“At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” »« The end is in sight!

Comments

  1. says

    A new thread. OK I will post a comment here…

    Nerd, I just had an insight, which I wanted to share with you, hopefully, without causing an unpleasant stir in your emotional state:

    Suppose God exists. But God wanted to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons. In such case, an evidence to prove God’s existence could not be obtained, because God himself was preventing us humans from obtaining an evidence. One way God could have prevented us from doing this could be by placing some limits on our minds. But these limits were temporary in nature, and could be ‘transcended’, so to speak, as in when people go through NDEs and mystical experiences.

    An example of these limits could be our inability to think outside of space and time during our normal consciousness. Suppose God’s existence had nothing to do with space and time, as a lot of theories suggest. In that case, how were you even going to take a start? Can you imagine existence without space and time? Can you imagine being in existence where before/after, up/down, right/left, forward/backward, past/future, had no meanings whatsoever? Another example is living in a 4 dimensional world. Can you imagine living in a 4 dimensional world?

    When you ask for Conclusive Physical Evidence (TM) for God’s existence, you are already making a presuppositions that an evidence **can be** obtained here. Who told you that? Who told you humans were in a position to obtain such an evidence, even if God was a reality / or not a reality? Do you know your own mind’s limitation, or you believe you are without any limits in your current state?

    I will wait for an answer…

  2. Brian says

    If they go down easy, then why do they keep getting back up?!

    *runs for shelter, ammo*

  3. Ichthyic says

    you see, raky old boy, if you develop a hypothesis that you cannot reject because of the underlying assumptions, it’s useless.

    what you have there, is a useless hypothesis.

    …and it’s not even original.

    aren’t you embarrassed?

    meh, you’re a dumbass RWA, of course you’re not.

  4. says

    That stupid idea’s been around so long it was parodied over half a century ago.

    How is what I am discussing in my previous comment relates to Russell’s teapot?

  5. Patricia, OM says

    rajkumar – That is so fucking stoopid. Special pleading for gawd, grow up.

  6. Ichthyic says

    How is what I am discussing in my previous comment relates to Russell’s teapot?

    keep workin’ on it. you’ll get there, eventually.

    maybe.

    I give you better than even odds.

  7. Brownian says

    How is what I am discussing in my previous comment relates to Russell’s teapot?

    What are you, fucking brain dead?

    Suppose Godbetween Earth and Mars a teapot exists.

    Or, in Russell’s words:

    If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit,

    We go on:

    But God wanted to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons this teapot is impossible to detect with any technology.

    Or, in Russell’s words,

    nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes

    Does that help, or are you completely committed to being stupider than fuck?

  8. mandrellian says

    ” Suppose God exists. But God wanted to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons. In such case, an evidence to prove God’s existence could not be obtained, because God himself was preventing us humans from obtaining an evidence. One way God could have prevented us from doing this could be by placing some limits on our minds. But these limits were temporary in nature, and could be ‘transcended’, so to speak, as in when people go through NDEs and mystical experiences. ”

    So. God’s there but, inexplicably, being ninja about it and actively hindering our search for him. BUT there are workarounds like NDEs and transcendent mystical experiences – all of which can be currently explained through the way our little meaty brains function and behave under certain circumstances. You’re essentially positing that experience of God is indistinguishable from cerebral.

    OK, fine. God’s there, but hiding for Some Reason, but we can sort of peek around the curtain of space-time with a range of completely subjective experiences which can nonetheless be measured and explained.

    What the fuck kind of useless-arsed hide-and-seek god are you talking about?

    This hypothesis is worse than useless and, as stated previously, so unoriginal to be insulting to the intelligence.

    What next – we’re all brains in jars and we can’t trust our ways of knowing, so they’re all valid? It’s on the same “Introuctory Philospohy” or “Theology 101″ or “I’ve eaten nine hash brownies, listen to me spin some shit” kinda level.

  9. mandrellian says

    Honestly, I wish god-botherers would do a little googling (for, say, “endlessly debunked and frankly stupid arguments for God”) before they pose these hoary old chestnuts as “thought-provoking”.

  10. Brownian says

    This hypothesis is worse than useless and, as stated previously, so unoriginal to be insulting to the intelligence.

    Yup.

    So, both rajkumar’s chickenshit god and Russell’s teapot exist. I mean, you can’t disprove either.

    What now, rajkumar? Do we pray or make tea?

  11. Ichthyic says

    are you completely committed to being stupider than fuck?

    that’s a rhetorical question, right?

  12. Ichthyic says

    Do we pray or make tea?

    one of those would produce a useful result.

  13. Ichthyic says

    What next – we’re all brains in jars and we can’t trust our ways of knowing, so they’re all valid?

    I’ll have the blue pill, please.

  14. Sastra says

    rajkumar #1 wrote:

    Suppose God exists. But God wanted to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons. In such case, an evidence to prove God’s existence could not be obtained, because God himself was preventing us humans from obtaining an evidence.

    Well, in that case only special cases of insight would reveal God’s existence. Is that where you wanted to get?

    Here is the problem with this scenario: once it’s assumed, the person assuming it can’t discover they’re mistaken — even if they are. How could they? They’ve taken away all the normal checks and balances in the real world — evidence, reason, and the critical input of other people. It’s a hypothesis … that isn’t a hypothesis. It’s self-confirming. Seriously entertaining this unfalsifiable possibility grants the thought experimenter infallibility — along with magical mystical powers that can’t be demonstrated to others but are true because of the back-story.

    We shouldn’t do that. Not if we aren’t gods, and care about seeking truth rather than certainty. We shouldn’t write a backstory that places us in such an inviolable position.

  15. mandrellian says

    “What now, rajkumar? Do we pray or make tea?

    -

    Maybe we count to one hundred then look behind the fucking sofa.

  16. says

    Does that help, or are you completely committed to being stupider than fuck?

    No, I am afraid it doesn’t help much. The reason being, the way I see it, you are putting much more effort in being hostile, which leaves you with a very small amount of energy to explain your point.

  17. mandrellian says

    “No, I am afraid it doesn’t help much. The reason being, the way I see it, you are putting much more effort in being hostile, which leaves you with a very small amount of energy to explain your point.”

    -

    Considering your point was, as stated, not really worth grownup discussion, what else did you expect? Honestly, a bit a google-fu on your “thought-provoker” would’ve saved you the trouble of reading all the sailor-talk you received in response.

  18. Ichthyic says

    The reason being, the way I see it, you are putting much more effort in being hostile, which leaves you with a very small amount of energy to explain your point.

    so, what you’re saying is, if we beat you over the head with a cluebat, it wouldn’t help?

    you know, you might want to consider the impact your stpidity actually HAS on other people.

    someday, you might say something this stupid in front of people that might choose to physically express their displeasure with your stupidity.

    something to consider.

    well, it would be, if you were able to actually self-examine.

    er, good luck.

  19. Brownian says

    No, I am afraid it doesn’t help much.

    You mean, when I place your quote and Russell’s, side by side, to demonstrate their equivalency, you still adamantly refused to see it?

    The reason being, the way I see it, you are putting much more effort in being hostile, which leaves you with a very small amount of energy to explain your point.

    Really? That’s your hypothesis? That I have a finite amount of energy, and composing comments on a blog and being hostile consume 100% of it, so much that any allocation one way takes some from the other?

    Try again.

  20. says

    Well, in that case only special cases of insight would reveal God’s existence. Is that where you wanted to get?

    Yes, this is where I am getting at. The objections raised by you and other people are understandable, but what if this was indeed the TRUTH? Can you argue with the truth? Can science argue with the way things are?

  21. Brownian says

    Let me try this again, rajkumar. (And this is me being nicer than you deserve, given that you’re a fucking liar.)

    What do you think Russell’s Teapot is meant to illustrate?

  22. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    Raj, why are you so terrified about letting go of your silly belief in the Make Believe Sky Daddy? You know damn well that you’re not going to convert anyone here, and yet you stick around forever, making your stupid arguments. It almost sounds like you like it here. You remind me of those virulently and publicly homophobic Xtian “holy” men who literally get caught with their pants down.

    I wouldn’t worry about “causing an unpleasant stir in [Nerd's] emotional state”; intellectually speaking, to him you’re probably less than a feeble mosquito. And maybe that’s putting it kindly.

  23. mandrellian says

    The reason being, the way I see it, you are putting much more effort in being hostile, which leaves you with a very small amount of energy to explain your point.

    Really? That’s your hypothesis? That I have a finite amount of energy, and composing comments on a blog and being hostile consume 100% of it, so much that any allocation one way takes some from the other?

    Try again.

    Golly – first time I’ve ever seen an “energy troll”!

  24. mikmik says

    scifi = If they had really invented Jesus, they certainly would not have invented him as a crucified messiah.

    Of course Jesus wasn’t invented, nor did Christians invent the stories about ‘him.’

    They just fucking plagiarized everything:

    Jesus as a Reincarnation of Mithra
    Mithra

    The Vatican was built upon the grounds previously devoted to the worship of Mithra (also known as Mithras) (600 B.C.). The Orthodox Christian hierarchy is nearly identical to the Mithraic version. Virtually all of the elements of Orthodox Christian rituals, from miter, wafer, water baptism, alter, and doxology, were adopted from the Mithra and earlier pagan mystery religions. The religion of Mithra preceded Christianity by roughly six hundred years.

    Coincidence?!?

    Identical Life Experiences

    Mithra was born on December 25th as an offspring of the Sun. Next to the gods Ormuzd and Ahrimanes, Mithra held the highest rank among the gods of ancient Persia. He was represented as a beautiful youth and a Mediator. Reverend J. W. Lake states: “Mithras is spiritual light contending with spiritual darkness, and through his labors the kingdom of darkness shall be lit with heaven’s own light; the Eternal will receive all things back into his favor, the world will be redeemed to God. The impure are to be purified, and the evil made good, through the mediation of Mithras, the reconciler of Ormuzd and Ahriman. Mithras is the Good, his name is Love. In relation to the Eternal he is the source of grace, in relation to man he is the life-giver and mediator” (Plato, Philo, and Paul, p. 15).

    Just a few more from http://www.freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Jesus_and_Mithra

    He was considered a great traveling teacher and master. He had twelve companions as Jesus had twelve disciples. Mithras also performed miracles….
    Mithra was called “the good shepherd,” “the way, the truth and the light,” “redeemer,” “savior,” “Messiah.” He was identified with both the lion and the lamb….
    He was buried in a tomb and after three days he rose again. His resurrection was celebrated every year.

    McClintock and Strong wrote: “In modern times Christian writers have been induced to look favorably upon the assertion that some of our ecclesiastical usages (e.g., the institution of the Christmas festival) originated in the cultus of Mithraism. Some writers who refuse to accept the Christian religion as of supernatural origin, have even gone so far as to institute a close comparison with the founder of Christianity; and Dupuis and others, going even beyond this, have not hesitated to pronounce the Gospel simply a branch of Mithraism” (Art. “Mithra”).

    Mithra had his principal festival on what was later to become Easter, at which time he was resurrected. His sacred day was Sunday, “the Lord’s Day.” The Mithra religion had a Eucharist or “Lord’s Supper.”

    The Christian Father Manes, founder of the heretical sect known as Manicheans, believed that Christ and Mithra were one. His teaching, according to Mosheim, was as follows: “Christ is that glorious intelligence which the Persians called Mithras … His residence is in the sun” (Ecclesiastical History, 3rd century, Part 2, ch. 5).

    “I am a star which goes with thee and shines out of the depths.” – Mithraic saying

    “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright morning star.” – Jesus, (Rev. 22:16)

    But wait, scifi read 240 pages blah blah yakkity yak yak:I’ve read 240 pages of Bart Erhman’s book, Did Jesus Exist, and he has thoroughly destroyed the arguments made by maverick scholars. There is no evidence that Jesus was invented as a Jewish version of the pagan dying and rising god. There are very serious doubts over whether any pagans believed in such gods.
    Pagans fucking predicted, sigh, ARE YOU EVEN IN TOUCH WITH REALITY, SCIFI

    The historicity of Jesus: Bart Ehrman responds to Richard Carrier (sort of)
    Well, Bart Ehrman has responded on his website (Christianity in Antiquity: The Bart Ehrman Blog) to Richard Carrier’s criticisms of Ehrman’s new book affirming the historicity (but not the divinity) of Jesus. Well, he’s sort of responded, because, in his reply, called “Acharyna S, Richard Carrier, and a cocky Peter (or ‘A cock and bull story’”) he takes up only one of Carrier’s assertions: that a statue of a man with a penis for a nose sits in the Vatican, a statue whose existence Ehrman previously denied. This is only one of elebenty gazillion criticisms that Carrier levelled at Ehrman, and is by far the tamest.

    BTW, pagans didnt believe in such gods, are you fucking that stupid, scifi

    Was Christianity new? Was Christianity unique?
    Lets talk about prophecy.

    Pagan prophets predicted the future — correctly. You know this if you’ve heard of the famous oracle at Delphi. You probably also know that our word “auspicious” comes from “auspices”, the Roman religious ritual where priests told the future by reading the livers of sacrificed animals. (Sheesh. Have you noticed how often other peoples’ beliefs are crazy stupid?)

    Another SPFYMLM Why so many Pagan prophecy-miracles? Pagan faith was stronger than ours.
    Like the Pagans we see prophesy as supernatural. The difference is, we see the supernatural as rare; the Pagans? everywhere they looked they saw the supernatural. Pagan supernatural powers guided everything, all the time. Our God cares, maybe, but He’s got physics to move the sun. Pagan Gods moved the sun across the sky, physically moved it every day. Pagan faith saw the supernatural in the moving sun; in where lightning hit, and when; in the paths birds flew; in doors banging, lights shining and chariots running in the clouds

    Sorry, long post – sigh

  25. Brownian says

    but what if this was indeed the TRUTH?

    Special insight cannot ever let you know whether or not what you think is the truth.

    Can you argue with the truth?

    As revealed by special insight? Of course.

    Can you argue with the truth that an undetectable teapot exists between Earth and Mars?

    Just try. Prove it wrong.

  26. mandrellian says

    The objections raised by you and other people are understandable, but what if this was indeed the TRUTH? Can you argue with the truth? Can science argue with the way things are?

    You seem to have missed completely the objection that there would be no way to VERIFY this TRUTH or discern it from subjective experience arising from brain activity; this therefore renders the hypothesis USELESS.

  27. says

    As revealed by special insight? Of course.

    Can you argue with the truth that an undetectable teapot exists between Earth and Mars?

    Just try. Prove it wrong.

    I can’t prove it wrong. All I can say is, we know nothing about that teapot. Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn’t. Again, what has this got to do with my original comment? Instead of making me guess, why don’t you explain your point clearly? I know other ‘regulars’ here can read your mind telepathically, but I can’t. This is why I am asking you to explain.

  28. Brownian says

    Maybe it exists, maybe it doesn’t. Again, what has this got to do with my original comment?

    Your god and the teapot are the exact same thing.

  29. Brownian says

    Can you even come up with a test to demonstrate that it doesn’t exist?

  30. Sastra says

    Suppose God exists. But God wanted to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons.

    There’s something else seriously wrong with this scenario. If God the Omnipotent wanted to hide His existence — then His existence would be hidden. Period. No “transcending the limits” of our feeble minds through NDE’s and mystical experiences. How the heck would human beings be able to work their way around the Will of God and take an unwelcome peek?

    What you’re actually describing is not a situation where “God wants to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons” but a God who wants to hide the fact of his existence from SOME humans for some reasons — and allow OTHER humans special insight not granted to the first group.

    You’re making a hierarchy of human ability. This is not going to get a good reception, and it shouldn’t. It’s like my believing something you find both controversial and probably wrong and saying “well, what if the people who don’t believe it have some sort of handicap they don’t know about and are incapable of understanding? That would make you wrong, wouldn’t it? Yes it would. And it would mean that I didn’t have to argue my point anymore, too. Trying to convince you would be like trying to teach a dog calculus. Maybe it’s like that. Would you consider that as a possibility?”

    Probably not. It doesn’t matter if the subject is God or global warming or water purification systems or the Loch Ness Monster or what have you. It’s not a good idea.

  31. says

    rajkumar, demonstrate the such a teapot does not exist.

    I can’t prove it doesn’t exist. Considering today’s technology, the only possible way to prove it doesn’t exist would be to send a space probe to scan every square inch of that space, and if the probe is unable to find a teapot there, then, and only then, can I prove it doesn’t exist. Again, What’s your point?

  32. Brownian says

    Considering today’s technology, the only possible way to prove it doesn’t exist would be to send a space probe to scan every square inch of that space, and if the probe is unable to find a teapot there, then, and only then, can I prove it doesn’t exist.

    Scan? How?

    Again, What’s your point?

    Can you fucking read?

    Your god and the teapot are the exact same thing.

    That’s the point of Russell’s Teapot.

  33. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    I can’t prove it wrong the existence of God. All I can say is, we know nothing about that teapot God. Maybe it God exists, maybe it God doesn’t. Again, what has this got to do with my original comment? Instead of making me guess, why don’t you explain your point clearly? I know other ‘regulars’ here can read your mind telepathically, but I can’t. This is why I am asking you to explain.

    Brownian, you are far too kind, intelligent, and patient for this dingleberry.

  34. kreativekaos says

    rajkumar…

    One of the interesting things that that I have noticed over the years that doesn’t mesh when religionists attempt these explorations is how advanced (or sometimes even basic) scientific principles and thought gets interlaced with millennia old, socially, scientifically and historically defunct ideas.

    1) You mentioned the possibility of God preventing humans from obtaining evidence of his existence.

    A honest thinker would have to say to oneself, ‘For what RATIONAL reason would a God who is said that wants his creation to know of/worship him to DELIBERATELY hide/disguise/obfuscate him existence from his creation?’ To what effective ends would this serve US, the creation he supposedly cares so much about? This make no rational sense, and it’s a common cop-out by religionists. This also begs the question of a rational God. I would think the creator of all existence would need to be the ultimate rational being, otherwise, there is a clash about the claims made by religionists concerning the qualities and character of their God, and what he does/how he operates.

    2) Concerning God having nothing to do with space and time. If going by the traditional parameters of what religionists say God is and what he can do, he would need to interface with the natural world, i.e., space and time.

    What (serious scientific?) theories posit a God that isn’t connected with space-time?? I know of none.
    By definition, a supernatural God is unconnected with and not able to interface with our physical space-time. ( It’s interesting how religionists seem to always claim one minute how much they know about their God and what he is/does/wants for us,…then in the next breath claim how little we know or can know about their God. Which is it???

    3) Concerning limits to the human mind,…. that is what science–at least indirectly– is connected with. Science clearly understands the limits to our knowledge–and the best science is careful not to claim anything beyond what we can’t demonstrate empirically. However, the farther we advance and the more we understand about how the cosmos and things in it function, the stronger the insights we receive about the wider cosmos we live in, and the greater the reliability of any inferences we can make about veracity of supernatural/religious claims.

  35. Brownian says

    Brownian, you are far too kind, intelligent, and patient for this dingleberry.

    Story of my life. But thank you.

  36. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    Brownian, thank YOU. Because of PZ and The Horde, I was finally able to come out of the closet as a rational atheist. I’m grateful.

  37. mandrellian says

    @rajkumar

    If I said there was a dragon in my attic – an invisible dragon who makes no noise, occupies no space and cannot be smelled, even by my beagle, but who nonetheless holds my roof in place when it’s windy – who are you to say it’s not there? Is my roof not held in place? QED dragon.

    Your God amounts to the same thing: God made everything but now hides from everyone. But everything’s here, QED God!

    Unless of course I’ve misread you, in which case God doesn’t hide from everyone but allows some people – but not others – to get tantalising little glimpses of him, which is just arbitrary silliness. Why not let everyone look? And how is a mostly-hidden God any damn use at all, much less deserving of worship or even adult discussion?

    Face it, this god of yours is either useless or a capricious little shit.

    At least my dragon holds my fucking roof on.

  38. Sastra says

    rajkumar #24 wrote:

    Yes, this is where I am getting at. The objections raised by you and other people are understandable, but what if this was indeed the TRUTH? Can you argue with the truth? Can science argue with the way things are?

    Even if that were the truth (or TRUTH), I can certainly argue with it, and science could argue against it. It would be true — but unreasonable to believe. I would win in the more meaningful sense. The ends doesn’t justify the means.

    We live in reality and have to deal with our limitations. You can’t skip ahead to the back of the book, find out what the answer/ending/TRUTH is, and then pretend that you don’t have the same human limitations as the rest of us. You are not the author; you are not God. And even God may not be God. That has to be determined the old fashioned way: reason and evidence.

    Consider this: it is better to be wrong for the right reasons — than to be right for the wrong ones. Trying to use wrong reasons (like infallibility and scenario-writing) in an eagerness to be right means you’ve lost integrity, humility, and the honest recognition that we just can’t cheat at how we discover things. We have to remember we could be wrong.

  39. valorphoenix says

    To put this in another way, why believe in something undetectable (be it teapot or deity) to begin with? Hence it’s worthless.

    “That which can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof.” – Hitchens

  40. says

    Story of my life. But thank you.

    OK. The story of your life is, you like taking false compliments?

    By the way, I still do not understand your point. Maybe your old regular friends on this blog can, but I can’t. Sorry!

    I will wait for Nerd to answer. That post of mine was custom-made for Nerd and Nerd only.

  41. says

    well, in rajkumar’s defense, there are plenty examples in the Bible where god hides himself from men so he can have them killed or burn eternally in hell.

    Even “Isaiah” wrote that god is a god who hides himself.

    So, obviously god is hiding. Our belief in no god is null.

  42. Ichthyic says

    That post of mine was custom-made for Nerd and Nerd only.

    you’re sad.

    very sad.

  43. mandrellian says

    I will wait for Nerd to answer. That post of mine was custom-made for Nerd and Nerd only.

    You’re new here, aren’t you?

  44. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    Asshole Raj, that was not a false compliment to Brownian. Fuck you.

  45. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    I will wait for Nerd to answer. That post of mine was custom-made for Nerd and Nerd only.

    Ooh, someone has a crush.

  46. Brownian says

    By the way, I still do not understand your point. Maybe your old regular friends on this blog can, but I can’t. Sorry!

    Since Russell’s Teapot is a commonly understood metaphor for the god that hides itself, the god you described in your ‘custom made’ post for Nerd, this is pretty good evidence that you’re incapable of having a discussion of these concepts. Whether this is due to your incompetence, or your dishonesty, I can’t say. I suspect both.

  47. Brownian says

    Asshole Raj, that was not a false compliment to Brownian. Fuck you.

    Revealed TRUTH.

    Can you argue against TRUTH, rajkumar?

  48. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    I will wait for Nerd to answer. That post of mine was custom-made for Nerd and Nerd only.

    Ooh, someone has a crush.

    Someone is also a masochist.

  49. Ichthyic says

    send a space probe to scan every square inch of that space

    what if it moves?

  50. Colin J says

    Dammit, missed the cut-off. Oh well, referring back to the old thread:

    Scifi #167

    …scientists refusal to consider the possibility that NDEs could be factual…

    By “factual” I presume you mean “are supernatural in origin”. I don’t think any scientists deny that they happen, just what causes them.

    But in #151 you established* that 85% of scientists believe in a creator. So if the vast majority of scientists believe in a supernatural origin of the universe and NONE AT ALL believe in a supernatural origin for NDEs, that sounds pretty damming to me.

    85% of scientists are desperate to find evidence of god in NDEs and not one of them can find it? By your own figures I reckon that’s case closed.

    *=asserted

  51. Brownian says

    I will wait for Nerd to answer.

    Don’t answer him, Nerd. We’ll be free of this stupid, illiterate douchebag as long as you keep him waiting.

  52. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    How is what I am discussing in my previous comment relates to Russell’s teapot?

    Ever stop to think we are three or four steps ahead of your slow and insipid thinking? We know what you will say before you say it? You are that boring, insipid, stale, and trite.

    Oh, and cite the # of the post in the previous thread you are quoting me in. That doesn’t sound like me. But then, Rajkumar being confused is typical. Not quite DH level, but working on it.

  53. Colin J says

    From Raj, way up the top:

    Another example is living in a 4 dimensional world. Can you imagine living in a 4 dimensional world?

    ?? I don’t know about you, Raj, but I do live in a 4 dimensional world.

    I remember reading a science fiction book some years ago (by Greg Egan, I think) which involved travelling to a 6 dimensional world. I found his description pretty hard to get my head around but he was definitely able to imagine living in 6 dimensions. And with his help, so was I.

  54. Colin J says

    There’s something else seriously wrong with this scenario. If God the Omnipotent wanted to hide His existence — then His existence would be hidden. Period. No “transcending the limits” of our feeble minds through NDE’s and mystical experiences. How the heck would human beings be able to work their way around the Will of God and take an unwelcome peek?

    To be fair, Raj isn’t really postulating a Ninja God. More a Peekaboo God. Kind of fits with the whole “our father” shtick.

  55. Brownian says

    I remember reading a science fiction book some years ago (by Greg Egan, I think) which involved travelling to a 6 dimensional world. I found his description pretty hard to get my head around but he was definitely able to imagine living in 6 dimensions. And with his help, so was I.

