Today on Blogcritics
Home » Culture and Society » Science and Technology » The Ultimate Theory of Science, Religion, Faith, Opinion, Facts, and Eternity?

The Ultimate Theory of Science, Religion, Faith, Opinion, Facts, and Eternity?

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Up front, though it may appear otherwise, this is not a commentary against the small  community churches that serve to strengthen our nation’s moral fiber and to teach the difference between right and wrong. Those who use God’s name to justify murder, hatred, and bigotry are another matter.

This article is designed to make you think, to ponder, and even to laugh out loud occasionally, despite its serious subject… after all nothing loses your readers faster than a dull harangue that goes on and on and on, without a few chuckles thrown in for punctuation… right? For those of you who actually reach the end of this piece with your sanity intact, I’ll remind you I did use the word “theory” in the title and that said title does after all end in a question mark, and I will explain why in the last paragraph.

And so…

I consider it an axiom that if you can’t trust the source of your information, then it follows that you can’t trust the opinions, conclusions or facts that the absorption of it produces — or so I’ve been told. After all, aren’t facts really nothing more than widely accepted opinions?

But what happens when your main information source becomes as outdated as an old forgotten computer running DOS that’s never even heard of Windows? Like our old computer, even if the ancient scribes of the Bible knew and understood how the universe actually works, they’d sadly lack the vocabulary to describe it, and their readers would probably dismiss their explanations as evil heresy. It is human nature to fear what you don’t understand, and many kill what they fear, so the authors of the Holy Bible tended to keep their teachings simple, regardless of the complex lessons they were trying to relay.

In recent times I’ve found my personal faith shaken. Like an argument that’s been built on unstable ground, I can’t repair it by nit picking the little things that are wrong, or wedging a brick beneath a sinking foundation to temporarily keep its floor level.

In our day and age, the battle to move forward in knowledge, while staying morally rooted in the past is like the sturdy flying buttresses on opposite sides of an ancient church. The holy sanctuary would most assuredly fall down if either of them stopped leaning against it, but like a stubborn old man, it refuses to acknowledge that it even needs them. Worse yet, as new churches are built around it, shock sets in when it realizes that the new ones don’t even need the buttresses that he relies on.

Rather than the old church exposing its faults in order to have them repaired and strengthened, it instead hides them in favor of distractions, causing continued and unchecked deterioration. “See my beautiful classic stained glass, and my golden objects  and my fancy leather-bound books of worship?” Like the Wizard of Oz, the grand cathedral needs its followers to pay attention to the frightening yet beckoning statues, billowing smoke, and terrifying lightning in order to keep its parishioners from noticing “that man behind the curtain” working its special effects.

Today, in one hand we in America hold the latest science book, and in the other the Christian Bible. Both are equally believable and equally important, but in many ways they are in direct opposition to each other simply because of the way they are both interpreted as unimpeachable and factual texts. In an age of constant discovery, the average science volume, regardless of subject, is usually discarded as outdated within five to eight years.

By contrast the Christian Bible, in an assortment of forms and along with other religious texts, has survived the various ages of constant scientific discovery for nearly twenty centuries.

It has always bothered me that biblical faith and proven science can’t seem to co-exist in peace without doing harmful battle with one another. It makes many think that the established church, all the while preaching love and acceptance, would rather sing “Onward Christian Soldiers” than to stretch out a hand to its neighbors. Granted, there are rare pockets of coexistence like the American Amish/Pennsylvania Dutch living side by side with modern culture. Two completely different ways of life that not only tolerate each other, but also respect each other’s values. Remarkably the horse and buggy coexists with the automobile in peace and mutual respect.

But is it really a well-crafted illusion that the Bible has actually survived as well as science?

While science is constantly evolving (sorry for the necessary use of the “E” word), the church has not. As the Christian faith realized that attendance figures were faltering in mid-20th century, the only effective solution was not to assimilate itself into modern society, but to legislate outdated religious dogma in order to force it upon the increasingly reluctant population in the form of laws. People must be compelled to attend church, so no commercial business will be conducted on Sunday, no alcohol will be sold on the Sabbath either, and as its political power grew, as did its wealth, established religion demanded and got laws that gave it immunity from taxation.

Is there anyone left still wondering why there are no federally mandated Jewish or Islamic national holidays in the United States?

The Christian church has even flaunted its power by demanding that we post on our money "In God We Trust.” But how do we decide which opposing denomination’s God does that motto represent? The axiom has currently been there for so long that people are convinced that our founding fathers by design dictated that it should be there hundreds of years ago when our country was founded, rather than it being a recent addition demanded by those same religious zealots' forefathers in the 1950s. It actually showed up sporadically on our coins in the 1860s and was legislated onto our paper money in 1957 and began appearing on it in 1961 — only a little over forty years ago.

For a while their scenario worked, but with the arrival of the volatile 1960s, resistance began cracking their powerful façade. Like the earlier fighters against the “religious right’s” successful constitutional amendment regarding prohibition of all alcoholic beverages, businesses began defying dogma and staying open on Sundays. Our new dollar coin contains the motto, but it has now been pushed aside and into obscurity at the outer edge of the coin instead of prominently on its face.

So let us look at the effects of strict biblical teachings, as opposed to the piddling and easily disputed minor details.

Intolerance and Judgment in the Name of God

Even in these modern times, whenever religious fundamentalism (regardless of the denomination) enters an era of intolerance, innocent people die. People become judged and are killed for senseless crimes in the name of God. You need look no further than the Crusades for instance where people were publicly, viciously, and slowly tortured if they refused to renounce their religion in favor of Christianity. This resulted in tens of thousands of Muslims, Jews, and other non-Christians to be horribly put to death — in the name of God.

Other examples are the Salem witch hunts, Ireland in the days when you could die because you were Protestant or Catholic, depending on what neighborhood you were trying to traverse, and of course today’s Middle East, where identical looking people (to the uneducated) offhandedly and without a second thought regularly kill each other and themselves simply because of their faith. Of course there’s also the Nazi wholesale slaughter of millions of people who were merely declared Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals regardless of whether they actually were or not.

I don't have a problem with my own or other’s chosen faith regarding the existence of God. I do have problems with the hundreds of versions of him/her/it (?) that various opposing groups have created while insisting loudly that theirs — and only theirs — is the correct one. Whole communities are lured into beautiful multi-million dollar stadium-sized sanctuaries with the all-accepting promise of God’s love for everyone, and the rapture felt when you accept Jesus Christ as your only savior.

It’s only after you’ve committed yourself body and wallet, that you realize the extent of the “bait and switch” con that’s been perpetrated on you. Your preacher’s speeches begin to sound more like financial advice than theological sermons. Too late, you’ve realized that peer group pressure will make you pity and belittle people that you once considered friends, for no other reason than at the instruction of the Phelpses, Falwells, and Robertsons of our time.

Every Word in the Bible is True, Accurate, and Infallible

The divine texts are the first best source of “facts.” “The lord giveth and the lord taketh away” is a generally accepted “quoted for truth” statement because it’s written in the Holy Scriptures. In our troubled times of need or of great loss, that comforting phrase is quoted constantly and repeatedly as indisputable fact.

But…

In the actual biblical story of Job, the Lord indeed did “giveth.” However, God got a bad rap in the deal, because it was the devil who “taketh” away relentlessly and repeatedly to test Job's faith. Granted, Job indeed spoke the famous and grossly over-quoted line, but he was absolutely and undeniably wrong, which conflicts with what we were taught all through our life — that the Bible word-for-word is “gospel.”

So whom do you believe? Job and the people who tell you that every word written in the Bible is fundamentally an absolute unerring fact, or your own eyes after reading the quote in context? This is a perfect example of how someone can conveniently pick and choose which words in the Bible mean what he/she wants them to mean, regardless of context. The danger is once that is done, other Christians blindly follow along en mass as witnessed by the phrase being used almost continuously through the years by them thereafter.

