by him, “Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?”  St. Basil the Great, circa 370AD
  • Besides this there is yet another form of temptation still more complex in its peril. For in addition to the fleshly appetite which strives for the gratification of all senses and pleasures--in which its slaves perish because they separate themselves from thee--there is also a certain vain and curious longing in the soul, rooted in the same bodily senses, which is cloaked under the name of knowledge and learning; not having pleasure in the flesh, but striving for new experiences through the flesh. This longing--since its origin is our appetite for learning, and since the sight is the chief of our senses in the acquisition of knowledge--is called in the divine language “the lust of the eyes.” This malady of curiosity is the reason for all those strange sights exhibited in the theater. It is also the reason why we proceed to search out the secret powers of nature--those which have nothing to do with our destiny—which do not profit us to know about, and concerning which men desire to know only for the sake of knowing.  St. Augustine, Confessions, 397AD
  • Is it not evident that a man who day and night wrestles with the dialectic art, the student of natural science whose gaze pierces the heavens, walks in vanity of understanding and darkness of mind? – St. Jerome, circa 400AD
  • Rightly is curiosity considered the first step of pride; it was the beginning of all sin. – St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th century
  • [Curiousity may be a sin in 4 ways:]  Thirdly, when a man desires to know the truth about creatures, without referring his knowledge to its due end, namely, the knowledge of God. Hence Augustine says (De Vera Relig. 29) that "in studying creatures, we must not be moved by empty and perishable curiosity; but we should ever mount towards immortal and abiding things.” – St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica 2.2.167, 1265-1274AD
  • Dei sacrificium intellectus. (We sacrifice the intellect to God.) – St. Ignatius Loyola, "To the members of the society in Portugal", 1553
  • Eve erred in not regulating the measure of her knowledge by the will of God. And we all daily suffer under the same disease, because we desire to know more than is right, and more than God allows; whereas the principal point of wisdom is a well-regulated sobriety in obedience to God. – John Calvin, Commentary on Genesis 3:5, 1554
  • We say, pronounce, sentence, and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in trial, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgment of this Holy Office vehemently suspected of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine—which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures—that the Sun is the center of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the center of the world; and that an opinion may be held and defended as probable after it has been declared and defined to be contrary to the Holy Scripture; and that consequently you have incurred all the censures and penalties imposed and promulgated in the sacred canons and other constitutions, general and particular, against such delinquents.  –Papal condemnation of Galileo, 1633
  • If God has concealed anything, it is God’s glory to conceal it, and it is right that it should be hidden. If God has not told us any truth, it is for his glory not to tell it to us.  – Charles Spurgeon, 1877AD

Comments (51)

Comment author: gjm 17 April 2009 07:18:43PM 7 points [-]

Some of these, at least, seem pretty unfair. For instance, in the discussion from which the Aquinas quotation is excerpted Aquinas says "Man's good consists in the knowledge of truth" and "the knowledge of truth is good in itself" and "the study of philosophy is in itself lawful and commendable". (For the benefit of those who are familiar with the structure of the Summa Theologica I add: and he doesn't say those only as part of the Objections he proceeds to knock down, either.) For sure, he qualifies those statements, and he really does think that there is such a thing as idle curiosity and that it's bad, and he really does think that first and foremost the purpose of inquiry is to understand God; and yes, that's all Wrong and Silly and Counterproductive and so forth: but it's not anti-intellectual in the radical way you might think from reading that cherry-picked quotation alone.

Again: "what is falsely called knowledge" in 1 Timothy doesn't mean "everything that's called knowledge"; Paul (assuming for the sake of argument that this was really written by Paul, which it probably wasn't) is protesting against something he regards as pseudo-knowledge. The pseudo-knowledge in question, if it means what it's generally thought to, is all stuff that we would regard as just as pseudo as Paul did.

(These are not the only ones that seem to me unfair.)

I think, as I did before you stripped out a few of the quotations, that all this shows is that some eminent Christians (or pre-Christian authors regarded as authoritative by many Christians) had some badly broken ideas about curiosity. That's not terribly surprising. But it doesn't give much support for your claim that using reason to gain converts is as unappealing and dangerous to Christians as using "marketing" to gain converts is to rationalists. Most Christians now don't feel any particular obligation to agree with everything said by Spurgeon or Aquinas. Many Christians now don't feel any particular obligation to agree with everything allegedly said by Paul or Moses.

