A Conversation for Unfinished Business of the Century

Is God dead 2

Post 141

Si

> I wouldn't say we've advanced much since them, most of the world was illiterate then, most of the world is illiterate
> know. Only a privileged few had money, education, self determination - ditto. Only a few know how to make the tools
> which society depended on - the tools have changed, but how many people do you know who could shut down a
> nuclear reactor (Safely ).

Mmm. You've been away too long.

> So the superstitious times are our times (look at the X-files generation, a more superstitious, portent watching bunch
> you could never have asked for),

Hang on...

> The same social
> controllers who 2000 years ago knobbled some hippie for saying any different, and then appropriated his fan club,
> are the same social controllers who tap our phones, check our emails, write our history for us, and tell us what colour
> is this year's mauve.

Now you sound like one of the "X files generation" you berate. Conspiracy! Conspiracy!

Phone and email tapping does happen and it does get abused, but is it that bad?

> It's the age old question, are the masses sane enough to be allowed to look after themselves?

What do you mean by "look after themselves"? Surely we'd like everyone to be as informed as possible and free to make their own decisions. If you mean should they be allowed to govern themselves, I don't think that a utopian anarchy would work anyway...

> Maybe mankind without strict controls would go back to being a bunch of tree dwelling berry
> eating hippies,

...removing the strict control structures would have the affect of plunging us towards anarchy. It's just like the annealing process - you don't like the way a system has crystalised so you heat it up (introduce chaos). All the little bonds (dominant-submissive relationships) that form the crystal's structure are broken and when cooled reform (self organise) in a different configuration.

So "mankind without strict control [structures]" would search out new alpha-male figures to form new ones. Would they be better? Well usually, during annealing, the heating-cooling cycle is repeated so that the structure has time to organise itself into a "low energy" configuration - that is, a simpler, more homogenous one. If this were mimicked for a society, knock it down - build it up - repeat, you'd end up with something that, whilst still having some hierarchy, would be much flatter.

It probably wouldn't be very nice while it was happening though smiley - sadface


Is God dead 2

Post 142

Si

> Being agnostic is the only honest position - I've
> got questions, issues, possibilities, and damn their toasty forky,
> sparkly haloed, complex meming hides, I'm going to ask them!

As an agnostic, how do you know what to believe? When you've got a variety of answers to your questions, what's your measuring stick?


Is God dead 2

Post 143

Merkin

As an agnostic, how do you know what to believe? When you've got a variety of answers to your questions, what's your measuring stick?

I haven't found anything in life that one should have absolute faith in (other than when you drink a large quantity of vodka, evenually you will fall over). However, the answer is, natuarally, that you don't know what to believe. Nobody does. you can be better persuaded by one particular argument, or feel that one theory is more valid than another, but that is still only what you'd call "current thinking". Having absolute faith in any theory/belief immediately leads to a negative predispostion towards contradictory theories. You start building walls...

You're measuring stick is your brain and your experience. A logical brain is useless without experiences against which to evaluate theories, and a wealth of experience is just a photo album without the ability to derive meaning.


Is God dead 2

Post 144

Merkin

>how many people do you know who could shut down a nuclear reactor
>(Safely ).
>Mmm. You've been away too long.

?

>Now you sound like one of the "X files generation" you berate.
>Conspiracy! Conspiracy!

Hardly, ECHELON, the American global communications monitoring system was confirmed in 1997 (see News article below), so it is not based on any kind of X-files belief.

Fashion consultants do meet every year to decide next years colours, and the vast majority of us do pay slavish attention to this.

History is and has always been written to suit the attitudes and allegiances of the culture of the time. How many school children are taught about the importance of Messopotamian (Ancient Iraqi) culture, or the vital role that Iraq played in halting the spread of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East now that Iraq is the root of all Evil? Buy three history books published 10 years apart and you'll easily be able to see how much of our past changes depending on what's happening in the present, and where we're going in the future.

>If you mean should they be allowed to govern themselves, I don't >think that a utopian anarchy would work anyway...

