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Science doesn’t require that your life be seen as nothing
Posted: 03 September 2008 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]
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George - 30 August 2008 10:23 PM

To accept evolution means to embrace the fact that you are on your own, your life doesn’t hold any special meaning (i.e. pleasing your Creator, achieving immortality, etc.), and it ends with death. There is no middle ground here.

 

Why is there no middle ground here?

What reasons are there for such a dogmatic statement?

Within the world of my own “mythologizing,” I see the incredible heritage that went into making me.  As, Michael Dowd points out you can follow your heritage back to the Big Bang - thus you could conceive of yourself containing a seed of the center of Universe within yourself - each of us and everything.  We are not only made of star dust, but are today’s manifestation of an inconceivably beautiful learning process.  It’s poetic, mystical, yet within science’s reality.

Then, the whole progression of evolution
Although Gould can do a wonderful job of explaining the mathematics of the randomness of progress, it evaporates next to a few hours of David Attenborough describing the passage of eons and the animals that inhabited those times.

The shear unrelenting direction of evolution’s successes force mythological resonances within all humans possessing a romantic, art/music/beauty/life appreciating personality.

Consider the whole matter of relentlessly recycling elements. 
How our actual substance is in a constant cascade from here to who knows where.

Then, our thoughts and deeds, our family and friends and community, we do leave something living after our departure.

Even the spark of our bio-chemo-electrical life force that runs through every cell.

I had a wonderful inspiration a couple decades back—I realized that “the white light” that was so often talked about in near death experiences - could be explained within scientific constraints - with a mind experiment a la Einstein.
It is undisputed that electrical energy courses through your cells unceasingly, until your death.
Energy isn’t created nor destroyed, merely transformed.
When your life force (i.e. energy) leaves your cells and melds back into the background field, wouldn’t that union be brilliant white… energy meeting energy?
And, it carries an echo of who you were. **
===============================================
Science doesn’t require us to acceptance that we are nothing more than this meaningless moment.

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Posted: 03 September 2008 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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citizenschallenge - 03 September 2008 04:03 PM

I had a wonderful inspiration a couple decades back—I realized that “the white light” that was so often talked about in near death experiences - could be explained within scientific constraints -


Yes, it is caused by oxygen starvation of the brain cells. It is a hallucination caused by an anoxic brain.

[ Edited: 03 September 2008 09:08 PM by asanta ]
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Posted: 03 September 2008 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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asanta - 03 September 2008 06:07 PM
citizenschallenge - 03 September 2008 04:03 PM

I had a wonderful inspiration a couple decades back—I realized that “the white light” that was so often talked about in near death experiences - could be explained within scientific constraints -


Yes, it is caused by oxygen starvation of the brain cells. It is a hallucination caused by an anoxic brain.

oh ok party pooper.

never the less there is that open question of the energy within your cells and their final radiation.

& the other points I made above.

[ Edited: 03 September 2008 08:20 PM by citizenschallenge ]
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Posted: 03 September 2008 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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citizenschallenge - 03 September 2008 08:17 PM
asanta - 03 September 2008 06:07 PM
citizenschallenge - 03 September 2008 04:03 PM

I had a wonderful inspiration a couple decades back—I realized that “the white light” that was so often talked about in near death experiences - could be explained within scientific constraints -

Yes, it is caused by oxygen starvation of the brain cells. It is a hallucination caused by an anoxic brain.

oh ok party pooper.

never the less there is that open question of the energy within your cells and their final radiation.

& the other points I made above.

Ah, this is so typical. cc, I enjoyed what you started writing. You’re right about how we are products of the Big Bang and the universe. It’s wonderful way of seeing things.

But you have to be able to draw the reality line. asanta is correct. Near death experiences are best explained in ways that do not support the conclusions that theists, New Agers, et. al., would draw from them. Yelling “party pooper” is the oldest and most common response, but in fact, that’s what poops the party. You can’t argue for a scientific worldview part of the time. That’s not to say that science is everything, but it is to say that integrity and spirituality demand consistency.

