Sunday School

Sunday School 25th April 2021

This topic contains 126 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 127 total)
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  • #37397

    @unseenSo, 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?

    Yes, I suppose the theorist does as the wave function Ψ defines all the possible states a quantum system to be expressed in. It is only when we observe it that we locate it. But in measuring it we only get one outcome when in fact all other potential outcomes have occurred too (each in another “world”).

    I think we will never see these other worlds because we only see the world created by the unique outcome of each observation we make. (I think “interaction” is a better word than “observation”). It is the combination all the observations or interactions we make that creates our reality, our unique world. All these interactions have a relationship to each other. They do not exist independently of each other once we observe them. Their properties, as described by this interaction, are what gives them existence in our reality or world.

    Note: the MWI is different to the Multiverse hypothesis. In the former the many worlds are parallel but we only ever see one reality. In the latter, each Universe had its own “Big Bang” event.

     

    #37398

    Ivy
    Participant

    I found the article about 6 or 60 ft…very interesting….I wonder how that’s going to be implemented for schools going forward. They just recently reduced the space from 6 feet to 3 feet that require everybody to wear masks, but it seems like that isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference… That’s crazy. Scary.

    #37399

    Autumn
    Participant

    Richard Dawkins has had his “Humanist of the Year” award taken away for his comments that are claimed to attack transgender people.

    Dawkins’s tweet:

    “In 2015, Rachel Dolezal, a white chapter president of NAACP, was vilified for identifying as Black,” wrote Dawkins on Twitter. “Some men choose to identify as women, and some women choose to identify as men. You will be vilified if you deny that they literally are what they identify as. Discuss.”

    I find it strange to revoke past awards. I can understand wanting to distance themselves from him, perhaps. What he said was not the worst. Perhaps if I, myself, hadn’t dealt with this inane Dolezal comparison a million times over (well, tens of times), I might be less inclined to roll my eyes and grind my teeth a touch. This, however, is the part that bothers me:

    Dawkins later responded to criticism, writing: “I do not intend to disparage trans people. I see that my academic ‘Discuss’ question has been misconstrued as such and I deplore this. It was also not my intent to ally in any way with Republican bigots in US now exploiting this issue.”

    It would be lovely if the uninitiated could stop weighing in with considerations that show just how unfamiliar they are with a topic, then try to pawn it off as “academic”. It isn’t, and he of all people should know better. Just because he is an academic and he has a particular point of curiosity doesn’t make that point of curiosity also academic by some magical transference. Use your fucking brain, man.

    #37401

    _Robert_
    Participant

    It would be lovely if the uninitiated could stop weighing in with considerations that show just how unfamiliar they are with a topic, then try to pawn it off as “academic”. It isn’t, and he of all people should know better. Just because he is an academic and he has a particular point of curiosity doesn’t make that point of curiosity also academic by some magical transference. Use your fucking brain, man.

    I agree that his tweet shows he has not investigated to any depth before weighing in. I have made similar mistakes, but at least I am not a public figure. Making examples of people is one way to continue progress. Perhaps there are better ways.

    Also, it is not good that major advocates for free thought keep getting ‘busted’ for one thing or another. The truth of the accusations against Lawrence Krauss, David Silverman and Neil deGrasse Tyson remain murky in my mind since we did not have criminal trials. Their message gets muted in scandal. I didn’t research the circumstances to even form an opinion..the day is too short and data incomplete for all that.

    #37402

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The truth of the accusations against Lawrence Krauss, David Silverman and Neil deGrasse Tyson remain murky in my mind since we did not have criminal trials.

    Would that make any difference, unless there was a confession of wrongful accusation?

    I think it was foolish of Richard Dawkins to say, apparently, that women shouldn’t complain about getting minor sexual offences against them, because it’s not as bad as a full-blown rape.  Or that’s how it came across.  He seems to have become like everyone’s bigoted uncle.

