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digitalmars.D - [~ot] why is programming so fun?

reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
I can't remember where, but I recall hearing that people are most effectively 
motivated to do something by giving them random rewards for the doing what 
you want (only reward them some of the time). This sounds kind of like the 
software development process, particularly when working on the hairy edge 
of your ability or when "hacking it" without a real design.

Might this explain why this development style is so prevalent? Also it would 
tend to indicate that for a language to be successful, it should make it 
easier to get the last little bit working by just trying it rather than by 
thinking it out all the way. This would be because it will provide a bit 
of randomness ("I think this will compile") in the reward ("Ah! yes it did").
May 27 2008
next sibling parent reply Gregor Richards <Richards codu.org> writes:
BCS wrote:
 I can't remember where, but I recall hearing that people are most 
 effectively motivated to do something by giving them random rewards for 
 the doing what you want (only reward them some of the time). This sounds 
 kind of like the software development process, particularly when working 
 on the hairy edge of your ability or when "hacking it" without a real 
 design.
 
 Might this explain why this development style is so prevalent? Also it 
 would tend to indicate that for a language to be successful, it should 
 make it easier to get the last little bit working by just trying it 
 rather than by thinking it out all the way. This would be because it 
 will provide a bit of randomness ("I think this will compile") in the 
 reward ("Ah! yes it did").
 
 

I'm very stringent in my programming practice. I never hack systems together, I always spend time (often weeks or months) designing things in my head before I write a single line of code. That's just my nature. However, I still get a great thrill of accomplishment when I finish writing something. A result of this mentality is that I very rarely fail to accomplish what I've intended to, since anything beyond my abilities or that I would burn out on is usually scrapped before I've even written anything down. By the time I'm actually writing the code, the code itself is a menial task. A negative result is that I don't like maintenance :) The point is, I get a very consistent reward from programming because of my more stringent programming practice, but I don't do this /for the reward/, I do it because it's how I think. This leads me to believe that the usual hack-it-together standard comes from a mentality, not a feedback loop. - Gregor Richards
May 27 2008
parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Gregor,

 I'm very stringent in my programming practice. I never hack systems
 together, I always spend time (often weeks or months) designing things
 in my head before I write a single line of code. That's just my
 nature. However, I still get a great thrill of accomplishment when I
 finish writing something.
 
 A result of this mentality is that I very rarely fail to accomplish
 what I've intended to, since anything beyond my abilities or that I
 would burn out on is usually scrapped before I've even written
 anything down. By the time I'm actually writing the code, the code
 itself is a menial task.

<not_joking>It's nice to known someone does it that way</not_joking> <joking> Has NASA tried to hire you yet? </joking>
 
 A negative result is that I don't like maintenance :)
 

who does?
 The point is, I get a very consistent reward from programming because
 of my more stringent programming practice, but I don't do this /for
 the reward/, I do it because it's how I think. This leads me to
 believe that the usual hack-it-together standard comes from a
 mentality, not a feedback loop.
 

I think you are looking at a much longer loop than I am, The loop I'm thinking about can be as short as 30 seconds. I don't think anyone can avoid it either (unless you can compile code in your head). Most people don't bother catching every last error before they compile. And IMHO they shouldn't. A number of errors are just so much easier to let the compiler catch that even if you can, it's not worth the time. On the other hand the stuff I really like working with is so far out on the edge, and in the corner cases, that you can't really design it because the only way to find out the "landscape" out there is to try it. After you feel around for a while you can go back and redesign, it but not as a first pass.
 - Gregor Richards
 

May 27 2008
prev sibling parent reply sclytrack <sclytrack pi.be> writes:
It is like playing with lego blocks but you won't be accused of being a kid.

  Sclytrack
May 27 2008
next sibling parent reply Alexander Panek <alexander.panek brainsware.org> writes:
sclytrack wrote:
 
 It is like playing with lego blocks but you won't be accused of being a kid.

Ha, definitely!
May 30 2008
parent Tom S <h3r3tic remove.mat.uni.torun.pl> writes:
Alexander Panek wrote:
 sclytrack wrote:
 It is like playing with lego blocks but you won't be accused of being 
 a kid.

Ha, definitely!

*Sigh* ... kids. -- Tomasz Stachowiak http://h3.team0xf.com/ h3/h3r3tic on #D freenode
May 30 2008
prev sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to sclytrack,

 It is like playing with lego blocks but you won't be accused of being
 a kid.
 
 Sclytrack
 

Every one in a while I hear about someone who want to "make programming like putting together Logos" e.i. "just snap them together and your done!" It just occurred to me, 99.9999% of the ways you can snap Logos together are neither useful, nor good looking. The same is true of programming. It' easy to make a system that lets you snap together a program if it don't have to do anything useful.
May 30 2008
parent reply Clay Smith <clayasaurus gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to sclytrack,
 
 It is like playing with lego blocks but you won't be accused of being
 a kid.

 Sclytrack

Every one in a while I hear about someone who want to "make programming like putting together Logos" e.i. "just snap them together and your done!" It just occurred to me, 99.9999% of the ways you can snap Logos together are neither useful, nor good looking. The same is true of programming. It' easy to make a system that lets you snap together a program if it don't have to do anything useful.

I'd consider libraries to be like "lego blocks," and people manage to make lots of useful programs with them.
May 31 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Clay,

 BCS wrote:
 
 Reply to sclytrack,
 
 It is like playing with lego blocks but you won't be accused of
 being a kid.
 
 Sclytrack
 

programming like putting together Logos" e.i. "just snap them together and your done!" It just occurred to me, 99.9999% of the ways you can snap Logos together are neither useful, nor good looking. The same is true of programming. It' easy to make a system that lets you snap together a program if it don't have to do anything useful.

make lots of useful programs with them.

take a random lib, start writing code (don't even check to see what the lib does) keep slapping in function (auto compleat may help) call random methods, add some loops and if's. Heck, throw in a goto or three. Then run it, tweak it till it compiles, then tweak it till it doesn't crash. I'll bet you a dollar it does nothing useful. If it does, you cheated and tried to make it do something useful. Yes libs can make useful programs, but just because you use a lib, doesn't say your program will be useful without skill and effort.
May 31 2008
parent reply Gregor Richards <Richards codu.org> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Clay,
 
 BCS wrote:

 Reply to sclytrack,

 It is like playing with lego blocks but you won't be accused of
 being a kid.

 Sclytrack

programming like putting together Logos" e.i. "just snap them together and your done!" It just occurred to me, 99.9999% of the ways you can snap Logos together are neither useful, nor good looking. The same is true of programming. It' easy to make a system that lets you snap together a program if it don't have to do anything useful.

make lots of useful programs with them.

take a random lib, start writing code (don't even check to see what the lib does) keep slapping in function (auto compleat may help) call random methods, add some loops and if's. Heck, throw in a goto or three. Then run it, tweak it till it compiles, then tweak it till it doesn't crash. I'll bet you a dollar it does nothing useful. If it does, you cheated and tried to make it do something useful. Yes libs can make useful programs, but just because you use a lib, doesn't say your program will be useful without skill and effort.

Now, write a program to modify code randomly and select based on a fitness function, and feed it with 100 of this program you just wrote, and you've got a genetic algorithm! Give it a few generations, and it'll do something useful. :P - Gregor Richards
Jun 01 2008
next sibling parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Gregor,

 BCS wrote:
 
 take a random lib, start writing code (don't even check to see what
 the lib does) keep slapping in function (auto compleat may help) call
 random methods, add some loops and if's. Heck, throw in a goto or
 three. Then run it, tweak it till it compiles, then tweak it till it
 doesn't crash. I'll bet you a dollar it does nothing useful. If it
 does, you cheated and tried to make it do something useful.
 
 Yes libs can make useful programs, but just because you use a lib,
 doesn't say your program will be useful without skill and effort.
 

fitness function, and feed it with 100 of this program you just wrote, and you've got a genetic algorithm! Give it a few generations, and it'll do something useful. :P - Gregor Richards

<G> OTOH it may well take more skill and intellect to create said fitness function than it would the make a "reasonably good" solution by hand. "Programing is HARD" --many people
Jun 01 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Me Here" <p9e883002 sneakemail.com> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:

 BCS wrote:
 Reply to Clay,
 
 BCS wrote:



 
 Now, write a program to modify code randomly and select based on a fitness
 function, and feed it with 100 of this program you just wrote, and you've got
 a genetic algorithm! Give it a few generations, and it'll do something useful.
 
 :P
 
  - Gregor Richards

Circa. 1980. Doing some work for my college professor on a 'fully-configured' (48K) Apple ][ (kept locked in a cupboard because it ws so expensive!), the proffesor came up with the idea that as all 6502 op-codes were 8-bit and there were very few adressing modes, filling the (then massive) 48K with legal, randomly generated machine code and jumping to the start address, it shouldn't take long to recreate VisiCalc, or something more remarkable. The program to generate the prgrams tooks less than 4k. It took some effort to cause the trapping address to be saved to floppy disk, but we did that. Then the next generation could reload the non-trapping code from floppy, append new random code to the end, and iterate. That program ran for an entire 8 week period over summer holidays. Our main fear was that the cleaner we had arranged to swap the second (data) floppy on a (week) daily basis would forget, and we would miss an amazing program. The result: After 8 weeks and 40 floppys, we failed to create a single program that ran for more than 2k of machine code before trapping. A few years later when I related the story to a friend (autodiadactic genius), he compared the scenario to switching a TV to a untuned channel and watching the patterns created by the white noise. He suggested that if, in the course of my life time, I ever saw a picture of something recognisable, form, that was the equivalent of our "remarkable program". He calculated the odds using an HP-41C. and then attempted to write the number on a piece of A4 paper. He started out using fairly standard sized handwritten zeros, but ended up with tiny, almost dot-sized ones. Needless to say. it was a very large number. He then tried to describe the time it would take for the energy contained in the solar system to decay to zero...I didn't understand. b. --
Jun 01 2008
next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Me,

 Circa. 1980. Doing some work for my college professor on a
 'fully-configured' (48K) Apple ][ (kept locked in a cupboard because
 it ws so expensive!), the proffesor came up with the idea that as all
 6502 op-codes were 8-bit and there were very few adressing modes,
 filling the (then massive) 48K with legal, randomly generated machine
 code and jumping to the start address, it shouldn't take long to
 recreate VisiCalc, or something more remarkable.
 
 The program to generate the prgrams tooks less than 4k. It took some
 effort to cause the trapping address to be saved to floppy disk, but
 we did that. Then the next generation could reload the non-trapping
 code from floppy, append new random code to the end, and iterate. That
 program ran for an entire 8 week period over summer holidays. Our main
 fear was that the cleaner we had arranged to swap the second (data)
 floppy on a (week) daily basis would forget, and we would miss an
 amazing program.
 
 The result: After 8 weeks and 40 floppys, we failed to create a single
 program that ran for more than 2k of machine code before trapping.
 
 A few years later when I related the story to a friend (autodiadactic
 genius), he compared the scenario to switching a TV to a untuned
 channel and watching the patterns created by the white noise. He
 suggested that if, in the course of my life time, I ever saw a picture
 of something recognisable, form, that was the equivalent of our
 "remarkable program".
 
 He calculated the odds using an HP-41C. and then attempted to write
 the number on a piece of A4 paper. He started out using fairly
 standard sized handwritten zeros, but ended up with tiny, almost
 dot-sized ones. Needless to say. it was a very large number. He then
 tried to describe the time it would take for the energy contained in
 the solar system to decay to zero...I didn't understand.
 

The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if not worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it with quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory or some such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a given volume.
Jun 01 2008
next sibling parent reply Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if not 
 worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it with 
 quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory or some 
 such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a given volume.
 
 

I don't think anyone has come close to describing the odds of abiogenesis.
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent reply Fawzi <fawzi gmx.ch> writes:
Chris Wright Wrote:

 BCS wrote:
 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if not 
 worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it with 
 quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory or some 
 such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a given volume.

I don't think anyone has come close to describing the odds of abiogenesis.

definitely OT, but J. Maynard Smith, E๖rs Szathmแry: The Major Transitions in Evolution. New York 1995, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850294-X contains several interesting thoughts about it :)
Jun 02 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Fawzi,

 Chris Wright Wrote:
 
 BCS wrote:
 
 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if
 not worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it
 with quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory
 or some such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a
 given volume.
 

abiogenesis.

J. Maynard Smith, E๖rs Szathmแry: The Major Transitions in Evolution. New York 1995, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850294-X contains several interesting thoughts about it :)

Link by any chance?
Jun 02 2008
parent Fawzi Mohamed <fmohamed mac.com> writes:
On 2008-06-02 17:46:37 +0200, BCS <ao pathlink.com> said:

 Reply to Fawzi,
 
 Chris Wright Wrote:
 
 BCS wrote:
 
 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if
 not worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it
 with quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory
 or some such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a
 given volume.
 

abiogenesis.

J. Maynard Smith, E๖rs Szathmแry: The Major Transitions in Evolution. New York 1995, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850294-X contains several interesting thoughts about it :)

Link by any chance?

Sorry It is a paper book. http://www.amazon.com/Major-Transitions-Evolution-Maynard-Smith/dp/019850294X http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Major_Transitions_in_Evolution Being old it is not so cheap. The same authors have also published a newer book on a similar theme which might be good, and is very cheap, but I haven't read it. http://www.amazon.com/Origins-Life-Birth-Origin-Language/dp/019286209X/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b Anyway the question for the origin of life it isn't how to create a cell by chance, but how to create the simplest auto replicating blocks on which then evolution can kick in, and one can imagine some situation in which this can happen, improbable for sure, but not impossible...
Jun 02 2008
prev sibling parent reply Simen Kjaeraas <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
Chris Wright Wrote:

 BCS wrote:
 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if not 
 worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it with 
 quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory or some 
 such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a given volume.
 
 

I don't think anyone has come close to describing the odds of abiogenesis.

I did some fun calculations after being given a book by Jehovah's Witnesses, as I've always been of the opinion that life being created by some higher being is less probable than it occuring naturally. Way I figured was, I get 1 cubic centimetre of the simplest, carbon-based, self-replicating molecules, on this planet of 1 trillion cubic kilometers (one cubic centimetre was chosen as some arbitrary amount that might come into being by chance). Not by any chance a big chunk, but is it enough for life to survive? Let's first see how many self-replicating molecules we can fit into my small cube - 1.6 quintillion. That ain't half bad. (Actually, I think the number was 1000 times bigger, but I don't remember the name of that number [Hexillion?], plus you can think of it as a bit of safety :p) Now, spread that evenly across the world (258 billion square kilometers), and you get 162 such molecule for every square meter. With enough resources nearby, I'd give it a fairly good chance of survival. -- Simen
Jun 02 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Simen,

 Chris Wright Wrote:
 
 BCS wrote:
 
 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if
 not worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it
 with quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory
 or some such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a
 given volume.
 

abiogenesis.

Witnesses, as I've always been of the opinion that life being created by some higher being is less probable than it occuring naturally. Way I figured was, I get 1 cubic centimetre of the simplest, carbon-based, self-replicating molecules, on this planet of 1 trillion cubic kilometers (one cubic centimetre was chosen as some arbitrary amount that might come into being by chance). Not by any chance a big chunk, but is it enough for life to survive? Let's first see how many self-replicating molecules we can fit into my small cube - 1.6 quintillion. That ain't half bad. (Actually, I think the number was 1000 times bigger, but I don't remember the name of that number [Hexillion?], plus you can think of it as a bit of safety :p) Now, spread that evenly across the world (258 billion square kilometers), and you get 162 such molecule for every square meter. With enough resources nearby, I'd give it a fairly good chance of survival.

Someone once told me that if you take all the ways that you can assemble the parts of the simplest form of life and put them in once place, the ball would be something like the size of earth. (I havn't checked the math or anything like that)
Jun 02 2008
parent reply Gregor Richards <Richards codu.org> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Simen,
 
 Chris Wright Wrote:

 BCS wrote:

 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if
 not worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it
 with quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory
 or some such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a
 given volume.

abiogenesis.

Witnesses, as I've always been of the opinion that life being created by some higher being is less probable than it occuring naturally. Way I figured was, I get 1 cubic centimetre of the simplest, carbon-based, self-replicating molecules, on this planet of 1 trillion cubic kilometers (one cubic centimetre was chosen as some arbitrary amount that might come into being by chance). Not by any chance a big chunk, but is it enough for life to survive? Let's first see how many self-replicating molecules we can fit into my small cube - 1.6 quintillion. That ain't half bad. (Actually, I think the number was 1000 times bigger, but I don't remember the name of that number [Hexillion?], plus you can think of it as a bit of safety :p) Now, spread that evenly across the world (258 billion square kilometers), and you get 162 such molecule for every square meter. With enough resources nearby, I'd give it a fairly good chance of survival.

Someone once told me that if you take all the ways that you can assemble the parts of the simplest form of life and put them in once place, the ball would be something like the size of earth. (I havn't checked the math or anything like that)

I love that all arguments against natural abiogenesis come down to an argument from ignorance. The fact is that we haven't got the foggiest bit of a clue what the entire range of things that could have /potentially/ formed life are, we just happen to have been formed from a particular set of amino acids. We like to believe that only amino acids, or even only the set of amino acids life on Earth are based on, could form life, but that's just stupid. Given the uncountably many planets in the universe, life has probably come into existence and evolved in ways we could never remotely predict, and idiots on their planets are saying "The chances that a simple life based on hexavalent chromium would form naturally are so unlikely, we must have been created by some higher intelligence!" As it turns out, when you consider your very low but extremely ignorant statistic given the number of planets in the universe, and the potentially huge number of possible ways life could form (a number we can't even begin to fathom), it turns into 99.9999999999%. Unfortunately, the general populous doesn't understand statistics even in the slightest, and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher power!" Idiots. - Gregor Richards
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound1 digitalmars.com> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:
 and so they think "Wow, given the 
 extremely low odds that a protozoan would appear by random chance, we 
 must have been created by a higher power!" Idiots.

My difficulty with the higher power explanation is one is left wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent reply aarti_pl <aarti interia.pl> writes:
Walter Bright pisze:
 Gregor Richards wrote:
 and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan 
 would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher 
 power!" Idiots.

My difficulty with the higher power explanation is one is left wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

This argument is rather easy to answer <g>, as it is based on assumption that "higher power" has to have beginning. If you remove this assumption your question would become pointless. (Christians claims indeed that God has no beginning). Additionally you can ask similar question: what was before 'Big Bang' and you have same problem to answer it. Removing assumption about beginning of "higher power" shouldn't be so strange. Materialists also formulated theories that universe has no beginning. So why such theory ("matter is everlasting") is better than "God is everlasting"? Maybe "natural" state of universe is 'spirit' not 'matter'? I probably will not continue replying on NG, but if anyone wants to contact me and discuss further - feel free to do it: Marcin Kuszczak aarti interia.pl www.zapytajmnie.com
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Aarti_pl,

 Walter Bright pisze:
 
 Gregor Richards wrote:
 
 and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a
 protozoan would appear by random chance, we must have been created
 by a higher power!" Idiots.
 

wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

assumption that "higher power" has to have beginning. If you remove this assumption your question would become pointless. (Christians claims indeed that God has no beginning). Additionally you can ask similar question: what was before 'Big Bang' and you have same problem to answer it.

nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with it's inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god as an author model (see my other reply); Where was the author before the first page of the book, and where does he go after the last page? The question is as meaningless as; what is the conversion rate from the color red to US dollars?
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent reply "Bruce Adams" <tortoise_74 yeah.who.co.uk> writes:
On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:12:57 +0100, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:

 Reply to Aarti_pl,

 Walter Bright pisze:

 Gregor Richards wrote:

 and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a
 protozoan would appear by random chance, we must have been created
 by a higher power!" Idiots.

wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

assumption that "higher power" has to have beginning. If you remove this assumption your question would become pointless. (Christians claims indeed that God has no beginning). Additionally you can ask similar question: what was before 'Big Bang' and you have same problem to answer it.

nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with it's inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god as an author model (see my other reply); Where was the author before the first page of the book, and where does he go after the last page? The question is as meaningless as; what is the conversion rate from the color red to US dollars?

learn about the universe outside the universe that you thought was all there was. Though there's only so much you can tell about the author without finding a way to escape the book. Putting the analogy back into physics (as opposed to meta-physics) the universe could be embedded in a metaverse along with many others. The physics of such a metaverse is difficult for us to fathom at present but some progress seems to have been made.
Jun 02 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Bruce,

 On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:12:57 +0100, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:
 
 nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with it's
 inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god as an
 author model (see my other reply); Where was the author before the
 first  page of the book, and where does he go after the last page?
 The question  is as meaningless as; what is the conversion rate from
 the color red to  US dollars?
 

can learn about the universe outside the universe that you thought was all there was. Though there's only so much you can tell about the author without finding a way to escape the book.

OTOH, everything in the "book" is created by the author therefor you can learn a lot about him by reading the "book" and seeing what he created.
Jun 02 2008
parent reply janderson <askme me.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Bruce,
 
 On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:12:57 +0100, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:

 nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with it's
 inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god as an
 author model (see my other reply); Where was the author before the
 first  page of the book, and where does he go after the last page?
 The question  is as meaningless as; what is the conversion rate from
 the color red to  US dollars?

can learn about the universe outside the universe that you thought was all there was. Though there's only so much you can tell about the author without finding a way to escape the book.

OTOH, everything in the "book" is created by the author therefor you can learn a lot about him by reading the "book" and seeing what he created.

I knew it, I knew it. As soon as I saw the original question "why is programming so fun?" I knew it would end in a discussion about god and the evolution. All such questions end that way, the D community should know that by now. "why is programming so fun?" = Evolution || God; -Joel
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
janderson wrote:
 I knew it,  I knew it.  As soon as I saw the original question "why is 
 programming so fun?" I knew it would end in a discussion about god and 
 the evolution.  All such questions end that way, the D community should 
 know that by now.
 
 "why is programming so fun?" = Evolution || God;
 
 -Joel

I was expecting ninjas vs. pirates, but this is just as relevant & less fun.
Jun 03 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to janderson,

 BCS wrote:
 
 Reply to Bruce,
 
 On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:12:57 +0100, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:
 
 nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with
 it's inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god
 as an author model (see my other reply); Where was the author
 before the first  page of the book, and where does he go after the
 last page? The question  is as meaningless as; what is the
 conversion rate from the color red to  US dollars?
 

can learn about the universe outside the universe that you thought was all there was. Though there's only so much you can tell about the author without finding a way to escape the book.

can learn a lot about him by reading the "book" and seeing what he created.

programming so fun?" I knew it would end in a discussion about god and the evolution. All such questions end that way, the D community should know that by now. "why is programming so fun?" = Evolution || God; -Joel

#1: check the history I don't see how this was inevitable. Actualy I haven't seen anything go that way befor. #2: at least we didn't end up talking about hitl...er... Oops.
Jun 03 2008
parent muffles <sgtmuffles myrealbox.com> writes:
BCS Wrote:

 Reply to janderson,
 
 BCS wrote:
 
 Reply to Bruce,
 
 On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:12:57 +0100, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:
 
 nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with
 it's inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god
 as an author model (see my other reply); Where was the author
 before the first  page of the book, and where does he go after the
 last page? The question  is as meaningless as; what is the
 conversion rate from the color red to  US dollars?
 

can learn about the universe outside the universe that you thought was all there was. Though there's only so much you can tell about the author without finding a way to escape the book.

can learn a lot about him by reading the "book" and seeing what he created.

programming so fun?" I knew it would end in a discussion about god and the evolution. All such questions end that way, the D community should know that by now. "why is programming so fun?" = Evolution || God; -Joel

#1: check the history I don't see how this was inevitable. Actualy I haven't seen anything go that way befor. #2: at least we didn't end up talking about hitl...er... Oops.

I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic. At least I hope to God/Darwin he was...
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent reply Simen Kjaeraas <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
janderson Wrote:

 BCS wrote:
 Reply to Bruce,
 
 On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:12:57 +0100, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:

 nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with it's
 inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god as an
 author model (see my other reply); Where was the author before the
 first  page of the book, and where does he go after the last page?
 The question  is as meaningless as; what is the conversion rate from
 the color red to  US dollars?

can learn about the universe outside the universe that you thought was all there was. Though there's only so much you can tell about the author without finding a way to escape the book.

OTOH, everything in the "book" is created by the author therefor you can learn a lot about him by reading the "book" and seeing what he created.

I knew it, I knew it. As soon as I saw the original question "why is programming so fun?" I knew it would end in a discussion about god and the evolution. All such questions end that way, the D community should know that by now. "why is programming so fun?" = Evolution || God; -Joel

Actually, I believe that should be 'Any question demanding philosophical thinking' => Evolution || God. btw, where is Hitler in all this? (might as well invoke Godwin's law while we're at it) -- Simen
Jun 03 2008
parent janderson <askme me.com> writes:
Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
 janderson Wrote:
 
 BCS wrote:
 Reply to Bruce,

 On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 22:12:57 +0100, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:

 nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with it's
 inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god as an
 author model (see my other reply); Where was the author before the
 first  page of the book, and where does he go after the last page?
 The question  is as meaningless as; what is the conversion rate from
 the color red to  US dollars?

can learn about the universe outside the universe that you thought was all there was. Though there's only so much you can tell about the author without finding a way to escape the book.

learn a lot about him by reading the "book" and seeing what he created.

programming so fun?" I knew it would end in a discussion about god and the evolution. All such questions end that way, the D community should know that by now. "why is programming so fun?" = Evolution || God; -Joel

Actually, I believe that should be 'Any question demanding philosophical thinking' => Evolution || God. btw, where is Hitler in all this? (might as well invoke Godwin's law while we're at it) -- Simen

Well Hitler is one of those topics that always leads to Evolution: Hitler->death camps->Jews->Religion->God->Evolution Actually probably every topic is only a few topics away from those subjects.
Jun 03 2008
prev sibling parent aarti_pl <aarti interia.pl> writes:
BCS pisze:
 Reply to Aarti_pl,
 
 Walter Bright pisze:

 Gregor Richards wrote:

 and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a
 protozoan would appear by random chance, we must have been created
 by a higher power!" Idiots.

wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

assumption that "higher power" has to have beginning. If you remove this assumption your question would become pointless. (Christians claims indeed that God has no beginning). Additionally you can ask similar question: what was before 'Big Bang' and you have same problem to answer it.

nice. One view even holds that the concept of "everlasting" with it's inherent binding to time is inapplicable to god. Like the god as an author model (see my other reply); Where was the author before the first page of the book, and where does he go after the last page? The question is as meaningless as; what is the conversion rate from the color red to US dollars?

I like very much parallel with book's author. One of my favorite stories is about death of Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet. She died because tree's branch have broken, she fell into stream and drown. Let's put a scientist into Shakespeare's book of Hamlet. He will analyze exactly what was happening. He will measure, calculate and note everything down. His conclusion will be that Ophelia has drown because she was too heavy for this branch. He will say exactly what happened. And it will be true description. But wait... We know that Ophelia died because that was decision of Shakespeare... He created the whole world of Hamlet, characters, trees, and also this unlucky tree's branch. And in fact it doesn't matter so much what exactly was happening with atoms and particles when Ophelia was falling down into stream... Where the truth lies? How is it possible that two completely different explanations are not contradictory? And what's more interesting - scientist from Shakespeare's book CAN NOT (logically not possible) know anything about outside world without two things: REVELATION and BELIEF. Regards Marcin Kuszczak www.zapytajmnie.com
Jun 02 2008
prev sibling parent Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
aarti_pl wrote:
 Walter Bright pisze:
 Gregor Richards wrote:
 and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan 
 would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher 
 power!" Idiots.

My difficulty with the higher power explanation is one is left wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

This argument is rather easy to answer <g>, as it is based on assumption that "higher power" has to have beginning. If you remove this assumption your question would become pointless. (Christians claims indeed that God has no beginning). Additionally you can ask similar question: what was before 'Big Bang' and you have same problem to answer it.

Two possibilities: that before the Big Bang, the universe was not sufficiently formed to have a meaningful concept of "before", or that due to the nature of the Big Bang, there is no feasible way of testing any ideas about what may have come before. Religion doesn't attempt to answer that question, by and large; science hasn't come up with much useful in that regard, either.
Jun 02 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Clay Smith <clayasaurus gmail.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Gregor Richards wrote:
 and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan 
 would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher 
 power!" Idiots.

My difficulty with the higher power explanation is one is left wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

/philosophical rant This is a good question and has been in my mind for some time too. The same question can be asked in a different way too, "where did the extremely dense hot state matter that created the big bang come from?" To give the Torah credit and answer the former question... http://www.yhwh.com/GINGN/gingn.htm 'And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'"' I figure the best answer to the question of 'who created God,' would be that God simply 'is.' Of course, this theory doesn't have much logic behind it, but it answers the question of 'how do you get something from nothing?' The answer would be you don't, it just simply 'is', and will continue to 'be.' I also believe that humans have been 'programmed' to believe in a higher power or authority... either through conditioning or through genetics.
Jun 02 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Clay,

 /philosophical rant
 

 'And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall
 say to the sons of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'"'
 
 I figure the best answer to the question of 'who created God,' would
 be that God simply 'is.'

I don't know if you known this (and I can't find a reference) but IIRC the way that "I Am" is stated there is unusual in that it is absolute. It actually translates as "I am, always have been and always will be" BTW: Correct me if I'm wrong
Jun 02 2008
parent Clay Smith <clayasaurus gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Clay,
 
 /philosophical rant

 'And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall
 say to the sons of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.'"'

 I figure the best answer to the question of 'who created God,' would
 be that God simply 'is.'

I don't know if you known this (and I can't find a reference) but IIRC the way that "I Am" is stated there is unusual in that it is absolute. It actually translates as "I am, always have been and always will be" BTW: Correct me if I'm wrong

You are right, I don't see a difference between what I stated and what you stated. My point is the big bang has the same problem of 'who created god,' and that the best answer I can think of is that there is some element of the universe that 'always has been and always will be,' could be the universe itself, could be 'God,' could be a megaverse from which all universes spawn from, but the whole 'everything comes from something' deal has to end somewhere, where ultimately you need something that just 'is' from which everything was created.
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Walter,

 Gregor Richards wrote:
 
 and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan
 would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher
 power!" Idiots.
 

wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

The same question can be asked of any origin of everything theory; "where did that come from?" The way I like to think of it is a higher power is, somewhat and loosely, analogous to the author if a book. It is totally outside the story, can know anything, can create anything and can do anything. However they are constrained by logic, consistence and, according to some authors, the 'free will' of the characters. One, somewhat flawed, view is spelled out in Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" by an address ending in "...the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God."
Jun 02 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Russell Lewis <webmaster villagersonline.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 My difficulty with the higher power explanation is one is left wondering 
  how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? 
 And you know where that is going <g>.

Remember that any system of reality has to start with one pre-existent entity (or collection). If you ask where it came from, the most common answers are either (a) it was always there or (b) it sprang from nothingness into being. The concept of God, and the concept of a godless universe, are both subject to the same causality paradox.
Jun 02 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from Walter Bright (newshound1 digitalmars.com)'s article
 Gregor Richards wrote:
 and so they think "Wow, given the
 extremely low odds that a protozoan would appear by random chance, we
 must have been created by a higher power!" Idiots.

how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

That covers the Clockmaker and the Prime Mover arguments... there are plenty left to shoot holes in ;-) Sean
Jun 02 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Walter,

 Gregor Richards wrote:
 
 and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan
 would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher
 power!" Idiots.
 

wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

I wonder why you assume a higher power must be subject to the universe it created? Why does it have to have a higher higher power create it? If we can barely figure out how this world we live in works, why are we to suppose that we can understand the spiritual, that which we don't see, any more so? -JJR
Jun 02 2008
prev sibling parent reply "Me Here" <p9e883002 sneakemail.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:

 Gregor Richards wrote:
 and so they think "Wow, given the  extremely low odds that a protozoan
 would appear by random chance, we  must have been created by a higher
 power!" Idiots.

My difficulty with the higher power explanation is one is left wondering how the higher power came to be. Did a higher higher power create it? And you know where that is going <g>.

I'm afraid mine's even more cynical than that. If God is all powerful, and omni-present, why on earth would it be bother to create insignificant beings like us and demand that we worship it? There are only three possible explanations: 1/ It enjoys watching us suffer floods, plagues, earthquakes, wars, starvation and pestilance. Like we enjoy the trials and tribulations of the characters in soap operas. Some will recognise this view as Greek Mythology. Kinda kicks the "benevolent and forgiving" theory into touch. 2/ It is so ego-centric that it needs the adulation of billions (what would this number mean to an omni-present being?), in order to feel good about itself. Again, it doesn't quite fit with the mythology. "You have to believe without proof otherwise it isn't true belief". Sounds like the magic circle to me. 3/ It a mechanism whereby a few strong minds effect control of large numbers of weak minds. "I know the will of God, and if you don't do as I advise (which includes keeping me in good food and luxury), it'll smite you down and consine you to a purgatory for eternity." And there are still billions that blindly follow the "advise" of a priviledged few. Life is short. Live it now. You don't get a secind chance. Metaphysically, b. --
Jun 04 2008
next sibling parent reply e-t172 <e-t172 akegroup.org> writes:
A related citation:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"
~Epicurus (341 BC - 270 BC)
Jun 05 2008
next sibling parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello e-t172,

 A related citation:
 
 "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
 Then he is not omnipotent.
 Is he able, but not willing?
 Then he is malevolent.
 Is he both able and willing?
 Then whence cometh evil?
 Is he neither able nor willing?
 Then why call him God?"
 ~Epicurus (341 BC - 270 BC)

Yes, this sort of debate does go waaaay back, doesn't it? :) The above is does not disprove God. It just shows that the writer doesn't appear to like the God that put him in this world, nor the universe he appears to be stuck in. He's quite put out about it, in fact. God could have made automotons, but I suppose he figured people should have a choice in the matter. It's not really that clever for the creation to question the creator. Much less to judge the Creator. By what standard does Epicurus question God about evil. This God has not only set the standard that defines evil but has also promised to judge all evil finally. And he also defined how one is saved from this evil. Does Epicurus decide for himself what he sees as evil in the process of "disproving" God? What does Epicurus perceive "evil" to mean? The strange thing is that people continue to complain about evil but refuse to turn away from it in their own lives, or to adopt the plan that frees them from that bondage to it. People condemn themselves and then shake their fist at God for not making things the way they want. -JJR
Jun 05 2008
parent Tower Ty <towerty msn.com.au> writes:
Yep definately a nutter

a religious nutter at that .