It all comes down to which source of information you rely on, or more importantly on the attitudes of those who taught you your “facts”.

What has someone selectively left out of the most Holy of texts?

Imagine the following experiment: Put twenty people in a room. Of the assembled, five speak English, five speak Spanish, five speak German, and five speak French. Only three of these people can cross-translate fluently between the languages. Tell a very brief story to one and have him pass it on at random only once to one other person at a time until the tale comes back to you. You will not get the same thing you started with — that I can guarantee. Now imagine that story – along with hundreds of others – being verbally passed on through at least three centuries before someone actually put them to print on scrolls for posterity.

Then after another thousand years, yet another group sat down representing an English king, and decided arbitrarily which chapters they agreed with, and which didn't fit into their idea of what their final Bible would say — which is exactly what happened to the telling of Jesus' missing teen years and other conflicting dogma not included in the final “edit.” Yet our very civilization is built upon that exact same set of shaky and outdated folk tales, relying on it never to fail or confuse us through numerous different yet similar interpretations, ergo: “Well, Matthew said it went like this, but Mark told it better, but I believe Luke’s version, even though John’s is more believable, despite my suspicions that he co-wrote it with Paul, George, and Ringo.”

How Long After the Events Involved Was the Bible Actually Written?

Are the Bible’s teachings relevant to today’s times and circumstances? The scriptures are actually a collection of compelling, glorious, and educational stories about events that were relayed piecemeal and verbally from one generation to the next for approximately three to six hundred years. They were eventually written down in their various languages on hand-printed and deteriorating scrolls. Modern theological scholars point out that the hundreds of years are moot, because God guided their hands and minds while writing them down for posterity.

Odd that God didn’t think of how quickly those scrolls would deteriorate into nearly useless scraps and have them carved on something similar to Moses' stone tablets. Then again if Moses was any example, they’d get lost or destroyed almost immediately after they were produced… and a single bible would weigh tons, so it’s just as well. Nor had our sacred creator counted on 1,300 years passing by, give or take a few, at which time the aforementioned King James’ Christians got their hands and blue editing pencils on them.

To this very day, it sometimes frightens me that modern day religious scholars present and teach intelligent design “facts” from the Bible on a daily basis to young private school children, using a text originally written nearly two thousand years ago when it was an established and undeniable “fact” that the earth as a whole was absolutely… flat.

Relevant? I could go on and on about modern methods of herding and sacrificing sheep, handy hints on how to keep your third wife of six from turning to salt, and the all important sailing and wine tips, but they’ve been covered by more intelligent people than myself.

Keeping Those All-Important Dates Correct

It has repeatedly been ordained that the date of our Holy Savior’s birth and his later resurrection must be respectfully celebrated with great care. Those aforementioned same parochial teachers two paragraphs back quote chapter and verse from a text that doesn't even name its own holy savior’s birthday, even though we’re all required to celebrate it faithfully every year on a date that someone arbitrarily and for all intents and purposes guessed at, some unknown centuries after it actually happened.

We are also chronicling our calendar since his birth year using a centuries old “calculated estimation…” probably using the same fuzzy math that causes Easter (the hallowed date of Jesus's rising) to fall on a different calendar date every year.

Consider this. At the time that the honored King James Version was translated and compiled to book form, a mere four hundred years or so ago in 1611, the all-knowing and most holy church considered it a “fact” that the sun and all of the stars and planets rotated around the Earth in a sort of Tychonic system. The almighty and even more all-knowing holy father in Rome was so convinced of this, that just four years after King James released his “version,” poor Galileo (1564-1642) with all of his ingenuity and intellect was nearly condemned and entombed in 1616 for heresy by the learned and sacred Pope for merely suggesting that the Earth wasn’t God’s intended center of the universe – a "fact" backed up by a religion that only after more than three hundred and fifty years of careful consideration, has finally and just recently admitted that it was wrong about the long-dead astronomer.

Science vs. God and Those Pesky Unanswerable Questions

Some questions equally defy both intelligent design as well as scientific measurements. Like it or not, some things just have to be taken on faith. I’ve never seen the Indian Ocean; I’ve never seen the Swiss Alps; I’ve never even seen the North Pole, despite news that Santa Clause is panicking because it’s melting. I agree and acknowledge that they all are real. They’re there if only because someone I trusted told me that they exist. On the other hand things are inserted into movies and photos all the time that aren’t really there, behind actors who may or not be there either. The sun is 93 million miles from Earth, an established fact that I believe, though I didn’t take a tape measure and stretch it to the sun. Now if they told me the sun was 5,280,000,000 pop bottles laid end to end from the earth, I might be able to actually grasp the measurement… well, maybe not.

Distance vs. Infinity

What is beyond the farthest distance that we can intellectually imagine? Once we’ve tentatively established this illusive point in the universe, the paradox becomes that we can still travel quadrillions of miles to the tenth power farther beyond that very point. Like it or not, wherever we pause on our journey to look around, there has to be something beyond. What was God’s purpose in creating an infinite and detectable number of distant and completely unpopulated suns, planets, and galaxies – indeed universes – that he then never gave us the ability to eventually visit or understand?

Forgive me a moment; I’m still astonished that my spell-checker actually confirmed my spelling of the term “quadrillions,” and that I actually got it right on the first try!

Now where was I? Oh, yes…

Most people consider distance in only one or three directions, forward, cumulatively or upward. However any distance we can wrap our intellect around can then be halved… and then halved again… and again. How hard is it to understand something that is one billionth the size of an atom? Theoretically speaking, what would a hypothetical intelligent being standing on that particle think of the universe that he could perceive? He would be as completely unaware of our existence/universe as we are of his. Indeed, he’d believe as fact (as we do) that such a thing couldn’t possibly exist.

But just how many cumulative facts can you willingly believe on faith alone? Get a pen and put a dot at the top edge of a standard sheet of 8½ by 11-inch paper, and then another at the bottom edge. As long as the parchment stays intact, the distance between the two dots can never be more than eleven inches. In addition, some will argue that it can never be less than that, calling the declaration a “God’s truth,” or the proverbial and overused “quoted for truth.” In front of their questioning eyes, simply bend or fold the paper in half so that the dots are touching, placing the distance betwixt them now at zero. A cute trick, but while theoretical astrophysicists maintain that it can supposedly be done within vast millions of light years’ worth of distance using the ever handy and popular black hole, can it realistically be done?

Speed is a combination of two infinites. The speed of something is the distance that an object travels compared to a set amount of time. However the speed of sound varies depending on the medium that it’s traveling through. Can time vary depending on what it exists in? It is said that a massive star's gravity can bend light but can it actually (as learned professors and Star Trek fans insist) bend time?

Infinity vs. Time vs. God

Only a fool would claim to have a clue as to what eternity/infinity really is. If you accept the truest definition of the term, you find yourself with two just-barely understandable, distinct and conflicting “facts,” depending on which source of information you rely on:

A. Time extends ten, indeed a hundred, or even a thousand or more times farther back than the currently immeasurable period in which God exist(s)ed; therefore as long as the creator has existed, he comparatively has not existed infinitely longer… right?

B. God is eternal; he will always exist; he has always existed.

Which opinion do we believe? What existed before time? What existed before God? Something would've had to have… wouldn't it?

At the beginning of this exceedingly long piece, I stated that without trust in our source of information, it’s impossible to have facts. Without facts we have chaos. It is considered a fact that man can never travel faster than the speed of light (again, unless you’re a Star Trek fan). It was the same kind of thinking that once led people in the mid-19th century to assert confidently that a man could never travel on a train over the speed of 35 miles per hour because all of the breathable air would be sucked out of the rail car.

It is this kind of closed-minded thinking that has brought the United States to a state of chaos – financially, politically, and spiritually.

