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[P]
(Christianity vs. Islam) vs. (Fundamentalism vs. Rationality)

By Shimmer in Science
Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:04:40 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

New Scientist is a publication out of the UK that has an interesting take on current events here in the US and around the world. The Oct. 8-14 issue has a special report on religious fundamentalism -- a topic that they admit is outside their normal purview. Their coverage is quite clear-eyed, and I believe their motivation borders on panic at what they see happening across the pond in the US. As they put it, "the irony of a science magazine reporting on a movement that would ultimately destroy science has not been lost on us". Know thy enemy, right?

(Subscription required to read the articles online. Or you can just read the paper edition like I did.)


In "End of the Enlightenment", they make a point that is both obvious (once you hear it) and profound: Islamic and Christian fundamentalism, which are "often portrayed as being on opposite sides in a 'cosmic struggle' of good against evil," are actually two sides of the same coin. Both are threatened by modernity, especially in the form of secular humanism. The myriad successes of rationalism over the past several hundred years have resulted in a surprising backlash. "Almost everywhere you look -- with the possible exception of western Europe -- fundamentalist religions are on the march." These religions foster an Us-against-Them mentality that we see playing itself out every day in the news.

For anyone trying to resist terrorism-induced paranoia, the reformulation of the struggle as one between Fundamentalism and Rationality, rather than between Christianity and Islam, is extremely refreshing. Just as the red ant colony wants to kill the black ant colony (and vice versa), there is no doubt that fundamentalist Muslims would gladly kill millions of us in the West and fundamentalist Christians would happily "invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity". But does that mean that everyone has to be a solidier ant? Is it true, as President Bush has said, that "you are either with us or against us"?

While we are distracted and terrified by the war, the fundamentalists are busy undermining the pillars of secular society. As New Scientist bluntly says in "Enemy at the gates", "their aim is to destroy science" via a wedge strategy that starts with an attack on Darwinian evolution in the form of the "theory" of Intelligent Design. Every scientific theory that touches on man's place in the universe will likely be attacked: the Big Bang, the age of the Earth, etc. Anything that contradicts Holy Writ is blasphemy to fundamentalists. In the end, they seek nothing less that the complete overthrow of the "materialist worldview" that is the very basis of modern civilzation.

The West must eliminate al Qaeda and other violent extremists. But in doing so, we must be careful not to succor Christian extremists who would reshape the world just as radically. In America, we've recently seen that being a born-again Christian is an important qualification for nomination to the Supreme Court. A Bush aide dismisses the "reality-based community". A General says "George Bush was not elected by a majority of voters in the United States. He was appointed by God."

Our way of life is under attack, but not just by terrorists.

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o New Scientist
o Oct. 8-14 issue
o "End of the Enlightenment"
o secular humanism
o "invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity"
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o "Enemy at the gates"
o wedge strategy
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(Christianity vs. Islam) vs. (Fundamentalism vs. Rationality) | 332 comments (317 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
As one who is supposedly attacking science (1.47 / 19) (#1)
by SaintPort on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 04:54:59 AM EST

I'd just like to say that...

I do not fear science. It does not threaten my life or belief system.

However, I will argue against 'scientists' who evangelize faith in unproven theories that become a philosophy or a type of religion. Once you can show me how life can come from non-life and how one species mutates into another self-sustaining higher order species, then your evolutionary theory is science. Until then, let us just teach that mutations occur as they are observed.

In other words, if Evolutionists don't teach that men evolved from apes, then Creationists won't be in such a frenzy to insert the Intelligent Designer.

And, just because we have the technology to 'do something' does not mean we will use the proper wisdom in its use. Beware forgetting the sanctity of life.

It is sad how all sides in these culture wars are given to such polarizing propaganda.  This particular piece is as paranoid and ridiculus as the most backword of snake-handling xian sermons.

Please get a grip.

 

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

I also demand to be shown (3.00 / 10) (#2)
by bml on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:07:27 AM EST

how mountain chains are supposedly formed by slow moving tectonic plates.

Oh, so you can't show me because it takes millions of years, eh? How convenient for your cooky little unproven theory!

I wish geologists stopped trying to push their silly propaganda in public schools.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]

uhm (3.00 / 3) (#3)
by tkatchevzombie on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:10:27 AM EST

want me to buy you a tape measure? since you seem to have problems figuring this out on your own?

[ Parent ]
It's happening alright (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by gordonjcp on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:04:09 AM EST

India is moving north at about 5cm per year. It's almost fast enough to see it happening.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
I never said (3.00 / 5) (#7)
by bml on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:16:26 AM EST

Tectonic plates are not moving. I think they do, and earthquakes and the such are probably the result.

But more complex structures like mountain chains can't emerge from random plate movements. It's pretty obvious that there is an intelligent designer behind them.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]

As a geologist... (3.00 / 10) (#11)
by ajduk on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 09:45:44 AM EST

I have to say you are completely correct. Sure, we may have observed India move a few meters.. 'Microplatetectonics' but that's hardly proof of 'Macroplatetectonics'!

Actually, when we started our degrees course, we were taken into the secret SATANIC temple beneath the university chapel (At midnight, of course) and made to sign - in the BLOOD of any christians present - a statement saying that we would spread all the LIES of Satanic Geology (Fossils(*), Dating(**), Denying the Flood(***), the Geological Column(****), Metamorphic Rocks(*****), et. al(******)). Anyone who refused was BURNT at the STAKE; and we were all SWORN on PAIN OF LOTS OF PAIN never to mention this to ARRRGH SPLAT HACK HACK OH NO NOT THE HOOK OH MY ENTRAILS THAT STINGS

  • (*) Made by Satan, apparently.
  • (**) Lots of demons adjusting the isotope ratios.
  • (***) Well, how do you THINK that the ark got onto mount Arafat?
  • (****) Demons again, apparently.
  • (*****) A result of too many blasphemers in the same place all getting struck down at once. It gets covered up, of course.
  • (******) Yep, it's those naughty demons. They get everywhere, you know. Especially the invisible ones, they're the worst.


[ Parent ]
Amen!! $ (none / 0) (#12)
by bml on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 09:58:14 AM EST



The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]
"Macroplatetectonics" - I love it$ (none / 0) (#15)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:53:14 AM EST



Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
we may be able to find a reason (none / 1) (#100)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:35:14 AM EST

to duel if Little Susie comes home from school and says, "Momma, my geologist teacher says platetectonics proves there is no God, so I don't have to clean my room!"

If your take on science does not complicate the lives of people, you won't have to fight ignorance.

I would say that geology has handled itself well to date.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Evolution doesn't prove the nonexistance of God (3.00 / 2) (#115)
by spasticfraggle on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:00:13 PM EST

Nothing does, and I've never heard anyone who wasn't a wacko loon suggest otherwise. You utter utter dimtard.

--
I'm the straw that broke the camel's back!
[ Parent ]
wackos loons are plentiful (none / 1) (#125)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 01:05:31 PM EST

Utter utter dimtard, though I am, I agree with you.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
Proof (none / 1) (#241)
by Ward57 on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:19:43 AM EST

is an interesting question.

[ Parent ]
Nonsense (3.00 / 3) (#13)
by Viliam Bur on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:18:20 AM EST

5cm per year... this would require more than 100.000 years to make a Mt. Everest. And everyone knows that the Earth was created only 6.000 years ago. Well, unless you science-believers have another incredible story to "explain" this, too.

Isn't it funny how you always have to defend your absurdities with more and more absurdities? How many more until you realise that this whole "science" is a ridiculous nonsense?

;-)

[ Parent ]

nail meet head (none / 0) (#102)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:51:47 AM EST

geologists stopped trying to push their silly propaganda in public schools

They don't. That's the point.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

I betcha (none / 0) (#218)
by bml on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 04:58:09 AM EST

if religious fundies started trying to teach young earth theories in public schools, I bet geologists would make a stand just as biologists are being forced to do now with evolution.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]
Why? (3.00 / 5) (#8)
by daani on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 08:08:53 AM EST

Well firstly because the circumstantial evidence for evolution is extremely compelling. The evolutionary path taken by humans and other primates from a common ancestor is really quite well understood. Evolution in and of itself is *much* less controversial than the physics that was used to design the ICs in your computer.

Secondly, because Science is not history. Scientific theories are used to make predictions which lead to explorations which lead to further technological and scientific developments. We don't toss out a theory because we don't "believe it", we toss it out when we have a model that makes better predictions, or (much rarer) when we find a case that disproves it.

You guys are arguing as if it is history, where your judgement as a human being about "what probably would have happened under those circumstances" is actually valid. That's completely irrelevant here, what matters is the predictions that can be made based on, and the observations that can be explained by the theory. Of those, there are a heck of a lot.

And besides, as you yourself acknowledge, there is currently no competing theory. ID is completely stupid, because you then have to figure out where the designer came from. Unless the designer is an evolved lifeform, that would be an interesting twist.


[ Parent ]

agreed (none / 0) (#101)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:50:36 AM EST

The evolutionary path taken by humans and other primates from a common ancestor is really quite well understood. Evolution in and of itself is much less controversial than the physics that was used to design the ICs in your computer.

And that is the rub. Because evolution is so intuitive, it becomes a faith. Even those who do not understand it embrace it completely. It can be used to answer all sorts of philosophical questions.

Scientific theories are used to make predictions which lead to explorations which lead to further technological and scientific developments. We don't toss out a theory because we don't "believe it", we toss it out when we have a model that makes better predictions, or (much rarer) when we find a case that disproves it.

Well said and wise.

You guys are arguing as if it is history, where your judgement as a human being about "what probably would have happened under those circumstances" is actually valid. That's completely irrelevant here, what matters is the predictions that can be made based on, and the observations that can be explained by the theory. Of those, there are a heck of a lot.

What 'matters' is dependant on the context. If you are working on flu vaccine, I agree wholeheartedly. If you are in any way approaching questions about metaphysics and philosophy, I beg to differ.

ID is completely stupid, because you then have to figure out where the designer came from.

???

Why is hard to grasp about a God that had no beginning and has no end? He is not contained in time, it is His set of constants and variables.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

God (none / 0) (#136)
by Shimmer on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:54:46 PM EST

Why is hard to grasp about a God that had no beginning and has no end? He is not contained in time, it is His set of constants and variables.
It's not hard to grasp, it's just hard to believe: A very complex entity called "God" exists but has no origin. In other words, it's turtles all the way down.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
I once read that in truth... (none / 0) (#182)
by SaintPort on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 02:11:37 PM EST

there is just one really big turtle, and he sleeps alot.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
Your line of reasoning.... (none / 0) (#279)
by gavri on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 02:47:11 PM EST

...is just Wishful thinking.

Why is hard to grasp about a God that had no beginning and has no end? He is not contained in time, it is His set of constants and variables.

Even if you deny that life could have evolved from the non-living, the next idea that would pop in a free-thinker's mind would be that maybe life always was, not contained in time with no beginning or end. It is fucking ridiculous to make the jump to "God created life and God always was". Don't you see that you've simply skipped one step? Please explain to me how you go from here to there.

Here let me skip another step and explain God. God was created by Meta-God. How was meta-god created? Why is hard to grasp about a Meta-God that had no beginning and has no end?

What is often forgotten in the ID/Evolution debate is that even if evolution is not the way life was created (I'm convinced Macroevolution is fact, but that's not the point here), ID still has no chance in hell of being a replacement theory.

--
Blog Of A Socially Well Adjusted Human Being

[ Parent ]
No offense but... (3.00 / 2) (#10)
by thefirelane on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 09:42:10 AM EST

The biggest complaint againsnt Intelligent Design is that those who suppport it fundamentally do not understand science. Your post has clearly illustrated that:

...faith in unproven theories...

This is a common misunderstanding: Theory has two meanings, one in a scientific sense, one in a common usage sense:
  • A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
  • An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture
What ID supporters and creationists do, is confuse these two definitions by saying Evolution is "just a theory". They count on the fact that people do not know what the scientific meaning is. To understand how sill it sounds, lets go the other direction, mis-applying another word used in two ways in science and everyday speech: "What is the jail sentence for breaking the law of Gravity?"

Does that make it clear?

life can come from non-life

Again, fundamental misunderstanding: Evolution does not deal with the origins of life (other sciences do however). Evolution mainly focuses on what happens to life after it is here

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Further clarification (none / 0) (#14)
by Fon2d2 on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:40:33 AM EST

As I read it once, talking about the 'theory' of evolution is a little off base. That evolution happens is widely regarded as fact amongst the scientific community. How it happens is still what's not fully understood. That's what the theory addresses, not whether it happens in the first place. So to say evolution is 'just a theory' is to misunderstand on another level besides the one you just described.


[ Parent ]
More doublethink (none / 1) (#51)
by esrever on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:49:33 PM EST

rebuttal.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Wrong (none / 0) (#131)
by thefirelane on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 04:57:10 PM EST

Sorry, just plain wrong. Here's how:

Imagine this:
God creates the first organism... evolution creates the diversity.

Like I said, there are other sciences dealing with the creation of life from non-life... but evolution per say is not that science. It is only the science of what happens to living things.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
So you didn't read what I wrote then? [nt] (none / 1) (#216)
by esrever on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 03:04:08 AM EST

Oh, ok then, seeing as how you're reading this comment anyway, allow me to quote myself:

If your worldview asserts that evolution is the author of the diversity of life on earth then by necessity you must either believe in $DEITY or in life from non-life.

How about, seeing as how we are playing guessing games here, that rather you imagine this:
God creates the first organism, and all the others, diversity and all, and evolution has only incrementally changed things since then...


Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
You don't get it (none / 0) (#266)
by thefirelane on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 12:46:20 AM EST

God creates the first organism, and all the others, diversity and all, and evolution has only incrementally changed things since then.

I did read your comment. It basically said "It is impossible to have a scenario whereby both evolution and God exist.

In that case, I only need to provide one possible instance where that statement is false. I did so, and you chose not to respond. Therefore, your 'rebuttal' can be considered nonsense, unless you choose to clarify here.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
You don't seem to be reading very well (none / 0) (#268)
by esrever on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 05:37:45 AM EST

Every individual ever who I have ever debated evolution with hangs their hat on the implicit assumption that evolutionary processes are the mother of all diversity of life on earth, as if by virtue of merely existing, as a process, it is ipso facto therefore the author of all the diversity we see before us.

Got that?

Agree with it?

Then here's the problem; as you and many others have so gleefully pointed out many times, the 'Theory of Evolution' doesn't attempt to account for the origin of life on Earth, and, therefore, can not be used in an argument for ruling out the possibility of a God creating all life.  Either that, or take the equally untenable and unprovable position that life spontaneously arose 'magically' from non-life.

And therein lies the rub; if we grant that God can create life, we can also grant that he can create a great diversity of life.  Perhaps all (or most) of the diversity that we see before us.

Either that or all that 'primeval soup' just magically came to life one day.

Your choice.


Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]

Honestly... it is a logical statement... (none / 1) (#269)
by thefirelane on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:01:04 AM EST

Ok, I'm going to again come back to your earlier statement. Please answer the numbered questions, as you seem to be avoiding my central points:

If your worldview asserts that evolution is the author of the diversity of life on earth then by necessity you must either believe in $DEITY or in life from non-life.

This statement implies you either believe in God or believe that life arose from non-life.
1) Did I not give an example where one could believe in both evolution creating diversity, but God creating life?
2) If #1 is true, do you then admit that your earlier statement is in fact false

if we grant that God can create life, we can also grant that he can create a great diversity of life.

3) If we grant that God can create life and a diversity of life, do you also grant that God can create anything, since God is all powerful?
4) If #3 is true, could God have created you, and all your memories?
5) If God can create you, and insert memories into your brain. Could he not have simply created you this morning, and merely inserted memories of your past into your brain? (Remember, this isn't a question of whether it is probable, but rather a question of whether you believe God has the power to do so)
6) If #5 is true, all your memories of past events might not hold in the future in any predictive fashion. In other words, might it be possible that you walk outside and see the sky as green? Would God have the power to insert memories of a blue sky into your brain, but in fact make the sky green
7) If #6 is true, can we therefore not trust any science or past experience since God is all powerful and could interfere.

This is my central problem with mixing God and science. Where is it 'ok' to insert an all powerful supernatural entity? Where can we ignore evidence, saying "God did it" instead, and where is that not ok?

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Jumping in here... (none / 1) (#275)
by thejeff on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:05:11 AM EST

It is the common scientific assumption that evolution is responsible for the current diversity of life.

This does not disprove the existence of God, or even his interference in the current state of life. It simply claims the God is not necessary to produce the current diversity. It would invalidate some arguments claiming to prove the existence of God.

Contrary to the claims of the creationist lobby, very few evolutionists make any claims about God's existence. (That's evolutionist defined as biologist studying evolution, rather than as person debating on the internet.) They're not denying God, just saying that evolution is the theory that best fits the evidence.

The evidence does strongly suggest that all life on earth does share a common descent. The simple fact that all species can be mapped into a tree structure argues against sudden creation of all the diversity. Not all conceivable life forms could be so mapped. (Nor is this simply a matter of God reusing parts/designs. Consider a mammal with bird wings, feathers and all. Perfectly workable design, reuses existing features, etc. But wouldn't map into the tree structure.)

As thefirelane said, an omnipotent God could have created everything in it's current form 5 minutes, or 6 thousand years ago, complete with all the evidence, but that would be a little unfair.

It also be plausible for evolution to have occurred and the fossil record and all other evidence to be correct, but for God to have directed this towards his desired goals. A little  mutation here, a change in the enviroment there. Basically using the same techniques biologists use in experimenting, but on a grander and subtler scale.

From a scientific point of view however, all of this is unnecessary. Evolution is sufficient to explain the diversity we see.

As for the origin of life, that's not part of evolution as you say. Abiogenesis is a young, but growing field, with some interesting work being done in it. Calling it untenable and unprovable is unjustified. Unprovable perhaps in the strictest sense, since we'll never know exactly how it happened, but we may be able to prove it's possible.
And "magical" is only needed if you define life as having "magical" properties.

[ Parent ]

You are confusing (none / 0) (#63)
by richarj on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:56:11 PM EST

theory with hypothesis. This is the way science works.

  • We observe something
  • We create a hypothesis to explain what we observed
  • We test that hypothesis
  • If the hypothesis can pass "reasonable" tests then we can call it a theory

But what you have to understand is that just because a theory has been rigorously tested that doesn't make it any truer than any other hypothesis. Science works by failing not making statements like it's a law now you can't break it. Theories by the way are only models of how we think the Universe works, no one truly knows.



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Incorrect (none / 0) (#130)
by thefirelane on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 04:53:16 PM EST

doesn't make it any truer than any other hypothesis.

Incorrect. Testability is important. ID is fundamentally not testable. When one hypothesis is tested more extensivly than another, one becomes more believable or accepted. They are not all the same.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Who said anything about ID? (none / 0) (#219)
by richarj on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 05:48:16 AM EST

I was talking about theory and hypothesis. Just because something is believed more than something else doesn't make it any truer.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
No offense taken... (none / 0) (#99)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:28:50 AM EST

and this is where the foot hits the pavement.

No matter how good the science is, the people are ignorant, and they intend to stay that way.

Yet, they all want to know...

  • From whence did I come?
  • Who do I have to answer to?
Religion says, 'You came from a Creator who you will answer to.'

Science says, 'I don't know, but I can tell you about a bunch of stuff that will sound to you like you like your existense is accidental and your life is merely mortal.'

Now, what the government endorses will be taken as complete truth for the vast majority. So, if the Bible/prayer is not allowed in schools, then it must be wrong.

So, my point, while science is my friend, the fellow who disdains me for my faith, sets himself-up as my foe. As a Christian, my response must be love.  Were I Islamic, my response would be more obvious than my quiet prayers or forum discussion.

Be careful about teaching, it will be generalized.

Be careful with painting the faiths with a wide brush.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

But where is the evidence with religion? (none / 0) (#221)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:06:29 AM EST

Religion (especially christian religion) is a belief in suff that has no evidence, that is defined by the very fact of being irrational and encourages people that believing without reason is virtuous. This is one of the major problems with it.

I agree with some of your points though - people are undereducated about all sorts of things and many of them are very determined to stay that way.

This is where the fight should be. Lets take on the wilfully ignorant, or at least make some sort of minimum requirement in understanding before entering into public debate and especially before entering into public policy making.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
when you say (none / 0) (#230)
by SaintPort on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 11:32:41 AM EST

there is no evidence, you leave me confused. There is enormous evidence of Christian and Jewish belief throught the ages. And those beliefs are based on scripture, which we take to be revelation eithe directly or indirectly from God.

There are those who belive they have evidence of ID... http://www.answersingenesis.org/.

Now, if you mean there is no evidence for teaching ID, then I would have to again refer to the evidence of the religions themselves. The proof is the scriptures. The Bible has more historical validation than any other text I can recall at the moment.

Now we can't say, "Students, the Bible says thus and such, and though you may not be a believer, we'll just go with that".

But we could say, "Students, people all over the world of various faiths believe that the universe is created and ordered by a Creator God. They refer to their religious texts as revelation from said God. And they believe that the beauty and order of the universe comes from an Intelligent Designing God.  Now many other people hold that the order of the universe may not be dependent on a creator. You must decide for yourselves. As of yet, neither opinion can be disproved. Now lets study that which we can observe."

Thank you for some agreement, I feel sure there can be a happy balance, and that the real problem is undereducation.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Oh there's evidence of the belief... (none / 0) (#231)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:14:48 PM EST

There's plenty of evidence of people believeing the same unfounded assertions for millenia, yes indeed, I'm not questioning that.
"those beliefs are based on scripture, which we take to be revelation"

"Now, if you mean there is no evidence for teaching ID ..... The proof is the scriptures"

Uh.... So these things you take on faith are now evidence of ID? This is kinda my point. It's not evidence in the way scientific knowledge is evidence. It's not based on observation and testing, but instead on dogma, faith and scripture. I won't attack those as ideas in themselves here as it's rather OT, but religion encourages faith as a virtue, not investigation and proper backing to knowledge but faith leading to belief. This is just not compatable with scientific knowledge and is why creationism is not scientific. It's anti scientific.

Whilst I agree with the point you make about telling kids some people believe in a creator and many don't, you show your bias very openly there when you talk about beauty and order coming from an intelligent god. Either way, the time and place for that debate is theology or philosophy, or even plain old RE, not in science class which is supposed to teach about things we know, and things we have reason to suspect, not things based on conjecture and ancient superstition.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
Yes, yes you can. (none / 0) (#234)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 06:20:08 PM EST

In fact some would argue it's all you've ever done.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
I'm not hiding my bias (none / 0) (#235)
by SaintPort on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 06:57:54 PM EST

I am biased.

science class which is supposed to teach about things we know, and things we have reason to suspect, not things based on conjecture and ancient superstition.

Then quit letting kids be taught that they descended from apes. Macroevolution is superstition. You don't even have a revelation.

<biased><

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

you've gone too far (none / 0) (#236)
by Sacrifice on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 07:35:02 PM EST

"descended from apes" - outing yourself as a troll.

[ Parent ]
No, we don't have a revelation (none / 0) (#242)
by Have A Nice Day on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:56:55 AM EST

We have a fossil record and a working, predictive theory with a lot of supporting evidence. Not baseless unprovable conjecture.

I agree with the other poster, I think that post just highlighted your trollery....

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
Logically incorrect (none / 0) (#274)
by thefirelane on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:36:25 AM EST

So, if the Bible/prayer is not allowed in schools, then it must be wrong.

You realize that this statement is wrong on two accounts:

1) Just because something is not allowed in school does not mean it is wrong. Chewing gum is not allowed in school, but that doesn't make it wrong in any moral or factual sense. (Sorry for the trite example, but that's all I could think of quickly)

2) The debate isn't whether the Bible should be allowed/studied in school, but whether it should be taught as a science

In this way, it isn't (as you like to make it seem) that you are meerely on the defensive. It is the Christian community who is on the offensive trying to insert the Bible into science, where it does not belong.

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Evolution (3.00 / 4) (#16)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:03:08 AM EST

Once you can show me how life can come from non-life and how one species mutates into another self-sustaining higher order species, then your evolutionary theory is science.

As another poster has already said, evolution does not purport to explain the origin of life. Science really doesn't have a good explanation of abiogenesis yet. (Yes, being rational means admiting that you don't have all the answers.)

Although there is some debate in the scientific community regarding the causes of speciation, there is no doubt whatsoever that it occurs. Please check out the evidence and then let us know what you think.

BTW, evolution does not produce "higher order species". This is a common misconception. Evolution progresses only towards adaptedness, even if that means that a new species is less complex (i.e. "lower") than its predecessor.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

Doublethink (1.50 / 4) (#50)
by esrever on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:46:58 PM EST

If your worldview asserts that evolution is the author of the diversity of life on earth then by necessity you must either believe in $DEITY or in life from non-life. The fact that evolutionary theory 'doesn't purport to explain it' is plain disengenious and simply provides more fuel for the fire.  Start being a bit more 'rational' please.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
I believe in life from non-life (none / 0) (#73)
by Shimmer on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 02:47:57 AM EST

It's the only rational explanation I'm aware of.

But what specifically do we know about this first organic replicator? Almost nothing. All we have at this point are hypotheses and speculation. That's how good science works -- it starts from admiting what we don't know.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

ROFFLE (none / 1) (#79)
by esrever on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:27:47 AM EST

First two sensible things I've ever heard from the Evolution crowd:

I believe in life from non-life

and

it starts from admiting what we don't know

If only your peers could be as clear-eyed and honest.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
ROFFLE? (none / 0) (#134)
by Shimmer on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:41:24 PM EST

If you just made a point, I have no idea what it was.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
Don't waste your time. (none / 0) (#146)
by shm on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:35:29 PM EST

S/he has no point.

Intelligent people know when they don't know.

Did you ever hear a religious nutter admit that they don't know? Or that their favourite book didn't have the answer? Or offer to take your money to help you interpret the answer?

Don't waste your time.


[ Parent ]

Your bigotry betrays you (none / 1) (#217)
by esrever on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 03:05:48 AM EST

So, anyone with a different worldview from you is, by definition, a 'religious nutter'?  

I think you need to look closely in the mirror at your own prejudices, buddy.

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]

Religious nutters are religious nutters. (none / 0) (#224)
by shm on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:34:43 AM EST

I'm an atheist nutter, the best kind of nutter.

Unlike your type, we don't go around killing people in the name of $DEITY.

We have
no book to thump,
no tribal ritual which maims,
no crosses to burn,
no planes to crash into tall buildings,
no ... you should get the idea.

And we lack the 72 virgins (or white raisins, take your choice) to chase in the hereafter. That's about the only downside of my worldview.

The universe is complex enough not to warrant the creation of another level of complexity to lose sleep over.

That is all.

[ Parent ]

what's your point? (none / 0) (#286)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:57:29 AM EST

that atheists go mention a fancy god when they kill people? That makes it better somehow?

Look I've heard it said that if you add up Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pots politically motivated slaughter's you end up with a number that is greater than the total of all religious slaughter combined. I can't prove it, but it sounds true.

But even so, what's the point? Dead is dead, slaughter is slaughter and people kill people. Theists, atheists, agnostics... They all kill. It's all bad.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Perhaps, (none / 1) (#295)
by thejeff on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:50:15 AM EST

Religious people can kill for religious reasons.
Religious people can kill for political reasons.

Athiests can kill for political reasons.

One motivation has been removed. This could be a good thing.

[ Parent ]

could be... (none / 0) (#298)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 12:03:45 PM EST

but I doubt it. It doesn't matter if you have one possible motivation or a thousand. It really only matters how many people you're slaughtering. (And one is too many).

The problem is when people don't value other people. When we forget that people are created in the image of God and therefore need to be treated with the utmost respect. When you slaughter people for politics, religion or whatever, that's some serious disrespect of the image of God. When you throw people out of work because you can make more money for yourself that way, that's the same thing to a different degree.

I don't think the problems are people's motivations, (or to put it another way, their justifications), for their behaviour. Rather I think the problem is the pride and arrogance that is present to some degree or another in all people.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

You're not worth arguing with. (1.42 / 7) (#18)
by shm on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:19:57 AM EST

Read what your betters have to say about religion.


From Dawkins:

Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful!

Get a grip, indeed.


[ Parent ]

Hide (0): Inflammatory crap [nt] (1.00 / 3) (#49)
by esrever on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:44:02 PM EST



Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Hide (0) contentless mobthink. NT (none / 1) (#67)
by shm on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:14:10 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Hide (0): Incapable of recognising irony [nt] (none / 1) (#80)
by esrever on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:29:25 AM EST



Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
Hide (0): HHD effect. NT (none / 0) (#106)
by shm on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:48:26 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Dawkins is just ignorant (none / 1) (#97)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:10:20 AM EST

or illiterate...

(uneducated in the fundamentals of a given art or branch of learning; lacking knowledge of a specific field)

Jesus' main thrust was that all men are unrighteous, thus needing a savior. And the focus of His religion is the love for fellow man.

...Dawkins thought process lives in the murderous rants of circletimessquare, and in the disdain in your own posts.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Disdain: you got that right. (none / 1) (#108)
by shm on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:06:43 AM EST

I don't follow the reference to circletimessquare.

First of all, I'm actually not trying to get into an argument here.

I recognized long ago, that on this particular subject, there can be no agreement between the two sides.

The only thing I will point out (before going away from this topic) is that no atheist ever massacred anyone in the name of a god. Or to my knowledge, in the name of atheism.

[ Parent ]

only 200 priests survived the reign of Stalin. /nt (none / 1) (#109)
by Battle Troll on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:27:10 AM EST


--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
thank you (none / 0) (#111)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:31:37 AM EST

my good man.

Thank you for being Jesus to me today...
never alone.

<><

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

good heavens (3.00 / 2) (#116)
by Battle Troll on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:10:33 PM EST

Thanks for your kind words.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Maybe, but in the name of what god? NT (none / 0) (#124)
by shm on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:46:56 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Stalin <nt>< (none / 0) (#126)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 01:19:54 PM EST



--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
in the name of freeing people from oppression (none / 1) (#128)
by Battle Troll on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 04:13:55 PM EST

Look, you're not going to win this one, a lot of my relatives are from the Eastern Bloc.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Don't change the subject. (none / 0) (#141)
by shm on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:08:43 PM EST



[ Parent ]
so anyway (none / 0) (#238)
by Battle Troll on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:03:23 PM EST

The thinking was that belief in God was bad for scoiety, and atheism was good. Therefore priests were enemies of the state.

Why are you still arguing with me? Get out now and gracefully.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

See, I was right. (none / 0) (#249)
by shm on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 11:55:17 AM EST

This is a waste of time.

[ Parent ]
so anyway (none / 1) (#251)
by Battle Troll on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 01:04:53 PM EST

Atheists in the upper echelons of the Communist Party decided that Christianity was a threat to the state and, consequently, Christians should be murdered, purged, etc. This ideological conviction led to the murder, torture, and oppression of Christians in other Communist-bloc countries as well.

If it's a waste of time, I'd appreciate hearing how, because you haven't even addressed my argument so far.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

What exactly is your argument? (none / 0) (#253)
by shm on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 01:54:02 PM EST

No atheist ever killed anyone in the name of a god  -  that's exactly what I said, no more no less.

Religions, however, have done that down the ages as a matter of practice. Pick a sect, chose your genocide.

Since you choose to focus very narrowly on the communists, don't forget that the communist party targetted anyone who opposed their rule.

One subset of that population happened to be labelled "christian." Another subset might have happened to be labelled "capitalists."

The communists are at least easier to understand in terms of their motives. They were murderous for something tangible: rule over a country.

[ Parent ]

heh (none / 0) (#254)
by Battle Troll on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 02:12:11 PM EST

No atheist ever killed anyone in the name of a god - that's exactly what I said, no more no less.

Sorry, I should have figured on a narrow interpretation of the question. Presumably cases of atheists killing people 'over a god' are as rare as cases of mathematicians killing people by botching their surgery. If atheists kill over religious questions, they necessarily kill 'over no god' rather than 'over a god.'

Religions, however, have done that down the ages as a matter of practice. Pick a sect, chose your genocide.

Ok. I pick the Jehovah's Witnesses. Who have they killed recently?

Since you choose to focus very narrowly on the communists, don't forget that the communist party targetted anyone who opposed their rule.

You don't know much history, do you? Lenin's thugs shot many people who hadn't as yet reacted in any way to the Bolshevik seizure of power. Sure, the Church was to oppos them later, by backing the Whites in the civil war, but that's not what's at issue.

Moreover, I disagree with your dividing national rule from atheism. As the socialist revolution was supposed to make a new man and a new society, national rule and the forcible imposition of official atheism were two indivisible parts of the revolutionary platform. The Communist hatred to religious freedom, found in every Communist state, and pursued to the point of widespread murder and torture even in states with no history of a powerful religious establishment, is clear evidence against your argument.

you choose to focus very narrowly on the communists

Understandably so, I imagine, as the assorted Communist dictatorships remain the sole examples of the seizure of state power by dogmatically atheist elements. The violence characteristic of Communist internal rule, directed as you say against various asserted 'enemies of the state,' shows the the rule of reason can indeed produce monsters.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

This looks like it may go on for a while (none / 0) (#255)
by shm on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 02:34:10 PM EST

From Kerala.

Kerala's population is approximately 60% Hindu 20% Christian and 20% Muslim with Muslims mainly in the north Christians primarily in the central area around Cochin and Kottayam and Hindus in the south mainly around Thiruvananthapuram. A tiny Jewish population there is said to date from 587 BC when they fled the occupation of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnessar.

[snip]

Since it's election in 1957 Kerala's communist party has been regularly, though not consistently, in power in the state.

[ Parent ]

hardly the same thing (none / 0) (#256)
by Battle Troll on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 02:39:06 PM EST

Similarly the Christian Democrats are often in power in postwar Germany. And yet, Germany embarks on no new Crusades!!!

The Bolsheviks managed to destroy all opposition in a revlution followed by a civil war. I doubt the Indian Army would tolerate it if the Keralite Communists were to get up to the same sort of thing.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

y'know... (none / 0) (#264)
by gzt on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 11:10:32 PM EST

...kerala is one of the most interesting regions in india to me. it's also very densely populated and hiv-ridden. anyways, i'm done with my side-track.

[ Parent ]
god? (none / 1) (#179)
by issachar on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 12:39:54 PM EST

First of all, why does it matter if Stalin invoked a "god" when he killed people? Dead is dead. And he killed a lot.

Second, "god" does not necessarily mean a person. You can make a god of money, power, the bit of wood you carved into a statue, or a political system.

Many people have gods. Not all them recognize their gods as such.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

See #148 (none / 0) (#250)
by shm on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 11:58:49 AM EST

148

BTW, nice sig. What do libertarians eat?


[ Parent ]

I've no idea what libertarians eat... :( (none / 0) (#285)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:52:48 AM EST

But I see how it matters whether or not maniacs kill in the name of a literal god or a political system or just because they like doing it...

What was your point in mentioning that Stalin didn't kill in the name of a god?
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

I think they eat liberty. (none / 0) (#293)
by shm on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 08:55:52 AM EST

The point I was trying to make, before getting succesfully sidetracked, was that more people have suffered at the hands of religious mania (ie $DIETY of your choice) than is justifiable.

[ Parent ]
so... (none / 0) (#297)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:57:58 AM EST

does eating liberty make you free or does it take away all the liberty in the world?

As for more people having suffered at hands of religious mania than is justifiable...

You are absolutely right.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Depends: are they freedom fries or not? (none / 0) (#307)
by shm on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:34:11 AM EST

There's a massive pun hiding right in front of us. If only we knew French. Or Freedom.


[ Parent ]
ref & agreement (none / 0) (#112)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:36:40 AM EST

reference to circletimessquare, our resident fundie slayer.

I disagree about disagreeing...
I am sure there is much improvment that can be made for the simple reason that Evolution does not pretend to be a religion, so we can quit using it like one.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

no atheist ... (none / 1) (#113)
by SaintPort on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:47:46 AM EST

I would argue that Hitler massacred the Jews in the name of THEIR God. The Jews exist as a testiment to their God.

Hitler's god was self and country... pride... the same god that felled Lucifer.

This short rant could be expanded into a readable argument, but I hope you get my drift short of that.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

No fair (none / 0) (#148)
by shm on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 12:15:24 AM EST

First of all, I could invoke Godwin on you, but I won't.

You can't take evil maniacs like Hitler and Stalin, define their ideology to be a god or a religion, and then claim that they killed in the name of their god. That way I could set up every rapist serial killer with his own little religion and blame all those maniacs on religion as well - remember Jonestown or the Waco whackos?

Incidentally, Hitler was a catholic. And before anyone goes there, I'll close the discussion on whether he was a pagan, christian, atheist or what have you by pointing you to this link.

No pleasantness can come of this thread.

[ Parent ]

Unproven theories (none / 0) (#278)
by tgibbs on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:45:20 AM EST

However, I will argue against 'scientists' who evangelize faith in unproven theories that become a philosophy or a type of religion.

This reveals a profound ignorance of science, because pretty much all of science is "unproven theories." In science, as opposed to mathematics, it is not possible to prove a theory (which is just scientific jargon for "explanation" or "generalization") true. Theories can only be proved false.



[ Parent ]

is it really all that ahrd to believe (2.62 / 8) (#5)
by dimaq on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:58:25 AM EST

that abrahamic religions would suffer from same disorders? or is it just too hard for everyone to figure it out themselves? nothing new to me really.

The first... (2.75 / 12) (#9)
by Znork on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 08:59:50 AM EST

... thing you need to realize is that there is no real Islamic fundamentalist threat against the west. They cant even outdo accidental inhalation of objects as a yearly cause of death when they try their hardest. Almost as many die falling down stairs or off beds and chairs per year. As far as threats go, well, I'm not about to start padding the floors just yet.

There is no threat beyond what press and politicians deem fit to create themselves for their own purposes.

"Our way of life is under attack, but not just by terrorists."

The terrorists cant do jack against the sheer momentum of the civilized world. The attacks against our way of life comes entirely from elsewhere, the terrorists are just used as excuses when appropriate.

Risks (none / 1) (#19)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:23:31 AM EST

If it was just a matter of comparative death rates, then you'd be right.

Death by falling down the stairs is no threat to civilation as a whole. It's a personal risk that I am willing to accept. That's the price I pay for using stairs.

On the other hand, death by nuclear explosive is a grave threat to civilization itself, and it is risk that we do not accept. Society is alarmed because this risk is growing when it should be shrinking. Hence, civilization must protect itself (within reason).

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

Your right! (none / 1) (#21)
by Ward57 on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 11:54:39 AM EST

lets cut the budget for making safe old Russian nuclear warheads, and spend it on invading Iraq instead. What an idea!

[ Parent ]
Except... (3.00 / 4) (#23)
by Znork on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:05:26 PM EST

"On the other hand, death by nuclear explosive is a grave threat to civilization itself."

See, that's where you go wrong. Even a worst case nuclear armament within wild-eyed-paranoia reach of terrorists is _not_ a threat to civilization itself anymore than traffic death is. They wouldnt even be able to wipe out a small town with it, and as it's unlikely they'd manage to get a good fission rate and airborne detonation, they'd probably just ruin property values in the area for a long time.

The combined nuclear arsenals of the combined US and former Soviet union would perhaps qualify as 'a grave threat to civilization itself'. Terrorists at their worst barely qualify as a painful boil on the arse of civilization.

The damage done by CNN, FOX, politicians and stockbrokers in constant overreaction is far more damaging, and society is alarmed because they are constantly terrorized by scaremongering media and end-of-days politicians.

As such, there is a symbiosis between the media, the politicians and the terrorists. The terrorists know they cannot achieve much... unless they can obtain leverage through those overreactions, and thus cause otherwise unreachable levels of damage.

[ Parent ]

Dangers of terrorism and the media (none / 1) (#28)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 01:23:15 PM EST

I agree with you that the current media environment is not very conducive to rational thought. However disappointing this may be, a partial solution is readily available: just change the channel.

But if a religious nutjob detonates a "misplaced" Russian nuke in the middle of Washington, DC, I shudder to think of the consequences. You won't be able to bury your head in the sand deep enough to avoid them.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

Of course... (none / 0) (#192)
by Znork on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:36:00 PM EST

"I shudder to think of the consequences."

...but most of the actual damage to 'civilization' and 'our way of life' wont be a direct result of loss of life or infrastructure. Most of the damage will be in the form of irrational reaction by civilization-internal elements.

Unfortunately, while I can, and do, change the channel, mentally innoculating the majority of the population and politicians against the effects of the irrational coverage appears harder than that.

[ Parent ]

Important Questions, Superficial Article (2.50 / 8) (#22)
by OldCoder on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:00:20 PM EST

Haven't read the New Scientist version, but I expect them to be ignorant on issues outside of their expertise.

Christian fundamentalism is not currently imbued with a neo-Imperialist philosophy, although it is more interventionist than the European Left. Islamism is imbued with a neo-imperialistic philosophy. This difference is very important.

The importance of Islamic Terrorism is based on the possibility of nuclear terrorism down the road. For example, Iran is working on nukes and also supports Hizbullah and Hamas. Both Hizbullah and Hamas are responding to the pressure on Iran to stop building nukes by becoming tamer and more electoral in their policies. Is this just a ruse while waiting to get nukes from Iran?

Paranoid version: the earthquake in Pakistan was a result of an al-Queda nuclear test: Well, not yet, anyway. Hey, where is Osama -- under the rubble?

The ID (anti-evolution) movement is self-consciously a movement to encourage conversion. They don't really believe that ID is science. This stunning cynicism is justified in Christian scripture undoubtedly by St. Paul, who said that when he preached the Jews he came as a Jew, when he preached to the Syrians he came as a Syrian (or was that a Roman?) and so on. After all, if you create generations of followers does it really matter how sincere the initial conversion was?

Extremely refreshing
I don't care how refreshing it is. The question is, is it accurate? I think the phenomenon of the resurgence of religiousity is a question that needs to be answered. The original article doesn't do any better than the Biblical prophecy of the war between Gog and Magog, however.

Materialistic philosophy is seen to be failing the task of social control, and the super-freedom that is seen as leading to AIDS and drug addiction is seen as a symptom of godlessness. Can you top that as an explanation?

The Christian Fundamentalists are trying to exploit the war against Islamism as a selling point for their religion -- can you blame them?

Calling Muslims and Christians the same just insults both parties without adding any new information, adding heat without adding light. Try to do better next time.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2004 OldCoder

Imperialism (none / 0) (#24)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:33:24 PM EST

You should read the NY Times article I linked to. Perhaps Christian fundamentalism is not explicitly imperialist, but the neo-cons certainly are. And, for the life of me, I can no longer tell the difference between the two groups.

From the article, here's the full section about the "senior Bush advisor":

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

If that doesn't make your blood run cold, I don't know what would.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

$500 bucks says "senior advisor"=Rove \\ (none / 0) (#40)
by rpresser on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 03:38:16 PM EST


------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
I didn't know Neo-Cons were fundamentalist (none / 0) (#42)
by More Whine on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 04:17:12 PM EST

Christians.  That doesn't sound right.

[ Parent ]
They didn't start off the same (none / 0) (#45)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 05:25:25 PM EST

But together they hijacked the Republican party, and now they've merged their agendas in the current administration.

At this point, for example, can you tell whether Karl Rove is just a neo-con, just a fundamentalist, or both?

P.S. Also, I'm exaggerating to make a point.


Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

Double false dichotomies (2.77 / 9) (#25)
by michaelmalak on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:46:22 PM EST

What a mess we have to untangle here.
  • You seem to be saying that all devout Christians and Muslims favor war. Please see my kuro5hin story Chuck Baldwin, prominent Baptist pastor: "The Religious Right Scares Me".
  • You seem to be saying that fundamentalism (Christian and Islam) is using the Intelligent Design debate as a wedge to wage war. Please see my kuro5hin comment Separation of school and state for my proposal to end the Intelligent Design debate. If you consider the abolition of public schools (and the corresponding abolition of $400/month per household tax to pay for them) to threaten "the very basis of modern civilization", then so be it. But educational policy has nothing to do with war policy, except to the extent, as I wrote in another kuro5hin comment that the public education system created dimwits who supported the war.
Not only is Christianity vs. Islam a false dichotomy as you correctly assert (there are also the secular humanists), but "fundamentalism vs. rationalism" is also a false dichotomy. Most notably, the Vatican opposes both the Iraq invasion and irreligious public education.

I see at least six populations coming out of your article: peaceful Christians, Christian warmongers, peaceful Muslims, Muslim warmongers, peaceful secular humanists, and secular humanist warmongers.

And, sorry, I can't stop myself: "Holy double false dichotomies, Batman!"

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver

Catholicism (none / 1) (#26)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:59:42 PM EST

"Fundamentalism vs. rationalism" is also a false dichotomy. Most notably, the Vatican opposes both the Iraq invasion and irreligious public education.

That proves nothing, since Catholicism is not fundamentalist. While Catholicism has had its own problems with secular humanism in the past, at the moment they are comparatively reasonable people. They're not even traditionally Republican.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

Evidence versus belief (2.50 / 2) (#34)
by dollyknot on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 02:51:17 PM EST

Most religions are about politics/culture not about evidence. Evidence gets in the way of mind control.


They call it an elephant's trunk, whereas it is in fact an elephant's nose - a nose by any other name would smell as sweetly.

