Forum Index » Chaff » Continuation of "Religion in the Canyon/Foxhole" thread


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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
You want to cut my what!?! on 09/09/2013 21:16:10 MDT Print View

Here I am, digging up dusty Neitzsche translations and dog-eared Schopenhauer texts, gearing up to write my magnus opus on religion, the post to end all posts...

...and you all would rather talk about pee pees.

Thanks.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/09/2013 21:20:36 MDT Print View

It's Monday.

Christopher Chupka
(FatTexan) - M

Locale: NTX
Re: Re: Re: Thanks Ian on 09/09/2013 21:45:12 MDT Print View

Oh well

Edited by FatTexan on 09/09/2013 21:53:28 MDT.

Richard May
(richardmay)

Locale: Costa Rica
Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/10/2013 06:22:17 MDT Print View

"...and you all would rather talk about pee pees."

Nope. It's about saving 18 grams. 18 GRAMS! (is that newborn or adult?)

If it counted towards base-weight there'd have to be circumcised and uncircumcised categories for XUL.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/11/2013 20:03:05 MDT Print View

Well, this is a very serious conversation so far. Might i inject a little levity into it? So much so, you just might start levitating after reading this.

I realize there are a lot of very predominant/strong left brainer types on this site..and so i realize that the below will not be popular. Never much been a fan of religion myself, and to some extent, when it comes to an ultimate creator being i'm more on the agnostic side since i've yet to have any concrete experience with "the" one.

However, i've had enough paradigm changing experiences to convince myself this much is true, that consciousness is fundamental/primary and that we are so much more than our physical bodies.

Since most of consciousness is not physical in the sense that we understand and perceive it to be, one is going to have a mighty hard time verifying that via physical based senses. Nope, got to deeper and more within. When you start to realize that nonphysical reality is real and moreover can be self verified through experiences that go far beyond chance, coincidences, or the like, then a whole new world opens up.

But is it really that important to know this? I'm not so sure it is for everyone. Maybe some. But ultimately, what's most important is the knowing of the importance of treating others and life in general, with kindness, respect, compassion and love. Sometimes specific beliefs can even get in the way of that.

Everything else is secondary to the livingness of that. But for those who are even just mildly interested in understanding Consciousness from a broader scope, i recommend a physicist named Tom Campbell who worked with NASA, but was also open minded enough to be aware that neither current science, society, nor himself had all the answers and so he experimented and tested extensively via self experience, the larger reality. Yes, he is a real scientist and despite his many "wacko" perceptions and experiences, is quite grounded and you can tell the guy is obviously very intelligent and perceptive.

He wrote a massive trilogy called, "My Big TOE". He was fortunate to have gotten recruited by well known businessman and author Robert A. Monroe, during his early days of lab experimentation. Bob said to Tom, "help me with the science side of this consciousness research, and i will help you with the direct, self experience side of it."

Well, the very skeptical, but just curious and open minded enough Tom might not have known what he was getting into, but boy did it ever lead to him changing so many of his very physically based beliefs and paradigms. There is nothing like repeated direct experience and physical world verifications to convince someone of something and change belief systems. Lack of experience doesn't really lead to true knowingness. Like Tom recommends, being skeptical but open minded and having experience is the most effective way to come to know truths.

A lot of men especially, i've noticed, pride themselves on being skeptical. However, i've noticed a lot of us aren't truly skeptical in the scientific sense, rather they outright reject that which doesn't conform to preconceived notions and so called "logic". That's not true skepticism, but belief system maintenance and defense. Women, as a whole and trend (but not all by any means), tend to be a bit wiser in the sense that they tend to be more in touch with their feeling, intuitive side which goes beyond left brain deduction and analyzing and that leads them often to being more open minded and flexible. In general, i find men could use more of that way of perceiving and evaluating info, and women could use more of some of what more men naturally do.

And so, thus spaketh the Justin, "become ye He/She's (or She/He's if you prefer) to know truth and wisdom, but i don't mean get a sex change job and all that."




