Politics, God and Religion vs. Science

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Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 11, 2013 - 11:39am PT
Those with faith call science a delusion
Which is why they are deluded.
Science is open to new evidence. Religion isn't.
Science works miracles. Religion doesn't.
Science prefers to stay out of politics. Religion doesn't.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 11, 2013 - 11:45am PT
Perhaps it is time for a little levity:


POPE CANDIDATE AXED OVER TRASHY FACEBOOK PHOTOS
Posted by Andy Borowitz



VATICAN CITY (The Borowitz Report)—The brave new world of social media torpedoed the chances of a leading papal candidate today, as a Dutch cardinal struggled to explain newly surfaced Facebook photos showing him on a 2007 spring-break romp in Tampa.

Cardinal Bonifacius Steuer had been on the shortlist to replace Benedict XVI as Pope, but his fellow cardinals abandoned him after the startling emergence of the photos, which chronicle Steuer on a seventy-two-hour nonstop-party rampage in Florida.

In the Facebook photo album, which Cardinal Steuer labeled “Tampa Phun,” the Dutchman appears at a dizzying array of frat parties and strip clubs, throwing gang signs at the camera and steadily drinking from two Old Milwaukees mounted on a beer hat.

Tracy Klugian, a job-placement specialist who helps papal candidates navigate the labyrinthine Pope-selection process, says that Cardinal Steuer’s downfall should serve as a cautionary tale to all Pope candidates who are active on social media.

“If you’re serious about becoming Pope, look at every single photo you’ve posted on Facebook and Instagram,” Mr. Klugian says. “If there’s someone on your arm who makes you look fallible, crop them out.”

While Mr. Klugian believes that the cardinals’ decision to blackball Steuer was a little harsh, he says that “at the end of the day, they couldn’t live with pictures out there of a Pope in a funny hat.”

MH2

climber
Mar 11, 2013 - 01:45pm PT
this whole discussion is predicated on the idea that "I'm right. You're wrong"


That sounds almost respectable. I thought we were in the playground kicking sand in each other's faces.
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 11, 2013 - 03:13pm PT
When the major players are capable of showing some moral fiber which will start with a true humble embrace of science, a repudiation of male social domination, An understanding of human sexuality that is humane and healthy and an ability to put thier neck in a noose against tyranny like jesus would do then you would have a case.

Noble sentiments. Since religion has failed so miserbly perhaps you could name another human institution which lives up to these ideals better? Political parties, national governments, the United Nations? Corporations? Multinational companies? Or perhaps world capitalism or fascism, or communism? Big banks, Wall Street, the international monetary fund? Organized atheists?


If the religious really gave a rats ass about our life on this world their top dogs would be waging a holy jihad right now about our prospects with global warming and the likelyhood that the next generation of the meek are not going to be inheriting nothing other than a stomped head. But of course that would require that they actually defer to a higher authority in the matter.... science.

As one of the world's top major polluters and 25% of humanity, do you really think the atheistic Chinese are continuing to pollute and resist ideas about global warming for religious reasons or perhaps for nationalism and economic development instead? And what about the Indians, who are 20% of humankind. Do you think it is religion or poverty based on colonialism, nationalistic socialism, and now capitalism, that causes them to have other problems they deem more important?

Or perhaps we could make another sweeping generalization and just say that all the problems you mention are the fault of human beings who are remarkably irrational and short sighted for a multitude of reasons, religion being just one of them?

Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 11, 2013 - 06:49pm PT
Or perhaps we could make another sweeping generalization and just say that all the problems you mention are the fault of human beings who are remarkably irrational and short sighted for a multitude of reasons, religion being just one of them?

I'm glad to see you use the term "we" here. I admit to a broad sweeping generalization but it is only in response to your own. I'm not sure exactly how you equate ( if in fact you are) my own secular tendencies with that of China (or India?!?) but why not throw Russia in there too? Aren't they a bunch of godless..... no wait a sec - they used to be, now they are back pounding bibles. Could it be that human oppression is a result of authoritarianism, god inspired or otherwise?

