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  1. #1 why do you guys believe in god 
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    I can't understand why so many people believe in gods? Because they use it as their vital rely?

    A lot of people say those non-beliefs are cruel, don't have humanity. That's wrong. I have many relatives and friends who don't believe gods. And we still know how to respects to one and another.

    God is just some illusions faked by ancient people and passed down as some main concept of being a human.

    And I am irritated that people coming at me with "ah damn, god won't forgive you of doing that." Man, shut up already then.

    I am taking Biology, and I have been thinking this over and over. Those, in terms of psychology, is just a psychological process when meeting something. But you got to be realistic, quit having those images in you.

    And now, when scientists are doing something, people keep saying "stop defying the life given by god."


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  3. #2  
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    This opposing force, this opposing thought remembers us to be critical of ourselves, the very essence of science.

    Scientific thought while degrade without the memory of dogma, the memory of what we do not wish.

    Mr U


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    ps2huang wrote;
    I can't understand why so many people believe in gods? Because they use it as their vital rely?


    THE POWER OF MYTH
    For Campbell, the "power of myth" is the power of metaphor and poetry to capture the imaginations of individuals and societies. Myth supplies a sense of meaning and direction that transcends mundane existence while giving it significance. It has four functions (p. 31): The mystical function discloses the world of mystery and awe, making the universe "a holy picture." The cosmological function concerns science and the constitution of the universe. The sociological function "supports and validates a certain social order." Everyone must try to relate to the pedagogic function which tells us "how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances." America, Campbell believes, has lost its collective ethos and must return to a mythic understanding of life "to bring us into a level of consciousness that is spiritual" (p. 14).
    Campbell defends the benefits of myths as literally false but metaphorically true for the broad range of human experience. But certain myths are (at least in part) to be rejected as "out of date," particularly the personal lawgiver God of Jews and Christians. Biblical cosmology, he thinks, does not "accord with our concept of either the universe or of the dignity of man. It belongs entirely somewhere else" (p. 31).
    Campbell's own mythic commitment is to the "transtheological" notion of an "undefinable, inconceivable mystery, thought of as a power, that is the source and end and supporting ground of all life and being" (Ibid.). He rejects the term "pantheism" because it may retain a residue of the personal God of theism. Campbell repeatedly hammers home this notion of an inefq fable ground of reality: "God is beyond names and forms. Meister Eckhart said that the ultimate and highest leave-taking is leaving God for God, leaving your notion of God for an experience of that which transcends all notions" (p. 49).
    Despite such an epistemological veto on our ability to conceive of anything transcendent, Campbell draws on Carl Jung's theory of a collective unconscious to help explain the common ideas ("archetypes") that recur in the mythologies of divergent cultures worldwide. "All over the world and at different times of human history, these archetypes, or elementary ideas, have appeared in different costumes. The differences in the costumes are the results of environment and historical conditions"
    ------------------
    -------
    -
    All of us arrive accompanied by a point of darkness, the void whence we came and that we will return. I’ve come to see some humans place this point directly in front of them and draw energy and guidance from it.
    The voids darkness perceived without fear becomes a creative source infusing life with a mysterious air, always hinting at something deeper giving dreams meaning, transforming birds into messengers. However this view can only be maintained though a humble child like curiosity of the heart, as well as a sobriety of the mind found in a hunter or scientist.
    This balance will at opportune times propel you though the void to experience the “ second attention” However some have placed this point behind them, and attempt to use the point as a depository of bad memories. This results in the perception of a world that is constantly threatened by the void.
    Fear then becomes the director that orders the world around us.

    -----------------------------------------
    "Don Jaun’s argument was that most of our energy goes into upholding our importance. This is most obvious in our endless worry about the presentation of the self, about whether or not we are admired or liked or acknowledged.

    He reasoned that if we were capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things would happen to us. One, we would free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur, and two ,we would provide ourselves with enough energy to enter into the second attention to catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe".........

    To seek freedom is the only driving force I know.

    Freedom to fly off into that infinity out there.

    Freedom to dissolve; to lift off; to be like the

    flame of a candle, which, in spite of being up

    against the light of a billion stars, remains

    intact, because it never pretended to be more

    than what it is: a mere candle."

    Carlos Castaneda
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    This opposing force, this opposing thought remembers us to be critical of ourselves, the very essence of science.

    Scientific thought while degrade without the memory of dogma, the memory of what we do not wish.

    Mr U


    The Way Science is Supposed to Work

    The scientist is supposed to observe, record, analyze, draw objective conclusions, and report (write a paper) on his findings. The publisher of a science magazine is supposed to objectively review the paper in light of his own science background, decide whether or not the paper is worthy of a peer review and, if so, pass it on to an objective scientist who can understand the paper and perform the peer review. If the paper passes the peer review, the publisher publishes the paper. The "peer" who reviews the paper is supposed to decide whether or not the information is based upon a relatively solid foundation and is written in a logical manner.


    The Way Science Actually Works

    The "scientist" decides what information is likely to be "accepted" by the scientific community, observes what will be accepted, records it, and writes his paper from which he hopes to achieve recognition. If a real scientist (one with true scientific curiosity) observes, records, draws conclusions, and writes - or if he merely observes, records, and writes about what he has found - he must find a publisher who will publish his paper.

    The publisher is too lazy or too ignorant of true science to review any paper he receives for possible publication. So he passes the buck to the "peer reviewer" to make the decision.

    The "peer reviewer" is a competitor for scientific recognition. If the paper is such as to augment the reviewer's reputation, he passes the paper back to the publisher for publication. If the paper might possibly upset the reviewer's preconceived notions or his standing as an authority, he tells the publisher that the paper is not suitable for publication. Sometimes the "peer reviewer" denigrates the paper and steals the ideas in it for himself.

    There are other ways in which scientific progress is prevented. If the scientist is one without a scientific degree (especially a Ph.D.), he is not an authority and his work must not be published. To attain a Ph.D., a person must at least appear to believe everything his mentor tells him. His mentor must remain loyal to the accepted scientific dogma or be removed from his position. Those who decide the fate of the mentor (professor) must conform to accepted dogma or face removal from their positions. And once one does attain a Ph.D., he or she must be a true believer of the dogma to gain and maintain employment in his or her field.

    There is an "accepted" bureaucratic procedure for scientists to follow. If one step is left out, the scientist's work is considered "unacceptable". The accomplishment of that step is prevented by those in power. In short, every dirty trick devised by humans is employed within the scientific community. In this manner, scientific progress is and has been very effectively prevented. The result is over 100 years of scientific obstruction and misdirection which have led to the most bizarre fantasies and paradoxes imaginable.
    http://www.softcom.net/users/greebo/main.htm

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

    Since god represents the eternal aspect of consciousness
    Man representing the temporal aspect of this same consciousness ,
    and considering that all fundamental forces contain their opposites, it stands to reason we are all part of god and god is a part of us. An inseparable relationship, one giving the other its contextual meaning.


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

    In order to create new paths of knowledge, we must first have within ourselves a sense of awe and humility in the face of a vastly unexplored universe.

    Learn the paths that others have made using this same predilection, while being unaffected by the arrogance of the men who stand on the work of others and declare themselves experts.
    Remember, information is not only to be constructed to contain a single idea, but more importantly to be left open to capture additional ones.

    ------------------
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  6. #5 Re: why do you guys believe in god 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps2huang
    I can't understand why so many people believe in gods? Because they use it as their vital rely?

    A lot of people say those non-beliefs are cruel, don't have humanity. That's wrong. I have many relatives and friends who don't believe gods. And we still know how to respects to one and another.

    God is just some illusions faked by ancient people and passed down as some main concept of being a human.

    And I am irritated that people coming at me with "ah damn, god won't forgive you of doing that." Man, shut up already then.

    I am taking Biology, and I have been thinking this over and over. Those, in terms of psychology, is just a psychological process when meeting something. But you got to be realistic, quit having those images in you.

