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The Sagan Series - A Reassuring Fable

The Sagan Series - A Reassuring Fable

Consider again that pale blue dot. Can you imagine God would bother? Carl Sagan puts the point more poetically.

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Guest: (3336 days ago)
Well if God were Carl Sagan it would be hard to imagine but it's rather difficult to imagine being God so it's even harder to imagine what his purposes might be. Honestly, you think it would occur to Dr. Sagan that humans, limited as we are in time and space tend to rank things by our relation to them particularly in a material sense but this is obviously an illusion or perspective forced on us by our limited view.
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Well if God were Carl Sagan it would be hard to imagine but it's rather difficult to imagine being God so it's even harder to imagine what his purposes might be. Honestly, you think it would occur to Dr. Sagan that humans, limited as we are in time and space tend to rank things by our relation to them particularly in a material sense but this is obviously an illusion or perspective forced on us by our limited view.
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Guest: (3336 days ago)
What I find amusing is Sagan's argument against God is because it's delusional hubris to think humans are so special in the face of the vastness of the universe but this substitutes an equal hubris, in order for God to exist his actions would have to be conceivable and approved by the human intellect, specifically Carl Sagan's. That there is cosmic irony brother.
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What I find amusing is Sagan's argument against God is because it's delusional hubris to think humans are so special in the face of the vastness of the universe but this substitutes an equal hubris, in order for God to exist his actions would have to be conceivable and approved by the human intellect, specifically Carl Sagan's. That there is cosmic irony brother.
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Guest: (3336 days ago)
He is not against God. Did you pay attention ? He is saying that is dangerous to rely on faith instead of reason. If you don't know something don't make up things (religion) to find a answer and especially don't base your life decisions on such non/fake-answers.
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He is not against God. Did you pay attention ? He is saying that is dangerous to rely on faith instead of reason. If you don't know something don't make up things (religion) to find a answer and especially don't base your life decisions on such non/fake-answers.
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Guest: (3336 days ago)
Sounds like you weren't paying much attention. The core of his argument is God doesn't have any special design for humans. How can he know this? Only by assuming he knows what God is about or that there is no God. This in turn he knows because God doesn't fit Sagan's idea of what a God should be. Sagan is logically the same as the people telling you they know what God wants you to do. He has no more ground to stand on than them, or in your words he's just as fake.
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Sounds like you weren't paying much attention. The core of his argument is God doesn't have any special design for humans. How can he know this? Only by assuming he knows what God is about or that there is no God. This in turn he knows because God doesn't fit Sagan's idea of what a God should be. Sagan is logically the same as the people telling you they know what God wants you to do. He has no more ground to stand on than them, or in your words he's just as fake.
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Guest: open minded (3336 days ago)
religion is the easy thing for people to believe in,the fact that we are made from stars which in turn were created from swirling clouds of dust and gas being which was created from nothing! people need religion for now as we are an extremely young and immature race and most people i believe just simply cannot cope with this thought, the vastness of universe or the complexity of the physics that make it possible. People think going 8,000 miles to japan is far, what about touring the breadth of our galaxy(100,000 light years), or going to one of the first galaxy's ever created 13.4 billion light years away! com'n on get real, our universe is just one of many most likely in different dimensions we are not capable of detecting. Do the math roughly 300 billion stars (or suns for you), 55 billion planets per galaxy, 1 /10th of which may lie in the habitual zone, 200billion galaxies in OUR observable universe; do you honestly think we are that special, "God" designed all this for us, i dont think so. but children have only been taught about god creating the world in seven days and a virgin having a baby. what kind of god by the way do you think he is referring to, the god that talks of raping our women if we sin and instructing us to sacrifice our sons to prove our loyalty, nice God! Sagan was one of the best scientific minds to have walked this earth and was open to all possibilites but in the end he based his assumptions on science and in the end science will will always win because science is fact.
