BBO Discussion Forums: The Problem with Religious Moderation - BBO Discussion Forums

Jump to content

  • 52 Pages +
  • « First
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

The Problem with Religious Moderation From Sam Harris

#101 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,914
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2013-October-08, 11:22

View Postkenberg, on 2013-October-08, 07:20, said:

"Do onto other as you would have them do onto you". Not a bad way to live, but hardly a theorem with a mathematical proof.



View PostVampyr, on 2013-October-08, 08:32, said:

That is really sexy. It makes "do unto others" seem deadly dull.


It's my best pick-up line.
Ken
0

#102 User is offline   barmar 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Admin
  • Posts: 21,113
  • Joined: 2004-August-21
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-08, 11:54

One of the best parables about how religious people don't even understand their own faith comes from the joke about the drowning man:

http://www.jokesgall...?joke=1104&id=1

#103 User is offline   PassedOut 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 3,655
  • Joined: 2006-February-21
  • Location:Upper Michigan
  • Interests:Music, films, computer programming, politics, bridge

Posted 2013-October-08, 12:41

View Postmikeh, on 2013-October-08, 11:09, said:

We see this all the time. I am an atheist. I describe, in often way too much verbiage, precisely what I think about the existence of a god entity, which (to repeat myself) is that I see no compelling or persuasive reason to infer it but I recognize that I cannot disprove it, and I get told by the nige's of the world that I am an either mistaken about what I am or am lying.

The approach used by nige has been called the dictionary approach. Nige reads a definition...a definition written by someone who clearly hasn't understood what atheism is in the real world, and he assumes that the definition applies even to those who say, clearly, that it doesn't.

Reminds of an event my youngest sister described to me many years ago. Gwen was at a dinner party with her then boyfriend when the subject of religion arose.

Gwen: "I am an atheist."

Boyfriend (soothingly): "Gwen means that she is an agnostic."

Gwen: "I don't need you to misrepresent my opinions, mister. You're not my boyfriend because of your intellect -- obviously."
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists that is why they invented hell. Bertrand Russell
0

#104 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,985
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2013-October-08, 13:13

View Postmycroft, on 2013-October-08, 09:24, said:

Well, that "core belief" is not the one I have Fundamental (sorry) issues with, it's the "I Christianity" "core belief" - and I do say, and have said, that that is incorrect.
Yeah, we'd have to fall back on tribal, racist, sexist, or "you've got something I want" violence. And while it is true that "more people have been killed in the name of a god than for any other reason", how much of that is due to the temporal power that the religion has? And does anybody believe than in an irreligious world, that power would not be assigned to something else, and be equally insidious?

Posit: "American exceptionalism" is a religious belief (as, as MikeH said on a different thread, was the concept of "Britain's obligation" and the "white man's burden" 100 years ago). And that the deaths and damage caused by that belief is currently quite widespread (again, as it was at the height of Empire).


I agree with most of what you say - the only thing Harris's ideas would accomplish - if they worked - would be to rid the world of one type of violence. He does, to my knowledge, acknowledge this limitation. Still, isn't it better to do improve the world by 10% than not at all?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
0

#105 User is offline   kenberg 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 10,914
  • Joined: 2004-September-22
  • Location:Northern Maryland

Posted 2013-October-08, 14:10

View PostPassedOut, on 2013-October-08, 12:41, said:

Reminds of an event my youngest sister described to me many years ago. Gwen was at a dinner party with her then boyfriend when the subject of religion arose.

Gwen: "I am an atheist."

Boyfriend (soothingly): "Gwen means that she is an agnostic."

Gwen: "I don't need you to misrepresent my opinions, mister. You're not my boyfriend because of your intellect -- obviously."



I have faith that this romance did not lead to marriage!
Ken
0

#106 User is offline   32519 

  • Insane 2-Diamond Bidder
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,471
  • Joined: 2010-December-22
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Interests:Books, bridge, philately

Posted 2013-October-08, 15:15

Remove God/higher entity out of the equation altogether, what is the point of life?

