Amun could fuck you back!

It's not MAD science...just disappointed.

Moderator: Gav

Postby RanDomino on Sat Jun 29, 2002 2:50 pm

As I am still a student, here's what I've been reciting (at the top of my lungs)

"I pledge Dissension
To the rag
Of the disjointed States of America
And to the Dictatorship to which it Rapidly Falls
Several nations
under Me
With liberty and justice for the Top 10 Percent."
RanDomino
Junior Keenspotter
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:10 am

Re: The Pledge

Postby gwalla on Sat Jun 29, 2002 4:29 pm

AgentDenim wrote:Is this thread about Gav's "pledge" rant? Gav, it's clear you don't stand in support of the government on this issue. It seems like you think the California ruling was a good thing, but it's not quite as clear (aside from thanking Nadow and the 9th circuit court). The way I see it, the California court's ruling seems to want to take away every person's free speech - the right to say the plege, and to add "under God" if they so desire.


Are you still in grade school? If you aren't, then the ruling does not apply to you.

This ruling is about what the government is allowed to make children say in public school. It has absolutely no bearing on the behavior of adults who do not work in public schools, or the behavior of children outside of school for that matter. The core of the ruling is that YOU CAN'T FORCE KIDS TO PRAY IN SCHOOL. That's it.

I read a letter to the editor in my local paper the other day, from a couple who claimed they were going to " go out on their front lawn and recite the pledge of allegiance, and wait for the FBI to take them away". This is completely missing the point, but that's not surprising. Fundamentalists tend to have one hell of a persecution complex.
ImageImage
User avatar
gwalla
Keenspot Deity
 
Posts: 10767
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA irc://us.nightstar.net/gwalla,isnick

Re: The Pledge

Postby Kerinsky on Sat Jun 29, 2002 4:58 pm

gwalla wrote:This ruling is about what the government is allowed to make children say in public school. It has absolutely no bearing on the behavior of adults who do not work in public schools, or the behavior of children outside of school for that matter. The core of the ruling is that YOU CAN'T FORCE KIDS TO PRAY IN SCHOOL. That's it.


Actually it was already ruled illegal/unconstitutional to force kids to recite the pledge, some Jehovah's Witnesses sued over that a while back. The two point that the ruling makes are 1) The 1954 act by congress modifying the legally defined text of the pledge to include the words "under God" is unconstitutional and 2) it is unconstitutional for California to require time be set aside for a teacher led recital of the pledge, even if participation is voluntary. I must admit I'm a little bit confused by the second part. The California law only stipulated recital of the Pledge as far as I know and the court has ruled the modification to the pledge unconstitutional. If that modification was the only thing making the California unconstitutional then it no longer needs to be struck down as the pledge will legally revert to the earlier text. My earlier post has a link to a PDF of the ruling.
Kerinsky
Junior Keenspotter
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2001 11:00 pm

Postby Austerity on Sat Jun 29, 2002 5:41 pm

Technically religion just means "a set of beliefs", though people often interpret it to mean, "a set of arbitrary reasons to do whatever I want to other people".

There's a good line in a Rage Against The Machine song.. can't remember which album at the moment.

"You wear the badge of your chosen one to justify those who died,
You justify those who died by wearing the badge of your chosen one."

One discrimination I rail against, and this is a pretty philosophical one, is that nothing is, in fact, nothing. Even the absence of something is something, conceptually. By way of thought it is given substance.

It's easily proven when you say, "I believe in nothing." Well, you can't believe in the true abcense of "thing", because lacking something is something in and of itself.

(three dots in a triangle) Athiests' believe in something, it just happens to be the absence of diety, or nodiety. That is quite a solid foundation for a religion (a set of beliefs), but I think Gav has already acknowledged this in part by declaring Agnostica so long ago.

The thing that isn't entirely possible is nihilism. As conjectured a few 'graphs above, true belief in nothing can not occur.

I did this line up a handful of years ago for a friend (and a header to one of the chapters of one of my fantasy novels), "What is nothing but something we wish not to acknowledge as existing?"

Austerity
User avatar
Austerity
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 12:00 am
Location: In T.A.C.'s bag of tricks

Postby EteRock on Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:59 pm

Gav wrote:Good, people are talking about this.

