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 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 37
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theoryPage 3 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
O.k., exogenist, let's joust.

1. You admit, at the outset, that you're employing a peculiar definition of "conscious". Granted, I'd be the first to take issue with the 'words have meanings' crowd, but there is certainly a point at which mere distortion of the ordinary meaning of a word starts doing the heavy lifting in your pet theory. Basically, I can call myself Harvey Keitel and even change my name to Harvey Keitel but not even the dumbest bank teller is letting me into his accounts. So inanimate objects are 'conscious'...fine. Please explain to me just what 'conscious' means if you're insisting inanimate objects are conscious.

2. And how, exactly, are we to verify this assertion that inanimate objects are conscious? Is there anything you can point to in the physical world around you, other than some complicated mis-description of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, that allows us to distinguish things that are "conscious" from things that are not?

3. Or in the alternative, if what you are really insisting is that **everything** is conscious, including dead pigs, the dark side of the Moon and what's left of the remains of Oliver Cromwell, basically you are using "conscious" as a synonym for "exists". But existence isn't a predicate, Tarski demonstrated that some time ago. To state of something that it 'exists' is not to state anything about it, other than to point out that it "is". Same point about truth: "Snow is white" is true if and only if snow is white. "Rocks are conscious" is true if and only if rocks are conscious.

4. As for this theory bearing an elementary resemblance to Dawkin's metaphor about "memes", well, sure, if the term "elementary resemblance" is getting the same treatment as "conscious". Seriously, at this rate, we're going to need an invisible litter box pretty soon because the Cheshire Cat's definitely coming around.

5. The word I was talking about was "conscious".

6. "Errm my position about everything is conscious is that all conscious beings share the peculiarity of being composed of a system."
Sigh. This is getting repetitive.
All you are saying is that symbolic representation is possible. As in, these are words we are communicating with, and these words plus a random mix of systematic and idiosyncratic rules that govern how to use them make them capable of describing things. Or, you can draw a map of a territory, or represent three dimensional objects with mathematics. But the fact that the world is susceptible of being described does not say anything concrete about the world.

7. I'm not assuming. I'm just looking at what you are writing and pointing out that a transparent abuse of semantics is doing the heavy lifting.

8. "If anything, what should be assumed is that creationism and atheism are opposing constructs that can effect the behavior of an individual or individuals."
(Heavy sigh). Permit me the flagrant abuse of translating that into English.

What you are saying is that creationism is an idea, atheism is an idea, and those two ideas can lead people to act in certain ways.

They're not "constructs", they're beliefs about the nature of the physical world we are in. The creationists generally think the world includes an entity called "God" (roughly) who made the rest of the world. The atheists think that 'entity' is imaginary.

9. "It is the integrity of the system that allows for expressive consciousness in my own assumptions that differentiate a 'thinking rock' from a 'thinking human being'."

Um, no. It's the fact that when I talk to humans they answer back and (usually but not always) behave in intelligble ways. When I talk to rocks they don't answer back and the humans around me behave as though I'm a nut, assume I'm high, or presume I've got a really small bluetooth they cannot see.

10. "My babbling here is that all elementary particles do whatever the hell they want until some observer observes it."
Again, there is no reason to believe that elementary particles have intentions. Intentions are a characteristic of planned behaviour which you, I, and everyone else has only observed in living animals, including humans, dogs and Rush Limbaugh. The phrase "free willed elementary particles" describes an empty set.

11. "The speculation is thus, how does consciousness and decoherence relate?"
They don't.
Or, more carefully, there is no particular reason to assume that they do.
Just because I can ask an absurd question does not mean the physical world is organized in any particular way. I can ask how Grover is feeling, but if I'm talking about the muppet and not Grover Cleveland or Grover Nordquist, there's no meaningful answer to the question, because puppets are not conscious. That's why the concept of the muppets made so much money, it's amusing because muppets, like thinking rocks, **don't exist**.

12. "Atheism and creationism are our toys to play with." Look, you can be as agnostic as you want about whether the atheists are right or the creationists are right, but that stance does not become any less trivial for being dressed up in incoherent language.

13. "Lastly, any form of ideology pertaining to God is statistical and most probably does not deliver any meaning to God or the lack of God."
At the risk of being really repetitive, um, no. I have not observed in human behaviour, read in any book or online, or seen any other example of an ideology that is "statistical". Unless you're making some vague reference to Pascal's Wager, but that's emphatically NOT an ideology. The theists (including the creationists) think God exists. The atheists think God doesn't exist. Virtually all of them assign some meaning to this belief about the composition of the world.

Technically, you are right that arguing for or against either is redundant, but that is simply because you have inadvertently used the word "redundant" to make a correct statement that you had no intention of making, thus elegantly pointing out by indirection the same point I made in item 6.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 38
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 11:00:56 AM

bingo, another thread where Truth is made void...ok, last comment on a thread that only wants theories and lies... the problem with scientific and philosophical people is that they already think they know everything and that they are above enlightenment... sometimes the True answers are not popular but censoring any answer is closed... blessings


Okay, let's turn that around a bit:

bingo, another response where "Truth" is restricted to "because the bible tells me so." The problem with fundamentalist religious types is that they think they know all they need to know from one little bronze-age book and are above learning. Truth is frequently not popular only because it might mean that we aren't the center of the universe and the answers to the big questions may not actually come from a book that was penned by people who had little concept of objective assessment of evidence.
 coveredinpaint
Joined: 7/13/2009
Msg: 39
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 11:11:11 AM
We'd be better off not even using the word "truth" and do away with it all together. Then religo's would not have anything to hide behind and manipulate. Instead of "truth" we could use words like "supported by evidence or logic".
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 40
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 12:50:55 PM
Well, to be precise, it's not and never was "one little bronze age book" because the thing was always a composite of multiple texts written at multiple times, multiple eras even, by an array of different authors who are for the most part unknown.

That fact has been well known to serious biblical scholars (as opposite to ignorant wind-bags) since Thomas Hobbes and Baruch Spinoza comprehensively demonstrated it in the 17th century.

What's really impressive is how long it is taking for this information to really percolate around and how determined people are in believing uncritically something that is just obviously not true.

I mean, seriously, maybe you can buy the concept of a burning bush talking to someone (cannabis-fueled auditory hallucinations, anyone?) but insisting that a book was written by some guy when it purports to contain an account of his funeral? That's pretty rich. (I'm pretty sure this is where Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain got the idea).

Really, the problem with the 'fundies' isn't that they think they know all they need to know from that book, but rather that they generally have very little knowledge of it's actual contents and do not bother to use such reasoning ability as they have in looking at the parts they DO know something about.

Seriously, a reasonably mature 8 year old can point out the basic problems with assigning moral inerrancy to the contents of a book in which the star player specifically mandates actions like genocide and slavery, and imposes draconian punishments for violations of rules completely bereft of logic and sense, like putting cheese on meat, painting pictures of people or shaving your beard.

