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Everything posted by Memammal

  1. The main safety argument counting in favour of cars is of course that if you are strapped into the vehicle you are being restrained in a position that has been designed for maximum protection; so you are basically secured in a safety harness. The main safety argument against bikes is the very little structural protection it offers and the ease by which a driver will be flung loose at high speed with only a helmet to protect against the collision/fall.
  2. The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans around 70 CE many years after the alleged crucifixion and after everything that reportedly transpired since then...according to the book of Acts. Why are you relating the crucifixion to the destruction of the Temple?
  3. I buy into what Willie71 & iNow (particularly his last sentence) posted and maybe we can simplify it even further...our genes interacting with our environments are the main drivers. It takes a special effort of serious and open-minded contemplation to rid oneself from the restrictive and/or secured mind set imposed by the before-mentioned (especially during your upbringing/formative years).
  4. Within comparatively narrow parameters though...comparatively narrow in the sense that each new born consists of a "random" mix of his/her ancestral genes...within the broad human genome. DrmDoc's original suggestion re a close (as possible) relative of one of the partners acting as a surrogate was possibly the best practice approach towards realising the OP's ambitions. You need a very understanding and open-minded surrogate though and it opens up the possibility of potential conflicts or interferences as the child grows up. I agree that adopting would therefore be a sensible alternative.
  5. Having now read through the first few pages of this thread, there really is not much to add to what have been written already. I.m.o. this thread was resurrected in vain.
  6. Are you referring to Josephus writings re Jesus? He referred to Jesus, his crucifixion and the origin of Christianity, albeit with later interpolations being added, no? PS. I just noted that you referred to Tacitus as the other Roman source very early in the thread. So as per another post from page 1 of this thread, there seem to be 3 external references to Jesus, i.e. other than the gospels (both in and outside the Bible).
  7. Citations...references..? More or less how I see it (as I stated before)...an Essene preacher preaching & living according to Essene beliefs, very much like John The Baptist. Afaik there is no secondary (or objective) historical proof of this. It would seem that the various Jewish sects around that time (Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots & Essenes) despised each other. There are numerous references in the gospels to Jesus' fall-outs with either of the other sects, also mentioning of him making an extensive detour in order to not travel through an area occupied by one of these sects. Both the Zealots (actively) & Essenes (passively) were seen as anti-Roman, while Pharisees & Sadducees might have been more moderate. According to the gospels he was first subjected to the Sanhedrin (a Jewish judicial body that would have consisted of pro-Roman factions at that time, i.e. possibly Pharisees & Sadducees) and then taken to Annas, the previous high priest, and Caiaphas, the high priest of the time. In order to get an understanding of all the socio-religious-political factors that could have influenced the alleged death penalty, I suggest reading up on Caiaphas here. While reading it, keep in mind that Jesus might have reacted as any staunch Essene rabbi would have. These parts are worth quoting: Caiaphas considers, with "the Chief Priests and Pharisees", what to do about Jesus, whose influence was spreading. They worry that if they "let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation." Caiaphas makes a political calculation, suggesting that it would be better for "one man" (Jesus) to die than for "the whole nation" to be destroyed. Caiaphas' legal position, therefore, was to establish that Jesus was guilty not only of blasphemy, but also of proclaiming himself the Messiah, which was understood as the return of the Davidic kingship. This would have been an act of sedition and prompted Roman execution.
  8. Memammal

    Diamond age

    ^ All hocus-pocus to me, but I guess some people have such fetishes so each to his own....
  9. I am not sure exactly what are you implying Bill Angel..? That this kind of problem would only be relevant to children whose parents are atheists, or that it has become a problem because children are no longer active in religious-based (or atheists) youth groups, or what?
  10. ^ Now that is an interesting bit of information. So the fear is as old as the feared...which, in this case, refers to the media at any given time.
