Study Demonstrates How We Support Our False Beliefs

Aug 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- In a study published in the most recent issue of the journal Sociological Inquiry, sociologists from four major research institutions focus on one of the most curious aspects of the 2004 presidential election: the strength and resilience of the belief among many Americans that Saddam Hussein was linked to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Although this belief influenced the 2004 election, they claim it did not result from pro-Bush propaganda, but from an urgent need by many Americans to seek justification for a war already in progress.

The findings may illuminate reasons why some people form false beliefs about the pros and cons of health-care reform or regarding President Obama's citizenship, for example.

The study, "There Must Be a Reason: Osama, Saddam and Inferred Justification" calls such unsubstantiated beliefs "a serious challenge to democratic theory and practice" and considers how and why it was maintained by so many voters for so long in the absence of supporting evidence.

Co-author Steven Hoffman, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo, says, "Our data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as 'motivated reasoning,' which suggests that rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.

"In fact," he says, "for the most part people completely ignore contrary information.

"The study demonstrates voters' ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information," he explains.

While numerous scholars have blamed a campaign of false information and innuendo from the Bush administration, this study argues that the primary cause of misperception in the 9/11-Saddam Hussein case was not the presence or absence of accurate data but a respondent's desire to believe in particular kinds of information.

"The argument here is that people get deeply attached to their beliefs," Hoffman says.

"We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter. The problem is that this notion of 'motivated reasoning' has only been supported with experimental results in artificial settings. We decided it was time to see if it held up when you talk to actual voters in their homes, workplaces, restaurants, offices and other deliberative settings."

The survey and interview-based study was conducted by Hoffman, Monica Prasad, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology at Northwestern University; Northwestern graduate students Kieren Bezila and Kate Kindleberger; Andrew Perrin, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and UNC graduate students Kim Manturuk, Andrew R. Payton and Ashleigh Smith Powers (now an assistant professor of political science and psychology at Millsaps College).

The study addresses what it refers to as a "serious challenge to democratic theory and practice that results when citizens with incorrect information cannot form appropriate preferences or evaluate the preferences of others."

One of the most curious "false beliefs" of the 2004 presidential election, they say, was a strong and resilient belief among many Americans that Saddam Hussein was linked to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Hoffman says that over the course of the 2004 presidential campaign, several polls showed that majorities of respondents believed that Saddam Hussein was either partly or largely responsible for the 9/11 attacks, a percentage that declined very slowly, dipping below 50 percent only in late 2003.

"This that Hussein was responsible for the Twin Tower terrorist attacks was very persistent, despite all the evidence suggesting that no link existed," Hoffman says.

The study team employed a technique called "challenge interviews" on a sample of voters who reported believing in a link between Saddam and 9/11. The researchers presented the available evidence of the link, along with the evidence that there was no link, and then pushed respondents to justify their opinion on the matter. For all but one respondent, the overwhelming evidence that there was no link left no impact on their arguments in support of the link.

One unexpected pattern that emerged from the different justifications that subjects offered for continuing to believe in the validity of the link was that it helped citizens make sense of the Bush Administration's decision to go to war against Iraq.

"We refer to this as 'inferred justification,'" says Hoffman "because for these voters, the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search for a justification for that war.

"People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war," he says.

"One of the things that is really interesting about this, from both the perspective of voting patterns but also for democratic theory more generally, Hoffman says, "is that we did not find that people were being duped by a campaign of innuendo so much as they were actively constructing links and justifications that did not exist.

"They wanted to believe in the link," he says, "because it helped them make sense of a current reality. So voters' ability to develop elaborate rationalizations based on faulty information, whether we think that is good or bad for democratic practice, does at least demonstrate an impressive form of creativity."

Source: University at Buffalo (news : web)

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User comments : 121

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marjon
2.5 / 5 (8) Aug 21, 2009
Too many scientists suffer from this affliction as well.
david_42
4.8 / 5 (9) Aug 21, 2009
"Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal."

I believe this is a Robert A. Heinlein quote, but it probably goes back much further.
Birthmark
4.2 / 5 (6) Aug 21, 2009
People convince themselves they are right and twist facts to help support them. And when given factual information they deny it. I don't understand humans and their strong opinionated beliefs...
WXMAN
1.4 / 5 (11) Aug 21, 2009
What about the false belief in Obama. People chose to ignore the evidence of his socialist agenda of spreading the wealth. What about the Rev Wright stuff? He admitted in his book that is looked to the Marxist in college to hangout with. But you all who voted for him only saw what you wanted to see. People had blinders on. They only saw his as 'not Bush' and believed in hope and change. Every political cycle calls for change. I hope you all will be happy when he systematically destroys this country. And Obama supporters were duped by a campaign. So I take exception to a science website promoting a left agenda. Write on science not politics!!!!
Birthmark
5 / 5 (4) Aug 21, 2009
WXMAN, the fact you use explanation marks at the end of your rant shows you have anger and a strong belief and no matter what someone says you'll go on believing what you want to believe. I am in no way saying you are wrong, just saying you're taking the wrong approach to opinions, be less angry more open-minded and confident, it;s the best way to converse with the opposing side-logically and rationally.

What about the false belief...

There are so many out there, I could start with religion, creationism, 9/11, appendix being a vestigial organ, Bush against space travel, republican this, democrat that, lochness monster, and so many other things that have so many mysteries, opinionated people, false evidence, and ignorance.
jcrow
5 / 5 (5) Aug 22, 2009
WXMAN.... Socialist agenda my ass...
I am sick of hearing the rants of delusional people on this website. If anything this article is about people like you.
You are being lied to.
BobDob
4.3 / 5 (3) Aug 22, 2009
The conclusions that this paper makes are flawed. The author is trying to decrease the culpability of those who lie by asserting that misinformation is not particularly meaningful because people will always try to find a rationalization for what they want to believe. That is simply not true. The flawed beliefs these people hold are still directly caused by the misinformation they were originally given. The only thing that this research does show is that people do not listen to corrected information after the fact because they want to cling to their desired beliefs. If anything, I believe that this research increases the culpability of the people spreading lies because it clearly makes it harder to get out accurate information after the fact.
Velanarris
3.8 / 5 (4) Aug 22, 2009
appendix being a vestigial organ


What makes you think it isn't?

edit: You're right, it isn't. Thanks for the refresher.
Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Aug 22, 2009
You're right David 42. Assignment in Eternity, 1953

Believe nothing that you read or hear without verifying it yourself unless it fits your preexisting worldview.
getgoa
1 / 5 (7) Aug 22, 2009
Here is a probable reason for why 9/11 happened: Clinton bomb raided Columbia and as a result of the Catholic upbringing their prayers were heard and 9/11 occurred. The facts to support my reasoning 1962 Roman Missal p.34 Sins crying to heaven for vengeance: Oppression of the poor, defrauding laborers of their wages. The Catholic church is the single most powerful structure in the world. Here is another fact but this time in pseudo-science: All anti-christs so far have been Taurus's-- Adolph Hitler, Saddam-Hussein, and who next the best guess would be North Korean Kim-Yong Il the premier of North Korea. What one will you believe?
eachus
3.5 / 5 (4) Aug 22, 2009
This is some of the silliest "research" I have seen. If you have a strong stomach, the full paper can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/msnvpz To give you some feel for this research: "While we proceeded to interview all six %u201Cswitchers%u201D who consented to the program, the extremely low rate of switching required that we reevaluate the project's emphasis, eventually leading us to shift the focus of our research program from the origins of opinion change to the social psychology of opinion constancy."

They originally sent out a survey looking for why people who voted for George W. Bush in 2000 would vote against him in 2004. Finding too few respondents for proceeding further, they switch the purpose of the survey. I can not only imagine trying to tell these authors that they should send out a new survey in that case, I've been there and tried to explain that many times. If you run 100 statistical tests against a set of data you should get about 5 that test as significant at the p=0.05 level. That doesn't mean that if six test as significant that one really is, it means you need a second sample to validate any conclusions.)

The need for a strong stomach though, is that they look at the answers to open ended survey questions by pollsters, (Who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks?) and forced questions where respondents had to choose from a small number of potential perpetrators. As a statistician, this is a known source of bias to be guarded against. The paper though pretty much weaves a conspiracy from it.

I could go into why I think people responded as they did, but that is descending to the same level as the paper's authors. I'll just say that the use of statistics in this paper is well beyond shoddy. (I am not surprised. In my experience, most "social science" PhDs are never take a decent statistics course. (One where calculus is a prerequisite.)

Hmm. Two caveats. Economics has to be excluded from the above--modern economics probably belongs in the math department, not social sciences. And I have nothing against social science PhDs (including those in my family ;-) using statistics in their papers as long as they get someone with a statistics background to review them or to be a co-author. For example, using non-parametric statistics can make your conclusions more robust--or make you reconsider them. But if you don't ask someone who knows which non-parametric tests might be useful, you will have to stick with normal theory.
latersville
4 / 5 (3) Aug 22, 2009
I think that our education system bears some responsibility for this issue because teaching critical thinking skills is no longer a priority, replaced by administrative standards of learning -national test scores. But I believe the biggest culprit is the fog of religion that has settled over the Country. Religion has succeeded in dumbing down people's minds more effectively than a lobotomy. How can rational thinking be expected from people whose entire framework of thought is based upon emotion and fairytales? If people can believe as fact that the earth is 6,000 years old, then they can dismiss any truth no matter how overwhelming the proof.
Truth
4.7 / 5 (3) Aug 22, 2009
You know, physorg is probably read more for the comments than the articles themselves. It's great to see how many different opinions there are for just about everything under the sun. In fact, I bet I'll get all sorts of different views on what I just wrote....bring it on!
Mandan
not rated yet Aug 23, 2009
"...we are minor beings bowing before gods as appropriately insignificant as our own imagination; we are a transitional species, nature's first brief local experiment with self-awareness, a head above the ancestral ape and a head below whatever must come next; we are evolutionary failures, trapped between earth and a glimpse of heaven, prevented by our sure capacity for self-delusion from achieving any triumph more noteworthy than our own sure self-destruction." Robert Ardrey, 'African Genesis' pp.155-56
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 23, 2009
You know, physorg is probably read more for the comments than the articles themselves. I


At least for those of us posting here that seems likely to be true. The articles tend to be little more than press releases. Only occasionally is there even the remotest signs of actual journalism.

Opinion and entertainment seems to have almost completely replaced real reporting these days.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
marjon
1.5 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2009
WXMAN, the fact you use explanation marks at the end of your rant shows you have anger and a strong belief and no matter what someone says you'll go on believing what you want to believe. I am in no way saying you are wrong, just saying you're taking the wrong approach to opinions, be less angry more open-minded and confident, it;s the best way to converse with the opposing side-logically and rationally.



What about the false belief...


There are so many out there, I could start with religion, creationism, 9/11, appendix being a vestigial organ, Bush against space travel, republican this, democrat that, lochness monster, and so many other things that have so many mysteries, opinionated people, false evidence, and ignorance.


Bush against space travel? Who is cutting NASAs budget this year?
bbbeard
2 / 5 (4) Aug 23, 2009
Controversial studies like these always lead us to question the motives and competence of the investigators. In this case I also wonder whether the Physorg.com writer has some biases. Both the study authors and the science reporter seem anxious to convince us of the validity of their belief that the Iraq campaign was unjustified. Both statements "There was a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11" and "There was no link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11" are simplistic and largely irrelevant. IMHO the link between Saddam Hussein and international terrorism is as obvious and plain as the link between Adolph Hitler and fascism. The threat posed by Saddam in the wake of 9/11 was as obvious, large, and "linked to" 9/11 as the threat posed by Hitler with his links to and mutual alliances with Japanese fascism. It's as though the current study authors were trying to convince us that the American people were duped into fighting Hitler because Roosevelt slyly convinced them that Hitler was responsible for Pearl Harbor -- and that they mistakenly re-elected FDR because of their belief in that lie.

Frankly I suspect the average survey respondent understands what is at stake in the global war against terrorism much better than the average sociologist.

If I were asked by a pollster if there was a link between Saddam and 9/11, Yes or No, I would have to answer "Yes" because Saddam had well documented links with dozens of terrorist groups; because both Saddam and Al Qaeda were at war with the Western powers; and because both Saddam and those groups were emboldened by the events of 9/11. I would not interpret this as an assertion that Saddam or his officials sat in on planning sessions for the hijacking of commercial airliners, any more than I imagine that the Tripartite Pact required Hitler and Tojo to share planning for December 7th. But it is foolish in the extreme to believe that the lack of low-level coordination implies that Saddam was not a threat that had to be dealt with forcefully, if necessary concurrently with the longer war against Al Qaeda.

Now, if only some enterprising sociologist would initiate a study of how certain academics are unable to deal with complexity because of their need for simplistic research that resonates with their peers.... Why do such academics keep obsessing about side issues, like whether Saddam helped plan the 9/11 hijackings, and refuse to come to grips with the larger threat?

BBB
kencreten
3 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2009
It is very interesting to me that some people can read this article and still not look at their own viewpoints. Things like, "to me, it's as plain as..." Or the idea that some who voted for Obama were duped. This is direct evidence for me of not questioning their own positions. As evidence I give the fact that they are generally not asking questions but telling everyone "how it really is." People are funny. I happen to be a person who doesn't trust his own thinking in many ways and I find that healthy. I graduated in Sociology and one of the first things we were told that there is no science of societies behavior. They've been trying since the late 1700s to no avail. There's just too many variables. Yet, even after people are told *by this article* that people don't generally question their own views, they spout off that they know what's going on when I know from my education, that there isn't enough evidence for people make wide ranging social statements. I see this as a support for what the article is saying. It seems to me that some are saying here, "yeah, but, you have to understand! I know what I'm talking about! No really! I really do! If you talk about what people do in society in wide ranging statements, I can almost guarantee that those statements will be wrong. If any are correct, it's most likely chance.

And remember, the feeling of assurance about a subject is not the same as the subject your assured about being true.
kencreten
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 23, 2009
However, I need to point out that polling, properly done, by Gallup and others is very accurate. But they keep their subject matter very limited.
Ethelred
4 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2009
Gallup Poll frequently uses questions in such a way as to effect the results. As for their accuracy, discounting the sometimes dubiously chosen questions, its about 3 to 5 percent according to their own figures. Not worth much when things are close.

Then again at least one alleged sociologist gives ones for reasonable posts so he gets a one in return. Tit for tat is a proven valid response to non-thinking raters. Yes, there are several posts on this thread where the person writing seems to base their opinion on their politics and not the evidence much as the article predicts. Nothing new at Physorg.com. Or pretty much any discussion site.

