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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Simian
ah, israel. Just another justification for my thesis that religious belief should be treated the same as any other mental illness. But that's another discussion entirely...



Well, this is another discussion entirely. smile

Thoughts?

I'm inclined to agree.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Sethis
Sethis

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Location: York University
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Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

Written by: Patriarch917
I would express it differently. There is not ethical problem with killing someone, if God has ordered you to do it.


One word for this: sickness frown



Seconded. I find it difficult to believe that anyone can actually consider that to be a valid point of view. Thus we come through full circle and see that religion (according to our resident fundamentalist) is a mental illness. biggrin


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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onewheeldave
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Posted:Written by: Patriarch917


Your analogy is fine, but it needs details to make it closer to what actually happened with Abraham. Implicit in my “jumping” example was the promise to catch the child. There is an analogous promise by God to Abraham.

God did not simply ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. There was a lot more going on. God had promised Abraham that Isaac would be the son to carry on Abraham’s lineage, that Isaac’s ancestors would become a great nation, and that through Isaac eventually the messiah would come who would save the entire world.

Remember, Abraham’s context was not the Ten Commandments (which had not been given at that time). The question Abraham was facing was not “isn’t it wrong to kill my son,” since it is obviously never “wrong” to obey God. Abraham’s issue was the seeming contradiction between God’s promise that Isaac’s children would become a great nation (Isaac had no children at the time), and the order to sacrifice Isaac. How could Isaac go on to produce a great nation if he were dead?

Abraham had to have faith in God that God would still be able to keep his promise, even if Abraham were to sacrifice his son. Abraham had to believe that, despite the death of his son, God would still somehow keep his promise.

Thus, onewheeldave, your analogy would be closer to the truth if I the parent were to tell the kid not just “turn the microwave on,” but rather “turn the microwave on, and I promise that I will make sure that the pet will stay alive.”





Personally, I think that your addition makes the analogy less exact. God did not tell Abraham to kill his child whilst promising him the child would survive.

You seem to think that Abraham deduced from other words of god that the his child would remain unhurt- I question this on 3 grounds-

1. It attributes a fair degree of rationality to Abraham which he may well not have possesed- the fact that he was willing to kill his child on the strengh of voices in his head puts it in doubt

2. God promising that Abrahams children would become a great nation is not grounds for deducing that one particualr child (Isaac) could not be killed- if Abraham did sacrifice his child successfully, he could simply have had more and the prophecy could be fulfilled

3. Nothing in the tone of the story seems to suggest that Abraham was in any doubt that he was about to kill his child- given that part of it's 'message' is obedience to God, presumably it would be weakened considerably if Abraham was simply going through the motions and was actually sure that God would stop the sacrifice?



For me the point of this is that, if a parent did indeed command their child to kill their cat using a microwave, regardless of any intention the parent has to stop the child doing so, regardless of any intention of it being a lesson in obedience or trust- the fact is that it would be bad parenting and an act of cruelty, which, in all likelihood, would psycologically damage the child.


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But you can make the Bastard work for it."

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

Personally, I think that your addition makes the analogy less exact. God did not tell Abraham to kill his child whilst promising him the child would survive.

You seem to think that Abraham deduced from other words of god that the his child would remain unhurt- I question this on 3 grounds-



I should have backed up my claims better from the text. I will give you the references, so that you can judge for yourself whether I have accurately described the story as it is recorded in the scriptures.

Written by: onewheeldave

1. It attributes a fair degree of rationality to Abraham which he may well not have possesed- the fact that he was willing to kill his child on the strengh of voices in his head puts it in doubt



Abraham was not relying on the strength of voices in his head. By the time of this incident, Abraham had experienced:

1. Many dreams and visions. (Gen. 15:1, etc.)
2. A physical manifestation of what is generally called God's "shekina" or "glory" in the form of a smoking, burning entity that "walked" between the sacrifices (Gen 15:17).
3. An "appearance" that is not described in detail. (Gen 17:1)
4. An actual "incarnation" of God coming to Abraham in a physical body that met, ate, and talked with Abraham, accompanied by two angels. (Gen 18)
5. The raining of fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, after God in physical form predicted it. (Gen 19)
6. The fulfillment of a promised miracle: that his wife who had been barren all her life and who had stopped having her monthly "visitation" long ago would be able to have a child.(Gen 21:2)

