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2 points

Abortions are legal, and sometimes (in China for instance), they are mandatory under certain circumstances, but people will still go on with the pregnancy and have children, even if it means escaping shelter (leaving the country, family, home). Suicide isn't illegal, really, because law can only react to an event (unless you can definitely prove that someone will or is about to do something), so what, handcuff the cadavers?

Assuming medical technology get's better, someone who is "on the plug" in a few thousand years won't be on it for long. And about using the death penalty, Hitler tried this on innocent people... When you're killing off all of the worst people, who will be next in line? It'll get closer and closer to innocent every day.

2 points

You say that something will happen, but what should happen? Would a pandemic be best?Should we release the virus ourselves? When it comes down to, it's you and your family or your neighbors, who will it be?

1 point

If current understanding dictates, as it always does, I guess I should just go back to church?

That theory of mine wasn't my theory and it wasn't a theory. It was an loose explanation of a theory (and the simplest one that I know of), but one that's rules exist inside of existence itself. All of this started with existence, I was merely answering a question that I didn't fully understand.

If you have a better explanation do us a favor and answer his question.

1 point

Well, I don't really understand what you mean, but I'll go with what I think you mean...

I think you're looking at my argument, as if I'm saying, if we exist in one state now, we do so forever on a linear timeline, and what is true for linear time is also true for infinity... while this may be true in some respects, this is not what I'm saying.

Since you're talking about the universe specifically, I can explain, basically, what I know.

All of the matter in the universe will slow to a halt, and contract into one point. Sure, all of the matter in the universe is expanding at a constant rate of acceleration, but we cannot tell just by looking at it that it won't halt and contract. Dark matter, which can only be identified by it's effects on visible matter, makes up a large majority of the universe, and is probably the cause of the expansion. Something is still being forced away from the center of the universe, something dense. It is also forcing visible matter away, too.

The universe will contract into one place, and condense until all of the matter and energy are uniform, which is to say, when everything reaches the total sum of 0, or it reaches complete equilibrium, in that same instant that it does, the universe will explode again...

It would have to explode in the very same way that it did the time before us. I say this because all matter and energy were uniform at one point in space time. It would always explode into the same structure, always.

Now, the linear time that we see, if it is one point in infinity, would always exist within infinity, but so would every other point on that linear timeline. When the universe reaches it's equilibrium, it would stay that way forever, sure, but not on a linear timeline, only to infinity. Every point in time, where one tiny event takes place, would exist on the plain of infinity forever, as one point, but for things, like us, that read these linear strings of time, it cannot exist forever, only for one instant.

It's difficult to explain.

Imagine a graph where X is a string of time, and Y as a string of events. If you only trace Y, the event would always exist at one time. One single change in the state of the entire universe would happen FOREVER. Time would, in a sense, not exist. If you trace X only, without Y, you have one infinite amount of time with no events. Each of these lines become meaningless.

Trace them both and you have what humans can understand, a time with events in it. It's meaningful. Now, if you imagine that graph as a single point, all of that entire graph as nothing more than a point. One value, and that value is its own existence. It is a point where time and events take place infinitely. The point only validates the existence of space time and events... That point is infinity.

So in a sense, you're right in thinking that when the universe collapses on itself, it will stay that way forever, but only to the Y axis. The X axis is time, that exists forever in the point of existence. It will continue to be, forever.

1 point

What exactly do you mean by "destroy" and are you talking about existence (reality) or are you literally referring to the universe?

1 point

Before you start telling people that chimps are incapable of reasoning "to the extent" at which humans can, why don't you explain what reason is?

I've said this before, but neither responsibility nor reason is directly responsible for the other. So when you say "with reasoning comes responsibility", you're positing this without explaining how you came up with the idea yourself. In fact, you're doing this all the time, about everything that you say.

This isn't debate class, everything is written, not spoken. If you're going to make an argument, explain your reasoning and we'll help you work it out the right way.