Still the any study that is repurposed is inherently dubious.

While we proceeded to interview all six %u201Cswitchers%u201D who consented to the program, the extremely low rate of switching required that we reevaluate the project's emphasis, eventually leading us to shift the focus of our research program from the origins of opinion change to the social psychology of opinion constancy.


This is similar to drug studies that try to re-purpose data that was intended to test it against a specific disease and find that the drug might be better suited or at least good for another. Mathematically this makes the original study invalid for the new purpose since any study is bound to turn up anomalous results if the data are compared against enough diseases. Or political questions as in this case. This a well understood by statisticians but badly understood by medical researchers. When dealing with such politically questions any variance from good practices must be looked at with extreme care.

Then again the conclusions look bloody obvious to me based on behavior I have seen time after time on at least four forums. So looking at it critically seems especially important in this instance.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Gammakozy
1 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2009
Another example of the Left's plan to pathologize and criminilze any thinking or opinion that does not fit their socialist template. They have, already, successfully corrupted most of the news and entertainment media and are determined to do the same with science. This is how Communism worked. I would like to see a study as to why the Obamists do not see him for what he really is - a Marxist thug. But then who would publish such an article? Physorg? Methinks not.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
However, I need to point out that polling, properly done, by Gallup and others is very accurate. But they keep their subject matter very limited.


The results depend upon the questions.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
However, I need to point out that polling, properly done, by Gallup and others is very accurate. But they keep their subject matter very limited.


The results depend upon the questions.

And the size of the sample.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
They have, already, successfully corrupted most of the news and entertainment media and are determined to do the same with science.


Indeed it is terrible the way the Evil And Pernicious Left That Controls All the Media has turned Fox News into a Right Wing Front. Truly this was a subtle and devious effort to destroy all that is Good And Righteous.

Have you ever noticed that people with lots of money tend to be conservative though not always Right Wing. They OWN the media. Not the Liberals. It is just plain weird to go around claiming that the people that DON'T own the media are somehow in control of it.

But then who would publish such an article? Physorg? Methinks not.


They just allowed YOU to publish it on the Physorg website. So I think you proved yourself wrong in the same sentence you made the claim.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Velanarris
2.8 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2009
Have you ever noticed that people with lots of money tend to be conservative though not always Right Wing. They OWN the media. Not the Liberals. It is just plain weird to go around claiming that the people that DON'T own the media are somehow in control of it.
There's a liitle bit of inaccuracy in your statement here.

There is very little correlation between wealth and political views. The majority of the midwest is conservative yet poor, while the west and northeast coasts are quite liberal and fairly affluent.
Ethelred
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
There is very little correlation between wealth and political views.


Wealth is not the same as affluence. Its the wealthy and not the merely well of that own the media. For instance Fox is owned by Murdock.

The media IS mostly owned by conservatives. Which again is not the same as Right Wing. It is the Right Wing that is blaming the Liberals despite their general lack of ownership of the media.

while the west and northeast coasts are quite liberal and fairly affluent.


More evidence that the Right Wing should get with the Liberal or at least the moderate programs.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
bbbeard
not rated yet Aug 24, 2009
kencreten: You and I are in agreement. Neither of us trusts your thinking. Ba-dump-ump.

Honestly, if I chose to expatiate on all my doubts and self-examination, even on the narrow topic of the war against Islamic fascism, it would take up more space than would be warranted by the insight you would gain. The mere fact that you find a statement of the obvious ("Saddam was linked to terrorists") evidence of lack of introspection suggests that you and I have fundamentally different world views and you're not likely to gain much from a discussion of my doubts.

Along these lines, it seems improbable that sociologists who set out to prove their own unsustainable worldview -- by demonstrating how resistant everyone else is to their simplifications -- will actually accomplish anything of value.

Well, as Whittaker Chambers remarked, "even an open mind is closed at one end." I'm as guilty of that as anyone, but at least I've learned a few things along the way. Unfortunately, I meet a lot of people who seemed to take from their liberal education the sole "lesson" that everything must be doubted. This is not a bad lesson, but unless one is similarly outfitted with critical reasoning skills and the willingness to come to conclusions -- however tentative! -- then all one is left with is doubt. To such a person there are no facts, there is not even a framework from which to determine facts, much less patterns and structure in the world around us. Good luck with that skill set.

BBB
Velanarris
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2009
I love it when Judeo-Christian belief systems call Islam fascism.

After all, the Bible not only retells tales of genocide in the old testament but calls for genocide of non-believers within both the old and new testament.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
Where is genocide called for in the New Testament?
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
"The media IS mostly owned by conservatives."

Murdock is more conservative than most, but most corporate execs are liberal democrats as they would rather be political entrepreneurs than economic entrepreneurs.
defunctdiety
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2009
You guys argue about two sides of the same coin as if either side is any better than the other. Take a step back from yourselves and look at it. Seriously.

Neither party truly wants the People to be as FREE as they can possibly be. The only thing either party fundamentally cares about is persisting it's own future in governing (controlling) the people of the US and getting paid.

Might I suggest supporting your own beliefs in no context other than that (as your own beliefs)? And abandoning your blind alliances and wars with sets of words which were designed to create division amongst the People? For the love of humanity, wake up.
x646d63
4 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2009
"In fact," he says, "for the most part people completely ignore contrary information.


I would argue that this is patently false. People who do not use facts to create their beliefs actually respond strongly when presented with contrary evidence. Contrary evidence usually causes them to strengthen their position and defend it even greater because they feel personally attacked. It's why you cannot "rationalize" or "reason" with non-fact belief systems (like most religions.)
Velanarris
3.6 / 5 (5) Aug 24, 2009
Where is genocide called for in the New Testament?


Revelation 17:21

Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2009
I would argue that this is patently false.


I would say it is largely true. After making that statement you then proceed to - mostly - agree with it. You simply take it farther. Considering the way they were pushing their data past its due date in the first place they may have felt that accusing people of active ignorance might have unsupportable even by their standards.

There is a difference between anecdotal evidence like you used, and I mostly agree with, and the standards needed for a paper that a person wants to get published.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2009
Where is genocide called for in the New Testament?




Revelation 17:21




How is that genocide?
Velanarris
4.6 / 5 (5) Aug 25, 2009
Where is genocide called for in the New Testament?


Revelation 17:21



How is that genocide?


Death of all human beings and damnation for all non-believers, yep, not genocide at all....

Don't forget though, God will push you into a war of ideals in which your very soul, the item their belief cherishes the most could be snuffed out of existence, or worse yet, tortured for all eternity...

But God loves you unconditionally.
lengould100
5 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2009
Both the study authors and the science reporter seem anxious to convince us of the validity of their belief that the Iraq campaign was unjustified.
Some people can't even catch the truth after even the perps confess their crimes.
marjon
2 / 5 (4) Aug 25, 2009
Where is genocide called for in the New Testament?




Revelation 17:21







How is that genocide?




Death of all human beings and damnation for all non-believers, yep, not genocide at all....



Don't forget though, God will push you into a war of ideals in which your very soul, the item their belief cherishes the most could be snuffed out of existence, or worse yet, tortured for all eternity...



But God loves you unconditionally.


If you don't believe in God, why do you care?

I would categorize genocide as one group of humans trying to wipe out another group.
Revelation is God's judgment upon those who don't believe and does not advocate that the believes kill the unbelievers.
Velanarris
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2009
If you don't believe in God, why do you care?
Because any group no matter how large is only as strong as it's weakest link. Religious belief without the insertion of logical thought is a giant weakness from which everyone, including myself, will have to suffer, regardless of our personal beliefs.

I would categorize genocide as one group of humans trying to wipe out another group.
Man was made in God's image. Aside from that, no Genocide is whole slae slaughter of a group of people. In this case the group is ALL people.

Revelation is God's judgment upon those who don't believe and does not advocate that the believes kill the unbelievers.

Read the bible again, you're wrong.
Ethelred
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2009
Velanarris:

Just what IS that biblical passage? I only see Revulsions 17 going up to verse 18. Which is 18 too many as it is the writings of someone that was somewhat past HIS due date.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2009
The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world's great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.
Ethelred
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2009
OK found it. You are using the NIV and its 18:22 through 18:24 not 17:22.

http://www.bluele...fm?b=Rev&c=18&v=22&t=NIV#22

I think the HER is supposed to be Rome. Of course the Revelations fans have to avoid Rome in the sense the author most likely meant as it is LONG gone.

Also you might keep in mind that most Revelations fans don't use the NIV. They use the KJV as all others are thought by many of them to be Satanic. Which is why I usually use the KJV. It keeps the screaming to a lower level.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
QubitTamer
1 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2009
Hey stupid, i updated my "fake" profile... update your signature, my little bag boy.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2009
Hey Moron:

I am not your bagboy so I retained you OLD signature. If I was your bagboy it would have been me that disappeared for a week. Instead it was you.

Now if you would really like for me to use the latest version it will have to wait till September as your old one is staying till the end of August as I promised.

The first time you had these delusions about me in your profile you disappeared for three weeks.

So it is pretty clear which one of us has who is in a tizzy. I copy your moronic insults into my signature and you disappeared. So based on actual evidence it is you that are in a tizzy.

And yes its a fake profile. I am not owned by you and you are not a physicist.

The sig remains for the rest of the month.

Continued begging like that will avail you not.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2009
"God will push you into a war of ideals "

God does not push. He pulls. It is your choice to believe or not.
The entire point of God's exercise is to encourage humans to develop faith.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2009
"God will push you into a war of ideals "

God does not push. He pulls. It is your choice to believe or not.
The entire point of God's exercise is to encourage humans to develop faith.
No, the point of the God exercise, and of religions on the whole is this:

Back when we were cave people the biggest, strongest, fastest man was able to go around and take the resources of other tribe members because without him, they would die, as a secondary, they couldn't stand up to him and so he received defacto leader status.

So one day one of the smaller guys came up with a cool story to explain all the occurences in nature they couldn't explain and over time this evolved into religion.

The religious approached the big guy, and said "Hey, if you jsut stop raping, pillaging, and stealing our women and items there's a giant guy up in the sky that will reward you forever with punch and pie." The defacto leader said "hey, I like punch and pie, ok I won't have rape for breakfast today."

Religion is a vestigal organ of proto-society.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2009
"The religious approached the big guy, and said "Hey, if you jsut stop raping, pillaging, and stealing our women and items there's a giant guy up in the sky that will reward you forever with punch and pie." The defacto leader said "hey, I like punch and pie, ok I won't have rape for breakfast today.""

Funny how so many other religions (and governments)were created to keep the guy raping and pillaging in power.
If God did not exist, why would anyone stop raping and pillaging if God wasn't stopping him?

"Religion is a vestigal organ of proto-society.'

Such arrogance!
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2009
If God did not exist, why would anyone stop raping and pillaging if God wasn't stopping him?


Why are there so few Agnostics and Atheists in prison? And so may Christians?

Would you like to discuss the Thirty Years War while we are at it?

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2009
Funny how so many other religions (and governments)were created to keep the guy raping and pillaging in power.
So you're saying a group of 60-80 year old white guys are able to take out everyone in the US no problem?
If God did not exist, why would anyone stop raping and pillaging if God wasn't stopping him?
Very simple, society required mysticism to start. Now that we're underway, there's no need for mysticism. As an aside, your God supposedly believes in free will, which is why he doesn't just strike me down with a lightning bolt or flood right now as I type this.

"Religion is a vestigal organ of proto-society.'
Such arrogance!

Arrogance in what regard? You offer no counteracting proof, jsut your morality.

So, is there a universal set of ethics? Answer is no.
kasen
5 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2009
Nothing like a good social 'sciences' article to stir up religious debate.

Here's my two cents: religion is all about ego control, not absolute morality. But people are...unwise, not necessarily unintelligent. So the whole thing generally goes downhill. I blame written word for it. The druids had a great thing going, with exclusively oral transmission of all lore and individual training of the future 'clergymen'.

Extremists are generally frustrated people, people with egos that cry out for expression. They're not necessarily dumb, on the contrary, a logical mind with self-esteem issues is much more likely to produce a zealot of any kind.

I've never seen a fundamentalist or an atheist that supports his position by something other than biblical and scientific factism. How about a decent, lucid philosophical conversation for a change? No anthropological BS, no sociology, no quoting out of context and absolutely no statistics.

Velanarris
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 26, 2009
How about a decent, lucid philosophical conversation for a change? No anthropological BS, no sociology, no quoting out of context and absolutely no statistics.

Well as Aquinas would say, in order to discuss the metaphysical one cannot remove the lower sciences from scope. Both the science minded and religion minded would agree.
kasen
not rated yet Aug 26, 2009
I couldn't find the exact quotation there, if there is one, but I'm pretty sure it's quite out of context. By lower sciences he probably refered to the senses:



"Nihil est in intellectu quod non fuerit prius in sensu."

(Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses.)



Also, if you consider low as closer to the senses and high as more mental, the lower sciences are the natural ones and the higher ones would be the ones dealing with human constructs like society. So talk cosmology and astrophysics, if anything.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2009
I couldn't find the exact quotation there, if there is one, but I'm pretty sure it's quite out of context. By lower sciences he probably refered to the senses:

"Nihil est in intellectu quod non fuerit prius in sensu."

(Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses.)

Also, if you consider low as closer to the senses and high as more mental, the lower sciences are the natural ones and the higher ones would be the ones dealing with human constructs like society. So talk cosmology and astrophysics, if anything.

You haven't read his works meaning you have absolutely no idea.

Aquinas saw the sciences as low to high based on their framework.

To know physics you must be able to observe
To know chemistry you must know physics
to know biology you must know chemistry
to know psychology you must understand biology
to know sociology you must understand psychology

and on and on until you hit the paradigm of abstract terms such as the metaphysical.

Why do I know more about religion and the associated figures than the religious?
Arkaleus
not rated yet Aug 26, 2009
Big Lie propaganda from BushCo was taken straight out of the Goebbels playbook, circa 1935 - even down to the burning of the Reichstag. Shame on our media for bending over to those wicked men and parroting their murderous lies.

It's amazing how people of average intelligence continued to clamor for slaughter and war, even after the Big Lie of WMD and Osama was shown to be completely fabricated.

Political propaganda and religion seem to be the same social disease. Each are the means by which human suffering, persecution, and destruction of land and life occur through the ages. Each are the methods evil men use to rule and subjugate peaceful populations. Benign religions and "modern" governments can seem innocent, but all are built on the same mountain of bones.
kasen
not rated yet Aug 26, 2009
You haven't read his works meaning you have absolutely no idea.


