Sunday School

Sunday School 29th November 2020.

This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Unseen 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #34964

    Religious intolerance is a ‘bigger cause of prejudice than race’, says report.

    Amy Coney Barrett starts her work.

    Egypt is arresting scores of people for the fake crime of blasphemy on behalf of their impotent god.  An Egyptian researcher speaks on the subject. In Brazil, followers of a different but equally impotent god, are suffering “moral injury” over a single tweet.

    A vulgar liar for Jesus, who still uses a fax machine, is worried about Biden’s atheist army for the Antichrist.

    Could the Nones be the reason Joe Biden is President Elect?

    The Supreme Court fails to take up the Satanic Temples’ abortion case.

    Like I keep saying, religious privilege is not religious liberty.

    Germany’s famed church tax income plummets during pandemic.

    Secularism should mean the same thing in any language.

    This weeks’ Woo: The Great Reset theory.

    Climate Crisis: Climate ‘apocalypse’ fears stopping people having children – study.

    Sociology’s race problem.

    It was a nice surprise to this that this article on Intelligent Design was published on a Woo site.

    CRISPR-Cas9 shows promise in treating some of the most deadly cancers.

    On contemplating the end of Physics.

    The way we train AI is fundamentally flawed.

    Long Reads:  The Flat Earth Simulator game. The dangers of Alternative Medicine. The assassination of a journalist in Afghanistan. Landscape of fear: why we need the wolf.

    This week I will read this book: Numbers don’t lie.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Coffee Break Video:  A different perspective from the fighting Irish. The link between our psychology and our politics.

    #34967

    Have a great week everyone!

    #34971

    Unseen
    Participant

    “Religious intolerance is ‘bigger cause of prejudice than race’, says report.”

    Some would say that atheism is the ultimate in not tolerating religion, depending upon what one means by “intolerance,” of course.

     

    #34972

    Unseen
    Participant

    “A Brazilian Writer Saw a Tweet as Tame Satire. Then Came the Lawsuits.”

    Wow. That strategy could actually work to some degree in the United States to scare into silence a strident critic or even a media operation like MSNBC or CNN. It could even bankrupt some persons or media sources.

    #34976

    Unseen
    Participant

    Re: “Intelligent Design: The Teleological Argument For God”

    From the article’s conclusion: (quote) And if modern science remains firmly naturalistic and closes all doors to investigating the possibility of an external, supernatural intelligent force, then it must restrict itself in its conclusive assertions. In other words, science has no right to claim that naturalistic evolution is factually correct, only that it is the best naturalistic explanation for the universe and all life. (end quote)

    This article seems to pretend that science thinks evolutionary theory is unchallengeable dogma. However, nothing in science is unchallengeable. For many many years, Newtonian physics was the be all and end all of physics. UNTIL Einstein’s better theory came along. UNTIL quantum theory raised its mystifying head.

    All true science has to earn its way every day and when there is indisputable evidence the theory fails, it reexamines itself.

     

    #34981

    _Robert_
    Participant

    Re: “Intelligent Design: The Teleological Argument For God” From the article’s conclusion: (quote) And if modern science remains firmly naturalistic and closes all doors to investigating the possibility of an external, supernatural intelligent force, then it must restrict itself in its conclusive assertions. In other words, science has no right to claim that naturalistic evolution is factually correct, only that it is the best naturalistic explanation for the universe and all life. (end quote) This article seems to pretend that science thinks evolutionary theory is unchallengeable dogma. However, nothing in science is unchallengeable. For many many years, Newtonian physics was the be all and end all of physics. UNTIL Einstein’s better theory came along. UNTIL quantum theory raised its mystifying head. All true science has to earn its way every day and when there is indisputable evidence the theory fails, it reexamines itself.

    I have yet to read any article discussing ID as a ‘competing theory’ to evolution whereby the author actually comprehends evolution and all of the factual evidence in support. As soon as I see the word “evolutionist”… I see a red flag. They rarely mention all of the supporting scientists besides actual biologists such as biological chemists, geologists, paleoanthropologists, archaeologists, et cetera.

    #34984

    “A Brazilian Writer Saw a Tweet as Tame Satire. Then Came the Lawsuits.” Wow. That strategy could actually work to some degree in the United States to scare into silence a strident critic or even a media operation like MSNBC or CNN. It could even bankrupt some persons or media sources.

    I seem to be finding a lot more articles on blasphemy, cancel culture and similar cases to the above that take court cases for “moral injury” to some degree.

    It is not the winning or losing of the case that is important, but the real possibility that one will be taken. It creates an atmosphere that leaves critics and opinion piece writers in a situation where they find themselves “self-censoring” whenever they challenge any form of authority. They are forced into toning down their own writing because of the threat of potential action against them. Just as Blasphemy laws curtail freedom of expression, so to does the fear of being sued for voicing an opinion.

    #34985

    How can an evolving universe also be decaying? How can an evolving universe be uncaused?

    I don’t have an answer ergo God did it.

    #34986

    I have been pondering US & Iran after Biden is sworn in. I was trying to get it correct in my head but then I read this article which I think is spot on. I hope it is not pay-walled.

    #34988

    Strega
    Moderator

    Thanks, Reg!

    #34990

    Your very welcome Strega 🙂

    #34991

    Unseen
    Participant

    How can an evolving universe also be decaying? How can an evolving universe be uncaused? I don’t have an answer ergo God did it.

