TV and internet to blame for “daisy-chaining”

The Royal College of Nursing talks about a new teenage activity called “daisy-chaining” aka, group sex. (It’s actually just a new term for a very old activity). This coincides with a rise in sexually transmitted diseases amongst teens.

Unsurprisingly, John Beyer jumps at the chance to grind his axe, blaming it all on the media. “Speaking today”, he says:

With news yesterday that millions of youngsters are viewing pornography on the Internet it is hardly surprising that so many youngsters are sexually active and engaging in the sort of practices commonly portrayed. Something must be done by Parliament to strengthen the law against pornography otherwise this tragic state of affairs will simply get worse. It is not good enough for politicians to ignore this problem nor is it good enough for the TV regulators to benevolently turn a blind eye to the growth of the pornography in the media.

He then finishes up with an uncharacteristic burst of eloquence:

One pornographer’s “freedom of expression” is another child’s sexual infection!

Thus cleverly linking two dubiously-related phenomena with a neat little rhyme – the effect only slightly spoiled by the self-congratulatory exclamation mark!

70 Responses to “TV and internet to blame for “daisy-chaining””

  1. Christopher Shell says:

    Well guys, it’s clear that you must have some stats that indicate a decline in outofcontrol sexual practices since the rise in pornography. Ive got plenty that (not surprisingly) indicate the opposite, so fire away with yours and I’ll respond with mine.

  2. Andy L says:

    I wish they’d had daisy chaining when I was at school, I really do. Good on these kids for realising that the negative repression of the Christian ethos can be ignored, and having a good time.

  3. Andrew Nixon says:

    Strange, I remember reading reports about orgies taking place in Ancient Greece and Rome, before pornography as we know it even existed. What was the reason for that Mr. Shell?

    Kids (and adults) will experiment sexually wether pornography exists or not.

  4. Dan says:

    Christopher, Mediawatch UK peddle the myth that depictions of sex on screen are “porngraphic” and that anything which shows sex as fun and exciting is damaging to the viewer.
    They believe that children seeing atny reference to sex on TV will cause them to have underage and unprotected sex.
    This is ridiculous. Nobody, even children are motivated into having sex simply by seeing it on TV or anything else.
    I do not understand how the depiciction of lawful sex between consensual adults is harmful or damaging.
    MWUK obviously prefer sex to be seen as something which is dirty and tawdry and only used for procreation.

  5. Ezekiel 23:20 says:

    The pornography point is an interesting one – the ancient Romans and Greeks didn’t have ‘pornography’ as such, since the very concept of ‘pornography’ only goes back to about the mid-19th century. Up until then, books and pictures depicting sexual acts were seen as just another arm of literature, and one with a venerable pedigree. In fact, the word ‘pornography’ itself tells you a lot about the evangelical ‘decency’ campaigners who coined it, since it means not ‘writing about sex’ but ‘writing about whores’.

  6. Ezekiel 23:20 says:

    Oh and Dr Shell – what precisely is an ‘out of control sexual practice’? The frottage that ate Rangoon?

  7. tom p says:

    Doc, as we’ve previously established, chronological correlation does not prove causality, therefore the statistics will be irrelevant.
    Also, these stories of kids having group sex are always wildly exaggerated if not made up, usually to titilate readers of poor-quality newspapers.

  8. Christopher Shell says:

    Hey Andy L-
    Why was it in the papers? Because some poor kid caught HIV from it. You wish youd caught that when you were at school?

    Andrew Nixon-
    Pornography did exist then tho’ (as you say) not as we know it. They will experiment even if one person is experimenting. You are speaking is though there are only two options: (1) no-one experiments and (2) lots of people experiment. Untrue: there are plenty of options in between. The issue is therefore: has the rate of ‘experimentation’ increased or decreased since the advent of widespread pornography? And if so, by what percentage?

  9. Christopher Shell says:

    Here I disagree. The more lusts are inflamed (!!) the more they will be acted upon. Plenty of industries are build around this simple human fact. If it were untrue, they would go bust.

