Considering Rejoining :)

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Michael L. Day

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Nov 14, 2001, 7:41:05 AM11/14/01
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Hello All,

I would like to rejoin this newsgroup to some degree. The reason I
don't just jump in and start posting away is because my desire to do
so is tempered with a recognition of the fact that many of you don't
seem to welcome theists here, even though they are clearly
ever-present, for better or worse. I would like to rejoin with as
little discomfort, for both you and I, as possible.

As such, I introduce myself to you again, much as I did over six years
ago.

I am a theist. However, I am not here to convert you, to lambast you,
to riddle you with 'proofs', 'evidence', 'admonishments', or anything
of the sort. I am truly here to learn from you.

Why? Because the last time I came here to learn from you, you taught
me a great deal. Yes, I did deconvert (I am #6 on your "Deconversion
List"), and in large part thanks to the experiences I had, and the
friendships I made, here in this newsgroup, years ago. I totally left
the religion of my upbringing in thought, word, and deed, and was even
professedly atheist for a time. However, I came back around, back to
theism, but of an altogether different sort.

What do I expect to learn from you? I want to test my own belief. Of
all the groups I've had direct experience with, atheists generally
place a greater relative emphasis on critical thinking, reason, logic,
etc., and I hold my beliefs in the conviction that they are not
unreasonable. I welcome disagreement, point, and counterpoint, as
this hones my thoughts, and reveals things I have never considered.

Open-Mindedness is one of two attributes I've long considered
"Arch-Attributes" (the other is Compassion). As such, I continually
work to open my mind, _and_keep_it_open_, and I've found intelligent,
respectful dialogue with atheists to be one of the most effective
means to accomplish this.

Are you interested? :)

I'm probably going to try and start a thread in a few days, after I
refamiliarize myself with recent discussions, the FAQ, and such....
In the meantime, I'd like to present to you a synopsis of my beliefs,
so that you can refer to this in debating with me, if you choose to.

-=-

I believe in a certain Something, which may be called All, The All,
The Universe, God, or Goddess, depending on your point of view.

I believe that this Something has certain qualities which,
acknowledged, allow a person to live a life in greater harmony with
all aspects of life... the natural world, the social world, and
worlds both lower and far, far higher. In describing these qualities,
I will refer to "The Universe", meaning "all that actually is, whether
we are aware of it or not, whether we like it or not." (I realize
that this definition may not be wholly satisfactory in that it
conflicts with the idea of a possible "multiverse"... if you wish to
make that contention, expand your understanding of what I mean by "all
that actually is" to include all universes, and even, all multiverses.
:)

NOTE: I do not offer the following as a logical proof. I offer it as
a _reasonable_ basis for my beliefs, wherein I do not claim to have
arrived at any part thereof by logic alone, but do claim that none of
it is in direct conflict with sound reasoning. I also do not claim
that any of this is original. :) I am of course drawing on many
sources to be able to present this summary as is.

The Universe, then, has the following qualities:

1. It is self-extant. Nothing else could've possibly caused it to
be, for such a something else would have to be, by definition, part of
The Universe as defined above. If even a part of The Universe causes
the rest to be, then, as a system, the entire Universe must be
considered self-extant.

2. It is self-moving. Given that we observe movement, movement is
part of The Universe, and again there is nothing outside The Universe
that could possibly cause that movement, for by definition, there is
nothing "outside The Universe." (and please note that I do mean
literally nothing... not simply the appearance of nothing, the
implication being that the only thing that can come from true
nothingness is eternal, unchanging nothingness... nonexistance
itself).

3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
it possible.

I believe that, at some level, the there is an Omniscient, Omnipotent,
Omnipresent Somethingness, that I call God in particular, in
distinction from all aspects of the universe that do not experience
universal self-awareness.

I believe that God is in fact that aspect of The Universe which makes
existence itself possible, and further, He _animates_ The Universe,
defines all laws of Physics, etc., _and_ gives them life. God is,
himself, the solution to all paradox, and any appearance of
impossibility that manifests itself to our senses is merely a
misinterpretation of fact.

I _RECOGNIZE_ that it is _EXTRAORDINARILY_DIFFICULT_ to reconcile the
idea of an Omnibenevolent God with the Fact of the tremendous
suffering and horror in the world. It is further extraordinarily
difficult, to the degree that a person thinks logically, to see belief
in an Omnibenevolent God as a reasonable thing.

Nevertheless, I do believe in such a God, and I love "Him." From this
springs love for all things and all people, and all conditions, no
matter how horrible. From this also springs an intense desire to do
whatever I can to end suffering, in myself and in others, and to see
rightly, so that, in pursuing such a strong desire, I do not merely
deceive myself by merely believing that I am helping to end suffering.
I require that I actually help, and as such, I invite opportunities
to correct my own misconceptions and mistakes.

It would take a very long time to summarize the rest of my beliefs.
:) I will simply point out a few more things before ending this
email:

1. I am Christian, but I accept no dogma, and I consider myself a
member of no Church (even though I am still technically a Mormon,
according to their records... but I emphatically disagree with many of
their basic teachings).

2. There is NO book that is flawless, although I do what I can to
draw what wisdom I can from ALL sources. The bible is one such
source, and I interpret it according to the dictates of my own
conscience, but it is by no means the only or even the most important
source.

3. I am fiercely optimistic about the fate of humanity, and do
whatever I can to manifest that optimism in my actions, so that my
optimism might some day be realized.

-=-

I invite whatever you have to offer! Time does not permit me to
gaurantee response or even the reading of all replies to my
involvement here, but I will do my best. Also, I can nearly gaurantee
that any reply sent to my email address (mikel...@yahoo.com) will be
read, and I will do my best to reply.

Flames will NOT be sent to the recycle bin, but do not expect a reply
if you cannot do me the courtesy of showing me at least some respect.
I will always do my best to respect you, no matter what you say to me,
and I would appreciate, but do not require, the same from you.

I love this newsgroup. I have benefitted greatly from it, and hope to
be able to give something back, even if only interesting conversation.
:)

Thank you for reading,
- Mike Day :)
p.s.: Hello Andrew, Jayne, Tony, et. al.!

jam...@spambegone.ctel.net

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Nov 14, 2001, 9:27:22 AM11/14/01
to
On 14 Nov 2001 04:41:05 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
wrote:

>Hello All,

<-- lotsa good stuff snipped -->

Hi!

Welcome aboard -- I'm looking forward to what you have to offer.
(And I agree completely that it's important to constantly test one's
beliefs -- it's the only way to find something approximating the
truth.)

-- WhiskeyJack

.

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Nov 14, 2001, 9:49:13 AM11/14/01
to
Michael L. Day posted the following:

>Hello All,

What a nice chap.

Regards,
.

Raptor514

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Nov 14, 2001, 10:23:56 AM11/14/01
to

"Michael L. Day" <mikel...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d9113a55.01111...@posting.google.com...

> Hello All,
>
> I would like to rejoin this newsgroup to some degree. The reason I
> don't just jump in and start posting away is because my desire to do
> so is tempered with a recognition of the fact that many of you don't
> seem to welcome theists here, even though they are clearly
> ever-present, for better or worse. I would like to rejoin with as
> little discomfort, for both you and I, as possible.

<Very interesting narrative snipped>

Well, I for one, love to have a well-informed and open-minded theist around
to debate with. In fact, I married one.

We have Stillsunny but she's just about the only one who is a regular.

Judging from what you've written here--Welcome aboard!

It's good to have you. :-)

Raptor514---------a.a.#1855

Fred Stone

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Nov 14, 2001, 10:47:12 AM11/14/01
to
"Michael L. Day" wrote:

> Hello All,
>
> I would like to rejoin this newsgroup to some degree. The reason I
> don't just jump in and start posting away is because my desire to do
> so is tempered with a recognition of the fact that many of you don't
> seem to welcome theists here, even though they are clearly
> ever-present, for better or worse. I would like to rejoin with as
> little discomfort, for both you and I, as possible.
>
> As such, I introduce myself to you again, much as I did over six years
> ago.

Welcome again.

> I am a theist. However, I am not here to convert you, to lambast you,
> to riddle you with 'proofs', 'evidence', 'admonishments', or anything
> of the sort. I am truly here to learn from you.

Good. Should be more like you.
As long as you maintain your sense of humor, you'll be all right with me.

> Why? Because the last time I came here to learn from you, you taught
> me a great deal. Yes, I did deconvert (I am #6 on your "Deconversion
> List"), and in large part thanks to the experiences I had, and the
> friendships I made, here in this newsgroup, years ago. I totally left
> the religion of my upbringing in thought, word, and deed, and was even
> professedly atheist for a time. However, I came back around, back to
> theism, but of an altogether different sort.

Maybe we can finish you up this time around. ;-)

> What do I expect to learn from you? I want to test my own belief. Of
> all the groups I've had direct experience with, atheists generally
> place a greater relative emphasis on critical thinking, reason, logic,
> etc., and I hold my beliefs in the conviction that they are not
> unreasonable. I welcome disagreement, point, and counterpoint, as
> this hones my thoughts, and reveals things I have never considered.
>
> Open-Mindedness is one of two attributes I've long considered
> "Arch-Attributes" (the other is Compassion). As such, I continually
> work to open my mind, _and_keep_it_open_, and I've found intelligent,
> respectful dialogue with atheists to be one of the most effective
> means to accomplish this.
>
> Are you interested? :)
>
> I'm probably going to try and start a thread in a few days

as opposed to this one?

Ok. So the Universe is everything that is. No fooling around with
"god is outside the universe" or anything like that.

> 2. It is self-moving. Given that we observe movement, movement is
> part of The Universe, and again there is nothing outside The Universe
> that could possibly cause that movement, for by definition, there is
> nothing "outside The Universe." (and please note that I do mean
> literally nothing... not simply the appearance of nothing, the
> implication being that the only thing that can come from true
> nothingness is eternal, unchanging nothingness... nonexistance
> itself).

Here you begin to anthropomorphize.
You imply that there is a "self" to the Universe.

> 3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
> is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
> illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
> only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
> it possible.

This does not follow. An emergent property of some arrangement of matter
need not be a property of the Universe as a whole.

A mob of people is not intelligent, even though every one of it's members
is.

<snip the rest, just for space>

You've expressed some things that I'd classify as Platonic Idealism or
possibly
Aquinian Realism. I'd suggest some reading in those areas.
You might find some things that resonate.

Then remember that both of those guys were before the scientific
method was codified. Contrast with some modern realists like Popper
or Rand.

--
Fred Stone
aa # 1369
Purveyor of fine Ale to the BAAWA


change g.com to k.net to e-mail me.

Jonathan v.d. Sluis

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Nov 14, 2001, 11:20:41 AM11/14/01
to
A very good post. Thank you. Here are some questions and remarks:

<snip>


> The Universe, then, has the following qualities:
>
> 1. It is self-extant. Nothing else could've possibly caused it to
> be, for such a something else would have to be, by definition, part of
> The Universe as defined above. If even a part of The Universe causes
> the rest to be, then, as a system, the entire Universe must be
> considered self-extant.

Does the doctrine of creation have a meaning to you? In what sense?

...


> 3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
> is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
> illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
> only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
> it possible.

I am not sure I understand this correctly. Do you believe that a
conscioussness like ours - human conscioussness - dwells even in dead
matter? In inanimate objects, planets, etc.? Is this conscioussness separate
from God or part of God? Is it really the universe that is self-aware or do
you mean some beings living in the universe are self-aware? The word 'It'
refers to the universe, but after that you seem to be talking about humanity
('ourselves').

>
> I believe that, at some level, the there is an Omniscient, Omnipotent,
> Omnipresent Somethingness, that I call God in particular, in
> distinction from all aspects of the universe that do not experience
> universal self-awareness.
>
> I believe that God is in fact that aspect of The Universe which makes
> existence itself possible, and further, He _animates_ The Universe,
> defines all laws of Physics, etc., _and_ gives them life. God is,
> himself, the solution to all paradox, and any appearance of
> impossibility that manifests itself to our senses is merely a
> misinterpretation of fact.

