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Richard Dawkins - Absolute Morality

Richard Dawkins - Absolute Morality

After removing his glasses, Richard Dawkins gives a brilliant summation on morality in reply to a Muslim's question

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Guest: Someone. (2313 days ago)
Juniper. He answers the question. 'Thought out, reasoned, discussed and based upon...'intelligent design (sic)''. Then he goes on to show modern moralities that were not set up under religious dogma, such as not being cruel to animals, showing that morality does not need religion and therefore faith to define them.
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Juniper. He answers the question. 'Thought out, reasoned, discussed and based upon...'intelligent design (sic)''. Then he goes on to show modern moralities that were not set up under religious dogma, such as not being cruel to animals, showing that morality does not need religion and therefore faith to define them.
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Guest: Norbet (2280 days ago)
I want to know......Where in the Palestinian desert did Noah find Polar Bears, Kangaroos and Penguins for his Ark?
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I want to know......Where in the Palestinian desert did Noah find Polar Bears, Kangaroos and Penguins for his Ark?
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Guest: Capt. Obviously right (2050 days ago)
There is no mention of these animals in the bible because they didnt exist within 100 miles of the writers house. let alone penguins, animals in borneo and other exotic mammals found through out the world, you have to think, what size of an arc would hold all of these animals and all of their food and meet there specialist habitats etc
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There is no mention of these animals in the bible because they didnt exist within 100 miles of the writers house. let alone penguins, animals in borneo and other exotic mammals found through out the world, you have to think, what size of an arc would hold all of these animals and all of their food and meet there specialist habitats etc
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Guest: Dan (2313 days ago)
Oh my gosh, that doesn't even approach an answer. And that's "brilliant"? God help us. (Actually, He did; Dawkins just doesn't like it.)
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Oh my gosh, that doesn't even approach an answer. And that's "brilliant"? God help us. (Actually, He did; Dawkins just doesn't like it.)
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Guest: The Stick (2307 days ago)
Don't you have banjo playing to practise Dan?
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Don't you have banjo playing to practise Dan?
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2312 days ago)
What is wrong with a morality that is thought out, reasoned, discussed - and designed to help develop a society that is tolerant to others, kind to living creatures and pleasant to live in?
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What is wrong with a morality that is thought out, reasoned, discussed - and designed to help develop a society that is tolerant to others, kind to living creatures and pleasant to live in?
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Guest: a Christian (2312 days ago)
@ missAnus what you have written is what true Christianity is. But thats just my take on Christianity.
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@ missAnus what you have written is what true Christianity is. But thats just my take on Christianity.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2312 days ago)
The Bible describes homosexuality as an abomination, unclean, impure etc... I don't see how that is being tolerant to others. I also don't see how "dominion over animals" is being kind to living creatures. And if Christian rock bands are anything to go by, I wouldn't describe a Christian world as pleasant to live in.
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The Bible describes homosexuality as an abomination, unclean, impure etc... I don't see how that is being tolerant to others. I also don't see how "dominion over animals" is being kind to living creatures. And if Christian rock bands are anything to go by, I wouldn't describe a Christian world as pleasant to live in.
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Guest: a Christian (2311 days ago)
You see the problem is that atheists seem to think that all Christians take the Bible literally and are all creationists. J.C. is not quoted anywhere as saying what you quoted from the Bible. And i wouldnt like to live in a world based on death metal bands or their music and songs so whats your point there?
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You see the problem is that atheists seem to think that all Christians take the Bible literally and are all creationists. J.C. is not quoted anywhere as saying what you quoted from the Bible. And i wouldnt like to live in a world based on death metal bands or their music and songs so whats your point there?
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2311 days ago)
If you cherry pick what you want, then why not ditch God altogether. After all, there's no evidence he even exists. You don't need God to explain anything. I don't understand why anyone would believe in something so obviously nonsense, in my opinion. The point about Christian rock bands was a side point really. Just that I've never connected creativity with Christianity.
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If you cherry pick what you want, then why not ditch God altogether. After all, there's no evidence he even exists. You don't need God to explain anything. I don't understand why anyone would believe in something so obviously nonsense, in my opinion. The point about Christian rock bands was a side point really. Just that I've never connected creativity with Christianity.
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Guest: a Christian (2310 days ago)
What am i cherry picking? I live my life as closely as possible to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thats why i am a Christian. Not because i believe everything written in the Bible
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What am i cherry picking? I live my life as closely as possible to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thats why i am a Christian. Not because i believe everything written in the Bible
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2309 days ago)
If you don't believe everything in the Bible, then how is that not cherry picking? Please educate me.
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If you don't believe everything in the Bible, then how is that not cherry picking? Please educate me.
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Guest: a Christian (2309 days ago)
Is your take on Christianity that i must believe everything in the Bible? If it is i dont think you understand the true meaning of Christianity.
