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Old April 24 2014, 01:06 AM   #556
Hober Mallow
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
Creationism misunderstands religion as profoundly as it misunderstands science.
Exactly. A literal historical interpretation of the Bible (or any religious text) reduces religion to mere ideology. It's the death of religion.
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Old April 24 2014, 03:47 AM   #557
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Christopher wrote: View Post
See, one of the big lies of the Creationists is that opposing Creationism is the same thing as opposing religion. In fact, Creationism is terrible religion. It's totally inimical to true religious faith and spirituality, because it's about pretending that the Bible is nothing more than a textbook, that the only meaning it possesses is the superficial, literal meaning of the words, that it couldn't possibly be a collection of metaphors and allegories for something more abstract. And because it's about telling people that they're not allowed to ask questions about the universe, that they have to blindly follow authority and are forbidden to seek to understand God in any way except the narrow way that Creationists tell them to. Creationism misunderstands religion as profoundly as it misunderstands science.
That's one of the best characterizations of it I've ever read. That needs to be a Facebook meme.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:24 AM   #558
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

tighr wrote: View Post
It's kind of ironic that the God of the scientists is vastly more powerful and amazing than the God of the Creationists. Creationist-God is actually not that powerful of a guy.
Just because God couldn't help against enemies with chariots doesn't mean he's not powerful. It just means he weighs the risks that the chariot dudes will totally kick ass, and decides not to tempt fate.

And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

Judges 1:19
I think that refers to the iron rims on the chariots wheels. One look at those pimped-out death machines would give any being pause.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:48 AM   #559
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Forbin wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
See, one of the big lies of the Creationists is that opposing Creationism is the same thing as opposing religion. In fact, Creationism is terrible religion. It's totally inimical to true religious faith and spirituality, because it's about pretending that the Bible is nothing more than a textbook, that the only meaning it possesses is the superficial, literal meaning of the words, that it couldn't possibly be a collection of metaphors and allegories for something more abstract. And because it's about telling people that they're not allowed to ask questions about the universe, that they have to blindly follow authority and are forbidden to seek to understand God in any way except the narrow way that Creationists tell them to. Creationism misunderstands religion as profoundly as it misunderstands science.
That's one of the best characterizations of it I've ever read. That needs to be a Facebook meme.
Except that it would mainly apply to religion prior to the Enlightenment, many religious wars, and the Great Awakening, though it's some of heirs of the Awakening that cause the problems. They cause these because they don't accept authority, so someone high up can't tell them what's what. They believe what they believe, even if it's in stark contradiction to the Bible, which is kind of key. Europeans have made the Bible mean what they think it should mean, and needed it to mean, based on what made sense to them. Parts of Middle Eastern culture, customs, and laws that didn't fit our way of life were tossed out or reinterpreted. Some of these interpretations are at extreme variance with the lessons of Jesus.

For example, in my culture, if you were having an ongoing dispute with some neighbor, and saw him from a great distance sitting alone in the woods by his fire, you didn't approach to make amends and forgive each other, you took a long range rifle shot at his head, because God had delivered him up into your hands, and successfully killing him with a bullet through the back meant the Lord was smiling down upon you and your family, and you were right with Him. Obviously, if God hadn't wanted you to kill your neighbor, he wouldn't have given you such a perfect shot with no witnesses. And thus, justice is done and His purpose is served.

That religious interpretation is thought to have come primarily from the Scottish highlands, and was in Europe considered backwards even in the 1600's, and probably represents a pre-Christian European relic of how the universe is ordered. At some point it was probably about making Odin happy, and by changing up a few minor details like the name of the God, it survived into the 20th century.

So when you hear of regular old Baptists speaking up for Jesus, be thankful they at least upgraded to the newer message.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:59 AM   #560
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
For example, in my culture, if you were having an ongoing dispute with some neighbor, and saw him from a great distance sitting alone in the woods by his fire, you didn't approach to make amends and forgive each other, you took a long range rifle shot at his head, because God had delivered him up into your hands, and successfully killing him with a bullet through the back meant the Lord was smiling down upon you and your family, and you were right with Him. Obviously, if God hadn't wanted you to kill your neighbor, he wouldn't have given you such a perfect shot with no witnesses. And thus, justice is done and His purpose is served.
That's one fucked up culture. And I fail to see why describing it has any relevance in a thread about scientific rigor. A rogue idea (like the notion that climate change is invalid) only remains rogue if it cannot be scientifically substantiated. Given enough scientific data, any idea will be scientifically accepted. With that in mind, any comment about killing a neighbor with a long-range rifle shot, in a thread about science, is particularly preposterous and intellectually vapid.
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Old April 24 2014, 06:43 AM   #561
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Sorry, but that's just part of American culture. It's sort of like rap culture but with better aim. Nothing in science contradict that basic truth of it, and stripped of teleological arguments science would confirm that if you shoot your neighbor dead, your neighbor will quit causing you problems. This has been experimentally confirmed countless times.

And there lies a problem with Cosmos. Science isn't meant to become a religion (though the writer preaches that we should worship in Planetariums), because good science doesn't produce values, it only has the values we bring to it. The Nazi twin and Tuskegee experiments were good scientific experiments, as far as science goes. Our reaction to them was that they violated basic human decency to an extreme degree.

If you think you side with science, and then think that it has intrinsic values and so doesn't need your little input, then you are dooming people to suffering and hell because you're not saying "No. You can't experiment on children. You can't experiment on Jews. You can't experiment on blacks. You can't experiment on convicts, no matter what great scientific leaps will be made."

