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View Diary: Every Thought Is a "War on Religion" (41 comments)

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  •  a projection based on an ecological catastrophe. (1+ / 0-)
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    Tennessee Dave

    When the Fertile Crescent suffered population overshoot and abusive agricultural practices, and turned into a desert, a major resource base was knocked out from under the population (much as we are going to see with the climate crisis, globally).

    That gave rise to an enormous amount of competition between humans, much of it violent, and much of it by way of various groups trying to exterminate each other to gain control of scarce resources.  

    The tribes that would produce what we now call the Abrahamic religions survived through natural selection.  And the obsession with "blood and seed" and all things reproductive, was arguably part of what helped those groups survive more or less intact.

    One of the consistent threads in the Abrahamic religions is to seek ways of reducing the overall level of violence.  The Jewish prophets' concept of the deity as the supreme law-giver was one approach.  Jesus' concept of the deity as loving and kind was another.  The Prophet Mohammed's concept of the warrior's duty to the deity being to refrain from slaughtering conquered peoples but instead convert them to peaceful monotheism, was another.  No doubt there were others, many of which have been entirely lost to history.

    But as for "reality is caustic," that's an emotional overlay: every bit as much as the view of reality as a demon-haunted world, or facts as "cold and hard."  The entire phrase and its underlying emotionalism, "cold hard facts" is an arbitrary irrationalism.  We may as well speak of "warm fuzzy facts" and nature as vaguely maternal (Mother Nature), seeing as the most logical extrapolations and inferences from modern astronomy are that this universe as presently configured, is highly likely to be infested with life including intelligent life.

    Per the weakest version of the anthropic principle, we are most likely to find ourselves living in a universe that is more favorable to our existence than any of a large number of other possible universes.  A large range of other possible types of universes is supportable from alternative values for key variables, but the overwhelming majority of those universes could not support any form of life that we can conceptualize.  Those are the warm fuzzy facts and the conclusions that follow.  

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sat Feb 11, 2012 at 01:58:29 PM PST

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    •  I agree with the anthropic principle (0+ / 0-)

      but I don't apply emotional value to the statement that reality is caustic - it's simply a fact that the domain in which nature supports us without a massive degree of human effort and foresight is always a small, migrating locus.  Most of nature consists of near-total vacuum - an atom of super-cold hydrogen and helium here and there.  Most solid objects in the universe are dust in vacuum, or asteroids, or comets, or dwarf planets with no atmospheres.  Most of the solid bodies with atmospheres have gas compositions we can't breathe, at temperatures too hot or too cold, and pressures too high or too low.  

      The rest of the (visible / non-dark) matter of the universe is in objects that are too hostile for organic matter to directly interact with - gas giants, some of which are highly radioactive; brown dwarfs; proto-stars; stars; ultra-dense stellar corpses like white dwarfs and neutron stars; and black holes.  

      To say this is caustic is not a moral weighting, just a human-relative descriptor.

      Live by the certainty that nothing can kill you. You'll only be wrong once.

      by Troubadour on Wed Feb 15, 2012 at 01:19:52 AM PST

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