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BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)

Amos 10 Jan 08 - 07:34 PM
Amos 10 Jan 08 - 07:09 PM
Rustic Rebel 10 Jan 08 - 05:30 PM
Amos 10 Jan 08 - 03:41 PM
Nickhere 10 Jan 08 - 03:02 PM
Nickhere 10 Jan 08 - 02:58 PM
Riginslinger 10 Jan 08 - 02:34 PM
Bill D 10 Jan 08 - 02:29 PM
Riginslinger 10 Jan 08 - 02:16 PM
Bill D 10 Jan 08 - 02:08 PM
Bee 10 Jan 08 - 02:03 PM
Nickhere 10 Jan 08 - 01:15 PM
GUEST,Wesley S 10 Jan 08 - 12:35 PM
Amos 10 Jan 08 - 12:24 PM
Riginslinger 10 Jan 08 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Wesley S 10 Jan 08 - 12:20 PM
Mrrzy 10 Jan 08 - 12:16 PM
GUEST,Wesley S 10 Jan 08 - 12:00 PM
M.Ted 10 Jan 08 - 11:47 AM
Bee 10 Jan 08 - 11:38 AM
Riginslinger 10 Jan 08 - 11:20 AM
Amos 10 Jan 08 - 11:07 AM
GUEST,Wesley S 10 Jan 08 - 11:02 AM
GUEST,Wesley S 10 Jan 08 - 11:01 AM
M.Ted 10 Jan 08 - 10:31 AM
Riginslinger 10 Jan 08 - 10:13 AM
TheSnail 10 Jan 08 - 09:51 AM
Amos 10 Jan 08 - 09:43 AM
Riginslinger 10 Jan 08 - 09:38 AM
Mrrzy 10 Jan 08 - 09:02 AM
M.Ted 09 Jan 08 - 05:35 PM
Bee 09 Jan 08 - 04:22 PM
Mrrzy 09 Jan 08 - 04:02 PM
M.Ted 09 Jan 08 - 02:52 PM
Bee 09 Jan 08 - 02:17 PM
Mrrzy 09 Jan 08 - 01:58 PM
Riginslinger 09 Jan 08 - 01:47 PM
Amos 09 Jan 08 - 01:38 PM
Bee 09 Jan 08 - 01:01 PM
Amos 09 Jan 08 - 12:29 PM
Riginslinger 09 Jan 08 - 12:19 PM
TheSnail 09 Jan 08 - 12:17 PM
Amos 09 Jan 08 - 11:55 AM
Mrrzy 09 Jan 08 - 11:36 AM
M.Ted 09 Jan 08 - 11:17 AM
Riginslinger 09 Jan 08 - 08:42 AM
Mrrzy 09 Jan 08 - 08:10 AM
Amos 08 Jan 08 - 11:42 PM
M.Ted 08 Jan 08 - 11:21 PM
Riginslinger 08 Jan 08 - 10:59 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 07:34 PM

Here is a link to the actual discussion between these four thinkers: Richard Dawkins,("The God Delusion), Daniel Dennett (Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon), Sam Harris (The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason), and Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything ). Most interesting perspectives by very good conversationalists:

The Four Horsemen Talk -- a one-hour movie. Woth the listen.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 07:09 PM

Thanks very much dear Rustic. These are interesting intelligent people.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Rustic Rebel
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 05:30 PM

On the 30th of September 2007, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens sat down for a first-of-its-kind, unmoderated 2-hour discussion, convened by RDFRS and filmed by Josh Timonen.
I thought maybe a few here would be intrested in viewing this.

http://richarddawkins.net/articleComments,2025,THE-FOUR-HORSEMEN,Discussions-With-Richard-Dawkins-Episode-1-RDFRS,page2#98964


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 03:41 PM

The Bible is chiefly important for what it reveals to us about what our potential relationship with God can be and His intentions for us.

I disagree -- it shows us these things no more accurately than Catcher in the Rye or East of Eden does.


