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Granty
04-06-2011, 07:13 PM
But this thread is about "God". So I'll throw out another comment:
The thing that science and religion have in common is that they both deal with the occult.
In a way I guess they both deal with the occult, as it is from the latin 'occultus', meaning hidden. So religion aims to reconnect with the hidden while science reveals the hidden to become knowledge, as science is from the Latin 'scientia', meaning "knowledge", so science is really an opposite of occult.

(Religion is from the Latin word 'religio', meaning to show respect to scared things - which may come from the Latin 'ligare', to connect, so 're-ligare' is to reconnect.)

But as they say, science isn't the opposite of religion, although modern religion does do its best to make us feel that way. Religion and science have strong links, like we may not think of it today but oil painting is a technology of science and used to paint many religious icons in its day. And alchemy has strong religious connections, we see it as turning a base metal into gold, but that was seen as a purification and as a step to purify the body to than become immortal, a God so to speak, or the purification of the human spirit in the eyes of God, Newton was an alchemist.

Newton and the occult:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton's_occult_studies

Kyle Presley
04-06-2011, 08:28 PM
It does in my mind discredit rigid dogmatic religions that regard human created myths about God as absolute truth and claim sole possession of that truth.

I can't speak for other religions, but I can link you to this: http://atheism.about.com/od/popejohnpaulii/a/evolution.htm


And also mutations happen, have you ever seen a deformed animal, that is a mutation - I don't know who is telling you such things, but I hope they stop as no education is a lot better than a bad one based on lies.


Of course mutations happen. You should more carefully read my post.

Ameer Azari
04-07-2011, 02:52 AM
Wow, 3 years and this thread is still running?

"Thread of the Forum" anyone?

sims
04-07-2011, 03:20 AM
Wow, 3 years and this thread is still running?

"Thread of the Forum" anyone?

On any Internet forum it is probably the most debated subject followed shortly by code formating arguments. I don't think artists are as vehement about their tools of choice and work style. ;)

Granty
04-07-2011, 03:37 AM
But as Indie filmmakers it is highly important to research, discuss and debate a huge range of topics, it is no good telling a story if you got nothing to say or add to a debate, or tell a story in a single voice, and all your characters have the same outlook.

Look at the PaulVortex, like myself doesn't appear to have any supernatural beliefs yet I have seen an animation from him deeply embedded in the supernatural. I also have a number of scripts based on such things, my work would be very narrow if I only engaged with things I have faith in - I actually wouldn't script anything :)

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 06:40 AM
I really enjoy this bit from Futurama. (Not that people are doing it here, but it demonstrates the rhetorical trick of moving the goalposts...)

...

I love that bit!

That's great - going to find that episode now!

Dances With Cameras
04-07-2011, 06:42 AM
Wow, 3 years and this thread is still running?

"Thread of the Forum" anyone?


And Scarlet is still just a dream. :embarassed:

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 07:04 AM
Another scientific principle laid bare, before your very eyes.

Scarlet looked like it was a camera that would put us in the future NOW. Instead, it's turned out that it looks to be falling right into step with Moore's Law. In fact, it's no surprise that EPIC came first, if you bear Moore's Law in mind... Epic is bigger and more expensive... Scarlet it is smaller and cheaper.

If I met Jesus Christ, I would say... "Get out of here, man, you're riffing on my style!"

http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/206973_10150198612181407_684511406_7993679_1494614 _s.jpg

I'd also say "ARE YOU MAD!? You KNOW your followers are just going to mess you up, right? They're fixated on that cross - They're obsessed with it... If I was you, I'd hole up somewhere where there's plenty of wine, women and song... You don't want to get caught!"

My friend at school, wrote a short story about the second coming... Jesus arrived, and promptly gave up, and spent his days on a couch watching TV.

Granty
04-07-2011, 07:05 AM
Now some mutations may add data some my not, mutation and selection isn't about collecting as much data as possible and moving forwards with that, it doesn't have an agenda, it just creates random additive or subtractive mutations that may or may not be of benefit, if it is a huge benefit then it rapidly becomes the norm.

Cases of modern mutation benefiting a species:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jul/02/mutation-gene-tibetans-altitude
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/22221/natural-mutation-helps-chickens-heat-tolerance
http://www.newkerala.com/news/world/fullnews-122572.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3351578/Mutant-worms-could-clean-up-polluted-landsites.html

This one is interesting as it is a very recent, while this story doesn't talk of the evolution side I have seen another report about this claiming that we have more in common with a mouse than these arsenic tolerate worms have to a standard earth worm. The old arsenic mine polluted the soil, if you put a standard earth worm in that soil it will die, but in recent years these worms have mutated to live in that soil, and have access to an area that has little competition from normal earth worms:
http://scienceray.com/biology/ecology/yellow-worms-are-dangerous-for-health/

It seems to be in all these cases that they are recent, and the mutation was a real benefit in extreme conditions. As once one slight mutation happened it was such a huge benefit that the previous genes were replaced in that region.

The Tibetan one is most interesting and is not a small variation, but we have many others cases of mutation in human populations, and that being a benefit, what about a mutation in the lactase gene, that became a benefit some 7-10,000 years ago when farming started in western populations. Someone who could digest milk, after childhood, had a real added advantage of survival and this mutation rapidly became the norm, while the survival rates of those without that mutation was vastly diminished - I have a beneficial mutation that others reading this blog do not have. Then we have African sickle-cell mutation that is a benefit against malaria. Then of course skin-pigmentation mutations and the natural selection of that being a benefit in differing climates.

I'm surprised if people aren't aware of such things or they don't teach such things about evolution, mutation and natural selection, but now if anyone ever tells you that:

Evolution of one species into another species has never been observed, even on a small scale. Genetic mutations have been observed, but never to the betterment of a species. Mutations never (and this HAS been observed) ever, add genetic data. They only remove data. That means that evolution of a simple life-form has never been observed to change, even a little, into a more complex one.

Then you can gladly stand up and address them with the higher knowledge that they are talking complete rubbish, mutation and natural selection is all around us, and we have many cases of it becoming an real advantage to every form of life we know about - so just tell them not only do you disagree but Granty said what they are saying is laughable. And worse still, if they are teaching this rubbish to children move for them to be dismissed and replaced with someone that is willing to pass on real knowledge instead of misinformation and lies - strong action, but we need to snuff this idle talk out ASAP - an maybe we can evolve together in peace. But the problem I foresee is that often people that spout such dismissive nonsense about evolution are real heavy breeders, and pass these lies on - which is a real case for subtractive evolution - Doh! :)

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 07:27 AM
Mutations never (and this HAS been observed) ever, add genetic data. They only remove data. That means that evolution of a simple life-form has never been observed to change, even a little, into a more complex one.

Secondary School Biology classes contain the information to disprove this ridiculous statement. Either you have never taken Secondary level Biology (High School Biology), or you have, and are either purposely ignoring that information, or have just plain forgotten it.

There are Three main types of genetic mutation...

INSERTION
DELETION
SUBSTITUTION

Look it up. Most High-School children are aware of this, even if you aren't.


On a side note:
Paul, is it your intention to insult the intelligence of those of us on this board who do happen to be religious? Must you continue ranting about your obvious hatred for religion? I happen to be Roman Catholic. I know several on this board who are openly Christian. Many of us here are religious to some degree. Respect is a two way street, so how about we tone it down a bit?

If you feel insulted, that's your lookout, but certainly not my goal.

You've just attacked the veracity of Evolutionary Theory - You are no longer fit for debate. Hopefully catch up with you on another thread/discussion. No hard feelings - I carry no ill will against you. Goodbye! :)

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 08:10 AM
But the problem I foresee is that often people that spout such dismissive nonsense about evolution are real heavy breeders, and pass these lies on - which is a real case for subtractive evolution - Doh! :)

For me, the most important thing in existence, above all the birds and trees and planets and stars... is Cognizance. The ability we humans stumbled into through evolutionary process... The ability to observe, question and understand the Universe... That ability to witness greatness is what gives meaning to the thoughtless, beautiful, terrible, massive wonder of the tideless, endless stretches of reality...

Without Cognizance, the wonders might as well never have existed... And for me, my moral compass centres around that single treasure, which must be protected and conserved for as long as possible... Hence my wish to extend human lifespans, my ability to reconcile the deaths of a few for the assurance of survival of the many... and my concern when I see morons breeding like rabbits, and intellectuals holding back from doing so.

johnvid
04-07-2011, 08:45 AM
God is Vapour Where?
And he is sticking it too Japan at the moment.
I wonder if it is because they where close to developing the
i-God

Please can we split the site up into
ScarletBelievers
ScarletThinkers

I assure you its just a natural evolutionary process.

Joseph Hutson
04-07-2011, 08:48 AM
I am a big fan of alleged "Vaporware".

Heheh...

Jared Caldwell
04-07-2011, 08:56 AM
Or maybe just ScarletTrolls and ScarletUsers. I like that one. :}

johnvid
04-07-2011, 08:57 AM
Yeah but the Red Team 'had' much better pictures, story, data, philosophy.
By taking a leaf out of nature's book, it could be an interesting experiment.
Who are the Trolls?
Is that not belligerent & derogatory?
Is it belligerent to point it out?

Surely a Believer should not be ashamed of the name,
Just as the Thinker wouldn't be, hell we can still talk
or try, to exchange ideas

Granty
04-07-2011, 09:19 AM
Troll is subjective, one man's troll is another man's fairy - but I reckon I'd sooner be a thoughtful troll than a frivolous fairy :)

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 09:44 AM
I reckon I'd sooner be a thoughtful troll than a frivolous fairy :)

Amen! :happyhappy:

Kyle Presley
04-07-2011, 10:38 AM
There are Three main types of genetic mutation...

INSERTION
DELETION
SUBSTITUTION

Look it up. Most High-School children are aware of this, even if you aren't.



If you feel insulted, that's your lookout, but certainly not my goal.

You've just attacked the veracity of Evolutionary Theory - You are no longer fit for debate. Hopefully catch up with you on another thread/discussion. No hard feelings - I carry no ill will against you. Goodbye! :)

Paul,
I understand what insertion is. My point is, mutations have never been observed to ADD to the complexity of an organism. In fact insertion often results in improper function of the protein.

Who are you to decide who is worthy of debate? Are you a moderator now? If you don't like what I post you don't have to respond, dude. You don't have to troll the thread... It really gets people worked up, and the thread is likely to be closed.

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 11:10 AM
Paul,
I understand what insertion is. My point is, mutations have never been observed to ADD to the complexity of an organism. In fact insertion often results in improper function of the protein.

Who are you to decide who is worthy of debate? Are you a moderator now? If you don't like what I post you don't have to respond, dude. You don't have to troll the thread... It really gets people worked up, and the thread is likely to be closed.

I'm not trying to offend you.

I'm just not going to continue discussing this subject with you. You can go on discussing this subject with other people, if you want.

The only reason I am writing this message is to make sure you understand that I have no bad feeling towards you at all. I'm simply not interested in discussing this one single thing with you.

You don't understand evolutionary Theory, and until you do, there's no reason to debate the subject with you. The reason I know that you don't understand evolutionary Theory is because you use terms like "add to the complexity". It's not my job to educate you about evolution.

So just to clarify - I hold no bad feeling towards you, but I'm unwilling to discuss this subject with you. Seriously, no offence intended.

Kyle Presley
04-07-2011, 11:37 AM
I'm not trying to offend you.

I'm just not going to continue discussing this subject with you. You can go on discussing this subject with other people, if you want.

The only reason I am writing this message is to make sure you understand that I have no bad feeling towards you at all. I'm simply not interested in discussing this one single thing with you.

You don't understand evolutionary Theory, and until you do, there's no reason to debate the subject with you. The reason I know that you don't understand evolutionary Theory is because you use terms like "add to the complexity". It's not my job to educate you about evolution.

So just to clarify - I hold no bad feeling towards you, but I'm unwilling to discuss this subject with you. Seriously, no offence intended.


Paul,
I do understand evolutionary theory. I have taken many advanced courses in biology, physical science, chemistry, and human anatomy, numerous health courses, etc. both in secondary and post secondary school. We are coming at the topic from two different viewpoints. I don't typically debate others on this topic. I am not the best at putting my thoughts down on paper and explaining my viewpoint in a scientific, scholarly manner. I do understand the basic principles of evolution taught in school: mutations, natural selection, taking place over millions of years, etc. Whereas you embrace it, I think it's mostly bunk. I don't buy into it and have my own world view. I probably do not understand it as well as you do, or at least in the way that you do, but this thread is open to everyone. Laymen as well. What if I told you that because you are not a theist, you have no right to debate me on an open forum because you probably don't know what you're talking about? Because you don't understand creation science? Anything you or I post is open to debate by anyone. If you feel that myself or some other here doesn't understand something, please enlighten us. Exchange of information and opinion is what makes this forum great. No, of course you don't have to reply to what I post, if you so deem that I am ignorant of "fact." You keep saying you mean no offense, maybe you don't. But it comes off as arrogant and elitist. There is no place for that here.

Kyle Presley
04-07-2011, 11:46 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGCxbhGaVfE

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 11:48 AM
Paul,
I do understand evolutionary theory. I have taken many advanced courses in biology, physical science, chemistry, and human anatomy, numerous health courses, etc. both in secondary and post secondary school. We are coming at the topic from two different viewpoints. I don't typically debate others on this topic. I am not the best at putting my thoughts down on paper and explaining my viewpoint in a scientific, scholarly manner. I do understand the basic principles of evolution taught in school: mutations, natural selection, taking place over millions of years, etc. Whereas you embrace it, I think it's mostly bunk. I don't buy into it and have my own world view. I probably do not understand it as well as you do, or at least in the way that you do, but this thread is open to everyone. Laymen as well. What if I told you that because you are not a theist, you have no right to debate me on an open forum because you probably don't know what you're talking about? Because you don't understand creation science?

If it helps, I will define what I mean by "Understand". In the following definitions of the word, I am using meaning number thirteen.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/understand

un·der·stand
13.To have a systematic interpretation or rationale, as in a field or area of knowledge: He can repeat every rule in the book, but he just doesn't understand.

johnvid
04-07-2011, 11:59 AM
You do all that biology and still can't see that Evolution is part of the process, if you could see it as part of the process, then we could move on to whats next, discussing if god is alive, listening, & who created him, does he/she/it give a damn what you think, is he waiting for you, why create the devil, why, why, why, if he can build walls he can't jump, why did he leave pot everywhere!

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/a-natural-selection/

Kyle Presley
04-07-2011, 12:15 PM
I never said that I don't believe evolution is involved. I believe in variation among the species, what we understand as micro evolution. It's observable.

Granty
04-07-2011, 01:24 PM
I never said that I don't believe evolution is involved. I believe in variation among the species, what we understand as micro evolution. It's observable.

So you are saying you don't believe in macroevolution but you believe in microevolution? But are they not the same thing, - a species of dinosaur underwent a series of microevolutions over 1000's of years, those microevolutions resulted in a new species, a bird - that is a complexed series of additive and subtractive mutations at a micro level that has macro results over time. It is exactly the same thing.

Within the Modern Synthesis school of thought, macroevolution is thought of as the compounded effects of microevolution. Thus, the distinction between micro- and macroevolution is not a fundamental one – the only difference between them is of time and scale. As Ernst W. Mayr observes, "transspecific evolution is nothing but an extrapolation and magnification of the events that take place within populations and species...it is misleading to make a distinction between the causes of micro- and macroevolution”. However, time is not a necessary distinguishing factor – macroevolution can happen without gradual compounding of small changes; whole-genome duplication can result in speciation occurring over a single generation - this is especially common in plants.

Suppose you have an ancient animal similar to a hippo that claws at fish, it has a series of microevolutions over 1000's of years, the claws grow smaller, the back legs fuse, the skin grows smooth, etc, all these are a series of minor adjustments within a single species - what you are saying is that you can go with that and understand those minor mutated adjustments, and the natural selection of that, but the point where that hippo with claws actually becomes a dolphin is so much for your head to take. You are happy to understand that the microevolution will happen over 1000's of years and change an animal beyond recognition, but you refuse to call a dolphin a dolphin - what is it then? What made this happen? The hand of God? Why do we need the hand of God for a logical process that we can understand without his intervention? We can look at a dolphin on a genetic level and see that it is related to the whale, that is related to Ungulates, that the closest living relative on a genetical level to that line is the hippo.

The term "add to the complexity" is also an odd one to use for evolution, it is like you are saying the more evolution a species undergoes then the more complex it therefore becomes, and that isn't the case, evolution may work to simplify a species if it becomes an advantage to the species. But then are you talking about complexity of the genome, but then a human has 46 chromosomes, a chimp has 48, and a butterfly has 380. But again looking at the hippo to whale to dolphin what is more complex a hippo, a whale, a dolphin? - don't they all have a series of advantages and disadvantages that can't be defined in those terms, they are all complexed animals.

I would prefer it if you said you don't believe in evolution and the world is less than 10,000 years old, then at least that would be a standard issue lost cause. As it is, as best you are cutting your coat according to your cloth, at worst doing some major trolling for your own entertainment - I hope that isn't the case, and that you can maybe see how amazed I am by this stance - staggering, I'm totally stunned! It is as bad as saying that you can understand that someone can make minor adjustments to some wood, but you can't understand how that becomes a table, and unless you can bare witness to that then God most therefore make all tables.

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 02:12 PM
I don't understand why you think I'm defending anything. How did you come to this conclusion? In fact, I said I am against organized religions. I'm really quite anti-authoritarian. So if anyone, be it you or the pope, tell me what to do or think, you bet I'll be pretty pissed off.

The reason it seems you are defending religious institutions is because the words you have written on the page are assembled in an order that leads one to that conclusion.

You may be doing it to spur debate (playing "devil's advocate", for example), or simply out of good will... I'm not sure which...

The following quote for example...


I think that perhaps certain individuals dislike the idea that perhaps they are not in control of everything or perhaps there is something more powerful than them. Hence they must push these ideas and make them popular, thereby propagating their "beliefs" with the pretense of "non-belief" and giving themselves comfort by surrounding themselves with like minded individuals. Most atheists I hear speak have a god - or rather gods. Those gods are the scientists. They don't understand the details. They just trust what they are told by the scientists. If you ask the scientists, they, of course, have a very different view point and many of them have no such lofty ideas of themselves. However, the scientific journals only promote those scientists that are in line with a certain world view. This world view is a materialistic world view. Hence we have a bunch of pseudo atheists running around with supreme arrogance. When really their gods are the scientists.


The first thing you did here was suggest that an atheist person "pushes" atheist "ideas". You also say that atheist people "pretend" to be without belief. And finally you said that atheist people secretly hold scientists/science as their god/religion.


Firstly, there is no such thing as "atheist ideas". Also, no action is required to be an atheist person. To be atheist is simply to be absent of religious belief...

It's a name for something you are not - as such, you don't have to DO anything to be atheist - a common misunderstanding - essentially being atheist is the default human condition - it's theism that requires action... ie : The willful rejection of facts, and the purposeful acceptance of ideas with no evidential support.

Just to further fill in this point, there is no such thing as "atheism". There is no doctrine to follow. There is no rule book. There is no collection of ideas to push. You can be "atheist", but you can't be "an atheist". There are "atheist people" but, there is no group of people who can be called "atheists".

The word "atheist" is essentially an anti-verb. It's a name for something you don't do. The only qualifier for this label is that you hold no religious beliefs. That's it. That is all it is. There isn't something IN PLACE of religious beliefs. There is no hole caused by the absence of those religious beliefs. There just are none.

Secondly, I have no comprehension of why anyone would "pretend" not to believe in religion/god. It's an alien concept to me, because I'm atheist : A person without religious belief. If I had religious belief, and was pretending I didn't, I'd be theist.

Thirdly, on the idea that an atheist person holds science/scientists as their god; Again, it's an alien concept. If you hold something (anything) up as a god, then you are not atheist. The suggestion that science is a religion is utterly ridiculous. Science only deals with what is real. It asks questions of reality and probes to find the truth. It's nothing like religion (blind acceptance without evidence).

Laypeople who accept scientific knowledge as fact even though they are not totally aware of the full details of the subject are not lying to themselves, they are not pretending to "believe" the information, and they are not "blindly accepting" the information. They don't have to blindly accept it. The information is freely available for them to look at and study in minute detail, if they want to. So they aren't blindly accepting anything. They are recognising that the principles of an idea laid bare by science are backed by mountains of evidence gathered over decades by scientists around the entire planet, and if they so wished, they could go an look at that research in order to gain a fuller understanding of the facts.

Choosing NOT to do this, and yet still accepting the idea, is NOT an exercise in "faith". Instead, it's simply a case of NOT reading the mountains of evidence. Just because they didn't read the evidence doesn't mean the evidence doesn't exist. It's still there, and they could read it any time they choose. It's not a matter of faith or trust... It's there... If you WANT to read the evidence you can - but you don't have to read every piece of evidence, because the evidence itself exists.

By making these three arguments, which are staples of the defensive theist, you are essentially doing the theist's job for them. As a result you are lending support to "the theist cause" (unlike the atheist, the theist has an agenda to push), and in essence defending religious institutions. They're quite capable of repeatedly declaring the same logical fallacies again and again and again, all on their own. They don't need your help.

JonFairhurst
04-07-2011, 03:06 PM
...To be atheist is simply to be absent of religious belief...

Isn't that more of a definition of "agnostic"? An agnostic person takes a passive "I don't know" and possibly an "I don't care" approach to religion.

An atheist does have an active belief: that there is no god, gods, or deities.

That's how I've always differentiated the words, anyway.

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 03:55 PM
Isn't that more of a definition of "agnostic"? An agnostic person takes a passive "I don't know" and possibly an "I don't care" approach to religion.

An atheist does have an active belief: that there is no god, gods, or deities.

That's how I've always differentiated the words, anyway.

Hrmmm... I do agree with your definition of the agnostic. They don't know either way, and choose to live their lives in the assumption that until proof comes up, it's a non-issue.

However, with atheist, I don't see it quite in the terms as you describe. Looking at the word it's made of two parts the word "theist" from "theism", and the prefix "a".

The definition of "theism" is :

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theism


Theism
1. The belief in one god (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/god) as the (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/the) creator and ruler of the universe.
2. Belief in the existence of a god or gods.


So a "theist" is a person who subscribes to "theism".

The prefix "a" in "atheist" means "without". As in the word "asexual" which describes an organism which reproduces "without sex". Note that the dictionary definition of "asexual" does not describe the "asexual" as something which disbelieves in sex. Rather, the definition is direct - "without sex". (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/asexual)

As such, the word "atheist" means "without theism". If you are "without theism" then you are...

1. Without the belief in one god (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/god) as the (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/the) creator and ruler of the universe.
2. Without belief in the existence of a god or gods.

Unfortunately many dictionaries appear to stretch the meaning of the word as "belief in no god(s)" or "disbelief in god(s)". Perhaps the definitions were written by people with no concept of what it is to be without belief? It's clear that the definition given in dictionaries as to the meaning of "atheist" are loaded.