Thus, according to the scriptures, Abraham had seen about as much proof of the existence, power, and trustworthiness of God as any person could expect. He actually had God walk up to him, say "I'm God, I'm about to rain fire out of the sky," and then do it. It was only after the building up of Abraham's faith through all of this that God put Abraham's faith to the test. You will probably agree that it was not unreasonable for a man who had experienced all of this to be ready to follow God at his word.

Abraham was not relying on the strength of "voices in his head." If we are to use this scripture as a guide, we might also expect to see so much before God would put us to such a test. If "voices in your head" is all you are getting, and they are telling you to kill someone, you certainly cannot justify doing it by using the life of Abraham as an example.

Written by: onewheeldave

2. God promising that Abrahams children would become a great nation is not grounds for deducing that one particualr child (Isaac) could not be killed- if Abraham did sacrifice his child successfully, he could simply have had more and the prophecy could be fulfilled




Actually, God specifically promised that this particular child would be the one. Abraham even suggested to God that God could use his other child (Ishmael), but God corrected him and named Isaac specifically as the child of the promise. God's prophecy could not have been fulfilled by Abraham simply having more children. (You can read this in Gen. 17).

Written by: onewheeldave

3. Nothing in the tone of the story seems to suggest that Abraham was in any doubt that he was about to kill his child- given that part of it's 'message' is obedience to God, presumably it would be weakened considerably if Abraham was simply going through the motions and was actually sure that God would stop the sacrifice?




You are correct that nothing in the tone of the story suggests that Abraham could have anticipated that God would stop the sacrifice. There is, of course, the line where Isaac asks Abraham what will be sacrificed, and Abraham replies that God would provide a lamb. However, we know that God had "provided" Isaac to Abraham, so Abraham may have been thinking of Isaac as the "lamb."

The writer of the book of Hebrews says in Heb 11:19 that Abraham believed that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead, and that this was why he was willing to sacrifice Isaac. Certainly, this explanation seems like the most reasonable one. If God had told me that my son was going to live to father a great nation, and then told me to kill my son, my best guess at how God planned to fulfill His promise would probably also be that God would raise my son from the dead after the sacrifice.

Written by: onewheeldave

For me the point of this is that, if a parent did indeed command their child to kill their cat using a microwave, regardless of any intention the parent has to stop the child doing so, regardless of any intention of it being a lesson in obedience or trust- the fact is that it would be bad parenting and an act of cruelty, which, in all likelihood, would psycologically damage the child.



That is probably true, and proves the adage that every analogy breaks down at some point. By the time a child is old enough to engage in this scenario, he has come to have pretty good idea of how things work himself, and he would have already seen evidence that his parents are not perfect, not all powerful, and not always right.

Thus, there is really no earthly element that can represent what God is like, or convey the situation in another way. The difference between the best, wisest, most loving father and the youngest, most helpless, most ignorant child does not even begin to convey the difference between God and Abraham.

Since an analogy must ultimately be inaccurate and fail to convey the truth in all its details, it is good that you have brought us back to focusing on what was actually going on with Abraham, rather than in other scenarios that we can imagine. By leaving out the details of the story, and claiming things without backing up what I was saying from the text, I was not being as clear as I should have been. You are right to have pointed out the discrepancies in my theory, and to make me prove the basis of my interpretation from the text.


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FireTom
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Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Much of your Arguments, dear Partriarch, to me sound like a bunch of people standing in front of a modern piece of art and insisting that it was "this" the artist thought when he was creating it...

Written by: Patriarch
I would express it differently. There is not ethical problem with killing someone, if God has ordered you to do it.



Patriarch, I'm very confused on your recent argumentation and can't fight the impression that you're getting somewhat lost in being "his" advocate.