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religion is the easy thing for people to believe in,the fact that we are made from stars which in turn were created from swirling clouds of dust and gas being which was created from nothing! people need religion for now as we are an extremely young and immature race and most people i believe just simply cannot cope with this thought, the vastness of universe or the complexity of the physics that make it possible. People think going 8,000 miles to japan is far, what about touring the breadth of our galaxy(100,000 light years), or going to one of the first galaxy's ever created 13.4 billion light years away! com'n on get real, our universe is just one of many most likely in different dimensions we are not capable of detecting. Do the math roughly 300 billion stars (or suns for you), 55 billion planets per galaxy, 1 /10th of which may lie in the habitual zone, 200billion galaxies in OUR observable universe; do you honestly think we are that special, "God" designed all this for us, i dont think so. but children have only been taught about god creating the world in seven days and a virgin having a baby. what kind of god by the way do you think he is referring to, the god that talks of raping our women if we sin and instructing us to sacrifice our sons to prove our loyalty, nice God! Sagan was one of the best scientific minds to have walked this earth and was open to all possibilites but in the end he based his assumptions on science and in the end science will will always win because science is fact.
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Guest: (3336 days ago)
You are confusing rationality with insight. Sagan was indeed a fine scientific mind but for that very reason he was a specialized and blinkered mind. Constructing an order of value out of the mass of objects is at least as absurd as anything in any religion. Why should our significance depend on how big we are compared to the universe, as if we were prize cantaloupes, or where we are in relation to it. Really, can't you see this is just as idiotic a way to talk as any imbecile who has ever seen the Virgin Mary on a piece of moldy bread.
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You are confusing rationality with insight. Sagan was indeed a fine scientific mind but for that very reason he was a specialized and blinkered mind. Constructing an order of value out of the mass of objects is at least as absurd as anything in any religion. Why should our significance depend on how big we are compared to the universe, as if we were prize cantaloupes, or where we are in relation to it. Really, can't you see this is just as idiotic a way to talk as any imbecile who has ever seen the Virgin Mary on a piece of moldy bread.
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Guest: guest (3335 days ago)
i dont even know why i am wasting my time arguing this, Sagan simply says don't rely on religion just because it is the easy option, look at the scientific facts. everything that brought about our exsistance can be put down to down to a matter of luck. from one small variation that started our universe to fact that our planet lies in a habitual zone and other larger planets due their gravitational pull helped keep our planet relatively free from asteroids and meteor showers which in turn gave us enough time to evolve from a gelatinous primordial soup of nucleic acids. Our race is so young and naive they need to have religion, the size of the universe put its all in perspective. There are most likely thousands of other races out there that are millions of years more evolved than us, we just dont know how to find them,we are not special. religion is probably the most evil thing on this earth, how many people have died because of it. Unless you or anyone else can prove something you can choose to rely on it over scientific fact. i suggest you read more of his work along with M. Kaku, S. Dawkings, S. Hawkings etc
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i dont even know why i am wasting my time arguing this, Sagan simply says don't rely on religion just because it is the easy option, look at the scientific facts. everything that brought about our exsistance can be put down to down to a matter of luck. from one small variation that started our universe to fact that our planet lies in a habitual zone and other larger planets due their gravitational pull helped keep our planet relatively free from asteroids and meteor showers which in turn gave us enough time to evolve from a gelatinous primordial soup of nucleic acids. Our race is so young and naive they need to have religion, the size of the universe put its all in perspective. There are most likely thousands of other races out there that are millions of years more evolved than us, we just dont know how to find them,we are not special. religion is probably the most evil thing on this earth, how many people have died because of it. Unless you or anyone else can prove something you can choose to rely on it over scientific fact. i suggest you read more of his work along with M. Kaku, S. Dawkings, S. Hawkings etc
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Guest: guest (3335 days ago)
i think you meant cant choose and R dawkings and would have to agree that all Sagan is saying is that we are a dangerous species, we think god created all this for us and hold him in such high regard yet we choose to destroy ourselves and our precious planet. Dont just rely on faith it is dangerous
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i think you meant cant choose and R dawkings and would have to agree that all Sagan is saying is that we are a dangerous species, we think god created all this for us and hold him in such high regard yet we choose to destroy ourselves and our precious planet. Dont just rely on faith it is dangerous
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Guest: (3335 days ago)
And what has given us the capability to destroy ourselves and our precious planet, I'll give you a hint, it wasn't religion.
