Sunday School

Sunday School August 27th 2023

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  TheEncogitationer 9 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #49927

    Christian nationalism – government for a particular people, by a particular people.

    Mixing public education and religion debases both, and our democracy.

    San Francisco Archdiocese, facing sex abuse lawsuits, files for bankruptcy.

    US Christians need to stop being so precious about their religion.

    Followers of the Catholic Child Abuse Club in Poland won’t allow the Virgin Mary to shop in their town.

    Catholic nuns banish Texas bishop and accuse him of spying in row over chastity.

    How growing up in purity culture impacts sex.

    Will Modi’s Uniform Civil Code kill Indian ‘secularism’?

    World of Woo: Is the World Health Organization promoting pseudoscience?

    Environment: Assume climate policy succeeds, when we will detect the results?

    Sweden’s secularism holds the key to understanding why burning the Qur’an isn’t illegal.

    Salman Rushdie and America’s free speech ambivalence.

    If AI becomes conscious, how will we know?

    This is how your brain distinguishes reality from imagination.

    We could use CRISPR to cure mental illness. Should we?

    How to live a happy life, from a leading atheist.

    Long Reads: Who I’m hurting by shopping at Walmart. Could the Universe be a giant quantum computer? Reflections on religious belief and delusion. What a contest of Consciousness Theories really proved. We are not made from emptiness. Richard Dawkins does not mind being disliked by complete idiots. Time is far more off than we think.

    Sunday Book Club:  The Science of Can and Can’t.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Coffee Break Video:  Why are we here? Exploring the mystery of Existence. Word Wars: Wokeism and the battle over language. Children talking about religion in clip from 1969.

     

    #49929

    Have a great week everyone!

    #49931

    Strega
    Moderator

    Thanks, Reg!!

    #49934

    Unseen
    Participant

    The problem with Modi’s move, done under the color of creating a singular national law and protecting women, is that in India, a country with as few as 33,000 professed atheists (no way to know how many are cl0seted), religion is much more ingrained than in the West.

    To make matters worse, a third of the population practice non-Hindi religions (Islam, of course, but Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and a few others). Thus, imposing what amounts to Hindu standards on a third of the population is oppressive and amounts to the establishment of Hinduism as, effectively, the state religion.

    #49935

    Strega
    Moderator

    @unseen it’s particularly convoluted in the sense that the Hindu caste system is embedded in their society. Efforts to extricate Hindu preferentialism from the governing structure have to counter both religious and societal hurdles.

    #49936

    Unseen
    Participant

    @unseen it’s particularly convoluted in the sense that the Hindu caste system is embedded in their society. Efforts to extricate Hindu preferentialism from the governing structure have to counter both religious and societal hurdles.

    India is a mess of a country. Of course, it wouldn’t be a country in the modern sense of a nation-state at all, had the British minded their own business.

    Despite it’s status as an artificial nation-state, we in the West need a powerful India to provide an effective counterbalance to China. More power to ’em.

    Thus, India also needs to engage in a massive program of moderninization. It needs an extensive highway system, modern ports (both air and marine), and an industrial base.

    An economy based on production rather than providing services is sorely needed in India. Every time I talk to a customer service person with a “name” like Jeremy or Allison, I roll my eyes at their thick Indian accent. Let’s not play pretend, shall we? LOL

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  Unseen.
    #49939

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    If AI becomes conscious, how will we know?
    Scientists and philosophers are proposing a checklist based on theories of human consciousness.

    And how might science or religion apply the same measured criteria to a fetus, or developing infants? The biggest challenges I see is how we, or different countries, or even different states in a country might be saddled with the task of formalizing how to put such definitions and tests of consciousness or rights to personhood into law; and ditto for laws that ultimately pinpoint who or what AI entities or AI owners vs humans should be held accountable for their behaviors.

    What other kinds of discussions or questions might eventually matter to humanity? Robot deadly force capabilities? Reproductive capabilities? I think all unleashed AI or robots should have a built in kill or sleep switch, whether or not they are considered to have “consciousness”, so the issue of endowing any kind of AI or robot with “consciousness” is an ethical issue all by itself, depending its definition.

    #49941

    Unseen
    Participant

    One of the conundrums of deep fakes is that, as they get better, how will we identify them? Much the same with AI consciousness, I assume, especially considering that the only consciousness I can be sure of among humans is my own. The rest of you could simply be little more than very well done simulations.

    #49943


    Participant

    Environment: Assume climate policy succeeds, when we will detect the results?

    It’s an interesting subject covered in the article, but I’ll be damned if that first paragraph isn’t… something.

    It is January, 2025. President Biden is being sworn into his second term after a landslide victory based on his politically popular declaration of a climate emergency in late 2023. The rest of the world, inspired by the leadership role of the United States, quickly follows along…

    That’s some weird humour right there.

