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Comment Re:"it was used for children's writing exercises" (Score 1) 230

A lot of religious people focus on the joy and love rather than the fear. Religion can be very good for your emotional health and ability to cope. I often think wistfully that it would be very nice to have a church with a theology I could actually believe in. However, I am the person that a possibly existing God hypothetically made, and I'm not going to find such a church.

Comment Re:"it was used for children's writing exercises" (Score 1) 230

A lot of people also seem to reject the idea that the Universe is basically more complicated than they can imagine (typically without trying to understand it), and God is a nice convenient three-letter placeholder to prevent the necessity of trying to learn something or appreciate the wonder of the Universe.

Comment Re:"it was used for children's writing exercises" (Score 1) 230

What we've really found is that we need to reject the God of the Gaps to make progress in science and engineering. If we call something a miracle, we can't learn anything about the world from it, since a miracle by definition is an exception to the laws of the Universe. If we reject the idea of a miracle and try to figure out what physically happened to create that effect, we might learn something. Over time, those "might learn something"s add up, while the "cant learn anything"s keep summing to zero.

There's still a great many things we don't understand, and undoubtedly a greater number of things we don't know well enough to realize we don't understand them. There's still lots of room for a God of the Gaps. What causes the Universe to expand? We figure what's going on, and make up a label "dark energy" to define what we mean by it if we ever learn anything significant about it. No physicist says that it's just that God wants the Universe to expand for some ineffable purpose, because every physicist realizes, perhaps not consciously, that that sort of reasoning goes nowhere.

Comment Re:Not enough (Score 1) 55

I always heard "The exception proves the rule." This makes sense if you use "proves" in a very old-fashioned sense meaning "tests", or if what's important is the existence of the exception. If I run a storefront, and put up a sign saying "Emergency - store closed 1-7 PM today", I'm implying that the store is normally open 1-7 PM on that day.

Comment Re:Misstated: People *shouldn't need* unlimted dat (Score 1) 219

I pay for a real Internet connection (40 Mb/s currently; if that proves insufficient I'll upgrade). It's pretty reliable, but the DSL I had before that wasn't, and there might be a couple of days without home ISP service. Being able to tether during those days was very convenient.

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