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 Author Thread: Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 174 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/17/2009 8:02:51 AM
Woof: Sorry I didn't respond earlier Kirk, but it wouldn't let me...I post a lot I guess. :p

Honestly I could care-less if you were Singer himself, that doesn't mean that you are correct. I have enough respect for people to read their posts and address their posts and claims directly, no matter how poorly their arguments have been structured.

I also don't act like an @55 until someone else decides to act like a smug schmuck...and then I can be just catty as the next guy. You'll find my candor mirrors that of the person I'm talking to.

My major point was that the use of specieism was a category error - which does not preclude a moral argument but merely removes discrimination as a moral factor. Your "critique" was that my point didn't make sense because specieism is a moral notion. . . which completely ignores my point that it is a moral notion because of the category error. Specieism exists at ALL because of biological differences which are fundamental for creatures to act on in order to exist, let alone survive.

The way you and "Singer et all" categorize speciesism is as if it were equivalent to racism...but this is simply not true. Not handing a blind man sunglasses on a sunny day isn't bigotry, its practical. So while at first blush I am inclined to agree that there is no difference between "moral agents" the way you categorized it in your argument, I have to disagree that speciesism is an arbitrary categorization....it is very specific for very specific reasons and is essential for us to exist and function as a species.

This also questions the rubric you use for what suffering is merited and unmerited which we cause to various species (since within your argument you imply that eating and using animals for experiments constitutes the causation of suffering). There is more, but I'll be surprised if you directly address these points at all.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 44 (view)
 
Florida Prepping to be the new Dover - ID v.s. Evolution again.
Posted: 2/17/2009 7:59:29 AM
I just wrote a whole article series for everythingishistory.com on the difference between evolution and ID, so I'm a bit exhausted on the topic, but I do have a question for you Raziel that I've been having a rough time grasping.

One of the biggest criticisms I've seen about Evolution is that it isn't falsifiable thanks to the number of ad hoc hypothesis that are used to prop it up. The argument is basically that Evolution violates occam's razor because of the use of these ad hoc hypothesis. I personally don't see a problem with refining and making a theory more specific, but I don't know that other theories require this sort of treatment.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 56 (view)
 
The stories of the Bible
Posted: 2/17/2009 6:58:38 AM
You are the awesome Kelley! :D

Here's a simple discrepancy in the bible:

Why did God say let their be light before creating any light-producing objects?

Why do you say the New Testament wipes out the old when Jesus said that he came to fulfill every "jot and tittle" of the old testament?

What is moral about requiring a woman to marry her rapist? This is also in the bible, as biblically the crime of rape is a crime against the father not against his daughter.

How can the Church encourage questioning when Jesus encourages people to come to him as if they were children....I mean when my niece asked me how the vaccuum cleaner works and I told her "magic" she believed me.

BIBLE BLOOPERS
GE 1:11-12, 26-27 Trees were created before man was created.
GE 2:4-9 Man was created before trees were created.
GE 1:20-21, 26-27 Birds were created before man was created.
GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before birds were created.
GE 1:24-27 Animals were created before man was created.
GE 2:7, 19 Man was created before animals were created.
GE 1:26-27 Man and woman were created at the same time.
GE 2:7, 21-22 Man was created first, woman sometime later.

I could go on, but I'm bored now. We can start with this stuff.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 137 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/11/2009 2:50:05 PM
Poof, its a misunderstanding.

I don't think the argument is exactly conclusive either, and I AM an atheist. However I don't think the argument is as irrelevant as your example implies. While the nature of evil in general can be argued to be ambiguous, There are very specific instances of "evil" that most people would agree on (such as baby torture). To dress down the argument to generalizations, essentially the argument makes the statement "Either you god is evil, or he doesn't exist."

However it seems your argument rests on the idea of the subjectivity of good and evil. However, I would argue that the very subjective nature of good and evil are an argument for their existence. If good and evil exist, then you must go back to the argument of Epicurus.....if evil exists then your god is either evil or nonexistent.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 133 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/10/2009 9:44:27 PM
*sigh* Which has nothing to do with my original posting about this in response to your post where you asked of the subject line, "What does one have to do with the other?"

It doesn't matter if you reject the question in its entirety...I wasn't really asking you anything, I was explaining to you what Child Torture has to do with the existence of God...which I'm fairly certain I quite clearly did. Considering that it is an argument against the existence of god, I'm not surprised that it doesn't apply to your position of atheism.

I'm really not sure what your point was honestly....or why you addressed me.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 17 (view)
 
What's the Deal?
Posted: 2/10/2009 5:54:09 PM
*shrugs* I don't get it, I'd have messaged ya if you weren't a zillion miles a way! Ah well, there's no accounting for taste sweetie.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 3 (view)
 
Dear Science
Posted: 2/10/2009 3:26:51 PM
Why has science been so useless...chortle man, chortle.

Seriously, I think I can leave that part of the post alone...so I'll move on to the "o you think also do you think that it puts too much faith in man" question.

The scientific method doesn't cause, use, or associate with faith in any shape or way. Its a tool. Does its effectiveness as a tool cause humans to put too much faith in themselves? Yes, I can see that happening, but that's hardly the fault of science.

That's like a soldier in a war growing overly confident because of the effectiveness of his body armor. When he gets blown to smithereens, who are you going to blame, the body armor, or the jackass wearing it?
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 18 (view)
 
Florida Prepping to be the new Dover - ID v.s. Evolution again.
Posted: 2/10/2009 12:28:06 PM
Well....I'm really fond of Postholer's made easy series on Youtube. He's funny and explains things very well. Once you have the foundation down we can get into nitty gritty details.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_RXX7pntr8&feature=channel
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 126 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/10/2009 12:22:42 PM
Well, there are a lot of assumptions that have to be made when talking about deities, but the argument from Epicurus is an OLD one.

Essentially the argument makes the assumption that evil exists, which if you agree that baby torture (or yes, geriatric torture and plain old torture for the heck of it as well) are evil, then you must conclude that evil exists. Once you can agree that evil exists, the existence of evil serves as the argument against the existence of a deity - as is outlined by Epicurus.

The argument DOES work in that sense, but is only valid if you acknowledge the existence of evil, and that the definition of god is good. There are some counter arguments of course (like god allows evil for the purpose of some greater good), but on the whole its a pretty solid argument for the non existence of god.

So to answer your question, "What does god have to do with any of this?" Well, torturing babies by many standards is evil, mainly because of the innocence of a baby who is unable to cause harm or defend itself in any way. Do you agree that baby torture is evil? If so, then evil exists.

If evil exists, the lets insert the argument of Epicurus.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"

Based off of the existence of evil, you either agree with these statements about god or you disagree. Which is it?
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 16 (view)
 
Florida Prepping to be the new Dover - ID v.s. Evolution again.
Posted: 2/9/2009 10:12:39 PM
Actually, evolution does work, and you can prove that it works. Its a useful theory which is the foundation for much of the biological sciences, has been used to solve complex engineering problems, and even predicted and is supported by genetics about 100 years before the field even existed.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 119 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/9/2009 8:19:01 PM
It actually directly relates to an old argument about the existence of divinity by Epicurus.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"

I find the apologetics for this argument lacking, but on the whole I don't believe that questioning "good and evil" is not a Q.E.D. for or against a divinity. After all, who says god has to be good, or all powerful, etc.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 12 (view)
 
Florida Prepping to be the new Dover - ID v.s. Evolution again.
Posted: 2/9/2009 7:50:45 PM
Hey, I found this article that was fairly topic specific...worth a read.


http://everythingishistory.com/2009/02/09/a-definitive-assessment-of-intelligent-design-vs-evolution-part-1/


 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 10 (view)
 
Florida Prepping to be the new Dover - ID v.s. Evolution again.
Posted: 2/9/2009 5:44:32 PM
**Heart stops** No way...you mean...you mean....we're just going to completely agree on all of these points itsallinthesoul?

Too weird.

LOL I'm glad we can agree on something!
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 140 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 5:41:16 PM
Just because you don't understand my argument doesn't mean that it doesn't make sense. I'm familiar with the term, its origins, and its intent. However, that doesn't make it immune to categorical errors. I am saying that Singer et al were mistaken in applying a concept like speciesism to morality because it is NOT a moral point - in spite of the fact that the phrase was coined my moralists!

The concept, once created, may be used by moralists but that doesn't mean that their use is correct. That is an assumption.

To be clear here, just because the word is used to describe discrimination of animals by humans doesn't mean that this form of discrimination is equivalent to racism - even though the use of the word implies it.

