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Poll
Question: Do you believe in God?
Yes, there is a God - 35 (46.7%)
No (atheist) - 30 (40%)
Unsure (agnostic) - 10 (13.3%)
Total Voters: 74

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Religious Discussions

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Emma Jean
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4335 on: November 19, 2012, 05:48 PM »
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I obviously meant based on current knowledge hence why in an earlier post I used the word "yet".

I'm ready for that evidence to show itself although I'm not holding my breath.

In other words, you have no idea if there's God or not and yet, you chose to be an atheist instead of leaving it open. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

And how can you hold your breath when your lifespan is probably not more than 100 years? Do you expect science to answer your question by then – before you die?
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tennis_girl
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4336 on: November 19, 2012, 05:52 PM »
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Mark reminds me of the xenophobe that I had in my class today when I was discussing how the French burqa ban actually violates human rights law. Thinks that 'extremists' by his opinion shouldn't be allotted the right to manifest their religion as they see fit.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4337 on: November 19, 2012, 06:28 PM »
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In other words, you have no idea if there's God or not and yet, you chose to be an atheist instead of leaving it open. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

And how can you hold your breath when your lifespan is probably not more than 100 years? Do you expect science to answer your question by then – before you die?


You don't seem to understand the concept of atheism.

I don't see any evidence for the existence of unicorns. However, it seems unlikely that they exist precisely because there is no evidence.

The same applies to god. I can't know whether there is a god, just as I can't know whether there are unicorns. I don't believe either exists, though.

I'll use a famous example for you. You have no idea if there's really a flying spaghetti monster, yet presumably you don't believe that one exists, do you?
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Fiverings
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4338 on: November 19, 2012, 06:55 PM »
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If I was a lunatic, I could not stop withdrawing my hand. It is an automatic reflex. No matter what belief or thought I held I would withdraw my hand.

This indicates to me that the response is not conscious. Do you agree with me, or can you argue that the response is conscious?


  Ah, perhaps we are approaching the nub of the question. You appear to be saying that consciousness is somehow associated with voluntary action, by choice or otherwise - I have never said that, I don't think.  I have tried to suggest a continuum of consciousness from molecules to man. We can discuss levels of awareness, for sure, but where, for example would you argue consciousness began?  Where options exist and are able to be evaluated and acted upon?  Some crystals - ice is a good example - can form in various, even apparently unpredictable ways.  Consciousness may be relatively easy to define in terms of higher animals - but plants, bacteria, viruses  .. where can you confidently draw a line? I would postulate that any organised matter, and that is pretty much everything, must be "conscious" at some level. It wouldn't be organised otherwise.  Ultimately, I guess you might say that the whole universe is conscious, but thats a concept we can only speculate about, because our humanity is just an eddy in eternity. 
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4339 on: November 19, 2012, 07:20 PM »
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In other words, you have no idea if there's God or not and yet, you chose to be an atheist instead of leaving it open. Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

And how can you hold your breath when your lifespan is probably not more than 100 years? Do you expect science to answer your question by then – before you die?

What on earth? A slightly bizarre response.

I said based on current evidence there is no God and therefore the rational default position is atheism. As with James, I'm an atheist about unicorns too.

Mark reminds me of the xenophobe that I had in my class today when I was discussing how the French burqa ban actually violates human rights law. Thinks that 'extremists' by his opinion shouldn't be allotted the right to manifest their religion as they see fit.
[ Last edit by Mark November 19, 2012, 07:28 PM ] IP Logged
DaveH
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4340 on: November 19, 2012, 07:26 PM »
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Ah, perhaps we are approaching the nub of the question. You appear to be saying that consciousness is somehow associated with voluntary action, by choice or otherwise - I have never said that, I don't think.  I have tried to suggest a continuum of consciousness from molecules to man. We can discuss levels of awareness, for sure, but where, for example would you argue consciousness began?  Where options exist and are able to be evaluated and acted upon?  Some crystals - ice is a good example - can form in various, even apparently unpredictable ways.  Consciousness may be relatively easy to define in terms of higher animals - but plants, bacteria, viruses  .. where can you confidently draw a line? I would postulate that any organised matter, and that is pretty much everything, must be "conscious" at some level. It wouldn't be organised otherwise.  Ultimately, I guess you might say that the whole universe is conscious, but thats a concept we can only speculate about, because our humanity is just an eddy in eternity.   

What I am saying about consciousness is that there are useful descriptions of "unconscious" and "conscious" action. By maintaining that consciousness is a continuum you arrive at the absurd situation that we cannot talk of unconscious processes such as reflexes.