Oh, and circumcision is in some health ways, especially for a primitive peoples with lack of modern hygiene convenience, very practical. Even with some modern advantages and convenience it can help a lot. I have a cousin who would get recurring infections until he was circumcised.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 09/11/2013 21:37:54 MDT.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F
Re: Re: Thanks Ian on 09/12/2013 13:26:37 MDT Print View

"True atheism (there is no god) is a religion. Emphasis on number four:
4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith "

That's incorrect. You take the seeming "passion" of atheists and calling it faith or system of beliefs. But it is neither.

be┬Ělief
1.an acceptance that a statement is true or that something exists.
2.trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something.


Modern atheism is largely rooted in science, to understanding of what science actually is. There is no need to believe in science, you just need to understand it. And the beauty of science is that understanding of it is based on the fact that everything it actually claims as a fact can be reproduced or tested by anyone - believer or non-believer.

You don't need to believe in science - anyone (given enough time and mental capacity) can review and verify everything it claims. Anyone understanding some of the more complex principles of biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics has little space left for God because there is no need for God. In simple terms - there is no need to believe that 1+1=2 in math. Even children starting with a really early age can test and verify that this is the case no matter what. Well, some science is more complex, but those who understand it - they don't feel there is a need for God, because there is no reason to think that there is a greater power behind what can be explained scientifically. Granted not everything can be at this time (if it will ever be), but just like science - religious beliefs and notion of what God is and how he permeates universe change over time. Interestingly enough, many things attributed to God over the ages have been proven through science to have nothing to do with him.

As this capacity to understand grows, there is simply less need for reliance on mystical explanations of universe mechanics. In early human history, the only answers to who, why and how was to resort to a power outside of out comprehension. Nowadays, there is less need for this tool to cope with reality. Our minds always try to rationalize why and how something happens. We feel better if we think that we know. This desire led some to God and others to atheism (through science). Both are capable of giving answers, but only one is universal across all peoples, times and locations - science.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F
Re: Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/12/2013 13:41:14 MDT Print View

"Oh, and circumcision is in some health ways, especially for a primitive peoples with lack of modern hygiene convenience, very practical. Even with some modern advantages and convenience it can help a lot. I have a cousin who would get recurring infections until he was circumcised."

1) Should this be extended to cutting off toes and fingers or entire limbs to prevent them from becoming infected, damaged or otherwise causing risk to the core of the body?
Should breast be removed to prevent breast cancer?
2) Shouldn't that choice of do you want to risk it or not be done by the person to whom the limb, appendage or part of body belongs to?
3) Majority of people requesting circumcision for their children do it due to hygiene?
4) Does majority of uncircumcised men suffer or get infections?


I assume your cousin does not live in the Amazon forest and has no access to modern luxuries such as bathrooms, hygiene products, parents who are aware of hygiene procedures and can perform or relay them to the child?

In some parts of the world and in some earlier times - genital mutilation or limb amputations were also considered part of cultural standards.

Now i will make an observation that is likely to be unpopular with people on either side of this - the way evolution works is by eliminating the weak and anything that prevents genes from successfully replicating. So if someone gets an infection, gets sick and then dies - the genes of the individual who was poorly adapted to the world have just been taken out of the gene pool. It is a very cold and cruel way to look at life, but it doesn't make it untrue. In many cases modern medicine and procedures only "dirty-up" the gene pool by allowing those who would not survive/procreate remain the pool.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/12/2013 15:57:51 MDT Print View

"Oh, and circumcision is in some health ways, especially for a primitive peoples with lack of modern hygiene convenience, very practical."

Yeah, for those who survive the operation in those primitive, unhygienic conditions. ;0)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/12/2013 16:09:14 MDT Print View

"In many cases modern medicine and procedures only "dirty-up" the gene pool by allowing those who would not survive/procreate remain the pool."

I thought it was modern whiskey that dirtied up the gene pool by getting people to procreate who might not otherwise....

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/12/2013 17:44:51 MDT Print View

"I thought it was modern whiskey that dirtied up the gene pool by getting people to procreate who might not otherwise...."




Sometimes it actually has the opposite effect....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7TWLxCIgwE

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/12/2013 18:28:48 MDT Print View

All you guys need is a woman to chime in ;)

I was raised in two countries where cirumcusion was not the norm. Even my dad, born of a Jewish mother, was not. No one shared their stories of infections with me, thankfully, but one would think I would have heard....
I did hear a couple of years ago about HIV rates among uncircumcised African men being higher.....