The lines between species aren't arbitrary at all, we have genetics. We have comparative biology. We have common sense. A child of four can tell a dog from a cat, I would say that's a pretty distinct line between species. Even more importantly, you can't breed a dog and a cat and get dats and cogs...there is an objective difference between the species.

So the ability to breed, that's one distinct line, the ability to use as part of a healthy diet, that's another distinct line, the ability to use as a survival resource is yet another distinct line. This can be universally applied to all species...it is the non-arbitrary difference from species to species.

So, rather than go over my argument ad nauseum, I'm just going to point out that your "critique" of my point is that you don't agree with the way I categorize speceisism, that you don't understand my argument, and that because SINGER didn't categorize it as a biological function that it CAN'T be a biological function. Did I hit all that right? Seriously, try to focus on the claim, I know it doesn't fit into your paradigm, but new things can teach us if we bother to use our brains. However, I can't learn and you can't learn if you refuse to address the claim directly.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 137 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 3:47:31 PM
Yeah. I get your "If then" statement. Obviously you just don't understand what your own argument is.

My point is that IF you subscribe to any of the major schools of moral thought THEN the argument against speciesism CAN'T come into play because it is a functional necessity of biology, not a moral issue. It's like an eye, an eye isn't a moral issue.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 8 (view)
 
Florida Prepping to be the new Dover - ID v.s. Evolution again.
Posted: 2/9/2009 3:40:37 PM
And I think that for the most part science is impartial, however creationism/ID (they really are the same thing dude) by their very natures cannot meet the minimum requirements. By now I've had a TON of conversations Scorpio, but I believe you would agree that the idea of a deity is not the proper starting point for a scientific study because that viewpoint cannot be falsified. In short, "God" is not science even if he is all things, and so any claim which relies on this premise cannot be evaluated scientifically.

The only good reason to keep investigating ID is if they kept revising their claims, but they don't. No matter what, ID is still based on bad logic, unfalsifiable claims, and arbitrary mathematics (which I didn't even know existed!)
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 135 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 2:55:03 PM
Actually I don't try to justify it morally, because as I've said repeatedly its about survival, not morality.

Species membership accounts for reproductive fitness because of genetic compatibility. It juxtaposes what we breed with to what we use as resources, and its universal amongst all life-forms. I agree that its morally insignificant, because it isn't a moral argument point, its a biological one. My point is that this category does not belong in a moral discussion at all, BECAUSE its a biological category. That doesn't mean that animals aren't moral agents, it just means that in addition to being moral agents they are also a resource for survival because of the fact of biology.

If any species is to survive, it will exploit other resources to survive...this isn't a moral decision. The NATURE of the exploitation however is, but that the exploitation will happen is a given. This isn't about the "right to exploit" - its a statement of the inevitability of that exploitation. Exploit or be exploited. Eat or be eaten. Until we figure out Star Trek technology, this is inevitable, we only have a limited control on the nature of that exploitation.

Morality will always be a slave to practicality, because a moral code has to be functional for it to be effective. While you can have utterly unrealistic moral codes, they aren't going to last very long.

The other point woven within there is that certain types of exploitation that may cause suffering are still beneficial to the species. For example, cows. Cows are butchered daily, yet from an evolutionary stand point they have it pretty good! After all, we keep them safe from other predators, we insure that their genes get passed on, we supply them with plenty of food, and in return we eat them. This is not the only relationship like this in the animal kingdom...and can you determine if it is a moral or immoral one?
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 134 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 1:53:35 PM
That's actually referenced in my edit to Freemo Kirk. Racists try to adopt the speciest point to circumvent the moral question, but they FAIL because racism isn't a question of being speciest, its ultimately about perceived differences, not a multitude of biological ones. Whether racists like to admit it or not...we're all human, trying to place other races outside of the species is not going to work, because all races are still part of the Human Race.

Really Kirk, I don't see how you don't get this.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 133 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 1:36:37 PM
Look, if its weak then its only because your argument is weak. YOU are the one equating specieism with racism - I was pointing out that biological prejudices are different from social ones, a fact which you have previously ignored and now attempt to be snide about.

I never separated animals as moral agents, I just pointed out your category error of lumping in a biological prejudice with ones that stem from human constructs like morality and social conventions. You were the one assuming that there was nothing different about these ideas, and then you laughably claim that I am the one making logical errors when you have again FAILED to directly address my claim. This is a shame, I started off with a great deal of respect for your initial post - category error or no - however this poor follow-up is disheartening.

Listen, this concept I'm attempting to help you understand is so simple, there are Farside comics about it. Not allowing a dog into a saloon doesn't happen for arbitrary reasons anymore than the fact that humans eat chickens happens for arbitrary reasons. This is not the same thing as having a "white's only" bar, which is the claim you make in your argument.

***Edit**

At least someone addresses the point directly, although I have to question your argument Freemo.

In an earlier post I had pointed out that much of our morality is an outgrowth of our evolution as a species. Those traits that allowed us to survive, such as being a communal species, are the foundations for many of our moral precepts. However any argument that stems for specieism concerns the ability of a species to survive. Morality is about MORE than survival, the notion of morality speaks about the quality of lives that are lead, and that is why the two seem related but are actually in different categories.

Specieism isn't arbitrary because there are perfectly good, quantifiable reasons for being speciest, whereas racism is about perceived differences versus actual differences. Case in point, black and white humans will have a mixed child. A human and a goat will NOT have a mixed child.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 6 (view)
 
Florida Prepping to be the new Dover - ID v.s. Evolution again.
Posted: 2/9/2009 1:16:49 PM
Nope, I get you scorpio...I don't agree with that point, but you are eloquent!

Here's the issue. Science isn't based on a caste system. It's based on 2 requirements: Does it work? Can you prove it?

A 12 year old girl published a paper in a scientific journal because she could meet these requirements. The reason their views are ignored is because they fail to meet the minimum requirements that quite literally a child could meet. So why should their views be given credence when quite obviously the system is open to anyone who can meet the minimum standards?
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 131 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 12:00:09 PM

All that any of you have shown is that ultimately it's because they're not human and NOTHING further. And that is a form of discrimination on the basis of an arbitrary distinction,


Actually Kirk, I specifically addressed this twice, but you have failed to acknowledge my point. So let's try this one more time.

Speciesism is not amoral, if anything it is actually a moral way to behave. However, it is fundamentally different from racism and other forms of bigotry because it does not belong in this category of social prejudice. Speciesism is a function of biology, so using this in an argument about morality is a false comparison. It's like trying to moralize "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey".

So to sum up, specieism is an invalid argument because it is not a moral or immoral action but a function of biology and evolution.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 129 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 6:33:29 AM
Here's an interesting note on perspective: While our actions are not always "morally" perfect, as a species we strive towards improvement. Animal testing in cosmetics is an excellent case in point. Just because improvement CAN be made doesn't mean that steps forward AREN'T being made. This is merely a way of "moving the goalpost".

The fact of the matter is that there is always going to be "one more thing" which can improve the quality of lives for those animals that "cooperate" with us for their own selfish reproductive fitness. This idea that there is a "perfect balance" is silly - there is no such thing as perfect. If you feel that we AREN'T making steps forward, you might want to think about those animals in cosmetics companies again, and remember that "the now" is not always indicative of things to come, but merely a transitional form. The future is constantly evolving.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 113 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/9/2009 12:33:04 AM
Ok, so your belief system requires faith, BUT, it ALSO has plenty of evidence to back it up. BUT! You won't tell me because I'll just say your evidence is silly because I am blind to it because I don't WANT to believe in god...is that essentially your point? Your ridiculously, shoddily constructed point?

Not to point fingers, but I've clearly stated ad nauseum that I'm willing to change my view point if given adequate evidence. I've provided examples of times when I have done exactly that, and I've also clearly laid out what constitutes credible evidence. So...if you have evidence that meets with those standards, I'm all ears. Of course I will evaluate it to see if it meets my minimum standards of credibility, but I do that with all evidence, not just yours. Of course, if all you have is faith....well that's not exactly evidence now is it?

That's the reason that scientific claims have more credibility than yours. They provide evidence which meets a consistent standard and they are draconic in their methods of corroboration. They unfailingly attempt to rip apart every idea that they are presented with just to make sure it can stand up to...reality. If it can't, then it wasn't a good idea, so back to the drawing board for an idea that actually works.

