That's absurd. If true, there would be no degrees of felony and
subsequent degrees of sentencing. Every rational person understands
there are degrees of good and evil. Every rational person understands
that sometimes the choice is not between good and bad, but bad and worse.
Every rational person understands that real world moral questions are
substantially more complex and nuanced than what you learn in Sunday School
(where the choices are obvious). Every rational person understands
that decisions to not do things carry consequences just like decisions to
do things, and that there are also incidental results to all such
(in)actions. Only ideological purists insist that no middle ground
is ever reasonable or a possible path to the desired end state.
Moreover, Google's decision to engage with the Chinese is hardly
self-evidently "evil". It is a judgment call (by us 3rd-parties - Google
have their own rationale', I'm sure) as to whether the net of this decision
is morally positive or negative. I think it will be a good thing in the
long run and help accelerate the collapse of Communism in China and the
assist the ascent of Capitalism. You may disagree, but to dismiss it out
of hand as "evil" is ridiculous.
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
PGP Key: http://www.tundraware.com/PGP /
Hummm, living in a neo-communist state, ruled by dictat, where the
Police use Google to monitor newsgroup activity, scan past postings for
keywords etc and then visit on the strength of what they have read (as I
have been visited recently) all I can say is your view is very nieve.
"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage
where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the
citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest
periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. " : Ayn
Rand in "The Nature of Government"
no, my bad..
Maybe I should have said no search engine is better than a restricted search
Censorship is only as good as the people trying to implement it...
you have to know WHAT to block and block all possibilities... a daunting task...
Several tries in the states have failed because of the different meaning of
different words... such as breast.. that would have been blocked by most
censorship tries and as the argument goes, women would not be able to get
information on breast cancer..
I'm sue that there are many creative folks in China that will take advantage of
having Google to get around the censorship..
Please remove splinters before emailing
I'd rather do this via email, but email to your address bounced.
As you may recall, some time ago, in a thread about 'Intelligent
in rec.woodworking you wrote:
Tim Daneliuk wrote:
Jason, Fletis Humplebacker, and Mark or Juanita all also had similar
comments about the Big Bang Model, and all in OT threads about
'Intelligent Design' making the introduction of the remarks doubly
I remain curious as to where you obtained your criticisms.
Can you direct me to your source?
Not even close - I, for one, have never even heard of him.
I already replied to Fred privately and had not intend to
respond here at all. But since the Professionally Snide
have raised their heads once again, allow me to show you
the real basis of my claims - It's *my* thread, after all.
(If you need help with the Really Big Words, feel free to ask):
> Tim Daneliuk wrote:
>> You mean like the "mumbo jumbo" that suggests Everything appeared at
>> the Big Bang out of Nothing and we are *certain* that this
>> materialist/mechanical POV is correct? All systems of knowledge have
>> unprovable starting points - this includes Science.
> Fred asked:
> I remain curious as to where you obtained your criticisms.
> Can you direct me to your source?
I am not entirely sure what you are asking. If you want a source for
the claim that all systems of knowledge have unprovable starting
points (I *think* that's what you're asking), pretty much any decent
book on covering epistemology would do. Here is sort of the
What you "know" depends on what you accept as being "truth". But if you
induct backwards to your primary or foundational "truth" (the premise(s)
from which your system of knowledge proceeds) you can never "prove" them
in the absolute sense. It is analogous to a system of mathematics (which
is one example of a very narrow epistemology). You begin with a starting
axiom or premise. This premise is not absolutely demonstrable as "true",
it is just the jumping off point for your new system of math. You
proceed to then build theorems from that starting axiom. A theorem is
"proven" only in the sense that it is demonstrated to follow logically
from the axiom and perhaps other subsidiary theorems. In general this is
the only context in which "proof" is meaningful - as a test of a theorem
against a premise. Even then, there is a sort of implicit assumption
baked in - that "logic" or "reason" is a meaningful mechanism for
All systems of epistemology begin with some basic assertion like
"There is a God that has revealed himself" or "Reality exists and
can be observed" or "The best outcome for a human is self-indulgence",
and so on. In the particular case of science, the foundational
premises are something like this :
1. The physical universe is real.
2. We can reliably observe it by harnessing our observations
by means of the scientific method. i.e. Logic/Reason work.
3. We can further derive information about the workings of the
physical world by taking the results of our "harnessed"
observations and applying further induction and deduction to
them (i.e., by applying logic).
4. Everything we can ever know about the physical world
can be understood in purely mechanical/material terms.
i.e., While there may or may not be a larger cause or "purpose"
to the world we observe (it's "teleology") understanding
such a purpose (if any) is not necessary to the practice of
science. Science need only concern itself with the physical
parts and can disregard the possibility of a metaphysical whole.
There's more here, and I am definitely doing a handwaving description -
a real philosopher would no doubt cringe at the liberties I've taken.
Now then, my original claim is that you cannot "prove" any of 1-4
above. The best you can do is demonstrate their _utility_ value.
That is, you can show useful, practical results from presuming them
to be true, but there is no objective standard by which to check them.
For instance, it is possible that the universe is an illusion and
we don't really exist at all - sort of the "Matrix" view of the world.
We have absolutely no way of determining whether this is so or not.
In short, we *assume* certain starting points (because they make sense
to us, they bring us practical results, they are consistent with
other things we believe, and so forth). Once those starting points
are established, we build a system (our "theorems" about knowledge)
upon them. This exact situation exists for _every_ system of
knowledge (epistemology). The axioms of any system can never be
"proven" only tested on two dimensions: Do the consequent "theorems"
proceed logically from the starting axiom? And, do the "theorems"
provide some utility value?