Jesus Himself was also a trained Rabbi. He regularly quoted from the Old Testament and Holy writings of Judaism, so clearly He Himself accepted their authority and correctness.

THe word "trained" in this context is relatively meaningless, unless you simply mean trained in doctrinaire teachings,w hich is no great recommendation. "Authority" and "correctness" compared to what? In my view, authority comes from competency, and correctness must be measured against use and practice. What the devil merit is there in an appeal to dusty long-past authoritarian icons? Where's the beef?

As for the schisms that have occured in the church since, they are unfortunate, but arose for sound reason. Sound reasons like the urgent need to wui[pe out Muslims, track down and burn witches, and purify the Faith of any questioning free-thinking villains in the population? Come on--this is just rampant aplogism, screened by dewt rationalization.

But all Christian (inc Orthodox), the Judaic and Isamic faiths worship the same God. ...and murder each other gleefully for doing so, and have done so for centuries.

God has ordained that all human life is sacred and something special, and has told us 'thou shalt not kill' Apparently this is not what he told Mohammed and his followers; and I recall a few instructions about when to stone people and when not to suffer another to live that flies directly in the face of this all-knowing instruction. Just having a bad Infinity day? Multiple personalities? Divine schizophrenia? Hypocrisy? What?

Please understand, Nick, that I am more than happy for you to have these beliefs; but when you start trotting them out here as a framework of fact, I have to take exception, especially considering all the important gaps and lapses in the presentation.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 03:02 PM

BTW "Jesus ws not saying (if I am not mistaken) that He was going to bring world war, or that He desired this state of affairs, or even that He was going to set families at each other's throats. He could just forsee what would happen if not everyone would follow His message"

I am not ignorant of the crusades, religious wars etc., but I intend to come to that point later, i have been working on something prompted by a comment from one of Mrrzy's posts that got the brain juices flowing, back a bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 02:58 PM

First off, welcome back Bill, I hope you'll make a speedy recovery, and sorry to hear that you had to have any surgery at all - that's rough, especially over Xmas when you probably just want to relax and enjoy it all a bit.

re. the Bible. Yes, I know it can seem complicated and contradictory at times. But a lot of time has been studying it by highly tarined theologians and they seem to agree on the main important points. The Bible is chiefly important for what it reveals to us about what our potential relationship with God can be and His intentions for us.

I find of the two, the Old Testament difficult at times. Even in the New International Version it can be difficult to read, plus it's very long. It's hard to find anyone these days who'll actually sit down and read over 1,000 pages of anything (I'm stuck 2/3 of the way through Robert Fisk's "Great War for Civilisation'). But that's the only way to do it. Everytime I read it, I see anotehr layer, another piece of the puzzle. As you start to remember parts, it becomes easier to cross-reference and put things in the context that dispels much of the seeming-contradiction.

The New testament is much shorter and ofen, clearer (to me anyway). But it is easy to misquote either, or quote out of context. For example Jesus often speaks of peace, love your brother etc., then someone says 'but what about when he says "I come not to bring peace, but a sword...families will be divided, brother against brother..." etc., Doesn't sound very peaceful?

But if you read around it, and have read the rest of the Bible, you come to realise what Jesus was saying (think "my kingdom's not of this world', telling Peter to put away his sword, turn the other cheek...) that His message was not going to be an easy one. It would create upheavals. It would divide families: some of the family might become believers, while the rest might remain non-believers, or pagans, or whatever. They would fall out over Jesus' message, Christians would be persecuted for it. Jesus ws not saying (if I am not mistaken) that He was going to bring world war, or that He desired this state of affairs, or even that He was going to set families at each other's throats. He could just forsee what would happen if not everyone would follow His message. Not that there weren't wars and violence and disagreement already, but now people would be shunned, ridiculed and persecuted for believing in Him.