God as a parent: As a child I would love to experience parents who are willing to give me more than just one chance (one lifetime in which I succeed or fail). Childlike faith indeed is required to believe in the literal meaning of the Bible and without it, most of the cruisades and countless wars "in the name of the Lord" would not have happened.

Some people have great problems in determining whether the voice in their head is "god" or just their insanity. And exactly here we come back to the initial questino:

Is religion a mental illness?

(My answer) Not necessarily, but sometimes much likely... shrug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
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Posted:Written by: Stone

To me, the abortion debate is just more of the Christian double standard on morality. Like changing the intention in the bible from though shall not kill, to though shall not murder, when it suits them.




Perhaps all my legal mumbo jumbo has confused some of you on the issue of what "Thou shalt not kill" means. As I mentioned, the meaning of the word that is translated "kill" is best understood to mean "murder" in modern English. There is no ambiguity as to what the word is referring to.

While American laws regarding murder are rather wordy, often consisting of at least 40 or 50 words, the law written in the Bible has only two. As far as I can tell, there are only two words that are translated as "thou shalt not kill." The words are "lo" and "rawtsakh." "Lo" is a word that implies "negation." "Rawtsakh" is a word that means, according to the dictionary:

"kill (a human being), especially to murder: - put to death, kill, (man-) slay (-er), murder (-er)."

I looked at every other instance that the word is used in the Bible, and it is used only to refer to what we would call today first and second degree murder, and manslaughter. It is never used, for example, to refer to when God kills someone, or when someone is killed in battle, or when someone is executed, or when an animal or plant is killed. There is no hint of ambiguity in the Bible, and I am sorry that implied it.

The only ambiguity comes from the English word "kill." This is why modern translations often translate it as "murder." Obviously, the English phrase "Thou shalt not kill" could mean many things. When we read this verse alone, our first question is "kill what?" By giving the word "kill" it's broadest meaning, we might conclude that we were not allowed to kill anything at all, including babies, murderers, dogs, and trees. However, when we look to the Hebrew definition, and the way that the word is always used elsewhere in the Bible, the true meaning is apparent.

This is a problem with reading a translation, and problem with the way English has changed over the years. Perhaps when the KJV was made, it would have been obvious to readers that the word "kill" was referring to what we would now think of as "murder." Getting a modern English translation or learning a little Hebrew can go a long way toward helping us understand the text.

I hope that this settles the issue to everyone's satisfaction, including Stone. Christians, Jews, and other folk are not "changing the intention in the bible from though shall not kill, to though shall not murder" (sic). The intention is unambiguously clear from the actual meaning of the law itself.


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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
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Posted:I've found a quote that's very meaningful for the whole of this thread...

Written by: Richard Dawkins
Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful!



According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:The sixth commandment.

The Jewish teachers had taught, that nothing except actual murder was forbidden by the sixth commandment. Thus they explained away its spiritual meaning. Christ showed the full meaning of this commandment; according to which we must be judged hereafter, and therefore ought to be ruled now. All rash anger is heart murder. By our brother, here, we are to understand any person, though ever so much below us, for we are all made of one blood. to ?Raca, to ? is a scornful word, and comes from pride: to ?Thou fool, to ? is a spiteful word, and comes from hatred. Malicious slanders and censures are poison that kills secretly and slowly. Christ told them that how light soever they made of these sins, they would certainly be called into judgment for them. We ought carefully to preserve Christian love and peace with all our brethren; and if at any time there is a quarrel, we should confess our fault, humble ourselves to our brother, making or offering satisfaction for wrong done in word or deed: and we should do this quickly; because, till this is done, we are unfit for communion with God in holy ordinances. And when we are preparing for any religious exercises, it is good for us to make that an occasion of serious reflection and self-examination. What is here said is very applicable to our being reconciled to God through Christ. While we are alive, we are in the way to his judgement-seat; after death, it will be too late. When we consider the importance of the case, and the uncertainty of life, how needful it is to seek peace with God, without delay! (Mt 5:27-32)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Gremlin_Lou
Gremlin_Lou

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Posted:Richard Dawkins is an arrogant, up his own ass, angry little man. Please can we have unbiased sources?

