Escape from Elba

Science and Technology => Science and Religion => Topic started by: Admin on August 20, 2007, 03:23:35 PM



Title: Science and Religion
Post by: Admin on August 20, 2007, 03:23:35 PM
Americans are flocking to a hi-tech Creation Museum where man and dinosaurs frolick happily together
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2872252.ece


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on August 20, 2007, 04:50:34 PM
It's a very comforting feeling to be here," admits Nancy Spivey, 65, who has driven all the way from North Carolina ' to visit the museum with her husband, Al, 65, a retired insurance executive. The couple consider themselves creationists and are thrilled to find such a "quality" place supporting their views. "A lot of so-called intelligent people think that if you believe in creationism you are not very bright, but you get away from that here," Nancy adds. "Everywhere else, we feel bullied and pushed around," says Al, noting that the evolutionary thesis of Darwin is the accepted wisdom in every other natural history museum in America, not to mention in its public schools and universities. For them, this is a sanctuary.

For me this is the crux of the issue. These people (starting off with a generalization)  want so badly to feel like martyrs that they have created their own "victim class' of the oppressed. Instead of recognizing that the facts, they concoct in their individual ans collective minds that the museum community is allied against them personally and institutionally.

My sense here however is that there is a homogeneity amongst the posters here that would preclude a rousing spirited, spirit spitballer of a spat. As opposed to the NYT where the forum was a great meeting ground for combatants of the status quo and staunch change backarians against those against the status quo who were change forwarriords. here there is a sense of membership privilege where the community is more important than individual ideological fortresses, slinging arrows and mal mots at each other. Ahh how I loved those olden days....

I wish that I were able to maintain a level of theistic and atheistic, scientific v. scientismic, mythological and supernatural discourse. Alas, I fall far short. I find that even my most perplexing plastic trial balloon was punctured by PS Rain back in those later early days when he described time as being stochastic and therefore there is natural cause to such issues as precognition. Ever since then I've had a different view of time, a third option, as it were (I liked PSRain, I know there are some here to whom the very mention of the name causes BVDs to bunch up. But I liked him. He was one of the few that I met that could take a punch, give a punch and then give you a hand up so that the fun could be had again. Oh he was filthy alright, there was not dirt road he wouldn't travel down if he needed to, or if he just wanted to , or it might be that you met him along the road, maybe he was coming back from the place you were not even really planning to go.)

When discussions get to the point of how many evolutionary leaps it might take to make an eye... well, that's when I go scientismist, I fall back on a faith rooted in the idea the the eyeball is here and it works fairly well, (and what i think is pretty cool about the eye is that it evolved differently in lots of different critters. Some see black and white some see thousands of images and compress them into one, scallops have eyes (That strikes me as cool). Some use sound instead of light. But the math involved in the eyeball debate is beyond what I know, it'd take years to teach me (assuming I were a willing student) what I don't know just to tell me what I don't know that I don't know.

Some of my fondest memories of the NYT forums were the countless hours spent arguing on the Science and Religion board, with WRCooper? and Showalter? and some westcoast/Hawaii time guy who.... AlexanderK something IIRsemiC...  who only came out late at night so you knew if you were talking to him that it was time to start getting ready for work!

Here's hoping for a lively debate, where everyone keeps in mind (tucked away deep so that it doesn't get in the way) that nobody hates the other person for thinking differently; just for saying it out loud!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on August 21, 2007, 02:52:43 AM
" . . . just for saying it out loud."  LOL, Obertray.  Good line.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Thinking Plague on August 24, 2007, 08:33:25 PM
"We are told how the world is no more than 6,000 years old and Noah's Flood created all the world's fossils as well as its topography as we know it (including the Grand Canyon, gouged by its ebbing waters)."

It is for these reasons that I could not be more opposed to the teaching of creation in our public schools.

I don’t even know where to begin or if I should even bother.
 
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. - Genesis 1:1

When did this occur?  Does it say 6,000 years ago?

Not convinced?  Let’s look at the next verse.

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. - Genesis 1:2

How long was the earth “without form, and void” and how long did the Spirit of God “hover over the face of the waters”?

Does it say anything regarding duration of time?

Better yet, WHY was the Earth “without form, and void” and WHY did the Spirit of God “hover over the face of the waters”?  (I.E. What occurred between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2?)

[I can address these questions from Scripture in another post but I want people to focus on this 6,000 year "house of cards" timeline.]


What is the total duration of (Genesis 1:1) + (the time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2) + (Genesis 1:2).

From the text it is unknowable.  The creation of the Earth could have occurred billions of years ago when God brought the universe into being.

However, the purpose of Scripture is not the dating of the Earth or universe.  That is better left to the realm of science.

From Genesis to Revelation only one matter is in view, the salvation of mankind.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on August 24, 2007, 09:35:44 PM
"From Genesis to Revelation only one matter is in view, the salvation of mankind."

Unfortunately if we use that line as a premise further meaningful discussion would end.  But if we were to use Genesis as one of many texts which might point to ancient beliefs regarding creation, we might find more evidence to support a pseudo creationist view that at least could do battle with the strictly scientific notion--every bit as closed as the most fundamental Christian.  In my experience it cant happen and not from one side but both. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on August 25, 2007, 02:17:02 AM
kKeep talking, John.  I'm listening.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on August 25, 2007, 10:41:05 AM
This site has many broken links but what is there is worth the effort:

http://www.mythofcreation.co.uk/Arguments_explore/Arguments.htm


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 09, 2007, 02:06:29 PM
Oddly enough, I've never found it to be worth the effort.  Creationism is superstitious hogwash.  My son was able to recognize its inanity at around age 9.  His mother had been taking him to church and the sunday school teacher was into the whole Creationism thing and had tried to teach him that the earth was a few millenia old, etc.  He came to me, quite confused, and asked how there could be all those fossils and such that were much older and why there would be some all-powerful Giant Elf or whatever who would go to the trouble of burying fake fossils all over the world and adjusting their isotope ratios and stratigraphic placement and such so as to fool everyone.  (OK, he didn't say "stratigraphic placement" but that was the gist of it....)  I called the idiot up and discovered, to my intense horror, that he had a degree in science and was actually teaching at some small religious college in the area.  My son was lucky, only having his natural bent towards questioning and thinking critically sharpened, but I do worry about the college kids at the school where this guy is teaching life sciences.  It's a Seventh Day Adventist college, and I fear that the science degrees they hand out are not worth the paper they're printed on.   


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 09, 2007, 02:13:31 PM
It's a Seventh Day Adventist college, and I fear that the science degrees they hand out are not worth the paper they're printed on.   

There you go, Barton.  And, disturbingly, at more schools like that than we'd care to know about.  And then there's home schooling . . . .


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 10, 2007, 03:30:46 PM
Well I certainly agree that the Creationism routine is hogwash....

On the hand, ex out the "the world is 6,000 years old" presupposition and the "Guided evolution" theory becomes heavier in the hand (not as easy to dismiss out of hand).

What this does also allow for is the idea that we are not the end product of Evolution and that we are but a bend in the road (perhaps the symbol should not be a tree but a roadmap, which, since there was no other critter developing one of sufficient complexity, the guide had to take evolution down our sidestreet so that we could invent it, then the next iteration of evolution will intrinsically grasp the concept. Perhaps we are not the object of evolution at all, but rather the concepts are what keep evolving and the animals are simply the vessles of that evolution.

Perhaps we are nothing but a thought process...

That'd be ironic!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 10, 2007, 04:07:57 PM
Ober, down that road lies fibrilation of the brain, but as an idea . . . interesting to mull over.  And very ironic.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 11, 2007, 11:08:13 AM
Yes, the idea that thought is the driver of evolution may indeed lead to cranial explosion a'la Mars Attacks.

But it does make more sense than I'm entitled to make of it. "I think therefore I am" We think, therefore we are. How many billions of years of collected wisdom do we take for granted? We call it instinct. At a baser level we don't even call it because we can't conceptualize its not being there. Like sight, even the blind aren't without the concept of sight. For the Lord said "Let there be light" what is light but sight? The very secondest life forms were those who had the advantage of light detection over those who became their food (or who starved due to the lack of food left over after the sighted ones et all.

How much longer before we discovered community? Not very in that we became multicelled organisms and then raced along a path of greater and greater complexity and individuaization of communal tasks (I wonder if Dinosaurs had white blood cells and if not then was it the introduction of the concept of white blood cells that is at the basis for pinkblood survival (gotta hop, the silicon life form is intruding o


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 11, 2007, 04:53:15 PM
Perhaps the dinosaurs' greatest contribution to the concept continuum was "Controlled Growth"

It always struck me as odd that the dinosaurs grew to such immense size and then, since then only a few whales match them. Why was this?

I always liked the asteroid theory, not the one that killed off the dinosaurs with a "Nuclear winter" like climate change. Not that there wasn't the asteroid or the nuclear winter that coincided with the end of the big ones. The problem I have with the winter issue is the idea that the asteroid was the only nuclear winter they experienced. They say that if Yellowstone pops, then we're in for a nuclear winter. I can't imagine that over the millions of years that the last period of the bigosaurs trod the earth, that there was never a time that there weren't eruptions of the Yellowstone, Krakatau, Pinatubo and Mt St Helens all at the same time casting a darkness from which the dinos emerged.

So I have liked to think that there is the "force" that is the driver of life and it's evolution that has no regard for its direction, just so long as it has a place to go. I like to think that this energy is attracted to carbon, and that any planet with sufficient carbon deposit will eventually attract this energy. Before the asteroid, the energy was superabundant on Earth and as a result, life forms grew to spectacular size.  When the asteroid slammed into planet this one the resultant shock shook off a large amount of that life energy and as a result, nothing grew to the size that everything used to be (we ignore the whale because, well, it doesn't exactly fit into the equation).

On the other hand, however, if the earlier iterations had the same condition that Andre the Giant had (he hadn't the concept of "Stop Growing!") then the reason that they stopped making them like they used to (Dinosized) was that the last dinosaurs had developed this concept and assigned the job to the end of the dna strand.

Wondering now where the synthesis of this notion has come from.... I imagine that part of it comes from the guy who thinks we're a gigantic computer simulation. Part comes from (was it) Aldus Huxley's acid trip wherefrom he wrote that we were probably just yeast spores in a bottle of champagne (or they were like us). Part might come from Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, in which case, since I'm still here, the answer is apparently NOT 42. And part of it is just me, having the good time that DNR said I would on the way towards the Randle Patrick McMurphy treatment!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 11, 2007, 05:43:38 PM
Ober, on the computer thread, perhaps the great instigator fools with the DNA composistion as does the programmer--initiating, then finding and removing bugs.  Anyhoo, nice musings. Thanks.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: elportenito1 on September 12, 2007, 10:56:25 AM
science and religion= water and oil


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: elportenito1 on September 12, 2007, 10:59:41 AM
obertray:

"It always struck me as odd that the dinosaurs grew to such immense size and then, since then only a few whales match them. Why was this?"


Think Chevrolet Impala 1960 and you'll get the answer to your question. (The answer is: Volks Wagen.)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 12, 2007, 11:22:36 AM
Due to physics (ratios of volume to surface area, and such) extreme giantism is an evolutionary oddity --- give a planet billions of years and it becomes probable that many anomalies will happen.  Usually, any shift in climate tends to be traumatic, often resulting in diminished food supply for a species, so you get insular dwarfism for species that can't migrate somewhere else.  Evolution has seen many instances of pygmy species of horses, elephants, bovines, etc. where it was a response to tightening food supply.  Giantism, OTOH, is a rare development where there is a long spell of great abundance over a huge area, like the Cretaceous, and factors such as sexual display (which large size can be a form of) can run rampant in a sort of selective "arms race" effect.





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 12, 2007, 01:57:09 PM
Ober, indeed, why the whale?  What niche, exactly, does this huge mammal (I guess they're mammals) fill?

Barton, sheesh, feller, that's the driest I've ever heard describing the rise and fall of the dinasours.  :)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: liquidsilver on September 13, 2007, 02:13:11 PM
While its not really a popular theory anymore, the immense size of dinosaurs and other animals millions of years ago could be explained by the Expanded Earth theory as it would indicate that such beings lived in a state of reduced gravity


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 13, 2007, 03:46:33 PM
Liquid, have mercy and don't mess with my mind.  Reduced gravity?  Going into the Museum of Natural History in Denver, CO, and looking up, up, up at those bones strung together overhead is serious when you think of adding meat and muscle and that day's lunch, and then you stand next to one of the feet . . .


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 13, 2007, 04:53:48 PM
Why a whale?

Well have you ever had whale soup?

Let's go from the assumption that Whales and Porpoises were once land animals that adapted to water life over millions of years (some have said that man made the journey into the water but then came back to the land but that this is why we're so hairless and so upright and why our nose opens down and why we have such a brian, because the ocean was abundant in high protein foods. This might explain just a little bit how people got to Australia before there were boats, a question that really digs at me.) Perhaps they are still working out a separate segment of the problem and they haven't been able to reach a conclusion just yet. Or perhaps they have, but they haven't been able to add their conclusion to the general store of "Earthly Knowledge". Perhaps that knowledge, combined with ours combined with porpoisal proposals will be the key to the next lifeform iteration. Prehaps interspecies communication will be as common as societal living is today.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 14, 2007, 12:35:48 PM
I think Liquid was posting in a state of reduced gravity and increased levity.

David Brin's Uplift series of novels would be relevant reading to your dolphin speculations, Obertray.

I've read Startide Rising, which was excellent.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 14, 2007, 02:07:12 PM
Could you paraphrase it for us here Barton?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 14, 2007, 04:25:55 PM
I can't explain how, but science and religion never seemed to be much of a conflict to me, but I don't take the Garden of Eden thing literally.  But back then no one was worried about the conflict regarding how old the earth is, etc.  I don't know what moron gave all Christians a bad rap by deciding the earth is 6000 years old - that is sheer conjecture and has nothing to do with anything in the Bible, just dumb asses who assume the stories in the old testament took place that long ago, I guess.

There's this film called "Camp Jesus" that came out about a month or so ago - it's a documentary you can get in recent releases at the video store.  It's about an evangelical camp for children where they speak in tongues and teach them that evolution is wrong, etc.  Most of the kids are home schooled so they're taught that Adam and Eve were how the world began, etc.   I don't get where all this came from - the theory of evolution has been around for a very long time now, it's not anything new.  We just never did hear the church address it at all coming up, but now it's a fad.  I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, which is not evangelical because the people who call themselves evangelical these days are the ones who speak in tongues and go wild in their religious services - I got that much from the movie. 

Anyway, if anyone remembers that guy who was president of the evangelical church association or whatever they call it was outed as a homosexual about the same time the film was released.  This is a guy who was ranting about perversion and spewing homophobic sermons and he was doing the nasty with other men the whole time.  Anyway, it makes your skin crawl because there is a scene at the end where he is preaching to these kids.  Yikes.

I'm glad my family let me just compartmentalize it all - you all should see this one scene in this lady's kitchen.  She's home schooling her children and explaining why and she is just so ignorant and weird.  That's why I don't get how home schooling can be legal - a teacher has to have a certification and degree, but any bozo is allow to teach their child at home, regardless of their background.  The poor kids end up ignorant and intellectually stunted.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 14, 2007, 05:21:46 PM
I'm pretty sure that dumb asses name was Sir Isaac Newton! For certain he spent the last 40 (?) years of his life trying to date the Bible (work back the begats, as it were).

Actually, the Adam and Eve bit is a very intresting story in that the bad guy wins! What other theology starts out with the idea that we are all the children of the bad guy? None that I'm aware of. All mythologies idolize the founders of the faith. (Ok the Greeks weren'yt to happy with Prothemeus, and they send Pandora to haunt his existence as punishment for showing man fire. And yeah you can say that all are decendants of Pandora because she brought with her the plumbing we find so useful in the area of procreation.) It's an odd story to have been included, and it probably didn't come from the Semites originally.

Probably what happened was that the farmers took over the land of the hunter gatherers (who live in concert with nature and therefore in "God's Garden" where they had no need of planting and growing) and the hunter gatherers were told "Join or be killed", so they joined, but they weren't happy about it and they told tales to their young about how they used to be free and lived in "God's Garden" but Cain killed those who would not be like him.

Anyway Newton dated it back and back (I don't think he was successful as a matter of fact, but he did spend more than half his life trying) and if one took it back to the time of the biblical beginning, the Garden Of Eden would be it (according to the Bible) so if you're going to believe the bible is God's word, then you need to believe in the timing.

That's why this issue is SOOO important to Fundamentalist Christians. Without it, there is no validity to the concept that the Bible is the word of God. Without that there is nothing! Then it is only a matter of time before people are asking themselves "What am I doing this for?"

Furtherly. Religion .... Science owes its entirety to religion. Without religion there would not have been disciplined science.



 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 14, 2007, 08:58:48 PM
"if you're going to believe the bible is God's word, then you need to believe in the timing.

"That's why this issue is SOOO important to Fundamentalist Christians. Without it, there is no validity to the concept that the Bible is the word of God."

I'm not quite sure what you mean and would ask for some clarification.  I certainly can conceive the opposite of what you state, whether correctly or not is another question.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 15, 2007, 03:39:29 AM
Mmm, Ober, that was sooo good.  I'm going to cut out some figures and get you a felt board to put 'em up on.  Hot damn, if I'd had that in Sunday school I might have dropped out sooner than I did.  I love that Old Testament "join or be killed."  Talk about fractured religious tales . . .  :)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 17, 2007, 10:49:35 AM
Ober --

Religion has been a way for humans to fill gaps in understanding when their level of science can't do the job.  Early men could use scientific methods of reasoning to figure out how to cultivate certain crops, but didn't have the means to understand why the volcano suddenly erupted all over the corn field.  When the desire to understand cannot be satisfied by empirical and experimental methods, then a supernatural conjecture is made and a ritual developed so that people can feel they are doing something and maybe getting some bit of control.  As science has developed more range and muscle, the gaps are filled, and so religion beats a retreat to the more difficult and esoteric gaps.

The question is if there is some ultimate gap that will never be attainable with scientific methods.  And that, of course, is the big debate in areas like the study of the spontaneous formation of nucleic acids on new planets, or the nature of consciousness.  Or knowing what a photon is "really like" in itself, if such a concept is even meaningful.





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 17, 2007, 06:45:14 PM
Barton - The "God of the gaps" is a very limiting, materialistic view of God and spirituality.  Perhaps Augustine had a better view of God when he said: "Lord, you have made us for yourself, and our souls are restless until they find their rest in you." 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 18, 2007, 03:54:08 PM
Barton - The "God of the gaps" is a very limiting, materialistic view of God and spirituality.  Perhaps Augustine had a better view of God when he said: "Lord, you have made us for yourself, and our souls are restless until they find their rest in you." 

I don't think that, neither this nor barton's "God of the gaps" are instrumental in the close relationship that science has to religion. I feel that science owes its rigor to religion in that religion didn't just accept any alternative explanation of the natural world without soame Goddamned good proof!

It's a mistake of Scientismists to think that leaders of the Catholic church were at all like the brainless zealots that run so many of the protestant churches today.

Perhaps Augustine had a better view, but this quote doesn't display it. This quote is lead heavy with presupposition and self referential proof of the assumption.

Let me ask both scientsts and religious alike. What is "life"? (Asked like I have an answer. Which I do not)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: ponderosa on September 18, 2007, 05:38:24 PM
Life is more than what I bargained for.

Life is what one makes it out to be.

Life is a poker game played with a deck of 51 cards.

Life begins at conception, is chock full of introspection, and nears its end with some reflection.

Life is an obsession.

Life is a brand of cereals that even Mikey likes.

Life is up. Life is down.

Life needs watering.

Life is like a box of chocolates.

Life is a thread, living is the needle.

Life is funny.

Life beats the alternative.

"The difference between life and art is art is more bearable." Charles Bukowski


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: ponderosa on September 18, 2007, 05:56:16 PM
and life is wild...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NXkM8PsPXs


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: ponderosa on September 18, 2007, 06:06:28 PM
life is a lot less interesting without this guy but he did work to make it more interesting and bearable...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_PdIQu5dGY


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: ponderosa on September 18, 2007, 06:18:30 PM
life is beautiful...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ma5eYZCmBg


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 19, 2007, 12:37:36 AM
I feel that science owes its rigor to religion in that religion didn't just accept any alternative explanation of the natural world without soame Goddamned good proof!

I agree.  Modern science got its start from a Judeo-Christian worldview that among other things assumed that the universe reflects a God of order and reason (general revelation) and history is a line running from point to point rather than a repeating cycle of events.  Other worldviews of the time did not support investigation into the meaning of God's universe. 

Perhaps Augustine had a better view, but this quote doesn't display it. This quote is lead heavy with presupposition and self referential proof of the assumption.

Of course.  We all start with presuppositions.  Augustine started with the presupposition that God is a God of love that humankind can experience.  The deists start with the presuppostion that God is only a mechanic and find order, but no love.  Others start with the presupposition there is no God and amazingly enough do not find any trace of him.  ... or perhaps Augustine started with an experience of God and framed his ideas of God based on his experience rather than presupposition ....

Let me ask both scientsts and religious alike. What is "life"? (Asked like I have an answer. Which I do not)

Or the other issue we all must deal with - What is "death"?  Is it the end of all things (at least as far as we are concerned), or is there life after death?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 19, 2007, 08:14:01 AM
Well, science still owes much much much to pre judeo concepts. Math cults existed alongside Greek prephilosophers. And the Catholic university cirruculum is simply Aristotle's series of books. (it's early and the proper names are escaping me.)

We don't all start with presuppositions. The essense of science is to observe outside the realm of presupposition and then describe the observations.

"or perhaps Augustine started with an experience of God and framed his ideas of God based on his experience rather than presupposition ...."

I will stipulate that Augustine had an experience, however there is nothing that says it was an experience of God, other than Augustine's say so. And why would Augustine determine that it was Godly unless he already had the presupposition that such a thing existed.

Yes, at one point we might want to agree one "What is death" but we can't use "what isn't life" to define what life is. How could we possibly answer the question of life after death if we don't define life.

But I'll expand and contract the field by asking the religious side to define "soul" as opposed to life. But I ask you to define it without playing the "God card" eg. It's God's breath  for it is written that He breathed life into clay that then became Adam.

This is still the same basic question to the scientific among us, What is the energy that makes living things "live". Is it electricity? Is it a chemical reaction? A slow burning fire?

I (personally) do enjoy the perversion of the definition of living things (Ingestion, excretion, mobility, reproduction, others I'm forgetting) like the fitting of fire into the definition. But that's not what I'm asking.

Just to say, if I become insulting here, I really don't mean to. I do keep an open mind to this question (the big one) and I for one truely appreciate others who enjoy the debate as well. If I insult anyone, I'm sorry. Please feel free to smack me back and then let's move forward together.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 19, 2007, 10:59:03 AM
I think consciousness will have particular aspects explained by cognitive sciences (how the brain interprets particular sense data, like vision, say) but that its presence in the universe will remain more in the sphere of ontology, where religious conjecture has a proper place.   Physics has even suggested, to some of its practitioners, that a universe without a sentient observer cannot exist in any meaningful sense.  Scientists like John Wheeler have even toyed with the notion that our existence as conscious beings has in some retroactive way brought the universe into full existence and somehow set the parameters of the Big Bang, so that physical constants arise which allow carbon-chain molecules and the advent of life.

Because I don't believe in a universe of dead matter in which consciousness is just a pointless fluke, I am one who makes a leap of faith that is, in its essence, a religious one. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 19, 2007, 11:24:26 AM
I don't understand how people can believe that the beauty of nature, for example, is just a happy accident.  How do you explain the joy one feels when listening to bird calls on a sunny Fall day or watching several species of butterfly surround your garden flowers?  A quiet walk in the woods or a trek into Yosemite is truly a spiritual experience for me.  By the same token, what about the kind of genius that produces classical music or great art?  What does that have to do with survival of the fittest or adaptation?  Nothing, I say.  I just don't think evolution explains everything by any means, though there are plenty of people who believe it does.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 19, 2007, 11:29:39 AM
Barton,

I always look forward to your input, I have great respect for your mind.

"that a universe without a sentient observer cannot exist in any meaningful sense. "

Isn't this sort of a "If a Stealth jet crashes in the forest, does it make a sound?" sort of paradox?

By definition, there needs to be an observer for anything to have meaning.

Meanwhile, the observer always (maybe I'm contradicting myself here) creates his universe and or has his universe created for him (which takes into account areas that are not detectable by human beings, like ultra violet and beyond, and does not mean that there is an active setting of parameters). Doesn't this actually put the lie to the citation? Ultra violet light and radio waves surely existed throughout time even though we were not sentient enough to observe them.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 19, 2007, 11:39:29 AM
Desdemona222b,

The question becomes, "Are you beautiful because because I love you, or do I love you because you're beautiful?"

To the untrained ear, Indian music (and native American)and chinese music are gawdawful . I imagine that the same would be said by them of Mozart.

A bird chiring on a sunny Sunday late morning is beautiful... The same bird, the same sound several hours earlier is simply a homing signal for a shoe thrown out the window!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 19, 2007, 12:26:57 PM
Owen Barfield, in the voice of a character:

"Modern physics originally set out to investigate nature as something existing independently of the human mind. At a quite early stage a distinction was made between "primary" qualities, such as extension and mass, which were assumed to inhere in matter independently of the observer and 'secondary" qualities like color, which depend on the observer. Roughly speaking, physics has ended by having to conclude that all qualities are "secondary" in this sense, so that the whole world of nature as we actually experience it depends for its configuration on the mind and senses of man. It is what it is because of what we are."


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 19, 2007, 01:44:52 PM
Ober et al. -- I can't really summarize the ideas of people like wheeler or Paul Davies here, I suggest abook like "Cosmic Jackpot" by Davies to really get a grasp of the complexities and depth of such "anthropic" notions.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 19, 2007, 01:58:13 PM
Well, let me add that time, in modern physics, doesn't work in the linear way that you are taking it, Obertray.  When I say that sentient life brings the universe into existence, in the context of Wheeler and others, we are talking about very paradoxical situations that arise in quantum theory.  In essence, a universe that produces intelligent life over a period of billions of years will permit a kind of reverse causality, in which acts of observation long after the "big bang" will retroactively influence that beginning point in a way that, when symmetry is breaking down (again, I can't summarize this briefly) it "sets" the physical constants so that the universe we perceive ourselves to be "in" will have those highly specific values that allow the formation of matter, solar systems, and long-chain molecules.

IOW, the physics of matter-containing universes (which most universes in the "multiverse" will not have, as the physical constants after symmetry-breaking generally don't lead to the formation of matter) is somehow determined by consciousness.

And many physicists also believe that the longterm trend is towards all the energy available in such a universe to be eventually part of a supermind, as civilizations develop artificial intelligence and merge with it, so that the "omega point" of any such universe is a being that is indistinguishable from God.

Indeed, we could already be at that omega point and exist only as historical simulations within a cosmic supermind.  In which case, present physics is only the physics of observing a computer simulation.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 19, 2007, 02:48:57 PM
Indeed, we could already be at that omega point and exist only as historical simulations within a cosmic supermind.  In which case, present physics is only the physics of observing a computer simulation.

Barton -

I heard about that theory recently - it seems very far-fetched.  Why on earth would the participants in a computer game have historical and archeological data, for instance?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 19, 2007, 03:35:40 PM
desdemona222b

Why would a "God" have them? Why would a God who created man in "His" image put us way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way  way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way 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way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way 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way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way  way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way way way way way way way way way way way way wya way way way way over here? (you like the way I left a clue as to my creation myth in there?)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 19, 2007, 03:39:11 PM
Well, science still owes much much much to pre judeo concepts.

Agreed.  And many of these concepts came from the Arab nations, India and China; not from the West.

  We don't all start with presuppositions. The essense of science is to observe outside the realm of presupposition and then describe the observations. 

Au contraire.  Science starts with presuppositions also.  The most basic are those I mentioned in my earlier post - an orderly universe that can be understood by reason, and time that runs from point to point rather than as repeating cycle of events. 

These basic presuppositions were challenged in the last century by concepts such as general relativity and quantum mechanics that I cannot begin to understand.  What I find intriguing is that the West is losing its lead in science to Asia, and as Asia becomes the focal point of scientific thought even more of the West's presuppositions will be challenged.

As an aside, there are entire departments at the research university near my home where the professor and all of the graduate students come from Asia.  Scholars come here from Asia speaking good English, but after a couple of years at an American university their English skills have deteriorated because they do not use English in their departments.  Where are the Americans?  Probably in law school or seeking MBAs, where the money is.

Also, Western science carries with it the materialistic concept that if it can't be measured, it has no value.  It is interesting that many of the Asian scientists I know recognize the bankruptcy of materialism and have become Christians since they came to America.  The Christian church is growing by leaps and bounds in Asia where science is recognized and valued, but is dormant in the West.  This phenomonem is not limited to Christianity, as I understand other religious expressions are also growing in Asia.     