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Posted: 05 September 2008 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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PLaClair - 03 September 2008 09:04 PM
citizenschallenge - 03 September 2008 08:17 PM
asanta - 03 September 2008 06:07 PM
citizenschallenge - 03 September 2008 04:03 PM

I had a wonderful inspiration a couple decades back—I realized that “the white light” that was so often talked about in near death experiences - could be explained within scientific constraints -

Yes, it is caused by oxygen starvation of the brain cells. It is a hallucination caused by an anoxic brain.

oh ok party pooper.

never the less there is that open question of the energy within your cells and their final radiation.

& the other points I made above.

Ah, this is so typical. cc, I enjoyed what you started writing. You’re right about how we are products of the Big Bang and the universe. It’s wonderful way of seeing things.

But you have to be able to draw the reality line. asanta is correct. Near death experiences are best explained in ways that do not support the conclusions that theists, New Agers, et. al., would draw from them. Yelling “party pooper” is the oldest and most common response, but in fact, that’s what poops the party. You can’t argue for a scientific worldview part of the time. That’s not to say that science is everything, but it is to say that integrity and spirituality demand consistency.

.......................
PLC “Ah, this is so typical.”  CC I so agree, let’s look at this a little.

PLaClair:  “Yelling “party pooper” is the oldest and most common response / You can’t argue for a scientific worldview part of the time.”

First off, might I note, I wrote: “oh ok party pooper.” not even an exclamation mark.
I accept the anoxic brain hallucinations and all that, and thought I’d acknowledged as much.
But, its that learned knee-jerk reaction that’s odd, (and counter productive) and you folks ought to examine it.

What I described was something different than what you infer.  Please be patient, I can’t say it in two or three lines…......

Back to the mind experiment.  At my first, first grade book fair, my purchase was a book on the human body.  Among many aspects of nature, I once in a while like to try to imagine my insides, the muscles, even the cells and the sparks of energy running along various pathways, etc. 

Check out the art work of Alex Grey, he can explain it.  http://www.alexgrey.com/
With that frame of reference there is the real matter of your death and how the energy that flows through you {not only through your body, but though who you were as a person } leaves.  And what’s so wrong or newage-ugly with conjuring some conception of an echo, a ripple through the ether.

And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not for one minute trying to pretend that this is some image everyone should strive to duplicate - but I’ll bet others have had similar and for them it’s valid enough.  And nothing about it means drowning out a rational mind, or science.  More like adding another beautiful painting to the gallery of our imagination…. that doesn’t make it an idol.

I guess I wonder why it can’t be a bit of both.  You say ‘science isn’t everything.’ 
What does that mean?

Considering the McCain/Palin(a creationist supporter) ticket this issue has suddenly become immensely important.

Where do you science guys/gals draw the poetry line?

There’s inside the lab (and journals and studies and serious discussion circles…) -

Then, there’s outside and those masses of people who have all they can deal with to get on with each new day - they need deep, “true” faith.  They need tangible images and icons to help them through the day.

and all scientists have to offer are cold slaps in the face.

no wonder this nation is on the verge of electing a small town creationists to the next USA vice presidency ~ a heart beat away from a 72 year old.

I’ve gone on long enough.
I’m just real tired of watching everyone talk past each other.
      not that i’m much better

{I’m just scared to death of this Evangelical Creationist/ Armageddon crowd that Rove’s neocons are so well manipulating.  And rational minds seem to be totally impotent in the face of them.}

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Posted: 06 September 2008 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Religion does not offer any real meaning, anyway. Let’s say a god created me for whatever purpose he/she/it had in mind. Why does that purpose matter? The arbitrary whim of some magical sky papa = meaning and relevance? What if said deity is malevolent, indifferent or just incompetent? This is much worse than a simply “meaningless” existence.

It’s all just an echo of older, perhaps more primitive social constructions anyway. Heavenly father vs actual father.. part of something “bigger than me” being the society or state vs being the religion. We grow up though and realize we can survive independently of our parents and that we are part of a state ‘larger than ourselves’ at the same time knowing it IS ourselves.

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Posted: 06 September 2008 04:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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citizenschallenge - 03 September 2008 04:03 PM
George - 30 August 2008 10:23 PM

To accept evolution means to embrace the fact that you are on your own, your life doesn’t hold any special meaning (i.e. pleasing your Creator, achieving immortality, etc.), and it ends with death. There is no middle ground here.

I had a wonderful inspiration a couple decades back—I realized that “the white light” that was so often talked about in near death experiences - could be explained within scientific constraints - with a mind experiment a la Einstein.
It is undisputed that electrical energy courses through your cells unceasingly, until your death.
Energy isn’t created nor destroyed, merely transformed.
When your life force (i.e. energy) leaves your cells and melds back into the background field, wouldn’t that union be brilliant white… energy meeting energy?
And, it carries an echo of who you were. **
===============================================

Don’t feel bad.. Carl Sagan speculated that NDE was a memory of birth recalled at the moment of death. He was a smart guy, but his guess was as 100% pure bullshit as yours. As it happens NDEs have been replicated many times in situations in which no one is close to death. Sorry.

Also whatever radiation a human corpse gives off is no “echo of who” they were. Everything that makes us who we are in any meaningful way is locked up in a precise pattern of trillions of neural connections. Physical, chemical ones as much as anything else. Those all break down quickly after death. Infrared heat and other sorts of radiation fuzz-ify very quickly. Sort of like if I burned a magazine article on the Scourge of New Agey Ignorance. The ideas contained therein would almost immediately and irrevokably be destroyed and no coherent form/version/echo of them would survive because the radiation signature of any burning paper is about the same, no matter the printing.

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Posted: 06 September 2008 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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please excuse the length

############################################

OK.  I admit your points are solid, although your radiating certitude and its accompanying absolutist arrogance:  “but his guess was as 100% pure bullshit as yours… sorry.”  is a bit off putting.

I think we’re still talking past each other. 

I’m imagining you wanting a nice neat discussion about religion, a la “does a falling tree make noise,” etc. 

The point I’m trying to drive home is that you’re living in the middle of a population of what 60-70% religious folks, most…? way too many - of those believing in a 6/6000 Creation with all the foolishness that comes with that.

You seem to be very glib about writing them off.  As though they don’t matter.

{It’s like western man has this thing in their head (and it goes back and beyond the Romans), that they personally must possess a sort of absolute certitude in their opinions and anyone that puts any sort of chink into that must be confronted and vanquished… now - i believe-  that attitude is what’s 100% bullshit and you sound as guilty as the next.  }


Your above approach may be very good for reinforcing your correctness, (or is it rightness?) - but it doesn’t help pry people’s clinging hands from their holy books.

I have no clue how to bridge the abyss between faith in a book & its manmade dogmas, and faith in the flow of Creation, yes Evolution.

I like to think I’ve woven a couple nice tapestries reflecting how all of this wonderful universe around me, feels to me.  Yes, I’ve mythologized moments, why not.  You see, I’m actually one of the working folk, long hours, pretty near everything I earn going to my family, and commitments.  No getting ahead, not really since there always seems to be one speed bump or another to knock you back to where you were anytime things get rolling.

But, I am lucky in many ways - and the only thing that gets me back to appreciating the cup half full - is touching that something outside myself, yet within it also.  Feeling that connection to the continuity.  These little tapestries simply feel good.  They are not idols, they do not negate the actual facts… as we currently know them wink

Back to that “wonderful insight” of mine about the energy of my body leaving and melding with the ether.  It was incredible, rapturous even, but then the day became the evening and the next arrived only to disappear into next week.  The rapture faded and I realized some of the gaps and such,  (much as what you’ve written——- though no where as beautifully put: G “... burn,... magazine article.  The ideas contained therein would almost immediately and irrevocably be destroyed and no coherent form/version/echo of them would survive because the radiation signature of any burning paper is about the same, no matter the printing.”) 

I understand the correctness in what you’ve written there, I’ve even accepted and digested it.  But, you know that scientific question comes back nagging….  is that really all?

I don’t even need any sort of proposed answers, they don’t matter, the validity of the question is what matters.  And it is and so it shall continue to be.

So my little pretty tapestry still provides comfort, even though I know there is much more going on than that little cartoon I wove.

