Saturday, August 18, 2007

Who are the “Absolutists?”

There is a great deal of hubris in those who are so “positive”…. so “absolutely sure” of things.

Question One: Is Evolution Random or Directed?

Group One “knows as a surety” that Evolution is Random and Undirected.
Group Two “believes” that it was “directed” and not random…that the “Cambrian Explosion” should bring doubt to any reasonable person.

Which group “shouts” that the other is wrong without any doubt? The one that merely “believes” or the one that says it is not possible for them to be wrong because “science” says they are right? And science has never been wrong before…correct? One group says that science has got it “mostly” right, but there are still some “missing” details that are yet to be explained such as perhaps “macro” evolution may require intervention and direction.

Question Two: Is Man Made Global Warming a “closed case?”

Group One says that there are "no" credible dissenters because they are "all" biased by money, and therefore they "all" have "no" valid points. (Notice the absolutes?)
Group Two says that most of the “grant” money is on the side of the “sky is falling” group and there are credible scientists who don’t have any “dog in the fight.” And that government money is just as valid of a reason to doubt as corporate money because they both can corrupt.

Group Two says that man may be contributing to Global Warming, but what is the exact amount and is it really a cause for "fear mongering?"

Which group is again the one that “shouts” that the other is wrong without any doubt…. the one that says there is Global Warming but they are skeptical about just how much is man made, or the “chicken little” side that is “completely convinced” with no room for doubt? That they "know" that no matter what man's contribution, they "know" that there is no room for doubt that the consequences are known as a surety....that there "will be" catastrophic events. ( Note...not that there "may be", but that there "will be.")

Question Three: Is the other political view “ALWAYS” wrong?

Group One says that the other group is not just misguided but is stupid and malevolent and “never” has a good plan or policy.
Group Two says that the other group is not malevolent and not stupid, but they think that the other group is usually just wrong. Group Two is willing to listen and have a dialog.

Which group is it that is so unreasonable to say that the other group is “ALWAYS” wrong? Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn by accident.

Question Four: Is there a God?

Group One says they are “sure” that there is not one. They are not just “agnostic” but are “sure.” They “know” that there is no God.
Group Two says they are not sure but that is why they have a “belief.” They believe that faith is by definition without proof.

What is ironic is that Group One is the group that usually says, “There are no Absolutes”, which by definition is wrong because the statement itself is an “absolute” statement.

Group One would have us believe that “everything” is relative, even morals and ethics.
Group Two says they believe that there are absolutes and one of them is morality.

So, which side uses the term "belief" with a great deal of regularity, and which side is often hostile to the very mention of the word?


At 8:41 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

1. Who cares?

2. Certainly not, but it has become the new orthodoxy, with high priests, rituals and the like.

I recently had an interesting discussion with a Christian friend of mine who made me a take a second look at the war on religion (particularly Christianity and Islam) that is taking place in this country. We first agreed that every society has sacred cows and what defines the society is which cows can be sent to slaughter and which ones are enshrined in gold.

He then asked, why is it ok for someone to question, and even mock, the existence of god, but to question global warming is a heresy that will be met with derision? Why are some cows sacred and others not? Who gets to decide? It seems that America has allowed the Hollywood culture shapers to make that decision for them and is now waking up to the consequences of that.

3. Silly question that leads to no real discourse.

4. Yes. Whether it's the dollar, the church of secular science or a White guy with a long beard on a throne, everyone -- including atheists -- has a personal God. In this country, the dollar is the ultimate God, to which most dedicate all their service and energy.

Talk is cheap and I don't care about some hypocrite's babble about going to church every Sunday. You know what people worship as their God by their actions. As a friend of mine recently phrased it, God is not belief, it is understanding.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Sean said...

Just to get my 2 cents in…

1. Well, I care simply because it is an interesting question – but ultimately, in the grand scheme of things, it is irrelevant.

As for who is correct; who knows. The Intelligent Design crowd has set themselves up to explain the holes in evolution theory by saying some kind of “intelligence” is behind it all. With that sort of logic one can never be wrong. One can say “and then a miracle happens” to explain it all. Sounds like faith being disguised as science to me – creationists disguising themselves behind pseudo-science.

2. I would agree with II on this one.

Simply, the MSM (and most people left of center and a few on the right) has bought the man-made global warming shtick hook line and sinker. You can’t trust one thing you read, hear or watch from the MSM on this one.

Personally, we have only been monitoring the climate for about 100-years or so. Are you trying to tell me that we know without a doubt that man is the cause of global warming with 100 years or so of data compared to the billions of years that the earth has been around? A little arrogant don’t you think?

3. Well, I would agree with II that this is essentially irrelevant as well. Politics is about compromise. And both hard line lefties and righties are guilty of branding the other side as “always wrong” and “stupid”. They even do it to members of their own supposed “group” who do not agree with them 100% (I know this from experience).

