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  • Does "under God" belong in the pledge?

    @agsr My bad, it was trying to suppress modern American communists in the 50s (who were generally atheist), not modernists in general. Here's a good article about it:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/27/opinion/one-nation-under-god.html
    agsr
  • Do we care How A Flamingo Balances On One Leg?

    Actually, this could be a useful development for robotics and artificial intelligence.
    islander507
  • Does "under God" belong in the pledge?

    The age-old debate. I don't think it does because not everyone needs to believe in God; even though our country was built by religious people, it was not built specifically on religious values. Our Constitution is also based off of freedom, including the freedom of religion and freedom of expression. This means that designating our national pledge towards theism, and arguably Christianity, is exclusive of other forms of religion and expression. It is fine for people to continue to use "Under God" in the pledge if they believe in God, but it is not necessary and should not be included in the official text.
    joecavalry
  • FBI Director James Comey proof that Trump is corrupt?

    @Coveny Of course leftwing sources are going to try to taint Fox News, but it's a lot closer to the center then, say, Washington Post.  Regardless, I posted QUOTES.  The source is entirely immaterial.



    aarongagsr
  • How does evolution account for rationality and reasoning?

    @Logic When one discusses human evolution it should be in a different way than the evolution of any other creature on the planet. Humans emerged as the dominant species because of their manual dexterity, which then allowed for the development of reasoning and rationality. Bipedalism, flexibility, opposable thumbs, and other physical characteristics developed due to natural selection. These adaptive traits became collectively superior than all other creatures and allowed humans to distinguish themselves as dominant for the following reasons:
    1. Ability to alter their environment, as opposed to adapt to it
    2. Aiming for goals with roots in survival but that transcend the basic need for survival
    3. Specialization and skill within the species
    ...and a few others, but those are the main reasons. All of this sets us apart from every other species and it's the direct result of superior physical characteristics that came out of evolution. It is the third reason I listed in particular that resulted in incredible and rapid cognitive development. Apes first began to use tools, a crucial evolutionary advantage. When individual members developed their own skills people were able to form culture, language, art, science, and all the complex processes we know today.

    There is one line in the Wikipedia article for the evolution of human intelligence that I think sums up human evolution pretty concisely: "These environmental pressures caused selection to favor bipedalism." Such was the case for all other traits we developed on the path to reasoning, including reasoning itself. The natural pressures that came about as the result of environmental changes, such as ice ages, force all species to change and form new traits. At some point, conditions made it crucial for humans to develop reasoning in order to survive. Whether or not those conditions came about as the result of a higher power is in my opinion debatable. Personally I don't believe in a God so I think those conditions came about as the result of circumstances, like the position of the planet in the solar system.

    If you think about how complex life on earth is one might be naturally inclined to assume that only a higher power could have created it. But if you look at the scale of the universe, and think about just how BIG it is, and that there are over 200 billion observable galaxies and each galaxy has billions of its own stars and each star has its own planet system with a few planets each (the average is in between 1 and 2), then how could something like earth and life and reasoning NOT form? We're talking about over 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets, (10 to the 24th power) and that's just in the observable universe. There is absolutely no way of telling what else could be out there - it's just beyond the comprehension of humanity. But by the limits of our own reasoning, relatively speaking, I do not think we are that special or that our circumstances are that unique. Compared to the solar system, the galaxy, or even our local galaxy cluster, yes, we might be unique - but that there is maybe .001% of the universe, so it's probably not so remarkable.

    Sources:
    // http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/01/05/how-many-planets-are-in-the-universe/
    // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence
    islander507agsr
  • How does evolution account for rationality and reasoning?

    @Logic When one discusses human evolution it should be in a different way than the evolution of any other creature on the planet. Humans emerged as the dominant species because of their manual dexterity, which then allowed for the development of reasoning and rationality. Bipedalism, flexibility, opposable thumbs, and other physical characteristics developed due to natural selection. These adaptive traits became collectively superior than all other creatures and allowed humans to distinguish themselves as dominant for the following reasons:
    1. Ability to alter their environment, as opposed to adapt to it
    2. Aiming for goals with roots in survival but that transcend the basic need for survival
    3. Specialization and skill within the species
    ...and a few others, but those are the main reasons. All of this sets us apart from every other species and it's the direct result of superior physical characteristics that came out of evolution. It is the third reason I listed in particular that resulted in incredible and rapid cognitive development. Apes first began to use tools, a crucial evolutionary advantage. When individual members developed their own skills people were able to form culture, language, art, science, and all the complex processes we know today.

    There is one line in the Wikipedia article for the evolution of human intelligence that I think sums up human evolution pretty concisely: "These environmental pressures caused selection to favor bipedalism." Such was the case for all other traits we developed on the path to reasoning, including reasoning itself. The natural pressures that came about as the result of environmental changes, such as ice ages, force all species to change and form new traits. At some point, conditions made it crucial for humans to develop reasoning in order to survive. Whether or not those conditions came about as the result of a higher power is in my opinion debatable. Personally I don't believe in a God so I think those conditions came about as the result of circumstances, like the position of the planet in the solar system.

    If you think about how complex life on earth is one might be naturally inclined to assume that only a higher power could have created it. But if you look at the scale of the universe, and think about just how BIG it is, and that there are over 200 billion observable galaxies and each galaxy has billions of its own stars and each star has its own planet system with a few planets each (the average is in between 1 and 2), then how could something like earth and life and reasoning NOT form? We're talking about over 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets, (10 to the 24th power) and that's just in the observable universe. There is absolutely no way of telling what else could be out there - it's just beyond the comprehension of humanity. But by the limits of our own reasoning, relatively speaking, I do not think we are that special or that our circumstances are that unique. Compared to the solar system, the galaxy, or even our local galaxy cluster, yes, we might be unique - but that there is maybe .001% of the universe, so it's probably not so remarkable.

    Sources:
    // http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2013/01/05/how-many-planets-are-in-the-universe/
    // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence
    islander507agsr
  • Do you believe in God? Religion vs Science

    God has not been proven in any way. Most attempts have come from philosophical contexts and rational arguments. Thomas Aquinas attempted to explain god, yet the ideas were very vague and there was a massive leap in his logical connections. They have also been disproven through other logical arguments. Same goes for the ontological proof of god. As proposition, the burden of proof lies upon you and there is not enough evidence to show that a higher power exists.
    melanielust
  • How does evolution account for rationality and reasoning?

    There is no realisitc expanation on this other that God created everything, which I believe as well.
    spandammelanielust
  • Is Capitalism Evil?

    But why do people immediately jump to CAPITALISM to blame for everything? There are millions of other factors that could contribute to people dying if they live in a capitalist society. If the government is a dictatorship, for example, and they directly starve people and steal resources from citizens - such is the case in many African nations.
    islander507
  • Is It O.K. to Refuse to Serve Same-Sex Couples Based on Religious Beliefs?

    It's fair not to serve them for religious belief, but it's a thin line between that and discrimination 
    melanielust

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