Introducing WonderCafe!  The United Church of Canada’s new spin on its own relevence!

The offical press release for Wondercafe

The actual site for Wonder Cafe

An interesting new way by a church to address to all sides of society and yet propogate the focus on one group, their group.  As of yet it doesn’t seem to harbour the strongest of fundies that we sometimes see wander in here however they are in force.  Typically I have joined wondercafe and am hoping to keep them busy sufficiently so that others don’t have to deal with them elsewhere.  If anyone wishes to join me in “keeping the faith”, I will appreciate it.  I personally find this having a double meaning.  It is designed to support free expression yet it is run by a church which tries to focus on specific issues and cater to an audience of strong middle age christians.  I’m not saying that this is a bad thing however it seems kinda contridictory to what it does and its purpose.  I’ll let you decide, I’ve already gone into the trenches.

85 thoughts on “Introducing WonderCafe!  The United Church of Canada’s new spin on its own relevence!

  1. I went and had a look (that, after all, is what Hussars are supposed to do).  They seem to be mostly the kind of Christians we welcome here- pro gay etc, except for one looney “Noname”- read the “New World Order” Thread- nooney claims about WTC conspiracy etc.

    Perhaps if you stay as our FO, and if you think we could pile in on a particular topic, put a call out for the SEB Fallschimjager.

  2. I tried… I really did, but that web site design makes me want to go on a murdering spree. Why do they feel like closing everything into a tiny box, that my scroll wheel doesn’t even work in, is a good idea?

  3. Yes, Les has superior formatting abilities here and it is a blog, not a professional website.  Kinda sad if you ask me.

    Also I’ll warn you guys if there is anything which to pile in on.  From my experience it shouldn’t be that long.

  4. It might be interesting if the fundies do try to take it over. 

    The United Church of Canada is a liberal xtian church, consisting essentially of a union of Methodists and Presbyterians.  According to the Wikipedia, some of their causes have been/are:

      * The espousal of universal medical care
      * the ordination of women (1936 in the United Church; 1974 in the Anglican Church of Canada)
      * the championing of the interests of the Palestinians
      * the defense of homosexual rights, including equal marriage.
      * in 1980 declared support for contraception and access to abortion
      * in 2003 affirmed that “human sexual orientations, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are a gift from God and part of the marvelous diversity of creation.”

    In many ways they sound a bit more liberal than the mainstream Methodist and Presbyterians of the US.  It seems that their national organization does not have a problem with gay ministers (I am not sure that there are any) or gay weddings in the church (of which there have been a few).

  5. I just read a thread called “Christmas has got to go!”.  It seems that they are trying very hard to maintain their Canadian identity but sometimes have problems with that.  One guy had major issues concerning the Seattle-Tacoma airport taking out the xmas trees and spoke as if it were a Canadian airport that had taken out the trees.  The location of the airport was never mentioned although the other facts that were mentioned indicated that it was the Seattle airport.  In all of the discussion over this decision, which included Canadian specific shopping malls, that nobody mentioned which airport it was or even that it was not a Canadian airport.

  6. itdontmatter: It seems that they are trying very hard to maintain their Canadian identity

    I don’t understand why people see identity as important myself, it’s only categorisation

  7. There are a number of openly gay and lesbian ministers currently serving congregations in the UCCan (I can think of six off the top of my head.)

    There have been quite a few same-sex marriages officiated at by UCCan ministers (I’ve done a couple myself… and, while the denomination doesn’t compile same-sex / opposite-sex stats, I know of at least 30 other same-sex marriages officiated at by UCCan clergy-types.)

    The ‘WonderCafe’ is open to anybody who wants to drop in… so we get wa… sorry – fundamentalist Christians (both fundamentalist liberals and fundamentalist conservatives) as well as people in the middle – and people who self-define as pagan, people who self-define as agnostic, and people who self-define as atheist.

    Congregations in the UCCan run the gamut from “JC, personal Lord and Saviour” through to “Jesus? Well… ummm… interesting character, but the dude never lived, eh?” and everything in between.

    The identity thing… well.. that’s just part of our Canadian mindset, being a geographically big and population small country to the north of the only remaining superpower.

    And, yeah… the tech truly sucks.

  8. justwanderin:  Thanks for clarifying some of my guesses.  UCCan are much more liberal than the Presbyterian and Methodist churches in the US (although some US congregations are more liberal than others). 

    It sounds like UCCan are very much like the United Church of Christ (UCC) in the US, and possibly leaning toward Unitarian-Universalist (UU). 

    I didn’t mean to sound like I was ragging on Canadian identity.  It was that I found it odd that nobody mentioned that it was the Seattle airport that took down the Christmas trees. 

    The WonderCafe is a diverse and interesting forum.  Are Americans welcome to participate, or do we have to refrain from mentioning where we are from?

  9. itdontmatter: I didn’t mean to sound like I was ragging on Canadian identity

    Don’t worry, we know that, by ‘people’ I meant people in general. (not just canadians either, and not just national identity). Identity itself is a strange idea to me other than for practical purposes (like language), being in quite a diverse area I try to exclude it from everyday life and leave that to the polititions

  10. itdontmatter:

    No apology necessary (and I’m sorry if I came across like I was upset about the comment) – you made a fair statement, one that does speak to a Canadian reality, as well as a UCCan one.

    In lots of ways, we are quite similar to the UCC in the States – except they tend to be more strongly congregationally goverened, while we *seem* to have more direction from the denominational network. I think its the addition of our Presbyterian heritage at work, there. (Though I may be quite out of it in that comparison.)

    There are some congregations (and a number of people) who would be quite happy in the UU context – though most would probably be more comfortable in the Methodist tradition… some even more in one like the PCUSA, and some with our version of the Episopal Church. *grin* We really do run the gamut.

    The whole idea behind the WonderCafe was to be an open forum for people to explore their spirituality (recognizing that a number of us wandering around would come from the UCCan). I’m sure there will be some people that you will have to defend why you’re there. *wry smile* I’ve been having to do the same… and, not only am I Canadian, I’m a UCCan’er. *LOL*

    By the way – *great* site here!

  11. in response to justwanderin if the united church down south is like the one up here then both luther and wesly are not just turning but screeming in their graves! This is going to seem offenseve but it is true the United church is a Gallican permission slip to the state to get little things like right and wrong out of the way so that the state can destroy religon and have a monopoly on consience so that it can control its people like Mao if anyone here dosent believe me just take a right wing stance on somthing for a day. heres the test say that you are opposed to same sex marriage;you dont hate gays you respect their right to fight for gay rightsyoumay even have gay friends or be gay yourself, but you just dont agree with them. after a day of telling people this you will get stairs like you praised hittler for the holocost! I will agree that it was hard and still is for gays in the closetbut what makes you think that being a Christian in the closet is any easier? read your bible and see what Jesus thinks about gay sex. heres a hint JESUS DOSENT LIKE!!!

  12. Aaron… read your bible… JC didn’t ever talk about gay sex. Paul did. The Levites did. Jesus didn’t.

  13. Technicalities aside I don’t understand right wing/religous hate in general, I have to ask why hate? Personally I don’t give a damn whether someone is gay, forein, disabled, etc, as long as it doesn’t affect their usefulness to me. What could be so wrong about something that justifies being bothered to hate? I doubt a god would have much reason to have pointless intollerance, I think people have modified religous texts to take advantage of people’s fears (even if for good intentions, like inbreeding=recessive genetic diseases show up) and in doing so strayed from the point a hypothetical JC was trying to get across.

  14. To distant claws Yes I Know that Prety much everyone who follows the right seems hatefull the reason for this is because we hardly ever get a chance to voice our opinions and when we send our kids to school our views are not respected. we get called Nazis by the news for not being so called politicaly corect,we get made fun of by television by being called Homophobes, and closed minded ignorant facists. there is a university around here that permits people to be pro life but there cant be any clubs that support it, and they aent allowed to talk about what they believe. does this sound familier to anyone?

  15. Aaron- appologies for delay- problems with ‘my stupid computer’TM
    people might not generally agree with what the radical right stands for but the majority wont go to the effort of running an ideological hate campain, ideology is old news nowadays

    Besides, its not as if you could realisticly change the system so relax and make the best of it in terms of how it affects you

    Hate from the right wing tends to be directed towards people who did nothing to deserve it, and who have little effect on the person

  16. I did not mean that they were litteraly calling us Nazis but that is how it feels. And yes im coming out Im Ideoligical but that dosent make me a whole lot different from anyone else. And quite a few members of the Christian right arnt as hateful as me {yes i admit it i HATE to say it} my mother is opposed to same sex marriage and she has gay friends! but think about it imagine life on this end of the scale trust me it is no more fun to be called a homophobe than it is to be called a Fagot{ and no incase anyone is wondering i have never called anyone a Fagot and i never would, you can oppose same sex marriage and still belive that God loves everyone you know}. there are a lot of other theological blunders that the united church has sush as the ordination of Women [and since i now Know that you are going to bring it up no I am not a sexist],i am pro life[war,ABORTION ,EXECUTION ETC..].            ALSO I HAVE NOTICED THAT JUSTWALKIN HASNT COMMENTED ON MY COMMENTS ABOUT PAUL.        PS.I WOULD LIKE TO THANK DIDTANT CLAWS FOR SAYING SOMTHING I GUESS AARON VS JUSTWALKIN MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY ENTERTAINING.            PSS.FROM ABORTION ONWARD ALL THE LETTERS ARE CAPATALISED THIS SIGNIFIES THAT THE SHIFT KEY ON MY COMPUTOR IS STUCK.

  17. pS AGAIN I APOLIGISE WELCOME LES.AND AS FOR MY COMENTS ABOUT CERTIN RIGHT WING CLUBS BEING REPPRESED YOU WILL HAVE TO LOOK IN A CHURCH PAPER OR REALLY ASK AROUND. GETTING THE OPPIONS OF THE RIGHT IN PRINT IS LIKE GETTING THE SAUDI AUTHORITYS TO GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO SAY THE ROSERY IN THE kABBA.

  18. SORRY ABOUT TWO THINGS WELCOMING LES SINCE HE OR SHE RUNS THIS SITE AND I AM ALEX IN THE LAST ONE .I GOT MY NAME MIXED UP WITH SOMONE ELSE.

  19. Aaron – I didn’t realize that you wanted a response.

    There is no need to take Paul’s words out of the bible. There is a need to recognize when and where he wrote them – and the fact that he (like we) are products of the culture one grows up in.

    I could argue that Paul’s words are no more (and no less) sacred than your own, or mine, or any other human being’s.

    And I repeat what I said earlier… JC didn’t say anything about same-sex relationships.

    Ah, Aaron… about the ordination of women… ah, never mind… I’m not going to change your mind. And you don’t have a chance at changing mine, on this one.

  20. The bible’s sometimes clouded but I think the overall message JC tries to get across is to find peace of mind such that it’s in harmony with unconditional love. ‘Love’ doesn’t mean romance or blind approval, and can be tough (like when a parent tells their child to study), but is a kind of baseline care and respect for all things concious

    I think the reason for the message intended in holy books being clouded is due to modifications

    Any restraint when your mind wants to hurt someone is to be commended

  21. I completely agree with distantclaws about God’s Love!But that has nothing to do with right or wrong in the eyes of God.And to just walkin since Paul’s letters are part of the Bible and even if they are his own personal opinions they are more sacred than any of our opnions[since it is after all the Bible].and Les to say that it is imposable to blaspheme god Is deffinately controdictory to scripture In both testaments i will get the exact verses later and Mark twain was a great author but i would hardly call him a theologin he wrote tom sawyer not the gospel of mark. but I will take quotes from Martin luther,St.augestine,Mother teresia etc… on the gronnds that THEY DEVOTED THEIR LIVES TO THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE. oh no the shift key again. and the challange to take a conservitive stance on anything is genuine, SEROIUSLY TRY IT!!!!!!!

  22. Aaron- I would expect god would need a reason to consider something right or wrong, otherwise it would be arbitary and people who are nice but violate an arbitary rule (like sexuality) would wonder what was so wrong with their actions, become alienated with god and not understand why they might be being punished and so not learn from it
    A loving god wouldn’t write anyone off permanently, there would be no point in allowing that person to exist if trapped permanently in hell and nothing would be achieved

  23. That said nothing is necesarily right or wrong as long as you are at peace with the consequences that come as part of the deal

    There is no real reason to prefer heaven over hell, happiness over sadness or comfort over pain, evolution assigns some of these feelings to actions that will make us more statisticly probable to survive but there is still no reason to favour a particular feeling

    Likewise existance, permanent or otherwise is not necesarily good, but has consequences

  24. I am glad to see that you are quoting paul on that distant claws but as I recal after that he also says that just because everything is permissable it does not mean that everything is benefical.and I never said that gays are going to Hell or is being born this way a sin. And Man kind does not have the authority of god! If anyone listening has kids ,do you tell them why you tell them to do certin things all the time? probabbly not. We cant understand why god wants us to do somthing all of the time in fact none of the time seems more accureate[see the story of joseph in Egypt]and even paul who you just quoted agrees with me [ see justwalkin’s third coment]    ps.morality does have to do with peace that is in the bible and dont quotejesus when he said”the greatest comandments are to love thelord thy god with all thy heart mind and soul and with all you strenth and to love thy neighbor as thyself” that would be taking scripture out of context.

  25. I did not intend to imply you had those views, more just illustrate my point

    Whilst I got these concepts elsewhere I was unaware who they came from (doesnt matter) but they make sense to me philosophicly

    Not all actions are beneficial but nothing says they should, in addition negative forces in the world develop character and could be intended to do so by tough love from god or elsewhere

    We wont know the whole story yet but we can have a damn good stab at it

    I dont have children but if i did i’d explai

  26. What elwed said.

    Don’t bother looking up those Bible versus Aaron. First I probably already know them and second I don’t believe the Bible to be the word of God so using it as proof of anything is pointless.

  27. Religions are human created theories after all, and suggest nothing about the real deal other than what is allowed. Anyone can temporarily play god in creating their own imaginary universe, and therefore have unquestionable authority over it if they so wished. Nobody from the real world has any influence over this universe other than to kill you in the universe you share with them to stop the imagining – but who says that will work?- you can still exist in other peoples imagination and memory and so may still have some imagination ability of your own

  28. to elwedriddsche if you dont believe in God dont bother speaking to me,as we will have no common reference points and the same goes for you distant claws but for you two athiests i do have some scientific evidence for god that might intrest you i am not trying to convert you well maybe i am but ponder this scientists say that the probibility of the universe just turning out the way it did is one to one billion so what are the other 999999999 chances? and you are right humans can play god we do it all the time.But that dosent mean that there isnt one. And science is not a replacement for god who is to say that god didnt use science to create the universe? and frankly even if every scientist on earth said that there is deffinately no god [which is not the case]the creation of the world is a complex subject;our understanding of this issue and science in general will not be the same in 10 years ,or 100 years ,or 1000 years. i am not saying that i think that in 1000 years time they will prove divine creation i am saying that the existance cannot be disproved,especialyto the people who own three homes have 1000,000$ birthday partys for their children and then blame god for world hunger LOL. in short how do you know that there is not a god?              ps.to les if you dont believe that the bible is the word of God what do you recognise as his word that is if you believe in him at all.

  29. Aaron,

    if you dont believe in God dont bother speaking to meas we will have no common reference points

    Right back at you, eh.

    for you two athiests i do have some scientific evidence for god that might intrest you

    It doesn’t, even if there were common reference points and even if you had presented any evidence.

    how do you know that there is not a god

    Define ‘god’. Unless you have a coherent definition that leads to falsifiable existential tests, I won’t bother to pursue this further. No wait, I forgot—I’m not supposed to speak to you, am I?

  30. elwedriddsche –

    I like your sig!

    If I were to apply both what I am (as a student of the Christ) and as minister, then my faith would be far more philosophy than religion.

    Much appreciated!

    Aaron… pity. There is a lot that people of faith can learn from people who self-define as athiest. Like how to ask questions, and how to explore.

    While I believe that God exists, that is a “belief”. As a “belief”, it has no proof – and, in fact – needs no proof. But, as a “belief”, I cannot (and will not) demand that others see the world through my belief structure.

    About the Paul’s writings… what I hear you saying to me is that they are sacred because they are included in a sacred text – the Bible. Why is this text sacred? Because a group of people pulled together a bunch of earlier texts and called them sacred. Why is it that I needs must accept someone else’s definition of sacred?

  31. Aaron,

    From one to theist to another, first, this

    i do have some scientific evidence for god that might intrest you i am not trying to convert you well maybe i am but ponder this scientists say that the probibility of the universe just turning out the way it did is one to one billion

    is not scientific evidence.  It is a statistical probability based on quite a few assumptions. Second, please spell check.  You look bad when your posts have numerous errors that are not typos.  Third, if you want to cut your teeth, which I strongly encourage, choose a different foil than Elwed.

    I’m not saying you’re overmatched in the brains department, I’m just saying he is a lucky sum beach.  Not only has he managed to marry way beyond what he deserves, but like the proverbial monkey at the keyboard hammering out Shakespeare, he manages to write cogent sentences.  The odds of a liberal being able to do this boggles the mind.  Better to look for someone who is not as much of a luckbox.

  32. Aaron: “scientists say that the probibility of the universe just turning out the way it did is one to one billion so what are the other 999999999 chances?”

    The odds of any particular rain puddle being the exact shape that it is are similarly large – well, actually quite a bit larger depending what one means by “exact” and if you include the size of the puddle in its description.  But there it is, so the odds are really not important.

    And what do you mean ‘the way it did’?  Does that imply the position of each snowflake, the quantum state of each subatomic particle, and even oddities like Consi?  Or does it just mean “a universe in which the current physical laws apply?”

    You said earlier you can’t prove God exists.  True; you can’t, and I can’t prove he doesn’t exist.  It is possible to show to a high degree of probability (high enough that in common parlance it is called proof), for instance, that the Grand Canyon took millions of years to form, but that impinges on a particular culturally generated story about god.

    Oh, and what scientists say these things?  Not some mathematician sitting in his office thinkin’ about stuff, but scientists looking at CoBE data or geological strata, etc.

  33. Aaron – I’m not stricly atheist or religous, I’m undecided and somewhere between. I’m also not trying to just stir up arguement, I’m trying to look at the issue from all angles I can, you will notice in my comments that I don’t write off either possibility of god existing or not, but my comment on how religions are man-made theories was intended to say that how humans see it, and what the bible says, don’t necessarily mean the real thing is like that, because I know that there are people out there who take a package of human opinions as fact.

    I study chemistry and have a curiousity in the other sciences, for my own understanding I’m trying to apply philosophy to what I know about science to find routes that may allow a possible god to interact with the universe; if there was an afterlife you would have to agree there needs to be a mechanism in physics to allow us to be able to get there, as there would also have to be if god instigated the big bang to set the wheels in motion. Since science isn’t at that point, and may never be able to find a link if it only sees the results from the physical side, science is neither able to prove or disprove religion, the best we can do is think about it, and try to get into god’s psychology

    scientists say that the probibility of the universe just turning out the way it did is one to one billion so what are the other 999999999 chances?

    The probability of this universe turning out the way it did is even less likely than that – inifinitely unlikely, and I will explain why that is so and yet it was guaranteed to occur.

    Laws of physics are linked by physical constants. These are known as ‘irrational’ numbers, meaning they have non-zero figures to an infinite number of decimal places, now
    The chance of a randomly generated number matching another number = 1/number of possibilities
    But when you have an infinite number of decimal places, and even more so when you have no upper limit to your number, number of possibilities = infinity
    Hence the probability of exact matching of physical constants is infinitely low and, as a result the laws of physics are infinitely unlikely to apply to the same extent.

    However infinitely unlikely is still possible because it’s positive, (1/infinity is often written to equal 0 but that is an infinitely accurate approximation, but never 100% exact)

    Now you remember me talking about imaginary dimensions? Well there can be an infinite number of these, and therefore an infinite number of universes in which it could happen.
    Inifnity*any positive number=infinity
    Our universe’s probability was infinitely low, but positive, and so in this set up it is statistically guaranteed to occur an infinte number of times. There will be an infinite number of different universes also, this is the idea of the multiverse. A multiverse will exist in any system able to imaginie and infinite number of dimensions simply because it can (it has positive probability)

    You don’t need something to imaginine the situation to allow it to happen, as an example you can have a dice in a box, say that nobody knows there is a dice inside this box, and therefore the system is blind to it’s own existence and the probability of the dice being inside the box is undefined because it’s not known to exist, however that does not change the fact that there is a number on the upper face of the dice, so in other words you can have a result in a system that has no imaginers

    But that dosent mean that there isnt one

    True, doesn’t mean either way, but it was opening up the idea of imaginary systems allowing existence. It could be the case that there is no heirarchy to a possible afterlife, that the system existed just because it had positive probability and an infinite number of chances. There may be some systems with one god, some with many gods, some with no god but an afterlife, some with god(s) but no way of getting to the afterlife, and some with neither- because all are possibilities all can be guaranteed in an infinite imaginary system.

    And science is not a replacement for god who is to say that god didnt use science to create the universe

    Correct – science certainly shouldn’t be used as a replacement, more a line of inquiry, and a necessary one if we are to find god this lifetime. God would have had to use science if he created the universe, science doesn’t allow exceptions, but may have links to other dimensions that we can’t see only from one side. As I’ve said, god at best could just set the wheels in motion

    even if every scientist on earth said that there is deffinately no god [which is not the case]the creation of the world is a complex subject

    Nobody yet knows enough to undeniably dismiss god, and true, the formation of the universe/world has complexities, the rules along which this was done may be altogether more simple, as an example look up Langton’s ant:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Langton’s_ant

    our understanding of this issue and science in general will not be the same in 10 years ,or 100 years ,or 1000 years

    I wouldn’t be so optimistic, at least on the physics front, there is a limit as to how far scince can go – it can’t experimentally test what happens if you ran time backwards, you can’t test what causes electrostatic interactions if every charged particle obeys the same rules to the same extent, providing no way of varying a condition or simplifying the subject. You also can’t explain what makes the smallest unit of matter because what made that? Keep asking why in scince on the basic rules and you always run into a brick wall where you have an arbitary rule that doesn’t explain itself.

    I have suggested in the past the laws of physics may be circularly linked, possibly to include god, such that they can only exist together and set each others physical constants, and keep those constants constant (no reason to do so otherwise- you violate probability because to confine a number violates entropy, an inescapable statistical effect where everything moves towards the most probable state).

  34. Thanks for clarifying that.Howeveryou are completely wrong about science and god.Science can never prove that God exists,God can prove science but science cant prove God.To even sujest that is like comparing 1+1=2 to Quantum physics actully there is probably an even wider gap. In your search for God [assuming that you arnt a complacent agnostic] get rid of everything except religous text, religons arnt sciences they are faiths.                                Ps.that is not to say that the two cant mix I myself am a big fan Of Biblical arceolgy I am only saying that Science has to follow God’s Laws not the other way around.and Les.                        Justwalkin,Yes they are more sacred because the coucil of Nicea aceppted them and if you are a Minister and dont believe the Bible you should leave the church [ I am not saying this as an Insult butI am assuming that you have read to a congragation from Paul’s letters and if you dont think that these texts are more superior than your own beliefs and you dont believe them what are you doing preaching them?    descrepitioldfool you are right my arguments are terrible but you also agreed with me this dosent disprove God,there is no proof of that either in science or anything else.                    Consigliere thanks for the advice.I I know that i could use a few pointers as I am new at this kind of debating.                              Pss.I won’t be responding for a day or two as i have to use a capsite for this and we are about to get a noreaster in an hour or two.I hope to see you here more often Consigliere I plan on taking notes from your arguments.

  35. Aaron… so… because another group of men decided these specific texts are sacred, they are more sacred than other texts. Got it.

    Who said I didn’t ‘believe in the Bible’? I simply believe that there are social/cultural ramifications that we need to take into account when interpreting the text. (By the way, *everyone* interprets what they read through the lenses of their own experience. Even theological conservatives.)

    Do I ever explore Paul’s writings? Sure. But only in the light of him being another man trying to figure out who he is, who we are, and who God is in relationship to all of that. *Not* as divine command.

  36. Aaron: Science can never prove that God exists,God can prove science but science cant prove God

    I said earlier that we only see the effects of possible god-interaction from one side only, so we have no way of proving from our end because we can’t see where to link our rules to. If god was behind it all, he would no doubt know what’s behind the arbitary laws of science, then again, he could exist in parelel without interacting with our universe, much like you can live in parelel to people you’ve never met without being the reason for them being alive

    like comparing 1+1=2 to Quantum physics

    Quantum physics is a bunch of arbitary rules. It appears difficult because:
    – Nobody can justify them (therefore they are found by observation and not prediction), we know that without quantisation, relitivity or the pauli exclusion principle we couldn’t live, and yet nobody knows why the rules apply, they just do.
    – Some things, like the size of an atomic orbital, technicly extend to infinity, meaning it’s impossible to do anything other than approxomate so many % of the probability density and there will always be some interaction with infinitely distant atoms because of overlap. Yet nature can instantly, with 100% exactness calculate energy levels of the electrons inside the orbitals, using irrational numbers with infinite numbers of decimal places and calculate the effects on energy level of all the interactions with the other electrons in the atom.
    – It’s generally not well explained by teachers and it has an intimidating nature when it’s not, both mathematically and general public perception

    get rid of everything except religous text

    I have the opposite approach, the more angles we look at something the clearer the understanding, especially if two directions of thought converge to suggest the same thing

    An example would be the Pauli exclusion principle, this is the rule that two things cannot have the exact same position and quantum state (can’t have the same spin direction and orbital angular momentum). Since quantum mechanics is the link between chemistry and physics, this rule had implications on where electrons can exist on atoms, which affects how something is able to form chemical bonds, so it was observed by both physicists and chemists from different angles, though naturally the physicists are the more mathematically adept.

    religons arnt sciences they are faiths

    Religion and science both attempt to explain the world, from different angles. For a religion to be plausible, things like creation, entering body before birth, leaving body after death, etc has to either work within science or give an explanation as to how it got around the rules. If god did exist there needs to be something more fundamental to accomodate him, my imaginary dimensions idea might allow consiousness to exist alone automatically with no precursor

    If the laws of science in the physical world were set by god, there would need to be a way of setting and controlling physical laws from the other dimension(s) where god might exist, and so there would be a linkage if this was the case (but may only see one side of it for now).

    Another possibility is the interdependance of god and the laws of physics for each other’s existance

  37. Consi: Not only has he managed to marry way beyond what he deserves, but like the proverbial monkey at the keyboard hammering out Shakespeare, he manages to write cogent sentences.

    Consi, I thought that you knew the results of the preliminary monkey theorem tests.  Some poop and urine, as well as a preponderance of the letter ‘S’.

    Consi: The odds of a liberal being able to do this boggles the mind.

    One might call that a statistical probability based on quite a few assumptions as well, yes?

    Aaron:—everything—

    You certainly score points for tenacity, though I suspect you’re working harder than you need to.  You’re clearly a person of faith – most of us are OK with that here.  In addition, you have some clear gaps in your understanding of the relationship between religion and science.  That’s also OK.  On the other hand, when you try to make a scientific argument here, and you can’t do so with a firm grasp of the facts, then someone here will call you on it.

    Still – welcome to the discussion.

  38. I have been participating in Wonder Cafe and have found that there are at least a few fundies who are regular posters and are bitter because they feel that they have been forced out of the UCCan.  The “love the sinner” aura that these fundies exude regarding gays is nauseating to me.

    distant claws; I am betting that there is no heaven or hell.  I do the right thing because it is the Right Thing To Do, not because of fear.

  39. itdontmatter:  I do the right thing because it is the Right Thing To Do, not because of fear..

    According to Kohlberg – you’re at the highest level of moral development.  He would say you’re at a postconventional stage of development, and use abstract reasoning to discover universal ethical principles.  He also says that most people don’t get this far.

    It’s interesting to me that much religiously-inspired morality is decidedly pre-conventional within Kohlberg’s theory.  In essence – behaving in a particular way (or believing something) because of a fear of punishment is consistent with Kohlberg’s Stage 1.  Funny that this is both the way parents often teach their children to behave as well as the way the Church/Synagog/Mosque/Government teaches their adherents/citizens to toe the line.

  40. itdontmatter: I do the right thing because it is the Right Thing To Do

    I generally can’t be arsed to do good things, it’s more effort when there may not be something in it for me. I find conscience only holds you back by making you less inclined to do the things that will make you succeed, there is the saying “the scum always floats to the top”.

    I have been put off the idea of conscience because I have known strongly ‘principled’ people in the past who are anti-theft, anti-accidental killings, anti-arson, etc, and because of this don’t see a need to be nice or reason with anyone they write off. I admit I sometimes have non-emotional impulses to commit arson and kill random people who I meet in the street, and I know people will call me evil for feeling this, but I havn’t done these things because my self-control wins over, and in my book that’s to be commended.

    A conscience restricts your freedom of thought and doesn’t let you get into the frame of mind of ‘what would I do in that situation’, which may explain why people who don’t deal with it and kill out of anger tend to be the same as those who were ultra-moral

    Having equal reaction to theft, arson, murder, etc isn’t appropriate – stealing from a company a small % of their money isn’t as bad as stealing a car from a considerably less wealthy individual (and won’t be taken as personally), likewise killing people without reason isn’t as bad as killing them through hatred.

    In fact killing people may be the kindest thing to do. As Elwed once said: “Life sucks, then you die”. If heaven is so perfect then sending nice people there early may be nice for them, and their family can’t mourn if I send them too. Daily life is a drag and I half want to spend the next 20 years in a coma so I don’t have the hastle of 20 years of labour as an economic slave only for the privielige of being able to buy the food to live and work a little longer

    So what I might be going to hell, who cares if I don’t, I accept it and am at peace with the consequences. If there was a god keeping people eternally in hell he would have questionable morals himself, you may learn from the punishment but if you were trapped there forever there wouldn’t be much point in keeping you suffering afterwards.

  41. (DC) It’s interesting to me that much religiously-inspired morality

    Game-theory Christians.

    I have been put off the idea of conscience

    Game-theory atheists.

    (MP) Funny that this is both the way parents often teach their children to behave as well as the way the Church/Synagog/Mosque/Government teaches their adherents/citizens to toe the line.

    Never mind that Christian multi-national sporting male clergy only that are addressed as “Father”.

  42. elwed: Never mind that Christian multi-national sporting male clergy only that are addressed as “Father”.

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this alone undermines the entire radical-right argument against having more than one daddy. 

    Here in the south, one might imagine this exchange:

    Son: “Daddy, how many daddies do I have?”

    Father: “Well son, you gots yer regular daddy, then you gots yer church daddy, and then you gots yer sky daddy.  So I reckon that makes three.  Oh – and Chuck makes four.”

    Son: “Four daddies? Praise the Lord!”

    Father: “Not so loud son, sky daddy’s a bit ornery about Chuck.”

    Son: “Sorry about that regular daddy.  Can I buy a shotgun yet?”

    Father: “Not till you’re ten, son.  Not till you’re ten.”

  43. itdontmatter it is a shame that you are not a Christian because you would be going strait to heaven!I agree with Michael on that at least.His last comment makes Him sound like a Klansmen,and one that knows nothing about Catholic theolgy at that! So let me clear this up. In the catholic church god and the Clergy are called Father as an act of enderment “second Father” that is how Close the clergy are suposed to be with their congragation and how close God is supossed to be with us. and Micheal I agree that it is unfortunate that most of us are still on stage one, but since we are thankgoodness that their is a God![athiests dont coment on this you know what i mean] can you imagine a world without rules?look at the Hornbeck situation last week if there wasnt any laws there would never have even been a search! but then again there might have been consequences a mob might have gotten together and burnt the complex he was staying in.Ben and John would have died along with a couple other people but who needs laws.I am not saying that we shouldnt live in a world were everyone has a strong concience and we dont need laws, I am saying that we need laws to keep things under control.And distantclaws and elwedriddsche,about that “life sucks” issue I myself have not had a perfect life so far actuely “life sucks” describes it perfectly well and I will wait for God to decide when i go to heaven or hell thankyou very much. I dont have that right,and you two certinaly dont! and distantclaws from your view of Life trust me you arnt going to hell you are already there!                          ps.consigliere would you like the honor of refuting justwalkin or should I?

  44. Distantclaws I just reread one of your comments and one of them is making me take back my complements on your consience”killing people without reason isn’t as bad as killing somone out of Hatred”this is a bit much! justifiable homacide ok,act of war maybe,butkilling people for no reason is just as bad as killing somone out of hatred if not worse!If you intentionaly kill somone for no reason that shows complete contempt for human life and utter selfishness!

  45. Ps.sorry itdontmatter I mistakenly adressed the previous comment to you insted od distant claws.sorry.and to distantclaws If everyone thought like you no one would be able to sleep in their own bed! if everyone thought like itdontmatter the difference between heaven and earth is that heaven would be Sunnier!There is no freedom without the Law! Pss. for your sake I pray that you never meet a person like you without the self control.

  46. Aaron, it wouldn’t surprise me if Michael Peacock had a firmer grasp on Catholic doctrine than you do. Regardless, you’ll be hard pressed to deny that the Christian clergy deliberately asserts the paternal role and relegates the laypeople to the role of children. There seems to be a lot more to it than simple endearment, like a smidgen of crowd control. All for the best of the children, of course, who must be led down the right path.

  47. For Aaron:

    Myself: and I know people will call me evil for feeling this, but I havn’t done these things because my self-control wins over, and in my book that’s to be commended

    I knew that I would be attracting controversy opening up that side of me, but there are no taboos behind anominity and these thoughts need exploring

    I don’t have a great deal of control over what I think, but I am very much in control of my actions, these impulses are not emotional. In extreme situations which are emotional I would sooner physically hurt myself than emotionally/physically hurt others, you may be surprised to hear that one thing I cannot handle is blaming myself, if I know I am to blame I can’t shift the blame and have limited methods of releasing it short of burrying it with time or a pro-active (but deliberately temporary and insignificant) physical punishment, I have no other mechanism

    I am saying that we need laws to keep things under control

    I guess laws might restrict physical actions that may be percieved to be negative. You can still explore and experience breaking the law through imagination as a way of thinking of how to deal with it. I am against the idea of jailing people by psychological profiling before a crime – even if someone like myself has a questionable conscience they need society in order to fully think about it, and everyone deserves a first chance let alone a second.

    One thing – since laws are created by a society that had no laws beforehand in cave-men times, it would seem if we had no laws, given time the system would automatically create some

    and I will wait for God to decide when i go to heaven or hell thankyou very much. I dont have that right,and you two certinaly dont

    I agree actually, without the full knowledge of people’s reasoning behind their actions nobody is in a position to judge anyone else. As an example of LH’s DHMO joke in another thread you can make a chemical look deadly by only seeing part of it’s effects, same goes for people

    maybe,butkilling people for no reason is just as bad as killing somone out of hatred if not worse!If you intentionaly kill somone for no reason that shows complete contempt for human life and utter selfishness

    First off – there is nothing for me to gain by killing a random person other than satisfying an impulse, the feelings after would be somewhat negative and I would go to prison. Therefore without gain it doesn’t have a selfish motive. Indeed as I said earlier sending people to heaven may be kind, at least to that individual, there may be mourning but depends on how many people would be affected, how much, and if they can be sent too.

    Second – If you hate someone when you kill someone, they may die in the distress of knowing that that someone hated them and that they didn’t resolve the issue. Someone who was killed for no good reason won’t take it personally, It’s like preferring to get burgled when you know it’s only for money and not because of vendetta.

    Third – Human life is not necessarily any more valuable than animal or plant life, indeed what gives it value anyway other than the sentimental kind? I am vegitarian, I have more respect for animal life because, though they do kill, it’s for food and nothing more, Humans on the other hand hurt each other and the killing can be out of hate, by that reckoning the animals have more right to life. As for plants – if you’re unconcious you cannot care about being eaten, and since I dislike hunger, for a reason I can’t explain and don’t understand, after all why avoid negative feelings? We know that evolution manipulates negative feelings by association but still why avoid them?

    Pss. for your sake I pray that you never meet a person like you without the self control

    You could say that a possible god only allowed me to feel these things because he knew I had the control, and would use them to explore thought.

    Being a chemistry student I know what chemicals you need for a few nitro explosives and a peroxide one, TATP, but the chemical mechanism won’d tell you the safe temp to prepare with and I wouldn’t do anything that planned on impulse

    Ps. Not relevant to anything but worth saying: I consider emotional harm worse than physical harm.
    Pss. We can use negative feelings and experiences to teach and help others, and since everone affects everyone else the effects snowball.

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