4. I don’t know if God exists. The scientist in me says no, but something inside me says yes. But that is a question of faith isn’t it? I would like to say that life has more meaning than just existing for the next paycheck. And I know that sounds irrational.

II, what do you mean that the dollar is the God for most? I mean, we all have to work for a living, right? I work 40+ hours a week in order to provide for my family. Does that make my God the “dollar”? How else am I supposed to support my family?


At 3:18 PM, Blogger mrsleep said...

frifq1) I don't know. There are many things in life we can explain, and many things we can't. Just because we can't explain everything, doesn't mean more answers won't eventually see the light of day.

2) I think there is zero doubt that the actions of man are contributing to global warming. Now, is man THE full root cause? No.

3) Concur, with my more learned friends.

4) I concur more with Sean, as I do believe a higher power exists, something that I cannot explain fully.

FAR, interesting questions. One of the problems of today is the desire to define the world in absolutes, and it's just not that simple.

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

II, what do you mean that the dollar is the God for most?

Sean, look around. We aren't talking about people who work to put food on the table.

We are talking about a society that deifies those who make money, i.e. those who are closer to the money God than they are. Bill Gates and Donald Trump are the high priests and the sheeple want nothing more than to be like them, at any cost, no matter how morally corrupt the men may be. Paris Hilton is famous for nothing more than being an heiress.

We are talking about a blind worship of the bottom line, with anything done to improve it being justified.

We are talking about a society where your worthiness is measured by your credit score.

I do not begrudge those who have had the good fortune to do well. But I do not deify them and put them on a pedestal either.

People can mock Christianity and question whether God exists, but if you dare challenge the holiness of the Federal Reserve's grip on the nation, you are a blasphemer.

And the amazing part is that the true rulers of the country have used so-called Christians to undermine their own religion, with con artist prosperity preachers, televangelists and the like. There is indeed a war on Christianity and Christians are the foot soldiers waging it each time they buy a Starbucks coffee with a catchy slogan mocking religion on the side of the cup.

But, hey, Starbucks needs to make a buck. What's more important?

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Ethereal Merc said...

Seasons Greetings,

Subject: multiple opinion blog-site

Myself, and several others are putting together a multiple opinion blog-site; where political questions are answered by people with various points of view. The tone of the site will be entertaining, informative, and mature. The whole point of the site will be to have debates every month about different political, social, and economic topics. All points of view will be all respected.

We will pose a question every week or two, so it could possibly be a ‘one evening a week commitment’. We will not aim for more, unless it starts making money.

We want all sorts of opinions:

Centrist / Moderate
European, foreign

GOAL: To encourage entertaining, positive, intellectually challenging debate and discussion of the issues.

Please let me know if you are interested and whether you would be in for about an evening a week or an evening a month.


PS: Sorry, I don’t like to post advertisements on other people’s blogs but I couldn’t find an email link for you listed in any of your sites.

At 1:22 PM, Blogger Jeff M. said...

I don't have the time to cover all the questions, so let me just respond to number one.

Who shouts exactly? And why is the word shouts in scare quotes? Both science and theology seek to find a design in the nature of the universe, but the intellectual foundations of theology are moribund. The Age of Faith ended. It was eclipsed by the Age of Reason. It is naive to think that a mythological personage controls the fate of the biological life on earth. Does God use mind rays to control his creation? Show me a shred of evidence that God is controlling things here on earth. Surely, there has to be some telltale radiological traces. Or is it all magic? Do you really expect me to believe in a magic sky person?

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


My felling and most religious people I know believe that the reason that there is suffering and evil in the world is just the opposite of what you are proposing....

God leaves us alone for the most part and rarely intervenes. We are left to use belief rather than fact to entice us to do good.

God allows atheists and if you note he made the Universe with the Law that all things have opposites so we would have the opportunity to be able to choose.

12 Jurors can look at the same "facts" and come to two or more different conclusions.

Truth is in a fog and it is up to the person who is not grounded upon his own insights to figure things out but being ablt to study writings of people who have talked to the one you call "the magic sky person."

90 percent of the population on the earth believe in a supreme being, is it only a few people who like you that are smarter than some of the most brilliant people to ever live on the planet that believed in God?

Why are you so enlighten that the rest of us 90% are so dumb?


At 11:01 PM, Blogger EnnisP said...

One, it is difficult to "believe" random activity will produce such well ordered results. And explosion in junk yard will not produce an operating piece of machinery. But, the discussion is worthy.

Two, why all the fuss over GW? What harm is there in reducing polution? If there is no real issue then the worst to happen is we save fuel (and inconvenience a few industries). GW is not a moral issue, though everyone on both sides acts like it is.

Three, the polarization is crazy. the differences between candidates is not really that much. One says they won't do something (honest) and the other says they will and doesn't (dishonest?). The outcome is the same. What people think and do on the ground level is the important issue. The only real outcome of government is to keep peace and order and they do a passable job of that.

Four, Why argue the point. God doesn't.


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