Let's take a ferinstance. Let's change the pledge (it's been done enough) to read "One nation, WITHOUT God..." And then lets make five-year-old kids repeat it day after day after day. And then say, "Well, you don't have to say it if you don't support our beloved country. All the other students love their country and want to do the right thing, however, so please sit down and put your god-fearing head down." You think five year olds aren't impressionable enough? You think five year olds won't try to learn something from the fact that their teachers, their role models, are telling them that they must pledge their allegiance to God when they pledge their allegiance to the country? You think five year olds have strong enough personal conviction in their faith to stand alone when the rest of their class is standing and praising their love for God? When I was five, I ate paste because everyone else was doing it. I threw rocks at girls I liked because the other boys were doing it. You're asking a five year old to "just take a stand?"

When there's discrimination happening, you don't ask the whites how they feel about it.

I said "Fuck God" and "Fuck Allah" and "Fuck Jesus" yesterday, because I want the 90+% of this country that believes in a Christian God and doesn't see anything wrong with "God-loving water fountains" and "Pagan/Atheist water fountains" to know how I felt in elementary school when they taught "separation of church and state" simultaneous with forcing us all to associate God with the flag. And I was raised Roman Catholic!!

How easy do you think it is for Michael Newdow to raise his daughter with his religious beliefs when the people who teach her tell her to pledge allegiance to God or be an outcast?

What's worse is not even this debatable issue, but what George Bush and our entire Congress is saying, which is that we should teach all American children that our rights and our country come from God (yes, it does say it in the Declaration, but that's because we hadn't written the Constitution yet, and later decided on the Bill of Rights. Falling back on the Declaration is like a company ignoring their business plan and adhering strictly to the rules of an email they sent to partners before the company was formed).

I've offended. I can see that, and frankly, it's what I intended to do. Now you see how I feel.

Fuck you Athiest! You can't support America.

Say the pledge outside of the classroom if you believe it in. Fine, let's give children the choice to say if it they want, outside of the institute for education who they've come to respect as the role models that tell them every day what they must learn to be an effective human being. A real choice, unfettered by peer, teacher, and parent pressure. Let's see what they do.

And stop telling me I'm unamerican because I don't believe in George Bush's God.



The thing I find most annoy about this post/view and others like it is this picture they try to paint of kids physically being forced with whips to say "under god" and being brainwashed to thinking that if they don't say it their parents won't love them anymore and the other kids will beat them up and make fun of them.

I said the pledge every school day for years. I don't remember when I started it and I don't remember when we stopped saying it every morning. Which goes to show you how little the pledge mattered to me and others I went to school with.

The pledge to me and many of the other students I went to school with was nothing more then one of those things you did in the day. Like brushing my teeth. I gave no thought to it before or after I said it. I only thought to it when I was saying it because I was saying it. After it was said we sat down and started school. Hell most of the time the students didn't even say the pledge they just mumbled some words, and the teachers never took noticed or cared.

We were never told that if we don't say "under god" that we weren't loving our country. No teacher ever put a kid in detention for not saying it. No reports were sent home to parents if a child did not say it. No bullys threatened to beat someone up because the didn't say it.
No one was threated like an outcast if they didn't say it.

The pledge was just words to say to me. Under God was just words. After a while saying it over and over again the words lost meaning.

God was not brought up much if at all during school. Not because the teachers didn't want to or couldn't but because the students didn't care. In fact it was uncool to talk about God. So of course no one really did. Some might have wanted to and some might have actually done it but for the most part the majority did not bring up or talk about God. And these are the same kids that said the pledge every day.
As deadly as a cobra and three times as crazy and nine times as dumb


Meatwad: Please, do not insult what little intelligence I have.
User avatar
EteRock
Keenspot Juggernaut
 
Posts: 7081
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 12:00 am

Liberty

Postby DonaldHines on Sat Jun 29, 2002 7:17 pm

I am a conservative Christian. I am also in favor of REMOVING "Under God" from the pledge. It's simply wrong. Religion is NEVER in so much danger as when the government starts thinking that religion is something it should be involved in.

Right now, conservative protestants have a comfortable majority here. Give it a few years and that could change. Pat Robertson is all in favor of the "Under God" bit, but doesn't he realize that if he looses his majority, we could end up with an "Under Buddha" or "Under Satan"? Or, more realistically, what if the Catholics were in the majority, how would he feel about "Under the Pope" being in the pledge?