    I think you are right. The ancient Greeks and Romans would not have distinguished between pornography and erotic art.

    Andrew Nixon-
    Exactly: tv does not dictate. It normalises. Which has the same effect.

    I dont think this was precisely what we established. There is clearly a link between causes and correlations. All causes are also correlations. Not all correlations are causes, but all correlations are within a causative network.
    The link between icecream sales and rape (or whatever it was) is far from direct. The link between images of something and the enactment of the same thing is appreciably stronger. Therefore the icecream sales analogy is not valid in this case.

    In any case, if we are concerned about rising sex crime, or rising STDs &c, we wont stonewall by saying negative things like ‘The causative link is unproven’. We will say positive things like ‘Lets do whatever we can to bring the figures down. By changing the way people think, and thereby the way they behave.’ How can it be that you are unconcerned about these rising figures, & would rather spend time criticising those who are. Ought we to be pleased with the figures? If we are not pleased then what should we spending time doing? Stopping other people pointing the way, or doing our best ourselves.
    In short, the most helpful thing to me would be if you gave an apologia of where youre coming from and how youd justify that as a starting position. :o)

  10. Christopher Shell says:

    PS Im still waiting for those stats. Come out, come out wherever you are: ;O)

  11. Christopher Shell says:


  12. tom p says:

    Surely, doc, since you’re disputing the assertion that the phenomena are “dubiously related”, it’s up to you to provide evidence as to why that is not the case.
    Show that there is a link between a rise in pornography (although I’ll be interested to see your startpoint) and a rise in STDs amongst children, and then others will try to show why your link isn’t valid, or accept your hypothesis that it is.

  13. Monitor says:

    [Edited to say]That is true, Tom. But Shell said he is looking for stats which “indicate a decline in outofcontrol sexual practices since the rise of pornography”. Since no one here has ever claimed anything remotely resembling this – nor would they – this is yet another example of Shell setting up a straw man so that he can oh-so-cleverly (he thinks) knock it down. If I thought he knew what he was doing, I’d ban him for such repeated intellectual dishonesty. But I truly believe his persistent use of fallacious arguments is unconscious, and it’s quite funny to watch him make an ever-bigger fool of himself.

  14. Ezekiel 23:20 says:

    And we’re still waiting to hear what an “out of control sexual sexual practice” is!

  15. Christopher Shell says:

    What many people are looking for, I think, is a neat, linear cause-effect chain. I suspect the real world is not like that. I suspect that in the real world what we have is interconnected causal nexuses (what is the plural of nexus?) or webs.

    This particular nexus is called ‘the sexual revolution’. No-one would suggest that the different component parts of the sexual revolution are not connected. If they were not connected, then they would not all be part of the sexual revolution. That, in itself, connnects them.

    They are in fact connected in two different ways at least: chronologically and in terms of subject matter.

    Whoever agrees that the rise in STDs, the rise in publicly available pornagraphy, the rise in underage/promiscuous/extramarital sex etc are all part of the sexual revolution thereby also agrees that all these things are connected to one another.

    Everyone also agrees that at least some of these things (eg rise in stds, rise in promiscuity & lack of faithfulness) are not good. But they are inextricably part of the nexus. The nexus stands or falls together. Hence, the commonsense approach is to tackle the nexus at root. I find it unlikely that there will be any great improvement in any one sub-area unless the whole nexus is tackled at root.

    Hey Monitor-
    I know it’s your policy to treat each point on its own merits. Isnt it therefore inconsistent with this policy to make a blanket judgment on my contributions (such as they are)?! Surely they will include some stronger points and some weaker points: generalisation is therefore impossible.

  16. Monitor says:

    LOL. By accusing me of making generalised – and therefore unjustifiable – “blanket judgement” of his contributions when in fact I was specifically highlighting the latest example of a fallacy he frequently commits, Shell creates yet another straw man!

    It really is an outofcontrol practice with him.