This brings me back to a point worth making—The actual existence of God is of much, much less importance than people’s perception of God.

.........................
Science is filled with one defended “self certain theory”, after another falling to new facts.  If science’s history has shown us one thing, it’s that the human intellect is incapable of fully appreciating nature’s interwoven complexities.  Scientist have unceasingly been surprised by their findings.  So, why do so many feel comfortable coming off as you did?

How is that helping science resolve it’s greatest challenge ever. 
That challenge being helping a frightened humanity wean itself from the need of self-serving religious dogmas?

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Posted: 07 September 2008 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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citizenschallenge - 06 September 2008 11:00 PM

OK.  I admit your points are solid, although your radiating certitude and its accompanying absolutist arrogance:  “but his guess was as 100% pure bullshit as yours… sorry.”  is a bit off putting.

Being certain is not being arrogant and neither is being dismissive- if the item in question is in desperate, long overdue need of it. Sorry to be off-putting. I mentioned Sagan to soften my statement for your benefit. A futile measure, I will avoid so doing in the future. Why is it we can not just be clear and straight in our language? I could have said it 10 other ways, perhaps less “off-putting” but also less accurate. Can’t we just for once say what we mean instead of layering it in PC nerf padding obscuring the message? That idea was bullshit. Not merely wrong or incorrect. To call something bullshit is to append extra “this wastes time even to discuss” meaning. That is what I meant. I’ll make you a deal, I will be nicer and you stop expecting me to lie by piling G-rated word-ballast to obscure my language.

The point I’m trying to drive home is that you’re living in the middle of a population of what 60-70% religious folks, most…? way too many - of those believing in a 6/6000 Creation…You seem to be very glib about writing them off. ...

Gutting everything beautiful about science by mythologizing or turning it into abstract prose is unlikely to get us anywhere with the in-tongue-talkers. It isn’t the packaging that is the problem. Science really does inevitably strike at the heart of fundamentalist religion. They are not so stupid as you suppose, that nature-worshiping poems will make them forget it.

{It’s like western man has this thing in their head…  that attitude is what’s 100% bullshit and you sound as guilty as the next.  }

This is far more off-putting than anything I’ve said to anyone. At least I did not steretype your entire civilization then write you off.

Your above approach may be very good for reinforcing your correctness, (or is it rightness?) - but it doesn’t help pry people’s clinging hands from their holy books.

Which approach? The approach where I post my opinion at a intellectual-based forum of educated peers and sometimes subject matter experts for discussion? That seems like a great approach for testing your correctness and getting your ass handed to you if you are clueless.

I am not sure how to pry those fingers away but I know it does not seem to be done with PR efforts or outreach. As before, I refer you to the least religious societies such as western Europe. Did they get that way by reading dreadful poetic musings about the metaphysics of death? I don’t think so. If history is a guide, I’d say let things keep going the way they are going (more democracy, education, human rights promotion, economic development, etc,,) and religion will continue to wither at a pleasing rate.
CS I really don’t have a problem with your glorification of science type of writing. I just file it under poetry and don’t find its relevance here.

Science is filled with one defended “self certain theory”, after another falling to new facts.  If science’s history has shown us one thing, it’s that the human intellect is incapable of fully appreciating nature’s interwoven complexities.  Scientist have unceasingly been surprised by their findings.  So, why do so many feel comfortable coming off as you did?
How is that helping science resolve it’s greatest challenge…helping a frightened humanity wean itself from the need of self-serving religious dogmas?

Perhaps because progress does not mean every idea is disposable or that we should abandon our senses, however imperfect. If we do not rely in some fashion on what we have already learned, progress would be impossible.
As for the challenge, that just is not work that I do or am interested in. You want to be an evangelist? Super. I wish you well. I am not one. I am not a PC thug, I am no ones publicist or campaign manager. I do not need to sell science to anyone.

Edited for color. Blue is reserved for Mod/Admin comments.

dougsmith—Admin

[ Edited: 07 September 2008 08:32 AM by dougsmith ]
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Posted: 08 September 2008 01:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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S:  “Being certain is not being arrogant and neither is being dismissive-” 
CC:  Yea, and Lord Calvin believed that to his dying breath, too. 
      When one acts like they’ve figured it all out, the line’s crossed.