Yeah, and the earth doesn't "rebound". Everyone acts like the earth cares whether life inhabits it or not, as if it has feelings, a beating heart and lungs. It's just a rock. When we do wrong to the earth, the earth doesn't cry. We aren't hurting the earth, we are hurting our environment. The meteor didn't hurt the earth either, it hurt our ecosystem.

Destruction isn't a measure of power, let alone power brought about by reason. Look at were humanity has been, look at where it is now. We have always been able to destroy, whether by throwing stones, by bows and arrows, or nuclear weapons... but how many have been able to bring true peace? NONE.

Don't mention destructive force when justifying your arguments for the power of reason, it does no good.

1 point

"Of course humans are preternatural, if we were truly equal to nature we would not have developed the ability to reason."

How do you propose 'we' developed the ability? We didn't do it through reason, or logic, so how could an unreasoning being become reasoning without the guidance of natural laws and mechanics?

"... it is in this ability that we have gained our independence from the norm."

Your argument from here down suggests to the reader, that the ability to reason links us to the "norm"... You say that reason leads to responsibility for nature, so if anything we aren't gaining independence, but becoming closer to nature.

Overall though, this statement makes no sense because nothing can gain independence from nature.

"...and taken our place with the other preternatural things, massive physical phenomena, like meteorites that cause massive dieoffs."

"Phenomena" in general is just a vague word we use to describe something that isn't understood. So much for your reason. Meteors are natural occurrences, like stars and dirt. They aren't above nature because they could kill life... that's like saying a rock, if thrown at someone, was supernatural because it kills things.

"1. if the rest of nature can not reason to the same extent as humans, than that makes us above nature."

Humans reason a certain way, dolphins, chimps, octopi, and even cats are intelligent but they reason differently. This is one reason the I.Q. test isn't taken so seriously, because it's a test to measure human intelligence and reason. It cannot be used to measure the ability of chimps, and a chimps IQ test couldn't be used on humans, we would fail it as bad as a chimp would fail ours.

"2. the fact that we have been able to become such a destrutive force in such a small amount of time, puts us far above nature."

Destruction is simple, stop putting it on a pedestal. It doesn't signify anything, especially because destruction, or the ability to destroy anything comes directly from the laws that govern the universe. It's a mechanical process, not a man made process, and it doesn't take much to do.

"3. the fact that we are able to fix the problems we create makes us preternatural, for we are capable of resoning, and in extension, responsibility."

We cannot fix problems. We can identify what our problems are, or what will be problematic in the future, but that doesn't mean that they are really problems in nature. The globe is warming, but we're causing it, it's bad for our environment and our way of life... but we're not destroying the world. The world is working as well as ever, but we're changing it in ways that threaten our own existence. Every animal knows how to identify problems, and every animal seeks it's own survival before anything.

"4. if one can reason, then one can be responsible."

You need to prove this, you can't just say it and expect people to accept it as truth. As far as I can tell, reason and responsibility aren't directly linked. If anything, morals (which don't need to come about via reason) are at root of responsibility.

"5. the fact that we are preternatural gives us the right, no, the responsibility to right the wrongs we have been creating, global warming, ocean acidification, etc."

This is called self-preservation. It's not above nature to look out for yourself, or even for the well being of others. Animals are known to do this instinctively, not only look our for themselves, but other animals too. Dogs protecting cats, things like that. This isn't a human, unnatural or reasonable thing.

"6. if we were truly responsible we would fix our mistakes, since nothing else can."

We are responsible, but we aren't fixing much... how do you explain this? Even though nothing else will fix it for us and we know we're fucking up, we continue.

"7. in nature their are many exceptions to rules, but the one rule that creates a preternatural being isn't speed, mind power, or destructive proliferation in itself, but the ability to be responsible for what you have done."

I'm not entirely sure of what you mean here. There are other animals that take responsibility for their actions. Maybe not our of ethical duty, but instinctively, some can act responsibly.


