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#4748 - 10/06/09 03:39 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Gregg]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
I have been following the exchanges between Gregg and Sandbox for some time and the posts reinforce what I said earlier, namely that people with opposite viewpoints cannot understand why anyone would disagree with them. I compliment both of you for your ability to post rationally and avoid emotionally negative responses. That's far too easy to do.

Hats off to you both! If only all discourse about controversial issues were so civil...
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.2, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#4751 - 10/06/09 04:23 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Gregg]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Gregg
Originally Posted By: tacit
From the Christian Bible, which endorses slavery and teaches that women are inferior to men..


That's no on the first, and, uh, no on the second. But those misconceptions are common.


There are passages in the Bible, in both the old and the new testaments, which condone slavery and explicitly say that women are inferior to men.

You can argue that these passages reflect the societies of Biblical times or that they are the responsibility of specific individuals, but that does not change the fact that they are there. The Bible contains passages endorsing both of these views, as well as other, equally reprehensible views.

Which is exactly my point--faith-based moral systems always reflect, never set, the morality of their adherents. A religion which condemns something that the people in the society where that religion believe is good, or which claims as good that which those people condemn, is unlikely to gain traction. Religious systems flourish when they cater to rather than seek to change the various prejudices and bigotries of the target audience.

Author Sam Harris argues that a religious person can function in a modern, industrial society only if he does not take the sacred texts of his religion seriously, and that the more seriously a person takes the religious texts of his faith, the less able that person is to function.

The Bible commands many reprehensible things and condones many more--it teaches, among other things, that a man may sell his daughter as a sex slave provided that he does not sell her to foreigners; that if a person in a town turns from god that everyone in that town, including infants and animals, must be killed; that if a family raises a son who turns from god, it is the responsibility of that family to put their son to death; that a woman who is not a virgin on her wedding night must be stoned to death; that if a betrothed woman is raped, she and the rapist are both to be executed; and so on.

Modern Christians find ways to rationalize not doing these things and do not obey these Biblical commands because as members of an industrial, pluralistic society, we believe these things are wrong and our society does not condone them. On a practical level, our society could not continue to function if we still obeyed these imperatives.

There are modern-day Christians who believe that all the commandments in the Bible, including those about executing women who are not virgins and putting to death both the rapist and his victim, should be obeyed. The Christian Reconstructionist movement, for example, wants to see the United States governed by an absolute theocracy which enforces all 613 commandments in the Bible which have not expressly and explicitly been revoked by the New Testament. Needless to say, these are the folks who approve of planting bombs in clinics and gay bars, and they don't make very nice neighbors.

(Interestingly, the one area which is a significant source of contention within the Reconstructionist movement is the issue of slavery. Most Christian Reconstructionists favor bringing back slavery, on the grounds that the Bible explicitly endorses it; a minority of Reconstructionists oppose this view.)

The point here is that there is an inverse correlation between being a good citizen of a modern, pluralistic society and believing in the Bible, the Koran, or other sacred religious texts; being a good citizen of a modern industrial society just about requires finding some way, if you are religious, of rationalizing the idea that the majority of the scriptures of your faith do not apply to you.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#4756 - 10/07/09 12:43 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Gregg]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
I wasn't avoiding your first point Gregg; I thought I had addressed it.

Originally Posted By: Gregg
Mark, I appreciate the tone of the above post. I respectfully submit that it concentrates on the actions of people, and reflects poorly on the religion those people followed (or followed to some degree). It does not prove that the religion is morally bankrupt, just that the individuals are. During the same periods of time, there were other adherents of the same religions who acted nobly. I am quite sure that there are documented cases of the evil actions of people who claim (or claimed) no religious faith. That does not mean that all people with no religious faith are evil.


Your argument is that although there are statements in the bible(s) that are not acceptable in today's society that as a book of guidance it still has value. And that, although some people do nasty thing in the name of religion or belief, that there are some that do not. If my explanation is not correct please set me straight.

.

I'm absolutely certain that there are well meaning, dedicated and honest people who believe in a prime mover(god). My sister is a nun example=(a sister of the sacred heart) and through her I have met many well meaning people. So I do understand that what one person does in an organization or religion is not a reflection on the whole. I do know that my sister would have been a good person in the eyes of our culture if she was born into a Muslim family or agnostic family or a Nazi family, she gets her kicks from giving to others. She enjoys sacrifice.

She's very intelligent, double master degrees, and teaches in places like Hell's Kitchen in special educational programs that no one else dare address. I know the depth of her convictions, so if your wandering if I can understand the dichotomy between her life and her representation of a conventional religion, I do.
Simply put, she has a worm and needs to feed it. Living in sacrifice turns her on. And she readily admits it.

I've had long conversations with her, her friends, and her monsignors a bishop or two and they understand the contradictions very well, but there is no other place to live as they do, if it wasn't for the convent, rectory, monastery or church there would be no place to satisfy their hunger.

Before I go on….let me make sure that I've addressed the point that you made in your first sentence. With all due respect.


Edited by sandbox (10/07/09 10:10 AM)

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#4766 - 10/07/09 06:24 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
(Thank you, Jon.)
(Yes, Mark, that's clear. I didn't think it was before.)

Originally Posted By: tacit
There are passages in the Bible, in both the old and the new testaments, which condone slavery and explicitly say that women are inferior to men. ....The Bible contains passages endorsing both of these views, as well as other, equally reprehensible views.

No, there aren't. However, there are things in the Old Testament that I cannot rationalize. But of course, being centuries removed, we cannot even analyze them in their context. Just like centuries from now, our descendants will not be able to figure us out.

Originally Posted By: tacit
You can argue that these passages reflect the societies of Biblical times or that they are the responsibility of specific individuals, but that does not change the fact that they are there.

