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BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'

saulgoldie 18 Sep 11 - 09:50 AM
Paul Burke 18 Sep 11 - 10:48 AM
Bill D 18 Sep 11 - 10:57 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Sep 11 - 11:21 AM
Lighter 18 Sep 11 - 11:37 AM
Mrrzy 18 Sep 11 - 11:39 AM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 11 - 11:58 AM
Rapparee 18 Sep 11 - 01:01 PM
Stilly River Sage 18 Sep 11 - 01:38 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Sep 11 - 02:05 PM
DMcG 18 Sep 11 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 18 Sep 11 - 02:31 PM
Rapparee 18 Sep 11 - 02:43 PM
Mrrzy 18 Sep 11 - 04:11 PM
Lighter 18 Sep 11 - 04:21 PM
Stringsinger 18 Sep 11 - 06:26 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Sep 11 - 06:58 PM
Lighter 18 Sep 11 - 07:03 PM
Rapparee 18 Sep 11 - 07:21 PM
DMcG 19 Sep 11 - 01:50 AM
Joe Offer 19 Sep 11 - 02:13 AM
Jim Dixon 19 Sep 11 - 10:04 AM
olddude 19 Sep 11 - 10:32 AM
Bill D 19 Sep 11 - 11:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 19 Sep 11 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 19 Sep 11 - 12:08 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 19 Sep 11 - 12:52 PM
Lighter 19 Sep 11 - 01:28 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Sep 11 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 19 Sep 11 - 02:22 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 11 - 02:41 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Sep 11 - 05:45 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 11 - 06:17 PM
Dave MacKenzie 19 Sep 11 - 07:28 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 11 - 07:42 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 11 - 07:58 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 11 - 08:02 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Sep 11 - 08:08 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 11 - 08:53 PM
Paul Burke 20 Sep 11 - 02:24 AM
Dave MacKenzie 20 Sep 11 - 03:20 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 11 - 06:59 AM
Ed T 20 Sep 11 - 07:18 AM
Musket 20 Sep 11 - 07:19 AM
akenaton 20 Sep 11 - 07:26 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 20 Sep 11 - 12:18 PM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 20 Sep 11 - 02:02 PM
Jeri 20 Sep 11 - 02:24 PM
akenaton 20 Sep 11 - 03:46 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 11 - 04:48 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 11 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 20 Sep 11 - 05:59 PM
Steve Shaw 20 Sep 11 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 21 Sep 11 - 04:02 AM
akenaton 21 Sep 11 - 08:33 AM
akenaton 21 Sep 11 - 08:38 AM
Steve Shaw 21 Sep 11 - 08:42 AM
akenaton 21 Sep 11 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 21 Sep 11 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 21 Sep 11 - 02:58 PM
Bill D 21 Sep 11 - 05:11 PM
John P 21 Sep 11 - 07:27 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 11 - 07:34 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Sep 11 - 07:51 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 21 Sep 11 - 08:11 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Sep 11 - 08:23 PM
Steve Shaw 21 Sep 11 - 08:26 PM
Joe Offer 21 Sep 11 - 09:19 PM
John P 21 Sep 11 - 09:52 PM
Bill D 21 Sep 11 - 09:55 PM
Joe Offer 22 Sep 11 - 12:04 AM
Dave MacKenzie 22 Sep 11 - 03:51 AM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 22 Sep 11 - 04:05 AM
John P 22 Sep 11 - 08:34 AM
Musket 22 Sep 11 - 10:00 AM
Dave MacKenzie 22 Sep 11 - 11:09 AM
Joe Offer 22 Sep 11 - 05:20 PM
Amos 22 Sep 11 - 05:34 PM
Ed T 22 Sep 11 - 05:45 PM
saulgoldie 22 Sep 11 - 05:47 PM
Ed T 22 Sep 11 - 06:00 PM
Joe Offer 22 Sep 11 - 06:04 PM
Ed T 22 Sep 11 - 06:05 PM
Ed T 22 Sep 11 - 06:08 PM
Stringsinger 22 Sep 11 - 07:09 PM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 11 - 02:00 AM
Musket 23 Sep 11 - 03:49 AM
Joe Offer 23 Sep 11 - 04:10 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Sep 11 - 04:51 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Sep 11 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 26 Sep 11 - 12:04 PM
John P 26 Sep 11 - 03:28 PM
Lighter 26 Sep 11 - 03:48 PM
Little Hawk 26 Sep 11 - 04:58 PM
Musket 27 Sep 11 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 27 Sep 11 - 05:21 AM
Ed T 27 Sep 11 - 06:25 AM
Lighter 27 Sep 11 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 27 Sep 11 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Bluesman 27 Sep 11 - 10:29 AM
Lighter 27 Sep 11 - 10:58 AM
Bill D 27 Sep 11 - 10:59 AM
Stringsinger 27 Sep 11 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk 27 Sep 11 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 27 Sep 11 - 01:37 PM
akenaton 27 Sep 11 - 02:09 PM
Mrrzy 27 Sep 11 - 03:05 PM
Little Hawk 27 Sep 11 - 04:36 PM
Ed T 27 Sep 11 - 05:23 PM
Little Hawk 27 Sep 11 - 05:44 PM
saulgoldie 27 Sep 11 - 06:00 PM
Little Hawk 27 Sep 11 - 06:22 PM
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akenaton 28 Sep 11 - 06:20 PM
Little Hawk 28 Sep 11 - 06:37 PM
Lighter 28 Sep 11 - 06:49 PM
Dave MacKenzie 28 Sep 11 - 07:45 PM
John P 29 Sep 11 - 09:55 AM
Little Hawk 29 Sep 11 - 11:48 AM
Musket 29 Sep 11 - 11:57 AM
Lighter 29 Sep 11 - 12:07 PM
Little Hawk 29 Sep 11 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,pete from seven stars link 29 Sep 11 - 12:25 PM
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Subject: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: saulgoldie
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 09:50 AM

A *belief* is something that requires faith, and does not necessarily suggest consequences that can be reliably and consistently reproduced. One *believes in* the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny, and the FSM (Google it). They cannot be reliably produced or reproduced, and are, therefore, *beliefs.*

Science is not a belief system. It is a *process* that leads to reproducable results. Arithmetic is not a belief system. It is a *process* that leads to reproducable results. One *accepts* science and arithmetic. They require no *belief.* They are *processes.* They stand alone, independent of any *beliefs.*

Gravity is not a belief; it is a demonstrable reality. One does not *believe in* gravity. All of our experience and available data consistently demonstrate that gravity is real, regardless of which *belief system* may choose to deny it.

The *process* of the scientific method of investigation is the underpinning of virtually everything around us. No *belief system* can claim any of the sort of reproducable results that have created our existence.

One may "not believe in" evolution or climate change. But the rigorous investigatory *process* of science has demonstrated that these are realities, supported by voluminous data. If one *chooses* to not *accept* these realities, then one is demonstrating *willful ignorance.*

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Paul Burke
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 10:48 AM

My Chambers 20th Century dictionary, 1981 edition, defines "believe" as "regard as true; accept as true what is said by...", without any requirement for that regarding or acceptance to be blind. So that doesn't get us very far. the term does seem to have been hijacked by the faith community to mean blind faith, which is why they frequently claim that science is "just another system of belief". This of course is a neat way of refusing to talk about the reasons for believing one thing rather than another.

If you want a rather hilarious example of where this weasel way with words leads you, read this tosh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 10:57 AM

I wish I had a nickle for every time someone has said to me: "Well, it's true for ME!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 11:21 AM

And I wish I had a nickel for every moron I've heard/read saying that atheism is just another belief system.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 11:37 AM

What, you haven't read repeatedly in the deconstructive social theory of the last thirty years that science is "just another belief system"?

My impression is that that craze has passed its peak, but that may only be true for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 11:39 AM

Saul, very well put.

I say they "deny" evolution, not that they "don't believe in" it, for that exact reason.

There is also "accept" versus "tolerate" which was done up on South Park.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 11:58 AM

Slightly tendentious, I can't help feeling, for Saul in the OP to equate evolution & climate change. My impression as a non-scientist is that the latter is not so unquestionably 'accepted' by all competent authorities* as the former. Am I right about that?

~Michael~

*Please don't pretend not to understand whom I mean by this, whatever your beliefs or acceptances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 01:01 PM

But...I don't believe in gravity. I've just learned to live with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 01:38 PM

My impression as a non-scientist is that the latter is not so unquestionably 'accepted' by all competent authorities* as the former. Am I right about that?

No, I don't think you are. I think most scientists who are current understand that climate change is very real. Down here in Texas they argue evolution just as hard as they argue climate change - the religious right would like to have people presume that there are lots of scientists who don't accept the science of evolution that is in most debates these days, because it suits the religious right that that be so. They want to feel that science is on equal footing with religion and is a choice when in fact this really is apples and oranges. They may have a few examples of people who weren't the best scientists in their fields or a few who are truly religious and don't believe the science they work around, but they're few and far between.

The problem has been the notion that there are always black and white "sides" to things and equal time rulings on television required that if you had someone who was a solid member of the scientific community to discuss something you had to find an "opposite," usually some barely known lunatic fringe person who suddenly is elevated way above their pay grade to "debate" with someone who actually knows what they're talking about. It has been a deplorable failure, and the FCC finally axed the rule, as I understand it, but there has been little fanfare because that might cause people the examine all of the mis-information it allowed to enter the mainstream news cycle. Let's see if broadcasters begin to understand that debate can happen around a sliding scale of facts and belief systems.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 02:05 PM

But as I perceive the question from my reading, SRS, evolution is now unquestioned among those with any pretension to being seriously regarded as 'scientists who are current', as you put it; but there is not the same consensus within that demographic regarding climate change?