    And now, when scientists are doing something, people keep saying "stop defying the life given by god."
    Yes, people who use God as the source of their authority to tell other people what to do or how to live their lives can be quite obnoxious. But people who who do not believe in God can be even worse, using philosophy or "science" as their authority to exterminate religious people (eg. nazi's and communists). Ok, so you don't believe in God, but do you think that would give you the right to say that other people should not believe in God? The freedom to decide for ourselves is beyond price. Even you may change you mind about this some day. My father was a Maoist most of his adult life but now his point of view has changed enormously.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  7. #6 Re: why do you guys believe in god 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by ps2huang
    I can't understand why so many people believe in gods? Because they use it as their vital rely?

    A lot of people say those non-beliefs are cruel, don't have humanity. That's wrong. I have many relatives and friends who don't believe gods. And we still know how to respects to one and another.

    God is just some illusions faked by ancient people and passed down as some main concept of being a human.

    And I am irritated that people coming at me with "ah damn, god won't forgive you of doing that." Man, shut up already then.

    I am taking Biology, and I have been thinking this over and over. Those, in terms of psychology, is just a psychological process when meeting something. But you got to be realistic, quit having those images in you.

    And now, when scientists are doing something, people keep saying "stop defying the life given by god."
    Yes, people who use God as the source of their authority to tell other people what to do or how to live their lives can be quite obnoxious. But people who who do not believe in God can be even worse, using philosophy or "science" as their authority to exterminate religious people (eg. nazi's and communists). Ok, so you don't believe in God, but do you think that would give you the right to say that other people should not believe in God? The freedom to decide for ourselves is beyond price. Even you may change you mind about this some day. My father was a Maoist most of his adult life but now his point of view has changed enormously.
    Wut's maoist?
    By the way, I do think communismly and autocraticallly.
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  8. #7 Re: why do you guys believe in god 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps2huang
    Wut's maoist?
    By the way, I do think communismly and autocraticallly.
    Maoism refers to Chairman Mao of the chinese communist party and his little red book. So I answered your question. Why don't you anwer mine. You say you are communist and autocratic in your thinking. Does this mean you are ready to start another bloodbath like the cultural revolution?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    First of all, Metatron, your stigmatising and stereotyping of scientists in that article is regrettable. There is a small revolution going on with the internet, where scientists are finding that they can publish their findings through the internet and get a large reading, independent of scientific journals they have to pay to feature in. In actuality, the website you meantion has the author thanking the internet for allowing him to distribute his theory.
    Adding to this, he concludes your statement from a rather bitter point of view. Merely because one man has been dissapointed does not mean science does not work.

    This, however, is not the topic of the thread.

    By the way, I do think communismly and autocraticallly.
    How odd. Communism is based on humanistic values, which in turn flow from christianity. As Mitchell described, the worship of freedom is a much more logical choice, seeing our limited time here on Earth.

    Mr U
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    Well, PS, I'll give you the following (paraphrased) answer on that.

    Robert Heinlein was an atheist most of his life. Yet, when he grew old and sick, he was found to be occasionally praying. Why, he was asked?

    Well, he replied, I might have been wrong. If there really isn't a maker and an afterlife, then it doesn't hurt. And if there is one, then I'm hedging my bets.

    And please. There are likely Chinese belief-systems that you do routinely that I could equally ask, "huh?" But I usually don't, because it doesn't hurt for you to believe them, and it's really none of my business.
    *Welcome, my friends, to the show that never ends*
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    Yes, people who use God as the source of their authority to tell other people what to do or how to live their lives can be quite obnoxious. But people who who do not believe in God can be even worse, using philosophy or "science" as their authority to exterminate religious people (eg. nazi's and communists).
    This is the very epitome of bad argument - in fact it's mere mudslinging, using innuendo to smear two diametrically opposite systems with each others' crimes. The Nazis weren't atheistic, and the Communists didn't justify wiping anybody out using atheism or "science".
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    I would have to agree with Silas on that. Indeed, I think it could be argued that atheists and agnostics are by and large more tolerant and moral than the religious. A recent book has been written on this very subject that I've not yet had the pleasure to read, perhaps after this semester.

    But to imply that the nazis and communists were bent on "exterminating" the religious is a non-sequitur. No doubt, nazism was a bad philosphy -because it did single out a particular ethnic minority (the Jews), but it most certainly did not seek to exterminate "religion" or the "religious."

    Communism certainly oppressed religion, but I don't think you could effectively argue that it sought to exterminate it.

    If the above two arguments are valid, then there are hundreds of examples I could suggest throughout historical and prehistorical times in which "religion" has sought to exterminate others who were not of their own cult beliefs. This would include most modern religions. But I wouldn't do that because it is very clearly not "religion" that is immoral, but the people who shield themselves behind or within it.
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    SkinWalker wrote

    But to imply that the nazis and communists were bent on "exterminating" the religious is a non-sequitur. No doubt, nazism was a bad philosphy -because it did single out a particular ethnic minority (the Jews), but it most certainly did not seek to exterminate "religion" or the "religious."


    Nazism and Religion

    Much of the opposition to the eugenic movement came from the German Christians. Although Hitler was once an altar boy and then "considered himself a good Roman Catholic," (Zindler 1985, 29), as an adult, he clearly had strong anti-religious feelings, as did many of the Nazi party leaders. As would any good politician, though, he openly tried to exploit the church’s influence (Phillips 1981, 164). His feelings on religion were once bluntly stated:


    The organized lie [religion] must be smashed. The State must remain the absolute master. When I was younger, 1 thought it was necessary to set about [destroying religion] with dynamite. 1 since then realized there's room for subtlety.... The final state must be, in St. Peter’s Chair a senile officiant; facing him a few sinister old women.... The young and healthy are on our side... It’s impossible to eternally hold humanity in bondage and lies... [It) was only between the sixth and eighth centuries that Christianity was imposed upon our people... Our people had previously succeeded in living all right without this religion. I have six divisions of SS men absolutely indifferent in matters of religion. It doesn’t prevent them-from going to their death with serenity in their souls (1953,17).

    Hitler's beliefs here are abundantly clear. The younger people, he stressed, were the hope of Germany because they were "absolutely indifferent in the matters of religion." As Keith noted, he also viewed evolution and Christianity as polar opposites:41

    Christianity makes no distinction of race or of color; it seeks to break down all racial barriers. In this respect the hand of Christianity is against that of Nature, for are not the races of mankind the evolutionary harvest which Nature has toiled through long ages to produce? May we not say, then, that Christianity is anti-evolutionary in its aim?42

    Borman was equally blunt, stressing that the churches' opposition to evolution and science forces it to be condemned; in his words:

    National Socialist [Nazi] and Christian concepts are incompatible. The Christian Churches build upon the ignorance of men and strive to keep large portions of the people in ignorance because only in this way can the Christian Churches maintain their power. On the other hand, national Socialism is based on scientific foundations. Christianity's immutable principles, which were laid down almost two thousand years ago, have increasingly stiffened into life-alien dogmas. National Socialism, however, if it wants to fulfill its task further, must always guide itself according to the newest data of scientific researches. The Christian Churches have long been aware that exact scientific knowledge poses a threat to their existence. Therefore, by means of such pseudo-sciences as theology, they take great pains to suppress or falsify scientific research. Our National Socialist world view stands on a much higher level than the concepts of Christianity, which in their essentials were taken over from Judaism. For this reason, too, we can do without Christianity.43
    http://www.adam.com.au/bstett/BNaziRacePolicy80.htm
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    "HomoUniversalis"]
    Adding to this, he concludes your statement from a rather bitter point of view. Merely because one man has been dissapointed does not mean science does not work.
    Science works for what is considered established science.
    This is a sword that cuts two way's and does.

    From the professors who teach it, to the students that just paid big money to work in it.
    Grants are not given to the individuals who are pure scientist they are given to employees of the military industrial complex petrochemical corporations and any one else with an agenda and the capital to back it up.
    I don't no how it works in your country but in the U.S. real science is rarely funded anymore. There are acceptions however, in the area of cell research and the genome, but even this information is about to be patent and packaged to suit the pharmaceutical companies agenda.



    HomoUniversalis"]This, however, is not the topic of the thread.

    I was addressing your statement.


    HomoUniversalis

    This opposing force, this opposing thought remembers us to be critical of ourselves, the very essence of science.