CC Europeans think the way they do today, because their centuries of war culture pretty near destroyed their world during its climactic glory in WWII.  Out of those horrors & ashes a belated self-interested enlightenment blossomed, and the old religious dogmas became relatively impotent.  It had little to do with a higher intellectual movement inspiring a reasoned enlightening….......
.............. and here’s the worthlessness in all my presumptions and attempts at writing & communicating,  the above is probably exactly what this nation and the world seems to be committed to experiencing——maybe then out of the ashes real insightful change might occur. 
What a bitch though, how many times must we repeat the same old horrendous mistakes?
And, our wonderful Earth isn’t getting any younger either.


——————————————————————
S   This is far more off-putting than anything I’ve said to anyone. At least I did not steretype your entire civilization then write you off.” 

CC Let’s look at my full quote:  “{It’s like western man has this thing in their head (and it goes back and beyond the Romans), that they personally must possess a sort of absolute certitude in their opinions and anyone that puts any sort of chink into that must be confronted and vanquished… now - i believe- that attitude is what’s 100% bullshit and you sound as guilty as the next.  } “

You know, after some consideration, I think my “generalization” does hold true.  I been watching this “war” on terror since the Munich Olympics, I was in Germany from 76 to 79, got to experience the Baader-Meinhof gang actions and authorities reactions up close.  Since then it has been a drum beat of idiotic actions guaranteed to add volatility rather than addressing and diffusing underlying currents and causes.  Each new event setting up the next atrocity, rather than addressing needs that would inevitably diffuse underlying tensions. 
Yea, show me examples where my ‘generalization’ is false in the real world politics of business and science.

———————————————————————————
But, back to the real thread

Sate, can you more clearly describe how you suggest dealing with the situation of a huge majority of our fellow Americans thinking they believe a 6/6000 Creation is more plausible than a Darwinian ‘theory’ of Evolution? 
Opps, I just reread your post and realized you already answered -
S: “As for the challenge, that just is not work that I do or am interested in. You want to be an evangelist? Super. I wish you well. I am not one. I am not a PC thug, I am no ones publicist or campaign manager. I do not need to sell science to anyone.” -

CC   Why not?  Here’s my down to earth pragmatic reasons why you should care:

      You… we, are surrounded by people who think very differently, and they are also quite angry*, and they are also being very successfully manipulated by some self-interested people, who’s blind ambition will result in further degradation of the world’s & humanities general quality of life.  That includes our own day to day.  Probably on a scale much worse than what we have witnessed these past eight years.
*one reason being they feel insulted by scientists.

CC   If we pride ourselves on being a part of humanity and experiencing those days we have been blessed with, and wanting to contribute positively to the down stream flow of our lives, we should be caring about it. 
There is a national election in progress and we just might wind up with a creationist president. 

=================

This brings me to another point.  For all your words, you ignored thoughts that seem to me the important ones.

such as:

CC -
“They are not idols, they do not negate the actual facts… as we currently know them wink.

“I understand the correctness in what you’ve written, I’ve even accepted and digested it. 

“But, you know that scientific question comes back nagging….  is that really all?

      you say, hell yes that’s all,    I say, why be so certain?

        >  this is not at all like making a religion or whatever you want to insinuate.
        > >  maybe all it is, is a desire to insinuate respect for mystery. 
        {there are more than four dimensions}
        > > >  part of mystery is totally subjective


“I don’t even need any sort of proposed answers, they don’t matter, the validity of the question is what matters. 

“So my little pretty tapestry still provides comfort, even though I know there is much more going on than that little cartoon I wove.

“This brings me back to a point worth making—
The actual existence of God is of much, much less importance than people’s perception of God.


“up close” being as a german speaking (though American), working citizen-at-large, news, road blocks, talk, lots of talk. that’s it

[ Edited: 08 September 2008 01:38 AM by citizenschallenge ]
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Posted: 08 September 2008 02:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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S:  “Being certain is not being arrogant and neither is being dismissive-” 
CC:  Yea, and Lord Calvin believed that to his dying breath, too. 
      When one acts like they’ve figured it all out, the line’s crossed.

