2010 Census and FSM

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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby dclamage on Thu May 07, 2009 7:15 am

Why yes a person who believes in God does generally thank God for all the good things in their lives. Even the little things like food. Not because the food was gifted to them or fell from Heaven (ignoring they probably went out and bought it with the exchange of their labor); but because the miracle of Life itself is the domain of God. It's why we celebrate births and things like that.

But attributing all the bad things to a mythological devil is just blaming others for your own lack of ingenuity, creating opportunities for oneself, providence, etc.

I have had this discussion with a close friend of mine: why is it that people who say they believe in some Higher Power (whatever it is) live their lives as if nobody is watching and will judge them for their actions? Shouldn't you be on your best behavior if you truly believe there is an afterlife and God will judge you? Yet, the most outspoken Catholics or Christians still go around murdering, committing adultery, etc. Is it just a self-destructive self-loathing?

I think in our gut most people believe when you die, you're dead, you're gone that's it -- you cease to exist. No different than any other animal experiences. It would be better for everyone if people chose to make the best of this life not by using others, stomping on other people to get ahead, but to do some good and make things just a bit better for everyone nearby. But hey that's Free Will for ya.

I do believe there is one God. It's a personal belief in God. I have no physical proof, it's just something I take on faith. And I have found that a belief in God has served me better in life than a non-belief (which I have also tried, with mediocre results).

I don't believe in Man-Made Global Warming. MMGW is a theory, one which has been disproven (global CO2 increases are caused by increases in global temps, not the other way 'round). People who "believe" in MMGW are embracing a religion, not a theory. They take it on faith. Which surprises me, considering the "facts" have been grossly misrepresented. Whenever you hear or read "everybody knows" that's when your internal BS detector should go off. Why aren't these people more skeptical? Are their lives so empty they have to fill it with some belief of some sort? I can understand why many people turn away from organized religions. i don't participate in one.

I don't see any reason why a personal belief in God should be at odds with scientific inquiry and fact. Galileo was wrongly persecuted; there's no heresy in proving the Earth is not at the center of the Universe (it's not even close to the center of the Universe). I do see precedent for why we shouldn't allow religion and politics to intermingle.

If God did create the Universe, and gave us intelligence and Free Will, then we should use them to develop the tools to try to understand the Universe as it exists. The Universe is something tangible we can see and feel and touch and observe. The Universe is. Our lives have the meaning which we stamp upon it.The Universe doesn't "care" whether we live or die or succeed or procreate. That doesn't mean we should avoid doing these things.

And no, I don't believe in Intelligent Design. That's a load of crap. It's not a theory because there's no way to prove or disprove its "hypothesis" -- there's no hypothesis at all. ID is just an attempt by some people to rationalize a personal belief in God for the modern world.

I liked reading Spinoza because he tried (and failed) to prove mathematically God exists. It was a noble attempt. There's no proof or disproof of God's existence.

There is one practical value to a belief in God: if our basic human rights are granted to us by God, then no human can take them away. But if you allow that our basic human rights are granted to us by the State, then the State, organized and run by humans, can take away your basic human rights, for political reasons or convenience. This is why the framers of our Constitution put that axiom most unambiguously and prominently in the document. It's a given and therefore not debatable. I would only ponder why it is that every country's Constitution doesn't proclaim the same thing.
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby Ubi Dubius on Thu May 07, 2009 7:29 am

dclamage wrote:There is one practical value to a belief in God: if our basic human rights are granted to us by God, then no human can take them away. But if you allow that our basic human rights are granted to us by the State, then the State, organized and run by humans, can take away your basic human rights, for political reasons or convenience. This is why the framers of our Constitution put that axiom most unambiguously and prominently in the document. It's a given and therefore not debatable. I would only ponder why it is that every country's Constitution doesn't proclaim the same thing.