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Is your take on Christianity that i must believe everything in the Bible? If it is i dont think you understand the true meaning of Christianity.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2309 days ago)
It seems to me that your version of Christianity is cherry picking the bits you want from the full gamut of Christianity, of which the Bible is a significant part. You choose to follow the 'teachings of Jesus', but not (as Dawkins put it) the horrible bits in the Bible. All I'm saying is, why not ditch the whole lot. There is not even a shred of evidence, throughout history, that God even exists, never mind about what flavour he comes in.
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It seems to me that your version of Christianity is cherry picking the bits you want from the full gamut of Christianity, of which the Bible is a significant part. You choose to follow the 'teachings of Jesus', but not (as Dawkins put it) the horrible bits in the Bible. All I'm saying is, why not ditch the whole lot. There is not even a shred of evidence, throughout history, that God even exists, never mind about what flavour he comes in.
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Guest: (2307 days ago)
What do you mean by "evidence God exists"? There is no scientific evidence God exists because science is based on the premise everything has a material explanation and 'evidence' of God in this context would be something without a material explanation. If it happened, science wouldn't recognize it or admit it, scientists would develop a theory to explain it as a 'natural phenomenon', science is essentially circular reasoning in that respect. The interesting thing is the premise of science, that everything has a material cause, breaks down on the subatomic level and you are left with the basis of the material world not really making regular scientific sense, though the scientists try to shoehorn their observations into the old framework of cause and effect and objective reality.
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What do you mean by "evidence God exists"? There is no scientific evidence God exists because science is based on the premise everything has a material explanation and 'evidence' of God in this context would be something without a material explanation. If it happened, science wouldn't recognize it or admit it, scientists would develop a theory to explain it as a 'natural phenomenon', science is essentially circular reasoning in that respect. The interesting thing is the premise of science, that everything has a material cause, breaks down on the subatomic level and you are left with the basis of the material world not really making regular scientific sense, though the scientists try to shoehorn their observations into the old framework of cause and effect and objective reality.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2306 days ago)
I should have said, "there is not a shred of CREDIBLE evidence that God exists". Scientists believe that dark matter exists even though they can't detect it, because they can see its effects in the universe. But until they find a way to detect it, its existence is inferred, not fact. In the case of how God affects the universe, we have miracles, ancient books and personal experiences, none of which are in the slightest bit credible. But we do have very credible explanations for why man invents God, too numerous to go into here. It's a total cop out to claim that science can't provide evidence for God because God is somehow outside of the material world and therefore can't be detected. There's no credible evidence for God because God is a figment of man's imagination. Why is that so difficult to understand?
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I should have said, "there is not a shred of CREDIBLE evidence that God exists". Scientists believe that dark matter exists even though they can't detect it, because they can see its effects in the universe. But until they find a way to detect it, its existence is inferred, not fact. In the case of how God affects the universe, we have miracles, ancient books and personal experiences, none of which are in the slightest bit credible. But we do have very credible explanations for why man invents God, too numerous to go into here. It's a total cop out to claim that science can't provide evidence for God because God is somehow outside of the material world and therefore can't be detected. There's no credible evidence for God because God is a figment of man's imagination. Why is that so difficult to understand?
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Guest: (2306 days ago)
It isn't at all difficult to understand. What's difficult to understand is how pushing the question back to 'man's imagination' can seem like a final exposition of truth. How did man's imagination come about? Evolution. Why is there evolution? There just is. Science only 'explains' things within the context of it's assumptions, same as religion. The difference is science is a model of the material world, it helps us remember how lots of things work, the way a mnemonic device helps us to recall the order of the planets or musical scales but it doesn't really explain anything ask enough 'why's' and you always get to 'we don't know' or 'it just is'.
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It isn't at all difficult to understand. What's difficult to understand is how pushing the question back to 'man's imagination' can seem like a final exposition of truth. How did man's imagination come about? Evolution. Why is there evolution? There just is. Science only 'explains' things within the context of it's assumptions, same as religion. The difference is science is a model of the material world, it helps us remember how lots of things work, the way a mnemonic device helps us to recall the order of the planets or musical scales but it doesn't really explain anything ask enough 'why's' and you always get to 'we don't know' or 'it just is'.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2306 days ago)
Science doesn't just push the question of God back to "man's imagination". There are plenty of good reasons why God is probably man's imagination. Can you think of some?
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Science doesn't just push the question of God back to "man's imagination". There are plenty of good reasons why God is probably man's imagination. Can you think of some?
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Guest: (2305 days ago)
I don't see how you can apply reason to the question. Ratiocination is a system for deciding between propositions within a set of assumptions or axioms. Read Euclid and you'll have the gist of it. You can't reason about something outside the axioms. It's like asking what color is consternation? The 'reasons' why God is imaginary are just made up, you can't test them or subject them to any real scientific inquiry only mouth pseudo-scientific drivel on the subject. Because of the marvelous ways in which science and technology has changed the human experience it's prestige is enormous, overwhelming in fact. This has lead every crank with a line to sell to pretend his psychological or social theory is science, the way patent medicine is always full of the latest secret ingredient but it's all BS. Accept or reject religion as you like but recognize science is not a universal key, it's a tool with limitations.
