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Salomé
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:03 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
Salomé wrote:
he's just another in a long line of singers/actors/celebrities who prove that they should stick to their craft and leave the public political statements to the professionals.

So much for democracy.

Well, I'm not suggesting they are gagged under the rule of law.

I meant more that they should keep in mind an old idiom whenever they make public statements.
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
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saint mark
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:53 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
Salomé wrote:
he's just another in a long line of singers/actors/celebrities who prove that they should stick to their craft and leave the public political statements to the professionals.

So much for democracy.

The fact that you can sing or act doesn't mean you can differ a kangeroo from a whale.

Quite a few politicians don't know the difference between the truth and a lie, it is politics after all and that shouldn't stand in the way of facts.
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6of1
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:59 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
Salomé wrote:
he's just another in a long line of singers/actors/celebrities who prove that they should stick to their craft and leave the public political statements to the professionals.

So much for democracy.

An overrated concept. Same as human rights.
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tiffanywint
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:14 am

Human rights commission have become one of the biggest threats to freedom of speech in our western democracies. At least in Canada, but legislation has finally been tabled to curb their arbritrary powers. They should really just be abolished entirely, but the correct thinking crowd can't let go. The commissions are still one of their favourite big sticks.

Ironically in a free society the less so-called "human-rights" we have articulated or enshrined in our constitutions the freer we are.

Censorhip is not a bad thing though, as long as it's not the government doing the censoring. If ESPN wants to censor Hank Williams Jr. Go for it. Free world and all. It's their sandbox. But when the government is telling us what we can and cannot say - then we have a problem, Houston.
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saint mark
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:17 am

Human rights are fine with me, but somehow the idea has come abused by certain parties on both the left & the right side of the political spectrum. Like any good idea it gets abused if there aren't put any limits on what is meant with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:46 am

saint mark wrote:
Human rights are fine with me, but somehow the idea has come abused by certain parties on both the left & the right side of the political spectrum. Like any good idea it gets abused if there aren't put any limits on what is meant with it.

But a human right is a human right. Limitations on a right become arbitrary and create potential for loss of the right. The trick is to limit the number of actual human rights that one constitutionally enshrines.

However those that don't really want a free society, basically because they consider themselves morally,intellectually, etc superior to the rest of us, will do their best to limit basic human rights and just as fun, continually invent new fake-right to promote their superior thinking. In a free society there should be no limits on speech whatsoever. We need be free to offend and or hate each other as we please.

The struggle for freedom is on-going. It must be constantly maintained. It's quite fragile. Democratic freedoms can easily be voted away if we aren't paying attention.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:31 am

Salomé wrote:


It depends on what form we are discussing. The more extreme examples (like the treatment of handicapped people under Nazism) have been, at least I should hope you agree.

I was using evolution and Darwinism to exaggerate a point, namely that I don't believe in evolution or Darwinism. Handicapped people would seem to me to discredit the theory of evolution because random genetic mutation did not work to make them a better, more adaptable type of human. Furthermore, a strict belief in evolution or Darwinism over creationism/faith would seem to me to preclude the necessity for me to care about handicapped and disabled people, because according to evolution, they are just pieces of debris that flew out of nature's garbage can. Evolution simply doesn't provide for a moral component to the argument (not that it has to, but I want one).

It's been a while since I've studied anything about Hitler beyond the more well-known talking points, but are some here saying that his failure to establish a master race is proof that evolution doesn't exist, or that it goes to proving a different sort of truth about evolution/Darwinism....? I got kind of lost on that point Sharky was making.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:54 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Handicapped people would seem to me to discredit the theory of evolution because random genetic mutation did not work to make them a better, more adaptable type of human.
The theory of evolution does not hold that random genetic mutation always results in a positive result. It holds that random genetic mutation is, well, random, and that sometimes it works out, and a great part of the time it doesn't. Evolution can be accurately described as a series of blind alleys.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:07 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Handicapped people would seem to me to discredit the theory of evolution because random genetic mutation did not work to make them a better, more adaptable type of human.

It doesn't. Genetically inheritance disabilities arise from mutations that occur in meiosis (the process where a sperm and a egg pass on their genes in the forming of an embryo) - that is where correct DNA sequence of a gene is altered, in a way that causes the protein encoded by that gene to malfunction.

