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Everything posted by Severian

  1. I am agreeing up to this point. We may not be able to see the causal connections, but unless we are going to invoke the supernatural we know that they are there. You may be more complex than the rock, but every atom in you body obeys the same causal laws as the atoms in the rock. You have no free will since you are bound by these laws. Your free will is just an illusion, and the entire Kantian argument falls over.
  2. That isn't what I said. It is true that "God is superior to man" but why would that absolve man of guilt?
  3. I am sensing that vuquta has some sort of agenda in his posts. Vuquta, would you care to clarify what this agenda is?
  4. Steven Hawking disagrees with you!
  5. Don't you think that makes it even harder to ascribe the probability of finding life on another planet? If you don't actually have a working definition of life, how are you going to say life exists? Incidentally, do you think life exists on planet Earth?
  6. Yes, I think Lemur is correct. That is the Christian view as written in the new Testament. But it is with a slightly different emphasis which I think is colouring your view. Imagine this anology: You and lots of other people are in a boat going down the river. The boat is headed for the waterfall and you will all die if nothing is done. But a guy standing on the bank notices. He can stop the boat by felling a small tree, but to do this he has to climb it and overweight it making him and the tree fall into the river. He is then swept over the waterfall, but the boat is saved. The people on the boat are guilty of the man's death in a way similar to how you are guilty for Christ's death. You never asked him to save you, but you would have died without him. Because you have no right to judge. You have no right to offer your forgiveness because you are just as flawed as they are. Only the perfect being (God) has the right to judge and therefore only he has the right to forgiveness. This is in my opinion, one of the principle ways in which the modern church falls down. There is definitely a perception in modern society that Christians are judgemental, while it should really be the other way around. Christians should never judge other people.
  7. I disagree. You "social love of humanity" is just as subjective. If someone hates humanity and wants to see it destroyed, do they get an objective morality from their "social hatred of humanity"? I don't think so. I will leave aside your profound misunderstanding of Christian motivations for a moment, and ask why would this be a pity? Who are you to judge what is or isn't a pity? Why does the "utilitarian benefit of avoiding punishment" have less moral significance then the "utilitarian benefit of maximising pleasure" that most atheists use for their moral basis?
  8. I have considered it a few times. I suppose most people have. But I am too much of a coward to go through with it.
  9. I'd put it in the bank for a rainy day.
  10. I agree. And muslims should also be free to burn the bible if they want too.
  11. By what authority do you know what I was "implying"? I have no problem with a slow evolution from complex molecule to "life", but presumably if one has a definition of "life", the molecules will at some point cross that boundary from "non-life" to "life". So life does, in some sense "just shit itself into existence one day", as you so eloquently put it.
  12. Your original post was: What does God have to do with "purple unicorns and plaid green clad ass fairies"? You didn't even bother to define your terms. This is a attempt to claim that believing in God is similar to believing in "purple unicorns and plaid green clad ass fairies". Then when The Clairvoyant comes up with the fallacy (which you know well is a fallacy) that God is more popular, so more believable, what do you do? You run with it! You even managed to contort his use of the word 'popular' to bring Harry Potter into the mix. If that isn't intellectual dishonesty, I don't know what is. In case you still haven't got it, comparing God to "purple unicorns and plaid green clad ass fairies" is only valid if you actually define what "purple unicorns and plaid green clad ass fairies" are so that we might know how they could be detected. So, since you brought them up, tell us - how would we detect "purple unicorns and plaid green clad ass fairies"? And could we use the same techniques to detect the presence of God?
  13. So you are claiming that your post was intended just to point out the fallacy of the implication? Yeah right, we all buy that... Aren't you ashamed of such intellectual dishonesty?
  14. That depends on the statement made. If you make a statement "God exists!" or "God does not exist!" you should back them up with evidence. On the other hand if you say "I believe God exists!" or "I don't believe God exists!" then the statement is one of belief and not fact, requiring no further proof. But that isn't really pertinent to the point I was making. On the contrary, you claimed that Harry Potter does not exist, in an attempt to imply that God does not exist by association. I provided you with proof that Harry Potter does in fact exist, so your initial assumption is wrong. Your argument is mud.
  15. But I can prove that Harry Potter does exist: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/harry-potter/6402124/Real-life-Harry-Potter-taunted-about-his-name.html Here is a whole slew of them: http://www.abebooks.com/docs/harry-potter/biographies.shtml Not a work of fiction at all, so your argument comes crashing down...
  16. The strong force binds the protons and neutrons together to form nuclei, but these nuclei are then positively charged and will repel one another. The energy released in a chemical reaction is much much smaller than that released in a nuclear one. The number of photons has nothing to do with it. Rather than just disagreeing with no explanation, wouldn't it be more constructive to say why you think there would not be enough "photons to explain the sun"?
  17. I wasn't really recommending that you try it.
  18. If the sun was made up of protons and no electrons, it would fly apart. The electromagnetic force is much stronger than gravity. Which covalent bond are you talking about? These objects are ions - just the nucleus. There is no covalent bonding going on here. The original pp fusion contains no photon. The mass difference is that between 2 protons and a dueterium nucleus (+ positron). The photon only comes about when the positron annihilated with an electron.
  19. It is [math]f_l[/math] that I object to most. It is usually set to 100% even though we have never observed this happening anywhere but on Earth. Is there any scientific evidence which supports the number they use? With one data point all we can say is that [math]f_l = 1 \pm 1[/math]. Ventner's work was creating an organism with artificial genes - not artificial life. Can you link to the description of the lab experiments making artificial life that Szostak has carried out? I couldn't find them.
  20. Severian

    Free Speech

    The problem is that there are always multiple sides to every argument, and if the argument is never heard how can we make up our minds? The example you quote (condoms and AIDS) is a good one because there are now studies which suggest that the use of condoms in Africa has exacerbated the AIDS epidemic. The studies suggest that condoms have not been being used properly and/or are of poor quality, so even people who use them still catch HIV, but wearing the condom creates a false sense of security making casual sex more common. I have no idea how true this is (or whether there is an attached agenda) but it seems a reasonable discussion to have.
  21. It needs to be validated by the state in the UK too. So I am also unsure as to why this is the vicar's responsibility. The actual signing of the contract happens in the church, but you still have to apply for the contract in advance.
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