You yourself hedge the climate-change question with a sort of 'escape-clause' "most" ~~ 'most scientists who are current understand that climate change is very real'. Would you include that limiting 'most' at the beginning of a similar assertion regarding evolution?

Please believe I put the question purely in a spirit of enquiry. I repeat that this is far from being my field; but that is the impression I have gained from my reading within the topics referred to.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: DMcG
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 02:07 PM

Hmmm, I'm not entirely convinced that the difference is as solidly meaningful as you hope, so let's think about gravity. What exactly is meant by 'gravity is real'? If you mean 'things fall' (which is not of course universally true) that's rather different to accepting the Newtonian explanation, and had Einstein 'accepted' that, it's doubtful if he'd have come up with the space-time continuum. Or maybe you mean you accept gravity as one of the fundamental forces in a sense that is somewhat different to the effect of forgetting about that last step. But even if you do, that's just the current best explanation which might be chucked away in a year or two if the current problems with Higgs continue. So while I applaud your efforts to distinguish between a fixed set of unchanging beliefs (which I don't think is true of religion by the way), and science as a processes whereby what is [believed/accepted] at one stage is overturned and replaced by something that is [believed/accepted] instead, to me the different choice of word is not particularly useful.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 02:31 PM

i was wondering when the evangelical atheists would rise up again on mudcat-though of course framed as a question of semantics .
there are some like greene who convert through the example of a godly life and gracious manner but the idea that all [i can only speak for christians]convert entirely without reasoning is woefully way out.you may endeavour to invalidate that reasoning but it is reasoned just the same.
just to clarify the equivocation on your part;
no-one as far as i know claims [operational,observable,testable]science is just another belief system-
so called origins science;-well thats another matter-IMO a philosophical matter.
hava a nice day
pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 02:43 PM

Ya know, Custer didn't believe all them Indians were out there, but he finally had to accept it. Look where his belief got him!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Mrrzy
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 04:11 PM

I wouldn't say Most for scientists and evolution. Deny evolution and you have to throw out cosmology, geology, archaology, anthropology, and every single branch of biology and molecular chemistry and a whole lot of physics. You can't be in the life sciences and harbor doubts about the FACT of evolution.
Arguments about the PROCESS, on the other hand, abound.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 04:21 PM

My impression is that all climatologists agree that average, annual, atmospheric temperatures worldwide have been trending higher for thirty years.

The controversy is about its significance and

1. how much results from human activity, rather than from perfectly normal, natural cycles

2. whether it presents a long-term danger to national economies and even civilized life (in coastal cities that could be inundated, for example, and if deserts develop in vital food-producing areas)

3. what if anything can be done about it (if it truly is a threat)

4. how much time is left to do those things, should they need doing

5. whether it's worth doing those things at all, since the problem may be irreversible and it's mostly our grandchildren who'll have to deal with it, not us.

The issue, then, is not as simple as certain politicians want you to think - and it's smug politicians, not scientists, who insist that nothing at all is happening.

The earth is steadily getting warmer. Period. For now.

Does it matter? The course of least regret would be to assume that it does. But that's also the course of maximum immediate expense and discomfort, especially since almost every nation on earth wants to get more thoroughly industrialized so it can improve its standard of living - by pumping more global-warming pollutants into the air. But if industry isn't responsible, say industrialists, why penalize us and wreck the economy? And the most short-sighted industrialists have every motive to deny, by all means necessary, that anything is happening at all, even though it is. They don't want to "believe in" it.

So if the warming is largely man-made, it will worsen as long as we do nothing about it. And if it's still reversible, it soon may not be.

Climatologists and atmospheric scientists, of course, do not set policy anywhere in the world. So expect the worst.

But maybe everything will just work out fine in this best of all possible worlds!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 06:26 PM

Here is an objectionable reading from Paul Burkes reference, yes it is "tosh"

" Religion is then not fundamentally different from science, both seem like attempts to frame true beliefs about the world."

The significant difference is that science doesn't frame "true beliefs" at all. It tests
hypothetical theories by rigorous empirical work and with the knowledge that these theories can change at any time. Religion doesn't do this.

Some would argue that religion does change but if it does, it mutates into another religion which is framing another "true belief". If science changes, it is because scientists attempt to change it all the time by challenging the theory in question ie: Ptolemy and Copernicus, Newton and Einstein and now quantum mechanics vs. Einstein's relativity.

Has the Catholic church changed much in the last couple of hundred decades?
When it is challenged, we see what happened to the challengers. Back in the day, auto-de-fe. Maybe that may have changed but I think in some cases grudgingly.

"Accept" is appropriate because it is easily "unaccepted" whereas "belief" is hard put
to become "unbelief" as ex-Christians, Jews, Muslims et. al. can tell you.

Global warming is a scientific consensus by the leading scientific academies of the world in every country. C02 trapped in the atmosphere produces a disastrous hydrologic
cycle that robs the land of water causing the desertification of the world or deluges such as found in Pakistan, Haiti, Australia, Vermont and...................

"Better get ready to tie up de boat in Idaho...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 06:58 PM

Slightly tendentious, I can't help feeling, for Saul in the OP to equate evolution & climate change. My impression as a non-scientist is that the latter is not so unquestionably 'accepted' by all competent authorities* as the former. Am I right about that?

~Michael~


No, you're not right. Climate change and evolution are both true. When I say that, I mean true in the sense that the overriding notion in both cases is now supported by so much incontrovertible evidence that they cannot ever be realistically denied. In other words, we've reached the point at which denial of either only ever comes from completely deluded people. That isn't to say that details can't be questioned and certain ideas modified, but the general thrust of both concepts is no longer open to question. Evolution is, these days, only ever "questioned" by religious nut-cases. In the case of climate change, the actuality is undeniable, but whether the current warming is natural or influenced by human activity is open to some question. Not as much question as some would have us believe, but enough question to make it impossible to state whether or not human activity has or has not (or something in between) influenced climate change. One can speak only in probabilities which are impossible to put figures to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 07:03 PM

Think about it.

Does anyone with even a room-temperature IQ really think that standardized measurements of the annual, average temperature of the earth, which have been going on for many decades, based in information from all over the world, are a matter of opinion and debate in the scientific community?

It's as though your brand-new thermometer has been showing around 90 degrees Fahrenheit for a week, and you decide that means it's probably winter, or else the damn thing is broken.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Sep 11 - 07:21 PM

Yup. That's why my house is at 4,800 feet above sea level. Any day now I'll have beachfront property that will be worth A LOT!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 01:50 AM

"Accept" is appropriate because it is easily "unaccepted" whereas "belief" is hard put
to become "unbelief" as ex-Christians, Jews, Muslims et. al. can tell you


Again, I'm not sure I'd entirely agree. While some people do have to struggle hard before ceasing to be (say) a Christian, an awful lot simply drift away without much reflection. Conversely, introducing a new idea to science that overturns established ideas and threatens vested interests has never been that easy. Nowadays, given the way everything is funded and the need for scientists to actually be able to feed and house themselves, it may well be more difficult than it has been for some time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 02:13 AM

I would say that both "accept" and "believe" have to do with acknowledging as true, something that you are not able to prove or ascertain for yourself.

I guess I'd say that when you accept something, you take it to be true; but it doesn't make a whole lot of difference to you, one way or the other.
When you believe something, you also take it to be true; but you put your heart in it and it does make a difference to you.

I think I could say that "accept" usually has to do with data; while "believe" has to do with concepts and values.

Anyhow, that's how I perceive the difference between the two terms.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 10:04 AM

I once worked for a guy who loved to play the straight man to other people's jokes. He would frequently deliberately set up a joke to be completed by someone else.

People would come into our department looking for files. (In those days, a file was a folder full of papers.) They'd say, "I think I saw it here last week."

The boss would assume his most pompous attitude and say, "Around here, we don't think—we know!"

To which the expected punch line was, "Yeah, I don't think you know, either."


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: olddude
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 10:32 AM

Well as the great Art Thieme once told me .. "Life is tough, none of us are getting out of it alive"

I guess we will all know soon enough


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 11:56 AM

"acknowledging" has always bothered me, in that most of its uses seem to indicate that one is merely 'signing on' to some 'truth' that is, or should be, undisputed.

WordWeb gives these synonyms and definitions:
1. Declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of..
2. Express recognition of the presence or existence of

admitting
knowing
recognizing
noticing
receipting

When Roy Moore, the judge in Alabama, had the monument with the 10 Commandments installed in a public building, he kept repeating that he was merely "acknowledging" God; ignoring other belief..or non-belief... systems, and implying that no one should dare 'doubt'.

The word feels pretty heavy to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 11:57 AM

MtheGM said But as I perceive the question from my reading, SRS, evolution is now unquestioned among those with any pretension to being seriously regarded as 'scientists who are current', as you put it; but there is not the same consensus within that demographic regarding climate change?

Depends on where you live. I'd say the urban population areas have a better sense that evolution is simply the way things happened to get to where they are. The smaller town and rural populations go through school systems that aren't so robust and aren't so good at keeping science and religion in separate boxes. This is a state that has been slow to accept change (the Justice Department had to force Texas schools to integrate, for example). It suits a segment of religious folks to discount science whenever possible. I believe this is strictly a crowd-control trick. If people realize that science reveals things that used to be unknown and were in god's hands, then religious leaders have less influence with their flocks. Seriously.

You yourself hedge the climate-change question with a sort of 'escape-clause' "most" ~~ 'most scientists who are current understand that climate change is very real'. Would you include that limiting 'most' at the beginning of a similar assertion regarding evolution?