No neither do I, but I can still dream smiley - smiley

>If this were mimicked for a society, knock it down - build it up - >repeat, you'd end up with something that, whilst still having some >hierarchy, would be much flatter.
>It probably wouldn't be very nice while it was happening though

Surely this is the history of the last 10,000 years? We build society up to a highly advanced level, then there is a dark age and society builds again. As you say starting with highly hierarchical societies - Egypt - where the rulers were Deities, through Feudalism, to Democracy. And true Dark Ages aren't very nice.

ECHELON - Info

Tuesday 16 December 1997 Issue 936 Spies like US
A European Commission report warns that the United States has developed an extensive network spying on European citizens and we should all be worried. Simon Davies reportsCooking up a charter for snooping A GLOBAL electronic spy network that can eavesdrop on every telephone, email and telex communication around the world will be officially acknowledged for the first time in a European Commission report to be delivered this week.
The report - Assessing the Technologies of Political Control - was
commissioned last year by the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament. It contains details of a network of American-controlled intelligence stations on British soil and around the world, that "routinely and indiscriminately" monitor countless phone, fax and emailmessages. It states: "Within Europe all email telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency transfering all target information from the European mainland via the strategic hub of London then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill in the North York moors in the UK." The report confirms for the first time the existence of the secretive ECHELON system.
Until now, evidence of such astounding technology has been patchy and
anecdotal. But the report - to be discussed on Thursday by the committee of the office of Science and Technology Assessment in
Luxembourg - confirms that the citizens of Britain and other European
states are subject to an intensity of surveillance far in excess of
that imagined by most parliaments. Its findings are certain to excite
the concern of MEPs.
"The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON is designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country."


Is God dead 2

Post 145

Merkin

As someone rather clever said - Democracy is the most evil form of government in the world, apart from all the others.

It's the most deceitful if you ask me. It pretends to give you the choice however in the UK/US you have the choice between two identically corrupt groups of people, in most European countries, it doesn't matter who you vote for you get the same coalition, and in most other democracies, it doesn't matter whether you vote or not, you'll still get the same party!!!

Anyway, I could rant on for hours about my loathing of western democracy, state control, surveillance culture and the like, but that's a whole other forum...


Is God dead 2

Post 146

Nilchii

Boy, oh, boy, oh boy! You guys have been having fun haven't you! Well, I went off and got married, and in the meantime, I did some thinking about just what you're talking about.

First off, Okham is spelled Occam here in America, so I'll be using the spelling more familiar to me, since it's easier to type : )

Occam's idea of the most probable reality being the truth turns out to be right on a quantum level. All quantum "decisions" are made in multi-dimensional space time, which we can't adequately describe, being essentially three dimensional creatures. Start with any question, like "Is there a universe?" You will notice that this does two things. It answers itself in the positive (since there was something to ask the question - me) and it leads to the question "Why?" Personally, I don't know or need to know the answer to this question. But I can guess, and given what I know about the universe, the answer is "Because there are things to observe it."

This is terribly Schroedinger and Heisenberg, I know, but what the heck, they were right : )

Next question - what does this have to do with probability? When you are examining an issue (like whether there is a god or not), the answer is always maybe. You can't be sure, yes or no, because something might happen. Like - is the Earth going to be around in the year 2000? I don't know, maybe the Four Horsemen will show up and the rapture and the heaven and the hell and all that. Could happen. Not bloody likely, though, given what I know about things. Occam would say "no." A simpler example: will gasoline all over the world stop combusting, causing the break-down of vehicles everywhere. Well, much more probably gasoline will continue to act exactly as we've known it to do. This expectation we have that things will act as we have experienced them to do is "high probability."
Scientists can be snide about what they think they know, but all they ever really have is a "high probability" of knowledge that a given thing will act in their expected way. If you'd asked a scientist a hundred years ago if a normally single celled creature could form a multicelled creature, the new creature being a specialized and different creature in every way complete with cell specialization, a reproductive system, and even self-awareness, you'd have been laughed out of the Royal Academy, my fine truth-seeking friends. Probably they would have told you that it would not be terribly likely. But of course dictyostelium discoideum is just such a critter. (I know I've mentioned them before guys, I just like them - I mean how cool could you be and still be unicellular?)