"What if a molecule is actually something different?" Well, then I guess that means that all of the advancements due to molecular biology never actually happened, huh? Seriously, think before you say these things. Let's get this straight right now. I'm not laughing at you because you "dare" to question scientific opinion. I laugh at you because you do it in a dumb way - like saying, "What if a molecule is actually different" when what we know is responsible for nuclear power! Seriously...here's the difference between your guys and my guys - the stuff my guys say comes true and is responsible for the world we live in complete with cars, planes, computers, and mechanical hearts. The stuff your guys say is true may or may not be true and we have no way of finding out until we die. See the difference?

And you shouldn't use the Bible to prove the bible right because that is called a tautology, which is a logical fallacy.

I'm just going to ignore those other points of yours....because I HAVE to jump to that NASA paper. Seriously...did you really just say that? Here, let me quote you, because to people with a brain, this is going to be hil-ar-i-ous. You might even find it funny, because I can't believe that you did this....it's just...



As for the NASA study...*sigh* are you really this obtuse? The title is, "NASA Finds Direct Proof of Dark Matter".


Why should I believe that? because a bunch of people in white coats made it up in the context of a completely one sided world view? I read a article about a year ago about how "scientist have finally figured out how Bee's fly" I believe the article was dated in 2007 I may still have it. Your telling me they haven't figured out how bee flies but their gonna tell me how the world and life came into existence or about "dark matter" a term they pulled out there scientific hat to explain something they could not explain... sorry but no I'm not drinking the kool aid.


Now keep in mind, the reason this is so funny, is because the sentence from my quote is part of a paragraph which read:

As for the NASA study...*sigh* are you really this obtuse? The title is, "NASA Finds Direct Proof of Dark Matter". Now, because I know how ridiculous you are, and how asinine your arguments are, [bold]I tried to neatly side-step the "that isn't proof, that's just a study done by scientists.[/bold] YOU PERSONALLY don't have any proof, you are just taking their word!" argument...because it is a retarded argument. However, you replaced that argument with the "make up your mind, the study says direct proof on it, but you don't seem to know which it is hur hur hur" argument....which is possibly even more retarded. I can't be sure, I guess you could say I'm agnostic on that .


Thank you...just...thank you. To show my appreciation for that, I'm not even going to explain to you how the gaps in our knowledge in no way invalidate the knowledge we posses.

As for your claims to special knowledge about god....yeah. It is utterly pointless to address your ridiculous claims because you have completely ignored my request for YOUR DEFINITION of what god is. You claim there is only one god, that 95% of christians are wrong, and that you are right, yet you haven't bothered to explain what it is that you believe about god that is different from the 95% that makes you right. You also haven't said WHY my assertions were wrong, you just called me ignorant and didn't bother to explain yourself. See, at least when I call you ignorant I tell you why and give examples. Like this!

You argue like a chimp that can type, because you are ignorant of how to properly address a claim. This is obvious in the way that you do not isolate the fundamental elements. For example, when you say that 95% of christians are wrong, you do not explain how they are wrong, on what points they are wrong, or what evidence you have that their opinions in some way differ from yours, making you right.

See how easy that was? Now you try!

Oh, one last point. At the end of the day, you have faith in an absolute, while I have provisional assent. Do you know what the difference is? Mine can change.

The people in white coats can tell me things, and depending on their evidence I will either lend or withhold provisional assent. This means that until new evidence emerges I agree with what they have said.

This is different from your claim to absolute knowledge because in no way will you ever change your mind, not one bit. Should Zeus come down riding a bolt of lightning, you would not change your mind. Why? You have faith. Yahweh said that there are no other gods, so that would mean Zeus was actually satan. You cannot change your mind at all...it is impossible for you. Because you have FAITH.

This is how faith is not the same as provisional assent, and why NONE OF MY BELIEFS OR IDEAS ARE BASED ON FAITH. Do you get it now?
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 128 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 11:40:44 PM
*Sigh* Kirk, you never bothered to address my point that being specieist is actually moral but irrelevant to the topic of animal rights.

While I think Freemo has made some EXCELLENT points about the arbitrary nature of specieism, I'm going to again bring up the point that even if you talk about the moral imperative to avoid causing the unnecessary suffering of other "entities" (which could mean anything), you still have to draw an arbitrary line between necessary and unnecessary. Hmm, went back and rechecked your wording, you said "unmerited"..., meh, second verse, same as the first. That is still a judgment call, and an arbitrary line still has to be drawn.

More importantly we ARE all equals in terms of the moral right to life, and for all life everything in the world is a resource. We are a resource to other species just as other species are a resource to us. We have a responsibility to the reproductive fitness of our species, which means managing our resources as effectively as possible. In terms of exploiting resources, how do you deem what is "deserved" or "not deserved". Does the baby "deserve" to get eaten by the dingo because its so plump and delicious? Is the dingo being "speceist because it didn't eat a readily available dingo cub instead? Of course not, and its not because the dingo didn't have an option of a Snicker bar available.

Its because following the dictates of your specific biology isn't a question of morality, its about reproductive fitness. I'd like to take this moment to point out that I'm not stepping over your caveat that your argument is only applicable to claimants of a moral code. Rather I'm saying that claiming specieism is a category error. It is not the same as racism or bigotry because these concepts are prejudices which are not fundamental to life. Specieism however is biologically how we operate...we are not by nature a cannibalistic species, we are a communal species. That is why we have the moral values that we have, we recognize the benefits of cooperation, but that implies two parties, not just one.

Driving the point home then, we are not "arbitrarily" designating which animals we eat, which we study, and which we keep as companions but rather we are cooperating with them all equally based on their own biology. It is perfectly moral for us to cause suffering to another "moral agent" because that moral agent reproductively benefits from our interaction with it. While we are using it as a resource (this is a given), we aren't arbitrarily causing it to suffer, the suffering is a byproduct of either research, food, etc, which is a direct result of how we are able to "cooperate" with that species.

I'm fairly certain I've confabulated some points here, but the basic reasoning is sound as far as I can see. Let me know Kirk, Jip, Raz, et all!
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 1 (view)
 
Florida Prepping to be the new Dover - ID v.s. Evolution again.[CLOSED Thread]
Posted: 2/8/2009 8:15:23 PM
So this rant/thread is started because of this:

http://www.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-02-08/story/wise_to_introduce_intelligent_design_bill

I CANNOT grasp why fundamentalists seek to legislate science...this is a huge problem in a world where we rely so heavy on scientific advancement.

Here's the question I have....anti-evolution supporters say that the "other side" should be taught - as if there were some sort of debate or discussion going on in the scientific community. Considering that we are talking about what to teach in science class, what schism within the scientific community are they talking about? ID is not science, creationism is not science, so what "other side" is there in the scientific community?
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 113 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/6/2009 10:13:18 PM
See, I don't think you can truly base morality off of universal precepts because there always seems to be exceptions - this is the fundamental flaw with religious morality - too many black and whites and not enough shades of grey.

However to address the main idea here, its the uber long post about being specist. I've a question to propose, would it not be immoral for humans to no be specist? While some animals do cannibalize each other,and others do not, ultimately what benefits a species as a whole is its ability to be able to propagate the species. To skip a few steps, this is where a lot of our moral precepts come from; I think remembering the source is valuable at times like this.

Evolution...its powerful. Those cows which everyone are so fond of protecting are products of human beings guiding evolution - they have found a very effective way of propagating the species - they are delicious so we make sure they breed and are kept healthy enough to be eaten. Not a bad deal, especially when you consider that a male praying mantis is willing to have his head eaten by his mate just for passing on his genes.

Its things like this that make the argument of being specist seem irrelevant to me. We are morally obligated not to induce needless suffering in other entities...but then where is the metric for needless? When it comes to the survival of a species, OUR species, where do you draw the line at what is necessary? Not eating meat? While we do have alternatives, decreasing the diversity of our diet is not an objectively beneficial move. Animal testing? Yeah, that saves countless human lives.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 123 (view)
 
Collective Consciousness - Do you believe?
Posted: 2/6/2009 9:57:24 PM
Ah, assumptions are neat! Without knowing anything about me you automatically assume your basis for knowledge is better than mine!

Well, let me break it down for you, most of my life I grew up around practitioners of therapeutic touch and other new age beliefs - I've actually had first hand experience with everything from past life regression to psychics and channelers of shapes and sizes. My own mother is a 12th (maybe 14th?) degree Reiki Master who truly believes in her own healing powers to help others. Still think you associate with more of "those folks" than I do?

As a rationalist however, I DO think I'm better equipped to recognize the dangers that these baseless beliefs can pose - allow me to lay out an anecdote as an example.

