SCIENCE VS RELIGION

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu May 10, 2012 8:32 pm

Good comments Mark. I have to say though that I think you're much too generous to Obama. He has said that his views were "evolving" and while it did take millions of years for vertebrates to appear on earth it is distressing for it to take so long for our President to evolve a spine.

A couple of days ago I heard a radio interview with historian Robert Caro who has just published the fourth volume of his epic series on LBJ. He told the story of how after the assasination Johnson was pushing for the passage of the civil rights legislation Kennedy had introduced. It was bottled up in committee and his advisors were telling him it had no chance and to forget it. Caro reports LBJ's response as "Well, what the hell's the presidency for?" LBJ was a deeply flawed man and a deeply flawed president but he knew how to use power. He knew one of the things the presidency is for is to lead and not simply be a weather vane.

The line from the pundits is that Obama's waffling is because of concern for the votes of whites in the swing states. But the people who oppose full civil rights for gays and lesbians aren't going to vote for Obama anyway. No the real issue has been one of Obama's core constituencies, the african-american community. A community that is in many ways, civil rights legacy notwithstanding, fundamentally conservative. Personally one of the most disheartening and demoralizing images to come out of this whole thing for me is the image of black ministers organizing their congregations to publically oppose full civll rights for homosexuals. The disconnect is terminal.

How can people who refused to be reduced to second class status be willing to reduce others to second class status? Well we all know why although it's not considered polite to say it. Is there a better demonstration of the pernicious influence of religion with its bronze age values and its silly superstitions?
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri May 11, 2012 6:34 am

Ezra,

I appreciate that Obama is late to the party in some respects, but I'm not inclined to beat him up too bad on this. No matter when he "came out", so to speak, it was going to cost him. There are two big differences between Obama and LBJ that I think relate. The first is simply a matter of numbers---Johnson was a Democrat of the Old School and the Democrats pretty much rank things. It was a Democratic Congress and Johnson had won by a landslide.

More pertinent---LBJ knew where all the bodies were buried.

Nevertheless, consider: he destroyed the Democratic Party with Civil Rights. The Dixiecrats deserted in droves and became Republicans, leaving him with a narrow margin of support and with an electorate so divided that Nixon won over LBJ's handpicked successor. We are still dealing with the fall-out from that.

However we would like the president to behave with what we perceive as clear-cut moral issues, he's on the inside watching shifting sands of coalitions that can hurt other projects. Making an unequivocal statement like this is a much bigger gamble for him than it was for LBJ, not because the two situations are not similar but because LBJ's temperament and character were less reflective and more reactive. LBJ got into politics in part to end poverty---and that wasn't going to happen until he ended legal discrimination. That was his main thing. Gay rights was not Obama's main thing. LBJ inherited a country that was still pretty much on the same page with most things; Obama has a country that's divided on the place settings and tablewear.

Just my opinion.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Fri May 11, 2012 7:16 am

This goes against Ezra's idea that Christians cannot evolve.

We not only get baptized by water, the cold water of reality hits us as well.

--------------

Gabby Giffords voted for Obamacare, for Cap and Trade, for the stimulus and she's a blue dog. O aint a lib. Vote Jill Stein.

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Fri May 11, 2012 9:32 pm

This goes against Ezra's idea that Christians cannot evolve.

I was a christian and I evolved.


Mark, it all comes down to one's answer to LBJ's question. What the hell's the presidency for? I have no doubt that Obama would be prepared to sign any amount of progressive legislation if it was presented to him. He's just not going to lift a finger for it and take any risks. LBJ was willing to fight with everything he had for what he believed. I'm getting tired of voting for democrats just because they're not republicans.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Sat May 12, 2012 3:31 pm

Chomsky digs Sir Isaac Newton:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5in5EdjhD0

The mind is complex, there are no answers. My head.

User avatar
NeonMosfet
Posts: 259
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:36 am
Location: E=MaCy^2
Contact:

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby NeonMosfet » Sat May 12, 2012 6:34 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote:This goes against Ezra's idea that Christians cannot evolve.

I was a christian and I evolved.


Mark, it all comes down to one's answer to LBJ's question. What the hell's the presidency for? I have no doubt that Obama would be prepared to sign any amount of progressive legislation if it was presented to him. He's just not going to lift a finger for it and take any risks. LBJ was willing to fight with everything he had for what he believed. I'm getting tired of voting for democrats just because they're not republicans.
That is precisely what it has come down to. The Republican Party has reduced itself to Hitler, Göring, Himmler, Eichmann, Borman, Höss, Grese, and little Eva, too. What is almost funny, though it is too tragic, is that most of the rank and file Republicans, would learn, much to their horror, that even they, are not white enough. Obama is weak, , but, at least for now, he is not dangerous. So, yeah. We vote for Obama, because he is not a Republican.
Myopia Through Convexed Harlequins

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sun May 13, 2012 2:01 pm

Hey Neon! Weak but not dangerous. Well put. Perhaps the most we can hope for?


FrankChurch wrote:Chomsky digs Sir Isaac Newton:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5in5EdjhD0

The mind is complex, there are no answers. My head.


Good clip. Always nice to hear Chomsky on a subject other than his usual political spiel. I particulary liked the line about doing away with the idea of the "ghost in the machine" not because there's no ghost but because there's no machine. H P Lovecraft, in one his essays about the then (1920s) new discoveries of quantum physics, has a great line which goes something like "Matter now is what the ancients thought spirit to be". But none of this accomplishes what you hope it will accomplish. To provide a back door through which all those old discarded ideas can slip in.

There are answers. There is just no Answer.

Some interesting new books-

THE MODERNIST GOD-STATE by Michael Lackey.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Modernist-God ... 591&sr=1-1

A UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING by Lawrence Krauss

http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing- ... 115&sr=1-1
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Mon May 14, 2012 10:47 am

Good lord, I'm helping the atheists! God, forgive me!! Runz.

User avatar
Lori Koonce
Posts: 3538
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:10 pm
Location: San Francisco California
Contact:

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Lori Koonce » Mon May 14, 2012 11:47 am

FrankChurch wrote:Good lord, I'm helping the atheists! God, forgive me!! Runz.


*grabbing Frank by the Collar* Dude, calm yourself. How many times in the NT did Jesus tell you guys to treat people the way you want to be treated? You're just doing his will. Which is the minimum he expects outta ya, ya know.

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon May 14, 2012 1:06 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Good lord, I'm helping the atheists! God, forgive me!! Runz.


Annoying paradox ain't it Frank? But my friend if you genuinely seek after the truth you must be open to the possibility that it may be other than what you expected. Because, bubba, it almost always will be. It certainly was different to what I grew up thinking it was.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
Ben W.
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:07 pm

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ben W. » Mon May 14, 2012 5:22 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote:THE MODERNIST GOD-STATE by Michael Lackey.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Modernist-God ... 591&sr=1-1


Oh, dear. When Hitler gets dragged into a religion/science debate, things are guaranteed to turn ugly. I once made a video lampooning this dilemma, and my own experiences on this thread in particular:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTLuyCMAscI

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ezra Lb. » Tue May 15, 2012 8:35 am

Good Ben! The more we mention Prof Lackey's book the better the chance that it will sell more than 10 copies.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Tue May 15, 2012 8:59 am

That would make Ben Lackey's lackey. Boom!

User avatar
Ben W.
Posts: 443
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:07 pm

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby Ben W. » Tue May 15, 2012 12:06 pm

Ezra Lb. wrote:Good Ben! The more we mention Prof Lackey's book the better the chance that it will sell more than 10 copies.


Are you bitter? You sound bitter.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: SCIENCE VS RELIGION

Postby FrankChurch » Tue May 15, 2012 4:26 pm

I'd be bitter too if I was going to hell. :mrgreen:


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests