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Atheism or Theism??

john wesley
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Have you wondered why this god is so universal in all cultures/tribes thru out history? I think we are better of with religion than with atheism, because it gives a purpose to life where as for atheist the purpose (as told by Darwin) is to �survive and reproduce� consider if today the entire humanity starts to believe in this purpose of life. Pretty scary!


"Let the one among you who has never sinned throw the first stone.." -A Hero
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by john wesley:


so god is Knowledge ?




time for a
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by john wesley:
Have you wondered why this god is so universal in all cultures/tribes thru out history? I think we are better of with religion than with atheism, because it gives a purpose to life where as for atheist the purpose (as told by Darwin) is to �survive and reproduce� consider if today the entire humanity starts to believe in this purpose of life. Pretty scary!


errrrrrr I think the state of the world as of today with religion is open for all to see so I kind of have doubts about that.

But then athiesm is also a kind of an religion if we look at its basic fundamentals where the absence of god is the central belief something on the lines of matter and anti-matter ...

But then you say it correctly, I as a human just do not want to �survive and reproduce�, even viruses do that.

Purpose of our life is what has always been a enigma for humans since time immemorial...

Now only if god could tell me how do i solve the &*#! bug in my code.....
Paul Sturrock
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I think we are better of with religion than with atheism

I think otherwise, given the huge amount of atrocities committed in the name of religion over the millennia. Not an argument against a god per say, but certainly a reason to be suspicious of religion.


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John Smith
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Originally posted by john wesley:
Have you wondered why this god is so universal in all cultures/tribes thru out history? I think we are better of with religion than with atheism, because it gives a purpose to life where as for atheist the purpose (as told by Darwin) is to �survive and reproduce� consider if today the entire humanity starts to believe in this purpose of life. Pretty scary!


Seen this before?
Jim Yingst
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I think history gives us numerous examples of horrible human beings: deists, agnostics, and atheists. I would greatly prefer that we not get involved in arguing over which monsters committed the worst atrocities, and what sort of belief system they're supposedly representative of. Things get ugly pretty quickly, and I don't think any one belief system has successfully prevented abuse by some of its believers.


"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Mapraputa Is
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Jim: I would greatly prefer that we not get involved in arguing over which monsters committed the worst atrocities, and what sort of belief system they're supposedly representative of.

If history teaches us anything, it is that human beings are always capable of acting in their own best interests, with more or less violence, using whatever ideology happened to prevail in the moment -- religion, if the society is religious, "great public welfare" or "patriotism" if it is not, "better life for future generations", etc, etc, etc...

So as Jm said, let's drop it.

John: Have you wondered why this god is so universal in all cultures/tribes thru out history?

Lots of things were quite universal in all cultures/tribes -- subjugation of women, for one example. This fact by itself is not a proof of goodness.
[ May 23, 2007: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

Uncontrolled vocabularies
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Mapraputa Is
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Arun: The reason I say that is, think about a world just before science. I feel lot of things were in control. Of course, science has given us communication, healthcare etc., I don't deny it. But these scientific revolutions has destroyed nature, changed behaviours and attitude of people drastically. I feel there was so much beauty before, which science in a way had destroyed it. It has given us so much information and maturity which I hate. People are always on the run, they are inauthentic to their own self. In a way I like to be naked and immature. Of course nobody is stopping me, but I feel there are so many threads attached to me, that I cannot cut them from me, just like that. If Nature is God, science in a way had deprived us from engulfing GOD.

Um, Ok then. I was going to reply with my thoughts about "beauty and science" but decided to listen to you first. I see that you mean something quite different.

But anyway, I remember there was a post by Max a while back that I liked, and I found it (in the same thread where he "asserted" "for the sake of argument" that Map likes to molest poodles!!!):

"I think that's one of the most amazing things about science: it doesn't destroy your sense of wonder, it enhances & feeds it. I think the world is an amazing place: I think it's astonishing, surprising, and wondrous to behold. I guess I never felt like it needed that extra 'supernatural' element to be worth the bother."
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[ May 23, 2007: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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And for the proponents of "this is just a theory" worldview, another Max's post from the same thread

"regarding conjecture and theory.

A conjecture is pure speculation: it has no(or very little) evidence either way. It's often a precursor to a theory, but it's more often not. For example, it's conjecture for me to speculate that you have six toes on your left leg. it's also conjecture to speculate that you have wings, fangs, and/or horns. Most conjecture never see the light of day( and for good reason).