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And what has given us the capability to destroy ourselves and our precious planet, I'll give you a hint, it wasn't religion.
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Guest: guest (3335 days ago)
wow thanks for the hint moron! religious wars have killed and will countinue to have countless numbers of people killed. i never said we wern't evil, we are our own worst enemy. Of course science can be evil as there is always some who wants to use it for there own profit or selfish desires. unless we destroy our selves first with science(which i hope we dont) ,it is all that will save us in the end, religion cant fix the problems it and we have created
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wow thanks for the hint moron! religious wars have killed and will countinue to have countless numbers of people killed. i never said we wern't evil, we are our own worst enemy. Of course science can be evil as there is always some who wants to use it for there own profit or selfish desires. unless we destroy our selves first with science(which i hope we dont) ,it is all that will save us in the end, religion cant fix the problems it and we have created
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Guest: (3335 days ago)
Well, the insults begin, I was wondering how long it would take. Like Cicero said, if you don't have the facts or the logic, abuse your opponent. On examination you will find nearly all so-called religious wars were ordinary political wars dresses in theological raiment to attract the impressionable masses in much the same way we use patriotism or vague but high-sounding principles like freedom or the workers' struggle in secular societies. Religion is not some device to fix social problems, that sort of thing is what corrupts religion. It's not some sort of self-improvement course, that's another abuse. Religion doesn't have a purpose outside itself, it is because it must be, it completes your humanity, without it no matter how you develop your intellect you are like an idiot-savant, you can tell how many toothpicks there are in the packet but you don't know what they are for.
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Well, the insults begin, I was wondering how long it would take. Like Cicero said, if you don't have the facts or the logic, abuse your opponent. On examination you will find nearly all so-called religious wars were ordinary political wars dresses in theological raiment to attract the impressionable masses in much the same way we use patriotism or vague but high-sounding principles like freedom or the workers' struggle in secular societies. Religion is not some device to fix social problems, that sort of thing is what corrupts religion. It's not some sort of self-improvement course, that's another abuse. Religion doesn't have a purpose outside itself, it is because it must be, it completes your humanity, without it no matter how you develop your intellect you are like an idiot-savant, you can tell how many toothpicks there are in the packet but you don't know what they are for.
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Guest: (3332 days ago)
well your the one who started with the sarcasim and i do have the facts you and millions of others choose to ignore them because you are not ready for the truth and you feel your life will be nothing without religion; you think it completes your or our humanity. i would argue to my death that this is only because you or anyone else has been raised on religion. You are not born a free soul; you are born into a catholic, methodist, jewish family etc, your parents decided for you what religion you were going to be. unless you are lucky enough to be taught or strong enough to question what has been bred into you, you will always stuck looking for this wonderfull deity that most likely just does not nor ever has existed. if you had been taught the science of the universe from the start i believe your attitude would be very different. reverse the tables and pretend you were taught science and not about god but then someone comes along and tells you about him and has proof that he exists then i believe you would find it very hard to believe that person as you were raised on science. What completes our humanity is doing the right thing be it for the earth, your country, a loved one, a person whether or not they are in distress, pulling together to achieve a unified common goal; being a good human being is all one needs to complete themselves. If i know how many toothpicks there are i will divide them up evenly among those who have food stuck in their teeth, then buy more if their are others who need my help. i firmly believe our race is too young and uniformed of the truth to do without religion for know, its only a matter of time before they come to their senses.
