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Author Topic: Mitt Romney's halo  (Read 48055 times)
dmerger
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« Reply #620 on: November 20, 2012, 10:01:35 AM »
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So a physics theory is the truth?  Do you have faith in this physics theory?  It is a theory, so it is unproven as a fact.  Just like religion.

Damn, Bryan, get a hold of yourself.  Smiley  I didn’t say anything about religion.

You’re the one who stated a theory (i.e. “Everything in our existence (as we know it) is cause and effect.  Action and reaction.”).  Evidence has shown that you are wrong.  

Many, many experiments have shown that you are wrong.  Those experimental results initially were wholly unexpected and contradicted centuries of generally accepted wisdom.  There was great reluctance to overturn the old ways of thinking, but when faced with new evidence, scientists altered their theories to conform to the new evidence.  That ability to follow the evidence is one of mankind’s greatest achievements.  

Moreover, your short diatribe against scientific theories is quite common, but reflects a misunderstanding of scientific theories.  This issue has been explained countless times. If you have any interest in learning about scientific theories, there are plenty of sources freely available over the internet.  As an example, consider that gravity is merely a scientific theory.  So, yes you can say that gravity “is unproven as a fact”, but most people accept it as true, even if they don’t fully understand the theory.  Interestingly, the scientific theory of gravity is another great example of scientists modifying their theories in the face of new evidence.  Faced with new evidence, Newton’s theory of gravity was overthrown by Einstein’s relativity.    

Bryan, you also appear to be rather dismissive of quantum physics.  At the risk of getting too far off topic, may I suggest that perhaps if you learned more about it you would appreciate what a stunning achievement it is?  It’s not only one of the greatest intellectual achievements in human history, but has been one of the most successful and useful scientific developments in human history.  Countless experiments around the world have confirmed the often mind-bendingly bizarre predictions of quantum physics.  Without quantum physics there would be no internet, no computers, no digital cameras, no GPS, etc, etc.  Our world would be radically different without quantum physics.  In other words, you certainly can be skeptical and even dismissive of quantum physics, but like it or not, quantum physics has had, and will continue to have, a profound impact on your life.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 10:06:55 AM by dmerger » Logged

Dean Erger
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« Reply #621 on: November 20, 2012, 10:03:57 AM »
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Bryan ... are you a teacher?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #622 on: November 20, 2012, 12:32:30 PM »
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B*llocks, much of the fighting is over land, which is a resource, religion is often dragged into disputes to merely justify the battles and that goes as much for the Irish situation as it does anywhere else.

Ah, so it is just another real-estate issue?

I knew you were going to connect it somehow to those greedy bankers Wink

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« Reply #623 on: November 20, 2012, 12:53:47 PM »
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Actually, there is plenty of evidence that God exists but an empiric proof is something else again.

Tony Jay

Proof is for philosophy, mathematics & distilling; science deals in evidence. Evidence can disprove, but doesn't prove things. It's to do with the tentative nature of knowledge, an issue of epistemology. As for evidence, I'd certainly be interested in the unambiguous  & incontrovertible evidence for god(s) of any stripe.
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Justinr
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« Reply #624 on: November 20, 2012, 02:42:26 PM »
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Ah, so it is just another real-estate issue?

I knew you were going to connect it somehow to those greedy bankers Wink



Pretty much so when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it all. Just looking at the rather complex history of Ireland you will see that there have always been protestants fighting for a united and independent country over the centuries, it was never really considered a  Catholic cause until the last century or so and just to add to the confusion there are plenty of Catholics nowdays who'd like to see Ireland return to the British fold.  The Balkans have always been in turmoil since ancient times, long before Christianity and Islam were even invented, same old wars under a new guise, it's tribal rather than religious and so on.

The bankers? Oh they just make money from it all. Will there ever be peace whilst there are billions to be made from war or the threat of it?  Sad
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kencameron
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« Reply #625 on: November 20, 2012, 03:28:14 PM »
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As for evidence, I'd certainly be interested in the unambiguous  & incontrovertible evidence for god(s) of any stripe.
Or evidence against them. There are different varieties of agnostic. I am what the Australian philosopher Tamas Patacki has described as a naive agnostic. I haven't encountered God, or a God, but I am not quite certain that I never will and not quite hopeful that I will. Not being pure in heart, it probably won't be the Christian version. Krishna would  be recognizable from a distance, being blue. The Greek ones tended to disguise themselves as humans, or swans, or such things, so maybe I have met one but not just recognized her.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 11:50:32 PM by kencameron » Logged

Ray
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« Reply #626 on: November 20, 2012, 11:42:50 PM »
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So a physics theory is the truth?  Do you have faith in this physics theory?  It is a theory, so it is unproven as a fact.  Just like religion.

