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Earth is only 6000 years old?


By uomo_senza_nome   Follow   Fri, 9 Dec 2011, 5:14pm   19,918 views   218 comments
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xkcdawesomeness

The wonderful thing about science is that it doesn't ask for your faith, it just asks for your eyes.

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  1. Dan8267


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    179   8:18pm Sat 28 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    A little farther into that video, the monk talks about how much sense it makes that there were many big bangs.

    Certainly, The Big Crunch Theory is appealing on an emotional level. We humans are programmed to love cycles. They make us feel warm and safe since cycles are a way to get around mortality. Sure, we die, but if the world or universe is just going through cycles, we'll be back.

    When astrophysicists were trying to determine whether or not there was sufficient mass in the universe to cause the expansion to stop and reverse -- back in the 1990s -- I, like just about everyone else, was rooting for the Big Crunch.

    However, in 1998 it was proven that the expansion of the universe will not only continue indefinitely, but is actually accelerating. This was a complete shock. Nobody, and I mean, nobody expected that. But the evidence was conclusive. And that's what science does: it accepts the truth no matter how unexpected.

    Regardless of how much I personally wanted the Big Crunch Theory to be correct, as a rational human being I had to accept that our universe isn't going through an endless cycles of Big Bangs and Big Crunches. No, our universe is unique and it will die. It will become a lifeless void and there's not a damn thing that you or I can do about it.

    That said, it will take trillions of years to exit the stellar period so party like crazy until then!

    Now, it is plausible that there are other Big Bangs in a Multiverse system, but that is still conjecture at this point. Universes wouldn't go through cycles in such a multiverse. Instead, new universes would be created every few hundred trillion years and after a few trillion years they would become lifeless sacks of space-time.

    Would it be possible or practical for a highly advanced society to travel between universe? Who knows. It's conjecture anyway. For now, we should be more concerned about not fucking up this planet.

  2. marcus


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    180   10:18pm Sat 28 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    You're too nice Bap. But then again, I guess you made your point.

  3. uomo_senza_nome


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    181   10:20pm Sat 28 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    I think lesser minds -- and by that I mean the emotionally immature -- confuse confidence in an objective argument with arrogance. I can have absolute confidence in a proof that the square root of two is irrational. That isn't arrogance. It's understanding.

    Well said Dan.

    Once you realize this understanding aspect of science, which is like a collection of 'Aha' moments at discovering the truth, you don't stop. The quest for knowledge never stops.

  4. uomo_senza_nome


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    182   10:24pm Sat 28 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Bap33 says

    That's just how it has to be.

    Dogma ALERT!!

    Bap33 says

    Free choice was already tried and having issues with the creations in heaven when man was created.

    Bap - you're piling on assumptions after assumptions.

    uomo_senza_nome says

    LOL, the amount of assumptions you've made without any proof whatsoever is gigantic. Let's break it down.

    1. Old father figure in the sky.
    2. Old father figure in the sky created all atoms, matter, elements required for living beings
    3. Old father figure in the sky used what he created in step #2 to make monkey bases
    4. Old father figure in the sky used monkey bases to create humanoids
    5. Old father figure in the sky transformed humanoids to humans

  5. marcus


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    183   11:12pm Sat 28 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Bap33 says

    I tend to see it like this, if someone is a cocky prick, then they better back it up. You do.

    I would argue that he doesn't back it up, well maybe sometimes he does. Other times, he's a shrekian troll, who intentionally doesn't listen to where your coming from. Very likely the same guy that's behind the Shrek character also plays Dan. He's not a total idiot, but he is an a-hole.

    Then again, you know I don't agree with your born again evangelical view, but, I mean this is religion,... one of those things you don't even argue with friends, let alone world class ***holes.

    btw: I have him on ignore.

  6. uomo_senza_nome


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    184   8:32am Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    marcus says

    but, I mean this is religion,... one of those things you don't even argue with friends, let alone world class ***holes.

    I have argued for hours together with my friends over all kinds of topics (and most certainly religion), because the place where the most controversial of topics can be discussed the most freely -- is among friends. Just sayin'.

  7. marcus


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    185   9:57am Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    uomo_senza_nome says

    Just sayin'

    Yes, I have as well, many many times. I'm from a big family and we took argument as a sport sometimes arguing for hours (more with brothers than sisters). Same with some friends. Even now I engage in such arguments with close friends, or one of my brothers who is a republican.

    But since you take issue, I will break down the old saying for you, that you might comprehend. IT goes something like "never discuss religion and politics." This is often good advice, because of the strong emotions and ego that people attach to their opinions on these matters. Without naming names, I know of a few on these forums that revert to childish egocentricity and arrogance at the drop of a hat.

    But as I was alluding to, even now, if I was at a dinner party or gathering, be it with good friends, new friends or family, in the interest of maintaining a pleasant a mood, I would be cautious about getting too strongly in to political or religious discussions that I knew might elicit strong emotion from one or more of the people there.

    This is often times considered basically good manners. What it's really about is that some people just can't handle it, without spewing forth ego and emotions that only make everyone uncomfortable.

    I could go on, but I'm thinking you may now know what I was referring to.

  8. uomo_senza_nome


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    186   10:44am Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    marcus says

    This is often times considered basically good manners. What it's really about is that some people just can't handle it, without spewing forth ego and emotions that only make everyone uncomfortable.

    I see your point marcus.

    marcus says

    because of the strong emotions and ego

    I think that stems from the fact that people have past history/memories associated with religion (because it has been there for so long) and they don't go away completely.

    Humans tend to be become more left-brain dominant as they become adults. This is because we tend to become sharper at logical and sequential (spatial and temporal) thinking, better at communicating (language). These functions are predominantly located in the left-side of the brain.