However, a theory that you have six toes on your left leg would offer some supporting evidence: at the very least, it's disprovable (we could just check and see). Of course, theories grow out of conjecture. A supported theory provides hold some weight, but is not completely accepted. For example, if we verified that you have six toes by examines your shoes. They may indicate that you have six toes, but it might not be enough to be completely convicting.

the two terms are often confused in vernacular English, but they actually specify to disparate concepts. Often, some will say that 'such-and-such is just a theory', when they really man that 'such-and-such is just conjecture'
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R K Singh
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

John: Have you wondered why this god is so universal in all cultures/tribes thru out history?

Lots of things were quite universal in all cultures/tribes -- subjugation of women, for one example. This fact by itself is not a proof of goodness.


We know history as it is told to us.

If you are told today that women were deprived of some rights or they were forced to behave in particular method.

Look around, you are still subjugated.
Tomorrow, you might be representing history.

I feel that the way life/society was earlier, that was best at that time.

Obviosuly, today Mack doesn't go to jungle to kill deer and Mary is waiting for Mack to cook dinner.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Christophe Verré
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Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
And for the proponents of "this is just a theory" worldview, another Max's post from the same thread

"regarding conjecture and theory.

A conjecture is pure speculation: it has no(or very little) evidence either way. It's often a precursor to a theory, but it's more often not.

However, a theory that you have six toes on your left leg would offer some supporting evidence: at the very least, it's disprovable (we could just check and see).




And from the same post.....



Q> Going back to the start almost literally, can science explain how life was created?

A> Actually, yes.

Life is a general term for self-organising, reproducing assemblies of matter. And the simple maths of the situation says that self-organising reproducing assemblies of matter will continue to trend towards the complex, defying entropy's arrow. Basically, anything which allows repeated reproduction will win out.

All that is needed is a way to kick start the self-organising material. It turns out that there is a very common substance which will help structure organic matter in complex fashions - enough to make the creation of amino acids and protein chains possible. It's clay. Clay has a structure which essentially allows it to be a template factory for life.


This is not to say that life arose on this planet from clay. It merely indicates that this was such a possibility - naturally, there is no evidence to support this either way

It is equally possible (perhaps more probable, even) that life on Earth was "bootstrapped" by the arrival of interstellar bacteria.



So Map, is the story of life a theory or conjecture?

As from the definition of conjecture => A conjecture is pure speculation: it has no(or very little) evidence

Evolution of life = >

This is not to say that life arose on this planet from clay. It merely indicates that this was such a possibility - naturally, there is no evidence to support this either way


I really do not want to get into the semantics or grammar and cast aside a genuine question amongst quite a majority of people. People who are exposed to science tend to disagree the thought of god and give more credence to science which is fine till the time they start calling someone who belives in god ignorant.

A question for all who disagree, why it that science and god is mutually exclusive?

The definition of god is human created. We create our own gods. The thought has not been handed on to us which being the case would have proved the existence of a superior being anyways.

Try segregating the mumbo jumbo, rituals, Supreme Being and all things from god and think what it means for you. For people who believe in science, science is god for them. For people who believe in rituals it becomes god for them. For people who believe in XYZ, it becomes god for them.

Do you know the concept of �Aaham brahmasmi� which when literally translated in english gets to be �I am god�, but it is the wrong interpretation. Anyone who knows the concept more will identify it as �I am one with god�.

So how is this possible, if god is a finite entity, the idea called god is not any entity in itself? God is a consciousness amongst us, the consciousness to do good. When we do bad deeds we say god makes us do it but in fact it�s our consciousness which drives us in either good or bad.

It is a perception which has multiple interpretations. When god is denied coz of the wonderful thing called science, it in fact makes science fall into the realm of idealism which is nothing but god.


And since I believe in science, and science is the art of questioning ideas, I can very well question the idea called science itself and that in no way makes me ignorant to the ways of science or religious. It just means that I am seeking knowledge about theories or conjectures which till now have not been proved beyond any doubt (my doubt in this case)
[ May 24, 2007: Message edited by: Devesh H Rao ]
john wesley
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Originally posted by Paul Sturrock:

I think otherwise, given the huge amount of atrocities committed in the name of religion over the millennia. Not an argument against a god per say, but certainly a reason to be suspicious of religion.


Well, true, but we all know why that happened � it was not as if religion was founded primarily for killing �no, the purpose of most religions is quite the opposite, it gave us morality and idealism, religion was twisted for personal gains. Now consider this� a religions which puts �personal gains� as the purpose of life for its followers, a religion that say �survival� and �reproduction� is what this life is all about, then imagine what a havoc it can cause �you don�t need to twist this religion for personal gains �it is for personal gains from the day one. Why do we send millions in aid to Africa ? why cant we just say �O! they are not the fittest for survival !!� wouldn�t that be scientific ? so why do we behave in such an un scientific way ? because we are not animals ! we are humans ! and we all understand that we are something extra than animals, something special �. Every human is special (don�t you think you are special � even if you�re the biggest loner in the world) and we are certainly not here for no reason.
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Lots of things were quite universal in all cultures/tribes -- subjugation of women, for one example. This fact by itself is not a proof of goodness.
It's also an example of the bandwagon fallacy. Just because a lot of people believe in something, it doesn't make it correct.


Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:
This is not to say that life arose on this planet from clay. It merely indicates that this was such a possibility - naturally, there is no evidence to support this either way
I disagree. There is a lot of evidence which supports evolution, just none which proves it beyond doubt. The same is true of gravity and we don't deny that!
A question for all who disagree, why it that science and god is mutually exclusive?
Perhaps they shouldn't be. Science is just a method of finding things out. God is a thing. Plenty of scientists are theists.

Of course it often isn't that simple. Some science is rejected by theists when it doesn't conform to their view of the world (evolution for example). This means that while it could be possible to believe in God while being a scientist, many of the claims made in the name of God are not compatible with what we have discovered through science. Perhaps it is some religion, not God, which is incompatible with science.
When god is denied coz of the wonderful thing called science, it in fact makes science fall into the realm of idealism which is nothing but god.
Science doesn't deny God. It simply says that there is no proof which may indicate he exists. This is a very different thing.

It is also far from idealism. Idealists will often hold on to a concept when there is no reason to do so. The whole purpose of the scientific method is to do the opposite - to only hold on to a concept when there is a reason. An idealist will have their view point despite evidence, where as a scientist will have their view because of the evidence. This means that a scientist can change their view, but an idealist can't.

Prove God, and scientists will believe.


There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by john wesley:
Why do we send millions in aid to Africa ? why cant we just say �O! they are not the fittest for survival !!� wouldn�t that be scientific ? so why do we behave in such an un scientific way ? because we are not animals ! we are humans ! and we all understand that we are something extra than animals, something special �. Every human is special (don�t you think you are special � even if you�re the biggest loner in the world)


This implies that an atheist would not do altruistic actions, which is demonstrably not true.

So why do we do altruistic actions? One theory is that cooperation is actually a useful survival strategy (there's some interesting areas of Game Theory concerned with this). It isn't hard to imagine that primates who developed an instinct to help out fellow members of their tribe would have had more of a chance of spreading their genes then primates who didn't. We then evolved a tendency to help out other people.

Obviously it doesn't work all the time - we have other instincts towards violence - but I don't think we need to fall back on a deity to explain morality.

we are certainly not here for no reason.
Why certainly? It seems the issue is far from clear.

Personally I find the idea that we're here for no reason (perhaps purpose is a better word) not as satisfying as if there was, but that doesn't make it more true. I can't see any reason to indicate purpose behind our existence.
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:

I disagree. There is a lot of evidence which supports evolution, just none which proves it beyond doubt. we don't deny that!


Like.....? has anyone been able to replicate the same, leave alone a multi celled organism has even a single cell been created (not cloned) and whats with the we, I am not against anyone. I am as stubborn as any atheist when it gets to rituals and divinity stuff. For me its just that god means different.

PS: By the way I believe in evolution theory.... but it is the case coz it is the only logical reasoning(as understood by me using my finite knowledge) I find around.

Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
Perhaps they shouldn't be. Science is just a method of finding things out. God is a thing.


Perfect....




Some science is rejected by theists when it doesn't conform to their view of the world (evolution for example).


I am not carrying a torch for these kind of theists am I...? and anyways god is not something which can be defined by a group for others. Coz it happens often does not make it right.


Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
Perhaps it is some religion, not God, which is incompatible with science.


now we are talking same wavelength....



Prove God, and scientists will believe.


Prove god does not exist and the theists will belive.... and the twain never meet

Not wanting to poke fun at anyone, I have had conversations with a person who called himself rationalist, he called out to god and since nothing happened he claimed god does not exist. I thought he was being sarcastic but he was not and his idea was based on the premise that god being omnipotent, god should have responded.

