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My flatmate's book - Comments

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 1 by Alan4discussion

Being able to recognise the irrational arguments and contradictions put forward in attempts to support religious beliefs, is always a good start in understanding the science of the reality from the subatomic to the cosmological. Those of us who participate rationally in evidence based discussions, learn much from others who bring their own specialist knowledge here and share it.

You will also see the profoundly ignorant fundamentalist trolls who are certain they know all the answers:- even when it is obvious that they know none of the questions, or even the names of the specialist subjects they dispute, or the meanings of the words they bandy around!

Sat, 07 May 2011 22:26:45 UTC | #624338

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 2 by El Bastardo

I am certain that my might-or-might-not-be-God thinks he is ace, too.

Doesn't sound very agnostic to me

Sat, 07 May 2011 23:34:47 UTC | #624357

yyarovyy's Avatar Comment 3 by yyarovyy

There are people suffering from a violent form of a disease and there are also some that simply occasionally cough because of it. Neither situation is good - I personally would prefer everyone to actually be healthy and not carry the virus, and hopefully help to prevent it from spreading.

Sat, 07 May 2011 23:42:02 UTC | #624360

Matt B's Avatar Comment 4 by Matt B

Welcome. I'm sure you'll get a range of responses here, from outright rude to very friendly, and everywhere in between. I'll sum up my own feelings with one word: Hello.

It's good to see people actively putting their beliefs (religious or otherwise) through a degree of scrutiny. It's healthy to cross-check the things we think we know.

I recommend you check out some of Professor Dawkin's other books - the ones not geared towards the criticism of religion, but instead the science which he so eloquently explains in such a way that the average person can understand, with a passion unrivaled by most (if not all) of his peers.

Sun, 08 May 2011 00:08:21 UTC | #624376

Andrew B.'s Avatar Comment 5 by Andrew B.

I'm unsure if the here-and-now splendour of the natural world and the awesome laws of physics are enough for me personally, or if there exists something above, beyond, or within.

What are you getting at with this sentence? Do you mean to say that you aren't sure that winning the cosmic lottery just by being born into a magnificent world as this is enough for you? And because of that, you're willing to entertain unsubstantiated notions of "something" which exists "above," "beyond," or "within?" You're willing to use your desires to determine what you believe about reality?

Or did you mean something else?

Sun, 08 May 2011 00:22:04 UTC | #624382

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 6 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 5 by Andrew B.

What are you getting at with this sentence? Do you mean to say that you aren't sure that winning the cosmic lottery just by being born into a magnificent world as this is enough for you? And because of that, you're willing to entertain unsubstantiated notions of "something" which exists "above," "beyond," or "within?" You're willing to use your desires to determine what you believe about reality?

It's worth pointing out that the laws of physics gave one those desires in the first place. I'm increasingly impressed by a number of ideas that go under the heading 'post reductionism'. The 'nothing but....' rhetoric of the past several hundred years is, in my view, a false view of the universe.

In a way it is similar to the way that the early search for exoplanets found only 'hot Jupiters'....because that is all the level of technology could find. I think the way science has developed a hard reductionist view of the universe is very similar, and that the trend will increasingly now be towards more 'top down' and holistic concepts. Worth noting in that context that even Stephen Hawking's latest cosmology is 'top down'.

Sun, 08 May 2011 01:09:41 UTC | #624391

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 7 by Steve Zara

I loved watching Richard Dawkins interview Father George Coyne on Youtube: I cringed a little when I heard Father Coyne tell of the contradictions between his personal belief of some of the science-defying aspects of Christianity and his rational knowledge. Nevertheless, it was also glorious to hear a religious man wear his faith so lightly, gently, and so well. I do hope that he gets a gin and tonic and games of tennis in heaven, as he wants to.

I'm afraid I can't be that charitable. No matter what Coyne's personal views (and they seem pretty reasonable when it comes to science), he is an open member of the Catholic Church, a particularly nasty organisation that campaigns against the use of birth control, and helps to foster and propagate anti-gay bigotry. Being a person of the Catholic faith is one thing. Being a visible supporter of that faith is another.

I'm unsure if the here-and-now splendour of the natural world and the awesome laws of physics are enough for me personally, or if there exists something above, beyond, or within.

I'm a strident hard naturalist who believes that the wonder and mystery of the universe are vastly beyond anything we have ever managed to conceive unaided by our ape-brains that it makes no sense at all to use emotional judgement to decide what exists and what doesn't.

Sun, 08 May 2011 02:04:44 UTC | #624397

JuJu's Avatar Comment 8 by JuJu

and I love the work that Richard Dawkins does, especially his highlighting of some of the illogical, nonsensical and inhuman (that's the thing) aspects of some branches of theology.