In Obama's first election speech, he preached that no longer will science be held back by primitive religious beliefs, then in an amazing lack of self-awareness said that human cloning was wrong, because it was wrong. Why is cloning wrong? It would be the biggest boon to science since the last big boon to science.

He was trying to stand above morality yet be the promulgator of it, which doesn't work at all. The Nazis tried that, and they are wildly condemned for it. The same gut feelings that tell us what is wrong and right are used by us to tell scientists what is wrong and right, and used by science and medical ethicists to tell researchers and doctors what is and is not permitted, because science is stubbornly silent on the issue. We have to decide what is acceptable. Science can't do that for us, and attempts to let science do that have led to some of the worst abuses in history, because bad men are always willing to cloak their actions in respectability, and what is more respectable than science?
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Old April 24 2014, 02:43 PM   #562
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

^ Rubbish.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:12 PM   #563
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

So let's vastly improve the estimates of lifetime cancer risks by giving volunteers high doses of suspected carcinogens.

Science has done things much worse than that. Heck, in the 60's researchers in New York infected retarded children with hepatitis just to investigate gamma globulin.

There are an amazing number of advances we could make if the medical ethics people would just allow us to implant experiments inside human brains, conduct live brain tissue sampling to see what genes are turned on, separate twins to raise them in controlled environments to get a better idea of nature versus nurture, and closely track or control the development of human embryos to see which genes are getting switched on, and why. Heck, imagine the advances we could make in understanding human sexuality if we could just try altering the brains of homosexuals, or fetuses, in a carefully controlled study the tries a host of different hormones, genes, and growth factors.

Scientists sometimes step over the line, and sometimes where they step is what makes us realize that there should have been a line when one didn't already exist. The groundbreaking Nazi experiments are why the world adopted rules of medical research ethics and gave them the force of law. Scientists who are convinced they are saving humanity are among the worst offenders, because saving humanity can justify just about anything. Heck, a recent climate change paper was yanked because it grossly violated the standards and ethics of numerous psychological organizations. Those standards were of course put in place because of previous unethical studies.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:26 PM   #564
Hober Mallow
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
And there lies a problem with Cosmos. Science isn't meant to become a religion (though the writer preaches that we should worship in Planetariums), because good science doesn't produce values, it only has the values we bring to it.
Values may be included as part of a religion or mythology, but the instilling of values is not religion's purpose. The purpose of religion and mythology is to open one up to a sense of his or her mystery and to put that person in psychological accord with his society, the world, (as it really is understood by the science of the day, not by the science of millennia ago) and the inevitable realities of life. This experience (not mere "belief") is rendered through a language of images and metaphors which communicate a truth beyond mere literal truth. When religious text becomes not mythologically but historically interpreted, those symbols lose their power and the religion is dead. The symbols of the Bible came out of another culture in another part of the world a long time ago, and the symbols which once readily clicked with a culture have become impotent in our own. The Bible has thus been reduced to the role of rulebook, instilling "values" because it's lost its actual religion. The same is true of Judaism and Islam.

gturner wrote: View Post
Scientists sometimes step over the line, and sometimes where they step is what makes us realize that there should have been a line when one didn't already exist.
It wouldn't take much a google search to find immoral activity committed by so-called "moral" religious people as well, therefore I'm not sure what your point is.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:32 PM   #565
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
in the 60's researchers in New York infected retarded children
I'll kindly ask that you not continue to use that term to describe people with irregular neurological, psychological or physiological conditions. Not only is it offensive, it's clumsy, overly generalized, and does nothing to properly describe the conditions and issues many people face.

Furthermore, the remainder of your comments on "teh evuls" of scientific experiments on humans are wildly nonsensical (conflating Obama and Nazis) and even contradictory (arguing for and against unfettered experimentation), and are, therefore, irrelevant to any rational discourse about Cosmos - which, thus far, hasn't advocated such experiments on humans.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:35 PM   #566
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post

Furthermore, the remainder of your comments on "teh evuls" of scientific experiments on humans are wildly nonsensical (conflating Obama and Nazis) and even contradictory (arguing for and against unfettered experimentation), and are, therefore, irrelevant to any rational discourse about Cosmos - which, thus far, hasn't advocated such experiments on humans.
Just wait till NEXT season.
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Old April 24 2014, 04:53 PM   #567
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

Judges 1:19
I think that refers to the iron rims on the chariots wheels. One look at those pimped-out death machines would give any being pause.
Naw, that verse is proof that the ancients had cars. Not knowing how to properly describe them comes from having never encountered one before.

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Old April 24 2014, 05:01 PM   #568
Hober Mallow
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

tighr wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post
And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

Judges 1:19
I think that refers to the iron rims on the chariots wheels. One look at those pimped-out death machines would give any being pause.
Naw, that verse is proof that the ancients had cars. Not knowing how to properly describe them comes from having never encountered one before.

Next you'll tell me angels don't actually descend from heaven by climbing down a ladder.
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Old April 24 2014, 05:06 PM   #569
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

It's nonsense to say that Cosmos is advocating that science should become a religion. It's simply pointing out that scientific thought is not inimical to religious thought in the way that Creationists dishonestly claim it is. The main reason there's so much resistance in America to teaching basic, competent science in our schools is because of that gross misconception that science is the enemy of religion. In fact, science is neither an attack on religion nor an endorsement of religion. It's not about religion any more than dance is about baking. Science is about science.
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Old April 24 2014, 05:23 PM   #570
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Actually the writer of Cosmos, Carl Sagan's wife, has written quite eloquently that science should become just that, replacing the function of religion by becoming something that inspires humanity's religious sensibilities, sense of awe, and all that.
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