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...I was about to say something about reconciliation and making the first gesture toward peace, but you've discredited yourself fairly well. Anarchy only appeals to a rather small minority of the population, and the minority is even smaller once people start really thinking about what it would be like without a government to maintain roads, staff fire departments, hire teachers...hell screw that, what really whittles down the minority is thinking about how fast the terrorists would take over the country without any - ANY - military left to stop them.
That is, if Canada doesn't annex us first.
What's with all the disrespect for secretaries? Have you never been in an office with one, or do you just assume that an office of a dozen plus people just magically holds itself together? A secretary answers the phones, keeps things organized, keeps the copiers stocked, and above all knows enough about their coworkers' business as to tell the difference between a question that can be simply answered and one that needs the coworker's attention. A doctor's expertise is quite a bit more advanced than fielding the same question coming from dozens of people, and that doctor's time is more valuable being spent on things that actually require a judgment call. And while secretaries won't know why patient X needs X medication (at least not until spending years on the job and learning by osmosis), you can be sure that secretaries know every single prescription made because the doctor will have tasked them with sending them all to the pharmacy.
Secretaries spend their entire workday making everyone else around them more productive. It is not something a monkey could do. It is not something every person could do either. And they know an awful lot more about the work their coworkers do then you think. These people silently keep the world running smoothly. The least you could do is say "thank you" instead of running around like a snarky asshole acting like what they do amounts to nothing.
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But then something dawned on him: He could make more money teaching.
What? You lost me there.
Faith is not the same as superstition. Furthermore, faith can be a very good thing if it is well placed. When you have faith in your friends, you make yourself vulnerable but you boost their self-esteem, pushing them to be better. You also let go of some of the burden of constant skepticism. Now, if your friends might take advantage of your faith in them, you'll probably get hurt. But what if you can construct a perfect entity to have faith in? That's what God is.
God is the perfect entity, the embodiment of certain values we wish to make real in our lives. Of course not everyone has the same view of God; mine is almost certainly very different from the God that jihadists believe in. But the thing is that scripture generally does not support holy war or violence of any kind. Something universal to all religions is that their teachings - all of them - are directed inward, not outward. Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, even Joseph Smith all tried to teach people how to live their own lives, not how to make everyone else live theirs. This is reflected in the scriptures they all left behind.
You can ignore all the metaphysical stuff if it makes you feel better. I do. But the faith component is still just as positive and constructive as the God you choose to believe in. Again, if you want to change everyone else's view of God, have faith yourself and lead by example. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
You're also assuming that such an advanced species would necessarily care about the resulting shockwave.
A massive shockwave may not be a problem for one-way trips out of the solar system to uninhabited worlds. But it presents a mighty difficulty in anyone returning home. It also precludes attempts to search for life on other worlds, as the shockwave may obliterate it. And because such a shockwave could easily destroy most life on Earth, the technology would need to be kept under tight control by trustworthy bureaucracy. Which is basically an oxymoron.
If there is no better method than an Alcubierre drive for FTL travel, that may be reason enough why we've never been visited by aliens: they didn't want to risk destroying us. After all, given even optimistic predictions of the number of habitable planets in our galaxy which are already inhabited, it doesn't really make sense to steal planets from other life forms when there may be at least dozens of uninhabited but habitable or nearly habitable planets closer than the nearest inhabited ones.
Not that you have no good reason to think of religion as just another way for humans to divide ourselves based on dogma and, more importantly, trivial social identity, with a bit of metaphysical weirdness sprinkled in, but:
Religion doesn't get enough respect. There is real value to be found in bringing the spiritual into your life. Sadly, as society has become more and more secular, our greatest minds have mostly fled religion and most of who remains are really simple tribal types. But even among the simplistic flocks of vitriolic sheep is a wide diversity of beliefs, experience, and capacity for true altruism. What I'm saying is that all Christians and all Muslims are not the same. And if you want them to more about goodness and less about judging others, the only real way to effect that change is to join them and lead by example.
Of course, you can always just keep spewing hatred over the internet. There's an activity that will always be shared by the religious and the atheistic alike.
Uhh, I used to read books when I was a very young child and had no problem understanding them. Magic Tree House, Encyclopedia Brown, Goosebumps, Harry Potter, etc. By the time I was a teenager, I moved on to more complex and challenging stories, like watching Neon Genesis Evangelion and Monster.
It's more likely that complex and challenging stories can be told in any production style, especially in totally different cultures that may not have the same biases we have towards that production style.
Picard wasn't shit at school. The entire TNG cast was remarkably high-cultured, with special reverence for Shakespearean literature, Sherlock Holmes and P.I. narratives on the holodeck, and classical music. The science/engineering talent on the Enterprise was pretty much limited to Geordi, Data, and Wesley (plus the mostly unnamed underlings), but everyone was well educated and spent a lot of time refining their tastes.
Voyager was supposed to be a science vessel, so it makes more sense that most of the crew on it would lean more toward that kind of smarts. But unfortunately Hollywood doesn't (usually) know how to write real science, so Voyager ended up with a huge amount of meaningless gibberish that we just have to assume represents real intelligence on the parts of the characters being portrayed. This is probably what puts some people off the most.
They never had fact checkers in Star Trek. And Voyager was especially bad. I'm not sure why, but I remember seeing an interview with Mulgrew where she was talking about all the nonsense tech words and how it took a lot of getting used to all that tongue twisting the writers were giving her. It was worse than in any other Star Trek for some reason.
But then one doesn't watch Star Trek for science. Star Trek is about the possible social implications of certain futurist ideas like post-scarcity, faster-than-light space exploration, and time travel. And if (or when) any of these ideas become part of our reality, I can guarantee it will not be like anybody imagined. Certainly not Star Trek, but not even as imagined in good hard Sci-Fi like [insert your favorite here].