When you say some branches of theology are you suggesting yours hasn't been found to be illogical and nonsensical. You seem to be stuck somewhere between a deist and a monotheist. Both of which are illogical.

I'm unsure if the here-and-now splendour of the natural world and the awesome laws of physics are enough for me personally, or if there exists something above, beyond, or within.

It doesn't really matter what you think personally, it is what it is. Do you think you get to chose your own reality?

What is this something that you're unsure might exist? Above what? Beyond what?

We already know things exist "within" the natural world, so I'm not sure why you included that. Maybe you meant some magical spirit that exist within us or something along those lines. You have no proof outside your own personal imagination that something "god like" might exist. I find it hard to believe you would call yourself a slightly theistic agnostic after reading The God Delusion. Whether you accept it or not you've got a mild form of the theistic mind virus, hopefully this site will help with your symptoms. Better yet, if your lucky enough this site will cure it all together.

Sun, 08 May 2011 02:56:08 UTC | #624406

BeanSlap's Avatar Comment 9 by BeanSlap

"I'm unsure if the here-and-now splendour of the natural world and the awesome laws of physics are enough for me personally"

Speaking of physics....I was watching a ghost hunting show yesterday (guilty atheist pleasure) and they had some really weird and freaky stuff on it. In one video they had a chair actually move on its own. Unless it's fake how can that happen? In another they had a veteran (from this current terror war) talk about how a soldier friend came up to him and said how he wanted him to give a note to his wife. The veteran thought he was talking about suicide and after not hearing from him for a couple of days he called his ROI (?-someone who works with him in therapy) and found that he had died after stepping on a mine before his friend came up and talked with him. He was pretty shaken by that and he was a skeptic. I wish they had some show where Dawkins and Derren Brown would go into these "haunted" houses and try and figure out whats going on. Perhaps it's some new science realm we have yet to explore?

Sun, 08 May 2011 03:01:56 UTC | #624407

JuJu's Avatar Comment 10 by JuJu

Comment Removed by Author

Sun, 08 May 2011 03:19:32 UTC | #624410

Ranting Socrates's Avatar Comment 11 by Ranting Socrates

You stole the book? Sounds like an atheist to me...JOKING!

Sun, 08 May 2011 03:29:29 UTC | #624412

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 12 by ZenDruid

@BeanSlap, I'm prone to explore that same avenue of thought but, not too long ago, one of my sons explained 'confirmation bias' to me, and this seems to have cured me of that proclivity.

However! Every one of of my family has had more than one private 'ghost experience' associated with a house in which we once lived. The details were only corroborated years later.

Goddammit, it makes you wonder, huh?

Sun, 08 May 2011 03:30:35 UTC | #624413

JuJu's Avatar Comment 13 by JuJu

Comment 9 by BeanSlap

Perhaps it's some new science realm we have yet to explore?

Wow! You can't be serious, you've been watching too much TV.

Sun, 08 May 2011 03:32:49 UTC | #624414

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 14 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 9 by BeanSlap

Speaking of physics....I was watching a ghost hunting show yesterday (guilty atheist pleasure) and they had some really weird and freaky stuff on it. In one video they had a chair actually move on its own.

Just thought I'd butt in.........that sounds like a well known episode from the TAPS ( The Atlantic Paranormal Society ) series Ghost Hunters. A good deal of their antics have long since been exposed as fraud.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohfocjCX2sc

I wish they had some show where Dawkins and Derren Brown would go into these "haunted" houses and try and figure out whats going on

One of the most convincing sceptical investigations of ghosts was done a few years back at Eastern State Penitentiary ( allegedly the most haunted place in the USA, and also included in a TAPS episdode ) by a group of scientists, and was made into a documentary. They found convincing evidence that ultrasound can cause 'haunted' feelings. Not only that, but they captured one of the 'ghosts' on infra-red camera....and then proceeded to scientifically prove that the effect was entirely due to rainwater leaking into the prison. This splendid documentary was so good because they DID detect 'the ghost'....but were able to explain it entirely rationally.

I've tried to find the documentary on Utube.....all I can find on the state penitentiary is the TAPS crap and some other 'paranormal' stuff. If anyone can find it......its well worth posting, and watching.

Sun, 08 May 2011 04:19:07 UTC | #624419

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 15 by the great teapot

To paraphrase "I am not sure the here and now is enough for me"

Ok , so there must be more because this isn't enough for you. Wow I hadn't considered that, that really is a powerful argument.

Sun, 08 May 2011 05:07:08 UTC | #624424

jcs's Avatar Comment 16 by jcs

Comment Removed by Author

Sun, 08 May 2011 09:23:36 UTC | #624449

jcs's Avatar Comment 17 by jcs

Info on the haunted prison:

Description: link text

National Geographic: link text

YouTube: link text

Sun, 08 May 2011 09:35:15 UTC | #624452

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 18 by AtheistEgbert

Trojan horse.

Sun, 08 May 2011 09:39:23 UTC | #624454

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 19 by Alan4discussion

My brother and I used to hear "ghostly music" upstairs when the house was "empty". Eventually we found the cat playing at plucking the springs on a spare bed with her claws - and then hiding when someone approached!

Sun, 08 May 2011 10:09:27 UTC | #624459

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 20 by Alan4discussion

I'm unsure if the here-and-now splendour of the natural world and the awesome laws of physics are enough for me personally, or if there exists something above, beyond, or within.

Keep following the science discussions which range from Cosmology to subatomic Quantum Mechanics:- with Astronomy, Biology and Psychology thrown in! There are so many opportunities to expand your scientific awareness!

Sun, 08 May 2011 10:17:54 UTC | #624461

juliette123's Avatar Comment 21 by juliette123

Hi everyone. It's Juliette, the lass who posted the original discussion comment. Maybe I was asking for trouble, posting that first thing. I hope not, I wasn't looking for it. I was trying to be a bit tongue in cheek about the god thing. I have a hunch that there might be "something else." And I might be wrong. And it is only a hunch. And it won't be a personal god, one who wants praise or prayer. I have no time at all for the vast majority of organised religion or theology. Television programmes on the Hubble space telescope, the nature of time, and evolution are among the things that move me to tears. I am on your side, y'all.

I switched on the TV today and there was our Richard, arguing (of course) that the bible has no place as a morally guiding document. I was cheering him on, natch, over my tea and toast! Juliette.

Sun, 08 May 2011 10:55:07 UTC | #624471

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 22 by TheRationalizer

Welcome!

How many gods do you believe in, and why that number?

Sun, 08 May 2011 11:17:26 UTC | #624477

juliette123's Avatar Comment 23 by juliette123

Hello, TheRationalizer.

None, now. You lot are wearing me down. :-)

Sun, 08 May 2011 11:28:30 UTC | #624481

evotruth's Avatar Comment 24 by evotruth

by juliette123

I am not an atheist, but a namby-pamby, practically theistic, agnostic. Sorry, chaps.


Comment 22 by TheRationalizer

Welcome!

How many gods do you believe in, and why that number?


Comment 23 by juliette123

Hello, TheRationalizer.

None, now. You lot are wearing me down. :-)

So, you're an Atheist then!

Sun, 08 May 2011 11:59:16 UTC | #624490

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 25 by the great teapot

Speaking of Richard on the big questions, the use of the word ignorant was v poor. Richard may have meant ignorant of current knowledge but that is not how the word is commonly understood, besides which we are all ignorant of a lot of things.

That guy in the purple shirt with the white collar didn't seem to have a very good memory. After examples of cherry picking and bad morals which could be derived from the Bible he responded as if no one had said anything. Still I guess he has his job to protect.

Sun, 08 May 2011 12:04:26 UTC | #624491

jimbob21's Avatar Comment 26 by jimbob21

I wish they had some show where Dawkins and Derren Brown would go into these "haunted" houses and try and figure out whats going on. Perhaps it's some new science realm we have yet to explore?

Perhaps but that is extremely unlikely isn't it? There has never been one single scrap of actual evidence for the existence of ghosts. Ever

When there is any evidence I will gladly believe in their existence, but I would be willing to bet everything I own that this will never happen.

One extra thing I have wondered; why do ghosts wear clothes. Has the spirit of their garments been carried on into the afterlife. Also why is there a high number of ghosts from the aristocracy of the Tudor period? Where are all the 1950s bin men or wandering down hallways going "woooo"?

Sun, 08 May 2011 12:06:48 UTC | #624492

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 27 by the great teapot

As a namby pamby agnostic once said to me " why does nobody ever see ghosts on a Sunday afternoon when they are watching the match on sky sports?" And he normally believes or respects people when they talk spiritual nonsense.

Sun, 08 May 2011 12:14:22 UTC | #624495

juliette123's Avatar Comment 28 by juliette123

I would definitely like to say that I do not believe in ghosts.

Sun, 08 May 2011 12:26:20 UTC | #624497

Nordic11's Avatar Comment 29 by Nordic11

Welcome, Juliette (although I'm not certain I belong here). I've found most of the RD.net members tough but fair and knowledgeable.

Sun, 08 May 2011 13:41:29 UTC | #624516

juliette123's Avatar Comment 30 by juliette123

Hello, Nordic11. Why aren't you certain you belong here?

Sun, 08 May 2011 13:52:59 UTC | #624521