Being "without a belief in god(s)" is not the same thing as "believing in no god(s)". To "believe in no god(s)" one must first ask the question "does god exist?" and then make a conscious decision to actively believe that god doesn't exist. This is essentially a religious belief, which turns the potential atheist into a theist. The Atheist is without religious belief at all. The question doesn't even come up.

If a person is simply "without theism" they are not actively doing anything... They just don't have theism. They don't have religion.

Theism is based totally on "belief". If you don't have theism, you are without religious belief of any kind.

The agnostic person can be spiritual, potentially holding many essentially religious beliefs, without blindly accepting the idea of all powerful god(s). The atheist, on the other hand, is without religious belief at all.

You can be agnostic without being atheist. But you can't be atheist without being agnostic.

Granty
04-07-2011, 05:41 PM
I'd agree completely:
Theism is a belief in a God.
Agnostic viewpoint is that it is unknown.
Atheism is the absence of a belief in a God.

It reminds me when someone was asked, 'why do you choose to grow your hair long?' To which he replied, 'I don't, it just grows I don't have a choice.'

But while the term 'don't believe in God' gets used by atheists in is generally used when explaining not having a belief to those of a faith, I think they have trouble otherwise understanding not having a belief, but then I guess that causes issues as they start to think what do you believe in? science?

It is actually a bit of a oxymoron to say you don't believe in God, as you are saying I don't believe in something that is not there, I believe in that thing that doesn't exist - it doesn't pan out.

I once watched a show were this atheist moved in with an American religious family, and they couldn't get their heads around it and kept asking, 'So if you don't believe in God what do you believe in?', to which she would say, 'nothing - I don't have a belief.' The poor woman was banging her head on the wall as they would say, 'but you must believe in something - do you worship the devil?' I think under such conditions I find it is easier to just say I am a humanist, but I don't believe or place hope in them, so I guess that would be an appeasing lie.

johnvid
04-07-2011, 05:44 PM
I suppose you can be an Atheist without being interested in Darwin or evolution, but even if it was just another story, I think it is far more interesting, better thought out, encompassing, inclusive, and a million other reasons to be the story that should be told, you can embellish it with a quiescent sentient being if you want
no one will find out if your lying.

If God made the perfect seed that could germinate/differentiate into anything,
it would never need to be 'added' too just certain parts turned off
according to environmental conditions &/or selection.

JonFairhurst
04-07-2011, 07:35 PM
Then riddle me this... what is the commonly used word for a person who believes that there is no god? Certainly, many hold that belief.

I believe that the common word is "atheist".

In my experience, many self-proclaimed atheists actively argue that there is no god. Maybe there are two sects: one that passively lacks a belief in god and another that actively believes that there is no god. From the viewpoint of a believer, the difference is moot. Members of both sects are unbelievers.

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 08:10 PM
Then riddle me this... what is the commonly used word for a person who believes that there is no god? Certainly, many hold that belief.

I believe that the common word is "atheist".

In my experience, many self-proclaimed atheists actively argue that there is no god. Maybe there are two sects: one that passively lacks a belief in god and another that actively believes that there is no god. From the viewpoint of a believer, the difference is moot. Members of both sects are unbelievers.

I actually agree with that. There are two kinds of "atheist" (It's amusing to me that you describe them as two "sects"). The problem is that the word "atheist" is being used incorrectly to describe the people who actively disbelieve in god(s).

For my own part, I prefer to refer to them as "antitheists". They actively believe the opposite of theists. I think that's a suitable term, borne out by the laws of language.

The Atheist and the Antitheist will see eye to eye on a great number of issues, bar one... That there is even a NEED to actively disbelieve in god(s).

Whilst there is common ground between the Atheist and the Antitheist, the Antitheist, ironically, has more (at a fundamental level) in common with the Theist. This is because the Atheist has NO religious belief, whilst the Theist and the Antitheist both do.

Tim Hole
04-07-2011, 08:21 PM
The word itself is interesting as an umbrella term for positive non believer. It has been coined for centuries as a term for people who do not believe in the same religious structure as one person to another. The Roman's called Christian atheist's for not believing in their gods. Christian's called pagan's atheists for not believing in god (when obviously pagan's generally believed in spirits and gods of one description or another) . In today's world its an umbrella term for a positive non-believer. What I mean by that is, someone who has educated themselves on the idea of a god or creator and has decided that no such being exists, in their mind. Someone who has not been brought up in a religious household and the idea of religion seems alien to them, is not an atheist.

I was brought up as I mentioned before being pulled through various facets of christianity. I do not believe in a christian god. I believe that a lot of the 'historical events' in the bible occurred within reason. I believe that there was a person who walked the earth and he was called Jesus. Personally I think he was misquoted (I'm more aligned with Monty Python in that element). I have no issue with people believing in a god, or following a god. I have got issues though with culture and the way we treat one another which has little or nothing to do with religion. A perfect example might be a girl who is gang raped by seven men, who is then beaten by the morality police and in the court proceedings the father marries her off to one of the rapists as a settlement in court (which resulted in her committing suicide). Or another being stoned to death because she committed adultery by being raped. Or honour killings by the family. This happens still in parts of the world in different cultures. Religion is blamed when its cultural misinterpretation and control.

Most of the time people are either ignorant of anothers religious teachings or ignorant of their own - usually both.

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 08:41 PM
Someone who has not been brought up in a religious household and the idea of religion seems alien to them, is not an atheist.


I agree with pretty much everything you said except this one sentence. As they are without belief (belief is alien to them), they qualify as atheist.

In fact, they are about as typically atheist as is possible to be. Which is saying something given that being atheist is a binary switch (you either are or are not).

Tim Hole
04-07-2011, 08:43 PM
I agree with pretty much everything you said except this one sentence. As they are without belief (belief is alien to them), they qualify as atheist.

In fact, they are about as typical an atheist as you could care to describe.

I do not consider someone who is without belief (in today's coining of the term atheist) to be considered an atheist. I think it is generally considered that someone actively becomes an atheist.

This is all semantics really. I think that's just my take on it. Most people are not actually atheists. When asked why, they bumble around for a few minutes and then say 'I don't know'.

---Its 4.45am and talking about religion. Wouldn't be the first time though I guess.

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 08:52 PM
I do not consider someone who is without belief (in today's coining of the term atheist) to be considered an atheist. I think it is generally considered that someone actively becomes an atheist.

This is all semantics really. I think that's just my take on it. Most people are not actually atheists. When asked why they bumble around for a few minutes and then say 'I don't know'.

The reason they bumble around is because they don't believe in god, and it means so little to them (quite reasonably so) that they haven't put the time into formulating a reason or fully examining the terminology.

Semantics is the art of knowing what words mean. As such, it's the gateway to knowledge. Yes, some words have multiple meanings. But there are key words which have single individual defining meanings. Theist and Atheist are such words. The Ancient Greek they route from explains that.

The discussion of semantics is often chided, but that's because some people KNOW that if semantic arguments are taken to their conclusion, then things become defined, and someone might lose the argument. Shying from semantic debate is a protection of one's vanity.

There's nothing wrong with learning the true definition of a word, through logical discourse (sometimes this proves the dictionary itself to be factually inaccurate) and then FIND the term that you thought the previous term meant.

Atheism is a binary word... It's antonym is Theist. If you are not a Theist you are an Atheist. If you BELIEVE in the opposite to that believed by Theists you are an Antitheist.

Antitheists and Theists both hold religious belief. Antitheist is just a word to describe a Theist who believes in no god(s). As such they are both essentially Theists. That's why Theist/Atheist is a binary word relationship (rather than trinary). ;)

EDIT : I really should be shooting animation right now!

Tim Hole
04-07-2011, 09:06 PM
I understand what you mean but if you want to pigeon-hole everyone then the noted middleground is 'Apatheism' which is obviously the lack of interest either way. Which is where those who have not been brought up in that kind of background would likely fall. I still maintain that Atheism is an active choice to disregard theism (which is can be pushed to the negative 'antitheism')

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 09:08 PM
That's a nice word! :)

Perhaps, then, Atheist could be subjuncted to distinguish between the person who arrived at atheism by deductive reasoning, or the person who arrived by environment. Practically speaking there isn't much to split hairs about, but it's an interesting exercise.

Both are Atheist... But one of them (the one whose environment was Atheist from the start) is ALSO Apatheist?

Tim Hole
04-07-2011, 09:35 PM
Where both are technically atheist by definition they, by action can be apatheist. If their environment is active atheism they could either be atheist by-proxy or apatheististic. In that sense too though people born in a theistic environment can be theists by-proxy but can also be apatheists too - as does happen a lot as a course
of rebellion. Hehehe

johnvid
04-07-2011, 09:45 PM
You are an Athiest if you find out what the word means and then put your self in that pigeon hole.

But it does get to semantics when you try to define what God is/isn't or should be to yourself or others.

If I where to believe in a DOG it would be way better than the one you invented :)
or heard about from the internets tubes, or read in them old books.
But I am willing to listen to any credible alternatives to the ones I have heard about.

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 09:53 PM
Where both are technically atheist by definition they, by action can be apatheist. If their environment is active atheism they could either be atheist by-proxy or apatheististic. In that sense too though people born in a theistic environment can be theists by-proxy but can also be apatheists too - as does happen a lot as a course
of rebellion. Hehehe

Hahah - That makes more sense to me now - I like that definition for Apatheist. It sounds more well rounded and clearer defined. Thankyou. I agree with you! :)

It's perhaps an interesting word for defining the origins of some people's Atheist state, however, as being "Atheist" itself is simply the absence of belief, I'm not sure it's a word I'll use very often. The origins that led to a person being defined as Atheist doesn't really tell you anything new about their position (or lack of one rather). They are still simply Atheist. If you are Atheist it's still simply a description of something you are not (however you came to that). Still fun to discuss.

And the stories of how people became Atheist, are always interesting. :)

JonFairhurst
04-07-2011, 10:38 PM
But doesn't "anti" mean "against" at least in the political sense? (Politics being a first cousin to religion.) For instance a person who is "anti-abortion" is against abortion. There is anti-tax, anti-gun, anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-war, etc. Those groups don't just not have a belief in something, they fight against it.

People who actively believe there is no god wouldn't necessarily be actively against those who believe in God.

Looking at thesaurus.com...
atheist (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheist?rh=thesaurus.com&__utma=1.1728977018.1302240337.1302240337.13022403 37.1&__utmb=1.2.10.1302240337&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1302240337.1.1.utmcsr=%28direct%29%7Cutmc cn=%28direct%29%7Cutmcmd=%28none%29&__utmv=-&__utmk=184144166)

Part of Speech: noun
Definition: nonbeliever
Synonyms: agnostic, free thinker, heathen, infidel, irreligionist, pagan, skeptic

Notes: an agnostic is one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God; an atheist is one who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

I think the notes provide a pretty good summary. "an atheist is one who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods." It includes both groups: those with no belief and those with a negative belief.

"Antitheist" isn't listed among the (loose) synonyms, nor does it pass a spell checker. It's a theoretical word, rather than a practical word in common use. And it could imply being against theists, rather than believing in no deities.

Good try though! :) Language isn't always as logical as it could be.

Now I'm trying to figure out what to call somebody who doesn't believe in Father Christmas... Asanta? Antisanta? A Bahhumbuggist? :)

johnvid
04-07-2011, 11:10 PM
Just when you thought it was safe to take your TOE out of the fountain pen of knowledge, the random attractor comes and splashes you where you least expect it.

PaulVortex
04-07-2011, 11:52 PM
But doesn't "anti" mean "against" at least in the political sense? (Politics being a first cousin to religion.) For instance a person who is "anti-abortion" is against abortion. There is anti-tax, anti-gun, anti-labor, anti-environment, anti-war, etc. Those groups don't just not have a belief in something, they fight against it.

People who actively believe there is no god wouldn't necessarily be actively against those who believe in God.

Looking at thesaurus.com...
atheist (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/atheist?rh=thesaurus.com&__utma=1.1728977018.1302240337.1302240337.13022403 37.1&__utmb=1.2.10.1302240337&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1302240337.1.1.utmcsr=%28direct%29%7Cutmc cn=%28direct%29%7Cutmcmd=%28none%29&__utmv=-&__utmk=184144166)

Part of Speech: noun
Definition: nonbeliever
Synonyms: agnostic, free thinker, heathen, infidel, irreligionist, pagan, skeptic

Notes: an agnostic is one who believes that it is impossible to know whether there is a God; an atheist is one who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

I think the notes provide a pretty good summary. "an atheist is one who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods." It includes both groups: those with no belief and those with a negative belief.

"Antitheist" isn't listed among the (loose) synonyms, nor does it pass a spell checker. It's a theoretical word, rather than a practical word in common use. And it could imply being against theists, rather than believing in no deities.

Good try though! :) Language isn't always as logical as it could be.

Now I'm trying to figure out what to call somebody who doesn't believe in Father Christmas... Asanta? Antisanta? A Bahhumbuggist? :)

You are accepting the definition of Atheist given in the dictionary even though that dictionary definition is loaded, and demonstrably factually inaccurate.

Remember the example of "asexual". The term "asexual" is a term that doesn't divide people, it's one where everyone agrees. The prefix of "a" in the word clearly shows, and is defined in the dictionary correctly as simply delineating the absence of the identifier... In this case "sex". This is true of pretty much any word with the "a" prefix you care to investigate (and investigate them, I have... thoroughly).

Whereas the definition for "atheist" in most dictionaries is stretched (sometimes in the definition itself, and other times in the notes) to be a "disbelief in god(s)".

There is a world of difference between the fallacious definition "a disbelief in god(s)" and the actual definition "without belief in god(s)".

The definition of "atheist" in most dictionaries is clearly loaded, and doesn't hold up under logical analysis. In logical circles the definition would be said to be "reaching", if you were being charitable. It would be said to be "entirely non-sequitur", if you were really going to hammer it home (which, you should!).

People often misuse words... Just because lots of people misuse a word, doesn't mean that their "definition" of that word is correct.

The word "Atheist" means ONLY the absence of religious belief... It means that and nothing more. Even if a billion people use the word with a wider definition, clear logical analysis using the rules of language, show that they are mistaken in their use of the word.

Facts are facts no matter how many people are mistaken about them. Veracity is not a "democratic" aspect. It's a measure of truth, and truth is not something defined by the number of people who accept or deny it.

I could be the only person on the planet to recognise that "Atheist" simply means the absence of faith (faith and belief are exactly the same thing)... However, I'd still be correct, and all the people misusing the word would be mistaken.

The reason for this is that language itself has a logical basis. Particularly language which adheres to the standards of Ancient Greek (as words like Theist and Atheist do).

Essentially, "Theist" is the identifier, and "Atheist" is the identifier switched off. It's that simple. Please, do not misconstrue this analogy (the switch) as if I meant to say that Theists have something switched on that the rest of us are lacking. Instead this is merely an illustrative analogy.

Thankfully, I'm not alone.

Granty
04-08-2011, 02:45 AM
I find the idea of 'apatheist' as Tim talks interesting, but I don't like as it is from 'apathy' really meaning indifferent which is 'agnostic'. I think that if someone is brought up without religion then that is just a neutral and nature state, and to force your own beliefs on a child is an abuse on a child as is to force your own profession on a child - all children should be taught to understand the world on a wider context and make their own chooses once they are aware and old enough to do so, but to brainwash a child into a faith is a cruel thing to do, just because your parents abused you in that way it doesn't give you a right to continue the circle of abuse.

Dawkins talks about this showing a picture of three children, and the caption may read 'this child is Christian, this child is Hindu and this child is Muslim', we place that on this unknowing child because their parents happen to be that, but it starts to fall apart as soon as you say 'this child is a banker, this child is a police officer, this child is a doctor', just because their parents do that.

Everyone is an 'atheist' by default, as even if you believe in a Christian God you are a 'atheist' to every other religion, just because your parents abused you and forced you to believe in one more religion than I have doesn't make you religious, in the same way if a parent forces the child not to be religious. You therefore have 5 definitions to deal with:

Explicit Atheist - This is someone that has questioned religion and resulted in rejecting all religion.
Implicit Atheist - This is a natural state when someone has yet to question religion and make a conclusion.
Explicit Theist - This is a true believe that has looked at religion in a wider context and actively chosen religion based on that understanding
Implicit Theist - This is someone that has had a religion forced upon them from birth, they never had a choice in any religion or understand the options they should be given.
Agnostic - This is someone that believes that the answer to God is unknown, they may or may not follow religion.

Most people in the world are sadly Implicit Theists, almost everyone else is a Explicit Atheist or Agnostic, an Explicit Theist is rare, as is a Implicit Atheist. Really we should all be brought up as Implicit Atheists it is a fair and honest way to treat our children. The only group I feel for are the bulk of Implicit Theists as it is hard for them to truly question things and make a free choice, as their youth has been spent being brainwashed and indoctrinated into a random religion that their parents just happened to follow - I find it shocking that such abuse is still legal.

PaulVortex
04-08-2011, 08:31 AM
I suppose with it's prefix routed in "apathy", the word apatheist does kind of conjure up the picture of someone intentionally ignoring something. However, as the Atheist has no religious beliefs they can't be said to be apathetic about religious beliefs.

To be apathetic about something, you have to first assume there is a thing to be apathetic about. But, Atheists have no religious belief of any kind, so what is there for them to be apathetic about? I suppose you could be said to be apatheist about other people's religious beliefs. Either way, it's an interesting word.

Also, if I were an Atheist person who was apatheist, I wouldn't be typing when I should be animating! ;)

JonFairhurst
04-08-2011, 09:36 AM
Paul,

When there is common usage as well as a common definition found in multiple reference sources, then that's what I accept as the meaning of the word - even if the root words have been mangled.

A word that is not commonly used and is not recognized by reference sources, but is built from well-known roots is interesting in theory - and could possibly make it into the lexicon in the future.

Since the most important value of words is communication, common usage and formal definition trump logical purity. Besides, you can't use "antitheist" in Scrabble. :)

That said, labels are important - especially self-labels. Hence, people call themselves pro-life or pro-defense rather than anti-abortion or pro-war. As an agnostic, I personally resent when people refer to me as "unchurched" - as if I really believe in God, but I haven't spent enough time in a church to recognize that about myself. How insulting!

Back on words, I've heard language experts say that compound words often start as separate entities (bed room), then become hyphenated (bed-room), and finally merge (bedroom). From that perspective, I like Granty's two-word definitions. Now, let's see if they catch on... :)

Granty
04-08-2011, 10:55 AM
Words do change and meaning evolves, it is something I like about words, the only definition of a word is the general usage of it in culture. But we have a different between people intentional and unintentional using the wrong word, 'ironic' is a good example of that, just because a bunch of people use it to mean coincidence it doesn't change the meaning of the word, at least not until it is wrongful used for a long time without correction. In the same sense the majority of people could wrongly use the word atheist, these things will always mean different things to different people.

JonFairhurst
04-08-2011, 11:37 AM
Still, I like the two meaning definition: a lack of belief or a negative belief. Mainly because there is no other commonly understood word that makes the distinction. If you want to go into more detail, use additional words.

That doesn't change the self-identification thing though. Just because a definition may fit me, I might not want to "wear" certain words. If Paul prefers to self-identify as an Antitheist (or whatever), I'm cool with that. And, if he does not feel that "Athiest" describes him, the last thing I'd want to do is apply that label.

I'm quite sensitive about people defining me: telling me who I am, what I feel or what I believe. I do my best not to do that to others.

PaulVortex
04-08-2011, 12:49 PM
When there is common usage as well as a common definition found in multiple reference sources, then that's what I accept as the meaning of the word - even if the root words have been mangled.

Oh yes, I agree. Lots of people who actively believe there is no god(s) self-identify with the word "Atheist". As they do actually hold a religious belief, however, they are misusing the word. I'm not saying that's a crime of some kind... It's not ideal, but hardly criminal. It's unfortunate... But not the end of the world.

I realise that, in practice, lots of people use the wrong words in lots of situations. I can't stop them from misusing that word. However, I think it's right to try and inform them of the correct terms, so that they can

A : Give further thought to the words and why they use them.
B : Gain a greater insight into the meaning of the word they are self-identifying with.
C : Consider moving over to the correct terms, should that be required.

If they still don't use the correct terms, there isn't much of anything anyone can do about that. I'm not really saying they should do anything further about that. You can lead a horse to water...

As soon as a person talks about an Atheist Person pushing Atheist ideas, they are misusing the word. That's when I would give them the actual definition, and suggest that when describing someone who actively believes there is no god, they use the word "Antitheist" instead.


That doesn't change the self-identification thing though. Just because a definition may fit me, I might not want to "wear" certain words. If Paul prefers to self-identify as an Antitheist (or whatever), I'm cool with that. And, if he does not feel that "Athiest" describes him, the last thing I'd want to do is apply that label.

Just to clarify. I self-identify as Atheist; I am without religious belief of any kind.

JonFairhurst
04-08-2011, 02:04 PM
...I am without religious belief of any kind.

I wonder how common this actually is.

Generally people have some beliefs, even if those beliefs are not strong and could be swayed. For instance, if you ask somebody their favorite color, they might have an immediate, strong answer, a delayed, weak answer, or maybe some other response like, "I have to think about it", or "it changes day to day." Some will say, "when I was a kid, I liked green." Maybe they will say, "I like them all."

I don't think I've ever heard anybody say, "I have no favorite color. I am without favorites of any kind."

I'm not saying that your lack of belief is invalid or insincere. Far from it. I'm just noting how rare it is from my personal experience.

In the book Story by Robert McKee (which is the "bible" for screenwriters, IMHO - I highly recommend it) the author describes how characters act when there is no pressure vs. how they act when pushed to the limit. He gives the example of two people driving down the road: a successful, upstanding lawyer and a maid and mother who is in the country illegally. They come upon a terrible accident. Who stops? The man who sees himself as a great contributor to society, or the woman who risks being deported and losing her children? In stories, rich characters often say one thing yet do another. (The bum who says that "humanity is not worth saving" might just be the one who runs into the flames to save the baby.)

When pushed to the limit, if you still have an absence of religious belief, then you truly have no religious belief. Though I'm agnostic, I can't guarantee that I wouldn't pray when in truly dire straights - just in case. ;)

Come to think of it, one could probably read back through this thread and find lots of inspiration for screenplays. :)

David Rasberry
04-08-2011, 03:55 PM
The word itself is interesting as an umbrella term for positive non believer. It has been coined for centuries as a term for people who do not believe in the same religious structure as one person to another. The Roman's called Christian atheist's for not believing in their gods. Christian's called pagan's atheists for not believing in god (when obviously pagan's generally believed in spirits and gods of one description or another) . In today's world its an umbrella term for a positive non-believer. What I mean by that is, someone who has educated themselves on the idea of a god or creator and has decided that no such being exists, in their mind. Someone who has not been brought up in a religious household and the idea of religion seems alien to them, is not an atheist.

