BerwynIrish

Members
  • Content count

    2058
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

337 Neutral

About BerwynIrish

  • Rank
    Contributor
  1. The wildest posts on GD.net?

    There was that one guy who went through a phase where his insult of choice was "incompetent Greek". It's not the wildest thing ever said here, but it's the most bizarre thing that's stuck with me.
  2. Is anybody here a Christian?

    Quote:Original post by Yann L Back OT, I was born Christian I guess (baptised, etc), but that was a rather short phase. Today, I'm quite close to what Wikipedia seems to call an apathetic agnostic (heh, didn't even know that term existed, you learn something new every day ;) Another term that may surprise you is agnostic atheist. Plenty of people who hold an atheistic stance have been swindled into rejecting the term. A little more of an explanation.
  3. Is anybody here a Christian?

    mikeman - I didn't mean to introduce a complete tangent on the crucifixion, I was only offering it as one example, but as long as we're there - What is supposed to be the specific and practical point of it? "You're forgiven" doesn't tell me anything. As a human born into the AD world, how is my life or afterlife specifically different from that of some poor schmuck who lived and died BC? Quote:Original post by Hodgman Quote:There are lots of people who call themselves Christians (or some variant thereof) but pick and choose very carefully which bits they decide are important, but that doesn't mean they are what Christianity defines as Christians. Just like if I start calling myself a communist based on what I learn in one high-school lesson without reading any literature telling me what communism is actually about.If they attend a christian church, listen to christian teachings, from the christian bible, read by a christian priest... I'd say that's enough for them to call themselvse a christian. Just about any dictionary will have as one of its definitions of Christianity some variation of "somebody who adheres to a religion based on the New Testament", and you'll have to look long and hard to find one that says "someone who follows the proper interpretation of Jesus' teachings". Just as with "faith", some of them absolutely refuse to acknowledge an accepted and common usage of a word. Getting slightly back to the OP, this idea of denying that there is a "New Testament-based religion" meaning of "Christian" (regardless of whatever other valid meanings the word has) was foreign to me growing up as a Catholic. I've only encountered it since, when listening to evangelicals.
  4. Is anybody here a Christian?

    Quote:Original post by Way Walker C.S. Lewis also described our final Judgement by saying that there will be two kinds of people: Those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those who, in the end, God just says (I imagine with a sigh and a shake of the head), "Thy will be done." Revolting. Exhibit #412 that Lewis' primary attributes were condescension and irrationality. Quote:C.S. Lewis' models of the trinity and Heaven/Hell very helpful. (But, as he would say, they are just models and not reality. Use them insofar as they are helpful, ignore them insofar as they aren't.) Where does he say this? Quote:Original post by mikeman It's God. *God*. He is not bounded by any rules, he can do whatever the hell he wants. And that's the stake through the heart of most every Christian apology. Jesus died for your sins not because a death was necessary, but because that was the bloody way God chose to play it. You can not reconcile the immorality of the rules with God's omnipotence and supreme morality. The inconsistency that they usually settle for is to quietly assume the rules are separate from God and immutable and tout God's omnipotence. The other way around this is to claim such barbarism is indeed moral and rational, which is always fun to watch. ("If I was God, of course I'd punish humans for the sins of the father and then ease up a bit millennia later after a certain person gets crucified. Duh!") [Edited by - BerwynIrish on September 14, 2010 11:47:17 AM]
  5. Is anybody here a Christian?

    Quote:Original post by mikeman Quote:Original post by BerwynIrish Scientists are not in the business of "believing in" anything. The faith all belongs on the religious side. ...Excuse me? When a scientist, say a physicist, tries out a new path in his search for a solution to a problem, he's very much in the business of "believing" that this path will lead him somewhere worthwhile; he decides that he will invest his time in that particular direction without being sure that it's the correct one and won't reach a dead-end. Of course, he doesn't "believe" it in the sense that he found it written in some ancient book, but because it "makes sense" to him that he should examine this solution, however without having, at the moment, any hard proof that it will yield the results he wants. And either way, aren't there many competing theories today, with top minds working in either one, such as Loop Quantum Gravity vs String Theory? Or multiple interpretations of quantum mechanics? If things were so simple that "science is only what we can prove", then it wouldn't make sense to have more than one theories in which research is considered perfectly legitimate, is it? Here we have 2 theories, and I suppose the math of both are more or less equally solid and both have some successes in explaining phenomena; but neither is complete or 'proved' yet, and there are scientists that flock to one and scientists that flock to the other. You can call it what you like, "hunch","feeling","inspiration", but the point remains that in order for a researcher to make the choice on where he'll spend his time, there is a factor of personal preference, and you can't deny that it will be dependant on many things, including idiosyncracies, psychological reasons, philosophical views, etc etc... And speaking about this whole thing, isn't the search for a Unified Theory based on the belief that there *is* actually one? Nothing really says that gravity can be unified with other forces under a common explanation; it is a desire of the human mind to abstract things to the point where there is only one general solution, but that doesn't mean that the Universe is that way because we like it to be so, is it? You're talking about things, like hypothesis formulation, other than the proper function of a theory. I don't object to using "belief" in this context. Although your ideas could be rephrased leaving out the word "belief", it's not worth quibbling over. I was responding to this: Quote:Realistically, there is no way to prove any scientific or biblical theory on the creation of life. I do not believe that there will ever be a LAW of evolution or creation or anything similar, so there will always be some gap requiring "belief" in something that is not provable. He's saying that recognition of an actual theory requires belief. Requires belief. Not even advocacy of one of multiple competing theories requires that one "believes in" said theory. In fact, one should never "believe in" a theory in the sense that you mistake your model to be the reality. The strongest thing you can say about a theory is that it is represents your current best understanding. Belief is not only not "required", it's plain wrong. Again, anyone who says that scientists constantly "believe in" their theories is smearing the professionalism of the world's scientists. Of course, no matter how often this gets pointed out, the religious and the faithiests will continue to incorrectly apply the terminology of religion to science, and it's not that hard to figure out why.
  6. Is anybody here a Christian?

    Quote:Original post by way2lazy2care Quote:Original post by BerwynIrish If you're saying that the practice of science includes scientists "believing in" a model happens all the time, then you are black-heartedly smearing the professionalism of the world's scientists. I know it's common to do so and you guys are never called on it (you folks are greatly concerned about painting with broad strokes unless it's scientists on the receiving end of the brush), but that doesn't make it right. You sound like you have taken offense to the replied to generally not-offensive statement that scientists have faith in stuff. Quote: This demonstrates such ignorance that I won't even try. why not try? As far as I can tell the argument being replied to is pretty sound. I'm not going to waste my time. There's plenty of members here who are participating in this thread and others who pop up in these threads occasionally who fancy themselves armchair scientists and have a high regard for their own fair-mindedness. I have yet to see any of them ever correct the type of misrepresentation that Churchskiz presented. Maybe this time one of them will jump in and explain it to you (although I suspect that they prefer that this nonsense perpetuate), but it has never been a productive use of my time.
  7. Is anybody here a Christian?

    Quote:Original post by ChurchSkiz Quote:Original post by BerwynIrish Quote:Original post by Churchskiz I do not believe that there will ever be a LAW of evolution or creation or anything similar, so there will always be some gap requiring "belief" in something that is not provable. Scientists are not in the business of "believing in" anything. The faith all belongs on the religious side. I didn't say faith, I said belief in something that is not provable. "I didn't say green, I said the color you get when you mix blue and yellow." Or are you going to rely on that old, embarrassing tactic of denying the definition of faith? Quote:If you don't think this happens in science all the time, then you are extremely naive. If you're saying that the practice of science includes scientists "believing in" a model happens all the time, then you are black-heartedly smearing the professionalism of the world's scientists. I know it's common to do so and you guys are never called on it (you folks are greatly concerned about painting with broad strokes unless it's scientists on the receiving end of the brush), but that doesn't make it right. Quote:But at the end of the day there are certain things in science which can not be duplicated in a lab (origin of life, beginning of universe, light speed theory, etc.). These things require a belief that all your assumptions and conclusions are correct, even though they can't be proven 100%. How can you dispute that? This demonstrates such ignorance that I won't even try. There's already the seeds of distraction in your post, which I have no interest in, so I'm going to reiterate the plain truth: The second half of this sentence misrepresents how science works: Quote:Original post by Churchskiz I do not believe that there will ever be a LAW of evolution or creation or anything similar, so there will always be some gap requiring "belief" in something that is not provable. Whether such a basic misrepresentation is due to ignorance or dishonesty, please correct the fault before opining any further on science.
  8. Is anybody here a Christian?

    Quote:Original post by Pipes McGee Well, what I dismiss about evolution is the atheistic viewpoint - that God had nothing to do with it. You won't find any field of science that incorporates God as part of a model. What you dismiss about science is the atheistic viewpoint. Quote:Original post by Ravyne It troubles me that things like "Intelligent Design" (that is to say, academically-honest ID questions, rather than attempts to say "Science doesn't prove it today, so it must be my God".) cannot be scientifically studied because anyone who raises such questions and concerns is ostracized from the scientific community. Allow me to ease your troubles. ID is not studied not because the mean old mainstream scientists refuse to study it, but because it is not falsifiable. Explain to me what experiments you can design to test ID that haven't been done, or explain to me what experiments have been done that bolster ID, and I'll join you in condemning the scientific community. But you can't so I won't. The fact is that whatever else ID is, it ain't science. You only further the cause of ignorance by condemning scientists for not engaging in non-science. Quote:Original post by Churchskiz I do not believe that there will ever be a LAW of evolution or creation or anything similar, so there will always be some gap requiring "belief" in something that is not provable. Scientists are not in the business of "believing in" anything. The faith all belongs on the religious side. Quote:Original post by frob I think of it this way: When I explained to a 3-year-old what his cereal is made of, I don't try and explain what calcium carbonate is. Instead I explain it has oats, the same thing that oatmeal cookies are made from. And it has sugar, which is yummy. And it has zinc and iron and vitamin e, vitamin c and vitamin whatever, that all help make their body strong. Analogies only ever serve to obfuscate. I don't know the highest number that Genesis-era Hebrews had a sense of, but I'd bet my life that it was bigger than seven, and I'd bet your life that their largest unit of time was greater than a day. God could have said "longer than a thousand years ago", or "a thousand times a thousand generations, and then some", or "incomprehensibly long ago." I am sure the ancient Hebrews could have understood some variation of those. But Jehovah is not quoted as saying anything like that, because Genesis is purely the work of human minds struggling to understand the world with crippling limitations in knowledge, rather than the work an omniscient deity. I could make a similar example of the origin of species or cosmology as given in Genesis vs a more accurate yet understandable-to-the-Hebrews explanation, but I believe my point has been made with the time-frame example. Quote:If I were God and I wanted to create a few billion species, that's how I'd do it. Fill the globe with amino-acid soup, get a good algae pool growing, and watch it simmer. Eventually get some lighting to stir up a tiny genetic modification, and let that change take effect. A bit of planned genetic drift here, some useful specialization here, and guide it along the planned destination. If you need a new species there is no reason to start from scratch when you can accomplish the goal with a well-placed DNA fracture. What a waste of omnipotence. I'd just cross my arms and blink. Quote:Original post by LessBread Logic and faith need not be as mutually exclusive as they are widely taken to be in our country. That is a problem. Totally disagree. There is way too much of a tendency to consider logic and faith as equals. One of this phenomenon's biggest symptoms is people dismissing sound science with "everybody's free to believe what they want" when said science is at odds with religion. We've seen plenty of it in this thread alone. [Edited by - BerwynIrish on September 13, 2010 11:59:20 AM]
  9. Post your favorite music video (link)!

    Total Eclipse Of The Heart. I admit to liking the original, but this cover is out of sight. A gem from Tommy Makem, but that's being a bit redundant.
  10. Funding America's Partial Socialism

    Quote:Original post by Silvermyst treas.gov: major foreign holders of treasury securities June 2010 1. China, mainland: $843.7 billion According to the logic of some Americans (not Silvermyst, it's just that he posted the numbers), this should be excellent news. We've "raided" China's treasury to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars.
  11. We have officially and militarily left Iraq!

    Quote:Original post by mikeman What the hell 'from scratch' means? We're not going to get a shiny new planet straight from the planet factory To be fair, "from scratch" was my phrasing which he echoed. I had the space-ark idea in mind when I used the phrase, so I sort of meant "an inorganic environment that that would be a vacuum if it wasn't for the materials humans introduce". While I mostly lumped terraforming and space-arks together in that post, I did not mean to apply "from scratch" to terraforming a planet. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough earlier. Of course, my meaning doesn't tell you squat about Oberon_Command's meaning. But everything else you said: right on.
  12. Funding America's Partial Socialism

    Quote:Original post by Silvermyst Quote:Original post by BerwynIrish Is this an indirect way of saying you would abolish t-bonds? If so, please say it directly. I frankly don't know enough about finances to be able to say that we should abolish t-bonds, but my gut tells me that, were I to do proper research, my political and economic convictions would likely lead me down that path. When I've discussed the national debt with likeminded people, the fact that foreign countries and banks own so much of the public debt seems a scarier aspect to our financial situation than the socialy security fund. And the fact that our annual funding for national offense is about half of our social security IOUs is even scarier. If we're really worried about our social security fund, let's cut military spending and put the money we save into the social security fund (and then stop looting it to pay for other government expenses). OK, I don't think we were in disagreement then. My point was about the framing and the double-standard in (not) applying it rather than the substance. I don't recall you being one to hammer on how "the trust fund is a fraud" and stuff like that, so I don't think we are in disagreement.
  13. Funding America's Partial Socialism

    Quote:Original post by Silvermyst Quote:Original post by BerwynIrish If your framing is that t-bonds represent future taxes and you find this objectionable, then let's hear you call for the end of t-bonds, and let's hear you lecture every other t-bond holder on how they have created a tax burden for the rest of us. China and Japan combined own about as many t-bonds/notes as SS ($2.2 trillion in 2008). Their combined $4 trillion makes up about a third of the total national debt. US government and international holdings combined make up more than three quarters of US treasury securities. Even if you had backed your numbers up properly, so what? Is this an indirect way of saying you would abolish t-bonds? If so, please say it directly. Or is this an indirect way of admonishing other t-bond holders for being a tax burden? If so, it's picking on an easy target. I said "let's hear you lecture every other t-bond holder", which in hindsight is an unreasonable request. I should have said "any other", which you perhaps have done if my speculation at the beginning of this paragraph is true. Regardless, I apologize for my sloppy word usage and ask that you allow me to rephrase: "Let's hear you lecture about how a group that isn't usually demonized has created a tax burden by holding t-bonds". Red-blooded American capitalists hold some of these t-bonds - lecture me about how these guys have created a tax burden.
  14. Funding America's Partial Socialism

    Quote:Original post by Alpha_ProgDes Regardless of the economic voodoo that makes all of this work, you have to admit that the money to pay back those IOUs will have to come from somewhere. And that somewhere is us. [sad] The government issues these "IOU"s all over the place, and it is dishonest to constantly and exclusively harp on only one holder of these "IOU"s. If your framing is that t-bonds represent future taxes and you find this objectionable, then let's hear you call for the end of t-bonds, and let's hear you lecture every other t-bond holder on how they have created a tax burden for the rest of us. It doesn't happen, which is proof that their stated objections to Social Security are not the same as their real objections. My advice is to not accept anyone's framing when they are not consistent with it. Don't be a mark.
  15. Funding America's Partial Socialism

    Quote:Original post by LessBread Quote:Original post by Klapaucius My claim is that if the money supposedly in the trust fund has to be raised again via taxation (or created via inflation) to pay out benefits, then the money isn't actually in there, so continuing to call it a 'trust fund' is an intentional misdirection at best. Wouldn't that be the case with any t-bond? And wouldn't that also apply to any trust fund built of t-bonds? And more fundamentally, are you saying that you expect the US government to default on it's debt? If that were to happen, we would have far more serious problems to worry about than Social Security (again, see Martin Wolf). How many times is he going to make you say the same thing? He admitted early on that a "shell game" was being played with the trust fund. The problem is that the game serves him so well that he won't stop shuffling those shells in front of you. You hit the nail on the head. I will take seriously the first one of these guys who says that their problem is with t-bonds in general, in which case there's no need to ever, much less constantly and exclusively, single out Social Security. But that doesn't happen, so they obviously have a problem with Social Security that has nothing to do with their stated reasons. [Edited by - BerwynIrish on August 20, 2010 10:57:36 AM]