'If your deeds shouldn't be known, perhaps they shouldn't be done, if your words shouldn't be shared, perhaps they shouldn't be spoken. Act with attention, for all your acts have consequences" (Rabbi Judah HaNassi)

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

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Posted:Written by: Gremlin_Lou

Richard Dawkins is an arrogant, up his own ass, angry little man.


Very true. He is also right. wink
Written by: Gremlin_Lou

Can we please have some unbiased sources


Umm...from who?


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Gremlin_Lou
Gremlin_Lou

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Posted:Maybe actual scientists. Evidence, from an unbiased experiment. Bear in mind, Richard Dawkins 'idea's' are merely his opinion and hold no more weight in the scientific community as any other opinion.

He doesn't offer much in the way of proof.


'If your deeds shouldn't be known, perhaps they shouldn't be done, if your words shouldn't be shared, perhaps they shouldn't be spoken. Act with attention, for all your acts have consequences" (Rabbi Judah HaNassi)

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

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Posted:Actual experiments, in religion? umm

I think you'll also find that Dawkin's opinions hold a lot of wieght in the scientific community.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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dream
dream

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Posted:Written by:
Maybe actual scientists. Evidence, from an unbiased experiment. Bear in mind, Richard Dawkins 'idea's' are merely his opinion and hold no more weight in the scientific community as any other opinion.




ubblol

All experiments are necessarily biased though. They are universally conducted by humans who are subjective and partial creatures (EVEN SCIENTISTS ARE HUMAN... though they often pretend that when they walk into a lab and put on a white coat they somehow transcend their status as a glorified chimp and become an objective being). While some papers may be more heavily influenced by their authour's subjective biases, all papers merely express subjective opinions.

But that in no way means that all subjective opinions are held equally by the scientific (or any other) community. Look up Bordieu and systemically distorted communication.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Dawkin's opinion that Islam should be given less respect may be offensive, but Islam's opinion that Dawkin should be given less respect may also be offensive. I tend to lean toward siding with Dawkin on his opinion of Islam, but I still think we should be respectful toward them. One can disagree with Islam without having to be disrespectful.

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Gremlin_Lou
Gremlin_Lou

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Posted:How did we get to Islam?



And why should Islam be given any less respect than say, Christianity. I mean, you both worship false prophets, you both have crazy fundies......



And while we're at it - on the program 'the virus of faith' or w/e it was called, Richard Dawkins didn't even mention Islam. He slated Judaism & Xtianity, and verbally abused a Rabbi and a Xtian headteacher (who really gave him what for biggrin). Me thinks he may have been too afraid of what would happent o him if he slated Islam on TV in UK. Yet, he was fine slating the other two. I think we Jews & Xtians should uprise and hold huge protests in every country in the World and have Dawkins lynched!



But, then, i'm an overeactor.... juggle

EDITED_BY: Gremlin_Lou (1141905328)


'If your deeds shouldn't be known, perhaps they shouldn't be done, if your words shouldn't be shared, perhaps they shouldn't be spoken. Act with attention, for all your acts have consequences" (Rabbi Judah HaNassi)

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spiralx
spiralx

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Posted:Written by: dream
All experiments are necessarily biased though. They are universally conducted by humans who are subjective and partial creatures (EVEN SCIENTISTS ARE HUMAN... though they often pretend that when they walk into a lab and put on a white coat they somehow transcend their status as a glorified chimp and become an objective being). While some papers may be more heavily influenced by their authour's subjective biases, all papers merely express subjective opinions.


Hence the requirement for an experiment to be repeatable by other scientists... nobody seriously thinks scientists are somehow immune from bias, but the scientific method does act to minimise this as much as possible.


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

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Posted:Written by: Gremlin_Lou
And while we're at it - on the program 'the virus of faith' or w/e it was called, Richard Dawkins didn't even mention Islam.


Yes he did. He interviewed a New York jew who had converted to Islam and lived in Palestein.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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dream
dream

currently mending
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Posted:Written by:
nobody seriously thinks scientists are somehow immune from bias, but the scientific method does act to minimise this as much as possible.



