Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:54 am

Koatanga wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:
Koatanga wrote:Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

If a whole bunch of people believing in the same way about their god isn't a religion, what do you call it?

"A religion" is not the same thing as "religion" the same way that "a man" is not same thing as "mankind".

Are there lots of people who believe that evolution is hooey because they believe that their religion says so and choose their religion over scientific theory? Of course. But are there also a lot of religious people that have no such entanglement with science? That evolution is merely the natural process of God's will? Of course. Why do you insist on lumping them into the same bucket? Again science and religion are not necessarily opposed.

That's just semantics, isn't it? Can you not infer from context that when I am talking about religious people who believe in creationism and take Genesis literally that I am speaking about those people among those particular religions who espouse those beliefs?

When I said that where religion and science disagree, science has been correct every time, clearly I am referring to instances where "a religion" or "persons within a religion sharing the same belief" believed something contrary to science, such as creationism or Noah's ark.

Clearly I am not saying that every member of every religion believes the same thing.

To what level do I need to refine the term such that I can speak without being bogged down with semantics? Do I need to specify the religion, the individual church, or whether it is the 8 am or 10 am service? Because I do not have a list of all the individuals in the US who believe in creationism - I only have a Gallup poll reporting that a whopping 40% of Americans believe in a strict interpretation of creationism: http://www.gallup.com/poll/145286/Four- ... onism.aspx

69% of Americans are very or moderately religious: http://www.gallup.com/poll/159050/seven ... gious.aspx So the majority of religious people in the US believe in a strict interpretation of creationism, if one assumes that none of the nonreligious people believe in creationism, which seems logical, although we are talking about Americans here...

When the majority of people feel the same way, can you use the general term to describe them? Is it invalid to say "religioius people believe something" when in the general sense it is true, but on the specific level it may or may not be? Can I say "tigers are orange with black stripes" or do I need to qualify that by including white tigers? At what percentage does the general become acceptable?


Welcome to the wonderful world of Science, where every word must be carefully analysed and selected to correctly describe the phenomena, and where expansive definitions are the norm. :D

Seriously, don't expect touching "soft" sciences like sociology without having to throw long detailed explanations of who and what you're talking about - devil's in the detail on these matters.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:58 am

Koatanga wrote:Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

I'd call it "stupidity". Maybe "epistemophobia" if I wanted to sound posh. :)

And no, it's not synonymous with or caused by religion. As someone who grew up in Soviet Union (with its tradition of militant atheism), I can attest that non-religious people can be just as stupid, bigoted, belligerently ignorant, resolutely opposed to all new knowledge and stuck in their dogmatic ways as the worst Bible-thumping fanatics.

Koatanga wrote:69% of Americans are very or moderately religious: http://www.gallup.com/poll/159050/seven ... gious.aspx


Which means that picking a different framework for this issue is not only reasonable, but strategically correct.

Let's try a simple thought experiment:

Imagine that it's election year 2040, and you are running for the presidential office. Your main opponent's core political program boils down to "our country is so awesome, therefore let's murder the shit out of everyone". Gallup polls indicate that 69% of the voters are very or moderately patriotic.

If you want to defeat him and save the world, what will be a better response - "yes, our country is awesome; however, mass murder is a horrible atrocity and is against the laws of our awesome country, so don't vote for this dangerous lunatic" or "no, our country is mediocre at best - in fact, it pretty much sucks donkey balls most of the time - so if there's anyone who should be wiped out for the good of humanity, it's us"?

Likewise, if you approach the current situation as "us vs. religion" issue, the aforementioned 69% will be your enemies, and you'll likely lose. If, on other hand, you present it as 'us vs. bunch of nutjobs from Texas education board', they can be your greatest allies. Tell them that God does not exist and only a delusional idiot would believe in him, and you'll hand their support to the indoctrinators on a silver plate. Convince them that hatemongering and brainwashing children is antithetical to the teachings of Christ and offensive to God, and they'll tear fundamentalists a new one.

Does that sound cold and manipulative? Well, it is the Politics thread. :)
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:05 am

Passionario wrote:
Koatanga wrote:Well what do you call it when a whole bunch of people with nothing more in common than they go to the same kind of church believe that their god created the heavens and the earth and all creatures upon the earth just as they are, such that "evolution is hooey" as has been proclaimed by a member of the Texas board of education?