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well your the one who started with the sarcasim and i do have the facts you and millions of others choose to ignore them because you are not ready for the truth and you feel your life will be nothing without religion; you think it completes your or our humanity. i would argue to my death that this is only because you or anyone else has been raised on religion. You are not born a free soul; you are born into a catholic, methodist, jewish family etc, your parents decided for you what religion you were going to be. unless you are lucky enough to be taught or strong enough to question what has been bred into you, you will always stuck looking for this wonderfull deity that most likely just does not nor ever has existed. if you had been taught the science of the universe from the start i believe your attitude would be very different. reverse the tables and pretend you were taught science and not about god but then someone comes along and tells you about him and has proof that he exists then i believe you would find it very hard to believe that person as you were raised on science. What completes our humanity is doing the right thing be it for the earth, your country, a loved one, a person whether or not they are in distress, pulling together to achieve a unified common goal; being a good human being is all one needs to complete themselves. If i know how many toothpicks there are i will divide them up evenly among those who have food stuck in their teeth, then buy more if their are others who need my help. i firmly believe our race is too young and uniformed of the truth to do without religion for know, its only a matter of time before they come to their senses.
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Guest: (3332 days ago)
Latest comment: That's where we have eclipsed the ancients, Cicero only thought of abusing his opponent when his facts and logic were insufficient, it never occurred to him to then blame them for making him do it. For a guy who says he relies on science you make a lot of unsupportable assumptions.
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Latest comment: That's where we have eclipsed the ancients, Cicero only thought of abusing his opponent when his facts and logic were insufficient, it never occurred to him to then blame them for making him do it. For a guy who says he relies on science you make a lot of unsupportable assumptions.
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Guest: (3335 days ago)
So you believe in luck hey, well that's a start. It's not what he says that is so stupid as the purported reasons for it, or rather the way he frames it ,as he isn't dealing in reasons so much as impressions. His whole presentation is closer to a cigarette commercial than an argument. 'Look we are so small, we must be insignificant', what bullshit. Religion is no more evil than any other human institution. Humans can turn anything to evil, science is no exception, read some modern history. Oh, but you say, that wasn't 'true' science, well that wasn't true religion either.
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So you believe in luck hey, well that's a start. It's not what he says that is so stupid as the purported reasons for it, or rather the way he frames it ,as he isn't dealing in reasons so much as impressions. His whole presentation is closer to a cigarette commercial than an argument. 'Look we are so small, we must be insignificant', what bullshit. Religion is no more evil than any other human institution. Humans can turn anything to evil, science is no exception, read some modern history. Oh, but you say, that wasn't 'true' science, well that wasn't true religion either.
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Guest: guest (3335 days ago)
well look past how he presents it, thats how he thought he could best get his message across to the us. to me his 'impressions' or facts seem pretty accurate, we are insignificant our size has nothing to do with it, the universe is just too vast for there to be no other higher life forms than us. Of course science can be evil you just have to look at what we have created with it, i would never debate that. With every positive aspect from science there is always someone who wishes to use it for evil, why would i say that evil as a result of science is not true science, thats just stupid and makes no sense. science explains clearly and logically the world we live in, religion does not and to me never has or will. I dont hold people own beliefs against them it is hard i know to contemplate our exsistance in the universe, it is just easier for people to believe in a grand designer who can forgive us our sins; rape, murder, mass genocide, pedophiles what god would make this, it is a result of evolution and evolution alone.We are the only ones who can fix our mistakes i just hope we learn soon enough
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well look past how he presents it, thats how he thought he could best get his message across to the us. to me his 'impressions' or facts seem pretty accurate, we are insignificant our size has nothing to do with it, the universe is just too vast for there to be no other higher life forms than us. Of course science can be evil you just have to look at what we have created with it, i would never debate that. With every positive aspect from science there is always someone who wishes to use it for evil, why would i say that evil as a result of science is not true science, thats just stupid and makes no sense. science explains clearly and logically the world we live in, religion does not and to me never has or will. I dont hold people own beliefs against them it is hard i know to contemplate our exsistance in the universe, it is just easier for people to believe in a grand designer who can forgive us our sins; rape, murder, mass genocide, pedophiles what god would make this, it is a result of evolution and evolution alone.We are the only ones who can fix our mistakes i just hope we learn soon enough
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Guest: (3336 days ago)
No. He is saying that you have to a broader perceptive. If you imagine that you a stuck in a tiny insignificant dust of the universe maybe you realize that it maybe not be the case that GOD (whatever it is) has a special purpose for you and therefore you (alone) have to realize yourself. Also, if you say that God has a special design for humans you have to prove it. If you don't, that's faith. You cannot prove that something doesn't exist. Hence, Sagan does not prove that God doesnt exist or that has a special design for you, because he can't. However, he says that the facts don't lead to that hypotheses.