Also, it goes a long way towards explaining life's existence. "Probably" an extremely complex sugar needed something and it bonded with another. Proteins happened and poof. Either that or God molded man out of clay in his own image and gave him holy mouth-to-mouth. Um, can you say "yeah, right," boys and girls? Given what YOU know about the universe, which of these scenarios is more likely? Now I'm not saying the whole sugars-proteins-life thing is RIGHT, there are lots of theories out there, and Si probably knows them better than I do, but I bet it's close...

My favorite question is about the big bang. What caused it? Ok, at some point in 4th dimensional time-space, there had to be a beginning to all this, right? (snicker)

Ok, have you ever heard about tachyons? They travel backwards in time. So what happened is that before the universe started, there was a void sitting around innocently minding its own voidish business. Suddenly, the universe, which was to exist a few seconds later, generated a tachyon. Where was the poor tachyon to go? Well, since it ran out of universe when the universe started, it ended up in the void. The void, out of sheer surprise, created something, because something had to have generated the tachyon in the first place, right? That's my hypothesis, you're welcome to it.

A more educated person than myself had a slightly different theory, which I provide a link to below. He's actually talking about time as a perceptual construct, and I tend to believe him. Although that doesn't make the wait in line at the metro any easier...

http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/ns-dtr101399.html


Is God dead 2

Post 147

Nilchii

Speaking of time, have you noticed how long it takes to load all these messages? I propose Is God Dead 3, and in the furtherance of which proposal, I am copying my last post over to it now : )


Is God dead 2

Post 148

Si

> Surely this is the history of the last 10,000 years?
> We build society up to a highly advanced level, then there is a dark
> age and society builds again. As you say starting with highly hierarchical societies - Egypt - where the rulers were
> Deities, through Feudalism, to Democracy. And true Dark Ages aren't very nice.

Yes. You see? I knew I was right smiley - winkeye

A more modern example would be the former Soviet Union and this is certainly my mate's interpretation of what we did in Kosovo. I don't think it worked there though, atleast it hasn't worked yet. We'll have to see if efforts to destablise Milosovic get anywhere.

So are we ready for a western Dark Age? In light of your Echelon stuff (hadn't heard that before) should the UK/US power structures be the next to go?



Is God dead 2

Post 149

Merkin

Certainly the true dark age would be heralded by the collapse of Western Society, and many would have you believe that this is happening already. The descent of US culture into violence, decadence and fundamentalism.

I do not think it will happen yet. We have not yet reached our plateax level. We are still advancing at an exponential rate, and I do not think we will collapse back until we reach technological stagnation. However many of the signs are ominous - rise of nationalism, economic collapses, growing rich-poor devide etc, etc. Remember the Roman Empire's collapse began at the moment of its greatest triumph - the taking of the British Isles. While Caesar was busy pushing forward the frontiers (space race?), all was not well at home. However it did take another 400 years to complete the collapse, so it could take a while, but I would say it has either started or we're close to the start. And I think a year happens a lot quicker these days!! the rot started in Rome, so look to Washington, the capital of the Western World and consider its health!! smiley - winkeye

And how dark? Very, very dark. think of what the loss of electricity as a technology would do to us. Go on... we could fall back just as far as the last dark age, and sustain greater damage in doing so. After all, then most of the population was well aware of how to survive from day to day using their bare hands.


Is God dead 2

Post 150

Irving Washington - Gone Writing

I never said I wanted everyone to agree. My point was that somewhere along the line you were getting a tad more vehement in you disagreement than I am comfortable with, making my point of view seem "ignorant". One thing I DO know about religion is that if you look at two different texts (old testement and new testement, or bible and book of mormon or whatever) it is never "the same God" as you put it. What is often not noticed is that the flaw, the variable if you need scientific terms, is man and man's perception of God. So tribes think spirits in the trees rather than wind caused the trees to move on their own. So some people beleive that the Adam and Eve part of the bible should be taken Literally. So what. It's "the same God we've been worshipping and discussing for the last few millenia" but it is not the same man who is doing the interpretation. And if you're going to start attacking my One Cosmic Muffin, too, well I've had it!


H+HW Imports

Post 151

His Divine Shadow: ACE, Shi Alyt

Huzzah!


H+HW Imports

Post 152

His Divine Shadow: ACE, Shi Alyt

Huzzah!


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Is God dead 2

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