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Comment Re:The difference with Bohr/Einstein (Score 1) 136

Enough with this myth. The literal interpretation of the ancient Middle Eastern texts demonstrates that you can't take them literally and consistently at the same time because the Genesis chapter 1 contradicts Genesis chapter 2, and when linguistically competent "bible-believers" are pushed hard enough on this, they admit that they're belief is not based on the text, but on presuppositions about what the text says.

(The specific contradiction is that in Genesis chapter 1, creation goes birds first (on day 5), then humans (male and female) on day 6. In Genesis chapter 2, creation goes male human first, then birds are created, then female human. There are other contradictions that, with skill and agility, can be argued against; but this one can only be denied by denying the plain words of the text.)

In other words, it's not the ancients who were fools, it's the moderns.

Comment Re:I'm not into trains (Score 1) 142

In the beginning, everyone walked about on foot. People liked it; most stuff you needed was close enough, and if it occasionally rained on you, well, you needed to sleep more often, so what if you can't do everything all of the time.

Someone invented the train and it was well regarded; now even common people could travel far.

Then one day some reckless person thought of putting a train engine on a waggon and getting around without horses or tracks. It didn't appeal to most people; it was too expensive and didn't solve any real problems most people had. Plus it was dangerous and killed people. Some even more reckless person developed a way to make them cheap enough lots of people could afford them, but they were still dangerous and didn't really solve any real problem, so only avant gard people bothered to buy them.

[This is where Internet of Things is up to.]

So the most dangerous group of people—marketeerscame up with an evil plan to take over the world. They'd convince everyone that people who walked across streets without looking were backwards, and they'd mock memorials of children who idiot car drivers killed. They'd also make them a status symbol; girls wouldn't go for guys who walked, they were far too pedestrian!

Eventually the world became a completely different place because these people convinced us we wanted something that wasn't helpful—in fact, nowadays it takes people longer to get places with cars than it took to get there before cars—and kills people both directly (through, ahem, direct hits), indirectly (via side-swipes), via the pollution that the poor sods breathe in, and probably through climatatological effects.

[This is where Beta is up to. Slashdot destroyed a perfectly good letter of the internet, and all for what?]

Comment Re:I'm sorry I'm an idiot (Score 1) 204

What's wrong with PRIMARY? There's an increasing number of foreign programs on X these days like that abomination known as Chrome (JetBrains PhpStorm also causes me pain), but everything vaguely integrated just works. It's been years since I had a problem with Firefox or Gtk, Qt/KDE or old-school toolkit apps.

Comment Re:Town planning - lack of. (Score 3, Insightful) 157

The European design wastes a lot less petrol than the American design, because you can get around and do a lot without even getting into the car. It is a local inefficiency as a trade-off for a higher-level efficiency. In America, you want to buy milk? You have to move a ton of steel around at homicidal speeds. In Europe, you want to buy milk? You walk for the same amount of time—or less—and you buy it from the shops.

"Town planning fail" happens when you think that the car is an important and necessary part of modern life. It's not. It's useful that some people have cars; but to think it should be convenient for everyone to drive most of the time is foolishness.

Comment Re:With respect, Christians disagree (Score 1) 544

Actually, the claim that the original manuscripts are inerrant is generally made by unreasonable Christians like YEC. More reasonable Christians realise that there probably isn't really such a thing as "original manuscripts"—at least not one that's easily conceived of—for many of the books in the Bible, so there's nothing "original" that can be inerrant in this sense.

In fact, generally the term "inerrant" is used to separate the wheat from the chaff. The traditional view of scripture is that it is that the process of reception and transmission is as inspired as the original writing—and therefore we can see (in real time by comparing manuscripts) that God doesn't care about the precise words and all the gnarly points, so the word "inerrant" is inapplicable.

That view has been lost to some extent in the protestant West, especially in America; but it is returning particularly in communities were a great many people had previously lost trust in the Bible but kept it because it was a part of their tradition, but also amongst evangelicals who realise that the scientific evidence for evolution is so strong that Genesis 1 and 2 can't possibly mean that.

Comment Re:Texas Barely Registers (Score 1) 544

Imagine meeting someone who can walk you through an argument that their god is mad at us because we don't practice racially-based slavery any more!


(From what I remember, it has something to do with how caucasians are the lost tribe of Isreal [insert scriptual evidence I never cared enough to memorize here] and because some guy got smashed drunk once in a tent and passed out without any clothes on.)


I don't know what "the FSM" is. But the solution? I doubt there is one. But really you just have me speechless. It's very easy to use the bible to reaffirm what you already believe, because it has lots of words in it and because it's easy to care about what it says. But what you've said ... it's one of those cases where I'm not sure if you're making a comparison to people who don't exist any more, or if you're attributing these views to them!

The real world is a strange place.

Comment Re:Texas Barely Registers (Score 2) 544

Lol, the only evidence for young earth/old earth creationism is a certain tradition of biblical interpretation; the bible itself makes it look extremely unlikely that it's teaching young earth/old earth creationism. The bible only teaches that God created, but to read it as saying how and when is inept and demonstrates a complete failure of basic Biblical Hebrew and reading comprehension skills.

Comment Re:This is the problem with religious people. (Score 1) 903

Would people who think x or y or z is immoral be able to buy health insurance without x or y or z for their employees and forgo the tax break? Because that would really resolve any problem—if the employer is concerned that anyone wouldn't buy insurance who really does need it, they would be covered. (Sure they wouldn't get the tax break, but why would anyone who uses the Gospel as a guide to life actually want to take advantage of it? Worse to have the money than to pay tax.)

Comment Re:This is the problem with religious people. (Score 1) 903

The limitation should happen right up front. No-one should be required to buy private health insurance; it should be government provided like in every civilised country. I went to emergency on Christmas morning (in an English speaking country with private health insurance and private hospitals), and there was no bureaucracy to deal with (well, they asked for id, but I didn't have any. No problem, they just treated me, because I'm "covered" because I live in a civilised country). I didn't sign anything and I didn't get any bills for my Christmas morning mishap.

The American plan was doomed to fail from the get go. In fact, it was designed to fail from the get go. But everyone knew that, and still they let themselves be dictated to.

Comment Re:It's debatable that you can (Score 1) 174

Surely for most of history one of the biggest limitations to "creative output" was the fact that people needed to eat. Particularly in villages (i.e. poorer areas) you didn't necessarily have the resources for great artistic displays—unless, at least, they were popular enough everyone could benefit.

And a significant one would also have been that we just don't highly regard a lot of creative output, because it was done within a theme we would regard as too constrained to be interesting (e.g. English parish churches were decorated by the parish). But just the same, I think a lot of contemporary artistic output is disregarded as uninteresting in even a very short while (i.e. people's lifetimes—think about popular music, the way people laugh at someone for listening to a lot of music from five years ago).

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