Through all of this confusion, the worst and most tragic paradox of all has risen. It has become man’s standard operating procedure in these times by way of religious teachings to point out our differences as a weakness rather than strength. This seems to condemn us for all eternity to be at odds with each other.

How does opinion become fact? Easy – when someone agrees with it. Well, actually when a lot of someones agree with it. As history has shown repeatedly, it doesn't matter if the particular opinion is actually true or not, just that it's accepted as “fact.”

A parting but small religion/astronomy anomaly/tidbit for you to ponder (just to see if you’ve really been paying attention): When it was formed, our little yellow dwarf sun didn’t (and still doesn’t) theoretically have the immense gravitational mass needed to have produced heavy elements like uranium, gold, and lead, etc. The only workable theory is that our present star is made up of the leftover remnants of a much larger star that existed on the spot we now occupy. When this previous star went supernova a few billion years ago, it first imploded in on itself and then violently exploded. In the mega-gravity of that collapse, the immense pressure fused hydrogen atoms together by force to form our inherited heavy elements. They were then flung outward in the violent aftermath to eventually coalesce into our current sun and its planets. (I’d mention how many planets, but that number keeps changing from decade to decade.)

Makes you wonder why God didn’t just do another flood instead of blowing the whole thing up and starting all over again Sodom and Gomorrah-style, doesn’t it?

So… we have Opinions that become Facts. If the facts fall victim to those who refuse to believe them, they are self-righteously declared “theories,” because no one wants to claim them as their opinions any more.

That's what is so much fun about opinions; you don't have to back them up with facts or links to dubious websites that just happen to agree with you. If you don't agree with me, I'll just shrug and say go look up your own "facts" – they'll be just as believable as mine; theoretically speaking, anyway…

But of course (and you HAD to have seen this coming a light-year away) that’s only my opinion…

Powered by

About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well, that went over like a lead balloon…

  • Ruvy

    Your first problem is that you are preaching to a choir (that I don’t belong to, by the way).

    Your second problem is that in considering religion versus science, you only considered the Greek view – that Mind and Matter are entirely separate, and you really looked at only one religion – one that tried to marry Greek pagan philosophical ideas to Jewish humanism, and which then tried to cut off its Hebrew roots.

    Your final problem was your failure to consider that politics dominates science as much it does religion – evidence debunking slow evolution (found in the 1920’s), as opposed to sudden evolutionary change, was left sitting in a drawer for decades because it would not have been politically correct to debunk Darwin’s ideas.

    Lead balloons generally have problems like these….

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    The fact that it reads like an eighth grade term paper artificially inflated to reach a teacher-mandated 3,000-word count didn’t exactly help, either.

    Jeez, Jet, couldn’t wait more than a few hours to admit yourself that your article was not thought provoking?

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    It’s not actually possible to consider religion versus science.

    Religion is a bunch of unsupported theories based on the persistent assumption that there is some weird superpower.

    Science is hard won knowledge proven by developing theories and then testing them.

    I don’t have a problem with believing in the existence of omnipotent super beings but I’m not about to do so based on myth, legend and superstition.

    I think the issue for the author may be that they used to believe, then they didn’t and now they’re not absolutely sure, a bit like Sussman’s belief in the supremacy of American sports, lol!

  • Ruvy

    A proper article on the topic would include views such as yours, Chris. While you have already made up your mind, others haven’t; hence the value of articles like these properly written, covering a wide range of view-points

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, although I understand why you seek to reduce the points I made to a “view”, they are actually facts – apart from the last sentence of course.

    It isn’t possible to compare religion and science, religion is entirely unsubstantiated and science isn’t.

    It’s actually you that has a mere view, and we all know why that is…

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Ruvy, when I wrote this, it was four times as long. Lisa loved it, but said I had to edit it down somehow, so I dumped the entire political part for a later date. After all this thing is an eight pager after I trimmed a lot of material.

    Here in the U.S. the problem is with the fundamentalist christians trying to force their dogma onto the laws, so that’s what I set upon.

    Thus the line, Is there anyone out there that still doesn’t wonder why there are no Jewish or Muslim federal holidays?

    I figured the Jews have enough problems without my adding to it, the whole conversation would turn into a slugfest of the Arabs and the Jews.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Matt. I can’t have an article officially until you give your stamp of disapproval. Now I can relax.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chris and Ruvy are like the picture of the horse & buggy, and the police car on the same road, it’s the perfect portrait of them.

    This is after all an opinion piece-mine to be precise. Bellttling it is really moot as, as long as I’m comfortable with it, que sera sera.

    An opinion any opinion of the piece is fine with me, as I noted in the final paragraph.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    By the way folks, the whole point of this article is that an opinion can never be wrong until someone tries to brand it as fact.

    I had covered Political, Religious, and science opinions when this was written, and I was (and still am, considering publishing the entire thing on my personal blog.

    However, once I began editing in order to make it paletable, I ended up watering down a lot of things, so I consentrated on the Religious/Scienct point of view and saved teh rest for later.

  • Ruvy

    although I understand why you seek to reduce the points I made to a “view”, they are actually facts

    It isn’t possible to compare religion and science, religion is entirely unsubstantiated and science isn’t.

    Jet sought to cover science, religion, faith, opinion and facts. You allege that all that is relevant is science, and everything else is just trash. Having made up your mind on the matter, you proceed to dismiss any other possibility – just like the most closed minded theologian.

    But for all of your rattling around and waving your views – and that is what they are – views, there are things in this universe that you cannot understand or explain at all, which religion attempts to. Jet understands this and attempted an article on the issue.

    He would have done better to broaden his scope and look at more than just the Greek view that Mind is separate from Matter – there are other views that explain reality just as well – but he didn’t. Mostly this is because his own theological training led him not to question the Greek view – Presbyterianism is just a branch of Christianity, a religion heavily influenced by Greek paganism.

    Jet would have done better to cast his net more widely and look at other religions as well, as well as assertions that much of ancient Indian texts are indeed science, rather than theology.

    There is more to the universe than you imagine, Chris, and your blinders are blocking your view terribly.

    Just digging into the root of the word “whore” can broaden your view considerably.

    A friend of mine writing a book on the Qur’an wrote recently:

    “I have been thinking about the references to the ‘Houris’, the white maidens of paradise who await the faithful (in Islam).

    The term ‘Houri’ brings to mind similar terms, such as Whore, Hurrian, Aryan, the root word being ‘Or’? (or is light in Hebrew).” Note that light is a fundamental element of the universe.

    He then cites the following from a web search (which I abbreviated considerably to just this entry).

    Authentic Herstory of Prostitution
    The word whore is an English corruption of the Old Semitic word hor, …. Today the Horites are variously referred to as “Hurrians,” “Hittites,” or “Hivites …
    http://www.coyotela.org/history.html – 54k – Cached – Similar pages
    [PDF]

    Those are just some thoughts, Chris, but at least he is thinking, instead of arrogantly dismissing the views of others.

    Of course, some folks can’t be bothered to think – it might interfere with watching that game Manchester United is playing.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    The subject boiled down is how Science and Religion can’t co-exist and the danger when religion attempt to force its views onto science… and vice versa, because when that happens, as I point out, people die, like they didn in Ireland, Salem, Germany and now Isreal and the entire middle east.

    As I pointed out Ruvy, and I’m glad you slogged through the whole thing, it would’ve been a minimum of 14 pages, if I didn’t save a few things for a sequel.

    As for Mr. Sussmans’s assessment, I believe he was chastising me for the “lead balloon” comment. however he misunderstood that I was remarking about the humor I tried to inject into the piece and not the article itself.

    The point of the piece is not an examination of religious dogmas, as much as a op-ed on the dangers when the two clash.

