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Chilean, raised roman catholic, currently agnostic, PhD physicist, currently in Med School for Medical Physics (UPDATE: completed my degree! I am now a PhD in physics and medical physics!). plays the bass guitar... anything else, please ask!

Comments

Will Agnostics.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 30, 2019:
False equivalence: the demise of net neutrality has no correlation with political motivations.
S anyone keeping score on the damage the Trump has already inflicted on us, the American people, and...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 29, 2019:
So you mean he's done the same damage virtually every other president and politican has done upon this nation? He's not special you know. You make him special by making him out to be something he's not and giving him more credit as to how he's affecting our country than he deserves. ;)
The Fringe Theology That Could End Religious Freedom
TheMiddleWay comments on May 29, 2019:
The constitution protects these people ideas: if they want to be guided by the bible or harry potter, they are entitled to do so. But by the same protection, they cannot use that guidance to impose their beliefs on us. So if they want to work towards death sentances for LGBT, have at it! The 1st protects your beliefs! However, the first also protects my beliefs that they should not be put to death and thus you can *believe it* all you want but you can't *enact* it beyond you or other people that believe it.... *the first protects your beliefs all you want; it does not protect actions stemming from those beliefs*. So they won't end religious freedom at all. They will remind us why it's here in the first place and what the limits of *belief* and *action* are.
Mueller Report summarised.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 29, 2019:
If it was crystal fucking clear that there is evidence to impeach trump, he would have said so. Just like if it was crystal fucking clear that there was evidence of obstruction, he would have said so. *He didn't say either. * Thus what we are witnessing here is people reading into his words what they want to hear rather than what he is saying... he is agnostic on these issues but each side will view said agnosticism as a win for their camp.
A question that some of the more scientifically minded christians sometimes will ask is: If ...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 28, 2019:
"If everything in the universe is constantly moving to a state of maximum entropy, then why does life exist at all?" Because it isn't? Entropy doesn't "move" nor is the entirety of the universe subject to entropy. For example, a rock is at a lower entropy state than say the wind. So while on average, in the entirety of the universe entropy is increase, by being an average there are areas of high entropy (surface of the sun) and hence no life and areas of lower entropy (surface of the earth) and thus life. So yes, god isn't needed as an explanation given that, as you conclude, the laws of physics run quite well without him but I would caution against inprecise use of physics words to make said point.
Can we prove something doesn't exists, if it does not exist?
TheMiddleWay comments on May 24, 2019:
Yes. Box it in with things that do exist such that there is no room for it to exist. For example, in science history the caloric was once posited to be a substance that was responsible for heat transferring from object to object. Though a series of experiments, the notion that there was such a substance was tested and excluded from various circumstances such that it is proven that such a substance does not exist and paved the way to true understanding of heat as based on molecular vibrations.
Protesters Outside UK School Insist “God Created Women for Men’s Pleasure” | Hemant Mehta | ...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 23, 2019:
Pretty sure that's a typo; should read "*men created god against women's pleasure"
Too much logic for the religious people. Lol
TheMiddleWay comments on May 23, 2019:
300 rapists and murderers were on that flight though... soooooo.... :D :D
this may not be the most appropriate place to post this but anyway.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 22, 2019:
Sad to hear; too few fellow scientists on this board. Good luck with your endevours and all the extra time NOT being on this board will give you! :)
Donald Trump's current burst of behavior -- the absolute refusal to allow testimony or documents to ...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 22, 2019:
"how his refusal to cooperate with Democrats on infrastructure -- for absolutely no reason " Kinda hard to work with people who right before the meeting accuse you of a cover-up, don't you think? ;)
Experts Ranked the Most Dangerous Countries for Women.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 21, 2019:
I think I remember this poll. Not only was the notion of an expert in women's issue highly subjective, but the metrics upon which the ranking was based was also subjective. In order to trust the survey,we have to trust that all respondents where keenly aware of women's issues in all 150+countries in the world, not just the well known ones. As such, USA being in the top ten, ahead of many African and Middle Eastern countties where women are treated worse than in the usa, reflects a bis on the part of the responses and not actuall reality (ie a woman in many African countries for example is much more at risk than in the usa). TL;DR: I would not plan a trip with my mother or sister based on this survey. đŸ˜‰
There is clear evidence that humans invent gods.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 21, 2019:
The epistemology is always man-made; the ontology remains uncertain. So explaining fundamental physics through string theory, for example, is man made; whether these strings exist in the current format on other hand is unclear...they may exist but just not as we describe then to date.
No religion = Empathetic Increase [patheos.com]
TheMiddleWay comments on May 17, 2019:
Or does **No religion = Empathetic DECREASE**? *In two studies, the researchers looked at hundreds of people who were either nonreligious or who subscribed to various religious beliefs (Christian, Hindu, Muslim, etc.). Dogmatism and prosocial concerns were stronger among the religious, while nonreligious participants were more analytical and less dogmatic — and demonstrated a corresponding decrease in empathy.* https://www.ozy.com/acumen/do-religious-fundamentalists-have-more-empathy-than-you/80693
I'm curious to know if some of you can't help themselves saying " Thank God" or Oh my God", even ...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 16, 2019:
When you say "Holy Shit!", do you actually mean a turd that has been consecrated by the local diocese? So when you say "Thank God!", are you actually giving thanks to god? Words are fun; have fun with them!
Abortion illegal in Alabama! We're heading toward theocracy, hell on Earth.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 15, 2019:
The law will be challenged. The law will be overturned. Everyone is getting upset over a law that has ZERO chance to stay in the books.
