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Thread: seperation of church and state

  1. #161
    Lead ElectroGardener Jupiter 4's Avatar
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    Now, these are things that I can relate to! Oh, JeffInterVox, what say you about these compelling questions?
    We\'re no longer as thick as thieves

    HOLD FAST

  2. #162


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    NukleoN,

    Your points have been quite thought provoking. I'm curious though, has anything that us 'Theists' said provoked any thought in you?
    Hello Oberheim,

    I am listening to your arguments, very intently....however, these arguments are similar to the hundreds of other theists I have debated online, unfortunately. The Bible hasn't changed much (though there are different, copywrited versions of it) so it's pretty easy for me to do my homework and pre-emptively guess how people will try to defend this particular belief (out of the many).

    The fact is, I *was* a Christian till the age of 20 when I was first 'challenged' by skeptics, and believe me, I used many of the arguments you're using in defense of Christianity, and others you haven't used (yet). I too attacked evolution and supported the Creation story...but I also saw the flaws in my arguments after a while which led to my doubting the religion I was told not to doubt, at all costs. I was raised that to be an atheist was to have a one-way ticket to Hell, or at least, that was the inference.

    All your responses seem to just be rebuttals on everything. I'm just curious to know if your 'listening' to these posts like I do yours.
    Yes, I am reading what you write...unfortunately, the arguments are not new, but perhaps that's because I've been debating this for 15 years now, and spent time defending Christianity before that.

    Obviously I don't expect anyone to be swayed either way but I think both sides can get something positive out of the other IF they listen.
    Why have you made your mind up that neither side will be swayed? Have you thoroughly analyzed the logical veracity of the god claim?

    In my mind, it takes 5 minutes to figure out the logical fallacy of religious claims, but much longer to get people to divest themselves of their emotional attachment to beliefs they were raised to uphold lest they suffer eternal torment. I know it wasn't easy for me to doubt as I was told not to, but any idea worth believing in must stand to the toughest scrutiny, and I don't believe the religious claims stand well at all.

  3. #163


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    Originally posted by NukleoN


    Hello Jeff,

    It appears that you have made use of the word, 'absolute'. However, science does not often deal in the absolute as there are so few of them. Religion, however, DOES attempt to define the absolute, and the absolute claim of god is but one reason it is a corrupt definition.

    Well, one example of several would be finite calculus.

    We do, however, have varying degrees of evidence for various claims, and because the claims of the religious are based inherently on the supernatural (outside the purview of knowledge), they cannot be considered 'knowledge' based in fact, or even theory, they are mere assertion or construct. Again, a theory is an explanation for a body of fact, and religion is not a theory...it is only supported by anecdote and inconsistent writings from a 200 0 year old book. I simply believe the claim to be wildly errant and not worth serious consideration.

    Kudos to you, Dan, you used the world believe in the sentence above. I sincerely (and you know me well enough to know I'm sincere) respect the fact that you believe it. My main point in our discussion (besides the scientific method one, lol) was to see if you were merely stating what you believed or where stating as an absolute fact. Maybe I misread your tone on the previous post, which I'm sure I did, but I was getting the vibe of "this is how it is universally accepted and absolutely prove". Bad Jeff for my mistake

    Then you've necessarily ruled out all objectivity. Peer review is designed to 'keep scientists honest'. It is funny how people despise discussing religion at times, perhaps they're afraid of scrutiny? After all, it wasn't long ago when people were killed not just for atheism, but non-orthodoxy! When's the last time we killed people for not believing in gravity?

    I haven't ruled out peer review, that wasn't my point. My point was that scientists are human as well. And the ones that have skewed their results that make it to the defense part of the review, they're shown the door. But again, the peer review is made up of humans and I've seen the entire review committee make mistakes as well. That's why we have multiple levels of sanity checks, but you never know if they all fail. Most likely they won't, lol...


    Incorrect. This is what many would like us to believe, however, we have a claim, remember, and that claim CAN be dissected AND shown to be internally inconsistent and corrupt, thus not meriting serious consideration.

    If you believe you can use the scientific method for your theory, I kindly invite you to use the scientific method to establish the inexistent of God as fact.


    Example: An invisible, all powerful, all knowing god called FlickyFlak exists. It is all powerful, yet cannot stop GoobyFlak, his arch nemesis. Although he sees your future for all time and created you knowing this, he holds you solely responsible for your actions and will torment you in the everlasting VuuVuu if you don't accept him as your god. Also, FlickyFlak knows what you will choose, and creates millions which he knows are destined for VuuVuu, and yet, is supposed to be a loving, perfect diety.

    This paragraph contains a number of contradictions, and is no different from the claim of God™ and his arch-rival, Satan™.