    I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but I used to buy The Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies, edited by Gardner Dozois, and the first thing I’d look for in the ToC is anything by Greg Egan.

    Just seeing his name here gets me hot and bothered.

  56. Brownian says

    Ichythic, that was the last movie of Tarantino’s that I liked. It’s still an awesome flick.

  57. Ichthyic says

    Just seeing his name here gets me hot and bothered.

    hey now!

    none of this going off by yourself bit, there are people waiting in line, you know!

  58. Sastra says

    rajkumar #47 wrote:

    By the way, I still do not understand your point.

    The point is that a scenario which sets up both the answer AND the reasons why the other person won’t get the answer is not conducive to debate. An honest discussion has both parties assuming that (for all intents and purposes) they’re on the same level. Ordinary human beings. One person then tries to persuade the other to change their mind. And vice versa.

    But when the described situation contains a built-in reason why the other person CAN’T learn their mistake, the equality is lost.

    A God that only gives evidence of His existence to a special few — and withholds it from the skeptics — is similar to a teapot that is known by the person proposing it but can’t be discovered by anyone else. It’s like saying “what if I’m right even if my reasons make no sense to you?” Then you would be right even though your reasons make no sense to me. What a convenient little hypothetical. It takes you out of the debate, it takes the issue off the table — and it places me on the floor.

    Don’t do that.

    You may say to me now that I am not Nerd of Redhead. But what if I am — in disguise — and there is no way you or anyone else here can ever tell?

    Then I would be Nerd of Redhead. The TRUTH.

    Better deal with me. Just in case, you know.

  59. says

    Since Russell’s Teapot is a commonly understood metaphor for the god that hides itself, the god you described in your ‘custom made’ post for Nerd, this is pretty good evidence that you’re incapable of having a discussion of these concepts. Whether this is due to your incompetence, or your dishonesty, I can’t say. I suspect both.

    Don’t suspect both. I was just being honest with you. When you wrote this post which I have quoted above, I think you have attempted to explain your point for a non-regular like me. See, I don’t speak your lingo yet. This is why your regulars friends could understand your previous posts instantly, but I couldn’t. You gotta make some provisions for people like me.

    Now, going back to your point, the God I am talking about hides himself, but is also willing to reveal himself. But I have a question for you before I go any further… If God decided to reveal himself to you and 10 of your old friends here, how would you all recognize God? I can recognize a teapot when I see one, and I assume you and your friends can too, because we all know what a teapot looks like. But do we know what God looks like? Do you know what God looks like? If you don’t, and I assume you don’t, how are you going to recognize him when you see him?

  60. Brownian says

    Do you know what God looks like?

    He looks like a teapot, dummy. So yes, of course we would.

    Prove me wrong.

  61. A. R says

    Hmm, now I know why the sensors were picking up a large mass of misogyny on this thread.

    rajgreen: Read the Wikipedia article on Russel’s teapot, then come back with questions.

  62. Brownian says

    Now, going back to your point, the God I am talking about hides himself, but is also willing to reveal himself

    Right. As a teapot. One we cannot ever detect.

  63. Brownian says

    rajgreen: Read the Wikipedia article on Russel’s teapot, then come back with questions.

    Right. Like he’s gonna do that.

    Now who has far more patience than this dingleberry deserves?

  64. says

    He looks like a teapot, dummy. So yes, of course we would.

    Prove me wrong.

    I can’t prove you wrong. But I guess you would have to prove yourself right first. How does God look like a teapot. How do you know?

  65. Amphiox says

    But God wanted to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons

    That would raise the very obvious possibility that God doesn’t want humans to believe in him.

    So why risk defying the will of god by obstinately insisting on believing in him?

  66. Brownian says

    But I guess you would have to prove yourself right first.

    Okay.

    How does God look like a teapot. How do you know?

    Special insight, idiot. It’s the TRUTH. You can’t argue with the truth.

    If you were one of the people that the GodtheTeapot reveals itself to, you’d know this. But you don’t, so you aren’t.

  67. valorphoenix says

    *about reading wikipedia’s Russel’s Teapot article

    What’s unreasonable about it? I’ve already read the wiki page on Dimensions just because I was trying to figure out how many dimensions he lives in since I normally operate in four.

    Could Raj be a literal two-dimensional character? Is he a triangle or circle?

  68. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But I guess you would have to prove yourself right first. How does God look like a teapot. How do you know?

    The null hypothesis is nonexistence for your imaginary deity. Ergo, it looks like nothing, because it is nothing. What part of null hypothesis don’t you understand???

  69. Sastra says

    rajkumar #70 wrote:

    If God decided to reveal himself to you and 10 of your old friends here, how would you all recognize God?

    We wouldn’t … and shouldn’t. Special revelation like that is an unreliable method. God would know then not to use it.

    Only people in love with the idea of being special will jump at the unwarranted conclusion (a conclusion can be both unwarranted and correct: the person would be right by accident, as it were.) That’s probably not the sort of thing a god would want to encourage.

    God would have to reveal itself through more objective means if it wanted people in general — or me in particular — to know about it. It’s presumably some sort of disembodied consciousness. Revelation then in stages, each stage setting the plausibility for the next one. Science.

  70. says

    Special insight, idiot. It’s the TRUTH. You can’t argue with the truth.

    If you were one of the people that the GodtheTeapot reveals itself to, you’d know this. But you don’t, so you aren’t.

    You had an insight about God as a teapot?

  71. Brownian says

    Could Raj be a literal two-dimensional character? Is he a triangle or circle?

    Pareidolia struck, and I initially read this as “Is he a triangle or a crotch?”

  72. Amphiox says

    When you ask for Conclusive Physical Evidence (TM) for God’s existence, you are already making a presuppositions that an evidence **can be** obtained here.

    Can’t remember if it was raja or shiffy that the original discussion on this was directed to, but sheesh, we went through this already.

    I think I’ve already included “evidence” in the list of english language words that the raja cannot understand, and this simply reinforces that.

    “Evidence” MEANS “having a relevant effect on reality”

    That for which evidence cannot be obtained is that which has NO RELEVANT EFFECT ON REALITY.

    That which HAS NO RELEVANT EFFECT ON REALITY is that to which the question of existence HAS NO PRACTICAL VALUE, and is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM NONEXISTENCE.

    A god that deliberately hides its own existence perfectly is the SAME AS A GOD THAT DOES NOT EXIST.

    And since a god that does not exist is a shorter sentence that uses less energy to say or type or communicate, that is the phrase I will choose to continue to use.

  73. Brownian says

    You had an insight about God as a teapot?

    No, god is a teapot.

    Duh. You are stupid.

  74. says

    No, god is a teapot.

    Duh. You are stupid.

    If god is a teapot, then there are literally millions of gods for you in this world. I have got one too. Why you are an atheist then?

  75. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You had an insight about God as a teapot?

    No fuckwit, you determining whether the teapot exists/doesn’t exist is the same as you determining if your imaginary deity exists. You are one stoopid and verbose load of ignorant bullscheiss. Read the link and actually learn something.

  76. Sastra says

    How could a teapot be God? I cannot worship tea.

    Now, if it were coffee …

  77. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Why you are an atheist then?

    All deities are imginary. Unless, of course, you have conclusive physical evidence for one…which you acknowledge you don’t, so you need to shut the fuck up about them.

  78. Brownian says

    If god is a teapot, then there are literally millions of gods for you in this world. I have got one too.

    GodtheTeapot isn’t every teapots. It’s just the one. Floating between Earth and Mars.

    Are you sure you aren’t braindead?

    Why you are an atheist then?

    I’m an atheist, not an aGodtheTeapotist.

    What’s so fucking hard for you to understand about this?

  79. A. R says

    Brownian: Yes, raj is a crotch.

    raj: OK, let’s take this slow, what do you think Russel’s teapot means as a philosophical thought experiment?

  80. Brownian says

    How could a teapot be God? I cannot worship tea.

    It’s one of those whatchamacallits, a divine mystery, the kind the priests and monks are always on about.

    Now, if it were coffee …

    Oh, I feel you, Sastra. Unfortunately, the universe is as it is, not as we wish it would be.

  81. Brownian says

    I know of a sect that worships one of those little tiny cuptop French presses that one uses to make Vietnamese coffee. Supposedly floats between Jupiter and Saturn.

    Idiot cultists.

  82. says

    No fuckwit, you determining whether the teapot exists/doesn’t exist is the same as you determining if your imaginary deity exists. You are one stoopid and verbose load of ignorant bullscheiss. Read the link and actually learn something.

    No it isn’t, and I have already explained to you over 20 times why these two examples can’t and don’t fall in the same category. I will try again:

    You know what a teapot looks like, which is why you can attempt to prove its existence, or non-existence. This is the first requirement in this argument, that you must know what a teapot is before going any further.

    But you do not know what God looks like, or what God is, which is why it is **impossible** to prove God’s existence or non-existence. Obtain an evidence for something that you have clue about? How is it possible?

  83. Amphiox says

    But do we know what God looks like? Do you know what God looks like? If you don’t, and I assume you don’t, how are you going to recognize him when you see him?

    We don’t have to worry about that. By raja’s own (rather pitiful) argument, we can leave that detail up to god.

    Any god that is capable of hiding itself completely from all detection at will is certainly capable of making sure that it will be recognized as god by whatever it chooses to reveal itself to, if it should wish to reveal itself.

    And if it doesn’t wish to reveal itself, then I will not offend it by insisting on believing in it.

  84. Brownian says

    Only people in love with the idea of being special will jump at the unwarranted conclusion (a conclusion can be both unwarranted and correct: the person would be right by accident, as it were.)

    You’d think so, but it’s lonely like this, being the only one as far as I know who knows the TRUTH.

    No-one who doesn’t already know will believe me.

  85. Sastra says

    There is an interesting argument against the existence of God which defines God very minimally: it is a Being “worthy of worship.” No matter how people think of God — it’s a spirit being, it’s a field of consciousness, it’s a creative energy — the general consensus is that God deserves absolute capitulation, surrender, love, obedience, praise, glory, and so forth.

    The central argument is that people should not, as an ethical matter, renounce their reason and autonomy in that manner. It is morally wrong to worship anything or anyone — even God. We are human.

    Ergo, a Being which must be ‘worthy of worship’ cannot exist.

  86. Brownian says

    You know what a teapot looks like, which is why you can attempt to prove its existence, or non-existence. This is the first requirement in this argument, that you must know what a teapot is before going any further.

    Don’t be stupid. You cannot know what this teapot looks like, since you by definition cannot have seen it.

  87. Amphiox says

    No it isn’t, and I have already explained to you over 20 times why these two examples can’t and don’t fall in the same category.

    Looks like we can add “no”, “it”, and “isn’t” to the list of english language words the raja cannot properly define.

    We can also add “explain”, “20″, “same”, “fall”, “category”, and “in”, as well.

    We can also add “why”.

    No raja, these two examples are EXACTLY the same.

    Particularly since Russell’s teapot, though a teapot, is a teapot that is of a shape and construction unlike any other teapot ever made, and cannot be recognized as a teapot by anyone who hasn’t already seen Russell’s teapot and already knows that it is a teapot.

  88. valorphoenix says

    @98 Then why are you discussing this unknowable hypothetical thing?

    I’m gonna go brew a mocha using my french press, while I’m at it I’ll check to see if my french press is also god… you know, just in case.

    I should check right? It’s important right?

  89. Brownian says

    I mean, ‘teapot’ is just the closest thing to a metaphor for this amazing object. You think it’s actually a real teapot? Like, made out of clay and water and glazed? How did it get into orbit?

  90. Brownian says

    I should check right?

    You can’t check. Science can’t know.

    It’s important right?

    Apparently, the things we cannot possibly know are super-duper important to endlessly wax philosophical to impress ourselves with, yes.

  91. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    But you do not know what God looks like, or what God is, which is why it is **impossible** to prove God’s existence or non-existence.

    Non-existence doesn’t need to be proven. That is the null hypothesis. Ergo, only existence need be proven. And the burden of evidence is upon you, the claimant, to provide it, or to shut the fuck up about it. Or, you are nothing but a liar and bullshitter. Your choice cricket. Oops, you already have made your choice as a liar and bullshitter. So, either link to evidence every claim you make, or shut the fuck up.

  92. Brownian says

    Particularly since Russell’s teapot, though a teapot, is a teapot that is of a shape and construction unlike any other teapot ever made, and cannot be recognized as a teapot by anyone who hasn’t already seen Russell’s teapot and already knows that it is a teapot.

    It creates universes, too. Just not this one. This one happened without any tea at all.

  93. Amphiox says

    But you do not know what God looks like, or what God is, which is why it is **impossible** to prove God’s existence or non-existence

    The discussion on why “prove” is an erroneous and frankly dishonest word to use has already been made.

    The discussion on why, if it is **impossible** to distinguish existence from non-existence, non-existence is the preferred automatic default, has already been made.

    I cannot remember if it was made to the raja or to shiffy. If it was to the raja, then then raja right now is engaging in blatant intellectual dishonesty.

    If it was made to shiffy, then the raja right now is admitted it was too lazy to follow the earlier conversations (and it only needed to sample a tiny fraction of the total posts to do this).

    Intellectual dishonesty or intellectual laziness.

    Yawn.

    Both are equally boring.

    Goodbye, raja.

  94. A. R says

    Worshiping tea: According to the Babble, I worship a pot of Earl Grey every morning.

  95. Amphiox says

    Actually, the BIGGEST mystery about Russell’s teapot is whether the TEA it contains is Chamomile, or Earl Grey.

    (This of course is the analogy to theology).

  96. Amphiox says

    This one happened without any tea at all.

    That is the real reason that the Boston Tea Party happened, the real reason everyone was so made about the whole thing.

    (THIS universe is the only one wherein the USA came to exist).

  97. Brownian says

    Actually, the BIGGEST mystery about Russell’s teapot is whether the TEA it contains is Chamomile, or Earl Grey.

    Yeah, I guess that would be a big mystery, if this teapot were to be like any ol’ mundane teapot you know of and contain either of those things.

  98. Amphiox says

    Apparently, the things we cannot possibly know are super-duper important to endlessly wax philosophical to impress ourselves with, yes.

    Ironic isn’t it? Among the very first things the raja ever did on the very first thread it ever appeared on was refuse to read a citation given to it because it came from the philosophy literature. It explicitly stated that it would refuse to read anything from the philosophy literature.

  99. Brownian says

    (THIS universe is the only one wherein the USA came to exist).

    Yeah. Did you know the teapot can feel sorrow?

  100. Sastra says

    rajkumar #98 wrote:

    But you do not know what God looks like, or what God is, which is why it is **impossible** to prove God’s existence or non-existence.

    The definitions of “God” seem to run all over the map, but there are a few common elements:

    God has no physical body, but has either a mind (or is a Mind) or mind-like attribute, like creativity or intelligence (or Creativity or Intelligence)

    God is in some way responsible for existence: it either causes or sustains all events — or all significant events.

    God has a moral component: it is either the Source of Goodness, or Goodness itself, or a balance of Good and Evil.

    God is either cosmic in scope, or “transcendent” or “immanent” or in some other way unconfined to normal natural boundaries.

    God is very concerned with and/or connected to human beings.

    I think there is enough there to work with. “Proof” is for math and whiskey, as they say, but given strong evidence one could make a case for such a thing. And, given the absence of such evidence and abundant evidence against the plausibility of such an “explanation,” one could make a good case against.

  101. A. R says

    Sastra: That’s a beautiful argument, but I’m afraid it’s light-years above raj’s head.

  102. Brownian says

    It explicitly stated that it would refuse to read anything from the philosophy literature.

    How closed-minded of it.

  103. Amphiox says

    if this teapot were to be like any ol’ mundane teapot you know of and contain either of those things.

    Both the chamomile and the earl grey (whichever one it is) is special chamomile (or earl grey) that is qualitatively completely different from any other known chamomile (or earl grey) ever in existence, and cannot be recognized as chamomile (or earl grey) except by someone who has already drank this particular special chamomile (or earl grey) and already knows what it tastes like.

    (Alternately, it’s Orange Pekoe all the way down….)

  104. Sastra says

    I don’t take the teapot literally, of course. It’s simply a metaphor whereby I might understand God in terms of a teapot.

    This is how God gets a handle on us, and spouts off.

  105. Brownian says

    I’m beginning to suspect some of you have either deluded yourselves into thinking you have special insight into the nature of the teapot, or lying and just pretending you do.

  106. Ichthyic says

    Among the very first things the raja ever did on the very first thread it ever appeared on was refuse to read a citation given to it because it came from the philosophy literature.

    interesting.

    tells me that even at the basic level of contemplation, it doesn’t want to have it’s mental constructs disturbed.

    you’ll never make it to the point where it is willing to entertain hard evidence that conflicts with its mental constructs.

    never.

  107. Ichthyic says

    I’m beginning to suspect some of you have either deluded yourselves into thinking you have special insight into the nature of the teapot, or lying and just pretending you do.

    Brownian, I served with that teapot, I knew that teapot, that teapot was a friend of mine. Brownian, you’re no teapot.

  108. IndyM, pikčiurna says

    In the beginning was the Tea, and the Tea was in the Divine Teapot, and the Tea was Divine.

  109. A. R says

    Does anyone remember which thread raj appeared on first? For some reason I think it was the Dawkins/Pell Q&A thread.

  110. Amphiox says

    I’m beginning to suspect some of you have either deluded yourselves into thinking you have special insight into the nature of the teapot

    I belong to the Londo Mollari school of self-delusion.

    If I must have a delusion, I prefer to go whole hog for the really big and satisfying ones.

  111. Brownian says

    I don’t take the teapot literally, of course.

    OT, but I don’t know how many of you remember the countertop rotisserie that was marketed with the line “Set it and forget it.”

    My ex’s folks bought one. It came with a huge sticker on the front that said “Don’t take ‘Set it and forget it’ literally!”*

    I still laugh whenever I see a phrase with the construction “don’t take [whatever] literally.”

    *At least, it came with that sticker here in Canada. They found it very useful.

    Alright, back to your regularly scheduled teaology.

  112. Brownian says

    Brownian, I served with that teapot, I knew that teapot, that teapot was a friend of mine. Brownian, you’re no teapot.

    Well, what’s this spout down here all about then?

  113. Sastra says

    Brownian #128 wrote:

    It came with a huge sticker on the front that said “Don’t take ‘Set it and forget it’ literally!”*

    Ha! Very funny. And you know there must have been some backstory to that huge sticker.

    I wonder how long that roast was literally forgotten.

  114. valorphoenix says

    While making my mocha, I contemplated the issue of whether my french press was god. For additional council on this weighty matter, I called upon the advice of a decorative peach carved of orange agate.

    I’m still agnostic on the divinity of my french press, but the french press and agate peach came to the conclusion I was god. I attempted to argue with them briefly before realizing I wouldn’t be able to dissuade them from their sincerely held beliefs.

    Quite frankly this is a most disturbing development. *sips mocha*

  115. Sastra says

    @raj:

    Some atheists don’t believe in God because they think the concept is false.

    Some atheists don’t believe in God because they think the concept is incoherent.

    Be careful you don’t waste your time here trying to persuade atheists to move from the first group to the second. It’s a hollow exercise — and grants no points to “faith.”

    Some of us already agree with both, depending.

  116. A. R says

    Sastra: What about the atheists who don’t believe in gods because they find the concept morally repugnant?

  117. Brownian says

    Quite frankly this is a most disturbing development.

    Oh, I don’t know. Say they proselytise to the teapot. The teapot begins to worship you. I worship the teapot. Could you be persuaded to worship me?

    We get some kind of perpetual motion prayer going, and bango! all our energy problems solved.

  118. WhiteHatLurker says

    Suppose God exists. But God wanted to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons.

    Then all of the “holy books” are just flights of imagination.

  119. scifi says

    amphiox,
    ” Why not order the book and read it with an open mind?

    Because I have better things to spend my money on, including lots and lots of other books that I would like to read.”

    Then stop wasting my time acting like you know better about NDEs if you refuse to take the time to look at alternative views. I, on the other hand have, and these books I recommend have successfully rebutted just about all the arguments and claims that NDEs are nothing more than natural occurrences.

  120. valorphoenix says

    Unfortunately, I’m an atheist, as TVtropes would put it a Flat Earth Atheist actually, as anything I could have evidence of wouldn’t be something I would consider a god.

    So alas, no perpetual spirit energy circuit.

    This does leave me in the quandry of what to do with the french press and agate peach. Raj and Christians seem to be evidence that ignoring them won’t cause disbelief in any reasonable timeframe. Also I wouldn’t want to go more than a week without having another mocha. Perhaps Raj could council me on how to convince them of my non-divinity? Assuming of course that I’m not actually their god as I wouldn’t want to mislead them in that case.

    Ah, if only I had never considered the possible divinity of my french press.

  121. scifi says

    Sigh! I see the idiots here, when they cannot argue against the possibility of a creator, have to fall back on that lame Russel’s teapot argument. Hey dipshits. We don’t care about some stupid existence of a teapot. We are looking at reason why a creator might be necessary, and trying to side track with this dumb argument is nothing more than foolishness.

  122. No One says

    Raj…

    Do you have an asshole? I mean have you actually seen your asshole first hand? How do you know it’s there if you can’t see it?

  123. Ichthyic says

    I mean have you actually seen your asshole first hand? How do you know it’s there if you can’t see it?

    mirrors: How the fuck do they work??

    ;)

  124. Sastra says

    A.R. #133 wrote:

    What about the atheists who don’t believe in gods because they find the concept morally repugnant?

    I think that’s a bad reason to be an atheist, frankly — unless it’s being used as evidence against the claim that, if God exists, then it must be Good (or worthy of faith or worship.) Otherwise, it just sounds like a variation of the theist strategy of ‘choosing’ to believe in something pleasing.

    There are versions of God out there that aren’t morally repugnant, exactly. They’re too vague, or too much like a form of energy to be engaged in ethics.

  125. StevoR says

    Online poll on equal marriage rights here :

    http://ninemsn.com.au/?ocid=iefvrt

    Currently running :

    VOTE Do you support same sex marriage?

    Yes : 12370

    No : 14533

    & in dire need of pharygnulation, please.

    (Yes, I may not agree with everyone here on all issues but y’know i think I agree with most of you on more than I disagree. Also still trying to work out the TZT / Endless thread’s difference in purpose / idea.)

  126. Ichthyic says

    have to fall back on that lame Russel’s teapot argument.

    russel’s teapot is an analogy that shows that your position is a logical fallacy.

    please show us your work you published that made russel’s teapot argument “lame”.

    well?

    yeah, that’s what I thought.

    you got nothin.

  127. Ichthyic says

    What about the atheists who don’t believe in gods because they find the concept morally repugnant?

    that’s not an atheist, that’s a heretic.

  128. StevoR says

    @119.amphiox :

    (Alternately, it’s Orange Pekoe all the way down….)

    Ahh, my other favourite beverage of choice. I hope so!

  129. Brownian says

    We are looking at reason why a creator might be necessary, and trying to side track with this dumb argument is nothing more than foolishness.

    Hey, supposed agnostic: you’ve argued time and time again that neither side really knows. Of course, we know that’s a lie: you believe in a deity and think we should too. You know that makes you a lying piece of shit, right?

    Fuck you, scifi. Honestly, and sincerely: you’re a fucking bag of garbage.

  130. Ichthyic says

    Then stop wasting my time acting like you know better about NDEs if you refuse to take the time to look at alternative views.

    if you can’t present those “alternative views” yourself, what makes you think we believe even YOU read the book you’re recommending?

    second, what makes you think 3rd party information in a book is anything but anecdotal?

  131. Ichthyic says

    Well, what’s this spout down here all about then?

    I dunno…

    Is it short and stout?

  132. Brownian says

    Is it short and stout?

    [Sadly] Yes.

    I have a photo on my facebook where the trick of the light and the fabric of my trousers make me look like a neti pot.

  133. mandrellian says

    Sigh! I see the idiots here, when they cannot argue against the possibility of a creator, have to fall back on that lame Russel’s teapot argument. Hey dipshits. We don’t care about some stupid existence of a teapot. We are looking at reason why a creator might be necessary, and trying to side track with this dumb argument is nothing more than foolishness.

    Possibility? Noone here is arguing against the possibility of a creator. Literally anything is possible and there may be one, or a billion creators lurking, I dunno, in the infinite folds and valleys of the Great Space Labia.

    Plausibility, however, is a different pot of tea.

    As is evidence.

    See, the “dipshits” here don’t – and don’t have to – “argue against the possibility of a creator”. What we argue against are specific claims that there is one because (a) such creators as have been posited aren’t plausible (even if they are clearly defined, which is rare) and (b) such creators as have been posited aren’t supported by evidence.

    In the case of raj’s creator, apart from being nonsensical (like most of his posts) it may as well not fucking exist because it not only hides (for no reason), but also does not want to be discovered (also for no reason), except in a roundabout way by a few special fucking people (presumably people like raj – yet again, for no goddamned reason). It is very much is like the teapot argument in that it posits the existence of something which cannot be detected (and if it can be detected it’s only by Very Special Little Munchkins). That you or raj can’t appreciate why the teapot argument is valid here is precisely why people get fucking impatient.

    Adding the “possibility of a creator”, let alone naming the fucking thing and assuming it likes beards but not foreskins or bacon, adds an unwarranted further level of complexity, begs way more questions that it answers and needlessly extends the discussion into the realm of the completely fucking pointless. You could posit any unverifiable, unfalsifiable entity or object you wanted in any discussion – all you’d do would make yourself look like a douchebucket.

    It is a much simpler proposition to proceed on the data we have – none of which indicate the presence or plausibility of a “creator”.

  134. A. R says

    Sastra: Yeah, I find myself using all three to argue against gods. But yes, it is indeed a variation (Hitch’s, in fact) of the “worthy of worship” argument.

  135. No One says

    Ichthyic says:

    I mean have you actually seen your asshole first hand? How do you know it’s there if you can’t see it?

    mirrors: How the fuck do they work??

    ;)

    Ah…. revelation by indirect observation. Only those the special access to a mirror can see the elusive asshole.

  136. Brownian says

    And scifi, you little fuck, you’ve never even been able to propose anything like a need for any creator.

    I demolished your objections on this thread, and all you could do is keep insisting that ‘neither side knows’.

    So go fuck yourself, you little fucking moronic liar.

  137. Amphiox says

    We don’t care about some stupid existence of a teapot. We are looking at reason why a creator might be necessary, and trying to side track with this dumb argument is nothing more than foolishness.

    No one here cares what shiffy (SSSOOOOUUUULLLLSSSSS….) the pitiful dishonest liar cares about or thinks (wrongly as usual) is a foolish, though we can pretty much guarantee that whatever it thinks is foolish is actually valid.

    Standard dishonest rhetorical trick, to try to dismiss an argument as unimportant when one has no answer to that argument.

    Utterly pitiful.

  138. mandrellian says

    No one sayeth:

    Only those the special access to a mirror can see the elusive asshole.

    But that’s still just photons reflected from the arsehole to the mirror and then onto your retinas. The arsehole in the reflection could be a simulation! You can’t prove the arsehole!

  139. chigau (違う) says

    New TZT @7:55 PhT
    me here @10:59 PhT
    154 comments
    this could take me a while

  140. Amphiox says

    “Possibility of a creator” is just a fancy and dishonest way of saying “I don’t know and I am too lazy to do the hard work needed to find out, so I’ll just call it a creator and go home”.

  141. mandrellian says

    Amphiox:

    “Possibility of a creator” is just a fancy and dishonest way of saying “I don’t know and I am too lazy to do the hard work needed to find out, so I’ll just call it a creator and go home”.

    I always thought it was shorthand for “I really want a creator to be there … for some reason … and you meanies are being mean telling me there’s no reason to think there is … because I want one, Daddy I want it!”

  142. No One says

    mandrellian says:

    But that’s still just photons reflected from the arsehole to the mirror and then onto your retinas. The arsehole in the reflection could be a simulation! You can’t prove the arsehole!

    But I can feel it… it feels so real…

  143. Brownian says

    New TZT @7:55 PhT
    me here @10:59 PhT
    154 comments
    this could take me a while

    As always, I suggest skipping my comments.

    Or, skipping everyone else’s.

  144. John Morales says

    Such stupidity!

    Any deity worthy of the epithet could just wish into being that those it wanted to believe in it would and that those it did not want to believe in it wouldn’t.

    (Otiose speculation is otiose)

  145. Ichthyic says

    Ah…. revelation by indirect observation.

    Indeed, I have used secondary observers to indirectly verify the presence of my asshole on several occasions.

    or have I said too much?

  146. mandrellian says

    No One said:

    But I can feel it… it feels so real…

    Subjective anal anecdotes (analdotes?) are NOT equal to data.

  147. mandrellian says

    It must be noted that, when it comes to raj and scifi and the question of arseholes, it is to me all-too-sodding-obvious that theirs not only exist but are being spoken out of.

  148. No One says

    Ichthyic says:

    Indeed, I have used secondary observers to indirectly verify the presence of my asshole on several occasions.

    or have I said too much?

    Were you there?

  149. Amphiox says

    I always thought it was shorthand for “I really want a creator to be there … for some reason … and you meanies are being mean telling me there’s no reason to think there is … because I want one, Daddy I want it!”

    Dishonest doublespeak does not have to be just a binary phenomenon!

  150. mandrellian says

    Dishonest doublespeak does not have to be just a binary phenomenon!

    The beauty of talking bullshit is that it’s extremely recyclable and doesn’t have to come out the same way twice.

  151. StevoR says

    @29. Brownian :

    Can you argue with the truth that an undetectable teapot exists between Earth and Mars?
    Just try. Prove it wrong.

    Well, since you’ve posed the challenge ..

    I’d start by checking the manifests & engineering schemata (right word?) of all the spacecraft launched from Earth to Mars to see whether any of them contained teapots – & the necessary secondary equipment, thrusters and propulsion required to alter the teapots Delta-vee and ensure it is placed in a stable elliptical orbit.

    Let’s see, the various Russian Mars probes, Viking and Mariner series, Sojourner rover and Pathfinder mission, Spirit and Opportunity MERS (Mars Exploration Rovers), the recent Phoenix lander, the lost Mars Observer, MGS, the lost Mars Polar lander , the British Beagle .. Nope. Looks like none of them contained any secondary teapot launching sub-satellite units.

    Hmm… of course any spaceprobe passing through the Earth- Mars zone could have contained such a device .. checks plans and images of New Horizons spaceprobe en route to Pluto currently, Galileo, Voyager I-II, Pioneer 10-11, Ulysses, etc .. Nope.

    No room for or any indication of the Russell’s Teapot ever being launched by unmanned craft sent through that partof space!

    Hmm.. How about manned launches from one of the space stations or Apollo or other human spaceflight missions. This would naturally be more difficult again requiring considerable preciosu space be taken up with this Teapot and its launching and controling orbital placement mechanisms.

    Looks through astronaut, comsonaut and taikonaut accounts for any account of a human placing such an unlikely object into independent solar orbit. Nope.

    Also considers the remote likelihood of such an experiment / project being funded and conducted for unknown motivations and then kept secret.

    Considers probability of Russell’s Teapot actually existing utterly minimal.

    How’s that approach strike you?

    (Somewhat missing the point of the excercise maybe but a reasonable logical and historical analysis methodology maybe?)

  152. Brownian says

    How’s that approach strike you?

    Whoever stipulated that it had been launched from human spacecraft?

    Not I.

  153. mandrellian says

    It’s pretty obviously a self-propelled teapot.

    With a cloaking device.

  154. Brownian says

    However, if StevoR is suggesting that after exhaustive efforts to find a thing fail we should probably not spend too much time worrying about the increasingly small likelihood that the thing exists, that strikes me just fine.

  155. StevoR says

    @ ^ Brownian – How else could it get there?

    What we know about teapots is they exist,far as we know only on Earth and cannot fly having no means of independent propulsion.

    By definition a teapot requires someone to take it somewhere thus the requirement for it be taken from its palce of manufacture (Erath) into an independent elliptical orbit between Mars and Earth.

    Furthermore, this orbit would need to be carefully aligned to avoid instabilities cuased by gravitational perturbations and
    possible collisiosn with space junk, near earth asterodis and comets – although space is very big and chances of such collisiosns admittedly high improbable.

  156. says

    Non-existence doesn’t need to be proven. That is the null hypothesis. Ergo, only existence need be proven. And the burden of evidence is upon you, the claimant, to provide it, or to shut the fuck up about it. Or, you are nothing but a liar and bullshitter. Your choice cricket. Oops, you already have made your choice as a liar and bullshitter. So, either link to evidence every claim you make, or shut the fuck up.

    OK. You are playing the same track again in an infinite loop. This is what Brownian was saying, when I was saying something completely different.

    Here’s how to get out of the loop:

    Nobody is trying to prove “non-existence” here. The fact that we do not what God is, what God looks like, opens the possibility that God could be ANYTHING. Which mean, the whole universe could be God, or one of God’s infinite manifestation. If the universe is indeed God, the universe is self-aware and intelligent, then nobody needs to prove anything. We already know the universe exist.

  157. Amphiox says

    OK. You are playing the same track again in an infinite loop.

    He has needed to do nothing else. A only valid response to a wrong infinite loop is a right infinite loop.

    Here’s how to get out of the loop:

    Nobody is trying to prove “non-existence” here.

    No, you get out of the infinite loop when you STOP USING the misleading and inappropriate term “proof”.

  158. StevoR says

    The proof of arseholes is shit!

    (Among other proofs such as touch and verification from others.)

  159. Brownian says

    By definition a teapot requires someone to take it somewhere thus the requirement for it be taken from its palce of manufacture (Erath) into an independent elliptical orbit between Mars and Earth.

    Not this teapot. This teapot has the ability to have whatever characteristics it needs to avoid criticism by skeptics.

    Nobody is trying to prove “non-existence” here. The fact that we do not what God is, what God looks like, opens the possibility that God could be ANYTHING. Which mean, the whole universe could be God, or one of God’s infinite manifestation. If the universe is indeed God, the universe is self-aware and intelligent, then nobody needs to prove anything. We already know the universe exist.

    You cannot say that nobody knows what god is or what it looks like and then stipulate that it is also self-aware and intelligent. That’s incredibly stupid and dishonest.

    Whoever kicked you in the head; ask them to finish the job.

  160. StevoR says

    @177. rajkumar :

    If the universe is indeed God, the universe is self-aware and intelligent, then nobody needs to prove anything. We already know the universe exist.

    Yes, the universe exists but the next premise youneed to support is that the whole universe is self aware, intelligent and identifies as “god” – your supporting evidnece and logic for that supposition is .. What exactly?

  161. Desert Son, OM says

    Fuck, I am scared, and it’s ridiculous because it’s just my psychology and self-esteem/self-efficacy issues. Shit, this post took 50 fucking minutes to compose and it’s not even saying anything. Ok.

    Hello. My name’s Robert. I’m terrified of fucking up, which is stupid, because statistically I’ve got around 40 years of life left (controlling for all other variables), and I’m almost certain to fuck up many times, so what kind of life is it if you’re terrified of fucking up?

    We interrupt this post to actually include saying something:

    PZ (the host with the most . . . cephalopods. Iä!, etc.)
    Sastra
    Caine, Fleur du mal, OM
    Patricia, OM
    Brownian
    Ichthyic
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    carlie
    ‘Tis Himself, OM
    Janine: History’s Greatest Monster
    John Morales
    Josh, All Up In Your Faux-Liberal Librulism
    broken soldier (if you’re still around and still reading)
    daveau (saw him a while back at Ophelia’s blog)
    Lee Brimmicombe-Wood (if you’re still around, still love the Aliens book!)
    Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform
    raven
    Aquaria
    and everyone else if I missed your name with apologies:

    It’s nice to see Pharyngula, and you all, again. Clenched tentacle salutes all around. I’ve periodically read that many folks have had various kinds of personal grief, and I extend my condolences.

    Still learning,

    Robert

    P.S. The only verification I can think to suggest is for PZ to check the email address attached to this log-in identifier against the email attached to posts with the same identifier back on Scienceblogs in the days before FtB. In which case you’d just have to take PZ’s word for it, and I know “word for it” isn’t much good as evidence, and even that would only prove it was the same address, not necessarily the same typist, but it’s the best I can do.

    P.P.S. Congratulations to all the Molly winners I’ve missed before (wasn’t that a Julio Iglesias song?).

    P.P.P.S. All this time away, still haven’t learned to type less.

  162. mandrellian says

    Nobody is trying to prove “non-existence” here. The fact that we do not what God is, what God looks like, opens the possibility that God could be ANYTHING.

    Also, it could be nothing.

    A god that could be ANYTHING explains NOTHING. A god that explains NOTHING is worth NOTHING and may as well be NOTHING … nothing but a human invention anyway.

    That you don’t know anything about your god could be a very, very strong indicator that your god isn’t anything, isn’t a thing, is nothing … is not there … does not exist.

    That you don’t know anything about your god begs the sodding question: why believe it’s there at all, much less worship it? What point is there to a god you know nothing about, including whether it even exists?

    Which mean, the whole universe could be God, or one of God’s infinite manifestation. If the universe is indeed God, the universe is self-aware and intelligent, then nobody needs to prove anything. We already know the universe exist.

    Want some dressing with your word-salad?

    If God is the whole universe, how would you know?

    How would you tell a universe-god apart from the plain ol’ non-god universe?

    How do you test the universe for Godliness and self-awareness?

    Again, you’re adding layers that aren’t necessary and positing hypotheses that are non-starters.

    It would make as much sense to ask “What if the universe is a giant pancake and we’re all drops of syrup?”

    Yes, that sounds silly but it’s to illustrate a point. However you’re asking us to seriously consider first the proposition that God exists but hides so we can’t see him (unless we’re special), THEN entertain a completely contradictory position that he’s the entire universe! Who exactly is being silly here?

  163. says

    You cannot say that nobody knows what god is or what it looks like and then stipulate that it is also self-aware and intelligent. That’s incredibly stupid and dishonest.

    Whoever kicked you in the head; ask them to finish the job.

    I am using IF … as in IF such and such scenario could become a possibility. IF the universe can be called GOD because the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN we could do some exploring in that direction to find out if this true or not. A little confusing I agree. But you can always ask me to explain…

  164. Brownian says

    That you don’t know anything about your god could be a very, very strong indicator that your god isn’t anything, isn’t a thing, is nothing … is not there … does not exist.

    That you don’t know anything about your god begs the sodding question: why believe it’s there at all, much less worship it? What point is there to a god you know nothing about, including whether it even exists?

    He’s lying, though. It’s a rhetorical trick. You see, we’re supposed to acknowledge that we don’t know anything about god, and yes it could be anything, and then he slips in that, of course, god is self-aware and intelligent.

  165. StevoR says

    @181. Brownian says:

    Not this teapot. This teapot has the ability to have whatever characteristics it needs to avoid criticism by skeptics.

    Then it isn’t really what we’d nornmally class as a teapot is it?

    If it isn’t able to be used for pouring tea as intended – & given its awkward to reach location and the likely consequences of its thermal and vaccuum environment on the beverage contained inside then even if the teapot exists it serves no useful purpose. The tea will likely be either too cold, way too hot (steamy!) or have long since escaped via the spout as a stream of vapour or ice crystals with tanin rich chemical impurities therein.

    (Although, yeah, I guess you’ve got me there – except we’d then need to explain how this teapot arose in the first place, where its powers come from and why we should believe it ha sthese powers in lieu of observational or historical evidence to support that.)

  166. StevoR says

    @186.rajkumar :

    I am using IF … as in IF such and such scenario could become a possibility. IF the universe can be called GOD because the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN we could do some exploring in that direction to find out if this true or not.

    IF wishes were fishes (&those fishes flying fish) then we all could fly.

    That makes about the same sense.

    When you argue for proposition X then you need to have more supporting evidence and reason for postulating it than “If only X were true.”

    You say IF the cosmos was self aware and alive and intelligenctand God.

    But yougive us no reason or logic to say why that should be thecase.

    Its literally just wishful thinking. The sort of daydream where youcan fly off into the sunset and the moon ismadeof green cheese and has a flock of teapots coming into land.

    A little confusing I agree. But you can always ask me to explain…

    You’ve tried explaining , your explainations have been shown to be lacking. Maybe you might want to reflect on that reality.

  167. says

    He’s lying, though. It’s a rhetorical trick. You see, we’re supposed to acknowledge that we don’t know anything about god, and yes it could be anything, and then he slips in that, of course, god is self-aware and intelligent.

    I am not saying God is self-aware and intelligent. I am saying the universe could be self-aware and intelligent. And IF the universe is indeed self-aware and intelligent, could we call the universe God because it is self-aware and intelligent?

  168. Brownian says

    I am using IF … as in IF such and such scenario could become a possibility. IF the universe can be called GOD because the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN we could do some exploring in that direction to find out if this true or not. A little confusing I agree. But you can always ask me to explain…

    No, that’s not what you said, and that’s not what you mean. You’re being dishonest again.

    As mandrellian said, once you’ve committed to the god that can be anything, including undetectable:

    A god that could be ANYTHING explains NOTHING. A god that explains NOTHING is worth NOTHING and may as well be NOTHING … nothing but a human invention anyway.

    As soon as you’ve started adding conditions, “Well, God could be intelligent, and the universe could be god…”

    You see, we already don’t have any evidentiary need of that hypothesis, and adding in that god could have any possible quality at all doesn’t point us in any meaningful direction. Could god be completely evil? Sure, god could be anything, including a universe that’s also completely evil. Well, should we test for that? Why? God could just as equally have nothing to do with evil. Are we going to test the entire universe for every possible, conceivable quality? Where do we start? And why, because as you brought up, god could be the universe with the quality of wanting to hide its nature from us so that we could never find it.

    You haven’t opened up any possibilities. You’ve rendered any kind of knowledge about god impossible.

  169. Amphiox says

    IF the universe can be called GOD because the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN we could do some exploring in that direction to find out if this true or not.

    Why have two words for the same thing, one of which carries all sorts of unnecessary baggage.

    Why not just call it Universe and be done?

  170. theophontes 777 says

    @ raj-the-bigot

    FIFY:

    “But God The Flying Spaghetti Monster wanted to hide the fact of his existence from humans for some reasons. In such case, an evidence to prove God The Flying Spaghetti Monster’s existence could not be obtained, because God The Flying Spaghetti Monster himself was preventing us humans from obtaining an evidence. One way God The Flying Spaghetti Monster could have prevented us would be to … CHANGE THE DATA.”

    Can you imagine living in a 4 dimensional world?

    Yes. Can you? I can imagine living in an n-dimensional world.

    you are already making a presuppositions that an evidence **can be** obtained here.

    No it cannot be obtained for Invisible Pink Unicorns, FSM, YHWH, Shiva, a flat earth… What is your point exactly?

    Do you know your own mind’s limitation

    Yes. That is why science is using computing, instrumentation, exosomatic knowledge systems (look it up for yourself), etc etc. “if God meant for man to fly he would have given him wings”

    Now, going back to your point, the God I am talking about hides himself, but is also willing to reveal himself.

    Aah, you mean like Almighty Zeus ™ , who would often take on human form and walk amongst mortals. (Oh wait, that sounds like jeebus…) Actually, this amazing phenomenon was common to most Gods. Athena even used to change her sex. How cool is that? (But she is a Goddess, a mere female, so why would rajipooh teh menZ bother with Her.)

    You know what a teapot looks like,… But you do not know what God looks like

    Wrong again. There are many Gods. We know what they look like. We just don’t know what your imaginary YHWH looks like. There are many teapots, we know how they look. We just don’t know what Russell’s Teapot ™ (PBUH) looks like.

    @ Brownian

    How did it get into orbit?

    Easy. We recall that Russell was very critical of the Soviets. As an in-joke, they launched a teapot into orbit. Gift wrapped and tagged: “For Berty, from Joe”. The launch director had a zany sense of humour. Sadly for him, Stalin did not.

    @ scifi

    We don’t care about some stupid existence of a teapot. We are looking at reason why a creator might be necessary,and trying to side track with this dumb argument is nothing more than foolishness.

    Fuck you. scifi, this discussion is supposed to be about my Imaginary Cat.

    @ Ichthyic

    mirrors: How the fuck do they work??

    I prefer to use a CD. The hole in the middle means I don’t have to look at my … {swoons away at the thought of Teh Unmentionable}

    @ SteveR

    Also still trying to work out the TZT / Endless thread’s difference in purpose / idea.

    To give the trolls, godbots and trolls free reign. This should keep the other threads clear of their ilk, but was also intended as a space were we could stage cagefights between such denizens. (Sadly we have no success yet with that last.)

  171. StevoR says

    @189. chigau (違う) asked :

    I Chamomile. I Earl Grey. Am I going to BURN?

    Not in space. No oxygen there for combustion.

    The tea in the Teapot would boil and freeze simultanously I think streaming out of the spout as vapour or cystals or both.

  172. Brownian says

    And IF the universe is indeed self-aware and intelligent, could we call the universe God because it is self-aware and intelligent?

    No. You said, and I cannot stress this enough, that we do not what God is, what God looks like, opens the possibility that God could be ANYTHING.

    So why would you think intelligence now means god?

    So, let’s say the universe is self-aware and intelligent. We can’t call it god, because we’ve agreed that we don’t know what god is.

    There’s a red stone on my desk. Can I call that god? I mean, god could be anything, so how come all of a sudden you’ve decided god = intelligence?

  173. Brownian says

    The reason that you’re dishonest, rajkumar, is that this is a pretty typical trick of godbots like yourself.

    You insist that we can’t know anything about god, but it’s okay that you equate god with intelligence. We know god is that somehow, all of a sudden.

  174. StevoR says

    @194. theophontes 777 :

    Fair enough. Both of them though? I thought they were just conversation between members sorta places where people could just, well talk and raise whatever they wished, pretty much?

  175. Amphiox says

    Can you imagine living in a 4 dimensional world?

    It’s not hard. Just imagine what it was like to live, yesterday.

  176. John Morales says

    rajkumar:

    The fact that we do not what God is, what God looks like, opens the possibility that God could be ANYTHING.

    So, so very feeble.

    (The fact that we do not what Frankinstanium is, what Frankinstanium looks like, opens the possibility that Frankinstanium could be ANYTHING)

  177. Menyambal: Making sambal isn't exactly dragon magic. says

    “Can science argue with the truth?”

    Science tries very hard to argue with the truth. One of the strengths of science is that it takes something that seems to be true, and systematically beats the living shit out of it.

    Once all the shit has been removed, if there is anything left, science grudgingly allows that the seeming truth has not yet been proven false. And then it argues about that.

  178. chigau (違う) says

    fuck
    I hate Chamomile.
    I hate Earl Grey.
    Am I going toI don’t give a fuck if I BURN?
    —-
    Brownian
    I never skip comments.
    I read every word.
    (sometimes veryveryveryquickly)

  179. StevoR says

    @189. chigau (違う) :

    For what happens to such liquids in space, think of the scene in Apollo 13 where they do the urine dump creating a temporary and very much non-IAU approved “constellation” – a movie I’d recomend btw.

  180. StevoR says

    Of course tehcontents of teh teapot arepresumably much more palatable than the Apollo 13 “constellation Urine” scene – but, alas, there’s no way to check!

  181. valorphoenix says

    Raj, the argument you’re trying to make is why a french press and an agate peach now think I’m god. I blame you… and my love of mocha.

    If by the way you’re struck by a bolt from the blue or any other improbable event, I don’t wanna hear about it. Certainly not my fault.

  182. theophontes 777 says

    @ StevoR

    Sorry for misspelling nym. And shit… I see you posted the spaceship comment before me. {theophontes starts hitting self}

    I could say that it is a symptom of the hive mind here. I feel better blaming it on raj for causing a long SIWOTI on my part.

    {note to self: type faster tardigrade, type faster}

  183. chigau (違う) says

    Desert Son
    You are before my time but Welcome Back!
    (This isn’t the real™ Endless Thread but it is currently a bit safer.)

  184. John Morales says

    rajkumar:

    The fact that we do not what God is, what God like, opens the possibility that God could be ANYTHING.

    My foreskin is something.

    (Therefore, it is possible that your God is my foreskin)

  185. Brownian says

    I know rajkumar is going to miss it, but I’ll try again anyway.

    rajkumar: “Hey, Brownian: I just figured out that the universe is self-aware and intelligent.”
    Brownian: “That’s freaking awesome, dude. Cool!”
    rajkumar: “So, can we call it god, and say god exists?”
    Brownian: “Uh, did we say that god is a universe and intelligent?”
    rajkumar: “Er, no. No, we agreed that we do not know what god is.”
    Brownian: “So, we don’t know that god is a universe, or intelligent?”
    rajkumar: “No. We do not know that.”
    Brownian: “Ah. Well, then, we can’t say that this intelligent universe is god. Still cool that it’s intelligent. But, uh, can’t call it god. There are all those other possible things that god can be, and we can’t rule anything out. Including that god is non-universe and non-intelligent.”

    You see why you haven’t helped yourself at all with this great, possibility-opening exercise? You’ve kinda screwed yourself?

  186. StevoR says

    @194. theophontes 777 :

    Easy. We recall that Russell was very critical of the Soviets. As an in-joke, they launched a teapot into orbit. Gift wrapped and tagged: “For Berty, from Joe”. The launch director had a zany sense of humour. Sadly for him, Stalin did not.

    LOL. I like that theory. It could’ve been done you know.

    Although I think they’d have mentioned that somewhere and it would have involved an awful amount of cost and planning (a whole rocket into independent solar orbit or attached as sub-satellite to part of an existing Russian mission) to prove a very small point.

    Also such a teapot wouldn’t – in principle – be undetectable provided you had a sufficently powerful telescope. Aided or hindered by the albedo (reflectivity -colour) of the teapot inquestion. A white or silver one would be good in visible light albeit its small size so the HST might stand a slight chance of spotting it, a black teapot would absorb IR and thus be detectable (maybe on closest approach perhaps?) to say the Spitzer or WISE space telescopes.