Dan, could you be a little more specific here? If you are saying that the Constitution refers "unambiguously and prominently" to a deity or deities granting rights to humans, I believe that you are mistaken. Perhaps you meant something else?
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby Edd on Thu May 07, 2009 8:43 am

dclamage wrote:I have had this discussion with a close friend of mine: why is it that people who say they believe in some Higher Power (whatever it is) live their lives as if nobody is watching and will judge them for their actions? Shouldn't you be on your best behavior if you truly believe there is an afterlife and God will judge you? Yet, the most outspoken Catholics or Christians still go around murdering, committing adultery, etc. Is it just a self-destructive self-loathing?


Actually, I was raised Catholic and there is one giant loophole to the whole Hell and damnation thing. Even if you murdered and raped countless innocents, gave heroin away free to kindergardners, led black masses every weekend, one sincere, 'lord, forgive me!' as you lay dying is enough to get you through the pearly gates.
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby PKMKII on Thu May 07, 2009 10:56 am

dclamage wrote:I don't believe in Man-Made Global Warming. MMGW is a theory, one which has been disproven (global CO2 increases are caused by increases in global temps, not the other way 'round). People who "believe" in MMGW are embracing a religion, not a theory. They take it on faith. Which surprises me, considering the "facts" have been grossly misrepresented. Whenever you hear or read "everybody knows" that's when your internal BS detector should go off. Why aren't these people more skeptical? Are their lives so empty they have to fill it with some belief of some sort? I can understand why many people turn away from organized religions. i don't participate in one.


I don't think global warming is being caused, in part, by human activity because of "faith." I think that because that's the consensus of the vast majority of the scientists in the relevant fields who aren't employed by the energy industry, and that consensus is based on research.

Victor Miguel Ponce, professor of civil and environmental engineering at San Diego State University:

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased gradually from a low of 190 ppm 21,000 year ago, to about 290 ppm in the year 1900, i.e., at an average rate of 0.00478 ppm per year.

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which was at 290 ppm in the year 1900, rose to 316 ppm in 1959, or at an average 0.44 ppm per year.

Measurements of the concentration of carbon dioxide since 1959 (316 ppm) have revealed an increase to 386 ppm in 2008, or at an average 1.4 ppm per year.

The concentration of carbon dioxide has increased an average of about 1.8 ppm per year over the past two decades.

The concentration of carbon dioxide increased 2.87 ppm in 1997-98, more than in any other year of record.


So you're trying to tell me that the carbon dioxide levels suddenly experienced an increase in ppm per year by a factor of 292 in the first half of the 20th century, and then has more than tripled since then, a time that just happened to coincide with the introduction and subsequent explosion in popularity of the car, as well as expansion of the industrial complex, all that, and human activity doesn't play even the tiniest part?

Well if that doesn't float your boat, how about
International scientific panel confirms global warming crisis
Somerville, a Distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, was one of the scientists who developed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report, which was finalized in February.

The IPCC assesses the science currently available on climate change and makes it available to policy makers around the world.

During a presentation at the Dodd Center on March 22, part of the Teale Lecture Series on Nature and the Environment, Somerville gave an outline of the IPCC’s report, which will be published in May.

He said global warming is no longer in doubt, and it is largely due to manmade causes.

...

The report’s conclusions were reached by consensus among hundreds of scientists, and take into account thousands of review comments, he said, while the summary for policy makers was worded by representatives of about 100 governments worldwide, with oversight by the scientists to ensure the integrity of the scientific content.

“In a technical field where wise policy ought to be informed by sound science, this is the best description we have of what the science is today,” said Somerville, one of the report’s 152 lead authors.

Based on analysis of climate evolution from 1850 to the present, he said, including observed increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level, the IPCC concluded that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”

He said the IPCC analyzed two computer models of global warming, one in which the only input is natural, the other taking into account the man-made growth in carbon dioxide and other gases.


Your move.

