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 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 973
EvolutionPage 39 of 64    (24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64)
They are referred to as the Innuit and in 1999, the federal government made a big flippin mistake and attempted to herd them into a place called Nunavat where they proceeded to destroy themselves due to alcohol, drugs, etc. due to ....lack of money, denial of what was forsaken. Read up on the facts. Last weekend's Canadian newspaper ...The Globe and Mail. The "Focus" section of the paper. And even there...the white man got real righteous about the facts. Keep up on the servitude to money and status, the house on the damned hill, the car and rest of the bling and blang, and you are fine. Come from a genetic structure that enveloped you into the land and forget it. You are dead. Too bad...the rest of you ...may the land swallow you whole. sigh. Deservedly.
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 974
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Posted: 4/5/2011 9:13:51 PM
Canadian Inuit were not "herded" into Nunavut. They already lived there, under the name "Keewatin District" of the NWT. They also continue to live in the Yukon and NWT (formerly known as the Mackenzie District of the NWT). Most of the former Mackenzie District was occupied by indians, with Inuit only on the coast. Much of the former Keewatin District is islands and tundra occupied by Inuit.

Alcohol, drugs, suicide and many other problems are not new, though they are in large part due to a mismatch between tradition and westernization. Nothing new there either. Those were problems 35 years ago, when I was a kid in the north. The problem I think is that the "white" method of dealing with natives is to allott them a chunk of land, give them cash with no obligations, and constrain them to co-existing with western civilization. That's not an approach which promotes either native values or western ones, and in fact leads to an attitude of "the government will replace it". Native life not really possible, and cash handed over without obligation. Sounds like the a career in music, minus the taxes or wealth.

Part of the reason for the establishment of Nunavut was a land claims settlement and an increase in self-government for native peoples. You should note that the federal minister of health is an Inuk from Nunavut. Obviously, the chances of an Inuk being elected are good when some ridings are largely Inuit, but to be made a minister suggests an ability beyond mere popularity, and it means that an Inuk from Nunavut is overseeing a portfolio which is relevant to all, especially those in the north.

As for terminology - the federal GOVERNMENT limited themselves to "Inuit". The arctic peoples of Siberia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland did not - they include "eskimo". The federal government follows popular perception of "eskimo" as an insult and deliberately avoids it [as have I until yesterday, when I learned that it's neither an insult, nor universally taken by the people themselves as such].
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 975
Evolution
Posted: 4/5/2011 9:46:27 PM
I stand corrected. Inuit. Rather than the way I spelled . Oh right...its a mismatch between tradition and westernization. The facts are lost in where they lived. Where they lived matters more than all of the dry facts and because native life is not possible , forget the equation. Inuk minister or not, I hope one day the Inuit rule and you double speak people disappear into your timely and progressive points of doom. Frankly, Eskimo suits me fine and frankly so does Inuit. It has a beautiful meaning. Can you just for one second imagine a winter day in Inuit territory without your idea of heat, birth methods and dumb cars?? Can you even have the strength to do just one day. This then is what was lost. Maybe gladly, but I frankly doubt it. By the way, read the article and align yourself with their progressive analysis.
 FrogO_Oeyes
Joined: 8/21/2005
Msg: 977
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Posted: 4/6/2011 7:17:55 PM
Paul - question was post 1779, page 72.

Re - barrel-chested mountain people.
The same trait occurs among the Quechua and other mountain peoples. It's a trait which occurs without need for a specific allele, and will apparently develop in anyone raised from birth at high altitude. This was something which came up in an anthropology course about 20 years ago.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 978
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Posted: 4/6/2011 7:28:44 PM
The whole idea of BEING offended by a generalized name is an interesting thing. A lot of people who are offended these days, didn't even know they WERE being "insulted" in the past. And a lot of the time, the people "insulting" them didn't know they were doing so either. It seems that a word BECOMES offensive through a process. I've seen during my lifetime, that sometimes a new "nice" name is selected (somehow!) by a given group, and it's bandied about for a while, then suddenly one day, someone starts objecting to THAT designation, and the uncomfortable confusions start all over again. "Hyphenated-Americans" is one of those such designations that was hot for a while, then suddenly got publicly dumped on as "unacceptable". Another form of (social?) evolution in action.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 979
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Posted: 4/6/2011 7:29:43 PM
Devolution also occurs. It has only been a generation or two that belives that they cannot survive without air conditioning. Those who have never had AC rapidly adjust to the season changes whilst their western/yuppie counterparts belive they will perish or stink themselves and others to death. Devolutionists also believe life as we know it will dissappear when the oil runs dry. They are most likely right on that one. The temporary long life-spans and population boom is done by the grace of fossil fuels, an 80 year old experiment with anti-biotics, and does not take into account the chemical soup, man-made radiation exposures, genetically modified, and nano world of our making, while consuming finite resources into an inevitable collapse, while seeking only happy newz. The devolution will not be televised. It will be made into a reality show and presented as something worth viewing and a step forward.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 980
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Posted: 4/7/2011 4:15:20 AM
Other than technological advances, and some facinating pictures, the space programs have been a one way ticket for the earth's finite resources. A few moon rocks hardly presents hope for a civilization that is intent on liquidating it's planet with no escape clause.

There was also a picture in the paper yesterday of the growing debris field around the earth from previous near space adventures. This man-made junkyard encircling us threatens our escape even if we did have the capacity and viable destination. It is like the Bozone Layer that Gary Larson illustrated once. Our planet encircled by clowns to prevent the universe from suffering the known harmful effects of humans .
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 981
Evolution
Posted: 4/7/2011 8:57:54 PM
Just wondering? Who watches Oprah? I would rather eat six lemons, whole. And I do not need the devolution handed to me on a illusionary , empty vessel. I look around. Nobody is paying attention. Too bad, so sad. So, continue to pick and choose your illusion. It all goes back to the pastor or priest who said..." when they came for the Jews, I resisted, I wasn't a Jew....and so forth and so forth. Ends with..."when they came for me...nobody was there to defend me". amen.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 984
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Posted: 4/9/2011 4:12:02 PM
"if allowed" is a key word Paul. Despite international agreements, there will be pirate fleets that will get away with whatever they can to profit or survive.

It will be hard to technologically or socially engineer our way out of overpopulation, overconsumption, basic human needs and greeds, and to save the 25% of species in imminent threat of extinction right now.

Fish farms, though well intentioned, are breeding grounds for diseases that escape into the wild populations and spread rapidly and are now threatening historically significant fish populations.

Meanwhile...in a tree in Iowa, a family that relies on fish is having a family moment.
http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 986
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Posted: 4/9/2011 5:34:39 PM
A wise one observed once paraphrased, that "The problems in nature occur not because of the differnce bewteen the way that nature works and how man thinks". Could have been Bateson or Eiseley, but the concept remains that as Einstein noted...
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Albert Einstein.


and..
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 987
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Posted: 4/10/2011 4:53:37 PM
RE Msg: 2146 by Earthpuppy:
A wise one observed once paraphrased, that "The problems in nature occur not because of the differnce bewteen the way that nature works and how man thinks". Could have been Bateson or Eiseley,
I think you'll find it's this:
"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think."
Gregory Bateson
http://www.attractionretreat.org/AttractionRetreat/MoreQuotes.html

but the concept remains that as Einstein noted...
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Albert Einstein.
WHY is this the case?
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 988
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Posted: 4/10/2011 9:03:31 PM
Paul, you have made some statements that I recognize as similar to a bunch of my ex IBM friends (only ex, because IBM sold me to another company, so I don't see them any more), about fishing especially.
Yes, it's true that most SPORT fishermen are happy about fishing limits, and even many of the professionals who make their living fishing in particular waters. But there are also large commercial fisheries that don't give a damn about maintaining the future health of fish areas, and they have in the past, and continue to have the ability to do much more damage to fishing than any other group. Industrial fishing is a special case that makes national government intervention a necessity.