The specific contention of the IDers in their critique of science
thus falls in a number of areas. Before noting these, let me
take care to make three important points:
1) The measure of any system cannot and should not be
judged on the merits of its practioners. Just because
some scientist fudged his cloning data does not mean
that science is invalid in method or result. Just because
there are lazy, stupid preachers in no way speaks to the
merits of Theism. Similarly a brilliant, consistent
scientist/preacher does not _validate_ their system.
2) IDers do not have an agenda to invalidate science.
They do not see their work as undermining or eliminating
science, but rather as enhancing/augmenting it to more
completely be able to understand the universe. Yes,
there are the Rev. Billybob Swampwaters of the world
who see this as a prime opportunity to get their
particular brand of Faith plugged into the culture,
but <see 1) above>.
3) ID is *not* the equivalent of Creationism. Many
IDers flatly renounce any notion of a "Young Earth".
They are concerned with what they believe is a
hole in science as currently construed. Notwithstanding
their personal religious Faiths, they are not specifically
trying to "religionize" science as one would believe
if you listen to the current culture wars on the matter.
So, here, as I understand it, are the main ID claims:
1) The currently regnant philosophy of science is fundamentally
inadequate. Its assumptions are incomplete and thus
unnecessarily self-limiting. Today's science is thus
not completely wrong, it is merely incomplete.
2) The assumption that the mechnical/material view is
sufficient is wrong. That is, to understand the physical
universe, you have to look at more than just the parts.
You have to investigate the telelogical questions - _Where_
did the parts come from? _Why_ do they work the way they
do? In sum, you have to look at the whole house, not just
the bricks, and when you do, you are inexorably driven
to the conclusion it had a builder.
3) There is some evidence, using just _today's_ formulation
of science, that natural selection/evolution cannot
completely account for what we observe. In particular,
it is claimed, there are biological constructs that could
not survive in a less complex form (irreducable complexity).
If so, this means that no precedent (less complex) biological
form could survive long enough to evolve into what we see
For a very good summary of all this, written by the leading lights
in the ID movement, see:
This is a set of essays written by practicing scientists, philosophers,
and other interested parties. Each of these essays is interesting in
its own right, but the last chapter by Bruce Gordon (a philsopher of
Physics educated at Northwestern University) is flat out brilliant.
He makes a compelling case that the very foundations of today's
philosophy of science are fundamentally broken and that the proposals
of ID *enhance* science, not destroy it. Whether you agree or not,
the book generally and this essay particularly are well worth your
Tim Daneliuk email@example.com
...that some "intelligent" being sat down one day and figured
EVERYTHING out. It just seems so incomprehensible.
To me it has to be an all or nothing proposition. Either he figured
EVERYTHING out or he (or nobody) figured NOTHING out. The alternative
is an intelligent being that sat down one day and decided to figure
out SOME things. Maybe like in the movie Oh God! he just figured out
the "big things" and left the rest up to chance and to us.
If he figured EVERYTHING out, then one of the things he figured out is
what I'm typing right now... and what I'll be typing in 3 minutes...
and what every atom in my body will be doing every milisecond of every
day. Sounds silly I'm sure. If that's the case then he only figured
out SOME things. THEN the question is, WHICH things? And more
importantly, what accounts for the stuff that he HASN'T figured out?
And even MORE importantly, if being left to chance is good enough for
SOME things, why is it so impossible to suppose it's good enough for
And because you can't comprehend it, it can't be true, right? 500 years
ago, the idea of particle physics might have been incomprehensible to
scholars, but that didn't make the principles of particle physics false. IF
there is a designer, it will be so advanced that we will probably not be
able to comprehend it with our human minds. It seems arrogant to me to say
that there is no possibility of a designer because science says so. Go back
as far as you want in the scientific process, and you'll find a trail of
scientists being wrong as far as the eye can see. But now we have a
complete understanding of everything, right?
Sounds like you have an excellent start to a false premise going here.
This will be an imperfect example, but do you have children? If you do, do
you control each and every aspect of their lives or do you control a few
things, set some ground rules, and let them figure out the rest?
You can't prove there is no designer no more than I could prove there is (if
I wanted to). Which is kind of the point of Tim's long post, that in the
end, nothing can be proven in an absolute sense.
That, in a nutshell, is the problem with ID.
But you can find *evidence* supporting the theory of evolution. You can
create testable hypotheses. This brings it down from the level of
I probably should have said "illogical". Bad choice of words on my
I'd imagine that you could take a reasonably bright scientific minded
person from 500 years ago, and after a little bringing up to speed,
get him to have a basic understanding of particle physics. Maybe 500
years from now someone in this group will be able to say the same for
Intelligent Design. I rather doubt it though.
I agree with you in saying that we humans don't know everything, and
much science has been wrong (though how much it's been right and how
science has contributed to our way of life is a discussion we'll save
for another day) I'll take it a step further and say that there is
much we are utterly incapable of understanding just as a dog is
utterly incapable of understanding algebra.
So you're suggesting that the "Oh God!" scenario is the Intelligent
Design position or your position? That the designer set out a few
ground rules, then let the rest play out? Seems a little loose to me.
Well, some things are a little hard to prove one way or the other. But
with the limited mental faculties that this human being has at his
disposal, it just seems that it's *probable* that there is no
intelligent designer calling some, most or all of the shots.
I could say the world was put together as it is now in 60 seconds by a
handful of spirits some time last week and all memory you think you
have of time before that is just an illusion. Like Tim said, nothing
can be proven in an absolute sense... but some things I feel pretty
safe in dismissing.
And while some in the movement may not have a religious agenda, ID
does seem to me suspiciously like warmed over Creationism.
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