Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Jul 7, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
I'll come back and listen to the video more but so far what your
saying does not appear to me to answer an objective read condition
so when i come back ill re-read also.

Im interested in measuring bone loss with ototoxic determination
without cochlea implant.

2000/2 applied to 2 sides i think still passes.

2000/1 at 1 side and 2000/2 at 1 other i think is a for sure a pass.


However maybe your topic is something different as away from wifi
40 maybe something else?

objective read giving a sign other than subjective symptom.


Jul 7, 2013 - 09:30pm PT
Déjà Vu is a curious phenomenon. In my own experience it occurs as an eery but non-threatening sense that past and present have overlapped for an interval:



Evolution has equipped us well to avoid being eaten. Not so well for pondering.

Jul 8, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
it is gone in 100,000 years or so

Where did you get this from? As of around 2005 they were
saying between 30,000 and 40,000

I know of no petrified monocot.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jul 8, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
Another great one from Dawkins, just released. Points the way, I think, to the big, big changes coming this century...


Be the change you seek in the world.


Too bad Richard Dawkins ain't a climber and fan of supertopo, he'd fit right in on this thread...

We don't understand Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Therefore Jesus had a virgin mother and Mohammed split the moon in half. It follows.

We don't know how the universe began. Therefore Jesus walked on water & every word of the Qur'an is literally true. It follows.

We don't know how life arose in primeval soup. Therefore Jesus died for our sins & anyone who draws Mohammed should be killed. It follows.

We don't know how neurological events engender consciousness. Therefore Jesus rose from dead & anyone who leaves Islam must die. It follows.

"Straw men? Fish in a barrel? A clear majority of Christians & Muslims literally believe their respective nonsense I've been ridiculing...."




Love Bill Maher!
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 9, 2013 - 10:02pm PT
The Secular Society


Published: July 8, 2013

I might as well tell you upfront that this column is a book report. Since 2007, when it was published, academics have been raving to me about Charles Taylor’s “A Secular Age.” Courses, conferences and symposia have been organized around it, but it is almost invisible outside the academic world because the text is nearly 800 pages of dense, jargon-filled prose.

As someone who tries to report on the world of ideas, I’m going to try to summarize Taylor’s description of what it feels like to live in an age like ours, without, I hope, totally butchering it.

Taylor’s investigation begins with this question: “Why was it virtually impossible not to believe in God in, say 1500, in our Western society, while in 2000 many of us find this not only easy but even inescapable?” That is, how did we move from the all encompassing sacred cosmos, to our current world in which faith is a choice, in which some people believe, others don’t and a lot are in the middle?

This story is usually told as a subtraction story. Science came into the picture, exposed the world for the way it really is and people started shedding the illusions of faith. Religious spirit gave way to scientific fact.

Taylor rejects this story. He sees secularization as, by and large, a mottled accomplishment, for both science and faith.

Advances in human understanding — not only in science but also in art, literature, manners, philosophy and, yes, theology and religious practice — give us a richer understanding of our natures. Shakespeare helped us see character in more intricate ways. An improvement in mores means we take less pleasure from bear-baiting, hanging and other forms of public cruelty. We have a greater understanding of how nature works.

These achievements did make it possible to construct a purely humanistic account of the meaningful life. It became possible for people to conceive of meaningful lives in God-free ways — as painters in the service of art, as scientists in the service of knowledge.

But, Taylor continues, these achievements also led to more morally demanding lives for everybody, believer and nonbeliever. Instead of just fitting docilely into a place in the cosmos, the good person in secular society is called upon to construct a life in the universe. She’s called on to exercise all her strength.

People are called to greater activism, to engage in more reform. Religious faith or nonfaith becomes more a matter of personal choice as part of a quest for personal development.

This shift in consciousness leads to some serious downsides. When faith is a matter of personal choice, even believers experience much more doubt. As James K.A. Smith of Comment Magazine, who was generous enough to share his superb manuscript of a book on Taylor, put it, “We don’t believe instead of doubting; we believe while doubting. We’re all Thomas now.”

Individuals don’t live embedded in tight social orders; they live in buffered worlds of private choices. Common action, Taylor writes, gives way to mutual display. Many people suffer from a malaise. They remember that many people used to feel connected to an enchanted, transcendent order, but they feel trapped in a flat landscape, with diminished dignity: Is this all there is?

But these downsides are more than made up for by the upsides. Taylor can be extremely critical of our society, but he is grateful and upbeat. We are not moving to a spiritually dead wasteland as, say, the fundamentalists imagine. Most people, he observes, are incapable of being indifferent to the transcendent realm. “The yearning for eternity is not the trivial and childish thing it is painted as,” Taylor writes.

People are now able to pursue fullness in an amazing diversity of different ways. But Taylor observes a general pattern. They tend not to want to live in a world closed off from the transcendent, reliant exclusively on the material world. We are not, Taylor suggests, sliding toward pure materialism.

We are, instead, moving toward what he calls a galloping spiritual pluralism. People in search of fullness are able to harvest the intellectual, cultural and spiritual gains of the past 500 years. Poetry and music can alert people to the realms beyond the ordinary.

Orthodox believers now live with a different tension: how to combine the masterpieces of humanism with the central mysteries of their own faiths. This pluralism can produce fragmentations and shallow options, and Taylor can eviscerate them, but, over all, this secular age beats the conformity and stultification of the age of fundamentalism, and it allows for magnificent spiritual achievement.

I’m vastly oversimplifying a rich, complex book, but what I most appreciate is his vision of a “secular” future that is both open and also contains at least pockets of spiritual rigor, and that is propelled by religious motivation, a strong and enduring piece of our nature.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 9, 2013 - 10:33pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 9, 2013 - 10:34pm PT
Credit: Dr. F.

How a Pentecostal Preacher in Small-Town Louisiana Became an Atheist Activist

AlterNet / By Greta Christina
July 4, 2013

Jerry DeWitt talks about his new book "Hope After Faith," and how he realized that religion of any kind simply doesn't add up.

Try to imagine: You're a Pentecostal preacher in small-town Louisiana. Your public reputation, your connection with the people you love, indeed your own sense of self-worth, not to mention your livelihood, are hugely dependent on your passionate faith in Christ.

You've struggled to make a reputation for yourself as a man of God, a conduit of the Holy Spirit, who can bring spiritual hope and healing to the people around you. You've struggled to balance the rigorous demands of your religious calling with the pressing practical needs of your family. You've struggled to make sense of the contradictory teachings of the Bible; of the widely divergent and often contentious sects competing for your loyalty; of the deep conflicts between your deeply held Christian doctrine and what you know, as an ethical human being, to be right.

And you're realizing that you don't believe in God. At all. Not just in Pentecostalism; not just in Christianity. You have come to realize that religion of any kind simply doesn't add up.

What do you do?

That's the story of Jerry DeWitt. It's a story you may have heard bits and pieces of: if you read his profile in the New York Times, or if you've heard about the Clergy Project, the support network for non-believing clergy members, which DeWitt has been intensely involved with since its earliest days. It's a story that paints a very different picture from the one many people have of atheists: set in the blue-collar and working-poor small-town Bible Belt, it's a story of a life driven by emotional devotion to service as much as an intellectual devotion to learning. It's a story of a deep desire to understand and serve God... battling with a deeper desire to understand and accept the truth.

It's the story told in DeWitt's new book: Hope after Faith: An Ex-Pastor's Journey from Belief to Atheism (available in print and Kindle editions). Fascinating, suspenseful, compellingly written, often heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, and always hopeful even at its darkest, the book had my head spinning. DeWitt kindly took the time to discuss the book with me, and to talk about some of its more absorbing questions and ideas.

Greta Christina: Can you briefly sum up what got you started questioning your faith? What were some of the thoughts and experiences that moved you forward out of religion and into atheism? And what was the final straw?

Jerry DeWitt: The catalyst was an investigation into the idea of Hell and Eternal Punishment. I grew up with an awareness of the Hell concept and even prayed for forgiveness before falling asleep most nights of my childhood, but it wasn't until it became my responsibility to teach this doctrine that I began to be troubled by it. Is it justifiable for a person to be painfully punished eternally for 70 years of sinful behavior? Something wasn't adding up.

After more than 25 years of ministry and misery, I found that I had completely dismantled the theological house that I had been dwelling in. Although there were countless timbers of religious thoughts that one by one were tearfully discarded, I have condensed my transition into five stages:
1.God LOVES everyone
2.God SAVES everyone
3.God is IN everyone
4.God is everyone's INTERNAL dialog
5.God is a DELUSION

more pages

is Largo stuck at stage 4.

go farther, all you need to go is one more step my friend!

GC: You write a lot about intense religious experiences you had as a believer: visions and so on. How do you see those experiences now?