Tiger Woods faces wrongful death lawsuit brought by parents of restaurant employee
TheMiddleWay comments on May 14, 2019:
This is not just a family trying to blame another. This actually part of the responsibility that comes with being a bartender. *Individuals who are intoxicated and drive motor vehicles or cause damage are often held liable for their actions. In addition, those who serve intoxicated people may also be responsible for the damage that these individuals cause. Bartenders can be particularly effective in limiting the damage that an intoxicated person may potentially cause by simply cutting them off. ***Bartenders who serve intoxicated patrons may be at risk for legal and civil charges as a result of these actions.** Many states have enacted legislation to allow for prosecution and civil suits of commercial establishments that serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals or to minors* [1] If the establishment didn't know this guys past history and the guy wasn't visible intoxicated, they wouldn't have a case. However, if they establish that the establishment was well aware of his past history of alcohol abuse AND/OR he was visibly intoxicated, then the family has a good case against the establishment. *I think* this would be the same as a gun seller being held liable if they sell a gun to a person they know is mentally unstable or has a history of murder and then that person goes out and kill someone (not sure about this given the USA's dodgy laws on guns). --- [1] https://www.alcohol.org/laws/over-serving/
I have read thousands of books over the years and this includes both the bible and Tolkien's Hobbit ...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 14, 2019:
" Evil is easy to distinguish​" If evil were easy to distinguish, you wouldn't need a moral compass. ;) I'm not defending the entirety bible or LOTR but books like those made it so that evil was obvious and clear. In real life, evil is never so clear, there is no true north for the compass to point, and things are a lot more difficult. In light of this, I'll take inspiration and guidance from anywhere I can get: the bible, LOTR, star wars, etc... realizing that not any one source has all the answers but that maybe I can stitch together some semblance of a compass from pieces of all of them that can guide me better than having no answers at all.
First post on here, so be gentle.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 13, 2019:
Dyslexia in the LDS community can be pretty trippy. Welcome!
What is your opinion on Catholic schools? Are they forms of modern brainwashing?
TheMiddleWay comments on May 12, 2019:
A schools purpose is to brainwash, regardless of it being secular or religious.
Christian Mom: It’s a Travesty That Girls Are Outperforming Boys Academically | Sarahbeth Caplin |...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 12, 2019:
Sounds less like she is using religion as an excuse and more trying to make excuses for why *her boys* are being outperformed by everyone, including girls, and setting up future excuses for why * her boys* will underpreform and be bested by other boys and girls. Sad, but not atypical of a parent who is blind to their childs failing and blames everyone but the child or family for it....
Religion and tradition repressed people and kept them stupid.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 12, 2019:
Your point is valid but I have a different take on it: *neither religion nor science are inherently moral... it's how HUMANS use either that makes them good or evil* Consider atomic energy: clean efficient and many countries in the EU adopt it wholesale in the form of nuclear reactors. It can also destroy the earth 80 times over in the form of atomic bombs. Is atomic energy morally good or evil? Neither. Both. Depends on how we use it. Consider religious communities: they form a bond a support system, a way for people to get together and celebrate life or lament disaster under a common goal in the form of churches, temples, and synagogues. It can also lead to cover ups of egregious misconduct and lead to a "us v. them" mentality against those that aren't part of our religion. Is religion morally good or evil? Neither. Both. Depends on how we use it. I will say that comparing religion to science on which is POTENTIALLY more harmful to human life, then science loses: regardless of jihads or crusades, the POTENTIAL to kill people indiscrimitely is worse thanks to science (a-bombs, poison gas, climate change) than anything religion could ever do. At least from a survival standpoint, if you are of the same religion you will be spared... a-bombs, climate change, and poison gas could care less and will kill everyone regardless. To reiterate, this doesn't make science immoral... just the way that it is, or can, be used that leads to POTENTIALLY greater loss of life than religion could ever hope for
Maybe this is a wierd question.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 11, 2019:
Not even close in the USA. At least here, physical violence has never been a worry of coming out atheist; it has for coming out gay. In other countries where religion is much more strongly ingrained (like middle east), then I would say there are similarities for the punishment for declaring either can be physical, as in being hurt or jailed. I will say that either way there is a fundamental difference: coming out gay is about being happy with another person while coming out atheist is about being happy with yourself.
I think "gender reveals" promote the white evangelical "gender binary" paradigm.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 10, 2019:
I think the problem is in using the term "*gender*" reveal instead of "*sex*" reveal. Gender is a choice we make for ourselves, is a spectrum, and is based on societal role models; Sex is not a choice we make for ourselves, is binary, and is based on genetic characteristics. So having a *sex* reveal makes sense: the vast majority of babies are born either male of female. Having a *gender* reveal makes no sense: until puberty and such time that a person makes that determination for themselves, gender has no meaning.
I've reposted this from the Sam Harris group.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 10, 2019:
Here Sammy boy, let me fix that for you: "We are constantly trying to create and prepare a world that our minds want to be in, and we [**SCIENTISTS**] alone, among humanity, for the most part, have realized that religion is a bad way to do that."
Times Investigation Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billioni in Business Losses...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 9, 2019:
1985 to 1994 What about prior to 1985 and after 1994? To draw any far reaching conclusions from those 9 years is unfair... especially when those conclusions can't be independently verified by anyone and we have to take NYT's word on it.
Saw Trump on TV today.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 9, 2019:
Has nothing to do with people standing up to him; it's the nature of the job...