All of these arguments need to be reassessed. Not one of your points have a solid, well understood, base. I don't know if anyone else here could really understand what you're trying to get at, and I'm not sure you do either. You need to think about it longer. It's an interesting question but you're not thinking enough outside of (or even inside of) the box. Don't come up with the conclusion that you want to have, let the conclusion reveal itself to you, and keep it until you find a flaw in it on your own.

Also, get familiar with the term "nature" and "natural". It doesn't seem like you understand the meaning all too well and that may be the biggest missing part to your puzzle. Nature doesn't only include the biological world, of plants and animals, even you said meteors are a part of nature, but it's even bigger than meteors and smaller than quarks/gluons etc.

1 point

The ability to reason, in particular, is not preternatural. I believe nature is the source of reason, it is what makes reason possible, and even if humans are the only living things to reason (which we aren't, even here on earth), we are part of nature, so the ability to reason belongs to nature directly, just as we as people belong to nature.

If you look at it like a file system, the filing cabinet would be Existence, the first folder would be nature, and inside that would be everything else in the universe including laws... if you trace everything in the universe to the highest directory, or the parent which contains all of the attributes of humanity, and the ability to reason at all, that folder would be nature. Reason is natural, human beings are natural, everything that we know of is natural, except the existence of nature itself... though, it does exist so it very well could be natural as well.

1 point

No, my definition of it is basically "unnatural", and because nature is basic and nothing can be unnatural if nature is all that is, unnatural in an order must be supernatural. Which is to say it's an exception in nature.

Supernatural though has a distinct definition and so does preternatural, so what I mean is that they are very similar, but not equivalent.

1 point

Why should intelligence be linked to not eating meat?

Well, intelligent beings, I think, would be concerned about the future. We cannot have meat as we do today, forever, and it is much more efficient to grow plants than to grow plants to feed cattle. If you'd think about it a little harder there would be no need to "cut the shit". A huge quantity of grain produced in the world is dedicated to cattle. In fact, if you count calories from grain that it takes to feed cattle, and then count the end result of feeding the cattle and butchering it, etc, you'd find that meat is far far more expensive to produce and store than meat.

Efficiency will be important sometime in the future, when the world is overcrowded with people and labor is handed over to machines. It sounds like science fiction, and it is for now, but that's the most logical solution to many problems. People won't have jobs as they do now, so maintaining a personal garden won't be difficult, but I see community farming becoming popular before personal farming.

Even if you ignore the entire side of the debate that deals with the treatment of animals, or the suffering of animals, there are still very important questions about human nature and morals that need to be worked through... Where do we want to be in 50 years? Still slaughtering animals (more than we do now), in an even more careless fashion for so many more people who just want something to snack on for a minute... or do we want a self sustaining civilization that doesn't feel like it requires meat, that has an overabundance of food that is actually healthy?

It's not a personal problem so much as it is a societal one... but that doesn't mean it's not a moral issue.

The fact that we still eat meat even though we have a higher intelligence shows you that it makes sense to do so, no?

Not all people use their intelligence to do anything truly good... they, like animals, only seek to keep themselves happy... which is why this topic is an issue at all.

2 points

Meh, we're higher order animals. It's what we do. All predators do it: cause undesired pain to their prey, which are usually other sentient beings.

What exactly is a "higher order"? If you're saying as predators, let's see how well you fare in a pin with a leopard (or even in the wild, with a leopard). If you're talking about intelligence, why if we are so "high" in the order, are we still eating meat? There are plenty of healthy alternatives that cost much less in the way of work required, resources needed, associated pain, environmental impact, etc.

Is a cheetah immoral for choking their prey to death or sometimes eating them alive? Do you yell at the discovery channel animals for doing what they do?

Animals, like cheetahs, don't have a sense of morals... Humans do, and yet it seems to make little difference. Also, there isn't a cheetah grocery store to go to, and they are strictly carnivores, we are not. We have moral choice, many morally acceptable options that are just as good if not batter tasting, and we have the ability, physically, to choose... and you say that meat is perfectly acceptable?

How do you feel about cannibalism?