You seem to misunderstand. I confined my attitude to specific items not a sweeping “figured it all out” philosophy. We are all dogmatic, only the details change and thank goodness for that. We’ve acquired new 4-letter words in our society that are generalized into insanity. Is it ok to feel certain jumping off a building is a bad idea if you like being alive? Yes. I imagine any sane human would become dogmatic about the point very quickly. There are many topics I have no knowledge or certainty about- it just happens those were not the ones I was addressing.

CC Europeans think the way they do today, because their centuries of war culture pretty near destroyed their world during its climactic glory in WWII.  Out of those horrors & ashes a belated self-interested enlightenment blossomed, and the old religious dogmas became relatively impotent. 

There is something to be said for this notion but your reasoning has the flaw that many societies have been brought to the brink of destruction by war without turning secular. Including World War I, the US Civil War (the bloodiest war ever fought by the US) and centuries of ongoing horror in the middle east.

You know, after some consideration, I think my “generalization” does hold true.  I been watching this “war” on terror since the Munich Olympics, I was in Germany from 76 to 79, got to experience the Baader-Meinhof gang actions and authorities reactions up close.  Since then it has been a drum beat of idiotic actions guaranteed to add volatility rather than addressing and diffusing underlying currents and causes.  Each new event setting up the next atrocity, rather than addressing needs that would inevitably diffuse underlying tensions. 
Yea, show me examples where my ‘generalization’ is false in the real world politics of business and science.

Defending western civilization from leftist rhetoric should probably get its own thread. Presumably you mean me to be a representative of its poverty of character but you’ve provided no evidence or reasoning only implication. Further, your gradiose stereotyping based on a few words is embarassingly bad form.

CC   Why not?  Here’s my down to earth pragmatic reasons why you should care:

      You… we, are surrounded by people who think very differently, and they are also quite angry, and they are also being very successfully manipulated by some self-interested people, who’s blind ambition will result in further degradation of the world’s & humanities general quality of life.  That includes our own day to day.  Probably on a scale much worse than what we have witnessed these past eight years.

I find no fault with this here, but many things are vital to our society. Doctors must treat the sick, activists and lawyers must protect civil liberties, and on. I’m not a doctor, lawyer or evangelist nor could I be all of them even if I wanted to. Neither can you. You must decide how best you can apply your talents and so will I. Selling watery science-flavor poetry is not it.

 

This brings me to another point.  For all your words, you ignored thoughts that seem to me the important ones.

Posts must be culled for brevity, or they spiral out of control in size. The comments you repost I find the most irrelevant and empty of content. You like comforting storytime? Fantastic, I like to bowl. Thanks for sharing.

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Posted: 08 September 2008 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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sate - 08 September 2008 02:39 AM

CC Europeans think the way they do today, because their centuries of war culture pretty near destroyed their world during its climactic glory in WWII.  Out of those horrors & ashes a belated self-interested enlightenment blossomed, and the old religious dogmas became relatively impotent. 

There is something to be said for this notion but your reasoning has the flaw that many societies have been brought to the brink of destruction by war without turning secular. Including World War I, the US Civil War (the bloodiest war ever fought by the US) and centuries of ongoing horror in the middle east.

CC:  Your examples misdirect.  Europe was one theater, with its long history - WWII was its culmination (WWI only being its prelude).  Not to be compared with our civil war.  The middle east is still working towards its crescendo, with a lot of outside help.

======================

....  Since then it has been a drum beat of idiotic actions guaranteed to add volatility rather than addressing and diffusing underlying currents and causes.  Each new event setting up the next atrocity, rather than addressing needs that would inevitably diffuse underlying tensions. 
Yea, show me examples where my ‘generalization’ is false in the real world politics of business and science.

Defending western civilization from leftist rhetoric should probably get its own thread. Presumably you mean me to be a representative of its poverty of character but you’ve provided no evidence or reasoning only implication. Further, your gradiose stereotyping based on a few words is embarassingly bad form.