True, true. But didn't I say the same thing you said?

the lower sciences are the natural ones and the higher ones would be the ones dealing with human constructs


Or did I invert the highs and lows? Same guano, wouldn't you say?

Why do I know more about religion and the associated figures than the religious?


There's knowing and there's understanding. I'm not talking about rationalisation, I'm talking about internalisation, a more intuitive-feeling type of understanding. While you may look at religious texts with the eyes of a historian and scholar, a spiritual person looks at them in such a fashion as to derive psychological well-being from them. They get peace and happiness(and maybe world domination), you get to brag on comment threads.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2009
There's knowing and there's understanding. I'm not talking about rationalisation, I'm talking about internalisation, a more intuitive-feeling type of understanding. While you may look at religious texts with the eyes of a historian and scholar, a spiritual person looks at them in such a fashion as to derive psychological well-being from them. They get peace and happiness(and maybe world domination), you get to brag on comment threads.


So let me ask you, what spiritual significance does the following passage hold for you?

And you shall have a paddle on your weapon; and it shall be, when you will ease yourself abroad, you shall dig therewith, and shall turn back and cover that which comes from you:
Deut 23-12

To me that says bring a shovel and bury your excrement. Not the most spiritual I'd say.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 26, 2009
Here's my two cents: religion is all about ego control, not absolute morality


Many if not most Christians would disagree with you on that. The dogma is that morality comes ONLY from Jehovah and that it IS absolute.

I blame written word for it


That is peculiar. Especially in light if what you said next.

The druids had a great thing going, with exclusively oral transmission of all lore and individual training of the future 'clergymen'.


Because they didn't write it down then it was a good thing despite human sacrifice. I can't agree with that.

I've never seen a fundamentalist or an atheist that supports his position by something other than biblical and scientific factism.


That too is peculiar. Atheists do NOT support themselves with the Bible. Neither do us Agnostics. So what do you have against facts?

"scientific factism" I always expect strained arguements from people that invent new versions of real words, especially when they combine them with words they made up.

Would you care to define 'factism'. Just so we can all be using the same definitions. You might as well give us YOUR definition of 'scientific' while you are at because you seem to be using in some sort of derogatory manner. On a science site at that.

How about a decent, lucid philosophical conversation for a change?


Oh goody I love those. Now where is Noumenon?

No anthropological BS,


I promise to only us REAL anthropology. Using the term BS there is not a good start on a decent argument. Is that the five minute argument or the full half hour?

no sociology, no quoting out of context and absolutely no statistics.


And apparently no science either. Nor the Bible. Just what DO you want to discuss anyway.

Quilting?

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
QubitTamer
1 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2009
i don't "disappear" it's called Asymetrical warfare in which i cause you to work much harder at it than i do. My time is a LOT more precious and valuable than yours and your ego requires you to spend much more time on here than me. I just come, open the bag, see you are still in there floundering around and go back to living my life, happy to know i don't need to worry about investing any significant effort into keeping you bagged.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2009
i don't "disappear" it's called Asymetrical warfare in which i cause you to work much harder at it than i do


Ah the delusions that losers go through to support their failed egos.

I thank you for the entertainment.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2009
Many if not most Christians would disagree with you on that. The dogma is that morality comes ONLY from Jehovah and that it IS absolute.


Like I said, people are stupid and driven by ego, so stuff gets interpreted in all sorts of ways and you get the crusades, or the Catholic church and other such aberrations. And I was speaking of religions in general, not just the abrahamic ones.

Because they didn't write it down then it was a good thing despite human sacrifice. I can't agree with that.


Now who's talking morality? I was just speaking about the advantages of spoken word over writing in these matters. It's harder to misinterpret myths and use them as a political tools that way.

That too is peculiar. Atheists do NOT support themselves with the Bible. Neither do us Agnostics. So what do you have against facts?


Velanarris has quoted the Bible twice since the thread started.

I use the word factism roughly in the sense described here: http://www.infogr...ssay.php . Not my essay, just stumbled upon it.

And apparently no science either


For me, the socials are not sciences. They're certainly trying to be, but if you look at their evolution, they're more like religions, except they get more media coverage. Just how many effective prediction models have social scientists come up with, anyway?

Natural sciences only oppose the Bible when you take the beliefs and texts at face value, like fundamentalists do. The 7 day creation myth, for instance, is easily dismantled if you take it as a fact and not as an allegory.

All I'm saying is that we can still benefit from religion, if people approached it with a clear, open mind. Extremism and social sciences aren't helping anyone.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2009
That too is peculiar. Atheists do NOT support themselves with the Bible. Neither do us Agnostics. So what do you have against facts?"
Actually the best way to disprove the validity of a religion is to use their own source materiaal as it's full of contradictions in practice and regulation. For example, the rule about stoning to death those who perform incest. Yet some of the "heroes" of the bible perform incest at some point in time.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 27, 2009
? I was just speaking about the advantages of spoken word over writing in these matters. It's harder to misinterpret myths and use them as a political tools that way.


And I was pointing out the you can't check the bullshit level of a purely oral tradition and that I see nothing admirable in the religious beliefs of my Celtic ancestors.

Velanarris has quoted the Bible twice since the thread started.


Yes. I might do it too. Its not too support ourselves. Its too point out the problems of the OTHER side.

For me, the socials are not sciences.


Neither is philosophy. Then again there is some science in most of the Social Sciences. Its that the bullshit index is often higher the my hip waders. And I don't own hip waders.

Factism is an insecure response to the demands of the Information Age.


Whining about the data rate? Is that all?

Just how many effective prediction models have social scientists come up with, anyway?


I don't know. I do know the even if they manage one there will people that will go on their political beliefs anyway.

Natural sciences only oppose the Bible when you take the beliefs and texts at face value, like fundamentalists do.


If you don't take it face value why bother? Its either right or its just the writings of men. Ignorant men at that.

The 7 day creation myth, for instance, is easily dismantled if you take it as a fact and not as an allegory.


Its easily dismantled however you take it. So why take it?

All I'm saying is that we can still benefit from religion, if people approached it with a clear, open mind.


How? And the open mind seems to be exceedingly rare among those that have strong religious inclinations.

Extremism and social sciences aren't helping anyone.


Well I would say that your extremism regarding social sciences isn't helping anyone.

So just is it you wanted to discuss anyway. All I see is you whining. I did ask that before. So again:

Just what is that you want to discuss?

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2009
Yes. I might do it too. Its not too(sic) support ourselves. Its too(sic) point out the problems of the OTHER side.


How hastily you changed your stance...Quoting out of context doesn't point out anything other than how biased you are. Why isn't anyone quoting the Ten Commandments and saying how evil and destructive they are for society?

Neither is philosophy. Then again there is some science in most of the Social Sciences.


At least philosophy doesn't claim to be science. And when was the last time you heard about philosophy in the mainstream media? Social scientists, on the other hand, make gross generalisations from very little data. Their only research instruments are interviews and old census data, for crying out loud. And the worst thing is that all their guesses and hunches are fed back into the very medium they are researching, posing as 'scientific evidence', either through the media or through governmental think-tanks. I believe the very idea of trying to predict how large groups of people will act is doomed from the start. There are simply too many variables to approach this rationally, scientifically.

If you don't take it face value why bother?


Yes, why bother to think further? Since all the stars rotate around the earth, it's obvious that the earth is the centre of the Universe so we shouldn't be thinking of anything else.

Its easily dismantled however you take it.


The same can be said about anything whatsoever, by virtue of the fact that we don't/can't know everything and therefore we should doubt any explanation of phenomena. But of course, if you go too far down that road, you end up a solipsist.

How? And the open mind seems to be exceedingly rare among those that have strong religious inclinations.


Well, to begin with, what do you consider to be beneficial for society? General welfare? Religions preach that. Scientific advance? Religion has nothing against it. The Catholic church had its beef with it in the Middle Ages, but that was purely political.

Just what is that you want to discuss?


The idea that perhaps you are wrong. Can you comprehend something like that?
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2009
How hastily you changed your stance...Quoting out of context doesn't point out anything other than how biased you are. Why isn't anyone quoting the Ten Commandments and saying how evil and destructive they are for society?
Same reason why one wouldn't point to the bill of rights in a case against taxation. There are other far more relevant pieces of the document in question.

The Commandments are but ten lines of several thousand. If 1% of the bible is moral and just, what about the other 99%?

At least philosophy doesn't claim to be science. And when was the last time you heard about philosophy in the mainstream media? Social scientists, on the other hand, make gross generalisations from very little data. Their only research instruments are interviews and old census data, for crying out loud. And the worst thing is that all their guesses and hunches are fed back into the very medium they are researching, posing as 'scientific evidence', either through the media or through governmental think-tanks. I believe the very idea of trying to predict how large groups of people will act is doomed from the start. There are simply too many variables to approach this rationally, scientifically.


Bruce Buena de Mesquina would argue that point with you. His sociological model has been surprisingly accurate with world affairs predictions. So accurate that some have called him the Technostradamus.

Yes, why bother to think further? Since all the stars rotate around the earth, it's obvious that the earth is the centre of the Universe so we shouldn't be thinking of anything else.


That would be your viewpoint, not ours.

If the Bible is such an important text and contains the entirety of your belief system then how can you not take it at face value? Seeing as it's the word of God it should be abhorrent to not take it at face value in your eyes.

The same can be said about anything whatsoever, by virtue of the fact that we don't/can't know everything and therefore we should doubt any explanation of phenomena. But of course, if you go too far down that road, you end up a solipsist.
Dismantle the scientific method, our "Bible".

Well, to begin with, what do you consider to be beneficial for society? General welfare? Religions preach that. Scientific advance? Religion has nothing against it. The Catholic church had its beef with it in the Middle Ages, but that was purely political.
Then can you defend the stance of the Catholic church during the Vietnam war? WW2? The ethnic clensing in the Czech Republic?

The idea that perhaps you are wrong. Can you comprehend something like that?


As Bill Maher said, what if YOU're wrong. Can you comprehend that? I can comprehend what happens if I'm wrong, I'll go to hell for a lack of faith, because you're God is a compassionate being that loves me, but must punish me for exercising free will.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2009
errata: that should be "your God" not "you're God"
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2009
Yes. I might do it too. Its not too(sic) support ourselves. Its too(sic) point out the problems of the OTHER side.


Oh dear, a pedant.

Well, little things for little minds.

How hastily you changed your stance..


Nonsense. I didn't change anything.

Quoting out of context doesn't point out anything other than how biased you are. Why isn't anyone quoting the Ten Commandments and saying how evil and destructive they are for society?


Why make things up? Biased about what for that matter?

The Ten Commandments? Why put words in peoples mouths? If you want to discuss them be my guest. Its your choice.

I quote enough that people can see what I am referring to. The rest is just up the screen a bit.

At least philosophy doesn't claim to be science.


I didn't say it did. But this is a science site. Which hasn't precluded some of us from discussing it anyway.

And when was the last time you heard about philosophy in the mainstream media?


Don't know. Don't care much either. What is your problem anyway?

Social scientists, on the other hand, make gross generalisations from very little data.


They use LOTS of data. But you seem to have a problem with statistics. So do the social scientists, as they usually don't have much understanding of statistics. Don't blame me for that.

Their only research instruments are interviews and old census data, for crying out loud.


And new data as well. If you didn't notice, this article that SOME of us have been discussing, had new data. Data they gathered themselves. They just don't seem to know how to deal with it. You don't either as far as I can see.

nd the worst thing is that all their guesses and hunches are fed back into the very medium they are researching, posing as 'scientific evidence', either through the media or through governmental think-tanks. I


You seem disturbed. Try sitting down quietly for a while and just count to ten. Then contemplate the ways that two different ten sided dice can come up. You can begin to understand statistics that way.

I believe the very idea of trying to predict how large groups of people will act is doomed from the start. There are simply too many variables to approach this rationally, scientifically.


Most of the time that is true. However, many in this discussion are acting much like the social scientists in this instance predicted. So sometimes the stuff does work. Even when they didn't do everything the way they should have.

Yes, why bother to think further?


Oh but I have. In fact I was looking, between reading here, at some old stuff I wrote on the old Maximum PC forum. I was hoping to find my old Poodle Rant but I read a lot of other stuff instead. They won't let me run a search back more than three months unless I pay 50 bucks. Its not worth that much to me. Besides rereading this stuff reminds me what works and what doesn't and where my weaknesses are. Spelling for instance. Early on I wasn't using a spell check.

Creation VS Evolution
http://forums.pro...commport&msg=21562.1

There are a mere 6,000 or so posts there. Many are mine. The discussion ran for over a year. Sometimes rational sometime not.

Since all the stars rotate around the earth, it's obvious that the earth is the centre of the Universe so we shouldn't be thinking of anything else.


And that has something to do with the Bible being wrong in what way?

The same can be said about anything whatsoever, by virtue of the fact that we don't/can't know everything and therefore we should doubt any explanation of phenomena.


Actually we can test things. We can test the description of the origin of the world we live in that Genesis has. It fails the test.

You might try answering the question I did ask. Why do YOU think we should take it seriously? You do seem to take it seriously. Perhaps I am mistaken on that but you do seem upset.

But of course, if you go too far down that road, you end up a solipsist.


Not me. I am Agnostic. Solipsism is a waste of time.

Well, to begin with, what do you consider to be beneficial for society?


Lots of things. Most, quite likely all, can be managed without the Bible or any other religion.

General welfare? Religions preach that.


Sometimes. Mostly Christianity preaches welfare in the afterlife. I don't need a religion to tell me to treat others as I would like to be treated.

Scientific advance? Religion has nothing against it.


The Discovery Institute and the Creation Research Center disagree with you.

The Catholic church had its beef with it in the Middle Ages, but that was purely political.


Yes it did, though it wasn't purely political. Unlike the Catholic Church however many Protestant Churches have a problem with evolution. They want to stop it from being taught in US schools.

The idea that perhaps you are wrong. Can you comprehend something like that?


Of course I can. How about you?

Wrong about what? Please be specific.

And can the small minded remarks about grammar. Its is similar to descending to ad homonym attacks, its sign that you can't discuss things on a rational basis. Now if there is a problem with it not making any sense that is OK. I sometimes leave out important words like NOT and NEVER or even whole sentences. There were in my head but didn't reach my fingers. Just ask for clarification. I will do my best to figure what the heck I meant to say and then try again.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2009
Funny how so many other religions (and governments)were created to keep the guy raping and pillaging in power.
So you're saying a group of 60-80 year old white guys are able to take out everyone in the US no problem?