Trying to work out the patent contradictions in all of it isn't harder than Chinese algebra, it's IMPOSSIBLE, which is why you see frequent resort to naked b.s. like "G-d works in mysterious ways", arbitrarily invented, peculiar and illogical doctrines for explaining away obvious inconsistencies and exhortations to "take it on faith", which really amounts to guilt as an ruse for doing away with the cognitive dissonance involved in simultaneously believing obviously contradictory things.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 43
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 2:21:25 PM
1. Well, the problem with saying that "conscious" 'means' "the potential for inanimate matter to form complex adaptive systems" is that no one other than you uses the word to mean that.

You can do what Heidegger did and just start inventing neologisms that did not previously exist to describe presumably new ideas, but the rest of us have already got a meaning for the word "conscious" and using it to mean something else is just productive of confusion.

What I suspect you are trying to talk about already has a name, it's called "emergence" or an "emergent property" and sorry to micturate on your procession, but the idea has been around at least since the time of Aristotle. Just type "emergence" into wikipedia and you'll see what I mean.

2. A rock doesn't "express hardness", it simply "is hard" because of its chemical composition. That's completely uncomplicated once you've taken Grade 8 chemistry.

3. "at any infinitesimal moment matter can decide to do whatever the hell it wants".
Again, no, because particles are not conscious, do not have intentions or free will.

This is just misunderstanding of the Copenhagen interpretation of the observer effect in quantum mechanics.

Look, quantum mechanics is plenty spooky enough if you actually read layman's explanations of it, without mis-describing it in pursuit of a pet theory. Just because a particle "is" probabilistically in one place and at the same time probabilistically in another place does not mean the particle is making choices. It just means that once you observe it closely enough, matter behaves in ways that are pretty weird when judged against our ordinary expectations for medium-sized objects that we see around us.

In a nutshell, you're chasing the wrong cat. What you want is Schrödinger's cat, not Lewis Carroll's Cheshire.

4. "You misunderstand the meaning of statistical in context of my paragraph."
Again, I'm looking for the disappearing litter box. You are just using a word in a manner totally different from the manner the rest of the English-speaking population uses it.

5. "All ideologies are statistical, for if they were not statistical they would perfectly and thoroughly explain (through symbolic representation) the workings of all existence."
Sigh. Here is where you are using "statistical" where the rest of us prefer the words "wrong" or "incorrect".

Look, the vast majority of the beliefs held by the overwhelming majority of the humans on the planet (mine included) are quite simply just wrong in the sense of being factually incorrect.

Vast numbers of devoted Hindus who are otherwise fine people and deserve gratitude for merely having invented their cuisine believe that they are going to be 'reincarnated' into some other form after they die, based upon their ethical behaviour or lack thereof, and assign holy status to bovines.

Both beliefs are just incorrect.

Large numbers of U.S. citizens of at least partially European descent believe that other U.S. citizens of at least partially African descent are congenitally inferior to them. This also is simply incorrect. All it takes to demonstrate it's falsity is that large numbers of those citizens who are partially of European descent are also partially of African descent, but are unaware of that fact and would be unwilling to accept it were it pointed out to them.

Most ideologies do not even purport to "perfectly and thoroughly explain (through symbolic representation) the workings of all existence" in any event. What you would be talking about would not be an "ideology", but rather something more than the entire sum total of human science coupled with a hypothetical human culture based upon true beliefs rather than false ones, something that most critical intellects accept does not yet exist and probably never will.
 theleftclick
Joined: 10/23/2009
Msg: 44
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 4:37:51 PM
Hello gazer,
I don’t know all the ‘fundamental religious types’ that you have run into, (or if you are just assuming), but, if you look long enough we ALL will show are faults. That said, still, the bible, and to go to a point, the new testament is full of truth. Jesus, who said of himself that he is the Truth, is basically who we are talking about and what did he ever do or say wrong? He talked only of man relating to God and man relating to man. Some of his sayings are very wise, unless you can find fault with ‘do to others what you would have them do to you’. Since he talked much about God I would not consider his discourse “pointless” as another would. I am not sure why you would say that the people who penned the bible ‘had little concept of objective assessment of evidence’? How?? Also lot of reporting of evidence was just that, writing down what was witnessed. Jesus is perfect, not his followers but we have opinions about everything too can’t we? We do learn a lot from various sources including the bible and should continue to learn but anyone after learning should come to know something’s.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 45
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 5:00:36 PM
Click...I have encountered my fair share and the tune is always the same. "Our way is the only way." Thankfully, reality is a little more 'textured.'

My objection is not with the belief but with that insistence. And then the affectation of insult when said insistence is challenged. It really is quite tiresome.
 coveredinpaint
Joined: 7/13/2009
Msg: 47
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 5:47:28 PM
I get you exo.

Consciousness is going on all around you. In birds...in other people. Even in small insects you can't even see. Even in smaller organisms that even the insects can't see. And trees, maybe.

But "you" only have a single-sided perception of that collective awareness. So maybe the key is to try to tap into the whole collective's consciousness. But how?
 monalee1
Joined: 10/22/2007
Msg: 49
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 8:22:34 PM
"Click...I have encountered my fair share and the tune is always the same. "Our way is the only way." Thankfully, reality is a little more 'textured.'"

..there is no ~ our way~.. it is Gods Way ... your reality is not my reality and my reality is based on Gods Word... yours is based on..... a CPGT theory?? ok, to each their own... blessings
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 50
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/27/2010 9:02:50 PM

..there is no ~ our way~.. it is Gods Way ... your reality is not my reality and my reality is based on Gods Word... yours is based on..... a CPGT theory?? ok, to each their own...


Oh really. So your way is God's way? You presume to speak for God? And you are right and all those others who speak for their "God" is wrong? Hmm...

No, your way is your way based on your interpretation or the interpretation of whichever preacher best suits your world view. Nothing more. Ah, but yes, I know. I'm "hating" because I'm countering your arguments.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 51
view profile
History
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 1/29/2010 10:57:28 AM
RE Msg: 49 by stargazer1000:
The problem with fundamentalist religious types is that they think they know all they need to know from one little bronze-age book and are above learning. Truth is frequently not popular only because it might mean that we aren't the center of the universe and the answers to the big questions may not actually come from a book that was penned by people who had little concept of objective assessment of evidence.
I cannot say that for several reasons:

1) "Fundamentalist" means going back to fundamentals. It does NOT mean extremism, even though the media has pushed that assumption, on the back of the US government PR, to avoid facing up to the fact that the US backed the tyranny of the Shah.

2) I can no more say that a book is invalid because it comes from the bronze age, than I can say that ALL books from the industrial age are invalid because we live in an information-age, or that all books from this time of the information-age are invalid, because there will be a future age.

