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Thread: A Plea for Thinking!

  1. #16
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barlo View Post
    But I disagree on your view of politicians. You say that if a politician changes his policies with public opinion there is a great chance that he is lying to you. But isn't a politician who never changes his view of the world and his political agenda even worse then the first one?
    No, good point, I should have made that clearer. You're quite right, change is part of life and inflexibility is another form of not thinking. I'm meaning the type of politician who changes his stance purely for political expediency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barlo View Post
    And by the way I really like your post, it has a very clear outline.
    Thanks!

    (Although I clearly wasn't quite clear enough with the pollies - hopefully that's all sorted now.)
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

  2. #17
    Brit Junkie Brit Junkie's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Atheist:

    I, for one, appreciate your post here. I think that your points are the basis for one of the greatest underlying problems this world faces today. In teaching, I see kids all the time who are content to just take whatever we (teachers or parents) say as doctrine, no pun intended, and let that be their only method of obtaining knowledge. They have a hatred for reading, thinking, analyzing, creating, or otherwise flexing their intellectual muscles. While I can only speak for American children, I'm sure that it's not a localized phenomenon.

    I'll never grow tired of the science versus religion debate. There are so many intricate facets working for both sides, and yet, I find myself stumbling over the idea that either is 100% absolute. I completely agree with your analogy to water molecules and their molecular breakdowns, but, then again, I agree with the idea stated many times in this thread that science is continually evolving as man grasps on to greater concepts.

    I'm also a big fan of logic. It makes life boring, sometimes, but it also makes life interesting. Unfortunately for me, I teach in what we Americans like to call the "Bible Belt" in the South. It's a stretch composed of super-conservative thinkers, or rather, followers. Not that there's, per se, anything wrong with that lifestyle choice, it's just not for me. If people want to live that way because, as they say, ignorance is bliss, then so be it. However, I would rather question, as you question, the facts and what we know of them instead. It seems to be a more fruitful venture.

    I guess the greatest wish I have for the future of the children of all nations is that they will one day wake up and look themselves in the mirror and ask the question so many of us have asked, "Isn't there something more to all of this than instant messaging and iPods?" That's what I hope my students will question as they leave my room at the end of the year. I love my subject, but I'm certainly more interested in creating thinkers, not British Literature experts.
    Brit Junkie

  3. #18
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brit Junkie View Post
    Atheist:

    I, for one, appreciate your post here.
    Cheers! I'm happy it's [generally] well received.

    Excellent points all the way through. I'm very familiar with the US bible belt, but fortunately, it's not a phenomenon we see here. [yet, anyway]
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

  4. #19
    Banned earthboar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brit Junkie View Post
    Atheist:

    I, for one, appreciate your post here. I think that your points are the basis for one of the greatest underlying problems this world faces today.
    Interesting topic. While the religious life necessarily means morality, and a religious morality can have devastating consequences to the direction of scientific inquiry (stem cell research, LSD research, abortion or even blood transfusion, use your imagination), that does not necessarily apply to the humans' capacity to have a spiritual life. I've reconciled being both a spiritual creature and a scientific creature by accepting that a spiritual reality, i.e., being in communion with divine intelligence, is essentially internal. It was never an objective of science to prove or disprove a divine reality, only to perfect our understanding of the objective universe.

    I watched a documentary last night on people who have visions of Mary, mother of Jesus. In every case, it seemed, these people would lapse into a trance-like state. Often, the prophecies revealed by the Mary visions did not pan out in their expected time frame. Sometimes, the prophecies seemed positively demonic, and I had to wonder just what intelligence it was that young people were communicating with.

    There were some external phenomena, unconvincing illusions of photography or sunlight; but these seemed more or less contrived.

    In any case, the visionaries were in a trance-like state, and the people around them were unable to see anything. This tells me a great deal. I think this is the way prophecy has always worked, since the very beginning. Someone said they talked to God, and a whole bunch of other people believed them.

    That people the world over continue to communicate with non-objective reality, even in the present age, is something I accept. In other words, religion has a psychological reality, just like art. Phenomenology and miracles (rising back to life from a state of deadness; turning water into wine; bad-tempered gods providing humans with tablets with writing on them, etc.) is something I have eventually come to reject as objective reality, and at best as metaphoric and poetic constructs.

  5. #20
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdnReader View Post
    While I agree that critical thinking is always the first step to clarification, and while I support your initial statements about fake emails and money-grabbing scams, and about telling your children the truth, I find two troublesome assumptions within the continuation of your line of thinking.

    Firstly, that science and logic can be trusted for all of the answers. Science is a cultural construct of man, very little different from religion in many respects. Science can be flawed and misdirected, manipulated to create desired results, or skewed to avoid coming to unwanted conclusions. Science is subject to political, economic, social, and yes - even religious constraints. Science, mysticism, and religion are all products of human culture. Different societies rely on them in different ways for different reasons. Clearly, your cultural background has brought you to rely on science, but that has no relationship to the overriding value of science as a universal truth.

