Earth is 6,000 Years old! WTH? (in Off-topic)


Unappreciated Misnomer July 11 2009 12:06 AM EDT

http://www.dailykostv.com/w/001907/

we all need a little K-os in our life :D

Ragatag July 11 2009 12:12 AM EDT

hahaha

Lord Bob July 11 2009 12:25 AM EDT

What. A. Moron.

*shakes head*

AdminShade July 11 2009 8:06 AM EDT

/facepalm

{WW]Nayab [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 11 2009 8:11 AM EDT

He isn't a loon, he just fell on his head too many times when he was younger :D

AdminShade July 11 2009 8:13 AM EDT

He? it's a woman...

{WW]Nayab [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 11 2009 8:15 AM EDT

/facepalm
Thats what they want you to believe :P

Admin{CB1}Slayer333 July 11 2009 11:48 AM EDT

Carbon dating fail.

Pwned July 11 2009 12:30 PM EDT

these are the people with power that make decisions about everyones lives. I mean its not like shes stupid shes just arrogant and one sided....its like a woman undressing in a undressing room with a large mirror, she accepts it as it is, is this faith?

Lord Bob July 11 2009 12:51 PM EDT

She thinks the Earth is 6000 years old. She's stupid alright.

Bolfen July 14 2009 7:06 PM EDT

Sadly, she is far, far from the only one who believes this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism

Zenai July 14 2009 7:39 PM EDT

Um well people have the right to have a belief just like you. I just feel it should be separated from Politics, there is enough back and forth as it is on that front.

Besides on many occasions Carbon Dating has been proven faulty. It has also been said to not be an exact science in all aspects. *shrugs* Aside from this honestly how can a human fathom the timespan of a Day for God? I happen to believe a bit differently than the YEC and many Christians but that is me. "Live and let Live" is my motto on that.

QBsutekh137 July 14 2009 8:00 PM EDT

I totally agree, ZUL, and as long as "live and let live" comes in equal proportions from "the other side", then I'll even go first. *smile*

So, as long as no one tells me what to do with my body, tells me how to behave, tells me about the afterlife, doesn't stymie the ability of science to advance, and doesn't judge, then yeah. We can all live and let live till the proverbial cows come home.

The age of the earth is important and has more implications than simply being an innocuous belief. In fact, simply calling facts "beliefs" is profoundly wrong-headed. There ARE facts. And if the reason to believe otherwise doesn't have equal, factual footing, then no one should believe that thing.

Gallant Example: I believe in Jeebus, you believe in Joobus. That is totally fine. We are both believing based on a complete lack of proof, and it doesn't hurt anyone. We can both go on our merry, equivalent ways.

Goofus Example: I believe that gravity exists, have modeled it, and just about every physical (non-quantum) fact supports that Law of Physics. You believe gravity is a construct sent from the heavens (but have no facts to prove that), and as a legislator, make laws completely disregarding gravity, because you believe it doesn't really exist. The next day, 436 people die in ladder accidents.

See how ignoring facts could cause trouble?

See how even going one step further, and cloaking "facts" as "beliefs", makes the issue an order of magnitude harder to find common ground on?

Can we agree there are facts, and when people get them wrong, especially in any position of power, we should be vigilant and do something about it?

If I have taken on too much with that: Can we agree there are facts? Let's start there?

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] July 14 2009 8:19 PM EDT

Sutkeh can have his facts all he wants as long as I get to have my magic and millions of dollars. I think facts are overrated, I would much rather believe in subjective reality, where everything, no matter how provably real, can be debated into submission.

Zenai July 14 2009 8:31 PM EDT

To a Point Sut I totally agree however, life and advancement prevails. Where there was once Fact in the Present it gets proven wrong in the future.

Simple Case in Point After this I digress:

The World was once Taken as Fact and Proven by the minds of that time to be Flat and everyone agreed to it and accepted it as such.

Then someone came along and said I believe the World is Round then set out and Proved it it was then agreed to and accepted as Fact by the minds of that time.


The Truth beyond all of this is simple,

Fact is only Fact UNTIL Proven Wrong......

Cube July 14 2009 8:49 PM EDT

Carbon dating isn't exact if you are talking about specific years. It can easily give you a ball park. Coincidentally enough the half life of Carbon 14 is 6,000 years, but it is accurate enough to about 100,000 years.

That said, the age of the Earth cannot be predicted with carbon dating, only a dead thing that used to be alive can be used because we know the carbon ratios are the same when it was alive.

Other dating methods can be used to determine the age of the Earth, and the value that's been calculated comes from many sources of data.

That said the idea that the Earth is only 6,000 years old perpetuates because it is a relatively unimportant fact in the span of most people's lives. As a Senator, yes you should probably know this, but you'd be surprised that she's probably not the only congress person who believes this. If it doesn't make a difference for most decisions, then it doesn't really matter if she has a misconception. One mistake doesn't make you an idiot. However, she would've made her point far better if she used the actual age. =)

QBsutekh137 July 14 2009 8:52 PM EDT

Exactly, ZUL. We are in violent agreement.

Galileo was placed under house arrest, by the Church, for pointing out the fact you just stated. He didn't discover it -- a ton of folks had. It would have been USED and BUILT UPON sooner had the facts not been slowed down by beliefs.

And there's the gist of it. Consistency. How does one make sure the facts help the facts -- that riff-raff is kept out, and bias is reviled? That's easy. That's called the scientific method.

That's how one proves things. That's how one distinguishes "beliefs" from "facts". The scientific method is founded on one, self-reliant truth: consistency. Mathematics even moreso (inconsistencies lies are easier to betray in a pure tool).

The consistency behind the earth being 6000 years old? Nothing. Sophistry based on religion based on superstition. The consistency behind the earth being much, much older than that?

Well, the same consistency that proved the earth round in your example. *smile*

Fight ignorance wherever you find it. Standing back is a win for loss.

Colonel Custard July 14 2009 9:03 PM EDT

"Facts are stupid things" -- Ronald Reagan

I tend to be of the opinion that the number of actual facts we know is much smaller than we like to believe. The scientific method of testing hypotheses by direct observation in experiments with controlled variables doesn't really apply to things that happen over the course of billions of years, because we, as a human race, have not been around long enough (by any consensus) to even develop a controlled experiment seeing how the Earth ages on any geologically significant scale.

I'm actually not at all sure where I stand on the issue of the Earth's age. In part, I haven't gotten around to figuring it out because I fail to see how it would be significant to much of anything. Sut: what type of legislative blunders are you so afraid will be committed by this crazy woman? I mean those solely attributable to her beliefs on this matter, and not on her "Well, the earth isn't gone, yet, so obviously it's a lot more resilient that we give it credit" reasoning.

How do we know what was in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address? Well, cuz there were people around at the time who thought it was important to make record of such things. Assuming that they had no motive to lie and perfect record-keeping skills, we have an accurate transcript of the Address' text. Even assuming those two things, though, is iffy. So how much more can we know what happened before recorded history and written language? Did it really take humanity tens of thousands of years to develop written language, or does the dawn of history quickly follow the dawn of humanity?

I'm getting at the fact that it can look like this or that or the other thing happened when we dig things up and look at sediment deposits and think about the orbits and gravitational interactions of space objects, but "it looks like this" is only the first step in the scientific process. Where are the others?

Shark July 14 2009 9:37 PM EDT

never let the truth get in the way of a good story


"the earth is 6000 years old..." okey so what? thats a harmless opinion and anyone is free to beleive that..

if the extent of being a goofball only included "Young Earth Science", The world would be a much better place.

I wonder if the uranium they say they need will be sold to highest korean bidder?

The uranium concerns me more than how old she thinks the earth is

Lord Bob July 14 2009 10:20 PM EDT

""Facts are stupid things" -- Ronald Reagan "

Ronald Reagan was a stupid president.

Zenai July 14 2009 10:27 PM EDT

He was an Actor for crying out loud what did the populous actually expect from him? Oh I'm sorry they actually expected him to function as another George Washington or Abe Licoln I guess......Stupid Populous.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 14 2009 10:31 PM EDT

where exactly do people get the idea that the earth is only 6000 years old?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] July 14 2009 10:38 PM EDT

They added up the years in the Bible.

QBsutekh137 July 14 2009 10:54 PM EDT

Colonel Custard, all I can honestly say is that I really have neither the time nor the inclination to be forced to support my point for you. It is clear that I could make my point with the level of precision and certainty of carbon dating, and you would simply say, "I don't trust carbon dating." To generalize, I could say X, and you would nonchalantly say, "I don't believe in X and you cannot prove it well enough for me."

So, to generalize even further and turn the tables, so to speak: why should I try to explain anything to anyone? Better, why should ANYONE ever attempt to explain ANYTHING? We don't know, right? By your reckoning we can't know, didn't know, can't no never will can't not ever know a thing not ever knowing anything. Profound.

By the way, "it looks like this" is the EXACT fundamental tenet in the scientific method that makes it useful, unless you count the consistent logic that goes from one "look" to the next. That is sort of the whole point.

What's yours?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 14 2009 11:00 PM EDT

ah, so we cannot trust the observation and scientific methods of man but we can trust his "inspired" written word and it's many translations as literal fact.

it is a bit of circular logic though if you think about it. they blamed god because they were superstitious and ignorant and now we attribute god's word to their writings and thus discount all that we have learned in the meantime which would likely have freed them from their beliefs.

Cube July 15 2009 12:29 AM EDT

"I heard the jury's still out on science."

Pwned July 15 2009 12:56 AM EDT

BRING it to the debate forums in this thread, all we are saying is "Why is this person making decisions about US as a whole when most people don't have the same thoughts/ideas as her? Also that shes a idiot lol. "

RELIGION" is an organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural or transcendent quality, that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power. In your RELIGION do you believe in other gods or do you merely pass them off as false and the people who worship them as fools or idiots blinded?

Shark July 15 2009 1:15 AM EDT

On February 23, 1987, a supernova, which is a vast star explosion, was observed. It was known as SN 1987A. About eight months after the explosion was observed, reflections from the explosion were seen in a distant gas cloud ring that circled the supernova. The reason the reflected light was delayed eight months was that it took time for the light to travel from the supernova to the distant gas clouds and then to reflect from there back to earth. So we can conclude that it took about eight months--or 0.66 years-- to journey from the supernova to the gas ring. Knowing the time it took to reach the ring, and knowing the speed of light, we can calculate the distance to the ring. Knowing this distance, and measuring the angle between the supernova and the reflection as seen from the earth, we can use simple trigonometry to calculate the distance of the supernova from the earth. Astronomers have calculated that the distance is so large that it took light 169,000 years to make that journey.

So if you think the universe is 6000 years old, how is it that we can see this supernova and the reflected light? The light had to travel for 169,000 years to reach earth. It must have left the supernova long before the traditional date of Creation, 4000 BC. Can you see how most of us conclude the universe is more than 6000 years old?

There was a non scientific study of the types and age groups who believe this and 88% of all surveyed said the answer was "MUSHU"!!
and we all know what it feels like to step into "MUSHU"

Colonel Custard July 15 2009 2:00 AM EDT

"To generalize, I could say X, and you would nonchalantly say, 'I don't believe in X and you cannot prove it well enough for me.'"
I could nonchalantly say that, yes. I'm reasonable, though, and I'm not coming into this thread just so I can ask questions and not listen to the answers.
Basically, I'm asking what makes you so sure, since I'm not. If the evidence isn't enough to convince me, why does it convince you? I must be missing some of the evidence, or else we regard its significance (not necessarily validity) differently. I'm asking questions in order to find out which it is.

"Better, why should ANYONE ever attempt to explain ANYTHING? We don't know, right?"
Not the case. There are all sorts of things on which we can conduct experiments in the present in a realistic timeframe with controlled variables which consistently yield the same results. That is knowing something as much as anyone can.
The difference here is that, in order to test the age of the Earth in a realistic timeframe with controlled variables, we'd have to build a little mini-solar system or mini-universe with a mini Earth with the same original conditions as our own (conditions at which we can only guess), and then watch it for 6,000 or 3 billion years and see when it looks most like our world.
Do you see why I'm proposing that we can't really test the age of the Earth? What methods are at our disposal? All we know about geology and such, we only really know in a comparatively short timeframe to any proposed age of the Earth. All the rest is extrapolation for what must have happened over the preceding 3 billion years.

"By the way, 'it looks like this' is the EXACT fundamental tenet in the scientific method that makes it useful, unless you count the consistent logic that goes from one 'look' to the next. That is sort of the whole point."
"It looks like this" is the first step in the scientific process, but not what gives it its validity. If "it looks like this" were the sole component of the scientific method, I could show you that Cherry Kool-Aid powder ceases to exist upon contact with water, and that blood tastes sweet.
The next step is "Why does it look like this?" The third step is then "What else would this imply?" Next, we have "How can I check if these other things occur?" And then, if these things don't occur when they should, then you throw out your current answer to "Why does it look like this?", and you try to think of a different explanation.