3 points

I think so, yes. The meaning of murder though, at least as it is in the Oxford American Dictionary, involves premeditated killing of another human, but why differentiate between an animal that isn't human and humans? It's a superficial (purposeful) misunderstanding that keeps a lot of "unimportant" cases out of court.

Murder is the premeditated killing of any animal. The thought of killing a process, (consciousness in any form at all) is murder. This is even true for plants, though the severity differs greatly because plants aren't (as far as we understand the idea), conscious.

The problem is in the industry though, not the act of eating animals. It's human, to eat meat, but it's not human to treat meat as nothing more than a Big Mac. What I mean by that is, people used to respect animals and feel pain for each animal's death. Native Americans would purposely use every part of an animal that they killed to make it's death as meaningful to people as possible. There were spiritual aspects involved, but I feel the principle is most important.

We treat animals like shit now, if not worse. We raise them with the idea that they will all one day be shat out by someone a number of hours after being tasted. They are slaughtered without regard, which is understandable because of the emotional damage you would put yourself through if you had to slaughter so many a day... you would go insane, if you cared about each of them as your own pets...

Eugh, well my cat just died yesterday and I've been drinking to compensate for his loss... even though he was just a cat. Maybe I shouldn't be talking about the treatment of animals right now...

1 point

Well, I did point out that some get spiritual with it on a level that isn't reasonable... Anyhow, most people don't take Star Wars seriously... Some though actually think they have the force. What does that mean? That it should be taken more seriously and be pulled from the Science Fiction shelf to be placed on the Educational one? No.

2 points

Funny, I dated a Catholic who at that time was in Philadelphia, and is now in San Antonio (but was from Katy). She seemed happy, yes, but she wasn't. I wouldn't say it was because of her faith, but instead consider it a quality of human beings in general. I seem happy when I'm usually not and I'm not religious, I'm social.

4 points

Buddhism isn't a religion, it's a philosophy. People often call it a religion, and some aspects of Buddhism deal a lot with the idea of "spirits", and beings that live forever as stars, etc. But Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism deals with pragmatic ideas, like these, specifically.

Even though those beliefs are held by some Buddhists, they don't force it upon other people like religion does, it's just a theory to them. Not TRUTH, like spirits and demons and God is to the typical American Christian. You can't be saved by following parts of the Bible that don't have anything to do with God or Jesus. If you don't accept them as real and your father, etc. you won't even be considered.

One of the main ideas in Buddhism is that there are many paths to the summit, meaning that there are different ways to reach enlightenment. This is why "making an effort to improve" is so important. So long as you working your way to the summit, you're doing good.

I think you're right though, Religion is unhealthy and if you need structure in your life turn to Buddhism for your help.

1 point

Ah, alright.

Quickly, because I'm almost late for work:

- Me (you) is the external I. (Your physical body, shape mass and volume, etc.)

- I is your consciousness if you are self aware.

- Self is an image of me that is created by I. (How you see yourself and what you act through)

I think your question is more concerned with the "I". I believe that it's a combination of all of those things, but the atoms in your body aren't particularly important, like legos they can be swapped out with like legos and it'll make no difference... Your physical body, including your brain and memories are important in form, because they create an I and from there a sense of self.

To get a gist of what I'm trying to say you'll have to read Descartes "Meditations on First Philosophy" (or maybe "Discourse on Method", I don't really remember), where he says "I Think therefor I am". Also, a lot of psychology concerning self image and self-awareness. I've gotta run now, sorry for the shabby response.

1 point

Is a child the same as a man, no. I don't really get the meaning of the question though... It seems like an interesting question, so explain a little better and I'll see what I think.

1 point


1. If you assume that the universe will at some point expand to a point were no matter will have an effect on any other matter or energy in the universe and everything will stop moving (because matter and energy moving through space is still an event), then you're saying that the universe will essentially die. That it will be inactive without end.