3) I can say that truth is often unpopular. Science is incredibly popular, though. So I can say that a lot of evidence that proves certain popular science is wrong, is likely to be wrong.

4) Religions generally say that G-d is the centre of the universe, NOT us.

5) Religions generally do not give clear answers to "the big questions". It makes religion quite difficult to accept.

6) It is easy to observe that many books written today and accepted often, are penned by people who had little concept of objective assessment of evidence.

So I cannot take a strong stance like the above.

However, I know a lot who do. They often believe in eugenics, and that white people are smarter than black people. There is even a populist view that taller people are smarter than smaller people, claimed to be backed up by science, even though logic and observation shows this to be false. There is even a populist view that taller people and less aggressive than smaller people, backed up by science, even though the actual evidence shows the reverse about aggression.

What I can see, is that a lot of people have a dislike about religion, and they tend to try and use science to push their POV. That, IMHO, is an unfair use of science. It changes science from being a search for truth, to becoming a source of political propaganda. In that way, it makes science a weapon against ordinary people, and it does humanity a great disservice.
 susan_cd
Joined: 5/16/2007
Msg: 53
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/16/2010 7:57:33 PM

"Religion is a major weapon in the war against reality."

"Help preserve your child's belief in Santa Claus. Tell him or her that Santa will send them to hell if they don't believe in him."

"I am treated as evil by those who feel persecuted because they are not allowed to force me to believe as they do."

"The scientist yearns to find and eventually know the truth;
The religious man wants the truth to fit his preconceived mold. So, as a result...
The scientist alters his perception to conform to the facts;
The religious man tries to change the facts to conform to his beliefs."

-- Sources unknown
 FoshFish
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 54
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/17/2010 7:09:28 PM
Excuse me... Susan. I don't know if you're doing a retreat or a solitude-inspired replentishing of spiritual energies... if you want to be alone, I will tippy-toe out again.

i'll spread the word that you are doing your mental tai-chi here, in this echoing hall of dark thoughts of spirits past, and we will all respect your need to be left alone.
 Inicia
Joined: 12/21/2007
Msg: 55
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/17/2010 8:56:53 PM
Is the topic here CPGT theory or are we more interested in creationism and atheism. which really have little or no relevance to the CPGT theory: any inflammatory topic could have been utilized to demonstrate the CPGT theory.. and now we are reduced to yet another war about is there or isn't there which is really not the point.. but that may have been the point scuse me never mind.
 FoshFish
Joined: 4/30/2010
Msg: 56
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/17/2010 9:55:32 PM
Inicia, i don't know what CPGT stand for in front of the theory for. but that is okay. My arguments in debates are always more convincing to others and they garmer more popular support for me if i have no clue whatsoever about what the topic means, is, or how it came into existence.

i mean, look at the dates. before sue's post, they are all backdated to january. These posts are old hats, and their creators, probably six feet under. This is a magical post hall. Ye who enters here, don't expect wisdom. msg_end.
 RockinDaze
Joined: 7/3/2010
Msg: 57
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/18/2010 12:27:13 PM
May the powers be with me.

I believe there are two 'sly foxes' here. (lol) Figuratively speaking of course. Great war of wits btw. Exogenist, I think your 'Consciousness' theme spoke volumes (a lot) yet you chickened-out (for lack of a better word) at the end.

'Truth and Consciousness' is the big semantical debate of religion, is it not? And a rock is infinite. a word is infinite, a belief is infinite unless a conscious decision is made to let it change, be it created by ourselves or another force. Fundamental beliefs can be gathering stone and never questioned. Until evolution occurs. No doubt there is a lot to be said for those religions that can hold steadfast against it. Yet, sometimes that rock begins to change when it starts to be tossed around and suddenly they have to prove the formation of that rock whereas before there may have been no conscious thought. Depending on whose hands it lies in. Sometimes these rocks can get into the hands of large groups and become boulders.

Again, the big question lies. Why does evolution occur? In many cases it is thought to be changed for financial and/or power gain. True in some cases. Can that old adage that we are indeed a product of our environment prove to be mightier than we realized?

Indeed. There is always truth. There is always consciousness. It is ever evolving. The world is awake.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 58
view profile
History
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/19/2010 6:41:01 AM
RE Msg: 70 by Kardinal Offishall:

Your comments are entirely based on the pre-assumption that "new is better", aka Modernism.

We need to value what we learn that is new, and traditionalists do so as well as modernists. But as our knowledge increases, the new becomes a smaller and smaller part of our total knowledge. So if we pay attention to what we know objectively, then the vast majority of what we validate as true, and consider as being the most important knowledge, is the old, and not the new.

That's reason applied to the subject of knowledge itself.


2) I can no more say that a book is invalid because it comes from the bronze age, than I can say that ALL books from the industrial age are invalid because we live in an information-age, or that all books from this time of the information-age are invalid, because there will be a future age.
I don't think this is a charitable interpretation.

I read it as implying that the 'signal-to-noise' ratio of a book compiled in the Iron Age is more likely to be inferior to one written in more modern times.
I didn't say that at all, and my words do not imply that.

My words implied that mordernity is an irrational concept. Modernity claims that the past is superceded by the present. I was pointing out, how that according to modernists, we are the primitive, ignorant, backwards people, with regards to future generations. It is also reasonable to suppose that there will be at least a few more generations than that one in which we live. Therefore, considering ALL generations in time, in the past, present and future, the majority of perspectives would paint us as primitive, ignorant, backwards people, according to modernism. So it really discounts the knowledge of all generations, except for the very last.

Sam Harris has said much the same by stating that any book culled at random from a Barnes & Noble (save for new age, occult, and religious books, etc.) has more wisdom regarding its particular domain than can be found in an ancient text.
It's interesting you bring this up, because I practically lived in libraries and bookshops, from when I was 6 to when I was 30. Even in my late twenties, I used to spend at least one evening a week after work in Bookers in town after work, and stay there till closing, and I bought hundreds of books in my life, probably thousands. So I know a bit about bookshops and scanning for the best books.

If he or you had spent literally hundreds and hundreds of hours actually browsing in bookshops, then you'd both have found what I'd found, and you'd thus both have said, that the odds are that the newer the book, the more likely it is, that any section is either saying something that doesn't make sense, or was already said in an earlier book, and that the earlier book said it in a much more condensed, and yet much clearer way.

In other words, the newer the book, the more "noise" there is, per page, and the less "signal" there is, per page.

That's my empirical evidence, tested thousands of times. To quote yourself:
that if the data consistently say something contrary to your anecdotes and pet theories, then so much the worse for them.
The data DOES something contrary to your pet theory.

How do you think I came to this conclusion? I started out with your perspective. But I put it on scientific trial, and it was found to be false.