  • Ruvy

    Jet, I appreciate your fforts, but do notice that

    1) I did not introduce Judaism into the debate here – doing so would b e counter-productive, as you point out;
    2) An article covering the entire issue could conceivably be written in eight or nine pages, or be divided into two parts;
    3) In looking at this, I cast my net far wider than you do. I cold have cast it even wider, but I have limits on how many links I can introduce, not to mention the time I have to write.

  • Ruvy

    A final question for you, Jet.

    Need religion and science clash at all? You set up a dichotomy and proceed to examine the dangers when the tomoi (someone who really knows his Greek should look at this) clash. Need there be a dichotomy at all?

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Ruvy states: There is more to the universe than you imagine, Chris, and your blinders are blocking your view terribly.

    Dear Ruvy, I value and cherish your friendship, but of late, I think you need to turn that comment back in on yourself.

    I tried to cover all points of view in a very limited forum, so I didn’t have time to “cast my net” so to speak without producing something that’d take two hours to read.

    In the U.S. unless a subject is boiled down to brief sound bites you’ll lose your audience almost immediately-which I pointed out.

    There are points in the article that say that God is and always will “be’ through infinity going forward or back, and I tried to examine the paradox in that.

    As you and we all are aware Ruvy, you are here for one specific purpose, to present the pointedly Jewish point of view in an educated and ponderous why… which you do quite well.

    I felt I’d be stepping on your toes, if I attempted your point of view, just as I’d be perplexed if you tried to present a gay man’s attitudes about life and politics (which everyone should note that I pointedly kept out of this article… for a change)

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Very quickly Ruvy. Religion is based on things that a man can only see by faith. Science is based on things that mankind can hold in his hand and examine.

    It comes down to those two simple, yet complicated axiums.

    Religious faith, is believing in something that can only be felt from within. It’s like a woman describing what her orgasm feels like to a man-you have to experience it for yourself, or your lost and no amount of prose or vocabulary will ever get a man to understand it.

    Scientific faith has no need to experience anything second-hand. It produces conclusions based on what can be proven and reproven again without a leap of “faith” to see and understand.

    The proof that God exists is something that can only be felt in the soul on an individual basis.

    Science is someone telling me that ice cubes melt if left out of the freezer, I can take that statement on faith, or I can take one out, and watch it melt. That kind of proof of the existance of God is not possible, therefore unless he appears here on Earth and announces it to the world for all to see, his existance is impossible to prove.
    The horse and buggy and the car.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Ruvy, I’d value your views on the issue I’ve raised on page three entitled-Intolerance and Judgment in the Name of God.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Here’s part of the article that was left out regarding politics…

    Opinion
    … it’s what drives democracy, because it is what must be swayed and kneaded in order to fit a certain point of view into the “majority” point of view. It could be my opinion, your opinion, anyone’s opinion; or most likely the opinion of the editor of your favorite print, video, website or radio news source.

    An election is nothing more, really, than a massive opinion poll. When all is said and done, elected officials are put in office not by facts or statistics, but by the participating electorate’s estimation of the candidates’ character as presented in 30-second sound bites and advertisements. The vast majority of the American people (myself included) aren’t even remotely qualified to quantify which candidate is better to hold office. The fact that our people don’t seem to grasp is that not a single U.S. President in the last century (possibly longer than that,) has ever been elected to office by the majority of the American people.

    How do I know that?

    Because I read it somewhere, or someone that I trusted told me; quite frankly I’m not sure which. Such is the typical American’s thought process. That’s how “opinions” become “facts” (or so I’ve been told.)

    Fact vs. Opinion
    I have accepted the “fact” that not a single United States national election was voted on by more than fifty percent of the eligible population; therefore if a presidential candidate took all one hundred percent of the tallied vote, he was still not elected by the majority of the people that he’s been “hired” to represent. I also know it, because my TV and newspaper told me so, even though I have to admit that I didn’t go out and count the votes myself. (The highest was in 1960 recorded at 62.8% and the lowest was in 1996 at 49%; however the results are skewed upwards, because North Dakota doesn’t have voter registration, and Wisconsin allows voters to register on the day of the election.) Nor have I ever been a member of the Electoral College, and in “fact” I’m in the majority of Americans who have only a vague idea of what the Electoral College is… or what it does …or what it doesn’t do.

    If I had my way, Election Day would be a national holiday. If someone wanted to work that day, they’d have to first present evidence that they voted… but that’s only my opinion, so it’s doubtful that the idea would ever come to pass. After all, as a sign I used to have over my desk once read: “IF IT MAKES SENSE — IT’S AGAINST COMPANY POLICY.”

    Correspondingly, our political candidates are completely different people, but they are so identically and convincingly presented by professionals using the same thought methods, that inevitably none of us can perceive any difference between them… so in collective confusion, the half of us who even bother to vote go one way and half the other.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    It then went into the insane notion that to some a political candidate can’t be taken seriously unless he/she is wearing a flag pin on his/her lapel.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy, every time we try to discuss these issues I become discouraged because you go off on so many tangents and make ludicrous responses that have no bearing on what has actually been said. A finer demonstration of the woolly nature of faithist “thinking” there could not be.

    I didn’t “allege that all that is relevant is science”, I simply made the indisputable statement that it is not possible to compare religion and science. It isn’t. That isn’t a view, it just is, just as you could not compare philosophy and pumpkins, to pick two arbitrary words at random.

    I wasn’t rattling around at all, you just want to reduce my perspective to that because your ego is wrapped up so strongly in your faith. I just made a quiet statement of fact.

    I’m well aware that there are things in this universe that I, or science, can’t explain – yet. I’m comfortable with the fact that we humans haven’t got everything figured out, that it is all still a work in progress. We’re doing pretty well given the age of the universe and that we’ve only emerged out of the dark ages so very recently.

    Judeo-Christian-Islamic religious ideas aren’t an attempt to explain the universe, just a dogma based on the unproven and largely unsupported idea that everything was created by a superbeing. Given the dubious starting point there seems little point in following those ideas, just as I wouldn’t spend much time in a house built on sand.

    Your repeated remark that “There is more to the universe than you imagine, Chris, and your blinders are blocking your view terribly” is as patronising as it is self serving.

    You have no idea what I imagine about the universe and the only blinder I have on is the fairly sensible one that there is no omnipotent superbeing.

    The truth, of course, is that you are the blinded one, blinded by the irrational faith you have that this absentee superbeing exists.

    I’ve absolutely no idea why you suddenly veered off into some rambling discourse about the etymology of the word “whore”. Do you?

    You keep trying to make the case that I’m not thinking, which I find very amusing. As I have indicated to you many times and you conveniently ignore, I can accept the possibility that there might be a god, but you can’t consider for one minute that there isn’t.

    Oh, the English football season ended last month, so your tragically inept attempt at a put-down was as inaccurate as the rest of your little tirade. You simply are incapable of addressing the core issue here, which is your determinedly dogmatic assertion that this god exists and your inability to let go of that. I think it makes you feel special and I might even agree – but I’d be thinking of the special Olympics…

    Jet, science and religion can co-exist so your point is moot. Science and Christmas co-exist for example. I fully agree though that religion ought to be kept as far as possible from the law of any land. That’s as crazy as say, allowing decisions to be made in the White House based on astrology. Oh wait, that did happen! lol

    I was disappointed with your comment that “The proof that God exists is something that can only be felt in the soul on an individual basis.” That’s the kind of unsubstantiatable doublespeak I’d expect from Ruvy. Actually, direct “religious experience” can be easily induced by applying a couple of electrodes to the brain as has been proven by scientific research.

  • http://canadiancinephile.com/ Jordan Richardson

    Actually, direct “religious experience” can be easily induced by applying a couple of electrodes to the brain as has been proven by scientific research.

    Christopher, can you be more specific here? What “religious experience” are you referring to? Can I see the research or at least an example of the tests performed?

