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Comment: Re:The religious use facts, proof and logic too (Score 1) 943

by isobvious (#37920362) Attached to: Theologian Attempts Censorship After Losing Public Debate
Agnostism and atheism are not incompatible. Most atheists would describe themselves as agnostic atheists. Agnostism is a position on a knowledge of god/s (greek "gnosis"), whereas atheism is a position on belief of god/s. An agnostic athiest's position is essentially, "there is no evidence to to the existence of a god, or any conceivable way the existence of god can be verified. It is therefore not useful to say that one exists, so i must remain skeptical". The same applies to any supernatural concept, Thor, Santa, FSM, Russel's teapot and Sagan's Dragon. That doesn't mean we have to give them equal time when "doing science". We simply apply Ockham's razor and discard them.

Comment: Re:This just makes sense (Score 1) 1345

by isobvious (#37554592) Attached to: Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

laws are cultural"

So if slavery and rape are part of your "cultural" law, Christians just have to be cool with that. And who came up with the slave trading "laws" in the first instance? Your God. Before he apparently changed his mind and made the previously moral, immoral. On the other hand, Jesus didn't seem to object to masters beating their slaves (Luke 12:47-48). Keeping slaves is evil and always has been. Beating them is even more despicable, and please don't equivocate about it being a parable. A bad analogy is a bad analogy. St Paul, the feminist, you're joking right? His writing is some of the most misogynist in the scriptures: 1 Cor 11:7-9, Eph 5:22-24, 1 Tim 2:11-15 etc. And as for a relationship where one party is under the threat of punishment and torture for the slightest dissent, well, there are shelters for women who are treated like that by their partners. Christianity Isn't a relationship, it's a servile cult where its members are reminded of their position by constant comparison with slaves and livestock. And Any belief system in which eternal torture is a moral response to anything is sick. If my wife said in writing or otherwise that torturing my kids for not having faith in me was ok, I would have her sectioned.

Comment: Re:This just makes sense (Score 3, Interesting) 1345

by isobvious (#37551226) Attached to: Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly
Christianity doesn't distinguish between law and morality. This is one of its greatest weaknesses IMO. A christian cannot make a moral or ethical judgement without an appeal to law. By using the "New Covenant" argument (OT law replaced by NT redemption), Christians distance themselves from the obvious barbarity in the OT. Ask them whether slavery WAS moral in the old testament and they'll dodge the question like Neo dodges bullets. Because their morality is based on a divine but arbitary and changeable law. Real ethics and morality inform the law, not the other way round! On the subject of the conflict of science and religion, it depends which science and which religion. When religions make falsifiable claims about the real world, such as the age of the earth and the occurrence of miracles, they are in the domain of science and deserve the ridicule coming to them. I was a fundamentalist Christian for 25 years, and can still recite large screeds of scripture from memory, so please don't condescend by telling me I don't understand the bible or Christianity. I do, better than most, that's why I quit.
The Military

Military Personnel Weigh In On Being Taliban In Medal of Honor 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the identity-conflict dept.
SSDNINJA writes "This is a feature from gamrFeed that interviews nine US service members about playing as the Taliban in the upcoming Medal of Honor. One soldier states that games like MoH and Call of Duty are 'profiteering from war.' Another says, 'Honestly, I don't really see what the whole fuss is about. It's a game, and just like in Call of Duty, you don't really care about what side you're taking, just as long as you win. I don't think anyone cares if you're part of the Rangers or Spetznaz, as long as you win.' An excellent and interesting read."

Comment: Re:Wow... (Score 1) 324

by isobvious (#33210522) Attached to: How Star Trek Artists Imagined the iPad... 23 Years Later
I'm pretty sure they both got the idea from Mark Weiser's (Xerox PARC) concepts for ubiquitous computing, back in the late eighties I think. It envisioned large devices called boards (meter scale), smaller (10cm scale) handheld devices called - you guessed it - pads, and centimeter scale devices called tabs (think PDA or smartphone).

How Star Trek Artists Imagined the iPad... 23 Years Later 324

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the read-it-on-tos-yesterday dept.
MorderVonAllem submitted an incredibly cool article about the computers and set design of Star Trek. If you are into that sort of thing, you're going to really like this one. It says "There are a lot of similarities between Apple's iPad and the mobile computing devices—known as PADDs—used in the Star Trek universe. Ars spoke to designers Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda, and Doug Drexler to find out the thinking and inspiration behind the PADD and how closely the iPad represents a real-life incarnation of that dream."
Cellphones

Why Overheard Cell Phone Chats Are Annoying 344

Posted by timothy
from the they-drown-out-the-bark-of-my-gun dept.
__roo writes "American researchers think they have found the answer to the question of why overhearing cell phone chats are annoying. According to scientists at Cornell University, when only half of the conversation is overheard, it drains more attention and concentration than when overhearing two people talking. According to one researcher, 'We have less control to move away our attention from half a conversation (or halfalogue) than when listening to a dialogue. Since halfalogues really are more distracting and you can't tune them out, this could explain why people are irritated.' Their study will be published in the journal Psychological Science."

They are relatively good but absolutely terrible. -- Alan Kay, commenting on Apollos

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