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 19, 2007, 03:56:26 PM
Barton,

Time as a fully existing plane (words fail me. In all honesty it's probably not the word's fault but rather a weak mind.) Time as compared to matter, neither added to nor subtracted from, all "time, past present and future existing in the same static "position" through which we passin a linear direction.

I buy that conceptualization of time. I'll also buy it as an infinite number our planes, each with it's own outcomes. While "I" am on this time plane, "I was" on that other time plane that had a an outcome of two cars meeting in the middle of that curve instead of narrowly missing as happened on this one.

Perhaps that is the "missing link" in AI, that it doesn't have the extra computing space for the unnumbered alternate outcomes that universal existence is. In other words if each "time plane" were a program running through a different processor with the best outcome being the dependent on a subjective overview then our computers might approimate the power of the "Creation System."

Perhaps the reason that the archelogical data is included is because the simulations without it petered out and flatlined (which might make them the ideal planes for us to utilize for inter timeplane travel!).

"...itebay ownday, obertray, isthay on'tway urthay an itbay!"

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 19, 2007, 04:18:23 PM
Well, science still owes much much much to pre judeo concepts.

Agreed.  And many of these concepts came from the Arab nations, India and China; not from the West.

  We don't all start with presuppositions. The essense of science is to observe outside the realm of presupposition and then describe the observations. 

Au contraire.  Science starts with presuppositions also.  The most basic are those I mentioned in my earlier post - an orderly universe that can be understood by reason, and time that runs from point to point rather than as repeating cycle of events. 

These basic presuppositions were challenged in the last century by concepts such as general relativity and quantum mechanics that I cannot begin to understand.  What I find intriguing is that the West is losing its lead in science to Asia, and as Asia becomes the focal point of scientific thought even more of the West's presuppositions will be challenged.

As an aside, there are entire departments at the research university near my home where the professor and all of the graduate students come from Asia.  Scholars come here from Asia speaking good English, but after a couple of years at an American university their English skills have deteriorated because they do not use English in their departments.  Where are the Americans?  Probably in law school or seeking MBAs, where the money is.

Also, Western science carries with it the materialistic concept that if it can't be measured, it has no value.  It is interesting that many of the Asian scientists I know recognize the bankruptcy of materialism and have become Christians since they came to America.  The Christian church is growing by leaps and bounds in Asia where science is recognized and valued, but is dormant in the West.  This phenomonem is not limited to Christianity, as I understand other religious expressions are also growing in Asia.     



Glory, Osky lad!

Hmmmm.... Inneresting.... Orderly universe as a presupposition.... I don't think this makes the same cut as Augustine's "Lord..." statement. And I would say this because of the scientist's skepticism of his own work. If the scientist observes something that he can not understand, he is urged to understand he doesn't stop and say "Well that's just the miracle of nature at work for me!"

As to time running from point to point versus a cycle of events is a false choice. There may be a nearly infinite set of other theories (most of which we don't even know about) of what time is.

Meanwhile you prove my point in your challenge to my point. Science is skeptical of all it's asumptions and presuppositions whereas religion is not.

As to who does the science, I don't really care in this context, you might want to bring that issue up in Religion and Politics where it is differently germaine.

As the people who have lived without religion becoming religious... And scientific people to boot. So?  Compartmentalization and duality are well established facts of the human mind. It's indicative of nothing having to do with what we're talking about.

Have we all given up on the "What is life?" question? It seems a pretty basic question for us all to avoid it so readily.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 19, 2007, 06:02:17 PM
Obertray -

My comment about Asian scientists is not, nor is it intended to be, a political statement.  It is a comment that the presuppositions we in the West bring to science may be challenged by scientists from the East that approach science with different presuppositions.  The same may hold true with our respective presuppositions about religion.

Is your statement that religion is not skeptical of its assumptions based on your presuppositions, experience, or scientific analysis?

I need to think about your "What is Life?" question.     


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 19, 2007, 08:35:52 PM
"...the physics of matter-containing universes... is somehow determined by consciousness."


But do we have to go so far as the Sublime Mind?
 
Julian Jaynes:

"Subjective conscious mind is an analog of what we call the real world. It is built up with a vocabulary or lexical field whose terms are all metaphors or analogs of behavior in the physical world. Its reality is of the same order
as mathematics."


From nnyhav's Stochastic Bookmark:

a different reading of Euripides' Heracles, as used as epigraph to Flann O'Brien's At Swim Two Birds: existatai gar pant' ap' allêlôn dicha
Usually rendered as for all things change, making way for each other, it is literally [bringing into being/setting apart] is surely in every [way/case] a mutual sundering, but containing the sense as the maker makes the made, so the making makes the maker...

http://snipurl.com/1qwwy


"In metaphorical language, two concepts are combined so that they form a new concept (e.g., marriage as a nightmare) and additionally they change each other (both "marriage" and "nightmare" acquire a different meaning, one reflecting the nightmarish aspects of marriage and the other one reflecting the marriage-like quality of a nightmare). They trade meaning. Predications that are normally applied to one are now also possible on the other, and viceversa. A metaphor consists in a transaction between two concepts. The interpretation of both concepts is altered."

http://www.thymos.com/tat/metaphor.html


And as to life we have the classic C. S. Peirce:

"there is no element whatever of man's consciousness which has not something corresponding to it in the word; and the reason is obvious. It is that the word or sign which man uses is the man himself. For, as the fact that every thought is a sign, taken in conjunction with the fact that life is a train of thought, proves that man is a sign; so, that every thought is an external sign, proves that man is an external sign. That is to say, the man and the external sign are identical, in the same sense in which the words homo and man are identical. Thus my language is the sum total of myself; for the man is the thought."


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 20, 2007, 09:42:51 AM
Obertray -

My comment about Asian scientists is not, nor is it intended to be, a political statement.  It is a comment that the presuppositions we in the West bring to science may be challenged by scientists from the East that approach science with different presuppositions.  The same may hold true with our respective presuppositions about religion.

Is your statement that religion is not skeptical of its assumptions based on your presuppositions, experience, or scientific analysis?

I need to think about your "What is Life?" question.     

It may not intend to be a political statement but it is one. There are far easier explanations of the Asian conversion from a theism (as opposed to atheism in that it is not the result of a personal choice but rather a decision that was made for them) to theism than a rejection of materialism. Further, the assertion that it is a Zen statement of affairs that the Asians have an deeper understanding of "how loud one hand claps cannot be measured" is based on an assumption of a cultural knowledge even when the culture has worked assiduously to remove this concept.

Now, I'm not really disputing the possibility that you are right in this assumption, but it does make me want to know how. (This kind of echoes my earlier exercise in the "concept as engine for evolution".0 Is it such that once a concept is introduced that it remains part of the universal understanding; its prominence in the universal understanding being dependent on its strength at various points in its history (which allows us to understand that concepts come into and go out of favor over the centuries)?

Regardless, when you moved from 'they understand unmeasurability better than we do' to 'and because of this they are turning Christian' you've moved from science to politics.

My statement about religion not being skeptical of its presuppositions is based upon words and actions of the religious entities. While it is true that Pope John Paul did state that evolution was/is the only reasonable explanation of the world's progress, he did this many many years after it was made evident to the community without a vested interest.

I'm glad to think of you thinking about "what is life", I look forward to what you come up with.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 20, 2007, 11:27:31 AM
Desde -- I just tossed in that Nick Bostrom  "Matrix" crap to screw with you all; I think it's very far-fetched, too.  It makes way too many assumptions about the intents and purposes and desires of a supermind -- though I do like (Obertray's?) notion that a simulation would need all this detailed historical archive (i.e., you and me and everyone we know) running in order to maintain some kind of deep-grained integrity to some kind of simulation/experiment that may not have anything much to do with us. 

From my own knowledge of computer engineering, I suspect that future simulations of the past would not be quite so large and fine-grained as this world we find ourselves in, because I think there will always be competing agendas by those who use (or exist within) a supercomputer and therefore stiff competition for processing space and therefore some parsimony in conducting simulations for whatever reason.  I know, I'm just projecting my primitive post-Neanderthal social dynamics onto an unimaginable being, but hey that's what the simulation software told me to

/terminate run/





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 20, 2007, 12:32:09 PM
Then there is that other question...

What if this IS the scaled down version? What if the "real" universe is more complicated and involved by a factor of 1,000?

What things could there be that we don't even have the sentience to observe?

Once WRCooper was talking about 5D string theory and the presumption was that we don't have the capacity to even imagine what 5D "looks" like. I hurted my brain for a week of trying. All I came up with was it'd make for some very boring guitar playing!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 20, 2007, 11:00:02 PM
Obertray -

Your footwork in the dance of ideas is more adept than mine.  I will miss some steps, but will try to follow as best I can.

Politics is the acquisition and application of power.  My comments were not intended to deal with power, but with the shift of science to Asia and the coincident shift of religion.  I will concede that the shift of science has political implications in education, immigration and foreign affairs, but I was not going there.

I would understand the topic of science and religion deals with whether they are inherently antagonistic worldviews, or whether they may in fact be complementary.  In the West, many of us have the presupposition they can only be in conflict.  I am confident the opposite is true. 

I would argue that the future of science and religion are being played out on the world stage, and those of us with Western eyes are only spectators.  We cannot begin to comprehend the changes that are happening in science and religion.  Christianity is no longer a Western religion; it is a religion of the Global South.  Science is not far behind.

It is more than an assumption that people groups retain their cultural knowledge even when the culture has worked assiduously to remove the concept.  History confirms it.  My northern European heritage still carries with it concepts of Nordic religion and thought patterns, even though the Christian church has tried to eradicate those concepts for more than a millenium.  New ways of thinking in religion and science  change people, but in the process people also change religion and science.

I am not sure that once a concept is introduced it remains part of our universal understanding.  History shows that sometimes we lose concepts.  This is true in science and technology (we cannot duplicate the pyramids).  It is also true in religion, as exemplified by the religious regression found in the prophetic writings of the Hebrew Scriptures and in the Catholic church during the Middle Ages. 

I was not saying that the Asians are turning Christian "because" they understand science more than the West.  Both are occurring on a parallel track, but I do not pretend to know the correlation.

In your comment about religion not being skeptical of its presuppositions, you give as an example the Roman Catholic response to evolution.  I would suggest there is a significant difference between a "religion" not being skeptical and a "religious institution" not being skeptical.  Institutions by their very nature are slow to change.  Not necessarily so for individuals.

Modern science did not come about until after the Reformation.  Following the Reformation, people were challenged to think for themselves rather than just accept the teachings of religious authorities.  That led them to think about the universe in which they lived, not just the religion they practiced.  Many early scientists brought their skepticism into both areas, yet viewed their investigations as a religious activity.

We are on the verge of a new Reformation.  It too will lead to different ways of doing science as well as different ways of doing religion.  The question will be, will the West take part?
       

           





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 21, 2007, 11:01:02 AM
oskylad,

"Your footwork in the dance of ideas is more adept than mine." Adept? Maybe, but as firmly planted? That I'm not.

"Politics is the acquisition and application of power." Which is why I interpreted your statement as political. I interpret it as you seeking to gain a political upper hand in the discussion. Perhaps I'm projecting when I see this, it's what i would surely do. It's why I dismissed the observation as political, because then I retain the political leverage over the statement.

The implication was seen by me as saying that the conversion of Asian science students to Christianity is indicative of the validity of the Christian universal view, which is then superior to "western" science in that the western precondition is that only thing of a measurable value have value.

Now, I must say that I find this line of reasoning twisted in several spots. To try to hammer his out we start at the convenient marriage/divorce/marriage of Christianity to western thought and then to western science and then to materialism and then to a-materialism. If we are culturally predisposed to materialism, and we are well steeped in the Catholic brew after centuries of infusion, then how is it that it is a-materialism (which we're going to pretend is a cultural trait of the Asians for the nonce) leads to the acceptance of Christianity? ESPECIALLY American Christianity which is predominantly Protestant and while it pretends to be Fundamentalist is a perversion of the Christ's message to fit into the particular agendas of the church.

Perhaps I just strawmanned, but that was not my intention. I am sincere when I say that this was my interpretation of what you said, and that is why I disagreed with it.

"I would understand the topic of science and religion deals with whether they are inherently antagonistic worldviews, or whether they may in fact be complementary.  In the West, many of us have the presupposition they can only be in conflict.  I am confident the opposite is true."

I can understand the topic likewise, and as such I would tend to see you posit in the light of "pro religion" which is generally also seen as "con science" But I see that you are treading the "Not 'A' is not equal to 'Not B'" line. However, we do come back to the area of presuppositions. Is there any reason for you to believe that there is a complementary interrelationship between science and religion? Or is this a statement of faith? “Faith,” being the inherent conflict between religion and science. Perhaps we need to realign our vocabularies, but when I talk of "Religion" I'm talking about the institutions of dogmatic interpretations of mythological texts; texts which are largely unsupported by any evidence other than their own existence. I do not include in "Religion" supernaturalism. What I mean by this is that I don't include the existence of something that might be referred to as god.

This is why I asked  "What is Life?" because life itself seems to be supernatural, how do inert minerals become "alive" and why do they stop being such? If life itself is god, without being God then there can be that complementary relationship between science and supernaturalism, but not between science and religion.


I would argue that the future of science and religion are being played out on the world stage, and those of us with Western eyes are only spectators.  We cannot begin to comprehend the changes that are happening in science and religion.  Christianity is no longer a Western religion; it is a religion of the Global South.  Science is not far behind."

When did the global south shake off its western roots? Are you referring to Africa? I'm not sure that Christianity is winning the hearts and minds of the Africans (particularly the ones who are losing arms and legs to the religious wars therein). So are you referring to South America? That's essentially a European colony with a smattering of mixed native blood that has been westernized.

You MIGHT make the argument that the church will be transformed by the asian markets, but even that is problematic.

It's possible to say that science follows religion by noting the influence that the church has had on science in the west, by creating the university system and creating a stable society there is the probability that there will be new scientists among the population. But to conject that science leaves when the church moves on is not supported by the facts. Science took off in the western world as the yoke of the holy spirit was lifted from the people. When Thomas Jefferson wrested the power of "the Creator" from the King and bestowed it upon "the people" he opened the flood gates of scientific advancement (the collection pool of which was filled by others post reformation) . Our (America's) lead in science has been stolen from us by the rise of "religiosity" in this country. We are hampered in our ability to know by fear and superstition that are the hallmarks of religion. This runs from stem cell research v. the fear of God's morality to the  Organic veganistas who protest seed genetics.

"It is more than an assumption that people groups retain their cultural knowledge even when the culture has worked assiduously to remove the concept.  History confirms it.  My northern European heritage still carries with it concepts of Nordic religion and thought patterns, even though the Christian church has tried to eradicate those concepts for more than a millenium.  New ways of thinking in religion and science  change people, but in the process people also change religion and science."

I'm sorry, but there are parts of this statement that are patently not true. The church has adopted huge parts of the Nordic mythology for its own. Hell for example. Valhalla for example. Valkieries as angles... it goes on and on. The Christian Bible was essentially rewritten by the Irish monks and they put in their own myths in and the myths passed to them from the Nordic "visitors" they had over the years.

As to the cultural knowledge. This is a very interesting concept, because the question is, how would that happen? Is there evidence outside the homosapien experience of this happening? I would answer yes. The elephant is observed to have passed memes from generation to generation; it is deduced, by birth.

OTOH, the question then comes up, how many generations are required for a full implantation of this role? Are blacks forever to have a slave mentality? Are Germans really aggressive war mongers? How about those Japanese? If a white American couple adopts a Chinese infant girl, will she grow up having sino baggage?

That's a sword with two edges and no real handle.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 22, 2007, 01:44:11 PM
The scientists Larry Krauss and Richard Dawkins have an interesting point/counterpoint thing in last month's (i think) issue of Scientific American, and how to approach various religious claims from believers.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 22, 2007, 04:21:59 PM
obertray -

You seem pretty firmly planted to me.  Being firmly planted is not necessarily a bad thing, if we are firmly planted in soil that provides sustenance and stability.  Is it taking our analogy too far to think of plants dancing in the wind of ideas while at the same time being rooted firmly in life-giving traditions?

We seem to be moving away from the topic of how science and religion relate to each other and more into understanding what we mean by religion.  That's okay, but I may need to back out soon because of time pressures.

I think you did strawman me.  I cited the fact that the Christian church is growing by leaps and bounds in Asia where science is recognized and valued, but is dormant in the West, not as an argument for the validity of the Christian universal view but rather as an illustration of the bankruptcy of materialism.  I immediately followed my illustration with a statement that "[t]his phenomonem is not limited to Christianity, as I understand other religious expressions are also growing in Asia."  There is a battle for the heart and soul of the Asian people, and I cannot predict how the current interest in religion among Asians will play out in future generations.

You say that for you "religion" is about the "institutions of dogmatic interpretations of mythological texts".  You then distinguish between religion and supernaturalism, but only so long as supernaturalism doesn't "include the existence of something that might be referred to as god".  There is another alternative.  I've heard it said in conservative Protestant circles that true Christianity is not a religion - it is a relationship with God.  They too share the aversion you have with institutional religion, but are open to the possibility of a God that is different from humankind.  They would understand that God is the source of life, not that life itself is god.  Their understanding is closer to what I mean when I use the term "religion", not the institutional church.

When I speak of the "Global South", I am referring to East Asia, South Asia, Africa and Latin America.  None of these areas (except the ruling classes in Latin America) have Western roots; they only have varying degrees of Western influences. 

Contrary to your assertions, there is religious awakening in Africa that is causing many to become Christian.  As one example, Philip Jenkins reports in The Atlantic that: "In the late 1970s Nigeria was home to five million or so Anglicans; that number has now grown to perhaps 18 million, and it may double by 2025 or so."  http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6716.  It is interesting that this phenomonal growth in Nigeria occurred only after decolonization, when the Nigerian people were free to make their own decisions free from Western control.  It has also occurred in the face of religious strife bordering on war between Christians and the growing population of Muslims in northern Nigeria.

If American Chrisitianity is "a perversion of the Christ's message", it is because we have lost sight of the true meaning behind the "mythological texts" you mention.  When the "mythological texts" are looked at with the eyes of people from other cultures, the meaning of the texts will be reinterpreted.  That will be part of the new Reformation I am positing.

Science did not take off in the Western world as a result of Thomas Jefferson's democracy or American achievement.  It took off before there even was an America.  The Reformation freed up the people to overthrow traditional views in religion and science; democracy and American achievement are offspring.  What would a new Reformation bring?

As to cultural knowledge, it is based on cultural memories.  As individuals, much of our thinking about ourselves is based on our memories.  If we are brought up to think of ourselves in a certain way, those thoughts go with us all our lives.  Some would say it is impossible to heal our memories; although if we separate ourselves from our old way of life and our old acquaintences we may have a chance.  (As an aside, not my main argument, religion [in my sense of the word] is one way to separate ourselves from the old ways.) 

What is true for individuals is also true for cultures.  That is why people that assimilate into a new culture often lose their cultural baggage - if not in the immediate generation at least over succeeding generations.  As the world becomes more global, Americans face the choice of assimilating to the changing world or retreating into our own cultural enclave.  I fear we are opting for the latter, in both science and religion. 
           


 
   


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 24, 2007, 07:27:14 AM
The New York Times reports that Orthodoxy is now being taught in the public schools of Russia.  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/23/world/europe/23russia.html  Church leaders say the enforced atheism of Communism left Russians out of touch with a faith that once was the core of their identity.

Opposition to the teaching came to a head when ten prominent scientists, including two Nobel laureates, sent a letter to President Putin criticizing religious teachings in public schools and attacking church efforts to obtain recognition of degrees in theology and the presence of chaplains in the military.

In the article, one of the teachers asks her class: "Whom should we learn to do good from?"  I wonder how the scientists would answer that question.
 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 24, 2007, 10:36:13 AM
I think they are called "ethicists."  It's a branch of philosophy that goes back about 2500 years.   As many philosophers have demonstrated, it doesn't require metaphysics (religion) -- just human beings and difficult situations and a good will to do the least amount of harm possible.  A classic bit of ethics:  "Your right to swing your arm stops at my nose."

 



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 24, 2007, 12:15:40 PM




Oskylad,

I'll be sorry if those time constraints force you out of this pleasant discussion.

I think that when we're talking about science and religion in general, it is most appropriate for all participants to identify both the norm and the abnorm as what they are. To this end I think that when I say that religion is different from science in that religion relies on faith whereas science does not, I'm talking about mainstream religion, the norm; not the abnorm of what has been heard in "conservative Protestant circles". This is aside from the fact that "true Christianity is not a religion - it is a relationship with God."  still presupposes a God Head. An entity with which there can be a relationship (which, by definition means there is a reciprocation). One cannot have a relationship with the Moon. The Moon will have an effect on one, and one may change his actions depending on the Moon's phases (he may need to alter his boating activities around the tides for example) but there is no reciprocation from the Moon, nothing the man does will alter the Moon's actions. Earth, has a relationship with the Moon in that Earth's gravity pulls the Moon and the Moon's gravity wobbles the Earth and all upon it.

Point here being that God is a creation of the mythological texts, and belief in those texts is antithetical to science. That certain persons pick and choose which bits and pieces of the texts to believe is a semantic discussion of degree.

"Science did not take off in the Western world as a result of Thomas Jefferson's democracy or American achievement.  It took off before there even was an America.  The Reformation freed up the people to overthrow traditional views in religion and science; democracy and American achievement are offspring.  What would a new Reformation bring?"

I'll now tell you the Ben Franklin/ Isaac Asimov story. The question was asked of Asimov what the greatest moment in scientific history was (he may have asked himself for potential publishing purposes). He answered that it was Ben Franklin's invention of the lightning rod. Before this invention churches around the world were being struck by lightning all of the time. Keep in mind that steeples acted as lightning rods all by themselves because they were the tallest item around, built to God's glory towering above the trees as they were. But since there was no understanding of the connection between lightning and nature, the common conclusion was that god was upset with such and such a church and sent His lightning to scourge the Earth of it (even though he had promised not to do this anymore in his very famous "New Covenant" which was messengered to us through Jesus Christ). Franklin said "Nonsense!" and installed his rod and his grounding cables and when the steeple caught a dose of lightning and didn't burn down the huzzahs went through the land. This marked the first time (by Asimov's telling of it) that the world had clear cut evidence of the natural world as opposed to the supernatural.

Further, it was Thomas Jefferson that was able to make the argument against the divine right of kings to rule. He was the first one to have been able to make this argument and make it stick. It was absolutely the aim of Ben Franklin (who was more singularly influential than any other of the Founding Fathers in the course and direction of this nation) to create the United States as a nation based on science and not on religion. Yes there was plenty of science before the Declaration Of Independence and that science owed its discipline to the church, because the church would sooner see science as heresy, and when the church controlled those who controlled the state...

And let's not forget Cotton Mather!

And speaking of Cotton, I didn't mean to strawman, but I still don't see how you have redefined your statements away from the flaws I outlined.

As to the Global South, I still don't see how we can be expected to think that the spread of religion there will mean that they are the cradle of the new science. Religion has been oppressive of science since day one, we see the effects of religion on science when we have a president who wants "Intelligent Design" taught in science class so that the children can understand the "debate".

The traditional view of science wasn't overthrown by the Reformation. The basis of science was laid by Socrates who argued that the truth was something that must be found for itself and not something that changed as the rhetoric that surrounds it does. That has been the struggle of scientists since, to find the truth.  Martin Luther was still a rhetorician, He was still a sophist who merely made a counter argument to the prevailing view. it was less internally inconsistent than the Roman Catholic view. But it was, again, merely a matter of degrees.

With the Cultural Identity issue, I feel you are again moving the goalposts all over the playing field.

From whom should we learn to do good? Our parents.

 

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 24, 2007, 03:38:05 PM
obertray - I'm sorry you think I am moving the goal posts.  I thought I was helping you to understand that I may be in a different part of the playing field than where you want to put me.

I would agree that belief in a creator God requires faith.  The writer of the letter to the Hebrews said that "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see….  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”

I would understand your view to be that we are alone in the universe.  If there is a God, it (one dare not call it “he” or “she”) is more of a force, like the force of the moon, or a “life” within us that is ours alone.  I’m not sure those positions do not also require a certain level of “faith”.

I liked the statement attributed to Carl Sagan in the article Barton referred us to, that the absence of evidence is not the same as the evidence of absence.

“Mythological” texts did not create God.  The notion of God predates those texts – and is found in preliterate people and societies.  The texts rather seek to explain God, or at least what the writers understood as God.  Is your beef that you do not agree with what the texts say about God, or with how they are applied in our modern world?

If the only place to learn good is from our parents, what do we do if they get it wrong?  If the only place to learn good is from Barton’s ethicists, what do we do if they disagree?  How will we know who is right or wrong?  There must be a standard against which we can measure whether something is good or bad (or in modern parlance whether something is just or unjust).  Otherwise, it’s everyone for himself or herself.  Can science give us the answer? 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 24, 2007, 06:12:58 PM
     Oskylad,

I'm not trying to put you anywhere, I'm trying to use your terms. Every time I do you seem to say, "Oh but I didn't mean that! I meant this." and then when I use the new "this" I get the same response again "Oh but I didn't mean this this, I meant the other this...that one that is pretty much exactly like that!" Turns out that the "that" was the first thing (at least so far)!

"I would agree that belief in a creator God requires faith." This is not exactly what I said. It is a very common understanding of the position that I have staked out and so I will accept your agreement. However, I happen to think that it does not take faith to believe in God it takes suspension of disbelief. It takes (for most people) mental laziness (or inadequacy) to believe. Its much easier to believe than not to, especially steeped in the culture of religion as we are here in the USA (I assume you're in the USA). This is not to say that there aren't people who struggle mightily with the question, and are not afraid of what they might find and some that are afraid that they might conclude that there is no God (in the Biblical sense) and yet have the bravery to marshal on and search anyway.

And then there are those who simply compartmentalize. Singers on Sundays, sinners on Mondays!

I had a conversation once with someone who opened my eyes to the suspension of disbelief alternative. She insisted that the idea of stars being billions and billions (to cite Carl S)of miles away was ridiculous. "Our eyes can only see just so far away, they aren't powerful enough to look that far!" I had never really thought about it that way, but what she was saying made perfect sense, if eyes worked that way. She was under the impression that sight was something that came from inside and went out, like a projector through the eyes. That is the way it seems. Even when you know that your eye only sees what light hits it, its hard to grasp the idea of what makes color happen. "All the other colors got absorbed by the green grass? Where'd it go?"

This is what I mean about faith. I don't think it takes faith to believe in God. I think belief in God is just the very easiest explanation. "How'd that mountain get there?" "God put it there!" "Oh!"

The force of the moon... Gravity? Is life like gravity? That is a very heavy question my friend.

To answer that we have to first try to imagine the universe "pre" singularity. When I think of it I think of space, but a whole lot "more" of it (quotations here to indicate that without time there is no measure of the before or of more or less or force). No gravity existed, no time, no matter, no electromagnetic spectrum, no magnetism these are all functions of  singularity (the big bang; let's call it Him and He, just to piss people off). Was gravity a force that was created by Him? Is gravity finite in the universe? Can it be created or destroyed? All energy was created (or released) at the instant of He as was all matter (which turns out to be just superconcentrated energies in various combinations). We can alter energy, slow it down, convert it into other energies break it into pieces and organize it into neat wave patterns that we can then use to send signals, but we can't create energy. We can't create time. We can't really do shit with time, we can slow it don't by sending it past gravitational fields. We can pretend that we can make it double back on itself if we speeded it up past the speed of light, but we've slowed down the speed of light, nobody got any younger doing it. Some would like to think that time is completely existent, like energy and matter are, time is static and we are moving along its continuum.

So gravity, which is weird energy that doesn't act like other forces. Is gravity one of the results of the Him? If it is then there is no real good reason not to think that life is also just another form of the energy. It's attracted to carbon like magnetism is to magnetite. Does this mean we are alone in the Universe? I would have to say the chance of that are unknown. I would have to think, however that they are very very small. That the Him could have created such an abundance of everything else (energy, matter, force, time) and a little smattering of this, and that it would have coalesced on this particular dust particle... the odds are against it. Overwhelmingly so.

As to my beefiness. Let's not be quite so literal there Osker m' lad. Texts, pictographs, petroglyphs, they're all the basic same. I don't suppose you're trying to tell me that I should believe in something just because Paleolithic man did... are you?

As to learning from our parents. Our parents should learn from societal norms and societies should be based on the survival of the species. This we know is the objective of all life forms. Why it is, I can't tell you right now, but the system has worked for all living things for several hundreds of millions of years. Will science tell us what our societal norms should be? It will do so better than religion has. Again, we go back to Socrates versus the sophists. We should strive for the the strongest society we can form. And that society is one that is free of internal inconsistencies. Judeo Christian religion is about a loving God who  is vengeful and destructive!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 25, 2007, 10:47:12 AM
What do you mean it doesn't take faith to believe in God?  Of course it does - that's precisely why atheists are so convinced they're right.  They have no faith, therefore they do not know God and cannot possibly accept his existence.  God is not just a superstition that one accepts as a matter of sheer stupidity, as Dawkins would have everyone believe. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 25, 2007, 11:17:00 AM
"If the only place to learn good is from Barton’s ethicists, what do we do if they disagree?"

This is only a sign of health in the field, a response to shifting ground underneath us.  Which is why ethics is a dynamic process, one involving continuing resolution of new kinks.  This isn't to say that we haven't arrived at some basics of how not to harm the lives and prospects of our fellow humans.  Most belief systems, both religious and secular, recognize the need for cooperation, compassion, and fair dealing.  It's up to us to see how to apply such basic values to specific situations.  It's my belief (faith?) that most humans want very much to do the right thing.  Most "evil" emanates from ignorance or indifference (e.g. being blindly led by a sociopath).

The God hypothesis, if embraced, certainly involves a leap of faith.  So does atheism, which requires a faith that what can be seen, empirically, a mostly-dead and random universe -- is the totality of all that is.  Not being disposed, myself, to sitting on the fence, I think you have to PICK ONE!  By stating that consciousness is somehow fundamental to reality, I'm picking a side.  God is somewhere -- a supercomputer at the end of time, a vast field of bosons, an inner light within all conscious creatures, a hidden karmic structure behind all actions, a cumulative effect of ecosystems, a John Wheeler "information space" that contains a residue of all that has been thought....something.  What I don't believe is that God is supernatural, a magic Sky-Dad who shoots lightning bolts from his big old finger.  Why should Bronze Age myths corset our ability to meditate on absolute being?

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 25, 2007, 12:54:05 PM
Desdemona222b,

I'm not sure how to answer your question. What do I mean it doesn't take faith? I thought I had explained that, but let me try some more.

I look at faith as a verb, something that you have to do not something you have to have. Having faith is easy if you keep it as a noun. It's a feather bed that many fall back on (without even looking, so there's that "act of faith" too) whenever there is the possibility of a challenge.

To say that someone else "has no faith" is absolutist hogwash in my opinion. I have plenty of faith and I take my faith out and exercise it regularly. I have faith in my wife, I have faith in my children I have faith in my abilities, I have faith in my insights (which are an action of faith in and of themselves) but the faith I have is made strong by having been tested and tempered in the fires of experience.

Do I have faith that there is a anthropomorphic God being? No. But I do have faith that if there is One then He'll admire me for my having lived a life that was moral and ethical because it was what I believed was best for the survival of the species and not because I thought I'd get a cookie from Him at the end.  And if He doesn't then why would I want to hang around Him for anyway? The Moron!

I classify myself as a Gnostic (which is further afield than an Agnostic) in that I believe there is much more to the whole "Life and living /death and living" things than meets the eyes. I believe that there are pathways that we just haven't yet found. A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, so to speak. The Gospel of Judas as for example. But that's just me, and I don't think that science gets in the way of these understandings, and I don't think that these understandings need get in the way of science. Meanwhile I DO believe that Religion DOES get in the way of these understandings, especially religions that are created by committees, most specifically Christianity. And Catholic Christianity being the prime historical example (which is to say that the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church which is the same Bible that the protestant churches follow is "Universal" [Catholic] in that it takes in so many other religions for the purpose of creating the central mythology to be easily spread as the Romans continued their conquest of the civilized world.) of a religion that is mistaken in its path.

No number of new readers are going to reinterpret the Bible in a way that reforms the fundaments lain at Nicaea.

God is not just a superstition that one accepts as a matter of sheer stupidity, as Dawkins would have everyone believe. 

Says you.

You'll forgive us if we beg to differ, however.

"God" is the easiest explanation, it has always been thus.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 25, 2007, 02:16:44 PM
"if there is One then He'll admire me for my having lived a life that was moral and ethical because it was what I believed was best for the survival of the species and not because I thought I'd get a cookie from Him at the end."

Ah there's the rub.  And what proof does science have that it is not the survival of the wbales or the cockroaches or the monkies that is most iomportant?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 25, 2007, 04:07:10 PM
johnr60,

Wherein "there" is obertray's temple. I'm scratching my head and wondering why you would write such a thing? Of course it is the survival of the whales and the cockroaches and the monkeys that is most important... To the whales, the cockroaches and the monkeys!

The idea that it is not us that is evolving but the DNA strand explains it.

Survival of the species is probably the clearest life imperative that can be seen in all lifeforms.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 25, 2007, 04:59:15 PM
Important and moral are not issues that occur to other species, they are intellectual decisions.  I am wondering where science says that humans are more important than whales.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 25, 2007, 09:29:17 PM
Important and moral are not issues that occur to other species, they are intellectual decisions.  I am wondering where science says that humans are more important than whales.

Aside from the assumption that I'm going to make that you mean "ethical and moral" but said "importnat and moral" by mistake...

First of all, you don't know what whales think.

Either way, it doesn't matter because I was referring to a life that I live and why I live it that way. If it turns out that there is a God and that He cares that we've lived Ethical and Moral lives than bonus for me.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 25, 2007, 10:19:33 PM
"you mean "ethical and moral" but said "importnat and moral" by mistake..."

"you don't know what whales think."

I meant what I said: both words involve an intellectual process that all science reserves to humans, thus by definition is not in whales.

"I was referring to a life that I live and why I live it that way"

Yes, but you supported your decisions with a reference to a notion of survival of the fittest, in essence, an act of non intellect as if you could think through and then affect what is an instinctual act.  That to me is a contradiction in terms. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 26, 2007, 08:26:12 AM
 Well if you said what you meant then you bore false witness of my comments.

As you did again by changing "survival of the species" to "survival of the fittest".

"Survival of the fittest" is not an "instinctual act." It is the result of adaptations to the environment.

As to MY decisions to act in a way that I feel is in the best interests of the perpetuation of life for my fellow man and for my childeren's childrens' children's children; these are active, conscious decisions that I make. As I said, if that meshes with some God head's "plan" then I'm fine with that.

It is reasonable to assume from the mythological texts that survival of the human species is God's intention (until He decides to kill us all again, because He gets a bug up His ass). It is not reasonable to deduce from those texts that the Mythological God would want cockroaches to be the uber species given that the "words of God" weren't written in cockroachese.

The heart of the question was "why, if not for God, would a person act in an ethical and moral manner?" The answer, from me is that I would act in that manner because I am hardwired to place survival of the species high on my list of priorities. The problem being, however that we have evolved to a point where we can calculate. We can infer. We can deduce. Unfortunately, we can all be given the same data and we can calculate, infer and deduce different conclusions from the data. Therein lies the debate over the proper path to mankind's survival.

The "Faith based” perception is that the desire to be ethical is born of a fear of God's retribution. I reject that.

Monkeys, elephants, whales and other animals do make observable moral and ethical judgements. When the an elephant stays behind to care for a sick, or injured, member of the elephant herd, that is a moral, ethical judgement. When young, rogue elephants are taught "proper elephant behavior" when brought into a herd, there is a passing on of an ethos. When Dolphins murder other dolphins, there is a breakdown of the ethical code, which then evidences the code by its absence.

I don't know where you get the idea that  "an intellectual process that all science reserves to humans," I'm afraid I’ll have to ask you to cite a source for this assertion.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: elportenito1 on September 26, 2007, 09:00:23 AM
"contra el destino,nadie la talla". This is untranslatable , like most high thinking from the city of Buenos Aires, the Nepal of alcoholic meditation. It means that you can't escape your fate, and that is that, wether you're a whale or a car's salesman from Wichita Falls.

Those who can "easely" conciliate faith and science don't realy know what the frigg they're talking about and have their thinking all muddled up.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 26, 2007, 11:01:12 AM
I think there's kind of a false opposition that is set up between faith and science, and that might be due to the notion that both can be applied to the same matters of discourse.  Faith can be a kind of intuitive sense of the big picture -- you wouldn't use it to design, or to makes repairs on, a jet engine.  Science, by the same token, might not have the tools you need to interpret an ineffable sense had during meditation that you are part of everything.

When one system overrides the other, you get aberrational systems.  If science, you get totalitarianism.  If faith, you get theocracy.

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 26, 2007, 11:14:49 AM
Well said, Barton... except I would say "part of something (or someone?) that is greater than yourself" rather than "part of everything".


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 26, 2007, 11:41:15 AM
"Survival of the fittest" is not an "instinctual act." It is the result of adaptations to the environment."

"I am hardwired to place survival of the species high on my list of priorities."

Hardwired and instintictual mean the same thing to me.  Not to you?

"As to MY decisions to act in a way that I feel is in the best interests of the perpetuation of life for my fellow man and for my childeren's childrens' children's children; these are active, conscious decisions that I make."

Many of our day to day decisions are not conscious in the reflective sense, but we can look back at them, as you have and decide whether they adhere to projected ends. As far as I know, only humans can do that.

"Monkeys, elephants, whales and other animals do make observable moral and ethical judgements... When Dolphins murder other dolphins, there is a breakdown of the ethical code, which then evidences the code by its absence."

If a theist gave his God human attributes, you would cite anthropomorphism.  The animals seem to be acting as if they have a moral code, hence we confuse instinct with ethics, but morality can only be present with human intellect--reflective consciousness.  With such confusion comes the problems with dolphin murder, intelligent design and the Book of Job.

"I don't know where you get the idea that  "an intellectual process that all science reserves to humans," I'm afraid I’ll have to ask you to cite a source for this assertion."

I'm sure I could do that, but if we cant agree that man is different from the rest of nature due to the fact that he can think, then I dont think there's much else we could discuss.


Title: Faith
Post by: obertray on September 26, 2007, 11:45:17 AM
"Faith can be a kind of intuitive sense of the big picture "

Or is it an intuitive sense that there IS a big picture.

When you get to a sense OF the big picture haven't you crossed over to a perception level?

I know it's a nit pickidy point but its a sort of "Orion's belt" sized distinction.

And cetainly Oskylad, Desdemona222b and johnr60 would like to agree with me that atheism takes faith too even when that faith is that we are not part of a bigger whole.  


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 26, 2007, 12:12:39 PM
"Survival of the fittest" is not an "instinctual act." It is the result of adaptations to the environment."

"I am hardwired to place survival of the species high on my list of priorities."

Hardwired and instintictual mean the same thing to me.  Not to you?

Again you seem to have difficulty separating survival of the fittest and survival of the species. That's getting a little tiresome.

"As to MY decisions to act in a way that I feel is in the best interests of the perpetuation of life for my fellow man and for my childeren's childrens' children's children; these are active, conscious decisions that I make."

Many of our day to day decisions are not conscious in the reflective sense, but we can look back at them, as you have and decide whether they adhere to projected ends. As far as I know, only humans can do that.

Apropos of nothing.

Why bother to mention the decisions that we are not conscious of when we are speaking of the ones we are conscious of?

"Monkeys, elephants, whales and other animals do make observable moral and ethical judgements... When Dolphins murder other dolphins, there is a breakdown of the ethical code, which then evidences the code by its absence."

If a theist gave his God human attributes, you would cite anthropomorphism.  The animals seem to be acting as if they have a moral code, hence we confuse instinct with ethics, but morality can only be present with human intellect--reflective consciousness.  With such confusion comes the problems with dolphin murder, intelligent design and the Book of Job.


The point that I made was to refute your assertion that only humans have reflective consciousness. We observe these behaviors in some animals other than human and we observe the lack of this behavior in other animals less highly developed.

We can't even tell for sure what other humans think and or feel, so to state categorically that other species don't do this or don't do that is invalid. Especially when there is evidence to the contrary.


"I don't know where you get the idea that  "an intellectual process that all science reserves to humans," I'm afraid I’ll have to ask you to cite a source for this assertion."

I'm sure I could do that, but if we cant agree that man is different from the rest of nature due to the fact that he can think, then I dont think there's much else we could discuss.


Trying to find the one thing that makes man "different" from all the animals has been the downfall of many a brave brains. We used to think that it was the use of tools, until we noted birds using the thorn of a tree to stab grubs and eat them. It's a great drinking game among those so inclined, to brainstorm the known and (usually) unknown for that one elusive piece.

Octopae can think. They communicate by changing the color of their skin and they can figure out how to unscrew a bottle to get at the food inside. Apes have been taught all sorts of things.

We will not agree that man is different from the rest of nature due to the fact that he thinks he is. That's the difference between Faith, and Reason.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 26, 2007, 12:36:18 PM
Barton said faith can be a kind of intuitive sense of the big picture.  He did not limit faith to only that perception.

I do agree that atheism takes faith - if nothing more, at least faith in my own rationality.

A faith that is built on the notion that science is the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth is just as dangerous as a faith built on a false understanding of God. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 26, 2007, 01:31:57 PM
Barton said faith can be a kind of intuitive sense of the big picture.  He did not limit faith to only that perception.

I do agree that atheism takes faith - if nothing more, at least faith in my own rationality.

A faith that is built on the notion that science is the absolute and only justifiable access to the truth is just as dangerous as a faith built on a false understanding of God. 

Again, however, there is the presupposition that there is a the big picture and that this the big picture can be sensed, as in detected and focused upon.

That's what sensing is when you use the word in the context of the five agreed upon senses. If you feel something, you may not know what it is that you are feeling, but you have focused your understanding by way of touch, that you are feeling something. Similarly taste sight hearing and smelling each give you clues to the something that excited those particular senses.

Now with the "Intuitive Sensory Gland" it would stand to reason that it works the same (at least in as far as the language is concerned, so yes I'm arguing semantics here, but that doesn't make it wrong to do so.)

I'm not trying to be a weenie here, but we're talking about something that quickly becomes confused by the words used to communicate about it, so it's better to be clear at the beginning.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 26, 2007, 03:40:34 PM
[I look at faith as a verb, something that you have to do not something you have to have. Having faith is easy if you keep it as a noun. It's a feather bed that many fall back on (without even looking, so there's that "act of faith" too) whenever there is the possibility of a challenge.

If you look at faith as a verb, you don't know English grammar.  Sorry, couldn't help myself.   ;D

To say that someone else "has no faith" is absolutist hogwash in my opinion. I have plenty of faith and I take my faith out and exercise it regularly. I have faith in my wife, I have faith in my children I have faith in my abilities, I have faith in my insights (which are an action of faith in and of themselves) but the faith I have is made strong by having been tested and tempered in the fires of experience.


I wasn't talking about having no faith in yourself or other people, I was talking about having no faith in God.  You're taking my statements out of context and creating a gigantic, invalid argument in the process.

It certainly does take faith to be an atheist, I'll agree on that.  Absolute faith that everything on this planet is glorious accident, from Yosemite to the little green humming bird in your backyard, on top of absolute faith that man has all the answers.

Barton's mention of feeling you are a part of everything was quite appropos - I feel that way whenever I am enjoying nature. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 26, 2007, 04:09:32 PM
Quote
we're talking about something that quickly becomes confused by the words used to communicate about it, so it's better to be clear at the beginning.

In that spirit I wil offer the following:

Quote
you seem to have difficulty separating survival of the fittest and survival of the species. That's getting a little tiresome.

May we say that by those general terms I meant to indicate whatever current science deems the operator in an evolutionary process.

Quote
Why bother to mention the decisions that we are not conscious of when we are speaking of the ones we are conscious of?

To establish that there is a difference and that any decisions that you may reflect on as fitting the evolutionary operator are in the past.

Quote
We observe these behaviors in some animals other than human and we observe the lack of this behavior in other animals less highly developed.

We can't even tell for sure what other humans think and or feel, so to state categorically that other species don't do this or don't do that is invalid.

Observing behavior and defining it's cause or speculating on what provoked it are very separate issues.  My statement is merely a dictionary definition evidenced by your metaphor:

Quote
Octopae can think.

attributing a known human characteristic for an unknown one in nature in the same manner as we used to say an octopus has eight legs.

Quote
We will not agree that man is different from the rest of nature due to the fact that he thinks he is. That's the difference between Faith, and Reason
.

I think you know that no one has said that.  What I will say is that man has evolved a facility for language and with that facility has formed what is referred to as reflective consciousness and that consciousness to date has not been found in another species.

My objection to your original statement, way back, was that you might use a reflected notion of what the evolutionary operator is in your decisions, but that's not the same thing as the operator, which is intuitive and therefore unconscious.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 26, 2007, 05:01:19 PM
[I look at faith as a verb, something that you have to do not something you have to have. Having faith is easy if you keep it as a noun. It's a feather bed that many fall back on (without even looking, so there's that "act of faith" too) whenever there is the possibility of a challenge.

If you look at faith as a verb, you don't know English grammar.  Sorry, couldn't help myself.   ;D


There is no doubt that I am grammatically challenged (at least not in my mind). But I think that the point is still valid, that faith is only worth anything when it is being tested. I alway found the Jesuits to be the Catholic philosophers. The ones who grappled with the evidence against and worked their way through it to a deeper faith. Deeper because it had been tested by doubt.

To say that someone else "has no faith" is absolutist hogwash in my opinion. I have plenty of faith and I take my faith out and exercise it regularly. I have faith in my wife, I have faith in my children I have faith in my abilities, I have faith in my insights (which are an action of faith in and of themselves) but the faith I have is made strong by having been tested and tempered in the fires of experience.


I wasn't talking about having no faith in yourself or other people, I was talking about having no faith in God.  You're taking my statements out of context and creating a gigantic, invalid argument in the process.

Excuse me, but you said:
What do you mean it doesn't take faith to believe in God?  Of course it does - that's precisely why atheists are so convinced they're right.  They have no faith, therefore they do not know God and cannot possibly accept his existence.  God is not just a superstition that one accepts as a matter of sheer stupidity, as Dawkins would have everyone believe. 
[Emph mine]

"They have no faith, therefore...." It wouldn't make any sense for you to say "They have no faith in God, therefore do not know God..." because then the word you would have need was "Belief" and if you did mean for belief and faith to be interchangable, then your above statement about nouns and verbs is situational. An Atheist cannot have faith in something that he does not believe in.

I do see your point though and I apologize for altering your context. It was hard for me to follow, especially because you put the extra weight of an assumed "in God" on the word faith. I didn't have that when I said it doesn't take faith to believe in God.

It certainly does take faith to be an atheist, I'll agree on that.  Absolute faith that everything on this planet is glorious accident, from Yosemite to the little green humming bird in your backyard, on top of absolute faith that man has all the answers.

Barton's mention of feeling you are a part of everything was quite appropos - I feel that way whenever I am enjoying nature. 

You never did answer me about what makes Yosemite beautiful. Most everything is considered beautiful by mutual consent. That was why I asked about a-western music, which we typically find cacophonous. yet the Chinese like their atonal music, and the Indians like that sitar noise, and the Moroccans like that clattering of pots and pans and strangling of camels they call music.

We all feel that way when we enjoy nature. But that doesn't mean that there is a God that made it thus. Considering what we know about the Judeo Christian God, he's not the kind to do things to make you happy! He's the guy who put the thorns there; we're the ones who grew the roses above them.

Who is this that thinks that man has all the answers? So far I haven't even accepted that we are the pinnacle of evolution's climb. We may be top dog now, but the DNA will want more than we can offer it eventually. This isn't to say that we will die off, but we will become at best a subspecies.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 26, 2007, 05:37:07 PM

Quote
We will not agree that man is different from the rest of nature due to the fact that he thinks he is. That's the difference between Faith, and Reason
.

I think you know that no one has said that.   What I will say is that man has evolved a facility for language and with that facility has formed what is referred to as reflective consciousness and that consciousness to date has not been found in another species.

My objection to your original statement, way back, was that you might use a reflected notion of what the evolutionary operator is in your decisions, but that's not the same thing as the operator, which is intuitive and therefore unconscious.



I'm sure I could do that, but if we cant agree that man is different from the rest of nature due to the fact that he can think, then I dont think there's much else we could discuss.


Yes, you did say that.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 26, 2007, 06:17:41 PM
I dont know why we have to contine these semantics.  I stated the fact that man thinks.  You stated that he thinks he is different than nature.  I see a great difference there.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 26, 2007, 06:25:46 PM
We don't.

Think whatever you like.

If you can't make a simple declarative statement like "man is different from the rest of nature due to the fact that he can think" and then stand behind it then there is no sense in our continuing.

It makes no difference what man thinks (in the context of this discussion) if the essential difference is that he thinks at all.

You are a man, you think that thinking makes you different from animals.it follow that you think that you are different because you think that you are. (an animal wouldn't think that, would they?)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 27, 2007, 03:42:41 AM
Ober, I know animals think, but there is no way that I can know what they are thinking except by observing them do what they do.  I have observed zoo animals (or privately caged) that seem to be severely mentally disturbed.  But then what can I really know?  I just found out today that the brain learns sight.  That if babies do not get light from birth until less than a year old, they will be brain blind even though there is nothing at all wrong with their eyes ability to take in the information that their brain would decipher if it had learned (created interpetive pathways) sight.

Elephants that show signs of mental distress that have been released from zoos and circuses and other such conditions of captivity and relocated to "retirement farms" seem to show, after a while, a return to mental health, especially as they are allowed to be part of a herd as would be in their natural state.

Wolves born in captivity can be introduced back into the wild only through an elaborate "staging" of experience with wild wolves (through the use of fenced areas that the wannabe wolves are moved in order to interact with the real thing).  These wild wolves communicate lessons of wildness to the BIC wolves and eventually they make a successful transistion.  I am thinking that the wild wolves are doing some thinking, or at least making listings of priorities--"Let's see now, this kid needs to get A down pat before I start in on B."  Or the young wolf might be thinking, "This big guy wants me to jump on a deer and rip its belly open with all those guts and blood spilling out all over me?  How come I can't just wait til he does it and then help him eat it?"

How can we know?  We only know human.  And we don't know human all that well.  Yet.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 27, 2007, 09:52:46 AM
Thanks, ober, for proving my point.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 27, 2007, 09:58:53 AM
You're welcome, Desdemona222b.

Your point was correct, it's the foundations of that point that are in error.

"Faith" does not mean "Faith in God".


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 27, 2007, 10:08:54 AM
Quote
If you can't make a simple declarative statement...and then stand behind it then there is no sense in our continuing.

Oh I could, but to what end?

In the presence of the sleazy salesman's bait and switch, glosses worthy of a monk and constant misplacement of medium, message, subject, object and verb, what enlightenment could we have besides the one you pontificate in the first place.

I've been here before.  Thank you for your time. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 27, 2007, 11:02:20 AM
I have a feeling that everyone here knows that "faith" is not synonymous with "faith in God."  It's any extrapolation beyond whatever set of data points is present, in any aspect of human understanding.

Physicists, interestingly, argue considerably as to whether faith in "Laws" of nature are justified, i.e. some contend that physical laws are not really fixed codes that are somehow "there" prior to anything else, but kind of develop/evolve and may still be somewhat malleable.  So, even in one particular science, you may find two branches of faith regarding the appearance of order and uniformity in the observable universe.   One branch is Platonic (laws are pre-existing) and one is not.

Einstein had faith, most of his life, that quantum physics was just plain wrong.  The basis of this, he freely admitted, was his own personal aesthetic and feel for what a universe should be.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on September 27, 2007, 11:43:32 AM


"contra el destino,nadie la talla". This is untranslatable , like most high thinking from the city of Buenos Aires, the Nepal of alcoholic meditation. It means that you can't escape your fate, and that is that, wether you're a whale or a car's salesman from Wichita Falls.

Those who can "easely" conciliate faith and science don't realy know what the frigg they're talking about and have their thinking all muddled up.



Did I wander into the wrong forum? Yesterday i posted immediately after you  and you were referring to a doctrinal message on the relation of men to women in marriage according to some New Zealand minister. Now today there is this:
http://video.aol.com/video/news-new-zealand-volcano-erupts-without-warning/1975753

I can't find yesterday's posts.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 27, 2007, 01:31:36 PM
Yes MaDD,

That was Religion and Politics, this is Science and Religion.

John60r,

I'm sorry you are upset. I thank you for your time as well.

The fact remains that you said that man is different from the animals because man can think. We will not agree on that point.

Barton,

Desdemona222b said "they [atheists] have no faith" and then said that I had distorted her contention when I took exception. The only way that her response could make sense was if "faith" in that context was expanded (i.e. Faith in God).

Yes, she also said that it takes faith for an atheist to be atheist, which of course wouldn't make any sense if "Faith" meant the same thing in that context(i.e. Faith in God).

I'm willing to accept either definition of faith so long as we all agree that the meaning remains the same throughout the discussion. There can be no progressive dialog if all words mean just what the writer wants them to mean at that time. Even if we call it Faith and Faith+ I'm happy.

Just don't tell me man is different from the animals because he can think and then get all in a huff because I tweek it to say that man is different from the animals because he thinks he is. He obviously had to have thought in order to think that he is different, because he thinks.

Here's an interesting question; What is life?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on September 27, 2007, 01:41:13 PM
Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: "wise man" or "knowing man") in the family Hominidae (the great apes).[1][2] Compared to other living organisms on Earth, humans have a highly developed brain capable of abstract reasoning, language, and introspection.

wickepedia


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on September 27, 2007, 01:49:29 PM
Honest to G-...well, honestly -- I don't partake of religious or political discussions.  Or any kind these days, actually.  But for the record, here's what Wikipedia, previously cited, says about bottlenose dolphins:

Cognition
Cognitive abilities investigated in the dolphin include concept formation, sensory skills, and the use of mental representation of dolphins. Such research has been ongoing from the late 1970s through to the present, and include the specific areas of: acoustic mimicry, behavioural mimicry (inter- and intra-specific), comprehension of novel sequences in an artificial language (including non finite state grammars as well as novel anomalous sequences), memory, monitoring of self behaviours (including reporting on these, as well as avoiding or repeating them), reporting on the presence and absence of objects, object categorization, discrimination and matching (identity matching to sample, delayed matching to sample, arbitrary matching to sample, matching across echolocation and vision, reporting that no identity match exists, etc.), synchronous creative behaviours between two animals, comprehension of symbols for various body parts, comprehension of the pointing gesture and gaze (as made by dolphins or humans), problem solving, echolocative eavesdropping, attention, mirror self-recognition, and more. Recent research has shown that dolphins are capable of comprehending numerical values. In an experiment where a dolphin was shown two panels with a various number of dots of different size and position, the dolphin was able to touch the panel with a greater number of dots, much more rapidly than many human beings could do. Some researchers include Louis Herman, Mark Xitco, John Gory, Stan Kuczaj, Lori Marino, Diana Reiss, Adam Pack, John C. Lilly and many others.


[edit] Tool use and culture
In 1997, tool use was described in Bottlenose Dolphins in Shark Bay. A dolphin will stick a marine sponge on its rostrum, presumably to protect it when searching for food in the sandy sea bottom.[16] The behaviour has only been observed in this bay, and is almost exclusively shown by females. This is the only known case of tool use in marine mammals outside of Sea Otters. An elaborate study in 2005 showed that mothers most likely teach the behaviour to their daughters.[17] Subsets of populations in Mauritania are known to engage in interspecific cooperative fishing with human fishermen. The dolphins drive a school of fish towards the shore where humans await with their nets. In the confusion of casting nets, the dolphins catch a large number of fish as well. Intraspecific cooperative foraging techniques have also been observed, and some propose that these behaviours are transmitted through cultural means. Rendell & Whitehead have proposed a structure for the study of culture in cetaceans,[18] although this view has been controversial (e.g. see Premack & Hauser).they care aloy



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 27, 2007, 02:35:59 PM
Well, otters are also among the many animals that use tools, and no one will argue about the amazing abilities of dolphins, but can someone tell me which dolphins or chimpanzees are historians or artists, or what sort of literary accomplishments there are among any animal group?  Do any of them have existential dialogues or interior monologues or even an identity crisis?  What sort of interior lives do they have at all?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 27, 2007, 02:48:46 PM
Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: "wise man" or "knowing man") in the family Hominidae (the great apes).[1][2] Compared to other living organisms on Earth, humans have a highly developed brain capable of abstract reasoning, language, and introspection.

wickepedia

Apropos of what?

We know that man can think.

We're willing to believe that we are the smartest sombitches alive.

But what we are NOT willing to accept is that we are the ONLY thinking critters on the planet.

That would need to be the condition to make "man is different from the rest of nature due to the fact that he can think" a true statement.

Can you agree that your statement is false?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 27, 2007, 03:02:09 PM
Well, otters are also among the many animals that use tools, and no one will argue about the amazing abilities of dolphins, but can someone tell me which dolphins or chimpanzees are historians or artists, or what sort of literary accomplishments there are among any animal group?  Do any of them have existential dialogues or interior monologues or even an identity crisis?  What sort of interior lives do they have at all?

Why? What difference does it make?

I forget what got us on this in the first place.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on September 27, 2007, 03:09:35 PM
Have you heard of Congo, the chimp whose pictures were auctioned off?  He also made hundreds of drawings, and I believe I heard a story about a female primate -- don't recall gorilla, chimp or what -- who liked to paint, but her mate would destroy her work.  But I don't recall her name, so it's hard to track down.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4712948

Granted, what is art?  How do we know Congo was trying to illustrate an idea or concept, or whether he was just flinging paint? Then again, I have the same questions when looking at some of Picasso's work.  (Yeah, I saw that crack coming a mile off, too.)