  • Ruvy

    Jet,

    You’ve done a very good job of describing faith and belief in G-d for Jews and Moslems. I agree with comment #16 100%. But there need not be a dichotomy between faith and science. Both are paths of wisdom and knowledge, which use different tools available to us mere mortals. And not all religions believe in G-d.

    Hinduism, properly called Dharma, has several theories on this issue, which revolve around a universe with a G-dhead, or a universe without a G-dhead, where all is illusion and dissolves into nothingness (shunyata) in the final analysis. The Hindu “gods” are not really gods at all, but reflections of different characters of the G-dhead.

    (My apologies to Hindus and Buddhists reading this – one does one’s best with the limited understanding at hand.)

    Buddhism, similarly, doesn’t deal with issues of redemption or salvation common to Christians – it is simply a way to remove pain and suffering from your life. Buddha lived and died – a mere man. Buddhism doesn’t ever talk about G-d.

    So “faith” for a Buddhist or a Hindu is something very different from “faith” for a Christian, Jew or Moslem. Which is why it is worth examining these points at all (not to mention the fact that there are nearly a billion Hindus and millions upon millions of Buddhists).

    Finally, there are those scholars who argue that originally, the Bhagavad Gita was more than anything else, a book of science. Similarly, there are those scholars who argue that the Holy Zohar is really a book of very deep logic, not a book of mysticism at all. These points are also worth looking at.

    Mind you, Jet, I’m not Hindu or Buddhist. And I’m certainly not a Christian or a Moslem, thank G-d! But in considering these issues, I must be willing to cast my net wider than my own particular world-view. Otherwise, I would have to fall back upon what many rabbis say – that the whole universe was created for the sake of the Children of Israel. That is awful flattering to the ego, but the skeptic in me just does not buy such assertions.

    The simple and short answer to your request in comment #17 is that deluded people cannot make intelligent judgments, particularly about issues of life and death.

    In my eyes, Christianity is deluded and wrong from the gitgo. So, judgments to kill people in its name are similarly deluded. The whole concept of trying to force belief down someone else’s throat is wrong. Period. And Christianity, like Islam, is all about shoving its ideas down others’ throats.

    Now as for me, I do believe that in time you will “bend the knee and acknowledge G-d’s Sovereignty….and recognize that He Is One and His Name Is One.”

    But you will do it not because I bully you or scold you, or preach to you, or try to convince you, or hold a knife to your throat and say “believe or die”. You will do it because at long last you actually do believe it, or you will believe it out of fear of dying AND losing any place in the Afterlife, however that works. Then and only then, will you seek out Jews to teach you the Seven Laws of Noah. Note, Jet, you do the seeking. You knock on my door, not the other way round.

    We Jews made that mistake once, by forcing Judaism on the Idumaians. And we have paid and paid and paid.

  • http://canadiancinephile.com/ Jordan Richardson

    So Ruvy, the concept of forcing one’s beliefs down another person’s throat is wrong. This I agree with. But isn’t the concept of believing out of fear of “losing one’s place in the afterlife” equally wrong when it comes to reasons to believe.

    Some might argue that there are no good reasons to believe and, on some level, I’m inclined to agree with that. But I think we all can have common ground on the notion that there are several wrong reasons to believe. Fear is one such wrong reason.

    As a Christian, albeit a rather progressive and heretical one, I can’t really relate to the need to force my beliefs on anyone. To tell the truth, I’m more interested in living by the modicum associated with doctors: do no harm. Because there is so much uncertainty in regards to matters of religious beliefs, I find myself in the unenviable position of practicing compassion and love primarily. Kind of a “love ‘em all, let God sort ‘em out” philosophy, if you will.

    In effect, my Christianity doesn’t include evangelism and there are many like me that believe the same way. We live in a pluralistic society, so intoning that we have the right path as you do is certainly, at least from where I sit, akin to inferring that there is ONE belief that is right for “you.” Isn’t that philosophy eerily similar to shoving one’s belief down one’s throat? You likely disagree because you differ in the overall approach, ie. Jet comes to you when he’s afraid of the fire beneath, but overall it runs on the same gamut as Evangelical Christianity and Fundamentalist Islam.

    The reality is that there are many religious individuals within Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even Judaism that simply aren’t certain enough about their religious beliefs to arrogantly infer that theirs is the right path for all. My faith, for instance, is simply the right path for me. And guess what? It’s subject to change. If I wake up as an atheist one day and I can no longer grapple with my belief in a rational way as a Christian, I will do that. Part of serving God in truth means following the rabbit hold…..wherever it leads.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Jordan, there have been many reports on this over the last few years. If you google the following terms, you will get tens of thousands of links to diverse sources of information: 1. electrodes induce religious experience 2. electrical impulses to the brain induce religious experience – happy reading!

  • http://canadiancinephile.com/ Jordan Richardson

    Christopher, thanks. I had hit up the Google and gathered similar results while I was waiting.

    Most of the articles from what I can tell so far are concerned with some of the more…shall we say, charismatic religious experiences (like “seeing” God and so forth). Quite interesting reading indeed, but by no means indicative of an individual experience in regards to God or in regards to a spiritual realm. More indicative of the sort of “top-end phenomena” that many charismatics and mystics are prone to “experiencing.”

    I for one remain skeptical about such experiences and don’t really think it relates or counters Jet’s overall notion that individuals experience religion or spirituality in different ways. Hell, even Sam Harris claims a sort of rational spirituality.

    As an aside, I also noted an interesting correlation between epileptic episodes and a sort of “religious instinct” portion of the brain. One could argue that the presence of such an instinct portion of the brain is evidence for the satisfaction of such impulses, although that’s rather shaky at this point and I wouldn’t stand by it all that firmly.

    Will do some more reading and see if there’s anything new in the field, though.

    Cheers.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    I don’t really see any meaningful difference in terms of how different people have differing induced experiences, Jordan. As you and Jet say, people experience these things in different ways.

    The main thing I get from these reports is an indication that what people refer to as an experience of god is actually a misunderstanding of something else. The tendency to perceive it as an external being is arguably as much a cultural thing as it is anything real.

    However, a sense of spirituality is, and should be, a completely different thing to a belief in a god. It also seems to reflect our actual reality in that there is a commonality between all things. I find a lot of spiritual inspiration and comfort in the thought that all life is literally made up of the same stuff – and therefore interconnected – and that, although it may sound a tad trite, we are, also literally, made of stardust.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Mr. Rose is right about the electrodes… to a point. There was a report on NBC news about attaching electrodes to a specific point in the brain to relieve severe depression.

    Kick starting religious belief, That a new on one me.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    It’s all true, Jet. You can do the research and see for yourself. The brain is the most powerful organ we have, for good or bad.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Ruvy, you should be ashamed of your self, “We Jews” If I’d said “You Jews made that mistake…” People would be all over me for such a predjucial statement.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Which organ is capable of good and evil?

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well I’m glad you all enjoyed the article so much-thanks-Suss even counted the words!!

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    re #30 – that’s easy – the Mouth Organ!

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    So… an impromptu poll from page 7 is in order…

    Which do you think is right?

    A. Time extends ten, indeed a hundred, or even a thousand or more times farther back than the currently immeasurable period in which God exist(s)ed; therefore as long as the creator has existed, he comparatively has not existed infinitely longer… right?

    B. God is eternal; he will always exist; he has always existed.

    C. God existed milenia a go but not now.

    D God never existed?

    This is the usual point in the comments when it strays from the subject onto things like the definition of “Whores” (thanks ruvy) so I thought I’d try to veer it back…

    …silly me

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Chris I… uh… no I better not.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Mr. Rose, you neglected to mention which denination the treatment ultimately pushes the patient toward?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    E: I don’t know.