Georgia Makes Abortion A Crime Punishable By Life In Prison Or Death Penalty | Michael Stone
TheMiddleWay comments on May 9, 2019:
Abortion is at the intersection of so many different areas of human thought: science, philosophy, medicine, etc. At the heart of this debate for me is the fundamental question: "where does life begin?" Currently abortion law in the US, as I understand it, is based on the metric of brain development... by 24 weeks, the fetus can feel pain, has a developed nervous system, and is thus "alive" such that an abortion after would be considered murder. On the other hand, the basis for this law is that by 6 weeks the fetus's heart is beating and that heartbeat is enough for something to be "alive" and thus abortion after would be considered murder. It's interesting to compare these metrics with the other end of the spectrum and a person in a vegetative state. When brain function is nill but heart still beats, the person is still considered "alive" and thus unplugging them from the machine is considered murder. So, the Georgia people might argue, if an adult has a heart beat but no brain function and they are alive, why apply the same metric to the fetus? Or, put another way, if brain function is the metric by which we determine a fetus alive, why is it not ok to outright kill a person who has no brain function and thus is not alive? I know I've heard that these "heartbeat" bills are not meant to be enforced but rather meant to go to the supreme court and get Roe v. Wade re-examined. However, they would have to prove the scientifically, philosophically, and medically that a heart beat is enough to deem a person alive. IF they can do that, then there is a chance for Roe v. Wade to be re-examined. I don't think it is enough but be careful... these laws could get more sophisticated and could use genetic arguments against abortion which could up the ante and make it more liable for courts to go against whatever science or philosophy or medicine was used in the original ruling.
Is life worth Suffering?
TheMiddleWay comments on May 9, 2019:
Yes. Next question please... :D
REPORT - Atheists More Motivated by Compassion than the Faithfool [livescience.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 8, 2019:
Not so fast. Here is a good breakdown that concludes that while the study is performed well, it doesn't conclude what the headlines say it concludes nor are the results statistically strong or convincing. I encourage you to read this critique to avoid playing to your bias to immediately say "of course!" simply because you want to believe that your atheism confers some form of moral advantage. ;) http://icbseverywhere.com/blog/2012/05/are-atheists-more-compassionate-or-prosocial-than-highly-religious-people/
That's why logic and reason win every time
TheMiddleWay comments on May 8, 2019:
I agree that *blind* faith is the enemy of science... But plain faith, which is akin to trust, is very much a part of the human condition and thus science.
Wouldn't it be great if there were fewer angry people out there wanting to " go see god," or ...
TheMiddleWay comments on May 8, 2019:
I wish there were just less angry people period: plenty of angry people wanting to see god and plenty of angry people wanting to see no gods. ;)
Appeals Court Rules That Asylum-Seekers Can Be Made To Wait In Mexico : NPR
TheMiddleWay comments on May 8, 2019:
This makes sense given international law which says (and I'm paraphrasing here) that a person seeking asylum must ask for it in the first country outside their own they can. So people going *through* mexico to get asylum in the USA are going against international law... or seen another way, we are going against international law by accepting and condoning said practice....
Jerry Falwell suggests Trump is owed two more years as president due to Mueller "witch hunt.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 7, 2019:
Twits on Twitter... I expect nothing less from a platform that encourages the lowest common denominator of human thought and communication. also, by paying attention to his words we are feeding the troll and giving his words more substances than they deserve. Just saying....
Teaching Religion to Children is Child Abuse No two ways about it.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 6, 2019:
Hard no. 1)The large amounts of scientists and medical doctors that are religious refute most of these points. 2)The fact that several religions do not teach sin or hell makes this more about a particular religion and not religions universally 3) No professional child abuse foundation or association accepts teaching religion as child abuse. 4) The notion of teaching religion as child abuse is a thesis put forth by two new atheists with zero experience in child development, child education, or child abuse... ... and a single researcher (I forget her name) who wrote a book on it over 20 years ago and was published in a singular publication; yet in that time her ideas have not be accepted, nor has any research been based on it, by other professional practicioners or associations. 5) I would challenge you to put this question to someone who has legitamately been abused... and see if they agree that teaching something that you think is false equates with physical or mental abuse.
Should we respect other people's beliefs?
TheMiddleWay comments on May 6, 2019:
What does it mean to respect their belief but disrespect the person... ...to disrespect the belief but respect the person... ... to respect both belief and person... ... to disrespect both belief and person? It's easy to answer, IMO, in regards to showing respect for people but beliefs??? I'm not so sure how one can show disrespect to a belief without advertently or inadvertently not also showing disrespect for a person.
I work in retail.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 5, 2019:
She is entitled to say "have a blessed day" as her religious views are protected. She can't force you to say it since your views are also protected. Now, you are entitled to say "hail satan" in return and *if that is your religion*, said response would be protected. But if it's not, then you boss is entitled to take action against you since you are merely saying that to antagonize your boss, not express your religion. So be careful. Religious expression is protected... being annoying because you are annoyed is not. ;)
MAH.
TheMiddleWay comments on May 2, 2019:
It's not the facts go against FB. It's that conspiracy minded interpretation of facts, such as the one you present, go against FB. ;)
Democrat mocks Barr with bucket of fried chicken at hearing
TheMiddleWay comments on May 2, 2019:
This would be witty in elementary school. Among adults... not so much.
Is there absolute morality law, or in other word absolute good thing or bad thing?
TheMiddleWay comments on May 2, 2019:
The golden rule comes closest to an absolute moral law to me. But even it can be used for good or bad and thus remains relative. So I'm going to go with *no*.
Given that life in itself is meaningless, what do we have in mind when we talk about the "meaning ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 30, 2019:
Hmmmm... "meaning always comes from the outside". But isn't it the inside that is responsible for seeing that meaning? To say that it's from the outside means that an apple, for example, completely independent of the person might give meaning to that person's life. But isn't it more accurate to say that a person, upon eating an apples, derives meaning from eating said apple, such as that apple sustains me? I think it would help to note that there are concepts that can only exist in pairs... that the dichotomy is the fundamental unit, not the two pieces. As such, an inside cannot exist without an outside and vice versa. So everything on the outside can be traced to something on the inside (after all, our inside brains are the ones responsible for calling said object a "tree") while everything on the inside can be traced to something on the outside (after all, the apple that came from that tree and I ate is now responsible for sustaining my inside). So yes, we do have to latch onto something else for there to be an "I" in the sense that "I" is a boundary and boundaries are dichotomous. But that doesn't mean that meaning must also come from the outside. I could exist in a forest of apple tree and still determine that the meaning of my life is understanding my heart beat, inside me, completely independent of the apples and the trees.