I'd call it "stupidity". Maybe "epistemophobia" if I wanted to sound posh. :)

And no, it's not synonymous with or caused by religion. As someone who grew up in Soviet Union (with its tradition of militant atheism), I can attest that non-religious people can be just as stupid, bigoted, belligerently ignorant, resolutely opposed to all new knowledge and stuck in their dogmatic ways as the worst Bible-thumping fanatics.


As the recent gay legislation proved, if I'm not mistaken. Funny, how Mother Russia is so much less faithful than the U.S., but still has such a hard time tackling the very same social issues. Or maybe it's me not really understanding Russian politics?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:53 am

Sagara wrote:As the recent gay legislation proved, if I'm not mistaken. Funny, how Mother Russia is so much less faithful than the U.S., but still has such a hard time tackling the very same social issues. Or maybe it's me not really understanding Russian politics?


No, you've nailed it. :(

The flavor of bullshit is different here, but the core components are the same - entrenched stupidity and oppression of everything that is different. You can take Shoju's list, replace "...you'll go to hell" with '...it's unnatural', '...it's not patriotic' or '...it's a menace to society', and it will be spot on.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:48 am

Sagara wrote:As the recent gay legislation proved, if I'm not mistaken. Funny, how Mother Russia is so much less faithful than the U.S., but still has such a hard time tackling the very same social issues. Or maybe it's me not really understanding Russian politics?


The Soviet Union was agressivly atheistic. Russia, on the other hand, has seen a great resurgence in religious beliefs. The patriarch of the orthodox church has a very close relationship with Putin.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:56 am

Paxen wrote:The Soviet Union was agressivly atheistic. Russia, on the other hand, has seen a great resurgence in religious beliefs. The patriarch of the orthodox church has a very close relationship with Putin.


But from the looks of it, they decided to paint it in the colors of nature, antipatriotism and antisocial instead of sinful. Different coat of paint for the same brand of hatred.

I guess

Image

is appropriate.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:58 am

Let's be honest... everyone is gay compared to Putin, the paragon of manliness... =P

Image
Although to be fair, George Bush Sr. looks manlier here =P

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby aureon » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:42 am

How was that manga called? it freaking rocked.
For necroing the quiz:

Economic Left/Right: -9.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.90

Not surprising, since i'm ideologically a communist, really.

For something tangentially related: Does anyone here subscribe to Austrian economics over Keynesian? if so, why?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:56 am

Paxen wrote:The patriarch of the orthodox church has a very close relationship with Putin.


He's also a living example of the old saying about power and corruption, along with many other higher-ups of ROC.

The scandals involving Catholic priests tend to involve forbidden lusts; among their Orthodox counterparts, greed is a far more popular sin. For instance, back in the nineties, the Orthodox Church convinced the government to grant it an exemption from customs fees in order to 'import humanitarian aid' - then used it to funnel cigarettes, strong alcohol, caviar and luxury cars. The patriarch himself recently gave a public speech on the dangers of consumerism and the importance of plain and humble living... while brandishing a gold wristwatch worth over 34000 euros.

That said, this kind of thing is par for the course for Russian powers that be. We've got officials from Ministry of Home Affairs abducting businessmen for ransom, agents of Federal Drug Control Service overdosing on cocaine and heroin, representatives of the Parliamentary Committee for Matters Concerning Young Persons with a taste for teenage girls and the Chief State Health Inspector who believes that a human body does not need more than two hours of sleep per day. :(
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:12 am

I sometimes think that the Soviet Union is a terrible example of communism (whether you want to praise it or demonize it), because it's communism seen through the very weird lense that is Russia.

Russia hasn't exactly been a model state before the Soviet era nor after it. Or during, for that matter.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:32 pm

Nooska wrote:
69% of Americans are very or moderately religious: http://www.gallup.com/poll/159050/seven ... gious.aspx So the majority of religious people in the US believe in a strict interpretation of creationism, if one assumes that none of the nonreligious people believe in creationism, which seems logical, although we are talking about Americans here...

Selfdescribing as "very" or "Moderately" religious does not mean that each and every one of them subscribes to every "very" or "moderately" relifious or fanatical idea (depending on how you describe it).

Also, on the faith/science intersection - science doesn't explain why, it explains how (and the causality of how).
For instance, science explains how lightning is formed physcially due to the different charge of ground and clouds or inbetween clouds. That does not preclude that the metaphysical reason for the lightning isn't Zeus, Thor or God.