And what's the point? There are descriptions of evil things that people did. There are descriptions of the failings of people who were, and still are, looked up to in Judeo-Christian circles. And then there are countless modern examples of people who violated cultural mores and tried to hide it, only to have it exposed. On the other hand, Letterman "came clean" when he was afraid of being exposed. How many come clean when there is no danger? If someone says "I messed up" on his/her own, is that not admirable? So when individual screw-ups are revealed in the Bible, that invalidates everything?

Originally Posted By: tacit
Which is exactly my point--faith-based moral systems always reflect, never set, the morality of their adherents. A religion which condemns something that the people in the society where that religion believe is good, or which claims as good that which those people condemn, is unlikely to gain traction. Religious systems flourish when they cater to rather than seek to change the various prejudices and bigotries of the target audience.

I submit that the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament are an example of an exception to your rule. "A new commandment I give to you...." His teachings went against the tide of the society, and 2,000+ years later, some still attempt to follow them. It ain't easy! Never say always, and only say never when you say never say always.

Originally Posted By: tacit

Author Sam Harris argues that a religious person can function in a modern, industrial society only if he does not take the sacred texts of his religion seriously, and that the more seriously a person takes the religious texts of his faith, the less able that person is to function.

No surprise here; I disagree.

Originally Posted By: tacit
You can argue that these passages reflect the societies of Biblical times or that they are the responsibility of specific individuals, but that does not change the fact that they are there.

And what's the point? There are descriptions of evil things that people did. There are descriptions of the failings of people who were, and still are, looked up to in Judeo-Christian circles. And then there are countless modern examples of people who violated cultural mores and tried to hide it, only to have it exposed. On the other hand, Letterman "came clean" when he was afraid of being exposed. How many come clean when there is no danger? If someone says "I messed up" on his/her own, is that not admirable? So when individual screw-ups are revealed in the Bible, that invalidates everything?

Originally Posted By: tacit
...faith-based moral systems always reflect, never set, the morality of their adherents. A religion which condemns something that the people in the society where that religion believe is good, or which claims as good that which those people condemn, is unlikely to gain traction. Religious systems flourish when they cater to rather than seek to change the various prejudices and bigotries of the target audience.

I submit that the teachings of Jesus in the New Testament are an example of an exception to your rule. "A new commandment I give to you...." His teachings went against the tide of the society, and 2,000+ years later, some still attempt to follow them. It ain't easy! Never say always, and only say never when you say never say always.

Originally Posted By: tacit
The Bible commands many reprehensible things and condones many more--it teaches, among other things, that a man may sell his daughter as a sex slave provided that he does not sell her to foreigners; that if a person in a town turns from god that everyone in that town, including infants and animals, must be killed; that if a family raises a son who turns from god, it is the responsibility of that family to put their son to death; that a woman who is not a virgin on her wedding night must be stoned to death; that if a betrothed woman is raped, she and the rapist are both to be executed; and so on.

All are part of the set of things I cannot rationalize, as stated above. We must not pretend to be smart enough to understand that society based on modern society. The OT texts need to be understood from the perspective of the children of Isreal, leaving Egypt (400 yrs of slavery/brutality) and entering into another very violent culture (Canaan). Many of the old covenant laws were in place to limit brutality & violence. Unfortunately, women were often oppressed and treated as 2nd class citizens by that society. I suppose rules were made that would be effective in that environment, but I don't really know why those rules were made for sure.

Originally Posted By: tacit
Modern Christians find ways to rationalize not doing these things and do not obey these Biblical commands because as members of an industrial, pluralistic society, we believe these things are wrong and our society does not condone them. ...

Modern Christians, and those 2,000 years ago do not because they are Christians. I suppose you can say that about modern Jews, who do not accept the New Testament.

Originally Posted By: tacit
There are modern-day Christians who believe ...

One should not underestimate the ability of human beings to screw up anything; say, government, for instance. Do you suppose there are things about our government that the Founding Fathers would find abhorrent? (career politicians taking graft, for instance)

Originally Posted By: tacit
The point here is that there is an inverse correlation between being a good citizen of a modern, pluralistic society and believing in the Bible, the Koran, or other sacred religious texts; being a good citizen of a modern industrial society just about requires finding some way, if you are religious, of rationalizing the idea that the majority of the scriptures of your faith do not apply to you.

That's nonsense.

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#4785 - 10/07/09 01:18 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Gregg]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
We could argue over the meaning of scripture, the perceived abuse through the ages written by followers of religious traditions and never come to the point. Paul of the New Testament could have been a drunken sailor and the editors and translators through the years could have been mad men or politically motivated. We don't know what the Nazarene said, it wasn't written in his own hand, and wasn't written for years after his non-death. The writers did not hear the statements so it's all hearsay.

What we do know is what we can observe in today's culture.

Marriage vows in the Abrahamic traditions places women in a subservient position to men. In most if not all religions the daughter is the property of the father until marriage. When married, the wife is subordinate to the authority of the husband.

The fact that women were subordinate made marital rape a property crime rather than a crime of violence. Since religious marriage vows were considered contract law and a sacrament the courts had no jurisdiction over the sanctity of a marriage contract so there was no crime at all. This was and is condoned by religions today and only national laws can supercede these traditions. It was not followers that change the laws it was secular reasoning that put a stop to it in western societies.

Women were to be Subservient in authoritarian relationships between couples.

When a person has no control over their lives the act becomes an issue of bondage, slavery in marriage, and by marriage. Women working for nothing or for less in the work place were considered natural. It was never challenged by a religion, it was challenged by secular authority. These acceptable traditions and laws were brought to North America on ships carrying Christians who quickly established their rules in the colonies upon which state and national laws were written. Written by men, there are no women writers in any constitutional paperwork that I can find.