{What does that mean? You implied some meek sheepherder in the desert could convince some king that he had better be nice or his God will stop him. What would motivate such a king to believe him?}

If God did not exist, why would anyone stop raping and pillaging if God wasn't stopping him?
Very simple, society required mysticism to start. Now that we're underway, there's no need for mysticism. As an aside, your God supposedly believes in free will, which is why he doesn't just strike me down with a lightning bolt or flood right now as I type this.


{People do need and do have a spiritual nature which needs to be addressed. Frankl's observations in the concentration camps suggests those that survived had the will to survive. Where does that will come from?}

"Religion is a vestigal organ of proto-society.'

Such arrogance!


Arrogance in what regard? You offer no counteracting proof, jsut your morality.



So, is there a universal set of ethics? Answer is no.



The arrogance is your presumption you are above such 'irrational' spirituality yet physics still hasn't figured out how gravity works and if there really are ll dimensions of strings.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 27, 2009
The arrogance is your presumption you are above such 'irrational' spirituality yet physics still hasn't figured out how gravity works and if there really are ll dimensions of strings.

At what point in time did I endorse string theory or any theory of gravitation?

Be specific. Define rationality, and tell me how I'm being irrational.
oneplodder
not rated yet Aug 27, 2009
BBB, pardon the mixed metaphors, but you x-rayed the article and lofted the illuminating projectile .I discovered and have now subscribed to read more here after reading about the article on John Ray's blog, www.dissectleft.blogspot.com.

Questions: What other sites to you write or comment on? Would you point me to the best sources you have found that analyze topics like those in the article, in books like Jean Francois-Revel's "The Flight From Truth" and Lee Harris' "The Suicide of Reason".

Please, consider going to Lawrence Auster's site www.amnation.com/vfr and joining in illuminating conversations there.
jdingler
not rated yet Aug 27, 2009
Perhaps the researchers should read the news before they make assumptions about what people see and hear and how they determine what the facts are?

Here's a 2004 report from CNN that quotes Dick Cheney as saying, 'the evidence is "overwhelming" that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and he said media reports suggesting that the 9/11 commission has reached a contradictory conclusion were "irresponsible."'

http://tinyurl.com/2ft8xm
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2009
My god, do I have to repeat myself with you people...Just to clear your misconceptions up:

and you get the crusades, or the Catholic church and other such aberrations.


I'm not Catholic, I do not support the Catholic church. In fact, I consider it one of the most abhorrent creations of mankind. I'm not a creationist either. If anything, I'm a cross between a buddhist and a discordianist. Therefore, if you will, I'm just playing god's advocate. To revive a famous meme, it's not God I have anything against, it's his fanclub I can't stand. So can the arguments about churches of any kind.

Dismantle the scientific method


That just reduces to dismissing sensate knowledge. Think selection bias and other such things. You can't say one does not see what one chooses to see, can you? Otherwise, you dismiss free will and therefore imply destiny, creation and so on.

Atheists do NOT support themselves with the Bible. Neither do us Agnostics.

Yes. I might do it too. Its not too support ourselves. Its too point out the problems of the OTHER side.

Nonsense. I didn't change anything.


Come on...Any problem on their side is a plus on yours and vice versa. Oh, and my pedantry merely showed how enthusiastic you were about replying. You just can't stand someone saying you're not right, can you? I mean, 6000 posts on a forum thread? Yeah, your grandchildren will really have someone to look up to...

They use LOTS of data.


1000 Americans is not lots of data(rough estimate, no numbers in the article). And after all that arduous scouring for information, here's what they came up with: "The argument here is that people get deeply attached to their beliefs". I spent a little over a month on these comment threads and came up with the same conclusion.

Of course I can.


Then admit it. Deny your reasoning, if you must. If you can, that is. I believe the term is 'leap of faith'. Are you capable of that?

Am I? My comments are based on absolutely no prior preparation. I just google any word I don't know the meaning of. I haven't even read the Bible entirely, or any philosophy book for that matter. To put it dramatically, I went to battle seeking naught but glorious death. And yet I could still carry on, and you could do the same.

My bloody point is: scientifically speaking, the existence of God has not been proven or disproven and may very well never be ascertained. Ergo, any discussion on these things, provided it evolves beyond experiential and sensate finger-pointing(the scientific/biblical factism I was speaking of), ends up in sweet aporia.

You're so high on your own presumptions and preconceptions and so keen to take down creationists and fundies that you couldn't see that all I was talking about was the old Socratic maxim regarding certainty in knowledge.

Velanarris, could you provide some links about that Mesquina person? I'm quite curious about his prediction model.
Velanarris
1 / 5 (1) Aug 27, 2009
http://www.google...ch?hl=en&rlz=1W1GGLL_en&ei=OP2WSrriE9WtlAfn4aSuDA&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=bruce buena de mesquita&spell=1

Go nuts. It's Buena de Mesquita, my apologies on the mix up.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2009
My god, do I have to repeat myself with you people...Just to clear your misconceptions up:


Yes if you weren't clear the first time it is good to try to clear things up. "you people" is not a good sign. It shows a level of exasperation that is not conducive to a well reasoned discussion.

In fact, I consider it one of the most abhorrent creations of mankind.


How about the Lutherans who killed just as many if not more in the 30 Years War?

I'm not a creationist either. If anything, I'm a cross between a buddhist and a discordianist.


I missed that one in Steve Jackson's Illuminati game. I don't think that Buddhism fits well with an intentionally bogus idea like Discordianism. Might as well throw in the Church of Bob while you are at it. Do you wear a single or double propeller beanie when practicing this combination?

And is that propeller beanie tinfoil lined?

Fnord.

So can the arguments about churches of any kind.


You are aware that Discordianism is a satire aren't you?

That just reduces to dismissing sensate knowledge. Think selection bias and other such things.


What are you planning to replace it with? Closing your eyes and humming? I don't think that will help the rest of us learn things but it will keep you out of the way.

You can't say one does not see what one chooses to see, can you


Yes I can. I see what I see not just what I want to see. You seem to be demanding pure ignorance. I am totally willing to leave that to others as long as don't try to ram their ignorance down my throat.

Come on...Any problem on their side is a plus on yours and vice versa.


Yes. So what? I was replying to what you said. Perhaps if you were more clear about what your intent is here.

Oh, and my pedantry merely showed how enthusiastic you were about replying.


That is a meaningless noise. You pedantry can only show what YOU are doing. It says nothing about me EXCEPT that you were unable muster up an argument based on evidence and reason. Its a favorite of 14 years that are still taking grammar classes as well.

You just can't stand someone saying you're not right, can you?


Nonsense. IF you can show that I am not right then I learn something. So far you don't seem be doing anything to show errors by me except for that petty grammar stuff. Which says far more about you than it does about others.

I mean, 6000 posts on a forum thread? Yeah, your grandchildren will really have someone to look up to...


I was only part of that. Did you read any? The idea was to make it clear to you that I HAVE thought about these things. If you want to me think about it why are you complaining about me showing that I have? Seems counterproductive to me.

1000 Americans is not lots of data(rough estimate, no numbers in the article).


A thousand is enough to get a 3 to 5 percent error. Which is good enough to find some things out to a reasonable degree of accuracy.

"The argument here is that people get deeply attached to their beliefs". I spent a little over a month on these comment threads and came up with the same conclusion.


Obviously you are preaching to the choir here. I pointed that out before you. I thank you for your concurrence but then I haven't seem anything from you that leads me to think that it is good that you agree with me. It may mean that I am full of crap.

Then admit it. Deny your reasoning, if you must.


That makes no sense at all. Deny reason? If you don't like my reasoning show where I am wrong. Just going on your plea is not going to do it. It sounds very like some the people on that thread I linked to.

'Just shut your brain Ethelred and deny reality. Join the Pod People. It is so peaceful not thinking anymore'.

I sure do miss being able to add a photo from The Invasion of the Body Snatchers at this point.

Surely you don't think I am going to go that route. It runs counter to your claim of not being religious by the way. Buddhism is a philosophy more than a religion and Discordianism is literally a joke. A bit like Landover Baptist but more gentle.

I believe the term is 'leap of faith'. Are you capable of that?


Why ever would I want to go on faith when I can go on reason? You are EXACTLY like a Fundamentalist Christian on this. Yet you claim not be one. Your actions and words do not fit together.

Am I? My comments are based on absolutely no prior preparation


You might try getting an education first then. But that does clear things up a bit. Thank you for remarkably candid statement. However I do recommend reading things.

. I haven't even read the Bible entirely, or any philosophy book for that matter.


I have only read the first two books of the Bible. They are preposterous so that was enough for me. I don't understand why anyone would worship Jehovah after the thing that were done in Exodus. I don't understand why Jehovah would want to be worshiped either. Not surprisingly Mabarker refuses to answer that question.

To put it dramatically, I went to battle seeking naught but glorious death. And yet I could still carry on, and you could do the same.


No. I intend to live a long time. That way I can learn more.

My bloody point is: scientifically speaking, the existence of God has not been proven or disproven and


That depends entirely on which god you are talking about. Jehovah, as described in Genesis, is thoroughly disproved. I think Odin and Thor are right out as well. I have no problem with Deism as that god is very undefined and therefor can be neither proved nor disproved. Perhaps that is the sort of god you are talking about.

Ergo, any discussion on these things, provided it evolves beyond experiential and sensate finger-pointing(the scientific/biblical factism I was speaking of), ends up in sweet aporia.


Wherever that is, I am not going there. I have a brain and am going to continue using it. Joining the Pod People is not an option barring brain damage.

aporia

One entry found.

* Main Entry: apo%uFFFDria
* Pronunciation: \%u0259-%u02C8po%u0307r-%u0113-%u0259\
* Function: noun
* Etymology: French aporie, ultimately from Greek aporia difficulty, perplexity, from aporos impassable, from a- poros passage %u2014 more at fare
* Date: circa 1550

1 : an expression of real or pretended doubt or uncertainty especially for rhetorical effect

2 : a logical impasse or contradiction; especially : a radical contradiction in the import of a text or theory that is seen in deconstruction as inevitable


Well if you want to go there go ahead. Seems kind of futile to me. Nothing sweet about it. Are you sure you had ANYTHING to do with Discordianism? I am hoping that you are joking but so far you seem totally bereft of humor.

You're so high on your own presumptions and preconceptions and so keen to take down creationists and fundies that you couldn't see that all I was talking about was the old Socratic maxim regarding certainty in knowledge.


If you can't be clear that isn't my fault. If you can't see that Genesis has SEVERE problems in dealing with the real world that too isn't my fault. If you want to show that there is something in Genesis that has significance you will have to quit with the Pod People crap and SHOW IT.

You are not being a devils or gods advocate. You are demanding that I quit thinking on your say so without a speck of effort by you to show why I should do so.

So go ahead and support you position if you want to. Just quit asking that I simply shut my brain off. I didn't come to a science site to start going on fuzzy thinking. So if you want to discuss things that is fine with me. Just don't expect to suddenly stop analyzing things. So be clear. Be specific and try to support yourself. Demanding the I refrain from using reason and facts is exceeding bizarre. I am having major trouble even comprehending why you would want to do such a thing yourself.

Can YOU accept the possibility that you might be wrong? Or that I might have a point. One of the guys on that thread was a christian AND he didn't read the Bible because he was afraid it would damage his beliefs. So far I seeing you as that sort of person.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2009
I do so wish this site had a preview button.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2009
Interesting stuff.

http://www.nytime...wanted=1&_r=1

http://www.good.i...radamus/

http://nextbigfut...-on.html

So basically he does spreadsheets on the behavior of key individuals. Game theory has gone a long ways from its start.

Now how many people on this site will get ticked of over it. Its political science and that seems to be anathema around here.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2009
Now how many people on this site will get ticked of over it. Its political science and that seems to be anathema around here.


The excellent thing about it is he's very accurate and not as obtuse in his predictions as former "prophets" were.

I heard about his methodology on that bastion of fact the "History" Channel when his original show was on in 03. I caught a replay of it during the Iran elections and damn he was on the money in regards to the Middle East, particularly Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2009
How about the Lutherans who killed just as many if not more in the 30 Years War?


Let me rephrase myself: stop giving arguments that concern the actions of specific groups of people involved in organised religion(a.k.a. churches), I am well aware that people will use any excuse to kill each other. I would say something about anthropology being used as such an excuse, but it would mean pulling a Godwin's.

I don't think that Buddhism fits well with an intentionally bogus idea like Discordianism.


Read the Principia Discordia. It's not just cracking jokes and parodying major religions, there are some valid ideas in it, many of which resemble Oriental thought. I don't know if the authors were entirely aware of it, though, hence Buddhism is put in the same category as the abrahamic religions.

What are you planning to replace it with?


You really have a problem with abstract thinking, don't you? Either that, or you've become quite skilled in the art of changing the subject when lacking arguments. The man asked for a proof against the scientific method. I gave him a purely logical deconstruction, the same kind you'd use on religious ideas(not facts, ideas). Wherever did I say that based on that proof we should cease all research?

Yes I can. I see what I see not just what I want to see.


On what do you base that affirmation?

Yes. So what? I was replying to what you said. Perhaps if you were more clear about what your intent is here.


My intent was to show how quickly you changed your views in order to get a supporter. You really liked getting stars in kindergarten, didn't you?

That is a meaningless noise.


Really? Then what's this?

"you people" is not a good sign. It shows a level of exasperation that is not conducive to a well reasoned discussion.



IF you can show that I am not right then I learn something.


You've proven quite capable at verbal gymnastics, so I doubt anyone could ever show you you're wrong. Must be nice in Pointland.

I was only part of that. Did you read any?


Link was broken. The title says creation vs. evolution, though. Maybe it went further than that, but otherwise it just shows you've thought about (literal) creationism. You probably missed it, but I said I don't support it, it's not what I'm talking about. My comment was aimed at the sheer volume of the discussion, to which you said you contributed a lot, which shows how hell bent on winning arguments you are.

A thousand is enough to get a 3 to 5 percent error. Which is good enough to find some things out to a reasonable degree of accuracy.


Right. So the whole human race can be defined by the answers of 1000 Americans. Now that's some mighty fine inductin'.

That makes no sense at all. Deny reason? If you don't like my reasoning show where I am wrong.


I don't know why I expected you to get that. Do you understand that by pure logic alone, you can prove and disprove anything?

Why ever would I want to go on faith when I can go on reason?


Well, you are actually going on faith. What is the reason for your existence? Where does your motivation for doing anything come from? Or here's another angle. Before an experiment is done, you need a hypothesis. A scientist won't say 'I'm 100% sure that this will happen', he'll say 'I believe this will happen' and quote a probability. After the experiment is done, he'll get a greater degree of certainty, but never quite 100%. Then there's quantum physics, but let's not go there...