CC:  This isn’t about leftist or rightist rhetoric: it’s about stupid knee-jerk reactions followed by their predictable knee-jerk re-reactions.  This game is based in a resolve not to do one bit to actually appreciate what the other is trying to communicate.
Arms sales are so much more profitable than cooperation.
=================================

This brings me to another point.  For all your words, you ignored thoughts that seem to me the important ones.

Posts must be culled for brevity, or they spiral out of control in size. The comments you repost I find the most irrelevant and empty of content. You like comforting storytime? Fantastic, I like to bowl. Thanks for sharing.

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This brings me to another point.  For all your words, you ignored thoughts that seem to me the important ones.

> this is not at all like making a religion or whatever you want to insinuate.
> > maybe all it is, is a desire to insinuate respect for mystery.

..................................And let’s not forget about the electorate!  Your neighbors.

“So my little pretty tapestry still provides comfort, even though I know there is much more going on than that little cartoon I wove.
>>>Why does that attitude upset you so?

“This brings me back to another point —
The actual existence of God is of much, much less importance than people’s perception of God.

..................................And let’s not forget about the electorate!  Your neighbors.  What about that situation?

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Posted: 08 September 2008 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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sate - 06 September 2008 04:45 AM

Religion does not offer any real meaning, anyway. Let’s say a god created me for whatever purpose he/she/it had in mind. Why does that purpose matter? The arbitrary whim of some magical sky papa = meaning and relevance? What if said deity is malevolent, indifferent or just incompetent? This is much worse than a simply “meaningless” existence.

It’s all just an echo of older, perhaps more primitive social constructions anyway. Heavenly father vs actual father.. part of something “bigger than me” being the society or state vs being the religion. We grow up though and realize we can survive independently of our parents and that we are part of a state ‘larger than ourselves’ at the same time knowing it IS ourselves.

Incidentally, I like what you’ve written here, and pretty much agree with it. 

and don’t feel anything I’m striving to communicate is contrary to the above basic premise.

(the striving that is, guess the execution still sucks)

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Posted: 09 September 2008 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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CC can you edit your post a bit cleaner? I have a hard time sorting them out.

CC:  Your examples misdirect.  Europe was one theater, with its long history - WWII was its culmination (WWI only being its prelude).  Not to be compared with our civil war.  The middle east is still working towards its crescendo, with a lot of outside help.

This conjecture is interesting but not compelling or conclusive. That’s not a dig, just an observation disentangling correlation from causation is difficult to put it lightly. This too is probably good seed for its own thread and to me one of the great unresolved questions about humanity: why is religion born, and why does it die? But for this particular thread.. I merely point out that outreach and PR have been good tools of religion but never seen to be causative in its collapse. Therefore, I have no reason to believe it can succeed in and of itself (nor any reason to believe it would not, but given history this appears to be the sensible “null hypothesis”).

CC:  This isn’t about leftist or rightist rhetoric: it’s about stupid knee-jerk reactions followed by their predictable knee-jerk re-reactions.  This game is based in a resolve not to do one bit to actually appreciate what the other is trying to communicate.
Arms sales are so much more profitable than cooperation.

I do not know what game you refer to or what arms sales have to do with my statements. I do try to discern your meaning; I pointed out a lack of evidence or reasoning to support your implicit assertion to solicit such evidence or reasoning. No more could I do to try to understand.

So my little pretty tapestry still provides comfort, even though I know there is much more going on than that little cartoon I wove.
>>>Why does that attitude upset you so?

I ignored them, then when prodded explained doing so for editorial reasons- namely irrelevance. I do not know how you could confuse that with being “upset” about them. As I said, if that pleases you by all means do it. No sarcasm. Really. Also, you can masturbate in a physical way.. its all the same really.

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Posted: 11 September 2008 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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sate - 09 September 2008 12:53 PM

CC can you edit your post a bit cleaner? I have a hard time sorting them out.

sorry, I do try and will continue to endeavor to improve,
though sometimes it’s just too late for me to be typing.
ps. any specific suggests are always welcome.

