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will
Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 8:23:13 AM
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Amid all the political posturing, nationalism and other distinctions of Us and Them, it’s easy to to forget that we all share a common culture: Humanity. The good, the bad and the ugly, Humanity comprises us all.

I strongly believe the days of disparate civilisations is no longer relevant; we are all part of an interconnected global civilisation. The future of this civilisation, how our shared humanity is shaped, is in all our hands, and our hands only.

My instinctive belief is that respect, hope, equality and reason are common virtues, fundamental to our nature and essential to our future; while division, fear and greed are self perpetuating traits that could ultimately be the downfall of us all

Below are couple of things that sum up my thoughts about humanity, and our virtues, needs, goals and where we should be heading. All happen to come from science, my personal field of interest.

I’d love to hear some other quotes, examples and opinions from other areas of culture and knowledge (and science and religion) – including contrary views, if any arise... but hopefully avoiding politics

.


will
Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 8:26:58 AM
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Joined: 6/29/2009
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The Drake equation is a framework to estimate the possibility and number of active civilizations elsewhere in the galaxy (or by extrapolation, the Universe). Ignoring for now the science behind it – deserving of a thread in the appropriate forum – the interesting point for this thread is the the final term, L, the lifetime of intelligent, communicating civilizations. All the other term probabilities are high and numbers are large – latest estimates are 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of sun-like stars in the Milky Way alone.

However, based on the duration of historical Earthly civilizations, the term L is estimated to be around 350 years. Based on our Earthly experience, civilizations tend to destroy themselves – or each other – in remarkably short periods of time. This could be a ‘universal’ solution to the paradox of why evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence is rare, but there are other possibilities.

In short we – Humanity – are conscious of the paradox above, and have the ability to work towards a prolonged collective existence, or resign ourselves to the ‘fate’ of past doomed civilizations.

Nothing sums up my personal philosophy better than Carl Segan’s famous ‘Pale Blue Dot’ quote.

Quote:

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”


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Listening . . .
Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 8:43:45 AM

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This thread highlights my favorite ideas. Everything else pales in comparison to realizing how insignificant we are. I am eternally humbled when I think about how much we don't yet understand.

Very nice post, Will. Applause Applause Applause
Hope123
Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 10:14:13 AM

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Will, I wish I could find on Youtube the three minute video that is on Facebook on the page of Nima Y. It was made by Asger Leth of Denmark. I do not know who Nima Y is and I don't want to post a link to his personal page.

But it portrays beautifully what your lovely thread says.

Above the video is this caption -

Three beautiful minutes. Do not miss it. Thank you Denmark for this video.
Share. Spread love. Spread understanding. And remember to put humanity first.
Director: Asger Leth. He thanks everyone for the love.

If you are on Facebook, see if you can find it. It is a pointed visual reminder that we are all humans. It has 18.2 million views and went viral overnight. So maybe there is hope yet in this divisive world.


Equality is when you see a person - not a label.
will
Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2017 6:30:48 AM
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Joined: 6/29/2009
Posts: 1,036
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Listening . . . wrote:
This thread highlights my favorite ideas. Everything else pales in comparison to realizing how insignificant we are. I am eternally humbled when I think about how much we don't yet understand.

As I think we’ve discovered before, I look at this in a somewhat different light to you. It’s easy to feel insignificant at an individual level, but collectively we are fantastically significant. As far as we know, life only exists here, on this ball of rock orbiting a star in a galaxy of 400 billion stars, in a universe of 2 trillion galaxies. Humanity has literally won the lottery, and we’ve won BIG.

And then there’s the phenomenally unlikely series of events that result in our individual existence at this unique moment in time. Some 3.5 billion years of life on this ball of rock has culminated in Humanity, a species with the ability to understand this vast universe and, crucially, the ability to shape our place within it.

We have the ability to choose. Humanity can either collectively embrace this fantastically significant ‘win’ and invest it wisely and equitably, or ‘We’ (Nation, Race, ‘Us’) can squandering it by each grabbing at a bigger share, as though the other ‘Them’ are in some way insignificant.