    Scientific thought while degrade without the memory of dogma, the memory of what we do not wish.
    Sounds like your suggesting science is above religion because it is not susceptible to dogma.
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  15. #14 Re: why do you guys believe in god 
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps2huang
    I can't understand why so many people believe in gods? Because they use it as their vital rely?

    A lot of people say those non-beliefs are cruel, don't have humanity. That's wrong. I have many relatives and friends who don't believe gods. And we still know how to respects to one and another.

    God is just some illusions faked by ancient people and passed down as some main concept of being a human.

    And I am irritated that people coming at me with "ah damn, god won't forgive you of doing that." Man, shut up already then.

    I am taking Biology, and I have been thinking this over and over. Those, in terms of psychology, is just a psychological process when meeting something. But you got to be realistic, quit having those images in you.

    And now, when scientists are doing something, people keep saying "stop defying the life given by god."
    the non-believer, the humanist, the atheist, are morally superior to any god/gods and any religious person, for thay dont kill, maim, hate, like gods do.
    Also they dont do good things, out of fear or to gain favour with any god/gods, they do good because they wish too.

    so nothing a religious person can say, could or should ever, make you feel lesser than they, they are the morally inferior, not you.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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  16. #15  
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    Thanks Metatron for putting down some hard facts to clear away the fog of bull crud that people like to sling around. "So much for Silas' claim that the Nazis weren't atheistic. I think the proper term for both Nazis and Communists are militant atheists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    This is the very epitome of bad argument - in fact it's mere mudslinging, using innuendo to smear two diametrically opposite systems with each others' crimes. The Nazis weren't atheistic, and the Communists didn't justify wiping anybody out using atheism or "science".
    "epitome of bad argument"? Well that depends on what you imagine that I was arguing. What I was doing was poking a hole in the line of bull that people put forward that religion is the root of all evil. I was not arguing that atheists are inherently worse than religious people or anything like that. I would be the first to come down on any Christian fool making that kind of claim.

    It is true that the Russians did not outright exterminate religious groups, they were too dependent on western aid to do anything that foolish. But China, North Korea, Tibet, Vietnam and Cambodia are another matter. In those places the extermination was ruthless and quite thorough. With the possible exception of Tibet there are no religious people in those parts of the world anymore (except for a few Christians converted by missionaries going into these countries more recently). I except Tibet because the people there were so completely religous that if China was thorough then there would be no Tibetans left, but I am sure all the Tibetan Buddhist monks are gone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skinwalker
    But I wouldn't do that because it is very clearly not "religion" that is immoral, but the people who shield themselves behind or within it.
    Yes, and there is nothing inherently evil about atheism either. I recognize that it is quite possible for atheists to leave religious people to their own foolish devices. My point was that atheists are no different than religious people in their capacity for evil. The real cause is hatred. Nazism and Communism were philosophies rank with hatred, and that hatred is the real cause for the atrocities which they committed.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Sounds like your suggesting science is above religion because it is not susceptible to dogma.
    Please. I have no idea from hence this bitter attitude of yours towards science finds its origin, but I sure know that it doesn't come from scientific practice.
    Of course scientists are biased to research which subjects they find intriging, and often these are subjects that trouble society, but that does not mean that all of these researched subjects are researched because only than the government will subsidise for them.

    the non-believer, the humanist, the atheist, are morally superior to any god/gods and any religious person, for thay dont kill, maim, hate, like gods do.
    Also they dont do good things, out of fear or to gain favour with any god/gods, they do good because they wish too.
    Your conclusion, I believe is only valid when taken from the second point. The first one is subjective, as not everyone views killing, maiming and hating as evil.

    Mr U
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis

    the non-believer, the humanist, the atheist, are morally superior to any god/gods and any religious person, for thay dont kill, maim, hate, like gods do.
    Also they dont do good things, out of fear or to gain favour with any god/gods, they do good because they wish too.
    Your conclusion, I believe is only valid when taken from the second point. The first one is subjective, as not everyone views killing, maiming and hating as evil.

    Mr U
    unfortunately, I must agree, people are that stupid, however all religion is subjective, is it not. and man is objective, but he kills, maims, and hates, for and on behalf of his subjective religion.
    "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense - Buddha"
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    Metatron wrote
    Sounds like your suggesting science is above religion because it is not susceptible to dogma.
    HomoUniversalis wrote
    Please. I have no idea from hence this bitter attitude of yours towards science finds its origin, but I sure know that it doesn't come from scientific practice
    I love the scientific method, the problem is when men of power manipulate resources to control what gets funded.
    You must appreciate that science works best in a free environment, one where resources and publications are allotted to forward thinking science.
    Potentialities for solutions to help man adjust in changing times is being put aside for out dated systems.

    Its like putting all your resources to control oil fields when global warming is threatening our environment .

    Just as social political systems becomes backward when stifled within a group think party line. Science becomes dogma when men of power are given free reign.

    What is really needed is scientist with vision.
    The element that keeps science vital are new ideas.
    Scientist sometime feel threaten by new ideas they find it difficult to adjust to new ways in changing times, and get nervous around terms like systems view, chaos theory, quantum biology.
    Accept it not, see it not, these views are the future of science not though misinformation and misdirection but though integration and cooperation, and represents a paradigm shift in the way we see the world around us, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metatron


    Nazism and Religion

    Much of the opposition to the eugenic movement came from the German Christians. Although Hitler was once an altar boy and then "considered himself a good Roman Catholic," (Zindler 1985, 29), as an adult, he clearly had strong anti-religious feelings, as did many of the Nazi party leaders. As would any good politician, though, he openly tried to exploit the church’s influence (Phillips 1981, 164). His feelings on religion were once bluntly stated:


    The organized lie [religion] must be smashed. The State must remain the absolute master. When I was younger, 1 thought it was necessary to set about [destroying religion] with dynamite. 1 since then realized there's room for subtlety.... The final state must be, in St. Peter’s Chair a senile officiant; facing him a few sinister old women.... The young and healthy are on our side... It’s impossible to eternally hold humanity in bondage and lies... [It) was only between the sixth and eighth centuries that Christianity was imposed upon our people... Our people had previously succeeded in living all right without this religion. I have six divisions of SS men absolutely indifferent in matters of religion. It doesn’t prevent them-from going to their death with serenity in their souls (1953,17).

    Hitler's beliefs here are abundantly clear. The younger people, he stressed, were the hope of Germany because they were "absolutely indifferent in the matters of religion." As Keith noted, he also viewed evolution and Christianity as polar opposites:41

    Christianity makes no distinction of race or of color; it seeks to break down all racial barriers. In this respect the hand of Christianity is against that of Nature, for are not the races of mankind the evolutionary harvest which Nature has toiled through long ages to produce? May we not say, then, that Christianity is anti-evolutionary in its aim?42

    Borman was equally blunt, stressing that the churches' opposition to evolution and science forces it to be condemned; in his words:

    National Socialist [Nazi] and Christian concepts are incompatible. The Christian Churches build upon the ignorance of men and strive to keep large portions of the people in ignorance because only in this way can the Christian Churches maintain their power. On the other hand, national Socialism is based on scientific foundations. Christianity's immutable principles, which were laid down almost two thousand years ago, have increasingly stiffened into life-alien dogmas. National Socialism, however, if it wants to fulfill its task further, must always guide itself according to the newest data of scientific researches. The Christian Churches have long been aware that exact scientific knowledge poses a threat to their existence. Therefore, by means of such pseudo-sciences as theology, they take great pains to suppress or falsify scientific research. Our National Socialist world view stands on a much higher level than the concepts of Christianity, which in their essentials were taken over from Judaism. For this reason, too, we can do without Christianity.43
    http://www.adam.com.au/bstett/BNaziRacePolicy80.htm
    I haven't seen a word in there about God, though. But I will admit a) that Hitler and the Nazis were less Christian than I had thought, and b) they utterly perverted the theory of Evolution to the most evil ends.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metatron
    Quote Originally Posted by HomoUniversalis
    Adding to this, he concludes your statement from a rather bitter point of view. Merely because one man has been dissapointed does not mean science does not work.
    Science works for what is considered established science.
    This is a sword that cuts two ways and does.
    Science only works because it...... well, works. History shows that eventually all the poor models and the poor paradigms are swept away, because they did not provide the results that proved useful. Some past science was a fully valid stepping stone on the road to today's scientific achievements, as today's achievements are hopefully stepping stones to tomorrow's. Some past science has been so effectively debunked that it has retrospectively become pseudoscience - the science that looked good and sounded scientific but which ultimately had no empirical basis. Ironically both the Communists and the Nazis based their "scientific dogmas" on crass non-science. In the case of Soviet Russia, it was the Lamarckian evolutionary theories of Lysenko, and the Nazi's "scientific" racial characteristics theories were complete nonsense and more based on folk-wisdom than on any actually demonstrable evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metatron
    I don't no how it works in your country but in the U.S. real science is rarely funded anymore. There are acceptions however, in the area of cell research and the genome, but even this information is about to be patent and packaged to suit the pharmaceutical companies agenda.
    Ironically, the biggest threat to genome and stem cell research in the United States comes not from misapplied funding, but the fact that Creationism is winning the battle for the nation's classrooms, in the disguise of Intelligent Design. Even the highest levels of government (specifically two of the three last Republican Presidents) have stated a position that Evolution is "just a theory", having presumably not been briefed on the fact that evolutionary biology is the root of all America's preeminence in pharmaceutical and medical science - a preeminence they have achieved primarily because the members of no other nation on Earth are so determined to live forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metatron
    HomoUniversalis

