Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]


BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)

Riginslinger 18 Jan 08 - 09:05 PM
M.Ted 18 Jan 08 - 08:48 PM
Riginslinger 18 Jan 08 - 08:34 PM
M.Ted 18 Jan 08 - 08:17 PM
M.Ted 18 Jan 08 - 08:15 PM
M.Ted 18 Jan 08 - 08:12 PM
Riginslinger 18 Jan 08 - 07:15 PM
M.Ted 18 Jan 08 - 07:00 PM
Riginslinger 18 Jan 08 - 06:20 PM
M.Ted 18 Jan 08 - 06:14 PM
Riginslinger 18 Jan 08 - 05:55 PM
Amos 18 Jan 08 - 11:15 AM
Mrrzy 18 Jan 08 - 10:54 AM
Bill D 17 Jan 08 - 10:58 PM
M.Ted 17 Jan 08 - 09:03 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 08 - 08:09 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 07:51 PM
bobad 17 Jan 08 - 07:44 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 08 - 07:37 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 07:09 PM
Bee 17 Jan 08 - 06:41 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 06:01 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 05:47 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 05:46 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 08 - 05:19 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 08 - 05:09 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 08 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Mrr elsewhere 17 Jan 08 - 04:43 PM
M.Ted 17 Jan 08 - 04:34 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 04:33 PM
Riginslinger 17 Jan 08 - 04:01 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 03:26 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 03:23 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 08 - 02:53 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 02:41 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 02:32 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 02:25 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 02:16 PM
Bee 17 Jan 08 - 02:13 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 02:00 PM
M.Ted 17 Jan 08 - 01:48 PM
Amos 17 Jan 08 - 01:37 PM
Bill D 17 Jan 08 - 01:17 PM
Emma B 17 Jan 08 - 01:10 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 12:53 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 12:46 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 12:44 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 12:43 PM
Mrrzy 17 Jan 08 - 12:38 PM
Nickhere 17 Jan 08 - 12:24 PM

Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 09:05 PM

It all gets confusing if you stay with it long enough, at least it does for me. I know those kinds of guys can get to be a pain in the ass sometimes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 08:48 PM

Sorry--I should clarify--The reason I've mentioned Dawkins is that people know that I don't like him-I think he's obnoxious and egocentric--in that way, he is a jerk--I also think that Dobson is obnoxious and egocentric, and in that way he is a jerk.   

Though I disagree with some of the things that Dawkins says, and think that he could say the things that I agree with in a much more positive way, I do think he is honest in what he says.
Not so the other guy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 08:34 PM

"Riginslinger--RE: The other smarmy remark--who would you be responsible to?"


                      Myself!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 08:17 PM

Incidentally, I think Dobson is as big a jerk as Richard Dawkins--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 08:15 PM

Riginslinger--RE: The other smarmy remark--who would you be responsible to?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 08:12 PM

Among others--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 07:15 PM

"I believe in everything that empowers us to make choices, and I'm against everything that tries to take them away from us--"


                  You mean like Dr. James Dobson or the Pope, for instance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 07:00 PM

BillD--Thanks for the wonderful , and personal answer, it was so engrossing that I forgot the question;-) To a great degree, I think our differences are only semantic.

Everyone makes choices--even when they decide to make no choice, or they defer to the judgement of another, be it friend, family, church, or government. I believe we have the both the right and obligation to make our own choices--

I believe in everything that empowers us to make choices, and I'm against everything that tries to take them away from us--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 06:20 PM

No, you can't, because you are responsible for your own actions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 06:14 PM

Whereas, Riginslinger, if you don't believe in any higher authority, you whatever dastardly deed that you want, without having to beg forgiveness--you just eliminate the middleman--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 05:55 PM

But if you could do that, and you believed in forgiveness, then you could do anything that popped into your mind. No matter what damage it might do to other people, once you performed your dastardly act, you could simply beg for forgiveness, assume the external Entity bestowed it on you, and you're off on another wild adventure.

                   Most of the people I know who go to church are that way, though their adventures are usually boring and only bring financial gain to them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 11:15 AM

IT would be an interesting experiment to track the lives of a set of test cases who had somehow been indoctrinated or persuaded to adhere to various moral codes or precepts int heir decision making process, as an examination of the consequences. I suppose a simulation set up could be done, wherein the subjects faced comparable situations which sought to emulate the behaviors of real-life consequences, and had to decide their courses of action based on different mores.

It has not, as far as I know, been done, and a simulation of this sort owuld only capture a fraction of the actual variables each individual faces as he moves his past into his present and contemplates his possible futures in every moment of a day. It should be obvious, I think, that to boil such a confluence of dynamic variables into a short list of rules is not going to acheive any absolute map of right choice, even when such rules help the individual find workable solutions.

I do believe that living along principles based on observations about the hierarchy of good consequences is a positive choicein the individual life. People often estimate the psychological damage of making choices which harm others, for example, because those consequences are not immediately visible; but the pattern of them is worth learning. The use of such principles, however, is successful as a pragmatic exercise. Choosing not to accumulate a lot of crimes in one's life is desireable not for purely moral reasons but because life becomes more difficult when you have to be secretive, for example. SOme people learn this slowly.

