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Thread: What next for human gullibility?

  1. #1 What next for human gullibility? 
    ox
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    Things that have fooled the world include political and religious systems, economic models and health crazes. I can only relate a few examples. When polytheism was outdone by monotheism that was the start of real trouble for humankind. Crusades, witch hunts, inquisitions and terrorism have cost the lives of hundreds of millions. In the Taiping Rebellion alone, which was another monotheistic war, the death toll has been put at anywhere between 20 and 100 million. To the best of my knowledge, few lives have been lost specifically on behalf of polytheism. It was certainly a fateful moment in history when Constantine attributed his success in war to the Christian God.
    It still seems astonishing that the highly intelligent German nation were fooled by a clown-like Fascist dictator, or the Russian nation which had started to enjoy economic success were plunged into a ruthless social economic system like Communism. Stalin alone accounted for 40 million lives.
    Then there is the Eurozone, a one fit all economic system where the result is rising unemployment. In Spain it is now 25%.
    In post Olympics Britain all I am hearing about is how we must engage our young people in sport, a system which creates winners and losers. There really should be no losers, and no mention is made of common sense and work life balance.
    So is this gullibilty or is it just trial and error? Can we explain the sum total of human behaviour by evolution, or is the collective subconscious if it really exists, somehow to blame? I am of the opinion that any system must be challenged. You cannot hide under the blanket of your god (metaphorical or not), using faith alone to justify your belief. Should any system which causes harm be immediately discredited?


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    Absolutely yes!!! good work. The system should revolve around reducing harm. This would require a radical revolution of thinking.

    I don't know how exactly you relate the end of paganesque blood ritual with a more symbolic rituals adopted by constatine under the guidence of St Sylvester. Sylvester was disliked by constantine at one point but in the end he was won over by the christian sylvester's courage. Somebody, the name escapes me, was going to imprison or kill sylvester to which sylvester declared ' this night you will answer to god!'... that night the man choked on a fishbone. Also sylvester brought a bull 'back from the dead'. But the adoption of christianity and the appointment of sylvester as pope, is said to be the reason we'r not still giving live sacrifices to the gods.

    Some have said that without christianity the environment for rational intellectualism in which science could evolve to it's modern state, would not exist.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Things that have fooled the world include political and religious systems, economic models and health crazes. I can only relate a few examples. When polytheism was outdone by monotheism that was the start of real trouble for humankind. Crusades, witch hunts, inquisitions and terrorism have cost the lives of hundreds of millions. In the Taiping Rebellion alone, which was another monotheistic war, the death toll has been put at anywhere between 20 and 100 million. To the best of my knowledge, few lives have been lost specifically on behalf of polytheism. It was certainly a fateful moment in history when Constantine attributed his success in war to the Christian God.
    It still seems astonishing that the highly intelligent German nation were fooled by a clown-like Fascist dictator, or the Russian nation which had started to enjoy economic success were plunged into a ruthless social economic system like Communism. Stalin alone accounted for 40 million lives.
    Then there is the Eurozone, a one fit all economic system where the result is rising unemployment. In Spain it is now 25%.
    In post Olympics Britain all I am hearing about is how we must engage our young people in sport, a system which creates winners and losers. There really should be no losers, and no mention is made of common sense and work life balance.
    So is this gullibilty or is it just trial and error? Can we explain the sum total of human behaviour by evolution, or is the collective subconscious if it really exists, somehow to blame? I am of the opinion that any system must be challenged. You cannot hide under the blanket of your god (metaphorical or not), using faith alone to justify your belief. Should any system which causes harm be immediately discredited?
    Indeed, as an iconoclast, I firmly believe that all systems must be challenged. I appreciate your thread, but I think you're making attributes and cause-and-effect relationships that are not realistic.

    That Germans were highly intelligent (if, indeed, they were) had little to do with them following Hitler. After their defeat in World War One, the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles crippled and embarrassed this once powerful and proud nation and resulted in its overly painful suffering during the Great Depression, and it probably required some sort of fascism to whip the country back into fighting shape. Nazism was a national cult.

    Can you offer proof that the formation of the Eurozone resulted in the unemployment that much of the world is now experiencing? I blame sub-prime lending, Wall Street greed, and the US Federal Reserve for the 2007–201? Global Recession.