My mother has had heart problems her whole, complicated by the rheumatic fever that she had as a child, the state of heart surgery her first go round, and other contributing factors. She was due for some heart surgery about 20 years back, the doctors told her that she wasn't likely to survive 10 without it.

Of course, my mom didn't trust doctors by this point, she assumed that they just wanted to get her money, and she much preferred want her "natural medicine" doctors told her over what her cardiologist said. They talked about balancing her PH levels, chelation, and a multitude of other "non-invasive" procedures and treatments, and every year that she continued to live she considered it "proof" that the doctors didn't know what they were talking about.

Until this past year.

Oh, she's still convinced that the heart surgery did nothing for her health, that it only made her worse, etc. etc., but there are objective differences in her appearance of health since she had the surgery (ultimately it was a stay bed-ridden until you die in a few months decision, or take the surgery and your health will improve). The fact of the matter is that within a month of having the surgery, she was back to dancing, yelling, and doing things she hadn't done in about 15 years....and if she would have just had the surgery 15 years ago she might be doing better even now.

Because she believed so fervently that her "natural" and "spiritual" beliefs worked, she almost killed herself. That's just one example, its close to home, but their are countless others. Beliefs that are not true CAN KILL, which is why it is important that we take responsibility for those beliefs because often enough it isn't just us who pays the consequences.

As for truth...your questions about truth are answered by your own question....science explains how things work within the scope of it's own limitations, and that's quite good actually. Think of how vast those limitations really are. Within the limitations of science we can travel through space, explore the very building blocks of reality, slow the progress of disease, and increased transportation and communication speeds beyond our wildest imaginings...and that's just a start. Are you implying that my scope of what's possible is limited because I consider things that cannot be replicated in a laboratory or do not have consistent and measurable results to be nothing more than a flight of fancy? I believe you are limited by what you want to be true in place of what is to complicated for you to understand. I base this on your obvious lack of the philosophy and methodology of the scientific method, and your preference for things like kinesthesiology.

This of course is why you don't like the 12 year old girl's experiment, because it completely invalidates this unaccredited quack Donna Eden and her magnet therapy and "energy medicine". Allow me to give you a little insight into my complete and utter DISDAIN for Donna Eden and the multitude of leaches like her. There is a saying that goes, "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

For Donna Eden to prove she was right - and mind you like all fantasy and charlatanism it would be awesome if "miracle tonic" was the real deal - all she would have to do is perform a single double-blind experiment and then publish the results. Oh wait...the establishment is against her, right? So...that means she HAS done the double blind experiment but they wouldn't publish her work? No? You mean, she only has testimonials? Sorry, that doesn't cut, she wants to revolutionize the world and really help people get this "better alternative" then she should prove it actually works, and all that would take is a single double-blind study.

I won't hold my breath for her to put one of those out though, lol
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 121 (view)
 
Collective Consciousness - Do you believe?
Posted: 2/6/2009 6:13:12 PM
Yeah, Infinity Mine, its disturbing that I know more about the woo you believe in than you do. Practitioners of TT feel that clothes do NOT get in the way which is why they do not require their "patients" to disrobe, at the very least their "patients" get to wear a TOWEL to cover them.

Also, considering the nature of the experiment, AND the nature of the treatment itself, what variables needed to be accounted for that would inhibit the TT practitioner's abilities that wouldn't ALSO inhibit their abilities to perform their "therapy" with a patient? If a TOWEL can disrupt this ability to SENSE energy, what is the likelihood that they would even be able to manipulate it?

No, the sad truth is that you don't like the fact that a 12 year old was able to come up with a simple experiment that demonstrates how ridiculous the concept of "energy manipulation" actually is.

It never ceases to amaze me how people like yourself make the childish claim that "science" is a religion, when its obviously just a methodology for understanding the world. Like any effective tool, its used reliably because it produces reliable results consistently. It isn't eager to prove ideas wrong - its eager to find out the truth - impartially and completely apathetic to what you would LIKE to be true. While there ARE things that science and technology are not adequate to explain right now, if we keep on pursuing the evidence and walking the same path that has been so effective for the past few centuries, we just might get those answers.

And NO, most peop who entertain spiritual concepts DO hold them to be absolute truths and they DO act as if they ARE absolute truths. These beliefs can KILL people, that's why its important to verify the veracity of the claims.

Life is what you make it, cold hard facts and logic have opened a wider range of the amazing and entertaining for me, there is more to learn in this world that is real than I could ever hope to master in a dozen lifetimes, let alone the one that I have.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 17 (view)
 
Little dick
Posted: 2/6/2009 9:06:07 AM

It would crush my ego to know that I was dating someone so unimaginative that a crack like that was the best thing she could come up with.

I'd have to come back on that one, something like "It may be little, but it's the smartest thing that ever came out of your mouth.".


First of all, I would vote that this is the best response ever!

Second of all...it just depends on the guy and how self-conscious he is. Could be devastating, could be humorous, could be the perfect reason to never want to talk with her again. Personally I think I'd have to agree with slybandit's response...its very unimaginative....lame is good for no one.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 118 (view)
 
Collective Consciousness - Do you believe?
Posted: 2/6/2009 8:43:04 AM
Hmmm, maybe you misread what I wrote, or I wasn't clear (I'm really sick right now, so I'm a little spoostad), but when she put up the screen it was so the tt practitioners couldn't see which hand of theirs the 12 year old was holding her hand over. The towel was so that they couldn't use body heat to "cheat", something that all the practitioners agreed to.

So basically, 12 year old scientist held her hand over either their left or right hand. She then said, "where is my hand?" and they would wiggle their hand and say right or left. The results were no better than if they were guessing blindly....which they were.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 115 (view)
 
Collective Consciousness - Do you believe?
Posted: 2/6/2009 6:44:59 AM
Actually a 12 year old girl proved that humans can't sense subtle energy.

She performed an experiment on therapeutic touch for her school science fair which was then published in a scientific journal. Her premise was that since practitioners claim to be able to manipulate energy in a human body, they should therefore be able to sense the presence of a human body at all. So she created a cardboard screen and placed a towel over their hands, and she surveyed a number of practitioners by placing her hand over one of theirs from behind the screen.

Yeah, on this 50/50 experiment, they guessed correct about 50% of the time.

So yeah, a 12 year old girl proved that humans can't sense subtle energy......yeah.

See, this is what I don't get, when we have perfectly reasonable explanations for things, why do we instead look for fantastic ones? Fun fact - the studies done on the effectiveness of 12 stepping show that a person is no more likely to quit from AA then they are to quit without AA.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 102 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/4/2009 3:18:06 PM
Wow, the rose-colored glasses that you wear to read the bible and look at historical christianity im-pres-sive!

See poodle (by the way, thank you for giving me permission to mock you all I want...I mock...this way...lol), while I do make jibes and jabs at you, I'm also directly addressing everything you say. Find a quote that doesn't and I'll show you a quote taken out of context.

It's ok though, it would be silly of me to take it personally. Not only are you just a dude on a forum, your a dude who doesn't know how to address a specific claim, you just talk around it like you're busy trying to figure out what I actually meant.

BTW, first out of context quote is where you cherry pick a single line and try to flip my jibe back at me. Here's why you FAIL at this. I never make a claim that my way can only be the right way, I simply make claims and back them up with evidence. Just FYI, you shouldn't try to use the Bible to prove the bible true....by that logic I could use Grimm's Fairy tales to prove that THEY are true. I believe that's called a tautology....logical no no. Also, personal experience is OPINION, not fact, so that doesn't constitute evidence either. So far you haven't presented any historical evidence (ok, I might have forgotten it at this point, but I honestly don't think you have), you have failed to present any statistical evidence to back up your claims, and your style of argument or logical proof leads me to question your credibility.

*Sigh* I had also explained before the difference between an Agnostic, a Gnostic, an Atheist, and a Theist. If you don't understand how someone cannot believe in something but be open to being wrong....well actually come to think of it I'd be surprised if you COULD understand this perspective. Being humble in your ignorance does not go hand in hand with hubris. (Oh, I know, I'm waiting for you to say that I have too much pride....this is a trap, I wouldn't pursue this.)

Also, I haven't waffled. I don't believe in god, but I can't be sure that he/she/it doesn't exist because you cannot logically prove he exists or doesn't as defined by the majority of christians I have talked to. Because of the nature of theism, god is not defined consistently, so I tell you what. Why don't you give me your PERSONAL definition of what god is and I won't JUST use arguments that refute the gods of the Vikings, the greeks, the mayans, the egyptians, etc., etc. Instead, I'll tailor my arguments to YOUR specific belief since yours is the ONLY ONE that can be right, unless that other 5% of Christians you mentioned shares your specific views.