For the avoidance of doubt: I am not saying all this because I think there's any significant chance that Christianity is right (I don't) or because I think Christianity has a good, or even a decent, track record when it comes to encouraging rationality and openmindedness (it doesn't). I just think these quotations don't at all show what you seem to think they do.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:24:27PM 1 point [-]

I think, as I did before you stripped out a few of the quotations, that all this shows is that some eminent Christians (or pre-Christian authors regarded as authoritative by many Christians) had some badly broken ideas about curiosity. That's not terribly surprising. But it doesn't give much support for your claim that using reason to gain converts is as unappealing and dangerous to Christians as using "marketing" to gain converts is to rationalists. Most Christians now don't feel any particular obligation to agree with everything said by Spurgeon or Aquinas. Many Christians now don't feel any particular obligation to agree with everything allegedly said by Paul or Moses.

You have a good point. I still believe that reason is dangerous to Christianity. If I wanted to make a good argument, I would summarize the responses of the Catholic church to the upstart Enlightenment during roughly 1500-1800. I'm not going to do that. I had this list of quotes handy.

Modern Christianity has accommodated itself to reason; but it had to, and it damaged Christianity. Church attendance figures since 1900 (do not prove, but) support this view.

Comment author: byrnema 17 April 2009 07:30:27PM *  2 points [-]

The pope decided that reason is dangerous to Christianity. In the Syllabus of Errors Pope Pius IX condemns the isolated application of rationalism.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:35:56PM 2 points [-]

That's much better evidence than my list.

Comment author: byrnema 17 April 2009 08:26:51PM *  2 points [-]

Someday, I'd like to describe how the Catholic Church has very sophisticated epistemological arguments for its beliefs. It rejects rationality, accepting that rationality can be used to sow significant doubt. However, the Catholic Church still uses arguments that would be compelling to a rationalist to defend its rejection of rationality.

I'm not sure I have the time or talent to prepare the argument, but I am curious if, as another Catholic-school alum, you would agree to any extent with the overall impression that the Catholic Church is a rational religion in the sense that it is actually concerned that it is epistemologically well-founded and dogmatically self-consistent?

It's my opinion, but I believe the church is sincerely motivated to be epistemologically well-founded: Catholics really do believe in truth and the application of logic and reason. On the one hand, this can make it easy to convert Catholics with a compelling rationalist argument. (I notice lots of converted Catholics on this site actually.) On the other hand, it may be still difficult to sway Catholics on particular views because they have built rationally compelling defenses for those views. Well, I guess that's not really a problem, since you can then just argue as two rationalists?

I should say here that by compelling I do not mean correct, but just that it is much more difficult to identify errors there than in, say, Creationism.

Comment author: MBlume 17 April 2009 08:38:37PM 4 points [-]

the thing that really truly differentiates all these arguments from anything we would call rationality is that all the effort takes place after the bottom line has been written. There's already been a decision that God exists, that the pope is infallible, etc. The arguments written above the line are chosen based on whether or not they support the bottom line. That is the mark of rationalization, and not rationality.

Comment author: byrnema 17 April 2009 09:18:51PM 1 point [-]

This criticism would be valid if they were using evidence to argue above the line that god exists (the bottom line). However, the Catholic Church would not use evidence to assert that God exists, as the dogma is that the existence of God cannot be proven or demonstrated.

Comment author: NihilCredo 03 February 2011 07:40:48AM 2 points [-]

I'm not sure I have the time or talent to prepare the argument, but I am curious if, as another Catholic-school alum, you would agree to any extent with the overall impression that the Catholic Church is a rational religion in the sense that it is actually concerned that it is epistemologically well-founded and dogmatically self-consistent?

Hell yes.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 08:34:19PM 1 point [-]

Obviously I don't have time to prepare the argument now, but would you agree to any extent with the overall impression that the Catholic Church is a rational religion in the sense that it is actually concerned that it is epistemologically well-founded and dogmatically self-consistent?

Yes.

Comment author: thomblake 18 April 2009 07:44:21PM 2 points [-]

Let's not forget, reason is dangerous - all great and useful things are. Freedom is more dangerous still.

Comment author: gjm 17 April 2009 07:51:42PM *  1 point [-]

Oh, I quite agree that reason is dangerous to Christianity, as it is dangerous to all wrong things. What I'm not convinced of is (1) that Christians in general think reason is dangerous to Christianity, or (2) that using reason to gain converts involves any sort of corruption of Christianity, as using unreason to gain converts might involve a corruption of rationalism, or (3) that using reason to gain converts would have as strong a tendency to undermine Christianity as using unreason to gain converts would have for rationalism.

As I said in the comments to your post on marketing rationalism: almost everyone agrees, most of the time, that reason, most of the the time, is mostly a good thing. This is a profound asymmetry between defending rationalism with reason and defending Christianity with the Bible.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 09:51:51PM 0 points [-]

Okay. I concede the asymmetry. Still a qualitative similarity.