It is also important to realize that different rewards motivate different people; some people value power more than their own natural affinities, for example. Aberrated as this may be, it is a fact about the members of our kind. There me be general directions of "good" and "bad" but there is no catalog or map that applies to all beings.

Attributing such principles to an external Entity with absolute power over your fate in detail is, to me, an absurdity barely worth considering seriously.


A




A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Jan 08 - 10:54 AM

...denying a woman an abortiion would be as unreasonable as denying her laxatives if she were constipated... - exactly. It IS as unreasonable - to those of us who think of a pregnancy as being a woman's body part.

identical twins do not share the exact DNA - Yes, they do, the exact same, nuclear and mitochondrial. They have different fingerprints because fingerprints are not 100% genetic. Neither is personality, which is why they consider themselves, and are, distinct people. There is a case right now in the news somewhere about a woman who slept with identical twins and now cannot say, and neither can the DNA tests, which is the father of her child.

Cells from adults are not "a possible potential human being in the same way a sperm cell" because sperm are haploid, and cannot be technologically made into humans, but ass cheek cells (or any other except red blood cells, which are enucleate in humans) are diploid and CAN be cloned into a full human. So masturbation isn't murder - but cleaning out your fingernails is. If "potential" people are people, that is.

And science doesnt "fail" to address morality - it has nothing to do with it. It is intelligence that makes science and makes (or should make!) morality. What the Nazis did was horrible - but if they collected good data, their science wasn't "bad" -Note that they didn't, in most cases - but if they had, which would be worse - not using the data because of how they were collected, or using them despite how they were gathered?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 10:58 PM

Kind of a delicate linguistic line I walk, hmmm? Every answer to such questions depends on careful regard for the relativity of the circumstances.
In everyday interface with other people, I DO treat other lives as valuble and deserving of care and consideration, but this does not mean that I see some intrinsic value to 'life' itself in relation to the Universe as a whole. If we are, as we seem to be, a complex, temporary hiccup in the state of one small planet in one average galaxy in one tiny corner of an unimaginably huge cosmos....then what does it mean to ascribe 'special value' to our minimal impact on it all?
But from our biased viewpoint, we are quite important, and we (individually & collectively) **impart** value to individual lives according to subjective views of what is worthwhile. How else can we explain a history which includes Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer...and Ghengis Khan and Adolph Hitler?

Now..in order to 'judge' some individual case, it again depends on the relative importance of the circumstance and the ...again... subjective view of what is involved. If presented with a situation where you must choose to lose some lives in order save others...how do you proceed? They had to do that on the Titantic...are women & children 'intrinsically' more valuble than ...say...a doctor? *shrug* I hope I am never faced with such a choice.
   Climbers on Mt. Everest regularly have to decide whether to risk several lives trying to rescue someone who is injured or out of oxygen in a precarious situation.
   In the same way, doctors have to decide when to try to save a baby at risk of the mother's life....or vice-versa. Often, their best advice runs counter to the wishes of the family.

So...what criteria do I use? What can I say? **IT DEPENDS!!** 20 years ago, my wife & I had to face that....we were trying to have another child, when amniocentesis revealed a condition in which the baby seldom survives to birth...and we were at 20 weeks! Even our doctor was opposed to abortion, but he offered no hope of successful outcome. You think we didn't agonize over what to do? I'll tell you this much...we did NOT apply some pre-digested standard worked out by some group claiming absolute knowlege of what was 'right'. And I'd never dream to tell someone else how to decide something like that, even if it was different from my own opinion.

In essence, that's what I mean by case-by-case....there are no absolute rules. There are sometimes laws which attempt to codify general attitudes, but some seem, as in Roe V Wade, to treat it like a game in which "if we get more votes, we can override their position, because WE have right on our side!"
The whole point of Roe V Wade was to allow those most affected, like my wife & I, to decide our own situation as best we could and NOT make it a rubber-stamp ruling based on some vague notion that it followed a subjective interpretation of some arcane religious text.

....well, you asked. I'm sorry if my answer is not specific enough, but I flatly don't KNOW any universal rule that covers all the stuff we fallible little beings can contrive to burden ourselves with.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 09:03 PM

I am not quite sure, but it seems like you are saying that human life has no special value, and that the worth of each life should be judged on a case-by-case basis. That still leaves me wondering what criteria you'd use to judge each case.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

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

What! Evidence of subjectivity which is dependent on wishful thinking? Mercy's sakes...who woulda thunk it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 07:51 PM

Of relevant interest, a recent experiment has demonstrated that individual experience of the taste and bouquet of wine can be re-defined by changing the price-tag seen on the bottle.