    Children on the other hand are right-brain dominant so they are all about staying in the present. They think more in parallel, which explains their bursts of creativity and constant movement. This also explains why they're not afraid to ask questions.

    I think it's a fine line to be communicating a point clearly (without any ego/emotions attached) vs. looking like egoistic and highly emotional. And often times, this fine line is easily crossed on topics such as politics and religion.

  9. marcus


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    187   10:58am Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    uomo_senza_nome says

    I think it's a fine line to be communicating a point clearly (without any ego/emotions attached) vs. looking like egoistic and highly emotional.

    I agree.

    And communicating in writing makes it difficult to read emotion, that is people take things the wrong way, without the body language and inflection, and then things might escalate.

    The problem is compounded if it's an anonymous forum like this, because then certain types are going to really let it all hang out in ways they normally can't or won't. Plus the fact people are sometimes more interested in how they appear to everyone else on the forum (ego) than they are interested in truly listening to someone and respectfully responding to them.

    (not saying I am immune - it's always easier to see these things in others)

  10. Bap33


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    188   12:09pm Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    marcus says

    The problem is compounded if it's an anonymous forum like this, because then certain types are going to really let it all hang out in ways they normally can't or won't. Plus the fact people are sometimes more interested in how they appear to everyone else on the forum (ego) than they are interested in truly listening to someone and respectfully responding to them.

    winner winner enchilada dinner.

  11. Dan8267


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    189   7:45pm Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    marcus says

    I would argue that he doesn't back it up, well maybe sometimes he does.

    I always back up anything I say that isn't a priori logic or obvious. A priori logic is self-evident. If you honestly think otherwise, please point out anything you think I said that is conjecture.

    Of course, I don't give footnotes to every single sentence I write, but then again, my writings have far more references in them than do anyone else's here. Some things are so obvious, it would be tedious to footnote them.

    Nevertheless, I welcome any honest challenge to an alleged fact I've written.

    Marcus, you just don't get the philosophy of people like me and uomo_senza_nome. We find it very easy to defend our positions because we're defending the truth and there's a lot of evidence on your side when your defending the truth. Now, defending made up myths is a lot harder because you don't get any real evidence. Instead you have to make things up and then you get caught and look bad.

    What you really don't get Marcus, is that people like uomo_senza_nome and I would instantaneously accept any batshit crazy notion you have if you could just prove it. There's a lot of weird stuff in the universe that we believe in, time dilation, black holes, The Big Bang, just to name a few. The thing is, those weird things have been proven. There are rational reasons to accept them.

    We don't defend these notions because we believe in them. We believe in them because we can defend them. That's what you have never, ever understood Marcus. And until you do, you'll never understand rational people.

    And if you fail to convince us of something it is only because either you are wrong or you are not smart enough to show why a true thing is true. And showing that a true thing is true, well sometimes it's damn hard, but usually it's not. In either case, if you fail to convince a rationalist of something, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    marcus says

    Very likely the same guy that's behind the Shrek character also plays Dan.

    Wow, I'm so tempted to send some private message to Shrek and prank the fuck out of everybody on this. Part of me was really tempted to do that.

    But the fact that you would even think that Shrek and I are the same person just proves how batshit crazy people have become from being so politically polarized. I've said it many times before, I'm like a mirror. The right-wing lunatics think I'm a hippie commie from Berkley, and the left-wing nutjobs think I'm a sadist corporate war profiteer. Obviously, I can't be both.

    So I'm like a mirror. Whenever people look at me they see their polar opposite. Now why is that? It's because people today think that if you don't completely agree with them, then you must think the exact opposite. There's no middle ground. And there is certainly no third alternative orthogonal to the left-right line.

    This is nothing more than the failing of Americans to see past the stupid and petty differences between the Republicans and the Democrats. Both parties suck. Both camps follow fundamentally flawed premises. There are many, many alternatives. And the political space has more than one dimension. Hell, it has over a dozen.

    Until people pull that giant stick out of their ass and realize that the world isn't divided into left and right, those two sides will continue to manipulate the masses.

    If I were Shrekgrinch, than the thread OMG! Shrek is dead! would be really, really fucked up. Not to mention the argument that Shrek and I got into in the thread In Soviet Russia Bachmann is a professor of current affairs in which I stated that Al Gore really did win Palm Beach County, FL and should have taken Florida's votes.

    And then there's the classic thread Poll Time: Your Feelings on Shrekgrinch in which I basically say the problem I have with Shrek are the same as those I have with the religious: neither is willing to question the crazy assumptions that have so long become accustomed to and as such can never have a rational discussion on any subject matter.

    But most convincing of all should be Has anyone stop supporting the GOP lately or are considering it? in which I challenged Shrek to write "ten reasons why Bush sucked major balls as president" and offered to write ten reasons why Obama sucked if he man'd up. Well, Shrek didn't man up, but TheLastGoodIdeablogspotcom accepted the challenge so I gave my list anyway.

    But yeah, it would make perfect sense that Shrek and I are the same person. Marcus, like all people who fall into the trap of over-polarization, has lost all grip on reality. You can't understand the world if you see only red and blue.

  12. Dan8267


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    190   7:49pm Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    uomo_senza_nome says

    I have argued for hours together with my friends over all kinds of topics (and most certainly religion), because the place where the most controversial of topics can be discussed the most freely -- is among friends. Just sayin'.

    Depends on who your friends are. I never talk religion with my born-again Christian friends because I know they can't handle challenges to their belief system. But I'll discuss anything with other friends, the most secular, objective types.

  13. marcus


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    191   9:45pm Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Okay, I unignored the emotionally challenged little teenager to see what kind of lies he would spew.