More Trump Shenanigans.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 30, 2019:
I'm actually with him on this one. It's "private" for a reason and there is no reason for congress to want his bank records except under the pretext of trying to find something. This is not unlike "profiling" where the cop doesn't like something about the driver and stops them on the hopes that they will find something incriminating within. Sorry, but without "probable cause", the release of bank records (and taxes) is voluntary and as much as I hate to say it, Trump is in the right and will likely win this suit.
Religion, the Oldest Weapon of Mass Destruction in Human History
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 29, 2019:
Headline states "Religion" as in "all" religions. Article only focuses on Christianity... and then in the form of a allegorical tale instead of any actual historical facts. Take this gem: "I think the only proof I need to present that this is all happening is to urge you to look at the rise of creationist dogma in education by getting religious people into key positions in the educational system." What amazing logic! Extremist religous people, nah, extremist Evangelical Christians do something, and that's all the proof for the allegorical story/thesis to be true. Meh. Preaching to the choir this article is... if you hate religion, this will play to the hate. If you don't, it won't. Useless fluff basically. Allegorical masturbation. Clickbait.
First, I have read all the comments to my previous post and let me start out with an apology.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 25, 2019:
Still here... :D
Yes, we removed the general forum.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 24, 2019:
Also, will it be possible to make groups that are managed by either you or nobody at all? Otherwise, every single group will have an "overlord" and if I just want to post a general academic post, I will be bound to choose which overlord is best.
Yes, we removed the general forum.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 24, 2019:
So does that mean that we will eventually get back our old posts that were in the open forum?
WTF?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 24, 2019:
So I'm guessing now instead of posting with the "academic" tag, I'd be posting to the "academic" group? That wouldn't be a major problem except that someone has to be in charge of groups, right?
WTF?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 24, 2019:
??? Was the open forum a forum group or is this a reference to the public forums... kinda confused...
What is the difference between brilliance and intelligence?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 24, 2019:
Ordering a drink at a bar is intelligent. Ordering a Guinness at a bar is brilliant!!
Trump definitely has a winner here! [thefederalist.com]
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 24, 2019:
I agree. I'm not a fan of sanctuary City and if they want to promote that idea, then let them enjoy the fruits of their rhetoric
Islamic idiots like Illhan Omar just don’t get it. [thefederalist.com]
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 24, 2019:
Why is her Islamic belief an issue? Many people feel the same way and it had nothing to do with their religion. When your opening is"Islamic idiots", you end up daying more about your prejudices than their words.
Okay so I’ve been crazy stressed about finals and I need some relief.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 23, 2019:
Just in case one of your classes is music theory
Belief is the death of intelligence do you agree?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 23, 2019:
Every scientific concept starts with a belief. So in fact belief is the birth of intelligence.
Why Is It Difficult to Get Christians to Care About the Earth? | Sojourners
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 23, 2019:
"Many Christians ignore environmental issues because they don’t view it as an important faith-related concern" What support does the author give for this assertion? If none, the whole article is a strawman making it seem like Christians are something they are not. After all, John Muir (founder of the Sierra Club) was a christian, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is famous for promoting environmentalism, and many others according to this article https://grist.org/article/religious/ Where then do we find the Christians that ignore these issues and is it because they are Christian or because a good portion of people in general do the same? ;)
What's your opinion on the burning of the Notre Dame?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 22, 2019:
False narrative that the rich ONLY donate to this cause when the rich are the largest donators to charity. They can donate to this AND to helping other causes...just because they aren't donating to the cause one finds important doesn't make them assholes...it just makes one Petty
Christian School Expels Two Black Students Because Their Mother Committed ‘Adultery’ |
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 22, 2019:
"That agreement is “meant to reflect a common commitment to the cause of Christ, foster the spirit of unity through the bond of peace, and continue to extend the redemptive work of Christ in individual lives and the corporate life of God's School.” While not being specific, Wilson asserted that the “dismissal was necessary in order to protect the safety of our school children and their families.” Grant claims she never signed any agreement of the sort." This should be an easy case: either the agreement exists or it doesn't.
Muslims::: "They blame the countries they are happy in.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 22, 2019:
Is nanomonkey314 a Muslim historian...or a wikipedia-facebook scholar? Cause unless you/he has data to back up these assertions, it's pretty much an unsubstantiated rant, right?
Court ruled that the House of Representatives Chaplain has the right to overrule and deny atheists ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 21, 2019:
Interesting. Given that it's a chaplain that gives the invocation and atheists don't have chaplains, it seems the letter of the law is being followed in not allowing atheists to render said invocation. This also seems to be the difference between a literal and figurative interpretation of the constitution for, since the first prevents the establishment of an official religion and atheism is not, as most of us have argued on this site, a religion but rather the lack of it, it seems it *literally* falls under the letter of the law that an atheist could be denied this. Of course most of us interpret the first to that no religion, or lack thereof, would be established but that's not what it says. Don't know... seems to me that if the invocation is an invocation to a higher power, then clearly an atheist has no business being there... nor would want to be there.In effect, an atheist would not be offering a prayer or an invocation but merely giving an opening speech which isn't in my mind in the spirit of the opening prayer/invocation.
Court ruled that the House of Representatives Chaplain has the right to overrule and deny atheists ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 21, 2019:
Source?