For all I know, other primates and cetaceans may have history and historians.  Numerous human cultures thrived on verbal history passed through generations.  Just because they didn't pick up a pen and parchment, does that make some Native American nations, for example, less relevant?  Since I don't believe -- and I am behind on this subject -- that humans have cracked the dolphin language, for example, how do we know they aren't passing on verbal history?  We've taught them some of our language, but I don't know if the converse is true.

As for interior monologues and identity crises, I'd consider myself ahead of the game if I didn't have them.  To be honest, IMO people tend to believe what they believe and that's fine.  But I am amazed at the mental capabilities some species have and wonder why they're called dumb animals when maybe we're the ones who aren't seeing something.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 27, 2007, 03:28:38 PM
"As for interior monologues and identity crises, I'd consider myself ahead of the game if I didn't have them. "

Amen to that!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 27, 2007, 04:41:00 PM
I doubt you're really able to think anymore if you don't have interior monologues, but never mind.   8)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: ponderosa on September 27, 2007, 05:55:26 PM

Here's an interesting question; What is life?


Hey, I thought I carelessly answered that several days ago. Life is anything that is not dead. Thanks to the heavier than normal rainfall this year my backyard is teeming with life. The oceans of this planet support life such as the previously discussed whale and whatever foodstuffs whales consume to sustain their lives. Cockroaches are alive and well. I see 'em in my kitty kat's food bowl in the mornings (the bastids). Some poisonous snake is alive and well somewhere in my yard and that sommbitch bit the aforementioned kitty and he (the kitty) is driving me crazy 'cause the vet convinced me that he should stay indoors until his wound has healed properly.

I'm sure to have left out a species or two that exist on this planet (the only one I have occupied slash resided on) but it's a start.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 27, 2007, 06:06:09 PM
Actually, I have the feeling that if you could just tell the person inside to shut up you'd be able to hear many many other things.

It has been reasoned that the "power of prayer" is related to the self hypnosis of repeated prayer. Nuns and monk type persons who sit in fervid prayer actually turn off the internal voice by having it say the Hail Mary again and again until it becomes a quiet, ignorable background noise.

This is not something that I'm able to do. I have given it a good try, not my best try which I feel I'll only be able to give after I've retired from the work a day world. But it is my goal.

I do believe that I have come awfully close, but I panicked at the idea that I wasn't ready for the trip at the time.

BTW, I am aware that Fundie Christians feel that the "power of prayer" is something completely different from what I've described. But then, they're retail religio-geeks who are willing to believe any line of poop that the minister administers.

BTW BTW, I am also aware that there is a whole other other belief system around the "power of prayer" which is akin to  the "Power Of Positive Thinking" meets "The healing Power Of Crystals!". The Fundies believe that they can petition the Lord with prayer (as Jethro Tull used to say) and that when He see that one of the lucky lottery winners (who will get his wish granted by God) has you in your prayers, then you'll be cured! And/or if enpough people pester him on your behalf that'll work too! The new agians look at it as focusing positive excitations (as Bob Marley would say of his Rastaman vibrations) and good things happen to people with a positive attitude (as Norman Vincent might Peale off). Of these three I tend to tend to the third, but I think the first will show me how it happens.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 27, 2007, 07:12:48 PM
But then, they're retail religio-geeks who are willing to believe any line of poop that the minister administers.

What scientific methodology did you use to reach that conclusion ... or is that a statement of faith?

I suspect the "Fundie Christians" would not differ significantly from any other group of people when it comes to believing what their authorities tell them without in some way testing it for themselves.  In fact they may be more inclined than other groups to try figuring things out for themselves, which is why they break up into myriad congregations and denominations.  They just use a different criteria than you or I might for determining whether they are right.    


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 27, 2007, 07:45:31 PM
If that reponse is good enough for you, then I'm happy for you.

[edit]

That was a bit brusk, I'm sorry.

Oskylad, I have not grown up in a different America from you (I assume you grew up, and that it was in America) I am exposed to the thinkings of many many religious people and have been my whole life.

I have been known to watch TBN over the years and I have seen what ridiculousness people are willing to believe.

There's an old joke that goes(ish) 40% of the nation is Democrats and they will vote for anyone that the Dems put up, no matter what. 40% percent of the nation is Republican and will vote for the Republican candidate no matter what. The election is decided by the 20% in the middle. unfortunately, this is the same 20% that believes that professional wrestling is real! (i told you it was old, way back before wrestling admitted to scripting the matches, after which matches became super violent, because now it's a "drama").

What I mean by this is that I agree that there are lots of groups of people who will believe anything. But those groups are not mutually exclusive. People who believe that Benny Hinn can cure you by laying on his hands to your wallet, are some of the self same people who believe that New Fab with extra freshing Borax will make them more popular.

While there are always people jumping from one Miracle Minister to the next and there are uncounted carnival barkers setting up revival tents (Some of the churches in Florida actually look like the olde time tents) and taking their shot on the TBN, it's all just variations of the same theme.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 28, 2007, 12:17:15 PM
I sometimes reflect, or meditate, without words.  And, without language nattering away in my head, I'm still conscious and there is something going on that I would characterize as thought.  Often very useful thought.  So I'm not inclined to say that because humans seem the most advanced species in terms of spoken symbols, i.e. language, that we are also more capable of introspection or having "inner lives." 

There's the whole Chomsky thing about humans having syntax and grammar, so we can talk about matters not in the present moment.  Chomsky feels its built into the hard-wiring of our brain -- there's his famous example of "the house is blue" and how even a small child knows this refers to the outside of the house.  I see no reason that such innate skills for interpreting symbol systems couldn't reside in other mammals, and recent research seems to bear this out.  Some species may be capable of abstraction, but just don't do it unless taught to by humans.  That seems to be the case with bonobos and chimps and such, in various laboratory settings.  The ability is there, but their prior jungle life just didn't bring it out so much. 




Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 28, 2007, 01:22:08 PM
There's the whole Chomsky thing about humans having syntax and grammar, so we can talk about matters not in the present moment.>><<The ability is there, but their prior jungle life just didn't bring it out so much. 

I blame the French!

Those darned existentialists!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on September 28, 2007, 01:43:49 PM
So I'm not inclined to say that because humans seem the most advanced species in terms of spoken symbols, i.e. language, that we are also more capable of introspection or having "inner lives." 


So are you saying you believe animals wonder why they exist, mull over ethical questions, plan future projects for themselves, seek and develop methods to develop their own spirituality, etc?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on September 28, 2007, 02:53:07 PM
So I'm not inclined to say that because humans seem the most advanced species in terms of spoken symbols, i.e. language, that we are also more capable of introspection or having "inner lives." 


So are you saying you believe animals wonder why they exist, mull over ethical questions, plan future projects for themselves, seek and develop methods to develop their own spirituality, etc?

And so what if they do and so what if they don't?

I've run into lots of people of whom I would be hard pressed to vouch for their ever having engaged in the above mentioned activities. Does it make them less in God's eye? I have known some people who were/are severely mentally handicapped, are you proposing that they are less human because of that?

Tch tch Desdemona222b! And I must comment on your avatar, (I assume that he is your dog?) Do you think that he has no capacity for the hurdles you laid before? I see my dog dream. I see her ability to gauge the mood of the room and act accordingly.

Given all of this I still think that it is exactly the interaction between our "left brain" and our "right brain" that allows us to have imagined problems and solved them. (Without the right brain, we wouldn't have imagined them, without the left brain we never would have solved them.)

On the other hand, this exact adaptation may well hold the seeds of our own destruction. We might turn out to be an example of an adaptation that turned out poorly even though the adaptation worked out well for a while.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 28, 2007, 03:13:53 PM
Ober, " . . . adaptations that worked . . . for a while."  That seems a good possibility to me, judging from the example specimens so far.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on September 29, 2007, 01:14:23 AM
Ober - Thank you for clarifying your earlier response to my last post. 

I am fully aware there are shysters at loose in "fundementalist" Christian circles.  It seems they are especially prevalent on television.  But I've traveled enough in those circles to know the vast majority are well-meaning, loving, reflective, down-to-earth, and self-sacrificing people who would go out of their way to help you in a time of trouble.

So when you referred to "Fundie Christians" as being "retail religio-geeks who are willing to believe any line of poop that the minister administers", I thought your remarks were grossly unfair and inappropriate.  There are rotten apples in every barrel, but there are many good apples if we would only stop to look at them more closely.

I'm not suggesting you or I need to agree with them - only that we give them the courtesy of considering that their experience also has worth.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on September 29, 2007, 01:37:40 AM
harrie,re:#97

"and I believe I heard a story about a female primate -- don't recall gorilla, chimp or what -- who liked to paint, but her mate would destroy her work.  But I don't recall her name, so it's hard to track down..."

Oh, my goodness, yes, any number of them, even when I don't recall their names, usually sometime when they are through with their degree in the fine arts and get married.  Having known approximately 3000 art students in any given academic year, with a drop out rate until they complete the fourth year, for the comparative few females to  males who are productive and actively engaged in  showing their work and entering competitions, the rate of non-destruction of works of art  is greatest for those who marry other artists of the opposite sex. If he's into something else, forget it.

Now the record on the writerly artist is somewhat different. Joan Didion may be the only one known in the modern era who was able to quietly write in the same room as her husband John Gregory Dunne for maybe it was 34 years, have forgotten the exact amount of time they devoted to this. It happens only a few times per century.  Otherwise, you can pretty well expect that while you are in the process, someone of the male sex will open the closed door and come in to see how you are doing. And stand there until you acknowledge their presence and have lost your train of thought. They think you are typing.  What exactly, we don't know. They want to have a little conversation. About nothing in particular. Sometimes, dolphins.  Sometimes, they are there to ask if you need anything.   My son, by the way, never did this; he was a self-starter, I gave him crayons, did he draw? No, at first he laid them out on the floor,making letters of the alphabet. After that he went on to the usual works of art.  He was 47 recently, and he writes rather well.

We don't have an extensive period of time as yet, to know how the above abilities compare with the film arts for instance. I've known a few theatrical directors of my own sex however(in fact, I recall playing,Antigone, and maybe something by Thornton Wilder, and then there were three sisters that liked to rework Irish drama); much easier to work for than temperamental male directors. Or, dancers/choreographers.

Well, whatever her name is, that primate painter, I wish her luck. If she takes up weaving, her knitting, her fine-lace making on a pillow with pins and bobbins, watch out, my grandmother did that and she ran the farm.

Ps. there have been some interesting conjectures presenting the difference, possibly,between contemplation and Vipassana meditation, which are altogether different than "mantra", such as saying a rosary for instance; but, if I can remember any thoughts that occurred to me, while reading those posts, by tomorrow, that will be something because I know that I am supposed to take care  of a down comforter, bury some bulbs, go shopping for groceries, etc. and just get on with it.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 29, 2007, 03:26:27 AM
Whew, Maddy.  Thank goodness you included that second-to-last paragraph.  I thought for a minute there that I was in a drawing room overlooking those mud flats in Los Angeles.  Now I see it is a play (on an idea by a passing stranger) with Angelica Houston doing the speaking with Jack Nicholson listening (I can just see the smile, can't you?).  Delicious, Maddy.  One of your better efforts.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on September 29, 2007, 08:28:10 AM
Agreed, madupont; very enjoyable.  Though I guess I should fess up that sometimes I'm the hairy primate in the doorway messing up the train of thought.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 29, 2007, 11:39:10 AM
Desde, re "So are you saying you believe animals wonder why they exist, mull over ethical questions, plan future projects for themselves, seek and develop methods to develop their own spirituality, etc?"

I don't believe anything like that -- I just don't know.  But it seems to me that dolphins and whales, and maybe apes, could achieve that first part, i.e. mulling over ethics (how to behave towards others) and maybe the nature of their existence.  IIRC, a captive gorilla did some artwork that sometimes appeared to show her curiosity about who she was, as well as asking questions (she developed a sign vocabulary of over 1000 words) that sometimes had a philosophic angle.  Some chimps escaped from a zoo here in Nebraska several years ago, and the evidence showed they had planned it out to some degree.

But, sure, we humans seem to do all these things with a sophistication seen in no other earthly species.  I'm not an animal rights nut to the point where I think we are all on some equal footing.  But I do think all complex mammals do deserve equal consideration, in terms of being spared from cruelty and confinement.  After all, we believe in such rights for the severely retarded, though their cognition may be no better than that of an ape or cetacean.







Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 29, 2007, 12:49:26 PM
Barton, " . . . we believe in such rights for the severely retarded . . . ," good parting shot.  Go easy on Des.  She's an all right woman.  Admittedly, she does sidle up and pinch real hard sometimes.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on September 30, 2007, 02:49:46 PM
Re "Go easy on Des...."

I honestly wasn't aware that I was going hard, or giving out "parting shots."  I was just trying to answer her question, on what was my position, such as it is, about animals having profound thoughts and all.  I'm not even sure how my remarks could add up to being hard on anyone and I certainly have nothing but affection for Desdemona insofar as I know her as a presence here in cyberspace.  We have fun over in Creative Writing, when inspiration strikes, or fails to.

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on September 30, 2007, 03:07:22 PM
Lighten up, Barton.  I was just funnin with you.  You're not Southern, are you?  Guess I'll have to just leave off with the rockin chair/front porch/sweet tea talk.  Sorry.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 01, 2007, 12:23:17 PM
Ha!  Funning now sighted and identified!

I have been struggling with an emoticon addiction for some time now and have been in treatment the past few months, working hard to see the underlying tone in naked unadorned text -- once it was so easy for me, but the emoticon junkie years have taken their toll, all those little smilies and acronyms and whatnot, and ordinary text had begun to look all gray and lifeless.  The key thing, for me, was admitting that I had a problem and that I needed help getting off the emoticons, which were taking over my mind in the worst way...

We Northies have porches too, you know. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on October 02, 2007, 02:07:12 AM
Barton, it's the Finknottle thing.  Remember when you first noticed that Jim Lehrer or Robert McNeil would "clarify" when an interview guest used acronyms or jargon, or a barely explained historical reference?  And you'd think, whoa, stop interrupting, EVERYbody knows THAT.  But, of course, EVERYbody doesn't always.  A lesson that comes home when it's me/you/us that doesn't know and "we" are grateful for the clarification.

Which is a nottle of a way to say I am with you on the skills needed for the deciphering of intent in posts at discussion sites. Too bad I couldn't have worked "toolbox" into one of the sentences.  That seems to be sexy nowadays.  :)

Good luck on your attempt to give up emoticons.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 02, 2007, 11:52:44 AM
Toolbox has become trendy, for sure. 

One phrase that used to throw me was "[      ] has been a local institution since [date]."   Well, the date offered is usually the date that said place first opened.

Now, here's the thing:  could it really have been an "institution" in the first years of its existence??  I don't think a place is an "institution" until it has been around for a while.

That kind of sloppy writing bugs me.





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 02, 2007, 01:37:53 PM
Well, The Craig House was a local institution since the day it was founded (it has since closed) and some of this nation's more colorful characters were (un)known to have checked in there (under false AUNKAs) for "Rest and Relaxation" (AKA rehab).

A certain Mr Capote could be seen, from time to time frequenting the local watering holes wearing the distinctive garb of relaxing resters at the Craig House.

So, yes, sometimes "institutional" satus is immediately conferred.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 02, 2007, 02:20:57 PM
AWWWW, shucks both of you guys!  I love ya'll too!!!

Barton, didn't know you were coming at this partially from an animal rights angle.  I am "totally there", man. 

Now, as to obertray's musings regarding my little dog Ivan, pictured here:

Tch tch Desdemona222b! And I must comment on your avatar, (I assume that he is your dog?) Do you think that he has no capacity for the hurdles you laid before?

Ivan is a strikingly intelligent dog, truly a notch above any other dog I've ever owned.  He is 10 yrs old, and his cumulative knowledge from all those years is amazing - he truly understands a great deal of what we say and tries his level best to communicate with us with a wide variety of barks, grunts, oofs, kerchoos, growls, etc as well as body language.  He is not inclined to whine or cry, like many other dogs.  He also has exquisite manners - when he hears me wake up in the morning, he politely waits for me to open the door to my bedroom and wouldn't dream of scratching or making a racket - he does issue a low gutteral sound you can just barely hear until I open the door.

This video of Millie, a little dog of the same breed is very similar to his behavior:

http://youtube.com/results?search_query=miniature+schnauzer+trying+to+tell

All considerations and amazement aside,  I am quite sure that Ivan has no plans as to what he'll do tomorrow or even tonight and that he never ruminates over why he is here on this earth and what the meaning of life is.  In a similar vein, his introspective activity seems to be confined to things like a brief bout of shock and curiosity whenever he passes gas, and I'm dead serious.  He studies the situation quite carefully for about 30 seconds or so.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 02, 2007, 03:05:49 PM
Could it be, however that the only reason he doesn't contemplate the meaning of life is that he intrinsically KNOWS it?

Is existentialism a genetic trait and planning is just as foreign an activity to dogs as not planning is to us?

It's almost impossible for us to live "in the moment" continually. Perhaps the opposite is true with dogs, but only because of the wiring, not because of the ability.

Meanwhile, dogs obviously plan for the future in that wild pack dogs will encamp together, then decamp and go hunting in a group. This shows that they are planning to do something in the future. When they find prey they spread out and assume attack positions based on what they anticipate will happen in the future.

I mean, Ivan might open an IRA for himslf, but the only problem is knowing when it is that he's retired!

Here's a "joke" that I'm stealing from someplace else. It's less of a joke and more of a sales training seminar opening story. But it's about retirement and a dog's life so...

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Greek village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Greek on the quality of his fish and asked, "How long does it take to catch them?" The Greek replied: "Only a little while". The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Greek said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" The Greek fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play cards with my friends, I have a full and busy life." The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Athens, then London and eventually New York where you will run your expanding enterprise." The Greek fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?" To which the American replied, "15-25 years." "But what then?" The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions." "Millions ... Then what?" The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play cards with your friends."  


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 02, 2007, 03:25:07 PM
Meanwhile, dogs obviously plan for the future in that wild pack dogs will encamp together, then decamp and go hunting in a group. This shows that they are planning to do something in the future. When they find prey they spread out and assume attack positions based on what they anticipate will happen in the future.


This comparison is invalid because it is addressing very rudimentary, instinctive behavior.   I've read quite a bit about animal behavior, and although I am far from an expert on the matter, I do know that pack animals grouping and hunting together is hard-wired in the dogs' brains and has nothing to do with planning.  The dog or dogs are driven to their behavior by hunger, not by a cognitive process anything like planning.

barton -

I've finally come to accept the fact that emoticons are not evil, therefore I am free to use them after finishing my 3rd step.   :-\


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 02, 2007, 04:26:02 PM
Yeah, we humans seem to be champs of the "ad hoc" approach, and have the large cerebra, esp. frontal lobes, to show for it.  A lot of "planning" in other species is a sort of Darwinian planning, i.e. the genome responding to the environment in a way that, after the fact, might look like some overarching plan. 

The science/math of fractals helps to illustrate how a rather simple algorithm of nature can sort of elaborate into systems that seem amazingly complex and intricate.  Complexly layered Mandelbrot figures can be generated from simple equations.

Indeed, some math types have been known to get a mystical, in a sort of "god is the ultimate equation" mode.

Regarding

"In a similar vein, his introspective activity seems to be confined to things like a brief bout of shock and curiosity whenever he passes gas..."

Perhaps he is mulling the ethics of it -- you did mention he was a courteous dog.

My own theory is that dogs fart, but only humans pass gas.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 02, 2007, 04:44:27 PM
Desdemona222b,

I like the term "hard wired" I use it a lot myself. (I also like to use it as a derogative term in that when you hard wire something, you bypass the fuse, when something goes wrong, there's gonna be a fire!)

OTOH, it's important not to let too much be accepted as simply "hard wired". Yes it is instinctual for a dog to use it's senses to find food when it's hungry. Yes the moves a domesticated dog makes are identical to a wild dog (like circling around to lie down) and those behaviors are just part of being a dog. But, in a hunting party, each dog goes to his position... How'd that position get to be his? How is that position adjusted for the death of a brother? It has to do with the alpha, and your position (if you are a dog) in the pack. These parts of the ritual are learned and taught. This meme is passed on from Alpha down to Omega.

That shows planning. Maybe not good planning, maybe very good, that I can't tell. I can only imagine that there good alphas and there are lucky alphas (only got to be alpha by coming of age just when the old alpha caught a moose antler ride into the trunk of a tree) who aren't very good at it.

Yes, packs are driven by hunger. But they don't wait until they're all starving to go on the hunt. It's not as if they are watching the Super Howl and they run out of Cariboo so they make a dash for some more at half time. They leave on the hunt before hunger sets in. They bring back food for the pack as well (da bitches what am they puppy mamas).




Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 02, 2007, 07:19:50 PM
 But, in a hunting party, each dog goes to his position... How'd that position get to be his?

Well, down here in Georgia, they call it "a 6-pack of whup-ass."

barton -

An ethical conundrum - oh god - LOL!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 03, 2007, 10:41:42 AM
Well, it's an ethical conundrum for ME, anyway.

Dogs do seem smart enough, and social enough, to do some memetic transfer -- I think it's fair to say that their complex interactions and signals can constitute a rudimentary "dog culture."  And being domesticated means that they can pick up human memes.   Makes you wonder where they will be, developmentally, in a few million years.  Will we selectively favor dogs that are progressively more communicative and nuanced in their interaction with humans? -- I don't see why not.  Their role has shifted in the past couple centuries from guardian and hunting partner more towards home companion.  The better companions will be more likely to be bred.

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 03, 2007, 11:05:37 AM
I hope you're right about that, Barton, since so many breeders are hacks and don't know what they're doing.  I read recently that selective breeding always tends to cause neurological problems like epilepsy, etc, and that one should avoid choosing a pet with albino or albino-like traits because it can translate to bad behavior.  Think dalmations and how managable they are - bichon frises are also crazy, neurotic little dogs.

It's a shame dogs aren't bred for personality traits.  The breeder I got Ivan from lives up in the north Georgia mountains and she is not an educated woman.  She surely had some excellent breeding stock when I purchased Ivan a decade ago, and all of her dogs conformed to breed standards.  In the meantime, she has gotten into breeding the dogs to be solid white, party colored, or liver and tan.  I called her recently about buying a puppy, and she told me she had no dogs left that were related to Ivan.  Pity.  Now I'll have to try to find another breeder.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 03, 2007, 12:24:16 PM
Barton -

I have a male tabby that looks a great deal like your cat named Banjo.  He doesn't quite have that chair arm/yoga position thing down, though.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 03, 2007, 01:05:58 PM
The jpg is a dead ringer for a former cat named Pelham, so I clipped it.  Pelham, ours that is, favored positions like that shown.  I do have some pics of Pelham, but I'm never organized enough to have them with me when I have access to a scanner.  I only access the Net from public or work PCs.

I'm never sure if personality really goes with coat coloration, but it does seem to me that grey tabbies are all-around great cats.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on October 03, 2007, 02:34:54 PM
Ober, you are seeing things?  Scroll bars?  I don't see any scroll bars in your last few posts.  Sometimes there is a scroll bar for left/right at the bottom of some posts.  I assume that is because the person copy/paste from composition made somewhere other than the "box" provided here at Melba.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 03, 2007, 02:39:30 PM
Banjo? I knew one who was named Rastus, a bit longer in the fur with a ring-tail.

I went looking for my cat, now eleven years old going on that extra half year,and Kiki is the female style of what you've got there but she would not be caught dead in that sort of pose. Too feminine to have an off day.
But she has none of those nice traits either that Desdemona enumerated about the considerate Canine in the morning.  She doesn't even pretend to know better. Any cat that can communicate at her level, gets her way .

She is not only a grey but also a peach,sometimes quite reddish, black-striped tabby known as a Grampion in Scotland or just plain Chessie around the Chesapeake area and the railroad routes, two beige back feet for contrast.

The photo that you posted pretty much resembles the cartoon character whose name I can't recall.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on October 03, 2007, 02:43:28 PM
Garfield?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 03, 2007, 02:44:39 PM
desdemona, re:#123

"The dog or dogs are driven to their behavior by hunger, not by a cognitive process anything like planning."

And sometimes they are driven to it by nothing more than  the start of a few flakes of snow. They smell the snow in the air and they streak off at dawn to find each other and go hunting. Not good in dairy herd country.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 03, 2007, 02:48:13 PM
donotremove,

I don't think so; wasn't Garfield a totally red cat except for a little stripiness around the paws and maybe some white on the face? Can't remember but he seemed more solidly stuffed animal on the prowl.  I'm thinking of a skinnier version with the same  nutty expression in the eyes as the cat on the furniture-arm.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 03, 2007, 04:19:18 PM
http://forums.escapefromelba.com/index.php/topic,168.msg35634.html#msg35634

If that'll work...Yes it worked

You don't see a scroll bar there?it didn't have scroll bar when I tried the link. But when i went back the scroll bar was there. But when I altered the post to identify and utilize the scroll bar, the scroll bar went away. So I de altered the post and the bar was still gone.

Maybe I'm being Gaslighted afterall (Jung would have a Jump day!)I think I might just have a Juniper evening myself!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 03, 2007, 05:22:24 PM
So, science and religion, eh?



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on October 04, 2007, 02:37:46 AM
Calm, Ober. Calm.  I believe you.  It was there.  I'm sure of it if you say so.  I've never known you to lie to me yet.

I'm still rummaging around in the "cat" files in my brain--all the files are in such a mess, I despair of finding most everything I start a search for--trying to find just the right cat for Maddy.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 04, 2007, 09:51:49 AM
I think maddie's talking about a handsome tabby from a cat commercial.

Maddie, even brash Kitten has learned to wait patiently for me when I'm just getting up.  She knows how cranky I am in the mornings. 

Back to science, but not religion, regarding the discussion about animal behavior - my female cat, Kitten, indulges in behavior that makes one wonder where the line is drawn between human children and pets.  She wants you to come to her kitty dish with her and watch her eat.  It's the strangest, funniest thing.  She's very vocal, and she's also young, so when she started this madness, she would mew and mew and my son would jump up and run in there to check her bowl only to find it full.  I noticed that she's just happy to have you go to her bowl with her and maybe stroke her once or twice as she starts to eat.  Now this behavior has developed into a routine:  When I get up in the mornings, she comes in my room and gives me the good morning treatment then patiently wait until I'm dressed so she can run downstairs with me and start eating while I'm there. 

So, if we're talking about scientific analysis of animal behavior, how does one explain it?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 04, 2007, 03:50:24 PM
Des,

I'm, again, sure why we would explain this behavior. I think that it has been well established here that animals think (which was the original issue; John30r said that the difference between humans and the rest of nature was that man thinks). 

Further, I don't know why we would answer your question when you have consistently avoided answering questions asked of you (mostly around the issue of the humanity of the severely retarded).

Meanwhile, I'm now even more fully convinced that the Universe revolves around me (personally) ! I am the head SIM in this computer simulation!

How do I know this? I'll tell you... It started off with diet; "Eat steak and lose weight!" Then it went to drink, "men who have a couple of drinks with friends each week is less likely to die of a heart attack" Toss on video games as exercise, and then add prostate health "masturbation is great for the prostate" All of these things sort of turned my head towards the notion that I, personally, am the ideal of the Universe. But then came this bit today... Before I tell you let me tell you that my wife worked for many years for a gastroenterologist and i have been aware, from a fairly tender age of the importance of a Colonoscopy, and how, men should get one when they turn 50. Unfortunately I also know what a colonoscopy is! It's one of the only reasons I don't want to be abducted by aliens! I would rather they capture me as part of a "To Serve Man" scenario.

So here I am, approaching the dred 5-0  and my biological clock is ticking down... Soon I'll have no reasonable choice but t to have this procedure. What was on the radio this morning? "There's a doctor I've found can do it with x-rays! No more black tubes in the wahzoo!" (not an exact quote).  The world changes to fit my particular wants and desires on a regular basis. Far as I'm concerned, that's proof enough for me that I'm the consciousness that matters and the rest of you are here only to fill out my SIM life experience.

I want to thank you all, but really, it's you who should thanking me for thinking of you! Can you imagine all the people I've never thought of and who therefore must not really be? You can if I want you to!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 04, 2007, 06:18:52 PM
Obert - I read about the new colonscopy procedure and had the same sense of elation as you.

As to being the center of the universe, I've heard it said that God invented time so that everything didn't happen at once, and God invented space so that everything didn't happen to me.  You're hypothesis accounts for the latter (i.e., everything does happen to you), but not the former.  Even for computer simulations there is a beginning and, sadly, there will be an end.   


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 04, 2007, 07:19:18 PM
There was an interesting article in the September 22nd issue of The Economist on religion and ecology.   http://economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9832922

The article provides examples of religious groups and environmental scientists teaming up - sometimes reluctantly - to fight ecological challenges.  As one would expect, some environmental scientists say they are being hijacked by religious leaders.  Other people say that religion may offer the best hope of making people treat the earth more kindly.  Evelyn Tucker of Yale University is quoted as saying: "Religions provide a cultural integrity, a spiritual depth and moral force which secular approaches lack."