    #37403

    _Robert_
    Participant

    The truth of the accusations against Lawrence Krauss, David Silverman and Neil deGrasse Tyson remain murky in my mind since we did not have criminal trials.

    Would that make any difference, unless there was a confession of wrongful accusation? I think it was foolish of Richard Dawkins to say, apparently, that women shouldn’t complain about getting minor sexual offences against them, because it’s not as bad as a full-blown rape. Or that’s how it came across. He seems to have become like everyone’s bigoted uncle.

    It depends on quality of the evidence presented. Trials are certainly not perfect and I think they do sometimes err in favor of the accused. Is there some alternative, because surely an accusation alone is not enough. As Hitchens pointed out, one commandment the Israelites got very right was not to be a false witness. Even a private settlement does not shine any light as sometimes it is just a matter of expediency.

    Yeah, Dawkins seems stuck in the past sometimes. His abruptness with slower thinkers does make me laugh.

    #37404

    Autumn
    Participant

    Making examples of people is one way to continue progress. Perhaps there are better ways.

    If someone is habitually engaging in the same nonsense, I can see why people would eventually knock them off their pedestal. My sympathy for Rowling is pretty much run dry. Or if they said or did something quite severe, again, why do we owe them celebrity or recognition or shelter from criticism?

    But there is difficulty in that it is impossible for people to walk things back. And some of the primary social media platforms out there today are not suitable for discussion, debate or education as needed. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of people willing. But not everything fits in a tweet (and chaining ten together is obnoxious formatting), and a sad element of our psychology seems to be we will ignore reasonable opposition and respond instead to the more extreme critics.

    Also, it is not good that major advocates for free thought keep getting ‘busted’ for one thing or another. The truth of the accusations against Lawrence Krauss, David Silverman and Neil deGrasse Tyson remain murky in my mind since we did not have criminal trials. Their message gets muted in scandal. I didn’t research the circumstances to even form an opinion..the day is too short and data incomplete for all that.

    I feel like we’re stuck in a bit of a worst of both worlds situation. We came from a society where things appeared to work because we simply ignored a lot of dysfunction and abuse until it hit a level of extremity where we couldn’t. We’ve since moved to a culture where things are called out with much more frequency—which, in itself I would say is good. But a major issue for me in shifting from one to the other is we are still very fixated on punitive justice.

    I don’t know that it worked all that well in the old paradigm, but it seems completely unmanageable in the new. We’ve locked ourselves into a scenario where our options seem to be ignore a considerable amount of sexual misconduct, or determine consequences on allegation alone. Looking at the culture we came from, I suspect there are MANY more allegations that could be justifiably made. Many, many, many.

    #37405

    I think it was foolish of Richard Dawkins to say, apparently, that women shouldn’t complain about getting minor sexual offences against them, because it’s not as bad as a full-blown rape.

    @simon – That is not what he said (or tweeted). I remember the incident very well as I had recently met him.

    Here is some of the reporting from Atheist Ireland at the time.

    In recent years it seems that there are people out there waiting to be outraged and offended. This has led to people jumping onto social media bandwagons to “Do something about it”. But they don’t. No meaning discussion follows and very few lessons are learned. It just seems to go straight to “Cancel them now!” Well fuck that.

    #37406

    Unseen
    Participant

    Is this a helpful distinction?: A person may declare their gender at will but that doesn’t determine their gender. There will be times when their actual physical gender must be determinative.

    For example, males get prostate problems because, well, men have prostate glands and women don’t. Likewise, females get ovarian cysts, men don’t. A patient wanting effective treatment will have to set their gender preference aside and admit the biological truth, won’t they?

    As for the issue of trans males competing in women’s sports, I don’t think an actual instance has raised its head yet, but as sure as I’m sitting here and you are sitting where you are, it will someday.

    #37407

    Autumn
    Participant

    Is this a helpful distinction?: A person may declare their gender at will but that doesn’t determine their gender. There will be times when their actual physical gender must be determinative.