I think your ideas come close to pantheism. That would not make me assume
anything, but you might like to read something from Baruch de Spinoza, a
Dutch philosopher from the 17th century. His most important work was called
'Ethica'. Unless you already know all about him, ofcourse. Your ideas about
how no outside source is able to influence the world are more in accordance
with deism rather than theism, however. So how about the term 'pandeism' to
describe your position? That might be self-contradictory, however. But it's
just labels in the end: don't think I am trying to force you in some
direction.

>
> I _RECOGNIZE_ that it is _EXTRAORDINARILY_DIFFICULT_ to reconcile the
> idea of an Omnibenevolent God with the Fact of the tremendous
> suffering and horror in the world. It is further extraordinarily
> difficult, to the degree that a person thinks logically, to see belief
> in an Omnibenevolent God as a reasonable thing.

You have a strong urge to create a consistent worldview. That's good, but
you should accept some inconsistencies. Sometimes our knowledge really does
fall short: my worldview is not consistent, but my brain has not exploded
yet. ;-) Not everything has to be reconciled with everything else. The
existence of evil and suffering are hard to deal with for all of us.

...


> 2. There is NO book that is flawless, although I do what I can to
> draw what wisdom I can from ALL sources. The bible is one such
> source, and I interpret it according to the dictates of my own
> conscience, but it is by no means the only or even the most important
> source.

This really confirms a point I was making in the 'science defined' thread.
Thank you indeed.

...


> I love this newsgroup. I have benefitted greatly from it, and hope to
> be able to give something back, even if only interesting conversation.

Hope to hear more from you. I am an atheist, but very interested in
christian ideas, especially those concerning the relation of God to nature.
Atheism is unable

Jonathan.

Bill Thacker

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Nov 14, 2001, 11:31:36 AM11/14/01
to
In article <d9113a55.01111...@posting.google.com>,

Michael L. Day <mikel...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>As such, I introduce myself to you again, much as I did over six years
>ago.

Hi, Michael. I don't think I was here when you last visited.
You sound like a pleasant fellow to talk with.

>Why? Because the last time I came here to learn from you, you taught
>me a great deal. Yes, I did deconvert (I am #6 on your "Deconversion
>List"), and in large part thanks to the experiences I had, and the
>friendships I made, here in this newsgroup, years ago. I totally left
>the religion of my upbringing in thought, word, and deed, and was even
>professedly atheist for a time. However, I came back around, back to
>theism, but of an altogether different sort.

As an aside to the rest of alt.atheism, is this not a first? Our
deconversion list, last I heard, contained no examples of atheists
converting to theism. We should document this as part of the
archives.

>In the meantime, I'd like to present to you a synopsis of my beliefs,
>so that you can refer to this in debating with me, if you choose to.

Definitions deleted, but thanks for being so precise in describing
them.

>I believe that, at some level, the there is an Omniscient, Omnipotent,
>Omnipresent Somethingness, that I call God in particular, in
>distinction from all aspects of the universe that do not experience
>universal self-awareness.

What's not clear is how your premises lead to this conclusion.
(Well, you warned in advance it wasn't going to be a proof, I know.)
The universe is (as defined) self-extant, self-motivating, and
self-aware (since humans are part of the universe, we make it
self-aware even if no gods exist). But why do these things
lead to an Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omniprisent Somethingness
(O^3S, if you don't mind)?

>I believe that God is in fact that aspect of The Universe which makes
>existence itself possible, and further, He _animates_ The Universe,
>defines all laws of Physics, etc., _and_ gives them life. God is,
>himself, the solution to all paradox, and any appearance of
>impossibility that manifests itself to our senses is merely a
>misinterpretation of fact.

Also, why do you refer to the O^3S as a singular, male entity?
I'll grant the masculine pronouns as a linguistic simplifier, if
that's all they mean, but would suggest that "It" is more
appropriate.

>Nevertheless, I do believe in such a God, and I love "Him."

Do you feel this is an unrequited love, or do you sense that you
are in turn loved by God?

>From this
>springs love for all things and all people, and all conditions, no
>matter how horrible.

That's another leap I don't understand. What does it mean to love
concrete, vacuum, and e coli bacteria? Does "all conditions" include
conditions like poverty, inebriation, and hatred?

>1. I am Christian, but I accept no dogma, and I consider myself a
>member of no Church

This seems contradictory to me. First, from believing in the O^3S,
how did you get to believing in Christ as his son and incarnation
on Earth, whose death cleanses us of sin and grants believers
entry to Heavenly afterlife? Or do you believe all those things?
What do you mean when you say "I am Christian"? And as for accepting
no dogma... I think that the mere statement that you are Christian
implies some sort of dogma, else it would be meaningless to state.

>3. I am fiercely optimistic about the fate of humanity, and do
>whatever I can to manifest that optimism in my actions, so that my
>optimism might some day be realized.

This alone, in my book, makes you a cut above many Christians, who
see humanity as dirty, flawed, sinful, despicable, and generally
undesirable company. I'll be interested to learn your take on sin.

>I invite whatever you have to offer! Time does not permit me to
>gaurantee response or even the reading of all replies to my
>involvement here, but I will do my best.

Naturally, we all have to manage our time here. I generally choose
to participate in this forum publicly, and I shan't seek you out by
email. If you want to converse with me, it'll have to be here in
alt.atheism.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Bill Thacker Atheist #1363 bi...@woods-car.com
Bill's Rail Buggy Page: http://www.woods-car.com

"Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from
a rigged demo." - unknown

Az_

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Nov 14, 2001, 2:29:23 PM11/14/01
to
Welcome aboard.

As long as you are interested in pursuing the truth I doubt you will
be beaten too baddly. I think its safe to say that we atheists would
acknowledge a god if there were any evidence of his existance. So
keeping that in mind lets talk.
Um, out of idle curiousity what packet of beliefs do you now ascribe
to?

Az_
a#1176

Mark Richardson

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Nov 14, 2001, 6:20:22 PM11/14/01
to
On 14 Nov 2001 04:41:05 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
wrote:

>Hello All,
>
Hello Michael.
I for one am most happy to talk to you.


>What do I expect to learn from you? I want to test my own belief. Of
>all the groups I've had direct experience with, atheists generally
>place a greater relative emphasis on critical thinking, reason, logic,
>etc., and I hold my beliefs in the conviction that they are not
>unreasonable. I welcome disagreement, point, and counterpoint, as
>this hones my thoughts, and reveals things I have never considered.
>

I like your attitude!

>p.s.: Hello Andrew, Jayne, Tony, et. al.!

Andrew (Lias) still posts here, Jayne hardly ever and do you mean Tony
Lawrence? - he hasnt posted regularly in years - I nip over to his
website once in a while to see if he has written anything new.
You probably wont remember me - I mostly lurked 6 years ago.

Welcome back - and I hope its a positive experience.

Mark.

--
Mark Richardson mDOTrichardsonATutasDOTeduDOTau

Member of S.M.A.S.H.
(Sarcastic Middle aged Atheists with a Sense of Humour)

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

Andrew C.

unread,
Nov 13, 2001, 7:08:15 PM11/13/01
to
On 14 Nov 2001 04:41:05 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
wrote:

>Hello All,

Greetings Michael.

/.../

Why do you believe what you do?

That is the one point I was most looking for in your post but missed.

cloidheamh

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Nov 14, 2001, 8:36:12 PM11/14/01
to
On 14 Nov 2001 04:41:05 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day) wrote:

>Hello All,
>
Hi

>I would like to rejoin this newsgroup to some degree. The reason I
>don't just jump in and start posting away is because my desire to do
>so is tempered with a recognition of the fact that many of you don't
>seem to welcome theists here, even though they are clearly
>ever-present, for better or worse. I would like to rejoin with as
>little discomfort, for both you and I, as possible.
>

Some dislike all theists. Most, myself included, do not despise the rational ones.

>As such, I introduce myself to you again, much as I did over six years
>ago.
>
>I am a theist. However, I am not here to convert you, to lambast you,
>to riddle you with 'proofs', 'evidence', 'admonishments', or anything
>of the sort. I am truly here to learn from you.
>

If true, then you are welcome.

[snip]


>
>I will refer to "The Universe", meaning "all that actually is, whether
>we are aware of it or not, whether we like it or not."

That's my definition as well.

> (I realize
>that this definition may not be wholly satisfactory in that it
>conflicts with the idea of a possible "multiverse"... if you wish to
>make that contention, expand your understanding of what I mean by "all
>that actually is" to include all universes, and even, all multiverses.
>:)

Although I don't subscribe to the multiverse concept, when considering it I think along the lines of
multiple continuums. What they refer to as a universe, I call a continuum.

[snip]


>
>The Universe, then, has the following qualities:
>

[snip]
points 1 and 2 I accept with one reservation: I may have misunderstood your meaning, in which case I
maintain the right to argue against them in the future.

>3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
>is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
>illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
>only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
>it possible.
>

Self-awareness is difficult to define. There are possibilities in which the universe could be viewed
as a living thing. This could be done in a manner that I would not object to. However,
self-awareness, or even awareness in general, appears to me to be stretching the concepts. Of course
I haven't heard your version of those concepts yet...

>I believe that, at some level, the there is an Omniscient, Omnipotent,
>Omnipresent Somethingness, that I call God in particular, in
>distinction from all aspects of the universe that do not experience
>universal self-awareness.
>

That sounds convoluted.

>I believe that God is in fact that aspect of The Universe which makes
>existence itself possible, and further, He _animates_ The Universe,
>defines all laws of Physics, etc., _and_ gives them life. God is,
>himself, the solution to all paradox, and any appearance of
>impossibility that manifests itself to our senses is merely a
>misinterpretation of fact.
>

That's convenient. ;)

>I _RECOGNIZE_ that it is _EXTRAORDINARILY_DIFFICULT_ to reconcile the
>idea of an Omnibenevolent God with the Fact of the tremendous
>suffering and horror in the world. It is further extraordinarily
>difficult, to the degree that a person thinks logically, to see belief
>in an Omnibenevolent God as a reasonable thing.
>

Why are the 'omnis' necessary? Why not just say 'benevolent'?
Most paradoxes involving 'omni-whatevers' can easily be resolved by removing 'omni' from the
definition.

[snip]


>
>1. I am Christian, but I accept no dogma, and I consider myself a
>member of no Church (even though I am still technically a Mormon,
>according to their records... but I emphatically disagree with many of
>their basic teachings).
>

According to the Mormon Church, some of my ancestors were Mormons before the Mormon Church existed.
I wouldn't be too concerned about what they think...

In what way are you a Chistian?
I see several possibilities:
1: Christ is God.
2: Christ is the son of God. (literally)
3: Christ is a prophet of God.
4: Christ is a teacher/philosopher.
5: Christ is the son of God (figuratively. this should coincide with options 1, 3, or 4)
6: Something else.

[snip]

Andrew Lias

unread,
Nov 15, 2001, 6:22:03 PM11/15/01
to
mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day) wrote in message news:<d9113a55.01111...@posting.google.com>...
> Hello All,

> p.s.: Hello Andrew, Jayne, Tony, et. al.!

Hey, Mike!

I'm afraid that Tony and Jayne don't post here much, anymore (although
Jayne has posted within the last year, so there's always hope).

It's good to see you back in the group, again.

I'd like everyone else to know that Mike is a really nice fellow who
has always shown a remarkable degree of sense coupled with a rather
extraordinary ability to examine and reexamine his core beliefs.
Please be nice to him. :-)

--
9/11/01 - Remember.

Corey Snow

unread,
Nov 16, 2001, 4:06:43 AM11/16/01
to
On 14 Nov 2001 04:41:05 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
measured out 157 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women
come and go, talking of Considering Rejoining :):

>Hello All,

<the ragged claws went snick>

Hi, Michael- welcome (back). I know what you mean about rejoining. I
was a regular here for a while a few years ago, but just kind of
drifted out. Now I'm back. Still an atheist, though. :)

Looking forward to some interesting and entertaining discussions,

Corey M. Snow, co...@snowpoint.com
"I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
-T.S. Eliot

Michael L. Day

unread,
Nov 25, 2001, 1:41:18 PM11/25/01
to
Fred Stone <fsto...@earthling.com> wrote in message news:<3BF29200...@earthlink.net>...

> "Michael L. Day" wrote:
>
> > Hello All,
[ ... ]
> Welcome again.

Thanks. :)

> > I'm probably going to try and start a thread in a few days
>
> as opposed to this one?

Well I didn't expect to have so many replies to this one, honestly.
:) I was going to start a conversation on a particular subject, like
whether or not the scientific method is best suited for approaching
certain subjects, etc.

> > 2. It is self-moving. Given that we observe movement, movement is
> > part of The Universe, and again there is nothing outside The Universe
> > that could possibly cause that movement, for by definition, there is
> > nothing "outside The Universe." (and please note that I do mean
> > literally nothing... not simply the appearance of nothing, the
> > implication being that the only thing that can come from true
> > nothingness is eternal, unchanging nothingness... nonexistance
> > itself).
>
> Here you begin to anthropomorphize.
> You imply that there is a "self" to the Universe.

All I really claim above is that there is inherent movement in the
universe, and so there is nothing separate moving it. I don't see how
this is "anthropomorphizing" it.

> > 3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
> > is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
> > illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
> > only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
> > it possible.
>
> This does not follow. An emergent property of some arrangement of matter
> need not be a property of the Universe as a whole.

But how can a property emerge unless what was there before such an
emergemence allows the possibility? I'm not saying "allows" as in a
personality "permitting" something new to occur, but rather, that the
nature of the thing is such that the newness is or has always been
possible.

But I do go further than this, believing that the universe as a whole
does experience self-awareness on some level. Human personalities can
access it to the degree that they work to open their minds to it.

I don't claim to be able to prove this, of course.

> A mob of people is not intelligent, even though every one of it's members
> is.

Perhaps not consciously intelligent, but a person, or group of people
sufficiently aware of how the "group mind" of a mob works can direct
the mob and control it to some degree, thus acting like a sort of
surrogate brain for the whole group.

> <snip the rest, just for space>
>
> You've expressed some things that I'd classify as Platonic Idealism or
> possibly
> Aquinian Realism. I'd suggest some reading in those areas.
> You might find some things that resonate.
>
> Then remember that both of those guys were before the scientific
> method was codified. Contrast with some modern realists like Popper
> or Rand.

Thank you,
- Mike Day

Michael L. Day

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Nov 25, 2001, 2:01:10 PM11/25/01
to
"Jonathan v.d. Sluis" <jonath...@planet.nlnospam> wrote in message news:<9su5a5$11k$1...@reader08.wxs.nl>...

> A very good post. Thank you. Here are some questions and remarks:

Thank you. :)

> <snip>
> > The Universe, then, has the following qualities:
> >
> > 1. It is self-extant. Nothing else could've possibly caused it to
> > be, for such a something else would have to be, by definition, part of
> > The Universe as defined above. If even a part of The Universe causes
> > the rest to be, then, as a system, the entire Universe must be
> > considered self-extant.
>
> Does the doctrine of creation have a meaning to you? In what sense?

Yes, in that it contains highly useful symbolism.

> ...
> > 3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
> > is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
> > illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
> > only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
> > it possible.
>
> I am not sure I understand this correctly. Do you believe that a
> conscioussness like ours - human conscioussness - dwells even in dead
> matter? In inanimate objects, planets, etc.? Is this conscioussness separate
> from God or part of God? Is it really the universe that is self-aware or do
> you mean some beings living in the universe are self-aware? The word 'It'
> refers to the universe, but after that you seem to be talking about humanity
> ('ourselves').

I wouldn't say that a consciouss "dwells even in dead matter"...
rather, consciousness on some level is what establishes and gives life
to all the rules that allow "dead matter" to exist in the first place.
I don't believe anything can exist without it being a function of
some level of consciousness. For example, I believe that there is a
consciousness pattern that establishes the existence of the elementary
particles and their interactions with each other. When enough of
these particles get together, there is a "group consciousness", in,
say, in a protein or amino acid, that collectively describes the
existence and interactions of the protein or amino acid as a unit.
You can take this to ever higher levels, until you reach human beings,
where we have a system so complex that somehow it folds back into
itself and gives us self-awareness. The consciousness at work in the
constitution and separation of human bodies/brains/etc. is such that
we each experience consciousness itself, and can direct our bodies, in
various ways, according to our personal will.

Does this make sense? I feel I may be failing to adequately explain
my position. It is rather complex. :)

> I think your ideas come close to pantheism. That would not make me assume
> anything, but you might like to read something from Baruch de Spinoza, a
> Dutch philosopher from the 17th century. His most important work was called
> 'Ethica'. Unless you already know all about him, ofcourse. Your ideas about
> how no outside source is able to influence the world are more in accordance
> with deism rather than theism, however. So how about the term 'pandeism' to
> describe your position? That might be self-contradictory, however. But it's
> just labels in the end: don't think I am trying to force you in some
> direction.

Its an interesting term... I need to look more into it to be able to
respond well.

> > 2. There is NO book that is flawless, although I do what I can to
> > draw what wisdom I can from ALL sources. The bible is one such
> > source, and I interpret it according to the dictates of my own
> > conscience, but it is by no means the only or even the most important
> > source.
>
> This really confirms a point I was making in the 'science defined' thread.
> Thank you indeed.

You're welcome. :)

> ...
> > I love this newsgroup. I have benefitted greatly from it, and hope to
> > be able to give something back, even if only interesting conversation.
>
> Hope to hear more from you. I am an atheist, but very interested in
> christian ideas, especially those concerning the relation of God to nature.
> Atheism is unable

to what?

> Jonathan.

- Mike Day :)

Michael L. Day

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Nov 25, 2001, 2:37:30 PM11/25/01
to
w...@cbemi.cb.lucent.com (Bill Thacker) wrote in message news:<9su698$f...@nntpb.cb.lucent.com>...

> In article <d9113a55.01111...@posting.google.com>,
> Michael L. Day <mikel...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >In the meantime, I'd like to present to you a synopsis of my beliefs,
> >so that you can refer to this in debating with me, if you choose to.
>
> Definitions deleted, but thanks for being so precise in describing
> them.

Please note: I make no claim that they describe my beliefs in full.
I was careful to say "_a_ synopsis", the implication being "this is
one way to express some of my beliefs."

> >I believe that, at some level, the there is an Omniscient, Omnipotent,
> >Omnipresent Somethingness, that I call God in particular, in
> >distinction from all aspects of the universe that do not experience
> >universal self-awareness.
>
> What's not clear is how your premises lead to this conclusion.
> (Well, you warned in advance it wasn't going to be a proof, I know.)
> The universe is (as defined) self-extant, self-motivating, and
> self-aware (since humans are part of the universe, we make it
> self-aware even if no gods exist). But why do these things
> lead to an Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omniprisent Somethingness
> (O^3S, if you don't mind)?

They don't, at least not by logic/reason alone. I arrived at belief
in the O^3S (as you say it :), based on years of sincere attempts to
do everything I could to find the truth. This includes things like
meditation, prayer, attempts to "commune" with nature, etc., and
learning as much as I possibly can about myself and the workings of my
own mind (mainly by _paying attention_), in addition to studying math
and the hard sciences. In my mind, these various phenomena are all
real, and do not conflict, even though they are such that they are
difficult, if not impossible, to prove via the scientific method or
via logical proofs.

That's an interesting question I may ask the group at large: Is it
possible for there to be real phenomena that are, by their nature,
unsuited for proof by logic or the scientific method?

> >I believe that God is in fact that aspect of The Universe which makes
> >existence itself possible, and further, He _animates_ The Universe,
> >defines all laws of Physics, etc., _and_ gives them life. God is,
> >himself, the solution to all paradox, and any appearance of
> >impossibility that manifests itself to our senses is merely a
> >misinterpretation of fact.
>
> Also, why do you refer to the O^3S as a singular, male entity?
> I'll grant the masculine pronouns as a linguistic simplifier, if
> that's all they mean, but would suggest that "It" is more
> appropriate.

For various reasons, one being a show of respect to the religions at
large in this country. Other reasons may include that I simply
identify more with the idea of a male "entity" because of my
upbringing, or the fact that I am male. Also, since most people talk
about God in this way, I think it puts up less communication barriers.

I might point out here that I do believe in a dual nature to
divinity... ie: that there is both God and Goddess. But I don't
believe them as separate "beings," and I certainly don't believe them
to be possessed of "personalities" of any human sort. Rather, they
represent vast, fundamental cosmic principles that describe how
consciousness itself works.

> >Nevertheless, I do believe in such a God, and I love "Him."
>
> Do you feel this is an unrequited love, or do you sense that you
> are in turn loved by God?

For me, it is undoubtedly mutual. I do not feel it all the time,
however, and I believe I understand some of the mechanics of how this
works. I believe that there is always "divine love" available to us,
but we must do the work that allows it to be felt and accessed.

> >From this
> >springs love for all things and all people, and all conditions, no
> >matter how horrible.
>
> That's another leap I don't understand. What does it mean to love
> concrete, vacuum, and e coli bacteria?

I love the things themselves in that I see beauty through and through.
The way matter forms and keeps its shape, the laws that make it
possible, the properties of a vacuum as opposed to our atmosphere, the
nearly unthinkable complexity of an organism as small as bacteria...
It inspires me.

> Does "all conditions" include
> conditions like poverty, inebriation, and hatred?

It means that I do my best to see the good in all things, because if I
am overcome with depsondency or fear, I am less effective in helping
make situations better.

> >1. I am Christian, but I accept no dogma, and I consider myself a
> >member of no Church
>
> This seems contradictory to me. First, from believing in the O^3S,
> how did you get to believing in Christ as his son and incarnation
> on Earth, whose death cleanses us of sin and grants believers
> entry to Heavenly afterlife?

First, I don't believe all you've stated above and attributed to me.
I arrived at believing in Christ as significant and real through a
great deal of studying and personal experience. The book that most
clearly expresses my view of Christ the person is probably "Mystic
Christianity" by Yogi Ramacharaka.

What I mean by "Christian" might well be summed up as follows:
I believe Christ was a real person who, through his life, actually
effected a huge and dramatic change in the actual makeup of the
universe itself. This change was essentially to establish
"Compassion" or "Unconditional Love" as THE gateway to God. What this
means is almost impossible to define or quantify...

I can relate to the idea of the Trinity as expressed by the dogma of
many churches in that I interpret it as useful symbolism. To
Illustrate:

Mormons believe in God the Father, Christ the Son, and in the Holy
Ghost. I recognize God in this context as the masculine universal
consciousness, Christ as the compassionate universal consciousness,
and the Holy Ghost as the "feminine" universal consciousness.

Hehe... I will probably need to answer a lot of questions on that
one. :)

> Or do you believe all those things?
> What do you mean when you say "I am Christian"? And as for accepting
> no dogma... I think that the mere statement that you are Christian
> implies some sort of dogma, else it would be meaningless to state.

What I mean is that I accept no -written- or -verbally-codified-
dogma, and certainly not any dogma as written by any church or group.
I interpret life as I experience it, for me. There is no codified set
of beliefs that I hold as perfect. I ALWAYS reserve the right to
interpret EVERYTHING according to my own conscience, and express
things however I honestly feel they should be expressed at the time.

There are, of course, ideas and themes that are turning out to be
quite stable for me, but there is nothing I hold as being immune from
further learning, elaboration, and revision.

> >3. I am fiercely optimistic about the fate of humanity, and do
> >whatever I can to manifest that optimism in my actions, so that my
> >optimism might some day be realized.
>
> This alone, in my book, makes you a cut above many Christians, who
> see humanity as dirty, flawed, sinful, despicable, and generally
> undesirable company. I'll be interested to learn your take on sin.