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 05, 2007, 12:08:37 AM
And an obituary in the same issue of The Economist tells about Alex, an African Grey Parrot that died at the age of 31.  http://www.economist.com/obituary/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9828615 

"Using a training technique now employed on children with learning difficulties," Alex was taught "how to describe things, how to make his desires known and even how to ask questions."

"By the end, ... Alex had the intelligence of a five-year-old child and had not reached his full potential.  He had a vocabulary of 150 words.  He knew the names of 50 objects and could, in addition, describe their colours, shapes and the materials they were made from.  He could answer questions about objects' properties, even when he had not seen that particular combination of properties before.  He could ask for things—and would reject a proffered item and ask again if it was not what he wanted.  He understood, and could discuss, the concepts of “bigger”, “smaller”, “same” and “different”.  And he could count up to six, including the number zero (and was grappling with the concept of “seven” when he died).  He even knew when and how to apologise if he annoyed [his researchers]."

Alex's last words were "I love you" and "You'll be in tomorrow?"


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Lhoffman on October 05, 2007, 12:10:48 AM
Thirty-one is not very old for that kind of bird....do you think stress killed him?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 05, 2007, 12:26:29 AM
Wikipedia reports: "Alex's death came as a complete surprise; the average life span for African grey parrots is fifty years.  He had appeared healthy the day before, and was found dead in the morning. The cause of death is unknown."
 
I'd guess the isolation and loneliness of being kept in a cage. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Lhoffman on October 05, 2007, 12:30:18 AM
Interesting and sad story.  But I guess "average" age of fifty might mean anything from 0 to 100.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 05, 2007, 12:47:53 AM
The Alex Foundation reports:  "He had a sudden, unexpected catastrophic event associated with arterosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries").  It was either a fatal arrhythmia, heart attack or stroke, which caused him to die suddenly with no suffering."


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 05, 2007, 10:07:56 AM
Obert - I read about the new colonscopy procedure and had the same sense of elation as you.

As to being the center of the universe, I've heard it said that God invented time so that everything didn't happen at once, and God invented space so that everything didn't happen to me.  You're hypothesis accounts for the latter (i.e., everything does happen to you), but not the former.  Even for computer simulations there is a beginning and, sadly, there will be an end.   

Well then it must have been me who invented infinity. Wow that was really lucky of me to have done this. And that I could have done this in the face of a religiousity that clings faithfully to the concept of cyclicality (even as they claim to be progenitors of the acyclical paradigm).

Meanwhile I'm not yet at my 4 score and 7 (which I'm sure was Lincodamus's prediction about me) so we still have time for me to invent a way for me to live forever (otherwise, I'll just redifine "ever". Of course we still haven't taken on the most basic question of "What is life?" So I might just redefine "live" by then, which I kind of like better because then I can fill up the history that doesn't yet include me.) 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 05, 2007, 10:46:53 AM
I enjoy a good fit of solipsism, though I find it simply wrong-headed in others.  I, too, am nearly ecstatic to hear of an alternative to bum-spelunking forms of colon inspection.  In the future, colon pictures will be taken at the supermarket, and you can then plan your meals based on the results.

I suspect too many saltines in Alex's premature death.  Just because he asks for a cracker doesn't mean you have to give him one.  Or, you can get the low-salt variety. 

I've had cats that seem to like the "watch me eat" routine.  Maybe it's the implied security?  As in, "I have a lookout, so I can relax while I eat, and not worry about marauders of the food bowl."  It seems to be done by highly socialized cats, i.e. cats who think they are people.  When I was a kid, we had multiple cats at any given time, and they tended to be less like that -- having cat buddies, they are more aware that they are cats and not people.

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: ponderosa on October 05, 2007, 11:01:50 AM
I've had cats that seem to like the "watch me eat" routine.  Maybe it's the implied security?  As in, "I have a lookout, so I can relax while I eat, and not worry about marauders of the food bowl."  It seems to be done by highly socialized cats, i.e. cats who think they are people.  When I was a kid, we had multiple cats at any given time, and they tended to be less like that -- having cat buddies, they are more aware that they are cats and not people.

 

It has been some time since I read it, but Carl Sagan's Dragons of Eden is a fascinating book. A lot of the focus is on the development of the human brain, and while I don't recall any specific mention of "lookout while i eat" routines, he does, I believe, write about security issues during sleep. I lent my copy out some time ago. I think I'll go get me another and re-read it.

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


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 05, 2007, 11:34:12 AM
"... having cat buddies, they are more aware that they are cats and not people."

Such a homocentric thing to say!

It is much more likely that the cat with buddies is much more aware that YOU are NOT a cat! And a poor substitute for one at that!





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on October 05, 2007, 11:36:38 AM
One of our cats will threaten to take your arm off if you get too close while she's eating.  But we can do just about anything to the boy cat, even while he's eating.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 05, 2007, 11:46:30 AM
obertray -

Further, I don't know why we would answer your question when you have consistently avoided answering questions asked of you (mostly around the issue of the humanity of the severely retarded).


Just what in the hell are you on about?  I haven't "consistently avoided answering questions" and I don't recall any conversation about "the humanity of the severely retarded" at all except for a remark Barton made about the topic in conjunction with humanity toward animals, which I responded to.  And just who do you think you are answering me as though you are speaking for everyone on the forum by saying "we"? 

As a matter of fact, I don't give a damn whether you answer me anymore anyway, since your idea of a discussion is to misrepresent what someone says - reference the discussion about faith, and now this random, stupid accusation. 

You're a dishonest, supercilious twerp.  And one more thing:  what makes you think ANYONE gives a rat's ass who you are?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 05, 2007, 12:38:52 PM
It's flame Friday again.  I got started early, putting the torch to Pugetopolis yesterday, and now I feel almost beatific today.  Sunshine, puppies, flowers, peace, love, and ripe melons!



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 05, 2007, 12:57:04 PM
There's one of those pinches DNR talked about.

Desdemona222b,

Go back and re read the thread, see those things that look like this "?"? Those are marks that indicate that the words before them were intended to be a question. I've asked you several times what difference it made what a specific response (in animals) made to the overall discussion. I asked you at least twice if we feel the way we feel about thing (like the Grand Canyon, or the hummingbirds or the other Hallmark moments that you asserted were evidence of a Divine) were learned or "God given" and got zero response out of you about it.

Now, I'll say I; but I mean we (by which I mean people who have engaged you in conversation on this forum) have gone along with you down this path and happily so, but you have not returned the favor (by following anyone else's path) and when I bring this to your attention you respond with spittle and venom.

I did not in any way shape or form misrepresent what you said about Faith. It's not my fault that the one side of your mouth doesn't know what the other side of your mouth is saying. Again, go back and re read what you said. Start here http://forums.escapefromelba.com/index.php/topic,168.msg33585.html#msg33585 (http://forums.escapefromelba.com/index.php/topic,168.msg33585.html#msg33585) Where you said "What do you mean it doesn't take faith to believe in God?  Of course it does - that's precisely why atheists are so convinced they're right.  They have no faith, therefore they do not know God and cannot possibly accept his existence. "

http://forums.escapefromelba.com/index.php/topic,168.msg34068.html#msg34068 (http://forums.escapefromelba.com/index.php/topic,168.msg34068.html#msg34068) Here you said "I wasn't talking about having no faith in yourself or other people, I was talking about having no faith in God."

Which I then asserted made absolutely no sense. Why would an Atheist have faith in God? If you want to argue Chicken Egg from there (Which comes first? Acceptance of the existence, or Faith in the existence?), well that's a valid exercise, I'd be glad to have walked that path with you. But we didn't.

I didn't confuse what you said, and I said that I was willing to accept either definition of faith, but that we should all agree to cut down on the ambiguity of the words we're using here. You were confused by what you said, not what I said.

The same is true with Johnr60's statement about thought being the dividing line between man and the rest of nature (which I think we have thoroughly discredited). All I'm doing is responding to what is written. We have disposed of Johnr60's misunderstanding and we can move on. We needn't even go further with the severely mentally handicapped topic, but I was not the only one to have pointed them out to you, so I used that example of your avoidance.

We're just talking here, Desdemona222b, we're not going to reshape the world. We might give each other something new to think about in the future, we may remind each other of thinks we forgot we knew. Chill down, I accept that I am a supercillious twerp, BTW I know more about you than you know about me. You and I have been posting next to each other for many years. If you knew who I was than you would probably revert to your opinion of me based on the heat of flame wars. I, on the other hand have not treated you based on those memories and won't in the future.

I just ask that you open yourself up to the discussion a little more. Discussion for discussion's sake.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 05, 2007, 03:41:57 PM
Well then it must have been me who invented infinity.

The trouble with infinity is, it takes forever.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 05, 2007, 03:49:26 PM
untermann -

I love this - predicting what my behavior would be if I were privy to certain information regarding previous flame wars,  yadda yadda yadda.   "Resorting to spittle."  LOL.   UNREAL.

Ever heard of a thing called reading the CONTEXT of a statement?  No, I didn't think so.  The consequence is a "discussion" based on splitting hairs about what one did or did not say, a mere exercise in semantics that is not only frustrating but a huge waste of time and energy.

THEREFORE, I take unction when it comes to entering into such a dishonest debate - what's more, I'm not obligated to respond to you under any circumstances, especially when you misrepresent what I really said.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 05, 2007, 04:20:18 PM
Whatever.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 05, 2007, 04:28:35 PM
It is a little bit humorous, don't you think, when an untermann becomes an obertray, only to come-out in such an amazing revelation of "where-you-know-me from" ?

(that's right, the words before the question mark are a question when they are not downright questionable)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 05, 2007, 05:07:51 PM
untermann -

I love this - predicting what my behavior would be if I were privy to certain information regarding previous flame wars,  yadda yadda yadda.   "Resorting to spittle."  LOL.   UNREAL.

Ever heard of a thing called reading the CONTEXT of a statement?  No, I didn't think so.  The consequence is a "discussion" based on splitting hairs about what one did or did not say, a mere exercise in semantics that is not only frustrating but a huge waste of time and energy.

THEREFORE, I take unction when it comes to entering into such a dishonest debate - what's more, I'm not obligated to respond to you under any circumstances, especially when you misrepresent what I really said.



No, not whatever!

"Ever heard of a thing called reading the CONTEXT of a statement? "

In what way does this negate anything that I have said? Answer: It DOESN'T. Context? You say that Atheists have no faith and then later you say that you meant it to mean "Faith in God" and you have the chops to think that is a splitting of a hair? That is not a semantics exercise, come on, get real. You overstated your case and you project an insistence of your position by doing so. THAT is the context that is plain to me. And nothing that you have said since has so much as decreased the arc of your direction by 1 degree.

There is a presupposition (the challenging of which is the context of this discussion, that context has been laid out by participants in this discussion) in you statements that there is such a thing as God and that evidence that there are good things is evidence that He from Whom all good things flow must therefore exist. I don't misunderstand what you really say. I understand what you say and why you say it and what you mean by it (if I don't I'll ask you to clarify, I promise). I don't misrepresent it, I lay it bare for you to see how ridiculous it may seem to someone who refuses (and refutes) your presuppositions.

As to predictions... I predict the sun will come up tomorrow. I predict that I could say one name and you would know more that I'm right, that I could mention two names and you would start rearguing the same dead issues of many years ago. My point of my handle is to let people who know who I am that I'm not trying to hide who I am and yet to say that what has passed is past and I hope that bygones can be gone by.

As to arguing semantics... When ever there is a discussion there is the issue of semantics. It's as Oskylad mentioned (perhaps not directly), the culture of materialism pervades our scientific understanding; the same is true of religion in a science discourse. We have words that have meanings beyond the sum of their letters and it is extremely hard to divorce these meanings form the word itself. I guess a good example is the word truth. Some people are searching for the truth others are searching for truth some for The Truth. We can only work within the language that we share, All I ask is that we agree on the meanings of the words we use so that we take the "splitting of hairs" out of the equation. You'll note, that I was willing (as am I still) to accept any agreed upon definition of "Faith" as long as we all worked within that context.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 05, 2007, 05:11:55 PM
It is a little bit humorous, don't you think, when an untermann becomes an obertray, only to come-out in such an amazing revelation of "where-you-know-me from" ?

(that's right, the words before the question mark are a question when they are not downright questionable)

I don't get it.

Have a nice weekend y'all.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on October 06, 2007, 04:14:31 AM
All right.  You all have

Done

It


Most of my angels have fallen off my pin and some of them are seriously injured.

Thanks a lot.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 06, 2007, 10:58:14 AM
Is it true that I will lose 21 grams when I die?



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 06, 2007, 11:32:01 AM
All right.  You all have

Done

It


Most of my angels have fallen off my pin and some of them are seriously injured.

Thanks a lot.

Like it's my fault your angels have two left feet (each).


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 06, 2007, 11:34:36 AM
Is it true that I will lose 21 grams when I die?


In some neighborhoods they won't actually kill you if you give up the grams freely.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 06, 2007, 06:42:06 PM
Har.

Hallowe'en is my favorite "holiday" because it is the most purely metaphysical and has the least (at present, anyway) religious baggage with it.  Basically, it's about some persistence of being beyond the death of the physical body.  So, though we speak of being "scared" or even "scared shitless" really the whole notion of ghoulies and ghosties is one based in metaphysical optimism.  I mention the 21 grams as an example of the attempt to have science meet up with religion, i.e. determining if there is some kind of soul by means of a scientific measurement.  Of course, this leads to the problem of dualism, which people have  been pointing out since Descartes and his pineal gland theory (that's where the soul is supposed to "connect" to the body) -- i.e. if a soul is nonphysical, then how can it interact at all with something that is physical?  By definition, if something interacts with a physical particle, then it too is physical and has energy and/or mass. 

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 06, 2007, 07:36:50 PM
Barton - You, like most Americans, have lost touch with the religious traditions (or "baggage", if you will) behind Hallowe'en. 

The religious traditions may be most forthcoming in our day in the Mexican Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), with its emphasis on celebrating and honoring the lives of the deceased, and celebrating the continuation of life.  The belief is not that death is the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in life.

Hallowe'en in its religious tradition is coming back to the United States through our Mexican immigrants.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 07, 2007, 12:59:59 PM
You misunderstand.  I'm familiar with the history, both in the Mexican Day of the Dead, and in the European All Hallows Eve (followed by All Saint's Day) -- I just meant that the present form in the U.S. (as you noted) has the metaphysics minus a particular religious angle.  I'm not religious, but I think some people do find comfort, greater capacity for compassion, connection to others, tuning the moral compass, and many other good things from a religious practice.  So if they want to be spiritual in that way and approach Hallowe'en from a particular tradition, more power to them.  I am perfectly happy to approach it from an X-Files angle and celebrate the mysteriousness of our universe, and glad to live in a culture that allows me to do that and not be judged as to my spiritual correctness.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on October 07, 2007, 01:22:16 PM
I just like the part about Butterfingers(TM) are fresher this time of year than most other times--they just melt in your mouth.  Mmm good, especially the bite-sized ones.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 07, 2007, 03:27:28 PM
I am perfectly happy to approach [hallowe'en] from an X-Files angle and celebrate the mysteriousness of our universe, and glad to live in a culture that allows me to do that and not be judged as to my spiritual correctness. 

As do I.  I trust you did not think I was judging your "spiritual correctness".


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 08, 2007, 10:56:56 AM
Well, I don't think so now.  There was an ambiguous quality to this...

"You, like most Americans, have lost touch with the religious traditions...."

An odd way to put it, given that I have never been IN touch with them (vis-a-vis Hallowe'en) in the first place.  So I can't really lose touch, can I?

 :-)



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 08, 2007, 12:16:51 PM
Halloween has increasing religious baggage in the era of Xtian intolerance.

Didn't you notice a few years ago when the nation went on Orange or Red Alert with dire warning of terrorists plots to kill trick or treaters and Mall Gatherers around Satan's Holiday?

Halloween has been in the crosshairs of the hairtriggered Xtians (which is not to say all Xtians but the newly fevered) for at least a decade now. It's a sort of proof positive that the devil exists that Halloween is growing to the point of being the number two holiday (in terms of consumer spending)in this nation.

Actually this is very much a Politics And Religion discussion. And a very good one at that in that it shows the growth of both irrationality and intolerance with the "Faith Based Renaissance". I'd join in such a discussion up there.

Osky/Bartty  are right (of course) All Hallows Eve is a religious occasion, the day before all Saints day in the Catholic Church. But then, like so many other “Religious Holidays” the holiday existed before the religion came to town. What had been discovered many centuries ago was that if you wanted people to join your religion, give them a day off and a reason to get drunk and they’ll join. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 08, 2007, 08:33:08 PM
Quote
if a soul is nonphysical, then how can it interact at all with something that is physical?  By definition, if something interacts with a physical particle, then it too is physical and has energy and/or mass.

It would seem to me that the idea of soul does not operate at the level of particles.  If we accept any theory of relativity why not apply one here?  The frame of refrence would be one at the level of human life, Euclidean, where telescopic and microscopic do not apply. 



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 10, 2007, 08:34:25 AM
Quote
if a soul is nonphysical, then how can it interact at all with something that is physical?  By definition, if something interacts with a physical particle, then it too is physical and has energy and/or mass.

It would seem to me that the idea of soul does not operate at the level of particles.  If we accept any theory of relativity why not apply one here?  The frame of refrence would be one at the level of human life, Euclidean, where telescopic and microscopic do not apply. 

If the soul is not a particle, might it still be a wave?  ;D


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 10, 2007, 10:08:54 AM
Since I was awesomely well-versed in the liturgical necessities to keep the Evening of (what in French is known as): Toussaint, followed by the other necessary with the appropriate name: Defunts, I moved on.

Finding myself in New Jersey, I noticed something different and peculiar. Granted, I did get to know some RC New Jerseyeans but they are few and far between among the  English who settled what was then East Jersey as opposed to West Jersey, predominantly Scots, so that there were two governors who had to go out in a rowboat and settle things off shore. Best man was the winner, the other could drown for all he cared. This was before the modern delusion that all that matters is North Jersey and South Jersey but I won't go into that for now.

I was more or less right on the line between and I was reading, The New York Times Book Reviews section one day, when Lady Antonia Fraser, who had posted a letter, asked whether any of us out here had taken note of any interesting historic traditions that were carry-overs from "home". I dashed a response off to her: Yes, as a matter of fact. (Later, I was to discover many, many more, such as the celebration of 12th.Night in regard to how Christmas is done at Princeton.) But she was particularly interested in this matter of the 31st.of October becoming Nov.1st.and Nov.2nd.

Check this out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Day

Believe me, New Jerseyeans put more stock in Halloween than almost any other (before Xmas),with elaborate displays of the Guy, but it has a little something to do with their Druid past as well. I recommend for movie viewing that you get a copy of, The Wicker Man, for yourself and freak yourself out!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 10, 2007, 10:45:21 AM

I just like the part about Butterfingers(TM) are fresher this time of year than most other times--they just melt in your mouth.  Mmm good, especially the bite-sized ones.


Sorry, donotremove,

Butterfingers are third from the top of the list of proscribed foods for Halloween  or  when watching angels drop off their dancing on the head of a pin at any time  prior to the carefully calculated dates. (somebody told me we are in the dark of the moon NOW)

They are on the list of Genetically Modified Foods (Products that have tested positive for genetically modified ingredients) and therefore should never be served to children much less adults who have less time to get it out of their system. I was going to post the whole dang thing in Food Matters but on second thought realized it might upset far too many people in there who would be shocked to learn they are cooking with these things(packaged and frozen foods).    I used to eat scads of the little bars particularly advertised pre-Halloween,remembering to save enough for the trickster.

Someone correctly identified the fact that Pennsylvania has a strong political force of fundamentalists who do not allow their children to roam at night during this time of year, or by day for that matter, when I asked about it, I was given a nebulous excuse that, "people would think that we couldn't provide for our own children!", if they went about on Beggar's Night. The official pamphleteers on this matter are more precise in the homilies about the Anti-Christ (but, since the use of the term Satan has been co-opted by the Islamic fundamentalists, the Christian groups have had to find new terminology for phrasing this as not participating in the works of the devil). It has been so restful not having to answer the door. Having less cavities and one less reason to develop a diabetic tendency as well. But it is making a come-back, trick or treat, with the housing boom of auslanders for whom the Mennonites built tracts of housing during this government's administration; so one can expect anything running across the lawn such as it is, including the man upstairs who insists it is his right because it is on the way to his car.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 10, 2007, 10:55:17 AM
Quote
If the soul is not a particle, might it still be a wave?  Grin

Whatever it was, it isn't in the positivistic mind of today.  That is not to say that the concept is not true.  Whatever it is, it only exists in (use the preposition of your choice) formed human beings.   


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 10, 2007, 11:24:03 AM
What would happen to the soul if I gradually replaced parts of my brain with bionic chips that were functionally the same as each given brain part?  Assume that the synaptic connections coding memory and so forth were recorded and transferred to each chip as it is installed.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 10, 2007, 11:45:31 AM
Quote
If the soul is not a particle, might it still be a wave?  Grin

Whatever it was, it isn't in the positivistic mind of today.  That is not to say that the concept is not true.  Whatever it is, it only exists in (use the preposition of your choice) formed human beings.   

JohnR - Does that get back to Obertray's question: "What is life?"  The difference between life and death can be observed.  The chemical and biological changes can be measured.  But does science have an answer to Obertray's question?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 10, 2007, 12:02:14 PM
That's the question I was addressing with my thought-experiment (above).  Many scientists believe that a brain that was replaced by a machine that was functionally the same as the brain, would remain alive, i.e. self-aware and able to function as a living being.  The common shorthand for this is "it's the pattern, not the substrate."  I.e. life is a pattern of information, so it doesn't have to be restricted to biological goop.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 10, 2007, 12:20:41 PM
I have no problem with that.  I have a problem with taking a word, translating it through 4 or 5 civilizations and saying  we understand it as originally intended.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 10, 2007, 01:47:29 PM
Yeah, "soul" has taken some twists and turns.  In antiquity, it came from the word for "breath."  Julian Jaynes, the psychologist famed for his "bicameral mind" theory, wrote about early texts and how they reflected a different understanding of consciousness and the self.  The soul was often equated with an animating force and not so much a particular consciousness.







Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 10, 2007, 01:59:13 PM
Actually I was tempted to reference Jaynes' chapter the Mind of the Iliad. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 10, 2007, 03:07:40 PM
I thought "soul" was related to the mind or the emotions in ancient Hebrew and Greek (psyche), and "spirit" was related to the breath (pnuema).  So when the Apostle Paul wrote about the word of God dividing soul and spirit, he was talking about it cutting through not just our mind but through our very being. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Lhoffman on October 10, 2007, 03:15:34 PM
Gotta start carrying those sources with you.....

but psyhi = soul.

An interesting site....you might really enjoy this one, John.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/#1


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 11, 2007, 01:06:15 PM
Quote
Gotta start carrying those sources with you.....

They might get a little heavy.  This one is only a dictionary
(and a very good one) but we all know that to properly interpret an encyclopedia is required.

Where did the our quoted ancient live, what language was spoken there, what metaphors in use, who were his neighbors, what customs did he follow?

Then how fragmented is the source, through how many and which civilizations was it translated?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 11, 2007, 01:12:39 PM
It's my fault for asking if I was going to lose 21 grams when I died.  For me, it was a frivolous question, akin to asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.   I think Jaynes talked about how we create, through language, a notion of the self or the "analog I" I think was his term.  The language we speak gives us all a bias towards dualism. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 11, 2007, 01:26:20 PM
jaynes

Quote
Subjective conscious mind is an analog of
what we call the real world. It is built up with
a vocabulary or lexical field whose terms are
all metaphors or analogs of behavior in the
physical world. Its reality is of the same order
as mathematics.

When looking back at memories or projecting future involvments we do not experience them as we do in the present but picture ourselves (analog I) doing the task.  The real present is filled with unconscious reaction to stimuli.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 11, 2007, 02:13:55 PM
oskylad:

One must first understand Paul's milieu (also his agenda, but that's another issue).

Oswald Spengler:

Quote
for Magian (the Arabian culture surrounding early Christianity) thought truth itself was a substance, and lie (or error) second substance--again the same dualism that opposes light and darkness, life and death, good and evil.  As substance truth is identical now with God, now with the spirit of God, now with the Word.  Only in the light of this can we understand sayings like "I am the truth and the life" and "My word is the truth", sayings to be understood, as they were meant, with reference to substance....(In the Magian's) sacred book the invisible truth has entered into a visible kind of existence.(the Avesta was sent down from heaven and Moses received the Torah volume by volume from God)  A Magian revelation is a mystical process in which the external and unformed word of God--or the Godhead as Word--enters into a man in order to assume thru him the manifest sensible form of sounds and especially letters.


    The hall mark of the Magian soul-image is a strict dualism of two mysterious substances, Spirit and Soul...

Paul distinguishes in 1Cor...The conception of a double, bodily or spiritual ecstasy and of the partition of men into lower and higher, psychics and pheumatrics, with familiar cuurrency amongst the gnostics.

More at p. 306 Decline of the West v2 and further in the introduction to Mann's Joseph Tetrology, Descent into Hell.

A dictionary just wont do it.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 11, 2007, 03:05:01 PM
I wouldn't get too hung up on "Western"  soul culture and explanations of being, either. Try a little Shingon buddhism to discover how the other half lives.   With the Void, you might say. It's more fun than Sartre's, Being and Nothingness, but takes about another twenty years to get there after you wrestled with Sartre's more inane expressions and Kierkegaard's  stiffness of melancholy.  Then you don't have to worry about the next thirty or forty years or more depending on what you've got.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on October 11, 2007, 05:10:41 PM
barton,

Not to disagree with the conversation as it is going.

If one replaced each bit of the human brain with silicon based equivalents, and the creature continued to function as per normal... What would that mean to the "soul"?

The fact is that we are made up of various autonomous sytems (indeed there is a guy who claims there is a secondary brain in the gut area. Secondary but with a criticality of one to survival of the being) each cell is its own worker to the ultimate goal of survival of the whole. As Johnr60 says, (and I hope I'm not misrepresenting his intent) "The real present is filled with unconscious reaction to stimuli." White Blood Cells have no wired hookup to the central nervous system nor is there a language that we know of by which these cells can communicate with each other and yet some how they are able to tell the bone marrow that there is an aggressive invasion and that the there is a need for stepped up production of WBCs. the Bone cells respond, not to a cranial distress call but to the chemical call from the WBCs.

Point here being that the test of "soul" being the brain is "cerebriocentric".


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 11, 2007, 11:27:40 PM
A dictionary just wont do it. 

JohnR - My problem was, I was going by memory in distinguishing "soul" from "spirit", without benefit of any source material - not even a dictionary.  (I said as much when I posted, then changed my post without realizing Hoffman had teased me about my not having my source with me - leaving Hoffman's response kind of hanging).  So my comment was admittedly incomplete or inaccurate. 

However, I'm not sure I buy into the Magian soul-image as "a strict dualism of two mysterious substances, Spirit and Soul".  They seem to be more like complementary ideas of what makes up the non-material part of human beings.   


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 11, 2007, 11:40:26 PM
I'm not sure I buy into the Magian soul-image
Quote

I'm not either but it's as good as I've seen.  What I'm pretty sure of is if we havent walked the walk we got no right to talk the talk.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 12, 2007, 12:04:15 PM
Ober, LOL, didn't mean to be cerebro-centric.  But isn't there a good prima facie case for the awareness being a brain thing more than a spleen thing?   I don't think there's much question that if my brain were taken out, what's left wouldn't be me.  Where the brain goes, I go.  Hook it up to inputs from an ocean liner, and I'm an ocean liner.  Plop it into the noggin of an android, and I'm the guy over there with the vinyl face, waving at you.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 12, 2007, 12:07:18 PM
What I'm pretty sure of is if we havent walked the walk we got no right to talk the talk. 

I'm confused.  Are you saying we have no right to question Magian concepts because we aren't Magi?  Isn't that the same as saying evolutionists have no right to question creationist concepts because they aren't creationists, or vice versa?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 12, 2007, 02:01:55 PM
If you haven't been personally disemboweled by a member of the Spanish Inquisition, you simply cannot join us at torquemadalovers.com for our weekly discussion of sin and gut-spindle cranks and extreme agony.   Only a person missing significant yardage from their bowels can possibly say anything meaningful on the topic!



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 12, 2007, 02:24:15 PM
Quote
I'm confused.  Are you saying we have no right to question Magian concepts because we aren't Magi?

We have every right to study them, but unless we live in the time at the place, there is slim chance that we will be  accurate.

Quote
Isn't that the same as saying evolutionists have no right to question creationist concepts because they aren't creationists, or vice versa?

It might just as well be, from some of the conversations I've seen, but the Es and Cs are in the same western modern culture speaking the same language.  They have developed the same consciousness and their words should at least be in context.