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No. He is saying that you have to a broader perceptive. If you imagine that you a stuck in a tiny insignificant dust of the universe maybe you realize that it maybe not be the case that GOD (whatever it is) has a special purpose for you and therefore you (alone) have to realize yourself. Also, if you say that God has a special design for humans you have to prove it. If you don't, that's faith. You cannot prove that something doesn't exist. Hence, Sagan does not prove that God doesnt exist or that has a special design for you, because he can't. However, he says that the facts don't lead to that hypotheses.
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Guest: (3336 days ago)
And just how do you determine what is and is not significant? I'm not saying God has a special purpose for humans I'm saying it's just as illogical, just as demanding of proof to say he does as to assert he doesn't. The facts don't lead anywhere on the question because the key point is the nature of God, which is not known.
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And just how do you determine what is and is not significant? I'm not saying God has a special purpose for humans I'm saying it's just as illogical, just as demanding of proof to say he does as to assert he doesn't. The facts don't lead anywhere on the question because the key point is the nature of God, which is not known.
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Guest: (3334 days ago)
You are wrong when you say that "... just as demanding of proof to say he does as to assert he doesn't". For example, your life is full of actions based on assumptions that you make. You assume that gravity exists, that the sol will rise in the morning, ... etc. You also assume that there isn't an invisible man that will stop you when you choose some road. You make assumptions based on the facts that you captured in your life. To say that could be a God, that you don't even know that is, how it acts, or have a proof that exists is the same that saying... there that could be a invisible flying monkey in every place. If you say that something exists you have to proof it. Sagan is not proofing that God doesn't exist or it doesn't have a special purpose for humans. He is saying that there is no real proof that substantiate that statement like the existing of invisible flying monkeys. Again... you cannot proof that something doesn't exist. You only can not accept the proof that something exists. Thats a big difference. Sagan is just saying that there is no proof of the existence of a purpose for humans given by God.
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You are wrong when you say that "... just as demanding of proof to say he does as to assert he doesn't". For example, your life is full of actions based on assumptions that you make. You assume that gravity exists, that the sol will rise in the morning, ... etc. You also assume that there isn't an invisible man that will stop you when you choose some road. You make assumptions based on the facts that you captured in your life. To say that could be a God, that you don't even know that is, how it acts, or have a proof that exists is the same that saying... there that could be a invisible flying monkey in every place. If you say that something exists you have to proof it. Sagan is not proofing that God doesn't exist or it doesn't have a special purpose for humans. He is saying that there is no real proof that substantiate that statement like the existing of invisible flying monkeys. Again... you cannot proof that something doesn't exist. You only can not accept the proof that something exists. Thats a big difference. Sagan is just saying that there is no proof of the existence of a purpose for humans given by God.
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Guest: (3334 days ago)
There is no proof that there is such a thing as the United States of America. There are lots of people who say it exists, lots of pieces of paper with that name printed on them, there are even people who will deal with you rather harshly if you deny it's existence but it has no scientifically provable reality, it's a concept. And what about liberty, love, yearning, regret, aspiration and a thousand other things most people accept as real. They are real because we feel them to be real, we know them to be, they can't be quantified by science because they are outside the narrow premises in which science operates but they are the very fabric of our lives.
