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 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 450
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Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?Page 11 of 26    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26)
RE Msg: 527 by exogenist:
I am confident that by now you understand my position. People don't need religion. They need morality, ethics, and a belief. If some people are disgruntled with religion its because they see a lack of it within religion itself (thus justifying a case for religion to those some who are disgruntled is like putting a helpless rabbit in front of an angry lion and telling the lion not to eat the rabbit). It is the system of belief (whether it be attributed to some deity or some philosophy) that has the importance. Not religion itself. Yet religion seems to be the most qualified to deliver such a system of belief.

I see it like shopping. You wake up in this world and don't know what the hell is going on. You can shop around for a religion that gives some type of meaning to this weird existence or you can develop your own (those in leadership position are able to barter the price of such a belief, I'm particularly annoyed when things like that happen). Shoot you can even twist the meaning of science to give meaning to this existence (I'm sure Richard Dawkings uses science to justify his fundamentalist belief.) In the end its a tendency for a human to form a system of belief.
I see a problem here, in our views.

1) You seem to think you need to justify that you don't need a religion. But there isn't any reason to justify it in the first place. First, if you've read my posts, then you know that you don't need to justify it to me. Second, if you've ever met a Bible-thumper, then you know that justifying it to them won't make any difference. So there is no reason to even make the statement.

2) The most damning problem, is that you specified that "People don't need religion.", without specifying which religion you were talking about. There are hundreds of religions, thousands, if Peter Owen-Jones is right, and he spent a year crossing the world, studying every religion he could find. There are lots and lots of denominations within each religion. It's one thing to say that you don't need aspirin to cure a headache. But it's a wholly different thing to claim that no-one needs any drugs for medicinal purpose at all. After all, I think you'd agree that diabetics need insulin. So I think you'd agree that someone making such a gross generalisation is being ridiculous. You're making as large a generalisation. But you clearly aren't an idiot, and you seem to me, to be very open-minded.

3) You argued that some people are disgruntled with religion its because they see a lack of it within religion itself. But one of the first uses of quantum theory, was the building and use of atom bombs, that were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and killed about 100,000 people. Do you believe that quantum theory is wrong, because of that? Do you believe that quantum theory should not be used, because of that? Surely not.

You cannot just look at anything, and find a fault, and suggest that because you've found a fault, that you throw the whole of it out. That fault might have had nothing to do with the subject matter. But that's what you're suggesting.

It's not what you are saying, but the way you are saying it, that suggests a rather disadvantageous way of thinking.

This reminded me very strongly of the sentiments of Max Weber, on his sociological analysis of the most well-known religions:
Reinhard Bendix summarising the Weber work writes that free of magic and esoteric speculations, devoted to the study of law, vigiliant in the effort to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord in the hope of a better future, the prophets established a religion of faith that subjected man's daily life to the imperatives of a divinely ordained moral law. In this way, ancient Judaism helped create the moral rationalism of Western civilisation.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Judaism_(book)

It seems to me that Max Weber concluded that Judaism brought 2 things to Western civilisation, the idea of following a set of laws, and the removal of what I like to call "magical thinking". It's magical thinking that I'm most interested in.

Magical thinking seems to be the idea that if the harvest is poor, or that if there is a plague, that "the gods must be angry with us". It equally follows that if we can only "make the gods like us again", then they'll take away our problems, by making the harvest full, and making the plague go away, and that simply by showing our total commitment to the gods, by giving up our most valued treasures, our own lives, by human sacrifice, the gods will like us again, and they'll make everything alright.

It's the quick fix, the idea that we only have to do a single action, however abhorrent it is to us, that we can cure our ills, whether they be plague, or famine, or getting people off drugs.

It's possible to find a simple solution to a difficult problem. However, the quick fix that is so typical of magical thinking, is that the solution is easily perceived, and that it can be perceived by simple correlations, as if correlation always implies causation. It's shallow thinking at its worst.

According to Weber, Judaism is totally against that type of shallow thinking. It equally follows that Xianity and Islam, both coming from the same base, would equally be against magical thinking, at least in part.

The opposite of magical thinking, is the scientific approach, taking time to consider every possibility, thinking out exactly how each hypothesis works, and doing many experiments to confirm or rule out each hypothesis.

It's thus reasonable to suppose that the introduction of the major Abrahamic religions of the world, actually brought about the science that we know of today.

However, if some scientist discovers something important, like antibiotics, then we still need to use it to make it work. It's ability to work depends on the scientific approach, and so it's application depends on us taking the scientific approach in our use of it. But we are the ones who apply such knowledge. So we cannot just leave scientific thinking to the scientists. The world only improves through scientific thinking, if we ourselves adopt the scientific approach in all our lives, to avoid magical thinking, to realise that correlations are only possible causations, and to take our time considering all the angles, before we reach a solid conclusion.

The problem here, that I see, is that too many aren't using true scientific thinking, when it comes to religion. You're stating that people are p*ssed off about religion, because they met a few bad people, and that because of that, they should just throw out everything useful they have, and just pick a new idea at random. We cannot hope to act like that and achieve greatness. All the factors must be considered and carefully weighed up, or we will "throw the baby out with the bathwater", and "jump out of the frying pan into the fire".

If we are to move on from primitive thinking, and become successful rational people, then we must apply non-magical reasoned and measured thinking, in all of our lives. We don't need to follow Xianity, or Judaism, or Islam to do that. We don't even need any religion to do that. But we do need to do that, if we are to use the huge brains that evolutionists say we gave up so much for, and to gain from that for our tremendous advantage.

However, considering that the most major contribution to society from these religions, is the removal of magical thinking, then surely if we adopt non-magical thinking, then we might not be following the letter of those religions, but we are following their spirit, their core intent. Surely, if the G-d of those religions wants anything from us, it is to follow in the values of those religions, far more than just paying "lip service". So surely, by using non-magical thinking in all our our lives, that is precisely in line with the goals of those religions.

So, if we can only adopt non-magical thinking in all of our lives, then we have satisfied everyone's goals. We have a win-win.

It's important to realise that religion is not the main thing in most people's lives. Most people spend most of their time dealing with work, dating, raising their kids. If we are not using reasoned thinking when it comes to religion, we are probably not using reasoned thinking in much else of our lives, and there, it really does matter. So it's really, really important if we learn to move away from magical, quick-fix thinking, to reasoned, scientific thinking.

But to do that, we must apply such thinking everywhere. We must apply the same attitude to our views of religion. We cannot think of religion as something we should just follow out of rote, because our parents did, or because we were raised that way. If we do choose to investigate a religion, it certainly makes sense to start with what you know first. But nevertheless, we cannot afford to act out of herd thinking. We must all choose our religious beliefs, even if we are going to choose the same as if we had just gone with the flow anyway. Equally, we must also not rush to think our religion is evil just because we hear of some bad guy, or that others of a religion are evil because we are told that they are evil killers. We must realise that we are often not told the truth, and often the truth is misrepresented to us. We may be told the truth, but we may not be seeing all the angles, and we might come to a false conclusion. So we are wise to not go off half-cocked just because we hear that some religious leader cheated on his wife, or that a war was started on a religious basis. We may come to the same conclusion anyway, that those people are truly evil, and deserve to be wiped off the face of the Earth, or that their religion is a threat to all humanity. But if we just go with the shallow thinking, that makes causations out of any correlations we happen to be presented with, and if we just go with the quick fix of trying to wipe out the threat, then we are going to be taking the "magical thinking" approach, and that way led people to make human sacrifices to deal with a bad harvest. The costs of such an approach seriously outweigh the costs.

My point, therefore, is that we must first learn to think in reasoned and measured thinking in all ways, and then apply the same to our views of religion, leaving no stone unturned, with the realisation that much of what we currently think may be ill-formed opinions that we are better off without.

If we can do that, then instead of having a few thousand scientists, making a few improvements here and there, but that the majority don't even practise properly, making them only increase productivity by as little as 0.1% of their true capability, we can have a few billion people all treating everything in a properly reasoned and scientific manner, achieving everything that science can offer us, and with billions of people contributing to science.

We can have a technocracy, a society ruled by scientists, or we can have a society in which everyone thinks scientifically, about everything, a society of scientists. I think that the latter sounds much more enticing to me.

Now, I'll deal with your post:
I think you pose a very brilliant argument scorp (as usual). Have you drawn such conclusions from experience or from observation?
Observation and experience gave me a lot of data to work with. But it really took a lot of contemplation, considering every possible angle, working out all the pros and cons with each one, and which ones are likely to lead us to best of all possible worlds.

Lastly, I consider science a really cool tool. If you have concluded at the very least that this poster draws on science for a source of...everything then shame on you for assuming too much.
I could see you didn't, or you wouldn't be able to function. But it seems to me that your thinking is still dependent on science, and not on using the tools of scientific thinking, which to my mind, is the real "brains behind the throne" of science.

Just that, if there is a God then I am confident in the fact that I just don't understand (but shouldn't God be personal?). For at least one person it is enough to justify the quote "do unto others as you'd do unto yourself" or "love your neighbor as yourself" (assuming one loves their self).
That, at least, is a practical rational approach, which puts you in the general direction of scientific measured rational thinking. Now, to quote Hillel about the Golden Rule, "the rest is explanation. Go and learn."
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 451
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Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/12/2010 2:18:41 PM
RE Msg: 531 by themadfiddler:
I don't suppose you could look that one up eh? Not to be****sh in any way...I would like to see that one though. I know studies involving prayer have been pretty much shown to be ineffective.
Sure. Here are a few studies on the effects of religious services on mental health, longevity due to psychological and social factors.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16480243
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=94524

Here's a review of the attitude of psychology and psychiatry to include religion as a positive force for mental wellness:
http://pb.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/32/6/201

Here's a summary of several other studies on the issue:
http://www.psychosocial.com/IJPR_11/Positive_Effects_of_Religiousness_Yeung_Jerf.html

And what conclusion can we reasonably draw from the above?

Social groups of like minded people can assist in providing coping strategies and support? In which case the religious element may not be necessary if they share a similar ethical foundation...good friends may have the same effect...just saying.
I think you know my posts well enough by now, that you know that I wouldn't claim that only religion can achieve that. Anyway, which religion? How can anyone say that it works for Modern Orthodox Jews, Chassidic Jews, Misnagdic Jews, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Baptists, Shiites, Sunnis, Bahais, and another hundred other groups, but it will only work for those that you call "religious", and not any other groups?

I think you're trying to bait the bear. You're assuming that I'm putting forwards an argument that religion is somehow mysteriously better than other things. Take off your suspicious hat. Put on your open-minded rationalist hat, that considers religions as types of belief and practice that can be just as useful as science, but that everything has to evaluated rationally from every angle. You'll then see that it's not religion that I'm putting forward, but simply the idea that many religions have useful messages and practices, that everyone can gain from, but that we also should give credit where credit is due, and stop trying to make scapegoats out of anyone who simply doesn't share our views.

Let's just admit, that religions have much good in them, and so does science, and that we are all better off, just putting away our nooses, and treat everyone with respect and dignity. I know it's hard. It seems to be human nature, to want to kill and harm physically, and to want to harm emotionally as an extension. But we aspire to not kill, to not harm, and that means that we equally must aspire to not emotionally harm each other as well.
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 452
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/12/2010 2:19:18 PM


Statistics don't lie; some of the people interpreting them do.


I'm glad you recognized that tendency in yourself. Lying with 'statistics', as you have clearly done here. But lying does come as second nature, or maybe even first nature to those in the world's 'second oldest profession'. Which bears a remarkable resemblance to the world's oldest profession.

Oh well, recognition that a problem exists is supposed to be the first step to correcting it.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 453
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/12/2010 2:49:58 PM

Statistics don't lie; some of the people interpreting them do.


As we all know, 70 per cent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 454
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/12/2010 5:32:10 PM

You really like to pull numbers out of your posterior without any citation, source, or explanation of where you came up with the figure, don't you? Sloppy.