I didn't hedge any climate-change question - but I did stop short of calling the poor scientists and those who are on the fence Idiots. I'll now call them Idiots to make that perfectly clear.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 12:08 PM

"so called origins science"

Origins science? Which disciplines are those exactly?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 12:52 PM

whelk-not so much which discipline but the interpretation of data from various disciplines.
this also reflects on mrrzys comments-
creationism does not throw out the branches of science as he will know if he has ever gone to creation.com or similar.
as i inferred before;you may disagree but the issues are tackled
best wishes -pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 01:28 PM

Some more idiocy: a leading female Tea Party presidential candidate was asked whether she believed in evolution. Her answer was simply that there are "hundreds of scientists, including Nobel Prize winners, who believe in Intelligent Design." So she'll defer to them.

In theory, there's little conflict between the facts of evolution and the hypothesis of intelligent design. Maybe God commanded evolution to fulfill His long-term goals. You don't have to reject evolution to believe in God.

But in fact "ID" seems to apply almost solely to a literal interpretation of Genesis: seven days, Garden of Eden, etc. No symbolism allowed.

Why is that?

CNN just reported on a kids' book about evolution. Its author says no U.S. publisher would touch it. He sold it to a Canadian publishers and its been nominated for several awards.

According to the same report, 41% of U.S. adults disbelieve or have serious doubts about the existence of evolution. Meanwhile, 80% of U.S. adults over 25 are high-school graduates. Get the picture?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 02:22 PM

Intelligent Design, is it? ~~

Just take a look at, e.g., childbirth.

Bloody UNINTELLIGENT Design, I'd call it!

Are we really supposed to believe in the intelligence of a designer who can't do better than that?

& yes I have read Genesis thank you

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 02:22 PM

Creation.com is full of appalling conjecture and science that has been purposefully skewed for it's own ends.

These people are evil as they are presenting superstitious belief as a scientific theory, supported by the sort of reasoning seen in pub discussions after several pints.

It seems they are unable to accept anything that challenges their beliefs. Fine, but stop spreading that poison and let people make their own mind up. It's like the Enlightenment never happened in some countries, and I'd hate to see a country as fine as the US go under to the Creationist Taliban they have infesting their media and far more worryingly, schools.

This is why buddhism is so great. Creationists really could learn a thing or two about understanding and science from them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 02:41 PM

" "ID" seems to apply almost solely to a literal interpretation of Genesis: seven days, Garden of Eden, etc. No symbolism allowed."

Why? Well, whether most people even understand the term, "anthropomorphism" is involved. God is endowed with 'lonliness' and 'deciding' and such by many.
The other aspect that *I* am convinced of is that "ID" is just easier as an answer. No complex studies and pondering all the science of physics & cosmology.... just assert "God made it, and He knows how & why!", and you're done!
(This also allows such logic as I recently read from one of the injured survivors of the terrible air show accident. He was near the site, and ran, and woke up in an ambulance. "I guess God was just with me." IF you do the full anthropomorphism, it awkwardly 'follows' that God 'chose' to save some, and only He knows why.)

Humans are just simply capable of denying or accepting odd bits of reasoning.... it is called rationalizing, and we all do it at times....some just use it for their basic approach to living.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 05:45 PM

I really don't understand why evolution is considered incompatible with "intelligent design."

If I wanted to argue that some kind of intelligence lay behind the creation of plants and animals, I'd be much happier to include evolution as part of the picture, than not to include it.

Which would take more intelligence: to build a car, or to build a robot that is able to build a car?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 06:17 PM

If I wanted to argue that some kind of intelligence lay behind the creation of plants and animals, I'd be much happier to include evolution as part of the picture, than not to include it

This is the typical response of the accommodating Christian. The "evolution could be driven (or at least kicked off) by God, therefore it seems OK to me" argument. The point about evolution is that the process and its steps all capitulate to scientific explanation, always, inexorably, as evidence accumulates. There is no need for a God, even at the beginning. Not only is there no evidence (and never will be) that a God has intervened, his inclusion actually gets in the way of the theory. Interpolating God into the process adds an element which cannot be explained, which puts evolution beyond the scope of science. This is no more than a back-door strategy to discredit the science of evolution.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 07:28 PM

If I only had Steve Shaw to rely on, I'd probably be a Creationist. The only good thing he does is demonstrate the weaknesses of a Catholic schooling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 07:42 PM

Have you got a point or will you resort, as ever, to lazy sniping? Evolution and religion are twain that never meet. Whilst I find it touching that so many people of faith "accept" that evolution is true, but then go on to impose God either at the beginning of it or as some kind of guiding light of the process, they are, at best, playing an intellectual trick on themselves or, at worst, being bloody dishonest. Scientists incorporate bits into evolutionary theory when evidence arises. They do not spend hundreds of years painstakingly amassing, peer-reviewing, contesting, rejecting and interpreting evidence, only for some clod to come along and debase the whole thing by suggesting a permanently-inexplicable and evidence-innocent driving force. So, I repeat: have you a point? Piss, will you, or get off the bloody pot!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 07:58 PM

Steve...many of us basically agree with you, but you remind me of a post I made about Lucy in the "Peanuts" strip.


"Minds can be changed...IF they think they are making the change freely and voluntarily, and they see benefits, even amorphous ones, to the alterations in their lives.
People usually do not react well to being shamed, pushed or ordered to change, or made fun of for current beliefs.

Many changes in history and in individuals can be likened to pulling a brick with a large rubber band......it stretches and nothing seems to be happening, then suddenly there will be a lurch as the brick jerks forward a bit....not all the way, but visible progress. Pull too hard and too fast, and you may break the rubber band.

(reposted for about the 6th time)
Old Peanuts cartoon:

Lucy, talking to Linus: "Change your mind!"
Linus just looks at her.
Lucy.."CHANGE YOUR MIND!!
Linus looks more intimidated...
Lucy.."CHANGE YOUR MIND, I SAY!!"

Lucy, walking away, disgruntled and mumbling."Boy, it's hard to get people to change their minds these day!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 08:02 PM

Don't bloody patronise me please. I am not here to change people's minds, thank you. If I think someone is being duped, it's best I say so. If I think an argument is being dishonestly made, likewise. I suggest you cut the whimsy and join the discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 08:08 PM

Incidentally, I note that creation dot com agrees with me! You didn't tell me that, did you, pete! The site warns its adherents of the falseness of the compromising embracing of evolution that some believers indulge in. Excellent advice!



Mind you, I don't think they really believe in geological time. Oh well. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 08:53 PM

Patronize? naaawww.... just wishing for a kinder tone...

"If I think someone is being duped, it's best I say so. If I think an argument is being dishonestly made, likewise. I suggest you cut the whimsy and join the discussion.

I do agree that anyone should stand up and "say so" if they believe a position. But they should be very careful about accusing the other side of 'dishonesty'. No doubt there IS some in the anti-evolution crowd, but most of those people are also "standing up for what they believe"! Our job is to get them to re-think their logic and pay attention to facts and science...not to just insult them and harden their resolve to 'not listen'.

And...BTW... I have been in this general discussion for 10-12 years here, and my 'whimsy' is part of the discussion. I make my points in ways I 'think' might catch the opposition in a slightly open-minded mood and get them to muse on it. YOU may, of course, say it any way you choose.... and in a way, you may make my task easier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Paul Burke
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 02:24 AM



Of course it isn't, at least at the level that some versions of ID allow that evolution occurred after the designer created the "evolving machine". What IS incompatible is the story of creation as told by all religious myths (the Biblical one is by no means the only one). But ID doesn't then elucidate anything. There is no trace ID proponents have found in ancestral DNA to show how the designer designed in its subsequent evolutionary path.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 03:20 AM

The point I'm making, Steve, is that you define a position for anyone who disagrees with you, and then attack them for either holding that position or not holding that position. I used to think you were irerational until I learnt that you'd spent half a century being a 'good Catholic'. I recognize your mindset from lots of other Catholics I've known, though, in fairnessm Karen Armstrong (another ex-Catholic) did describe Creationism as 'not only bad science but bad theology'. I did hear that in the Creationist States not only is Science not taught in schools, but neither is Theology!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 06:59 AM

Gibberish, Dave. And I have no idea where you get half a century being a 'good Catholic' from. Not me. And thanks for the narcissistic description of yourself, Bill. I honestly haven't got time for such tripe.

As for accusations of dishonesty, well, dishonesty is rife among the more ardent advocates of creationism. Institutionalised, I'd say. Changing their minds won't be possible and I don't come here to try to do that. But it is important that good people try to get behind that dishonesty and expose and dismantle it. In public. If you want to see dishonesty personified (and, in my view, sheer wickedness), just spend about 15 minutes on creation.com. Not everyone who is a creationist is a pious, well-intentioned, reasonable nice person. Talk to them as though they are and they've got you. Far better to show the world what charlatans they are. Maybe it's the Celt in me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Ed T
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 07:18 AM

""...I don't believe in gravity. I've just learned to live with it.""

Could have been the last words of the captain of the helium-filled airship the USS Akron?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Musket
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 07:19 AM

I used to believe that a girl I knew at college would succumb to my charms. I had to accept I was not her type. I wanted my future wife to believe I was witty erudite and charming. She had to accept I liked my beer and football too much to totally give myself over to her.

In the context of this thread however... I suppose belief is another way of saying faith? Metaphysical activity such as God, angels etc requires faith in order to exist, even if just in the collective minds of those sharing such faith.

I accept some people have such belief.

I don't share it though, but that is because I accepted at a young age that not everything coming from the lips of adults is true, and those with dog collars were the first to be dismissed, (closely followed by the old blokes who used to sit outside the pub telling me tall stories, bless 'em.)