Man is the self-destructing creature responsible for the downward spiral of the world, just to name a few
1. Pollution (water and air)
2. Deforestation of the trees we need to combat the air pollution
3. Over fishing of the oceans to feed a population that passed 7 billion (was it in September 2012 or 2011, I cant remember?)(the increase in shark attacks has been ascribed to the fact that their natural prey is dwindling away)
4. Our deserts getting bigger and therefore less suitable land for farming to grow the much needed food to feed everyone
5. Continuous encroachment on the environment of wildlife with the numbers now listed as endangered steadily increasing
6. Global warming melting the ice caps is threatening the future of the polar bear

We have already seen food riots in various poorer countries/nations. Keep an eye on these increasing as the world population continues increasing.

Remove man out of the equation altogether and nature has the ability to recover. It matters squat what scientists discover/prove/rationalise. Every medical breakthrough they make just exacerbates the problem of over-population. Logic tells you that the world population is going to continue increasing and eventually we will run out of space/food for all. What then? Does the world implode upon itself? Do we go the route of the dinosaurs? Was it all just a chance happening, a big bang, which created all the forms of life, just for man to self-destruct everything? Here today, gone tomorrow, soon forgotten by all?

So what is the purpose of life? Born to die? Born to pay taxes so that our governments can plunder our hard earned money on things we dont agree with or contribute nothing to improve the dire situation that we are already in? What exactly do you think will happen to your pension money if the USA cannot sort out the impasse about raising the debt ceiling? Then where will that leave you? 17 trillion dollars is a big sum. It cannot be curtailed or turned around anymore. So where does that leave us? They are going to just have to keep on raising the ceiling until it no longer matters, until man self-destructs.
0

#107 User is offline   PassedOut 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 3,655
  • Joined: 2006-February-21
  • Location:Upper Michigan
  • Interests:Music, films, computer programming, politics, bridge

Posted 2013-October-08, 15:27

View Postkenberg, on 2013-October-08, 14:10, said:

I have faith that this romance did not lead to marriage!

A well-placed faith (and the romance did not last long after that event). Now she has a fine husband, another bicycle racer. Will be seeing them this weekend. :)
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill temper. Friedrich Nietzsche
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists that is why they invented hell. Bertrand Russell
0

#108 User is offline   Winstonm 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,985
  • Joined: 2005-January-08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Interests:Art, music

Posted 2013-October-08, 15:34

View Post32519, on 2013-October-08, 15:15, said:

Remove God/higher entity out of the equation altogether, what is the point of life?

Man is the self-destructing creature responsible for the downward spiral of the world, just to name a few
1. Pollution (water and air)
2. Deforestation of the trees we need to combat the air pollution
3. Over fishing of the oceans to feed a population that passed 7 billion (was it in September 2012 or 2011, I cant remember?)(the increase in shark attacks has been ascribed to the fact that their natural prey is dwindling away)
4. Our deserts getting bigger and therefore less suitable land for farming to grow the much needed food to feed everyone
5. Continuous encroachment on the environment of wildlife with the numbers now listed as endangered steadily increasing
6. Global warming melting the ice caps is threatening the future of the polar bear

We have already seen food riots in various poorer countries/nations. Keep an eye on these increasing as the world population continues increasing.

Remove man out of the equation altogether and nature has the ability to recover. It matters squat what scientists discover/prove/rationalise. Every medical breakthrough they make just exacerbates the problem of over-population. Logic tells you that the world population is going to continue increasing and eventually we will run out of space/food for all. What then? Does the world implode upon itself? Do we go the route of the dinosaurs? Was it all just a chance happening, a big bang, which created all the forms of life, just for man to self-destruct everything? Here today, gone tomorrow, soon forgotten by all?

So what is the purpose of life? Born to die? Born to pay taxes so that our governments can plunder our hard earned money on things we dont agree with or contribute nothing to improve the dire situation that we are already in? What exactly do you think will happen to your pension money if the USA cannot sort out the impasse about raising the debt ceiling? Then where will that leave you? 17 trillion dollars is a big sum. It cannot be curtailed or turned around anymore. So where does that leave us? They are going to just have to keep on raising the ceiling until it no longer matters, until man self-destructs.