21st century….you have primarily Christian influence still trying to control the choices of women. Today birth control is not an acceptable nor is abortion. Women trying to control their own destinies are challenged by what religious observers find unacceptable to gods laws.

One cannot prove there is a god but we can observe the result of belief and judge the theory accordingly using critical thinking, the basis of scientific exploration. An assertion, without evidence, is not accepted as true in modern life. What a person or group thought to be true 6000 or 2000 years ago is not necessarily fact. It may comfort the observer in knowing they are following an ancient tradition, but that only serves the comfort zone it does not prove the assertion to be factual.

If one enjoys the feeling that is stimulated by believing the unreasonable then of course there is no way to find common ground with reasonable people. If one feels entitled to their beliefs because they are solipsists then of course there is no argument.

IMO.

All that we perceive or do not perceive is subject to our sensory perception. Much of what we believe is a product of nurture and environment. What we need to agree on is that we do not have an answer but that the scientific course of study is by far and unequivocally the best way to resolve our differences. Evidence is required to satisfy everyone universally and that is the best avenue to our coexistence.

The days of unity in belief of a father figure are over, we're on our own, on a spinning rock in a vast universe that we now all need to understand. We need to stop wasting time on who said what, and who's god is bigger or better, and get about admitting that the idea of god is small and insignificant in comparison to what we will discover in the future. Understanding our universe will help us understand ourselves. Being a part of the universe rather than the masters of the universe in the image of god will go a long way in releasing us from the bondage to spiritualism and unite us in a common cause.

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#4787 - 10/07/09 03:29 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Originally Posted By: sandbox
If one enjoys the feeling that is stimulated by believing the unreasonable then of course there is no way to find common ground with reasonable people.


Oh, now I see. Thanks for making it so clear.

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#4797 - 10/07/09 08:31 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: sandbox
One cannot prove there is a god

One cannot prove there isn't one either. And so what? confused


Originally Posted By: sandbox
but we can observe the result of belief and judge the theory accordingly using critical thinking,

The result? Oh you mean pick and choose the worst examples, and pretend that's the norm? Sorta like those "physicians" who laughed at Lister and Pasteur, when told they were infecting [i.e., killing] their patients with invisible germs? Yeah, eventually doctors learned to wash their hands [and sterilize their instruments]... but it didn't happen overnight. [Same deal with that blood-letting example a few pages back... as you stated: it was never a "proven" cure... right. but still, it sure was *practiced* (under the guise of 'science') for a long time though, wasn't it?]

Shall we just pick out the worst examples of each other's viewpoints, and play 'gotcha' till the other guy cries uncle? Is that what your "worm" hungers for? [so far, that 'social-engineering' field you promoted a ways back has all the trappings of a cult.]


Originally Posted By: sandbox
An assertion, without evidence, is not accepted as true in modern life.

Therefore -- scientifically -- you aren't making any such assertions either (as to the definite non-existence of a creator). So where do we go from there then? [i doubt the phrase "Thou shalt not kill" appears in any physics book -- shall i now proclaim that therefore science books condone murder?]


Originally Posted By: sandbox
Being a part of the universe rather than the masters of the universe in the image of god will go a long way in releasing us from the bondage to spiritualism and unite us in a common cause.

Oh I see. So, you're saying that your sister is trying to master the universe[?]. tongue

Here's a fun read (except the math part): "Many-worlds interpretation".  [can't say whether i agree or disagree... but it's a lot lighter reading than the quantum/religious entanglement going on here.]

Quote:
Hugh Everett described a way out of this problem by suggesting that the universe is in fact indeterminate as a whole. That is, if you were to measure the spin of a particle and find it to be "up", in fact there are two "yous" after the measurement, one who measured the spin up, the other spin down. Effectively by looking at the system in question, you take on its indeterminacy.



Edited by Hal Itosis (10/07/09 09:29 PM)

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#4799 - 10/08/09 03:46 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Quote:
One cannot prove there isn't one either. And so what?


What color is your god? Is it large or small, can it fit in your pocket, who made this god, does it have a brand? How much does it cost? Do I get a choice of god, can I get the god of Abraham?

Quote:

The result? Oh you mean pick and choose the worst examples, and pretend that's the norm?


Will god talk to me on mountain tops, give me a staff to split the red sea, grow trees in the desert so I can build a boat and float a pair of every critter on the planet.
Instead of Loaves and fishes can I get steaks and fries? I'll take two gods to go.

At a time when men would live to 50 years old the bible claimed they lived to be 137 I could go on for days and as I write there are scientist out there refuting Gods Word in these books every day.

These stories are simple absurd, but are the basis of these religions.

"Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six."
Leo Tolstoy

Quote:
Therefore -- scientifically -- you aren't making any such assertions either (as to the definite non-existence of a creator). So where do we go from there then? [i doubt the phrase "Thou shalt not kill" appears in any physics book -- shall i now proclaim that therefore science books condone murder?]


I have no idea if there is or isn't some sort of creator, I'd like to meet his maker. When the evidence is presented I'll make my own determination. We as a species do not kill our own naturally, there were natural laws of preservation long before our species manufactured the supernatural. The books of Abraham are represented as the word of god. Anything I write is a product of my own deductions.

Quote:
Oh I see. So, you're saying that your sister is trying to master the universe[?].


She belongs to a society that teaches the superiority of our species and that we were created in the image of god. So yes master of the universe is her belief. The universe revolves around her god, and she's a part of his master plan. If you are a follower of the Abrahamic traditions that is the directive.

Quote:
Here's a fun read (except the math part): "Many-worlds interpretation". [can't say whether i agree or disagree... but it's a lot lighter reading than the quantum/religious entanglement going on here.]


