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Everything posted by disillusioned

  1. See: transcendental numbers. This is the point: you're right, I can't imagine the details of such an experience, but I can imagine that an experience that I can't fully conceive of could be possible, or could be made possible. Moreover, I can imagine new possibilities being continuously created.
  2. I don't think this washes. I obviously can't imagine it in its entirety, but I can conceive of new possibilities being continuously created ad infinitum. It's a bit like the natural numbers. Sure, we can't think of them all at once, and any time we think of a list of them that list is finite, but the entire set is well-defined recursively. The ideas involved in constructing the set are finite, but the set itself is infinite.
  3. This would be true if we were living forever in an imperfect world where there are only finitely many things to do, but heaven is supposed to be perfect. I can imagine a perfect heaven where there are infinitely many things to do, so nothing gets stale.
  4. I think we can all probably agree that there are plenty of parts of the bible that are abhorrent, misogynistic, oppressive, and downright repulsive. But that doesn't mean that every passage specifically condones rape. This one fairly clearly doesn't, on my reading. I am a man, and I've never been raped. But that doesn't change what this text says. And, it seems to me that what it says is fairly clear: sex is a regrettable evil, but y'all are gonna fuck no matter what I say. So fuck your spouse.
  5. For it. We've been genetically modifying things all along. It's why we have cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, and not just wild mustard. The only real difference nowadays is that genes are being modified more specifically than before. No comment at all about the behaviours of specific companies. Good things get abused all the time.
  6. If I may be so bold, I think that this acknowledgement on your part indicates that you're not ready to engage in in-person debates. A good debate is one in which each participant argues for their point of view, and doesn't particularly care what the opposing party thinks of them for holding that point of view. The minute that you become concerned about how you will be perceived for holding your views is the minute that you lose the ability to argue powerfully for them. This is not meant to be a criticism. Most of us have been there. I know I certainly have. Just focus on learning more and more. Challenge yourself and your convictions by entertaining the points of view of others. This site is a great place to do that. I think you'll find that in time you will become much more secure in yourself, and in your beliefs, and you won't care so much about what your critics think. Then you'll be ready for in person debates. And you may find that you don't want them anymore. But that's up to you.
  7. Are we talking informal settings? My advice is, don't. Have conversations, not confrontations. Informal debates are not organized, and don't have clear rules. They tend to fall apart very quickly, and often lead to people getting hurt. Also, formal debates exist more for the benefit of the observers than the participants. Informal, in person debates generally benefit no one in my experience. Have conversations. Listen to what people have to say. Disagree with them politely if you think they're wrong, but be prepared to just let things go. People who eagerly engage in debates usually just want to hear themselves talk. That's not a particularly good look for anyone, in my opinion.
  8. Also, the term seems to suggest a general correspondence between feminism and nazism. It isn't at all clear to me that most people who would use the term would use it to refer only to actual extremists. Hence, the pejorative sense of the term.
  9. One problem I see with this is that who cares about what you say isn't up to you. You admit that words spoken by those that you care about can be hurtful. But different people have different criteria for caring about the opinions of others. Some people really do care enough about those that they are arguing with, even online, to potentially be hurt by their words. Moreover, some people simply care about decorum, and productive discussions. Again, I want to be very clear here: I'm not at all advocating for the avoidance of contentious speech in general. I think there is great value in calling things what they are, and there are certainly times when we need to speak bluntly if our point is to be made. This is quite different from the deliberate use of pejoratives, however. Pejoratives exist specifically to belittle, demean, insult, and express contempt for other people. Personal feelings, offense, etcetera aside, these are not terribly productive modes of argument.
  10. I'm afraid we just don't agree here. Words can be hurtful. If you've never been hurt by what someone has said, congratulations, but I have to say that I don't think you're being entirely honest with yourself. Christian teaching, after all, is just words, and we all know that it can be very hurtful. Speech is a form of action. To deliberately speak in such a way as to attempt to cause another person discomfort is, in my opinion, not a good thing to do in general. Again, I won't say I've never done it, and I won't even say that there aren't perhaps some rare cases where it is warranted, but to attempt to cause another person discomfort just for its own sake seems to me to not be the best course. I agree, some people are too easily offended, and when they are, it can be illuminating. But I also think it is very illuminating when people go out of their way to try to give offense. Put more simply: you say perjoratives make the person they are aimed at display butthurt; I say that the deliberate use of pejoratives usually identifies one as an asshole.
