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Religion General Discussion / Re: Goddidit Vs Naturedidit
« Last post by Mike Cl on Today at 05:30:58 PM »
Perfectly correct.  And this is probably the biggest source of misconceptions about why things happened as they did.  There is a tendency to think of what actually is as being the same as what actually needs to be, and there's nothing specifically necessary about any of us -- or all of us, for that matter.  I don't need to be here, you don't need to be here, the whole planet Earth doesn't need to be here, so far as the functioning of the universe is concerned (yes, I do discount theories of quantum mechanics that require an intelligent observer to make an event happen; events happen without observers, we just have no direct information on them).  If my parents had had sex on another day, or if dad had lasted one minute longer or one minute less, statistically speaking, "I" would be someone else entirely.  I might have been a daughter.  A cosmic ray might've happened by and changed a gene and I could be long dead of a malformation.  I might have been twins (as if the world needs more than one of me).

There is nothing specifically necessary about myself, nor about any of the millions of alternate versions of me that might have been -- were I one of them (one of us?), the version that's actually here would seem as unusual to me.

More importantly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the idea that things could have been different.  They could have.  It's not easy to predict what the world would look like right now had Alexander the Great not existed, but it's easy to imagine that as being possible.  It's even harder to imagine the possible changes had a T. Rex eaten the proto-primate to the left rather than to the right, but it's also easy to imagine that as possible.  You can go further back: assuming the Theia hypothesis, imagine it had struck the early proto-Earth a more glancing blow and left multiple moons or no moon at all, rather than one big one.  Or not striking Earth at all.

The point is: just because it happened doesn't mean it had to happen.  Neither fate, destiny, nor design had anything to do with any of this, and while design (read: the intention to have a child) may have played a role in some individuals being here, it had nothing to do with the particular combination of genes that got together.
Yes--well said!
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General Discussion / Re: Ending a Sentence with a Preposition
« Last post by trdsf on Today at 04:15:48 PM »
Two of the dumbest "rules" about English are because some medieval dolt thought Latin rules should be applied to a non-Latin language: ending on a preposition and splitting infinitives.

If I want to deliberately split infinitives and end a sentence with a preposition, I can if I want to.
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Religion General Discussion / Re: Goddidit Vs Naturedidit
« Last post by trdsf on Today at 03:35:32 PM »
and that is a perfect illustration of what I am saying--fucking parents sometimes leads to a baby.  Not 'the' baby; not specifically this Drew, but a human baby.  What that baby turns out to be is determined by genes and happenstance.  Those parents did not put in an order for Drew.  They simply felt like having sex on day and about 9 months later a baby popped out.  Happenstance determined that Drew became Drew.
Perfectly correct.  And this is probably the biggest source of misconceptions about why things happened as they did.  There is a tendency to think of what actually is as being the same as what actually needs to be, and there's nothing specifically necessary about any of us -- or all of us, for that matter.  I don't need to be here, you don't need to be here, the whole planet Earth doesn't need to be here, so far as the functioning of the universe is concerned (yes, I do discount theories of quantum mechanics that require an intelligent observer to make an event happen; events happen without observers, we just have no direct information on them).  If my parents had had sex on another day, or if dad had lasted one minute longer or one minute less, statistically speaking, "I" would be someone else entirely.  I might have been a daughter.  A cosmic ray might've happened by and changed a gene and I could be long dead of a malformation.  I might have been twins (as if the world needs more than one of me).

There is nothing specifically necessary about myself, nor about any of the millions of alternate versions of me that might have been -- were I one of them (one of us?), the version that's actually here would seem as unusual to me.

More importantly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the idea that things could have been different.  They could have.  It's not easy to predict what the world would look like right now had Alexander the Great not existed, but it's easy to imagine that as being possible.  It's even harder to imagine the possible changes had a T. Rex eaten the proto-primate to the left rather than to the right, but it's also easy to imagine that as possible.  You can go further back: assuming the Theia hypothesis, imagine it had struck the early proto-Earth a more glancing blow and left multiple moons or no moon at all, rather than one big one.  Or not striking Earth at all.

The point is: just because it happened doesn't mean it had to happen.  Neither fate, destiny, nor design had anything to do with any of this, and while design (read: the intention to have a child) may have played a role in some individuals being here, it had nothing to do with the particular combination of genes that got together.
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Political/Government General Discussion / Re: 100 Days and Counting
« Last post by Mike Cl on Today at 03:27:08 PM »
The public can be fooled all the time, and usually are.
Isn't that just the fucking case!!
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Religion General Discussion / Re: Goddidit Vs Naturedidit
« Last post by Mike Cl on Today at 03:25:24 PM »
What you implied earlier ... is that the cause of everything is natural aka QM or GM or both.  So the reason why you exist ... is because of QM or GM or both.  Causation isn't "why" ... "why" involves intention.  Why am I having turkey for lunch?  Not "why did the sun come up this morning?".  English is a miserable language.  In pagan times the answer to the second involved agency ... aka Helios and the chariot of the Sun.

It is Drew that hangs his hat on external agency for the universe, not me.  I don't care, I think it is a wasted discussion like most theology.  It won't help me decide what to have for lunch.  But I don't think you are denying internal agency

What frustrates is the parental view (by the atheist toward the theist) ... instead of answering the toddler "Because" to every question asked, the atheist responds "Nature" ... which is just as empty of content, and just as ad hominem.  And of course responding "G-d" is just as empty of content, and ad hominem in the opposite direction.
Okay--I guess.  But I never answered my daughter's question with 'nature'.  I always told her as best I could what the answer was.  I never left it at 'because' or 'nature did it'.  I went into the depth I felt she could handle.  Or if I did not know something, I'd tell her so.  And I guess the word 'agency' is a bit confusing in that I never used it and it sounds like 'agency' and 'authority' are being used together as one.  If I meant or questioned a cause  of something, I use the word cause, not agency.  Agency, to me, smacks of theology--and I think all theology is bullshit.
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General Discussion / Re: Ending a Sentence with a Preposition
« Last post by Atheon on Today at 01:53:47 PM »
You can not end a sentence with with...
This is a rule up with which I will not put.
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Religion General Discussion / Re: Goddidit Vs Naturedidit
« Last post by SGOS on Today at 01:37:07 PM »
What you implied earlier ... is that the cause of everything is natural aka QM or GM or both.  So the reason why you exist ... is because of QM or GM or both.  Causation isn't "why" ... "why" involves intention.  Why am I having turkey for lunch?  Not "why did the sun come up this morning?".  English is a miserable language.  In pagan times the answer to the second involved agency ... aka Helios and the chariot of the Sun.
I remember some minister on TV years ago trying to make peace by bringing science and religion together and giving each it's due. He said, "Science answers the 'how?' questions, but religion answers the 'why?' questions."  I understood what he was trying to say, although science can answer some why questions, assuming they are questions not being begged.

Just what are the 'why?' questions religion has the answers for?  Why did God create the universe?  Why does God punish the wicked? 

I keep coming up with question begging.  The answer 'God' is inserted into the question.  If it's not inserted directly with the use of the word, "God," it's implied.  Begging questions is not just a fallacy.  It creates nonsense questions that are making unsupported statements.  This is what religion claims as its domain.  But question begging doesn't form legitimate questions.  Religion may answer some legitimate questions, but I can't think of what they might be.

"Nature," is not a 100% satisfying answer either, which may be why it bothers Drew so much, although it does satisfy me, because it includes a broad category of much that we do understand, and much that we don't.  But it's shorter than saying, "Well, we don't know all of it, but there's no reason to make assumptions about unidentifiable agencies of a magical nature."  Nature to theists often implies "not gods," but that's not the case.  It's not that science claims "not gods."  I just doesn't deal with that sort of question, nor do I see a reason that it should.  That would be throwing in the god of the gaps.  Some scientists do, but they are usually quick to admit that while they believe a god is part of it, it's not science.
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Political/Government General Discussion / Re: 100 Days and Counting
« Last post by SGOS on Today at 01:03:16 PM »
I do.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_100_days_of_Barack_Obama%27s_presidency#Media_coverage
True.  But it is long enough to establish a baseline of behavior and policy goals if not results.

So far we have a series of deeply troubling appointments, blocking immigration from *certain* countries "to make us safer", a neocon foreign policy (which does NOT make us safer), an attempt to scrap Obamacare, gutting environmental regulation, and a budget that can be generously described as a windfall for the military and the rich but terrible for everyone else.

And on a personal level, we have a thin-skinned narcissist who angrily tweets about SNL mocking him, lies brazenly and constantly at a level unusual even among politicians, apparently makes policy decisions based off of Fox News broadcasts, and makes a mint off Secret Service (and thus taxpayer) patronage at his hotel.  His whole raison d'etre seems to be to enrich himself and his businesses by hook or by crook.  Thus, his cry of "America First" is insincere because we all know who Trump's #1 actually is.

In short, we have a President fit only for fascists, fools, and plutocrats.
I agree, and I did understate the significance of the first hundred days.  I was attempting respond to Drew's comment: "I hope the 100 days have allayed your worst fears...or maybe not." 

Policy has changed for sure, but my confidence in him remains as it was.  Of course, among my greatest concerns is that he is a loose cannon.  His staff scrambles to spin his comments, with statements like, "He didn't really mean that."  So part of my expectation is that he will continue to suggest wild remedies for problems that may or may not exist, much of it poorly thought through, and some things that might be harmful long term, if he actually gets congress to work with him.
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Film, Music, Sports, and more / Re: TV Series Thread
« Last post by trdsf on Today at 12:56:18 PM »
The original Doctor Who is twenty-six seasons long.  I only watched two seasons of the original before I somewhat lost interest.  Also, when there are forty episodes per season it is harder to find the time to catch up on it.  Not to mention the fact that some of the episodes were lost and one has to watch still pictures that accompany the audio that actually did somehow survive.
Well, it depends on the series, how many episodes are in that year.  The early years, yeah, it was a brutal filming schedule and probably contributed to William Hartnell's early departure -- he was already in frail health, despite the fact that he was only 55 when he started the role (I was shocked when I found out he wasn't in his 60s or 70s already).

The earliest seasons had 40-45 half hour episodes; it was dialed back to 25-26 when Jon Pertwee took over in 1970, and then to the modern 13 or so when Colin Baker (whose tenure is much under-rated IMO) took the helm.  So even though Hartnell held the role for just over 3 full seasons, there were 134 individual episodes during that time; Tom Baker's seven years had "just" 172.

Somewhere I have a list of the episodes I think are best suited for getting into the more casual pace of the early episodes.  Some of them have aged like fine wine... a couple have aged more like mayonnaise.  No idea where it is, I'll have to re-create it.  I still consider the classic run superior on average -- since they only had an effects budget of sixpence and Auntie Beeb expected change, they had to get by on great writing and performances and couldn't plaster things over with splashy CGI.
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Political/Government General Discussion / Re: 100 Days and Counting
« Last post by Baruch on Today at 12:54:18 PM »
We need to get OMB to start keeping score of the money spent by the Orange House.

The US dollar has been worth Zero since 1971 ... so any amount tabulated ... equals Zero.  The public can be fooled all the time, and usually are.
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