Thats two of my nockers proved to be so .

I hope there are not too many more on the D bandwagon .
Both John Reimer and Jesse Phillips seemed influential in the development of D .
It does not auger well if they turn out to be so, because their personal
beliefs tend to butt in at some point.

Anyway everybody has a right to believe what they like and good luck to them. 







John Reimer Wrote:

 Hello e-t172,
 
 A related citation:
 
 "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
 Then he is not omnipotent.
 Is he able, but not willing?
 Then he is malevolent.
 Is he both able and willing?
 Then whence cometh evil?
 Is he neither able nor willing?
 Then why call him God?"
 ~Epicurus (341 BC - 270 BC)

Yes, this sort of debate does go waaaay back, doesn't it? :) The above is does not disprove God. It just shows that the writer doesn't appear to like the God that put him in this world, nor the universe he appears to be stuck in. He's quite put out about it, in fact. God could have made automotons, but I suppose he figured people should have a choice in the matter. It's not really that clever for the creation to question the creator. Much less to judge the Creator. By what standard does Epicurus question God about evil. This God has not only set the standard that defines evil but has also promised to judge all evil finally. And he also defined how one is saved from this evil. Does Epicurus decide for himself what he sees as evil in the process of "disproving" God? What does Epicurus perceive "evil" to mean? The strange thing is that people continue to complain about evil but refuse to turn away from it in their own lives, or to adopt the plan that frees them from that bondage to it. People condemn themselves and then shake their fist at God for not making things the way they want. -JJR

Jun 05 2008
prev sibling parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to e-t172,

 A related citation:
 
 "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
 Then he is not omnipotent.
 Is he able, but not willing?
 Then he is malevolent.
 Is he both able and willing?
 Then whence cometh evil?
 Is he neither able nor willing?
 Then why call him God?"
 ~Epicurus (341 BC - 270 BC)

The question of "why does god allow evil?" could be rephrased as: "why does god allow the worst thing that can happen to happen?" If the worst that could happen was a paper cut, it would be the worst that could happen and we would see it as terrible. (This assumes, as the evidence shows, that the world is able to produce suffering beyond our own imagination.)
Jun 05 2008
prev sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Me,

 
 If God is all powerful, and omni-present, why on earth would it be
 bother to create insignificant beings like us and demand that we
 worship it?
 
 There are only three possible explanations:
 

have you ever had a pet? Which reason did you use for keeping it? 1, 2 or 3?
 1/ It enjoys watching us suffer floods, plagues, earthquakes, wars,
 starvation and pestilance.
 
 Like we enjoy the trials and tribulations of the characters in soap
 operas. Some will recognise this view as Greek Mythology. Kinda kicks
 the "benevolent and forgiving" theory into touch.
 
 2/ It is so ego-centric that it needs the adulation of billions (what
 would this number mean to an omni-present being?), in order to feel
 good about itself.
 
 Again, it doesn't quite fit with the mythology. "You have to believe
 without proof otherwise it isn't true belief". Sounds like the magic
 circle to me.
 
 3/ It a mechanism whereby a few strong minds effect control of large
 numbers of weak minds.
 

Jun 05 2008
parent reply "Me Here" <p9e883002 sneakemail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:

 
 have you ever had a pet? Which reason did you use for keeping it? 1, 2 or 3?
 
 
 1/ It enjoys watching us suffer floods, plagues, earthquakes, wars,
 starvation and pestilance.
 
 2/ It is so ego-centric that it needs the adulation of billions (what
 would this number mean to an omni-present being?), in order to feel
 good about itself.
 
 3/ It a mechanism whereby a few strong minds effect control of large
 numbers of weak minds.
 


Sorry BCS, but I have come to expect better arguements from you during our breif association on this forum. The direct answer to your question, is "none of the above". There is a distinct and huge difference between: - "keeping a pet"--feeding it, taking it for walks, petting it. Simply enjoying the affection it demonstrates--of its own volition-- and the companionship it provides. and *Creating* a entire race of sentient beings, along with a million other species, a world, and a universe containsing millions of galaxies and billions of stars... And then compelling them to subscribe and adhere to a set of (variously) 10 commandments; 613 rules; etc. etc. on pain of eternal damnation if they fail to believe, subscribe and adhere...PURELY FOR MY OWN AMUSEMENT. And that last uppercased part is the point. Give, describe, or otherwise elucidate *one* reason, justification or purpose to creating sentient beings, endowing them with "free will", decrying them from using it; and condeming them if they do? The *only* "explanantion I'ev ever been offereed from "believers" for this question, is "its just an experiment".. But, if the creator is all-poerful, and omni-present--and it must be, if it is a "god"--then it knows the outcome for the experiment starts, so there is no purpose other than one of the 3 above, b. --
Jun 06 2008
next sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Me Here wrote:
 BCS wrote:
 
 have you ever had a pet? Which reason did you use for keeping it? 1, 2 or 3?


 1/ It enjoys watching us suffer floods, plagues, earthquakes, wars,
 starvation and pestilance.

 2/ It is so ego-centric that it needs the adulation of billions (what
 would this number mean to an omni-present being?), in order to feel
 good about itself.

 3/ It a mechanism whereby a few strong minds effect control of large
 numbers of weak minds.


Sorry BCS, but I have come to expect better arguements from you during our breif association on this forum. The direct answer to your question, is "none of the above". There is a distinct and huge difference between: - "keeping a pet"--feeding it, taking it for walks, petting it. Simply enjoying the affection it demonstrates--of its own volition-- and the companionship it provides. and *Creating* a entire race of sentient beings, along with a million other species, a world, and a universe containsing millions of galaxies and billions of stars... And then compelling them to subscribe and adhere to a set of (variously) 10 commandments; 613 rules; etc. etc. on pain of eternal damnation if they fail to believe, subscribe and adhere...PURELY FOR MY OWN AMUSEMENT. And that last uppercased part is the point. Give, describe, or otherwise elucidate *one* reason, justification or purpose to creating sentient beings, endowing them with "free will", decrying them from using it; and condeming them if they do? The *only* "explanantion I'ev ever been offereed from "believers" for this question, is "its just an experiment".. But, if the creator is all-poerful, and omni-present--and it must be, if it is a "god"--then it knows the outcome for the experiment starts, so there is no purpose other than one of the 3 above, b.

A side note - the "modern" concept of hell is entirely Christian. the original word in the bible is ื’ื™ื”ื ื•ื which is a concatenation of ื’ื™ื ื‘ืŸ ื”ื™ื ื•ื which is the valley of the son of Hinom. it's a place in Jerusalem where lived the above mentioned family and they practiced evil acts according to the bible. they worshiped one of the ancient idols (can't remember now which one..) and this required sacrificing your own first born of something of that nature. The bible uses that term to refer to a place of pure evil and this is a real location on earth, in Jerusalem, you can come and see it yourselves. the word ืฉื˜ืŸ (the devil) has two meanings one of which is "obstacle" and the other refers to one of god's angels which of course never "fall from the sky" or anything like that. Satan represents in the bible the role of the prosecutor. God is the judge and he put Satan on the job of pointing our faults since god is merciful and cares for his creations, and didn't want to do it himself. Btw, angels are _not_ people with wings. ืžืœืืš is the word in the bible and it literally means "a messenger". they can take a form of a human just like they can be elements of nature like wind. "pain of eternal damnation" does not exist in the bible or in the Jewish faith. just wanted to give a Jewish prespective on the subject. carry on with your debate.
Jun 06 2008
next sibling parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Yigal,


 "pain of eternal damnation" does not exist in the bible or in the
 Jewish
 faith.

Maybe you should have another thorough look at the Bible... and the new testament. :) Your choice of quoted words indeed may not be there, but the concept is very clear throughout the new Testament. And I do wonder at your unusual representation of Satan, God, and angels . Concerning your description of Satan and his role under God, this is in complete contradiction to what the Old Testament (or New) says (see Job in old). So I assume these are Jewish traditions compiled by Rabbis separately that you are referring to? Incidentally, some angels do have wings: the ark of the covenant was symbolic of that (also see Ezekial). ;) Other than that, does it really matter if some do or don't. :) Perhaps you are just answering popular cultures representation of them. -JJR
Jun 06 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
John Reimer wrote:
 Hello Yigal,
 
 
 "pain of eternal damnation" does not exist in the bible or in the
 Jewish
 faith.

Maybe you should have another thorough look at the Bible... and the new testament. :) Your choice of quoted words indeed may not be there, but the concept is very clear throughout the new Testament. And I do wonder at your unusual representation of Satan, God, and angels .. Concerning your description of Satan and his role under God, this is in complete contradiction to what the Old Testament (or New) says (see Job in old). So I assume these are Jewish traditions compiled by Rabbis separately that you are referring to? Incidentally, some angels do have wings: the ark of the covenant was symbolic of that (also see Ezekial). ;) Other than that, does it really matter if some do or don't. :) Perhaps you are just answering popular cultures representation of them. -JJR

did you even bother to read my message fully?? did you not notice I was trying to give a _JEWISH_ perspective?? and yes, the new testament is _not_ part of the bible. "The bible" means of course the original version 1.0 Hebrew Edition. Did you ever read that? I am. We are taught bible lessons in school (here in Israel) since it is an integral part of our history. I'm referring to the meaning in the bible _and_ the Jewish tradition based on it. that meaning was either lost in translation or was changed by Christian tradition. the issue is that your concepts which you believe are different from similar Jewish concepts. Did you read Job? did you read the original Hebrew version? I have at school. we spent a whole year on that. if you want to discuss Job further feel free to contact me personally. many things in the bible require interpretation and are not clear to people who speak the original language (Hebrew) and yet you claim that your translation is more accurate? you do realize that your bible is translated based on Jewish interpretation, right? the most trivial example: the English bible contains the word "Lord" yet the original does not. rather the word is ื™ื”ื•ื” which as I said in a different post no one knows how to pronounce it or what it means. According to Jewish translation we say ืื“ื•ื ื™ when we see this word and this is again not accurately translated to "Lord". So, now you can claim something based on your version that doesn't even appear in the text! Feel free to believe what you want. I do not try to convince you to convert or anything.
Jun 06 2008
parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Yigal,

 John Reimer wrote:
 
 Hello Yigal,
 
 "pain of eternal damnation" does not exist in the bible or in the
 Jewish
 faith.

new testament. :) Your choice of quoted words indeed may not be there, but the concept is very clear throughout the new Testament. And I do wonder at your unusual representation of Satan, God, and angels .. Concerning your description of Satan and his role under God, this is in complete contradiction to what the Old Testament (or New) says (see Job in old). So I assume these are Jewish traditions compiled by Rabbis separately that you are referring to? Incidentally, some angels do have wings: the ark of the covenant was symbolic of that (also see Ezekial). ;) Other than that, does it really matter if some do or don't. :) Perhaps you are just answering popular cultures representation of them. -JJR

did you not notice I was trying to give a _JEWISH_ perspective?? and yes, the new testament is _not_ part of the bible. "The bible" means of course the original version 1.0 Hebrew Edition. Did you ever read that? I am. We are taught bible lessons in school (here in Israel) since it is an integral part of our history. I'm referring to the meaning in the bible _and_ the Jewish tradition based on it. that meaning was either lost in translation or was changed by Christian tradition. the issue is that your concepts which you believe are different from similar Jewish concepts. Did you read Job? did you read the original Hebrew version? I have at school. we spent a whole year on that. if you want to discuss Job further feel free to contact me personally. many things in the bible require interpretation and are not clear to people who speak the original language (Hebrew) and yet you claim that your translation is more accurate? you do realize that your bible is translated based on Jewish interpretation, right? the most trivial example: the English bible contains the word "Lord" yet the original does not. rather the word is ื™ื”ื•ื” which as I said in a different post no one knows how to pronounce it or what it means. According to Jewish translation we say ืื“ื•ื ื™ when we see this word and this is again not accurately translated to "Lord". So, now you can claim something based on your version that doesn't even appear in the text! Feel free to believe what you want. I do not try to convince you to convert or anything.

I can only shrug at this, yigal (if there is a way to do so politely); and yes, I did read all of your post. It's no wonder you chose to be athiest if you were taught these details from your Jewish Bible. These are all unusual teachings, and, if you will pardon me, quite innacurate. Indeed, I do believe that the hallmark of the Hebrew contribution to the Christian Bible is its extreme accuracy and astounding consistancy over several thousands of years of existance -- the Hebrew scholars were so accurate in copying the old testament books that there is no other book or source that is comparable. This is a miracle. :) Every discovery of more scripts continues to show this accuracy. No other "holy" book has this record. And this is why the Christian, through the Gospel message of the New Testament, can make such claims: Christianity merely claims that the conclusion of the prophecies lies in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. While some interpretation will be inevitable, the Bible is actually astoundingly clear in its message and leaves very little to imagination for the reader. And while translations to other languages always causes a slight loss of meaning in the original, the message comes through completely intact. Forgive me if you don't convince me immediately that you are an expert in these matters -- use of a few Hebrew words don't astonish me -- we all have access to dictionaries and texts of the Hebrew source to research these things. I'm sure that you know that the Jewish tradition is to reject Jesus as the Messiah (and all are taught to do so from a young age) even though he fit all descriptions and predictions by the Jewish prophets (from his birth in Bethlehem to his humiliation and death). It also doesn't surprise me if rabbis and other teachers have offered varying definitions of the God of the Hebrews. Your offering above is likely not the only one. However you were taught, I just wanted to note that none of the doctrines you noted above can be found clearly represented in the old or new testament. Indeed, if you feel interpretations were how they came about, I can only say that they would have had to be stretched very far to do so. The Bible always has had a clear definition of who God is and his plan for humanity. -JJR
Jun 06 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
John Reimer wrote:
 Hello Yigal,
 I can only shrug at this, yigal (if there is a way to do so politely);
 and yes, I did read all of your post.  It's no wonder you chose to be
 athiest if you were taught these details from your Jewish Bible.  These
 are all unusual teachings, and, if you will pardon me, quite
 innacurate.  Indeed, I do believe that the hallmark of the Hebrew
 contribution to the Christian Bible is its extreme accuracy and
 astounding consistancy over several thousands of years of existance --
 the Hebrew scholars were so accurate in copying the old testament books
 that there is no other book or source that is comparable.  This is a
 miracle. :)
 
 Every discovery of more scripts continues to show this accuracy.  No
 other "holy" book has this record.   And this is why the Christian,
 through the Gospel message of the New Testament, can make such claims:
 Christianity merely claims that the conclusion of the prophecies lies in
 Jesus Christ as the Messiah.  While some interpretation will be
 inevitable, the Bible is actually astoundingly clear in its message and
 leaves very little to imagination for the reader.  And while
 translations to other languages always causes a slight loss of meaning
 in the original, the message comes through completely intact.
 
 Forgive me if you don't convince me immediately that you are an expert
 in these matters -- use of a few Hebrew words don't astonish me -- we
 all have access to dictionaries and texts of the Hebrew source to
 research these things. I'm sure that you know that the Jewish tradition
 is to reject Jesus as the Messiah (and all are taught to do so from a
 young age) even though he fit all descriptions and predictions by the
 Jewish prophets (from his birth in Bethlehem to his humiliation and
 death).  It also doesn't surprise me if rabbis and other teachers have
 offered varying definitions of the God of the Hebrews.  Your offering
 above is likely not the only one.
 
 However you were taught, I just wanted to note that none of the
 doctrines you noted above can be found clearly represented in the old or
 new testament. Indeed, if you feel interpretations were how they came
 about, I can only say that they would have had to be stretched very far
 to do so.  The Bible always has had a clear definition of who God is and
 his plan for humanity.
 
 -JJR
 
 

look, I do not wish to discuss religion with you. unlike BCS who's open to other views you clearly are not, and I will not waste my time beyond this post to argue with you. In the same way I will not waste my time trying to explain what the color blue is to a blind man. you have your view of the world which you think is absolute based on your seemingly very strong faith and therefore anything I say must be wrong. and that's based on: "the nth-hand re-interpretations of m-times "translated" stories related by /man/, and attributed to the will, actions or purpose of a god" as "Me Here" put so accurately in his post. There's a saying in Hebrew that says: "the Torah has 70 faces" meaning that everyone can read and see a different meaning in the text and in fact the Jewish faith expects all Jews to read and learn the bible themselves, unlike The preachings practiced in a church. I have my own understanding of the bible and of course I do not necessary believe everything I read. What I said was the Jewish view based on the very close examination of the [original!] text. as a Christian you do not have a say in what the Jewish view should be. your view is different based on your interpretation, sure, but have you ever read the bible yourself? have you read the Hebrew version of it? there is a very good reason why the pope knows Hebrew, and wares a yarmulke (found that word in an online dictionary...). since I'm an atheist and a Jew, please keep your Christian preaching to yourself (in the Jewish faith preaching is a very grave sin!) all I posted in my original view was the Jewish understanding of the bible which is not "wrong" as you seem to imply, but merely different (Id say more accurate based on the text in the Hebrew edition version 1.0 as I like to call it, but not an absolute truth). what your version of the bible says is irrelevant to the Jewish perspective. If the Christian version changed some of the concepts (for example the 'one'ness of god...) well, than it applies to Christians only. in an analogy - you cannot say that my perfectly working D.1 based application is wrong because your D.2 compiler does not compile it, or even that your version is better. for example, I do not like the current D2 const concept and do not wish to use it and you cannot claim that I'm wrong based on your use of the D2 const. it may work for you but it doesn't have to work for everyone. The bible is very clear to the reader only if you read the children's edition with illustrations. to say that "the Bible is actually astoundingly clear in its message and leaves very little to imagination for the reader." is like saying the D2 const regime is simple, understandable and clear in its message. --Yigal
Jun 07 2008
next sibling parent reply Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 you have your view of the world which you think is absolute based on
 your seemingly very strong faith and therefore anything I say must be
 wrong. and that's based on:
 "the nth-hand re-interpretations of m-times "translated" stories related
 by /man/, and attributed to the will, actions or purpose of a god" as
 "Me Here" put so accurately in his post.

<pedantry style="misplaced"> Nitpick: the pronunciation of 'man' is /m&n/, not /man/, assuming you're using CXS ( http://www.theiling.de/ipa/ ); it's /m{n/ in regular X-SAMPA ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-SAMPA ). </pedantry>
Jun 07 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Chris Wright wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 you have your view of the world which you think is absolute based on
 your seemingly very strong faith and therefore anything I say must be
 wrong. and that's based on:
 "the nth-hand re-interpretations of m-times "translated" stories related
 by /man/, and attributed to the will, actions or purpose of a god" as
 "Me Here" put so accurately in his post.

<pedantry style="misplaced"> Nitpick: the pronunciation of 'man' is /m&n/, not /man/, assuming you're using CXS ( http://www.theiling.de/ipa/ ); it's /m{n/ in regular X-SAMPA ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-SAMPA ). </pedantry>

I do not understand any of the above signs of pronunciation and unfortunately do not have the time to investigate the provided wikipedia link. If I understand your point correctly you wanted to say: "man => men", right? anyway, I merely quoted the very well phrased snippet.
Jun 07 2008
parent Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Chris Wright wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 you have your view of the world which you think is absolute based on
 your seemingly very strong faith and therefore anything I say must be
 wrong. and that's based on:
 "the nth-hand re-interpretations of m-times "translated" stories related
 by /man/, and attributed to the will, actions or purpose of a god" as
 "Me Here" put so accurately in his post.

Nitpick: the pronunciation of 'man' is /m&n/, not /man/, assuming you're using CXS ( http://www.theiling.de/ipa/ ); it's /m{n/ in regular X-SAMPA ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-SAMPA ). </pedantry>

I do not understand any of the above signs of pronunciation and unfortunately do not have the time to investigate the provided wikipedia link. If I understand your point correctly you wanted to say: "man => men", right? anyway, I merely quoted the very well phrased snippet.

It was a bad joke, one that only linguists would get. When describing how something sounds, linguists use an unambiguous alphabet; but there are two ways of describing it: essentially what the speaker thinks they're trying to say, and what they actually sound like. To distinguish the two, the former is put in between slashes like /this/, and the latter is put between pipes like |this|.
Jun 08 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Yigal,

 

open to other views you clearly are not, and I will not waste my time beyond this post to argue with you. In the same way I will not waste my time trying to explain what the color blue is to a blind man.

That's fine, Yigal, but we haven't even discussed what is and isn't "blue" yet. I think that's important before one calls the other blind, don't you? Your definition might be no better than mine, at this point. The lack of openness on the issue comes with the same realization that while there will exist many renderings of what a person interprets God to be, the majority will be incorrect, inconsistant, or unuseful -- the usual motivation will be to create a God that fits ones own needs or one's cultures needs. My claim is that the Christian God (originating in the old testament) is distinct, consistant, and accurate and works for all peoples in this world. If I didn't argue this way even about the Christian God, there would be little point in me committing to the argument at all or defending the complete worldview I adhere to. Out of necessity for a consistant universe, there must be one rendering of God the excludes them all. The fanciful, and perhaps romantic, would love to see all religions leading to truth some way or another, but the Bible (old and new) repeatedly makes a claim to the contrary. If this claim is true, I maintain that we must be alert to it and willing to analyze false representations of it. I merely deny that your Jewish rendering works or is consistant with prophecies therein. You are an athiest, so I assume you concluded the same and your defense of it now is probably motivated by my seeming insulting of your intelligence of understanding your own Hebrew roots. If that was the case, I apologize for the action. I am most certainly quite clumsy half the time I write. True, I cannot decide for the Jew what Judaism thinks God to be (and even that varies, I'm sure). But if that's (one of the ways) what they think him to be, and we are discussing the reality of God, don't you think I'm going to disgree with the representation or how that representation was concluded? Furthermore, by definition, one who call himself an athiest is one of the least open-minded of all -- if he were not, he wouldn't be an athiest. Perhaps agnostic is a better term if you want to make people think you are more open-minded. :) The fact is very few in this discussion are really open-minded beyond being willing to discuss different points of view. I certainly can't "convert" you either. When it comes down to it, the choice always will be left with the individual to make his own inquiries into a matter and decide for himself. If an individual just takes my word for it, that could be very risky indeed.
 you have your view of the world which you think is absolute based on
 your seemingly very strong faith and therefore anything I say must be
 wrong. and that's based on:
 "the nth-hand re-interpretations of m-times "translated" stories
 related
 by /man/, and attributed to the will, actions or purpose of a god" as
 "Me Here" put so accurately in his post.
 There's a saying in Hebrew that says: "the Torah has 70 faces" meaning
 that everyone can read and see a different meaning in the text and in
 fact the Jewish faith expects all Jews to read and learn the bible
 themselves, unlike The preachings practiced in a church.
 I have my own understanding of the bible and of course I do not
 necessary believe everything I read. What I said was the Jewish view
 based on the very close examination of the [original!] text. as a
 Christian you do not have a say in what the Jewish view should be.
 your view is different based on your interpretation, sure, but have
 you
 ever read the bible yourself? have you read the Hebrew version of it?
 there is a very good reason why the pope knows Hebrew, and wares a
 yarmulke (found that word in an online dictionary...).
 since I'm an atheist and a Jew, please keep your Christian preaching
 to
 yourself (in the Jewish faith preaching is a very grave sin!)

Uh oh. I think more than one of us in trouble then. :) May I ask where the preaching occurred? What is preaching? I'm merely arguing for the Christian worldview. I was arguing... just like ... you. :) I'm not sure what you are implying about Catholicism's relationship to Judaism, but I suppose, since you are Jewish, that you do still relate to your culture and defend some of it accordingly, even if it means an appeal to another "authority" to prove it's importance. I don't know how relevant that is, but I suppose that's your right.
 all I posted in my original view was the Jewish understanding of the
 bible which is not "wrong" as you seem to imply, but merely different
 (Id say more accurate based on the text in the Hebrew edition version
 1.0 as I like to call it, but not an absolute truth). what your
 version
 of the bible says is irrelevant to the Jewish perspective.
 If the Christian version changed some of the concepts (for example the
 'one'ness of god...) well, than it applies to Christians only.
 in an analogy - you cannot say that my perfectly working D.1 based
 application is wrong because your D.2 compiler does not compile it, or
 even that your version is better. for example, I do not like the
 current D2 const concept and do not wish to use it and you cannot
 claim that I'm wrong based on your use of the D2 const. it may work
 for you but it doesn't have to work for everyone.
 

Does not an athiest see any view of God as "wrong"? As an athiest, if you personally are looking at all the beliefs in a "god" as pure silliness, then you most certainly will believe one view of a god is no more wrong than another (because they apparently are all wrong). But you most likely /will/ be most sympathetic to the one you identify with. I'm pointing out that we must go beyond discussing mere perspectives of God and start getting a more rigid understanding of who he is, why we are here, and where we are going. I claim that rejecting the Christian God is fatal, even if it is a choice that one is certainly allowed to make. As an analogy, a murderer may have the "choice" to kill his victim in that he is capable of acting out the incident, but even so he will have to experience the consequences of that action when he is caught and handed over to a just judge. If this is the case, one should be careful to investigate the Christian worldview thoroughly because it defines sin, the consequences of sin, and how one can be saved from bondage to it. This is in contrast to most other religions that may claim "all ways can lead to truth": such a statement effectively eliminates consequences, responsibility, and sin from the picture and renders this world, once again, a murky existance of subjective feelings with no way to be confident in anything beyond an inductive principle of undefined reliability. (What follows is not preaching, but I suppose people that have had the possibly unpleasant experience of viewing some tv evangelists and such are senstitive to anything quoted from scripture): Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through Me." This is the absolute claim of the Christian Bible. This Jesus also talked about hate being the same as murder, adultery the same as looking on a woman to lust after her, and divorce and remarriage being the same as ongoing adultery. These claims are important because they point out man's degenerate state, the need to be saved from it, the consequences of dieing in sin, and the only source of such salvation from that sin. Meanwhile many people exist with depression, hopelessness, and disallusionment within their own worldview (or some claim) lack thereof ... and /still/ rail against the God of the Bible because they don't like the options offered or think such an existance is unfair. Mostly the argument reduces to that they just don't like this God. It's perplexing given the fact the gift of reconciliation to this God is indeed amazing, and without this God, our meaning for existance is murky at best.
 The bible is very clear to the reader only if you read the children's
 edition with illustrations. to say that "the Bible is actually
 astoundingly clear in its message and leaves very little to
 imagination for the reader." is like saying the D2 const regime is
 simple, understandable and clear in its message.
 
 --Yigal
 

Maybe we'll be able to bring this back on topic eventually. That was a brave attempt! :-D -JJR
Jun 07 2008
next sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
After removing all your preaching to the "only absolute god", I still
have a few of your quotes I want to address:

 My claim is that the Christian God (originating in 
 the old testament) is distinct, consistant, and accurate and works for
 all peoples in this world. 

wrong: your god is inconsistent. the Hebrew bible makes a few points very important and clear about god, one of which is that he supposed to be one. not have a family. It's like the bewitched TV series where the story is based on 3 sisters which a prophecy foretold to be the most powerful witches ever lived, and than after a few seasons one of the actresses gets a better job so the writers kill her character and invent a "new" half-sister. If you take the story of Jesus and replace "Jesus" with Hercules you'll get remarkably similar stories if not almost identical stories. your new testament is made out of 4 different versions of the same story (chosen arbitrarily by Constantine out of more than 18 that we know of). of course, I do not claim that "god" has to be consistent. The Hebrew bible of course has also some inconsistencies - there are three versions of the story of the creation of humans, IIRC.
 I merely deny that your Jewish rendering 
 works or is consistant with prophecies therein.

they may be inconsistent with your version but they are certainly consistent as much as possible with the Hebrew source.
 Furthermore,  by definition, one who call
 himself an athiest is one of the least open-minded of all -- if he were
 not, he wouldn't be an athiest.
 

[blind] absolute faith. If in the future science finds a better theory that invalidates the theory of relativity that would be OK with atheists since they rely on evidence and facts, and no one claims Einstein or any other man of science to be holy. however, you deal with absolutes that cannot be invalidated. since your god's words are absolute truth, no matter what I say and what evidence I'll bring that will not matter to you. so I'll say the most open minded people are in fact atheists. Haven't you learned about what the Christian church did to the likes of Galileo and Darwin who broke accepted consensuses of their time?
 we must go beyond discussing mere
 perspectives of God and start getting a more rigid understanding of who
 he is, why we are here, and where we are going.  I claim that rejecting
 the Christian God is fatal, even if it is a choice that one is certainly
 allowed to make.  As an analogy, a murderer may have the "choice" to
 kill his victim in that he is capable of acting out the incident, but
 even so he will have to experience the consequences of that action when
 he is caught and handed over to a just judge.
 

you assume there is a reason for our existence without any evidence. your world view is based on a ton of unproven assumptions in contrast to Occam's razor. Again, you preach for your absolute truths and of course anyone who thinks differently will go to hell. why not resurrect the institution of the inquisition if you're at it? you use the word "fatal" and compare anyone with a different view with a murderer. is there any wonder no sane person would want to further debate the subject with you? Jesus said "I am the
 way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through
 Me."

/believe/ he said that based on your 4 different conflicting versions compiled 200 years after he supposedly lived. to conclude: a) In my original post I only talked about what is the Jewish view on the subject, and while I appreciate it's mostly successful attempt to be consistent with itself I do not believe the existence of it just like I like the lord of the rings which is a masterpiece in my mind, while I know that it's only a story (albeit a very good one) and that elves, orcs and hobbits do not exist. b) your post "smells" of preaching to your cause on the other hand and as you say refusing to believe in the Christian god is fatal. At least in Judaism no one threatens me with an eternal torture in hell if I choose to reject the religion. I guess I should be thankful for being born in a Jewish family... While you were born a sinner according to your faith, I was merely born a human being with a free will according to what should be mine. I chose not to believe. The Jewish god is merciful and forgiving and accepts that we are only humans and make mistakes (even the most holy of Jews, Abraham, sinned but he repented and god forgave him. on the other hand you are born a sinner and you will go to hell unless you'll be holier than the pope which is an impossible jobs for mere humans. If I were religious I wouldn't want to be born a Christian. c) according to my Jewish upbringing I do not feel the urge to convert the world to my faith (or lack thereof). I do not claim any absolutes about god and faith and there are of course many things I do not like in Judaism as well, I rather think that all religions are like Opium to the masses (and you seems to be overdosed). But I do keep my opinion that out of the three main monotheist religions Christianity is the most insidious and has the worst track-record of them all. At least Islam doesn't try to give me an eternal torture in hell and accepts all nations who believe in Allah (god in Arabic) as written in the Q'oran [English spelling?] in contrast to what the terrorist extremists claim. d) This IS my final post on the subject. --Yigal
Jun 07 2008
parent John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Yigal,

 After removing all your preaching to the "only absolute god", I still
 have a few of your quotes I want to address:
 

Yigal, I suppose the only reason you think I am preaching is because I'm sticking to my argument? There is no argument if I waffle back and forth on a matter. I'm only staying put because that's the best way to approach any such discussion. Is it because I try /not/ to patronize and placate you that you don't like it? Then I suppose my social skills are lacking greatly, and all I had to do is add a "might" or "maybe" here and there with a cajoling "you have a point" now and again? If you prefer BCS's style, then that's fine. I think he stated some excellent points. But I feel no obligation to change my arguments because you prefer a different style of argument. On the contrary, if I believe my worldview to be true, then I will present what I feel might be salient points to you. If these points clash with another worldview, I try to state why they do and why the other worldview doesn't work: thus the words "fatal" were made. And why not? If that is the claimed consequence of rejection of this worldview, is it helpful to pretend otherwise? Does that immedieately close the discussion because you want me "open-minded" to whatever you say? What does it mean to be open-minded to you? You needn't be offended or take it personally if I say that. If you don't believe it, it shouldn't matter. You have thrust many accusations against what you perceive represents the christian worldview. You also have indentified things you dislike about Christianity, but most of the examples have no relationship to the argument I put forward ( I am not a Catholic, so why would I defend their empire, their beliefs, or their doctrine, many of which are extra-biblical? And "science" has not been crushed by Christianity, but rather many important early scientists and researchers were Christians and gave us a solid foundation for the process we use today; the fact that Catholic Empire exercised massive forceful control on knowledge back then has nothing to do with Christianity, but rather the effect of powerful men, powerful empires, and corrupting ideologies -- it was indeed wrong; many ideologies are prone to do the same. This continues to happen today even in the field of science (some of the influences of governments, corporations, and academia have exercised some historically destructive control -- no apparent "religion" involved here; should we blame it all on science?): it's too simple a reduction to blame it all on some form of theistic belief system that you absolutely resolutely dislike. In fact, if I can't argue these things like that, then this discussion was over before it started. If you don't like that I don't concede things, then this discussion also is over. This form of discussion does seem quite hop scotch and makes for difficult debate because no one point is dwelled on or easily defendable: the accusation are thrown out far and wide...and then everybody just races forward without spending time proving them or defining terms. That's partly my fault and due to my own inexperience. And there's danger there, I suppose, when things are kept either too informal /or/ too formal. Also, since you seem to have taken my posts personally, please understand the my defense of Christainity was not meant to pick on you directly (in analogies or whatever), but rather I chose to address several posts that I had neither time or energy to answer separately. Unfortunately you were the "lucky" one to receive the many arguments. :) I guess there's not much more to say in this kind of atmosphere, so I respect your decision to end the discussion there with your last words. Oh, and I am surprised that you show so much deference to Islam. It does appear that I've irritated you much for you to say such a statement. You appear to be so annoyed with me that its "anything but Christianity! Please!". That's too bad. All the best. -JJR
Jun 07 2008
prev sibling parent Tower Ty <towerty msn.com.au> writes:
What a load of drivel this is

I see you did not dare answer me .