A post concerning this phenomenon can be found here on the MOAB, and the original article can be found here at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: bobad
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 07:44 PM

Referring to an embryo as a child or human being is more than a little specious. This rhetorical device is commonly used by self righteous deists in an attempt to inflame the debate surrounding abortion affording them license to hurl accusations of "murderer" and "baby killer" at women who are seeking an abortion. To anyone who has even a basic knowledge of biology it is quite evident that an embryo is a potential human being, in fact, from a strictly zoological term of reference an embryo is a parasite ie. An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 07:37 PM

Nickhere...even those who agree with you as to the scriptural source of the "dominion" quote have differences about its interpretation. Some wish to allow almost unlimited hunting and fishing, while others want to allow 'only the minimum required to sustain life' ...which has led to unusual stances...such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), with often contradictory rules of behavior and various defenses of vegetarianism. Some will not eat animals for supposed health reasons, some for perceived religious reasons (Jainism) and some simply because of what a friend of mine once called 'BBES'....Big Brown Eyes Syndrome.

I am absolutely confident that many who oppose ALL abortion begin emotionally with the equivalent of BBES, then adopt religious concepts to justify their stance and avoid it seeming arbitrary.
Now...please understand, I am not accusing anyone of dishonesty or outright Gerrymandering of the conscience in this. Most are sincere and feel they have made a perfectly natural connection - but it IS difficult for many of us to see the causal factors in our own motivations. (We might admit it regarding choosing the color to paint the kitchen, but not about 'serious' matters.)

I'm not sure the above is the best I could do to make my point...which is: Since there ARE such wide divergences in opinion and perceived justification FOR opinion, we must allow some pretty broad tolerances in law for consideration of issues of marriage customs, sexual preferences, abortion etc. This will upset those who feel the need for simple, tidy, one-rule-fits-all answers to complex questions, but true fairness requires something like that....and yes, I do know some problems in determining which situations can be treated as I propose...... it really ain't easy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 07:09 PM

14:37 17 January 2008
NewScientist.com news service
Andy Coghlan


A cloned human embryo has been produced for the first time from a man's skin cell, raising the prospect that such embryos could be made to provide stem cells tailored to any patient.

Only one cloned human embryo has been made before, reported by a team at Newcastle University, UK, in 2005. But it was made by cloning human embryonic stem cells that are not routinely available from patients, and so would not be practical.

The embryo newly created from a skin cell potentially gets round this problem. The ultimate aim is to make temporary embryos from which human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) could be extracted – these are the cells in embryos from which all tissues of the body originate. ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bee
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 06:41 PM

Nick, my point is that given the extremely high natural rate of embryos failing to survive, it is not reasonable to regard them in the same light as a born human. Embryos have no brain, no cognition, no pain receptors, in fact, very little to distinguish them from other fleshly parts of the mother's body. Even the fact that an embryo contains DNA from two individuals is not a unique circumstance, as there are people who have two sets of DNA in their cells (chimaerism), as a result of fetal absorbtion of a fraternal twin. I have read that research is now suggesting this is more common than previously thought.

I see an embryo as a potential baby, but I do not regard it in the same light as I do a born baby (or late term fetus), which has grown, developed a brain, and reacts to its environment. Embryos are a common product of unprotected human sexual intercourse. They seldom survive, which is a good thing or there's be sixty billion of us instead of six. Ridding oneself of an inconveniently timed embryo seems like common sense to me.

Other mammals have different methods of controlling fertility and thus population. Most large mammals are only capable of conceiving at one point in a year. Some small animals adsorb already viable foetuses if environmental conditions (overpopulation, food scarcity, etc.) make it unlikely they would survive. Mammals which have large litters will let one or more die by not feeding or abandoning the weakest. Humans have a multiplicity of weak embryos, most of which will not survive to term.

It is only now, with the understanding of human reproduction science has given us, that people like yourself have become so adamant about saving the embryonic. In Biblical times, a woman's foetus was not regarded as very important, worth only a small fine by law if destroyed as a byproduct of conflict. The church, for centuries, did not worry a lot about early abortions, and had varying views on the actual time of 'ensoulment'. It was only when a child was about to be born that any religious sentiment really crept in, at which point, of course, the woman was considered only a 'vessel' for the new soul, and often as not, if possible in a difficult birth, the child was saved and the mother let die.

Even the most adamntly opposed to abortion do not react emotionally to an early known miscarriage as they would to a stillborn or to an infant death (unless other circumstances, such as infertility affect their thinking). On some level they understand that it is not so important.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 06:01 PM

Bill "and...well...as to "God expects us to treat all His creation with respect." That has been debated VERY hotly as to implication when reading the part of the Bible that says "...have dominion over..."...and there are some pretty bad examples of 'respect' going on these days"

I certainly agree there's some very bad 'respect' for nature these days. Sale Kirkpatrick (the Conquest of Paradise) has argued that European civilisation has in fact been degrading nature for over a thousand years. He suggests in his book that it is essential that children coming into their teens develop a bond with, or respect for, nature in order for their character to mature properly. But I'm going off on a tangent here even though I agree with him.

The obvious answer to your observation is that from what we know of God, we would expect 'dominion' to mean having management of something. That management in turn should reflect an awareness of the propietor's rights. To put it another way - imagine someone lends you his car and tells you you can use it for all your daily needs, but that it ultimately remains his car. I think it's easy to imagine what his reaction would be if we were to hand it back with the bumper smashed in, a big dent on the side, bald tyres and the gas tank empty. Not very respectful management, I think!