There is much that I don't understand but I don't see anything on that page that goes beyond hypothesis. I doesn't say believe this or go to hell. Those folks are not interested in whether I tuned to the east when I think about them or ask me to bang my head on the floor. They're not recounting the words of Yahweh, God, Jesus, Mohammed or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

.

I would like to see our species unite.

I do not suspect that the religions of the world will ever concede to anyone's interpretation of god, other than their own. I suspect that the theory of a prime mover has exhausted itself and devolved into tit for tat and grasping at straws. On the other hand our species has moved on without religion in the most productive corners of our world. Some may need to fly a religious flag in theocracies, but if they're in pursuit of uncovering the mysteries of the universe they're most likely only role playing their piety for family reasons while dismantling the yarn.

As humans experience the productive methods required by scientific study, and grow to understand that reasoned outcomes, common purpose, with less competition, they will move further away from the mystic and closer to rational thought.

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#4800 - 10/08/09 05:18 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
crarko Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Minnesota USA
_________________________
---

The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth. - Niels Bohr

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#4801 - 10/08/09 05:54 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Originally Posted By: tacit
From the Christian Bible, which endorses slavery...
There are passages in the Bible, in both the old and the new testaments, which condone slavery...


I've thought more about your use of "condone" only to come back and find that you originally used "endorse" instead. That's the way I took it, but there are other possibilities. The nuances of our language make it flexible, but that sometimes hinders communication.

Dictionary(OSX) gives two meanings. Condone in one sense can be accept/allow. Certainly, scripture encourages slaves in that time to accept their circumstances*, for they were powerless to change them. I don't want to get deeply into the power thing here... free will, etc. But "allow" implies the ability to put a stop to something that is within one's control. Perhaps that applies, but I'd be more inclined to use "tolerate" instead, in that no punishment was meted out for slave ownership. Free will again...

Condone in another sense can be approve/sanction which gets closer to the concept of endorsement. To that I say emphatically, scripture does no such thing, certainly not in the New Testament, which is what my Christian faith is based on. I'm not as certain about the Old Testament, but I don't recall ever running across such a statement.

For your contention to be correct, the value judgment must be in the text, not a conclusion drawn from your own moral standards, or those of modern society.

Interestingly, dictionary.com gives this meaning to condone:
to give tacit approval to smile

*Elsewhere, scripture encourages everyone to be "content in all circumstances". Pretty good advice, perhaps dependent on one's definition of "content".


Edited by Gregg (10/08/09 05:59 AM)

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#4806 - 10/08/09 01:30 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Originally Posted By: crarko


quite possible an exercise in futility, no doubt, but exercise me must.

Quote:
To ask if consilience can be gained in the innermost domains of the circles, such that sound judgment will flow easily from one discipline to another, is equivalent to asking whether, in the gathering of disciplines, specialists can ever reach agreement on a common body of abstract principles and evidentiary proof. I think they can.


whereas:

Quote:
The complementary instincts of morality and tribalism are easily manipulated. Civilization has made them more so. Only ten thousand years ago, a tick in geological time, when the agricultural revolution began in the Middle East, in China, and in Mesoamerica, populations increased in density tenfold over those of hunter-gatherer societies. Families settled on small plots of land, villages proliferated, and labor was finely divided as a growing minority of the populace specialized as craftsmen, traders, and soldiers. The rising agricultural societies, egalitarian at first, became hierarchical. As chiefdoms and then states thrived on agricultural surpluses, hereditary rulers and priestly castes took power. The old ethical codes were transformed into coercive regulations, always to the advantage to the ruling classes. About this time the idea of law-giving gods originated. Their commands lent the ethical codes overpowering authority, once again - no surprise - to the favor of the rulers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consilience:_The_Unity_of_Knowledge

Evidence is the common denominator if we are to agree. There is no other medium that I can think of that serve unity's purpose.

But...

When beliefs stop being negotiable, bad things happen, and there is a history of bad things as a result of unsubstantiated belief.

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#4807 - 10/08/09 02:16 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: sandbox
As humans experience the productive methods required by scientific study, and grow to understand that reasoned outcomes, common purpose, with less competition, they will move further away from the mystic and closer to rational thought.

You won't even try to engage in a friendly, imaginative (non-mathematical) discussion of quantum mechanical interpretations... yet you claim to be pro-science? [hey... i'm very pro-science, and i'm not pleased with the pretense of some who claim that **they** alone represent the pro-science viewpoint around here.]

What you (and almost everyone else) seem unable to appreciate [recognize/discern] is that the whole 'interpretations of quantum mechanics' subject is exactly what science is struggling with at the moment... because the paradoxes our (current) knowledge seems to present entail some truly bizarre implications. THAT's what this thread ("Unexplained Scientific Principles") should be about, because those [differing] schools/interpretations/theories is where the real "reality" beef exists.

How does religion-bashing even begin to answer those (quantum) types of questions? Why bother with inane, small-minded crap like "what color is ['my'] god?" ?  You're supposedly pro-science... then let's talk about how perplexing its various viewpoints are at this point in time, and why that might be the case.

Instead, i detect a deep desire to avoid such scientific topics. Apparently a commandment has been issued...
  • Thou shalt only believeth in what hath been proved.
...so therefore, there's not much else to discuss (other than asserting that any notion of a possible creator leads to burning women. Brilliant [not]).

I don't know what Thomas Edison's spiritual inclinations were... but certainly he had a faith to persevere through failure after failure. At times i'm sure it seemed that all he was "proving" was that light-bulbs were impossible to make. But he continued to try anyway. [i suspect he enjoyed some extra time by not spending any of it bashing the religious beliefs of his fellow man.]