Every time I get into the "Prayer In Public School" debate with a fellow Christian, I ask them how they would feel if the local wicca priestess wanted to offer a prayer. I have yet to hear a single one say "That would be ok!"

As Christians, we are supposed to live by "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you", but most fall far short. There are Christians who believe in keeping the government out of religion. Liberty Magazine is a good example: http://www.libertymagazine.org/ But most are perfectly happy, enthusiastic even, about having the government force their own religion down someone elses throat. Just so long as it's THEIR religion being forced, that is.

And that, unfortunately, is just Human. The Atheists are no better, they just happen to be the minority right now. When they can get the legal power, some of them are in court trying to make it illegal for a Christian to even carry a Bible in public. The U.S.S.R. proves that Atheism is just as dangerous a religion as any other, when in the governments hands that is.

Almost EVERYONE wants the government to enforce their views on other people. We would all be better off without this attitude. This is America, we each have (or SHOULD have) the right to be WRONG! I don't have to agree with you to respect your right to believe as you wish, just so long as you don't interfere with MY right to live and believe as *I* wish.

Even if my son went to public school (not likely), he certainly wouldn't be learning his religion there, whether they were teaching it or not. The brand of protestantism they would be teaching wouldn't fit with my own label. :) So I have very little fear that a 'godless' (but not actively atheist) government will interfere in the way I am raising and educating my child. However, I DO stay up late some nights wondering what will happened when a 'religious' government comes in and starts taking a close look at whether MY particular beliefs match up to their standards of orthodoxy.

The government can't handle simple law and order, keep them out of religion and we will ALL be happier, ESPECIALLY those of us who are religious.

Donald Hines
Last edited by DonaldHines on Sat Jun 29, 2002 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DonaldHines
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:45 pm

Postby DonaldHines on Sat Jun 29, 2002 7:45 pm

RanDomino wrote:Here's a negative proof for y'alls: 1) God is omnipotent. 2) God creates the Earth and the floura/fauna soley for humans. [For no reason whatsoever; remember step 1] 3)God then spends the next 5000 years convincing his creations that he doesn't exist. 4)God sends his son/prophet to get us to believe in God again. 5)The son/prophet fails because God abandoned him...?


Don't waste your time using this line of reasoning when you are debating educated Christians. It's directed at the religion of a 6 year old, not at questions that an educated adult Christian would have any difficulty answering. It's the equivalent of disproving Atheism with "If there is no God, then who pops up the next Kleenex?". (An argument which DOES have its merits) :)

When the average Creationist debates an Evolutionist, the Creationist sounds like an idiot. Why? Because they are so convinced of their position that they never actually bothered to study their opponents side and learn the difference between serious questions and silly ones. If you wish to convince theist that they are wrong, you will first have to learn what they actually believe. If you are willing to go to that much trouble, there are plenty of us willing to teach... :)

Donald Hines
Last edited by DonaldHines on Sat Jun 29, 2002 9:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
DonaldHines
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:45 pm

Postby Austerity on Sat Jun 29, 2002 7:55 pm

I'd have to disagree that repetition and rote memorization doesn't affect people. It may not have affected you, but it may affect many many other people.

I think a good example is commercials. As a child I didn't really care what they showed in commercials, but it inspires millions of youth everyday to nag their parents for some bauble they're likely to discard within the next 5-7 days.

I think anyone would be hard pressed to ignore the effects of repetition in the face of one of the largest experiments in such, television.

One thing you have to keep in mind is a large percentage of the population is most likely less intelligent, and thusly less intuitive, clever and immune to the effects of certain types of coorsion, than you.

Austerity
User avatar
Austerity
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 12:00 am
Location: In T.A.C.'s bag of tricks

Religion - Ack!

Postby RATmaniak on Sun Jun 30, 2002 5:58 am

Aye... Donaldhines has his points.
Though I don't like to refer to such a shonky piece of literature, read "The Handmaid's Tale" sometime, its a more or less realistic-ish view of what America would be like in the event of a religious govt getting into power.

