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Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World 
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
ant wrote:
In Sagan and recently NTD, you get simpleton accusations like "how horrible the church and only the church has been" or "science and reason saved us all "


if i put your statement in less strident terms

Quote:
A: thoughts like "how horrible the church has been" or "science and reason are much better"


contrast this modified statement with an opposing statement

Quote:
B: thoughts like "how good the church has been" or "science and reason are much worse"


A: seems self evident B: seems absurd



Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:37 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
ant wrote:
A common mistake of historical laymen and amateurs like Sagan is that they judge a time and people of the past based on current values and capabilities. Mostly for rhetorical purposes.
What you get is a very watered down version of history.


And, yet, they used to burn people at the stake for being witches. hard to sugarcoat that.

So it seems Sagan has a point that people used to be much more superstitious than they are today.


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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
"And yet" does nothing to invalidate the point.

Neither does a "maybe so, but...,"



Last edited by ant on Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:18 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
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In the case of witchcraft, the idea that old women were plotting to root out Christian folk and destroy Christendom made sense to people who were already worried about how their society could reproduce itself and continue" - "Witch Craze"


Christian's killing Christian's, for the purpose's of food and sex. The Roper book does look like it provides great detail, as it should, it being based on the singular topic of witch's, CS's watered down version spares us some of the more glamorous aspects of witch hunting for sure, instead he uses his hunts to demonstrate the idea that as societies advance in time, so to their superstitions.



Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:30 am
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Quote:
geo wrote:

And, yet, they used to burn people at the stake for being witches. hard to sugarcoat that.

So it seems Sagan has a point that people used to be much more superstitious than they are today.


People used to gather in crowds to watch people being burned, have their heads chopped off, or dangle on a hangman's rope. Nothing to do with superstition that......just the cruelty thought acceptable because - everybody did it.

Eventually, the concept of compassion seems to seep through - it different times in different parts of the world. I hope so anyway.


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Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:53 am
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Taylor wrote:
Quote:
In the case of witchcraft, the idea that old women were plotting to root out Christian folk and destroy Christendom made sense to people who were already worried about how their society could reproduce itself and continue" - "Witch Craze"


Christian's killing Christian's, for the purpose's of food and sex. The Roper book does look like it provides great detail, as it should, it being based on the singular topic of witch's, CS's watered down version spares us some of the more glamorous aspects of witch hunting for sure, instead he uses his hunts to demonstrate the idea that as societies advance in time, so to their superstitions.


Yes , Christians killing Christians
And secularists have killed Christians.

And secularists have killed secularists
And Christians have killed secularists

And non religious people have killed religious people.
and religious people have killed non religious people.


Im not sure there is evidence for your claim that as societies advance so do superstitions.
Advance how? Technologically?



Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:33 am
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
ant wrote:
Im not sure there is evidence for your claim that as societies advance so do superstitions.


I'm sure there are a mix of old and new superstitions all around us. A coworker thinks it's bad luck to have an airplane's shadow pass over us.


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Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:38 am
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Fundamentalist Muslims - cutting off the heads of the infidel on YouTube, so that their families can see it. Has there ever been anything so barbaric? Yes......but it doesn't look like we're making much progress to me.


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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Quote:
Ant wrote:
Advance how? Technologically?


In a sense, sure, CS takes us from demons to witch's to UFO's and aliens. and asks how much cultural zeitgeist has changed.



Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:55 am
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Quote:
Quote:
Ant wrote:
Advance how? Technologically?




In a sense, sure, CS takes us from demons to witch's to UFO's and aliens. and asks how much cultural zeitgeist has changed.



Carl does it from a scientific viewpoint. And I agree with him that we owe so, so much to science. Life is infinitely less painful because of the advancement of science.

But advancement in science is not the only path. Wisdom is more important than knowledge. Kindness is more important than cleverness. Do you notice that Carl's questions to the aliens, is about how clever they are......but advancement of beings is more than about cleverness....Advancement is also about grace, compassion, kindness. Being confident enough to be kind and caring.


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Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Taylor wrote:
Quote:
Ant wrote:
Advance how? Technologically?


In a sense, sure, CS takes us from demons to witch's to UFO's and aliens. and asks how much cultural zeitgeist has changed.



As I've indicated above, there were several factors involved during the witch trials. It wasn't just a matter of religious superstition motivating people to hunt for witches among them in the name of a god.

Religion may have provided part of the justification, but so can a political ideology be looked to for the justification of heinous acts against people. It is not a unique phenomena to religion. That's false.

What you have here is the promotion of a particular worldview. Naturally, the promoter is going to single out a competing worldview and downplay it with selective cherry-picking, oversimplified historical analysis, and sweeping generalizations.