What He says Himself in much of the Gospels is quite clear enough. We only need to think of the example He gave when asked "who is my neighbour?" (the good Samaratin story) - what He was trying to say there couldn't have been clearer. He often seemed kindly exasperated with the apostles when they were slow to catch on. Sometimes He explained things again for them, especially after some of those famous parables. The Acts of the Apostles and the Letters of same only serve to clarify further, as the apsotles (some of whom, like Peter, were eyewitnesses and participants in the events they spoke of) began to gain better insight into what had happened. If it all seems a clear account to us today, we've had the benefit of some 2,000 years of the sharpest theological minds (St.Augustine etc) pondering over these problems, and the councils I mentioned previously. There may be further insights yet, but the Apostles Creed (from the time of the earliest councils, like Nicea, in response to heresies that had already arisen) summed up the main points of what Christianity stood for, and what Christian's believed. It has stood practically unaltered for the last 1650 years.

Jesus Himself was also a trained Rabbi. He regularly quoted from the Old Testament and Holy writings of Judaism, so clearly He Himself accepted their authority and correctness. As I metioned ina previous thread, when tempted by the devil, His response was to quote the Old Testament in rebuff.

As for the schisms that have occured in the church since, they are unfortunate, but arose for sound reasons. There is little doubt that the Middle Ages saw the church as an institution become heavily politicised and wrapped up in temporal affairs. This would have been ok if the temporal affairs in question had been simply moral questions rather than political ones (supporting this or that monarch cos they guaranteed church property etc.,). Afterall John the Baptist readily criticised Herod for his immoral lifestyle, for which he famously lost his head.

Then there were the selling of pardons, indulgences etc., (against which Luther rightly railed) but what was happening is what frequently happens in any institution, as much of its daily actions depend on the goodness of the people who represent it. Just think of how today the police have been caught on camera beating the s... out of Rodney King etc., We rightly condemn such actions, but we do not abandon the idea of a civil legal code or the concept of justice because of it.

I am not an expert on the reformation so I won't comment more on the history. But all Christian (inc Orthodox), the Judaic and Isamic faiths worship the same God. They also have a lot of common cause these days in face of the secularistaion of the world. But unfortunately they often prefer to focus on their undeniable differences. I would say they all hold in the truth to the extent they worship the same God. Obviously I choose Christianity over Islam because I believe Jesus was the son of God and the route to salvation, while Muslims regard this as blasphemy, as do Jews. So we'll have to find room for all of us in this crowded house, because I am sure God does not want us killing one another. In all three faiths (as well as amongst non-believers) there exist 'throat-shovers' but many of us simply want to practise our faith (or not), worship our God and tell others about it in a non-throat shoving way. I think friendly dialogue is possible for those interested in such matters. When it comes to religion & politics, I think seperation is not possible at one level. And that is when people exercise their vote according to their beliefs and conscience. And as I have pointed out in a previous thread, one cannot expect anyone, athiest or believer, to do otherwise without denying their own selves. having said that I would never vote 'yes' to any proposal to force people to go to mass or pray, for example. It would quiet go against the grain of anything I believed in and take away free will in religious matters. However I would vote 'yes' to ban abortion, just as I would vote against the death penalty (I DID vote against the death penalty in the referendum to scrap it). I would vote against war if referendum were held on such matters.

[footnote: why do we not have referenda to go to war? Afterall, who does most of the dying in wars? Senators? The president? Or Joe Soaps? But I would still vote against it even if most Joe Soaps wanted to go to war!]

I vote this way because of my religious belief that God has ordained that all human life is sacred and something special, and has told us 'thou shgalt not kill'. Other people may vote other ways according to their beliefs, whether in some other god or in secularism. That's democracy, for all it's shortcomings, and it gives the majority of people what they want for better or worse.

OK, time to sign off, I've got to head out and meet some friends for a beer!


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 02:34 PM

I'll keep my fingers crossed, but I won't quit breathing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 02:29 PM

Rig...don't hold your breath...turning blue can be awkward.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 02:16 PM

"Religion will always be with us, and we need to accommodate it,"


                            Maybe not; we could get lucky!


