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Everything posted by Robert_Tulip

  1. People who claim exclusive revelatory knowledge of what such a God wants people to do. It is possible to imagine that such a personal intentional God exists, but asserting human knowledge of those intentions based on no evidence except fantasy miracles is a purely authoritarian turn. Ethical religion needs the humility to accept that people have no idea of what God wants except what can be justified with methods of evidence and logic. These tools give no basis to assert that a supernatural God even exists except as an imaginary human construction.
  2. No, I am not a liberal in politics. I doubt that most who voted for Trump support his trashing of democracy with these spurious claims of fraud.
  3. Trump's main agenda now is to delegitimise democracy. As a genuine autocrat, he thinks Democrats are not sufficiently proud and patriotic to have a right to win the Presidency. So Trump's game plan with his unprecedented refusal to concede is toward a military coup, like General Pinochet in Chile. By far the most serious misconduct in this election was from Republicans with their efforts at voter suppression.
  4. Hello Rev, my view is that we can legitimately assign numerous attributes to our glorious heavenly father, but existence is not among them. God is a construction of human transcendental imagination, a mythological invention designed to identify and promote the features of reality that are conducive to human flourishing, as an adaptive evolutionary meme. As such, worship of God can be a perfectly reasonable activity, supporting essential cultural functions, as long as the poetic language of praise and prayer is understood as metaphor, not literal description. If curre
  5. The emotional comfort of literalism is a dangerous fantasy. Biblical miracles are moral parables, not signs of God breaking the laws of physics. Logic and evidence should be the highest moral values.
  6. Good summary, except for this: "As for Egypt, it has a long, continuous historical and archaeological record. The Egyptians left detailed accounts of their methods for creating monumental architecture, and for moving massive stones and statues. Also, there are primitive early pyramids, completely botched and collapsed pyramids, pyramid block quarries with tools still lying there, wall paintings of engineering methods, mathematical texts setting architectural problems for pyramid construction, and many other relevant interrelated records of mathematics, technology and culture. There
  7. A useful distinction can be made between positive and negative groupthink. Positive groupthink is where a group has a positive belief that is demonstrably false (eg young earth creationism or climate change denial). Its members engage in rationalisation and distortion to justify their false positive assertions and explain away the criticisms made by others of their false theory. Negative groupthink is where the group is unified by true knowledge (well validated scientific consensus). People adhering to such consensus are still susceptible to the psychological syndrome of negatively
  8. It is highly questionable to accuse the scientific community of groupthink for accepting Big Bang cosmology as the best available explanation. A discussion forum that invites independent researchers to present challenges to mainstream astronomy is at https://forum.cosmoquest.org/forumdisplay.php?17-Against-the-Mainstream This board is well worth a review to see how badly alternative views stack up against the prevailing consensus. For example, there is a widespread inability among alternative proponents to engage with mathematical reasoning. This gap makes many agains
  9. · Communism has good intentions, that all should be equal, and that reward should match effort. Unfortunately, such worthy ideals have destructive effects when put into practice, destroying incentive and fomenting intolerance. But those who are gripped by the power of the idea can ignore all the negative consequences, holding a shining vision while the world collapses around them. Such is the influence of groupthink. · That is round the wrong way. In this case the end or goal is to protect people, while the means to achieve it is violence and polemic. ·
  10. The reality of course is that the groupthink involved in creationism is far worse than in evolution. Yet there is likely to be some groupthink among evolutionists - not in the science of evolution but rather in the cultural attitudes such as contempt for religion that are widely associated with scientific belief.
  11. Exactly. To accuse opponents of groupthink requires strong evidence of their failure to consider relevant facts. That is fairly easy for refuting the fantasies of popular religion, but very difficult when it comes to challenging a scientific consensus. Groupthink only enters the picture as a possible psychological explanation when challenges to a consensus are rejected on political rather than evidentiary grounds.
  12. The cooling effect of pollution is far smaller than the warming effect of greenhouse gases. The table below shows pollution as reducing radiative forcing by one watt per square metre. That is less than one third of the warming effects that increase RF by more than three watts per square metre.