It seems up to this point what's implicit in Sagan's book is the premise "the only hope we have for rational behavior is to adopt a scientific worldview"

religion has played the most significant role culturally, to date, since the rise of "civilization."

it's counter factual to pretend and question - "what if civilization began with a scientific worldview?"
and there is no evidence that would verify we'd all be better off it had.

science will always be a handmaiden to something. after WWII science immediately became a handmaiden to the industrial military complex.

forget about science and religion. that's not what the real issue is. what about science its ethics?

there was a time in history when natural scientists practiced medical dissections (and other things) on criminals.
that seems very unethical to most people in "modern" times.

what the hell about this?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2015/01/2 ... s-congress

PETA's cause here is supported by me.

look at this from the link:


Quote:
My position at the speakers' table at the front of the briefing room allowed me to watch audience members' faces as PETA's four-minute video — showing the trauma the experiments induce in the infant monkeys — played. The attendees' intent, distressed expressions will stay with me for a long time — though the sights and sounds of the terrified infant monkeys will stay with me longer.



More and more science is discovering the strong behavioral similarities between humans and monkeys.
Monkeys are known to experience emotion. And yet science continues to subject monkey's to the most traumatic states you can imagine. Most of these experiments go absolutely nowhere.
Meanwhile, we have celebrity scientists (and others) talking about how close we are to monkeys.
I'm guessing science doesn't consider the reverse all that important - how close monkeys are to humans (behavior, social aspects, etc)

I'd like to think two hundred years from now the citizens of that time will look back at our science and say how barbaric a simple a lot of it was.
hopefully that will happen sooner.

Science essentially is working carte blanche .

Quote:
'Speciesism' is the idea that being human is a good enough reason for human animals to have greater moral rights than non-human animals. ...a prejudice or bias in favour of the interests of members of one's own species and against those of members of other species.


Quote:
Anthropocentrism (/ˌænθrɵpɵˈsɛntrɪzəm/; from Greek ἄνθρωπος, ánthrōpos, "human being"; and κέντρον, kéntron, "center") is the belief that human beings are the central or most significant species on the planet (in the sense that they are considered to have a moral status ...



And let's not forget that intelligent aliens would send out binary signals that humans would or should be able to detect and decipher. Why? because we are proof of "intelligent" life.

What's alien intelligence? anything that we can understand and attempts communication with us.

What is alien "life"? anything that we would define as life.



Last edited by ant on Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Penelope wrote:

Quote:
But advancement in science is not the only path. Wisdom is more important than knowledge. Kindness is more important than cleverness. Do you notice that Carl's questions to the aliens, is about how clever they are......but advancement of beings is more than about cleverness....Advancement is also about grace, compassion, kindness. Being confident enough to be kind and caring.


:clap: :appl:
Well said, Penelope.



Unrelated to what you said, Penelope:
I'd add that science does not guarantee wisdom. nor does a scientifically inclined mind.
case in point, some of these celebrity atheists have chosen to alienate people by ridiculing and mocking their worldview.
That's not wisdom. That's just being a social asshole.



Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:15 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Quote:
Ant wrote:
As I've indicated above, there were several factors involved during the witch trials. It wasn't just a matter of religious superstition motivating people to hunt for witches among them in the name of a god.


I did not make the claim that religion was the only factor, nor does CS, On page 120 " Then there was a bonus to the members of the tribunal for each witch burned. The convicted witch's remaining property, if any, was divided between Church and State. As this legally and morally sanctioned mass murder and theft became institutionalized, as a vast bureaucracy arose to serve it, attention was turned from poor hags and crones to the middle class and well-to do of both sexes."



Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:37 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Quote:
Then there was a bonus to the members of the tribunal for each witch burned. The convicted witch's remaining property, if any, was divided between Church and State. As this legally and morally sanctioned mass murder and theft became institutionalized, as a vast bureaucracy arose to serve it, attention was turned from poor hags and crones to the middle class and well-to do of both sexes."


Yes - I read that.

How would science prevent the State from committing crimes like this?
Because a state governed by scientists would assure heinous crimes could not be justified??

But Sagan only gives points like this a smattering of stage time - so far.
I haven't finished the book. It's pretty clear though that to Sagan "science = hope"



Last edited by ant on Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Carl Sagan; from The Pail Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there- on a mote of dust suspended in a sun beam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity-in all this vastness- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

Here with this wonderful quote, Carl Sagan teaches us that, his hope, is for humanity to fix its short comings.
In the book we're discussion he makes no claims to the contrary,



Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:07 pm
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