    Entropy is an inexorable trend in the long haul, but energy moves around creating adverse temporary opposite trends. As a metaphor (not to be taken overly seriously), a river moves inexorably toward the ocean, but here are there are eddies where the water moves in the opposite direction. In the end, though, all of the water ends up in the sea.

    #34992

    Even us mere mortals depreciate by at least 1% a year for life 🙂

    #34993

    Unseen
    Participant

    I have been pondering US & Iran after Biden is sworn in. I was trying to get it correct in my head but then I read this article which I think is spot on. I hope it is not pay-walled.

    It is paywalled, but I was able to use an incognito window to get in.

    Still, there’s another way:

    NY Times
    Opinion

    Dear Joe, It’s Not About Iran’s Nukes Anymore
    By Thomas L. Friedman

    Biden wants to reinstate the nuclear deal, but first he must confront the new Middle East.

    With the assassination by Israel of Iran’s top nuclear warhead designer, the Middle East is promising to complicate Joe Biden’s job from day one. President-elect Biden knows the region well, but if I had one piece of advice for him, it would be this: This is not the Middle East you left four years ago.

    The best way for Biden to appreciate the new Middle East is to study what happened in the early hours of Sept. 14, 2019 — when the Iranian Air Force launched 20 drones and precision-guided cruise missiles at Abqaiq, one of Saudi Arabia’s most important oil fields and processing centers, causing huge damage. It was a seminal event.

    The Iranian drones and cruise missiles flew so low and with such stealth that neither their takeoff nor their impending attack was detected in time by Saudi or U.S. radar. Israeli military analysts, who were stunned by the capabilities the Iranians displayed, argued that this surprise attack was the Middle East’s “Pearl Harbor.”

    They were right. The Middle East was reshaped by this Iranian precision missile strike, by President Trump’s response and by the response of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to Trump’s response.

    A lot of people missed it, so let’s go to the videotape.

    First, how did President Trump react? He did nothing. He did not launch a retaliatory strike on behalf of Saudi Arabia — even though Iran, unprovoked, had attacked the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure.

    A few weeks later Trump did send 3,000 U.S. troops and some antimissile batteries to Saudi Arabia to bolster its defense — but with this message on Oct. 11, 2019: “We are sending troops and other things to the Middle East to help Saudi Arabia. But — are you ready? Saudi Arabia, at my request, has agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing. That’s a first.”

    It sure was a first. I’m not here to criticize Trump, though. He was reflecting a deep change in the American public. His message: Dear Saudis, America is now the world’s biggest oil producer; we’re getting out of the Middle East; happy to sell you as many weapons as you can pay cash for, but don’t count on us to fight your battles. You want U.S. troops? Show me the money.

    That clear shift in American posture gave birth to the first new element that Biden will confront in this new Middle East — the peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and between Israel and Bahrain — and a whole new level of secret security cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which will likely flower into more formal relations soon. (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel reportedly visited Saudi Arabia last week.)

    In effect, Trump forced Israel and the key Sunni Arab states to become less reliant on the United States and to think about how they must cooperate among themselves over new threats — like Iran — rather than fighting over old causes — like Palestine. This may enable America to secure its interests in the region with much less blood and treasure of its own. It could be Trump’s most significant foreign policy achievement.

    But a key result is that as Biden considers reopening negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal — which Trump abandoned in 2018 — he can expect to find Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates operating as a loose anti-Iran coalition. This will almost certainly complicate things for Biden, owing to the second huge fallout from the Iranian attack on Abqaiq: The impact it had on Israel.

    After Trump scrapped the nuclear deal, Iran abandoned its commitments to restrict its enrichment of uranium that could be used for a nuclear bomb. But since Biden’s election, Iran has said it would “automatically” return to its nuclear commitments if Biden lifts the crippling sanctions imposed by Trump. Only after those sanctions are lifted, said Tehran, might it discuss regional issues, like curbs on Iran’s precision missile exports and capabilities.

    This is where the problems will start for Biden. Yes, Israel and the Sunni Arab states want to make sure that Iran can never develop a nuclear weapon. But some Israeli military experts will tell you today that the prospect of Iran having a nuke is not what keeps them up at night — because they don’t see Tehran using it. That would be suicide and Iran’s clerical leaders are not suicidal.

    They are, though, homicidal.

    And Iran’s new preferred weapons for homicide are the precision-guided missiles, that it used on Saudi Arabia and that it keeps trying to export to its proxies in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq, which pose an immediate homicidal threat to Israel, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and U.S. forces in the region. (Iran has a network of factories manufacturing its own precision-guided missiles.)

    If Biden tries to just resume the Iran nuclear deal as it was — and gives up the leverage of extreme economic sanctions on Iran, before reaching some understanding on its export of precision-guided missiles — I suspect that he’ll meet a lot of resistance from Israel, the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia.

    Why? It’s all in the word “precision.” In the 2006 war in Lebanon, Iran’s proxy militia, Hezbollah, had to fire some 20 dumb, unguided, surface-to-surface rockets of limited range in the hope of damaging a single Israeli target. With precision-guided missiles manufactured in Iran, Hezbollah — in theory — just needs to fire one rocket each at 20 different targets in Israel with a high probability of damaging each one. We’re talking about Israel’s nuclear plant, airport, ports, power plants, high-tech factories and military bases.

    That is why Israel has been fighting a shadow war with Iran for the past five years to prevent Tehran from reaching its goal of virtually encircling Israel with proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Gaza, all armed with precision-guided missiles. The Saudis have been trying to do the same versus Iran’s proxies in Yemen, who have fired on its airports. These missiles are so much more lethal.

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