Consciousness is obviously a complex phenomenon. Partly because of this, there is an arbitrary line where consciousness can be said to begin. However, this does not mean that everything is conscious. Take life. It is arbitrary where life begins. Is a zygote alive? Is a virus alive? However, it is ridiculous to therefore claim that a rock is alive. Another example: Where the colour blue becomes the colour green is arbitrary. However, this does not mean that red is blue. It is not useful to speak of red as blue.

Your definition of consciousness is "things that respond with subtlety to the environment." This definition is not useful, which is why it resembles no expert appraisal of consciousness. All it can possibly allow you to do is to dishonestly convince yourself that the world is dualistic.
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DaveH
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4341 on: November 19, 2012, 07:44 PM »
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I am open to the argument that the burqua ban is a violation of human rights. However, it is not a religious symbol, so the argument that it prevents expression of religion is invalid. It's not a religious issue.

There is a tension between the right to dress as we please and civic duty. I think the argument that the face should not be covered in public has some merit. Having said that, the ban on face covering is specifically targeted at the burqua, and it is that as a symbol of gender inequality which the French govt are against. But I don't think you can force women to embrace their rights if they don't want to.

 I am reminded of a Private Eye cartoon which had a woman in burqua chained to some railings holding the placard "Less Women's Rights."
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4342 on: November 19, 2012, 08:02 PM »
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It's not forcing women to embrace their rights.

For one, the law applies only to the public sphere, not the private sphere. That's as far as France can legislate. So this can go two ways: one, women who do not want to wear the niqab or the burqa are FORCED to stay at home by familial relations, which I don't agree with. Two: women who genuinely feel comfortable wearing and see it as a manifestation of their belief (I'm not sure you can argue it isn't a religious symbol given that you're not the decider of that), are then forced to stay at home because of the ban. Therefore, they feel even more isolated, are not integrating into society. I equate it with me feeling just as uncomfortable if France said that I was to go topless. If this is how women feel they are paying homage to their religion and this is what they're comfortable with, it's not up to you or me to tell them otherwise.

On the other hand, women who are forced to wear them may also be freed from doing so because of this ban, so again, it's a slippery slope.
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4343 on: November 19, 2012, 08:40 PM »
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women who do not want to wear the niqab or the burqa are FORCED to stay at home by familial relations, which I don't agree with

Awful, but not the fault of the law.

Quote
I'm not sure you can argue it isn't a religious symbol given that you're not the decider of that)

Clerics and other Muslims have said that. For example,

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jNAnCNRui8FnoLVQ0OSJ8Mj9Qm6Q

Quote
it's not up to you or me to tell them otherwise.

What of the argument that the burqua has no place in a society of secular values such as the equality of women, to paraphrase Sarkozy. A citizen has communal obligations.

Another possible argument: emancipation is so intrinsic to human dignity that we should force the scales from others' eyes. We are doing them a favour. It may be a moral obligation to help others whether they like it or not. For example, should we force an abused woman to seek action or let her go back to her abuser? Should we let a depressive sleep all day or kick him out of bed?
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4344 on: November 19, 2012, 08:50 PM »
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Very Happy


* showmeyourface.jpg (24.44 KB, 451x302 - viewed 75 times.)
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4345 on: November 19, 2012, 08:50 PM »
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Oh, how radical. I take Sarkozy's words with a grain of salt. He has an anti-immigration agenda and he used this ban to rally the right wing shitheads, in an attempt to a) kick these 'radicals' out and b) instill fear in the rest of the Islamic population. Hilarious, especially when I think about the fact that France had the balls to colonize places like Algeria.

And it is indeed the fault of the law. The law is a blanket ban. Just because it doesn't effect you in a negative manner doesn't mean that its effects weren't already planned out. I doubt the French government thought, 'hey every woman is now going to jump at the chance to rid themselves of the burqa'.

Comparing the wearing of a garment that some women feel comfortable with (and honestly, there is disagreement in every religion as to what's appropriate worship and what's not) to abuse and depression is a bit steep.
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4346 on: November 19, 2012, 09:08 PM »
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It's not the fault of the law that the women are treated like children and forced to stay at home. That is a cultural fault.

I cannot take seriously the proposition that the law was introduced to keep 2000 women at home.

Why do the women feel comfortable wearing the garment, and is it a good thing if women feel comfortable wearing a garment that (a) denies them facial expressions (b) is designed to the end that women are responsible for men's potential inappropriate sexual behaviour?
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Fiverings
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4347 on: November 19, 2012, 09:52 PM »
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What I am saying about consciousness is that there are useful descriptions of "unconscious" and "conscious" action. By maintaining that consciousness is a continuum you arrive at the absurd situation that we cannot talk of unconscious processes such as reflexes.