Sorry, I'll post the links for the lazy and ignorant.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.gif

That pegs atheists at 2.5% of the world population. The other 97.5% believe in something beyond the material bounds of what can be explained by science.


again with the insults for anyone who doesn't immediately buy into the argument -so 'religious' , so understanding, showing 'god's grace'? LMAO

that stat is complete BS , IMO. that includes all people whose parents told them they were some 'religion', who never bought into it, never went to any church, never prayed, but for some stat purpose, put down the 'last known religion' that their parents mentioned to them 30 years ago.

StatsI have read say that about 16% of the USA is atheist, and that is one of the most theist, religious countries there is. are you including all the countries whose official state religion IS 'the state( Communist)? PRC, DPRK, former Soviet union, Cuba, etc., etc.

97.5% religious/2.5% atheist is just incredible to me -sounds totally false

of these people who say they are 'religious' how many routinely (every day, practically) violate one or more (likely, several) of their 'religion's core tenets?

e.g. RC f*cking out of wedlock, with birth control, stealing, lying, etc., etc. Muslims f*cking out of wedlock, drinking alcohol, and on & on

hypocrites of the world unite!
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 455
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/12/2010 5:50:07 PM

So don't lecture me about being some kind of hypocrit when you can't be bothered to do your homework.


are you going to come and beat me up if I say I don't believe in your god of peace & love?

OK I believe, I believe..probably the reason so many people who really didn't, proclaimed abelief in centuries past -they didn't want to get burned at the stake

how does 'people going to church = happy' , assuming it's true, relate to science & region (Thread topic)?
 themadfiddler
Joined: 12/9/2009
Msg: 456
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/12/2010 6:46:17 PM

I think you know my posts well enough by now, that you know that I wouldn't claim that only religion can achieve that. Anyway, which religion? How can anyone say that it works for Modern Orthodox Jews, Chassidic Jews, Misnagdic Jews, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Baptists, Shiites, Sunnis, Bahais, and another hundred other groups, but it will only work for those that you call "religious", and not any other groups?

I think you're trying to bait the bear. You're assuming that I'm putting forwards an argument that religion is somehow mysteriously better than other things. Take off your suspicious hat. Put on your open-minded rationalist hat, that considers religions as types of belief and practice that can be just as useful as science, but that everything has to evaluated rationally from every angle. You'll then see that it's not religion that I'm putting forward, but simply the idea that many religions have useful messages and practices, that everyone can gain from, but that we also should give credit where credit is due, and stop trying to make scapegoats out of anyone who simply doesn't share our views.

Let's just admit, that religions have much good in them, and so does science, and that we are all better off, just putting away our nooses, and treat everyone with respect and dignity. I know it's hard. It seems to be human nature, to want to kill and harm physically, and to want to harm emotionally as an extension. But we aspire to not kill, to not harm, and that means that we equally must aspire to not emotionally harm each other as well.



As usual we are very much in agreement...I just find that certain other posters are trying to sew webbed feet onto a chicken and make it into a duck argumentatively speaking.

The area in bold is deliberately highlighted by me. I have no issue with what is being said here at all, nor the rest of your post. I take issue with the proposition that religious practices "solely" would offer benefit. Of course this is most decidedly NOT what you are saying and I hope it is not what other posters arguing the theist point are saying either.

I only take issue with attempts to shoehorn inappropriate arguments onto religion in an attempt, however misguided, to foist a scientific argument onto religion as a "proof" for the existence of deity that it neither merits, nor IMHO needs to be useful.

Religion, again IMHO functions in a sphere of influence all its own without requiring that it be "proven" to function in a quantitative fashion. Religion deals with issues of quality of life (or at least it should) and only when it makes claims that tread upon issues of history, science, astronomy, etc, do we run into problems.

Now for questions of whether an individual is "happier" as a theist, this DOES raise some interesting questions that can be examined by psychology. But answers may not be immediately forthcoming. I suspect that like meditation, or martial arts or yoga, any practice of ritual that has as its end goal the restructuring and solidifying of one's personality structure and belief system, the benefits of comfort, a firmly established basis of worldview, etc. would prove to be sufficient grounds for increased happiness and functionality in society.

However, I also suspect that any sufficiently motivated non-theist who is at comfort with their state of uncertainty would be equally happy.

Bear baiting...not I But I do occasionally run billy goats over bridges just to see what happens
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 458
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/13/2010 2:31:22 AM
Sorry I'm late in posting this - working OT eats up a lot of time...



Science explains the natural world and religion explains the supernatural world.


I'm afraid that this doesn't answer my question - you've just substituted one arbitrary division for another. Again... HOW do you determine what is 'natural' and what is 'supernatural'? Recall that lightning was once considered to be something in the realm of the supernatural, until it was determined that it was a purely natural phenomenon. (Or do you still think that lightning is caused by Zeus being irritated...? )

Further - as StarGazer pointed out, religion doesn't seek to EXPLAIN the supernatural, it typically just *invokes* supernatural explanations for things that people don't understand.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 459
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/13/2010 7:08:55 AM

They go on to say that religious service attendance corelatew with happiness independent of other variables.

Although I can believe that, correlation does not imply causation. For example, I certainly wouldn't be happier if I attended religious services regularly. Would those people who believe in god AND attend religious services still be happier if they didn't attend religious services where they receive some sort of positive reinforcement to focus on something other than their immediate problems? Maybe people could attend Tony Robbins seminars regularly and be happier, too, (if they didn't have to pay for it). Perhaps, just being with one's family and being around lots of like minded people makes people happier. Maybe even athiests would be happy attending religious services if they could laid more often by meeting women in church. Who knows?

Under the philosophy of Pragmatism, a proposition can be considered true if its acceptance has real world consequences, and in particular, if accepting the truth of the proposition allows one to function better is life.

That is certainly true in the sense that ``ignorance is bliss,'' but...

Understood in that manner, religious beliefs can be said to be true as people who hold that belief tend to live happier lives.

But, the only reason people invent things is because they are unhappy with the some facet of their lives. The pragmatic caveman would have never struggled to figure out how to start a fire if he/she was happy with just waiting for lightening to strike. Perhaps everyone would be happier living in caves, but there doesn't seem to be any movement to do that. Furthermore, I don't think you can attribute religious beliefs to pragmatism. I have no real choice in being an athiest. I can no more choose to believe in god than I can choose to be 6" taller. According to the ARIS report (mentioned elsewhere), on page 10, they note that religious practices today really reflect the religious practices a generation ago, since those decisions were made by the parents of the adults today. Abandoning one's religious beliefs if one was raised in a religious environment would probably be no less stressful than doing anything else of which one's parents strongly disapproved.

But my main point is still that science deals with the natural world while religion (or more broudly, metaphysics) deals with the supernatural world. They are only legitimate when they make prnouncements in their own field of endeavour.

That's also true and I've had several friends who were Jesuit priests whose postions were that there can be no conflict betwen god and science. It was also their position that in light of new scientific discoveries, religion must necessarily reinterpret it's teachings to remain viable. That, I agree with 100%. (It is always possible to imagine a god which, by construction, can never be subject to scientific scrutiny, but it isn't very clear whether such a god could be made relevant to anything and such a god is certainly nothing like the gods in the religions to which most of the world subscribes.)

It IS possible (and legitimate) to ask at what point a religion has stepped into a realm that is ammenable to scientific scrutiny. In such a case, science can falsify specific religions if the foundation of it rest on something which is provably false. The issue in that case is whether or not any particular religion is willing to provide a description of its god(s) and accept what science can say about them. Ultimately, the question becomes, ``Is it possible to have a meaningful religious belief that can never be subject to scientific inquiry?''
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 461
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History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/14/2010 2:19:29 AM
RE Msg: 557 by exogenist:
I said "People don't need religion. They need morality, ethics, and a belief." People don't need a golden calf they need morality, ethics, and a belief. People don't need manna water they need morality, ethics, and a belief...and so on and so on.
OK. But Dahmer had a system of morality, a system of ethics, and a system of belief, because no-one can do anything without some sort of personal set of rules with which to figure out how to act. It wasn't based on G-d, or religion. But he still had one, one personal to him. However, it didn't seem to result in actions that most were happy with.

The misunderstanding here is that I am not including morality ethics and belief in my definition of religion.
Each denomination of a religion IS a system of morality, ethics, and beliefs. Without them, you don't have a religion. So you're talking about nothing.

The reason I have chosen to do this is to try and imply that "religion" in a particular sense bears the resemblance of an organization or system and can thus be affected by politics and governance more so than morality ethics or belief.
Then you are discussing the organisations that spring up around religions, in order to give them better organisation, and thus make them more effective. However, since you are removing any aspect of religion from the discussion, you are really talking about the organisations that are based on some principle or other, which is basically every organisation, and so you are really talking about how organisations develop and evolve over time. I'm happy to discuss organisation theory. But let's be clear. Organisation theory is about organisations, and the conclusions of organisation theory apply equally to the National Secular Society, and to every business and government agency, just as much as they do to religious organisations.

While there are many views on this thread I have yet to see a poster consider this.
Oddly enough, I was thinking about the very subject of how organisations do and do not affect their members, just last night.

But that's exactly my point. People too often see problems in an organisation that is devoted to a specific subject, like a particular type of banking, or a particular religion, and think "Oh, let's just get rid of them all. Things will definitely be better." But almost always, they get worse. You remove the good that the organisation and/or subject accomplished. However, very often, the problem is not caused by the subject, or the organisation, but in a particular way the organisation or the subject is handled. That way remains, just in other organisations, and other subjects. So you have less good, but not less bad. Often, because the situation has been seen to be handled, people think the situation is not a problem, and so give those other organisations and subjects free reign, and they increase that behaviour, causing less good, and far, far more bad, than ever before.

If we are going to be scientific about things, then we have to look at organisations scientifically as well, and figure out what organisational structures will be of benefit, and what will cause problems in the long-term.

Unfortunately "the way I said it" doesn't help too much and as such I understand that I may be at fault.
Actually, I think I was substantially at fault, as I wasn't clear enough in my post. I was making a general statement, about people's thinking, rather than tailoring it to the topic at hand. I apologise for that most heartily.


If some people are disgruntled with religion its because they see a lack of it within religion itself (thus justifying a case for religion to those some who are disgruntled is like putting a helpless rabbit in front of an angry lion and telling the lion not to eat the rabbit).
Scorp...err...does some imply me?
No. But the way it wrote, about an angry lion and a helpless rabbit, did make me feel that you were speaking with emotion, because you sympathised with them, having felt somwhat of that pain yourself. So it gave me the impression that you were of that opinion, but were merely speaking about yourself in a removed way.

If I am wrong, then I apologise.


those in leadership position are able to barter the price of such a belief, I'm particularly annoyed when things like that happen
Did you try to make a logical connection here and conclude that I belong to those some?
You did say I'm particularly annoyed.

Then I said
If some people are disgruntled with religion its because they see a lack of it within religion itself

You see that part where I said "...lack of it". What do you think it is? Shouldn't it be "...morality, ethics, and a belief." Now consider that I said religion can be treated like an organization or system with politics and governance. So now what I am saying is that people don't need religion as an institution with governance or politics. All they need is a system of belief inclusive of morality ethics.
Again, this is just assuming that just because you see a problem within some organisation focussed on one subject, then if you get rid of all organisations in that field, then you'll solve all the problems.

What about education? There are teachers who sexually abused kids. Are you in favour of closing down all educational organisations?

What about police brutality? There are police and other law enforcement agents who have abused their positions. Are you in favour of closing down all law enforcement agencies?

By all means raise the problem, as something to be analysed and investigated. But don't just opt for the simplistic answer, not at least without realising that while for those who are non-religious, they don't have anything to do with religious organisations, and so don't gain anything from it, but that for those who are religious, and who are part of religious organisations, they gain a tremendous amount of social and material support from such organisations, and without them, would be much, much worse off. As I said, you don't want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

2) The most damning problem, is that you specified that "People don't need religion.", without specifying which religion you were talking about. There are hundreds of religions, thousands, if Peter Owen-Jones is right, and he spent a year crossing the world, studying every religion he could find. There are lots and lots of denominations within each religion. It's one thing to say that you don't need aspirin to cure a headache. But it's a wholly different thing to claim that no-one needs any drugs for medicinal purpose at all. After all, I think you'd agree that diabetics need insulin. So I think you'd agree that someone making such a gross generalisation is being ridiculous. You're making as large a generalisation. But you clearly aren't an idiot, and you seem to me, to be very open-minded.

