Write complaints to CNN!

  • Thread starter Cyrus
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  • #26
you're talking 50 years ago though. It doesn't go in one direction. It's going to fade and come back. Homosexuality was fine and dandy in Greek/Roman times... Religion was foolish in the Golden Age.... it waxes and wanes. You can raise your kids to have a good idea of reality, but good luck with other people's parents.

They may not have had the kind of organized religion we have, but the greeks and romans were very religious. I don't know if the Greeks believed in their gods as fanatically as the Romans did, but all those gods they wrote about weren't for show. They believed in spirits and gods and forest-fairies and all sorts of crazy stuff.

Ok, it might be true that their religion was more of a genuine attempt to explain the universe, and their societies would not have suppressed scientific discoveries the way, say, the church would. But still... the kind of blatant atheism/agnosticism (I'm an agnostic, not an atheist) that can be expressed today on national TV, books, magazines, radio etc. throughout so many places in the world, is a historical rarity.
No social process grows in a linear fashion; there are always ups and downs.

I'm sure abusive people will still be abusive about their warped realities without needing a header like religion.

I agree, religion is most definitely not the root of all evil, as some extremists might say.

At the same time, I forget how the exact saying goes, it's somewhere along the lines of: good people will do good things, bad people will do bad things, but it takes religion to make good people do bad things (I know this is probably horribly paraphrased).

An extreme example is suicide bombers: these people believe they are doing a good thing. Their mothers feel pride and joy when they send their sons to blow themselves up and kill dozens of people, because they truly, whole-heartedly believe that it is the right thing to do. They are not bad people; they are sacrificing their lives (and their children) for what religion has brainwashed them to believe is a good cause.
Obviously an extreme example, but that's what a society where non-religious thinking is prohibited can breed.

I think that the main thing to remember here is that organized religion is not about faith; it's about power.

exactly.
 
  • #27
Pythagorean
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They may not have had the kind of organized religion we have, but the greeks and romans were very religious. I don't know if the Greeks believed in their gods as fanatically as the Romans did, but all those gods they wrote about weren't for show. They believed in spirits and gods and forest-fairies and all sorts of crazy stuff.

I was talking about homosexuality as a sinusoidal trend, following the point you made about social progress.

As for religion, the Golden Age was when man (western man, I guess) realized that they were accountable for their actions and that gods and fate were less substantial. I didn't mean to relate the two to the same time period (though they may be, I don't know the numbers).

But still... the kind of blatant atheism/agnosticism (I'm an agnostic, not an atheist) that can be expressed today on national TV, books, magazines, radio etc. throughout so many places in the world, is a historical rarity.

I must admit, I like Christopher Hitchens ideas a lot. I'm an atheist when it comes to most theism, agnostic about deism.

At the same time, I forget how the exact saying goes, it's somewhere along the lines of: good people will do good things, bad people will do bad things, but it takes religion to make good people do bad things (I know this is probably horribly paraphrased).

An extreme example is suicide bombers: these people believe they are doing a good thing. Their mothers feel pride and joy when they send their sons to blow themselves up and kill dozens of people, because they truly, whole-heartedly believe that it is the right thing to do. They are not bad people; they are sacrificing their lives (and their children) for what religion has brainwashed them to believe is a good cause.
Obviously an extreme example, but that's what a society where non-religious thinking is prohibited can breed.

Yes, what Danger and you agreed on holds true. I assume the people who have the power of religion have much less faith than the people that are used by it, and the people who have faith in religion have much less power than the people who use it.

I feel pretty powerless against them though. They get voted into office... they have a military and oil. All I have is a handful of physical truths that I'm not sure I completely understand yet.
 
  • #28
I was talking about homosexuality as a sinusoidal trend, following the point you made about social progress.

As for religion, the Golden Age was when man (western man, I guess) realized that they were accountable for their actions and that gods and fate were less substantial. I didn't mean to relate the two to the same time period (though they may be, I don't know the numbers).

Sorry, in that sense I agree. And civilization did take a step back with the fall of the Romans (which was not caused by religion or Christianity, like I used to think. It had more to do with internal political corruption).

This still doesn't mean we should give up. I may be too much of an optimist in this case, but I think it is possible to have a second golden age (minus the slavery and torture and all that, hopefully :rofl:). It probably won't be in our lifetimes, or even in our grandchildren's' lifetimes, but I do think it's possible.
Even if the Greek philosophers themselves failed, their words and ideas have lived on for thousands of years, and still influence people greatly. In that same way, the ideas of our generation can influence future generations on so on.
 
  • #29
G01
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It won't do any good though -- you have to understand that these days, religious people are mostly on the defensive. They see medicine and science encroaching upon their "territory" all the time. As a result, they spend an inordinate amount of their resources inventing ways to discount the scientific evidence and maintain a narrow rationale for faith. Think about how the vatican has responded to everything from dinosaur bones to stem cells.