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I don't see how you can apply reason to the question. Ratiocination is a system for deciding between propositions within a set of assumptions or axioms. Read Euclid and you'll have the gist of it. You can't reason about something outside the axioms. It's like asking what color is consternation? The 'reasons' why God is imaginary are just made up, you can't test them or subject them to any real scientific inquiry only mouth pseudo-scientific drivel on the subject. Because of the marvelous ways in which science and technology has changed the human experience it's prestige is enormous, overwhelming in fact. This has lead every crank with a line to sell to pretend his psychological or social theory is science, the way patent medicine is always full of the latest secret ingredient but it's all BS. Accept or reject religion as you like but recognize science is not a universal key, it's a tool with limitations.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2306 days ago)
Why is there evolution? I think the answer 'there just is' is accurate. Evolution is cause and effect. Anything that continually changes evolves in some form. Pretty much everything is linked to (and affects) everything else. Languages evolve as some words are used more than others. Christmas evolves as it gets more commercial. Food evolves as health issues come to the fore. The weather evolves as the make up of the atmosphere changes and the universe evolves as stars burn out and new ones are formed. The term 'evolution' is the description of how life evolves.
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Why is there evolution? I think the answer 'there just is' is accurate. Evolution is cause and effect. Anything that continually changes evolves in some form. Pretty much everything is linked to (and affects) everything else. Languages evolve as some words are used more than others. Christmas evolves as it gets more commercial. Food evolves as health issues come to the fore. The weather evolves as the make up of the atmosphere changes and the universe evolves as stars burn out and new ones are formed. The term 'evolution' is the description of how life evolves.
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Guest: (2305 days ago)
'There just is' is always accurate but as you point out when it it used to justify religious conviction, it isn't an explanation. So I don't see how you think it is when it's used to justify 'scientific' conviction. I'm not trying to apologize for religion, I'm only pointing out scientific thinking is a very limited and circumscribed tool. It's impressively powerful in what it does but it's like an idiot-savant, restricted in it's range of useful application and morality is not within it's purview. It's very useful to ask Rainman the odds the next card will be less than ten but the meaning of life, not so much.
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'There just is' is always accurate but as you point out when it it used to justify religious conviction, it isn't an explanation. So I don't see how you think it is when it's used to justify 'scientific' conviction. I'm not trying to apologize for religion, I'm only pointing out scientific thinking is a very limited and circumscribed tool. It's impressively powerful in what it does but it's like an idiot-savant, restricted in it's range of useful application and morality is not within it's purview. It's very useful to ask Rainman the odds the next card will be less than ten but the meaning of life, not so much.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2305 days ago)
"There just is" is not used to justify a scientific conviction. Evidence of the connection between all forms of life, present and past, is what justifies the theory of evolution. Science explains how evolution works. Why it happens is cause and effect or "it just happens". Evolution can't not happen, in the same way that language can't not evolve.
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"There just is" is not used to justify a scientific conviction. Evidence of the connection between all forms of life, present and past, is what justifies the theory of evolution. Science explains how evolution works. Why it happens is cause and effect or "it just happens". Evolution can't not happen, in the same way that language can't not evolve.
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Guest: (2305 days ago)
And that is not an explanation. Why must it happen? Why must there there be a cause for every effect? Modern physics says there is not btw. When you assume there must be, of course, you find one, that's circular. Cause and effect is one of the axioms of science but there is no reason to accept it, it's a conviction, a premise not a conclusion much less an explanation. If I make it an axiom 'a pink chihuahua created the universe' then I can explain everything just as well. The difference is one of material advantage, the pink chihuahua won't help me design a better airliner, but the logic is the same. The argument for science is it helps us make gadgets and religion doesn't, that's all.
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And that is not an explanation. Why must it happen? Why must there there be a cause for every effect? Modern physics says there is not btw. When you assume there must be, of course, you find one, that's circular. Cause and effect is one of the axioms of science but there is no reason to accept it, it's a conviction, a premise not a conclusion much less an explanation. If I make it an axiom 'a pink chihuahua created the universe' then I can explain everything just as well. The difference is one of material advantage, the pink chihuahua won't help me design a better airliner, but the logic is the same. The argument for science is it helps us make gadgets and religion doesn't, that's all.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2305 days ago)
The argument for science is in its method. That method, The Scientific Method, is the only reasonable way we have of trying to accurately understand everything. It may not be perfect, but it's the best we have. From understanding things, we can make gadgets, understand why people are religious and introduce morals that shape the type of society we want to live in.
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The argument for science is in its method. That method, The Scientific Method, is the only reasonable way we have of trying to accurately understand everything. It may not be perfect, but it's the best we have. From understanding things, we can make gadgets, understand why people are religious and introduce morals that shape the type of society we want to live in.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2305 days ago)
The argument for religion is that it provides an answer to everything. Therefore people don't need to question. Easy, but plainly nonsense.
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The argument for religion is that it provides an answer to everything. Therefore people don't need to question. Easy, but plainly nonsense.