In the case of geological history, I think the "How can I check if these other things occur?" step is untestable, which therefore reduces the method to this:
"What does it look like?"
"Like small layers of sediment built up gradually. Let's say, I dunno, a quarter-inch is a million years."
"Why does it look like that?"
"Ummm... Gosh, well, I dunno. I don't see sediment depositing now, so it must happen really slowly. Wow, that would make this place pretty old, huh?"
"OK. What else would this imply?"
"Ummmm... That the rest of the Earth is really old, too, I guess."
"How can I check if the rest of the Earth is really old, as well?"
"Dig around and see if there are layers of sediment thick enough to have needed billions of years of gradual deposits from wind erosion."
"Check! We've got that, all right."
"Hmmm... Well, I guess that confirms it!"

Do we have anything else on hand to use a measuring stick for the Earth's age, besides the Earth itself? And if so, how did we figure out that it was that old?

Shark:
Nice. I will admit that I consider that a very strong argument against Young Earth Creationism.
But for anyone who contends that the Earth came into existence some time after certain other portions of the Universe, how does that prove anything about the age of the Earth? If Earth just happened at some point, just like everything else in the Universe (as seems to be the general consensus around here), how does evidence of something else occurring about 169,000 years ago about 169,000 light years away even have relevance? If it in fact were the case that the Earth was not in existence 169,000 years ago, that light would still have reached the Earth when it did, at a point in time when the Earth most definitely was in existence.
So, again, how does that help confirm the 4.54 billion year figure commonly used as the Earth's age?

BluBBen July 15 2009 2:05 AM EDT

He is right Shark, he doesn't say that the universe is 6,000 years, he says that the earth itself is 6,000 years.

Shark July 15 2009 6:53 AM EDT

well wouldnt you think that the earth is the same age as the rest of the universe around us?

Well let me get out my jethro bodine thumbs-r-us guzintalator and add up all the old people in bible again to make sure they did this correctly. Make sure they didnt leave out any non believers to skew the numbers..yes thats much more believable isnt it?

The nova was to show how time and distance are constants and can be mathematically proven or dis-proved. You think if we can figure out how far away a nova is that the age of the earth is no brainer hey?

When you use religous text in a scientific manner, THAT is not science.

Zenai July 15 2009 7:22 AM EDT

Um Shark I do believe the fundamental Scientific Method has a built-in clause that basically say this: I am a Fact until proven wrong.

Throwing this back and forth with Facts themselves which also say: I am truth until proven false.

Put these together and you get the fundamentals of Faith and Belief. This is what CC in Short was getting at. The Arguments can go on and on about Math this and Science that but it all boils down to we Hope we are Right regardless of the underlying position.

Science and Math and Religion and Politics and many other things are proven wrong or Fundamentally Flawed everyday in some way by Bright Minds. Does it mean that it never had a place no it means that Evolution occurred and we became just a bit smarter.


Aside from all of this many say the Creation of the world and try to put a number in it from the bible.They are fundamentally flawed in attempting to do this, there was truly no real hard evidence that all of the bible was Chronological by each book and that the dates were exact. There was jumps in the times from several of the Books in the bible, some of them have even been guessed that they were in fact a thousand years apart.

Still all of this is guess work at best, I believe the point I made before should still stand. How can you honestly gauge the Time Span of a day for God and translate that to Human Terms and be right? My personal answer would be you cannot, we just do not know. The Closet things we have to regulate on even the smallest scale are the animals around us and even that is not exact. We live longer than most animals, some live longer than us so where is the line? Which animal can we use for the exact replication of such a thing? What if it is not an animal but rather an insect? Which one?

Bolfen July 15 2009 8:34 AM EDT

Zenai, you're setting up what's called a "straw man" in debate (creating a weak opponent argument instead of the real one). Yes, we cannot judge what a God's day is.

However, that's not the point. YEC's like this state senator HAVE judged that a God's day = our day = 1 revolution of the Earth.

And there is a danger here (and why we can't "live and let live.")

A lot of the people who believe YEC also believe that the lifespan of the Earth is very short. Therefore, it's ok to exploit natural resources and saving the environment is a waste of time (the world will be destroyed anyways, so what's the point?!). The video of this state senator clears alludes to that argument.

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 15 2009 8:55 AM EDT

Actually, neither the Earth nor the moon can physically be millions of years old.
Consider:

The moon is moving away from the Earth at a constant rate, about 3.8 centimeters per year.
We KNOW this from empirical observation (although Owen Barfield had a mouthful to say about that!), and it is a constant rate. (I.e. or e.g., "Observational" science.) So, since the moon is moving at this constant rate, if the the Earth was "millions/billions/trillions/imaginary number years old", the moon would have had to be inside the Earth, and broken away from it.
We find no evidence of this.

Earth's magnetic field has decayed 10% in the past 150 years (a conservative estimate). How much more so in the past 1M/B/T/IN years?

Great. I was trying not to post. You guys just HAD to say something, didn't you?

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 15 2009 9:00 AM EDT

Zenai, first off this whole "facts" argument is rather stupid. Facts are empirical evidence gathered from observable nature.
The facts are not the issue, and it makes your case seem very silly by arguing that facts aren't facts because they don't fit in with your worldview. (I agree with Sut's post on this one.)
The difference between the two camps is how they interpret the facts.

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 15 2009 9:04 AM EDT

Sorry for the triple, but:
We can know that the Bible was talking about 24hr. days! Here.

Zenai July 15 2009 9:15 AM EDT

Bolfen: I am not setting up a "Straw Man Argument" Concerning Science, Math and Facts in concert with Hope, Faith and Belief. Things are proven wrong every day this is something that cannot be argued.

On my personal belief maybe, but since there is no way to prove it either way how can we say what it truly is? My point in that was we just do not know.

As far as Politics, since you obviously read my earlier post, I do believe I said: I do not believe Science, Politics or Religion should be intertwined. I also said I do not believe the same as the YEC. So for the most part I agree with you.

Shark: Something I forgot to add in my previous post. You cannot judge a planets age by that of the universe with the Scientific method, that would be a serious mistake. Universe, Big Bang, Everything Exists right? Then Galaxies and Solar Systems, Smaller Big Bang in reverse aka Super Nova, Black Hole Solar System gone, Planetary Fragments and misc Space debris sucked up, Small Big Bang aka the Birth of a Sun, whatever is left over makes it Solar System after being Flung away from it, or not being close enough to be sucked in.....it's a vicious cycle. BTW Carbon Dating won't work if it was super heated so no dates :-/



Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 15 2009 9:18 AM EDT

It's kind of difficult to carbon-date a star, under any circumstances.

Zenai July 15 2009 9:51 AM EDT

"Zenai, first off this whole "facts" argument is rather stupid. Facts are empirical evidence gathered from observable nature.
The facts are not the issue, and it makes your case seem very silly by arguing that facts aren't facts because they don't fit in with your worldview."

Marl: Facts are empirical evidence gathered from observable nature. This same method is also used to DISPROVE Facts as well on a daily basis. So how is my argument silly?

To different extents in Politics and Religion that method is still used. Empyrical Evidence is subject to agreement of those involved.

On Carbon Dating I was refering to the debris not consumed by the Blackhole and Flung away in the Stars Birth. If it seemed otherwise then that is my fault for not clarifying it.

I apologize for the slow responses I am on my phone.

QBsutekh137 July 15 2009 9:58 AM EDT

I have never heard the moon-recede argument before.

So, I'll play along.

Moving away at 3.8 cm a year, you say? OK, that's cool. Web sites I have found state that it wasn't always moving away that fast because tidal forces (the cause of the recession) weren't always the same, nor will they remain the same as the earth's continents shift. So, I'm not sure where you got this "constant". It is roughly a constant rate NOW, that doesn't say anything about the past (that's why carbon dating is so interesting -- we KNOW how isotopes decay over time, and that IS constant. We can test it down to a very fine level.)

But I'll stick with the 3.8 cm a year. Heck, I'll make it 4.0, so it's easier to make estimates upon.

Four cm a year means that in 6000 years the moon would recede 24,000 cm from earth. That's 240 m, or 0.24 km. About 2.5 football fields.

Let's jack things up several orders of magnitude... Let's go 6 million years back. That multiplies everything by 1000, so would say the moon has moved 240 km. Wow

Except, copied from WikiAnswers: On average, the distance between the Moon and the Earth (currently) is 384,403 kilometers. This distance fluctuates between 363,104 kilometers and 405,696 kilometers due to the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit. That means 240 km is only 0.06% of the average length the moon distances itself from the earth. That's not much.

Let's go further! Let's go back ONE BILLION years! Four cm x 1 billion = 4 billion cm = 40,000,000 m = 40,000 km. 40,000 km is about 10% of the average distance at which the moon now orbits. Wow, a billion years of service and only a 10% raise! Poor moon.

To summarize the moon-recession theory of the earth's age another way would be this: learn math and run the figures yourself before making wild speculations. If you believe that theory to show the earth is only several thousand years old, you are simply flat-out, abysmally wrong. Mathematics has proven it as such using your own information.

BluBBen July 15 2009 10:07 AM EDT

I'm not at all sure about this, but say 5 billion years ago, (if the moon have been moving away from earth all the time) it would have been a lot closer and not moved so fast because of higher gravity between earth and moon?

(I'm only speculating now)

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 15 2009 10:10 AM EDT

"On my personal belief maybe, but since there is no way to prove it either way how can we say what it truly is? My point in that was we just do not know."

there is some kind of scale of beliefs though where certain things are much more likely than others, no? otherwise we are left with the spaghetti monster?

QBsutekh137 July 15 2009 10:15 AM EDT

I believe that is correct, BluBen, but I am not sure... I would have to do a lot more reading on theories of how the moon was captured or pulled out of the earth, etc. The couple sites I read said the moon would have receded slower back in the day because tidal forces would not have involved as much water -- back when the earth was rockier, I guess (I am totally speculating now, should just stop without more research...)

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 15 2009 10:18 AM EDT

i really see this very simply. you can see where most of the known facts are pointing and choose to believe that knowing that some of the details might be tweaked over time or you can disbelieve what science and logic are telling you and trust in a god that there is no proof of and barter away the life we are guaranteed of for an afterlife that may or may not exist.

you can also choose to spend your time and money in support of these unprovable things as i do believe in personal freedom. what you should not do though is try to convince others that saying no to logic, fact and reason are noble and good in any fashion, regardless of any proselytizing clause in said belief structures. especially when dealing with innocent children, raise them as critical thinkers rather and be proud when they use their brains, even if they lump your god in with all of the other mythical beings.

QBsutekh137 July 15 2009 10:19 AM EDT

And there is a way to prove things. Start with empirical, reproducible facts, and then consistently grow the body of knowledge. The consistency is key. Once anything does not fit in the consistent logic, the whole idea has to be chucked or re-thought.

And yes, many very consistent bodies of knowledge have been built starting with the Bible. I do not dispute the Bible is a real book and that it is old. I dispute that an old book should automatically be considered consistent tome of law. The whole concept of the Bible is a begging of the question: We know something is true because the Bible says it, because the Bible is true. Circular. A very consistent set of corollaries and summaries has been gleaned from the Bible, but if the core of the belief system is a begged-question, wouldn't "I don't know" be a better start?

Zenai July 15 2009 11:00 AM EDT

dudemus: "There is some kind of scale of beliefs though where certain things are much more likely than others, no? otherwise we are left with the spaghetti monster?"

Indeed there is a line/scale, which is why I stated I do not agree with YEC.

Aside from my personal belief, the "Spaghetti Monster" so to speak in the belief system For Science, Politics, and Religion is a Real Threat. The problem though is sifting through everything to find what is what. Empirical Evidence is thrown around a lot as well as This or That is More believeable. The Flaw here is that it is a consensus by those involved and thrust upon the masses. I personally feel that is wrong but I digress, because not everyone is cut out to be a Scientist,Philosopher/Spiritualist, or Politician. Personal Education can only take us so far. This is why we have Leaders and "Hope" they do not lead us wrong. I believe this is why this Thread was started. If this is the case, us being lead wrong, then this leader should be removed. From looking at the video all I saw was her stating the earth was 6k years old and a small snipit of our Children/Grandchildren. :-/

QBsutekh137 July 15 2009 11:22 AM EDT

I agree with you ZUL. I feel "critical thinking" should be taught to children starting in 1st grade. I'm talking serious, hard, consistency stuff. I realize that runs the risk of adding a dose of cynicism to child-like innocence, but in my opinion, I'd rather be a cynic than a sheep.

And teaching critical thinking while still maintaining a sensitivity to belief systems, well, that seems just about impossible (as threads here on CB regularly display). So, it's a tough nut to crack. :/

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] July 15 2009 11:58 AM EDT

"A lot of the people who believe YEC also believe that the lifespan of the Earth is very short. Therefore, it's ok to exploit natural resources and saving the environment is a waste of time (the world will be destroyed anyways, so what's the point?!). The video of this state senator clears alludes to that argument."

This is an ignorant and stereotypical statement.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] July 15 2009 12:06 PM EDT

Also, Marl. I'm glad you trust the King James translation perfectly but... The original word used in Hebrew is "yom." Which has a vast amount of meanings. One, can be the day that we are accustomed to today. However, yom can also mean a span of time, or an age.

w!ms July 15 2009 12:21 PM EDT

people believe what they want to believe so they can get by. karl marx once said something about religion and opium

Marlfox [Cult of the Valaraukar] July 15 2009 12:25 PM EDT

Err, did you read the link Art?