If these true believers see such an advertisement, they'll just write it off as evil scientists trying to rob them of their faith yet again.

- Warren


How did the Vatican respond to dinosaur bones? I'm pretty sure John Paul II taught Catholics to support evolution. I always gave the Catholic Church more credit than some other denominations for at least accepting evolution. I may be wrong though...:confused:
 
  • #30
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Evolution Commercial. :biggrin:

 
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  • #31
chroot
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How did the Vatican respond to dinosaur bones? I'm pretty sure John Paul II taught Catholics to support evolution. I always gave the Catholic Church more credit than some other denominations for at least accepting evolution. I may be wrong though...:confused:

That's exactly what I mean. The Vatican's initial stance was, of course, that God created the universe in its current state. Later, in the face of scientific evidence, it relaxed the view, and instead said that evolution may have happened, but that God must have started or driven it.

That's my point -- religious people have been grudgingly accepting scientific evidence for a while now, but they're always very careful to leave a narrow path through which they can continue to have faith in their deity.

- Warren
 
  • #32
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This still doesn't mean we should give up. I may be too much of an optimist in this case, but I think it is possible to have a second golden age...

Yeah, I'm not "giving up", I just realize the futility of my voice in the tide of the media. The most powerful god in this world is money.

It's case-by-case. You can't help somebody who doesn't want help. I'm gladly willing to help someone who wants to understand science... but there's a point where I don't feel I'm much more of an authority on reality then the next guy.

I guess I just don't feel like I'm some great seer, spreading the truth, or like I have some meaningful purpose or anything like some science-advocates do. It's borderline creepy-religious in itself. I think we're all pretty self-serving, and I don't trust people who put there noses up in the air and act like they know the answers to big questions... whether they're a scientist or a preacher.

I'm just a dude... the fact that I'm interested in physics is just part of who I am, I don't feel entitled to be a modern preacher because of it.

Now... if somebody wants to take my stuff in the name of Jesus, then we have a problem.
 
  • #33
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  • #34
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Yeah, I'm not "giving up", I just realize the futility of my voice in the tide of the media.

That is basically a textbook definition of giving up. So, yep, you basically gave up in your head that "its not going to happen, screw it."
 
  • #35
I guess I just don't feel like I'm some great seer, spreading the truth, or like I have some meaningful purpose or anything like some science-advocates do. It's borderline creepy-religious in itself. I think we're all pretty self-serving, and I don't trust people who put there noses up in the air and act like they know the answers to big questions... whether they're a scientist or a preacher.

Well, I guess we just see the world differently. I do see change and progress—albeit slow at times—none of it fueled by inaction. The 19th and 20th century were an incredible explosion of progress in art, literature, science, human rights and social issues, and I do see hope in all aspects... I'm not a hippy, but too much cynicism is also unrealistic.

The most powerful god in this world is money.

what! there is only one true god :biggrin: :

southparkgod.jpg
 
  • #36
Danger
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I don't trust people who put there noses up in the air and act like they know the answers to big questions... whether they're a scientist or a preacher.

That's what I see as the overwhelming difference between science and religion. Science comes up with an idea, tries everything in its power to destroy that idea, and decides that it's worth further investigation if it survives. Religion comes up with an idea and says 'Believe this or we'll kill you'.
 
  • #37
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That's exactly what I mean. The Vatican's initial stance was, of course, that God created the universe in its current state. Later, in the face of scientific evidence, it relaxed the view, and instead said that evolution may have happened, but that God must have started or driven it.

That's my point -- religious people have been grudgingly accepting scientific evidence for a while now, but they're always very careful to leave a narrow path through which they can continue to have faith in their deity.

- Warren
On the other hand, the Big Bang theory was ultimately conceived by a priest, and the Vatican jumped on the Big Bang bandwagon pretty quickly (because it supported the idea of a starting point).
 
  • #38
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That is basically a textbook definition of giving up. So, yep, you basically gave up in your head that "its not going to happen, screw it."

did you read the rest of my post? I'm not really giving up if I don't think I'm doing something righteous in the first place.
 
  • #39
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On the other hand, the Big Bang theory was ultimately conceived by a priest, and the Vatican jumped on the Big Bang bandwagon pretty quickly (because it supported the idea of a starting point).

And Newton discovered a lot about chemistry while he was searching for God through alchemy. Religious people have contributed tons to science.
 
  • #40
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Who said anything about being righteous?
 
  • #41
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Who said anything about being righteous?

you...

Righteousness:
"characterized by or proceeding from accepted standards of morality or justice"

cyrusabdollahi said:
[...]Do you sit back when injustice happens[...]
 
  • #42
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I never said this was an injustice, I said Do you sit back when an injustice happens.

You took what I said out of context. Read it again.
 
  • #43
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I never said this was an injustice, I said Do you sit back when an injustice happens.

You took what I said out of context. Read it again.