I was brought up as I mentioned before being pulled through various facets of christianity. I do not believe in a christian god. I believe that a lot of the 'historical events' in the bible occurred within reason. I believe that there was a person who walked the earth and he was called Jesus. Personally I think he was misquoted (I'm more aligned with Monty Python in that element). I have no issue with people believing in a god, or following a god. I have got issues though with culture and the way we treat one another which has little or nothing to do with religion. A perfect example might be a girl who is gang raped by seven men, who is then beaten by the morality police and in the court proceedings the father marries her off to one of the rapists as a settlement in court (which resulted in her committing suicide). Or another being stoned to death because she committed adultery by being raped. Or honour killings by the family. This happens still in parts of the world in different cultures. Religion is blamed when its cultural misinterpretation and control.

Most of the time people are either ignorant of anothers religious teachings or ignorant of their own - usually both.

Most people are both intellectually and spiritually lazy and cling to whatever was imprinted on them in early childhood.

I took an online pop psychology quiz once that posed the question " What religion are you?" Turns out I am a Neo Pagan.:biggrinjester:

PaulVortex
04-08-2011, 04:29 PM
Religious Belief itself (distinct from rational belief) is a meme just like everything else. Some people have it and others don't.

It's a meme that I don't have - In a way, I am actually incapable of having religious belief. It's a totally alien concept to me. I was brought up as a Christian by parents who were noncommital on the subject (my dad was a closet atheist - my mum never really defined it and ended up dabbling quite deeply in Buddhism - now she's essentially without religion, but I think it's probably agnostic-lite). They pretended to be Christian to get me into a Christian school because they mistakenly believed that this was were you got the best education.

I learned a lot about the bible... well, the parts they taught. I found most of the religious stuff we did hugely boring. Liked the odd story. But while I tried really hard at several points to "hear" god (he was apparantly supposed to answer me when I prayed), I heard nothing. I also saw nothing. I just generally was skeptical and mostly bored by the whole thing. I remember asking lots of questions. I believed in the sense that any child indoctrinated into a cult believes - I wasn't taught the skills to properly question what I was being told... but there was definite skepticism. I was far more interested in figuring out how a camera worked, or what light was, who Leonardo Da Vinci was etc.

I use phrases like "JESUS!" and "MY GOD" in exclamation... But that isn't supported by any belief. It's just the language that I picked up in my childhood when people exclaimed. Now I use all manner of words - but I still put them to use now and then.

I've been in a couple of very scary situations... Came very close to sending my car off a bridge trying to avoid a massive lorry that came out of nowhere... My wife and parrot were in the car, and we were on our way to live in Denmark... That was terrifying. And I can tell you that the only things that rushed through my mind were my Wife and Child (EDIT : Freudian Slip - I love Piki like a child) and what can I do to avoid losing them... I screamed out a word, and that word was "NO!", and I remember very clearly that it had a very strong meaning behind it... The meaning was "NO... I am NOT going to allow this to happen!!!"

Luckily I managed to mount the car on the verge by the bridge's edge (The car was actually undamaged too!). Thoughts for my safety never entered my mind. Nor did the idea that *I* might die. I worried that what we HAD might die - our little family. And that was scary... Not once did the idea of god or giving myself away to god to ensure I would get a place in heaven with my family, enter my mind... None of it.

Religious belief is alien to me.

Granty
04-08-2011, 04:30 PM
I wonder how common this actually is.


I actually think most people are really agnostic, most people believe in a God or like to believe in a God. Just to various degrees. I watched a Dawkins gig a while ago, and he had this gauge as a slide, numbered 1-7, he says, 1 is believe in God, and most religious people say they are a number 1, but most atheists place themselves at a 5-6, even though they class themselves as atheist. An out and out 7 is rare. Dawkins said he was a 6.8-6.9, I think I'd also fluctuate in the late 6's, some days a 6.6 other maybe even a pure 7. But Paul seems to be a confirmed 7, I always know he was a rarity, and I also hoped this :)

PaulVortex
04-08-2011, 05:03 PM
:D

I like Dawkins' scale. I think it makes good sense.

On Dawkins' agnostic scale : His level 1 is Believes in god(s)... As long as his level 7 is "has no religious belief" (as opposed to "Believes in no god(s)"), then I would confidently declare a 7, and get the prize of being able to label myself Atheist.

johnvid
04-08-2011, 07:39 PM
Scientists grow 'embryonic eye' in test tube
http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01866/test-tube-620_1866057c.jpg
Made in Japan (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8432674/Scientists-grow-embryonic-eye-in-test-tube.html)

Ryan Farnes
04-08-2011, 07:46 PM
The more I learn about the physical world and all of the intricate detail and design, the more in awe of it all I am. From the atomic level to the cellular. Living organisms, inert matter. The hydrologic cycle, tectonics, animal kingdoms with all the animals that are amazing to look at film and study. The fluid motion of physics as creatures utilize their instinctual abilities to deftly hunt, gather and live.

The way that matter has arranged itself upon a planet resulting in innumerable landscapes that awaken my mind, fascinating mountains, caves, deserts, forests and oceans.

The sky, which is a sea of jewels at night. The sun is distanced sufficiently to provide for life upon a planet that tilts seasonally, resulting in spring, summer, autumn and winter. A moon, much smaller, but capable of perfectly blocking the sun in a solar eclipse. Otherwise simply reflecting back sunlight from around the other side of the earth in a shape indicative of the phase it is in.

And then we ourselves, to have consciousness, and not just consciousness, but understanding. And with our multitude of systems and capabilities. Sight, sound, taste, touch, smell and all the supporting organs and structure that facilite these things.

Symphonies, cinema, good food and drink, romance...

Humans have amazing potential. It is almost strange how much potential. It seems to reach far beyond our current state.

I sometimes think about the question on whether we sprang from nothing, or from something. I can't help but wonder whether it is a legitimate question, or if the very act of asking it is paradoxical in a way.

But obviously many do. And I've only discussed physical things that I find fascinating and that is perhaps where this discussion is somewhat hindered. My experience with religion has taught me that it is not a function of the 5 senses. It requires a level of sincerity that can only come from each individual.

PaulVortex
04-08-2011, 07:46 PM
Scientists grow 'embryonic eye' in test tube
Made in Japan (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8432674/Scientists-grow-embryonic-eye-in-test-tube.html)

...and the blind shall see.

Science really is a wonderful approach to life.

Granty
04-09-2011, 01:23 AM
I like the way some physics experiments change based on there being a observer or not, even some of the maths changes with or without an observer, then some theory of the universe accounts for an observer to make it happen. Then you think about that also on a philosophical level that a universe can't exist unless someone witnesses it, or it can but it doesn't matter if it goes unrecorded. Maybe everything just is as it is, because any other way it doesn't work, but I wonder if the universe needs an observer then maybe if we arrange every thing to stop observing it will stop being.

But maybe the universe is full of splendour and wonder, or we are just just a base animal that is easy to please, and given the wider options we all got sold short call this a universe.

Dances With Cameras
04-09-2011, 05:49 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3_dOWYHS7I

PaulVortex
04-09-2011, 10:39 AM
There can't be an experiment without an observer (though you can choose to observe some aspects of an experiment whilst not observing others)... But there can be reality without an observer...

Strong Anthropic Principle is a philisophical idea that the Universe only exists because sentient lifeforms exist to view it (there are numerous variants - some of which are truisms and make sense). Sometimes people pull small parts of Science in to try and support this idea. Often the Uncertainty Principle is pulled in even though it only applies to a very specific thing. Observer Effect is brought in even though it's an entirely explainable mechanical factor in experimentation. There are misunderstandings about BOTH Uncertainty Principle and Observer Effect, which seem to support Anthropic Principle... But they are misunderstandings.

Uncertainty Principle is often pulled into the idea of Anthropic Principle because it is mistaken for Observer Effect. Quantum Uncertainty is the phenomena where you cannot know BOTH a particle's momentum and position at the very same moment. Further, there is a *balance* involved in how much you know about one or the other value. So, the more you want to know about a particle's position, the LESS CERTAIN you can be about it's momentum, and vice-versa. The Uncertainty Principle ONLY applies in relation to particles. It is not true when discussing large objects...

The Quantum Physicist attempting to measure the particles position and momentum is not CHANGING the experiment by observing it... In *measuring* the particle's position with greater accuracy he becomes, at the same time, less certain of it's momentum... and in *measuring* the particle's momentum, he becomes less certain of it's position.

Also, the Uncertainty Principle actually goes HAND in HAND with incredibly accurate mathematical models. So, Quantum Physicists are not all out at sea.

Observer Effect itself, is often pulled in to support Anthropic Principle because it's often mistaken to be a literal physical example of the thought experiment known as Schroedinger's Cat; The idea that if an event's outcome is not observed, the outcome is in all possible states at the same time, and that only by observing the outcome is the outcome forced to become a single one of those possible states. Schroedinger's Cat isn't literal, instead it's a warning that to rely on observation alone is not going to work in quantum experimentation...

In actual fact, Observer Effect, is when the act of observing an effect, will have a direct physical influence on that effect. It's a knowable, mechanical effect involved in various types of experiments. For example, to observe an electron requires that photons bombard it, which might change it's direction. This can be factored into the Observation and/or mathematical models can be used alongside the observations.

The idea that matter exists because we are there to observe it is simply not true. At the level of the very very small, particles are constantly and randomly bursting into existence (matter and antimatter particles). These particles then annihilate each other almost immediately. This is happening constantly at every point in Space. Back at the moment of the Big Bang, when the Universe was absolutely tiny, and the space between particles was almost non existent (Every point in the universe now, existed then, but was MUCH closer together), these particles (of matter and antimatter) were the biggest thing there was, and they were popping randomly into existence and annihilating as you would expect... However, there was a SLIGHT infinitesimally small imbalance in the number of matter particles versus antimatter particles... This meant there was matter being left over... As the universe expanded (the space between matter expanded) the matter clumped together due to gravity and led to the formation of the stars and galaxies... The Universe would be getting on with all this with or without us, and it's been doing so for approximately 99.9999999% of it's existence so far...

It's no mistake that we live in the goldilocks zone of the Universe's age, and the goldilocks zone is where our planet resides in the solar system. But rather than say that the goldilocks zones are there because we exist, we should say that we exist because of the goldilocks zones! (STOP SAYING GOLDILOCKS ZONE PAUL!!!!!).

In essence, reality would go on just fine if there were no sentient beings to observe it. Somehow sad, but true. Strong Anthropic Principle is romantic, but there is, as far as I am aware, no evidence to support such a view. On the other hand, I am very much of the mind that Observation of the universe DOES bring meaning into it, at least for us. And that the sentience itself is something we should nurture and protect for as long as it's possible to keep it in existence... It is a fire... A light that we are custodians of... Somehow the Universe just seems more exciting when there are REASONED PEOPLE there to enjoy the grand spectacle! :)


All of this stuff surrounding quantum experiments is only starting to make any sense to me over the past few months, so I may well have made some mistakes, so here are some links :
Anthropic Principle : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
Quantum Uncertainty : http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-quantum-uncertainty.htm
Observer Effect : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_(physics) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_%28physics%29)
Schroedinger's Cat : http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-schrodingers-cat.htm

JonFairhurst
04-09-2011, 03:17 PM
:D

I like Dawkins' scale. I think it makes good sense.

On Dawkins' agnostic scale : His level 1 is Believes in god(s)... As long as his level 7 is "has no religious belief" (as opposed to "Believes in no god(s)"), then I would confidently declare a 7, and get the prize of being able to label myself Atheist.

Where does an agnostic fit on the scale?

Logic tells me that many things in this world are unknowable. Just attend a court case and its clear that even the witnesses don't have full knowledge of an event. A judge or jury has to decide who and what to believe to stitch together a mental image of reality, but they can never know the reality.

Let's say I hear a voice that says, "I am God." Maybe I believe it fervently. Maybe I believe that I'm going mad. The thing is, I can never know for sure. Descartes wrote at length about what is and isn't knowable.

The thing is, agnosticism (without knowledge) is more a logical conclusion than a belief. Maybe we are all agnostic to some degree. And though the source of creation is logically unknowable, some believe things deeply while others have only hints of (or no) belief.

I think the problem is when people confuse faith and belief with knowledge and certainty. It's one thing to believe that the world will end next week. It's another to be certain of it - especially if that person will take actions to prove themselves right.

Those with certainty of their beliefs, whether that there is no god or that they have a clear understanding of God, are arrogant at best and dangerous at worst.

So, maybe we should have two scales: one for the level of faith and a second scale for the level of certainty.

Paul, you present an interesting case: you state that you have certainty that you have no belief. Me? I have very low certainty and weak (but not zero) beliefs. At the end of the day, we probably live our lives similarly. We can talk about religion at arm's length, but we don't actively engage in religion. My wife has low certainty and very strong beliefs - in other words, humble beliefs. A zealot has strong certainty and strong beliefs.

It would be interesting to plot well-known historical figures on this two dimensional chart.

PaulVortex
04-09-2011, 03:54 PM
Where does an agnostic fit on the scale?

Logic tells me that many things in this world are unknowable. Just attend a court case and its clear that even the witnesses don't have full knowledge of an event. A judge or jury has to decide who and what to believe to stitch together a mental image of reality, but they can never know the reality.

Let's say I hear a voice that says, "I am God." Maybe I believe it fervently. Maybe I believe that I'm going mad. The thing is, I can never know for sure. Descartes wrote at length about what is and isn't knowable.

The thing is, agnosticism (without knowledge) is more a logical conclusion than a belief. Maybe we are all agnostic to some degree. And though the source of creation is logically unknowable, some believe things deeply while others have only hints of (or no) belief.

I think the problem is when people confuse faith and belief with knowledge and certainty. It's one thing to believe that the world will end next week. It's another to be certain of it - especially if that person will take actions to prove themselves right.

Those with certainty of their beliefs, whether that there is no god or that they have a clear understanding of God, are arrogant at best and dangerous at worst.

So, maybe we should have two scales: one for the level of faith and a second scale for the level of certainty.

Paul, you present an interesting case: you state that you have certainty that you have no belief. Me? I have very low certainty and weak (but not zero) beliefs. At the end of the day, we probably live our lives similarly. We can talk about religion at arm's length, but we don't actively engage in religion. My wife has low certainty and very strong beliefs - in other words, humble beliefs. A zealot has strong certainty and strong beliefs.

It would be interesting to plot well-known historical figures on this two dimensional chart.

I agree that for people on several parts of the scale, their lives are probably remarkably similar, when it comes to this stuff.

Here is Dawkins' Scale...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_of_theistic_probability


Strong theist. 100 per cent probability (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probability) of God. In the words of C.G. Jung (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung): "I do not believe, I know."
Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_facto) theist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theist). "I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there."
Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic) but leaning towards theism. "I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God."
Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. "God's existence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Existence_of_God) and non-existence are exactly equiprobable."
Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism). "I do not know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical."
Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. "I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there."
Strong atheist. "I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung 'knows' there is one."

The problem is that at number 7, he is using the dictionary definition of "Atheist", and the dictionary definition is actually incorrect. I think that number 7 should be changed to... Atheist. "Without religious belief of any kind."
The fact is that logical dissection of the word "Atheist" perfectly describes what I am... It's just that the dictionary definition is incorrect.

Something really needs to be done about the dictionary definition of Atheist, as it's misinterpreting what being Atheist actually is. I think that the current definition of Atheist (Believes in no gods) should be moved to "Antitheist", as it's an irrational position. Perhaps Antitheist could be placed as a "0" or "8" on Dawkins' scale? The word Atheist needs to given it's true rational definition.

Just a note on certainty - My certainty that I have no religious belief says nothing of whether there is a god or not.

I agree - everyone is agnostic about something. Even fundamentalist christians are agnostic about a great many things (ie : evolution / geological timescales / fairies / treespirits / sprites / ufos / other gods than their own). Note : A fundamentalist christian can't be Atheist about other people's gods... You aren't Atheist if you have religious belief... and they do.

I really like your 2axis graph idea for mapping the panoply of religious belief vs certainty. It would be revealing indeed,
It would have to be carefully marked to ensure no misinterpretation. Particularly in relation to the current problems surrounding the definition of Atheist, which I have described.

Pietro Impagliazzo
04-09-2011, 06:21 PM
I think we shouldn't diminish what the experience of communion (religion/yoga) represents. It's not simply hearing a voice, seeing an old guy in the sky, it's not something rationally simple to determine, in fact, Jung would say it's impossible to determine rationally.

We came to a point in society where everything has to be rational, tested through the scientific method, well, I guess people who advocate this love their wives based on an 100% repeatable method, have favorite flavors because they tested their brains thoroughly. We can't deny emotion, what we feel. Cognitive functions are thinking, feeling, sensing and intuition, every one of these functions should be used to its fullest.

Jung says that science and religion fighting are like two people proclamating an ultimate truth towards a single reality, it's the ultimate representation of the dissociation of conscious and unconscious contents. We're living a sort of schizophrenia right now.

Of course we have a history, this does not happen because science is stubborn and religion is stupid. This happened because logic was banned out of religion by religion itself! We're simply living a compensatory act, because every system always seeks its balance.

If anyone wanna read more about this, search for 'CW OF CGJUNG - Volume 10 - Civilization in transition - The Undiscovered Self' and the already recommended 'Man and His Symbols', both by Carl Gustav Jung.

JonFairhurst
04-09-2011, 10:51 PM
Paul, your position definitely presents a dilemma to the 2-axis scale. As you rightly say, "My certainty that I have no religious belief says nothing of whether there is a god or not." If one has no belief, one can really have no certainty as to whether that belief is true. Is a total vacuum true? Rather than "true" or "false", it's a logical "don't care".

That leaves only certainty about the lack of belief.

Regarding Dawkins' scale, I think you're an 8. :)

Actually, that's not a joke. As Dawkins describes, a 7 believes there is no god (regardless of the definition of atheist.) In my modified scale, an 8 has no belief.

I base this on a leadership course I took nearly 20 years ago. They described a persuasion "ladder" of various steps with the top step being somebody who your position. The idea is that if somebody is on one of the lower rungs, you can't jump them up to the top. You have to walk them up one rung at a time. For instance, if somebody has an opposite position, you must get them to doubt their position before you can convince them of yours.

At the top of the ladder, people agree strongly with you. As you go down, their position weakens and wavers. At dead center, people aren't sure. As you move down, the opposite position occurs. Go down far enough and the opposite position is strongly held.

But there is one more position at the very bottom. It is "I don't care." This is actually the most difficult position to persuade. Somebody who disagrees strongly probably feels that the situation is important - at least you can get them to engage in dialog and contribute some energy. Down at the "I don't care" stage, you can't even get them to look up from their phone app.

It's like asking a teenager to take out the garbage. They don't oppose taking out the garbage. They could care less about garbage.

So, in all honesty, I think the Dawkins' scale needs another level. It's similar to being in the middle of the ladder - neutral. Only they aren't on the ladder at all.

PaulVortex
04-10-2011, 08:31 AM
Paul, your position definitely presents a dilemma to the 2-axis scale. As you rightly say, "My certainty that I have no religious belief says nothing of whether there is a god or not." If one has no belief, one can really have no certainty as to whether that belief is true. Is a total vacuum true? Rather than "true" or "false", it's a logical "don't care".

That leaves only certainty about the lack of belief.

Regarding Dawkins' scale, I think you're an 8. :)

...

So, in all honesty, I think the Dawkins' scale needs another level. It's similar to being in the middle of the ladder - neutral. Only they aren't on the ladder at all.

You're ladder analogy makes sense. And I agree, my position is essentially a logic based "abstention" from the question of whether there is a god or not. Though, unlike political abstention, it couldn't be said to be apathetic (would I have spent so long discussing it otherwise?). And as it's logical, then it couldn't be said to be ignorant. So, yes, I'll take an 8 if it's going. :)

The Theist enters a debate with "God exists, therefore everyone should believe in him..."
The Atheist replies "Your premise is invalid on the grounds of being non-falsifiable. Therefore your position is irrational... This debate is over..."

In practice there is still a heck of a lot of different topics to discuss that I feel very strongly about, such as : Birth Control, Abortion, Priest Peadophile Rings, Genital Mutilation, Female Equality, Gay Marriage, Stoning, Religious Extremism, Child Indoctrination, Faith Schools in Secular Society, Tax Free Private Income for churches or any of the other vast array of issues that the Theist's illogical premise is leading to/having a negative effect on.

johnvid
04-10-2011, 10:11 AM
I firmly believe all of the religions that have a book to guide the flock are wrong.
As we can see from just a few little words they are slippery little buggers,
dangerous in the wrong hands!
Unless of course there is one book that accurately predicts the end of......:eek:

PaulVortex
04-10-2011, 11:39 AM
This animation pretty much covers it, as far as I'm concerned...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U&feature=share

Granty
04-10-2011, 12:04 PM
This animation pretty much covers it, as far as I'm concerned...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U&feature=share
Haven't seen it before, I do like a bit of Minchin. Thanks for sharing.

JonFairhurst
04-10-2011, 12:54 PM
Awesome animated short!

Though there are some holes. Yes, science proves many things. Yes, it grows and is agile. But it is not complete as of today. So we have to fill in the gaps with assumptions (otherwise known as beliefs.)

Storm posits that science doesn't explain love, yet there is no response. Maybe it could explain love in the future. I can come up with a number of hypotheses for the nature of love, but they are largely untested or unproven.

Same with art. There's simply no formula for it.

So we muddle through with our experiences, emotional reactions, assumptions, beliefs, and preferences. And I find that to be enjoyable.

It's stupid to ignore science where it is well applied (like ignoring Newton and stepping off a cliff), but in areas where science is a poor match, faith and beliefs aren't such bad things - as long as they aren't held with certainty. It's that certainty thing that really seems to trip people up.

PaulVortex
04-10-2011, 03:25 PM
I only saw that for the first time tonight too... Someone posted me the link saying it might float my boat... and indeed it did...

Storm posits that science doesn't explain love, yet there is no response. Maybe it could explain love in the future. I can come up with a number of hypotheses for the nature of love, but they are largely untested or unproven.

It's a shame Minchin never directly tackled this idea that emotional response is somehow an unknowable mystical thing. It's fairly well established that emotional responses are a collection of social mechanisms which can be explained by Dawkins' memes from his 1976 book, "The Selfish Gene".

As a facet of the culture of what it is to be Human, love, hate, altruism, are all memes which are deeply ingrained in our culture.

Love is a useful meme (it binds people together), often resulting in copulation and offspring... The parents, who already have the love meme, naturally pass that meme onto their offspring, and so the love meme survives. etc...

Just because it's a cultural unit of information, doesn't make love any less intoxicating. :)

Memetic Theory is pretty solid at this point, is it not?