    #49944

    _Robert_
    Participant

    The problem with Modi’s move, done under the color of creating a singular national law and protecting women, is that in India, a country with as few as 33,000 professed atheists (no way to know how many are cl0seted), religion is much more ingrained than in the West. To make matters worse, a third of the population practice non-Hindi religions (Islam, of course, but Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, and a few others). Thus, imposing what amounts to Hindu standards on a third of the population is oppressive and amounts to the establishment of Hinduism as, effectively, the state religion.

    I worked with some Indians on an engineering project a while back. One guy had a screen-saver that was supposedly a giant Hindu god being excavated. Somehow the rest of the planet never got word of this amazing discovery.

    #49945

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Fellow Unbelievers,

    Will Modi’s Uniform Civil Code kill Indian ‘secularism’?

    I think the basic legal set-up we have here in These United States, when abided by, would solve a lot of India’s religion problems if they adopted it too.

    Under our Constitutional system’s Bill of Rights, an individual can believe and peacefully practice any religious creed or ritual that does not violate the equally-held rights of other individuals.

    In the pre-Bill of Rights Constitution, religious tests for holding public office are explicitly forbidden and there is no mention of Christianity or any other religion or religious privilege or religious stigma in the whole text.

    In the U.S. individuals of the same beliefs can form their own associations and set their own conditions for entry and membership, but may not set any conditions for exit. And as of the Reconstruction Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, this applies to all States and all Localities.

    And speaking of Amendments, the Fourteenth Amendment makes all person’s born or naturalized in the borders equal Citizens before the law, the Nineteenth Amendment recognizes the right to vote regardless of sex, and as long as this is upheld, a legally-fixed caste or economic class is unheard of in the United States.

    My Grandfather’s private garbage man made his fortune from many $10 cans at a time and many Dumpster contracts at a time with businesses and as long as he showered, he was not considered an “Untouchable.” 😁

    Although there are still States and Localities with laws here and there that violate that set-up, the Legislative and Court systems are there to fight for their repeal. And for the most part, we in the U.S. have avoided the more chronic, violent problems of India, Ireland, and other multi-religious nations where there are continuous struggles for power among believers.

    Now if only the Brahmans could put the many-handed Kalis in check and implement something like this in the Indian subcontinent…

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling
    #49948

    Unseen
    Participant

    @robert

    Interesting, a dead god. The Norse also worshipped mortal gods many of whom will die at Ragnarok. In fact, the course of Ragnarok is laid out in detail. Which ones live and which ones die along with how they die. So, they believe in Fate, predestination, predeterminism.

    #49983

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg and Fellow Unbelievers,

    Who I’m hurting by shopping at Walmart.

    They must have been having a damn slow news day at Time Magazine. This is not only junkie thinking and junkie journalism, but old-as-dirt, long-since-refuted junkie thinking and junkie journalism.

    Short answer: Per Se no one is hurt by anyone shopping at Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, or any other store of your choice, and when I say no one is hurt, that also includes small, independent businesses.

    Small independent offices buy stationery and computers from Walmart and other big-box stores.

    Independent truckers and businesses with fleet vehicles buy oil, gas and diesel treatment, and auto components from Walmart and other big-box stores.

    Small, local restaurants buy plates, cookware, chaffing fuel and pans, utinsils, napkins, and even food from Walmart and other big-box stores.

    Convenience stores buy their entire inventory from Walmart and other big-box stores. In jurisdictions that charge sales tax, Walmart, etc. will waive the sales tax for businesses that present their reseller’s license and purchase the goods, which the reselling business will attach the sales tax to when they get the goods to their own establishments.

    Offices, truckers and fleets, restaurants and convenience stores also buy bulk items from Walmart-owned membership warehouse Sam’s Club and competitors like Costco and BJ’s Warehouse. Individuals may also have memberships and, depending on purchases, can benefit as well.

    Moreover, there are small thrift stores run by charitable organizations, as well as small, independent surplus, salvage, and bent-ahd-dent stores who purchase closeout, clearance, and damaged freight from Walmat, Target, and other big-box stores and resell them. Might I add, the packaging may be damaged, but the quality is still there and it can even be cheaper than retail prices. Individual eBay sellers and Etsy sellers who use craft materials for their art do this kind of buying from Walmart and other big-box stores as well.

    Fellow Atheist Libertarians Penn & Teller in their fantastic Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit! also very eloquently came to the defense of Walmart in Season 5, Episode 2 back in 2007:

    https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0998877/

    While there is much to be said in criticism of any particular business and every sector of the economy, while too many businesses seek subsidies, bailouts, cut-outs in legislation, and, yes, trick laws, the criticisms in this article in Time Magazine are simply lame. If Robinson-Patman causes retail prices to go up, everyone including small businesses, will lose out.

    Even with today’s high gas prices, there’s always a sale on “Out”™ and Time Magazine needs to “Get Out More!”™

    💱 💲 💹 🤟 👍

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling and addendum
    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling
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