Hence I soon learned to accept somebody else's view even if I didn't believe it.

I believe that science and theology are different subjects but accept that many people need to throw them in the same pot to ensure their own faith is not shaken. Sad, but too many people like that to ever change their views I suppose. I don't try to impose facts on them so long as they don't try to impose fiction on me. Trite, but I'm comfortable with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 07:26 AM

It's all fuckin' fiction.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 12:18 PM

well steve
seems we agree on something;you ,me, dawkins,creation.com;ie that theistic evolution is an accomodation.
whelk and yourself accuse those of us who believe the bible as evil.
talk about OTT.HOW DO YOU DEFINE evil ,-apart from holding a different position than yours that is?
and why should we take any notice or trust your thinking;-after all if its just the result of the current state of evolutionary development.

bill-agreement with you also-bitching about your opponents dont win no arguments."seasoned with grace" as the bible says"give a reason of the hope that is in you"i hope there is less bitching from christians but i suppose some do.

akeiton-was that realy you?you normally have reasoned responces i thought!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 02:02 PM

Pete:

I call these people evil because Creationism is a symptom of something more sinister by far. The problem is in a Creationists mind only they can be right. If they're not right, then their entire belief system is under threat, and that won't do. So any and every fact is made to fit that viewpoint, and implicit in that viewpoint is the fact everyone else is wrong.They have to be, or the creationist's belief system is under threat, and as we know that won't do. Because to threaten that belief system is to threaten that person, their very inner 'knowing' threat they are right, and the rest of humanity is wrong. If a scientist has a pet theory, receives new data from a challenger that means said theory is disproved the scientist will accept that, adjust his research parameters and move on (of course they will argue their case vehemently but luckily other scientists will decide which best reflects the available data and the whole field moves on).

This betrays an arrogance that is now becoming problematic because it'a not just Creationism that takes this attitude; a whole swathe of subjects are now impossible to discuss because these nutters so skew the argument against science and reason. This anti-science stance has become prevalent in the US, and there's talk of one of these lunatics (Perry) running for President, the equivalent of electing the Taliban into The White House. This anti-science, anti-reason promotor of intelligent design as a theory is a dangerous man, but unfortunately not atypical of right-wing politicians not just in the US, but moer worryingly over here in Europe too. Perry is the arch hypocrite creationist Christian - a man who professes to be of God but has killed 234 people on death row. So much for thou shalt not kill and turning the other cheek. Funny how he takes Genesis literally, but not the Ten Commandments.

This is the fundamental evil motivating these people, and it's worth thundering against. They're anti-science, anti-reason and anti-humanity and are so devoid of the love and compassion Christ spoke of that's it's amazing so many people are taken in by their rhetoric.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Jeri
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 02:24 PM

I don't know how it came to be that compromise is intolerable to so many, or at least, seems to be.

When I was growing up and going to Sunday school (Methodist), intelligent design was what most reasonable religious people seemed to believe. Of course, they didn't take the bible literally, and this was necessary to compromise between the Bible and science. I don't even remember hearing about creationism, although I don't doubt the belief existed.

Not being able to see the good in people because they don't believe the same things as us is one of our biggest shortfallings, IMO.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 03:46 PM

Sorry Pete, I guess its just been one of those years!

I suppose what I meant was that all of life is a fiction when we examine it....none of us is really alive at all. "All the men and women merely players"


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 04:48 PM

Good post, whelk.

Jeri, no-one is saying they can't see good in people whose beliefs differ from theirs. The issue is with people who preach their fictions and fantasies as truth, without a scrap of evidence. These people happen to influence, quite unjustly, billions of people the world over. It's called organised religion. I hate it.I do, though, love the fact that people can privately believe in things that I think are totally wacky, and vice versa. That's part of the wonderful diversity of humanity. There is a difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 04:56 PM

well steve
seems we agree on something;you ,me, dawkins,creation.com;ie that theistic evolution is an accomodation.


No it isn't. There is no such thing as theistic evolution.

whelk and yourself accuse those of us who believe the bible as evil.

No we don't. We believe that people who drive the Bible down people's throats as if it is divine truth, whilst all the time it is non-divine fiction, are evil. If the cap fits, pete, old bean, if the cap fits...

after all if its just the result of the current state of evolutionary development.

Been here before, pete. You have steadfastly refused to read On The Origin Of Species. You wouldn't know "the state of evolutionary development" if it reared up and bit you on your sanctimonious arse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 05:59 PM

whelk
bit of a wide ranging response!
1what you say about creationists is somewhat like what we think of evolutionism except lacking the same venom for it,s proponents.as you rightly say they[reluctantly]back down in the face of new discoveries but" the evolution is true "mantra is as dogmatically chanted like any religio might insist.BTW creationists have also changed or been less sure of earlier models
2 dont know anything about perry and though i dont support capital punishment myself,i dont agree that if he does it makes him less of a christian.it is i think open to question what NT teaching on the subject is.i suggest you are misquoting"thou shalt not kill"missaplying since the hebrew word means "murder"which did carry the death penalty under OT theocratic rule

akenaton-sounds like a fatalistic philosophy.sorry to hear it,s been a bad year for you.

steve-not much constructive comment from you and if you remember i did begin reading   origins...favoured races    and quoted darwin to show how he had more humility to accept his theories limitations than you and dawkins et al.
all the best-pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 07:42 PM

Clueless as ever, pete.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 04:02 AM

Pete:

Thanks for illustrating my point perfectly. Creationists are trying to get their idea into classrooms to be taught regardless of the beliefs of those they are teaching, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist etc. They are intent of forcing a religious concept (in this case their creation myth) on people regardless, and that is very, very wrong indeed. Dressing it up as science is a cynical ploy and you have to wonder where these people's conscience is. Science does not do this, it teaches to question everything and realise you don't have all the answers yourself. It's a collective effort and that effort is spread over more than the lifetime of a single individual.

As for he Perry comments, you can argue the translation but that's a strawman and you know it. He calls himself a Christian but he's a killer. Perry has killed/murdered/is personally responsible for the deaths of over two hundred human beings, and if you believe that Christ was right and the bible is his word then you would not kill people, regardless. You're supposed to be compassionate and tolerant aren't you? State sanctioned murder is still murder, still killing human beings however you dress it up. For a lesson on compassion, check out Buddhist teachings - they've got the jump on this bizarre version of Christianity when it comes to respecting live and tolerance.

Of course I'm guessing your anti-science stance doesn't extend to everything. Like computers for example, or the benefits of medical science, or the telly, the car, electricity etc. It's just the bits that threaten you own belief system you refuse to accept. That's fine and your own choice, but don't advocate shoving it down the throat of everyone regardless.That's a consequence of fear, of a nagging doubt that you and all those other Creationists are wrong, not abiding blissfully in faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 08:33 AM

A couple of hundred years ago the ancients religions of the East worshipped the sun, to our great grandfathers, that seemed primitive and lunacy......but looking back today, was it not exactly what the respected environmental movement are saying?

We know so little about "gods" or "worship".
Those who condemn all religion as a disease, certainly are without a "soul" and without real understanding.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 08:38 AM

"thousand"


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 08:42 AM

I don't know anyone who condemns all religion "as a disease."


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 10:56 AM

I joined another folk forum where religion was a dirty word, the people in it seemed to have a bigotted attitude towards any "idiot" who professed any sort of religious or spiritual faith.

Their arguments were "based on reason" not "primitive myths"
They made crude anti-religious jokes. They were so much more intelligent and scientific than the common herd.....but they had no heart.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 02:37 PM

whelk-       of course i dont reject science
you are equivocating
origins "science" is untestable and unobservable unlike operational science.they are not the same thing.

sadly the thing you accuse me of,you exhibit yourself.evolutionists just want kids to accept their dogma without question-probably afraid they might see all the holes in the theory.seems everything is questioned except neo darwinism.
best wishes pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 02:58 PM

Oops - not sure what happened there.

I'm still not sure what you mean by 'origins science'. Wot's that then? Palaeontology? Geology? Genetics? Biology? Zoology? Anthropology? Physics? Chemistry? Maths? Astronomy?

All these disciplines rely on observable, testable and reproducible data for their raw materials so I'm guessing you don't mean any of them. There might be holes in evolutionary theory but the evidence is that evolution is correct . . . it's mechanisms are complex though and we don't understand how everything works at the moment. We're getting there though.

Like I said, science encourages questioning of it's most robust theories so anyone teaching science to children and not suggesting they explore and discover for themselves is not teaching science. No-one should accept any scientific proposition or theory without question; that was one of the first things learnt on my degree. Take no-one's word for yourself, examine the data, methodology and conclusions and decide for yourself. It's this self-questioning that Buddhism has in common with science and that's why I have great respect for buddhists and why they are still along way ahead of western science in terms of understanding how the mind works and how to achieve peace. A far cry from the combative adherents of Creationism and their Taliban-like rejection of considered thought and science, opting for a tabloid interpretation of fact and playing fast and loose with the work of people whom they can't hold a candle to intellectually (not that I'm a proponent of intellectualism as some sort of superior pursuit - as a musician I understand it's way overrated).

Keep creationism in RE classes and science in science classes and all's hunky dory, although I'm getting the impression those RE classes might demonstrate a certain bias . . .


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 05:11 PM

pete... it really is NOT the case that "evolutionists just want kids to accept their dogma without question-probably afraid they might see all the holes in the theory."

It is rather that they do not want evolution to be rejected without seeing the data and proofs. Most folk who accept evolution expect their kids to read and study as much science as necessary. That totally removes it from being called "dogma".