I see you appear not to have much of scientific background, Bryan. It would be helpful if posters in this discussion were to make a clear distinction between theory and hypothesis. It's unfortunate that the words are often used interchangeably, even in Wikipedia, as though they are synonyms.

Quite often, disputes never get resolved as a result of the protagonists not realising they are assuming different definitions of the same keys words they are both using in their arguments.

Now my understanding of a theory, when the word is used in a scientific context, is that it is always based upon evidence, and a theory is only as true as the consistency of the evidence which supports it and upon which it is based..

An hypothesis, on the other hand, is of the nature of conjecture and speculation. The evidence to support it is at best tenuous. As more evidence accummulates, the hypothesis may eventually reach the staus of a theory, at which point the theory tends to be of practical use, helping us to construct models of reality and predict outcomes. We don't build digital cameras and plasma TV sets using speculative hypotheses. We need sound, reliable and consistent theories.

Belief on the other hand, doesn't require the knowledge, understanding or appreciation of a sound, evidence-based scientific theory. Belief is emotional in nature. Presumably, those who believe in God get a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling from their belief, especially when they contemplate those endless years of joy and delight in heaven that await them after they die.

However, I'm sure the emotional nature of belief also affects scientists, but in a different way to the usual effect of conventional and traditional religions, Einstein's belief in God being an example previously mentioned.

I still remember my susrprise when I first learned that Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists of all time, was rabidly and obsessively religious. However, he kept his religious views pretty much to himself because they differed so much from the established dogma of the time, and he lived in an era when religious heretics were still being persecuted.

I find it fascinating that despite the great scientific endeavours of the past centuries, and despite our apparent mastery and understanding of the nature of matter and energy at such a fundamental level that we can create atomic bombs, nuclear power plants and amazing computers etc etc, we still haven't got a clue what 96% of the matter and energy in the obervable universe consists of.

Or to put it in another ways, recent observations of our universe using increasingly sophisticated technology, such as the Hubble telescope, have revealed that the universe is not behaving as our theories predict. Our theories predict that we should observe a slowing down of the expansion of the universe at its outer reaches. It was predicted, once upon a time, that the forces of gravity would eventually halt the expansion of the universe which would then begin to contract and fall in on itself.

Our best current observations, which rely upon interpretation through existing theories of Physics and Astrophysics, reveal that the outer reaches of the universe are expanding at a much faster rate than predicted by our theories of gravity, which of course must be of immense relief to those who were once worried about their world eventually collapsing in upon itself, causing great loss of property and wealth.

Our theories also predict that the stars in spiral galaxies at the edge of the universe should be rotating much slower than our observations now reveal. So what's going on?

In order to explain this observed phenomenon, we either have to modify our existing theories of gravity, so that our theories will then match our observations, or cling to our existing theories, and hypothesise the existence of calculated huge quantities of truly invisible and so far undetecable matter and energy, the existence of which, if we ever detect the stuff, will preserve the integrity of our existing theories.

I find that to be an incredible situation. We're not talking here about minor discrepancies. We've discovered all the elements of matter described in the Periodic Table. We've split the atom and identified its constituent components, including numerous sub-atomic particles. We've analysed the Electromagnetic Spectrum and identified the properties of the various types of radiation, a part of which is visible light which we are all so interested in as photographers. We've even discovered particles of anti-matter, the existence of which was hypothesised by Paul Dirac many decades ago.

But all this "stuff" which we've observed, analysed and documented over the centuries, is now claimed to represents only 4% of the total mass and energy in the universe (or maybe it's 5% or 6% -estimates vary). The other 96% is totally invisible and of the nature of pure conjecture or hypothesis. Not a single particle nor wave of this mysterious Dark Matter and Dark Energy has so far been detected by any scientific instrument or process known to mankind. Makes one wonder, eh?