A proper study of religion could, therefore, make people more skeptical and doubtful. Of course, centuries of use as a political tool has put a serious dent in that particular aspect of religion.

No. I intend to live a long time. That way I can learn more.


Are you doing this on purpose, or are you entirely incapable of anything other than analogue processing?

Can YOU accept the possibility that you might be wrong?


Well, I've already answered that, but you seem to have a problem with metaphors. So here's another one, google Sri Syadasti.


As for Mesquita, I read a bit and, yes, he's definitely changed my attitude on political science. Then again, he is more a mathematician and governments are closer to the ideal rational agent than random groups of people, but still.

His model is only as accurate as the input, though. So if political actors are as rational as he models them, and this technique becomes popular amongst them, won't it soon have to deal with intentionally misdirecting behaviour? Also, consider the case of 2 conflicting rational agents, both in possession of the software and both aware of it. How would the model model itself, then?
Ethelred
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 28, 2009
I would say something about anthropology being used as such an excuse, but it would mean pulling a Godwin's.


It would be pulling fantasy. There was a serious lack of anthropology at the time of the 30 Years War.

To me Godwin was the last Saxon King of England. He kinda got killed. SO you might not want to pull a Godwin.

Hey you brought up the Catholic Church. I just gave a counter example.

Read the Principia Discordia.


Its a satire. That doesn't stop it from having meaning for you.

You really have a problem with abstract thinking, don't you?


No where near as much as you seem to.

I love the smell of ad homonym attacks. Its smells like victory.

he man asked for a proof against the scientific method. I gave him a purely logical deconstruction, the same kind you'd use on religious ideas(not facts, ideas).


Just what is it that you have against facts? Ideas that aren't based on facts tend to be crap.

Wherever did I say that based on that proof we should cease all research?


What proof? I seem to have missed an actual proof of anything.

On what do you base that affirmation?


Oh personal experience. Noticing that I can see things I don't expect to see. Little things like that.

My intent was to show how quickly you changed your views in order to get a supporter.


Since I didn't do that you couldn't have shown it.

You really liked getting stars in kindergarten, didn't you?


Ah another ad homonym. That's two in one post. That short on rational arguments already?

Really? Then what's this?


A sign of experience with online discussions.

You've proven quite capable at verbal gymnastics, so I doubt anyone could ever show you you're wrong. Must be nice in Pointland.


Hey nice evasion. Are you going to say anything that ISN'T ad homonym?

Link was broken.


Yep. I expected it but I can't fix physorg. However if you were to add the part with the & and the numbers to the url you would get there. Worked for me.

You probably missed it, but I said I don't support it,


No I didn't miss it. I am going on your actual behavior.

My comment was aimed at the sheer volume of the discussion, to which you said you contributed a lot, which shows how hell bent on winning arguments you are.


The heaviest contributor was a christian. The second heaviest was an anesthesiologist who decided to become a lawyer sometime during that year. Learned a lot from him.

Well there sure were a number of people claiming I was going to hell there anyway.

I like arguing. Its fun and I can't lose. Neither can you if you keep this idea in mind.

You can only lose an internet argument if you lose your temper. At worst you will find you were wrong and then you learn something.

I don't think you understand that idea yet. You certainly don't understand that I do.

Right. So the whole human race can be defined by the answers of 1000 Americans. Now that's some mighty fine inductin'.


Funny, you agreed with their conclusion. On far less evidence. Americans really have nothing to do with what they were doing except they were convenient to study. Its human nature. So what is your problem with it since you agreed with them?

Do you understand that by pure logic alone, you can prove and disprove anything?


No you can't. So no I don't understand that as it is wrong. First you must have assumptions. Those are not based on logic. Often they are based on evidence.

Have you taken a logic class? Just try to prove everything. It can't be done UNLESS you use contradictory assumptions. Then what you really prove is that you used poor assumptions.

Well, you are actually going on faith.


No.

What is the reason for your existence?


My parents got together and had sex. This is a secret?

Where does your motivation for doing anything come from?


Survival.

Or here's another angle. Before an experiment is done, you need a hypothesis


Sometimes not always. Sometimes people DON'T have a hypothesis. They just have a set of tools and start playing to see what will happen. You only need a hypothesis if you are asking others for money.

A scientist won't say 'I'm 100% sure that this will happen', he'll say 'I believe this will happen' and quote a probability


Again that is only sometimes. Faraday didn't do that, at least to start with. He played with his tools. Darwin started as a divinity student.

After the experiment is done, he'll get a greater degree of certainty, but never quite 100%


You haven't seen Oliver K. Manuel's posts yet have you? He is one hundred certain that the Sun has a neutron star at the core. A Phd just isn't always a sign of a good theorist.

Then there's quantum physics, but let's not go there...


Its fun there. The one place in science where Uncertainty is expected to quite that degree.

A proper study of religion could, therefore, make people more skeptical and doubtful.


I can assure you that I have a great deal of doubt and skepticism about religion.

Of course, centuries of use as a political tool has put a serious dent in that particular aspect of religion.


Millenia.

Are you doing this on purpose, or are you entirely incapable of anything other than analogue processing?


Oh that is too much to pass up. Are you giving me straight lines on purpose?

This a digital machine I am using to communicate.

You really don't have a sense of humor do you? An elbow transplant might be in order.

Well, I've already answered that, but you seem to have a problem with metaphors.


Its more of matter of you having a problem making yourself clear. I am still trying to figure just what the heck your point is. Its seems to be that you think I am under a delusion that I know everything but that it is really you that knows everything through the process of logic alone without the use of any evidence.

Just why are you so upset with me? Usually its a religious thing. Seems to be the case with you as well.

So here's another one, google Sri Syadasti.


Give a reason. I not going to guess as to your intent. If you give one AND give a clue as to what you are yammering about then I will do so.

His model is only as accurate as the input, though.


That seems to be what he is really good at.

won't it soon have to deal with intentionally misdirecting behaviour?


There are limits to what a politician can do that way. If they do to much of it they will confuse the people that they need cooperation from. Other than that I would agree but clearly he must be aware of the problem. Deception is part of human behavior and has been for more time than we have been human. Chimps engage in deception.

I have this strong suspicion that he must have read Sun Tzu and The Prince. I need to read those instead of going on hearsay. Maybe after I finish reading Origin of Species. That is a bit of work as I already know more than Darwin did about how evolution works. Still I have gained a few insights.

Also, consider the case of 2 conflicting rational agents, both in possession of the software and both aware of it. How would the model model itself, then?


It would depend a lot on the conflict I suppose. And the persons level of intent and power. Gaming the system would be the most likely occurrence. Though the model isn't modeling itself just the interactions of the people. Hey he only claimed 90% success. Mostly though I suppose they would have to use the usual tools of politics.

Try to change other peoples opinions.

Or war by one way or another.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Velanarris
4.5 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2009
You've proven quite capable at verbal gymnastics, so I doubt anyone could ever show you you're wrong. Must be nice in Pointland.



He's conceded points to me before. Don't insult your opponent based on his ability to make your arguments of no import.



As for if multiple rational agents had the same software, that'd be great.



The model would be uniform, the only variable wouold be the information about the two rationalizing agents that was entered into each model. If the same information is entered into both, the result WILL be the same for both sides. That's how models work.

Then again, he is more a mathematician and governments are closer to the ideal rational agent than random groups of people, but still.
This is also very incorrect. There was a sociologist who attempted to disprove the public election system by setting up an experiment where a sample of people make a guess at an outcome. He found everyone got it wrong and thought he was vindicated.

Then he averaged their guesses and found they were exactly right, showing that the mob knows more than an individual.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2009
It would be pulling fantasy. There was a serious lack of anthropology at the time of the 30 Years War.


Godwin's law...

Just try to prove everything. It can't be done UNLESS you use contradictory assumptions.


I said you could prove anything, not everything. But you're right, logic can't be used to explain/prove everything unless you start from a set of contradictory assumptions. Now, where did you say you can find those?

Just what is it that you have against facts?


They tend to be boring and only make use of memory and maybe first-order logic. They're fake absolutes and generally unverified or unverifiable, at least not by everybody who relays them. Facts are what presumptions are made of.

First you must have assumptions. Those are not based on logic. Often they are based on evidence.


And evidence is based on what?

My parents got together and had sex. This is a secret?


Pardon, I meant to ask what is the reason of your continued existence. What is the origin of that reason?

Sometimes people DON'T have a hypothesis. They just have a set of tools and start playing to see what will happen.


That entails the hypothesis that something may or may not happen. There are such things as accidental discoveries, yes, but I'm talking about the voluntary search for knowledge. By 'ideal' scientists. Real scientists, like real diodes, let's say, are imperfect. Some more than others.

I can assure you that I have a great deal of doubt and skepticism about religion.


You're not 'people'. I gave you a reason why society could still use religion. It's what you asked for, on several occasions. Hopefully, this time I've been clearer.

Just why are you so upset with me?


This is a digital machine I am using to communicate. Textually. How do you determine my emotional state? Why do you think anybody would ever get upset over something you'd say? Your repeated inquiry would make a psychologist think you once got very, very upset over an Internet argument. Do you want to talk about it? No pressure.

Give a reason.


You might learn something, you homonym. Or at least find something else to claim not to make sense and use against me. As for a clue regarding what I'm talking about, if you didn't get it by now, there's little more I could do except maybe recommend some angel dust.


There are limits to what a politician can do that way.


That's true for democracies, but a dictator doesn't have a lot of limits. And most of them aren't very rational, if not downright pathological. 90% accuracy is nice for most applications, but I'd hate to have decisions concerning nuclear weaponry made on that basis.

Sun Tzu and Machiavelli are definitely part of any would-be powermonger's training, so very relevant to the model. It's mostly common sense strategy, though. After reading The Art of War, you'll find The Prince utterly lacking in innovation.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2009
Then he averaged their guesses and found they were exactly right, showing that the mob knows more than an individual.


How do you average the decision to declare war on another country? How could the mob have access to, or care about, all the relevant information? And let's keep in mind the above article's painfully obvious conclusion.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2009
How do you average the decision to declare war on another country?
By a show of hands. Who wants to go fight "x" people for "y" reason.

How could the mob have access to, or care about, all the relevant information?
Good, I'm glad you went here. It's simple, group responsibility. Which is the whole reaosn why I argue against organized religion. A group is only as smart as it's dumbest member. Meaning you must assume the total level of intellect is equal to that of the lowest member.
kasen
not rated yet Aug 28, 2009
By a show of hands. Who wants to go fight "x" people for "y" reason.


That might work for a tribe, or maybe even a city-state, but modern day countries? You need some form of delegation of power for the process to work. So you end up with power being held by a few.

A group is only as smart as it's dumbest member. Meaning you must assume the total level of intellect is equal to that of the lowest member.


I really don't know if you can actually extrapolate that far. If there is no communication between the group's members and the decision requires unanimity, then yes, it'd take only one idiot to ruin everything. But assuming the members communicate between them and you have a normal distribution of intellect, the smartest of the group will be elected leader and given authority to decide, or at the very least influence the others' vote. By smartest, I'm not referring to IQ alone, but also social smarts. Worst case scenario would be someone of average intelligence but great popularity leading or influencing the others, but that person in turn could be influenced by the more intelligent, yet lacking in social skills.

At any rate, your argument wouldn't concern just organised religion, but pretty much any form of human organisation. Organised religion is bad because its leaders aren't practising what they're preaching, or what they should be preaching. I personally prefer decentralisation in all such matters, state, religion, science or military.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2009
That might work for a tribe, or maybe even a city-state, but modern day countries? You need some form of delegation of power for the process to work. So you end up with power being held by a few.



Really, well you're certainly wrong here. Many countries engage in popular elections. Unfortunately the US isn't one of them, but I'm sure you've filled out an internet poll before. There are literally thousands of examples of modern day popular vote.

Hell, even American Idol counts.



kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2009
Yes, there's democracy everywhere nowadays, but how many of those decisions come anywhere near the importance of declaring war?

Referenda don't happen daily anywhere in the world, except Switzerland, but that's a result of great decentralisation, and they're not a militaristic country anyway. When they do happen in other countries, it's usually to amend constitutions, decide leadership or join an alliance of sorts, mostly economic treaties these days. I'm not from the US. Last time we had a referendum here was to impeach the president and it had a fantastically low turnout, almost invalidating the attempt. He won anyway.

Assesing a country's military strength and the costs of war are not things that a mob could or should decide. Even if you go for complete transparency in terms of available internal and external information, which goes against any principle of warfare and would doom the effort from the start, you need experienced people to make use of such data.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 28, 2009
Yes, there's democracy everywhere nowadays, but how many of those decisions come anywhere near the importance of declaring war?
How many countries have tried it?
Referenda don't happen daily anywhere in the world, except Switzerland, but that's a result of great decentralisation, and they're not a militaristic country anyway.
Wrong again. They're one of the most militarized countries. They simply elect not to go to war.
Assesing a country's military strength and the costs of war are not things that a mob could or should decide. Even if you go for complete transparency in terms of available internal and external information, which goes against any principle of warfare and would doom the effort from the start, you need experienced people to make use of such data.

Once again you're going against past precedent. With total transparency when left up to an electorate composed of all people, war does not occur unless there is a grievous insult or injury involved.
kasen
not rated yet Aug 28, 2009
Wrong again. They're one of the most militarized countries. They simply elect not to go to war.


Militarised does not mean militaristic. It's a different thing with them, anyway, their constitution(or their banking system) prevents them from declaring war or something, like Japan, so you could say they elected never to go to war a long time ago. They also have these guys: http://en.wikiped..._an_Army .

Also, I doubt they had a referendum each time the country was in danger of being invaded. I mean, it's just not practical.

With total transparency when left up to an electorate composed of all people, war does not occur unless there is a grievous insult or injury involved.


Total military transparency would leave a country incapable of even defending itself. All warfare is based on deception. You'd need democracy and welfare all over the world to even hope for war to occur on those reasons alone, and not economic ones, and even then you'd still have wars over racial, religious and cultural differences, not to mention old enmities. Do you think that if the Palestinians would vote whether or not to declare war on Israel, the majority wouldn't want to?

I give my own country as an example again. If we had referendums to decide military actions, we'd be involved in at least two wars of territorial claims and ethnicity, since all it'd take would be for a few nationalists in every city, the local football fans if not the extreme right-wing party, to rile up 51% of the population. Don't forget, 50% of all people are below average and easily controlled by slogans.
QubitTamer
1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2009
Lets measure ego by inches of post Ethelred... You're somewhere in Hitler's league of egomaniacal just on this one story. I can't fathom what hellish personal journey you must have gone through to need to refute and repudiate and puff yourself up so so much to all the stupid folk who dare express thoughts here.

