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View Diary: Know Your Creationists: Glenn Morton (195 comments)

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  •  Religion and Science do Not belong together (3.00)
    That's the issue as far as I'm concerned.

    Color me part of the contingent that has moved from "amused", to "bewildered" to "pissed off" that the fundamentalists have not only pushed their fantasy crap into the mainstream, but are now trying to taint science with it.

    The fact that people like Morton get attention is testamonial to how pussified the left are.  This is how they fight creationist idiots... by bringing in an ideological half breed whose philosophies are even more messed up than either side.

    What's next?

    The swinging nudist evangelical fundamentalist?

    The satanic animal activist?

    The vegan meat packer?

    Look, I don't care if you like to play with Barbie Dolls late at night while your wife is asleep.  I don't even care if you fellate your dog.  I don't care if you believe in Jesus.  I don't care if you worship your collection of spiritual navel lint that talks to you and tells you of the meaning of life.  It doesn't need to be part of science.  And it doesn't need to be part of politics.  Keep your personal weirdness to yourself.  Is that too much to ask?

    •  Christians are not monolithic (none)
      and as for any "personal weirdness, we do not have a monopoly on that.

      Your anger toward the RR is justified but being uninformed on this subject you are tarring every believer with the same brush. As one who believes in God I too am very put off by many of their leaders such as Robertson whom I abhor and by the ID'ers, among others. Just think you should know that Christians are no more monolithic than athiests I would imagine.

      So keep an open mind. "Is that too much to ask?"

    •  This perspective is bigoted (3.00)
      and not only that, it will lose you elections.

      I'm an agnostic myself, but I know plenty of people who believe--Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.  I live in Los Angeles and have all sorts of friends.

      And among those people of faith that I've talked to, this Theistic Evolution is actually a very prevalent theory.  They all say to me, "I don't understand why these people can't just think of evolution as the process God set up to get us here."

      People like Glen Morton are out there, and they need to be embraced and not rejected.  Faith is such a strong part of the cultural fabric that it cannot be rejected out of hand, and the opportunity to embrace faith while not sacrificing any of our scientific principles--like TE does--is an opportunity that should be welcomed with open arms.

      •  Religion is now more polarized than politics (none)
        Not that it always hasn't been.

        But I was raised in several religious groups and had religion around me my whole life.  I've always respected it and even participated.  I was baptized and I attended church.  When it was a cultural and social thing, it was benign, and I had no problem with it; in fact it was even valuable and enjoyable.

        Now religion is reverting back to its dark side, of being a political & control issue.  Even recognizing the ludicrious evolution vs creation debate plays into this primitive notion of humans as dirty creatures devoid of any self respect or dignity.  Those of us who can feed ourselves should know better; we don't spend time arguing about Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, and likewise, we shouldn't be having a stupid discussion on creationism.

        What's hypocritical is that people will call me arrogant and intolerant when I say I feel the state of religion now is pathetic, obsolete and destructive, and those that pander to these childish myths are weak-minded sheep who seek others to define their own sense of self worth.  BUT at the same time, you can sit here and listen to an equally self-righteous right wing pundit, or even left-wing theist make a similarly definitive-sounding statement about the existence of god and heaven and hell and what will happen to you if you don't believe in jeezus.  However, there is a difference.  PROOF and REALITY is on my side.  Theists have absolutely no concrete evidence that their fantasy creature does or has ever existed, and the only way they can maintain this lie is either by forcing everyone to believe out of fear and intimidation, or changing reality to pander to their myths.  Morton is in the business of changing reality to pander to the myth.  I don't care if he's smarter than a typical fundy; he's still pandering to a myth and he's a walking contradiction.

        I wouldn't even be saying this if the fundies haven't pushed people like me into a corner.  I'm not alone.  Many of us entertained the notion of god until extremist christians started turning god into a device to mess with peoples' minds (ok that's been done since the dawn of time, but when it gets in your face, it's time to take a look at this club and cancel your membership).  People like me find it a lot easier to recognize the reality now, that this god does not exist and never has, than to spend our conscious eternity desperately manufacturing unprovable, improbably, pathetically weak arguments to hold together a fragile belief system that does more harm than good.

        At the risk of referencing Godwin's folly, I will say that Christianity is responsible for more death and murder than all Socailism, Nazism and Communism combined.  Would you all so obsessively be apologetic towards the Nazis?  Then why the Christians?  Their record is a thousand times worse and the book at the center of their beliefs un-ambiguously backs this up.  So why do you want to be a member of this party?  Something is wrong.  It's time for religion to become extinct and man to move forward into a new era where we stop beliving in invisible pink unicorns that offer us 76 virgins and all the lobster you can eat when you die.  Let's grow up and grow out of this fantasy.  Let's not even give any air time to half-breeds who, like Andrew Sullivan, are ultimately parasitic whores who live between the cracks of a culture war that shouldn't even be happening.

        As a result, religion is personal.  It should stay personal, or else you'll have to tolerate the fed up atheists coming out of the wordwork to make fun of you foolish, weak-minded sheep.

        Call me what you will.  At the end of the day, I live in reality, and you live in a little fantasy world that you have to keep pumping hot air into until you die, or become an atheist and recognize the lie for the lie it really is.

        •  OK, I think I see the problem... (none)

          The real issue appears to be with statements that have no logical truth value. You claim they are lies, I do not. A lie is false, not merely unprovable. In fact, and unprovable statement can never be a lie.

          So what if religion is foolish, it needn't be a control issue. In addition, you are throwing around insults at people that probably don't deserve it. I doubt that there are many people here who are terribly religious, though there are some (myself included) willing to point out that carefully constructed religious beliefs indeed have NO truth value, they are unprovable, and therefore not something to be feared.