Comment author: fburnaby 13 March 2011 09:41:43PM 4 points [-]

"[We] will be asking the students not only if we should believe in God but also if God even exists in the first place."

Steven Brown

Comment author: ata 25 March 2010 07:07:31AM 4 points [-]

To think that somehow the rules of evidence can lead you to the right answer is just not right.

Jordan W. Lorence

Comment author: alethiophile 20 February 2011 06:15:27PM 4 points [-]

I would call this one unfair as well. As I read the quote, he's saying that the rules of evidence as applied to criminal trials, where the goal is simply to determine the truth or falsehood of the accusation, are not really applicable to the goal of determining what the policy should be. Which is entirely defensible.

Comment author: RolfAndreassen 17 April 2009 07:45:29PM 4 points [-]

I think there is a large asymmetry between rationality quotes and unrationality quotes. The first strive to set a good example, or in some cases just to be funny while still true. So you can go through a long list of quotes and pick out the best ones, and accomplish your purpose. But unrationality quotes are attempting to demonstrate a preponderance, even a dominance, of dis-rationality over rationality in a particular tradition. For this it is not sufficient to cherry-pick a round dozen quotes from 2 millennia; you must also demonstrate that there are not counterweights to the ones you show. For all we know from what you've shown, these are the bottom 10% of Christian thinking; the rationality quotes, on the other hand, are avowedly picked from the top 10%.

Your thesis may still be true, indeed I think it is, but the quotes do not demonstrate it.

That said, the post might be a useful Dark Side weapon for making the first chink in someone's armour of rationalisations.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 08:31:01PM *  2 points [-]

For all we know from what you've shown, these are the bottom 10% of Christian thinking; the rationality quotes, on the other hand, are avowedly picked from the top 10%.

Supposing there have been 2 billion Christians, all of the quotes are by authors who I would say are in the top .000002% of Christian thinking. (Criteria for selection was having a "2 per century" reputation.)

Also see my response to gjm, below.

Comment author: sethexcelsior 18 April 2009 02:21:17AM 3 points [-]

In the NIV study Bible it says that Paul was referring to the philosophy of Gnosticism, not really philosophy in general.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 April 2009 06:02:32PM 7 points [-]

I'd never actually read the papal condemnation of Galileo. Wow. From a Bayesian or even a Popperian standpoint, that's as absolutely clear-cut a falsification of Catholicism as you can possibly get.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 06:57:50PM 5 points [-]

It's especially interesting that he was condemned (in the edict) not for teaching Copernicanism, but for believing it.

Comment author: RobinZ 09 July 2009 09:47:06PM *  2 points [-]

For the nature of God is incomprehensible; that is to say, we understand nothing of what he is, but only that he is; and therefore the attributes we give him, are not to tell one another, what he is, nor to signify our opinion of his nature, but our desire to honor him with such names as we conceive most honourable amongst ourselves.

Thomas Hobbes, The Leviathan

Comment author: gjm 13 April 2009 02:04:39AM 2 points [-]

Offering a pile of quotes like this as evidence against someone claiming that Christianity promotes curiosity is reasonable if what they're claiming is that it consistently, reliably promotes curiosity, but pretty worthless if what they're claiming is that on the whole it does so. (Compare with this example of piling up lots of low-quality evidence in order to persuade.)

What is your goal in posting the list here? Do you have the impression that the LW community underestimates the tendency of Christianity to suppress curiosity and rationality? Do you think that LW readers would be acting rationally if, as a result of reading your list, they ceased to do so?

Comment author: PhilGoetz 13 April 2009 03:15:52AM *  0 points [-]

Do you have the impression that the LW community underestimates the tendency of Christianity to suppress curiosity and rationality?

Some do, based on some comments in "Marketing rationalism", as I already explained.

I responded to your comment by deleting quotes from people who were not among the 1 or 2 most influential Christian theologians of their century (excluding the papal condemnation quote, which is famous in its own right).

Comment author: gjm 17 April 2009 06:55:54PM 0 points [-]

I don't believe Spurgeon was a particularly influential Christian theologian. (An influential Christian preacher, for sure.)

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:16:51PM 1 point [-]

You may be right, but that's too fine a distinction for me to make without putting more thought into it than I have time for now. He is the least-important figure on the list, but is still regularly quoted in sermons today.

Comment author: lavalamp 17 April 2009 07:06:29PM 0 points [-]

...and today his sermons are even harder to read/understand than the kjv.