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Thanks Ian on 09/12/2013 19:06:55 MDT Print View

"As this capacity to understand grows, there is simply less need for reliance on mystical explanations of universe mechanics. In early human history, the only answers to who, why and how was to resort to a power outside of out comprehension. Nowadays, there is less need for this tool to cope with reality. Our minds always try to rationalize why and how something happens. We feel better if we think that we know. This desire led some to God and others to atheism (through science). Both are capable of giving answers, but only one is universal across all peoples, times and locations - science."

I agree with this but only to a point.

"We feel better if we think what we know" .
Are you saying that entertaining thoughts about things we know and understand...feels better? Or do we feel better if we think we know something? Because feeling better is also a vague description and subjective. Some feel better if in awe of something. And awe can be caused by the realization that even a basic phenomenon that science has "explained" has only really been partially explained. I am not getting religious or mystical here either.
The brain that we humans ( most of us) have today is capable of only so much and there is probably much out there that we are not capable of understanding with our current "processor" . Actually, to me, the more we try and fit everything into parameters that are familiar and understandable to us, the more we might miss. Again, not speaking about deities here. I merely doubt that we happen to have the correct tools ( brains) to comprehend everything that is out there. Maybe some day we will, I have no idea.
For some religion or mysticism kick in when "unexplainable " things happen. Others deny the existence of anything "unexplainable". Others still, accept that we may not yet be capable of understanding. Sometimes trying to fit everything into neat, pre existing categories actually delays the understanding of a concept.

You mentioned numbers....1+1 = 2. Universally accepted.

How about....what is the midpoint between 1 and 9. Would you say 5 is the universally accepted answer? What if you are raised in a culture that deals with numbers logarithmically, and many South American tribes did just that, some still do. The midpoint would be 3. We are learning more about how possibly our own western children would end up dealing with numbers the same way, if not taught about digits.
We learn ways to exchange relevant information quickly and effectively. We have divided up our world into words and numbers that make communication effective within a group and sometimes between groups. All these categories have served us well, but it would even serve us better to remember that there are, and could be, many more ways to divide up our worldly experience. This last sentence came out convoluted and I don't seem to be able to make it less so right now....my apologies.

To finish my long post here; Science, yes, as long as we keep in mind the current limitations.

Edited by Kat_P on 09/12/2013 19:08:05 MDT.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Ian on 09/12/2013 19:45:53 MDT Print View

"We feel better if we think what we know" - meaning that our mind will accept even an improbable answer or will make some other rationalization for something we can't explain. It's a coping mechanism that we resort to when faced with unknown or other hardships. This can often be observed easily in long-term crime victims for example.

I'm sure humans, we have already reached a point where we are not able to comprehend everything there is to know and understand. That is why we have schools that specialize in specific topics and subjects and why jeopardy and other shows are entertaining (some people are better at remembering and comprehending information, but even the best can't absorb it all). The result is that we will specialize in more narrow fields as time goes on and will feel skeptical about even more information we happen to encounter. An example: many feel that vaccines and other modern marvels are useful and are beneficial. Now i'm not going to touch the subject of whether that is true or not, but will point out that had these individuals done the research along side the scientists who spent 10 years collecting and analyzing data (and looking at it for that long) they would be just as convinced as the doctors who advocate for it.

the answer to question of where is half way in 1-9 happens, is exactly the same, but there are different ways of getting there (otherwise math would not be a science and would fail us miserably in daily lives). You can use many systems to calculate it, you can use different reference points, etc which main produce different result depending on coarseness of your scale and system selection, but if you decide to get technical - there will only be one answer. Sometimes you may be forced to use a system that is capable of producing the right result, as if you start with garbage on the outset - you will get garbage in the end (GIGO).

And yes - science is limited as are humans, but i still feel this is perfectly acceptable.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/12/2013 20:13:43 MDT Print View

"'Oh, and circumcision is in some health ways, especially for a primitive peoples with lack of modern hygiene convenience, very practical.'

Yeah, for those who survive the operation in those primitive, unhygienic conditions. ;0)"


Well, i was thinking specifically of the Hebrew Jews who were perhaps best known for this and in the hygiene areas at least, they were well ahead of their times and advanced compared to a lot of other peoples around them or in Europe until modern times.