Look, there's something I have ask you. I've noticed that you seem to have a rather strong predisposition to defend organized faith against challenge on pretty much all counts. Why exactly is that? I have to admit that when i first clued in to the fact that you were an anthropologist I assumed that you would present a fairly objective perspective. I for one agree that up to this point in the history of civilization that religion has played a dominant and predominantly positive role in developing guiding moral principles. Yet you also seem to subscribe whatever flaws we now possess to our inherent basic "short sighted and irrational" nature which apparently is not manifest or exploited to full advantage by various religious power structures. In other words, criticism should only be leveled at the human and not the religion.

Fair enough, but as a scientist I would assume that you test and confirm all theory, including religious. I suggest that when put to the test much religious dogma does not pass the morality test on some very key elements some of which I stated. We know this through evidence arrived at through the practice of science as well as basic observation readily available to anyone capable of objectivity.

Are you yourself a person of faith? If so would you think that could prejudice your ability to critically analyze and judge? Even if this is not the case for you what do you think of those Cornwall Alliance people? Would you think that their faith and in particular their dogma puts them at odds with their ability to conduct their professions as scientists?


Noble sentiments. Since religion has failed so miserbly....

I'd just like to qualify my position once again. Religion hasn't failed so much as is currently failing. As a leader in moral guidance it is right at this moment blowing it big time. It deserves a large wet fish splat in the face and maybe also a few swift kicks to the nuts. What it needs is a little humility. I could give a flying fuk as to whether god exists or not what I need is for the various institutions to show a little moral leadership here on this world right now. If they can't do it then don't give us this holier than thou stuff.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 11, 2013 - 08:04pm PT
Noah did not have to go out and find the animals. God brought each one. This probably included a young pair of each main type of dinosaur. Perhaps God just included the basic types of dinosaurs He first created; not every variety that had developed since Creation. Young dinosaurs would be small and easier to care for and would use less food. It would have been foolish to fill up space on the Ark with the oldest, biggest adults.
http://www.christiananswers.net/dinosaurs/j-ark1b.html

How do I tell if a religious person is batshit crazy or just slightly crazy?
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Mar 11, 2013 - 08:27pm PT
I just returned after taking my bud to a hospital. I had to wait around several hours, and there was a well stocked bookshelf.

I pulled down an organic chemistry book and then we moved him down a floor.

I nabbed a bible and finally read Leviticus. That is the book where man on man love is an abomination. I don't think it said anything about woman on woman love, and it has a whole bunch of rules specifically about men and women, so I don't think it is an oversight.

So why aren't you guys slaughtering your sheep and giving burnt offerings? There was another part about planting fruit and not eating it for the first three years. The third year was for God and the 4th onwards it was OK to eat.

It also says that if you follow the rules your enemy will fall before your sword. So forget about that saying about those who live by the sword die before the sword.

There are so many abominations in that book (which is very short and doesn't take long to read), and it is so interesting, that everyone should go online and read it right now.

There are a whole lot of weird rules to follow. If you fail, bad things can happen to you.

It reinforced my belief that the Bible is strange.

It is true that you can't prove a negative, but you can be pretty damn sure that if you let go, you will fall. I can't prove that monkeys will never fly out of my butt, but I don't base my entire life on that possibility.

Go read Leviticus online. It is a hoot. You can't mix Linen with Wool.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 11, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p3.htm

The pope says that Jehovah & Allah are the same being.

So why write both the Bible and the Quran?
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Mar 11, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
According to Islam, it's the same religion, and Christianity and Judiasm are earlier forms of Islam. They recognize the Bible the same way the Christians recognize the Old Testiment of the Bible, and refer to all three as holy books. Islam arose around 800 AD long after the other two.

