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Comment Re:Short-sighted thinking (Score 1) 414

Assuming that we could ever transcend biology, what would be the point? I've read Kurzweil's thoughts on this as well and thought the exact same thing: who or what would be around to appreciate or hate these self-aware digital entities (us)?

If a civilization retreated into a virtual reality beneath a planet's surface, then what interaction would that virtual reality have with the planet at all? Further, why would the death of the sun have anything to do with said virtual reality (which is now apparently decoupled from biology)?

I'm not saying that a technological singularity *couldn't* occur, I just don't have any idea *why* it would occur.

Comment Re:Profit (Score 4, Interesting) 227

Don't know why you've been modded a troll, but I think that your comment cuts to the quick of the aforementioned hollow argument.

In real estate, there is a concept known as highest and best use of property. That concept works exactly the way that it sounds and is one of the tools that an appraiser uses when trying to determine the value of a property. In this case, the building may serve its highest and best use as a billboard and not as office space/hotel/whatever. Who cares that the building sits empty? It most likely is not heated, not plumbed, and may not even have any interior walls/flooring/etc.

Further, I don't think that asking someone to justify their ridiculous statements (without even using the term "ridiculous statements") qualifies as trolling. If it did, then count Socrates as one of the first trolls.

Comment Re:Pardon? (Score 1) 231

I had a moment of sadness after reading your comment. I know that you'll vehemently defend your beliefs and I'm certainly not interested in persuading you otherwise, but it still saddens me to see thought processes like these. Stuff like this is what I believed for years and years and wasted a lot of time arguing about till I decided to believe in what is believable.

It always seemed absurd to me to imagine trying to convince someone to *un*believe what they're already 100% convinced of. If you get curious though, then trust me when I say, there's plenty of literature that will help you understand.

Comment Re:Theocracies (Score 1) 862

It's like reading the Iliad as a history book, and complaining about the inaccuracies. That's completely missing the point.

Fair point, however, there are apologists for the Christian faith (like Josh McDowell) that argue vehemently that the Iliad and the Bible are in different categories and claims that the Bible cannot be considered to be on the same plane as something like the Iliad. I would argue that you are correct: the Bible *should* be read like the Iliad but, sadly, the reality is that it is not read that way.

I find it disheartening that we as a species have grown so knowledgeable about our world and the rules that seem to govern it and yet we cling desperately to these legends as a way to convince ourselves of our importance.

Comment Re:Dawkin's is a piss poor social scientist (Score 1) 862

The question remains open as to in what respect Darwinian Naturalism is incompatible with mass-killing if that's the optimal DNA-propagation strategy for a given context.

How about: because the idea of mass-killing is exactly opposite to the ideas that were presented by Darwin? Darwin's ideas were that evolution works by the selection of the best traits in species with consideration of their natural surroundings. It would be a bit of a stretch to claim that the psychological traits associated with mass murderers would be naturally selected for as that runs counter to the ultimate goal of most species (to survive).

Comment More? (Score 1) 823

If you're still reading (down here), then you're just here for the laughs and I'm afraid I'm not that funny.

Regardless, this is an important question to ask and asking it is the first step toward your answer. YMMV, but the answer that I found for myself was to stop finding the bad in people and focus on the good; better to stop worrying about what other folks think, say, and do and just get on with life. My biggest issue was that I projected my faults onto others and blamed them for their dislike of me. As soon as I took responsibility for my own faults and foibles, it was easier to get along with others because they were just as flawed as I was.

Comment Re:Had to be said (Score 1) 332

So, with most new cars priced at over 20,000 dollars, I'm going to assume that most of the people in your neck of the woods drive used vehicles?

I only buy used cars myself and most of the time I can't buy a decent vehicle for less than about 15k (in Colorado).

I have to say that I find the disparity in price expectation surprising. I wouldn't describe Colorado (the part where I live anyway) as extraordinarily affluent, so I'm surprised at the difference. Also, I'm then led to wonder if the same used car sold here would cost more than in Pennsylvania. As far as I know, vehicle sales have trended toward less regional differences...

Comment Re:Universal service. (Score 1) 601

Here's the problem: the vast majority of the "Americans" doing the talking are the ones that make us look bad. Those of us who are reasonable and "European" in our viewpoints and politics aren't the ones that are getting heard.

You know, if I had jumped into this conversation midstream and saw only this comment (without the obvious "Americans" term that was used, I could have easily thought that you were defending Iran.

At the end of the day, I guess we're all a little more like each other than we think.

Now everyone back to your spirited yelling matches.

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