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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by kongming
    Hell, even if the afterlife was a hoax I don't see why we should fear death.
    no catholic should say Hell does not exist. we were talking in RE the pther day about these three lil portuguese girls who Mary spoke to. it was just before the second world war and about three yrs b4 John Paul 2nd was popenized (i think thats the word). she told them that the second world war would happen if these things didnt occur . . . . .cant remember much but it was interesting . . . .anyhoo . . . .. and she came to them three times. she gave the youngest girl a vision of JP2 being shot three times before falling to the ground and dying and showed them an image of hell. these girls were about 6,9,10 i think and from that moment on they were so afraid (actually i dont think afraid is the word but anyway) that they dedicated their lives to God. and then Mary said that two of the girls would die before they reached 15 and the two eldest died within three yrs after the last vision and the youngest became a nun.

    but the weird thing is that all these 'prophecies' from Mary were fulfilled and Russia spread communism in WW2 and JP2 was instated as pope and then the third child died. and JP2 was the pope that made the girls saints and he died the day of their feast day or something like that so really no catholic should not agree that hell does not exist.

    ~ Tari

  2. #32
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Excuse me - where exactly is hell?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Wassner
    Excuse me - where exactly is hell?
    good question. the girl i mentioned above the youngest one who became a nun she wrote a book . . . well her journal was published i'll get the name if it if you want but she wrote everyhting down about hell and Mary and stuff like that.

    as for where is hell? like i said qood question for all we know we could be in it now or it could be in our minds or just another paraplane. where do u think it is?

    ~ Tari

    PS i dont believe in hell personally but i thought the fact about the three girls was interesting i mean RE lessons hav to be good for something right?

  4. #34
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    Soz Gary. i is goin to bed. tired and skool 2moro. **shudders**

    ~ Tari

  5. #35
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Sure, metaphorically we can all understand it. Hell is a state of mind.

    But honestly, where is this place? Fundamentalists don't believe in metaphors. Why do we take these ideas seriously? In my fantasy world, a certain breed of trees are sentient. But I don't live my life worshipping them. They are metaphors. I think most people recognize the difference. Why don't they when it comes to scripture?

  6. #36
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    How would you describe an institution that purports to describe
    (1) when life began
    (2) when it ends
    (3) when human life began
    (4) when it will end
    (5) how human life is similar to and differs from other life
    (6) interrelationship of humans to other life on the planet
    (7) what makes people tick
    (8) what makes people in groups tick
    (9) what makes people normal and what to do when they're not normal
    (10) whether people are alone in the universe or not
    (11) what causes consciousness, rational thinking, ideation
    (12) why there is order in seeming chaos and vice versa
    (13) the nature of human belief systems and how these paradigms are changed

    These questions are the reason I fail to understand Scott and GW's arguments. In my meager library are scientific texts addressing each of the above topics. That's one book case. In the book case right next to it are the religious texts from all the world's religions - not just the monotheistic ones we seem to be dealing with in this thread - and they all purport to answer these questions. Sometimes the terminology is very similar as in exaplantions of the origin of everything; sometimes it differs as in sinners and deviants from the social norm. But, both science and religion address the issues.
    Each side, as demonstrated here in this thread, is absolutely certain "knowledge" - good hard fact - is on their side. I suspect that is a characteristic of belief systems, the undeniability of its central "facts".

    For an example in blind faith in science, when light crossing the vacuum seemed to be a problem, science invented the fact of ether. It took Einstein to show we didn't need ether, so it went away quietly. Now science needs something to support all its grand equations concerning the big bang, expansion of the universe, and several other phenomenon. Presto, we have a thing no one has seen, no one can describe, but all are certain it must exist because the equations demand it: dark matter. The most magic rune of all must certainly be "=".

  7. #37
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    But isn't it interesting HE that when we no longer could support the concept of ether, it did go away? You just clarified the difference.

  8. #38
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    No. I didn't. I have as much sympathy for the disappearance of ether as a proof of the rationality of sicence as I do for the elimination of Saint Patrick from the ranks of the canonized as justification for the rationality of the Catholic Church.
    Thomas Kuhn fairly well demonstrated the blind reasoning involved in science in The Structure of Scientific Revolution. I believe he explained the difficulty involved is that "everyone knows the truth." When you know the truth, you are not easily convinced you may be wrong.
    Of course, Gordon Allport covered the same ground from a different slant in his 1979 The Nature of Prejudice.