A 'good' person would look after the car carefully while using it both in acknowledgement of the fact that it was only on loan and out of respect for his friend. even if his friend gave it to him I think respect for the friend alone would prevent him from maltreating it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 05:47 PM

Bill - what I was getting at was that (in my experience) atheists usually appeal to science and empiricism as the bedrock for their worldview, since these give concrete facts we can deal with (as opposed to an 'empirically unprovable' God). But in this instance the empirical facts point in the opposite direction to the world view of most atheists. They favour choice in the matter of abortion even when the empirical facts suggest that to do so is to favour murder in certain cases. From a rational and even human moral point of view, that seems difficult to sustain.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 05:46 PM

Sure Bill, a zygote is of course a human being - I state as much a few lines later. I should have been a bit more attentive while typing and clarified - a zygote will give rise to a child, adult etc., human if nothing intervenes.

Mrr: "As an aside, to me, a pregnancy is a woman's body part"
A pregnancy is not a body part. a pregnancy is a process whereby a new life grows inside its mother and is born (passes out of its mother's body).

I have heard this argument many times, about 'a woman having control over her body'. This ignores the fact that there are two lives in question. The new life growing within her is not simply an organ of the mother's body or a piece of waste. If it were so, denying a woman an abortiion would be as unreasonable as denying her laxatives if she were constipated. The fact that the unborn baby is a separate human being puts it in an altogether different category.

As for the twins - no, I don't think it is fratricide. What is happening is a natural process. One embryo gets more nourishment than the other and survives, but neither sets out to kill the other. If they did, it would be murder of course. Though at least froma legal standpoint one would have trouble prosecuting, as in the case of older children who murder.

The cell you described could at best be a possible potential human being in the same way a sperm cell is not the same thing as a new human being.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but even identical twins do not share the exact DNA. I seem to remember that however similar their appearance, ethy at least have separate finger prints. And no matter how close they are to each other, they both regard themselves as individuals.

I would be in favour of outlawing IVF that makes and discards zygotes, given that I see each zygote as a human. That might not be popular I know, but here now we have a problem where scientists want to use these zygotes (humans) for experiments, claiming they'd only be thrown out anyway. True, but if they hadn't been created in test tubes in the first place, there wouldn't be anything to 'throw out'.

This is an example of the failure of science to address moral issues. Clearly it cannot, since science is about finding out what makes the world tick, and seeing where it can take that knowledge further. But it's a bit like a boy pulling half the wings off a fly to see if it will fly more slowly: an interesting experiment, but one wonders should he be conducting it? That's why I say we need something more than empirical science to deal with moral and social questions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 05:19 PM

I guess one of the implications of my own position is that many specific questions must be answered on a case-by-case basis, and that few ,if any, absolute rules are available to run complex questions thru...which THEN implies that in order to deal with many uncomfortable questions, one must take into account current legal strictures about certain issues (such as gay marriage, abortion,etc.) but not because of metaphysical moral guidance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 05:09 PM

M.Ted...from a dictionary
sanctity..."The quality of being holy"

therefore, it DOES assume that some special protection outside simple pragmatic consideration is being applied. This assumes that there is such a thing AS holiness....and this IS one of the issues under debate.

Short answer: No, I do not believe that life "has any particular sanctity" related to the definition above, but that we can argue in ways similar to Kant's Categorical Imperative that we can extract logical bases for respecting life and each other, and by implication, other things related to having 'quality' in life.

need more detail?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 04:56 PM

"...what part of this is 'hotly contested'? "
The 'status' of a zygote which "will become" a human if nothing intervenes. You move from "will become" to "is" with no qualification. This simply is contested.

I an not clear about your question "When will sceptics confront the implications of that?" Are you claiming that self interest is the rationale behind abortion...and that this is some sort of logical contradiction?

As to 'sanctity', it was my point that it implied something outside empirical science...I do NOT assume that using a word gives any particular status to its implications....just the opposite.

and...well...as to "God expects us to treat all His creation with respect." That has been debated VERY hotly as to implication when reading the part of the Bible that says "...have dominion over..."...and there are some pretty bad examples of 'respect' going on these days.

If God is monitoring our behavior, in this and other matters, I kinda wish he'd explain it clearly...NOW...to some serious offenders, instead of waiting till some vague 'end', and then judging them after it's too late. If I got my freedom to have such ideas FROM God, I assume he is clever enough to understand my reservations about the details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: GUEST,Mrr elsewhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 04:43 PM

M.Ted: Mrzzy said--"Ah, but, M.Ted, it's religion that is keeping us from educating our children!"--That is also not true. Nobody is keeping you from educating your children. If they aren't educated, it is your own fault. Mrr: I have the time, and the education, to spend hours with my kids teaching them what school is supposed to be, and un-teaching what it has taught incorrectly. But it is not the fault of the other parents who have neither the time nor the education necessary if their children get through public school without learning anything. It's the fault of the public school system.

And as a professor teaching science I've had to deal with students who don't "believe in" the fundamental fact of life that our evolution was/is just like that of any other DNA-based life form.