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Guest: (2305 days ago)
What I'm trying to get across to you is that the scientific method, which is most accurately if tautologically defined as 'what scientists do', makes no more reasonable sense than any other set of axioms, in fact it makes less than say mathematics because it's axioms are less well defined. What science does is get material results, which is not really surprising because it's axioms are all about getting material results. These results are impressive but they are not any more true than reasoning based on any other axioms just as Euclidean geometry is no more true than non-Euclidean geometry even though the former seems to correspond to the world of sense experience and the latter doesn't necessarily. Non-Euclidean geometry is not nonsense, it's every bit as rational as Euclidean geometry, it's just a lot less useful as a model for manipulating the material world. Likewise religion is a set of premises which can be quite rational and logical but aren't much use for building a better mousetrap. You don't like religion, that's fine, there are lots of good reasons for not liking religion but be informed and say what you mean, otherwise you are just doing some sloppy thinking. And keep science in proper perspective, otherwise you have just exchanged one religion for another.
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What I'm trying to get across to you is that the scientific method, which is most accurately if tautologically defined as 'what scientists do', makes no more reasonable sense than any other set of axioms, in fact it makes less than say mathematics because it's axioms are less well defined. What science does is get material results, which is not really surprising because it's axioms are all about getting material results. These results are impressive but they are not any more true than reasoning based on any other axioms just as Euclidean geometry is no more true than non-Euclidean geometry even though the former seems to correspond to the world of sense experience and the latter doesn't necessarily. Non-Euclidean geometry is not nonsense, it's every bit as rational as Euclidean geometry, it's just a lot less useful as a model for manipulating the material world. Likewise religion is a set of premises which can be quite rational and logical but aren't much use for building a better mousetrap. You don't like religion, that's fine, there are lots of good reasons for not liking religion but be informed and say what you mean, otherwise you are just doing some sloppy thinking. And keep science in proper perspective, otherwise you have just exchanged one religion for another.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2305 days ago)
I'm not sure I understand what you say. Is it that the scope of science is limited because it only gets material results, therefore it can't explain everything? Something as abstract (non-physical) as a thought is detectable in the physical world because brain activity occurs. I can't see how something which is abstract (non-physical), can be considered to exist if it has no detectable effect on the physical world. So I don't see science, being limited to the material world, as a problem when trying understand everything.
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I'm not sure I understand what you say. Is it that the scope of science is limited because it only gets material results, therefore it can't explain everything? Something as abstract (non-physical) as a thought is detectable in the physical world because brain activity occurs. I can't see how something which is abstract (non-physical), can be considered to exist if it has no detectable effect on the physical world. So I don't see science, being limited to the material world, as a problem when trying understand everything.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2305 days ago)
Of course there is likely to be 'stuff' that really does exist that we may never conceive of, or detect in any way, because we are incapable - our brains are not the pinnacle of evolution. In the same way that a cat, however smart a cat, will never realise that cat food factories exist. Maybe that's why quantum theory works but makes no sense. Now I'm really confused.
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Of course there is likely to be 'stuff' that really does exist that we may never conceive of, or detect in any way, because we are incapable - our brains are not the pinnacle of evolution. In the same way that a cat, however smart a cat, will never realise that cat food factories exist. Maybe that's why quantum theory works but makes no sense. Now I'm really confused.
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Guest: (2304 days ago)
Confusion is good, certainty is the sign you don't really understand. I'm saying you should not confuse results with explanation. Science is just a way of making mental models. It's the map, not the territory. We drop a ball as many times as we can (we're finite beings) and it falls the same way each time (as far as we are able to detect) so we make a 'law of nature', what we've really done is make a mnemonic for recalling a set of observations. We imagine models that fit observations together and predict observations we haven't made yet, if they do we say they are 'true'. This is a bit like betting every permutation of a trifecta then, when one of them wins, concluding you have discovered something. Don't get me wrong, compiling, systematizing and condensing observations in this way is powerful and useful but it's not a magic road to 'truth'.... Your observation about the cat is a good one and you can take it one step further. There is a sort of mathematical/logical meta-system for describing systems which can model/describe themselves called Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. The human mind, according to science is a manifestation of the material world capable of modeling/describing the material world. The Incompleteness Theorem demonstrates that such a system can not ever prove every statement which is true about the system. Science has proved it can not prove, to scientific standards, everything which is true.
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Confusion is good, certainty is the sign you don't really understand. I'm saying you should not confuse results with explanation. Science is just a way of making mental models. It's the map, not the territory. We drop a ball as many times as we can (we're finite beings) and it falls the same way each time (as far as we are able to detect) so we make a 'law of nature', what we've really done is make a mnemonic for recalling a set of observations. We imagine models that fit observations together and predict observations we haven't made yet, if they do we say they are 'true'. This is a bit like betting every permutation of a trifecta then, when one of them wins, concluding you have discovered something. Don't get me wrong, compiling, systematizing and condensing observations in this way is powerful and useful but it's not a magic road to 'truth'.... Your observation about the cat is a good one and you can take it one step further. There is a sort of mathematical/logical meta-system for describing systems which can model/describe themselves called Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. The human mind, according to science is a manifestation of the material world capable of modeling/describing the material world. The Incompleteness Theorem demonstrates that such a system can not ever prove every statement which is true about the system. Science has proved it can not prove, to scientific standards, everything which is true.
