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  • #76
    Originally posted by Him View Post
    I'm trying to come up with a clever quip about how atheism is only part of the picture, but it's obviously too early in the morning.

    Location is more important than I realized when living in SoCal. North Texas is a whole different scene. San Diego seems like it would be a good choice. Plus you have the wild animal park and zoo....
    North Texas? Are we neighbors?
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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    • #77
      Neighbors? Very possible, at least broadly. I'm in far north Dallas.

      Originally posted by Scott F View Post
      Well you got on this one, Him, I am completely convinced the reason I don't float off into space is because god is holding my feet to the ground
      You don't think there are people who believe that? Either directly, or in a variation such as, "gravity works because my God wants it to."

      Whether you believe it or not doesn't matter to anyone but you. The fact that you believe whatever you believe is in no respect an answer to my statement. The fact is that some do believe that, very vocally.

      Originally posted by Scott F View Post
      Nothing in science has ever lead me to a belief in any god.
      You do like the non sequiturs.

      Originally posted by Scott F View Post
      No, Tod makes a good point. Speculation: What if it is hardwired into human psychology to believe in a transcendent reality....to construct a mythology. It seems to me people generally....gravitate (no pun intended...OK maybe ) towards myth making about reality. Without even realizing it, plenty of proclaimed atheist do that with ethics. They are humanists arguing for Rights as if those Rights are some kind of universal imperative. You and I both agree (I think we do) there is no such thing as universal right within materialism. But of the debates I've had with atheists over the years, you are in the minority.

      Secular humanism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      "Humanism is compatible with atheism[25] and agnosticism,[26] but being atheist or agnostic does not, itself, make one a Humanist. Nevertheless, humanism is diametrically opposed to state atheism.[27][28] According to Paul Kurtz, considered by some to be the founder of the American secular humanist movement,[29] one of the differences between Marxist-Leninist atheists and humanists is the latter's commitment to "human freedom and democracy" while stating that the militant atheism of the Soviet Union consistently violated basic human rights.[30] Kurtz also stated that the "defense of religious liberty is as precious to the humanist as are the rights of the believers".[30] Greg M. Epstein states that, "modern, organized Humanism began, in the minds of its founders, as nothing more nor less than a religion without a God".[31]"

      So Kurtz was from an American culture proclaiming that another culture violated basic human rights. Without his saying so, that's him rejecting moral (cultural) relativism.

      But that is exactly what secular humanism is, a religion without a god. Call it the newest mythology. In a materialistic word, one that excludes faith and transcendence, what is the scientific conclusion for "basic human rights?" If I'm understanding you correctly we both realize there ain't one. In the Jewish/Christian tradition god is a transcendent moral being. He transcends the natural world. Basic universal human rights are by necessity transcendent moral qualities. They transcend the observable natural world (dualism as opposed to materialism's monism). All science (sociology/anthropology) can do with ethics is make an observation about cultural values; it can't say those moral values are better or superior to any other culture's moral code. So here's the point: an atheist who argues for such Rights and then derides a theist for his/her belief in a god, because science can't explain the truth of that deity, is being inconsistent. Both this atheist and the theist believe in a transcendent nature. They just differ on the particulars.

      North Korea is state sponsored atheism but mythology its population engages in is "Dear Leader" worship. NORTH KOREA 'Dear Leader' worship as the one religion - Asia News
      I don't know anything about secular humanism so I can't address that. I'm not in North Korea so that is another non sequitur as far as I'm concerned.

      As for morality within materialism, I'll share my view.