Science is not an ideology that needs defense (2.70 / 10) (#35)
by LilDebbie on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 02:51:31 PM EST

It is quite capable of defending itself, purely through evolutionarily memetic means. It is not science you must worry about, but rather the nations that abandon science.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

I saw some talking head on TV who had a good point (2.66 / 3) (#36)
by lostincali on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 03:04:48 PM EST

She referenced the US Constitution of all things, Specifically Article VI:

"no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office"

Just something to think about when you're talking about how horrible it is that Bush is nominating a (OH MY GOD) Christian to the Supreme Court.

"The least busy day [at McDonalds] is Monday, and then sales increase throughout the week, I guess as enthusiasm for life dwindles."

Not Christian, but fundamentalist nutjob Christian (none / 1) (#43)
by shambles on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 05:06:20 PM EST

...who, people worry, will use her position to eroded the separation of church and state and outlaw abortion. It is not her particular religion, it is her evangelic stance. It wouldn't matter is she was an evangelical Jew, Muslim or Wiccan.

People are more important than Truth - Edgar Malroy
[ Parent ]
IAWTP$ (none / 0) (#44)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 05:21:38 PM EST



Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
man (none / 1) (#52)
by trane on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:53:58 PM EST

i voted this article up. but had i known the author had been A$$IMILATED BY THE EVIL $ I would have voted to dump!

[ Parent ]
Oh, get a life! $ (none / 0) (#54)
by mr strange on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:03:44 PM EST

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]
no, yuo ˘ (none / 1) (#58)
by trane on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:53:43 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Would you prefer EOF instead?$ (none / 0) (#61)
by Shimmer on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:23:44 PM EST



Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
ANYTHING BUT $ (none / 1) (#133)
by trane on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:55:26 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You just did it yourself$ (none / 0) (#137)
by Shimmer on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:57:58 PM EST



Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
oh noes! (none / 1) (#190)
by trane on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:32:39 PM EST

I will force myself to do penance by drinking a full six pack today.

[ Parent ]
Because I'm bored (3.00 / 3) (#81)
by godix on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:31:51 AM EST

Prove to me, without using terms like 'nutjob' and the like, that outlawing abortion would violate separation of church and state (assuming that exists). Offhand I can think of several arguements against abortion that have little to do with religion and I've met several pro-life people who happen to agnostic/athiest.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
I suggest universists as an antidote (2.33 / 3) (#38)
by Fen on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 03:25:12 PM EST

Universism.com has a forum and principles that to me seemed to directly oppose the article I read in New Scientist. Uncertainty to replace the certainty.
--Self.
More like (none / 1) (#92)
by An onymous Coward on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:35:37 AM EST

LOL! JOIN US AND BELIEVE WHATEVER YOU WANT! IT'S ALL VALID! AM I RITE? LOL BBQ!!!

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
i've been saying this for ages (1.52 / 19) (#46)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 05:50:38 PM EST

now for all you brainiacs out there:

now that you've identified the problem (took you awhile), you need an effective weapon against fundamentalism

so out with it brainiacs, the clock is ticking: how do you defeat sunni wahabbists and southern baptists?

i mean REALLY defeat them

small hint: standing there and lecturing them drily on brainiac level bullshit about memes and historical momentum and the supposed inevitability of how everything in the world will work out the way you see it does not count as defeating them

do you have a backbone?

i mean really: do all of you much self-esteemed humanists have enough backbone to actually fight that which would destroy you?

or does getting dirty destroy your much vaunted principles?

such that you would rather the world enter a new era of stagnation and backwardness to rival the middle ages in europe for centuries?

not getting your hands dirty is preferable to fucking FIGHTING these assholes as they chip away at liberal government in the usa and suicide bomb thousands in the middle east?

humanists sitting around, discussing their impending doom, and none of you fuckers actually DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT

fucking pathetic

the fundamentalists win if they are the only ones to get down and dirty

why will humanists lose?

BECAUSE THEY LIVE IN A FUCKING IVORY TOWER, LOOKING DOWN ON POOR SUFFERING HUMANITY AND DO NOTHING BUT DRAW PRONOUNCEMENTS FROM THEIR SAFE RICH WESTERN HIGH AND MIGHTY COCCOON

heaven forbid any of you fuckers actually go down in the mud and HELP humanity actually progress

i mean REALLY help: FUCKING KILL THE FUNDAMENTALIST ASSHOLES

just KILL THEM

no, that's inconfuckingcievable, that would mean you were as HUMAN as the rest

so you sit in your ivory tower, and you bemoan the coming new middle ages

not like you are doing anything about it

you humanists get what you deserve: you're so shocked and outraged at the essential ugliness of the human condition, that it isn't the rise of fundamentalism that REALLY bothers you, it is the fact that humanity itself struggles with what you have arrived at with such ease in your smug little hermetically sealed antiseptic western coccoon of money

you get what you deserve, useless rich western chattering classes

you get what you deserve

the fundamentalists SPEAK to the masses of what they want and need, they speak to their ugly side, and the masses listen

meanwhile, you lecture them of the need to preserve YOUR status quo

you're so fucking doomed

you fucking rich western assholes who won't FIGHT THE GREATEST EVIL IN THE WORLD TODAY: fundamentalism

you know it, but you are helpless to do anything about it, because of your own shortcomings at understanding the truly ugly side of human nature

you are helpless because you recognize the enemy, but you are unwilling to meet the enemy

you're fucking doomed unless you WAKE THE FUCK UP

assholes bomb the fucking underground in london AND YOU FUCKING FRET ABOUT THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF DENYING THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROPAGATE THE EVIL THAT MADE YOUNG MEN BOMB

asshoels fly airplanes into office towers in new york AND YOU FUCKING FRET ABOUT THE DUE PROCESS OF MOSTLY TERRORIST ASSHOLES IN GUANTANAMO

you're so fucking USELESS

you don't understand your relationship with money

money allows you to think and act the way you do

but the way you think and act DOES NOT SPREAD THE WEALTH TO THOSE WHO ARE NOT RICH

meanwhile, fundamentalists pursue agendas which keep the poor in poverty on one hand, and with the other hand, tell the poor their way is the way to salvation

it's self-propagating

for you, to make more people rich, and therefore to make them think the same wonderfully disconnected from reality daydreams of how the world should function that you think, you need to SPREAD THE WEALTH

but how do you spread the wealth when fundamentalists work to entrench poverty?

YOU FUCKING FIGHT THE FUNDAMENTALISTS

YOU JAIL THEM, YOU KILL THEM, YOU SHUT DOWN THEIR ORGANIZATIONS

YOU DEVELOP SOME FUCKING TEETH

and THEN you can spread the wealth, but you cannot spread the wealth if you will not recognize that all of your efforts are being SQUANDERED BY A COMPETING AGENDA FOR THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF THE POOR PASSES

and in todays world, THEY ARE WINNING

you develop some fucking understanding of how the ugliness of human nature REALLY WORKS

you don't stand on YOUR humanist pulpit and deliver self-ennobling lectures about how it SHOULD work based on your idealistic dreams, and then hold out against anyone who would actually FIGHT fudnamentalists!

you don't fucking lecture the world about how your hermitically sealed climate controlled rich western coccoon is so high and mighty and superior and how the world should work, and then stand against those who work to maintain your coccoon!

YOU DON'T FUCKING AFFORD HUMANIST PROTECTIONS TO ENEMIES OF HUMANISM!!!

DO YOU FUCKING UNDERSTAND YOU RICH SHELTERED WESTERN CHILDREN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DO YOU FUCKING UNDERSTAND!!!!!!!!!!!!

human nature is UGLY

progress is not an easy waltz, it is a desperate messy hardcore struggle, two steps forward, one step back

you have to get DIRTY, you have to FIGHT an enemy YOU have already identified!

or in your pigheaded stubborn refusal to replace idealism with an acceptance of reality, you would rather see a coming dark age of anti-science and poverty and fundamentalist atrocities and lack of human rights

the ancient greeks of science and reason went the way of the dodo, the arab world of science and reason in the middle ages went the way of the great auk, and now it is YOUR turn to fade into history... BECAUSE YOU WILL NOT FIGHT!!!!!!!!!

simply because, in your safe bubble wrapped rich western coccoon, you will not take what your brain perceives: fundamentalism is your enemy, and take that to your hand, and actually FIGHT THEM, KILL THEM, JAIL THEM, DESTROY THEM

if you don't fight them, your extinction is what you deserve

FUCKING

PATHETIC

WESTERN

CHILDREN

WAKE

THE

FUCK

UP

here come the new dark ages, and all of you standing around delivering useless platitudes about how the world SHOULD work rather than how it DOES work are complicit in the defeat of this age of science and reason

you're all fucking useless


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Are you the right age for the military? (2.50 / 2) (#48)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:32:45 PM EST

Then fucking go over there already.

When you reply let me know which branch you've joined.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

ah yes, this tired refrain (1.00 / 6) (#56)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:48:19 PM EST

rather than challenge my words, you think you prove something by challenging my conviction

my theory is that this argument works in the minds of people who don't have any conviction themselves

you don't know who i am, or what i am really doing, so go fuck yourself, you spineless worm

i can call you that with certaintly, because only someone spineless, with no conviction or beliefs of their own, would find the words you wrote compelling enough to write

you can't use your own emptiness as a basis for passing judgment on others

because what if the one you are judging with the same empty brush you paint yourself isn't as empty as you are?

xoxoxoxoxoxox

bye loser


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes, yes...but ARE you in the military? [nt] (3.00 / 3) (#119)
by Patrick Chalmers on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:24:58 PM EST


Holy crap, working comment search!
[ Parent ]
who the fuck are you? (2.50 / 2) (#144)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:32:54 PM EST

why am i accountable to you?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Because you call others to specific actions (none / 1) (#261)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:17:46 PM EST

You're all "DO SOMETHING,"  but all your fat ass does is post on the internet.  And you use childish insults when you are called on it.  

You ask others to die for you.  Why should they?

And by the way, I know a lot about you.  I know you are immature, not too bright, and have a ton of free time on your hands.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

do you know what i am doing? ;-) (none / 0) (#287)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:58:24 AM EST

do you know who i am?

as i type these words right now i am looking at the un building

what am i doing so close to the un? who am i? >:-)

you may rest comfortably thinking i'm doing nothing, that i am nowhere, that i am noone ;-)

that's your basis for dismissing me, right? ;-) that i have no conviction in the words i type?

meanwhile, i say this: when you can't debate someone on substance, your position is bankrupt, so you deny them their conviction

but i have nothing to prove to you, nor do i care what you think of me

you who says i am no one, i say to you: i have no idea who you are

because, unlike you, i have no need to attack your conviction, i reston my words and the real passion i have in them

meanwhile, i haven't seen you demonstrate any words or passion here

you just attack my conviction

awhatever makes you feel comfortable about your empty existence loser

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You don't know what I do (none / 1) (#303)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:18:38 PM EST

I'm sure I do more for America than yourself.

If you claim to be a government employee, I believe you as you seem to have a ridiculous amount of free time on your hands.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Comment zeroed (none / 0) (#262)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:20:03 PM EST

You didn't tell me which branch.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
why am i accountable to you? (none / 0) (#283)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:46:07 AM EST

arrogant asshole

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
IAWTP (mostly) (3.00 / 4) (#53)
by mr strange on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:01:25 PM EST

From my European perspective it's obvious that America's fundamentalists are as dangerous as Arabia's. Certainly we are sleepwalking to disaster, and something radical is needed to shake us out of our complacency.

I don't think that slaughtering fundamentalists is a feasible solution. What do you propose? Gas chambers? The full works? That's madness! Furthermore it would be ineffective. The madman who attempted to shore up the Age of Enlightenment with the bodies of its enemies would destroy it, and taint Reason with blood for all time.

I would rather see us standing up and doing what we believe is right. If we say we believe in the rule of law, then we should bloody well play by the rules! Damn Bush for killings tens of thousands with his illegal war, not for his belief in some crazy theology. Stop supporting odious regimes around the world and start supporting people like us who are trying to overthrow them.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

except for one small problem (1.00 / 2) (#57)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:52:41 PM EST

the actors in any drama are the ones who take initiative

bush is a stupid frat boy, but he took the initiative

this doesn't mean he is correct, but it means he wins the argument, because those who oppose him for good reasons (the humanists) aren't participating in the argument: they'd rather stand on the sidelines and pass judgments on the players involved in the drama

so again, condemn bush all you want

it doesn't mean shit

far better to pick up your own sword, and join the drama

because the one who wins the current argument int he world is the one who argues

humanists aren't even fucking playing

you don't win an argument by choosing not to argue

and standing on the sidelines passing judgment is not arguing

so europe: howabout toppling a theocracy in iran that is building nukes?

don't like that idea?

on what basis do you dislike gw bush?

because he has nukes... and acts on fundamentalists religious principles... ok...

so what is iran again?

wake up!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Just one point. (none / 1) (#78)
by mr strange on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:16:07 AM EST

I'm only replying to one point, because I'm busy.

> howabout toppling a theocracy in iran that is building nukes?

That's just not the best way to do things. Look how successful that plan was in Iraq.

The EU's approach is 'embrace and extend'. We build trading links and encourage reforms. It's slow, but it's a winning strategy. We did it with Spain, we are doing it with Eastern Europe, I have high hopes we can do it with Turkey.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

whatever makes you feel comfy (1.00 / 2) (#87)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:40:12 AM EST

i admire the eu, i'm glad it embraced turkey

now iran is on your border

now, i don't remember persia being in europe in any of my history textbooks

are you going to embrace and extend to iran?

i don't think so

so, dear mr. fuzzy warm feeling, please instruct belligerent me:

tell me what you are going to do about a theocracy with nukes on your border

i'm glad you're so comfy about it

everything will just take care of itself in the end, right?

nothing to worry about from religious fundamentalists with nuclear weapons right?

everything will just work out in the end...

you keep telling yourself that

religious fundamentalists with nukes, nope, nothing threatening about that, no siree, just do nothing and they'll just drift away like a bad dream

yup

LOL ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The answers to your questions... (none / 0) (#164)
by mr strange on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 07:27:10 AM EST

...are all in the post to which you replied. Perhaps you should read it more carefully.

I don't like the idea of theocrats with nuclear weapons. But the USA seems nearer to that than Iran, so I'll distribute my concern accordingly.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

so... (none / 0) (#173)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 10:05:12 AM EST

if i sniff my shit long enough it smells like flowers? ;-P

if i listen to my propaganda long enough it becomes truth?

that seems to be your model for truth

the usa is a stable secular democracy

no, really, despite all of your mornic propaganda, no matter how long chanted or in how many variations it is said, the usa, gasp! shock! horror! is a stable... secular... democracy

can it be true!

and a LIBERAL one at that by world standards... in fact, gasp! shock! the usa has laws which give greater personal rights and freedoms than that enjoyed in most eu countries... can it be!!!!!!! this theocracy called the usa??? NON! sacre bleu!

just try to spout out about nazis in france or scientologists in germany, if you don't believe me ;-P

meanwhile, iran is an actual theocracy

no, really, like, if you actually, like, went there they actually are, like, ruled by mullahs

you mean iran is like, a real theocracy???

and, like, the usa is not???

and in fact, like, the usa has laws that makes it more liberal and progressive and tolerant and grants more rights to its citizens than most eu countries????

get out of town!

it's shocking! i know!

this amazing thing called reality versus your moronic propaganda, it somehow, i really don't now how yet, but it somehow might nullify the crap you say

crazy huh?

nah, can't be true

just keep chanting "bush = teh hitler, bush = teh hitler" and all this crazy stuff i'm saying will just go away and you can settle comfortable again in your scapegoat replacement for critical thinking certainty that all the evil in the world is the fault of the usa

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

what a braindead propagandized zombie

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

embrace and extend (none / 0) (#165)
by MX5 on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 07:54:13 AM EST

I sincerely hope the EU embraces and extends into Persia and the rest of the middle east. The fact that it isn't "Europe" in the geography textbooks doesn't matter one iota.

Taking on Turkey might have it's problems, but once done it'll be the model for other countries to follow. Now if only the EU could pull its head out of its own backside long enough to sort out its economic problems, life would be just peachy.

M
"Next week on the programme, bats. Are they really blind or are they just taking the piss?" -tfs
[ Parent ]

nope (none / 0) (#172)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 09:55:23 AM EST

i can see you extending to north africa, if you look at a map of the roman empire as a basis for the eu

i think there was some talk of israel joining too

i can even see the eu extending all the way to kamchatka, given that russia certainly is in the fold of europe

but iran?

nope

not europe

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Which part of Europe? (2.50 / 2) (#60)
by gzt on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 09:39:55 PM EST

So I can know which extreme right-wing xenophobe party polls well and I can make fun of you accordingly.

[ Parent ]
That would be the BNP. (none / 0) (#77)
by mr strange on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:07:22 AM EST

0.7% of the popular vote at the last election.

Gook luck making fun of me.

intrigued by your idea that fascism is feminine - livus
[ Parent ]

Bah! (3.00 / 2) (#103)
by gzt on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:04:02 AM EST

I was hoping you were Dutch or something. Whenever I hear European these days, I think Continental.

[ Parent ]
Right wing parties (none / 1) (#114)
by jmj on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:57:53 AM EST

What Americans don't seem to get is that with the exception of neo-nazis (which aren't a significant force in any election), all these populist right wing parties are to the left of the US Republican party in its current form.

And they have the same voter base : racists, shortsighted idiots, and selfish bastards.
They only miss out on the can't-be-bothered-to-think-for-myself religious sheep, since they usually vote for the Christian-Democrat parties (which do not try to force religious viewpoints on everyone, with some exceptions in Italy).

[ Parent ]

I don't think it really makes sense... (none / 0) (#129)
by gzt on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 04:22:01 PM EST

...to compare right vs. left internationally. A podunk European backwater the size of Montana, like Germany, will usually require a much different form of governance than a global superpower like the America.

I also disagree with your characterization of the Republican voter base. Bigot.

[ Parent ]

although I take it back... (none / 0) (#196)
by gzt on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:03:34 PM EST

...if "same" referred to "same as each other" rather than "same as the Republican Party". In which case, I agree, though they poll rather disturbingly high on the Continent.

[ Parent ]
You are part of the problem (3.00 / 3) (#55)
by alba on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:18:38 PM EST

Nothing more.

[ Parent ]
ah, fine dear ivory tower dweller speaks ;-) (1.33 / 3) (#59)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 07:55:32 PM EST

what are you?

you look down on the struggle in the mud from your cozy loft, you look at me, you look at bush, you look at osama, and you have nothing but words of withering castigation

how nice of you

now let me ask you a question:

on what basis do you think your haughty pronouncements and judgements on high of the players in a drama has any meaning?

why should i consider your withering distaste of me to have any meaning or value?

you're not participating in the drama

therefore, you just don't fucking matter

not liking me may make you feel better

but i am far more likely to SOLVE THE FUCKING PROBLEM

understand?

right now, you ar eutterly useless to the subject matter you are commenting on

fix that


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The problem with the US since 9/11 (none / 1) (#149)
by alba on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 12:31:39 AM EST

Ever since these idiots are just talking about the right (TM), the moral obligation (TM), the god-given commandment (TM) to do something, anything, everything.

Never about the actual things. How it works, what it costs, what risks it involves, and what plan B looks like. It's like in medieval times.

Your war on terror is a failure, your neo-colonial experiment in Iraq a disaster and the bullshit about "intelligent design" seals your future.

All your friends told you that it won't work.

But you would not listen.

God hates stupid bastards.

Rot in hell.

[ Parent ]

it's over already? (none / 0) (#150)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 01:23:37 AM EST

what if iraq works out?

;-)

so how's the world look from the sidelines?

haven't ever had a desire to play at the game called life?

but i guess pissing on everyone else from your high and mighty self-righteous minnaret is working for you, so who am i to argue ;-P

dude, you just don't matter in the world

there is pleasing people like you, you who just like to sit on the side and complain

and never actually do anything positive in this world yourself


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ignorance is bliss (none / 1) (#180)
by alba on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 01:12:56 PM EST

In Latin America leaders can be bribed and the populace ruled with fear. The Middle East features similar work ethics and organisational anarchy, but there are also bonds stronger than greed and fear. Since you fail to understand Old Europe I doubt that you'll do better with the craddle of civilization.

Anyway, you seem to forget the "good cop, bad cop" setup in former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, the maritime involvement of France and Germany at the Straits of Hormuz and that Turkey borders the EU in the west and the US in the east.

The war on terror is bullshit.

[ Parent ]

here's your bullshit (none / 0) (#290)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:41:57 AM EST

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/344727D0-6B03-4A15-9342-D7D60F8CB15C.htm

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Delicious (none / 0) (#300)
by alba on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:19:45 PM EST

http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Iraq_ballots_to_be_audited_due_to_voting_%22anomalie s%22



[ Parent ]
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (none / 0) (#302)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:19:30 PM EST

any excuse to be negative, right?

something amazingly wonderful happens: iraqis vote, sunnis participate, no big violence, not even medium violence!

something GOOD, momentous wonderful happens in iraq!

but it means nothing to you, right?

man you must lead a depressing gloomy useless helpless existence ;-P i'm so happy i don't think like you

on a scale of 1 to 100, how would you rank the iraqi vote?

i'll call it 90... go ahead and make a mental note of your own number

now factor in the voting concerns

now call it 80... mentally factor in your own offset because of those concerns...

do you think my observation perhaps, perchance, overrides your nitpicking by an order of magnitude? ;-)

the triumph of pragmatic good will over braindead cynicism

you lose ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

God^WPositive Thinking is on our side (none / 0) (#308)
by alba on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 01:56:39 PM EST

It is said that to the last day Hitler believed in a Wunderwaffe that would turn everything around.

[ Parent ]
You're right... (none / 1) (#62)
by thejeff on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 10:51:28 PM EST

How could I have been so blind. We must fight! Too long have we humanists just pontificated from our lofty towers. Time to get our hands dirty.

I'm going to build some bombs and blow up some baptists. That is what you're advocating, right?

[ Parent ]

fundamentalists, not baptists (1.25 / 4) (#65)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:03:09 AM EST

like al qaeda

now: tell me something... what do you propose?

what is your position exactly?

do you matter?

or are you only good at criticizing everyone else

how do you even think what you say matters when you aren't part of the situation?

progress in this world is a struggle

standing outside the struggle and calling it ugly is not a position that matters

you can't criticize the actors in the struggle if you aren't an actor yourself, you have no standing, you simply don't matter: how are you helping? how are hurting? you're not hurting or helping, so who are you to pass judgment?

now go back to your ivory tower fool, you've been found guilty of not mattering

up there you can sit back and look at all of us silly assholes running around getting passionate and upset about human suffering in this world and you can drape all the withering contempt you want on us

so smug, so useless, little rich western child

there are poor people in the world, the fundamentalists are talking to them, what are you doing to help the poor? who are the poor going to trust when all you do is stand at a distance and turn up your nose at them for showing passion?

they are going to trust the fundamentalists, and you are going to go extinct

and i, with your same values but some willingness to actually fight for those values, for me, you have nothing but contempt

you're absurd and useless

shower me with all the contempt you want

give me one reason why your contempt for me should matter?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Just running with what you said (none / 1) (#107)
by thejeff on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:50:37 AM EST

now that you've identified the problem (took you awhile), you need an effective weapon against fundamentalism

so out with it brainiacs, the clock is ticking: how do you defeat sunni wahabbists and southern baptists?

i mean REALLY defeat them

<snip>

i mean REALLY help: FUCKING KILL THE FUNDAMENTALIST ASSHOLES

just KILL THEM

You didn't seem to be making a distinction.