Dogma is what happens when someone is told.."We don't care what your science says, we have our beliefs based on religious writings.

Please...whatever you wish to believe... don't confuse the systems


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: John P
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 07:27 PM

Pete, you are still referring to "evolutionism" as if it were a religion, you Satanist. How can you stand being so purposefully ignorant?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 07:34 PM

One of the my most pathetic educational memories happened around 1984.

Two girls were talking in the university book store. One said she'd just come from a biology class where evolution was discussed.

"I was just laughing to myself the whole time," she said seriously. 'Cause you *know* none of that stuff is true!"

I bet she's a mom now. Her little friend too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 07:51 PM

origins "science" is untestable and unobservable unlike operational science.they are not the same thing.

sadly the thing you accuse me of,you exhibit yourself.evolutionists just want kids to accept their dogma without question-probably afraid they might see all the holes in the theory


This man is a total waste of space. His whole point is to get you to engage him in his own crass stupidity. Trolltrolltrolltrolltroll. Why the hell it's taken me so long to see it... I really wish there was a Jesus so that He could come down and give him the bollocking he so richly deserves.

Guess I chose the wrong day to wish I wasn't an atheist...


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 08:11 PM

""Keep creationism in RE classes and science in science classes and all's hunky dory,""

That comment, Whelk, is arguably the one sensible suggestion advanced by either side in this thread, as in many others.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 08:23 PM

But if creationism is false, why should we allow it even in RE classes? Know what the "E" in "RE" stands for? Education!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 08:26 PM

Sorry, I hit send before I intended there. I was going to go on to say that if a thing is a lie it shouldn't be allowed to be propagated in anypart of a school curriculum.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 09:19 PM

I suppose this is heresy to say this, but isn't it silly to argue so heatedly about the origins of the universe? If we were created by a god a gazillion years ago, or if we came to be through a Big Bang, is it really worth screaming about?

I mean, it could be an interesting discussion and a good reason to publish National Geographic Magazine, but why get so goldurned hot and bothered about it? Do we really care about our origins, or do we just want so badly to defeat the other side?

Who cares?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: John P
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 09:52 PM

Do we really care about our origins, or do we just want so badly to defeat the other side?

Joe, I certainly don't care about our origins. It's one of those currently unknowable things that I don't have time to worry about. What I care about is generation after generation of little Americans being taught that it is good and honorable to believe that the Bible is the literal truth and that science is another form of religion. I think it encourages people to believe other things that aren't possible, such as most of the stuff Republicans say.

I think that those "Christians" who are forcing religion into the classrooms by taking over school boards, dictating what gets taught in science classrooms, and rewriting history and science textbooks to reflect their religious beliefs are engaged in a well-organized and well-funded attempt to overthrow the Constitution of the United States. Make no mistake that ID was created and exists only to do that. We see the results in someone like Pete, who is a basically good person who wants to treat others with kindness, but has been sold a pack of lies and firmly believes that his ignorance is a virtue.

That's why I enter into these discussions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 09:55 PM

Well,Joe...how much time have you got? I can go on for hours about why people both 'care' and want to 'win'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 12:04 AM

Well, John, you have a point there - when it comes to imposing propaganda upon classrooms, that's when it starts to mean something. It's not having contradicting thoughts that's the problem - it's forcing those ideas on others and on institutions used by all.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 03:51 AM

The sad thing is that this is supposedly a folklore forum and nobody seems to be prepared to investigate or discuss the stories in the Bible as myth, and the place of myth in society.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 04:05 AM

"I suppose this is heresy to say this, but isn't it silly to argue so heatedly about the origins of the universe?"

But Joe . . . we're the universe made conscious and it's wonderful and awe-inspiring and humbling and incredible to be part of the whole thing. We're universe making art and talking and running and learning and contemplating ourselves and our surroundings.

Ultimately this is about learning who we are and where our place in this magnificent cosmos is . . . and when a few fanatics hijack both science and religion for their own ends and start forcing it down the throats of others we must not succumb. Do do so would be to turn the clock back and we've so far still to go . . .

It's not origins as such this discussion is about, it's how to teach those various viewpoints and the fact creation myth is not science and vice-versa.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: John P
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 08:34 AM

The sad thing is that this is supposedly a folklore forum and nobody seems to be prepared to investigate or discuss the stories in the Bible as myth, and the place of myth in society.

Why do you say that? Start a thread. I'll join. Sounds interesting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Musket
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 10:00 AM

You don't need to investigate bible stories as myth. Wherever they seem to break the laws of physics, or where they are lifted from older fables with a couple of name changes, there you have your answer.

That said, as stories with which to question your own sense of morality, such myth can be seen to have a place in society. Especially for those who feel the need for such a crutch.

Not sure that this is a folklore forum though. I know nothing of folklore other than my mum putting a bread poultice on a grazed hand I had and then getting a bollocking off the GP... I thought Mudcat was a music based forum, with a bullshit section for us to take the piss out of each other and put the world to rights?

If you want to talk folklore, let me tell you how Chris Waddle goes down in (increasingly ancient!) folklore as the brightest light ever to walk the turf at Hillsborough....................


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 11:09 AM

At the top of the screen it does say Traditional Music and Folklore Collection and Community.

The use of myth within society has much more depth of meaning than just folk tales to pass away long evenings.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 05:20 PM

...nobody seems to be prepared to investigate or discuss the stories in the Bible as myth, and the place of myth in society.

Dave, I'd like to change that to the value of myth in society, and I think that value is profound. However, the absolutists see myth as frightening, and are unable to discuss or explore it. Religious absolutists see myth as fact, so it can't be discussed or explored or questioned. Non-religious absolutists see myth as falsity, and see no reason to do anything but refute it.

I see myth as a wonderful tool for exploring what is beyond our understanding - mysteries like life and love and peace and such things. I don't seek absolutes - I seek insights. Myth has profound folkloric and philosophical and anthropological value, but the tendency of many of the people in this forum, is to discount it as complete falsity and to approach it with fear and disdain.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Amos
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 05:34 PM

It becomes problematic only when it is taken on by individuals not able to differentiate between metaphor and factual proposition. Then Pandora's box of improbable horrific vectors of thought gets unleashed upon the world, and the miasma of "might be" is mistaken for the simple clarity of "is". Myth to those who appreciate the music of it is a wonderful tool, as you say, Mr Offer. It can encapsulate centuries of pondering and lessons from past generations in a handy nutshell of a tale.

It takes reflection to be able to face up to a myth for what it is and still be able to understand its value. Some people are more reflection-prone than others! :D


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 05:45 PM

""Just remember, there's a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way"". ~
M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: saulgoldie
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 05:47 PM

Science is a process of investigation that leads to reproducible results. Arithmetic is a process that leads to reproducible results. If anyone does not "believe in" the "processes" of science or arithmetic, please suggest other "processes" that lead to reproducible results that we can use to explain the world around us and to advance the human experience.

"Creationism" and "intelligent design" are "belief systems" that are not based on any kind of system of inquiry or processes that can be reliably used to get to the same results.

If "G-d" or "G-ds" then why are there so many well-meaning people who come to such markedly different explanations for the world? Who is "wrong," and why?

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 06:00 PM

""Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake"". ~Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 06:04 PM

But Saul, why must there be only one "explanation," one perspective? What's right and what's wrong when we're talking about how different individuals perceive something? Why is there need for uniformity in thinking, for there being only one "right"?

I'm an eternal optimist, perhaps annoyingly so - but that is my perspective, and I think it's a valid, rational perspective. Many people are pessimists, and they have very good reason to be so. Why can't both perspectives be valid?

Must everything have a "rational explanation," and is there no room left in life for mystery and uncertainty and subjectivity?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 06:05 PM

""Never explain. Your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe it anyway."" ~Elbert Hubbard, A Thousand and One Epigrams, 1911


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 06:08 PM

""What a strange narrowness of mind now is that, to think the things we have not known are better than the things we have known."" ~Samuel Johnson


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 07:09 PM

"While some people do have to struggle hard before ceasing to be (say) a Christian, an awful lot simply drift away without much reflection. "

While this ostensibly seems true, these people without reflection carry with them the same baggage from where they drift away.

Belief in something doesn't automatically suggest a passion but could be an unquestioning position not well thought out.

The problem with "mystery" and "powers unknown" is that they are exploited by manipulating religious types to convince others that what they believe is valid.

The "mystery" is always a quest for mankind to discover and make visible what is mysterious. It's like the monster in the closet as seen by a child, the scientist opens the closet door an reveals that mystery as no monster but a scientific fact. Curiosity is inherent in our DNA and solving mysteries is a major preoccupation of the brain.

Myths can be useful as long as that is how they are acknowledged, not truth nor fact but as stories to shed light on human behavior. Folklore serves this function.
Folklore is not history.

The real exultation of life is knowing more about the universe through scientific knowledge resulting in the appreciation for where and how we live. The wonder of little droplets creating the rainbow from the hydrological cycle, the experience of looking at the stars as an index into the past, the miracle of how we got to be here through the gene pool, the astonishment at the revelations of the insect world, the knowledge of aerodynamics as we watch a flock of geese, the poetry of science which is far more substantial then the limited world of "mysterious imagination".


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 02:00 AM

So, Stringsinger, how's your "scientific knowledge" on the mystery of love? You have it all analyzed, do you?

How about death? Sorrow? Joy?

Sorry, but to my mind, "scientific knowledge" leaves out many of the dimensions of the experiences of life that intrigue and enliven me. I'd prefer to explore a little more deeply than the Scientific Method would allow.

As for myth, I would surmise that intelligent people can identify myth without having it labeled as myth - and for unintelligent people, it wouldn't make much difference.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Musket
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 03:49 AM

Sorry Joe, but your last comment there would lead people to think that people with fairly strong religious belief are unintelligent?

You may say so, I couldn't possibly comment......................

I have no problem with embracing myth, it does put the colour into our landscape of course. I do have an issue however with those who use their power and influence to allow it to drift into reality. Hence creationism being seen by many, including legislators, as indistinguishable from science, or indeed as a branch of science on the basis that we haven't got all the scientific answers yet, hence giving a crude form of respectability for literal interpretations of biblical and other myth.

I fully agree with your statement by the way, and identifying myth without labelling it strikes a chord, and am rather taken by your succinct comment. Thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 04:10 AM

Well, I wondered how people might take that comment, Ian. I stand by it, however. Sure, I suppose there are people who would even take the parables of Jesus as "gospel truth" - but the parables are obviously fiction, aren't they?

To my mind, fiction is not untruthful. For the most part, fiction must be truthful. It is dishonest if it conveys misconceptions or prejudice.

To my mind, the creation stories are truthful - they're not meant to tell the "how" of the beginnings of the universe. They are a statement of faith that God was intimately involved with the universe since the beginning. The stories don't attempt to define or describe this God, other than to say that God created and saw that it was good. I don't think that those who originated the creation stories had any intention of having them interpreted "literally."

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 04:51 AM

Yes, Joe: the parables are obviously fiction, and Jesus explicitly told them as such, to illustrate his points by allegory. The mythopaeic aspects of the cult he founded, on the other hand, are what need addressing. I cannot but feel you are fudging this by the irrelevancy of introducing the parables into the argument, as a sort of smokescreen to obscure what so many of us consider the absurdities of the totality of that cult of which they were a minor part, when nobody denies their fictionality. And I think you palter with two distinct and discrete meanings of the word 'truthful' in your intro clause to your last paragraph above.

Best regards

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 05:23 AM

So, Stringsinger, how's your "scientific knowledge" on the mystery of love? You have it all analyzed, do you?

How about death? Sorrow? Joy?

Sorry, but to my mind, "scientific knowledge" leaves out many of the dimensions of the experiences of life that intrigue and enliven me.


No it doesn't, and science, as in every area of life except one, nibbles away and closes in inexorably on these. We might be a bit further back in our understanding of these areas but I can't imagine that there are any facets of these phenomena that could never yield to scientific exploration.

The one area that can never yield to scientific investigation is the supposed existence of God. Why? Because God has deliberately, tendentiously and falsely been placed beyond science by religion. If God really did exist he'd be absolutely appalled by this trickery.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 12:04 PM

joe-as one of your unintelligent posters perhaps i might understand if you put it simply why you consider the writer of genesis as intending not to record historical/revealed narrative.for that matter do you think jesus is misquoted or mistaken in his obvious endorsement of genesis as recorded in the NT.
not offended by the way.not as though you are trying hard to be obnoxious as some posters appear to.
strange how these lettered scholars get so angry with a simple believer of a different faith-or is it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: John P
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 03:28 PM

strange how these lettered scholars get so angry with a simple believer of a different faith-or is it!

Pete - I don't think anyone here is angry about believers because of their belief. However, referring to the lack of religious belief as "a different faith" is likely to make people get mad at you. You should consider not doing that anymore. As someone said in an earlier thread, referring to atheism as a belief is like saying that the fact that I don't have a stamp collection means that my hobby is stamp collecting.

The big thing that people get angry about is the penchant on the parts of lots of religious folks to try to alter our laws, textbooks, and public school classes to reflect their beliefs. It doesn't have anything to do with the belief itself, but rather what you do with it.

People also get upset when you try to make religious tenets carry the same weight within a factual conversation as scientific fact does. That only works if you're in a conversation with other believers. The rest of us are just irritated by it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 03:48 PM

The vast majority of the earth's people do not fully understand the difference between an established fact, an opinion, and the truth.

They also like to believe that whatever seems likely to them must be the truth.

They know nothing of the scientific method. Because of that, they don't understand that science doesn't claim to deliver absolute, unassailable, and final truth - the only kind they feel happy with.
They don't know the difference between "evidence" (which can be good or bad, reliable or not) and "proof" (which may, ultimately, turn out to be a hasty conclusion.)

They tend to believe that science is just a series of arguments among undependable experts who (like them) will say almost anything to "prove their point."

According to this theory (the one that dominated human history for millennia), the one who batters his opponent into silence through questionable analogies, begging the question, endless repetition, ambiguous definitions, clever diction, pointed barbs, etc., wins. He has "made his case."

Nobody likes uncertainty, and few people have learned to withhold judgment as conditions require.

They think if you disagree with them, you're either naive,foolish, or perverse.

At least, that's been my experience. And not just on these threads.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Sep 11 - 04:58 PM

I accept that this longrunning exercise in self-adulation and congratulatory patting of one's own back for being so much smarter (and by implication better) than "those other wretched people who are dumb enough to believe such-and-such which I don't believe" will go on and on for some time yet, and I believe there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. Not that it really matters... ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Musket
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 04:46 AM

Pete from seven whatsits..

You seem to infer that Genesis was written as being factually accurate. As it clearly isn't, wouldn't it be more credible to agree that the stories in the bible are just that, stories?

If this Jesus character was an actual person, or indeed if there was one person to whom most of the stories refer to, I am sure he would have been a person of his day. Superstitious and prone to believe something on the basis of antiquity of scripture, rather than anything evidence based. So your "Jesus thought it true" carries no weight in such discussions, surely?

I can't agree with Little Hawk about the thread being an exercise in being smug though. I genuinely have problems when confronted by people who are otherwise rational, but have an imaginary friend. As it describes the majority worldwide, although increasingly less in the Western world, I am the one out on a limb. But for me personally, the reason I find these sorts of debate fascinating is that I have to rely on the judgement of others in my professional and private life, just like we all do. I can't help questioning the rationality and logic of somebody's view on more temporal affairs if their overall outlook is based on superstition.

That makes me simplistic. But until I am convinced otherwise, I find my simplicity comfortable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 05:21 AM

An excellent summary of the 'Accept vs Believe' debate, if I may say so, 'Lighter'!


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Ed T
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 06:25 AM

Tidbits on science and uncertainit


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 09:05 AM

Thank you, Shimrod.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 10:24 AM

I have noticed that 'fundamentalists', of all persuasions, delight in the "ignorance, doubt and uncertainty" (see the quote from Richard Feynman included in the reference supplied by Ed T above) associated with Science. Every time a scientific theory is modified in some way they shout, "Ahaa! Evolution must be wrong and Creationism and the Bible must be right!" or "Man-made Global Warming is a myth!". Which are, of course, completely stupid and illogical inferences to draw. But then, of course, 'fundamentalists' can only deal in absolutes.

I've also encountered some rather weird attitudes towards Science whilst working in Industry. For some years I worked in the R&D Dept. of a large multi-national consumer goods company. By applying scientific principles this dept. had developed some novel and profitable products for the company over the years. One day we had a visit from a very senior and influential Marketing Executive. He announced to the dept., "This is a marketing company, not a scientific research one!" And soon after that the dept. was shut down (although they subsequently opened another, even larger, R&D Dept. overseas).
In my next job, for a different company, in the same Industry, the management seemed to believe in what I can only describe as 'Science Lite" i.e. a (fictional) form of Science which was supposed to apply specifically to Marketing and Business. Any form of rigour was rather frowned on - although absurd, laborious and arbitrary over-complication was much admired. Any testing carried out was deemed to have failed if it didn't lead to the desired result. No-one seemed to grasp that testing tailored to give a required answer is, effectively, cheating.

So it's not just fundamentalists who have problems with Science.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,Bluesman
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 10:29 AM

100


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 10:58 AM

A favorite saying, which I've heard more than once:

"Each failure brings us closer to success."

Yeah, if success is absolutely inevitable. Anyway, each failure also rules out success right now, when you wanted it and, in theory, would have had it without the added time, money, and effort now required.

It's a cheer-up line, not a statement of fact; but apparently many people take it as the latter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 10:59 AM

Shimrod.. I do hope you have since managed to work in more intellectually comfortable environs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 11:31 AM

I think that good manners are important in a debate and the person that you are arguing with should be respectfully accepted as a fellow human being unless they become obnoxious.

However, I don't think any special undue respect should be shown to a religious idea which should be tested as any theory is. Religion is a branch of philosophy which abstracts concrete ideas and seduces the discussion into metaphysical conjecture. It deserves no more respect than any other concocted untested theory.

Religion is not fluid and unchanging because the basic principles behind it are in place, the supposition that there is a god, a saviour, a spirit, a litany of by-laws or a holy book or teacher, or any other machination offered as "truth".

"Accept" is conditional. "Belief" is not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,The Lamenting Whelk
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 11:54 AM

Good post Shimrod, and you've put your finger on the nub of the problem.

There's an anti-science attitude that now pervades the US and UK governments and media. This disdain towards science really took hold under the (mis)rule of the neocons, who adopted a worldview consisting of a heady, hypocritical mix of a pursuit of material wealth and power over others with a myopic religious fervour that excludes any attempt at reason. This isn't the considered and reflective Christianity I see from people like Joe and some others here, it's a sham to deceive the gullible, and boy do they fall for it. In droves.

Unfortunately, this view still holds sway in both countries and it is both destructive and divisive. It eschews tolerance in favour of exclusion and in the case of science this will prove to have disastrous consequences for subsequent generations, for example the massive expansion of deep sea oil extraction and gas fracking; both of which have the potential for untold damage to our environment. Here in the UK the government sacked an eminent scientist because his drug research contradicted the party line, yet Blair still followed Bush's insane crusade after 9/11 (God said it was OK! Yay!)