If the best scientific minds of our species do not know what 96% of the stuff in our universe consists of, what else don't we know?
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Justinr
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« Reply #627 on: November 21, 2012, 03:42:29 AM »
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Morning Ray

An interesting post and I must admit I hadn't realised the missing matter was quite so large, last I heard it was around 60% (ish) but doubts were beginning to be cast upon this figure, but that's me not keeping up. It's certainly a fascinating development.

I appreciate where you are coming from in your arguments but I am not sure that approaching religion in a scientific manner is going to solve anything one way or another. Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  Smiley

At the end of the day why does religion have to prove itself scientifically?

Anyway, busy day today so I'll return to the discussion later.

Justin.

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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #628 on: November 21, 2012, 03:46:31 AM »
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... what else don't we know?

Trouble is, for some people, that 'don't know' bit is where god(s) live. The old 'God of the Gaps'. Places for him/her/it to hide were diminishing swiftly, but now science is opening huge new gaps for said god(s) to hide away in.

Remember, science doesn't know everything, therefore supernatural stuff.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #629 on: November 21, 2012, 04:07:35 AM »
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... Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  Smiley
Indeed I would refute that. Having trust in the science & technology, some self-confidence & trust in others involved in a venture, doesn't amount to religion.

Quote
At the end of the day why does religion have to prove itself scientifically?
When religions make claims about the cosmos, claims that are so very much in opposition to all that we currently know, and where religious doctrine conflicts with known facts, and still religious people want special treatment & influence on the basis of those religious doctrines, I think we're entitled to say, 'where's your evidence?'.

We've got people in the UK (as you have in the US), who want schools to be teaching a six day creation, the literal reality of Noah & the Flood, a 6,000 year old earth, and similar nonsense. We have people trying to influence social policy, including the establishment of Sharia Law ('cos it says we must in the Quran). We've got people demanding an end to certain scientific research because their god or holy book says it's wrong.

Now I don't care what people choose to believe, and what consenting adults do in private is their affair. I don't even mind people bringing their superstitions & philosophies into the public realm, but if they do, and base arguments & claims for changes in how I live my life, based on those superstitions & philosophies, I think I'm entitled to challenge, question, & ask, 'where's the evidence to support your claims?'

You see, I have friends who are monotheists (Christians, Jews, Muslims & one Zoroastrian), as well as pantheists, panentheists & polytheists. We get on just fine, because none of them tell me how to live my life, & I don't tell them how to live theirs. They vote for candidates in elections, maybe on a religious basis, and that is their right. But were they to demand special treatment for their beliefs over anyone else's (and some do), or demand special treatment in terms of tax (and some do), or special consideration for their fanciful notions about the cosmos in science lessons & the like, then we would fall out, and rightly so.

But you don't have to agree with me. Just know that if we scrapped the idea of evolution, it would come back & bite you on the arse; no more need to worry about drug-resistant antibiotics, 'cos bugs can't evolve, obviously. Er ...
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #630 on: November 21, 2012, 04:09:27 AM »
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I see you appear not to have much of scientific background, Bryan. It would be helpful if posters in this discussion were to make a clear distinction between theory and hypothesis. It's unfortunate that the words are often used interchangeably, even in Wikipedia, as though they are synonyms.

Quite often, disputes never get resolved as a result of the protagonists not realising they are assuming different definitions of the same keys words they are both using in their arguments.

Now my understanding of a theory, when the word is used in a scientific context, is that it is always based upon evidence, and a theory is only as true as the consistency of the evidence which supports it and upon which it is based..

An hypothesis, on the other hand, is of the nature of conjecture and speculation. The evidence to support it is at best tenuous. As more evidence accummulates, the hypothesis may eventually reach the staus of a theory, at which point the theory tends to be of practical use, helping us to construct models of reality and predict outcomes. We don't build digital cameras and plasma TV sets using speculative hypotheses. We need sound, reliable and consistent theories.

Belief on the other hand, doesn't require the knowledge, understanding or appreciation of a sound, evidence-based scientific theory. Belief is emotional in nature. Presumably, those who believe in God get a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling from their belief, especially when they contemplate those endless years of joy and delight in heaven that await them after they die.