You know I thought I did specify. Lemme double check...nope I didn't specify. I did a few posts back though.
You jumped in and replied to my post, which was directed at another poster. Perhaps it would have been better if I'd scanned back, and checked all the earlier pages. But that's quite a few pages of posts. I don't think I could do that all the time, without taking 3 months to post a response. I think we both could have been a little clearer.

But I don't think the emotions are misplaced. You see, for the outsider looking into an organization no different from a corrupt government then they're bound to be annoyed.
I'm annoyed with lots of organisations. I'm annoyed that many parking wardens have given my friends tickets when the parking meter had not yet run out. I'm annoted that many urban planners design lots of road traffic systems that just clog up traffic, like toffee. I'm annoyed that when I need to apply for something or other, that I have to fill out several pages of forms, which seem to be incredibly unclear in parts, in other parts ask for information I haven't needed or looked at in years, and where most of it is never going to be used anyway, and yet, I still have to do all that hard work. I'm annoyed that government agencies don't do something simple like co-ordinate between each other, when businesses do all the time, particularly when that lack of co-ordination leads to severe abuse of children.

I personally think there needs to be a separation between spiritualism and ritualism, religious organization with officials and honest fellowship and so on.
There already is. Practially every religious group I know, has official services, and has unofficial spiritualist meetings, like coffee mornings in the churches, when you can just go along and say what you think. Obviously you cannot have both at the same time. But they both exist.

At least here I'm implying the types of religion. So I apologize for not specifying in the relevant post.
Thank you. It's a rare and honest man who can admit when he might be wrong.

Also to be less ambiguous. A religion operating like a political system will suffer from problems that affect political systems. Such as, corruption by high ranking officials, organized corruption, misinformation and so on. Viewing religion in such away answers a few questions as to why wicked acts can be perpetrated by a religion under the guise of some morality or ethic or belief yet it does not destroy the philosophy behind the recurrent belief of an afterlife, morality or a meaning behind all existence.
I agree. However, the same must be true of all political systems. Since politics just means "making decisions", any system which has decisions to make, which is every type of organisation, automatically is a political system, and so is subject to the same problems. That is going to be true of governments, businesses, charities, scientific organisations, and even secular organisations like the National Secular Society. So we don't remove the problems by looking negatively at religion. We just move the problem somewhere else. Considering just how secular our governments are, and how reliant our nations are on science, the last thing we want is to move the corruption to those organisations. So I think we're better off scientifically examining the development of organisations, by studying organisation theory, and coming up with solutions to how to make organisations that are not prone to corruption, and where they are, that we can keep an eye on that, and catch it.

However, if we do that, then we'll have solved the problem for religious organisations and for other organisations at a stroke. It won't make the anti-religious people very happy. But it will make the people free from corruption, and that's what matters, isn't it?

But does quantum physics have priest? Does quantum physics tell you to go to church every Sunday? Does quantum physics tell you to keep the sabbath holy? Does quantum physics tell you, that you will go to hell for being gay?
Quantum physicists tell me how to understand quantum physics, just like priests tell you how to understand Xianity. The IAEA tells the world that Iran cannot have nuclear weapons, when America can have thousands of them. Quantum Mechanics has people occupying the same jobs as priests.

Does quantum physics tell you to go to church every Sunday? Does quantum physics tell you to keep the sabbath holy? Does quantum physics tell you, that you will go to hell for being gay?
The one thing that society does say, and that most psychologists say, is that you have to conform to society's expectations of behaviour. It's the one thing you can guarantee that society will castigate you for, for not conforming to their norms of behaviour.

When quantum physics claims to know what I "ought" to do in the most subjective and emotional areas of my life then will I pay attention to such an analogy.
Those are most subjective and emotional areas of your life, are those areas of your life, that are most personally unique to you, and are the ones you cherish and value the most. That is your thoughts, how you perceive the world. That is the one area that quantum physics seeks to dictate to you.

And your thinking is dependent on drawing conclusions on what "seems" to be since it seems to you that you came make assumptions about me from what "seems" to be. Perhaps it has not yet occurred to you that it seems to me that you may think a little too much of yourself.
It actually has occurred to me. It's a problem for me, because my nature seems to always doubt myself, and yet, the one thing that everyone I know agrees on, is that my biggest problem is that I lack confidence in myself.

You see in my view (the one you have a problem with) scientific thinking is best with a slice of humility.
Precisely. I could go around telling others that their religious beliefs, which deal with those aspects of life that we have the least proof of, is wrong. But that would not be being humble.

I think we disagree merely on whether or not it is OK to rail against organised religion. But then, I doubt that most people could understand my POV. Most people "fit in". I never did. It was the way I was, ever since I was a kid. To most secular people, I'm an anti-social monster, not because of religion, but simply because I don't think like them about secular matters. My whole life, I have had to pretend to non-religious people that I am something I am not, to live a lie, just so they wouldn't stone me, and when I was honest about even one matter in which I don't think like non-religious people, either they avoided me like I had the plague, or they would humiliate me in public, or worse.

Maybe you are angry. But I have far, far more reason to be angry, than most people could ever imagine. The pain that I have suffered due to secular values, is so much, that physical pain pales compared to it. As a result of getting used to so much emotional and mental torture from non-religious people, that I haven't felt anguish at physical pain since my early twenties and before.

When I had a filling in my tooth, and it didn't take properly, and caused me so much pain that I could barely eat, it was over the holidays. I thought about contacting her, but decided to wait until after the holidays. I waited about a month with so much pain, that I could barely eat. That was painful, but bearable, and is only one out of several incidents in which I know from others that they would never stand that level of pain, not even for a day.

But I'm not superhuman. I suffer just like everyone else. It's just that compared to the slings and arrows thrown at me by non-religious people, just for thinking differently than them, it's not even worth bothering about.

So you see, if I felt like you, that because some groups hurt me, that I should see them end, then I would want to see every secular organisation dismantled. Should I?
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 462
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/14/2010 9:42:27 AM

Physical science doesn't say anything about anything other than the physical world, as I said above.

And your posts indicate that you have lots of misconceptions about physics. the physical world and science, in general. Your comments are nothing but bullshit.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 464
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/14/2010 2:32:05 PM

Go to an astronomy or theoretical physicists symposium sometime.
All they talk about is God.

I've been to hundreds of those. I used to one or two every week when I was in graduate school. I can't recall god ever being mentioned.
 slybandit
Joined: 7/10/2006
Msg: 465
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/14/2010 3:20:50 PM
In response to Scorpiomover:

1. Dahmer had "a system of morality, a system of ethics, and a system of belief"? What is that assertion based on? One could just as easily state that he knew that what he was doing was morally wrong but did not care. Granted, that is a belief system, I suppose.

2. "Each denomination of a religion IS a system of morality, ethics, and beliefs."

Um, not really. Take a hard look at Daoism, and find me one concrete ethical pronouncement that gives meaningful guidance in a concrete situation in any Taoist scriptures.

Er, take a hard look at Christianity.

There are people who think gays should be hated and shunned, and people who think they should be accepted and celebrated, all of whom consider themselves Christians and recognize one another as such.

Most of the religions I know anything about are far too incoherent to constitute a "system" of anything, rather than a random grab-bag of often incompatible (or even silly) beliefs. They do not NEED science to be completely self-contradictory.

3. The distinction between a "religion" and the actual organization of that religion is pretty convenient, because it's is easy to foist off the obvious problems in actual practice on the platitude that the organization is imperfect. Please-- Catholicism and the Catholic Church as not nearly as distinct as your position is suggesting, and the same is true of virtually any organized religion.

4. "However, very often, the problem is not caused by the subject, or the organisation, but in a particular way the organisation or the subject is handled." I put it to you that any organization that exists to propagate and sustain false beliefs IS a problem-- inherently. Any organization that propagates incoherent and self-contradictory belief systems HAS to be propagating false beliefs, no?

5. "What about education? There are teachers who sexually abused kids. Are you in favour of closing down all educational organisations? What about police brutality? There are police and other law enforcement agents who have abused their positions. Are you in favour of closing down all law enforcement agencies?"

Respectfully, this is a straw man argument. Educational institutions, in theory at least, exist to spread knowledge. Law enforcement institutions, in theory at least, exist to enforce (presumably democratically enacted) laws. Both have criminals in their ranks, and neither should be shut down. Various organized religions are rife with pedophiles in their ranks, AND exist primarily to propagate false beliefs.

6. "for those who are non-religious, they don't have anything to do with religious organisations, and so don't gain anything from it, but that for those who are religious, and who are part of religious organisations, they gain a tremendous amount of social and material support from such organisations, and without them, would be much, much worse off."

There is no reason they cannot get collective support from an organization that would just give social and material support without requiring them to publicly claim beliefs that are false.

7. "Quantum Mechanics has people occupying the same jobs as priests." Again, not really. Physicists in various organizations are trying to propagate the truth based on empirical investigation and testing of various theoretical advances.

Priests (Christian ones, at least) are propagating institutionally accepted interpretations of fundamentally incoherent palimpsest texts mis-translated through several languages as if those interpretations had anything to do with moral behaviour or the facts about the world around us. Anything good that they are doing, can be done WITHOUT reference to the nonsense.

8. "My whole life, I have had to pretend to non-religious people that I am something I am not, to live a lie, just so they wouldn't stone me, and when I was honest about even one matter in which I don't think like non-religious people, either they avoided me like I had the plague, or they would humiliate me in public, or worse."

What you are talking about is exactly the same experience every non-religious person has had to deal with when in a religious environment or surrounded by religious people. Most atheists experience exactly what you are talking about, so you are hardly alone in this.

You may technically have "freedom of religion" but no one has an obligation to treat you nicely when you exercise it. Slings and arrows are part of a free society.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 466
view profile
History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/18/2010 10:22:25 AM
RE Msg: 563 by exogenist:
So I think I can actually learn something here:
Good, because I'm learning a heck of a lot from this discussion. For instance, it made me look up organisation theory.

Essentially that is what I'm doing and since religion would be diagnosed as an organization then the principles that affect organizations in general must be true for religion. However as you have pointed out, by definition, morality or belief is part of a religion but not necessarily part of the organization. I'm starting to see that it wouldn't be a benefit to separate the two (or disregard one or the other). However I do want to explore what organization means to religion.
Organisation means to religion what organisation means to business, politics, charities, and everything else. It's just an organisation of a particular set of beliefs, practices and goals. You can see them as the same. But then you cannot isolate the factors that are common to all organisations based on their structure, rather than based on their beliefs. Different types of structures give rise to different proportions of forces within the structure, which thus determine their overall behavioural characteristics. The individual beliefs, practises and goals of those structures are the parameters for how those characteristics can be applied to any individual structural organisation.

However, you can point out that any religion that has laws that cover all its members, would necessarily benefit from a single organisation to which all the members of that religion automatically belong. In that way, religions that have uniform beliefs, laws and practices would tend towards organisation, however small they started out. But the same can be said of businesses and countries.

Of course, reductionism has its advantages and its disadvantages. Reductionism of the former U.S.S.R. highlights communism and atheism as separate attributes, with the understanding that Soviet communism was based on Marxist views, and Marx saw the removal of all religions as a necessary requirement to establish communism. However, that point would not be all that pleasant to those who wish to claim that all atheists are commies. So reductionism has disadvantages if you have a particular agenda.

I mention this, because it is all too easy to get different factors mixed up, and come to erroneous conclusions as a result, that support your personal feelings. It's far more productive to realise that each factor exists on its own, and has its own independent influences, but also has a conjoined effect of two or more factors, that is a function of how each function is applied to the others.