    This is why I think he's Shrek (or extremely shrek like):

    Dan8267 says

    Now, defending made up myths is a lot harder because you don't get any real evidence. Instead you have to make things up and then you get caught and look bad.

    I never defended any myths. I did argue that you hadn't proven what you said you did.

    Dan8267 says

    That's what you have never, ever understood Marcus. And until you do, you'll never understand rational people.

    Dan8267 says

    And if you fail to convince us of something it is only because either you are wrong or you are not smart enough to show why a true thing is true.

    This is classic Shrek. When I was arguing with him, he intentionally didn't listen or disregarded what I said. Then later, claims all this bs about how he cites everything. What the hell boy, you have to listen and understand what the other guy is trying to say before you launch off into all of your self involved bs.

    I guarantee this little prick has such an extreme personality disorder, that he has no recollection of any of our arguments. (that is their content - from my side)

    back to ignore.

  14. marcus


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    192   9:47pm Sun 29 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan

  15. uomo_senza_nome


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    193   10:55am Mon 30 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    marcus says

    I did argue that you hadn't proven what you said you did.

    Marcus - correct me if I'm wrong. But Dan is essentially proving that there is no God based on whatever human definitions of God we've come up with so far. Most of these definitions (and I'm sure you also agree here) don't even stand up to basic scientific scrutiny.

    So I think he did prove what he set out to prove. Which is that based on real scientific evidence, we can conclude that the universe can be explained without a need for an external creator.

    marcus says

    What the hell boy, you have to listen and understand what the other guy is trying to say before you launch off into all of your self involved bs.

    OK - are you suggesting that there could be a God whose definition we're not even aware of today? Should we even concern ourselves with something that's completely undefinable?

    I say -- we can be curious about various things that are still unexplained in the universe and keep exploring. But most certainly, we shouldn't be satisfied with believing in vague, undefinable entities.

  16. Dan8267


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    194   4:48pm Mon 30 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    marcus says

    Okay, I unignored the emotionally challenged little teenager to see what kind of lies he would spew.

    Or, more likely, you never ignored me to begin with. After all, no one prompted you to unignore me.

    marcus says

    back to ignore.

    And the hypocrite says I don't listen to his arguments. Exactly which of his arguments did I ignore? I'm pretty sure I addressed every one no matter how ridiculous, but if I missed on in all the bat droppings, I'm more than willing to address it.

    marcus says

    I guarantee this little prick has such an extreme personality disorder,

    So, now Marcus is a psychiatrist, and one that calls patients "pricks" at that. Or maybe he's just a grumpy old man who can't handle an argument. He evidently hates kids.

    uomo_senza_nome says

    OK - are you suggesting that there could be a God whose definition we're not even aware of today?

    At some point it becomes like Big Foot. The original story of Big Foot was made up by a bunch of pranksters. Then fake photos are made by scammers trying to make a quick buck. Over 50 years every single Big Foot sighting has been proven to be a hoax.

    If eventually a new species of ape is discovered in North America, it would not be the Big Foot of legend, even if some dumb ass decides to call it "Big Foot" to take advantage of the legend's popularity. The newly discovered ape is not Big Foot and has nothing to do with the entire Big Foot history and all the texts, pictures, and stories of Big Foot.

    Replace Big Foot with god and the analysis stands. No future definition of god, even if it matches a real entity, would prove the existence of everything we've called god up to this point and made up stories about.

    And it certainly wouldn't be the god that all the literalists are proposing in the thread Shared without comment., you know the thread that is currently discussing the plausibility of Noah's Ark.

  17. marcus


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    195   6:35pm Mon 30 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    uomo_senza_nome says

    But Dan is essentially proving that there is no God based on whatever human definitions of God we've come up with so far.

    Well, I'm more than done with this. But these are the things I can tell you.

    1) When it comes to matters as subtle and complex as individual human spiritual beliefs, you will never hear me preaching that my point of view is the correct one, except in the broadest of terms, such as, I don't know, or my view is just the believer side of agnostic. An exception is that I would like to suggest that it's best not to judge others for beliefs that you don't even comprehend. I consider it arrogant in the extreme to do so. And especially when it involves projecting bs beliefs or generalized bs beliefs on to them.

    2) Dan did not prove anything, unless you consider claiming, that the most literal interpretation of the bible can not be true because it is too far fetched, a proof.

    3) I can't prove the following, but I can show you quotes from very respectable scientists, or I can point you to videos from admirable theologians that will back this point: Many adults have belief in God without the dogma that comes from strict interpretation of all scripture.

    Many of these people follow a religious tradition, in some cases these include rituals or the readings of scripture, many of which focus on parables and such that were the teachings of Jesus. Parables aren't even meant to be literally true. In addition to parables, many other biblical stories are taken by many theologians as allegorical or symbolic.

    Bottom line, these same people don't always take everything literally (as many evangelical or fundamentalists do). Often they take very little of it literally.

    Many have an adult view that is not well defined for obvious reasons. IF there is "a God" it is something indescribable and beyond comprehension by definition. This didn't prevent ancients behind the traditions from trying to define it/him/her.

    uomo_senza_nome says

    OK - are you suggesting that there could be a God whose definition we're not even aware of today?

    No. As I just suggested, I beleive that many adult believers including mytics and theologians define God as beyond definition.

    uomo_senza_nome says

    Should we even concern ourselves with something that's completely undefinable?

    This is getting into what is behind belief. I say it's up to the individual to form their beliefs, and it's not my place to judge them for it (that would be very egotistical). I might in some contexts (not here and now) possibly even share my beliefs, but not in an argument, suggesting that if you were smart you would have my beliefs.