Comment author: MrHen 17 April 2009 06:45:27PM *  1 point [-]

In terms of the scripture you quoted, none of them would be terribly useful in talking to a Christian that considers Christianity and curiosity to be friendly. In all curiosity, do you have any idea what these mean? I do not want to sound callous but I see little connection between rationality and the passages quoted. The reason I ask is because you are trying to attack a faith from an oft defended front. Someone well versed in scripture and commentary would have little trouble responding to this list. Do not commit the same fallacy that many Christians do by simply pulling words out of the Bible and dropping them in a list as if they prove a point.

For future reference, if you pick and choose translations (NIV here, KJV there) you already have a strong and legitimate mark against you. If you disagree let me know. I am willing to defend this point.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:07:07PM *  1 point [-]

In all curiosity, do you have any idea what these mean? I do not want to sound callous but I see little connection between rationality and the passages quoted.

The connection is obvious to me.

Someone well versed in scripture and commentary would have little trouble responding to this list. Do not commit the same fallacy that many Christians do by simply pulling words out of the Bible and dropping them in a list as if they prove a point.

I believe they do prove a point. The fact that Paul, who invented Christian theology, just once in his life said, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ," shows that Paul had deeply flawed epistemology. If you played back a tape recording of John von Neumann's entire life I am confident you would not find one statement like that. None of these quotes were off-the-cuff remarks; they were all written down after much thought.

Futhermore, Christians are not making a mistake when they do that; the mistake lies prior to that in their reasoning. They are operating under the assumption that you don't need to check the context of the verse. God said it, that settles it. Contextual criticism is of the devil; it assumes that the world is not full of simple objective moral truths. So turnabout is fair play.

Finally, I see a lot of this same scriptural approach on LW. Eliezer sums up a post in a single line; people then quote that line if the words in it match the words in someone else's post or comment, without considering whether it applies in that context. For example, some people applied "Reversed stupidity is not intelligence" to my post on Aumann agreement and voting, apparently based on simple Eliza-like pattern-matching.

For future reference, if you pick and choose translations (NIV here, KJV there) you already have a strong and legitimate mark against you. If you disagree let me know. I am willing to defend this point.

Noted. Usually I pick whichever I can find first, or whichever sounds the most well-written. The KJV sounds grander, but the NIV is the clearest, with NASB intermediate on both measures.

Comment author: lavalamp 17 April 2009 07:10:40PM *  2 points [-]

One could easily take that passage to have said nothing at all about good philosophy. Surely no one here would be defending "hollow and deceptive" philosophy?

They are operating under the assumption that you don't need to check the context of the verse. God said it, that settles it. Contextual criticism is of the devil; it assumes that the world is not full of simple objective moral truths. So turnabout is fair play.

I have to say I've never met a christian who would agree with that; they think they are using things in context, even if they aren't. Turnabout may be fair play, but it's not going to win you an argument with them, if that's your goal...

Comment author: MrHen 17 April 2009 07:36:14PM *  1 point [-]

(Edit) My comment is probably a little more aggressive than I would have preferred. I figured I would give a fair warning.

The connection is obvious to me.

But you are not important when trying to persuade someone else of a point.

I believe they do prove a point. The fact that Paul, who invented Christian theology, just once in his life said, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ," shows that Paul had deeply flawed epistemology.

And what, according to Paul, are the basic principles of the world? Do you know? I highly doubt he is talking about science or math or the roots of meta-physics. The second half of the sentence can make a valid point in the sense that philosophy should not be dependent on Christ and if there is a collision between Science and Christ this passage is telling you to go with Christ. But without specifically studying what "the principles of this world" means, the Christian skeptic will probably choose to interpret "this world" as "ungodly nations" and unless you can back the argument up with something more than how the NIV translated that particular sentence you are dead in the water.

Futhermore, Christians are not making a mistake when they do that; the mistake lies prior to that in their reasoning.

Actually, they are. Context is extremely important when studying the Bible. Context is important when studying anything. Throwing out the context is like watching the end of a movie and deciding the character is the antagonist because it killed someone.

They are operating under the assumption that you don't need to check the context of the verse. God said it, that settles it. Contextual criticism is of the devil; it assumes that the world is not full of simple objective moral truths. So turnabout is fair play.

In all of my conversations with Christians, and having attended classes that specifically teach how Christians are supposed to study the Bible, the overwhelming majority believe that context is key to understanding a passage of scripture. If you want me to find specific people who say this I can, but I flatly claim that your statement is wrong .

Noted. Usually I pick whichever I can find first, or whichever sounds the most well-written. The KJV sounds grander, but the NIV is the clearest, with NASB intermediate on both measures.

