Old 09-20-2007, 06:05 PM   #31
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Is there an echo in here?
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:05 PM   #32
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By the way, PZ, thanks again for taking the time to join us tonight. There are about 5 questions or so in the queue, but if you need to go at any time just say so. The time you've given us already is much appreciated. Just let us know. I'll keep posting in the meantime.

I will grieve. Grief is not a theistic concept. ~ Sternwallow
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:05 PM   #33
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Oops, echo. From TRA:

Quote:
The Raving Atheist wrote
What social question do you think religion has had the most distorting, negative effect on?

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Old 09-20-2007, 06:08 PM   #34
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The Raving Atheist wrote
What social question do you think religion has had the most distorting, negative effect on?
Anything to do with sex and reproduction. The most repressive religions are all about controlling sexual behavior.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:09 PM   #35
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Two questiosn in one post. From Choobus:

Quote:
Choobus wrote
Do yo ulike your fetus's deep fried, slow roasted or on a stick and covered in chilli?
And from Philboid Studge:

Quote:
Philboid Studge wrote
This morning I heard a radio preacher say, "Faith gives us an avenue to knowledge that is beyond the capabilities of logic, reason, and intellectual study." I wouldn't know how to respond to that, other than give such a person a wide berth -- and I think this is a fairly mainstream theist sentiment. What can we tell these people, if anything?

(I was in Mississippi)

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Old 09-20-2007, 06:14 PM   #36
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Quote:
Choobus wrote
Do yo ulike your fetus's deep fried, slow roasted or on a stick and covered in chilli?
Raw and still squirming.

Quote:
Philboid Studge wrote
This morning I heard a radio preacher say, "Faith gives us an avenue to knowledge that is beyond the capabilities of logic, reason, and intellectual study." I wouldn't know how to respond to that, other than give such a person a wide berth -- and I think this is a fairly mainstream theist sentiment. What can we tell these people, if anything?

(I was in Mississippi)
That Studge is one inquisitive fellow.

Your Mississippi preacher is wrong. Faith doesn't rise to the capabilities of logic, reason, and intellectual study -- it's a shortcut that bypasses reason to arrive at a false answer.

If faith had such powers, why is it we didn't accomplish anything in science until we'd abandoned it?
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:15 PM   #37
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Nice. From ocmpoma:

Quote:
ocmpoma wrote
What do you think of open access science publishing and blogs publishing research? Is open-access and web- or blog-based publishing something that science in general will move inexorably towards?

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Old 09-20-2007, 06:23 PM   #38
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ocmpoma wrote
What do you think of open access science publishing and blogs publishing research? Is open-access and web- or blog-based publishing something that science in general will move inexorably towards?
Open access and blogs are two completely different things. Blogs are informal and unreviewed; I think they're a great conduit for translating and disseminating scientific information to the public, but they're a secondary source.

Open access is a way to get research out of the controlling hands of the publishers. This is a big problem right now: access to scientific information is expensive and restricted because publishers are controlling the pipes, and milking it for all the profit they can get.

I'm all for both. They both perform essential functions and have the potential to revolutionize the availability of scientific information.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:24 PM   #39
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Question from Lurker:

Quote:
Lurker wrote
Should there be some sort of religious litmus test for public officials running for office? If so, explain how that might work.

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Old 09-20-2007, 06:29 PM   #40
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Quote:
Lurker wrote
Should there be some sort of religious litmus test for public officials running for office? If so, explain how that might work.
Nope. This is a change that has to come from the bottom up -- we need the electorate to respond to declarations of piety from candidates with incredulity.

It's OK with me if a religious person holds office, as long as they then follow evidence-based decision making.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:30 PM   #41
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Another question from Philboid Studge:

Quote:
Philboid Studge wrote
Is there an academic equivalent to 'The Courtier's Defense'? [When theists' claim their beliefs are sophisticated beyond our carcicatures of them, and are thus 'reasonable.'

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Old 09-20-2007, 06:41 PM   #42
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Quote:
Philboid Studge wrote
Is there an academic equivalent to 'The Courtier's Defense'? [When theists' claim their beliefs are sophisticated beyond our carcicatures of them, and are thus 'reasonable.'
I suppose. If someone claims the basic concepts of an academic discipline are beyond someone's comprehension, then they're practicing the Courtier's Reply.

The fundamentals of a field must be explainable. If they aren't, then how did anyone learn it in the first place?
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:43 PM   #43
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PZ, this is the last question in the queue. Please feel free to join us in the chat, or if you give me the go ahead, I'll let the dogs loose in this thread for real-time bullshit. If you've got other stuff going on, that's cool, too.

Quote:
Snap Crafter wrote
We all know that theists won't define their god when pressed, but how would you define it for them?
Let me know if you've got to run, or if I can tell the kids they can come in. And thanks again. Totally awesome of you.

I will grieve. Grief is not a theistic concept. ~ Sternwallow
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:47 PM   #44
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Quote:
Snap Crafter wrote
We all know that theists won't define their god when pressed, but how would you define it for them?
Indoctrination and submission to antiquated dogma. Nothing more. It's nothing but myths treated as if they were real; there's nothing to define.

When we achieve post-theism, the question of what god is will be regarded as as a string of nonsense syllables.



OK, release the hounds!
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:49 PM   #45
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Do you think it's important for atheists to maintain a dialogue with the religious community?

I will grieve. Grief is not a theistic concept. ~ Sternwallow
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