Thank you. I agree that the low view of humanity is a greatly
undesirable thing.

Sin... That's a big subject I may have to start a thread on to even
approach. :)

Thank you,
- Mike Day :)

Fred Stone

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Nov 25, 2001, 2:36:31 PM11/25/01
to

Maybe "personifying" would be a better word. Imputing some "entity"
called "The Universe" as if it's more than just the set of all things.

>
>> > 3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
>> > is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
>> > illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
>> > only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
>> > it possible.
>>
>> This does not follow. An emergent property of some arrangement of matter
>> need not be a property of the Universe as a whole.
>
> But how can a property emerge unless what was there before such an
> emergemence allows the possibility? I'm not saying "allows" as in a
> personality "permitting" something new to occur, but rather, that the
> nature of the thing is such that the newness is or has always been
> possible.

You're mixing levels, is all. "The Universe" doesn't have ANY properties
of it's own. All it's properties come from the fact that it's the set of
all things.

>
> But I do go further than this, believing that the universe as a whole
> does experience self-awareness on some level. Human personalities can
> access it to the degree that they work to open their minds to it.

How do you distinguish "working at it" from "fantasizing about it"?

>
> I don't claim to be able to prove this, of course.
>
>> A mob of people is not intelligent, even though every one of it's members
>> is.
>
> Perhaps not consciously intelligent, but a person, or group of people
> sufficiently aware of how the "group mind" of a mob works can direct
> the mob and control it to some degree, thus acting like a sort of
> surrogate brain for the whole group.
>

Yes, but that "group mind" is simply a metaphor for the group of minds
that operate in the mob. They don't really interconnect in any meaningful
way, except that they're all working off the same inputs.

>> <snip the rest, just for space>
>>
>> You've expressed some things that I'd classify as Platonic Idealism or
>> possibly
>> Aquinian Realism. I'd suggest some reading in those areas.
>> You might find some things that resonate.
>>
>> Then remember that both of those guys were before the scientific
>> method was codified. Contrast with some modern realists like Popper
>> or Rand.
>
> Thank you,
> - Mike Day

--

Fred Stone
aa # 1369

BAAWA Brewmaster

Michael L. Day

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Nov 25, 2001, 2:42:07 PM11/25/01
to
Andrew C. <email@dress> wrote in message news:<gdd3vtgf02qt4squ9...@4ax.com>...

The answer to that question is quite literally my entire life. I do
my best to see accurately, to expand my consciousness, to learn
adeptly, etc., and I apply myself in full to these endeavors almost
full-time (you've got to just have fun and indulge once in awhile ;).
I appreciate the question, but I don't have time to write an
autobiography. :) Can you ask a more specific question?

Thank you,
- Mike Day :)

Michael L. Day

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Nov 25, 2001, 2:45:52 PM11/25/01
to
anrw...@hotmail.com (Andrew Lias) wrote in message news:<6d60aaf8.01111...@posting.google.com>...

> mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day) wrote in message news:<d9113a55.01111...@posting.google.com>...
> > Hello All,
> > p.s.: Hello Andrew, Jayne, Tony, et. al.!
>
> Hey, Mike!

Hey! :D

> I'm afraid that Tony and Jayne don't post here much, anymore (although
> Jayne has posted within the last year, so there's always hope).
>
> It's good to see you back in the group, again.
>
> I'd like everyone else to know that Mike is a really nice fellow who
> has always shown a remarkable degree of sense coupled with a rather
> extraordinary ability to examine and reexamine his core beliefs.
> Please be nice to him. :-)

*blush* Thank you. :)

I'd like all theists here to know that Andrew deserves your respect...
he has (almost :) always shown a remarkable degree of self-restraint
and respect towards even the most vehement and disrespectful visitors
here. So please be nice to him too! :)

- Mike Day :)

Andrew C.

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Nov 24, 2001, 6:19:02 PM11/24/01
to
On 25 Nov 2001 11:42:07 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
wrote:

>Andrew C. <email@dress> wrote in message news:<gdd3vtgf02qt4squ9...@4ax.com>...
>> On 14 Nov 2001 04:41:05 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
>> wrote:
>>
>> >Hello All,
>>
>> Greetings Michael.
>>
>> /.../
>>
>> Why do you believe what you do?
>>
>> That is the one point I was most looking for in your post but missed.
>
>The answer to that question is quite literally my entire life. I do
>my best to see accurately, to expand my consciousness, to learn
>adeptly, etc., and I apply myself in full to these endeavors almost
>full-time (you've got to just have fun and indulge once in awhile ;).
>I appreciate the question, but I don't have time to write an
>autobiography. :) Can you ask a more specific question?

I believe the question was precise enough. I will, as per your
request, give it an iteration.

Why is it that you believe the things which you believe?

As an example: Is it because you had a personal revelation, your were
indoctrinated as a child, you had a bump on the head, you wanted to
impress a girl, you "just believe", you like the view of the world
such a belief entails?

You must excuse me if my "reasons" seem superficial, or insulting. I
have never been a believer and can not think of a reason TO believe.
So yeah, thats my question.

Michael L. Day

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Nov 25, 2001, 8:15:35 PM11/25/01
to
Fred Stone <fsto...@earthling.com> wrote in message news:<pan.2001.11.25.14....@earthling.com>...

> On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 13:41:18 -0500, Michael L. Day wrote:

> > All I really claim above is that there is inherent movement in the
> > universe, and so there is nothing separate moving it. I don't see how
> > this is "anthropomorphizing" it.
>
> Maybe "personifying" would be a better word. Imputing some "entity"
> called "The Universe" as if it's more than just the set of all things.

"The set of all things" is a thing in and of itself, is it not? I
like to think in terms of continuums, rather than disconnected things.
If you want to get down in to the science of it, please feel free to
do so! :) At the very least, EVERYTHING co-influences everything
else via gravitational forces (among others). Granted, pebbles
lightyears apart have an effect so small on each other that it may be
useful to consider them as objects that have _exactly_ zero effect on
each other, but such a simplification is, obviously, a simplification,
right? I believe such simplifications should be recognized, not
simply pushed from the mind for the sake of making things easier to
understand (we are, after all, trying to understand the universe
itself, no?).

The universe is simultaneously one and many. I see no factual basis
for disagreeing with this statement.

> >> > 3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
> >> > is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
> >> > illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
> >> > only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
> >> > it possible.
> >>
> >> This does not follow. An emergent property of some arrangement of matter
> >> need not be a property of the Universe as a whole.
> >
> > But how can a property emerge unless what was there before such an
> > emergemence allows the possibility? I'm not saying "allows" as in a
> > personality "permitting" something new to occur, but rather, that the
> > nature of the thing is such that the newness is or has always been
> > possible.
>
> You're mixing levels, is all. "The Universe" doesn't have ANY properties
> of it's own. All it's properties come from the fact that it's the set of
> all things.

Mixing levels? What's wrong with that?

> > But I do go further than this, believing that the universe as a whole
> > does experience self-awareness on some level. Human personalities can
> > access it to the degree that they work to open their minds to it.
>
> How do you distinguish "working at it" from "fantasizing about it"?

I fully admit to doing both. I don't claim to be open-minded to any
particular, exact degree. To claim to know exactly how open-minded I
am would be to admit my own close-mindedness!

If you feel that I demonstrate close-mindedness in any real way,
please, by all means, I invite you to point it out!

Nevertheless, I will always reserve the right to fantasize, and to
grant my fantasies the possibility of demonstrating they are not
merely fantasies. If nothing else, fantasy is fun! (and it has
demonstrated use... I'm sure there are plenty of people here who
could list instances where a real, technological innovation was
fantasized about first... sci-fi novel ideas inspiring real
technological innovations, etc.).

> >> A mob of people is not intelligent, even though every one of it's members
> >> is.
> >
> > Perhaps not consciously intelligent, but a person, or group of people
> > sufficiently aware of how the "group mind" of a mob works can direct
> > the mob and control it to some degree, thus acting like a sort of
> > surrogate brain for the whole group.
> >
>
> Yes, but that "group mind" is simply a metaphor for the group of minds
> that operate in the mob. They don't really interconnect in any meaningful
> way, except that they're all working off the same inputs.

Even metaphors have a tangible reality, if not as discrete things,
then as real system-level manifestations as the electrochemical
happenings in our brains. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that
human brains radiate electric fields that exist outside the confines
of the skull. Is it impossible that, at some level, group
intelligence _actually_exists_ as a very subtle form of
electromagnetic interaction? I realize I'm going way out on a limb
here, but I believe myself warranted, and invite correction if I am
mistaken.

Thank You,
- Mike Day :)

Michael L. Day

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Nov 25, 2001, 9:08:46 PM11/25/01
to
Andrew C. <email@dress> wrote in message news:<oia00ukajbtt1v3bt...@4ax.com>...

> On 25 Nov 2001 11:42:07 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
> wrote:
>
> >Andrew C. <email@dress> wrote in message news:<gdd3vtgf02qt4squ9...@4ax.com>...
> >> On 14 Nov 2001 04:41:05 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> >Hello All,
> >>
> >> Greetings Michael.
> >>
> >> /.../
> >>
> >> Why do you believe what you do?
> >>
> >> That is the one point I was most looking for in your post but missed.
> >
> >The answer to that question is quite literally my entire life. I do
> >my best to see accurately, to expand my consciousness, to learn
> >adeptly, etc., and I apply myself in full to these endeavors almost
> >full-time (you've got to just have fun and indulge once in awhile ;).
> >I appreciate the question, but I don't have time to write an
> >autobiography. :) Can you ask a more specific question?
>
> I believe the question was precise enough. I will, as per your
> request, give it an iteration.

Thank you...

> Why is it that you believe the things which you believe?
>
> As an example: Is it because you had a personal revelation, your were
> indoctrinated as a child, you had a bump on the head, you wanted to
> impress a girl, you "just believe", you like the view of the world
> such a belief entails?
>
> You must excuse me if my "reasons" seem superficial, or insulting. I
> have never been a believer and can not think of a reason TO believe.
> So yeah, thats my question.

Hrm... I guess, at the base level, I believe because I want to. This
want has almost always existed (except perhaps for a short time during
my being professedly atheist), and has been assisted by my life
experience. So there is really a lot that goes into answering such a
simple question... I am sorry if my hesitation to answer your
question as first stated came across as disrespect. It was not my
intent.

I _was_ indoctrinated as a child, and I fought viciously out of such
(as is chronicled in my recent post "Leaving Religion <->
Open-Mindedness"), for years, and honestly feel myself free (but still
affected) by it.

Also, I do believe myself to have received "personal revelation" in
the sense that anyone who sincerely desires true understanding will
eventually come to something that at least feels like a "personal
revelation..." As to whether or not what I've "received" is the
truth... time will tell. As is, my beliefs, and my understandings of
what I've received, have already gone through many, many interations
of belief, disbelief, and reconstructed belief. My stated beliefs are
constantly changing.

I do like the view of the world my belief entails, too... I love the
idea of miracles, and not miracles that are simply "magic" or any sort
of nonsensical hocus-pocus... but miracles that are brought about by
actual, real-life forces that human beings can pesonally access! I
love the idea of spirituality, especially spirituality that is
actually made possible by some sort of mechanics of consciousness.
The world as I see it is utterly awesome, beautiful, and inspiring. I
love it.

So clearly, I have a vested interest in the continuance of my beliefs.
However, I hope to demonstrate to you that my interest is not
sufficient to close my mind from possibilities that would disappoint
me. I've been through that already, and though it was enormously
painful, I _AM_ prepared to go through it again, if need be, for I
cannot hope to arrive at true wisdom and understanding otherwise.

stillsunny

unread,
Nov 25, 2001, 9:22:10 PM11/25/01
to
On 25 Nov 2001 11:45:52 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
wrote:

Oh, shoot.