However, I'm sure the emotional nature of belief also affects scientists, but in a different way to the usual effect of conventional and traditional religions, Einstein's belief in God being an example previously mentioned.

I still remember my susrprise when I first learned that Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists of all time, was rabidly and obsessively religious. However, he kept his religious views pretty much to himself because they differed so much from the established dogma of the time, and he lived in an era when religious heretics were still being persecuted.

I find it fascinating that despite the great scientific endeavours of the past centuries, and despite our apparent mastery and understanding of the nature of matter and energy at such a fundamental level that we can create atomic bombs, nuclear power plants and amazing computers etc etc, we still haven't got a clue what 96% of the matter and energy in the obervable universe consists of.

Or to put it in another ways, recent observations of our universe using increasingly sophisticated technology, such as the Hubble telescope, have revealed that the universe is not behaving as our theories predict. Our theories predict that we should observe a slowing down of the expansion of the universe at its outer reaches. It was predicted, once upon a time, that the forces of gravity would eventually halt the expansion of the universe which would then begin to contract and fall in on itself.

Our best current observations, which rely upon interpretation through existing theories of Physics and Astrophysics, reveal that the outer reaches of the universe are expanding at a much faster rate than predicted by our theories of gravity, which of course must be of immense relief to those who were once worried about their world eventually collapsing in upon itself, causing great loss of property and wealth.

Our theories also predict that the stars in spiral galaxies at the edge of the universe should be rotating much slower than our observations now reveal. So what's going on?

In order to explain this observed phenomenon, we either have to modify our existing theories of gravity, so that our theories will then match our observations, or cling to our existing theories, and hypothesise the existence of calculated huge quantities of truly invisible and so far undetecable matter and energy, the existence of which, if we ever detect the stuff, will preserve the integrity of our existing theories.

I find that to be an incredible situation. We're not talking here about minor discrepancies. We've discovered all the elements of matter described in the Periodic Table. We've split the atom and identified its constituent components, including numerous sub-atomic particles. We've analysed the Electromagnetic Spectrum and identified the properties of the various types of radiation, a part of which is visible light which we are all so interested in as photographers. We've even discovered particles of anti-matter, the existence of which was hypothesised by Paul Dirac many decades ago.

But all this "stuff" which we've observed, analysed and documented over the centuries, is now claimed to represents only 4% of the total mass and energy in the universe (or maybe it's 5% or 6% -estimates vary). The other 96% is totally invisible and of the nature of pure conjecture or hypothesis. Not a single particle nor wave of this mysterious Dark Matter and Dark Energy has so far been detected by any scientific instrument or process known to mankind. Makes one wonder, eh?

If the best scientific minds of our species do not know what 96% of the stuff in our universe consists of, what else don't we know?


Thanks for the information Ray.  No, I do not have much of a scientific background.  I am an English teacher.  My science experience ended with freshman Biology in college.  Your information that you have provided is very interesting. I am grateful for your time, and most importantly, with the manner in which you have conducted your explanation.  It is very refreshing in light of a few of the others that have shown their rear-ends in this thread.

I do not understand all of what you stated, but I understand a lot of it.  The thing that interests me is that people can be so quick to declare that the unknown can not be x, but must be y.  I do not know for sure that everything the Bible states is 100% true.  I have found a lot of the teachings in it to be of benefit in my own personal life.  But, I also can accept that it's teachings are not for everyone.  Each person can choose to believe what he wishes to accept.  When a person tries to force their own beliefs on another, I think it is wrong.  Sometimes, I feel very strongly about my belief in a variety of topics and I end up arguing about it.  I am learning that the argument is generally a waste of time.  A discussion is different.  I can discuss and usually can see value in the different opinion.  I can even accept the possibility that there is no God.  But, in my opinion, the possibility of God existing seems to be clearly greater.  

I do not think less of a person when they have a different opinion.  I do think that several people in this thread have displayed an abundance of book knowledge, but a severe lack of knowledge of what it means to be an intelligent, caring human being.  I would never state that evolution is nonsense.  I would never state that science is nonsense.  To do so is nonsense.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 04:12:46 AM by Bryan Conner » Logged

Chairman Bill
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« Reply #631 on: November 21, 2012, 04:13:13 AM »
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... I do think that several people in this thread have displayed an abundance of book knowledge, but a severe lack of knowledge of what it means to be an intelligent, caring human being.

