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Author Topic: Mitt Romney's halo  (Read 60020 times)
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #640 on: November 21, 2012, 03:20:21 PM »
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... 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...

Damn, I did not know that having bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning would make me religious! I had faith that I can crack an egg, that I won't cut myself cutting bacon, and if I do, I had faith I can apply a bandaid. Wink
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #641 on: November 21, 2012, 03:27:01 PM »
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Damn, I did not know that having bacon and eggs for breakfast this morning would make me religious! I had faith that I can crack an egg, that I won't cut myself cutting bacon, and if I do, I had faith I can apply a bandaid. Wink

I'm a proper atheist - I had fried babies for my breakfast
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Justinr
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« Reply #642 on: November 21, 2012, 04:06:48 PM »
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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.
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 ...

I think we may be failing to draw the line here between what I mean as belief and what you think I mean by repeatedly bringing various ancient tracts into the fray. I am not at all concerned about the bible for it contains far too much nonsense and is highly selective in the stories it tells with approx 20 non-canonical gospels being recognised as having been written. However, as a general guide to living within a society it has some merit. Not coveting thy neighbours oxon for instance is not a bad idea if you want to get along with folk and we could do with a bit more throwing of the money lenders from out of the temple.

Religion as organised faith systems is declining in the west with the average of priests in Ireland being 64, an ageing laity within the Church of England voting against women bishops and declining attendance figures for churches in America all being symptomatic of a crisis in structured groups of believers. So let us look forward to the happy day of empty churches and cobweb covered shrines for that will mean that people have become totally rational, that science has triumphed and that we are all completely logical in thought and deed. Or will it?

I don't think so; for what we are seeing is not the dismissal of the unprovable but the rejection of the fairy tale trappings that always accompanied churches or creeds. These trappings and interpretations of holy scripts have mainly been used to control and motivate populations and it is that aspect of religion that is being discarded, not the human tendency to believe or have faith in forces that as yet lie undescribed by science, that aspect of humanity is as strong as ever and I have to use the word 'strong' carefully because of course we cannot measure it. Neither can we measure emotion, so straight away we have two facets of everyday human experience that science has not been able to reliably record or predict despite many years of trying and I am not at all certain that the assay of minute levels of hormones really is the answer because as free thinkers we can modify emotions through will power, which is of course a third facet that has not been nailed down by scientific method. Exploring the cosmos is probably quite easy compared with attaching a reliable scale to human behaviour.

So as humans there are many parts of our lives that have so far proved impervious to scientific method and yet science keeps reminding us that it is the only true explanation of everything. Presently, I think I am safe in saying, that is demonstrably untrue by pointing to emotions, will power and belief as just three areas that science cannot not pin down as yet. Politics and medicine may have tried to modify them but any success tends to be short term and does not alter the underlying cause. Religion has recognised and harnessed them but the the strictures they have erected around them them are now being repulsed leaving a bare spirituality that lies unanswered by either science or codified religion. This will lead to a proliferation of smaller sects and a rise in spiritualism orientated beliefs and I am not too sure if that is a good thing for they can elevate the self over society and where will that lead us?

As for evolution I don't doubt it but I also have a feeling that we really don't know the half of it yet.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 04:10:29 PM by Justinr » Logged

Justinr
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« Reply #643 on: November 21, 2012, 04:15:23 PM »
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I'm a proper atheist - I had fried babies for my breakfast

Then you should source your eggs from a farm without cockerels.  Wink
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #644 on: November 21, 2012, 04:22:59 PM »
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Cockerels? Don't you know that any True Atheist eats babies?
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Justinr
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« Reply #645 on: November 21, 2012, 05:36:26 PM »
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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



When they were not firing Sputniks into space it seems those dasterdly Ruskies were exploring the paranormal - www.scientificamerican.com

No idea what success they met with although they kept at it for a while.
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NancyP
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« Reply #646 on: November 21, 2012, 05:42:14 PM »
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Sigma DP2 Merrill camera thread hangs its head in shame, with only 24 pages worth... Cheesy
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stamper
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« Reply #647 on: November 22, 2012, 03:12:20 AM »
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When they were not firing Sputniks into space it seems those dasterdly Ruskies were exploring the paranormal - www.scientificamerican.com

No idea what success they met with although they kept at it for a while.
When they were not firing Sputniks into space it seems those dasterdly Ruskies were exploring the paranormal - www.scientificamerican.com

No idea what success they met with although they kept at it for a while.