    This opposing force, this opposing thought remembers us to be critical of ourselves, the very essence of science.

    Scientific thought while degrade without the memory of dogma, the memory of what we do not wish.
    Sounds like your suggesting science is above religion because it is not susceptible to dogma.
    The science that works is certainly not susceptible to dogma. But to support your position for a moment, Metatron, the vast, vast majority of what is described in the media as "scientific research" is biased, statistical pseudoscience, not one of the results of which are likely to affect our lives except in so far as they persuade Governments to ill-considered and vote-oriented actions such as banning smoking in public.

    The real scientific research which is providing real scientific advance is being conducted nowadays in industry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Thanks Metatron for putting down some hard facts to clear away the fog of bull crud that people like to sling around. "So much for Silas' claim that the Nazis weren't atheistic. I think the proper term for both Nazis and Communists are militant atheists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    This is the very epitome of bad argument - in fact it's mere mudslinging, using innuendo to smear two diametrically opposite systems with each others' crimes. The Nazis weren't atheistic, and the Communists didn't justify wiping anybody out using atheism or "science".
    "epitome of bad argument"? Well that depends on what you imagine that I was arguing. What I was doing was poking a hole in the line of bull that people put forward that religion is the root of all evil. I was not arguing that atheists are inherently worse than religious people or anything like that. I would be the first to come down on any Christian fool making that kind of claim.
    If you wish to poke a hole in a line of bull, don't use another line of bull! Make a valid point using evidence and show some knowledge of what you speak. You have plenty of ammunition regarding atheism and the Communists, which you demonstrate below. But instead of posting that in the first place, you just lumped Communists in with Nazis. The Nazis were anti-Christian and pro-"science" (though Nazi-specific science was actually pseudoscience) but they did not eliminate people who believed in God, and in fact promoted themselves to the general public as Christians (slandering Jews as "Christ-killers" is the least of it!) - thus using religion in a way only religion can be used.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell McKain
    It is true that the Russians did not outright exterminate religious groups, they were too dependent on western aid to do anything that foolish. But China, North Korea, Tibet, Vietnam and Cambodia are another matter. In those places the extermination was ruthless and quite thorough. With the possible exception of Tibet there are no religious people in those parts of the world anymore (except for a few Christians converted by missionaries going into these countries more recently). I except Tibet because the people there were so completely religous that if China was thorough then there would be no Tibetans left, but I am sure all the Tibetan Buddhist monks are gone.
    Adherence to Communist Atheism does not, however, have anything to do with any fundamental philosophical examination of atheism or religion. It's simply that in a statist system, religious thought indicates a competing loyalty, which in a totalitarian state must of course be eliminated. They did not wipe out those religious because they believed in a God, they wiped them out because belief in God leads to "subversive" thoughts and ultimately dissidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    If you wish to poke a hole in a line of bull, don't use another line of bull! Make a valid point using evidence and show some knowledge of what you speak. You have plenty of ammunition regarding atheism and the Communists, which you demonstrate below. But instead of posting that in the first place, you just lumped Communists in with Nazis. The Nazis were anti-Christian and pro-"science" (though Nazi-specific science was actually pseudoscience) but they did not eliminate people who believed in God, and in fact promoted themselves to the general public as Christians (slandering Jews as "Christ-killers" is the least of it!) - thus using religion in a way only religion can be used.
    Thank you for proving my case. If the Nazis who were anti-Christian could use Christianity as an excuse for their behavior then what does that say about others in history using a similar excuse. It nothing to do with religion or Christianity and everything to with human nature, which will use any excuse or justification that comes to hand

    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Adherence to Communist Atheism does not, however, have anything to do with any fundamental philosophical examination of atheism or religion. It's simply that in a statist system, religious thought indicates a competing loyalty, which in a totalitarian state must of course be eliminated. They did not wipe out those religious because they believed in a God, they wiped them out because belief in God leads to "subversive" thoughts and ultimately dissidence.
    Total and complete nonsense. "Religion is the opiate of the people." by Marx, became "Religion is a poison." by Charman Mao. Religion was never considered subversive by the communist exept as it contradicted their anti-religious beliefs. Religion was considered a tool of those in power to keep them in submission. If the communists were only concerned about resistance their rule, their philosophy would suggest using religion for what they considered to be its fundamental purpose. But the fact is that they considered religion inherently evil in its own right, keeping people in bondage, therefore, they thought it was their righteous duty to liberate them at a point of a gun, or more practically to kill the parents (as the source of the poison) and thereby liberate the children. Or even better make the children kill their own parents so that they can liberate themselves.

    Lenin in "What is to be done" taught that the communist party members must be an elite who would use (and deceive) the majority using what ever cause (and lies) which came to hand in order to achieve their goal with a military coup. If you have been swallowing the line of bull from a western socialist party then you are one of the dupes in the program designed by Lenin. These dupes are the first to be executed when party ultimately take power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitchell McKain
    Total and complete nonsense. "Religion is the opiate of the people." by Marx, became "Religion is a poison." by Charman Mao. Religion was never considered subversive by the communist exept as it contradicted their anti-religious beliefs.
    Well, I can say "Total and complete nonsense" about your view, too, so let's just agree to disagree. I don't know where you get off accusing me of having been duped by a "western socialist party". I am not arguing from a position of supporting the Communist system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    Well, I can say "Total and complete nonsense" about your view, too, so let's just agree to disagree. I don't know where you get off accusing me of having been duped by a "western socialist party". I am not arguing from a position of supporting the Communist system.
    Well sure you can say anything want to avoid facing upleasant truths. Nowhere in my post did I accuse you of anything, I did imply that if your impressions of communism were coming from such a source then you might be considered a dupe. But, I did not even think that think that this was the case. I do think that you have little knowledge concerning beliefs and actions of communism in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Tibet and that you want to think that communism is something much more pleasant. I think that this viewpoint is more convenient for an atheist who wants to feel superior to religious people.
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    I meant that I consider your view that "Communism never considered religion subversive" to be totally nonsensical, as you thought my original post was. There's no facing of unpleasant truths in that, it's simply a nonsensical statement.

