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WTF is this forum coming to? Awesome discussions on life, the universe & everything!

Discussion in 'Serious' started by StingLikeABee, 5 Mar 2012.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Yeah, it is. Sorry.

    I'm saying this because your belief in the existence of God is like my belief that harming people is evil. It is a first axiom, and therefore arbitrary. That doesn't mean it cannot have internal logic or cannot be a functional premise. But it is an arbitrary premise.

    It is reasonable and functional, but not logical. It is faith.

    Nope, first axioms: they are arbitrary. That doesn't mean they cannot give rise to a framework that has internal logic, or that they cannot be functional, or make no sense. But you are starting out by taking the first axiom on faith.
     
  2. walle

    walle Well-Known Member

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    You are doing a sterling job, LennyRhys. I would love to participate but work does not permit it, there's no time for extended posts.

    I keep following the thread though, keep it up. :thumb:
     
  3. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Funny comic, and I have to admit that it seems to be about how the typical debate on the subject goes (particularly the bit about Hitler). The bit about Stalin not persecuting people in the name of atheism interests me, though, particularly in the way it's keen on saying atheism didn't cause his actions and that he was just a violent and terrible person. The same could be said about many leaders who committed violent acts in the name of religion: were they doing what their religion said or were they actually using it as an excuse for being a violent and terrible person?

    Of course, atheism is also a lack of beliefs so it can't directly cause anything in the way a religion can. There's no book to tell people to spread the cause. This makes it harder to claim that someone is doing something in the name of atheism, it's often tacked on with other driving beliefs which include atheism in them. For example, a socio-economic system which relies on atheism in its followers. Persecution of religious people is then taken out by atheists to spread an atheist belief. It's not the driving factor, but atheism is still implicated.

    Really we're on the same page. Horrible people will do horrible things, and quite often for horribly twisted reasons which make normal people look involved. I just had to have a quick word on the comic. :D
     
  4. Shichibukai

    Shichibukai Resident Nitpicker

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    Is science without error? How does science respond to people who profess to have changed their sexual orientation? How can you state with such confidence that homosexuality is prevelant in ALL cultures? There are cultures around the world today where there are less than ten people on the earth who both speak their language and english.

    Nope it does not.

    I'm just going to need to ask your souce for this, putting into google " Homosexuality has been observed in 4500 vertebrate species" does not yield your supposed source in the first three pages unless you would like to quote yourself and select the third result.

    The book itself is really simple so that it can communicate to the layman, but the research was done for 2 decades collecting evidence and the list of sources sure goes to prove it. I'll send you my copy if you like or the money to buy purchase your own via paypal or BT if you wish.


    Once again is science infallible? My focus is not the problems that result from homosexuality or paedophilia but what they really are at their most basic level i.e sexual preference. But if you would like the focus on problems resulting from the two, how about the fact that homosexuals are more likely to be child molesters?

    I am familiar with some of the concepts but they don't convince me, so here I was about to give you a chance to convince me. Now I'm thoroughly convinced you can't.

    Proven fact? Why is it every few weeks, months and years we here of a new missing link that conclusively proves evolution and seems to fill a gap which was supposedly filled. Can you please answer me what year was evolution proven conclusively without a doubt?
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2012
  5. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil New Member

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    No one has said that, what we actually said is that where science doesn't have an answer or explanation, it is very naive to leap to conclusions ( ergo, god did it ).

    ^That. To suggest ( strongly ) that animals followed an evolutionary path, but humans were somehow deposited on the earth by a creator, fully evolved, is ridiculous in the extreme. You only need to look at the numerous prehistoric fossilised remains of proto-humans and it becomes very clear the evolutionary path we followed.

    Just for the record: I don't consider myself better than anyone, I just like getting my teeth stuck into a lively debate- even the best debates get heated at points, 'tis the nature of a debate ( debunking another's point of view and thoroughly rubbishing it in the process. if butt-hurt occurs, then deal with it ).
     
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    To declare yourself homosexual, even in tolerant cultures, is to open yourself up to social stigma and discrimination. There are powerful sociocultural messages throughout one's upbringing telling you that it is weird or even wrong. Some people won't trust you around their children. In intolerant cultures you get persecuted and even killed. So yes, I can see how some homosexuals try to change and feel more accepted, and really want to believe that they did.

    Similarly there are also people who come from healthy, well-adjusted backgrounds and declare themselves homosexual, despite the stigma, ridicule, rejection by their own family and friends, even persecution. Some do it years into their marriage, losing spouse and children. They pay a huge price and suffer, but they cannot deny anymore who they are.

    And then there are people who after a life of apparent heterosexuality, and quite vocal disapproval of homosexuality (usually politicians or clergy) are suddenly outed as having been in illicit homosexual affairs for years. Surely a closet gay would be more tolerant of gays?

    So, shat do you say to that?

    Science is a discipline that guards against the human fallibility of believing what we want to believe, to establishing the facts as they are (like it or not).

    And if you have to nit-pick semantics, you know your argument is weak.

    Sorry, observed in 1500 species, studied in 450 (see? The scientific approach is to check yourself when challenged, and correct yourself accordingly). Try here for a start; it's got references.

    The book is not written by knowledgeable experts in the field that we are discussing. You cannot really doubt a huge body of scientific research and then embrace a single book written by one speech therapist who is not an expert on the field in any way, shape or form, but claims that "87% to 95% of physical illnesses are the result of your thought life" (tell that to my cancer patients) and appears on faith healing shows (Sid Roth's "It's Supernatural! & Messianic Vision") just because what she says chimes with you.

    She does not appear in any peer-reviewed scientific journals. Her work appears to be a mush-mash of CBT and NLP with a heavy dose of evangelism. None of which are earth-shatteringly new ideas.

    Science is a failsafe discipline, because it assumes itself to be fallible and therefore is rigorous and full of self-checks and self-challenges. It never stops doing this. Like I will examine challenges and adjust my statements if required (see above), but you won't.

    The notion that homosexuals are more likely to be child molesters is an unsubstantiated myth. Scientific research has shown lesbians make slightly better parents though. Here's a link for you.

    The very fact that you are asking these questions shows that you don't get the scientific process, or evolution. Science is never done with testing. It doesn't say: "Well, that's proved evolution once and for all; let's move on to the next question". It constantly keeps challenging and checking itself. But everything we find keeps confirming evolution. It has been doing so since Darwin proposed it, and Mendel worked out the basics of heredity, and Watson and Crick discovered DNA. The theory has become more refined and complex, but the basic principles keep being confirmed.

    Nobody has been claiming the "missing link". That is a fanciful oversimplification by lay people for lay people. But as we find more fossils, the picture of human evolution keeps becoming more detailed and complete.

    Fun fact: before in 1993 the film Jurassic Park made prehistoric research popular again, we had only two complete skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus Rex --worldwide. Now we have 27.

    I'm not trying to convince you, because I recognise that you have a significant personal investment in believing what you believe. If you were open to the idea that things might be different then you supposed, you would be saying "Oh, that's interesting" and read up on it by now before coming back at me with an informed challenge. Instead you challenge the whole of science as a discipline (in which case I wonder: what do you use to establish the unbiased facts?). You are free to believe what you want (it's your right, after all), even though I think that it is at least morally incoherent if not outright morally wrong, but it is a belief not substantiated by scientific facts.
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2012
  7. Threefiguremini

    Threefiguremini New Member

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    Yeah, to be honest I'm not sure it makes much difference anyway. If for example you could say that religion has caused more war than other reasons I don't think it would prove that much. In any case wars and persecution happen for so many complex and varied reasons that I imagine it would be hard to pull out the cause.

    Presumably without religion people would find other reasons to hate each other and do terrible things. I guess it depends a bit on your view point, personally I am an anti-theist so my view is coloured by that.

    Just thought I'd also post this, doubtless it's been linked before and many may have already seen it but in case you haven't it's worth a watch.

     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2012
  8. Shichibukai

    Shichibukai Resident Nitpicker

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    I'm going away for the weekend so will probably reply again until monday or tuesday.

    I asked, "How does science respond to people who profess to have changed their sexual orientation?"

    Then, How can you state with such confidence that homosexuality is prevelant in ALL cultures?There are cultures around the world today where there are less than ten people on the earth who both speak their language and english.

    Care to actually answer my questions?

    References are nice but was this article written by knowledgable experts in the field we are discussing?

    Isn't it the scientific method to investigate when challenged? Here we have a book that challenges what you believe yet you dismiss it on the basis of lacking the glorious peer review.


    So science is infallible because it assumes itself fallible? I won't change unless I see the need to.

    Is it really? To save you the trouble a quote from the article.

    So despite the studies that show single parent mothers are bad for society, 2 mothers obviously must be better.

    I'm not addressing the end of all research regarding evolution, if it was proven without a doubt as a scientific fact, surely you should be able to point to at least an approximate date as to when this occured?

    Really simple question, what is the average rate of evolution?

    Care to state these basic principles? Just need to know if the basic principles that I know of are the same to which you are referring.

    Some people obviously are.

    I have done my own research, all I have asked is that you state your views simply which you've refuse to do. How can I oppose you when I don't know what exactly I'm challenging? I'd rather not ask you a question only to have you reply saying you don't subscribe to this particular aspect of the theory thus wasting my time.

    You're making the assumption that science flawless and research is done and results are presented honestly without bias.
     
  9. VipersGratitude

    VipersGratitude Well-Known Member

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    Yay!
    Boo!
    Do you really need science to provide such an obvious answer to your question?
    As Nexxo said, many people stay in the closet for fear of the social stigma...but you gave an example of someone who was sexually abused. Well, it's just a matter of priorities. The abuse has caused feelings of disgust for the opposite sex that the individuals sexual drive cannot overcome. The sexual drive is still there however, and is fulfilled by the next (subjectively) best thing...

    Sorry, what?

    Who knows, but if Wikipedia references are good enough for Harvard then they are good enough for you.

    The book you mention is so easily dismissed because the author has an obvious agenda. As a member of the Christian faith she is against homosexuality (afterall, the Bible calls them abominations).

    Again with the references from Christian political organizations. You want to know the real truth? Look at the science, not the politics


    That wasn't a study. It was a public poll. Politics again!


    You don't understand evolution. Think it through. Evolutionary rate is based on the rate of mutation, and environmental factors, to name but a few. These vary from species to species, and a variables in themselves. It would be impossible to give an average.

    The basic principles of evolution.

    Did you notice how they put "the missing link" in quotation marks? It's an article, distilled for easy consumption.


    Actually, you're wasting ours. Politics? really?


    That is what peer review is for. But I'm glad you can see that all the scientific research you have presented as evidence to your argument come from biased organizations.

    And finally...

    Did you know that, by size, men's brain hemispheres are symmetrical and women's are asymmetrical? The true is same of gay men and women except flipped around - A lesbian's brain structure is more like a man's than a woman's, and a gay man's brain structure is more like a woman's than a mans.

    There are also structural differences based on sexual orientation, rather than gender, in the hypothalamus and anterior commissure, but then...you knew that from your deep, deep research...
     
  10. Journeyer

    Journeyer Well-Known Member

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    Simple; people living in denial of who they are, or people living a lie is nothing new. There are people who, out of fear of the social stigma that in some societies are associated with homosexuality, will lie to their families, their friends and themselves. These people will not be happy about their situations, and more often than not, will live double lives - one that is hidden from the world in which they can cater to their true desires, and one that is simply a front to show to the world.

    Some societies will execute people who are openly homosexual, or even people who are suspected of being homosexual. Other societies will limit themselves to shunning, and of course, the occassional unprovoked beatings. But of course, they brought this upon themselves for making the conscious choice of becoming gay. And why not? I mean, it's hard not to see the benefits of electing to "go gay."

    Can you change your sexuality? Can you will yourself to become homosexual? Did you ever make the choice of being heterosexual?
    Didn't think so.

    Because homosexuality is a biological phenomenon, not a cultural one.


    If you doubt the article then you can check the references - that is, after all, why "references are nice." Also, as I doubt you will actually do so, here is one, and here is another. There are many more articles documenting and discussing this at greater length.

    Except the book doesn't challenge Nexxo's (nor mine for that matter) beliefs - besides, beliefs are irrelevant as it is evidence is what counts - because the book was not written by a scientist, and, as has been pointed out, it was written by a person with an obvious agenda. Peer review works, and the telegraph blog you linked to does in no way weaken the process.

    And you never will.

    Questions like these tell us two things:

    1. You do not understand evolution
    2. You do not want to understand evolution

    Nexxo pointed out quite eloquently how you could research this on your own as the subject matter is vast, and it would take quite a few very lengthy posts just to cover the basics. However, personally I like this article.