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Guest: (2305 days ago)
Not sure you cat example is the best. Because Afghan hounds realised that on a track if they waited the mechanical hare would come around to them.
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Not sure you cat example is the best. Because Afghan hounds realised that on a track if they waited the mechanical hare would come around to them.
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Guest: (2308 days ago)
The Bible is already 'cherry picking' it was compiled out of a lot more material by the council of Nicaea. The churchmen who decided what was and was not to be included as divinely inspired did not believe themselves to be the ultimate authority on the subject, they were just doing the best they knew how. The passage of years gave their work a sanctity they would almost certainly be surprised by. The reverence for the Bible is largely a protestant phenomenon. The Catholic church reckons they compiled it and they can decide what importance to assign to what's in it. They believe it's up to the church to determine what it means to be a Christian, not some ancient text. This is why some protestant denominations don't regard Catholics as Christians. Essentially Catholics regard Christianity as a work in progress, a process of coming ever closer to God's will, not something written down 2,000 years ago and unalterable since then. It seems like a lot of people who detest Christianity have a very superficial and 'cherry picked' understanding of it.
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The Bible is already 'cherry picking' it was compiled out of a lot more material by the council of Nicaea. The churchmen who decided what was and was not to be included as divinely inspired did not believe themselves to be the ultimate authority on the subject, they were just doing the best they knew how. The passage of years gave their work a sanctity they would almost certainly be surprised by. The reverence for the Bible is largely a protestant phenomenon. The Catholic church reckons they compiled it and they can decide what importance to assign to what's in it. They believe it's up to the church to determine what it means to be a Christian, not some ancient text. This is why some protestant denominations don't regard Catholics as Christians. Essentially Catholics regard Christianity as a work in progress, a process of coming ever closer to God's will, not something written down 2,000 years ago and unalterable since then. It seems like a lot of people who detest Christianity have a very superficial and 'cherry picked' understanding of it.
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Guest: mark pellitier (2300 days ago)
All of you missing the point of what morality is. Morality is a judgment of an act regarding wether it is good or bad. Yes, society sets up "laws" to keep us all safe and governed. And you have arguments regarding those kinds of rules. But if I run a red light I am simply a lawbreaker. But morality goes further to say that running a red light is "bad" . That's different than saying it's dangerous. Religion places a judgment says some things are bad inherently and some things are good. Atheists should are only allowed to talk about how society can make "agreements" about the best way to live. They are not allowed to pass judgement and say those things are "good". That would mean contrary to those agreements are "bad". Words like beneficial and non-beneficial are more appropriate for people that do not believe there is a higher power themselves. That is reserved for those that believe a "God" has set up the rules and established that judgement. If you agree that there is no "meaning" to life other than it's own self evolution to survive than how can a religious term like "morality" ever be applied to an atheists life? It's ridiculous. Why are atheist so eager to say they can have morality without having faith or a 'God"? What is the need for atheists to say they can judge "goodness" and "badness" of people and acts? Dawkins is a fool for trying to touch this subject and claim any kind of "morality" for atheists. And calling it "absolute morality" doesn't change the definition of morality. Let it go. Atheists can't be moral. They can be civil, caring, sympathetic, etc.. but they can be "good" or "bad". They just are.
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All of you missing the point of what morality is. Morality is a judgment of an act regarding wether it is good or bad. Yes, society sets up "laws" to keep us all safe and governed. And you have arguments regarding those kinds of rules. But if I run a red light I am simply a lawbreaker. But morality goes further to say that running a red light is "bad" . That's different than saying it's dangerous. Religion places a judgment says some things are bad inherently and some things are good. Atheists should are only allowed to talk about how society can make "agreements" about the best way to live. They are not allowed to pass judgement and say those things are "good". That would mean contrary to those agreements are "bad". Words like beneficial and non-beneficial are more appropriate for people that do not believe there is a higher power themselves. That is reserved for those that believe a "God" has set up the rules and established that judgement. If you agree that there is no "meaning" to life other than it's own self evolution to survive than how can a religious term like "morality" ever be applied to an atheists life? It's ridiculous. Why are atheist so eager to say they can have morality without having faith or a 'God"? What is the need for atheists to say they can judge "goodness" and "badness" of people and acts? Dawkins is a fool for trying to touch this subject and claim any kind of "morality" for atheists. And calling it "absolute morality" doesn't change the definition of morality. Let it go. Atheists can't be moral. They can be civil, caring, sympathetic, etc.. but they can be "good" or "bad". They just are.
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Guest: (2312 days ago)
A bit more on morality here: LINK
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A bit more on morality here: LINK
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Guest: me (2228 days ago)
such a pathetic answer, yet again demonstrating his utter ignorance of religion and his complete inability to understand its basic principles. Doesn't even come close to dealing with the question as asked. Such a closed, bigoted mind. Shame really.
