Religion Ask a Christian

PhatBoy

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You have posted on this forum with a certain implication; all I have done is question your implication on this same forum. Forum's typically work by having two-way conversations.

But I do understand your position somewhat - ignorance is bliss.

It's called 'ask a Christian' a question was asked and I posted my answer. And to think here i was assuming that's how it worked. It seems very much like people are bothered that I don't agree with them. And it puzzles me as to why.
 

Gethelred

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Why is it that as soon as someone answers a fairly basic public enquiry for views from those of another system of belief/knowledge/doctrine/whatever you want to call it, that it suddenly becomes a trial?

As postulated, I don’t have the answers.
Because you're insisting - despite not knowing the answers - that people consider your arguments on the same level as expertise in scientific areas. You've questioned carbon dating science, in defense of a creationist young earth hypothesis.

I'm all for you holding your own opinions, but recognise when your reasoning is shaky.

I would say that those who subscribe to the teachings or learnings of a brilliant mind like Steven hawking will, more than likely, be operating on a lower intellectual plain than he was so some degree of belief and acceptance in what he has theorised and ‘proven’ would by simple virtue of the fact that they themselves didn’t make any discovery, be subscribing to some level of belief.
This sentence doesn't really say or mean anything; could you try and elaborate on what you mean from it?

Either I'm misinterpreting it, but you're seemingly stating that by virtue of Steven Hawking being smarter, others cannot follow his theories or the science behind them, ergo there must be an element of belief involved. Is this a fair categorisation of what you've said here?
 

PhatBoy

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Because you're insisting - despite not knowing the answers - that people consider your arguments on the same level as expertise in scientific areas. You've questioned carbon dating science, in defense of a creationist young earth hypothesis.

I'm all for you holding your own opinions, but recognise when your reasoning is shaky.


This sentence doesn't really say or mean anything; could you try and elaborate on what you mean from it?

Either I'm misinterpreting it, but you're seemingly stating that by virtue of Steven Hawking being smarter, others cannot follow his theories or the science behind them, ergo there must be an element of belief involved. Is this a fair categorisation of what you've said here?

Sorry where did I insist anything?
I've not done anything of the sort. Someone said 'who believes in a young earth theory.' I said 'I do in some capacity' and gave a couple of reasons as to why, and that was it. I don't really know where you're getting 'insisting' from.

of course I've questioned it, anything can be questioned as there is nothing on this planet that is foolproof or beyond fault. If it was, I wouldn't have a job.

Essentially that is what I'm saying. If someone incredibly intelligent comes up with a discovery that is well beyond the comprehension of one's own mind, accepting the findings of this person, even as they are explained in simpler terms, takes some degree of belief.

If someone makes a miracle cancer cure, I am no chance of beginning to fathom how, or why it works. I could have it explained to me in a 'Homer and the heart bypass' fashion but at the end of the process I would still be hearing an explanation, seeing someone recover from cancer, and drawing a connection of belief that it happened for the reasons I was told - i can't investigate it because I have no intellectial ability to join those dots. That's probably just as poorly written as my previous attempt to explain what I mean.
 

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It's called 'ask a Christian' a question was asked and I posted my answer. And to think here i was assuming that's how it worked. It seems very much like people are bothered that I don't agree with them. And it puzzles me as to why.
So I shouldn't respond to the answers you have posted? I am happy to disagree - it's all part of civil discourse.

I will ask you a question then. You have stated that geologist's can't estimate the age of rapidly formed geological structures - from this statement, do you then conclude that noah's ark actually happened and the only reason science can't work out where/when is because the flood only went for 40 days and nights?
 

PhatBoy

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So I shouldn't respond to the answers you have posted? I am happy to disagree - it's all part of civil discourse.

I will ask you a question then. You have stated that geologist's can't estimate the age of rapidly formed geological structures - from this statement, do you then conclude that noah's ark actually happened and the only reason science can't work out where/when is because the flood only went for 40 days and nights?

How the hell should I know? And i didn't state anything of the sort. I simply said that there are anomalies that make some measures of time interpretation ineffective. The only perfectly exact measures we have of anything time wise that can be proven beyond doubt (and even then I guess there is always the variable of human honesty when recording anything) are things that have been recorded in real time.