    Your other "questions" has been handled by both Nexxo and VipersGratitude.
     
  11. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Science did (in this case, psychology). You just dismissed the answer because you don't like it.

    Still nitpicking. OK, all cultures of sufficient size to speak of a society.

    It is not an article. It is a summary of a body of research by experts considerably more qualified than your speech therapist. And here's the cool bit: don't take anybody on their word! Check the references; that is, as Joureyer confirms, why they are "nice". And when you have read those articles, you can check their references too.

    No, I dismiss it on the basis that the author lacks the expertise to make an informed judgement on the matter that we are discussing and makes wildly incorrect claims such as: "87% to 95% of illnesses are caused by your thought life". And yes, it does not help that she has not subjected herself to peer review. Every scientist or scientist-practitioner who publishes does this. I have.

    And you seriously do not suggest that a journalist broadcaster, who refers to himself as: "James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything. He is the author of numerous fantastically entertaining books..." is giving an informed critique on the scientific peer review process, do you? :eyebrow:

    Science is failsafe: I have to always be prepared to change my mind because I may have got it wrong. I have to keep checking what I think I know because I may have got it wrong.

    Yes it is, really. Your quote includes a massive reasoning flaw: it assumes that sexual abuse of boys is committed exclusively by homosexuals. This arises from the circular reasoning that molesters of male children must be homosexual. Research shows that the vast majority of molesters of male children do not feel sexually attracted to adult males however. They are not homosexual, either in behaviour or in self-report (and let's face it, when you have been convicted of buggering boys, there is no reason to hide your homosexuality for fear of stigma anymore is there?).

    There is no inherent flaw in the logic, even if what you propose were true. But public opinion polls are not science (but I can see how you confuse the two :p ).

    OK, what is the exact date that you learned maths? You use maths, don't you? Maths works. Maths it true. What is the exact date that you mastered it?

    What is the exact date that, say, Nigel Kennedy or Vanessa Mae learned to play the violin? Still, they sure can play, can't they?

    Incremental, never-ending processes have no completion date. The acquisition of scientific knowledge and insight is such a process. Your question is irrelevant to the established facts and proof of evolution.

    Really simple answer: the rate and multiplication at which a species procreates the next generation, combined with the natural selective pressures to change and adapt (which are many, and include the width of the ecological niche and rate of environmental change). If both are high, as in bacteria, we can observe it happening in the lab. In alpine plants we can see it over a few centuries. Sharks procreate more slowly and have very little selective pressure (they are pretty much perfectly adapted to their environment) so they have not changed much in millions of years.

    Define "survival" as to live long enough to ensure establishment of the next generation.
    Define "traits" as any characteristics, abilities, features, behaviour patterns that can be expressed by genes.
    Define "heredity" as that which can be passed on to the next generation.

    • Traits are hereditary
    • Hereditary traits are carried by genes and expressed through those genes interacting with the environment
    • Genes occasionally undergo spontaneous mutation through flaws in the cellular replication and procreation process
    • As such heditary traits change over time, and how they are expressed in a particular environment changes over time.
    • The environment undergoes change, through multiple natural forces
    • Certain traits, in a particular environment, convey a survival advantage which are therefore more likely to be passed on to the next generation. Disadvantageous traits convey a survival disadvantage, which are therefore less likely to make it to the next generation, and are filtered out (Those that make no difference either way may be passed on or not, depending on the co-occurrence of advantageous or disadvantageous genes. They are just along for the ride).
    • Reiterate ad nauseum, over vast numbers of members of the species, over vast periods of time, in a constantly changing environment.

    Keep in mind that evolution does not work towards a particular goal or complexity. Present-day worms are as evolved as humans --just in a different direction, to exploit a different ecological niche. Evolution is a never-ending dynamic natural process, not an entity with intentions or motivations. Species just keep changing from what they are to what is best suited to the environment that they happen to find themselves in at that particular moment. Sometimes little change is required. Sometimes a lot. Change is limited by what sort of difference in traits spontaneous genetic mutations can produce. There is also random chance involved --even the best adapted lifeform can get killed by accident, and the worst adapted lifeform can get lucky and make it to reproduction. Evolution works on large scales.

    Remember, those are the basics. The full story is much more complex than that.

    Journalists, writing for an audience of ordinary lay-persons are. Scientists are not.

    I have stated my views. You don't accept them. You nitpick on irrelevant semantics, bring non-scientific arguments to the table and facts that are ludicrously wrong. I think that we are simply communicating from very different plains, and that it would take weeks just to agree on basic common terms and frameworks (such as: what is science). Moreover, from your persistence in nitpicking on irrelevant semantics, bringing non-scientific arguments to the table and facts that are ludicrously wrong, I also think that you have invested in your viewpoint so you won't be prepared to do that. I think we may have a personal reality issue here. I may be wrong, but if not please let's not both waste our time. You can continue disliking gays and suspecting them of molesting kids, you warm-hearted tolerant Christian, you. And I can continue thinking that you are scientifically and morally misguided. :)

    No, I am saying that science, by its very design, has failsafes in place to ensure that happening. It takes nothing on faith. Not even scientists.
     
    Last edited: 6 Apr 2012
  12. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    Shichibukai is anything that we may ever say ever going to change your mind on the subjects we are debating?

    If there is no answer or the answer is no then the debate is over, stop preaching on top of a soap-box.

    Are you trying to discredit peer-review with an article about climategate made by a columnist and novelist? Seriously?

    And why are we debating a career psychologist about topics of psychology and saying that he is wrong?

    I think you are the kind of person that goes to a mechanic to fix that huge gash that is looking rather infected and may kill you in about 12 hours because of septic shock.

    Go for it, it is almost certain that we will never hear from you again.

    Better yet, imagine that I say to you that I do not believe in anyone that does your job, you all want to take my money and screw me.
    Then I ask the local trash man or butcher to do your job and tell everyone how they are much better than you. Am i being logical? Am I doing a smart thing?
     
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Actually, he'll probably go to a faith healer. :D

    Fun fact: one of my cancer patients was a faith healer. He still took the chemotherapy. Wise man; he lived.
     
    Zurechial likes this.
  14. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    I was thinking more in the line of him believing more in a person that is not a specialist or knows very little of health to take care of a health related issue.

    It is like comparing a biologist with a journalist, one has formal training in finding how biologic stuff works and the other has a formal training in taking hold of your attention span.
    If it was the other way around the world would be a ****ed up place.

    I have noticed that this trend of not believing the specialists is getting larger and larger and it has become very silly, i have had people believe more in the brilliant IT student than in me (finishing my masters in electronics, telecom and energy networks) in electronics related stuff.
    Stuff went boom... and i had to fix it all.

    Then someone links to a climategate scandal news report to say that peer-review does not work... "LETS HIDE THE DECLINE!", "LETS DO MIKE'S TRICK!"! Seriously? Check the response of the eight committees that investigated this event.

    Sorry, had to vent out this feeling of "WHY YOU GO TO MECHANIC WHEN YOU NEED A DOCTOR?".
     
  15. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    Faith healers :duh: Christians who think gays are especially "evil" :duh:

    Moving on... :)

    Hmmmmm...not sure they are the same; and I certainly don't think that a presupposition is necessarily illogical just because it is outwith the reach of empirical science - all philosophy starts (and indeed continues) with presuppositions, many of them arbitrary as you say. Can science be empirically verified or falsified? No! It's up to us to decide which axioms work and which ones dont, and when it comes to worldviews it's rarely about logic (and even reason) as we have seen much of in this thread. Function first. :)

    Anything else we can discuss (fruitfully?) that would qualify as "awesome"? :thumb:
     
  16. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Don't worry, I don't consider Shishibukai as representative of Christianity at all.

    My head hurts. I'm impressed you've lasted this long (and still manage to make sense). For what it's worth, even if I don't share your beliefs, I can see the sense of them and their functionality. People need something bigger and better than themselves to believe in. It's the only way we can transcend ourselves and be what it means to be human. And Jesus is not a bad role model. :)

    Erm... Artificial intelligence next?
     
  17. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    This thread gave me lots of faith in humanity.
     
  18. asura

    asura jack of all trades

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    Shhhhh! Don't use the past tense!

    Intelligence, is that artificial, evolved, or created?
     
  19. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil New Member

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    Based on the populous featured in youtube fail compilation videos, I would certainly question whether it was evolved... :worried:
     
  20. Elton

    Elton Officially a Whisky Nerd

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    surely one cannot look at one corner of the world and say the whole is the same?
     

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