Ubi Dubius wrote:
dclamage wrote:There is one practical value to a belief in God: if our basic human rights are granted to us by God, then no human can take them away. But if you allow that our basic human rights are granted to us by the State, then the State, organized and run by humans, can take away your basic human rights, for political reasons or convenience. This is why the framers of our Constitution put that axiom most unambiguously and prominently in the document. It's a given and therefore not debatable. I would only ponder why it is that every country's Constitution doesn't proclaim the same thing.


Dan, could you be a little more specific here? If you are saying that the Constitution refers "unambiguously and prominently" to a deity or deities granting rights to humans, I believe that you are mistaken. Perhaps you meant something else?


I think he's referring to the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.


However, the declaration is not a legally binding document, and anything that's said in there cannot be applied to U.S. law or the Constitution.
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'" - Carl Sagan

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." - Henri Poincaré
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby daftbeaker on Thu May 07, 2009 1:43 pm

dclamage wrote:I don't believe in Man-Made Global Warming. MMGW is a theory, one which has been disproven (global CO2 increases are caused by increases in global temps, not the other way 'round). People who "believe" in MMGW are embracing a religion, not a theory. They take it on faith. Which surprises me, considering the "facts" have been grossly misrepresented. Whenever you hear or read "everybody knows" that's when your internal BS detector should go off. Why aren't these people more skeptical? Are their lives so empty they have to fill it with some belief of some sort? I can understand why many people turn away from organized religions. i don't participate in one.

Excuse me? Are you actually drawing a parallel between belief in religion and belief in the scientific method? I don't think global warming is real because someone told me, I think it's real because the vast majority of the scientific community do and the evidence agrees with them. That's the core of the scientific method, the evidence bit. It's about as far as is possible to get from religion's general take on things.

dclamage wrote:If God did create the Universe, and gave us intelligence and Free Will, then we should use them to develop the tools to try to understand the Universe as it exists. The Universe is something tangible we can see and feel and touch and observe. The Universe is. Our lives have the meaning which we stamp upon it.The Universe doesn't "care" whether we live or die or succeed or procreate. That doesn't mean we should avoid doing these things.

Good idea. Someone should tell those pesky scientists.

dclamage wrote:There is one practical value to a belief in God: if our basic human rights are granted to us by God, then no human can take them away. But if you allow that our basic human rights are granted to us by the State, then the State, organized and run by humans, can take away your basic human rights, for political reasons or convenience. This is why the framers of our Constitution put that axiom most unambiguously and prominently in the document. It's a given and therefore not debatable. I would only ponder why it is that every country's Constitution doesn't proclaim the same thing.

Nope. I'm not getting back into the argument over exactly what is and isn't a right but the key point is that if human rights are indeed god-given then god can take them away again. The Lord giveth, and He taketh away? All he'd have to do is appear and re-write the rules. Can't argue with that because his word is law.
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby thelastpirate on Thu May 07, 2009 3:53 pm

dclamage wrote:But attributing all the bad things to a mythological devil is just blaming others for your own lack of ingenuity, creating opportunities for oneself, providence, etc.


Then surely praising God for the good things is just praising others for your own ingenuity and creating opportunities for yourself?

I do believe there is one God. It's a personal belief in God. I have no physical proof, it's just something I take on faith. And I have found that a belief in God has served me better in life than a non-belief (which I have also tried, with mediocre results).


And do you accept that how well it has served you has no bearing on whether God exists?

To use an analogy, it would be like me thinking there is a huge diamond in my garden. It gives my life purpose and a sense of hope, as I try to dig down and get to it. I can convince others that it is there and improve their lives too. This has no bearing on whether the diamond exists or not.

I don't believe in Man-Made Global Warming. MMGW is a theory, one which has been disproven (global CO2 increases are caused by increases in global temps, not the other way 'round).


If you have looked into this in any depth then it will be a hugely complex issue to debate, but first a few simple questions.

Do you deny that man's actions are increasing the ammount of CO2 in the atmosphere? (pretty hard to deny)

Do you deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? (pretty hard to deny)

People who "believe" in MMGW are embracing a religion, not a theory.


No, no no no.