I didn't know that extrasensory perception was a religion? Justin it looks like you are flailing around for evidence of God and failing? Wink
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Justinr
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« Reply #648 on: November 22, 2012, 03:18:03 AM »
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I didn't know that extrasensory perception was a religion? Justin it looks like you are flailing around for evidence of God and failing? Wink

But I'm not talking about religion, I'm talking about belief.
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stamper
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« Reply #649 on: November 22, 2012, 03:19:02 AM »
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Sigma DP2 Merrill camera thread hangs its head in shame, with only 24 pages worth... Cheesy

Nancy the thread

Love those trees. Tim Wolcott.

Is way out in front as the longest current thread. It seems as though the tree huggers always get the most attention? BTW the length of the thread is down to it's originator bumping it up. He probably has about 95% of the posts.  Wink Grin
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stamper
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« Reply #650 on: November 22, 2012, 03:20:16 AM »
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But I'm not talking about religion, I'm talking about belief.

Changing the goal posts once again Justin? Smiley
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Justinr
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« Reply #651 on: November 22, 2012, 03:26:48 AM »
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Changing the goal posts once again Justin? Smiley

I wonder if you could indicate where you think the goalposts were originally sited.  Smiley
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stamper
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« Reply #652 on: November 22, 2012, 04:01:47 AM »
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A few posts back you were on the defensive concerning the existence of God. Furiously kicking everything off the line and at the same time conceding own goals. Grin Now if you want another metaphor: you are as slippery as an eel on this subject, just like the other believers. Wink
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Justinr
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« Reply #653 on: November 22, 2012, 04:55:29 AM »
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A few posts back you were on the defensive concerning the existence of God. Furiously kicking everything off the line and at the same time conceding own goals. Grin Now if you want another metaphor: you are as slippery as an eel on this subject, just like the other believers. Wink

I have certainly been understanding of peoples desire to hold a religion and defending their right to do so against the scientific onslaught of rationality, but you will also note that I have stated in response to CB that I am not beholden to any particular god myself.

You obviously assume that I am a believer, which may be the case, but what is it that you think I believe in?

The trouble is that most people assume that there are just two schools of thought, science or religion and each of those disciplines requires a total commitment to it's convictions. The fact that I have questioned a basic tenet of scientific belief in pointing out that science is digging a hole for itself by condemning anything that cannot yet be quantified should not automatically qualify me as a sky pilot. Science is a wonderful thing, but it is rapidly adopting the arrogance that was once the preserve of the church(es) whom it so delights in decrying.

A further division that you may wish to consider is that between religion and belief. We all have an innate belief in something, be it mom's apple pie or a bearded fella up there in the clouds. We all have self belief, we wouldn't bother getting up in the morning if not and it is this inbuilt faith in something, if only ourselves, that religion takes and moulds to it's own ends. Belief is the binary code or foundation of all religions, but it can also exist outside of religion and what I am saying is that I feel that to gain a better understanding of the human experience we need to to look beyond the strict boundaries of science and the self interested guidance of religion. Religion is the worship of something that is unknown, and although I find myself accepting that there are forces or currents that have not yet been directly observed or measured I do not worship them or build a system around them to gain benefit over others. This is where spiritualism enters the scene and I can't say I am happy with that either for, to my mind at least, it is a magnification of what many of us experience rather than any sort of explanation.

BTW, eels can be quite shocking as well as slippery.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 04:58:48 AM by Justinr » Logged

Chairman Bill
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« Reply #654 on: November 22, 2012, 05:23:28 AM »
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I believe that Laphroig is a really good single malt - personal opinion, doesn't in any way impact on your reality

I believe that water is wet - personal experience of phenomena (qualia) - impacts on your reality, but a quick check reveals that just about everyone experiences water as 'wet'.

I believe that the speed of sound at sea level = 340.29 m/s. Impacts on your reality, but is subject to testing & clear evidence can be provided to support the claim.

I believe that the Invisible Pink Unicorn (bbhhh) spreads her loving pinkiness throughout humanity & is solely responsible for all the good things we do, and if you don't share that belief, you should be covered in pink vinyl emulsion - impacts on your reality, but no shared experience, no evidence, impossible to subject to testing and so on.