    I might even be critical of some specific fundamentalist beliefs, but that would only be if I thought those specific beliefs were ignorant or harmful to society. I guess even fundamentalist religions all together I have been critical of, but I don't see much point in taking that up with them.

    uomo_senza_nome says

    I say -- we can be curious about various things that are still unexplained in the universe and keep exploring.

    Of course and I agree completely.

    uomo_senza_nome says

    But most certainly, we shouldn't be satisfied with believing in vague, undefinable entities.

    I don't know what you mean here. If you mean that we shouldn't let spiritual beliefs prevent us from our search for understanding of the physical time and space we occupy (and everything in the physical universe), I would agree completely.

    But if you mean that you want to judge people who wonder about why we are here, or other mysteries that transcend science, and people who are open to questions being unanswered one way or the other, or even who find it spiritually useful, to leave such questions unanswered, then I can't relate to that.

    But my bottom line would be why judge? Especially why judge what we don't understand?

  18. Dan8267


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    196   8:02pm Mon 30 Jan 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    marcus says

    When it comes to matters as subtle and complex as individual human spiritual beliefs,

    The spiritual beliefs of individuals are not subtle or complex. Number Theory is subtle and complex. Just because something is really, really important to you doesn't make it subtle or complex. I really, really want to bask with Taylor Swift in a Jacuzzi filled with vanilla pudding. That's very important to me, but it doesn't make it subtle or complex.

    marcus says

    Dan did not prove anything, unless you consider claiming, that the most literal interpretation of the bible can not be true because it is too far fetched, a proof.

    For the record, I have proven that no variation of Standard Monotheist God (SMG) can exist as that concept contains several indisputable self-contradictions as well as violation the laws of physics. No one has ever challenged any of the proofs against SMG that I have written.

    I have also proven that Clock Maker God (CMG) is not the god that people worship, pray to, or claim to get morality from. In effect, I've shown that CMG isn't really a god by anybody's standards.

    I have also demonstrated exactly why there can be no interaction between the so-called "supernatural" if it actually existed and the natural. No one has even challenged my reasoning on that subject. And the effects of that include: you can't hear any god, you can't see any ghost, and the supernatural can't affect your life.

    I have also provided evidence that the specific family of religions collectively called Christianity are false. This evidence included the bones of Jesus and ancient texts that show all of the Jesus myths were plagiarized from far older myths like Horus as proven through carbon dating. I've even provided many videos that discuss the issue in great detail.

    If all this does not constitute "proof of anything", then WTF does constitute proof? Do I have to hand you Jesus's mummified balls?

    marcus says

    I would like to suggest that it's best not to judge others for beliefs that you don't even comprehend. I consider it arrogant in the extreme to do so.

    As I recently reminded someone else in another thread, there are women in Saudi Arabia who are murdered in "honor killings" because they were raped. The men in that culture have the very strong religious belief that these women deserve to and must die for the sin of being raped. According to Marcus, it is "arrogant in the extreme" for us to judge this as wrong. I disagree. It is not only right for us to judge this, but we should actively prevent this from happening by using our political might and if necessary U.N. peacekeeping forces to prevent this from happening.

    Religious beliefs are not unquestionable. There is no reason why we rational, moral human beings should turn a blind eye to atrocities committed in the name of religion. No one should be able to use religion to harm another person or escape justice for committing such harm. And if that's arrogant, you can kiss my shiny metal ass!

    marcus says

    Many adults have belief in God without the dogma that comes from strict interpretation of all scripture.

    And I have never denied that. In fact, I've addressed that on many occasions. As I've said many times, religion is more dangerous than mysticism by itself. However, mysticisms is still a danger. And I have gone into great detail of why this is so.

    marcus says

    I beleive that many adult believers including mytics and theologians define God as beyond definition.

    That's not a definition. It's a cop out.

    Furthermore, if you took such an approach, you could not honestly make any statement regarding

    1. That god's view on morality or what is right or wrong.
    2. That god's role in history or any interactions with people.
    3. An afterlife of any kind.
    4. A personal connection to such a god.

    In fact, why would you call such an "indefinable" thing god. And why would you think that there is only one of it? And why would you think it's not possible for the various indefinable things to be constantly bickering with each other. And why would you think that indefinable thing gave a rat's ass about you, or even knew of your existence, or wasn't fucking evil?

    I've already addressed this. It's a cop out in which people who have painted themselves into a corner with contradiction after contradiction resort to. If you make something indefinable, then it can't be argued against. But then, honey, you can't make any statements about it. And therefore, it ain't the thing that anybody is talking about when they talk about "god". It ain't that figure on the cross. It ain't that bush that gave Moses the 10 Commandments. It ain't the voice telling you to kill the infidels or to do good to those that hurt you. It ain't no nothing.

    And of course, once the coward using this technique feels safe that he's no longer under attack, he will promptly abandon this so-called definition of an indefinable god and replace it with a benevolent sky daddy who wants him to wage war on the infidels. Funny how that works.

    marcus says

    I say it's up to the individual to form their beliefs, and it's not my place to judge them for it (that would be very egotistical).

    So if Joe believes that god is telling him to bomb an abortion clinic or to fly an airplane into a sky scrapper, you and I shouldn't try to convince him not to do so. After all, it's his spiritual belief and who are we to question them?

    Of course, it doesn't have to be that extreme. If 30% of voters think that homosexuality is an affront to god, then why should we try to convince them otherwise? I mean, who cares if the gay candidate is the only one who would fix the economy and achieve world peace? He's a fag, and god hates fags, and we should never try to convince the faithful that this isn't so.