Case in point, Fragile X syndrome is caused by mutations in the FMR1 gene. The FMR1 gene provides instructions for making a protein called fragile X mental retardation 1 protein, whose function is not fully understood. This protein likely plays a role in the development of synapses, which are specialized connections between nerve cells. Synapses are critical for relaying nerve impulses.

Nearly all cases of Fragile X syndrome are caused by a mutation in which a DNA segment, known as the CGG triplet repeat, is expanded within the FMR1 gene. Normally, this DNA segment is repeated from 5 to about 40 times. In people with fragile X syndrome, however, the CGG segment is repeated more than 200 times. The abnormally expanded CGG segment turns off the FMR1 gene, which prevents the gene from producing fragile X mental retardation 1 protein. A deficiency of this protein disrupts nervous system functions and leads to the symptoms of fragile X syndrome.

Simply put, shit happens. .

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Furthermore, a strict belief in evolution or Darwinism over creationism/faith would seem to me to preclude the necessity for me to care about handicapped and disabled people, because according to evolution, they are just pieces of debris that flew out of nature's garbage can

As I said, that is not Noe-Darwinism, which is taught in schools today. That is the extremely dangerous late 19th century off-shoot called Social Darwinism, associated with eugenics, genocide, euthanasia, and sterilisation (which didn't stop in the US till the 70s). As selective breeding in livestock demonstrates, even in the most refined or adapted breeds, their genetic disorders still exist. That's because contrary to what the Nazis thought, traits aren't inherited in one's blood, and you can never fully eradicate a recessive gene. It was a pseudo-science nothing more.

Social Darwinism is applied Darwinism, and it never works out for the good of mankind, and history books (or Wikipedia) will tell you. If anything, we should think of our inherent selfishness, and the brutality of nature as analogous to Original Sin. We must strive beyond our base instincts of self-preservation beyond all else, and look to altruism.

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Evolution simply doesn't provide for a moral component to the argument (not that it has to, but I want one).

I suggest you pickup Richard Dawkins's THE SELFISH GENE.

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
It's been a while since I've studied anything about Hitler beyond the more well-known talking points, but are some here saying that his failure to establish a master race is proof that evolution doesn't exist, or that it goes to proving a different sort of truth about evolution/Darwinism....? I got kind of lost on that point Sharky was making.

My point is that one shouldn't use evolution as justification of mass murder, and a pretty serious misunderstanding of evolution at that.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:37 am

Sharky wrote:


My point is that one shouldn't use evolution as justification of mass murder.

But whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy not? If there is no God...if there is no higher being....if there is no creator or grand designer...if at the end of the day we're all just a bunch of randomly organized nucleotides that evolved from a primordial soup billions of years ago through blind luck or random chance, who is to say what is right or what is wrong? Who is to say that Hitler's pogrom was any better or any worse than opening a homeless shelter or feeding the poor or curing cancer? Wouldn't they all be of the same moral equivalency? Who is to say that the enslavement of blacks in the 1600's through the 1800's, or the mistreatment of Native Americans was somehow wrong? Who gets to make that call?

And you say "Shit happens", but even "shit" has a beginning and an end. Even "shit" is the end result of an orderly system of digestion and expulsion. "Shit" doesn't randomly come out of your ears or your nose or through your urethra. How did evolution know to make "shit" come out of the anus in billions and billions of different humans and animals?

Where did the original components that formed this galaxy come from? Where did the building blocks of the universe (that eventually formed the possible Big Bang) originate? If "shit" can happen on planet earth, even against all the odds, why haven't we seen intelligent life on other planets? We've found nothing within at least a 20-billion light-year radius. Why didn't "shit" happen on other planets or in other star systems?

What other things around you, in your life, randomly came together without any design or thought put into it? Did the PC, Mac, IPod, 4G phones, television, Blu-Ray players, Blackberry, steam engine, automobile, airplanes, Golden Gate Bridge, simply "happen"? What are the odds that all the components that make up an IPad, laid out on a table, would one day, no matter how long it took, somehow randomly come together to form the Ipad? If it's impossible for the IPad to have evolved without guidance by an intelligent being, how is it possible for the designer of the Ipad to simply have evolved from animals or even less?

