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Old June 12 2013, 02:07 PM   #143
stj
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Re: Atheism, and "Bread and Circuses"

T'Bonz wrote: View Post
OK guys, let's keep this tied in with Bread and Circuses. General religion belongs in another forum.
We hear and obey, mistress.

Seska wrote: View Post
Bread and Circuses illustrates a good point. Spock came to the wrong conclusion based on observation of the available facts. It wasn't until Uhura added in the missing fact, the missing piece of the puzzle, that those on the bridge realized they reached an erroneous conclusion about the sun/Son.
Again, it was Kirk and McCoy and Spock who all assumed the Sun was worshipped. It was Spock who found that puzzling. Chalk one up for "sciencey." It is a misreading of the episode to pretend that Spock comes off poorly. He especially does not engage in nonconsensual intercourse with a slave!

Another misreading of the episode takes McCoy's talk of Gabriel as a genuine religious reference. It was instead a foreshadowing of the temptation to power theme. McCoy's puckish desire to announce that he was the archangel Gabriel was not to legitimately preach, but to swindle the listeners. The joke was that they could land and pretend to be divine and enjoy the adulation. As I say, a foreshadowing.

Two hundred years from now, mankind could most likely think that what science teaches us today is outmoded and maybe even silly, just like we think about many scientific notions 200 years before us. I can't put my full faith in that. Nobody in this thread has solved all the mysteries of the universe, and collected all the pieces to the puzzle of our existence. Without the missing facts, anyone is prone to make an erroneous conclusion, just like sciency Spock.
The facts we already have rule out many erroneous conclusions, which includes the factual claims of every religion I know about. You're like a Scientologist claiming that further scientific advancement might confirm the existence of Xenu and Thetans. Even the changes in explanations for those facts (theories, that is) are exaggerated. In everyday life we still use Newtonian mechanics and it's over 300 years old!

Didn't science once inform us that the universe was infinite, and at other times limited, that the data shows the universe was expanding, and sometimes the conclusion is that it is contracting?
No, modern science has regarded this question as open. Individual scientists had (and have) strong ideas but there wasn't a consensus in the scientific community. And there still isn't agreement between proponents of an infinite multiverse and a finite universe! As I understand it, Aristotle thought he had logically proven a finite universe. At times his thought has been regarded as authoritative. But modern science has understood since at least Galileo (i.e., about 400 years ago!) that Aristotle, a notable pioneer in logic, esthetics, social science and biology, was far too dedicated to common sense to be a good physicist.

But as an act of Christian love towards you, let me remind you of the fate of Rosa Luxemburg. This atheist woman lived in Berlin in 1919, part of the Spartakusbund, a left wing organization. After the German revolution of 1918, the Spartakusbund like every other group was engaged in struggle to determine the nature of the new regime. As I understand it, Luxemburg discouraged an attempt to seize power, substituting instead a campaign to occupy newspaper offices, in an effort to reach the masses and gain majority support. In January, she was arrested by soldiers. She was beaten. Then one butted her in the head with his rifle. When she fell, he then shot her. Her body was weighted with wires at the hands and feet, then dumped in a canal.

The sequelae are happy. The unit that slew this woman was incorporated into the Sturmabteilung. The soldiers involved were mostly unpunished at all, the triggerman sentenced to maximum two years (if he ever served his time I don't know.) Sadly, when the Communists came to power, they revived the case and punished whom they could (no death penalty if I remember correctly.) But even this unhappy turn of events had a happy ending. After the reunification, the judge who targeted the heroic soldiers was herself punished for her hideous miscarriage of justice.

Happy thoughts!
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