Cube July 15 2009 12:29 PM EDT

For the Moon recession argument, the leading theory is that the moon was created from a large impact with the Earth, meaning measuring the age of the Earth via the Moon is meaningless.

Also, the Earth's magnetic field has not decayed at such a ridiculous rate ever. That was a creationist using bad data. Not to mention for him to be right 6000 years ago the magnetic field would have to be 67 times as strong as it is now.

Cube July 15 2009 12:34 PM EDT

"The difference between the two camps is how they interpret the facts."

Yes, one camp chooses to cherry pick facts.

QBsutekh137 July 15 2009 12:59 PM EDT

True, wims, but wouldn't the "truth" be a better way to get by? And facing that truth, even when it isn't pretty? That's called "character", and again, I prefer it to sheep, any day.

I don't think Karl Marx made his "opiate of the masses" comment in flattery or acceptance. He was insulting religion, and desiring that the masses be more empowered (at least in theory -- the practice turned out to have lots and lots of problems, as we saw in the USSR).

w!ms July 15 2009 2:28 PM EDT

oh right that's what i wasn't trying to imply not at all

QBsutekh137 July 15 2009 2:37 PM EDT

wims, I think need to relax. I wasn't attacking you. I was taking an earnest interest in what you stated and adding my own interpretation/thoughts to it.

Isn't that what the forums are for?

w!ms July 15 2009 2:45 PM EDT

Okay fine. That was my bad. I should have been more clear with that post and should've thought about how other people would interpret that.

Karl Marx was of course insulting religion. He wanted it abolished, kind of. He wanted people to rethink the idea of religion in a way to help in their spiritual growth. religion = illusion

Colonel Custard July 15 2009 3:58 PM EDT

Bolfen:
"A lot of the people who believe YEC also believe that the lifespan of the Earth is very short. Therefore, it's ok to exploit natural resources and saving the environment is a waste of time (the world will be destroyed anyways, so what's the point?!). The video of this state senator clears alludes to that argument."
She clearly does display that sentiment, but it's a jump to assume that everyone who believes in Young Earth/any other interpretation of the Biblical account of Creation also feels the same way. Furthermore, "We don't really need to worry about taking care of our planet" is an entirely unbiblical view.

To clarify right now: my contributions to this thread are not meant to defend this lady's world view, but rather to question all the people who go "LOL everyone knows the Earth is 4.5 billion years old!" How does everyone know that?

dudemus:
"you can disbelieve what science and logic are telling you and trust in a god that there is no proof of and barter away the life we are guaranteed of for an afterlife that may or may not exist."
What are science and logic telling me in particular that makes the Earth so old? All I can see, still, is that the Earth is as old as it is. Or else, the Earth is slightly younger than the Sun, and we know that the Sun is 4.56 billion years old becauseナ ummmナ well, because the Earth is 4.54 billion years old, and the Sun must be older. It's circular, unless there's anything else to it.
What is the process for assigning age to something like the Sun or a planet? That's my hang-up, there.
Furthermore, science is, by definition, insufficient to prove God, because God is bigger and older than the entire known Universe, and is not bound by the basic laws of physics or thermodynamics. Again, God is a case where we do not have a measuring stick to apply.
Who's bartering away a life, though? I'm not sure what you're saying, here.

"especially when dealing with innocent children, raise them as critical thinkers rather and be proud when they use their brains"
Of course. I was not brainwashed into belief in a Creator, nor do I at all plan to brainwash my children if/when I have them. I don't know if I'm sounding unreasonable somehow, but I'm trying to stick to the question of "How much can we really know?" and it seems that people assume I just don't know anything for questioning that.

Sut:
"The whole concept of the Bible is a begging of the question: We know something is true because the Bible says it, because the Bible is true. Circular. A very consistent set of corollaries and summaries has been gleaned from the Bible, but if the core of the belief system is a begged-question, wouldn't "I don't know" be a better start?"
Of course "I don't know" is where we start. I'm trying to get everyone else on the same page about this, but everyone is so sure that they know cuz of uncited "evidence" and "logic."
Aren't you taking the Earth's age on faith just as much as anyone else takes anything else? It's not exactly like you can test it yourself. Since people apparently make things up and publish them, what makes you think that the scientific community has less of an agenda than the authors of the Bible? Your assertion, then, could be "We know something is true because scientists say it is, because scientists tell the truth all the time, and know everything and are always right." That is also circular.
So, what do we know?

"The Flaw here is that it is a consensus by those involved and thrust upon the masses."
Well said, Zenai.

"I realize that runs the risk of adding a dose of cynicism to child-like innocence"
Lol

"And teaching critical thinking while still maintaining a sensitivity to belief systems, well, that seems just about impossible (as threads here on CB regularly display)."
Am I not thinking critically?

"True, wims, but wouldn't the "truth" be a better way to get by? And facing that truth, even when it isn't pretty?"
Yes. Of course. How can we know truth, though? Truth is independent of anyone's perception of what the truth may be.

Let me try to explain my perspective once more:
In science, our philosophy is sort of "innocent until proven guilty." In other words, we can come up with any idea we want to explain something, and it's a plausible explanation until a counterexample is encountered. Things become theories and laws once they've been tested enough that we feel confident we will not encounter any counterexamples. However, things that are unfalsifiable (meaning they can't be tested for counterexamples, such as the existence of a deity) are outside the realm of science entirely. Does the Earth's age have falsifiability? How? Where?

Oh, and my other question: what about Young Earth Creationism is so dangerous to public policy (assuming that Bolfen's generalization is erroneous)?

Cube July 15 2009 4:21 PM EDT

Minor point: The Sun could be older, or younger than the Earth. The Earth doesn't need to be younger. However, they are both going to be approximately the same age.

"what makes you think that the scientific community has less of an agenda than the authors of the Bible"
Experience. I trust those who are educated, as well as are experts within the field because they have lead me well before. Just as I trust websites that look professional more because they have lead me well before. However, I find the assertion that they are involved in a conspiracy, somewhat offensive as it rejects people that I know and trust as well.

Following the Bible in fields of science has led to very embarrassing things for the church before, and that doesn't make me inclined to trust it in the field of science. Yes, I am referring to Galileo. If someone makes a mistake, they aren't going to be your best source.

Admittedly, some people are rather arrogant about such subjects, and their thought process upon reading this story is 'LOL, she's stupid everyone knows the Earth isn't 6,000 years old' without thinking where their knowledge comes from. In which case, they are as guilty as she is blindly trusting a source. That said, I think it's safe to trust that the Earth is far older than 6,000 years old.

And no, it's not particularly that dangerous of an idea on it's own.

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] July 15 2009 4:37 PM EDT

A couple of things to say about the Senator from Arizona:

No where in her small speech there does she say any thing about not caring for the Earth. She's talking about acquiring uranium, I'd assume to use in Nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants made in the twenty-first century are very safe. France obtains 80% of its energy from Nuclear power. Also, there is something to be said for conviction in politics. Who cares how old this lady thinks the Earth is? At least if she has a little bit of strong will and conviction she won't go turn coat on her voters and flip sides. We've got one of those from Pennsylvania already, what a great job he's doing representing his constituents. The people from Pennsylvania voted for a fairly conservative Republican who represented their views. Specter voted like that while he was a Republican. Not any more. Once he got a decent seniority with the Democratic party he had no problem ousting his voters views.

Colonel Custard July 15 2009 4:39 PM EDT

Thank you, Cube.

I wasn't trying to assert that they are involved in a conspiracy. My point was more along the lines that it's not really something most people have the knowledge or resources to double-check themselves, so your confidence in the accuracy of the 4.54 billion year figure is entirely a statement of faith -- not in a higher power, but in someone else's abilities.

"Admittedly, some people are rather arrogant about such subjects, and their thought process upon reading this story is 'LOL, she's stupid everyone knows the Earth isn't 6,000 years old' without thinking where their knowledge comes from. In which case, they are as guilty as she is blindly trusting a source. That said, I think it's safe to trust that the Earth is far older than 6,000 years old."
This is exactly what I'm saying. Thank you for stating it in such a way that others may also start to catch on.

QBsutekh137 July 15 2009 4:45 PM EDT

Custard, you seem quite stuck on this flawed bit of reasoning that just because something is in the past it can no longer be known or have facts attributed to it. That is a false statement. If you are stating something different, than can you summarize it more succinctly for me?

I trust the age of the earth, at least to rough orders of magnitude, based on physics. I DO trust carbon dating (show me why I shouldn't), because it is every bit as scientific and reproducible as many other scientific advances that have given mankind physical, consistent forward progress.

By your logic, There is no way I can ever know what time I woke up this morning. Since I cannot go back to when I woke up and observe myself, I can NEVER know when that was. Even looking at my alarm clock, writing down when I woke up, or checking other activities that may have occurred after waking would be pointless. The alarm clock cannot be trusted, someone could have forged my writing, and any other activities surrounding the said waking could be fraudulent. In fact, it is quite possible that I didn't wake up at all!

Let me present a theoretical construct. Let's say there was a massive stainless steel tank full of water, 100 feet above the surface of the earth. The water always stays at the same temperature, the tank never changes shape, and there is one, constant hole in the bottom of the tank that lets a known volume of water out over time. The falling water is pulled down by gravity, and is not affected by any other phenomenon.

I measure the water at a certain time, and record how much is there.

This tank is large, so it takes centuries for the level to go down. Thousands of years later, someone else measures the water level, and calculates how much the level has fallen. In doing so, they can tell how long ago I measured the water previously, even though I am long dead.

Would you dispute such a method for time keeping? If so, I am curious as to on what grounds you would do so?

Measuring the half-life of a radioactive isotope is much the same, it just doesn't happen to be linear. But it IS a known function.

So, on what grounds do you dispute isotope dating? I can think of many reasons, I just was wondering what you think is "unknowable" about it:

-- The amount of the isotope to start with (that is crucial to judging the halfsies and estimating time)?
-- The half-life itself? Do you have reason to believe something like an inanimate atomic half-life could change over time? That elements are somehow not constant in their characteristics? If so, what would you say changes them? How could we know anything if we operated under the hypothesis that any given substance could change its fundamental nature randomly?
-- The scientists doing the measurements? Do they have bones to pick? Are they just being anti-religious or intentionally obfuscating?

These are just a few examples for a start, and I DO believe in carbon dating to explain why I believe the Earth's age to be older than 6000 years. That's all. I don't need to know anything more than that. The earth is more than 6000 years old, and can be proven as well as any other atomic physics experiment, experiments that have been reproduced, backed by theory, and used for all kinds of scientific advances over the years. If you don't believe in that, then you shouldn't be typing on a computer, driving a car, or taking any pharmaceuticals, because it they are merely constructs based on belief, and the nature of those beliefs could change at any time.

So, if someone states the earth is only 6000 years old, they are simply incorrect. I don't have to refute that with an exact age that I believe in, all I have to show is that the age is greater than 6000 years.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 15 2009 6:11 PM EDT

cc, you never really replied to my very first question in this thread and i think it needs answered. you seem to doubt man's ability find truth.

how can you be sure that the word of man hasn't tainted your belief structure?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 15 2009 6:17 PM EDT

also, you seem to want hard proof of scientific facts with data to back it up. there will always be a small bit of doubt even with science in most things.

do you use the same litmus test for your beliefs? has someone been able to prove to you the existence of god moreso than the age of the earth? in effect are you this demanding of evidence in all of your life or do you separate the logical and emotional parts to make religion work for you?

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 15 2009 6:48 PM EDT

Wait a second!

Is someone trying to put forth the idea in agreement with the link that the earth is only 6K years old or are we all laughing mightily at such an absurd comment and just determining why we are laughing?

Someone out there seriously believes the Earth is only 6K years old and wants to use the bible as the "factual" basis for this assertion?

You can believe the sky is purple all you want! Wont bother me one bit, its when you try to convince me, my children or anyone else for that matter that what you believe is true, then we have issue.

One of my favorite statements about "save the earth" was made by George Carlin, he said, save the earth? My rear end, save the humans you mean, the earth will shake off humans like a bad case of fleas and wont even remember us after we are gone. The earth doesn't need any saving it is doing plenty fine with or without you, what will be needing saving is us humans, from ourselves.

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 15 2009 6:50 PM EDT

P.S. he also said maybe the Earth grew us humans to make plastics for it, since it could not make plastics for itself! Save the Earth

*chuckle*

Colonel Custard July 15 2009 7:17 PM EDT

"Custard, you seem quite stuck on this flawed bit of reasoning that just because something is in the past it can no longer be known or have facts attributed to it."
If it occurred far enough in the past, it could not have been observed at the time by anyone who subjected it to scientific analysis. If you woke up this morning and looked at the clock, you were able to record that data, obtained by direct observation. If you had been around 4.6 billion years ago and saw that the Earth wasn't there, and then hung around for a couple of hundred million years, you would actually be able to observe whether or not the Earth formed during that time period. But you weren't, and neither was anyone else.

"Would you dispute such a method for time keeping? If so, I am curious as to on what grounds you would do so?"
I would not.

"So, on what grounds do you dispute isotope dating? I can think of many reasons, I just was wondering what you think is "unknowable" about it:

-- The amount of the isotope to start with (that is crucial to judging the halfsies and estimating time)?"
Yes. How do we know how much was around at the beginning, since no one was there to record such data? It seems like the only way to figure out how much was there originally is to figure out how many half-lives go into 4.54 billion years, and then to multiply the current amount by 2^x. That is arbitrary.

"These are just a few examples for a start, and I DO believe in carbon dating to explain why I believe the Earth's age to be older than 6000 years. That's all. I don't need to know anything more than that."
Because there is evidence to suggest that certain living organisms on Earth died much more than 6,000 years ago? Ok, that makes sense.

"So, if someone states the earth is only 6000 years old, they are simply incorrect. I don't have to refute that with an exact age that I believe in, all I have to show is that the age is greater than 6000 years."
Okay. I'm sorry if I was incorrectly assuming you thought you were sure the Earth was x number of years old.

dudemus:
Do you mean this: "ah, so we cannot trust the observation and scientific methods of man but we can trust his "inspired" written word and it's many translations as literal fact."?

I wouldn't say that you can't trust the scientific method or the observations of man, but you have to acknowledge that there are some things we don't know and some things we haven't figured out. I would also propose that there is much that we can't know, and can only suppose, such as things that we can not directly observe or test.

"has someone been able to prove to you the existence of god moreso than the age of the earth?"
No. God is unprovable, and undisprovable. I don't consider that an obstacle. There are things that I could consider evidence for God's existence, but any sort of evidence can be attributed to a variety of possible causes. That's actually why the scientific method was invented: as a process to test and systematically reject certain explanations in order to try to comprehend the root cause behind something.

"in effect are you this demanding of evidence in all of your life or do you separate the logical and emotional parts to make religion work for you?"
I don't like the word "religion." Religion doesn't work for me at all. Christianity has this whole self-contained philosophy that is 100% compatible with life as an educated person in an enlightened society. To the extent that this philosophy is testable, it has not been shown to be erroneous.

I wish I were so demanding of evidence in all my life. However, most of my conversation and my educational experiences did not necessarily involve scientific minds who could provide empirical evidence to prove their claims; to an extent, I just trust people. However, I think it's reasonable to demand evidence for things that are testable, especially in cases where there is some sort of dispute. For example, if you told me that Charlemagne never really existed, I would be curious as to what sorts of evidence you had to show that all the other historical records of his existence are mistaken or false. As it is, however, I haven't really examined all those documents, either; I just trust that they probably exist and are probably true, because I have no real reason to call it into question.

So, yes, I am this demanding of evidence when people make claims that I find it reasonable to contest.

Sefton:
"Is someone trying to put forth the idea in agreement with the link that the earth is only 6K years old"
Not really. More asking "How do we know how old it really is?"

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 15 2009 7:46 PM EDT

"No. God is unprovable, and undisprovable. I don't consider that an obstacle."

that is also one of the spaghetti monster's tenets. ;)

why the disparity then? that is what i have never understood. you won't believe certain things until you have irrefutable evidence yet this you accept willingly.

you can take mountains of data and evidence for the earth existing for more than 6k years and dismiss it. on the other end of the spectrum you can accept a total absence of proof and yet say that is not an obstacle to belief.

does the logic get switched off and emotion turned on for belief to work or is it something else?

QBSefton [Black Cheetah Bazaar] July 15 2009 8:00 PM EDT

OK I will play!

Here is what I will say. A lot of scientists took a lot of time and care, assembled a detailed accurate timeline and presented fossilized evidence, charted it out, and presented it as the age of dinosaurs. So either a whole bunch of people got together and all misread everything then took ALL that misread data and made it fit nicely together in a logical order then extrapolated data from those assumptions assembled skeletal reproductions of the assumed data and carried this on in proud Brave New World Order fashion conspiracy for many decades OR they they are likely close in their estimations. I will take "B" for 400 Alex.

That happened around 230 million years ago. That was the age of dinosaurs. Once we start talking about 200 million years ago, does it really matter anymore how old it truly is? I can tell you how old it is not. It is not only 6,000 years old.

SMILE

w!ms July 15 2009 8:06 PM EDT

come one now guys. everybody knows the earth is 6000 years old because jesus died for your sins. allahu akbar

/thread

Zenai July 15 2009 8:11 PM EDT

Um guys let's try to not make this personal please.


As far as Data, Empirical Evidence, Truth, Fact, Science, Math, Wisdom, Politics, Philosophy, Tenants, Morals/Ethics etc etc there is always some things that are Irrefutable, and still others that are Questionable.

Pushing the Limits of our knowledge to understand more in all of these areas and more is a part of our natural evolution. Asking questions is a good thing and why not? As I said before things in ALL of these areas and more are Proven Wrong/False/Flawed/Outdated on a Daily Basis by Bright Minds.

Crimp a bright mind and you are choking our future. Free thinking in ALL of these areas is the ONLY way we are going to advance. ONLY by working together are we going to make things work and survive this ever changing and increasingly dangerous world. I am not just talking about the Environment we can touch, taste, see and feel. I also mean our minds and the Consensus of Dangerous Thought out in there (Cults and whatnot) that Target our Future though our Children.

In Short can we let this go for now and agree that the Senator needs a history class?

Colonel Custard July 15 2009 8:53 PM EDT

dude:
"that is also one of the spaghetti monster's tenets. ;)"
But there can be only one. Go ahead and espouse a belief in the spaghetti monster if you want, but I know that you know that he only exists as a facetious rhetorical tool.

"why the disparity then? that is what i have never understood. you won't believe certain things until you have irrefutable evidence yet this you accept willingly."
There are certain things for which it is impossible to have "irrefutable" evidence. In such cases, it is unreasonable to expect such a thing. That's the main disparity.

"you can take mountains of data and evidence for the earth existing for more than 6k years and dismiss it. on the other end of the spectrum you can accept a total absence of proof and yet say that is not an obstacle to belief."
(Earth is older than 6,000 years) does not equal (Earth is 4.54 billion years old). Sure, there are mountains of evidence (or so I hear) for it to be at least this old or that old, but it seems to me that there are an awful lot of extra years added on to anything of which we even have an indication. How was it decided that the Earth can't possibly be any younger than 4.54 billion years old? And, furthermore, how was it decided that it's not older then 4.54 billion?

To clarify, I don't espouse YEC. I'm just asking how you know.

Seft:
I think we've been over that. Thanks for the Jeopardy reference that didn't really make sense.

wims:
Thanks for not contributing at all to the discussion.

Zenai:
Yes?

QBsutekh137 July 15 2009 9:18 PM EDT

Colonel Custard, I see your point, I do. But just because we didn't have the luck of having a correspondent back then does not mean we give up. If no one saw a crime, do the forensics folks still look for clues? Do they still use logic and scientific method to piece together a consistent crime scene? Sure. I'm not saying the problem is easy. It's hard. That's why it is fun to solve. And yes, come crime scenes do not even have the barest essentials to ever make a case. The age of the earth isn't such a scenario, though.

Yes, we need something other than carbon isotopes to go back further. There are lots of things with greater starting mass and longer half-lives for that, among other methods. Because _something_ is ALWAYS observing and "writing things down". If a tree falls in the forest, it ALWAYS makes a sound, and that sound has consequences. Cause and effect. Just because we may have to learn a new language to read that writing does not mean we should say, "well, can't solve this." If you believed that, you would believe there is no reason to ever visit a country where you can't read the signs or understand the language. Such a place would be entirely undecipherable to you. I don't think you feel that way, do you?

Example: determining the earth is not flat. Folks like Kepler didn't have much of anything back in the day. No electricity, no advanced machining, heck -- they didn't even have much of the math! They were having to develop that as they went along. What a clusterfart that must have been! And yet they figured it out. How? By building a new vocabulary based on consistent truths. Did some people back into their results, as you mention with the half-life stuff? You bet. And a lot of those folks worked for the church, or for religious nobles. Why do you think it took so long to get the right answer? *smile*

But they did. And they obviously didn't work backwards (because they couldn't have, they were bucking EVERYTHING!). They worked ground up, taking the most painful of baby steps as they went.

That's what REAL scientists tackling problems now do, too. They aren't just making it up because they have the advantage of computers and advanced maths. Well, some do. Some guys tried to say they had cold fusion decades ago and they were roundly dismissed in a matter of days. That's how good science works. It is consistent, tenacious, indomitable, and will always damn itself to Hell if consistency is breached. Science not only knows how to say, "I don't know," it knows how to say, "I thought I knew, and I just wasted a lot of time. Damn." The latter is probably the most important part, because when is the last time you heard rigorous religious dogma admit a mistake in that fashion?

The earth is very, very old. And there are more than enough reasons to think so. If you don't care to research the myriad ways it's been done, that's fine. But don't then sit back and tell other folks who DO agree with the facts they've read that they can't possibly know. Nay, that they can't EVER possibly know because the problem is simply too hard. That doesn't make sense.

BluBBen July 15 2009 9:57 PM EDT

http://www.xkcd.com/154/

=)

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 15 2009 10:04 PM EDT

"But there can be only one."

who says? are all of the other belief structures worshiping different deities wrong then? what makes yours the right one? how do you tell one facetious rhetorical device from another, especially if enough people have believed in it through history?

you have to admit that it is awful convenient belief structure builds into itself that it can not be proven or disproven. isn't that exactly what any clever marketer would do as well? isn't that what some cults do these days?


Cube July 16 2009 3:13 AM EDT

That xkcd is very apt, BBB. Pretty much sums up my feelings.

Colonel Custard July 16 2009 12:42 PM EDT

"If no one saw a crime, do the forensics folks still look for clues? Do they still use logic and scientific method to piece together a consistent crime scene? Sure."
And sometimes they make a mistake anyway? Has every reconstructed scenario been accurate in actual real life forensic science, or just on TV?

"Yes, we need something other than carbon isotopes to go back further."
And how do we know how much of any of those were around initially?

And, again, (older than 6,000) does not equal (4.54 billion). Ok, it's old. If you actually knew how old, you would tell me how you know, instead of citing "myriad ways" it's been "proven." Instead, you just trust that someone figured it out.

dudemus:
""But there can be only one."

who says?"
If God is the limit of all that exists, then there isn't any other god that could possibly exist, except one within the extant God himself. Another definition for God is a being of which no greater can be conceived, so again, this would lead to there being only one, which is the limit of all else.

"you have to admit that it is awful convenient belief structure builds into itself that it can not be proven or disproven."
I think you're administering blame wrongly, here. It's not some clever ploy by the tricky tricksters who wrote the Bible to throw in an "Oh, by the way, this is unfalsifiable" clause; it's the nature of science itself that makes it wholly inadequate to even begin to address such claims. If it were possible for science to assess the possibility of the existence of God, don't you think someone would have tried already?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 12:53 PM EDT

"It's not some clever ploy by the tricky tricksters who wrote the Bible to throw in an "Oh, by the way, this is unfalsifiable" clause; it's the nature of science itself that makes it wholly inadequate to even begin to address such claims."

who says that though, where are you getting all of this info?

QBJohnnywas July 16 2009 12:55 PM EDT

"If it occurred far enough in the past, it could not have been observed at the time by anyone who subjected it to scientific analysis."

Wrong Custard. The speed of light means scientists are constantly observing things happening in the universe that actually happened many many years ago.

And, thanks to evidence of things happening in the past being still around we are able to observe them happening, even if it is past the fact.

Ever seen CSI? Timescales may be shorter but principle is the same...

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 1:02 PM EDT

also, you never stated if you are of the opinion that all other belief structures are wrong then? or is it all the same god who chooses to present himself differently or is interpreted differently by different cultures?

Colonel Custard July 16 2009 1:05 PM EDT

dudemus:
Are you just trying to point out the irony in demanding evidence?

"Ever seen CSI? Timescales may be shorter but principle is the same..."
Except that they limit access to the crime scenes so that the evidence stays as close to intact as possible. Obviously, with geological features, it is only the rare exception that is preserved intact from some state in which it was x number of years ago. Otherwise, things that grew there or fell there or popped up years later can appear to have occurred at the same time as something much earlier.

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 1:11 PM EDT

CC, I have never said I have known the age. In fact, I have never debated anything with you other than two things:

-- The earth is older than 6000 years old (which you agree with). -- Just because a problem involves the far past, therefore making it harder to have a live science correspondent at the source to help, doesn't mean there aren't ways of solving the problem (and definitely means we don't stop trying to solve it, if someone deems the answer important.) You do not appear to agree in any way with this.

I'm also not going to debate the importance (or lack thereof) in pure research. Why do we need to know how old the earth is? I dunno. But I'm not really much of a scientist. I'm not saying you wanted to debate that either, I am just heading off any alternate, off-topic avenues the discussion might go down. I don't care why people want to know, and I don't care if their reasons have any importance. Just so we're clear. All I care about it: "Can this problem be tackled?" and if so, "Can the problem-solving method result in accurate conclusions (with error bars)?"

With all that being said, I have not been debating with you about the age of the earth, as you appear to be curving the conversation. My last two posts, at least, have been about the ABILITY to solve problems in the far past. Yes, forensics folks get things wrong. So do scientists. Again, I am NOT referring to the correct solution or debating what is "correctness" or "truth". I am saying a solution CAN be sought after using logical consistent means, and progress can be made. If that were not the case, we would have thought 100% that the earth was flat until someone finally went into the sky and took a picture. And don't ask me how or when that ever would have happened if we were all running around still thinking the world flat. *smile*

So, your only pertinent question (at least to the topic I am trying to discuss) is about the longer-half-life isotopes and how they are used to rate the earth's age. A valid point, too! How does anyone know what amount was there to start with in order to apply half-life decay rates to get age of stuff?