What About “Us”? Jordan Peele does it again – Wordology
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 20, 2019:
"Get Out" underwhelmed me. I am looking forward to seeing "Us" though
Bob Dutko's Fifth and Sixth Proof for God's Existence Refuted.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 19, 2019:
Five: I don't think you can use the argument that "why foreskins?" to refute intelligent design. After all, this presumes that an intelligent creator would have created us "perfectly" and there is no reason to believe this. He/She/It may have created the rules of the universe first and us second and what we are may, in fact, be the most perfect version within the rules of the universe they created first. I think the better argument against intelligent design is that it lacks predictive power. Let's assume there is an intelligent creator... what does that tell us that we DON"T already know? Where does that guide our inquiry and knowledge to places that we AREN'T already at? For example, we can stare at our noses and marvel at the complexity and beauty and assign that to the creator. Great. Now what? On the other hand, evolution and natural selection allow us to not just marvel at the creation but also make comparasons (our nose versus dog noses), extrapolate to noses that don't exist (dinosaurs) and predict how noses will change over time. As such, for me, it's not so much that intelligent design is disproven or false... it's just not useful for anything else than staring at what is already there... which, ironically, we can do without positing an intelligent designer anyways!!!! Six: how can something be mathematically impossible when there is an existing case of it already? This is like saying that I see a six being rolled on a six-sided die and saying that was mathematically impossible. Of course, a six on a four-sided die is impossible... but then you'd have to prove that the universe cannot allow for life and that is again hard to prove given that we already exists... given that we already see "six" on the universal die.
Who says illegal immigrants don’t cost us a lot of ?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 18, 2019:
"1 in 4 Inmates Are Foreign-Born, Costing U.S. Taxpayers $1.4B Annually" Could you post your source that we may validate what they mean by foreign-born, what they are in for, etc?
“In the past 10,000 years, humans have devised roughly 100,000 religions based on roughly 2,500 ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 18, 2019:
This is ironically no different from how science is conducted. In science, there can be 100 different hypothesis for a phenomena and someone can be skeptical of all 100 while as a researcher I am only skeptical of 99 of them. In effect, we are only one hypothesis away from total agreement. Of course, the difference is that the 100 hypothesis of science have at least the possibility of being tested while the 2500 gods, by and large, cannot. All the same, as an agnostic, I do not begrudge the skeptic of 2499 trying to prove, or believing, in his one anymore than I begrudge the skeptic of 2500 in trying to prove, or belive, in none. :)
Is there any way that religion can be proved to be man made?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 18, 2019:
Religion is without a doubt man-made. There is no book that could not have been made by a human or has any hint that it was not made, or dictated, by a human. There is no organization (the catholic church, the jewish synygogues, the buddhist temples, etc) that doesn't have humans as 100% of it's membership and that is made by humans. What *cannot* be proven to be man made are the gods that religion talks about. Think of it this way: astrology, and to much lesser extent astronomy, is man-made but the stars are not. What we *say* about the stars is 100% man-made... what the stars *are* on the other hand are wholly independent of humans.
What is Nothingness, does nothingness exists?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 18, 2019:
Nothing is nothing. (A=A) Something is something. (B=B) Nothing is the opposite of something. (A=-B) Something is the opposite of nothing. (B=-A) Here we have a classic dichotomy insofar as depending on what you want to define first defines the other. For example, we can define nothingness as the absence of somethingness... then we have to define what something means to have nothing be the negative/opposite/absence of it. Conversely, we can define something as the absence of nothing... then we have to define what nothing means to have something be IT'S opposite. Since something is easier to define than nothing, I daresay that is the convention we use. But the lesson here is that you need both to define either: you can't have something without nothing nor can you have nothing without something... they only exist as a dichotomous pair
Common Ground, Why would anyone want a group, or join a group like this?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 17, 2019:
I go to the leftist group and it's unabashed trump bashing. I go to the rightist group and it's worrisome trump worship. Hyperbole exhausts me; that's why I'm here... where there is both support and detraction of trump but little in the way of bashing and worship.
Can someone name one thing that Trump has done, since taking office, that is racist?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 16, 2019:
The problem here is not unlike the problem with definitions of atheism: these definitions have become so varied (and idiosyncratic at times) that we can claim anyone is a racist (or atheist) merely by choosing the appropriate definition. I personally think Trump is an opportunitist, not a racist. But that is my view using my definitions and my experiences with racism as a Hispanic. In effect, what he has dome or it's doing doesn't compare to racism as I experienced it and as I know it. Your experience and chosen definition may disagree. Further complicating the issue is that opposition AND support of trump is mired in hyperbole such that an accurate assessment, even if we agreed on a definition, seems impossbile. This is why I don't focus on labels and focus on actions. If you oppose the travel ban or immigration policy, do so on the merits of the ban or policy...not your opinion of the man responsible for them. Calling trump a racist will not effect a change in policy... Actively attacking the merits of the policy has a much better chance if not now, then with future presidents.
The closed mind of Richard Dawkins
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 12, 2019:
The minute that any critique of Dawkins is shut down by his supporters simply because it's critiquing Dawkins is the minute that his supporters treat him exactly like that which he hates: an infallible god. ;)
If your deeply held religious beliefs stop you from baking a cake for a gay couple, change your ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 11, 2019:
The colorado baker did not refuse to bake a cake for the gay couple. He refused to decorate it in celebration of their gay wedding. He has in the past decorated cakes for gay birthday parties, gay workplace activities, etc. Just not one in celebration of the act of marrige between man and man, something he doesn't believe is moral. An artist should not be forced to create art in support of something that he or she doesn't believe is moral regardless of how kind other people feel that art is.
Katie Bouman: The woman behind the first black hole image.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 11, 2019:
I take exception to the headline. To be clear, it's a great personal accomplishment for her and a great accomplishment in computer science. I just object to putting her contribution above those of the 200 other scientists who also did as much as she did to make this possible and to make it seem like she was behind the image when even by her own admission, said image could not have been done alone: "The effort to capture the image, using telescopes in locations ranging from Antarctica to Chile, involved a team of more than 200 scientists. **"No one of us could've done it alone," she told CNN. "It came together because of lots of different people from many different backgrounds."**"
The closed mind of Richard Dawkins
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 11, 2019:
Never been a fan of Dawkin's, either as a evolutionary biologist nor as a philosophical atheist. Too much rhetoric, too little substance.