    Semantically, ‘gender’ referred to a grammatical concept, ‘sex’ to a biological characteristic. At some point, the terms were used interchangeably. More recently, a distinction has emerged where ‘sex’ refers still to biological characteristics, and ‘gender’ refers to all other aspects of male, female and non-binary/ androgyny/ agender.

    It is rare sexual characteristics have much implication on gender beyond the likelihood that gender identity is driven by a secondary sexual characteristic in our neurology.

    For example, males get prostate problems because, well, men have prostate glands and women don’t. Likewise, females get ovarian cysts, men don’t. A patient wanting effective treatment will have to set their gender preference aside and admit the biological truth, won’t they?

    In light of the semantic distinction above, no. But to the point being made, that is what we do. What would it even mean to be transgender or to experience gender dysphoria if we weren’t aware of our physical sexual characteristics?

    As for the issue of trans males competing in women’s sports, I don’t think an actual instance has raised its head yet, but as sure as I’m sitting here and you are sitting where you are, it will someday.

    There was a case in Texas. A student athlete who medically transitioned. The rules for that jurisdiction required him to compete in the female category despite having undergone masculinizing cross-sex hormone therapy. My understanding is he didn’t want to compete in the girls’ category, but if he wanted to compete, that was his only option (unless his family moved, I suppose).

    I don’t generally invest much time in the discussion on sports though. There is so much wrongness and unfairness surrounding sport as it is. If the recent spotlight on trans inclusion in sports highlights anything, it should be just how dysfunctional things are overall.

    #37408

    Autumn
    Participant

    In recent years it seems that there are people out there waiting to be outraged and offended. This has led to people jumping onto social media bandwagons to “Do something about it”. But they don’t. No meaning discussion follows and very few lessons are learned. It just seems to go straight to “Cancel them now!” Well fuck that.

    To me, that’s always been the way of it. The differences now are in how it manifests. One of the major differences, to my mind, is now you can endlessly shop for the sort of reaction you want.

    When I was a kid, I don’t really recall people wanting a great deal of rational or meaningful discussion in society at large; however, people also didn’t want to fight all the time. So we defaulted to a set of social norms that shifted slowly over time, and everyone who wasn’t on board was invited to shut the fuck up until they could find a private conversation to get shit off their chest.

    Now we can go online and keep pushing until we find the interaction we need to get a quick hit of whatever neurochemical short-fix helps us cope with our emotional problems. With millions of people going at it all at once… I’m kind of surprised things aren’t even more charged up than they currently are. Or perhaps I am more sheltered from some of the worst of it.

    #37409

    Unseen
    Participant

    @autumn

    I’m not going to do the quotes thing. I think you and anyone else reading what you wrote will follow me well enough.

    First, the world the average person lives in and people with gender/sex issues have to operate in doesn’t pay a lot of attention to semantics, other, perhaps, than to abuse them from time to time.

    I take your second point in (and only in) terms of the distinctions you make. I don’t think they have made their way through the general population yet, which uses both terms rather fuzzily so that they are largely interchangeable much of the time.

    As to the third—and realizing that sports isn’t your “thing”—I think it fair and reasonable to require someone not to be undergoing sexual reassignment but to have completed sexual reassignment before competing. Anything less could reasonably be challenged as unfair. Of course, this completely rules out the person who is, for example, “a female in a male body” who is nowhere down the road to sexual reassignment.

    I was saying that a day like this will come: Mary a loses track event by a tiny margin to Dale who is either a person undergoing male-to-female sex reassignment or is simply a “female in a male body” person not undergoing reassignment at all. A protest ensues and, I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a satisfactory solution. One enters into sports expecting a high standard of fairness, but what is fair in such an instance?

    Now, consider a person who’s undergone a complete male-to-female reassignment with all the attendant drugs and surgery.

    There is still a problem because in events like running, males tend to run faster due to skeletal differences in both males and females. Males tend to be somewhat bowlegged whereas females tend to be somewhat knock-kneed (see photo) and to have relatively wider hips, giving physical males an anatomical advantage. Men also have harder muscles and bigger ribcages and lungs relative to their overall size.