As an aside, to me, a pregnancy is a woman's body part. But to bring it back to the thread, I read recently in a great book called Mu(t)an(t)s, about clergy who wonder how many times to baptize conjoined twins. If the "human" begins at conception, then do all the pregnancies that start out as twins and one fetus absorbs the other involve fratricide? What about outlawing IVF, which makes and discards zygotes? And what about if conjoined twins turn out to happen by fusion rather than fission, which I found incredibly interesting as a possibility, would that matter? If fission, then when does the second one become human, since only one was actually conceived? The can has many, many worms, if you want to go there.

I also read somewhere the point that now that we have the technology, any cell is a "putative" human being, so scratching your ass is killing hundreds of such... *BG*!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 04:34 PM

I'd like a clarification from BillD--from the tone of your comments, one gets the impression that you see the idea that life has sanctity to be a product of circular reasoning.

Do you believe that life, human or otherwise, has any particular sanctity (sanctity meaning that it is entitled to special deference, or protection)? If you do, what logical foundation do you have for that belief?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 04:33 PM

I think you have a double standard, here, Nick. You would like to assert that empirical information is the rule to judge cases by, EXCEPT when your own views go off into areas where empirical views are very scarce. Then, it's not empiricism that matters, but orthodoxy.

Does it not strike you that this is a bit of a tapdance?


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Riginslinger
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 04:01 PM

If we won't find scientific answers about souls anywhere in the stratosphere, why would we tolerate creationism in science classes?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 03:26 PM

As for your other questions about souls, assembly lines and so on, there are answers, but metaphysical ones. You won't find scientific empirical information about them anytime soon, as you know. Ok, now I must go an eat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 03:23 PM

Well Bill, you made a start on the 9 paragraphs, at least!

The embryo.... the empiricism to which I am referring is the basic science that states at the moment of conception gametes from both parents fuse to form a complete set of humna DNA. Moreover, this DNA has not existed before and is more than the sum of its parts. It will give rise if nothing intervenes to stop it, to a new human being who has not lived before. Now, what part of this is 'hotly contested'?

A zygote, being the new life I described above, is already a human. If it continues its gestation, what do you think will emerge from the woman's womb? A penguin? A sea-lion?

It seems to me that the rationalised self-interest you assign to various religions (and that's one reason why 'believers' do not value all religions equally) can also be found among those hotly-debating when a human becomes a human (as if the statement itself isn't a contradiction in terms). When will sceptics confront the implications of that?

Do penguins have sanctity? Yes, I would argue they do, in that they are God's creation too, and deserve our consideration as such. God expects us to treat all His creation with respect. Unlike humans however, they lack free will and so there is a qualitative difference between us. For example we don't talk of penguins being 'saved' or of 'sinning'. Now, before you rush off to say 'But that's circular reasoning, we must assume God exists to rationalise that' etc., remember it was you who used the word 'sanctity' which put the question outside empirical science and into the religious sphere.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:53 PM

Nickhere...It would require another 9 paragraphs to reply adequately. But look at the embedded assumptions in your post:

"It is based on the empirically-backed view that the embryo is a human being. It is also based on the sanctity of human life."

That 'empirically backed' view is hotly debated and variously understood! What do you SAY to someone who argues that a human being is something that can live OUTSIDE the womb? What makes a zygote suddenly become a 'human'? Most who accept your view are saying that at the moment of conception, a 'soul' enters the zygote...and off we go again. Even the linguistic construction "sanctity of human life" implies something metaphysical...otherwise, why use it? Do penguins have 'sanctity'? Or goldfish? Do they have 'souls'? Why not? Where do souls come from? Is God sitting 'up there' with a holy assembly line? When there were only 1,000,000 humans, were there 6 billion extra souls waiting? Are souls recycled? If reincarnation is possible, do we get a new one each round?
*sigh*...no, you are not expected to actually answer such questions...they are just examples of the awkward implications of accepting certain premises.

You say "The 'set of instructions' are designed for our own good... " but this [being designed]is what is being debated! Did some Supreme Being say so, or did we just work out for ourselves that some rules are a good idea? Kant says the latter...but there is a HUGE difference between a moral imperative that is required by a deity and one that is suggested as a pragmatic way of behaving.
At what point in our evolutionary development did bashing someone over the head to get a meal or a mate suddenly become 'forbidden morally' instead of just dangerous?

We have created many, many sets of religiously based 'moral standards' over 15,000 or so years...some of which oppose any form of killing others, but most of which allow certain types of killing, and some of which directly encourage killing in certain circumstances....mostly to protect the religious beliefs on which the rule is based. Talk about circular reasoning! Sorry, but it all looks like rationalized self-interest to me.

My overall, basic point is that 'most' of us skeptics get where we are by seeing these questions and confronting the implications and refusing to adhere to a system that has no plausible1 answers.....while 'most' members of religious groups stay where they are by not seriously confronting awkward questions, and when necessary, saying something like, "well, it certainly is confusing, but it is God's will and we can't hope to understand why He does many things".