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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:49 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
If there is no God...if there is no higher being....if there is no creator or grand designer...if at the end of the day we're all just a bunch of randomly organized nucleotides that evolved from a primordial soup billions of years ago through blind luck or random chance, who is to say what is right or what is wrong?
How does evolutionary theory automatically correspond with "there is no God"?
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:51 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Sharky wrote:


My point is that one shouldn't use evolution as justification of mass murder.

But whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy not?

Because it would contradict with the millennia old traditions of Christianity the West was founded on, and that I myself associate with.

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
What other things around you, in your life, randomly came together without any design or thought put into it? Did the PC, Mac, IPod, 4G phones, television, Blu-Ray players, Blackberry, steam engine, automobile, airplanes, Golden Gate Bridge, simply "happen"?

Apples and oranges.



This is a good example of mankind taking a page from nature.

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Why didn't "shit" happen on other planets or in other star systems?


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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:02 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
[who is to say what is right or what is wrong? Who is to say that Hitler's pogrom was any better or anyworse than opening a homeless shelter or feeding the poor or curing cancer? Wouldn't they all be of the same moral equivalency? Who is to say that the enslavement of blacks in the 1600's through the 1800's, or the mistreatment of Native Americans was somehow wrong? Who gets to make that call?
You've basically made the argument against moral relativism and Christianity backs you up. ie there is a God designed moral-law as sure as there is a God designed natural-law. All moral actions have moral consequences. Morality is not relative.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:22 am

tiffanywint wrote:
Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
[who is to say what is right or what is wrong? Who is to say that Hitler's pogrom was any better or anyworse than opening a homeless shelter or feeding the poor or curing cancer? Wouldn't they all be of the same moral equivalency? Who is to say that the enslavement of blacks in the 1600's through the 1800's, or the mistreatment of Native Americans was somehow wrong? Who gets to make that call?

You've basically made the argument against moral relativism and Christianity backs you up. ie there is a God designed moral-law as sure as there is a God designed natural-law. All moral actions have moral consequences. Morality is not relative.

That I agree with.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:31 pm

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Sharky wrote:


My point is that one shouldn't use evolution as justification of mass murder.

But whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhy not? If there is no God...if there is no higher being....if there is no creator or grand designer...if at the end of the day we're all just a bunch of randomly organized nucleotides that evolved from a primordial soup billions of years ago through blind luck or random chance, who is to say what is right or what is wrong? Who is to say that Hitler's pogrom was any better or any worse than opening a homeless shelter or feeding the poor or curing cancer? Wouldn't they all be of the same moral equivalency? Who is to say that the enslavement of blacks in the 1600's through the 1800's, or the mistreatment of Native Americans was somehow wrong? Who gets to make that call?

you and me (and even Sharky)
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:34 pm

tiffanywint wrote:
Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
[who is to say what is right or what is wrong? Who is to say that Hitler's pogrom was any better or anyworse than opening a homeless shelter or feeding the poor or curing cancer? Wouldn't they all be of the same moral equivalency? Who is to say that the enslavement of blacks in the 1600's through the 1800's, or the mistreatment of Native Americans was somehow wrong? Who gets to make that call?
You've basically made the argument against moral relativism and Christianity backs you up. ie there is a God designed moral-law as sure as there is a God designed natural-law. All moral actions have moral consequences. Morality is not relative.

unless your a Catholic, then you just say "sorry" just before you die and are given a "get out of jail free" card
laugh
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:09 pm

Seve wrote:
tiffanywint wrote:
Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
[who is to say what is right or what is wrong? Who is to say that Hitler's pogrom was any better or anyworse than opening a homeless shelter or feeding the poor or curing cancer? Wouldn't they all be of the same moral equivalency? Who is to say that the enslavement of blacks in the 1600's through the 1800's, or the mistreatment of Native Americans was somehow wrong? Who gets to make that call?
You've basically made the argument against moral relativism and Christianity backs you up. ie there is a God designed moral-law as sure as there is a God designed natural-law. All moral actions have moral consequences. Morality is not relative.

unless your a Catholic, then you just say "sorry" just before you die and are given a "get out of jail free" card
laugh
No No No. I'm catholic. I plan on doing a full mea culpa too just before I expire. What's good for the goose. Not taking any chances.
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Gravity's Silhouette
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:40 am

Harmsway wrote:
Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
If there is no God...if there is no higher being....if there is no creator or grand designer...if at the end of the day we're all just a bunch of randomly organized nucleotides that evolved from a primordial soup billions of years ago through blind luck or random chance, who is to say what is right or what is wrong?
How does evolutionary theory automatically correspond with "there is no God"?

Haven't been able to post much the past two days so I haven't given this thread the attention it warrants, but I will. However, for now, I will say that evolutionary theory is incompatible with a belief in a designer (let me put it that way). You can make a god of whomever, and whatever, you want. You don't even have to acknowledge the designer of the universe as a god or even your god, but I cannot see how one exists simultaneously with the other. I know some religious scholars have attempted to marry the two ideas together, saying God used evolution to bring mankind and his world into existence, but if I am an all powerful God, so powerful that I defy the known laws of time and space....if I have never not existed...that there's never been a time when I wasn't alive....and I have the power to create atomic energy and develop gravity and form star systems and dark matter and create a planet for man to live on (I don't believe theologians who suggest the earth was made ready in 6 literal days), I simply can't then conceive of an Intelligent Designer who would then walk away from his own super abilities and throw some cosmic dust on the ground and wait for it to "evolve" into man and woman, and thereby letting a fuzzy, vague, scientifically-unproven concept take credit for all the work I have done.

More later.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:22 am

Quote :
I simply can't then conceive of an Intelligent Designer who would then walk away from his own super abilities and throw some cosmic dust on the ground and wait for it to "evolve" into man and woman, and thereby letting a fuzzy, vague, scientifically-unproven concept take credit for all the work I have done.
If the God is the same God who allowed stars and planets to congeal according to the laws of physics, why couldn't this God also have created laws that govern the creation and development of life?
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:30 am

Quote :
(I don't believe theologians who suggest the earth was made ready in 6 literal days),
Genesis can't possibly be taken literally at least in reference to an actual day as we know it. A day is full a revolution of the earth. The earth would have to first exist, before a day even existed.

I read a fiction novel recently in which the author tried to project the creation story over billions of years. He had his own defintion of days based on scientific data. In his theory the, "days" referenced in Genesis could be millions or billiions of years. Anyway his fictitious scientists concluded that the creation story jived with their scientific data. It's a thriller novel with a scientific backdrop. Good little time-waster. His theory of the universe oddly does jive somewhat with the premise of Battle Star Galactica, in that everything is destined to repeat. All very fanciful but interesting nonetheless.The book was called The Einstein Enigma, Jose Rodrigues Dos Santos, fiction 2010. English translation by Lisa Carter.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:38 am

Harmsway wrote:

If the God is the same God who allowed stars and planets to congeal according to the laws of physics, why couldn't this God also have created laws that govern the creation and development of life?

Allowing planets to "congeal" is different from not having created them. I can bake a pie, and then let it sit and cool, but I still made the pie. The pie didn't spontaneously evolve from flour, blackberries, sugar, water, baking soda, etc....Furthermore, evolution is, by its very nature, random and/or chaos. Nothing orderly comes from chaos. What exists in your life that wasn't created by someone?
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:56 am

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Allowing planets to "congeal" is different from not having created them.
God created processes that thereby created them. I don't see how evolution is so conceptually different. It simply suggests that life and its development are guided by certain natural processes.

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Furthermore, evolution is, by its very nature, random and/or chaos.
Um, not quite. It's guided by certain principles and processes.

This is to say nothing of the fact that you have to differentiate between human POV and the divine POV; much of Christian tradition would suggest that there isn't a single event that hasn't been in some sense caused/controlled/allowed by the divine being, regardless of whether we perceive it as natural or supernatural. Christian tradition suggests that God is as active in natural phenomena as he is in miraculous intervention. If you deny such an idea, you end up with a "God of the gaps," i.e., God only acts insofar as we don't have another reasonable explanation.

Furthermore, evolutionary theory doesn't have a whole lot to say on the origin of life, which remains a very murky area for scientists. It says more about the idea of small, simple life growing into larger, complex life via diversification and mutation, based on what has been observed about genetic differentiation in species and the trajectory of the fossil record. Getting hung up on what evolution says about origins is a bit besides the point, since it's hardly a closed book as far as the scientific conversation is concerned.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:54 pm

Harmsway wrote:
Quote :
I simply can't then conceive of an Intelligent Designer who would then walk away from his own super abilities and throw some cosmic dust on the ground and wait for it to "evolve" into man and woman, and thereby letting a fuzzy, vague, scientifically-unproven concept take credit for all the work I have done.
If the God is the same God who allowed stars and planets to congeal according to the laws of physics, why couldn't this God also have created laws that govern the creation and development of life?

exactly, there are a number of possibilities, for example,
there is a god, and he appears to be omnipotent relative to us, however in fact he (seeing I'm male myself) has his own limitations, and operates within a the same framework of natural laws as we do, except with the benefit of knowledge beyond our current understanding
or another possibility, this god, omnipotent relative to us, may merely wish to entertain himself, just as we do, only, as there is no cosmic television or internet to feed this craving, he sets off a bio chemical reaction which he chooses to allow to run it's course without intervention, in order to pass the time (or it may be a cosmic experiment designed to expand god's knowledge of how the universe operates)
predestination is a rather contradictory concept to my mind, and something I've never found any religious person to be very keen to discuss
how far does it go? someone dies and some people say "it's gods will" or "he has a plan", but how detailed does this plan have to be?
surely god can also choose to let the cards fall where they may?
being able to control something doesn't necessarily imply that you have to excersise that control at all times
although res ip·sa lo·qui·tur…

tiffanywint wrote:
Quote :
(I don't believe theologians who suggest the earth was made ready in 6 literal days),
Genesis can't possibly be taken literally at least in reference to an actual day as we know it. A day is full a revolution of the earth. The earth would have to first exist, before a day even existed.
I read a fiction novel recently in which the author tried to project the creation story over billions of years. He had his own definition of days based on scientific data. In his theory the, "days" referenced in Genesis could be millions or billions of years. Anyway his fictitious scientists concluded that the creation story jived with their scientific data. It's a thriller novel with a scientific backdrop. Good little time-waster. His theory of the universe oddly does jive somewhat with the premise of Battle Star Galactica, in that everything is destined to repeat. All very fanciful but interesting nonetheless.The book was called [colour=#000000] The Einstein Enigma, Jose Rodrigues Dos Santos, fiction 2010. English translation by Lisa Carter.[/color]

if one is truly omnipotent then surely one can do as one likes?
in any case who said it was an "earth" day anyway?
that is just an assumption made by people recording and reading the bible, who weren't aware of the existence of other planets
perhaps god was living on a planet that had a length of day that was years, decades, centuries, millennia long?

Gravity's Silhouette wrote:
Harmsway wrote:

If the God is the same God who allowed stars and planets to congeal according to the laws of physics, why couldn't this God also have created laws that govern the creation and development of life?
Allowing planets to "congeal" is different from not having created them. I can bake a pie, and then let it sit and cool, but I still made the pie. The pie didn't spontaneously evolve from flour, blackberries, sugar, water, baking soda, etc....Furthermore, evolution is, by its very nature, random and/or chaos. Nothing orderly comes from chaos. What exists in your life that wasn't created by someone?
as I understand it, there is nothing random about evolution, "survival of the fittest"
however there is plenty of other stuff happening in the universe, unrelated to evolution, like meteors or fluctuations in the temperature of the sun or the earths core, which can interrupt and upset the process
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:21 pm

The evolutionary theory of survival of the fittest makes perfect sense. Clearly if a species can't compete for food, it will die out, and other stronger species will prevail.