There, that's my 30 seconds of time, please spend at least 30 minutes to an hour responding for me.

Oh and the "loser" comment... I am HAPPY to be a loser in the contest of who spends more time being angry at everyone on the internets...
Blair
not rated yet Aug 28, 2009
I agreed with this comment:

... The flawed beliefs these people hold are still directly caused by the misinformation they were originally given. The only thing that this research does show is that people do not listen to corrected information after the fact because they want to cling to their desired beliefs. If anything, I believe that this research increases the culpability of the people spreading lies because it clearly makes it harder to get out accurate information after the fact.


This kind of sledgehammer science proves the obvious.

It was guaranteed to generate deep controversies ...

9/11 was a magical trick.

Performing illusions that require killing many
people is not something that easily understood.

This study only touched on one superficial point.

Putting the rest of the puzzle together is worse,
& results in irreconcilable social polarization.

As another previous post made the very valid point:

"All warfare is based on deception."

9/11 was a massive deception, that spawned many more.

It generated many examples of cognitive dissonance!!!
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2009
Godwin's law...


Apparently must remain that of Godwinson to me.

If you have a point make it. I am not going to guess.

I said you could prove anything, not everything.


That is the same thing. If you can prove anything you have the ability to prove everything.

And you can't.

Now, where did you say you can find those?


Well the Bible is an excellent source of contradictions.

They tend to be boring and only make use of memory and maybe first-order logic.


If you find facts boring perhaps a future in Publicity is the right path for you.

They're fake absolutes and generally unverified or unverifiable,


Those are strange facts. My guess is that you simply have difficulty accepting actual facts.

Facts are what presumptions are made of.


Facts are what science is made of. An absence of facts is what leads to religion.

And evidence is based on what?


Observations and data gathering. What the hell is your problem with using evidence. This sort of approach has always come from people that are having difficulty in reconciling reality with their beliefs. So far I have only seen it from the religious. Sometimes after weeks of discussion it finally comes out but it always comes out if it goes on long enough. Odd the way some people try to hide their religious thinking.

Pardon, I meant to ask what is the reason of your continued existence. What is the origin of that reason?


I answered that. Apparently you didn't comprehend the answer.

Survival. Those that don't give a damn about survival are long gone. Its an anti-survival trait to not try to survive. This should be clear.

That entails the hypothesis that something may or may not happen.


No. It entails not hiding your head in the sands of ignorance. Something WILL happen. Even negative evidence can be a source of learning. Haven't you EVER repaired anything?

Or played Clue. I keep track of EVERYTHING in that game. I kept trying to figure what the heck was my brother's edge in it. Turned out that I had surpassed him on it. A rare thing.

By 'ideal' scientists.


If your ideal of a scientist doesn't include Faraday or Hooke you need to work on your ideals.

You're not 'people'.


So far I have 58 years of being a person. That counts for me.

I gave you a reason why society could still use religion.


No. You gave me a bit of wishful thinking. I think society could use a lot more of reason and evidence.

It's what you asked for, on several occasions.
]

Mostly I have asked what your point is.

Apparently you think religion has value. I see its value as mostly negative. Don't as opposed to do. Waste hours in church. Waste money on fantasy. Fantasy that masquerades as reality. I don't have a problem with fantasy labeled as such.

Hopefully, this time I've been clearer.


Slowly. I think your dislike of facts is getting in the way of your ability to communicate.

This is a digital machine I am using to communicate. Textually. How do you determine my emotional state?


Behavior. Experience as well. You are or at least were upset.

Why do you think anybody would ever get upset over something you'd say?


Experience. Look below at Qubitamer. He is upset with me for pointing out that he supported a spammer.

In your case just replying to me the particular way you have shows that you are upset. The question is just how upset. I don't expect you to suddenly start frothing at the keyboard but I have seen that sort behavior. Sometimes it has followed attacks on my grammar errors. That was a strong sign that you were upset.

Your repeated inquiry would make a psychologist think you once got very, very upset over an Internet argument.


No I don't think so. More likely they would be agreeing with me. Can't be sure but my experience is that people that try act the way you were doing are usually upset.

Do you want to talk about it? No pressure


Would you like to count my pulse. Lets see. Its a little high at 68. Usually its in the low 60s but its been hot today and that raises my pulse.

I gave up getting even mildly upset a long time ago. I used the occasional cases as learning experiences.

I think I pointed out that this stuff is fun for me didn't I. Some people like roller coasters. I prefer discussions.

You might learn something,


So far you haven't said anything of consequence. The most interesting thing has come from the political scientist.

As for a clue regarding what I'm talking about, if you didn't get it by now, there's little more I could do except maybe recommend some angel dust.


If you want to kill yourself I am sure there must be a better way.

If you can't do more than you really need to work on clarity.

As far as I can tell you want me to turn off my brain and join the Pod People.

Do try just plain saying what you mean. I can do it. Of course I have a lot practice doing so. Practice is part of what I do in discussions. I once made a large post on Rasputin just to practice writing a narrative. It was on topic at least to some degree.

That's true for democracies, but a dictator doesn't have a lot of limits


Full blown dictators are rare. They usually have rivals and supporters. Dictators, to a large extent, only exist in fantasy. Even Stalin might have been killed when he overstepped his supporters too far. At least Beria claimed to have "saved us all" to other members of the Politburo. I suspect the Beria was lying as Stalin was pretty old by then.

And most of them aren't very rational, if not downright pathological.


You might want to look at the link I posted that had the video. Then again Beria seems to have a true psychopath if the bodies of young women around his home were any indication. Assuming that wasn't made up.

That link would be this one:

http://nextbigfut...-on.html

He thinks they are mostly rational. Even dictators. I have to agree with him on that. Mostly.

90% accuracy is nice for most applications, but I'd hate to have decisions concerning nuclear weaponry made on that basis.


Would you prefer lower? That is the alternative. 90% is awfully high. High enough that I have to see more evidence to think its real. Kennedy had to go by the seat of his pants when he went toe to toe with Khrushchev over Cuba.

Sun Tzu and Machiavelli are definitely part of any would-be powermonger's training,


It should be part of a lot peoples training. If the powermongers read it shouldn't the opposition know how they are thinking. The thing I keep in mind in regard to Machiavelli is that it was resume to get employed by people that thought that way. Plus with all the scheming and plotting and conniving and bribing and hiring of Condotieri the French just came in an took over the place.

It's mostly common sense strategy, though. After reading The Art of War, you'll find The Prince utterly lacking in innovation.


I think then, it would wise to read them the other way around. I couldn't finish Guns Germs and Steele because I had already gone over most of it in discussions and read other articles of his. Hard to read things when you know most of it already. Those discussions were on Appolyton.com a Civilization fan site.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2009
Total military transparency would leave a country incapable of even defending itself.


That would depend on the country. The US could be considerably more transparent and get away with it. Except in actual war of course.

All warfare is based on deception.


Overrated to some extent. General Lee claimed he knew what Grant was going to do but simply couldn't a thing about it. I suspect it went both ways.

Do you think that if the Palestinians would vote whether or not to declare war on Israel, the majority wouldn't want to?


I think they might not. After all the Palestinians don't have the capacity to go war with Israel. Now they could vote to ignore the Israelis but that would be the smart thing to do. Take real guts to pull that one off and someone even better than Gandhi.

Don't forget, 50% of all people are below average and easily controlled by slogans.


It certainly feels that way sometimes. Raise the voting age. Its easier to control the young with slogans.

"What if they gave a war and nobody came."

That was the DUMBEST thing I ever heard in the 60's, which actually ran well into the 70's.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2009
[qI can't fathom what hellish personal journey you must have gone through to need to refute and repudiate and puff yourself up so so much to all the stupid folk who dare express thoughts here.

You are NOT getting out till the end of the Month. So quit asking. I don't care how much you call yourself dumb I am not giving you any sympathy.

There, that's my 30 seconds of time, please spend at least 30 minutes to an hour responding for me.


I type much faster than you do I see. Several orders of magnitude. And no I won't let you out just because you are slow either.

. I am HAPPY to be a loser in the contest of who spends more time being angry at everyone on the internets...


Yes you do lose on that. You are the angriest idiot I have seen here. Did you study under Pat Buchanon?

Now if you were to claim that he was your mentor then I would be tempted to let you out early. The Angriest Man in the Universe is enough punishment for anyone.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
Velanarris
3 / 5 (2) Aug 29, 2009
Total military transparency would leave a country incapable of even defending itself. All warfare is based on deception.

Total military transparency does not equate to tipping your hand. The general system would have zero to do with actual execution.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2009
http://en.wikiped...in's_law

Anthropology was used as a reason for genocide in the 3rd Reich, wasn't it? Merely a counter-example to the Spanish inquisition, not relevant to my point. People will use any excuse to kill other people, as I said.

That is the same thing. If you can prove anything you have the ability to prove everything.


You can prove/explain any one thing at a time, or in one set of axiomatic assumptions, but you can't prove/explain everything at the same time, or in the same set of axiomatic assumptions. It's like that Lincoln quote about fooling people.

Facts are what science is made of.


Science is made of measurements. Facts are measurements at a certain point, or that remain stable over an interval in time. As the instruments with which we measure evolve, facts change. Some centuries ago it was a fact for some people that the world was flat. It was a fact that a machine heavier than air couldn't fly. And I think you are aware of the scientific facts circulating before Einstein. You say an absence of facts leads to religion? Even more centuries ago the Bible was the only source of facts. It's the predomination of facts that stifles scientific advance. Engineers need facts to build stuff, yes, but scientists must question all facts.

Now do you understand my problem with facts?

Observations and data gathering. What the hell is your problem with using evidence.


All evidence is circumstantial on a large enough scale. How big the scale is depends on the instruments with which we measure and make observations. I'll give the example of the planets and the sun rotating around the Earth again, and the 'facts' inferred from the evidence available in the Middle Ages. And, generally speaking, relativity.

Its an anti-survival trait to not try to survive.


That's quite a circular definition, don't you think? You can go reductionist/evolutionary all the way back to the Big Bang to explain where your instinct comes from, but you still can't prove or explain what was before that without resorting to tautology. And here's another example of circular reasoning: God is omnipotent because he is God.

Something WILL happen.


Sounds like a hypothesis to me. Or are you saying you are 100% certain of something? Are you related to a guy called Laplace, by any chance?

If your ideal of a scientist doesn't include Faraday or Hooke you need to work on your ideals.


Ideal as in, devoid of any motivation other than the pursuit of knowledge. You know, like a a capacitor with no other properties than capacitance. A mental construct.

So far I have 58 years of being a person. That counts for me.


So after a certain age you become people, as in more than one person? In other words, a sociologist would only have to interview you to get a good statistical sample. Or has it something to do with a certain green source of nourishment?

Another example of verbal gymnastics here, by which you avoided commenting on my conclusion that proper study of religion can make people more skeptical and doubting.

I think society could use a lot more of reason and evidence.


Reason and evidence are tools used to achieve goals. Catalysts. I think society needs a lot more meditation on the nature of our goals and desires.

Behavior. Experience as well. You are or at least were upset.


In the time spent reading and writing here, the only time I've been different from my regular honky-dory self was when I had some beer and was a bit more cheerful than usual.

Would you like me to point out the exact fragments of text written while inebriated so you can adjust your model of predicting someone's mood from commenting patterns? Or is it already capable of telling you that and you'd fancy to take a guess? Why, with all your experience, I bet you could easily guess my age and occupation, as well, couldn't you?

If you want to kill yourself I am sure there must be a better way.


Wait, so you would kill me for offering the stuff, or the stuff would kill me?



Would you prefer lower? That is the alternative. 90% is awfully high.


I'd prefer at least over 95%. The alternative needn't be another prediction model. Plain old intelligence gathering has worked before. Given sufficient information, you can make accurate predictions with simpler models. The problem is people are more likely to become over-dependent on something with such a high rate of success and tend to forget that it's not perfect.

Full-blown dictators are indeed rare, but it's the really rare occurrences, that may escape rational prediction models, that are the most dangerous. And, like the army saying, professionals are predictable, it's the rookies you should be afraid of.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2009
Total military transparency does not equate to tipping your hand. The general system would have zero to do with actual execution.


Just giving out exact numbers of personnel and materiel is enough for a potential enemy to decide on a general strategy. And that's the least amount information you'd have to give if you want people to make an informed decision. Let's assume your country has managed to secretly develop nuclear capacity, or some highly advanced technology that would act as a massive force multiplier. Do you think several million people could all keep a secret? Not to mention you'd have little hope of launching a pre-emptive strike once the international news report your people voting on whether or not to start a war.
Velanarris
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2009
You're looking at transparency incorrectly. Transparency would go as far as the reasoning for the war, more than that is unnecessary to make a decision on whether the reasoning is right.

You'll find that populations do not want to war, leaders or ideologies do. Get the people in the middle and the wars will stop.
kasen
not rated yet Aug 29, 2009
You'll find that populations do not want to war, leaders or ideologies do. Get the people in the middle and the wars will stop.


That depends on what country you're talking about and what sort of majority would be required for the decision. Maybe with something like 2/3 of the votes required, it would lead to more peace, but there's also the problem of turnout, fraud and all the classical shortcomings of the democratic process. In the end, the few will influence the many no matter how you disguise it.

To end all wars, you'd need to eliminate the element of aggression and competition from the entire human race. I'm not entirely sure how beneficial that would be, or how it could be achieved.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2009
To end all wars, you'd need to eliminate the element of aggression and competition from the entire human race. I'm not entirely sure how beneficial that would be, or how it could be achieved.
It can't be. Aggression and competition drive the social evolution of the species. to remove it would result in the end of us for all time. It cannot be removed, only appeased.
QubitTamer
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2009
People read my posts which totally bypass ALL of your quoting and other pointless labor and see that you NEED to respond with at least 20 times more verbage. Brevity is the soul of wit and wits Ethelred. I am out most everyday just trying to help people, not here on the computer burning up the keyboard being a one-man hall monitor. You will NEVER ever get the upper hand on me because you CANNOT just be BRIEF!!!
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2009
Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies)[1] is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 which has become an Internet adage. It states: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."


Well I guess for you it was self-fulfilling prophecy. Or a good joke.

Anthropology was used as a reason for genocide in the 3rd Reich, wasn't it?


No. Hate was the only reason. Do not mistake the study of man for the hatred of men that are a bit different by men that are suffering from serious self hatred.

Odd that you that you would bring up this turgid bit from the Creationists.

People will use any excuse to kill other people, as I said.


SOME people will.