I don't know if Noah's Ark took place any more than you know if Tidallik the Frog really existed. I would say that the story is rooted in some sort of basis
 

Gethelred

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Sorry where did I insist anything?I've not done anything of the sort. Someone said 'who believes in a young earth theory.' I said 'I do in some capacity' and gave a couple of reasons as to why, and that was it. I don't really know where you're getting 'insisting' from.
I'm sorry, but I'm unwilling to play a semantics game in which you object to my word choice rather than my argument.

You have posted a point of view in this thread in support of a Young Earth hypothesis: yes or no.
You have argued a lack of validity in carbon dating, because you don't understand it or because you think we don't understand it: yes or no.

If the answer to these questions is no, then either I've misunderstood you or you've poorly expressed your point of view. There's no semantics at play, so please don't waste both of our time by taking offense at word choice rather than substance.
of course I've questioned it, anything can be questioned as there is nothing on this planet that is foolproof or beyond fault. If it was, I wouldn't have a job.
There is a point, though, where skepticism becomes denialism; otherwise, the earth is flat, gravity is produced going backwards in time from the inception of 5G, and 9/11 was an inside job.

Richard Feynman said (paraphrasing) that skepticism alone is not enough; one must look at the alternatives, and whether or not they line up better or worse than the current set of hypotheses. Looking at things in this way, for a Young Earth hypothesis to be correct, there needs to be a considerable amount of deliberately thrown red herrings into this planet we inhabit; either our creator is a prankster, or there is no young earth.

Essentially that is what I'm saying. If someone incredibly intelligent comes up with a discovery that is well beyond the comprehension of one's own mind, accepting the findings of this person, even as they are explained in simpler terms, takes some degree of belief.
Sentence hinges on your use of the word 'one'; to whom are you referring? The collective, me, or you?

The point of science is replication; what one person can and has proven, so too can another follow their works and replicate it. From there, you can build hypotheses built on this that make up our explanations for reality. Some hypotheses are held to almost be true, where others lack as much of a basis but also provide a closer resemblance to reality than other alternatives, and over time the blanks in the theory will either supplant the predominant hypothesis or they will incorporate what is newly discovered/proven into the pre-existing version; in any case, science moves.

You could - if you took the time to do your own research; might take a short amount of time, might take the rest of your life - demonstrate the efficacy of carbon dating, if you wanted. That is why I am arguing with you; your perspective concerns something you believe and have worked backwards to get to, allowing you to invalidate something you don't know about.

Hence my initial post; you believe, and that is the problem.

If someone makes a miracle cancer cure, I am no chance of beginning to fathom how, or why it works. I could have it explained to me in a 'Homer and the heart bypass' fashion but at the end of the process I would still be hearing an explanation, seeing someone recover from cancer, and drawing a connection of belief that it happened for the reasons I was told - i can't investigate it because I have no intellectial ability to join those dots. That's probably just as poorly written as my previous attempt to explain what I mean.
Except you can, and you should. I'm not talking about going to uni and becoming a doctor (although you're welcome to, if you want) I'm talking about using the nigh unlimited resources and access to scholarship we have available to us now, and to read and look into each and all of whatever example you care to choose.

Let me put it this way; your cricket knowledge is superior to mine, courtesy of you having lived and watched it for longer. I respect your views there, because you're at least nominally an expert. However, you can - if I were to assert that Mitchel Johnson's 2013-14 ashes series was unprecedented - bring to my attention Jon Snow, the original bodyline, the west indian quicks. You can draw from your knowledge, and I have a choice; either I can take your word for it - taking it on faith, as you're suggesting - or I can actively go and research, look into your claim and make the judgement for myself.

That's science: evaluating a prior claim to see if it holds up. Your perspective is only possible because you do not take that second step; if you did, you would either have to discard your preconceived notion - that Mitch was unprecedented, which is untrue - or you would have to double down, to reject fact in favour of what you 'believe'.

Belief is the problem.
 

PhatBoy

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I'm sorry, but I'm unwilling to play a semantics game in which you object to my word choice rather than my argument.