Bush is too power-hungry and too idiotic to see the consequences. Hell, one only needs basic understanding of 20th Century history to see where he's headed. I bet he creates a "National State of Emergency", dissolves congress and proceeds to dictate over america. Oh, the irony if that happens... :roll:

Athesim is a god-believing religion. Hell, ALL religions, if they are a form of refering to gods, are related in some way.
"Atheism is the belief that god exist, but in terms of denial"
- Terry Pratchett
Doesn't that confuzzle things?
--Ratmaniak--

"Wop. The word of unknowingness."
RATmaniak
Junior Keenspotter
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: The Land of Stereotypes: Australia

Oh...

Postby Silver Adept on Sun Jun 30, 2002 7:52 am

*there is a lob from the sandbags*

The message simply reads:

What are we arguing, then? The legitimacy of the ruling? Or the fact that we all hate it when people try to shove their beliefs down our throats? Or soemthing else entirely?
Sir Alexander, KCI Eqvites Ivbalis, Snufficus Magus Argentus. Initial suggestor of name Order of Jubal. Probi Immotiqve Este!
Now accepting positions in M-Division. Come see what Science and Magic together can make! Apply by PM or post!
And now the creator of my own comic! Go see Faces
Gots a LiveJournal now. It's here!
User avatar
Silver Adept
Keenspot Juggernaut
 
Posts: 3658
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: The Lake of Grass in Michigan

Re: Religion - Ack!

Postby Q99 on Sun Jun 30, 2002 8:43 am

RATmaniak wrote:Athesim is a god-believing religion. Hell, ALL religions, if they are a form of refering to gods, are related in some way.
"Atheism is the belief that god exist, but in terms of denial"
- Terry Pratchett
Doesn't that confuzzle things?


I've heard that argument before , and I'm going to have to disagree with it.

It's sort of like saying 'Creationism is the belief in evolution , except in terms of denial,' , or 'evolution is the belief in creationism , etc.'. Believing in something else that is compared to your belief , is not the same thing as believing in that something else.

One doesn't even have to know about any theistic religion to be an atheist. In fact , having no contact with the concept in any way , shape , or form makes not believing in it quite easy (And no , not knowing about any gods is not agnosticism. Agnosticism is the state of thinking deitie(s) may or may not exist , but being unsure (or sure that you can't find out) of which one it is).

Also , as a side-point , atheism doesn't really fit the criteria for a religion. A religion is a set of beliefs. Atheism is a belief on a specific subject. As long as they don't believe in any God/Gods , they are an atheist. Period.
User avatar
Q99
Keenspot Juggernaut
 
Posts: 6754
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2000 11:00 pm

Postby gwalla on Sun Jun 30, 2002 9:26 am

Here's how I define it:

Faith is belief without proof.

Religion is faith in the existence of god/gods*.

Atheism is faith in the nonexistence of god/gods.

Agnosticism is lack of faith.

*Buddhism is almost an exception to this rule, but I think the Buddha, being a powerful and benevolent supernatural entity, qualifies in this case of being a god. The idea that he was originally a man who became enlightened does not change this, since the concept of deification exists in many religions (see Roman mythology).
ImageImage
User avatar
gwalla
Keenspot Deity
 
Posts: 10767
Joined: Mon May 08, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: Berkeley, CA, USA irc://us.nightstar.net/gwalla,isnick

Postby DonaldHines on Sun Jun 30, 2002 10:39 am

gwalla wrote:Faith is belief without proof.


Many Christian laymen HAVE misused the term that way. By that definition, faith is synonymous with gullibility and there is no way to judge between, say, Christianity and Astrology, since both are just something you 'believe' in. A far BETTER definition of faith, the one supported by most theologians, is that faith is the ability to keep believing in something you have evidence for, even when your emotions push you in another direction. Faith is choosing intellect over feelings. When the proverbial "Atheist in a foxhole" chooses to continue disbelieving in any kind of supernatural powers or an afterlife even though bombs are bursting over his head and he would really LIKE to believe in it, that is Faith.

gwalla wrote:Religion is faith in the existence of god/gods*.

Miriam-Webster defines it as: "a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith"

I think a simpler and more practical definition would be that Religion is a set of beliefs about the supernatural. Animism, Ancestor Worship, and countless other beliefs that are obviously "Religions" do not believe in any actual 'gods'. By this definition I think it would be safe (and non-offensive) to say that Atheism is a religion. Saying that there IS no supernatural is most definitely a set of beliefs about the supernatural.