If we are going to be scientific about things, then we have to look at organisations scientifically as well, and figure out what organisational structures will be of benefit, and what will cause problems in the long-term.
Now this is what I'm talking about. Here are the things I've found out that I would like to further investigate about organization with religion in mind.
GREAT. But please understand, that I'm analysing your points.

1. Morality, ethics and belief seems to be a seed for a particular organization when dealing with religion.
True. However, this indicates that religious organisations are one type of organisation amongst thousands. It is like pointing out termites amongst insects. So it only goes to show that religions organisations are not really any more evil or necessarily good than anything else.

2. The structure of the organization seems to be influenced by both the cultural atmosphere and the interpretation of the belief and morals its founded on. Whether it be the belief of a single man or the wisdom and morality and belief from a book such as the Bible.

3. The organization is not usually a complete representation of the belief and morals its founded on.
#3 says that some of the core basis of any organisation, are not part of its official list. #2 says that official list of beliefs are transformed into the core beliefs, but don't necessarily match the core basis of the organisation. Thus, if the official list of beliefs of an organisation is the set B, and the other beliefs used is E, and the interpretation of B is F, the actual core beliefs of the organisation are F(B) U E. So it is very likely that the official beliefs of any organisation have very little to do with how the organisation actually behaves.

It's thus disingenuous to even talk about the official beliefs of any organisation. It's only salient to talk about those unofficial core beliefs that actually form the underpinning of that organisation, that are reflected in the beliefs of the majority of its members, which will evolve over time.

We can discuss the greater details of how they work, and their influences, if you are interested.

Now, what I've been wondering is how organization affects evolution. For instance ants are very organized animals.
Bees are also social insects. I watched a programme on their behaviour. It turns out they don't function like a hierarchical network at all. They function more like a specific type of neural network, where every bee is a node that is just as important and equal as all the other nodes, the other bees.

Its been observed that this organization isn't due to a collective rational effort on the parts of the ants but more so by chemicals.
We too function on chemicals, because our feelings are brought about by neurotransmitters, chemicals, and it is our feelings that motivate us to action.

Sort of like self organization without a director.
Bees and ants function on a neurochemical basis, that they don't rely on a hierarchical structure and lack any sense of corruption. However, we simply cannot say that about all species. It was recently discovered that certain species of monkeys smashed open the heads of other monkeys, killing them, to gain their territory. It's well-known that lions will kill their mates' cubs, if they were from the previous Alpha male, and if they get the chance.

However, we are unlike most species:
1) We have self-awareness. So we are able to reflect on our behaviour and make changes to them according to our needs and the changes in the environment.
2) We have an enhanced frontal lobe. So we are able to work out the likely long-term consequences of our actions and adapt accordingly, avoiding many potential problems long before they become actual problems.
3) We have an opposable thumb. So we are able to fashion tools to vastly increase our capabilities.
4) When we hold hands and walk, we naturally find the steps of our feet fall into the same rhythm. So we have unconscious rhythmic co-ordination, which vastly facilitates working together.
5) Lastly, we have mimicry, which means that a few of us can concentrate on finding a solution to a difficult problem, and then the rest of us can mimic the solutions found. This ability vastly increases our productivity at problem-solving.

All of these abilities, combined, mean that we can make any form of society we so choose, and we can change our societal structures, again and again, to adapt extremely quickly to any changes in the environment, and to any changes that have not yet become a problem yet, but will become a problem in the future.

Thus, it seems to me, that our abilities, lie not in any one vision of a perfect society, but in our ability to make any society that is well-adapted to our current and future needs, and to keep changing them, as required. Our adaptation is not to develop the perfect society, but to develop whatever is best for the moment and the future, always changing in line with how we need to change to adapt to the changes in the environment. It's not a perfect system. It's a chaotically perfect system, always changing, to what we need.

It got me thinking that maybe religion is an emergent property resulting from the simple urge or tendency for a human to have a belief system. If such an assumption is true then I thought it would be best to look at precisely what is a belief system. At this point I have found no simple answer.
The simple answer is that there is no real answer as to what a belief system is, other than a set of beliefs. Belief systems aren't always complete. They aren't always even consistent. But they don't have to be. Our strongest ability is our ability to almost endlessly adapt, without having to be perfect, because we can just keep adapting as we need.

If religion is an adaptation that is advantageous in certain situations, then so be it. But we don't need to question if we need it all that much. Our adaptations will do all that for us, provided we allow ourselves to be flexible enough, not to resist change when we subconsciously know that we need to.

However consider the following source:

...

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

Particularly what are the causations for such thoughts? Do they magically appear out of thin air?

I feel the questions point to where we should be looking. Since, the link between what I am thinking now and what I am doing has, to my mind, not been understood.
I'd like to quote the whole paragraph because I feel that it elucidates the point much clearer:
Kant had distinguished theoretical from practical reason. Rationality theorist Jesús Mosterín makes a parallel distinction between theoretical and practical rationality, although, according to him, reason and rationality are not the same: reason would be a psychological faculty, whereas rationality is an optimizing strategy.[7] Humans are not rational by definition, but they can think and behave rationally or not, depending on whether they apply, explicitly or implicitly, the strategy of theoretical and practical rationality to the thoughts they accept and to the actions they perform. Theoretical rationality has a formal component that reduces to logical consistency and a material component that reduces to empirical support, relying on our inborn mechanisms of signal detection and interpretation. Mosterín distinguishes between involuntary and implicit belief, on the one hand, and voluntary and explicit acceptance, on the other.[8] Theoretical rationality can more properly be said to regulate our acceptances than our beliefs. Practical rationality is the strategy for living one’s best possible life, achieving your most important goals and your own preferences in as far as possible. Practical rationality has also a formal component, that reduces to Bayesian decision theory, and a material component, rooted in human nature (lastly, in our genome).
Theoretical approaches and practical approaches tend to be very different. But both have great similarities. However, if we don't use theories to our benefit, then they don't really benefit us all that much. So I think that theoretical approaches are really part of the optimisation process.

Practice tends to look at one's observations and observe correlations between what we do, and what happens as a result, that could result in causations between what we do, and what happens as a result. However, correlations can be easily misunderstood. Theory tends to look at logic, and deduce possible causations between what we do, and what happens. However, theories can be wrong, or can be true but not applicable to the situation we are examining. Both can be wrong. But we know that what happens must be logical, and must be reflected in reality. I think that we really do a dance between the two, to refine each by the other, until we have something that is both logical and reflective of our observations, and then we know we've got something really useful.

First we develop a correlation. But we don't know if it's right. So we develop a theory to see if it's logical. Then we test the theory back in practicality to see if it still works, or if it needs adjustment. Then if the theory doesn't exactly match practical observation, we then refine the theory, or we develop another theory, that fits with our previous observations. Then we test it again, and find out if it exactly matches practical observation. We keep jumping between the two, until we keep finding that the theory doesn't need improving, and the practical correlations we see exactly match our theory.

One thing that is apparent is that in a logical system, such as sentential logic, the link between what I am thinking and what I am doing can form contradictions. Most of all, habitual actions that have short term success can have long term consequences. There is an implication here. If the aim of a biological system is to maintain its survival then there is a contradiction between short term success and long term consequences. The biological system will therefore aim for long term success given either short term success or short term consequences.
Biological systems seem to act based on laws of physics and chemistry. Those laws don't have aims. So those processes don't act according to aims, only the natural consequences of those laws.

Those laws operate on the principle of locality in almost all situations and processes, except for a tiny minority of cases of quantum entanglement, and especially when it comes to the 4th dimension, time. So almost every process only works based on the information provided it by what happened a moment ago, and possibly what will happen in the next moment, but nothing more than that. As a result, biological processes cannot directly process information based on possible long-term consequences.

You are right in that a person is more likely to survive and thrive if he can see the long-term consequences. Any person who developed such an ability by random mutations would have a definite advantage, and would therefore be less likely to go extinct than others. So I can see that such a mutation would eventually become quite common in a species. The frontal lobe is a cognitive process that can make long-term estimations of what is likely to happen in the future. So the frontal lobe seems to me, to be just such an adaptation.

The longer in the future we look, the more steps are required, and the greater the probability that one of those steps will not follow the odds. As a result, long-term predictions are very often wrong, and when we act accordingly, we vastly decrease our success. So those with a subconscious process of making long-term predictions actually decrease their chances of survival in the long-term.

Those with only a conscious process of making long-term predictions, when they are currently keeping a conscious awareness of what is going on, are aware of when events change from their predicted path of events, and can consciously update their predictions accordingly, keeping their predictions accurate, which makes their choices based on such predictions much more effective, and vastly increase their survival. When they are not currently keeping a conscious awareness of what is going on, they are not aware of when events change from their predicted path of events, and cannot consciously update their predictions accordingly. But since their process of making long-term predictions only happens consciously, they are not making such long-term predictions at those times, and thus will not rely on such unreliable predictions in those times. So they are covered both ways, and their chances of survival is much greater than those with no long-term predictive process, and those with a subconscious long-term predictive process.

It thus makes sense to me that humans developed a long-term predictive process, but only one that acts consciously, so that it is only used when one is paying enough attention to one's surroundings to update one's predictions as things change from the expected path of events. That's exactly what we see, that people who pay attention to what's going on, make good long-term predictions, but that people who just go along with things, without paying particular attention to what's going on, seem to have no plans at all.

There are also levels of long-term predictions, which are related to one's goals. One who only thinks about the needs of today, uses only a short-term predictive process. One who thinks about keeping one's job, only thinks in terms of the next pay review, or in the case of politicians, their next election, the next 4-5 years. One who thinks in terms of one's family's survival, only thinks in terms of one's family's existence as far as one can physically see, only to one's children or grandchildren that are born in one's lifetime. One who thinks about the survival of humanity, thinks in terms of infinite long-term consequences.

The longer the term one considers, the greater the scope of people under consideration. However, the greater the scope of people under consideration, the less the direct benefit to oneself, and the weaker the strength of the survival instinct. So the farther one thinks ahead, the less motivated one is to act in accordance with those considerations. However, the longer the term one considers, the greater benefit there is in the longer-term. So the effectiveness of long-term predictions is balanced by the greater benefit of thinking in the longer term, against the greater motivation of short-term benefits which will benefit one more directly.

Also, the longer the term under consideration, the more effort one is putting in, but with less clear benefits. So the longer the term under consideration, the fewer people see the benefits of taking the time to make such considerations, as opposed to acting immediately.

The majority think only in the short-term, with more direct short-term benefits, but with far less long-term benefits, and tend to act on them quite a lot. Those who think in the longest term, the survival of humanity overall, tend to be very few and far between, with very little personal benefit, and who lack a lot of motivation to act on it. Those who tend to think in the mid-range, about 3 or 4 generations at the most, tend to be a minority of society, but a sizeable one, and who do not act on them all the time, but who do put a fair bit of time into their long-term considerations, and who benefit greatly as a result, along with their children and grandchildren, but to the detriment of the majority of humanity. It seems to me that the process maximises benefit to this last group, the group we generally consider the small but significant rich members of society.

Also, when it comes to politics, the majority, who think short-term, still can see the benefit of thinking long-term, and so value the benefit of the long-term predictions that both minorities make. So they tend to accept the advice of the longer-term thinkers, and appoint leaders from both groups. However, the mid-range thinkers are focussing on far more immediate benefits than the very long-term thinkers geared towards the benefit of humanity as a species. So they offer much more tangible benefits for the majority than the ones thinking totally selflessly. As a result, the mid-range thinkers are likely to get voted for election and re-election much more often than the far fewer selfless thinkers. Also, they are much greater in number. Also, the mid-range thinkers are biologically much more motivated to get their policies established than the selfless thinkers. So they work together more, to ensure that they are the ones to be elected, and to ensure that they are their policies get established. Also, they are only interested in their families' benefit, and so have far lower standards of morality than the few selfless thinkers, and so are much more likely to use dirty tricks which the selfless ones will not. So all in all, politics tends to favour the mid-range thinkers most. However, as they really are only interested in their families' benefit, and not survival overall, they are voting for policies which favour them and their children and grandchildren, but which generally disadvantage the majority. The majority simply don't realise this, because this requires long-term analysis, and they are voting for these people, precisely because they don't want to make such decisions in the first place.