(I have left out many limitations and conditions to make my point clear.)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 12, 2007, 03:12:32 PM
but the Es and Cs are in the same western modern culture speaking the same language.  They have developed the same consciousness and their words should at least be in context. 

People in the western modern culture may use the same words, but with differing presuppositions about the meanings of the words it often seems like they are speaking different languages. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 12, 2007, 03:25:16 PM
I agree.  But the reason for that is closed mindedness not an inability to understand.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 12, 2007, 04:58:30 PM
If you are willing to concede there can be close-mindedness on both sides, I would concur.  Often it is: You are close-minded; I am enlightened. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 12, 2007, 05:09:11 PM
concede hell, I insist on it


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: oskylad on October 12, 2007, 06:00:16 PM

There was a story in The Wall Street Journal today about a debate between biologist Richard Dawkins and mathematician John Lennox on the existence of God.  http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110010724

The debate included issues such as whether it was Christianity that began the scientific revolution and whether atheism was itself a sort of faith.  These are issues we have been discussing here in recent weeks.

The article suggests there has been a nationwide resurgence in apologetics among evangelical Christians, especially among younger people.  Jonalyn Fincher is quoted as saying that in the 20th century, Christians often reacted to science's attacks on religion by "running away from culture."  But in recent years more Christians have begun to take the attitude, "If our God is the God of truth, what are we afraid of?"



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 13, 2007, 04:51:47 PM


These are from old posts (if memory serves bp is Desdemona)

Quote
Quote
Dawkins is simply asking people to be more critical thinkers about their beliefs.

Quote
>Faith comes from experiencing the presence of God

The endless contradiction in these two positions is obvious.  I cant believe the controversy it causes in intelligent people. 

The scientist does everything, in his power and in vain, to exclude himself from his experiment.  The believer wants to put himself in.  To experience.  Dawkins wants believers to be "thinkers"--a literally physical impossibility.  Those with whom he chooses to argue (intentionally?) are not believers in the sense of bp's position, but those who wish to make religion a science (eg. creation in 4000 bc).  It's easy to ridicule (and I agree with bp, that's what he does) a fundamentalist because a fundamentalist is a scientist with no proof of his original premise.  And the latter 8 words would describe Dawkins as well if he attempted battle with someone else's living experience.


and...



as our author speaks of the return to religion:

Quote
>The next phase I call the Second Religiousness. It appears in all Civilizations as soon as they have fully formed themselves as such and are beginning to pass, slowly and imperceptibly, into the non-historical state in which time-periods cease to mean anything. (So far as the Wesetrn Civilization is concerned, therefore, we are still many generations short of that pont.) The Second Religiousness is the necessary counterpart of Caesarism, which is the final political constitution of Late Civilization...

Spengler circa 1920


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 13, 2007, 07:38:56 PM
Yes, very pre-War that. Post WW1, into Weimar, the Third Reich to be, so his definition seems logical but it didn't work out that way somehow.

If it appears to be working out now, that is an illusion As somebody said in the preceeding dialogue, the eastern experience may not necessarily have the same take on what the west thinks is going on or about to happen. 

For instance, I experienced the phenomena which accompanies the  after effects of a magus as he had prearranged years before in his household, before his death. His workings still worked. I took it seriously. I mean, what is time...


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 14, 2007, 01:25:11 PM
I'll check out the Dawkins debate.  He's a sharp guy, even if I find some of his ideas limited.

Also, can I ask for a clarification on something I've wondered about in using the term "faith" --

If you believe there is a supreme being, i.e. God, but haven't experienced it in any direct way, then your belief would be an act of faith, right?  But what is the case of someone who, hypothetically let's say, has a direct experience of God, something beyond what the most of us experience and which opens up the mind in some way we can't imagine.  Now, is that person operating on faith?  Aren't they essentially different from the common run of believers?  And isn't their belief, in this ineffable way described above, empirically supported and therefore NOT faith?  (an analogy would be a blind man who has faith there is a visual world out there vs. a blind man who is cured of his blindness and directly experiences a pretty sunset....)





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 14, 2007, 02:44:11 PM
Man awakes to consciousness with the first principle of intellect: separation, then fear and awe.  Language builds reflective consciousness with the prime tool of metaphor and
as the world is defined, divided, made more separate by the intellect, the ultimate metaphor, that used to overcome fear and awe takes its rightful position designating a return to Oneness.

A while back I posted a short piece that metaphor operates in both directions placing new meaning on the known as well as the unknown.  Consider then the psychic power the notion we call God would have if it was built from a first principle that constantly increased in value every time we tried to define it.

The born agains are literally that--identifying with that oneness that is before fear.

Luckilly (for whom I'm not sure) sometimes it goes away, 
but denying the truth of that process is denying the same tool that we use to make scientific abductions.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 15, 2007, 11:32:39 AM
Interesting.  Science, as knowing, relies on the subject/object distinction, the agreed upon observations between separate individuals.  But, about this original Oneness (as in the Piagetian early stage where the child believes he is part of everyone and everyone knows and shares his thoughts...), is a belief in oneness, an organicity to all life, equivalent to theism?  Or can an atheist, while not believing in a distinct personal god, still seek the organic sense, the oneness, the notion that we are separate islands only above the water level but part of one landmass below?



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 15, 2007, 12:33:17 PM
Quote
is a belief in oneness, an organicity to all life, equivalent to theism?  Or can an atheist, while not believing in a distinct personal god, still seek the organic

Theism, atheism, distinct personal god, are all declarations of certainity--affirming that the metaphor is no longer a metaphor, that our intellectual processes have overcome the inefficiencies of natural processes.  This is where Dawkins sits along with the People of the Book (and more than one person reading this).

Where we belong is with Bronowski who, in the Knowledge and Certainty segment of his classic TV series presents the multiple frames of reference in which we can know things and the tolerance that uncertainlty demands--the final words of which someone kindly transcribed here:


http://www.ronrecord.com/Quotes/bronowski.html


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on October 15, 2007, 03:17:14 PM
John, thanks for the Bronoski link.  Right on.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 16, 2007, 02:42:07 PM
Yep, that's a good one, a moving restatement of Hamlet's "there are more things in heaven and earth..." quote, with some Kantian overtones, in that we must humbly acknowledge the limiting structure of our perceptions and never know the "thing in itself."



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 16, 2007, 04:33:59 PM
The term "thing in itself" is a term arising in a civilization in which there was no outer space and later conditioned by a need to explain dualism and a triune God.

I would wonder how many ways you could know a Mahler symphony and which of those represented the thing in itself.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 17, 2007, 11:59:53 AM
I'm not sure that Kant was trying to explain dualism with that one -- as I recall, he was trying to elucidate the epistemological divide between objects and our perceiving of them.  In a way, his approach was ahead of its time and therefore more "outer space" age than you might think.  In fact, when scientists started to talk about how solid matter was an illusion, that it was mostly empty space and twists of nothingness, it was sort of a reminder that Kant had already cut away some of the undergrowth in that neck of the woods.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 17, 2007, 12:22:17 PM
I guess my post was misleading.  I was speaking not of Kant but of the world view of the Greeks later colored by the religions of the book which made the notion of substance a prime issue.  It was in answer to this problem that Kant addresses the thing in itself.  With a Taoist worldview, for example, he may have addressed relationships.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 17, 2007, 02:06:51 PM
Got ya.

Kant used the term in a particular way.  In a way, developments like quantum physics sort of threw a wrench in his whole system.  The thing-in-itself might be pure math, whatever that is.  The brain aches even to approach the essential stuff of quantum reality.  Waves of probability, backward causation, collapsing wavefunctions....no wonder Einstein complained, "Give me a universe made of marble!"



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 20, 2007, 12:50:55 PM
I enjoy scratching my ass.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: johnr60 on October 20, 2007, 02:14:31 PM
Desenex works for me.

In looking recently at a Dawkins , Pinker, Radford conversation from Guardian, I find Dawkins saying:

Quote
>Any social insect colony behaves in some ways like a single entity. It's as though it's got one purpose. Actually, of course, it's thousands of little worker termites, all doing their own little thing. And no one termite has any general concept of the whole picture, so when the termites build these huge great mounds, each individual termite is just following little tiny rules. If you see a bit of dirt of such and such a height, put another bit on top of it. There are rules which, when summed over all of the termites, lead as an emergent property to the growth of the mound as a whole. A final strand in this argument goes back to the genes. The fundamental message of the selfish gene is that genes are separate entities all pulling their own way in their own separate selfish way. But yet we have this gathering together of genes into individual organisms. And that reminds me of the illusion of one mind, when actually there are lots of little mindlets in there, and the illusion of the soul of the white ant in the termite mound, where you have lots of little entities all pulling together to create an illusion of one. Am I right to think that the feeling that I have that I'm a single entity, who makes decisions, and loves and hates and has political views and things, that this is a kind of illusion that has come about because Darwinian selection found it expedient to create that illusion of unitariness rather than let us be a kind of society of mind?

If our individuality is an illusion then so is that which we metaphorically place on the ant.  Does all become illusion--including the selfish gene?.  And who says that the proper frame of reference is microscopic rather than telescopic? 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 23, 2007, 10:43:04 AM
Yeah, I have a problem with determining frame of reference at the micro level when we are trying to fathom something holistic.  To me, it's kind of a scientific "reductionist" fetish to assume that the termite colony is essentially mindless, i.e. that it is nothing more than individual bugs piling up pieces of mud or whatever.

You can say anything with reductionism....you can say "water really isn't wet because it's just a bunch of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and they aren't the least bit wet."  Well, you haven't really made a useful observation, have you?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 23, 2007, 04:01:27 PM
Barton gets Point. 

Those priapic spiders you mentioned (or, priapic inducing since they are black widows) like all of their relatives (other spiders, of course) have a very alert intelligence, I've observed them at this season since early 1969-early Seventies in a farm house, and they have the common sense to hide if you try to sneak out of a room and get something sturdy to bat them with.  They observe us quite well.  ONE fascinating endeavour, I could devote some Autumnal meditation toward was the skillful wrapping and enfoldment of a two and a half inch grasshopper that had made its way into the upper room overlooking a very Edwardian garden below, perhaps there was a lose fastening of a screen on one of the windows that extended from the bedroom to elongate it beyond the exterior wall of the house by at least a narrow-window's width? Perhaps, the grasshopper following a tree upwards and went out on a limb? And made the leap?

I looked up and spotted it one evening by lamplight, above the main windows' molding where it was undergoing mummification by the spiders busy at this season as even the grasshoppers. So I watched the process for quite awhile until it was removed. Not by me.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on October 23, 2007, 04:14:33 PM
Spiders make a neat sound when you squish 'em. ;)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Lhoffman on October 23, 2007, 06:41:00 PM
ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww......Utley I wish I could block you for that......and I just had my dinner  :P


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 24, 2007, 11:20:33 AM
I like the crunch, the flavor is so-so, but I hate picking the little legs out of my teeth.


Maddie -- I'm not sure I can attribute intelligence to spiders; I think of them as pretty much unsentient, running on instinct, automatically executing evasive actions when the light level changes, i.e. a shadow passes over or a vibration is felt.   


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on October 24, 2007, 02:30:58 PM
Could be, barton. You have reminded me just now about my cousins, boys, who used to try and see if they could --because I was the youngest cousin at the time-- get me to eat grasshoppers as we walked through the pasture. They would pretend to do the crunch,crunch and then go, "H'mmm,yum, tastes just like fried chicken...."


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on October 25, 2007, 07:57:16 PM
If you want to know more about spiders, watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHzdsFiBbFc


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Lhoffman on October 25, 2007, 08:16:11 PM
I HATE spiders.   There are nights when I can't sleep because everytime I close my eyes, I see spiders.  Hard to believe there are actually folks out there who will willingly watch videos of the things.


Utley...I feel I must counterbalance your video with these images:

http://www.cuteoverload.com/ (http://www.cuteoverload.com/)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on October 25, 2007, 09:39:57 PM
I HATE spiders.   There are nights when I can't sleep because everytime I close my eyes, I see spiders.  Hard to believe there are actually folks out there who will willingly watch videos of the things.


Utley...I feel I must counterbalance your video with these images:

http://www.cuteoverload.com/ (http://www.cuteoverload.com/)

I'm not so sure the people who made the video I posted of the spiders like them either.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 26, 2007, 11:28:37 AM
How timely that some of us, over in the Movie thread, are watching "Bug."   And before alert pedants remind me that spiders are arachnids and not insects, yes, I know and I'm approaching the bug concept loosely. 

I like spiders, myself.  For one thing, they tend to prey on, and thus control the numbers of, many nuisance species of insects.  And out of thousands and thousands of arachnid species, there are only a couple that will molest humans and even then it's pretty rare.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 30, 2007, 12:49:30 PM
Do you believe in magic in a young girl's heart?



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on October 30, 2007, 12:59:34 PM
I hear that it's magic, if the music is groovy.  It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on October 31, 2007, 11:06:46 AM
Was there magic in the making of that movie with Anthony Hopkins and the puppet?  Perhaps in the casting...

"The role of Corky [in 'Magic'] was originally offered to Jack Nicholson, but upon hearing that he would have to wear a hair-piece to play the role, Nicholson turned it down."



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on October 31, 2007, 04:52:04 PM
I don't get it - why would Jack Nicholson have had to wear a hairpiece to play the roll of Corky?  I read the book and saw the movie, admittedly ages ago.  Was there something in the plot to do with a hairpiece that I've forgotten?



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 01, 2007, 12:04:24 PM
Zilch, zip, nada.  The point of that anecdote is that the director was a numbskull.  He had Jack Nicholson on board for the lead, and he drove him away with some ridiculous concerns about hirsuteness.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on November 01, 2007, 01:12:14 PM
barton, I'm sure Sir Richard Attenborough has some bad flicks on his resume; but just FYI, he's the numbskull in question. 

As for me, I'd cast Hopkins; if Nicholson played the ventriloquist like he played his part in The Shining, that would have been kind of campy (IMHO, anyway) and possibly taken away from the suspense.  Or not.   

(Sorry to butt in.)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 01, 2007, 01:45:53 PM
Of course I meant a "numbskull in that particular situation and not generally."   :)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on November 01, 2007, 03:08:56 PM
Just off hand, I can't think of any film being so interchangeable that there could be a choice between Anthony Hopkins and Jack Nicholson.  I mean, these two men are worlds apart.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 02, 2007, 11:08:57 AM
And thus my sinister plan for bending every thread to a FILM CHAT proceeds apace!!  Ahahahaha!

Movies About Science and Religion (or science and spiritual experience):

2001: A Space Odyssey
Planet of the Apes
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Equilibrium
The Abyss
Flatliners

...to name a few...





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on November 02, 2007, 01:51:21 PM
You could just have a great idea, there, barton.  No officious twerps over here to castigate us for not discussing the correct film.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 03, 2007, 11:48:04 AM
Like that towering masterpiece, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow!

I though The Abyss, in spite of its many metaphysical moments and the big water johnson, missed a real opportunity when they had to drown Mary Eliz. Mastrantonio so that she could be rescued and then revived -- no one bothers to ask her if she saw a tunnel or a white light or anything.

Flatliners, of course, really focuses the high beams on that whole temporary death thing.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on November 03, 2007, 04:07:10 PM
Funny you should mention death, tunnels, etc.  Hubby spent some time today with a person, ostensibly an intelligent and sane one, who had a near-death experience.  Apparently it was really, really near death -- the guy said there is a bright light, there is a tunnel, and things are good on the other side.   Which, to me, begs the question "Why'd he come back?"  but I didn't want to get into it with the hubby (he believes in something, I pretty much believe in nothing).  (As for Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, I say leave her dead and maye she'll stop  screaming "Robbbiiiiiinnnnn" in that awful Robin Hood movie.)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 03, 2007, 05:36:30 PM
Ghosts are so uncreative -- in tv and film, they appear in the vicinity of people they knew and had tiresome issues with and hang around being all tied in knots about their past life instead of "going to the light" and "crossing over" or whatever they're supposed to do.  Never does a guy ghost say, "Hey, what am I doing here, when I could now easily look in on a girl's locker room or get into the VIP seats at a Patriots game or haunt Area 51 and see what really is going on out there or blow a cold draft on the neck of a celebrity and see what happens...."  Nor do they really get into the whole aspect of being weightless and able to travel at the speed of thought and move through solid matter -- you could fly to Mars, float down the Champs-Elysee, explore coral reefs, journey to the center of the earth, etc.  You could be, in short, the ultimate tourist!   


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on November 04, 2007, 05:04:05 PM
Ghosts are so uncreative -- in tv and film, they appear in the vicinity of people they knew and had tiresome issues with...

Not the ones I've experienced.  When I'm dead will be about the only time I can afford to see the world, so that's a  very good idea, barton.  Will have to file that away for future reference.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on November 04, 2007, 11:05:49 PM
I stop with Ghost films at about: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

In other words, not at all sure I'd care to see the world after I'm dead. It is bad enough already. Will be glad to get out of here.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on November 05, 2007, 01:11:06 PM
" Beyond the deforming exterior stratifications that, like the expressionist masks of Grosz or Dix, rigidify but do not express, the self, deprived of a nucleus, is entirely lost here and does not exist if not as transformation and mutability."

In other words? Soul less.  I wasn't expected to run into this quote when checking into some other available translations by an Italian whose best known play I attended yesterday.  But then, he did study in Bonn; and, since he died in 1936, was more than conversant with the period in both Germany and Italy. He was however native to Sicily .

I noticed the interesting discrepancy in English, between the terms,"soul less", and "selfless".

Anyway, his work for theatre deals with characters only two of whom are dead at some point, but all of them as a family have the ability to travel about the world and show up at any theatre whatsoever at the drop of a hat  and demand their story be told. Yet, as I said, in the majority they are not even dead and will probably never be dead as long as theatres are receptive to letting them through the door without a ticket, never took a plane, a train, a boat,....


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: notrab on November 05, 2007, 01:24:53 PM
Free admission to any performance anywhere might be one of the best perks of being dead.  I also look forward to not shaving, bathing, or trimming nails.  Wait, I already don't do those things...



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on November 05, 2007, 03:15:02 PM
Free admission to any performance anywhere might be one of the best perks of being dead.  I also look forward to not shaving, bathing, or trimming nails.  Wait, I already don't do those things...



notrab/barton.

Is notrab from Bizarro World?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: ponderosa on November 05, 2007, 03:18:19 PM
I smell a rat, but I do have a sensitive nose.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: harrie on November 05, 2007, 03:48:41 PM
notrab/barton.

Is notrab from Bizarro World?

I was thinking Evil Twin, but that's about the same thing.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: notrab on November 06, 2007, 11:23:23 AM
Maybe I'm just feeling a bit dyslexic lately.  Give me a break.  (or it could be someone hacked into my yahoo mailbox, so I signed on with a different handle and mailbox until I can assess the damage...)

Today's suggested topic:

Do the rigors of scientific empiricism banish all considerations of anecdotal evidence vis-a-vis the "near death" experience?



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on November 06, 2007, 03:49:02 PM
Congratulations! I shall now go back to my posting, the enemies-list is operating but, not entirely certain which forum they are operating at in full strength today, because they made a slight shift as their jealousy peaked.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 18, 2007, 02:25:42 PM
I should call to the attention of those who have posted or lurked here that the Nov. 4th issues of the NYT Sunday Magazine contained an article about Anthony Flew, the British philosopher who was a well-known proponent of atheism but seemed to have a late-in-life change of mind which was much encouraged by various religious groups, including the intelligent design theorists -- the article is kind of sad, as it suggests that Flew's new insights were more symptomatic of mental decline (esp. forgetfulness) than anything very groundbreaking in his studies, and it shows what strange bedfellows one can find oneself with if one recants an atheist, or agnostic, position. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 26, 2007, 10:42:21 AM
From the Nov. 18th NYT magazine:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/magazine/18wwln-lede-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&oref=slogin

Where did all our philosophers go to?  There was a pretty good chat going here and then....poof!



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on November 26, 2007, 02:05:12 PM
I always suspected the guy who invented pet rocks was onto something. 

Meanwhile, I am struggling with the angst of LSU losing to Arkansas and the holiday season, two things I really hate.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on November 26, 2007, 09:56:20 PM

From the Nov. 18th NYT magazine:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/magazine/18wwln-lede-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine&oref=slogin

Where did all our philosophers go to?  There was a pretty good chat going here and then....poof!




Barton,   I think it is the tryptophan, over all.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on November 26, 2007, 11:27:12 PM
Barton,  well first of all the body of this article at the link you provide, in mentioning the Rock, and further describing it, brings us up to date on the postulation  of Kungfu Tze, in that the Rock has the characteristics of his "Uncarved Block".

Whereas, the sidebar,Mental Atoms, from William James, “The Principles of Psychology,” 1890
has described the Noosphere

What I find most odd is how the world of Confucius  eventually meets up with Teilhard's arrival in China; and by another coincidence, I think that I first began to know of him and read his work after his death and unaware that my cousin's husband would be going to China/PRC  as a geologist involved in petrology for their government and this was where he would die at an early age from a heart attack.

I would not learn of this until "years" later. Meanwhile taking up Chinese studies myself, with no one in the family whispering a word of the coincidence to either myself or my cousin's family, our mutual relatives, not even those persons closest to me.

When reading his writings, published in a period of a lot of repression in the US, involving both McCarthyism and the John Birch Society deciding that it had some right to determine what sort of books could be allowed to be available in public libraries, it was further distressingly enlightening to realize that the Church was heaping  "obedience" upon Teilhard  because it was mistaking his hypothesis or pretending to(?). I had never expected to see that in my lifetime, that was the stuff of past history; and, all those centuries having gone by, made this appear a real Mad-Hatter's Tea Party.  Looking back, I can now see that my disaffection for religious authority dates from that experience. The two links below are the most available at short notice but greatly improved over what they have been even in recent years. You will notice at the bottom of the Noosphere link that the section for External Links mentions the Global Consciousness project at Princeton
with a link to some material.



Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teilhard_de_Chardin

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


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 27, 2007, 11:16:37 AM
Des -- I don't get excited about football enough to care who wins, though my ex (a former Razorback, and member of the marching band) might be pleased.  I heard it was a pretty dramatic game.

Rocks do make excellent pets and, as the article notes, are physically very much in touch with the entire universe.  I've heard they are fond of rock music, especially Bob Seger.

Madupont, I'm only slightly familiar with Teilhard, but can imagine that his noosphere concept would receive a lot of flack in any institution as conservative as the Church.  I'll refresh, at the link you offered.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 27, 2007, 11:21:20 AM
Seems like physicists have taken the Omega Pt. theory and run with it -- guys like John Barrow and Frank Tipler incorporate Teilhard's idea into a universe that moves towards a supermind at the end of time which incorporates all consciousness and experience that has gone before.  So they're taking an idea that is mystical and rendering it in a more scientific way, i.e. a supercomputer that can somehow recreate all past lives.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on November 27, 2007, 11:35:24 AM
I find rocks are quite a bit less comforting than say, a cat or a little gray schnauzer.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 27, 2007, 12:41:22 PM
Well, rocks aren't as Satanic as are some little gray schnauzers.  And I don't know any songs about little gray schnauzers, whereas many have been written about rocks, from Bob Seger (Like a Rock) to Paul Simon (Loved Me Like a Rock) (or w/Garfunkel -- I am a Rock) to Otis Redding (Sitting on the Rock of the Bay).

 ;)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on November 27, 2007, 01:18:10 PM
You forgot "I am a Rock, I am an Island."

Talk about existential angst at the highest level - it could rival Goethe.  I always related to that song - I love that angry line - "I have my boo---ooks!"


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on November 27, 2007, 01:22:28 PM
BTW, and off-topic, Satan got all infuriated last night after playing rough for awhile with my son, which he loves, being a terrier.  I was in bed watching the fun, when he jumped up on my bed and started playing Attack the Foot.  Little so-and-so bit my ankle right in the sensitive area, then proceeded to nip my shin, tried to get my knee, then nipped my thigh!  I was NOT amused, although my son thought it was so hysterically funny (along with my reaction) that he was limp on the floor laughing for several minutes. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 28, 2007, 10:43:44 AM
If your post concerns Satan, then it can't be entirely off-topic.  I hope that by "nip" you mean a playful jeux-de-dents and not outright biting and drawing blood and so forth.

I did not forget "I am a Rock, I am an Island" -- indeed, it was that song to which I alluded in my parenthetical "(or w/Garfunkel -- I am a Rock)" -- anyway, it's a good song, sometimes serving as a prod to the educated recluse to go forth and mingle....

....even if it's only tea with Anthony Flew, famed British philosopher and, for many years, leading proponent of atheism, who later recanted in the direction of a  nonsectarian sort of deism....see how easy topicality can be?



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on November 28, 2007, 06:25:10 PM
]
Seems like physicists have taken the Omega Pt. theory and run with it -- guys like John Barrow and Frank Tipler incorporate Teilhard's idea into a universe that moves towards a supermind at the end of time which incorporates all consciousness and experience that has gone before.  So they're taking an idea that is mystical and rendering it in a more scientific way, i.e. a supercomputer that can somehow recreate all past lives.



You might say that Teilhard postulates that it evolves, all his evidence gleaned from his work, the carbon-dating, etc. indicated to him than man evolved; and therefore if the  so-called " spiritual" improvement in the discernment intelligence continues( despite all the nattering tone of people like George Herbert Walker Bush,senior), there will be the recognition that the supermind existed from the beginning and we witness it, simply, on our part as diffused throughout.  It has always been there but is not generally recognised.

The article you posted stipulates that as the case.  The recognition of the noosphere occurs as an interactive cooperative process. All that presently exists contains what previously existed. It is an ungoing continuum that has to
self realize universal consciousness.

Which is why that separate "uncarved block" on the left of the posted page, about that rock.  It already contains all those forces complete, which were described in the article.  Confucious (Kungfu Tze) describes our human nature in this way as an uncarved block, a rock  that became something else. In one sense, and I hate to say this before somebody stomps it to death, it is an Eastern parallel to the Western version of how we got here.  The erosion of the rock provides elements that are transfigured until  man has evolved but the consciousness is unfinished in our state of evolution although it was originally there in the uncarved block.

But yes, it will continually be expressed,"in a more scientific way".

There is a certain amusing play that comes to mind in knowing that the Princeton project in the Noosphere takes place where they were not a particularly very scientific college back in the colonial past. At that time,they had a little museum display of fossils,shells, and the like; and they still have a mystery which occurs each year when somebody leaves oranges as an offering beneath the portrait of the monarchs reigning then from the House of Nassau.

They were in the main a college for ministers, each of the Ivy League schools representing a different religion, and other gentlemen in the local vicinity. At the time of the Scottish Enlightenment, they definitely inclined to develop a Theological Seminary, but after the politics, and the wars, and the business,and wars, and politics, something happened philosophically, maybe it was Einstein, Niels Bohr, etc. and it has never stopped since.  It is the only community that I know of as a municipal entity whose newspaper, the Princeton Packet, devotes itself to explaining new occurences in the esoteric sciences in laymans' terms as much as possible, and alongside the other whacky news around town.  It hits you like a ton of bricks when you first pick up that paper, and have moved to town and use the paper to familiarize yourself with what is going on and discover bit by bit that it is a really weird town that has attracted a lot of the genius category whenever they had been endangered and had to go into exile. The Borough and the campus has picked them up time after time, sometimes hiding them away from intrusion. This of course happened side by side with some of the worst examples of alumnus who inherited business interests or the exercise of political authority. I can tell you it was peachy keen being there when the aforementioned pater familias Bush decided to make it official and just be President but he nontheless campaigned almost invisibly at the campus and the home of the local head of the state's Republican party, which was moderate and now horrified.

So it takes all kinds, doesn't it.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on November 29, 2007, 10:29:11 AM
barton -

No, Satan doesn't draw blood, he just nips exactly as hard as he needs to so as to inflict pain.

He's going to be 12 in February.  We've noticed that he's much grouchier than he used to be.  He growls incessantly some days if everything isn't going just his way.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on November 29, 2007, 08:14:54 PM
My daughter will soon turn 18, and she has a similar approach.  And she bites, too.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on December 01, 2007, 04:49:03 PM
I thought that was, "sittin' on the dock o' the bay".  No?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on December 02, 2007, 01:12:12 PM
I guess that would be more comfortable.

 ;)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 09, 2007, 10:47:11 AM
barton,re:madupont,re:#261

"The erosion of the rock provides elements that are transfigured until  man has evolved but the consciousness is unfinished in our state of evolution although it was originally there in the uncarved block."

The term for it is "biodeterioration", which I ran into on site at the Getty Museum in California where of course they attempt to prevent that happening to ancient Etruscan,Greek,and Roman sculpture. But in humans biodeterioration has taken the form of physically losing the ability to maintain higher states of shared consciousness; we call it, "disease".  Most of us in the current generations have experienced it only during the course of using what were called in the late Sixties: Consciousness expanding drugs.   Here's to Alpert and Leary for their experiments in "sensory deprivation" at MIT, along with what the opposition called ,"mind altering drugs".