JD: I understand these experiences to be natural phenomena. A simple proof that your experience is not personal to your god is the fact that other believers have the same experience with their god as well. So, is it all the same god? What if that experience can then be duplicated in a lab or with medication? It's clear to me that the human mind is capable of many types of altered states and is the source of these experiences.

GC: You talk in the book about how becoming an atheist meant realizing that it wasn't God or Jesus who had gotten you through so many difficult times, it was yourself. People often say that religion gives people strength in hard times; do you think it can also undercut their strength, or make them feel more helpless and weak than they really are?

JD: It does cause people to greatly undervalue there own abilities and self-worth.

A few weeks ago I overheard a relative of mine saying she couldn't have made it through a difficult situation without "the Lord." Uncharacteristically, I interjected that she was a very strong person and had endured her hardship with her own strength and determination. She was embarrassed by the thought of it and insisted that I was wrong.

Somewhere out there
Jul 9, 2013 - 11:56pm PT
Bluecocker - How about changing your name to TrollBlocker… Fits better.

Wow, that's a great Bill Maher vid… It pretty much says it all...

Social climber
joshua tree
Jul 10, 2013 - 02:35am PT
^^how about The BLUEGHOST?

So, is it all the same god?

nope! There are actually two for the men of this world

One goes by the name Jesus

The other is named Satan

Everyone worships One. Or the other
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 10, 2013 - 11:36am PT
Atheists do not worship anyone nor anything

There are probably only 1000 people on earth that actually are Satanists, and they are just as wrong and deluded as the Christians in my opinion
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jul 10, 2013 - 12:26pm PT
Today: Why Great Britain is losing its religion


Tomorrow: Why the world is losing its religion


Anyone enjoy Thomas Friedman, New York Times. He's written several pieces in the last week on Egypt and what's happening there. They all point, I think, to the claim that Islam everywhere has entered the throes of its own accelerated Reformation.


Food for thought: Religion... as a tool (of necessity?) - a political tool, a psychological tool, a societal tool - to appease the less fortunate among the populaces.
If true, compassionate? or cruel? If true, necessary?

Daniel Dennett...
“Religions have depended on the relative isolation and ignorance of their flocks, forever, and this is all breaking down."

Hebrews 1:3
Jul 10, 2013 - 08:48pm PT
Tomorrow: Why the world is losing its religion

...you meant why it never really had any or you are already lost without Christ!
Religion without God and Jesus is just nonsense!

Somewhere out there
Jul 10, 2013 - 09:04pm PT
There are actually two for the men of this world

One goes by the name Jesus

The other is named Satan

Everyone worships One. Or the other

 How about FailBlocker?

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jul 10, 2013 - 09:50pm PT

Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Jul 10, 2013 - 11:20pm PT
The "Pentecostal Preacher" obviously didn't know Jesus Christ. He went through all the motions, listened, studied and whatever, but was never born again. He didn't have a spiritual rebirth. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of those preachers in America. Why do you think they refer to it as a personal relationship.

"You must be born again." ~ JC

He is as real as your own relationships. Once He comes into your life, there is absolutely no doubt that He is alive, has risen, is God.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey Bay
Jul 11, 2013 - 02:21am PT

"An Unknown Force of the Universe is Acting on Dark Matter"

Today, on the 4th of July, a European team of astronomers led by Hongsheng Zhao of the SUPA Centre of Gravity at the University of St Andrews are prsenting a radical new theory at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in St Andrews. Their theory suggests that the Milky Way and Anromeda galaxies collided some 10 billion years ago and that our understanding of gravity is fundamentally wrong. Remarkably, this would neatly explain the observed structure of the two galaxies and their satellites.
Dr. Zhao is not unused to controversial theories. In 2009, he led An international team of astronomers that found an unexpected link between mysterious 'dark matter' and the visible stars and gas in galaxies that could revolutionise our current understanding of gravity. Zhao suggested that an unknown force is acting on dark matter.

Only 4% of the universe is made of known material. Stars and gas in galaxies move so fast that astronomers have speculated that the gravity from a hypothetical invisible halo of dark matter is needed to keep galaxies together. However, a solid understanding of dark matter as well as direct evidence of its existence has remained elusive.

The team believes that the interactions between dark and ordinary matter could be more important and more complex than previously thought, and even speculate that dark matter might not exist and that the anomalous motions of stars in galaxies are due to a modification of gravity on extragalactic scales.