So overall, any such political system favours corruption, and so corruption increases over time in all organisations, secular amoral organisations even more than religious organisations and secular charitable organisations, because they at least put a moral code as part of their overall set of principles, while secular amoral organisations do not, and so their goals are focussed on far more selfish interests.

Any political system only becomes truly efficient when ALL people in any society recognise that the reason that that making long-term predictions is optional, is not so that you can vote for someone who can make them for you, but to stop you making stupid decisions that you didn't actually think out for yourself. Then they are in a position to accept personal responsibility for their decisions. They can then realise that voting only works if you really think out which people you personally know would vote for your best interests in the long-term, and you spend the time to think out what constitutional requirements you need to limit their abilities to become corrupt. They can also realise when they are going to gain more by making those decisions for themselves, and make the time to work out their best course of action.

A possible conclusion is that religion might be the result of a biological systems trying to maintain its maximal survival.
That's a very good argument. Religion has a lot of powerful effects. It bonds people together, and that allows for a strong social network, that we know increases one's mental strength, which is on the whole, a much bigger factor in survival in the worst conditions. We know that such bonding leads one to work together, which is vital for larger projects. We can develop and maintain such emotional abilities on our own. However, most humans don't seem to work well on their own, and it's just much more cost-effective to hold such a group, working together to each develop and maintain everyone's team-abilities and emotional health. In this vein, we can expect certain things to happen:

1) Teamwork and the mental will to survive are 100 times more important if you are living in the wild. So early humans, who lived in a jungle environment, without nearly all of our tools, vaccines, antibiotics, farming and housing, who didn't have such a support system, found their members died out very quickly, and quickly dwindled to extinction. Even if when humans became more advanced, they still periodically suffered such calamities, such as famine, plagues, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, that the same would have happened to any earlier society, but in a time-frame that resembled punctuated equilibrium.

2) You don't need those things to come from theistic religions. However, when we examine how religions work, we find that they don't dictate specifically how those emotional support systems have to work. They are left to the leaders of each group, and the group themselves, to work out. So all such support systems, religious and non-religious, have to evolve to meet those emotional needs, or their members either leave, or die out, and the support system no longer has anyone in it, and it goes extinct. Common modes of behaviour, moral rules of conduct, beliefs about the origins of man, their purpose in life, and why bad things happen, will all contribute to their emotional well-being. Attendance of group rituals and group modes of dress will serve as methods of group bonding. So as any non-religious group progresses in time, it will naturally evolve, until it looks the same as any other religion. Even its belief systems will evolve in the same manner, just with a different name for a different type of supreme authority that one can trust in, until it becomes just like what we might refer to as G-d or gods, and we end up regarding that support system as another type of theistic religion.

As a result, we are likely to view any earlier group with such a support system, no matter what their beliefs were, as a religion, and any group that didn't have a religion, were likely to die out, if not right away, then once a calamity happened, as they didn't have the emotional support system to cope with a large-scale disaster that affected the majority of the group for a long period of time.

Doesn't it seem peculiar that religious thought contained within religion text is married with very powerful religious rituals and practices?
There seems to be a very strong connection between group bonding and rituals. The President's inauguration ceremony, the crowning of a new monarch, weddings as the ritual of the beginning of a new long-term relationship, the rite of passage of a boy to a man, even the parties that celebrate a company being publicised as a PLC, all indicate that groups require some kind of ceremony in relation to an upward change in status.

I think it's because upwards changes in status add an additional status, and that additional status requires a mental association between the person and the increased level of status, and mental associations in the brain are only cemented by physical experiences. Rituals are physical experiences which can only take as their object, people who have achieved the level of status associated with the ritual. Before the ritual, you may have the legal status. But people's psyches haven't accepted it yet. Only when people see you go through the ritual, do they psychologically associate the person with the position, and act accordingly.

Obama was the President in November. But it was only after the inauguration ceremony, that people psychologically saw him as the President and their psyche would make them obey his orders. Only rituals seem to have the power to confer that psychological power.

If we see ourselves as biological systems then its not hard to make the connection that perhaps the organization of religion, with its morals and beliefs, represents the emotional and societal evolution over our course of history.
Correlation does not imply causation. But you can follow the rise and fall of the popularity of differing beliefs, through the annals of history, and find that their popularity was concurrent with certain secular beliefs within society, which indicates how religious beliefs reflected secular beliefs, and vice versa. However, I am loathe to put this analysis on a public forum, as it would suggest that the beliefs of many people today, religious and non-religious alike, do not hold their beliefs because they truly believe in them, but merely because it suits them to believe so.

However, I do note 2 things about evolution. We can see that certain evolutionary traits are no longer utilised. Whales, manatees, and snakes, all have vestigial limbs.
Whales and manatees are mammals, that used to live on the ground, that used to have limbs. They evolved to live in the sea, and have no need for limbs at all. Snakes are reptiles that used to have legs, but evolved to slide across the land or the sand, and equally have no need for limbs whatsoever. Both still have the bones for those vestigial limbs, which do show, but just don't grow that much.

This suggests to me, 2 things about religions:
1) If humans do ever evolve past the point of needing religions, it will only happen when we are like whales, manatees, and reptiles, that is, when we reach a point at which all the things that religions do attempt to address, such as dealing with loss, bereavement, greed, jealousy, and all the painful and harmful emotions that we have, are so addressed by other sources, and so successful at addressing those issues, that the need to address those issues becomes as needed as aquatic species needing limbs designed for walking across the land. I don't know if we ever will reach such a point. But with the amount of wars that still go on, that our countries have been in for 8 years, and all the other painful and harmful emotions that go on every hour of every day, I seriously doubt that such a need will disappear for at least a thousand years in the future.
2) Even if humans do ever evolve past the point of needing religions, then they will still retain them as latent potentials within our psyche. We will still be able to be religious, but simply not use that ability, like vestigial limbs that grow but never grow to their full potential.

Since it kinda means religion doesn't have to be right to be right. You don't need to know that the sun is like a ball to understand that lying may have short term success but long terms consequences.
Interesting, because that video about cheating pointed out how the MIT moral code doesn't have to exist, for it to work.

To me it is the intuition, the implication, and the emotion for justifying what is good and right and best to look forward too that should be given focus and how it is ritualized in present society and the individual person.
I second that. Looking at the positive is the way to go. We gain the most, by looking at the positive in everything, both religious and secular, both the views of non-religious people, and the views of religious people.

So I hurt you feelings. Sorry dude.
You didn't hurt my feelings. Other people have, IRL, a lot. But not you. Maybe I felt a little threatened by what you were claiming. But that can happen to me in any situation. Nothing to apologise for.

I'm not angry and you're totally misunderstanding me. I think its okay to take pot shot (the justified kind) at religion. If anything it weeds out the sane from the insane because the sane ones see it for what it really is and aren't offended. Its a fact, pastors are sometimes douche's because they're human and All humans are douches some of the time (nature is the biggest douche to take it up with her/him/it). Politicians are super douches when they are douches. Also, words don't have emotions, we just think they do.
That's fine with me. I agree that some religious people, and some religious ministers, are douchebags.

I just don't want to criticise a whole political system, or a whole religious system, not until I've thoroughly thought-out all the angles, of exactly what is good about it, and what can be improved. From what I see, that's happened before, and the religious and/or political system has been replaced, only to have the same injustices occur, and often far worse injustices. I'd rather play safe until I'm sure, so we don't jump out of the frying pan into the fire.

If you imply too much emotions from words on a computer screen, unless explicitly directed then its easy to take things personal. This goes for especially me. So I insult you you insult me....and we get a cycle till the mater is cleared. Simple as that.
I tried to avoid that in the past. But it's still occurred. I've taken a lot more time to think about what you've written, precisely to keep that as minimal as possible. As you can see, it can still happen. But please know, that my intent is simply to find a solution that satisfies everyone. I always want to find a win-win, because that way, everybody's happy, and that makes me very happy.

It actually has occurred to me. It's a problem for me, because my nature seems to always doubt myself, and yet, the one thing that everyone I know agrees on, is that my biggest problem is that I lack confidence in myself
Perhaps this might be a good cause to investigate what we are discussing.

Find the link between what you are thinking and what your actions are and how the property lack of confidence may emerge out of it. Write down your conclusions. A simple fix may be the negation of your conclusion and the conscious effort to form or remove certain habits.
A good piece of advice. Something I've never heard before, in quite this way. But it struck a chord. It's definitely something worth pursuing. Thank you very much.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 467
view profile
History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/18/2010 11:41:37 AM
RE Msg: 565 by slybandit:

1) You assume the Dahmer could only have had a system of morality if he thought what he was doing was wrong, which assumes that ALL moral codes MUST share the same views on murder as your own. You're projecting your view of morality onto everyone else's.

2a) On Taoism/Daoism: Read the Three Jewels of Taoism/Daoism.

2b) On Xianity, you assume that either all denominations of Xianity hold the same moral code, or that there is only one denomination of Xianity. Neither are true.

2c) On contradictions: We know from mathematics and science, that 2 things are ONLY contradictory, when they CANNOT be otherwise, which means means that you have considered EVERY possibility, and proved EVERY one of them false, beyond doubt. You can't do that without an extremely rigorous argument, that covers all those possibilities. You haven't even tried to do that. So you cannot be speaking from logic, or from empirical proof. You can only be speaking from indoctrination.

3a) You might as well say "blame the gun (religion), not the shooter (the members of the organisations)."

3b) You state something openly about lots of religions. Unless you can prove it, you are making an extraordinary generalisation about tens of thousands of religious organisations. As Carl Sagan said "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Where is your extraordinary evidence, about all of those organisations?

4a) Watch exogenist's videos, which point out that false beliefs in a mythical honour code that doesn't exist, work very, very well to stop cheating.

4b) Your belief that religions are false, are based on the assumption of 2c, which is obviously wrong.

5a) You presume that schools and law enforcement agencies were "theoretically" established to "help" the people. Yet these organisations were set up governments, and funded by these governments, which are run by politicians, who are known to be one of the most corrupt groups ever. You think these people are out to help you? SERIOUSLY? Why do you think you were TOLD this in the first place, by your teachers? Did it not occur to you that you might be hearing propaganda?

5b) You think that ONLY religious organisations are rife with paedophiles? Skim the news stories over the last 20 years. Count the number of times that female teachers have been caught having sex with under-age pupils, just in the last 2 years. Even in the scientific community, a couple of academics were prosecuted and convicted to child sex crimes, in the last 2 years, just in the UK. There are a number of secular organisations that are rife with it.

6) I actually wrote that. Did you not read my posts at all?

7a) Again, who pays for science research? Governments run by politicians and corporations run solely for the purposes of making money. The previous UK government, of which half its executive ministers were non-religious, and many MPs are non-religious, sacked their advisor on drugs, Prof David Nutt, because he pointed out how taking drugs like ecstasy is far less harmful than many legal outdoor activities, like horse-riding. Corporations that employ scientists, like pharmaceuticals, deliberately hid reserach on drugs like Seroxat, that showed lethal side effects, to them, and to others who weren't even taking it. You really think that these people are free to act without government and corporate interference?

7b) If religious leaders weren't trying to promote moral behaviour, then their texts, such as the Bible, wouldn't say "don't steal".

7c) As St Augustine pointed out, religions aren't there to explain nature to you. That's the job of scientists. If religious leaders changed their vocation to science, we'd call them scientists, not religious leaders.

Everything you've argued in these points, has some basic similarities:

1) That institutions founded and supported and controlled by corrupt politicians and corrupt corporations, are at least theoretically only there to help us, and that we can assume they are for our benefit, which quite simply cannot be true.

2) That all the various religious denominations are full of contradictions, that cannot make sense, which I seriously doubt that you can even hope to justify.