It seems ignorance truly is bliss, especially if a government can keep their citizens uniformed and dumb for their own ends in the face of unbiased research, or the ends of their sponsors. The rise of Perry and the appalling HPV scandal that recently occurred shows how far this stupidity and finger-in-ear idiocy has become the driving force in our societies.The fact people want to teach our kids to be stupid via creationism rather than present the evidence and decide for themselves is of little consequence to these people; after all they actually like suffering and death (otherwise why rail against HPV inoculation? How many innocent girls will suffer a painful and scary death because of one idiot's lack of emotional intelligence?). They profess to be Christian and then kill hundreds on death row without mercy; sordid little Pilates washing their hands in the blood of dead men, devoid of tolerance or forgiveness. The only good thing is that if these hypocrites are right and there is a God then they'll end up in hell with a trident up their arses and and angry devil scourging them for eternity.

Fanatics can paint scientists as soulless robots who uncaringly pick the world to pieces in some obscure quest to disprove the wonder of life . . . but then they're only holding a mirror up to their own ignorance and wilful lack of understanding.

Science is a spiritual pursuit, often driven by the almost overwhelming wonder one feels when comprehending the universe and it's complexity, diversity and depth. So much to discover, so much we don't know, so much be to amazed and awed by. The presence we feel isn't God, it's us - we are universe comprehending itself. We are made of starstuff and we are explicable and so is everything around us.

What isn't explicable is how the feck the Christian Taliban managed to skew the whole subject so for from it's true nature, or at least I pray it is far from it's true nature.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 01:37 PM

whelk writes
"present the evidence and let them decide for themselves"
i agree ,as apparently did michael rhrees [not sure of the spelling] before being dismissed from the royal society after saying so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 02:09 PM

For "Christian" just read "conservative" and all will be revealed to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Mrrzy
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 03:05 PM

Interesting semantic discussion in my ethics class last night: belief versus faith. One dude who felt he *believed* in a higher power but did not *have faith* that said power was deity. The class agreed with that distinction.
The question of "believing" in evolution hasn't come up yet, but I will definitely use "deny" for "don't believe in" and will try to remember to use "accept" as I do like that distinction a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 04:36 PM

Ake? I've met and know numerous Christians who are most definitely NOT conservative! Anything but. They are quite opposed to the typical conservative political and social viewpoints that get so much press these days (and have since about the time of Ronald Reagan's election).

They are also most certainly not "anti-science" in their attitudes.

Look for variety in people and you find will it. Believe in nothing but extreme opposite and opposed stereotypes and that is all you will be able to see. By doing so, you are acting on a form of fundamentalist faith (although it doesn't fall under the heading of "religion"...but it works just the same way as fundamentalist religion does, in a psychological sense...by dividing the world up into the "righteous" ("us")...and the "sinners" or the "heretics" ("them").) It is the desire to be "right" and make others "wrong" and punish them for being "wrong". It amounts to living by this credo: "I'd rather be right than happy. I'd rather be right than be kind. I'd rather get vengeance than forgive. I'd rather be safe than helpful. I'd rather win a victory than secure a lasting peace between me and the others around me."

This is what people do when their thinking is primarily based on fear...and its normal byproducts which are hatred, intolerance, distrust, leaping to negative conclusions about others, gossiping, criticizing, opposing, verbally attacking, shutting out, erecting barriers, making war, punishing, murdering, hoarding, exploiting, etc...

Fear is what is primarily governing this world at present. And you see the results on the daily news...presented in a fearful and exaggerated manner...which helps create a lot more fear. Politicians use fear to get elected and to get their people to support a war. Its the oldest trick in the book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Ed T
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 05:23 PM

Good post Little Hawk.

I don't consider myself a strong religious fellow,at least following any organized religion. I often find myself in the middle of the road in many discussions, with a large degree of uncertainity as to those big questions. But, rements of my upbringing keeps my personal beliefs leaning towards what I have been steeped in in early life, that there is an afterlife of some type. I do not see this as an affront to unbiased scientific reasoning. Strangely enough, my questioning and reading of the personal lives of many scientists leads me to accept that many do not seem just aa uncertain as I am.

I often see "faith" rather than reasoned thought come from religiopus folks in mudcat discussions. But, on the other hand, I also frequently see a degree of bitterness towards (historic) religion (in society),rightly deserved or not, from those eagerly wanting to score points against religion, rather than participate in a reasonable and respectful discussion. For some odd reason there seems to be frustration that another person comes to a different conclusion on a personal issue, no matter how they got there.

On science, personally, having worked with a scientific organization for the past 15 years leads me to be very conmcerned about the future of Science, for many of the reasons Shimrod states. IMO, increasingly private industry has less interest in, and respect for legitimate science (which I can understand). With budget constraints, governments are focusing less on science (especially science that does not show an immediate benefit to the economy). University's are likely left as the last firm boosters for legitimate science. But, with reduced government grants, increasing pressure from funding-industry to show exonomic results and fewer rich folks contributing dollars, IMO, there is reason to be concerned. I fear we are heading into dark waters when it comes to scientific research.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 05:44 PM

As long as there are powerful money-driven entities out there eager to use science to push an agenda that will profit them, there is great danger that science will be used to push misleading, false, and destructive agendas. This is no criticism of science itself. It is saying that science is being used for the wrong purposes by many of the people who are funding it. This puts scientists themselves in a bad spot, doesn't it? You will get major financial backing if you support a certain corporate plan with your research and findings...you won't if you don't.

In short, the moneylenders are in the temple, to use a metaphor, and they need to be thrown out of it by someone.

I daresay if someone did throw them out of if, he'd be in great peril of his life...would probaby get crucified or something like that. Again, I speak metaphorically.

I really believe that science and technology DO occupy the position of enormous influence in present day society that the holy temple did in Biblical-era Jerusalem and the Jewish nation at that time...or that other such temples did in other ancient societies. Science and technology have become the "Holy of Holies" in the present society. They are the presently ruling creed and dogma. They dominate the agenda. Traditional religions are a mere bit player in comparison. We all use the results and tools of science and technology in our daily lives, we depend upon them, we have enormous faith in their power and importance. I'm using those tools right now to talk to other people, to power the devices I depend on, for transportation, etc. It's the very fabric of our lives....just like religion once was in ancient societies.

And the moneylenders are in our temple. They are perverting science and technology to build terrible weapons, to fight terrible wars, and to make gigantic profits for a tiny power elite. That is the primary problem we have to deal with at present. We've got to find a way to throw the moneylenders out of our contemporary temple...and out of our governments too...and to return power to the ordinary people.

How do we do that? How can we do it when elections are won by those who get the most corporate funding?


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: saulgoldie
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 06:00 PM

(Sigh.) Science is a *process.* Using the scientific method--process--of investigation, one forms a hypothesis based on observations, and proceeds to test that hypothesis to death. If one can achieve consistently reproducible results, then the hypothesis is proven. If results cannot be consistently reproduced, then the hypothesis is *not proven.*

If one *starts,* as is too often done in corporate or religiously subsidized investigation, with the *conclusion* and seeks out *proof* for that conclusion, then, by definition, that *process* is not science. That is not an opinion; it is definitional. If you enter "scientific method" into your search window, you will see this.

If we do not *accept* science as a *process,* then what is another *process* that can get us answers that are the *same for everyone* and can be *reliably and consistently reproduced?*

Saul


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 06:22 PM

Of course it's a process, saul. I am concerned as to how the process is put to use, by whom, and for what objective. That usually ends up depending on whom is funding the process, doesn't it? Major funding does not go to a process unless that process is aimed at some objective which interests the funders.

Accordingly, science has been used to create atomic bombs, for instance. Hydrogen bombs. Neutron bombs. Poison gas. Intercontinental nuclear missiles. Napalm. Cluster bombs. Smart bombs. Cruise missiles. Etc.

Was this a desirable use of the process? Whom did it benefit? Whom does it hurt? My argument is not, and never has been, with the process itself, but with the purposes the process is put to, and the results that are obtained by advancing that purpose.

My objection is not to science. My objection is that science has been made the handmaiden of militarism and profit-seeking by a small, very wealthy elite. You see the results in war and destruction of the environment, pollution, damage to the ecosphere.

None of that is the fault of science, because science is merely a process. It is neither good nor bad, it's just a process.

I would suggest using that process to benefit everyone equally and to benefit the planet, not just to benefit a small part of humanity at the expense of some other part and to the detriment of the entire planet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 05:45 PM

I was in the pub last night discussing imaginary numbers (as one does) when it occurred to me that the most vocal atheists all seem to be biologists. Is this because mathematicians and physicists are more at home with 'non-real' concepts?

"The exact problem with Saccheri's approach to geometry was that he began with fixed notion of what was true and what was not true, and set out only to prove what he'd assessed as true to start with. Despite the cleverness of his approach.......Saccheri never entertained the possibility of other ways of thinking about points and lines. Now we should be wary of repeating this famous mistake.....Now in the past, each new extension of the notion of number was greeted with hoots and catcalls. You can hear this particularly loudly in the names attached to the unwelcome arrivals, such as "irrational numbers", "imaginary numbers".'

(Douglas R. Hofstadter, 'Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid')


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: akenaton
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 06:20 PM

Sorry LH...I was trying a little gentle irony.....unsuccessfully :0)

Of course I agree with what you posted.

I meant that most leftie "liberals" equate Christianity with conservatism.....they see it as a citadel to be stormed, they neither understand nor care about the spirituality which is all around us.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 06:37 PM

Oh...yeah, I get you. ;-) Well, it's the old "us and them" thing rearing its ugly head as usual, people imagining that all their political opponents must necessarily fit some horrible stereotype of evil or stupidity that they carry around in their minds. The Right does it. The Left does it. Insecure people of every political persuasion do it.

