WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion

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Ubuntu

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« on: November 09, 2006, 02:58:36 PM »
WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion

Quote from: "Gary Wolf"
My friends, I must ask you an important question today: Where do you stand on God?

It's a question you may prefer not to be asked. But I'm afraid I have no choice. We find ourselves, this very autumn, three and a half centuries after the intellectual martyrdom of Galileo, caught up in a struggle of ultimate importance, when each one of us must make a commitment. It is time to declare our position.


Continue...

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2006, 03:35:21 PM »
I like your avatar (if that's what it's called).  However, without religion the twin towers would've never been built :-).  I've read part of this thing you posted but I'll read it all sometime.
ooyakasha!

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BOGWarrior89

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2006, 03:37:58 PM »
Quote from: "Knight"
I like your avatar (if that's what it's called).  However, without religion the twin towers would've never been built :-).  I've read part of this thing you posted but I'll read it all sometime.


Explain.

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2006, 03:40:00 PM »
Well, no religion in the past = different outcome for the future.  Butterfly effect to a very very very large degree.
ooyakasha!

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2006, 08:24:17 PM »
Quote from: "Knight"
Well, no religion in the past = different outcome for the future.  Butterfly effect to a very very very large degree.


Baaah.

And I'm sure you know why I'm "Baaah"ing.
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"Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2006, 09:01:39 PM »
Lol no not really.
ooyakasha!

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beast

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2006, 09:44:22 PM »
That's a fantastic article.  One of the best things I've read in a long time.  Thanks for the post!  I guess I'm already a New Atheist and I came to a different conclusion to the author since it inspired me to be more active in the war against religion and not to tolerate religion at all although I do also very much agree with his last line:

"Or, you might say, our bedrock faith: the faith that no matter how confident we are in our beliefs, there's always a chance we could turn out to be wrong."

However I think in reality we need to look at what that chance is and I think there are times when we can put our money on being absolutely 100% right.  In the case of God, I do that.  While there is obviously a theoretical chance that God exists, that chance is so small and based on so little actual independent evidence that I am happy to state that God does not exist - If this were poker then I'd go all in on the non-existence of God without a second thought.

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joffenz

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2006, 08:14:26 AM »
Quote from: "Knight"
Well, no religion in the past = different outcome for the future.  Butterfly effect to a very very very large degree.


True, if the money and time spent on religion was put into science, the twin towers would have been built years earlier.

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2006, 11:25:01 AM »
Well, beast, I would obviously argue that the structure that we generally tend to call "Twin Towers" would have never been built had the world never been influenced by religion.  Not only that, but the entire structure of the world would be entirely different (i.e. no U.S., Russia, China, etc.--you get the point).  I tend to believe in the butterfly effect to a somewhat extreme degree, yet I feel I can justify that belief if the situation arises.  Consider this:  I claim that, had President Lincoln been shot as he entered Ford's Theatre, not a single person alive today would have ever been born.  Thus, not a single building constructed within the last 100 years would be here.
ooyakasha!

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dysfunction

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2006, 12:20:33 PM »
I doubt the 'butterfly effect' would be quite as large as Knight envisions, but I do agree that if there had never been religion, the Two Towers would never have been built. Would we be better off? I must admit I don't know. It seems likely the Dark Ages would never have happened, and we might therefore well be several hundred years in advance of where we are now technologically. I think we can all agree that any good religion has done would likely have happened without it- religion doesn't really change people's basic nature- but the question Dawkins doesn't seem to consider is whether the evil caused by religion would have happened anyway. I'm not certain we can have it both ways.
the cake is a lie

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2006, 01:20:30 PM »
I wont get into a conversation here about the butterfly effect but perhaps sometime I'll start a thread about it and we can discuss it there.
ooyakasha!

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2006, 01:42:22 PM »
At the dawn of man, the natural questions about the origin of life and nature were incapable of being answered with Science, as there was no methodology or collective knowlege base to help mankind. Magic was the only available answer.

In middle age civilization, the need for a belief in an entity of superiority was necessary to maintain order among the masses.

In modern day the belief in a god is necessary for some, but not all.