CC:  Your examples misdirect.  Europe was one theater, with its long history - WWII was its culmination (WWI only being its prelude).  Not to be compared with our civil war.  The middle east is still working towards its crescendo, with a lot of outside help.

This conjecture is interesting but not compelling or conclusive. That’s not a dig, just an observation disentangling correlation from causation is difficult to put it lightly.

Therefore, I have no reason to believe it can succeed in and of itself (nor any reason to believe it would not, but given history this appears to be the sensible “null hypothesis”).

CC:  This isn’t about leftist or rightist rhetoric: it’s about stupid knee-jerk reactions followed by their predictable knee-jerk re-reactions.  This game is based in a resolve not to do one bit to actually appreciate what the other is trying to communicate.
Arms sales are so much more profitable than cooperation.

I do not know what game you refer to or what arms sales have to do with my statements. I do try to discern your meaning; I pointed out a lack of evidence or reasoning to support your implicit assertion to solicit such evidence or reasoning. No more could I do to try to understand.

So my little pretty tapestry still provides comfort, even though I know there is much more going on than that little cartoon I wove.
>>>Why does that attitude upset you so?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My comments about WWII, and history are the culmination of these past decades, I don’t have the time, nor is this the place for a detailed examination, besides I’m just me - though I will look at one historic incident - in a new post.

As it happens Thursday 9-11-8 NPR’s Fresh Air Interviewed Andrew Bacevich, author (veteran, historian) of the new book:  “The Limits of Power.”  The interview was compelling in his clear eyed reasoned appraisal of our situation and how we got here.  I was in town during the radio show and wound up swinging by the book store to buy a copy.  I’ll report back after I read it.

Now this guy explains it in a way I never can, he’s got the deep knowledge and authority.  Professor of history & international relations at Boston University and a retired Army colonel,  .................,........,,,,,  but, we got the same perspective baby wink.

His interview is definitely worth a listen, check it out at: 
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94505191

Enough of politics
————————————————————————————————
Back to the transition between a religious faith outlook and a more reasoned
based perspective on how to deal with our world.

I spent the past couple days ruminating on your other comments.
An image kept returning. 
Your way of presenting the ideas and yes, your attitude (it does come through). 

My image was that of the Dad teaching his kid how to swim by throwing him into the deep end of the pool. 
I’m serious, why not allow people some latitude without slamming’em up side the head with your intellectual superiority?

Is your own very personal subjective vision of the world really that superior? 
All of humanity does not exist within the lab & classroom.  Why can’t you types lighten up on the rest of humanity?
You don’t talk to a smart ten year old the way you do to a smart college student, or the professor.

Why not allow a little humanity into it? 
Especially, when an important goal is to educate citizens, not scientists. 
The scientists will continue to come of their own accord anyways, and adhere to exacting standards.
Aren’t there varying levels of expectations?

 

The actual existence of God is of much, much less importance than people’s perception of God.

And let’s not forget about the electorate!  Your neighbors.  What about that situation?

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Posted: 14 September 2008 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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All of humanity does not exist within the lab & classroom.  Why can’t you types lighten up on the rest of humanity?
You don’t talk to a smart ten year old the way you do to a smart college student, or the professor.

Why not allow a little humanity into it? 

I find your allegations unfounded. Where you see arrogance I see confidence. Where you see “superiority” I see mere competence. What you want is not humanity, but Disnisity. You seem to want discourse sanitized and nerfed-out, inoffensive G-rated word foxtrot. As I said before, is there no virtue in clarity? In saying what one means? In being understood without the obscuring weight of what is “nice” to say? In what is true no matter the derth of prettiness? Maybe you are used to trading in compliments and this is what you mean so here goes.
I admire your strategy of introducing red herrings in the form of challenging implications which force your target to go on the defensive, and burn a lot of calories unraveling your presumably deliberate misapprehension. issues? skirted. Burden of proof? not on you. Check and double-check. Further, I like the use of rambling questions which pull specific points into the real of grand abstractions and generalizations. This ensures your opponent can not claim to be correct, because everything is so nebulous and epic that nothing provincial can hold out. Kudos on your tactics. Not honest or productive, but surely crafty and effective.

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