    Yes, sports creates winners and losers. Life also creates competition that, in turn, creates winners and losers. The only system I know that supposedly guarantees no losers is communism, which has turned out to be a loser itself. Eliminate losers and, I think by definition, you eliminate winners and winning. Eliminate winning, and you eliminate incentive. Unless people become all sorts of altruistic. Then, it seems, we're back on the road to religion.

    I think monotheism outdoing polytheism was simply science at work, and actually, the beginning of real science. I can pray to my Corn God and you can pray to your Fish God, but there's higher powers yet. I can pray to my Volcano God and you can pray to your Hurricane God, but we're still not there. Science has come to call the ultimate power the Unified Field Theory, or the Theory of Everything, or the Grand Unified Theory, etc. Claiming that there's One Ultimate God (ie, monotheism) forces us to look at EVERYTHING, and it is or it's related to one of these ultimate scientific theories.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Some have said that without christianity the environment for rational intellectualism in which science could evolve to it's modern state, would not exist.
    A lot of christians have said that. These are the people who overlook the centuries of intellectual, mathematical and scientific excellence in the islamic world while the christian world wallowed through the miseries of the dark ages. Christian societies couldn't have done much if islam hadn't first presented them with algebraic methods and notation more or less fully formed.

    It's a mere accident of history that the order of things turned out that way. Neither religion has much of a claim to rational or critical thinking. It's social organisation and culture that works its way through to scientific and other achievement.
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    Yes adelady, and I think it also over looks the origins of science in prechristian greece right?

    I think in this discussion we could consider the dark ages as the long slow establishment of monotheistic christianity, and by the renaissance condition were suitable to really kick on with scientific thought.

    I don't know much about the islamic worlds contribution to science, shamfully. But they too are abrahamic and montheistic right?
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    Not my intention to brag about my own ethnic race, but the Chinese have a history of advances in science and technology too in early history, and most of their cultural and religious beliefs aren't monotheistic. Astronomy and Medicine are two of the more prominent ones I am aware of.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Not my intention to brag about my own ethnic race, but the Chinese have a history of advances in science and technology too in early history, and most of their cultural and religious beliefs aren't monotheistic. Astronomy and Medicine are two of the more prominent ones I am aware of.
    If the chinese hadn't been so held back by their reliance on porcelain and had gone on to develop glass the chances are the that the Dark ages would have been much shorter with China leading the world into the light far earlier than the italien renaissance. If you go back a thousand years they were the most advanced civilisation on the planet at the time.
    It was only the fact that the west didn't have the secret of porcelain that led them to develop glass and lenses and everything that followed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Not my intention to brag about my own ethnic race, but the Chinese have a history of advances in science and technology too in early history, and most of their cultural and religious beliefs aren't monotheistic. Astronomy and Medicine are two of the more prominent ones I am aware of.
    Not that I'd want to take anything away from your countries fine acheivements scooby... But i'm reading a book which claims the chinese haven't contributed much to science... technology yes! but it claims most of the inventions of the chinese in oldern days, was not due to 'science' or any scientific process. Thats what the book said!

    Can you give some examples of the scientific progress made by China?
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Can you give some examples of the scientific progress made by China?
    Well, I am not able to quote any real references other than the ones available in Wikipedia if that is acceptable. I'm sorry, but I am unable to find any decent references to timelines for advances in Medicine in China during it's early history.

    This is a timeline of Chinese records and investigations in astronomy.


    • 2137 BC - October 22, Chinese book Classic of History; records the earliest known solar eclipse.


    • ca. 2000 BC - Chinese determine that Jupiter needs 12 years to complete one revolution of its orbit.


    • ca. 1400 BC - Chinese record the regularity of solar and lunar eclipses and the earliest known Solar prominence and two novas (七日己巳夕有新大星并火,辛未酉殳新星).


    • ca. 1200 BC - Chinese divide the sky into twenty eight regions( Chinese constellation); for recognitions of the stars.


    • ca. 1100 BC - Chinese first determine the spring equinox.