      1) I am apparently conscious.
      2) consciousness is apparently information, not matter. The information happens to exist as a pattern in the material world but it is distinct.
      3) the complexity of information required for consciousness is apparently very high, much higher than I can duplicate or repair with the tools available to me
      4) from a subjective point of view, the preceeding points predispose me to value the information, and the material manifestation of that information, which makes "me", and to try to sustain and defend it
      5) I am not capable of accomplishing the goal stated in point #4 on my own strength - there is always something stronger, hungrier, more dangerous, more insidious than I can deal with on my own
      6) the logical solution to point #5 is to recruit assistance
      7) assistance, from others who are in my exact situation (conscious, fragile), is not something I can expect to be given unilaterally - I must trade for it
      8) the only commodity that I have which is - at the deepest level - worthwhile in trade is reciprocity; if I want to be helped to survive I must help others in turn

      That gives me my first ethical building block: harming others endangers me;helping benefits me

      It also raises another point: Everything has an information component which is similar in nature to my consciousness. How do I differentiate between for example destroying a painting and destroying a painter? Answer: Complexity and reproducability. A painting maybe reproduced, a painter cannot be using any technology available to me. The sharp edge is that destroying something you cannot fix is irreparable harm. It takes away choices and possibility in a way you cannot repair.

      That gives us our second ethical building block: there are different levels of harm, and some levels are absolute.

      You can begin to see the interplay even with only these two building blocks. Since Causing absolute harm justifies, in the subjective view of anything that may be subject to such harm, absolute harm in response, it is dangerous to our self and should be avoided.

      I could keep going but you are already bored. The point is, I can build an ethical system I am comfortable with using only my subjective opinion that I am conscious and my understanding of how that relates to the physical world. My ethical system has some absolutes which are as objective as any ethical system can possibly be. My ethical system is not based on anything supernatural, does not require a deity, and does not require outside references to provide consistent results or benefit to all in proximity to someone following my system.

      The thing some folks seem to miss in their rush to say you gotta have a god to have objective morality is that as conscious beings we have some perfectly natural absolutes in common with each other. If I disorder your information (e.g. by pithing you like a frog) I have done something absolute to you. You don't need a god to make that objectively true, or to make the problem absolutely common to everyone.
      Last edited by Him; 11-30-2012, 08:11 PM.

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      • #78
        Him- "Historically, your parenthetical (s) shouldn't have been." Thanks for the grammar lesson and yes historically you are correct. F.Y.I. my style of writing is commonly excepted among friends in informal communication formats (Chat room SMS and Messenger Abbreviations) Your hysteron proteron is based on your own addlad and your own rhetorical device, Plainly stated nothing more than literal insignificance. Please don't misconstrue what I'm saying by making correlations between my writing and that of Pascal (by the way was a Christian philosopher). With that said I will leave you to the king's English. L.M.A.O.
        Raise grass fed bison all natural. trying to gage this comunity to see if their is any intrest?

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        • #79
          I didn't give a grammar lesson. I pointed out that it would not be a god. It would be lots of gods.

          As for Blaise, did you catch what I did with his wager?
          Last edited by Him; 11-30-2012, 08:26 PM.

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          • #80
            If I can get a word in edge-wise, most of the reason for gods was to explain the unexplainable while myths were, broadly, teaching stories. We don't have them because we need THEM, we have them so we have the rules and explanations a thinking being needs to understand and function in the world. They have become more elaborate over time because who doesn't like to embroider a good story?
            http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

            Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

            And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

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            • #81
              If Dawkins is correct humans are merely a collection of memes and "being" is an illusion. Like the philosopher/theologian said in the BBC Did Darwin Kill God I linked to, Dawkins' memes undermines his own reasoning
              Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                Mostly rich people who have never needed faith, so probably MOST.

                Maybe she's trying to force you into believing so her family will be more accepting. Tell her "No." She should take you as you are, as she always has.

                I believe in Jesus, but I DON'T watch Fox News or vote republican. I believe in the Jesus who shared wealth and healed the hurting - you know, the one in the Bible! The modern church makes me ashamed of the Gospel. Greedy jerks with oppressive mentalities and political agendas half the time. I say I'm a Christian and instantly you (might) assume a lot of things. But I've been through enough hard times to see what it is. People are real. Everybody has the right to speak, and even if I think Jesus is the only way to heaven, I get it - you don't, and that's fine. We're grown-ups, here. I believe God made evolution, and guided it however he wanted whenever he wanted. The Bible even seems to somewhat mirror the migration of man out of Africa. Seriously, read the first two books of the Bible and start asking yourself which tribe went where and which people they became. And who did Adam and Eve's kids marry? Probably Neanderthals, even if not until Esau and Jacob.