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such a pathetic answer, yet again demonstrating his utter ignorance of religion and his complete inability to understand its basic principles. Doesn't even come close to dealing with the question as asked. Such a closed, bigoted mind. Shame really.
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Guest: (2312 days ago)
What on earth is "absolute morality?" According to the bible, Judas betrayed Jesus who was crucified and thus saved us all. Under absolute morality each of these acts must be absolutely good or bad. We can't say being crucified was bad for Jesus but good for us. It's either good or bad, full stop. If it's good, why is Judas vilified? If it's bad, why did God require it?
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What on earth is "absolute morality?" According to the bible, Judas betrayed Jesus who was crucified and thus saved us all. Under absolute morality each of these acts must be absolutely good or bad. We can't say being crucified was bad for Jesus but good for us. It's either good or bad, full stop. If it's good, why is Judas vilified? If it's bad, why did God require it?
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Guest: shaun lamont (2307 days ago)
since when did religion claim the high ground in have they changed since 9/11, 7/7 ? christian...hold fire....one of your disciples got a message from "god" and made a crusade in the middle east, costing hundreds of thousands of deaths. The word of the pope kills millions a year from AIDS, and his lack of words condemns those who were ****** by priests Those of religious persuasion, are the ones who put the money in the churches, fund these activities, and you cannot deny that you are the invisible hand that pulls the trigger...denying this is delusionary. So, since you cant have it both ways, you are either the paymaster of the killers, or you are deluded. Neither are pleasant, but if you are true to yourself, you have to be one of them. Take your choice. Do not throw the morality card till your house is clean....this is even a paraphrase from one of your books.
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since when did religion claim the high ground in have they changed since 9/11, 7/7 ? christian...hold fire....one of your disciples got a message from "god" and made a crusade in the middle east, costing hundreds of thousands of deaths. The word of the pope kills millions a year from AIDS, and his lack of words condemns those who were ****** by priests Those of religious persuasion, are the ones who put the money in the churches, fund these activities, and you cannot deny that you are the invisible hand that pulls the trigger...denying this is delusionary. So, since you cant have it both ways, you are either the paymaster of the killers, or you are deluded. Neither are pleasant, but if you are true to yourself, you have to be one of them. Take your choice. Do not throw the morality card till your house is clean....this is even a paraphrase from one of your books.
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Guest: (2306 days ago)
Typical atheist. Ye are of the opinion that there would be no war and no sex crimes and nothing bad would happen in the world if there was no religion. And lets not forget that dawkins says that we would all be intelligent if there was no religion. Get real. Religion or not there will always be war and pedophilia and death due to disease. Look at what the atheist regime in China is doing, Look at what the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia, look at what went on in the soviet union. All atheist regimes.
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Typical atheist. Ye are of the opinion that there would be no war and no sex crimes and nothing bad would happen in the world if there was no religion. And lets not forget that dawkins says that we would all be intelligent if there was no religion. Get real. Religion or not there will always be war and pedophilia and death due to disease. Look at what the atheist regime in China is doing, Look at what the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia, look at what went on in the soviet union. All atheist regimes.
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Juniper Juniper (2313 days ago)
I agree with Dawkins but he doesn't actually answer the man's question. He didn't ask whether or not absolute moralities are good or not. He's asking if the choice between behaviours (for an atheist) requires faith. In other words, if we accept Dawkins's hypothesis that today's 'moral' behaviour is not a result of religion and absolute morality where does it come from and do such choices enter into a grey-area of faith or trust?
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I agree with Dawkins but he doesn't actually answer the man's question. He didn't ask whether or not absolute moralities are good or not. He's asking if the choice between behaviours (for an atheist) requires faith. In other words, if we accept Dawkins's hypothesis that today's 'moral' behaviour is not a result of religion and absolute morality where does it come from and do such choices enter into a grey-area of faith or trust?
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Guest: Mark Pellitier (2311 days ago)
If you don't believe there is a God or "higher being" and that life ceases to exist after death, without any judgement in a afterlife, then why say you have morals? Morals are for for when people are looking. If I can get away with something "immoral" that will benefit me, without consequences, why not do it? Who am I answering to other than myself? I don't understand why atheists pat themselves on the back for being moral. If I was a atheist I would cheat on my wife when on business trips. I would steal when it was safe. I wouldn't give to the needy. I would take of my survival and not feel guilt. In fact, if there is no accounting of what I do other than to myself and when I die my unseen deeds die with me, I should be proud to never feel guilt for anything society deems "bad" or "good". If we could all live in a Dawkins "agreed upon by intelligent society morality world" , it still doesn't matter if I get away with whatever I want to do. Even it hurts others, so long as I don't get caught and survive." Morality" for atheists seems like a put-on to appease the religious that condemn them. I would respect Dawkins a lot more if he just agreed that there is no right or wrong without a God and that he freedom to chose whatever he wants to do so long has he can survive and function in his society. Like the animal world does.
