Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 27, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
Bruce, if you're interested in "free" will, you should start a thread similar to eeyonkee's re: evolution. Interesting topics on "free will". As it's been a life long interest of mine, I for one would certainly contribute once in awhile. A good start would be the article you referenced by Kay. It's a perfect example response, I think, from a (religiously) conservative "low-information" non-science type that illustrates what the science progressive "movement" is up against in trying to move forward.

Also enjoyed your edu link to Finland, btw, and the difficulties we'd have in trying to emulate their system. Keep up the worthy posts!

"I believe I am more likely to live a meaningful life if I take the existence [of free will or God] – in some vague, unspoken form, at least – on faith."
Jonathan Kay

The crux of the biscuit - right there.
climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jan 28, 2013 - 12:13am PT
Would any dedicated athiest argue that these things are real

Love

Pain

Honor

Joy

Hope

Consciousness

The individual experience of this is the still without any scientific explanation worthy of the word science.
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 28, 2013 - 03:27am PT
So one of the most interesting aspects of this thread is not that someone here has all the right understandings of reality, while everyone else strays from truth to some degree.

But rather there are such wide varieties of differing understandings among people who are all of the same species living on the same small planet and speaking a common language over a collection of a zillion types of computers all networked together so that this kind of conversation can occur. And this particular conversation provides only a glimmer of some of the many currently living belief systems.

And we don't have more than a few recent glimpses of how our immediate predecessors may have viewed the world, with the real history going back at least hundreds of thousands of years.

And the evidence bearing against the wisdom of our current levels of social and intellectual development run wide and deep.

So I think this all weighs towards a conclusion that we don't know much, and anyone stridently claiming otherwise is just speculating...

At best it is possible that some here have viewpoints that are slightly closer to truth, but certainly nothing to brag about.

We are like little pollywogs in a swamp, speculating on the relationship between fireflies and stars.

.
briar

Big Wall climber
San Rafael, CA
Jan 28, 2013 - 03:49am PT
Credit: briar

Well thats about all I think about the issue.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 28, 2013 - 03:51am PT
Thanks Tom!

I think that is the conclusion I've come to as well after reading thousands of posts on this and similar threads. Once this is acknowledged, then we are free to ask ourselves questions like what of the teeny tiny bit of information available to us, we would like to focus on - science, social science, art, history etc. and also what do we need to think or do in order to live a happy life and not cause any one else harm (a much harder question).

We might even progress to asking what we could do for others that would make them happier and not cause any harm. We might then proceed to ask if we are doing something in our lives that causes harm to ourselves or others, whether an addiction of some kind, a too rigid and judgmental view of the world, or through overt selfishness, thoughtless selfishness, or possibly unperceived selfishness, especially in relation to the human future and the future of other living things on our planet.

We might even ask ourselves if participating in a religion or certain religious rites might not make us happier even if we don't believe in all the traditional explanations.
MH2

climber
Jan 28, 2013 - 12:17pm PT
computers all networked together so that this kind of conversation can occur


A pollywog in the Ukraine saw a firefly/star predation event and communicated it to marine scientists in Victoria, BC.


http://www.neptunecanada.ca/news/news-details.dot?id=37058
WBraun

climber
Jan 28, 2013 - 12:37pm PT
So I think this all weighs towards a conclusion that we don't know much, and anyone stridently claiming otherwise is just speculating...

Your whole statement is made as a speculation and guess from your own experience and projected as truth to the whole.

That my friend is a fatal mistake .......
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Jan 28, 2013 - 01:03pm PT
What is with this jihad against speculation in the first place?

spec·u·la·tion (spky-lshn)
n.

1.
a. Contemplation or consideration of a subject; meditation.
b. A conclusion, opinion, or theory reached by conjecture.
c. Reasoning based on inconclusive evidence; conjecture or supposition.

2.
a. Engagement in risky business transactions on the chance of quick or considerable profit.
b. A commercial or financial transaction involving speculation.


Do you not engage in "Contemplation or consideration of a subject; meditation" ?

Is it a process inferior to any other simply by definition? Speculation is like intuition. A very useful tool of judgement, but fraught with peril if not ultimately confirmed with evidence.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 28, 2013 - 01:10pm PT
Perhaps all we need do is to sh#t can our need to feel better?


Or try to place the main factors under your own control. Plant yams for a start. How about some trees?

Or grow cactus
My hybrid from seed, it's one of a kind
Credit: Dr. F.
MH2

climber
Jan 28, 2013 - 02:07pm PT
Good one Dr. F. Cacti make me feel better.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 28, 2013 - 02:18pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 28, 2013 - 03:17pm PT
A gift for jstan...

http://bit.ly/9POwGW
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jan 28, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
God's gift for all us sinners...
photo not found
Missing photo ID#286955
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 28, 2013 - 06:46pm PT
thanks, Jan

Your whole statement is made as a speculation and guess from your own experience and projected as truth to the whole.

That my friend is a fatal mistake ....... Werner Braun

Yes indeed, Sir Braun...and thus the intention of my overall statement, i.e. the speculation, not the projection...

And based on my conservative evaluation of your climbing accomplishments vs my own, I am thoroughly prepared to believe that you have a superior understanding of such things...