Seve wrote:
Quote :
there is a god, and he appears to be omnipotent relative to us, however in fact he (seeing I'm male myself) has his own limitations, and operates within a the same framework of natural laws as we do, except with the benefit of knowledge beyond our current understanding
or another possibility, this god, omnipotent relative to us, may merely wish to entertain himself, just as we do
Its fun to speculate about God's nature, but there is only so much we can know, even if you memorize the Bible. From my Catholic/Christian frame of reference, God really is unknowable to us. He ( he in the sense that God plays a father role vis a vis humanity) exists. He has always existed. The mystery of the holy trinity and God's timeless nature is summed up neatly in the Glory Be prayer."Glory be to the father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end." The Bible tells us that God is active in the world via the Holy Spirit. God works thru men, but he works in his own way which is beyond our understanding, yet we still have free will. But we can't know God until we get to heaven. Nothing impure can enter heaven, and we get to heaven essentially by leading a good life, the gooder the better. All the religious training, study, ritual, theology, knowledge,etc, while beneficial and good for the soul, will not get you into the kingdom of heaven unless you can walk the talk. OUr task is to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground and do as much good as we can until we expire. That's what pleases God and that's basically why we exist, to please God.The transcendant realm is beyond our comprehension. Our job is to make the most of our mortal existence which we do have understanding of, and hopefully our soul might be in a good state when we expire, whether we be Christian, Muslim, agnostic or whatever. God speaks to all of us. We all have a conscience.
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PostSubject: Re: Official political correctness thread   Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:26 am

tiffanywint wrote:
The evolutionary theory of survival of the fittest makes perfect sense. Clearly if a species can't compete for food, it will die out, and other stronger species will prevail.

Seve wrote:
Quote :
there is a god, and he appears to be omnipotent relative to us, however in fact he (seeing I'm male myself) has his own limitations, and operates within a the same framework of natural laws as we do, except with the benefit of knowledge beyond our current understanding
or another possibility, this god, omnipotent relative to us, may merely wish to entertain himself, just as we do

Its fun to speculate about God's nature, but there is only so much we can know, even if you memorize the Bible. From my Catholic/Christian frame of reference, God really is unknowable to us. He ( he in the sense that God plays a father role vis a vis humanity) exists. He has always existed. The mystery of the holy trinity and God's timeless nature is summed up neatly in the Glory Be prayer."Glory be to the father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end." The Bible tells us that God is active in the world via the Holy Spirit. God works thru men, but he works in his own way which is beyond our understanding, yet we still have free will. But we can't know God until we get to heaven. Nothing impure can enter heaven, and we get to heaven essentially by leading a good life, the gooder the better. All the religious training, study, ritual, theology, knowledge,etc, while beneficial and good for the soul, will not get you into the kingdom of heaven unless you can walk the talk. OUr task is to keep our feet firmly planted on the ground and do as much good as we can until we expire. That's what pleases God and that's basically why we exist, to please God.The transcendant realm is beyond our comprehension. Our job is to make the most of our mortal existence which we do have understanding of, and hopefully our soul might be in a good state when we expire, whether we be Christian, Muslim, agnostic or whatever. God speaks to all of us. We all have a conscience.

my Baptist friend says getting to heaven is not about living a good life, only with believing that Jesus is the son of God
which fits in with my earlier comment about the Catholic "get out of jail free card" of death bed repentance

I find it significant that pretty much every culture on earth has independently developed their own religion with a god or gods
with most believing that theirs is the only true religion and all others are worthless
I find it significant that all religions eventually splinter into factions, who will insist that even those who follow the same God via another faction are evil and wrong
I find in interesting that mono God religions have prevailed over multi God religions over the long term
I have a theory that the Hindu religion was originally multi God, but reinvented itself, in the face of the rise of Buddhism, reinterpreting the multiple Gods as avatars instead, in the equivalent of a "reformation"
(I know Buddha is not meant to be regarded as God, but it appears to me that in most ways he is worshipped as such for all practical purposes)
the far east may be an exception to the general rule, as I understand in their belief system they worship the spirits of ancestors and there is no overall God to run things
Buddhism having been flexible enough to flourish in both the Hindu subcontinent and Ancestor worshipping far east
I'm also interested in the cultural difference between east and west, where in the west we tend to keep religion and philosophy in separate "boxes", whereas in the east they are kept in the same box

I am old enough to have developed an open mind on the subject of God
the older I get the more I realise that mankind is unlikely to ever discover the answer during my lifetime
every answer leads to further questions

every hands a winner
and every hands a loser
and the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep…
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