    • 776 BC - Chinese make the earliest reliable record of solar eclipse.
    • 613 BC - July, a Comet, possibly Comet Halley, recorded in Spring and Autumn Annals (秋七月,有星孛入于北斗).
    • 532 BC - A nova was recorded in Records of the Grand Historian and Zuo Zhuan (周景王十三年春,有星出婺女).
    • 364 BC - Earliest recorded observation of sunspots made by Gan De.
    • 28 BC - May 10, Chinese imperial history book, Book of Han, makes earliest known dated record of sunspots; systematic Chinese observations of sunspots continue thereafter.
    • 185 AD - The earliest recorded supernova of RCW 86
    • 687 AD - Chinese make earliest known record of meteor shower.
    • 1054 AD - July 4, Chinese astronomers noted the appearance of a guest star, the supernova now called the Crab Nebula, Messier's M1.
    • 1088 AD - In his Dream Pool Essays, the polymath Chinese scientist Shen Kuo (1031–1095) wrote of his findings for the improved meridian measurement between the polestar and true north, which was an invaluable concept for aiding navigation by use of the magnetic compass. Shen Kuo also argued for spherical celestial bodies by using evidence of lunar eclipse and solar eclipse, which promoted spherical earth theory and went against flat earth theory.


    Timeline of Chinese astronomy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    edits: Erm, I'm ethnically Chinese, but I am born and raised in Singapore.
    Last edited by scoobydoo1; August 21st, 2012 at 01:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    If the chinese hadn't been so held back by their reliance on porcelain and had gone on to develop glass the chances are the that the Dark ages would have been much shorter with China leading the world into the light far earlier than the italien renaissance. If you go back a thousand years they were the most advanced civilisation on the planet at the time.
    It was only the fact that the west didn't have the secret of porcelain that led them to develop glass and lenses and everything that followed.
    If you are right, it's a shame that I wasn't aware of this little bit of our history. Thanks for the pointing me towards something to look up.
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    Well that kind of astronomical observation is science in my book and I've always thought the ancient chinese were a very clever bunch.

    Printing, gun powder and the magnetic compass were chinese invention that were identified as the source of great changes in renaissance europe, yet apparently these technological inventions owed nothing to science.

    Much like the invention of the glass lense and consequently microscope, technologial discoveries/inventions that owed nothing to science... yet science obviously owes much to those inventions.
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    Well, my understanding of early advances in science, mathematics and technology are that they are mostly driven by curiosity, observation, discovery and the desire or needs for a solution to the possible problem at hand. Mathematical calculations were needed to work out engineering constructions for all manner of devices and structures. Metallurgy for the construction of better tools (or weapons). The construction of the earliest compass in Chinese history had been attributed to a man by the name of ShenKuo was built upon earlier observations of magnetic properties from the heating and cooling of metals (if I'm not mistaken) in conjunction with earlier astronomical and naval knowledge of those times.

    I think the simple facts are that science and technology goes hand in hand, technology is applied science (if we are willing to call early science; science at all). But I do not think we can attribute or credit early advances in "science" to either or all forms of theism. It isn't like the wheel or figuring out how to make bows and weighted arrow heads were driven by religious or cultural beliefs. Is it?

    I guess it was just a matter of time before the needs for better tools and/or a more robust body of knowledge push the boundaries of what were known at the time; for such advances.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Not my intention to brag about my own ethnic race, but the Chinese have a history of advances in science and technology too in early history, and most of their cultural and religious beliefs aren't monotheistic. Astronomy and Medicine are two of the more prominent ones I am aware of.
    You seem well placed to answer the question as to why the Chinese were fooled to embrace Communism. I realize that China was in turmoil in the first part of the 20th Century with both Nationalists and Communists fighting each other and the Japanese. It has been noted that like you suggest, the Chinese have their own brand of genius.
    I love your home country of Singapore. The Chinese have built it up from virtually nothing. Hong Kong is even more amazing, and possibly the most vibrant city in the world.
    It is the role of Communism to keep the people poor, while the elite grow rich. This was satirized in Orwell's Animal Farm.
    Likewise it is the role of the Church to keep the people poor, while the elite grow rich. Poor people are more likely to be deceived by the authoritarians who run the Church. This was satirized in Butler's Erewhon Revisited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    not due to 'science' or any scientific process. Thats what the book said!
    I think you know it's simple scorn.