It is a theory. Some people take it at face value because authoritative people say its true; this is wrong, but it has no bearing on the validity or otherwise of the theory in question.

"MMGW" is a perfectly acceptable scientific theory. It is falsifiable and parsimoniuos.

They take it on faith. Which surprises me, considering the "facts" have been grossly misrepresented. Whenever you hear or read "everybody knows" that's when your internal BS detector should go off. Why aren't these people more skeptical? Are their lives so empty they have to fill it with some belief of some sort? I can understand why many people turn away from organized religions. i don't participate in one.


Whatever magazine or paper you read that uses "everybody knows" as an argument, I suggest you stop buying it. I have never come across that reasoning as evidence for "MMGW".

I am a scientist (student), so yes I am a skeptic. The first chemistry lecture in my course repeatedly told us to question everything, and believe nothing just because you are told it is true.

If you can "fill" your life with global warming, you have issues.

I don't see any reason why a personal belief in God should be at odds with scientific inquiry and fact. Galileo was wrongly persecuted; there's no heresy in proving the Earth is not at the center of the Universe (it's not even close to the center of the Universe). I do see precedent for why we shouldn't allow religion and politics to intermingle.


It is at odds because if you apply scientific principles to your belief in God then you would have to conclude that God does not exist (unless you are the first person in history to have evidence of God's existence). The principle of methodological naturalism was thought up largely to avoid this problem.


There is one practical value to a belief in God: if our basic human rights are granted to us by God, then no human can take them away. But if you allow that our basic human rights are granted to us by the State, then the State, organized and run by humans, can take away your basic human rights, for political reasons or convenience. This is why the framers of our Constitution put that axiom most unambiguously and prominently in the document. It's a given and therefore not debatable. I would only ponder why it is that every country's Constitution doesn't proclaim the same thing.


If God gives you something, He can take it away.

Anyway, as has been said, that is the declaration of independence and not the constitution. I find it interesting that you support the state claiming god's existence when you have already said that religion and politics possibly shouldnt intermingle.

The UK does not have a constitution (despite being a constitutional monarchy).

You might find the declaration of Arbroath interesting
Nobles of Scotland, 1320 wrote:...

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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby PKMKII on Thu May 07, 2009 6:09 pm

thelastpirate wrote: It is at odds because if you apply scientific principles to your belief in God then you would have to conclude that God does not exist (unless you are the first person in history to have evidence of God's existence). The principle of methodological naturalism was thought up largely to avoid this problem.


Scientific principles only apply to those things which can be scientifically tested. God, by definition of being supernatural, is not one of them. So you can believe in God and accept scientific principles. If you want to believe that only those things which can be scientifically tested are real, then that's your personal philosophy. It's not a scientific statement.

Furthermore, all tying accept of science to atheism serves is to drive even more theists away from science. If you tell theists "You can't have God and science" then more likely than not they'll reject science, not religion.
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'" - Carl Sagan

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." - Henri Poincaré
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby Edd on Fri May 08, 2009 6:57 am

If we are defining God to mean that which cannot be scientifically evaluated then science has provided evidence indicating that either God does not exist or, if he does, he does not interact with the universe in a way that can be quantifiably measured by any means, so he might as well not exist. Those who believe that science can provide confirmation of his existence are ignoring data that has been accumulated by professional scientists since time immemorial and do not understand the proper role of science.

Science and religion are like the immovable object and the unstoppable force; it might be possible for them both to exist but not to interact.
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby thelastpirate on Fri May 08, 2009 7:01 am

PKMKII wrote:
thelastpirate wrote: It is at odds because if you apply scientific principles to your belief in God then you would have to conclude that God does not exist (unless you are the first person in history to have evidence of God's existence). The principle of methodological naturalism was thought up largely to avoid this problem.


Scientific principles only apply to those things which can be scientifically tested. God, by definition of being supernatural, is not one of them. So you can believe in God and accept scientific principles. If you want to believe that only those things which can be scientifically tested are real, then that's your personal philosophy. It's not a scientific statement.

