Sunday School

Sunday School 25th April 2021

This topic contains 126 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 4 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #37381

    USCIRF releases 2021 Annual Report with recommendations for U.S. Policy

    Gallup poll shows less than 50% of American now belong to a house of worship.

    The Supreme Court has just created an aristocracy of the religious, who now can plausibly demand the right to defy almost any law.

    North Dakota wants to display the “Ten Commandments” in public schools for historical reasons.

    World of Woo:  As extreme weather increases, climate misinformation adapts.

    Environment: ‘How is the future going to be beautiful if the present is looking catastrophic?’

    Can you spot any fallacies in this article? I don’t quite agree with this article on people become atheists.

    The rules on social distancing indoors may need to be reviewed.

    Plants and animals steal genes from other species to accelerate evolution.

    Richard Dawkins has had his “Humanist of the Year” award taken away for his comments that are claimed to attack transgender people. Other winners of the award would take a different view on the matter.

    The “Many Worlds” theory is a fantasy (I agree).  But did we evolve to see reality as it exists?

    500 free online courses at Udemy.

    In Malaysia, Muslim leaders call for religious tolerance after years promoting religious violence.

    Long Reads: An interview about Science with Neil deGrasse Tyson. From the murky world of Quackademia, a look at the publication, Medical Hypotheses. Chinese feminists are being silenced by nationalist trolls but some are fighting back.

    Art is not about beauty. It is about traveling without the need for a visa.

    This week I am half way through this excellent book: Helgoland by Carlo Rovelli.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Coffee Break Video:  Megan Phelps on leaving the Westboro Baptist Church. An audio-visual odyssey into the heavens of astronomy and myth.

    #37383

    Have a great week everyone!

    #37384

    Strega
    Moderator

    Thanks Reg!

    #37385

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Can you spot any fallacies in this article?

    He believes that atheism can never survive. “None of its argumentations are reassuring,” Father Simon said.

    This is a classic example of “truth as utility” I think.  It doesn’t seem useful or pleasure-inducing, that atheism offers cold comfort in many ways.

    I would have thought this article is pretty reasonable from the point of view of a religious official in Indonesia.

    “Thus, atheism can never be a serious threat to nationality. However, it can be a serious problem if it interferes with our humanity and religious life. This is what I think,” the priest said.

    As if atheism is a threat to the fabric of the nation’s social or moral order.

    I like this:

    Never be afraid of studying atheism, and never think that it is taboo. Just study it critically as a science instead of an ideology,” he said.

    #37386

    _Robert_
    Participant

    This is a classic example of “truth as utility” I think. It doesn’t seem useful or pleasure-inducing, that atheism offers cold comfort in many ways. I would have thought this article is pretty reasonable from the point of view of a religious official in Indonesia.

    Yep, How intellectually inept can a ‘PhD’ be?

    He believes that atheism can never survive. “None of its argumentations are reassuring,” Father Simon said.

    Reassurance is a path to truth? I can only imagine how much pandering goes on in “theological upper-level colleges”. Studying fairy tales as if they are some great truths even when they are mutually exclusive,

    #37387

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Yep, How intellectually inept can a ‘PhD’ be?

    He doesn’t seem inept to me, only enmeshed within a certain point of view that may be very foreign to us Western atheists.

    The fact that he puts his finger on the “non-reassuring” nature of atheism is proof to me that he’s got his head screwed on.  It’s true, and maybe that’s what Christians find puzzling, that we would be into “nihilism”.  But we’re not.  We’re all about overcoming the innate suffering of life and death, by seizing the moment.

    #37388

    Father Simon did not know for sure how many Indonesian people had chose atheism as there is no data.

    The problem is not that there is no data on how many atheists there are in Indonesia but that the priest considers atheism to be a choice. If he understood what atheism was, i.e., a lack of belief, then he would know this.

    For most believers it does appear as a choice as they have all presupposed the existence of their god and all “knowledge” they have about this god is an a priori deduction. From theists it is like saying there are two boxes on a table, one called Faith and one called Atheism. They take the Faith box and we take the Atheist box because we choose to. But there is only one box on the table. It is called Faith. They pick it up but we just don’t.

    He talks of studying “divine philosophy” whatever in the name of his god that is. It should probably read “Theology” and\or “Verbose Tautologies for Christian Apologetics” (my term). Modern philosophy gives no consideration to the existence or nature of any god. Hobbes, Descartes and especially Kant destroyed any chains linking Theology to Philosophy by destroying the standard theological arguments (or proofs as theists like to call them).

    Once you do a critical study of atheism, you will find the truth.

    Having studied German philosophy so deeply he seems to have overlook Leibnitz who asked if it is reasonable to believe that God created Earth as the “best of all possible worlds”.

    The good thing is that Indonesia has a religious situation. Churches and mosques, for example, are always packed with the faithful.

    To continue in the philosophical vein, I think it was Socrates who said “mere numbers do not make a belief valid or add any wisdom to it” (badly paraphrased by me).

    He believes that atheism can never survive. “None of its arguments are reassuring,” Father Simon said.

    And that sentence alone shows why most people cling to their faith. They need the reassurance of its warm cotton blanket. That is the heart of almost all religious belief.

    “Once you do a critical study of atheism, you will find the truth. And those who find the truth will be freed from fear and become mature in faith.”