I mean, ok I really would like to have a conversation which increases my knowledge but this kind of bargains are not my cup of tea....
[ May 24, 2007: Message edited by: Devesh H Rao ]
john wesley
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
This implies that an atheist would not do altruistic actions, which is demonstrably not true.


NO, I am trying to tell how religion has contributed towards our well being, I am trying to tell that if a nation or the entire world starts to apply Darwinian principals as a whole then what a cruel world it could be (comparing to the atrocities done in the name of religion). If pious thoughts could have be exploited so much then consider what �nothing� and �nowhere� kind of thoughts could have done to us.
[ May 24, 2007: Message edited by: john wesley ]
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:
PS: By the way I believe in evolution theory....


I find no reason to belive that jiraffe was the only animal whose neck become long becasue there was no food available on ground.

If man has come from Chimpangee, then how come there are so many different races of the same homosapians.

I mean, I know the typical answer that evolution does not happen overnight and it takes so much time that there is no one to witness it

I was athiest and right not I am neither atheist nor theist.
stephen gates
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Stephen, personally I don't, in general, laugh at people who believe in some sort of god. I only laugh at people who make fools of themselves by repeating poorly-conceived nonsense over and over in an attempt to convince others of their point. It's time to move on, I think.


I'm not trying to prove any point. I'm throwing out fallacies in your own argument. You proved the kind of person you are by your above written paragraph.

We can test whatever we want on Earth, it still does not mean it's the same on some planet in a galaxy far far away. We have not sent a Ship to Mars which returned to Earth yet. So it is just theories. Educated Guesses. There are no facts to back up whatever might be claimed about Mars or any other planet. Maybe one day it will, maybe it won't, but at this point it is just a theory. We ASSUME Mars is sort of like Earth. We ASSUME planets far far away are just like Earth or a lot different than Earth.

But remember most people also Assumed the Earth was flat at some point. Now you can laugh at that claim, but if you went back in history, the majority of the world believed it to be fact. Almost like you believe to be fact what some planet in a far far off galaxy is made of because, "hey it's been tested on Earth, so that's what it must be."

You Assume something with no real hard evidence. Testing something on Earth does not mean it's the same thing on some planet we saw in a telescope.
[ May 24, 2007: Message edited by: stephen gates ]
Rashid Mayes
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The earth was assumed to be flat because of what was observed. It was not pulled out of nowhere. During that time someone would have provided evidence of why they felt the earth was flat. And I am sure much of it would have been presented from direct observation. This example is not useful in this case because we have a system that has yet to provide any observable evidence of its conclusion.

Furthermore, the definition and number of Gods has changed over time. And will continue to change. The things that people once felt were in God's domain slip into the human domain as technology progresses.

I think it is worth mentioning that many countries with higher numbers of Atheists have lower crimes rates, divorce rates, STD rates, abortion rates, etc than their more religious counterparts. And yes, that includes the US.

It is true, and demonstrable, that societies can function well without an overwhelming belief in God.

I am sure many of us are aware that the religious community in the US has a higher divorce rate than the Atheist community.

So it turns out that countries with high numbers of Atheists are really not that scary.

But I do not think that religion or the lack thereof is the best indicator of what makes a place scary or not; wealth distribution is a better indication in my opinion. Cultural and political systems also play a part.

The analysis of the Darwinian approach is far too simple. I think we are mixing micro and macro levels when considering survival of the fittest. Humans are social. There are many factors that affect survivability. Building healthy social systems improve survivability. Healthy economies improve survivability. Technology improves survivability. We can return to survivability once everyone on this planet has equal access to the tools of survivability.

The truth of the matter, on the micro level, is that most of us aspire to do more than just survive. That is where the complexity is introduced.

I do not think the providing monetary aid to Africa was a good example. Besides the fact that Africa is a huge continent, and not all of its inhabitants are poor and starving, you would have to discuss corruption, mismanagement, ethnic divisions/colonialism, international pressures that keep wages low, etc. Healthy economies need infrastructure, which his hard to develop without technology expertise, regardless of how much money is left over after mismanagement and corruption. But again, this is not true for the entire continent. This topic requires much more discussion and is way out of scope for this thread. And yes, I have been there.

Also, disproving one belief/theory does not mean the other is true. For example, disproving that JavaRanch in running on RedHat does not mean it is running on Ubuntu. You have to present evidence. Observation/Investigation/Inspection would suggest it is running CentOS.

