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Comment: Re:It's OK to attack mythology and superstition... (Score 1) 241

Actually, that third column is switching EITHER between faiths OR within traditions; it also includes people switching from atheist to agnostic.

Either way, you cannot claim, that only 4% switch from non-christian to Christian; its entirely possible you went from agnostic to christian and would be included in the "between faiths" statistic.

Which puts us right back at the 40% I was talking about.

Comment: Re:As it's always gone (Score 1) 241

Turning to christianity in the mid first century meant turning from a disliked-but-tolerated religion (judaism) to one that was universally hated by both Rome AND the Jews. The Romans didnt much like the Jews because they were obstinate about worshiping only their God, but at least they could argue that their religion was (by that point) ancient and that it would create peace.

The christians didnt even have that as a shield, so they bore the brunt of a lot of malice-- for instance, the accusation of arson in Rome around 60AD, or the persecutions under Pliny in Bithyna..

Comment: Re:It's OK to attack mythology and superstition... (Score 1) 241

Do you think Stephen Hawkings just pulls that stuff out of his ass? There is a substantial amount of data and calculations which lead to the theory

His statement is circular, no matter how you look at it. Perhaps he grossly misspoke, but it is absurd to imply a causal relationship between the existence of a property of X, and the creation of X itself, much more to imply that that entire line of circular reasoning implies self-creation (another circular relationship).

The only reason it is presented as "Hawkings said so" is because the general public, hell, even most college educated people don't have the foundations at the level of math and physics to approach the subject.

Well, its a direct quote FROM Hawking, and I dont need to understand quantum physics or astronomy to know an invalid argument when I see one; I simply need to understand the rules of logic, which I do. Im not even the only one whose noted the absurdity of his statement.

As I said-- I dont doubt Hawking's credentials, but that doesnt mean he cant make unsound statements or that hes immune to the laws of reason.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 778

by LordLimecat (#47784049) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

At the same time I realize very well who started this conflict, and know that Ukraine will be much better off with Russia.

Russia doesnt get to make that choice. Peaceful international relations rely on a concept called "sovereignty", which Russia has violated. Actions like theirs are how world wars start.

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 778

by LordLimecat (#47783943) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

Germany didn't have the power to vaporize most of the planet with the push of a button.

Noone has that power.

Just some datapoints:
  + Land area of US: 3.7 million square miles
  + Number of nukes in existence: somewhere south of 20,000
  + Size of your average nuke's "zone of destruction" *: 225 square miles
  + Total area moderately damaged by all nukes in existence: 4.5 million square miles
*Based on row 3 on this chart. Plotted with Excel, formula (where X = warhead yield in kt, and Y=land area affected) Y=3.5363 x^0.6686. Assuming x=500.

So if everyone in the world-- including the US-- were to fire upon us, you could probably wipe out most major cities, and most military bases, and do moderate damage to most buildings. You could probably also kill ~3/4 of the population of the US, which comprises ~ 5% of the world population. Of course the fallout would be a problem, but the good news is that the really nasty stuff would decay in short order.

So nukes are bad, and we dont want anyone launching "all the nukes", but thats also unlikely to happen: Targets will be military installations and silos, rather than cities and the countryside, and for that you need a lot fewer than "all the nukes".

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 1) 778

by LordLimecat (#47783555) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

In that scenario, the fight is inevitable, and the sooner you accept it and begin making preparations the quicker itll be over with.

If the dude is unhinged you have two options.
1) continue withdrawing forever to keep him happy
2) confront him and reign in his shenanigans.

All you're really saying is that the confrontation will be unpleasant, but when you think of what happened with Mao, Hitler, and Stalin because noone wanted to call the bluff (some several hundred million dead), it makes you realize that some fights ARE worth fighting.

Comment: Amazing innovations (Score 1) 121

by LordLimecat (#47783359) Attached to: No, a Stolen iPod Didn't Brick Ben Eberle's Prosthetic Hand

It seems that Slashdot has adopted CNN's recently invented journalism technique guaranteed to at least double traffic:

1) Find a barely-newsworthy story
2) Twist the facts so severely that the resulting summary /headline are factually false
3) Create a story out of someone debunking said nonsense
4) make sure to monetize at each step.

With this technique, we can double the number of postings on slashdot! Monday:"FLYING CAR INVENTED!" Tuesday: "SLASHDOT LIES ABOUT FLYING CAR-- HOW IT HAPPENED"

What incredibly forward-thinking times we live in...

Comment: Re:It's OK to attack mythology and superstition... (Score 3, Interesting) 241

Too true. People believe, because they were taught to believe, from an early age by people they trust. The vast majority of Christians (insert religion of your choice here) are Christian by an accident of birth.

You have a source for that? Anecdotally from my church a large percentage of folks joining came to faith later in life (college, etc). Looking at a poll on this indicates that thats about right-- 40% or so tend to switch from what they were raised with, 60% do not. Im really not sure in what world "60%" forms a vast majority, but whatever.

Its sort of hillarious to hear people talk of ignorance and then bust out anecdotal and unsupported "facts" like this.

If you want a good laugh ask a Christian why they believe in God and Jesus and the Holy spirit, but not in Zeus or Odin or Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. If you get anything other than circular logic or "because" let me know.

Do you mock Stephen Hawkings declaration that the universe self-created itself because "there is such a thing as gravity", for being circular reasoning? Why not?

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop