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1076859 Posts in 71275 Topics- by 18956 Members - Latest Member: StanleyD
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1  Practice Break / Religion / Re: Age of the universe? on: Today at 04:08 PM
Perhaps we need to back up a little here. Stuart, what has led you to conclude that the "science world" (which contains millions of people between them researching topics covering an overwhelming variety of fields) thinks this way as a whole? Your conclusion bears no resemblance to any part of scientific research I've ever encountered in my studies and career in maths and physics. It is pretty much a prerequisite to embark on a scientific career that one be attracted to the idea of questioning orthodoxies.

So, what is the problem with peer review?

In the first place, assessing the quality of a scientific work is a hard task, even for trained scientists, and especially for innovative studies. For this reason, reviewers can often be in disagreement about the merits of an article. In such cases, the editor of a high-profile journal usually takes a conservative decision and rejects it.

Furthermore, for a journal editor, finding competent reviewers can be a daunting task. In fact, reviewers are themselves scientists, which means that they tend to be extremely busy with other tasks like teaching, mentoring students and developing their own research. A review for a journal must be done on top of normal academic chores, often implying that a scientist can dedicate less time to it than it would deserve.

In some cases, journals encourage authors to suggest reviewers’ names. However, this feature, initially introduced to help the editors, has been unfortunately misused to create peer review rings, where the suggested reviewers were accomplices of the authors, or even the authors themselves with secret accounts.

Furthermore, reviewers have no direct incentive to do a good review. They are not paid, and their names do not appear in the published article.

Finally, there is a another problem, which has become worse in the last 15-20 years, where academic competition for funding, positions, publication space and credits has increased along with the growth of the number of researchers.

Science is a winner-take-all enterprise, where whoever makes the decisive discovery first gets all the fame and credit, whereas all the remaining researchers are forgotten. The competition can be fierce and the stakes high.

In such a competitive environment, experiencing an erroneous rejection, or simply a delayed publication, might have huge costs to bear. That is why some Nobel Prize winners no longer hesitate to publish their results in low-impact journals.
2  Practice Break / Religion / Re: Age of the universe? on: Today at 04:02 PM
Age of the universe? Many days I struggle to recall my own age.

Now the age of Kathy in accounting... THAT'S a mystery. 35? 60? Got that ageless look there... Hard to tell.
3  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Today at 02:11 PM
Are you serious? Or, are you just trying to be obnoxious?

When you support a president that thinks women are judged on looks, blacks are often criminals, mexicans are rapists, and the white supremacist legacy of the early 1900s should be honored...

The once ridiculous questions is now quite serious.

It's like people having issues denouncing violent nazis and even saying some were quite good and decent.

Previously... it'd be unthinkable. now... a reality.
4  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Trump's statement against racism on: Today at 01:08 PM
I would not expect him to tell us troop strengths or locations. 

He had no problem telling of the recent surge into Afghanistan or the numbers....  Don't know
5  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Trump's statement against racism on: Today at 01:07 PM
I don't think the details is for us to know. Why tell the enemy? Common sense needs to be engaged. You think?
Actually, that doesn't sound like anything is engaged... rather the opposite.

Don't think!

He says the rules have changed, accept it as is, don't think, don't ask, don't even look at his history of baseless statements that sound good but ring hollow... just champion the slogan, the rules have changed!

btw, last time the don had a great plan, I seem to remember it was how to defeat isis. He knew! he knew better than the generals! he would get it done if elected!

What was his plan?

After a couple weeks in office (a time by previous statements that isis should already cease to exist), he asked the pentagon to present him with a plan and then couldn't even be bothered to review it.

His own great plan? Nada.
6  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Trump's statement against racism on: Today at 11:03 AM
"Coming up with it" is that a new goal post?

I listed what he SAID. The discussion over what he said.
Except as PM pointed out, no one argued that he didn't say those. More likely he simply doesn't understand them and they were written by others.

Trump is changing the Rules of Engagement.
He is? By doing.... what exactly?  Don't know
7  Practice Break / Religion / Re: God on: Today at 09:57 AM
You really need to learn to keep your ruler obsession under control.
You're really just embarrassing yourself with it anyway.
The one you use is too obviously an exaggerated scale version.

Otherwise, very nice example of projection, Byron.
8  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Today at 09:56 AM
Then, you're supporting anti-fa?
I have no opinion of anti-fa, nor have you provided any reason to focus on them or form one.

Hence why I don't focus on them.

That said, to not focus on nazis who had a nazi rally in which nazis attacked and killed people... to focus on everything but... that is little more than a diversion from the nazis, and tacit support. Don't believe me? Ask them! They took that very approach as a beneficial response, and publically thanked trump fro doing it.
9  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Trump's statement against racism on: Today at 05:59 AM
Your words:
"You actually think that Trump came up with any of that? Honestly. Trump's speech was simply a long excuse for doing exactly what he said he wouldn't do,"

Because saying something =/= coming up with it.
10  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Wake Up, America: Take 3 on: Today at 05:58 AM
Snopes has been snoped. LOL! It lost credibility along with CNN and MSNBC.

Yeah, I heard even fox is losing "credibility" as a few of it's commentators choose to commentate against some of the things trump has said/done. Hard to find consistently "credible" sites these days that only report what you want to hear.
11  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Today at 05:57 AM
What is this all about? how do I perceive that the Nazis are on MY side? That's stupid. They don't believe in the Constitution, they're not Christian, and they don't hold any conservative values. They are all about hate.

And yet... rather than condemn them, you distract and regularly shout "look over there! anti-fa!". If they are so bad, why not spend you time saying that they are? Why focus on a much smaller group that has done far less horrible things and then try to equivocate?
12  Practice Break / Religion / Re: God on: Today at 05:33 AM
So when I say torture is contrary to Christian values, it is an attack on religion?
To start with, where was that relevant to the discussion? It wasn't. It was a quick jump from religious principals, ethics, and morals to looking for the worst that you can find with some of the people that claim them. Just like your comments about religion and politics, focusing on a group with which you disagree and missing that a majority of folks don't.

As BillO would saying, confusing the ethics with ethical behavior... as a starting place. Every time.

Because... who was talking about religious ethics and immigrants? Oh yes, that was you. In the last post.

There is quite an inability with some posters here to simply discuss an item without also dragging in loosely or unrelated items that they do not like. Shows quite a bit really.
13  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Our unbalanced POTUS on: Yesterday at 01:07 PM
I think it's hilarious that the right wing is so openly choosing sides with the Nazis in this thing. They used to try to be subtle about it.

I wish it was hilarious... some of us live in right wing country. Here, it's simply disgusting.
14  Practice Break / Religion / Re: God on: Yesterday at 01:05 PM
Then you have not read me carefully.

What I have complained about, probably rather too often in this thread, is people who profess faith but don't adhere to basic Christian principles.  You'd think just once I could shame someone into looking at their own actions.  Hasn't happened. 

That doesn't mean I'm attacking the religious values, per se; I'm in agreement with a large part of them.  I'm in serious disagreement with those who let their political ideals override their religious ones. 
I read you fine, thanks, including numerous misrepresentations or trying to attack the religion based on believers you don't like...
15  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Trump's statement against racism on: Yesterday at 10:42 AM
At least we can still proudly say, "The sun never sets on our stalemated and unproductive military interventions."
Makes me wish to bring back the draft really.

It's one thing if there's a cadre of mercs or families of generations of soldiers... but another when the larger society is excepted to get behind and into the effort.
16  Practice Break / Religion / Re: God on: Yesterday at 10:40 AM
Perhaps, but surely when choosing which religion to join you consider its ethical systems, no?

Same for your analogy of the military, I wouldn't join the military if I didn't at least broadly agree with their goals and methods.

Do you know what it is to kill for your people/country before you do so?

Do you know what it is to sacrifice vitally for your people/country before you do so?

You might broadly say you will do it, but how well do you comprehend?

Many only mildly consider the religion before joining it in truth. Many in small communities join because it's easier than being the odd man out. Many more are raised and guided through by their family and were always assumed to join... where it's opt out, rather than opt in. And even those who stand opposed, often share a society with the base values set per religion, and hold them up as if they created them themselves.

What we know is a powerful force in what we do.

The real jump is in moving beyond saying the words, to accepting them and following them
17  Practice Break / Religion / Re: God on: Yesterday at 10:27 AM
Really, that's not even close to being true.

The OT has no trace of what we would call family values toady.  Genocide was not only acceptable but mandatory.  Polygamy was not only the standard, righteous folk like Solomon were rewarded with hundreds of wives and concubines.  Women were property.  Female children were disposable. 

Religious values have always reflected societal values, with a bit of lag time built in. 

We had the NT to correct the OT...

Hence the previous statements that the OT said not to kill unjustly, while the NT corrected that to not to kill.

Religious values do not always reflect societal values, they just happen to both exist at the same time in the same people... and thus get confused. Some say that just because someone claims to follow christ that anything that person does must be a religious value. That is patently false. But it makes a fun criticism of religious values anyhow. You yourself have made that fault many times in this discussion, saying that because a religious person was flawed, that somehow the religion must bear fault.
18  Practice Break / Purely Politics / Re: Trump's statement against racism on: Yesterday at 10:22 AM
I can't really fault Trump for this policy since it's not his doing.  The generals always say that more troops is the answer but when has that worked since WWII?
That's the downside of being management.... they couldn't do it without his approval, and with that approval also comes responsibility.

He just doesn't want to be the president that accepts it as a loss. Same reason Vietnam went on so long. There are those that fought it... and then there's that one that lost it.
19  Practice Break / Religion / Re: God on: Yesterday at 07:25 AM
You didn't answer my question.  I'm sorry your having trouble with the concept of self guidance and discipline.  It works, and it works for the reasons I have mentioned.  You will never accept them so there is no point in continuing this.  I know I have other things I want to get to, and I am sure you have too.
I beginning to take offense to his Bob.  Are you intentionally trying to provoke or what?  I answer your questions, you dismiss that answer, then ask another slightly different question and at the same time accuse me of not answering it before I have even read it.  It is extremely offensive.
There is no problem Bob. I repeat, it does not present any problem.  Why should it?  You create ethics so the you can get long with others, live with them in relative peace and harmony.  If your set of ethics allows you to do that, and that is the goal, then what difference does it make if the others all have different specific ethics.  The goals of secular ethics are not any different than the goals of religious ethics.  Neither is the test by which the are deemed valid.  They must work to allow you live in relative peace and harmony as a good person in the eyes of others and yourself.

What are thou really asking Bob?  I don't want you to accuse me of skirting the question you have in your mind but have not yet revealed.

If you asking what happens when I come across someone that exhibits behavior that I don't care for, then I have already answered that question.  It doesn't matter a tinkers damn if they have this behavior because they are following an incompatible set of ethics, or if they are just unethical, or if it's secular ethics or if it's religious ethics they are or are not following.
Your keeping on insisting on this tells me a lot about your true nature.  What determines if my re-examination is valid?  The reaction of others to it, of course. See above.
Yes, there is some process, but once learned its learned.
Okay, what about them?  Are you going somewhere with this Bob?
Did I put it exactly like that Bob?  Sure, let's say I did, just my way of saying I don't like violence.  I think it's crazy.  How about you?
So you denounce their behavior.  How is that different than my response?
What if your church changes it's stance on whatever it was the immoral/unethical person did for you to denounce his behavior?  You keep evading this question.  Curious, it was always implied in there somewhere.
Why would I need to judge them by and external standard?  Bob, this makes no sense to me.  I don't judge others by a system neither of us have adopted.  When I look at anothers behavior I do so in the same terms I look at my own, and if they are willing to share their principles, I can look that way too.  Sorry if this does not answer you here, but I really don't see what your getting at.  Maybe you can use this as another excuse to accuse me of being evasive.
Am I insulting it or criticizing it?  If I was insulting it, then that's something I need to work on.  Thanks for pointing it out.  I'll look for that in the future.
Not needed, but could be valid.
That does not necessarily follow.  That's like saying if 10 different people build 10 different bicycles, they can't all be using welding torches, tube cutters and jigs.  They have to all use different methods.  They might use different methods, and that's fine, but they don't have to.
It sounds like you have difficulty with the concept of different people using different ways to reach the same goals.  Kind of contradicts what you said above.
No, I shouldn't think so.  Why would they be?

So, given you will dismiss these responses and accuse me of avoiding the next thing you have on your mind, I'm going to make this my last word on the subject and give you the final voice.  Don't feel you have to answer my questions above if you don't want, but also don't expect me to respond to any more for yours either.  Okay?

Since we have gotten exactly nowhere with this, I'll just stand by original assertion.  You don't nee a God or religion to form a valid set of ethics.

To address as a whole, because line by line gets a bit tricky or repetitive....

Where do ethics come into play?
Short answer: they govern interpersonal relations and behavior. How someone interacts with others.

Where do you say ethics are made?
On the individual level.

How do you say they are valid?
Based on individual process.

Is this process applicable to anyone else?
No, it is your individual process, and as such... not applicable to validate the ethics of others, only yourself.

So what is to say if another individual's ethics are valid, while respecting their ability to create their own ethics and validations for them?
You can only say based on your own process, which is not applicable to theirs. Hence, you have no way to validate someone else's work. They could tell you what their process is, but it could change at any time without you knowing... so even if you try that, it's a lose lose proposition.

Since ethics are applied on a societal level, how can you respect individual ethics that can change on a whim of each individual, and cannot be validated on the whole?
In short, you can't.

So what do rules that govern societal behavior mean, when society can't say if they are good or bad or neutral? Nothing.

Secular ethics are products of society, as established by society, and enforced by society. Sure, you may have your own leanings. But if they are more granular than society has dictated, there is nothing to say anyone else goes along with them. If they contradict what society has already set... than they are not respected at all.

Your "individual" ethics are a meaningless illusion to let you feel like you have power in a powerless situation.

As you noted, what really matters is not how you think of yourself, but how others think of you. And they are certainly judging you.

Can you form ethics and morals without god or religion? Sure... if you like them to change on the whim of the masses. Can you do so individually? As a theoretical exercise with no practical or real implications, sure. As a way for the masses to accept? Try saying that your ethics do not value person possessions or money... and take something you need without paying.

As you noted, religious ethics and morals are fairly well set... and have stayed that way since the earth was viewed as flat and long before. They are also quite good on the whole, and have little need to change.

Meanwhile, secular ethics change like fashion. Those short shorts are immodest young lady! Nice thong bikini!
20  Practice Break / Religion / Re: God on: Aug 18, 2017, 01:23PM
Yes, that's the acid test, isn't it.  For us secular types too.
Sounds like the ethics that matter aren't your own at all then, but those of whom's company you keep.

Must be hard to have ethics that mean nothing to everyone else, and to be judged by every else's ethics even if they mean nothing to you.
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