The KJV has been rejected in most Christian apologetic circles as a fatally flawed translation. Personally, I would not use it all when talking to apologetics unless they specifically state that it is a valid and unerring translation. Again, if you are curious about why this is I can elaborate.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:48:33PM 0 points [-]

The KJV has been rejected in most Christian apologetic circles as a fatally flawed translation. Personally, I would not use it all when talking to apologetics unless they specifically state that it is a valid and unerring translation. Again, if you are curious about why this is I can elaborate.

KJV is still very popular with some churches. I am familiar with its flaws. Many conservatives are highly suspicious of the NIV translation, because its translators ranked verses by their probability of being original, which implies that the Bible is no longer inerrant.

Comment author: lavalamp 17 April 2009 07:54:50PM *  0 points [-]

They are a minority and getting smaller. You will not be persuading anyone from those churches anyway.

Edit: I agree with you that it sounds grander, though. :)

Comment author: Document 13 January 2011 01:23:13AM 0 points [-]

<- is from one of those churches.

Comment author: byrnema 13 April 2009 03:08:11AM *  1 point [-]

Every Christian religion has its distinct culture.

Very broadly, religions that interpret the bible literally are most immune to rational argument. They explicitly assert that the word of the bible and the tenets of their faith have authority over empirical evidence and reason. Other religions explicitly submit themselves to rational argument and intellectual interrogation.

I think the real challenge for conversion is the latter case. You will not win them over easily, because it is likely they have already considered rationalism and have sophisticated arguments against it. The arguments lean along the lines, "I have the same premises as a rationalist, except that in addition I believe that that there is a source of knowledge beyond what is empirically observed, and my religious beliefs begin where rationalism ends".

With an explicitly irrational religion, I imagine (with no field experience) that you can make a lot of head-way just by teaching critical thinking. On the other hand, pulling from real life, I do not understand how a friend of mine that believes in Creationism was able to get a PhD in cell biology with no crisis of faith. So there's something interesting going on there.

Comment author: [deleted] 12 January 2014 11:23:43AM 0 points [-]

ICMMT.

???

Comment author: TheOtherDave 12 January 2014 04:22:03PM 0 points [-]

I Changed My Mind Today.

Amusingly, the only two hits for ICMMT on LW are this use, and that post.

Also, Google is your friend.

Comment author: [deleted] 12 January 2014 06:52:05PM *  1 point [-]

Thanks.

Also, Google is your friend.

All I could find was about the International Conference on Material and Manufacturing Technology, and adding -conference didn't help.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 12 January 2014 07:36:23PM 0 points [-]

Ah, yeah. That amused me, actually. But adding the -site:http://lesswrong.com flag helped a lot.

Comment author: lavalamp 17 April 2009 06:55:09PM 0 points [-]

The percentage of American Christians who will even know who all these theologians are is small. Who is your target audience for this list?

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:25:06PM *  0 points [-]

People reading Marketing rationalism.

Comment author: lavalamp 17 April 2009 07:28:58PM 0 points [-]

Ah, somehow I failed to see the link.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:33:30PM 0 points [-]

You weren't supposed to be able to get to this article except from that one. That's why I banned it. Unbanning it put it up on the top of New, instead of back many posts ago where I expected it to go.

Comment author: MrHen 17 April 2009 07:41:33PM 0 points [-]

Is it banned now? Because I see in the side bar under "Recent Posts."

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:51:55PM *  0 points [-]

Now it's "hidden" instead of banned, and I can't ban it again. I don't know if "hiding" hides it from all of us, or just from me, because I could "hide" other people's posts (at least, I see the link to click on that says "hide").

Comment author: MrHen 17 April 2009 07:55:23PM 0 points [-]

It is still in the list for me.

Comment author: lavalamp 17 April 2009 07:35:34PM 0 points [-]

I see. I think I got here by clicking on a recent comment.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 13 April 2009 04:53:11AM *  0 points [-]

I banned this, to hide it from the "new" page. It's more of a large supplement than a top-level stand-on-its-own post.

Hmm. This makes me disappear from "top contributors". I wonder what other effects it has.

Comment author: CronoDAS 17 April 2009 06:37:24PM 0 points [-]

I still see it on the "new" page.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 April 2009 06:01:38PM 0 points [-]

How are you able to "ban" something? I thought only admins could do that.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 17 April 2009 07:29:09PM 0 points [-]

I can't seem to do it anymore. I can still "hide" them, but maybe that only hides it for me. Do other people still see this under "new"?

Comment author: Bongo 22 April 2009 10:33:00AM 0 points [-]

Yes