    Jet, your (A) starts from the erroneous assumption that time is infinite in extent. It’s a rather difficult concept to get one’s head around, but time can’t exist outside its universe. It’s just another dimension, like the three spatial ones. So, before the Big Bang, there was no time*, just as there was no space.

    * A statement that in itself makes no sense, since there was no ‘was’, either. Human language can be very limited sometimes!

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    There is always time Doc, just as there will always be time. Just because no one’s around to witness it, doesn’t mean it exists.

    There is always just one more second after the one you just counted.

    Aside from that, did you like the article?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    There can’t be time if there is nowhere for it to ‘be’ in. Although cosmology guru Steven Hawking has conceded that there could conceivably be time ‘before’ the Big Bang, it would be in a different universe and therefore irrelevant to any gods, beings and rocks that may happen to inhabit this one.

    I did enjoy the article, although I’d like to read it again when I have a bit of time as it covers a lot of ground. I’m one of the unfortunate California users who’s been unable to view the site reliably over the last few days due to some rogue code on a Cali-targeted ad campaign BC has been running. Phillip seems to have finally fixed it, but I’m playing catch-up with the articles and comment threads right now.

  • duane

    Jet, time in our universe had a beginning, as best as anyone can tell. It may have no end, which is just as mind-boggling.

    I’ll admit, however, that time can seem infinite, as it did as I sat through several speeches by school administrators at my son’s JHS graduation this evening.

    A few other things:

    Our universe is not spatially infinite.

    Time can be thought of as a dimension, but it’s distinctly different from the three spatial dimensions, both physically and mathematically (see the topic “Minkowski space” for details). It is inextricably linked to the space dimensions, however, through something called “the metric,” which we can’t go into here.

    The sun is made from the remnants of a supernova, in which heavy elements are synthesized not from hydrogen fusion but nuclear reactions of iron with high-energy neutrons. There is no hydrogen left in the core prior to the supernova. It’s all been used up.

    The speed of light is a fundamental speed limit. That means that, even in principle, nothing can exceed the speed of light, not even light. Comparisons with the speed of trains or, another common one, the sound barrier, are not valid. It is not closed-minded to state that man will never travel faster than light. The fact that people once said that the sound barrier is impenetrable is not related to anything fundamental — it was a practical consideration. For example, it was well known that bullets travel faster than sound. The speed of light — well, that’s different. The sci-fi notions of warp drives and wormholes, etc., use a different trick, that is, “folding space” or finding shortcuts through normal spacetime trajectories, like your folding paper example. The speed of light limit is still obeyed.

    Regarding ‘time bending,’ time does appear to progress at different rates at different locations within a gravitational field. This is called “gravitational time dilation.” The weird thing is that if you could hover near the event horizon near a black hole, you wouldn’t notice anything unusual about time. Your watch would still tick off the minutes. If every hour (by your watch) you flashed a light beacon to someone far away from the black hole, that distant observer would measure time intervals longer than one hour, and would, in fact approach an infinite time as you moved closer to the event horizon.

    Details, details … yes. But if you’re gonna use these things to make an 8-page statement, may as well get them right.

    As far as co-existence of science and religion and the other Big Questions, maybe I’ll pipe in later.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Duane, I was hoping you’d contribute. So my facts just turned into theories? alas…

    Glad you enjoyed it. Like I said at the end, Opinions don’t have to be true as long as someone believes they are.

    Thanks again
    Jet

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    As for time, (groan) I ugess I’m not smart enough to grasp how there can’t be a soncond after another that was just counted.

    I’m not in any disputing that you’re right, I just can wrap my mind around time stopping….

    alas

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Duane, help me out here, I’m not being sarcastic or disrespectful in any way, I can’t learn new stuff unless I ask stupid questions.

    How could there not have been a second before the first second. How can there not be an inch beyond the last inch?

    It’s a concept I’ve struggled with a long time before writing this article hoping someone knowledgable would help me conprehend the paradox.

    thanks

  • duane

    As for time, (groan) I ugess I’m not smart enough to grasp how there can’t be a soncond after another that was just counted.

    Dr. D. and I weren’t saying that. We were going backwards in time. The question is “How can’t there be a second before another second?” Well, I’m not smart enough to answer that one. The idea that time had a beginning is beyond my feeble mind. Our common sense views time as a continuum, going backward and forward to infinity, and it violates our common sense to think any other way. Which is not to say that it’s easy to think about “infinity.”

    How can there not be an inch beyond the last inch?

    About this one I can say a few things. You’ll have to use your imagination in thinking about an analogy. The common sense argument against a finite universe says,

    “OK, fine, so I come to the end of the universe. What is it, like a brick wall or something? It makes no sense to say there’s nothing beyond the wall!”

    That’s the wrong argument to use because it presupposes (though maybe not consciously) that the universe is Euclidean.

    Here’s where you have to use your imagination. Imagine that you are a two-dimensional creature. You sense forward and backward, and can move in those directions. You sense left and right, and can move in those directions. There is no up or down in your 2D world. You can’t look up because you cannot access that dimension in any way. You can imagine it as a mathematical concept.

    But the fact that you have no access to that third dimension doesn’t mean that the dimension doesn’t exist.

    Next, to keep building the analogy, imagine that you live on the surface of a gigantic sphere. Spheres live in a 3D space, but the surface of a sphere is 2D, (forward-backward, left-right) so we haven’t broken any rules by positing the existence of another dimension to which you have no access.

    You and your fellow philosophically-inclined beasties think about exploring the far reaches of your world. The common knowledge says that your world is infinite, because how could it not be? If there is an edge, it makes no sense to say there’s nothing beyond the edge. It violates common sense.

    In spite of the common wisdom, you and a group of curious beasties are funded to go in search of the edge of the universe. The fastest way to get there would be to travel a straight line. Straight ahead, then! You travel for a long time, and much to your surprise you discover that you end up where you started. Your skills at navigation are called into question. “But we traveled in a straight line!”

    But clever you — after some thought, you say to your fellow travelers “The only explanation is that our universe is curved.” Everyone knows about curves. You can make circles, for example. But even the most elaborate curves still lie on your flat world. There is skepticism and ridicule: “Haha, curved! Curved into what?!” You say, “Our universe is embedded in a higher-dimensional space. Simple as that!”

    A 3D superbeing has watched you and knows that you traveled around the sphere and ended up where you started. “Of course, there’s nothing surprising about that,” he observes from his lofty vantage point.

    You summarize your discovery with the following statement: “Our universe is finite but unbounded — there is no edge because there exists a third dimension in which our universe would appear curved.”

    To finish this off, bump yourself back up to a 3D world and imagine a 4th dimension in which our universe looks curved — curved into another direction to which we have no access. Our universe is similarly finite but unbounded — there is no edge. The analogy requires you to strip away one dimension and then to restore it to see the consequences of the fact that our 3D universe is embedded in a higher-dimensional space.

    One slight complication remains. Unlike the 2D beastie world, our universe is also expanding. If you set off in a straight line, you will NOT return home in the distant future because space itself is expanding. You would simply travel forever. If the 2D world was an expanding sphere — well, you can see the analogy — if the sphere were expanding faster than the highest conceivable rate of travel available to you.

    Hope that helps.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    It seems there may well have been time before the Big Bang, that our universe simply “bubbled off” from a previous one and that this kind of event could even be surprisingly mundane. Don’t you just love the universe!

  • Ruvy

    If I’d said “You Jews made that mistake…” People would be all over me for such a prejudicial statement.

    That’s the point, Jet. I’m not fingering you (though on another thread, I did finger Christianity in a most unkind light [laced with the SHARK’s humor] – but the fellow I was answering attacked Jews and Judaism). I’m pointing the finger at my own people, and whether I like what happened under the decaying Hasmonean monarchy, it happened anyway. And we Jews have paid and paid and paid for that mistake – starting with the overthrow of the Hasmonean monarchy by the Romans and its replacement with Idumaian puppets on the Judean throne.