    If all the good exposed fossils in China had been sifted through a thousand years ago, and people supposed that long before humans great lizards walked the Earth, they are mocked as nitwits. If an Englishman discovers such bones in the 1800's and frames them with a Latin name "dinosaur" not "dragon" he is a great scientist.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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    Whoa, the top post stated that the economic depression in europe was because of the euro. This is incorrect, as the cause for this were banks in brittain, america, and france for making highrisk investments and spending money before it existed. The economy was a house of cards, and now the idiots are just rebuilding their houses of cards, by pumping cash in spain, ireland and greece. Economy is what brought economy down. Like a doctor who is also an assassin. Or a dentist who is a professional boxer.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  17. #16  
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    I know that not everything is down to the Euro. When it was first introduced I remember saying Micky Mouse, Micky Mouse.
    There are always going to be winners and losers. The winners are the bankers, the losers are the poor people, just as in any political or religious system there are winners and losers. The poor always lose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    You seem well placed to answer the question as to why the Chinese were fooled to embrace Communism. I realize that China was in turmoil in the first part of the 20th Century with both Nationalists and Communists fighting each other and the Japanese.
    I'm not sure if the word "fooled" is a suitable word here, and it isn't because I feel offended. Most of what I am about to say are my personal views based on what I am aware of, and since I am not well-read on the subject, this is the best I am able to offer.

    It may be due to the dissatisfaction of the state of affairs by the citizens who have lived in that era yearning for a Change, and have found it in the socio-ideological & political notion that became what is now known as China's brand of communism. My best guess are that some of the Chinese residing in China at that time found certain aspects of communism to be the system that they have longed for, but there were also those Chinese who did not favor communism, and those who didn't and were able to escape; broke away from the mainland regime before they were able to consolidate power. You can read up on migrant Chinese who left China during those times, and particularly the history of Taiwan if you like.

    As a Chinese, I ought to be able to offer you a better answer than the above, but that is the best I've got for now. My only excuse is that my interests were never focused on my own ethnic history, but on other subjects.

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    It has been noted that like you suggest, the Chinese have their own brand of genius.
    That they did, and to be fair; so did most other ethnic races. I do not view advances in science and technology as a competition if you understand where I'm coming from.

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I love your home country of Singapore. The Chinese have built it up from virtually nothing. Hong Kong is even more amazing, and possibly the most vibrant city in the world.
    Thank you, but most early Chinese who rooted themselves in Singapore were migrants who have traveled south from China, and we weren't the only ethnic race here. Back then, the Malays were the dominant majority. I do not know enough about early Hong Kong history, except that both countries were early British Colonies.

    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    It is the role of Communism to keep the people poor, while the elite grow rich. This was satirized in Orwell's Animal Farm. Likewise it is the role of the Church to keep the people poor, while the elite grow rich. Poor people are more likely to be deceived by the authoritarians who run the Church. This was satirized in Butler's Erewhon Revisited.
    My understanding of communism is that it isn't a feasible system when we include the human factor. If it were comprised of perfect law-abiding androids with altruistic leanings, perhaps it will be a system that may work out. You seem more concerned about the poor than what I am going to surmise as the rich, when it comes to being deceived by the church.

    Shouldn't your concern go to everyone of them (instead of segregating them into rich/poor?) if you feel that deception is prevalent within the church, or are the rich not people too?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    not due to 'science' or any scientific process. Thats what the book said!
    I think you know it's simple scorn.

    If all the good exposed fossils in China had been sifted through a thousand years ago, and people supposed that long before humans great lizards walked the Earth, they are mocked as nitwits. If an Englishman discovers such bones in the 1800's and frames them with a Latin name "dinosaur" not "dragon" he is a great scientist.
    I certainly don't know that, I hadn't really considered it to be scorn. I suppose it could be.
    A quick bit of research shows me that thauthor is actually south african... the book didn't so far say much about the english being the bees knees in science... it goes on about the ancient greeks... I haven't read any praise of the english in particular... maybe the europeans in the renaissanse... he did study at the university of london but i think he studied in johanessburg fiirst.

    I seriously doubt it is scorn on the chinese, it's just about the interpretation this scientist has of science.. which is probably better than most of us have.
    Maybe if people do poor scorn on the chinese and thier dragons (which i was unaware of) it would be becuase of the far fetch flamboyance of the dragons and maybe because of the fire breathing association...

    What is scientific about finding bones anyway? did they peice a whole specimen together? did they carbon date the remains?

    I think what you have done here pong... is poor scorn on the english without any due cause... But I won't hold it against you.
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