From the wiki article on the scientific method

Written by:
1. Define the question
2. Gather information and resources
3. Form hypothesis
4. Perform experiment and collect data
5. Analyze data
6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypotheses
7. Publish results






How does that methodology minimise subjectivity? The question will be subjectively defined dependent on the researcher's particular interest. Performing experiments is a necesarily imperfect process due to human and nonhuman (the instruments humans make are not perfect) falibility. Bear in mind that at a quantum level by performing the experiment you alter its results. While repeatability helps minimise these necessary imperfections it cannot eradicate them. However it is often impossible to repeat experiments, due to costs or our current inabilty to freeze time...

Finally, and most importantly the interpretation of data and the conclusions that are subsequently drawn is entirely dependent on the researcher's (remember the social sciences and to a lesser extent humanities use the same scientific method) subjective stance. This will of course depend on the unique experiences which determine his knowledge, which itself is predicated on the exisitng body of societal knowledge, which is itself permenently changing.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
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Total posts: 1189
Posted:You're confusing quantum metaphores, dream.. wink

There was a big hubbub about potential bias in the scientific method a while back. It was know as the Science Wars (wiki link).

Unsurprisingly, science won out in the end in terms of respectability, but it reminds everyone to be constantly vigilant again potential bias. As a scientist myself I see it as vitaly important to rid myself of any potential biases before performing an experiment.

But if all else fails we use the double blind method to completly remove ourselves from any kind of bias or subjectivity over the outcome.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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dream
dream

currently mending
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Posted:Written by:
There was a big hubbub about potential bias in the scientific method a while back. It was know as the Science Wars (wiki link).

Unsurprisingly, science won out in the end in terms of respectability,



ubblol

thats exactly what i'd expect you to say.

and as I'm sure you expect... I disagree.

Ultimately a lot of scientists were very upset that the metaphysical groundings of their disciplines were quite comprehensively dismantled by critical theorists and had a bit of a fit about it... The fact that they completely failed to understand the arguments they were attacking made the whole affair fairly comical.

And the hubbub was not so much about the scientific method as the entire modernist paradigm, of which empiricism was a major tenet.


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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dream
dream

currently mending
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Posted:Written by:
As a scientist myself I see it as vitaly important to rid myself of any potential biases before performing an experiment.




ubblol

what by? suicide. This is what I mean by scientists mistaking themselves for objective creatures. You aren't and never will be.

But that doesn't mean that there's no point in doing what you do.

wink


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
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Posted:In terms of respectability I said. How many times do you see a post-modernist documentary? wink



The Sokal affair kind of destroyed any glimmer of respect people had for the post-modernists.



Bunch of pretentious tossers really. wink


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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spiralx
spiralx

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Posted:Have you read Intellectual Impostures by Sokal and Bricmont? It goes into much more detail about how much of a load of utter crap a lot of post-modern "thinking" is, funny in a sad way.

Having read some of the post-modern attacks on science, I'm not surprised the scientists didn't understand what the attack was - how many people are that fluent in Gibberish? ubblol


"Moo," said the happy cow.

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dream
dream

currently mending
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Posted:Written by:
How many times do you see a post-modernist documentary?



Read some documentary film theory books... I'd recommend 'Representing Reality' and 'Blurred Boundaries' by Bill Nichols or 'New Documentary: a critical introduction' by Stella Bruzzi. They all have sections relating to what is deemed to be post-modern documentary film.


If you had ever studied the discipline and had the slightest idea about modern documentary film practice you wouoldn't be making such foolish remarks. Which illustrates the point of scientists talking out their ass about things they dont understand quite well.

Post-modern really is a horrible word though... it means so many things in different contexts that it has become largely meaningless... interestingly one of the guys who gets hammered by scientists for being a nonsensical postmodernist is a guy called Bruno Latour who spends a lot of time hammering post-modernism??!! - just another illustration that the writing on the science side of the science wars was largely laughable to anyone with any knowledge of the work they attempted to critique...