Originally Posted By: sandbox
There is much that I don't understand but I don't see anything on that page that goes beyond hypothesis. I doesn't say believe this or go to hell. Those folks are not interested in whether I tuned to the east when I think about them or ask me to bang my head on the floor. They're not recounting the words of Yahweh, God, Jesus, Mohammed or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Whisky Tango Foxtrot said that page was about anything like that? [is that what you expected... or wanted?]

It seems you're exclusively looking to argue about religious stuff in order to *hide* from speculation (or even wonderment) about scientific mysteries.

Nice approach. Good luck with that. [if Edison had had that type of "scientific" attitude, we'd be reading our posts in the dark. smirk ]


Edited by Hal Itosis (10/08/09 03:44 PM)

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#4809 - 10/08/09 02:33 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: crarko]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: crarko

The only thing missing in that picture is how the horse keeps getting pulled back into the frame, despite any (of my) attempts to bury it.

Perhaps the horse is supernatural? cool


Edited by Hal Itosis (10/08/09 03:21 PM)

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#4814 - 10/08/09 05:43 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
When ryck refined his point:

Originally Posted By: ryck
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Perhaps someone can answer the original question in this thread.


Thanks Jon:

This thread is a good example of what has always made the Lounge shine, IMHO. You can ask about one thing and then get a great education in something related.

I may have phrased my question poorly. As I recall, the previous thread had got to a point where there was back-and-forth about the wisdom of believing in things that can't be proven. Someone made the point that such reliance on accepting the unproven existed in science.

I seems to be me that they mentioned two particular principles or theories - may even have been The Theory of ______ and The Theory of ______, - on which a lot of ensuing science didn't work unless you first accepted these two unknowns as true.

ryck


and tacit answered:

Quote:
That was me; I argued then, and continue to argue now, that accepting things on faith, without evidence, is a mistake.

Then the conversation that was requested proceeded to where we are:

The you rang in:

Quote:
Though it got bad reviews from the critics, i do remember enjoying the book "The Tao of Physics" a few decades back.


then joemikeb:

Quote:
It strikes me that all scientific knowledge is genuinely a working hypothesis that we accept on faith as true until more or better understanding comes along.


oldMACman said:

Quote:

Mathematical modelling of the physical world is bound to have a "faith" component. I'm not talking about an Old Man With A Beard, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.


Macnerd10 said:

Quote:
I generally agree but the word "faith" makes me uneasy.


then tact said:

Quote:
One of the fundamental axioms of science, though, is that one does not benefit from believing that something exists when one has absolutely, positively no evidence to support that belief.


and you responded:

Quote:
No benefit? Who says so? AFAIK, scientists haven't derived any equations for love either... so what do they know? smirk Put all the geniuses on the planet into a [sterile] building and supply them with barrels containing every element in the universe, plus an unlimited amount of every type of energy. With all that, they couldn't even create a cockroach. Life and love are supposed to remain mysterious wonders. Believe anything you want. Your guess is as good as mine (maybe).


and again:

Quote:
Evidence is in the eye of the beholder. Some folks can look at a tree or a puppy and see that as sufficient evidence of a Supreme Being. For me, the fact that i (or you) can *think* about and intelligently discuss (speculate on?) these existential matters is "evidence" enough that there's a lot more going on here than just random atoms and subatomic particles converging after some Big Bang.


and again:

Quote:
Ironically we have religious fanatics on one hand... and now "scientists" trying to play god on the other.

Extremists either way you slice it.


above is where YOU caught my eye.

And again:

Quote:
You know, even good old Einstein wasn't exactly "thrilled" about the A-Bomb.
And -- unless i'm mistaken -- Einstein made many a reference to God as well.


And again at the end of the third page and still I haven't posted.

Quote:

As i hope i made clear... i don't claim to be right (about anything here), or say that you're wrong. Just exchanging ideas.


Then I did:
Quote:
Artificial flowers cannot die for life within them is illusion.


I guess one could say that "I'm the one who is bashing" something, or avoiding something else, if it serves their need to believe anything… even if it's crud under their fingernails accumulated by scratching their imaginary blackboard to hear an echo.

There are reasons why humans have created beliefs in the supernatural, and there are consequences to that approach as well as a history of results. If pointing that out to a defender of the notion makes them defensive… there is probably an explanation from a scientific perspective.

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#4816 - 10/08/09 07:15 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: sandbox
I guess one could say that "I'm the one who is bashing" something, or avoiding something else, if it serves their need to believe anything… even if it's crud under their fingernails accumulated by scratching their imaginary blackboard to hear an echo.

Far out man.


Originally Posted By: sandbox
There are reasons why humans have created beliefs in the supernatural, and there are consequences to that approach as well as a history of results. If pointing that out to a defender of the notion makes them defensive… there is probably an explanation from a scientific perspective.

Groovedelic.

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#4818 - 10/08/09 08:50 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
as I expected cool

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#4819 - 10/08/09 10:03 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: ryck]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Perhaps it's time for a more simple-minded view.

Some of the people on the "science side" of this thread assume that having a spiritual side can only be within an established religion. That rationale is beyond me.

I do not belong to any church. In fact, except for weddings and funerals, haven't been in a church in fifty years. However, I do believe absolutely that there is something beyond life on earth and that there is a superior being. What it is or what awaits beyond life on earth, I don't know. I just believe it exists and I'll find out when I die. My belief has never caused me to consider killing, raping, maiming or any other dreadful act.

Neither does having that belief prevent me from accepting the evidence on things like evolution and other theories. I just think that there are things that are beyond science - something else, unexplainable and unprovable, that existed before the Big Bang or whatever starting point anyone wants to use.