I also wish you would differentiate between the many KINDS of "environmentalists." You write as if ALL of them are the emotional extremists, completely ignoring in particular that there ARE in fact, Environmental Scientists in the world today. For that matter, you and your other responsible fishing friends ARE environmentalists, whether you want to admit it or not.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 989
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Posted: 4/11/2011 1:05:58 AM

but the concept remains that as Einstein noted...
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Albert Einstein.
WHY is this the case?


One need only look at our food industrial complex. Killing waters, depleting soils, wiping out genetic diversity, dependent on toxic chemicals, fracking, oil wars, finite mineral deposits and less nutritious than ever. The system is so complex now, that it is a house of cards where any part of it crashing will wipe out most humans in a heartbeat. It was not that long ago, in my lifetime, that we had a sustainable and healthy food production system.

Kreb...Here is some humor relief..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sdn3O6aaMNc&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=przgJ9Cc3KM&feature=related
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 990
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Posted: 4/11/2011 9:48:53 AM
RE Msg: 2151 by Earthpuppy:

but the concept remains that as Einstein noted...
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Albert Einstein.
WHY is this the case?
One need only look at our food industrial complex. Killing waters, depleting soils, wiping out genetic diversity, dependent on toxic chemicals, fracking, oil wars, finite mineral deposits and less nutritious than ever. The system is so complex now, that it is a house of cards where any part of it crashing will wipe out most humans in a heartbeat. It was not that long ago, in my lifetime, that we had a sustainable and healthy food production system.
Very true. I empathise with your feelings on the subject.

However, remember what you quoted from Gregory Bateson:
"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think."
Our most major problems come from not accepting reality.

So we need to ask ourselves: Was there any reason to suspect the problems that you highlighted, were a likely result of how nature works?

Earthpuppy, in order for people to eat, they have to make money to buy. To do that, they have to sell stuff. However, other people are competing with them for the business. So they need to ensure that you have to buy their products from them. They have to ensure that you cannot get it from nature. So it has to be artificial. They have to ensure that you cannot make it yourself from nature. So it has to be complex, even if it doesn't need to be. They have to ensure that their competitors cannot sell the same thing to you for cheaper. So it has to be patented. So it has to be new, and THEIR own idea. All this means that products have to be new, artificial, and over-complex. What is more, everyone has to compete with each other. So EVERYONE has to do the same. Even later generations have to make money. So THEY have to do the same. Progress thus becomes this ubiquitous and incredibly long-lived entity, that is always looking for the new, the artificial, and the over-complex.

Of course, the new is too new to know all of its faults. The over-complex is too complex to easily spot all of the harm it could cause. The artificial is out of step with nature, and so is likely to have many conflicts with nature that can and often do produce much harm to the environment, and to what is within it, animals, and us.

But since we are each only looking to make money to support us and our families in our single lifetime, we tend to think that as long as when we are producing the quantities we alone wish to make in a single lifetime, that the harm is small, then we tend to think that we alone do little harm. We tend to forget about the domino effect caused by competition, even though it's an inevitability in any organised civilisation.

So the situation is quite natural, at least in an economy where we don't want to tell everyone how to live their life.

However, businesspeople rarely make their own new products. They usually display that they don't want to, and even if they wanted to, most lack the IQ to do so. They usually pay very intelligent scientists to do the research to make new products. So really, scientists are pulling the strings of business.

I find it delicious that scientists have so much power over business, without even saying a word in public, or any involvement in conservation, and yet believe themselves to be impotent in the face of "big business".

But are scientists to blame? Well, scientists need to make a living too. Ironically, the same arguments that apply to selling a product, applies to scientists. Scientists have to convince others to keep paying them their salary, and to keep funding grants, on the basis that those scientists will do research. So the theories that scientists publish, become their way of procuring the money to support them and their families. Their theories are their "products" in the economics of scientific research. So they are subject to the same problems that business people have, in some ways even more so than businesspeople.

The issue, is therefore, not what we are doing, but our attitude to things, our current social paradigms in economics and in science.

However, we can still look to what we can do to improve things. There is much we can do, that can help things improve, by improving on our social paradigms in economics and in science. We have so many ways to improve our attitudes, that we can even choose to select those changes that could even benefit businesspeople and scientists in the long term, and possibly even in the short term as well. So we can even have a "win-win".

All we need, is that businesspeople and scientists are open to change their attitudes to what will help them, and everyone else.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 991
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Posted: 4/11/2011 11:58:40 AM
RE Msg: 2153 by _alan:

All we need, is that businesspeople and scientists are open to change their attitudes to what will help them, and everyone else.
And be sure to apply this same statement to those theists who see nothing wrong with attempting to force their beliefs & teachings onto others, either in secular classrooms (particularly science classes) and in government legislation.

Don't forget,
Our most major problems come from not accepting reality.
After I posted, I was thinking about what changes might be beneficial for everyone in regards to scientists, and businesspeople. I realised such attitudinal changes would be good to apply to politicians, and to religious leaders as well.

You've raised a valid point, that theists should not have a monopoly on what happens in our society. But should atheists have a monopoly? Should atheists who see nothing wrong with forcing their beliefs and teachings onto others, be free to solely determine what is taught in secular classrooms, and most particularly science classes? Should atheists who see nothing wrong with forcing their beliefs and teachings onto others, be free to solely determine government legislation?

Our educational systems tend to be patriarchal and very patronising. They tend to result in people being taught concepts such as evolution, and at the same time, teach such concepts in such a way, as to include other personal viewpoints into these concepts, even though these personal viewpoints play no part in the concepts that are right to be taught. They are taught in such a way, that many who agree with those subjects, see those personal agendas as being integral to those concepts. Many of those personal agendas result in indirect consequences, that are unfairly beneficial to those who espouse those ideas, and unfairly harmful to others. The same happens in legislation.

Knowing that, it is clear that anyone whose survival and success would be harmed by those personal agendas, would oppose them. However, being met with claims that if one accepts such concepts, that one must accepts these agendas as an integral part of those concepts, nature shows that those people's survival instincts would kick in, and would be forced to oppose those concepts, in order to ensure those personal agendas were not accepted as well, in order to ensure they are not harmed by society.

Conflicts on such issues are natural, when you mix up personal agendas with reasonable concepts. So our most major problems with these conflicts, are not from others opposing things we consider true, but from intelligent fools making things bigger and more complex than they truly need to be. Borrowing from Earthpuppy again:
but the concept remains that as Einstein noted...
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. Albert Einstein.
 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 992
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Posted: 4/11/2011 5:53:15 PM
Scorp..as per message 2152...Impending thunder and lightening..not time to copy/paste, long work day. but... a couple of things to ponder.

My work mate and I discussed the political issues that drive unsustainability on our way to work today. Though we are quite a bit off politically, we did agree at one point that any politician who proposed legislation that would negatively affect people or the planet, should be forced under law and penalty, to swear on a Bible, their mommas' grave, or whatever they consider sacred and sacrosanct, to actually do good with honesty or suffer a public shaming, stoning, or at least shaming. Most legislation is based on total bullshit and disregard for the truth and the public interest, particularly in the US, the champion of corporate "rights" and manipulation of the public. If such a law existed, it would eliminate well over 90% of the current crop of corporate whores that constitute the governments of the US and the EU.

The institutes of Science, bureaucracy, learning, regulatory powers, etc...all fall down to the level of the rich****s in charge of the global economy. The vast majority of governance and media is for the most part, quite dishonest and works against the interests of the majority of the world's inhabitants. Thusly, we are denied any sort of realistic assessment of where we are, where we are going, options to quit being total nitwits, and forced to nit-pick amongst ourselves as the corporate overlords writhe their hands in glee, and watch us fight amongst ourselves...Thanks Mr. Burns..from the Simpsons... Watching the Tea Party being so willingly manipulated by the Koch Bros. is disconcerting to say the least. Watching the Dems being manipulated by their version of corporate power is disgusting at the least. As we saw in the build up to the Iraq attack, the vast majority of people want easy, quick, wrong, but acceptable answers to things they know little of, don't have time for, and quite frankly could care less about as they keep up to busy worker bee bullshit.