Just where do you think your god might be standing .
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap080606.html

I'd say if so he must be pretty busy








John Reimer Wrote:

 Hello Yigal,
 
 

open to other views you clearly are not, and I will not waste my time beyond this post to argue with you. In the same way I will not waste my time trying to explain what the color blue is to a blind man.

That's fine, Yigal, but we haven't even discussed what is and isn't "blue" yet. I think that's important before one calls the other blind, don't you? Your definition might be no better than mine, at this point. The lack of openness on the issue comes with the same realization that while there will exist many renderings of what a person interprets God to be, the majority will be incorrect, inconsistant, or unuseful -- the usual motivation will be to create a God that fits ones own needs or one's cultures needs. My claim is that the Christian God (originating in the old testament) is distinct, consistant, and accurate and works for all peoples in this world. If I didn't argue this way even about the Christian God, there would be little point in me committing to the argument at all or defending the complete worldview I adhere to. Out of necessity for a consistant universe, there must be one rendering of God the excludes them all. The fanciful, and perhaps romantic, would love to see all religions leading to truth some way or another, but the Bible (old and new) repeatedly makes a claim to the contrary. If this claim is true, I maintain that we must be alert to it and willing to analyze false representations of it. I merely deny that your Jewish rendering works or is consistant with prophecies therein. You are an athiest, so I assume you concluded the same and your defense of it now is probably motivated by my seeming insulting of your intelligence of understanding your own Hebrew roots. If that was the case, I apologize for the action. I am most certainly quite clumsy half the time I write. True, I cannot decide for the Jew what Judaism thinks God to be (and even that varies, I'm sure). But if that's (one of the ways) what they think him to be, and we are discussing the reality of God, don't you think I'm going to disgree with the representation or how that representation was concluded? Furthermore, by definition, one who call himself an athiest is one of the least open-minded of all -- if he were not, he wouldn't be an athiest. Perhaps agnostic is a better term if you want to make people think you are more open-minded. :) The fact is very few in this discussion are really open-minded beyond being willing to discuss different points of view. I certainly can't "convert" you either. When it comes down to it, the choice always will be left with the individual to make his own inquiries into a matter and decide for himself. If an individual just takes my word for it, that could be very risky indeed.
 you have your view of the world which you think is absolute based on
 your seemingly very strong faith and therefore anything I say must be
 wrong. and that's based on:
 "the nth-hand re-interpretations of m-times "translated" stories
 related
 by /man/, and attributed to the will, actions or purpose of a god" as
 "Me Here" put so accurately in his post.
 There's a saying in Hebrew that says: "the Torah has 70 faces" meaning
 that everyone can read and see a different meaning in the text and in
 fact the Jewish faith expects all Jews to read and learn the bible
 themselves, unlike The preachings practiced in a church.
 I have my own understanding of the bible and of course I do not
 necessary believe everything I read. What I said was the Jewish view
 based on the very close examination of the [original!] text. as a
 Christian you do not have a say in what the Jewish view should be.
 your view is different based on your interpretation, sure, but have
 you
 ever read the bible yourself? have you read the Hebrew version of it?
 there is a very good reason why the pope knows Hebrew, and wares a
 yarmulke (found that word in an online dictionary...).
 since I'm an atheist and a Jew, please keep your Christian preaching
 to
 yourself (in the Jewish faith preaching is a very grave sin!)

Uh oh. I think more than one of us in trouble then. :) May I ask where the preaching occurred? What is preaching? I'm merely arguing for the Christian worldview. I was arguing... just like ... you. :) I'm not sure what you are implying about Catholicism's relationship to Judaism, but I suppose, since you are Jewish, that you do still relate to your culture and defend some of it accordingly, even if it means an appeal to another "authority" to prove it's importance. I don't know how relevant that is, but I suppose that's your right.
 all I posted in my original view was the Jewish understanding of the
 bible which is not "wrong" as you seem to imply, but merely different
 (Id say more accurate based on the text in the Hebrew edition version
 1.0 as I like to call it, but not an absolute truth). what your
 version
 of the bible says is irrelevant to the Jewish perspective.
 If the Christian version changed some of the concepts (for example the
 'one'ness of god...) well, than it applies to Christians only.
 in an analogy - you cannot say that my perfectly working D.1 based
 application is wrong because your D.2 compiler does not compile it, or
 even that your version is better. for example, I do not like the
 current D2 const concept and do not wish to use it and you cannot
 claim that I'm wrong based on your use of the D2 const. it may work
 for you but it doesn't have to work for everyone.
 

Does not an athiest see any view of God as "wrong"? As an athiest, if you personally are looking at all the beliefs in a "god" as pure silliness, then you most certainly will believe one view of a god is no more wrong than another (because they apparently are all wrong). But you most likely /will/ be most sympathetic to the one you identify with. I'm pointing out that we must go beyond discussing mere perspectives of God and start getting a more rigid understanding of who he is, why we are here, and where we are going. I claim that rejecting the Christian God is fatal, even if it is a choice that one is certainly allowed to make. As an analogy, a murderer may have the "choice" to kill his victim in that he is capable of acting out the incident, but even so he will have to experience the consequences of that action when he is caught and handed over to a just judge. If this is the case, one should be careful to investigate the Christian worldview thoroughly because it defines sin, the consequences of sin, and how one can be saved from bondage to it. This is in contrast to most other religions that may claim "all ways can lead to truth": such a statement effectively eliminates consequences, responsibility, and sin from the picture and renders this world, once again, a murky existance of subjective feelings with no way to be confident in anything beyond an inductive principle of undefined reliability. (What follows is not preaching, but I suppose people that have had the possibly unpleasant experience of viewing some tv evangelists and such are senstitive to anything quoted from scripture): Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father except through Me." This is the absolute claim of the Christian Bible. This Jesus also talked about hate being the same as murder, adultery the same as looking on a woman to lust after her, and divorce and remarriage being the same as ongoing adultery. These claims are important because they point out man's degenerate state, the need to be saved from it, the consequences of dieing in sin, and the only source of such salvation from that sin. Meanwhile many people exist with depression, hopelessness, and disallusionment within their own worldview (or some claim) lack thereof ... and /still/ rail against the God of the Bible because they don't like the options offered or think such an existance is unfair. Mostly the argument reduces to that they just don't like this God. It's perplexing given the fact the gift of reconciliation to this God is indeed amazing, and without this God, our meaning for existance is murky at best.
 The bible is very clear to the reader only if you read the children's
 edition with illustrations. to say that "the Bible is actually
 astoundingly clear in its message and leaves very little to
 imagination for the reader." is like saying the D2 const regime is
 simple, understandable and clear in its message.
 
 --Yigal
 

Maybe we'll be able to bring this back on topic eventually. That was a brave attempt! :-D -JJR

Jun 07 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,


 look, I do not wish to discuss religion with you. unlike BCS who's
 open to other views you clearly are not,

one point, I have a very solid opinion on religion. I'm willing to /discuss/ others and even allow that the evidence doesn't support one over the other. But I still belive that my own in correct.
 The bible is very clear to the reader only if you read the children's
 edition with illustrations. to say that "the Bible is actually
 astoundingly clear in its message and leaves very little to
 imagination for the reader." is like saying the D2 const regime is
 simple, understandable and clear in its message.

now that is in interesting comparison <G>
 
 --Yigal
 

Jun 07 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 
 look, I do not wish to discuss religion with you. unlike BCS who's
 open to other views you clearly are not,

one point, I have a very solid opinion on religion. I'm willing to /discuss/ others and even allow that the evidence doesn't support one over the other. But I still belive that my own in correct.
 The bible is very clear to the reader only if you read the children's
 edition with illustrations. to say that "the Bible is actually
 astoundingly clear in its message and leaves very little to
 imagination for the reader." is like saying the D2 const regime is
 simple, understandable and clear in its message.

now that is in interesting comparison <G>
 --Yigal


I never doubted your strong belief, but rather positively pointed out your willingness to hear other opinions and debating the issue. if you will read the above as:
 look, I do not wish to discuss religion with you. unlike BCS who's
 open to [listen and debate] other views you clearly are not,


at least you haven't compared me to a murderer and claimed my world view to be "fatal" <G> -- Yigal
Jun 07 2008
parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,


 I never doubted your strong belief, but rather positively pointed out
 your willingness to hear other opinions and debating the issue. if you
 will read the above as:

I more or less though you did, but wanted to be shure others did as well.
Jun 07 2008
prev sibling parent Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 The bible is very clear to the reader only if you read the children's
 edition with illustrations. to say that "the Bible is actually
 astoundingly clear in its message and leaves very little to imagination
 for the reader." is like saying the D2 const regime is simple,
 understandable and clear in its message.

I think the current D2 const regime is reasonably understandable, albeit quite coarse-grained to gain its simplicity. But I haven't really used it.
Jun 08 2008
prev sibling parent reply Don <nospam nospam.com.au> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Me Here wrote:
 BCS wrote:

 have you ever had a pet? Which reason did you use for keeping it? 1, 2 or 3?


 1/ It enjoys watching us suffer floods, plagues, earthquakes, wars,
 starvation and pestilance.

 2/ It is so ego-centric that it needs the adulation of billions (what
 would this number mean to an omni-present being?), in order to feel
 good about itself.

 3/ It a mechanism whereby a few strong minds effect control of large
 numbers of weak minds.


breif association on this forum. The direct answer to your question, is "none of the above". There is a distinct and huge difference between: - "keeping a pet"--feeding it, taking it for walks, petting it. Simply enjoying the affection it demonstrates--of its own volition-- and the companionship it provides. and *Creating* a entire race of sentient beings, along with a million other species, a world, and a universe containsing millions of galaxies and billions of stars... And then compelling them to subscribe and adhere to a set of (variously) 10 commandments; 613 rules; etc. etc. on pain of eternal damnation if they fail to believe, subscribe and adhere...PURELY FOR MY OWN AMUSEMENT. And that last uppercased part is the point. Give, describe, or otherwise elucidate *one* reason, justification or purpose to creating sentient beings, endowing them with "free will", decrying them from using it; and condeming them if they do? The *only* "explanantion I'ev ever been offereed from "believers" for this question, is "its just an experiment".. But, if the creator is all-poerful, and omni-present--and it must be, if it is a "god"--then it knows the outcome for the experiment starts, so there is no purpose other than one of the 3 above, b.

A side note - the "modern" concept of hell is entirely Christian. the original word in the bible is ื’ื™ื”ื ื•ื which is a concatenation of ื’ื™ื ื‘ืŸ ื”ื™ื ื•ื which is the valley of the son of Hinom. it's a place in Jerusalem where lived the above mentioned family and they practiced evil acts according to the bible. they worshiped one of the ancient idols (can't remember now which one..) and this required sacrificing your own first born of something of that nature.

It was Molech. You had to throw your firstborn son into a furnace and perform religious ceremonies as he was burned alive. This is where the image of flames in hell comes from.
 The bible uses that term to refer to a
 place of pure evil and this is a real location on earth, in Jerusalem,
 you can come and see it yourselves.

In later times it was used as a rubbish pit. In the New Testament's use of gehenna it's essentially an incinerator for evil.
 the word ืฉื˜ืŸ (the devil) has two meanings one of which is "obstacle" and
 the other refers to one of god's angels which of course never "fall from
 the sky" or anything like that. Satan represents in the bible the role
 of the prosecutor. God is the judge and he put Satan on the job of
 pointing our faults since god is merciful and cares for his creations,
 and didn't want to do it himself.

 Btw, angels are _not_ people with wings. ืžืœืืš is the word in the bible
 and it literally means "a messenger". they can take a form of a human
 just like they can be elements of nature like wind.

This sounds mostly correct to me. I'm surprised John disagreed with it. BTW, Another similar bizarre belief is that 'Lucifer' is Satan. Lucifer = Latin for the planet Venus, also known as the morning star. The Bible is very explicit that 'Lucifer' is Jesus, not Satan (see the second last verse of the New Testament, for example!). It's a good example of how common these types of misconceptions are. (Another classic: the Bible never says that Jesus was born in a stable. Hasn't anyone ever heard of Middle Eastern hospitality??). Please don't assume that Christianity is based on blind faith. Those of us who are evangelicals are constantly trying to find the places where we've made mistakes, places we've ended up believing all kinds of rubbish. Which is why I like talking to atheists, since you can potentially learn the most from people you disagree with.
 "pain of eternal damnation" does not exist in the bible or in the Jewish
 faith.

Some similar concepts do, though. See the last few verses of Isaiah.
 just wanted to give a Jewish prespective on the subject. carry on with
 your debate.

Jun 10 2008
next sibling parent reply Aarti_pl <aarti interia.pl> writes:
Don pisze:
 the word ืฉื˜ืŸ (the devil) has two meanings one of which is "obstacle" and
 the other refers to one of god's angels which of course never "fall from
 the sky" or anything like that. Satan represents in the bible the role
 of the prosecutor. God is the judge and he put Satan on the job of
 pointing our faults since god is merciful and cares for his creations,
 and didn't want to do it himself.

 Btw, angels are _not_ people with wings. ืžืœืืš is the word in the bible
 and it literally means "a messenger". they can take a form of a human
 just like they can be elements of nature like wind.

This sounds mostly correct to me. I'm surprised John disagreed with it. BTW, Another similar bizarre belief is that 'Lucifer' is Satan. Lucifer = Latin for the planet Venus, also known as the morning star. The Bible is very explicit that 'Lucifer' is Jesus, not Satan (see the second last verse of the New Testament, for example!). It's a good example of how common these types of misconceptions are.

Well, I can not check original right now, but I would rather say that using 'Venus' name in Bible text can mean different things depending on context. Other meaning is in Is 14,12. Passage from Isaiah is often interpreted as description of devil's fall, although directly it is about king of Babylon. This symbol is similar to symbol of 'lion': it refers sometimes to Jesus("Lion of Judah"), and sometimes devil eg.: 1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
 (Another classic: the Bible never says that Jesus was born in a stable.
 Hasn't anyone ever heard of Middle Eastern hospitality??).
 
 Please don't assume that Christianity is based on blind faith. Those of 
 us who are evangelicals are constantly trying to find the places where 
 we've made mistakes, places we've ended up believing all kinds of 
 rubbish. Which is why I like talking to atheists, since you can 
 potentially learn the most from people you disagree with.

I agree with above. Additionally IMHO commonly existing misconceptions about Christianity are unfortunately very important factors, which keeps people away from it. BR Marcin Kuszczak
Jun 10 2008
parent reply Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from Aarti_pl (aarti interia.pl)'s article
 Don pisze:
 This sounds mostly correct to me. I'm surprised John disagreed with it.
 BTW, Another similar bizarre belief is that 'Lucifer' is Satan. Lucifer
 = Latin for the planet Venus, also known as the morning star. The Bible
 is very explicit that 'Lucifer' is Jesus, not Satan (see the second last
 verse of the New Testament, for example!). It's a good example of how
 common these types of misconceptions are.

using 'Venus' name in Bible text can mean different things depending on context. Other meaning is in Is 14,12. Passage from Isaiah is often interpreted as description of devil's fall, although directly it is about king of Babylon.

Oops, you're right. That passage refers to the King of Babylon, not Jesus. I apologize for the typo. Sean
Jun 10 2008
parent Don <nospam nospam.com.au> writes:
 == Quote from Aarti_pl (aarti interia.pl)'s article
 Don pisze:
 This sounds mostly correct to me. I'm surprised John disagreed with it.
 BTW, Another similar bizarre belief is that 'Lucifer' is Satan. Lucifer
 = Latin for the planet Venus, also known as the morning star. The Bible
 is very explicit that 'Lucifer' is Jesus, not Satan (see the second last
 verse of the New Testament, for example!). It's a good example of how
 common these types of misconceptions are.

using 'Venus' name in Bible text can mean different things depending on context. Other meaning is in Is 14,12. Passage from Isaiah is often interpreted as description of devil's fall, although directly it is about king of Babylon.


Indeed. The 'morning star', 'Venus', 'Lucifer', etc is just "the brightest, most spectacular star in the sky". And in reference to the King of Tyre, it's another way of saying "How the mighty have fallen!". It's highly speculative (though of course possible) to associate that with the devil. But the notion that 'Satan was a fallen angel originally named Lucifer' is just bizarre. Yet disturbingly widespread.
Jun 11 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from Don (nospam nospam.com.au)'s article
 This sounds mostly correct to me. I'm surprised John disagreed with it.
 BTW, Another similar bizarre belief is that 'Lucifer' is Satan. Lucifer
 = Latin for the planet Venus, also known as the morning star. The Bible
 is very explicit that 'Lucifer' is Jesus, not Satan (see the second last
 verse of the New Testament, for example!). It's a good example of how
 common these types of misconceptions are.

To be fair, Isaiah 14:12 does suggest that the term could be applied to the "prince of devils" as well (from the KJV). But that section also makes it fairly clear that Jesus is the true owner of that title. Trust people to ignore context when looking for stuff to quote. Sean
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling parent Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Don wrote:
<snip/>
 
 It was Molech. You had to throw your firstborn son into a furnace and
 perform religious ceremonies as he was burned alive.
 This is where the image of flames in hell comes from.

that's right. I've forgot the name, thanks for the reminder :)
 
 The bible uses that term to refer to a
 place of pure evil and this is a real location on earth, in Jerusalem,
 you can come and see it yourselves.

In later times it was used as a rubbish pit. In the New Testament's use of gehenna it's essentially an incinerator for evil.
 the word ืฉื˜ืŸ (the devil) has two meanings one of which is "obstacle" and
 the other refers to one of god's angels which of course never "fall from
 the sky" or anything like that. Satan represents in the bible the role
 of the prosecutor. God is the judge and he put Satan on the job of
 pointing our faults since god is merciful and cares for his creations,
 and didn't want to do it himself.

 Btw, angels are _not_ people with wings. ืžืœืืš is the word in the bible
 and it literally means "a messenger". they can take a form of a human
 just like they can be elements of nature like wind.

This sounds mostly correct to me. I'm surprised John disagreed with it. BTW, Another similar bizarre belief is that 'Lucifer' is Satan. Lucifer = Latin for the planet Venus, also known as the morning star. The Bible is very explicit that 'Lucifer' is Jesus, not Satan (see the second last verse of the New Testament, for example!). It's a good example of how common these types of misconceptions are.

And yet he did... About Lucifer - this is entirely a Christian issue since it only appears in the New Testament and therefore I don't know anything about it.
 
 (Another classic: the Bible never says that Jesus was born in a stable.
 Hasn't anyone ever heard of Middle Eastern hospitality??).

So very true! :)
 
 Please don't assume that Christianity is based on blind faith. Those of
 us who are evangelicals are constantly trying to find the places where
 we've made mistakes, places we've ended up believing all kinds of
 rubbish. Which is why I like talking to atheists, since you can
 potentially learn the most from people you disagree with.
 

have so many religious wars in our history. Unfortunately, It doesn't seem that you are in a majority.
 "pain of eternal damnation" does not exist in the bible or in the Jewish
 faith.

Some similar concepts do, though. See the last few verses of Isaiah.

middle school so maybe I'll read it again when I'll have the time. Or I could ask a religious buddy of mine. Thanks for your comments. It's nice to see that not all Christians believe in all that nonsense. --Yigal
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Me,

 BCS wrote:
 
 have you ever had a pet? Which reason did you use for keeping it? 1,
 2 or 3?
 
 1/ It enjoys watching us suffer floods, plagues, earthquakes, wars,
 starvation and pestilance.
 
 2/ It is so ego-centric that it needs the adulation of billions
 (what would this number mean to an omni-present being?), in order to
 feel good about itself.
 
 3/ It a mechanism whereby a few strong minds effect control of large
 numbers of weak minds.
 


our breif association on this forum. The direct answer to your question, is "none of the above". There is a distinct and huge difference between: - "keeping a pet"--feeding it, taking it for walks, petting it. Simply enjoying the affection it demonstrates--of its own volition-- and the companionship it provides. and *Creating* a entire race of sentient beings, along with a million other species, a world, and a universe containsing millions of galaxies and billions of stars... And then compelling them to subscribe and adhere to a set of (variously) 10 commandments; 613 rules; etc. etc. on pain of eternal damnation if they fail to believe, subscribe and adhere...PURELY FOR MY OWN AMUSEMENT.

In my world view these is a marked similarity between the two. The sole reason for the creation of the universe is that god wants personal relationships. God is so powerful that the creation of the universe is easier for him than it is for us to even pick out a dog to take home. Out sole reason for living is to have a personal relationship with god. And as to demanding behavior of us; do we not do that with pets? If you had a dog that didn't obey, didn't come when you called and messed on the carpet would you keep it? A lot of places the culturally correct thing to do is shoot it. Other places you just give it away or kick it out.
 And that last uppercased part is the point. Give, describe, or
 otherwise elucidate *one* reason, justification or purpose to creating
 sentient beings, endowing them with "free will", decrying them from
 using it;  and condeming them if they do?

God wants a voluntary personal relationship with us. For it to be voluntary, we must have to option to refuse. If we can refuse, some will. The result of us refusing is simply to end up without a relationship with god, to end up separated from god, a.k.a. in hell.
 
 The *only* "explanantion I'ev ever been offereed from "believers" for
 this question, is "its just an experiment".. But, if the creator is
 all-poerful, and omni-present--and it must be, if it is a "god"--then
 it knows the outcome for the experiment starts, so there is no purpose
 other than one of the 3 above,
 
 b.
 

Jun 06 2008
parent reply "Me Here" <p9e883002 sneakemail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:

 Reply to Me,
 
 BCS wrote:
 
 have you ever had a pet? Which reason did you use for keeping it? 1,
 2 or 3?
 
 1/ It enjoys watching us suffer floods, plagues, earthquakes, wars,
 starvation and pestilance.
 
 2/ It is so ego-centric that it needs the adulation of billions
 (what would this number mean to an omni-present being?), in order to
 feel good about itself.
 
 3/ It a mechanism whereby a few strong minds effect control of large
 numbers of weak minds.
 


our breif association on this forum. The direct answer to your question, is "none of the above". There is a distinct and huge difference between: - "keeping a pet"--feeding it, taking it for walks, petting it. Simply enjoying the affection it demonstrates--of its own volition-- and the companionship it provides. and *Creating* a entire race of sentient beings, along with a million other species, a world, and a universe containsing millions of galaxies and billions of stars... And then compelling them to subscribe and adhere to a set of (variously) 10 commandments; 613 rules; etc. etc. on pain of eternal damnation if they fail to believe, subscribe and adhere...PURELY FOR MY OWN AMUSEMENT.

In my world view these is a marked similarity between the two. The sole reason for the creation of the universe is that god wants personal relationships. God is so powerful that the creation of the universe is easier for him than it is for us to even pick out a dog to take home. Out sole reason for living is to have a personal relationship with god. And as to demanding behavior of us; do we not do that with pets? If you had a dog that didn't obey, didn't come when you called and messed on the carpet would you keep it? A lot of places the culturally correct thing to do is shoot it. Other places you just give it away or kick it out.
 And that last uppercased part is the point. Give, describe, or
 otherwise elucidate one reason, justification or purpose to creating
 sentient beings, endowing them with "free will", decrying them from
 using it;  and condeming them if they do?

God wants a voluntary personal relationship with us.

What sort of "personal" relationship can *you* have with an amoeba? How about a your bathtub full of mangrove swamp water, and each of its ~6e9 amoeboic inhabitants? Would you care for their love lifes? Feel for them when their siblings die? Care much if they we're individually or collectively hungry? Give a monkeys if a few hundred or thousand fell foul of a "splashing accident"? The word "relationship" implies two-way communication. Has your god spoken to you? Or to anyone you know? Comforted you or your freinds with a hug or a cup of sweet tea in times of need? And note: your /finding comfort/ in the nth-hand re-interpretations of m-times "translated" stories related by /man/, and attributed to the will, actions or purpose of a god, don't mean anything other than you are capable of finding meaning in words. So am I. Anything from Nabacov's Lolita to Golding's Lord of the Flies, pretty much anything by Shakespeare. And yes, the Bible. And the Koran. And the Talmud, Upanishadm, Theravada & Mahayana. Even the works of LaVey, James Mooney, Even some of those of by Koresh, & Hubbard have some merit in part. But then again, you can draw an aweful lot of meaning from the Life of Brian if you go into it looking for it. Believing does not make things so. And whilst I can appreciate, and am genuinely happy for you, if you find meaning and purpose and comfort from your beliefs, to espouse them as if they were fact, is not only individually arrogant in the extreme, but diminishes them and their purpose collectively. Please do not choose to be offended by my words. You choose to beleive, and nothing I, nor anyone, do or say, should have the slightest affect upon those beliefs. You are secure in the "knowledge" that whatever benefits acrue from your beliefs, are yours for the taking. And I will get my comeuppance in due course. I may not understand your belief, or even your need for it, but I do respect your right to it. As long as you respect mine. Be well, b. --
Jun 06 2008
next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Me,

 The word "relationship" implies two-way communication. Has your god
 spoken to you? Or to anyone you know?

A few days after this thread started and about a day before it went religiose. I was thinking about how as a Christian, I am supposed to show the world my faith. take that for what you will.
Jun 07 2008
parent reply "Me Here" <p9e883002 sneakemail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:

 as a Christian, I am supposed to show the world my faith.  

That is the crux of my personal objection to organised religion. The need, desire or worse, imperative, to announce or demonstrate ones "faith" to the wider world. It leads to the need to condemn those who announce or demonstrate a different faith, or even minor variations of the same faith. And that leads to wars, and extremism. Whilst faith is between the individual and their god, it affects noone, except the individual. Hurts no one, And satisfies the criteria of most rational reading of most every set of teachings. The individual has their relationship with their god, and demonstrates their faith to the only two entities that matter to that relationship, in private. Shared faith between like minded individuals is fine, but once the need to demonstrate to non-like minded individuals takes precedence, all hell breaks loose. (Worded carefully!) I can accept, and even admire, when individuals reach their own level of understanding about the teachings of their faith and choose to constrain their own lives and deeds in the light of that understanding. The problems arise when they seek to constrain the lives and deeds of others in the light of their understanding. Indeed, I would go as far as to say that it isn't true faith if there *is* a need to demonstrate it. That smacks entirely of the need for validation of ones ideas and understanding from other mortals. And that's not "faith". Of course. My need to expound my thoughts on this is equally, a demonstration, seeking (perhaps), validation. But then I make no claim to having faith.
 take that for what you will.

I take it as the conservative statements of a rational and thoughtful man who's given the subject a lot of thought, as have I, but simply reached different conclusions. And, perhaps in that, we are not so dissimilar. We both, I think, allow for the possibility that rational people can consider the same evidence (and lack thereof) and reach different conclusions. No absolutism. And, I hope, we both accept that neither of us will ever know the truth for sure. We may believe, but we cannot, in this life at least, know. Be well. b. --
Jun 07 2008
next sibling parent Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Me Here wrote:
 BCS wrote:
 
 as a Christian, I am supposed to show the world my faith.  

That is the crux of my personal objection to organised religion. The need, desire or worse, imperative, to announce or demonstrate ones "faith" to the wider world. It leads to the need to condemn those who announce or demonstrate a different faith, or even minor variations of the same faith. And that leads to wars, and extremism. Whilst faith is between the individual and their god, it affects noone, except the individual. Hurts no one, And satisfies the criteria of most rational reading of most every set of teachings. The individual has their relationship with their god, and demonstrates their faith to the only two entities that matter to that relationship, in private. Shared faith between like minded individuals is fine, but once the need to demonstrate to non-like minded individuals takes precedence, all hell breaks loose. (Worded carefully!) I can accept, and even admire, when individuals reach their own level of understanding about the teachings of their faith and choose to constrain their own lives and deeds in the light of that understanding. The problems arise when they seek to constrain the lives and deeds of others in the light of their understanding. Indeed, I would go as far as to say that it isn't true faith if there *is* a need to demonstrate it. That smacks entirely of the need for validation of ones ideas and understanding from other mortals. And that's not "faith". Of course. My need to expound my thoughts on this is equally, a demonstration, seeking (perhaps), validation. But then I make no claim to having faith.
 take that for what you will.

I take it as the conservative statements of a rational and thoughtful man who's given the subject a lot of thought, as have I, but simply reached different conclusions. And, perhaps in that, we are not so dissimilar. We both, I think, allow for the possibility that rational people can consider the same evidence (and lack thereof) and reach different conclusions. No absolutism. And, I hope, we both accept that neither of us will ever know the truth for sure. We may believe, but we cannot, in this life at least, know. Be well. b.

very well put and I wholeheartedly agree :) > it isn't true faith if there *is* a need to demonstrate it. very true indeed.
Jun 07 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Me,

 BCS wrote:
 
 as a Christian, I am supposed to show the world my faith.
 

The need, desire or worse, imperative, to announce or demonstrate ones "faith" to the wider world. It leads to the need to condemn those who announce or demonstrate a different faith, or even minor variations of the same faith. And that leads to wars, and extremism. Whilst faith is between the individual and their god, it affects noone, except the individual. Hurts no one, And satisfies the criteria of most rational reading of most every set of teachings. The individual has their relationship with their god, and demonstrates their faith to the only two entities that matter to that relationship, in private. Shared faith between like minded individuals is fine, but once the need to demonstrate to non-like minded individuals takes precedence, all hell breaks loose. (Worded carefully!) I can accept, and even admire, when individuals reach their own level of understanding about the teachings of their faith and choose to constrain their own lives and deeds in the light of that understanding. The problems arise when they seek to constrain the lives and deeds of others in the light of their understanding. Indeed, I would go as far as to say that it isn't true faith if there *is* a need to demonstrate it. That smacks entirely of the need for validation of ones ideas and understanding from other mortals. And that's not "faith". Of course. My need to expound my thoughts on this is equally, a demonstration, seeking (perhaps), validation. But then I make no claim to having faith.
 take that for what you will.
 

man who's given the subject a lot of thought, as have I, but simply reached different conclusions. And, perhaps in that, we are not so dissimilar. We both, I think, allow for the possibility that rational people can consider the same evidence (and lack thereof) and reach different conclusions. No absolutism. And, I hope, we both accept that neither of us will ever know the truth for sure. We may believe, but we cannot, in this life at least, know. Be well. b.