In fact, i heard that the Jews were persecuted so heavily during the black plague period partly because less of them were getting sick than their non Jewish peers and the gentile folk started to blame them, thinking they were some how at fault. Nope, their beliefs and practices were just more inherently hygienic in nature.

So i assume that before they did this ritual, they went to pains to purify themselves and their instruments. How many times were the Pharisees and other religious Jewish groups of the time were criticized by Yeshua for their obsession with bodily cleanliness at the expense of their spiritual cleanliness?

So what i was saying was "relative". They still did not have the modern hygienic conveniences that we in the U.S. enjoy, and so were subjected to worse conditions overall, but during their religious rituals and to some extent with their diets they took pains to be more cleanly--unusually so compared to almost all other peoples in the Earth during these primitive times (that we know of).

Btw, there was some interesting work and research done on the more literal translations of the Old Testament in an open minded and skeptical way. The people researching same came to similar conclusion that Sitchin came to in translating the Sumerian texts, that the Jews were describing experiences not with "a" God, as in some spiritual, more Eastern-Asian sense of an invisible presence and intelligence that permeates the Universe, but rather "Gods" that one could occasionally talk to in person, and which often came from the sky or heavens (and even occasionally took people on board with them). Modern folks might call them technologically advanced E.T.'s.

If true, it seems these E.T.'s occasionally gave good, practical advice to the Jews like about hygiene, diet, etc. However, it's clear that there were definite communication gaps, misinterpretations, and the researchers noted as well, that there seemed to be both distinctly helpful and distinctly hindering E.T. groups or Elohim, that tried to communicate and influence people during these primitive times.

Who knows, tis interesting take on that strange collective of writings call the Bible. Having had some both UFO and E.T. oriented experiences myself, i'm naturally more open minded to such theories but always try to remain skeptical but open minded.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/12/2013 20:32:52 MDT Print View

"Well, i was thinking specifically of the Hebrew Jews who were perhaps best known for this and in the hygiene areas at least, they were well ahead of their times and advanced compared to a lot of other peoples around them or in Europe until modern times."

Ah, I was thinking of even earlier times. According to the information in the Wiki article, below, circumcision has its roots in ancient Afican tribes. I am reasonably sure they did not have quite the knowledge of hygiene that the relatively modern Jews of Biblical times had acquired. Somewhere in between, temporally speaking, the earliest documented references to the practice are at the necropolis of Saqqara in Egypt, circa 2400 B.C.

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

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You want to cut my what!?! on 09/12/2013 20:34:42 MDT Print View

"I assume your cousin does not live in the Amazon forest and has no access to modern luxuries such as bathrooms, hygiene products, parents who are aware of hygiene procedures and can perform or relay them to the child?"

My cousin was raised in America and had plenty of access to hygienic modern conveniences. I know he was counseled how to wash properly down there in order to avoid infections. Since they were painful and since he was more than old enough to understand what he was being told, i assume he did try to follow the advice.

All i know, is that he went from having recurring infections when he was not circumcised and after didn't have any. So i *assume* that it had a helpful, beneficial health effect in his case. I'm not sure if everyone would need it or it would help everyone, but thinking about it in a common sense way, it does seem generally more cleanly. I'm speaking also from direct experience from working at a group home with some folks who have intellectual disabilities at least (and usually some other issues that require assistance) and being involved in their direct personal care.

Now, whether the operations are always cleanly/sanitary, i guess it's safe to assume in some countries they are not, and perhaps in those countries it should be avoided. No black and white views here.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 09/12/2013 21:56:41 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Ian on 09/12/2013 20:56:05 MDT Print View

Yuri, your version of science seems quite clean, and cut and dry!

I agree that it has that kind of potential, but in actual reality and practice, it doesn't always work out that way.

It seems like in virtually every major area of science that we have commonly accepted truths and theories, that most mainstream scientists support, but which have holes in and contradictory evidence saying differently. From black holes, to Eve out of Africa, Big bang, etc, etc.

Along those lines, there is an interesting site online that deals with the inconsistencies, the holes, the contradictions, the unexplained and anomalous in science. It's called Science Frontiers online. It was originally started by a physicist who for a long while would go through all the major scientific journals and papers of the world and collect all the anomalous peer reviewed research and data that didn't quite "fit" or support the mainstream paradigms that so many in science take for granted and take as the gospel truth.