And I was just going to pinch him, too :-(

Sunny

who is kidding, and thinks Andrew's mighty nice as well

>- Mike Day :)

Fred Stone

unread,
Nov 25, 2001, 10:14:49 PM11/25/01
to
On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 20:15:35 -0500, Michael L. Day wrote:

> Fred Stone <fsto...@earthling.com> wrote in message news:<pan.2001.11.25.14....@earthling.com>...
>> On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 13:41:18 -0500, Michael L. Day wrote:
>
>> > All I really claim above is that there is inherent movement in the
>> > universe, and so there is nothing separate moving it. I don't see how
>> > this is "anthropomorphizing" it.
>>
>> Maybe "personifying" would be a better word. Imputing some "entity"
>> called "The Universe" as if it's more than just the set of all things.
>
> "The set of all things" is a thing in and of itself, is it not?

No, the Universe does not contain itself.

> I like to think in terms of continuums, rather than disconnected
> things.

You mean you delude yourself that things which are not connected, have
some kind of mystical connection anyway?

> If you want to get down in to the science of it, please feel free to
> do so! :) At the very least, EVERYTHING co-influences everything
> else via gravitational forces (among others).

So what?

> Granted, pebbles
> lightyears apart have an effect so small on each other that it may be
> useful to consider them as objects that have _exactly_ zero effect on
> each other, but such a simplification is, obviously, a simplification,
> right? I believe such simplifications should be recognized, not
> simply pushed from the mind for the sake of making things easier to
> understand (we are, after all, trying to understand the universe
> itself, no?).

Yes, and so far, you haven't shown why gravitational attraction should be
considered to be any kind of evidence of a personified entity that is
coterminous with the universe.

>
> The universe is simultaneously one and many. I see no factual basis
> for disagreeing with this statement.

Of course not; it doesn't mean anything.

>
>> >> > 3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
>> >> > is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
>> >> > illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
>> >> > only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
>> >> > it possible.
>> >>
>> >> This does not follow. An emergent property of some arrangement of matter
>> >> need not be a property of the Universe as a whole.
>> >
>> > But how can a property emerge unless what was there before such an
>> > emergemence allows the possibility? I'm not saying "allows" as in a
>> > personality "permitting" something new to occur, but rather, that the
>> > nature of the thing is such that the newness is or has always been
>> > possible.
>>
>> You're mixing levels, is all. "The Universe" doesn't have ANY properties
>> of it's own. All it's properties come from the fact that it's the set of
>> all things.
>
> Mixing levels? What's wrong with that?

It is a fundamental logical error, that's what.

>
>> > But I do go further than this, believing that the universe as a whole
>> > does experience self-awareness on some level. Human personalities can
>> > access it to the degree that they work to open their minds to it.
>>
>> How do you distinguish "working at it" from "fantasizing about it"?
>
> I fully admit to doing both. I don't claim to be open-minded to any
> particular, exact degree. To claim to know exactly how open-minded I
> am would be to admit my own close-mindedness!
>
> If you feel that I demonstrate close-mindedness in any real way,
> please, by all means, I invite you to point it out!

I'm not accusing you of close-mindedness. Quite the contrary.
I'm accusing you of open-mindedness to the point where your brains fell
out.

>
> Nevertheless, I will always reserve the right to fantasize, and to
> grant my fantasies the possibility of demonstrating they are not
> merely fantasies. If nothing else, fantasy is fun! (and it has
> demonstrated use... I'm sure there are plenty of people here who
> could list instances where a real, technological innovation was
> fantasized about first... sci-fi novel ideas inspiring real
> technological innovations, etc.).
>
>> >> A mob of people is not intelligent, even though every one of it's members
>> >> is.
>> >
>> > Perhaps not consciously intelligent, but a person, or group of people
>> > sufficiently aware of how the "group mind" of a mob works can direct
>> > the mob and control it to some degree, thus acting like a sort of
>> > surrogate brain for the whole group.
>> >
>>
>> Yes, but that "group mind" is simply a metaphor for the group of minds
>> that operate in the mob. They don't really interconnect in any meaningful
>> way, except that they're all working off the same inputs.
>
> Even metaphors have a tangible reality, if not as discrete things,
> then as real system-level manifestations as the electrochemical
> happenings in our brains.

Nonsense.
"Tangible reality?" I'm afraid not. A metaphor is an abstraction, not a
tangible, real object.

> Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that
> human brains radiate electric fields that exist outside the confines
> of the skull. Is it impossible that, at some level, group
> intelligence _actually_exists_ as a very subtle form of
> electromagnetic interaction?

Yes, it is impossible. No such effect has ever been shown to exist.

> I realize I'm going way out on a limb
> here, but I believe myself warranted, and invite correction if I am
> mistaken.

"Warrant" requires positive evidence.
There has never been any acceptable positive evidence of any such
communication between persons.

Corey Snow

unread,
Nov 25, 2001, 11:51:28 PM11/25/01
to
On 25 Nov 2001 17:15:35 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
measured out 93 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women
come and go, talking of Re: Considering Rejoining :):
<snick>

>Nevertheless, I will always reserve the right to fantasize, and to
>grant my fantasies the possibility of demonstrating they are not
>merely fantasies. If nothing else, fantasy is fun! (and it has
>demonstrated use... I'm sure there are plenty of people here who
>could list instances where a real, technological innovation was
>fantasized about first... sci-fi novel ideas inspiring real
>technological innovations, etc.).
>

It's an interesting point. Arthur C. Clarke wrote about geostationary
communications satellites long before they were a reality. Today,
these satellites exist in what is called the "Clarke Belt".

Corey Snow

unread,
Nov 25, 2001, 11:58:34 PM11/25/01
to
On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 22:14:49 -0500, Fred Stone
<fsto...@earthling.com> measured out 139 lines in coffeespoons, and

in alt.atheism, the women come and go, talking of Re: Considering
Rejoining :):
<snick>
>
>> Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that
>> human brains radiate electric fields that exist outside the confines
>> of the skull. Is it impossible that, at some level, group
>> intelligence _actually_exists_ as a very subtle form of
>> electromagnetic interaction?
>
>Yes, it is impossible. No such effect has ever been shown to exist.
>

You can't really say that because something hasn't been shown to
exist, that it cannot exist- such would violate the most basic of
scientific principles. To declare something "impossible" because it
has never "been shown to exist" is a logical error. While it may not
actually exist- there's certainly not a lot of credible evidence to
support it- it may, and we simply don't have the means to detect it
yet.

Of course, it doesn't mean that one should assume that something does
exist simply because it hasn't been proven false. I'm certainly not
going to assume that I'm part of some kind of group consciousness
without damn good evidence. :-)

>> I realize I'm going way out on a limb
>> here, but I believe myself warranted, and invite correction if I am
>> mistaken.
>
>"Warrant" requires positive evidence.
>There has never been any acceptable positive evidence of any such
>communication between persons.

Well, "acceptable" is a subjective term, at best. I would agree that I
have never heard of any that could withstand serious scrutiny. But I
certainly wouldn't go so far as to declare that no such evidence could
ever exist.

Michael L. Day

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 4:11:19 AM11/26/01
to
Fred Stone <fsto...@earthling.com> wrote in message news:<pan.2001.11.25.22....@earthling.com>...

> On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 20:15:35 -0500, Michael L. Day wrote:

> > I like to think in terms of continuums, rather than disconnected
> > things.
>
> You mean you delude yourself that things which are not connected, have
> some kind of mystical connection anyway?

Is it not true that all things coinfluence each other by _at_least_
nothing more than gravity? If so, can't all things be considered
connected if by nothing more than the fact that they affect each
other?

I don't claim to be an expert by any means in chemistry, but let me
attempt an analogy:

Atoms are objects that are distinct from one another. They have
separate nuclei, and unless bonded together, separate electron shells.
However, when they bond together, they can share electrons... The
nuclei remain distinct, but now part of the definition of the atoms
are shared... So the molecule is a single unit, which is composed of
separate atoms, but what this means is somewhat blurred in that the
electrons are shared... Does anyone see what I'm getting at here?

The "mystical connection" I claim exists may simply be a function of
the hidden forces which cause all things to coinfluence each other. I
don't claim anything magical or nonsensical about it.

> > If you want to get down in to the science of it, please feel free to
> > do so! :) At the very least, EVERYTHING co-influences everything
> > else via gravitational forces (among others).
>
> So what?

A system of things that coinfluence each other may be considered a
unit or meta-unit when taken as a whole. Take a school of fish or a
flock of birds, for example. I don't claim there's any magic that
allows them to operate as a unit... I simply don't reject the
possibility that there is more to it than meets the eye, or rather,
more to it than has thus far been conclusively demonstrated to the
scientific world.

> > The universe is simultaneously one and many. I see no factual basis
> > for disagreeing with this statement.
>
> Of course not; it doesn't mean anything.

But it does... A molecule is simultaneously one molecule and many
atoms. A herd of sheep is simultaneously one herd and many sheep,
etc. etc... It all depends on where you make the distinction between
unit and whole.

Can any of you experts on quantum mechanics help me out here? :)
(please?)

> > Mixing levels? What's wrong with that?
>
> It is a fundamental logical error, that's what.

But is it useless? Like I said earlier, I don't work by logic alone.

> Nonsense.
> "Tangible reality?" I'm afraid not. A metaphor is an abstraction, not a
> tangible, real object.

That abstraction is made possible by real goings-on in our brains, is
it not?

> > Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that
> > human brains radiate electric fields that exist outside the confines
> > of the skull. Is it impossible that, at some level, group
> > intelligence _actually_exists_ as a very subtle form of
> > electromagnetic interaction?
>
> Yes, it is impossible. No such effect has ever been shown to exist.

I'm sorry, but that is illogical. You are concluding something is
impossible simply because you haven't seen otherwise, which is the
fallacy of Argumentum ad ignorantiam (is it not?).

> > I realize I'm going way out on a limb
> > here, but I believe myself warranted, and invite correction if I am
> > mistaken.
>
> "Warrant" requires positive evidence.
> There has never been any acceptable positive evidence of any such
> communication between persons.

I'm not trying to convince you. I'm arguing in support of my own
convictions, which are based on my own experience. They will change
if necessary, to whatever degree I am proven wrong.

Andrew C.

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 6:31:21 AM11/26/01
to
On 25 Nov 2001 18:08:46 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
wrote:

/.../

What purpose do you think that "want" serves?

Is there any OTHER way of fulfilling that want?

>I _was_ indoctrinated as a child, and I fought viciously out of such
>(as is chronicled in my recent post "Leaving Religion <->
>Open-Mindedness"), for years, and honestly feel myself free (but still
>affected) by it.
>
>Also, I do believe myself to have received "personal revelation" in
>the sense that anyone who sincerely desires true understanding will
>eventually come to something that at least feels like a "personal
>revelation..." As to whether or not what I've "received" is the
>truth... time will tell. As is, my beliefs, and my understandings of
>what I've received, have already gone through many, many interations
>of belief, disbelief, and reconstructed belief. My stated beliefs are
>constantly changing.

What was the nature of this "personal revelation"?

>I do like the view of the world my belief entails, too... I love the
>idea of miracles, and not miracles that are simply "magic" or any sort
>of nonsensical hocus-pocus... but miracles that are brought about by
>actual, real-life forces that human beings can pesonally access! I
>love the idea of spirituality, especially spirituality that is
>actually made possible by some sort of mechanics of consciousness.
>The world as I see it is utterly awesome, beautiful, and inspiring. I
>love it.

"Is it not sufficient to think a garden beautiful without having to
believe there are fairies at the bottom of it?"
-Douglas Adams (I think)

>So clearly, I have a vested interest in the continuance of my beliefs.
> However, I hope to demonstrate to you that my interest is not
>sufficient to close my mind from possibilities that would disappoint
>me. I've been through that already, and though it was enormously
>painful, I _AM_ prepared to go through it again, if need be, for I
>cannot hope to arrive at true wisdom and understanding otherwise.