    So Ruvy, the concept of forcing one’s beliefs down another person’s throat is wrong. This I agree with. But isn’t the concept of believing out of fear of “losing one’s place in the afterlife” equally wrong when it comes to reasons to believe.

    I leave you to decide the rectitude of the reasons to believe in a given faith or not, and you may be right in what you say. Nobody has given me a playbook to the Redemption. For all I know, it might be up to people like me to attempt to write that playbook – or not.

    There is a lot here I do not know. What I do know for sure is that my own faith is going to have to undergo a paradigm shift in considering prophecy far more prominently in and moving the standard operational issues of the Gemará to a back burner for a while until prophecy plays out. And Jews do not like to shift priorities at all, so it is all going to get very difficult and contentious as it becomes harder and harder for the rabbis who prefer to focus on points of law to deny prophecy happening in front of their own eyes.

    Nice to see you, Duane. I kind of figured you’d drop by after a while….

    I’m not going to argue Jet’s issues here. A lot of us have already trod this ground before – we more or less are familiar with each other’s ideas. My main criticism was that he did not cast a wide enough net in considering the issues he set out to cover. What say you?

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    It does indeed Duane, thanks for contributing. I’ve always thought of the universe as a giant Dyson’s sphere…

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Wow Chris, now there’s a subject that’d make a good article. Thanks for the link…

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Darkened rolling figures move
    through prisms of no color
    Hand in hand, they walk the night,
    but never know each other
    Passion cast in neon lights
    light up the jewelled traveler
    Who, lost in scenes of smoke-filled dreams
    Find questions, but no answers

    Startled eyes that sometimes see
    phantasmagoric splendor
    Pirouhette down palsied paths
    with pennies for the vendor

    Salvation’s yours for just the time
    it takes to pay the dancer
    Once again, such anxious men
    find questions but no answers

    The night has gone and taken its infraction
    While reddened eyes hope
    there will be a next one

    Terror signs look down upon
    a world that glitters glibly
    And mountainsides put arms around
    the unsuspecting city

    Second hands that minds have slowed
    are moving even faster
    Toward bring down someone who’s found
    The questions, but no answers

    The Monkees !?!

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Just a couple of more question from the unedited version…

    Who taught God?

    Why did he do his creation thing only once?

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    “never really understood religion,
    ‘except it seems a good excuse to kill”
    —Alvin Lee/Ten Years After

    God, schmod….

    Look, all I know is that we are all on this earth now. As humans on this earth, we seem to know how to function, survive and progress.

    We know what we are doing wrong (wasting mother earth, disregard for humanity) and we do have the ability to fix it all.

    How we got here? Who cares? We are here now and I can’t waste a single brain cell on that whole question. Where will that get us?

    The Jews traded Jesus to the Christians. Much like Boston trading Babe Ruth. Whatever.

    I have zero theological education and proud of that fact. I never have been to church in my life (50 years!). well, weddings and funerals and things relating to my daughters prep school affiliation.

    Anyway, as far as life in society goes, I find that I am more humane than most any person of any religious affiliation I know.

    Face it. No matter what religion one follows, you are all looking for the same thing. Whose path are you gonna follow to the mountain top?

    Geez, I just don’t get it. The one thing I do know is that the concept of religion is sure messing up humanity. I don’t think god would want that.

    hhhmmm…imagine at night every car on the streets stops and puts their little front tires together and pray to Henry Ford?

    the way I see it is that the sum of the living plants and creatures (including us mammals) on earth are god. It has nothing to do with idol worship. Every living thing as one is where it is at for me.

    Religion in it’s current status sure fragments the whole deal. We are not one. Therefore there is no god?

    Jet, good work! this article is not a Led Zeppelin…

    best,
    DM

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Doug? you did actually make it all the way through the article?

    Thanks for contributing!

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    Jet, no, have not made it thru yet. I was typing and reading at the same time.

    But right off the bat I just had to lay my opinion of religion down. The whole concept is way beyond me. I will put my life energy into realities of life.

    And astrology is cool. I follow that stuff. Science and religion mixed. Uh, sort of. Not really. but for sake of analogy, sure, why not?

    When will you get the edited parts posted? Well, if Matt Sussman doesn’t give you hell….LOL.

    This is cool you put the time and effort in to this. Keep on!

    best,
    DM

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Well Doug to give you the “Cliff notes” version, it’s about how much damage is done when people use god as an excust to kill and pillage.

    It also raises a lot of questions that both Intelligent Design and modern science can’t seem to answer.

    As for Mr. Sussman, he’s my number one fan, and he drops his little notes on nearly every article I write.

    I personally think he’s trying way to hard to convince everyone that he’s NOT in love with me./ Troblue is when you try THAT, it goes around in a little circle and bites you in the ass…

    …maybe I should rephrase that?

    Anyway, in the midst of all that I did try to put a little humor into it, so enjoy when you get around to it.

    The remark wasn’t really aimed directly at you, it’s just that this is the annoying part of the comments section when people start commenting on the comments instead of the article…

    alas

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    Jet, what the hell are you doing up at this time? I’m on the west coast, but I imagine you are in Columbus OH? It is almost 4am your time! I have lots of roots in Wilmington. I had a pro soccer tryout in OSU stadium once (remember the “Magic’ of the ASL?).

    Anyway, dude, get some rest. Do you have church in the morning? I dunno, just had to ask…

    best,
    DM

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Doug, some events have happened to me over the years and I have periods when I either can’t sleep or don’t want to. Go to my URL and read the chapter Nov. 6, 2004 and it should put it into perspective.

    No, I definately don’t have church tomorrow…

    Thanks for asking…

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    There was a news report on our local channel last night about a church that had been broken into in order to steal all of their copper wiring.

    I was a little mad that someone would do that to a church until I saw the awning over their front door.

    This Is Our Church
    Inc.

    I made up the name, but left the “Inc.” which was in larger lettering than the name of the church.

    I was going to say “Unbelievable” but I thought better of it, and in fact that’s not the first time I’ve seen it.

    I missed a memo somewhere, when did it become important to add “Inc” to the name of a church?

  • Kelly

    Thanks for the information on science, religion, faith, opinion, facts, and eternity.

    We recently wrote an article on religion at Brain Blogger. How do we really view religion? Could it be the very source of belief comes from our brain?

    We would like to read your comments on our article. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Kelly

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    Jet, church INC. !!!!????

    Well I guess that says it all. Holy cow! Or Holy Profits!

    I will check out the URL. that should put it all in perspective. Sorry about that, chief…

    Ah heck, you know I’m just goofin’ with ya.

    Today is father’s day, INC. Got to deal with the kid and all (and my current band project). I will get caught up. I had to pass out before even finishing your post last night.

    best,
    DM INC.

  • http://www.myspace.com/x15 Douglas Mays

    Jet, Nov. 6, 04. Gotcha… Have faith my friend.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    It's even listed that way on the web Doug!

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Thanks Doug, I’ve been working on updating it to the present day, but it’s doo daunting a task for me right now.

    If you thought that was interesting, you should see what led up to it!!!

    Thanks again
    Jet

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Just when you thought all manner of stupidity had come out of the Phelps camp, he is quoted at SFist as follows.

    “Tim Russert promoted the fag agenda. There are tapes that were released after he died … tapes showing Russert embracing homosexuality.”

    Phelps deserved to rot in hell for all eternity.

  • MAOZ

    #42 – How can there not be an inch beyond the last inch?

    Simple: we went metric!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Phelps will say anything for attention. Best thing to do is just ignore the putrid little git.

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Moaz, you should be ashamed of yourself…

  • http://bloggingontheedgeofsuicide.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Doc, you mean like CJ and KitsyCat on my meerkat article?