If you want to dispute this point, show me ancient religious texts that you think have the most truth and wisdom on offer in the domains of, oh, let's say, chemistry and fitness advice, than can be found in a contemporary text, respectively.
I cannot really think of any religious texts that discuss either. To compare them to modern texts, would be requiring division by zero. You get "indeterminate", a result that can be anything.

But here's a little tip. The Bible says in Deuteronmy 23:13-14 that when you take a dump, you have to go outside the camp, dig a hole, then do your business, and then cover it up. Ironically, in the 1850s, Florence Nightingale discovered that out of the 18,000 who died in the Crimean War, 16,000 died because the faeces got mixed up with the water, and her famous Rose Diagram led to modern implementation of sanitation, which has been said by Prof Marcus de Sautoy as having saved hundreds of millions of lives. The other thing about faeces, is that they make incredibly good sources of soil fertiliser, and right now, all the faeces have to be dealt with at great expense. So if you followed the Bible, you'd get both good sanitation, saving you from most sources of death, and you'd get good soil, which means good food supply. You'd be incredibly lucky if you can find a better piece of advice in science anywhere.


3) I can say that truth is often unpopular. Science is incredibly popular, though.
So popular, in fact, that in countries like the United States the population at large is woefully scientifically illiterate.
America is an excellent example. I'm sure that most Americans have at least heard of Einstein and black holes. But how many know that there have been thousands of studies that have found that the best source of nutrition is simply to eat a lot of fruit and veg on a regular basis, in addition to other foods like breads and meat?

That's the point. Science is popular, but not truthful facts about science, only the "cool" science, that stuff that is just used to make people exited about it. People eat the icing, and leave the cake.

Reality programming on the tube has recently been experiencing a severe difficulty in competing with the immense popularity of academic journals and scientific textbooks.

ABC execs have lamented the poor ratings of 'Dancing with the Stars,' wondering why they have such a mammoth task in competing with the science publishing industry.
Seriously?

In March this year, "Dancing with the Stars" got 23.9 million viewers. In September, it started with 20.99 million, and then went down to 17.7 million. And those are the ratings for ONE reality TV show, for 1 show for each rating.
http://justjared.buzznet.com/2010/03/23/dancing-with-the-stars-ratings-record-239-million-viewers/

http://insidetv.ew.com/2010/09/21/fall-2010-ratings-dancing-with-the-stars-kills-but-lone-star-is-d-o-a/


About the only thing close, that is close to science, might be something like the Moon landings. But even then, that's about history in the making, not science. You name me ANY proper science programme on TV, that has got anywhere near those ratings for a single show.

Laypersons everywhere have been abandoning their televisions and Twitter accounts to march en masse to the library and book store in search of scientific edification.
Seriously? Twitter was started in March 2006, but it only became popular in the last year or two. But for at least the last 6 months, it's a household name in the UK. I doubt there is a single person who hasn't heard of Twitter in the UK, and certainly, loads of people use it every day. If you're a celeb, you're on it. Obama used it to win the election. It has approximately 190 million users worldwide. Do you have any idea how huge that is, from a single site?

But yeah, I totally get you... [insert sarcasm here]
Let's try this from a different angle:
Top 20 Most-Watched TV Programs in 2009-10 (season-to-date through Dec. 20)

Show (Network), Total Viewers
1. NCIS (CBS) 21.46 million
2. Sunday Night Football (NBC) 19.56
3. Dancing With the Stars (ABC) 18.17
4. The Mentalist (CBS) 17.02
5. NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS) 16.97
6. CSI (CBS) 16.31
7. Dancing With the Stars Results (ABC) 16.15
8. Desperate Housewives (ABC) 15.67
9. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) 15.64
10. House (Fox) 15.61
11. CBS NFL Post Game (CBS) 15.53
12. Criminal Minds (CBS) 15.20
13. Two and a Half Men (CBS) 14.88
14. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick (NBC) 14.51
15. The Big Bang Theory (CBS) 14.41
16. CSI: Miami (CBS) 14.33
17. 60 Minutes (CBS) 14.30
18. CSI: NY (CBS) 14.15
19. The Good Wife (CBS) 13.88
20. Survivor: Samoa (CBS) 13.28
http://blog.newsok.com/television/2010/01/12/top-20-most-watched-tv-programs-in-2009-10-through-dec-20/

Unless you are going to tell me that NCIS, CSI, Grey's Anatomy and House all only ever give an entirely accurate representation of forensics and medicine, then then don't count as science programmes. They are in the category of crime fiction and medical fiction, nothing more.

So let's look at the top 100 best-sellers of 2009:
1 New Moon Stephenie Meyer Young adult: Second in Twilight vampire love saga; movie (F)
2 Eclipse Stephenie Meyer Young adult: Third in Twilight vampire saga (F)
3 Twilight Stephenie Meyer Young adult: First in love saga: Isabella falls for a vampire; movie (F)
4 Breaking Dawn Stephenie Meyer Young adult: Fourth in Twilight vampire series (F)
5 The Lost Symbol Dan Brown Harvard professor Robert Langdon unravels the mysterious brotherhood of the Masons (F)
6 The Shack William P. Young Man reconnects with God after death of child (F)
7 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw Jeff Kinney Children: Greg tries to toughen up to avoid military school; third in series (F)
8 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Jeff Kinney Children Greg’s summer plans include video games and no responsibility (F)
9 Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man Steve Harvey Subtitle: "What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment" (NF)
10 Going Rogue: An American Life Sarah Palin Memoir from the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate (NF)
11 Glenn Beck’s Common Sense Glenn Beck Subtitle: "The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine" (NF)
12 My Sister’s Keeper Jodi Picoult Teen helps cure her sister’s leukemia; movie (F)
13 The Associate John Grisham An associate at the world’s largest law firm is forced to hide a secret (F)
14 The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger Story of a couple who cope with husband’s "time-traveling" disorder; movie (F)
15 Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto Mark R. Levin Talk radio host presents manifesto for the conservative movement (NF)
16 Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin Subtitle: "One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time" (NF)
17 Outliers: The Story of Success Malcolm Gladwell Why some people succeed and others don’t (NF)
18 Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney Young adult: Diary from a middle-schooler, Greg Heffley (F)
19 The Host Stephenie Meyer Love triangle involving a man, a woman and the alien that possesses her (F)
20 The Help Kathryn Stockett A young white woman tells the story of black maids in 1960s Mississippi (F)
http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2010-01-05-top-books-2009_N.htm

When Sarah Palin gets hers in at #10 and Glenn Beck gets a book in at #11, way before the closest thing to a science book, which is Malcolm Gladwell's book at #17, on why some people succeed and some don't, you cannot argue that people are choosing science over trivialism.


5) Religions generally do not give clear answers to "the big questions". It makes religion quite difficult to accept.
Quite the contortion of reality.

When push comes to shove, you will find that many a believer have no qualms with deferring to their given religion in the service of answering the big questions. Does that mean that even the nominally religious always defer so uncritically to satiate their epistemic thirst?
Does one's neural connections automatically re-wire themselves in one millisecond because you decided to be an atheist? Of course not.

So the only argument is from a cognitive basis of rational behaviour.

We can look at all things in the universe being governed by G-d or by science.

Science says there are laws of nature, that dictate a very specific pattern. G-d has a plan, which means that there is a very specific pattern. So far, there is little difference.

However, let us examine the death of a child by a car. If the police have found that the driver did everything possible, and it was purely down to a mechanical failure in the brakes, we generally assume that it was a one-off. Only when such brake failure happen hundreds of times, do we see recalls.

However, if the policed found that the death was down to the actions of the driver, then he is put for trial, where we examine every angle of his actions, to see if there is any reason to suppose negligence on his part, or that he intended to kill. He is often incarcerated, stopped from having any actions with society, until he has fulfilled his term, or been paroled because he has shown us that he is no longer a threat in any way. Once released, he must go through the entire process of getting a driving license again, as he is considered at least as incompetent as someone who has no knowledge of a car, if not more so.

We can see from this, that when we consider something inanimate, we generally don't examine things very much, and we generally lack an epistemic thirst, while, if we attribute an action to a sentient being, then we spend a lot of time and effort into figuring out their motivations and intents for their actions, and even their motivations for when they could have acted, but did not.

No. But you're not fooling anyone by saying that religion can't easily be used as such
I am very aware that religions can be used to support agendas or to suppress knowledge and questioning. However, unfortunately, history has shown that practically everything else in modern life can and has been used in similar fashion.

-- or even that it didn't emerge in the first place (at least in part) as a set of answers to our existential predicament.
Religious philosophies could have been. They could still be valid.


They often believe in eugenics, and that white people are smarter than black people.
Suppose it turns out that sub-Saharan Africans, as a group, are on average of lesser intelligence than Caucasians, as a group. (There are some scientists that have suggested it, and there is some psychometric evidence that is consistent with the assertion, albeit not conclusive.)

Would that inconvenient truth be overturned simply by dint of the fact that some unsavory characters who espouse eugenics also think the same (though for unjustified reasons)?

No, it wouldn't. Be careful not to color your assessment of empirical findings with misguided religious/moral/political affectations. That's a separate issue.
I don't have a problem with saying that African people are stupider than Western people, even though my father was from Morocco, and that makes me half-African. But the fact is, that lots of science came from North Africa, and we have plenty of evidence of advanced scientific understanding in Central Africa, hundreds of years in advance of Western civilisation. So the whole notion that blacks are stupider than whites in pure fiction. It's based on expecting African people to fit in to a Western-style education system as quickly as Westerners. You might as well put a European in with an African tribe, and then expect them to perform as well as the natives. This has been tried, several times. The Europeans are praised for just making the effort. But every time, the Europeans struggled to cope with even the basics that even the native children found easy.

Westerners have been found, time and again, to assume their culture is the best, that they are the best, in everything, only to be outdone by the rest of the world, as soon as the rest of the world got a chance to catch up and become as acquainted with Western approaches as Westerners are.

That is why it is so important for Westerners to colour their assessment of empirical findings with assumed views that are designed to give the impression that Westerners are automatically "better" than other views and cultures.


There is even a populist view that taller people are smarter than smaller people, claimed to be backed up by science, even though logic and observation shows this to be false.
First of all, I don't think I've ever come across this so-called populist view.
I've come across studies on the subject before. So I'm quite surprised that you've never come across it.

But I will note that there is a statistical association between height and intelligence, whether it comports with your idiosyncratic observations or not.
Correlation does not make causation.

Some scientist on these forums (I cannot remember for sure who) wrote that height is dependent on a number of genetic factors. While I acknowledge the statistical association, it really does not make sense to me to draw any conclusions from it.

It's rather like me pointing out that Americans have a much higher rate of homicide that nearly all Europeans countries, and arguing on that basis, that you are far more likely to become a murderer than me.

It should go without saying, but I'll remind you anyway: A prime virtue of science is in this very capacity to stamp out subjective biases --
Exactly, just like regular exercise clearly stamps out obesity. If our countries have a major problem with obesity, it's because they aren't doing it.

Capacity is no good unless you actually do it. The fact that science can stamp out subjectivity, is no good, unless scientists acknowledge their subjective biases, and deliberately counter for them.

that if the data consistently say something contrary to your anecdotes and pet theories, then so much the worse for them.
And the data WAS in your favour, at the end of the 19th Century. But as the last 100 years have gone on, more and more has gone against a scientific backing for modernity and strict atheism.


What I can see, is that a lot of people have a dislike about religion, and they tend to try and use science to push their POV. That, IMHO, is an unfair use of science.
There's nothing wrong with that, the same way there's nothing wrong with person X marshalling scientific evidence to argue in favor or her view that the Earth is an oblate spheroid. It's fair game.
Fine. The climate change people have billions behind them. They can pull out all sorts of scientific arguments for decades.

You're just going to get a continuance of the situation in which you find yourself in the issue of climate change, having to fight tooth-and-nail over every little thing, only that it would be the same for ALL of science.

Is that what you want? To have to fight tooth-and-nail constantly for anything worthwhile you have to say to even be considered?

If you think an individual's point-of-view is incorrect, then you ought to remonstrate with evidence and reasoned-out argument. Saying that 'using science to support a point-of-view is wrong' is just an attempt to omit apposite evidence by fiat.
Of course. But that's no reason to ASSUME that your way is right.

If you think your view is right, then YOU ought to remonstrate with evidence and reasoned-out argument. Saying that 'using religion to support a point-of-view is wrong' is just an attempt to omit apposite evidence by fiat.

It doesn't work that way brother. But nice try at attempting to immunize backward Western views from the scientific outlook.

Face facts. Your words apply to you, as much as they apply to others.

It changes science from being a search for truth, to becoming a source of political propaganda.
That's a non-sequitur -- a slippery slope, really.

Even if we grant that the scientific enterprise is a search for truth, and even if we furthermore grant that some people distort science for use as propaganda, it doesn't follow that all uses of science -- for political or moral ends, and so forth -- must be nefarious.Of course it is important to not tar everything with the same brush. But nevertheless, the more science becomes used for political agendas, the more one has to sift through the research to find the unbiased stuff, like the scientific claims about the lack of harm of smoking, and the lack of harm due to climate change. One also has to consider that the average person isn't a professional scientist, and isn't likely to spend anywhere near the time that you would, investigating which scientific research in issues of controversy are the unbiased ones. So the average person is far more likely to accept either ALL the science is right, bad as well as good, or ALL the science is wrong, good as well as bad.

What you've suggested is a misconceived attempt at trying to be overly-diplomatic with the religious heads (something that even some very prominent scientists fall into the trap of).
I wasn't suggesting that here. But I do agree with that. We live in the real world, not in an ivory tower.

You cannot expect to get anything done in the real world, unless you work WITH the majority. So you have to at least get the majority to agree with you. What psychiatry has found out, is that if you tell mentally ill people what to think, even if it's right, and even if they agree with you, in reality, they will continue to behave according to their thoughts. So even if you are 100% right about something, if you tell the majority that they are wrong about something, then even if they say they agree with you, but they don't believe your statements in their heart of hearts, then they will continue to act according to their previous views. So even if you could get the majority to follow your views, then they would still do things in such a way that would validate their original views anyway. Since you see their and your views in conflict, if you don't get them on side, then even if the religious majority will agree with you verbally, their actions will oppose everything you hold to be true and in the interests of humanity.

While I personally don't go out of my way to actively prod religious believers, it would be wrongheaded to think there aren't forums where a discourse between religion and secularism should be actively sought, and one where science can impartially be brought to bear on the whole issue.
I like discussing religions. I like discussing secularism. But as you put it, it's only going to be useful to use science in these matters, when science is brought impartially, and too often, people on these forums are science on a partisan basis, to suppor their POV, and to reject anyone else's, and quite often when they do that, if you take the time to read the science they are referring to, it doesn't say anything of the kind.

Trying to squelch the free exchange and competition of ideas in the public sphere is not only a violation of free speech,
Free speech doesn't give you a right to insult someone else's ideas. There is more than one way of putting across the same idea, in different ways, and therefore, there is an obligation to choose those methods of expression of your ideas, that are not verbal assaults, at least to those who live in countries were assault is illegal.

it's also a really bad and arbitrary attempt to grant religion something it doesn't deserve: a sort of inviolable sacrosanct status, an immunity from critique.
I don't have a problem if you want to criticise religions. There is horrific abuse of children due to corruption of religion in Benin. But at least do it in a way that shows you know what the hell you are talking about, and that you've understood the matter in a sophisticated manner, but multiple angles, and not just in a childish way, that makes you seem like you are having a temper-tantrum.

Are there any other topics that get this special pedestal treatment in society?
Yes.

The harmfulness of drugs, like the fact that many scientists say that their harmfulness has become seriously questionable, and yet it's almost universally accepted by middle-class educated Westerners that "drugs are bad".

Science, like the fact that any time anyone says that science isn't perfect, and makes mistakes, sometimes mistakes that cost lives, or that sometimes scientists falsify results, lots of people start claiming that "science learns" and "science has peer-review". Too many people put science on a pedestal.

RE Msg: 71 by Kardinal Offishall:
I mentioned Sam Harris. Here's a clip of him making some lucid comments regarding why holy scriptures lose against modernity:

http://bigthink.com/samharris#!video_idea_id=3123
His first point is about the claim that atheists take a literalistview of scripture. He claims that there are certain passages that have only one way of understanding them. He gives examples from the Koran and the Bible. I cannot comment on the Koran, because my knowledge is scant there. However, he claims about the Bible, that there is a passage that states that if a woman is not a virgin on her wedding night, then you are supposed to stone her on her father's doorstep. He claims that Orthodox Jews believe in these passages as well as Xians.

I can tell you for 100% fact, that according to Orthodox Jewish Law, it is 100% forbidden to kill anyone on that basis alone, as there is a fundamental principle of Jewish law, that if there is ANY possible way to get someone off the death penalty, then you have to.

As a result, unless the deed is physically witnessed, then you cannot put anyone to the death penalty. Even if there is no other possible explanation, but the action is not physically witnessed, you can't put the accused to the death penalty under Jewish law.

You couldn't put such a woman to death, not unless the act of sex with physically witnessed by 2 witnesses.

So even by the things that he claims cannot be interpreted any other way, they quite clearly ARE understood differently to him, according to the religion that he was raised in, and this part of law comes up so many times in Jewish Law, that quite simply, its' really, really hard to study Judaic Law under a professional without knowing this.

So quite clearly, he is almost totally ignorant of his own parent's religion, let alone anyone else's, and you call his comments "lucid"?

That's like you arguing that we shouldn't trust any science, because someone who knows nothing about science says it's irrational and completely contradictory. It's ridiculous to make claims unless you at least have a basic working knowledge of the subject.

This might surpise you, to find out that many Jews, particularly American Jews, are incredibly ignorant of their own religion. But the fact is, that many, many Jews, particularly American Jews, are raised with such lack of knowledge of Judaism, that they know 100 times more about science than they do about Judaism.

Summary:

Your whole view is totally based on the assumption that this generation of Westerners is superior to all other generations, and to all other cultures. It's been stated many times as if it's been proved beyond doubt. But it's never been proved. What's more, there is plenty of evidence to suggest the opposite. So all it is, is trying to big yourself up. Well, that's not science. It never was, and it never will be.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 59
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History
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/21/2010 7:37:06 AM
RE Msg: 73 by Kardinal Offishall:

I can see that I have a lot to explain to you. So I'm going to explain it bit by bit, so that each bit is more readable and less lengthy.
I see you’re doing backflips again in a pitiful attempt to defend the venom printed in holy texts. For someone that claims to be educated, this whole game smacks of willful distortion -- and it’s very disingenuous of you.

Why don’t you call a spade a spade and concede that the holy books are chock full of barbarism and factually incorrect propositions?

You should read Harris’ book, “The End of Faith,” if you want a more sober analysis of the false, fantastical, and destructive statements espoused in these books -- replete with direct quotes to serve as textual support.
I can understand what you are saying, if you are a person who was raised in Western values, and particularly if you or your parents or grandparents were raised as Xians.

Many Westerners point to the Bible as proof of the "venom printed in holy texts". However, well over 90% of their proofs come from the Old Testament, and not the New Testament. Why would there be a preference for sources of "venom" from one section and not another?

Let's look at the OT versus the NT. They both contain several books. So it doesn't make ANY sense to divide the Bible up on that basis. The only difference between the OT and the NT, is that both Jews and Xians accept the validity of the Old Testament, but only the Xians accept the validity of the New Testament.

Since the Council of Jerusalem, Xians don't follow the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament. Only the Jews do. So effectively, any laws in the Old Testament apply to Jews but not Xians, and any laws and exhortations in the New Testament apply to Xians but not Jews.

Since the OT is followed only by the Jews, it only makes sense that whichever ones are "venomous", would be reflected in their followers. So, if the Old Testament was full of venom, then the Jews would have started lots of wars.

So which ones have caused lots of wars, as far as we can verify in our own historical documents?

Who ran the Spanish Inquisition?

What religion was Torquemada?

Who enslaved the Africans?

You don't need to be a brain surgeon to realise that the vast majority of wars in the last 2 thousand years were NOT caused by the Jews.