    Of course not, the claim is groundless. We can however, show that evolution is a fact and a theory quite handily.

    Find me a credible scientist in the field that by using the scientific method, we can now move evolution from theory to reproducible fact, and I'll happily concede my point.

    Since when is science is exact? Is relativity theory exact? Is evolution exact? Is our understanding of physics exact? No.

    Our understanding is not exact, but the science is. Mathematics is exact. It has to be. If I am solving an anti-derivative, I must get the same result every time. If I don't, I'm either doing it wrong or the world stopped rotating.

    However, this does not undermine the facts we DO know. Again, if you understand science, it allows for new data to make our understanding more accurate and it is self-correcting. If we find contradictory data, something has to give. The same data, applied to religion, also means something has to give...the god assertion cannot remain at once contradictory and remain intact....a contradictory assertion (like the god assertion) is corrupt, on its face.



    You believe in god *despite* the evidence against, which is your perogative, but the assertion still falls flat on its face. If you don't believe me, try to define god and I will show you, then please explain to me how you know something which exists outside space-time.

    I know you must have read "contact", I loved good old Carl. He has very interesting ideas on what is proof.

    What happened to your career in IT? Are you appealing to authority here?

    I never had a career in IT, although I get lumped into that category. I worked my way up to becoming a network scientist, researching/supporting the likes of TCP/IP, OSPF, BGP (version 4 mostlty), bits, bytes, etc... Even my mother doesn't understand what I do, ugh. She's always asking "you work on PCs, right? ugh! IT are the people that keep the users desktops and networks running (internal users, per se), I do neither. There's nothing wrong with IT, it's just not what I do. Sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine to be lumped into that, lol.

    Again, a theory is but an explanation for a body of fact. Fact and theory are not mutually exclusive terms, and evolution is well supported by many branches of science. We also have theories based on fact in astrophysics and other sciences...again, a theory simply allows for incoming data to make our knowledge base more accurate.

    Religion is not even a theory, since it is based inherently on supernatural claims outside the purview of knowledge.

    By the way, I thought you called yourself an agnostic at one time?

    I did. You mean I can't change? Evolve, as it were? pun intended You know I love ya, buddy, it's all good.

    As a side note, when I was 14, I took about 3 years and researched as many different religions I could, read as many of their "books" as I could. Quite an eye opening experience.


    If only we used this type of passion to talk about synthpop/ebm/etc music rather than the "what's your favorite depeche mode song" posts.

  4. #164
    ElectroGardener interface2x's Avatar
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    too ... many ... smilies ....
    \"I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, evil stuff. And I want in.\"
    - Homer Simpson

  5. #165


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    Originally posted by Jonna


    No...really...where did you put the body?
    Where the cops won't find it I guess...

  6. #166


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    Kudos to you, Dan, you used the world believe in the sentence above. I sincerely (and you know me well enough to know I'm sincere) respect the fact that you believe it.
    Hi Jeff,

    All semantics aside...if you're willing to lay out the claim of your god, I'd be happy to show you the problems with the definition itself.

    My main point in our discussion (besides the scientific method one, lol) was to see if you were merely stating what you believed or where stating as an absolute fact.
    My main point is that the common Christian god assertion falls on its face. I stand by this. I believe it's a fact that the assertion falls on its face based on simple logic, which I can demonstrate if you'd like to proffer a god definition for us to review.

    Again, I don't worry myself about proving a negative, because the claim doesn't get past the point of an inconsistent, corrupt definition. I need not worry myself with the empircal proofs of a god when there's the claim cannot even be coherently defined.

    Maybe I misread your tone on the previous post, which I'm sure I did, but I was getting the vibe of "this is how it is universally accepted and absolutely prove". Bad Jeff for my mistake
    I never used the word 'absolute', did I? That was your addition to the conversation. Again, I merely find massive contradiction in the god claim....a claim which contradicts itself is necessarily invalid, wouldn't you agree?

    I haven't ruled out peer review, that wasn't my point. My point was that scientists are human as well. And the ones that have skewed their results that make it to the defense part of the review, they're shown the door.

    But Jeff, we're not talking about bias here...we're talking about a particular claim standing up to scrutiny. If we merely come to the table with biases, what are we going to solve? Again, give me a definition of your god and we'll see if it makes sense.

    But again, the peer review is made up of humans and I've seen the entire review committee make mistakes as well.
    Right, people do make mistakes, including scientists. People made even more mistakes when they tried to explain the natural world some 2000 years ago, wouldn't you say? We do know for a fact that people back then were wrong about many things, as written in the Bible. Hares don't chew cud, the Earth does not have 'corners'. a bat is not a bird, people cannot walk on water or part seas, people cannot live in a whale for 3 days and bushes and snakes don't talk.