Consciousness is obviously a complex phenomenon. Partly because of this, there is an arbitrary line where consciousness can be said to begin. However, this does not mean that everything is conscious. Take life. It is arbitrary where life begins. Is a zygote alive? Is a virus alive? However, it is ridiculous to therefore claim that a rock is alive. Another example: Where the colour blue becomes the colour green is arbitrary. However, this does not mean that red is blue. It is not useful to speak of red as blue.

Your definition of consciousness is "things that respond with subtlety to the environment." This definition is not useful, which is why it resembles no expert appraisal of consciousness. All it can possibly allow you to do is to dishonestly convince yourself that the world is dualistic.
   No, you're not following me at all - the term unconscious has no meaning in the context of what I'm trying to describe. Its not dishonest, and its certainly not dualistic - quite the opposite. Its because reality is fundamentally holistic that consciousness exists - for us to establish an identity, for anything to establish an identity it must have a sense of self, it must "know" how it relates to its environment. That is what I mean by consciousness in the context of this discussion.
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DaveH
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4348 on: November 19, 2012, 10:25 PM »
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  for anything to establish an identity it must have a sense of self, it must "know" how it relates to its environment.

You're right. I don't follow you at all. Why exactly must water have a sense of self?

How do you know water has a sense of self? How can something have a sense of self when it has no senses?

Does a shower of rain have a sense of self? Or just each raindrop?
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Emma Jean
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4349 on: November 20, 2012, 02:00 AM »
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Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics

Copyright 1988 Thomas J. McFarlane
www.integralscience.org

In this accessible narrative essay, we take a journey with 20th century physicists beyond the limits of old world views to explore the fascinating world of quantum mechanics and its profound philosophical implications. The world described by quantum mechanics is strange and counter-intuitive, undermining the notions of materialism, determinism, and separation. We also explore the measurement problem in quantum mechanics and examine arguments why consciousness is needed to fully resolve the problem. Such resolutions, however, force us to radical alterations in our understanding of both the world and consciousness.


New Worlds

In 1492 Columbus set sail on a journey to unknown lands, pushing the limits of human experience and knowledge. It was the beginning of the Renaissance, and the beginning of a revolution in thought that would give birth to modern science, a vessel that would carry Newton beyond the earth itself.

Four hundred years later the earth was mapped, lands were colonized and Columbus was a legend. The earthly realm was no longer a mystery. But by this time science had gone far ahead. It had mapped the planets, stars, and galaxies. It had revealed the laws of nature—both on earth and beyond. And people had put the knowledge into practice, transforming the lives of everyone it touched. The universe was no longer a mystery, but an intricate lawful machine.

Two Heroes

Werner Heisenberg, the first revolutionary physicist to completely abandon the classical Newtonian universe and break trail into the quantum realm, compared his journey with that of Columbus. The greatest achievement in his discovery of America was not the idea to sail around the world or his careful preparation for the trip. No, Heisenberg says, "his most remarkable feat was the decision to leave the known regions of the world and to sail westward, far beyond the point from which his provisions could have got him back home again." And so it is with science, Heisenberg continues, "it is impossible to open up new territory unless one is prepared to leave the safe anchorage of established doctrine and run the risk of a hazardous leap forward."

Young and daring, Heisenberg took the first quantum leap with his abstract matrix mechanics in 1925. These strange laws formed the first consistent theory of the atoms whose behavior defied explanation within Newton's universe. Like Columbus, Heisenberg had discovered a new world. But he hadn't found it alone. . .

Only a few months after young Heisenberg had set foot on the new land, an older fellow appeared on the horizon, having found the same frontier by a different route. It was Erwin Schrödinger, who had found his way to the quantum realm with a theory of wave mechanics. Being the older of the two, Schrödinger had traveled with more caution and vision. As he wrote only a few months before embarking on his historic journey, "among the advancing hosts of the forces of knowledge, metaphysics is the vanguard, establishing the forward outposts in an unknown and hostile territory; we cannot do without such outposts, but we all know that they are exposed to the most extreme danger."

Both had dared. And both survived the dangers, discovering by two different paths the same new frontier of scientific exploration.

Here's the link to the rest of the article:

http://www.integralscience.org/ConsciousQM.html
[ Last edit by Emma Jean November 20, 2012, 03:34 PM ] IP Logged
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