    The remainder of your post is characterising my opinions and knowledge on no evidence whatsoever. You're not accusing me of anything, you're simply attacking the person you think I am. Either come back with something substantial about what I've said, or lay off.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    The remainder of your post is characterising my opinions and knowledge on no evidence whatsoever. You're not accusing me of anything, you're simply attacking the person you think I am. Either come back with something substantial about what I've said, or lay off.
    You could also have taken it as a challenge to futher clarify your position. If you dislike the agressive style, I could say that you invited it by starting the exchange with a similarly aggressive approach. It is true that I know very little about you, I was hoping hear more. Perhaps you now know a little bit more about me, than you did before.
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    Why do people believe in god? There is a very simple answer to that question. There are many reasons, mainly its our parents that believe in god therefor we believe in god. We are not born believeing in god, we have to be taught, just like being taught manners. If a child is never told about god they won't believe in it. I don't believe in god, I went to church when I was young and I was taught about god. Then I found out about science and where we really came from.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnophis
    Why do people believe in god? There is a very simple answer to that question. There are many reasons, mainly its our parents that believe in god therefor we believe in god. We are not born believeing in god, we have to be taught, just like being taught manners. If a child is never told about god they won't believe in it. I don't believe in god, I went to church when I was young and I was taught about god. Then I found out about science and where we really came from.
    People come up with new ideas all the time. Our ideas about both science and about God are an accumulation of ideas over many thousands of years. This doesn't invalidate science any more than it invalidates God. No one taught me my particular idea of God either. My parents did not believe in God and they did not teach me the idea of God. So both of us are counter-examples to your claim. For neither of us agree with what we were taught by our parents. Since science does not address the question of where we really came from, I think you need to explain what you interpret science as telling you about where we came from.
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    But the fact remains: the vast majority of religious people inherit their religiosity from their parents. Exceptions will always occur.
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    We are nothing more than highly evolved primates, DNA testing an fossil records has proven that. We evolve just like other animals. If you have studied human evolution you would understand what we really are. Like I've said before you can't really give an opinion on something that you have'nt studied, that includes evolution of the species Homo sapien. Science has addressed the question of where we really came from, and has found many answers, people just don't study the facts. There are allot of gaps in the story of Human Evolution, however, those gaps are being filled very fast.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnophis
    We are nothing more than highly evolved primates, DNA testing an fossil records has proven that. We evolve just like other animals. If you have studied human evolution you would understand what we really are. Like I've said before you can't really give an opinion on something that you have'nt studied, that includes evolution of the species Homo sapien. Science has addressed the question of where we really came from, and has found many answers, people just don't study the facts. There are allot of gaps in the story of Human Evolution, however, those gaps are being filled very fast.
    I have studied enough evolution to know that these gaps you talk about are exactly where the theory predicts the greatest evolutionary changes to occur. Evolution leaps forward in small populations on the brink of extinction and so naturally no fossil record is likely to ever be found. I know that the mathematics of chaotic dynamics provides a very plausible model for explaining the development of life before the existence of DNA and RNA.

    However, the term "nothing more than" is a term full of deception. A painting is "nothing more than" paint put on a piece of cloth and a computer is "nothing more than" a bits of metal and plastic stuck together. You could say that a dog is "nothing more than" evolved dirt, but this says very little about what a dog is.

    It is the nature of living things to explore possibilities, try new things and find creative new solutions to the same old problems. (Have you seen "March of the Penguins"?) These developments are responses to particular situations which for the most part science will never discover. What circumstances led our ancestors to their own peculiar answer to the challenge of survival is a question that can only be answered by pure speculation. Science can contribute data for a more informed speculation, but in the end there is no reason to believe that it is any more reliable than myth or religious writtings. The data uncovered by the sciences can inform myth and religion quite as well as idle speculation. The truth is that it is all a game like astrology. We choose to identify with an astrological sign (choosing western or oriental) because it gives us an enhanced sense of identity. Likewise, whether we see ourselves as an clever monkey or as a child of God, it is a choice we make to provide our existence with a sense of context.
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    Adam and Eve is a pretty small population. Could this myth have a basis in fact? Could this indeed be the origin of the human race?

    Noah's family was another small population and (if you believe the account of the Bible) it seems to coincide with a large change in nature of human beings as well, for example: a shorter lifespan and a multiplicity of languages.

    One of the obvious blind spots that science has is that long term effects take a great deal of time to uncover. This is an advantage that tradition has over science. Since it is accumulated over a long period of time, tradition is ideally situated to incorporate the knowledge of long term effects. If you think that eventually science may be in a position to challenge tradition in this area, well that depend on whether we survive (with science intact) our shortsighted uses of technology and science, doesn't it? In a thousand years we may find ourselves in the peculiar circumstances where our myths and traditions are founded upon the conclusions of a science which is superior to the science of the times. (I can imagine the people of this time finding remnants of a spacecraft and concluding that mankind came to earth from the stars and in the name of science rejecting an old myth that we evolved from lower life forms on the planet).

    Hmmm.... doen't this make you hesitate about tossing myth and tradition out the window? Even if just a little bit....
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    doen't this make you hesitate about tossing myth and tradition out the window? Even if just a little bit....
    No. I routinely toss them out of the window. This allows me to spread them on the ground for a better examination, from an elevated position.
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    A very amusing reply, Ophiolite. I have chuckled repeatedly each I have read it, wondering if and how I can reply to it.

    You seem to be very much of an observer only in this forum commiting yourself to very little. Skepticism requires more effort than blind belief, but it is easy compared to informed belief. If you tell people what you believe you may have to defend yourself.
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    Here is the pithy response: When I find out what I believe I'll let everybody know.

    Here is the thoughtfull response: There are two categories in which I might express a view -
    Category 1: My view broadly coincides with the mainstream view on the topic. Announcing that I agree with the majority smacks of hubris.
    Category 2: My view is antithetical to the mainstream view. I have no intention of publishing it until I have sufficient evidence, well assembled and presented, with which to make a clear case. To do otherwise would certainly be the height of arrogance.

    Sneak preview of Category 2 items:
    1. The Big Bang is a fallacy.
    2. Evolution is partially Lamarckian.
    3. Microbiological life is present on Mars and was discovered by the Vikings.
    4. Tony Blair is a wonderful human being.
    5. Item 4 is satire.

    Here is the surprised response: Really. I have frequently taken a position at the margin of what I believe defensible, in order to hone my debating and literature research skills, when the counter attack comes. Regretably it rarely does.

    Here is the Woody Allen response:At the opera in Milan with my daughter and me, Needleman leaned out of his box and fell into the orchestra pit. Too proud to admit it was a mistake, he attended the opera every night for a month and repeated it each time.
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    Silas,

    But people who who do not believe in God can be even worse, using philosophy or "science" as their authority to exterminate religious people (eg. nazi's and communists).


    This is the very epitome of bad argument - in fact it's mere mudslinging, using innuendo to smear two diametrically opposite systems with each others' crimes. The Nazis weren't atheistic, and the Communists didn't justify wiping anybody out using atheism or "science".

    "Atheism" and "atheisticness" are two different things. An atheist is someone who does not (for whatever reason) believe in God. This is attitude is present NOT in one describing oneself as an "atheist", but purely in ones actions and attitude to life itself. The Nazi regime murdered innocent people. This is an "atheistic" act, it doesn't matter whether they regarded themselves as atheist or theist, their act is what counts.

    Anyway I'm not talking to you since you have not replied to my last response.

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    Erm, I could say the same about my post over on sciforums in which I characterised you as an Evolution disbeliever but not a Fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian. Which post of yours here have I not replied to? Was it this one?

    I learned a new attitude about forum arguments a while ago. If I don't get a response to a post, I assume I won the argument. This does cut both ways: If I find that I've left a post aimed at me until I can adequately form a response, come back to it later several times and gradually lose heart or interest in responding (which is how it generally happens to me), then I accept that I lost the argument.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan ardena
    "Atheism" and "atheisticness" are two different things. An atheist is someone who does not (for whatever reason) believe in God. This is attitude is present NOT in one describing oneself as an "atheist", but purely in ones actions and attitude to life itself. The Nazi regime murdered innocent people. This is an "atheistic" act, it doesn't matter whether they regarded themselves as atheist or theist, their act is what counts.
    Jan.
    That's absolutely absurd. What if I believed in an evil god? Would the slaughter of innocents still be an "atheistic" act?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Sneak preview of Category 2 items:
    1. The Big Bang is a fallacy.
    2. Evolution is partially Lamarckian.
    3. Microbiological life is present on Mars and was discovered by the Vikings.

    Here is the Woody Allen response:At the opera in Milan with my daughter and me, Needleman leaned out of his box and fell into the orchestra pit. Too proud to admit it was a mistake, he attended the opera every night for a month and repeated it each time.
    I enjoyed a few Woody Allen movies, I think ANTZ was his best. He was so well suited for that part. But I have found his sense of humor difficult to comprehend at times, especially in the movies he directed.

    Does this mean you tend to believe in the steady state universe, or are you simply poking wholes in the theory? The partially Lamarckian sounds very intreguing, I would love to hear more (or maybe you could point me towards something already written). As for life on mars, was this a conspiratorial cover up or merely excessive caution on the part of NASA scientists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Here is the thoughtfull response: There are two categories in which I might express a view -
    Category 1: My view broadly coincides with the mainstream view on the topic. Announcing that I agree with the majority smacks of hubris.
    Category 2: My view is antithetical to the mainstream view. I have no intention of publishing it until I have sufficient evidence, well assembled and presented, with which to make a clear case. To do otherwise would certainly be the height of arrogance.
    One might also consider speaking in both cases to simply be communicative, honest and courageous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Here is the surprised response: Really. I have frequently taken a position at the margin of what I believe defensible, in order to hone my debating and literature research skills, when the counter attack comes. Regretably it rarely does.
    Yes, that has often been my impression. You approach discussion with the caution of an experienced warrior expecting battle. It makes me wonder that you didn't include the word naive in addition to hubris and arrogance in your description above.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutrino
    Quote Originally Posted by jan ardena
    "Atheism" and "atheisticness" are two different things. An atheist is someone who does not (for whatever reason) believe in God. This is attitude is present NOT in one describing oneself as an "atheist", but purely in ones actions and attitude to life itself. The Nazi regime murdered innocent people. This is an "atheistic" act, it doesn't matter whether they regarded themselves as atheist or theist, their act is what counts.
    Jan.
    That's absolutely absurd. What if I believed in an evil god? Would the slaughter of innocents still be an "atheistic" act?
    Yes jan makes the presumption that God does not approve of murder, and since it is hard to believe in God these days if this was not true, then it is somewhat understandable. From that perspective it makes sense to think that anyone committing murder is indeed making a bet that God is a lot of hooey. But it is difficult to support objectively. A cursory look at the old testament, for example, suggests that this presumption is far from obvious, even when we are talking about the Judeo-Christian God.

    No I think we must dig deeper than their murder of innocents to see their atheistic attitudes and world view. I think it is clear that their "worship" (admiration) was not for any "higher power" (at least nothing higher than the state). There was even philosophical precedence in Germany (from Kant or Hegel) for thinking of the state as a higher moral authority. Personally, however, I think the Nazis were inspired by Nietche and were aiming at his idea of a "Superman" who has thrown out the constraints of tradition, religion and morality to seek true power with a mind unclouded. I think this philosophy is about as atheistic as you can get. But they were done one better by the communists who, in addition, decided that religion was evil and sought to exterminate it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Does this mean you tend to believe in the steady state universe, or are you simply poking wholes in the theory?
    Steady State, though doubtless not precisely as seen by Hoyle. I'm not smart enough to poke holes in the Big Bang, but an increasing number of cosmologists are doing this, both deliberately and accidentally.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The partially Lamarckian sounds very intreguing, I would love to hear more (or maybe you could point me towards something already written).
    There is, in my opinion, a missing factor in our currently defined mechanisms for evolution. [Looks over shoulder to ensure no IDiot is listening.] Evolution, at times, does appear to have direction. The normal explanations to account for this may be sufficient, but I suspect a mechanism that allows the transfer of certain acquired characteristics to DNA in certain specific circumstances, or that activate dormant genes to address novel environmental conditions. EvoDevo may do all that is necessary, but, as I say I suspect something more.
    Of course, all of this is heretical in the extreme, and I only mention it in passing, since you asked. It is wholly indefensible. [I am, however, in the midst of a self-education program in genetics and molecular biology that I hope will allow me to either reject the idea outright, or pursue it with increased vigour.]

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    As for life on mars, was this a conspiratorial cover up or merely excessive caution on the part of NASA scientists?
    I find that most so-called conspiracies are just incompetence. I think it was no more conspiratorial than most office politics, but the facts to me seem clear, that there is a better than 50% chance that life was detected by both the Viking spacecraft in the mid-70s.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    One might also consider speaking in both cases to simply be communicative, honest and courageous.
    I don't want to act out of character.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    It makes me wonder that you didn't include the word naive in addition to hubris and arrogance in your description above.
    Never been sure how to spell it.
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    Christian morality never seizes to surprise me. In it, namely, nothing is evil. Than again, nothing is good either. Murder is not an evil act. It is simply an act God has forbidden, but we do not know for what reason. We only know that God is good, and that he has a plan for all of is. Thus, these laws do not represent good, but rather lines according to which we may serve God, to greater fullfill ourselves.
    God is the only entity that can distinguish between good and evil, and man is clearly incapable of making the distinction. Why judge your neighbour when your neighbour is in fact a creation of God?

    Never been sure how to spell it.
    He. We have simplified our language to such terrible lows we don't need accents anymore. Down with naïve, make naive standard!

    Personally, however, I think the Nazis were inspired by Nietche and were aiming at his idea of a "Superman" who has thrown out the constraints of tradition, religion and morality to seek true power with a mind unclouded. I think this philosophy is about as atheistic as you can get.
    Bah. Goethe coined the term Übermensch, let's just burn his works and leave Nietzsche alone. Nietzsche was not about power. The Will to power is a mistranslation. Macht translates into power, yes, but also into a whole lot of other things. You might translate it into the Will to self-overcome. He perceived evolution as the drive to overcome one's own species, and saw this too in man. Man should strive mentally to overcome himself. To exceed himself.

    As atheist as you can get? I would not state Nietzsche was atheist, as I believe it would be insulting. It would be like calling Gandhi a politician. Sure, in a way you can say either, but it fails to describe so much of what they actually did. Nietzsche put the atheist principles at the very beginning of his philosophy, and went on from there. But as atheist as you can get? I don't think there are gradations. You either do, you don't, or you don't want to think about it (perhaps fearing the consequences).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    There is, in my opinion, a missing factor in our currently defined mechanisms for evolution. [Looks over shoulder to ensure no IDiot is listening.] Evolution, at times, does appear to have direction. The normal explanations to account for this may be sufficient, but I suspect a mechanism that allows the transfer of certain acquired characteristics to DNA in certain specific circumstances, or that activate dormant genes to address novel environmental conditions. EvoDevo may do all that is necessary, but, as I say I suspect something more.
    Of course, all of this is heretical in the extreme, and I only mention it in passing, since you asked. It is wholly indefensible. [I am, however, in the midst of a self-education program in genetics and molecular biology that I hope will allow me to either reject the idea outright, or pursue it with increased vigour.]
    Very interesting. I tackle the problem from a slightly different direction and I have something that may interest you. On my web page is a link to some things I have written, which include somehting entitled "Notes on genetic variation". It is literally notes taken directly on some library research I did on mutagenesis (with references). What I discovered was rather surprising. And that is that we repair genetic damage so efficiently that we have actually evolved mechanisms to bypass this repair process in order to allow mutation to occur. My conclusion is that genetic variation is an important survival trait if it is limited and controlled properly. I think that life on the planet is already evolved way beyond the point where any genetic variation is accidental or random. It is in fact all quite intentional and strictly under control. For example, more actively used portions of DNA are more protected from mutation and variation than other portions.

    I think, for another example, that the view that the AID virus mutates rapidly because of it poor ability to copy itself is naive in the extreme, and that what we are seeing is instead a very sophisticated technique for avoiding the defences of its prey. Purely random changes would be much more likely to impair its function than to survive a diverse array of antibiotics.

    Consider that by encouraging variation selectively in the various mechanisms used (like in the way chromosomes exchange material in meiosis), this might be a way to incorporate a partially Larmarkian type of inheritance? maybe?
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    Silas,

    Erm, I could say the same about my post over on sciforums in which I characterised you as an Evolution disbeliever but not a Fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian. Which post of yours here have I not replied to? Was it this one?
    Indeed you can, try and understand though that in that thread there are people coming at me from all sides (even suggestions of suicide ), and in the heat of things it must have slipped my attention. I am going to form a response though.

    I learned a new attitude about forum arguments a while ago. If I don't get a response to a post, I assume I won the argument. This does cut both ways: If I find that I've left a post aimed at me until I can adequately form a response, come back to it later several times and gradually lose heart or interest in responding (which is how it generally happens to me), then I accept that I lost the argument.
    You concede, yet I don’t feel as though I have triumphed.
    Have you changed your stance, regarding the subject matter, or do you agree to disagree??