  11. We are experiencing a bit of a problem with our kids who spend way too much time in front of screens and interacting with electronic devices in stead of each other, friends, books, our dogs and other healthier options. It has now reached a point where our monthly data cap would often run out. We had various discussions with them re this topic, restricted their data use, tried to encourage other alternatives, but it remains an uphill battle. If it is not Minecraft on the PlayStation or laptop, it is YouTube video's on the cell phones, or the latest craze, Pokémon. While reading up on this modern-day problem, we came across this article It's 'digital heroin: How screens turn kids into psychotic junkies. I quote: Many parents intuitively understand that ubiquitous glowing screens are having a negative effect on kids. We see the aggressive temper tantrums when the devices are taken away and the wandering attention spans when children are not perpetually stimulated by their hyper-arousing devices. Worse, we see children who become bored, apathetic, uninteresting and uninterested when not plugged in. But it’s even worse than we think. We now know that those iPads, smartphones and Xboxes are a form of digital drug. Recent brain imaging research is showing that they affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that cocaine does. Technology is so hyper-arousing that it raises dopamine levels — the feel-good neurotransmitter most involved in the addiction dynamic — as much as sex... ...That’s right — your kid’s brain on Minecraft looks like a brain on drugs. No wonder we have a hard time peeling kids from their screens and find our little ones agitated when their screen time is interrupted. In addition, hundreds of clinical studies show that screens increase depression, anxiety and aggression and can even lead to psychotic-like features where the video gamer loses touch with reality. I recognise a few symptoms, especially the getting bored or agitated without their screens, so it is cause for concern. The article also provides some helpful, albeit basic tips as to how to commence with rehab. I would like to invite any comments re this phenomena. Is it really THAT bad, is it not also part of adapting to our modern environment and very important, how to restore (or rekindle interest in) a more balanced lifestyle?
  12. You misunderstood. That ^ was exactly what I implied, i.e. why is the mythical founder(s) really relevant...and your example of Huck Finn is very appropriate in the context of my opinion of the historical Jesus. Again, read what I posted..."it is worth noting that there are numerous gospels referring to Jesus beyond the four canonical works". I was not trying to prove anything. Not at all, quite the opposite. I was trying to draw parallels between the myth(s) surrounding them...I was clearly not very successful in doing that...
  13. Yes, I have read about this before and it is indeed very interesting. I assume you meant "Not all are fictional"...as the above implies that they are all fictional..? Just as a side note - The question is akin to asking whether Romulus (whose name appears on that list of heroes) & Remus, who allegedly founded Rome after being abandoned by their she-wolf caretaker, had indeed existed? Rome (like Christianity) is indeed a reality... Secondly, it is worth noting that there are numerous gospels referring to Jesus beyond the four canonical works: List of Gospels. I have stated my opinion elsewhere already, which is that I consider Jesus of the Biblical narrative to refer to an Essene preacher of similar status than John The Baptist.
  14. @ freekundli, your habit of posting senseless one liners on outdated threads is getting a bit annoying. Trolling perhaps..?
  15. No problem, I did not read anything in your previous comment other than to inquire. Yes, this definition (that focuses on the route) would then indeed be more relevant to our discussion re a block universe.
  16. I will look into it. I agree (and it is understandable) that a fully deterministic universe does not sit well with most people. It just feels wrong, almost surreal. Keep in mind though that our ancestors had to undergo a series of serious reality checks when they realised that 1) our planet was not flat 2) that the Earth is in fact orbiting the sun and not the other way around, 3) that we are therefore not at the centre of our solar system, nor our galaxy, nor the universe, 4) life on Earth, including our own species, evolved from a common ancestor, 5) there was a Big Bang event billions of years ago...and other similar hair-raising moments. I borrowed that definition from Wikipedia and allow me to do so again: A random process is a sequence of random variables whose outcomes do not follow a deterministic pattern... ...randomness is a measure of uncertainty of an outcome​ (therefore no randomness will refer to a certain outcome). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randomness)
  17. @ Enric, With respect, I don't agree. Humanity is more than capable to adapt to certainty; reasonable doubt is not a critical prerequisite.
  18. ^ You missed the implication of the OP using "you", i.e. he was not asking who created god, but if you (and those who believe that the universe is created by god) per implication created the (illusionary) concept of a god. Anyway, that is how I understand it.
  19. I did not intend to ignore your reference and I thought that I dealt with it. The implications of the standard block universe are, simply put - the universe and all events, past, present and future have occurred and are immutable, i.e. the future has already happened. Popper, in his discussion with Einstein, referred to evolution (natural selection) which he regard as being irreconcilable with a (deterministic) block universe. Only, as I have already explained, that is not necessarily the case. Natural selection is genetic adaptation to changing environments, but it could very well be a deterministic "change" as both factors (so-called "causes") might have been "predetermined", i.e. the "effect" is a foregone conclusion and the randomness thereof, or chance, illusionary. Note that my reference to "deterministic" agrees with this definition: In mathematics and physics, a deterministic system is a system in which no randomness is involved in the development of future states of the system. A deterministic model will thus always produce the same output from a given starting condition or initial state. This, in essence, describes the standard block universe. Your example entailed exploiting the future, which is a non-event in the standard block universe as the future has already taken place. Any perceived paradox is therefore flawed and illusionary. For example, you may think you are exploiting or changing the future but anything that you do, or attempt to do, has in fact already happened. You raised some very interesting points in your post that deserve further discussion. Some of them appear to be somewhat similar to same Popper's arguments for indeterminism in a block universe (or open-end, or growing block universe). I acknowledge that there are many philosophical alternatives. Even determinism has quite a few varieties of the theme, some with far reaching implications, and may therefore justify an entire discussion on its own. PS. Just so that we are all on the same page - my interpretation of the (standard) block universe implies determinism as per the definition given above (in my second paragraph, i.e. the outcome is inevitable) as well as eternalism.