                Anyway, GO SCIENCE! And GO JESUS! And everywhere they intersect, I'm glad.

                My wife and I have VERY similar belief systems! Liberal, scientific, and faith blended. It works well for us! But having different faiths would be tricky, I'd think. Plan wisely. I'd say "Pray about it" but maybe a good list of pros and cons is more in order.
                +1 Love this! :-)

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                • #83
                  Him, you didn't understand I was using sarcasm?
                  Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Sarcasm about being neighbors?

                    If you meant something you said about religion, sorry. Religion is one of those subjects where it is impossible to use being "over the top" to indicate sarcasm. There is no top, apparently. Or perhaps the problem is that religion is inherently ironic and detecting irony about irony is "easy" only in an ironic sense.


                    But, since you like videos, I found this one for your amusement:


                    If Dawkins is correct humans are merely a collection of memes and "being" is an illusion. Like the philosopher/theologian said in the BBC Did Darwin Kill God I linked to, Dawkins' memes undermines his own reasoning...
                    More "sarcasm" or just misunderstanding? Memes are ideas which can be shared between consciousnesses. E.g. the idea of a supernatural being which cannot be observed but can affect the physical world. Humans are entities which can understand/receive, store, act on, and communicate memes...or do something which can be described that way, at any rate. That's very far from "merely" by even the most jaded perspective.
                    Last edited by Him; 12-01-2012, 09:17 PM.

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                    • #85
                      No, no...sarcasm in my reply to you with the floating off the planet without god holding my feet to the ground. Go back and look at your statements about religion in which I was replying to
                      Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Oh, that. Yeah, I caught that you were trying to skip past my argument by sarcastically saying you believe something you probably don't. I addressed that yesterday. What you believe, or don't, is irrelevant to what I was saying. You can be sarcastic or earnest but you can't change the fact that some people do understand how the world works only through the lens of religion. Whether you are one of them doesn't change that fact. As such, you bringing up your views (no matter how sarcastically expressed) was what one might call a red herring. In truth I suspect it was also false in that you obviously think you gain some understanding through religion.

                        Theology, like science, is an attempt to understand our existence. The same rules apply to each. If they can't prove their ideas are absolutely true, they have no right to try to change how people live based on those ideas. Right? That's the argument your apologists says was sound when used by the Catholic Church against Galileo, and you posted that video so you should have no problem with the rule. However, religious people want to apply that rule to others but never to themselves. Religious people fight being held to the same standard your own sources admit they apply to other methods of understanding. Do you know how much that matters to anyone outside of religion?

                        It does not. It's a flawed standard (absolute proof isn't needed) and a prime area of religious hypocrisy.
                        Last edited by Him; 12-01-2012, 10:11 PM.

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                        • #87
                          Another atheist lady... always have been despite being taken to both Baptist and Presb. churches as a child. It just never made sense to me.

                          As far as humans and gods/myth making.
                          Of course those things were handy at one time and became progressively more complicated as our cultures did.
                          But also... much of that is/has been being replaced by science and fact... things that gods and myth were used to explain in times before we had access to the knowledge we have now.

                          I don't see a problem if someone wants to still feel connected to a deity or whatever. I guess it fills some need for them and I simply don't share that need for whatever reason.
                          Different wiring perhaps? I've heard this theory before, that some people are born predisposed to seek religion and others are not which explains why some people raised 100% in the church never 'feel it' and some who are raised with no religion at all strive to find one.
                          I don't know how that explains those who convert from belief to disbelief though... unless they simply convert to a belief in science.

                          But I'm sure glad I found a guy who is just as atheist as I am!
                          And, were I single again, I would certainly seek out people of like mind to have relationships with because in the past I always felt I had to hide it...
                          That video above reminded me too much of my childhood in a small TN town where being non-Christian was indeed a reason to be shunned! I slipped it a few times when I was really young, but learned not to talk about it, and sweep it under the rug, and left that town.
                          Last edited by cori93437; 12-01-2012, 11:21 PM.
                          “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                          ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                          And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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                          • #88
                            Definitely neo-pagan.
                            Ancestral Health Info - My blog about Primal and the general ancestral health movement. Site just remodeled using HTML5/CSS3 instead of Wordpress.