We are Koch Suckers...world wide.

And yes..In my heart of hearts I knew it was a Bateson quote, but too tired...I wimped out on chasing it down. Thanks for that. I heard it decades ago but it stuck.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 993
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Posted: 4/12/2011 3:23:40 PM
RE Msg: 2157 by Earthpuppy:
My work mate and I discussed the political issues that drive unsustainability on our way to work today. Though we are quite a bit off politically, we did agree at one point that any politician who proposed legislation that would negatively affect people or the planet, should be forced under law and penalty, to swear on a Bible, their mommas' grave, or whatever they consider sacred and sacrosanct, to actually do good with honesty or suffer a public shaming, stoning, or at least shaming. Most legislation is based on total bullshit and disregard for the truth and the public interest, particularly in the US, the champion of corporate "rights" and manipulation of the public. If such a law existed, it would eliminate well over 90% of the current crop of corporate whores that constitute the governments of the US and the EU.
I've considered punitive measures against politicians. I can see the merit in it.

However, it seems that every time we punish some corrupt politician, they either squirm out of it, or we get someone else, who claims to be honest, but is just as corrupt. It seems to me that whichever party gets voted in, turns corrupt while in office. It might be that corruption in politics is endemic.

But is corruption the big problem here? We can already see that politicians are creaming off the top, and yet there is plenty to go around for the majority.

It strikes me that the main problem is not that politicians are creaming off the top, but that they don't even run things well.

Maybe we can solve both problems by combining them. Imagine if we tie politicians' fortunes to the reasonably expected outcomes of their policies. If they put in a policy, and it works well, or from every angle, it should have worked well, and it only screwed up because of a truly unforeseeable outcome, then we should pay them a proportion of what they helped, or would have helped, their people. Likewise, if they put in a policy that caused harm to the people, or would have done, had someone not bailed them out, then we take a proportion of what they cost the country, and fine them for it.

Of course, some policies will only show benefit or harm, long after they are out of office. But then, why not continue the policy then? If a politician causes benefit to the country, but those benefits only show up 10 years after he has left office, why not pay him for his contributions to society? Likewise, if his policies worked well in the short-term, but were bound to screw up the country long-term, then why not make the politician pay, even after he/she has left office?

Pay them for what they did that was good, and fine them for what they did that was bad.

We'll still have corruption. But at least then, we could make it work for us.

This is just AN idea. If someone has a better one, then by all means, use that.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 994
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Posted: 4/13/2011 6:20:24 AM
RE Msg: 2158 by _alan:
Actually, my point was in response to your statement
All we need, is that businesspeople and scientists are open to change their attitudes to what will help them, and everyone else.
and was a reminder to include theists in the list of people who should be "open to change their attitudes to what will help them, and everyone else".
Then we have to include atheists in that list as well, or we'd be discriminatory.

I'm not speaking of all theists ( just as I'm sure you weren't speaking of all businesspeople and scientists), just those closeminded ( generally the fundamentalists ( of ANY faith) ones that feel the only things that need to be learned and that should be of any concern to people are the words of whichever Holy text they profess to believe in.
If I accepted that anyone who only chose to learn SOME things, was wrong, then I'd have to accept that ANYONE who only learned SOME things, and didn't believe they had to learn EVERYTHING, would be wrong as well.

Almost all scientists today, are specialists. That is, they believe they know what they need to know about their subject, to figure out everything about their subject. So if I believed that everyone had to learn EVERYTHING, they too would be wrong.

These fundamentalists are willing to ignore facts if the facts contradict their book.
You mean like the way Cardinal Bellarmine refused to accept Gallileo's theory, and accepted Newton's, because Johannes Kepler pointed out that Gallileo's theory predicted there should be only 1 tide, and there are 2 tides?

If I accept that some people will stick to their ideas, in spite of evidence to the contrary, are fundamentally wrong to do so, then I have to accept that if any scientific theories make predictions that are contradicted by even the slightest evidence, that anyone who accepts such a theory is fundamentally wrong to do so. However, most scientific theories have SOME things they cannot explain. So then I'd have to accept that anyone who accepted most scientific theories would HAVE to be fundamentally wrong to accept them.

Exactly, if it is a non-faith based school or classroom then there hould be no faith based teachings involved, particularly in a science class.
I already covered this in my earlier post. What exactly didn't you understand about it?

As to forcing beliefs onto others, most ( if not all) theists see absolutely nothing with indoctrinating children into their faiths and forcing them to attend places of worship, go to Bible classes, ebgage in religious ritual etc etc ,.... all long before they are old enough to decide for themselves if they want to engage in such things. If that isn't forcing beliefs onto someone, what is??
We all need a structure to be raised in. Ask anyone who was raised without structure in their lives.

Just because you were raised with A structure, like soccer, doesn't mean you will only play soccer for your whole life. You might choose to play basketball instead, and those who do, generally find that it's quite easy to go from playing soccer to playing basketball. But those who have been raised without playing ANY sports, then find that when they want to play basketball, find it incredibly hard. They find themselves marginalised from life.

But if you want to talk about indoctrination, then how about we talk about the indoctrinations that everyone can agree that kids are indoctrinated in?

What about the indoctrination of kids to watch TV, and imbibe media messages of over-sexualisation and unrealistic body expectations? You know, the ones that have been clearly identified as the causes of women having severely low self-esteem, and extremely negative body images, that have caused large-scale eating disorders amongst women?

What about the indoctrination of kids to eat so much fatty food, and get so little exercise, that the West is facing an obesity CRISIS?

Why are atheistic societies, like the National Secular Society, campaigning against faith schools, on the basis of indoctrination, and ignoring the clear crises of our countries that are clearly the product of indoctrination, that look set to destroy our society, whether faith schools existed or not?

I suppose theists will say that it's not an issue because "it's for the child's own good" ( yeah, pave another mile of that road to Hell).
I thought atheists don't believe in Hell. How can an atheist claim that anyone is paving a road to something they believe doesn't exist?


Should atheists who see nothing wrong with forcing their beliefs and teachings onto others, be free to solely determine government legislation?
Far as I know, theists of all faiths can vote on issues alongside atheists, so the majority will determine government legislation.
Then why do you want fundamentalist theists kept out of having anything to do with legislation?

If fundamentalist theists vote for a particular legislation, and the majority vote against it, and the legislation then reflects that, then democracy has been fulfilled.

If fundamentalist theists vote for a particular legislation, and the majority vote for it, and the legislation then reflects that, then democracy has been fulfilled.

But if fundamentalist theists vote for a particular legislation, and they are ignored, then only a PART of the populace's votes are considered, and democracy has been ignored. Any country acting in that way would not be a democracy.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 995
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Posted: 4/14/2011 8:56:52 AM
RE Msg: 2164 by _alan:

I'm going to put a summary first, as I gather people don't tend to read my very long posts. Essentially, your views are pretty much the same as I can find in a lot of posts by other atheists. So it's pretty clear that a lot of atheists do share the same views. However, almost none of them have anything to do with atheism at all. Such views smacks of tribalism, just on an ideological level, like liberals, conservatives, libertarians, objectivists, communists, capitalists, and any other such group.

Your posts list arguments that have clearly support said view, and criticise every view that is counter to that, excepting agnostics, who can be considered to be not taking a counter-view to said view, but rather sitting on the fence.

But theists and religions are so many and varied, that it is unrealistic to group them into any one category at all. So it's not so much finding fault in any particular group, or even class of groups, but more a case of "See, all those others are stupid, evil, vicious. We're the only good ones."