An analogy, a microwave oven pushes waterparticles in food so it heats up. That explains why food gets hot causality. But it doesn't explain that it only does so because I started the microwave - now imaginge you could observe the effects and causality of the microwave, and could explain the workings of the microwave oven (on a much larger scale), but couldn't perceive or explain me - some would say that science in such a world would deny my existence, but it doesn't, it simply explains what can be perceived and what can be explained.

Actually biological science can explain why you feel a sensation you interpret as "hunger". Economics can explain why you resort to microwavable food. Physical science can explain the workings of the microwave. Heck, sociologists and marketing experts can explain the advertising triggers that caused you to purchase the specific thing you are cooking. There are no mysteries there whatsoever.

Physical science can show that weather patterns cause circumstances in which a build up of charged particles leads inevitably to a lightning strike. No intelligence is required to create and/or guide the lightning.

Frightened people seeing bright lights and hearing loud bangs might invent an intelligence behind the lightning so that they might feel safer - if they please the intelligence they are less likely to be struck by the scary flashes from the sky. They can even use it to keep frightened children in line - be good or the big scary flash will cook you like it did that cow the other day. It can even be used to advance someone's social status - I have survived the great flash from the sky, therefore I am touched by the intelligence and am most fit to lead - once I stop twitching and smouldering.

No intelligence is required to create lightning - it just happens due to physical conditions leading to the discharge of electricity. Humans seeking patterns in everything invent the metaphysics to explain that which they don't understand.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:38 pm

Fridmarr wrote:Are you seriously suggesting that's OK to use such language because the bible does the same thing?  Do you always treat people by association with a demographic?  I find that appalling.  It's at the root of some of the worst sorts of behavior of mankind.


I'm not suggesting that. Are you saying that t's appalling when I say it, but when a Religion's Text says it, it's ok? That the Bible and "God" can paint all of humanity in broad strokes, and that's ok, but when Shoju says it on a forum, WATCHOUT! That's appalling?

You're right, it is at the heart of some of the worst sorts of behavior that Mankind has ever seen. The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, The Holocaust. It was all centered around treating people by association.

It's terrible and tragic, but Admitting that it's the broadest term, and that it's not perfect, and then pointing out that in your example, Religious Text does what you have a problem with, isn't appalling.

 
It's also not a singular entity and not capable of having a singular position, which is the point.


You're right. It's not a singular entity. Which is part of the problem. From the outside, it's "Religion", even though from a more "realistic" perspective, it's not. If you get right down to it, and apply rationale to it, you can see that it's not a singular entity. The problem is, because of the negative interactions that end up occurring, You end up where people with a problem with " a religion" end up lumping it together with the ones that they might not have a problem with.

Is it right? no.
Is it fair? no.
Is it what people do? Yes. I'm even guilty of it at times.

 
Shoju wrote:Yeah. You're right. I forgot about all the stunning talks I had growing up.

Don't listen to that, you'll go to hell
Don't have sex before marriage, you'll go to hell
Don't masturbate, you'll go to hell
Don't get tattoos, you'll go to hell
Don't be gay, you'll go to hell
Don't have an abortion, you'll go to hell
Don't use Birth Control, you'll go to hell.

Oh right, because those are really effective.  Nothing convinces a person to not do something like a threat that they'll go to hell (which again...not a universal axiom of religion).  How many on that list have you done/supported?  I'm guessing it's not zero...that's a pretty shitty gun, or are you actually posting from hell?  They aren't based on doctrines of religion, they are based on doctrines of a religion...I have no idea which one, but there's probably one out there like that.


They are BANKING on the idea, that Hell is scary enough to keep you in line. MANY Conservative Christian Churches would label everything I posted as a sin. If you Sin, and don't repent, you go to hell. Period.

I'm not posting from hell. That's my main point. I'm alive, and well. but that doesn't stop conservative Christian Churches from using it as a gun. You could trim the list down if you want, and reach a far higher demographic of the Christian, and even Abrahamic Faiths. Doctrine, and religious regulations, are the issue.

Sex Before Marriage is a sin according to Abrahamic Faiths, including Christian/Catholic, Judaism, and Islam. Sin, without repentance, and a life dedicated to god = Hell.
The Bible Calls it Fornication in the KJ translation, and it is spoken about as a sin throughout the new testament.