The physicist fellow passed away, and so the research doesn't continue anymore, but some of the past stuff is still available. It's quite fascinating to read!

Edited by ArcturusBear on 09/12/2013 23:12:11 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Ian on 09/12/2013 22:06:42 MDT Print View

"I'm sure humans, we have already reached a point where we are not able to comprehend everything there is to know and understand. That is why we have schools that specialize in specific topics and subjects"

This isn't really addressing what I was talking about.


I also disagree that getting technical on my math question..."can only get you one answer". I gave you two answers, both correct. One being five and one being three.

Edited by Kat_P on 09/12/2013 22:07:41 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Ian on 09/12/2013 23:33:05 MDT Print View

"Yuri, your version of science seems quite clean, and cut and dry!"

I'm sure at the time people said the exact same thing to Copernicus.

Cosmology or the cutting edge of science will never be clean, cut, and dry. But alas, a few centuries go by and what was once cutting edge science (AKA blasphemy) becomes commonplace knowledge. Think of all of the scientific contributions by people once considered insane -and later genius- that are now observed, tested, and recreated by 1st grade schoolchildren.

My father was an endocrinologist, primarily dealing with pancreatic cancer. He worked a lifetime of long, hard hours in a lab and ultimately developed quite a few treatments that saved or prolonged many people's lives. Compared to magic, mysticism, prayer, alien encounters, and other fantastic happenings, I'd say that his work- and science in general- are about as clean, cut, and dry as it gets.

Provided we can avoid a repeat of the Dark Ages (which I fear many people on this planet and in this country would be happy to recreate), I'd love to know which gaps in today's science will be commonly tested and solved in basic high school classes 100 years from now. There might be kids eradicating test tube cancers during a second period bio lab and the nature of black holes might very well be old news.

And then we will move on to new questions.

There will always be gaps in our understanding, but I see absolutely no need to rush to fill them with gods, demons, magic, aliens, or thousand year old "truths".

It would be fascinating to witness the birth of a new religion in the face of contemporary scientific understanding.

Maybe this is it.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks Ian on 09/13/2013 00:13:01 MDT Print View

Some may not believe as you do, not because they aren't aware of or interested in science, but simply because their own repeated experiences tell them that scientific understanding is really FAR from being complete.

This doesn't mean that they don't appreciate the scientific method of inquiry, and in truth, people like the physicist i mentioned earlier, Tom Campbell, epitomize the truly scientific mind set of "skeptical, but open minded".

One without the other is just not good enough or balanced. I see many who are imbalanced to one or the other (because, as humans, it's a lot easier said than done).

Basing beliefs on science alone, is kind of like a person who can't think or reason for themselves (this is when science becomes like a religion), and only ever considers the opinions of others for anything they believe or say. Repeated personal experience has to have some place as well.

That which we call "mysticism" or the like, is naught but an incomplete scientific understanding of the nature of reality. Eventually, when more is known about the big picture of reality, we will say "oh, those beliefs though misnamed and mystified weren't so crazy after all." Some of our brightest scientific minds, like Einstein, Bohme, and the like understood that imagination, that subtle sense of perception and understanding, is far more important to expanding human knowing and advancement than purely logical, reductionist, mechanistic, analytical thinking. The two need to be combined in a synergistic whole--imagination/intuition/feeling and critical, analytic thinking, and beliefs based on both physical world research and one's own experiences.

Less perceptive minds always, and can only ever, think more linearly, more mainstream/conventionally, and in a more reductionist sense, which is exactly why the brightest and most brilliant minds (scientific and otherwise) are often scoffed at, derided, and marginalized by their peers earlier on.




On a personal note, it's awful hard for one to say that E.T.'s are make believe or the like, when one shows up in your room some night, or you see unmistakable UFO craft in flight a number of times. Just because you might not have had those experiences, doesn't mean others haven't and that it's all bunk or the people who have had them (and MANY have) are deluded or crazy. I fully respect the skepticism involved and it's good to be skeptical, but a wise person knows that a lack of experience doesn't equal positive knowledge or real knowingness about a subject. And when so many have reported some experience with a certain subject, there are other more plausible explanations than mass hallucinations.