  9. #39
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Do you really think though that you are making the same kind of claim when you say 'If I push this button the light will go on' and 'If I pray hard enough and do good deed I will go to heaven'?

  10. #40
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    Is it not in the same class of problem as "1 + 1 = ?" where the answer depends upon the base system you are using?
    Belief systems come several to the customer. Folk who accept technology without question - those who believe the light will come on when the switch is pushed - constitute one system. Was it not the esteemable Mr. Clarke, scientist par excellence, who observed sufficiently advanced technology will appear to be magic to the unitiated. How many folk do you suppose push that light switch with precisely the same frame of mind as the person who ponders a good deed?
    Operating from your desk in the Catskills a POV seems utterly obvious and unassailable. Operating from Rwanda, another human being doesn't see it so. Opearting from a temple in Tibet, another human being doesn't see it so. Operating from a hogan in Northeastern Arizona, another human being doesn't see it so. Which human being has truth on their side?
    Isn't the function of a belief system to get one through the day, the week, the hour, the year, the life. Viable belief systems modify themselves over time with new input and failed experiments, i.e., daily life. If so, they all have truth on their side and competitive comparisons are beside the point.

    This just occurred to me, something about which science has little to say. Does love between human beings exist? Let's distinguish here between love and procreation. I'm talking the love that has kept me sharing life with the same woman for 37 years. Is that real or is it a figment of my imagination?
    Where did it come from and why? What's its purpose if there are no children?

    If love exists, if it is a fact of life, hard knowledge, yet it cannot be proved scientifically, does that constitute blind faith?

  11. #41
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    Most religious people are never even acquainted with the hard and pretty obvious questions their beliefs raise.

    I'm not sure how the numbers of believers has much to do with anything. Our history is characterized by mass delusion - even if you take the Bible at its word!

    Religions are far, far more complicated than a 'network of rules' - they're about as complicated as an institution can get. And science, most definitely is not a 'religion,' technically or otherwise. If it is a 'religion,' then you have stretched the concept 'religion' so much that it scarce distinguishes anything at all. They are some striking differences between the institutions, not the least of which is the comparative reliability, practical efficacy, consilience, and comprehensiveness of the truth claims generated by science - let alone the fact that it is essentially skeptical as opposed to authoritarian.

    The bottomline is that nobody knows whether there's a 'supreme being,' life after death, sin or salvation. Nobody. This is why faith is so essential to religion. Like you Gary, I have no problem with religion per se, though I would be happier if people learned to appreciate, even prize, doubt. What concerns me are religious people who mistake their faith for knowledge. When that happens, imposing one's traditional beliefs on others starts to seem legitimate.

    I've lost count, for instance, of how many times I've heard people on popular media suggest that the separation of church and state in the US needs to be 'rethought.' I find this terrifying. As do I the fact that the most powerful political constituency in the world, the Christian right, is looking forward to the end of the world.

    Doubt begets learning. Learning begets compassion. Conviction, quite frankly, is what kills - which is one reason competitive cultures place such a high premium on it. We humans are simply too stupid to be certain of anything, least of all things as dangerous as 'moral superiority.'

  12. #42
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    I find it very interesting how Kuhn so often finds his ways into the debate, and how he's almost always misconstrued. Kuhn never questioned the fact that science is the most powerful instrument of discovery in human history, only the idealizations of science as a clock-work, self-correcting institution that arose from this. Science is flawed and messy, like any other human institution. I'm just not sure what this has to do with religion, other than the fact that it too is flawed and messy.

    You keep trying to make the same levelling move, HE - it's an old strategy, trying to raise religious belief up by knocking scientific belief down. But the fact remains, there's huge differences between the claims made by these two very different institutions. How do you explain away these?

    As far as I'm concerned the difference simply couldn't be more stark. On the one hand you have an institution, religion, that still can't command consensus on its founding claims after thousands of years, and on the other, you have an institution that has been able, despite its foibles, to build on consensus after consensus, so that a few centuries after Gallileo, we can eradicate small-pox, generate thermonuclear explosions, and create the very computers you use to make your argument.

    Noting superficial similarities between the two does not make them 'essentially the same.' You need to tackle some very real distinctions before you can convincingly make that claim.

  13. #43
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hereford Eye
    Where did it come from and why? What's its purpose if there are no children?

    If love exists, if it is a fact of life, hard knowledge, yet it cannot be proved scientifically, does that constitute blind faith?
    Love is a very powerful emotion. It's not supposed to make sense.
    In all honesty a lot of emotions don't make sense, but there are a part of what makes us flawed and "human".

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Bakker
    the most powerful political constituency in the world, the Christian right, is looking forward to the end of the world.
    So am I, but only if it's a zombie apocalypse and I can go around shooting everyone and live in a bloody big fortress.

  14. #44
    GemQuest Moderator Gary Wassner's Avatar
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    Play some more video games instead, Kahn!

    Hereford, have you seen the movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy? I don't remember it all that well but it does relate to what you just said. Lack of knowledge about something that there is knowledge available to be found can lead to false assumptions. Science tries to find by questioning. Religion does just the opposite. It discourages questioning and even goes so far in its manipulations as to call those who do question it blasphemers, while elevating the state of ignorance to the heights of holiness. The entire modus operandi is to discourage the process of understanding, because that process infers that there is doubt at the onset. The concept of sacrilege was established in part to admonish those who question the assumptions.

  15. #45
    Just Another Philistine Hereford Eye's Avatar
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    If it is a 'religion,' then you have stretched the concept 'religion' so much that it scarce distinguishes anything at all.
    Religion: a) any specific system of belief and worship, often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy [the Christian religion, the Buddhist religion, etc.]" b) any system of beliefs, practices, ethical values, etc. resembling, suggestive of, or likened to such a system [humanism as a religion]"
    Science: any specific branch of scientific knowledge, esp. one concerned with establishing and systematizing facts, principles, and methods, as by experiments and hypotheses [the science of mathematics]"
    Webster’s New World Dictionary

    "The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) develops ethics policy for the AMA. Composed of seven practicing physicians, a resident or fellow, and a medical student, the Council prepares reports that analyze and address timely ethical issues that confront physicians and the medical profession. Upon deliberation and approval by the AMA’s House of Delegates, the recommendations put forth in CEJA Reports become official policy of the Association. These recommendations ultimately serve as the basis for updating the AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics, widely recognized as the most comprehensive guide for physicians who strive to practice ethically. In addition, the Council has judicial responsibilities, which includes appellate jurisdiction over physician members’ appeals of ethics-related decisions made by state and specialty medical societies." AMA Web Site

    "Acceptance of Conditions of the European Communities Confederation of Clinical Chemistry Register
    Acceptance of the conditions of the EC4 Register is essential for all who seek to join it. You should read the following statement and then sign to indicate that you understand it and will abide by it:
    "I hereby apply to be registered as a European Clinical Scientist. In making this application I affirm that:
    - I have read and understood the 'Guide to the EC4 Register' and the accompanying syllabus
    - I consider my training to meet the minimum standards in the 'Guide to the EC4 Register'
    - I consider that I am competent to practice as specified in the 'Guide to the EC4 Register'
    - I shall abide by the EC4 Code of Conduct contained in the 'Guide to the EC4 Register'."
    Application for Admission to European Communities Confederation of Clinical Chemistry Register

    “The key philosophical issues of physics are how do we know and how do we verify that knowledge--the matter-mind problem of what is knowledge in our mind and what is objectively outside knowledge. In biology, the key issues are the nature of life, and the body-mind problem of consciousness, which parallels the matter-mind problem of physics. In medicine, the key philosophical issue is the nature of disease, whereas in engineering, the issues are what is the machine? why do we have machines? and how far can we go with machines?--all issues very seldom discussed by engineers. The associated key ethical issues are shaped primarily, as is, in general, the case for all of ethics, by conflicts among contrasting views, needs, or actions. In physics and biology, these key issues are the purpose of research, and the impacts and limits of research as exemplified by the controversies about cloning and nuclear energy. In engineering, the key ethical issues have to do with the benefits--cui bonum?--of the machine, the biosocial and environmental impacts of the machines and with safety and permissible risk. In medicine, the issues concern the limits of therapy, again safety and risk, the Hippocratic imperatives, informed consent, and the role of the patient, as well as the dilemma of individual versus societal benefit.” Bioengineering Ethics: The Ethics of the Linkage Between Engineering and Biology George Bugliarello

    I guess it's just my mindset that sees the links.

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