So if we shouldn't blow up the baptist fundamentalists, how should we fight them?

Can we, should we apply the same techniques to fighting Islamic fundamentalism?

Not the ones currently blowing things up, but those sympathetic, those on the borderline. How can we keep them from becoming radicalized? Otherwise we'll just have to keep killing.

[ Parent ]

again this bullshit slippery slope (none / 0) (#143)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:23:41 PM EST

is it your position that fighting fundamentalism creates fundamentalists?

well then why and how could you ever fight them?

silly me, i think that when you stand up to a bully, you defeat a bully

silly me, i thought bigotry and intolerance needed no excuse to exist

see in my book, original sin is fundamentalism, nothing you can do can make a fundamentalists, fundamentalists are the ones who make fundamentalists

it's like this: why are there christian fundamnetalists in the usa? because of 9/11?

are you telling me christian fundamentalists exist because of 9/11?

well then why do you believe our effort at killing muslim fundamentalists would turn moderate fundamentalists into radicals?

it comes down to personal accountability

why did i kill my roommate?

the videogames i was playing? the movies i was watching? or are those just excuses and i am an evil asshole?

why did i blow up the line of iraqis trying to vote?

because the british drew up iraqi boundaries a century ago? because rumsfeld shook hands with hussein? or are those just excuses and i am an evil asshole?

do you understand where i am coming from now?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No slippery slopes (none / 0) (#191)
by thejeff on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:35:46 PM EST

Just trying to follow your argument.

Since you largely ignored my post, I'll rephrase my original point, before moving on.

You claim southern baptists and sunni wahabists are both fundamentalists and fundamentalists need to be fought and that the best way to fight fundamentalists is just to kill them. This apparently only applies to Islamic fundamentalists. How, then, would you suggest we fight the Christian version?

it's like this: why are there christian fundamnetalists in the usa? because of 9/11?

are you telling me christian fundamentalists exist because of 9/11?
Of course not. Christian fundamentalists existed long before 9/11.
On the other hand, I would claim that the invasion of Afghanistan was a direct response to 9/11. Further that, although the invasion of Iraq was not a direct response, it only happened because of 9/11.
Thus it can be seen, that violent action can be a response to outside events. Why then could 9/11 not be a direct or indirect response to previous actions?


well then why do you believe our effort at killing muslim fundamentalists would turn moderate fundamentalists into radicals?

When attacked or threatened, people tend to turn to strong leaders who will promise them protection and vengeance. In much of the Middle East, the only people able to promise that are the radical preachers. In the US, after 9/11, all our politician were promising the same thing. No need to turn to fundamentalists when you've got the most powerful military on the planet promising to get the bad guys.

And no it doesn't all come down to personal accountability. Or rather, on a moral level it does, but that's not a useful approach to changing the situation.
If you blow up the line of Iraqis waiting to vote, then you're an evil asshole and should be held responsible. But that's only useful for after the fact punishment. If I want to stop Iraqis from blowing up other Iraqis, then understanding why they're doing it will help. Not their excuses, but the reasons they turned to violence. Unless you believe they were just evil from birth, then there were reasons and they could have made other choices in other circumstances.

[ Parent ]

fundamentalism (none / 0) (#291)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:44:28 AM EST

is always the cause of something bad

fundamentalism can never be an effect of something else

do you understand me now?

you punish fundamentalists, christian or muslim, and you promote peace and prosperity in this world


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Never? (none / 0) (#294)
by thejeff on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 09:45:04 AM EST

So where do fundamentalists come from?

If fundamentalism can never be an affect of something else, then no outside cause can ever move someone to fundamentalis, thus they must just be born that way.

And yes, I understand you. I just think it's ridiculous. People change. Outside events affect people. They can even drive them to extremes. You seem to deny basic human nature.

[ Parent ]

this is what i deny (none / 0) (#301)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:14:20 PM EST

that us policy could have more to do with muslim fundamentalist's actions than simple, old-as-time ethnocentrism and bigotry, that us policy could be anything more than a rounding error of influence as compared to simple bigotry

plenty of people, you included i hope, understand that perfectly well about christian fundamentalism

so how the hell anyone could ever buy the bullshit that muslim fundamentalism is the spawn of us policy or could have ANYTHING to do with us policy except as an excuse posed by the bigots themselves? why do people believe that bullshit?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Call me when you enumerate all of them (none / 1) (#228)
by decaf_dude on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:57:40 AM EST

I see you amuse yourself trying to find the exact straw that broke the camel's back. Go pump your ego by chastising some other ignoramus with your indelible pseudo-intellectual raving.

Of course, you're special (I'm sure your mother told you so), for if you *were* one of us unwashed masses, you wouldn't be using such unique writing style that ignores grammar and punctuation. After all, the latter are hallmarks of us unimaginative and misled fools; true creative visionaries such as yourself, who are uniquely blessed with clear vision, are most certainly beyond the constraints of linguistic form.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
laff (none / 0) (#292)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 05:45:17 AM EST

yeah look at me, the elitist snob

LOL


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Good guys vs. Bad guys (none / 1) (#66)
by Shimmer on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:11:54 AM EST

Yikes. Do I really have to spell this out for you?

Being a good guy has some disadvantages in a battle, because you have to fight fair. If you believe in freedom, you can't attack people just for disagreeing with you. If you believe in tolerance, you can't attack people just for being different. If you believe in rationality, you can't attack people in a fit of rage.

Fortunately, being a good guy has some compensating advantages as well. The good guys tend to be smarter, and they tend to be greater in number. So in the end, evil does usually lose out.

That doesn't mean the good guys can be complacent, though. It just means that they can have some hope for the future.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

this isn't a fucking video game (1.50 / 2) (#70)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 01:51:39 AM EST

but, if you like your good guys/ bad guys stuff so much, tell me: how many movies or video games have you seen won by the good guys who just sit around and talk about how much the bad guys suck?

what are the bad guys doing meanwhile?

building a power base, extending their reach, winning over the masses

it takes more to make a difference in this world to win than being right

it takes action

the ones who win ANYTHING in this world are those who fight for it, no matter how much they deserve something or how right or wrong they are: you fight for it, you win

so in a world where the good guys just sit around casting aspersions, the bad guys prevail

there's an old quote, something like this: `All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing'

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Movies? Video games? (3.00 / 2) (#72)
by Shimmer on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 02:32:30 AM EST

This conversation is just too weird for me. You seem to feel passionately about this very important issue, but you're not making a lot of sense. I suggest you take a deep breath and collect your thoughts.

In the meantime, I modestly submit that I am not just "sitting around" doing nothing. I am trying to bring the underlying issues to light so that people will rally to this point of view.

You would apparently prefer to skip ahead to the exciting conclusion wherein we all pick up weapons and burn down our local evangelical churches. That's a fantasy, it's bizarre, and it's not going to to happen. Get a grip.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

(snicker) (1.00 / 2) (#74)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 03:05:10 AM EST

You would apparently prefer to skip ahead to the exciting conclusion wherein we all pick up weapons and burn down our local evangelical churches. That's a fantasy, it's bizarre, and it's not going to to happen. Get a grip.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11%2C_2001_attacks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Bali_terrorist_bombing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11_March_2004_Madrid_attacks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings

this is the point where you catch up with reality, and realize that by attacking me, you are shooting the messenger

those 4 links above: what is the relationship between them and your characterization of my bizarre fantasy life? you talk about jumping to an "exciting conclusion"... how would you characterize the 4 links above in relation to this "exciting conclusion" you speak of?

am i full of false alarmism?

or, PERHAPS, are you full of false security?

the thief is in your house, pluindering your belongings, and you're talking about what to do when you see the thief out on the roadside heading towards your house... um, would you perchance like to fucking catch up with the here and now already????

hello??????????? anyone home up there??????????

where the FUCK have you been the last 4 years dorothy?

did you perchance happen to get a whiff of what is going on in the world?

would like to update your stilted halting weak attitude yet?

pray tell, dear enlightened one, lend me some brain cells and play this scenario out in your oh so exalted intellect:

the moderate poor masses, christian and moslem, are listening to many forces with different agendas right now

one of those agendas bombs them and steals their rights on one hand, and calls you the enemy on the other

and they buy it

against these tactics, what chance does your un bureaucrat speak of "trying to bring the underlying issues to light so that people will rally to this point of view" stand?

hmmm?

please, we're all ears, i'd love to hear you defend your ivory tower lecturing from on yonder high approach, i'd love to hear you EXPLAIN to me your approach from a point of view of EFFECTIVENESS

seems to me the thief is stealing your computer and you're sitting there calmly, lecturing him on the wrongness of it

he's laughing at you retard

i'm not laughing at you though, i'm vomitting on you: you make me fucking sick, you're so blind and ineffective, and you think you matter somehow

you remind me of the un bureaucrats last year, sitting around debating whether or not to use the word "genocide" in their letter of condemnation of sudan as the janjaweed kill black south sudanese with abandon... then after they write their angry letter, it's time for milk and cookies and a nap

what a dear brave bureaucrat you are

but thank you, in your benign superiority, to condescend to tell us all about your brave, brave plans to hold roundtable discussions about the state of the world!

i am so infused with confidence now that the world is changing for the better!

fucking blind western rich child

WAKE THE FUCK UP


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

False alarmism or false security. Let's see (none / 1) (#76)
by bodza on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 04:16:57 AM EST

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11%2C_2001_attacks

Dead: 2,986

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Bali_terrorist_bombing

Dead: 202

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/11_March_2004_Madrid_attacks

Dead: 191

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings

Dead: 56

Total: 3435

Deaths from car accidents worldwide since 11 Sep 2001: ~4,000,000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_accident)

Deaths from malaria worldwide since 11 Sep 2001: ~5,200,000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria)

Looks like false alarmism to me.
--
"Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest." - Émile Zola

[ Parent ]

are you emotionally autistic or something? (1.33 / 3) (#83)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:07:15 AM EST

listen to this little piece of wisdom:

"grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference"

you need to focus on that last part about wisdom, capisce? you apparently don't have it when considering your retarded context-less statistics and thinking they are supposed to mean something to anyone

quantity of death means nothing: the question is: it something you can DO something about?

if an asteroid were bearing down on the planet, threatening to kill us all, what would you do? i would do nothing, except lie down and make piece: i have no control over the situation

however, if i saw a guy take just ONE child hostage, i would be very upset and alert and involved: I CAN CHANGE THE SITUATION, MY ACTIONS MATTER

do you understand the concept?

lightning strikes and shark attacks: i can't control that

but a fellow human being? i can COMMUNICATE with them

suicide bombers are PEOPLE, they should have become doctors or lawyers, why didn't they? I CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT, i have control and influence over my fellow human beings

and more importantly, I CARE ABOUT MY FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS

simple empathy is my motivation

do you understand?

or are you so emotionally autistic you actually believe your litany of numbers is supposed to mean something?

no, wait, one thing more, i'm not done with you: there is also the amazing flabbergasting concept you've apparently never heard of: it's called INTENT

like this: a guy falls asleep at the wheel of a truck, smashes into a school bus, killing ten kids

another guy watches the school bus route carefully, and deliberately and methodically plans out for a long period of time the exact moment to drive his truck into the school bus on purpose... but when he does it, he only kills 2 kids

which is a greater concern to you? which is more outrageous

let's use your method, here's the numbers again: 10 dead kids versus 2 dead kids

again: which situation is more outrageous to you?

numbers tell the whole story?

are you a human being? do you have feelings? do you have empathy? well then tell me einstein: what does INTENT mean to you?

fucking moronic autistic- you have no ability to feel

go back into your padded room and play with your rubiks cubes and crosswords you aspergers syndrome loser

leave that whole weird thing called "communicating with other human beings and understanding them and their motivations" to someone with a functional human neart, you fucking lizard man

context

intent

perspective

scale

to you, apparently, these are weird nebulous concepts, and you think because a lot of people die in car accidents, we can't get upset about bombings in bali

what a fucking autistic loser


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

sigged. (none / 1) (#105)
by diocletian on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:37:46 AM EST

Just to clarify: You propose the violent elimination of all fundamentalists? So, we should embark on a "War on Fundamentalism," if you will?

Ok. Sure. Before we get started, here's a couple questions:

Can you actually give us a definition of fundamentalism that won't be as vague as the State Department's "terrorism?"

Should we kill all the fundamentalist's children as well, since they've been tainted by their parent's foul touch?

How should we enact this empathatic, merciful, and humanitarian plan? Should I start stockpiling weapons? Brewing chemical agents? Or is your idea more of a "take it to the streets" approach, in which case I should just grab the nearest uzi, high-tail it to the local mall, and start shooting everybody wearing a crucifix, yamaka, or burka and dance in joy on their lifeless, bullet ridden corpses?

Hm. Maybe instead, I should just dismiss the nonsensicle, psychotic, and masurbatory wankery of some internet troll. Yeah, I'll do that.
_____________________________________

simple empathy is my motivation ~ circletimessquare
[ Parent ]

hilarious ;-) (3.00 / 2) (#142)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:18:51 PM EST

i said we kill fundamentalists, and you think you've got a salient point to make by saying i can't define who that is

i can define who that is

people who blow up people waiting to vote in a line, people who blow up abortion clinics

PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY KILLED PEOPLE

and you come to me with this bullshit slippery slope

what do your words speak to me of? they speak of fear, you have fear, you have fear of fundamentalism... because in your words is a description of fundamentalist actions ;-P

and you look at me, who wants to do SOMETHING about exactly what your fear describes in your words above and you see what???

you see fundamentalism in MY words???

is it fucking POSSIBLE in your mind to fight fundamentalists without becoming a fundamentalist?

answer that simple fucking question: is it fucking POSSIBLE to fight fundamentalists wihtout becoming one yourself

if it's POSSIBLE, and you ADMIT that, then you have no reason to stand against me

you are like a spineless shivering worm, you can't take any action whatsoever against any evil in this world, you're a coward, you're overcome with fear

well guess what slime, I'M NOT YOU

and your judgment that i am as bad as the fundamentalists i want to kill is BULLSHIT

WHEN DO YOU FIGHT EVIL MOTHERFUCKER????

WHEN IN YOUR GLORIOUS WORLD DO YOU ACTUALLY DEVELOP A FUCKING BACKBONE YOU SIMPERING CHILD????????


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I guess I touched a nerve. [nt] (none / 1) (#178)
by diocletian on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 12:16:44 PM EST


_____________________________________

simple empathy is my motivation ~ circletimessquare
[ Parent ]

gb2 ur hugbox [nt] (none / 1) (#120)
by Patrick Chalmers on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:29:13 PM EST


Holy crap, working comment search!
[ Parent ]
You mean peace, right? (none / 1) (#121)
by mettaur on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:30:16 PM EST

"i would do nothing, except lie down and make piece"
--
[Applying business theory to trolling]
[ Parent ]
What intent means to me (none / 0) (#222)
by bodza on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:11:22 AM EST

Intent: What Bill Clinton showed when he ordered missiles fired into Sudan's only pharmaceutical factory in 1998. What his UN ambassador showed when he vetoed a resolution allowing chloroquine (a malaria preventative/cure) to be imported into the country to replace that which would have been produced by the facility. Tens of thousands died that year for lack of medicine. Not to mention a lack of agricultural products which plunged the country into famine. Wagging the dog to "avenge" 2 bombings carried out by Saudis & Yemenis.

And don't give me any of your shit about only criticising the US. I'm just as regularly outraged by the acts of nations and groups big and small, Western, Third World, communist, religous, secular, whatever. Unilateral military aggression singles out the members of the CotW for extra attention however.

The religous nutjobs have several orders of magnitude in numbers, in terror, and in intent, before they reach the levels of the sorry people you apologise for.
--
"Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest." - Émile Zola

[ Parent ]

Oh dear... (none / 0) (#193)
by omestes on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:38:34 PM EST

I already regret hopping into this conversation...  

People make a big deal about those events you linked, but seriously, do they really matter?  I think we inflate these things to much.  I really don't care about any of them, just more petty violence in the face of a human history full of petty violence, damn insignifigant if you look at the bigger picture.  

As for you point of violence, I have mulled it before, but have never come to a decent conclusion either way, since misdirected violence could cause a worse problem that irrationality.

That might be the downfall of rationality.  Acting irrationally might be more viable option, but then you loose what you were fighting for.  In the end I have to shrug, say "fuck it", and have a nice cold beer while watching all the dumb fucks of the world duke it out.

[ Parent ]

May I propose a retort to your sig (none / 0) (#229)
by decaf_dude on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 11:07:34 AM EST

He who acts without thinking eventually gets skimmed from the genepool.

Right now, I view US of A as a blind man who was struck; instead of using his advantage in superb hearing, as well as many friends who surround him, to positively identify his foe and strike hard exactly in his direction, he hysterically screams while throwing out a series of punches that mostly land on his friends and innocent bystanders, although some graze his foe.

The trouble is, despite his enormous power, his energy is limited and eventually will be exhausted. Meanwhile, his friends will have taken a distance to avoid getting hit, his foes will have multiplied, strengthened by those innocents, and he will lie on the ground, breathless, defenceless.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
...and you've been wrong for ages (none / 1) (#75)
by bodza on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 03:38:48 AM EST

> so out with it brainiacs, the clock is ticking: how do you defeat sunni wahabbists and southern baptists?
> i mean REALLY defeat them

Dig wells. Build schools, universities, hospitals and family planning clinics. And support small business.

  • Every time you bomb a village, looking for fundamentalists, rebuild it with a well and a school.

  • Every time you inadvertently kill an innocent child, build a hospital.

  • Every time you sweep through an overpopulated ghetto, tearing down houses, build a family planning clinic.

  • Every time you imprison an outspoken cleric/minister or ban a political party, build a university.

  • Every time you destroy the livelihood of a peasant farmer, trader, taxi driver etc., start a small loans facility.

The cost of all this is negligible compared to the costs of fighting a war. For example, it's estimated that it would cost US$8 billion/year to provide free primary/secondary education to every child on the planet. Call it the "war on poverty" in public. But it's a war on ignorance.

I've met several officers of the US Army Corps of Engineers around the world who would love to be doing the work as well. When you no longer feel the need to continue bombing, keep building the schools, hospitals etc.

This will solve the problem within a few generations. I hope I don't have to explain the benefit of potable water. Likewise cheap, quality education and health care. The family planning empowers half of society to take control of their lives. The finance allows people to control their livelihood.

There, you've undermined what the wackos do for their people. Watch their support wither and die. In the meantime, don't "fight" them. You're only legitimising their bullshit rhetoric. When actual (rather than potential or imagined) terrorism becomes a bigger danger to society than say car accidents, you might be able to interest me in fighting them.


--
"Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest." - Émile Zola

[ Parent ]
you're hilarious! thanks for the laugh ;-) (1.00 / 3) (#85)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:20:34 AM EST

you live in this antiseptic hermetically sealed conception of how human beings actually work ;-)

oh to be as naive and clueless as you, what a gloriously cotton candy headed life that would be sigh

i almost envy you your ignorance, it's truly blissful

i don't even know where to begin

i'll try to keep it simple

to build any society, you need this:

security, which allows for infrastructure, which allows for prosperity, which allows for education

notice that little bit called "security"

notice how without that the other things never fall into place

btw, in case you are confused, "security" is those guys with bombs and guns

i know, it might be hard for you to conceive of, so we'll leave your lessons small and easily digestible, but really, light headed moron: YOU CAN'T DO ONE FUCKING THING YOU TALK ABOUT UNTIL THE GUYS WITH THE GUNS MAKE SURE THINGS ARE SECURE

i know, it's hard to grasp in your perfect little world everyone means well and everyone is on the same page and everyone trusts everyone else's intentions (well maybe you're on to something: put prozac in the water supply! ;-P ) and no one panics or gets upset about anything or no one demagogues there way into power capitalizing on those fears and no one ever fights real simple progress like building roads and schools simply because they weren't the ones who provided them: "neocolonialism! imperialism"... "ok, i'll give you the money, and you can build the roads and schools"... 6 months later, guy's cousin has a huge mansion and the nations kids are still living in mud ;-P

must be nice to view the world and the people in it like you do: no malice, no ugliness, everyone is just SWELL

I LOVE YOU MAN!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA

think about it just a little, ok dork?

i think most anyone with an iq over 75 can grasp the gist of what i am saying

there is hope for you, fucking clown

you need guns to build a road before you need shovels

think about the essential truth of that statement, just a little

and just maybe you can begin to peepp outside of your safe little bubble of bliss, you rich clueless western child in your little safe coccoon

fucking useless

loud, but useless

like most any toddler


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The view from inside my cocoon (none / 1) (#90)
by bodza on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:10:20 AM EST

In my experience mate, kids will walk through minefields to get to school because they know what it's worth to them to have an education. Several of my students travel from Somalia & the Sudan each year to Nairobi to take my courses. I'll be sure to tell them not to bother and to wait until security improves.

There's a middle ground between neo-colonialism and free handouts. Most people in the third world are grateful for outside assistance. It's the guys in the mansions who take the handouts in one hand and shake a fist at the imperialist aggressor with the other who are the greatest. Them and the Western interests who sponsor them and turn a blind eye to their wilful ignorance of the plight of their own people. Personally, I won't be waiting for them to go away before I try to help.

I've got to go out now, but I'll be looking forward to your telling me again how the world really works.
--
"Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest." - Émile Zola

[ Parent ]

actually, i need some help from you (1.50 / 2) (#93)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:41:17 AM EST

i need to know how your baldly patronizing, condescending attitude works for you asshole: "Them and the Western interests who sponsor them and turn a blind eye to their wilful ignorance of the plight of their own people."

tell your students from africa next time you talk to them that you hold them in such high regard that they are never accountable or responsible for their own governments. that the failures of their governments isn't the fault of sudanese or somalis or kenyans, no, that's impossible... it's the great white man's burden, as it always has been, right?

the sorry state of iraq under saddam hussein... how is that possible? is it the failure of iraqis? or the fault of the british when they drew up the national boundaries! ah! when saddam invades his neighbors time and time again, whose fault is that? well, we have a picture of rumsfeld shaking his hand- so clearly, it's the us's fault! ah!

how does that work for you loser? how does the fable of how everything bad that happens in the world coming back to the doorstep of the west, no matter how historical or convoluted or creative the reasoning?

see, my weird radical wacky premise is that if something bad happens in nepal, it's the fucking nepalese's fault. that if something bad happens in the philippines, it's the fucking filipino's fault. i'm kind of wacky with that far out rarefied concept: i see filipinos, nepalese, sudanese, somalis and kenyans AS MY EQUAL.