    However, some self-labeled Christians believe *every word* of their Bible...are they being clear-minded and objective? If you disagree with Fundamentalism, which I am pretty sure you do, then why? On what basis do you know what parts of the Bible to reject, and why keep anything if you reject some parts of it, after all, said diety God™ exists outside space-time.

    If you believe you can use the scientific method for your theory, I kindly invite you to use the scientific method to establish the inexistent of God as fact.
    I love how you worded this. It is not my onus to demonstrate that god does not exist, empirically, however, I can show you that the claim of god (and the claim is all there is) to be corrupt. Would you like to offer a definition of god for critical review?

    Find me a credible scientist in the field that by using the scientific method, we can now move evolution from theory to reproducible fact, and I'll happily concede my point.
    Aha! You've added your own requirement, that evolution must be REPRODUCIBLE. That is not the only test of scientific validity, and evolution has been observed. Did you read my post to Vert about anti-biotics? There is a reason doctors are worried about those who don't finish their anti-biotic treatments...that's because if you don't kill off a bacterial infection, the surviving bacteria will be selected for resistance to a particular anti-biotic, creating more virulent strains which are harder to treat the next time. This is evolution at work, on a small scale. I implore you to visit www.talkorigins.org if you have more questions.

    We need to remember that attacking evolution in no way proves any claim of god.

    Our understanding is not exact, but the science is. Mathematics is exact. It has to be. If I am solving an anti-derivative, I must get the same result every time. If I don't, I'm either doing it wrong or the world stopped rotating.
    We need consistency, but by no means do we have *all* the science yet. However, science thus far has been our best tool for explaining the natural world, and harnessing it as much as we have. We didn't land on the moon by praying harder, that's for sure.

    I know you must have read "contact", I loved good old Carl. He has very interesting ideas on what is proof.
    Carl Sagan is an excellent writer and was a brilliant astronomer. I've read some of his books in addition to many others on various related subjects.

    Stephen Hawking was quite interesting as well, and when I wrote to him about his belief in god he replied, 'I use god as a metaphor for nature'. Of course, I think his use of the term 'god' confuses many, but it's clear that he believes there is nothing for a 'god' to do in our Universe.

    I never had a career in IT, although I get lumped into that category. I worked my way up to becoming a network scientist, researching/supporting the likes of TCP/IP, OSPF, BGP (version 4 mostlty), bits, bytes, etc... Even my mother doesn't understand what I do, ugh. She's always asking "you work on PCs, right? ugh! IT are the people that keep the users desktops and networks running (internal users, per se), I do neither. There's nothing wrong with IT, it's just not what I do. Sorry, it's a pet peeve of mine to be lumped into that, lol.
    Ok then...no more IT label for you! I wouldn't want to be labeled as a graphic artist since I'm a 3D artist/animator.

    I did. You mean I can't change? Evolve, as it were? pun intended You know I love ya, buddy, it's all good.
    Hah! You have every right to change...of course...but if you claimed at one time to be an agnostic (one who claims not to know), then how did you 'come to know' if god lives outside space-time? Again we're faced with the same conundrum.


  7. #167
    Lead ElectroGardener cliffwalk's Avatar
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    This has to be the best researched thread on this site. My brain hurts, however...

    As does my pride. Kudos for the nut shot to us peon IT Professionals. Actually I can understand the frustration. Most job titles I have had in the past have the word "Engineer" in them. That's sort of like calling me a Doctor for being allowed to grab a guys balls and asking him to cough.

    -Dave
    If you\'re reading this, you have a tiny penis.

  8. #168


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    Originally posted by cliffwalk
    This has to be the best researched thread on this site. My brain hurts, however...

    As does my pride. Kudos for the nut shot to us peon IT Professionals. Actually I can understand the frustration. Most job titles I have had in the past have the word "Engineer" in them. That's sort of like calling me a Doctor for being allowed to grab a guys balls and asking him to cough.

    -Dave
    IT gets my respect, no doubt, even though some of my fellow nerds have a running joke that I'm sure you've heard: "You can't spell s**t without IT. I'm just all for accuracy in job descriptions is all. I didn't learn to read hex for nothing, lol.

    As far as you grabbing balls, I just thought you did it as a hobby. C'mon, you gotta admit, that was a good one.