You have posted a point of view in this thread in support of a Young Earth hypothesis: yes or no.
You have argued a lack of validity in carbon dating, because you don't understand it or because you think we don't understand it: yes or no.

If the answer to these questions is no, then either I've misunderstood you or you've poorly expressed your point of view. There's no semantics at play, so please don't waste both of our time by taking offense at word choice rather than substance.

There is a point, though, where skepticism becomes denialism; otherwise, the earth is flat, gravity is produced going backwards in time from the inception of 5G, and 9/11 was an inside job.

Richard Feynman said (paraphrasing) that skepticism alone is not enough; one must look at the alternatives, and whether or not they line up better or worse than the current set of hypotheses. Looking at things in this way, for a Young Earth hypothesis to be correct, there needs to be a considerable amount of deliberately thrown red herrings into this planet we inhabit; either our creator is a prankster, or there is no young earth.


Sentence hinges on your use of the word 'one'; to whom are you referring? The collective, me, or you?

The point of science is replication; what one person can and has proven, so too can another follow their works and replicate it. From there, you can build hypotheses built on this that make up our explanations for reality. Some hypotheses are held to almost be true, where others lack as much of a basis but also provide a closer resemblance to reality than other alternatives, and over time the blanks in the theory will either supplant the predominant hypothesis or they will incorporate what is newly discovered/proven into the pre-existing version; in any case, science moves.

You could - if you took the time to do your own research; might take a short amount of time, might take the rest of your life - demonstrate the efficacy of carbon dating, if you wanted. That is why I am arguing with you; your perspective concerns something you believe and have worked backwards to get to, allowing you to invalidate something you don't know about.

Hence my initial post; you believe, and that is the problem.


Except you can, and you should. I'm not talking about going to uni and becoming a doctor (although you're welcome to, if you want) I'm talking about using the nigh unlimited resources and access to scholarship we have available to us now, and to read and look into each and all of whatever example you care to choose.

Let me put it this way; your cricket knowledge is superior to mine, courtesy of you having lived and watched it for longer. I respect your views there, because you're at least nominally an expert. However, you can - if I were to assert that Mitchel Johnson's 2013-14 ashes series was unprecedented - bring to my attention Jon Snow, the original bodyline, the west indian quicks. You can draw from your knowledge, and I have a choice; either I can take your word for it - taking it on faith, as you're suggesting - or I can actively go and research, look into your claim and make the judgement for myself.

That's science: evaluating a prior claim to see if it holds up. Your perspective is only possible because you do not take that second step; if you did, you would either have to discard your preconceived notion - that Mitch was unprecedented, which is untrue - or you would have to double down, to reject fact in favour of what you 'believe'.

Belief is the problem.

Sorry I didn't realise we were on such strict time limits.

i think we are arguing on two different levels. I appreciate your point about the cricket comparison, yes I could tell you, and prove to you, that such and such has set a precedent for so and so's remarkable performance. But I could not tell you why they were that good. I could not tell you why facing Patrick Patterson aiming the studs of his boots at you and letting the ball go at a certain speed from a certain height - exactly the same speed and height as say, Mitchell Starc - was so much more difficult to face than Starc himself, or why it was more scary or whatever. I would be taking it on belief when a batsman tells me that is is difficult because there is no circumstance in which I could begin to assess that for myself. Even if you put the pads on me and sent me out to face both bowlers, I'm so ill equipped to discern the difference between the two as to make it pointless.
 

Gethelred

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Sorry I didn't realise we were on such strict time limits.
More, we can get bogged down arguing past each other; you look askance at the word 'insist/insisting', and I keep trying to argue what I'm arguing because - as far as I'm concerned - it's not really the important part of the argument.

i think we are arguing on two different levels. I appreciate your point about the cricket comparison, yes I could tell you, and prove to you, that such and such has set a precedent for so and so's remarkable performance. But I could not tell you why they were that good. I could not tell you why facing Patrick Patterson aiming the studs of his boots at you and letting the ball go at a certain speed from a certain height - exactly the same speed and height as say, Mitchell Starc - was so much more difficult to face than Starc himself, or why it was more scary or whatever. I would be taking it on belief when a batsman tells me that is is difficult because there is no circumstance in which I could begin to assess that for myself. Even if you put the pads on me and sent me out to face both bowlers, I'm so ill equipped to discern the difference between the two as to make it pointless.
But that's the thing: just because you can't does not mean no-one will.

See, this is an argument that has been thrown at science for a very long time. Science couldn't explain why things are pulled closer to the ground, until it could. Science couldn't demonstrate how an eye could be formed without a creator, until it could. Human science has as long as there are humans to search for answers, using observation and review to evaluate and re-evaluate reality, and as a consequence we have all the time in the world.

The point you made about Hawking is apt only so long as you look at him as an unapproachable genius; a messianic figure of scientific brilliance so far beyond other humans that attempts to understand him are doomed to fail. But children are taught what was once groundbreaking science in primary school; every single generation who has ever lived is demonstrably smarter than those who came before them, and this has only accelerated since the inception of computers.

We are ill-equipped to make these judgements - at least, you and I are - but there are people with the expertise that will create the hypotheses we can then go on to evaluate at our own discretion. Belief is not involved; if something can be verified by you personally, and you choose not to do it, then questioning it becomes a fraught exercise.
 

PhatBoy

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More, we can get bogged down arguing past each other; you look askance at the word 'insist/insisting', and I keep trying to argue what I'm arguing because - as far as I'm concerned - it's not really the important part of the argument.


But that's the thing: just because you can't does not mean no-one will.

See, this is an argument that has been thrown at science for a very long time. Science couldn't explain why things are pulled closer to the ground, until it could. Science couldn't demonstrate how an eye could be formed without a creator, until it could. Human science has as long as there are humans to search for answers, using observation and review to evaluate and re-evaluate reality, and as a consequence we have all the time in the world.

The point you made about Hawking is apt only so long as you look at him as an unapproachable genius; a messianic figure of scientific brilliance so far beyond other humans that attempts to understand him are doomed to fail. But children are taught what was once groundbreaking science in primary school; every single generation who has ever lived is demonstrably smarter than those who came before them, and this has only accelerated since the inception of computers.

We are ill-equipped to make these judgements - at least, you and I are - but there are people with the expertise that will create the hypotheses we can then go on to evaluate at our own discretion. Belief is not involved; if something can be verified by you personally, and you choose not to do it, then questioning it becomes a fraught exercise.

yes I'm not saying that no-one will. But I am taking it on belief aren't I because there is no way they will be able to convey to me a metric under which I can understand what it is like to do that.

We may be smarter than previous generations.

We are not more intelligent, and we are certainly not much better off. (not that I'm saying an era of Vikings crashing through my front door is somehow a sign of a past paradise)
 

Gethelred

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yes I'm not saying that no-one will. But I am taking it on belief aren't I because there is no way they will be able to convey to me a metric under which I can understand what it is like to do that.

We may be smarter than previous generations.

We are not more intelligent
, and we are certainly not much better off. (not that I'm saying an era of Vikings crashing through my front door is somehow a sign of a past paradise)
There is every indication - given the limitations of our current means of measuring intelligence - that with each successive generation of human beings, we are certainly becoming more intelligent. It fits into current notions of mammalian evolution; mammals more than almost any other genus adapt to their environment to suit them. Our environment is and has changed outrageously since 1900; the onset of medicine has allowed the old to linger longer than they every have, allowing previous generations to share their experience in a greater capacity than ever before. Technology has emancipated just so many people; some (myself included) can and will argue not enough, but that we have time to be concerned about football, cricket and the existence of a god is a testament to how free we are to use our intellects more than previous generations ever have.

We read online almost constantly. Children born now will have always used Google, Wikipedia; there have been studies that demonstrate that source evaluation/skepticism is occurring at increasingly younger ages in children, which means that over time things like fake news and targeted marketing will have reduced effectiveness; all this within 20-30 years of widespread computer use.

There is every reason to think that the humans of the future will be smarter than we are, and that every generation that is born is more intelligent than the ones before them.

The problems we have to solve have more to do with our failure to advance socially with how swiftly we have advanced technologically and numerically (in my opinion).
 