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 02:08 PM

Nickhere...I'm back online, but not sitting at a computer very long at a time. Had some minor surgery on Mon. which will be uncomfortable for a bit...There's been SO much in the thread since then - it's hard to absorb....but a quick observation on that last post.


"...Jesus doesn't seem to operate like that as far as I can make out and is always ready to accept someone back"

And of course, the reply is: Back from what? And who - specifically - says that one can 'be welcomed back'? And IF it is true, what does that say about the idea of sinning, then repenting? (old line."It's easier to get forgiveness than permission")

You see where we skeptics are coming from? The 'authority' for the idea of sin and what follows FROM sin, and what happens if one 'repents and returns' is, of course, the Bible. But the very basis of the authority of the Bible is acceptance that 1)the facts in it are correct. 2) that the very human authors of it were 'inspired' by some spiritual power. 3) that we have translated it correctly from the ancient texts. 4) that we have all the relevant texts (the status of the Gospel of Thomas is a bit awkward)...etc.
   And even if we can wrap our heads around all those necessary assumptions, we are still left with the question of 'Why, if we poor, fallible, easily confused humans are expected to follow the rules in those texts, were they delivered to us so long ago in such a haphazard way, with no regular clarifying visits since to remind us of our situation? Surely an all-powerful god would see that just are not capable of keeping straight what all the conflicting ideas of the rules ARE?

The Bible mentions The Tower of Babel...the world now has many competing 'towers' of Babel, of Theology, of Creed and of Authority.
I submit that they cannot ALL be true simultaneously. Choosing among them is more than most folks can deal with, so they usually just accept the prevailing force in their culture, or their parents' choice.
   Skeptics...for whatever reason...want more than the complex of issues I have listed: but some of us at least realize the historical and psychological forces and needs that cause most folks subscribe to one system or another, and are willing to live harmoniously with believers....unless...and you know the rest.

   I don't know what to say to skeptics who feel compelled to simply ridicule and complain. I see their points, but I do wish they'd try to understand 'belief' in the context of history & culture and be more aware of better ways to have discussions. Religion will always be with us, and we need to accommodate it, just as religions need to accommodate those who cannot, in good conscience, accept the premises necessary to pick a religious path.



Now...back to bed for me. Durned incision!


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bee
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 02:03 PM

There ya go. Nickhere, I have heard that joke before and I still think it's pretty funny.

"Bee - In my experience there are a few people here - not all - that have strong objections to the fact that I have a belief in a higher power. Or that anyone anywhere believes in any higher power. I could understand if they objected to the actions that some believers take as a result of those beliefs but that doesn't seem to be enough. The objections and ridicule of my thoughts is what I find offensive. I don't try to shove my beliefs down anyones throat. Whatever they want to believe is fine with me. But I find it difficult to have a dialogue with the thought police. Esp those few who propose the eradcation of all religion. Although how they plan to accomplish that is anyones guess. " - Wesley

Wesley, I think there are none at all who object to you believing whatever you please. But what I have found is that many believers take umbrage as soon as an atheist says s/he sees no valid reason to have any god beliefs at all. Immediately, we are "insulting their faith". Well, no, we're not. If you said "I have a Cadillac and I think it's the best thing since Ford started his company.", and I replied "I think they're overpriced gas guzzlers and wouldn't have one.", then you'd have no trouble seeing that we have a disagreement as to whether Cadillacs were a Good Thing. You wouldn't immediately think I wanted to take your Cadillac away and ban Cadillacs. Now, I had an objection to Cadillacs - think they are overpriced - is that offensive to you?

As for thought police, if you live in the US, then you very well know that the thought police there have pretty well dictated that no atheist shall aspire to a high political position.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 01:15 PM

Bee " If you can find a way to poke fun at atheists, go right ahead"

all right, in that case I will allow myself the luxury of this one, then..... no offence intended-

An atheist is walking through the woods.