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There is no proof that there is such a thing as the United States of America. There are lots of people who say it exists, lots of pieces of paper with that name printed on them, there are even people who will deal with you rather harshly if you deny it's existence but it has no scientifically provable reality, it's a concept. And what about liberty, love, yearning, regret, aspiration and a thousand other things most people accept as real. They are real because we feel them to be real, we know them to be, they can't be quantified by science because they are outside the narrow premises in which science operates but they are the very fabric of our lives.
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Guest: (3332 days ago)
Ok. Now you have narrowed your justification. It always ends on personal experience. If you say that you feel the presence of GOD, or something, I can't disprove that. I can only accept what are you saying. For eg. if you say that you talk and listen to God, how do I distinguished you from a mental-patient that hears voices? How ? Another thing is about concepts. You talk about love, hate, liberty, etc... feelings. Right? No, they are words. We used them to communicate and have a meaning (see the dictionary). The meaning is not always a precise definition because it is a feeling. And everyone feels differentially. That is why on those cases are explain by description or examples, e.g.: "Love is a felling that you have when..." You have to read more about hormones and their effect in the human body. Some experiences show that if you take some hormones you will feel the "feeling" of love, i.e, the feeling that you describe as love. What do you have to say about that ? Science does not have narrow premises. Science is based on hypotheses (theory) and observations (that backup that theory or not). You can say that you see and feel God, but that is not enough to prove to others that it exists. Exists only for you.
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Ok. Now you have narrowed your justification. It always ends on personal experience. If you say that you feel the presence of GOD, or something, I can't disprove that. I can only accept what are you saying. For eg. if you say that you talk and listen to God, how do I distinguished you from a mental-patient that hears voices? How ? Another thing is about concepts. You talk about love, hate, liberty, etc... feelings. Right? No, they are words. We used them to communicate and have a meaning (see the dictionary). The meaning is not always a precise definition because it is a feeling. And everyone feels differentially. That is why on those cases are explain by description or examples, e.g.: "Love is a felling that you have when..." You have to read more about hormones and their effect in the human body. Some experiences show that if you take some hormones you will feel the "feeling" of love, i.e, the feeling that you describe as love. What do you have to say about that ? Science does not have narrow premises. Science is based on hypotheses (theory) and observations (that backup that theory or not). You can say that you see and feel God, but that is not enough to prove to others that it exists. Exists only for you.
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Guest: (3332 days ago)
Spend some time thinking about what your life would be like if you truly lived by these notions (I think it extremely unlikely you do, as I don't see how you could interact with other people). I don't see the problem with being able to stimulate love with an electrode or a chemical, why should it matter how it comes about? How does that change what it is? As to your concept of science, I think you need to work on that, you can start with where a hypothesis comes from and go on to what it means to observe.
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Spend some time thinking about what your life would be like if you truly lived by these notions (I think it extremely unlikely you do, as I don't see how you could interact with other people). I don't see the problem with being able to stimulate love with an electrode or a chemical, why should it matter how it comes about? How does that change what it is? As to your concept of science, I think you need to work on that, you can start with where a hypothesis comes from and go on to what it means to observe.
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Guest: Antisamit (3337 days ago)
I hear dead people.
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I hear dead people.
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Guest: (3336 days ago)
This must be the most evangelical atheist site on the net
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This must be the most evangelical atheist site on the net
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Guest: B. Graham (3333 days ago)
Yeah, more banjo music please - less science talk.
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Yeah, more banjo music please - less science talk.
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London1 London1 (3336 days ago)
That must make us one of the most intelligent, non-brainwashed and level headed websites on the net as well then !
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That must make us one of the most intelligent, non-brainwashed and level headed websites on the net as well then !
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BaldockJa BaldockJa (3336 days ago)
lol
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lol
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