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Comment: Re:Maybe the aliens are just as religious (Score 2) 257

by CRCulver (#48033647) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

How widely do you think that Hindus accept their ritual without belief as Hinduism?

Very widely indeed, because it would be a major faux pas for one Hindu to ask a another "Do you really believe in all this? Say you do!" Instead, people are not asked about what they feel deep inside, so they are free to believe whatever they wish. This is what makes Hinduism so inclusive and, over time, so syncretic.

Hindu fundamentalists vs. Hinduism: Column [usatoday.com]

Being very familiar with the contemporary Hindutva phenomenon because I work in a field affected by it, I very strongly suspect that the amount of Hindus who do not believe in the supernatural is greater than the number of Karnataka-state demagogues and their followings. These sorts aren't quite at the microscopic level of a Westboro Baptist Church, but considering the population of India, they might as well be, they've simply learned to work the media and engage in some minor vandalism like similar groups abroad.

Comment: Re:Um, no! (Score 3, Interesting) 257

by CRCulver (#48033331) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?

Hindu people believe that failures in morality/karma/dharma result in a corrupt soul and may result in reincarnation as a lesser creature as punishment.

Many people who call themselves Hindus believe that. However, Hinduism is essentially a ritual complex that can include both people who believe that and people who do not believe that.

You could have had the courtesy of reading past the first paragraph in the Wiki page too...

Wikipedia is not a useful source for this particular issue. Perhaps you live in the backwoods somewhere and have not become aware of over a century of problems arising because Hinduism is presented in ordinary reference sources through a Western religious lens? Meanwhile, scholars of comparative religion and anthropologists have always been keen to emphasize the ritual-centered and inclusive features of Hinduism. It is involvement in this ritual complex, combined with a tolerance of other people's beliefs (i.e. it's fine to be atheist, but it's best to keep your belief that your fellow Hindu's object of devotion doesn't exist to yourself) that makes one a Hindu, even if one personally rejects the supernatural.

"an order that makes life and universe possible" [is] superstitious and incompatible with atheism.

How is that belief superstitious and incompatible with atheism? It's any atheist's observation of the anthropic principle.

Comment: Re:Maybe the aliens are just as religious (Score 1) 257

by CRCulver (#48033105) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?
If you think so, it's likely that you are erroneously applying Western ideas of what religion is to Hinduism. I think you'd benefit from actually reading something about this particular subject -- or even going to India and talking to educated Indians who will tell you quite openly that they don't believe in a God, supernatural phenomenon or anything up and out there, but they find value in a series of rituals that link their community together. Performing these rituals does nothing to compromise their firm atheism; who are you to claim it does?

Comment: Re:Maybe the aliens are just as religious (Score 1) 257

by CRCulver (#48032803) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?
One thing to keep in mind when looking at those statistics is that Hinduism and atheism are compatible. Hinduism is a ritual complex, not a series of theological propositions that one must hold or else one can't be a Hindu. Many educated Indians believe that Hinduism is a environment within which they interact with their families and the society around them, while inside they believe that there is no supernatural.

Comment: Re:Are the world's non-religious ready? (Score 1) 257

by CRCulver (#48032695) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?
The "ET" referred to in the linked article is life out there many light years away, whose organic signature just happens to be detectable from Earth. Just as we have no way to bridge that gap between the stars, they are unlikely to be able to come to us either -- if they had a way, they would have already been here. It's not even a given that they would be interested in going into space. So, talk of a "military arms race" is more than a bit soon.

Comment: Re:Maybe the aliens are just as religious (Score 2) 257

by CRCulver (#48032603) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?
If you demand absolute realism, I don't think there's any work of fiction that will satisfy you. Even in the more scientifically grounded "hard science-fiction" genre, often authors are only using the plot to explore a certain idea that has been on their minds. If you want to read about infinitely more advanced aliens coming to Earth and threatening the human race, there's plenty of books out there for you, but that's not the sort of book that this particular author wanted to write at this particular time.

Comment: Re:About fucking time. (Score 1) 60

by CRCulver (#48032509) Attached to: Hong Kong Protesters Use Mesh Networks To Organize

The US doesn't care about anyones airspace on a good day. How many countries currently have drones flying about, and then how many more they you are unaware of.

Drones don't have human beings on board who could get shot down and make the current administration look bad. Note that the OP spoke of "B52s", a bomber piloted by human beings on board.

To think the US wouldn't already be agitating the crowd into action from within already is extremely naive

Of course the intelligence agencies of various states (and not just the US) would be agitating the crowd from within. But the methods they already use to do so probably seem effective enough, so why take the risk of flying a bomber over the territory?

...to think they would be scared to fly 'humanitarian relief missions' to 'protect innocent civilians' in a spring type event is just ridiculous.

One can never say never, but in "Arab Spring" events so far, the US has maintained a more shadowy role that what the OP proposed, and I don't think that is going to change. US politicians still remember Somalia. Presidential administrations do not want a debacle of "our boys" being shot down in a hostile state unless there is a full-on international conflict already going on.

Comment: Maybe the aliens are just as religious (Score 4, Interesting) 257

by CRCulver (#48032433) Attached to: Are the World's Religions Ready For ET?
Robert J. Sawyer did a send up of mocking religious people's views on ET in his novel Calculating God . An alien lands on Earth and finds it odd that all the scientists of our planet are trending towards atheism, when his civilization finds the arguments of natural theology convincing. Of course, the god believed in by the alien (and mused on by Sawyer, who I believe remains an atheist) is an unknowable, silent, watchmaker god who sprung up spontaneously from the quantum vacuum, instead of the personal God that Earth's big three monotheistic religions believe in.

Comment: Re:Fristy Pawst! (Score 1) 330

by CRCulver (#48031923) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States
You can find definitions for "Third World" to leave India out, if you want, but poverty is not one of them. India has states (see the villages of Uttar Pradesh, for example, or the special-status northeast) where subsistence farming, illiteracy, and living under a euro a day is still commonplace. Sure, other states have made great strides, but dire poverty persists in areas.

Comment: Re:About fucking time. (Score 1, Insightful) 60

by CRCulver (#48031635) Attached to: Hong Kong Protesters Use Mesh Networks To Organize

For years I have also advocated having a B52 full of cheap mesh cell phones and base stations to drop on any Arab Spring like event.

Even when countries are toppling longstanding leaders in a move that might bring them closer to the US, the US doesn't dare violate airspace so brazenly. (Even in Syria right now, the US is targeting rebel forces in the north, and it has stayed well clear of Assad Damascus during the whole Syria saga of the last years.) Think about it, the leadership is going to have the best defenses gathered around itself, and if a US plane were shot down, it would make the US and the current president look bad, and so it's not worth the risk trying to stir up the mob just a bit more.

Comment: Re:Fristy Pawst! (Score 3, Interesting) 330

by CRCulver (#48031169) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

In most 3rd world countries, credit is almost non-existent so spending more than you have isn't even an option neither

Have you travelled in Third World countries in the last decade? In Africa and India it's now utterly commonplace for people, even the illiterate, to take out credit to buy a fancy mobile phone. Those acclaimed microcredit initiatives that do social good are now accompanied by innumerable sleasy microcredit lenders that hand out loans easily, and can be brutal about repayment. Credit has been a thing, and a rising problem, in the Third World for some years now.

Comment: Re:Quarantine? (Score 3, Informative) 330

by CRCulver (#48031153) Attached to: Ebola Has Made It To the United States

No it wouldn't. Public health is the most slam-dunk reason to restrict civil liberties. Travel is restricted for much less important reasons, like politics.

Travel has almost never been restricted by the US government, with Cuba serving as the inexplicable exception. The Soviet Union was the big enemy for decades, and yet Americans regularly visited whether for university terms abroad or Intourist package tours. North Korea? The State Department might put out a travel advisory that it's not a good idea to go there, but it's perfectly legal for Americans to participated in the organized tour. That permissiveness even applies to war zones: when the US was bombing Serbia or NATO was carried out air strikes in Libya, you still could freely visit (there was a period when you couldn't bring any goods back from Yugoslavia, though).

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

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