                            My MDA Friday success story - Stubborn Senior's Testimonial

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Him View Post
                              Oh, that. Yeah, I caught that you were trying to skip past my argument by sarcastically saying you believe something you probably don't. I addressed that yesterday. What you believe, or don't, is irrelevant to what I was saying. You can be sarcastic or earnest but you can't change the fact that some people do understand how the world works only through the lens of religion.
                              I wasn't' skipping anything. You claimed there were still a "whole lotta people" who interpret the how the world works only through religious tools http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1019784 but in this post you say "some people." I don't know what a whole lot of people and some people mean. What I can tell you, and I did after the sarcasm, is that I don't view the the world only through religious tools, likewise neither did the director of the Vatican Observatory. He in fact has said you don't need religion to explain astronomical observations.

                              Whether you are one of them doesn't change that fact. As such, you bringing up your views (no matter how sarcastically expressed) was what one might call a red herring. In truth I suspect it was also false in that you obviously think you gain some understanding through religion.
                              (I'm getting the impression that you are way more emotionally invested in this than I am.) Understanding about what? How the world works using religion? Nope, you'd be wrong if that's what mean. If my views on using scientific methods is no different that an atheist's what difference would that make to you, then, what I believe religiously? If my religious views leads me to hold certain moral values what difference does that make in a meaningless, purposeless universe? I such a purposeless universe morality is arbitrary and as such all cultural moral codes are equivalent....there would be no such thing as a "basic human right," anyway. You couldn't factually say one morality is better than any other. You might prefer one to another, but you can't factually say that culture's moral codes are inferior.


                              Theology, like science, is an attempt to understand our existence. The same rules apply to each. If they can't prove their ideas are absolutely true, they have no right to try to change how people live based on those ideas. Right? That's the argument your apologists says was sound when used by the Catholic Church against Galileo, and you posted that video so you should have no problem with the rule. However, religious people want to apply that rule to others but never to themselves. Religious people fight being held to the same standard your own sources admit they apply to other methods of understanding. Do you know how much that matters to anyone outside of religion?
                              The same rules do not apply to science and theology any more than science does to ethics. That apologist is a Columbia University PhD in history who was reporting that Galileo was allowed to teach his speculation as theory, which in fact what it was...at that time. So how about a source that isn't Catholic?

                              Intro Topic: Galileo
                              "The most infamous clash between science and religion is undoubtedly the Galileo affair. According to popular mythology the great Italian physicist Galileo Galilei almost lost his life at the hands of the Roman Catholic Church for championing the idea that the earth revolves around the sun, rather than the sun circling the earth. Yet historians have now shown that the whole story has been greatly exaggerated, and that the reality was a lot more complex.

                              In fact Galileo never spent a single day in jail. During his trial he was housed in luxury in a cardinal's palace, and throughout his life some of his greatest supporters were cardinals and other churchmen. At the time of his trial, in 1633, no one had definite proof that the earth orbits the sun. The truth is that astronomy then was not accurate enough to decide between an earth-centered and sun-centered system. Nonetheless, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church (along with many other scholars at the time) was slowly moving towards accepting this new vision of the heavens, and it is likely that the whole conflict could have been avoided if Galileo himself had been a bit less arrogant. The church was far from admirable in its behavior, in that Galileo was committed to house arrest for the last eight years of life, for espousing his views. Yet the church did not try to stop him from pursuing his science, and it was in fact during this time that he wrote his great book, "Dialogs Concerning Two New Sciences", which established his role as a founder of modern physics."