However, the science side cannot seem to accept anything that is not conclusively proved scientifically and therefore asserts that, if it isn't provable, it can't be.

I think that is incredible arrogance. It's like saying "we are the most superior beings and unless it's proven to us, it doesn't exist". As we have seen through the thread, there's no use arguing the point because neither side can prove the other wrong. Some of the arguments remind me of the Blood, Sweat and Tears lyric, "I know there ain't no Heaven, but I'll pray there ain't no Hell".

But the arrogance doesn't stop there. There is a contention that If I believe in a superior being I must be incapable of rational thought (What utter nonsense) or I must need a crutch to get me through life (Equally nonsensical). Indeed, I would argue that it's the science side who are most in need of a crutch (proof) before they can believe in something.

To get back to my original question, I wanted information that showed that it wasn't only religion that asks people to blindly accept things on faith. The MFIF thread had examples of Science asking people to do exactly the same thing (accept things on faith) on some basic principles.

I had a good reason for seeking the "science taken on faith" information, and it is simple. I have a longtime friend who is terminally ill (small cell cancer has returned) and my friend's beliefs are the same as mine. We haven't talked much yet about the journey ahead of him but we will.

I want to be sure that when he takes that final step that he is not carrying the extra burden of doubt, that what he believes is true and his belief doesn't require proof - no different than Science having concepts that don't seem to require proof.

I had thought that the originally sought article Taking Science On Faith would be sufficient to show that Science doesn't have quite as many answers as it thinks it has. However, this thread has given me far more than I could possibly have hoped for. For that, I thank the participants.

ryck


Edited by ryck (10/08/09 10:28 PM)
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#4829 - 10/09/09 07:34 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: ryck]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
Quote:
Some of the people on the "science side" of this thread assume that having a spiritual side can only be within an established religion. That rationale is beyond me.


Are there some on this thread?

Quote:
I do not belong to any church. In fact, except for weddings and funerals, haven't been in a church in fifty years. However, I do believe absolutely that there is something beyond life on earth and that there is a superior being. What it is or what awaits beyond life on earth, I don't know. I just believe it exists and I'll find out when I die. My belief has never caused me to consider killing, raping, maiming or any other dreadful act.


Why do you believe absolutely, would be my question. My guess is that you think a spirit was inserted into you and when the body dies the spirit will leave. The fact as we know them, demonstrates that we consume nourishment and manufacture energy to operate our bodies until the machinery breaks down. The body is then decomposed and consumed by other organisms on earth. Even the carbon from cremation.

Quote:
Neither does having that belief prevent me from accepting the evidence on things like evolution and other theories. I just think that there are things that are beyond science - something else, unexplainable and unprovable, that existed before the Big Bang or whatever starting point anyone wants to use.


I suspect that there are thing that are beyond my comprehension too, but I do not make the leap into saying that after I die my life is going there, I'm content with being worm food, which completes the circle of life.

Quote:
However, the science side cannot seem to accept anything that is not conclusively proved scientifically and therefore asserts that, if it isn't provable, it can't be.


from my perspective the science side says.. there is nothing beyond question. The non-science side says… don't question me.

Quote:
I think that is incredible arrogance. It's like saying "we are the most superior beings and unless it's proven to us, it doesn't exist". As we have seen through the thread, there's no use arguing the point because neither side can prove the other wrong. Some of the arguments remind me of the Blood, Sweat and Tears lyric, "I know there ain't no Heaven, but I'll pray there ain't no Hell".

It's not the science side that needs to explain the hypothesis, the questions remains in your court. Why do you believe absolutely and where is the evidence that supports your assertions? If it's a secret then say so and everyone will move on.

[quote] But the arrogance doesn't stop there. There is a contention that If I believe in a superior being I must be incapable of rational thought (What utter nonsense) or I must need a crutch to get me through life (Equally nonsensical). Indeed, I would argue that it's the science side who are most in need of a crutch (proof) before they can believe in something.


because you will not present the rational for your absolute belief the questions remain and haunt you. Being haunted you strike out at the questioner, attempting to put the onus on them. The arrogance, I would suggest, is found in the refusal to answer the question and continue to claim, that there is something when there is nothing to present.

Quote:
To get back to my original question, I wanted information that showed that it wasn't only religion that asks people to blindly accept things on faith. The MFIF thread had examples of Science asking people to do exactly the same thing (accept things on faith) on some basic principles.

I had a good reason for seeking the "science taken on faith" information, and it is simple. I have a longtime friend who is terminally ill (small cell cancer has returned) and my friend's beliefs are the same as mine. We haven't talked much yet about the journey ahead of him but we will.


I can understand your motive and sympathize with your position but the journey is at its end as far as we can prove, no matter what we choose to believe.

Quote:
I want to be sure that when he takes that final step that he is not carrying the extra burden of doubt, that what he believes is true and his belief doesn't require proof - no different than Science having concepts that don't seem to require proof.

I had thought that the originally sought article Taking Science On Faith would be sufficient to show that Science doesn't have quite as many answers as it thinks it has. However, this thread has given me far more than I could possibly have hoped for. For that, I thank the participants.


Science has questions, belief has doubt.

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#4836 - 10/09/09 08:55 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
The MFIF thread started as a video of Cellular Biology, which then became a long discussion (largely between Tacit and me) about Mother Nature and, eventually with some other input, morphed into the same argument as this thread.

At that point in the MFIF thread I dropped out because I find these arguments circular and not very useful. So, I will not be taking your bait, particularly since you continue to miss the point entirely. My original FTM post was, in part:

" In the previous lounge…… someone mentioned two basic scientific principles that scientists are still unable to explain and which are accepted as "that's just the way it is".

The science side berates people who accept things on faith but disregards the fact that it does the same thing with some of its own principles.

