Sunday School October 22nd 2023.
October 22, 2023 at 10:37 am #50847
More Americans report losing interest in organized religion.
Deserted churches and fewer believers: Swiss abandon God.
MAGA-pastor says the wheelchair-bound should just walk.
Pennsylvania lawmaker cites Genesis 8 as proof that climate change is fake.
Most churchgoers seem to be clueless about the Bible.
World of Woo: The correlation among physicians between antivax views and quackery.
Living color: The value of atheism, diversity, and all hands on deck.
In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
Harvard researchers claim to have created the “Fountain of Youth” pill.
Why the free will debate hinges on intent.
How researchers broke current image watermarking protections and what it means for a new era of truth-altering ‘reality’. DALL-E 3 is now available for free in Bing Chat and some ideas to start with it.
Long Reads: Conservative Christians’ strong connection to Israel is tied to beliefs about biblical promises and prophecy. The true story of how humans are searching for intelligent alien life. Earth, a tiny speck, gleaming in a sunbeam. Wrestling with moral relativism.
Sunday Book Club: Arguing Science: A Dialogue on the Future of Science and Spirit.
Some photographs taken last week.
While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……
Futureproof Podcast: Just how big can our brains get?October 22, 2023 at 10:44 am #50849
Have a great week!October 22, 2023 at 1:16 pm #50850
Thanks Reg!October 22, 2023 at 5:24 pm #50854
Reg the Fronkey Farmer wrote:
A group of free speech advocates are taking a stand against global censorship with The Westminster Declaration.
It’s not a very good declaration. The declaration itself recognizes disinformation is a real issue, but only in the form of interference between states. Or in the case of some signatories, at the personal level since those like Peterson aren’t shy about launching bullshit defamation suits.
The problem isn’t that the Declaration doesn’t outline any harmful policies and activities, but that the language is so vague and idealized that it only muddies the waters more.
I don’t know. It strikes me as naïve and half baked. Speech needs to be protected, and yet it shouldn’t be a sacred cow. For instance, the declaration mentions ‘deplatforming’, but this isn’t an inherently good or bad practice. When we’re talking about social media companies, in some cases it’s going to be necessary. In some cases dealing with misinformation is going to be necessary or at the very least within the prerogative of the platform.
While declarations don’t tend to get into the nitty gritty, the principles and aims should at least be clear and consistent both internally and with reality. I just don’t think that’s the case here. At a bare minimum, I don’t know if there’s ever been such a thing as the sort of idealistic free speech paradigm they describe. Not in my lifetime.October 22, 2023 at 6:06 pm #50858
Pennsylvania lawmaker cites Genesis 8 as proof that climate change is fake.
I am conflicted. I feel like she taught me something, but I don’t understand how a rib bone was permitted to teach or have any authority over her jurisdiction in the first place. Are there no men in her district?October 22, 2023 at 8:29 pm #50859
According to the Holy Bible women are not allow to speak with any authority. In fact, women should remain silent. A pastor said this and it is also clarified by an esteemed University. Even if they do speak, they certainly cannot be leaders within the church and make no bones about it (Huh Reg?).
Wait, is the whole of the Holy Bible in agreement or could there be any contradictions in it? Maybe these toxic and patriarchal teachings can be debunked seeing as they were mostly translated by white European males. As a faith deconstruction coach let’s not give them a gentle ribbing (Stop it Reg!) and get to the truth of scripture.October 22, 2023 at 8:55 pm #50860
It’s always struck me as funny that the divine intervention of God at Babel was surmountable given time, while the supposed word of God only gets fuzzier and fuzzier in part because of the language barrier created by God in the first place.
I don’t suspect that biblical literalism regarding Babel is too common these days, yet it’s still a strange parable to have. It’s almost as if to suggest such a deity isn’t a fan of its adherents attaining clarity and comprehension even with (or especially with) its own message and mission for them.October 23, 2023 at 7:11 am #50869
Although I question using the philosophically dubious United Nations Declaration of Human Rights as a basis, The Westminster Declaration has the right idea in opposing the new censorship in the name of combatting “Misinformation/Disinformation/Malinformation” (MDM *GROWL!* 🦁)
The idea is very dangerous and there are many better ways to fight MDM.
Example: On one of the other Forums in which I participate, there is actually a bona fide Holocaust Denier who periodically crawls out from under his rock to leave his trail of slime.
He’s been having a field day this past 9 days with the Hamas attacks on Israel and get this: He not only denies that The Holocaust occured and calls The Holocaust a lie, but he favors a law to make lying a crime!
Naturally, this means he wants people who know and assert that The Holocaust was real to be imprisoned!