I recall you citing George Carlin before. I'm not a fan of his brand of cynical nihilism, but there is a quote of his that might sum up my thoughts: The planet is fine. The people are fucked. He's currently correct, but I don't agree that we should blindly accept that as our fate. Not talking


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Listening . . .
Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2017 9:50:53 AM

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will wrote:
Listening . . . wrote:
This thread highlights my favorite ideas. Everything else pales in comparison to realizing how insignificant we are. I am eternally humbled when I think about how much we don't yet understand.

As I think we’ve discovered before, I look at this in a somewhat different light to you. It’s easy to feel insignificant at an individual level, but collectively we are fantastically significant. As far as we know, life only exists here, on this ball of rock orbiting a star in a galaxy of 400 billion stars, in a universe of 2 trillion galaxies. Humanity has literally won the lottery, and we’ve won BIG.

And then there’s the phenomenally unlikely series of events that result in our individual existence at this unique moment in time. Some 3.5 billion years of life on this ball of rock has culminated in Humanity, a species with the ability to understand this vast universe and, crucially, the ability to shape our place within it.

We have the ability to choose. Humanity can either collectively embrace this fantastically significant ‘win’ and invest it wisely and equitably, or ‘We’ (Nation, Race, ‘Us’) can squandering it by each grabbing at a bigger share, as though the other ‘Them’ are in some way insignificant.


I recall you citing George Carlin before. I'm not a fan of his brand of cynical nihilism, but there is a quote of his that might sum up my thoughts: The planet is fine. The people are fucked. He's currently correct, but I don't agree that we should blindly accept that as our fate. Not talking


.


Actually, I think we completely agree on this subject, Will! Different light or not, we are under the same umbrella of thought. Our (fantastical) significance as humans should be the conclusion every human derives. This conclusion should come as a direct result of understanding how utterly insignificant we are in the universe. It is the fact that every human does not come to this conclusion that we have lost the truly human experience on a large scale. Imagine how wonderful!!…if we were all (individually and collectively) bound together in an understanding that our success as a whole depends on one another; that our differences do not make us enemies but simply define an exciting new part of our collective character; to work together on a global scale pursuing knowledge and growth; taking care of each other because we are all family; … a dream I have dreamt many times in my life. I don't understand how (or, more accurately "why") every human doesn't grasp the true nature of our existence and hold on (for dear life!) to each other as humans and individuals on this planet.

Ironically and sadly, I believe religion plays a large part in separating us as a human race. I don’t want this to change the tone of your thread but, I do believe it is an important part of the discussion. Those that follow a religion believe they know what the universe is and what will become of them after death - they close their minds to questioning the true nature of our existence and find comfort in the belief that they are not alone, they will not truly die. Some followers of religion tend to believe they are somehow better than those who do not follow a religion or, worse, the “right” religion. They have been told how to think, move, behave while on Earth and they don’t question this guidance.
This is a diversion but, this begs the question, what would the world be like without religion? Would we be worse off since religion supports ethical behavior? Would humanity as a whole be capable of being kind to each other if the fear of everlasting hell was eliminated?


As you mentioned, we have the ability to choose. To “collectively embrace this fantastically significant ‘win’ and invest it wisely and equitably …” I sincerely love this thought – it resonates through and through for me. It embodies hope at the most raw level.

Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2017 12:21:18 PM

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There has always been a clash amongst the believers and the atheists. This is, in my opinion, is mainly due to lack of evidence. A believer as well as an atheist both rests their faith on books, one on untimely happenings (good or bad), and the other both on books as well as on evidence. The latter, with evidence, is not absolutely clear. The former is steadfast. What a contrast!
I am a learner




Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Romany
Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2017 1:02:14 PM
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As Will plumbed the sciences for his inspiration, I according to my field, find mine in Literature. My offering is much more pedestrian as most people will be familiar with it:

No man [sic]is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

by, of course, the incomparable John Donne. I first was arrested by this when I was just approaching puberty and trying to sort my place in the world out. To this day it encapsulates my belief.

Strangely enough though, studying science and coming across the same information as Will regarding the Universe and humankind's relationship to it; had the opposite effect on me as it does on Will and Listening.