I'm not motivated to read Leviticus right at the moment, but I've read the Koran and its full of rules like that. Like the thing about not harvesting fruit for the first 3 years, that seem to have nothing to do with morality. I've read a number of books on Islamic law, and that's fascinating. They use the same legal reasoning western lawyers do, except they are citing back to things Mohammed said. It's very much of a "legalistic" religion and I think most Muslims would agree with that characterization. If a moral dilemma arises, they have a way to calculate what the answer is, by weighing different concepts that have a hierarchy of authority. In fact they believe that all questions of this type were solved around 1300 AD, when the so-called 'gates of ijtihad' were closed. At that time, all questions were answered, and the religion became frozen in time.
WBraun

climber
Mar 11, 2013 - 09:49pm PT
Bruce K to Jan -- " I've noticed that you seem to have a rather strong predisposition to defend organized faith against challenge on pretty much all counts."

No she doesn't.

You're projecting again.

She defends against stupid sh!t people say here that's absolutely not true.

You have a terrible grasp of the subject matter as a whole.

You make so many broad generalizations that most of them are just plain stupid and ridiculous.

That woman is sharp and unfortunately you are terribly dull.

One of the dullest tools in the shed along with the dog .....
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 11, 2013 - 11:12pm PT
Comparison of Religious Beliefs
photo not found
Missing photo ID#293764
http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/comparison_charts/islam_judaism_christianity.htm

Same god, different names, different beliefs.
These discrepancies put the lie to divine inspiration.
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Mar 11, 2013 - 11:28pm PT
Mar 11, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
I just returned after taking my bud to a hospital. I had to wait around several hours, and there was a well stocked bookshelf.

I pulled down an organic chemistry book and then we moved him down a floor.

I nabbed a bible and finally read Leviticus. That is the book where man on man love is an abomination. I don't think it said anything about woman on woman love, and it has a whole bunch of rules specifically about men and women, so I don't think it is an oversight.

So why aren't you guys slaughtering your sheep and giving burnt offerings? There was another part about planting fruit and not eating it for the first three years. The third year was for God and the 4th onwards it was OK to eat.

It also says that if you follow the rules your enemy will fall before your sword. So forget about that saying about those who live by the sword die before the sword.

There are so many abominations in that book (which is very short and doesn't take long to read), and it is so interesting, that everyone should go online and read it right now.

There are a whole lot of weird rules to follow. If you fail, bad things can happen to you.

It reinforced my belief that the Bible is strange.

It is true that you can't prove a negative, but you can be pretty damn sure that if you let go, you will fall. I can't prove that monkeys will never fly out of my butt, but I don't base my entire life on that possibility.

Go read Leviticus online. It is a hoot. You can't mix Linen with Wool.

Base,

I'll assume you really want to know, but me thinks you really want to poke fun.

G-d had to call a people out of all the people of the world to be separate, chosen, consecrated. The Law, Torah, instruction was meant to be a task master, a school master, to change the people from lawless and vile heathens to G-d's chosen. These rules, law, and very specific instruction are meant for The Children of Israel, the Hebrews, the Jews. No one else.

Yes, the world is responsible for Noahic Law and the 10 Commandments but not the full 613 Laws of Judaism.

Even in the Torah, the Tenach, the Old Covenant G- d says these are types and shadows of a better way, a new way that was to come.

That way was fulfilled in Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus The Christ. He is the ultimate and last sacrificial Lamb of G-d to take away the sins of the World. No more sacrifice for sins is now necessary. You can't do better than Yeshua, the sinless Lamb of G-d.

Talk to a Messianic Rabbi. They know like no one else knows. They know Judaism and they know Christianity. They know Yeshua is the promised Messiah. Not a new religion, just that Messiah is come and we now have perfect forgiveness of sin and salvation. Messianic Judaism. Yeshua did not come to start a new religion, he came to fulfill all the prophecies in Torah and the Tenach regarding the Messiah, and he did. We are under the law but we are no longer under the curse of the Law, which is the punishment of death for breaking The Torah. We now have forgiveness. But without forgiveness we are worthy of death.

The word of G-d is a mystery to those who don't know Yeshua HaMashiach, and the Father, HaShem Adonai Elohim.

YHVH and Allah are not the same. One brought forth salvation for the World through his Son and our Lord and savior Yeshua HaMashiach, the other brought forth death and destruction and hate through his prophet. The messages are absolutely contrary to one another.

There is only one G-D, YHVH, but there are many lesser gods who distract and lead away men and women from the truth. They also want to be worshipped. Look at Yeshua's 40 days in the wilderness class 3/class 4ing it. Who wanted him to bow down and worship him even though he knew he was the Son of G-d humbled as a man here on Earth who made all creation? By the way, this evil one he loves to mimic G-d in all his ways and he tries to set-up alternative faiths and practices that lead people from the truth. He is the Father of Lies and there is no truth in him.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 11, 2013 - 11:37pm PT
Love and kisses to you too Werner!

You are something. I can just imagine getting a christmas card from you.

I haven't been to the valley in about twenty years. I'll have to look you up and see if you're for real.
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Mar 11, 2013 - 11:39pm PT
a comparison of 43 religions, all different:
http://www.religionfacts.com/big_religion_chart.htm

Why are they all different?
Because they are all mental speculation.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Mar 12, 2013 - 02:24am PT
Fair enough, but as a scientist I would assume that you test and confirm all theory, including religious.


The tricky part here is that in the legitimate spiritual adventures, the testing is not so much about "theory," seeming that most have little to no content or beliefs in the normal sense of the word, so the testing is really aimed toward the approach. How do you go about making any headway in this slippery realm? How do you make the realm work for you?

The part that throws this group the most is the facile fact that trying to reason your way to proofs, info or data is to guarantee no progress at all. This has been proven countless times but it's like invading Afghanistan - it matters little that everyone so far has failed or gotten their asses handed to them, this time we'll do it right and sort things out once and for all. The idea that another approach has proven to work matters little if fealty to a doomed angle persists at all costs. Old dogs, and all that.

JL
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 12, 2013 - 03:41am PT
Some good news
Young child apparently cured of HIV infection.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130304123544.htm
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Mar 12, 2013 - 05:10am PT
Paul-

I've answered your questions in the past as you are not the first person to wonder how somebody committed to social science could defend religion. Part of the confusion is that anthropology is different from other social sciences. We teach objectivity in collecting and analyzing data but we are also cultural interpreters who do our best to convey different cultures' viewpoints from their own internal logic.

We accept all cultures as equals and very rarely pass judgement. One of the few times I went against this was in a Hindu village where people were smearing fresh sacred cow dung on the umbilical cords of new born babies giving a significant portion of them fatal cases of tetanus. I made the value judgement that a baby's life was more important than a religious belief. I did not tell them their belief was wrong, I investigated substitutes and made recommendations accordingly to my aid project. When the choice was a white cream that smelled good provided free by the project or cow dung, and the villagers themselves could see that babies with cream did not get tetanus, they drew their own conclusions and switched over.

I believe the same thing will happen with most of the religious beliefs you object to, given the right attitude and the passing of time. If the history of religion has taught us anything, it is that persecution prolongs religious belief and identity (Jews and Quakers being good examples) while tolerance creates different beliefs and behaviors (assimilation and disappearance is now the problem for Jews and Quakers in America). I believe that this new brand of in your face atheism will only prolong most people's adherence to traditional forms just as persecution prolonged the separateness of other religious groups.

I teach evolution to amazingly diverse classes of students who are usually the first in their families to go to college. I never argue religious dogma with them. I tell them that they are going to hear the scientific evidence and they have the personal obligation as modern educated people to integrate it with their own personal views. I point out that we are all searching for new paradigms and that it doesn't take much open mindedness to find ways to do this and give them a few examples. After that we get back to the science. I firmly believe in teaching as a subversive profession but subversion must be subtle to be successful.