  20. A couple of loose ends: The block universe proposes many now's...or a moving now...opposed to a universal now. It refers to an embedded, immutable sequence of events at different coordinates (refer to studiot's comments re no causal relationships in a block universe). As such the model "precludes" a scenario where an external agent changes anything in the past...or (hypothetically speaking) even if it changes something it won't have any repercussions. This kind of thing simply cannot occur in a block universe because the universe has already taken its course (which is why I argued that a block universe and an external tinkerer are mutually exclusive). And if you (or the external agent) manage to relocate yourself to a different coordinate as in the example above, you will simply observe a different now...complete with the Earth in place...which does not imply two Earths, only two "now's". Even if we can predict the future, we cannot change it. Refer to my comments above. We cannot change course. Also...by implication there is no grandfather paradox within the block universe. Yes, although I am not sure if I agree that these are shortcomings per se. The application of the model basically closes the window on all sorts of strange possibilities...like the grandfather paradox. I need to consider the implications hereof. Lastly, here is the full extract from my previous post that I kept on referring to throughout this thread that would hopefully provide some sort of oversight of the block universe:
  21. I was quickly back to insert one word in my last edit (*conventional* in the second last paragraph). @ studiot, I was battling with your refusal to accept "determinism" as part of the block universe, but I am starting to realise that I might have misinterpreted your application thereof. In you last post above and in relation to cause and effect, yes, there is no determinism and no change. In the context of the block universe being done and dusted (so to speak) and from an eternalist point of view, it is difficult to not view it is deterministic though...conventionally speaking...but I get your point.
  22. For now let me just deal with this as (unfortunately) I have other matters to attend to. Please go back to my earlier post, find and follow that link to my other (lengthy) post in the other thread re this subject and read it. You will notice that the so-called moving spotlight theory is actually pretty much the same as the block universe, i.e. we observe this huge and ever-existing block universe as if we walk around in the dark with a spotlight observing bits of detail as the light illuminates it ("slice by slice"). The same post also makes mention of the many credible scientific support for the block universe. Let me add to that the contemporary notion put forward by some behavioural scientists, neurologists and philosophers that free will may very well be an illusion and that our mind is merely automated brain responses governed by unique interactions between our genes and our environments (both potentially deterministic). You asked earlier about how it was possible for this block universe to come into being, how long it would have taken, or something along those lines. That kind of question illustrates your paradigm of thinking. Because of the fact that time is part and parcel of this four dimensional block, it has no *conventional* "beginning", no "end" and no "duration". The Big Bang, for example, is just one of many "events" situated at another coordinate. PS. I will try to deal with any outstanding issues at a more opportune time.
  23. Let me rephrase...the two are mutually exclusive...you cannot have a tinkering agent and a block universe. In all honesty, we would probably not be here discussing this subject if it was not for the fact that the idea of a block universe has some serious scientific credibility. I am not saying we should just sit back and accept it...that is not how science works...plus it is far more interesting to deliberate on it in this fashion.
  24. It feels wrong in terms of our perception of how time behaves, i.e. our reality. That does not disprove the block universe. No, the block universe precludes (the word that was used earlier) an external agent to tinker with anything...past, present or future...it is fixed.
  25. I watched it and in my mind he does not really add anything new to the discussion. His so-called Naturalism 1 = Determinism/Block Universe/Eternalism while his Naturalism 2 = Indeterminism...perhaps Growing Block Universe...perhaps bordering on Presentism (I will have to read/see more to determine where exactly he slots in). The debates between these various schools of thought have been raging for a long "time", in fact Lee Smolin's arguments almost mirror that of Karl Popper in his discussion with Einstein. It is an understandable argument, one from a human experience of reality, a deeply rooted intuition, almost anthropistic. Smolin referred to evolution and how science should deal with climate change among other things to support his point of view, but as I already demonstrated with evolution it does not necessarily disprove the block universe. There are various sources that one could turn to, each with its own arguments pro- or against either of these. That lengthy older post of mine in another thread to which I provided a link earlier contains quite a few insightful arguments. Here is Standford Encyclopedia of Philosphy's take on it. Interesting discussion.
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