Since you appear unwilling or unable to research that, and just say "how can they know?", I'll paste in some information.

Radiometric dating appears to be the overall family of using half-lives to date things. Here's a nice page on it:

Link

As far as I can tell, the key is to have a long half life, a good, current sample of material, and then a good sample of older material (and understanding what outside alterations could have affected that older material). It helps even more if there is a back trail, as in digging deeper and deeper into a mountain, and that back-trail follows the half-life curve. This is NOT backing into the half-life curve. You use the half life curve to see if the theorized age of the rocks matches known geological formations and the location of where the rocks were found.

It gets better. Certain testing methods have a built in cross-check WITHIN the samples themselves. I am not sure I entirely understand, but I will paste an important paragraph from the aforementioned link:

One of its great advantages is that any sample provides two clocks, one based on uranium-235's decay to lead-207 with a half-life of about 700 million years, and one based on uranium-238's decay to lead-206 with a half-life of about 4.5 billion years, providing a built-in crosscheck that allows accurate determination of the age of the sample even if some of the lead has been lost. This can be seen in the concordia diagram, where the samples plot along an errochron (straight line) which intersects the concordia curve at the age of the sample.

In other words (by my thinking), two different decay rates within one sample allow one to know how long the rock has been around even if one doesn't know exactly how much was there to start with (unless the fundamental composition of the material itself for some reason suddenly changed proportions of isotopes).

So, that's a start. Do you have some links or expertise in this field to lead you to believe it is entirely unfounded and made-up? I'd love to research further, and am willing to read your links and thoughts!

QBJohnnywas July 16 2009 1:11 PM EDT

"Otherwise, things that grew there or fell there or popped up years later can appear to have occurred at the same time as something much earlier."

Much like the writings of the Bible then.

Cube July 16 2009 1:15 PM EDT

CC is just arguing for a state of mind, where you remember that your information is not always perfect.

In for example, microscopy in order to take smaller images you end up shooting electrons at something, what you are actually observing is in what way the electrons that come out do come out. You then come up with a model for it, but if there were little gremlins throwing the electrons around, you'd never know.

I'm not religious, but I consider religion and belief in God more of a state of mind, than something that needs to be provable. There have been and will be plenty of smart people who do believe in God. They're still smart people.

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 1:16 PM EDT

Much? I think you would have to say "all", since everything in the Bible went through human hands. At least light, rocks, and electromagnetism (OK, so that already covers "light" *smile*) are wholly non-sentient and non-animate. Such materials have a hard time suddenly changing fundamentals.

Not so for we humans.

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 1:17 PM EDT

Science already builds in imperfection. They are called error bars, and no study is even remotely considered valid without them. If you have no idea how far your results could be off for a given methodology, then you simply have no idea. No exceptions.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 1:24 PM EDT

"dudemus: Are you just trying to point out the irony in demanding evidence?"

no, i am trying to get you to answer the questions i have posted which you seem very reluctant to do.

Zenai July 16 2009 2:19 PM EDT

Is this STILL going on? Enough already folks seriously.....geeze.

Colonel Custard July 16 2009 2:28 PM EDT

I'm not reluctant to answer; I just wanted to clarify that you were asking in order to get an answer, and not just to be ironic.

Do I believe other beliefs are incorrect? Yes. However, I acknowledge that my evidence for my own belief is nothing more than anecdotal. I can't prove anything to you, and really that's not even the point.

Do I believe that all gods are one and the same? No. This is incompatible with the essence of God. But, in a way, God's nature contains all ways in which it can be characterized. So, in that way, I would almost say yes. An easy example is in the case of polytheism: each deity involved represents some characteristic which we suspect God of possessing. And, for the most part, that's true, except that gods like Zeus and Poseidon and Artemis are characterized as having very human attitudes, characteristics, and vices, which God only possesses in very different ways.

What other questions have you asked in this thread that I've been reluctant to answer?
"it is a bit of circular logic though if you think about it. they blamed god because they were superstitious and ignorant and now we attribute god's word to their writings and thus discount all that we have learned in the meantime which would likely have freed them from their beliefs."
Certainly some people need to be "freed" from their beliefs, but only those who are oppressing themselves in the name of some outside authority. That's not the point of Christianity at all. Those who regard it merely as a set of rules laid out by an arbitrary authority figure in the sky are doing themselves a disservice. The point of Christianity is freedom, actually, as much as it can be summed up in one word. But, like, freedom with a synonym being love.

"there is some kind of scale of beliefs though where certain things are much more likely than others, no? otherwise we are left with the spaghetti monster?"
Yes. And the spaghetti monster is much too simple of an idea to have any legitimacy as a deity, don't you think? :)
In this case, we can't even have evidence that is "proven," because we can't run scientific experiments on extra-universal forces. So, anecdotal evidence is the next best thing... but anecdotal evidence is really just like "something happened, and I attribute it to this, because of what I already believe," so really it's just faith. It's a little bit like one person saying they were lucky to survive a car crash and another saying that God protected them. Did different things happen to them? No, they just viewed it differently because of their faith or lack thereof. And that's fine, because this is exactly the realm of faith.
I also think that, in terms of what is "likely" in this case, it's probably the most extraordinary solution. After all, the Flying Spaghetti Monster's entire nature, set of characteristics, composition, and even physical appearance are explicitly stated in its name. What sort of deity is that? Certainly not any more of a deity than my neighbor or a blue whale.

"barter away the life we are guaranteed of for an afterlife that may or may not exist."
I'm still curious what you are communicating here.

"what you should not do though is try to convince others that saying no to logic, fact and reason are noble and good in any fashion, regardless of any proselytizing clause in said belief structures."
I agree. Christianity isn't about the Earth being 6,000 years old, anyway, nor is it even about evolution theory being invalid. It's not dependent on either of these things, either. I would even go so far as to say that they're only directly related by the fact that people think they matter as fundamental issues, when they're mostly red herrings.

"how can you be sure that the word of man hasn't tainted your belief structure?"
I'm not sure what you are asking, here. I'm capable of being deceived and capable of making mistakes and capable of overlooking important but subtle details, if that's what you're asking. Or, do you mean, in a broader sense, that the unreliable wisdom of man could be the very basis on which I make many of my claims? I dunno. I always try to think things through pretty solidly, I think.

"does the logic get switched off and emotion turned on for belief to work or is it something else?"
It's logic, but it's not mathematical logic. It's more philosophical logic, if that makes sense. Like I said, it's sort of a different realm in my view.

"'It's not some clever ploy by the tricky tricksters who wrote the Bible to throw in an "Oh, by the way, this is unfalsifiable" clause; it's the nature of science itself that makes it wholly inadequate to even begin to address such claims.'

who says that though, where are you getting all of this info?"
Well, I've never seen nor am I aware of any portion of the Bible that states that God's existence is unfalsifiable. That's more a conclusion to which I have arrived on my own, by thinking about it logically. The first step in the scientific process is to observe. Since we can't observe God in a traditional sense, and we can argue ad infinitum about whether or not it really was God or the wind or a trick of the light, we cannot apply the scientific method to God. And, again, the physical laws of the Universe don't really bind a being that is neither physical nor contained within the Universe. Does that make sense, or did I make a logical error?

Let me know if I missed answering any of your questions.

sut:
"Just because a problem involves the far past, therefore making it harder to have a live science correspondent at the source to help, doesn't mean there aren't ways of solving the problem (and definitely means we don't stop trying to solve it, if someone deems the answer important.) You do not appear to agree in any way with this."
I think mostly my issue is that it can't be verified independently. There's no answer sheet to check, so to speak, once we've arrived at the end of our calculations. We can only check our calculations with other calculations, but we're not operating on a pure science such as math. Instead, we're operating on variables and concepts that aren't as straightforward and verifiable. I guess this creates more of a problem for me than for some.

We are in agreement on your next 3 paragraphs or so.

"Since you appear unwilling or unable to research that, and just say 'how can they know?', I'll paste in some information."
I'll admit that I am somewhat lazy and a poor researcher, but this actually goes along with my point of "How do YOU know?", which is slightly different than "How do they know?" And even now that you've found the information online, you're still trusting someone else's information. This isn't an argument nor an implication that your link isn't enough, but a clarification of an earlier point, which Cube also helped to clarify.

As for the cross-reference between two different isotopes, that sounds legit at first glance. I'll think about it and read more of that link in a little bit and I'll let you know if I find out that it doesn't make sense... but I doubt that will be the case.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] July 16 2009 2:31 PM EDT

You know it might be easier to just put this topic to rest by us all agreeing that the Earth is indeed 6000 years old. There now we can all go back to our daily routines.

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 2:52 PM EDT

CC, we are in agreement about trust. I am an iconoclast. Science, religion, daily life, etc. Get the experts out of my face, and destroy all idols (yes, that means all of them, including God). I'm not saying I don't have respect and consideration for icons, I just personally think they cause more trouble than good in a world where critical thinking comes up somewhat wanting.

One reason I may trust science more than others is because I have a math and physics background. I've DONE research. I understand where the math meets the science, and I've seen some crazy theories that were quickly proved whack. I've seen entire WAYS of thinking disproved. Additionally, I've seen the science work. I've seen Wood's tubes light up, I've seen sensors clearly capturing ions from atomic collisions far, far too small for the eye to see. My eyes glazed plenty during physics lectures, and taking notes was based on trust until I then did the problems, did the experiments, and grumbled through error bars and trial-and-error.

If you are reducing the discussion to "how can anything mean anything at any time anywhere FOR SURE?" then you win. Ultimate reductionism ALWAYS wins, because everything means nothing (and yet is consistent -- nothing is a wonderful thing!). Every single thing, including what you see or hear cannot be independently proven. There is no independent council outside of all space and time. By definition, such a thing could not exist, because then it would be part of the system, and could therefore not be trusted.

A classic logic paradox about set theory involves card catalogs. If the library is all cataloged, and you have the main three catalogs in front of you, how do you find the catalogs? You can't put the catalogs in the catalog, because you can't find the catalog in order to look up the catalogs. OK, so make a catalog that points to the three main sub-catalogs. Well, where do you reference that catalog, then, and so on.

I believe that is where some people converge their lines of perspective on God or a godlike entity. I choose not to. I do not believe there has to be a convergence. I am not entitled to any such thing, and have not been shown enough to move from the default (nothing). The Universe is a messy place that will dissolve into a an even messier ball of lukewarm entropy, eventually, and that's the way it is.

A word to the folks piping in with "JEEZ IS THIS STILL GOING!?"... That's really annoying. This conversation is actually pretty civil, all things considered (have you even been reading, or just counting posts?) So where is the problem? If people want to talk about philosophy, science, and religion, what is it to you?

Ernest-Scribbler July 16 2009 2:58 PM EDT

She's a senator, therefore more important than us. That makes her correct. Please adjust all of your beliefs accordingly.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 3:00 PM EDT

so your god is the right god and all other gods worshiped by others are false gods? wouldn't they likely say the same thing regarding your god?
what steps did you go through to make sure that you were on the winning team? how many belief structures did you "shop around" with before picking the "right one"?

also, how did your god give us his word, through direct interaction, divine inspiration or some other method?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 3:08 PM EDT

""how can you be sure that the word of man hasn't tainted your belief structure?"
I'm not sure what you are asking, here. I'm capable of being deceived and capable of making mistakes and capable of overlooking important but subtle details, if that's what you're asking. Or, do you mean, in a broader sense, that the unreliable wisdom of man could be the very basis on which I make many of my claims? I dunno. I always try to think things through pretty solidly, I think."

it just seems that you are reluctant to accept scientific fact to due man's limitations. yet you accept the word of god spoken through man without applying the same reluctance or allowing for man's limitations in that.

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] July 16 2009 3:28 PM EDT

Interesting conversation I'll give it that, but the subject and title of the thread is just a bit of trolling, so you have to expect a bit of trolling yourself. ;)

I read the wiki article on set theory, very interesting stuff. I think the idea that everything can belong in a set with an infinite hierarchy sounds seductively logical, but I believe that in reality, outside of the world of mathematical models, there are practically no pure sets. Pure sets seem to exist only in systems designed to ignore all but a few select properties of members.

If the world can be reduced down to an infinite hierarchy, does that also mean that all of reality can be understood by our minds? If we were to fast forward to some infinitely far future date would there ever be a point at which man had accumulated enough information to describe and understand all of reality? Or would we have to, at some point, have to cede the point to reality? Maybe our human minds cannot possibly understand all of reality, and that we would need to leave the ultimate understanding of reality up to personal subjective thought?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 3:33 PM EDT

"It's logic, but it's not mathematical logic. It's more philosophical logic, if that makes sense. Like I said, it's sort of a different realm in my view."

i think this is what i was looking for, sorry i missed it until i reread. just to clarify though:

"Logic, from the Greek λογική (logiké)[1] is defined by the Penguin Encyclopedia to be "The formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning".[2] As a discipline, logic dates back to Aristotle, who established its fundamental place in philosophy. It became part of the classical trivium, a fundamental part of a classical education, and is now an integral part of disciplines such as mathematics, computer science, and linguistics."

it would seem that mathematical logic is based on philosophical logic so perhaps what you are relying on is simply emotion and faith. you believe because you want to believe?