"How wonderful and reasonable nature is" he beams

"how marvellous the underlying physical forces which articulate and sustain it all!'

"what a marvellous thing is the human intellect to appreciate it all!"

Just as he's reaching a crescendo a big bear bursts from the bushes and rushes at him.

He runs, but physical laws being what they are, he has little chance of out running a bear.
He trips on a root and sprawls on the ground. He twists just in time to see the huge bear tower over him , paw raised for the death-swipe....

"OH GOD HELP ME!" he shouts, in spite of himself.

Suddenly eveything stops - the bear stands frozen in poise. Just as he's starting to realise this, the clouds roll back and a big voice booms (well, this is a stereotype verison of God afterall) -

"all your life you denied I exist and encouraged others to think the same. And yet now you call on me to help you? What do you expect I should do?'

"Ok" admits the ex-atheist "it's true.... I did do all that, and I'm sorry for it. But can't you at leats give me a chance? I suppose it would be a bit hypocritical to suddenly start calling myself a Christian now. But can't you at least make the bear a christian, for example? I'm sure he never doubted you existed!"

God considers for a moment. "Very wel" he booms "let it be so" and promptly the clouds roll back. "Thank you God! thank you!" says the ex-atheist.

He turns again towards the bear, a smile on his face. Everything swings back into motion as time starts again.

The bear continues on his swoop, then suddenly stops, puzzled, as if he's just had some insight. The man continues to smile. The bear stops his snarl, folds his paws and says...

"For the food I am about to receive, I thank you, O Lord"

;-))


(the good news is that Jesus doesn't seem to operate like that as far as I can make out and is always ready to accept someone back)


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 12:35 PM

"a commodotized version, made into tokens for human exchange (and often control) dilutes any truth it seeks to represent."

And it may suprise you to know that I'm pretty much in agreement with you on that point. Except that I'd like to think that the "truth it seeks to represent" is a little more powerful than the people who misuse and misrepresent it. But there are a few here who can't see a difference. To them Jim Jones and Martin Luther King are one and the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 12:24 PM

Wesley:

Just for the sake of understanding, I do not object to your belief in a higher power, and I think perhaps this may come as a surprise to you.

What I do object to is those who try to make some sort of intellectual or moral capital by trying to put such power into a human-ordinate box and push it as a commodity. The reason I object, as I think I have made cleasr, is that such a commodotized version, made into tokens for human exchange (and often control) dilutes any truth it seeks to represent.

Whether using a person, a text, or a label to "capture" the qualities of this commoditized version of Infinity, if I may put it that way, the packaging completely rots the product in too many cases for me to look too kindly on it. And the product, rotted, is toxic as hell.

I hope this very important distinction gets across okay.

Regards,


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 12:24 PM

Which point is?


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 12:20 PM

Thanks - you've proved my point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 12:16 PM

Our objections are not with your belief.

As for myself, I have repeatedly stated and restated and rephrased that my argument is that denying reality in order to keep your god beliefs is bad for humanity. You can have all the faith you want - just be willing to see the arguments against such faith being reasonable. We aren't trying to shove atheism down your throat. We are succeeding in demonstrating that theism is unreasonable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 12:00 PM

Bee - In my experience there are a few people here - not all - that have strong objections to the fact that I have a belief in a higher power. Or that anyone anywhere believes in any higher power. I could understand if they objected to the actions that some believers take as a result of those beliefs but that doesn't seem to be enough. The objections and ridicule of my thoughts is what I find offensive. I don't try to shove my beliefs down anyones throat. Whatever they want to believe is fine with me. But I find it difficult to have a dialogue with the thought police. Esp those few who propose the eradcation of all religion. Although how they plan to accomplish that is anyones guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 11:47 AM

If there is a God, God would be the one who is "vastly superior", and those others would be out of luck--


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bee
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 11:38 AM

"M Ted - of course theres a point to this thread. The point is that people who believe in gods are just plain wrong - and those who don't feel vastly superior about that. And need to point that out. " - Guest Wesley

Guest Wesley, it is very frustrating that the mere stating of a negative opinion on the subject of the existence of the supernatural, including gods, gets responses like this. It would be nice if your contribution was an actual presentation of a reason for your own belief. It doesn't even have to be evidence, just a reason, instead of a plain snide insult to those of us who don't agree with you.