  11. Yes, but again, there is a key difference: atheists have long since embraced the term, and hence it is no longer inherently a pejorative. "Feminazi" is very much a pejorative right now. "Atheist" is not. I would say the former is worse, depending on the delivery and the way in which it is understood. I personally would probably use a term like "feminist extremist", or perhaps even "anti-male extremist". That, I think, would avoid the issues associated with both of your proposed options. I won't say that I never use pejoratives, but I do try not to in general. I don't find terms like "Christbot" to be particularly helpful either. Again, I won't say I never use them, but I don't think I'm at my best when I do. Yes, I agree, most people do tend to behave in ways that suggest that they believe that it is acceptable to mock other groups, but not their own. I personally think it is ok to mock all groups, including the groups that I'm a part of. But to use pejoratives is not merely to mock, it is to express contempt. That is another key difference.
  12. I think a key thing to remember is that the term has always been a pejorative. It's not properly a descriptive label. It's a bit like "libtard". Sure, an argument can be made that there are some people who might fit the literal meaning of the term, but the term was never supposed to be literal. In general, I don't think using pejoratives is helpful.
  13. This illuminates a much deeper point. Execution, in and of itself, is completely different from torture. Capital punishment is, by definition, an end to all further punishment. Now, of course there are and have been many methods of execution which are toturous. But that is beside the point. You can mix execution and torture if you like, but execution itself is bad only inasmuch as it deprives someone of life. Torture is actively and continuously malevolent. Eternal torture... Say it with me: God is good. All the time. /s. For the record, I'm against capital punishment.
  14. A very key differance is that it isn't at all clear that this "grand designer" exists. And if he does exist, it isn't at all clear that he has actually "set the law". And if he has, it isn't at all clear what that law is actually supposed to say. And if it is, it isn't at all clear how it is suposed to be interpreted. I could go on.
  15. I'm curious, Georgia. How do you differentiate the "majority of the religious nonsense" from, what I take it you believe to be, the germ of truth? To most of us here, I think you'll find that it's all just nonsense. Well, I'm an atheist. I've had some very good and some very bad experiences in the church. Overall, I can't say that I'd recommend it. I do have a relationship with my father outside of religion. It's a bit strained, given all the indoctrination, followed by my explicit rejection of his worldview, but we are still on speaking terms. And yes, I've deliberately misunderstood you here. I'm afraid you'll just have to deal with that.
  16. I've been in prayer meetings where a number of people have claimed to have gotten the same message from God. I can say with relative certainty that it wasn't staged. Usually vagueries, building on things that had previously been discussed, prayed about, etcetera. But people really do have these experiences. The fact that I was never able to personally have such an experience that I could actually attribute to God was significant for me in my path away.
  17. I don't know about you guys, but when this virus finally fades to obscurity, I'll personally be thanking Kenneth Copeland.
  18. I've argued about abortion, IVF, and the related moral issues on these boards before, with people who I respect. I just want to note for the record that it is not just fundies who are pro-life, even to the point of being completely against IVF. Speaking for myself, however, I can only say that my daughter wouldn't exist if not for IVF. If my wife's current pregnancy is carried to term, the remainder of our embryos will be donated for research. I simply cannot buy the argument that each of these embryos constitutes an actual human life. A potential life, yes. But no more than that. And if I'm not going to use them, and they can do some good, why not?
  19. Also, even if it was pi exactly then....what? Christianity is circular? I could get on board with that...
  20. It is at best tangential to the thread, but I have heard it said that a true empiricist is a person who believes that the series of positive integers was discovered one at a time.
  21. Basically what MOHO said. The opposition to stem cell research is based mainly in the pro life movement, and stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of actual research methodology.
  22. My 2 cents: Science is inherently materialistic. It specifically concerns, and is concerned with, those features of the natural world which we can measure, interact with, predict, etcetera. That is to say, those features which are material. There can be no "non-materialist" or "post-materialist" science, because science is an explicitly materialistic approach to attampting to understand the natural world. It's a simple contradiction in terms. Now. That is not to say at all that we can't have non-materialist approaches to knowledge. Science is a human endeavour, and I personally don't think that it necessarily tells the whole story. But whatever else may be introduced to fill the void that science does not address is not science. It's something else. And we should probably try to get to a place where we're ok with that. Not being science doesn't make something unvaluable. It just makes it not science.
  23. Hi Marie. I'm afraid I can't quite offer you a straight refutation of those particular "derivations" without more specifics, but I can offer you an anecdote, which you may or may not find helpful. When I was in university studying mathematics, a few friends and I watched the movie The Number 23. Not a great film, but decent for a university party where alcohol is involved. Anyways, the next day I was in a particularly boring lecture, and for shits and giggles I decided to try to find 23 as many ways as I could using just the personal information that I could recall of the people who had been present the night before. It didn't take long (less than half the lecture, in fact) for me to find 23 in 23 distinct ways. I stopped there, for obvious reasons. Then I proceeded to freak my friends out with what I had discovered. The point is, if you know what number you are looking for, it's trivially easy to find it from any given starting point, so long as there are no actual restrictions on your methodology. If you are still worried, I'll be happy to take an in depth look at any particular calculations that you are finding troubling. Just send a link, and I'll get right to it.
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