Oh, I'm sorry, you never implied that the educational system wasn't at fault when the words that came out of your mouth were, "Oh it couldn't be the scientists writing the text book could it.. oh no... Lets see hmmm lets pass the buck.. I know!.... its the educational system!... thats it!... There couldn't be people on your side of the fence wanting to push their faith as fact and there for pumping it into the kids heads as fact... Oh No... lol come on dude. wake up!". How could I have been so blind that you are ALSO opposed to the current structure of education exactly the same as me except that you think the scientists are the main problem and I think its privatization and the advanced nature of the material. Other than that we are saying the EXACT SAME THING! So good job side-stepping my entire point (again)!

As for the NASA study...*sigh* are you really this obtuse? The title is, "NASA Finds Direct Proof of Dark Matter". Now, because I know how ridiculous you are, and how asinine your arguments are, I tried to neatly side-step the "that isn't proof, that's just a study done by scientists. YOU PERSONALLY don't have any proof, you are just taking their word!" argument...because it is a retarded argument. However, you replaced that argument with the "make up your mind, the study says direct proof on it, but you don't seem to know which it is hur hur hur" argument....which is possibly even more retarded. I can't be sure, I guess you could say I'm agnostic on that .

Anyhoo, all light-hearted joking aside, it can be a bit frustrating to have to explain myself over and over again to someone who doesn't bother to understand what I wrote...I don't feel validated . Seriously, you say, "How can you come to a conclusion that anything is from God when in the scientific process God is automatically excluded as even being a possible answer?" when I already clearly and several times explained that if a claim (like god) is unfalsifiable then it isn't a scientific claim. This means you CAN'T come to a conclusion about god because it is undefinable. You might as well try to argue the existence of "IT". I know "IT" exists. How? Because "IT" created the universe. Oh, and how do you know that? Because "IT" told me. And so on and so forth. However, Dark Matter IS something we can define, although not as specifically as we would like. As we study Dark Matter we become more and more sure of its VERY SPECIFIC properties, that don't include...oh I don't know, being able to do anything up to and including disobeying all of the physical laws of the universe.

As for my claims about the definition of the christian god, maybe you've been reading the wrong bible. Are we talking about the same deity that claims to be eternal, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, all that is seen and unseen? If not, my bad, there ARE a bunch of gods to choose from. My fault for assuming you were a christian when you talked about adam and eve.

As for your claims to special knowledge...they aren't any better than if I were to really and truly believe that I was touched by Napoleon. Your claim that god exists is nothing more than a personal opinion that you HOLD TO BE TRUE, but is not indicative of what the reality actually is. It is only your arrogant belief that you are completely infallible when it comes to this, and that sir, is what dogmatism is. Scientist may not like being wrong, but they are ok with it. You sir, if you were to admit that you could be wrong it would shatter the fantasy you live in, and it just might crush you that the only burning you would be doing is most likely under the harsh light of reality.

Peace
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 96 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/4/2009 1:11:04 PM
Wow...advertising is brainwashing.

As a copywriter, I find that particularly funny.

Marketing IS about creating a need in some areas, but in other areas its just about brand recognition. Ultimately marketing is about finding a demographic and targeting it with the need you created (after all, the need is no good unless it has an appeal to a demographic). While you could conceivably market dog turds, the fact is that that product will have little to no appeal to almost ANY demographic. However, you might be able to sell it to manufacturers of organic fertilizer - by showing them how your dog turd meets their needs.

This is powerfully different from what you are proposing. You are saying that these companies choose to market a product which they brainwash people into buying, as opposed to the reality that these companies identified a demand for a product and have found ways to make their brand preferential to other brands.

See, its demand which drives the marketing, and while marketing can greatly effect the demand it can't create demand out of thin air. Marketing only identifies demand and then potentially popularizes it. The sort of Machiavellian picture you paint of marketing is just unrealistic. If marketing was really as powerful as you claim than PETA is hiring the wrong people, don't you think? Vegans and vegetarians are obviously ignoring a powerful tool in your arsenal to save the wittle animals, tsk tsk.

Food is in demand because people eat food, and they will never stop eating food until they die. People eat food because they get hungry, because it is pleasurable, and meal times can be seen as a time for family togetherness. People like unhealthy food because it is delicious, often easily accessible, and very inexpensive (like wondrous Ramen). People don't eat at Wendy's because they are brainwashed, they eat there because they can get a burger, some fries, and a drink for 3 and change. People don't eat at McDonald's because they are "programmed" to, they eat there because they can get a McRib during their lunch break and not have to get out of their car. Delicous + Convenient = Appealing. That's why if you study marketing at all you'll know that McDonald's went through its "blue period" because they couldn't keep up with the demand, so they had to market LESS EFFECTIVELY.

Things are not quite as you paint them, from what I've observed you have a penchant for conspiracy theories about "Big Pharma", "Corporations", and "Advertising". You might want to look into the extreme nature of your views and ask yourself if you are being a bit dogmatic. Not that vegetarianism is wrong if you want to lessen the harm to animals, but that all of the other reasons you use to justify your beliefs might come from a different sort of brainwashing...

After all, health food stores, vegan organizations, and "naturalistic promoters" aren't doing this for free either. Many of them make as much if not MORE than the people they oppose. Just a little food for thought
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 100 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/4/2009 10:44:58 AM
Oooh, fire and brimstone! Just like the christians of old! You can tell when someone actually has NOTHING to say when they ignore the content of your message and instead attack you personally for saying it in the first place. The temerity of the idea make you tremble with rage and has you calling me sir out of some false respect that clearly masks disdain. After all, since you absolutely know the truth, I must be wrong.

I love the way you say that all but 5% of Christians are ALSO wrong, but lucky me, I happen to be talking with one of the mighty 5%! I suppose god herself stopped her busy day to let you know.

Not that I could hate god - its silly to say I hate god, any god, when I also make the claim that no such being exists. Quite the contrary, I became an atheist through a search to try and understand god better so I could properly give my thanks. Boy, was that a kick in the nuts or what?

So how exactly is any of what I said incorrect from a biblical perspective? Tell me, what is FACTUALLY incorrect with my statements? If you can't tell me, its not just me that will be laughing, lol.

Second of all, percentage chance for error and replication is what the scientific method is all about. Obviously you never picked this tid-bit up, but don't blame the scientists for that. You should have just paid better attention. When news media outlets and non-scientists produce show and things are presented as 100% fact, it is not the responsibility of the scientists to remind people of this - the information is available if people would just stop being so intellectually lazy.

Third of all, the science of how our T'V's and cars work are not considered 100% fact either by science - but they work! You misunderstand what provisional assent means - and obviously I'm too poor a word-smith to drill this concept into you. Look it up or not, educate yourself or not, just don't blame me, science, or anyone else for your lack of trying.

LOL, you disagree that the American Educational system is failing? Ok...this should be good. Explain to me then why most Americans are considered scientifically illiterate if the school system is doing its job? If scientists are doing such a great job of "indoctrinating" our children, then why are we last in science literacy coming up just above Turkey? Considering that scientists ARE scientifically literate, and they are the ones doing the indoctrination and preaching according to you, more people should understand the basics of science, right?

*Sigh* As for Dark matter, they are investigating it because they have evidence for it. Like magnetic fields and gravitational fields they don't understand it yet, but they can SEE the effects of its existence. Could Dark Matter be god or GODS? Sure, why not? At this point it can be a pink sentient banana who is a rabid fan of Gilligan's island, which is why we are investigating it. If it turns out its god...hoooray! If it turns out to be the pink banana..hooray! Either way humanity is richer for having gained more knowledge. However, to compare Dark Matter to 'god' is silly, as according to most christian views god is ubiquitous and omnipresent and omniscient and unknowable...whereas Dark Matter is a phenomenon we are still investigating. Bit of stretch to compare the two, huh? Yeah, I thought so too.

"When you can empirically demonstrate that dark matter exists, then it might be worth the time for scientists to investigate the mechanics of it's interaction..." Would direct proof be a start?

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2006/aug/HQ_06297_CHANDRA_Dark_Matter.html

There, now I have offered direct proof, or rather a scientific study which supports the idea that Dark Matter exists. What you got? Oh, I see, you have threats that I'll be tortured and humbled by someone you claim exists...you won't go into detail how you KNOW he exists, but you say its true nonetheless. You have statements telling me that everything I accomplish in the here and now is for naught because eventually I'm going to die, that my life is pointless.