It also asks others to accept its scientific conclusions “on faith”. Yes, it can be argued that their conclusions “can be proved” but that’s meaningless unless everyone had the same level of education and can understand the explanation. Clearly that is not so and therefore it becomes "just take our word for it" or, dare I say it, take it on faith.

That is what most people do. They accept the scientific opinions on faith.

The science side argues that acceptance of religious ideas on faith has been the cause of great woes. I don't think anyone has disagreed. However, taking science's "word for it" has also caused extraordinary pain and suffering. Frontal lobotomies and thalidomide come immediately to mind.

The science group likes to use words like shamans and fakirs. I don't think anyone disagrees that there are untruthful religious leaders. However, the science group can be tarred with the same brush. Let us not forget all those scientists whose "scientific opinions" are paid for by large industries. The tobacco industry and the energy industry have both been able to to trot out their industry-friendly scientists to assure us that smoking does not cause cancer or that global warming is a myth.

In my opinion, that makes science no different than the religions you are so quick to condemn.

ryck


Edited by ryck (10/09/09 01:15 PM)
Edit Reason: Missing verb "think"
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#4839 - 10/09/09 11:11 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: sandbox]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
Originally Posted By: sandbox
from my perspective the science side says.. there is nothing beyond question. The non-science side says… don't question me.

Does that perspective have room for anything which might exist in between those two "sides"... or is it too narrow to visualize anything but polar opposites?


Originally Posted By: sandbox
It's not the science side that needs to explain the hypothesis, the questions remains in your court. Why do you believe absolutely and where is the evidence that supports your assertions?

Pretty stupid question, don't you think? - Evidence?!?! crazy
Else um... what is your scientific definition of "faith"?


Originally Posted By: sandbox
because you will not present the rational for your absolute belief the questions remain and haunt you. Being haunted you strike out at the questioner, attempting to put the onus on them. The arrogance, I would suggest, is found in the refusal to answer the question and continue to claim, that there is something when there is nothing to present.

Oooh, "haunted". Brrrr. Spooky.

Continue to claim???
grin  Sorry sandbox... Ryck isn't the one "continuing" around here.
[Methinks thou doth protest too much.]


Originally Posted By: sandbox
Science has questions, belief has doubt.

Yawn. I doubt you know much *actual* science.
At least... your posts don't show any evidence.

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#4844 - 10/09/09 12:29 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Gregg]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Gregg
Condone in another sense can be approve/sanction which gets closer to the concept of endorsement. To that I say emphatically, scripture does no such thing, certainly not in the New Testament, which is what my Christian faith is based on. I'm not as certain about the Old Testament, but I don't recall ever running across such a statement.


Not only does the Old Testament explicitly condone slavery, it even sets out laws and rules by which slavery is permissible, specifies who may own slaves and under what circumstances, and even goes so far as to specify, in detail, when a man is permitted to sell his daughter as a sex slave, who he is and is not permitted to sell her to, and what the terms of the contract of the sale are to be.

See, for example, Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:2-6, Exodus 21:7-11 (the verses which explicitly allow a man to sell his daughter as a sex slave as long as he does not sell her to foreigners).

Jesus not only condones slavery, and specifically instructs slaves not to try to gain their freedom (Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2), he even specifically condones beating a slave for wrongdoing even if that slave does not know he has done something wrong (Luke 12:47-48).

Originally Posted By: gregg
Originally Posted By: tacit
The point here is that there is an inverse correlation between being a good citizen of a modern, pluralistic society and believing in the Bible, the Koran, or other sacred religious texts; being a good citizen of a modern industrial society just about requires finding some way, if you are religious, of rationalizing the idea that the majority of the scriptures of your faith do not apply to you.


That's nonsense.


With respect, I think you just proved the point. You yourself say that you don't know what the Old Testament has to say on the subject of slavery and you believe that the New Testament supersedes the old. You have to believe these things in order to be a functioning member of a pluralistic, post-industrial society; these are the things that you have accepted as reasons not to obey the 613 commandments in the Bible, many of which (like executing any family member who turns away from god) would put you at odds with the values of the society in which you live.

If you read the Old Testament, you will see that it endorses slavery, and many other reprehensible things. It also describes people doing these things, but that's not what I'm talking about--I'm talking about the rules and commandments specifically instructing people to do these things.

If you read Matthew 5:18, you will see that the Old Testament rules and commandments are not undone by Jesus; they are still in force.

However, you cannot believe these things and also still be a functioning member of society, so you have constructed rationalizations--or perhaps accepted rationalizations constructed by others--about why you are exempt from Old Testament law, even while still accepting the divine providence of the Bible.

Which is exactly what Sam Harris is talking about.
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#4848 - 10/09/09 06:20 PM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: Hal Itosis]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted By: sandbox
Science has questions, belief has doubt.

Yawn. I doubt you know much *actual* science.
At least... your posts don't show any evidence.

Nonetheless, the statement is almost correct, except that scientists have A LOT of doubts.
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#4861 - 10/10/09 06:33 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: macnerd10]
sandbox Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Water World
True, and they question their doubt. Belief has doubt without question.

The finality of belief without empirical evidence leaves doubt unquestioned.

In this thread you will see that expressed as faith, and having faith is somehow a license to be unquestioned. "I have a Right to believe what I want" can be heard from their self-proclaimed moral authority. But do they have a right to believe anything without question and proclaim that it holds a truth unknown to those who do not have faith?

I have faith that the next breath of air will be there, but I don't believe that a man in a long white beard who lives upstairs delivered it.

Granted, 6000 years ago it was reasonable to assume that a superman made everything. But today we can understand the atmosphere and break in down to it's elements. If we're interested and not lazy we don't need to say god made air as a matter of faith.