    Secondly, assuming that your culture depends on science, your comments above imply that science never changes, that what science "knows" today is the same thing that science will "know" in the future. This is patently untrue. I'm sure you will agree that science is in an ever-changing state of flux and change; new discoveries are made every day in multitudes of areas. At one time, science "knew" that the world was flat. Should we have accepted that as the final truth about the shape of the world? Your comments (to choose one topic) on homeopathy rely on the argument that "water can only be broken down into two things - oxygen and hydrogen. Those atoms can't change and they most certainly cannot remember anything." Shall we assume then, that science will never change its position on this fact? Perhaps all scientists investigating these phenomena should stop their investigations, as we now "know" everything there is to know, and we already "know" the final truth?

    To extrapolate further, if we are to believe that science has all the answers, let us look back to the ages of the hunter/gatherers, before science - as we know it today - even existed. Perhaps they should never have wondered about the "reality" of the world. They didn't know about quantum dynamics or atomic theory. As far as they knew, these things didn't exist. Hmmm......
    Science at times is proved wrong, and but here the matter is one of comparison, and comparatively scientific facts are more reason or evidence based, more logical than religions.

    Science has emerged to this state through evolutionary processes, and gradually of course, yet scientists make hypothesized ideas base on what they understood through observations. But when we say science is flawed our argument will be flawed. Science is never flawed, but the one who tries to interpret physical phenomena may be wrong.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  6. #21
    Flying against the wind CdnReader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    Science at times is proved wrong, and but here the matter is one of comparison, and comparatively scientific facts are more reason or evidence based, more logical than religions.
    But does logic make the man, or does man make the logic?

    Science has emerged to this state through evolutionary processes, and gradually of course, yet scientists make hypothesized ideas base on what they understood through observations.
    I would suggest that SCIENCE does not evolve. The evolution is in man, in society. If science is the truth, the reality -- then perhaps the science is static, unchangeable. It is only our perceptions, our understandings, our "discoveries" if you will....that change.

    But when we say science is flawed our argument will be flawed. Science is never flawed, but the one who tries to interpret physical phenomena may be wrong.
    Very well said, Blaze. *applause*
    *

    "Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than fear." -- Ambrose Redmoon

    CR: Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
    JF: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. My review is here.

  7. #22
    Registered User Jeroun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brit Junkie View Post
    Atheist:

    I, for one, appreciate your post here. I think that your points are the basis for one of the greatest underlying problems this world faces today. In teaching, I see kids all the time who are content to just take whatever we (teachers or parents) say as doctrine, no pun intended, and let that be their only method of obtaining knowledge. They have a hatred for reading, thinking, analyzing, creating, or otherwise flexing their intellectual muscles. While I can only speak for American children, I'm sure that it's not a localized phenomenon.

    I'll never grow tired of the science versus religion debate. There are so many intricate facets working for both sides, and yet, I find myself stumbling over the idea that either is 100% absolute. I completely agree with your analogy to water molecules and their molecular breakdowns, but, then again, I agree with the idea stated many times in this thread that science is continually evolving as man grasps on to greater concepts.

    I'm also a big fan of logic. It makes life boring, sometimes, but it also makes life interesting. Unfortunately for me, I teach in what we Americans like to call the "Bible Belt" in the South. It's a stretch composed of super-conservative thinkers, or rather, followers. Not that there's, per se, anything wrong with that lifestyle choice, it's just not for me. If people want to live that way because, as they say, ignorance is bliss, then so be it. However, I would rather question, as you question, the facts and what we know of them instead. It seems to be a more fruitful venture.

    I guess the greatest wish I have for the future of the children of all nations is that they will one day wake up and look themselves in the mirror and ask the question so many of us have asked, "Isn't there something more to all of this than instant messaging and iPods?" That's what I hope my students will question as they leave my room at the end of the year. I love my subject, but I'm certainly more interested in creating thinkers, not British Literature experts.
    It's not a local phenomenon that students aren't interested in reading, thinking, etc. I think they just don't want to think about things, to try and understand things or people who are different from themselves. It is much easier to just think that what you do is right and every one else is wrong.

    I now think of a situation in my own country, Belgium: the students who refuse to reason are usually the students who will vote on Vlaams Belang. (This is a nationalist, racist party in my country.) As said before, it's easier to just think what you do is right. Trying to understand the situation of the other people is much harder to do. Instead of reasoning, they take the easy way.

    Not all students are this way though: there are young people who like to read, think, etc like myself. Sadly these students are a minority.

    "Isn't there something more to all of this than instant messaging and iPods?"
    Yes, of course there's more but it's not 'cool' to think that. I also believe that 'cool' has a lot to do with the fact that students aren't interested in books, thinking, etc. In high school everything is determined by what's 'cool'. I'm sure there are a lot of young people who like to read books and think but don't talk about it. Reading, thinking is something you don't do: it's not 'cool'. I think this is a serious part of the problem

  8. #23
    Rather Bewildered brainstrain's Avatar
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    I wouldn't dare participate in the debate here, being a sixteen year old who acknowledges how utterly ignorant he is, but I would like to say I greatly enjoyed reading this article of yours ^_^.

    It's been exquisitely difficult breaking free from the bonds of my conservative upbringing over the years, but articles like this in the LitNet Forums have helped me tremendously along the way! Thanks!
    "...thought is the arrow of time, memory never fades."

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