What you have done, sir , is reveal that your life is meaningless without god. While I have been able to take great joy in the meaning that I have put into my life, your life is on pause while you wait breathless for the day you die. You can't imagine being any happier then you will be when you die, so life in the here and now is meaningless, pointless, and painful. Every second you live is another second that you are separated from someone you can never be sure wasn't just made up a few thousand years ago...while I get to enjoy every second that I'm alive and am perfectly satisfied with what I have, because it just might be all I get. My life is filled with zest and verve as I experience new things every day and I get to infect the people around me with the same lust and enjoyment of life.

Buddy, at least when I die, if it IS exactly what you say, at least I'll have truly lived.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 97 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/4/2009 7:34:16 AM
I've heard this two choices thing before...but where does rationality fit in? Let's say you're a doctor, and you have two choices, save the life of the mother but let the baby die, or let the mother die but in the process the newborn will perish. What emotion will the doctor be using to make that decision - love or fear?

Neither.

The doctor having only a limited time to make the decision will choose to save the one who has the greatest chance of survival. The doctor's job is to save lives, so to the best of his/her ability will divorce themself from emotion to objectively weigh the pro's and cons.

It may be comforting to think that the child has now learned the "value of god's presence", but there is no way of knowing that for sure. So rather than finding such behavior intolerable and working to excise it from society, comfort is taken in a fantasy removing the responsibility we all share for the evil that takes place everyday. We aren't learning from evil, we are waiting for the ultimate myth to wash evil away rather than taking care of it in the here and now.

Maybe "god helps those who help themselves" because god doesn't really exist and you are the only one who can effect your life.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 94 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/3/2009 10:04:39 PM
*Sigh* Between you, me, and the world? I really dreaded having to read and then reply to the full-length novel you posted...

Ok, so actually if you bothered to read your bible ever is that jesus was crucified to pay the blood sacrifice he demanded because eve and adam ate an apple off a tree. This was such a big no-no that he condemned adam, eve, and all of their future offspring to a place of fiery torture. Mankind then committed the further affront to god by not being absolutely perfect (as he was intelligently designed not to be), and this was an ADDITIONAL reason to torture and condemn every last one of us for all eternity.

But he loves us.

So, he sent himself down to earth to be tortured, crucified, and even spent a few days in hell so that he could forgive us for being absolutely horrid and for being related to the chick he created that ate the piece of fruit that he left out for her to take because he is all knowing.

So yeah, that's why Christ was crucified, not because your christian arguments make about as much sense as associating free-will with black mail.

As for, "why don't they tell people they don't know for sure" is because EVERY SCIENTIFIC STATEMENT IS PROVISIONAL. They teach you that in high school, so they shouldn't have to follow you around and correct every erroneous assumption you make.

And yes, for the most part that does include the majority of text books. There is a huge problem with the educational system, and its because its privatized so a lot of bad textbooks make it through the gaping chasms. However, what is important to understand is that many of these text books have to inform a completely ignorant portion of the population (children) about the past few hundred years of scientific discovery. Considering that they have to start simple and then work their way up, its no wonder that these text books gloss over some of the more advanced stuff. When you have to have a basic understanding of organic chemistry to understand an explication of self-replicating amino acids, those details are probably a bit much for the average sixth grader.

As for the nested hierarchies including "god", sure, its possible. However, science doesn't trespass on the possibility of god because as I've said in every response to you, god isn't a scientific question. Do you need to infer god at some point when you are changing channels on the tv, or is it enough to know that the remote draws a charge from the battery which then runs through the board and tells the ir led to emit a specific frequency of flashes which is picked up by a sensor on the tv telling it which button you pressed? Sure, you can investigate where god might fit in that process, but god has absolutely no bearing on the mechanics of that situation at all. When you can empirically demonstrate that god exists, then it might be worth the time for scientists to investigate the mechanics of his interaction - until then its a functionally useless concept.

LOL, and you think the quote from the website of the production company for Ben Steins movie was "evolutionist propaganda"?


You sir, you are a CARD! You hide behind "prophets", accuse me of having people I blindly follow, and refute evidence which is contrary to your world view the way I eat breakfast, don't you? Look, you can hide behind faith all you want, but at the end of the day you can only be honest with yourself. I'm an agnostic atheist - that means I believe there is no god but I just can't be sure. You are a gnostic theist - that means there IS a god and you KNOW IT FOR A FACT! Now, I could agree that I was dogmatic or blindly following if I was a gnostic atheist - there are plenty of them out there, but that's not being intellectually honest, is it?

As for your last couple of paragraphs...wow...what a horrible world you live in. I'm just glad its not the same one as mine. My world is full of people I have yet to meet, filled with wonders I have yet to see and future technology which can be a BOON to society should we maintain enough rationality to not use it for ill. I see a society which is rapidly evolving 2 choices - throw off the shackles of bronze-aged beliefs or be imprisoned and die with the fairy tales that so many obviously cherish.

I live in a world where the percentage of violent crime has gone down globally, so the world is safer and creating such high standards for the future that many people believe that things are getting worse. High standards and dissatisfaction lead to constant and never ending improvements, so I'm looking forward to what come next. The utopia that theists fantasize about is right here, its the moments that we get to be alive and cherish until we are forgotten by the ravages of time. As society has progressed from its infancy with tales about a "frightful parent", we have now matured into a young adult-hood, where we don't need tales of ghosts and gods to make us behave or give us comfort in the dark. We are old enough now to know that we need not fear the dark when we can create a light to find our way through - and if there is no light to see by then we just have to have the patience to wait for dawn.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 93 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/3/2009 9:31:53 PM
You seem like a nice person Wonderful, but you've basically made some statements seemingly without having gone over some of the more salient points that were already discussed. Still, while your obvious bias is showing without addressing any of the points previously made, let me go through and demonstrate why many of your points are fallacious and the evidence you supply is...erm...bad.

The China Study is a book written by a PETA supporter...next. LOL, just kidding, that's not all I've got to say. A quick review of the literature within the China Study reveals Campbells bias as well. While he made some great advancements linking casein to cancer, he then makes an illogical leap in tying in Casein to "nutrients from animal-based foods...". This is a patently ridiculous assumption, a mistake which no self-respecting scientist should make. Still, its above par for a PETA supporter, lol. Ok, ok, he isn't really a PETA supporter, he's superficially linked in this article: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Campbell-Masterjohn.html

*sigh* It's late and I just don't feel like going through the rest of your evidence, but suffice to say that you might want to consider investigating the other side of the argument.

Just to go over the point ad nauseum....as we have said repeatedly, animals get rights when animals start advocating for humans and are able to take responsibility for their actions. Until that time, consider that economically there is no demand for health products - only cheap food, meat is NOT unhealthy if you eat a balanced diet according to the gross majority of scientific research available, and that the environmental impact from farming is not going to be mitigated by forcing people to switch from cows to veggies, the farm's still there and not everyone in the world is going to eat corn and wheat if you stop us all from eating meat.

"Isn't man an amazing animal? He protests the killing of animals - sharks, wolves, tigers, lions - all of which could care less if he lay dieing in the street and would likely kill him themselves given the opportunity. Then he kills his fellow humans to prevent those humans from killing animals to feed, clothe, and research medical advancements that the killer takes advantage of while he protests. Elsewhere, millions of other animals are being killed by still other animals because animals recognize each other as food, and don't feel remorse for being hungry and being 'natural'. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills himself so easily and so violently to protect thankless animals when he would be better off figuring out a faster way to advance the species out of the need to kill animals in the first place. "
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 107 (view)
 
Collective Consciousness - Do you believe?
Posted: 2/3/2009 5:28:22 PM
Hehe....I thought this was amusing so I figured I would pass it along! Enjoy! It IS topical!

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/the_data_so_far.png
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 27 (view)
 
quotes or poems that have had an impact on our lives or the way we live them
Posted: 2/3/2009 3:11:40 PM
Oooh, here's another 2

If it wasn't for stupid people we'd all be broke.

and

If a person cuts you off and you call them an a-hole, why are you upset? How else do you expect an a-hole to react, and aren't you just as much an a-hole for expecting an a-hole to act contrary to his nature?

ok, 3 more...

People who take offense are people who can't take argument (paraphrased).
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 88 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/3/2009 3:09:07 PM
Ummm, because its amazing that they can write considering they are or were autistic?

Dude, don't worry, I thought it was funny, so no worries, lol.

Seriously though, probably because you or someone you know is autistic. I'm impressed that you and that author are now functional though...kudos.