    The distinction between male and female sports exists in recognition of a certain reality.

     

    #37410

    I made a decision about 10 years ago to not use social media. I have no Twitter or Instagram accounts. I do have a Facebook account but it is only to get atheist news. I have “no friends” there and absolutely don’t want any. I did have but I “de-friended” them all. Apparently being an atheists upsets people who only friended me to tell me I am wrong about their god. I still get requests but never accept any of them. I think I have posted about 5 comments in 8 years.

    People tell me I am missing out. I don’t think so. I don’t miss the faux outrage, the incessant idiotic comments by people who think that their opinion is important even thought the majority of anything I have ever read by them is moronic.

    Now most of the regular news sites run stories that are trending on social media. But it all about outrages and storms.  I have met so many people who get their news on Facebook and get annoyed with me for  telling them that they are talking bollox. I do it deliberately when they start. Today a seemingly normal person suddenly started ranting about Bill Gates vaccines that are going to kill people or some such FB shit they read and believed. Did you know gullible is the only word not in the English dictionary?, I asked.

    You think Bill Gates wants to kill millions of potential customers? Not a very good business plan is it, building all these computer products and having no buyers because he has altered their DNA to kill them off? You really believe that yeah?

    The outrage and offense I caused!! I intend to cause as much of it as I can every time one of those muppets start ranting at me. Bring it on 🙂

    #37411

    Autumn
    Participant
    First, the world the average person lives in and people with gender/sex issues have to operate in doesn’t pay a lot of attention to semantics, other, perhaps, than to abuse them from time to time.
    In this case, the semantic division between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ has dramatically increased in prevalence and is being adopted in many formal standards including law, employment and business practices, writing standards, education etc. This isn’t a contradiction to what you wrote. I am just pointing out that in this case, the distinction is bound to stick.
    As to the third—and realizing that sports isn’t your “thing”—I think it fair and reasonable to require someone not to be undergoing sexual reassignment but to have completed sexual reassignment before competing.

    It’s not about sports being my thing; it’s a conversation which in my experience can rarely go anywhere.

    I speak to trans issues a fair bit because it is not only a rapidly developing civil rights issue, but also because it’s a matter of one needing to advocate for themselves. What happens more often than I’d care to admit is any and all discussions regarding transgender people get derailed by one of three interjections (sports being one of them). And in those cases I’ve tended to find the scope of a person’s interest in promoting fairness in sports or protecting and advancing women’s sports in particular begins and ends precisely at the point where transgender people are involved.

    That clearly isn’t the case here. I’m just explaining part of my aversion to the topic. It’s one which has worn me down over the years.

    But where one is genuinely interested in discussing the topic sincerely, where transgender people fit into the grand scheme of sports and fairness and inclusion and competitive advantage is painfully complex. Trying to rationalize ‘fairness’ in a system that already had so much unfairness results in a bit of cognitive dissonance. I feel that starting the conversation with trans inclusion is probably starting at the wrong place, more often than not. It just happens that way because that’s what’s upsetting the status quo, and because that’s specifically what various athletics organizations are regulatory bodies are being asked to weigh in on (and now legislators).

    #37412

    Autumn
    Participant

    I made a decision about 10 years ago to not use social media. I have no Twitter or Instagram accounts. I do have a Facebook account but it is only to get atheist news.

    I am in the same place, though I do have friends on facebook. I don’t encounter the same issues others do as none of the people I have added are heavy users.

    News has become a thorny issue. It seems there is a considerable divide between responsible reporting and marketable reporting, perhaps not as a rule, but as a general trend.

    On the plus side, when stories refer to “studies” or “legislation” it’s become much easier for the laypeople such as myself to find the source material. If a study’s findings have been abused badly enough for sensationalism or political reasons, at times we can find a response from the researchers themselves.

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