I don't believe in humankind's superiority at all: regarding the Universe puts us all in perspective for me: we're anomalous specs in it's incomprehensible vastness. Which brings me, personally, a sense of humility.

(Listening - sorry not to take up your suggestion. Is there anything to say about religions which hasn't been said here before? No matter how one tries to discuss it, it is a proven divisive subject on this forum. And, all ye gods and little fishes, I am a-weary with division.)
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2017 1:33:38 PM

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Refer thread; Milky Way galaxy.

Me Gathering Pebbles at The Seashore.-Aj
Listening . . .
Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2017 2:04:46 PM

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Romany wrote:
As Will plumbed the sciences for his inspiration, I according to my field, find mine in Literature. My offering is much more pedestrian as most people will be familiar with it:

No man [sic]is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

by, of course, the incomparable John Donne. I first was arrested by this when I was just approaching puberty and trying to sort my place in the world out. To this day it encapsulates my belief.

Strangely enough though, studying science and coming across the same information as Will regarding the Universe and humankind's relationship to it; had the opposite effect on me as it does on Will and Listening.

I don't believe in humankind's superiority at all: regarding the Universe puts us all in perspective for me: we're anomalous specs in it's incomprehensible vastness. Which brings me, personally, a sense of humility.

(Listening - sorry not to take up your suggestion. Is there anything to say about religions which hasn't been said here before? No matter how one tries to discuss it, it is a proven divisive subject on this forum. And, all ye gods and little fishes, I am a-weary with division.)



I love the John Donne passage, Romany. Beautiful words.

Just to clarify what appears to be a misunderstanding -- I do not view humankind as superior in any fashion. I believe our existence is fragile and beautiful. I think my view lies more in that too many people are short-sighted and are missing the bigger picture too often. Superior? No way. Lucky? Hell yeah.

I agree that bringing up religion may distract from Will's discussion and offer no real value since too many emotions come with questioning it's value.
hedy mmm
Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2017 2:17:52 PM

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Ramony wrote:
(Listening - sorry not to take up your suggestion. Is there anything to say about religions which hasn't been said here before? No matter how one tries to discuss it, it is a proven divisive subject on this forum. And, all ye gods and little fishes, I am a-weary with division.)


Listening, you are right, "what would the world be without religion? Their lies the problem, religion is manmade, it has nothing to do with faith or accepting the Science of Creative Design....it is a RELATIONSHIP Between God and Man...which was His plan from the beginning. Man, by his very nature, is the problem...ego, who's right, who's wrong, who's religious who's atheist...who's Jew or Greek.

We aren't insignificant Listening.....and will, I don't want to burst your bubble but Carl Sagan is now a creationist...as well as all his cohorts now transitioned.

There is nothing decisive about this subject, Ramony, if you feel uncomfortable...do what I do, ignore it and you won't be a-weary (whatever that means), that's why I post so infrequently...

Just to clarify, I don't know about you Ramony.... but I serve God, and I'm not a little fish, I'm significant, we all are significant and yes, we are lucky that way....and this thread highlights my ideas too.....thanks posters keep up the good work!
hedy


"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
Lotje1000
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 2:35:22 AM

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hedy mmm wrote:
and will, I don't want to burst your bubble but Carl Sagan is now a creationist...as well as all his cohorts now transitioned.


Sorry to burst your bubble, hedy, but Carl Sagan is now dead. Specifically, he died in 1996 so I'm not sure why you think he's recently changed his ideas. His ideas on the universe, our place in it and religion have not changed.

I'd like to add to this thread his comment on religion, science and theory which I think will show that we don't have to be divided at all, if we all can understand the definition of "theory" and "hypothesis":

Quote:
I would even, in the interest of fair play, be happy to accept the appellation “theory” in its everyday use, for evolution, if the creationists were willing to talk about the “the God theory,” “the God hypothesis.” It might be right. It’s certainly possible, particularly a God who is sufficiently remote in the scheme of causality, who does not intervene in everyday life — it is perfectly possible that something called God, I don’t know exactly what it is, set things in motion and established the physical laws some fifteen to twenty billion years ago. There is no compelling evidence for it, there is no compelling evidence against it. It’s a hypothesis. I believe that if we were to use words like “hypothesis” and “theory” in an equitable manner in this confrontation, we would be in fine shape. The trouble is when the well-established bodies of knowledge in science are given this slightly pejorative use of the word “theory” and the Babylonian cosmology which is enshrined in the Book of Genesis is not called a theory or hypothesis. That’s an inequity.
(Emphasis mine)
will
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 4:34:40 AM
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Romany, I too would like to clarify – I do not view humankind as superior in any fashion. From bacteria to asteroids, there are myriad existential threats to humanity that we would be powerless stop. Significant is not superior. For example: the USA is a significant global power, but there is a danger in translating that to 'superior'.

Thanks for the John Donne passage. I confess I was only aware of ‘no man is an island’ as an idiom.

Hope123. I haven’t had a chance yet to look for the Asger Leth video you mentioned. I don’t have Facebook, but these things are normally floating about somewhere.




If we want to discuss humanity, we can't ignore religion... Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

My negative opinion of religion is well documented on these pages… or rather my negative opinion of Religious Faith. Religion, the daily life of diverse cultures – customs, dress, art and architecture, festivals and social bonds – I generally have no issue with. To the vast majority of theists, religion is a framework for humanist values that promote tolerance, progress and knowledge. It's interesting to note how many fundamentalist proudly claim to be anti religion.

Immovable, dogmatic certainty, without the burden of reason, has no restraint to excess. Faith is at the root of fundamentalism. Evidence and uncertainty, the heart of knowledge and understanding, is anathema to Faith.

Lotje1000 wrote:
Sorry to burst your bubble, hedy, but Carl Sagan is now dead. Specifically, he died in 1996 so I'm not sure why you think he's recently changed his ideas. His ideas on the universe, our place in it and religion have not changed.

I think what hedy mmm is dogmatically asserting – in an excellent example of fundamentalist intolerance – is that when an person dies (transitioned) they automatically become part of hedy mmm’s particular cult, regardless of their deeds, achievements, or beliefs throughout their lives. It’s kinda like a very late term abortion of an individual's identity. On balance, waiting until the person has died before defiling their identity is an improvement to the torture, forced conversion and genocide that makes up the history of Christianity.


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Lotje1000
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 4:44:53 AM

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will wrote:
Lotje1000 wrote:
Sorry to burst your bubble, hedy, but Carl Sagan is now dead. Specifically, he died in 1996 so I'm not sure why you think he's recently changed his ideas. His ideas on the universe, our place in it and religion have not changed.

I think what hedy mmm is dogmatically asserting – in an excellent example of fundamentalist intolerance – is that when an person dies (transitioned) they automatically become part of hedy mmm’s particular cult, regardless of their deeds, achievements, or beliefs throughout their lives. It’s kinda like a very late term abortion of an individual's identity. On balance, waiting until the person has died before defiling their identity is an improvement to the torture, forced conversion and genocide that makes up the history of Christianity.


I confess, I was hoping that wasn't going to be her explanation for her puzzling bubble-bursting statement. However she may view him after his death, his legacy (as quoted above) still lives on, and that is what matters to me at least.
will
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 5:03:50 AM
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Indeed, Lotje1000, Segan continues to inspire, inform and educate. I can't imagine a better afterlife?


Here's the video Hope123 mentioned. The Three Beautiful Human Minutes by Asger Leth... Just a room full of blonde haired, blue eyed foreigners to me... Whistle


.
hedy mmm
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 11:08:24 AM

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Lotge1000 wrote:
I think what hedy mmm is dogmatically asserting – in an excellent example of fundamentalist intolerance – is that when an person dies (transitioned) they automatically become part of hedy mmm’s particular cult, regardless of their deeds, achievements, or beliefs throughout their lives. It’s kinda like a very late term abortion of an individual's identity. On balance, waiting until the person has died before defiling their identity is an improvement to the torture, forced conversion and genocide that makes up the history of Christianity.