I have found and written inconsistency and inconsistency in these views. So it's not like you are even arguing an alternative that really holds water.
These arguments have been raised many times before. So they are not new arguments, but largely trotting out the old.
I cannot even say that you are writing tried-and-tested old views, as these views do not even hold water.
So all in all, it's not even arguments that you've come up with yourself, and that you should have rejected decades ago.

I personally think that everyone is entitled to choose their own views, as a human right. But when some are slagging off almost everyone else apart from the group they self-identify with, and who idealise their own values and things they respect, to the point of unreasonableness, it starts to smack of tribal wars.

In the end, the problems facing Western atheists are from the fall of their civilisation. Civilisations have fallen again and again in the past. It's a product of nature's punctuated equilibrium. Religions have seen them come and go. They adapted to survive. But everything that atheists are relying on is science and democracy. Experts in both admit that they are barely holding the line, even with everything they have.

Imagine if you were a guy who was used to doing whatever you wanted in life, enjoying yourself, and seeing your country go to the wall, with more and more crises, and each crisis worse than the last. You'd be wondering how long it would be before these increasing crises destroy your life. You'd be terrified. If you faced up to it, these crises would be so overwhelming, you'd give up. Then you wouldn't do a thing, and you'd be screwed. In those situations, people's brains often put them into denial, to give them a temporary reprieve, to come up with a solution, so they can survive.

Now imagine that some pauper living next door, in his rubbishy hovel, seems to be quite content about the situation. You'd be screaming at him, over why he doesn't get on and help you do something about it. Now imagine he says that "It's G-d's will. G-d will save me, and even if I die, it's G-d's will, and I will enjoy the bliss of Heaven in the afterlife." That's not gonna help you, is it? You're gonna explode. What? This guy is just sitting here? If he's wrong, then at least he's calm and not tearing his hair out. If he's right, then he's gonna be fine anyway. But either way, you're screwed. You WANT him to give up his religion, if at least so he'll help you try to bail out your world.

That's where I think you're at.

But here's the thing. His religion has lasted through several civilisations, and through several falls. His religion has had to adapt to survive falls, or it would have gone extinct long ago. The collected history of his religion has all this in its knowledge, both written and oral, in its written texts, and in its collective inheritable meme culture. He isn't telling you WHY his sociological framework differs from you. He is just doing what his religion says, that has allowed it and its people to survive, with barely a scratch.

He has no reason to support you. Intuitively, he knows you're barking up the wrong tree. What you are doing, will just make matters worse.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 996
view profile
History
Evolution
Posted: 4/14/2011 9:01:29 AM
RE Msg: 2164 by _alan:

Now I shall address your points:


Then we have to include atheists in that list as well, or we'd be discriminatory.
And we'd also have to include football players, bus drivers, farmers, shopkeepers etc in that list as well, or we'd be discriminatory.

I merely used the example of theists because generally theists are not ( to use your phrase) "open to change their attitudes".
I have to question that.

The majority of people are still theists. 30 years ago, it was common in the UK to find people who refused to use computers outside of work, and who were clearly racist. Yet today, only 30 years on, practically every person I've come across, use computers in their personal life, and generally believe racism to be totally wrong. This is even true of the same generations that used to commonly distrust computers and who believed it was perfectly OK to hold racist views. If you asked anyone 30 years ago, if these changes could have happened in the same lifetime, I doubt that you'd find anyone who would have beleived that such massive cultural and psychological changes were possible. Yet, these changes are far more than even the most optimistic of people expected.

So I think that it is far more reasonable to say that theists ARE open to change their attitudes, just that they may not change their attitudes about everything that we might expect them to.

Perceptual psychology has shown, in experiment after experiment, that people see the same physical evidence differently, depending on how the evidence is presented, and dependent on what they believed prior to the experiment. Einstein even proved that the evidence we have, really DOES look differently, depending on where you are, and how things are moving, relative to you. Yet we still see plenty of atheists on the forums, argue that evidence is purely objective.

Based on this, I think it's clear that atheists do NOT change their attitudes about plenty of things that we would expect rational people to, even though they HAVE changed their attitudes towards some things, as much as theists have.

So I think we have to accept that the divisions between theists and atheists, are really blurred, and nowhere near as clear-cut as some might want to believe.

From what I have found out from the opinions of psychiatrists, that in their experience, their patients do not change their behaviour or understanding of reality to be more rational, on the basis of one particular cognitive breakthrough, but on their consistent and regular efforts to modify their thinking and behaviour in their real life, as a result of these cognitive breakthroughs.

From what I have found, people don't change how they think or live, just because they change their views. They still act the same, because thinking a certain way, and acting a certain way, becomes habitual. Even when the reason for the habit becomes defunct, and people can see that, they still continue to act in the same ways, out of habit. They only change, when they put the effort to watch themselves in their lives, for when their habitual thinking and behaviour do not fit with their new viewpoint, and make the efforts to change them, again and again and again, until the NEW ways of thinking and acting, become habitual.

That might upset some people who hold to a personal belief that merely by changing their views on a specific issue, that they will automatically become smarter, nicer, people, without having to spend years, or even decades, of effort, to change their habits. But most of us don't like the fact that we make efforts. Many people would rather pretend that they don't have to make that effort in order to change.

Besides, when you DO make the effort to change, you realise that a lot of the ways you thought about things before you started making the effort, were totally unrealistic. Many things you thought were easy to change, you realise are hard to change. Many things that you thought were really hard to change, are really easy to change, once you make a little bit of effort. So those who do change their views, and DO make effort to change their habits, find themselves totally disagreeing with those who hold the same views, but who simply didn't bother to make the effort to change their old habitual ways of thinking and acting.

So I have to question, when you express your views, how much are the result of unrealistic posturing, and how much are the results of putting them to the test, via hard effort and experience of trying to change.

Many atheists if asked "what evidence would you accept as proof that a deity ( of some sort) exists?" would give the matter some thought and give examples of what they would consider provisional evidence a deity exists.

pro·vi·sion·al
–adjective Also, pro·vi·sion·ar·y
1. providing or serving for the time being only; existing only until permanently or properly replaced; temporary: a provisional government.

2. accepted or adopted tentatively; conditional; probationary.

But most theists, if asked the contrary question "what evidence would you accept as proof that no such deity exists?" would smugly answer no evidence would convince them of that because their faith is strong. Hardly a sign that they are "open to change their attitudes ".
At first glance, I would have agreed with you. But then I noticed that "evidence" and "proof" are words normally only used around scientific theories, and that most people do not engage in either scientific theories, or their jargon. I couldn't expect a French person to understand an English question in the same way as he/she would understand the same question in their native tongue. So I asked myself, how would a typical theist understand the same question, in their parlance? I realised that the question itself would be considered the type of question that a scientist might ask.

I realised that we are continually hearing about how deities are scientifically untestable, and so the question could never be expected to return anything confirming either viewpoint. So from those who are familiar with scientific attitudes, they would conclude that if they were atheists, they could easily come up with an answer, that would never show evidence confirming the existence of any such deity. Such atheists would also know, that to take a fixed viewpoint on anything, would be considered dogmatic and generally a wrong attitude from the POV of modern scientists. So atheists with such experience of science, which does seem to be very common amongst atheists, would generally make themselves look very intelligent, and reasonable, by answering such a question, but would know that they have no chance of being proved wrong. For them, it's like asking them to shoot a gun at their head, but knowing from experience, if it contains bullets or not, and in which chambers.

The same would be true of any theists with a strong knowledge of science and how it is conducted. You would have a very hard time, getting them to agree to something you would expect to find evidence of, but would still be a position that you would find stands up to scientific scrutiny.

But most theists don't have anywhere near that kind of knowledge, and have every expectation that they couldn't even begin to understand how to ask a scientific question. So for them, it's like asking them to shoot a gun at their head, without having a clue of it the gun is fully loaded, or if partly loaded, if the chamber they are about to fire, contains a bullet or not. They would naturally refuse to shoot the gun in the first place.