So, it's not as if that subject couldn't have been tackled. I think he got the general idea down. I don't hold it against him, as it's afterall essentially a piece of entertainment. ;)

johnvid
04-10-2011, 04:41 PM
:iagree::aureola:If in doubt, say nowt :) :posti:
:iamwithstupid::attention::reddevil:

JonFairhurst
04-10-2011, 05:21 PM
One interesting intersection of human nature and science is in the study of ethics. Rushworth M. Kidder (http://www.globalethics.org/) studied ethical beliefs across cultures, class, gender, age, race, etc and found five foundational values: compassion, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect. Since learning about the study many years ago, I've found these values to continue to ring true as core aspects of healthy humanity. They go beyond specific morals (anti-abortion, anti-death penalty, etc) of specific cultural groups.

A key point is that when we exercise these ethical values, we build trust. Trust can lead to friendships, commerce, marriage, and other positive outcomes. The violation of these ethical values leads to mistrust and potentially estrangement, war, divorce, etc.

An interesting thing is that most everybody exercises these values to a large degree. But "holes" in the ethical tapestry can lead to terrible behavior. Even the Nazis tended to be honest, fair, responsible, and respectful (at least amongst themselves.) Compassion (which is important for applying ethics to others) was a huge blind spot, however, and we now know the consequences.

Of course, in an ethical dilemma, we must trade off one ethical value for another. We can't always apply all five values in all situations. But that's different from having an ethical blind spot.

I find the topic interesting because even people without religion tend to have some implicit understanding of ethical values - and most strive to act ethically. Often, people aren't bad, just weak.

I met a preacher once on a long flight. He confided to me that without religion, he believed that he would rape. To him, if God were not looking over his shoulder, he felt that he would have no ethics. (And he had a hard time believing that others without Christ would be ethical.)

I remember thinking, "I hope this guy doesn't lose his faith!"

Anyway, ethics can be studied scientifically to some degree. Ethics are implicitly understood across cultures and are the underpinning of society. Religion is not necessary for ethical beliefs, but most religions describe and require ethical behavior to some degree. If a culture or religion has ethical blind spots (certain values ignored or groups of people excluded), horrible behaviors can result.

I'll never forget in 2009 when Obama spoke of wanting to nominate a Supreme Court justice who had "empathy" (a specific type of compassion). "But conservatives, who are likely to line up against any 'empathetic' Obama nominee for the Souter seat, vehemently disagree." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/01/obama-pushes-empathetic-supreme-court-justices#ixzz1JAXN3EoX

To me, it was as if the conservatives were saying that they would only support unethical nominees!

I wish our universities would do more to study ethics. And I wish that grade schools would spend more time teaching the results.

johnvid
04-10-2011, 05:44 PM
I remember thinking, "I hope this guy doesn't lose his faith!"

I wish our universities would do more to study ethics. And I wish that grade schools would spend more time teaching the results.

I would have been hoping he didn't get off the plane!
or got off early.

Its a pity schools didn't teach kids how to turn $1 into TEN,
and other useful things*
(Hope to elaborate on this soon*).

Like How to Use your 3rDi 2Cin 2 The Future!

eg, Mr Sims is going to add to the debate in another meaningful way by talking about materialism(*)
I am pretty sure it will be more about the other definition of materialism
than the love of cash & shiny or black riged things.
http://scarletuser.com/picture.php?albumid=16&pictureid=56

Ryan Farnes
04-10-2011, 06:12 PM
To me, it was as if the conservatives were saying that they would only support unethical nominees!

The judiciary is to interpret the law as it has already been decided. They aren't to make it fit their "empathetic" worldview.

The entire purpose of a judge is to impartially administer existing law.

Conservatives rightly spoke up on the way her nomination was characterized by Obama.

Hehe, I'm not sure why this strikes such a nerve for me. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding how you view that situation. Do you feel that judges should use their personal experience to try to reach an outcome as they see it? Even if it runs contrary to existing law?

sims
04-10-2011, 06:37 PM
The discussion of term "atheist" was useful. I'll just add a few comments and thoughts to be discussed and mulled over.

atheist - a person who lacks theism
agnostic - a person who lacks gnosis
belief - a structure of thoughts programmed into the subconcious
think - a function of the mind (Do you think when you are in deep asleep? Maybe you think when you are dreaming.)
mind - a representation of ones beliefs or what one assumes one believes. (People offen subconciously believe something else.)
brain - an organ that controls and senses the body
belief system - the entirety of all of ones beliefs
religion - a set of defined beliefs and practices that one follows
organised religion - a religion that has a controlling body and followers

Many of these terms are necessary to define when disucssing such topics. As you can see there are subtle differences between terms. Please suggest alternative terms and definitions.

I would like to know if it is possible for an atheist to be non-materialistic. Dawkins is materialistic and states this is atheism. Rather than take his word for it, I'll throw that question out here. I think materialism is a far more important discussion than deities.

Most of us with with more than a few brain cells can see through organized religion and the archetypes of "God". I don't know how much room there is for discussion there. What I think is an interesting discussion is the materialisitic vs. other points of view. I don't think there is any reason not to discuss "soul" and "spirit" without linking it to "God". I for one would like to see more scientific study in this regard. I'm sure there are those who would think this is a waste of time, etc. I, however, think it is important with regards to the extinction of the human race. If we are only matter and not spirit, then it is not at all a problem to, for example, live in a simulation lacking a physical human body. There is also the group of people who assume that it is morally correct to not reproduce and go extinct in order to give the other animals on our planet a chance to evolve. There are probably many more such debates or ideas that would pivot on this question. An question, which up until now, may have unnecessary to answer. However, it will be necessary to answer it sometime before humankind takes control of it's destiny.

There is the school of thought that religion was formed to qualm fears and give an answer to mystery of death. Now that we can understand more about the biological processes, death, may not seem like a mystery to us anymore. However, then arrises the question of, who or what am I? The materialist would answer: a group atoms
Is life force really life force? Or do human bodies just have an expiry date?

PaulVortex
04-10-2011, 06:50 PM
The judiciary is to interpret the law as it has already been decided. They aren't to make it fit their "empathetic" worldview.

The entire purpose of a judge is to impartially administer existing law.

Conservatives rightly spoke up on the way her nomination was characterized by Obama.

Hehe, I'm not sure why this strikes such a nerve for me. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding how you view that situation. Do you feel that judges should use their personal experience to try to reach an outcome as they see it? Even if it runs contrary to existing law?

I think it's definitely part of their mandate, Ryan.

Otherwise you could have a Judge-o-tron do the judging based solely on what the crime was, what age was the perpetrator, what the pre-chosen punishment is... Ignoring all other mitigating circumstances.

However, a Judge can help *evolve* the law, in his court, through judicial process. Remember, generally, a JURY decides upon Guilt... But it's the Judge who is in the powerful position of having the decision over the punishment for that crime (the can, in essence overturn a Juries decision)... The Judge's have great power where their choices on punishment can inform society as to the current state of Justice...

A case in point... Let's look at the power an UNSYMPATHETIC Judge can wield :

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23802222-judge-cherie-blair-spares-religion-man-prison.do

Tony Blair's wife (a Judge) presided over a case where a man was being prosecuted for breaking another man's jaw (serious bodily harm) in, I believe, a line at the post office. The man DID attack the other man, as sworn by witnesses.

Now... He DID the crime. He was found GUILTY by the jury. He HAS been found by Society to be a criminal person worthy of punishment...

Cheri Blair then said that "Because you are a religious man, I know you recognise this was wrong..." and promptly suspended his jail term!!! (this is essentially the same as being let off for your crime). He BROKE another man's JAW in a violent attack!

In THIS case, an empathetic judge would have enforced a full six month jail term because of the harm done to the victim (perhaps suspending two months of the term because it was a first offence). Rather than the preferential treatment that was given to the criminal.

A Judge's outlook on life (Cheri Blair and Tony Blair are both EXTREMELY religious) can have a huge impact on the smooth operation of the justice system.

Empathetic Judges (Judges who recognise and appreciate the suffering of the downtrodden) are vital for a reasoned and sound judicial system.

johnvid
04-10-2011, 06:59 PM
Ha, I remember that case, he was waiting for him to turn the other cheek.
No but seriously it was a joke.
I think a refusal to swear on the Bible,
based on the fact that you are an athiest,
and you don't believe in their mumbo jumbo.

Say's more about honesty, character, values, beliefs?
but may not do you any favours?
But don't believe that saying I am sorry,
I have learned a lot, I won't do it again.
Would get you very far either.

Which is obviously why they still have the death penalty in the US;) :thumbsup::ack2: :gun::anti-old::hanged:

Ryan Farnes
04-10-2011, 08:30 PM
Tony Blair's wife (a Judge) presided over a case where a man was being prosecuted for breaking another man's jaw (serious bodily harm) in, I believe, a line at the post office. The man DID attack the other man, as sworn by witnesses.

Now... He DID the crime. He was found GUILTY by the jury. He HAS been found by Society to be a criminal person worthy of punishment...

Cheri Blair then said that "Because you are a religious man, I know you recognise this was wrong..." and promptly suspended his jail term!!! (this is essentially the same as being let off for your crime). He BROKE another man's JAW in a violent attack!

In THIS case, an empathetic judge would have enforced a full six month jail term because of the harm done to the victim (perhaps suspending two months of the term because it was a first offence). Rather than the preferential treatment that was given to the criminal.

A Judge's outlook on life (Cheri Blair and Tony Blair are both EXTREMELY religious) can have a huge impact on the smooth operation of the justice system.

Empathetic Judges (Judges who recognise and appreciate the suffering of the downtrodden) are vital for a reasoned and sound judicial system.

I think you have them mixed up. An empathetic judge (very empathetic) would do what Blair did instead of simply enforcing existing law. (6 months for assault, 4 for first offense, or whatever was the law and precedent)

Reasonably interpreting the law as it is written is not necessarily un-empathetic. (in the good sense of being empathetic) It is the way that Sotomayor and Obama seemed to be talking about it that gave people pause. Bringing gender or racial subjectivity into law is troubling...

The purpose of any judge is to JUDGE, not legislate. Policy shaping is to take place in the legislature. The nomination Jon brought up was for a woman who had specifically advocated the notion that race and gender ought to affect a judge's partiality, and not just that, but that her latin origins better qualified her in that regard.

It is precisely that kind of philosophy, from any quarter, that has no place in the judiciary.

JonFairhurst
04-10-2011, 10:10 PM
Do you feel that judges should use their personal experience to try to reach an outcome as they see it? Even if it runs contrary to existing law?

Law isn't always black and white. They have to make judgements. (That's why they're called judges. ;) ) If it all came down to a logical interpretation of law, all decisions would be unanimous.

For instance, how can one seriously claim that a corporation is a person? What "law" was that based on?

To me, laws serve people and society, not the other way around.

But the main thing that got to me is that a person without empathy is a sociopath. A sociopath isn't qualified for any position of authority.

That doesn't mean that one should ignore the law and go with their heart. It just means that supreme court justices should consider the consequences of their decisions, rather than being a legal automaton.

Ryan Farnes
04-10-2011, 10:37 PM
Law isn't always black and white. They have to make judgements. (That's why they're called judges. ;) ) If it all came down to a logical interpretation of law, all decisions would be unanimous.

Not logical, just an impartial interpretation. Equal justice under the law.

One of the reasons Sotomayor was heavily opposed was her dismissal of the New Haven firefighter's case. Case in point of a judge changing the rules in the middle of the game and trying to ensure "equality of outcome" by dismissing "equality of opportunity."

In the abstract, I think your point about empathetic judges is fine. I would hope that all judges possess some empathy in making influential judgements. But in the specific case of Sotomayor, it warrants some contextualization.

johnvid
04-11-2011, 10:41 AM
http://www.treehugger.com/20110411-pachamama.jpg
Mother Earth To Be Given Rights Equal to Humans In New Bolivian Law (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/04/mother-earth-equal-rights-humans-bolivian-law.php?campaign=th_rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+treehuggersite+%28Treehugger% 29)

PaulVortex
04-11-2011, 12:36 PM
I think you have them mixed up. An empathetic judge (very empathetic) would do what Blair did instead of simply enforcing existing law. (6 months for assault, 4 for first offense, or whatever was the law and precedent)

Reasonably interpreting the law as it is written is not necessarily un-empathetic. (in the good sense of being empathetic) It is the way that Sotomayor and Obama seemed to be talking about it that gave people pause. Bringing gender or racial subjectivity into law is troubling...

The purpose of any judge is to JUDGE, not legislate. Policy shaping is to take place in the legislature. The nomination Jon brought up was for a woman who had specifically advocated the notion that race and gender ought to affect a judge's partiality, and not just that, but that her latin origins better qualified her in that regard.

It is precisely that kind of philosophy, from any quarter, that has no place in the judiciary.

I'm not sure how a person could argue that letting a man, who broke another's jaw, off with the crime because they are "religious", could be seen as ethical? Surely that's the definition of unethical on the part of the judge...

My point stands. Judges have enormous power in the practice of law, and can, in many cases inform society of whether a crime will be punishable or not. As such their ethics are vitally important.

Why do you think they say that some court cases "set a precedent" - In some cases that is because a Not Guilty was found in a case that would normally have a Guilty verdict, or it can be because the court found the defendant guilty, but that the judge was incredibly lenient for whatever reason.

Jared Caldwell
04-11-2011, 12:54 PM
Justice is a type of moral system. Some cases, the judge makes a decision based on their own world view, as well as the viewpoints of all involved. Her reasons seem to stem from the fact she felt that he was remorseful, not completely on the fact that he was religious.

Assault is a misdemeanor. Not going to establish a big precedence.

Before you Wikipedia "justice" to find ammunition, I've already done it for you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice

johnvid
04-11-2011, 01:21 PM
Judges/Magistrates are the reasons why you would almost always request trial by jury, while you still have the right, with a jury you can even ask them to find you not guilty, if they feel the law is wrong.

If the US sold out or merged with China how many of the new
Law's & Legal Requirements would you feel you should obey?
Especially if you didn't get chance for a vote on the merger.

PaulVortex
04-11-2011, 02:35 PM
Justice is a type of moral system. Some cases, the judge makes a decision based on their own world view, as well as the viewpoints of all involved.

...

Before you Wikipedia "justice" to find ammunition, I've already done it for you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice

Thinly veiled insult aside, you are making the same point that I was.

Rather an ethical judge, given their powerful position, than an unethical one.

Her reasons seem to stem from the fact she felt that he was remorseful, not completely on the fact that he was religious.

No - She did not let him off "because he was remorseful", she let him off because he regularly attended religious ceremonies and "in her head" that meant he knew it was wrong... That's like saying if someone doesn't go to church, they don't know it's wrong, and she'd have been more likely to apply the punishment... That's preferential treatment for a fellow religious person... Bad ethics in a nutshell.

Assault is a misdemeanor. Not going to establish a big precedence.

Precedence was a seperate, though related point, about the power judges have.

Assault leading to a broken jaw is a misdemeanor? I guess you've never had a broken jaw before?

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/beating_+_gun_+_broken_jaw_+_videotape_misdemeanor _case_in_attempted_n.y._h

In the case I link to above, a police officer classed an assualt which involved the suspect breaking a person's jaw, as a "misdemeanor", but he was negligent and thankfully the correct charge was brought against the perpetrator... Assualt resulting in broken bones is not a misdemeanor... it's 2nd degree assault, and a serious crime (punishable by anything from several months to several years in jail, depending on the State/Country you are in).

In this case, the assault was done with a weapon, but it's still the same crime even if it's done without a weapon. In NY where it took place, you can check the definitions for the crimes. 2nd Degree Assault can be with a weapon or not : http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article120.htm#120.05

Petty Larceny is a misdemeanor.

Cheri Blair used her judicial power to let a person who carried out such a crime off completely, simply because she felt that as a religious person he must have known it was wrong... preferential treatment. An unethical Judge at work.

The Cheri Blair case demonstrates the ridiculous nature of the idea that ethics stem from religious teachings. If a non religious person was up in front of her, they'd have spent months in jail for that crime for the simple fact that Cheri thinks you need god(s) in your life to know right from wrong, and even more ridiculously that if you do have god(s) in your life, you must have known it was wrong.

And yet, she has god(s) in her life and *couldn't* see that what she was doing was wrong... Her ethics have been warped by her religious teachings.

Ethics themselves are deeply ingrained in our culture on a level far deeper than any religious teachings. Everyone has them. In Cheri Blair's case her deeper Ethical understanding was warped by her religious teachings, and so she sided with the criminal rather than the victim... An unethical action in what should have been a very simple case of assigning jail time.

JonFairhurst
04-11-2011, 02:53 PM
No - She did not let him off "because he was remorseful", she let him off because he regularly attended religious ceremonies and "in her head" that meant he knew it was wrong... That's like saying if someone doesn't go to church, they don't know it's wrong, and she'd have been more likely to apply the punishment... That's preferential treatment for a fellow religious person... Bad ethics in a nutshell.

This is pretty clear. The five core ethical values are compassion, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect. This fails the fairness test.

Regarding compassion, it should be shown not only to the criminal but to the victims, family, and society (as well as one's self.) This may well result in an ethical dilemma, which is why exactly why we need ethical people to judge rather than machines.

In some cases, a harsh punishment might cause much more harm than good - including for the innocent. There may be a creative way to reduce the overall harm while maintaining fairness (justice). For instance, judges often require community service, rather than prison time, when it is for the best.

I don't know any more about the case than was written in this thread, but in the story as told, this wasn't a solution for the greatest good. It was a solution that was unfair, not compassionate for the victim, and not good for the overall judicial system which exists to serve society. In other words, it was not the least bad or most good decision in an ethical dilemma. It was just unethical.

johnvid
04-11-2011, 03:03 PM
Surely knowing its wrong but doing it anyway,
is worse than not knowing its wrong,
or disagreeing that its wrong
though they say ignorance is no excuse
they do little to make you enlighten you.

PaulVortex
04-11-2011, 03:06 PM
What Jon and John both said! :)

Jared Caldwell
04-11-2011, 03:35 PM
Thinly veiled insult aside, you are making the same point that I was.


No real insult intended, I'm just not immediately buying your argument. Sorry.


No - She did not let him off "because he was remorseful", she let him off because he regularly attended religious ceremonies and "in her head" that meant he knew it was wrong... That's like saying if someone doesn't go to church, they don't know it's wrong, and she'd have been more likely to apply the punishment... That's preferential treatment for a fellow religious person... Bad ethics in a nutshell.


The actual quote from the article is "I am going to suspend this sentence based on the fact you are a religious person and have not been in trouble before. You are a religious man and you know this is not acceptable behaviour."

It wasn't just the fact that he was a religious person: this was his first offense. This makes a big difference. Suggesting that religion was the only reason why his sentence was partially suspended is a specious argument, with the given evidence.


Assault leading to a broken jaw is a misdemeanor? I guess you've never had a broken jaw before?


No, but how is that relevant? A person doesn't have to experience a broken jaw to provide commentary on the subject.


In the case I link to above, a police officer classed an assualt which involved the suspect breaking a person's jaw, as a "misdemeanor", but he was negligent and thankfully the correct charge was brought against the perpetrator... Assualt resulting in broken bones is not a misdemeanor... it's 2nd degree assault, and a serious crime (punishable by anything from several months to several years in jail, depending on the State/Country you are in).

In this case, the assault was done with a weapon, but it's still the same crime even if it's done without a weapon. In NY where it took place, you can check the definitions for the crimes. 2nd Degree Assault can be with a weapon or not : http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article120.htm#120.05


Assault with a deadly weapon is in fact a felony. From this article, the victim was "Jumped and beaten at the front door of her family's home in the Bronx, a young college student reportedly fought off her assailant as he tried to force his way inside." This is premeditated assault with a deadly weapon. Completely different than the assault case you are presenting (if the crime did in fact take place in a line at a postal office).


Petty Larceny is a misdemeanor.


Okay. So is public intoxication. So is some forms of assault. Any more you can list?


Cheri Blair used her judicial power to let a person who carried out such a crime off completely, simply because she felt that as a religious person he must have known it was wrong... preferential treatment. An unethical Judge at work.


Not simply. This was his first offense in a misdemeanor assault case (to my knowledge).


The Cheri Blair case demonstrates the ridiculous nature of the idea that ethics stem from religious teachings. If a non religious person was up in front of her, they'd have spent months in jail for that crime for the simple fact that Cheri thinks you need god(s) in your life to know right from wrong, and even more ridiculously that if you do have god(s) in your life, you must have known it was wrong.


According to the article, he did get six months in prison, from what I can tell.


And yet, she has god(s) in her life and *couldn't* see that what she was doing was wrong... Her ethics have been warped by her religious teachings.


Maybe so, maybe not. I don't think I could judge that based on three short paragraphs from an article. Need more evidence here.


Ethics themselves are deeply ingrained in our culture on a level far deeper than any religious teachings. Everyone has them. In Cheri Blair's case her deeper Ethical understanding was warped by her religious teachings, and so she sided with the criminal rather than the victim... An unethical action in what should have been a very simple case of assigning jail time.

If ethics are deeper than religion, why did religion "win out" in this case (according to your argument)? Like I said, it seems he did get six months of jail time, though I could be misunderstanding it. It's a little vague.

I don't think it is justice to let someone off the hook totally on the basis that a defendant's world views align with the judge's. That being said, if all things were equal, and she had ONLY said she was going to suspend the 2 years because this was his first offense, nobody would have batted an eye. Throw in the word "religion", and people are going to make a crusade out of it.

In my eyes, it isn't an atypical ruling for a misdemeanor case. Regardless, I would sue the pants off of the defendant if I were the victim. ;)

PaulVortex
04-11-2011, 04:10 PM
Assault with a deadly weapon is in fact a felony. From this article, the victim was "Jumped and beaten at the front door of her family's home in the Bronx, a young college student reportedly fought off her assailant as he tried to force his way inside." This is premeditated assault with a deadly weapon. Completely different than the assault case you are presenting (if the crime did in fact take place in a line at a postal office).

I believe I heard on the radio at the time that it was in a post office line. Ah - it was a row over queue jumping in a bank. It may have been heat of the moment but that's still a serious assault.

Here is a link to confirm (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10358121), also discussing the tribunal which "cleared" Blair of any judicial misconduct, whilst at the same time upholding some concern over the words she used and their potential impact... She was told she would be receiving "advice" from a senior colleague.

And as I've stated - The case in New York would have been considered a 2nd degree assault Felony even without the weapon (as illustrated in the breakdown of crimes I provided a link to).

According to the article, he did get six months in prison, from what I can tell.

It was a six month jail term suspended. That means he walks free. If he gets pulled in again during the suspension period there is a strong chance he will get jail time. The link I give below shows that he was also given 200hrs community service, which hasn't been mentioned in other sources, so at least he had to suffer some level of punishment however mild...

Please note that Blair said "you are a religious man, and this is a first time offence". The order in which she laid out her decision belies her motivation. Not only that, but she mentioned his faith twice in two sentences. The first offence only was mentioned once.

It's clear that she acted unethically. She's received an unofficial dressing down for it too (the cleanest public way of dealing with such a high profile judge). I think she's not supposed to make her favouritism known so publically.

In my eyes, it isn't an atypical ruling for a misdemeanor case. Regardless, I would sue the pants off of the defendant if I were the victim. ;)

Once again, it may have been a first offence, but it was not a misdemeanor. It was a case of serious assault which resulted in a broken jaw.

The offence itself was "assault occasioning actual bodily harm" (ABH) and is considered Aggravated Assault in the UK where it occurred.

He was given the maximum sentence, which was then suspended for 2yrs, as Blair saw he was a religious man AND a first time offender, letting him walk free. Instead of jail he had to do 200hrs community service. I guess sitting through sermons has it's benefits.

It may well be that this kind of suspended sentence is regularly used in cases of first time offence... But Blair made it very clear why she chose to do it.

The following page gives more detail on the case (and informs that community service of 200hrs was also enforced - I hadn't been aware of that previously) : http://www.thelawyer.com/a-%E2%80%9Clegitimate-question%E2%80%9D-for-cherie-booth?/1003475.article

But yes, I agree there is always the appeals process, and failing that the option to sue.

Jared Caldwell
04-11-2011, 04:22 PM
It was a six month jail term suspended. That means he walks free. If he gets pulled in again during the suspension period there is a strong chance he will get jail time.


Your link actually sides with my viewpoint:

"Although the assault was nasty, it did not have aggravating features such as a weapon or having been pre-meditated. The victim was not a child or other especially vulnerable person. The evidence before the court seems to be that the fracture caused by the assault was “mild”. The defendant also has very good mitigation: it was his first offence and so benefits from his previous good character.

The defendant is given a six month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and was also ordered to do 200 hours community service. In the words of Mr Miah’s solicitors:

“The sentence imposed was fair and consistent with sentencing guidelines. The mitigation which justified this sentence included the defendant’s early plea of guilty and his lack of previous convictions.”"

It doesn't seem to be aggravated assault, it was considered mild, and the quote confirms my thoughts on the case. He did in fact get sentenced to 6 months in prison.


Please note that Blair said "you are a religious man, and this is a first time offence". The order in which she laid out her decision belies her motivation. Not only that, but she mentioned his faith twice in two sentences. The first offence only was mentioned once.


Sure, but your conclusion is just your interpretation of the facts. Just because she mentioned "religious man" twice, doesn't mean that "belies her motivation".


It's clear that she acted unethically. She's received an unofficial dressing down for it too (the cleanest public way of dealing with such a high profile judge).


It is clear that a lot of people took issue with her ruling, but I don't think it is a clear violation of ethics. Especially the new information found in your article.


But yes, there is always the appeals process, and failing that the option to sue.

This, we agree on. The victim should sue the PANTS off the assailant, and take home that money.

PaulVortex
04-11-2011, 04:43 PM
It doesn't seem to be aggravated assault, it was considered mild, and the quote confirms my thoughts on the case. He did in fact get sentenced to 6 months in prison.

The fracture was considered mild, not the assault itself (ie : the bones perhaps didn't break right through, or didn't require an operation to repair). The assault was still serious (the word "grave" was used in that article, in fact) hence the 6 month jail term...

The problem is that the jail term was suspended and he therefore didn't serve a single day in jail.

And in her ruling Cherie Blair made a statement which practically screams that a massive factor, alongside his previous good behaviour, in her making that decision was that the man was devout.


Sure, but your conclusion is just your interpretation of the facts. Just because she mentioned "religious man" twice, doesn't mean that "belies her motivation".

Well, I will concede that it couldn't be taken to be the most important factor simply due to the emphasis she gave it in her statement. However, at the very least, that emphasis is highly indicative. If it wasn't very important to her decision, she would've been highly unlikely to even mention it. But it appears to have been a very important factor, hence the outcry.

Important enough that the courts looked into the whole issue and whilst seeing no "misconduct" as such, recommended "advice" be given to Blair by a senior Magistrate.

It isn't like she said "Because you have a eco-friendly washing machine in your house, and you're a first time offender".


It is clear that a lot of people took issue with her ruling, but I don't think it is a clear violation of ethics. Especially the new information found in your article.

Yes, there were quite a few facts in that article I hadn't been aware of previously - I'm going to bookmark that site, as it might be useful in future.

Oh - at one point you wondered that if Ethics are deeper ingrained in us than religious teaching, how come the religious teaching apparantly won in this case? Well, I'd see it a bit like a lens... You've got all those fine optics, but if you put a big smear of vaseline on the front of the lens, you are going to get a distorted image.

johnvid
04-11-2011, 04:50 PM
So Cheri Blair has no ethics we know that, as she allowed her husband to make at least
one serious unlawful action that we know of, a million peasants thought it was wrong
& he went to a good school he should have known better,
not like he didn't have legal advice,
the world may never be the same.

Jared Caldwell
04-11-2011, 05:03 PM
The defendant is given a six month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and was also ordered to do 200 hours community service.

*turns off argumentative tone*

Okay, there are a number of ways to read this. The way I am viewing this is that he got a 6 month sentence (custodial sentence means jail time or some other forms of serving time), an additional 2 years suspension, and 200 hours of community service. I can totally understand that this can be read another way, and that my way of looking at it is wrong. Any way to confirm this?

*argument continued*

Paul, you have linked to articles, and made claims with your statements as fact, but your own articles disagree with you. Your claims are not fact. I think the reason why it is easy for me to get drawn into a debate with you is that you state your interpretations of the evidence as fact. It would be my preference (a favor, if you will) that you give your evidence, then state your views on the evidence as support for your argument.

Telling people they are wrong by linking to articles you haven't read carefully and then stating that your views are fact as a counter to their statements is difficult to deal with at best.

Your own articles seem to suggest there is more to this case than just preferential treatment due to religion. I'm not stating that religion had NOTHING to do with the case, but I cannot say for certain one way or the other, as there is evidence for both sides of this argument. It is always important to be critical of the information and try to make the best conclusions you can. Internet forums can be helpful when people have discussions on evidence, and try to offer differing viewpoints.

Don't squash others by stating your opinion as fact. There is a lot to be learned here from other members of the board, and a little more respect of those voices is in order. You don't have to agree or even like others here, but constructive discussion is always the best.

PaulVortex
04-11-2011, 05:30 PM
I included the link to the article on The Lawyer precisely because it presented new information (and I stated as much in my posts). I had been unaware of the 200hrs community service, for example. I also hadn't been previously aware that suspended sentences were now in regular use. Both these important facts were given in no other article I've ever read on this topic... Nor in the one I linked to originally about the Blair case.

I don't cherry pick things - If new information comes to light, I take it on board.

Originally I'd been describing the case based on the information I'd had at the time (based on a memory and the three paragraph article I found and posted earlier). I brought it up as an illustration of why it's important to have ethical judges. I could just as easily have come up with a hypothetical to the same ends. Would probably have been more useful to the debate if I had done so.

The six month sentence was suspended for two years. That means he didn't have to serve a day. If, however, he commits another crime in that two year period, I believe the jail term must then be served... I'm hazy on that part. Suspended sentences are pretty well known about - just look it up if you want to know how it works.

Do you think people across the UK would have gotten annoyed about this case if the defendant had *served* the jail time? Of course not, as then justice will have been served.

PaulVortex
04-12-2011, 04:00 PM
I often wonder if the idea of god(s) is something people mistake as something to worship, when it might actually be better put to use as an aspiration for our species. I'm not meaning the vengeful, wrathful, spiteful, petty god(s) we read about in books like the bible, koran or torah... I mean the pure divine idea of what a god could be... Could that be seen as an aspiration for man?

If so, what qualities should we aspire to as a species?

I say this baring in mind that Kurzweil's Technological Singularity is not very far away, we are about to start making Moore's law apply to our bodies and minds as well as our tools, and looking at the kind of incredible advances happening with Genetics and so on... Maybe it's worth considering : What is our endgame?

Personally, I'm fine with the idea of man aspiring to become akin to god(s) (again NOT the petty, spiteful god(s) from the bible/torah/koran). I think it's as good a goal as any, to reconsider what the actual idea of "a divine being" means to us, given we are now taking control of our own evolution.

Is it possible that in doing so, we could eventually make the very idea, of a divine being, obsolete?

EDIT : In case it wasn't obvious I love Sci-Fi!

sims
04-12-2011, 05:25 PM
I often wonder if the idea of god(s) is something people mistake as something to worship, when it might actually be better put to use as an aspiration for our species. I'm not meaning the vengeful, wrathful, spiteful, petty god(s) we read about in books like the bible, koran or torah... I mean the pure divine idea of what a god could be... Could that be seen as an aspiration for man?

I always thought that was the purpose of such a concept. Jesus said, "Ye are gods". I think the idea that I am more than animal is quite appealing to me. However, I might just be elitist. ;)

BTW, you forgot to mention the Hindu, Roman, and Greek gods. They reflect the writers intent. I urge anyone criticizing western religions and gods to do the same to eastern.

Granty
04-12-2011, 07:28 PM
While religion has a aspirational quality to it I think that we also have a one-up-man-ship thing, in speaking to God, being close to God, or closer to God that others - if you do A+B+C then you are going to get a seat on God's table.

But is the aspirational thing reserved, did God create us in his image, or did we create him in our image - the religious stance on God is altogether very human, with an outlook that is similar to our own which doesn't really fit with an omnipresent, all knowing, all seeing God. While we have an emotional need for God we have a bigger emotional need to make him likeable to ourselves, human, because he is of us - if you believe in an all knowing God then he is everything, so he is both the best and the worst we can think, and then so much more beyond us.

Does God have to be love and goodness? For all we know God may think that all humans are a bunch of twats that he has disowned, or maybe he created us as a sadistic way to entertain himself, maybe we are just a side effect of something he did that was more important - like he was in to the whole dinosaur thing but then got bored and forgot about the experiment, and we then evolved and he doesn't even know we are here. Or maybe he is a force without good or bad, just 100% logic in a box. I like the idea of a God being not a very easy thing, or even nice thing, to get on with, dismissive and impossible to impress, so some Monk will say 'Father, I lived a closed life without human contact, no sexual desires and worshipped you every day.' So God would be 'And? What you do that for? Sounds like a big waste. Quiet everyone, listen to this, you are going to love this one... go on tell them what you just told me.' Or God just hating on someone for doing something great like curing cancer as it resulted in God losing a bet.

All worship is self worship, in doing so we use God as a proxy for ourselves, and by placing an importance on our religion and our God we are actually placing the importance on ourselves, which is why we keep inventing new Gods and Religions, as the old one isn't working and to prove we are better than everyone else. Which is the whole driving force behind the concept of Jesus - God as man, man as God, God's like us.

Granty
04-17-2011, 03:27 PM
The Pope is getting bad ass on technology:

"From the beginning men and women have been filled — and this is as true today as ever — with a desire to 'be like God', to attain the heights of God by their own powers. Mankind has managed to accomplish so many things: we can fly! We can see, hear and speak to one another from the farthest ends of the earth. And yet the force of gravity which draws us down is powerful." If man wanted a relationship with God he had to first "abandon the pride of wanting to become God."

So let me get this straight, not that any clergy will understand the word straight, but some ex-hilter youth dude in a dress is sitting on a solid gold throne while telling me I have issues - woah! :)

Dances With Cameras
04-17-2011, 04:27 PM
Hahah, and where's The Mome?

I'm interested in her opinion too. :)

Bryan Arnold
04-19-2011, 03:08 AM
The truth is that everybody is right. :)
You have the power to make up your own reality and whether there is a supreme being or not is your own decision. It's as easy as that.

Granty
04-19-2011, 03:55 AM
The truth is that everybody is right. :)

I nice approach but it is oxymoron to say 'the truth is that everybody is right' because if everyone is right then their is no truth. So let us go with the concept, where do we draw the line, do we extent this concept to all beliefs people hold, so should we just banish law and order, is it OK for some to steal, kill and rape if it is a belief they hold with conviction.


You have the power to make up your own reality and whether there is a supreme being or not is your own decision.

Sure we can say reality is subjective, and we can all create are own reality, but again where is the line to be drawn. It is fine if someone thinks God is taking to him, but what do we do when he thinks that God is telling him to do bad things like go out and kill prostitutes and homosexuals, as God told him they are sinners and need to be dealt with in such terms.

I'm taking your concepts to the extreme here, but it is only once we extend a concept that we can see how flawed it is, and that issues need to be addressed - without truth or common reality we have nothing and anarchy is the only conclusion to that, you are therefore indirectly promoting anarchy.

Poor Michael thought he was right in using his power to create his own reality and look what happened to him:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5748783/tramadol_nights_episode_1_knight_rider/

JonFairhurst
04-19-2011, 09:56 AM
It's when others decide to impose that reality on others that I have a problem. Being a kid in a society that appeases the gods with child sacrifice would pretty much suck. And if somebody predicts that the world will end - and it's up to them to make it happen - that would also suck...

Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs as long as they practice "live and let live." Once they cross that line, their right and power to make up their own reality is limited. ;)

Granty
04-19-2011, 11:21 AM
It's when others decide to impose that reality on others that I have a problem. Being a kid in a society that appeases the gods with child sacrifice would pretty much suck. And if somebody predicts that the world will end - and it's up to them to make it happen - that would also suck...

Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs as long as they practice "live and let live." Once they cross that line, their right and power to make up their own reality is limited. ;)

This reminds me when Monty Python were planning 'Life of Brian', it started off as a parody of Jesus in the brain storming, so they had stuff like Jesus on the cross and the cross was falling apart, so Jesus would be telling them how to do their woodwork right, put then they soon realised the actually story of Jesus was cool, and you don't really have much not to agree with, or make fun of. So they went with Brian as a parallel story to Jesus, a mistake Messiah that doesn't want to be one. All that getting people to respect each other and treat people like you'd like to be treated yourself is great stuff, stolen but great.

I was just talking to some lady at an art show and she was doing my head in with all this spiritual talk, saying silly stuff like the Mayans were doing it right - those people were one of the most insane barbaric tribal races to ever be, lobbing heads off left, right and centre just because they happened to be shit at farming. Drilling peoples skulls, peaceful but only after killing everyone else. Then they predict the end of the world and don't see their own civilisations end - but I guess chicks dig chocolate.

Dances With Cameras
04-19-2011, 11:25 AM
The truth is that everybody is right. :)
You have the power to make up your own reality and whether there is a supreme being or not is your own decision. It's as easy as that.

Amen. :)

sims
04-19-2011, 09:29 PM
The truth is that everybody is right.

IMHO, people are not right. A person might identify a truth. That does not make the person right. The only time you'd argue if a person is right is when the argument is between two people. I think the a better question is "What is right" - not who.

...but I guess chicks dig chocolate.

LOL!

It's when others decide to impose that reality on others that I have a problem.

I 100% agree. Which is why I ask so many people to lick donkey balls. I really don't care what they think anymore, as they've proven themselves to be fools.

Dances With Cameras
04-19-2011, 11:56 PM
One truth, many paths to it? :bath:

Tim Hole
04-20-2011, 02:46 AM
The problem is, and always has been the culture and the execution of religion rather than the religion itself.

Bryan Arnold
04-20-2011, 07:44 AM
...if everyone is right then their is no truth...

I like that :)

Bryan Arnold
04-20-2011, 07:48 AM
Poor Michael thought he was right in using his power to create his own reality and look what happened to him:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5748783/tramadol_nights_episode_1_knight_rider/

:rofl:

Bryan Arnold
04-20-2011, 07:56 AM
The problem is, and always has been the culture and the execution of religion rather than the religion itself.

I agree. Believing something can't be wrong or right because it's a personal and individual thing. Problems start when you throw religion into the mix.

Jared Caldwell
04-20-2011, 09:37 AM
I agree. Believing something can't be wrong or right because it's a personal and individual thing. Problems start when you throw religion into the mix.

Problems start when you throw people into the mix.

johnvid
04-20-2011, 10:52 AM
People created in gods image?
Trying to comprehend & communicate the profound possibilities in the seas of infinity.
Creation/creativity the only salvation?

Life's great if you have something to do, but I think spreading the word of god as a definative undeniable truth(Dogma), is a false hood & doesn't count as being productive (but helps some), has a lot to answer for though.

I prefare to remain a healthily skeptical free thinker, If I met this architect designer dude I would have some serious questions ۞ if I couldn't get past the bouncers coz my name wasn't on the list,
I would understand why?

But would probably try to apportion the blame as a manufacturing defect, external influence,
no doubt a lengthy court case would be the death of me. I could care less,

The way I see it something else will happen, will my consciousness meld or not?
I doubt it, and doubt its usefulness, I have no recollection of previous existence,
but hey if I am wrong, I win.
Welcome to the sea of infinity.

If you where going to build a universe as complex as it appears, why not go one step futher and impart a little knowledge into mans brain from the get go.

Then maybe we would all be singing from the same hymn sheet.
A simple revision to the code, or an update via LFO
Just get it done it's long overdue!

What I find an interesting dilemma is where the life came from?

sims
04-20-2011, 05:20 PM
I prefare to remain a healthily skeptical free thinker, If I met this god I would have some serious questions for him, if I couldn't get past the bouncers coz my name wasn't on the list,
I would understand why?


Was it Granty that said, to take a concept to the extreme. I wish people would step away from their western archetypes for a moment and realize what they've been subject to.


If you where going to build a universe as complex as it appears, why not go one step futher and impart a little knowledge into mans brain from the get go.

Then maybe we would all be singing from the same hymn sheet.
A simple revision to the code, or an update via LFO
Just get it done it's long overdue!

Isn't that what all the newagers are on a about?

The problem with the concept of "If God was all so cool, then he'd have made things better" is that we must appreciate free will. If the creative force in the universe did in deed create the universe, I would think that free will is a pretty cool thing to add into the mix.

johnvid
04-20-2011, 05:35 PM
Of Course Free Will, Imagination, Extrapolation, Does this Compute.
Perhaps there is no way to impart the knowledge with out the experience.
Which would rule out all chances of "Brainstorm" technology.

But God is so Cool he could create himself?

I am hoping the Scarlet Rev 1.0 will not have any free will, or a mind of its own:)
& A Cool Remote Control

Bryan Arnold
04-21-2011, 05:51 AM
Problems start when you throw people into the mix.

Actually most people can handle it pretty well buth there are some, both religious and non-religious, who seem to have problems with it.

sims
04-21-2011, 05:18 PM
I am hoping the Scarlet Rev 1.0 will not have any free will, or a mind of its own:)
& A Cool Remote Control

Yeah, I hate AI. I drive MT.

johnvid
04-23-2011, 06:43 AM
Hitchens' address to American Atheists (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/hitchens_address_to_american_a.php?utm_source=feed burner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogs%2Fpharyngula+%28 Pharyngula%29)

Ryan Farnes
04-23-2011, 01:55 PM
Hitchens' address to American Atheists (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/04/hitchens_address_to_american_a.php?utm_source=feed burner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogs%2Fpharyngula+%28 Pharyngula%29)

I've enjoyed Hitchen's political commentary through the years. However, his assault upon "religion" and "belief" seems to amass the entirety of belief cultures into one giant pot, equally tainted and unworthy of respect.

I'm sure this resonates with many, but it fails to recognize that perhaps man corrupted religion, and not the other way around.

johnvid
04-23-2011, 02:36 PM
Good point Ryan, man has most definitely done that, although I would imagine many are flawed from the outset, so as has been said before, once youve debunked santa, the easter bunny, and a few religions, it is easy to see how you could easily miss the REAL TRUTH, if there is one, although maybe these guy's feel they are onto the real path of life.

PaulVortex
04-23-2011, 04:22 PM
As I've said before - The Atheist isn't missing any "truth" when that "truth" is based upon a non-falsifiable premise. If there is no way to prove or disprove the Theist claim, then there is no point of reference from which to enter a discussion... Irrationality just doesn't make any sense. This "rejection" (if you can even call it that) is not meant to be hurtful, in any way (though some may use harsh language to put it across) - It's just a fact. You can't MISS something that requires an ignorance of logic to accept in the first place.

johnvid
04-23-2011, 04:50 PM
The only reason I say it could be missed, is if there was actually a book of the true account of things, and nobody had read/found it, even if it surfaced, someone who has already discounted 99% of the tales may not even bother to read another.

PaulVortex
04-23-2011, 06:07 PM
The only reason I say it could be missed, is if there was actually a book of the true account of things, and nobody had read/found it, even if it surfaced, someone who has already discounted 99% of the tales may not even bother to read another.

I see - It's a thought experiment. Yes - But we have to deal with what is available. There are only the books available to us, that are available to us. And each and every religious book in existence is based in some form or another on a non-falsifiable premise RIGHT DOWN at the very core of what it's trying to tell you... The very PREMISE of *every religious book on the planet* is non-falsifiable. As such, EVERYTHING that "follows" from those premise' are not fit for debate.

Ryan Farnes
04-24-2011, 10:52 AM
I see - It's a thought experiment. Yes - But we have to deal with what is available. There are only the books available to us, that are available to us. And each and every religious book in existence is based in some form or another on a non-falsifiable premise RIGHT DOWN at the very core of what it's trying to tell you... The very PREMISE of *every religious book on the planet* is non-falsifiable. As such, EVERYTHING that "follows" from those premise' are not fit for debate.

I think I follow what you're saying Paul. Is it because religion asserts the existence of God that makes it different from not asserting there isn't a God?

Simply put, religion describes the world through religious assertion and belief while atheists/agnostics describe it through observable scientific fact without asserting anything? And thus religion cannot be debated in a forum such as this because it cannot be "disproven" while scientific observation can be?

If so, I certainly concur that religion, as I undertand and practice it, is indeed meant for personal contemplation and reflection, and was never intended to be proven or disproven through philosophical/logical/rational thought and debate. The very premise of Christianity at least, is that God's wisdom is superior to man's and it is futile to attempt to define or explain God's ways through man's understanding of the world. Belief is fundamentally faith based and thus removed from the "scientific method," on anything but a personal level.

sims
04-25-2011, 12:03 AM
I see - It's a thought experiment. Yes - But we have to deal with what is available. There are only the books available to us, that are available to us. And each and every religious book in existence is based in some form or another on a non-falsifiable premise RIGHT DOWN at the very core of what it's trying to tell you... The very PREMISE of *every religious book on the planet* is non-falsifiable. As such, EVERYTHING that "follows" from those premise' are not fit for debate.

It's difficult to draw conclusions from history when those historical books may be tainted as well. However, if you look far and wide and in between the lines, you can see a pattern regardless of the material. Context is important as well.

Let me give an extreme example from western religion: A Satanist may say that X is very enjoyable and wonderful thing to do. A Christian may say that X is horrible and dreadful thing to do. A 3rd individual would be wise to look at the contexts of the statements lest they make a human sacrifice or go to church for the rest of their lives.

I think I follow what you're saying Paul. Is it because religion asserts the existence of God that makes it different from not asserting there isn't a God?

Not all religions assert the existence of God, dieties, spirits, or any form of the non-material.