    Never challenge someone else's beliefs. You might make them think. Well, ok, not in Marcus's case, but you can't win them all.

    marcus says

    I might even be critical of some specific fundamentalist beliefs, but that would only be if I thought those specific beliefs were ignorant or harmful to society

    All mysticism is ignorant and harmful to society. The ignorant part isn't so bad as ignorance is just the lack of knowledge and that's easily fixed. The harmful part is that mystical thinking prevents clear, rational thinking and understanding reality for what it is. That in turn harms society by both creating problems and preventing people from solving problems. I have given many examples of this.

    marcus says

    But if you mean that you want to judge people who wonder about why we are here

    1. Everyone wonders about why we exist and where we came from.
    2. No one has ever suggested that this is a bad thing.
    3. When uomo_senza_nome and I disprove a god or a religion's dogma or show that the religion has done great evil in the past or was stolen from older myths, we're not judging people. We're judging a system that has done evil. We're judging the premise that superstition should be used in place of science. We're judging a process in which critical thought is replaced with faith. We're judging the school of thought that you should stop looking for answers to the unknown. We're judging the conclusion that the universe is incomprehensible.

    And yes, if some jackass blows up an abortion clinic, beats a gay man to death, flies a plane into a building or does some other act of evil in the name of religion, we reserve the right to judge that jackass, preferably in a court of law.

    marcus says

    But my bottom line would be why judge? Especially why judge what we don't understand?

    For someone who is against judging, you sure do judge me a lot. Without any insight into the inner workings of my mind, you judge me to be arrogant, a prick, a sex-starved 11-year-old boy (I think that one was a fantasy of yours), and a few other things.

    But then, you do prove my point. We are all judging everything around us all the time. If we didn't, there would be no laws and we could make no decisions.

    We should judge religion and superstition in general because we live in a very small world that is full of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons; a world that is on the precibus of ecological devastation; a world in which there are many grave injustices like ethnic cleansing, virtual enslavement of women in Saudi Arabia, economic enslavement of almost the entire population in China; and many moral dilemmas brought about by increased technology.

    None of these problems can be solved by religion and superstition. Some of these problems are even caused by or contributed to by religion and superstition. But in any case, religion and superstition have been holding back understanding and solving all of these problems.

    As shown countless times in these religious threads, we cannot discuss the issue of morality as long as we shackle morality to superstition. An adult, modern conversation of morality cannot be had until we disengage from all beliefs in Bronze and Iron Age myths and the bullshit indefinable imaginary gods. Only then, can we proceed to mathematically model morality, explore all of its edge cases, and apply it to the modern world. Morality needs to become a science in order to advance. There can be no progress otherwise.

    Religion has had twelve thousand years to advance morality and it hasn't accomplished shit. Give science 100 years and we'll have all of morality mapped as precisely as the human genome.

    But if we cling to religion and superstition, we'll probably blow ourselves the fuck up or render this planet inhospitable to human life. But then again, that's what the religious want: the rapture, the return of Jesus, and the end of the world. To them, that's something to look forward to.

  19. Dan8267


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    Well that was a quick response for someone who claims to have flagged me with ignore.

    Still, I agree. Let them decide which one of us is being more rational.

  20. marcus


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    marcus says

    But my bottom line would be why judge? Especially why judge what we don't understand?

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    Dan,
    Do you even realize that us silly followers of God don't worry about God's existance nearly as much as you do? I mean, really, we just look at God as a fact, like gravity. You, and other atheist types (for lack of a better term), seem to look at God as a challenge or a threat in some way. Do you see that at all?

  22. uomo_senza_nome


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    marcus says

    When it comes to matters as subtle and complex as individual human spiritual beliefs, you will never hear me preaching that my point of view is the correct one, except in the broadest of terms, such as, I don't know, or my view is just the believer side of agnostic.

    To be sure, stating scientific facts is not preaching. If "subtle and complex" is subjective, then even the statement that "Earth is only 6000 years old" is as equally subtle and complex as say, the human brain. So clearly that's ridiculous. So we need to draw a line somewhere.

    This is where I think we should draw: When we have overwhelming scientific evidence that completely contradicts what we believe, then we need accept it as a fact and deal with it.

    While I think Dan has clearly rubbed you the wrong way, I don't think he has stated any factually wrong statements here. Note the word "factually".

    marcus says

    Dan did not prove anything, unless you consider claiming, that the most literal interpretation of the bible can not be true because it is too far fetched, a proof.

    I haven't seen any arguments from the religious ones here that cannot be countered with facts. I think it is fair to say that the arguments made from science stand on their own. And I would call it sufficient proof if the arguments made by believers can be completely countered with scientific facts.

    marcus says

    Many adults have belief in God without the dogma that comes from strict interpretation of all scripture.

    True. I don't think anybody here can deny that.

    marcus says

    Many have an adult view that is not well defined for obvious reasons. IF there is "a God" it is something indescribable and beyond comprehension by definition. This didn't prevent ancients behind the traditions from trying to define it/him/her.

    "Cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries with the questions that were once treated only as religion and myth" - Carl Sagan.

    Science has advanced so much that we can talk about these deep mysteries with ample evidence more clearly than how the ancients did.

    Nobody can doubt that the Big Bang happened. Nobody can doubt that Evolution happened. The religious ones may think that this "offends" their beliefs, but on the contrary - this is actually very liberating. Because truth is truth, no matter who tries to understand it. These scientific facts never change. We stand on the shoulders of giant minds.

    marcus says

    This is getting into what is behind belief. I say it's up to the individual to form their beliefs, and it's not my place to judge them for it (that would be very egotistical)

    May be we should clarify and agree as what's egotistical. A belief clashing with another belief is definitely egotistical.