You could ask theists with little knowledge of scientific conduct, the same question, in their own parlance, such as "What would it take for you to believe that your Bible is wrong?" This is a question that is familiar to their experience of questions on theology, even if the question was really about believing in their deity behind their Bible or not, and not their Bible per se. THAT question, they would readily grasp. We can see by the forums, that such a question would find theists come up with all sorts of suggestions. Again, they tend to be things that make sense, but that would be situations that we would currently believe would be extremely improbable, just like the answers of atheists. But then, we couldn't really argue easily with that one either.


If I accept that some people will stick to their ideas, in spite of evidence to the contrary, are fundamentally wrong to do so, then I have to accept that if any scientific theories make predictions that are contradicted by even the slightest evidence, that anyone who accepts such a theory is fundamentally wrong to do so.
Which is part of the root of science. Any theory no matter how widely accepted must be discarded ( or altered) when any evidence is produced which disproves the theory.
Not really. Even in Newton's day, there was clear evidence that showed Newton's theory didn't fit the facts. Even when scientists conducts experiments, and find linear correlations, those correlations are considered valid, even if no point on the graph actually passes through the line of correlation. We don't really rely on evidence anywhere near as much as we claim to.

In reality, modern Western science is an evolutionary process. If scientists find a phenomenon, they just say that we have no clue about what is going on yet, and it requires further study. Then if anyone suggests a theory, and no other theory is valid, then that theory is accepted on the flimsiest of evidence. This happened plenty of times in early psychology, and in early physics dating from Aristotle on. Then, if other theories come up, and are considered equally viable to scientists, then we accept the one that seems to agree more with the evidence. However, if the other theory seems to be ridiculous and non-viable, then even if the theory is millions of times more accurate than the previous theory, scientists tend to refuse to even consider it, until some respected scientist proves it again and again to them, until they feel compelled under duress to accept the new theory. There are plenty of examples. Einstein's theory of relativity springs to mind as only one out of many.

What scientists really do, differs extremely widely from what scientists are supposed to do, just like what politicians are expected to do, differs widely from the reality of what politicians end up doing, even if they do have the most honest of intentions.

There is an interesting essay on the difference between what scientists and mathematicians say they do, and what they really do, written by G.K.Brown in his introduction to "The Laws of Form". Highly worth reading. Upon reading it, the points become clear, and are clearly in line with reality. However, it remains an eye-opener, because it forces one to stop having unrealistic expectations about science and mathematics.


However, most scientific theories have SOME things they cannot explain.
And a scientist would admit they can't explain somethings, and may offer some speculation or suggestions on possible explanations but until proven these speculations and suggestions are just that, speculations & possibilities.
My point was that scientists in general do NOT reject accepted scientific theories, just because there is evidence that contradicts accepted scientific theories.

So why expect something of theists, who mostly are not well educated in science, and not expect the same of scientists, who are supposed to be far more intelligent, and far more educated?

Theists (who wish to have intelligent design/creationism taught in science classes) when confronted with something their theory can't explain merely use their fallback answer of "god did it" and assume that's all that needs to be said to validate their theory.
If that was true, then they would just say "goddidit" and wouldn't bother with trying to teach a complicated system like ID. They wouldn't bother to publish books like "The Genesis Flood". There would be no need. 3 little words would say it all.

But Young Earth Creationists DO make a lot of effort into their views, that cannot be summed up easily in 3 little words, which is why they want to have such more complicated views explained in a classroom.

I don't see how you worked your explanation out rationally.


So then I'd have to accept that anyone who accepted most scientific theories would HAVE to be fundamentally wrong to accept them.
You don't have to accept any scientific theory, and I'm sure no scientists will lose sleep over it if you don't accept any scientific theory.
I would have thought so. But consider how many scientists have gone on a massive attack against people who like astrology, people who believe in homeopathy, people who distrust vaccinations,and people who dispute how much of climate change is man-made, and that other scientists do not point out that these scientists are mavericks, but rather tend to defend such scientists. Consider how there was a case of someone who has joined a biological study, whose supervisor wished to publish based on evolutionary theory, but without having made that clear in either the job application or the interview, and then wished to sack the person, without even any remuneration, and that the scientific community backed the supervisor. If one is an official representative of the scientific community, such as a medical doctor and researcher, and one goes against scientific consensus, one can find oneself defrocked, and with it, comes a charge of imprisonment for continuing to practise.

It is clear to me, that if someone doesn't agree with what is often called "scientific consensus", they experience such discrediting and such degradation from those who would label themselves scientists, that it is pretty much what often used to happen in Medieval Eras to those who committed religious heresy, namely, excommunication, and for those who used to be part of that group, defrocking, and possibly imprisonment.

If it wasn't for the fact that the EU have banned execution, and that these days, our societies are so free of murder, that we generally consider it wrong to kill even traitors, we might have found that those who did speak against the scientific consensus were put to death for scientific heresy.

But a theory can have gaps and can raise some as yet unanswered questions while still being generally valid.... at least it will be valid until misproven by conflicting evidence.
That's NOT what the evidence of the history of science shows. Rather, it shows that we often still accept a theory, despite conflicting evidence, until someone comes up with a better one.

The reality of science, is like someone who drives to work, and then discovers that his car is not fit to drive. He might even find out that due to what is wrong with it, the car is a death-trap. At that point, most intelligent people will try to get it fixed. If this is not possible, they will get a new car. But until they get it sorted, even most intelligent people are still likely to continue driving with their old car in its present state, especially if public transport will take several hours to get to their place of work and back, because they still need to work, and they still to get around.

In reality, we prioritise our habits over our common sense. Scientists would rather have a bad theory, than no theory at all.


We all need a structure to be raised in. Ask anyone who was raised without structure in their lives.
I will grant that when being raised structure in their lives is necessary. But can you produce any evidence that proves that religion is a necessary part of that structure?
I can see quite clearly that plenty of people raise their kids as Xians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus, and yet still all produce happy and healthy kids, who are very productive, and some of whom, become respected scientists. So I doubt that it would be easy to pick one religion as being better than others. Even if I could, I would rather not, as that would present some feeling on the part of many, that they are being unfairly criticised.

However, I CAN see that that everyone seems to move towards having a metaphysical belief structure in their lives.

Far Eastern atheists have had Buddhism as a metaphysical belief structure for millennia. The Russians invented Russian Cosmism, which was then integrated into the proletarian culture as part of Soviet Communist Atheism. Even in the West, after American atheists largely abandoned Russian Communist views, by the 70s, Carl Sagan's biographer pointed out how Carl Sagan's views represented a type of religious viewpoint, one that may have been because he couldn't shake off the religion he was raised in. Nevertheless, such metaphysical almost religious views seem to have become accepted amongst atheists as being integral with both science and atheism.

There are people who believe in a religion and reject scientific genesis theories.
There are people who believe in a religion and accept scientific genesis theories, and integrate them.
There are people who accept scientific genesis theories, and who reject all religions.
There are even people who accept New Age genesis theories, such as that humans were seeded by aliens and who reject all religions and all genesis theories currently accepted by scientists.

But where are the people who reject all religions, and all views about G-d, and who reject all scientific genesis theories, and all New Age genesis theories?

Everyone seems to want SOMETHING to believe in. That much is evident. Whether you choose a genesis theory from science, from religions, or from New Age, we all want some metaphysical structure to believe in.


But if you want to talk about indoctrination, then how about we talk about the indoctrinations that everyone can agree that kids are indoctrinated in?

What about the indoctrination of kids to watch TV, and imbibe media messages of over-sexualisation and unrealistic body expectations? You know, the ones that have been clearly identified as the causes of women having severely low self-esteem, and extremely negative body images, that have caused large-scale eating disorders amongst women?