                              God, Humanity and the Cosmos Topic: The Galileo Affair
                              The Galileo Affair

                              Galileo’s complex relationship with his contemporaries, and especially the Papal authorities, has had intensive study in recent years. For an accessible account see Ch.6 of Michael Poole’s Beliefs and Values in Science Education.Poole, MW, Buckingham: Open University Press, 1995. For other corrections to the standard caricature of the merely-blinkered Church against the noble scientist, see Brooke and Cantor,Brooke, JH and Cantor, G, Reconstructing Nature (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998) Ch.4,Willem B DreesReligion, Science and Naturalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) pp55-63 or Owen Gingerich.‘The Galileo affair’ Scientific American 247 (2), pp118-127 (1982). For a more specialised investigation see Finocchiaro.Finocchiaro, MP, (ed.) The Galileo Affair (Berkeley and San Francisco: University of California Press, 1989).

                              It is important to realise:

                              that Galileo’s own position was multifaceted, and not merely driven by an ambition to advance science, but also by a real desire to see it reconciled with Scripture. His approach was very much rooted in the hermeneutics of St Augustine (see the type of case Galileo made).

                              Pope Urban VIII, who ordered Galileo’s final interrogation, had earlier defended Copernicus’ book, despite disagreeing with it.

                              Cardinal Bellarmine, chiefly responsible for dealing with Galileo for the Vatican until his death in 1621, was not a bigoted cleric either, but an open and thoughtful one, keenly concerned with astronomy. Bellarmine’s approach emerges in passages like this one from a letter to Foscarini:

                              I say that if there were a true demonstration that the sun is at the centre of the world and the earth in the third heaven, and that the sun does not circle the earth but the earth circles the sun, then one would have to proceed with great caution in explaining the Scriptures that appear contrary, and say rather that we do not understand them than that what is demonstrated is false.Quoted in Finocchiaro, 1989, 68

                              This complex affair, then, was influenced by a number of factors:

                              the scientific, yes, but it is worth pointing out that because Galileo ignored Kepler’s work his model still fitted the data no better than its best geocentric competitor. It also suffered from the great problem that it predicted stellar parallax, which had not then been observed.If the earth moves round the sun, there should be parallax, i.e. a difference between the relative positions of neighbouring stars as observed at different times of year. None is observable with the naked...

                              the epistemological - what, in the terms of the passage quoted above from Bellarmine, constitutes a ‘demonstration’? How should Bible-reading astronomers understand their data, and their Bibles, in the interim phase when a scientific model has been proposed but is not yet established?Gingerich has shown moreover that Galileo’s own logic was not always of the soundest in his efforts to demonstrate his case (Gingerich, 1982, 123).

                              the hermeneutical - how should Scripture be read, how should that reading affect or be affected by science? Above all, who should have the authority to determine the range of permitted readings?The Council of Trent, in tightening the structures of the Roman Church, had ruled in 1546 that ‘no one should dare to interpret Scripture "contrary to the unanimous consensus of the Fathers"’...

                              the political - it was a stage in the Counter-Reformation at which the Vatican felt the need to assert its central authority.

                              the personal - Galileo pursued his cause with an arrogant lack of tact and diplomacy which in the end forfeited the patience even of those inclined to sympathise with his view.

                              Small wonder that when the trial is ‘rerun’ in classes on science and religion Galileo is often the loser!

                              The utter triumph of heliocentrism that followed ended forever any prospect that a religious group could exercise the sort of hegemony over an area of scientific inquiry that the Vatican tried to assert in suppressing Galileo. It showed moreover that a scientific theory could gradually gain in comprehensiveness and coherence until it displaced another, without requiring a strict logical demonstration. <end quote>

                              Counter Balance has a lot good interviews: Interview: Full Interview Index

                              It does not. It's a flawed standard (absolute proof isn't needed) and a prime area of religious hypocrisy.
                              No, but enough evidence is needed and Galileo didn't have it in his time.
                              Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Scott F View Post
                                I wasn't' skipping anything. You claimed there were still a "whole lotta people" who interpret the how the world works only through religious tools http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...ml#post1019784 but in this post you say "some people." I don't know what a whole lot of people and some people mean. What I can tell you, and I did after the sarcasm, is that I don't view the the world only through religious tools, likewise neither did the director of the Vatican Observatory. He in fact has said you don't need religion to explain astronomical observations.
                                A whole lotta/some = uncounted millions. Everyone who believes a literal interpretation of a creation myth al la Genesis for example. Traditional Buddhists, Hindus, and pretty much the entire Abrahamic schism, all start with that idea in one form or another. Most retain it. You don't? That's nice.