Furthermore, all tying accept of science to atheism serves is to drive even more theists away from science. If you tell theists "You can't have God and science" then more likely than not they'll reject science, not religion.


Methodological naturalism is the principle which says that science should only deal with what is natural. Without that, science applies to everything that is real, and God if He existed would be real.

Considering the complete lack of evidence and the somewhat unfalsifiable nature of "God exists", if it was treated scientifically the claim would have to be discarded on the grounds of parsimony.
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby Scott the Pirate on Fri May 08, 2009 2:18 pm

ET, the Extra Terrestrial wrote:In principle. (See that? See what I did there?)


I was meaning to congratulate you on that one!
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby Tigger_the_Wing on Thu May 28, 2009 3:05 am

Not exactly a re-rail (and certainly not to interrupt the fascinating discussion between dclamage et alia - my view being that rights and responsibilities are either agreed on by the majority through an elected government of representatives who carry out the will of the rest of us for fear of losing their jobs, or doled out without recourse by an unelected and thus unremovable minority of religious affiliates attributing their decisions to a higher power) but, as there is no census coming here in the forseeable future, I declared my allegiance today in a hospital admission form. :evilgrin:

To be honest, I was torn. It is a Catholic hospital and I am, by baptism and upbringing, a Roman Catholic. :confused:

But in the end common sense prevailed and in the 'Religious affiliation' box I put 'Pastafarian'. :grin:

Now I'm just wondering who they'll bring in as a pastor to me when I'm admitted next month. :whistle:

Or whether they'll put me through a kind of inquisition in the pre-admission clinic… :paranoid:
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby daftbeaker on Thu May 28, 2009 5:23 am

Tigger_the_Wing wrote:Or whether they'll put me through a kind of inquisition in the pre-admission clinic… :paranoid:

No-one expects the ... oh bugger.

I finally got an appointment with the local orthos and along with the appointment letter they sent me a 'confirm your details' bit (apart from a quick stop at A+E on my way to a burns unit I haven't been there for me since I was about 2) and I was still listed as CofE. That's getting changed when I go back in.

Good luck with the hospital Tig.
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby Tigger_the_Wing on Thu May 28, 2009 5:57 am

daftbeaker wrote:
Tigger_the_Wing wrote:Or whether they'll put me through a kind of inquisition in the pre-admission clinic… :paranoid:

No-one expects the ... oh bugger.


:lol: So while I'm there I can't expect an invasion of Aussie Pastafarians dressed as cardinals then, can I? :haha:

daftbeaker wrote:I finally got an appointment with the local orthos and along with the appointment letter they sent me a 'confirm your details' bit (apart from a quick stop at A+E on my way to a burns unit I haven't been there for me since I was about 2) and I was still listed as CofE. That's getting changed when I go back in.


My father (an agnostic atheist for decades since his teens) once tried to have 'Zen Buddhist' put on his medical form when he was being admitted to hospital. He was in his forties. The nurse just said "Don't be daft! I'll put CofE…" :facewall:

daftbeaker wrote:Good luck with the hospital Tig.


Thanks! I'm going in on the 22nd and will be in for "At least five days" according to the surgeon.
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby Edd on Thu May 28, 2009 8:19 am

Tigger_the_Wing wrote:
daftbeaker wrote:Good luck with the hospital Tig.


Thanks! I'm going in on the 22nd and will be in for "At least five days" according to the surgeon.


Here's to a speedy recovery, TtW!

Can your family smuggle in a laptop and internet connection for you during your stay?

Or, alternatively, they could take dictation and post for you.
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Re: 2010 Census and FSM

Postby daftbeaker on Thu May 28, 2009 9:06 am

Tigger_the_Wing wrote:
daftbeaker wrote:Good luck with the hospital Tig.
Thanks! I'm going in on the 22nd and will be in for "At least five days" according to the surgeon.

I recommend getting a lot of apple juice, it's excellent for keeping up sugar levels when you don't feel like eating.
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