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Ubuntu

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2006, 02:57:12 PM »
Quote from: "jaybird39"
In middle age civilization, the need for a belief in an entity of superiority was necessary to maintain order among the masses.


I'm not sure I agree with you. Usually governments (usually monarchies) controlled masses through government, and churches through religion.

It was definitely used to order the masses in a desired way, but was it really necessary?

I doubt it.

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Ubuntu

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2006, 02:58:38 PM »
Quote from: "Knight"
I claim that, had President Lincoln been shot as he entered Ford's Theatre, not a single person alive today would have ever been born.


Well, if it somehow delayed intercourse for everyone's parents for even a single second, the people born would not be the same.

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beast

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2006, 03:01:14 PM »
I don't really understand why Knight was addressing me with his point since I haven't made an attempt to get into a debate about what the world would be like without religion.  That's really a pointless argument because not only is it wild speculation but there is nothing we can about it anyway.  What I'm suggesting is that we aim for a world without religion in the future, not one without religion in the past.  That seems like a much more attainable goal.  You could say that I'm taking the easy way out but if you did say that I would call you a fool.

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Ubuntu

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2006, 03:01:54 PM »
Quote from: "Knight"
I claim that, had President Lincoln been shot as he entered Ford's Theatre, not a single person alive today would have ever been born.


Well, if it somehow delayed intercourse for everyone's parents for even a single second, the people born would not be the same.

Sort of reminds me of causality Knight...

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Ubuntu

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2006, 03:02:59 PM »
Quote from: "beast"
I don't really understand why Knight was addressing me with his point since I haven't made an attempt to get into a debate about what the world would be like without religion.  That's really a pointless argument because not only is it wild speculation but there is nothing we can about it anyway.  What I'm suggesting is that we aim for a world without religion in the future, not one without religion in the past.  That seems like a much more attainable goal.  You could say that I'm taking the easy way out but if you did say that I would call you a fool.


Beast you coward! The clear path is to build a time machine as soon as possible!

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2006, 03:21:07 PM »
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Well, if it somehow delayed intercourse for everyone's parents for even a single second, the people born would not be the same.


Yes.

Quote
Sort of reminds me of causality Knight...


Sort of reminds me of that too.  There is, however, a problem with causation.  But perhaps that's a different topic for a different thread.
ooyakasha!

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beast

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2006, 03:29:06 PM »
Quote from: "Knight"
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Well, if it somehow delayed intercourse for everyone's parents for even a single second, the people born would not be the same.


Yes.


How do you know?  What evidence can you possibly have that that's the case?

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Ubuntu

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2006, 03:49:40 PM »
Quote from: "beast"
Quote from: "Knight"
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Well, if it somehow delayed intercourse for everyone's parents for even a single second, the people born would not be the same.


Yes.


How do you know?  What evidence can you possibly have that that's the case?


Think of the difference it would have on the actions of the sperm.


While we're speaking of spirituality and oversized avatars, I'd like to mention I have a friend from school who is a follower of Stosh, "a religion I discovered in the shower." Just remember, Alifran is waiting.

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2006, 04:06:32 PM »
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Quote from: "Knight"
I claim that, had President Lincoln been shot as he entered Ford's Theatre, not a single person alive today would have ever been born.


Well, if it somehow delayed intercourse for everyone's parents for even a single second, the people born would not be the same.

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2006, 05:02:39 PM »
Quote from: "beast"
How do you know? What evidence can you possibly have that that's the case?


Well, when you consider that each ejaculation contains 300-500 million sperm, any delay in time would almost certainly yield a different embryo.

Also, consider that the delayed timeframe would be monumental all around the world (eventually) even from some change as small as the location and time that President Lincoln got shot.  The actions of every person at the theatre would have been different; the actions of every person who heard the (different) news at a different time than original would have been different; essentially, everything would be different.  The only possible way for things to have ended up as they have ended up is for past events to have occurred exactly (or almost exactly) as they have.
ooyakasha!

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2006, 11:01:52 AM »
Quote from: "Knight"
Lol no not really.


The butterfly effect translated into a logical argument makes a nightmare.