Simply put, religion describes the world through religious assertion and belief while atheists/agnostics describe it through observable scientific fact without asserting anything? And thus religion cannot be debated in a forum such as this because it cannot be "disproven" while scientific observation can be?

The thing is that both deal with the occult. Our individual belief systems, whether we are aware of them or not, dictate things like, "Will I touch the pot?"

A guru who meditates may pick up the pot with his bare hands, and not get burnned. I may not pick up the pot and not get burned. We both acted on our beliefs, but the pot may have been cold.

Whether the pot is hot or cold, the guru believes he will not get burned. I may want to test for heat, or just use a glove. Either way, "religious" or not, we are still acting on our belief systems.


If so, I certainly concur that religion, as I undertand and practice it, is indeed meant for personal contemplation and reflection, and was never intended to be proven or disproven through philosophical/logical/rational thought and debate. The very premise of Christianity at least, is that God's wisdom is superior to man's and it is futile to attempt to define or explain God's ways through man's understanding of the world. Belief is fundamentally faith based and thus removed from the "scientific method," on anything but a personal level.

As you say, religion deals with personal issues, decisions, morals, etc. The thing is that it may be possible to observe the outcome of such mindsets and then come to conclusions such as, "Giving is good for us." It's not 100% "scientific", but it's at least as scientific as "social sciences".

Jared Caldwell
04-25-2011, 02:11 AM
I feel that science is seeking to understand the "how", and religion seeks to understand the "why".

The Christian Bible's main focus is to tell us about the Christian God, not "how" the natural world works. There's a lot of the Bible that is used as historical record by the authors, but it is from the perspective of a people who were trying to explain the "how" during those times with the limited scientific knowledge they had (just as people in the future will regard our generation as ignorant in the coming years).

Those who seek to "disprove" God based on showing the scientific ignorance of some of the authors of Bible are chasing after the wrong idea. Proving that the world isn't 4,000 years old doesn't disprove the existence of God, nor the validity of the Bible's representation of him. It is just one side of the nature of "God or gods" in the many viewpoints held by major world religions.

You also cannot "prove" the existence of God through the Bible, but you cannot prove the existence of God through science either, so at some point we have to use the tools and knowledge we have at our disposal and form our thoughts the best that we can.

Religious texts can still be relevant to discussion, as they are observations held by the people of those times. You can call into question the credibility of the sources form the Bible and other religious texts, but they are still observations held by those who wrote them many years ago. As someone said earlier, context can be a useful tool in this case.

johnvid
04-25-2011, 05:04 AM
(+?-)

Thats Logical Jarred, and I don't suppose one religion borrowing an idea from another is really copyright theft, merely meme uptake, I wonder how many religions/accounts are based on the the Jesus character? and then which ones of those deliberately perverted the account to benefit MAN, not WOMAN.

Interpretation is the other one, god knows how things change over time
(Chinese whispers), for eg, I am not sure what you think of the 'old testament' or if its even part of your religion? some think fact, some see allegory?

Are the Morals/philosophical musings of the Buddha more pure & better thought out than those of the other religions?

PaulVortex
04-25-2011, 07:13 AM
I think I follow what you're saying Paul. Is it because religion asserts the existence of God that makes it different from not asserting there isn't a God?

Simply put, religion describes the world through religious assertion and belief while atheists/agnostics describe it through observable scientific fact without asserting anything? And thus religion cannot be debated in a forum such as this because it cannot be "disproven" while scientific observation can be?

If so, I certainly concur that religion, as I undertand and practice it, is indeed meant for personal contemplation and reflection, and was never intended to be proven or disproven through philosophical/logical/rational thought and debate. The very premise of Christianity at least, is that God's wisdom is superior to man's and it is futile to attempt to define or explain God's ways through man's understanding of the world. Belief is fundamentally faith based and thus removed from the "scientific method," on anything but a personal level.

Precisely.

Believing in god(s) is all fine and dandy inside your own head... But, it has no place at the debating table. I'd always ask people who have religious belief to *please* avoid giving it to their children... If the kid eventually comes to religion on their own, that's all well and good... but they should have the choice, in the same way they can choose whether to be democrat or republican, or a shoe salesman instead of a green-grocer.

PaulVortex
04-25-2011, 07:24 AM
Religious texts can still be relevant to discussion, as they are observations held by the people of those times. You can call into question the credibility of the sources form the Bible and other religious texts, but they are still observations held by those who wrote them many years ago. As someone said earlier, context can be a useful tool in this case.

I completely agree. Putting any religious book into it's specific historical context, can make the book itself an interesting discussion point.

But the content of the religious text cannot be taken as fact, or brought in to *support* a discussion point, because the content of the book is based on a non-fasifiable premise.

Case-in-Point - the first line in the Christian Bible is...

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"

...Immediately, in laying down it's argument, it's invoked a non-falsifiable premise. As such, the content of the book isn't fit for reasoned debate. Everything within it, is based on that premise, and therefore irrational.

The context in which the content was written, however, can be highly instructive.

Ryan Farnes
04-25-2011, 07:25 AM
Precisely.

Then let us end this discussion forthwith!!!

Hehe, just kidding. While I think we're at different ends of this kind of discussion, I enjoy your style of saying it like you see it.

Ryan Farnes
04-25-2011, 07:28 AM
I haven't read through this whole thread, just the last couple of weeks worth at most.

Best response to this thread would have been something like this:

Is there a God?

Duh.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2010/10/101005-redscarlet-01.jpg

:)

PaulVortex
04-25-2011, 07:34 AM
Best response to this thread would have been something like this:

"Is there a God?"

Duh.
http://prolost.com/storage/post-images/jim.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1278648930193

:)


Hahah! Bizarrely, that works for everyone! :D

Jared Caldwell
04-25-2011, 08:36 AM
But the content of the religious text cannot be taken as fact, or brought in to *support* a discussion point, because the content of the book is based on a non-fasifiable premise.


I disagree with you on this point. You can definitely use it in discussion, as long as you qualify what it is. Saying that "90-something percent of all people believe in a supreme being, and here are the religious texts that show what they believe" is a perfectly legitimate use of religious texts as evidence in a "Is there a God" discussion.


Case-in-Point - the first line in the Christian Bible is...

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"

...Immediately, in laying down it's argument, it's invoked a non-falsifiable premise. As such, the content of the book isn't fit for reasoned debate. Everything within it, is based on that premise, and therefore irrational.


I think you are taking a very narrow viewpoint of religious texts. Have you ever read religious texts in their entirety? The Bible, Quran, etc? If you had, then you would understand that there is a lot of other thoughts and ideas in those texts.

Take an internet forum for instance. ScarletUser is about Scarlet, yet we have discussions like these as well. Though the focus of ScarletUser is Scarlet, it isn't limited to just Scarlet. Suggesting that someone looking to debate religion need not look here based on the masthead of the website is also viewing the site from a intellectually weak and narrow viewpoint.

Stating that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" is not falsifiable is also an admission of the limits of science. Saying that science cannot find the answer to the question about the existence of a supreme being shows that science does not have the tools to takle this question.

I don't agree that the existence of God is not falsifiable. We do not have the capability of answering this question yet, but that doesn't mean it isn't falsifiable.

If we take your premise that God isn't falsifiable, then it seems to me that you are placing a value system on the question of the existence of God. Saying "it's not falsifiable, so it isn't worthy of debate" is essentially saying the debate isn't important because it isn't falsifiable. This is also a limiting viewpoint.

If we take the Big Bang theory, for example (of which thought I subscribe to currently), we have no way of testing whether this is true or not. Though we may gain the ability to send a probe to the end of the universe and look "back in time" to see the origins of the universe, that technology is currently unavailable to us. Though for all intents and purposes, the Big Bang is not falsifiable, the scientific community still holds this notion as important.

I don't think the scientific method and the question of "Is there a God?" are in opposition to each other, I just feel that other scientists chose to go to battle with religion (and vice versa). It's the theologians and the scientists who have created this standoff, not religion and science.

PaulVortex
04-25-2011, 09:02 AM
I disagree with you on this point. You can definitely use it in discussion, as long as you qualify what it is. Saying that "90-something percent of all people believe in a supreme being, and here are the religious texts that show what they believe" is a perfectly legitimate use of religious texts as evidence in a "Is there a God" discussion.

That's a fair point. Agreed.

I think you are taking a very narrow viewpoint of religious texts. Have you ever read religious texts in their entirety? The Bible, Quran, etc? If you had, then you would understand that there is a lot of other thoughts and ideas in those texts.

Take an internet forum for instance. ScarletUser is about Scarlet, yet we have discussions like these as well. Though the focus of ScarletUser is Scarlet, it isn't limited to just Scarlet. Suggesting that someone looking to debate religion need not look here based on the masthead of the website is also viewing the site from a intellectually weak and narrow viewpoint.

Stating that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" is not falsifiable is also an admission of the limits of science. Saying that science cannot find the answer to the question about the existence of a supreme being shows that science does not have the tools to takle this question.

That's also a fair point. Many religious texts also cover subjects separate from Religious Belief... Such as morality. Of course, much of what they say on those other subjects is done so through the glasses of belief. Still - I concede, they cover other subjects too.

I have a habit of speaking in absolutes. ;)
It's not because I don't see the caveats - I just don't always have the time to write them all down.

I don't agree that the existence of God is not falsifiable. We do not have the capability of answering this question yet, but that doesn't mean it isn't falsifiable.

If we take your premise that God isn't falsifiable, then it seems to me that you are placing a value system on the question of the existence of God. Saying "it's not falsifiable, so it isn't worthy of debate" is essentially saying the debate isn't important because it isn't falsifiable. This is also a limiting viewpoint.

I can't accept that point. When a person makes a statement like "that claim is non-falsifiable" it's fairly obvious that they are talking about the current moment. Saying that the claim might not be non-falsifiable forever doesn't make the statement "that claim is non-falsifiable" untrue. It's still true, and will remain true until it isn't.

Further, disregarding the idea of god(s) existence is not even slightly limiting. The Universe is really, really big... I've got plenty to keep me occupied without devoting my time to believing in something which cannot be proven or disproven.

In fact, if I devoted my time to firmly believing in something such as god(s), I'd be actively eating away the time I have to appreciate the wonders of reality... Surely, that is the more limiting approach to life.

Buddhists being a case in point... They actively try to limit their thinking... Spending hour upon hour attempting not to think has to be the most limiting approach to life that I can imagine. That isn't to say I don't see some value in taking some time out to relax (or even meditate)... to each his own basically... Just using buddhism as an illustration.

If we take the Big Bang theory, for example (of which thought I subscribe to currently), we have no way of testing whether this is true or not. Though we may gain the ability to send a probe to the end of the universe and look "back in time" to see the origins of the universe, that technology is currently unavailable to us. Though for all intents and purposes, the Big Bang is not falsifiable, the scientific community still holds this notion as important.

The Big Bang Theory is called The Big Bang Theory because it has mountains of evidence in support of it. That's what a Theory is.

I don't think the scientific method and the question of "Is there a God?" are in opposition to each other, I just feel that other scientists chose to go to battle with religion (and vice versa). It's the theologians and the scientists who have created this standoff, not religion and science.

I would agree with this. I don't see it as a battleground... I don't even see it as a debate.

Still, I find the discussion about the debate incredibly moreish. :)

Jared Caldwell
04-25-2011, 09:13 AM
Further, disregarding the idea of god(s) existence is not even slightly limiting. The Universe is really, really big... I've got plenty to keep me occupied without devoting my time to believing in something which cannot be proven or disproven.


This is where people are going to debate. You are suggesting here (it seems) that the question isn't important. It may not be to you (and that is perfectly acceptable), but the world has a fascination with this question.

The point I was trying to make is that there are plenty of things that are considered non-falsifiable currently, but that doesn't make them any less interesting (and I provided the Big Bang Theory as an example of that).

At this point, it seems that there is a difference of opinion as to the value system of whether a supreme being exists or not. I'm willing to live with that. What I will debate you on is when you speak in absolutes. Though you have made yourself clear to me, and I understand where you are coming from now, some people will take your statement of absolutes seriously (I did). It is important to discuss the fine details if we are going to make any progress of understanding the different schools of thought on the subject. (You certainly don't have to stop speaking in absolutes, and I will lay off of you [a little]. :})


The Big Bang Theory is called The Big Bang Theory because it has mountains of evidence in support of it. That's what a Theory is.


You don't need to educate me on what a theory is. Maybe you misunderstood my point, or maybe I didn't make myself clear?

PaulVortex
04-25-2011, 09:42 AM
This is where people are going to debate. You are suggesting here (it seems) that the question isn't important. It may not be to you (and that is perfectly acceptable), but the world has a fascination with this question.

The point I was trying to make is that there are plenty of things that are considered non-falsifiable currently, but that doesn't make them any less interesting (and I provided the Big Bang Theory as an example of that).

At this point, it seems that there is a difference of opinion as to the value system of whether a supreme being exists or not. I'm willing to live with that. What I will debate you on is when you speak in absolutes. Though you have made yourself clear to me, and I understand where you are coming from now, some people will take your statement of absolutes seriously (I did). It is important to discuss the fine details if we are going to make any progress of understanding the different schools of thought on the subject. (You certainly don't have to stop speaking in absolutes, and I will lay off of you [a little]. :})

I like discussing fine points too, so that's appreciated.

You don't need to educate me on what a theory is. Maybe you misunderstood my point, or maybe I didn't make myself clear?

Perhaps I've misunderstood - It seemed to me you were suggesting that The Big Bang itself is a non-falsifiable idea, even though Science has shown that it definitely did happen. Space has expanded, and still is expanding, from a point some 13.7 Billion Years ago... If The Big Bang Hypothesis was non-falsifiable we wouldn't have been able to build up the mountains of evidence in support of it, which now allow us to call that Hypothesis a Theory.

Maybe I'm missing something about your point?

I didn't mean to seem condescending. Hopefully that's clear.

johnvid
04-25-2011, 06:53 PM
So is there?
http://www.treehugger.com/20110425-sawfish-river-monsters.jpg
http://www-movieline-com.vimg.net/images/assets_c/2011/04/life%20of%20brian_630-thumb-630xauto-33118.jpg
What better way to mark the holiest holiday in Christianity than to note four new in-the-works movies that are sure to cause dissent and controversy amongst the faithful
http://www.movieline.com/2011/04/losing-my-religion-four-new-movies.php

Granty
04-26-2011, 09:10 AM
I liked the fact that we had that Higgs Boson CERN memo leak over Easter, great timing - so don't be getting over familiar with God until this is checked out, as it could be tearful goodbye.

EDIT: But let us say in 10 years time that a random man on youtube could do a brief series of experiments and conclusively prove that God does not exist, then would that change any persons religious views? Maybe a few, but I think it would only serve to radicalise religion more and became even more fundamentalist, resulting in the murder of the youtube video guy, as it is OK to be logical and factual until you reach of a point beyond reproach, then it is death.

Granty
04-26-2011, 10:04 AM
I was going around for an alternative to the 10 commandments and found a few. which is the close to your own belief, you can mix-n-match, including the classics, but most of us broke all them already:

The alternative to the Ten Commandments cited by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion is:
1. Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you
2.In all things, strive to cause no harm
3.Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect.
4.Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted.
5.Live life with a sense of joy and wonder
6.Always seek to be learning something new
7.Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.
8.Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you.
9.Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.
10.Question everything


Christopher Hitchens on the Ten Commandments:
1.Do not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or their color.
2.Do not ever even think of using people as private property.
3.Despise those who use violence or the threat of it in sexual relations.
4.Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.
5.Do not condemn people for their inborn nature. (“Why would God create so many homosexuals, only to torture and destroy them?”)
6.Be aware that you, too, are an animal, and dependent on the web of nature. Try to think and act accordingly.
7.Do not imagine you can avoid judgment if you rob people rather than with a knife.
8.Turn off that fucking cell phone.
9.Denounce all jihadists and crusaders for what they are: psychopathic criminals with ugly delusions and terrible sexual repression.
10. Reject any faith if their commandments contradict any of the above.

[B]Another set of ten commandments is:
1.Do unto others as you would have others do unto you
2.Preserve things of beauty for future generations to enjoy
3.Never stop learning and growing
4.Be tolerant and open-minded
5.Question authority
6.Make decisions based on reason and facts, rather than superstition and hope
7.Tell the truth
8.Resolve conflicts with dialogue rather than violence
9.Oppose injustice
10.Don't discriminate based on race, gender, or religion

Pagan set of alternative commandments is:
1.Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit.
3.Show great consideration for your fellow beings.
4.Work together for the benefit of all humankind.
5.Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
6.Look after the well-being of mind and body.
7.Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
8.Be truthful and honest at all times.
9.Take full responsibility for all your actions.
10.Do what you know to be right.

Rafism for a Braver New World:
1.Strive to be happy
2.Do not discriminate
3.Do not overlook evil
4.Respect your family
5.Be a light unto yourself
6.Respect life and property
7.Never stop learning and growing
8.Do onto others as you would have others do unto you
9.Be at peace with God, whoever you conceive Him to be
10.Preserve things of beauty for future generations to enjoy

Granty
04-26-2011, 10:25 AM
The Filmmakers Ten Commandments according to Granty:

1. In the beginning there was light, use it.
2. Do not covet others camera or rig, even if it be EPIC.
3. Aim high but shoot low, set a budget no matter how low.
4. On the 28th day you may rest, sleep is for the weak.
5. Try not to kill others, a threat of death may suffice.
6. Sound is 50% of a film, make it so.
7. Do not cast friends or cast after gaining sexual favours; and certainly do not cast a friend after sexual favours
8. No false idols, your only idol is story.
9. Do not neglect pre/post production in focusing on actual production - plan, plan and plan again.
10. Fill yourself with knowledge and always pay respect when due.

If you follow these simple rules the Lord God Granty will bless you with a film, if not your film will be cast to the 7th circle of Youtube where over the course of 18 months you will gain 1 like (from your mom), and 13 dislikes from others.

Jared Caldwell
04-26-2011, 11:02 AM
I liked the fact that we had that Higgs Boson CERN memo leak over Easter, great timing - so don't be getting over familiar with God until this is checked out, as it could be tearful goodbye.


http://m.vcstar.com/news/2011/apr/26/cern-physics-lab-downplays-claim-of-key/

The discovery of the Higgs boson wouldn't answer the question of the existence of a supreme being one way or the other, actually.

Granty
04-26-2011, 12:59 PM
http://m.vcstar.com/news/2011/apr/26/cern-physics-lab-downplays-claim-of-key/

The discovery of the Higgs boson wouldn't answer the question of the existence of a supreme being one way or the other, actually.

That is fundamentally true, as IMHO he doesn't exist therefore we have no question to answer, nor would the hub of the scientific world feel that question deserves an answer, as we don't quite have a full working model of the universe with or without the Higgs, but we have a good working model that doesn't need the mumbo-jumbo stuff.

But this issue isn't about God nor was it ever, science has never belittled a God, it belittles humans. When we discovered that the Earth wasn't the centre of everything this offended religions not because it offended God, as if he does exist I guess he digs the truth and the true nature of the universe he created, it offends humans who believe in self-importance and want to be important. Evolution doesn't offend God, again it offends humans, it shows us to be part of an active process that went on hundreds of millions years without us. Quantum physics and science in general doesn't offend God, but again it offends humans. And this constantly undermines religious leaders, they are the ones that are suppose to have the answers, not science, if the pope is God's right hand man on earth then shouldn't he have know about the Sun being the centre of the solar system? shouldn't it have been him to tell us that E=MC2? shouldn't have been him to relate evolution to us? But he didn't, because he doesn't talk to God and God doesn't talk back, and when he does think this is happening it is always about minor moral issues that any idiot could deduce - why? simple - he is a small deluded human wasting a life on folly - otherwise the first line of the bible would say E=MC2, and it doesn't because it was written by a bunch of people that knew nothing about anything hundreds of years ago.

And that is the issue, it's about humans - them wanting to be special and important, it is about them wanting to be loved in this world and in the next, so we created the illusion of God to fill this void, and it works a treat. The only problem being is that as we move forwards each day and understand more about the universe, not just the Earth, we are getting solid answers and none of those answers point to a divine being, that doesn't mean that God doesn't exist, but it does mean that God created a Universe in a way that the more and more we understand about it the less likely intelligent rational people, that question things, would believe in a God, and that is really odd. I don't think it odd that a God would do that, I'm not on his level to rational that, but that process would mean that over the next 100-200 years the only people involved in religious will be deeply closed, unthinking, fundamentalist idiots.

So God setup a Universe for us to evolve into it by chance, to reach out and explore the Universe only to conclude that God isn't apart of it or the creator of it -so he can reward the stupid, closed off, narrow minded fools!#*$ Now you can say he's doing that to test our faith and waiting for the big reveal, or you can logically conclude that he is a small-minded little prick with deeply sadistic tenancies. Why would anyone set up a process to reward closed, non-progressive people, and exclude deeply thinking people that are highly progressive - he's an ass.

I don't say that people believing in religion and God today are dumb, they still have a few reasons to cling to this flight of fancy, but most are brain washed as children to a level that is tantamount to child abuse, and you are unlikely to be strong enough to shake off such abuse, inflicted by their loving parents, until you are in your late 30's and early 40's. Plus they have added pressures of being excluded from networks and family if they even try to rationalise and question a whole heap of stuff that doesn't add up - the reasoning behind this is because without brain washing, without abuse, without pressure and without exclusion it fails, it falls apart - because it isn't true, it's a falsehood, it doesn't add up - faith isn't a part of religion because it is a special process, faith is a part of religious because without it religion is meaningless.

Religion is dead, it just doesn't know it yet. God is long dead and he knows it. Science doesn't have an agenda against religion, it is just that as it moves on it makes the whole God thing more and more unlikely, a side effect of knowledge and understanding. The Higgs Boson is just another thing in a long line of things that have come, and will continue to come, that make humans less and less special, that shows that the Bible and religious leaders know nothing, and therefore makes God and religious more and more irrelevant - the stupid folly of the Bible and religious leaders is the biggest threat to religion.

You are not special, your God may have thought you were special, but sadly he is dead - your God's have abandoned you, and I don't think that is sciences fault.

The issue I have and that I was addressing, if someone conclusively proved that God existed then everyone would be a believe, nobody would question it, yet on the verge of conclusively showing the opposite most religious people carry on regardless - and that isn't something to admire nor is it something you should be proud of, with or without the abuse, threats and pressure from your networks.

The only time I will believe in any God is when we surpass him on everything in the next 230 years(a total of 350 years as a technology race) what that quack was suppose to have done in a billion, what a light weight, what a part-timer- you are wanting to find God when find a mirror and wait.

johnvid
04-28-2011, 06:51 AM
http://www.calamitiesofnature.com/archive/525.jpg

Granty
05-04-2011, 05:24 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zdyJkKA5L4

Dances With Cameras
05-05-2011, 02:33 AM
The truth is that everybody is right. :)


... as long as we don't fight. :)

johnvid
05-05-2011, 01:43 PM
I wonder how long it will be, before the question becomes
Do COD Exhist?

sims
05-05-2011, 05:18 PM
COD? The fish? Call of Duty? What is the meaning of this, COD?

johnvid
05-05-2011, 07:42 PM
There you go, case in point, the line is blurred, many of the kids today that play COD, possibly never had the fish.