    Hmm.. I’ll have to check the size of the smallest ever observed meteroid and work out if we could do that now!)

    In Societ Union.. sense of humour has you?

  187. says

    No. You said, and I cannot stress this enough, that we do not what God is, what God looks like, opens the possibility that God could be ANYTHING.

    So why would you think intelligence now means god?

    So, let’s say the universe is self-aware and intelligent. We can’t call it god, because we’ve agreed that we don’t know what god is.

    There’s a red stone on my desk. Can I call that god? I mean, god could be anything, so how come all of a sudden you’ve decided god = intelligence?

    No. This is not what I mean. I haven’t decided anything, and this is what I have been trying to tell you. I am just trying to discuss some **possibilities** here.

    It is true we know nothing real about God as yet, which is precisely why it is possible to define God in a new way.

    Like, IF the universe is intelligent and self-aware, THEN this type of intelligence COULD BE called God, because if the universe is intelligent and self-aware, it means it is this universal intelligence that created us through evolution. Don’t call this whole process God. Call it something else. Calling it God or something else doesn’t matter doesn’t really matter, because the core of the whole argument is, IF this is true, IF the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN the implication here is we are not here by some meaningless random chance occurances. The universe did not come into being by sheer luck. It was all planned, and happened because of that intelligence. How and why? We have no clue whatsoever.

  188. StevoR says

    @209. John Morales :

    @rajkumar:

    The fact that we do not what God is, what God like, opens the possibility that God could be ANYTHING.
    My foreskin is something.
    (Therefore, it is possible that your God is my foreskin)

    My backside is something. That pile of bovine excrement is something. That puddle of vomit is something. All could be god, yes?

  189. Ichthyic says

    Then it isn’t really what we’d nornmally class as a teapot is it?

    which is entirely the point.

  190. chigau (違う) says

    I didn’t even see that “At a certain point…” thread :(
    480 comments…
    I cannot

  191. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    rajkumar

    But you do not know what God looks like, or what God is, which is why it is **impossible** to prove God’s existence or non-existence. Obtain an evidence for something that you have clue about? How is it possible?

    Ok, so by that logic we should never have been able to discover electrons. No one has ever “seen” an electron, but for some reason we were able to find evidence of them anyway.

    We’ve only recently imagined anything as bizarre as an electron; its an invisible entity with very little mass that behaves like some impossible amalgam of wave and particle. There is a crucial distinction which enabled us to figure out electrons, this being that electrons actually ACT in the world. If God had any behavior at all, we could detect it, and set about figuring out what had caused the behavior.

    Personally I don’t understand why your own arguments don’t bother you more. You seem to be defending god against a worrying lack of evidence by saying that he approximately doesn’t exist, but only approximately. We can’t prove he doesn’t exist because he isn’t anywhere and doesn’t do anything. He’s tricked us into thinking he doesn’t exist by being totally irrelevant and inert.

    Its an interesting God concept. Not as flashy as the ones that kill Frost Giants or shit brimstone on towns of evildoers though. Why do you worship this thing again?

  192. theophontes 777 says

    @ Amphiox

    Can you imagine living in a 4 dimensional world?

    It’s not hard. Just imagine what it was like to live, yesterday.

    Dimensions are just numbers in registers. We can use this to describe and model reality. The usual attributes of a cannonball’s trajectory, for example, can be modeled with two spatial and one time dimension (ie “3D”) an aircraft we might model with 3 spatial dimensions and a time dimension (4D). But we could also add dimensions like temperature, cabin pressure etc and form a reasonable understanding in “5D” or more. It is just convention to speak of 3D + time. Perhaps “measurable attribute” might be more appropriate in a discussion with sciloh or raj. (god cannot be totally dimensionless or it would not exist.)

    I guess we could model god along scales of “intensity of belief”, “intensity of wishfull thinking”, “number of erudite religious texts about”… (Though YHWH would still need the time dimension, as It is constantly changing.)

    @ StevoR

    TZT has a far more laisser faire attitude to trolls. They can get away with idiocy here that would incur a banhammer elsewhere. Trolls get confined here (TZT Circus Maximus) instead of total annihilation.

  193. Amphiox says

    That puddle of vomit is something. All could be god, yes?

    Not the puddle of vomit.

    As a puddle, it is fine-tuned to fit perfectly in the depression in which we find it, to the last planck length!

    Something that is so fine-tuned MUST require a fine-tuner.

    So the puddle is the exception – it can’t be god.

  194. Desert Son, OM says

    Brownian,

    The short term is I’m scared of fucking up when I comment at Pharyngula, also scared of so much time having passed.

    Like I said: ridiculous, because that way life-paralysis lies. Better to fuck up, get called on it and realize, and try to learn.

    Those are instances of overall fear in my life and the struggle I have on a pretty regular basis. I went away from Pharyngula for a while because there was a lot of other stuff going on, family-related, some health stuff, work/school related stuff, etc. I have depression, too. My doctor described my medication as “It will make you feel 95%, 95% of the time,” so some days it’s just 5% and a fight to pay attention to just the basics.

    Then when I’d been away for a while it got to a point where I got scared to come back! For no good reason! Another example: burned-out light bulb in my apartment hallway, and I didn’t change it for four months. It’s not like it was hard to change (don’t even need a ladder), I was just . . . paralyzed about the light bulb, like having put it off somehow meant that I had reached a point where it was impossible to change or something. A few years ago I finally realized how irrational and unsupported and nonsensical religion is, but fuck me if the light bulb didn’t have me vexed. I’m embarrassed about some of those things, and still dealing with some of them (but I did change the fucking light bulb!)

    So just another bunch of months on Planet Earth, really.

    Phew, lousy explanation. Getting help, though, for a number of things, so that’s good. Trying to retrain myself psychologically on some things, and I meet as regularly as I can with a licensed counselor who is all about the evidence-based effort and isn’t trying to get me to align my chakras or find hidden meanings in my dreams or pray. I’ve taken up running and some healthier diet choices, and both of those have been positive experiences, and my cholesterol level has improved which was a very happy moment for me in 2011.

    Well, this turned in to therapy time, so I apologize if that was weird and too much information.

    Anyway, I should get to bed. Hope you and the rest of the Pharyngula community are well.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  195. Brownian says

    No. This is not what I mean. I haven’t decided anything, and this is what I have been trying to tell you. I am just trying to discuss some **possibilities** here.

    Bullshit. You’ve decided you want to talk about intelligence, and you’ve know it the whole time. I’m not as stupid as you. I know what you’re trying to do, even if you’re not quite sure that you’re doing it itself.

    That why you don’t realise you’ve fucked yourself.

    It is true we know nothing real about God as yet, which is precisely why it is possible to define God in a new way.

    You can’t. Once you’ve accepted that god could be anything, including wanting to and having the capability of perfectly hiding its nature from us, you’ve given up your ability to define it at all. You’ve fucked yourself.

    Like, IF the universe is intelligent and self-aware, THEN this type of intelligence COULD BE called God, because if the universe is intelligent and self-aware, it means it is this universal intelligence that created us through evolution.

    No, because you’ve already given up the ability to define god as having any qualities at all, once you’ve stipulated that it can perfectly hide itself from our detection.

    You’ve fucked yourself.

    Don’t call this whole process God.

    Well, we can’t. The process we can detect cannot be the god that is hiding itself from us. Since both can’t be true, and we can’t ever rule out hiding god, we can’t decide this process is god.

    Call it something else. Calling it God or something else doesn’t matter doesn’t really matter, because the core of the whole argument is, IF this is true, IF the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN the implication here is we are not here by some meaningless random chance occurances.

    Of course that isn’t the implication. Being self-aware and intelligent aren’t the property of having the power to do stuff. That’s a new property. Fuck, you’re just piling on assumptions left, right, and centre.

    The universe did not come into being by sheer luck.

    That’s a new thing, remember? Self-aware, and intelligent aren’t influencing. These properties aren’t equivalent. You’re trying to cheat.

    It was all planned, and happened because of that intelligence.

    ‘Planned’ is another new quality.

    How and why? We have no clue whatsoever.

    See, the whole fucking we don’t know anything about god bullshit is just that, bullshit. You just wanted to toss out your idea that the universe is self aware AND intelligent AND has the power to influence things like evolution AND had a plan to do so.

    Did you honestly fool yourself by thinking this new god whose properties we can’t possibly know let you decide the universe had all these qualities just because you want it to? Because I don’t think anyone else was fooled.

  196. Amphiox says

    Oh sure, theophontes777, give the mathematician’s answer (is it the mathematician’s answer?). Reduce to ineffable mystery of higher pan-dimensional thinking into cold, hard, sterile numbers….

    Where is your sense of beauty? Poetry? Symmetry*?

    *Wait, that’s a math term…. Damn!

  197. StevoR says

    @216. Too easy I know. Couldn’t resist.

    @213. rajkumar :

    No. This is not what I mean. I haven’t decided anything, and this is what I have been trying to tell you. I am just trying to discuss some **possibilities** here.

    Not what you mean? What *do* you mean? If you can’t express yourself cleraly maybe you should think and work things out some more before you comment again?

    What is your point and what are you hoping to get out of this discussion here?

    When discussing “possibilities” you might want to realise that there’s a difference between what is possible to a fevered imagination or in a dream and what is actually real and supported by actual observable or plausible evidence and if you want to put forwards something as being possible and argue that it is real rather than mere fantasy you are required to show WHY you think that possibility is likely and offer supporting evidence and logic rather than you just saying so thinking so based on, well not very much.

    It is possible the Moon is made of green cheese or a teapot exists floating in space between Earth and Mars but the evidence is all against those suppositions and there is no real evidence or reason to believe in either of them. Do you get that much now at least?

    IF this is true, IF the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN the implication here is we are not here by some meaningless random chance occurances.

    Emphasis added.

    IF you were a fish then you would be living proof that fish can use the internet and conduct conversations about teapots.

    But I don’t think you’re a fish so the whole of the second part is rubbish.

    You are making extraordinary cliams using “if” and saying its a possibility which you are failing to show have extraordinary evidence showing those claims are real or deserve to be taken anymore seriously than the proposition that you are a fish.

    The universe did not come into being by sheer luck. It was all planned, and happened because of that intelligence.

    What is your logical and rational and evidence -based argument for that proposition?

    Cosmologists would disagree with you there and be able to explain their perspective on it using actual observable scientific evvidence and solid maths.

    Oh & btw. at least you’re no longer pretending to be an agnostic when you make such blatantkly religious claims.

    You want to apologise now for pretending to be something you aren’t? Care to tell us precisely which out of all the thousands of religions you actually believe in?

  198. Brownian says

    Believe it or not, I understand those feelings well, Desert Son. I know how hard it is to overcome that anxiety. I’m happy for you that you tried and were able to enough to post again. And I don’t think anyone will fault you for taking the time away.

    Welcome back.

  199. ursamajor says

    Rajkumar

    Suppose god/s exist.
    Suppose that this god is aware of us,cares what we think and is able to communicate with us.
    Suppose this god is honest.

    Very intelligent, very powerful and in very many places. (the “omni” attributes make no sense so let us ignore that language for now.)

    So if this god or gods wanted us to know about it/them there would be clear and convincing evidence.

    So, let us look at the various claimed revelations and holy books. Among them there is not even one which shows a godly knowledge or wisdom, rather they all show the knowledge and wisdom of the time and place of origin at best. Generally, the claimed holy books are not even good examples of intelligent and moral adult thinking.

    Nor is there any agreement even among those who claim that holy books prove god/s existence on which of the holy books is the right one.

    And among those communities which have chosen one or a few of the holy books, there is no agreement in that community about the correct meaning of the chosen book.

    Since this god -as we have supposed – cares about what we do and believe; and since there are no messages available showing any greater than human knowledge or skill we can conclude that this god does not want us to believe in it.

    To make it simple, if there is a god, the silence of this god shows it wants us to be atheists.

    Now go have a hot soothing cup of tea.

  200. A. R says

    theophontes: Hoekom het jy ons geheim openbaar beplan om die res van die horde? In elk geval, ons moet nou poog om Scifi te kry om te veg met die raj. Dit is die enigste opsie wat ons het nou vir ‘n trol stryd. Idees?

  201. StevoR says

    IF you were a fish then you would be living proof that fish can use the internet and conduct conversations about teapots.

    Which as the saying goes is a whole other kettle of fish but anyhow!

  202. Colin J says

    It is true we know nothing real about God as yet, which is precisely why it is impossible to define God in a new any way.

    FIFY

  203. chigau (違う) says

    Tomorrow, first thing, I’m going to change the lightbulb on the back porch.

  204. Brownian says

    BTW rajkumar, your little intelligent universe that directed evolution is just theistic evolution, which is what many, if not most Catholics believe, minus the Jesus part.

    Did you really think you had this mind-blowing non-Western conceptualisation? I can’t believe how little you know.

  205. chigau (違う) says

    Hier is daar niks is geheim.
    I have pictures of scifi and rajkumar!
    With goats!

  206. says

    Ok, so by that logic we should never have been able to discover electrons. No one has ever “seen” an electron, but for some reason we were able to find evidence of them anyway.

    We’ve only recently imagined anything as bizarre as an electron; its an invisible entity with very little mass that behaves like some impossible amalgam of wave and particle. There is a crucial distinction which enabled us to figure out electrons, this being that electrons actually ACT in the world. If God had any behavior at all, we could detect it, and set about figuring out what had caused the behavior.

    Yeah but some people observed some specific behaviour of some particles … and those particles were given a name called ‘electrons’. It wasn’t like these people were **specifically** looking for some particles called electrons before they were discovered? It was a chance discovery. And yeah we can’t see electrons directly, but we can still measure their behaviour. That’s enough evidence for their existence. As for God’s behaviour, we haven’t discovered God yet, so we don’t know anything about God’s behaviour. That’s the problem. But as I said before, if the whole universe could be called God, then pretty much the whole activity of the universe is God’s behaviour. How would you describe God acting out his impulses? As in, what sort of behaviour would convince you it is God’s behaviour?

    Personally I don’t understand why your own arguments don’t bother you more. You seem to be defending god against a worrying lack of evidence by saying that he approximately doesn’t exist, but only approximately. We can’t prove he doesn’t exist because he isn’t anywhere and doesn’t do anything. He’s tricked us into thinking he doesn’t exist by being totally irrelevant and inert.

    Its an interesting God concept. Not as flashy as the ones that kill Frost Giants or shit brimstone on towns of evildoers though. Why do you worship this thing again?

    Yeah. Good points. A lot of information is available as to why this may be the case. As in, why God chose to be like this, and why we can’t have a direct experience of God during our ordinary states of consciousness. The information makes a great deal of sense too. In the end, as Dawkins would say, asking these ‘why’ questions about the workings of God/universe would only cause more and more confusions. If God exist, and God exists as he choose to exist, then this is the truth about God/Universe, like it or not. As for us, we should be concerned only about finding the truth about the universe, as science teaches us…

    As for me, I don’t worship any gods, and this is the good thing about this whole argument. No worshipping/praying/beliefs required. Even being a hardcore atheist is perfectly fine…

  207. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    No. This is not what I mean. I haven’t decided anything, and this is what I have been trying to tell you. I am just trying to discuss some **possibilities** here.

    Ah, yes. There are so many **possibilities** for an invisible entity that isn’t anywhere and doesn’t do anything. It could be an invisible quantum unicorn with no particles. It could be (to take a page from saint Malaclypse the younger) evaporated herbal tea without the herbs. It could be a warm fuzzy feeling that exists in your head. Do you think it could even be nothing at all?

    Like, IF the universe is intelligent and self-aware, THEN this type of intelligence COULD BE called God, because if the universe is intelligent and self-aware, it means it is this universal intelligence that created us through evolution. Don’t call this whole process God. Call it something else. Calling it God or something else doesn’t matter doesn’t really matter, because the core of the whole argument is, IF this is true, IF the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN the implication here is we are not here by some meaningless random chance occurances. The universe did not come into being by sheer luck. It was all planned, and happened because of that intelligence. How and why? We have no clue whatsoever.

    Wow, that’s like DEEP and stuff. It does raise a few questions though…

    1) What do you mean by “meaningless random chance occurances[sic]“? Is it more meaningful if we are here by the arbitrary intentions of some random being, than if we are chance products of chaotic processes? Why would that be?

    2) Suppose the universe is conscious*. How does it follow that the consciousness of the universe had anything to do with us being here? Is it possible, in your estimation, that the universe is conscious, yet no more involved with us than we are with the dust mites under our fingernails?

    3) You assert “The universe did not come into being by sheer luck. It was all planned, and happened because of that intelligence.” How do you know, and what do you mean by luck? Do you have any reason to believe the universe could have failed to exist?

    *to the best of my knowledge there is no reason to think the universe is conscious, but I’m allowing this to be true in order to make a point.

  208. Brownian says

    Like, is this the kind of freshman shit with which you’ve been filling up all these threads and wasting evreybody’s time, rajkumar? Theistic evolution with a bit of the stoner’s version of The Force?

    I hope you’re at least learning something.

  209. John Morales says

    rajkumar:

    As for God’s behaviour, we haven’t discovered God yet, so we don’t know anything about God’s behaviour. That’s the problem.

    The behaviour of that undiscovered something that could be ANYTHING, we know nothing about.

    But as I said before, if the whole universe could be called God, then pretty much the whole activity of the universe is God’s behaviour.

    If my foreskin could be called God, then pretty much the whole activity of the foreskin is God’s behaviour.

    (Busy, busy God)

    As in, why God chose to be like this, and why we can’t have a direct experience of God during our ordinary states of consciousness.

    My foreskin chooses to please me, unless it’s over-exerted.

    (I actually have a direct experience of this, O doubter)

    As for me, I don’t worship any gods, and this is the good thing about this whole argument. No worshipping/praying/beliefs required.

    My foreskin is displeased with you, though you acknowledge its existence.

  210. chigau (違う) says

    A. R
    We are up to about 14 spears of asparagus.
    But the bed is still young so we can’t eat any of it :(
    But it aten’t dead!

  211. Brownian says

    “Hey, scientists! Listen up! Rajkumar’s got a new conception of god that you haven’t considered before. You should totally start looking for it, even though we can’t ever know we found it, even if we find it. It’s the god from that episode of Futurama where Bender gets lost in space. You’ve never thought to look for it, because, like, it’s a mind-blowing new concept of god!”

  212. Amphiox says

    and this is what I have been trying to tell you. I am just trying to discuss some **possibilities** here.

    And WE’VE been trying all thread long to tell the raja and the shiffy that talking about **possibilities** is pointless and dishonest wanking UNLESS one ALSO talks about ***probabilites*** at the same time.

  213. Mak says

    Even being a hardcore atheist is perfectly fine…

    Say what? You were talking about TRUTHS (allcaps and all) and shit, and then you say it’s totally okay to believe something that goes against the “TRUTH” of the universe? I don’t get it.

    This smells like some really watered down version of Pascal’s Wager without the not-so-subtle threat of hellfire. “It’s not gonna hurt you to disbelieve, but it’s POSSIBLE that you’re wrong, so why don’t you just believe it anyway?”

    If there’s no reason to believe, and there’s nothing wrong with disbelieving, then why the fuck should anyone believe, including you? Where’s YOUR reason to believe in this hidden god?

  214. Brownian says

    With that, I’m off to bed.

    In the meantime, fine, go ahead rajkumar. Tell us how we can detect if the universe is self-aware, and if it is intelligent, and it directed evolution, and it planned to do so all along, and all the other things you want it to be.

    I’m sure the Intelliget Design people are wonderering why they never thought of that.

  215. theophontes 777 says

    @ Amphiox

    mathematician’s answer?

    Yes.

    But the idea of using dimensions can be applied to all manner of situations. The relationships between dimensions can be adequately described by formula. There is no reason at all to “visualise” these. (Indeed it my drive you crazy … but the maths still works.) In the soft sciences, we can have personality attributes plotted along axes to describe personalities. Or multiple axes, that are not represented spatially.

    In religions, at least in the more credible one’s, the Gods have attributes and aspects. In a more contemporary example, one could model these gods in a role playing game and indicate their attributes and aspects with little dials on the screen. (Am I nerdy to think this would make a cool app? ;)

    Where I think the misogynist raj is going wrong is failing completely to understand how we can work with dimensions without any reference to spatial dimensions, nor are we limited to 3 or 4 dimensions. Because such discussions are completely beyond it, it thinks that GAWD must be hiding out in raj’s ignorance (a vast and unexplored domain to be sure). Its problem, too, is that it has absolutely nothing to measure.

    @ raj-the-misogynist

    Would you care to give us a demonstration of your profound ignorance by commenting on the above?

    @ A.R

    Hoekom het jy ons geheim openbaar beplan om die res van die horde?

    Dit maak nie saak nie. Alles gaan bo’oor sy pet in elke geval.

  216. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    Yeah but some people observed some specific behaviour of some particles … and those particles were given a name called ‘electrons’. It wasn’t like these people were **specifically** looking for some particles called electrons before they were discovered? It was a chance discovery.

    No. The electron was discovered because of its immense importance to the way a wide range of physical phenomena work. You can explain almost no chemistry without electrons, and they are important in physics and geology as well. We found them because they are everywhere we look.

    And yeah we can’t see electrons directly, but we can still measure their behaviour. That’s enough evidence for their existence. As for God’s behaviour, we haven’t discovered God yet, so we don’t know anything about God’s behaviour.

    Right. That is my whole point. If God was actually doing anything noteworthy, we would see his behavior. People would see shit like this and give it a name. Eventually, we would come to the conclusion that the giant face that tells people to retrieve fancy cups from castles full of French people was in fact some kind of superior being. Instead of “God”, people might have settled on “Fred” or “Julie” or “Zaphod”. There would be one God concept instead of 11ty billion, and people would attribute the stuff that God does to God.

    But that isn’t what we see. We see lots of people taking a concept that was defined without regard for the lack of evidence for it, and trying to hand wave it into existence.

  217. Ichthyic says

    It wasn’t like these people were **specifically** looking for some particles called electrons before they were discovered? It was a chance discovery.

    *headdesk*

    did you actually, you know, GO to school?

    this is fucking elementary history, FFS.

    http://www.aip.org/history/electron/jjhome.htm

    He was investigating a long-standing puzzle known as “cathode rays.” His experiments prompted him to make a bold proposal: these mysterious rays are streams of particles much smaller than atoms, they are in fact minuscule pieces of atoms. He called these particles “corpuscles,” and suggested that they might make up all of the matter in atoms. It was startling to imagine a particle residing inside the atom–most people thought that the atom was indivisible, the most fundamental unit of matter.

    Electrons weren’t just fucking “stumbled” on, idiot.

    they were proposed to exist over 100 years ago, and tests were designed SPECIFICALLY to look for them.

    FUCK ME.

    IS THERE ACTUALLY SOMETHING YOU CAN TALK ABOUT THAT YOU KNOW SOMETHING OF????

  218. A. R says

    chigau: A two year old bed I assume? Mine are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 years old. I plant a new one every year, and remove the oldest (and least productive) one. I love asparagus too much methinks.

  219. Lyn M, Purveyor of Fine Aphorisms of Death says

    Like, IF the universe is intelligent and self-aware, THEN this type of intelligence COULD BE called God, because if the universe is intelligent and self-aware, it means it is this universal intelligence that created us through evolution. Don’t call this whole process God. Call it something else. Calling it God or something else doesn’t matter doesn’t really matter, because the core of the whole argument is, IF this is true, IF the universe is self-aware and intelligent, THEN the implication here is we are not here by some meaningless random chance occurances.

    IF we had ketchup, THEN we could have ketchup and fries, IF we had fries.

  220. Ichthyic says

    If God was actually doing anything noteworthy, we would see his behavior.

    at the very least, the impacts of its behavior.

    but there’s nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero, null…

  221. birgerjohansson says

    Terry Prachett, the master of parody and satire, addressed a version of Last Thursdayism/Omphalism in the novel he wrote before the very first Discworld novel.
    A terraforming expert on a spaceship runs into a synthetic world, a flat disc with pumps continually replacing the water pouring over the edge, and a tiny sun and moon o rbiting it, It eventually turns out that the universe was created not long ago, with bogus evidence of being billions of years old.
    The flat disc world is a joke left behind by the creator as a clue to the truth.

  222. Lyn M, Purveyor of Fine Aphorisms of Death says

    As for me, I don’t worship any gods, and this is the good thing about this whole argument. No worshipping/praying/beliefs required. Even being a hardcore atheist is perfectly fine…

    IF we had ketchup, THEN we could have ketchup and fries, IF we had fries. AND we don’t even have to have fries or ketchup at all! Cheese is perfectly fine!

  223. theophontes 777 says

    @ Hurin

    [re: Kinkade image]

    Oh we are going to play dirty are we? Well take THIS then. Where is YHWH now???

  224. says

    No. The electron was discovered because of its immense importance to the way a wide range of physical phenomena work. You can explain almost no chemistry without electrons, and they are important in physics and geology as well. We found them because they are everywhere we look.