Written by:
Bunch of pretentious tossers really.



yep. and arrogant about it. unfortunately they're also quite bright, and have some fairly good arguments.

(that last comment leaves me feeling strangely reminded of someone else)

wink

Written by:
Have you read Intellectual Impostures by Sokal and Bricmont? It goes into much more detail about how much of a load of utter crap a lot of post-modern "thinking" is, funny in a sad way.



I've read bits and pieces of Sokal's stuff, along with a couple of anthologies written by scientists on the 'science wars'. I found it quite funny in a sad way.

Written by:
Having read some of the post-modern attacks on science, I'm not surprised the scientists didn't understand what the attack was -



Is sort of my point. Not understanding what someone says to you doesn't constitute winning an argument in the humanities, arts or social sciences. Perhaps it does in hard sciences it does.

Written by:
how many people are that fluent in Gibberish



Its gibberish in exactly the same way as 'inverted btb 3 beat butterfly weave'. As you have no experience reading crical theorists work it hardly seems surprising that you don't understand their technical jargon... Same as if you start drawing complex mathematical formulae I'd get lost pretty quick.

What made me piss myself though was in your link

Written by:
this is a quotation from the psychoanalyst Flix Guattari, one of many fashionable French 'intellectuals' outed by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont in their splendid book Intellectual Impostures, previously published in French and now released in a completely rewritten and revised English edition. Guattari goes on indefinitely in this vein and offers, in the opinion of Sokal and Bricmont, "the most brilliant mlange of scientific, pseudo-scientific and philosophical jargon that we have ever encountered".



Guattari's ecosophical paradigm is looking like one of the central theoretical tenet of my PhD.

ubblol ubblol ubblol


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Zauberdachs
Zauberdachs

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Posted:Written by: Gremlin_Lou

And why should Islam be given any less respect than say, Christianity.



This is an interesting point, does anyone care to elaborate? Is there better evidence for Christianity being the true voice of God over Islam?


The insults of your enemy are a tribute to your bravery wink

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

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Posted:dream...your not a post-modernist are you? wink

If a disciplin can't make coherent sense then how can we be expected to respond to it.

So far what I've heard from post-modernism is that science has trouble with fluid dynamics because most scientists are male and of course males understand hard things better than fluid things which women understand better because of the physical differences in their physical sexual responces. rolleyes

That is probably the lunitic(er) fringe though, but it's basicly the same vein of what most-modernism has leveled at science. They are criticising something which they have absolutely no understanding of. Personally I think Sokal understands post-modernism better than the post-modernists do, which is probably why he drives them crazy (and publicly humiliated them in the manner he did).
Written by: dream

Written by: jeff(fake)
Bunch of pretentious tossers really.


yep. and arrogant about it. unfortunately they're also quite bright, and have some fairly good arguments.

(that last comment leaves me feeling strangely reminded of someone else)



I love you. ubblove

But their arguements don't really make logical sense. They have been accepted by the post-modern community, certainly, but that isn't really a ringing endorsment.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Zauberdachs, I dont think its about Christianity being the true voice of God over Islam. I believe in Jesus, but all the prophets of the Abrahamic religions have important messages for us.



Ive just started reading the Koran (penguin classic edition), and its great read; very poetic with lots of colour. Its certainly rings true, and provides an interesting comparison to what can only be described as a "heavily censored" bible.



Check it out and make up your own mind. Id recommend the penguin classic edition because its well translated, approved by a Muslim friend and the chapters are presented in chronological order, rather than the usual arrangement of having the largest chapters at the front.



I think the important question is when are these peoples, who believe in the one God, going to get together and stop trying to kill each other?



smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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dream
dream

currently mending
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 15th Jul 2003
Total posts: 493
Posted:Written by:
dream...your not a post-modernist are you?




I feel the need to repeat myself.

Written by:
Post-modern really is a horrible word though... it means so many things in different contexts that it has become largely meaningless.



a better quote from someone far more eloquent than me...

Reza Abdoh

Written by:
People use the word postmodern to describe things that they dont understand.