I'm not sure what you mean by organised religion, but does your dislike apply also to organized systems like secular humanism, naturalism, and such. Does the fact that evolution, big bang theory, and other topics have been taught (and probably still are in many areas) as /fact/ to many elementary students strike you as "organized". These things among many other things in the public systems have been very organized for a long time, including pervasive humanistic worldviews. If you believe the effects of indoctrination by other pervading worldviews, including those associated with athiesm, are dangerous, I will consider your above statements "consistant". Otherwise, it would only seem that you are trying to pass the blame onto worldviews you personally dislike. Incidentally, this keeps coming up: Christianity is not an organized religion in itself. It is a worldview. Roman Catholicism is an organized religion. Mormonism is an organized religion... Many forms of Protestantism are organized religions. I have a particular dislike for organized religion myself. About "personal faith": I primarily argue against the personal faith idea because it doesn't work either (otherwise translated: "if it works for you, that's cool; but that doesn't mean its for everybody." Accusing all the world's problem to be on the head of those who try to share their faith with others is another over-simplification in what appears to be actively dodging reality. If a worldview exists that explains the operation of this world, then it is reasonable to believe that it should be shared with others so that they can understand how to approach the problems they face (stress: it is still a choice!). It is also fair to share the stated consequences of rejecting that faith. The person is not obligated to believe anything that is said, but rather can ignore it (In fact, he isn't even obligated to listen to what you have to say!) - yet, those consequences should be taken seriously and if the said worldview is correct, rejection of it will not make the consequences any less untrue. Here's a gentler analogy: if a person believes that a person is about to walk off the end of a 1000 meter cliff that he apparently doesn't see, then he is showing much love and concern to introduce him to the possibility that sudden death is imminent. The motivation behind sharing that worldview should be care for the other person... not power or control. If he does it for power and control, the person sharing his faith is indeed doing a deadly and dangerous deed -- and in terms of Christianity is an outright fake. The Bible warns of these kind of people. One point here, though: I admit that a worldview applied through an organized religion with deadly ideology is indeed dangerous. My constant claim here is that Christianity is a worldview that is helpful, and not only helpful, but necessary for the perservation of life (spiritual), sanity, order, and hope. If people disagree with this (and, they do, I know), I will most certainly try to point out the reason why I believe this to be so in comparison to other worldviews. (Incidentally, it seems popular and acceptable to disparage the Christain worldview, but few are allowed to undermine the other ones... unless he wants to be ridiculed and derided. But hey, I game. :) ) On the other hand, if we /really/ believe that having a personal faith is good, and keeping it to ourselves is even better, maybe we shouuld consider this: we actually invite significant conflict with no resolution by following this principle. For example, one person's faith believes sex is ok in marriage, another believes it's ok with any consenting adults, yet another believes it's okay to force sex; another believes homosexuality and lesbianism is normal; eventually another group decides that since all the other forms were determined acceptable, then pedaphilia must be normal too (note, I use these examples not to offend people, but to make stark analogies of potential conflict). Each of these groups decide that they needn't step on each other's toes because those things are /personal/ decisions and absolutes are a monumental "no-no". Nobody says anything about the other's activities and a law of "moral entropy" begins to form; lives are destroyed -- venereal diseases and resulting cancers grow rampant among the "looser" groups; humans of all ages become psychologically scarred, families become non-existant; children of a new generation grow up ever more apathetic, ammoral and without identity (rotating parent syndrome); civilizations decline rapidly as abortions increase (similar to the historical results of child sacrifice in "pagan" religions of times past). There are many historically examples of similar downward spirals of nations as moral decay sets in. In summary, there is a huge cost, in itself, of pursuing "let everyone alone" mentality. Whatever the case, common interest groups will inevitably form (incidentally, /with/ or /without/ religion) and organize. Now, I don't know how long these groups can survive with "leave and let live" mentality, but history shows that it doesn't last forever. This is the making of revolutions and history is full of such (once again: with and without claimed religious basis!). Eventually someones rights overcome anothers whether or not there are absolute standards to decide what is right or wrong. Just consider how successfully forceful gay rights activists have been about their beliefs. People continue to push against societal limits if they feel it is possible. And it will be inevitable, with this mentality, that people will continue to push moral limits as far as the culture allows for the time. The bounds of morality are set for a reason in the Christain worldview. The Bible defines immorality, explains the distructive force of it and where it finally leads. It also clearly explains why nobody is capable of overcoming immorality on their own strength; people condemn themselves by not accepting the gift offered by the Christ. It claims that Jesus is the only source of that strength... and apart from him, no man is holy, can live a holy life, or see the Father in heaven. The requirement is denying oneself completely. Now, the athiest, who rejects the existance of such bounds, or says some bounds "exist" naturally in culture and societies natural pressure to conform, is left with a changing morality that really has no form, existance, or containment: it is considered evolving (even though that evolution appears to be heading in the wrong direction that is contrary to the preservation of life!) It shape shifts as society changes such that there is no real way to hold somebody accountable for "evil" doing - but at some point one group DOES force this issue and decide on what rights are real or not real... for a time. So much for "leave and let live". It disappears anyway and religion doesn't have anything to do with it. Can you see where this leads? Those that propose "personal faith" as the ultimate way to "get along" find themselves trapped in a subjective (now becoming a popular accusation in this group :P) cycle and, as much as some would love to pass the blame, the blame is just as surely on the inactive and apathetic as it is on those that abuse opportunity for a "religious" cause. That leads me to think that there is more to the equation than meets the eye. Organization is dangerous, but please realize the source is not in mere religion. -JJR
Jun 07 2008
parent reply "Me Here" <p9e883002 sneakemail.com> writes:
John Reimer wrote:

 we actually invite significant conflict with no resolution by following this
 principle.  For example, one person's faith believes sex is ok in marriage,
 another believes it's ok with any consenting adults, yet another believes
 it's okay to force sex; another believes homosexuality and lesbianism is
 normal; eventually another group decides that since all the other forms were
 determined acceptable, then pedaphilia must be normal too

Utter sensationalist twaddle. We do not need religion in order for society to impose reasonable limits upon personal freedom. Secular authorities are perfectly capable and, in fact, have always been the ones charged with enforcing laws to ensure I don't kill, rape, enslave or prey upon others. Priests (of whatever religion) have rarely ever performed this role. And often as not, historically and more recently, they have been the perpetrators rather than enforcers and have justified their actions in terms of their religion. Almost ever sentence of your post is filled with the implicit view that you should have the right to impose your views and opinion ("beliefs") upon others. Hatred and intolorance for other choices that offend *your* "world view". Your words are the very opitomy of all that is bad in reeligion. We have nothing to discuse. b. --
Jun 07 2008
parent John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Me,

 John Reimer wrote:
 
 we actually invite significant conflict with no resolution by
 following this principle.  For example, one person's faith believes
 sex is ok in marriage, another believes it's ok with any consenting
 adults, yet another believes it's okay to force sex; another believes
 homosexuality and lesbianism is normal; eventually another group
 decides that since all the other forms were determined acceptable,
 then pedaphilia must be normal too
 

We do not need religion in order for society to impose reasonable limits upon personal freedom. Secular authorities are perfectly capable and, in fact, have always been the ones charged with enforcing laws to ensure I don't kill, rape, enslave or prey upon others. Priests (of whatever religion) have rarely ever performed this role. And often as not, historically and more recently, they have been the perpetrators rather than enforcers and have justified their actions in terms of their religion. Almost ever sentence of your post is filled with the implicit view that you should have the right to impose your views and opinion ("beliefs") upon others. Hatred and intolorance for other choices that offend *your* "world view". Your words are the very opitomy of all that is bad in reeligion. We have nothing to discuse. b.

Okay. I accept this as an indication that you don't want to talk about it. There is nothing in my words of hate, nor can they be taken as such. I'm afraid you just don't like my explanation. Do I have as much right to express my views as you do to yours here, even though yours ridicule and accuse? These certainly aren't forced upon you. I am imposing my views no more than you are in this group. If to present them or argue for a worldview is imposing, then no one should be allowed to say anything. -JJR
Jun 08 2008
prev sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Me,

 BCS wrote:
 
 as a Christian, I am supposed to show the world my faith.
 

The need, desire or worse, imperative, to announce or demonstrate ones "faith" to the wider world. It leads to the need to condemn those who announce or demonstrate a different faith, or even minor variations of the same faith. And that leads to wars, and extremism.

I am supposed to show it to you. After that you can take it or leave it. It is NOT my place to force it on you, and I won't. I have gone to some effort to avoid going beyond explaining my belief and correcting errors in what people think I belive. (OK I've debated logical consequences of a few things but I /tried/ to stick with just logic there and not faith) One way to look at my view is this: I, as a Christian, belive that not being a Christian will send you to hell (to be blunt). If someone ends up there because I didn't tell them about what Christianity is, then it is on my head. If they end up there because I told them and they reject it, then it is on their's.
 The problems arise when they seek to constrain the
 lives and deeds of others in the light of their understanding.
 

*I* can not and *must* not constrain /your/ life. That is your job.
Jun 07 2008
parent John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello BCS,

 Reply to Me,
 
 BCS wrote:
 
 as a Christian, I am supposed to show the world my faith.
 

The need, desire or worse, imperative, to announce or demonstrate ones "faith" to the wider world. It leads to the need to condemn those who announce or demonstrate a different faith, or even minor variations of the same faith. And that leads to wars, and extremism.

it. It is NOT my place to force it on you, and I won't. I have gone to some effort to avoid going beyond explaining my belief and correcting errors in what people think I belive. (OK I've debated logical consequences of a few things but I /tried/ to stick with just logic there and not faith) One way to look at my view is this: I, as a Christian, belive that not being a Christian will send you to hell (to be blunt). If someone ends up there because I didn't tell them about what Christianity is, then it is on my head. If they end up there because I told them and they reject it, then it is on their's.
 The problems arise when they seek to constrain the lives and deeds of
 others in the light of their understanding.
 


Our styles may differ, but I just want to point out that none of my posts intended to constrain anybody or to force my worldview on them (some have a accused me of such because the content was taken as a bitter pill, but this in no way forces anyone to do anything; striking at the foundations of any ideology is inevitably going to annoy people). After arguing the point for awhile, it becomes evident that these points are not welcome... in which case there is nothing more to be said. The difficulty is knowing when to stop, and at what point imposing is really imposing while making arguments on behalf of a worldview. I believe sharing faith is intrinsically connected with discussing ones worldview, or arguing it, because doing so explains how it operates. With the Christian, sharing a worldview is usually done with the realization that he isn't the one that's able to convince or convict. That is God's work, and we know in ourselves that we are only free from guilt because of God's love and mercy; we have no strength and no perfection in and of ourselves. We know what we once were and could continue to be without subjection to God. We care for the individual by expressing these views. If it is rejected, we indeed have nothing further to say because biblical mandate was never to force beliefs on anybody, although we most certainly are to share it. But this does not mean we don't state inconsistancies of other worldviews or even state consequences. But that is not "force". Imposition, on the other hand, can happen at any point with any person. The mere mention of "sin" or "bible" might be an imposition to someone in this public group. Imposing is ill-defined here because each of us are offering different views in a newsgroup that is public, where, as it has been stated by some before in other topics, one has a right to read or not-read posts. Though that argument has generally surprised me here as incomplete, I have accepted it as the way the newsgroup operates and assumed it is no imposition to discuss ones worldview frankly (as have others). On the other hand, the Christian worldview is not a worldview that people typically like to hear because it talks about a persons guilt and need for reconciliation with his/her Creator: this makes it difficult to express without offending an individual because few like being told that they are guilty or a sinner (it invariably insults ones pride). Naturally, most people are going to dislike being told such things; most other worldviews or religions are admittedly different in this regard in that they tend to emphasize a person's meaning in self alone, in which the purpose is to remove intrinsic feelings of guilt by justifying these feelings to themselves. Further, the /consequences/ stated in the Christian worldview invariablely rankle many people. The problem today is that many Christians believe they are obligated to "sweeten" up their message in order to convince, whether that means removing "hell" from the picture or emphasizing the "loving" aspect of God in absense of his "just" and "holy" aspects. This creates a complete change in the message and removes all consistancies maintained in the Bible. Eventually we have a message that most here would find much more palatable and self-suited, but completely unhelpful. Convincing people of something by mutating the message so that it is palatable is plain wrong. I'm not going to express a different Gospel in order to win as many converts as possible. I'm here to state the case and let people decide for themselves: liking or disliking a message never disproved it's truth. Many here voice strongly their dislike for the Christian worldview as presented, but that does not prove it untrue. I am most certainly not here on a convert crusade. I derive no personal enjoyment out of making people uncomfortable or annoying them, in fact my nature is to avoid that religiously ;). But I do believe in saying things that must be said. If I pursue in arguing a point, it's to try to remove some rather flippant accusations or assumptions made about Christianity. I am not offended, railing, or angry with anyone here and most certainly the implication of hatred, if anyone actually new me, is far far from reality. BCS, thank you for stating your own point of view honestly. This post wasn't necessarily all to you personally, just some thoughts/considerations I had overall. All the best. -JJR
Jun 08 2008
prev sibling parent aarti_pl <aarti interia.pl> writes:
Me Here pisze:
 The word "relationship" implies two-way communication. Has your god spoken to
 you? Or to anyone you know? 

I had one such quite striking experience. One time I was going to visit someone (I liked this girl quite much that time :-) ). When I was going there suddenly I found that there is kind of invisible wall before me. I felt it like the air was more and more dense so I almost couldn't move further... It was very strange for me, because I completely didn't understand what is going on. But I decided that time to go back and change my plans. (for skeptics: I wasn't drunken or something like that :-) ) As I said I did not understood that experience when I was living it. Later I read following passages from Bible and started to understand how it can be realized in someone's life. Is 30,21 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Acts 16,6 6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having *been kept by the Holy Spirit* from preaching the word in the province of Asia. Besides above I have at least 3 other quite strong experiences, which were closely related with my faith (relation between faith and experience was very clear for me), but they are probably too personal and too lengthy to share here :-) Besides that there were countless other examples, where relation between faith and reality was not so strong, but I believe it was not just coincidence. For example we were coming back from weekend trip with my family lately (me, my wife and two daughters). When we were already on parking in a front of out flat, car-breaks completely failed. Fortunately there was no more danger for us, as we drove slowly. I think that auto-service put bad quality break shields during last service and due to that some other mechanism failed resulting in completely loosing possibility to stop the car. Best Regards Marcin Kuszczak (www.zapytajmnie.com)
Jun 07 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:
 I love that all arguments against natural abiogenesis come down to an 
 argument from ignorance. The fact is that we haven't got the foggiest 
 bit of a clue what the entire range of things that could have 
 /potentially/ formed life are, we just happen to have been formed from a 
 particular set of amino acids. We like to believe that only amino acids, 
 or even only the set of amino acids life on Earth are based on, could 
 form life, but that's just stupid. Given the uncountably many planets in 
 the universe, life has probably come into existence and evolved in ways 
 we could never remotely predict, and idiots on their planets are saying 
 "The chances that a simple life based on hexavalent chromium would form 
 naturally are so unlikely, we must have been created by some higher 
 intelligence!" As it turns out, when you consider your very low but 
 extremely ignorant statistic given the number of planets in the 
 universe, and the potentially huge number of possible ways life could 
 form (a number we can't even begin to fathom), it turns into 
 99.9999999999%. Unfortunately, the general populous doesn't understand 
 statistics even in the slightest, and so they think "Wow, given the 
 extremely low odds that a protozoan would appear by random chance, we 
 must have been created by a higher power!" Idiots.
 
  - Gregor Richards

Troll much? I think most well-reasoned arguments for a higher power or powers accept such statistics and instead attempt to explain why the universe itself exists rather than life. The majority of such arguments do not seem to be well-reasoned, however.
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Robert Fraser wrote:
 Gregor Richards wrote:
 I love that all arguments against natural abiogenesis come down to an 
 argument from ignorance. The fact is that we haven't got the foggiest 
 bit of a clue what the entire range of things that could have 
 /potentially/ formed life are, we just happen to have been formed from 
 a particular set of amino acids. We like to believe that only amino 
 acids, or even only the set of amino acids life on Earth are based on, 
 could form life, but that's just stupid. Given the uncountably many 
 planets in the universe, life has probably come into existence and 
 evolved in ways we could never remotely predict, and idiots on their 
 planets are saying "The chances that a simple life based on hexavalent 
 chromium would form naturally are so unlikely, we must have been 
 created by some higher intelligence!" As it turns out, when you 
 consider your very low but extremely ignorant statistic given the 
 number of planets in the universe, and the potentially huge number of 
 possible ways life could form (a number we can't even begin to 
 fathom), it turns into 99.9999999999%. Unfortunately, the general 
 populous doesn't understand statistics even in the slightest, and so 
 they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan would 
 appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher power!" 
 Idiots.

  - Gregor Richards

Troll much? I think most well-reasoned arguments for a higher power or powers accept such statistics and instead attempt to explain why the universe itself exists rather than life. The majority of such arguments do not seem to be well-reasoned, however.

(oops) ... however this does not mean that a higher power of some sort (intelligent or not) is impossible.
Jun 02 2008
prev sibling parent reply Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from Robert Fraser (fraserofthenight gmail.com)'s article
 I think most well-reasoned arguments for a higher power or powers accept
 such statistics and instead attempt to explain why the universe itself
 exists rather than life. The majority of such arguments do not seem to
 be well-reasoned, however.

For better or worse, none of the arguments for the existence of G-d have help up to philosophical scrutiny. In fact, I believe philosophical circles have long since given up on the subject, since it's basically impossible to prove the existence of something without either epistemological evidence or without debatable premises (in the case of ontological arguments). That said, my personal favorites are St. Anselm's and Baruch Spinoza's: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anselm/ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spinoza/ Anselm for producing the first ontological argument, and Spinoza because his argument reads much like a mathematical proof. Spinoza's argument is also one of the more solid ones IMO, and it may gain points in some circles for not being aimed at proving the existence of a strictly Christian concept of G-d. Sean
Jun 03 2008
parent Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Sean Kelly wrote:
 == Quote from Robert Fraser (fraserofthenight gmail.com)'s article
 I think most well-reasoned arguments for a higher power or powers accept
 such statistics and instead attempt to explain why the universe itself
 exists rather than life. The majority of such arguments do not seem to
 be well-reasoned, however.

For better or worse, none of the arguments for the existence of G-d have help up to philosophical scrutiny. In fact, I believe philosophical circles have long since given up on the subject, since it's basically impossible to prove the existence of something without either epistemological evidence or without debatable premises (in the case of ontological arguments). That said, my personal favorites are St. Anselm's and Baruch Spinoza's: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anselm/ http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spinoza/ Anselm for producing the first ontological argument, and Spinoza because his argument reads much like a mathematical proof. Spinoza's argument is also one of the more solid ones IMO, and it may gain points in some circles for not being aimed at proving the existence of a strictly Christian concept of G-d.

Looks interesting; thanks for sharing.
Jun 03 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Gregor,

 BCS wrote:
 
 Reply to Simen,
 
 Chris Wright Wrote:
 
 BCS wrote:
 
 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that,
 if not worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for
 it with quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string
 theory or some such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info
 can be in a given volume.
 

abiogenesis.

Witnesses, as I've always been of the opinion that life being created by some higher being is less probable than it occuring naturally. Way I figured was, I get 1 cubic centimetre of the simplest, carbon-based, self-replicating molecules, on this planet of 1 trillion cubic kilometers (one cubic centimetre was chosen as some arbitrary amount that might come into being by chance). Not by any chance a big chunk, but is it enough for life to survive? Let's first see how many self-replicating molecules we can fit into my small cube - 1.6 quintillion. That ain't half bad. (Actually, I think the number was 1000 times bigger, but I don't remember the name of that number [Hexillion?], plus you can think of it as a bit of safety :p) Now, spread that evenly across the world (258 billion square kilometers), and you get 162 such molecule for every square meter. With enough resources nearby, I'd give it a fairly good chance of survival.

assemble the parts of the simplest form of life and put them in once place, the ball would be something like the size of earth. (I havn't checked the math or anything like that)

argument from ignorance. The fact is that we haven't got the foggiest bit of a clue what the entire range of things that could have /potentially/ formed life are, we just happen to have been formed from a particular set of amino acids. We like to believe that only amino acids, or even only the set of amino acids life on Earth are based on, could form life, but that's just stupid. Given the uncountably many planets in the universe, life has probably come into existence and evolved in ways we could never remotely predict, and idiots on their planets are saying "The chances that a simple life based on hexavalent chromium would form naturally are so unlikely, we must have been created by some higher intelligence!" As it turns out, when you consider your very low but extremely ignorant statistic given the number of planets in the universe, and the potentially huge number of possible ways life could form (a number we can't even begin to fathom), it turns into 99.9999999999%. Unfortunately, the general populous doesn't understand statistics even in the slightest, and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher power!" Idiots. - Gregor Richards

Count me an idiot then, Mr. Gregor. ;) Those that claim any level of certainty of "natural" abiogenesis are subject to a conflict of their own making: is it better to suppose something came from nothing, in which no abstract physical law existed to make sure such processes could survive before hand; where means, motive, or reason for causation apparently spontaneously self-generated from a mass of nothing? Or is it more ludicrous to believe in a spritiual sphere of existance outside of time that is not subject to the physical law, a God that created all things for his Own purpose. Interestingly, the bizarre and unnatural is often pursued relentlessly even to those that aspire to "realism" and reject the existance of a God: a look at modern physics theorists and science fiction to see the yearning they have for an existance that, while relentlessly circumventing the spiritual (accusing it of not being observable), still doggedly pursue ideas and existances that amount to the same. Nothing seems to ever be adequately explained in a world that denies an absolute Creator, nor is there any basis for social, ethical, or ideological constraints, nor is there any meaning to existance, no motivation to hope in a future, no meaning or reality to respect life, no subjection to conscience, rules or authority, no existance of right or wrong beyond a rapidly changing social definition of morality; such an existance is one without laws and rules, self-perpetuated by survival of the fittest; no room for mercy, care, or gentleness in the ever "evolving" pursuit to the be the most evolved. The existance of a person who perceives himself only subject to what is "real" is forever without hope describing what is real or what real means, or if what he observes through science is really "real". Instead, he is finally dominated only by a will to self-indulge and self-satisfy -- an entirely empty existance for anyone who has pursued that mode for any amount of time (most of us know what that feels like). Evolutionary "Scientists" have long used the claim of general ignorance to justify their own conjectures on reality -- the masses apparently can never understand these higher matters, and thus we must be wrong because of knowledge is too hard to understand... such arrogance! The true scientist, I think, is much more humble. Their own general ignorance of what can or can't be possible renders them no closer to having a solid understanding of metaphysics than anyone else. Science is not and never was designed for philosophical considerations -- that exists in parallel in the biases of the scientist's personal worldview. Nor does science lend itself to making conclusions on the universes beginnings or development. Evolution (abiogenesis) is not science... but merely a faith based movement, a philosophy, a worldview that attempts to manipulate/interpret observations to understand what is considered reality. It is just as much a worldview as any system that believes in a God that created this world. I would submit that evolution is a more "supernaturual" ideology in its incredible something-from-nothingness than any idea of a Creator and a Creation. If that makes me ignorant, so be it. :) My apologies if this comes across as strong statement, but hey you guys seems to like discussing this stuff. ;) -JJR
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent reply Gregor Richards <Richards codu.org> writes:
John Reimer wrote:
 Hello Gregor,
 
 BCS wrote:

 Reply to Simen,

 Chris Wright Wrote:

 BCS wrote:

 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that,
 if not worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for
 it with quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string
 theory or some such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info
 can be in a given volume.

abiogenesis.

Witnesses, as I've always been of the opinion that life being created by some higher being is less probable than it occuring naturally. Way I figured was, I get 1 cubic centimetre of the simplest, carbon-based, self-replicating molecules, on this planet of 1 trillion cubic kilometers (one cubic centimetre was chosen as some arbitrary amount that might come into being by chance). Not by any chance a big chunk, but is it enough for life to survive? Let's first see how many self-replicating molecules we can fit into my small cube - 1.6 quintillion. That ain't half bad. (Actually, I think the number was 1000 times bigger, but I don't remember the name of that number [Hexillion?], plus you can think of it as a bit of safety :p) Now, spread that evenly across the world (258 billion square kilometers), and you get 162 such molecule for every square meter. With enough resources nearby, I'd give it a fairly good chance of survival.

assemble the parts of the simplest form of life and put them in once place, the ball would be something like the size of earth. (I havn't checked the math or anything like that)

argument from ignorance. The fact is that we haven't got the foggiest bit of a clue what the entire range of things that could have /potentially/ formed life are, we just happen to have been formed from a particular set of amino acids. We like to believe that only amino acids, or even only the set of amino acids life on Earth are based on, could form life, but that's just stupid. Given the uncountably many planets in the universe, life has probably come into existence and evolved in ways we could never remotely predict, and idiots on their planets are saying "The chances that a simple life based on hexavalent chromium would form naturally are so unlikely, we must have been created by some higher intelligence!" As it turns out, when you consider your very low but extremely ignorant statistic given the number of planets in the universe, and the potentially huge number of possible ways life could form (a number we can't even begin to fathom), it turns into 99.9999999999%. Unfortunately, the general populous doesn't understand statistics even in the slightest, and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher power!" Idiots. - Gregor Richards

Count me an idiot then, Mr. Gregor. ;) Those that claim any level of certainty of "natural" abiogenesis are subject to a conflict of their own making: is it better to suppose something came from nothing, in which no abstract physical law existed to make sure such processes could survive before hand; where means, motive, or reason for causation apparently spontaneously self-generated from a mass of nothing? Or is it more ludicrous to believe in a spritiual sphere of existance outside of time that is not subject to the physical law, a God that created all things for his Own purpose. Interestingly, the bizarre and unnatural is often pursued relentlessly even to those that aspire to "realism" and reject the existance of a God: a look at modern physics theorists and science fiction to see the yearning they have for an existance that, while relentlessly circumventing the spiritual (accusing it of not being observable), still doggedly pursue ideas and existances that amount to the same. Nothing seems to ever be adequately explained in a world that denies an absolute Creator, nor is there any basis for social, ethical, or ideological constraints, nor is there any meaning to existance, no motivation to hope in a future, no meaning or reality to respect life, no subjection to conscience, rules or authority, no existance of right or wrong beyond a rapidly changing social definition of morality; such an existance is one without laws and rules, self-perpetuated by survival of the fittest; no room for mercy, care, or gentleness in the ever "evolving" pursuit to the be the most evolved. The existance of a person who perceives himself only subject to what is "real" is forever without hope describing what is real or what real means, or if what he observes through science is really "real". Instead, he is finally dominated only by a will to self-indulge and self-satisfy -- an entirely empty existance for anyone who has pursued that mode for any amount of time (most of us know what that feels like). Evolutionary "Scientists" have long used the claim of general ignorance to justify their own conjectures on reality -- the masses apparently can never understand these higher matters, and thus we must be wrong because of knowledge is too hard to understand... such arrogance! The true scientist, I think, is much more humble. Their own general ignorance of what can or can't be possible renders them no closer to having a solid understanding of metaphysics than anyone else. Science is not and never was designed for philosophical considerations -- that exists in parallel in the biases of the scientist's personal worldview. Nor does science lend itself to making conclusions on the universes beginnings or development. Evolution (abiogenesis) is not science... but merely a faith based movement, a philosophy, a worldview that attempts to manipulate/interpret observations to understand what is considered reality. It is just as much a worldview as any system that believes in a God that created this world. I would submit that evolution is a more "supernaturual" ideology in its incredible something-from-nothingness than any idea of a Creator and a Creation. If that makes me ignorant, so be it. :) My apologies if this comes across as strong statement, but hey you guys seems to like discussing this stuff. ;) -JJR

Abiogenesis is life forming naturally from constituent matter, not existence forming from nothing. These are two completely unrelated arguments, and the existence-from-nothing one is one I've chosen not to touch at all since it cannot be reasoned about. However, since you brought it up, sure, I'll argue. The reason that scientists explain things in a naturalist way (that is, without assuming or questioning a creator) is because we cannot reason about a creator, we cannot make conjectures about a creator, and so we cannot make theories about a creator based on anything but imagination. So, to counter some specific arguments:
 is it better to suppose
 something came from nothing, in which no abstract physical law existed
 to make sure such processes could survive before hand; where means,
 motive, or reason for causation apparently spontaneously self-generated
 from a mass of nothing?  Or is it more ludicrous to believe in a
 spritiual sphere of existance outside of time that is not subject to the
 physical law, a God that created all things for his Own purpose.

Neither is a reasonable argument. The conjecture that the universe objectively exists within a causal framework is not one we can argue about. That is to say, we have no evidence that the universe objectively was created at all, not to mention whether it came from nothing or was created by a higher being. We have no evidence to support the assumption that the universe itself exists within a causal context, we're just used to causality because it exists /within/ the universe. The big bang theory (which might be what you're arguing against, I have no idea) does not argue about /existence/ coming from /nothingness/, it explains how the current shape of the universe came from a singularity. It is only believed to be such because the evidence suggests such. So, to answer your fundamental question of whether it's better to suppose one or the other, the answer is no. It's illogical to believe either, because we cannot argue about either. This piece of knowledge is forever beyond human understanding, and any arguments you make to answer it are no better than the foolish gibbering of a child. The usual response to this is "don't you want to know, doesn't your innate drive of curiosity cause you to try to know?" Sure, but not at the cost of reason: I will never sacrifice reason and accept faith.
 Interestingly, the bizarre and unnatural is often pursued relentlessly
 even to those that aspire to "realism" and reject the existance of a
 God:  a look at modern physics theorists and science fiction to see the
 yearning they have for an existance that, while relentlessly
 circumventing the spiritual (accusing it of not being observable), still
 doggedly pursue ideas and existances that amount to the same.

Scientists seek knowledge. Ultimately science seeks to have all knowledge, although that is of course impossible. The fact that you have a convenient and unprovable answer is not useful: Science seeks knowledge which is testable and repeatable.
 absolute Creator, nor is there any basis for social, ethical, or
 ideological constraints, nor is there any meaning to existance, no
 motivation to hope in a future, no meaning or reality to respect life,
 no subjection to conscience, rules or authority, no existance of right
 or wrong beyond a rapidly changing social definition of morality; such
 an existance is one without laws and rules, self-perpetuated by survival
 of the fittest; no room for mercy, care, or gentleness in the ever
 "evolving" pursuit to the be the most evolved.

And yet, atheists are significantly under-represented in prisons. The fact that you find such a universe to be distressing is irrelevant, the evidence should not be weighed against opinions. In all probability there is no purpose to life that we can discern by any means other than ludicrous faith. Boo-hoo, get the hell over it.
 The existance of a
 person who perceives himself only subject to what is "real" is forever
 without hope describing what is real or what real means, or if what he
 observes through science is really "real".

Our understanding of the universe is and will always be subjective. This is a fact. I do not claim that the universe I perceive and act upon is a true, shared universe, I only act within it because I have no other option.
 Instead, he is finally
 dominated only by a will to self-indulge and self-satisfy -- an entirely
 empty existance for anyone who has pursued that mode for any amount of
 time (most of us know what that feels like).

This has not happened to me. I do not believe in your bizarrely personified deity, nor do I believe that it is possible to reason about the existence of an omnipotent being, and I think that the concept of an omnipotent being who gives a damn about us is silly. And yet, I go through life without this problem you believe that I must have. This worldview is based on extremist individualism, not atheism. And more importantly, again, the fact that you find it distressing is irrelevant. You seem to be arguing that one should believe in a higher being out of fear. Fear subsumes reason, and then you choose to believe that you have some higher purpose determined by a grand and powerful entity. As I've already said, I will /never/ allow reason to be overcome by faith. (To read the previous statement, you must realize that I consider faith to be a flaw, and so I spit the last word). It's possible that faith in general is a result of fear, but that's a whole argument I'm not getting into.
 Evolutionary "Scientists" have long used the claim of general ignorance
 to justify their own conjectures on reality -- the masses apparently can
 never understand these higher matters, and thus we must be wrong because
 of knowledge is too hard to understand... such arrogance!

This is a really rude and nonsensical way to describe science. You believe the Earth is round and orbits around the sun I presume (if you don't, you're beyond redemption). At a time, people believed that scientists were evil for conjecturing this, and yet now it's common knowledge. The evidence eventually outweighed the desire people have not to change. Yes, the majority of the population of the US disbelieves evolution. Yes, they are all wrong.
 The true
 scientist, I think, is much more humble.  Their own general ignorance of
 what can or can't be possible renders them no closer to having a solid
 understanding of metaphysics than anyone else.

Science does not try to explain metaphysics, that's ridiculous. Neither evolution nor abiogenesis are in the realm of metaphysics. Your belief that life has some higher purpose is not based on evidence, and there is plenty of evidence that life is a persistent self-replicating physical/chemical/electrical reaction. The only rational belief, metaphysically, is no belief. We can, however, explain things that happen in the physical world, and we know evolution to happen in the physical world (the evidence is overwhelming). Some people place a line between abiogenesis and evolution (the GOD line), but that line is arbitrary. Until we have any evidence otherwise, we must investigate everything in terms of the physical universe we inhabit: No other arguments can be reasoned about.
 Science is not and never
 was designed for philosophical considerations -- that exists in parallel
 in the biases of the scientist's personal worldview.

Abiogenesis is not a philosophical consideration.
 Nor does science
 lend itself to making conclusions on the universes beginnings or
 development.

Of course it doesn't. There is no belief in this field based on reason, and so the reasonable person can not hold any belief. You seem to have some bizarre belief that science is trying to describe the origin of existence ... it is not.
 Evolution (abiogenesis) is not science... but merely a faith based
 movement, a philosophy, a worldview that attempts to
 manipulate/interpret observations to understand what is considered
 reality.  It is just as much a worldview as any system that believes in
 a God that created this world.  I would submit that evolution is a more
 "supernaturual" ideology in its incredible something-from-nothingness
 than any idea of a Creator and a Creation.

This is so stupid I can't even argue against it. First off, lumping together evolution and abiogenesis is like saying "I don't believe in gravity because it doesn't explain how matter forms." They are two different theories. Evolution is based on overwhelming amounts of evidence, and yes, I'll say it: Anyone who does not believe in evolution when presented with the evidence is irreparably incompetent. I have no respect for these people. Evolution is repeatable, and evolution has been observed numerous times and in numerous situations, not just in the fossil record but in current times. That includes speciation, although these idiots generally choose to ignore all the examples of speciation. Abiogenesis is not as well-studied a field, but attributing it to a higher being just because science has not fully explained it yet is criminally stupid and dangerous to human progress.
 If that makes me ignorant, so be it.  :)

This does not make you ignorant. The ignorant person is the person who has simply never been given the knowledge necessary. You clearly have the knowledge, but choose to attribute things to a higher power which have been fully explained naturally. - Gregor Richards
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent reply Daniel Giddings <daniel.giddings gmail.com> writes:
Not to divert the discussion, but here's a fun little comic that 
illustrates the differences between Science and Religion quite nicely.