Please support FFRF.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 11, 2019:
a) Roughly 83% of us citizens are religious. Clearly, we are in fact a nation of believers. b) The constitution is not godless. It is agnostic. It doesn't endorse nor condone the existence of a god but rather allows for everyone to make up their own mind and live accordingly. In fact, the government can endorse all religions or none at all; both would be in accordance to the establishement clause as either all or none would both not endorse any ONE religion above all others and set up a de facto state religion c) Related to point b), A "godless constitution" is in contradiction to "free to believe or disbelieve". Again, the constitution is better referred to as agnostic not godless. d) I support the suit regarding allowing churches to be tax-exempt and political. As an agnostic however, I do not support freedom FROM religion but rather freedom OF religion... and thus I do not support the core mission the FFFF wholesale.
11-Year-Old Astrophysics Genius ‘Proves’ Stephen Hawking Wrong About God
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 9, 2019:
TL;DR: Kids say the darnest things. :D
11-Year-Old Astrophysics Genius ‘Proves’ Stephen Hawking Wrong About God
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 9, 2019:
*We know the universe has an age, right? 13.8 billion years. So, 13.8 billion years ago, the entire universe was reduced to a singularity, a particle smaller than a quark. However, if gravity is always working, i.e.: if you jumped off this building, you’re not going to fall 15 seconds later, you’re going to fall immediately, so, if gravity was always working, and the singularity was always there […] then the universe should have no age, it should be infinitely old. But it’s not, it’s 13.8 billion years old. And something can’t come from nothing, because it would have to exist in order to cause itself to exist, which is illogical. So, therefore, something other must have created the singularity, and that something other me observe as God* Uhhhhh.... this makes no sense. The singularity was not "always there". The singularity is literally a "singular" instance in time. Nor is it logical to assume that since something comes from nothing, that something MUST be god. That something can be many other things, like another universe or like the Cyclic universe of Penrose's theory (which would be an infinitely old universe... ironically as he alludes to at the start). So sorry pal, genius though you may in most things, in this case you bring nothing new to the table. :D
As soon as today, the Missouri State House may vote on HB 728, a bill specifically aimed at ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 9, 2019:
I want this to pass though. That way it can be challenged in higher course, eventually hopefully the supreme court, and put a nail on these kind of "exclusionary" practices. After all, there is no good reason WHY litagents in this case should be made public but not in others. If it doesn't pass, all that will happen is other states will re-write this, and try again, and waste time, etc. Rather, let it pass, let it be challenged the FIRST time anyone tries to use it, then an injunction will be placed on it until it works it's way up through the courts where it will, IMO, unequivocably be shot down... thus sending a message to any other such bills. Also, I would LOVE to hear from the people proposing and endorsing this bill what their reasoning is....
Workplace religion.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 9, 2019:
The workplace is under no obligation to remain secular or a-political. Nor, I would imagine, are you under any obligation to participate in the workplace facebook. A simple solution would be to ask to be excluded from the group post or from the facebook. A less simple solution would be for you to quit and find a job that engages in the type of secular behaiviour you like. It's a bit tricky because you are not being forced to attend or profess belief in any of these messages. At worst, you are being exposed to messages the same as if it were a poster or an employee wearing a cross. At best, you can opt out of receiving those messages. But yeah, as KKGator says, brining this up to HR is the best course of action. Though don't be surprised that if your workplace is 99% christian and they don't feel the practice is discriminatory (after all, you can do the same by forming a secular group and running pro-choice messages, in principle), then you may have no recourse within work and would have to seek legal recourse outside... IF a lawyer determines you have a case... which you may not... being annoyed at religious messages isn't the same as being discriminated for being an atheist.
NYC cracks down on yeshivas that let in unvaccinated students
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 9, 2019:
Seems like the kids getting the measles are the unvacinnated ones... sucks to be them but that is the price of freedom is it not? Darwin at work. I think it's fine for the city to take measures to protect it's children "as they see fit". I also think it's fine for parents to take measures to raise their children "as they see fit". I think another problem is not just kids getting the measles but then going to school as well. Measles aside, we have all been to school when that one kid was sick as a dog with a cold or flu and got tons of people infected. Thing is, there was a perogative to attend school and thus, for the student, it was better to attend and infect than to stay home and get better. In that vein, there might be a way to minimize the problem by excluding kids that actually have the measles, better information on detecting it, and then having the schools enact provisions to teach kids that have the measles or make sure they can catch up when they are cured. That way the school can keep unvacinnated kids, minimize exposure, and still keep up it's educational imperative... or of course they can just comply with the state. But I think either way the kids that are excluded from school for being unvacinnated should not unduly suffer educationally merely for their choice of what not to put into their bodies.
God, Irony and non-believers As I wander through this site and read here and there a connecting ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 7, 2019:
"As I wander through this site and read here and there a connecting theme is that science will prove/is proving/has proven God does not exist." I've encountered no such theme. Could you provide us with a sampling of the posts that you've come across asserting this?
I thought this was appropriate to post here.
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 7, 2019:
Last I checked, there were plenty of non-muslims in congress who want to change the constitution, impeach our president, and vote for socialism. *What makes a muslim saying this any different than a non-muslim saying this?*
RICHARD DAWKINS ERROR CONCERNING THE ORIGIN OF LIFE Pursuing the concept that anything is ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 6, 2019:
Because we have a sample size of ONE, we can make up any numbers and equations we want to "estimate" the probability of life emerging. The absurdity of this approach is exacerbated by the fact that we don't even KNOW how life emerged. This gross misuse of math is one of the most dangerous signs of scienticism, the dogmatic belief in science and math. It's dangerous because we can wave our magical probability wand and make up any conclusion we want and, because it's "mathematical", it carries the semblance of rational insight. In effect, all of them are wrong because the chances aren't 1 in a million or 1 in six because the chances are incalculable and thus any commentary on this topic is pure unadulterated intellectual masturbation: feels good but gets you no where.
