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Chapter 15: Newton's Sleep

#136: Feb. - Mar. 2015 (Non-Fiction)
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Interbane

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Re: Chapter 15: Newton's Sleep

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Penelope wrote:If we put mere men in between us and the lifeforce (God?), and listen to them rather than to our own consciences.
I have to point out here that if we put men in between us and the source of our morality, the source would be our own consciences. You even say it yourself. Men only have the power over us that we collectively give them(as long as it's a democracy). This is why, in spite of politician-voter disenfranchisement, laws regarding behavior tend toward the more liberal.

We are the source of morality, though we should agree as a group and not go with what a small group(or holy book) says.
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams
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Re: Chapter 15: Newton's Sleep

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Jesus is reputed to have said

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
I noticed here that this advice is a total discouragement of self obsessed grandiosity - the very opposite of hubris. Which is a common trait of anti-THEISM.
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Re: Chapter 15: Newton's Sleep

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We are the source of morality, though we should agree as a group and not go with what a small group(or holy book) says.
The famous psychology experiment, whereby they put a white coat on people and gave them permission to torture others, using electric shocks.....would not work if we were truley Christian and took to heart the suggestion that we love our neighbour as ourself.

We appear to have all nodded our heads in agreement that we will be Christians and do what Jesus is reputed to have taught......then gone ahead and done what our governments or politicians teach us.

They put on purple robes and and crowns and proceed to over-ride our own inclinations to virtue. We being impressed by the regalia, or sometimes merely the charisma of a madman.
Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini
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Re: Chapter 15: Newton's Sleep

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Penelope wrote:We appear to have all nodded our heads in agreement that we will be Christians and do what Jesus is reputed to have taught......then gone ahead and done what our governments or politicians teach us.
There are many strange quirks to our psychology. The experiment you mention isn't so much a deviation of our moral understanding, as it is a failure to behave as we know we ought. Many such circumstances change us, and we can collectively analyze these circumstances post hoc and ponder our failures, all without the lens of religion.

To emphasize my point, there are many such experiments that show Christians to do wrong just as much as anyone else, including atheists. What we gather from this is that religious affiliation isn't a factor. As a disclaimer, there are experiments that show Christians being nicer to other Christians, even if they are meaner to non-Christians. A strange amplification of in-group out-group mentalities.
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Re: Chapter 15: Newton's Sleep

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Interbane:

What we gather from this is that religious affiliation isn't a factor. As a disclaimer, there are experiments that show Christians being nicer to other Christians, even if they are meaner to non-Christians. A strange amplification of in-group out-group mentalities.
amd
Religious affiliatiion is certainly a factor in wrongdoing in the case of Islam at this point in history. And definitely Roman Catholics and Jews are famous for being nicer to their own faith followers, in that they will always employ one of their own, or patronise the businesses of their own. I'm sure this goes for all denominations to a certain degree.

In a lot of ways, this is understandable, as some one of the same faith is 'perhaps' going to have the same values.

This is when faith is used like a secret society, as in the case of Freemasonry. They will always favour their own members. I disagree strongly with this practise but never-the-less, if you actually look at the teachings of the man himself, he was the one who said, 'Love your neighbour as yourself' and when asked 'Who is my neighbour?' told the parable of the good Samaritan. Everyman is your neighbour. Nothing wrong with the teachings at all.......just not practised.
Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini
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Re: Chapter 15: Newton's Sleep

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I enjoyed this chapter, (though there has not been one yet I found to be unenjoyable) I find sometimes that I may be a less sophisticated reader than others, because its not always clear to me how the tone of the threads relate to the chapter or chapters.
I find Carl Sagan's tone is not one of a trumpeter of science but of deference to topics he is very clearly familiar with, His delivery, is to me, a guileless message of what appears as simple truth, I don't want to be the person who falls for superstition's and or pseudoscience's, If the truth or reality can be reduced to the simplest terms, I'm all for it.
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Re: Chapter 15: Newton's Sleep

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Taylor:

His delivery, is to me, a guileless message of what appears as simple truth, I don't want to be the person who falls for superstition's and or pseudoscience's, If the truth or reality can be reduced to the simplest terms, I'm all for it.

I think his message is guileless, in that I don't think he is deliberately trying to mislead us. But verily, the truth is not simple!! I don't know why we use that idiom 'simple truth'. It's like saying 'innocent bystanders'. One can be very guilty of standing by and just watching......nothing innocent at all at some times.

So the truth or reality can't be explained or reduced to simple terms. If we try to simplify we mislead. Higher mathematics and formulae are extremely complicated and unless one is a mathematician, we cannot understand them and so we must take on in 'faith' what the scientists tell us, and of course theories need to be adjusted from time to time after more research and development.

Superstition is ignorant and is to be deplored. But I did take umbrage at all the categories which he lumped together as pseudoscience. He could not have investigated all of them thoroughly and so he wasn't in a position to state as fact.....that which he could only possibly hold as opinion.

However, it makes for interesting discussion. No good having a discussion and all saying, 'Good Book that', 'Yeah, good book'.
Only those become weary of angling who bring nothing to it but the idea of catching fish.

He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad....

Rafael Sabatini
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