PhatBoy

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There is every indication - given the limitations of our current means of measuring intelligence - that with each successive generation of human beings, we are certainly becoming more intelligent. It fits into current notions of mammalian evolution; mammals more than almost any other genus adapt to their environment to suit them. Our environment is and has changed outrageously since 1900; the onset of medicine has allowed the old to linger longer than they every have, allowing previous generations to share their experience in a greater capacity than ever before. Technology has emancipated just so many people; some (myself included) can and will argue not enough, but that we have time to be concerned about football, cricket and the existence of a god is a testament to how free we are to use our intellects more than previous generations ever have.

We read online almost constantly. Children born now will have always used Google, Wikipedia; there have been studies that demonstrate that source evaluation/skepticism is occurring at increasingly younger ages in children, which means that over time things like fake news and targeted marketing will have reduced effectiveness; all this within 20-30 years of widespread computer use.

There is every reason to think that the humans of the future will be smarter than we are, and that every generation that is born is more intelligent than the ones before them.

The problems we have to solve have more to do with our failure to advance socially with how swiftly we have advanced technologically and numerically (in my opinion).

Sorry i probably should have said we have no more common sense than we once did, intelligence may have been the wrong word to use.
 

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There is every indication - given the limitations of our current means of measuring intelligence - that with each successive generation of human beings, we are certainly becoming more intelligent. It fits into current notions of mammalian evolution; mammals more than almost any other genus adapt to their environment to suit them. Our environment is and has changed outrageously since 1900; the onset of medicine has allowed the old to linger longer than they every have, allowing previous generations to share their experience in a greater capacity than ever before. Technology has emancipated just so many people; some (myself included) can and will argue not enough, but that we have time to be concerned about football, cricket and the existence of a god is a testament to how free we are to use our intellects more than previous generations ever have.

We read online almost constantly. Children born now will have always used Google, Wikipedia; there have been studies that demonstrate that source evaluation/skepticism is occurring at increasingly younger ages in children, which means that over time things like fake news and targeted marketing will have reduced effectiveness; all this within 20-30 years of widespread computer use.

There is every reason to think that the humans of the future will be smarter than we are, and that every generation that is born is more intelligent than the ones before them.

The problems we have to solve have more to do with our failure to advance socially with how swiftly we have advanced technologically and numerically (in my opinion).
Lordy do you have to sound so clever... ? brilliant hypothesising however.. enjoy your work.. o_O
 

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Baltimore Jack

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I don't know if Noah's Ark took place any more than you know if Tidallik the Frog really existed. I would say that the story is rooted in some sort of basis
I can help you with this one

It didn't and there isn't the slightest piece of evidence to support the fairy tale
 

PhatBoy

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I can help you with this one

It didn't and there isn't the slightest piece of evidence to support the fairy tale
I am sad on a personal note for you that you don't have the capacity to at least think 'well this probably didn't happen but there is a possibility that it did and at any rate, it is a decent story about rebirth and mankind's role in nature' but each to their own and if that's what you're happy to accept then more power to you.
 

Evolved1

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Perfidious. New word for my vocabulary. Thx.
The first dictionary definition I found was 'of, relating to, or characterized by perfidy.' Now I have to look up perfidy. After that, I have to speak the word aloud to be sure I'm able to say it right, then I have to work out how to put it in a sentence.
 

Evolved1

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That's the thing though. At the core of every system of belief/knowledge/whatever you want to call it, there has to be some level of belief. No one can explain how something came from nothing. The big bang had to have an origin. Something had to create it. What created it? No one knows. So even those most tightly bound by facts, figures, and science, cannot explain some aspects of what drives their conviction.

Science can explain much. It can explain the name of the chemicals that go through my brain when my depression is triggered. What it can't explain, or treat, is why medicine makes no impact on that, but simply talking to my mum suddenly removes that. Yes I'm sure there would be some scientific link between the feelings of familiarity we get from a loved one, the security and all that but at the end of the day there is no test or computer program that can account for the basic human need. As Ricky from the Office once postulated in reference to Dostoyevski.
I think I see where you're coming from there.