Our natural differences are beyond our control, male or female, tall or short, different colors, languages on so on. By adding a new dimension we create a false dichotomy and new divisions within the faith orientation. You have wars between religions when there shouldn't even be a division of religion or religion at all.
Then there are those who say they don't belong to a religion and so I question if they created their own god? If he was create by you, you should be able to produce him for inspection. Not usually the case I find, and most of the time they borrow a preconceived god but follow their own rules.

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#4864 - 10/10/09 11:28 AM Re: Unexplained Scientific Principles [Re: tacit]
Gregg Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Milwaukee, WI (USA)
Franklin, to state the obvious, you and I are poles apart in our thinking regarding the things we’ve been discussing. I must say that there are several instances in your posts where I dislike the tone of your statements, but I am not going to dwell on them. I have taken your most recent post and rearranged it in almost the reverse order of how you presented it. I may have omitted some things, but the words in italics are yours.

I’m not trying to persuade you to adopt my point of view. That’s clearly not going to happen. But, you have made several assertions regarding passages from the Bible that are simply incorrect. Should you choose to do that in subsequent posts, I may not respond if it’s clear to me that there is no point in doing so. We shall see. I suspect that you’re not really interested in explanations of Christianity from Christians, but I’m offering some below. If I’m correct about that, just say so, and we can agree to move on to other topics.

If you read Matthew 5:18, you will see that the Old Testament rules and commandments are not undone by Jesus; they are still in force.

I have read Mt. 5:18 as well as v.17 and 19... and ch. 4 and 6... ok, I’ve read the whole New Testament. It’s more than a list of rules and regulations. It’s also a story. I suppose you know that, but I’m stating it here because there is no sense of that in your posts. Anyway, Mt. 5:18 does not say what you assert. You could quote part of it to make it seem to say that, as long as you stop before you get to “until...”. The concept of the New replacing the Old is not fully explained in this passage. That’s not the subject. However, the Book of Hebrews addresses that subject throughout. If you just want the Cliff’s Notes version, take a look at 7:18,19 and 8:7-13 and 9:9,10. Also, one of your previous posts indicated your belief that people of faith do not know their own “scriptures”. You’re wrong about that too.

However, you cannot believe these things and also still be a functioning member of society, so you have constructed rationalizations--or perhaps accepted rationalizations constructed by others--about why you are exempt from Old Testament law, even while still accepting the divine providence of the Bible.

Which is exactly what Sam Harris is talking about.


(By the way, that’s not a sentence, or a paragraph.) wink
Sorry, both you and Mr. Harris are wrong. I hold that position because of the concepts in the passages I cited above, and in many others. I don’t want to open “Pandora’s box” on the subject of why I believe the Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God, but of course, that comes into play.

Jesus not only condones slavery, and specifically instructs slaves not to try to gain their freedom (Ephesians 6:5, 1 Timothy 6:1-2), he even specifically condones beating a slave for wrongdoing even if that slave does not know he has done something wrong (Luke 12:47-48).

Nothing that you assert is stated in those passages. Those are your conclusions, and they are incorrect. (As an aside, Jesus is not being quoted in Eph. or 1 Ti.) You didn’t heed my prescription for rendering what is in the text, rather than what is in your mind. I thought you might be correct about the instruction to slaves not to seek their freedom, but, it’s not there.

Not only does the Old Testament explicitly condone slavery, it even sets out laws and rules by which slavery is permissible, specifies who may own slaves and under what circumstances, and even goes so far as to specify, in detail, when a man is permitted to sell his daughter as a sex slave, who he is and is not permitted to sell her to, and what the terms of the contract of the sale are to be.

I’ve already dealt with that. I know that some of that is true. I can’t explain it to you (or to myself!) without really getting into the Old Testament again, which I haven’t done for a long time. But I will say this: The OT also describes God providing for the Israelites in the wilderness, delivering them from Pharaoh, and doing many other things that are kind, caring, etc. There seems to be a disconnect there. I suspect Bible scholars have sought to understand that apparent disconnect. I also suspect that you might not be interested in what those studies have concluded.

You yourself say that you don't know what the Old Testament has to say on the subject of slavery...

That’s not what I said. You didn’t even read and repeat what I wrote correctly in its context.

...and you believe that the New Testament supersedes the old. You have to believe these things in order to be a functioning member of a pluralistic, post-industrial society; these are the things that you have accepted as reasons not to obey the 613 commandments in the Bible, many of which (like executing any family member who turns away from god) would put you at odds with the values of the society in which you live.

No, that’s not why. But, I’ve already addressed that.

If you read the Old Testament, you will see that it endorses slavery, and many other reprehensible things. It also describes people doing these things, but that's not what I'm talking about--I'm talking about the rules and commandments specifically instructing people to do these things.

Again, I’ve read it. I’ve also given my response to this before. It’s still up there.

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#4865 - 10/10/09 01:25 PM Unexplained Lounge-Behavior Principles [Re: Gregg]
Hal Itosis Offline


Registered: 09/03/09
Loc: 10.6.8 (build 10K549)
It sho'nuff seems that some here are merelyinterestedin science to the limited extent that certain concepts it contains can be used as a weapon against spiritual/religious thought (or other *sociopolitical* concerns), and nothing more.  When it comes to choosing a 'side' amongst the various schools which currently exist within science itself (i.e., the internal quantum division), or offering a considerate opinion... or even just a simple relevant comment on such matters [like: "Wow, that theory is mind-blowing!" or "How could science regard such things as possible?"] -- we hear only the silence of the lambs.

Perhaps we should title our posts with more accurate subjects from here on.


Edited by Hal Itosis (10/10/09 01:42 PM)

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