Sunday School

Sunday School 25th July 2021

This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #38376

    Kurt Westergaard died last week. He was the Dutch artist that members of the Religion of Peace went on a killing spree over because he drew cartoons.

    Survey report on Generation Z and Religion is more good news.

    The Satanic Temple continues its campaign against religious discrimination in politics.

    What has the Christian God and dog shit got in common?

    221,000 German Catholics left the church during the pandemic.

    World of Woo:  Water Dowsing is gaining popularity again in areas of water shortages.

    Environment: The land of Fire and Ice.

    Democratic, Republican confidence in Science diverges, which surprises nobody here.

    “I’m sorry but it is too late to give you a vaccine now”.

    A Missouri legislative committee has held a hearing on how race and racism is taught in schools without hearing from any Black Missourians.

    Is Reality just outside this cave?

    Can consciousness be explained by quantum physics?

    Christians strive to whitewash the history and teaching of racism.

    Five Ways Humans evolved to be athletes.

    Five good reasons to reject Moral Philosophy.

    Budapest celebrates Pride with lots of love.

    It’s time for a new International Space Treaty.

    The problem with claims of the “Lived Experience”.

    Long Reads: What makes a Cult a cult? Learning to love G.M.O.s. Another look at Project Blitz and the Christian assault on democracy. The town of Afrin in Syria.

    Sunday Book Club:  Those who Forget.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Podcast: A Contagion of Bad Ideas with Sam Harris. The Science of the Human Genome.

    Coffee Break Video:  Simulating Natural Selection. Do I only remember memories I have already remembered in the past?

    #38379

    Have a great week everyone!

    #38380

    Strega
    Moderator

    Thanks, Reg!

    #38381

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Five good reasons to reject Moral Philosophy.

    I agree substantially with the author, Ronnie de Sousa, that much of conventional moral philosophy is the biggest pile of godawful junk I’ve ever seen.  When he says he wants to reject Kantianism and the mono-track of utilitarianism, that’s a good place to start.

    At the risk of giving away my not-very-secret secrets, I’d say it’s because they take a synthetic approach, rather than an observational one, and make all kinds of unwarranted assumptions about the way things are.

    #38382

    Unseen
    Participant

    Can consciousness be explained by quantum physics?

    What would count as a satisfactory explanation? How would one prove it? test it? use it? explain it to nontechnical folks?

    Even Einstein’s theories can be explained at a high level in plain language to people of average intelligence. As one gets deeper into it, of course, eyes start glazing over. However, with the fractal theory of consciousness, I fear eyes will glaze over right from the start.

    In philosophy, I call myself a member of the ordinary language school: A “solution” to a problem that only specialists can understand is no solution at all.

    But my biggest question is how useful would the fractal explanation be? Would it have implications for cures to some mental illnesses for example? or would it just gather dust as information on a shelf with no practical applications?

    #38383

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Einstein’s theories are pretty basic laws really. Its when you get to complicated/large systems like the human brain or the Earth’s weather…with gazillions of interconnected components that we have to abandon simple language. If I extend your idea about simple explanations.. well lets just say god did it like people said for centuries.

    #38384

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Even Einstein’s theories can be explained at a high level in plain language to people of average intelligence. As one gets deeper into it, of course, eyes start glazing over. However, with the fractal theory of consciousness, I fear eyes will glaze over right from the start.

    People want the world to be simple.  But it’s not.  Explanations of natural phenomena are usually complicated and difficult.

    #38385

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg and Fellow Unbelievers,

    Since the Sunday School always has book recommendations and since it is approaching back-to-school time for a lot of people at least, I’d like to recommend a series of books I just recently discovered on the store shelves:

    Everything You Need to Ace (Fill In The Blank Subject) in One Big Fat Notebook. The series has five subjects, Science, Math, American History, World History, and English Language Arts.

    The Science Notebook goes into the method of scientific inquiry; the difference between the hypothesis, theory, and natural law; units of measure; Physical, Earth, and Life Sciences; The Periodic Table of Elements; types of rocks and minerals; taxonomy and groupings of living things; and so much more!

    Cosmology, Evolution, Natural Selection, Sexual Reproduction, and ages of the Earth and the Universe are all covered fully and candidly without reference to Creationism, “Intelligent Design,” or religious delusions and hang-ups.

    The Math Notebook, in addition to standard Mathematics, Geometry, and Coordinate Plane and Functions, also covers the critical thinking-related and worldly subjects of Statistics, Probabilities, and Calculating Simple Interest.  Anyone who masters these is both unassailable and dangerous in a good way.

    The American History and World History Notebooks both cover their respective subjects with the years ending “B.C.E.” and “C.E.” so you know from the jump that the Notebooks are Secular in perspective.