    Neutrino,

    That's absolutely absurd. What if I believed in an evil god? Would the slaughter of innocents still be an "atheistic" act?
    What is an evil god?
    A god by its very nature must be good (even if seen as a mythological concept).
    Your question would make more sense if it read.. “What if I believed in a demon?”
    Belief in either “a god” or “demon”, although religious, is atheistic, because the adherents do not have faith in God (who is beyond good and evil). It is this same understanding which characterises Buddhism as an atheistic religion.

    Jan.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jan ardena
    Silas,

    Erm, I could say the same about my post over on sciforums in which I characterised you as an Evolution disbeliever but not a Fundamentalist Bible-believing Christian. Which post of yours here have I not replied to? Was it this one?
    Indeed you can, try and understand though that in that thread there are people coming at me from all sides (even suggestions of suicide )
    I'm genuinely sorry to hear that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena
    You concede, yet I don’t feel as though I have triumphed.
    Have you changed your stance, regarding the subject matter, or do you agree to disagree??
    I always agree to disagree, Jan. No I haven't changed my stance. If I don't get a response for a while and consequently say to myself "I won the argument there", I don't particularly feel a sense of triumph either. We're debating each other, not fighting each other for supremacy. I long ago ceased to expect anybody's views to change on account of anything I said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Ardena
    Belief in either “a god” or “demon”, although religious, is atheistic, because the adherents do not have faith in God (who is beyond good and evil). It is this same understanding which characterises Buddhism as an atheistic religion.
    This is where you get into trouble because atheists have one definition of atheist and theists have another. For other people to believe in gods other than your God is not atheistic simply because you are "atheistic" about their gods. You are implicitly denying people the right to believe in their god over yours, by defining their beliefs as "atheistical", when in fact you are just as "atheistical" about their god. It's simpler, really, if you just leave the word "atheist" to mean altogether non-belief in gods - all gods.

    On another thread you likened Satanism to atheism. Well, again your definition of "atheistic" falls down, because Satanists do believe in your God - they simply don't worship him, that's all, but rather His Adversary. Atheism does not mean "not worshipping Yaweh". It means "Not believing in supernatural beings with mystical powers over one - or all - aspects of real life." People who believe in an "evil god" are not atheists therefore.

    I'm not defending my position as an atheist or manning the barricades for atheism - I'm simply defending the use of an English word to have one universally understood meaning, so that everybody understands each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    There is, in my opinion, a missing factor in our currently defined mechanisms for evolution. [Looks over shoulder to ensure no IDiot is listening.] Evolution, at times, does appear to have direction.
    Why do you think this? Namely, what makes you think that evolution appears to have "direction", and what properties of this direction are not in line with current evolutionary theory? I don't ask to start a debate, I'm just curious why you think this.
    Personally, it takes a lot for me to think I can challenge mainstream ideas, mainly because I realize how utterly unqualified I am compared to the consensus of experts in the field.
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    Neutrino, I really don't want to get into this discussion for precisely the reason you stated: I am not prepared to challenge mainstream ideas. That does not stop me thinking about them, noting 'incompleteness' in them; noting that that incompleteness is too often brushed aside; leaving me with very marginal, very wispy, uncomfortable, but ill defined thoughts.
    That is why I would not normally ever raise my doubts publicly. I only did so becasue it arose out of discussion with Mitchell. In this and other forums I have consistently presented 'the party line' because it is probably correct, and certainly offers the best current explanation.

    The root of my discomfort surrounds the probability that mutations can occur at a rate great enough to provide a wide enough range from which favourable changes may spring, yet not so frequent that the the large majority of offspring fail to reproduce. I have yet to see this demonstrated convincingly. I do not say it is not true, I say it has not, to my knowledge, yet been demonstrated.

    Let me take an analogy. In the 1800s there was a great debate between the Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism. The first group, believing largely in the Biblical accounts, thought the rocks and scenery and fossils they contained were the results of vast cataclysyms. The second group, inspired by the work of Hutton, believed the Earth to be old, and the product of the same effects we see today (rain, wind, etc) acting over millenia and eons.
    The Uniformitarians won. Rightly so. Yet today we have begun to recognise that catastrophes also occur. For almost a century after the victory that was not an acceptable position to take. Now we entertain the thought of bolides impacting with devestating results; vast supervolcanoes spewing lava that have a global effect on climate; ice ages so severe the glaciers extend to the equator. The world is primarily governed by the Principle of Uniformity, but it is also subject to sudden catastrophe.

    I see the possibility of a similar issue facing the biological sciences. Darwin saw to it that Natural Selection won out over Lamarck and his acquired characteristics. I just wonder if there may not be an element of Lamarck's concept working through an as yet unidentified mechanism.

    My old Professor of Geology, the inimicable Thomas Neville George had studied more Carboniferous brachiopods than most people imagine ever existed, and a host of other fossils besides. He was convinced there was a rate gene that governed the development of features. In short, though he did not express it that way, he was arguing that at times evolution did take on a directional component. This, as I have noted, was not fanciful speculation, but a solid attempt to explain a network of facts.

    These are the sorts of considerations that leave me with doubts.
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    Silas,

    You concede, yet I don’t feel as though I have triumphed.
    Have you changed your stance, regarding the subject matter, or do you agree to disagree??

    I always agree to disagree, Jan. No I haven't changed my stance. If I don't get a response for a while and consequently say to myself "I won the argument there", I don't particularly feel a sense of triumph either. We're debating each other, not fighting each other for supremacy. I long ago ceased to expect anybody's views to change on account of anything I said.
    I agree.

    Belief in either “a god” or “demon”, although religious, is atheistic, because the adherents do not have faith in God (who is beyond good and evil). It is this same understanding which characterises Buddhism as an atheistic religion.

    This is where you get into trouble because atheists have one definition of atheist and theists have another. For other people to believe in gods other than your God is not atheistic simply because you are "atheistic" about their gods.
    Believing in gods is not the same as believing in God (creator, maintainer). Gods (as in gods), are described in all scriptures as lesser, although powerful entities, who can affect your life if you worship them in the right way. They are not categorised as trancendental beings, they are very powerful, very oppulent, but can fall victim to the illusory material energy if they become too egotistical. According to vedic scriptures, there are innumerable gods (as in demi) who are in charge of different universal affairs. Most people worship gods in order to somehow make their life oppulent, not usually for spiritual benefit. It is this that makes it atheistic. You will find that most cultures who worship different gods, also have
    a supreme being who is responsible for the creation of the universe, and would be interpreted as God.

    You are implicitly denying people the right to believe in their god over yours, by defining their beliefs as "atheistical", when in fact you are just as "atheistical" about their god. It's simpler, really, if you just leave the word "atheist" to mean altogether non-belief in gods - all gods.
    The confusion is that you are using the atheist definition of "atheist" which has been modernised, and redefined, to best describe how they see themselves. But there is a basic definition of "atheist" based upon the point of both terms (atheist/theist), who/which is God. Without God, these terms mean nothing. That definition is, a person who has no faith in God. God must be persumed to exist, to some degree, otherwise both terms have no meaning. If you say "due to lack of scientific evidence, i don't believe God/gods exist", then the presumption of God is present. In that if scientific evidence should present itself, then you may change your position.

    On another thread you likened Satanism to atheism. Well, again your definition of "atheistic" falls down, because Satanists do believe in your God - they simply don't worship him, that's all, but rather His Adversary.
    "Belief in God" and "believing God exists" are not necessarily the same thing. One may believe in his abilities to get ahead in life, and another may believe he has the abilities but unable to get ahead in life. Atheists and satanists are similar in that they don't have faith in God, despite what they may or may not believe, or how they may or may not act.

    Atheism does not mean "not worshipping Yaweh". It means "Not believing in supernatural beings with mystical powers over one - or all - aspects of real life." People who believe in an "evil god" are not atheists therefore.
    I understand and agree with your definition, but as I stated earlier, it is a modern definition. It is, after all an atheist definition of themself, is it not?
    The difference between atheist and theist comes down to belief and faith in God, as without God, there are no gods, or what is termed supernatural.