3) That all things that cannot make sense, must be harmful, which has been proved false by exogenist's posts.

That leads to another conclusion:

If anything in education, or the police, or physics, is either contradictory, or false, then they must be harmful. Ergo, according to you, everything in education, and in the police, and in physics, is all 100% true, and 100% consistent, both claims that anyone who knows anything about them knows cannot be said to be true.

There probably are some corrupt religious organisations. But it has to be examined on a case-by-case basis, and it cannot be automatically claimed about all religious organisations, or all religions.

All this is so patently false, and so clearly full of contradictions, that you cannot be speaking from actual things you've thought about yourself. I can see no way for you to hold these ideas, unless you've been brainwashed.

However, governments and corporations do not tend to employ religious organisations or fund them in their research projects, and they are known to be based on corrupt values. So there is a natural conflict between politicians and corporations and religions that are against greed, which is most of them. Considering how the vast majority of education is secular, and that secular education is funded and controlled by corrupt politicians, it's not really surprising that you've been indoctrinated to think that religions are automatically harmful.

What you are talking about is exactly the same experience every non-religious person has had to deal with when in a religious environment or surrounded by religious people.
I know a good few people who have been through my experiences. They have the same attitude to others attacks: either they laughed at such feeble attempts, or they stopped those people in their tracks, or they accepted that they have been through so much, they don't want others to go through the same, even their opponents, and thus state openly that they uphold others' ways of life. If every non-religious person had been through that much, a third would never complain about religion, a third would be up on murder charges, and the last third would state openly that they WANT religious people to be free to hold their religious beliefs, and would fight anyone who goes against that. You, for instance, are not doing ANY of those.

You may technically have "freedom of religion" but no one has an obligation to treat you nicely when you exercise it. Slings and arrows are part of a free society.
You're just p*ssed that religious people are never going to give up their views. Get used to it.

They outnumber you, by over 10 to 1, and the extremists are not being beaten, not even when they are outnumbered by 10 to 1, and by seriously superior weaponry, not even after 8 years of fighting. Right now, it's only been a tiny minority that have reacted violently. But you keep insulting them, and eventually, all religious people will stop turning the other cheek. WHEN they hit back, it will be very unpleasant for non-religious people, about as unpleasant as you facing 10 grizzly bears, and slapping them in the face. Care to guess what will happen?

Or, to put it another way, 1.5 billion people are Muslims. Don't count on China, because you've screwed them over so much, they're happy to see you get crushed. Care to guess what happens if 1.5 billion people turn against Western anti-religious people, and China doesn't help?

Don't bait the bear, or expect the consequences.
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 468
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/18/2010 11:53:33 AM
5b) You think that ONLY religious organisations are rife with paedophiles? Skim the news stories over the last 20 years. Count the number of times that female teachers have been caught having sex with under-age pupils, just in the last 2 years. Even in the scientific community, a couple of academics were prosecuted and convicted to child sex crimes, in the last 2 years, just in the UK. There are a number of secular organisations that are rife with it.


this is a quite laughable response to religious organizations who hold themselves out as having 'superior morals' to others not part of their group, have members or 'officers' of their organization who have gotten quite a bit of 'trust' of people who then sodomize (anally rape) young boys, then have the entire hierarchy from top to bottom (priests to bishops to archbishops to cardinals to popes) conspire to cover it up (see RC church for prime example). Rather than confront the problem they would shift a priest with a prediction for young boy azz to another, new parish where he was unknown, so he could set out to abuse yet more young boys. I bet similar things have happened outside the RD church, other Xian denominations, with Muslims, Jews, etc.

then say in their "defense" : "Well, other people do it too!" thereby admitting openly that they are NO BETTER at all, than anyone else -actually worse, since their wormed their way into a position of trust

also most other 'secular' organizations were not so worried about their 'reputation' that they conspired to cover up the sexual abuses, buggery, sodomy, and pedophilia & rape happening in their organizations so the rapists could go on to continue abusing more people..

any time I have heard of the allegation of improper sex activities coming up in a school the teacher is invariably suspended immediately
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 469
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History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/18/2010 6:57:15 PM
RE Msg: 568 by sarniafairyboy:
this is a quite laughable response to religious organizations who hold themselves out as having 'superior morals' to others not part of their group, have members or 'officers' of their organization who have gotten quite a bit of 'trust' of people who then sodomize (anally rape) young boys, then have the entire hierarchy from top to bottom (priests to bishops to archbishops to cardinals to popes) conspire to cover it up (see RC church for prime example). Rather than confront the problem they would shift a priest with a prediction for young boy azz to another, new parish where he was unknown, so he could set out to abuse yet more young boys. I bet similar things have happened outside the RD church, other Xian denominations, with Muslims, Jews, etc.
But that's the point. If it happened in the RC church, and it happened elsewhere, then it could have happened just about anywhere, and, from accounts that I've heard from others, it HAS. A friend of mine pointed out how there is an ongoing case of a judge who was caught abusing a young girl in Scotland, and the family are putting it through the courts. I looked it up, and it's true, but I've forgotten the name again. It was going to be put on a radio show, but just before the programme was to be broadcast, the funding for the programme was mysteriously pulled and the programme never made it to air. It's a very media-worthy case, the very sort of case that the media would normally love, because it would drive up ratings and newspaper sales like a bomb. Yet it's not been covered at all in the media, and very few sources carry the case. Oh, and lots of scoutmasters were done for abuse too, even though in many countries, they are pretty much secular organisations in all respects, as the scouts have no affiliation to any particular religion.

I'm not saying that the RC church was right. I'm saying that we are even worse, if we let it go on with our judges, our police, our teachers, our politicians, and our other organisations.

then say in their "defense" : "Well, other people do it too!" thereby admitting openly that they are NO BETTER at all, than anyone else -actually worse, since their wormed their way into a position of trust
That's my point too. People never trusted their local priest or minister anywhere near as much as they'd trust their kids with a policeman, or a teacher, or a judge, or a scoutmaster, or just about any other position that was found guilty of sexual abuse. Yet, non-religious people seem keen to let them off the hook.

also most other 'secular' organizations were not so worried about their 'reputation' that they conspired to cover up the sexual abuses, buggery, sodomy, and pedophilia & rape happening in their organizations so the rapists could go on to continue abusing more people..
You'd be surprised. See above with the case of the judge that I quoted. Actually, there was also a judge a while back, that said that judges should not be tried in public, as it would reduce trust in the justice system. The ones in charge of catching the paedos, are the ones we most need to see obey the system, and they are the ones who want cover-ups the most. I guess that's what you meant by not covering up, eh?

any time I have heard of the allegation of improper sex activities coming up in a school the teacher is invariably suspended immediately
That's because they've been done for it so many times, they won't take the risk. So now, even when the school knows for 100%, that the allegation is 100% baseless, they'll suspend the teacher immediately, just to be "seen to be doing the right thing". It's not about catching the paedos. It's about politics and image. Once they've been accused, even after they've been proved innocent beyond doubt, such accusations stick. So once the school board have suspended them, even when they know they are 100% innocent, the parents will never stand for that teacher remaining at that school again, and that's it. Being seen to do the right thing, killed someone's career, and ruined a good teacher for everyone else. Yet again.

Again, I'm all for catching and convicting paedos. But if we are going to do it, then let's be fair. Let's go after the secular organisations as much as the religious organisations. Considering that most people would trust a secular official far more than a religious official, we can expect that it's far more rife in those organisations than in religious organisations. If we don't, then aren't we just enabling paedophiles?

Of course, that won't help the agenda of people who are p*ssed off with their lives, and want to blame their work problems on someone other than the people they should confront, their boss. But it might motivate them to face their fears, and thus deal with their problems, rather than criticise others to make themselves feel good, wallowing in the mud.
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 470
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/22/2010 2:44:48 PM
they might be in conflict because I don't think science really condones or supports amss killing of people like the 'god' of jews & xians does:

(especially not just for feeling slighted or insulted)

God killed 100,000 Syrians for calling him a God of the hills & he didn't liek it at all so he killed 100,000 of them. t he bible says:
And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 1 Kings 20:23
Then an anonymous "man of God" told the king of Israel (Ahab) that God would slaughter the Syrians for calling him a hill god and, by so doing, show Ahab that he is the Lord.
And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 1 Kings 20:28
So God delivered the Syrians into Ahab's hand and the Israelites killed 100,000 in one day.

And the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day. 1 Kings 20:29
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 471
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/22/2010 2:50:00 PM

Under the philosophy of Pragmatism, a proposition can be considered true if its acceptance has real world consequences, and in particular, if accepting the truth of the proposition allows one to function better is life. Understood in that manner, religious beliefs can be said to be true as people who hold that belief tend to live happier lives.

But my main point is still that science deals with the natural world while religion (or more broudly, metaphysics) deals with the supernatural world. They are only legitimate when they make prnouncements in their own field of endeavour. Whether the prnouncements are correct is another matter.


you never 'proved' that religion makes people happier. you have stats that say the percentage of people who state they are 'happy' is slightly higher amongst regular church attenders. That is different than saying it makes people 'happier' since 'happy' is not something that can be measured quantitatively by any known scale. IT says the % that say they are 'happy' vs. 'unhappy (either/or) is a bit higher (by a few % points). also that is no proof it is really religion or church per se, but perhaps it is just gathering with 'similar' many people that makes them happier.

church is a widespread one but I'm sure if people belonged to Kiwanis or Rotary clubs and gather regularly they are happier to have the social interaction with similar-minded people ; but currently churches have much more attendance than these clubs
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 472
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History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/22/2010 6:55:39 PM
RE Msg: 570 by sarniafairyboy:
Then an anonymous "man of God"
In Hebrew, the possessive case works differently to English. In a possessive case, in English, the definite article applies to the subject. In Hebrew, it applies to the object. For instance, in English, if you want to say you are talking a specific son of Obama, you say "the son of Obama." In English, you say "son of the Obama."

Here, the verse says "man of the G-d", when it's clear that the Israelite G-d is implied, and where normally, it's treated as a noun, not requiring "the". So quite clearly, it's the definite form of the possessive case, showing that it means "the man of G-d".

God killed 100,000 Syrians for calling him a God of the hills & he didn't liek it at all so he killed 100,000 of them.
Let's look at the chapter:
Now Ben-Hadad king of Aram mustered his entire army. Accompanied by thirty-two kings with their horses and chariots, he went up and besieged Samaria and attacked it. 2 He sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, saying, "This is what Ben-Hadad says: 3 'Your silver and gold are mine, and the best of your wives and children are mine.' " 1 Kings 20:1-2
Ben-Hadad demanded the best of the wives and children of the people of Israel. If he was a slaver, then the best slaves are the ones who can do the most work, the men. So why demand the wives and the children?

This is not about slavery. He wants the top-quality women, for the only reason you want to own top-quality women, because you're in human trafficking to turn those women into forced prostitutes, to be raped again and again.

For the same reason, he wanted the best of the children, and not the best of the men. They aren't going to be slaves. They are going to become something far more sinister.

Now let's look at Ahab's response:
4 The king of Israel answered, "Just as you say, my lord the king. I and all I have are yours."
Not a very nice answer at all, considering what would probably happen to those women and children. But consider what it says in 1 Kings 16:30-31:
Now Ahab the son of Omri did more evil in the sight of the LORD than all who were before him. 31 And the lightest was his walking in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him.
The lightest of his actions was the actions of Jeroboam, who worshipped idols, and forced the people to worship idols. So whatever he did, was a heck of a lot worse than idol-worship. He did more wrong than all the other kings that preceded him. Saul wiped out 2 cities, just because David had passed through there, and they didn't know where he went. So we can take it as read that human life meant little to Ahab.

Let's see what Ben-Hadad thought about Ahab agreeing to his demands:
5 The messengers came again and said, "This is what Ben-Hadad says: 'I sent to demand your silver and gold, your wives and your children. 6 But about this time tomorrow I am going to send my officials to search your palace and the houses of your officials. They will seize everything you value and carry it away.' "
You'd think that when Ahab agreed to his demands, Ben-Hadad would accept that. Instead, he demands "everything you value", not just the best women and children. Now he's demanding ALL the women and children, because Ahab DIDN'T want to fight him.

