I hope everyone takes the time to watch this at some point, even though it is an hour long. UC Berkeley professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics George Lakoff talks about how liberals and conservatives see the world using separate ideas of the family. He talks about how liberals use a 'nurturing parent' model while conservatives use the 'strict father' model. He also talks about how important the use of specific words and phrases actually is in how ideas are pitched and then retained by listeners and readers. The 'frames' built by the way ideas are put together get people to act and think in decidedly different ways.

Comment by David Ross Mann on October 12, 2009 at 3:31pm
What have I learned from this that is relevant for Atheists?

What Atheists should ask ourselves is "How do we construct arguments for:

1 Atheism;
2 strengthening the separation of church and state in the U.S.;
3 maintaining the secular character of democratizing nations (ie P.R. China);
4 building a separation of church and state in nations that guarantee freedom of religion but contradict that with provisions referencing religious practice (ie Canada, Australia, Israel);
5 creating Atheist institutions in nations that promote religion (ie Iran, Philippines, Russia)

... in such a way as to appeal to both conservatives and liberals?"

The political pendulum swings back and forth. We have to be ready to adapt.
Comment by Dustin Long on October 12, 2009 at 3:54pm
George Lakoff is my god!!!
Comment by Nix Manes on October 12, 2009 at 5:00pm
@Dave Mann: First, thanks for watching it. If you didn't get anything from it, I'm sorry. For me, atheism is not my life's center, but I try to look for places where things not specifically atheistic in nature can spill over into related areas. For those looking for something specificially atheistic in the presentation, there was a great deal about James Dobson of Focus On The Family, outlining his logic and influence. Dobson has a huge following on the religious right and weilds a great deal of influence. Knowing how he and his followers think is important knowledge to have, IMO.

It might also be important to know the different world views to simply understand how someone on the religious right gets their framework for interpreting the bible and the world around them. When you know where the framework comes from, then you can more readily address their issues--if that's what you want to do. There is also the framework used by the left that Lakoff outlines. You can also use that to talk to people on the religious left in understanding where their thinking might come from.

I didn't want to specifically lay out the religious implications of the presentation, hoping that each person could see that without my interference. Maybe that judgement call was a mistake. I'm not sure.

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