Masturbating is a sin according to the Abrahamic Faiths, including Christian/Catholic, Judaism, and Islam. Sin, without repentance, and a life dedicated to god = Hell.
While it isn't as expressly described in the bible, The most common source of ire towards it comes from Matthew 5:28-29 Where it is referenced that even thinking of a woman in an impure way is a sin (fantasizing). This is the basis for a large portion of Sexual Morality Doctrine.

Homosexuality is a sin according to the Abrahamic Faiths, including Christian/Catholic, Judaism, and Islam. Sin, without repentance, and a life dedicated to god = Hell.
Christians quote multiple places throughout the bible that they believe speak directly towards this. I'll leave out the differentiations that there are, the debate about whether it does or doesn't say what they say isn't meant for this. It's the basis of the doctrine that they use to tell you that you are going to hell.

Abortion is a sin according to the Abrahamic Faiths, including Christian/Catholic, Judaism, and Islam. Sin, without repentance, and a life dedicated to god = Hell.
Most notably, from the bible, they quote Jeremiah 1:5, where it is said that God knew you before he formed you in the womb, meaning that from the time that you are conceived, you are a person, and abortion is the same as murder. It's a sin. It's the doctrine. I've not met too many churches who disagree on this one.

Tattoos is a pretty denomination specific type of thing. Many Pentacostal churches are ambivalent, deferring to subject matter, over the act, while other, more socially conservative denominations are rather serious about it.

Birth Control is sort of hit or miss, but the largest denomination of Christian Doctrine (Catholicism) considers it a sin. That's a pretty big slice of the pie.

I'm glad that you presume to know what people want and what they do.  I mean based on the stellar examples of religious influences that you have commented on in your life, it's clear that you ought have the entire planet figured out.  I'm sorry that your interactions have been so terrible for you, I really am, but I don't think that projecting them on to everybody else paints an accurate picture.  How familiar are you with people of faiths that aren't Christian?  I'm just curious because everything you rail about seems limited to that group.


That's not a far leap to make. Consider, that if I were wrong in assuming that the majority of those in a religious setting want the safety and security of being "shepherded" that we would see far more pastors, and far less people in the pew. Far less Super Churches, Far more smaller Churches.

My life and religion sucked. It was terrible. I could write a novel about the batshit insane ideas that were shoved in my head as a kid and teenager. Some of it, purposeful, meaning to be "scary" things, and other things, that were just terribly stupid things to tell a 4 year old boy about why his brother died.

I'm highly critical of them. I'm more than slightly educated on the other Abrahamic Faiths, but I wouldn't call myself an expert. I'll admit my shortcomings when it comes to non Abrahamic Faiths. They've fascinated me, but I've not studied them as much as the Abrahamic Faiths. A lot of my issues are implicitly with the Abrahamic Faith(s). I wouldn't be highly critical of Hinduism, or Buddism, since I'm not familiar with them. I wont even say that they "sound better" than others, because my knowledge on their subject matter is just that limited.

On the other hand, I'm well versed in Christianity, learning more about Catholicism specifically, and I have more than a passing knowledge of Judaism and Islam.


Yes, unfortunately you are not alone.  Sadly, it's a rather common position.  Religion the societal construct isn't anything special.  It's not particularly different than most other of the countless societal constructs.  It can be good, bad, or indifferent.  I'm glad we don't treat the local book club like we do the KKK though.  Maybe we should look at each religious group on its own merits instead of on our own interactions with religion or whatever stereotype we want to apply to them.


I take issue with Religion and specifically those that I do, because too often the goal is control and conformity, by pushing a fear. I have much respect for some Christian Pastors, and their work. One of the biggest reasons that I still struggle with my beliefs, is because of a Christian Pastor, and his message. His views are more progressive, and pushes for people to learn, read, and understand. And lately, he's taken a lot of heat over his beliefs, because he pushes a more "passive" less damning outlook. When I read his works, and watch his DvD's, There is something about it that seems more inline with what I think the goal of Christianity should be.

Maybe my beef is with a very vocal minority. Maybe things are more progressive now than they have been before. That is a distinct possibility. But it took 20+ years to get me to a point where I reviled the modern Christian Church as a "religious entity". It's colored how I look at religions. It makes me tense up when I start looking at doctrine, and see the same old habits, and ways used in "different" manners.