You can prove/explain any one thing at a time, or in one set of axiomatic assumptions,


You can't prove 'anything' UNBOUNDED without being able to prove everything. Same reply before because it is still relevant. The only way to be able to prove ANYTHING you want is tp use a system of logic that has contradictions. True this only works for systems that can produce numbers but any system capable of dealing with the real world must be able to produce numbers.

That is a consequence of Gödel's Proof. Another man that went down Crank Road when he got older.

As the instruments with which we measure evolve, facts change.


Not the useful ones. The original data would remain valid within the limits of observation.

Some centuries ago it was a fact for some people that the world was flat.


That was never a fact. It was a supposition by some people. Untested and unmeasured. So not a fact.

It was a fact that a machine heavier than air couldn't fly.


That was more a limitation of technology than a fact. Totally useless for science.

And I think you are aware of the scientific facts circulating before Einstein.


Yes. They are still facts. The theories dealing with the facts have changed and Newton's theories are still good enough to bank probes around planets.

You say an absence of facts leads to religion?


Yes. It is the religious types that still try to make the facts go away by pretending that they are worthless. So despite your claims you are still behaving in a religious manner.

Even more centuries ago the Bible was the only source of facts.


Sorry but it was NEVER a source of facts. Even the history in it has been at least partly unreliable. Or rather strongly spun.

It's the predomination of facts that stifles scientific advance.


You ARE using a snorkel to breath. Facts do not stifle science.

Engineers need facts to build stuff, yes, but scientists must question all facts.


No they don't. They must UNDERSTAND what the facts arise from.

For instance Oliver K. Manuel's facts are quite good. His understanding of them is his problem. His conclusion simply do not follow from the facts.

Generally there a re two types of scientists. Experimentalists and theorists. Oliver is a good experimentalist. He just plain sucks at theory. Yet the facts still stand.

Now do you understand my problem with facts?


Yes, you don't understand facts or theory.

Fossils are facts. Darwin's Theory of Evolution was a theory to understand those facts. The modern synthesis called Neo-Darwinism is even better at dealing with the facts. There are now more facts then Darwin had. These facts have allowed scientists to achieve a greater understanding of how evolution works.

Denying facts is the refuge of those that don't like the conclusions the facts point to.

Its very popular with defense attorneys as well.

All evidence is circumstantial on a large enough scale.


All evidence can be assigned odds and precision. Of course its circumstantial as CIRCUMSTANCES are lead to evidence. A bit of at tautology in other words.

I'll give the example of the planets and the sun rotating around the Earth again, and the 'facts' inferred from the evidence available in the Middle Ages.


The evidence was simply inadequate to overturn the incorrect theory of the time. It was NEW evidence, not throwing the old but gathering new, that showed the crystal sphere idea was crap. The evidence was comets. The Europeans had no useful evidence till Tycho Brahe recorded his observations of a new comet.

Again evidence and facts led to theory. Theory without facts leads to crap like crystal spheres and Creationism.

That's quite a circular definition, don't you think?


No. Its a conclusion based on the evidence. And yes I do think quite well.

It helical not circular. I am not making an assumption and the using the assumption to prove the assumption. I am observing that those the don't try to survive mostly fail to survive.

The Shakers for example. You may not have heard of them so here is a link.

http://en.wikiped.../Shakers

The key problem with them.

The Shakers built 19 communal settlements that attracted some 20,000 converts over the next century. Strict believers in celibacy, Shakers maintained their numbers through conversion and adoption of orphans. Turnover was very high; the group reached maximum size of about 6,000 full members in 1840,[citation needed] but as of July 2008 had only eight members left.[2] Only a few of the original Shaker buildings are still in use today.


The Shakers did not believe in procreation so therefore had to adopt a child if they wanted one.


Evidence and theory. Not circular in anyway.

By the way that was ANOTHER Creationist ploy you used. Sure you aren't one?

You can go reductionist/evolutionary all the way back to the Big Bang to explain where your instinct comes from, but you still can't prove or explain what was before that without resorting to tautology.


Wasn't all that hard to prove. Only took one web site to show the thinking behind it.

And here's another example of circular reasoning: God is omnipotent because he is God.


That one isn't circular either. Its a definition. It doesn't fit the actions of Jehovah in Genesis though.

Circular would be to assume the Bible is right and use it to prove that it is right. However since this produces contradictions it results in proof that the assumption is wrong by Reducio Ad Absurdum.

Sounds like a hypothesis to me.


Sounds like reality to me.

Or are you saying you are 100% certain of something?


I have a reasonable expectation. Based on past actions and as I already stated even negative data is still data.

Are you related to a guy called Laplace, by any chance?


Sorry no. He is froggy and I am mostly kraut.

Sorry But it Had To Be Said.

Ideal as in, devoid of any motivation other than the pursuit of knowledge.


That seems to cover Faraday pretty well. Not Hook as much. Newton a lot but only if you ignore his ego. A hard thing to ignore.

So after a certain age you become people, as in more than one person?


No. As in half a people. One person plus one more person makes two people. I have experience with this sort of thing. You do as well but are trying to avoid thinking too much about it. People are made up of persons. Now a mob is something else entirely.

In other words, a sociologist would only have to interview you to get a good statistical sample.


Only if the population he was sampling consisted entirely of me. The lager the population the larger the sample must be but it is not linear. Well I don't think its linear.

Or has it something to do with a certain green source of nourishment?


Sorry but my funny bone is failing me on this one. I don't actually eat trolls if that is the green you are thinking of. Its a metaphor. Besides its dinnertime not breakfast for me.

Another example of verbal gymnastics here, by which you avoided commenting on my conclusion that proper study of religion can make people more skeptical and doubting.


I didn't evade that at all. Perhaps you didn't like my answer. However the conclusion I reached seems to be different from yours.

YOU seem to think that people need to study religion to be skeptical.

ME I think that a study of religion shows you should avoid it except as an anthropological tool and I dropped my cultural anthro classes. To much snorkeling involved.

Now comparative religions is interesting but not something I want spend a lot of time on. Learning all the ways people con themselves is just to depressing. Then there was that picture on the wall outside my bedroom.

First thing I saw for years as I left my bedroom to go to the bathroom was a picture of an Aztec priest with a cord through his tongue. That was my mothers. Could be worse. They put cords in other places as well. I sure hope my mother never thought about putting one of THOSE outside my room.

Funny thing is she stayed a Catholic. Despite disagreeing strongly with Vatican II.

. I think society needs a lot more meditation on the nature of our goals and desires.


Meditation without facts is mental masturbation. Kind of like those other pictures. Only less painful. Meditation without facts led Dr. Lilly to think he was in contact with aliens. It led St. Augustine down some rather bizarre paths as well. He thought he proved the existence of god. A lack of evidence led him to that.

In the time spent reading and writing here, the only time I've been different from my regular honky-dory self was when I had some beer and was a bit more cheerful than usual.


Then you might think about your writing style. It has improved over a few days though. Keep practicing.

Would you like me to point out the exact fragments of text written while inebriated so you can adjust your model of predicting someone's mood from commenting patterns?


Don't think it would help much. Its hard to detect inebriation over the net. Its those spell-checkers I suppose.

Why, with all your experience, I bet you could easily guess my age and occupation, as well, couldn't you?


No. So far the only thing I am sure of is that you aren't an American.

I am pretty sure that English is your native tongue but that could be wrong as well.

Now this is a case of negative information.

You are not a logician.

You are not a scientist or at least not a hard scientist.

Statistician seems right out as well. Political scientist seems unlikely.

That leaves quite a lot of things you could be. This is assuming that you aren't kidding us.

Wait, so you would kill me for offering the stuff, or the stuff would kill me?


It tends to get its users into situations that can lead to death. Unless you didn't mean PCP.

I'd prefer at least over 95%.


I don't think that is likely. No one is reaching that with any technique.

Plain old intelligence gathering has worked before


It fails a lot. I don't think anyone can hit 95% without reading the oppositions mail as was done in World War II.

The problem is people are more likely to become over-dependent on something with such a high rate of success and tend to forget that it's not perfect.


That I agree with. Even Bletchly Park wasn't perfect and the US didn't reach perfection with the Japanese either. However I am still impressed by the guy that broke the Japanese code. Too bad it broke him.

And, like the army saying, professionals are predictable, it's the rookies you should be afraid of.


He could fool a professional. - Three Days of the Condor. Based on the book Seven Days of the Condor. Both were pretty good. The sequel to the book was not so good.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 30, 2009
People read my posts which totally bypass ALL of your quoting and other pointless labor and see that you NEED to respond with at least 20 times more verbage


Oh Green and Scaly one what gives you the delusion that anyone is reading you besides me?

While brevity may be the sole of wit you haven't been witty.

I am out most everyday just trying to help people,


And we have the word of a troll that lies about being a physicist on that. I am so assured.

You will NEVER ever get the upper hand on me because you CANNOT just be BRIEF!!!


You lost a long time ago.

Now about your appeal. After careful consideration and long thought we the Beowulf Society have decided that a two time loser gets no slack.

You are in my sig till the end of the month. Twelve Midnight Pacific Daylight Time.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again
kasen
not rated yet Aug 30, 2009
No. Hate was the only reason.


Official reason. Excuse. Rationalisation, if you will.

You can't prove 'anything' UNBOUNDED without being able to prove everything.


Which is why I specified bounding in time or universe of discourse. If you don't like Godel, then try Heisenberg.

See, what we've been basically arguing about here is uncertainty and how we should treat it. You are a stout believer in the method of induction, a positivist. You look at a 90% prediction rate and say "most things are certain, so let's keep trying". I say "nothing is certain, we might be on the wrong track". Then, if I'm in a low mood I mutter "so what's the point", otherwise I proceed to investigate that remaining 10%, even if just by myself.

In our discussion, you focused on things on a human( technology) scale, where such high degrees of certainties, based on facts and evidence, are prevalent. I focused on the really big and the really small pictures, where things are highly uncertain and traditional reasoning becomes ineffective.

Obviously, I'm exaggerating a bit for the sake of argument, but I'm sure you'll agree with me that the optimal course for the development of science is between these two extremes I've described above. Which are basically experimentalist(induction) and theorist(deduction).

You should really give comparative religion a try. You can choose to see how limited the evidence was millenia ago, but you can also choose to see how, despite technological limitations and geographical separation, people came up with roughly similar myths and explanations over time. It's not divine intervention or anything supernatural, it's pure evolution. The same stories have persisted with our species for thousands of years. So do you really think they're not useful somehow?
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2009
I focused on the really big and the really small pictures, where things are highly uncertain and traditional reasoning becomes ineffective.
Size and scope of uncertainty don't change end resultant possibility. This is an innaccuracy you'll want to address.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 30, 2009
You should really give comparative religion a try. You can choose to see how limited the evidence was millenia ago, but you can also choose to see how, despite technological limitations and geographical separation, people came up with roughly similar myths and explanations over time. It's not divine intervention or anything supernatural, it's pure evolution. The same stories have persisted with our species for thousands of years. So do you really think they're not useful somehow?

This is also evidence for earlier root origin, not spontaeous similarity.
kasen
not rated yet Aug 30, 2009
Size and scope of uncertainty don't change end resultant possibility.


What about uncertainty regarding, or resulting from, the very means by which you define/measure the results?

This is also evidence for earlier root origin, not spontaeous similarity.


I did say it's pure evolution.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2009
If you don't like Godel, then try Heisenberg.

I like them both. Though I don't want to think about Godel in old age.
See, what we've been basically arguing about here is uncertainty and how we should treat it.

No. You got annoyed over what I said about Jehovah when I pointed out there is no doubt that the Jehovah in Genesis is unreal. Just thought that I should point out how this started.
You are a stout believer in the method of induction, a positivist.

Again, I am a believer in using evidence. You seemed to be against it.
You look at a 90% prediction rate and say "most things are certain, so let's keep trying".

No. I said the 90% is VERY high and why would you want to use something worse.
I say "nothing is certain, we might be on the wrong track".

Then you have to test it against the best practices.
I proceed to investigate that remaining 10%, even if just by myself.

This is like saying I got all but two cards in Klondike Solitaire so next time I will get them all. That is, there isn't a remaining 10% since it was a prediction and all predictions are uncertain unless you have ALL the data AND are not dealing with a non-linear situation, which is never the case with human politics.
In our discussion, you focused on things on a human( technology) scale,

No, I focused on getting to the point. That evidence is useful and you can not get anywhere without it.
I focused on the really big and the really small pictures, where things are highly uncertain and traditional reasoning becomes ineffective.

You mostly focused on asking me to join the Pod People. 'Give up evidence' 'Ignore facts' 'go with religion' is how it appeared to me.
but I'm sure you'll agree with me that the optimal course for the development of science is between these two extremes I've described above. Which are basically experimentalist(induction) and theorist(deduction).

Not unless you meant to say the theorists need evidence and experimentalists need theory to understand the evidence. Even if the theory is just a mathematical model that produces numbers that fit the facts even if no one can figure out why, like in Quantum Mechanics.
You should really give comparative religion a try.

I don't think you understood the Aztec picture story. I grew up with comparative religions, at least after I was ten. When my mother was working on a degree in Anthropology. I still can't figure out how she remained Catholic.
. You can choose to see how limited the evidence was millenia ago, but you can also choose to see how, despite technological limitations and geographical separation, people came up with roughly similar myths and explanations over time.

Or I can notice that they didn't do that.

Let there be light.

A giant cow licked a block of ice and the world was formed therefrom.

The Sun will not come up tomorrow if we don't cut out someones heart.

God baked the first batch too long and they came out dark. The next batch was pulled from the oven too soon and they came out all white and pasty but the next batch was Just Right.

It's not divine intervention or anything supernatural, it's pure evolution.


Evolution is kind of messy rather than pure.

The same stories have persisted with our species for thousands of years. So do you really think they're not useful somehow?


Only to keep the ignorant that from reality.

And I really don't think it is right to support ignorance. It is a waste of human potential. 25 to 50 percent of Americans are completely unfit for biology for instance. Because they live in a world of Religiously derived ignorance. They actually think a god flooded the entire Earth, even many of the Old Earth Creationist.

Rules for Internet discussions:
Never lose sight of the actual discussion.
Discussion has THREE Ss.
If there was no point then its OK to wander all over the place.
Don't let evasion go unnoticed.
Try to troll for Scientologists at least every few months. Sometime one may actually bite.
Don't let the other person restate what you said to mean something else.
Poodles are Evil.
Maintain focus even if you find yourself wandering off into other interesting areas, remember to get back the point.
Never forget
"What if there was cosmic significance in the fact that god is dog spelled backwards?
Massacre and mascara are intriguingly similar Mr. DesCarte so what do you mean when you claim 'I drink therefor I am'? "

Most of the above is by Ethelred and he would like attribution if you steal them.
'I drink therefor I am' was stolen from Monty Python.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile

Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his

hysterics.


Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
Here's my two cents: religion is all about ego control, not absolute morality

Many if not most Christians would disagree with you on that. The dogma is that morality comes ONLY from Jehovah and that it IS absolute.



Just thought I'd point out how it actually started. Then, when I tried to explain my position, you kept arguing against Christianity. I try to point at the moon, you stare at someone else's finger...(no, you won't get this)

I still can't figure out how she remained Catholic.


Yeah, trust me, if this discussion is any indication of how perceptive you are, you never will.

You just don't get synthetic reasoning, do you? I give an example with that 90%-10% thing, you proceed to ignore(or just plain didn't see) the point I was trying to make and instead keep arguing about political sciences.

Here's a hint for you. Next time you read something, try to refrain from commenting until you read the entire text and see if there's any idea that emerges from the whole thing. Some things can't be stated clearly in language. Of course, if you're interested in the possibility of learning, as you've put it, and not just defending your own suppositions and ego. If the latter be the case, then carry on with your greedy reductionism. I doubt you're an actual scientist yourself and no one cares about Internet comments anyway, so no harm doable.

Now, since I don't expect you to be able to understand what I've been saying, here's some more gratuitous ad hominems to get you through the day:

And I really don't think it is right to support ignorance.


Then how do you live with yourself?

25 to 50 percent of Americans are completely unfit for biology for instance.


If you're American and any indication for reason and wisdom, I'm surprised at such a low number.


Y'know, I actually looked and I couldn't find any signature options in the profile. Do you actually copy/paste yours each time you comment?
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
Size and scope of uncertainty don't change end resultant possibility.


What about uncertainty regarding, or resulting from, the very means by which you define/measure the results?

If you can't define your results then you weren't measuring anything.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
If you can't define your results then you weren't measuring anything.


It's not that you can't define them at all, it's that they could be defined in many ways, from different perspectives, by different theories. As far as I'm aware, there isn't a single theory that can explain everything. I doubt there ever will be, but that's just an opinion.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
It's not that you can't define them at all, it's that they could be defined in many ways, from different perspectives, by different theories.
But that's what the point of science is. What exactly are you trying to argue? Your point seems to be muddied, or at least, very vague.
Ethelred
3 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2009
Excuse me, I seem to have lost track somewhere along the line.

THIS is how it started
The druids had a great thing going, with exclusively oral transmission of all lore and individual training of the future 'clergymen'.

Me
Because they didn't write it down then it was a good thing despite human sacrifice. I can't agree with that.
I've never seen a fundamentalist or an atheist that supports his position by something other than biblical and scientific factism. How about a decent, lucid philosophical conversation for a change? No anthropological BS, no sociology, no quoting out of context and absolutely no statistics.

Me
That too is peculiar. Atheists do NOT support themselves with the Bible. Neither do us Agnostics. So what do you have against facts?

"scientific factism" I always expect strained arguements from people that invent new versions of real words, especially when they combine them with words they made up.

I promise to only us REAL anthropology. Using the term BS there is not a good start on a decent argument. Is that the five minute argument or the full half hour?

-----------------

There that was the start. Sorry I got confused.

--------------

Then, when I tried to explain my position, you kept arguing against Christianity. I try to point at the moon, you stare at someone else's finger...(no, you won't get this)

And after several decent if confused posts you return to the ad homonym. Take your finger out. Yes that one from that place.

You never explained your position. Except to make bizarre statements about facts. Which does not qualify as an explanation.
Yeah, trust me, if this discussion is any indication of how perceptive you are, you never will.

However you did go in for those ad homonyms.
You just don't get synthetic reasoning, do you?

I am sorry. You should have told us that you are an Artificial Intelligence. As for Kant he is simply wrong on this. Reason without facts remains intellectual masturbation. Nothing unusual in philosophy. Kant seems to rot the brain. Maybe it makes more sense in the original language but I doubt it.
I give an example with that 90%-10% thing, you proceed to ignore(or just plain didn't see) the point I was trying to make and instead keep arguing about political sciences.

Clarity thy name is NOT Kasen. The 90% sets the context to the political science discussion. Clarity has been lacking in almost of what you have written. If you don't make things clear its YOUR fault that you are misunderstood. Assuming I did misunderstand.
Here's a hint for you. Next time you read something, try to refrain from commenting until you read the entire text and see if there's any idea that emerges from the whole thing.

None did. I would go back and change things if it had.

Let me explain how this works. I read a bit and think of something that I don't want to forget as short term memory is SHORT. So I type it when I think of it. Then I continue on. When I reach the end I go over what I wrote and fix things up, repair sentences, shorten them ad more where it doesn't look clear and of course remove stuff that doesn't make sense in the full context. If there was a way to gloss at the side I would do it that way.

I put a fair amount of effort into both understanding and making myself clear. If I can't figure out what a person meant it is more a matter of what they are writing than my reading. I even ask for clarification. Of you for instance but when you engage in attacks instead of clarifying that is your doing and not mine.
Some things can't be stated clearly in language.

Time to learn. If you need images I can understand that but barring that communication MUST use language. Telepathy is just is so hard to use.
If the latter be the case, then carry on with your greedy reductionism.

Ah the Great Evil of Reductionism. Where does this bizarre hatred of breaking things down to understand them come from. And yes it is popular with the religious.

Lets see you have a problem with facts, language, science and reductionism. Apparently we are left with just taking your word and you say language won't work either. Kind of limits things a bit.
I doubt you're an actual scientist yourself and no one cares about Internet comments anyway, so no harm doable.

I never claimed to be a scientist. But people DO care about internet comments or they wouldn't reply to them. Yes that includes you. Unless of course its that Kant thing again. Brain rot. I find it odd that you would put yourself down this way. If you don't care don't post.
Now, since I don't expect you to be able to understand what I've been saying, here's some more gratuitous ad hominems to get you through the day:

They do seem just a tad gratuitous yes. And singularly lacking in humor.
Then how do you live with yourself?

Easy. Everyone is ignorant on some things. Supporting it is something else entirely. There is a HUGE difference between being ignorant because no one can know everything and actively seeking to increase ignorance by pushing false beliefs and avoiding facts.

I call this sort of behavior active ignorance and it fits way too many people.

If you're American and any indication for reason and wisdom, I'm surprised at such a low number.

Typical. Ad homonyms seem to be all you have. I guess that comes from trying to avoid facts.

So by that I would have guess that you think the Flood was real.
Y'know, I actually looked and I couldn't find any signature options in the profile.

There aren't any. Improvise.
Do you actually copy/paste yours each time you comment?

How the heck do you think I copy what you post? Type it out again?

Use Control C Control V. And maybe if you wrote your replies outside that tiny box you could write with more clarity. Use Notepad or some other editor. Make a template with a sig at the end if you want to use one.

Ethelred

Sorry for the new signature. But It Needed Killun.

From QubitTamer's fake profile
Quantum Physicist, torturer of AGW religious zealots like Ethelred because i laugh at his
hysterics.

Qubitwit gets the rest of August in my signature for aiming his idiocy at me. Again.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
Velanarris: I just stated my personal choice of domains of knowledge, quantum physics(the really small picture) and something which could roughly be described as metaphysics(the really big, out-of-the-frame picture). I said I like focusing on these fields because of what I perceive as high uncertainty in them, which leads to conventional reason failing there. Note that I'm not saying I'm an expert, or even very knowledgeable in those disciplines.



The point I was trying to make was addressed to Ethelred and you'll need to consider what I said in the context of my discussion with him.



But you took that particular fragment of it and argued that, I quote without tags: "Size and scope of uncertainty don't change end resultant possibility." . I'll be perfectly honest, I didn't quite understand what you were trying to say here. An example might have helped, as you may have figured out I'm quite a context-dependent thinker.



Lacking that, I just did what you did, took your statement at face-value and gave a (rhetorical) statement that seemed logically valid. Technically, there were two statements, since I said "define/measure". I guess you agreed with the one about uncertainty concerning measurement, since you only tried to rebut the one concerning uncertainty in definition.



And apparently we ended up agreeing, with only your original point being the one to elude us(or just me; do clarify). You do agree that the point of science is to reduce uncertainty and that it can only do it by taking it in steps, theory by theory, don't you?



That reminded me of this lovely quote:



"Religions die when they are proven to be true. Science is the record of dead religions." -Oscar Wilde
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
Kasen,

re-read what you posted above and my contention should be clear. You focus your commentary on matters of inconsistency, then attempt to argue consistency. That's a big disconnect.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
Excuse me, I seem to have lost track somewhere along the line.


Yes, you have. I'm not posting the whole conversation again, just read from my first comment.

And after several decent if confused posts you return to the ad homonym.


Well, did you get that moon and finger analogy? If you didn't, it's a fact, not an ad hominem. By the way, the spell-checker doesn't speak a lot of Latin. Just an FYI. Or is your continued improper use of the term meant to lure me in another fit of pedantry?

Reason without facts remains intellectual masturbation.


And facts without reason are...?

The 90% sets the context to the political science discussion.


For you maybe. I may have not stated clearly "this is an example", but I did start the paragraph by putting me and you in antithesis and continued that way the whole comment. I should've imagined you wouldn't pick up on that, so mea culpa.

If you need images I can understand that but barring that communication MUST use language. Telepathy is just is so hard to use.


Implicitness isn't. Never read a poem? There are some things you can't define completely, but can only point in their direction with language. Everything else is maths.

Ah the Great Evil of Reductionism.


Greedy reductionism. You know, like when you take a piece of text and claim to know exactly what it means it just by knowing the definition of each word.

They do seem just a tad gratuitous yes. And singularly lacking in humor.


That's to be expected. There's a considerable generation gap between us.

There is a HUGE difference between being ignorant because no one can know everything and actively seeking to increase ignorance by pushing false beliefs and avoiding facts.


If people are dumb, they wouldn't get your facts anyway, so arguing with them would be irrational, wouldn't it? Or do you claim to know what's best for humankind?


I used to write posts in notepad a while back, but then I realised that it was too much of a waste of time, and I was already wasting enough on computer games. Lately I've kicked the gaming habit too and got into serials and films, but it's not nearly as time-consuming, especially in the summer. Hence my recent activity on these comment threads. I start school pretty soon, though, so I won't be staying long. And even if I did, I still wouldn't spend 5 seconds to c/p a signature in every comment. You can probably do better than 5 secs, though, with all your training. You must feel so proud.

Oh, and in regards to personal attacks, don't be afraid to use them yourself. Give the audience a grin, eh?
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
Velanarris, where did I infer consistency out of inconsistency? If anything, I'd argue that the only consistent thing is inconsistency, but that's old news and a bit of a stretch as far as the definition of consistent goes.

Seriously, what did you mean by this:

Size and scope of uncertainty don't change end resultant possibility. This is an innaccuracy you'll want to address.


Without further explanation or examples, the best I can do is ask: how does one decide where the end is?

Like I said, I like quantum physics, but I'm not any sort of expert in it, so if it's something related to that, just point a wiki page or similar.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
You stated
I focused on the really big and the really small pictures, where things are highly uncertain and traditional reasoning becomes ineffective.

When something is uncertain, be it by 1% or 100% it is simply uncertain. The degree of certainty doesn't have any effect upon your end result.

You're coupling expectation and observational process. You need to de-couple that and realize regardless of the shortcommings within a process, that there is only one end result of the process, a set of values.

The accuracy of your end values is affected by certainty, making your values more or less accurate, not more or less certain.

You further expounded upon your scope after that point and said:
I just stated my personal choice of domains of knowledge, quantum physics(the really small picture) and something which could roughly be described as metaphysics(the really big, out-of-the-frame picture).


Now you can't perform science against metaphysic because metaphysics doesn't have any result set.

Quantum physics can deliver definite result sets assuming you have understanding of all the variables. You follwoed up with:
It's not that you can't define them at all, it's that they could be defined in many ways, from different perspectives, by different theories.

Which means you don't have ANY fixed results. So you're shooting from the hip on all fronts.

You're talking in circles with no expected outcome. So as I said
re-read what you posted above and my contention should be clear.


The rest of your back and forth with Ethelred the Well Readied is outside the scope of OUR conversation.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
You're coupling expectation and observational process.


Ah, I think I got it now. Although quantum scale processes are inherently uncertain, their measurable results are fixed and certain, as you say:
there is only one end result of the process, a set of values


True, true. So you contend that I tried to use quantum physics to justify the existence of God, or something along those lines? No, I believe quantum mystics are the worst of both worlds, religion and science. The only thing I could think of, and only humorously so, would be something like Schrodinger's God.

I just pointed out quantum physics to show that you need more than just experimentation. The facts and evidence that Ethelred thinks are all-sufficient for scientific advance don't always provide direct answers and one needs to make conceptual leaps, like quantisation, to make sense and use of the data.

In order to make such leaps, it's useful to be able to suppress your former presumptions, to just look at the data without any preconceptions and accept that the theories that served you so well till now are insufficient. I believe religions can generally teach that, some more directly than others. Philosophy even more so. I've recently read about Buddhist atomism. The stuff they thought up without any sort of evidence is quite remarkable. Utterly lacking in immediate utility, but remarkable nevertheless.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
to just look at the data without any preconceptions and accept that the theories that served you so well till now are insufficient. I believe religions can generally teach that,


Again, re-read that and tell me where you're obviously wrong.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
You're either under the impression that I was still talking about quantum physics, or it's the religion part.

Well, I was talking about science and understanding in general. Having a clear mind is important, isn't it? That's where religion, properly applied, can help. Not by furthering the sum of one's factual, scientific knowledge, but by improving the main means of acquiring that knowledge, the mind.
Velanarris
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
Name one instance where religion has forwarded the concept of losing preconceptions.
kasen
1 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2009
You're thinking about churches justifying various deeds by interpreting religious texts and amassing power by keeping people in fear. Catholicism is the most prominent example here, but definitely not the only one.

Science can also lead to a lot of preconception, especially lately, as it's become more mainstream. Lots of people recirculate inaccurate scientific facts and myths, there are even several shows about it.

Protestantism might be considered an example of religious people urging others to lose preconceptions. Check this out: http://en.wikiped...ve_solas . Basically, all they're saying is that you should just read the Bible yourself, since it should be self-contained and you not need interpretation by anyone other than yourself.

Of course, people were still stupid after that and still easily manipulated, but at least these guys weren't claiming to be God's messengers on earth or anything.