(a great many) Politicians attempt to provoke that sort of divisive stereotypical thinking. They figure it will gain them media attention and get them votes. And they're often right about that, unfortunately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 06:49 PM

"Irrational" numbers are so called because they can't be expressed as ordinary fractions or "ratios," not because anyone ever derided them as "crazy."

And "imaginary" numbers really are "imaginary," in the sense that they have existence only in the imagination. They are the square roots of negative numbers, and negative numbers cannot have square roots. Thus the sq. rt. of -1 is "imaginary." Imaginary numbers are useful in advanced equations, but they still have no independent existence.

They weren't called "imaginary" because some "Establishment" was arrogantly dissing them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 28 Sep 11 - 07:45 PM

I don't think that's what Hofstadter was saying though from a semantic point of view it's an interesting choice of adjectives (he goes on to talk about 'supernatural numbers'). His main point is about self-limiting conclusions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: John P
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 09:55 AM

Well, it's the old "us and them" thing rearing its ugly head as usual

Little Hawk, since you spend so much time talking about this, I'd have to say that you are one of the biggest proponents of the "us vs. them" dichotomy I've ever seen. Part of the dichotomy is an absolute black-and-white view of things, which you exhibit almost all the time on this subject.

Your "everyone else is full of bullshit" approach just means that you are an "us" of one and everyone else is "them". Well, maybe you include Akenaton, since he also engages in this behavior.

Is there any chance at all, ever, that you will talk to the individuals you are actually talking to, rather than lumping them all together into a group that you think is stupid, thus allowing yourself to not really pay attention to what they are saying? That's a nifty way to make yourself always in the right, if you can pull it off and still have the inside of your brain make sense to you. I never could.

It seems like you consider yourself a communicator. Sad, really, because you are so bad at it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 11:48 AM

I'm willing to consider that, John. But why would you assume I'm directing such talk at you personally? Why would you assume you have been personally attacked by some very general thing I said about the foibles and weaknesses of a large part of humanity?

Is it not so that a great many people engage in primitive "us and them" divisive thinking which sets them against groups of other people in an unreasonable manner?

Perhaps we all do it to some extent. Quite possibly. If so, then we need to keep observing and moderating our own thinking processes and see if we can become aware of that and stop doing it...or at least do it a lot less.

I do observe my own thinking processes this way, I do it quite regularly, and I try not to hold enmity, not to hold grudges, and not to see people as cardboard stereotypes, but to see them as complex individuals with whom I may have much in common.

For instance, I disgree with DougR about a great many political issues...almost all of them, in fact. And yet, I also see many good points in DougR's personality and his general attitude toward individuals, and I respect those. Accordingly, I do not treat him as an evil stereotype merely on account of politics...as do many other people here...and I treat him decently even though we disagree about politics.

That's just one example, a small one, but it's a start toward avoiding demonizing and stereotyping other people over some particular issue and thus dividing them up into "us and them".

So I'm working on it. I never said I was perfect. I don't expect anyone else here to be perfect either.

The one thing I do have difficulty with here is certain people's tendency to engage in vitriolic personal attacks on other posters with whom they disagree about something. (And I mean when they do it seriously, not when they're just joshing with each other and kidding around). I don't think there's any excuse for it. It's mean. Its intent is to wound and damage the other person. I object to it when people do that, and I try to avoid getting into long vendettas with such individuals or even talking to them, because it can only make our day a lot worse, ruin relationships, and it won't change anything for the better.

So when I try to keep my comments about the general condition of humanity, rather than singling out individuals and in effect saying, "You're a bad person." To say that to anyone is useless. It doesn't help improve anything. It just makes enemies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Musket
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 11:57 AM

This "conservative" comparison that has entered this debate is interesting.

If you do not see yourself as a conservative, you tend to view conservatives as reactionary, clinging to ideals regardless of evidence of effectiveness and bigotry to be displayed in any debate. Mmm starting to sound familiar.

Sadly, for every God fearing little old lady who pours the teas out after a church service and arranges the flowers, there are those who use their proclaimed faith as a tool with which to influence others.

More of a believe and less of an accept...


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 12:07 PM

Dave Mackenzie, while Hofstadter's larger point is, as you say, valid, that kind of glib stylistic grandstanding is regrettable and all too common.

Hofstadter's word-picture of Enlightenment mathematicians as a bunch of hooting bullies inadvertently shores up the view that scientists are mostly jerks.

You shouldn't have to caricature the facts to hold a reader's interest.

On second thought, maybe you do. Unfortunately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 12:07 PM

Well, there are sensible ways of being conservative and foolish ways of being conservative. The same is true of being liberal. In either case there's a full range of possibilities from completely stupid to entirely wise and sensible...in either the conservative or the liberal approach to anything.

When people use those words these days, though, they seem to just assume the positive or negative extreme stereotype and disregard the rest. The words "conservative" and "liberal" have both become pejoratives, amounting to insult terms, depending on who is using them. Or else they are words of praise, again depending on who is using them.

This says to me that politicians and mass media (funded by a corporate elite) have succeeded very effectively in dividing and conquering a confused public...causing them to fight endlessly with each other rather than to effectively oppose the very impersonal and faceless power systems they are living under and being oppressed by.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: GUEST,pete from seven stars link
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 12:25 PM

john I think you have a point re "them and us" as each of us has a position on something which must therefore make those of an opposing opinion in some sense "them".what would be nice is that debate be civil and i,ve never had any problem with little hawk on that score and he has in the past answered me directly with gracious disagreement


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 12:40 PM

Fascinating, Lighter. I think your conclusions, based on one paragraph of a 740 page book, tell us far more about yourself than Hofstadter. I would never imagine Enlightenment mathematicians as 'hooting bullies', though I've heard that some of them had more than their fair share of human weaknesses, but then who hasn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 12:42 PM

I know these things for sure. Every last one of us wishes to know the truth. We all want freedom, fairness, and justice. We all want to be treated decently. We all want love. We want security. We all want to be happy. We want a good society. That's a given.

We disagree about exactly how to accomplish these things, and the reason we disagree is that we all have different backgrounds, came from different families and places, had different past experiences to go on, have different memories, and have different ideas about where "the (perceived) threat" to whatever we believe in and value is coming from. We have different ideas about who the "victims" and the "perpetrators" are in some political matter, and that's a result of our own personal background.

That's why we disagree. We disagree not out of any original bad intention, but out of the fact that we are thinking from some different set of basic understandings.

Everyone is, in effect, innocent at that level. They ALL think they are doing the right thing and sticking up for "the persecuted" or "the good people" (meaning themselves and their friends). This is true, for example, of Gaddafi and his supporters in Libya...and it's equally true of those forces who are opposing him. They ALL think they are on the side of the Angels.

Nothing new about that. It's been happening that way for the last 10,000 years and probably longer. Whoever wins such a conflict tells generations of schoolchildren how good triumphed over evil and saved the nation...thus guaranteeing their freedom!

Look at the history books of your own nation, and you will most probably find such a story...no matter where you live. If the other side had won, you'd be reading their story.

Does this mean we cannot choose a side? No, it doesn't! We can and do choose sides....as best we can according to what we know and understand about the situation at the time. Our knowledge, however, is necessarily limited. So is our understanding. But we do the best we can. Everyone wants freedom. Everyone also wants security. That leads to compromises between the two, doesn't it? We may disagree sharply over where to draw the line on those compromises.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:12 PM

Joe, I think that psychologists and other students of the mind are coming closer to understanding the nature of love and empathy. As to death, sorrow and joy, these are identifiable emotions that can be measured by a scientific method without losing their emotional impact. I tend to be skeptical of any dimensions that do not adhere to what we know through science about the experiences of life. I can still feel the sense of wonder, awe and gratitude that the scientific view of the world shows us. There is beauty in a cell structure, a rainbow, an amazement at the proliferation of stars and planets, an appreciation for the leaf as we understand what it is made of and how it fits in to an ecology. Science in no way diminishes the respect for living things, people's emotions,
the loving of animals, or any of the other life's enriching experiences.

I'm not sure that I agree that intelligent people can separate myth from fact, intelligence being relative, intelligent people making unintelligent decisions, and intelligence in one area of ability not prevalent in another.

Take for example our prevalent myth that security comes from militarization which is fostered by seemingly intelligent leaders.


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Subject: RE: BS: Semantics: 'Accept' versus 'Believe'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Sep 11 - 05:33 PM

"I can still feel the sense of wonder, awe and gratitude that the scientific view of the world shows us."

Yes. That's understandable. I feel that sense of wonder, awe, and gratitude at viewing the world either through the scientific viewpoint....or through other viewpoints. It seems to work fine either way. I don't see that there has to be some kind of war or opposition between science and a variety of other approaches to life, I see that they can work harmoniously together....and for me, they do.

You can look at life scientifically, religiously, spiritually, culturally, politically, mystically, emotionally, poetically, experientially, any way you want, and I see no reason why all those ways cannot be integrated effectively if one takes the time to find congruence between them. If one simply clings to ONE favorite viewpoint without taking the time to investigate the others, however, one may never find any congruence between them.

Errors have been made in science, religion, culture, politics, etc. Many errors have been made, and then later exposed and corrected. In time those errors are shown to be errors, and we move on to newer and better understandings. That doesn't mean we have to abandon science, religion, culture, spirituality, emotions, politics, etc...it doesn't mean any of them are inherently wrong, it just means we continue learning and adapting as we go along, that's all.


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