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 3:40 PM EDT

You're blowing my mind, Veri, and I am not sure of my answer to your question! I don't think we can ever know everything, because life is too variable. Even with the same elements, genes, etc, each life is different because of the ultimate non-linear equation involving millions of variables.

I'm not sure about the physical (non-living) world, though...

Cube July 16 2009 4:18 PM EDT

I'll qualify this by the fact that I'm not religious. But I've always thought of religion as more of a state of mind than a statement of fact. Some people consider the word of the Bible to be literal fact; however, in my opinion these people are missing the point. This isn't to belittle religion by any means, but the idea of proving or disproving God is pretty meaningless in such a scenario.

you believe because you want to believe?
Is there anything wrong with that?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 4:34 PM EDT

not in my opinion there isn't. i was just trying to understand the disparity is all. it sounds a bit like love. you might know you shouldn't fall for a certain person, but logical thought doesn't really enter into the equation.

Colonel Custard July 16 2009 5:05 PM EDT

sut:
"destroy all idols (yes, that means all of them, including God)"
God is an idol? Only if he doesn't exist. But how would you define idol without God? Something that takes the all the credit owed to the Universe?

That is very interesting. I guess God is an answer to your paradox of hierarchy, since he can clearly index all he would care to, and cannot himself be fully categorized or indexed. However, if God weren't theoretically a solution to the paradox, I don't feel that I would need a solution. In other words, I believe in God not at all because I need the answers to questions like that.

dude:
"so your god is the right god and all other gods worshiped by others are false gods? wouldn't they likely say the same thing regarding your god?"
Yes, they probably would.

"what steps did you go through to make sure that you were on the winning team? how many belief structures did you 'shop around' with before picking the 'right one'?"
I'll admit I haven't really sought a lot. I was brought up with a very simple understanding of this belief structure, and I'm not digging in and expanding my understanding. If I'm wrong, I expect to realize it as I look further and deeper. If I'm correct, then there's no reason for me to have had to shop around, is there?

"also, how did your god give us his word, through direct interaction, divine inspiration or some other method?"
Divine inspiration, definitely. The Bible's various authors were committed seekers after God; God revealed his truth to them through their seeking.

"it just seems that you are reluctant to accept scientific fact to due man's limitations. yet you accept the word of god spoken through man without applying the same reluctance or allowing for man's limitations in that."
Assuming God had anything to do with it, man's limitations shouldn't have played a part. A theme throughout the Bible is that God used people who weren't necessarily qualified to achieve things -- and yet it worked. Obviously no humans are qualified to oversee the inscription, publication, or interpretation of ultimate truth, but if God hand-picked them, he would make it work. I realize that that, too, is circular, drawing on what God did in the Bible in order to affirm the Bible's legitimacy, but that's kinda the only available repository of knowledge on the subject.

Veri:
The human mind is not enough to fully comprehend God, as the human mind is finite and God is not. As for the physical world, though, I don't know. The question is really how much information will there be at the end if it all gets codified, and is there any possible way for a single mind to learn it all? I think, far in the future, there could be expansive libraries-full of all the information we have, all condensed down into its most concise expression possible, and I doubt that anyone would have time to read it all through even once in a lifetime.

dude:
"it would seem that mathematical logic is based on philosophical logic so perhaps what you are relying on is simply emotion and faith. you believe because you want to believe?"
Mathematical logic and philosophical logic apply the same principles, in this case, to quite different things. You can't really apply math to God in any way that makes sense.
Let me reiterate that I'm not espousing the view that the Earth is 6,000 years old. I'm not sure why you seem to think that I somehow must be selectively rejecting logic if you got that part before.

But yes, belief has an emotional prerequisite. If one is emotionally uncomfortable accepting some element of the truth, one won't want to accept it, even if it is true. Someone who's emotionally opposed to the idea that God exists won't believe in God until they get over that resistance, even if a flaming hand descends from the sky and conjures things out of the sand. Similarly, someone who is emotionally opposed to the idea that God doesn't exist (someone who "needs" God to exist, you could say) wouldn't stop believing, even if there were some way to disprove God.
I'm not sure if I fall into this second category. I suppose I might. I don't believe I could ever be proven wrong, but if I somehow were, I can't say I honestly know exactly how I would react.

As I stated, though, I don't feel that I need God in order to explain unexplained phenomena or in order to answer paradoxes. So it may be because I want to believe if not because I feel I have to.

At the same time, though, it could be as simple as me just having no objection to belief, and at the same time thinking it is reasonable to believe.

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 5:32 PM EDT

CC, that is precisely it -- God can only be an idol/icon to me. In the strictest sense, an "idol" is something that is worshiped. So, unless we want the discussion to turn into semantics, I will amend my usage of the word "idol" and just say, "Anything that has widespread influence and where that influence can affect me needs to be heavily analyzed by me." In the same way you ask how I can trust science (or anything), I ask MYSELF "what do I trust?" every day. And the answer is always long and hard. Trust is not binary, and everything has to earn trust for me. I am consistent in that fashion.

I could ask why someone trusts God, but I have never gotten any answers other than circular reasoning with faith at the center of the circle. Just faith. Not faith in anything logically consistent, because the faith invariably begs a question involving the Bible or simply more faith. That's why I mention influence, above. I have absolutely no problem with someone begging their own question for the life, universe and everything. As long as it doesn't influence me, live and let live, as was stated earlier in the thread. I have zero problem with that.

But back to the crux of the thread: A stupid person, one who believes the earth is only 6000 years old, in a position of power, influences me. To me, allowing stupidity in an office of power would be the same as allowing a thief or a liar in power: even if what the person stole or lied about is unimportant to me, it still indicates a lack of character needed to wield power effectively. I would want that person not in power any longer. She didn't make a mistake. She is ignorant at best, and willfully stupid at worst. She should have no influence over anyone but herself, an influence that I give her without prejudice (once again, because it doesn't affect me).

Making God the answer to the catalog paradox is questionable. The "main catalog" is required to help me physically find the other catalogs and/or the other resources in the library. Since God does not (and cannot, if one subscribes to "free will") directly help with any of that, he would represent an epic fail in indexing. Therefore, even God is not the right answer. Could you ask god where to find the periodicals, as an exact index, and get an answer? If not, I fail to see how God is adequate given the constraints of the paradox?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 5:37 PM EDT

"At the same time, though, it could be as simple as me just having no objection to belief, and at the same time thinking it is reasonable to believe."

yet that is not the case with science?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 5:53 PM EDT

"what steps did you go through to make sure that you were on the winning team? how many belief structures did you 'shop around' with before picking the 'right one'?"
I'll admit I haven't really sought a lot. I was brought up with a very simple understanding of this belief structure, and I'm not digging in and expanding my understanding. If I'm wrong, I expect to realize it as I look further and deeper. If I'm correct, then there's no reason for me to have had to shop around, is there?

you stated earlier in the thread that you weren't brainwashed and you wouldn't brainwash your children in response to me stating that children should be taught critical thinking and allowed to choose the right beliefs for themselves.

this is one of the main problems that i have with christianity in specific and other belief structures that approach it the same way. it encourages lazy decision making and thinking skills. people tend to believe what they are brought up with and the belief structures use that very effectively to prolong themselves. it is the path of least resistance and that is frankly a lazy way to go about "enlightenment".

"If I'm correct, then there's no reason for me to have had to shop around, is there?" if i am correct you will be dead and that will be the end of you, i guess you are right there though because at that point shopping around for the correct belief system will be moot. ; )

how old are you now, and are you actively looking further and deeper into this system?

GnuUzir July 16 2009 6:39 PM EDT

I am sorry the real age is 5985, remember the rules, the closest without going over wins...

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 7:01 PM EDT

You just made me think of Happy Gilmore. *smile*

Zenai July 16 2009 8:13 PM EDT

Sut: "A word to the folks piping in with "JEEZ IS THIS STILL GOING!?"... That's really annoying. This conversation is actually pretty civil, all things considered (have you even been reading, or just counting posts?) So where is the problem? If people want to talk about philosophy, science, and religion, what is it to you?"

To Answer your Question Sut Yes of Course I have been reading every single subtle sniping post. Go ahead and post my Name Sut I have no problem with it. I SAID it because I meant it and NO it has NOT been civil so far as I have seen it. Even though there is not flaming in the sense that we are all used to I find it a bit underhanded that you guys are double teaming CC. By the way to use your words That's really annoying....... This has been an unfair 2 on 1, Sly, behind the scenes slug fest of those who choose to have a different belief and slamming someone who thinks otherwise.

I have the right to post just as you do Sut and yes I am Talking about Dudemus as well. I have respect for both of you, because of the both of you I have had the chance of working on my Critical Thinking.

So let's get to the Critical thinking Part Shall we? Seriously after 2 days of going back and forth do you not think it is enough? He has not once asked you to change your belief but during this whole Subtle Scientific Experiment run by the 2 of you. I see that you are trying to push him into not Believing or simply Discrediting him or his thoughts. Of course if he does not answer then heh well by default the Both of you win. Does this sum it up guys? I mean I have read all of these Walls of Text by everyone involved and that is the Gist of what I got. So yes my not so Subtle Post of Geeze is this still going on?

If I am wrong then make a Clear Concise Answer not some nebulous Wall-O-Text. If I am wrong then I Apologize. If I am right then by you own Critical Thinking I subject you to this, Crimping a bright mind by any means(forcing them to see by your ways/ideas) is wrong and therefore pushes them to become a Sheep in a different way. True Critical thinking is not brought about by Brow Beating a person but rather giving them something to think about...........

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 8:53 PM EDT

ZUL. I should count to 10, but I ain't gonna. You're a jerk.

I wasn't even talking about you, so why would I post your name? Who is double-teaming whom? Where is the incivility? Can't CC stand on his own, if such atrocities have even come to pass? Define your statements before using their apparent bluster to hurl vitriol my way.

But by all means, ream me in three paragraphs, putting words in my mouth, CC's mouth, whatever mouth you want. Does it make you feel better?

You do have the right to post. But if you don't post even remotely on topic, don't invoke that right in order to fling bile at my face. I'm trying to have a conversation with Colonel Custard, and with dudemus, and with Verifex. I used the word "annoying" and you're on the red phone? Seriously?

I have been attempting to be concise. I have posted links. I have stated my own beliefs (which are every bit as important as everyone else's) to make sure my train of thought stays open and honest. No quelling. I have been staying on a very narrow topic line, I have not been antagonizing anyone, and the victims of this crime you seem to think is being perpetrated so ominously and multiplicitously -- I don't see the Custard complaining. I'm a fan of "proof's in the pudding," so I think custard works, too.

You want to vent, you can vent to me in CM, especially considering I wasn't talking about you in the first place (if I had been, I'd have CM'd you -- that's what it is for.)

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 9:23 PM EDT

we are stonemasons as well. ; )

you can, however, protect yourself from our evil plots and machinations by donning the:

http://zapatopi.net/afdb/

Zenai July 16 2009 9:29 PM EDT

ZUL. I should count to 10, but I ain't gonna. You're a jerk.<--- Under Certain Circumstances so are You Sut but I Digress because there is not a clean slate out here as far as that is concerned anyway. We have all been Jerk's in some Way or another at some time no?

I wasn't even talking about you, so why would I post your name? Who is double-teaming whom? Where is the incivility? Can't CC stand on his own, if such atrocities have even come to pass? Define your statements before using their apparent bluster to hurl vitriol my way.

{CB1}Zenai U'Lanya 2:19 PM EDT
Is this STILL going on? Enough already folks seriously.....geeze.


But really you weren't talking about me Sut?


But by all means, ream me in three paragraphs, putting words in my mouth, CC's mouth, whatever mouth you want. Does it make you feel better?

You were not the only one I named so stop acting the part of a Martyr it doesn't fit you. I did not put words in your Mouth Sut I read them from your, Dudemus', and CC's Posts. To answer your Question no it does not Ever make me feel better when there is some type of Confrontation happening.

You do have the right to post. But if you don't post even remotely on topic, don't invoke that right in order to fling bile at my face. I'm trying to have a conversation with Colonel Custard, and with dudemus, and with Verifex. I used the word "annoying" and you're on the red phone? Seriously?

Conversation is one thing going over the same subject for 2 days is looking for a weakness to exploit. Which is what I read in all of the back and forth Posts. Just because I am the one to point it out does not make me the bad guy here.

I have been attempting to be concise. I have posted links. I have stated my own beliefs (which are every bit as important as everyone else's) to make sure my train of thought stays open and honest. No quelling. I have been staying on a very narrow topic line, I have not been antagonizing anyone, and the victims of this crime you seem to think is being perpetrated so ominously and multiplicitously -- I don't see the Custard complaining. I'm a fan of "proof's in the pudding," so I think custard works, too.


Admitted you have been concise, in some instances overly so. Bottomline how much can you go overboard before even you see it as overkill?
No CC has not complained I'll give you that but he has been extremely hesitant at giving not only you but Dudemus answers as well. I wonder why that was, might you wonder too?


You want to vent, you can vent to me in CM, especially considering I wasn't talking about you in the first place (if I had been, I'd have CM'd you -- that's what it is for.)