Mainly because its susceptible to slippery slope.
ttp://theflatearthsociety.org/forums/search.php

"Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2006, 12:29:28 PM »
Quote from: "beast"
Quote from: "Knight"
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
Well, if it somehow delayed intercourse for everyone's parents for even a single second, the people born would not be the same.


Yes.


How do you know?  What evidence can you possibly have that that's the case?


Considering there are 6-7 billion people on earth, and only a few hundred million sperm per ejaculation, surely someone in the chain would still be born.  But then again, the day the sperm of such person was produced would probably be different than before, and then they'd also have to do it on the day the sperm was produced... no, I guess that doesn't even work.
 captain is sailing through the arctic. The first mate runs up and says to him, "captain, there is an iceberg dead ahead. What should we do?" The captain looks at the iceberg, then glances at his map and says, "there's no iceberg here! Keep going!"

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Erasmus

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2006, 12:53:56 PM »
If religion had never existed, there would still have been Dark Ages.  If religion had stopped existing during the Dark Ages, however, there might not have been a Renaissance, which grew out of knowledge from antiquity brought back on the Crusades.

Being against religion in all forms is like being against nationality in all forms.  It's an interesting idea but it's futile.  I think everybody who says, "I'm against religion in all forms" needs to get over it and take whatever energy you're spending on that problem and direct it somewhere more useful.  It's such an intellectually adolescent view.

As for the butterfly effect: air molecules are highly chaotic.  Brownian motion dominates their individual dynamics.  And yet, wind manages to blow from one direction at a time and I manage to breathe regularly.  Those who care about the butterfly effect should consider the butterfly attractor: the complex region in the state space of a three-dimensional dynamical system that looks like a butterfly and that is made up of chaotic trajectories through the space.  The trajectories are chaotic but the attractor is nevertheless confined to a region of space.

The point is that you're pretty stuck up on small details.  Large scale systems with chaotic components may still behave in nonchaotic ways.  If you kill Lincoln five minutes earlier, there may be different people, but overall society would look the same.
Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

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Ubuntu

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2006, 01:07:13 PM »
Quote from: "Erasmus"
Being against religion in all forms is like being against nationality in all forms.  It's an interesting idea but it's futile.  I think everybody who says, "I'm against religion in all forms" needs to get over it and take whatever energy you're spending on that problem and direct it somewhere more useful.  It's such an intellectually adolescent view.


What forms are beneficial and which are malevolent?

Quote from: "Erasmus"
If you kill Lincoln five minutes earlier, there may be different people, but overall society would look the same.


That may be true, but it is very possible, due to the publicity of this event, millions of people would not have been born.

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Erasmus

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2006, 01:16:00 PM »
Quote from: "Ubuntu"
What forms are beneficial and which are malevolent?


If you're asking for clarification on my post, then my response is that I didn't discuss the forms of religion at all, least of which the benevolent/malevolent distinction.

If you're asking for my personal belief, I state first that it's not relevant, and second that I'd rather discuss it in a different thread.

Quote
That may be true, but it is very possible, due to the publicity of this event, millions of people would not have been born.


I'm pretty sure that I said that.
Why did the chicken cross the Möbius strip?

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beast

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2006, 08:58:29 PM »
I'm sorry but there is no way I can believe that you know I would be a different person if a different sperm had fertilised my egg.  That is completely speculation.  I refuse to accept that there is any way you could know how differently a person would turn out based on which sperm fertilises which egg.  I'm not saying that I would be identical with different sperm, just that there is no way you can know how big a difference it would make on my life.  There is just as much reason to think that had I been conceived 2 years earlier I would still be sitting right here posting this message on this forum as there is to think that I wouldn't be - and that amount of reason is 0.

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dysfunction

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2006, 09:29:27 PM »
Each sperm carries different DNA (a randomly selected half of the father's DNA). Ergo, you would be a different person.
the cake is a lie

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Nomad

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WIRED: The Crusade Against Religion
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2006, 09:32:36 PM »
Completely disregarding the concept of "Nurture" in the game of nature and nurture, of course.
Nomad is a superhero.

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