I mean Sokal, along with many scientists in the 'science wars' use the word repeatedly... but never assign any meaning to it. You have Post moden architecture, performance, film, dance, etc etc etc...

And they all refer to different things with often contradictory meanings.

I mean Sokal justifies his vendetta against what he sees as postmodernism by stating

Written by:
my concern is explicitly political: to combat a currently fashionable postmodernist/poststructuralist/social-constructivist discourse -- and more generally a penchant for subjectivism -- which is, I believe, inimical to the values and future of the Left.4 Alan Ryan said it well:

It is, for instance, pretty suicidal for embattled minorities to embrace Michel Foucault, let alone Jacques Derrida. The minority view was always that power could be undermined by truth ... Once you read Foucault as saying that truth is simply an effect of power, you've had it. ... But American departments of literature, history and sociology contain large numbers of self-described leftists who have confused radical doubts about objectivity with political radicalism, and are in a mess.5



One wonders if he has any idea of Foucault's work as a political activist. In keeping with his philosophy it differs from the meta-narratives of marxist dialectical materialism, but is nonetheless left wing activism.

While there is a group of academics who are described in various quarters as postmodern who maintain that we are at 'the end of history' and that the real has collapsed into fourth order simulations, thus negating any potentiality for radical politics, to prescribe this position under the totalising banner of 'the postmodern position' seems utterly ridiculous when the group includes scholars like Felix Guattari... About as hardcore a militant activist as you were (he's dead) likely to find... Or Antonio Negri... Who served 17 years in prison for his postmarxist beliefs and writings.

Deleuze and Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, p408

Written by:
Capitalism is defined by a cruelty having no parallel in the primitive system of cruelty, and by a terror having no parallel in the despotic regime of terror. Wage increases and improvements in the standard of living are realities, but realities that derive from a given supplementary axiom that capitalism is always capable of adding to its axiomatic in terms of an enlargement of its limits But within the enlarged reality that conditions these islands, exploitation grows constantly harsher, lack is arranged in the most scientific of ways, final solutions of the Jewish problem variety are prepared down to the last detail, and the third world is organised as an integral part of capitalism. The reproduction of the interior limits of capitalism on an always wider scale has several consequences: it permits increases and improvements of standards at the centre, it displaces the harshest forms of exploitation from the centre to the periphery, but also multiplies enclaves of overpopulation in the centre itself, and easily tolerates the so-called socialist formations There is no metaphor here: the factories are prisons, they do not resemble prisons, they are prisons.



That hardly seems to be sitting on the political fence.


Written by:
their arguements don't really make logical sense



Mostly... they do. You just need to be well enough read to understand what they're saying. It can be incredibly painful to trawl through, but depending on who and what you read it can be really eyeopening (or of course a waste of time and effort) However, there are authors such as Latour and Baudrillard who fairly explicitly state that their writings are supposed to be taken as provocations, designed to make people question the underlying assumptions which provide the foundations for their ontological and epistemological perspectives. Now if you try to take them literally then they wont make any sense...

Written by:
So far what I've heard from post-modernism is that science has trouble with fluid dynamics because most scientists are male and of course males understand hard things better than fluid things which women understand better because of the physical differences in their physical sexual responces.




ubblol

not sure who wrote that... haven't heard it before... but I'm fairly certain its a wind up. I hope so anyway.

With regards to science this is more the kind of thing which I've been looking at recently

Fritjof Capra (PhD in theoretical physics)- the web of life - p5

Written by:
New concepts in physics have brought about a profound change in our worldview; from the mechanistic worldview of Descartes and Newton, to a holistic, ecological view.

Ultimately as quantum physics shoed so dramatically there are no parts at all. What we call a part is merely a pattern in an inseparable web of relationships. Therefore the shift from the parts to the whole can also be seen as a shift from objects to relationships.







which he follows with a quote from Heisenberg

Written by:
What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. Thus the method of questioning becomes an integral part of scientific theories



Capra is one of the people Sokal quotes in his fake article... The article in fact has 110 quotes... and while some are banal, many I recognise from their original contexts, where they made perfect sense as parts of complicated but worthwhile (at the very least worth contemplating) arguments.