When Hugh Alpert got to India and met his guru Baba Ram Das, he learned the truth; that it wasn't Lysergic acid itself, at the moment the old man asked Alpert,what he had there and grabbed it out of his hand and gobbled it down to no obvious effect whatsoever.  It shocked the scientist who for awhile there became known as Ram Das in honor of his teacher Baba Ram Das at Hanuman Temple.  Hanuman is the Monkey God (from which we descended when they came down from the trees, according to the Vedas), and the temple at Varanasi/Benares is open to the monkeys who partake of the offerings of fruit brought there.

As ancient as the temple is, it was bombed several years ago by Muslim factions, as India remained a multi-religious nation long after the Partition by the British into the separate States of Pakistan and India signaling the end of the Empire's responsibility. This should in some sense be a guidebook to those who think that separation is a likelihood in for instance Iraq which previously had been a secularized State.

I do not know whether reconstruction has taken place at Hanuman. Another occasional member of the ashram, coming and going was Allen Ginsberg who was asked to go by the old Guru (who is not to be confused with Maharishi Mahesh Yoga whom Allen discounted).  Baba Ram Das is seldom found mentioned in any of the Ginsberg biographs as a consequence. He first went to India to work on a translation of Bhagavad Gita;Denise Levertov either wrote an introduction for it, or did the actual translation for which he wrote an intro, at about the time that she did In Praise of Krishna,Songs from the Bengali.

At any rate, he left Hinduism behind, at the time of his death , April of 1997, in the East Village, he was surrounded by Vajrayana Buddhist Tibetan Monks who attended to his consciousness until he made the transition.
             


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 09, 2007, 10:52:55 AM
THE JESUIT AND THE SKULL
Teilhard de Chardin, Evolution, and the Search for Peking Man

Author: Aczel, Amir D.

Review Date: JULY 15, 2007  from the Kirkus Reviews
Publisher:Riverhead
Pages: 304
Price (hardback): $24.95
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
ISBN: 978-1-59448-956-3
ISBN (hardback): 978-1-59448-956-3
Category: NONFICTION
A priest/paleontologist's fraught efforts to reconcile the theory of evolution with his faith.

Aczel (The Artist and the Mathematician: The Story of Nicolas Bourbaki, the Genius Mathematician Who Never Existed, 2006, etc.) doesn't bother much with biographical detail in this proficient account of Teilhard de Chardin's role in the international quest for a "missing link" that would demonstrate the evolutionary ties between apes and humans. Ordained in 1911, Chardin did not believe that his devout Catholicism required him to ignore the period's rapid advances in science. He had experienced those advances firsthand as a participant in exciting fossil discoveries in Egypt, in French caves and on digs in China with Rockefeller-funded fossil-hunter Davidson Black. The new field of paleoanthropology was emerging, Aczel shows, driven by discoveries of the fossils of three hominids inhabiting the world at overlapping periods: Homo sapiens (Cro-Magnon Man), Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal) and Homo erectus (Java Man). A spectacular example of erectus was discovered in 1929 by Chardin and the David crew in China's Zhoukoudian caves. There they unearthed the fossil dubbed Peking Man—"as typical a link between man and the apes as one could wish for," the priest wrote exultantly. (This vital find, along with many other fossils, vanished in 1941 during the Japanese occupation of China.) Chardin extensively considered the relationship of science and religion in his books, which attempted to prove that "God works through evolutionary processes to propel humanity ever forward." His ideas continually got him into trouble with his Jesuit superiors, who essentially exiled him to America. Aczel manipulates an enormous amount of material in an orderly fashion, and his admiration for Chardin's humanity is evident.

No-frills intellectual history for the lay reader.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on December 09, 2007, 02:25:48 PM
If there are more people now alive than ever before in human history, then where are all the souls transmigrating from, that's what I'd like to know.  Are there more people running around who just graduated from being animals, due to new bodies outstripping the supply of souls?  A lot of pigs and cows die on a regular basis, so maybe there are more pig people and cow people?

Or could we be shipping in alien souls from another star?

I took an anthropological field trip to Wal Mart the other day, and I'm leaning towards the farm animal soul theory, myself.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 11, 2007, 03:04:23 AM
That's just one of the possibilities but do like the Chinese used to do and divide that "soul quality" among others with whom you have something in common and you can take care of things for each other in different places when one or the other  of your soul group(not that you have to sing or anything) is too busy doing something else or incapacitated. My Vajrayana friend disagreed with my  description of, The Doctrine of the Golden Flower. But, I know how it is, you can't put it readily into words acceptable to someone who has a different path.

A start on understanding some facet of it is to take a look at a Tibetan yantra or thanka that depicts the wheel of life, sometimes being the body of the Mahakala, or great blackness, on which is imprinted this wheel and then you have five possibilities, and not just pigs and cows for reincarnation according to your merits and faults. You can also be a hungry ghost, or a demon, as well as a human who is obviously interested in sex, and you could become one of the devas or gods, but you don't get to stay there, you have to descend on the wheel just as readily as rising on the turn of the wheel, at least until You Get Off The Wheel. Tibetans use these block prints as meditation devices to think about that and how that is done.  Don't worry about your individual soul, if you happen to have one.  You can take good care of it. But then we want to know what happens next.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on December 11, 2007, 12:26:56 PM
"You can also be a hungry ghost, or a demon, as well as a human who is obviously interested in sex...."

I didn't know it was that obvious.  I have to watch that.

As for wondering what comes next, I sometimes wonder if philosophers just like to practice obscurantism -- there's a quote from (? - name) one that is something like, "One way to make yourself look clever is to make the truth you study appear obscure."

I just assume I know everything and that it's all obvious.  I'm really fun at parties!



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: desdemona222b on December 11, 2007, 03:46:20 PM
LOL, Barton.  My hope is to be reincarnated as a pampered little dog like Ivan.

I realized the other day that I'm losing it - Ivan will turn 10 in February, not 12.   For the past 2 years I've been mourning his upcoming death - time to start over, I guess.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 14, 2007, 02:57:59 AM
I had that problem too, Des. I thought Kiki was my age measured in an expression known as "dog years"; but according to cat-age estimations by diet and exercise, I am old and she is having an interesting middle-age known as "a certain age". Not quite sure what she is certain of but she snoozes during winter ice decor seen from all the windows with very low "candle-power" of light.  This is when she gets her beauty sleep. She has no commitments.


Title: Re: Free Rice
Post by: obertray on December 19, 2007, 05:34:12 PM
Just in case you wanted to do something good that's also good for your brain, try this. Go to www.freerice.com (http://www.freerice.com) where they have a program where you are given a multiple choice quiz on words. For each right answer you get they send 20 grains of rice through the UN to a potential rice eater someplace.

The words get progressively harder as you keep getting them right (and they repeat words so that if you got it wrong last time you were at this level, maybe you'll get it right the next time) and easier if you keep getting them wrong (nobody loses rice if you get it wrong).

I did eventually make it to level 50 (and got some right there too). They're thinking of naming the town I fed to achieve this level "Obertray Illevay".

It was entertaining to point out to my daughters that the harder words came often from the French that I forced them to take in school. The answer to the "Will I ever need this?" question.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 19, 2007, 06:47:58 PM
Barton,

"In his long essay, “Merton, Suzuki, Zen, Ink: Thomas Merton’s Calligraphic Drawings in Context,” Roger Lipsky writes that when he met the Tibetans, Merton “knew that he was among brothers.” Living in the world again, even his preference in Buddhist sects was mutable. The simplicity of Japanese Zen Buddhism, which reflected how he lived his life in the monastery and subsequent hermitage, was morphing into Tibetan Buddhism’s intricate visualizations."

In reference to earlier posts on The Wheel of the Mahakala. This was quoted in review of the book that I just posted in Books News and Reviews on the relationship of Thomas Merton to Buddhism.  Having heard about him most of my life,  as a contemplative monk of the Trappist order, someplace in Kentucky I think, I got interested in his experiences when he attended an Euchoemenical conference between Christians and Non-Christians in Tokyo, where he died in that bizarre accident (tantamount to the film, Youth without Youth; but, he didn't come back --as far as we know anyway).


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on December 21, 2007, 11:46:54 AM
Thanks -- i've heard of Merton and his kinship with eastern monastics, but haven't read him.  I'll take a look after New Year's, when things slow down.  I've always admired buddhists for their authentic approach to simplicity and nonmaterialism.  It's something I've worked on most of my adult life.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 23, 2007, 03:42:23 AM
Wow, look at this word:Euchoemenical

Got to do something about that before it happens again.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 24, 2007, 05:37:38 PM
and Barton,

Don't take any candy-canes from strangers while traveling over the Holidays, but have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on December 26, 2007, 12:22:46 PM
Thanks.  And back at you.

My vision quest for sugar plums didn't quite pan out, but otherwise it was okay.   In some distant future, sensible people will go into suspended animation from Dec. 1 through at least February, and then be awakened with a bit of wassail or what have you.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on December 27, 2007, 01:46:32 PM
"Wow, look at this word:Euchoemenical

Got to do something about that before it happens again"


Echomenical, It ALL happens again! Chomenical, It ALL happens again! Omenical, It ALL happens again! Ical, It ALL happens again! It ALL happens again! ALL happens again! Happens again! Again!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 27, 2007, 03:44:52 PM
Post-Christmas hysteria by any chance? Or, is that just postponed posting hysterics?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 27, 2007, 03:56:37 PM
I FORGOT That the earlier free rice marathan was in here. You may have missed this being introduced to Meander Where You  May (if they let you...? that pertains to all of us occasionally.) when a conscientious friend sent this to me from Canada and I passed it on and so on and so forth it appeared by chance as is only natural

I explained why I did rather well in occupational descriptive terms from reading much about the working artisans who get to participate in World Literative -- or,comparitive literature, if you like, in the only way possible to them. And many words with Latin-Greek sources remained in my memory of my own occupational happen-chance by birth. Others which some thought were possible in French sourcing, if made to study French, were not difficult but that explanation had me shrugging because of course half the English language is of French origin.

Then worst insight of all was from another person who although not brilliant has a Virgo preciseness of perception that all in that category can not shut up about. Right to the point. At 20 grains per, how many words will you need to average to fill your rice bowl for today?  A question I learned most pertinently when studying Chinese. That is the most important thing in their value system,you work to eat.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Donotremove on December 27, 2007, 04:21:19 PM
Maddy, I did 560 grains on FreeRice today.  My high was 43.  Low 40


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: madupont on December 28, 2007, 12:27:48 AM
Donotremove,

How often do you do this?  Is this a new form of exercise?  Does it distract from indulging in other  substances than rice?  Is a form of religious devotion?  Or, is there a steady accretion to your vocabulary?

I suspect that 560 grains of rice would fill a quite large bowl.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on December 28, 2007, 10:55:05 PM
I don't know about the ration of rice, I do know that I've managed to hit the 50 level and stay there for a couple of wordsbut it takes a lot of rice for me to do that.

I figured it would have shown itself in MeanderI thought it might have a longer lifespan in here tho and since it is a "Good Karma for using your brains" sort of thing, it fits our topic here (broadly defined).

Anyway, PL&J to you all this New Year.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on January 15, 2008, 04:32:08 PM
What is the science of religion?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on January 16, 2008, 04:47:20 PM
Science fiction.

I am reading HG Wells' God The Invisible King. In it an irrascible Mr. Wells takes on all comers with a sharply pointed expose of the flaws and falicies of all who have beliefs other than his own.

Just looking now I see that it was written at a time when Mr Wells was getting mighty angry at the world and wondering why it wouldn't just get with the program. http://www.hgwellsusa.50megs.com/bibliography.html (http://www.hgwellsusa.50megs.com/bibliography.html)

One might say that he was the LRon Hubbard (without his own creation myth) of his time.

Another author with plenty of interesting things to say vis a vis the usefullness of science and religion was Mr Mark Twain (whose collection of essays I'm taking a break from till I finish Mr Wells, and I might throw in a Johnathan Swift in between too).

These essays are far from the humor I was hoping for but it's dagnabbed hard to argue with his concepuatization of man as just another animal, on a good day!   


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on January 17, 2008, 01:54:48 PM
Did Wells join his contemporaries in the interest in the occult (theosophy, spiritualism, fairies)? -- it seemed like there was a strong hunger at that time to break free, from time to time, from the strictures of scientific materialism.  There were quite a few distinguished scientists and writers, otherwise known as hard-headed rationalists (like Conan Doyle), who went to seances and crawled through the wet grass in the early mornings trying to capture photos of fairies and such.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on January 17, 2008, 02:47:34 PM
Not so far not in this book anyway. He is very committed to the idea of Jesus Christ and yet VERY against the idea of the Holy Trinity. VERY VERY against Agnostics and atheists, to the point of insulting their intelligence.

In Wells' world you have "God" whom he ascribes to Jesus Christ, then you have "The Invisible Force" which is the God of creation (also he's the one who was the miserable bastard that did all those terrible things in the Talmud) And there is no such thing as a "Holy Spirit" amen.

This having been said by Wells in the begining of the book, he seems to me to mix the two up. He seems to be consistently inconsistent. Of course, it is very possible that I missed the part where he said, "now i'm going to identify the universe builder as God, even though I told you I wouldn't."

Later on Wells starts to write about the need for a global theocracy. Given that this guy is writing from England during and between the world wars (and the evaporation of the British Empire) I give him a pass on what he's saying and try harder to understand what he's going through. This book is written in 1917. Having a cynical outlook is probably the only sane outlook to have at a time like that. I get the feeling that he is mad at the Niceans in that they (IHO) twisted Christianity so much that the church schism was inevitable and instead of there being the one religion that united the world you wound up with one religion that divided the world.

While so far he has nothing to replace the NT with. I’d like to hear from him which of the Gospels he would have included and which parts of the Myth he would have left out. But I don’t think this is likely to happen in this book given that he wrote himself an escape hatch by saying that the Niceans destroyed all the Gospels that they didn’t want in the NT. (Dead Sea Scrolls have yet to be discovered, 1947 being 30 hence, if only he had a machine!!!!).


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: elportenito1 on February 03, 2008, 07:34:30 AM
Science AND religion?...


Shouldn't that be:

Science OR religion, instead?.....


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 04, 2008, 02:45:25 PM
Well I never did finish HG Wells, too angry to hold my interest (who does he think he is? Me?) I went on to Puddinhead  (?) I forget puddinhead whom but it was a while ago now. Since then I on the Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift which was very much in the Science and Religion  category. This is a shorthand, off the top of my memory, surface report, intended to perhaps start a dialog.

I can't say that I understand all of the allusions that Swift makes. The idea, if I understand it correctly was to put him in various different situations to strip away the presumptions of an English POV and then to be able to look back on that POV from an inside outsiders frame of reference. Since I know little enough of modern day Brit government, I was only a peripheral observer of Swift's caustic observations of the Brit government. So ok he goes to Lilliput where he is a tad too familiar in the commode department. Then to the land of the giants (interesting to note the ribald sense that Swift exhibits here particularly as he mentions how a 16 YO would lay him neked upon her bared breasts. Yes he said it sickened him, but it is interesting in that he knows what that image does to his adolescent/adult male readers.) So perhaps the second target after excrement is sex.

Then we get to the floating/flying island. I don't know if the idea of Island in the sky came before or from Swift but this is the adventure that is a square assault on shit science. After being aloft with mathematicians whereupon he makes his brilliant guess of the moons of Mars and describes them as to size and distance from the red planet hundreds of years before telescopes were developed that could possibly have seen them. But Swift found Mathematician/astronomers to be quite boring, save for the design of the island's levitation system.

So he is put down in the lands of the non-pure scientists (as opposed to the purity of math) and wherefrom follows a list of utterly stupid scientific theories. I don't know if it is Swift's intent but I have been known to mention that the best thing the church ever did for science was to demand proof that it worked before they adopted as non heretical. it could be that Swift is revealing some of the very stupid theories of the day. In any case it is not flattering of science.

Then Gulliver winds up on the planet of the Apes island of the horses. This is Swift's closest cousin to Utopia, and Swift does mention Raphael's story at least once in this book. But the book is (if I understand it correctly) Swift's continuation of Moore's attempt.

Thomas Moore used Utopia to skewer the common perception of what a "Christian society" was by creating one on the island nation of Utopia. Swift did the same with the horses but much more viciously vis a vis the rest of us yahoos.  The horses' society was the result of living a Christ like life. I must admit that there were times when I'd have liked to nail the horses to a cross too!

When Gulliver returns home, he is truly a zealot, having accepted Christ/horse as his personal master and to whom he dedicates his life. Much to the general agreement of others that he is mad.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 04, 2008, 08:55:31 PM
Science AND religion?...


Shouldn't that be:

Science OR religion, instead?.....

A more lively discussion might ensue if the topic were named "Religion of Science". At least that paradigm holds some sweetness for religiophiles seeking refuge from reality's relentless assault upon their dogmae.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 05, 2008, 08:01:17 PM
I'd go for science of religion, can you explain just how the eucarist transmutates into the boby of Christ? That would be some usefulassed science! Especially if you could untransmutate. Damn that Newton and his laws of thermodynamics.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 05, 2008, 08:48:03 PM
I'd go for science of religion, can you explain just how the eucarist transmutates into the boby of Christ? That would be some usefulassed science! Especially if you could untransmutate. Damn that Newton and his laws of thermodynamics.

Do they use Newtons for christ-cookies now? I thought they were too cheap for that - used those unsalted saltines or something.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: elportenito1 on March 07, 2008, 09:54:09 AM
Science and religion?...sweeming and walking at the same time?....


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 07, 2008, 09:55:43 AM
And you wondered which way evolution would take us next!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on March 07, 2008, 12:21:07 PM
Let's talk about counseling. There is counseling from a priest, rabbi, pastor, etc....there is counseling based on social science and medical science...

Which one is most effective?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 07, 2008, 01:23:10 PM
Are we going to be a stalker now Mr.Utley. You don't get enough attention from me in Campaign and so now you're going to follow me around, is that the idea?

You want to talk about counselling, lay it out there, then see if anyone pick it up.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on March 07, 2008, 09:31:23 PM
Are we going to be a stalker now Mr.Utley. You don't get enough attention from me in Campaign and so now you're going to follow me around, is that the idea?

You want to talk about counselling, lay it out there, then see if anyone pick it up.

This might be one of your symptoms. I asked a question that is on topic, and you interpreted as being all about you.

Are you saying that your counseling hasn't worked for you?

Perhaps you'd like to share. Keep in mind your flashing message at the bottom of each of your posts indicates an unmet need of yours.

Would you prefer professional or religious counseling for the malady?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 09, 2008, 01:17:16 PM
In my opinion both professional and religious councelling are the same thing. The difference being the Being. Is the being external or is it internal?

While I'm much more inclined to believe that the Being is internal, I'm also a believer that there is an external existence but not that can petitioned with prayer.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on March 09, 2008, 01:20:34 PM
In my opinion both professional and religious councelling are the same thing. The difference being the Being. Is the being external or is it internal?

While I'm much more inclined to believe that the Being is internal, I'm also a believer that there is an external existence but not that can petitioned with prayer.



Would they not differ based on the goals of the counseling? Is the goal of religious counseling to get one closer to "the Being", as you put it? Is the goal of professional counseling the same?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 09, 2008, 01:45:12 PM
They are the same in that they both want you to believe in their brand of hoodoo.

What do you think? You brought up the topic, you ought to have some insight that you can share.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on March 09, 2008, 06:59:58 PM
So, you're saying that a scientific approach to uncovering the reasons why people behave as they do is "hoodoo"? And that people who believe that faith can heal their aching spirits are delusional?


 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 09, 2008, 07:17:21 PM
So, you're saying that a scientific approach to uncovering the reasons why people behave as they do is "hoodoo"? And that people who believe that faith can heal their aching spirits are delusional?

Sorry to butt in...

Nothing wrong IMO with the "scientific approach", but it's not as rigorously adhered to by the sociology/psychology crowd as it is by, say physicists, chemists or mathematicians. Yet they just as aggressively seek the mantle of godlike credibility that is mistakenly oft conferred upon the latter types.

I have no doubt that "faith" is as efficacious in healing "spirits" as any mythical panacea is in healing any imaginary ill. That is to say, the very best!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on March 09, 2008, 08:48:17 PM
Nothing wrong IMO with the "scientific approach", but it's not as rigorously adhered to by the sociology/psychology crowd as it is by, say physicists, chemists or mathematicians.

And would you say that there is far less variance in "approach" by the members of the cloth?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 09, 2008, 09:35:08 PM
Nothing wrong IMO with the "scientific approach", but it's not as rigorously adhered to by the sociology/psychology crowd as it is by, say physicists, chemists or mathematicians.

And would you say that there is far less variance in "approach" by the members of the cloth?

I really don't know... maybe if one specified a single "cloth"? AFAICS churches are uninanimous in that they all are the "one true" or at least the best church, yet their doctrines seem to vary wildly...


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: kingoftheants on March 09, 2008, 10:36:17 PM
Rigorous adherence to the scientific method leaves humanity with nothing but an increasingly superficial reality on an increasingly wider front of increasingly more complex abstraction.

Sure there is a lot more to talk about - framed by delusion.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 10, 2008, 11:27:20 AM
Yore lucky KOA - I almost registered with that username just to keep you incognito.  ;D


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 10, 2008, 11:29:41 AM
Rigorous adherence to the scientific method leaves humanity with nothing but an increasingly superficial reality on an increasingly wider front ...

If you choose to look at it that way. Or one could look at it as a blessing - giving humanity an increasingly wider front from which to view what is considered "reality" as superficial.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 10, 2008, 12:15:19 PM
Rigorous adherence to the scientific method leaves humanity with nothing but an increasingly superficial reality on an increasingly wider front of increasingly more complex abstraction.

Sure there is a lot more to talk about - framed by delusion.

Could you please explain the use of the word "Nothing". Surely the scientific method has brought us some concrete results. if only to dispell misunderstandings such as blood lettings to cure diseases.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on March 11, 2008, 01:41:28 PM
Though I find Richard Dawkins somewhat limited, I would agree with him that the scientific method and religious practice are not compatible ways of understanding reality.   So long as religion requires the acceptance, on faith, of particular doctrines on the nature of a supernatural being, it is completely outside the realm of science.  The tenets of religion do not meet the basic requirement for a useful scientific hypothesis -- namely, testability and falsifiability (being capable of disproof) (google or wiki Karl Popper for more on this). 

This isn't to say that there couldn't be a form of spiritual inquiry, perhaps along the lines of panpsychists like David Chalmers, that is based on the notion that there is some kind of raw proto-consciousness that is somehow intrinsic in matter/energy and which our brains are somehow able to access and focus.  Neurologists who delve into quantum physics, like Stuart Hameroff, might conceivably be able to formulate hypotheses and test aspects of biological brains that might somehow actually yield evidence of some kind of intrinsic consciousness in the entire universe.  If this developed, then there might be a point of intersection between some human intuitions about the universe and the methods of science.

 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 11, 2008, 02:48:44 PM
Quote
I would agree with him that the scientific method and religious practice are not compatible ways of understanding reality.

Yeh. I think he's sometimes unnecessarily confrontational, but that is the worst knock on him I've heard, even by those from whom one would expect dissent. His substantial point in that regard remains pretty much unscathed by the whiners.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 12, 2008, 10:46:10 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/13/science/13prize.html

Wherein a Roman Catholic priest/ Cosmologist is given the John Templeton prize.

Templeton, in an effort to buy his way into heaven (I'm kidding, Sir John is an alright guy) Templeton established the prize to try to marry science and religion.

From Wiki
:"We are trying to persuade people that no human has yet grasped 1% of what can be known about spiritual realities.
 So we are encouraging people to start using the same methods of science that have been so productive in other areas, in order to discover spiritual realities."

—Sir John Templeton, Interview with Financial Intelligence Report

Here's to his foundation: http://www.templeton.org/ (http://www.templeton.org/)

From the article

Professor Heller said he believes, for example, that the religious objection to teaching evolution “is one of the greatest misunderstandings” because it “introduces a contradiction or opposition between God and chance.”

In a telephone interview, Professor Heller explained his affinity for the two fields: “I always wanted to do the most important things, and what can be more important than science and religion? Science gives us knowledge, and religion gives us meaning. Both are prerequisites of the decent existence.”


Perhaps we should be less impressed that we have a Roman Catholic Cosmologist considering that his name is Heller!

Congratulations Brother Heller, A part of me envies your life path, all of me admires it.




Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on March 19, 2008, 12:20:03 PM
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article857527.ece

Clever of those aliens to buzz an amusement park!  The perfect way to blend in.

(UFO nuttiness seems to blend science and a kind of religious devotion and belief system, so that's why I'm posting it here....)





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 19, 2008, 01:30:59 PM
Seems like it is probably a reflection on the glass of the cab she was riding in from somewhere inside the cab.

Note that the two ufo photos have essentially the same pitch and attitude even thought the cab ahs changed it's location as it relates to the UFO. This indicates to me that the image is travelling with the cab. It also helps to explain why they didn't see the image at the time, because they were focused on an object beyond the window.

It could be a very nice cab with a chandelier for a dome light.

Apparently that is also the general consensus at the Sun.  :)


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on March 19, 2008, 08:24:58 PM
People so very much WANT to believe.   

Yes, it seemed to be an obvious reflection.  I imagine than an object of its apparent size might, had it been real, shown up on British radar and been seen by huge numbers of persons.

There's another recent video of UFOs seen over a city in Turkey -- I don't have that link handy, but it is a bit more puzzling.  That one seems to have the saucer crowd all abuzz.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 19, 2008, 09:11:55 PM
I've seen a UFO. Absolutely positively. It was right overhead, it stayed there for longer than I felt like standing there looking at it.

Crap this picture could almost be of me http://www.unmuseum.org/triufo.htm (http://www.unmuseum.org/triufo.htm) There was a pond a block away from where I was watching it.

Absolutely silent absolutely still until it moved with still no sound. Neat trick if they could pull it off.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on March 20, 2008, 07:29:16 PM
I have yet to hear a really credible explanation of the Hudson River case.

My son and daughter visited Roswell a couple years ago and reported back that the vibe was pretty religious, a sort of Mecca for the devout Saucerians.  I've been in the state, mainly Taos area, and somehow never bothered to get down to Roswell. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on March 20, 2008, 08:46:11 PM
People who study the stars for a living say that what most people call UFOs are just things that astronomers see normally.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 20, 2008, 08:48:18 PM
I've seen innumerable Objects that were Flying, yet remained Unidentified... by me anyway.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 20, 2008, 11:43:37 PM
I have yet to hear a really credible explanation of the Hudson River case.

My son and daughter visited Roswell a couple years ago and reported back that the vibe was pretty religious, a sort of Mecca for the devout Saucerians.  I've been in the state, mainly Taos area, and somehow never bothered to get down to Roswell. 

In that area isn't there another issue with a noise? I've heard that in Taos many people complain of a low hum that is constant like a ringing in the ears, but much lower pitched. Others there can't hear it at all. The hearers say that the noise is coming from "Over there" meaning that it seems like an external noise as opposed to tinitis.

And speaking of science and religion and Taos, didn't they have an "outbreak" of the plague there a few years ago?

Comes right down to it, is there a more pure nexus of science and religion than the plague?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on March 21, 2008, 11:34:51 AM
9/11.


Title: Expelled from "Expelled"
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 21, 2008, 04:19:46 PM
This (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/03/expelled.php) is truly rich - best laugh I've had all day.

Read it, be amazed at these dunderclots and laugh. Then check some of the ensuing comments...  the producers will be lucky if PZ Meyers doesn't decide to sue their britches off.


Title: Re: Expelled from "Expelled"
Post by: obertray on March 21, 2008, 05:56:34 PM
This (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/03/expelled.php) is truly rich - best laugh I've had all day.

Read it, be amazed at these dunderclots and laugh. Then check some of the ensuing comments...  the producers will be lucky if PZ Meyers doesn't decide to sue their britches off.

I don't think that he can but it would be cool if he could Steal Ben Stein's Money! Here's a link to the trailer for the Expelled movie http://www.expelledthemovie.com/playground.php (http://www.expelledthemovie.com/playground.php) It looks drier than Ben Stein's "humor".

So there I am , watching the Ralph Nader movie, and it's deadly boring, and I'm watching The Corporation http://imdb.com/title/tt0379225/ (http://imdb.com/title/tt0379225/) and I'm made aware that these used to be books that only the fervent read. Now they're movies that several dozens watch. I guess it's the evolution of information transfer.

Ben Stein is a smart guy who just happens to be right enough to be constantly wrong. but one dismisses Stein at their peril, he's not at all completely stupid.

Oh and it's interesting how these sorts of synchronistic things happen... At about the same time that PZ Myers was being "asked" to leave, I was watching the same thing happen to Ralph Nader, who had a ticket to and an invite to comment on (from Fox News) the Presidential debate between Bush and...(I think) Al Gore (could have been Kerry, but I think it was Gore) on that DVD[An Unreasonable Man http://imdb.com/title/tt0492499/ (http://imdb.com/title/tt0492499/)]. Interesting.... for any number of reasons.



Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 21, 2008, 06:17:29 PM
Quote
TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 21 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 2000a
§ 2000a. Prohibition against discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation
(a) Equal access
All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
...
Each of the following establishments which serves the public is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of this subchapter if its operations affect commerce, or if discrimination or segregation by it is supported by State action:
...
(3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment; and
...


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: obertray on March 21, 2008, 07:16:09 PM
Nader DID sue the whoever it was, debate commission and they settled for $50,000!


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on March 22, 2008, 11:09:11 AM
The PZ Myers incident is beyond bizarre (and then Richard Dawkins getting in -- perfect).  I can't see any legal basis for it, so yeah the guy should take it to court.  Unless PZ Myers is not just a biology professor but some kind of disruptive movie terrorist who jumps up and slashes movie screens and/or hurls mayonnaise onto audience members and/or whips out a megaphone and screams his protest, then I don't think you could bar his entry into a movie theater. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: NoneoftheAbove on March 22, 2008, 03:30:29 PM
The PZ Myers incident is beyond bizarre (and then Richard Dawkins getting in -- perfect).  I can't see any legal basis for it, so yeah the guy should take it to court.  Unless PZ Myers is not just a biology professor but some kind of disruptive movie terrorist who jumps up and slashes movie screens and/or hurls mayonnaise onto audience members and/or whips out a megaphone and screams his protest, then I don't think you could bar his entry into a movie theater. 

Zackly. Unfortunately he's way too mild-mannered to want to make a fuss over it. Might be nice, though, to put the Fear Of God into those mutton-heads.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: barton on May 07, 2008, 12:38:38 PM
In case you were thinking science can't support a religion....

KurzweilAI.net





Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: FlyingVProd on November 12, 2017, 03:13:13 PM
God is real, and miracles happen for those who believe...

I was left with chronic back and neck pain as a result of an automobile accident. I was in horrible pain for two years. The pain pills did not even help, and I did not want to get addicted to pain pills. Four doctors said that there was nothing that they could do, and they just told me not to lift over ten pounds. Then, one night while I was on my knees praying, I felt fire run down my spine and the pain went away. God took away my pain. God gave me a miracle. And to this day I am pain-free.
 
And of note, my father died when I was a child, when I was 9 years old, just before my tenth birthday. My grandfather also died young, and his sons grew up without a dad, and my uncles used drugs, and they spent their whole lives in prison, those were my role models. I was high risk to end up as a drug addict, and I was high risk to end up in prison. But, I am a Christian, and my Christian faith saved me. I worked honest jobs, and I stayed away from drugs, and I looked for good Christian role models. And I never became addicted to drugs, and I never went to prison. Later, my brother married Roy Rogers and Dale Evans' granddaughter, and I looked to Roy as a role model, and I went to college, and to acting school, to be an actor, although I never made it very far. Anyhow, I was high risk for drugs and crime, and because of my Christian faith I stayed away from drugs and crime. And when I did not have a Dad to talk to, I prayed to God.
 
The enemy is strong, and I was homeless out on the streets for two years after college, and after acting school, but I kept my faith in God, and I continued to pray, and God has been with me. I am not bitter and hateful. I still have love in my heart.
 
Later I suffered from a nervous breakdown, and from extreme exhaustion, and I had to spend a month in the hospital, and I came out of the hospital homeless. And I was diagnosed with PTSD. But, God took care of me, and God led me to good Christian people who helped me.
 
Years later I was told that my blood tests were saying that I had Cancer. My doctor even had a talk with me about dying, and he told me to get my affairs in order. Then, after 18 month of testing, they could never find Cancer, and then my blood tests started saying that I am healthy. I pray often, and God hears my prayers.
 
Maybe my life has not been so great, so far, but God has walked with me, and God will continue to walk with me.
 
I do not know what I would have done without having God in my life.

Here is a thread that I started on Topix pertaining to God, and pertaining to miracles which God has given me, and there is also a link for a video that I made...

http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TBIBCTH9AUKJLF1OV (http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TBIBCTH9AUKJLF1OV)

Salute,
 
Tony V.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: FlyingVProd on November 15, 2017, 07:44:09 PM
I just did my routine of riding my bicycle through the park to get a Super Star burger at Carl's Jr, and while I was eating I noticed a pretty lady with a guitar who had just received her food at a table near me, and I noticed that she bowed her head and prayed before eating. Then she walked over to my table and kindly asked me if I would answer some questions for a random survey that she was doing for a class at a Christian college.

As she got out her notepad with the questions for the survey on it, I noticed that she was a classic beauty like Audrey Hepburn, and like Natalie Wood. She had dark brown hair, and big brown eyes. She was very nervous, and her hands shook a little as she opened the file on her notepad, and her voice shook a little as she began asking questions.

It was all unrehearsed and unplanned, so I was not sure what I was going to say, so I just tried my best to be honest with her. She asked what God was all about, and I told her that God was all about love. And she asked how I should behave as a Christian, and I told her that I try to show love for my neighbors, and for other people, I told her that God is all about love. I could have told her about Matthew 25; 31-46, and about the Ten Commandments, but if you show love for other people then you will obey all of the commandments, etc. In the New Testament Jesus tells us that all of the laws of God are summed up in the commandment to love other people.

And I told her about the miracle which God gave me when he healed my back and neck after an automobile accident, and took away my pain after two years, while I was on my knees praying. I told her that without God I might have committed suicide, but I kept my faith and I prayed, and God gave me a miracle and God healed me.

She then asked what is the best way for Christians to spread the word of God, and I told her by loving our neighbors. If we are showing love and if we are helping everyone, and if we live by example, then we will win people over for God. I told her that the world would be a lot better if everyone was Christian and if we were all out there showing love for other people. It would be great if everyone loved each other.

I told her about my buddy Chris who used to drive around in a van with a female social worker picking up homeless people and taking them to the shelters and helping them. And I told her about my buddy Tom who would buy sixteen ribeye steaks for the homeless people in the shelter that he managed on a holiday with his own money. And I told her that both of those guys are in Heaven now, and that I will see them again when I get to Heaven. Those guys were good Christians who showed by example on how to be a good Christian.

Then, she invited me to go to church at the Calvary Chapel open door church on Harbor Blvd. It is close to my apartment, and maybe I will go check the church out.

So, anyhow, instead of eating by myself, I had lunch and was able to spend time with a beautiful young Christian woman talking about God. Her name is "Anna" and maybe I will see her at Church on Sunday if I go. She also said that they have service on Thursday night. We will see. I love God, and it would be nice to go to Church. God might have sent a beautiful young woman to get me back into the habit of attending Church on Sunday, and no matter where I am there is usually a church close by.

May God bless us all!

Salute,

Tony V.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: FlyingVProd on November 16, 2017, 04:03:38 PM
Pope Francis got a Lamborghini, and he's auctioning it for charity
 
https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-got-a-lamborghini-and-hes-raffling-it-for-charity-62708?platform=hootsuite

-----

Salute,

Tony V.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on November 18, 2017, 01:48:49 PM
God is real, and miracles happen for those who believe...

I was left with chronic back and neck pain as a result of an automobile accident. I was in horrible pain for two years. The pain pills did not even help, and I did not want to get addicted to pain pills. Four doctors said that there was nothing that they could do, and they just told me not to lift over ten pounds. Then, one night while I was on my knees praying, I felt fire run down my spine and the pain went away. God took away my pain. God gave me a miracle. And to this day I am pain-free.
 
And of note, my father died when I was a child, when I was 9 years old, just before my tenth birthday. My grandfather also died young, and his sons grew up without a dad, and my uncles used drugs, and they spent their whole lives in prison, those were my role models. I was high risk to end up as a drug addict, and I was high risk to end up in prison. But, I am a Christian, and my Christian faith saved me. I worked honest jobs, and I stayed away from drugs, and I looked for good Christian role models. And I never became addicted to drugs, and I never went to prison. Later, my brother married Roy Rogers and Dale Evans' granddaughter, and I looked to Roy as a role model, and I went to college, and to acting school, to be an actor, although I never made it very far. Anyhow, I was high risk for drugs and crime, and because of my Christian faith I stayed away from drugs and crime. And when I did not have a Dad to talk to, I prayed to God.
 
The enemy is strong, and I was homeless out on the streets for two years after college, and after acting school, but I kept my faith in God, and I continued to pray, and God has been with me. I am not bitter and hateful. I still have love in my heart.
 
Later I suffered from a nervous breakdown, and from extreme exhaustion, and I had to spend a month in the hospital, and I came out of the hospital homeless. And I was diagnosed with PTSD. But, God took care of me, and God led me to good Christian people who helped me.
 
Years later I was told that my blood tests were saying that I had Cancer. My doctor even had a talk with me about dying, and he told me to get my affairs in order. Then, after 18 month of testing, they could never find Cancer, and then my blood tests started saying that I am healthy. I pray often, and God hears my prayers.
 
Maybe my life has not been so great, so far, but God has walked with me, and God will continue to walk with me.
 
I do not know what I would have done without having God in my life.

Here is a thread that I started on Topix pertaining to God, and pertaining to miracles which God has given me, and there is also a link for a video that I made...

http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TBIBCTH9AUKJLF1OV (http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TBIBCTH9AUKJLF1OV)

Salute,
 
Tony V.

Proof?


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: FlyingVProd on November 18, 2017, 03:23:22 PM
God is real, and miracles happen for those who believe...

I was left with chronic back and neck pain as a result of an automobile accident. I was in horrible pain for two years. The pain pills did not even help, and I did not want to get addicted to pain pills. Four doctors said that there was nothing that they could do, and they just told me not to lift over ten pounds. Then, one night while I was on my knees praying, I felt fire run down my spine and the pain went away. God took away my pain. God gave me a miracle. And to this day I am pain-free.
 
And of note, my father died when I was a child, when I was 9 years old, just before my tenth birthday. My grandfather also died young, and his sons grew up without a dad, and my uncles used drugs, and they spent their whole lives in prison, those were my role models. I was high risk to end up as a drug addict, and I was high risk to end up in prison. But, I am a Christian, and my Christian faith saved me. I worked honest jobs, and I stayed away from drugs, and I looked for good Christian role models. And I never became addicted to drugs, and I never went to prison. Later, my brother married Roy Rogers and Dale Evans' granddaughter, and I looked to Roy as a role model, and I went to college, and to acting school, to be an actor, although I never made it very far. Anyhow, I was high risk for drugs and crime, and because of my Christian faith I stayed away from drugs and crime. And when I did not have a Dad to talk to, I prayed to God.
 
The enemy is strong, and I was homeless out on the streets for two years after college, and after acting school, but I kept my faith in God, and I continued to pray, and God has been with me. I am not bitter and hateful. I still have love in my heart.
 
Later I suffered from a nervous breakdown, and from extreme exhaustion, and I had to spend a month in the hospital, and I came out of the hospital homeless. And I was diagnosed with PTSD. But, God took care of me, and God led me to good Christian people who helped me.
 
Years later I was told that my blood tests were saying that I had Cancer. My doctor even had a talk with me about dying, and he told me to get my affairs in order. Then, after 18 month of testing, they could never find Cancer, and then my blood tests started saying that I am healthy. I pray often, and God hears my prayers.
 
Maybe my life has not been so great, so far, but God has walked with me, and God will continue to walk with me.
 
I do not know what I would have done without having God in my life.

Here is a thread that I started on Topix pertaining to God, and pertaining to miracles which God has given me, and there is also a link for a video that I made...

http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TBIBCTH9AUKJLF1OV (http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TBIBCTH9AUKJLF1OV)

Salute,
 
Tony V.

Proof?

I have my word, and I can pass a lie detector test. There is also the fact that I am not on pain pills, and I am not in pain. And somewhere in a box I think that I still have my MRI images of my spine after the automobile accident which show three ruptured discs, according to those MRI images I should be in pain, but I am no longer in pain thanks to the miracle which God gave me while I was on my knees praying, and I could get some new MRI images of my spine which might show that the ruptured discs are healed, God may have healed them, I am no longer in pain. God is awesome.

Salute,

Tony V.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: FlyingVProd on November 19, 2017, 04:13:30 PM
Well, I went to a new Church this morning, the one that a lady whom I met at Carl's Jr invited me to go to, and it was nice. The lady was happy that I showed up, and she gave me a big hug.

The Church is close to my apartment, so I just walked to Church. It is a beautiful day, and it is a nice day for walking, and I walked through the park, and I watched the dogs play at the dog park. It only took me about twenty minutes to get to the Church, and I got there early enough to drink coffee and meet the people at the Church. Some of the people there are very funny, and the atmosphere in the coffee room was very light-hearted. I met so many people that I will never be able to remember the names, but I will get to know their names more as I attend the Church more and get to know everyone.

The preacher, Don, preached about being strong in Christ so that we can withstand temptation. He preached about Satan making all of these false promises, and that we need to be strong in Christ so that we can resist the lies of the enemy, and so that we can have eternal life. And he said that as we resist temptation then we get stronger, and it gives us more faith that we can resist temptation. And he said that being a Christian has to be a natural reflex. It was a nice sermon. And the Church had a great band.

The Church also has outreach to the homeless people, which I like, and they feed the homeless people on Saturday morning, and at other times. We also prayed for God to help the homeless people.

The lady who invited me was really happy that I showed up, and I met a lot of new people whom I will get to know better as I attend more. The preacher seems pretty good, and I liked his sermon. And it is a humble Church which reaches out to the homeless people, it is really a down to earth Church. I enjoyed attending Church this morning, and I will continue to go. And wherever I am at, I need to attend Church, and this Church is a short walk away. I am glad that the lady invited me.

May God bless us all!

Salute,

Tony V.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on November 20, 2017, 07:22:25 AM
God is real, and miracles happen for those who believe...

I was left with chronic back and neck pain as a result of an automobile accident. I was in horrible pain for two years. The pain pills did not even help, and I did not want to get addicted to pain pills. Four doctors said that there was nothing that they could do, and they just told me not to lift over ten pounds. Then, one night while I was on my knees praying, I felt fire run down my spine and the pain went away. God took away my pain. God gave me a miracle. And to this day I am pain-free.
 
And of note, my father died when I was a child, when I was 9 years old, just before my tenth birthday. My grandfather also died young, and his sons grew up without a dad, and my uncles used drugs, and they spent their whole lives in prison, those were my role models. I was high risk to end up as a drug addict, and I was high risk to end up in prison. But, I am a Christian, and my Christian faith saved me. I worked honest jobs, and I stayed away from drugs, and I looked for good Christian role models. And I never became addicted to drugs, and I never went to prison. Later, my brother married Roy Rogers and Dale Evans' granddaughter, and I looked to Roy as a role model, and I went to college, and to acting school, to be an actor, although I never made it very far. Anyhow, I was high risk for drugs and crime, and because of my Christian faith I stayed away from drugs and crime. And when I did not have a Dad to talk to, I prayed to God.
 
The enemy is strong, and I was homeless out on the streets for two years after college, and after acting school, but I kept my faith in God, and I continued to pray, and God has been with me. I am not bitter and hateful. I still have love in my heart.
 
Later I suffered from a nervous breakdown, and from extreme exhaustion, and I had to spend a month in the hospital, and I came out of the hospital homeless. And I was diagnosed with PTSD. But, God took care of me, and God led me to good Christian people who helped me.
 
Years later I was told that my blood tests were saying that I had Cancer. My doctor even had a talk with me about dying, and he told me to get my affairs in order. Then, after 18 month of testing, they could never find Cancer, and then my blood tests started saying that I am healthy. I pray often, and God hears my prayers.
 
Maybe my life has not been so great, so far, but God has walked with me, and God will continue to walk with me.
 
I do not know what I would have done without having God in my life.

Here is a thread that I started on Topix pertaining to God, and pertaining to miracles which God has given me, and there is also a link for a video that I made...

http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TBIBCTH9AUKJLF1OV (http://www.topix.com/forum/topstories/TBIBCTH9AUKJLF1OV)

Salute,
 
Tony V.

Proof?

I have my word, and I can pass a lie detector test. There is also the fact that I am not on pain pills, and I am not in pain. And somewhere in a box I think that I still have my MRI images of my spine after the automobile accident which show three ruptured discs, according to those MRI images I should be in pain, but I am no longer in pain thanks to the miracle which God gave me while I was on my knees praying, and I could get some new MRI images of my spine which might show that the ruptured discs are healed, God may have healed them, I am no longer in pain. God is awesome.

Salute,

Tony V.

I'm not doubting you believe what you believe. But you are assigning your healing to an invisible being. It is far, far, far, far more likely that your discs healed on their own---with time, as they so often do, naturally.

There is scientific research, however, that says that those who have a strong faith tend to heal faster, but that is not proof of a celestial being guiding one's existence.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: MrUtley3 on November 20, 2017, 07:23:27 AM
BTW, Tony, I'm happy that you're so happy.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: FlyingVProd on November 26, 2017, 02:06:27 PM
Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

-----------

And this is important for filmmakers.

May God bless us all!

Salute,

Tony V.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Itz ME! on December 29, 2017, 03:59:11 PM
So I have been having a discussion with my buddy and with my nephew about leading us not into temptation.

It goes to show that there is damn little that is new in this world that the Pope just recently (but since I started playing with it) come out to opine on this very subject.

See, in the Lord's Prayer it entreats God to "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." That's what the translation Americans have agreed on. Apparently, in many languages it comes out the same.

So my "insight" is, so if it is God that LEADS us into temptation, how can he get mad if we fall for it? That's entrapment! (for those who want to claim we're a "Christian Nation" this would be evidence of the opposite.) It is basic to our existence that the police (the state) can not put us in the path of crime and then arrest us for that crime.

So anyway, the Pope agrees with me (I like the Pope, he's a smart guy!) that this would be counter to Godliness. So the Pope says the prayer is translated incorrectly. Of course Fundies are up in arms because, well because they're always up in arms. 


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: josh on January 06, 2018, 12:35:05 AM
So I have been having a discussion with my buddy and with my nephew about leading us not into temptation.

It goes to show that there is damn little that is new in this world that the Pope just recently (but since I started playing with it) come out to opine on this very subject.

See, in the Lord's Prayer it entreats God to "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." That's what the translation Americans have agreed on. Apparently, in many languages it comes out the same.

So my "insight" is, so if it is God that LEADS us into temptation, how can he get mad if we fall for it? That's entrapment! (for those who want to claim we're a "Christian Nation" this would be evidence of the opposite.) It is basic to our existence that the police (the state) can not put us in the path of crime and then arrest us for that crime.

So anyway, the Pope agrees with me (I like the Pope, he's a smart guy!) that this would be counter to Godliness. So the Pope says the prayer is translated incorrectly. Of course Fundies are up in arms because, well because they're always up in arms. 

I think you are mistaken and the Pope is engaged in wishful thinking.

For all that Jesus was trying to show a different way, he was still a product of his time and the so-called Old Testament God still had a lot of sway.

That's the deity that commanded a man to kill his son to prove his faith. That's the deity that, when Pharoah was ready to let the Jews leave Egypt, "hardened Pharoah's heart," that Pharoah would order his soldiers to chase the Jews leading to their destruction under the Red Sea.

Why? To make a point. I have no difficulty believing the version given, granting any was given, was "and lead us not into temptation."

Was Judas rewarded for doing what he was required to do? I don't think so.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Itz ME! on January 07, 2018, 11:05:33 AM
So I have been having a discussion with my buddy and with my nephew about leading us not into temptation.

It goes to show that there is damn little that is new in this world that the Pope just recently (but since I started playing with it) come out to opine on this very subject.

See, in the Lord's Prayer it entreats God to "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." That's what the translation Americans have agreed on. Apparently, in many languages it comes out the same.

So my "insight" is, so if it is God that LEADS us into temptation, how can he get mad if we fall for it? That's entrapment! (for those who want to claim we're a "Christian Nation" this would be evidence of the opposite.) It is basic to our existence that the police (the state) can not put us in the path of crime and then arrest us for that crime.

So anyway, the Pope agrees with me (I like the Pope, he's a smart guy!) that this would be counter to Godliness. So the Pope says the prayer is translated incorrectly. Of course Fundies are up in arms because, well because they're always up in arms.  

I think you are mistaken and the Pope is engaged in wishful thinking.

For all that Jesus was trying to show a different way, he was still a product of his time and the so-called Old Testament God still had a lot of sway.

That's the deity that commanded a man to kill his son to prove his faith. That's the deity that, when Pharoah was ready to let the Jews leave Egypt, "hardened Pharoah's heart," that Pharoah would order his soldiers to chase the Jews leading to their destruction under the Red Sea.

Why? To make a point. I have no difficulty believing the version given, granting any was given, was "and lead us not into temptation."

Was Judas rewarded for doing what he was required to do? I don't think so.

I only uniggied you because this seemed to be directed towards me. As I said in a different post to a different poster, it is rude to ignore direct questions. But I will ask you please to disengage with me in all of your further discussions. You are a mean spirited troll. You bring negativity into every discussion I have ever had the ultimate displeasure to observe you in. And now that you can be ignored, I encourage everyone to take advantage of that luxury in the sad case that, when this forum is fixed, if you are again "Un Ignorable" at least they can look back fondly at these times.

Your first problem here is that you either can't read or can't write (not mutually exclusive.)

Either I am right in that it is the Lord's intent to lead us into temptation, or I am wrong. If I am right then I am not mistaken.

Nor would I be mistaken in thinking that the Pope is looking to change the wording. He may be engaged in wishful thinking. Or you might just be a putz who has an opinion that he is willing to stand by. Whereas he is a man who has spent his entire life pondering the relationship between man and God. I'm not willing to weigh your opinions equally.

Your understanding of Christianity might even be thinner than my own. Not your fault (I'll say FSOTD) given the myriad differing opinions among Christians. Many of the most fervent Christians ignore the concept of the New Covenant when it doesn't suit their purposes.

So citing examples from the actions of the sonless father towards the father of a son is not anywhere near an example of "leading into temptation." Nor is a stratagem to kill the "False God Worshipping" Egyptians thus showing His power over both man and nature likely to be more than a cautionary tale of allowing oneself to be blinded by lust.

Not to mention that the next episode included the 10 Commandments which were heavy on the, don't follow your primal lusts, which translate more directly as "Temptations."

As to your conclusions, You know what they say, Garbage In Garbage Out.

Good bye.


Title: Leading into Temptation is Godly; So, it seems, is calling others names
Post by: josh on January 07, 2018, 09:37:37 PM
So I have been having a discussion with my buddy and with my nephew about leading us not into temptation.

It goes to show that there is damn little that is new in this world that the Pope just recently (but since I started playing with it) come out to opine on this very subject.

See, in the Lord's Prayer it entreats God to "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." That's what the translation Americans have agreed on. Apparently, in many languages it comes out the same.

So my "insight" is, so if it is God that LEADS us into temptation, how can he get mad if we fall for it? That's entrapment! (for those who want to claim we're a "Christian Nation" this would be evidence of the opposite.) It is basic to our existence that the police (the state) can not put us in the path of crime and then arrest us for that crime.

So anyway, the Pope agrees with me (I like the Pope, he's a smart guy!) that this would be counter to Godliness. So the Pope says the prayer is translated incorrectly. Of course Fundies are up in arms because, well because they're always up in arms.  

I think you are mistaken and the Pope is engaged in wishful thinking.

For all that Jesus was trying to show a different way, he was still a product of his time and the so-called Old Testament God still had a lot of sway.

That's the deity that commanded a man to kill his son to prove his faith. That's the deity that, when Pharoah was ready to let the Jews leave Egypt, "hardened Pharoah's heart," that Pharoah would order his soldiers to chase the Jews leading to their destruction under the Red Sea.

Why? To make a point. I have no difficulty believing the version given, granting any was given, was "and lead us not into temptation."

Was Judas rewarded for doing what he was required to do? I don't think so.

I only uniggied you because this seemed to be directed towards me. As I said in a different post to a different poster, it is rude to ignore direct questions. But I will ask you please to disengage with me in all of your further discussions. You are a mean spirited troll. You bring negativity into every discussion I have ever had the ultimate displeasure to observe you in. And now that you can be ignored, I encourage everyone to take advantage of that luxury in the sad case that, when this forum is fixed, if you are again "Un Ignorable" at least they can look back fondly at these times.

Your first problem here is that you either can't read or can't write (not mutually exclusive.)

Either I am right in that it is the Lord's intent to lead us into temptation, or I am wrong. If I am right then I am not mistaken.

Nor would I be mistaken in thinking that the Pope is looking to change the wording. He may be engaged in wishful thinking. Or you might just be a putz who has an opinion that he is willing to stand by. Whereas he is a man who has spent his entire life pondering the relationship between man and God. I'm not willing to weigh your opinions equally.

Your understanding of Christianity might even be thinner than my own. Not your fault (I'll say FSOTD) given the myriad differing opinions among Christians. Many of the most fervent Christians ignore the concept of the New Covenant when it doesn't suit their purposes.

So citing examples from the actions of the sonless father towards the father of a son is not anywhere near an example of "leading into temptation." Nor is a stratagem to kill the "False God Worshipping" Egyptians thus showing His power over both man and nature likely to be more than a cautionary tale of allowing oneself to be blinded by lust.

Not to mention that the next episode included the 10 Commandments which were heavy on the, don't follow your primal lusts, which translate more directly as "Temptations."

As to your conclusions, You know what they say, Garbage In Garbage Out.

Good bye.

I don't think my post was particularly negative.

I think it engaged in meaningful discussion.

And the way I think you are wrong is this:

You said, "the Pope agrees with me (I like the Pope, he's a smart guy!) that this would be counter to Godliness."

I am asserting that it is the very feature of Godliness.
********

You accused me of being a troll and belittled me personally and called me meanspirited, which is pretty ironic, given that my post didn't attack you (unless you wish to say my belief that you were wrong about something is an attack, which is more than a bit of a stretch).

That you did that and think somehow that means I should heed your request that I ignore you back is rich.

Since until now, I did not even know I was on ignore from you, how should I have known to not respond to what I thought was an interesting post, even if I disagreed with part of it.

I will comment on your posts, as I will, without expectation that you will read it or respond to it, but because others read what both of us post. Some may even care.

You can do as you wish - not because I give you permission, but because it's your right. You can even continue to write with poison while pretending to be superior.

Knock yourself out.


Title: p.s. I like this Pope a lot, too
Post by: josh on January 07, 2018, 10:04:23 PM
eom


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: FlyingVProd on January 17, 2018, 04:14:27 PM
On the issue of Skid Row in Los Angeles, it is over, it was a horrible place, and it is great that it is ending.

The Chinese are building in Skid Row, and it is sad that we Americans did not end Skid Row on our own, it sucks that we allowed Skid Row to exist. 

Link...

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0825-china-dtla-snap-story.html 

A good Christian country such as the USA should not allow places such as Skid Row in Los Angeles to exist. We have Matthew 25: 31-46 telling us to help the poor and the needy, and being a Christian is all about loving our neighbors. It is shameful that we have preachers who live in multi million dollar mansions while we have homeless people out there on the streets.

But, finally the Chinese are coming in to redevelop Skid Row and to build there.

We need to support every effort to redevelop and improve that area and to help the people. Skid Row is a disgrace, and it must end.

Salute,

Tony V.


Title: Re: Science and Religion
Post by: Itz ME! on January 19, 2018, 01:25:46 PM
On the issue of Skid Row in Los Angeles, it is over, it was a horrible place, and it is great that it is ending.

The Chinese are building in Skid Row, and it is sad that we Americans did not end Skid Row on our own, it sucks that we allowed Skid Row to exist.

Link...

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0825-china-dtla-snap-story.html

A good Christian country such as the USA should not allow places such as Skid Row in Los Angeles to exist. We have Matthew 25: 31-46 telling us to help the poor and the needy, and being a Christian is all about loving our neighbors. It is shameful that we have preachers who live in multi million dollar mansions while we have homeless people out there on the streets.

But, finally the Chinese are coming in to redevelop Skid Row and to build there.

We need to support every effort to redevelop and improve that area and to help the people. Skid Row is a disgrace, and it must end.

Salute,

Tony V.

From the article linked, "A sizable share of home buyers for the new downtown developments are expected to come from China, where many in the middle and upper class are looking to the perceived safety of foreign real estate to diversify their wealth."

So how does this help the people that live(d) in Skid Row? Does anyone think the Chinese wealth diversifiers are going to let homeless people sleep in their apartments while they're away?

It's just gentrification for a different nationality.

Furthermore:

"'What we have experienced in China is that when there is too much supply coming to the same place, then there will be a stop in investment,' said Jason Zhu, chief executive of Gemdale’s U.S. subsidiary."

What the article doesn't mention is that many of those cities built in China were never even finished. This despite the fact that they were bought and paid for. Cities nearly built for 1 million + people are deserted and rusting out. No exterior walls on high rise towers. All that steel! Including the Twin Towers. All that pollution created to recycle the steel. And now it's just rusting away. It's a travesty.