IN EVERY WAY... like accountability, responsibility? hello? are you listening you soft patronizing racist asshole? i'm not into recriminations, mainly because i believe in PROGRESS. and finally, i believe in universal human rights, which puts me in the really wacky strange rarefied position where i condemn people for their failures to support human rights themselves!

i know, i'm such a weirdo! personal accountability, no? are you familiar with the concept? or is the concept of universal human rights in your mind only come in the form of a great white hand stretching out to a brown forehead?

so how does your soft racism work asshole? that you look at these students of yours from africa, and you don't see your equal, in rights and reponsibility and accountability, but in contempt for their own abilities to take care of themselves, as if your child? heaven forbid their local despots be their fault right? screw their thousands of years of history, right? hsitory begins when the white men steps off the ship, right?

well what else explains your attitude that we owe them a paternalistic attitude? i mean it's impossible their government be their own damn fault, no, clearly it's the cia's work, right? simply becuase the cia is mean and gw bush likes to drink oil from the skulls of dead iraqi children! yeeha!

this cartoon is your deep understanding of the world? it couldn't possibly be that the biggest failure giving rise to despotic regimes is the failures and the bad attitudes of the... wait, lemme, think... i know, it's really hard... THE FUCKING LOCALS MAYBE???!!!

could it be? impossible! what a strange and twisted concept! ;-P

you're a soft racist condescending patronizing asshole

look deep inside yourself: your ideology is not logically consistent with the idea of equality of all humans

MINE IS

so you make sure you grab and hug your students when you ape for your next photo with them, dear great white father

i never thought i'd meet rudyard kipling on this website, i thought he was dead, but here you are, carrying your white man's burden after all

i spit on you you fucking racist


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Umm, we did give the guy billions. (none / 0) (#95)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:24:25 AM EST

Iraq is a bad example, as we did substantially support Iraq both with money and with weapons during and after it's war with Iran. It is likely that Saddam would have lost power without the aformentioned help.

[ Parent ]
4 things (none / 1) (#96)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 08:36:42 AM EST

  1. we gave support to a lot of governments
  2. a lot of other governments gave support to iraq (french, germans, russians, chinese, etc.)
  3. we did it for cold war reasons
  4. all of our support still wouldn't have made a difference. post 1991 first gulf war, how has saddam fared?
it is a fallacy, an ethnocentric one, to magnify the importance of the west in the world so much. don't you see it as arrogance and overinflated self importance to suppose the west can decide at its whim to decide the head of state in a foreign country? really? what about castro? what about the mullahs in tehran? oh much mythologized western control of the world, i see you now :-/

so if you honestly believe the usa was the deciding factor in saddam husseins' rise and his grip on power, you just don't know what you are talking about

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Honestly, I don't. (none / 0) (#98)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 09:27:28 AM EST

know what I am talking about, that is. I'm a computer janitor, not a politico. All I'm saying is that we spend a lot of time sticking our head where it doesn't belong, and we usually end up causing more problems than we solve. In the case of Iraq, from what I read, we did play a significant role in keeping Saddam in power during his war with Iran, but as you pointed out, I am no expert.

Clearly, we don't control the world. However, we do alter it rather significantly, and not always in our favor. While I agree that people need to take responsibility for their own government, part of that is looking at your government's foreign policy. We (the U.S.) are now seeing a whole lot of 'blowback' from our actions in the 80s- the people Reagan supported to help us fight the Russians are now fighting us because we won't leave.

I firmly believe that if we simply left, if we closed up the military bases we have on foreign soil, we would not have a significant problem with international terrorism.

[ Parent ]

that's what they are counting on, and we did (none / 0) (#140)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:05:02 PM EST

reagan left when 250 marines were killed, this emboldened terrorists

we didn't take out saddam in 1991, this emboldened hussein

it's when you retreat your enemy takes heart

look, your position is not uncommon: a lot of people believe retreating from the world is the answer to solving our problems

but 9/11 proves that to be false

you have to engage your enemies FURTHER

you have to get MORE INVOLVED

that's the way to solve your problems

running away form them only lets them grow like a cancer, until they strike at home, grow in power

look, it's this simple: there is conflict in this world, the only thing you get to decide is where it is fought

you push out, it is fought where the enemy lives

you retreat, the conflict comes home with you

it really is that simple

you don't solve any single conflict in this world by retreating it

you can't convince your enemy he isn't you enemy

if your enemy hates you he will fight you, if you run from him, he will follow you

the conflict in this world is fundamentalism versus rationality

the question is not IF you are going to fight, not WHEN you are going to fight it, it is simply WHERE

you already are fighting it, you are already fighting it now

avoiding thiese simple facts means nothing but that you don't like the fight

which means you have delicate sensibilities

but you  can't afford that now

this fight is ugly and mean, so you shrink from it, but you need to grow up

what does bali, london, madrid, 9/11 teach you?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

'never do your enemy a minor injury' (none / 0) (#147)
by Morally Inflexible on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 12:12:32 AM EST

Actually, you can solve most conflicts by putting an ocean between you and your enemy. Personally, I do not believe 9/11 would have occurred if we did not have military personnel throughout the middle east.

I think the seminal lesson of all the attacks you mention is 'When you lay down with the dogs, you wake with fleas' If you don't associate with sociopaths, generally speaking, the sociopaths don't go out of their way to get you. On a more personal scale, look at murder statistics. Nearly all victims are criminals themselves or have a close relationship with the murderer. Occasionally, you do get a 'random' murder, but those are exceptionally rare.

The second lesson here is 'never do your enemy a minor injury' Crush him, or leave him alone. half-measures only serve to focus his wraith on you.

If Osama Bin Laden was operating as part of the Taliban (I don't know- but that's what those in charge have said) then yeah, we were justified in attacking Afghanistan. However, why did we not crush them? and more importantly, why are we still there?

All rational men go to great lengths to avoid violence when possible. However, there are times when it is necessary. Violence is not a tool to impose your will on others. Violence is the last resort- used to destroy people who refuse to allow you to live in peace. Only a fool starts a fight without the will and ability to obliterate his enemy. If you begin a violent action, and your enemy still remains at the end, you have lost. Your enemy now sees you as a real threat, rather than a mere object of hatred.

Personally, if it were up to me, the U.S. would cut it's conventional military forces down to a reasonable number of border guards, and keep it's nuclear arsenal. This would force us into a "do nothing or turn them into radioactive glass" situation. First, this would make it impossible to occupy foreign countries, reducing the number of people who see us as their main enemy. Secondarily, it would make for a strong deterrent against someone who chose to attack us for historical or monetary reasons. Finally, it would provide rather strong 'selection pressure' against those who chose to attack us anyhow.

[ Parent ]

i stopped reading here (none / 0) (#151)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 01:28:25 AM EST

Actually, you can solve most conflicts by putting an ocean between you and your enemy.

how do you do that in a rapidly globalized world of internet, jet air travel, cell phones, etc?

what exactly were you not paying attention to on 9/11?

globalization has many positives and negatives, an obvious negative is the globalization of terror

there is no ocean wide enough anymore buddy, it's a tiny world now, what happens in kandahar matters in manhattan, what happens in london matters in lagos, what happens in tokyo matters in caracas

you simply can't escape or avoid anymore

welcome to the 21st centruy, start paying attention


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Jesus, you don't know when to STFU (none / 1) (#152)
by jongleur on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 01:39:08 AM EST

I'm embarrassed for you.
--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
no, i don't know when to shut up (none / 1) (#154)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 02:51:26 AM EST

and please, be embarassed all you want for me

no one cares about how much i embarass myself here, not the least of which myself

some spit, some scowl, some heat up a bowl of popcorn and laugh

why should i care? what do you expect of me? decorum? self-restraint? where do you think you are? an academic conference?

you're in the fucking prison yard while the prisoners are staging a fucking riot

that's what this place is, it's the internet, it's the wild west, it's pioneer days here buddy

so i suggest you adjust your expectations of me, and this place

many decades from now, when they rezone the internet into cozy brain dead cul de sacs with mcmansions a family dog and 2.3 kids, i think you'll feel more comfortable

but in the mean time, i'm not the one out of place here fuckwad, you are

so you will excuse me while i piss on your face

...and you have my permission to feel embarassed for my behavior all you want, whatever makes you happy tourist

sweet kisses

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Keep fighting (none / 0) (#223)
by bodza on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:24:10 AM EST

From Kipling's The Young British Soldier

"When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier...
...
If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier...
...
When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!"

--
"Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest." - Émile Zola

[ Parent ]
While I won't disagree (none / 0) (#211)
by godix on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 01:47:42 AM EST

I gotta wonder what the rest of the world would think of the US spreading education full of US ideas throughout the world. We get backlash already for unintentionally (from a political point of view) spreading McD's and Coke imagine how bad it'd be if we sat down and actively planned on spreading our ideas throughout the world.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
Tainted education (none / 0) (#227)
by bodza on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:10:06 AM EST

I said build the schools, don't staff them :-)

But if you're delivering what the people need, and keeping things economically, politically and religously neutral, then those that complain will get fewer over time. No need to try and teach political science when engineering will do.

The point I was originally trying to make is that in many parts of the world (of all levels of development), the church or mosque provides some or all of education, health care, welfare etc. and this attracts people more than the ravings of an out of control priest or cleric. But if they want the food/water/medicine/education, they (and their impressionable children) have to play along.

I wouldn't say that the goals of US big business and the government are that far separated, but that's a full blown rant in its own right.
--
"Civilization will not attain to its perfection until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest." - Émile Zola

[ Parent ]

That sounds like work. (none / 1) (#84)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:20:33 AM EST

It's so much easier to keep them busy fighting oneanother. That's how we got this 'freedom of religion' here in the states. Start with something like Chick Tracts- see http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/0071/0071_01.asp (I love chick tracts... Best Troll Ever!) but distribute them to protestants. Re-ignite the catholic-protestant rivalry of the 1900s!

Keeping these people arguing over small matters is the easiest way to keep them out of power. United, the irrational hoards will overwhelm us all.

Rational men make terrible soldiers. Leave the fighting to the fools who have faith.

[ Parent ]

i hear the cynicism of what you are saying (1.50 / 2) (#86)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:32:53 AM EST

except you want to reach back further than the 1900s for catholic protestant rivalries

like oh say the hundred years war

the point is its not cute or funny what you are really talking about

your wry cynicism is not wisdom, its just that you dont care

which is fine, you dont have to care, you just should know that encouraging fires in the empty lot next to your house might mean someday the fire will turn and burn your house down

then you will care alright

so, best to fight the fires, because fires spread, and it's absolutely stunning just how fast it catches up to you

don't fool yourself into thinking you're so far and distant from these conflicts and that you can stir the pot safely from a distance and that it has no effect on your security

you have to get MORE involved, not less, if not for the sake of caring, then to save your own damn hide: its the same thing in the end, caring about the fate of others has bearing on your own fate

that's the real wisdom


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No, I'm speaking of america in the 1900s. (none / 1) (#89)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:09:38 AM EST

I don't actually want open warfare in the streets- I just want them broken as a voting block.

From what I understand, the catholic/protestant rivalry simmered for most of the 1900s, weakening the religious as a voting block, without breaking out into actual violence, at least here in the U.S. (now, I also understand much of the anti-catholic sentiment was more anti-immigrant than anti-catholic, but the effect was the same)

Really, I think me becoming more involved is a bad idea. Irrational people are, well, irrational. You can not reason with faith, and as I said before, rational men make poor soldiers. The best case scenario for everyone, us and them, is that they tie themselves up in arguments over minor points of doctrine and make themselves irrelevant.

Now, looking to me for wisdom is foolish, however, I believe that the admission 'I might be wrong' is at the core of all wisdom.

[ Parent ]

ok, you win (1.50 / 2) (#94)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:44:47 AM EST

seneca said it better though:

"religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful"


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

WORST FORMATTING EVAR [nt] (3.00 / 2) (#117)
by mettaur on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:18:36 PM EST


--
[Applying business theory to trolling]
[ Parent ]
3, controversial [nt] (none / 1) (#122)
by Patrick Chalmers on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:32:07 PM EST


Holy crap, working comment search!
[ Parent ]
My tower is titanium alloy (none / 0) (#213)
by Alien zombie on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 02:05:37 AM EST

No tusks.

----

When the spin stops the top drops.

[ Parent ]

You can't bomb an idea, but... (none / 0) (#329)
by Peter Trepan on Fri Dec 16, 2005 at 03:00:38 PM EST

...I agree with the rest of what you're saying. You don't have to be a comparative religion major at Yale to be a bit sheltered in your worldview.

I've argued religion on the internet for years, and I've found it doesn't make a damned bit of difference except with people who have already found fault with their indoctrination. It doesn't matter if your arguments are more rational, even if you're arguing with an otherwise rational person. If a person's religion speaks to their gut, they'll defend it against all reason - and humanism has so far done very little to speak to the gut of the guy on the street. So please, shut up about philosophy for a minute and start up some Humanist potlucks.

Also, one notion it's very important to disabuse yourself of is the idea that Joe Sixpack is a fundamentalist because he's dumber than you. Very often, he is not. In fact, the organizational efforts of the Christian right are nothing short of brilliant. If you judged worldviews solely by their PR capability, you'd almost have to conclude that Humanism is a club for retards.

I've been involved with freethought groups for a while, and as far as the pansy-handsed intellectual stereotype goes, circletimessquare is right. Something common to all of them is the unwillingness to get their hands dirty in real life, and the idea that if you explain freethought to someone well enough, that they'll have to accept it and reject their own irrational beliefs. That idea is completely and catastrophically false.

People don't care about which philosophy is more true. Repeat this to yourself. THEY DON'T CARE IF IT'S TRUE! They only care if it feels right. Until Humanism puts on a friendly-folks face and opens up "churches" in every city in America where people can eat a potluck dinner together without having to be politically correct about everything, it will be considered a religion for eggheads and liberals who want to steal your guns and outlaw the word "Christmas."

If you'd like to see an alternative way to act, read The Ugly American.


Truth is more of a stranger than fiction. -- Mark Twain
[ Parent ]
End of the Enlightenment? Good riddance. (1.50 / 2) (#47)
by gzt on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 06:21:03 PM EST

You do realize that Baptists and other essentially American Christian movements are spawn of the Enlightenment, right? Well, Baptists predate the Enlightenment, but they're heavily-influenced by it.

You sir should look further at that issue. (1.75 / 4) (#64)
by richarj on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:02:23 AM EST

Blind faith in science
Scientific fundamentalism is the belief that the world is accessible to and ultimately controllable by human reason...a profoundly unscientific idea

You wouldn't happen to be a "Scientific Fundamentalist" would you?



"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
Nope (none / 1) (#68)
by Shimmer on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:18:14 AM EST

That article is here if anyone wants to see it. Personally, I believe that the most important thing a scientist can say is "I don't know". There are plenty of things that science currently has no explanation for: consciousness, abiogenesis, etc. Modesty is called for, even in a discipline as fantastically successful as science has been over the centuries.

Some questions may be beyond the reach of science altogether, such as Martin Gardner's "super-ultimate question": Why does something exist, rather than nothing? That's a good one to think about late at night when you can't sleep.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

Relativism won't wash (none / 0) (#210)
by Alien zombie on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 12:41:33 AM EST

How ironic that theistic absolutists fall back on philosophical relativism in a feeble attempt to portray science as just another belief system.

-----

When the spin stops the top drops.

[ Parent ]

Some religions which were better engineered, (none / 1) (#69)
by Sesquipundalian on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 01:13:28 AM EST

are adapting quite well to the presence of the "experimental rigor" meme in the local infocology. The Jesuit sect of the Roman Catholic church is an excellent example of this, also Judeaism and Mormonism.

Mormonism and Scientology are both an absolute riot. These guys actually have a science fiction premise for their religions! I could absolutely die howling. They obviously aren't getting enough pasta and meatballs in their diet.

I think it's called being syncretic.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
Peace be upon the pasta (none / 0) (#212)
by Alien zombie on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 01:55:08 AM EST

And pass the meatballs.

-------

When the spin stops the top drops.

[ Parent ]

A few questions (2.42 / 7) (#82)
by godix on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:58:51 AM EST

If I asked you to explain how evolution works, in detail, could you? Do you know if the current theories of evolution are identical to Darwins evolution theory? Can you tell me what observations caused chages to the theory or, if there has been no change, what observations were correctly predicted by the theory? Can you actually answer the common question of how can a complex system (IE eyes or flight), which is worse than useless if not fully functional, come about? Do you know what the evolutionary theory has to say about the original origin of life? Can you name a few prominent scientist studying evolution and how they agree/disagree with each others work? How did the very first organism that became sexually reproducing instead of asexual find something to fuck and pass on it's genes?

These questions have answers but that really isn't my point. Instead I'm just wondering how many of you actually understand the science and how many are blindly worshipping the theory. If a guy in a white coat tells you something do you know enough to accurately judge if he's making shit up or not? How many on K5 who hate 'fundamentalist' pray at the alter of pseudoscience?


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.

It is not a theory that we worship. (3.00 / 2) (#88)
by Morally Inflexible on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 06:50:10 AM EST

But the idea that knowledge is possible. Not complete knowledge, but incremental knowledge. We can build models to explain how the world works- and use those models to make our lives better.

I don't know much about evolution. From what I understand, microevolution is widely accepted, while macroevolution is still somewhat controversial. Obviously, I lack the background to speak with authority on either one. Personally, I only find the past interesting as far as it helps me master the future, so macroevolution is not on my list of subjects to study.

You can not attack my belief that the scientific method produces useful results by disproving evolution. If you can disprove evolution, that's great! you have just made scientific knowledge more correct.

The problem with intelligent design is that it can never be disproven- No matter what new evidence is brought fourth, you can always claim 'the will of god'

If you want to believe something without evidence to make yourself feel better about the unknown, well, I guess that's your right. Personally, I prefer to face the unknown with tools that allow me to learn.

[ Parent ]

You misunderstand me (none / 0) (#155)
by godix on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:29:58 AM EST

You can not attack my belief that the scientific method produces useful results by disproving evolution.

I wasn't attacking the scientific theory. I was attacking people who believe some ideas are 'science' despite not knowing enough about them to judge if they really follow the scientific theory or not. My point was that for many people there isn't a difference in their religious belief and scientific belief. Saying 'Evolution is true because a PHD told me so' is no different than saying 'ID is true because a priest told me so'.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
I don't think any rational person (none / 0) (#215)
by Morally Inflexible on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 02:34:41 AM EST

is saying 'macroevolution is absolutely the process by which the species of life became differentiated' Certainly not any rational person with a PHD in the field.

Perhaps 'macroevolution is the most likely process by which the various species of life became differentiated.'

[ Parent ]

how about... (none / 0) (#284)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:47:41 AM EST

Well then there are a lot of irrational people defending evolution then, because it's said a lot. Don't feel bad though. You don't get to pick your allies. There's still plenty of people defending ID using eyes as an example which must irritate the other ID people. Just because a fool jumps in and tries to "help" you, doesn't mean you're wrong.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
There are a lot of irrational people. Full stop. (none / 0) (#288)
by Morally Inflexible on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 03:19:47 AM EST



[ Parent ]
too true... (none / 0) (#296)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 11:55:14 AM EST


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
ID is a blik (none / 0) (#187)
by omestes on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 03:45:33 PM EST

You are correct, the error in ID is that it is an undisprovable statement by nature, and this is not a valid topic of debate.  Also its logical underpinnings are flawed.  

But I have no complaints against the right questioning the the validity of evolution itself, it forces all the science-types to work harder, and thus strengthen our body of knowledge.

My only complaint, outside of positing ID as a valid replacement, is their butchering of the term "theory", if your going to use a term you should at least use it the same way as those that you argue against.

[ Parent ]

science and religion (1.50 / 2) (#91)
by circletimessquare on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 07:16:29 AM EST

don't actually have anything to do with each other

one approaches the world with the head, the other approaches the world with the heart

one seeks to quantify human experience, one seeks to qualify human experience

one categorizes, collects, and explains, the other feels, dreams, and exclaims

they are completely irreconciable pursuits of mankind, like the two sides of a coin, hot and cold, right brain/ left brain, the ying yang, or male and female: you need both to live, but you can't have both in the same container

so you can't use religious language to talk about science, and you cannot use scientific language to talk about religion

you can't intrude upon scientific territory with religion, and you can't intrude upon religious territory with science

they're oil and water, they simply don't mix, you simply CAN'T say anything valid about science with religion, and you simply CAN'T say anything valid about religion with science

of course, all of our problems stems from the fact that very few people hold these concept in their minds for very long, if they ever realize it

the entire debate between science and religion is done by people who don't realize there is no debate at all, nor can there ever be

but, at least now you know, so shut the fuck up already ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

+2.9 (none / 0) (#110)
by levesque on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:28:56 AM EST

You really got to the heart of the matter. I'd be a bit less catagorical, but I also haven't posted anything, so my -0.1 critique is a bit gratuitous.

[ Parent ]
Head or heart? (none / 0) (#156)
by godix on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:41:43 AM EST

one approaches the world with the head, the other approaches the world with the heart

Which would you categorize someone who believes the earth is going to overheat because they read a newspaper article claiming that - head or heart?

How about someone who believes evolution not because they know something about it but rather because it's what some guy in a lab coat said was true - head or heart?

Someone who follows the Big Bang because Steven Hawking says it's true and he once appeared on Star Trek so he's gotta know what he's talking about - head or heart?

What you say is true for the scientist who are actually researching and trying to understand the universe. Non-scientist who read books without words like 'throbbing', 'love', or 'passion in the title know enough to have a good idea what is based on the scientific theory and what isn't (and a sizable amount of K5 falls under this catagory). However for a large number of people there is no difference between science and religion. Their belief is little more than an appeal to authority and in that way they are no different than those who believe in the big beard in the sky because a book tells them to. It just happens to be in the case of evolution that the authority is following the scientific method but the worshippers of psuedoscience have no way of knowing that.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]

i can answer all your questions (none / 0) (#162)
by circletimessquare on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 07:00:12 AM EST

but more importantly, i already did, above:

the entire debate between science and religion is done by people who don't realize there is no debate at all, nor can there ever be

all of your questions? all of your concerns? they don't have to do with science or religion at all

they have to do with a line of thought you are having that commits an error: thinking science has anything to do with questions posed by religion, or thinking religion has anything to do with questions posed by science

do you think i'm conveniently avoiding the subject? do you find my attitude smug?

well consider one of your questions:

Which would you categorize someone who believes the earth is going to overheat because they read a newspaper article claiming that - head or heart?

why must we spend 5 hours teasing apart the false issues here? are you talking about science or religion here at all? sounds like you are talking about media and crowd behavior more than anything else

so your question has absolutely no probative value for the topic that is discussed here

so we can spend 5 hours teasing out all of your false starts to arrive at a conclusion i'd rather just stand at and wait for you to catch up to

i'm waiting...