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa74/harrowlawl/sciencevsreligion.jpg

:-) Dan
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent Simen Kjaeraas <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
Daniel Giddings Wrote:

 Not to divert the discussion, but here's a fun little comic that 
 illustrates the differences between Science and Religion quite nicely.
 
 http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa74/harrowlawl/sciencevsreligion.jpg
 
 :-) Dan

My favorite on the subject: http://www.thepaincomics.com/weekly041229.htm Enjoy. -- Simen
Jun 03 2008
prev sibling parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Daniel,

 Not to divert the discussion, but here's a fun little comic that
 illustrates the differences between Science and Religion quite nicely.
 
 http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa74/harrowlawl/sciencevsreligion.j
 pg
 
 :-) Dan
 

That is why I will never ascribe the a religion that does not encourage the exploration of reality by all means. (that is not an empty set BTW)
Jun 03 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Bruce Adams" <tortoise_74 yeah.who.co.uk> writes:
On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 05:50:05 +0100, Gregor Richards <Richards codu.org>  
wrote:

[snip]

While I wouldn't put it quite so vigorously, Hear! Hear!
(why deliberately throw Christians in with Lions? especially when they  
might be in the NRA)
Jun 02 2008
next sibling parent reply Nick B <nick.barbalich gmail.com> writes:
I would like to write some code using D & Tango and release it under the 
GPL version 3.  Is this possible or does Academic Free License & the 
BSD-ish license for Tango, mean this is not possible ?

cheers

Nick B
Jun 03 2008
parent reply Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Nick B wrote:
 I would like to write some code using D & Tango and release it under the 
 GPL version 3.  Is this possible or does Academic Free License & the 
 BSD-ish license for Tango, mean this is not possible ?
 
 cheers
 
 Nick B

They're both GPL-compatible. Go for it. What's the project?
Jun 03 2008
parent Nick B <nick.barbalich gmail.com> writes:
Robert Fraser wrote:
 Nick B wrote:
 I would like to write some code using D & Tango and release it under 
 the GPL version 3.  Is this possible or does Academic Free License & 
 the BSD-ish license for Tango, mean this is not possible ?

 cheers

 Nick B

They're both GPL-compatible. Go for it. What's the project?

It's a cognition system. Nick B
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Bruce,

 On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 05:50:05 +0100, Gregor Richards
 <Richards codu.org>  wrote:
 
 [snip]
 
 While I wouldn't put it quite so vigorously, Hear! Hear!
 (why deliberately throw Christians in with Lions? especially when they
 might be in the NRA)

The "science" that ascribes to abiogenisis and evolution is very much religious as one can see from the vitriolic outpour of its proponents; it is not science nor is a name-calling debate scientific. I appreciate the fact that Gregor begs to differ on that statement. But saying one places his trust in reason alone is rather begging the question: how does this "reason" exist in a random-chance universe; did this abstract ability to reason evolve alongside everything else in random fashion of trial and error or did it also appear from nothing in the big bang; does it continue to evolve, expand, and perfect itself in direct conflict with entropy? If it does, does that make it imperfect right now? When will reasoning and reason be perfect? If it isn't perfect, does that mean our reasoning is greatly flawed still? Will another million years make it unflawed? If it was very flawed several million years ago, what effect did that have on macro evolution so many years ago (or vice versa)? How ever does one know his reasoning skills are reasonable in such a universe (sorry, Gregor... that might grate you, but I suppose we'll never see things the same. ;) ) This does require a very /potent/ faith to believe is such improbabilities and that is a faith in "reason" itself. Should we add a few more billion years to try to resolve it? Would that help? :) Concerning Christianity and religion: Christianity is a worldview, not a religion. When it is adopted as a religion, with pompous ceremony, hypocritical action, and false motive for power... then perhaps it might classify as a religion... but then almost any type of ideology is subject to the same problem. This world has proven over and over that man will use ANY means to control or gain power... the "religion" excuse is just one of many ideologies used as tool for manipulation. Real Christianity is not so, nor does it, if any of you read the Gospel, represent anything of a self-centered, mass-controlling ideology designed for personal gain. Separate Christianity from the religiousity and one might be able to evaluate the picture differently. My point is... you pit "science" against "religion" with the implication that these are "at odds" with each other, when, in fact, this is really pitting one form of religion against another (or if it were two worldviews: realism verses theism). It's sad to see people start to believe in science as a self-fulfilling singular entity of truth -- that it is not. I believe strongly in a scientific process and /reason/, but I claim that such only make sense in theistic worldview in which structure and control are not based on random chance. Reason continues to exist despite ones worldview, but its existance is ill-defined and perhaps faultily directed apart from theism. There is no need to force such ideas on anyone, of course.... Nor is there a need to immediately conjure up images of NRA or terrorists to blight the idea of a God-centric worldview. Like I said earlier, man will perform evil with or without theistic worldview: they are very adept at using any ideology that comes in handy -- and sadly religion becomes a tool as well. Nonetheless this abuse is no disproof of the validity of theism nor does it represent it. It many contexts, it represents the desires of the people abusing it. One is entitled to perceive this universe as one likes, but that person is taking a monstrous chance in the sense that his misunderstanding of reality could result in dire consequences that could have been easily avoided: for example, the bible claims that the "wages of sin is death" and that those who practice lawlessness" will be subject to judgement by a holy God and eternal punishment. If this claim is true, all who practice lieing, stealing, adultery, coveting, sexual immorality and so on will (1) experience the consequences of such sins on earth and (2) will have to answer for their sin before a just and holy God after they die. Now does my saying this make it so? No, but it certainly bares careful thought, I think, especially given the fact that these sins repeatedly (and probably testably) do result in corruption, depression, and disaster in one's life and those he or she touches. And not just for those that reject a theistic worldview, but even more so for those that call themselves "Christians" but act otherwise. And this is the problem we face today where there is a struggle to represent a theistic worldview in any good light because so many claim a form of it but putrify the reality of it with abuses of self-service, power, immorality, and religiousity. This is a hypocracy that has no part in Christianity: for example, divorce and remarriage (called adultery in the bible -- marriage is for life) being one of the biggest issues of our age is "re-molded" and redefined as natural and normal. The result? Today's "Christians" are indeed becoming the more guilty and hypocritical in that they absolve their sin amongst each other, meanwhile promoting a false salvation from sin... and in the process single-handedly become the greatest argument against their "apparent" worldview by presenting to the world that sin isn't really sin. I claim that their is a truth here that is not represented by our culture anymore, but is easily found if one searches for it honestly. I write just as openly as anyone here that would offer a view of their own philosophy of life. It is not forced, racist, biggoted, based on vitriol, or uncaring... but rather is offered because I do earnestly hope people will find truth and the meaning of "reality". It is a belief, yes belief, that life is more than this little span of time on earth, that there is hope-- not based in evolutionary survival of mechan-electro-chemical random reactions -- and that death to self and subjection to a loving God through Jesus Christ and his offering of salvation is the fundamental key to understanding what life trully means and is a escape from the addictions and corruptions that will most certainly enslave and destroy us. Take it or leave it. :) -JJR
Jun 03 2008
next sibling parent reply Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
John Reimer wrote:
 Hello Bruce,
 
 On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 05:50:05 +0100, Gregor Richards
 <Richards codu.org>  wrote:

 [snip]

 While I wouldn't put it quite so vigorously, Hear! Hear!
 (why deliberately throw Christians in with Lions? especially when they
 might be in the NRA)

The "science" that ascribes to abiogenisis and evolution is very much religious as one can see from the vitriolic outpour of its proponents; it is not science nor is a name-calling debate scientific. I appreciate the fact that Gregor begs to differ on that statement. But saying one places his trust in reason alone is rather begging the question: how does this "reason" exist in a random-chance universe; did this abstract ability to reason evolve alongside everything else in random fashion of trial and error or did it also appear from nothing in the big bang; does it continue to evolve, expand, and perfect itself in direct conflict with entropy? If it does, does that make it imperfect right now? When will reasoning and reason be perfect? If it isn't perfect, does that mean our reasoning is greatly flawed still? Will another million years make it unflawed? If it was very flawed several million years ago, what effect did that have on macro evolution so many years ago (or vice versa)? How ever does one know his reasoning skills are reasonable in such a universe (sorry, Gregor... that might grate you, but I suppose we'll never see things the same. ;) ) This does require a very /potent/ faith to believe is such improbabilities and that is a faith in "reason" itself. Should we add a few more billion years to try to resolve it? Would that help? :)

You're asking: how can we trust logic to be accurate? Try doing otherwise for a day. You can't. You depend on it to survive. If logic is not accurate, and if your memory is not accurate to some reasonable degree, you can't guarantee that anything in the universe is consistent. You can't reason about anything. You might as well give up, crawl in a hole, and die. Though in that case, you might have a tough time killing yourself -- logically, you can't live with your head separated from your shoulders, but we said we can't trust logic. And even if you seem to experience dying, that's no guarantee that you won't continue in the same fashion. You can't come up with an argument that proves that human logic is correct. Arguments require logic; you have to assume logic to argue. So if you come up with an argument for logic, you've essentially come up with "If logic is accurate, logic is accurate". You can come up with an argument that proves that human logic is incorrect. Since, in order to argue, you must start with the assumption that logic is correct, if you come up with a conclusion that logic is incorrect, then you've got a proof by contradiction. But if you assume logic is not trustworthy, and act accordingly, you simply can't survive. I hate these types of philosophical arguments because you might well conclude that everyone's deluding themselves, but even if you do, *it changes nothing*.
Jun 04 2008
parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Chris,

 John Reimer wrote:
 
 Hello Bruce,
 
 On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 05:50:05 +0100, Gregor Richards
 <Richards codu.org>  wrote:
 
 [snip]
 
 While I wouldn't put it quite so vigorously, Hear! Hear!
 (why deliberately throw Christians in with Lions? especially when
 they
 might be in the NRA)

religious as one can see from the vitriolic outpour of its proponents; it is not science nor is a name-calling debate scientific. I appreciate the fact that Gregor begs to differ on that statement. But saying one places his trust in reason alone is rather begging the question: how does this "reason" exist in a random-chance universe; did this abstract ability to reason evolve alongside everything else in random fashion of trial and error or did it also appear from nothing in the big bang; does it continue to evolve, expand, and perfect itself in direct conflict with entropy? If it does, does that make it imperfect right now? When will reasoning and reason be perfect? If it isn't perfect, does that mean our reasoning is greatly flawed still? Will another million years make it unflawed? If it was very flawed several million years ago, what effect did that have on macro evolution so many years ago (or vice versa)? How ever does one know his reasoning skills are reasonable in such a universe (sorry, Gregor... that might grate you, but I suppose we'll never see things the same. ;) ) This does require a very /potent/ faith to believe is such improbabilities and that is a faith in "reason" itself. Should we add a few more billion years to try to resolve it? Would that help? :)

Try doing otherwise for a day. You can't. You depend on it to survive. If logic is not accurate, and if your memory is not accurate to some reasonable degree, you can't guarantee that anything in the universe is consistent. You can't reason about anything. You might as well give up, crawl in a hole, and die. Though in that case, you might have a tough time killing yourself -- logically, you can't live with your head separated from your shoulders, but we said we can't trust logic. And even if you seem to experience dying, that's no guarantee that you won't continue in the same fashion. You can't come up with an argument that proves that human logic is correct. Arguments require logic; you have to assume logic to argue. So if you come up with an argument for logic, you've essentially come up with "If logic is accurate, logic is accurate". You can come up with an argument that proves that human logic is incorrect. Since, in order to argue, you must start with the assumption that logic is correct, if you come up with a conclusion that logic is incorrect, then you've got a proof by contradiction. But if you assume logic is not trustworthy, and act accordingly, you simply can't survive. I hate these types of philosophical arguments because you might well conclude that everyone's deluding themselves, but even if you do, *it changes nothing*.

Ah... I must not be making this clear (wouldn't be the first time)... perhaps because I fail to emphasize a point with clarity. I am not trying to disprove the existance of reason or logic. They most certainly do exist (in my worldview, at least :) ) and are very necessary for our daily operation. But what I am trying to compare here is the reliability of worldviews: I am trying to show that within a purely materialistic worldview, these abstract ideas find no real meaning and would be clearly unreliable... and thus those that trust these tools within a worldview that has difficulty defining them are rendered subject to a kind of "faith" in them that would seem to be unsound. I believe, though, that their existance must be based in a theistic worldview in order for them to be shown why they can work reliability. Frequently, people will say "No, but I can reason and logic things so these tools do exist", but this is where I'm trying to point out that it's begging the question. If we are trying to go back and show that our worldview describes our universe accurately, we had better try to make a strong argument for why we think the tools we use will operate in such a universe. -JJR
Jun 04 2008
parent Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
John Reimer wrote:
 Ah... I must not be making this clear (wouldn't be the first time)... 
 perhaps because I fail to emphasize a point with clarity.  I am not 
 trying to disprove the existance of reason or logic.  They most 
 certainly do exist (in my worldview, at least :) ) and are very 
 necessary for our daily operation.   But what I am trying to compare 
 here is the reliability of worldviews:  I am trying to show that within 
 a purely materialistic worldview, these abstract ideas find no real 
 meaning and would be clearly unreliable... and thus those that trust 
 these tools within a worldview that has difficulty defining them are 
 rendered subject to a kind of "faith" in them that would seem to be 
 unsound. I believe, though, that their existance must be based in a 
 theistic worldview in order for them to be shown why they can work 
 reliability. 

You say that there is someone who created logic, and therefore it exists and is usable and accurate. I have no idea whether logic is accurate, but without it, I wouldn't be able to consider my existence and what I perceive, so I shall pretend that it works.
Jun 05 2008
prev sibling parent reply Tower Ty <towerty msn.com.au> writes:
I knew there was something amiss with you and now it falls into place.

Ask yourself
How can it be that each and every religion beleives that only itself, and its
own beliefs, are true and correct and all the others are wrong or misguided?

What is the likelyhood of your beliefs being the correct one?

More likely they are all stupid beliefs against reason . Trust me I am right
type of reasoning

Science consistently proves them wrong!






John Reimer Wrote:

 Hello Bruce,
 
 On Tue, 03 Jun 2008 05:50:05 +0100, Gregor Richards
 <Richards codu.org>  wrote:
 
 [snip]
 
 While I wouldn't put it quite so vigorously, Hear! Hear!
 (why deliberately throw Christians in with Lions? especially when they
 might be in the NRA)

The "science" that ascribes to abiogenisis and evolution is very much religious as one can see from the vitriolic outpour of its proponents; it is not science nor is a name-calling debate scientific. I appreciate the fact that Gregor begs to differ on that statement. But saying one places his trust in reason alone is rather begging the question: how does this "reason" exist in a random-chance universe; did this abstract ability to reason evolve alongside everything else in random fashion of trial and error or did it also appear from nothing in the big bang; does it continue to evolve, expand, and perfect itself in direct conflict with entropy? If it does, does that make it imperfect right now? When will reasoning and reason be perfect? If it isn't perfect, does that mean our reasoning is greatly flawed still? Will another million years make it unflawed? If it was very flawed several million years ago, what effect did that have on macro evolution so many years ago (or vice versa)? How ever does one know his reasoning skills are reasonable in such a universe (sorry, Gregor... that might grate you, but I suppose we'll never see things the same. ;) ) This does require a very /potent/ faith to believe is such improbabilities and that is a faith in "reason" itself. Should we add a few more billion years to try to resolve it? Would that help? :) Concerning Christianity and religion: Christianity is a worldview, not a religion. When it is adopted as a religion, with pompous ceremony, hypocritical action, and false motive for power... then perhaps it might classify as a religion... but then almost any type of ideology is subject to the same problem. This world has proven over and over that man will use ANY means to control or gain power... the "religion" excuse is just one of many ideologies used as tool for manipulation. Real Christianity is not so, nor does it, if any of you read the Gospel, represent anything of a self-centered, mass-controlling ideology designed for personal gain. Separate Christianity from the religiousity and one might be able to evaluate the picture differently. My point is... you pit "science" against "religion" with the implication that these are "at odds" with each other, when, in fact, this is really pitting one form of religion against another (or if it were two worldviews: realism verses theism). It's sad to see people start to believe in science as a self-fulfilling singular entity of truth -- that it is not. I believe strongly in a scientific process and /reason/, but I claim that such only make sense in theistic worldview in which structure and control are not based on random chance. Reason continues to exist despite ones worldview, but its existance is ill-defined and perhaps faultily directed apart from theism. There is no need to force such ideas on anyone, of course.... Nor is there a need to immediately conjure up images of NRA or terrorists to blight the idea of a God-centric worldview. Like I said earlier, man will perform evil with or without theistic worldview: they are very adept at using any ideology that comes in handy -- and sadly religion becomes a tool as well. Nonetheless this abuse is no disproof of the validity of theism nor does it represent it. It many contexts, it represents the desires of the people abusing it. One is entitled to perceive this universe as one likes, but that person is taking a monstrous chance in the sense that his misunderstanding of reality could result in dire consequences that could have been easily avoided: for example, the bible claims that the "wages of sin is death" and that those who practice lawlessness" will be subject to judgement by a holy God and eternal punishment. If this claim is true, all who practice lieing, stealing, adultery, coveting, sexual immorality and so on will (1) experience the consequences of such sins on earth and (2) will have to answer for their sin before a just and holy God after they die. Now does my saying this make it so? No, but it certainly bares careful thought, I think, especially given the fact that these sins repeatedly (and probably testably) do result in corruption, depression, and disaster in one's life and those he or she touches. And not just for those that reject a theistic worldview, but even more so for those that call themselves "Christians" but act otherwise. And this is the problem we face today where there is a struggle to represent a theistic worldview in any good light because so many claim a form of it but putrify the reality of it with abuses of self-service, power, immorality, and religiousity. This is a hypocracy that has no part in Christianity: for example, divorce and remarriage (called adultery in the bible -- marriage is for life) being one of the biggest issues of our age is "re-molded" and redefined as natural and normal. The result? Today's "Christians" are indeed becoming the more guilty and hypocritical in that they absolve their sin amongst each other, meanwhile promoting a false salvation from sin... and in the process single-handedly become the greatest argument against their "apparent" worldview by presenting to the world that sin isn't really sin. I claim that their is a truth here that is not represented by our culture anymore, but is easily found if one searches for it honestly. I write just as openly as anyone here that would offer a view of their own philosophy of life. It is not forced, racist, biggoted, based on vitriol, or uncaring... but rather is offered because I do earnestly hope people will find truth and the meaning of "reality". It is a belief, yes belief, that life is more than this little span of time on earth, that there is hope-- not based in evolutionary survival of mechan-electro-chemical random reactions -- and that death to self and subjection to a loving God through Jesus Christ and his offering of salvation is the fundamental key to understanding what life trully means and is a escape from the addictions and corruptions that will most certainly enslave and destroy us. Take it or leave it. :) -JJR

Jun 04 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Tower,

 I knew there was something amiss with you and now it falls into place.
 
 Ask yourself
 How can it be that each and every religion beleives that only itself,
 and its own beliefs, are true and correct and all the others are wrong
 or misguided?
 What is the likelyhood of your beliefs being the correct one?
 
 More likely they are all stupid beliefs against reason . Trust me I am
 right type of reasoning
 
 Science consistently proves them wrong!
 
 John Reimer Wrote:
 

"If everyone thinks they're right, than no one is right" Hogwash. With 6 billion people out there, either someone is right or we will never get it. In the first cases, the assertion is wrong, in the second it is irrelevant.
Jun 04 2008
parent reply Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 With 6 billion people out there, either someone is right or we will 
 never get it. In the first cases, the assertion is wrong, in the second 
 it is irrelevant.

Or someone in the future will "get it", but no one has yet.
Jun 04 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Robert,

 BCS wrote:
 
 With 6 billion people out there, either someone is right or we will
 never get it. In the first cases, the assertion is wrong, in the
 second it is irrelevant.
 


The likelihood of that is only a few orders of magnitude better than spontaneous generation of life. a.k.a. Darn small. (but it might be true)
Jun 04 2008
parent Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Robert,
 
 BCS wrote:

 With 6 billion people out there, either someone is right or we will
 never get it. In the first cases, the assertion is wrong, in the
 second it is irrelevant.


The likelihood of that is only a few orders of magnitude better than spontaneous generation of life. a.k.a. Darn small. (but it might be true)

Why would you say that? There's a large sample space of possible reasons the universe exists - either infinite or certainly larger than the entire human population that has been able to write in some capacity. In addition, how many such systems of universal creation do you (or anyone else) know about? Most people don't ask the question, but accept an existing one. Maybe there's 10,000 different systems bing actively believed (perhaps with some variation) by every human living on Earth today. In particular, with scientific advancement at the rate it's going right now, it might be possible to find additional scientific evidence that suggests a different theory on the existence of the universe. I believe the opposite: that it's nearly impossible for such a system that is correct to have already been found or imagined, but it's very possible that a system will be found some time in the future. But probably not within the lifetimes of anyone positing on this thread. (Note that I'm not trying to say "science is the answer", just saying that scientific advancement may suggest addition systems of belief. In the end, IMO, it all comes down to having faith in one such system.)
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Fawzi Mohamed <fmohamed mac.com> writes:
It is clear that the existence of god cannot be directly neither proved 
nor disproved.

It is also clear that a fact alone has no direct consequence on wether 
something is good or bad (morality lives in another plane, but a fact 
within a given morality framework can indirectly have consequences).

I think that there is so much discussion about evolution because it 
explains how many things can be explained without the need of god, but 
this does not prove or disprove anything about the existence of god.

A good read for those really interested in this subject is

Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism
by James Rachels

http://www.amazon.com/Created-Animals-Implications-Darwinism-Paperbacks/dp/0192861298/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212486983&sr=1-14

Fawzi
 
Jun 03 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:
 Evolution is based on overwhelming amounts of evidence, and yes, I'll 
 say it: Anyone who does not believe in evolution when presented with the 
 evidence is irreparably incompetent. I have no respect for these people. 
 Evolution is repeatable, and evolution has been observed numerous times 
 and in numerous situations, not just in the fossil record but in current 
 times. That includes speciation, although these idiots generally choose 
 to ignore all the examples of speciation.

A large number of people go out of their way to remain ignorant of such evidence. They put their trust in people who have an emotional stake in the matter to give them accurate answers rather than spending weeks or months of effort researching the matter sufficiently to come to a conclusion. Though I'm sure, given the chief arguments from each side, one could efficiently verify it. -- I suppose that means that evolution is in NP.
Jun 03 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Gregor,

 John Reimer wrote:
 

 Abiogenesis is life forming naturally from constituent matter, not
 existence forming from nothing. These are two completely unrelated
 arguments, and the existence-from-nothing one is one I've chosen not
 to touch at all since it cannot be reasoned about.
 
 However, since you brought it up, sure, I'll argue.
 
 The reason that scientists explain things in a naturalist way (that
 is, without assuming or questioning a creator) is because we cannot
 reason about a creator, we cannot make conjectures about a creator,
 and so we cannot make theories about a creator based on anything but
 imagination.
 

Going back the "book" model. If the world was entirely created by a single inelegance, would you not expect to be able to learn something about it by examining the world? Can you not tell something about the people who write programs by examining the programs they write? In all human tasks, the "thumb print" of the maker is stamped on the work. I would find it more of a stretch for this to NOT be true of a created universe.
 So, to counter some specific arguments:
 
 is it better to suppose
 something came from nothing, [...]  Or is it more ludicrous to believe 


 spritiual sphere of existance outside of time that is not subject to
 the
 physical law, a God that created all things for his Own purpose.


 So, to answer your fundamental question of
 whether it's better to suppose one or the other, the answer is no.
 It's illogical to believe either, because we cannot argue about
 either.

it is not illogical to believe without evidence or argument. That in fact is faith. At least in the canonical way, illogical asserts that something is opposed to logic. By your own assertion, logic can't prove either conclusion so neither can be counter to logic. You might have a case for unlogical (the neutral assertion) but that is unavoidable
 This piece of knowledge is forever beyond human understanding,
 and any arguments you make to answer it are no better than the foolish
 gibbering of a child.

I will agree with part of what you claim, It is my belief that it is fundamentally impossible to prove this question one way or the other, and that this is intentional. However I also belive that anyone willing to accept the existence of a higher power will eventually conclude that one exists, as a mater of faith.
 The usual response to this is "don't you want to
 know, doesn't your innate drive of curiosity cause you to try to
 know?" Sure, but not at the cost of reason: I will never sacrifice
 reason and accept faith.
 

Belief at the expense of reason is stupidity. Faith is belief beyond reason, belief where reason is mute.
 Interestingly, the bizarre and unnatural is often pursued
 relentlessly even to those that aspire to "realism" and reject the
 existance of a God:  a look at modern physics theorists and science
 fiction to see the yearning they have for an existance that, while
 relentlessly circumventing the spiritual (accusing it of not being
 observable), still doggedly pursue ideas and existances that amount
 to the same.
 

knowledge, although that is of course impossible. The fact that you have a convenient and unprovable answer is not useful: Science seeks knowledge which is testable and repeatable.

Evolution is convenient and not provably wrong (short of some sort of second coming or the like)
 absolute Creator, nor is there any basis for social, ethical, or
 ideological constraints, nor is there any meaning to existance, no
 motivation to hope in a future, no meaning or reality to respect
 life, no subjection to conscience, rules or authority, no existance
 of right or wrong beyond a rapidly changing social definition of
 morality; such an existance is one without laws and rules,
 self-perpetuated by survival of the fittest; no room for mercy, care,
 or gentleness in the ever "evolving" pursuit to the be the most
 evolved.
 


[[citation needed]]
 The
 fact that you find such a universe to be distressing is irrelevant,
 the evidence should not be weighed against opinions. In all
 probability there is no purpose to life that we can discern by any
 means other than ludicrous faith. Boo-hoo, get the hell over it.
 
 The existance of a
 person who perceives himself only subject to what is "real" is
 forever
 without hope describing what is real or what real means, or if what
 he
 observes through science is really "real".

Our understanding of the universe is and will always be subjective. This is a fact.

You contradict your self in that statement.
 I do not claim that the universe I perceive and act
 upon is a true, shared universe, I only act within it because I have
 no other option.
 
 Instead, he is finally
 dominated only by a will to self-indulge and self-satisfy -- an
 entirely
 empty existance for anyone who has pursued that mode for any amount
 of
 time (most of us know what that feels like).

This has not happened to me. I do not believe in your bizarrely personified deity, nor do I believe that it is possible to reason about the existence of an omnipotent being, and I think that the concept of an omnipotent being who gives a damn about us is silly. And yet, I go through life without this problem you believe that I must have. This worldview is based on extremist individualism, not atheism.

That is not necessarily a counter argument. The fact that the bulk of the world does /not/ act like that might be taken to be evidence that there /is/ a higher power because, if there were not, why would people not act like that?
 
 And more importantly, again, the fact that you find it distressing is
 irrelevant. You seem to be arguing that one should believe in a higher
 being out of fear. Fear subsumes reason, and then you choose to
 believe that you have some higher purpose determined by a grand and
 powerful entity. As I've already said, I will /never/ allow reason to
 be overcome by faith. (To read the previous statement, you must
 realize that I consider faith to be a flaw, and so I spit the last
 word). It's possible that faith in general is a result of fear, but
 that's a whole argument I'm not getting into.
 

You have a point, but only if you equate fear and terror or phobias. A (reonable) fear of hights is not a bad thing. A fear of danger (again within reason) is a *good* thing. A well behaved dog fears displeasing you (this is distinct from fearing your reaction to it) more than anything else, otherwhise they would disobey you the first time somthing scares them.
 
 We can,
 however, explain things that happen in the physical world, and we know
 evolution to happen in the physical world (the evidence is
 overwhelming).

IIRC there is a $10K prize for the first person to prove evolution. The juges are secular and last I heard, no one had clamed it.
 Evolution is based on overwhelming amounts of evidence, and yes, I'll
 say it: Anyone who does not believe in evolution when presented with
 the evidence is irreparably incompetent. I have no respect for these
 people. Evolution is repeatable, and evolution has been observed
 numerous times and in numerous situations, not just in the fossil
 record but in current times. That includes speciation, although these
 idiots generally choose to ignore all the examples of speciation.
 

The only reasons that evolution can claim "overwhelming amounts of evidence" is because the counter evidence is considered one piece at a time and discarded. If you look at all the evidence that has been discarded a flukes and anomalous data, evolution begins to seem no more persuasive than the alternative. I wont even bother stating any of it as Google should find more links than you have time to read.
 
 - Gregor Richards
 

Jun 03 2008
parent reply Gregor Richards <Richards codu.org> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Gregor,
 
 John Reimer wrote:

 Abiogenesis is life forming naturally from constituent matter, not
 existence forming from nothing. These are two completely unrelated
 arguments, and the existence-from-nothing one is one I've chosen not
 to touch at all since it cannot be reasoned about.

 However, since you brought it up, sure, I'll argue.

 The reason that scientists explain things in a naturalist way (that
 is, without assuming or questioning a creator) is because we cannot
 reason about a creator, we cannot make conjectures about a creator,
 and so we cannot make theories about a creator based on anything but
 imagination.

Going back the "book" model. If the world was entirely created by a single inelegance, would you not expect to be able to learn something about it by examining the world? Can you not tell something about the people who write programs by examining the programs they write? In all human tasks, the "thumb print" of the maker is stamped on the work. I would find it more of a stretch for this to NOT be true of a created universe.

However, a universe created by a (perhaps partially random) algorithm would leave the algorithm stamped on the work in the same way. Whether we can determine the difference between the algorithm and a personified god is a whole different argument, and whether there actually is a difference is an entirely different one. If one is willing to accept that a being is nothing more than an (potentially extremely complex) algorithm, then the laws of physics and god are the same thing, one is just a person-centric view where the other is an algorithm-centric view. I don't think that most people would accept this view of life though.
 
 So, to counter some specific arguments:

 is it better to suppose
 something came from nothing, [...]  Or is it more ludicrous to believe 


 spritiual sphere of existance outside of time that is not subject to
 the
 physical law, a God that created all things for his Own purpose.


 So, to answer your fundamental question of
 whether it's better to suppose one or the other, the answer is no.
 It's illogical to believe either, because we cannot argue about
 either.

it is not illogical to believe without evidence or argument. That in fact is faith.

Faith is illogical. I don't feel like arguing this, since any arguments I make will go nowhere against a person who believes otherwise.
 At least in the canonical way, illogical asserts that 
 something is opposed to logic. By your own assertion, logic can't prove 
 either conclusion so neither can be counter to logic.

Exactly. Because logic cannot prove or disprove either, it is illogical to believe either: That is, it is only logical to believe what perception, reason and yes, logic itself can show us.
 You might have a 
 case for unlogical (the neutral assertion) but that is unavoidable
 
 This piece of knowledge is forever beyond human understanding,
 and any arguments you make to answer it are no better than the foolish
 gibbering of a child.

I will agree with part of what you claim, It is my belief that it is fundamentally impossible to prove this question one way or the other, and that this is intentional. However I also belive that anyone willing to accept the existence of a higher power will eventually conclude that one exists, as a mater of faith.

An unprovable assertion.
 
 The usual response to this is "don't you want to
 know, doesn't your innate drive of curiosity cause you to try to
 know?" Sure, but not at the cost of reason: I will never sacrifice
 reason and accept faith.

Belief at the expense of reason is stupidity. Faith is belief beyond reason, belief where reason is mute.

If you choose to believe something in the realm that reason cannot by definition touch, fine. Such beliefs often, as is proven by history, branch into the realm of the physical world, and that is when they become dangerous to human progress. This is why I'm biased against them.
 
 Interestingly, the bizarre and unnatural is often pursued
 relentlessly even to those that aspire to "realism" and reject the
 existance of a God:  a look at modern physics theorists and science
 fiction to see the yearning they have for an existance that, while
 relentlessly circumventing the spiritual (accusing it of not being
 observable), still doggedly pursue ideas and existances that amount
 to the same.

knowledge, although that is of course impossible. The fact that you have a convenient and unprovable answer is not useful: Science seeks knowledge which is testable and repeatable.

Evolution is convenient and not provably wrong (short of some sort of second coming or the like)

Let's break evolution down to look at how it could be proven wrong. Evolution by natural selection comes down to three components: Reproduction, variation, selection. Reproduction: We'll ignore this one :) Variation: Proof that variation cannot create useful results. Admittedly, it's difficult to prove anything with "cannot" in the definition, but it's moot since there are numerous examples of positive variation. My favorite is the lizards relocated to test evolutionary change which gained a new component in their digestive tract for the new food supply. I don't have a link to the paper off the top of my head, but I can dredge it up if need be. Since such things are easy to find, anti-evolutionists keep moving lines arbitrarily (where's the line now, wings?), but unless a line can be defined clearly instead of arbitrarily, it's not useful. Suffice to say that any arbitrarily invented line has a different proof. Variation (take 2): Anti-evolutionists have this bizarre notion of "macro" vs "micro" evolution. There is no useful definition of "species" however, so we'll need that first. The simplest definition (ability to reproduce) results in a form of speciation that's been observed numerous times, particularly in plants. Anyway, if a useful definition of species was produced, a useful way to disprove it could be generated. Selection: Again this is completely moot, as selection is quite easy to observe and known to happen. I suppose you could try to argue that the sum cannot be disproved, but it can be simply simulating the three constituent parts and showing that result does not evolve. Ever implemented a genetic algorithm?
 
 absolute Creator, nor is there any basis for social, ethical, or
 ideological constraints, nor is there any meaning to existance, no
 motivation to hope in a future, no meaning or reality to respect
 life, no subjection to conscience, rules or authority, no existance
 of right or wrong beyond a rapidly changing social definition of
 morality; such an existance is one without laws and rules,
 self-perpetuated by survival of the fittest; no room for mercy, care,
 or gentleness in the ever "evolving" pursuit to the be the most
 evolved.