  13. Yes, as a scientific organisation, NASA takes an evidence based approach to understanding the planetary climate, and endorses the scientific assessment that the planet is rapidly warming due to human-caused CO2 emissions. The climate effect of changes in solar radiation is miniscule compared to the effect of adding about 15 cubic kilometres of carbon to the air every year, as we now do. NASA has a great website at https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ that sets out its views on climate change, explaining the scientific basis. Where groupthink enters the picture is in the
  14. The psychology of groupthink is an important topic to explain the irrationality of public debate. The media and the public generally operate at a tribal level, accepting arguments based on the authority of those who make them rather than the underlying basis of evidence. Science seeks to overturn this fallacious tradition of argument by authority, but is itself quite susceptible to groupthink. The eminent scientist Richard Feynman defined science as "the belief in the ignorance of experts." (The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, p.187). Such rigorous scepticism about established
  15. Here is the recording of my discussion on astronomy in the Bible https://youtu.be/5yqV8FHKTTc
  16. I will give a public lecture tomorrow (Sunday 1 Nov) on Astronomy in the Bible. Unfortunately for Americans the time zone puts it at about 4am, but I hope it will be available as a youtube recording. Link is https://ascm.org.au/civicrm/event/info?id=52&reset=1&fbclid=IwAR01T9RVQRkZ25BKja3PMT3ZCIlQUzVtLGR0hKA-3gMPYfMbn6Li0Vs9yyg
  17. Hi Fuego, thanks for this reality check. Unfortunately this entire topic is infested with conspiracy theory, including the insane beliefs that you describe. It makes me very cautious in discussing it. As you imply, the QAnon conspiracy theories are just as mad as young earth creationism. And then there is the most bizarre alien conspiracy theory of all - David Icke https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Icke
  18. I hadn't seen this word 'ghosting' before. Found a NYT article on it https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/22/smarter-living/why-people-ghost-and-how-to-get-over-it.html "Ghosting — when someone cuts off all communication without explanation — extends to all things, it seems. Most of us think about it in the context of digital departure: a friend not responding to a text, or worse, a lover, but it happens across all social circumstances and it’s tied to the way we view the world."
  19. Maybe I would start by placing a marker on the planet to show I had been there, something so big that it would easily be seen from space, too big for the dumb humans to destroy, right at the axis of the longest land meridians, encoding some advanced mathematics of planetary scale, using technology that is far in advance of anything the humans could do... Then keep an eye on them every now and then, using full stealth technology, with a plan to help them out if they ever looked like going extinct. Maybe even encode in their religious books some mysterious explanation of our prognos
  20. It is hard for me to keep up with all the interesting responses in this thread! So now going back nearly a month to this great question from Josh. The point in this concept of “the next change” is that we can find material in both scientific and spiritual cosmologies that can help us to predict and construct the future of our planet. Most material on this agenda in popular religion is garbage, due to its acceptance of supernatural mythology. So a first goal should be to ensure analysis is compatible with modern scientific knowledge. That means that ideas that come from religion
  21. 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang may not be infinite time, but it certainly gives plenty of opportunity for ancient interstellar civilizations to evolve. The problem is why SETI efforts have had no success. Perhaps their communication methods are far in advance of anything we can detect? I personally believe that advanced alien support for ancient human development is the most parsimonious explanation for why the hundreds of thousands of years of stone age culture suddenly advanced to metal and mathematics in the pyramid age, and for the truly amazing and inexplicable mysteries of t
  22. Hi Salemite, thanks so much for opening up. It may be provocative, but I would be interested in your thoughts on the value you place on having your children. If you had focused on your career as you outline, then it is entirely possible that at your age you would now have no kids, or maybe only one. And juggling a career and family is often very stressful, with a range of risks. It used to be the case that children were seen as essential insurance for old age, but these days many people without children see self reliance as sufficient. Having a stable marriage and then having grandchildren
  23. In the thread on Precession as the Framework of Christian Origins, the question was raised if in our past there was a civilization as advanced, or more so, than we are today, and somehow it got destroyed. I responded that the speculative idea of Atlantis links to the belief in aliens who visited earth and built the pyramids of Giza. Such ideas have been widely promoted in fringe circles as an explanation of belief in Gods, but in mainstream society they are generally rejected due to lack of evidence and implausibility. Within a generally sceptical framework, I am interested in p
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