Quote

As of 2005 (most recent data), approximately 88 percent of the world's population were said to "believe in God" (Cambridge University). This is down from 96 percent in 2000.


So, all those bad things you dread have occurred on god's watch, so to speak. That is hardly an argument for more of the same.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
1

#109 User is online   mikeh 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 12,286
  • Joined: 2005-June-15
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:Bridge, golf, wine (red), cooking, reading eclectically but insatiably, travelling, making bad posts.

Posted 2013-October-08, 16:04

View Post32519, on 2013-October-08, 15:15, said:

Remove God/higher entity out of the equation altogether, what is the point of life?

<snipped>
So what is the purpose of life? Born to die? Born to pay taxes so that our governments can plunder our hard earned money on things we dont agree with or contribute nothing to improve the dire situation that we are already in? What exactly do you think will happen to your pension money if the USA cannot sort out the impasse about raising the debt ceiling? Then where will that leave you? 17 trillion dollars is a big sum. It cannot be curtailed or turned around anymore. So where does that leave us? They are going to just have to keep on raising the ceiling until it no longer matters, until man self-destructs.


why does there have to be any externally imposed purpose?

The story of Western civilization over the past 600 years or so has been the change in the way educated people see the significance of our species in the universe.

We were for many years convinced that the earth was the literal centre of the universe and that the moon, the sun, and the planets revolved about it. The stars, being less mobile, had varying explanations, including the idea that the earth was surrounded by a sphere, that itself rotated, and that the stars represented holes in the sphere through which the light of heaven shone.

Then we realized, slowly and often reluctantly, that the earth revolved around the sun, and that the stars were suns a long way away.

Then we realized that we were biologically related to all other animals, and weren't actually 'created in god's image' as stand-alone creatures with no ancestral links to other creatures.

Then we realized that not only was the sun merely one star in a galaxy but that our Milky Way was but one galaxy in an entire universe.

Now we learn that in all likelihood, the kind of matter of which we are made, and the earth, the sun, the stars and the observable universe, is a small part of reality: that dark matter accounts for perhaps 80% of the mass of the universe.

An author whose book, The Beginning of Infinity, I am currently reading refers to humanity as a scum on the surface of a small planet circling a nondescript star in a typical galaxy.

Part of who we are as human animals appears to require that we seek answers. Indeed, it seems self-evident to me that religions arose in part as a result of this, and the limitations that our senses imposed on our ability to perceive more than a tiny part of the information with which we are surrounded. Our eyes see only a narrow range of electromagnetic radiation, our ears a narrow range of sound, and neither have really powerful resolution and so on.

It seems to me that one of the attractions of religions is their apparent, but ultimately meaningless, ability to tell us that we are here for a purpose. Comforting tho it may be, there seems no reason to suppose that such religions are correct.

The universe 'is'. It has been around for 14,500,000,000 years, give or take, and humanity for about 100,000 of them...or about 0.0007% of the universe's existence. IOW, the universe got along without us for 99.9993% of its existence so far, and we occupy about the same volume of the universe as a grain of sand on the floor of the Pacific Ocean occupies of the entire solar system. The entire history of our entire species has far less importance in the universe than the most insignificant rounding error in calculating the US national debt.

Yet this doesn't stop believers from claiming that god created us for a purpose. I'm not sure whether to laugh at the arrogance or feel pity for the desperation that underlies the need or justification for this belief.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
2

#110 User is offline   blackshoe 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 17,354
  • Joined: 2006-April-17
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Rochester, NY

Posted 2013-October-08, 16:05

View PostPassedOut, on 2013-October-08, 12:41, said:

Reminds of an event my youngest sister described to me many years ago. Gwen was at a dinner party with her then boyfriend when the subject of religion arose.

Gwen: "I am an atheist."

Boyfriend (soothingly): "Gwen means that she is an agnostic."

Gwen: "I don't need you to misrepresent my opinions, mister. You're not my boyfriend because of your intellect -- obviously."

ROFL!! :lol: :lol: :lol:
--------------------
As for tv, screw it. You aren't missing anything. -- Ken Berg
I have come to realise it is futile to expect or hope a regular club game will be run in accordance with the laws. -- Jillybean
0

#111 User is offline   onoway 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,220
  • Joined: 2005-August-17

Posted 2013-October-08, 20:42

View Postmikeh, on 2013-October-08, 16:04, said:

why does there have to be any externally imposed purpose?