My answer to that, very quickly, is that you cannot have an end to infinity. Infinity is one point whereas a "very long time" is a linear string that exists within the point of infinity. Everything that is happening now in space and time, must happen forever or we couldn't be here now. If you think that the universe will die or collapse on itself, that's fine though, it doesn't conflict with my idea though because like I've said, infinity doesn't end, it is infinite, and if we're here now we'll be here forever, just as infinity is forever. If the universe ceases to change at some point and it must reach the linear equivalent that we understand it to be now again, then there is a higher nature that will reset the universe to it's linear beginning through some means. Anyhow

2. If you look at the existence as a calculation, with numbers being matter and mathematics being the laws of physics, time being the change of one number to the next, it doesn't seem as radical an idea, that all of what is now could easily duplicated in infinity. Existence works like a machine, laws governed by a higher level of existence, and that one too, has a higher existence, and so on. The only thing that hinders a simple grasp of this concept is our consciousness and how we expect a final existence by which everything is governed but itself, which would be immediately erroneous (and is the reason why we cannot think this).

It really is something that I should be working on more, but I don't see any great importance in thinking that the universe is nothing and something all at once governed by something and nothing all at once and how time will continue indefinitely and we'll all live our shitty lives over and over... It's not meaningful to anyone, even scientists who are looking for answers... they would just give up and say "Science is bull, and we'll never learn anything because human consciousness cannot understand infinity, and that's what we're dealing with on every level of existence except with our consciousness (which too, we deal with but not seemingly)"

It really is too great a subject to simply argue on CreateDebate after drinking too much.


9 points

I figured this out a while ago, when I was around 17 or 18, so it may be rusty...

If there was a creator, then possibly. I can't test that so that's the end of that train of thought.

If there was no creator though, I assume that what exists does so infinitely, with no beginning and with no end. I assume this because It's the quickest way to the same conclusion. If you assume that nothing came from something, that is just another plain of existence that could be dealt with in the same manner... so I'll just assume that everything that is, has been and will be forever existent and forever changing.

Bah, it's such a big theory... if energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed, then we get:

A) Matter is infinite

B) Energy is infinite

C) Time is infinite (For the sake of understanding)

D) We are aware of this

If matter and the exchange of energy continues infinitely long, the combination that lead us to this point must have without a doubt, happened infinitely many times in the past (we have lived these exact same lives infinite times, and infinite lives that were different from our own, even if it's extremely different, or seemingly no different whatsoever. We have lived an infinite amount of lives, forever, and once we die we'll be reborn again in the same life until we die the same death over and over, into infinity.

We are, in a sense, always alive, and there is always an "Afterlife", though it's not really an afterlife, it's just a life. Nothing can happen after anything in infinity because it's sort of, not on a linear time line that we're used to thinking it. It's all at once and only seems to happen linearly to human life.

Let me know if you don't understand something, I'll elaborate.

3 points

Late-term abortion is something that should be avoided at all costs, and I've been hearing a lot about it lately, mainly from people who were told that they should have one by doctors because their children may have down's syndrome (everyone that was told this didn't have further testing done because of the risk of killing the child (50% chance), and all were born and found to be healthy).

It's something that should be taken care of before the child develops, but if it comes down to deciding later, it should still be up to the parents who created the child... It's sad, yes, but it's not our responsibility to decide who has to have children and who doesn't. Not everyone is happily married and ready, mentally, physically, or finically, to have children when they become pregnant, and we don't have the resources and in most respects, the right, to decide for people.

I believe that this is the true conservative stance on this issue. Limited government, more freedom and leave the moral decision to be made by the moral beings who are responsible for the child, not the government.

1 point

2. Atoms weren't proven to exist until this last century, but people believed that they did and have for over 2000, maybe even around 3000 years. Socrates spoke about philosophers that were long dead that believed that the universe was made of irreducibly small particles (of water) and Buddhists thought the same thing even before him. Santa and the Easter bunny do exist, even if it's just as a thought. Existence as a thought is still existence. If you disagree, fight with yourself about that because the idea of a self is a trick of the mind. In actuality your self doesn't exist just as santa doesn't exist.