What about the indoctrination of kids to eat so much fatty food, and get so little exercise, that the West is facing an obesity CRISIS?
The examples you list are exposure, not indoctrination.

in·doc·tri·nate
–verb (used with object), -nat·ed, -nat·ing.
1. to instruct in a doctrine, principle, ideology, etc., especially to imbue with a specific partisan or biased belief or point of view.
2. to teach or inculcate.
3. to imbue with learning.

—Synonyms
1. brainwash, propagandize
Exposure is when you are EXPOSED to things, like being out in the Sun too long, or making friends with someone whose family eat junk food, and then going over to their house for lunch every now and then.

Indoctrination is when you are raised in a specific way to believe that such a thing is permissible, and beneficial, when conducted in a certain way. People whose parents use a sun-bed every week, who point out how attractive a tan is, and who point out that being attractive is important, and who are happy to see that their kids use a sun-bed every week, when they turn 18, are still indoctrinating their kids.

It doesn't matter how you do it. You don't even have to specifically say or do anything encouraging to indoctrinate kids. Even just by having a violent father, boys get indoctrinated into violence.

And as they are a matter not of indoctrination but rather exposure, it is the responsibility of the parents to determine what TV shows can be viewed by their children and how much TV they can be allowed to view.
Of course there is responsibility on the parents. Part of the responsibility of parents is to ensure their kids are not being indoctrinated in an extremely negative fashion. Allowing their children to watch harmful imagery on TV, and not doing anything to correct what they are seeing on a regular basis, is bound to result in kids thinking their parents agree with such views, of they wouldn't let their kids watch it.

You wouldn't let a kid watch children having sex with adults, would you? Why not? Because the kid might think that that's OK!

Why would anything else be any different?

As to your referring to some women having low self esteem, that is a common factor in organized religions and the Bible, with women being given second class citizen or property status by the male authors of the Bible.
People often say that. I laugh, because I was raised in a Jewish home, and to my knowledge, and to the confirmation of everyone I've ever met, almost every Jewish home is 100% run by the mother. In a Jewish home, the mother's word is law. Fathers get no say. It's even true of Jewish old men, even though they were raised in an age when in the UK, women generally had no say whatsoever.

To lighten the mood, a 70-year-old Jewish man I know, likes to tell a joke. A Jewish man says that in his house, he makes the big decisions, and his wife makes the small decisions. His wife makes the small decisions, like where they live, which house they buy, where they send their kids to school, etc. He makes the big decisions, like if they should support Gaddafi, or which politician they should vote for.


You might think that Hillary is a ball-buster. But she's got nothing on Jewish mothers. If Hillary was raised a Jew, then Obama would be doing everything she said.

So how is it possible, that there are 2 groups, who both believe in the OT, where one is militantly matriarchal, and the other is almost pathologically patriarchal?

CULTURE, not belief in books of the Bible, holds sway in these matters.


Why are atheistic societies, like the National Secular Society, campaigning against faith schools, on the basis of indoctrination, and ignoring the clear crises of our countries that are clearly the product of indoctrination, that look set to destroy our society, whether faith schools existed or not?
What are these "clearly the product of indoctrination that look set to destroy our society" are you referring to?
I thought I'd made that clear. Raising kids in practises and attitudes that practically convince kids that women have to be stick-thin, and that regularly eating double the amount of calories the body needs, is OK.


I thought atheists don't believe in Hell. How can an atheist claim that anyone is paving a road to something they believe doesn't exist?
I can also use the phrase "I've travelled the four corners of the Earth" but that doesn't mean I believe the Earth is square or a cube, and I don't think my use of the phrase would cause someone hearing me use it to think I thought the Earth was a cube or square.
I actually didn't think you were taking it literally.

But a while back, people explained to me the purpose of certain customs, which made it clear that they were against my own beliefs, some against my scientific beliefs, some against my religious beliefs, some against my social beliefs. I realised that by continuing in such manner, I was reaffirming in my brain attitudes that would make my subconscious hold positions that were contrary to my beliefs, and so would result in my subconscious directing me to acting in ways that were directly against my wishes, but which I was not conscious were things that I would consider atrocious.

So I changed how I do things. I did point out to people, when their own customs were against their own beliefs. But they didn't like it. So to keep the peace, if it's not that harmful in itself, I'll go along with it. But I won't choose to do it, if I feel I have the freedom to do so.

Making such choices has changed my attitude markedly. It's caused me to question much more of my views, which is a large part of why I have a very different attitude on many religious attitudes than many theists.

But should you wish to take anything written down as meaning literally what it says, then I can post numerous Bible passages that make nonsensical, impossible and plain erroneous statements.
I spent 4.5 years in Yeshiva. There, we spent a minimum of 9.5 hours a day, 5 days a week, arguing over every possible interpretation and possible contradiction in the Bible. You'd think that after all that investigation, that the majority would agree with you. Strangely, only those who haven't had that level of consistent years of extremely exacting investigation into the Bible, tend to say that the Bible is full of such contradictions.

How could it be, that those who've spent incredible amounts of time doing investigations into a field, more than would be required for several PhDs, end up with one opinion, and yet those who haven't done anything like that level of investigation, are convinced of the opposite? Richard Feynmann openly said that no-one understands quantum physics, not him, not his students, not anyone else. Would we say that he knew nothing about the behaviour of the universe? Could it be that those who have simply not put in huge efforts on a subject, are convinced out of ignorance and prejudice?

scorpiomover: Should atheists who see nothing wrong with forcing their beliefs and teachings onto others, be free to solely determine government legislation?

_alan: Far as I know, theists of all faiths can vote on issues alongside atheists, so the majority will determine government legislation.

scorpiomover: Then why do you want fundamentalist theists kept out of having anything to do with legislation?

_alan: I don't, as you can see by my own posting which you also quoted. I said "far as I know, theists of all faiths can vote on issues alongside atheists, so the majority will determine government legislation". But neither theists nor any other group or individual should be allowed to have legislation changed to suit them with out having it put to a vote and allowing the majority to decide.
As far as I see, Young Earth Creationists have been petitioning the schools and the legislature to have their views represented in schools. So they seem to be willing to go through the system. So why write that you want to keep them out of it?


If fundamentalist theists vote for a particular legislation, and the majority vote against it, and the legislation then reflects that, then democracy has been fulfilled.

If fundamentalist theists vote for a particular legislation, and the majority vote for it, and the legislation then reflects that, then democracy has been fulfilled.

But if fundamentalist theists vote for a particular legislation, and they are ignored, then only a PART of the populace's votes are considered, and democracy has been ignored. Any country acting in that way would not be a democracy.
All correct. But in the case of the United States, even if majority votes on a measure any legislation voted on will have to comply with that pesky "seperation of church and state" part of the constitution.
Jefferson wrote on the subject of 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

Reading the letter, Jefferson makes it pretty clear that the job of separation of state from church, is to not inhibit people from following what they believe is their natural rights and social duties. Teachers are held "in loco parentis", in place of the parents. Teachers are expected to teach what the parents would want them to teach. So if any 2 parents believe that their social duty is for their kids to be taught Young Earth Creationism, and not evolution, and that it is their natural right to choose to do so, then it seems that Jefferson would have held that the separation of church and state means that the state must not hinder that in any way. To teach the kids otherwise, would be against their natural rights, and to ignore their social duties. Even if the kids were refused entry to public school, that too would deny the parents the right for their kids to have a school education they don't have to pay for, except via the public taxes.

Even the Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment, the Lemon Law, requires that no religion should be inhibited, as well as supported. Any viewpoint that might influence kids to not follow their religion, however small, would be a form of inhibition.

That doesn't mean that the US state has to refuse to teach evolutionary theory. But it has to be taught in a way that means that kids are just as likely to join said religion, as not. A simple test, would be to take a group of kids whose parents are all agnostics, and see if just as many kids who learned that subject, joined that religion, as any other they knew of, or became atheists. If there is any suspicion that more kids learning that theory would become atheists than any religion, then there is bias in the way tha theory is taught, and that means that religions are being inhibited, which violates the First Amendment.

In this respect, one might argue that atheism is not a religion, and so is not subject to the same rules as religions under the First Amendment. However, in a case of an atheist in prison, who wanted to hold an atheist meeting group, which the prison opposed, the Supreme Court ruled that as far as the First Amendment goes, its intent is to uphold all viewpoints, including atheism, and so, in the context of the First Amendment, atheism has to be seen as a religion. So yes, atheism is subject to the Lemon Law, just like any other religion.

To teach any scientific theory in any way that would mean that kids who are taught in such classes, are more likely to become atheists than Xians, is a violation of the First Amendment.

You might say that if this was true, then the Supreme Court would have ruled that way. However, they had no problem letting the Oath of Allegiance be changed in the 1950s to include G-d in the Oath, even when it was a violation of the First Amendment.

There was also a court case in a similar vein, brought by a man about his daughter being forced to be taught in deistic ways. The Supreme Court ruled that the man didn't have the right to defend his daughter's rights, as the mother wasn't against it. However, in their written views, they made it clear that they didn't even want to rule on it.

What the Supreme Court does, like scientists and mathematicians, is NOT what they are expected to do.

This wouldn't apply here in Canada, so a province or municipality COULD have a vote on whether or not to have morning prayer at the start of every school day, and it could be passed by a majority. That would then raise the question of which faith's prayer to use, since all faiths are equally valid... the only equitable solution would be to have the prayer of a different faith recited each morning ( such as Wiccan, Christian, Jewish, Islam, Hindu etc), perhaps interspersed with a morning with no prayer to accomodate the atheist viewpoint and tossing in the agnostic's prayer on ocassion.
The UK HAS an official religion, namely Church of England. However, in this regard, the UK has traditionally held that any school that professes to follow a particular faith, can hold morning worship, as long as those who are not of that religion, at least weren't forced to attend that school. In the last 70 years, it has been the case that even if a student who was not of that religion chose to attend that school, then they could be exempted from the morning worship, and any assemblies including worship to said religion. These days, the UK holds by Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states:
"the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance" and that "freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_the_United_Kingdom

So in the UK, everyone has their own freedom of worship. Plenty of my Jewish friends went to private Xian schools, that were not under the authority of the government. They were excused from morning worship, any assemblies that contained worship, and were allowed to take off the Jewish holidays, and even to leave early in the Winter, when the Sabbath came in so early, that to get home in time for it, would require taking hours out of the school day. If an exam was a problem, the school would have it moved.

I've even had all of my employees be most accommodating on the subject.

The only dificulties I ever saw, was when I found out that one of my university exams had been set on a Jewish holiday. Boy, did they make it hard.

Funny that. Xians seem to easily accommodate the people they used to say killed their saviour. Yet a secular public university doesn't seem to care 2 whits about human rights, and they are supposed to be the humanists.

You can imagine that I'm a little p*ssed that I got far more accommodation from Xians than from supposed secularists.

It's not hard to find a way to get on with others. So long as you make room for each person's views. A little accommodation goes a long way to end conflict.

Personally, I like the Shepard's prayer:

Alan Shepard sitting in the Mercury capsule about to become the first American in space ""Please, dear God, don't let me f**k up."
I quite like a quote from The Golden Voyage of Sinbad:
Trust in Allah, but tie up your camel!
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071569/quotes
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 997
view profile
History
Evolution
Posted: 4/14/2011 3:25:33 PM
RE Msg: 2169, 2170, 2171 by _alan:
Explode? Not at all, if his beliefs make him happy & (in his mind) add something to his life then I don't care a bit what he wants to believe.
I wrote quite clearly what the problem is:
In the end, the problems facing Western atheists are from the fall of their civilisation. Civilisations have fallen again and again in the past. It's a product of nature's punctuated equilibrium. Religions have seen them come and go. They adapted to survive. But everything that atheists are relying on is science and democracy. Experts in both admit that they are barely holding the line, even with everything they have.

Imagine if you were a guy who was used to doing whatever you wanted in life, enjoying yourself, and seeing your country go to the wall, with more and more crises, and each crisis worse than the last. You'd be wondering how long it would be before these increasing crises destroy your life. You'd be terrified. If you faced up to it, these crises would be so overwhelming, you'd give up. Then you wouldn't do a thing, and you'd be screwed. In those situations, people's brains often put them into denial, to give them a temporary reprieve, to come up with a solution, so they can survive.

Now imagine that some pauper living next door, in his rubbishy hovel, seems to be quite content about the situation. You'd be screaming at him, over why he doesn't get on and help you do something about it. Now imagine he says that "It's G-d's will. G-d will save me, and even if I die, it's G-d's will, and I will enjoy the bliss of Heaven in the afterlife." That's not gonna help you, is it? You're gonna explode. What? This guy is just sitting here? If he's wrong, then at least he's calm and not tearing his hair out. If he's right, then he's gonna be fine anyway. But either way, you're screwed. You WANT him to give up his religion, if at least so he'll help you try to bail out your world.
As Earthpuppy quoted earlier:
"The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think."
Gregory Bateson
You and everyone else in the West are facing the simple reality, that for centuries, Western countries have dominated the global economy, and have enjoyed a more then generous lifestyle as a result. The atheists and the thesists in the rest of the world want their world back, and they are taking it. You are losing your global military and economic superiority. With the loss of that, comes the loss of the greater lifestyle it brought. THAT is what terrifies you. THAT is what is makes you want theists to join you. That they don't, is what makes you feel like you want to explode.


However, if he thinks his beliefs grant him some special power or duty to make mes accept & follow his beliefs ( when I'm not on his property) then I have a problem.

I'm not arguing for an alternative to any religious belief, I'm saying anyone can believe whatever they choose, but their belief gives them no special right to force their beliefs on others. Are you saying my view that theists of any faith DO have a right to force their veliefs onto others? how does my view not hold water?

I should reject the notion that people should be allowed to believe whatever they choose but they should not be allowed to force their beliefs onto others????
If religious fundamentalists were interested in converting everyone to their faith at the point of a sword, then they would have always attacked countries whose people did not share their religious beliefs at all, irrespective of their level of natural resources, and left those natural resources alone.

Instead, Western nations have been attacking only countries that had plenty of natural resources, irrespective of what the people of that country believed, and always plundering those countries' natural resources, and other countries have done the same. One doesn't need to be a scientific genius to figure out this means that plunder is the usual point of any war, and religions are usually used as excuses so that the attacking nations can pretend to themselves that they aren't really fighting such wars out of greed.

You have little to fear from anyone trying to convert you, unless you have a lot of natural resources that they want. If you have a lot of natural resources that they want, then whether you share their religious beliefs or not, will make no difference.

Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish. ~Author Unknown
The actual English proverb used to be on my school wall. It's actually:
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
It was next to a diagram that showed how the average Western family consumed 400 times the resources of an African family. The point of that proverb was to educate poor people, and not just to give them handouts.

I really don't like it when people take something that was intended to show how one should help starving people like many in Africa, and use it to push their own personal agenda. It was exactly that sort of thing that I explained results in nature turning on people with agendas.


But here's the thing. His religion has lasted through several civilisations, and through several falls. His religion has had to adapt to survive falls, or it would have gone extinct long ago. The collected history of his religion has all this in its knowledge, both written and oral, in its written texts, and in its collective inheritable meme culture.
Which proves nothing other than his religion is old, it isn't evidence his deity ( or deities, depending on his religion) exist.

An old view has no special status simply because it's old.
I wrote that he thinks you are barking up the wrong tree. But I never wrote WHY you are barking up the wrong tree.

You seem to have the impression that I was alluding to the idea that a particular religion has to be right.

There are LOTS of religions, that have equally contradictory views. They cannot all be right. So by now, you should have realised that I could not generalise about religions, on the basis of which prophet or version of theism would be correct.