At best it is possible that some here have viewpoints that are slightly closer to truth

on the other hand, I am still alive, in contrast to the predictions of most people who know me well...



hmmm...and so are you...
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 28, 2013 - 07:00pm PT
High Fructose Corn Spirit
Jan 28, 2013 - 12:17pm PT

A gift for jstan...

http://bit.ly/9POwGW



i still have one of those on my desk... and still use it sometimes...
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Jan 28, 2013 - 07:19pm PT
Go-B, why is having a son then letting him get killed then having him come back to life then having him go to heaven a gift?

I mean, he was the son of God. A few minutes of mortal pain was about all he dealt with. He was sure that there was a heaven and got there. He would have been happy to avoid the human crap. If he wanted more, he was the son of God and probably could have managed to show up again at any time.

The teachings of Jesus might be considered a gift but all of the death/life/death crap is not a gift at all. He sacrificed nothing.

Now maybe if Jesus gave up being the son of God and gave up heaven to somehow help us poor mortals, that would be a sacrifice.

You really should question this stuff a bit more. If you have the same opinions after some very critical thinking on the subject then that is great.

Dave
TomCochrane

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:37am PT
You really should question this stuff a bit more. If you have the same opinions after some very critical thinking on the subject then that is great.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine they lay down for the night, and went to sleep.

Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend awake. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?” Holmes questioned.

Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?”

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. “Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent.“
go-B

climber
Hebrews 1:3
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:55am PT
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Romans 3: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

1 John 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

...Jesus did for us what we could not do, make us right with God
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 29, 2013 - 11:58am PT
As evidence that the Bible can be interpeted anyway you want
and how common it is to think that God is on your side, no matter what your cause is, read below.

Conservative Author And Lawyer Claims He Gets His Gun Rights From The Bible
2013/01/28

By Rika Christensen
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/28/conservative-author-and-lawyer-claims-he-gets-his-gun-rights-from-the-bible/

An article published in The National Review asserts that any government-imposed limitation on gun ownership–such as banning assault weapons–denies both a natural right and a God-given right to self-defense. Author David French argues that God requires the “ultimate penalty” for unlawful killing (with an exemption for protecting one’s home), and for defense against invasion (citing the Book of Esther, in which the Jews come against invaders to protect themselves). French even invokes the writings of English philosopher John Locke–”widely known as the Father of Classical Liberalism”–as justification for unfettered gun ownership.

Aside from French’s insistence on making Biblical justifications for blocking attempts at regulating guns, and despite the fact that this nation is not a Christian nation, he basically says that self-defense is both a “natural” and “biblical” right, and includes the right for anyone to own any and every type of gun without any impediment to purchase.

What is a “natural right,” though? The basic definition is “any right that exists by virtue of natural law.” According to The Constitutional Rights Foundation, Thomas Jefferson used John Locke’s definition of “natural rights” as being “life, liberty, and property.” In dealing with “life,” Locke believed that people had the right to life and the right to preserve that life, which can easily be interpreted to include self-defense. When it comes to property, Locke was referring to goods that could be bought, sold, given away, taken away under certain circumstances, and ownership of self including a right to well being. Jefferson substituted Locke’s “property” with “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence, which Locke and others believed was freedom of opportunity combined with a duty to help one’s fellow man. Liberty, however, was widely defined as an individual’s freedom to make their own choices and live their own lives as they saw fit, so long as they did not interfere with the liberty of others. Since Jefferson and other Framers based much of their own philosophies on that of John Locke and others of the Enlightenment period, “natural rights” as defined by American law and history are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Constitutional Rights Foundation, however, uses “natural rights” interchangeably with “God-given rights.” Natural law and divine law, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s page on Locke, are two different things. Natural law is that which is discovered through reason alone and applies to everyone; divine law is that which can only be discovered through sacred writings (the Christian Bible, for instance), and only applies to the people that a particular god (or gods) determines they apply to. Given that natural rights exist by virtue of natural law, there is a difference between “natural rights,” and “God-given rights,” though Locke did not see an issue with God playing a part as long as the relevant aspects being discussed could be found through reason alone, and not through Scripture.

Notably, French cites Scripture liberally in order to make his point.

Furthermore, as pointed out by ThinkProgress author Zack Beauchamp, David French grossly misinterprets some of Locke’s statements. Locke believed in a contract between people and its government, and–according to a reference in Beauchamp’s article–believes that in order to live in a political society, the people have to give up their natural right to punishment of criminal behavior to the government and allow said government to arbitrate and settle grievances. French clearly does not agree with Locke on this point, but quotes him anyway.

What French does not make clear in either the National Review article–or in his Patheos blog post about God and gun rights–is just what self-defense means and what is necessary to protect oneself and one’s family. He explains that lethal force is justified in self-defense, but never actually explains why the ownership of certain types of weapons is a necessary part of this right. If a burglar breaks into your house and threatens you and your family, the bullet from a single- or double-action pistol, or a bolt-action rifle, is just as lethal as the bullet from any number of assault weapons, provided you actually know exactly how to handle and fire them.

In other words, despite everything he says, he fails to make his case, biblical or otherwise, against an assault weapons ban or other types of common-sense regulation.

By bringing the Bible and “God’s will” into the gun control issue, French and others attempt to blur the line of separation between the church and the state, and to obfuscate the intent of the Founding Fathers who based their contributions to the Constitution on the writings of John Locke and others from the period of Enlightenment, and (unlike French) actually understood what Locke wrote.

rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Jan 29, 2013 - 12:53pm PT
Jesus did for us what we could not do, make us right with God.

Saying that he did it because the bible says he did it just begs the question.
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