Wow! Sorry to raise your cackles with my comments....but I don't remember making it personal, not that I care that you do.
However, I did not 'assert', I stated plainly. Don't assume you know anything about me or what i believe in...you don't have a clue...I do not belong to a religion or a cult....now I see why you and your little betise group are the only ones posting misinformation....do you realize you are the laughing stock of other posters?

And will, you may have your wish....you just may spend eternity with Carl Segan. BTW I know more about Segan than you'll ever know....I was married 45 years to a scientist who taught for over 32 years...a creationist...a most brilliant man who researched and documented all he wrote and taught.

I will do as my likeminded TFDers suggested, "Stay away from the snowflakes"....It is a lost cause to argue with idiots...so I'll just continue to exercise my brain on TFD and post when I have the time and if I feel like it....

So save your rhetoric, I won't be responding to you.
I will tell you what I told Oscar the Greech,,,,"Lotge1000 & will, you've mistaken me for someone who cares what you say or think".
hedy





"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
Lotje1000
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 1:50:49 PM

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You misquoted. It wasn't me who made that post. Also, you misspelled my name. It's Lotje, not Lotge.

ETA: I specifically said I didn't know if that was your theory, allowing you room to respond.

Also, if you want to retaliate against people who misspell Trump's name by butchering theirs, then look up my posts; I've never done that. So either be consistent or admit to being just as bad as those you claim "make things personal".
Hope123
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 4:48:42 PM

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Thanks for finding the video, Will! I did not have the exact title. Did it not show visually how we are all human or what! And what inferences we could pull from that! Could if we wanted to.

I agree with Listening's attitude, but like Romany, fear to bring religion into any discussion because we just go round and round without accomplishing anything. A belief is a belief and people feel bereft if that is undermined in any way and will resist at all costs. So a laissez-faire attitude is best - whatever gets you through the night!

Humankind has developed exponentially in all areas of the world, a feat not accomplished by many other animals, except maybe those pesky insects. Humankind decided it is more important than animals and has contributed to the extinction and near extinction of many animals and the imminent ruining of the air and climate in which we live. Many humans don't care as long as their interests in fossil fuels are achieved. Yet there won't be any jobs at all if we can't breathe and bees can't pollinate because we helped to eliminate them with our pesticides. Yet some people continuously dismiss these concerns. There has to be a happy medium berween economics and concern for the continuation of life on the planet.

In spite of that achievement of the growth of human population getting to be too large for the planet, helped along by religious dogma, one can still marvel at night at how deep the sky is, that from space planet earth is but a tiny blue dot, and feel insignificant in the grandeur of it all. And feel helpless as some humans seem determined to destroy our planet one way or another.

Maybe I should indeed change my nom de plume from Hope123 to Hopeless123 because that is how I am beginning to feel for the first time in my life.

But my inspiration is not only my belief in how the more science we have the better off we will be as they try to find practical solutions to our problems, but mainly in my belief that the young are becoming smarter in many ways than we were and that the planet may be in better hands when they get their chance.

Equality is when you see a person - not a label.
Hope123
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 5:15:50 PM

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Our celebrated Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, tweeted and taught us a lot about space when he was up there for I believe six months. He also took a lot of photos if you wish to look up his collection. It does indeed create a sense of awe of the hugeness of whatever system we belong to.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Hadfield

http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/science/planetary.html









Equality is when you see a person - not a label.
whatson
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2017 8:44:26 PM
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hedy mmm wrote:

....I was married 45 years to a scientist who taught for over 32 years...a creationist...a most brilliant man who researched and documented all he wrote and taught.


I have known people who lived all their lives next to banks (financial institutions), and they still died poor.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 12:31:32 PM

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I have many 'favourite' quotes about what it is to be a member of Humanity and how to act - These are some of the less common ones






Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Dreamy
Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 10:45:08 PM

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will wrote:
I strongly believe the days of disparate civilisations is no longer relevant; we are all part of an interconnected global civilisation. The future of this civilisation, how our shared humanity is shaped, is in all our hands, and our hands only.

THE HANDS OF HUMANITY

The hands of humanity are both creative and destructive.

Power in the hands of a Hitler seeking complete carnal control leads to extreme executive enforcement, and were it not for inspired intervention the result would be total temporal tyranny.

The rise and fall of empires thus far has shaped humanity but not saved it.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and technology in the hands of tyrants is a terror that necessitates the invention of counter-measures for the hands of the oppressed to wield in their efforts to restore and maintain the balance of power.

This pattern of creation and destruction is well established in wild nature, and by extension, in human nature.

By definition humanity includes every being of the human race, and alludes to all human interactions, supposedly born of human desires, not withstanding those reviled as inhumane.

There is a theory of dominance that examines issues of superiority versus subordination, and this theory is of interest to some theologians because evidence of human desire for a saviour, or the Saviour, tends to support the theory.

In my realm, discussion of world dominance is essentially concerned with identifying the apex of authority - the apex of authority where who decides what happens has the means to make it happen.

Can humanity save itself? It can but try but I do not trust human nature to create a global civilisation free of domination, intimidation, manipulation, and seduction. It's just not in human nature alone to divest itself of these characteristics.




Job 33:15 "In a dream, in a vision of the night, When deep sleep falls upon men, In slumberings upon the bed;" Theology 101 "If He doesn't know everything then He isn't God."
Listening . . .
Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 11:25:05 PM

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Through the looking glass? Think A timeline of humanity and the universe! http://humanknowledge.net/SocialScience/Futurology/Timeline.html By 2020, overt tyranny is eliminated!!
TheParser
Posted: Monday, February 06, 2017 7:06:17 AM
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hedy mmm wrote:
[1] Now I see why you and your little betise group are the only ones posting misinformation [2]Do you realize you are the laughing stock of other posters?



[3] I will do as my likeminded TFDers suggested, "Stay away from the snowflakes"....It is a lost cause to argue with idiots. [4] I'll just continue to exercise my brain on TFD and post when I have the time and if I feel like it....








Hello, Hedy.

Good morning from the state whose "leaders" want to secede from the United States and where one state legislator has just boasted that half of his relatives living here do not have documentation.

[1] When I joined the forum, the ruling clique was bigger and more powerful. They had recently been losing power -- until tragedy struck: two individuals hijacked the "Politics" forum for their hate-filled diatribes. This has given new life to the clique. Eventually, gradually, new blood will take over and turn the ship around.

[2] Many members are too self-important and blowhards to realize that.

[3] Yes, it is a lost cause. Don't dignify them with a reply when they do not keep their place. (By the way, out of human sympathy, there's a gentlemen's agreement NOT to publicly criticize one of those individuals.)

[4] I join other (mostly silent) members and guests in hoping that you will post as often as possible. You are a fresh breath of air.


P.S. In all fairness, we should commend Lotje for telling us that she does not butcher the President's surname.


Have a nice day!

*****

If any learners are reading this, in 2017 the "rule" is to capitalize "president" ONLY when his name follows: "I listened to President George Washington speak." The lower case is used for all other sentences: "I saw the president arrive at the railroad station." When I was a teenager in the 1950s, the word was ALWAYS capitalized. Even today, however, a few people and a few (very few!) publications continue to capitalize it in all sentences. I believe that it shows more respect that way.

Lotje1000
Posted: Monday, February 06, 2017 7:22:51 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2014
Posts: 855
Neurons: 371,249
Location: Gent, Flanders, Belgium
Nice going, TheParser, hijacking this Humanity thread to show how much you dislike your fellow forum members. Way to spread a message of unity.

ETA: To get back on topic, a callback to what this was originally about:

will wrote:
Amid all the political posturing, nationalism and other distinctions of Us and Them, it’s easy to to forget that we all share a common culture: Humanity. The good, the bad and the ugly, Humanity comprises us all.

I strongly believe the days of disparate civilisations is no longer relevant; we are all part of an interconnected global civilisation. The future of this civilisation, how our shared humanity is shaped, is in all our hands, and our hands only.