[[citation needed]]

All over the place: http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/4149 http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080226173812AApM54e That was just the first three results from Google. Admittedly they're all sites biased towards that, but the statistics are straight from the bureau of prisons. (That's just the US, I'm not sure if similar studies have been done elsewhere)
 
 The
 fact that you find such a universe to be distressing is irrelevant,
 the evidence should not be weighed against opinions. In all
 probability there is no purpose to life that we can discern by any
 means other than ludicrous faith. Boo-hoo, get the hell over it.

 The existance of a
 person who perceives himself only subject to what is "real" is
 forever
 without hope describing what is real or what real means, or if what
 he
 observes through science is really "real".

Our understanding of the universe is and will always be subjective. This is a fact.

You contradict your self in that statement.

Heh, touch้. In fact I can only argue for myself: I think therefore I am (in some sense of "am"), but I cannot experience anyone else's view of the universe, it will always be filtered through me. This is why it's impossible to distinguish a solipsistic delusion from a "true" shared universe.
 
 I do not claim that the universe I perceive and act
 upon is a true, shared universe, I only act within it because I have
 no other option.

 Instead, he is finally
 dominated only by a will to self-indulge and self-satisfy -- an
 entirely
 empty existance for anyone who has pursued that mode for any amount
 of
 time (most of us know what that feels like).

This has not happened to me. I do not believe in your bizarrely personified deity, nor do I believe that it is possible to reason about the existence of an omnipotent being, and I think that the concept of an omnipotent being who gives a damn about us is silly. And yet, I go through life without this problem you believe that I must have. This worldview is based on extremist individualism, not atheism.

That is not necessarily a counter argument. The fact that the bulk of the world does /not/ act like that might be taken to be evidence that there /is/ a higher power because, if there were not, why would people not act like that?

This is quite possibly the worst argument for anything I've ever heard. How about this: A society that is self-destructive cannot evolve.
 
 And more importantly, again, the fact that you find it distressing is
 irrelevant. You seem to be arguing that one should believe in a higher
 being out of fear. Fear subsumes reason, and then you choose to
 believe that you have some higher purpose determined by a grand and
 powerful entity. As I've already said, I will /never/ allow reason to
 be overcome by faith. (To read the previous statement, you must
 realize that I consider faith to be a flaw, and so I spit the last
 word). It's possible that faith in general is a result of fear, but
 that's a whole argument I'm not getting into.

You have a point, but only if you equate fear and terror or phobias. A (reonable) fear of hights is not a bad thing. A fear of danger (again within reason) is a *good* thing. A well behaved dog fears displeasing you (this is distinct from fearing your reaction to it) more than anything else, otherwhise they would disobey you the first time somthing scares them.

I have a fear of heights. It happens to correspond with reason: If I fall a long distance, I will in all likelihood not enjoy the result :P. But resting a fear of the unknown with knowledge you haven't gained by any legitimate means is allowing that fear to subsume reason.
 
 We can,
 however, explain things that happen in the physical world, and we know
 evolution to happen in the physical world (the evidence is
 overwhelming).

IIRC there is a $10K prize for the first person to prove evolution. The juges are secular and last I heard, no one had clamed it.

Ha. Ha. Yeah, I've seen this. Two problems: 1) There is no such thing as scientific proof. 2) You cannot convince them of evolution, because they're not unbiased. They wouldn't have created this "prize" if they were unbiased. There are numerous similar bullshit prizes, and they're all bullshit. If someone offers money to the first person to prove or disprove something, they're just an idiot preying on other idiots.
 
 Evolution is based on overwhelming amounts of evidence, and yes, I'll
 say it: Anyone who does not believe in evolution when presented with
 the evidence is irreparably incompetent. I have no respect for these
 people. Evolution is repeatable, and evolution has been observed
 numerous times and in numerous situations, not just in the fossil
 record but in current times. That includes speciation, although these
 idiots generally choose to ignore all the examples of speciation.

The only reasons that evolution can claim "overwhelming amounts of evidence" is because the counter evidence is considered one piece at a time and discarded.

The evidence for evolution is taken one piece at a time and discarded by the anti-evolution squad. Congratulations, we've accomplished nothing.
 If you look at all the evidence that has been 
 discarded a flukes and anomalous data, evolution begins to seem no more 
 persuasive than the alternative. I wont even bother stating any of it as 
 Google should find more links than you have time to read.

I could swap words here and produce an equally useless argument from my side, but I'm too lazy. *yawn* - Gregor Richards
Jun 03 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Gregor,
 BCS wrote:
 Reply to Gregor,

If one is willing to accept that a being is nothing more than an (potentially extremely complex) algorithm, then the laws of physics and god are the same thing, one is just a person-centric view where the other is an algorithm-centric view. I don't think that most people would accept this view of life though.

I see in the universe a creator that has attributes like humor, an appreciation for beauty and an interest in relationships. If a random algorithm has those attributes than the difference between it and god not only may be impossible to detect, but be utterly irrelevant.
 At least in the canonical way, illogical asserts that something is
 opposed to logic. By your own assertion, logic can't prove either
 conclusion so neither can be counter to logic.
 

illogical to believe either: That is, it is only logical to believe what perception, reason and yes, logic itself can show us.

You assert that you can't know if there is or is not a god, so you refuse to act on either and in effect chosen to act as if there were not (how would you act different if you /had/ chosen this?). You have chose this without a logical bases because, as you asserted, there is no logical bases for this choice. The only way to not act on faith (choice without evidence) is to never ask the question and practically everyone over the age of three has. By that you, and in fact practically everyone on the planet, is acting "illogically" (but not anti-logically).
 You have a point, but only if you equate fear and terror or phobias.
 A (reonable) fear of hights is not a bad thing. A fear of danger
 (again within reason) is a *good* thing. A well behaved dog fears
 displeasing you (this is distinct from fearing your reaction to it)
 more than anything else, otherwhise they would disobey you the first
 time somthing scares them.
 

fall a long distance, I will in all likelihood not enjoy the result :P. But resting a fear of the unknown with knowledge you haven't gained by any legitimate means is allowing that fear to subsume reason.

Then what is your point? I have no fear of the unknown. If there is no higher purpose then "eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" and who cares? The only fear around here is a result of faith (I fear hell to put it bluntly) not a cause of it.
 IIRC there is a $10K prize for the first person to prove evolution.
 The juges are secular and last I heard, no one had clamed it.
 

1) There is no such thing as scientific proof.

put species A in a box, don't let in anything else, pull out species B. q.e.d.
 2) You cannot convince them of evolution, because they're not
 unbiased.

IIRC the judges are from groups like NSF and the Smithsonian. Hardly unbiased I'll agree...
Jun 03 2008
next sibling parent terranium <spam here.lot> writes:
BCS Wrote:

 1) There is no such thing as scientific proof.


Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent reply Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 I see in the universe a creator that has attributes like humor, an 
 appreciation for beauty and an interest in relationships.

Where?
Jun 04 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Chris,

 BCS wrote:
 
 I see in the universe a creator that has attributes like humor, an
 appreciation for beauty and an interest in relationships.
 


Go take a look at a Paleontology reference and look at all the odd things that have lived on this planet. Then read Gen 2:19: "Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name." I can just see it, God and the angles are sitting around and one of the angles says: "Now make one with 5 horns and see what he calls it!" Even without the bible reference, I can't think of any reason for some animals except as a fantastic joke. I'm a little surprised that The Far Side never did that one.
Jun 04 2008
parent reply Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Chris,
 
 BCS wrote:

 I see in the universe a creator that has attributes like humor, an
 appreciation for beauty and an interest in relationships.


Go take a look at a Paleontology reference and look at all the odd things that have lived on this planet. Then read Gen 2:19:

I was thinking that you went somewhere in the universe and there you saw a physical manifestation of a creator. I take it you aren't suggesting that, say, Sidneyia inexpectans is or was a creator with a sense of humor and aesthetic. The only things that Sidneyia made were excrement and other creatures similar to Sidneyia.
Jun 04 2008
parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Chris,

 BCS wrote:
 
 Reply to Chris,
 
 BCS wrote:
 
 I see in the universe a creator that has attributes like humor, an
 appreciation for beauty and an interest in relationships.
 


things that have lived on this planet. Then read Gen 2:19:

saw a physical manifestation of a creator. I take it you aren't suggesting that, say, Sidneyia inexpectans is or was a creator with a sense of humor and aesthetic. The only things that Sidneyia made were excrement and other creatures similar to Sidneyia.

Ah. That interpretation does make a 'wee bit' of difference<g>. To clarify: "I see, in the attributes and 'charter' of the universe,..."
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent reply Aarti_pl <aarti interia.pl> writes:
Gregor Richards pisze:
 Evolution is based on overwhelming amounts of evidence, and yes, I'll 
 say it: Anyone who does not believe in evolution when presented with the 
 evidence is irreparably incompetent.

Did you read this?: http://www.forbiddenarcheology.com/ I found also movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opX5s57MKIk Although I don't support author's religion world view, his book is strong position *against* evolutionary view of humans origins. It's not just sweet "bla bla" it's scientific monumental work, which definitely should be seriously taken into consideration. A good question is why still so many scientists don't want to think about alternatives to theory of evolution? In my case when I got older I lost my naive point of view that everyone just tries to discover the truth. Also scientists have their presumptions, emotions, careers, religions (including atheism ;-) ) and it influences heavily their work, way of thinking and conclusions they make. Especially in areas of knowledge which from definition are not as repeatable as simple physical experiments. Best Regards Marcin Kuszczak www.zapytajmnie.com
Jun 04 2008
parent Fawzi Mohamed <fmohamed mac.com> writes:
On 2008-06-04 10:44:56 +0200, Aarti_pl <aarti interia.pl> said:

 Gregor Richards pisze:
 Evolution is based on overwhelming amounts of evidence, and yes, I'll 
 say it: Anyone who does not believe in evolution when presented with 
 the evidence is irreparably incompetent.

Did you read this?: http://www.forbiddenarcheology.com/ I found also movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opX5s57MKIk Although I don't support author's religion world view, his book is strong position *against* evolutionary view of humans origins. It's not just sweet "bla bla" it's scientific monumental work, which definitely should be seriously taken into consideration. A good question is why still so many scientists don't want to think about alternatives to theory of evolution? In my case when I got older I lost my naive point of view that everyone just tries to discover the truth. Also scientists have their presumptions, emotions, careers, religions (including atheism ;-) ) and it influences heavily their work, way of thinking and conclusions they make. Especially in areas of knowledge which from definition are not as repeatable as simple physical experiments. Best Regards Marcin Kuszczak www.zapytajmnie.com

I find very difficult not to believe in some form of evolution once you understand how it works. 1) there are some sort of things that we identify as individuals. 2) these individuals can in some way reproduce themselves, and produce other individuals 3) the offspring of the individuals are similar to those that have generated them, but not identical, some small variations can enter (hereditariness and mutation) 4) individuals can die that's it, if you accept these things then you have some sort of evolution: individuals that are better adapted to the environment are more likely to have more offsprings and live longer, so slowly you have evolution. Those are extremely weak assumptions, and this is an argument that is quite difficult to discard... and in fact there is also plenty of evidence and experiments done today that shows that this happens in reality. What the anti-darwinists normally do in this case is to say that the variability has to be only limited to a small parameter set (what they call micro evolution), or that some things are exempt from evolution. Depending on who you ask you get different answers with respect to what is fixed (maybe the species, which is a concept that doesn't apply so well to everything). But actually there is no need for artificial bounds on what can be changed, the only thing that happens if there are no bounds is that sometime some modification gives you a flawed individual that cannot form/grow/or dies early... which happens.... Can I show that there are no bounds (other than the physical laws) on the modifications that the evolution can do? Obviously not, but I never saw anything like them and it is much more economical to think that there none if it fits the observation (occam razor). Once one accepts this kind of evolution one can begin to look at the details of how it works, and how it can explain what we see. For example it is clear that isolation (physical, due to food source, behavioral,...) makes for a statistical higher probability of having a smaller part of the population that has mean characteristic that are different from the "normal" and can magnify special characteristics and branch away the population. What is normally misperceived about evolution is how the population evolves, do the stronger individuals survive? the more selfish? the better ones? not necessarily, it depends on the environment, as strong selfish individual might be less adapt than a group that collaborates with themselves. Any kind of simple definition that is not circular (those that survive are those that survive) is fallacious, even the "better" individuals might have costs (energetic,...) that do not offset their usefulness... One thing that the evolution has is the strong preference for small improvements (that are more likely) over big changes, so to really understand how a big change can happen one should find a "path" of small changes (that give and advantage). There are signs of this (for example birds have the same basic skeletal structure as ourselves, only highly deformed), still there are some things for which no clear way is known, and some hypothesis on how it could have happened are discussed in the book I had cited (The Major Transitions in Evolution). And God? Well this doesn't rule out the existence of God, neither it does demonstrate it. I know very good people both religious and not, and have respect for them. For some people believing in God gives them energy to act well. Personally I am very suspicious of absolute truths, especially when one thinks that he has to convince others of his idea at all costs, respecting the others and being tolerant is one of the most important things in my opinion, intolerance is the thing I tolerate less :). I define myself agnostic: I think that one cannot really answer that question one way or another, and actually it isn't the most relevant question. More important is how one lives and what he does. I think that if God exists than he should also care more about that, and if he doesn't, and cares more if one worships him or not, then it isn't a God that I want to worship ;). Definitely OT, I will try restrain myself next time ;)
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent Manfred Nowak <svv1999 hotmail.com> writes:
John Reimer wrote:

[...]
 a God that created all things for his Own purpose.   

I once pulled a lithified fern out of the slate behind a waterfall of a creek. This pointed me to two alternatives: 1) disbelief in the existence of such a purpose 2) belief in the existence of a malevolent structure, with such a purpose -manfred
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Tower Ty <towerty msn.com.au> writes:
I see who the one word poster is now !



Gregor Richards Wrote:

 BCS wrote:
 Reply to Simen,
 
 Chris Wright Wrote:

 BCS wrote:

 The chances of life happening by chance are something like that, if
 not worse. You could probably calculated a relative number for it
 with quantum physics and/or information theory and/or string theory
 or some such. IIRC there is a theory about how much info can be in a
 given volume.

abiogenesis.

Witnesses, as I've always been of the opinion that life being created by some higher being is less probable than it occuring naturally. Way I figured was, I get 1 cubic centimetre of the simplest, carbon-based, self-replicating molecules, on this planet of 1 trillion cubic kilometers (one cubic centimetre was chosen as some arbitrary amount that might come into being by chance). Not by any chance a big chunk, but is it enough for life to survive? Let's first see how many self-replicating molecules we can fit into my small cube - 1.6 quintillion. That ain't half bad. (Actually, I think the number was 1000 times bigger, but I don't remember the name of that number [Hexillion?], plus you can think of it as a bit of safety :p) Now, spread that evenly across the world (258 billion square kilometers), and you get 162 such molecule for every square meter. With enough resources nearby, I'd give it a fairly good chance of survival.

Someone once told me that if you take all the ways that you can assemble the parts of the simplest form of life and put them in once place, the ball would be something like the size of earth. (I havn't checked the math or anything like that)

I love that all arguments against natural abiogenesis come down to an argument from ignorance. The fact is that we haven't got the foggiest bit of a clue what the entire range of things that could have /potentially/ formed life are, we just happen to have been formed from a particular set of amino acids. We like to believe that only amino acids, or even only the set of amino acids life on Earth are based on, could form life, but that's just stupid. Given the uncountably many planets in the universe, life has probably come into existence and evolved in ways we could never remotely predict, and idiots on their planets are saying "The chances that a simple life based on hexavalent chromium would form naturally are so unlikely, we must have been created by some higher intelligence!" As it turns out, when you consider your very low but extremely ignorant statistic given the number of planets in the universe, and the potentially huge number of possible ways life could form (a number we can't even begin to fathom), it turns into 99.9999999999%. Unfortunately, the general populous doesn't understand statistics even in the slightest, and so they think "Wow, given the extremely low odds that a protozoan would appear by random chance, we must have been created by a higher power!" Idiots. - Gregor Richards

Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent reply Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:
...
 intelligence!" As it turns out, when you consider your very low but 
 extremely ignorant statistic given the number of planets in the 
 universe, and the potentially huge number of possible ways life could 
 form (a number we can't even begin to fathom), it turns into 
 99.9999999999%. Unfortunately, the general populous doesn't understand 

While you're using 99.999999% better here than most do in newsgroups, the average case is like "99.9999999999% of the time I win everybody". In the late seventies I had a newsgroup reader to which I had attached a filter that went like (vi code here): %s/ 99\.9+\%/ many/g and it turned out that it not only improved the quality of what I read, it also improved my responses to it.
 statistics even in the slightest, and so they think "Wow, given the 
 extremely low odds that a protozoan would appear by random chance, we 
 must have been created by a higher power!" Idiots.

Correct!!!!! Not that I could say I'm any less of an idiot, at least after I've tried to do some (really more modest) calculations, every once in a while ever since teen-age. Let's be overly modest, and just try to get a probability for something vastly "smaller", and therefore easier(?) to understand. For example, what are the odds that I got born at all? Even /given that/ human beings already have existed here for some 4 million years? I can't be born at all if my mother had died before she got me. Same goes for my father. And their parents and their's. One might take a male or a female tack on this one. Let's take the female tack: Assume that it takes 20 years on average to get a child. Of course, now we have statutory rape laws and people used to start earlier, but nowadays it's not even uncommon to have first kids in the very late thirties. But, hey, one has to pick some age. Now, considering the odds of accidentally dropping your daughter, her getting into any other accident, infant mortality, plagues, ordinary diseases or cancer, and women not getting married and/or not having children. What would be the probability that your daughter eventually bears you a granddaughter? Let's say it's 75%. But since I'm being /nice/ here, make it 99%. In 4 million years we have 200000 generations. If even any /single one/ of your grandmothers fails, then the rest become unborn, so the only way your mother could have come to existence is that /all/ of them succeeded. Since they're independent (as a statistical sample), the formula would be: P = (1 - 0.99) ^ 200000 which ought to be (er, now my calculator shows an error! ...I had to do it via logarithms), equal to: 10 ^ -400000 which is pretty damn close to zero. OR we could do it the male way: Ignoring all infant mortality, etc. (Just for the heck of it. This of course does weakens my point substantially, but boy, can I afford it! As you'll see.) Let's say that the average number of sperm at a go is: 20million/ml * 2ml = 40M (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semen_analysis#Sperm_count) So, one could say that the probability of your father having been born (from that particular copulation) is (1/ 40M) / 2 the "/2" being for only half of them are male. Again, I had to resort to logarithms to force a non-error result, which was P = (1/80M) ^ 200000 = 10 ^ -1580618 This time the answer is even more preposterously small. Especially considering that any "real" quantity (like counting the electrons in the entire known universe), that can be said to have any meaning, can be done with a calculator that has a range of 10^-99 to 10^99. A quantity like 10^-1600000 is "99.9999%" smaller than I can imagine. Therefore I'm an idiot. :-) Now, combining my mother with my father (and /really/ stupidly considering me having born to them as P=1), we get 10 ^ -(1.6M + 0.4M) = 10^-2M which is a nice round figure. Ok, the math here has been sloppy, the prerequisites and estimates are all off-the-hat, but the end result should be "in the ballpark". At /least/ for proving that this simply is out of mental reach. With this same logic, one might want to know the probability of the first human being having been born from animals that existed at the time of dinosaurs (a lot more than 4M years and 200k generations), or that animal from the first vertebrate, or that one from the first two-sex animal, or that one from the first multicellular animal, or that one from the first reproductive organism. Compared to that, I think that the odds of life itself developing are just child's play. -- So, where I really need God is not to explain to me the existence of life on Earth, but to explain to me how come I personally exist at all. Arrgghh. I just remembered that the odds of God someday explaining this to me are smaller than my existence (they equal zero). Ah, and since my existence (already within our current universe, not to speak of the infinite number of universes before ours, and those after ours), itself is smaller than I care to understand, I suddenly understood: it's guaranteed to get fixed within the next hundred years. Then I'll be long gone, and this (from my point of view, once in a lifetime (not mine, but that of the entire history of universes, come and gone)), aberration will be restored, once and for all. That is pretty much the same as if I'd never been born to begin with. Compare that to the age of the universe(s), and the total probability starts to make sense. Hmm. Should one commit oneself to the funny farm if it suddenly makes sense, or if it doesn't? I HOPE that nobody really starts to ponder on these things! One of my girlfriends was a nurse at a mental asylum, and she told me (years ago) that quite a lot of the inmates are physically normal people, who just by bad luck had started to try to understand things like this or the Meaning of Life or why we exist. She used to say "it's burned their circuits". I think that is a succinct way of putting it. After all this, things like elementary particles popping in and out of existence out of nowhere in empty space and on the surface of black holes, really doesn't sound all that exotic. :-)
Jun 04 2008
next sibling parent reply Manfred Nowak <svv1999 hotmail.com> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:

 10 ^ -(1.6M + 0.4M) = 10^-2M

Now estimate the expectancy of a structure, that has no notion of itself and self-preservation but is so powerfull, that it can create a continuum with time and put itself into that continuum. -manfred
Jun 04 2008
parent reply John Reimer <terminal.node gmail.com> writes:
Hello Manfred,

 Georg Wrede wrote:
 
 10 ^ -(1.6M + 0.4M) = 10^-2M
 

itself and self-preservation but is so powerfull, that it can create a continuum with time and put itself into that continuum. -manfred

No notion of itself? Why must God exist in the continuum he created or be subject to it? These are strange conjectures. I don't think the Bible makes any such claims about God, unless you are referring to the period of time that Christ was on earth. :) Believing in a God may seem too "easy", but it is logical given the conclusion that structure and design, and the laws that rule them, were created in place to govern the creation. That's not a very chancy existance. I also ask you how you think God is computable since most here like to say that concept of God is not testable; do you think he is any more calculable? So may I ask you do the same calculations for any theory that purports that this universe appeared out of nothing ala "big bang" by random chance. I don't think there is a way for that to be done. Or have we already been over this already? :) But I suppose this is the tendency of the materialist to enlist numbers to conjecture these things before he even knows that his ability to conjecture (in his universe) is even reliable. It's rather interesting that there is a strong tendency here to rely on statistics and other such calculations of chance as reliable measurement for these things. It once again presumes much about the accuracy of your reason. Don't you think you would be lucky that "2+2=4" occurs consistantly in a random chance universe. Then again, say I give you that your statistics are reliable in your universe: it then also presumes all factors are understood for those chances to exist -- which I'd say is rather presumptuous given the fact that scientists don't even know how much more there is to know about this universe. Have such statistics been testable? Why are they counted reliable? Why in a worldview that depends on chance are such calculations even found to be reliable? In the materialistic worldview of millions of random electro-chemical reactions, it appears you've merely chosen a non-personal, invisible "god" of your own making to keep things running and to make sure those chance events repeatedly hit on the right combination. -JJR
Jun 05 2008
parent Manfred Nowak <svv1999 hotmail.com> writes:
Hey John.

I am not reasoning about a God, but about a structure, which seems 
likely to be not a God.

You wrote:
 Why must God exist in the continuum he created or be subject to it?

I see no reason for such a duty for a God. But why should a God be disallowed to put himself into a continuum he created? -manfred
Jun 05 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 I HOPE that nobody really starts to ponder on these things! One of my 
 girlfriends was a nurse at a mental asylum, and she told me (years ago) 
 that quite a lot of the inmates are physically normal people, who just 
 by bad luck had started to try to understand things like this or the 
 Meaning of Life or why we exist. She used to say "it's burned their 
 circuits".

Indeed! So stop thinking about the nature of existence, and stare at pretty pictures: Anomalocaris: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/cambrian4.jpg Marella: http://paws.wcu.edu/dperlmutr/Marella2.JPG Opabinia: http://faculty.virginia.edu/bio202/Opabinia.gif I believe those are all drawn by Marianne Collins.
Jun 05 2008
prev sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from Georg Wrede (georg nospam.org)'s article
 I HOPE that nobody really starts to ponder on these things! One of my
 girlfriends was a nurse at a mental asylum, and she told me (years ago)
 that quite a lot of the inmates are physically normal people, who just
 by bad luck had started to try to understand things like this or the
 Meaning of Life or why we exist. She used to say "it's burned their
 circuits".

Its a bit unrelated, but "Pi" is an excellent movie. Sean
Jun 05 2008
prev sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
This is what I so like about this group. A topic is posted that is off topic 
to begin with, goes not only more OT but right into a minefield and not only 
does the thread stay interesting but it remains civil despite some
diametrically 
opposed views.

Damn I like this group.

<G>
Jun 03 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 This is what I so like about this group. A topic is posted that is off
 topic to begin with, goes not only more OT but right into a minefield
 and not only does the thread stay interesting but it remains civil
 despite some diametrically opposed views.
 
 Damn I like this group.
 
 <G>
 
 

the article above about YAWEH is Christian nonsense. Since this article derives everything from English translations made 1000s of years after the original was written in Hebrew, it is based solely on that English translation and _not_ on the original text. Fact is Ancient Hebrew didn't have vowels and the bible (the original Hebrew version 1.0) contains here and there words that we do not know how to read. most of the Bible does have Nikud (marks for vowels in modern Hebrew) since the knowledge of how to read it was preserved but here and there there are words and phrases we do not know how to pronounce. In order to be able to read the bible there were added explanations in the margins (most of the time, it's quite clear that some word simply contains some typo, or that the letters only have one way to be pronounced) but the original text is not changed since it's considered holy. This is a long explanation to the simple fact that the pronunciation of "ื™ื”ื•ื”" got lost in time in the same way, and since it's not a simple case of a typo, we simple do not know how to pronounce it. Hebrew speakers (like myself) read this word as "adoni" or "Lord" in English and this is in fact how it's translated in the [much later] English version. about statistics: a friend showed me a graph online showing an inverse relation between the number of pirates and rising temperature due to global warming. his conclusion is that to stop global warming we need more pirates at sea. I hope we all see how silly this is. one simply cannot derive a conclusion based on something like that. statistics are much the same, they tell us nothing since we do not know what a full definition of life is, as Gregor said. how can you measure what's the odds are to get life on a planet without knowing what a full definition of the concept of life? about the big-bang: the big bang created our space-time, so it's illogical to ask what was before time began. one last thing, let's consider god from a logical POV: god is all powerful => God can create a rock no-one can lift => god cannot lift the rock or god cannot create such a rock => contradiction --Yigal
Jun 03 2008
next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,


 Just to add some relevant facts:
 the article above about YAWEH is Christian nonsense.

What about it is nonsense? You seem to be making a point about how the word sounds. Are you claming that that there is some ambiguity regarding which spoken word it is being written?
 Since this
 article derives everything from English translations made 1000s of years
 after the original was written in Hebrew, it is based solely on that English
 translation and _not_ on the original text.
 Fact is Ancient Hebrew didn't have vowels and the bible (the original
 Hebrew version 1.0) contains here and there words that we do not know
 how to read. 

A while back I was talking to a Hebrew scholor and I seem to reacal that there is even some question as to where the word breaks are.
 most of the Bible does have Nikud (marks for vowels in
 modern Hebrew) since the knowledge of how to read it was preserved but
 here and there there are words and phrases we do not know how to
 pronounce. In order to be able to read the bible there were added
 explanations in the margins (most of the time, it's quite clear that
 some word simply contains some typo, or that the letters only have one
 way to be pronounced) but the original text is not changed since it's
 considered holy.
 This is a long explanation to the simple fact that the pronunciation
 of
 "ื™ื”ื•ื”" got lost in time in the same way, and since it's not a simple
 case of a typo, we simple do not know how to pronounce it. Hebrew
 speakers (like myself) read this word as "adoni" or "Lord" in English
 and this is in fact how it's translated in the [much later] English
 version.

Interesting, I remember hearing that the choice to use adoni was because it ensured that the original name is never corrupted. Actually, come to think of it, I seem to recall that the name was actually not written to avoid spelling it wrong by accident
 one last thing, let's consider god from a logical POV:
 god is all powerful => God can create a rock no-one can lift => god
 cannot lift the rock or god cannot create such a rock => contradiction

That assumes that god is inside the universe. That in and of it's self is a problem. When you start dealing with absolutes and infinities things fall about in all domains of logic. Look up Russell's paradox or the halting problem for some real examples of where this happens in domains that are not theological.
 --Yigal
 

Jun 03 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 
 Just to add some relevant facts:
 the article above about YAWEH is Christian nonsense.

What about it is nonsense? You seem to be making a point about how the word sounds. Are you claming that that there is some ambiguity regarding which spoken word it is being written?
 Since this
 article derives everything from English translations made 1000s of years
 after the original was written in Hebrew, it is based solely on that
 English
 translation and _not_ on the original text.
 Fact is Ancient Hebrew didn't have vowels and the bible (the original
 Hebrew version 1.0) contains here and there words that we do not know
 how to read. 

A while back I was talking to a Hebrew scholor and I seem to reacal that there is even some question as to where the word breaks are.
 most of the Bible does have Nikud (marks for vowels in
 modern Hebrew) since the knowledge of how to read it was preserved but
 here and there there are words and phrases we do not know how to
 pronounce. In order to be able to read the bible there were added
 explanations in the margins (most of the time, it's quite clear that
 some word simply contains some typo, or that the letters only have one
 way to be pronounced) but the original text is not changed since it's
 considered holy.
 This is a long explanation to the simple fact that the pronunciation
 of
 "ื™ื”ื•ื”" got lost in time in the same way, and since it's not a simple
 case of a typo, we simple do not know how to pronounce it. Hebrew
 speakers (like myself) read this word as "adoni" or "Lord" in English
 and this is in fact how it's translated in the [much later] English
 version.

Interesting, I remember hearing that the choice to use adoni was because it ensured that the original name is never corrupted. Actually, come to think of it, I seem to recall that the name was actually not written to avoid spelling it wrong by accident
 one last thing, let's consider god from a logical POV:
 god is all powerful => God can create a rock no-one can lift => god
 cannot lift the rock or god cannot create such a rock => contradiction

That assumes that god is inside the universe. That in and of it's self is a problem. When you start dealing with absolutes and infinities things fall about in all domains of logic. Look up Russell's paradox or the halting problem for some real examples of where this happens in domains that are not theological.
 --Yigal


it as "YAWEH" is a blind guess. Since we do not know how to pronounce this word, we can't read it, and we do not know its meaning. As I said (and you agree with me, from your reply) we read it as adoni and it's translated roughly to "lord" in English. adding any other meaning to the word as the article linked in this thread tries to do is based only on that author's personal beliefs and has nothing to do with the actual word as it is written in the bible - hence nonsense. in the same way, I can claim ื™ื”ื•ื” means "cat", and write a long article explaining that. about that logical claim of god: everyone has his own view of what god is. the problem is with _your_ definition of what god is. besides, I wrote it only half seriously (I probably should have mentioned not to take it that seriously in the original reply, though) a general reply to anyone claiming that being atheist is a religion: religious people assume that everyone must have a faith in something so they interpret an atheist as someone who believes in a lack of a higher power, a belief of realism, a belief in logic and causality, etc.. this is false. atheist means without a faith. not a faith in an opposite claim. it is the same as asking a healthy person what is his sickness. He is not ill with a lack of a disease, he simply has no disease. religious people think that our world view must be based on some faith be it a faith in god or a faith in reason. well, that's wrong. a world view can be based on facts alone without any faith underlining it. I don't believe in reason or causality, it is just an observable fact of the world we live in, it simply exists in the universe we occupy. we know for a fact that some things cause other things in our universe. there are other things that are not caused by anything and are random. those are just observable facts. not a belief of existence of causality. to summarize: A->not(B) is not equivalent to not(A)->B where: A is "I/an atheist believes" B is "god exists". --Yigal
Jun 04 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,

 a general reply to anyone claiming that being atheist is a religion:

Nor, arguably, is Christianity, they are both systems of faith.
 religious people assume that everyone must have a faith in something
 so they interpret an atheist as someone who believes in a lack of a
 higher power, a belief of realism, a belief in logic and causality, etc..
 this is false.

 atheist means without a faith. not a faith in an opposite claim.

I claim that the question of the existence of god is relevant in every life. The atheist says "I think there is no god" and acts on that assumption. The theist does the reverse. Neither has proof yet both act (because you can't /not/ act). Therefor both act on faith (belief without proof). I don't see any functional difference regarding faith.
Jun 04 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 a general reply to anyone claiming that being atheist is a religion:

Nor, arguably, is Christianity, they are both systems of faith.

It seems that your definition of a religion is different than mine. in that case - s/religion/faith/ and my argument is just as valid as before.
 
 religious people assume that everyone must have a faith in something
 so they interpret an atheist as someone who believes in a lack of a
 higher power, a belief of realism, a belief in logic and causality, etc..
 this is false.

 atheist means without a faith. not a faith in an opposite claim.

I claim that the question of the existence of god is relevant in every life. The atheist says "I think there is no god" and acts on that assumption. The theist does the reverse. Neither has proof yet both act (because you can't /not/ act). Therefor both act on faith (belief without proof). I don't see any functional difference regarding faith.

question of the existence of god is relevant in every life.". As an atheist I can tell you that it is not. Occam's razor basically states that the more assumptions you have the higher the chance of you being wrong. and you just added such as assumption. again, Atheism is not a faith based on "I think/believe there is not god". the question of the existence of god is irrelevant since atheists do _not_ upon this assumption. There is a difference between assuming (believing) that god does _not_ exist and act based on that vs. _not_ assuming anything about this question (since as stated before it's not relevant) in the first place. I still act, yet I do not assume anything about this question. The end result for you would be that since I do not act based upon the existence of god, you see it as if I deny such existence. even though the result looks very similar, the cause is fundamentally different. A blind person from birth acts without any assumption of colors or light and the concept is meaningless to him. his is not acting based on the assumption of a world without color but rather he acts _without_ the assumption of color. in the same way, a healthy person does not act based on the assumption of a strange "disease" of "a lack of illness". The same reasoning of Occam's razor applies for example to the idiotic Intelligent design (ID) "theory". "theory" in the context of science is a very strong concept [much stronger than conjecture, for example] and implies the ability to have predictions based on it that can be validated, and the ability to test it in the real world. ID is *not* a theory in the scientific sense of the word since it requires one to believe the existence of a higher power which cannot be proven to exist. since it does not provide any way to test it but rather it depends on the faith of humans, it is not a theory but rather a faith. therefore, scientists avoid arguing against it because trying to prove it wrong is also treating it as a scientific theory, which it's not.
Jun 04 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,

 BCS wrote:
 
 I claim that the question of the existence of god is relevant in
 every life. The atheist says "I think there is no god" and acts on
 that assumption. The theist does the reverse. Neither has proof yet
 both act (because you can't /not/ act). Therefor both act on faith
 (belief without proof). I don't see any functional difference
 regarding faith.
 

your claim proves my point. As a theist person you assume that "the question of the existence of god is relevant in every life.". As an atheist I can tell you that it is not.

How can answering "yes" to a question effect your life and answering "no" not? If nothing else it effects your life by the mere absence of the effects that saying "yes" has.
 There is a difference between assuming (believing) that god does _not_
 exist and act based on that vs. _not_ assuming anything about this
 question (since as stated before it's not relevant) in the first
 place.

How do these differ? How would a person who ascribes to one act different than one who ascribes to the other?
Jun 05 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 BCS wrote:

 I claim that the question of the existence of god is relevant in
 every life. The atheist says "I think there is no god" and acts on
 that assumption. The theist does the reverse. Neither has proof yet
 both act (because you can't /not/ act). Therefor both act on faith
 (belief without proof). I don't see any functional difference
 regarding faith.

your claim proves my point. As a theist person you assume that "the question of the existence of god is relevant in every life.". As an atheist I can tell you that it is not.

How can answering "yes" to a question effect your life and answering "no" not? If nothing else it effects your life by the mere absence of the effects that saying "yes" has.
 There is a difference between assuming (believing) that god does _not_
 exist and act based on that vs. _not_ assuming anything about this
 question (since as stated before it's not relevant) in the first
 place.

How do these differ? How would a person who ascribes to one act different than one who ascribes to the other?

color to a person who's blind from birth? would you agree that it's completely different situation from a person that sees colors but chooses intentionally to ignore them? The result may be almost the same even identical in extreme cases, but from that person's perspective it's completely different since for the blind person the concept of color doesn't have any meaning what so ever. My example is a negative one and does not fully translate to the god question, since the existence of colors is a known physical fact whereas god's existence is a claim that cannot [by definition] be proven. but if you only look at this from that blind person's perspective and try to understand that the word "color" simply doesn't have any meaning for him, you'll see that he lives in a world where the concept itself, the definition of that particular word "color" simply does not exist. this IS the very important difference between the two. let look at this in a particular situation: the blind man wants to put on a shirt. how does the color or lack thereof affects his actions? it does not, again, the concept of color does not exist in his world. compare it with a seeing person who believes that colors do not exist [maybe he thinks they are just an illusion - a manifestation of something else]. When the seeing person chooses to put a shirt, does the color affect his choice? of course it does, even if he deliberately chooses to ignore it. now, think of a universe without color, a universe where the blind person's world view is the "correct" one. if I would ask you to explain what god is, what the definition of that word in your vocabulary, I'd get no doubt your (Christian) definition, and if you were to ask me the same question, as a Jewish person I could give you a very different (Jewish) definition of the concept. and the definitions are different. in the atheist's case, this word does not exist at all, so there simple is no definition. this is fundamentally different form saying the god does not exist based on some "atheist" definition of the concept. I claim not the "god" as you define it does not exist, I claim the I do not have any definition to this concept and this concept in fact does not exist for me at all. the math equivalent is to say that an empty set [of words] is _NOT_ the same as a set that contains only the empty word. --Yigal
Jun 05 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
****** read the bit at the end first *****

Reply to Yigal,

 BCS wrote:
 
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 There is a difference between assuming (believing) that god does
 _not_ exist and act based on that vs. _not_ assuming anything about
 this question (since as stated before it's not relevant) in the
 first place.
 

different than one who ascribes to the other?

color to a person who's blind from birth? would you agree that it's completely different situation from a person that sees colors but chooses intentionally to ignore them?

That isn't parallel. The only term I can think of for a person that sees evidence of a god and chooses to ignore it is "stupid". Not believing in god (in the negative or the apathetic way) because you don't see evidence is different. Also the metaphor doesn't work because the first person that can't see evidence but has been told it exists and the other does see evidence and chooses to discount it. Neither match either of the cases being debated.
 When the seeing person chooses to put a shirt, does the
 color affect his choice? of course it does, even if he deliberately
 chooses to ignore it.

If it affects his choice, he didn't ignore it. If he ignores it, it didn't affect his choice. Either that or you and I are talking about a different ignore.
 if I would ask you to explain what god is, what the definition of that
 word in your vocabulary, I'd get no doubt your (Christian) definition,
 and if you were to ask me the same question, as a Jewish person I
 could give you a very different (Jewish) definition of the concept. 
 and the definitions are different. in the atheist's case, this word 
 does not exist at all, so there simple is no definition.

That is like saying because someone does not belive in "the highest prime number" the phrase "the highest prime number" does not exits. English (and I suspect most natural languages) are more than capable of describing concepts that can't exist, let along concepts that many people think /do/ exist.
 this is fundamentally different form saying the god does not exist 
 based on some "atheist" definition of the concept. I claim not the 
 "god" as you define it does not exist,

----
 I claim the I do not have  any definition to this concept and this 
 concept in fact does not exist for me at all.

And there in lies the crux of the debate. I do not belive that is possible. I belive that if a concept exists for me, then the /concept/ exists for you (and the reverse). You may well believe that it is false or flawed, or not even understand it, but the idea still exists. I can comprehend a world view where anything not seen by an observer does not even exist, but I think it to be a false world view. Never the less, the concept of it still exist for me, you and everyone, and the /concept/ would exist even if I couldn't understand it. That is my world view. If you have a bone to pick with that, then I shall agree to disagree.
Jun 05 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 
 ****** read the bit at the end first *****
 
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 BCS wrote:

 Reply to Yigal,

 There is a difference between assuming (believing) that god does
 _not_ exist and act based on that vs. _not_ assuming anything about
 this question (since as stated before it's not relevant) in the
 first place.

different than one who ascribes to the other?

color to a person who's blind from birth? would you agree that it's completely different situation from a person that sees colors but chooses intentionally to ignore them?

That isn't parallel. The only term I can think of for a person that sees evidence of a god and chooses to ignore it is "stupid". Not believing in god (in the negative or the apathetic way) because you don't see evidence is different. Also the metaphor doesn't work because the first person that can't see evidence but has been told it exists and the other does see evidence and chooses to discount it. Neither match either of the cases being debated.
 When the seeing person chooses to put a shirt, does the
 color affect his choice? of course it does, even if he deliberately
 chooses to ignore it.

If it affects his choice, he didn't ignore it. If he ignores it, it didn't affect his choice. Either that or you and I are talking about a different ignore.
 if I would ask you to explain what god is, what the definition of that
 word in your vocabulary, I'd get no doubt your (Christian) definition,
 and if you were to ask me the same question, as a Jewish person I
 could give you a very different (Jewish) definition of the concept.
 and the definitions are different. in the atheist's case, this word
 does not exist at all, so there simple is no definition.

That is like saying because someone does not belive in "the highest prime number" the phrase "the highest prime number" does not exits. English (and I suspect most natural languages) are more than capable of describing concepts that can't exist, let along concepts that many people think /do/ exist.
 this is fundamentally different form saying the god does not exist
 based on some "atheist" definition of the concept. I claim not the
 "god" as you define it does not exist,

----
 I claim the I do not have  any definition to this concept and this
 concept in fact does not exist for me at all.

And there in lies the crux of the debate. I do not belive that is possible. I belive that if a concept exists for me, then the /concept/ exists for you (and the reverse). You may well believe that it is false or flawed, or not even understand it, but the idea still exists. I can comprehend a world view where anything not seen by an observer does not even exist, but I think it to be a false world view. Never the less, the concept of it still exist for me, you and everyone, and the /concept/ would exist even if I couldn't understand it. That is my world view. If you have a bone to pick with that, then I shall agree to disagree.

OK, forget that metaphor. all I'm trying to say is that a world view is something subjective. Lets borrow from relativity. we now know that speed/velocity depends on the viewer. if I'm sitting in a moving car, my relative speed is zero while for an outside observer my speed is the speed of the car. I think of world views in the same way. we have some basic "atoms" - assumptions we base our world view upon and those assumptions are relative since our world view is subjective. And indeed here lies the crux. You believe that concepts such as god are absolute while I do not. What is a concept anyway? what is a "dog"? a dog is what we define it to be. let's return to the colors for a sec. if you show an object to a person and ask him what color it is, would you say that the definition of colors is universal and that all humans would give you the same answer? in reality, the definition of colors is relative to culture. what western cultures define as pink would be defined as purple by a Chinese person (or maybe it's the other way around, I don't remember the exact details of that study). even a simple concept like the color pink is not a universal absolute concept and varies between cultures. the only way you have to define a color objectively without those cultural influences is to use the scientific definition using the wavelength of light for that color. such a scientific definition obviously does not exist for "god". Note that I'm not trying to convert you to my world view here, but only explain my POV on the subject. you can continue to believe that god is an absolute and universal concept agreed upon by all humanity (that's the Christian world view). All I'm saying to you is that my concept of god (based on my cultural origins) is different. you can take it or leave it. your choice. --Yigal PS - you should read about the Sapir conjecture in wikipedia to see how culture and language influence the way we think.
Jun 06 2008
next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,

 And indeed here lies the crux.
 You believe that concepts such as god are absolute while I do not.

Ok based on that I will no longer debate the point. I'm not brushing you off or giving up because I think "you are crazy" (because I don't) or something like that. We have just reduced the conversation to a legitimate philosophical difference. While I still think you are wrong, I see where you are coming from and see nothing to be gained by continuing. Only a handful of Times have I been able to pursue a debate to this kind of resolution. Generally, the crux comes out to be something wars have been fought over (the other cases that comes to mind devolved to communism vs. capitalism)
 you can continue to believe that
 god is an absolute and universal concept agreed upon by all humanity

Almost. I believe that the /concept/ of god (distinct from the reality it describes) should be something everyone can agree on. The actual existence of the described reality is something I belive in but /don't/ think is inarguable.
 (that's the Christian world view). All I'm saying to you is that my
 concept of god (based on my cultural origins) is different.

 you can
 take it or leave it. your choice.

lets leave it.
 
 --Yigal
 
 PS - you should read about the Sapir conjecture in wikipedia to see
 how culture and language influence the way we think.
 

dropping "Sapir conjecture" into Google put this post above wikipidia !!! errr... actually wikipidia doesn't even seem to have anything on it. Link?
Jun 06 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 And indeed here lies the crux.
 You believe that concepts such as god are absolute while I do not.

Ok based on that I will no longer debate the point. I'm not brushing you off or giving up because I think "you are crazy" (because I don't) or something like that. We have just reduced the conversation to a legitimate philosophical difference. While I still think you are wrong, I see where you are coming from and see nothing to be gained by continuing. Only a handful of Times have I been able to pursue a debate to this kind of resolution. Generally, the crux comes out to be something wars have been fought over (the other cases that comes to mind devolved to communism vs. capitalism)
 you can continue to believe that
 god is an absolute and universal concept agreed upon by all humanity

Almost. I believe that the /concept/ of god (distinct from the reality it describes) should be something everyone can agree on. The actual existence of the described reality is something I belive in but /don't/ think is inarguable.
 (that's the Christian world view). All I'm saying to you is that my
 concept of god (based on my cultural origins) is different.

 you can
 take it or leave it. your choice.

lets leave it.
 --Yigal

 PS - you should read about the Sapir conjecture in wikipedia to see
 how culture and language influence the way we think.

dropping "Sapir conjecture" into Google put this post above wikipidia !!! errr... actually wikipidia doesn't even seem to have anything on it. Link?

So we agree to disagree. As you said, I still think you are wrong, and while as you say the /concept/ of god should be something everyone can agree on, in reality this just isn't so. our own debate here is proof. and I think that not only there are different views based on culture but even two individuals within the same cultural framework would have slightly different views of what that concept means. the link is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapir-Whorf_Hypothesis English related question: are "conjecture" and "Hypothesis" synonyms? --Yigal
Jun 06 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,

 So we agree to disagree. As you said, I still think you are wrong, and
 while as you say the /concept/ of god should be something everyone can
 agree on, in reality this just isn't so. our own debate here is proof.

I think people should be actual be able to agree on what mutually contradictory concepts are. For example, we can agree on what your concept of god is and also agree on what my concept of god is. That is not to say that we should agree that bot are valid, but only what each would entail and /that they exist/. I saying that, I noticed that I was forced to use the phrasing like "what a concept IS"; that 'is' may make an important difference but until now I was mentally omitting it. If that changes your understanding of my view, it might be interesting to revisit some of the past points.
 and I think that not only there are different views based on culture
 but even two individuals within the same cultural framework would have
 slightly different views of what that concept means.
 
 the link is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapir-Whorf_Hypothesis

neat! I had no idea that that concept has a formalization. I have run into it in a number of different forms. Actually I have played around with (as part of a fiction) a somewhat reverse idea that by examining the language of a group you can deduce some facts about them. The example that I was playing with involved the assumption that humans have telepathy based on the fact that we have a word for it.
 
 English related question: are "conjecture" and "Hypothesis" synonyms?
 

No, a "conjecture" is generally thought to be true (or probable) but a "hypothesis" is just an idea to be tested. It kind of a flavor thing more than a hard distinction.
 --Yigal
 

Jun 06 2008
next sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 So we agree to disagree. As you said, I still think you are wrong, and
 while as you say the /concept/ of god should be something everyone can
 agree on, in reality this just isn't so. our own debate here is proof.

I think people should be actual be able to agree on what mutually contradictory concepts are. For example, we can agree on what your concept of god is and also agree on what my concept of god is. That is not to say that we should agree that bot are valid, but only what each would entail and /that they exist/.

let's hypothetically debate "apples" for a second. how is your sentence above applies? we now have two different concepts of an apple; let's say that you define a concept of a blue apple while I define a concept of a green apple. according to you we don't have to agree that both concepts of apples are valid (the definitions are contradictory) but you also say that we should agree on what that concept would entail [so far, I'm with you on this] I can think of what would it mean to have blue apples. but than you add we should also agree that they exist. Now I lost you. certainly apples cannot be blue and green in the same time (unless you provide a /new/ definition of a blue-and-green colored apple). do you mean that we should agree that both /concepts/ of blue apples and green apples exist? if you only mean that, than sure, you can define such a concept and since you just defined it, that /definition/ exists. if you mean that I should also accept the existence of blue apples since you defined them, well, that's not possible since I just defined apples to be green! one last example - Americans define temperature in terms of Fahrenheit while the rest of the world uses Celsius. I agree that the other American /definition/ exists but my world view is based on my definition of Celsius. I know that below 20 degrees I start to feel cold, I know that when I'm healthy my body would measure 36.6-37 degrees. I know that above 40 degrees of body heat I can die. etc.. if the other definition would be defined differently or not at all, this would not affect me since I /think/ in Celsius. in the same way, my world view is not affected by your definition of god since your definition simply does not apply to me.
 
 I saying that, I noticed that I was forced to use the phrasing like
 "what a concept IS"; that 'is' may make an important difference but
 until now I was mentally omitting it. If that changes your understanding
 of my view, it might be interesting to revisit some of the past points.

well, as I previously stated, I personally do not have a distinct definition of the concept since my world view does not require it. My nation does however define that concept, but even the bible does not provide one absolute definition and there are different views of what god is in different streams of Judaism, based on interpretations of the bible. those definitions are not mutually exclusive but rather entwined together. I can't debate these subtleties since I'm an atheist and not a Rabbi But I'm sure google will help find the info. you now accept the fact that the definition of a concept may vary. If you'd further accept that I can have a void definition of the concept (i.e. I choose not to define/use the concept at all) than you'll be able to understand my world view, if you wish. I'm glad that you are now aware of that mental omission. Your world view does not change for me. you have some definition of "god" (most likely a Christian one, which even if I was a theist as a Jewish person I'd disagree on the definition) which you choose to believe in since by your definition itself god is outside logic and cannot be proved to exist or proved to not exist. (that's the whole point of faith)
 
 and I think that not only there are different views based on culture
 but even two individuals within the same cultural framework would have
 slightly different views of what that concept means.

 the link is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapir-Whorf_Hypothesis

neat! I had no idea that that concept has a formalization. I have run into it in a number of different forms. Actually I have played around with (as part of a fiction) a somewhat reverse idea that by examining the language of a group you can deduce some facts about them. The example that I was playing with involved the assumption that humans have telepathy based on the fact that we have a word for it.
 English related question: are "conjecture" and "Hypothesis" synonyms?

No, a "conjecture" is generally thought to be true (or probable) but a "hypothesis" is just an idea to be tested. It kind of a flavor thing more than a hard distinction.
 --Yigal


regarding the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, it is called a "Hypothesis" by the linguists that do not want to accept this since it was until recently a very controversial concept. In reality it really is a conjecture since there is experimental evidence that supports it. Also the links in the bottom of the wikipedia article are very interesting. But I'm sure you will probably read them anyway if you haven't already since it seems it interests you as much as it interests me. --Yigal
Jun 07 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,

 BCS wrote:
 
 I think people should be actual be able to agree on what mutually
 contradictory concepts are. For example, we can agree on what your
 concept of god is and also agree on what my concept of god is. That
 is not to say that we should agree that bot are valid, but only what
 each would entail and /that they exist/.
 

sentence above applies? we now have two different concepts of an apple; let's say thatyou define a concept of a blue apple while I define a concept of a green apple. according to you we don't have to agree that both concepts of apples are valid (the definitions are contradictory) but you also say that we should agree on what that concept would entail [so far, I'm with you on this] I can think of what would it mean to have blue apples. but than you add we should also agree that they exist.

strictly, yes, but not in they way you intended (I may have been unclear on that bit). I said that we should agree that they, the concepts, exist. The reality of green apples don't actual need to exist for the concept (the idea) to exist. And that is /all/ I clamed
 one last example - Americans define temperature in terms of Fahrenheit
 while the rest of the world uses Celsius. I agree that the other
 American /definition/ exists but my world view is based on my
 definition of Celsius. I know that below 20 degrees I start to feel
 cold, I know that when I'm healthy my body would measure 36.6-37
 degrees. I know that above 40 degrees of body heat I can die. etc.. if
 the other definition would be defined differently or not at all, this
 would not affect me since I /think/ in Celsius. in the same way, my
 world view is not affected by your definition of god since your
 definition simply does not apply to me.

That is not aplicable because the two scales are exactly corilated and are in fact redundent. The only way people will act differnt based on that difference in world view is the number they say.
 Also the links in the bottom of the wikipedia article are very
 interesting. But I'm sure you will probably read them anyway if you
 haven't already since it seems it interests you as much as it
 interests me.

If I sat down a wikipidia and looked as 10% of the stuff that interested me, I'd die of old age before I ran out. Yes, it's interesting, but no I don't have time to read it. :( A side note: where did you learn your English? (as a first language, grade school, etc.) It is very good, but seems to be used ever so slightly differently than I use it.
Jun 07 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 BCS wrote:

 I think people should be actual be able to agree on what mutually
 contradictory concepts are. For example, we can agree on what your
 concept of god is and also agree on what my concept of god is. That
 is not to say that we should agree that bot are valid, but only what
 each would entail and /that they exist/.

sentence above applies? we now have two different concepts of an apple; let's say thatyou define a concept of a blue apple while I define a concept of a green apple. according to you we don't have to agree that both concepts of apples are valid (the definitions are contradictory) but you also say that we should agree on what that concept would entail [so far, I'm with you on this] I can think of what would it mean to have blue apples. but than you add we should also agree that they exist.

strictly, yes, but not in they way you intended (I may have been unclear on that bit). I said that we should agree that they, the concepts, exist. The reality of green apples don't actual need to exist for the concept (the idea) to exist. And that is /all/ I clamed

 one last example - Americans define temperature in terms of Fahrenheit
 while the rest of the world uses Celsius. I agree that the other
 American /definition/ exists but my world view is based on my
 definition of Celsius. I know that below 20 degrees I start to feel
 cold, I know that when I'm healthy my body would measure 36.6-37
 degrees. I know that above 40 degrees of body heat I can die. etc.. if
 the other definition would be defined differently or not at all, this
 would not affect me since I /think/ in Celsius. in the same way, my
 world view is not affected by your definition of god since your
 definition simply does not apply to me.

That is not aplicable because the two scales are exactly corilated and are in fact redundent. The only way people will act differnt based on that difference in world view is the number they say.
 Also the links in the bottom of the wikipedia article are very
 interesting. But I'm sure you will probably read them anyway if you
 haven't already since it seems it interests you as much as it
 interests me.


that was just an example meant to illustrate that you don't have to use a concept even if it is defined elsewhere. in the same way I can compare the Jewish, Christian and Islamic concepts of god and claim that they are redundant. there are differences of course like the word used and other more more subtle differences, but they are not foreign concepts and rather borrow from each other's definitions.
 
 If I sat down a wikipidia and looked as 10% of the stuff that interested
 me, I'd die of old age before I ran out. Yes, it's interesting, but no I
 don't have time to read it. :(
 
 
 A side note: where did you learn your English? (as a first language,
 grade school, etc.) It is very good, but seems to be used ever so
 slightly differently than I use it.
 

second language in Israel since we are a small country and that allows us to communicate with other nations. I doubt any foreigner that wants to do business here will learn Hebrew, therefore Knowing English is a required skill. the slight difference is probably due to different cultural thought patterns (I think in Hebrew...), maybe I'm yet another prove to the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis <G> --Yigal
Jun 07 2008
next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Yigal,

 Thanks :) I learned here in Israel. English is taught as a required
 second language in Israel since we are a small country and that allows
 us to communicate with other nations.
 I doubt any foreigner that wants to do business here will learn
 Hebrew,
 therefore Knowing English is a required skill.
 the slight difference is probably due to different cultural thought
 patterns (I think in Hebrew...), maybe I'm yet another prove to the
 Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis <G>

Cool. In one way that might give you an advantage over many people; when you converse in English you are forced to construct a concept in both languages. To do that I suspect that you will need to consider it more carefully than many people do. I'm about to run into a similar situation; I am going to be writing a program where it must be implemented in 2 different languages. As a result I will need to be more aware of what is actually happening than I otherwise would.
Jun 07 2008
next sibling parent reply "Simen Kjaeraas" <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:40:15 +0200, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:

 Reply to Yigal,

 Thanks :) I learned here in Israel. English is taught as a required
 second language in Israel since we are a small country and that allows
 us to communicate with other nations.
 I doubt any foreigner that wants to do business here will learn
 Hebrew,
 therefore Knowing English is a required skill.
 the slight difference is probably due to different cultural thought
 patterns (I think in Hebrew...), maybe I'm yet another prove to the
 Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis <G>

Cool. In one way that might give you an advantage over many people; when you converse in English you are forced to construct a concept in both languages. To do that I suspect that you will need to consider it more carefully than many people do.

I'm from Norway, and I speak a lot of english with my friends, as most programming books, articles, and whatnot we read, are in english, and there's little reason (except to exercise my language muscles) to translate when we all speak english pretty well. This use of english, and the fact 90% of what I read is in english (books, articles on the web, text in games, etc), has lead to english being a language I can think in. No translation to/from norwegian, no need to construct concepts in both languages, it's just there. The same thing goes for programming languages, I think. "Real programmers write FORTRAN in any language" accurately describes what happens when you don't know how to program effectively in a new language.
 I'm about to run into a similar situation; I am going to be writing a  
 program where it must be implemented in 2 different languages. As a  
 result I will need to be more aware of what is actually happening than I  
 otherwise would.

I've been doing something similar with assignments at school. We have a C++ beginner's course, and I've already taken a similar one elsewhere. So, I first write the assignment in C++, to satisfy my teacher. Then I translate it to assembly, python, D, or whatever other language I feel like at the moment. I think it's a good way to increase your knowledge of other languages, and really, it shouldn't take much more time. -- Simen
Jun 08 2008
next sibling parent Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
 On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:40:15 +0200, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:
 
 Reply to Yigal,

 Thanks :) I learned here in Israel. English is taught as a required
 second language in Israel since we are a small country and that allows
 us to communicate with other nations.
 I doubt any foreigner that wants to do business here will learn
 Hebrew,
 therefore Knowing English is a required skill.
 the slight difference is probably due to different cultural thought
 patterns (I think in Hebrew...), maybe I'm yet another prove to the
 Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis <G>

Cool. In one way that might give you an advantage over many people; when you converse in English you are forced to construct a concept in both languages. To do that I suspect that you will need to consider it more carefully than many people do.

I'm from Norway, and I speak a lot of english with my friends, as most programming books, articles, and whatnot we read, are in english, and there's little reason (except to exercise my language muscles) to translate when we all speak english pretty well. This use of english, and the fact 90% of what I read is in english (books, articles on the web, text in games, etc), has lead to english being a language I can think in. No translation to/from norwegian, no need to construct concepts in both languages, it's just there. The same thing goes for programming languages, I think. "Real programmers write FORTRAN in any language" accurately describes what happens when you don't know how to program effectively in a new language.

That may be true for you but this is not the case for many or even most people. A few facts you need to factor in: Norwegian is much closer to English than Hebrew in terms of languages and another important fact is that humans tend to think with metaphors and those are very much relative to culture and indeed your culture itself is closer in terms of metaphors and thought patterns to English than mine. A very good example where we can see such differences is all the Chinese signs you see posted online where they tried to translate to English (for the coming Olympics in Beijing) and got funny results like: "Slip carefully" and such. equating it to Formal [context-free] programming languages is simply wrong because their formality removes all those complexities of natural languages. Try to think how much harder it is for a Japanese person to /think/ in English vs. a French or a German person. the difference is not only the language but more importantly is the cultural concepts and metaphors which differ significantly.
 
 I'm about to run into a similar situation; I am going to be writing a
 program where it must be implemented in 2 different languages. As a
 result I will need to be more aware of what is actually happening than
 I otherwise would.

I've been doing something similar with assignments at school. We have a C++ beginner's course, and I've already taken a similar one elsewhere. So, I first write the assignment in C++, to satisfy my teacher. Then I translate it to assembly, python, D, or whatever other language I feel like at the moment. I think it's a good way to increase your knowledge of other languages, and really, it shouldn't take much more time. -- Simen

Jun 08 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Simen,

 On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:40:15 +0200, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:
 
 Cool. In one way that might give you an advantage over many people;
 when  you converse in English you are forced to construct a concept
 in both  languages. To do that I suspect that you will need to
 consider it more  carefully than many people do.
 

programming books, articles, and whatnot we read, are in english, and there's little reason (except to exercise my language muscles) to translate when we all speak english pretty well. This use of english, and the fact 90% of what I read is in english (books, articles on the web, text in games, etc), has lead to english being a language I can think in. No translation to/from norwegian, no need to construct concepts in both languages, it's just there. The same thing goes for programming languages, I think. "Real programmers write FORTRAN in any language" accurately describes what happens when you don't know how to program effectively in a new language.

Interesting. Have you ever tried using that ability (to think an several languages) while solving problems? "I'm stuck, lets switch to another language and see if anything happens". I known for instance that the Navaho (it might be some other tribe's) language is well suited for talking about relativity (or some other type of physics) p.s. I'd do research on this but it's so far down my list of things to do... <G>
Jun 08 2008
parent Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Simen,
 On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:40:15 +0200, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:

 Cool. In one way that might give you an advantage over many people;
 when  you converse in English you are forced to construct a concept
 in both  languages. To do that I suspect that you will need to
 consider it more  carefully than many people do.

programming books, articles, and whatnot we read, are in english, and there's little reason (except to exercise my language muscles) to translate when we all speak english pretty well. This use of english, and the fact 90% of what I read is in english (books, articles on the web, text in games, etc), has lead to english being a language I can think in. No translation to/from norwegian, no need to construct concepts in both languages, it's just there. The same thing goes for programming languages, I think. "Real programmers write FORTRAN in any language" accurately describes what happens when you don't know how to program effectively in a new language.

Interesting. Have you ever tried using that ability (to think an several languages) while solving problems? "I'm stuck, lets switch to another language and see if anything happens". I known for instance that the Navaho (it might be some other tribe's) language is well suited for talking about relativity (or some other type of physics)

When I'm with friends who all can speak Finnish, Swedish and English, it is pretty common to switch languages temporarily to express something that is cumbersome in the current language. But I must stress, it is considered sloppy, unless one is tired or drunk. :P When I get stuck writing something, it sometimes helps to try to formulate the phrase in several languages. But in general I've begun to think that "everyday thinking", like "hmm, I wonder what Peter thinks about this", really originates below the level of words and sentences, and you become conscious of the thought only after you've formulated it and "heard" yourself thinking it. You're already wondering what Peter thinks before you can hear your thoughts saying it. It is quite likely that you'd have thought the same thing even if you'd never learnt any language at all. This can be seen with toddlers. Their actions are clearly based on thinking (sometimes even quite advanced thinking, if you observe carefully), before they have a language to formulate it in. Then again some kinds of thinking simply cannot be done without a language. Non-trivial problems relating to math, for example, can't be tackled at all without the "language of mathematics". And inventing algorithms needs a notation, a language. It may not necessarily be any specific or existing language, but you at least create an on-the-fly language. So, in general, whenever you need a pencil and paper, there is some kind of language involved. It may not always be a grammatical language, it can be pictorial, conceptual, or even something else.
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling parent reply Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
Simen Kjaeraas wrote:
 On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:40:15 +0200, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,

 Thanks :) I learned here in Israel. English is taught as a required
 second language in Israel since we are a small country and that allows
 us to communicate with other nations.
 I doubt any foreigner that wants to do business here will learn
 Hebrew,
 therefore Knowing English is a required skill.
 the slight difference is probably due to different cultural thought
 patterns (I think in Hebrew...), maybe I'm yet another prove to the
 Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis <G>

Cool. In one way that might give you an advantage over many people; when you converse in English you are forced to construct a concept in both languages. To do that I suspect that you will need to consider it more carefully than many people do.

I'm from Norway, and I speak a lot of english with my friends, as most programming books, articles, and whatnot we read, are in english, and there's little reason (except to exercise my language muscles) to translate when we all speak english pretty well. This use of english, and the fact 90% of what I read is in english (books, articles on the web, text in games, etc), has lead to english being a language I can think in. No translation to/from norwegian, no need to construct concepts in both languages, it's just there. The same thing goes for programming languages, I think. "Real programmers write FORTRAN in any language" accurately describes what happens when you don't know how to program effectively in a new language.

My family belongs to the Swedish speaking minority in Finland, and that has given me sort-of two mother tongues. And today most of my reading and writing is in English, and I daily speak English with friends and others. I think that a big part of learning another language well is to actually start thinking in it, instead of translating before you say or write. I knew classmates who didn't try to turn their entire brain into the other language, and today none of them speak other languages too well. A D programmer whose "mother tongue" is, say, Java, and who thinks in Java and then translates that to D -- well, we can all imagine the results. The same goes for human languages.
Jun 10 2008
parent reply lurker <lurker lurk.com> writes:
Georg Wrede Wrote:

 A D programmer whose "mother tongue" is, say, Java, and who thinks in 
 Java and then translates that to D -- well, we can all imagine the 
 results. 

yeah. like, um, 95% of tango. look at their directory primitives. you must create an object to get information on a directory entry.
Jun 10 2008
next sibling parent reply lurker <lurker lurker.com> writes:
was not me lurker.

lurker Wrote:

 Georg Wrede Wrote:
 
 A D programmer whose "mother tongue" is, say, Java, and who thinks in 
 Java and then translates that to D -- well, we can all imagine the 
 results. 

yeah. like, um, 95% of tango. look at their directory primitives. you must create an object to get information on a directory entry.

Jun 10 2008
parent reply Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
lurker wrote:
 was not me lurker.

Don't want to have a name? You can always use laksjdf or something else, less generic.
Jun 10 2008
parent reply lurker <lurker lurk.com> writes:
Georg Wrede Wrote:

 lurker wrote:
 was not me lurker.

Don't want to have a name? You can always use laksjdf or something else, less generic.

good point. "it's not me anonymous it's another anonymous." what a moron. lurker "yeah that one" at lurk.com p.s. tango is lame. yet another library brown nosing java. yawn.
Jun 10 2008
parent Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
lurker wrote:
 Georg Wrede Wrote:
 
 
lurker wrote:

was not me lurker.