    Jan.
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    Thanks for the reply Ophiolite.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I see the possibility of a similar issue facing the biological sciences. Darwin saw to it that Natural Selection won out over Lamarck and his acquired characteristics. I just wonder if there may not be an element of Lamarck's concept working through an as yet unidentified mechanism.
    The best answer to the Lamarckian argument is provided in Dawkins's The Blind Watchmaker in which he demonstrates that DNA creates life according to a "recipe" and not according to a "blueprint". If you look at an already built house, you can easily turn that back into a set of blueprints that resemble the original blueprints to which the house was built. If the house now has an extension, or a new bathroom, the blueprint you draw based on the house will now include those features which were not included in the original blueprints. Any new house that you build based upon the post-building alterations made will reflect those alterations. This is why Lamarckism (the inheritance of acquired characteristics) is equivalent to a blueprint method of reproduction.

    But a cake made from a recipe cannot be transformed back into the recipe that made the cake. If you have made a sponge cake, but you want the next cake to be covered in chocolate icing, there is no means by which you can add chocolate icing to the cake, and then subject the cake to any process that (without human intervention and guesswork) will result in a piece of paper with the exact words of the original recipe, plus the words "Cover the cake with 30g of chocolate icing". And this is why the Lamarckian theory is not likely to be a mechanism of evolution.

    The principal anomaly I know of involving evolution goes right down to the chemical origins of it. There are all sorts of ways of chemically creating amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. But amino acids come in two varieties, a left handed and a right handed variety (or rather left-twisting and right-twisting). But any normal chemical process for creating amino acids always creates the two varieties in equal measure (including the Miller/Urey experiment). But practically every amino acid involved in life processses is of the left-twisting or levulorotatory variety, and the right-twisting is never produced. (There are trifling exceptions, but in those cases only dextrorotatory aminos are produced, and never levulorotatory - again in contrast with normal chemical processes.) How is it that "life processes" behave in this significantly different way from normal chemical processes?

    And of course, there still remains the ultimate mystery of life (and the Universe and Everything), which certainly cannot be explained by evolution until we can explain the process itself - and that is consciousness and thought.

    I do get very annoyed with anti-Evolutionists who will diss evolution merely because some life process appears to be "too complex", particularly when the "too complex" process is something like immunity to disease - which is actually one of those cases which is used to make evolution easy to understand! Maybe I don't believe in God, but my concept of Him is that he is more than capable of the whole of Creation without leaving any fingerprints - and so arguments from incredulity or that an "Intelligent Designer must have created us" is belittling to the God they are trying to champion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    The best answer to the Lamarckian argument is provided in Dawkins's The Blind Watchmaker in which he demonstrates that DNA creates life according to a "recipe" and not according to a "blueprint". If you look at an already built house, you can easily turn that back into a set of blueprints that resemble the original blueprints to which the house was built. If the house now has an extension, or a new bathroom, the blueprint you draw based on the house will now include those features which were not included in the original blueprints. Any new house that you build based upon the post-building alterations made will reflect those alterations. This is why Lamarckism (the inheritance of acquired characteristics) is equivalent to a blueprint method of reproduction.
    The fallacy of your argument is that the the genetic recipe upon which inheritance is based is not static. It is modified by various processes including the sexual combination of DNA from two parents, since this is a process that occurs after the original recipe is followed these changes are in fact aquired characteristics. The question is whether these are purely random or whether anything in the lifestyle the organism affects these processes.

    I cannot make sense of your chocolate cake argument at all since every cell in the human body carries the original recipe. And that recipe is modified before it is passed on to the next generation. Of course there is no conscious control and no one is suggesting that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    I do get very annoyed with anti-Evolutionists who will diss evolution merely because some life process appears to be "too complex", particularly when the "too complex" process is something like immunity to disease - which is actually one of those cases which is used to make evolution easy to understand! Maybe I don't believe in God, but my concept of Him is that he is more than capable of the whole of Creation without leaving any fingerprints - and so arguments from incredulity or that an "Intelligent Designer must have created us" is belittling to the God they are trying to champion.
    I tend to be annoyed at both, who give the impression that they are talking about the orgin of things with no life. "Intellegent design" talks about watchmakers and the creation of watches, when the real life examples of people who "create" living things are farmers, shepherds, and teachers. Evolutionists speak of the development of living thing like it was an external accidental random process when it is clear to me that this is an intentional activity of living things, which play an active influential role in the process.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I cannot make sense of your chocolate cake argument at all since every cell in the human body carries the original recipe. And that recipe is modified before it is passed on to the next generation.
    Yes, the recipe is contained in every cell, but cutting a slice out of the cake is not transmitted back into the recipe so that the next version of the cake has the slice cut out of it. Likewise, there is no way to cut the skin or remove an eye from a creature and have that information somehow appear reflected in the DNA so that a child of that animal has the skin cut or an empty eye socket. Ultimately, this is what "inheritance of acquired characteristics" means.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Of course there is no conscious control and no one is suggesting that
    Thou protesteth too much, methinks! All I've done is point out an excellent argument against Lamarckism that is available in the literature. Lamarckism is still an Evolution theory, just not the correct one. Conscious control does not come into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The fallacy of your argument is that the the genetic recipe upon which inheritance is based is not static. It is modified by various processes including the sexual combination of DNA from two parents, since this is a process that occurs after the original recipe is followed these changes are in fact aquired characteristics.
    No, not in the sense meant by Lamarck when he advanced his theory. "The Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics" in fact excludes those "acquired characteristics" due to the combination of the two DNA streams of the parents, or of changes in the DNA itself caused by an error of copying or by an external mutagen (such as ultraviolet light and other strong radiation). Which is called mutation, of course, and is part and parcel of the Darwinian Evolution theory. Lamarckism refers to features that a particular creature obtains during their life and which is passed onto a child - something that is never seen to occur at a macro level, and for which there is no mechanism at any level - except for mutation of the DNA itself, which again is not what is meant by Lamarckianism.

    The most obvious example of Lamarckism is as follows: if you constantly work hard with your hands and fingers, your skin develops hard areas, or "callouses". Looking at dogs and cats, we see that their feet have hard areas already when they are born. The Lamarckian theory is that an early dog or cat had soft feet which hardened due to constant abrasion on a harsh surface. And that, being evolutionarily useful, this "acquired characteristic" was passed onto the children (possibly only gradually from generation to generation) until kittens were born with already tough skin on their paws.

    Dawkins points out that the other problem with this theory is that, unlike Darwinism, it fails to provide an adequate explanation for the skin hardening in the first place. It may seem natural for skin to harden on constant abrasion, but no other substance behaves in this way in the natural world. It is a characteristic of evolution, therefore, and results from a genetic mutation which caused tougher skin to grow on the paws was eventually significant to survival and reproduction rates, and thus it spread through the gene pool.
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    Thanks Silas, for the detailed description of Lamarck's inheritance of acquired characteristics to help inform those readers who may be less aquainted with what we have been talking about.

    But no one here is suggesting pure Lamarckianism or Lamarkianism as Lamark originally suggested it. No one in their right mind with any scientific instruction would. The question is whether iheritance is purely without any influence from acquired characterstics whatsoever. And this is much less clear. Since the modification of the "recipe" occurs after the maturation of organism which "followed" it and since this modification process is complex, controlled and limited in ways we do not even fully understand yet, there is room for the organism's aquired states to affect the process.

    I would not even suggest any direct inheritance of aquired characteristics but something more indirect and even statistical. For example some of the genetic code is unlocked conditionally to produce certain proteins when they are required. Increased production of such proteins and therefore increased production of the unlocking enzymes could inhibit the processes, which produce variations in the next generation, from modifying the associated section of DNA. In this manner an environmental variable could directly affect the offspring variations in the next generation. Perhaps the converse is even more significant. If environmental changes result in a certain sequence of DNA never being used this could allow modifications of this section of DNA which had previously been prevented, thereby stimulating the generation of variations in the next generation which have not been seen before.

    Is there evidence for this kind of thing. Yes, there is such evidence in the mutagenesis studes of E-coli. I don't know if this has been extended to include mammals. But the logic and evolutionary advantage of such a process is clear. It makes sense.
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