3. It's more than sociological, it's psychological. I know, I see tons of people who claim to have lived horrible, drug ridden, lives before being "saved"... I know better than to argue with these people, because even though they're religious they seem to be more stable than they used to be, or at least happier with their lives. It's a deeply personal issue that does help a lot of people, and this I think is it's most important utility, something that should be considered in sciences. I know a lot of people who have went through rehab 1 or more times who are still on meth and heroin or something as harmless as weed, but I know more people who have found religion and changed for good, for just a little faith.

I don't know about you, but I think that should be worth sciences time, at least to find out why faith helps more than rehab. I tend to think, very quickly, that religion plays on parts of humanity that aren't as reasonable as maybe, we'd like them to be, but if it works it works. Faith does do good (not saying it doesn't do bad, or even that it doesn't do more bad than good), and that's something that I think science should be interested in.

1 point

First off, I would like to make it clear to you, that I am not religious, I do not believe in a personal god, I do not believe the universe was designed by anyone for any reason, I do not believe that people are only moral because of religious beliefs... I am not religious in any sense of the term. So, you're already wrong about my core beliefs starting with faith and then transcending from there, because I have no faith in religious doctrine.

Secondly, the idea of there being a god has never been disproved and likely will never be, using the scientific method, but that doesn't mean that it should be dismissed by the scientific community. If it hasn't been proven, or disproved, it should remain a topic until it can be. It may turn out, eventually, that though god doesn't seem to exist, it does in the minds of millions, maybe billions of people, and it more helpful to them than any scientific finding could be... Religious belief may be an important part of society (and then to social science) that is nearly irreplaceable.

Lastly, I think it's important to see how everything works independently and together. I am not the force binding religion and science together, they are both aspects of human life and by that fact are already bound. Which is not to say that they can't ever be separated, but for now whether you like it or not, each deals with the other and must be accepted until something right can be done about it. You can't just say that because they are different, they shouldn't conceder each other.

1 point

The only problem with your argument (that I want to pick on) is that you assume that religion doesn't already answer every question man needs to know the answer to. Science may very well be off course, or lead humanity off course (in accordance with scripture).

The only reason you disagree is because you disagree with religion? According to scripture, empirical things were created by God, so studying only empirical things is just studying God's creations, and does have an ultimate goal, does it not? If Science is out to explain the unexplained, and religion is supposedly there to spread the word of God, the being that is Himself the explanation... What do you think would happen if Science successfully explained everything (impossible, I know)???

Anyhow, I agree with you, but I don't agree with your argument, per say. Almost every social science (including political science and psychology) deals with religion, so if you dismiss religion because it's not verifiable, you still have to deal with it as a scientist.

I don't think Einstein meant if you're a scientist you should be religious, and if you're religious you should be a scientist too... He just meant that they are inherently intertwined and one without the other it's true to it's nature... to explain.

3 points

Science without X is lame science. Science seeks to answer questions through rigorous testing, trial and error if you will. This means, if you purposely deny any idea or leave anything out of the test you're not doing it right. Science without art is too, lame science.

Anyhow, Albert wasn't talking about christianity when he said this, or any typical religion of the time, he was speaking on more general terms. He was a scientific pantheist, which is to say, that he didn't believe in a personal god. "The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive."

You say that religion answers the why's, but Einstein also believed that there is no purpose in nature. Purpose (Intent) == Reason == Why. Pantheism revolves around existence and nature, so if a pantheist says that there is no purpose in nature, that means that God (equivalent to nature in pantheism) has no purpose in anything. God just is, as scientists typically believe the universe just is without a purpose or intention.

So what you get from this quote is actually incorrect. I'm not picking on your views, just differentiating between what he probably meant and what you're getting from it.

This is just funny:

"Why do you write to me 'God should punish the English'? I have no close connection to either one or the other. I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him."

-Letter to Edgar Meyer colleague January 2, 1915 Contributed by Robert Schulmann; also see CPAE Vol. 8 (forthcoming).

Einstein was a real badass.

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