    WE found them? You were one of the discoverers? But I still hold my position that it was a chance discovery. From the historical records, it seems obvious enough that the scientists had clue what they were about to discover.

    Right. That is my whole point. If God was actually doing anything noteworthy, we would see his behavior. People would see shit like this and give it a name. Eventually, we would come to the conclusion that the giant face that tells people to retrieve fancy cups from castles full of French people was in fact some kind of superior being. Instead of “God”, people might have settled on “Fred” or “Julie” or “Zaphod”. There would be one God concept instead of 11ty billion, and people would attribute the stuff that God does to God.

    And my whole point is: if you do not know what God is — and you don’t–, if God doesn’t exist for you because you are an atheist, then how would you even know what a ‘noteworthy behvaiour’ from God is like? How would you define God’s intervention? What are your sources of information about God?

  225. StevoR says

    @249. theophontes 777 :

    @ Amphiox : In religions, at least in the more credible one’s, the Gods have attributes and aspects. [Funny bx thing appearing with the underline.] Hera for example has 9 (3 X 3) She is a 9 D Goddess!

    So she’s the Goddess Herman 9-9-9 Caine (Anyone remember him?) worships then?

    BTW. Whoah! How do you do that?

    Also :

    raj-the-misogynist

    He is is he? I’ve missed that – too little time, too many comments, too often for me to always keep up here I’m afraid. Mea culpa.

  226. StevoR says

    @rajkumar : Care to respond to what I’ve pointed out for you in comment # 226 here?

  227. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    when they cannot argue against the possibility of a creator,

    We don’t have to argue against your inane and insane possibility. You have to prove it is reality. You lose.

  228. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I am saying the universe could be self-aware and intelligent.

    Speculation of that type is for drug besoaked fuckwits like you. We ask for evidence, show us something. You speculate and mentally masturbate, showing nothing, but making noise. That isn’t evidence. Which has been our point all along. Up your game.

  229. theophontes 777 says

    @ raj-its-all-about-me-kumar

    WE found them?

    WE, people of science, share our knowledge with each other and the world (even idjits like you). It is a massive group effort. It is a humanist effort. WE have no need to invoke your imaginary deity.

    You were one of the discoverers?

    Facetiousness will not endear you here. Grow up.

    But I still hold my position that it was a chance discovery.

    Try looking up “consistency”. It is an important characteristic of Science. Try to understand why we can both make predictions and discoveries in science. The incompatibility lies only in your own head.

    How would you define God’s intervention? What are your sources of information about God?

    Godbot troll! That is your work, not ours. Have you not been paying attention to Nerd?

  230. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As for God’s behaviour, we haven’t discovered God yet, so we don’t know anything about God’s behaviour.

    Actually we do. It hides in gaps in knowledge. COWARD.

    It also doesn’t exist, until you provide conclusive physical evidence for it. Or shut the fuck up about your delusional unthinking.

  231. Ichthyic says

    had NO clue

    well, that’s what we’ve been telling you.

    you’re suffering from Dunning Kruger.

    you indeed, have no clue.

    about anything, apparently.

  232. Ichthyic says

    But I still hold my position that it was a chance discovery.

    why is it you insist on being wrong all the time?

    WHY?

  233. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    if God doesn’t exist for you because you are an atheist, then how would you even know what a ‘noteworthy behvaiour’ from God is like?

    Where is the physical evidence for your imaginary deity? That is what we atheists say. Where is your evidence? And all you do is mentally masturbate. That isn’t evidence, questions, or logic. That is you running off psychotically at the mouth.

  234. says

    WE, people of science, share our knowledge with each other and the world (even idjits like you). It is a massive group effort. It is a humanist effort. WE have no need to invoke your imaginary deity.

    It looks like **You** people give yourself way too much credit, and then accuse me of doing the same. While you are at it … WE invented the light bulb, WE invented the decimal, WE sent the first man on the moon, WE invented the first microprocessor, WE invented the DVD, WE invented the first dual core processor, WE put air bags in cars, WE invented aspirin, WE invented the first air plane, and the list just goes on and on

  235. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It looks like **You** people give yourself way too much credit, and then accuse me of doing the same.

    Irrational and incoherent statement. Typical Rajkumar. Let the drugs get out of your system. Then come back when you are cogent and coherent. Your deity only exists between your ears as a delusion. That is reality.

  236. theophontes 777 says

    @ StevoR

    BTW. Whoah! How do you do that?

    Hera has the following aspects: Nymph, Maiden and Crone. (These can be life stages or the 3 (three!) seasons of the year. But we shan’t go into that now.) Each of these has three aspects in turn, represented for example: Demeter: in the guise of Kore, Persephone and Hecate. (At work right now so I can’t dig up the others.) Essentially Hera is a Goddess and therefore is triadic. But each of the three is triadic in turn. Therefore the 3×3. Why this does not extend to the next layer down is beyond me. (I am fairly sure She does not, but as to precisely why I cannot say.)

  237. Louis says

    Has Raj STILL not grasped the principle of the burden of proof resting on the positive claimant?

    Is this a world record for Dunning-Krueger-osity and obtuseness?

    Louis

  238. Ichthyic says

    Is this a world record for Dunning-Krueger-osity and obtuseness?

    nope, and I do believe you might recall who IS the record holder.

    remember “Air Force Dave”?

  239. Louis says

    Icthyic,

    Oh now THAT is cruel. I’ve just had flashbacks. I may need to go to my happy place.

    Also remember Obliviot? Years of discussion, nice and nasty, left with the same views he came in with and just as poorly defended and ignorant.

    It’s a disease I tells ya.

    Louis

  240. Ichthyic says

    in case you forgot:

    http://truthmatters.info/

    that guy, alone, was responsible for OVER TEN THOUSAND posts on After the Bar Closes, and Richard Dawkins site.

    hasn’t changed a bit in all these years.

  241. Louis says

    Also: Portuguese, it’s a mixture of French and Spanish. Or something.

    Louis

  242. Ichthyic says

    It’s a disease I tells ya.

    well, it’s genetics, I say.

    I still think the best sociological descriptor of it is Altemeyers’.

    these people are right wing authoritarians, through and through.

    it perfectly fits their near unconscious rejection of anything that might conflict with their carefully constructed group-adhering notions.

    at some level, many of them know it too, and I think they come to places like this to scratch that itch, even though that can’t even tell where the itch is.

    long term therapy DOES work on authoritarian personalities, but really, the only productive thing to do with them is manipulate the hell out of them.

    Leo Strass knew this decades ago.

    the neocons jumped on it 40 years ago.

    I wonder when we will get past the ethics of manipulating an essentially unchangeable group of people for their OWN good, as well as ours?

    because right now, they just shoot themselves in the foot with the choices they are given by their current masters.

    *shrug*

  243. Ichthyic says

    Portuguese, it’s a mixture of French and Spanish

    ah hell, I had myself forgotten that one.

    *shudder*

    bastard.

  244. says

    Where is the physical evidence for your imaginary deity? That is what we atheists say. Where is your evidence? And all you do is mentally masturbate. That isn’t evidence, questions, or logic. That is you running off psychotically at the mouth.

    There is no physical evidence, and there can’t be any. I pointed this out before that it is you who are presupposing that God’s existence can be proved through some, what you call, ‘physical evidence’. That, if God’s existence was a reality, If God was real, then it was indeed possible to prove God’s existence through some ‘physical evidence.’ This is your own assumption, not mine. This is why I can’t give you any physical evidence, and I never said I would.

  245. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    That, if God’s existence was a reality, If God was real, then it was indeed possible to prove God’s existence through some ‘physical evidence.’

    Right, we agree on that. If your deity is real, it can be shown to exist. If it is imaginary, you can’t.

    This is your own assumption, not mine. This is why I can’t give you any physical evidence, and I never said I would.

    No, this is the assumption of every rational person, not just me. Whether you agree or not, it is irrelevant. Either you have the evidence or you have nothing but psychotic ravings of drug addled idjit babbling about imaginary things. You can’t tell the difference. That is what you need to understand. Pure speculation is meaningless and unproductive, unless one is a fantasy writer.

  246. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    in case you forgot:

    http://truthmatters.info/

    that guy, alone, was responsible for OVER TEN THOUSAND posts on After the Bar Closes, and Richard Dawkins site.

    hasn’t changed a bit in all these years.

    That’s the motherfucker I was asking about a week or so ago. afdave.

    What a giant tool bag he is.

    He’s easily one of the most impenetrably stupid people I have ever had the misfortune of coming into contact with.

  247. John Morales says

    rajkumar contends that my foreskin may well be God.

    (Perhaps I should consider how to monetise this belief)

  248. says

    No, this is the assumption of every rational person, not just me. Whether you agree or not, it is irrelevant. Either you have the evidence or you have nothing but psychotic ravings of drug addled idjit babbling about imaginary things. You can’t tell the difference. That is what you need to understand. Pure speculation is meaningless and unproductive, unless one is a fantasy writer.

    One of your prophets, a so-called ‘neuroscientist’, does this on regular basis. He takes strong mind altering substances and then merges in an ‘egoless eternal’ communion with a redwood tree. When he comes down, he writes an essay on his wild drug fantasies, and actually encourages people to take drugs, including even his own daughter. Then a few weeks later, he informs his readers how people like Deepak Chopra are ‘pseudo-scientists’ and ‘charlatans’, because they are misusing science to make money and fame. I would like to ask your prophet to point out where in science he discovered this ‘egoless and eternal’ communion? And I would like to suggest, perhaps you have send this message to the wrong person. The actual recipient was your neuroscientist prophet.

  249. says

    There is no physical evidence, and there can’t be any. I pointed this out before that it is you who are presupposing that God’s existence can be proved through some, what you call, ‘physical evidence’. That, if God’s existence was a reality, If God was real, then it was indeed possible to prove God’s existence through some ‘physical evidence.’

    Well, since the common definition of “real” is kind of to have some physical evidence, why should anybody give a flying fuck for something that has no meaning in the physical world we solely occupy?
    Tell me, what’s the difference between a world without a god and a world with a god that is not noticable in anything?

  250. says

    Well, since the common definition of “real” is kind of to have some physical evidence, why should anybody give a flying fuck for something that has no meaning in the physical world we solely occupy?
    Tell me, what’s the difference between a world without a god and a world with a god that is not noticable in anything?

    The common definition of real? Is time real? Is time physical? Is space physical?

  251. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    One of your prophets, a so-called ‘neuroscientist’, does this on regular basis.

    Who?

    Then a few weeks later, he informs his readers how people like Deepak Chopra are ‘pseudo-scientists’ and ‘charlatans’, because they are misusing science to make money and fame.

    well, the truth hurts

  252. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Of course it does. It hurts to see one of your own woo wooing on his own website…

    The statement about Chopra is 100% accurate.

    Now answer the question:

    Who is this “prophet” you speak of?

  253. says

    The statement about Chopra is 100% accurate.

    Now answer the question:

    Who is this “prophet” you speak of?

    I speak of Prophet Harris.

  254. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I speak of Prophet Harris.

    First, there are no prophets.

    Second, please link to this where he links Drug taking to his statement about Chopra.

    Third, the statement about Chopra is still true and he’s not the only one who has said the exact same things about what a scam artist Chopra is.

    Put it up Raj.

    Basically Your point is fairly fucking stupid.

  255. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I speak of Prophet Harris.

    Actually the fact you are calling Harris a Prophet is even more stupid considering the recent posts on this very blog where he has been getting torn apart for his views on profiling.

    Are you stupid or just lazy?

    Or both?

  256. says

    Second, please link to this where he links Drug taking to his statement about Chopra.

    I am not arguing whether or not the statement about Deepak Chopra is true or false. I am saying, Harris is accusing Deepak Chopra of being a ‘pseudo-scientist’, because he, according to Harris, is not using science and scientific terms correctly. That’s fine. But then Harris informs his readers how a person can’t ordinarily imagine the experience of being in an ‘eternal and egoless’ communion with a redwood tree, as being in such an experience is so extraordinary. What is ‘Egoless and Eternal’ in science? And what is the value of LSD-induced fantasies in science? In short, he himself is being a pseudo-scientist here.

    The article is on his website.

  257. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    That’s fine. But then Harris informs his readers how a person can’t ordinarily imagine the experience of being in an ‘eternal and egoless’ communion with a redwood tree, as being in such an experience is so extraordinary. What is ‘Egoless and Eternal’ in science? And what is the value of LSD-induced fantasies in science? In short, he himself is being a pseudo-scientist here.

    And? Harris is known to say stupid things. As I mentioned above he’s no prophet by even the thinnest definition of the word. There are not prophets.

    The article is on his website.

    Then link to it. I’d like to read it to see how far out of context you are taking things. Or not.

  258. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The actual recipient was your neuroscientist prophet.

    Citation needed of course, but atheists have no prophets. There is nothing to be prophetic about. No deities, holy books, or theology.

    The common definition of real? Is time real? Is time physical? Is space physical?

    Theory of relativity. But in the end bad, bad sophistry, delusional mental masturbation meaning nothing but rajkumar’s psychotic mind.

    Reality exits, but it doesn’t include rajkumar. He lives in delusionland.

  259. KG says

    Every time I come here, rajkumar has reached a new depth of stupidity. Calling Sam Harris “one of your prophets” would be astoundingly stupid at any time; doing so in the immediate aftermath of several threads on which most of the regulars here denounced him as both an idiot and a bigot – that’s transcendentally stupid.

  260. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    He seems to be supporting ‘spirituality’ and spiritual concepts while being an atheist. Good luck!

    Compared you postively a sane concept. God isn’t needed. Look at the Newage bullshit.

    Still no evidence for your imaginary deity. A fatal flaw at this blog rajkumar.

  261. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Ok I found the quote and as I figured you’re changing the meaning of what he said.

    I have visited both extremes on the psychedelic continuum. The positive experiences were more sublime than I could have ever imagined or than I can now faithfully recall. These chemicals disclose layers of beauty that art is powerless to capture and for which the beauty of Nature herself is a mere simulacrum. It is one thing to be awestruck by the sight of a giant redwood and to be amazed at the details of its history and underlying biology. It is quite another to spend an apparent eternity in egoless communion with it. Positive psychedelic experiences often reveal how wondrously at ease in the universe a human being can be—and for most of us, normal waking consciousness does not offer so much as a glimmer of these deeper possibilities.

    Drugs alter your mind. This “collision” can give you a different way of looking at the world around you.

    I’ve taken LSD and Mushrooms among other drugs.

    They never gave me any spiritual experience but I definitely looked at the word in a much different way.

    That is what Harris is describing.

    You are quote mining. leaving off apparent is important as he is acknowledging that this is a an obvious effect of being deep in a trip. It’s not an actual communiion with the fuckign tree asshole.

    His following statements support this.

    People generally come away from such experiences with a sense that our conventional states of consciousness obscure and truncate insights and emotions that are sacred. If the patriarchs and matriarchs of the world’s religions experienced such states of mind, many of their claims about the nature of reality can make subjective sense. The beautific vision does not tell you anything about the birth of the cosmos—but it does reveal how utterly transfigured a mind can be by a full collision with the present moment.

    But as the peaks are high, the valleys are deep. My “bad trips” were, without question, the most harrowing hours I have ever suffered—and they make the notion of hell, as a metaphor if not a destination, seem perfectly apt. If nothing else, these excruciating experiences can become a source of compassion. I think it would be impossible to have any sense of what it is like to suffer from mental illness without having briefly touched its shores.

  262. KG says

    He seems to be supporting ‘spirituality’ and spiritual concepts while being an atheist. – rajkumar

    Which is another reason most of the regulars here regard him with contempt, shit-for-brains. But far from the most important.

  263. says

    That is what Harris is describing.

    What Harris is saying, indirectly, that he experienced a ‘oneness’ with the universe while high on LSD or some similar substance. This is how they describe experiencing God in spirituality. Such concepts have no place in science. Of all people, he is the one who should know that.

  264. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Actually, he has no clue what he is saying in this article. He seems to be supporting ‘spirituality’ and spiritual concepts while being an atheist. Good luck!

    No he doesn’t. At least not in that article you and I both linked to. Listen I’m no huge Harris fan. Some of his work is great, some of it is not, but he’s saying that drugs can give you a way to escape the way you always look at the world. That can be good in giving you insight but can also be very fucking bad.

    And he’s 100% correct. If you think he’s not then tell me why people take drugs, especially psychedelics?

    he’s not saying this is some spiritual enlightenment but more of a personal enlightenment in the way one does and can look at the word.

  265. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    This is how they describe experiencing God in spirituality. Such concepts have no place in science. Of all people, he is the one who should know that.

    You’re the one bring science into this bit of idiocy by Harris. Why? It does nothing for your lack of any cogent argument whatsoever. If you want spiritual, keep it private. You want me to think about it, show me the evidence. And Harris’ anecdote isn’t evidence, but opinion. You do know the difference between evidence and opinion, don’t you?

  266. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    What Harris is saying, indirectly, that he experienced a ‘oneness’ with the universe while high on LSD or some similar substance. This is how they describe experiencing God in spirituality. Such concepts have no place in science. Of all people, he is the one who should know that.

    He’s describing a personal experience with his mind being chock full of LSD. That oneness is an illusion brought on by the drugs but it’s still a personal experience.

    he says, in the very article we are discussing

    As a general matter, I believe we should be very slow to make conclusions about the nature of the cosmos based upon inner experience — no matter how profound these experiences seem.

    Your statement about these concepts have no place in science is amusing.

    Studying the effects of drugs on people’s mind isn’t scientific? Personal experiences on the emotional and cognitive effects have no place as a data point in the effect? Granted his personal application of the LSD and then retelling of the tale isn’t the most scientific procedurally but then again I don’t see where he ever claimed that it was.

  267. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Well I fucked the blockquoting up there pretty good. Lete’s try again.

    What Harris is saying, indirectly, that he experienced a ‘oneness’ with the universe while high on LSD or some similar substance. This is how they describe experiencing God in spirituality. Such concepts have no place in science. Of all people, he is the one who should know that.

    He’s describing a personal experience with his mind being chock full of LSD. That oneness is an illusion brought on by the drugs but it’s still a personal experience.

    he says, in the very article we are discussing

    As a general matter, I believe we should be very slow to make conclusions about the nature of the cosmos based upon inner experience — no matter how profound these experiences seem.

    Your statement about these concepts have no place in science is amusing.

    Studying the effects of drugs on people’s mind isn’t scientific? Personal experiences on the emotional and cognitive effects have no place as a data point in the effect? Granted his personal application of the LSD and then retelling of the tale isn’t the most scientific procedurally but then again I don’t see where he ever claimed that it was.

  268. Snoof says

    The common definition of real? Is time real? Is time physical? Is space physical?

    You mean ‘spacetime’. It’s all one thing.

    And yes, it is. You can tell from the way it interacts with mass.

  269. says

    You’re the one bring science into this bit of idiocy by Harris. Why? It does nothing for your lack of any cogent argument whatsoever. If you want spiritual, keep it private. You want me to think about it, show me the evidence. And Harris’ anecdote isn’t evidence, but opinion. You do know the difference between evidence and opinion, don’t you?

    Oh man! I do know the difference between evidence and opinion. It is you who have taught me to discern this difference between opinion and evidence. Everything you have said about me so far on this blog, and it’s a lot, was just your opinion about me, not evidence.

    I don’t ‘want’ anything from you or anyone else here. Why is it so hard to understand? I am just sharpening my mind here by taking part in discussion. Take it as a compliment that even you can be taken use of to sharpen the mind.

  270. says

    Studying the effects of drugs on people’s mind isn’t scientific? Personal experiences on the emotional and cognitive effects have no place as a data point in the effect? Granted his personal application of the LSD and then retelling of the tale isn’t the most scientific procedurally but then again I don’t see where he ever claimed that it was.

    Yes, it all has a place in science. But you don’t normally take a drug, get high, and then write a ‘scientific essay’ about your own drug experience. LSD and all those drugs are illegal to begin with. When he took that drug, or drugs, they were most likely illegally acquired, and were made in a dirty ‘lab’ by untrained chemists. He didn’t know anything about the drug, its purity, its dosage, and so on. How could such ‘experiments’ be called scientific? What if what he thought was 100 micrograms of pure LSD, was in fact a combination of LSD, LSA, MDA, DXM, all impure and imperfectly synthesized?

    Unless, of course, he had a special permit and a special supply route. Like Dr Shulgin did.

  271. Lyn M, Purveyor of Fine Aphorisms of Death says

    I am just sharpening my mind here

    Doesn’t seem to be working very well.

    Had enough. See you all another time.

  272. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Yes, it all has a place in science. But you don’t normally take a drug, get high, and then write a ‘scientific essay’ about your own drug experience.

    That was a scientific essay? Not just a blog post talking about some topics that might be topically scientific?

    When he took that drug, or drugs, they were most likely illegally acquired, and were made in a dirty ‘lab’ by untrained chemists. He didn’t know anything about the drug, its purity, its dosage, and so on. How could such ‘experiments’ be called scientific? What if what he thought was 100 micrograms of pure LSD, was in fact a combination of LSD, LSA, MDA, DXM, all impure and imperfectly synthesized?

    Unless, of course, he had a special permit and a special supply route. Like Dr Shulgin did.

    Well no shit captain obvious. At no point is he making the claim this was a scientific experiment under the necessary controlled environment. Jesus you’re dense as fuck.

    You’re trying to force that article into a scientific paper when at best it is an essay about his personal experiences with psychodelic drugs and some musings on what possible scientific implications they might have.

  273. says

    That was a scientific essay? Not just a blog post talking about some topics that might be topically scientific?

    Oh I would not be surprised if Rajkumar actually believed that’s what a scientific essay looks like.

  274. says

    Well no shit captain obvious. At no point is he making the claim this was a scientific experiment under the necessary controlled environment. Jesus you’re dense as fuck.

    You’re trying to force that article into a scientific paper when at best it is an essay about his personal experiences with psychodelic drugs and some musings on what possible scientific implications they might have.

    OK. Even if you put it this way that it was “some musings on what possible scientific implications they might have”. It’s a very weird thing to do for someone who is lecturing others on how to properly use science. Getting high on god-knows-what, and then ‘assuming’ it was this or that … Jee, how scientific is that? I can bet he still doesn’t know what shit he took that day — and how much of it– which made him experience that ‘apparent eternity and an ego less communion’.

    Now, let’s suppose he’s been given an opportunity to try it out in a controlled environment under medical supervision. There, he is injected with 100 micrograms of pure LSD. He is pleasantly surprised to find out how different this ‘pure’ LSD is from that shitty LSD he had been taking all along. Or was that LSD he’d been taking? So, he has the real experience of LSD for the first time in his life. I know it is quite common for people to get rat poison pills, pure chalk pills, aspirin pills, DXM pills instead of the ecstasy pills they were after. Again, how scientific it is to use illegal drugs for whatever purposes?

  275. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Everything you have said about me so far on this blog, and it’s a lot, was just your opinion about me, not evidence.

    It is evidence if you quote you, shown you are wrong with links, and your own mouth and incoherence is evidence that you aren’t sane.
    And if you know the difference between evidence and opinion, why do you give us nothing but opinion. You can’t link to anything if your life depended on it.

    I don’t ‘want’ anything from you or anyone else here.

    Then shut the fuck up and go away. If you stay, you do want something. Your lies are easy to expose idjit.

    I am just sharpening my mind here

    Sorry, you can’t sharpen something that won’t hold an edge/point. And your mind can’t.

  276. Louis says

    Can turds be sharpened? If so I learned something contrary to experience today.

    Louis

  277. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    OK. Even if you put it this way that it was “some musings on what possible scientific implications they might have”. It’s a very weird thing to do for someone who is lecturing others on how to properly use science. Getting high on god-knows-what, and then ‘assuming’ it was this or that … Jee, how scientific is that? I can bet he still doesn’t know what shit he took that day — and how much of it– which made him experience that ‘apparent eternity and an ego less communion’.

    He’s lecturing people on how to properly use science in that article? Scientists aren’t allowed non-scientifically rigorous life experiences? And aren’t allowed to discuss them? And aren’t allowed to muse on how they might have scientific implications?

    Now, let’s suppose he’s been given an opportunity to try it out in a controlled environment under medical supervision. There, he is injected with 100 micrograms of pure LSD. He is pleasantly surprised to find out how different this ‘pure’ LSD is from that shitty LSD he had been taking all along. Or was that LSD he’d been taking? So, he has the real experience of LSD for the first time in his life. I know it is quite common for people to get rat poison pills, pure chalk pills, aspirin pills, DXM pills instead of the ecstasy pills they were after.

    Yeah what if?

    /eyeroll

    Again, how scientific it is to use illegal drugs for whatever purposes?

    You never fail to show me that my thoughts about how dense you are should always be an understatement.

    How scientific is it for people to eat turkey and bacon sandwiches?

    How scientific is it for people to read trashy novels?

    How scientific is it for people to watch baseball games?

  278. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    OK. I have to go now.

    Bye

    Yes please do, your stupidity is polluting the entire internet.

  279. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    OK. I have to go now.

    Bye

    If only he meant it as a permanent flounce.