There's a distinction between what are commonly known as the hard and soft sciences; soft sciences being psychology and other social sciences. Religion can be evaluated scientifically also.

Science is a methodological approach to finding answers and understanding natural phenomena while religion claims to have the answers. If new evidence comes to light, a scientific theory can be challenged which causes scientific knowledge to progress. When new evidence comes to light, religion stagnates. That's particularly true of sects that rely on literal interpretations of their text.

"Trust those who seek the truth but doubt those who say they have found it."
André Gide
 

Evolved1

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More, we can get bogged down arguing past each other; you look askance at the word 'insist/insisting', and I keep trying to argue what I'm arguing because - as far as I'm concerned - it's not really the important part of the argument.


But that's the thing: just because you can't does not mean no-one will.

See, this is an argument that has been thrown at science for a very long time. Science couldn't explain why things are pulled closer to the ground, until it could. Science couldn't demonstrate how an eye could be formed without a creator, until it could. Human science has as long as there are humans to search for answers, using observation and review to evaluate and re-evaluate reality, and as a consequence we have all the time in the world.

The point you made about Hawking is apt only so long as you look at him as an unapproachable genius; a messianic figure of scientific brilliance so far beyond other humans that attempts to understand him are doomed to fail. But children are taught what was once groundbreaking science in primary school; every single generation who has ever lived is demonstrably smarter than those who came before them, and this has only accelerated since the inception of computers.

We are ill-equipped to make these judgements - at least, you and I are - but there are people with the expertise that will create the hypotheses we can then go on to evaluate at our own discretion. Belief is not involved; if something can be verified by you personally, and you choose not to do it, then questioning it becomes a fraught exercise.
Peer review is a self-correcting mechanism of science.
 

Evolved1

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There is every indication - given the limitations of our current means of measuring intelligence - that with each successive generation of human beings, we are certainly becoming more intelligent. It fits into current notions of mammalian evolution; mammals more than almost any other genus adapt to their environment to suit them. Our environment is and has changed outrageously since 1900; the onset of medicine has allowed the old to linger longer than they every have, allowing previous generations to share their experience in a greater capacity than ever before. Technology has emancipated just so many people; some (myself included) can and will argue not enough, but that we have time to be concerned about football, cricket and the existence of a god is a testament to how free we are to use our intellects more than previous generations ever have.

We read online almost constantly. Children born now will have always used Google, Wikipedia; there have been studies that demonstrate that source evaluation/skepticism is occurring at increasingly younger ages in children, which means that over time things like fake news and targeted marketing will have reduced effectiveness; all this within 20-30 years of widespread computer use.

There is every reason to think that the humans of the future will be smarter than we are, and that every generation that is born is more intelligent than the ones before them.

The problems we have to solve have more to do with our failure to advance socially with how swiftly we have advanced technologically and numerically (in my opinion).
Very eloquently worded as usual. You're obviously a smarter man than me though I don't share your level of optimism for our future.

How do you distinguish growth in knowledge from growth in intelligence? Is there evidence that we're growing in intelligence? Is there evidence that higher intelligence is being selected for by the environment?

Shoot my ideas down if I'm being irrationally pessimistic.

I think we're being herded by those with power and money. We're losing control of our civil liberties. The middle class are losing their share of the wealth pie and the poor are stagnate. Our politicians have no plan beyond reelection and are feeding us with short term fixes because they have no motivation to think long term. Journalism is basically dead. Twitter and youtube are parenting many children who aren't equipped with the experience and skillset to evaluate what they're looking at. In the good ole days, parents had more control over the information their children were being fed...that's good and bad, but more bad than good imo.

House prices are through the roof in Melbourne and Sydney and mortgage debt has become a modern form of slavery. We've sold the future of our youth in that respect. Although it would hurt me personally as a home owner, I would love to see a major crash in our house prices.

I presume every generation has concerns for the future. It's both exciting and scary at the same time, much like an Essendon game.
 

Baltimore Jack

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I am sad on a personal note for you that you don't have the capacity to at least think 'well this probably didn't happen but there is a possibility that it did and at any rate, it is a decent story about rebirth and mankind's role in nature' but each to their own and if that's what you're happy to accept then more power to you.
That's weird. I feel sad for you and anyone else who believes that the Easter Bunny, Santa, The Bible or Sky Wizards are real

Here is something very easy for you do do.....Prove it

Simples
 

Gethelred

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Very eloquently worded as usual. You're obviously a smarter man than me though I don't share your level of optimism for our future.

How do you distinguish growth in knowledge from growth in intelligence? Is there evidence that we're growing in intelligence? Is there evidence that higher intelligence is being selected for by the environment?

Shoot my ideas down if I'm being irrationally pessimistic.
Obviously, there are a few limitations to what I'm saying, not the least of which is that measuring intelligence is among the most fraught endeavours we have currently. Essentially, I'm basing my argument on the fact that IQ scores have been trending upwards over time (https://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/03/smarter) and the rest of the reasoning in the post - that there's a context behind which to think that this is a legitimate thing we're witnessing - is a little more convincing.

Essentially, we're (at this moment) kind of poor at separating intelligence from knowledge growth, and while we can test aptitude in different fields via different tests, it's not the be all and end all (despite some of the conservatives on here wishing it was).

I think we're being herded by those with power and money. We're losing control of our civil liberties. The middle class are losing their share of the wealth pie and the poor are stagnate. Our politicians have no plan beyond reelection and are feeding us with short term fixes because they have no motivation to think long term. Journalism is basically dead. Twitter and youtube are parenting many children who aren't equipped with the experience and skillset to evaluate what they're looking at. In the good ole days, parents had more control over the information their children were being fed...that's good and bad, but more bad than good imo.

House prices are through the roof in Melbourne and Sydney and mortgage debt has become a modern form of slavery. We've sold the future of our youth in that respect. Although it would hurt me personally as a home owner, I would love to see a major crash in our house prices.

I presume every generation has concerns for the future. It's both exciting and scary at the same time, much like an Essendon game.
I view the history of liberty and 'democracy' as something that is a nigh constant battle, in which those who have more struggle to keep it and collect it, and those without simply struggle. We're losing control of government because people are more afraid of risking their comfortable status quo than they are of attempting to make things better. I agree that there's certainly comparisons to be drawn between serfdom and wage slavery, It's something I feel quite strongly about; that the Orwellian aphorism 'Some are more equal than others' can be twisted in this modern context to become 'Everyone is free, but some are freer than others'; money purchases our freedom, accomplishes our goals, broadens our horizons and our options both within and outside a crisis.

So, the options for someone like me or younger - now into my early 30's, without property or investment - becomes how far I'm willing to go, but I'm still not bereft options. Unlike 100 years ago (in which my choices were to go to the mines, the factories, to pick fruit or work for a farmer) I am educated and I can choose to attempt property ownership, or I can invest my money in a different way. Property investment is but one means of accumulating wealth (and here, I define wealth as money that is collected, protected and increased over time without requiring physical or mental labour to make it grow) and while the majority of this post can be viewed as a Marxist rant, people do need to be free to make their own choices and that means sometimes people will choose poorly.

The 'struggle' between the erosion of rights (in favour of the rich) is tilting to their side, after a concerted effort decades in the making, but the tides can still turn. In the late 70's through to the fall of the Berlin Wall, people believed Keynesian economics to be flawed; it's now returned to modern economics parlance as a useful and justified tool of government. Milton Friedman cops a bad rap, but the problem there is that governments and individuals (re, Maggie Thatcher and Ron Reagan) took what they wanted from his theories and left the other stuff (he pondered a Universal Basic Income more than once) as buried as they can make it. Scientific Management intended highly efficient workers to be paid the same if not more than directors (albeit, on a 1910's price scale, not the absurdity that company directors get now); Henry Ford is a huge reason the unions in America are weak as piss. But the same is not true the world around.

So, in my opinion, there's plenty of reason for optimism, if only because we had so far back from which to get to this point. And for something/someone to fu** it up would take more effort than the base self interest of the wealthy. And (if we're honest) history is littered with parents who shouldn't be parents; for some people, twitter, youtube and their social base is probably going to set a better example than their parents ever could.

We've not had this thing we're doing for more than 100 years yet. Let's see how it goes.
 

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