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

The heat is a muscle. (none / 0) (#166)
by artis on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 09:08:59 AM EST

Does that mean that religion approaches the world with force?
--
Can you know that you are omniscient?
[ Parent ]
Heart even. [nt] (none / 0) (#167)
by artis on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 09:11:48 AM EST


--
Can you know that you are omniscient?
[ Parent ]
If that were true... (none / 0) (#214)
by Alien zombie on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 02:23:08 AM EST

we wouldn't be having this discussion.  As science continues to encroach on the theistic worldview, backlash is inevitable

---

When the spin stops the top drops.

[ Parent ]

Evolution is not a guy in a white coat (none / 0) (#104)
by Hung Fu on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:19:31 AM EST

Like most science it's a body of knowledge that has been experimentally verified, objectively criticized and revised by thousands of scientists for hundreds of years. If we can't trust evolution then we can't trust any science. Is that what you're suggesting?

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
Actually yes I am (none / 0) (#157)
by godix on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:45:31 AM EST

If we can't trust evolution then we can't trust any science. Is that what you're suggesting?

I don't trust science until I know it's been experimentally verified, objectively criticized, and revised if it doesn't quite fit the facts. Until I know this any belief in science is just religious mumbo jumbo. Don't trust something labeled 'science' unless you know it's actually scientific. After all, many claim the horoscope is 'science' and lets not even get into all the UFO wackos and their 'scientific' ideas.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
Read what I said (none / 0) (#158)
by Hung Fu on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 06:12:25 AM EST

I don't trust science until I know it's been experimentally verified, objectively criticized, and revised if it doesn't quite fit the facts.
Well, that's the definition of science. And this is exactly what I said has been done to evolutionary science. Are you claiming that evolution hasn't been treated with the same rigor as other science for some unknown reason?

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]
That's not what I'm saying (none / 0) (#161)
by godix on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 06:33:04 AM EST

Are you claiming that evolution hasn't been treated with the same rigor as other science for some unknown reason?

I'm not calling into question evolution itself but rather peoples unquestioning belief in evolution (and science in general). I am NOT saying that evolution doesn't follow the scientific theory, I know enough basics to realize it does. I am saying that the majority of people who believe in evolution don't know enough basics to realize if it does or doesn't. People read in their high school biology book that evolution is true therefore it must be. Sounds awfully similar to people reading something in the bible and deciding that must be true doesn't it?


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
What evidence do you have for this? (none / 0) (#163)
by Hung Fu on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 07:02:50 AM EST

I am saying that the majority of people who believe in evolution don't know enough basics to realize if it does or doesn't.
I'm Australian and in high school we are taught the theory of evolution (i.e. natural selection) as well as the evidence in favour of it (i.e. fossil record, case studies, genetics). This is enough evidence to reasonably conclude evolution is correct.
People read in their high school biology book that evolution is true therefore it must be. Sounds awfully similar to people reading something in the bible and deciding that must be true doesn't it?
No, it's completely different for the reason I stated in my original comment - science can be implicitly trusted because it's subject to strict review by an international community of scientists. Religion cannot be trusted because it is an entirely arbitary thing that is not held up to any form of objective review.

As part of completing my university degree I often took mathematical equations or theorems as true without deriving the proof myself. This isn't stupidity or laziness; it's out of practicality. To learn large bodies of knowledge within a reasonable time frame you often have to trust accepted scentific knowledge. Otherwise we may as well burn all the books and disband the universities, to force everyone to rediscover science by themselves.

__
From Israel To Lebanon
[ Parent ]

There is a difference.. (none / 0) (#225)
by ajduk on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:17:22 AM EST

Science textbooks get changed (eventually) when the theories are replaced. This is fairly rare, and a slow process, because up to postgraduate level, most science education is just about establishing a framework of currently understood theories. So it does look at lot like dogma. Wheras you won't find preachers of sunday school teachers go 'Well.. we don't have any actual evidence that this jesus guy actually existed, and quite frankly the whole 'god' concept is looking a bit iffy nowadays, so we're going to switch to preaching enlightened athiesm'.

[ Parent ]
not to be too pedantic... (none / 0) (#282)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:44:32 AM EST

but we do have evidence that Jesus existed. Just as a guideline, we have more evidence that Jesus existed than Julius Caesar.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
Can you give me a pointer here? (none / 0) (#314)
by The Diary Section on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 10:51:38 AM EST

I've heard that claim before but I've never seen the evidence. Any hope of a link or two?
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
No I can't... (none / 0) (#319)
by issachar on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 05:55:48 PM EST

Sorry it took so long for this reply. I repeated what I'd heard from someone I trust, and I don't have a ready source for you. A very quick googling seems to suggest that my statement is false.

So, I'll talk to my friend and see if I can actually prove my statement. Until I can do that, I'll stop repeating it.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Hundreds of years? (none / 0) (#267)
by richarj on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 02:53:47 AM EST

Helps if you actually know what you are talking about. Also Evolution cannot be experimentally verified, you can't cook it up in a testtube. It occurs over thousands of years. It is amazing how many people think that repeatability is a requirement for a scientific theory, you cannot repeat the making of the Universe, you cannot repeat making blackholes (yet). You can model and guess at it but we can't re-create it.

"if you are uncool, don't worry, K5 is still the place for you!" -- rusty
[ Parent ]
Verified? (none / 0) (#272)
by thejeff on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:49:37 AM EST

Actually to be somewhat pedantic, evolution occurs over hundreds of generations. If you work with something with short enough generations it can take much less than thousands of years.

[ Parent ]
Theories not taken on faith (none / 0) (#123)
by ajdecon on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:34:38 PM EST

I don't personally know a lot about the theory of evolution, and could probably answer very few of your questions about it above, but I do tend to think that it's correct. However, that's not faith in the guy in the white coat telling me all about it--it's faith in all his bickering buddies in white coats who'd jump all over him if they thought he was wrong, and in the idea that I could, if I chose, go over his theories in detail and evaluate them myself.

Analagously: I'm currently doing work in a pretty specific subset of solid state physics. When I hear from friends about the latest results in nuclear or particle physics, I often have very little idea what they're talking about, but if their theories seem widely accepted than I'm willing to grant that whatever it is, it's probably true. Again, it's because I trust all my other particle-physicist colleagues to keep them honest, and because I could do it personally if I were motivated enough.

Essentially it's all just faith in the idea that science, as a large-scale enterprise, works. Of course there are periods where scientists fall into some sort of groupthink, or become politically motivated, and we get dumb ideas which survive much longer than they should. But sooner or later someone wises up, and produces an experiment or other evidence which demonstrates the truth in a dramatic enough fashion to get it through the naysayers. There's a little bit of faith there, I'll grant you, but it's the same faith that we demonstrate when we use a computer operating system, drive a car or elect a government. We trust that sooner or later (maybe much later), the idea which works is the one that will win. To quote Feynman: "Nature cannot be fooled."
--
"Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself."
-Richard Feynman
[ Parent ]

Would you even hear about it? (none / 0) (#159)
by godix on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 06:17:44 AM EST

it's faith in all his bickering buddies in white coats who'd jump all over him if they thought he was wrong

What if all his bickering buddies in white coats HAVE jumped all over him because they thought he was wrong? Would you even know about it? As you must know, outside of highly specialized publications there never is much news about science. There's also a long lead time between those on the forefront of science and everyone else. The pre-quantum theory scientist held their view for decades and if a person didn't know physics to begin with they might go a long time before hearing that quantum mechanics proved much they believe to be wrong. The white coats have a better track record than the biblical bookworms but if you blindly follow what they say it's still quite easy to be dead wrong. Look at how many people don't know that last year Hawkin said he was wrong and information can escape from a black hole for example.

I could, if I chose, go over his theories in detail and evaluate them myself.

But you don't. And that, really, is the point. The theory of evolution might be the most accurate thing humanity has ever come up with to describe the world or it might already have been proven a huge load of horseshit and you just haven't heard about it. Without researching it you don't know but believe it anyway. That is a religious belief, not a scientific one.

Note: I'm not really critizing you here, there's so many different fields of science that you can't go check up on each one and you gotta take a lot of it on faith. That doesn't change the fact that some elements of science are, to you, basically a blind belief in authority the same as religious beliefs are.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]

No. (none / 0) (#185)
by DavidTC on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 03:35:07 PM EST

Where you're failing here is where you call it a blind belief in authority. It's merely a belief, and it's not actually in authority.

Every action we do has some sort of belief attached to it. Even if it's a mere belief that gravity and our inner ear will work together to keep us from toppling over as we walk along.

But this is not blind belief. If we started tilting over for no obvious explanation, we'd come to the idea 'I have somehow lost my sense of balance'. If, additionally, objects started falling sideways, we'd conclude something was different about gravity.

Anything I 'know', that I'm not testing something right now, is normal belief. Anything I believe in without prior evidence is blind belief.

Now, there are many things about science I do not test, and you could call that belief blind. But one thing that isn't 'blind' is the demonstratable fact scientist call each other on errors. I believe that, and I have seen plenty of evidence.

Instead of believing in everything anyone comes up with, or not believing till we see it, or believing only when it makes sense, we can believe in the scientific method, and the scientific method has gotten plenty of results, and demonstratably weeded out errors.

Ergo, evolution isn't a blind belief, even without me having tested it personally or even reviewed the evidence. (In fact, I have ended up having to review the evidence because of IDers, but whatever.) We have plenty of evidence the scientific method works, and that is what it has come up with.

To fight it, you must either attack the whole scientific method, which is what creationists and young earthers used to do, or work within it by coming up with flaws in the existing theory and alternate explanations, which is what IDers pretend to do.

Saying 'the scientific method has failed this one time'? That is the blind belief.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

It is a shame that science... (none / 0) (#188)
by omestes on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:05:53 PM EST

is so damn boring, and the average person is too dumb/apathetic to bother reading it, and thus the average news source is unwilling to deal with it in all of its technical aspects and boring tedium. But most scientists are pretty on top of their feilds, in the fact that they do read the peer review journals. If this takes a while to hit the great unwashed, who cares? People don't need to know about it in large numbers for it to gain facticity. Even if one scientist knows some "truth", and no one else knows, over the process of science it will become appearent to his/her peers, and hopefully, eventually the lay public. It is a slow process, and this is good since it has to be tested/debated at each point, and thus the probability of its validity grows each step. I don't understand the goal of your main premise, that the lay public do not directly understand science. Even if their belief boils down to "faith", it does not rule out the fact that the scientific method is solid, and that science is uncovering genuine fact. Science has entered a state where it us so full that NO ONE can understand all aspects of it, or even all of a specific branch. Most cannot even understand any aspect of the more specific areas without long training. The best the lay public can expect without training is a broad idea of sceince, and so called pop-science. On the whole this isn't bad, since it denotes how rich science has become, how coherent and complex. And accepting things because a guy in a coat says so is not necissarily bad, either. Since people accept the system. Appeal to authority is not bad, it merely means that you accept someone else more qualified as justification. For the most part these words from the scientists would not get out, if it was not for the agreement of the system (peer review), and thus have deeper justification. We accept other peoples view too, just by who they are. More than you think, it is an important epistemic method for building truth, since it is impossible to know everything ourselves.

[ Parent ]
Dang formating! Reposted with breaks. (none / 0) (#189)
by omestes on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:06:44 PM EST

is so damn boring, and the average person is too dumb/apathetic to bother reading it, and thus the average news source is unwilling to deal with it in all of its technical aspects and boring tedium.

But most scientists are pretty on top of their feilds, in the fact that they do read the peer review journals.  If this takes a while to hit the great unwashed, who cares?  People don't need to know about it in large numbers for it to gain facticity.  Even if one scientist knows some "truth", and no one else knows, over the process of science it will become appearent to his/her peers, and hopefully, eventually the lay public.  It is a slow process, and this is good since it has to be tested/debated at each point, and thus the probability of its validity grows each step.

I don't understand the goal of your main premise, that the lay public do not directly understand science.  Even if their belief boils down to "faith", it does not rule out the fact that the scientific method is solid, and that science is uncovering genuine fact.  Science has entered a state where it us so full that NO ONE can understand all aspects of it, or even all of a specific branch.  Most cannot even understand any aspect of the more specific areas without long training.  The best the lay public can expect without training is a broad idea of sceince, and so called pop-science.  On the whole this isn't bad, since it denotes how rich science has become, how coherent and complex.

And accepting things because a guy in a coat says so is not necissarily bad, either.  Since people accept the system.  Appeal to authority is not bad, it merely means that you accept someone else more qualified as justification.  For the most part these words from the scientists would not get out, if it was not for the agreement of the system (peer review), and thus have deeper justification.  

We accept other peoples view too, just by who they are.  More than you think, it is an important epistemic method for building truth, since it is impossible to know everything ourselves.

[ Parent ]

Long term (none / 0) (#203)
by ajdecon on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 08:14:11 PM EST

What if all his bickering buddies in white coats HAVE jumped all over him because they thought he was wrong? Would you even know about it?

The other replies seem to have made most of my points for me, but I will mention that this is why I made a point in my comment above in emphasizing the long term. It takes time for mistakes to be noticed, and re-checked, and for the new knowledge to diffuse back into the larger, nonspecialized community. There's always going to be a period when some or most of the people are going to be believing the wrong thing, by necessity.

I suppose that you could say these people are then taking the previous, incorrect theory "on faith", but to me this mainly illustrates how scientific and religious belief are different. My "belief" in a scientific theory is always provisional: I'm willing to give the evolution guys or nuclear physicists the benefit of the doubt a lot of the time, because they've done ok in the past and their correctness doesn't have a short-term bearing on my own life. But the point is that I'm never quite sure, and you can bet I'd do my homework if their work suddenly became crucial to any of my own decisions. A religious belief, by contrast, demands no track record and no follow-ups, and is frequently used to make decisions with no background research.

As an aside, this is one of the major problems with the phenomenon of "science by press release". When a result is published in the mainstream media before it hits the literature, it's proved false afterwards more often than not: short-circuiting the error-checking mechanism of the scientific establishment is rarely a good idea, despite the low chance that a revolutionary theory will be wrongly and temporarily dismissed. But because a scientist or research group announced it, much of the public accepts it as true... and then blames scientists when we don't have free energy or cheap flying cars by next year.


--
"Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself."
-Richard Feynman
[ Parent ]
Rolling up my sleeves... (3.00 / 4) (#127)
by localroger on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 03:19:09 PM EST

If I asked you to explain how evolution works, in detail, could you?

Listen: Do you know if the current theories of evolution are identical to Darwins evolution theory?

This is a loaded question; it's like asking if current physical theories are identical to Newton's laws of motion. They aren't, but Newton's laws are an acceptable subset for local use subject to limitations we understand better today.

Current evolutionary theories are identical to Darwin's in that they all assume that mutations occur more or less at random, and that beneficial mutations result in more survivable offspring that have more offspring of their own. When enough survivable mutations accumulate the offspring are no longer compatible enough with the parent species to interbreed, and the result is a new species.

Current theories differ in that it is thought that "macromutations" are much more common than Darwin thought; recent advances in understanding how genes get expressed make this much more understandable than it was in Darwin's day. It is beyond the scope of a K5 comment to explain exactly why, though.

Can you tell me what observations caused chages to the theory or, if there has been no change, what observations were correctly predicted by the theory?

The absence of intermediate forms in the fossil record has always bothered biologists, even without the ID whackos to pound them over the had with it. The recent completion of the Human Genome Project and other genetic surveys have provided the necessary clue that we actually have fewer genes than originally thought, and that they work together more smoothely than we thought before; effectively, the body is not like a house that will fall down if you put one support beam in the wrong place; rather, it's like a cooperative effort that adapts nicely to turning on one gene and suddenly an insect sprouts eyes all over its body.

Can you actually answer the common question of how can a complex system (IE eyes or flight), which is worse than useless if not fully functional, come about?

Sure: It's not worse than useless if not fully functional.

Flight: It's now getting pretty well accepted that dinosaurs all had feathers, and that feathers evolved first of all as an insulation medium. Feathers are also lightweight volume fillers and it must have happened early on that medium-sized animals which would normally be killed by a fall found that feathers made it possible to leap from great heights without damage. (In modern terms, think of flying squirrels.) This is a capability that readily responds to incremental change, eventually resulting in something like the modern chicken. (Archaeopteryx is thought to have been about this agile flight-wise.) Again, this is a capability which is not useless, and which could respond to incremental improvements.

Eye: We actually have examples of eyes at every stage of evolution from the most primitive photoreceptive spots to complex optics. From the simple photoreceptive spot you add the photoreceptive spot in a pit, which provides directional sensitivity. Then you fill the pit with mucous as a protectant. Then you cover the pit with a membrane to protect the mucous. These are all incremental improvements, and you now have a structure that can readily evolve into the human eye incrementally because, again, it's quite useful at every unperfected stage.

Do you know what the evolutionary theory has to say about the original origin of life?

It happened, therefore it must be possible. It is becoming very clear that the earliest organisms probably did not use DNA for genes, favoring a much simpler protein-based system which would have the disadvantage that genes are always actively performing their target function, e.g. can't be turned "off." (I personally favor the idea that it was the discovery of DNA for genes that powered the Cambrian Explosion, but that's currently at about the same level of acceptance the dinosaur asteroid was in 1970.) It is even looking more and more possible that life may have arisen elsewhere (Mars perhaps, since it cooled sooner than the Earth) and been seeded here by extremophile microbes riding meteor ejecta.

Of course the fact that this question is unanswered does not mean it does not have an answer. In 1831 William Gladstone asked Michael Faraday what possible use the laboratory curiosity he was investigating might have; Faraday answered, "Why, sir, one day you will tax it." And we certainly do tax electricity today. But in 1831 only a few people could see that that would happen.

Can you name a few prominent scientist studying evolution and how they agree/disagree with each others work?

I'm not keeping up with current events but the largest rift in the field right now is between the gradualists and the "punctuated equilibrium" crowd who believe species tend to achieve stability and mutate rapidly during periods of stress. As often happens in science the gradualists are mainly dying off and the younger scientists who replace them are more open to the "radical" new ideas.

How did the very first organism that became sexually reproducing instead of asexual find something to fuck and pass on it's genes?

The old adage is wrong -- there are stupid questions, and this is one of them. I take it you never studied sexual bacteria in high school. In single-celled sexual organisms the "male" organism generally dies after transferring its genetic load to the "female." (There are, incidentally, not a few macroscopic species for whom sex is similarly fatal.) For bacteria this doesn't require specifically "female" recipients to fuck, although a sufficient number of generations of this sort of activity will cause dimorphism and survivable males to evolve.

These questions have answers but that really isn't my point.

I get it.

Instead I'm just wondering how many of you actually understand the science and how many are blindly worshipping the theory.

I can only speak for myself. I am pretty skeptical toward everything.

If a guy in a white coat tells you something do you know enough to accurately judge if he's making shit up or not? How many on K5 who hate 'fundamentalist' pray at the alter of pseudoscience?

Alas, the comments beneath the story I just linked weren't all that encouraging.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

I want to know... (none / 0) (#186)
by DavidTC on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 03:43:05 PM EST

...why the hell IDers come up with 'eyes' as something that don't work halfway.

Tell that to someone who's lost 90% of his sight! Hey, look, he doesn't bump into walls or walk into traffic.

And, yeah, we have examples all the way up the chain, from the crappiest 'light/dark' sensors to better-than-human squid eyes.

IDers really like to come up with an idea, yammer about it for months, and never let it go, even after scientists explain it, but 'eye' thing is just absurd.

Eyes never were missing in the chain, and any simpleton can explain how a light sensor is better than no light sensor, or how two are better than one, or how movement is better than than stationary, or how focusing is a good invention, or how color is nice...I mean, good grief, who are these idiots who can't explain the evolution of 'eyes'?

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 0) (#207)
by Shimmer on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 08:52:28 PM EST

Another good one (cited elsewhere in this thread) is the evolution of flight. Creationist can't seem to understand that degrees of flight are possible. E.g. Being blown about by the wind, controlled falls, gliding, etc.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
All the... (none / 0) (#237)
by DavidTC on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:22:41 PM EST

...'scientists' who go around supporting ID actually do come up with good examples that can take a month or even a year to disprove.

There is, at any time, at least one thing science hasn't sat down and worked out yet, mainly because no one's ever even bothered. Shortly, they are solved, and the IDers move on to something else.

What this proves, except IDers have been proven wrong repeatedly, is beyond me.

The idiots out there yammering about 'evolution is just a theory', however, are almost always five years behind. They're still blathering, for example, about flagella, when it has been clearly explained how that evolved and closely related species have things like it.

This actually makes things rather easier when debating them. You don't have to go out and actually figure out how something evolved, you just have to google it, and, hey, there is, disproved several years ago. Whoever's in charge of updating the ID talking points is apparently not working very hard.

But eyes? How the hell did 'eyes' get in the pipeline of disinformation? The evolution of eyes is an example in many textbooks of how organs evolved, because we pretty much completely understand how it came about, and we have a chain all the way up.

And flight, yeah, that's another good nonsensical one. We even call halfway-flying animals 'flying fish' and 'flying squirrels', it's not like they're some well-disguised secret. Gee, make them a little lighter, give them stronger muscles, and they could actually fly. (Well, the fish might need to figure out to breathe, also.)

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Why eyes (none / 0) (#244)
by Nyarlathotep on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 10:15:32 AM EST

Oh, easy one.  IDers arn't very smart or educated.  A long time ago, way back when educated people might attack evolution, a very smart, educated, and eloquent chose the eye as a way to attack evolution.  But ever since, the quality of people who believe in god has declined, so they can't really formuate a better argument today.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
IDers choose eyes because (none / 1) (#252)
by The Diary Section on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 01:43:46 PM EST

Charles Darwin comments on it as a difficult question. That said he then fills two more pages with the answer. Often IDers take his initial comments out of context;

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.

but then forget to read the rest...

When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every philosopher knows, cannot be trusted in science. Reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a simple and imperfect eye to one complex and perfect can be shown to exist, each grade being useful to its possessor, as is certainly the case; if further, the eye ever varies and the variations be inherited, as is likewise certainly the case; and if such variations should be useful to any animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, should not be considered as subversive of the theory.

Read here.

The irony that they thus associate themselves with their religious forebears who believed the Sun rotated around the Earth is highly amusing.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

Ah ha! (none / 1) (#259)
by DavidTC on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 06:04:25 PM EST

I did not know that.

The fact anyone can attack the theory of evolution with 'eyes' when the damn things are explained in the original theory is...just...brain-freezingly idiotic.

It's universe distorting in its stupidity, we have to invent new laws of physics to come up with a world where people challenge people to explain things explained in the theory.

And that explains about all anyone needs to know about ID supporters, I guess.

Actually, what it really shows is the intellectual dishonesty of the people at the top.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

well last I time I read anything ID... (none / 0) (#281)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:41:01 AM EST

it didn't use eyes. In fact it specifically gave them as a bad example. (i.e. one that wasn't irreducibly complex).

That would be >Behe's book by the way.