An open-minded theist is always a welcome treat in aa. We get so few
of them. I am already fed up with close-minded ones and I have only
been monitoring for about 6 months (posting about 1)

Andrew C.

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 6:34:06 AM11/26/01
to
On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 20:51:28 -0800, Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com>
wrote:

>On 25 Nov 2001 17:15:35 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
>measured out 93 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women
>come and go, talking of Re: Considering Rejoining :):
><snick>
>
>>Nevertheless, I will always reserve the right to fantasize, and to
>>grant my fantasies the possibility of demonstrating they are not
>>merely fantasies. If nothing else, fantasy is fun! (and it has
>>demonstrated use... I'm sure there are plenty of people here who
>>could list instances where a real, technological innovation was
>>fantasized about first... sci-fi novel ideas inspiring real
>>technological innovations, etc.).
>>
>
>It's an interesting point. Arthur C. Clarke wrote about geostationary
>communications satellites long before they were a reality. Today,
>these satellites exist in what is called the "Clarke Belt".

But did he claim such fantasies existed, when in reality they did not?

It is one thing to fantasise about something. It is another to claim
that said fantasy exists, even when it possible for it to exist in the
future, it still doesn't exist now.

Fred Stone

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 8:58:44 AM11/26/01
to
On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 23:51:28 -0500, Corey Snow wrote:

> On 25 Nov 2001 17:15:35 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
> measured out 93 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women
> come and go, talking of Re: Considering Rejoining :):
> <snick>
>
>>Nevertheless, I will always reserve the right to fantasize, and to
>>grant my fantasies the possibility of demonstrating they are not
>>merely fantasies. If nothing else, fantasy is fun! (and it has
>>demonstrated use... I'm sure there are plenty of people here who
>>could list instances where a real, technological innovation was
>>fantasized about first... sci-fi novel ideas inspiring real
>>technological innovations, etc.).
>>
>
> It's an interesting point. Arthur C. Clarke wrote about geostationary
> communications satellites long before they were a reality. Today,
> these satellites exist in what is called the "Clarke Belt".

How many science-fiction novels have been written, with speculative
inventions that have *not* been built, for the simple reason that they
violate scientific principles?

Inertialess drives?
Matter transporters?
Warp drives?
Phasers?
Holodecks?
Miniaturizing beams?
Anti-gravity material?
Ringworlds? Dyson Spheres?

Shall I go on?

I like to speculate too, it's fun.
It helps to know enough technology to know which speculations are viable
and which are just for fun.

Fred Stone

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 8:39:12 AM11/26/01
to
On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 23:58:34 -0500, Corey Snow wrote:

> On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 22:14:49 -0500, Fred Stone <fsto...@earthling.com>
> measured out 139 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women
> come and go, talking of Re: Considering Rejoining :):
> <snick>
>>
>>> Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that human brains radiate
>>> electric fields that exist outside the confines of the skull. Is it
>>> impossible that, at some level, group intelligence _actually_exists_
>>> as a very subtle form of electromagnetic interaction?
>>
>>Yes, it is impossible. No such effect has ever been shown to exist.
>>
>>
> You can't really say that because something hasn't been shown to exist,
> that it cannot exist- such would violate the most basic of scientific
> principles. To declare something "impossible" because it has never "been
> shown to exist" is a logical error. While it may not actually exist-
> there's certainly not a lot of credible evidence to support it- it may,
> and we simply don't have the means to detect it yet.

I'm sorry, maybe I should have written a whole dissertation on why it is
impossible, as well as another whole dissertation on whether any such
effect can ever be shown to exist.

This isn't something new, just now being experimented on for the first
time. Psi experiments have been conducted for the last fifty years, at
least. If there aren't any positive effects to show by now, not even any
HINTS of positive effects that exceed statistical threshold(s), then I
feel very confident in saying that "it's impossible."

I could be wrong. It's happened before, once or twice ;-).
I'd rather be wrong than credulous.


> Of course, it doesn't mean that one should assume that something does
> exist simply because it hasn't been proven false. I'm certainly not
> going to assume that I'm part of some kind of group consciousness
> without damn good evidence. :-)
>
>>> I realize I'm going way out on a limb here, but I believe myself
>>> warranted, and invite correction if I am mistaken.
>>
>>"Warrant" requires positive evidence. There has never been any
>>acceptable positive evidence of any such communication between persons.
>
> Well, "acceptable" is a subjective term, at best. I would agree that I
> have never heard of any that could withstand serious scrutiny. But I
> certainly wouldn't go so far as to declare that no such evidence could
> ever exist.

It's been experimented on for so long now, it's kind of silly to keep an
"open mind" over something as unlikely as psi. I'll "reopen" my mind if
someone ever announces a statistically conservative result in favor of the
existance of any kind of "telepathy".


> Corey M. Snow, co...@snowpoint.com
> "I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
> -T.S. Eliot
>

I like your .sig. Almost sounds like something Lovecraft might have said:
"I will show you fear, without showing you anything!"

Fred Stone

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 8:53:26 AM11/26/01
to
On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 04:11:19 -0500, Michael L. Day wrote:

> Fred Stone <fsto...@earthling.com> wrote in message
> news:<pan.2001.11.25.22....@earthling.com>...
>> On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 20:15:35 -0500, Michael L. Day wrote:
>
>> > I like to think in terms of continuums, rather than disconnected
>> > things.
>>
>> You mean you delude yourself that things which are not connected, have
>> some kind of mystical connection anyway?
>
> Is it not true that all things coinfluence each other by _at_least_
> nothing more than gravity? If so, can't all things be considered
> connected if by nothing more than the fact that they affect each other?

Just for fun, why don't you calculate the effects of the gravity of
Jupiter (the largest planet in the Solar System) on the cup of coffee that
you drink in the morning (assuming you drink coffee.)


> I don't claim to be an expert by any means in chemistry, but let me
> attempt an analogy:
>
> Atoms are objects that are distinct from one another. They have
> separate nuclei, and unless bonded together, separate electron shells.
> However, when they bond together, they can share electrons... The
> nuclei remain distinct, but now part of the definition of the atoms are
> shared... So the molecule is a single unit, which is composed of
> separate atoms, but what this means is somewhat blurred in that the
> electrons are shared... Does anyone see what I'm getting at here?

Again, so what? We know that atoms are connected into molecules. We know
how to describe the forces that operate there. It's a false analogy to go
from atoms to people. You can't do logic by analogy anyway.
That doesn't prove that people are connected into mobs. We know how to
describe those forces too. No "communications" is necessary between the
minds of the individuals in a mob.


> The "mystical connection" I claim exists may simply be a function of the
> hidden forces which cause all things to coinfluence each other. I don't
> claim anything magical or nonsensical about it.
>
>> > If you want to get down in to the science of it, please feel free to
>> > do so! :) At the very least, EVERYTHING co-influences everything
>> > else via gravitational forces (among others).
>>
>> So what?
>
> A system of things that coinfluence each other may be considered a unit
> or meta-unit when taken as a whole. Take a school of fish or a flock of
> birds, for example. I don't claim there's any magic that allows them to
> operate as a unit... I simply don't reject the possibility that there
> is more to it than meets the eye, or rather, more to it than has thus
> far been conclusively demonstrated to the scientific world.
>
>

Yet you produce no testable alternative hypothesis.

>> > The universe is simultaneously one and many. I see no factual basis
>> > for disagreeing with this statement.
>>
>> Of course not; it doesn't mean anything.
>
> But it does... A molecule is simultaneously one molecule and many
> atoms. A herd of sheep is simultaneously one herd and many sheep, etc.
> etc... It all depends on where you make the distinction between unit
> and whole.

The distinction is there all along. You can't blur it just by refusing to
acknowledge it.


> Can any of you experts on quantum mechanics help me out here? :)
> (please?)

I happen to be fairly well educated on quantum mechanics.


>> > Mixing levels? What's wrong with that?
>>
>> It is a fundamental logical error, that's what.
>
> But is it useless? Like I said earlier, I don't work by logic alone.

You can't draw correct conclusions from incorrect logic. And you can't
draw ANY conclusions from NO logic.


>> Nonsense.
>> "Tangible reality?" I'm afraid not. A metaphor is an abstraction, not a
>> tangible, real object.
>
> That abstraction is made possible by real goings-on in our brains, is it
> not?
>
>

Yeah. Those "real goings on" are called "thoughts". A thought of a thing
is not the thing itself.

>> > Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that human brains radiate
>> > electric fields that exist outside the confines of the skull. Is it
>> > impossible that, at some level, group intelligence _actually_exists_
>> > as a very subtle form of electromagnetic interaction?
>>
>> Yes, it is impossible. No such effect has ever been shown to exist.
>
> I'm sorry, but that is illogical. You are concluding something is
> impossible simply because you haven't seen otherwise, which is the
> fallacy of Argumentum ad ignorantiam (is it not?).

No, it's the TRUTH of no evidence in how many hundreds of experiments over
the last (at least!) fifty years. If I'm wrong, show me the EVIDENCE!


>> > I realize I'm going way out on a limb here, but I believe myself
>> > warranted, and invite correction if I am mistaken.
>>
>> "Warrant" requires positive evidence. There has never been any
>> acceptable positive evidence of any such communication between persons.
>
> I'm not trying to convince you. I'm arguing in support of my own
> convictions, which are based on my own experience. They will change if
> necessary, to whatever degree I am proven wrong.

"Proven wrong?"
The problem is, you've chosen a whole bunch of "beliefs" that can't be
proven RIGHT.

Corey Snow

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 10:48:53 PM11/26/01
to
On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 08:58:44 -0500, Fred Stone
<fsto...@earthling.com> measured out 43 lines in coffeespoons, and in

alt.atheism, the women come and go, talking of Re: Considering
Rejoining :):

>On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 23:51:28 -0500, Corey Snow wrote:
>
>> On 25 Nov 2001 17:15:35 -0800, mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day)
>> measured out 93 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women
>> come and go, talking of Re: Considering Rejoining :):
>> <snick>
>>
>>>Nevertheless, I will always reserve the right to fantasize, and to
>>>grant my fantasies the possibility of demonstrating they are not
>>>merely fantasies. If nothing else, fantasy is fun! (and it has
>>>demonstrated use... I'm sure there are plenty of people here who
>>>could list instances where a real, technological innovation was
>>>fantasized about first... sci-fi novel ideas inspiring real
>>>technological innovations, etc.).
>>>
>>
>> It's an interesting point. Arthur C. Clarke wrote about geostationary
>> communications satellites long before they were a reality. Today,
>> these satellites exist in what is called the "Clarke Belt".
>
>How many science-fiction novels have been written, with speculative
>inventions that have *not* been built, for the simple reason that they
>violate scientific principles?
>

History is replete with various scientific principles being supplanted
by a greater understanding. There was a time when it was thought that
the four basic building blocks of matter were earth, air, fire and
water.

>Inertialess drives?

Probably never happen, unless someone manages to contrive a way to
bend the known laws of physics. Considering that inertia is a property
of mass, and mass is, well, fundamental to the way the universe is
currently understood to operate, I don't think it's likely we'll find
a way to work around that. Wormholes are a far more likely alternative
for "FTL" travel, I would imagine. But even that isn't too likely.

>Matter transporters?

This, I understand, might actually be possible, or something akin to
it (I remember reading something not long ago, but can't cite it, so I
won't bother supporting it). I'll reserve judgement myself.

>Warp drives?

I remember reading a story where it was demonstrated by a couple of
students at MIT (or maybe Yale?) that it would take more energy than
the universe contained for the USS Enterprise to go Warp 1. :) Guess
we'll have to forget about the dilithium.

>Phasers?

Who knows what we'll be able to do with projected energy in the
future?

>Holodecks?

I don't see why these couldn't be possible- maybe not operating on the
same principles as the ones on the USS Enterprise, but still, within
the bounds of reason.

>Miniaturizing beams?

Highly unlikely, I agree.

>Anti-gravity material?

Even more unlikely, I would think, as it's another one of mass things.
:-)

>Ringworlds? Dyson Spheres?

Dunno about ringworlds... Dyson spheres, though- may not be possible,
but boy, it's a cool concept, eh? :)
>
>Shall I go on?
>

Sure, it's fun to think about all that stuff.

>I like to speculate too, it's fun.
>It helps to know enough technology to know which speculations are viable
>and which are just for fun.

Today's speculation is tomorrow's science.

Al Klein

unread,
Nov 26, 2001, 11:13:08 PM11/26/01
to
On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 20:51:28 -0800, Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com>
posted in alt.atheism:

Clarke's writing didn't inspire geosats, but it did "pre-guess" them -
in much the same way that atomic fission was written about before
Fermi achieved it.
--
Al - rukbat at optonline dot net

Al Klein

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Nov 26, 2001, 11:17:19 PM11/26/01
to
On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 20:58:34 -0800, Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com>
posted in alt.atheism:

>On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 22:14:49 -0500, Fred Stone


><fsto...@earthling.com> measured out 139 lines in coffeespoons, and
>in alt.atheism, the women come and go, talking of Re: Considering
>Rejoining :):
><snick>

>>> Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that
>>> human brains radiate electric fields that exist outside the confines
>>> of the skull. Is it impossible that, at some level, group
>>> intelligence _actually_exists_ as a very subtle form of
>>> electromagnetic interaction?

>>Yes, it is impossible. No such effect has ever been shown to exist.

>You can't really say that because something hasn't been shown to
>exist, that it cannot exist- such would violate the most basic of
>scientific principles. To declare something "impossible" because it
>has never "been shown to exist" is a logical error. While it may not
>actually exist- there's certainly not a lot of credible evidence to
>support it- it may, and we simply don't have the means to detect it
>yet.

>Of course, it doesn't mean that one should assume that something does
>exist simply because it hasn't been proven false. I'm certainly not
>going to assume that I'm part of some kind of group consciousness
>without damn good evidence. :-)

The fact is that each of us probably speaks his or her own "internal
brain language" so, even if we could have access to each other's
thoughts, they probably wouldn't do us any good.

Fred Stone

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Nov 27, 2001, 8:16:31 AM11/27/01
to

You can't expect me to take seriously the idea that our current scientific
theories will be completely supplanted by future discoveries. Modified and
extended, yes. Replaced, no.

Newtonian mechanics wasn't *replaced* by General Relativity. We still use
it all the time, as a useful approximation at low velocities and masses.

I agree. Just don't confuse speculation with science. Speculation is only
the very first step on a long road to get to a scientific result.

>>I like to speculate too, it's fun.
>>It helps to know enough technology to know which speculations are viable
>>and which are just for fun.
>
> Today's speculation is tomorrow's science.
>
>

99.99% of all of today's speculation will end up forgotten, unworkable or
simply unfeasable. Not that we should stop speculating. It takes a lot
more than speculation to turn science fiction into science.

Corey Snow

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Nov 28, 2001, 12:44:57 AM11/28/01
to
On Tue, 27 Nov 2001 04:17:19 GMT, Al Klein <ruk...@pern.org> measured
out 35 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women come and

go, talking of Re: Considering Rejoining :):

<snick>

>>Of course, it doesn't mean that one should assume that something does


>>exist simply because it hasn't been proven false. I'm certainly not
>>going to assume that I'm part of some kind of group consciousness
>>without damn good evidence. :-)
>
>The fact is that each of us probably speaks his or her own "internal
>brain language" so, even if we could have access to each other's
>thoughts, they probably wouldn't do us any good.

Hey, Al- long time no talk. Good to see you again. Yeah, it's likely
that we all have our own internal symbol set, I agree- but to continue
being the "devil's advocate", that doesn't preclude a common set of
symbols, or "protocol". There's zero evidence that we have any shared
consciousness, but I think there's probably at least some indicating
that we have some symbolic referents in common.

Corey Snow

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Nov 28, 2001, 12:48:31 AM11/28/01
to
On Tue, 27 Nov 2001 08:16:31 -0500, Fred Stone
<fsto...@earthling.com> measured out 113 lines in coffeespoons, and

in alt.atheism, the women come and go, talking of Re: Considering
Rejoining :):
<snick>

>>>


>> History is replete with various scientific principles being supplanted
>> by a greater understanding. There was a time when it was thought that
>> the four basic building blocks of matter were earth, air, fire and
>> water.
>
>You can't expect me to take seriously the idea that our current scientific
>theories will be completely supplanted by future discoveries. Modified and
>extended, yes. Replaced, no.
>

In principle, I agree. I'd point out, though, that if you extend and
modify something enough, it's effectively the same as having replaced
it. I don't think we need to bandy semantics too much, though. :-)

>Newtonian mechanics wasn't *replaced* by General Relativity. We still use
>it all the time, as a useful approximation at low velocities and masses.
>

Sure- 'cause it works until you start dealing with the very small or
the very fast.

<snick>


>> Today's speculation is tomorrow's science.
>>
>>
>99.99% of all of today's speculation will end up forgotten, unworkable or
>simply unfeasable. Not that we should stop speculating. It takes a lot
>more than speculation to turn science fiction into science.

Sure, but that's where it starts- with someone speculating as to what
might be possible. That's not hard- what's hard is making it happen,
or proving it can't.

Al Klein

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Nov 28, 2001, 9:28:03 PM11/28/01
to
On Tue, 27 Nov 2001 21:48:31 -0800, Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com>
posted in alt.atheism:

>Sure, but that's where it starts- with someone speculating as to what


>might be possible. That's not hard- what's hard is making it happen,
>or proving it can't.

The "proving it can't" part is almost impossible. We're pretty sure
that FTL by simple acceleration is impossible, but proving it is
another matter.

Al Klein

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Nov 28, 2001, 9:28:02 PM11/28/01
to
On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 19:48:53 -0800, Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com>
posted in alt.atheism:

>On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 08:58:44 -0500, Fred Stone


><fsto...@earthling.com> measured out 43 lines in coffeespoons, and in

>>Warp drives?

>I remember reading a story where it was demonstrated by a couple of
>students at MIT (or maybe Yale?) that it would take more energy than
>the universe contained for the USS Enterprise to go Warp 1.

Accelerating any non-massless particle to C requires infinite energy,
which is more than all the energy in the universe.

>>Holodecks?

>I don't see why these couldn't be possible- maybe not operating on the
>same principles as the ones on the USS Enterprise, but still, within
>the bounds of reason.

Something holographic that has mass and substance?

Elroy Willis

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Nov 28, 2001, 10:17:43 PM11/28/01
to
Al Klein <ruk...@pern.org> wrote in alt.atheism

> Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com> posted in alt.atheism:

>> Fred Stone wrote:

>>> Holodecks?

>> I don't see why these couldn't be possible- maybe not operating on the
>> same principles as the ones on the USS Enterprise, but still, within
>> the bounds of reason.

> Something holographic that has mass and substance?

Nice idea, but quite impossible I think.

--
Elroy Willis
EAP Chief Editor and Newshound
http://web2.airmail.net/~elo/news

Carl Funk

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Nov 29, 2001, 2:57:12 AM11/29/01
to
In article <jvla0u48kmc2lms7u...@4ax.com>, ruk...@pern.org says...

> On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 19:48:53 -0800, Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com>
> posted in alt.atheism:
>
> >On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 08:58:44 -0500, Fred Stone
> ><fsto...@earthling.com> measured out 43 lines in coffeespoons, and in
>
> >>Warp drives?
>
> >I remember reading a story where it was demonstrated by a couple of
> >students at MIT (or maybe Yale?) that it would take more energy than
> >the universe contained for the USS Enterprise to go Warp 1.
>
> Accelerating any non-massless particle to C requires infinite energy,
> which is more than all the energy in the universe.
>
To get something to move that fast by moving *through* space would
take an infinite amount of energy. I think the idea behind the warp
drive, though, is to warp the fabric of space, so the ship doesn't
actually move through space, but somehow goes around it.

> >>Holodecks?
>
> >I don't see why these couldn't be possible- maybe not operating on the
> >same principles as the ones on the USS Enterprise, but still, within
> >the bounds of reason.
>
> Something holographic that has mass and substance?
>

James P. Hogan used something in several of his novels that would achieve
that: neural coupling. The computer had to make connections to the spinal
cord, though, so it could pump false information directly into the brain.
It also intercepted signals from the brain to the body, so it could synthesize
the movement of muscles, like a hand reaching out to pick up an object.

A user would think that he was reaching out and picking up an orange, say,
but he would really just be lying there inert. The computer had to interpret
what the mind wanted the body to do, simulate those actions in a virtual reality,
and pump back information about what the user "felt", "saw", "smelled", etc.
It would achieve the same results as a Star Trek-like holodeck, except that
the computer had to have wires going into the users' central nervous system.

--
Carl Funk
a.a atheist #1229

maky m.

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Nov 29, 2001, 7:33:38 PM11/29/01
to
mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day) wrote in message news:<d9113a55.01111...@posting.google.com>...
> Hello All,
>
> I would like to rejoin this newsgroup to some degree. The reason I
> don't just jump in and start posting away is because my desire to do
> so is tempered with a recognition of the fact that many of you don't
> seem to welcome theists here, even though they are clearly
> ever-present, for better or worse. I would like to rejoin with as
> little discomfort, for both you and I, as possible.
>
> As such, I introduce myself to you again, much as I did over six years
> ago.
>
> I am a theist.

yadda yadda yadda...

> However, I am not here to convert you, to lambast you,
> to riddle you with 'proofs', 'evidence', 'admonishments', or anything
> of the sort. I am truly here to learn from you.
>
> Why? Because the last time I came here to learn from you, you taught
> me a great deal. Yes, I did deconvert (I am #6 on your "Deconversion
> List"), and in large part thanks to the experiences I had, and the
> friendships I made, here in this newsgroup, years ago. I totally left
> the religion of my upbringing in thought, word, and deed, and was even
> professedly atheist for a time. However, I came back around, back to
> theism, but of an altogether different sort.
>
> What do I expect to learn from you? I want to test my own belief. Of
> all the groups I've had direct experience with, atheists generally
> place a greater relative emphasis on critical thinking, reason, logic,
> etc., and I hold my beliefs in the conviction that they are not
> unreasonable. I welcome disagreement, point, and counterpoint, as
> this hones my thoughts, and reveals things I have never considered.
>
> Open-Mindedness is one of two attributes I've long considered
> "Arch-Attributes" (the other is Compassion). As such, I continually
> work to open my mind, _and_keep_it_open_, and I've found intelligent,
> respectful dialogue with atheists to be one of the most effective
> means to accomplish this.
>
> Are you interested? :)
>
> I'm probably going to try and start a thread in a few days, after I
> refamiliarize myself with recent discussions, the FAQ, and such....
> In the meantime, I'd like to present to you a synopsis of my beliefs,
> so that you can refer to this in debating with me, if you choose to.
>
> -=-
>
> I believe in a certain Something, which may be called All, The All,
> The Universe, God, or Goddess, depending on your point of view.
>
> I believe that this Something has certain qualities which,
> acknowledged, allow a person to live a life in greater harmony with
> all aspects of life... the natural world, the social world, and
> worlds both lower and far, far higher. In describing these qualities,
> I will refer to "The Universe", meaning "all that actually is, whether
> we are aware of it or not, whether we like it or not." (I realize
> that this definition may not be wholly satisfactory in that it
> conflicts with the idea of a possible "multiverse"... if you wish to
> make that contention, expand your understanding of what I mean by "all
> that actually is" to include all universes, and even, all multiverses.
> :)
>
> NOTE: I do not offer the following as a logical proof. I offer it as
> a _reasonable_ basis for my beliefs, wherein I do not claim to have
> arrived at any part thereof by logic alone, but do claim that none of
> it is in direct conflict with sound reasoning. I also do not claim
> that any of this is original. :) I am of course drawing on many
> sources to be able to present this summary as is.
>
> The Universe, then, has the following qualities:
>
> 1. It is self-extant. Nothing else could've possibly caused it to
> be, for such a something else would have to be, by definition, part of
> The Universe as defined above. If even a part of The Universe causes
> the rest to be, then, as a system, the entire Universe must be
> considered self-extant.
>
> 2. It is self-moving. Given that we observe movement, movement is
> part of The Universe, and again there is nothing outside The Universe
> that could possibly cause that movement, for by definition, there is
> nothing "outside The Universe." (and please note that I do mean
> literally nothing... not simply the appearance of nothing, the
> implication being that the only thing that can come from true
> nothingness is eternal, unchanging nothingness... nonexistance
> itself).