    Jeff

  9. #169
    ElectroGardener Paradoxxx's Avatar
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    This morning I asked my Cat for a miracle. I asked for the highway not to be jammed with cars so I didn't arrive late at work. I kissed Her and She meowed. When I got on the highway I was amazed to find it almost empty of cars. I could ride at 150Km/h instead of the usual 30 to 50Km/h.
    Next Monday I'll pray to Her again. If I find the highway jammed it will be because I didn't worship and tend to Her enough during the weekend, indulging myself in sinfull t hings like doing laundry or going in the cinema instead. Maybe She will be mad at me and jam the highway again. Or maybe in Her good heart She'll be forgiving and answer my prayer again.

    Tonight I will also pray for Her to bring "peace on Earth ". If it doesn't happen I guess it's OK 'cause millions of children pray to other Gods every night asking for the same and it hasn't happened yet. Maybe it will happen one day.
    I remember my mother told me that when she was in school they asked the children to pray to their God for peace on Earth and for God to rid the USSR of communism. Part of those children's prayer has been answered, altough it took some years. Maybe Lenore (my Cat) needs time also to answer to my prayers. I'll just keep my faith in Her and pray daily.

  10. #170


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    And lo, it was written....

    Thou shalt not covet my implied superiority (not to mention superior motion tracking and agility). I am Cat.

    Thou shalt not bear false treats, or I shall seek out real mice and deposit them on your next meal.

    Thou shalt not take my meow in vain (or take my purrs for granted).

    Thou shalt not have any pets before me (especially dogs).

    Thou shalt quickly heed when I have want for warm milk or a bit of tuna.

    Honor thy Catnip.

    Thou shalt keep holy any place I decide to sleep, even if it is right on the computer keyboard.

    Thou shalt honor the 9 commandments, for each of my 9 lives.

    Thou shalt never question my supreme holiness...I am the Alpha, the Omega and the Purina.

  11. #171
    Lead ElectroGardener cliffwalk's Avatar
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    Dan: I just wet myself... very early in the morning for that. That was funny.

    Originally posted by intervox


    IT gets my respect, no doubt, even though some of my fellow nerds have a running joke that I'm sure you've heard: "You can't spell s**t without IT. I'm just all for accuracy in job descriptions is all. I didn't learn to read hex for nothing, lol.

    As far as you grabbing balls, I just thought you did it as a hobby. C'mon, you gotta admit, that was a good one.

    Jeff
    As is this. A hobby? It's a lot like music. It's just a really serious advocation.

    YES, I understand the running joke. IT deserves respect, at times, for being the schmucks awake at 4AM "fixing" stuff. (read: rebooting boxes and running scripts written by... well, engineers who actually took the time to figure out how the equipment works and how it may break)

    Actually I've made the running joke. I did the reverse. I started out on the track to becoming an Engineer. My first job was an entry level R&D position. I covetted it. I was mentored. I was nurtured. It rocked. I learned more in those 1 1/2 years than I have in 10.

    But I threw it away for fast money and loose women. OK, a 10% raise and a shorter commute.

    I think I probably would have enjoyed staying on a more "nerdy" path vs. IT consulting. They really dumb it down over here on the other side of the fence. I'm serious. After being EXPECTED to know so much I don't think I've had to learn many new "hard" skills since.

    Dave
    If you\'re reading this, you have a tiny penis.

  12. #172


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    Originally posted by cliffwalk
    Dan: I just wet myself... very early in the morning for that. That was funny.



    As is this. A hobby? It's a lot like music. It's just a really serious advocation.

    YES, I understand the running joke. IT deserves respect, at times, for being the schmucks awake at 4AM "fixing" stuff. (read: rebooting boxes and running scripts written by... well, engineers who actually took the time to figure out how the equipment works and how it may break)

    Actually I've made the running joke. I did the reverse. I started out on the track to becoming an Engineer. My first job was an entry level R&D position. I covetted it. I was mentored. I was nurtured. It rocked. I learned more in those 1 1/2 years than I have in 10.

    But I threw it away for fast money and loose women. OK, a 10% raise and a shorter commute.

    I think I probably would have enjoyed staying on a more "nerdy" path vs. IT consulting. They really dumb it down over here on the other side of the fence. I'm serious. After being EXPECTED to know so much I don't think I've had to learn many new "hard" skills since.

    Dave
    You can always make the jump. The money's much better on this side, it just takes a little bit longer is all.

  13. #173
    Lead ElectroGardener cliffwalk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by intervox


    You can always make the jump. The money's much better on this side, it just takes a little bit longer is all.
    Oh I know. Back then I wasn't patient enough. SLICK internet startup, stock options, partial ownership, etc... made financial sense at the time. Still does, really, but I'm not as much into the work.

    I'm probably going to make the jump back with my next job. Ironically the deeper I get into learning synth programming/sound design the more my "inner engineer" wants to come out and play again.

    The brain works better when it's used.

    Dave
    If you\'re reading this, you have a tiny penis.

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