And autistic animals do taste different, they all taste like a unique world of sight and sound...yummmmmm!
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 92 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/3/2009 11:47:43 AM
Wow, your sheer arrogance and hubris is mortifying. Obviously the one thing we CAN agree on is that it would be impossible to convince you of ANYTHING because you already know it all. God forbid little things like facts or advancements get in your way.


Still, I can't let your post with its vapid ignorance and wild accusations go unchallenged, its just against my character.

First of all, you would laughably put the Discovery Channel, Fox News, and National Geographic as the mouth-pieces of scientific discovery. Brilliant. Wouldn't want to confuse you with ACTUAL science, let's judge the findings of science by it dumbed-downed versions for mass consumption.

As for fitting "god into a testtube"....we are agreed that you can't test for god, but because of different reasons. I can't test for your god because your primary claim is that he's unknowable. Tell me, how is this different from unknown or nonexistent? The only thing I can say about your god are the specific claims you make about him - either they jive with reality or they don't, pretty simple.

I can also agree that the peer-review process isn't perfect - sometimes things slip through the cracks. However, this process is ongoing as all claims made are constantly being tested...you never did answer if religion does this.

LOL, and your question of "Why don't they tell people [about things like thermal imaging]" is laughable in its arrogance that the whole of the dedicated professionals of the scientific community has to baby-walk you through everything they do when their methodologies and findings are completely transparent to anyone who cares to know. Don't blame the scientific community for your own ignorance. You don't know about how they discover these things because you can't be bothered to investigate claims which might cause you to have "doubt" in your imaginary friend. So because of your own ignorance you feel that "creationism" is an alternative theory when it is clearly biased towards the abrahamic faiths, is not a science, and is not even accepted by Christian leaders.

Now, I haven't investigated this for myself, but its probably a safe bet that Creationism has not lead to a SINGLE useful finding, not one discovery that is even a third as useful as say....evolution.

Oh, and yes, it does matter what the name of the movie is when people are being lied to. I don't know this because I was in the cutting room, but because of the facts. Here's some of the original copy from Rampant Film's own website about Expelled...whoops, I mean Crossroads.

"Crossroads: The Intersection of Science and Religion
It has been the central question of humanity through the ages: How in the world did we get here? In 1859 Charles Darwin provided the answer in his landmark book, “The Origin of Species.” In the century and a half since, geologists, biologists, physicists, astronomers, and philosophers have contributed a vast amount of research and data in support of Darwin’s idea. And yet, millions of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other people of faith believe in a literal interpretation that humans were crafted by the hand of God. The conflict between science and religion has unleashed passions in school board meetings, courtrooms, and town halls across America and beyond."

Does that come off as anti-evolution propaganda, because that's what Ben Stein's movie was. And you must have missed my earlier point, the Center for Theology and Natural Science is an organization that strives to reconcile the differences between religion and science. In other words, those are people that YOU would agree with, not me. Oh wait, you're anti-science too....bad science, saving lives and giving us technology.

As for your statements of "faith" in science...this is just silly. Honestly, do you have "faith" that your computer will work, that your cell phone will make a call, or that your car will start and roll out the driveway? Do people that have heart surgery have "faith" that the surgery will work? Nope. They trust that the information they have is true because of the evidence available...which is that it works. This is what it ALL comes down to - is it useful, does it work?

Your claims about god just simply aren't useful, and if you try to apply them to the world around you they just don't work. You could never hope to be taken seriously if you offered the same arguments as you use to justify your religious perspective.

Lastly, you're "questions" about evolution are a joke - they must be. Are you seriously going to compare a living thing with a machine? Evolution works because of replication - if it can't replicate then it cannot evolve. Evolution also isn't random, its a mathematical principle based on nested hierarchies. If you don't understand that sentence then go pick up a book or spend five minutes on the internet researching the other side.

Ok, I'm pretty much done here...*sigh*
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 25 (view)
 
quotes or poems that have had an impact on our lives or the way we live them
Posted: 2/3/2009 9:57:59 AM
You know, I was going through this webcomic, and I thought of this post because of this:


http://xkcd.com/154/
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 84 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/3/2009 8:10:11 AM
Your argument about land use was already addressed....read it. It has many good points.

I like your Spider-man reference but I have to say you just don't understand my point. I put as much thought into eating a cow as a hungry wolf would give to eating you. Taking the slippery slope argument of nukes is just ridiculous.

Here's what I don't understand - do you think that if the roles were reversed that animals wouldn't use humans to test for vaccinations, raise us like cattle, etc. etc.?

People DO see a problem which is why Donkey Shows are illegal in the U.S. and if you buy peanut butter to spread on something else besides bread you are breaking a law. We have set up laws to protect animals, but we do it within reason, because they don't have rights. They don't need rights, because they are food, a resource. They'll deserve rights when we deserve rights from them that we don't have to take by force. Until that time, to turn a phrase, they're "fair game".
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 83 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/3/2009 7:27:59 AM
So basically, PETA is wrong for committing acts of terrorism that kill humans, but intensive farming is just as bad because they kill animals, and probably worse because they killed more animals? So...innocent people are just as valuable to you as animals...I'll keep that in mind if you and a puppy are drowning in a lake...

I would also argue that people DO feel there is a problem with animal cruelty. That's why the laws are there. Call the cops, report a crime, BAM! Instantly you are doing more than PETA is to help your cause.

As for the "disconnect" it probably has to do with this. If my dog, who is ADORABLE, were to die, I would feel very sad, I wouldn't be able to eat him. However, if I died in my apartment, while my dog would be sad, eventually he would get hungry and start to eat me. This is because he is an animal...who is hungry, and is attached to me because I feed him.

See, pets are animals, and while a dog MAY find remorse for the loss of his owner, a cat is less likely to
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 90 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/3/2009 7:14:38 AM
Wow...there is so much factually wrong with your post Optera, I scarcely know where to begin.

First of all, let me explain how I know that science doesn't make claims to knowledge it doesn't have. A fundamental aspect of the scientific method is calculating your chance of committing an error. This means that NOTHING science says is absolute, there is always that little meter on the side that says, "and here's the chance of me being wrong that I cannot account for."

On top of that, science also rigorously goes through a peer-review process, where it criticizes itself after performing experiments. Religion has neither of these...you either are right because you "feel" it, or you are right because you have "faith". Facts and evidence have nothing to do with it.

Second of all, science doesn't tackle the question of "god" because it isn't science. However, what we know about the universe is after years of testing, calculations, experimentations, and observations. More to the point, when science make its very specific predictions, they usually come true. Its the specific part that is important here, I've never EVER seen a specific prediction from a metaphysical source that has come true, that wasn't a high probability hit (psychics). If you could point to one in the bible, I'd be impressed.

I'm not going to educate you on thermal imaging or the many other techniques which we use to study stellar bodies light year's away - I shouldn't have to. What I can tell you is that they are open to being wrong...they might not like it but if you can show them WHY they are wrong they will update their idea and keep on trucking looking for answers.

Meanwhile, you can "assure" us that many of the claims they make will be wrong if we were to actually explore the planet. This is an example of making a claim to knowledge without evidence - a prime example of dogmatism at its "best".

For the record, I've looked at "creation science", the apologetic argument that wears the trappings of science but fails to use the methodology or standards of evidence that science uses. It is fundamentally flawed, lacks real evidence, and has been debunked to the point that even a child could poke holes in the claims it makes. What has it predicted, what useful science has come from the "creationist" model?

Your source for the statements made by Dawkins come from that travesty of a documentary, "Expelled: No intelligence allowed." There is a reason that not only the scientific community, but the Anti-defamation League, and the Center for Theology and Natural Sciences consider that film trash. It is because they used dishonest editing to manipulate the interview that they made under false premises and a different title'd name of the movie. The question that was asked was about what would make Dawkins consider Intelligent Design viable. Even under the ID model, as the Discovery Institute and leading ID researchers will tell you, there isn't a requirement for god. In this way Dawkins answer made two points, that ID does not answer any questions and that you still don't need god for life to exist even with a Creationist model.

That you didn't know this when you brought up a reference to Dawkins reveals the depths of your bias when doing research, your willful ignorance is what is hobbling you from understanding science. You don't have to be an gnostic atheist to appreciate science, and you can even be a gnostic theist and actually BE a scientist. I fall under the category of agnostic atheist, because I don't know, I see no evidence to support the idea, but I acknowledge the fact that you can't prove an idea as numinous as "god".