The story of Western civilization over the past 600 years or so has been the change in the way educated people see the significance of our species in the universe.

We were for many years convinced that the earth was the literal centre of the universe and that the moon, the sun, and the planets revolved about it. The stars, being less mobile, had varying explanations, including the idea that the earth was surrounded by a sphere, that itself rotated, and that the stars represented holes in the sphere through which the light of heaven shone.

Then we realized, slowly and often reluctantly, that the earth revolved around the sun, and that the stars were suns a long way away.

Then we realized that we were biologically related to all other animals, and weren't actually 'created in god's image' as stand-alone creatures with no ancestral links to other creatures.

Then we realized that not only was the sun merely one star in a galaxy but that our Milky Way was but one galaxy in an entire universe.

Now we learn that in all likelihood, the kind of matter of which we are made, and the earth, the sun, the stars and the observable universe, is a small part of reality: that dark matter accounts for perhaps 80% of the mass of the universe.

An author whose book, The Beginning of Infinity, I am currently reading refers to humanity as a scum on the surface of a small planet circling a nondescript star in a typical galaxy.

Part of who we are as human animals appears to require that we seek answers. Indeed, it seems self-evident to me that religions arose in part as a result of this, and the limitations that our senses imposed on our ability to perceive more than a tiny part of the information with which we are surrounded. Our eyes see only a narrow range of electromagnetic radiation, our ears a narrow range of sound, and neither have really powerful resolution and so on.

It seems to me that one of the attractions of religions is their apparent, but ultimately meaningless, ability to tell us that we are here for a purpose. Comforting tho it may be, there seems no reason to suppose that such religions are correct.

The universe 'is'. It has been around for 14,500,000,000 years, give or take, and humanity for about 100,000 of them...or about 0.0007% of the universe's existence. IOW, the universe got along without us for 99.9993% of its existence so far, and we occupy about the same volume of the universe as a grain of sand on the floor of the Pacific Ocean occupies of the entire solar system. The entire history of our entire species has far less importance in the universe than the most insignificant rounding error in calculating the US national debt.

Yet this doesn't stop believers from claiming that god created us for a purpose. I'm not sure whether to laugh at the arrogance or feel pity for the desperation that underlies the need or justification for this belief.


The thing is that it seems as though most atheists tend to be in the ..well it sounds politically incorrect but can't think how else to phrase it..intellectually more gifted segment of society. Yet nothing positive has come out of it. It's certainly a commonplace to blame religion for most of the ills of the world,, but I've not found much evidence that a non belief gets humanity anywhere positive at all.

Religion has admittedly directly or as an excuse led to such appalling things as the inquisition or the genital mutilation of females or many many other such things but it has also led to such things as magnificent music and architecture and occassionally a selfless devotion to caring for the less fortunate of the world.

The problem is perhaps that atheism seems not to be for anything so much as against religion. I think any psychologist would tell you, you cannot take something of value away from someone unless you offer them something perceived as equal value in return, or you will be regarded with resentment at the least, and likely some hostility.

It's a cold companion, reason, and not comforting when a person's spirit is battered as everyone's is from time to time. It isn't inspirational for most people either; I doubt that anyone ever sat down to write a poem or paint or write a symphony because it was logical to do so (most could have made a much better living doing something else) but they did it because they could not really do otherwise. Sometimes faith gave them a focus and sometimes it gave them a sponsor. When has atheism managed as much? Einstein is known to be an atheist and it's hard to argue he didn't contribute, but one thing he was largely responsible for was the atomic bomb. This is not exactly a shining beacon of positive accomplishment. Would he still have done so had he been religious? Most likely. So in that case, what does his atheism have to do with anything? Nothing at all..that's my point.

I don't understand the discussion about agnostics; I would consider myself one, not because I have any shred of belief at all in a sky fairy who has any sort of interest in my personal doings :) That's beyond me to manage. But I don't think we have even begun to understand the universe, for all our self congratulation, and it makes no sense to me that everything which is so amazing and so beautiful and so interconnected is simply the result of nothing at all.Why would random lead to pattern, and how? Not only pattern but an incomprehensibly complex interwoven and interconnected dancing vibrant sets of patterns?