  280. Brownian says

    So, after I handed rajkumar’s ass to him, he blithely pretends it didnt happen and moves back on to drugs, another subject he has no clue about.

    Christ, what an asshole.

  281. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Yeah and then having his ass handed to him again, he bravely runs away.

  282. StevoR says

    @272. theophontes 777 :

    @ StevoR – “BTW. Whoah! How do you do that?”
    Hera has the following aspects: Nymph, Maiden and Crone. (These can be life stages or the 3 (three!) seasons of the year. But we shan’t go into that now.) Each of these has three aspects in turn, represented for example: Demeter: in the guise of Kore, Persephone and Hecate. (At work right now so I can’t dig up the others.) Essentially Hera is a Goddess and therefore is triadic. But each of the three is triadic in turn. Therefore the 3×3. Why this does not extend to the next layer down is beyond me. (I am fairly sure She does not, but as to precisely why I cannot say.)

    Cheers for that.

    Three seasons?! Really? Huh? Which one got left out and why I wonder?

    Um, I was wondering about how do you do the underline footnote-in-a-box thingummy there.

    @ rajkumar : What no attempt to answer my comment #226? How rude and cowardly of you.

  283. says

    Still catching up, but just wanted to say:

    Welcome back, Desert Son!

    Not sure you’d remember me. I was probably still going by my old ‘nym (kopd) when last you were here. And I’m a rather infrequent commentator. Probably more so now than ever. I switched ‘nyms when the switch to FtB happened. You can just call me Erulora – don’t worry about the surname or accent. Unless you’re copypasting, then do whatever you want!

    These days I comment more over at JT’s place where it’s easier for me to keep up (and btw, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your comments over there – always a delight).

  284. Brownian says

    And the discovery of the electron was an accident?

    It’s the fucking opposite of an accident. Particles with discrete quantities of charge were theorised to exist because their existence would explain many observations in chemistry. This mysterious particle was even given the name electron before it was actually discovered.

    So far, in this thread, this fucking dipshit has unwittingly described the hidden god Russell’s Teapot analogises, had described theistic evolution as if no-one else has ever thought of such a thing, got a basic discovery in chemistry completely backasswards wrong, decided that the effects of drugs are ‘beyond science’, which is unwelcome news to the pharmacology industry I’m sure, and when all that surprisingly failed to make his grandiose point, he then jumped on people for using the royal ‘we’.

    Rajkumar, are you really unaware of how pathetic you are in these threads? You’re obviously grasping at any wild straw you can to shore up your belief in this god of yours, and you keep shooting yourself in the foot while you do so. Does this act of yours impress people you know in real life or something? I mean, throw us a bone here, what makes you think you’re at all competent to talk about any of the shit you say, since you’re so obviously not competent?

  285. Brownian says

    Three seasons?! Really? Huh? Which one got left out and why I wonder?

    It’s not that one got ‘left out’, it’s that the closer one gets to the tropics, especially in coastal regions, three or even two more accurately describes the annual cycle of changing weather. Fall and Spring don’t mean anything when plants and animals don’t hibernate or go dormant, and rainy and dry more accurately describe what’s happening.

  286. Desert Son, OM says

    Brownian:

    Thanks for your kind words and perspective. I’ve read some of your notes about similar things before, and I’m grateful for your commentary. Some days are more . . . confident than others. In a way, it’s been a nice recognition of the intersection of my psychological experiences and my realization of atheism: “Wow, the universe seems scary today. Oh, right, that’s because it is scary because it’s not specially designed with me in mind and there’s no consciousness or caring “out there” somewhere that gives a shit what happens, except in what humans make in socially-mediated spaces.”

    Luckily, even when it’s scary, I still find the universe totally and utterly fascinating, so I got that going for me, which is nice (with apologies to Carl Spackler).

    Chigau:

    Thanks for the greetings and welcome.

    This isn’t the real™ Endless Thread but it is currently a bit safer

    Thanks for the encouragement. I think I’d be operating under a delusion if I thought any thread, endless or otherwise, on Pharyngula was “safer” ;)

    And anyway, I’m trying to come back regardless of whether it’s “safe” in the intellectual integrity sense. I’ve said before one of the reasons Pharyngula is valuable is because it’s challenging (and it’s still valuable on days when I’m intimidated by that).

    Erulóra Maikalambe (typed, not stirred), thank you, and I do, indeed remember you (as kopd), and have seen you elsewhere in the Freethought Blogs Nebula (as I’ve seen many other familiar names, including many I forgot to call out in my opening list, again with apologies). I empathize with the keeping up. Back when I defaulted to assuming Pharyngula automatically meant Scienceblogs it was hard to keep up (and I’d argue that’s a good thing) with just the one blog. Now there’s 32 other stars in the nebula! It’s hydrogen-rich, which is great, but trying to stay at pace with everything can be dizzying.

    Thank you, again.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  287. Brownian says

    Getting high on god-knows-what, and then ‘assuming’ it was this or that … Jee, how scientific is that? I can bet he still doesn’t know what shit he took that day — and how much of it– which made him experience that ‘apparent eternity and an ego less communion’.

    Universities do produce high quality drugs like LSD for pharmacological research. Lysergic acid, a precursor to LSD, is used in the synthesis of nicergoline, a treatment for dementia.

    But, that’s tangential to your incredibly stupid point. The fact that things also happen under uncontrolled circumstances does not mean that the observation of those events, or similar ones, are beyond the realm of science.

    It’s always this way with you. You say something completely fucking wrong, have it pointed out to you, and then you shift your goalposts so as to salvage something from your stupid analogy, and you end up saying something even more ludicrous on the way.

    It’s almost slapstick.

  288. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    WE found them? You were one of the discoverers?

    SSSHHHH!!! If I take personal credit for all the great science I did in the 19th century the other vampires will become angry and put me in a tanning booth.

    But I still hold my position that it was a chance discovery. From the historical records, it seems obvious enough that the scientists had clue what they were about to discover.

    Electron mediated phenomena were known long before we knew of electrons, if that is what you mean. Scientists have had to sort out what electrons are and how they work, and its taken a long time to come to good answers.

    When you call it “chance”, though, you make it sound as though electrons are rare birds in the amazon, as opposed to ubiquitous actors in the physics of matter. I’m telling you that electrons are involved in enough different phenomena that someone would have discovered them eventually, one way or another. Cathode ray tubes happened to provide a good experimental medium for teasing out their true nature.

    Maybe it would help if you clarify what you mean by “a chance discovery”?

    Anyway, at the most fundamental level electrons were discovered because they are evident.

    And my whole point is: if you do not know what God is — and you don’t–, if God doesn’t exist for you because you are an atheist, then how would you even know what a ‘noteworthy behvaiour’ from God is like? How would you define God’s intervention? What are your sources of information about God?

    And it blows my mind that you think this is a point. I would know “noteworthy behavior”, because it would have some apparent effect on reality.

    Maybe the problem is that you don’t realize that the word “god” actually has a definition, and that definition comes from mythology. Just read any holy book or mythology and look at what actions have historically been attributed to gods and goddesses. They throw lightning. They dress up in costumes so that they can punk frost giants. They brew huge batches of beer in cauldrons under the ocean. They burn cities and turn people into salt licks. They flood the entire world, killing all but a handful of people and animals. And the list goes on.

    None of the things I mentioned is really subtle, but all of them appear in one mythology or another. The only thing you are doing is taking this concept out of mythology and saying “what if these things actually exist, but they are invisible, and don’t do anything”? Its a stupid ad hoc defense to protect you cherished concept from a lack of evidence.

    Bottom line: we know about electrons because Thompson proposed that the strange “rays” in the CRT were tiny particles zooming around. We know about Odin for a reason too: because the vikings chose to justify aggressive behavior by appeals to a one eyed super-human who was licked out of a block of ice by a cow, and who subsequently formed the world out of the flesh and blood of a frost giant. One of these concepts is evident, and one is a bunch of malarky. I leave you to sort out which is which.

  289. Snoof says

    the closer one gets to the tropics, especially in coastal regions, three or even two more accurately describes the annual cycle of changing weather.

    Depends on who you ask! I’ve always liked the Yolngu way of counting the tropical seasons, myself.

  290. says

    scifi:

    We are looking at reason why a creator might be necessary, and trying to side track with this dumb argument is nothing more than foolishness.

    Still confusing epistemology with metaphysics, scifi? I’d hoped you’d’ve educated yourself on that by now. I hadn’t really expected you to educate yourself, as the evidence falls the other way, but hoped.

    rajkumar didn’t argue for a specific reason why a creator might exist. (Neither have you, that I’ve read, except for trotting out a list of previously-refuted arguments without making those arguments yourself.) rajkumar posed an epistemic question, one which is trivially refuted by Russell’s Teapot. Granted, it takes a little intellectual power to understand Russell’s argument, as it’s phrased as an analogy, so I understand your confusion.

    This is all about epistemology, which is the philosophy of what we know, and how we know it. This isn’t a discussion about the actual possibility of a real god (which far better people than you [Plantinga] have tried and failed to argue). It’s a discussion about “What if there was no way to observe God?” — which presents an epistemic discussion, not a metaphysical one, as it’s about what we know about God, and how we know it.

    See the difference? Yes, I know it’s a little bit subtle, talking about our knowledge of our knowledge. But rajkumar didn’t start off talking about the actual existence of God, nor has xe made a case for the existence of a god at any point along the way.

    Now, if that’s all TL;DR for you, here’s a summary: you have demonstrated once again that you are a fuckwit of the highest caliber. Next time, try to understand the nature of the discussion at hand before jumping in with non sequiturs and assertions, mmmkay?

  291. Brownian says

    It wasn’t like these people were **specifically** looking for some particles called electrons before they were discovered?

    Again, it was exactly like that. In the 1880s, George Johnstone Stoney showed that Faraday’s laws of electrolysis, published in 1834, necessitated that electricity came in discrete ‘packets’, much like matter was made of discrete packets we call atoms, determined a half century earlier. He was probably not the first to do so (Richard Laming had earlier theorised that atoms were made of smaller, charged components), nor was he the last: Hermann von Helmholtz came up with the same idea independently, because that’s where the evidence led. GJ Stoney even coined the name for this particle, ‘electron’, in 1894. Three years later, JJ Thomson discovered actual electrons (he tried to call them ‘corpuscles’, but the name ‘electron’ had already become popular among the scientists and theorists) with his experiments on cathode rays.

    So, yes, these people were **specifically** looking for some particles called electrons before they were discovered, and so they discovered them

    Why do you continue to talk about science when you haven’t the foggiest fucking idea of how it actually works, its theory, or its history? What the fuck is wrong with you?

  292. Brownian says

    Thanks, snoof. I did know that some groups enumerated more than four seasons, and now I have a handy example of one.

  293. StevoR says

    @Desert Son, OM :

    Back when I defaulted to assuming Pharyngula automatically meant Scienceblogs it was hard to keep up (and I’d argue that’s a good thing) with just the one blog. Now there’s 32 other stars in the nebula! It’s hydrogen-rich, which is great, but trying to stay at pace with everything can be dizzying.

    Yup. I can’t keep up myself, I’ll be honest and admit as much.

    I’m kinda intermittant here myself and know my limitations, sorta, kinda. I know I’m not perfect and I’ll be honest and admit I don’t recall you at all but then you were probably long before my time visiting here.

    Anyhow, cheers. {raised beer salute}

    Still learning,

    Always mate, me too, always. The cosmos is so big and there’s so awfully much to everything but hell we stumble along and hopefully do more good than harm and make our best contributions to it.

  294. says

    scifi:

    I, on the other hand have, and these books I recommend have successfully rebutted just about all the arguments and claims that NDEs are nothing more than natural occurrences.

    If your arguments are taken from those books, then they are worse than worthless — they are misleading at best, and outright lies at worst (which is the ultimate result of outright bias). You refuse to accept, in spite of actual research to the contrary, that the reports of the experience of NDEs differ from culture to culture. You do this in spite of the evidence, which indicates you are highly biased. You probably think you’re being open-minded, but really, you’re ignoring the very real arguments against NDEs being anything other than hallucinations induced by trauma.

    All of the anecdotes about NDEs resulting in before-unknown information are just that — anecdotes. The story of the kid who visited heaven? An anecdote, which later turned out to be a result of leading questions from the family. The case of the girl who saw her aunt, and it turned out that her aunt had died with the girl was unconscious? Most reports ignore the fact that the girl saw other family members who were still alive, so her hallucination of her aunt was insignificant.

    None of the accounts you present successfully demonstrate actual new knowledge. The books you refer us to present cherry-picked cases which are presented in a biased manner. They are worse than useless, as they aren’t realistic in any way.

    It’s no wonder you have no fucking clue what you’re talking about. You consider reading biased and fabricated stories as evidence.

    I hope you are never introduced to Erich von Daniken. After all, he successfully established that our civilization is the result of alien visitation.

  295. StevoR says

    Durnnit. Blockquote fail. Last paragraph there is all mine and not quoted. The line above it is quoted. Sorry.

    (Wish we could edit these. I could swear that half the typos appear after I preview & click submit. Oh well. Sigh.)

    @333. Brownian :

    It’s not that one got ‘left out’, it’s that the closer one gets to the tropics, especially in coastal regions, three or even two more accurately describes the annual cycle of changing weather. Fall and Spring don’t mean anything when plants and animals don’t hibernate or go dormant, and rainy and dry more accurately describe what’s happening.

    Ancient Greece is tropical?

    I can understand having just Wet & Dry seasons in Northern Oz and suchlike latitudes and the Tropics, well, I think they really stay pretty much the same year-round but I thought Greece had a “mediterrean climate with all four seasons just like here in South Australia?

    @337. Snoof : Cheers. Fair enough.

  296. Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc says

    Louis

    Can turds be sharpened? If so I learned something contrary to experience today.

    You can if you freeze them, but I doubt that this is particularly relevant.

  297. Amphiox says

    WE invented the light bulb, WE invented the decimal, WE sent the first man on the moon, WE invented the first microprocessor, WE invented the DVD, WE invented the first dual core processor, WE put air bags in cars, WE invented aspirin, WE invented the first air plane

    Um, every single one of these examples are of technology – INVENTIONS, not discoveries, and have no relevance whatsoever to the statement “We DISCOVERED the electron”.

    Looks like we can add “invention”, “discovery” and “we” to the list of english language words that the raja cannot properly define.

    (But it is so predictable for trolls of raja’s strike to confuse to, isn’t it? A boring broken record, droning on, providing nothing new or interesting.)

  298. Amphiox says

    I speak of Prophet Harris.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA*gasp*HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH*gasp**gasp*HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    The raja’s confinement to the zombie thread is evidently curdling what little there original was of its brain.

  299. Amphiox says

    From the historical records, it seems obvious enough that the scientists had clue what they were about to discover.

    It looks like we can also add “seems”, “obvious”, “enough”, and “clue” to the list of english language words the raja is unable to define.

    Perhaps it is yet another manifestation of the blinkered binary thinking that plagues raja’s remnant of a zombie brain. It cannot conceive of the concept of partial knowledge – either scientists knew EVERYTHING there is to know about the electron, or they knew nothing.

    No clue? They knew LOTS about the electron’s properties. They USED THAT KNOWLEDGE TO DESIGN THE EXPERIMENTS THAT FOUND THE ELECTRON. If they knew nothing about the electron, they would not have been able to know what to look for, and they would not have been able to find it!

    That is precisely how scientific hypotheses work – they provide us with DESCRIPTIONS of SPECIFIC properties of things. This then GUIDES US and allows us to design methods for FINDING these things.

    And this is why talking of things that “cannot be described” is pathetic, useless, dishonest fappery.

  300. Brownian says

    Ancient Greece is tropical?

    Ancient Greece doesn’t exist any longer. But when it did, it was generally subtropical, and obviously strongly influenced by its proximity to the Mediterranean sea.

    Kidding aside, ‘seasons’ are defined a number of ways. While there is an astronomical reason for the seasons, being the varying amount of solar energy each hemisphere receives throughout earth’s orbit around the sun, how they actually manifest in different regions is in changing amounts of daylight (more pronounced the farther one gets from the equator), changing temperatures, rainfall patterns, etc. Since these conditions vary from region to region, what actual humans call seasons has a lot more to do with these regional variations than the astronomical periods between the solstices and the equinoxes, so it’s not at all a surprise that the ancient Greeks would have enumerated different seasons than are considered to exist where you and I live. They’re cultural constructs. Further, in modern industrialised nations, where urban people’s livelihoods are much less dependent on the weather, we can afford to be a little more theoretical about the seasons, and often default to ones roughly based on astronomical periods. (In Canada, we often joke that we have only two seasons: winter and patio, or winter and road construction. But we do have distinct periods based on snowfall, day length, and annual cycles of ecological growth and dormancy.)

    But here’s a Greek travel site which describes Greece as having two main seasons.

  301. Amphiox says

    None of the accounts you present successfully demonstrate actual new knowledge. The books you refer us to present cherry-picked cases which are presented in a biased manner.

    Those “books” shiffy gives are the exact same “books” Shiloh gave way back, and they were thoroughly discredited in that old thread already. Nothing but cherry picking by authors with an agenda.

    Then stop wasting my time acting like you know better about NDEs if you refuse to take the time to look at alternative views.

    I already told the shiffy point blank, BEFORE it finally produced the names of those books, that I would only read citations to the PRIMARY literature, and that if it only produced books, I would not read them.

    So the above statement is shameless dishonesty in the extreme.

    I also told the shiffy that all it had to do was extract those primary citations from the books themselves and present them to us. I even gave shiffy stepwise instructions on how to do it, lest it did not know.

    The pitiful dishonest wanker has, as can be seen, still refused to provide even just one.

    Laughably pathetic.

  302. Amphiox says

    Can turds be sharpened? If so I learned something contrary to experience today.

    Well, Mythbusters showed that turds could be polished and shined….

  303. Brownian says

    From the historical records, it seems obvious enough that the scientists had clue what they were about to discover.

    This statement could not be more wrong.

    Sometimes that does happen: discoveries which were not previously predicted, and require that previously held theories be revised. But that is not the case with the discovery of the electron. As others had noted, they were able to isolated and identify it precisely because they had some clue as to its existence, as well as its characteristics, based on previous experimental results.

    What is obvious is that you never even bothered to look at the ‘historical record’ of the discovery of the electron before you opened your stupid cakehole.

  304. Amphiox says

    Sometimes that does happen: discoveries which were not previously predicted

    In almost every case of this, the MOMENT of that chance finding does not make the discovery. Without any hypotheses to guide them regarding the completely unexpected chance result, most of the time no one knows what to make of the new finding for quite some time, and it takes more work, a period of new hypothesis generation and further experiments, before the discovery is confirmed.

    Which seriously muddies the issue about when the discovery was “made”.

  305. says

    It amuses me that the discovery of the electron example illustrates what people have been telling Raj has been missing from his ‘gee, what if-’ scenarios.

    The electron was found because researchers had clues they followed. That is, there were observed phenomena, and when they went looking to see what caused the phenomena, they found the thing that they named ‘electrons’.

    @Raj – so where are the clues, then, Raj? Where is the first brick in the road we might walk and find a creator-entity? Where are the clues to even suggest we NEED to find a creator-entity?

    You’re jumping the gun. You’re suggesting we do the equivalent of going looking for a murderer when there is no corpse and no other clues suggesting a murder has happened.

    If I’m wrong, and you’re just suggesting a wholly pie-in-the-sky hypothetical ‘What if’ scenario about there being a non-detectable, non-intervening creator entity, then my answer is: “I would live my life exactly as if there were no creator-entity.” I suggest that this is the only sane position to take.

    This also holds if the creator-entity communicates with a select number of humans via subjective experiences that are indistinguishable from hallucination.

  306. Desert Son, OM says

    Thanks, StevoR. Cheers, and a *toast* in return.

    nigelTheBold:

    I hope you are never introduced to Erich von Daniken.

    Back in December I ended up in a long conversation with one of my brothers about von Däniken. My brother has purchased multiple von Däniken books.

    *sigh*

    It was a slow (but, ultimately, I hope, somewhat fruitful discussion, maybe, possibly, Mike?) to go through stuff like:

    What’s the claim?
    Are there any competing/alternate hypotheses, and if so what are they?
    What’s the evidence?
    What tools do we have to analyze our observations?
    What conclusions can we draw?
    Have we been careful to acknowledge and declare study limitations?
    What have others with similar interests, questions, and research said about this or relevant topics?

    And finally, what’s the probability that aliens traveled all the way from Not-From-Around-This-Planet-Are-You? and then decided to build Bronze and Iron Age structures from local materials using what, by all the evidence, are Bronze and Iron Age tools?

    The other one I hope sunk in was: isn’t it maybe a little arrogant to assume that Ancient Egyptians were too simple/stupid/insufficiently advanced/backward/not cool enough to actually work out the mathematics, engineering, logistics, materials, tools, and social organization to build the fucking things in the first place?

    This whole conversation, meanwhile, taking place while we were driving to Chaco Canyon. Another place where people – fully capable and intelligent and resourceful human beings with all sorts of characteristics like drive, ingenuity, curiosity, knowledge, experience, wherewithal, art, and more – actually got together in social organization, put tools to use, culled resources (including some from pretty fucking far away), and built something pretty spectacular.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with von Däniken if his work was labeled “fiction” and filed in the appropriate bookstore/library section. Then any discussions would just be about the aesthetics of his science fiction writing.

    Anyway. von Däniken. Bleah.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  307. chigau (違う) says

    A. R
    My aspargus bed is in its third year.
    6 beds?
    Have you contacted Aspargus Anonymous?

    Brownian
    I think our seasons are ice and potholes.

  308. Brownian says

    I think our seasons are ice and potholes.

    Our seasons are Winter and Road Work

    Both accurate. I tend to think of the seasons as “The time when I can walk outside at 11 PM in just a t-shirt and shorts” and “the other 45 weeks of the year”.

  309. A. R says

    chigau: It’s true, I am addicted to asparagus.

    Strewth: You live in Michigan?

  310. Louis says

    Ice and potholes? Winter and road work? You lucky, lucky bastards. You lucky, lucky bastards. I’d give my right arm for seasons like that.

    I get Indulgence and Herpes. Mind you, those are quite personal seasons.

    Louis

  311. says

    He’s lecturing people on how to properly use science in that article? Scientists aren’t allowed non-scientifically rigorous life experiences? And aren’t allowed to discuss them? And aren’t allowed to muse on how they might have scientific implications?

    How scientific is it for people to eat turkey and bacon sandwiches?

    How scientific is it for people to read trashy novels?

    How scientific is it for people to watch baseball games?

    You are speaking like his defence lawyer — the one that ends up getting you to the gallows while trying to save you from the 5 years in prison you were going to get before hiring him.

    Of course, scientists are allowed to do whatever the hell they like… even tripping on illegally-acquired badly-synthesized drugs. The point is, in an uncontrolled environment, under no medical supervision, under no quality checks, a badly-synthesized drug like LSD is going to give you something entirely different than it would give you in a completely different environment i.e., where the drug is pure, where the quantity is measured, where doctors are monitoring you, where settings have been chosen accordingly, and so on. I think this was the important thing about LSD and DMT trips that Harris should have mentioned to his readers. He wants his daughter to try LSD, but what if his daughter ends up unknowingly and unintentionally trying out a combination of bad LSD+LSA+DMT in an environment that is totally wrong for it? Does he even know the implication of such a venture?

    The problem is, as I see it, Harris does lecture people like Chopra on science. If not in that particular article, then in lots of other places … like in his debates, speeches and talks. He himself should know what a ‘psuedo-scientific’ practice it is to get high on shit and then come down and write an essay about it. Only to encourage his readers and his daughter to do the same… Unless, as I said before, he had acquired those drugs through some special arrangements, and he knew about their purity, their type, their quality, the exact amount that he took, and was also aware of the settings.

  312. Ichthyic says

    What Harris is saying,

    It’s amusing watching Raj project what he thinks other people are saying.

    It’s also amazing that I can’t recall a single instance where he’s been correct.

    I mean, just by chance I would expect him to be right once or twice?

  313. valorphoenix says

    @ 365 Raj

    Banging pots and pans together is science, albeit at a toddler level.

    Interjecting the word ‘quantum’ randomly into something as a ‘magic word’ is not science.

    Also, WTF? Are you disappointed this guy didn’t do an essay on LSD quality factors? Also, who cares about this guy? This isn’t even good evidence of cognitive dissonance, I can link you to geologists that study old Earth rocks and then spend their time being YECs when not doing science.

  314. scifi says

    Mandrellian,
    “See, the “dipshits” here don’t – and don’t have to – “argue against the possibility of a creator”. ”

    When there are people here who state that a creator does not exist, it stands to reason that they need to show evidence of a natural means responsible for the beginning of our universe. If they cannot do that, that still leaves open the possibilty that a creator was necessary. So long as you cannot show evidence for natural means, you can scream parsimony and null argument to the top of your lungs all you want, but it still does not negate the argument for a creator.

  315. consciousness razor says

    it still does not negate the argument from incredulity for a creator teapot

    No evidence is needed to refute invalid arguments.

  316. Brownian says

    So long as you cannot show evidence for natural means, you can scream parsimony and null argument to the top of your lungs all you want, but it still does not negate the argument for a creator.

    The lack of evidence for a creator does that trick nicely.

    Remember how I fucking slaughtered you in that other thread, shit-for-brains?

  317. scifi says

    Amphiox,
    ““Possibility of a creator” is just a fancy and dishonest way of saying “I don’t know and I am too lazy to do the hard work needed to find out, so I’ll just call it a creator and go home”.”

    Wrong! I’ve thoroughly explained why a creator could be necessary. If you would just get your head out of your ass you would be able to see that.

    Brownian, you little weasel, don’t flatter yourself. You have never come even close to destroying my argument.

    “, you’ve never even been able to propose anything like a need for any creator.”

    Time to remove your blinders. I’ve have given you plenty of reason for a creator, you just want to believe what ever you want to and refuse to let anyone upset your applecart belief.

    Like the theists, keep the faith atheists, because, currently, that is all you have to offer since you don’t have the evidence for your side of the argument. So long as you don’t have the evidence, you can call me what ever you want, but, as far as I’m concerned, they are nothing but empty words.

    Being agnostic is the only sensible thing to be.

    G’day, mates!

  318. Amphiox says

    I’ve thoroughly explained why a creator could be necessary.

    Another transparent pathetic lie from shiffy.

    The shiffy most certainly has NOT, and never will, explain anything of substance at all.

    So long as you cannot show evidence for natural means, you can scream parsimony and null argument to the top of your lungs all you want, but it still does not negate the argument for a creator.

    And the shiffy continues to recycle the same, tired, already debunked fappery, continuing to completely ignore everything we have explained to it about what parsimony and null HYPOTHESIS actually mean. Just using the words DOES NOT equate to actually addressing the argument.

    Parsimony and null HYPOTHESIS DOES, COMPLETELY, negate any and all arguments for creators, and nothing the shiffy can ever vomit will change that fact.

    Utterly pitiful.

  319. Amphiox says

    Being agnostic is the only sensible thing to be.

    And from this we can plainly see that the shiffy has ALSO deliberately ignored everything that everyone here has tried to teach about what agnosticism and atheism ACTUALLY mean.

    Utterly pathetic.

  320. Amphiox says

    The problem is, as I see it, Harris does lecture people like Chopra on science.

    So what?

    As if Harris’ use of LSD was even relevant in any way at all. What a pathetic piece of dishonest deflection.

    If Harris engages in pseudoscience 99.9% of the time and does actual science 0.1% of the time, he is STILL fully qualified to lecture Chopra on science, since Chopra engages in pseudoscience 100% of the time and does real science ZERO percent of the time.

    Every TODDLER who has figured out the block-triangle-circle game can appropriately lecture Chopra on science.

  321. Ichthyic says

    When there are people here who state that a creator does not exist, it stands to reason that they need to show evidence of a natural means responsible for the beginning of our universe.

    that’s the problem; it doesn’t.

    we know you can’t understand this, because your psychology is fucked up, but it’s still true.

    the onus of proof is always on those asserting something other than the default.

    your presumptions preclude you from recognizing this fact, so all we can do is entertain you.

    …but realize that we’re also laughing at you.

    hard.

  322. Brownian says

    You have never come even close to destroying my argument.

    Of course I have. You’re just too fucking stupid to understand

    Boy, for an agnostic, you sure have a hard on for god. Is it your mother or your father you learned to lie from? Are they as stupid as you? As dishonest? Or do you embarrass them?

  323. Ichthyic says

    Or do you embarrass them?

    of course not.

    precious dumpling couldn’t possibly disappoint mummy and daddy.

    these two are intractably boring at this point.

    let me know when a new face pops in.

  324. says

    Also, WTF? Are you disappointed this guy didn’t do an essay on LSD quality factors? Also, who cares about this guy? This isn’t even good evidence of cognitive dissonance, I can link you to geologists that study old Earth rocks and then spend their time being YECs when not doing science.

    I am not disappointed… ‘shocked’ is the right word and impression. Shocked because a famous neuroscientist, who lectures people on what science is what a real scientist should be like, doing these utterly unscientific practices. This is my objection: He criticizes people for their certain behaviour, attitudes and practices, and then ends up doing the exact same thing himself.

    By the way, I recommend Alexander Shulgin if anyone is really interested in these drugs, and their effects on humans. Shulgin is a chemist and a pharmacologist by profession, and he was able to keep his professional interests within the field of chemistry and pharmacology throughout his professional life. Which is a good indication of how dedicated he was to his profession.

  325. Ichthyic says

    Shocked because a famous neuroscientist, who lectures people on what science is what a real scientist should be like, doing these utterly unscientific practices.

    so, when you go to see a movie, is that a scientific practice?

    would you prevent yourself from commenting on it because it’s just a movie?

    man, you are a complete demented fuckwit, no doubt.

    I’m sure people laugh at you in public, after speaking with you for more than 10 seconds.

    I’m right, aren’t I.

  326. Brownian says

    Maybe your memory isn’t good, scifi. It was right in this thread. Why your little concept of fine-tuning isn’t even coherent.

  327. FossilFishy says

    I cannot fathom how people like scifi and raj can afford an internet connection let alone a computer. With epistemologies like theirs you’d expect them to have been long since wiped out by scam artists. Hmmmmm…..we are building a house…hmmmmm [checks projected cash flow for the next half year] Hey, scifi, hey raj! Have I got a deal for you, 100% return on investment, GUARANTEED!!!

  328. Brownian says

    rajkumar, go fuck yourself. You’ve been shown how fucking utterly wrong about science you are, so shut the fuck up.

    Fucking electrons discovered by accident.

    You and scifi must have gone to the same fucking shitty school where they didn’t teach you anything and failed to let you know what worthless bags of crap you are.

  329. says

    Scifi, the point is we’re faced with a choice.

    “We don’t have all the facts yet. Therefore, we can say we are pretty confident in our understanding of the universe’s origin up to point x. Beyond that, we need to keep researching.”

    vs.

    “We don’t have all the facts yet. Therefore we’ll just say, without support, that the bit before the bit we understand is an outside creative force.”

    If there is a limit on the evidence we have, which is the more honest position? ‘I don’t know yet.’ or ‘I have decided that I know, though there is no more support for this position than any other.’?

    You keep suggesting, even asserting, that it is dishonest to say one does not believe in something while entertaining the possibility one is mistaken – that we should say we are agnostic as we cannot be certain.

    I, and I suspect others, disagree with you on this point. I for one do not believe that a meteor will strike my house tomorrow. It could happen. The odds are not zero. But it is so unlikely that I believe it will not happen and I make choices and live my life as if it will not happen.

    Similarly, I and other skeptics are not convinced any creator entity exists. We could be wrong, but we consider it so unlikely we believe it does not, and we make choices and live our lives as if it does not.

    I and others will continue to hold this position until something happens that changes our understanding of the likelihood of a creator-entity existing. That hasn’t happened yet.

    NDEs do not convince us. Our understanding of them indicates they are adequately explained by naturalistic phenomenon. And even if they were not so explained, the continuation of consciousness past the death of the body and without the support of a material substrate says nothing about the existence of a creator entity.

    The existence of life in a universe largely hostile to it, and the fact it is possible to conceive of a universe with different physical laws that would not support the particular patterns we call life does not convince us. We know that complex forms, even self-replicating ones, can and do emerge from much different systems of laws. Further, it has not been demonstrated that the parameters of operation of a ‘universe’ are adjustable, separately or in interlocked synchronicity.

    And even if there were alternate possible ‘settings’ for the universe’s parameters, AND no other combination allows for self-replicating patterns with variation, it STILL does not support – in any way – the existence of a creator entity. Unlikely is not impossible.

    This is the weight that you are contending with. You have a hypothesis you’d like us to consider, and that is all well and good. However your hypothesis, if true, would contradict centuries of research, millenia of man-hours of experimentation and terabytes, if not exabytes, of data, which all supports our position.

    A position that says no more than ‘to the limits of our current knowledge, we know the universe started at a point x years ago, and has been running on naturalistic laws every since. We’ve got some speculation, but we don’t know how or why it started, just that it did. Yet since everything else runs on naturalistic laws, we feel safe to assume the universe started due to such laws, unless we find something convincingly to the contrary.’

    You are welcome, even encouraged, to overthrow the establishment. But it’s going to take something pretty spectacular.

  330. Brownian says

    Valiant effort, strewth, but it’s like trying to teach a toad to drive a semi-truck. The fucking dolt is so stupid, that after railing against the concept of the multiverse, he proposed this:

    Amphiox,
    “A fine-tuning creator ALSO needs to have the capacity to FORESEE, in advance, that fine-tuning the set of parameters just so, would result in the outcome that is the universe as we observe it.”

    Not necessarily. A creator may have had to do it several times before it got it right and/or was able to make adjustments. This may be why only part of the universe is capable of supporting life.

    As amphiox later pointed out, that’s functionally indistinguishable from multiverse + creator. That’s this little agnostic’s dedication to his god.

    He’s a liar and a moron. And he’s had his ass kicked here so badly he shits out of his mouth. Even more than he already did.

  331. valorphoenix says

    @ 378 Rajkumar

    The point of contention here is that you somehow seem to think someone that’s a scientist must do ‘science’ all the time.

    No, pseudoscience is doing something that isn’t science and calling it science as an argument from authority, like randomly interjecting quantum as if it’s magic.

    Here’s an example perhaps you can understand. Jon Stewart from the Daily Show goes on Crossfire to complain that they suck as a news show. They complain he’s not doing rigorous news work on Comedy Central. Jon Stweart points out he’s a comedian doing a late night show on Comedy Central. They then point out he’s not being funny right then, isn’t he supposed to be a comedian?

    Then Jon Stewart ripped them multiple new assholes and their show was cancelled for being extra stupid and pointless.

    Just because Jon Stewart is a comedian doesn’t mean he has to be funny all the time. It only matters when he’s actually doing his job as a comedian.

    Go watch it on youtube if you haven’t seen it.

  332. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    , it stands to reason that they need to show evidence of a natural means responsible for the beginning of our universe.

    No, the NULL HYPOTHESIS is science is right. You must show evidence for your imaginary creator. We have been waiting a couple of years for your conclusive physical evidence. The dishonesty and repetition continues, like it is deaf and dumb.

    If they cannot do that, that still leaves open the possibilty that a creator was necessary.

    Sorry, PARSIMONY is not your friend, liar and bullshitter. No creator exists, it is imaginary, and stays that way until your present your solid and conclusive physical evidence. Evidence you acknowledge you don’t have, but like a liar and bullshitter, ignore the significance of the lack of evidence. Which is evidence of absence.

    Making us review the basics makes you look very and extremely stupid and gullible to the lurkers. You lose with each and every inane and stoopid post, that ignores what has gone one before.

    Wrong! I’ve thoroughly explained why a creator could be necessary

    No, you’ve explained why you PRESUPPOSE a creator through a thoroughly refuted presuppositional argument. It isn’t necessary, science does very well without one, and if one isn’t presupposed, never comes into play. You lose again, by the basics being reviewed.

    Being agnostic is the only sensible thing to be.

    Not by your definition of agnostic, which presupposes a creator/deity. We use the one where the information for the deity isn’t conclusively known, but we also use the null hypothesis for non-existence of one. Show us some evidence for a deity. We will listen to real and conclusive physical evidence. Oh, that’s right, you admit you have none. And you can’t shut the fuck up about the deity? Only confirmed liars and bullshitters enter that territory, and you and your inane arguments are firmly planted there. Otherwise, you would say something we haven’t heard for a couple of years. Boring and repetitive godbot, without honesty, and integrity.

  333. says

    Sastra:

    How could a teapot be God? I cannot worship tea.

    Heresy! Of course GodtheTeapot exists. Only in one particular location. Tea is wonderful, tea is good.

    Now, if it were coffee …

    No, no. I’m an Acoffeeist. Well, mostly. I indulge now and then. Does that make me an Agcoffeeist?

  334. says

    so, when you go to see a movie, is that a scientific practice?

    would you prevent yourself from commenting on it because it’s just a movie?

    man, you are a complete demented fuckwit, no doubt.

    I’m sure people laugh at you in public, after speaking with you for more than 10 seconds.

    I’m right, aren’t I.

    ah ha.. Here’s the thing. I am at the moment just a blogger. I am not a professional scientist who is openly criticizing a public figure in professional circles. But Harris is a professional scientist, and a public figure himself, who is openly criticizing another public figure, Chopra. That’s fine. But Harris’ criticism of Chopra means he himself, being a public figure, should avoid those practices for which he criticized Chopra, or else face the same criticism himself.

    These are custom-made comments for Harris and Chopra only. You can’t bring anyone else into the discussion so easily.

  335. FossilFishy says

    Dammit people, stop throwing rational arguments at the marks! The last thing we want to do is to get them thinking clearly.

    Hey raj and scifi!

    Do you want to make some money? Big MONEY!? I’ve spent the last seven years researching and designing an anti-gravity, perpetual motion machine that runs on water. That’s right, you heard me: FREE energy from water! Sound too good to be TRUE? Well it’s not, my studies of ancient Egyptian texts, the latest in Brane theory and bleeding edge singularity dynamics have shown me CONCLUSIVELY that it’s not only possible, but INEVITABLE that this machine will get built. It’s just a question of who’s going to do it first and reap the rewards. All I need from you is a small, one time only investment to get the prototype up and running. I’m offering both of you an UNPRECEDENTED opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this world changing endeavor. Secure your financial future NOW, 100% return on investment GUARANTEED at a minimum! The sky’s the limit to the WEALTH this will generate, and you’d crazy not to get on board with this REVOLUTIONARY technology!

  336. Amphiox says

    Looks like we can now add “avoid”, “those”, “practices”, “else”, “for”, “fine”, and “same” to the list of english language words that the raja dishonestly refuses to properly define.

  337. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You can’t bring anyone else into the discussion so easily.

    As usual, you are wrong. It is easy to bring anything into any discussion, as you prove time and time again with non-sequitors.

  338. Amphiox says

    Yeah, the raja is SUCH a reliable arbiter of what can and cannot be brought into the discussion.

    Arrogant, presumptious, hypocritical, dishonest fapwit.

  339. Ichthyic says

    These are custom-made comments for Harris and Chopra only. You can’t bring anyone else into the discussion so easily.

    yes, because that would burst your carefully constructed fiction.

    damn, you’re pathetic.

  340. says

    Ichthyic – well, it is the logical nomenclature for those who routinely engage in intellectual masturbation, I suppose.

  341. 'Tis Himself says

    Don’t believe FossilFishy’s claims in #391. Here’s the background for his “machine”:

    my studies of ancient Egyptian texts, the latest in Brane theory and bleeding edge singularity dynamics

    Notice there’s nothing there about quantum. Everyone knows that quantum is the basis for every perpetual motion machine. No quantum, no machine. QED.

  342. says

    The point of contention here is that you somehow seem to think someone that’s a scientist must do ‘science’ all the time.

    No, pseudoscience is doing something that isn’t science and calling it science as an argument from authority, like randomly interjecting quantum as if it’s magic.

    I think this is one definition of what ‘psuedo-science’ is. Another definition could be to pose oneself as a scientist and then write completely unscientific essays based on completely unscientific and dangerous practices … and then pretending this information somehow mysteriously connects itself to some unknown future scientific facts. Trying to give spirituality a ‘scientifically atheist’ touch.

    And No, I don’t seem to think that a scientist must do science all the time. But, I do seem to think a scientist should never ever indulge in anything non-scientific while trying to give the impression that it is very scientific.

  343. Ichthyic says

    I think

    what you do I would not describe as thinking.

    others might disagree.

  344. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I think

    what you do I would not describe as thinking.

    others might disagree.

    Disagree with a cogent observation of mental masturbation on Rajkumars’s part? Nope, it doesn’t think. It just pretends to think.

  345. valorphoenix says

    @400

    The dispute then quite simply seems to be that you were the only one here that thought a blog post about getting high and sitting among trees was ‘scientific’.

    That blog post is what I mean about a ‘scientist doing something that isn’t science.’

    In other words, the problem here is that you seem to think ‘getting high in a forest’ is somehow ‘science’.

    In the Jon Stewart example, you’re the guy on Crossfire thinking Jon Stewart is supposed to be funny because he’s a comedian when Jon is being dead serious upset with them.

  346. FossilFishy says

    Oh ‘Tis, ‘Tis, ‘Tis, people who are KNOWLEDGEABLE and EDUCATED in the LUCRATIVE field of perpetual motion know that quantum theory is yesterday’s news. The REAL advances are all happening in Brane theory which, as EVERYONE knows, quantifies and subsumes quantum theory into it’s eleventy dimensional, multiphasic matrix.

    Sheesh, it’s almost as if you want to stand in the way of FEARLESS forward thinkers like RAJ and SCIFI making huge CASH.

  347. Amphiox says

    And No, I don’t seem to think that

    An interesting qualifier. Apparently the raja has to guess the contents of its own thoughts.

    That, or “seem” and “think”, and “to” are yet more words in the english language that the raja apparently cannot manage to properly define.

  348. says

    In other words, the problem here is that you seem to think ‘getting high in a forest’ is somehow ‘science’.

    No, this is not what I am saying, as I have explained already. But if you want to assume this is what I am saying, I have no objections…

  349. says

    Raj I am so stressed and tired of your bullshit. Why don’t you stop bugging us with your bullshit and shove your bong right up your ass…sideways

    I am sorry, but this is not going to help your depression. Find the real cause, or causes. There could be many. For example, judging by your posts so far, the primary cause of your depression could be your inability to attract members of the same sex. The secondary cause could be your inability to distract member of different species.

  350. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Jesus Raj you are one dumb asshole. But I feel compelled to wade back into the intellectual cesspool you’ve created here despite having just finished a wonderful meal and enjoying a fantastic artisinal single malt whiskey. So…. /ramble on

    Of course, scientists are allowed to do whatever the hell they like… even tripping on illegally-acquired badly-synthesized drugs. The point is, in an uncontrolled environment, under no medical supervision, under no quality checks, a badly-synthesized drug like LSD is going to give you something entirely different than it would give you in a completely different environment i.e., where the drug is pure, where the quantity is measured, where doctors are monitoring you, where settings have been chosen accordingly, and so on. I think this was the important thing about LSD and DMT trips that Harris should have mentioned to his readers. He wants his daughter to try LSD, but what if his daughter ends up unknowingly and unintentionally trying out a combination of bad LSD+LSA+DMT in an environment that is totally wrong for it? Does he even know the implication of such a venture?

    Of course he fucking does and had you read the article you, your dumb self, brought up originally you would know this. But as is par for the course, you have no fucking clue what you are even arguing. You’re like a damn tetherball. You keep spinning around this imaginary point you think you are making and i keep batting you back the other direction. And you ultimately end up spun around it.

    The problem is, as I see it, Harris does lecture people like Chopra on science. If not in that particular article, then in lots of other places … like in his debates, speeches and talks. He himself should know what a ‘psuedo-scientific’ practice it is to get high on shit and then come down and write an essay about it. Only to encourage his readers and his daughter to do the same… Unless, as I said before, he had acquired those drugs through some special arrangements, and he knew about their purity, their type, their quality, the exact amount that he took, and was also aware of the settings.

    And once again I’m loathe to have to explain it, that was not a scientific article. That was him relaying a personal experience with drugs and then barely musing on the possible scientific implications. More so it was him relaying the curious and enlightening experiences he had under the influence of a mind altering drug. NOT a spiritual experience. Remember the first points you’ve now shifted goalposts away from?

    Your concern about the purity of LSD is commendable Raj. I’m sure the people of La Mancha will sleep well tonight knowing you are out there defending a straw man of science and charging sheets of Homer Simpson covered blotter with your lance and trusty sidekick pancho.

    Who is it you hang around with? Are they impressed with this line of mental midget style argumentation? Because let me tell you, it’s sad. It’s really sad. In fact you should call Dr. Phil or Jerry Springer or some other horrible tv personality to have you on their show. You might even make some money off it. Perhaps you could try and find the father of this stupid motherfucking idea on Maury Povich’s show. I’m not sure there is a paternity test for moronic ideas but it’s worth a shot. The reveal sequence could be good tv.

    And had you read the quote I already quoted before…

    As a general matter, I believe we should be very slow to make conclusions about the nature of the cosmos based upon inner experience — no matter how profound these experiences seem.

    You’d realize this line of bullshit you are positing is just that. Bullshit. He understands these personal experiences on mind altering drugs are just that. Personal experiences. But please keep packing those goal posts in your beat ass pick up that is your intellect and drive them further away from whatever point it was you originally were trying to make.

    Now do you get it?

    Harris despite all his faults, as I see it, was not claiming his experiences with drugs were any sort of scientific experiment. He did however, being a scientist, want to raise some questions.

    And he also understood that his daughter might do the very same things he did. And he thought that was just a-ok despite your attempt to create some crisis of science around it. Are there risks, of course. AND HE ADMITTED THAT.

    ut as the peaks are high, the valleys are deep. My “bad trips” were, without question, the most harrowing hours I have ever suffered—and they make the notion of hell, as a metaphor if not a destination, seem perfectly apt. If nothing else, these excruciating experiences can become a source of compassion. I think it would be impossible to have any sense of what it is like to suffer from mental illness without having briefly touched its shores.

    Though he saw them as a learning experience. And I agree.

    None of this goes against any version of science. People who are scientists have lives outside of the rigors of science. They have life experiences and Harris is saying this is one he thinks is a worthwhile one.

    But keep hammering the point you are making that all scientists have no room for risky or non-scientific behavior in their lives. Because it’s giving me and I’m guessing many others a good laugh.

    At you.

  351. Brownian says

    I am sorry, but this is not going to help your depression. Find the real cause, or causes. There could be many. For example, judging by your posts so far, the primary cause of your depression could be your inability to attract members of the same sex. The secondary cause could be your inability to distract member of different species.

    Do you have any idea of what a worthless, shit excuse for a human you are?

    By the way, are you ever going to acknowledge and apologise for being so goddamn fucking wrong about the discovery of the electron?

    Try, “Hey guys, you’re right; I am just making shit up. Sorry for being such a fucking douchebag.”

  352. FossilFishy (Lobed-finned Killer of Threads) says

    Sigh. I know correlation isn’t necessarily indicative of causation but, well, a nym change seems appropriate.

  353. says

    I am sorry, but this is not going to help your depression. Find the real cause, or causes. There could be many. For example, judging by your posts so far, the primary cause of your depression could be your inability to attract members of the same sex. The secondary cause could be your inability to distract member of different species.

    I’m stressed because I’m organizing MY WEDDING you patronizing sexist asshole!

  354. RahXephon, An Assorted Motley Queer says

    I am sorry, but this is not going to help your depression. Find the real cause, or causes. There could be many. For example, judging by your posts so far, the primary cause of your depression could be your inability to attract members of the same sex. The secondary cause could be your inability to distract member of different species.

    It’s funny you mention that, since you seem to have the ability to repulse people on the internet, like me, who are barely aware of who you are or what you’ve written other than incredibly shitty comments like this.

  355. says

    I’m stressed because I’m organizing MY WEDDING you patronizing sexist asshole!

    OK. I am sorry. But you started it.

  356. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    He himself should know what a ‘psuedo-scientific’ practice it is to get high on shit and then come down and write an essay about it.

    And I feel I need to add to this one thing.

    No it would be pseudo scientific if he claimed it actually had some efficacy in fixing, curing, healing a disease or injury or whatever.

    He doesn’t. He claims it is an experience that is worth having, in his opinion. And he would be ok with his daughter doing the same.

  357. says

    What are you 10?

    Don’t say “I am sorry” if you’re not.

    Also don’t try to be witty, you lack the lobes for it

    You’re a sexist repulsive piece of shit.

    If I am a repulsive whatever, obviously, this ‘repulsion’ is not working at the moment.

  358. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Raj “I probably will find my end in a self inflicted stapler accident”

    bwhahahaha

  359. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Your strategy of “making myself look stupid” is not an effective one.

    “haha! I’ll act like I can’t grasp basic concepts…that’ll show em!”

    “Just watch me spin myself like a top so that I know longer can even follow the argument I’m making” tactic.

    Strategery

  360. valorphoenix says

    Since Raj isn’t fun anymore, thought I would point out the Weather Channel’s new Noah ad.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSHk-rHGWAs

    Bad quality, but still watchable and quite funny. Hopefully there will be a clean version up that I can link to the next time I’m discussing Da Fluud.

  361. Amphiox says

    No quantum, no machine. QED.

    Hey, they don’t call it quantum mechanics for nothing!

  362. says

    scifi,

    You’ve avoided answering this question, so I can only imagine you realize it eviscerates your argument, but I will ask again:

    Are all potential answers to an unknown equally probable? Does Russell’s Teapot have a 50% chance of existing?

    I eagerly await your response.

  363. Amphiox says

    For example, judging by your posts so far, the primary cause of your depression could be your inability to attract members of the same sex.

    That the raja was an odious misogynist was already established.

    Unsurprising that the fapwit would turn out to be homophobic as well.

    Boring bigot still boring. Yawn.

  364. FossilFishy (Lobed-finned Killer of Threads) says

    Amphiox: Please read my #404. It’s not too late for you to see the TRUTH and obtain the RICHES you so obviously DESERVE!

  365. chigau (違う) says

    FossilFishy (Lobed-finned Killer of Threads)
    hmmm
    Your machine intrigues me.
    I’m in.
    How much do you need?
    and can you trust me until I win the Lottery (tomorrow)?
    {and it’s spelled quantumn}

  366. says

    FossilFishy:

    I too am interested in investing in your WONDROUS NEW MACHINE My vast inheritance is currently TIED UP in the legal system. I would GLADLY AND HAPPILY provide you with US$1 MILLION, but I will require some initial financial assistance.

    Please send a cashier’s CHECK in the amount of US$5,000 to:

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    P.O. Box 3.14
    Quantum Ache, NV 89666

    My lawyer will then be able to FREE my vast inheritance, and I shall send you ONE MILLION dollars, plus the US$5,000 you lend me.

  367. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    Raja

    But Harris’ criticism of Chopra means he himself, being a public figure, should avoid those practices for which he criticized Chopra, or else face the same criticism himself.

    I’ve seen a debate involving Harris, Shermer, Chopra and someone named Houston who didn’t add any content worth mentioning. The substance of Harris’s (and also Shermer’s) criticism of Chopra was that he makes up a bunch of addled fictions and non-sequiters and uses the word “quantum” over and over again in order to give the impression that his prevarications have some kind of support from physics or chemistry. Harris did not criticize Chopra for using LSD. Harris does not make up random nonsense and insist that it is scientifically supported. Therefore, Harris does not engage in the practices he criticize Chopra for. Period.

    Stop being a lying douchebag.

    Also, you keep asserting that those of us,* who are scientists, should never write anything that isn’t scientific. That’s exactly like saying a professional baseball player shouldn’t lob slow pitches at his daughter’s little league practice, because doing so would be unsportsmanlike. I don’t know if you realize this, but being a scientist is a job, not a fucking indenture. Most jobs in science are fairly demanding, and I think it tends to make people cranky being told that we shouldn’t do anything besides our demanding, often frustrating, grind.

    *as in me personally, as well as some of the others who post here

  368. A. R says

    Hmm, all of my efforts on TZT had me thinking about the very nature of trolling. Then I watched Star Trek, saw Q, and realized that Q is the ultimate troll. Raj, scifi, go watch Q, and take notes.

  369. theophontes 777 says

    @ raj-misogynist-troll

    He seems to be supporting ‘spirituality’ and spiritual concepts while being an atheist.

    Aside that the term for atheists, “atheoi” was applied to the early xtians – and correctly I might add – there is no reason an atheist can not be said to be spiritual. The numinous experience is common to all cultures and ages. That goddists staple their tacky imaginary deities to such experiences, does not make them any more or less than what they are.

    Further: As Emperor Julian (“the Apostate”) pointed out, it is not even important that the Gods exist or not. What is important, he says, is that we have the aspirations to higher goals that the Gods may inspire humankind to achieve.

    Such concepts have no place in science.

    Oh Lawdy, now you are heading into cat-lick territory. NOM is crap, idjit. Everything is in the ambit of science, including the study of the effects of drugs. And the so called “spiritual experience”.

    Everything you have said about me so far on this blog, and it’s a lot, was just your opinion about me, not evidence.

    Oh, so you admit to lying to us (to hide the real you?) and that what you write is not a reflextion of your thoughts and opinions. Own goal, rajipooh.

    /siwoti

    …..

    Off to lunch. I will dig up the references to three seasons later.

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  371. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    Raj

    Another definition could be to pose oneself as a scientist and then write completely unscientific essays based on completely unscientific and dangerous practices …

    Oh, OK. Well then why don’t you go read about what pseudoscience is instead of making up ridiculous and dishonest definitions of words that already have meanings.

    Thanks.

  372. chigau (違う) says

    A. R
    Star Trek’s Q as a troll…
    Wholy quantumning Crap!
    You’re absolutely correct!

    nigelTheBold
    If you send me $2500 worth of cut diamonds via paypal, I will forward $5000 to the Fish and split the $1MILLION with you
    OK?

  373. FossilFishy (Lobed-finned Killer of Threads) says

    Nigel: Your kind offer is greatly appreciated but I must decline. This project is of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE and for the PEOPLE as you can see by our REASONABLY priced subscription packages. I’m SURE you can understand why IT’S positively UNETHICAL to allow you, a 1%er, to dominate this nobel project with such a lavish INVESTMENT.

  374. Amphiox says

    FossilFishy, I shall consider your generous offer.

    I do commend you for the appropriateness of promoting a product based on BRANES here, on the zombie thread.

  375. Amphiox says

    Everything you have said about me so far on this blog, and it’s a lot, was just your opinion about me, not evidence.

    Oh, so NOW the raja starts to care about evidence?

  376. Amphiox says

    Another definition could be to

    The raja has just meta’ed itself.

    Apparently “definition” is yet another one of those english language words that it cannot find itself able to define.

  377. FossilFishy (Lobed-finned Killer of Threads) says

    Ha! Thank you Amphiox. I was wondering if someone would catch that. Should have never doubted the acuity of the Horde.

  378. chigau (違う) says

    FossilFishy (Lobed-finned Killer of Threads)
    Great!
    I’m kanda tapped-out but I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for an investment opportunity today.

  379. says

    Oh, OK. Well then why don’t you go read about what pseudoscience is instead of making up ridiculous and dishonest definitions of words that already have meanings.

    Disregard everything in that article and just tell me what on earth he means by ‘apparent eternity’ and ‘ego less communion’? It looks like these are spiritual concepts he is discussing in that article. Is he trying to merge atheism and spirituality here? Or, more precisely, trying to inject atheism into spirituality? In the end, what has it all got to do with how he understands human consciousness and the brain from a neuroscientist’s standpoint?

  380. theophontes 777 says

    @ StevoR, Brownian et al

    Re: 3 Seasons

    Oh, this terribly embarrassing. The references are not on my kindle, so I shall have to dig deeper. In the meantime (to avoid getting tarred and feathered) I present you with the Egyptian seasons: Akhet,Peret, Shemu (Just three.)

    The Assyrians had three seasons, the Anatolians four and the Mesopotamians only two (summer & winter, though the Babylonians had three). The seasons being largely dependent on the modes of agriculture.

    The Greeks where greatly influenced by the Assyrians and the Egyptians in the Orientalising Period (~720-620 BC). They had a large cultural and religious impact. Could the Greeks have also adopted their seasons? Stay tuned…

  381. Amphiox says

    Disregard everything in that article and just tell me what on earth he means by ‘apparent eternity’ and ‘ego less communion’? It looks like these are spiritual concepts he is discussing in that article. Is he trying to merge atheism and spirituality here?

    Another pathetically transparent and irrelevant attempt by the raja at deflection, when it has once more been demonstrated to be FLAT WRONG, about YET ANOTHER SUBJECT.

    Pitiful dishonesty.

    Also, we can add the words “spiritual”, “concepts”, “merge”, “trying”, and “to” to the list of english language words the raja evidently refuses to honestly define.

  382. says

    rajkumar:

    It looks like these are spiritual concepts he is discussing in that article.

    Did he present these concepts as scientific concepts? Or did he perhaps present them as something else?

    Sam Harris has a Buddhist bent. He tries to fuse a poetic humanism with skepticism. That is, he approaches life as if he were human.

    I don’t agree with Harris on many things. I think he fails at skepticism in many cases. But for you to attack him when he is effectively being human is stupid. He’s not trying to present his experience as scientific research. He’s synthesizing the many bits of himself — the scientist, the humanist, the Buddhist — into an essay. He’s not trying to make a buck off a credulous public by selling books that purport to give you secrets of the universe, like Chopra does. He’s written a fucking essay.

    He’s discussing “spiritual” concepts, because “spiritual” concepts are nothing more than human concepts. It’s really just that simple. He’s fucking human. And he’s exploring all the details that entails.

    It’s a helluva lot different than the criticisms he levels against Chopra, who is using scientific jargon to obfuscate the fact he’s selling bullshit as reality.

  383. Ichthyic says

    The secondary cause could be your inability to distract member of different species.

    aha! that’s the problem, we can’t distract raj from being a fapwit… because he’s a different species.

    I’m guessing mutated gopher?

  384. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    I’m guessing mutated gopher?

    I will go with a descendent of clams.

  385. Amphiox says

    He’s fucking human.

    Very human indeed.

    But the raja fails to even meet that criteria.

    I’m guessing mutated gopher?

    Who can tell? It’s undefinable.

  386. says

    I don’t agree with Harris on many things. I think he fails at skepticism in many cases. But for you to attack him when he is effectively being human is stupid. He’s not trying to present his experience as scientific research. He’s synthesizing the many bits of himself — the scientist, the humanist, the Buddhist — into an essay. He’s not trying to make a buck off a credulous public by selling books that purport to give you secrets of the universe, like Chopra does. He’s written a fucking essay.

    Well, he attracts thousands of readers every time he writes an essay. The last one he wrote on airport security attracted around 14 K Facebook fans alone. He is creating an impact, even when he writes essays, like or not. It’s not entirely about making money — this whole state of affairs also has a large component of what kind of ‘wisdom’ he is spreading in the world. If he is encouraging people to take illegal drug, without fully appreciating the consequences of it, then he is introducing something extremely unhealthy and unscientific in the world. And guess what? His fans, while seeing him as a respectable ‘neuroscientist’, are going to find a very good excuse to get high on badly-synthesized god-knows-what.

  387. Ichthyic says

    Well, he attracts thousands of readers every time he writes an essay.

    It’s quite odd that you don’t though.

    yeah.

    real puzzler.

  388. Ichthyic says

    I will go with a descendent of clams.

    deepsea jellyfish?

    I’ve been wrong on that one before.

    does he have a hexagonal neural net?

  389. says

    rajkumar:

    His fans, while seeing him as a respectable ‘neuroscientist’, are going to find a very good excuse to get high on badly-synthesized god-knows-what.

    And all of this has to do with his criticism of Chopra exactly… how?

    Your thesis is all over the place. First, it’s that his obviously non-scientific essay is not scientific. Then, it’s that it should be scientific, because he presents himself as a scientist. After, it’s that he’s a hypocrite for promoting non-scientific shit, while he criticizes Chopra for all the fucking Chopra-woo.

    Now, it’s that he’s leading all the Hip Young Kids into taking badly-synthesized drugs.

    While at least one of those arguments might present a coherent thesis, several of them are simply wrong. But you can’t present the potentially-valid arguments together in an omelet and proclaim, “This is your prophet Harris!” It’s not just sloppy, it’s boring.

    Your argument that Harris’s essay is potentially misleading is interesting, at least. But it’s going to take a helluva lot more refining than you’ve presented so far. Don’t try to use a shotgun approach, and throw all kinds of arguments against us — that won’t work, and just makes you appear to be flailing, or attempting to throw lots of mud at Harris, just to see what will stick*. Take your actual argument, and go with that.

     

    * Sorry about the grab-bag of metaphors. I don’t mix them, but I’ll just shove the into a convenient container to fight it out until they cry for mercy.

  390. theophontes 777 says

    @ raj-bigot

    The last one he wrote on airport security attracted around 14 K Facebook fans alone.

    Do you realise that a large proportion of those people are bigots, like yourself. They want to discriminate against people who (to themselves) look “muslim”. Harris is wittingly or unwittingly feeding these people’s bigotry.

    (You want to discriminate against women. But it is the same underlying problem.)

    His fans, while seeing him as a respectable ‘neuroscientist’, are going to find a very good excuse to get high on badly-synthesized god-knows-what.

    SRSLY?

  391. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Ichthyic, I take it that you are not up on your Scientology.

  392. Ichthyic says

    not up on your Scientology

    no.

    on some subjects, ignorance truly IS bliss.

    don’t say I never larned nutin’ from creationists.

  393. Ichthyic says

    Your thesis is all over the place

    you must have a much more, liberal, definition of “thesis” than I do.

    I might have chosen words synonymous with excrement.

  394. Janine: History’s Greatest Monster says

    Basically, humans are descendants of clams.

    Xenu lives!

    Try to claim ignorance now!

    *raspberry*

  395. says

    There’s this secret beach outside of Sitka that is dense with clams. I go there when I’m throwing some shindig that requires lots of clams, like a grilled clam shindig.

    Of course, I’m in Cleveland these days, so it’s a lot harder.

    I really hope I’ve never grilled up one of your cousins.

  396. Ichthyic says

    grilled clam shindig.

    I can has moar pls?

    I’m heading up to a place next week where there are supposed to be tons of pipis (small clams good for chowder and just eating raw), lobster, snapper, tuna…

    but I’ve only got 2 days on the beach!

    so unfair.

  397. theophontes 777 says

    @ Ichthyic

    I might have chosen words synonymous with excrement.

    Trizzy bits:

    diaper gravy, ass explosion, blivet, bull-babbage, butt nugget, kak, crap-o-mundo, merde, number two, scheisse, sewer trout, shnickerdoodles, skid marks, poop, stink pickle, stool, turd, turtle head (!) … hehe, this is fun.

  398. Ichthyic says

    You want that with teriyaki, Sweet Baby Rays, or nigel’s sooper-seekrit kick-you-in-the-face sauce?

    must i be forced to choose?

    WHHHHHYYYYYY?????

  399. Ichthyic says

    oh also don’t forget the more recent sun oriented version.

    what was it now?

    coronal ass ejection?

  400. valorphoenix says

    Another example is living in a 4 dimensional world. Can you imagine living in a 4 dimensional world? – Rajkumar @1

    I’m still puzzling over this one exactly. Since the Raj finds 4D trippy, I would assume this means he lives in some sort of 2D plane. My basis for this is mostly because it’s fairly easy to simulate 3D in a 2D plane, but 4D is indeed tricky.

    Currently I’m leaning towards Rajkumar existing in a two-dimensional non-euclidian polar-coordinate plane. I chose a polar dimensional orientation because he seems to rapidly revolve around some poorly defined central point.

    Alas, what sort of geometry the Raj consists of is quite the mystery to me even at this point. My gut says an obtuse triangle, so I’ll go with that for now.

  401. says

    Your thesis is all over the place. First, it’s that his obviously non-scientific essay is not scientific. Then, it’s that it should be scientific, because he presents himself as a scientist. After, it’s that he’s a hypocrite for promoting non-scientific shit, while he criticizes Chopra for all the fucking Chopra-woo.

    Your argument that Harris’s essay is potentially misleading is interesting, at least. But it’s going to take a helluva lot more refining than you’ve presented so far. Don’t try to use a shotgun approach, and throw all kinds of arguments against us — that won’t work, and just makes you appear to be flailing, or attempting to throw lots of mud at Harris, just to see what will stick*. Take your actual argument, and go with that.

    Yeah, I kind of realized my argument is falling all over the place … precisely because it is not a thesis for crying out loud. I am just writing on a blog, so do expect anomalies and irregularities and redundancies and overlapping. And I would also like to point out that when I leave this blog, this discussion will be over from my end. It’s just here I am writing this. SO take it lightly … the way it was meant to be taken.

    Here is a recap:

    My original objection was that Harris was taking the same kind of ‘psuedo-scientific’ approach here. How? By telling his readers that he has gained ‘insights’ while tripping on illegally-acquired and badly-synthesized drugs. No, because that’s fine. But then he misses something. He is not informing his readers about the sharp contrast between taking a pure drug in measured quantities in a controlled environment, and taking a drug that is badly-synthesized, is not measured, could be mixed with other drugs in a dangerous and life-threatening cocktail, and which is taken in an uncontrolled environment. The point is, if Harris hasn’t obtained pure drugs in measured quantities, he simply has no clue what shit he has been taking his whole life. The MDMA pills he took could be a mix of MDMA+MDA+DMT+RAT POISION+OTHER IMPURITIES. The LSD he took could be … well, unmeasured, if not impure. And so on… Which means, he is no position to discuss the effects of these drugs to being with, because he has no clue what he is taking, and how much of it he is taking — never mind the other factors.

    Some of my subsequent posts were just putting this whole thing in a larger context, and were just discussing other related issues. Which is why, I guess, my ‘thesis’ was all over the place.

  402. says

    rajkumar:

    Yeah, I kind of realized my argument is falling all over the place … precisely because it is not a thesis for crying out loud.

    Okay. You admit you didn’t have a central argument, you really don’t have any supporting evidence, and you aren’t presenting a logical progression of ideas.

    So, basically, you’re just spewing shit.

    Ichthyic was right in #461.

  403. says

    Okay. You admit you didn’t have a central argument, you really don’t have any supporting evidence, and you aren’t presenting a logical progression of ideas.

    If you want to put it like this… fine by me.

  404. says

    Well, it’s either that, or you have no real point and are just constantly moving the goalposts to keep from admitting you’re wrong.

    There might be another interpretation, but it’s eluding me.

    Wrong about exactly what?

  405. Amphiox says

    Just repeating the raja’s original argument doesn’t make it any more correct, or honest, or relevant, than it was the first time it was fapped out.

    No, Harris was NOT being pseudo-scientific. Whether he claimed the obtaining on insight or not is a dishonest irrelevant red herring. Harris was actually being NON-scientific with that claim, and was perfectly open about it.

    Contrast Chopra, whose claims are pseudo-scientific because he CLAIMS they are science based.

    That is the DEFINITION of pseudo-science. It PRETENDS to be science. It takes on the trappings of science on order to accrue the credibility and authority of science, even though it is not.

    Harris’ experimentation (lay use, not scientific use) with drugs was ALWAYS presented as an individual experience. That alone makes it NOT pseudo-science, because science diesn’t work with N’s of one. And the fact that this was acknowledged from the outset meant that from the beginning the explicit admission that this was not scientific was made. Hence NOT pseudo-science.

  406. Amphiox says

    After all it’s wankery about the undefinability of things, the raja really betrays its fundamental odious dishonesty in the way it has consistently subsequently just shamelessly MADE UP definitions for the words it uses solely to shore up its various wrongheaded arguments.

    Truly pathetic.

  407. says

    rajkumar:

    Wrong about exactly what?

    I’ll start with the easiest: Harris’s essay was not intended to be a scientific experiment. Your initial argument was predicated on the idea it was.

    Second, there’s the fact that, since Harris wasn’t presenting this as a scientific experiment, it doesn’t compromise his standing in criticizing Chopra.

    Shall I go on? Or are you willing to admit you were wrong?

  408. theophontes 777 says

    @ Amphiox

    wankery … definitions for the words

    Raj is angry. Angry wanking is called hoggling.

    /pedant

  409. says

    I just borrowed two books of Chopra from the library this afternoon. One of them is called POWER, FREEDOM, AND GRACE

    Here is an extract from page 65:

    ” If we look at a quantum field, we see a particle emerge from the void. That’s the creative act. Then it becomes wave in the field. That’s the moment of attention when it appears for a short period of time. Then it disappears back into the void. This is the dissolution, or renewal. Throughout nature, we see that things are created and renewed, but for renewal to take place, the old must go. And in fact we are constantly re-creating ourself at the quantum mechanical level, the atomic level, the molecular level, the material level of the physical body.”

    Is this the kind of ‘pseudo-science’ we are talking about here?

  410. says

    I’ll start with the easiest: Harris’s essay was not intended to be a scientific experiment. Your initial argument was predicated on the idea it was.

    By the same rationale, Chopra’s books are also not intended to be scientific experiments. Why are they ‘pseudo-science’?

    Second, there’s the fact that, since Harris wasn’t presenting this as a scientific experiment, it doesn’t compromise his standing in criticizing Chopra.

    Shall I go on? Or are you willing to admit you were wrong?

    I have no problems with his standing in criticizing of Chopra, because the purpose of my argument is not to challenge his credentials or his expertise. I am saying, if Harris is criticizing Chopra for whatever reasons, then Harris should make sure that he himself is free from those qualities that he finds worth criticizing in Chopra. I am just taking a critical look at Harris to see if he is INDEED free from those qualities. So far, it appears he is not. It appears that those qualities are present in him too, though maybe at a much different level, and in a different manner.

  411. says

    rajkumar:

    By the same rationale, Chopra’s books are also not intended to be scientific experiments. Why are they ‘pseudo-science’?

    Because he presents them as the result of scientific research.

    Chopra conflates what science has modeled with a strange desire-based determinism to produce works which he presents as scientific.

    Harris, on the other hand, took some LSD and reported his experience, not unlike Aldous Huxley, though not nearly as interesting. He incorporated his Buddhist leaning, but never presented it as a scientific endeavor.

    . I am saying, if Harris is criticizing Chopra for whatever reasons, then Harris should make sure that he himself is free from those qualities that he finds worth criticizing in Chopra.

    Which is where you are wrong.

    Harris doesn’t present his patently biased essay as scientific, or even based in science. Chopra does. This despite the fact that Harris actually has some relevant scientific training, and Chopra does not. So your criticism is a strawman, yet you treat it as if it were some kind of smoking gun.

    It appears that those qualities are present in him too, though maybe at a much different level, and in a different manner.

    Hardly. While I’m not fond of Harris, he has shown he is capable of distinguishing between the scientific and the humanistic. Chopra gleefully conflates the two.

    Again, you are simply wrong.

  412. Amphiox says

    So your criticism is a strawman, yet you treat it as if it were some kind of smoking gun

    Perhaps the raja has confused a gun with a bong. After all, some things are just not recognizable or describable by puny human intellects.

  413. Amphiox says

    Oh, and it looks like “same”, “rationale”, “also”, “intended”, “not”, “problems”, “critical” and “at” are yet more english language words that the raja evidently cannot define.

  414. says

    I’ve had 9 beers so far, and this conversation bores me. I really wish our trolls could mount better defenses. I guess if they could, they wouldn’t be trolls.

    There’s some kind of definitional question-begging going on there, but I’m not going to bother pursuing it. I need bed, maybe even more than I need another beer.

    Thanks to all the regulars for keeping all of it interesting.

  415. says

    So your criticism is a strawman, yet you treat it as if it were some kind of smoking gun.

    Your point has been noted. Chopra does misuse Quantum Science and related scientific terms in his books, though maybe not intentionally most of the time. Maybe he is trying to synthesize Indian spirituality and Western science to make something completely new. Quantum Spirituality if you will… :) But I still maintain my position that Harris indeed has (or had) the tendency to fall in the same trap of ‘pseudo-science’ from time to time, if only for a very brief period of time.

    And I am treating my argument as if it were a smoking gun? If you must know, this argument will be completely out of mind in a few hours from now, as if it never existed before. As I said before, I am doing nothing more than exchanging information here. Kind of an evolutionary instinct at work I guess.

  416. says

    rajkumar, I’d also like to note, before I drag my drunken ass off to bed, that you are comparing one single essay by Harris to the entire fucking career (and a fuck-ton of books) of Chopra.

    It’s rather telling that you are comparing couple of thousand words out of an entire illustrious career against the fundamental foundation of another person’s career. Mostly, it tells that you have no argument.

  417. says

    rajkumar:

    But I still maintain my position that Harris indeed has (or had) the tendency to fall in the same trap of ‘pseudo-science’ from time to time, if only for a very brief period of time.

    Okay, our streams crossed.

    That’s one of my complaints about Harris, actually. Not that he presents his LSD experience as scientific, but that he tends to the soft humanism. (Chopra, on the other hand, basis his entire career on a misrepresentation of quantum mechanics. It’s like a direct inversion of Harris.)

    So, you saying Harris sometimes wanders off into woo-woo land? I’m right there with you. Using that as an argument to claim he has no standing to criticize Chopra? Not a viable argument. At least, not as presented.

    As I said, if you picked the central thesis that Harris wanders off into the weeds when he tries to combine skepticism with humanism, I’d be right there with you.

  418. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rajkumar takes all night and still can’t make a cogent point. Should have taken one or two posts. What a waste of air, water, food, and electricity.

  419. says

    rajkumar, I’d also like to note, before I drag my drunken ass off to bed, that you are comparing one single essay by Harris to the entire fucking career (and a fuck-ton of books) of Chopra.

    It’s rather telling that you are comparing couple of thousand words out of an entire illustrious career against the fundamental foundation of another person’s career. Mostly, it tells that you have no argument.

    OK. Maybe I don’t have an argument, but we did have a very intense exchange of information, didn’t we? That’s the only thing that matters for me.

    And I did acknowledge the fact that those qualities in Harris are present at a ‘much different level and in a different manner.’ So, basically I am saying the same. Only I am using different words and a different tone. And do note, I am not supporting Chopra’s position in any way. Why should I? How should supporting him would serve me? He doesn’t share his fortune with me, so I have no vested interests here. Just to let you know in case you were wondering…:)

    See ya next time

    Wishing you a pleasant hangover-free day tomorrow.

  420. says

    Rajkumar takes all night and still can’t make a cogent point. Should have taken one or two posts. What a waste of air, water, food, and electricity.

    ?? I don’t get it. ??? I took all day, not all night. It’s 9:09 pm here in Melbourne. The night has barely started here…