I personally don't believe in gods. Or the supernatural. It doesn't make me feel 'vastly superior', for example, to my own family which includes a lot of good intelligent believing church-goers.

However, I reserve the right to indulge in humourous poking at beliefs I think are completely silly, and to state my objections to beliefs I think are downright harmful. If you can find a way to poke fun at atheists, go right ahead.

It's my contention that without people who will strongly and loudly point out that religions and god beliefs have very little reason to support their continued existence, thus making sure the religious know they are not without political opponents, we would all be living in rigid theocracies, likely constantly at war with other theocracies - hear any echos?


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 11:20 AM

I'll try to have a prototype in time for the South Carolina primary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 11:07 AM

Actually, we are remedying that even now. Rig is going to get us a mockup and list of attributes which we will then compare to the high-level requirements, and have a preliminary design meeting.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 11:02 AM

200 - PRAISE THE LORD!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: GUEST,Wesley S
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 11:01 AM

M Ted - of course theres a point to this thread. The point is that people who believe in gods are just plain wrong - and those who don't feel vastly superior about that. And need to point that out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 10:31 AM

If, as I take it both the estimable Riginslinger and Mrzzy contend, there are no gods, then this thread doesn't really have a topic, does it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 10:13 AM

Amos - I'll see what I can do. An Oprah goD sounds pretty exciting, maybe I'll start there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: TheSnail
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 09:51 AM

Amos

totally devoted to pecadilloes

Aren't they those South American hamsters the size of sheep?


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 09:43 AM

Hell, RIg, just close your eyes and dummy one up!! Be sure and make it overwhelming, so it will intimidate folks into complying. Maybe make Her look a lot like Hillary or Oprah or somp'n. And give it lots of attributes that cannot be checked out -- the ability to see into people's underwear, massively parallel processing systems totally devoted to pecadilloes, and some kind of laser-guided punishment system with a random target generator thrown in just for good luck. I am sure you can come up with amuch longer list if you set your mind to it.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 09:38 AM

Yes, I was beginning to wonder what all of this had to do with goDs. I was about to go out and rummage through the garage, to see if I could find one on my own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 10 Jan 08 - 09:02 AM

Isn't the human mind a fascinating thing? And all the ideas we can come up with... (trying to get back to the thread... kind of nicely...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 05:35 PM

Actually, people can match the wavelengths pretty well--and not agree on what the name of the color should be called--that's why the PMS colors have numbers, not names.

In a way, it is a bit like matching pitch, we have names for 12 pitches, but we can make much finer differentiations in pitch than that, which is why we can tune our guitars--


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bee
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 04:22 PM

It is more complicated than that, Mrrzy. How we perceive colours, in relation to naming them, even in English within one cultural group, is even affected by whether the colour is on the left or right side of otherwise identical arrays, by what series of colours are laid next the one we wish to name, by our age (older people perceive yellow as a stronger (more intense) colour than younger ones, probably because of yellowing corneal lenses), and many other factors. That linguistics plays a part in our perception is no surprise, but my original point was that all humans physically see the spectrum we have evolved to perceive, we don't pluck out a spectral colour only bees can see and use it to make the most original of original paintings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 04:02 PM

Right - but if you ask Are these 2 chips the same color or not, your answers are better predicted by the language spoken by the choosers than by the wavelengths...

Terms are a whole 'nother kettle of fish!