Nicely little ad hom there, Bryan. Care to name names? Better still, how about explaining what leads you to this claim. Some evidence & insight into your line of reasoning would be good.
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stamper
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« Reply #632 on: November 21, 2012, 04:55:37 AM »
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Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  Smiley

Unquote

The Russians managed to put people and Sputniks into space without any religious faith to back them up. For a while they were ahead of the USA. Therefore religion is meaningless Justin in this context. Just good old scientific planning. Wink

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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #633 on: November 21, 2012, 11:14:34 AM »
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Nicely little ad hom there, Bryan. Care to name names? Better still, how about explaining what leads you to this claim. Some evidence & insight into your line of reasoning would be good.

No, I will not stoop completely down to the level of making it personal by naming names.  If the shoe fits, feel free to wear it.
If it is not evident by reading what I have read, it would be futile for me try to explain my reasoning. 

I am finished with this discussion.  I see no further point in discussing it.  I have read your opinion and respect your right to make your own decisions.  We do not have to agree.

With all due respect.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #634 on: November 21, 2012, 11:18:23 AM »
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News from NASA - http://www.npr.org/2012/11/20/165513016/big-news-from-mars-rover-scientists-mum-for-now
Quote
Scientists working on NASA's six-wheeled rover on Mars have a problem. But it's a good problem.

They have some exciting new results from one of the rover's instruments. On the one hand, they'd like to tell everybody what they found, but on the other, they have to wait because they want to make sure their results are not just some fluke or error in their instrument.

It's a bind scientists frequently find themselves in, because by their nature, scientists like to share their results. At the same time, they're cautious because no one likes to make a big announcement and then have to say "never mind."

The exciting results are coming from an instrument in the rover called SAM. "We're getting data from SAM as we sit here and speak, and the data looks really interesting," (cont)


If this is what I think it may indicate - clear evidence of extraterrestrial life - it's just about the biggest news since forever. So long as they aren't Vogons.

No doubt various cults will be claiming them as evidence for our new alien overlords.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #635 on: November 21, 2012, 11:20:59 AM »
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No, I will not stoop completely down to the level of making it personal by naming names.  If the shoe fits, feel free to wear it.
If it is not evident by reading what I have read, it would be futile for me try to explain my reasoning. 

The shoe doesn't fit me, and I'm unable to see who here it does fit.
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dmerger
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« Reply #636 on: November 21, 2012, 11:26:50 AM »
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Bryan, perhaps you’ll appreciate the irony in your assertion that “Everything in our existence (as we know it) is cause and effect.  Action and reaction.” It has been argued, rather persuasively by some of the greatest philosophers in history, that your view of the universe precludes the existence of god (as commonly understood), free will, and good and evil, since your view would mean that everything in the universe, and everything that happens in the universe, from its birth through infinity, was preordained at the birth of the universe.

Countless books have been written about this philosophical debate, so no need to debate it here, and I’m not saying that that view is correct, but I enjoyed the irony.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #637 on: November 21, 2012, 11:37:41 AM »
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 I do think that several people in this thread have displayed an abundance of book knowledge, but a severe lack of knowledge of what it means to be an intelligent, caring human being. 

I agree with Chairman Bill on this one.  I don't see anything to support your assertion, Bryan.
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Dean Erger
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« Reply #638 on: November 21, 2012, 02:48:46 PM »
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Quote

Just as Chairman Bill points to the fact that religion is not going to build cathedrals all by itself I would reiterate the we we didn't fly to the moon purely on the back of science, there was some sort of soul within the team that put the rockets together, a shared faith that it could be done and that in itself is a religion although I'm quite expecting our Bill to refute that and point to the field of psychology to support his claims.  Smiley

Unquote

The Russians managed to put people and Sputniks into space without any religious faith to back them up. For a while they were ahead of the USA. Therefore religion is meaningless Justin in this context. Just good old scientific planning. Wink



Not at all, no doubt the Russians to had belief in themselves.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #639 on: November 21, 2012, 03:04:38 PM »
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Not at all, no doubt the Russians to had belief in themselves.

Having trust/confidence in one's own abilities is hardly the same as having a belief in some supernatural agency.
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