Donald Hines
DonaldHines
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:45 pm

Postby mouse on Sun Jun 30, 2002 10:47 am

EteRock wrote:We were never told that if we don't say "under god" that we weren't loving our country. No teacher ever put a kid in detention for not saying it. No reports were sent home to parents if a child did not say it. No bullys threatened to beat someone up because the didn't say it.
No one was threated like an outcast if they didn't say it.


But not everyone is so lucky.

The summer after I was in 1st grade, my family moved to another state. I was a very shy child, and afraid to make mistakes. I don't think we recited the Pledge in my old school, but we did in the new school. I didn't understand all the words, and I didn't want to get them wrong, so I didn't say anything. One day the teacher noticed this, decided I was being "smart", yelled at me for not reciting the Pledge, and made me stand outside in the hall while the class recited. So I stood out there, crying my eyes out and totally frightened and confused. I don't think I ever had the courage to tell the teacher why I hadn't said anything; she certainly didn't ask me before she started yelling. I _do_ know that she never bothered to actually teach us what the Pledge said, and what it mean - and that I learned to fake it just so I wouldn't be singled out.

I'm happy to know that my experience isn't universal, but you shouldn't assume yours is either.

(I didn't have any trouble from my classmates - they probably had no more clue than I did what it was all about.)
User avatar
mouse
Keenspot Deity
 
Posts: 10449
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: under the bed

Postby NornaGest on Sun Jun 30, 2002 11:14 am

OK Gav. I was raised by a couple of atheists-who-became-agnostics
(They were functionally Agnostic when they whelped me!)
i.e. ag/nathesim was my religeous background.

(the container acn't hold itself....yet. being as we we in the south and the schools were bad then, they put me in mead hall which unfortunatly was
Episcopalian ((why don't they consider themselves Catholics? I can't begin to under-stand -under-it(("knowing" is only local,)) )
My take when I was at one of their services whas that I was surrounded by people who were litterally insane I ran away in terror!

Innocently enough, I said to myself, "There is no God"
A couple of kids next to me over heard me.....and their reaction was
complete bewilderment!

Dwezil Zappa, if you're out there....was your father being completely casual when he said that "It's healthy to raise your kids without religeion"? That's the way it felt to me, that's my consevate-ism!
Was he deliberately trying to shock??

we aren't FRee-thinkers just because we can't belive in Jehovah-clause. When I first heard that expression, I though it meant free from any sort of perceptual convention!!!!

Folks, is this ban only in California, or is it National?
(I wont read it , because I want to develope use ful biases that can be usefully contradicted. I'm guseeing there's nothing on but noise now,
And I lost the hbit of watching television anyway)
NornaGest
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1441
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:00 pm
Location: N33 35.4' W81 45.6'

Postby RanDomino on Sun Jun 30, 2002 11:29 am

Since it appears the discussion has moved from "Is the pledge constitutional" to "What's the dilly w/ r3ligionz?", it looks like we all agree that the words "Under God" should be removed, quiaff?

Also, there must be a God because I'm the devil :evil: :evil: :evil:, and it's logical that I have an antithesis.
RanDomino
Junior Keenspotter
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:10 am

Postby DonaldHines on Sun Jun 30, 2002 12:41 pm

RanDomino wrote:it looks like we all agree that the words "Under God" should be removed, quiaff?.


I think its safe to say that the Nukees crowd probably doesn't have a large following among the "Moral Majority", so it's not surprising that most here seem in favor of the court decision. But I don't think we have reached a unanimous opinion by any means. There were at least 4 messages near the beginning of this thread in support of keeping the "under God", I haven't heard any of them recant their positions. Where is the Spanish Inquisition when you need it??? :)

Donald
DonaldHines
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:45 pm

Postby Q99 on Sun Jun 30, 2002 1:15 pm

DonaldHines wrote:
gwalla wrote:Faith is belief without proof.


Many Christian laymen HAVE misused the term that way. By that definition, faith is synonymous with gullibility and there is no way to judge between, say, Christianity and Astrology, since both are just something you 'believe' in. A far BETTER definition of faith, the one supported by most theologians, is that faith is the ability to keep believing in something you have evidence for, even when your emotions push you in another direction. Faith is choosing intellect over feelings.


What?