    But arguing for a fact backed by a mountain of scientific evidence which completely contradicts the belief, is perfectly acceptable and not egotistical at all. For instance, there are people who still doubt evolution. Dan and I have vehemently argued for it and backed it up with facts. Sure as you say -- it is hard to discern the emotions when you read what a person has typed, which is why an argument can be taken as having an egotistical tone.

    Nevertheless it is important to make this distinction.

    marcus says

    But if you mean that you want to judge people who wonder about why we are here, or other mysteries that transcend science, and people who are open to questions being unanswered one way or the other, or even who find it spiritually useful, to leave such questions unanswered, then I can't relate to that.

    Why we are here is a good question. But I'm not sure how you think that transcends science. Natural selection in evolution explains a great deal about nonrandom survival of randomly varying genes. There's a mountain of evidence backing this claim. People are still reluctant to accept.

    I suppose wanting to be reluctant is not something we can do anything about. :)

    In the times of Galileo, the Church thought that Galileo's claim that Earth is not the center of the universe is heresy and it transcends the domain of science. We clearly know now that is not true. History doesn't repeat, but it sure rhymes.

    marcus says

    But my bottom line would be why judge? Especially why judge what we don't understand?

    I think on the statements where Dan or I have made a judgment, we've made it backed with facts. Therefore we're highly confident of it. That confidence can come across as arrogance, but it's really just confidence of knowledge.

    I think normalcy bias is a big reason as to why people don't want to look at evidence. All their normal life, they've believed in something. And when that is totally contradicted, the left brain doesn't allow this to be accepted. Neuroscience can explain this too ;) but hey -- I think we both have made our points.

  23. marcus


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    uomo_senza_nome says

    fact backed by a mountain of scientific evidence which completely contradicts the belief, is perfectly acceptable and not egotistical at all.

    uomo_senza_nome says

    Therefore we're highly confident of it. That confidence can come across as arrogance, but it's really just confidence of knowledge.

    I don't have time for this now, and I'll try to get back, but let me try to drill down a bit.

    First off much of what Dan says doesn't even disagree with me (regarding literal interpretation of bible etc).

    But that's not relevant to my point.

    YOU SIMPLY CAN NOT PROVE THAT THE HARM DONE BY RELIGION IS GREATER THAN THE GOOD.

    (excuse the caps, but if you address something I would love for it to be that or...)

    SIMILARLY

    even assertions that mankinds future is better without the most dogmatic fundamentalists religions, can not be proven, although I would agree with this assertion.

    So let's assume for a moment that removing the most ignorant and dogmatic fundamentalist religions would improve our future (please - it's just an assumption)....

    If we assume that to be true, I don't see how one can then make the leap that all spiritual views of any kind (mostly ones that are not comprehended in the slightest by those making the claim) are detrimental and that proof has been supplied that morality and ethics are best served by zero belief in "God."

    Such claims are very dogmatic and are filled with emotion (at least in my view). Yes, I see myself as somewhat close to neutral on these issues, and I am a little intense about asserting that to those who have no clue how dogmatic they are.

    Truth is you guys are quite religious and dogmatic about your atheism, or at least Dan clearly is.

    As for why Dan rubs me the wrong way, it's partly because of his tone and his insecurities. I know that his being a jerk is partly traceable to my calling him arrogant since he first made these assertions many months ago. IF he was as smart as he claims to be, he would be able to sit back and see how arrogant they are (or seem) and why. Instead he just gets offended, and acts like even more of a jerk.

    He want to be offensive. This is what I call shrekian behavior.

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    Bap33 says

    Do you even realize that us silly followers of God don't worry about God's existance nearly as much as you do?

    I don't worry about god's existence. I worry that some of the "silly followers" will hear voices in their heads and interpret those voices as god telling them to invade Iraq resulting in the deaths of countless men, women, and children.

  25. Dan8267


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    uomo_senza_nome says

    I don't think he has stated any factually wrong statements here. Note the word "factually".

    I support the following modes of operations: factually correct, logically correct, mathematically correct, and empirically correct. I do not support politically correct, nor do I have plans to add this feature to my personality.

    marcus says

    Such claims are very dogmatic and are filled with emotion (at least in my view).

    Just because the irrational side of an argument is filled with emotion, doesn't mean the other side is.

    Furthermore, the mere presence of strong emotion does not justify a position as I have illustrated in another thread. I'm sure the "honor killings" of women in Saudi Arabia are being done by very, very emotional men. Their feelings are no justification for their actions. Nor should we refrain from condemning honor killings out of fear of offending someone's religious beliefs.

    marcus says

    YOU SIMPLY CAN NOT PROVE THAT THE HARM DONE BY RELIGION IS GREATER THAN THE GOOD.

    Why not? Is someone stated "You simply cannot prove that the harm done by Nazism is greater than the good", I would argue otherwise. Sure, the Nazis built the autoban, reduced unemployment, and advanced rocket science which enabled man to walk on the moon in 1969. But I think we'd all agree that the Holocaust and the deaths in WWII outweighed these benefits.

    So, why can't I look at the whole of history and decide that the harm done by religion is greater than the good? I've certainly named many specific and terrible harms committed by Christianity alone. In fact, the list of those harms covered every single century up to and including the present one.

    On the other hand, we don't have any concrete evidence that religion does any good that would not be done otherwise. In the absence of religion, societies do not turn into Mad Max dystopias. Mothers don't stop loving their children. Charities don't cease to exist. Compassion doesn't go away. It's arguable that religion does nothing positive since "good people will do good without religion, bad people will do bad without religion, but for good people to do bad, that takes religion".

    In any case, what makes religion so freaking special that we cannot question its merits when we can and should question the merits of everything else? Sounds arrogant to me.

    marcus says

    even assertions that mankinds future is better without the most dogmatic fundamentalists religions, can not be proven

    Well, we've tried religion for 12 thousand years, let's try rational thought for just one tenth that time and see if we can come up with some proof. If it's not shitloads better, I'll concede that religion is the best thing since sliced bread.

    marcus says

    Truth is you guys are quite religious and dogmatic about your atheism, or at least Dan clearly is.

    That's like saying I'm dogmatic about the square root of two being an irrational number or that I'm religious about the Earth being round. Or for that matter, that the IRS is religious about your tax return accurately reflecting your income. Facts are facts. Just because I refuse to accept a falsehood does not make me religious.

    marcus says

    As for why Dan rubs me the wrong way, it's partly because of his tone and his insecurities. I know that his being a jerk is partly traceable to my calling him arrogant since he first made these assertions many months ago. IF he was as smart as he claims to be, he would be able to sit back and see how arrogant they are (or seem) and why. Instead he just gets offended, and acts like even more of a jerk.

    Is it just me or does Marcus seem like a very angry person? You know, the type of person that you'd think could go postal. He reminds me of Zen Miller.

    I imagine Marcus as being one of those people trapped in a loveless marriage who takes out his frustration and despair on other people never realizing that it's his own fault that nobody likes him because quite frankly he's so damn mean.

    &ob=av3e

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    Dan8267 says

    I support the following modes of operations: factually correct, logically correct, mathematically correct, and empirically correct.

    You can repeat this until the cows come home, but it won't negate the fact that you're one of the most intellectually dishonest people on this forum. When you aren't asserting how you're all about truth and empirical analysis, what I mostly hear is hyperbole, bluster and assertions that aren't even slightly backed up.

    Dan8267 says

    In any case, what makes religion so freaking special that we cannot question its merits when we can and should question the merits of everything else? Sounds arrogant to me.

    Of course we can and should question it. That's a FAR cry from asserting that any and all belief in God is harmful to the human race.

    By questioning it, religion will hopefully evolve. It's not going away, and I don't see how you can't know that. If you were sane, you would argue for better religion rather than no religion.

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    I happen to be in a little different place when folks start talking "religion". I do not not not think God intended for us to be "religious". I am pretty sure that MAN took what God had said,instructed,suggested and F'ed it up by including MAN ideas (we call these religion). I am pretty sure that God made it clear, he did not want all of this religion, all God wanted(s) was for MAN to "have a personal relationship with me and try to do what I say is good to do." Tho opposite of that message would be, "do not have a personal relationship with me and do whatever you feel is right." Now, I'm not the smartest dude on here, but one of those sure sounds alot like an athiests view.

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    Dan8267 says

    I don't worry about god's existence. I worry that some of the "silly followers" will hear voices in their heads and interpret those voices as god telling them to invade Iraq resulting in the deaths of countless men, women, and children.

    Dan,

    All life forms compete for limited resources. Darwin called it "the struggle for life." Nature is "red in tooth and claw." Strong animals overpower, kill, and eat weak animals. It's been that way for billions of years. Science has proven that.

    For humans, competition for limited resources is called warfare. Natural resources are a zero-sum game: there's only so much farmland, fresh water, oil, and metals to go around. Countless men, women, and children have been dying in wars for thousands (if not, millions) of years for this very reason.

    Here in America, our entire economy is built on the assumption of cheap oil: the automobile, the single-family house in the suburbs, freeways, shopping malls, plastics, medicine, industrial agriculture, etc etc. Our oil production peaked in the 1970s and has been declining ever since. No more cheap oil. That's a big problem.

    We went to war with Iraq to steal their oil. Everybody knows this, but nobody wants to say it.

    Like any good politician, Dubya had to pander to his various supporters to stay in power. Obviously, the "Left" wasn't going to support an invasion of Iraq in a desperate grab for critical resources. "No blood for oil" was the slogan. Fair enough. But the problem is, liberals like to drive cars too. Liberals don't like $5/gallon either.

    So what was Mr. Bush to do? Since his political base was made up of mostly Pentecostal fucktards, the best thing to do (as a politician) was say that "God" personally told him to invade Iraq to punish those evil Moslems that attacked God's Holy Christian Nation of Amurrica on 9/11 (even though they didn't).

    Now, maybe Bush really did believe that God told him to invade Iraq. I guess we'll never really know. Either way, we had to go to war in Iraq to keep the cheap oil flowing. We would have gone to War in Iraq with or without Bush's voices in his head.

    But as we all know, the war was an "epic fail", Iraqi oil never made it to market, oil went to $140/bbl in 2008, and the economy crashed anyway.

    Life is a cruel carnival of death and destruction. Predation and oppression have been going on for billions of years. Humans are of no more value than any other animal. Science has proven that.

    Get over it.

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    marcus says

    you're one of the most intellectually dishonest people on this forum

    Examples please.

    marcus says

    That's a FAR cry from asserting that any and all belief in God is harmful to the human race.

    As I've said before, I don't assert, I conclude. Pick up a history book dude.

    marcus says

    religion will hopefully evolve. It's not going away

    That remains to be seen. Religion is decreasing in the technologically and scientifically advanced parts of the world. It remains strong in tribal societies where life is cheap.

    And change goes against the very nature of religion. Religion is about power over people and change threatens that.

    wthrfrk80 says

    Natural resources are a zero-sum game: there's only so much farmland, fresh water, oil, and metals to go around.

    Actually, no. Resource usage does not have to be a zero-sum game. There are more than enough atoms in the universe. We just need to use them efficiently and that's certainly not a zero sum game.