PaulVortex
05-05-2011, 07:58 PM
There you go, case in point, the line is blurred, many of the kids today that play COD, possibly never had the fish.

...The fish is a lie!

johnvid
05-05-2011, 08:07 PM
Our Ancient Cousin.
But it aint no fun being force fed COD,
if you don't get the chance to make up your own mind as to COD's merits
though I can think of many other forms of sea food that far more offensive.

sims
05-05-2011, 09:42 PM
Here in Japan, my peers will balk in disgust when I eat or talk about eating, say, uncooked bean sprouts or spinach. However, they will delightfully slurp down uncooked shrimp brains and other such things. I'm always amused by this.

Dances With Cameras
05-06-2011, 05:31 AM
It's OK to eat fish, cause they don't have any feelings.


http://www.timsah.com/Nirvana-Unplugged-Something-in-the-Way/N0MTMTFsieK

(this is supposed to be a ironic)

johnvid
05-06-2011, 06:23 AM
Yeah how rude are you don't you know you just gotta slurp down the monkey brain silently like a man.:ack2:
How far did that guy spread the Fish around, he must have known it would feel no pain.
There must be a god, if there isn't how many disappointed ppl will there be?

Pietro Impagliazzo
05-06-2011, 02:13 PM
... as long as we don't fight. :)

How can you be right when you're wrong?

It's OK to eat fish, cause they don't have any feelings.

http://www.timsah.com/Nirvana-Unplugged-Something-in-the-Way/N0MTMTFsieK

(this is supposed to be a ironic)

Are you a vegetarian Radko?

Dances With Cameras
05-07-2011, 02:43 AM
How can you be right when you're wrong?


You certainly can,.. according to Orwell. :D

Are you a vegetarian Radko?
Nope. :) Why?

Pietro Impagliazzo
05-07-2011, 03:42 PM
I don't know, you just look vegetarian. I look at your face and think: This bulgarian fellow looks so vegetarian!

Stefan Christou
05-07-2011, 04:01 PM
Can I just chip in that there definitely is no such thing as a slut: fish, monkey, vegetarian, bulgarian or otherwise.

johnvid
05-07-2011, 05:35 PM
Its all a figment of the imagination engine.
But who's imagination engine, & who made it.

I just had a Sign something trying to tell me something
http://www.visual-image.co.uk/images/666.JPG

Dances With Cameras
05-08-2011, 04:30 AM
I don't know, you just look vegetarian. I look at your face and think: This bulgarian fellow looks so vegetarian!


:rofl:

That really made me laugh. :rofl: Thanks, Pietro. :thumbsup:

I'm not there yet, but I'm starting to feel that it's the right thing to do. ;) I try to partially keep the Fast (before Christmas and also before Easter), and I must say that I'm feeling things inside, as a result of that. I feel lighter and, I don't know,.. cleaner, somehow. It's cool. :bath:

EDIT: About the "right" and "wrong" comments, what I meant was that everything is OK - different religions, philosophies, etc. - as long as it does not lead to conflict and aggression. There are many ways (endless actually), and if we are tolerant to each other - it's all good, IMO. :cheers2:

Dances With Cameras
05-08-2011, 04:41 AM
I just had a Sign something trying to tell me something


Signs are tricky bastards. :D

Dances With Cameras
05-08-2011, 04:51 AM
(Sluts of the world, unite!)

Stefan Christou
05-09-2011, 06:42 AM
No way man. There is no such ting as a slut. Erase that word from your vocabulary and from your understanding that it may have any meaning or significance at all.

Dances With Cameras
05-09-2011, 07:02 AM
I will, if I want to. ;)

We sluts have our rights too, you know. :D


(And I suggest that we stop here with *slutty* talk. After all this thread is supposed to be about God.)

johnvid
05-09-2011, 12:41 PM
Yeah not Mary!

Hardly a good role model, pregnant doesn't know who the father is,
No wonder the youth of today think its cool to get knocked up at an early age.

sims
05-09-2011, 05:17 PM
No way man. There is no such ting as a slut. Erase that word from your vocabulary and from your understanding that it may have any meaning or significance at all.

Yes there are. Anyone claiming such is probably one. Never mind that though. How did we go from God to COD to eating habits to sluts? Is slut the name of some kind of fish?

johnvid
05-09-2011, 05:51 PM
Meme Evolution.

23450446
Dr. J. Anderson "Andy" Thomson discusses his new book, Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith, which provides a brief and accessible guide to the exciting new discoveries that allow us to finally understand why and how the human mind generates, accepts, and spreads religious beliefs.

If you believe that you might believe anything?

sims
05-10-2011, 12:32 AM
Again, this only touches on organized religion. Completely boring for me - not to mention obvious.

Are the affects of prayer and desire within the limits of the random? Are we just finding what we look for? Is there a feedback mechanism in the universe?

Dances With Cameras
05-10-2011, 01:21 AM
The right to be wrong is fundamental.

...

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Voltaire

Angus Mackay
05-10-2011, 04:27 AM
"we think every thinking person in the world should read this book".

I'm sure you do mate, what a fortune even a tiny fraction of them would make you.

Just the latest greedy and arrogant scientist looking to make a fortune out of second rate atheism.

johnvid
05-10-2011, 06:58 AM
Just another in the long list of books you don't need by your bedside.

JonFairhurst
05-10-2011, 09:34 AM
Are we just finding what we look for?

That's guaranteed.

Our brains are wired for connections.

I start an article with a quick story about Mighty Mouse. I write my boring article. I summarize my point and say that, "Mighty Mouse would agree". The reader smiles. The article feels whole. Connection made.

Or you wear your green shirt to the job interview that landed you a job. And you wore it again when you met your girlfriend. Boom. It's your lucky shirt. Wear it again and you will notice all the good things that happen to you that day.

Try buying a yellow car. Drive it. You'll notice every yellow car that you pass. You never noticed them before.

Now, concentrate all of your mind, body, and soul on the religious figure of your choosing. Meditate, fast, eat peyote, whatever. Pay attention to how you feel. Connect the spiritual figure to this amazing, other-worldly experience. Connection made. Maybe I should meditate while paying the bills. Paying my bills could become a spiritually fulfilling experience.

We're wired for connections. We can connect almost anything. And once we make a strong connection, we can't help but connect new things to it.

Mighty Mouse would agree.

Granty
05-10-2011, 02:32 PM
Mighty Mouse asked me to state for the record that he does not agree, and he has no relationship with Mr Fairhurst, nor has he ever had the briefest of contact with him, outside updating his 'Mighty Mouse Fan Club' yearly membership.

JonFairhurst
05-10-2011, 05:03 PM
He said that? Really?

So much for my membership in the Church of the Mighty Mouse. (For years I've been considering quitting so I can join the Cult of Courageous Cat anyway...)

johnvid
05-12-2011, 09:38 PM
Evolution, reversed
Physicists’ study of evolution in bacteria shows that adaptations can be undone, but rarely.
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/evolution-reversed-0511.html

PaulVortex
05-13-2011, 06:23 AM
Evolution, reversed
Physicists’ study of evolution in bacteria shows that adaptations can be undone, but rarely.
http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/evolution-reversed-0511.html

It's still not evolution in reverse... That isn't possible. If an organism evolves an adaptation to fit a niche, and the niche changes to a previous state, thent he organism may well evolve to fit this new niche environment... That does not mean the organism has de-evolved... It's just evolved to suit a new environmental niche similar to a previous one it adapted to fit. Evolution doesn't go backwards.

A scientist describing an organism evolving to a state similar to one it had previously as "reversing evolution", is very sloppy wording on the part of the scientist... All they are really proving is that evolution happens.

If an organism evolves Gene1 from stateA into stateB to fit a change in their environmental niche, and then that environmental niche changes again so that it closely resembles a previous point (ie - wetland dries out, and then becomes wetland again), then the organism evolves Gene1 from stateB to stateA, they are not de-evolving... What is actually happening is that Gene1 is changing from stateB to stateC... It just happens to be the case that stateA and stateC are virtually identical (or even precisely identical)... But it's still an evolutionary step forward, not a "back-tracking" or "reversal".

Looks to me like some scientists are using an semantic loophole to try and gain some noteriety. Nice try on their part, but it doesn't hold water as far as I can tell.

Actually, what they've done is prove that genetic evolution cannot be "reversed", but they have shown that in very specific circumstances a given gene that was turned ON (for example) in one environment, can then be turned OFF in another environment... That *looks* like reversal, but it is actually still forward moving evolution.

I can't stand when articles sensationalise scientific discovery. These scientists found that there is yet more proof to support evolutionary Theory, and yet mis-worded a semantic caveat to gain press attention, and the press then make it worse by making the headline sensational. Happens so often in Science reporting - VERY annoying.

sims
05-15-2011, 08:07 PM
That's guaranteed.

Our brains are wired for connections.
...


So all the things that you notice are real? Or are you imagining them?

Our brains are wired for connections. Today it's sunny. It's a bit beside the point.

Having a yellow car and desiring a yellow car are two different states. There is an imbalance in the state of desire. The desire function is what I'm interested in.

The t-shirt example is quite different from the car example. The t-shirt example is an example of belief. The car example is an example of awareness. Of course I understand your point about the connections as well. He connects the shirt with success. So he wears it. This is the belief function. He notices yellow cars because owns one. I guess one is active and the other is passive.

The belief/desire function is what I'm interested in. It's the active programming of the universe. It's creative.

It's still not evolution in reverse... That isn't possible. If an organism evolves an adaptation to fit a niche, and the niche changes to a previous state, thent he organism may well evolve to fit this new niche environment... That does not mean the organism has de-evolved... It's just evolved to suit a new environmental niche similar to a previous one it adapted to fit. Evolution doesn't go backwards.

It doesn't. I think that would be devolve not de-evolve.

However, there is no direction in relation to these changes. They are simply adaptations to the environment, which is not development. There is no completion. It's merely a continual adaptation. So it's only evolution in relation to it's current state and the past. However, it's present state is not a more complete state than it was before or will be. It only looks that way when we fail to consider time in it's entirety.

JonFairhurst
05-15-2011, 08:40 PM
sims,

Good point about linking belief and desire. (Another connection?) When we want to believe something, we quickly make those connections. When we don't want to believe things, those connections are often blocked or minimized.

For instance, in the abortion debate, anti-abortion advocates make a strong connection to the fetus and disconnect or discount the situation for the pregnant woman. For pro-choice advocates, the values of the connections are reversed. Give both groups the same data and they come to very different conclusions. They will also have different emotional feelings about the content of the data.

That's why presenting evidence rarely sways people. My brain lights up when your evidence connects with my beliefs. It all but shuts down when your evidence is contrary.

We humans are skilled at justifying pretty much anything. Hitler made great speeches, didn't he?

johnvid
05-15-2011, 08:46 PM
Evolution what an amazing super power to have.
Can those who deny evolution please identify yourselves.

Did god invent evolution or did it just evolve?

PaulVortex
05-15-2011, 09:26 PM
It doesn't. I think that would be devolve not de-evolve.

However, there is no direction in relation to these changes. They are simply adaptations to the environment, which is not development. There is no completion. It's merely a continual adaptation. So it's only evolution in relation to it's current state and the past. However, it's present state is not a more complete state than it was before or will be. It only looks that way when we fail to consider time in it's entirety.

Indeed. Though, using the words "forward moving process" in relation to evolution within a Universe of increasing Entropy, governed by Times-Arrow, essentially says the same thing.

And yes - "devolve" was the word I was looking for - I've never had to use it before, due to the fact it's such a bizarrely ridiculous concept. I've heard the word used (and even written) a few times by young-earth-creationists, but dismissed it out of hand... So, I couldn't remember and wasn't certain about how it should be spelled. ;)

Dances With Cameras
05-16-2011, 05:30 AM
the Church of the Mighty Mouse


:rofl:

Granty
05-23-2011, 11:10 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13489641

This BBC article about Saturday's failed rapture gave me a chuckle. Best line:

The Washington Post reported that suicide prevention hotlines were set up in case believers fell into depression after the apocalypse failed to happen.

That is my favourite quote of the year so far.

But they also got:

"I had some scepticism but I was trying to push the scepticism away because I believe in God," said Keith Bauer, who travelled 3,000 miles (4,800km), from Maryland to California, where Mr Camping's Family Radio is based, for the Rapture.

"I was hoping for it because I think heaven would be a lot better than this Earth," said Mr Bauer, a tractor-trailer driver, who took the week off work for the voyage.

And:

Robert Fitzpatrick, a retired transportation agency worker in New York, said he had spent more than $140,000 (£85,000) of his savings on advertisements in the run-up to 21 May to publicise the prediction.

After 1800 passed and nothing had happened, he said: "I do not understand why... I do not understand why nothing has happened."

"I can't tell you what I feel right now. Obviously, I haven't understood it correctly because we're still here."

OMG! You couldn't make this shit up. But just for the record, to believe your planet of 4.5 billion years old is going to end in your brief life span of some 70 odd years is pure egotism, and as such is highly likely to hurt any chances to be on God's A-list, I reckon such a trait would put a person far behind me on his list, and I don't even believe in the dude.

I also heard how the online Classifieds were preying on these fools, with ads rushing people to give them their worldly possessions as they won't be needing them come Saturday, I should have tuned in on this and got me a EPIC fund.

A final quote from the article:

"We are here because we care about these people," the newspaper quoted James Bynum, a church deacon, as saying. "It's easy to mock them. But you can go kick puppies, too. But why?"

Priceless. Kicking a helpless puppy is now no better than making fun of a deluded fool that thinks that God loves them more than you. The only way these people will miraculously disappear is when they finally travel so far up their own backsides that they implode into a shit ball.

Dances With Cameras
05-23-2011, 11:29 AM
The world could never end on the 21-st of May, as it's my birthday. :D:rofl:

But it could certainly begin. ;):D


(too much smilies... less smilies next time...)

Granty
05-23-2011, 11:41 AM
I hope you enjoyed you birthday, sorry JC didn't make it to the party, but probably for the best, he may have put a dampener on the whole event with the world ending, but on the plus side unlimited wine, so it balances out I suppose. Can he turn piss into beer? Or are Carlsberg the only ones that can do that trick.

If the end of days was predicted for my birthday then I'd have probably gone with the idea more, I'd have just thought, I can believe it, typical, end of days and my birthday with JC taking all the glory, and he won't even A-list me as a birthday treat - sorry rules are rules

JonFairhurst
05-23-2011, 02:22 PM
The whole rapture thing opens up interesting business opportunities for atheists:

http://eternal-earthbound-pets.com/

Granty
05-23-2011, 03:29 PM
The whole rapture thing opens up interesting business opportunities for atheists:

http://eternal-earthbound-pets.com/

Genius idea, take $135 off a large number of people for a service that will never happen, brilliant. But it would be far easier to just do the traditional route of moving to American, get some free online ordination and become a media preacher and live on a high life of sex, drugs and women like all the others do.

The big fault I've always seen in this rapture thing is that it goes against human psychology, if a person is going to die and be judged then that notion is hard to take, if everyone is going to die and be judged then I think I can work with that.

JonFairhurst
05-23-2011, 03:56 PM
The pet rescue service is good for ten years. No refunds. ;)

PaulVortex
05-23-2011, 04:22 PM
On a serious note, there are gullible, ignorant morons who deliberately destroyed their own lives and the lives of their families over this bullshit.

Like Granty pointed out from that article, people spent their entire life-savings on this mess. Also, there was a woman called Lyn Benedetta who attempted to murder her own two daughters (11 and 14) by cutting their throats and wrists open "to save them from the horrors of the tribulation"... She then attempted to do the same to herself. Thankfully, she was such an ignorant hapless moron, that her knowledge of anatomy was so poor, her children survived.

Harold Camping and his organisation should be criminally prosecuted for this. Similarly, the companies who sold advertising space to this ridiculous message should be severly reprimanded. Finally, I think that the media outlets who gave Harold Camping himself a platform from which to preach his hateful message, should also be severly reprimanded.

I'm all for freedom of the press, and for free speech, and for free trade... However, each of these freedoms have standards applied to them. The press and trades have rules they must comply to... and in this case, those rules were flagrantly ignored for a quick buck or sensationalist headline.

I found the entire affair both hugely amusing and terribly disturbing. Disturbing because I saw playing out before me, a very precise and clear example of the dangers of faith/belief. This was an extreme case, but every single day a similar story is being played out in the lives of innumerable ordinary people...

They listen to people who make claims they have absolutely no evidential justification to make, claims that can have a dangerous impact on the lives of their "flock", and those people accept the claims as platinum fact, with absolutely no critical consideration whatsoever.

The claims made and the daily threat to normal believers includes things like... "don't use condoms", "beating your wife is justifiable", "cutting the clitoris from your adolescent daughter's genitals is a rite of passage", "cutting the foreskin from your new-born baby boy is hygenic and a rite of passage", "you can't eat whatever you want to eat", "seeking knowledge is blasphemous", "murder is okay as long as you do it in the name of your lord", "unbelievers and infidels are evil", "being raped is a sin worthy of death", "leaving the faith is a sin worthy of death", "leaving the faith is a sin worthy of total ostracism"...

All of these things are taught as law by various religions around the world... Not just crazy out there religions... These are *every day* religions that our families adhere to.

All of this comes directly from "faith". Faith is blind acceptance without evidence. Even in it's most benign forms this approach to life is dangerous and has negative impacts on the daily lives of those who adhere to it.

Faith is a meme that is spread to the young by their parents. A lot of the time it is done by accident, with the parents feeling "how could this possibly be harmful!?". If you ask me, infecting your child with faith IS a form of child abuse, because you are purposely placing roadblocks in front of that child's ability to sensibly navigate the world around them.

The greatest gift you can give a child, is the ability to question what people tell them. Give them the ability to qualify a statement through logical dissection ("where is your evidence to support that claim?", "why are you basing your claims on a premise which can't be disproven?" - These are questions ANY child can be taught HOW to ask).

Teach your children HOW to think, not WHAT to think. THAT is the greatest gift you can give them, and the only way you can be sure to help them avoid the daily threats that come from the poison of a life based on Faith.

Granty
05-23-2011, 05:51 PM
I wonder if any of them will be taking legal action against this Camping.

And this rapture thing has serious consequences for others not sucked in. I've read a few figures and they reckon between 40-55% of Americans believe the rapture will happen in their lifetime - I hope that figure isn't true. But as we take the world apart bit by bit and serious shit happens these rapture nuts just sit back and don't worry as they think the damage we do to the planet and the consequences of that is a sign of the end of days, so they are just carry on as they create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But if that 40-55% figure is true, please no, then you got half of America sitting around waiting to be taken in by some other nut like Camping. I think that figure is a lie, I question that many people in America actually believe in God. If I believed in a God I think I'd be a priest or a Monk, I like the idea of being a Monk and wanted to be a priest as a child. If I truly deeply believed I'd have to, knowing that I will be rewarded beyond time for a few saintly years on Earth. Why isn't every person that believes in God living a life dedicated to the cause, or is levels of belief, outside shot believers trying to tick a few boxes. So if that figure, 40-55% of Americans believing the rapture will happen in their own lifetime, then why of these so called believes just dabbling with God, and not doing the right thing.

And Paul I really respect your post, and the damage one sick deluded fool can do is bad, but I got little sympathy for any of them, I do have sympathy for the likes of the poor children almost killed by a mother that puts her own belief over the safety of her children, but if someone gives their life away because of what someone else says then I just think they probably was better off giving that life away.

PaulVortex
05-23-2011, 06:50 PM
I am with you 100% on not having sympathy for the people, such as those who spent their families life-savings on advertising this message. I hope it was clear that my sympathy lays directly with the children and perhaps unwitting spouses of these maniacs.

As far as I'm concerned, if a person wants to go ahead and mess their life up, or kill themselves because of an ignorant unreasoned belief, then I just chalk it up as "+1 for Human Evolution"... GOOD! We lost another moron! (as Bill Hicks said). Also - The more of these idiots who destroyed their own lives (and unfortunately, the lives of their families) over this, the better, as far as I'm concerned...

The reason being that OTHER morons who bought into this can only look on, now that the deadline has passed, and think "WTF!?". Perhaps it will make them question their own "Faith" or the respect they give to their Preachers, Imams or whatever.

Granty
05-23-2011, 07:03 PM
I just heard that Camping explain himself, he starts talking about how it is a spiritual thing rather than a physical one, he probably should have made that clear, if only he could have got some advertising space, or some radio time. When asked 'What about the poor people that believed the world was ending and gave stuff away?' He starts talking about the recession and lots more people losing homes and being ruined adding "people coup".

I'm stopping now, I ain't even going to try this year, I got zero chance of getting 'Dip Shit of the Year' award with this dude wasting air.

JonFairhurst
05-23-2011, 11:13 PM
I heard that Camping has come up with a new date.

The guy is certifiably nuts.

PaulVortex
05-23-2011, 11:45 PM
Yes, he's doing the customary backpeddling... He now claims the Rapture was a "spiritual" event rather than a literal one, and that god has mercifully chosen to forgoe the horrors of the next 153 days and just go ahead and end the world on the 21st Oct.

Honestly, I want to subscribe to the idea that people will be wise to this now... But I can't help thinking that people will give this idiot the benefit of the doubt, and go on believing this nonsense... Some people just cannot let themselves be wrong.

Check out this image from Camping's website Before and After the Rapture date :

http://s-ak.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/terminal01/2011/5/23/10/family-radios-rapture-website-before-and-after-12831-1306160430-2.jpg

JonFairhurst
05-24-2011, 12:03 AM
Dear, Mr. Camping,

The rapture was right on schedule, congratulations on your accurate prediction.

However, we regret to inform you that you and your many "friends" weren't invited.

Better luck next time.

Sincerely,

- The Rapture Acceptance Committee

PaulVortex
05-24-2011, 12:17 AM
Dear, Mr. Camping,

The rapture was right on schedule, congratulations on your accurate prediction.

However, we regret to inform you that you and your many "friends" weren't invited.

Better luck next time.

Sincerely,

- The Rapture Acceptance Committee

Heh - Nice! :D

---NOTICE---

ATTENTION.

The End has been delayed due to the wrong kind of reality. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

In leu of the faith based apocalype, we have arranged an alternative, more effective, world-view consisting of Evidence Based Reasoning and the complimentary bounties of Scientific Endeavour.

Unfortunately, the Universe cannot be held accountable for any unfounded expectations you may harbour. As such, the Universe cannot provide compensation relating to any perceived entitlements you may have been expecting, based on your non-falsifiable beliefs, after your demise.