And really, I think if we're going to continue to have a faith war, we should move it out of the political thread.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:00 pm

aureon wrote:How was that manga called? it freaking rocked.


Legend of Koizumi, in which Pope Benedict, Putin, Yulia Timoshenko, Junichiro Koizumi, Papa Bush and Bush Jr fight Hitler using the power of Mahjong.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Skye1013 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:07 pm

Koatanga wrote:
Nooska wrote:An analogy, a microwave oven pushes waterparticles in food so it heats up. That explains why food gets hot causality. But it doesn't explain that it only does so because I started the microwave - now imaginge you could observe the effects and causality of the microwave, and could explain the workings of the microwave oven (on a much larger scale), but couldn't perceive or explain me - some would say that science in such a world would deny my existence, but it doesn't, it simply explains what can be perceived and what can be explained.
Physical science can show that weather patterns cause circumstances in which a build up of charged particles leads inevitably to a lightning strike. No intelligence is required to create and/or guide the lightning.

...

No intelligence is required to create lightning - it just happens due to physical conditions leading to the discharge of electricity. Humans seeking patterns in everything invent the metaphysics to explain that which they don't understand.

I could be interpreting what Nooska was saying incorrectly, but what I got out of his post was "how do we know there isn't an intelligence behind the build up of the particles required to create a lightning strike?" Sure, we can prove, maybe even recreate, how a lightning strike occurs, but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't an intelligent being behind the movement of those particles.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:25 pm

Skye1013 wrote:I could be interpreting what Nooska was saying incorrectly, but what I got out of his post was "how do we know there isn't an intelligence behind the build up of the particles required to create a lightning strike?" Sure, we can prove, maybe even recreate, how a lightning strike occurs, but that doesn't necessarily mean there isn't an intelligent being behind the movement of those particles.

It cannot be proven that there isn't an intelligence behind it in the same way that it cannot be proven that you are not a space alien. Hint: Any proof you can provide will be dismissed as your attempt to hide your alien nature.

It is logically impossible to disprove a negative.

I did understand what Nooska was saying. My response is that there are physical mechanics that take place in the atmosphere that lead to a build up of electrons at that particular place at that particular time that results in a discharge.

If a butterfly flaps its wings in the tropics, it could propagate a chain of events that would cause that lightning bolt to strike 1mm to the left or the right, but it's pretty much going to strike where it's going to strike, based on scientific principles. The events leading up to the strike are also consistent with the physical laws governing the universe as we understand them, as are the events leading to those events, and so on, and so on.

Now, if out of a clear blue sky on a calm summer's day a tornado suddenly spawned, without wall clouds or wind shears or the like, that would be something entirely inconsistent with physical laws and I may accept the argument of an intelligence behind it. But a lightning strike from a storm cloud that completely obeys all physical laws? I see nothing in that to suggest intelligence.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:21 pm

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:57 pm

Koatanga wrote:It cannot be proven that there isn't an intelligence behind it in the same way that it cannot be proven that you are not a space alien. Hint: Any proof you can provide will be dismissed as your attempt to hide your alien nature.

It is logically impossible to disprove a negative.

I did understand what Nooska was saying. My response is that there are physical mechanics that take place in the atmosphere that lead to a build up of electrons at that particular place at that particular time that results in a discharge.

If a butterfly flaps its wings in the tropics, it could propagate a chain of events that would cause that lightning bolt to strike 1mm to the left or the right, but it's pretty much going to strike where it's going to strike, based on scientific principles. The events leading up to the strike are also consistent with the physical laws governing the universe as we understand them, as are the events leading to those events, and so on, and so on.

Now, if out of a clear blue sky on a calm summer's day a tornado suddenly spawned, without wall clouds or wind shears or the like, that would be something entirely inconsistent with physical laws and I may accept the argument of an intelligence behind it. But a lightning strike from a storm cloud that completely obeys all physical laws? I see nothing in that to suggest intelligence.


But the final point isn't about proving an intelligence is behind some or all of the events of the Universe, it's to point out that it isn't a total impossibility. He's not even discussing how likely that might be, or what would be needed to prove it.