It is interesting that in our wisdom we decided that such things as an appendix is a useless bit of tissue and can be discarded but later found that it does have a reason and value. So far, nothing at all that we know about has no 'place' in the greater scheme of things. So why would we be the exception? Why would our abilities have no purpose or use?

It makes no sense to me that we should have the power of thought and it comes from nowhere and goes nowhere and is entirely meaningless beyond that we arbitrarily assign it. I don't understand how music or poetry or theatre or dance can be created which can move people to joy or tears and it not be meaningful beyond the moment. It seems a very barren world to exist in if everything is only meaningful in terms of personal context and it doesn't explain how those things speak to people of all cultures, ages,intellects. I've no idea what it is, but I do have "faith" that there is more than this because it seems unreasonable and arrogant to suppose otherwise; like thinking we are the only intelligent species in the universe. We aren't even the only intelligent species on the earth as far as that goes.

Maybe after today's Nobel Physics prize announcement I will have to start to consider a big invisible cloud of energy that which gave us everything to become what we are. Have they given it a name? Q, maybe? Maybe the people who tried to leap onto the comet's tail trying "to go home" weren't as far off as we all thought! Or maybe I've just read too much science fiction lately.
1

#112 User is online   mikeh 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 12,286
  • Joined: 2005-June-15
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:Bridge, golf, wine (red), cooking, reading eclectically but insatiably, travelling, making bad posts.

Posted 2013-October-08, 21:40

I am not going to quote onoway's long post, but it seems to reflect a very strange idea of what atheism is.

I have looked at the winter sky when the aurora borealis is playing. I know that it is the result of the solar wind interacting with the earth's magnetic field and not some supernatural phenonomen, as our ancestors no doubt believed. Yet I doubt that my sense of wonder and pleasure at seeing it was any the less for knowing how it was created.....indeed, to me the fact that we understand it and can bear witness to it is astounding and deeply moving.

I listen to music with great pleasure and whle undoubtedly much music was composed to celebrate religious ideas, I can't quite see a Beethoven or a Mozart failing to write music if they happened to be atheists. A love of beauty, in all its forms, is part of our makeup and only an ignorant individual would say that without religion we lose the ability to create or enjoy art, or the wonders of the universe.

Ask any physicist and he or she will say that one of the hallmarks of a good explanation is elegance and beauty...the fact that non-physicists may not recognize those traits is hardly proof that beauty is absent from the mathematics that underlies what we see as reality.....just as some music and some art cannot be appreciated until one has a grounding in the area, so too with physics and math, from what I have been led to believe.


Onoway's argument reminds me of Fluffy's gaffe when he, perhaps inadvertently, suggested that a lack of belief in god would logically led to mass murder.

Don't tell me, or any other atheist, that we can't appreciate beauty, or that those of us with artistic talent (not me)won't be able to express that talent. That is astounding ignorance.....I hope it is only that and not the less curable condition that is often, in common parlance, confused with it: stupidity.

It is ironic that in these threads, I am accused of arrogance by believers who, in reality, are expressing astounding arrogance themselves by claiming that a lack of belief in a god somehow stunts me. To me, the fact that we exist...that we can have this discussion...that I can see the stars.....that I can take my dogs for a walk and love my wife....these fill me with joy and awe, unconstrained by some fictional stories about a god or gods.

I can accept that religion fills a need for some people. My suspicion is that the need can be equally, if not better, be filled by appreciating the wonder that is reality, but some people may be scared to look beyond the comfortable box their religion encloses them in, and that's ok with me...so long as they don't try to enclose others in that box, under the self-delusional lie that the box is real.

Telling oneself that the atheist, outside the box, lives a bleak life devoid of beauty may make the believer feel smug, but it is insulting and false.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
2

#113 User is offline   32519 

  • Insane 2-Diamond Bidder
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,471
  • Joined: 2010-December-22
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Interests:Books, bridge, philately

Posted 2013-October-08, 22:00

View PostWinstonm, on 2013-October-08, 15:34, said:

So, all those bad things you dread have occurred on god's watch, so to speak. That is hardly an argument for more of the same.