To disprove evolution is not enough to prove creationism.

For me, on the personal level, the question of whether God exists is not an important one. I do not think the answer will change how I live my life. I do the things that I do not because of fear of eternal damnation, lust for afterlife rewards, or more worldly rewards (karma). To me, having a positive impact on the world is enough.

To be honest I find that the world can be wondrous and beautiful in itself.

I am not saying that am an Atheist. But I find it disconcerting when Theists say that those who do not share their theology lack purpose, character, judgment, or are uninterested in improving the world. This line of thinking can lead to precarious consequences. Whether Atheist or Theist, these things depend on the individual.

I find this discussion interesting but this will be my last comment on the topic. I need to write more code to improve my survivability Good luck to everyone.
[ May 24, 2007: Message edited by: Rashid Mayes ]

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Satish Chilukuri
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:


Like.....? has anyone been able to replicate the same, leave alone a multi celled organism has even a single cell been created (not cloned) and whats with the we, I am not against anyone. I am as stubborn as any atheist when it gets to rituals and divinity stuff. For me its just that god means different.


Actually these guys did manage to create a self replicating molecule

And these guys created a Virus
Devesh H Rao
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Ok I have not gone through the whole article... but a question for you...

Are these scientists playing god...?

The theory again comes down to a more intelligent species creating a sub intelligent species..... or did i get the definition of god wrong... if humans originated from a single cell of protein then who/what/how was the process set into motion....?

Or did the protein cell all of a sudden decide to "get a life of its own" ?
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by R K Singh:


I find no reason to belive that jiraffe was the only animal whose neck become long becasue there was no food available on ground.


there is a type of a gazelle whose neck is also elongated coz of the same reason....

Long necked gazelle


Originally posted by R K Singh:

If man has come from Chimpangee, then how come there are so many different races of the same homosapians.


Man did not come from chimpanzees.. it is believed that both had common ancestors some eons back... and

The answer to your question at the following link
Chimps, Humans 96 Percent the Same, Gene Study Finds

Quoted from the link

Humans and chimps originate from a common ancestor, and scientists believe they diverged some six million years ago.

Given this relatively short time since the split, it's likely that a few important mutations are responsible for the differences between the two species



And the difference between the different races [though I strictly think the race thing is a political creation] is minimal... and they are mutations, not any sequence difference in the genome structure.

Again answer to your question at the following link

Nat geo - Genome Project



Originally posted by R K Singh:

I mean, I know the typical answer that evolution does not happen overnight and it takes so much time that there is no one to witness it


Everyone is a witness....

Appendix

Some experts belive that the appendix was for digesting leaves as primates, over time we have eaten less vegatables and over the thousands of years we have evolved for this organ to be smaller to make room for our stomach.



Originally posted by R K Singh:

I was athiest and right not I am neither atheist nor theist.


Hey ravish...Its better that way.....no groups to belong to... no allegiances to any beliefs... life life our way....
Satish Chilukuri
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:


Ok I have not gone through the whole article... but a question for you...

Are these scientists playing god...?


I wouldn't say it as "playing God". I'd say it as "understanding nature".


The theory again comes down to a more intelligent species creating a sub intelligent species.....


Yes, that is quite possible. We might really be the machine designed for finding the Ultimate Question


or did i get the definition of god wrong... if humans originated from a single cell of protein then who/what/how was the process set into motion....?

Or did the protein cell all of a sudden decide to "get a life of its own"


Current evidence suggests the process is through evolution. As to the question of when a protein decides to "get a life of its own", I can't answer that. Maybe someone who knows biology/chemistry can do that.
Jim Yingst
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[Stephen]: I'm not trying to prove any point. I'm throwing out fallacies in your own argument.

Which of my arguments are you referring to? Please don't assume that all people who disagree with you think alike.

[Stephen]: You Assume something with no real hard evidence.

I don't think you know what I assume (or Assume), or what I consider a "fact" vs. what I consider a well-supported theory, a poorly-supported theory, or an unsupported conjecture. And your idea of what we have for "hard evidence" seems rather limited.

In the case of information about Mars, it's true we haven't brought anything back from the planet, or sent a human there. But we have sent robots. They do more than just take pictures; they take soil samples and perform chemical tests.

Does (optical) spectroscopy count as "just taking pictures"? It's a very well-tested and well-supported technique for determining chemical composition using light. It gives much more detailed info about the chemical composition of something than "pictures" do, and it's been employed very extensively to determine chemical composition of stars and planets.

Yes, scientists do believe that it's very unlikely that the underlying principles behind spectroscopy have changed from one planet to another. Though it's not an assumption with no evidence, because Mars landers have also subjected soil to other tests, such as mass spectrometry. Which is not optical in nature - they take physical samples, ionize them, and fire the ions through magnetic fields to see how they respond that thereby measure the mass-charge ratio, which is used to identify the composition of the ions.

Yes, here again there's a remote chance that the underlying assumptions are somehow invalid when we go from Earth to Mars - but the point is, they're different assumptions than those used in optical spectroscopy. And yet, we find that mass spectroscopy on physical samples confirms the previous findings from optical spectroscopy. (With additional detail.) So we have one set of well-supported theories and techniques supporting another independent set of well-supported theories and techniques. Just like they do on Earth.

Sure, if we could transport physical samples from Mars to Earth, we'd be able to run many more tests. And they're working on doing just that. But it seems pretty foolish to dismiss the evidence we currently have as "just pictures", and that's what I meant when I said you're overstating your point to absurd levels. You make it sound like we have nothing but guesses with no evidence at all to back them up - and that's not the case.

Going back to an earlier quote:

[Stephen]: Facts change all the time. Like I said, the theory of what black holes are and how they operate seems to change every week. There really is no such thing as a fact.

Every week? Well, there are many different theories on the inner workings of black holes, and perhaps you're hearing about different theories at different times. That's not the same as a single theory that changes every week. And you'd have a very hard time finding any scientist who presents any of these theories as facts. At least, not in reference to any parts that "change every week". Some of the theory is very strongly supported by evidence, other parts are weakly-supported, other parts are conjectural. But responsible scientists are careful to identify how certain they are about a given idea, and they don't toss around the term "fact" lightly in such discussions.

Scientific knowledge isn't absolute. There are some ideas that seem very, very likely to be true, others that are probable, others that seem unlikely, and others that are viewed as almost certainly impossible. And science has mechanisms for evaluating and revising these ideas, as new evidence is discovered. Attempting to classify all knowledge as either absolute fact or "just theory" is a pointless oversimplification, tossing out the baby with the bathwater.
fred rosenberger
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I don't think facts ever change, sort of by definition. We may not know the facts, we may make guesses as to what the facts are, but regardless of what we believe to be the case, facts are facts.

Stephen, it sounds to me like your arguing just to argue. If we bring soil sample back from Mars, are you going to argue we still don't know what's on Mars because we don't know the soil doesn't change on the journey? Are you going to argue that by taking the soil sample out of the ground, we are changing it (ala the Uncertainty Priciple)? Or if we go there, maybe our bodies will be changed and only PERCEIVE things to be one way, when really they are another?

All the evidence points to a single conclusion. That's the beauty of science - it incorporates ALL the evidence. it EMBRACES things that contradict what we believe.


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
stephen gates
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You seem to know what you're talking about and I'm not dismissing theories as fake or fact. All I'm pointing out is that what many scientist's do the same things religous zealouts do. They try to belittle the other argument just to prove their point and in the end, both look like fools.

Mars is a planet for now. We've sent robots there to collect data, samples, and to take pictures. From that data they can perform tests and assume certain things. It probably is close to fact as it can be.

But my argument isn't about Mars. It's about many people who will throw the "God" theory away because it can't be proved or disproved. Yet at the same time many of these same people make assumptions about planets in some far off galaxy. Things that are nothing more than assumptions and blind theories because these galaxies and "planets" are indeed billions and trillions of light years away. Most people will just accept what is told because in reality, you will probably never get a chance to prove or disprove them in my lifetime and most other people's lifetimes. Maybe one day, but that might be a hundred or a thousand years from now.

So most people never see these galaxies, never touch them, don't see first hand pictures of them, never really know much about them, but take it on blind "faith" that it is fact because some scientists say so.

That sounds an awful lot like the masses believing the world is flat. It also sounds an awful lot like people who believe in whatever "faith" that their is a supreme being or "God."

You can't condemn people for having "faith" in a god yet at the same time have "faith" that some galaxy far far away is what a scientist on earth says it is.

I'm not a big fan of religion. Whether it's the big three(christian, judaism, or muslim) or hindu, buddhism, confuscism, and so on it doesn't really matter. Because say what you want, most wars over the years have been fought due to religion and "god."

Maybe it was just one or two people of that faith who may have caused the destruction. But last time I checked, it only takes one Leader to destroy a world. Hitler, Stalin, Hussien, heck some people might say Bush. You are defined by your leaders, like it or not.

The new Pope made another stupid remark in South America about the catholic or christian saying his faith showed Latin America the saviors path a couple hundred years ago. Seems to me his faith and religion a couple hundred years ago came with weapons and hate more than peace and love.

I hate it when religious people try to push their "beliefs" on other people. Everybody will believe what they will believe. But at the same time I don't like it when non-believers and scientists push their own "faiths" on other people.

It's the age old saying, can't ever talk about religion or politics without causing a stir.


On another note, somebody once said, "Human Beings are the worse virus there ever was."

We invade, kill, destroy, and then try to take over the host country. Sounds to me like a virus. Who knows.
fred rosenberger
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So most people never see these galaxies, never touch them, don't see first hand pictures of them, never really know much about them, but take it on blind "faith" that it is fact because some scientists say so.
but the photos DO exist. the experiments HAVE been performed, documented and duplicated. anybody can, whenever they want, perform the same experiments.

I mean, I've never seen photos of Fiji. I'm told it's there. a lot of people believe it's there. but i've never seen the evidence myself. should i deny it's existence as only a rumor, speculation, or WAG?

Science is very open. You perform some tests. Other people review your experiments, tell you what you did wrong, or try and prove you wrong. Religion is the opposite. somebody 4000 years ago claims a burning bush spoke to him. there were no witnesses. it has not happened again. ONE guy claims that ONE time some magical being spoke to him, and it is taken as fact, a miracle, and boy howdy do you get in trouble when you question it. questioning the conclusions of science STRENGTHENS it. questioning religion gets you in trouble.
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Satish Chilukuri:

I wouldn't say it as "playing God". I'd say it as "understanding nature".



I do not want to play with semantics... you know what I meant and I know you got what was meant

Originally posted by Satish Chilukuri:


Yes, that is quite possible. We might really be the machine designed for finding the Ultimate Question


A> 42

Originally posted by Satish Chilukuri:

Current evidence suggests the process is through evolution. As to the question of when a protein decides to "get a life of its own", I can't answer that. Maybe someone who knows biology/chemistry can do that.



I guess a mathematician will do a better job... it is more a question of finding the probability of the event and placing it in "known" lifespan of universe... but the problem is not all factors are known thus preventing a finite timing of the event.
Devesh H Rao
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And before we jump onto religion is all so bad and atheism is all so good...

run through the list of famous atheists and then continue...

1. Mao
2. Stalin
3. I really really really do not want to take his name and I wont but you all know who I am referring to.

Religion has nothing to do with killing, it gets blamed for it is the sad part. Show me any religion which says to kill is good and I will take my words back and apologise to all concerned. Do not blame religion for deeds of people.

And pray tell me which religion caused the following

1. WW1
2. WW2
3. Chernobyl
4. Global warming

Its so easy to see the good part but it is also a good idea not to ignore the bad... good deeds gives happines for a moment... but bad deeds can give grief for life and it is not the proprietary of any particular line of thought...

PS: why did religion even get dragged into the discussion.... God != Religion.
There is evidence to prove that religion has got more threads thrashed on MD than anything else and that is a fact so can we not go down that line please.

Abhishek Makkar
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The ostrich is famous in contemporary folklore for hiding its head in the sand when in danger, so the logic is if something is not visible its not there.

Same is the case with almost everyone here, each one of us know the reality but are buried deep in our believes, break free everything is visible.

Everyone wants to be different from others but the truth is that no one is. God is like a sun n all the people are like rays, go to your core you will find God no need to find outside. [ ]


I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance. -Socrates
Ulf Dittmer
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3. I really really really do not want to take his name and I wont but you all know who I am referring to.


Even though you're trying to avoid to spelling it out, I think you still lose the debate according to the corollary to [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_Law]Godwin's Law[/url].


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Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:


Even though you're trying to avoid to spelling it out, I think you still lose the debate according to the corollary to [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_Law]Godwin's Law[/url].


That was what I was trying to avoid... the good old godwin law.... I think I do not remember exactly but did we ever on MD have a count of no of threads thrashed due to godwin's law....

Though in my defence I will say ... from the article

Godwin�s Law does not apply to discussions directly addressing genocide, propaganda, or other mainstays of the Nazi regime



But yes I agree this thread has kind of got monotonous and repetative [I am equally to blame.]
[ May 25, 2007: Message edited by: Devesh H Rao ]
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:
Like.....?
There is a large amount of evidence which supports evolution. A good example is the fossil record which Scientists can use to show how species appear to change over time. Clearly this isn't definitive proof, but it is a strong indication that evolution is happening. We could also look at the observed changes in fruit flies, bacteria and viruses as examples of evolution.
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by john wesley:
I am trying to tell that if a nation or the entire world starts to apply Darwinian principals as a whole then what a cruel world it could be
True, and a good example of this is Social Darwinism, which was a particularly unfortunate political idea.

However believing that we evolve through evolution does not imply that we need to structure our moral code on evolution. Evolution explains how we happened to come about, but it does not imply that evolutionary development (either of a species or a culture) is morally good.
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by R K Singh:
how come there are so many different races of the same homosapians.
There aren't many - there is exactly one species of Homo Sapians and it is Homo Sapiens. It is one of the greatest tragedies in human history that humanity has often been classified into seperate races - we're all the same!
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
There is a large amount of evidence which supports evolution. A good example is the fossil record which Scientists can use to show how species appear to change over time. Clearly this isn't definitive proof, but it is a strong indication that evolution is happening. We could also look at the observed changes in fruit flies, bacteria and viruses as examples of evolution.


I was not questioning evolution, as I myself have told I belive in the process of evolution and there are enough instances surrounding us to support the same.

My question was more on lines of evolution being self starting.... I will try to put it in a better fashion... I am not looking for any "entity" per say to have kickstarted the process, but an "event" which kickstarted the process.

We also have lots of proof that events surrounding an entity get set into motion by a entity of superior-intelligence acting as a catalyst.

If we consider software to be some kind of primary intelligence, humans created it. if we consider single celled organisms created in "labs" as some kind of intelligence, again humans created it so on and so forth.

So was it any different for all living things on planet... it is supposed to have started life from protein cells due to some "event" some eons back. Now was this event a natural event or some how seeded by something else.. ? Is that not a valid question to have...?
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:
run through the list of famous atheists and then continue...

1. Mao
2. Stalin
3. I really really really do not want to take his name and I wont but you all know who I am referring to.


Firstly it is debatable if number 2 was atheist and there is good evidence number 3 wasn't. Regardless of that, the flaw in these kinds of lists, both of bad atheists and bad theists, is that they don't tell if the crimes committed by these people derived from their religious beliefs or not. We would need to differentiate between a person who kills because of his religious belief, or kills for some other reasons by just happens to have a particular religious belief.

The key factor in these lists of bad people isn't theism or atheism, but fundamentalism. This fundamentalism, which can be religious or political, takes the form of a belief which cannot be questioned, a belief so strong that it can be used to sweep aside moral issues and attack opponents. Once a belief is declared to be unquestionable (something some religious and political groups say), then it can be used to do some terrible things.
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:
My question was more on lines of evolution being self starting.... I will try to put it in a better fashion... I am not looking for any "entity" per say to have kickstarted the process, but an "event" which kickstarted the process.
You may be interested in Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker which has some pretty convincing ideas about how life may have started off.

Essentially (and I haven't read the book in a while, so I may be remembering this wrong - Dawkins explains it much better then I could.) his idea is something along the lines of simple molecules forming into self replicating patterns as the starting point of evolution. He gives some examples of this - it is something which can happen fairly often in seemingly chaotic situations.

At the heart of the evolutionary pattern is this fairly simple idea - that life is pretty much just some self-replicating molecules (our genes) and some tools the genes have developed to help them replicate (us). Puts us in our place!

[ May 25, 2007: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
[ May 25, 2007: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:


Firstly it is debatable


I would not like to get into that debate with you ... coz I do not think the outcome of that debate will anyhow add value to this thread. I put in that post just to draw attention to that "fact" that blaming religion for all the ills is not that fair, A person who is religious today may turn an atheist and then religious again. And in the persons may have had a share of good and bad deeds. so what does that make of the person.




PS: Dave, I was curious about the point you mentioned about hitler being religious. I have read a bit of history around that times and also his memoirs. I all the time till now used to think his hatred was driven by his own devils and religion was not one of them. maybe I was wrong or have not read enough. By the way Stalin was an atheist.
 
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