Instead of slinking off to our “safe places” with coloring books and Teddy Bears, we on the other Forum exercise free thought and expression and have great fun with this asshole! I’ve asked him:
“So would Larry The Cable Guy be forced to wear a Camouflage Rectangle with a fish on it for swapping lies in a fishing boat?”
“Are you such a deprived man that you never were involved in a surprise party, where everybody kept it secret until the celebrated came home?”
“What would become of proprietary secrets in a business? Would it have to share it’s secret formulas and processes with all comers and competitors?”
And of course, everybody has asked him: “Wouldn’t you be the first to get busted by a law that bans lying?”
One of our Jewish members even sings: “It’s SPRINGTIME for Hitler in Germany!” whenever this slug shows up.
I also started a trend among other Forum members by always concluding my wise-cracks to Herr Holo-Hoaxer with the salutation: “Fuck Off, Nazi!”🖕🙋🏻♂️
To paraphrase Justice Brandeis: Sunshine and a magnifying glass are the best disinfectant. 🌞🔎🔥😎October 24, 2023 at 7:22 pm #50908
“Wrestling with moral relativism.”
I think the author has it a little bit wrong about progressives.
One side of the argument celebrates cultural diversity and unites this with an emphasis on the socially constructed nature of values. This is the outlook popularly associated with postmodernism, identity politics, and the rejection of universalist tradition. … [The Right] is the side of the culture wars associated with the need to return to religion, and a morally reactionary response to social diversity.
Daniel Callcut seems to be saying that people on the Left are moral relativists – they take a pluralist approach to morality. That’s just not true, since they don’t like the Right and all it stands for. The Left is as conservative as the Right in this regard. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing (lol).
Moral relativism is a complex and nuanced thing. If people want universality, then we can look to compassion and fairness as universal principles – except that fairness is based on deservingness, and what people are seen as deserving is not universal in nature. But the principle itself, of treating people as they deserve, seems to be universal.
We’re all moral relativists, because we can all understand multiple values and trade and play off one against the other. Should I be patriarchal, or compassionate? Should I be proportionate, or charitable? That last is playing off fairness and compassion.
People who are against moral relativism say that it means “anything goes”. This means, anything can be right. In actual fact, that’s how it is now. It’s a matter of choosing which value to apply, given that the bodily well being of humans (and by extension, living things) trumps them all. There are a limited number of moral values (as methods of reaching a limited number of evolutionary joint goals).
The vulgar relativist, Williams says, thinks that whether something is ‘morally right’ means ‘right for a given society’. As a result, to discuss whether, say, sex with multiple partners is morally right, you must first ask: right for whom? There is no universal answer: polyamory will be permitted, indeed celebrated, in some times and places, and morally denounced in others.
A bit of a daft question: we actually have to ask, what does right mean? Right in what sense? Right in the sense that there is a relevant moral principle prohibiting or encouraging it. So, it’s “not wrong” according to some people; “valuable” according to others. It promotes the liberty value; it breaches the value of loyalty to the sexual pair bond. Which do you value most, or value the least, or are prepared to bow to, or not?October 25, 2023 at 7:34 pm #50925
On Mark Johnston, Trump said he had not heard “one negative comment about him. Everybody likes him”.
Well, every Evangelical nutjob is having a hands free orgasm at the moment over his appointment.October 26, 2023 at 1:50 pm #50931
Ah, I see a gun safety instructor was busy out making the State of Maine a safer place last night. Still on the loose too.October 26, 2023 at 3:22 pm #50932
Yes, a gun instructor with known mental health issues!October 26, 2023 at 3:58 pm #50933
Yes, a gun instructor with known mental health issues!
Awesome.October 26, 2023 at 4:26 pm #50934
Well, Enco is no doubt thinking that the lack of good guys with guns in this psycho’s path is the real cause of the carnage.
Gun huggers seem incapable of taking into account all the places in the world with far more stringent control of guns and with far fewer guns floating around in their societies which simply don’t have this sort of thing going on nearly as frequently.
But most street crime, which accounts for the vast majority of America’s gun carnage, is related to poverty, which is low down on the government’s list of priorities, below helping the wealthy become more wealthy, throwing money at the Military-Industrial Complex, underwriting the violent excesses of places like Israel and Saudi Arabia.October 27, 2023 at 12:39 pm #50936
Some number of days ago he was a good guy with a gun. Mass shootings are usually defined as 4 or more casualties, and we have had around 500 of those so far this year.
We lose around 108 people a day to gun violence. Picture what 100 dead bodies looks like, every day. Well over 300 people get shot on the average day.
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