"The dark matter seems to 'know' how the visible matter is distributed. They seem to conspire with each other such that the gravity of the visible matter at the characteristic radius of the dark halo is always the same," said Dr. Benoit Famaey (Universities of Bonn and Strasbourg). "This is extremely surprising since one would rather expect the balance between visible and dark matter to strongly depend on the individual history of each galaxy.

"The pattern that the data reveal is extremely odd. It's like finding a zoo of animals of all ages and sizes miraculously having identical, say, weight in their backbones or something. It is possible that a non-gravitational fifth force is ruling the dark matter with an invisible hand, leaving the same fingerprints on all galaxies, irrespective of their ages, shapes and sizes."

Such a force might solve an even bigger mystery, known as 'dark energy', which is ruling the accelerated expansion of the Universe. A more radical solution is a revision of the laws of gravity first developed by Isaac Newton in 1687 and refined by Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity in 1916. Einstein never fully decided whether his equation should add an omnipresent constant source, now called dark energy.

Dr Famaey added, "If we account for our observations with a modified law of gravity, it makes perfect sense to replace the effective action of hypothetical dark matter with a force closely related to the distribution of visible matter."

The implications of the new research could change some of the most widely held scientific theories about the history and expansion of the universe.

Lead researcher Dr. Gianfranco Gentile at the University of Ghent concluded, "Understanding this puzzling conspiracy is probably the key to unlock the formation of galaxies and their structures."

Journal Reference: Gianfranco Gentile, Benoit Famaey, HongSheng Zhao, Paolo Salucci. Universality of galactic surface densities within one dark halo scale-length. Nature, 2009; 461 (7264): 627 DOI: 10.1038/nature08437

The Daily Galaxy via University of St. Andrews and Physorg.com
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jul 11, 2013 - 03:22pm PT
It's true, I respect our religions of history in that they developed stories - or systems of stories - that were not only responsive but highly adaptive to their times and places. Really, how could any evolutionist, or evolution junkie, not be super impressed by their adaptation (adaptive power) to the realities of their times? which we all know were typically poor, brutish and short.

But new times call for new leadership. To reflect the new facts, new attitudes, new visions.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 11, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
The "Pentecostal Preacher" obviously didn't know Jesus Christ. He went through all the motions, listened, studied and whatever, but was never born again. He didn't have a spiritual rebirth. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of those preachers in America.

Typical response from a Christian when someone leaves the flock after becoming educated.
They weren't real Christians, otherwise they would stay deluded until Death, right?

Maybe being born again involves brain damage, and then you start paying attention to the voices in your head from the schizophrenia that has taken over your being.


Trad climber
SoCal Hodad, surfing the galactic plane
Jul 11, 2013 - 06:08pm PT
Dood, i assume you have met and known your father, mother, friends and relatives, it is no different with Christ. People may stray, but they will never deny that He exists no more than you would your family and friends. That is, if they know Him. He is real, "He has risen."! You simply don't know Him! You will some day though, meet Him face to face, whether you want to or not. Cheers!

edit: it's a waste of time talking to you people, your spiritually dead. yer choice. this thread is a total waste of time, b'cuz ya made up yer minds long ago, so sad. you will go on to yer reward. the usa is gonna be held much more accountable than S&G, because you have heard it all (the Good News) over and over, yet continue to reject it. Blublocer was wrong and Jennie was right, there are different levels of hell. your place is reserved. been there and wouldn't want anyone to spend one second there, let alone eternity. but you've evidently chose/loved the darkness instead of the light. so be it.

Social climber
An Oil Field
Jul 11, 2013 - 07:21pm PT
The Heaven vs. Hell choice is an awful reason to believe in God. It is like you are just covering the bases.

As for being born again, there are many Christian sects that do not do this. Most of the protestant religions don't mention it, but from my experience, when I went to a Baptist church, they made a big deal about it and I was shuffled up to be saved. So I've been saved and baptized.

Is that good enough?

A god that sends good people to hell simply because they don't believe in the Christian God sounds like an artifice of man. Do you think Ghandi is burning in hell? What about Jews, Mormons, and Muslims, who all pray to the same Abrahamic God that a fundamentalist Christian does?

When I was very young, I bought it. When I learned to think independently, nobody could answer my questions without using the catch phrase, "God acts in mysterious ways..."

JC seemed like pure good. How could they send people to hell? It is like being on a jury and only a very few beat the hangman.

If there were a God, and he was all knowing, he would know whether you would burn or not, before you were born.

Telling Dr. F that he is going to burn is a little out of your area. I think that those decisions would be the property of your God.
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