To push further on the same line, what if, the Big Bang was a deliberate action, whose ramifications were planned to create an Universe based on a set of laws, which unfolded in a predictable pattern. Is it logically sound? Yes. But is it a reasonable assumption? No - it's just not supported nor denied by evidence at all. It is merely a belief, a possible answer among myriad others, that may or may not be infirmed or confirmed as evidence gathers.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:58 am

Sagara wrote:But the final point isn't about proving an intelligence is behind some or all of the events of the Universe, it's to point out that it isn't a total impossibility. He's not even discussing how likely that might be, or what would be needed to prove it.

To push further on the same line, what if, the Big Bang was a deliberate action, whose ramifications were planned to create an Universe based on a set of laws, which unfolded in a predictable pattern. Is it logically sound? Yes. But is it a reasonable assumption? No - it's just not supported nor denied by evidence at all. It is merely a belief, a possible answer among myriad others, that may or may not be infirmed or confirmed as evidence gathers.

I already granted that it's impossible to prove the impossibility of it. I am not going to say it isn't a total impossibility, because for me it is impossible because that is my belief. I am not going to consider it was caused or directed by a god any more than I would consider it would be caused or directed by Marvin the Martian.

For you, maybe it isn't impossible because that's what you believe. For someone who believes in a different deity, maybe theirs is possible and yours is not.

But as far as I am concerned, there is a perfectly rational explanation for lightning using simply physical laws, so the claim that there is intelligence behind it is an extraordinary one that requires extraordinary proof, of which there is not an extraordinary amount, but in fact none whatsoever.

But I can't prove that it's impossible any more than you can prove that it is definite. I just believe it to be so and have the backing of all known scientific principles.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:12 am

Koatanga wrote:I already granted that it's impossible to prove the impossibility of it. I am not going to say it isn't a total impossibility, because for me it is impossible because that is my belief. I am not going to consider it was caused or directed by a god any more than I would consider it would be caused or directed by Marvin the Martian.

For you, maybe it isn't impossible because that's what you believe. For someone who believes in a different deity, maybe theirs is possible and yours is not.

But as far as I am concerned, there is a perfectly rational explanation for lightning using simply physical laws, so the claim that there is intelligence behind it is an extraordinary one that requires extraordinary proof, of which there is not an extraordinary amount, but in fact none whatsoever.

But I can't prove that it's impossible any more than you can prove that it is definite. I just believe it to be so and have the backing of all known scientific principles.


I'm going to be grating for the coming line, but bear with me: You're not backed by science *at all*. Science doesn't give jack sh*t whether weather pattern exist because of random chance or intelligent creation. The pattern can be observed, and it and its root causes can be explained and detailed by other patterns that are similarly observed and explained. That's it, end of story.

Now, that doesn't mean your belief is invalid - far from it. Like you mentionned, there is zero evidence, one way or another. In the end, everything we do is try and play games to fill the gaps until something observable and explainable comes along.

Also, for the record, I don't hold much faith in a higher power - it's just another interesting idea to toy around with, until something can be nailed down.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:44 am

Sagara wrote:I'm going to be grating for the coming line, but bear with me: You're not backed by science *at all*. Science doesn't give jack sh*t whether weather pattern exist because of random chance or intelligent creation. The pattern can be observed, and it and its root causes can be explained and detailed by other patterns that are similarly observed and explained. That's it, end of story.


But he is. Science doesn't concern itself with stuff that's unobservable and unproveable. So, with respects to science, god doesn't exist. Because there's no sign of him/her/it/them.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:08 am

aureon wrote:For something tangentially related: Does anyone here subscribe to Austrian economics over Keynesian? if so, why?


No, but I generally subscribe to Neoclassical or Mainstream theory over pure Keynesian.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:35 am

Paxen wrote:
Sagara wrote:I'm going to be grating for the coming line, but bear with me: You're not backed by science *at all*. Science doesn't give jack sh*t whether weather pattern exist because of random chance or intelligent creation. The pattern can be observed, and it and its root causes can be explained and detailed by other patterns that are similarly observed and explained. That's it, end of story.


But he is. Science doesn't concern itself with stuff that's unobservable and unproveable. So, with respects to science, god doesn't exist. Because there's no sign of him/her/it/them.


Slight differenciation: with respects to science, god has no influence - it cannot be measured, cannot be felt.