Why do so many member of this site spend so much time talking about religion on this site?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 5, 2019:
Some of us like using our time, energy, and emotion talking about things that don't particularly interest you. Not sure why this is surprising or questionable to you. :)
I guess it's tough being a religion and not being a religion at the same time. [lionsroar.com]
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 4, 2019:
Religions need God's. Buddhism has no God's. Hence any Buddhism without God's is not a religion I find any debate is based on people that IMO misinterpret religion as being possible without God's. This same misinterpretation, again imo, leads to atheism being a religion which is a clear oxymoron.
How do you use the word 'belief'?
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 3, 2019:
I'm in the latter group. This is because to me there is no functional difference between believing it will rain tomorrow and asserting it will. Neither assertion nor belief carry absolute certainty with it. They are both statements about things that are unknown being as they are in the future and the future being unknown. OTOH, if I said I KNOW it will rain tomorrow, I'm not merely asserting that it will rain... I'm implying that it is a forgone conclusion, that everything that I've learned in the past and applied to the present tells me this will be the future. Now, is there absolute certainty in knowing something? NO! Merely more justification for a proposed future fact, but never certainty. It's interesting how few people that talk about belief and knowledge know about "Knowledge as JTB: Justified True Belief". In this view (due to plato), belief is exactly as you describe it... as speculative opinion without need for justification... while knowledge is stronger statement... opinion that is born true by way of justification. Now, there are many modern refutations to JTB (Gettlier being the most notable and I'll post mine below) but it is a good start for how these two words... belief and knowledge.. interact with each other. Now, personally, JTB predates science and I'm a scientist. I have a slightly modified view of these words insofar as my beliefs are informed by my knowledge and my knowledge leads to further belief. In effect, if you substitute "belief" for "hypothesis", you see things as I see them. For a hypothesis can be anything, speculative or not, based on opinion or fact, but a hypothesis is not knowledge, is not a-priori true. It must be proven true, justified, in order to become knowledge. Hence, when I say "I believe", I'm really saying "I hypothesize" insofar as I'm trying to set up my beliefs in a way that I can test them and rationally lead to a conclusion. As an agnostic, when I say "I neither believe nor unbelieve" a concept I'm saying that I cannot pose said concept in the form of a testable hypothesis... I can't "hypothesize" about gods, I can't create a null hypothesis to statistically test them nor a scientific hypothesis to experiment them, so I'm agnostic about them. But I can hypothesize about it raining tomorrow: I have plenty of past data on the seasons, climate models through simulation, etc. I can't be "sure" it's going to rain, but I can "believe/hypothesize" it can.
This is one candidate I can get behind. Gravel2020 [nymag.com]
TheMiddleWay comments on Apr 3, 2019:
88 now. 92 by end of presidency if they make it that long. LOL Neat, but not viable.
Expecting life to make sense is the supreme lost cause
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 31, 2019:
I've made lots of cents of life; unfortunately, few dollars.
fun science infographics: [mymodernmet.
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 31, 2019:
I love that Category Theory is included in the math map. I love that Strings and Dark energy/matter are beyond the gap of ignorance in the physics map. I love that the biology map is just a hodge-podge of different things.
Keep seeing Amazon PrimeVideo's advert for the series; "American Gods," and that tune for the ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 29, 2019:
1) The XTC version ain't too shabby though this moody version really revitalizes the song. 2) The book American Gods is amazing. Read it then watch the series. Or watch the series and then read it. Either way, READ IT! LOL
it's one thing to be a conservative, it is quite another to be a trump supporter.
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 28, 2019:
Also, IMO, any statement that stereotypes an entire population in a negative way is not the way to reach "common ground".
it's one thing to be a conservative, it is quite another to be a trump supporter.
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 28, 2019:
If you continue to listen and enjoy Michael Jackson's music, does that make you a pedophile? If you continue to laugh at Bill Cosby's jokes, does that make you a rapist? If you continue to support Bill Clinton's policies, does that make you a womanizer? If you continue to admire Barack Obama's intellect, does that make you a nerd? I think the false equivalence being made here is that accepting one part of a person requires accepting them all. For example, I can be completely for a politicians fiscal policy and completely against their foreign policy; accepting one doesn't mean tacit acceptance of all others. I can be completely for a scientists theoretical insight and completely against their religious insight; admiring one doesn't imply that I admire all others. In Trump's case, one can completely be in favor for the way that, in his bumbling way, he is exposing a lot more of the Washington underground than they would like exposed. However, he is not the most moral of men in his dealings with women and in business and one can at the same time be against that. *It is a recognition that people are complex and there is no such thing as a "perfect" person with whom you will agree 100% that I think is worth noting here.*
The Paradox of the Stone is the Paradox of Religion: “Can God create a stone that cannot be ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 26, 2019:
Here's how I resolve this paradox by taking advantage of the time dimension: Yes, god can create a stone that he himself *at that time* cannot lift. Being all powerful however, he can then make himself stronger so that he can *at a later time* lift it. At that point he can create a stone that he cannot lift with his new strength. But being all powerful, he can make himself stronger so that he can lift this new stone. Ad nausium, the paradox is resolved.
It seems atheists DOMINATE this site, despite the fact it's an agnostic one.
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 26, 2019:
Finally, fuck the haters that have hated on your post. Fuck the people that have nothing to say but that hate on you for saying anything at all for they feel you said too much. Fuck the people who have nothing to say and yet feel compelled to say something because they abhor silence and they hate that you have more to say than they do. Fuck the people who have nothing to say but to remind us that they don't like talking about this topic as if somehow that will stop others, or us, from talking about that topic.
It seems atheists DOMINATE this site, despite the fact it's an agnostic one.