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If you don't believe there is a God or "higher being" and that life ceases to exist after death, without any judgement in a afterlife, then why say you have morals? Morals are for for when people are looking. If I can get away with something "immoral" that will benefit me, without consequences, why not do it? Who am I answering to other than myself? I don't understand why atheists pat themselves on the back for being moral. If I was a atheist I would cheat on my wife when on business trips. I would steal when it was safe. I wouldn't give to the needy. I would take of my survival and not feel guilt. In fact, if there is no accounting of what I do other than to myself and when I die my unseen deeds die with me, I should be proud to never feel guilt for anything society deems "bad" or "good". If we could all live in a Dawkins "agreed upon by intelligent society morality world" , it still doesn't matter if I get away with whatever I want to do. Even it hurts others, so long as I don't get caught and survive." Morality" for atheists seems like a put-on to appease the religious that condemn them. I would respect Dawkins a lot more if he just agreed that there is no right or wrong without a God and that he freedom to chose whatever he wants to do so long has he can survive and function in his society. Like the animal world does.
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Guest: (2307 days ago)
MissAlanius - Every act has consequences. Otherwise it would not be an act. Morality involves predicting consequences; this is inexact, which is part of the reason we disagree about the morality of acts.
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MissAlanius - Every act has consequences. Otherwise it would not be an act. Morality involves predicting consequences; this is inexact, which is part of the reason we disagree about the morality of acts.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2306 days ago)
The term 'consequences' in this thread means 'negative consequences'. Sorry, I thought that was obvious.
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The term 'consequences' in this thread means 'negative consequences'. Sorry, I thought that was obvious.
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Guest: (2306 days ago)
You miss his point. What about acts which have desirable consequences for you but undesirable consequences for others? Why not commit such an act? If you weigh the morality of every act on the predicted consequences for you you would be what is normally called a sociopath.
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You miss his point. What about acts which have desirable consequences for you but undesirable consequences for others? Why not commit such an act? If you weigh the morality of every act on the predicted consequences for you you would be what is normally called a sociopath.
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Guest: (2306 days ago)
Me again. You are on the right track. It comes down to individuals' differing ability to predict consequences, and their genuine disagreement even when their ability is about he same. I would guess a sociopath has very poor ability, and little empathy to see how others might view the same outcome. But an act that has undesirable consequences for others also has some undesirable consequences for you because we are social animals. If you make trouble for others, it will rebound on you, even if the immediate consequence is good for you. Only a sociopath would fail to see that, as you say.
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Me again. You are on the right track. It comes down to individuals' differing ability to predict consequences, and their genuine disagreement even when their ability is about he same. I would guess a sociopath has very poor ability, and little empathy to see how others might view the same outcome. But an act that has undesirable consequences for others also has some undesirable consequences for you because we are social animals. If you make trouble for others, it will rebound on you, even if the immediate consequence is good for you. Only a sociopath would fail to see that, as you say.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2307 days ago)
@ Mark Pellitier. If you do something that is beneficial to you and without consequences, then it is not immoral. All the examples you gave have plenty of consequences - on other people, and indirectly on you, because they shape the society you live in. By definition, violent societies are full of violent people. Uncaring societies are full of uncaring people. Morality has nothing to do with religion. Morals are the rules that people agree to follow in order to create the society they want to live in, and to bring up their children in. Morality is part of the natural behaviour patterns of human beings. Religion hijacks this natural behaviour to its own ends, and usually for the worse. That's why predominantly secular nations, eg. northern Europe, tend to be more peaceful and pleasant to live in than predominantly religious nations, eg. USA or Middle East.
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@ Mark Pellitier. If you do something that is beneficial to you and without consequences, then it is not immoral. All the examples you gave have plenty of consequences - on other people, and indirectly on you, because they shape the society you live in. By definition, violent societies are full of violent people. Uncaring societies are full of uncaring people. Morality has nothing to do with religion. Morals are the rules that people agree to follow in order to create the society they want to live in, and to bring up their children in. Morality is part of the natural behaviour patterns of human beings. Religion hijacks this natural behaviour to its own ends, and usually for the worse. That's why predominantly secular nations, eg. northern Europe, tend to be more peaceful and pleasant to live in than predominantly religious nations, eg. USA or Middle East.
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Guest: (2306 days ago)
The examples have assumptions but you are still avoiding the point which it's obvious you get by the way you have avoided it. What of actions which are beneficial to you personally but affect others negatively or affect the future negatively after you are dead? What of acts beneficial to you which hurt others in a way they can not assign the blame to you? It's the story of the ring of Gyges. Socrates answers that the unjust man hurts himself but he bases that on the idea of man having an immaterial soul. ... "That's why predominantly secular nations, eg. northern Europe, tend to be more peaceful and pleasant to live in..." Thanks for that, it made my morning, I can't stop chortling even now.
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The examples have assumptions but you are still avoiding the point which it's obvious you get by the way you have avoided it. What of actions which are beneficial to you personally but affect others negatively or affect the future negatively after you are dead? What of acts beneficial to you which hurt others in a way they can not assign the blame to you? It's the story of the ring of Gyges. Socrates answers that the unjust man hurts himself but he bases that on the idea of man having an immaterial soul. ... "That's why predominantly secular nations, eg. northern Europe, tend to be more peaceful and pleasant to live in..." Thanks for that, it made my morning, I can't stop chortling even now.