Now let's see what the people thought of all this:
8 The elders and the people all answered, "Don't listen to him or agree to his demands."
Too right. Even if Ahab wasn't against turning his people into much worse than slaves, the people were against it.

Let's see what Ben-Hadad said when Ahab refused to hand over ALL the women and children:
10 Then Ben-Hadad sent another message to Ahab: "May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if enough dust remains in Samaria to give each of my men a handful."
Ben-Hadad wants to take everything that is there, even the very sand. He wants to wipe them out entirely, till there isn't even a person or a stone or even sand left.

Then Ben-Hadad's army and Ahab's army battled, and Ben-Hadad lost.

Afterwards, G-d gave Ahab good advice:
22 Afterward, the prophet came to the king of Israel and said, "Strengthen your position and see what must be done, because next spring the king of Aram will attack you again."


Did Ben-Haded stop fighting and become peaceful? Quite the opposite. He didn't even attribute his losses to bad planning. He blamed "the gods" for his losses:
23 Meanwhile, the officials of the king of Aram advised him, "Their gods are gods of the hills. That is why they were too strong for us. But if we fight them on the plains, surely we will be stronger than they. 24 Do this: Remove all the kings from their commands and replace them with other officers. 25 You must also raise an army like the one you lost—horse for horse and chariot for chariot—so we can fight Israel on the plains. Then surely we will be stronger than they." He agreed with them and acted accordingly.


Ben-Haded then attacked with overwhelmingly greater numbers:
26 The next spring Ben-Hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. 27 When the Israelites were also mustered and given provisions, they marched out to meet them. The Israelites camped opposite them like two small flocks of goats, while the Arameans covered the countryside.
The Israelites had just 2 groups of soldiers. The Arameans were everywhere. Clearly unbelievably outnumbered. By this point, most people would say that there was not a hope of even surviving.


28 The man of God came up and told the king of Israel, "This is what the LORD says: 'Because the Arameans think the LORD is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys, I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know that I am the LORD.' "
This is very, very odd. Sure, promise the Israelites they won't be wiped out. Maybe even promise them that they'll beat the Arameans back, or they will win. But promising them that the whole army would be put into their hands, all of them, that they'll win hands down? This is a lot more than a promise.

The other thing that is odd, is why does G-d say that "and you will know that I am the LORD". Doesn't Ahab know that the message is supposed to be from G-d?

G-d is telling Ahab that he's going to have such an overwhelming victory, that any military general would say that it couldn't happen, not using military force, or any other force of nature. He's going to win in a way that is only possible if supernatural forces came into play, and that will show everyone that G-d is the one who controls who wins and loses.

But why should G-d do this? Ahab is an idol-worshipper anyway. He doesn't really care too much about G-d.

G-d isn't doing this to teach Ahab a lesson. Ahab already had clear signs that G-d rules all. However, the Arameans think that the Israelite G-d is some kind of kryptonian alien, who has technology to control the hills, but not the open plain. G-d is showing the Arameans that the G-d of the Israelites is the G-d of everything, and they had better start following His rules, to treat others with respect, especially women and children, and especially not doing the sorts of things that Ben-Hadad, the king of the Arameans, was planning to do.

I still have to wonder, why are you so bent on trying to claim the Bible is something you really don't like?

I doubt you like human traffickers. But I don't see you writing lots and lots of emails complaining about human trafficking. Nor do I see anyone else doing so. If you don't like something, you keep clear of it.

So why are you NOT keeping clear of it? Are you afraid of the Bible?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 473
view profile
History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/23/2010 6:35:14 AM
RE Msg: 573 by annasthasia:
Not only does the poster not even question the validity of the story. He does not even question the fact that this non human source of life is not only talking to humans but wanting to assassinate the people that refuse to be brainwashed into worshiping him.
Let's look at again at the chapter:
Now Ben-Hadad king of Aram mustered his entire army. Accompanied by thirty-two kings with their horses and chariots, he went up and besieged Samaria and attacked it. 2 He sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, saying, "This is what Ben-Hadad says: 3 'Your silver and gold are mine, and the best of your wives and children are mine.' " 1 Kings 20:1-2
You really think if another people had demanded of you, under threat of war, to hand over the best of your wives and children, that you would say "oh, they're not doing anything wrong.", and you would just hand them over and not defend them?

Again, this poster considers himself a logical person... Well then, please explain how this non human source of energy can actually speak to humans and also please explain why he has remained silent for a few thousand years?
What do you mean by "silent"? Lots of different people have claimed that G-d spoke to them, including lots of people who say they don't belong to any religion at all.

Look at it another way. If the Bible is true, then someone in a small village in Morocco at the very same time, could have said "please explain how this non human source of energy can actually speak to humans and also please explain why he has remained silent for a few thousand years", because no-one in his village professed to hear the word of G-d.

From a logical perspective, this argument can be condensed to "If I didn't experience it, then it cannot have happened, because everything that has ever happened or will happen, I have experienced personally."

It's not even in the same ball-park as logical.

Heck, if the scientific community thought like this in the 60s, then everyone would have said that pulsars didn't exist either, because no-one had "heard" or "seen" a pulsar for 2,000 years.

Of course, what they really would have meant, was they weren't paying attention to the possibility of pulsars. Even before Joyce Bell Burnell and her colleagues discovered a pulsar, someone had been a science tour in a science museum, and had pointed out the same thing. But no-one was listening. No-one was paying attention.

I mean, the last time I knew of someone who heard voices were diagnosed as having schizophrania.
That's not the only sign of schizophrenia, and it's not the clearest.

If they heard voices only in their own head, then no-one else heard those voices. So how do you know if they are telling the truth? If they could be lying to you, then you cannot trust what they say, so you cannot declare them crazy on the basis of their own testimony. If they are honest and crazy, then you cannot rely on their word anyway, so you cannot believe them when they said they heard those voices, so you cannot declare them crazy on the basis of their own testimony. If they are honest and not crazy, THEN you have to accept that what they said was rational, and so, if they told you that they heard voices, then you have to accept that those voices really did exist. It's a catch-22.

You cannot even believe that just because you heard a voice, that you're schizophrenic. Many people find that they think of a great day they had, and recall the music, and can "hear" it. The same happens when many people have strong cognitive messages from their parents in childhood. They can "hear" their father's voice screaming at them, just as if he was still alive. This happens, because our brain forms mental associations with anything that is connected with a particular thought, including the sense experiences that occurred at the time, according to the strength of the neural imprint of that thought. As a result, if you have a thought in your head that has an extremely strong neural imprint, then when you recall that thought, you often recall the feelings that you felt at the time, particularly if it is a thought that was repeatedly reinforced on a regular basis, and especially if it was a thought during childhood, when your brain was most empty, and when any experience would have seemed very strong compared to what is in the rest of your brain at the time. So you cannot just believe that just because you heard a voice at a time, that you're automatically schizophrenic, as it could be just a strong mental imprint.

However, there is a very clear sign of schizophrenia, which is the red-blue ball test. You take a bag of balls, with some of each colour, but mostly only of one colour. You then ask the person to take out as many balls as they like, and then make a guess. The aim is not whether you are right or wrong, but to see how many balls you take out and look at, before making a decision. Normal people might take out 5 or 6 before making a guess. Schizophrenics take out only 1 ball, or 2 balls at the most, and then are 100% certain of their decision.

The reason this test is such a good sign of schizophrenia, is because our brains do not compartmentalise attitudinal approaches. If you jump to firm conclusions on the basis of very little data, you jump to conclusions about everything. So if you choose which colour balls are most of the bag on the basis of only 1 or 2 balls, then the chances are that you will jump to a firm conclusion about other things as well, like hearing voices, without thinking it out.

You're not a schizophrenic just because you heard some noises, which you think could be the work of G-d. You're schizophrenic because you heard some noises, or read something in a book like the Bible, and immediately jumped to a definite conclusion, without thinking it out.

Hearing a voice that says "Go run naked down the street", doesn't make you schizophrenic. Acting on it, without thinking about the fact that you're almost certainly going to be arrested for it, is a sign of schizophrenia.

Likewise, reading something in a book that you think might indicate the book might be wrong, or might have been written by some very bad people, is not a sign of schizophrenia. But just assuming that your initial impressions are 100% right, and refusing to consider they might have needed a bit more thought, and could have been a bit premature, is a sign of schizophrenia.

Please elaborate from a logical point of view the fact that a non human can actually talk to a certain race of humans and use them to do his evil deeds. Just wondering...
An alien species could talk to you, and tell you to harvest babies for them to eat. Of course it's logical that such an event could happen. So your question is illogical.

I think that the relevant question is if it would be moral to make such demands. So again, if someone went to the President of your country, and said "'Your silver and gold are mine, and the best of your wives and children are mine.", would you tell the President that he should just hand those women and children over?

This is why I truly love science...
If there is anything science has shown us, it's that just because you see the Sun appearing to go around the Earth, that there is a good chance that you might be wrong, and you have to take your time to investigate everything thoroughly before reaching a conclusion!

How is any of this scientific?

I'm personally not bothered if you aren't religious, or if you are atheist or agnostic. I know lots of people of those persuasions and I count quite a few of them as friends.

I'm not even bothered if you think the Bible is wrong. You're entitled to your own personal opinions.

However, I AM bothered if you are jumping to definite conclusions without thinking things out, especially if you display a tendency to criticise and insult others when jumping to such conclusions. We know that you are apt to do that in other parts of your life, particularly in emotionally-charged situations, when it becomes much harder to think clearly. Dealing with kids, is one of the most emotionally-charged situations we experience. Psychologists have estimated that for every one criticism, you need 10 encouragements to cancel out the negative effects of that criticism. We can also easily observe that in those kids who have been criticised, that if affects their behaviour to be less confident and less motivated, and this damages their childhood and adult life. We can also easily observe that in such people, that others misunderstand their lack of motivation for laziness and a lack of care and consideration for others, and so such criticisms cause others to keep criticising them, making a cycle of criticism and lack of motivation, that is very, very difficult to escape. All this harms those children terribly, and is a large measure of why depression, anxiety, suicide and eating disorders are so on the rise in our youth.

However, I cannot blame the parents all that much, for they almost certainly got criticised unthinkingly by their parents, and are acting out of imitated habit. Also, these same parents often do realise their mistakes and change, but only once the pressure of dealing with their children is off their heads, and that's when the children are no longer dependent on their parents. However, once the child is an adult living on his own, and no longer dependent on his/her parents, then at that point, there is no strong imperative to listen to what the parent says, and so the new messages of warmth and love do not make anywhere near the impression those earlier criticisms do. So in most families, it's a case of "too little, too late". Often, the parent only wakes up to his/her negative attitude when dealing with the grandchildren, but is still highly critical of the child out of habit and a continuing sense of responsibility to educate the child. However, since that often only happens with the introduction of grandchildren, that means that the child has now had his/her own children, and is repeating the same cycle of emotional abuse, and parents having much more influence on the grandchildren than the grandparents, the messages of unthinking criticism perpetuate almost as strongly to the grandchildren. So there becomes a vicious cycle of emotional abuse, that just seems to continue from generation to generation.

That can really only change if you stop, and take stock, to realise that you yourself are right now, either being unthinkingly critical of some things, and unwittingly being unthinkingly critical of your kids, and of others, including other members of your family, and your friends, or you are not unthinking critical of anyone or anything else, and so, you aren't being critical of the Bible, or religion, or religious people either, until you've really thought out if you right, what exactly your points are, and how best to express them in such a way that the other people do not feel like they are criticised.

I count myself in this, and am trying to be a better person. But I am not perfect, and I make mistakes. So please realise that if this comes off as critical, that it is my weakness, and understand that I am trying to change.