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 26, 2019:
I also want to make note of some inconsistencies in the examples that you presented. For example you state that one cannot prove that life after death is impossible but that you are almost certain that there is no heaven and hell. To me, as an agnostic, I would say that all of those are impossible to prove... That we had imagined the concept of life after death, heaven, and hell and yet we like the evidence to prove if that imagination is true or false. Also, you mentioned that telepathy, reincarnation, and exercise your perception are hard to deny. But that is just not an objective truth. As an agnostic, I realize that there is a difference between objective and subjective evidence. That there are personal experiences that may never be replicated in the scientific sense but can't stand as personal evidence the people. As such, the concepts that you have discussed squarely fall in this realm. If nothing else, and The Amazing Randi has time after time is proven that telepathy and ESP are objectively real... his million dollars remains safely in the bank. I would recommend that if you are truly willing to embrace the viewpoint of agnosticism, and again with the caveat that this is just how I practice and understanding, then you must remain skeptical and nonjudgmental of all things which there is no evidence for and, when evidence is presented, be very careful about doing a wide search for how objective that evidence is. Agnosticism is perhaps the hardest stance to take on many issues because one does not have the benefit of simply following a gut feeling or common sense or anything except cold hard logic and evidence. However, the rewards are many for you will find that your viewpoints remain more self consistent, more cohesive, than many of our fellow atheists and theists because we are so committed to a singular standard of evidence and skepticism such that lacking evidence we simply make no judgment. Note, this doesn't make our views more true than our fellow believers and non-believers... just more self-consistent. Which means, and again just how I practice it, that we are more likely to change our views because we are not convinced of the truth of ideas but just the consistency and that consistency can change when new evidence is presented. However, as I think the tenor of your original post was, an atheist or theist will be less likely to change the point of view even in light of new evidence because they are so convinced that they have "THE" or "A" truth.
It seems atheists DOMINATE this site, despite the fact it's an agnostic one.
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 26, 2019:
"The great thing about agnosticism, which seems to have escaped them, is ANYTHING is possible." Hmmm... I don't think many agnostics would agree with this statement though I can only speak for myself. Agnosticism (as I practice and understand it) isn't an invitation to accept everything our imagination can come up with. In fact, I see it as a way to temper our imaginations with a steadfast commitment to evidence-based beliefs. So for example, there are many people who say that aliens must exist because the universe is so vast and because there's no reasons why life can exist anywhere, etc. But agnosticism is not the acceptance that it might be real but rather the realization that until we get evidence for one where the other, we can't make any judgment on whether it's real or even possible. The true value of agnosticism as I see it is that while our imagination makes almost anything possible, only evidence should inform what is possible and actual. Viewed this way, and again nearly as I practice and understanding, Agnosticism is not a carte blanche to accept that anything and everything is possible but rather a realization that our imagination far exceeds our knowledge,
We atheists and atheist allies hereby declare that from now on, March 23rd is Atheist Day.
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 25, 2019:
So that was a few days ago; how'd it go? I only ask because 1) I find it fairly presumptuous for a seemingly small group of atheists and their allies to not only speak for the rest of atheists but also to presume that it's a community that would support their actions 2) Picking a day at random to do this, a day that coincidentally can overlap with Easter. 3) Organized by WHOM? There is no "about" in the webpage and that always makes me suspicious. 4) There are endorsements but that is not the same as organizers. Also, seems that "atheist allies" consist only of ex-muslims and no other group. 5) Why the symbol? I think others have mentioned how it is very similar to some of the eastern tao or zen symbols and thus it's seems like they are usurping it, intentionally or not.
Charles S.
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 25, 2019:
Anyone that claims to be unbiased usually isn't. ;)
Worn faces on old gravestones
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 25, 2019:
*All around me are familiar faces Worn out places, worn out faces* -Tears for Fear, "Mad World"
I recently learned the philosophy community defines an atheist more broadly than any definition that...
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 22, 2019:
I wager that all talk of gods is philosophical in nature. Hence, what is a "non-philosophical" definition of atheism and what makes it "non-philosophical"? And if the case is made for a non-philosophical version of atheism, why should the onus of appending our use atheism be with the philosophical version and not the non-philosophical version or both?
Atheism Is Inconsistent with the Scientific Method
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 21, 2019:
My man! He states exactly what I've said countless times: agnosticism is the most scientific of stances for it doesn't render judgement where one cannot experiment. And since we cannot experiment with god, we should not render judgements (either way!) about god(s).
Will they ever get tired of "atheism is just another religion" argument?
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 21, 2019:
As long as "religious" is confused with "dogmatic" then no. After all, stating that atheism is another religion is oxymoronic but stating that atheism can be dogmatic is not.
The Latest: Mississippi 'heartbeat' abortion law signed
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 21, 2019:
Conception, Heartbeat, Brain Activity, Pain Reception: the metrics for abortion are so arbritrary, it doesn't surprise me that one side wants to push it as close to one end as possible and the other to the other end...
PHILOSOPHICALLY SPEAKING | An Atheist with a Tall Hat On: The Forgotten History of Agnosticism - ...
TheMiddleWay comments on Mar 20, 2019:
The fallacy in the arguement is one of conflating epistemology and ontology and can be easily exposed with the following question: *The majority of people don't know about quarks...does this mean they are without quarks? The majority of people have never experimented with quarks... does this mean they know quarks?* See, to know something is epistemology and reflects a mental state. However to claim something exists is ontology and reflects a physical state. My agnosticism is based on my view that claims of ontology must be based on proper epistemology and vice versa. Thus if I don't know god (epistemology), I can't make any claims on god(s) existence. Likewise, if I see no evidence for gods existence (ontology), I can't claim to know what god is about (epistemology). To think otherwise would be like a person with zero particle physics knowledge making claims on whether quarks exist or not.... or a person who has never experimented with quarks making claims that they know what quarks truly are about...

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Agnostic, Skeptic
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