                                However, you seem to be missing something I am saying: religion is a tool for understanding the human experience. I am not saying "the physical world" though the physical world is part of the human experience and most religions do offer answers on the subject. My assertion is that religion, like science and philosophy, is a means of explaining that which people feel the need to have explained. I suspect that despite your protestations it is that for you. You keep trying to turn it back to science and claim religion is different, but I say that to the extent that they are both part of a pursuit of truth/understanding they do follow the same fundamental rules...and that disagreement is the heart of the issue.

                                Originally posted by Scott F View Post
                                (I'm getting the impression that you are way more emotionally invested in this than I am.)
                                So let's see... you come into a thread started by someone who is bummed that his girlfriend is dumping him, launch into copy/paste argument about things that have been rehashed a million times and don't really matter to the subject, mostly straw men, and when your copy/paste arguments are dismissed you try to use sarcasm to distract from the fact that your position comes down to, "religion isn't what it is to millions of people because I say it isn't that to me and look behind you, it's an elephant! Really! Look!"

                                No, I'm not the guy who walked into a bar to tell everyone about the evils of drink.

                                Originally posted by Scott F View Post
                                Understanding about what? How the world works using religion? Nope, you'd be wrong if that's what mean. If my views on using scientific methods is no different that an atheist's what difference would that make to you, then, what I believe religiously? If my religious views leads me to hold certain moral values what difference does that make in a meaningless, purposeless universe? I such a purposeless universe morality is arbitrary and as such all cultural moral codes are equivalent....there would be no such thing as a "basic human right," anyway. You couldn't factually say one morality is better than any other. You might prefer one to another, but you can't factually say that culture's moral codes are inferior.
                                More straw men.

                                1) nobody cares what you believe, except that you used your own views as an example and therefore raised the question
                                2) purpose is not necessary to differentiate arbitrary from non-arbitrary; that oxygen and hydrogen combine to form water is totally without purpose, but it is NOT arbitrary within our universe
                                3) nobody is saying there is a basic human right here... There may be an objective basis for a social contract, and Human Right may be a good term of art, but that's a different subject
                                4) nobody is saying that your moral code is inferior here...mainly because nobody knows what if any moral code you have, and that's OK

                                Originally posted by Scott F View Post
                                "The most infamous clash between science and religion is undoubtedly the Galileo affair.
                                So they start with a major league miss. The most infamous clash between science and religion is the evolution clash, which is still going strong.

                                Originally posted by Scott F View Post
                                could have been avoided if Galileo himself had been a bit less arrogant
                                And, "She wouldn't have been raped if she'd just gone with it and consented."

                                You and your sources keep trying to turn this to a Galileo was wearing a miniskirt type argument, but you are missing the entire point of why people care about the incident. You are missing the very root of the problem.

                                It isn't that the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo...it really isn't. The Church persecuted a LOT of people back then so who cares about one more. Besides, compared to some of what they did, their treatment of Galileo was kinda weak sauce. No, the issue isn't how he was treated, but the realization that there was a double standard being applied. It's that he was treated as he was for doing exactly as the church does. The church was holding ideas based on observation of the natural world to a standard that the church would not accept for ideas based on the teachings of the church, and there isn't a good reason for that double standard.

                                At some point people grow up and no longer need their parents...and especially no longer need their illusions about parent figures that aren't really parents. When that happens, good parent figures let go, let their offspring move on and perhaps come back to forge a new relationship as peers. The Catholic Church didn't want to do that. Isn't entirely comfortable with that to this day as far as I can tell, though they have mostly realized that science has moved out and gone to live its own life. Most religions, and most followers of the abrahamic faiths, aren't part of the Catholic Church though.
                                Last edited by Him; 12-02-2012, 01:13 PM.

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