I would just like everyone's kids to have a happy life, and the only way that I can see that happening, is if we can learn to stop and think carefully before we criticise anyone or anything.

Don't you want your kids and everyone else's kids to have a happy life? Wouldn't it be great if you can do something to make that happen? Well, you can. All you have to do is think "offer respect and admiration unreservedly, and offer criticism only when you've really thought things out carefully, about everyone and everything."
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 474
view profile
History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/23/2010 10:24:31 AM
RE Msg: 575 by annasthasia:
Interesting rant and deflection...

Now, please answer the question...


Well then, please explain how this non human source of energy can actually speak to humans and also please explain why he has remained silent for a few thousand years?
No deflection. I already wrote that:
What do you mean by "silent"? Lots of different people have claimed that G-d spoke to them, including lots of people who say they don't belong to any religion at all.
G-d IS speaking, to LOTS of people. If you don't want to listen, what exactly would you have G-d do? There is an old saying: "you can draw a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink." No-one can make you listen but yourself.

Any non human source of energy that uses humans to kill each other in my book is just wrong and also evil.
But any human source of energy that uses humans to kill each other in my book is OK?

What about any non human source of energy that doesn't use human to kill each other? Isn't that OK in your book? I already pointed out how this is the case in the case you cited.

Seems to me, that you are deciding what G-d does first, BEFORE reading the Bible to find something that might be interpreted to support your claims.

This god of yours loves to kill. There has been bloodshed with humans since the beginning of times. Those that are the cruelest are those that believe in this inivisible god of yours.
You ARE basing your claims on things other than the Bible. You are basing your claims on the basis that: "There has been bloodshed with humans since the beginning of times." and "Those that are the cruelest are those that believe in this"

Think about that.
OK. Let's see if your assessments are correct:

1) "There has been bloodshed with humans since the beginning of times."
Well, if that's true, then anything that G-d did in the Bible, isn't any worse than anyone else. It certainly isn't any worse than the Romans or the Greeks. They left their unwanted babies on rubbish tips or in pots in the forest to be eaten by the foxes and the wolves that scavenge there.

2) "Those that are the cruelest are those that believe in this"
Ahhh, the penny drops. You can accept the cruelty of the Romans and the Greeks. But you cannot accept the cruelty of "those that believe in this". Is it your contention that the average Xian, average Muslim and average Jew, keeps women as sex slaves, like the Romans and Greeks did? Do they routinely throw their babies on the rubbish tips?

So what exactly is it that you are talking about? Perhaps we should re-visit the Trail of Tears. Certainly, there could have been a religious aspect to that violence. But you cannot deny the fact that there was considerable economic advantage to gain control of the land of the Native Americans. You cannot deny that economic advantage is one of the sure-fire goals of many people. You cannot deny that the more ambitious ones are driven to economic advantage to everyone else's disadvantage. So you cannot deny that a large reason why the Trail of Tears happened was to gain wealth and power.

So, I put it to you, why are you so focussed exclusively on the Bible? What about the human desire for wealth and power? Don't you think that might have something to do with it? Don't you think it might make more sense to say that is the major factor, considering how when the Romans did most of their conquering, killing and slaving, they were pagans, who didn't believe in the Bible?

Perhaps you believe that all religions are the problem. Do you honestly believe the atheist communist party of the U.S.S.R. was a haven of peace and tranquillity?

Now I will think about it all the more. What happens if the world blames religion, and everyone agrees to stop following religion? Will the desire for money and power mysteriously disappear? Only if it's not got a biological source, and it does. It's called the survival instinct, and according to science, it's the strongest desire we have, far more powerful than anything else, including religion. So according to science, if that happens, you won't even see a drop in 1% of deaths. But what you we also know, is that when you think that one thing is a problem, and you are sure of it, so that it becomes part of the self-image, that you will deny anything to the contrary, and as a result, if you do believe that religion is the problem, your brain will filter out any of those continued deaths, and will continue to find justifications for it. So if everyone sees as you do, the deaths will continue unabated, only this time, no-one will see them, and no-one will even lift a finger to stop them.

So why not go after the actual people who do the harm, ambitious people who don't care about the welfare of others, instead of trying to just blame something or someone else?

You asked me to think about it. So I did.

At least those that kill because they admit their thirst for power are still evil but they do not hide behind this invisible god of theirs to do their evil deeds.
I totally agree that those who kill and admit they are evil, are better than those who kill but pretend they are good.

But who, who has killed and killed, and admitted they go killing because they have a thirst for power? Stalin? Hitler? Even Al Capone said: "I am like any other man. All I do is supply a demand." Seriously. Who has admitted this? Maybe 1 out of every 10,000 killers doesn't blame it on capitalism, or communism, or supplying a demand, or national security, or something else.

I mean, in way it is a cop out to use god as an excuse to kill.

a) In that context, you can always pull the victim card. ex: It's not my fault it is the will of god...
I just said that you CANNOT do that, not according to the law of the Bible.

That type of excuse has been used again and again. But let's look at by who:
1) The bankers. "The markets are now so complex, that no-one could have predicted what happened".
2) America, the UK, and the rest of the Western countries: "Iraq could attack the UK in 45 minutes with WMDs."
3) Even the Western intelligence services are keen on keeping their leaders in the dark, so they can claim "plausible deniability".

I am sure that you can bring a million examples of cases of atrocious behaviour involving the non-religious victim card.

It really isn't exclusive to religion. So it's an excuse to claim that the problem is about religion.

b) Brainwashing like minded people creates a wave of false truths where everyone starts believing that nonsense and forget the source or even bother to find the truth of the matter at all.
Are you kidding? You really think that 25%+ of people in the USA, the UK, and Canada, are so overweight that they are classified as clinically obese, because they "don't know" that eating loads of junk and doing very little exercise is going to make you fat?

Chocolate fuels the trafficking of children to be taken away from their parents, and treated as slave labour.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_8583000/8583499.stm

Here is a list of companies who have spent years ensuring their chocolate is not made by child slave labour:
http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/FreeBuyersGuides/fooddrink/chocolatebarssnacks.aspx

Are you going to give up your precious chocolate now, and switch to the more expensive brand that doesn't involve child slave labour? Or are you going to make excuses, because the chocolate you use tastes nicer, and is much cheaper?

You really think that in this age of the internet, where information is everywhere, that no-one bothers to read, because they've been brain-washed?

People don't think because they don't WANT to think. They'd rather be happy with lies that make them feel good, than truth that makes them question if their consumer-driven self-serving lives make others' lives harder.

Blaming religion is just another way to avoid confronting the hard facts of your life, that non-religious people are helping continue the same kinds of problems and hardships for people that they blame on religion. It's just another way of saying "I'm not harming anyone, because I'm not religious. It's those OTHER people who are causing all the problems of the world."

Get a backbone, and accept responsibility for the problems you cause.

c) It has become so entrentched that the believers do not even question the validity of the story by trying to seek concrete facts to PROVE that this god, that actually talks and orders people to do horrible acts.
More like, it has become so entrenched that the believers of French anti-religious sentiments do not even question the validity of their stories by trying to seek concrete facts to PROVE that the G-d of the Bible, that they don't believe in, actually talks and orders people to do horrible acts, and never question if they are enabling corrupt people to commit horrible acts like child slave labour by buying chocolate.

Also, by the same breath, he supposedly created us all to be equal
I don't have tits or a vagina. I'm NOT equal to you. I am just as capable as you are, but in different ways, some the same, but some different, because I am not the same as you.

I'm differently abled. Get it right.

and apparently this god of yours is supposed to love all that he created... That would include all the different races on this earth... right?
Of course that is true. Why do you think that in the Bible, a slave has to go free if you knock out a tooth? Because you can only keep a slave, if you treat him well enough that he's treated better than you've ever treated anyone under your supervision. If you knocked out the tooth of anyone under your supervision, would you approve their PhD, or at least pay for their costs to get their PhD by someone else? No? Then you would do less that the Bible says you must treat a slave.

This is getting absurd...
Yes, it is. You seem utterly convinced, and people who are utterly convinced that "others" are the evil ones, are the ones who believe they are incapable of evil acts, and they are the ones who do the worst crimes of humanity.


However, I AM bothered if you are jumping to definite conclusions without thinking things out, especially if you display a tendency to criticise and insult others when jumping to such conclusions. We know that you are apt to do that in other parts of your life, particularly in emotionally-charged situations, when it becomes much harder to think clearly.
Intersting... You can state such a biased opinion of me....
You are apt, because pretty much every member of homo sapiens is apt to as well. Are you not part of the species known as homo sapiens?

This, to my eyes, proves that the issues belong to you.
I already pointed out how I am not perfect in this regard and make mistakes. I am open that I can.

You do not know me AT ALL. Interesting...
I would like to see proof. All I have is your posts. They have many criticisms and insults, which are not well-thought out. Now, if you wish for someone to vouch for you, and to explain to me exactly how you are not critical and insulting, especially about things which you are emotional about, then by all means, get them to join this site and message me, or message me using your profile, and I will be only too happy to read their comments, and analyse them. If I find evidence that I was wrong, I think I should be man enough to admit it. But if I don't find any such evidence, I should not bow to pressure, just because a woman wants me to lie to her.

An other thing... who is "we" exactly?... You and who else?...
"We", meaning people in general. For instance, driving instructors, policemen, psychologists, social workers, publicans, security guards, you name it.

I can only work with what someone writes on this site to figure them out. For me, I have written so much on this site, that you have far more than enough to analyse me and work me out. But for you, the more you write, the more information you give me about myself, and the more insight I gain into your true nature, and that is what I desire. So I have nothing to fear from you keeping on writing, only greater knowledge, and I consider greater knowledge a good thing.
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 476
view profile
History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/24/2010 3:18:04 PM
RE Msg: 577 by Krebby2001:
Perhaps religion has been politicized. That, along with lawyers, seems to have f*cked up everything in modern civilization. The two, politics and the lawyer guild, seem to work together (note that I did now say law, but "lawyer's guild." . And when religion joins politics and the lawyer guild, all Hell breaks loose. Which seems to be what's happening.
Perhaps.

But look at it another way. Has non-religious life been politicised. How much? Haven't we now got politicians passing laws on practically every part of the secular things in life?

Which one has the most laws from government, and thus, which one is most dictated by government? Religious things, or secular things?

You list all the parts of life out for yourself, and work out which one has the most laws and control from government, by far. See for yourself.

Behind it all -- $$.

And we call this, "civilization?"
You can if you want. As Terry Jones pointed out, the people the Romans called "barbarians", such as the Germans, and the Persians, were very cultured, had a reasonable system of justice, and very technologically advanced for their time, when the Romans were using Xians as dinner for lions, for entertainment. Often, what we call "civilisation", is just the barbarity that we like.
 sarniafairyboy
Joined: 6/19/2010
Msg: 477
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/25/2010 1:28:48 PM

Behind it all -- $$.

And we call this, "civilization?"
You can if you want. As Terry Jones pointed out, the people the Romans called "barbarians", such as the Germans, and the Persians, were very cultured, had a reasonable system of justice, and very technologically advanced for their time, when the Romans were using Xians as dinner for lions, for entertainment. Often, what we call "civilisation", is just the barbarity that we like.


yes and what do we mean by 'civilization' exactly ?

Germany in the 1930's was one of the more 'civilized' countries in the world, produced great scientists, art, literature & music -AND also the Nazis, concentration camps, death camps & total war..

so how 'civilized' were they? or did they just focus 'civilization' in the wrong direction?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 478
view profile
History
Is Legitimate Science in Conflict with Religion?
Posted: 7/25/2010 3:44:34 PM
RE Msg: 580 by sarniafairyboy:
yes and what do we mean by 'civilization' exactly ?

Germany in the 1930's was one of the more 'civilized' countries in the world, produced great scientists, art, literature & music -AND also the Nazis, concentration camps, death camps & total war..

so how 'civilized' were they? or did they just focus 'civilization' in the wrong direction?
That was exactly my point. What we call "civilised", usually means "us", and what we call "barbarians", usually just means "everyone else".
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