If you are disappointed with the service provided by the boundless wonders of reality, please direct your complaints to the local shaman, cult-leader or witch-doctor who will be happy to assist you in return for either a monetary fee, and/or blind acceptance of dogma.

Once again, we are sorry for any inconvience caused by the continued existence of the Universe, as dictated by the fundamental laws of reality.
-------------------

(I may have passed the Event Horizon in the stretching of this Failed Apocalypse=Delayed Train analogy) ;)

Dances With Cameras
05-24-2011, 03:32 AM
sorry JC didn't make it to the party


What makes you so sure? :D

Anyway, JC is the man.

Don't know about the church, though... :violin:

Pietro Impagliazzo
05-24-2011, 11:53 AM
Byzantine is the man! If you disagree he'll behead you though.

sims
05-24-2011, 05:57 PM
Hey! Go easy. I like Carlsberg. :cheers2: Maybe it tastes different in the old world.

PaulVortex
05-24-2011, 09:57 PM
Carlsberg is pee-pee water. Blech. And I say that living in Denmark. :P ;)

sims
05-25-2011, 01:04 AM
Yes, OK Mr. Denmark. Of course you will say because of the access to other great beers. However consider that it's way better than Bud, or here in Japan, Asahi. Unless of course you like dark beer. Then any "piss" beer is out.

PaulVortex
05-25-2011, 01:33 AM
I do like darker ales. Particularly red ones. But I definitely conceed that Carlsberg is a big step up from the likes of Bud. ;)

Dances With Cameras
05-25-2011, 04:06 AM
In Bud we trust.

PaulVortex
05-25-2011, 06:04 AM
The indoctrination of Children. This video is in three parts and is an excerpts from a documentary called "Jesus Camp".

Part 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVdEMCTGJS4
Part 2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvLrpyTYOGA
Part 3 : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udw4XOZ_HAg

Over the past six months, I have been invited to four family christenings. I will never stand witness to the Christening of a child. As such, I have stood outside the church during the ceremonies. I didn't make a big deal about it to my family members. Just abstained from witnessing the event. Including the customary family photograph (which is always taken by the font).

One of those families asked me prior to the event, if I would be a "God Parent" to their son. Of course, this was a great honour. However, I declined to be a "God Parent" and asked instead to be considered his "Guardian". One of a "God Parent's" duties is to ensure that the child follows the faith. As a "Guardian" I will look over his up bringing, be there for him if he is in trouble, and care for him if his parents take ill or die.

An interesting thing has started happening at the Christenings... Each time, I find myself no longer standing outside alone. As time passes more and more people are coming outside the church to stand as well. Inevitably we end up standing together. I never explain why I'm standing outside. If they ask I say "I don't recognise it... It isn't my thing - I prefer fresh air" or words to that effect.

Some of the people who have exited the church recently have been quite surprising. One of them became VERY vocal about how sick he was of religion. Making several jokes about god.

Just wanted to throw these thoughts out there, and see what other people think.

Just to clarify - If I am invited to a church wedding, I will go inside and witness it... I have NO problem with consenting adults interacting with churches, but I have absolutely no tolerance for the indoctrination of children.

If anyone watches the videos above and thinks "Ocht - They are just extremists - My church isn't like that!" then they are kind of missing the point... The indoctrination of a child into any faith is like placing roadblocks in the way of their ability to understand and navigate the world. As such, I am against the indoctrination of children into ANY faith, however apparantly benign it might seem to be.

johnvid
05-25-2011, 01:18 PM
Yup, I wasn't Christened because of the above reason, I believe the same but I wasn't indoctrinated to form this opinion, oh no wait hold on, of course they tried at school, I refused and had to sit outside all through the classes.

Guess what only the other day they(politico's) where talking about how much curriculum time was wasted on RE, when other subjects need more time, at least these days they would recognize that leaving someone to do nothing is not the right way to handle things.

Wasting kids time with this nonsense was ok when they wanted sheeple, now they need engineers.

johnvid
06-24-2011, 05:08 PM
Why Don't Miss USA Contestants Believe in Evolution? (Video (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/miss-america-contestants-believe-evolution-video.php?campaign=th_rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+treehuggersite+%28Treehugger% 29))

God Luv Em:)

Granty
06-24-2011, 08:29 PM
Why Don't Miss USA Contestants Believe in Evolution? (Video (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/miss-america-contestants-believe-evolution-video.php?campaign=th_rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+treehuggersite+%28Treehugger% 29))

God Luv Em:)
It is nice that the pro-evolution geeky redhead from California won, what was the speech like with no God to thank, '...and I'd like to thank Darwin for making it all possible'.

So it's official God must hate stupid people and punishes them, so I bet next year they will all be pro-evolution just because last years winner was.

Better question to ask a religious Miss USA contestant, 'Is vanity a sin?' - get out of that one.

Dances With Cameras
06-25-2011, 03:06 AM
http://content.internetvideoarchive.com/content/photos/170/00718034_.jpg

johnvid
06-30-2011, 07:41 AM
GOD... IT IS DEAD!

Long Live the Universe!

But if you are reading this and thinking of what to do next,
plz could you inject a little life into the SU bubble of toil n trouble.

PaulVortex
06-30-2011, 09:45 AM
It is nice that the pro-evolution geeky redhead from California won, what was the speech like with no God to thank, '...and I'd like to thank Darwin for making it all possible'.

She was such a shag too. :)

johnvid
06-30-2011, 10:03 AM
She was such a shag too. :)

She had a Darwinian Pecuniary Advantage.

Dances With Cameras
06-30-2011, 10:13 AM
My God, it's full of stars. :)

johnvid
06-30-2011, 02:39 PM
Don't Fall In:)

Dances With Cameras
06-30-2011, 04:37 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nqcL0mjMjw

Granty
06-30-2011, 05:00 PM
A bit of observational comedy:

Why is it that I don't believe in God yet he still tells me to go into the night and chop up prostitutes - you know what I mean?

johnvid
06-30-2011, 05:21 PM
Yeah but you have a choice:)

Granty
06-30-2011, 05:26 PM
Tell that to the whore in the boot of my car :)

johnvid
06-30-2011, 05:59 PM
I would but being dead, what would be the point, clunk goes the hammer on the back of my head now u got 2 in the boot, where not as dumb as sheep over here you know Granty:)

Dances With Cameras
07-01-2011, 08:40 AM
A bit of observational comedy:

Why is it that I don't believe in God yet he still tells me to go into the night and chop up prostitutes - you know what I mean?

God tells you to do it? :D

But what if the Buddhists are right? Then you'll just get reincarnated into some poor helpless creature, a girl or something that's about to get chopped up or worse - some of your loved ones. And then, this keeps happening, life after life and of course, then comes the eternal "Why me?" question. Well, honey, that is why.

Not the best of prospects. :shocked:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOrnUquxtwA

Granty
07-01-2011, 11:26 AM
Jeepers, John Lennon told me, 'Instant Karma is going to get me', I can deal with that, but this dragged out eternal thing sucks - I'm going to have to go to confession - how many paedo priests will compensate a prostitute.

PS. Sorry.

Dances With Cameras
07-01-2011, 11:35 AM
It's just a theory.

:D

PaulVortex
07-01-2011, 11:40 AM
Six peado priests per prossie... The reason being that Ladies of Negotiable Affection provide a greater service to society.

Granty
07-01-2011, 12:47 PM
Six peado priests per prossie... The reason being that Ladies of Negotiable Affection provide a greater service to society.

You are thinking of the figures for standard priest, that is 6-1, for paedo priests I'm hearing 72-1. Going to be a total bloodbath, but karma is karma.. But if I go higher up I can lessen the toil, 7 X cardinals + 2 X paedo priests, or just one paedo enabling Pope gives me credit, plus being a nazi - bingo, golden handshake to nirvana.

johnvid
07-01-2011, 01:13 PM
Yeah but didn't they just make Bungs, Jollies and off the table deals illegal, ha.
There's nothing left to Bung, its all gone...

Granty
07-01-2011, 02:17 PM
I must make an apology - reading back I see my earlier joke crossed a line, so if anyone here is a prostitute, or your mother happens to be one, I do apologize.

johnvid
07-01-2011, 02:54 PM
Yeah but you'll have to wait until she get's home she's out workin.
Jesus is gonna F'in kill you one day Granty:)

With the possibility of steering things off course a little, your joke begs the question.
Which is the more noble profession, Banker, Solicitor, or ehm u know Solicitor.
Why is the regulation coming down harder on prostitutes than the financial industry.

Granty
07-01-2011, 03:03 PM
Sorry, I couldn't resist - I'm in a good mood, and you know what happens when Granty is in a good mood.

Just when you think I've reached a new low I pull the floor up and start digging. Where are the Mod's when you need them, they usually come in threes - I'm still jesting, the thread is safe as long as I don't mention the C word, they don't like you saying Canon.

About time this thread was closed anyway, I think the atheists won :)

And let this be a warning, this is your brain on drugs.

Dances With Cameras
07-01-2011, 03:35 PM
:rofl:

But I'd rather be a prostitute than a f(ucking) bankster.

Come to think of it, actually we're all prostitutes as banksters practically own our butts.

:embarassed:

Jesus is gonna F'in kill you one day GrantyGood thing the Buddha is around to put some sense back into his sick ass, before it's too late. :rofl:

johnvid
07-01-2011, 03:45 PM
No we can't close the thread I want to see what the atheists evolve into.
I want to see it with my own eye's, or that dead hookers eye don't mind.

Granty
07-01-2011, 03:56 PM
I ain't ready to see what I evolve into.

It is interesting the stigma the prostitute gets, they do a small sexual act for money and get disrespect, yet the average Joe does 40+ hours in under paid work for a boss they can't stand. While one of them is bent over being screwed every day, the other one is walking the streets at night.

johnvid
07-01-2011, 04:02 PM
And who's business is it anyway?

Dances With Cameras
07-01-2011, 05:12 PM
And who's business is it anyway?

Indeed, that is the question.

Granty
07-01-2011, 05:23 PM
I work for myself, so that makes me a wanker.

Dances With Cameras
07-02-2011, 06:47 AM
... therefore bankers are the biggest wankers on the face of Earth. :bath:

Dances With Cameras
07-02-2011, 09:47 AM
Omg. I can't believe that creationism vs evolution is such a serious debate.

You got to be kidding me?

Granty
07-02-2011, 11:12 AM
I think people that believe in creationism, or other religious conceptions, soon back off from debate, as they need to convince themselves that it is about faith because nothing stands up beyond that, otherwise it causes serious doubt which they don't need - it is easier to live a lie than face a rational truth. With religion you take the stupid pills or you don't, and nothing much stands between those opposites.

Dances With Cameras
07-02-2011, 12:29 PM
I always liked this quote but I'm not sure who`s the author. Leslie Nielsen? :) I don't know, but his last name was definitely Nielsen. Anyway, the quote goes something like this:


"Every day people turn away from the Church and get back to God".


I love that one. :happyhappy: I read it in a book about Zen Buddhism. And I think this is true for all Churches - Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, they're all there. Religions seem like kindergartens, they're good for some people (a lot of people actually) but sooner or later a person has to grow up and start looking for their own answers. I mean, it comes a time when all the doctrines and blind faith becomes a burden and you have to throw it all away, forget it and try to find your own religion. So, that`s what I do, I keep looking for my own answers. :)

Granty
07-02-2011, 02:38 PM
Here are some good quotes on the subject also:

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.~Russell

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all... I personally resent it bitterly. ~Asimov

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate,
contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and
unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the
discomfort of thought.~JFK

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.~Dawkins

Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell?~Dawkins

If you are in possession of this revolutionary secret of science, why not prove it and be hailed as the new Newton? Of course, we know the answer. You can't do it. You are a fake.~Dawkins

We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.~Dawkins

PaulVortex
07-02-2011, 03:17 PM
"If any Man come to me, and hate not his Father, his Mother, his Wife and Children, and Brethren, and Sisters... YAY, and his own life also... He cannot be my disciple"

~Jesus Christ
(What a LOVELY person)

Dances With Cameras
07-02-2011, 03:28 PM
Yeah, but science isn't allpowerful either. I recently watched Contact again. Great movie, very smart. :) Remember at the end, when she had no proof and they didn't believe her. That was a great twist, as she was a rationalist and an atheist. Clever writing. :)

Hey, did you see this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDIF-ZwJbF0&feature=related

How do these fit in the scenario? :D

PaulVortex
07-02-2011, 03:47 PM
Yeah, but science isn't allpowerful either.

I don't know what that statement means. It doesn't make any sense. No-one has ever claimed Science is "all-powerful". Science is simply a set of standards and principles for discovery. So, I'm not sure what you mean.

If you mean "Science doesn't have all the answers"... Then I have to point out that just because Science doesn't YET have an answer, doesn't mean you can just plug the gap with any other idea. That's not how it works. Science is how you figure out what is real. So if Science can't tell you the answer to a given question (yet), some guy thinking stuff up inside his own head won't either.

Granty
07-02-2011, 04:05 PM
Yeah, but science isn't allpowerful either. I recently watched Contact again. Great movie, very smart. :) Remember at the end, when she had no proof and they didn't believe her. That was a great twist, as she was a rationalist and an atheist. Clever writing. :)

Hey, did you see this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDIF-ZwJbF0&feature=related

How do these fit in the scenario? :D

I'm with what Paul says, expect I'd take it further and say 'Science has all the answers to all the questions we found answers to'.

The problem I have with 'Contact', apart from being a shit film, is what you point out isn't clever writing but an adgenda to discredit science and promote the belief in the myth, as a rational person watching that I just thought, well it didn't happen to her, it was just a vivid dream - I'm with them if she has no proof.

And that link to the UFO's would have been better if he hadn't uploaded a video of the same thing happening two weeks early, and nothing else. As I'm suppose to think this guy has lived a whole life, and then in the last two weeks he happened to film two accounts of UFO's by chance, over one of the biggest cities in the work, and nobody else saw this - sure he did, or maybe he just downloaded After Effects.

Dances With Cameras
07-03-2011, 04:43 AM
Yeah, science doesn't have all the answers, that's what I meant. But the way you two are putting it, well, you're just creating another dogma. Science as the new religion and the new dogma. And all the non-scientific hypothesis are condemned as "heretic".

doesn't mean you can just plug the gap with any other ideaWith all due respect, sir, but I can do what I like. :) And I'm free to hypothesize and speculate all I want and any way I want it. Same as any other person. And I don't care if you send the holy rationalistic incquisition to bust my worldview. :D (Oh wait, they're already here, shall we dance, girls :happyhappy:)

And that kind of mentality doesn't work, baby. It's the same kind of limited approach, but instead of the religious myth, you're stepping on the scientific myth. Yeah, I know that science works, we put a man in space :). But it can't give all the answers cause it has limited methodology. Humans are not just reason and logic, you also have feelings and intuition. I know that these are subjective things but you can't stop people from using them. And I think it was Einstein who said that intuition is much more important than intellect. So, please, I don't have anything against you science-centered universe, enjoy it. But it's just not enough for me, I'm sorry. And I'm free to have other kinds of spiritual adventures, forever searching for that place where there's...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFd5Cci_pE4

:)

Jared Caldwell
07-03-2011, 06:24 AM
I'm with what Paul says, expect I'd take it further and say 'Science has all the answers to all the questions we found answers to'.

The problem I have with 'Contact', apart from being a shit film, is what you point out isn't clever writing but an adgenda to discredit science and promote the belief in the myth, as a rational person watching that I just thought, well it didn't happen to her, it was just a vivid dream - I'm with them if she has no proof.

And that link to the UFO's would have been better if he hadn't uploaded a video of the same thing happening two weeks early, and nothing else. As I'm suppose to think this guy has lived a whole life, and then in the last two weeks he happened to film two accounts of UFO's by chance, over one of the biggest cities in the work, and nobody else saw this - sure he did, or maybe he just downloaded After Effects.

Except "Contact" was written by Carl Sagan. The film may be different in message than his book (not sure here), but Carl Sagan is who put the big bang, life, and the universe in popular culture. He was an atheist, but he was not anti-religion in terms of the spiritual moral messages that could be found in religious texts.

Pretty balanced guy.

Granty
07-03-2011, 07:41 AM
Except "Contact" was written by Carl Sagan. The film may be different in message than his book (not sure here), but Carl Sagan is who put the big bang, life, and the universe in popular culture. He was an atheist, but he was not anti-religion in terms of the spiritual moral messages that could be found in religious texts.

Pretty balanced guy.

Yeah, but '2001' has a creationist agenda - written by two atheists, the human being is hard wired to the irrational, it sells, in the same way a lot of horror films are written by completely rational people that don't believe in ghosts.

Jared Caldwell
07-03-2011, 07:53 AM
What's your point? You previous comment said that "Contact" was trying to discredit science and perpetuate the "myth". Coming from Sagan, I HIGHLY doubt that is the case.

Granty
07-03-2011, 08:30 AM
Yeah, science doesn't have all the answers, that's what I meant. But the way you two are putting it, well, you're just creating another dogma. Science as the new religion and the new dogma. And all the non-scientific hypothesis are condemned as "heretic".

With all due respect, sir, but I can do what I like. :) And I'm free to hypothesize and speculate all I want and any way I want it. Same as any other person. And I don't care if you send the holy rationalistic incquisition to bust my worldview. :D (Oh wait, they're already here, shall we dance, girls :happyhappy:)

And that kind of mentality doesn't work, baby. It's the same kind of limited approach, but instead of the religious myth, you're stepping on the scientific myth. Yeah, I know that science works, we put a man in space :). But it can't give all the answers cause it has limited methodology. Humans are not just reason and logic, you also have feelings and intuition. I know that these are subjective things but you can't stop people from using them. And I think it was Einstein who said that intuition is much more important than intellect. So, please, I don't have anything against you science-centered universe, enjoy it. But it's just not enough for me, I'm sorry. And I'm free to have other kinds of spiritual adventures, forever searching for that place where there's...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFd5Cci_pE4

:)
I don't think a dogma can be imposed on fact, the only things as humans we 'know' is fact, everything else is speculation, yet even any fact isn't 100% but it is a lot better odds than something that a pure myth.

I don't understand what you say about feelings and intuition, name me something we know as fact that is based on them, or even something worth knowing that is based on them. Feeling is mainly just a electrical/chemical response to a set of conditions, we do have a hardware and software that is at play for everything we do, sure that ain't romantic - but it is all we got, and it doesn't make any of it any less real or profound. And as for intuition, in one sense it doesn't exist, in the best sense it is a subconscious response to experience. I guess if we could find that one person in the world that had emotion or intuition that other people have never had then we can say something else is at play, as it is, considering we all roughly have the same levels of emotion and intuition then it is unsurprising considering we all got the same hardware and software at play.

Einstein actually said, "The only real valuable thing is intuition" and "Imagination is more important than knowledge", but here I'd say he is talking about intuition as subconscious thought, as often people come up with the best ideas once they have absorbed all the information, and days later playing a game or shopping the great idea will come from a complex brain ordering that information in a subconscious fashion.

Yet he also said, "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen" and "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources".

And, "The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking", "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible", "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them", "Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school", "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe", "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one", "The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge", "Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion" and "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts".

But Einstein had a lot of quotes, and many run counter to these here, that being the nature of a poor stupid emotional beast.

And for the hell of it two great war guotes by the man, "He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

Granty
07-03-2011, 09:11 AM
What's your point? You previous comment said that "Contact" was trying to discredit science and perpetuate the "myth". Coming from Sagan, I HIGHLY doubt that is the case.

It is plain to see that the lead character, being a skeptic, has an experience that can't be proved, and the only person willing to take a leap of faith and believe in this event a minister - as a true skeptic would say, I believe it happened but without evidence I can't be sure, so therefore I am undecided, as just because you think something happens in ones head doesn't really mean that it had any bearing on reality, people have delusions all the time. It therefore can only have one of two stances, to discredit science as faith, discredit religious thinking to gullible and willing to believe anything. And I'd question if a skeptic would befriend a minister so easily, being in confrontation of truth never mind seek advice from such shady corners.

Unless the story is being discredited itself, as a third stance is that some things can't be explained with are limited stance, using our internal and external hardware and software, yet this notion discredits the story itself, as a higher intelligence has sent this message to take a person on a journey only for them to be discredited, which makes this higher intelligence idiotic or malicious.

And my point is that it is a therefore a flawed concept, using Sci-fi to make money out of the human condition in the same way 2001 was, while they are both based on nonsense, and understood to be nonsense by the writers, it pulls into a simple notion of the human, and an irrational idea of being more than a carbon based machine that those writers didn't believe in - $$$$. So looking at Contact as a means to explain the unknown is like looking at 2001 to enforce creationism.

Jared Caldwell
07-03-2011, 09:19 AM
It is plain to see that the lead character, being a skeptic, has an experience that can't be proved, and the only person willing to take a leap of faith and believe in this event a minister - as a true skeptic would say, I believe it happened but without evidence I can't be sure, so therefore I am undecided, as just because you think something happens in ones head doesn't really mean that it had any bearing on reality, people have delusions all the time. It therefore can only have one of two stances, to discredit science as faith, discredit religious thinking to gullible and willing to believe anything.

Unless the story is being discredited itself, as a third stance is that some things can't be explained with are limited stance, using our internal and external hardware and software, yet this notion discredits the story itself, as a higher intelligence has sent this message to take a person on a journey only for them to be discredited, which makes this higher intelligence idiotic or malicious.

And my point is that it is a therefore a flawed concept, using Sci-fi to make money out of the human condition in the same way 2001 was, while they are both based on nonsense, and understood to be nonsense by the writers, it pulls into a simple notion of the human, and an irrational idea of being more than a carbon based machine that those writers didn't believe in - $$$$.

I don't really agree with most of that.

Granty
07-03-2011, 09:40 AM
I fail to see another stance that can be drawn up. As the irrational happens to the rational that results in the rational taking an irrational stance.

Look for example at a true story about such things, A Beautiful Mind, about John Nash. In this story the same sort of things happen, irrational thoughts happen to a deeply rational person, but this happens to him in a deeply rational way. It is hard for a person to then come to terms with his rationally irrational experience as being a lie. Yet he manages to do this with advice, treatment and medication, but this also stops his deeply rational mental process -which is valuable to both himself and us. So he resolves this by stopping the medication and coming to terms with the fact that the irrational is happening to him all the time, but he learns to use his rational thoughts to counter this.

So let us place a real character, John Nash, in the lead role of Contact, what is the new conclusion of the film, simple, it didn't happen.

Jared Caldwell
07-03-2011, 10:53 AM
I fail to see another stance that can be drawn up.

That's the problem. Kind of hard to have a discussion with this kind of stance. I'm all about your ability to say what you think, but maybe this would be better in a blog post or an article you could link here? If your not here to actually discuss the points brought up to you, what is the point of posting in an Internet forum?

Not trying to be an ass, but this thread has gone on for so long, many of the comments here are just bashing other's perspectives rather than engaging in debate. Just my two cents.