Stolen from Wiwkipedia's page on the Evidence_of_absence: Cambridge companion to Atheism:
[Advocates] of the presumption of atheism... insist that it is precisely the absence of evidence for theism that justifies their claim that God des not exist. The problem with such a position is captured neatly by the aphorism, beloved of forensic scientists, that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." The absence of evidence is evidence of absence only in case in which, were the postulated entity to exist, we should expect to have more evidence of its existence than we do.


In short, the best the scientific method can announce is "Given how little proof there exist for the existence of a higher power, it is likely this higher power does not exist, although its non-existence cannot reliably be demonstrated."

Which by the way, also means that religious organisation had better shut their hole when babbling about how the Bible is "proof" of anything.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:41 am

Are we going to have to drag out the invisible, intangible chair metaphor here? Don't make me drag out the chair.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Sagara » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:00 am

Please do. The worst part is I'm a soft atheist, so I'm actually digging up counterpoints against myself.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:42 am

Shoju wrote:
Fridmarr wrote:Are you seriously suggesting that's OK to use such language because the bible does the same thing?  Do you always treat people by association with a demographic?  I find that appalling.  It's at the root of some of the worst sorts of behavior of mankind.


I'm not suggesting that. Are you saying that t's appalling when I say it, but when a Religion's Text says it, it's ok? That the Bible and "God" can paint all of humanity in broad strokes, and that's ok, but when Shoju says it on a forum, WATCHOUT! That's appalling?
You are obviously not paying attention. Of course I think those sorts of comments are appalling regardless of the source. I have no particular need to defend the bible.

Shoju wrote:You're right, it is at the heart of some of the worst sorts of behavior that Mankind has ever seen. The Crusades, The Spanish Inquisition, The Holocaust. It was all centered around treating people by association...
Is it right? no.
Is it fair? no.
Is it what people do? Yes. I'm even guilty of it at times.
So stop it. You're not a mindless drone. It is not like it's remotely difficult to not do it, and you seem to recognize the seriousness of that line of thinking. I doubt you do it around the more "politically correct" topics, so just don't it with religion either.
 
Shoju wrote:They are BANKING on the idea, that Hell is scary enough to keep you in line. MANY Conservative Christian Churches would label everything I posted as a sin.
Then they'll be bankrupt. In the westernized world where churches no longer control the police and military, where information is easily accessible, you aren't going to pull masses of people into a faith for long based on fear and intimidation. It always ultimately fails. You're proof that's it's not very effective. Adults who stick with it are choosing too, whether through agreement or indifference, it's a choice.

Shoju wrote:If you Sin, and don't repent, you go to hell. Period.
I don't really think that matters, but as an aside...My understanding of the protestant side of the house is that, that is really not true, in fact it strikes at one of the major separations between Catholics and protestants. That is the notion that going to heaven isn't based on deeds, it's based on the acceptance of Christ as your savior. Once you've done that, you're saved and not going to hell. Am I misunderstanding that? Does that mean that anyone who dies sort of unexpectedly and without time to repent is almost certainly going to hell? Now Catholics are more complicated, with "meritorious" deeds (and maybe even purgatory) being added to the equation, but that said, no they don't believe that if you jack off and don't repent, that you're going to hell. At least the catholic church my mother made me go to never taught anything close to that, and they have their hierarchy that reaches up to the Vatican, so I'd assume that they aren't freeforming it.

Again, none of that is important to my point, and this isn't the place for a theological education, if you (or anyone else) have any reading you'd like to impart on me, do it via PM. I'm genuinely curious.

Shoju wrote:That's not a far leap to make. Consider, that if I were wrong in assuming that the majority of those in a religious setting want the safety and security of being "shepherded" that we would see far more pastors, and far less people in the pew. Far less Super Churches, Far more smaller Churches.

My life and religion sucked. It was terrible. I could write a novel about the batshit insane ideas that were shoved in my head as a kid and teenager.
Not a far leap? Far leap is a ridiculous understatement. Projecting your experience of religion, which you admit to being batshit insane onto the rest of the planet...I can't imagine a leap any further than that.

Shoju wrote:Maybe my beef is with a very vocal minority.
No one I know that is religious seems to act out of fear. Those that have talked to me about it, don't attempt to intimidate me, they are concerned for me. The more ardent among them, those that question things like carbon dating and evolution do a lot of studying. They have their bibles that they are constantly taking notes in, they attend biblical study groups, and especially the single ones attend all sorts of church functions. Assuming that like the general population most people that I know are probably religious, it's a small percentage that really talk much about it all.
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