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 02:52 PM

You don't actually have any way of knowing what a particular color looks like to someone else. You can tell if they agree that the color of one object matches the color of another object, and you can tell whether they use the same word to describe the color of an object as you do.

Usually, people will agree on which colors match other colors, but often, they will not agree on which words describe particular colors. That's why we have the Pantone Color books.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bee
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 02:17 PM

Aw, Rig, those wilting clocks were just an indicator of how nervous old Sal was at the time with the young wife and all.

Well, Amos, that's a good try and narrows the field some - I will not expect to see you tricked out in burnt whale fat face paint and loon feathers, then.

I know that point of consciousness of self that you refer to, and Carl Sagan speaks of it in, I think, the Demon Haunted World or Dragons of Eden (I need to read Sagan again, been too many years). He was, if I remember correctly (and I recommend reading DoE if you haven't, as my memory is faulty and I don't have the book), suggesting that the 'other self' we encounter is an evolutionary revenant, perhaps related to the (almost independent still) reptilian brain upon which our mammal brain sits, like a fat marmot on a turtle, thinking the reptile beneath is just a convenient rock when it is a living entity on its own. Or maybe not, but Sagan gives the investigator into spirituality and the mind a lot to consider.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 01:58 PM

The colors we see as "prototype" (best example of) are, yes, determined by the physics of color perception. even people with one word for "either blue or green" will pick a standard blue as the best example, not the aqua in the middle.

But whether we see 2 wavelengths as "different shades of one color" or as "different colors" is linguistic, not physical.

It's the same as whether we hear different vibrations as the "same" speech sound or not. Depends on whether the difference is phonemic (meaningful) in your language or not. English speakers can tell the difference between the P of POT and the P of SPOT only by putting their hand in front of their mouths and feeling the difference in air puffing - but speakers of languages which differenciate the aspirated and unaspirated P the way English distinguishes between P and, say, B, can actually HEAR the difference. We anglophones just hear them both as P, despite having the same inner ear workings.

Way cool!


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 01:47 PM

That's a good point. If no other forces are present, imagination might be memory, or based on memory, or a perverted sense of some past memory, or...

                           It all reminds me of that painting by Salvador Dali with all the wilting clocks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 01:38 PM

Hmmmm....good question, Bee. I am excluding as "spiritual" any authoritarian system of dictating labels or imposing beliefs; I exclude any system of bizarre icons with long strange names and contorted grimacing visages. I am excluding, as well, any mapping of spiritual things that requires subscribing to one or another zoo of postulated entities that are not found on inspection.

I include the ultimate nature of the conscious center of "I" that seems to lie behind "nomral" identity and the capabilities of perception, admiration, understanding, communication, the postulation of space, energy and images into existence, and a lot of other abilities often disregarded or discounted. I guess I consider that the discovery of those dimensions is an inidfividual expedition, and exploring the outer limits of your imagination certainly brings you face to face with the question of who is doing the imagining. The nature of that "who", I suggest, is perhaps the center of spiritual dimensions.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bee
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 01:01 PM

Mrrzy, that is interesting from a linguistic POV, but regardless of what you call them, the colours humans see are dependent on the structure of our eyes and the light spectrum which is visible to humans. You may call yellow 'not red' but your eyes still see yellow (provided you are not physically colour blind. And being familiar with a small portion of Hungarian art and craftwork, I can say with certainty that regardless of what they may name a colour, they are fully engaged in sorting shades of red and purple and blue and yellow and green and orange into meaningful relationships vis a vis making something they hope other eyes, regardless of language, will see as beautiful or charming.

"Ya know what I think? I think there is a hypnotic program of agreement operating from the incessant impact of space-time implosion ont he individual operating a body, which is so persistant andhypnotic that if there ever WERE a spiritual being connected with said body the chances of his breaking free of the complexity is about 2 in 100. If all we are at our best is a mishmash of mechanism simply being churned over and regenerated, then the species of man is simply animal with an order of cleverness attached. That, I cannot see. There are too many other phenomena to fit that model. I have no problem with the evolutionary description that places the homo sap genetic structure one slot over from the other chumps. I mean chimps. But I do not think it wise to turn our backs on the spiritual dimensions of human experience, at least as private individuals." - Amos

An interesting speculation which wouldn't indicate a very successful god handling the operation.