That's the exact opposite of the common definition of faith (A direct quote from the Merriam Webster dictionary: "...(2) :firm belief in something for which there is no proof...).

Under that definition , Christians don't have any faith. No church or believer has yet to produce any evidence of the existance of their particular deity/deities. If any religion could be solidly and scientifically proven , then a lot less scientists would be atheists.


By this definition I think it would be safe (and non-offensive) to say that Atheism is a religion. Saying that there IS no supernatural is most definitely a set of beliefs about the supernatural.


I disagree with that conclusion (the safe part at least. I'm not offended). Atheism is a total lack of belief about the supernatural. The word itself , atheism , broken down is: a- (Prefix meaning: Not , Without) theism (belief in the existence of a god or gods) , or in other words , the literal meaning of athiesm is 'Without belief in the existance of god or gods' (of course , this is general extended to the supernatural in general).

Something that is defined by the lack of a thing can not properly be classified as that thing. A vacuum is the absence of matter , defined only by this absence. This does not make it a type of matter.
User avatar
Q99
Keenspot Juggernaut
 
Posts: 6754
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2000 11:00 pm

Postby Austerity on Sun Jun 30, 2002 5:24 pm

Well, the one thing people are lacking if they're rebutting my side is that I believe everything is based on faith. And here's my proof of that statement (which inspires weeks of debate with my priestly friends):

You will live for appx. 50-100 years, on average. At this point in time there have been several thousand years of "scientific" advancement where people have been "proving" things to the best of their ability to satisfy their own curiosity.

There's a lot of "their own" in there, because reality is subjective. Why do you take all of these thousands of years of proofs and "science" to heart? Because someone has told you that it is right. People have constantly believed in the "wrong" thing, despite people telling them it was based in the most "state of the art" knowledge of their time.

Why should I believe in all of this? Who's to say that reality doesn't move in cycles where mundane things are "mundane" for a thousand years and then things we believed were "fantastical" suddenly swap out with the "mundane", like so many toilets flowing in the other direction.

That isn't to say that I have stopped believing 1+1=2 or that most of the earth is in fact made of hydrogen and oxygen, or that E=M(C^2), I just like to take a philosophical stance with things.

And to the "religion is a set of beliefs" dealy, believing in deity or nodeity is a whole gigantic bag of beliefs. It dictates everything right down to the meaning of existence, which is as basic as it gets in philosophical terms.

Austerity
User avatar
Austerity
Keenspot Despot
 
Posts: 1777
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 12:00 am
Location: In T.A.C.'s bag of tricks

Postby Gleep on Sun Jun 30, 2002 6:40 pm

Why do you take all of these thousands of years of proofs and "science" to heart? Because someone has told you that it is right.


First off, this is purely my perspective on the matter, I am by no means an authority.

Why do _I_ take science to heart? Because it is the most reliable, flexable and useful method of describing reality that I have avaliable. If reading tea leave proved more consistant l I'd throw away my calculator.

This illustrates what is, in my mind, one of the largest failing of our (Canadian in this case) school system. Math and Science are taught from a 'this is how things are' perspective, rather than a, 'as near as we can tell it goes something like this' point of view. The 'rules of science' were not simply handed down, but were developed as a way to describe and predict the world around us. What schools fail to empahsise is that when these rules fail, they are thrown away and new rules developed to fill gap. The evolution of quantum physics is a prime example as it continues to play havoc with established beliefs. Anyone who accepts science on faith has, in my mind, totally missed the point.
Gleep
Junior Keenspotter
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby DonaldHines on Sun Jun 30, 2002 7:32 pm

Q99 wrote:No church or believer has yet to produce any evidence of the existance of their particular deity/deities. If any religion could be solidly and scientifically proven , then a lot less scientists would be atheists.

Anything that CAN be tested SHOULD be tested. If a faith healer claims that he is curing cancer, we can test that. If the dali lama claims to be able to levitate, we can test that. I happen to be a big fan of "Randy the Magnificent". Anyone bold enough to claim that they have scientifically testable evidence of the supernatural had better be willing to stand up and prove it, in a lab, under repeatable circumstances.

The catch is, that not all evidence is scientifically testable. There are 4 kinds of evidence that most rational Christians base their faith upon.

