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Old June 10 2013, 03:03 PM   #94
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Re: Atheism, and "Bread and Circuses"

Seska wrote: View Post
It may be dull to some, but it was not my mere imagining that Spock, the sciency-est one of them all, got it wrong about Septimus and Flavius based on the facts he just observed on the planet below, until Uhura finally set him straight about the Son at the episode's conclusion.
Yes, it is your "mere imagining" that Uhura was setting Spock straight. Uhura set Kirk, McCoy and Spock straight, none of whom caught the pun. And the one who responded to Uhura was Kirk, not Spock.

Seeing as we both agree that atheism is a belief system, would you also agree that those who share your beliefs should accord respect to those with differing beliefs?
Philosophical materialism today is a conclusion based on an enormous body of knowledge painfully accumulated through the centuries. I don't know what you could call this in everyday language besides a belief system. But I think here you are equivocating, confusing "belief" as "agreement with a proposition of fact" with "belief" as a "value judgment" or "moral principle" or even "choice." (I think the posters above who object that atheism is not a belief system are objecting to this.) Equivocation is at the best a logical fallacy, by the way, and at the worst, deception.

You are going to have your own values, and since it is obvious that you will not respond to arguments, certainly I must respect your right to hold them, regardless of what I might prefer in an ideal world. However, in regards to facts and arguments, I do not, nor should not, "respect" misstatements of fact or fallacious arguments.

For instance, no one should respect your claims that there is no scriptural warrant for the Crusades or the Inquisition, when you know perfectly well that "sola scriptura" is not a universal tenet in Christianity. Nor for that matter should I respect the implicit claim that you, on your personal authority, can attribute these deviations from current social mores to purely secular causes, yet I cannot attribute all consequences of religion, good or ill, to purely secular causes.

Would you agree that the Trek fosters notions of diversity and inclusion?
No. For instance, your misreading of this episode as a simple endorsement of Christianity as a pacifist creed advocating freedom shows you don't accept enough diversity in point of view as to read the episode as critical, nor do you include such views as acceptable. Personally, I invest as much interest or belief in IDIC/the Prime Directive as I do in the Force.

That was not the surprising aspect to me. I was more astonished that you seem to be making the claim that the scientific method has application to the unobservable and the incalculable. As Dr. Lester might say, "are you prepared with an example? One will do."
The electromagnetic vector potential is an unobservable, to date (i.e., the last time I looked.) But you're not Dr. Lester, so I'm quite sure that you will not accept one example. Let me add then, the past. And, here's a third, society.

It is quite obvious that you resent the idea of science, so the only reason you have for pretending to think about the nature of science is to find some excuse to limit it, so that it can only provide material benefits, without affecting your thinking.

As for the "incalculable," this apparently means "deterministic," which rather overlooks the role of statistics in science.

The atom was an unobservable and an incalculable for decades. Those who argued that atoms were therefore an unscientific hypothesis were dead wrong. Comte was notorious for declaring that science could never tell us about the stars. The inescapable lesson is that there are no limits in principle to the powers of science. The situation is grimmer than that, since the practical limits are set by human ingenuity.

...Please take my little diatribe with the love, acceptance, and sincerity with which it is offered. So, howz about a little love back?
Why, sure. I was just reading Paul Levinson's The Plot to Save Socrates, which alludes to Hypatia. Hypatia was a pagan philosopher and mathematician in Byzantine Alexandria during the reign of the regent empress Pulcheria and the floruit of St. Cyril. A Christian crowd seized her from the streets and dragged her into a Christian church. There they stripped her. Then, the reports differ, they either beat her to death (or stoned her) with tiles, or they scraped her flesh from her bones with oyster shells. (The difference hinges on the contextual meaning of word that can mean either.) Her body was hacked to pieces and burnt. Enjoy the happy thoughts!

PS Kirk screwing the slave was by far the most objectionable aspect to the episode. It was not a love interlude. And if this episode really were about Our Heroes find "US" bravely living peace and freedom in the face of persecution, completely contrary to the alleged theme.
The people of this country need regime change here, not abroad.

Last edited by stj; June 10 2013 at 03:34 PM.
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