I do not do CMs concerning things like this, many consider it picking a fight and take it to uber levels. I made that mistake once I will NOT do it again. As far as venting do not get me started as I have already Counted to 100 and have started over a few times.



To Rephrase Everything in Case you decided to OVERLOOK it I said if I am Wrong then I Apologize. I stated what I saw and how I felt about what I saw without the humungo Wall-O-Text, while Staying concise.


dudemus: Funny nice add to break the ice :) Unless of course you were attempting to patronize my intelligence?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 9:38 PM EDT

i have absolutely no opinion of your intelligence to patronize. it seemed that you were seeing conspiracies so i linked a web site for that mindset.

as for a desire to avoid confrontations, why do you keep reading this thread? isn't that your responsibility to avoid that which bothers you or do you have to stamp out others discussions because you find them uncomfortable? cc, sut or myself can quit reading the thread at any time, as can you.

i am actually just bored, i am waiting until saturday to start my ncb run. this thread is a time filler. i have actually learned something that i have always wondered. i myself cannot turn off my logic to accept faith, it does seem that others can and i have always wondered how intelligent people reconcile religious beliefs. i can understand how it happens after this conversation moreso than at any other time in my 42 years of existence on this planet.

go figure!

Colonel Custard July 16 2009 9:49 PM EDT

Sut:
Ok, I understand your reasoning with regard to things affecting your life. However, this woman is in the Arizona State Senate, which doesn't affect your life unless you live in Arizona, right?
But yes, I can never disagree with the idea that power should always be given to those who know enough to exercise it responsibly.

"Could you ask god where to find the periodicals, as an exact index, and get an answer? If not, I fail to see how God is adequate given the constraints of the paradox?"
How extensive is the catalog? Does it include us?
I dunno. I just thought that the all-encompassing nature of God would suffice as an answer to the paradox, but maybe I missed the point.

dude:
"yet that is not the case with science?"
I guess that I don't really have much reason to disbelieve science in any particular case. Actually, I think my default approach to lots of things is just to believe more often than not if it doesn't contradict something else I know. I just was using this thread to explore the idea that the popular consensus might not be as solidly backed as it seems.

"this is one of the main problems that i have with christianity in specific and other belief structures that approach it the same way. it encourages lazy decision making and thinking skills. people tend to believe what they are brought up with and the belief structures use that very effectively to prolong themselves. it is the path of least resistance and that is frankly a lazy way to go about 'enlightenment'."
What alternative do you propose? If you hold something as truth, as a parent, do you withhold it from your children? From the other end of things, should you reject what your parents taught you and look at other things before coming back and looking at it? Would it really be more legitimate for me to believe differently than my parents did, or would it just appear so?
I'm 20 years old. Statistically, I should have a fair amount of time left to figure realize it if I'm completely wrong about everything. And yes, I am currently investigating it.

Colonel Custard July 16 2009 9:56 PM EDT

"i myself cannot turn off my logic to accept faith, it does seem that others can and i have always wondered how intelligent people reconcile religious beliefs."
I still don't really understand why you think that logic and faith are at odds?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 9:57 PM EDT

"If you hold something as truth, as a parent, do you withhold it from your children?"

first, i am glad you are actively investigating rather than regurgitating...kudos!

my daughter is sixteen now and for her entire existence i have been an atheist. i do not withhold that info from her nor do i teach it as the correct belief system. i have tried my darnedest to educate her in all beliefs and to let her choose and try to be happy with her choice.

i think that this is what intelligent people want from their kids in all things, critical thinking. religion does inherently cause issues with that. i have a problem with that specifically.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 9:59 PM EDT

additionally, i feel that everyone must find their own truth.

as for the logic issue, you yourself stated that it is a different realm of logic. i think cube stated it was more of a state of mind.

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 10:20 PM EDT

ZUL,

First off, you quote your own post, then assume it was you I was referring to.

I should check first, but am lazy. Plus, it is easy to see in the sequence what set me off.

Verifex posted right before my "annoying" post. And yes, that is what made me post, overall. Was your post part of the amalgam? Sure, truth be told. I tend to read every post, so I am sure your sentiment was in there somewhere.

But read Verifex's next post after that, about having to expect some ancilliary posting. He is acknowledging my "annoying" post. Graciously. Because that is how it is done, and Verifex is a classy guy.

So can state with a clear conscience, sleeping at night, all hatches bound and accounted for -- I was not referring to you. I was not causing trouble, I was not after you.

Beyond that, I really don't care. If I have offended you, I apologize. But it is the apology of a guy who doesn't know what he has done. If I am not gunning after you, then there isn't much I can apologize for having done. It is what it is.

Zenai July 16 2009 10:21 PM EDT

i have absolutely no opinion of your intelligence to patronize. it seemed that you were seeing conspiracies so i linked a web site for that mindset.

If you did not have an opinion then why did you post the link at all it is completely absurd. As far as conspiracies I said no such thing. If you are going to try and break down what I say then please make sure it is right ok?

as for a desire to avoid confrontations, why do you keep reading this thread? isn't that your responsibility to avoid that which bothers you or do you have to stamp out others discussions because you find them uncomfortable? cc, sut or myself can quit reading the thread at any time, as can you.

I said I did not like Confrontation I did not say I would not participate if I felt the need to. As far as the discussion since you like so much to QUOTE me then may you should RE-READ my post. You a Sut seem to have the same problem, you read only what you care to, I SAID IF I AM WRONG THEN I APOLOGIZE so do please get it correct next time please.



i am actually just bored, i am waiting until saturday to start my ncb run. this thread is a time filler. i have actually learned something that i have always wondered. i myself cannot turn off my logic to accept faith, it does seem that others can and i have always wondered how intelligent people reconcile religious beliefs. i can understand how it happens after this conversation moreso than at any other time in my 42 years of existence on this planet.

go figure!

Congratz on the NCB I will look forward to seeing what you have decided to do strat wise :) As far as the rest of what you said I am glad that you have learned something, My Mother and Father always told me that when you stop learning that is when you stop living and simply exist. I strive to learn new things every day because of them. Some things passed down from Parents are ok I think.

QBsutekh137 July 16 2009 10:26 PM EDT

CC, anyone in power trickles up (or down). I would love to know this woman is relegated to a tin shack, eating Chunky Campbell's soup, in no place to affect a single thing that could ever, ever affect anyone's life but her own. Vigilance is important. However, you have a good point, intentional or not: There's not a whole lot I can do about her, is there, so why should I pine on about it? *smile*

You may have missed the point about God as an index. Of all people, I would assume you would have been the last to try to use God as a tool, as an index for human use. First of all, I'd bet God wouldn't have it -- or at least wouldn't care to help in any sort of reliable sense. So as an index, he would suck. COULD he be a great index? Of course. The Best Ever, in fact. WOULD he be a good index, when I need Him? Unknown. Bad for an index to be unknown. I'll take an inanimate tome any day.

Don't ask God to be a tool. Believer or not, I'm pretty sure that's a bad idea.

Zenai July 16 2009 10:30 PM EDT

ZUL, (<===I have to say thanks for the Ghostbuster reference.....lol)

First off, you quote your own post, then assume it was you I was referring to.

I should check first, but am lazy. Plus, it is easy to see in the sequence what set me off.

Verifex posted right before my "annoying" post. And yes, that is what made me post, overall. Was your post part of the amalgam? Sure, truth be told. I tend to read every post, so I am sure your sentiment was in there somewhere.

But read Verifex's next post after that, about having to expect some ancilliary posting. He is acknowledging my "annoying" post. Graciously. Because that is how it is done, and Verifex is a classy guy.

So can state with a clear conscience, sleeping at night, all hatches bound and accounted for -- I was not referring to you. I was not causing trouble, I was not after you.
Beyond that, I really don't care. If I have offended you, I apologize. But it is the apology of a guy who doesn't know what he has done. If I am not gunning after you, then there isn't much I can apologize for having done. It is what it is.



Sut simply put I have no problem with people gunning for me or not it is bound to happen sooner or later. My only problem was that it seemed to be nothing more than someone alluding to a fact. That is something that gets to me since I would rather people I respect to say it straight, I said what I had to straight and asked for an answer and even APOLOGIZED if I read things wrong.

The rest of everything is cool as far as I'm concerned.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 11:33 PM EDT

this discussion has brought up another question in my mind though. many of us were born christian. we decide that is the winning team even though it is the only thing we know. most religious belief systems preclude all others.

if we had been born muslim in a muslim society, we would likely feel exactly the same as we do as christians. the conundrum is this then, would any just god leave it up to geographical chance as to who wins and who loses?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] July 16 2009 11:38 PM EDT

I am a Christian and I am very close with God. I, however, was raised in an agnostic home. I came to my beliefs on my own.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 11:42 PM EDT

how many other belief systems did you study before finding christianity?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] July 16 2009 11:45 PM EDT

Well, I was quite familiar with many by the time I actually started devoting myself to Christianity. I was some what familiar with Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and the Jewish religion. I had plenty of friends who were Jewish and a few who were Muslim. Nothing just seemed to tug on my heart like Christianity.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 11:48 PM EDT

to elaborate, in america i know that it is common to have christians raised as christians, atheists raised as christians and christians raised as atheists.

it is also fairly common for families to move from other parts of the world and bring their religion with them sometimes keeping it for generations and at other times slowly converting to the "local" religion.

what is less common, though not unheard of, is for someone in fredericksburg, texas brought up by southern baptist parents to become a buddhist.

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 16 2009 11:51 PM EDT

where do you live then artemis, and what is the predominant religion there?

AdminTitan [The Sky Forge] July 16 2009 11:54 PM EDT

I live in Missouri, and the predominate religion is probably Christianity. Yes I do see what you're saying with that Texas comment.

QBsutekh137 July 17 2009 12:39 AM EDT

dudemus, I think you're being a bit reductionist to even try to guess what someone was raised us, or what they will turn out to be. Where I'm from, small, Catholic parishes in a secluded region, we ended up with Catholics who became atheists, Catholics who married Lutherans, Catholics who stayed Catholics, and Catholics who went agnostic.

But enough about my family of five.

People are people, they pretty much do what they do. Yes, odds are someone in the Midwest will go Christian if they go something, but there's a lot to that. Just realizing Catholicism could take a lifetime.

I understand your point about wondering how much research folks have done, but Custard's point is sound: God is God. I suppose you could put monotheism against polytheism, but is that really what you are referring to?

Admindudemus [jabberwocky] July 17 2009 8:16 AM EDT

well, we do have to remember that the world is quite different today than when christianity first started to take root. as a planet we are diverse religiously as we have ever been. for the first thousand years of the religion though it was even more regional. wasn't it then a case of where you were born likely determining your chances of being saved?

Zenai July 17 2009 9:03 AM EDT

Well I can tell you from my side of the Religious Factor my family is just plain weird.

Father - Cherokee Shaman

Mother - Catholic turned Batist

Brother 1 - Pagan

Brother 2 - Athiest

Sister - Spiritualist

Me - Shamanism (if that is the proper term),Bhuddism, Taoism, Darwinism, Spiritualism, Bushido, Muslimism, Christanity in many different aspects Including Catholicism, Mormanism, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Baptist & Pentecostal. I even went through some periods of being Athieist, Agnostic, Pagan & 7th Day Adventist.

If you have questions feel free to answer just know that all of today I will be on my phone so responses will be slow.

Colonel Custard July 20 2009 1:29 AM EDT

Sorry, I've been pretty busy in the last couple of days, so I kinda dropped outta this discussion.

"the conundrum is this then, would any just god leave it up to geographical chance as to who wins and who loses?"
Particularly in the modern world, attributing people's spiritual choices to "geographical chance" is only half the story, if that. If your religious beliefs are only your religious beliefs because you more or less stumbled into them while doing something else, they can hardly even be called yours. What I mean is, if you weren't at any point in your life personally committed to looking into a belief structure, you're caught in religion without life, which is different from spirituality. At least, that's the distinction I make between the two terms. And I would agree that it's easiest in America to fall into Christianity or into Atheism -- but in how many cases are these truly thought-out treatises on spiritual truth and reality versus mere religion? Probably near the same handful of cases as the Texan Baptist(religion)-turned-Buddhist(spirituality). I think that the religious freedom we have makes it much easier to be lazy on the whole subject -- but then again, a religion into which one is forced by a theocratic government isn't spirituality, either. In other words, I think looking at the "predominant religion" in an area is somewhat of a red herring, because that should only affect those who are lifelessly religious, and not the spiritually active/seeking.
Of course, I am aware that there is not religious freedom everywhere on earth, nor freedom of information about religions, but a lack of religious freedom can't actually prevent you from following what you choose based on faith -- beliefs aren't exactly something material that can be confiscated by an oppressive ruler.

Of course, there are all sorts of questions that I do not know how to answer. What about the souls of children who die in infancy before having time to explore or even comprehend spirituality? What about the postmortem destination of the modern jungle-dwelling tribesman who believes all of the right things, except without the name of Jesus, due to never having heard the name so commonly known in the civilized world? I don't know. I'll ask around to mentors and pastors, I suppose, but I don't know if I can get back to you with anything helpful.