1: Personal Experience: Christians claim to have MET the Creator of the universe. They claim that He has changed them. God is not a vending machine and He can not be manipulated into performing tricks for us. We meet Him on HIS terms, not ours. Anyone can reproduce the experiment by honestly opening themselves up to a relationship with God, but it will not "prove" anything scientifically since if they fail to find a relationship, the Christians will say they didn't actually want one, and if they DO find it, the Atheist will believe them to be self deluded. Personal Experience is legitimate, but not testable evidence.

2: Philosophical Evidence: This is primarily an issue of postulates. EVERY system of belief requires postulates. If someone disagrees with you about the definition of a line or point, you really can't argue with them. As we trace the history of the universe backwards in time, we reach a point where we MUST make an assumption. Either the Universe just happened (or always existed). OR something created the universe, in which case you've simply removed the conundrum one step back. :) Aquinas, in "Summa Contra Gentiles" makes some excellent and VERY logical arguments that the best answer is that the universe was created. Hawkings would still say it was not. Neither assumption can be proven Scientifically. That doesn't mean that when you decide to accept one argument or the other you are believing in something you have no evidence in.

3: Historical Evidence: There is very solid historical evidence that Jesus Christ actually existed. And an awful lot of witnesses to his resurrection. However, I stand by Mark Twain's statement that "History is a bunch of lies we all agree upon." Historical evidence IS evidence, but it leaves enough room for anyone to doubt who wishes to. If I came up with parchments signed by 100 witnesses to the Resurrection it wouldn't convince anyone who wanted to doubt. Heck, *I* wouldn't believe it myself! :)

4: Evidence in the design of the Universe: C. S. Lewis argues in "Mere Christianity" that the fact that most of mankind agrees on some basic points of morality, but can't stick by them, is good evidence for a designer and a fall. It IS good evidence, but I can come up with counter arguments. Behe and Dembski are doing the first good science Creationisim has seen since the publication of "Origin of the Species", but it doesn't PROVE anything about the supernatural. Their work only proves that intelligence was involved in some parts of the design of life on this earth, not that the intelligence was supernatural.

Compare it to scientist arguing about the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. The believers point to the number of stars, the probability of habitable planets, the likelihood of life developing, and say that the aliens just HAVE to be out there. The non-believers point to the lack of signals, the lack of visits, have different numbers on the likelihood of life developing, and say it just isn't reasonable. The "agnostics" say, "who knows"? All of these people have GOOD reasons for what they believe. None of them can PROVE their case yet.

Donald
DonaldHines
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:45 pm

Postby LCARS on Sun Jun 30, 2002 7:40 pm

Well, once again a perfectly fine political issue has turned into a science vs. religion debate. Oh well.
User avatar
LCARS
Keenspot Juggernaut
 
Posts: 5280
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: Boulder, CO

Postby Shotwench on Sun Jun 30, 2002 8:04 pm

Heh, you actually expected it not to??
You, sit there! You've been demoted to housecat!!

Mrow?
User avatar
Shotwench
Keenspotter Supreme
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 6:09 pm
Location: Omaha, NE

Postby Q99 on Mon Jul 01, 2002 7:30 am

Austerity wrote:And to the "religion is a set of beliefs" dealy, believing in deity or nodeity is a whole gigantic bag of beliefs. It dictates everything right down to the meaning of existence, which is as basic as it gets in philosophical terms.

Austerity


Not really.

Atheism is the state of not believing in god/gods/the supernatural. That is all that is required.

Many atheists (myself included) believe in logic and science , as it is a reliable way to test and form views on the way things are in a repeatible and consistant way that works between individuals. I.e. if you gave me a set of evidence that leads to a certain logical conclusion , and you gave it to someone else who also is logical , we will reach the same conclusion/conclusions. (This , by the way , in my mind is one of the big failings of religion. All religious people on Earth learned their religion from someone/something else that can be traced back to the first appearance of the religion. Religions can't be logically 'figured out' totally independantly with no prior contact with that religion. If there was a TRUE religion , then this would not be the case)

This , however , is not required of atheism. All that is required of atheism is to not believe in the supernatural. There are a wide , wide variety of beliefs that fall under this. An atheist from Japan before the introduction to Europe will have a totally different view of the universe and set of beliefs from an atheist in ancient Egypt.

Hence , atheism is the lack of a specific type of belief , and not a religion.