Not only ain't it easy, it ain't likely to GET much easier when we seem just to be wired to take one path or another.


1..plausible- meaning answers that do not just lead in circles to more questions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:41 PM

Amos, we've been over the abortion issue before. I do feel great compassion for a woman who is having what might be called a 'crisis pregnancy'. I helped one raise her child to 2 years of age, and have close personal experience of another woman in a similar situation. I ahev already outlined what I believe to be the correct Christian repsonse to such a situation on a previous thread, and I think you will find a good measure of compassion in there.

But in a pregnancy we are dealing with two people, not one - the mother AND her unborn child.

How is my definition of a human being arbitrary?

"As for "a set of instructions for our own good", this sounds like a child's defense of arbitrary orders from parents"

Whatever it sounds like is your own subjective opinion, perhaps based on your experience. Nonetheless I have demonstrated - not that it's very difficult - that a lot of benefits would follow if everyone tried to practice them. But that's up to them. For myself, I take full responsibility for following them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:32 PM

Bee, that's the second time you've made that point, and I cannot understand why you are unable to see the difference.

Abortion is the deliberate killing of an unborn human being by another human being (or two, to be precise - the mother and the person who performs the abortion).

What you are describing is a natural process.

If you are still having difficulty seeing the difference, let me explain it another way; someone is dying a natural death in their bed, of old age. They might have a week, or a few weeks, or a few days left in them. I walk in pull out a .45 and put a couple of shots in their head. Now I presume you can understand that if the person dies of old age, I stay a free man. If I shoot her before she dies, I go to jail.

Re. your comment about God and embryos:

First of all; murder, by definition, is a sin against the law of God in that a human is appropriating to themselves the power of life and death over another human being, a right reserved only to God. If God calls a life back to Him, He is only calling back what He freely gave in the first place. Thus it is not murder. The nearest thing we humans get to giving life is in the act of conceiving children (part of what makes it so sacred from the Christian theological point of view).

Secondly God allows natural processes to take place and seems to interfere very little or as little as possible. I don't know yet or exactly why this should be so, but perhaps it is to allow the maximum freedom to this world. If people - believer and non-believer alike - fall foul of the same accidents and natural catastrophes, at least no one can accuse God of being unfair even to those who reject Him. Jesus spoke in the Gospel of the same sun shining on good and evil people.

Thirdly, death is only an absoulte catastrophe to an atheist. To a Christian, death is not a catastrophe (while accepting that the sense of loss for those left behind is very great - I know, as I've experienced it myself). Death is a passage to another phase of life - one without a physical form - and the phase which forms the longer part of our existence.

I hope that answers your question


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:25 PM

Furthermore. desiring to spare a woman from the tribulations of enforced pregnancy is not a byproduct of atheism, but of normal compassion.

Your definition of human being is somewhat arbitrary, a necessary step in order to fuel the rhetoric you offer.

As for "a set of instructions for our own good", this sounds like a child's defense of arbitrary orders from parents.

The only set of instructions that is ultimately, genuinely "for your own good" is the set of uinstructions you yourself can take full responsibility for. This paternalistic model of an interfering, ordering, and somewhat perverted God is one of the least attractive aspects of this particular sub-branch of Xorastrianism.


A


A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:16 PM

And Bill, of course one can question the validity of old parchments. For me at any rate there's no problem there. We've discussed them at length on another thread and I've addressed some of the common misconceptions about them. But if you do the homework and then strongly feel there is something to them afterall you find they demand further action. They are not like historical documents like the Magna Carta or a Charter of Trade granted to some medieval city - these latter do not make demands on our lifestyle and actions, however interesting they may be historically.

You also mentioned the notion that I find 'comfort' in my religion. I might also find comfort in atheism and the idea, for example, that therefore I will not be called to account for my actions in this life, in the next. If I were to look for comfort, I could at least not pick such a demanding religion!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bee
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:13 PM

Nickhere, why do you totally ignore the issue of the wholesale natural deaths of embryos in utero? Again, if you have forgotten already, 45% to 65% of fused sperm and egg, your priceless unique human, (and some estimates are higher, as high as 80%) die, are lost, slough off, miscarry, naturally abort, before the mother even knows she might be pregnant or within the first three months of gestation.

If God is so very concerned about the deliberate deaths of embryos, then why is he so cavalier about all those billions of unique human beings that he apparently 'ensouls' for five minutes or three days or a week or two, only to haul them back, presumably to heaven where they must all fly about like angelic gnats?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 02:00 PM

BillD, I can see where you're coming from. I understand why some people in the US are in a flap over Huckabee and Bush. We're in a flap in Europe over Bush. You speak about God giving us freewill yet leaving us a set of instructions as if you find these terms mutually incompatible. But surely you must see that they are not. The 'set of instructions' are designed for our own good - we've been over this one on another thread and I think I demonstrated how we would be better off if we observed them. Yet we are free not to follow them, and many of us do not, often to our own detriment.

I perfectly accept your argument about not foisting prayer on schools. Any such prayer would be insincere at best, a pain on God's ears at worst (the pain coming from the fact that people were being forced to say them).