Other than being an anthropologist I am a teacher and good teachers, college professors in particular, make people think in new ways and more deeply about complex issues. You can be assured if I taught at a religious institution, I would be asking provocative subversive questions about religion. And there are many religious institutions I would not teach at because certain forms of religion are too closed minded to make any headway. One of the ministers of a local fundamentalist church off base in Okinawa has told his parishioners that whatever they do, they should not take my courses because "she will challenge everything you believe". I think that's great compliment. I'm even more pleased that several of his congregants have taken courses from me just to see what all the fuss was about.

Since Base 104 brought up Leviticus I would mention that anthropology has discovered on numerous occasions, that many seemingly irrational beliefs in fact have deep ecological support which are not necessarily obvious. That includes the taboos in the Old Testament and their equivalents in Africa and Asia.

And finally, I argue the merits of religion on this thread because I think there are many, and because I often defend the underdog whatever the battle. This thread is so lopsided in its condemnation of religion, not helped by the few fundamentalists who contribute, that someone needs to defend the more moderate forms of religion which are in the majority. I particularly object to secularists selecting the most ignorant and bigoted examples of religion they can find and then trying to uphold that as representative of the whole.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Mar 12, 2013 - 08:19am PT
Largo: ...legitimate spiritual adventures...

Love the language.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Mar 12, 2013 - 11:25am PT
I believe the same thing will happen with most of the religious beliefs you object to, given the right attitude and the passing of time. If the history of religion has taught us anything, it is that persecution prolongs religious belief and identity (Jews and Quakers being good examples) while tolerance creates different beliefs and behaviors

Thanks for that . It explains much and it makes a lot of sense. The "passing of time" is certainly and integral part of cultural change and I agree (If I'm right that you have suggested previous) that the foisting of western values, well meaning as they might be, may be best left to the passage of time and example.

Here in north america however we have already had a passage of time and the right attitudes suck. My example of Climate change and a science informed response to it has been delayed and resisted for a period of time that we cannot afford for the sake of soothing simple minds. I can't speak to what is going on in china on the matter but i'd love to hear from someone who can. Here much of the blame for intransigence and backwardness on climate change action can be laid squarely on the christian community, either through their direct action or meek acquiescence to the dumb bullies in their tribe. In North America, as in most of the westernized developed world there is no excuse for driving policy by denying science, reason and evidence and time is up.

The same goes for other issues. What we didn't know 50 years ago we do know now. That also goes for the devout unless they have had their heads in the sand the whole time. Those who don't are - for lack of a better word - picking the wrong side. Maybe they should be asking "what would Jesus do?" rather than "what does my jack ass Preacher say?"


Getting back to conflicting presures on your (or others) profession - I appreciate your explanation of your approach and position. Of all the sciences yours must be among the trickiest in terms of cultural respect, trust and objectivity and I suspect you have had success with it, which speaks volumes. Anyway for the sake of simplicity lets get back to my example of the Cormwall alliance people. What is your take on how they integrate and / or compromise their cultural and professional ethics? Is it even possible to be a scientist when much of what you understand is predetermined?
WBraun

climber
Mar 12, 2013 - 11:30am PT
Largo -- "The part that throws this group the most is the facile fact that trying to reason your way to proofs, info or data is to guarantee no progress at all."

I've been say all along they're using the wrong "tools" for the job.

Thus in their light of trying to claim their "advanced" they're actually cave men.

This pisses em off for sure because they don't understand that external material tools can't see "spirit".

They're stuck ultimately "believing" that spirit and material is one and the same period.

It's not and is about the same as believing the earth is flat.

Thus they're in "cave man" consciousness.

It's simultaneously one and different, not simultaneously the same as the material theory that life come s from matter.

This is the root of the defect.


Of course they're explicit in the theory that "simultaneously one and different" is not true.

As: ... there is no soul and no God period, life comes from matter.

But life comes from life ........
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