  17. Christopher Shell says:

    Yes- but remember the points previously made on straw men. What you call a straw man I call a reduction ad absurdum, ie the exposing of weak foundations or presuppositions which your point may be resting on, and the other consequences of those presuppositions.

    Sometimes it happens (a) that a point cannot stand without certain presuppositions; (b) those presuppositions are faulty; (c) they are faulty because among the conclusions to which they lead are some absurd conclusions. Hence the reductio ad absurdum, which can easily be mistaken for the straw man.

  18. Monitor says:

    Please demonstrate how the straw man examples I have pointed out in this thread are actually examples reductio ad absurdum.

  19. Christopher Shell says:

    I say that if two or more similar things start to rise by a significant degree at around the same time (high levels of extramarital sex; ditto promiscuous; ditto underage; pornography) it’s likelier than not that there is a connection: not necessarily a direct causal connection, but a connection within a causal nexus. You and others suggest that this is less likely than not (less than 50% likely), and/or that even if it is more than 50% likely, you are not concerned to investigate whether or not it is, and seem unfazed by the trends in question.
    If the two were unconnected within such a nexus, they would not rise simultaneously. One might have times when one rose and the other fell. All you need to do is point out such times, and I will accept that they are not, or not always, part of the same causal nexus. But if they tend to rise over precisely the same period, then that looks a tad suspicious, n’est-ce pas?

    The absurdity in question is to assume (or prefer, for whatever unstated reason) to assume no connection when there exists a widely-agreed connection: namely, that the two have risen sharply over precisely the same period. Not to mention the second, already-existing, connection: the connection vis-a-vis subject-matter.

  20. Monitor says:

    Well, you only tried to disprove the first one (there were two) – but you failed in that anyway. Since nobody is denying “that the two have risen sharply over the same period”, all you have done restate your straw man argument. For reductio ad absurdum, you have to use the same logic as your opponent to reach an absurd conclusion. You have never done this, except when you pull an opposing argument out of your hat and refute it (the definition of a straw man).

    If you want a real reductio ad absurdum, try this: your argument states that if two or more similar things start to rise at the same time, then there is a connection via a “causal nexus”. You use this to promote the idea of censorship. But why not outlaw extra marital sex? Make it punishable by imprisonment (or stoning, if you want to be biblical). By your logic, that will produce a corresponding drop in the incidence of pornography.

  21. Christopher Shell says:

    OK – to deal with the second one: You spoke of ‘persistent use of fallacious arguments’.
    I thought this referred to (a) the bulk of what I have written.
    You are now saying that (despite the word ‘persistent’) it refers only to (b) my (supposed) straw men, and therefore implying that some of my other contributions may (for all I know) be quite sound in your opinion.
    Assuming that you were indeed referring only to (b), then you are right that this was a misunderstanding.

    Back to the first one:
    A reductio ad absurdum can (for example) highlight a clear presupposition of the ‘opponent’ and point out that this presupposition leads to some absurd conclusions as well as to the less absurd conclusion that the ‘opponent’ has already reached. Flawed presupposition always equals flawed logic.

    On your paragraph 2: There are all sorts of ways of producing a drop in the figures. This being so, it doesnt make sense to choose one of the crueller ones when there are other options. The one which I have tended to advocate is bringing up children in such a way that such things are not even seen as options for them (albeit they are part of the real world: a part inhabited by ‘baddies’, and a part concerning which the children have only a vague grasp of the details). This is the approach taken by many cultures at many times in history, and by our own at some times in history.

  22. Monitor says:

    A reductio ad absurdum can (for example) highlight a clear presupposition of the ‘opponent’ and point out that this presupposition leads to some absurd conclusions as well as to the less absurd conclusion that the ‘opponent’ has already reached.

    But if that presupposition is not actually held by your opponent, you have a straw man. This is the area where you should take more care.

    Flawed presupposition always equals flawed logic.

    You really don’t know what you are talking about, do you? Forget it.

  23. Christopher Shell says:

    Well – if I dont, the way to demonstrate it is by argument, not assertion! (But we both know that.)
    The only presuppositions Ive assumed are (hopefully) those which appear to be clearly contained in your assertions. For example (again) the colloquial use of ‘primitive’ has to assume that something can be bad by virtue of being old: this is a false/incoherent assumption, and therefore the entire assertion is incoherent.
    In this particular instance (which is the only one that springs to mind) I think Im justified in detecting the presupposition. I may not always be justified, since sometimes I may misunderstand what you mean. But generally speaking I will only detect a presupposition if that presupposition is openly present within the assertion.

  24. Monitor says:

    No argument is necessary when you demonstrate your cluelessness so openly. The statement I quoted wasn’t picked at random.
    And the fact that you are still trying to impose your bogus definition of “primitive” when you were clearly and repeatedly told what I meant – or more importantly did not mean – by it, demonstrates your obtuseness.
    Clueless and obtuse. Not a winning combination.

  25. Christopher Shell says:

    You are denying that the main colloquial sense of ‘primitive’ is ‘bad because old’?

  26. Monitor says:

    You are denying that the main colloquial sense of ‘primitive’ is ‘bad because old’?
    Yes, I am. But the fact that this definition-as-argument straw man cannot be found in any dictionary is actually beside the point. The real point is, it is not the defiinition I had in mind when I used it to describe the Christian world view – as I told you repeatedly.
    What you are actually doing – with breathtaking arrogance – is trying to tell me how I think. My opinion of Christianity (largely, but not wholly, negative) is the product of many years study, thought, and discussion. So when some presumptious clod comes along and says “Aha. You said ‘primitive’ – that means you think it’s bad because it’s old” – and, what is more, refuses to be corrected – you will perhaps understand why the term “presumptious clod” suits them perfectly.

  27. Christopher Shell says:

    I doubt this view is sustainable. One cant use the word primitive without implying ‘old’. One cant use it colloquially without implying ‘bad’. No-one would deny that you implied both.
    The options are therefore
    (1) that you meant ‘bad because old’;
    (2) that you meant ‘old and bad, but in no particular connection to one another’. On which case the word ‘primitive’ would be holding two unrelated meanings within one word. How many words do that? Whatever meanings single words have, they tend to be unified meanings. ‘Bad-because-old’ is unified. ‘(1) bad and (2) old’ is not unified.

  28. Monitor says:

    And still the presumptious clod insists he has mind-reading powers!

    Only two options? There’s another one of your favourite fallacies right there: false dichotomy. It’s not just a choice between your made-up definition and one other rather lame (but at least not impossible) definition. How about:
    3) “Having the quality or style of that which is early or ancient [..] Also, Simple, rude, or rough like that of early times” (OED)
    4) “of, relating to, or produced by a people or culture that is nonindustrial and often nonliterate and tribal” (Merriam-Webster)
    5) ” Characterized by simplicity or crudity; unsophisticated:” (American Heritage)
    6) “characteristic of an early state, esp in being crude or uncivilised” (Collins)
    There are more, but it would just get repetitive. The thing to note is that absent from all the definitions available are the words “therefore” or “because”. Is this because all those lexicographers lack Christopher Shell’s profound insight into the meaning of words? Or is it because Christopher Shell really doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about?
    Whatever meanings single words have, they tend to be unified meanings.
    Clearly you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. The preposterous statement above can be disproved simply by opening any dictionary at any page. Most words have several meanings and multiple connotations. You are making this up as you go along, and doing a poor job of it. Where did this “Shell’s Law of Unified Meanings” come from, if not out of your arse?
    You come out with these sentences and are so enamoured of how clever they sound (to you), that it never occurs to you that they might be utter nonsense. “Flawed presupposition always equals flawed logic.” was another example in this thread (which I note you have hastily swept under the carpet).
    You are obviously pretty ignorant about logic and lexicography. And that’s okay – there’s nothing wrong with being ignorant as long as you realize it. Unfortunately, your misplaced self-confidence is such that you imagine you are knowledgeable. And that, Christopher, makes you stupid.
    I’ve wasted enough time on this. Exposing your profound stupidity is quite good fun, but none of it is actually sinking in, is it? I’ll leave the last comedic installment to you, and resolve (once again!) not to be drawn into any further fruitless discussion with you.

  29. Christopher Shell says:

    Precisely! (3) and (4) are technical, non-colloquial, while (5) and (6) exemplify the colloquial usage.
    I limited things to the ‘colloquial’ since you were speaking in a colloquial context. But even if you were speaking in a technical way after all, you were still speaking derogatorily. Hence ‘bad’ and ‘old’ were both included.
    (5) and (6) clearly include both ‘bad’ (‘crude’ being a negative word) and ‘old’. So the only question is whether the ‘bad’ is causally related to the ‘old’ or (which would be odd within one and the same word) whether they are independent from each other.

    ‘Whatever meanings single words have, they tend to be unified meanings’: Yes. Of course, the dictionary will list several (usually overlapping) meanings. But in a given usage, a word will generally have only one of these (though the fact of overlapping meanings complicates this somewhat). All that I mean by unified is that a word would not mean both (1) bad and (2) old in some unconnected manner. If it carried connotations of both bad and old, the bad would be connected to the old in some way. As the definitions you cite demonstrate: the word ‘crude’ summarises this perfectly. The word ‘crude’, like the word ‘primitive’, assumes that things can have coherent negative judgments passed on them simply by virtue of their chronological age. (Which, of course, is untrue.) Dictionaries are there to tell us what ppl mean by words, not to say whether or not those meanings are coherent.

    Flawed presuppositions must equal flawed logic, since in any logical argument the first step (often unstated) is the presuppositions, and if they are faulty that makes the entire argument faulty.

  30. Monitor says:

    Flawed presupposition always equals flawed logic.
    For the benefit of anyone still reading this (not many, I suspect) who doesn’t know about logic, and who is not incapable of learning: it is pefectly possible to construct a valid logical argument starting from a false premise.

    All cats are black.
    Tom is a cat.
    Therefore Tom is black.

    The logic of this argument is without flaw. The “presupposition” is, of course, bollocks.
    (Stands back and waits for Shell’s usual Vicky Pollard-style defence “Yeah but no but yeah but…”)

  31. Christopher Shell says:

    Yup another onslaught from Vicky. The internal logic is impeccable. Not all the logic is impeccable – for example, the initial statement (‘All cats are black’) contains within itself a presupposition which is both untrue and illogical. The most one could say would have been ‘All the cats I have seen are black.’. It is illogical to make a more sweeping claim than that (ie ‘All cats are black’) bearing in mind that one has not seen all the cats that there are.
    There is therefore illogic here. Not within the way that step 2 follows from step 1, or 3 from 2. But within step 1. Hence my drawing attention to the importance of presuppositions.
    But what is the good of that when the argument is untrue?

  32. tom p says:

    Actually, doc, I’d say that (3) is the most common understanding of the word.
    I just conducted a straw poll (with which to smite your straw man) in the office, and people plumped for 3 as their main understanding when they hear the word primitive. Nobody chose ‘bad ‘cos old’.
    My sample size was only 8, but it’s better than not asking anyone

    Re: your comment above, that’s exactly what monitor said, and it utterly contradicted your statement which he quoted at the top of it.
    You should really accept that your statement was incorrect, retract it and say something more like “Flawed presuppositions lead to flawed conclusions”. Although even that could be wrong, if someone made a logical error that happened to perfectly counteract their flawed supposition.

  33. Andy L says:

    Actually, in response to message no 8, there was no suggestion at all in any of the published stories that the case of HIV mentioned in many of them was a result of that boy ever having being involved in Daisy Chaining. It was presented entirely seperately, as a different issue. Indeed, the actual reality behind Daisy Chaining is very unclear period, and I strongly suspect the entire process may be (somewhat sadly) an urban legend.

    Even so, that things present a risk is not in of itself a sufficiently large reason for something to be considered bad, or wrong. That’s why parachuting isn’t illegal, or indeed driving (both of which are considerably riskier than having sex). Driving a car is intrinsically more dangerous than not driving a car (and, indeed, intrinsically more dangerous than even unprotected sex) – but we do not seek to prevent people from doing it.

  34. Christopher Shell says:

    You are denying that the word was being used in a derogatory sense (ie included the sense ‘bad’)? Seems strange in what was generally a derogatory treatment.

    The car thing is interesting. The reason we dont prevent ppl is that one cant close the stable door after the horse has bolted. Cars & roads are an inextricable part of our lifestyle & economy. It’s perfectly feasible that there may be some things which are part of our lifestyle and economy which we would not choose given the benefit of hindsight. (That said, the road death rate was higher proportionally 100 years ago and has fallen proportionally since. The level it has fallen to is still a very high level – in fact unacceptable. The same number die on the roads each day -10- as in a single major rail crash – but which hits the headlines? It is perfectly possible to ensure that no car is capable of driving over 70 mph, but the manufacturers wont countranance it. Why? Because macho and money are more important to them than human life.)

  35. Christopher Shell says:

    Make that ‘countenance’

  36. Andy L says:

    You still haven’t retracted the innaccurate ‘Daisy Chaining responsible for HIV’ comment there Christopher. Or indeed even mentioned it. One might almost think you’d checked it out, found you were wrong and misread the story, and decided to keep quiet and hope if you didn’t mention it the facts of the case would go away.

    Your stance against unneccessary road deaths is flawed too – while you are keen to point out the neccessity to our economic wellbeing of traffic despite the deaths it causes, there is an active movement to increase the amount of traffic we have. The horse may have bolted, but that doesn’t mean you can’t strap it down, and no one is, with little comment from you.

    Even so, there are plenty of other examples where such an argument cannot be used, as they are modern recreational phenomona that have little or no economic effect, and yet present a vastly more present risk than casual sex does – parachuting, as mentioned. Eating peanuts. Potholing. Hang gliding. Rock climbing. Riding a motorbike. Several types of sport. All of these things are much, much more dangerous than having even large amounts of casual sex, and I think most of us would argue they’re pretty much completely unneccessary (indeed, I’d argue much more unneccessary than sex, which is a biological imperative with some health consequences after a long term lack of). And yet, your campaign against their immorality seems oddly lacking so far.

    Could it be, that in fact your arguments of the ‘dangers’ are just shallow, self-serving justifications for your religious position? And that, as such, those of us who view your religion as a pretty unplesent lie should sleep easy in our beds knowing that ignoring them is no great loss to us?

  37. Christopher Shell says:

    Goodness knows whether the actual daisy chaining was responsible for the HIV.
    If the guy has HIV, and daisy chaining was his most risky activity, then even if on this occasion it was not the activity that caused the HIV, it is worth citing as the ‘outer limit’ of the guy’s sexual behaviour: this is a guy who was prepared to indulge in behaviour up-to-and-including daisy-chaining.
    Daisy-chaining would of course increase the risk of ppl catching HIV (on the basis that the more partners you have, the more chances there are), or indeed any other STD.

    -Yes, you’re right: there are plenty of other risky activities. They weren’t the ones we were talking about at the time. Im not culpable for failing to campaign against 20 things at once (or in favour of 20 things, for that matter).
    If I read you right, you are saying that you should ignore the dangers. Doesnt seem wise.

  38. Andy L says:

    The HIV positive teenager in question wasn’t mentioned in the report as ever having taken place in daisy chaining at all – it was an unrelated incident in a seperate school, and they were indeed completely seperate reports in several newspapers.

    No one is saying that dangers should be ignored – I’m saying that a controlled level of infintesimal risk is something present in everything we do, and indeed in not doing things most of the time. It’s no justification for trying to reduce the activity as long as the danger is understood, and it’s no justification for trying to portray the activity as morally questionable in any way.

  39. tom p says:

    Shell – re 34. No, and you’re pathetically trying to rephrase what was said. I’m saying that the people I asked didn’t choose bad because old as the primary meaning of primitive. Nor did the monitor, nor does anyone I know, other than you, and even then you probably don’t except when trying to score cheap points in an argument you’re clearly losing.
    The word in this instance may have been used in a perjorative sense, but certainly not with the meaning that you tried to force on it

  40. Christopher Shell says:

    Well- if it was used prejoratively, then it logically included the sense ‘bad’.

  41. Christopher Shell says:

    Whoops – make that ‘pejoratively’.
    So we agree that the sense ‘old’ and the sense ‘bad’ were both there somewhere.
    The chances of a single word expressing badness unrelated to oldness (age) are small. For why should a word express two unrelated things?
    Therefore the word expressed a badness related to oldness (age).
    You can distinguish that from ‘bad because old’ if you like, but wouldnt it be splitting hairs? I cant enumerate any differences between the two.

  42. Andrew Nixon says:

    Christopher, you obviously have some intelligence somewhere. Can’t you just admit that you’ve made a big cock-up here and move on?

  43. Christopher Shell says:

    Hi Andrew-
    The principle is no rhetoric, just argument.
    So all you need to do is point out the flaw in my reasoning. 😮

  44. Andrew Nixon says:

    The flaw?

    How about you still insisting that people mean one thing when they have repeatedly told you that they did not mean that?

    You’re saying that isn’t a flaw?

  45. Monitor says:

    Quite so, Andrew. Not only that, but his argument rests on the false premise that

    the word primitive assumes that things can have coherent negative judgments passed on them simply by virtue of their chronological age

    It does not mean that, no matter how many times Shell asserts that it is so.
    So he’s not only trying to tell me what I meant, he’s insisting that I meant something that isn’t true.
    This flaw in his reasoning has been pointed out to him umpteen times, but he cannot accept it because it would dent his ridiculous self-image as an unearther of unexamined presuppositions. And this time won’t be any different. Watch.

  46. Christopher Shell says:

    Hmm…there seems to be a resistance of direct answers to direct questions. But maybe someone will give them this time:
    (1) Does the word ‘primitive’ include the sense ‘old’?
    (2) Does it include connotations of ‘bad’ when used in derogatory contexts?
    (3) How is the ‘old’ related to the ‘bad’?

  47. Monitor says:


  48. Andrew Nixon says:

    What was it I said about Christopher having some intelligence….. maybe I was wrong to asume that. How anybody could continue down this road, especially when they claim to be a Doctor, really is beyond me.

  49. Monitor says:

    Mabye it’s the teacher in me, but I can’t leave a person in ignorance if there is the slightest chance that they might be enlightened. So here we go again:
    (1) Yes
    (2) Yes
    (3) NOT causally
    Got that last bit yet? No, I didn’t think so.
    Try this. There is a primitive medical procedure known as “bleeding”. They used to think that by cutting people and letting out blood they could cure sickness. This is largely nonsense, and no doubt many people died who might otherwise have survived had they not received this treatment. Bleeding isn’t bad because it is old. It is bad because it is demonstrably useless and dangerous; we can say it is primitive because it is also old, ie prevalent in olden times.
    You got upset because I called your belief system “primitive” (as an aside, in a post about something else). Having studied Christianity for many years, I can assure you that there are many ways in which I think it is bad. It’s age has nothing to do with its badness per se, but because it is old we can call it primitive.
    Get over it.

  50. tom p says:

    That said, monitor, it doesn’t have to be old to be called primitive. Think of outsider art. This is modern, yet primitive. And this isn’t used in a negative context.
    We can say christianity is primitive regardless of its age because (amongst many, many other primitive and demonstrably false claims) it claims that the universe was created in 6 days by god. This in itself is a primitive position. The catholics only recently accepted that gallileo was right and that the earth does revolve around the sun. 450 years ago he was less primitive than the official christian position of 50 years ago. The bad in primitive is not to do with old, but to do with unsophisticated, ill-conceived, ill-thought through and, in the case of christianity, often harmful because of it