As far as your assumptions about me...lol, it was the Bible and biblical study that moved me towards atheism. Too many contradictions and immorality within those pages, as well as statements that were at odds with what we know about the universe. I TRIED to believe, because I felt the pressures of my community and family, the unspoken indictment of "if you question you are bad, without faith you can't be a good person". Well, with the motivation of an outcast trying to "make good" I pursued faith, I studied the texts, and in being honest with myself I found them wanting. As I broadened my search for faith, I came across knowledge and evidence, and that is when I stopped feeling bad for not having blind-faith. Ever since then my life has improved, because it was MY life at that point, I wasn't living it fighting against the terrible possibilities of a "hell"...I was free to enjoy it while being the best person possible. Not only that, I appreciate it more because this might be all that I get.

However, I guess you consider that view spiritually dead and it puts me at odds with god....I'm assuming the christian god of course - don't see many worshippers of Horus anymore. Well....waiting on the holy spirit.....any second now....OH! Ooops, no, that was just a ramen burp....
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 81 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/2/2009 3:41:34 PM
Nah! It was James who said the instinct thing, not me :D As they say, the devil is in the details, nyuck nyuck!

I can agree with your "right to life" argument, but I think that's just because EVERYTHING has a right to live, but some species are more capable than others of surviving (us). It is our ability to survive that sets us apart in a very real way - just as****oaches are set apart as well. That doesn't mean we are obligated or are more deserving to life in any way, it just means that we can.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 52 (view)
 
The stories of the Bible
Posted: 2/2/2009 3:35:12 PM
LOL, seriously, did you even look at the site or read any of my previous posts? They have not come to a conclusion yet either way....so if there coming to conclusions for me, I'd be in a sad state of affairs because my conclusion would be...well, inconclusive.

I find the existence of the mythical character known as jesus to be in dispute because of the evidence, not the opinions of others. However, when folks try to marginalize the "mythological jesus" by relegating it to the "fringes" or to the area where only arm-chair academics reside, I find that demonstrating which historians and academics do take the myth hypothesis seriously goes a long way towards demonstrating the problems with this...tactic.

As I told someone else, the problem I believe has to do with standards of evidence. I have a high standard for evidence, and you have an inconsistent one. You sneer at one group of academics and ignore another. You mischaracterize my argument as an appeal to authority, yet you unquestioningly accept anonymous entries as - pardon the pun - "gospel." The fact remains that among academics there is a very real dispute going on and it has to do with what constitutes credible evidence.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 80 (view)
 
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/2/2009 2:29:57 PM

Posted By: susieb on 2/2/2009 126 PM
Subject: Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Message: I'm very 'puzzled' as a uk citizen/supporter of peta/various other vegetarian/vegan organisations - where is all this coming from?


Well, it's a matter of looking at the facts Susie. As a supporter of PETA are you against:

-Pets
-Animal testing for medicine
-Animals as a source for medications
-The rights of people coming before animals

PETA essentially wants to legislate their morality for the whole world, and they support violence in the cause of that action. I don't know if you bothered to read the whole thread, but we've had quite an in-depth discussion about this. I'm not going to go over what is already posted, you can read that for yourself. However, I will bring up something to consider...

A.) You serve as evidence for many of the points made by Jiperly, myself, and Raziel in this thread.
B.) You have managed to anthropamorphize animals to the point that you place human children on equal footing with baby cows.

What conclusions you can draw from this are your own. Allow me also to answer your questions:

1.) Compassion for others is fundamental to creating a better/more equal society/world. Why should that begin and end with humans?

Compassion for humans and animals is wonderful, however compassion for other humans is fundamental for human society to function - not so with animals. It is not a matter of equality, but of nature. Human beings have adapted to this world because of our ability to harness resources, including other animals. Other animals aren't on the same level as humans because they aren't - when was the last time you saw a compassionate "Save the Gazelles" movement sponsored by lions? We are the dominant species, while it would be great to treat animals with compassion, it is a mistake to think that we are obligated to. Animals and plants are resources, living resources that we shouldn't take for granted, but resources nonetheless.

2.) Why should we feel differently towards the young child/the calf/the lamb? What is the difference? Why should we feel differently towards the older person/the cow/the sheep? What is the difference?

The difference is that in general we don't eat other humans. It may be convenient for you to look at "peaceful herbivores", but you are also using a domesticated species as an example - a species that wouldn't exist without humans in the first place. Extend your example to wolverines, tigers, and sharks and it sort of falls apart. We don't eat wolverines because they aren't delicious, we don't often eat tigers because they are endangered (and we know this because we care, not because tigers save people from burning buildings), and we DO eat sharks because they ARE delicious and because they take a few of us from time to time. It's the circle of life...

3.)Do you imagine that the cow whose calf is torn from her at birth feels any differently to the woman whose child is taken from her?

Yes, yes I do. While a cow can feel sadness, and arguably even go through depression, it might "behoove" you to consider that the woman usually only has 1 to 3 children in her life-time, whereas that cow will often have many more. A woman has hopes and dreams for her child, and looks forward to her future grandchildren and the stories she will be able to share with her family.

The cow is also only alive because it makes baby cows, if it didn't do that we wouldn't bother keeping it, caring for it, and in general making sure it is well fed and fit-enough to reproduce. It's sad its baby is gone, but what plans did it make concerning the calf? What sort of cow-dreams are now crushed because that calf is gone?

I partially disagree with Raziel on this point - the cow doesn't feel emotions like humans do, because it isn't capable. While I would agree that they have the same emotions that humans have at the base level, they do not have the cognitive capacity to experience the range and complexity of emotions that humans do. It has to do with the structure of a cow's brain compared to a human - which is what sets us apart in the first place.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 51 (view)
 
The stories of the Bible
Posted: 2/2/2009 1:56:43 PM
Y'know, I've been very busy lately, but I've wanted to get back to this thread, because there is so much wrong with so many of the statements being made. I've definitely wanted to address snarky comments from Romantic and Gottalights esoteric approach to reality, but I'm still fairly busy unfortunately.

To go way back into time, Romanitc - obviously you can read so I expect you just chose to ignore my apology and the reference I made to not bothering to go back and read every single post.

The main point I wanted to address is the ridiculous idea that the gospels were written by eye-witnesses to baby J. They were written anonymously - that means we don't know who wrote them. Oh, we might suspect, but like that passage and Josephus, we have to acknowledge that it could be a product of forgery, myth, or human error.

There are also many noted historians who question the legitimacy of the argument that Jesus was a real person and not a myth. http://www.jesus-project.com/intro.htm

It will be interesting what their findings are as this is a panel that is trying to approach the question with rationality rather than assumptions that their view HAS to be right.
 tomosama
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 85 (view)
 
Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Posted: 2/2/2009 7:53:19 AM

Posted By: Merrylass on 1/31/2009 920 AM
Subject: Child Torture - Can God Exist?
Message:
So god says we should all go to hell (a place he created) because some chick stole a piece of fruit from a tree.


Tomosama, you might wish to acquaint yourself with the concept of 'metaphor'.

The day you can explain quantum mechanics to an ant and have it understand is the day you'll be able to speak for how the universe is or is not constructed.

Allegorically speaking, we're ants. The Chief Theoretical Physicist was trying to explain things to us that we still are nowhere near grasping. The ultimate hilarity is that men of every age have assumed they have amassed sufficient knowledge to make ultimate statements on behalf of science. Every few years, science proves them to be fools by disproving the ultimate statements. Still man persists in making declarations such as 'there is no god'. I liken that to 'man will never fly' and '640K ought to be enough for anybody'.

Someday we will know the truth. That day is far from now.


Hmmm Merrylass - you might want to acquaint yourself with something called "internal consistency" and "attention to detail". If you paid attention to my points, I simply referenced why the idea of the Abrahamic faiths is one based on completely arbitrary standards, not a rational examination of the evidence. To be clear, I'm an Agnostic Atheist who has come to the conclusion that is not foolish of me to withhold provisional assent to the Christian god-hypothesis. All of the evidence available does not refute the idea that the concept of a god is nothing more than a human construct.

Your "allegory of the ants" is nice in theory, but its nothing more than a declaration that god exists without any real evidence to support your claim. I think its interesting that the arguments for religion are called "aplogetics", essentially its a whole method for rationalizing bronze-aged tales of gods, dragons, demons, and ghosts as "real". As you were kind enough to point out, we don't have all the answers yet; my position is that it is silly to make answers up without evidence when we have a perfectly good methodology for investigating claims. I think that if there WAS such a thing as a deity, that it would be insulting to take things on blind-faith when we were "constructed" as a rational pattern seeking species.
 
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