It seemed to me that Behe was arguing that the place to check for irreducible complexity was at the biochemical level. That level was a "black box" to science due to lack of technology when Darwin first formulated his theory. (Hence the name of the book).

I'm not devoted to ID or anything, but it seems to be an interesting criticism. I really doubt evolution is perfect and it may in fact be seriously wrong. Just look at how much we've learned over the years about the whole wave-particle problem. And we know it's still not perfect.

The problem I see is that people have gotten way too caught up in "defending glorious science from religious types I don't like". It's a scientific theory, not a lover. Don't get this emotionally involved.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

No. (none / 0) (#311)
by DavidTC on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:59:17 AM EST

I know it's a bad example. All examples of 'ID' are bad examples. I was asking why ID proponants use it, since unlike their other theories, it never was a good example. It wasn't some obscure example of protein folding evolution that no one will understand, we can actually look at various example of simplier eyes and light sensors, they're on various living things, like fish and insects.

Turns out someone in their camp enjoys being dishonest and likes quoting Darwin out of context. Big surprise.

And ID isn't an interesting criticism, and if you think it is you need to do more research. It's basically running around pointing at things and going 'You can't explain that, can you, huh huh?' and scientists strolling over, and thinking about it, and then explaining it, while meanwhile ID has run over to somewhere else and said 'Oh, what about this? I bet you can't explain this, can you!'.

Every example they've come up that's more than, oh, three years old, has been explained to science's satisfaction.

Think of it as people dropping a book, and measuring the speed, and going, 'Ha! This book fell at 9.76 m/s/s, instead of 9.8! Explain that!'. And scientists sigh and start calculating wind resistance based on how the book fell. Again and again. This is 'intelligent design', pointing out 'holes' that scientists simply haven't looked at yet.

Real scientists, if they see something they think is a hole, they will first attempt to explain it with current theory. ID, OTOH, just asserts that it's 'finally proof', and it's touted as such...until scientists finally get around to looking at it, and explain it in a matter of months, at which point ID switches to something else.

If you can't see the inherit dishonesty in that you're being dishonest with yourself.

And the emotional envolvement is twofold: a) This is just a way to damage public education of science with absolute nonsense, and b) It's fucking wasting scientists' time.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

look at the idea, not just some of the people... (none / 0) (#317)
by issachar on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 02:36:15 AM EST

Of course there are people quoting Darwin dishonestly. Of course there are people using the stupid example of eyes simply because their target audience won't understand an obscure cellular level example like the ones Behe likes to use.

I ignore those people because I can't get anything useful out of them if they're being dishonest to prove their point.

However, the existence of people like that does nothing to discredit scientists like Behe. Pop culture evolutionists saying we evolved from apes, (evolutionary theory of course holds that we only share a common ancestor with apes), does similarly do nothing to discredit evolution. Every correct point of view has some fool defending it foolishly. So you can't use the mere existence of fools to dismiss an idea. You need to address it on its merits.

[Intelligent Design is] basically running around pointing at things and going 'You can't explain that, can you, huh huh?' and scientists strolling over, and thinking about it, and then explaining it, while meanwhile ID has run over to somewhere else and said 'Oh, what about this? I bet you can't explain this, can you!'.
Look this simply isn't an accurate statement about ID in general. It is an accurate statement about many in the anti-evolution camp, but that is not the same thing.

Constantly switching focus points is a tactic used by a great many anti-evolutionists, but it seems to me that irreducible complexity is a legitimate question about evolution. Using the "constant switchers" as a reason not to look into this criticism is amazingly unscientific and remarkably dogmatic.

I can understand your point A reason for frustration although I would say that getting upset about it doesn't help with public education. It just makes you look dogmatic.

Your point B reason on the other hand is childish. Look at the history of science. Most of the criticism of accepted theory that became the new dominant paradigm were dismissed as a complete waste of scientists time when they were introduced. This is not to say that ID is correct. Merely that the "that's not worth my time" response isn't a good reaction.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

No. (none / 0) (#318)
by DavidTC on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 11:59:15 AM EST

Irreducible complexity is gibberish, for exactly the reasons I gave...ID proponants keep pointing out things that are 'irreducibly complex' and scientists explain them, in a year or two. Meanwhile, they ahve moved on to other things.

Here's a fun test: Go back in time five years. Find the arguments for ID at that point. Find the best possible example of irreducible complexity that existed then. Post it here.

Do the same with four year, three year, and two year.

Why does it keep changing?

Because ID is a theory looking for a problem to solve, and is hence exactly the opposite of science. Science says 'Hey, this doesn't work like we think it does', and spends time and money to make it work.

ID, OTOH, is sure there is some problem with evolution, so runs around trying to find one. As there is not one, at least, not an 'irreducible complexity' one, the best it can do is come up with stuff scientists haven't looked at yet.

ID is the theory that there must be unicorns over there, in the part of the woods we haven't looked at yet, because they heard something moving. And every time we look over there, it turns out it wasn't unicorns.

Even people who don't know much about science are being to suspect there are no unicorns.

But, here's my challenge to all IDers: PICK SOMETHING. Any specific evolved thing that's 'irreducibly complex'.

And I will not challenge ID in any way, shape, or form, until it is demonstrated such a thing could have evolved, at which point you will shut the fuck up, go away, and never come back.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Dogma... (none / 0) (#320)
by issachar on Fri Oct 28, 2005 at 06:04:26 PM EST

at which point you will shut the fuck up, go away, and never come back.
No. And they shouldn't because that's the attitude of a person spouting dogma. It's getting mad because your idea is being challenged in a way you don't like.

Telling people to shut up and never come back because they have been wrong about a scientific criticism is foolish. That would be the end of science.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Sigh. (none / 0) (#323)
by DavidTC on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 04:54:48 PM EST

No. ID is not being fought as science. ID is pretend science.

I am merely offering to treat it as real science. I will hit the magic reset button in my mind and treat whatever has been put forward in response to my challenge as 'real science'. Equal to all over science, no condemnation, no nothing.

In return, when that example is discredited, and it will be discredited, they have to go away, like real scientists do when their theories are disproven.

Real scientists don't go 'Um, okay, what about this thing? My theory could work here. In fact, it does work here. In your face, unbelievers!' and then get discredited again, and repeat that process over and over.

Real scientists who make repeared mistakes tend to slinky away in embarrassment and spend all their time bitter in some poorly-lit third-rate lab hoping desperately to come up with some new miracle theory to prove themselves.

They don't go around claiming that there might be unicorns behind that tree, there, this time, despite there fact there weren't any unicorns behind the last twenty trees.

And they especially don't go lobby their damn state government to support their discredited theories. Even if they think those theories are true, they quite understand why there is no acceptance of them.

Real scientists admit mistakes. As they make mistakes, the bar for getting their theory accepted by other scientists goes up and up, as has happened with ID. Especially if these mistakes are due to dogma or delibrate misinterpetation instead of honest errors, as has happened with ID.

Just look at the cold fusion people for how this actual works with real scientists. There is no reason why there cannot be cold fusion, just like there's no reason as someone couldn't have meddled in the evolution of things.

However, many supposed examples of these two things have been discredited. People want them to be true, and announce their findings, and it turns out they were wrong.

The result? Cold fusion research, to this day, has trouble getting taken seriously. Scientists involved in it talk about it using other names. The entire field has basically been discredited, despite there being, like I said, no theoretical reason cold fusion, or at least lukewarm fusion, cannot exist and be used to generate power.

As opposed to people involved in ID 'theory', who wander around attempting to convince non-scientists that the scientific community is out to get them, and their theory is equally valid, despite the fact they've been wrong every single time about what could and could not have evolved by itself.

I'm merely offering to reset the counter of their mistakes, for a double or nothing, because they are so damn annoying. Cold fusion researchers would leap at this chance.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

getting mad... (none / 0) (#326)
by issachar on Sun Nov 20, 2005 at 12:37:11 PM EST

I'm glad those pesky "corpuscular" theory of light people "shut the fuck up" and went away. Now we can all rest easy in our knowledge that light is simply a wave and that the idea of light being made up of discrete particles was just unicorns.

Oh wait...

However, here you say:

As they make mistakes, the bar for getting their theory accepted by other scientists goes up and up, as has happened with ID
Now THAT is a good point. The bar goes up. The scientists do not "go away, and never come back". They try again with a modified theory.

What one should not do, (although it happens all the time) is lump one set of challengers to a theory in with another set. We've been challenged before by group A, therefore we're setting the bar higher for all challengers including group B. Like it or not, 7 day creationists are group A, while ID'ers are group B. (Or C or whatever). You can tell this because many ID'ers were never 7 day creationists.

But I'm going to repeat your good point because I think it's important.

As they make mistakes, the bar for getting their theory accepted by other scientists goes up and up, as has happened with ID
Kudos. Now if that's actually how it worked, there wouldn't be so many problems.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#328)
by DavidTC on Thu Dec 01, 2005 at 01:48:02 AM EST

Like it or not, 7 day creationists are group A, while ID'ers are group B. (Or C or whatever). You can tell this because many ID'ers were never 7 day creationists.

Pretending I'm pretending they are the same group is insane.

However, I will pretend they are the same group that asserted that the complement system part of the immune system was 'irreducible complex' when we already have simplier examples of it already existing.

And I'll pretend they're the same group that asserted that bacterial flagellum was 'irreducible complex' when we have a damn good idea of how that evolved and quite a few simplier examples, too.(1)

Those are the people who have lost all credibility, specifically Michael Behe, the 'scientist'. Yet when Michael Behe comes up with a new example of 'irreducible complex', the ID movement will flock to him. This example will be held up as the, final uncontriversal proof that ID is true.

Until, of course, it's disproven.

These aren't unrelated theories that get to stand on their own. The theory is that 'Evolution cannot explain all things.'. These disproved things are examples that 'scientists' did not spend enough time on before pushing them into the spotlight, because science isn't their goal.

I will repeat: While the theory may, itself, be dodgy, it is, indeed, a scientific theory. The problem is that the 'scientists' touting it keep having to change their crappy examples.

When they were touting it as creationism, no one took them seriously, but everyone knew it was religion. So they turned it into a 'science', and actually managed to get a reasonable theory, that 'Evolution cannot explain all things'. However, this reasonable theory has an near-infinite search space of 'all things' to disprove, so scientific tradition demands they prove it, instead of someone disproving it. This isn't an undue burden, that's how science works. They have to find an example. A single one would be enough based on how the theory works.

However, instead of doing serious research, they apparently just find things that sound good. They don't talk to experts, they don't look at family trees for similiar things, they just leap to the conclusion 'Hey, an example!'.

The best example of this is still the 'There exists unicorns' theory. It is not an absurd theory, there is no logical reason unicorns cannot exist. However, they keep going 'I see one, over there, behind that tree!' and everyone runs over there, and, lo and behold, no unicorns there. But, hey, there are other trees, right?

I take it back. That's not 'bad' science. It's horrible science. In any other 'scientific' field, these people would be completely ignored by sciencist after a few bad examples, and, in fact, are being ignored by scientists. However, non-scientists are controlling the debate.

Peer review is supposed to catch this, which is why I guess the 'scientists' write essays and publish books instead of publishing peer-reviewed papers. As long as people who self-identify as scientists and have some degrees assert something, they can pretend there is 'disagreement in the scientific community'. But people who publish books instead of peer-revieed papers are not in the scientific community, they are in the 'wackjob' community.

Of course, my favorite example in all this is the Sphingobium chlorophenolicum. We don't really know how it evolved to eat pentachlorophenol, and it looks pretty 'irreducible complex' by any of the standard arguments because pentachlorophenol is pretty nasty stuff and it required a few changes to get when it can eat it. Of course, those arguments won't be made in this case, because pentachlorophenol was first invented in the 1930s and never existed before that.

And on the 2,179,612nd day, God decided he'd had a long enough vacation, and created Sphingobium chlorophenolicum to eat some new pesticide those wacky humans cooked up.

1) I will, with regret, admit that the 'scientists' are not the same people as the total buffoons who go 'Explain how the human eye could evolve' or 'Explain how wings could evolve'. But those buffoons exist because of those shoddy scientists.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Well, other people have (none / 0) (#312)
by The Diary Section on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:19:27 PM EST

Have a look here, at least to the extent it bothers Gould.

If you do a search for the quote you will find it all over the place being represented dishonestly as admitting Darwin's doubts etc (the fact that he wrote a whole section in Origin of Species outlining his many geuine doubts they obviously don't know about).
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]

punctuated equilibrium is mostly bullshit (none / 0) (#245)
by Nyarlathotep on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 10:25:42 AM EST

Read Dawkins: punctuated equilibrium has little that is very new.  Evolution primarily sticks to the selfish gene model; although the jury is still out on if your models should see individual selection as a minor factor or subsume it into the selfish gene model.  Species selection might also be meaningful independently of the selfish gene model, but its a minor force by comparison.

To my knowedge, the only serious idea contributed by punctuated equilibrium is that large populations have more "evolutionary drag" than small populations.  Dispite the fact that this is a question answerable by computer models, I've not seen it done.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]

Well, plate tectonics wasn't very radical either (none / 0) (#309)
by localroger on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 09:31:48 PM EST

...unless you were very thoroughly stuck to the old model. All PE is is a statement of something that's obvious if you're looking at the actual fossil record, and like many other ideas it took a generation of older scientists dying off before it got any traction.

PE is tied up with other non-gradualist ideas and catastrophism in general, all of which were very unpopular unitl the 1960's or so even though there was some very good evidence available for those who cared about it.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Blind worship (none / 1) (#139)
by Shimmer on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 10:29:57 PM EST

I happen to know something about evolution, but I take your point. I think Dawkins explained the reason why "faith" in the scientific process is justified:
Science shares with religion the claim that it answers deep questions about origins, the nature of life, and the cosmos. But there the resemblance ends. Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not.

The scientific method works. That's why you don't have to be an expert on evolution to know that it's true.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

Results? (none / 0) (#200)
by JVincent on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:51:45 PM EST

"Scientific beliefs are supported by evidence, and they get results. Myths and faiths are not and do not." Yet how many wars are the direct result of religion? Cultural movements are as much a result as scientific results, even if it isn't as easy to put in a box and sell to the highest bidder. And religion is based on evidence just as much as science, any religius person has facts in the back of their head supporting their belief and their faith. Blind faith is in the modern day an extreme case, even amongst extremists.

[ Parent ]
That's not the kind of results he's talking about (none / 0) (#205)
by Shimmer on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 08:20:42 PM EST

By "results", Dawkins means reproduceable, measurable outcomes. Certainly religion has a great effect on world events, but that's not the point.

Your claim that religion is based on evidence strikes me as silly. Can you give me any evidence that God exists, that Jesus is his son, etc.?

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

Religion uses a different kind of "fact" (none / 0) (#305)
by localman on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:51:26 AM EST

any religius person has facts in the back of their head supporting their belief and their faith.

Yes, but most of those "facts" are unverifiable. Like "Jesus was nailed to a cross and rose again". Well sure, it's a "fact" and not an "opinion", but there's no way to prove or disprove it.

There is much of science that I haven't personally researched yet I accept. This is because science is about reproducable fact, which is much different than shrowded-in-the-sands-of-time fact; i.e. history.

I don't know any religious person who uses reproducable fact as a primary ingredient in their belief system.

Cheers.

[ Parent ]

that's an odd definition of "fact" (none / 0) (#316)
by issachar on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 01:44:46 AM EST

I may be nit-picking here, but wouldn't your criticism apply to a lot of our historical facts? You can't reproduce history. A definition of "fact" that only includes things that are reproducible in a lab seems to be somewhat incomplete.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
I trust my intuition (none / 1) (#168)
by MfA on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 09:15:12 AM EST

How much detail does my knowledge of the evidence require for a pseudo scientific belief to be magically transformed into a really scientific one then? The fossil record together with the concepts of random mutation, selective breeding and survival of the fittest is in my mind enough to use evolution as a working belief.

Truth is unknowable, and if having a set of working beliefs build on limited second hand knowledge is pseudo science then so be it ... all science is pseudo science. What we are left with is argueing the degree to which it is.

[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 1) (#181)
by leoPetr on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 01:58:58 PM EST

Can you actually answer the common question of how can a complex system (IE eyes or flight), which is worse than useless if not fully functional, come about?

Eyes? All right.

Step 1) A simple phototropic sense that lets one ascertain the position of the sun and thus position oneself optimally for the body's temperature control.

Step 2) A more elaborate sense that can detect motion in the blur around it and thus enable evasive manoeuvres.

Step 3) Black and white vision that can survey the terrain and thus enable much faster locomotion than a mere reliance on touch.

Step 4) Colour vision that can differentiate more than just brightness, thus rendering the evolved camouflage of many predators obsolete.

Naturally, the transitions from each point to the next are a sliding scale of efficacy that allows for gradual refinement. There's also the stereoscopy aspect that requires two of them.

A less evolved eye is not the same as an eye with a knife sticking through it, which is probably what you are thinking off as "less than useless". There are plenty of wiggly things out there in the world that demonstrate each of these. Happy?

How did the very first organism that became sexually reproducing instead of asexual find something to fuck and pass on it's genes?

By splitting in two first. Duh. I mean, next you'll ask how the first animal with lungs survive underwater. (By having both lungs and gills, of course! See the lungfish.)
--
Is this a pants-optional kind of place? 'Cause I am totally down with that if you know what I mean.
[ Parent ]
Sure (none / 0) (#246)
by Nyarlathotep on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 10:26:58 AM EST

Read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.  He is a briliant author.
Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Holy Trolly! (none / 0) (#265)
by Sesquipundalian on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 11:33:56 PM EST


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Can I answer those questions? (none / 0) (#277)
by tgibbs on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:29:17 AM EST

Of course I can! Most of them I can answer from what I learned in high school, before the fundamentalist censors descended on the high schools, impelling textbook publishers to gloss over the details of evolution in hopes of avoiding offending the fundies.

[ Parent ]
Stepping outside of Evolution here but... (3.00 / 2) (#306)
by localman on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 02:57:47 AM EST

The reason that most people who adhere to science don't take as active a role in verifying and researching scientific results is because they are usually easily reproducable. There is a huge body of science that I test every single day when I turn on the lights, drive a car, post on the internet... science is mainly about reproducability. After a while this because pretty obvious and admittedly we get complacent. I haven't really checked Ohm's law recently, but I just don't feel the need to. Enough people have checked enough times and nothing notable has changed in the behavior of electrical devices that I can see.

Contrast all that to religion.

Now, evolution is not nearly as verifyable as much of science. But it is observable on a small scale. Far more observable than spontaneous generation or intelligent design. Is it a guaranteed law? No, and nobody said it was. But it's the only theory that lines up with observation and historical records.

I agree that there can be a tendancy to believe science blindly, but even that tendancy has more justification than believing religion blindly.

Cheers.

[ Parent ]

+1FP, actually important and relevant (none / 0) (#118)
by Patrick Chalmers on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 12:19:00 PM EST


Holy crap, working comment search!
I voted for your article, but... (none / 1) (#132)
by modelnine on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 05:04:15 PM EST

now I am not so positive about it as I was when I first read it.

Basically, I get the notion that what you are propagating is not freedom but rather the pseudo-religion of science. Attacking this pseudo-religion (you don't call it that way, but I do) is the attack on western life-style, as I understand your argument.

But, I must digress here. Attacking western life-style isn't about an attack by religion and fundamentalism (science is fundamentalist as are most religions, it builds a rather strict fundament on which you base your view of the world), but rather about the current attacks on personal freedom.

There are many parties who do this, including the religious fundamentalist and scientists, but if we are to remain a "western society" (whatever that term might mean to you, I'm heavily influenced by 80's Germany), we have to make sure that what we try to keep up is the will to respect the freedom of thought of everybody around us.

There's a famous german saying, which roughly goes:

"Freedom is the different person's freedom."

And that's what we should keep up.

ID (your example) is debatable, it's something that I did debate in school (in philosophy), and that I don't consider something I can accept for myself.

But: if somebody else thinks differently, I have to respect that. And: that's what we have to keep up, that's what "Enlightenment" (to which scientists keep referring to shut up ID) is about.

the argument here (none / 0) (#160)
by Phil Urich on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 06:31:33 AM EST

is, more specifically, that this movement opposite of the views of the secular side of things aims to destroy that mentioned secular side.  

It's easy to misread the New Scientist viewpoint as a classic our-religion-is-science stance (though of course as it naturally goes, then it wouldn't be admitted that it is being followed as a religion), but what's at stake here isn't viewpoint against viewpoint.  

Science, as an abstract ideology, has never really argued against religion.  Individual propenents make take stances one way or another, but if there's anything approaching a consensus it is that the only religiously followed part of science will be applying logic to the world around oneself to attempt to establish, to the best of abilities, what the reality of things is.  An understanding of the current limitations and rather large possibility of being wrong (science considers doctrinal mistakes as part of its heritage, and in theory keeps in mind the near-inevitability that current paradigms and worldviews will be overturned eventually) keep wholesale belief in check.  Further than that, scientists are free to subscribe to organized (or disorganized, no one's picky) religion.

The fundamentalist meme/force mentioned, however, is attempting to war with science and commit a kind of idea-genocide.  

It is undeniable that the results of the Enlightenment et al form a cornerstone of our society (the method we're using to communicate right now is pretty scientific, I challenge you to disagree!), and so, even ignoring other arguments, arguing that this battle is an attack on "western life-style" is fairly defensible.

Now, that being said . . . I admit to taking a bit of an offence to the specific tone and stance taken by this argument.  Maybe the poster is indeed seeing things in the light that you're saying is cast.  I suppose I'm trying to see past individual perspective and focus on the meanings of the actual New Scientist issue.  So perhaps I'm mainly being defensive of the article because I feel indebted to it for bringing up mention of what sounds like an interesting issue of what I have found in the past to be a rather illuminating magazine.  

And maybe, as well, Shimmer's viewpoint is superficially so similar to my own that I try to defend it as if it was indeed identical, even while I'm disagreeing completely on more subtle but fundamental issues underneath.  Hell, I'm sure some of my own arguments here haven't translated very well to text, and might come across with exactly the kind of meaning that I mean to disown.   So maybe Shimmer is experiencing the same kind of problem, to one degree or another.

Wiping out all of that, bottom line, I'm definitely buying the mentioned issue of New Scientist.  One was or another, it sounds worth a readthrough.

[ Parent ]

-1 reluctantly (none / 1) (#145)
by t1ber on Sat Oct 15, 2005 at 11:35:04 PM EST

I reluctantly gave this a -1. It spoke to me as an Atheist.

If Bush has invaded countries or made laws or what have you simply because they were the basis of his religion, I might have agreed. Bush hasn't really passed anything (besides not legalizing homosexual marriage) simply because "It's in the Bible". This is a stark contrast to the Muslim communities who constantly are making headlines for suggesting wife beating and killing homosexuals. While this does happen sometimes in the Christian Community, it's a lot more common in Islam. Choosing between the two evils, I'd much rather throw my hat in the ring with a leader who isn't afraid to take the gloves off an invade a country and happens to be Christian instead of a leader who is a Muslim and makes sure I am too.

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

You should read the NY Times article I linked to (none / 1) (#153)
by Shimmer on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 02:22:57 AM EST

Bush hasn't really passed anything (besides not legalizing homosexual marriage) simply because "It's in the Bible"
Read this, then come back and tell me that Bush isn't operating as a fundamentalist.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
Bush isn't operating as a fundamentalist (none / 0) (#174)
by t1ber on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 10:09:18 AM EST

Because there's been no civil was in the Republican house.  The whole article is fluff and anyone could have realized this in the first paragraph.  It's also one of the reasons why I gave it a -1.  The article tries to say, "Well, this is going to divide the Republicans" and it obviously doesn't apply because it hasn't happened.

If Bush wants to say he's operating on instinct or praying or whatever, that's fine.  It's not my business to tell any man how to pray.  So far he's been a mix of religion and facts, but that's still OK so long as facts are winning.  Being an atheist, you really shouldn't care what helps other people sleep at night because it's all hogwash anyway.

The difference between a religious leader and a fundamentalist is that the religious leader is OK with religious freedom.  The fundamentalist wants everyone else to follow the law of his religion.

And she said...
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad
Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Hadji girl I can't understand what you're saying.

[ Parent ]

Miers (none / 0) (#313)
by Haxx on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 12:47:22 AM EST

If your point is true, it is now irrelivant. The Miers Supreme Court nomination has severly divided the republicans.

[ Parent ]
but is that a religious divide? (none / 0) (#315)
by issachar on Mon Oct 24, 2005 at 01:40:49 AM EST

There's a lot of Republicans who are angry about Bush's nomination, but is the split a religious one? If it's not, then it doesn't apply to this discussion.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
The problem with science... (none / 1) (#169)
by kurtmweber on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 09:32:42 AM EST

The problem with science is that, as a means of determining how the Universe really is and works and as a means of determining how to live, it is just as useless as religion.  Religion is based on blind faith, science is based on subjective empiricism.

Science is good for one thing and one thing only--discovering reproducible models of how the world works (which may not be the same as the way things really work) to build useful devices that increase man's power over nature.  If you want to know how the world really does work, then you need philosophy, which is based on reason--the only objective epistemology.

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me

You mixed up subjective and objective $ (none / 0) (#170)
by An onymous Coward on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 09:42:13 AM EST



"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
No, I actually didn't (n/t) (none / 0) (#171)
by kurtmweber on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 09:53:45 AM EST

 

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
[ Parent ]
Then you redefined them. $ (none / 0) (#177)
by An onymous Coward on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 11:32:11 AM EST



"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
No, I didn't do that either (none / 0) (#183)
by kurtmweber on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 02:44:37 PM EST

I simply called a spade a spade.  Deal with it.

Please, try refuting anything I said.

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
[ Parent ]

I called a spade a spade too! (none / 0) (#184)
by An onymous Coward on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 03:03:09 PM EST

You deal with it.

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
"Subjective empiricism" (none / 0) (#206)
by Shimmer on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 08:23:15 PM EST

Could you please explain what "subjective empiricism" is supposed to mean?

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
Religion is the problem (none / 0) (#209)
by Alien zombie on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 10:51:46 PM EST

Science delivers the goods in this life, while religion offers only empty promises of paradise in a promised afterlife. Among religions, Christianity is particularly preposterous. You mean to tell me some ancient dead dude is the son of god who will save my eternal soul? If I don't get to heaven how will I complain? You better come up with a better hustle than that if you want my money.  

Not only is the very notion of an afterlife incoherent, it devalues this life in direct proportion to the duration of any alleged afterlife, so an infinite afterlife would make this life utterly irrelevant. Small wonder these folks go around trashing the environment, squandering taxpayer dollars, guzzling gasoline and waging phony wars like there's no tomorrow.


When the spin stops the top drops.

[ Parent ]

Anthem (none / 0) (#175)
by Metasquares on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 10:25:07 AM EST

A perfect example of the end result of this kind of thinking can be seen in Ayn Rand's Anthem. It's a short and easy read that can be finished in about an hour, but a good deal of the story touches upon what happens to society when a dogmatic devotion to social identity (which includes religion) overcomes rationalism.

Good luck (none / 0) (#176)
by kurtmweber on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 10:45:03 AM EST

Unfortunately, the collectivists here have little use for reason or reality.  Expect to hear "Ayn Rand is a cunt" and a complete lack of any actual arguments against her brilliant thoughts.

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
[ Parent ]
Ayn Rand is a cunt. /nt (none / 0) (#194)
by omestes on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 04:42:58 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Make an actual argument, please (none / 0) (#195)
by kurtmweber on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:01:51 PM EST

I defy you to refute a single word she ever said or wrote.

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
[ Parent ]
"I am not a cunt" -Ayn Rand QED (nt) (none / 0) (#208)
by omestes on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 09:44:04 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Evil requires the sanction of the victim (none / 0) (#220)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 07:47:35 AM EST

Is a Rand quote, and is clearly bullcrap. If you need it spelling out to you then you're likely retarded, but to be clear - I can hit someone over the head unprovoked whilst they aren't looking. Unless you want to argue that "sanction" is covered by the person not looking, or that unprovoked violence is not "evil" then there's a single thing. I'm sure there's more.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
Nope (1.00 / 3) (#260)
by kurtmweber on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:01:17 PM EST

You didn't refute her; all you did was build a strawman.  Two reasons why:
1) You dropped context.  "Hitting someone over the head" in the abstract is neither good nor bad; to determine whether or not it is evil one must consider the context in which it takes place.
2) When she said that, she wasn't referring to particular acts of evil anyway, but rather to evil's metaphysical nature--the only reason evil can exist and survive is because good men sanction it through such false virtues as "altruism" and "compassion".

Kurt Weber
Any field of study can be considered 'complex' when it starts using Hebrew letters for symbols.--me
[ Parent ]
In all seriousness (none / 0) (#263)
by The Diary Section on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:47:28 PM EST

anyone defending Ayn Rand by using the notion of "strawmen" is setting themselves up quite badly. Ayn Rand's writing is notable for the fact its all strawman arguments. Consider the behaviour of everyone who isn't a hero in Atlas Shrugged. Not merely unrealistic, its laughable. Oh yes, I won't protect my corporation because thats unfair on our competitors. Come on.
Spend 10 minutes in the company of an American and you end up feeling like a Keats or a Shelley: Thin, brilliant, suave, and desperate for industrial-scale quantities of opium.
[ Parent ]
Straw men (none / 0) (#271)
by thejeff on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:42:05 AM EST

That may be what frustrated me most about "Atlas Shrugged".

Everyone who wasn't one of the chosen few, was made to be so idiotic and incompetent. Any arguments given against Galt's were so obviously bull that you couldn't agree with them.
No attempt was made to actually deal with real opposing arguments. Instead we're presented with a choice between a pathetically simplified form of communism, which is obviously not functioning on any level, and her uber-capitalism. Any thought of compromise is ruled out. The government is both mindboggling stupid and corrupt, the entire populace is shown as idiotic and easily swayed.

If you're just writing fiction, then an unrealistic premise/setting can be fine, but if you want to be taken seriously as philosophy you can't stack the deck in your favor.

[ Parent ]

No, I didn't (none / 0) (#273)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 10:30:58 AM EST

1) You dropped context

No I didn't. I said "I can hit someone over the head unprovoked whilst they aren't looking". If you want to argue this isn't evil then go ahead, but the key word there that gives context is "unprovoked".

2) the only reason evil can exist and survive is because good men sanction it through such false virtues as "altruism" and "compassion".

Again, no. I can hit someone over the head, unprovoked, without need for compassion or altruism. Maybe I'm just evil, maybe I enjoy it, it doesn't require the sanction of the victim.

So you don't believe in altruism or compassion then? Taking someone in from the cold and giving them a hot drink and a place to sleep for the night is encouraging evil how?

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
You kick ass (none / 0) (#226)
by An onymous Coward on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:04:43 AM EST

You quote yourself in your sig, define people who disagree with you as being irrational by saying things like "Unfortunately, the collectivists here have little use for reason or reality.", and you don't even make an arguement and tell people to refute you!

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
A *single* word? (none / 0) (#232)
by smithmc on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 02:35:55 PM EST

Hey now, I'm rather a fan of Objectivism myself but... c'mon. She said that homosexuality is immoral, that smoking is glamorous, and that a woman should never be President 'cause then she wouldn't have a *man to look up to*. She didn't get everything right.

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#240)
by An onymous Coward on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 07:08:14 AM EST

A lot of her followers hijacked it into a group that takes everything she says as gospel, hence the term Randroid :P

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
No need (none / 0) (#204)
by Pseudonym on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 08:16:50 PM EST

I think I'll let that most irrational of people, Michael Shermer, speak for me.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Ayn Rand's 'Anthem' online... (none / 0) (#201)
by SaintPort on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:59:29 PM EST

http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/texts/anthem/complete.html

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
The whole New Scientist article can be read (none / 1) (#197)
by shinshin on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:16:19 PM EST

at http://www.fencing.net/forums/328829-1-post.html (weirdly enough). I agree with other posters that it is a tad superficial, but interesting reading nonetheless.

____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
Thanks... (none / 0) (#198)
by issachar on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:43:28 PM EST

There's also an interesting reply to Gav's entry. I think it's worth reading.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
No mention of post-modernity? (1.00 / 3) (#199)
by issachar on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 05:50:35 PM EST

The New Scientist article, talks about attacks on modernity without mentioning post-modernism. This makes the article quite weak. It seems that the authors are caught up in the whole religion vs. science war that is popular with many secular humanists. Ignoring post-modernism in a discussion on modernity smacks of ignorance.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
I can see absolutely no way... (none / 1) (#202)
by Angostura on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 06:25:10 PM EST

... in which mixing postmodernism into the discussion would usefully improve the New Scientist's analysis. If you'd care to explain why you think it is relevant....

[ Parent ]
I was actually criticizing New Scientist (none / 0) (#280)
by issachar on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 01:27:30 AM EST

The New Scientist article talks about attacks on modernity, and seems to attribute these (at least primarily), to religious fundamentalism. Not mention is made of post-modernity anywhere in the piece.

Talking about attacks on modernity without even mentioning post-modernity makes the article incomplete at best. Post-modern thought has been an incredibly effective attack on modernity. It's been much more effective than religious fundamentalism by far.

Given this, the New Scientist article looks like a bunch of modernists kicking the crap out of the small posse trying to sneak in the side entrance of the castle while igoring the fact that the mob outside, (which doesn't like the small posse much btw), has nearly broken down the castle gate.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

I didn't know pseuds lived in castles? (none / 0) (#299)
by dilaudid on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 02:50:20 PM EST

But I really hoped I'd never read the word post-modernism again...

[ Parent ]
Christian fundamentalist..? well, isnt that Jesus? (none / 0) (#239)
by gizzlon on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 03:04:04 AM EST

and he didnt go arround and kill everyone did he?

there is no doubt that fundamentalist Muslims would gladly kill millions of us in the West and fundamentalist Christians would happily "invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity".
Its just dumb to think that "all fundamentalist muslims want us dead" and even worse to say that fundamentalist christians want to invade muslims countries.. again, cant remembr Jesus doing that

g
True (none / 1) (#243)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 10:05:25 AM EST

Although it's probably too late to change it, I don't really like the word "fundamentalist" to describe radial zealots.  The word merely indicates they're following the fundamentals of their religion.  There are plenty of peaceful religions where fundamentalists would be welcomed with open arms by most people.

The force we're fighting is radical religion, not fundamentalist religion.  As you say - would a true fundamentalist Christian invite war?

[ Parent ]

Again Jesus was (none / 0) (#247)
by gizzlon on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 10:27:02 AM EST

quite radical..

Cant we just call them "people who use religions as an ecxuse to to bas things?" or PWURETTBT for short
g
[ Parent ]

dammit! <n/t> (none / 0) (#270)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 09:24:40 AM EST



[ Parent ]
No, wait... (none / 0) (#322)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 09:29:25 AM EST

Jesus was a radical, but he was a radical Jew, not a radical Christian.

[ Parent ]
hehe (none / 0) (#332)
by gizzlon on Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 10:45:23 AM EST

good one :)

But a fundamentalist christian would still follow Christ, right?
g
[ Parent ]

I love you <thx>< (none / 0) (#258)
by SaintPort on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 05:07:43 PM EST



--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
That's not what I meant (none / 0) (#248)
by Shimmer on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 11:03:26 AM EST

The point I'm trying to make is that fundamentalism, on the whole, is antagonistic to the principles of our civilization. I don't mean to imply that every single single fundamentalist is violent. The truth is a bit more subtle than that.

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]
Jesus a fundamentalist? Hardly! (none / 0) (#276)
by tgibbs on Wed Oct 19, 2005 at 11:24:14 AM EST

Within the context of his religion, Judaism, Jesus would be more appropriately classified as a "radical liberal" than as a fundamentalist--he proposed a dramatic reinterpretation of God, abandoning many traditional religious strictures and traditions.

[ Parent ]
not my poin but I think (none / 0) (#289)
by gizzlon on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 04:54:37 AM EST

He was since he took the scriptures literally.
g
[ Parent ]
The Wrath of God (none / 0) (#257)
by projectpaperclip on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 02:46:35 PM EST

I would only like to suggest further reading on the topic that I have found extremely enlightening:

A History of God

The Battle for God

Both by Karen Armstrong, both extremely well written, interesting to follow, takes you step by step through the history of the formation of the religions in question, the development of lines of reasoning in those religions, and a clear illustration that "fundamentalism" is not fundamental to anything, but is rather a radical departure from anything fundamental to the roots of any of the religions involved... we might as well be talking about scientology & the flying spaghetti monster when talking about "fundamental" islam or christianity.

No! Pizza! (none / 0) (#304)
by csmiller on Thu Oct 20, 2005 at 06:58:40 PM EST

Infidel! May your false god be rent asunder beneath Her holy hooves, may they never be shod! :-/

The end of the Enlightenment (none / 0) (#310)
by BlickyBloc on Fri Oct 21, 2005 at 10:11:33 PM EST

I was thinking of this today - there is really no more atheism.

There is a struggle over theology. You do not have to be a "Bible Believing Christian" to fall for the Intelligent Design argument. You do not have to be a humanist to accept and live in a context of a slow deliberate evolution to our existence followed by the inevitable extinction of our race.

What we are marching toward and what is really inflaming this debate is the inevitable realization that our intelligence is not that special - we will create before to long intelligence that is more creative and intelligent than us and this is what will really create resentment against science and profound self worth problems for a lot of Nobel laureates.

Rather than look at the harm that religious fundamentalists will do lets look at what science that accepts our intelligence as a god to be obeyed will do for us. Better access to porn, really nice anti-wrinkle creams, alternate realities, medicine by statistic, dehumanization, genocide.

Killing off all the priests and imams has been tried before it did not work that well, however we do have a nice record of a whole scientific liberal open culture killed off and shackled by fundamentalism.

Puttering Pornification of America

no more atheism (none / 0) (#321)
by dm9290 on Sat Oct 29, 2005 at 02:49:54 AM EST

there is really no more atheism.

really? So I'm not an atheist? Damn and for the past 3 decades I thought I was.  What's changed?

There is a struggle over theology. You do not have to be a "Bible Believing Christian" to fall for the Intelligent Design argument. You do not have to be a humanist to accept and live in a context of a slow deliberate evolution to our existence followed by the inevitable extinction of our race.

Your logic is non-sequitur.  The fact that some non-"Bible Believing Christians" might fall for the Intelligent Design argument (whatever that is) does not establish that all non-"Bible Believing Christians" are gullible enough. The fact that some non-[secular]humanists believe in evolution and extinction does not prove that all non-[secular]humanists do.

Your logic does not eliminate the remainder of people from the set 'athiests'. And it does not establish that all beliefs are based on theological arguments.

What we are marching toward and what is really inflaming this debate is the inevitable realization that our intelligence is not that special - we will create before to long intelligence that is more creative and intelligent than us and this is what will really create resentment against science and profound self worth problems for a lot of Nobel laureates.

I think what is flaming this debate is the belief (justified) by secular humanists that WMD are becoming cheaper and cheaper, and eventually it will be no problem for some well meaning man of faith to destroy all the heritics and non-believers or potentially the entire world (if that is what your brand of religious belief advocates).

Most well adjusted people dream of a world in which our children have it better off than we do. This is not a fear. this is a goal!  If our kids are smarter, and better than we are. that is a good thing.  Only a very insecure person is worried that future generations will look back at us as ignoramuses.  We strive that the frontiers of human knowledge are always EXPANDED.

Rather than look at the harm that religious fundamentalists will do lets look at what science that accepts our intelligence as a god to be obeyed will do for us. Better access to porn, really nice anti-wrinkle creams, alternate realities, medicine by statistic, dehumanization, genocide.

science does not dehumanize.  It HUMANIZES. It enables the meekest amongst us to express their ideas and have an education rather than live life as a SERF or SLAVE.  Hatred, contempt of others, and unethical behavior is what dehumanizes.

science is not the enabler of genocide.  You can get genocide on the lo-tech.  Ever hear of a place called Rwanda? Irrational belief is the enabler of genocide.

Killing off all the priests and imams has been tried before it did not work that well, however we do have a nice record of a whole scientific liberal open culture killed off and shackled by fundamentalism.

I'm not sure what your point is but the vast majority of killing of priests or imams was done at the behest of other priests and imams or politicians with a thirst for power.  
If you have a specific non political instance of priests being killed in order to promote atheism I'd like to know what it is.


[ Parent ]

Kill 'em all - Let God sort them out (none / 0) (#324)
by cdguru on Tue Nov 01, 2005 at 09:00:30 PM EST

This wonderful quote occurred to me reading this.

Starting with the assumption that both Muslim and Christian fundamentalists are irredeemably evil, this brings up what this means to the rest of the world.

Certainly it is difficult to separate "zionists" from "Jews", so we can lump them together - nobody is going to argue that "zionists" aren't evil.

This leaves atheists and a few others in the non-evil pile. As a reader here, you likely fall into this group, so you can consider yourself safe.

I suggest that as a step towards eliminating evil, we being a plan to rid the world of all evil people. The result should be a sustainable environment with only a few million left. This obviously needs to be a secret or there would be millions of overnight "converts" to the way of sanity.

Yeah, can't your god hurry (none / 0) (#325)
by ankarbass on Mon Nov 14, 2005 at 07:10:00 AM EST

up and come get you lot? I mean you've been talking about it for ages. You can all go to heaven and walk around with wings and gold this and that or banging 69 virgins or whatever the hell your religion teaches you.

[ Parent ]
very (none / 0) (#327)
by wampswillion on Sun Nov 27, 2005 at 02:29:14 PM EST

much so..  danger in letting these people "creep" into or "wedge" themselves into political power.   people wonder how the holocaust could happen?  look NO farther than how this process of fundementalist dogma creeping in-  is unfolding.  

substitute the bible for mein kampff.  and there ya have it.  

i am heartened tho, that this publication you write about is seeing articles that are starting to address the dangers.   scientists should be starting to wake up to the fact, that they are very much under a slow, yet insidious attack.  

ENOUGH FOR WARS!!! WE'RE GETTING PARANOID (none / 0) (#330)
by audiofreak on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 04:14:02 PM EST

NO RELIGIONS WILL KILL YOU...

Views of Science (none / 0) (#331)
by aguila on Sat Feb 25, 2006 at 10:46:36 AM EST

The scientist's religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, in comparison with it, the highest intelligence of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.  This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work.
-- Albert Einstein, Scientist.

Validius est naturae testimonium quam doctrinae argumentum.
Translation: The testimony of nature is of greater weight than the arguments of learning.  -- published by John Hazelrigg, Astrologer.

Alternative translation: Nature's influence or power is testimony superior to arguments of doctrine or scholarship.

I thought the above quotes are very useful views of what Science is.  If we borrow from Heidegger's method and research the meaning of words we discover, as he did that essentially the root meaning or fundamental meaning of science is "to know".  Science is a strictly and profoundly human activity.

God doesn't need Science, if one believes in Him/Her then it is already correctly intuited that He/She already knows all there is to know and can be known.

The Astrologer represents a tradition as old as the mysterious and ancient Magi spoken of in the Bible.  One cannot approach a more stunning luminary than Einstein, unless it be Stephen Hawking or Carl Sagan.  However, if we study and consider what they are speaking of we can immediately see there is nothing to fear.  

The passions of ignorance and stupidity is not anything related to religion but rather related to those who utilize religion as a means of maintaining political or economic control over a population making them believe that ignorance and stupidity are values of their religion.  This has been going on a very long time; the fact that the West broke this problem does not mean that the East did.  

Those who are truly religious already know that reveling in ignorance and stupidity are amongst the most dangerous of sins, more so even the abuse of sex.  What is difficult to fathom is that the last ruling successful secular government in the East was the rule of Ashoka whose empire was already dust by the time of ancient Rome.  The other concept difficult for modern Europeans and some modern Americans is that there were empires and scales of science and engineering which were also achieved by the natives of North and South America before the Europeans destroyed them.

Societies are very difficult to build and maintain when they are based upon lies, European or otherwise.  The lies of Europe and the overweening self-assurance and murderous nature of ancient Rome which remains to many something to admire and emulate is absolutely amazing.  However, what is just as sad that the East chose not improvement's upon Ashoka but more varied and different versions of the models of government progressively as vicious as Rome, if not moreso.  There's been almost no effort spent to achieve values superior to them or the horrors which resulted in the rape of millions in North and South America.

Out of this mix, it is highly unlikely that any recognizeable culture of values will move humanity forward beyond the confusion it lives in now.  Meanwhile the US government does what it can to ignore Nuremburg principles and yet expects others to follow or abide by "international standards".  What international standards are there more basic than the treatment of fellow human beings?  

The blind side of the US is showing regarding basic humanity, the environment and so on is amazing giving the fact that it needs international cooperation.  However, other nations also are to blame for making it so easy for the US to engage upon or consider such agreements.  Humanity cannot move forward together as it should with the same fractured thinking it has had in it's past.  Indeed, to move into the future with the baggage of the past is to curse the future; looking to the East is a good example of future unless everyone works to change their mindset.
============================
=============== Lakota Sioux: Mitakuye Oyasin English Translation: We are all related.

You are... (none / 0) (#333)
by Yojimbo on Fri Jan 12, 2007 at 02:21:16 PM EST

So right. Especially sfter seing that fundamentalist christian brainwashing summer school on tv.

In the UK an act of daily christian worship is required by law in every non-religious school. I'm sure this completely violates my childs human rights. Enforced worship, regardless of the parents own religion.

I'm with Dawkins all the way. It takes religion to make good people do bad things.

(Christianity vs. Islam) vs. (Fundamentalism vs. Rationality) | 332 comments (317 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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