I might not have made it clear enough. So I'll point out the relevant passages:
In the end, the problems facing Western atheists are from the fall of their civilisation. Civilisations have fallen again and again in the past. It's a product of nature's punctuated equilibrium. Religions have seen them come and go. They adapted to survive.

Now imagine that some pauper living next door, in his rubbishy hovel, seems to be quite content about the situation. You'd be screaming at him, over why he doesn't get on and help you do something about it. Now imagine he says that "It's G-d's will. G-d will save me, and even if I die, it's G-d's will, and I will enjoy the bliss of Heaven in the afterlife." That's not gonna help you, is it? You're gonna explode. What? This guy is just sitting here? If he's wrong, then at least he's calm and not tearing his hair out. If he's right, then he's gonna be fine anyway.
Many religions are very old. Something old, isn't always right. But if they have been through difficult situations, and survived, time and again, they have to have learned how to survive difficulties. It's not in what each one believes specifically, but in their common shared philosophy.

Is their commonality that their idea of theism? Religions differ so much about theism, that it's just not possible to generalise that way. Is it in their holy texts? They all have different ones.

Part of it is in their stoic, patient attitude to life. Religious people know that governments, economies, religious organisations come and go. But what stands the test of time, is patience, being willing to just keep on plodding along, slowly, quietly, keeping one's head down, taking one's licks, and just keeping on, no matter how slowly one plods. They know that eventually, things will get better. But you have to survive the storm to enjoy the new time. Just like the dinosaurs, it won't be the big and powerful who survive such storms. It's the little dinosaurs that survive such storms, and get to enjoy the future. You have to be willing to be small, and to be humble, to survive the bad times. If you remember as long as you take life day by day, stoically just accepting what happens and keeping on, you can almost always make it just one more day, and that is all you need, to make it through each day of those lean years.

Part of it is in their stress on what is inside, what religions call the soul, what you personally feel and think, that is independent of the particularities of your experience. Does it really matter whether you enjoyed a meal of cabbage soup, or the finest caviar, as long as you enjoyed it? Does it really matter if you wear a $400 suit, or one that costs $10, as long as you see yourself as dressed well? Does it really matter if your girlfriends is a supermodel, or just someone ordinary, so long as in your eyes, she is the most wonderful woman in the world?

YOU dictate how you interpret what you see. YOU have the choice to see life in way you want. Some are not happy with millions. Others are happy with very little. What differs in them, is not what they have, but how they choose to see what they have.

As long as you let your current vision dictate how you see the world, then you are like the oak. When things go your way, you are mighty and strong. When things are bad, you can only break.

But as long as you remember that you are in control of how you see the world, and choose to focus on what you DO have, on what you CAN enjoy, and on what you CAN do, then you always feel rich, satisfied and free to live. You bend like the reed. When bad times come, you adjust. So you survive, and when good times follow, you change again, and enjoy them.

You choose how you want to live. You can put your faith in trying to understand the physical nature of the universe, and that you can use that knowledge to stand up to the winds of nature. You can be like the oak tree and stand up to many winds. But every so often, there is a hurricane, and then you fall.

Or, you can choose to put your faith in things that are less tangible, more ephemeral. Perhaps they are a bit wishy-washy, a bit difficult to prove. Perhaps they don't look solid as an oak tree. Maybe they do make you bend this way and that, in response to the slightest breeze. But they make you react the same ways against a hurricane as against a breeze. So you bend, but your survive both. Then, when things get easier again, you have the opportunity to learn science again, and enjoy life more.

If you forget what made your life better in the good times, then your life is a little harder. But you survive regardless.
If you forget what kept you going in the bad times, then you have it good, until the bad times come, and then you go extinct.
So to have longevity, the one that has to take priority in your life, has to be those things that allowed you to survive in the bad times. The other has to take second place, or you go extinct.

Is it uncomfortable to be the reed? Definitely. No-one wants to be the reed. We all want to be the oak. But if we're smart, we stay being the reed, because then we keep on keeping on.

The problem you face, is that you like being the oak, and are starting to see that the world is getting a lot windier, far more windy than the oaks can handle.

You don't have to join a religion. You don't even have to be a theist. But if you want to be calm, and weather the storm, then you need to change your attitude to something more patient, less physical, more self-aware of your ability to change the way you see reality, and more self-aware that what matters, is not science, but survival. But ultimately, by developing a philosophical view of life, you will find that you have far more in common than you ever realised with religious theists.

It is largely this that is currently different between you and they, that the trials of nature have shown them that patience and awareness of the power of the mind, are what keeps one alive, and that knowledge and control of the physical side of nature, while enjoyable, is rather temporary, and tempts one into a false sense of security, that has killed off most of the civilisations that preceded us. FYI, the same killed off 99% of the species that have ever lived upon this Earth.

IMHO, it might be better to survive and be the reed, than be the mighty oak and then get overturned.
 60to70
Joined: 7/28/2008
Msg: 998
Evolution
Posted: 4/14/2011 11:23:05 PM
It may be better to be the mighty oak and live in memory then to be the reed forgotten and forsaken and it might be better to be the less fortunate than to rule the world and it may be very allright to limp rather than stride with arrogance and then it may also be allright to be wrong and waiting for a trigger that ignites an excitment for a hunger that allows for evolution and an unfolding that never will forget the mighty oak. What is more humble and less arrogant than a mighty oak? What is more magnificent than a lowly reed? Civilization is proof that evolution is up for debate.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 999
view profile
History
Evolution
Posted: 4/15/2011 10:03:42 PM

And a scientist would admit they can't explain somethings, and may offer some speculation or suggestions on possible explanations but until proven these speculations and suggestions are just that, speculations & possibilities.

Theists (who wish to have intelligent design/creationism taught in science classes) when confronted with something their theory can't explain merely use their fallback answer of "god did it" and assume that's all that needs to be said to validate their theory.


There ARE scientists who accept the possibility of an intelligent designer. To present that theory in science class, speculating & suggesting is not the same as promoting theism, it is merely presenting speculative alternate explanation of the unknown. No one is suggesting that clergymen teach science, only that it seems unfair to censure the presentation of any one theory based on the fact that that theory is adhered to by some with whom they don't agree.
 lyingcheat
Joined: 9/13/2009
Msg: 1000
view profile
History
Evolution
Posted: 4/15/2011 10:43:18 PM

There ARE scientists who accept the possibility of an intelligent designer. To present that theory in science class, speculating & suggesting is not the same as promoting theism, it is merely presenting speculative alternate explanation of the unknown. No one is suggesting that clergymen teach science, only that it seems unfair to censure the presentation of any one theory based on the fact that that theory is adhered to by some with whom they don't agree.

(My bold ^^^)
If suggesting the possibility of an "intelligent designer" is not "promoting theism", who, or what, do the creationists allege is responsible for evolution?
If some 'supreme designer' then it's theism.
If nothing or something completely unknown, then the 'theory' is worthless.

Either way, it disqualifies itself from serious consideration.

Ignoring for the moment that you are using the word 'theory' (as applied in the scientific sense) incorrectly, what evidential support does each 'theory' have?
Using X's to create a bar graph representing evidence for each would look like this -
______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Evidence For The Two Theories
Evolution - XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Intelligent Design -
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ummm... I guess if schools ever decide to devote class time to hocus-pocus and mumbo-jumbo, then intelligent design would slot right in, but until then why would anyone even consider teaching intelligent design at all, let alone calling it 'science'.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 1001
Evolution
Posted: 4/16/2011 5:11:02 PM

It sort of has to do with evolution... I think...

Characters

Mr. Deity = God
Lucy= Lucifer (Mr. Deity's ex girlfriend)
Jessy = Jesus
Larry= The holy spirit

Are you ready?

Mr. Deity And The Magic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KSLRjDR4aQ&feature=relmfu

Hilarious!!!


This one is even more on point...

Mr. Deity and the science advisor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Clm6nlWxzc

Of course, if I could be assured that what Lucifer looked like, I could easily be convinced to be a satanist!
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