There is a way in which Christianity is a state of mind. In general terms, there is an ultimate creator being who is be revered, worshiped, and obeyed; humans are wholly inadequate beings compared to the perfection of this creator; and we are to seek wisdom and life from our relationship to this being. Without knowing the term "Jesus Chirst," a person could still fully be Christian in religious philosophy, couldn't they? I would think so. Does this "count," in terms of salvation? I don't know. Partly, I can't know, because that's God's deal to judge and he doesn't tell us exactly how he does it. There's enough in the Bible with which we have to deal without God including an answer to every "what if?" question we can imagine.
I can care for a person's eternal soul, but I can't do anything about it. I have to trust that God will do what is just -- and that if I don't think it's just, that's a problem with MY perspective, and not with God.

This last part addresses the "would a just god...?" question. Any god that created the universe in its entirety then necessarily has infinitely more perspective than anything within it (us), and is the only conscious being that can be described as truly objective. In fact, I would say that the definition of objectivity, of good, and of justice are inseparably linked to this being by definition, not because of what I believe in particular about God, but because I would otherwise have to ask to what other standard we can even link these concepts? Can you or I claim to have an objective standard by which to judge such a being?
In this game, we make suggestions and recommendations and take polls and leave comments about Changelog threads, and say that things are unbalanced -- but that is because we exist outside the game, as well, and therefore have external standards which can be applied to the game's creator, who also happens to not be superior in nature to us in this realm. Imagine, for a second, that CB is all there is. We could complain all we want, but we couldn't really make any valid sort of value judgment on whether something is overpowered or fair. That would be akin to complaining that we don't have claws and teeth like tigers do -- humans have badly needed a buff for a couple thousand changemonths now, God.
I guess maybe it's ridiculous to use that as an example, because can you really imagine there being nothing but CB? I can't. There are so many elements of political philosophy and whatnot that interfere with me thinking that it would be fair for Jon to be an absolute dictator -- but again, political philosophy deals with how people should deal with other people, right? I hope I got some point across, though.

"as a planet we are diverse religiously as we have ever been. for the first thousand years of the religion though it was even more regional. wasn't it then a case of where you were born likely determining your chances of being saved?"
The early Christian church was very committed to evangelism. All the apostles went out all over the known world, preaching to crowds, starting churches, and writing letters to said churches which also doubled as spiritual treatises.
Furthermore, as I stated above, I don't claim to be an authority on salvation theology. For example, it seems to be commonly accepted theology that Old Testament Jews such as David, Moses, Elijah, and Daniel are destined to spend eternity in Heaven with God, even though they were around too early to have accepted Jesus' sacrifice for their sins. This is an example of the reason for which I think it's possible to be Christian without knowing about Jesus exactly.

And, if it is the case that hundreds of thousands of people got screwed by being born in the wrong place, and that makes God a jerk, isn't he still better than any of us? That's pretty heavy, but I think so.

Zenai:
I was under the impression, though I'm not sure if you stated it in so many words in this thread, that you believed things that could simply be summed up as Christianity, albeit slightly non-traditional Christianity. However, your last post sounds to me like something a lot more than slightly non-traditional. Would you care to elaborate?

I don't mean to judge, but when people claim to espouse so many beliefs, my immediate impression/assumption is that they must not really have very clearly-defined beliefs, and it's all just a muddy jumble, or else that they just believe basic moral laws like "share your toys, don't murder, do not walk on the grass, shine your shoes, wipe your face," and then "believe in" every religion that includes such things as part of their code. I'm not saying that this is at all an accurate description of you, or possibly even of anyone, but it's the first impression that I get. So could you try to confirm or deny a little, to help me understand? Distill your description of your beliefs to something a little more cohesive? In short, what are the common points or the specific ideals that cause you to list off each of these elements?

QBsutekh137 July 20 2009 9:05 AM EDT

Just to ask for clarification myself, CC, your last paragraph -- are you saying it is an un-good thing to have such a "wide" belief system? You use words like "not really have", "just believe", and "muddy", assembling a not-so-flattering picture of someone who chooses to keep their belief system widely-varied and/or multi-faceted.

Is there something wrong with such a belief system? If so, can you point me to a resource that tells me how focused or diffuse my (or anyone's) belief system should be?

Zenai July 20 2009 11:33 AM EDT

It is ok Sut I said that everyone is free to ask questions so I am prepared to answer them.

CC: Thankyou for that question in particular. I know that many people have wondered the same thing when reading this thread.

I do not claim to practice them all right now, simply what I have practiced in my life. My final destination has been Christianity and Pentecostal in particular. I have many more siblings but the ones I know of I have stated what they are now.

Of all of the children I was the only one to be open and experimental if this makes sense. I have had many friends from many Religions/Practices/Beliefs and partially because of this fact I have the experience I claim. The other part was to SEE what really was on the other side so to speak. I needed to know what others said they knew, I felt compelled to experience their truth and see if it was for me too. Coming from a home as diverse Religiously/Spiritually or lack there of made it hard for me to find out where my basis was. While also being the baby of the family made it no less confusing. Between home, church, martial arts, and friends I had a great deal to learn and contemplate. It took a long time for me to understand what my direction was to be. Does this answer your question CC?


I will add that once again I am on my phone so responses may be slow.

Colonel Custard July 21 2009 3:04 PM EDT

sut:
In a way, believing one thing implies disbelief in the exact opposite thing, or something otherwise incompatible with that belief. For example, I think that Christianity, Hinduism, Secular Humanism, and Ancestor Worship conflict in enough aspects that I have no clue what a person is talking about if they claim to believe all 4 philosophies as truth. Now, there is also a difference between believing something to be objective truth (giving you a certain allegiance to that belief) and just "following a belief system," if you will. I can see how someone can more or less follow all 4 belief systems listed above, but I'm under the impression that that would require a definite sense of complete uncertainty. Otherwise, how are such beliefs reconciled? Is it a Venn Diagram, with only the overlap being true, or with overlap between any two being true, or with all of it "representing truth in different ways"?

Do you understand what I mean? I think I stated earlier in this thread that I believe Christianity to be a fully self-contained philosophy, and I think it is. As far as I can tell so far, Christianity by itself is complete as a belief system. Adding other things to it seems to both diffuse it unnecessarily and to confuse the issues by adding other ideas into the mix that may contradict the principles of Christianity.

Zenai:
So you were listing belief systems you've explored throughout your life at some point, rather than things that you believe simultaneously? That's simple enough to understand. If I misunderstood, could you please elaborate on certain issues?

For example, is there one God who is a conscious entity, multiple gods who are conscious entities, or a force of the universe that manifests itself as energy and matter and is part of all things?

QBsutekh137 July 21 2009 3:24 PM EDT

CC, perhaps it is more "meta" than that. Believe me, I like Venn diagrams. A little too much. And what I am gathering at this stage in my life (I am 37) is that Venn diagrams are not the right way to approach the belief systems other people may have. If they work for you, personally, then by all means use them. But trying to apply them to what others do, or what is believed to be "self-contained" in a more empirical sense, is, in my opinion, a grave mistake.

I don't think anyone can really define "self-contained" when it comes to a belief system any more than they can prove or disprove a certain belief system is the right one. Spirituality is as varied in it's meta-implementation as it is on the implementation itself, I think.

An example on beliefs: I might believe that Visual Foxpro is the greatest development environment ever. That does not imply that all other development tools are garbage, though. In fact, even trying to draw Venn diagrams to compare tools would muddle the picture due to perspective. Because of my expertise in Foxpro, and zeal for using it, my Venn diagrams might completely miss the point when I go see what other tools have to offer. They might do things in an entirely different way, but because I am not as well-versed in that other tool, I will see it come up wanting. It's like when WordPerfect and Word duked it out in magazine ads, each with a huge checklist of things they were good at. Of course WordPerfect won when it came to its ads, and Word won it came to its ads -- because the ads were already skewed. Often, both checklists had NOTHING to do with what I was even going to use a Word processor for! So, while the methodology seemed coherent and equalized, it was so far off the mark that it was worse than useless for comparing things.

In summary, I guess I would call your statement: "In a way, believing one thing implies disbelief in the exact opposite thing, or something otherwise incompatible with that belief." a false dichotomy. Not only do I disagree, those aren't the only two options. Belief does not have to be binary or mutually exclusive. By definition, Venn diagrams are models of intersection and exclusion, and that is too broad a simplification when it comes to perspectives and personal beliefs (in my opinion).

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] July 21 2009 3:50 PM EDT

I'm fascinated with the catalog set theory that Sutekh mentioned. I just have to go further down that line of thought. In the realm of understanding the universe, we have a few pretty good tools at our disposal as human beings. We understand that the universe is a dynamic and ever changing place.

That being said, I posit that the rules governing how reality exists are static and do not change, even if we as people may not be able to perceive the rules governing all of reality in their entirety, these rules exist and they do not change arbitrarily. With that posit being true, then if an omnipotent entity such as God would and could change the rules of existence, does that mean that God himself (pick a gender, we're at war!) exists outside of existence? Taking it further: In the place that God exists does he not have rules governing his own ability to exist? For instance, does God have the ability to eradicate himself and all of existence, or can God create another God and can he fight himself? The rules of existence must, at some imperceptibly broad level, exist.

These rules governing existence could then be codified into a catalog defining what reality is, and therefore God himself would need to exist in that catalog, defining what and how he could exist. I think I might have gone down my own little rabbit hole a bit too much, I hope you were able to gather the meaning from all of that.

Zenai July 27 2009 6:04 PM EDT

From CC to Zenai: So you were listing belief systems you've explored throughout your life at some point, rather than things that you believe simultaneously? That's simple enough to understand. If I misunderstood, could you please elaborate on certain issues?

For example, is there one God who is a conscious entity, multiple gods who are conscious entities, or a force of the universe that manifests itself as energy and matter and is part of all things?

The Answer may not be exactly what you think as my own personal belief system will no doubt at some point differ from your or anyone elses regardless of similarity of Practice/Discipline/Belief/Religion. My Point is simply this, The Bible for Christians (I include myself in this category) Has a ton of Basic Rules/Morals/Ethics/Beliefs for Life/Education/Health etc etc. Well in all honesty There are a Ton of these in other Practices/Disciplines/Beliefs/Religions as well and many Crossover. Some of these would include such as Do not Kill or Steal, there are too many to count/list that crossover so I digress with these definite universal ones. I hope my point in this is quite clear.


So while having the diversity in my life that I have had I can honestly say that with such similarities crossing over these Basic ideas/rules/guidelines was no problem. Other Specific ones however were much harder so I had to think and decide inside myself what was better for me and my own personal belief system. So far for me none has been more relevant or been a better match in it's specific life practices/guidelines/rules/beliefs than Christianity. I do not however digress in the fact that there are Pearls of Wisdom in every Practice/Discipline/Belief/Religion that I may agree with and see as a truth for myself. This I feel does not make me muddled but simply open to not judge people but rather see if their Practice/Discipline/Belief/Religion can possibly have relevance in my life and cement more of my own choice/decision. In this I have seen many and I do mean many exact correlations to Christianity which in turn makes me more confident day by day not only in my personal choice but in the fact that it helps me to have less doubt hence enhancing my belief in Christianity and thusly God.



Fex: That is like the Question: Can God make a Rock bigger than he can Lift?

The answer can be simple if it is chosen to be so, or as hard and complicated as you wish. Thus it will be up to you to decide and reconcile within yourself the answer.

Existence levels are confined to living things such as you and I to define in Mortal Standards. God is beyond Mortal Standards therefore does not now or ever has followed the Rules of Classification of Mortal Standards nor ever will.

So within Spiritual/Religious Reason you could say God is God and therefore does what he wills.

Colonel Custard July 27 2009 9:13 PM EDT

Sut:
Yeah, I guess you're right. The more I think about it, the more I see that pretty much everything that follows from the basic precepts of Christianity and the Christian view of God operates in an entirely different way than would be expected.

However, what of the question of whether there is one God or multiple gods?
In a way, a single God would be so vast and multi-faceted and all-encompassing that he may as well be described as multiple entities -- and in a way, accepted Christian doctrine includes this idea in that God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are the three persons of God, even though it they are all just one same God.
In this way, it seems that the line between mono- and polytheism is blurred slightly. However, my general understanding of ancient polytheistic religions (I have not studied Hinduism) is that each god (Zeus, Hera, Athena, Poseidon) was its own person entirely. So, as much as the mono/poly line is blurred, there is still a clear distinction there. In that way, I still feel that there are contradicting elements to be addressed between different beliefs, even if it can't be as readily cut into categories and ruled mutually exclusive as something in the natural world.

Fex:
Your proposition is very interesting, and it's one of those questions that people like to ask in order to be paradoxical. As Zenai said, it's a bit like the question of whether God can make a rock big enough that he will not be able to lift it.
Let me frame it this way: God, as I understand it, is infinite in every sense.
And what does "exist" mean, anyway? Are the limits of the Universe synonymous with the limits of existence? Because infinity goes beyond that. Actually, by definition, isn't that exactly what infinity is -- everything up to the limits of existence, and then just a little beyond that?
So, I kinda just proposed that God doesn't exist, but that's only because I've analyzed the meaning of the word "existence," and have found it insufficient to contain God -- just like everything else.

Does that make sense at all?
This thread is closed to new posts. However, you are welcome to reference it from a new thread; link this with the html <a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=002p8q">Earth is 6,000 Years old! WTH?</a>