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Prometheus last won the day on June 13

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About Prometheus

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    Building statistical models for Raman spectroscopy.

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  1. I like this one: I think people accepting there are contradictions of the Bible is a necessary step if Christianity and secularism are to reconcile. I've emphasised the need for secularists to compromise on certain issues, but there is plenty for religious people to do too.
  2. Interestingly this exact conversation was happening elsewhere: Delta raised some good points there. But if you insist on using a definition that hardly anyone else uses who am i to argue. To paraphrase Charlie Brooker, 'Surely if I choose to redefine a spoon as something I shove up my arse, it doesn't stop you enjoying your pudding... unless I used your spoon.' Enjoy your spoon.
  3. Well according to your definition there are actually no 'true' religious people, or at least Christians, so it can't be true religion can it?
  4. That would be quite an interesting experiment, but the practicalities would make it near impossible to perform. The patient would have to be near death, consent obtained from the distraught family, and a medical team would have to satisfy an ethics committee that taking the patient for a spin up for a scan wouldn't compromise their care in any way. Then, if they survive and can communicate, you could ask them if they actually had a near death experience. The majority wouldn't. There may be historical cases in which people had emergency scans (CT head scans are pretty common in the ED) and later reported a near death experience. There would be no guarantee the scan was taken at the time of the experience. Death related research is notoriously difficult to conduct. Perhaps possible for ghost experiences - there are some pretty spooky and supposedly haunted hospitals that might house a CT or MRI scanner. It would have to be a very well designed experiment to get good data.
  5. They may well be. My only point is that there are some Christians. Any definition that says there are precisely no Christians is not rooted in the reality in with which several billion people in the world use the word 'Christian'. Funny video John (his voice alone is enough). There are still about 2.2 billion Christians. Some really don't like others. Still Christians. Crossposted with Strange: bang on. I'd only add that how the masses use a word determines it's definition rather than it being dictated by some authoority - this goes for all words: 'gay', 'decimate', 'prestigious' and 'Christian'.
  6. Only by your absurd definition. Meanwhile on planet Earth there are about 2.2 billion Christians.
  7. Apologies, i obviously missed it. But now i'm more confused: you insist that Christians must follow the bad bits (stoning an adulterer), and presumably the good bits (turning the other cheek - forgiving the adulterer in this case), but insist they must follow both to be classed as a 'true' Christian. Your definition leads to the absurdity that there are no Christians on this planet, since it is impossible to do both of these contradictory things. If even the Pope is not a Christian by your definition you've got to start questioning your definition surely?
  8. No, i'll continue to call Christians who don't eat shellfish Christians because that's how definitions work: it's not some authority on high telling the rest of us how to use a word, it's us using a word in certain contexts and some authority trying to find the common thread. This is how dictionary meanings and grammar is constructed. If the vast majority of Christians act a certain way, then that's how Christians act. If that's different to historical Christians that's OK because definitions aren't written in stone. I don't know and frankly i don't care. I guess because they can eke out some meaning from what seems an otherwise futile existence, but who knows. Why are you so obsessed with dictating other people's beliefs? Um, the rest of the book (you know the part about loving your neighbour and turning the other cheek you keep conveniently forgetting - and then insisting you're not cherry-picking), the rest of humanity and the law.
  9. Even if we are in a simulation why should i live my life any differently today? It's the same reality as i was in yesterday.
  10. No, you've drawn a line under a literal interpretation (and apparently not realised it). So to be a Christian you have to follow every single bit in the Bible (including the bits that contradict? Because by your definition that means no Christian anywhere at any time has ever existed.)? How many Christians do you think eat shellfish? I don't know but i'd hazard a guess that well over half of them have. If you are using a definition that precludes what the normal person would call a Christian then it's your definition which is wrong, not the billions of people using the label. So would you prefer to insist that all Christians should stone adulterers to death, or god forbid, just change your rigid definition? Christians have changed quite a lot in 2000 years, putting aside some absurd beliefs, but still choose to be Christians. If it's blasphemy that's between them and their conscious - why the need to insist they are not Christian?
  11. Good point. Dangerous dogs can't fall back on 'I was raised poorly' and are killed. The owner may incur some penalty but the dog pays the ultimate price. Can humans use poor upbringing as a mitigating circumstance for their crimes?
  12. That's pretty much the same as humans then isn't it? And we say humans (adults) are morally responsible regardless of their upbringing.
  13. I'm doing work trying to use Raman biospectroscopy to diagnose cancer. It's quite far outside of my background (nursing) so that i feel like i'm groping around in the dark at the moment.
  14. I know very little about law (and less on ethics), but i take it that intent is important. Someone deliberately building a dangerous house could be tried for murder, whereas an incompetent builder only manslaughter. In the case of AI if the programmer deliberately coded something dangerous they would be culpable. If they coded something not initially dangerous but which they knew could alter itself in unpredictable ways, they would still be culpable (but maybe less so?). If they coded something that altered itself in a way that no competent programmer could ever predict then i don't think they are culpable. We know how to build good houses, so a shoddily built one reflects (criminally) poor worksmanship. Getting AI to do some of the things we are asking of it though is not such a known quantity - mistakes may reflect neither malice nor incompetence.
  15. You apparently.