I fail to understand your point.

These things are all occurring on the watch of every scientist currently still alive. They are also occurring on the watch of every government across the face of planet earth. So who do we blame? I don't recall ever seeing some or other super-natural being chopping down our forests or polluting our water or whatever you care to name.

So who then do you think should carry the can for what is happening on the earth today?
1

#114 User is offline   mike777 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,739
  • Joined: 2003-October-07
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-08, 22:18

'I can accept that religion fills a need for some people. My suspicion is that the need can be equally, if not better, be filled by appreciating the wonder that is reality, but some people may be scared to look beyond the comfortable box their religion encloses them in, and that's ok with me...so long as they don't try to enclose others in that box, under the self-delusional lie that the box is real.

Telling oneself that the atheist, outside the box, lives a bleak life devoid of beauty may make the believer feel smug, but it is insulting and false.:


Mikeh frames the discussion I guess the issue is many reject this framing. Many feel it is the atheist who is smug and suing/insult others as victims.


But yes I think the other points he makes are important. As a lawyer he knows it is very very often more important to settle. More important to settle if the other lawyer is making money off the government.

OTOH view the atheist as the victim.
0

#115 User is online   mikeh 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 12,286
  • Joined: 2005-June-15
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:Bridge, golf, wine (red), cooking, reading eclectically but insatiably, travelling, making bad posts.

Posted 2013-October-08, 22:39

View Post32519, on 2013-October-08, 22:00, said:

I fail to understand your point.

These things are all occurring on the watch of every scientist currently still alive. They are also occurring on the watch of every government across the face of planet earth. So who do we blame? I don't recall ever seeing some or other super-natural being chopping down our forests or polluting our water or whatever you care to name.

So who then do you think should carry the can for what is happening on the earth today?

Hmmm...when the christians, or at least significant branches of christianity say such things as:

1. birth control is a sin (the entire catholic church)
2. global warming and the need to protect the environment is nonsense, since god wouldn't permit us to destroy his creation (including a former republican secretary of the interior!)
3. hurricanes and other natural disasters are punishments from god
4. Besides, the rapture is approaching (a frighteningly large fraction of the US populace)
5. God gave us dominion over the earth and ordered us to go forth and multiply


One does indeed have to ask who carries the can.

Meanwhile, literally hundreds of climate scientists have been pleading with governments to prevent catastrophic harm to the global ecology. So we blame science, do we? Piffle.
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
0

#116 User is offline   mike777 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,739
  • Joined: 2003-October-07
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-08, 22:47

I certainly hope we can blame/attack science crap science based on crap models.


OTOH the much more important point, much more important is peer reviewed science helps all of us in so many ways.The process can be messy but that is OK.
0

#117 User is offline   32519 

  • Insane 2-Diamond Bidder
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,471
  • Joined: 2010-December-22
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Interests:Books, bridge, philately

Posted 2013-October-08, 23:51

View Postmikeh, on 2013-October-08, 16:04, said:

why does there have to be any externally imposed purpose?

It seems to me that one of the attractions of religions is their apparent, but ultimately meaningless, ability to tell us that we are here for a purpose. Comforting tho it may be, there seems no reason to suppose that such religions are correct.
Yet this doesn't stop believers from claiming that god created us for a purpose. I'm not sure whether to laugh at the arrogance or feel pity for the desperation that underlies the need or justification for this belief.
[32519 asks: So atheists/scientists see no purpose for the very existence of the universe, let alone life? If neither have any purpose, why waste all the time and energy on all these discoveries etc which ultimately have no purpose? Why not just eat, drink and be merry? We are spiralling down to self-destruct anyway. If we die before self-destruct, so what? None of it has any purpose anyway? This is a great line to present to murderers, terrorists, dictators, selfish greedy governments etc. What I do and who I do it to does not matter. It all has no purpose anyway.]

Part of who we are as human animals appears to require that we seek answers.
[32519 asks: Why is that important if nothing has any purpose?]