    Religion in history is treated in a Secular and objective manner, recording religion founders, dates of their founding, tenets and practices, and how they affected historical events, with no endorsement of any viewpoint and no hesitancy to acknowledge horrors done in the name of specific religions.  The Caste System, The Crusades, The Inquisition, Witch-Hunts, Pogroms, Persecutions, Jihads, Sha’ria, and the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks are covered as religious acts, not deviations from a peaceful norm.

    Ancient Despotisms and modern Totalitarianisms and Collectivisms are covered with no ideological bias, as are pivotal technological innovations and social improvements.

    Some things the History Notebooks don’t deal in are Political Correctness, Historical Revisionism, Wokeness, “Equity” or Critical Race Theory.  And Thank The Void that they don’t!

    The sense you get from the History Notebooks is not: “Shame on you, Cis Hetero Wy P Po! Take a knee!  Weep and Repent!” but rather: “Americans in particular and humans in general have done both wonderful things and terrible things. Be like the good guys, don’t be like the bad guys!  Learn from history and do better without repeating it!”

    I haven’t yet seen the English Language Arts Notebook, but based on the other Notebooks, it sounds promising. More to come when I find it on the shelves.

    I give the Everything You Need to Ace (Fill In The Blank Subject) in One Big Fat Notebook series my highest endorsement for both young students and adults who want to update knowledge and revive a passion in learning long suppressed by Gummint Skoolz and Parochial Pedo-Gags!

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Italicizing and addendum of sentiments
    #38387

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg and Fellow Unbelievers,

    I checked the shelf again and saw the English Language Arts Notebook.  It is every bit as promising as the other Notebooks.  It includes Parts of Speech, Rules of Grammar, Greek and Latin prefixes and Suffixes, Etymology, Reading Fiction, Reading Non-Fiction, Writing and Composition, and many more specific topics!

    Something like this series in the home of every student could serve as an excellent homeschool curriculum!  With a series like this, who needs the NEA and AFT?

    #38388

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    Of all the emergency provisions and tools I  have or have ever had, a “dousing rod” has never been among them, nor have I heard of “dousing” advocated in survival manuals as a valid means of finding water, potable or otherwise.  I sure wouldn’t bet my life on it.

    #38389

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    the English Language Arts Notebook

    These books sound really good.  Do you think a person could really learn the basics of these subjects, by reading them?  Is the writing good?

    #38390

    _Robert_
    Participant

    the English Language Arts Notebook

    These books sound really good. Do you think a person could really learn the basics of these subjects, by reading them? Is the writing good?

    I think I’ll read some books about playing the piano and then give a Chopin recital.

    #38392

    Unseen
    Participant

    Einstein’s theories are pretty basic laws really. Its when you get to complicated/large systems like the human brain or the Earth’s weather…with gazillions of interconnected components that we have to abandon simple language. If I extend your idea about simple explanations.. well lets just say god did it like people said for centuries.

    When answering a problem that a general public cares about, like free will or the existence of God or whether there is something waiting for us after death beyond absolute extinction, the response needs to be understandable and high level. If it can’t be dumbed down or presented as an abstract of some sort, you have failed.

    Of course, once you get past that high level explanation, you get into ideas and maybe math that require a highly-specialized background, but the high level explanation must never actually contradict the more technical one.

    The “just trust me: I’m right” response is worthless.

    #38399

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Simon,

    The Notebooks are not intended to be exhaustive (no credible book really is) and they recommend you to take your own notes if the teacher mentions something that’s not inside.  However, I learned new things just thumbing through them.

    For example, I learned that Atomic Mass in The Periodic Table of Elements is just an average number of Protons and Neutron in a Nucleus  (which makes sense if you’re accounting for Ionization and isotopes.)

    I also learned that humans crossed The Bering Strait ice sheet (called Beringa) 40,000 years ago instead of the range of 14,000-20,000 years ago I learned earlier.  Obviously new findings have changed the date.

    These new discoveries alone sold me on getting them off the shelf.  I could have just stuck with Wikipedia and DuckDuckGo, but the solid feel of a hard-copy book was also a good lure.

    Oh, and the writing is concise and has no jargon that is not also paired with a definition.  The illustrations are amusing too.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Addendum
    #38400

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Robert,

    The Science Notebook does gives a list of lab supplies and lab safety procedures, so it is a very good primer for a future Nobel.  I’m sure if the Notebooks had Music as a subject, a future Amadeus could be in the making too.  In both cases, immersion and practice are crucial.

    Oh, and there are exercises for each chapter, so exploring minds can test themselves right from the start.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Addendum
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