If this doesn't happen—if I break—I'm going to war.
A few years ago I began thinking of mathematics as a vast landscape, with uncharted territory (indeterminate statements), which on occasion needed new axioms to be mapped properly, due to Gödel. But now I'm thinking it's better to think of it as a vast archipelago, with axiomatic causeways connecting one mapped island to another. Islands separated by vast amounts of mysterious ocean, our feeble little brains slowly crawling the beaches and painstakingly mapping the details, forever condemned to remain completely uncertain of the topology of the vast ocean floor surrounding us.
a willing infidel
“You can say ‘Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don’t think there’s a purpose,’ but I’m anticipating having a good lunch,” Watson told Dawkins.
"I do kind of. I can't explain it right now." "Another dent here, another dent here."
"I'm sorry for your loss, your mother was a terribly attractive woman."
"Come on lets shag ass."
"Have you met someone else?" "I couldn't even begin to think about knowing how to answer that question."
"God dammit don't do that to yourself, I'm the one that failed them, or anyway, it's nobody's fault."
"Immediately after making this statement, Royal realized it was true."
"I can't stop thinking about you."
If I ever happen to go someplace like this, I'm going to need to buy a really nice camera.
"Ah-ha, minor corneal damage. Page me if it spreads to the other eye."
"What is this, what's going on? Why are you squeezing me with your body?"
With respect to the "religion", I think it could do a lot of good, leveraging a currently untapped market of people who are growing increasingly disgusted by religion, but who aren't yet able to see they can live without religion. It'd be atheism for the less considerate. Setting aside for a moment that the very idea of starting a religion could, without much effort, be labeled a compromise where none-be-deserved, I think it could be done without any other compromise. We needn't include any sort of superstitious or mystical claims. Though, would we want to avoid further hijacking of religious terminology, to avoid further blurring of the words? For instance, numinous/spiritual type experiences? Certainly god would be a difficult issue to talk about. But emphasis of reason, and evidence, and rationality, and consistency would all go a long way to helping the world. As well as a positive message, which is not as difficult as many people believe.
I think at the heart of the issue with creationists/IDers, and in general with mystical thinking, is the notion that something can lie outside the purview of science. Now I find that difficult to swallow, through the following reasoning. Currently we know that our bodies are made of protons, neutrons and electrons, interacting through three or four well understood forces. We have mathematics that explains these particles and the interactions between them extremely well. Suppose we are missing something---either a particle, a force, or some other ingredient, sub-atomic or macroscopic, it doesn't matter---what can we say about this missing ingredient? At first, you might think "nothing at all", but that isn't true... suppose this missing ingredient is in fact observable, we simply haven't yet observed it. Wait, I'm getting off topic... if it is to have any influence whatsoever on reality, it MUST be observable, else Occam must execute it. Now this is the bread-and-butter: phenomena only come in three real flavors: deterministic, (in which case the setup/input completely determines the outcome/output), probabilistic (in which case the setup describes a set of potential outcomes, and typically corresponding likelihoods for each distinct potential outcome), and completely random, in which the outputs are completely independent of the inputs. Unfortunately for god, mathematics has provided us with very good tools to detect and distinguish, and quantify, all three of these kinds of phenomena. Including some sophisticated measurements of random. Furthermore, the pace with which these tools have evolved has only increased in time, and no clear limit to their sophistication is within sight.
I think I might agree with the global falsity stance of error theory, as it appears to describe the illusory conflict I had previously noted between moral relativism and moral absolutists. (I.e., absolutists claiming relativism disqualifies the system from being morals, and relativists claiming there can be no such thing as absolute morals.)
Neo-conservatives are unlike old conservatives because they are utilitarians, not moralists, and because their aim is the prosperity of post-industrial society, not the recovery of a golden age.
The problem I have with Irving is that he says he's not after a recovery of a golden age, and yet he says, "People need religion. It's a vehicle for a moral tradition. A crucial role. Nothing can take its place. " Which is EXACTLY trying to recover a golden age, or at least preserve a perceived golden age, which is similarly irrational.
If you have standards, moral standards, you have to want to make them prevail, and at the very least you have to argue in their favor. Now, show me where libertarians have argued in some comprehensive way for a set of moral standards. ... I don't think morality can be decided on the private level. I think you need public guidance and public support for a moral consensus. The average person has to know instinctively, without thinking too much about it, how he should raise his children.
What the hell!! one minute they're "not moralists", and the next you're claiming you're better than the liberals because they lack moral standards and you don't??? Will someone PLEASE take the microphone away from these clowns?
Comment 18:They helped me remember, it is the "noble lie". Comment 29 said the noble lie is occasionally noble---I must add, but it is ALWAYS a lie! How is it that the people who argue morals are absolute appear less moral than I do as a moral relativist?
This is the thinking behind the populist nonsense that advanced education is only for the elite. All through our history as a species, those in power have voiced concerns over an educated populace, and passed these fears on to their inferiors, who regard the educated as a threat to their egos because it gives them “ideas”. To those in power, education should be confined to grinding out millions of identically-minded coolie workers with just enough know-how to stoke the fires of commerce, but not enough to think for themselves. This is what underpins the right-wing cultural engine that propagandizes intellectualism as suspect and has for decades.
Our identities are not controlled entirely by ourselves, they are also imposed upon us.