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    My friends, I need your help, not money, not pity, just prayers…

    …because mine don’t seem to work any more

    Three weeks ago without warning I passed out, slammed my bare knees, then elbows then head into our concrete parkling lot.

    When I woke up in the emergency room I was told my right upper arm was broken in four places, I’d lost any measurable blood pressure and was confined to the emergency room for over a day because they were afraid to move me.

    Once I was stabilized, I spent the last two weeks being closely monitored. They added metal rods to my right arm and I’m astonished that I’m using it for simple chores already. After repairing my arm, they waited a week til they thought I was strong enough to take the news that I needed a triple bypass heart operation.

    My faith in god is now gone completely. I used to thank god when times were good, and made sure not to treat him as some sort of “Santa Claus” when I needed something.

    now I feel totally abandonded.

    Every successive personal disaster is a test on my sanity and health, and they seem to double in difficulty.

    I fear I may not return from my next hospital visit fot the operation, in some ways I think that may be a blessing.

    I want to thank the people here at BC for the love and support, and to tell you that I feel your love daily…

    jet

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Best wishes, Jet. I expect to see you back soon fighting the good fight against Sussman and for John Denver.

  • http://jetsnewsviews.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Thanks EB, it’s so goddamned hard, but friends like you help

    Jet

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    After all, aren’t facts really nothing more than widely accepted opinions?

    This is where you made me chuckle & lose my sanity all at once… You must be kidding,Right?!

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    Today on his radio show, Glen Beck argued against wind turbines and the attempt to cut fossil fuels in half…

    He said wind turbines were ridiculous because they don’t work when it’s windy.

    He quoted some scientist in Scotland who predicted that the earth is close to being thrown into an ice age that’ll cover the whole northern hemisphere because we’re cutting out fossil fuel for power generation too fast.

    It’s inconceivable that anyone takes him seriously, but they do.

    I can’t possibly be the last living brain cell on earth can I?

  • bliffle

    Some people are responsive to bizarre ideas, and the more bizarre the better.

    I think it’s just laziness. Instead of studying and learning and really finding out, they just grab some outlandish idea and brandish it all about. Then, if by some miracle it comes to pass, they will use that one instance to browbeat everyone.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    It still baffles my mind Blif

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet

    A friend sent me this hilarius tale a while back, and I posted it on the BC Forum, but since most of you don’t get over there, I thought I’d post it here too…

    RUDOLPH’S NIGHT OFF

    ‘Twas the night before Christmas and Rudolph was lame!
    The vet from the North Pole said, “Foot rot’s to blame.
    I’ll give him some sulfa, it’s the best I can do
    But stall rest is needed the next week or two.”

    “Great Scott!” cried old Santa, he turned with a jerk,
    “I won’t git through Cleveland if my headlights don’t work!
    On Interstate 71 I’ll get fined
    And lost in Columbus if I’m flying blind!”

    “No cop in his right mind would give any clout
    If an old geezer claimed that his reindeer blew out!”
    He gathered the others, ol’ Donner and Blitzen,
    Were any among ‘em whose nose was transmitzen?

    They grunted and strained and sure made a mess
    But no noses glowed brightly or ears luminesced.
    “It’s bad luck in bunches,” cried Santa, distressed,
    “We’ll fly Continental, the Red Eye Express!”

    He mumbled no curses, though grumbled of vexxes,
    When up stepped ‘ol Billy, the goat from south Texas.
    He shivered and shook like a mouse on the Ark
    But his horns were a beacon…They glowed in the dark!

    Santa went crazy, asked, “How?” with a smile
    “I just ate a watch with a radium dial!
    “If that’s true then let’s feed him!” cried Santa with glee
    “Gather everything glowin’ and bring it to me!”

    So Billy ate flashbulbs and solar collectors,
    Electrical eels and road sign reflectors,
    Firecracker sparklers, a Lady Schick shaver
    And Lifesavers, all of em’ wintergreen flavor,

    Jelly from phophorescellous fish,
    Day Glow pizza in a glittering dish,
    Fireflies and candles and stuff that ignites,
    They fed him a big bowl of Northering Lights!
    He danced on the rug and then petted the cat
    And after he’d finished and done all of that

    To store up the static ‘lectricity better
    They forced him to eat two balloons and a sweater!
    Then he opened his mouth, light fell on the floor,
    Like the fridge light comes on when you open the door!

    His Halloween smile couldn’t be better drawn
    When he burped accidently, his high beams kicked on!
    “Hitch him up!” cried ol’ Santa, and they went on their way.
    I remember that Christmas to this very day

    The sky was ablaze with the stars shining bright.
    They were shooting and falling all through the night.
    And I realize now, though my fingers are crossed,
    What I really was seein’…was ol’ Billy’s exhaust!

    Merry Christmas From Jet

  • http://www.leavingthelandofwoo.com Bob Lloyd

    It’s very clear that science and religion cannot be compared on the basis of belief: science is not a belief system. The results of science, hard won as they are, are independent of the beliefs of scientists or anyone else. The theories get proposed, examined and tested, refuted, modified, and retested. That self-correction against the real world distinguishes science from all belief systems.

    Regardless of what anyone thinks of gravity, whatever their belief system or mind set, it’s still the same, has the same normal value, and can be reliably used to predict the movement of objects. Even the quantum scale corrections don’t invalidate the theory. So science doesn’t depend on beliefs.

    Because religion IS a belief system, it has to divorce itself from empirical test otherwise those beliefs will be subject to change. Sometimes that’s done by demanding that the texts are unchanging and respected as in Islam. Nobody is allowed to revise the Qur’an. In the Christian religion on the other hand, armies of theologians have tried to reconcile dogma with the moral and ethical values of a developing society, and the only way to do that whilst preserving the power of the church, is to restrict the activity to believers, professional theologians who already believe.

    It’s not religion that gives society moral values, but society that validates some religious values. That’s why Christians can overlook adulatory stories of a genocidal God, and muslims can accept that Mohammed had a nine-year-old bride (Incidentally even into the 16th century the European royal families also followed the same practice whilst being devout Christians.)

    Science is a self-correcting open process of accumulating knowledge based on testing theories against reality. Religion is all about theories of supernatural omniscient invisible undetectable beings which by definition are remote from testing. But you have to ask yourself, why shouldn’t these theories be assessed with the same rational skepticism that all our other theories attract?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I agree Bob, and just to let everyone know who reads your comment, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen a comment continued from comment page 2 to page 3!!!??? :)

  • http://jetsgayheadlinenews-jet.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Religious hypocrite Rev. Pat Robertson now feels that women can be thrown away like used paper towels in a bathroom when it comes to marraige! He went against the Pope and decided to rewrite the bible in his own image when it comes to divorce.

    During the portion of the show where the one-time Republican presidential candidate takes questions from viewers, Robertson was asked what advice a man should give to a friend who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from Alzheimers.

    I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,” Robertson said.

    The chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, which airs the 700 Club, said he wouldn’t “put a guilt trip” on anyone who divorces a spouse who suffers from the illness, but added, “Get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer.”

    Most Christian denominations at least discourage divorce, citing Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark that equate divorce and remarriage with adultery… but not good ole boy Pat.

    He’s proven repeatedly that the bible serves as only a reference book at his convenience.

  • http://jetsgayheadlinenews-jet.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Then again I guess I shouldn’t be surprised

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    [facepalm]

    is the only appropriate reaction on this occasion, methinks.

  • http://jetsgayheadlinenews-jet.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I suspect he has a catholic friend whose thinking of dumping his wife

  • http://jetsgayheadlinenews-jet.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I don’t know why it’s only just now occurring to me to ask why it was just assumed in the bible that Noah was the only one on earth to own a boat. What about all the large royal war barges, fisherman’s fleets and just plain canoes? No one else had something they could make a makeshift raft on that’d hold their families and supplies?

    Hmmmmm?