          The real danger is when religion claims to have truth that overlaps with truth available through other means. That results in inquisitions and the stagnation of science and culture. When religion carefully partitions the world and only claims to have truth that is beyond the reach of actual understanding (and thus properly and article of faith), it is at least possible that such a belief might not be harmful. In fact, it is possible, in principle at least, that it could even be helpful.

          It is not in any way justified to call someone a small minded sheep because they have faith in the unprovable. You are propagating the culture war as much as the others. In fact, are you not attempting to tell people what to believe in this very forum? Most of the defenders of this theistic evolution standpoint are defending it because they do not believe that people should be told what to think, especially when there is no right or wrong answer.

      •  That's you guys' problems (none)
        Oooh, "you can't win an election with a platform like that.."

        If you pull your nose out of polls and start taking stands based on common sense, I think you people might actually find that people will respect you more, for taking a stand on principal, rather than whether or not it will win/lose votes.

        And you wonder why people like Bush?  As stupid and incompetent as he is, he is consistent and his platform, however based on some rather insideous, ignorant and selfish goals, is consistent.  The Dems haven't figured this out.

        Conventional wisdom dictates that an Atheist couldn't get elected president.

        Bullshit.  Contrary to what you people think, most moderate/average theists would probably have much less a problem with an atheist than they would a radical fundy.

        I think Jesse Ventura would have a very good chance of being elected if he ran for president.. well, notwitstanding the total ass-whooping he'd receive by the chickenshit MSM.  But he is respected by both theists and non-theists.  You people who drink the kool-aid can't imagine that.  This is a problem you have to understand before you'll ever have any substantive political power.

        Anyway, that's just my opinion.  Obviously most people here disagree.  I apologize if it's too caustic and direct, but I am fed up with the state of politics and the pussy "opposition" groups to the GOP.  I see nothing here that has any chance of making a difference.  You all are following the rules set down by your opponents, and they don't even follow the rules themselves.  It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

      •  Nonesense (none)
        If "evolution is the process that God set up to get us here" then logically God must already know the outcome of this "process". So whatever happens it's simply the way god fixed it to happen. Well how convenient for God and people like Glen Morton. The next time tens of thousands are killed in some natural disaster we can all say it's just another part of God's "process" and we are just 5 billion of  God's lab rats who are just part of a huge experiment set up by God to see if we could figure out what he had planned for us all along, and if a few billion of us should get killed along the way, well it'll be worth it. What a load of bullshit.
        If there was a God why would he do this? Why would he set up a process that takes billions of years when he already knows the outcome? Why can't he just skip to the end, tell us how it all turns out, and save us all a lot of misery.
        •  You are COMPLETELY missing the point. (none)
          I don't care what people believe as far as creation or teleology, as long as it does not interfere with the scientific process and method.  They can draw whatever religious conclusions they want to, and I don't care, just so long as they don't beat down science in the process.

          I, too, can spend all day going off on the complete illogicality of many major religions, but that isn't my point.  My point is to save science from those who believe that science and religion are incompatible.  You know what?  They aren't.  Science seeks to understand the process of why and how things happen--but the question of the greater purposes to these processes are the grounds of philosophy and religion.  And that's where they belong.

    •  This is what some people think. (none)
      It's a big tent.  I won't criticize you for your beliefs, you don't criticize me for mine.

      Next time you compare my religion to sucking off a dog, I won't be so polite.

      Come visit! http://thenextelection.blogspot.com

      by jimmything2681 on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 05:06:09 PM PST

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    •  See my other post, but I'll add here: (none)
      that science does a poor job of answering some fundamental cosmological questions such as why there is anything rather than nothing, the nature of a "prime mover," if any, etc..  (It does have some answers that I find appealing, but not wholly compelling.)  So there is room beyond the reach of science for speculation that will speak towards religion pretty much of necessity.

      What Morton is addressing is something different than what you think he is.  He's not saying "do we need religion to make sense of science?"  He's saying "given what we know of science, must we abandon religion"?  Lots of people answer that question "yes," and that is indeed what scares off a lot of the public.  His answer -- the right answer -- is "no."  Belief in a Higher Power of whatever kind you envision does not contradict most (and perhaps all) of what we know about science.  It may not be -- as I think Bertrand Russell said -- a necessary postulate, but neither is it out of bounds, depending on what one does with it.

      Sixteen scandals in my heart will glow: click "A is for Abramoff"

      by Major Danby on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 09:32:58 PM PST

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    •  He's basically advocating deism. (none)
      He's basically saying "Something caused the universe to begin," a la Aristotle's First Cause.  

      America's founding fathers were largely deists, they believed that God set the universe in motion, and then sat back to watch.  This concept of a God who's washed his hands of the universe is similar to the Christian god, but doesn't muck around tweaking things.  

      Deism was accepted as a pre-Darwinian explanation of how complex biological systems arose.  A Watchmaker built the Earth's flora and fauna, then let it run.  The idea fell out of favor once naturalistic theories began to discover that there was no need for supernatural explanations of how life arose, or even how the universe was formed.  

      This Glenn Morton has a personal belief in God, which he's entitled to hold.  He's found a way to reconcile what he believes with what he knows about the universe, which is commendable: he's changed his mind and accepted in new ideas.  Now, while I agree that there is no scientific evidence of a Creator, I can't say with much certainty that a weak deity DIDN'T start things rolling.  I can simply apply Ocam's Razor and claim that, as there is no evideince of a deist Creator, I have no reason to assuem the existence of one.

      "Send lawyers, guns, and money."

      by scottman on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 10:46:22 PM PST

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