Belief is a word with application to a range of situations. Those situations are not all of a kind. To conflate the fact of someone having a belief in one of those first three categories, with belief in the fourth, is disengenuous at best.

I've had people previously argue that because I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, I have faith in the same way that people who think that handling snakes & speaking gibberish is some profound religious gift from a magic man in the sky. It's complete bollocks.
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Justinr
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« Reply #655 on: November 22, 2012, 05:43:17 AM »
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I believe that Laphroig is a really good single malt - personal opinion, doesn't in any way impact on your reality

I believe that water is wet - personal experience of phenomena (qualia) - impacts on your reality, but a quick check reveals that just about everyone experiences water as 'wet'.

I believe that the speed of sound at sea level = 340.29 m/s. Impacts on your reality, but is subject to testing & clear evidence can be provided to support the claim.

I believe that the Invisible Pink Unicorn (bbhhh) spreads her loving pinkiness throughout humanity & is solely responsible for all the good things we do, and if you don't share that belief, you should be covered in pink vinyl emulsion - impacts on your reality, but no shared experience, no evidence, impossible to subject to testing and so on.

Belief is a word with application to a range of situations. Those situations are not all of a kind. To conflate the fact of someone having a belief in one of those first three categories, with belief in the fourth, is disengenuous at best.

I've had people previously argue that because I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, I have faith in the same way that people who think that handling snakes & speaking gibberish is some profound religious gift from a magic man in the sky. It's complete bollocks.

Spoken like a true priest of the new order!

What's all this about pink unicorns BTW? I don't think they have been mentioned up until now. Strikes me as being a little straw manish.
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stamper
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« Reply #656 on: November 22, 2012, 05:46:23 AM »
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I have certainly been understanding of peoples desire to hold a religion and defending their right to do so against the scientific onslaught of rationality, but you will also note that I have stated in response to CB that I am not beholden to any particular god myself.

You obviously assume that I am a believer, which may be the case, but what is it that you think I believe in?

Unquote

A lot of people have doubts about "leaving God behind" and keep wondering if they are doing the right thing. Personally I am past that stage and on to territory that Bill espouses. Justin I think you are still on that journey and probably some day all doubt will vanish and you will become a happy atheist, no longer burdened by beliefs. I seem to remember a TV program about a priest - or it might of been a minister - who doesn't believe in God but believes in religion. What ever rocks your boat. Smiley
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Justinr
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« Reply #657 on: November 22, 2012, 07:12:57 AM »
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I have certainly been understanding of peoples desire to hold a religion and defending their right to do so against the scientific onslaught of rationality, but you will also note that I have stated in response to CB that I am not beholden to any particular god myself.

You obviously assume that I am a believer, which may be the case, but what is it that you think I believe in?

Unquote

A lot of people have doubts about "leaving God behind" and keep wondering if they are doing the right thing. Personally I am past that stage and on to territory that Bill espouses. Justin I think you are still on that journey and probably some day all doubt will vanish and you will become a happy atheist, no longer burdened by beliefs. I seem to remember a TV program about a priest - or it might of been a minister - who doesn't believe in God but believes in religion. What ever rocks your boat. Smiley


Not at all, even as a I choir boy I never really bought into the whole 'God on a cloud' scenario but we used to get 2/6" for weddings which was good money back then.  Grin

But I note that you are still insisting on people believing in a God if they don't believe in science, why so? You say you have moved on but yet are still stuck with the idea of just two opposing states, God or Science with nothing in between. I happen to think there is a lot more to the human experience than science has shown us but that does not automatically equate to believing in a god, why should it! God is a construct that has evolved with religion and religion is a worship of a belief. There are no idols or beliefs that I am in thrall to. Eastern beliefs don't always assume a god as Oppenheimer would of pointed out I'm sure, seeing as he had an interest in the subject.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #658 on: November 22, 2012, 08:34:38 AM »
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Spoken like a true priest of the new order!

What's all this about pink unicorns BTW? I don't think they have been mentioned up until now. Strikes me as being a little straw manish.

Are you sure you understand a) analogies, and b) what a straw man argument is?
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Justinr
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« Reply #659 on: November 22, 2012, 09:08:32 AM »
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Are you sure you understand a) analogies, and b) what a straw man argument is?

I always thought I did Bill until you started accusing me of using them.  Smiley
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