On to the next poster:

1: Personal Experience: Christians claim to have MET the Creator of the universe. They claim that He has changed them.

The problem with this one is that many , many people have had totally contradictory experiances , and a person's word backed with no proof can not really be called solid evidence.

2: Philosophical Evidence: This is primarily an issue of postulates. EVERY system of belief requires postulates.

The problem with that one is that we really have no reliable evidence pointing in any direction. We have some evidence pointing to what happened right after the universe began (big-bang) , but not before that...

Basically , all we have on the subject are hypothesizes and conjecture. As it is , at this time , an unprovable question , there is no real reason to believe that any one specific answer is true.

3: Historical Evidence: There is very solid historical evidence that Jesus Christ actually existed.

That is true. There is plenty of evidence that many of the more historical parts of the bible are very true. Jesus Christ the human very , very likely was a real person.

However , it does not logically follow that any of the rest is true.

There are books that speak of the Roanoke colony (an earily European settlement in the New World) that disappeared , and blame the disappearance on aliens. The Roanoke colony has lots of evidence and documentation pointing to it's origional existance. It also disappeared. However , the alien part is pure conjecture.

4: Evidence in the design of the Universe: C. S. Lewis argues in "Mere Christianity" that the fact that most of mankind agrees on some basic points of morality, but can't stick by them, is good evidence for a designer and a fall.

Again , the problem with this is that it provides one of many possible answer to the question , and assumes it to be the correct one.

There are many , many hypothesizes on the subject with equal and often more validity than that particular one , and no strong reason that points to that one above all others. Again , it's conjecture to assume that just because none of the others are totally proven , this one must be true.

That's the basic problem of religion. It's not looking at the evidence and drawing a conclusion , it's assuming one thing to be right simply because what is right isn't known.

All of these people have GOOD reasons for what they believe. None of them can PROVE their case yet.

Which is why the unbiased person doesn't assume any of them are right.
User avatar
Q99
Keenspot Juggernaut
 
Posts: 6754
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2000 11:00 pm

Postby MissM on Mon Jul 01, 2002 11:09 am

*daydreams* If Gav had a child... I'd imagine she'd be the one explaining to the other children that the frogs weren't "playing," they were mating. *starry eyed* We could name her Gavarina... Gavarina Bickers.

All daydreams aside, the general sentiment from my social group (of mostly atheist/pagans; I love the minority majority factor) has been roughly what Mr. Bleuel kindly ranted for us.

I'm quite pleased that someone finally ruled the pledge unconsitutional (how long ago was it that the friggin ten commandments-in-schools were passed?), but I've less of an issue with the pledge-as-it-stood than with the whole damn atmosphere of the country under Bush. One nation, under scare tactics and a man with a combined SAT score of 900...

As a child, I was extremely patriotic, as children get the joy of discovering (and believing in) the noble concepts the nation was founded upon. I fear my children growing up in a post-Bush Wal-mart nation... "Yes, dear, we did have noble heros for presidents in the past... now, it's all based on the money they put into advertising. Eat your peas, dear."

I keep hoping America will get fed up with the idiocy and elect a real president soon, yet Bush is incredibly popular, and I have this sinking feeling we'll end up with another four years of this rule. (Hell, if we're changing the consitution for a "patriotic" act, why not just abolish term limits? Bush for King!)

But aside from the general atmosphere of the nation, I do think that an individual atheist/pagan child probably won't be too corrupted by it. I'm of a mind that parents influence their offspring more than any other factor -- provided they're intelligent, fit, loving parents. Of course, I'm incredibly biased, as I didn't have to undergo the torturous traditional education system here, but all of the freak parents bred true; even growing up in an overwhelmingly Christian small town, all my Scientific Sally and Moon Mary friends (and myself) insulated ourselves in a cultural bubble and were just fine.

Heck, the Us vs. Them factor is even somewhat beneficial when those adorable little kids grow up to be angsty teenagers; if the atheist-spawn don't get to bitch about the religious right, how are they going to have any fun? ;9

Gar... thinking about our president always puts me in a foul mood. I'm going to go stick knives into things and read some James Randi.
User avatar
MissM
Grand Poobah Keenspotter
 
Posts: 592
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2000 11:00 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA, USA

 
PreviousNext

Return to Nukees

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron