Random rant on US perception of religion

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It relates to the process of humans becoming self-aware and making laws (For what purpose)
I don't understand how it relates though.
I am backtracking in time.
EDIT:Check Skype Lumpkin.
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closed account (9ECGNwbp)
Okay, can you point out where?
Where what? BTW, I am backtracking in the Athiest's standpoint. I am backtracking to the first single cell organism and comparing it to a computer. I am seeing how it makes sense for a computer with a bigger processing power than the cell, could possibly become self-aware.
closed account (9ECGNwbp)
Well if you could program it to create more machines and create defects in the children, it might be possible.
It couldn't do anything beyond it's programming. Someone make a program that simulates this.
Well, for a self-replicating computer with encoded defects were produced... the only way it would ever truly "evolve" would be through some sort of death mechanic. Otherwise, the entire argument is meaningless both due to the impossibility of it and the fact that there would be no reason for actual change. Death is the thing that creates evolution, after all.
That's like would be like us saying "There is a God." Then you say"Prove it." "Well there could be. "
Your argument is this:
1. A computer is more powerful than a single cell.
2. A computer capable of evolving cannot exist.
3. Therefore, single cells capable of evolving cannot exist.
I am denying statement #2. I don't use this refutation to then affirm the existence of evolution (since that's a foregone conclusion).

It couldn't do anything beyond it's programming.
A self-replicating machine with an imperfect replicator is basically the same as a random self-modifying machine. It's eventually capable of more than its original program.

Someone make a program that simulates this.
It's been done. In fact, a whole range of heuristics exist that take advantage of this: genetic algorithms.
1. Start with a genome.
2. Change a few random bits, possibly combining with another genome.
3. Apply fitness function.
4. Repeat until good enough.

Well, for a self-replicating computer with encoded defects were produced... the only way it would ever truly "evolve" would be through some sort of death mechanic.
After enough generations, you'd start to see mutations that are incompatible with the environment and cause the specimen to self-destruct.
Superdude wrote:
A computer (with reproductive abilities) with larger processing power than a single cell, could never become self conscious no mater how long it took.

Well, first, show me a self-aware single-cell. The human brain contains about a billion cells. Show me a computer with a billion processing cores (and some very skilled AI programmers) and I'll show you a self-aware computer. The most powerful super computers nowadays peak at 3 million cores, less than a third of the number of cells in the human brain, and they aren't being utilised for AI research because AI rarely gets much funding after dumb politicians realised it wasn't a magical field that would solve every problem in the world in a matter of decades.

Actually, I should point out that we don't know how consciousness works. We don't know whether it's a real phenomenon or an illusion. We don't know whether it's sufficient for an object to seem conscious (e.g. by passing the Turing test) or if it's necessary for it to actually be conscious; nor do we really know what that actually means: to "be conscious". We don't know what the criteria for consciousness are, and every attempt to elucidate them seems far too human-centric, as if we've said "well, humans are obviously conscious, so let's start with that" and then defined consciousness as basically just the set of characteristics of human intellect. It may be that consciousness requires less or more than what we state, so that under some higher intelligence's definition, humans are not conscious or ants are. This SMBC comic demonstrates the point: http://www.smbc-comics.com/comics/20130125.gif

Besides that, you seem to believe that atheists == evolutionists which isn't necessarily true. The label "atheism" simply means lack of belief in any god. It doesn't necessarily entail any positive belief whatsoever. And it doesn't work the other way around, either - evolutionists aren't necessarily atheists. Even Darwin 'considered it "absurd to doubt that a man might be an ardent theist and an evolutionist"' although he considered himself agnostic. It's probably the case that most atheists are evolutionists and most evolutionists are atheists, but one isn't a subset of the other, let alone the same thing.
Disch wrote:
Several of our founding fathers were not particularly religious (prominent examples are Thomas Jefferson and James Madison)

You could had your choice to name any of the founding fathers in a discussion about who helped write the laws about murder and you choose one of the most prolific pistol duelists in our nations history... Huh? As for not being particularly religious, you have heard that they were both purportedly Freemasons haven't you?

I don't think anyone can state with any degree of certainty who actually put this law into place first.

It's a well documented fact that the basis of our legal system was adopted from English Common Law.

As for your choice of "Allah" on the dollar bill, I agree with Duoas that it was a loaded term. You could have just as easily chosen "Yahweh" to make the same point but you choose an iteration predominant in a region that the US has been in conflict with for the past 20 years.

As for equality of marriage, you have to remember that not so long ago homosexuality was considered a mental illness. To go from being seen as a type of insanity to having a legally excepted status in less then 50 years actually shows an impressive level of tolerance if you ask me. The big uproar about the Defense of Marriage Act being overruled was because it's an erosion of a states right to govern themselves, which I'm pretty sure is the main reason anyone dislikes Obama. I live in New York where we passed what is called the "Marriage Equality Act" and I have no problem with that because it doesn't effect me one way or another*. But if the majority of people in some other part this rather large country think otherwise then that is their prerogative.

*: If anyone is interested I have what I consider to be a pretty funny story about the one time this did affect me.
you have heard that they were both purportedly Freemasons haven't you?


Freemasons only require that you concede there may be a higher power. Deists are allowed. My dad was mastermason of his lodge for 4 years and my grandfather was 32nd degree before he died. I know things I shouldn't having not been initiated (and have no intention)

Fun fact: the signing of the declaration of independence took place in a masonic lodge, as did many of the meetings for writing the constitution.
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@ Cheraphy: That's interesting to note, I work with an aspiring Shriner and he keeps talking about being more active in his church so that they will accept him. I wonder if it's just generic community service they're looking for.
You could had your choice to name any of the founding fathers in a discussion about who helped write the laws about murder and you choose one of the most prolific pistol duelists in our nations history... Huh?


Haha, point taken.

As for not being particularly religious, you have heard that they were both purportedly Freemasons haven't you?


Even if they were, that's not a religion.

It's a well documented fact that the basis of our legal system was adopted from English Common Law.


Our legal system, or our laws? Those are two different things.

The founding fathers made a point to change many English laws. If they didn't want to change the law they wouldn't have fought a revolution.


But holy side point (not like this thread hasn't been derailed already).


As for your choice of "Allah" on the dollar bill, I agree with Duoas that it was a loaded term. You could have just as easily chosen "Yahweh" to make the same point but you choose an iteration predominant in a region that the US has been in conflict with for the past 20 years.


This statement angers me.

The US has never been at war with any religion. Ever. We've recently been (And currently are) fighting wars against terrorists and extremists. But we were never fighting a war against Muslims.

"Islam", "Allah", "Muslim" are not loaded words. They're only used that way when said by fear-mongerers.


But fine... for argument's sake... let's use Yahweh instead. My point still stands.

As for equality of marriage, you have to remember that not so long ago homosexuality was considered a mental illness. To go from being seen as a type of insanity to having a legally excepted status in less then 50 years actually shows an impressive level of tolerance if you ask me.


Maybe so... but the fact that is was considered a mental illness at any time kind of reaffirms my point if you ask me. We had to spend the last 50 years undo-ing the damage done by the religious stigma imposed on our society... and we still haven't completely overcome it yet.
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@Computergeek

It's very much dependent on your lodge/shrine. And with that largely dependent on demographic of the area you live.
It appears I have some misconceptions about the Mason's so I'll give you that.

I said region, as in section of the planet, not religion.
The US hasn't really been at war with that region, either. Just one or two countries in that region, and only briefly for those instances... Also, the Islam religion extends far outside of the Middle East (try India, Morocco, Indonesia... I believe a country in Indonesia holds the highest number of Muslims in the entire world). And even then, the conflict had nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Yes, a few terrorists used their religion as the motivation for their acts. Then again, most other terrorist acts were motivated by other reasons (PLO, PFLP). The only reason religion is even a factor for the terrorists is due to the "young teenager" notion- organizations recruit young teenagers due to them being easily manipulatable, and use any tactic (religious, et cetera) to recruit them. And yet somehow it became a religious thing to the US.
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@ Ispil: Islam is actually a globally spread religion, it's prevalent in the US as well. Again, I said region there is no 'l'. I'm wondering how it is you think we haven't been fighting a war in some way or another in the Middle East for a very long time? If we include proxy wars the US fought by supplying Al Quida or Israel it actually goes back a lot further then the past 20 years.
I think you misunderstood. A war in the region doesn't mean a war with the region. And I know it is globally spread. That was the point I was making in my post; yes, it is prevalent in the Middle East, but it exists outside of there as well. As for actual wars, yes there have been recent ones, but I fail to see how that is even relevant to this discussion. There were wars in an area that is predominantly Muslim that had nothing to do with religion, so putting "Allah" on a dollar bill would be offensive?
..., but I fail to see how that is even relevant to this discussion.


This is relevant because he used a term he knew would be associated with a hot button issue. Like I said, if he had said "Yahweh" instead it would not have had as much of an impact which is what makes it a loaded term.
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