    We can increase farm productivity with technology. We can build multi-story hydroponic farms that are free from insects and pesticides and are temperature controlled to allow the growing of any crops anywhere.

    We recycle raw resources like metals and construct new composite materials so that theft through war is no longer necessary.

    We could solve the problem of 1/3rd of the world not having access to clean drinking water using only existing technology. The theme is that technology, science, and compassion are the ways to solve problems, not religion. Praying for more water ain't going to help.

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    Dan8267 says

    Actually, no. Resource usage does not have to be a zero-sum game. There are more than enough atoms in the universe. We just need to use them efficiently and that's certainly not a zero sum game.

    Dan, I can't take this seriously. It's rediculously expensive to get into space. Then you have to try to support life in space...not an easy thing to do. I think you've been reading too much science fiction.

    Dan8267 says

    We can increase farm productivity with technology. We can build multi-story hydroponic farms that are free from insects and pesticides and are temperature controlled to allow the growing of any crops anywhere.
    We recycle raw resources like metals and construct new composite materials so that theft through war is no longer necessary.
    We could solve the problem of 1/3rd of the world not having access to clean drinking water using only existing technology. The theme is that technology, science, and compassion are the ways to solve problems, not religion. Praying for more water ain't going to help.

    If it was economical to do any of that stuff, "we" would already be doing it. Corporations and individuals would already be getting rich. Warren Buffet would be pouring his money into it.

    I'm not suggesting religion is the way to do necessary secular things like food production, sewage treatment, road building, etc. You knocked over a straw-man.

    Anyway, my point was: the Iraq war was an economic war (like most wars), not a religious war. Sure, Bush had to use religious bullshit language to get the support of his wacko Pentecostal base, but it was not a religious war. A religious war against Islam would be suicide. There are over a billion of them...many of them more than willing to die for the cause, unlike we pampered Americans. Bush might be stupid, but he's not THAT stupid.

    From the "Ron Paul polling at 6%..." topic in the Politics forum:

    Dan8267 says

    I don't think Bush invaded Iraq in response to 9/11. Bush didn't think there was a connection between Saddam and 9/11. He just lied about that. Bush invaded Iraq because of economic interests. Obama hasn't distinguished himself from Bush in this regard or many others.

    I think you and I are in agreement then.

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    I'm not suggesting that zero-sum games aren't profitable to individuals. Obviously the are or the parasites wouldn't play them. What I'm suggesting is that zero-sum games aren't necessary for running an economy. Yes, engaging in zero-sum games may be the cheapest or most profitable way to exploit a resource, but in the long run there is greater prosperity for society if we avoid zero-sum games, and we can do this. We'll have to change the rules of the game and the way we reward people, but it would be worth it.

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    What's really cooky is that people want to attack Christians on behalf of Luciferianism.

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    Dan8267 says

    This is from Project Censored. There were a whole bunch of articles and estimates by human rights groups a few years ago. I don't remember where they are though.
    The main problem with estimating deaths is that politicians like to count dead bodies precisely because this grossly underestimates the number of casualties. After all, if you blow up a body, you can't count it because all the pieces are too small.

    Thanks for this info. I'm just catching up with this thread after taking off for, ironically, Christmas holiday. I've been very upset about how much of my tax money went to the invasion of countries with land over huge oil fields.

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    wthrfrk80 says

    My question is: why are some things acceptable, and other things not? Is there some scientific way to "prove" rape is wrong? I agree with you fully that rape is wrong. But I can't prove it scientifically. Or at least, I don't know how to prove it scientifically. I'm not aware of anyone else who's been able to prove it scientifically. Maybe you are smarter than the rest of us and can prove it scientifically.

    I've taken to the idea that by showing the effects of some acts on society, that we will agree that we don't want those effects so we don't want the acts. The effects can be shown scientifically, but we've got a long way to go to get to a common understanding on, for example, the longterm social or psychological effects of acts like murder. Still, there is some agreement that we don't want the crying mother who just found out their child died in war.

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    Dan8267 says

    No argument I have given is based on emotion. And quoting Wikipedia, as I have said many times, is a sign of intellectual laziness.

    I don't agree. I look at the references used in a Wikipedia entry before using the entry as a source and will often just use the references that meet peer review and historical review, source standards with which I've found consistency and connection to my understanding instead of using the wikipedia entry.

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    Dan8267 says

    Because of this seven became a holy, magic number. This is how people in ancient Middle East and southern Europe thought about the universe. They thought numbers were magical. This isn't something we modern people take seriously, but the ancients certainly did.

    I wish modern people didn't take it seriously, but many still do! Agreement happens so slowly!(especially, when jerks like me go back and comment on three month old threads...)

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    FunTime says

    I look at the references used in a Wikipedia entry

    If the article is subverted, the list of references is biased.

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    Dan8267 says

    Physics leaves no room for the supernatural.

    But leaves plenty of room for things people don't understand and might call "supernatural." Holy shit, there's some weird stuff going on!

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    Dan8267 says

    If the article is subverted, the list of references is biased.

    Ah, I think I can see how that would happen. I usually look for favorite references and go look at them, but I can see how bias would occur, even given the supposed collaborative genius of wikis. I still don't know enough about how they manage wikipedia to take it very seriously. I just keep thinking I'm going to read it at a point when some innaccurate info snuck in. What you're suggesting is even worse.

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    wthrfrk80 says

    But as we all know, the war was an "epic fail", Iraqi oil never made it to market, oil went to $140/bbl in 2008, and the economy crashed anyway.

    Maybe it was a fail, but as I watched the news these kinds of headlines seemed to suggest U.S. companies were benefiting from the war.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/earnings/2008-10-30-exxonmobil_N.htm

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