    Yes, religious indoctrination followed by years of confirmation bias makes people “mature in faith”. But faith leads to intellectual immaturity because it weakens the ability to think critically.  If he had actually done “a critical study of atheism” he would have had to challenge his own beliefs. But he is too afraid to because he would no longer have the “reassuring” belief that he will become an immortal, which in turn is the theists biggest intellectually immature belief.

    Valar Morghulis

    #37389

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Yep, How intellectually inept can a ‘PhD’ be?

    He doesn’t seem inept to me, only enmeshed within a certain point of view that may be very foreign to us Western atheists. The fact that he puts his finger on the “non-reassuring” nature of atheism is proof to me that he’s got his head screwed on. It’s true, and maybe that’s what Christians find puzzling, that we would be into “nihilism”. But we’re not. We’re all about overcoming the innate suffering of life and death, by seizing the moment.

    So the idea that wishful thinking is a path to truth is having your “head screwed on”? That would be inept for a even grade schooler to believe.

    Claiming that atheism can not survive is also idiotic and ignorant of history. From the dawn of our species there has always been one truther for every ten sheep and the data shows religion is losing ground everyday…so what the hell is this guy talking about?

    Notice he get accolades for bravery from his brothers-in-delusion just because he discusses atheism, LOL. That is how scared they are these days! Having your head up your ass is no way to be a ‘PHD’.

    #37390

    Unseen
    Participant

    I’ve always wondered how far to take the many worlds theory. You’re often given an example like, you arrive at a fork in the road of your life. In one, you follow your parents’ pressure and work in the family store while in the other you decide to fulfill your dream of being an insurance salesman. Well, actually, you do both in separate realities.

    Does this theory only apply to human decisions? What about decisions made by my cat?

    If it doesn’t apply to just decisions, does it apply to changes on, say, the subatomic level? When a particle decays or pops into existence?

    If it’s not nonsense, it’s certainly a remarkable situation.

    Personally, the many worlds theory fails the Occam’s Razor test.

    #37391

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If he had actually done “a critical study of atheism” he would have had to challenge his own beliefs. But he is too afraid to because he would no longer have the “reassuring” belief that he will become an immortal, which in turn is the theists biggest intellectually immature belief.

    That would be a good reason to shy away from atheism.  On the other hand, atheists don’t shy away from it in terror for our immortal souls.  I think there must be something more going on.  Father Simon probably believes he will go to hell forever if he rejects God.  Atheists believe that they simply cease to exist and be conscious.

    #37392

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Personally, the many worlds theory fails the Occam’s Razor test.

    I think it’s a simple hypothesis – multiple possibilities, corresponding multiple worlds – but surely that amount of proliferating universes would be hard to find room for.

    As far as multiple universes go, I think the “Swiss Cheese bubbles” idea might be realistic.  That universes exist as bubbles of spacetime within a larger, higher-dimensional medium.

    #37393

    The premise of the Many World Interpretation (as per the Helgoland book reviewed today) and as I once asked Dr. Bob about, (unanswered), is to take Schrodinger’s seriously. The probability of his cat being in either state can be expressed as a wave function (Greek letter ψ and Ψ). But the wave function is a real entity. So, the cat can be in a superposition of dead&alive. When you observe the cat, it is interacting with your own real Ψ wave which splits in two. One where you see the cat as alive and one where you see it as being dead. Both are real according to the MWI. There are now two “Worlds” because you looked at the cat. In QM this is a proper theory. It may sound crazy but it is not the scientists that are crazy but quantum theory itself.

    Things have moved on from here and theorists are now giving attention to the “relational interpretation” of quantum theory. Very briefly, scientists and their measuring instruments are all part of nature. What Quantum Theory describes, then, is the way in which one part of nature manifests itself to any other single part of nature. The world we observe is a continuous interaction.  OK, I guess that is as clear as mud so I will return to it later.

    #37394

    That would be a good reason to shy away from atheism.

    It is what happens. But it does not give any validity to your beliefs. “I believe “X” because I am too scared of it not being true is, to say the least, a cop out from reality. It is intellectually bankrupt. Faith is not an investigative tool. It is the white flag of surrender to the beliefs of others. This is why they elevate faith above reason. It cannot survive interrogation so they introduce blasphemy laws or demand we respect their beliefs just because they cherish them.

    #37395

    Unseen
    Participant

    The premise of the Many World Interpretation (as per the Helgoland book reviewed today) and as I once asked Dr. Bob about, (unanswered), is to take Schrodinger’s seriously. The probability of his cat being in either state can be expressed as a wave function (Greek letter ψ and Ψ). But the wave function is a real entity. So, the cat can be in a superposition of dead&alive. When you observe the cat, it is interacting with your own real Ψ wave which splits in two. One where you see the cat as alive and one where you see it as being dead. Both are real according to the MWI. There are now two “Worlds” because you looked at the cat. In QM this is a proper theory. It may sound crazy but it is not the scientists that are crazy but quantum theory itself. Things have moved on from here and theorists are now giving attention to the “relational interpretation” of quantum theory. Very briefly, scientists and their measuring instruments are all part of nature. What Quantum Theory describes, then, is the way in which one part of nature manifests itself to any other single part of nature. The world we observe is a continuous interaction. OK, I guess that is as clear as mud so I will return to it later.

    So, does a MWI theorist maintain that even subatomic events are subject to it as well? Does every subatomic event have one (or, why not?, more) alternatives, each in a different universe?

    #37396

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Too bad we can’t rely on real world intuition and experience to understand relativity and/or wave particle duality. Modern theoretical physics in general feels like a mind game. I need analogies to grasp it and yet the analogies are just that.

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