So it makes a lot more sense to say that the Old Testament has very little, if any, venom at all?

So why would so many pick on the Old Testament so many times?

For the last 2000 years, Xians were taught that the G-d of the Old Testament was vengeful, hateful, jealous, angry, oppressive, violent and evil. They were taught that the G-d of the New Testament was a good, loving, G-d.

But it's the same G-d, isn't it?

Well, not exactly. According to the way Xians were traditionally taught, G-d was a good, loving, G-d, but the Jews corrupted G-d's message into vengefulness, hatred, jealousy, oppression, and basically everything evil. They were taught that Jesus came to put the Xians and the Jews back on the right path, but that the Jews rejected goodness and love, and stuck with hatred, oppression and evil.

That was how Xians traditionally explained why the Jews rejected Jesus.

Of course, the result was that painted the Jews into being evil monsters. But people didn't question it. They liked seeing the Jews as evil. It meant that every time some calamity happened, they could just blame the Jews, by saying that they were only punished because the Jews had committed some unknown evil, and the Xians hadn't made the Jews pay for it.

So any time there was a natural disaster, or a war, or a famine, or an economic collapse, the Jews were blamed for it, for having done some terrible atrocity. Invariably, some kids had died, and then stories were made up about it, like when the Xians would find a child that had died, and they said that the Jews had killed him to use his blood to make their Matzos from. Then the Xians would go on a rampage, would kill thousands of Jews, old men, women, children, cutting off their heads, torturing them, burning them alive, even little babies. As far as the Xians were concerned, the Jews were guilty of the most horrific atrocities and deserved to have such atrocities done to them, without any proof or trial.

That's how Hitler was able to marshall the whole of Europe into turning against the Jews in such horror. They didn't force most people to kill Jews. There are documented cases where the Germans marched into town, and simply announced that they and the police would be leaving town for 3 days, and that anything that happened to the Jews while they were away would never be prosecuted. In those towns and villages, the people would simply take their pitchforks and their torches, would set the houses of the Jews alight, and then would kill every Jew in town, often in horrific, barbarous ways, and would then take all the property of the Jews for their own. When the police and the Germans came back, the villagers were allowed to keep the property they had stolen from the Jews, and not a single person was charged with a crime.

That's why Pope John Paul II apologised for all the nasty things done to the Jews over the last 2000 years. He knew it was partly because Xians had chosen to present the Jews as the bad guys, to make the Xians seem the good guys in the Bible.

Even today, when atheists claim the Bible is "venomous", they almost always use cite the Old Testament. They are also almost always people who raised almost totally on Xian values. Mostly, it's because they were raised Xians. But you also sometimes get this with Jews who have little knowledge of Judaic values, and who were raised in countries steeped in traditional Xianity, and who have taken on the culture of their country as their own, with all its hatred of Jews.

But effectively, they have been raised with an extremely anti-Semitic meme, which they continue to believe in, to this day.

As the saying goes, "you can take the boy out of the home, but not the home out of the boy". They've stopped following Xianity. But they are still immersed in the traditional anti-Semitic values of their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and their other ancestors for the last 2000 years.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 60
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History
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/21/2010 11:59:17 AM
RE Msg: 81 by Paul K:
Yes, by all accounts, there was a meeting of the then new Christians, and they did come to that conclusion, however, theologically, that deed was acomplished long before that. When Jesus was on the cross, his last words were reputed to be: "It is finished". Most theological scholars interpret that as meaning that because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the old Judaic temple system was supplanted by one where a person recieves salvation by GRACE. It is finished referred to the judaic system of worship.
Obviously, if Jesus had meant to continue the previous Jewish Law, then that would have been Jesus' instructions, and everyone who followed Jesus, would have had to continue to follow previous Jewish Law. That is what the Early Xians did.

The Council of Jerusalem only debated and decided, what Jesus intended for Xians.

It's really not that different when the Supreme Court made decisions on the First Amendment, such as the Lemon Law. They aren't trying to re-write the Constitution. They are just trying to figure out what was the true intent of those who wrote the Constitution.

A lot of things back that up...... I mean, there isn't one Jewish temple that practices as they were told to do in the OT........ There are variations, but.............
If you mean "offer animal sacrifices", once G-d's "house" was built, that was the only place it was allowed. At the moment, there is no Jewish Temple, only Jewish places of study and prayer. So right now, we do according to the OT, which is, to pray, until such time as the Temple is rebuilt, at which time, we'll all go back to offering animal sacrifices.

But if you mean, all the laws that are still applicable even when the Temple is not around, like not lighting fires on the Sabbath, not carrying on the Sabbath, not eating pork, not eating lobster, not wearing clothing which contains wool and linen, and much else that is in the OT, then I can tell you, that yes, many, many Jews do still keep all that.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 61
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History
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/21/2010 12:44:29 PM
RE Msg: 83 by Paul K:
Hey scorp

You wrote:
"Obviously, if Jesus had meant to continue the previous Jewish Law, then that would have been Jesus' instructions, and everyone who followed Jesus, would have had to continue to follow previous Jewish Law. That is what the Early Xians did."

This is a perfect example of how interpretation of the bible can lead to very different conclusions.
I didn't mean to suggest that the Early Xians were automatically right, only that the Early Xians had one understanding of Jesus' intent, and the Council of Jerusalem had another. AFAIK, the majority of Xians agree with the Council of Jerusalem in this regard, as is their right.

I think that while it shows a great deal of faith in their faith, for Jews to hold out hope that they will be able to re-build their temple where they want to is really a non reality.
We Jews are a patient people. It's one of the reasons we survived massacre after massacre, just to make it long enough for America and Israel to appear on the scene.

First you would have to remove one of the most revered mosques..................... Good luck with that.
According to Orthodox Jewish Law, G-d will rebuild the Third Temple Himself. We don't have to do anything but be patient, and we've had 2000 years of practice at being patient. We've become quite good at it.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 62
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History
Creationism vs. Atheism and the CPGT theory
Posted: 12/21/2010 5:38:06 PM
RE Msg: 85 by Paul K:
Is there anything in Jewish prophecy about a country such as America rising up and helping the state of Israel?
None, that I've ever heard of or come across, and I've come across quite a few.

Personally, having read most of what Jefferson and a few of the other founders wrote, while some were athiests, the ones that were athiests had a very strong respect for an almighty diety.
I agree very much so, especially when I read Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, that is the basis of America's Wall of Separation between Church and State:
To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.
http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9806/danpre.html
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 63
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History
Creationism vs. Atheism and the nutty rationalizations of religious believers
Posted: 12/21/2010 8:46:11 PM
RE Msg: 88 by Kardinal Offishall:

Many Westerners point to the Bible as proof of the "venom printed in holy texts". However, well over 90% of their proofs come from the Old Testament, and not the New Testament. Why would there be a preference for sources of "venom" from one section and not another?
There’s destructive venom in both the New and Old Testaments, as there is in the Quran.
I pre-judged you. You haven't cited many references to either yet. So there is time for you to show whether you cite the OT and the NT equally, or not.

The Israelites had a penchant for genocide, and if Jews had the same numbers and wherewithal as Christians or Muslims, they’d have done the same level of damage, verily.
You can only verify that, if you accept the Bible as a valid and accurate historical document. Are you willing to do that?


But you also sometimes get this with Jews who have little knowledge of Judaic values, and who were raised in countries steeped in traditional Xianity, and who have taken on the culture of their country as their own, with all its hatred of Jews.
Spoken like someone with a serious grudge. Spare us the guilt tripping; it’s really pathetic.
I've just been a very open person. So I've listened to lots of people. I've come across this sort of thing quite often, but mostly when I was much younger, and much less confident than I was today to call them on it.


until such time as the Temple is rebuilt, at which time, we'll all go back to offering animal sacrifices.

According to Orthodox Jewish Law, G-d will rebuild the Third Temple Himself. We don't have to do anything but be patient,
You are totally off your ****in’ rocker.

Do you ever stop to think about these beliefs of yours, manifestly absurd as they are?
People thought that it was impossible to solve Fermat's Last Theorem as well. For that reason, Andrew Wiles worked in secret for 7 years. But he believed he could, and he did. It took him an additional year on top, a total of 8 years, requiring an incredible amount of patience. But to do the impossible, it often only requires the imagination to believe that what others say is impossible, but is theoretically possible, however improbable it might seem, can really happen, and patience and perseverance.

And since you never answered my question about stoning women to death, I’ll just presume you actually think it’s permissible (the holy command of a false god, in fact).
This might help you out:
Capital punishment in classical sources

The harshness of the death penalty indicated the seriousness of the crime. Jewish philosophers argue that the whole point of corporal punishment was to serve as a reminder to the community of the severe nature of certain acts. This is why, in Jewish law, the death penalty is more of a principle than a practice. The numerous references to a death penalty in the Torah underscore the severity of the sin rather than the expectation of death. This is bolstered by the standards of proof required for application of the death penalty, which has always been extremely stringent (Babylonian Talmud Makkoth 7b). Because the standards of proof were so high, it was well-nigh impossible to inflict the death penalty. The Mishnah (tractate Makkoth 1:10) outlines the views of several prominent first-century Rabbis on the subject:

A Sanhedrin that puts a man to death once in seven years is called destructive. Rabbi Eliezer ben Azariah says that this extends to a Sanhedrin that puts a man to death even once in seventy years. Rabbi Akiba and Rabbi Tarfon say: Had we been in the Sanhedrin none would ever have been put to death. Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel says: they would have multiplied shedders of blood in Israel.

According to the Talmud forty years before the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE (i.e. in 30 CE) the Sanhedrin effectively abolished capital punishment.

The 12th-century Jewish legal scholar Maimonides famously stated that "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death." Maimonides argued that executing a defendant on anything less than absolute certainty would lead to a slippery slope of decreasing burdens of proof, until we would be convicting merely "according to the judge's caprice." Maimonides was concerned about the need for the law to guard itself in public perceptions, to preserve its majesty and retain the people's respect.

Stringencies of Evidence in Capital Cases

* Two witnesses were required. Acceptability was limited to:
o Adult Jewish men who were known to keep the commandments, knew the written and oral law, and had legitimate professions;
o The witnesses had to see each other at the time of the sin;
o The witnesses had to be able to speak clearly, without any speech impediment or hearing deficit (to ensure that the warning and the response were done);
o The witnesses could not be related to each other or to the accused.
* The witnesses had to see each other, and both of them had to give a warning (hatra'ah) to the person that the sin they were about to commit was a capital offense;
* This warning had to be delivered within seconds of the performance of the sin (in the time it took to say, "Peace unto you, my Rabbi and my Master");
* In the same amount of time, the person about to sin had to:
o Respond that s/he was familiar with the punishment, but they were going to sin anyway; AND
o Begin to commit the sin/crime;
* The Beth Din had to examine each witness separately; and if even one point of their evidence was contradictory - even if a very minor point, such as eye color - the evidence was considered contradictory and the evidence was not heeded;
* The Beth Din had to consist of minimally 23 judges;
* The majority could not be a simple majority - the split verdict that would allow conviction had to be at least 13 to 11 in favor of conviction;
* If the Beth Din arrived at a unanimous verdict of guilty, the person was let go - the idea being that if no judge could find anything exculpatory about the accused, there was something wrong with the court.
* The witnesses were appointed by the court to be the executioners.

As a result, it was next to impossible to convict someone of a capital offense in Judaism.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_and_corporal_punishment_%28Judaism%29

The above is an accepted fact by scholars of Judaic Law, including secular academic scholars of Judaic Law.

However, it has been asked by many, why so many laws carry a death penalty, if it's so improbable to carry them out, and so rare. Some have hypothesised that the purpose of such death penalties was to make the Jewish people aware of just how serious the nature of those actions could be, and as a result, how important things like fidelity are.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 64
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Creationism vs. Atheism and the nutty rationalizations of religious believers
Posted: 12/21/2010 9:09:25 PM
FYI, you might be interested to know, that the Talmud states that if a man is having consensual, loving sex with his wife, and he accidentally bruises her, then she is entitled to compensation payments from him, for any lasting physical injury, any pain suffered as a result of that bruising, the cost of any medical treatments, any embarrassment she feels as a result of those bruises, and any time she needs to take off from her work to heal. The same is true if he harms her emotionally during sex, even inadvertently. The same is true of any time a man is having sex with any woman.

Women are VERY protected, when it comes to Orthodox Jewish Law, far more than you would find in any secular Western court of today.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 65
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Creationism vs. Atheism and the nutty rationalizations of religious believers
Posted: 12/22/2010 4:47:09 AM
RE Msg: 92 by Paul K:
I heard once that somewhere in the 600 some odd laws, ther is one that says that the wife is entitled to sex at least three times week, whether the husband wants to or not........

Any truth to that?
He has to give her sex when she wants it. But she doesn't have to give him sex when she wants it, and if she doesn't want it, then he has to back off.

He has to make sure that she was satisfied by the sex. She doesn't have to satisfy him.

FYI, it's every night. The only nights he gets off, is when the religion forbids it, and when his work doesn't let him come home. Apart from that, he's always got to try to satisfy her needs and desires.

In Judaism, when it comes to sex, the woman gets all the rights and the man gets none.
 Necro Vine
Joined: 4/22/2007
Msg: 66
Creationism vs. Atheism and the nutty rationalizations of religious believers
Posted: 12/22/2010 9:36:31 AM
this thread is not about science or philosophy, I think it should be deleted
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