The universe 'is'. It has been around for 14,500,000,000 years, give or take, and humanity for about 100,000 of them...or about 0.0007% of the universe's existence. IOW, the universe got along without us for 99.9993% of its existence so far, and we occupy about the same volume of the universe as a grain of sand on the floor of the Pacific Ocean occupies of the entire solar system. The entire history of our entire species has far less importance in the universe than the most insignificant rounding error in calculating the US national debt.
[32519 asks: Just look at the numbers you are quoting here. In 0.0007% of the universes existence, man has 'progressed' to the point where it has all been brought to the point of ending it all. In what way has this calculation benefitted mankind?]

An author whose book, The Beginning of Infinity, I am currently reading refers to humanity as a scum on the surface of a small planet circling a nondescript star in a typical galaxy.


View Postmikeh, on 2013-October-08, 22:39, said:

Hmmm...when the christians, or at least significant branches of christianity say such things as:

1. birth control is a sin (the entire catholic church)
2. global warming and the need to protect the environment is nonsense, since god wouldn't permit us to destroy his creation (including a former republican secretary of the interior!)
3. hurricanes and other natural disasters are punishments from god
4. Besides, the rapture is approaching (a frighteningly large fraction of the US populace)
5. God gave us dominion over the earth and ordered us to go forth and multiply


One does indeed have to ask who carries the can.

Meanwhile, literally hundreds of climate scientists have been pleading with governments to prevent catastrophic harm to the global ecology. So we blame science, do we? Piffle.
[32519 asks: Ah, wait now! This contradicts your previous post. So scientists are concerned! Now why would they be trying to prevent catastrophic harm to the global ecology if everything has no purpose?


It matters squat what scientists believe they are contributing to humanity. The ever increasing population on planet earth tells you that there is no alternative, it is going to end somewhere when there are too many people and too little food and pollution has ravaged both our water and air making life unsustainable.

Just a parting thought: As we get older, many suddenly start embarking on a more healthy lifestyle; eating healthy food versus junk food, drinking more water versus booze, exercising maybe for the first time in their lives. What are they hoping to achieve? The statistics here are faultless. We all die. O sorry, I forget. Everything has no purpose.
0

#118 User is offline   32519 

  • Insane 2-Diamond Bidder
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 1,471
  • Joined: 2010-December-22
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Interests:Books, bridge, philately

Posted 2013-October-09, 00:38

A question for mikeh:

Suppose you were not only a scientist, but also the most successful businessman that ever walked (or will walk) planet earth, successful to the extent that you ended up owning not only everyone, but also everything on planet earth and in the universe. You are the owner of so much wealth that you can never hope to spend even a small fraction of it in umpteen thousand lifespans. How much of this wealth would you be prepared to surrender to acquire eternal life? 1%, 10%, 100%? Or how much of this wealth would you be investing back into science to find the answer to stop the process of ageing? Or even better, to reverse the process of ageing? Time marches on, you are getting older, and thus far the scientists have come up with..nothing! In desperation you try something that science has managed to do, you get the scientists to clone you so that you can live on. Alas, the cloned thing/individual also died/dies. What now?

Sorry, I keep forgetting. It all has no purpose!
0

#119 User is offline   mike777 

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 16,739
  • Joined: 2003-October-07
  • Gender:Male

Posted 2013-October-09, 01:38

I DISAGREE OFTEN WITH MIKEH


YOUR Q SILLY.

WHAT IS YOUR QUESTION?
0

#120 User is offline   gwnn 

  • Csaba the Hutt
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Advanced Members
  • Posts: 13,027
  • Joined: 2006-June-16
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:bye

Posted 2013-October-09, 02:26

Appealing to consequence is a classic fallacy, a favourite of apologists. Sam Harris has a lot of great analogies showing how it would apply in real life. One was something about your friend telling you "I found new meaning in my life! I know I will marry Angelina Jolie!" and later answers your incredulity with "Who are you to doubt this? This gives me great hope and purpose. I don't WANT to live in a universe where I never get to marry Angelina! Think of the loneliness and despondence!"
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
      George Carlin
2

  • 52 Pages +
  • « First
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • Last »
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

2 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users