The bits Sokal fills in around largely pertain to quantum gravity... something that as a professor of physics he would be expected to know a hell of a lot more about than the editors of Social Text. That he abused his position to try and score points in a personal vendetta has been criticised from both sides of the science wars. He justifies this stance by stating

Written by:
Ross may object that I am rigging the power game in my own favor: how is he, a professor of American Studies, to compete with me, a physicist, in a discussion of quantum mechanics?14 (Or even of nuclear power -- a subject on which I have no expertise whatsoever.) But it is equally true that I would be unlikely to win a debate with a professional historian on the causes of World War I. Nevertheless, as an intelligent lay person with a modest knowledge of history, I am capable of evaluating the evidence and logic offered by competing historians, and of coming to some sort of reasoned (albeit tentative) judgment. (Without that ability, how could any thoughtful person justify being politically active?)



Now while comparing quantum mechanics to something as broad as history is somewhat unfair. History is universally taught in primary and secondary schools. Quantum Mechanics is not. More accurate would be Sokal stating that he believes that as an intelligent lay person with a modest knowledge of history, he would have no qualms arguing with a historian over the details of Aztec tools between 300-400CE.

The fact that he completely fails to grasp the arguments, or even the contributions to political activism of some of those who he criticizes with his inept totalisations suggests that he fails his own test.


Written by:
I think Sokal understands post-modernism better than the post-modernists do



no offence. but you've already said that postmodernism (whatever it is you mean by that) is gibberish to you. which to my mind suggests that your opinion on this matter is based on a subjective preference for Sokal as he you identify with him as a fellow scientist, rather than a rational understanding of the situation.

Drunken rant over.

Sorry.

hug


He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Nietzsche

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Zauberdachs
Zauberdachs

enthusiast
Location: The village of Edinburgh
Member Since: 28th Jul 2004
Total posts: 220
Posted:Written by: Stone

Zauberdachs, I dont think its about Christianity being the true voice of God over Islam. I believe in Jesus, but all the prophets of the Abrahamic religions have important messages for us.




The point I'm interested in is hearing people with "faith" decribe why they subscribe to one faith over another.

also, can the postmodernist discussion form it's own thread?


The insults of your enemy are a tribute to your bravery wink

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: dream
Written by: jeff(fake)

So far what I've heard from post-modernism is that science has trouble with fluid dynamics because most scientists are male and of course males understand hard things better than fluid things which women understand better because of the physical differences in their physical sexual responces.




ubblol

not sure who wrote that... haven't heard it before... but I'm fairly certain its a wind up. I hope so anyway.


Nope. It said with perfect seriousness. You see what we have to put up with?

Written by: dream

With regards to science this is more the kind of thing which I've been looking at recently

Fritjof Capra (PhD in theoretical physics)- the web of life - p5

Written by: Fritjof Capra

New concepts in physics have brought about a profound change in our worldview; from the mechanistic worldview of Descartes and Newton, to a holistic, ecological view.

Ultimately as quantum physics showed so dramatically there are no parts at all. What we call a part is merely a pattern in an inseparable web of relationships. Therefore the shift from the parts to the whole can also be seen as a shift from objects to relationships.



which he follows with a quote from Heisenberg
Written by: Heisenberg

What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning. Thus the method of questioning becomes an integral part of scientific theories





I'm sorry but that is largely gibberish coupled with quote mining from Heisenberg.

Written by:

The bits Sokal fills in around largely pertain to quantum gravity... something that as a professor of physics he would be expected to know a hell of a lot more about than the editors of Social Text. That he abused his position to try and score points in a personal vendetta has been criticised from both sides of the science wars.


That's irrelevent. Things are accepted into journals only if the methodology and interpratation is sound. You do not print things in your journal if you do not understand them, to do otherwise is simply madness.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Zauberdachs

also, can the postmodernist discussion form it's own thread?


Mabey whatever we're calling post-modernism is a religion and a mental illness in it's own right.

It certainly behaves like one. wink


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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