Don't want to have a name? You can always use laksjdf or something else, less generic.

good point. "it's not me anonymous it's another anonymous." what a moron. lurker "yeah that one" at lurk.com p.s. tango is lame. yet another library brown nosing java. yawn.

Uh-oh. Looks like the "lurker" account will soon be blocked by folks here.
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling parent reply Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from lurker (lurker lurk.com)'s article
 Georg Wrede Wrote:
 A D programmer whose "mother tongue" is, say, Java, and who thinks in
 Java and then translates that to D -- well, we can all imagine the
 results.


Not any more. This was changed a few months ago. And I question the "95%" claim. The bulk of Tango doesn't require instantiating objects at all, contrary to popular belief. Sean
Jun 10 2008
next sibling parent reply Alexander Panek <alexander.panek brainsware.org> writes:
Sean Kelly wrote:
 == Quote from lurker (lurker lurk.com)'s article
 Georg Wrede Wrote:
 A D programmer whose "mother tongue" is, say, Java, and who thinks in
 Java and then translates that to D -- well, we can all imagine the
 results.


Not any more. This was changed a few months ago. And I question the "95%" claim. The bulk of Tango doesn't require instantiating objects at all, contrary to popular belief.

Didn't you guys know Tango actually translates D to Java and runs it in a VM behind the curtains? Like, totally. The D library is just a facade!
Jun 10 2008
next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Alexander,


<joke>

 Didn't you guys know Tango actually translates D to Java and runs it
 in a VM behind the curtains? Like, totally. The D library is just a
 facade!
 

</joke> <G/>
Jun 10 2008
parent reply Alexander Panek <alexander.panek brainsware.org> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Alexander,
 
 
 <joke>
 
 Didn't you guys know Tango actually translates D to Java and runs it
 in a VM behind the curtains? Like, totally. The D library is just a
 facade!

</joke> <G/>

Of course. I thought it would be too obvious to mention it. ;) Besides, a good joke doesn't need indication. :P
Jun 10 2008
parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Alexander,

 BCS wrote:
 
 Reply to Alexander,
 
 <joke>
 
 Didn't you guys know Tango actually translates D to Java and runs it
 in a VM behind the curtains? Like, totally. The D library is just a
 facade!
 

<G/>

Besides, a good joke doesn't need indication. :P

It is not possible to under estimate the dumbest person in a crowd. And with a little bad luck, they wont get the joke, and then will blog about it, get slash dotted, ... Also I though it was a good enough joke to comment on.
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling parent "Koroskin Denis" <2korden gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, 10 Jun 2008 22:41:58 +0400, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:

 Reply to Alexander,


 <joke>

 Didn't you guys know Tango actually translates D to Java and runs it
 in a VM behind the curtains? Like, totally. The D library is just a
 facade!

</joke> <G/>

A nice one, I'd admit :)
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from Koroskin Denis (2korden gmail.com)'s article
 On Tue, 10 Jun 2008 22:22:40 +0400, Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org>
 wrote:
 == Quote from lurker (lurker lurk.com)'s article
 Georg Wrede Wrote:
 A D programmer whose "mother tongue" is, say, Java, and who thinks in
 Java and then translates that to D -- well, we can all imagine the
 results.

must create an object to get

Not any more. This was changed a few months ago. And I question the "95%" claim. The bulk of Tango doesn't require instantiating objects at all, contrary to popular belief.


True enough. Sean
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling parent Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
Sean Kelly wrote:
 == Quote from lurker (lurker lurk.com)'s article
 
Georg Wrede Wrote:

A D programmer whose "mother tongue" is, say, Java, and who thinks in
Java and then translates that to D -- well, we can all imagine the
results.

yeah. like, um, 95% of tango. look at their directory primitives. you must create an object to get

information on a directory entry. Not any more. This was changed a few months ago.

Hmm. I think I will reexamine Tango this summer. Thanks for the hint.
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling parent "Simen Kjaeraas" <simen.kjaras gmail.com> writes:
On Sat, 07 Jun 2008 23:40:15 +0200, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:

 Reply to Yigal,

 Thanks :) I learned here in Israel. English is taught as a required
 second language in Israel since we are a small country and that allows
 us to communicate with other nations.
 I doubt any foreigner that wants to do business here will learn
 Hebrew,
 therefore Knowing English is a required skill.
 the slight difference is probably due to different cultural thought
 patterns (I think in Hebrew...), maybe I'm yet another prove to the
 Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis <G>

Cool. In one way that might give you an advantage over many people; when you converse in English you are forced to construct a concept in both languages. To do that I suspect that you will need to consider it more carefully than many people do.

I'm from Norway, and I speak a lot of english with my friends, as most programming books, articles, and whatnot we read, are in english, and there's little reason (except to exercise my language muscles) to translate when we all speak english pretty well. This use of english, and the fact 90% of what I read is in english (books, articles on the web, text in games, etc), has lead to english being a language I can think in. No translation to/from norwegian, no need to construct concepts in both lang
Jun 08 2008
prev sibling parent "Koroskin Denis" <2korden gmail.com> writes:
On Tue, 10 Jun 2008 22:22:40 +0400, Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org>  
wrote:

 == Quote from lurker (lurker lurk.com)'s article
 Georg Wrede Wrote:
 A D programmer whose "mother tongue" is, say, Java, and who thinks in
 Java and then translates that to D -- well, we can all imagine the
 results.

must create an object to get

Not any more. This was changed a few months ago. And I question the "95%" claim. The bulk of Tango doesn't require instantiating objects at all, contrary to popular belief. Sean

This could be further improved with better struct support in D2!
Jun 10 2008
prev sibling parent reply Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 Reply to Yigal,
 English related question: are "conjecture" and "Hypothesis" synonyms?

No, a "conjecture" is generally thought to be true (or probable) but a "hypothesis" is just an idea to be tested. It kind of a flavor thing more than a hard distinction.

Pedantry: By "generally thought to be true", you mean "most often, the speaker believes it to be true", not "most people believe it to be true".
Jun 07 2008
parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Chris,

 BCS wrote:
 
 Reply to Yigal,
 
 English related question: are "conjecture" and "Hypothesis"
 synonyms?
 

a "hypothesis" is just an idea to be tested. It kind of a flavor thing more than a hard distinction.

speaker believes it to be true", not "most people believe it to be true".

almost always the first, /often/ the second as well. When only the speaker believes it the term 'crackpot theory' is often used. <G>
Jun 07 2008
prev sibling parent reply Chris Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 PS - you should read about the Sapir conjecture in wikipedia to see how
 culture and language influence the way we think.

Sapir-Whorf is not well thought of these days. People invent terms for things as necessary, and grammar is generally too primitive to convey significant biases. (Which is fine; grammar is supposed to be primitive.) It's possible that our brains have advanced beyond the capacity of our current languages and that they are restricting us somehow, but if so, it's almost certainly an issue common to all humans and all languages. But given that languages have emerged spontaneously just about every time a group of humans got together without an existing language, I'm strongly inclined to say that any limitations we experience are due to our brains rather than our languages.
Jun 06 2008
next sibling parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Chris,

 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 
 PS - you should read about the Sapir conjecture in wikipedia to see
 how culture and language influence the way we think.
 

things as necessary, and grammar is generally too primitive to convey significant biases. (Which is fine; grammar is supposed to be primitive.) It's possible that our brains have advanced beyond the capacity of our current languages and that they are restricting us somehow, but if so, it's almost certainly an issue common to all humans and all languages. But given that languages have emerged spontaneously just about every time a group of humans got together without an existing language, I'm strongly inclined to say that any limitations we experience are due to our brains rather than our languages.

I didn't read it in detail but the 100,000 foot overview seem to have merit to me. I known for instance that languages group concepts differently, in English a device for telling time and a device for displaying some mesured value are different concepts. In finish IIRC they are the same concept (or at least for the kind that are round with rotating hands). I once ran across a sign that had a picture of a pistol and said "no guns" and no "luger or revolvers" only, the first was in English but last was in Spanish. This leads me to assume that there the word pistol doesn't translate exactly into Spanish. What language you speak has, I'm sure, an effect on what comes to mind when a given word is used.
Jun 06 2008
parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from BCS (ao pathlink.com)'s article
 Reply to Chris,
 Yigal Chripun wrote:

 PS - you should read about the Sapir conjecture in wikipedia to see
 how culture and language influence the way we think.

things as necessary, and grammar is generally too primitive to convey significant biases. (Which is fine; grammar is supposed to be primitive.) It's possible that our brains have advanced beyond the capacity of our current languages and that they are restricting us somehow, but if so, it's almost certainly an issue common to all humans and all languages. But given that languages have emerged spontaneously just about every time a group of humans got together without an existing language, I'm strongly inclined to say that any limitations we experience are due to our brains rather than our languages.

to me. I known for instance that languages group concepts differently, in English a device for telling time and a device for displaying some mesured value are different concepts. In finish IIRC they are the same concept (or at least for the kind that are round with rotating hands). I once ran across a sign that had a picture of a pistol and said "no guns" and no "luger or revolvers" only, the first was in English but last was in Spanish. This leads me to assume that there the word pistol doesn't translate exactly into Spanish. What language you speak has, I'm sure, an effect on what comes to mind when a given word is used.

Certainly. But I don't agree that language constrains the ability to conceive of something--only to communicate it. That wiki entry is poorly written anyway. Who ever suggested that languages can perfectly represent the world? The writer obviously needs to learn a bit about Semiotics. Sean
Jun 06 2008
prev sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Chris Wright wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 PS - you should read about the Sapir conjecture in wikipedia to see how
 culture and language influence the way we think.

Sapir-Whorf is not well thought of these days. People invent terms for things as necessary, and grammar is generally too primitive to convey significant biases. (Which is fine; grammar is supposed to be primitive.) It's possible that our brains have advanced beyond the capacity of our current languages and that they are restricting us somehow, but if so, it's almost certainly an issue common to all humans and all languages. But given that languages have emerged spontaneously just about every time a group of humans got together without an existing language, I'm strongly inclined to say that any limitations we experience are due to our brains rather than our languages.

as I replied to BCS, experimental evidence shows otherwise. when Columbus wanted to go to India by sailing west it was common knowledge that he's stupid and that he'll fall of the earth. he was considered crazy at the time. What matters is facts and experimental evidence and that shows that those ideas are not without merit, and nowadays the emphasis in research is about /how/ this affects cultures and languages rather than trying to show that the idea is false altogether. two things: a) indeed "languages have emerged spontaneously just about every time a group of humans got together" but those languages /are/ different. compare Chinese with Hebrew. b) you say: "current languages are restricting us somehow", if that's true why do you assume that all languages restrict us in the same way? in fact if they are restricting us in different way than you get the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis in some way.
Jun 07 2008
parent Sean Kelly <sean invisibleduck.org> writes:
== Quote from Yigal Chripun (yigal100 gmail.com)'s article
 Chris Wright wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 PS - you should read about the Sapir conjecture in wikipedia to see how
 culture and language influence the way we think.

Sapir-Whorf is not well thought of these days. People invent terms for things as necessary, and grammar is generally too primitive to convey significant biases. (Which is fine; grammar is supposed to be primitive.) It's possible that our brains have advanced beyond the capacity of our current languages and that they are restricting us somehow, but if so, it's almost certainly an issue common to all humans and all languages. But given that languages have emerged spontaneously just about every time a group of humans got together without an existing language, I'm strongly inclined to say that any limitations we experience are due to our brains rather than our languages.

when Columbus wanted to go to India by sailing west it was common knowledge that he's stupid and that he'll fall of the earth. he was considered crazy at the time.

Minor correction. Everyone knew that the world was round at the time Columbus proposed to sail around the world. In fact, Copernicus had developed his model of the solar system by around this time. My history is a bit rusty, but I think the issue was that Columbus wrongheadedly thought the world was far smaller than it actually is. Everyone knew he was wrong, and saw no point in funding a mission domed to failure. But failure by normal means, not falling off the world into space.
 What matters is facts and experimental evidence and that shows that
 those ideas are not without merit, and nowadays the emphasis in research
 is about /how/ this affects cultures and languages rather than trying to
 show that the idea is false altogether.
 two things:
 a) indeed "languages have emerged spontaneously just about every
 time a group of humans got together" but those languages /are/
 different. compare Chinese with Hebrew.

From what I've seen, languages have a natural tendency to diverge rather than converge. There are instances where neighboring tribes in isolated regions of the world speak languages that are entirely dissimilar from one another, which isn't what you'd expect of two tribes that must have interacted over time or even come from a common original source. In fact, I believe that some Native American tribes used a form of sign language for trading purposes as a way to get around the language barrier. Sean
Jun 07 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Gregor Richards <Richards codu.org> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 one last thing, let's consider god from a logical POV:
 god is all powerful => God can create a rock no-one can lift => god
 cannot lift the rock or god cannot create such a rock => contradiction

I hate this argument. God is all powerful => God can create a rock that he cannot lift => God /can/ lift the rock => Not a contradiction because God is exempt from logic. Any god which did not create the rules of logic and reason is not a god, and any god which did must himself be exempt from them. - Gregor Richards
Jun 03 2008
next sibling parent Daniel Giddings <daniel.giddings gmail.com> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 one last thing, let's consider god from a logical POV:
 god is all powerful => God can create a rock no-one can lift => god
 cannot lift the rock or god cannot create such a rock => contradiction

I hate this argument. God is all powerful => God can create a rock that he cannot lift => God /can/ lift the rock => Not a contradiction because God is exempt from logic. Any god which did not create the rules of logic and reason is not a god, and any god which did must himself be exempt from them. - Gregor Richards

I think the problem here is how people view "God": their particular religious version or a generic concept. These arguments are useful because mainstream religions do ascribe characteristics like logic, reasoning, anger, and love to their concept of "God". Of course mainstream religions are also full of contradictions and ambiguities. For the general "God" concept, I find it irrelevant because you cannot possibly know anything about it one way or another - it's a pointless discussion that gets muddied by people that have a particular view of what "God" means to them. I'd rather discuss interesting hypothesis regarding the creation (or lack of) of the universe, at least some of these *may* be testable at some time in the future. :-) Dan
Jun 03 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Manfred Nowak <svv1999 hotmail.com> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:

 Any god which did not create the rules of logic and reason is not 
 a god

If there existed a unique structure which was all powerfull, then: 1) How did it preserve its own existence? How can anyone, including that structure, be sure, that that structure has not eliminated itself by purpose or accident? 2) How did it preserve its uniqueness? I.e. what had happened when that structure has multiplied itself by purpose or accident and thereby created some copies of itself, that are as powerful as itself? How can anyone, including that structure and its copies, be sure, that the original and those copies did not eliminate each other? The answers to these questions are especially crucial under the assumption, that there is no logic under which that structure can reason about itself, until it started to eliminate itself, which that structure did not recognize, because its powerfulness blocked it from realizing the self elimination. -manfred
Jun 04 2008
parent reply Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
Manfred Nowak wrote:
 Gregor Richards wrote:

Apology: In this post I'm just mudding the waters, I'm not actually pursuing my own points here.
Any god which did not create the rules of logic and reason is not 
a god

If there existed a unique structure which was all powerfull, then: 1) How did it preserve its own existence? How can anyone, including that structure, be sure, that that structure has not eliminated itself by purpose or accident?

Well, if that structure (or whatever) actually did create logic and reasoning, then obviously logic and reasoning is something within what he created (i.e. our universe). That is, the best we can do is try to think and reason logically, but since they are his creation (and presumably he created them to sort-of "rule" or be "valid" in this universe he created), he himself is beyond their realm. If I create a world in my kids' sand box and I get to create the rules and logic -- that obviously does mean it doesn't apply to me. Suppose I define /and/ to be /xor/ and /or/ to be /nand/ and /not/ to be /equivalent/. (Or whatever else arbitrary or random setup.) I bet the tin soldiers in the sand box would have a hard time figuring out stuff. Like should we build a bridge or fence here or there. And they sure couldn't do any successful reasoning about me existing or not existing, or about my world or life. Not with their crappy "logic"! So, what I'm saying (I guess), is that assuming or reasoning about a god who created logic and reason -- is simply futile. OTOH, the above statement, of course, is the result of my logical thought process, and therefore as futile, too! OTTH, so is the now-above statement. (Am I on a wild goose chase here?) :-)
 2) How did it preserve its uniqueness? I.e. what had happened when that 
 structure has multiplied itself by purpose or accident and thereby 
 created some copies of itself, that are as powerful as itself?
 How can anyone, including that structure and its copies, be sure, that 
 the original and those copies did not eliminate each other?
 
 The answers to these questions are especially crucial under the 
 assumption, that there is no logic under which that structure can 
 reason about itself, until it started to eliminate itself, which that 
 structure did not recognize, because its powerfulness blocked it from 
 realizing the self elimination.
 
 -manfred

Jun 05 2008
parent reply Manfred Nowak <svv1999 hotmail.com> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:

 Apology: In this post I'm just mudding the waters, I'm not
 actually pursuing my own points here.

 Well, if that structure (or whatever) actually did create logic
 and reasoning, then obviously logic and reasoning is something
 within what he created (i.e. our universe).

that that structure has some state, which may change; I don't dare to write "over time".
 That is, the best we
 can do is try to think and reason logically, but since they are
 his creation (and presumably he created them to sort-of "rule" or
 be "valid" in this universe he created), he himself is beyond
 their realm. 

not exclude that the structure will use its powerfulness to become part of the realm it created. Please note, that staying out of some realm allows at least me to conclude that there is another part of state within that structure.
 And they sure couldn't do any successful reasoning
 about me existing or not existing, or about my world or life. Not
 with their crappy "logic"! 

 So, what I'm saying (I guess), is that assuming or reasoning about
 a god who created logic and reason -- is simply futile.

existence of its creator.
 OTOH, the above statement, of course, is the result of my logical 
 thought process, and therefore as futile, too!
 OTTH, so is the now-above statement.
 (Am I on a wild goose chase here?)   :-)

-manfred
Jun 05 2008
parent Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
Manfred Nowak wrote:
 Georg Wrede wrote:
 
 
Apology: In this post I'm just mudding the waters, I'm not
actually pursuing my own points here.

That's completely okay.
Well, if that structure (or whatever) actually did create logic
and reasoning, then obviously logic and reasoning is something
within what he created (i.e. our universe).

Please note, that the act of creation allows at least me to conclude that that structure has some state, which may change; I don't dare to write "over time".

Using the logic "he's given you", yes. But "actually" he may not even have a state. And if, like some say, "time itself was created with the big bang" (which I personally /believe/ is utter nonsense!), there might be no concept of time out there, and therefore things like "change" (which are inherently time dependent (i.e. you have one state /before/ and then another) also become irrelevant.
That is, the best we
can do is try to think and reason logically, but since they are
his creation (and presumably he created them to sort-of "rule" or
be "valid" in this universe he created), he himself is beyond
their realm. 

But only if the structure wants to be beyond their realm. This does not exclude that the structure will use its powerfulness to become part of the realm it created. Please note, that staying out of some realm allows at least me to conclude that there is another part of state within that structure.

Well, suppose that (instead of me creating my own logic for the tin soldiers) there didn't exist any logic at all outside our world. Then reasoning about the structure having a state is useless. That is, it does not necessarily /have/ a state, since having a state at all is a product of our own logic.
And they sure couldn't do any successful reasoning
about me existing or not existing, or about my world or life. Not
with their crappy "logic"! 

Therefore they are unable to recognize that you may have faded away.

Yes. But if he first created our world and then shot himself in the foot, that would really be weird. :-)
So, what I'm saying (I guess), is that assuming or reasoning about
a god who created logic and reason -- is simply futile.

I see this exception: the created logic may allow for proving the existence of its creator.

It may. But it may also be that this creator may not be able to create a logic for us that would allow any reasoning about his world. This might be because he is "all powerful" only within our world (as I'm "all powerful" in my sand box) and not in his own. Or that he didn't have that as a goal when creating the logic. Heh, or he may even not be smart enough to achieve it! (I'm not saying he's stupid, the task just may be too hard.)
OTOH, the above statement, of course, is the result of my logical 
thought process, and therefore as futile, too!
OTTH, so is the now-above statement.
(Am I on a wild goose chase here?)   :-)

Try to hide behind the tree over there :-)

It might be like the difference between Newtonian mechanics and Quantum mechanics. N works well until you really start to dissect things and Q takes over. Somebody (quotation needed here, anyway it was one of the Quantum mechanics gurus) said that "anybody who claims to understand quantum mechanics either doesn't understand it, or is plain lying". That folks now tinker with stuff they definitely don't understand does scare me. And even worse is, Q still does seem to work. Another big thing is the energy of a closed system. Where does the energy come from? Is there unlimited energy available outside of our world for creating universes and giving them enough energy to "run" for billions of years? And what about the total energy in the super-universe (where this our creator lives)? And, where does the energy there come from? I guess ultimately it may be that some things simply will forever remain outside of our reach, philosophically and scientifically. BUT THAT is not the same thing as "there is a creator" or god. The fact that ancient people attributed everything they didn't understand to spirits and gods, seems to be inherent in our genes. The same goes even for some people living today. Whatever they don't understand is "the doings of God" or "proof that God exists". (God, Allah, Buddha, whoever, depending on where you were born.) In our genes yes. But not like its "programmed" there that we have a predisposition for believing in [insert your god here]. It's more like that our kind of brain is a fairly recent construction, and as a result of our brain inherently trying to make sense of the scene we're on, assuming even the wrong thing has historically been better than not assuming anything. Like an infant at dusk finds scary faces all over her room, that once you turn on the light turn out to be just flowers in the wallpaper. (I think most of us either remember this from childhood or has seen our own children experience this at bedtime.) This is a result of our brain trying to find the face of a lion in the foilage outside our cave at nightfall. False positives here are way less damaging than not noticing the lion face when it really is there. Similarly, assuming an intelligence behind everything we don't understand, has at least let us try to relate to it. Of course it has its downsides, like human sacrifices to the god of weather, and such. But obviously that kind of Darwinian pruning has not occurred to an extent that would eradicate this property from our newish brain. In other words, I guess we simply have to accept that we live in a world where many people still believe in gods. Heh, and totally beyond them is the thought that religions (and therefore gods, too) themselves are subject to Darwin's laws. That is, evolution and selection. Survival of the fittest rules here, too.
Jun 06 2008
prev sibling parent reply Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 
 one last thing, let's consider god from a logical POV:
 god is all powerful => God can create a rock no-one can lift => god
 cannot lift the rock or god cannot create such a rock => contradiction

I hate this argument. God is all powerful => God can create a rock that he cannot lift => God /can/ lift the rock => Not a contradiction because God is exempt from logic. Any god which did not create the rules of logic and reason is not a god, and any god which did must himself be exempt from them. - Gregor Richards

Well put. (Although I don't believe in god(s), this is well enough put to warrant some meditation.)
Jun 05 2008
next sibling parent Don <nospam nospam.com.au> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 Gregor Richards wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:

 one last thing, let's consider god from a logical POV:
 god is all powerful => God can create a rock no-one can lift => god
 cannot lift the rock or god cannot create such a rock => contradiction

I hate this argument. God is all powerful => God can create a rock that he cannot lift => God /can/ lift the rock => Not a contradiction because God is exempt from logic. Any god which did not create the rules of logic and reason is not a god, and any god which did must himself be exempt from them. - Gregor Richards

Well put. (Although I don't believe in god(s), this is well enough put to warrant some meditation.)

More formally, the argument is: Let C = maximum weight of rock God can create. Let L = maximum weight of rock God can lift. All powerful implies: 1. for all x, C > x. 2. for all y, L > y. and the contradiction is that if you set x==L, y==C, then 1 and 2 are contradictory. But the problem with that is, that C and L are not real numbers! They are limits (infinite). You get the same apparent contradictions in calculus; the solution was to be more careful in dealing with limits. C/L is a NaN, not a contradiction.
Jun 06 2008
prev sibling parent Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Georg Wrede wrote:
 Gregor Richards wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:

 one last thing, let's consider god from a logical POV:
 god is all powerful => God can create a rock no-one can lift => god
 cannot lift the rock or god cannot create such a rock => contradiction

I hate this argument. God is all powerful => God can create a rock that he cannot lift => God /can/ lift the rock => Not a contradiction because God is exempt from logic. Any god which did not create the rules of logic and reason is not a god, and any god which did must himself be exempt from them. - Gregor Richards

Well put. (Although I don't believe in god(s), this is well enough put to warrant some meditation.)

Both of you assume that there is one universal definition of the concept of "god" and therefore my definition must be the same as yours. well, that's wrong. read my replies to BCS. I can define what god is in my POV anyway I want, or just not define it at all and remove it from my vocabulary. Also, The Christian definition of the concept is indeed very different from a Jewish one. So even if the above applies to a specific definition, it does not apply to all definitions.
Jun 06 2008
prev sibling parent reply Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 about statistics:
 a friend showed me a graph online showing an inverse relation between
 the number of pirates and rising temperature due to global warming. his
 conclusion is that to stop global warming we need more pirates at sea.
 I hope we all see how silly this is.

http://www.venganza.org/ Interestingly relevant to this discussion, since it's a lighthearted way of saying "there's no way to argue religion that will stand up to much scrutiny". That's where faith comes in.
Jun 03 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Robert,

 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 
 about statistics:
 a friend showed me a graph online showing an inverse relation between
 the number of pirates and rising temperature due to global warming.
 his
 conclusion is that to stop global warming we need more pirates at
 sea.
 I hope we all see how silly this is.

Interestingly relevant to this discussion, since it's a lighthearted way of saying "there's no way to argue religion that will stand up to much scrutiny". That's where faith comes in.

It seems that most theology conversations can be summarized as follows: Side A: I belive X Side B: I belive not X Side A: please prove X Side B: I can't, but prove not X Side A: I can't Theology might as well be defined as questions that can't be answered in a provable why but who's answers have unavoidable implications.
Jun 04 2008
next sibling parent Russell Lewis <webmaster villagersonline.com> writes:
BCS wrote:
 It seems that most theology conversations can be summarized as follows:
 
 Side A: I belive X
 Side B: I belive not X
 Side A: please prove X
 Side B: I can't, but prove not X
 Side A: I can't
 
 Theology might as well be defined as questions that can't be answered in 
 a provable why but who's answers have unavoidable implications.

(clap, clap, clap)
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent reply boyd <gaboonviper gmx.net> writes:
 On Wed, 04 Jun 2008 20:53:23 +0200, BCS <ao pathlink.com> wrote:
 It seems that most theology conversations can be summarized as follows:

 Side A: I belive X
 Side B: I belive not X
 Side A: please prove X
 Side B: I can't, but prove not X
 Side A: I can't

 Theology might as well be defined as questions that can't be answered in  
 a provable why but who's answers have unavoidable implications.

While you can roughly devide religions into a couple of sides, I think the reality is that pretty much everyone has his own personal religion. Some worldviews differ only slightly, others a lot. And after every discussion such as the one that's going on here, most worldviews of those participating will have changed, even if only slightly. Yes, everyone is trying to convince others that his religion is the true one, but it's not a futile act. While I doubt any theist will suddenly become atheist, these arguments will most likely influence everyone here one way or another just a little bit. This is how those worldviews get molded, without discussions like these noone would believe anything at all. As for me, I've never really believed in god. But I've always kept in mind that my belief might not be the truth, so I do sometimes wonder what would a god want me to do. Can I trust what's in the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, etc... when each is claimed to be the word of god? In the end it seems all these books are mostly about moral values; being a good person. So, that's what I try to do. Cheers, Boyd
Jun 04 2008
next sibling parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to boyd,

 Yes, everyone is trying to convince others that his religion is the
 true  one, but it's not a futile act. While I doubt any theist will
 suddenly  become atheist, these arguments will most likely influence
 everyone here  one way or another just a little bit. This is how those
 worldviews get  molded, without discussions like these noone would
 believe anything at all.

Agreeded!
 
 As for me, I've never really believed in god. But I've always kept in
 mind  that my belief might not be the truth, so I do sometimes wonder
 what would  a god want me to do. Can I trust what's in the Bible, the
 Torah, the  Koran, etc... when each is claimed to be the word of god?
 In the end it  seems all these books are mostly about moral values;
 being a good person.  So, that's what I try to do.

I think the proper answer is to study the options, even try to prove them wrong. Some of them will fall before the evidence. Some will prove inconsistent with themselves. Some will prove unlivable (if a tree falls in the forest...). When that's done I think you will end up with a very small set of options and I don't really know how to pick form them. In the end I think the only stupid option is to totally ignore the question or approach it with a closed mind because that is to simply chouse the default without any consideration.
 
 Cheers,
 Boyd

Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent user domain.invalid writes:
boyd wrote:
 Side A: I belive X
 Side B: I belive not X
 Side A: please prove X
 Side B: I can't, but prove not X
 Side A: I can't


Well said.
 
 As for me, I've never really believed in god. But I've always kept in 
 mind that my belief might not be the truth, so I do sometimes wonder 
 what would a god want me to do. Can I trust what's in the Bible, the 
 Torah, the Koran, etc... when each is claimed to be the word of god? In 
 the end it seems all these books are mostly about moral values; being a 
 good person. So, that's what I try to do.
 

To do that you do not need any of these religious frameworks, only the Golden Rule. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethic_of_reciprocity for much more info. The Golden rule has probably been hardwired into us by evolution. It is much like the "tit for tat" strategy (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat) and would have been selected by eons of trial runs. Dennis Cote
Jun 04 2008
prev sibling parent reply "Bruce Adams" <tortoise_74 yeah.who.co.uk> writes:
On Mon, 02 Jun 2008 05:23:42 +0100, Me Here <p9e883002 sneakemail.com>  
wrote:

 Gregor Richards wrote:

 BCS wrote:
 Reply to Clay,

 BCS wrote:



 Now, write a program to modify code randomly and select based on a  
 fitness
 function, and feed it with 100 of this program you just wrote, and  
 you've got
 a genetic algorithm! Give it a few generations, and it'll do something  
 useful.

 :P

  - Gregor Richards

Circa. 1980. Doing some work for my college professor on a 'fully-configured' (48K) Apple ][ (kept locked in a cupboard because it ws so expensive!), the proffesor came up with the idea that as all 6502 op-codes were 8-bit and there were very few adressing modes, filling the (then massive) 48K with legal, randomly generated machine code and jumping to the start address, it shouldn't take long to recreate VisiCalc, or something more remarkable. The program to generate the prgrams tooks less than 4k. It took some effort to cause the trapping address to be saved to floppy disk, but we did that. Then the next generation could reload the non-trapping code from floppy, append new random code to the end, and iterate. That program ran for an entire 8 week period over summer holidays. Our main fear was that the cleaner we had arranged to swap the second (data) floppy on a (week) daily basis would forget, and we would miss an amazing program. The result: After 8 weeks and 40 floppys, we failed to create a single program that ran for more than 2k of machine code before trapping. A few years later when I related the story to a friend (autodiadactic genius), he compared the scenario to switching a TV to a untuned channel and watching the patterns created by the white noise. He suggested that if, in the course of my life time, I ever saw a picture of something recognisable, form, that was the equivalent of our "remarkable program". He calculated the odds using an HP-41C. and then attempted to write the number on a piece of A4 paper. He started out using fairly standard sized handwritten zeros, but ended up with tiny, almost dot-sized ones. Needless to say. it was a very large number. He then tried to describe the time it would take for the energy contained in the solar system to decay to zero...I didn't understand. b.

Genetic Algorithms are substantially and subtle more than simply a random generate and test. With random generation you have nothing to compare with only your blind fitness function. In a population you can compare individuals. The other main key ingredient is an efficient crossover operator. i.e. sexual reproduction. Without sex evolution is very slow.
Jun 02 2008
parent reply BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Bruce,

 Genetic Algorithms are substantially and subtle more than simply a
 random
 generate and test.
 With random generation you have nothing to compare with only your
 blind
 fitness function.
 In a population you can compare individuals. The other main key
 ingredient
 is an efficient
 crossover operator. i.e. sexual reproduction. Without sex evolution is
 very slow.

"Physics" (or progamming?) "is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it." http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman
Jun 02 2008
parent reply Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
BCS wrote:
 "Physics" (or progamming?) "is like sex. Sure, it may give some 
 practical results, but that's not why we do it."
 
 http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman

I guess this is why there are so few female physicists.
Jun 05 2008
parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Georg,

 BCS wrote:
 
 "Physics" (or progamming?) "is like sex. Sure, it may give some
 practical results, but that's not why we do it."
 
 http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman
 


Gaaaa!! I can think of about 8 ways of reading that and most of them are not to nice. <G>
Jun 05 2008
prev sibling parent reply Robert Fraser <fraserofthenight gmail.com> writes:
Gregor Richards wrote:
 Now, write a program to modify code randomly and select based on a 
 fitness function, and feed it with 100 of this program you just wrote, 
 and you've got a genetic algorithm! Give it a few generations, and it'll 
 do something useful.

If you replace "fitness function" with "the marketplace," this is an excellent summary of Microsoft's development process.
Jun 01 2008
parent BCS <ao pathlink.com> writes:
Reply to Robert,

 Gregor Richards wrote:
 
 Now, write a program to modify code randomly and select based on a
 fitness function, and feed it with 100 of this program you just
 wrote, and you've got a genetic algorithm! Give it a few generations,
 and it'll do something useful.
 

excellent summary of Microsoft's development process.

<G> I have though much the same thing.
Jun 02 2008