I can even understand why atheists have reservations about adherence to rules based on religious belief.

What I cannot understand is why atheists suddenly abandon reason when it comes to an issue like abortion. My opposition to abortion is based both in rationality AND religion (nor are the two mutually exclusive). It is based on the empirically-backed view that the embryo is a human being. It is also based on the sanctity of human life.

It is disingenuous to talk of 'choice' in the matter of private right to control the life and death of another human being. What you are basically saying is 'if you don't want to murder anyone, then don't. But let people who do want to murder make up their own minds'.

If that doesn't alert you to the pitfalls of secular atheism, nothing is likely to.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 01:48 PM

For the record, Christian Science does not, and has not, required that its followers to use prayer only--Mrs. Eddy said, from the beginning, that if Christian Science wasn't working, the patient should stop using it and move on to a more conventional treatment--

Mrzzy said--"Ah, but, M.Ted, it's religion that is keeping us from educating our children!"--That is also not true. Nobody is keeping you from educating your children. If they aren't educated, it is your own fault.

Riginslinger is right about one thing--a lot of buffoonery is taught in schools--the most important thing that you can teach them is to recognize it, even when it isn't religious in nature--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Amos
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 01:37 PM

The only place any religious doctrine has in a science class is as a classic example of pre-scientific thinking. However, to do so would probably upset those who cleave to the partiuclar religious doctrine in use.

Placving ten or twenty Creation Myths side by side might be instructive as to human nature, and would be a good thing to demonstrate such.

But arguing such beliefs as data in the scientific sense, or even in the psychological sense, would be harmful. They are metaphors,stories, myths and legends. The moral guidance they provide is not (for the most part) entered into one way or another by science.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 01:17 PM

Nickhere...in the latter part of my disclaimer, which you did not include in your quote, I said that we must be careful "lest we be guilty of the same logical errors common with many on the other side."

   Now...you say that you are comfortable with the idea that God " got the ball rolling and nature and evolution both took their course."

Fine....that is about the only way we can reconcile both viewpoints....some of us accept that idea, and some of us don't, but it allows us to study HOW evolution proceeded.
   The difficulty is that religious groups don't stay with that model. They tell us the God came back and intervened a number of times and held personal conversations with a 'few' humans and left instructions about how we were to behave (never mind that we had "free will") and proceeded to use metaphysical, 'spiritual' powers to create beings that could NOT be explained by evolution (angels, saviors, prophets...etc.) God did this when records and languages were rudimentary and, as I say only to a few men, whose word we have to take. No clear update or intervention has happened in a couple thoudand years, yet various humans...in many countries...have created ever more complex myths and stories....as men are wont to do.
I am supposed to believe that God gave us reason & free will, yet I am NOT to question the validity of old parchments and stories handed down for umpteen generations. Seems to me that a god, with infinite wisdom, would see that we have kinda muddled the original message...(and some areas of the world never got it at all)..and he'd drop in occasionally to 'remind' us of the rules. (What WOULD be the modern equivalent of a burning bush or stone tablets?)

...well, anyway, you see where I am going. It is not the **first cause** that keeps us arguing, as neither science or religion can really do more than speculate on that, but some really complex claims made later....some of which are in direct disagreement with each other.

THIS is the situation that makes me say "I can see 'why' believers accept various stories and scriptures...for various cultural, psychological and historical reasons...but I see nothing that clearly validates any of the specific belief structures."

For THIS reason, I and others need a world where 'believing' is understood, but not compelled...and what we see is some VERY strong attempts to compell adherence to certain rules imposed BY certain belief structures.

THIS is why we continue to resist, argue and worry when men like G.W. Bush and Mike Huckabee seem to be advocating government BY some religious doctrine. Even our money says "In God We Trust" when it is obvious that many of us do not!
THIS is why we complain when Christian prayers are foisted on meetings & schools where many are NOT Christian.
THIS is why we suggest that the answer to not believing in abortion is to not have one, instead of demanding that those who do not share the underlying religious stricture, still share the restriction.
THIS is why we are upset that a country with a Constitution that states "....shall make no law respecting establishment of religion" still requires the Pledge of Allegiance to say "under God". The rest of the clause says "...or prohibit the free exercise of (religion)..", but I can't see see how "free exercise" allows the tactics of intimidation used by the more zealous Christians to pressure and demand special privileges.

THIS is why, along with my ongoing attempt to accommodate perfectly understandable religious convictions and live happily with those who practice their religion quietly and non-confrontationally, I still feel the need to remind folks of the reality of the situation and refute obvious, public claims that any one group has **THE ANSWER**.

As I said...it ain't easy. But not trying is worse....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Emma B
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 01:10 PM

'The EU Commission a few years back got rid of one of their commissioners because they deemed him too 'religious' even though he promised to keep his religion a private matter'

ROCCO BUTTIGLIONE -

'As a Roman Catholic, Buttiglione believes that homosexuality is a sin, and that "The family exists in order to allow women to have children and to have the protection of a male who takes care of them"' BBC News item

'Rocco Buttiglione sabotaged a European directive intended to outlaw discrimination in the workplace by introducing exemptions that allow the Italian military, police, prisons and social services to refuse to employ gay men and lesbians. Three years ago, during his first week as Italy's European Affairs minister, he called for a ban on artificial insemination and started a campaign to outlaw abortion. So much for the preposterous claim that Buttiglione, whose nomination by the incoming Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso, caused an unprecedented crisis in Brussels last week, would not have permitted his private views to influence his public role.'
-- Joan smith writing in The Independent

"I would not want, as a Spanish citizen, to have a minister of justice who thinks that homosexuality is a sin and that a woman should stay at home to have children under the protection of her husband…. These are shocking attitudes—that is the least that one can say."
--Josep Borell, president of the European Parliament, October 7,
2004.15

'Mr Buttiglione has reactionary prejudices against gay people and women and that he tried to get sexual orientation removed as a ground of discrimination in the constitution. He has also proved himself, as a member of the Berlusconi government, complicit in widespread non-respect for the rule of law. On asylum, the Italian government is breaching the UN Refugee Convention by deporting migrants without allowing a determination of whether they qualify as refugees.'
--Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP

just for the record....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:53 PM

You want freedom from religion. You want other people who want religion to be free of it as well. Other people want freedom from atheism. In the end in your country it'll probably come down to whoever shouts the loudest.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:46 PM

"the teacher should still be teaching whatever they are supposed to be teaching"

It seems to me that that's part of the debate in the US. What are they supposed to be teaching?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:44 PM

In different leagues? I'll let you think about that one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:43 PM

No Mrr, I'm not American. I live in Europe. But I've been stateside (our word for the US) a few times. Thanks to a common langauge and the US' domninant position in world affairs i follow news from there, and have some sense of the culture as well. It seems to me to be a land of extremes - pacifists and gun-toting patriotic NRA all in the same land. Atheists and fundamentalist Christians. Perhaps if people could meet half way a bit more, it would help. To my outsiders view, it appears that Americans tend to view the world in very black or white terms, like Bush's 'your either with us or against us'. When I was in the US, I was surprised to find how few people had a passport or travelled outside the US. I suppose it's such a vast county that you have everything on your doorstep without having to go abroad. The culture of the US seems fairly uniform despite regional differences. The lanaguage is also widespread despite the rise of Spanish in Arizona and California.

In Europe on the other hand any time you go abroad you end up having to speak a different langauge, adjust to very different customs, eat different food (despite globalistaion) adjust to a different timetable (different shop opening hours for example), different cultures, until recently use different money. And you are still effectively ina different country, without a federal government (though Eurocrats hope to change all that soon).

So maybe we Europeans are more used to having to live alongside each other and adapt to difference. Maybe we realise there are many shades of grey, which is why most European countries were unenthusiastic about supporting Bush's simplistic world view of Muslims v. the civilised world.

For all that, the political scene in Europe these days is heavily atheist. You guys would be really happy here. The EU Commission a few years back got rid of one of their commissioners because they deemed him too 'religious' even though he promised to keep his religion a private matter. They knew what I have argued all along here - one's beliefs - religious or atheistic - can never be simply kept a private matter and one will always try and shape society according to them. But there is active hostility to religion from the political establishment here too. Having outgrown the need for church support in a heavily secularised world, political leaders are less wary of baring their atheistic teeth when the occasion rises. The way I see it, it may only be a matter of decades to a new kind of religious persecution. Already it is present here in the form of how religious people are ridiculed or singled out for villification by an secularistic and atheistic media.

BTW, I know rain comes from clouds... the comment was for Amos to figure out.... ;-)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:38 PM

I haven't been arguing for a pluralistic, encompassing society. I have been arguing for freedom from religion.

How do you see teaching creationism as science, and letting your kids die of appendicitis, as in a different leagues? Aren't both just letting the parents have freedom of religion?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: BS: Still no gods 2008 (continued)
From: Nickhere
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 12:24 PM

As you point out in the slavery issue, I think there are degrees of seriousness. Teaching creationism and letting your kids die of appendicitis are in a different league. I agree that teaching creationism might be better doen in religion class, but I can see why some parents might want it done in science class.

We are - believer and atheist alike - all going to see our kids taught stuff we don't agree with in school. Our job as parents is to give them what we believe is the correct version at home. I think any cioncerned parent already does that. If your kids are taught creationism in school, you'll remedy that when they get home. When the teacher assigns homework, you'll give it to them 'both barrels' by helping your kid with their homework.

Nick: "why do we not have referenda to go to war? ...But I would still vote against it even if most Joe Soaps wanted to go to war!

As you can see from my earlier posts I don't believe majority rule always equates with moral correctness either. You stress your concern for kids dying from appendicitis due to Christian Science. That's not right, of course. But neither is it right that millions of unborn children have died because of atheists' belief in a right for people to have private control over their lives and deaths either.

What I am saying is you can't have it both ways - you can't argue for a pluralistic, encompassing society and for the silencing of some viewpoints you don't agree with in the same breath.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate


Next Page

 


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.


You must be a member to post in non-music threads. Join here.



Mudcat time: 14 July 7:29 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.