My instinctive belief is that respect, hope, equality and reason are common virtues, fundamental to our nature and essential to our future; while division, fear and greed are self perpetuating traits that could ultimately be the downfall of us all
[...]
I’d love to hear some other quotes, examples and opinions from other areas of culture and knowledge (and science and religion) – including contrary views, if any arise... but hopefully avoiding politics
Lotje1000
Posted: Monday, February 06, 2017 8:11:16 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2014
Posts: 855
Neurons: 371,249
Location: Gent, Flanders, Belgium
Romany wrote:
I don't believe in humankind's superiority at all: regarding the Universe puts us all in perspective for me: we're anomalous specs in it's incomprehensible vastness. Which brings me, personally, a sense of humility.


What brought me to a sense of humility was the knowledge how superior we are in our own environment, and how very ill-suited we are outside of it. When temperatures go up or down too much, when we are exposed to high or low pressure, we can see how we as humans are not made to be outside of our usual habitat. Specifically, the research of what happens to people in orbit intrigued me. Suddenly the rules we are so used to no longer apply. For instance, there are questions as to whether conception is even possible in orbit, let alone how a fetus would develop in low/zero gravity.

We are very, very good at dealing within our usual circumstances. We adapt to others very well with tools - which is an amazing talent in its own right. Yet put us outside our habitat and we quickly realize how the universe was not built with us in mind.

So yes, humility. But also infinite curiosity.
Romany
Posted: Monday, February 06, 2017 4:40:03 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,646
Neurons: 38,546
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom


Ah yes, Lotje - curiosity. It isn't a solely human trait, of course, but wow! where it's led us!

I'm sorry too, that so many people believe the world is a nasty, horrible place. In my mind this, right now, is a fabulous time to be alive. So much is possible. So much technology is opening up. So much cooperation and sharing.

One of the tech sections where I work has developed a phone app which sends frissons of excitement all through me. It's a virtual reality app - but developed specifically for historical studies. It's mind-blowing to have a full-grown sloth in the office for an afternoon just when you least expect it too!
will
Posted: Tuesday, February 07, 2017 7:57:41 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/29/2009
Posts: 1,036
Neurons: 4,152
Hedy mmm, you do say some ludicrously comical things, but you’ve never raised cackles from me. You might have raised a chuckle or a guffaw, or even a chortle or perhaps a giggle… but cackling is outside my vocal range.

watson wrote:
I have known people who lived all their lives next to banks (financial institutions), and they still died poor.

I was going to say something along the lines of not consulting Dr Dre for a prostrate exam, but your metaphor was far more eloquent. Thanks.

Anyhow, moving swiftly on from TheParser's passive aggressive admonishments, the presumed thoughts of silent members and guests, and pigeon chess…

Drag0nspeaker. “We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone” is a great quote; I would never have guessed Regan as the source. A common ‘excuse’ for inaction is that the big picture is too overwhelming, ignoring the fact that we all are the bigger picture.
Another saying goes: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Aside from a tiny exception to the rule, in reality I reckon this sentiment actually reflects the daily existence of just about every individual on the planet. Unfortunately that inherent sense of kinship is too easily exploited.

Listening… Interesting link. I’ve bookmarked it; I can see it’ll be one of those things I start reading and then, several hours and several tangents later, find myself thinking ‘Wait. How did I get here?’ Eh? This bit caught my eye though:
Quote:
2150 – Remaining fideisms have diluted into agnostic mysticism; true fidesists dwindle.

Another 130 years? Jeesh! I hope not. Pray

Romany. Like you, I don't understand why so many people have such a negative view of the world and humanity... even taking into account that I'm aware I live a very privileged existence. There are still huge problems with inequality that need to be constantly challenged, but it doesn't seem to be the victims that wallow in negativity. The bitterness and angst seems to generally flow from the 'top' down.

Romany wrote:
It's mind-blowing to have a full-grown sloth in the office for an afternoon just when you least expect it too!
No need to get personal! Just so you know, I'm working from home on Monday and Thursday... expect me all other times.


.


.
almo 1
Posted: Tuesday, February 07, 2017 11:02:56 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 809
Neurons: 3,584
Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan
will wrote:
pigeon chess…






I miss that signature!


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