You're complaining about a TV commercial right? Calling it an injustice? That's what you seemed to imply. Otherwise, why would you bring it up, because that's what I was talking about.... Are you trolling me or something?

If you really want to hate on CNN, consider Bosnia, when they paid off the natives to ambush US Troops so they could get it on film. I had a friend who got a dead baby thrown at him.
 
  • #44
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I never called the TV show an injustice, Pythagorean. So can we stop misquoting me?

Huh? What are you talking about? Im not talking about Bosnia...........
 
  • #45
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I never called the TV show an injustice, Pythagorean. So can we stop misquoting me?

Huh? What are you talking about? Im not talking about Bosnia...........

oh ok.

Do you sit back when an injustice happens?

No.
 
  • #46
siddharth
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And Newton discovered a lot about chemistry while he was searching for God through alchemy. Religious people have contributed tons to science.

Different era and zeitgeist.

Religious people (by that, I mean people believing in the Abrahamic religions) may have contributed tons to science, but that's mainly because it was very hard to be non-religious during that period of human civilization.

In the absence of the scientific theories on the origin of life, the best alternative was to believe in the creationist explanation of the world.

However, in the modern era, although religion may offer personal happiness, it contributes almost nothing to science or the scientific method.
 
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  • #47
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And Newton discovered a lot about chemistry while he was searching for God through alchemy. Religious people have contributed tons to science.

Ah, the classic 'Argument from Admired Scientists'. It is really a non sequitur. Just because people with the idea X have contributed to science, does not validate idea X.

Note that the discussion has not once dealt with individual people; but with ideas. Ever though about what separates us from the Medieval humans? I am willing to bet that a lot of it has to do with science and secularization. I generally echo siddharth's post.

In any case, I do think that the scientific community needs to be vigilant against such attempts to inject supernaturalism in our world society. I like the NCSE's approach. Too bad their funding is low.
 
  • #48
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Different era and zeitgeist.

[1]Religious people (by that, I mean people believing in the Abrahamic religions) may have contributed tons to science, but that's mainly because it was very hard to be non-religious during that period of human civilization.

[2]In the absence of the scientific theories on the origin of life, the best alternative was to believe in the creationist explanation of the world.

[3]However, in the modern era, although religion may offer personal happiness, it contributes almost nothing to science or the scientific method.
(references added)

[1] Well, people from all over the world... but even into the 20th century plenty of religious people have contributed to science. They're just not crackpots is all. (I don't know about the 21st century)

It's still difficult not to be religious all around the world. It's different... but so is the rest of the world. You no longer get killed or maimed for your inability to keep up with society as much as you lose in finance and reputation, even in communities all over the US.

(An honest question... not an argument: when's the last time we had a non-Christian president? How many non-Christian's do we have in control of the military in the US?).

[2] Yet Newton was still a sadist and a science tyrant, but dismissing his being religious anyway (I do have much appreciation for Newton's work):

Science can advance all it wants, but mainstream society chooses when it cares about science. We went from the world being round, to it being carried on a turtle's back, to it being round again in the west. Look at the long struggle over whether light is a particle or a wave... how many people even know the difference in our society. More importantly, how many people care? Why should we expect they'll ever care, especially when they're busy defending their religion?

[3] I realize that. Science is definitely on the rise currently, but what I'm saying is that you can't play their game, trying to convince them through argument . Have you ever successfully proven anything to a religious nut that wasn't already having doubts? I've pissed a couple off having discussions with them.

But I don't think you NEED to argue with them, because Science is solid if it's done right. It will always be there for our grandchildren to verify. I can't say whether religion will come back or not, but it's already on it's way out.

It's more important, in my opinion, to reach out to the people who want to do science, but aren't able to, and to contribute to discovery in research.

Or... we could breed them out Zardoz style...
 
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  • #49
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In any case, I do think that the scientific community needs to be vigilant against such attempts to inject supernaturalism in our world society. I like the NCSE's approach. Too bad their funding is low.

It just all looks like a history lesson to me that will come about. If they get violent, I'm in, but I won't argue with them. Everybody listening to the argument already has their side, I highly doubt there's much turnover. I think the money is better spent helping people that already want it.

If you're implying that people are held against their will, there's laws against that. If you want to be an investigator instead of a scientist, have at it.

Call me an elitist, but scientists should only waste their time arguing with other scientists and scientist-wannabes. It actually picks up momentum that way.
 
  • #50
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Yes, people are held against their normal state by parasitic and dangerous memes. Saying that 'oh well, they will never change' is very unrealistic. So is the argument that science should not push the frontier of public understanding of science.

http://richarddawkins.net/convertsCorner

There are quite a few that has changed their minds due to scientific reasoning. They are currently having MySQL troubles, but you can view the Google Cache of the page http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:IKiHdVtObCsJ:richarddawkins.net/convertsCorner+convertscorner&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1 [Broken].

In any case, we need more people like Carl Sagan.
 
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