>
> 3. It is self-aware. Whatever you consider self-awareness to be, it
> is something we believe ourselves to posess and experience. If it is
> illusion, then it is illusion. If it is fact, then that fact could
> only be possible by nature of the fact that The Universe itself makes
> it possible.
>

> I believe that, at some level, the there is an Omniscient, Omnipotent,
> Omnipresent Somethingness, that I call God in particular, in
> distinction from all aspects of the universe that do not experience
> universal self-awareness.
>
> I believe that God is in fact that aspect of The Universe which makes
> existence itself possible, and further, He _animates_ The Universe,
> defines all laws of Physics, etc., _and_ gives them life. God is,
> himself, the solution to all paradox, and any appearance of
> impossibility that manifests itself to our senses is merely a
> misinterpretation of fact.
>
> I _RECOGNIZE_ that it is _EXTRAORDINARILY_DIFFICULT_ to reconcile the
> idea of an Omnibenevolent God with the Fact of the tremendous
> suffering and horror in the world. It is further extraordinarily
> difficult, to the degree that a person thinks logically, to see belief
> in an Omnibenevolent God as a reasonable thing.
>
> Nevertheless, I do believe in such a God, and I love "Him." From this
> springs love for all things and all people, and all conditions, no
> matter how horrible. From this also springs an intense desire to do
> whatever I can to end suffering, in myself and in others, and to see
> rightly, so that, in pursuing such a strong desire, I do not merely
> deceive myself by merely believing that I am helping to end suffering.
> I require that I actually help, and as such, I invite opportunities
> to correct my own misconceptions and mistakes.
>
> It would take a very long time to summarize the rest of my beliefs.
> :) I will simply point out a few more things before ending this
> email:
>
> 1. I am Christian, but I accept no dogma, and I consider myself a
> member of no Church (even though I am still technically a Mormon,
> according to their records... but I emphatically disagree with many of
> their basic teachings).
>
> 2. There is NO book that is flawless, although I do what I can to
> draw what wisdom I can from ALL sources. The bible is one such
> source, and I interpret it according to the dictates of my own
> conscience, but it is by no means the only or even the most important
> source.
>
> 3. I am fiercely optimistic about the fate of humanity, and do
> whatever I can to manifest that optimism in my actions, so that my
> optimism might some day be realized.
>
> -=-
>
> I invite whatever you have to offer! Time does not permit me to
> gaurantee response or even the reading of all replies to my
> involvement here, but I will do my best. Also, I can nearly gaurantee
> that any reply sent to my email address (mikel...@yahoo.com) will be
> read, and I will do my best to reply.
>
> Flames will NOT be sent to the recycle bin, but do not expect a reply
> if you cannot do me the courtesy of showing me at least some respect.
> I will always do my best to respect you, no matter what you say to me,
> and I would appreciate, but do not require, the same from you.
>
> I love this newsgroup. I have benefitted greatly from it, and hope to
> be able to give something back, even if only interesting conversation.
> :)
>
> Thank you for reading,
> - Mike Day :)

Al Klein

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Nov 30, 2001, 12:00:44 AM11/30/01
to
On Thu, 29 Nov 2001 07:57:12 GMT, Carl Funk <cf...@ameritech.net>
posted in alt.atheism:

>To get something to move that fast by moving *through* space would
>take an infinite amount of energy. I think the idea behind the warp
>drive, though, is to warp the fabric of space, so the ship doesn't
>actually move through space, but somehow goes around it.

Warp drive is a great idea. So are perpetual motion, something for
nothing and immortality.

>A user would think that he was reaching out and picking up an orange, say,
>but he would really just be lying there inert. The computer had to interpret
>what the mind wanted the body to do, simulate those actions in a virtual reality,
>and pump back information about what the user "felt", "saw", "smelled", etc.
>It would achieve the same results as a Star Trek-like holodeck, except that
>the computer had to have wires going into the users' central nervous system.

Lying back with your eyes closed and imagining the whole thing is a
LOT easier on both the technology and the spinal chord. (Just imagine
a power surge into your brain - instant vegetable, and almost instant
corpse. No thanks - not until technology is made totally foolproof.)

William Barwell

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Nov 30, 2001, 1:54:02 AM11/30/01
to
In article <h5ma0uguhv3bmthfl...@4ax.com>,
Its proven. Accleration of matter is accompanied by a gain
in mass. So to accelerate an object to C takes infinite energy.
Except for particles with zero rest mass like photons.
this is one of those hard facts of physics.

To go as fast or faster than C is going to take some
heavy duty finessing.


Pope Charles
SubGenius Pope of Houston
Slack!

William Barwell

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Nov 30, 2001, 1:59:28 AM11/30/01
to
In article <MPG.166fb629a...@news.kal.sbcglobal.net>,


Utility fog. Nanotechnology concept.
Clouds of nano-sized machines that could drift like dust or
form connections to become solid objects with chameleon like
ability to take on differing aspects according to want you need.
A chair, a large TV like screen, clothing, a supercomputer.

Al Klein

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Nov 30, 2001, 10:59:14 PM11/30/01
to
On 30 Nov 2001 00:59:28 -0600, wbar...@starbase.neosoft.com (William
Barwell) posted in alt.atheism:

>Utility fog. Nanotechnology concept.
>Clouds of nano-sized machines that could drift like dust or
>form connections to become solid objects with chameleon like
>ability to take on differing aspects according to want you need.
>A chair, a large TV like screen, clothing, a supercomputer.

Now that would work. If we had computers fast enough to run the
nannies.

Al Klein

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Nov 30, 2001, 10:59:14 PM11/30/01
to
On 30 Nov 2001 00:54:02 -0600, wbar...@starbase.neosoft.com (William
Barwell) posted in alt.atheism:

>In article <h5ma0uguhv3bmthfl...@4ax.com>,


>Al Klein <ehx...@bcgbayvar.arg> wrote:
>>On Tue, 27 Nov 2001 21:48:31 -0800, Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com>
>>posted in alt.atheism:

>>>Sure, but that's where it starts- with someone speculating as to what
>>>might be possible. That's not hard- what's hard is making it happen,
>>>or proving it can't.

>>The "proving it can't" part is almost impossible. We're pretty sure
>>that FTL by simple acceleration is impossible, but proving it is
>>another matter.

>Its proven. Accleration of matter is accompanied by a gain
>in mass. So to accelerate an object to C takes infinite energy.

Maybe. Maybe it breaks down at 9 nines, or something. It's about as
certain as anything else in physics, but so were Newton's laws.

Corey Snow

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Dec 2, 2001, 12:54:03 AM12/2/01
to
On Thu, 29 Nov 2001 02:28:02 GMT, Al Klein <ruk...@pern.org> measured
out 24 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women come and

go, talking of Re: Considering Rejoining :):

<snick>

>>>Holodecks?


>
>>I don't see why these couldn't be possible- maybe not operating on the
>>same principles as the ones on the USS Enterprise, but still, within
>>the bounds of reason.
>
>Something holographic that has mass and substance?

No, certainly not as we understand "holography". However, it's
relatively simple to envision a technology that combines elements of
holography with other technologies (as yet undeveloped) to produce the
tactile illusions to go with the visual ones.

Corey Snow

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Dec 2, 2001, 12:57:23 AM12/2/01
to
On Thu, 29 Nov 2001 07:57:12 GMT, Carl Funk <cf...@ameritech.net>
measured out 45 lines in coffeespoons, and in alt.atheism, the women

come and go, talking of Re: Considering Rejoining :):
<snick>
>>
>> Something holographic that has mass and substance?
>>
>James P. Hogan used something in several of his novels that would achieve
>that: neural coupling. The computer had to make connections to the spinal
>cord, though, so it could pump false information directly into the brain.
>It also intercepted signals from the brain to the body, so it could synthesize
>the movement of muscles, like a hand reaching out to pick up an object.
>

James P. Hogan is an interesting guy. I've been a fan of his work for
some time and had the opportunity to hoist a couple of pints of
Guinness with him at a SF con last year. He's certainly got some
strange ideas, but he's a lot of fun to drink with. :-)

I think my favorite novels of his are "Code of the Lifemaker" and "The
Immortality Option". I'm currently reading "Bug Park" and "Cradle of
Saturn".

Michael L. Day

unread,
Dec 3, 2001, 9:29:13 AM12/3/01
to
Al Klein <ruk...@pern.org> wrote in message news:<jvla0u48kmc2lms7u...@4ax.com>...

> On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 19:48:53 -0800, Corey Snow <co...@snowpoint.com>
> posted in alt.atheism:
>
> >On Mon, 26 Nov 2001 08:58:44 -0500, Fred Stone
> ><fsto...@earthling.com> measured out 43 lines in coffeespoons, and in
>
> >>Warp drives?
>
> >I remember reading a story where it was demonstrated by a couple of
> >students at MIT (or maybe Yale?) that it would take more energy than
> >the universe contained for the USS Enterprise to go Warp 1.
>
> Accelerating any non-massless particle to C requires infinite energy,
> which is more than all the energy in the universe.

Which is, on the face of it, a patently absurd proposition, for how
could you possibly generate (much less put to constructive use) more
power than what's already in the universe (nevermind the fact that, at
least by my definition of the universe, such is, by definition,
impossible)?

Unless of course it is possible that the sum total of the universe's
energy is actually infinite, and thus synonymous with the required
energy we're talking about. But this still leaves the problem of
actually weilding it in a constructive way.

I play with concepts like this. Its fun. :) I don't claim it to be
science... at least... Not yet. :D

> >>Holodecks?
>
> >I don't see why these couldn't be possible- maybe not operating on the
> >same principles as the ones on the USS Enterprise, but still, within
> >the bounds of reason.
>
> Something holographic that has mass and substance?

Not my realm of expertise... I'll leave that to you. :)

Thank you,
- Mike Day :D
(enjoying this :) :) )

Michael L. Day

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Dec 3, 2001, 9:40:07 AM12/3/01
to
mman...@my-deja.com (maky m.) wrote in message news:<188f56bf.01112...@posting.google.com>...

> mikel...@yahoo.com (Michael L. Day) wrote in message news:<d9113a55.01111...@posting.google.com>...
> > Hello All,
> >
> > I would like to rejoin this newsgroup to some degree. The reason I
> > don't just jump in and start posting away is because my desire to do
> > so is tempered with a recognition of the fact that many of you don't
> > seem to welcome theists here, even though they are clearly
> > ever-present, for better or worse. I would like to rejoin with as
> > little discomfort, for both you and I, as possible.
> >
> > As such, I introduce myself to you again, much as I did over six years
> > ago.
> >
> > I am a theist.
>
> yadda yadda yadda...

Maky, is it? I can only assume that since you bothered to post the
above at all, that you are interested in some sort of discussion
concerning what I wrote. In that you replied with nonsense
immediately after I confessed to being a theist, does this imply you
equate theism with nonsense? Given that I think you're unlikely to
reply to me (my being a nonsensical theist and all), may I further
presume the answer is yes?

And may I further assume that your head is in your ass, blinding you
from the obvious fact that a person CAN be a theist and yet
demonstrate sense?

If you feel the preceeding question insulting, adjust yourself by
realizing it was meant in jest. :)

I do not expect you to reply.

Well met,
- Mike Day :)

Zapha39

unread,
Dec 3, 2001, 9:55:55 AM12/3/01