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MissAlanius MissAlanius (2307 days ago)
Most people, whether they are religious or not, know the difference between right and wrong. Only an amoral person would need to be told.
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Most people, whether they are religious or not, know the difference between right and wrong. Only an amoral person would need to be told.
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Guest: (2306 days ago)
Yes, because they inherit a set of cultural assumptions. That's why in some cultures it's very wrong to eat people from the next village and in others it's not. These moral assumptions are traditions and are based on religious convictions. Reason does not give them to us, we absorb them from our relations and society. Try to form morality using only reason from scratch and you have to do some pretty serious contortions. It comes down to most humans seem to have moral instincts but where did these instincts come from and why should we follow them when we suppress other equally instinctive impulses?
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Yes, because they inherit a set of cultural assumptions. That's why in some cultures it's very wrong to eat people from the next village and in others it's not. These moral assumptions are traditions and are based on religious convictions. Reason does not give them to us, we absorb them from our relations and society. Try to form morality using only reason from scratch and you have to do some pretty serious contortions. It comes down to most humans seem to have moral instincts but where did these instincts come from and why should we follow them when we suppress other equally instinctive impulses?
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Guest: Bored (2307 days ago)
Its more simple than you realise: watch. Judgement after life is irrational, whereas judgement during life is an everyday fact. Most people who feel proud to feel no guilt for things they know they should are usually ***** regardless of their supernatural beliefs or lack of. And trust me on this - we atheists are NOT big on appeasing you idiots - its a perfect example of our morality working that we don't cleanse the Earth (Crusader-style) of your kind. x
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Its more simple than you realise: watch. Judgement after life is irrational, whereas judgement during life is an everyday fact. Most people who feel proud to feel no guilt for things they know they should are usually ***** regardless of their supernatural beliefs or lack of. And trust me on this - we atheists are NOT big on appeasing you idiots - its a perfect example of our morality working that we don't cleanse the Earth (Crusader-style) of your kind. x
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Guest: steve-o (1480 days ago)
Latest comment: It amuses me greatly that this question is even being debated. God in all his different franchises is a creation of man. So really the question should be: should we have morality from society, or from a very old out of date script that was only relevant when we were in the dark ages. Society wins, and has won - this is why the new testament was written - the bible was embarrassingly out of touch with mans development and increasingly democratic nature. Ritual slavery, stoning, incest, rape, mutilation were no longer acceptable, and so the Bible - NOT society - had to adapt accordingly.
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Latest comment: It amuses me greatly that this question is even being debated. God in all his different franchises is a creation of man. So really the question should be: should we have morality from society, or from a very old out of date script that was only relevant when we were in the dark ages. Society wins, and has won - this is why the new testament was written - the bible was embarrassingly out of touch with mans development and increasingly democratic nature. Ritual slavery, stoning, incest, rape, mutilation were no longer acceptable, and so the Bible - NOT society - had to adapt accordingly.
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Guest: american (2305 days ago)
Americans are stupid
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Americans are stupid
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Guest: fge (1712 days ago)
Dawkins showing his ability to twist and take scripture totally out of context... and the sheeple applaud him.
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Dawkins showing his ability to twist and take scripture totally out of context... and the sheeple applaud him.
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Guest: pam (2312 days ago)
Dan is right, Dawkins (deliberatly?) misses the core of the argument: Only by invoking god, you can avoid the münchhausen trilemma. God is a theoretical necessity if your goal is to find a last answer, any absolute truth. If he had taken this argument seriously, he could have answered, that god doesn't provide us with absolute morality: even within any religous community there is a discussion about what is right and wrong : what does the bible say about todays moral issues e.g. internet privacy, pre-impantation diagnostics, ecological problems? it's far from clear what god's absolute morality commands us to do. and this discussion too can be reasonable and intelligent and democratic etc...
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Dan is right, Dawkins (deliberatly?) misses the core of the argument: Only by invoking god, you can avoid the münchhausen trilemma. God is a theoretical necessity if your goal is to find a last answer, any absolute truth. If he had taken this argument seriously, he could have answered, that god doesn't provide us with absolute morality: even within any religous community there is a discussion about what is right and wrong : what does the bible say about todays moral issues e.g. internet privacy, pre-impantation diagnostics, ecological problems? it's far from clear what god's absolute morality commands us to do. and this discussion too can be reasonable and intelligent and democratic etc...
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Guest: (2311 days ago)
God does not provide absolute morality, even without discussion and interpretation. God just pushes the question one level back. Is X good because god says so? Or does god say so because it is good? The dilemma is ancient and it is pathetic that the questioner cannot think past his own blinkered "faith."
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God does not provide absolute morality, even without discussion and interpretation. God just pushes the question one level back. Is X good because god says so? Or does god say so because it is good? The dilemma is ancient and it is pathetic that the questioner cannot think past his own blinkered "faith."
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