Amos, what phenomena do you see that don't fit the idea of man as clever animal? I see none, but hey, I live in rural obscurity, perhaps angels are dancing on pinheads in Paris as we speak, and I just haven't heard the news. I know, that isn't what you mean... still: what phenomena? I know there is a tremendous amount of buzzing and clanking and occasional clarion bell-ringing that goes on inside our heads which may be difficult to reconcile with a mechanistic universe, but it is a BIG universe, with infinite probability going for it, lots of room for clever chimps and singing whales and a whole that is greater than its parts.

Spiritual is a much abused word, meaning anything from 'he's a really good person who thinks a lot and has mighty refined ideas that make sense' to 'he's a drum-banging woo who thinks stealing a few ideas from shamanic tradition and dressing up in mediaeval outfits will really attract the woo-girls'. What do you mean when you refer to 'spiritual dimensions'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 12:29 PM

HEar, hear, Rig.

ALl the more reason, IMHO, to stare bravely into the face of the unknown and approach all exhortors and evangelists with tons of salt and ferocious adherence to your own powers of observation and intuition, cleaving to honest self-examination and the complete willing interest in seeing what is there to be seen. I am not trying to pitch a bill of goods; simply warning that perhaps one should not abandon the errand just because too many bills of goods have been pitched. :D


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 12:19 PM

Yeah, but it's a slippery slope. One minute you're not turning your back on spiritual dimensions, and the next you're out being cured by Oral Roberts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: TheSnail
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 12:17 PM

I remember hearing Prof Steve Jones say that he didn't think Snails had a spiritual side.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 11:55 AM

Ya know what I think? I think there is a hypnotic program of agreement operating from the incessant impact of space-time implosion ont he individual operating a body, which is so persistant andhypnotic that if there ever WERE a spiritual being connected with said body the chances of his breaking free of the complexity is about 2 in 100. If all we are at our best is a mishmash of mechanism simply being churned over and regenerated, then the species of man is simply animal with an order of cleverness attached. That, I cannot see. There are too many other phenomena to fit that model. I have no problem with the evolutionary description that places the homo sap genetic structure one slot over from the other chumps. I mean chimps. But I do not think it wise to turn our backs on the spiritual dimensions of human experience, at least as private individuals.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 11:36 AM

Well, you don't see it as different from other colors for which you don't have a word. For instance, if there are a bunch of shades of red and a bunch of shades of blue, English speakers will sort them into 2 piles, one for all the reds, one for all the blues. Different monolingual English speakers may differ on whether they class certain purples as red or blue, but there will be 2 piles. Monolingual speakers of Hungarian will make three piles - one for dark/blood red (one word in Hungarian), one for other reds (a separate word in Hungarian), and one for blues. Again, there may be disagreement on where the purples go, but they will not see the 2 reds as shades of the same color, the way the Anglophones will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 11:17 AM

Meaning that if you don't have a word for a color, then you don't see it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 08:42 AM

Still, it seems like a guy would see one someplace, from time to time. Maybe if we went back to polytheism there would be more goDs and it would increase our chances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 09 Jan 08 - 08:10 AM

Actually, the number of "primary" colors you see depends on the number of color terms in your language. Languages with only 3 color words see 2 primary colors: red, and not red. The other 2 words will be black and white.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 11:42 PM

Well, it simplifies things in my view. But I am a simple minded, if curious person.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 11:21 PM

I can usually make sense out of what I see, it's when people start explaining things that I get confused.


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Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 08 Jan 08 - 10:59 PM

I don't think a reality like that would confort me, in all honesty. It would only make things more confusing.


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