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The Modern Witch Hunt

  1. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 3 years ago

    Character assassination appears to be the tactic most frequently used by those who want to ensure that only currently accepted scientific theories are used to draw conclusions in the realm of religion and philosophy. Standard terms used to describe the individual, or group of individuals, who accept the existence of problems in time lines of the development of humanity are; uneducated, illiterate, delusional, emotional and troll. These and myriad other machiavellian tactics have caused middle of the road thinkers to not only fear open dialogue, but to join the attack; presumably to avoid becoming victims themselves.

    This problem is not limited to one side of the aisle, yet I find it more offensive when it comes from those who claim to be open minded, while attempting to suppress alternative views.

    What purpose is served by assuming the position of 'brain police' in a forum for the discussion of religion and philosophy? What sacred cow deserves such devotion? Why do some pander to those displaying these behavior patterns? In so doing free and open dialogue is reduced to petty bickering and needless debate. Ideas are suppressed and trampled; offered up as sacrifice on the altar of public opinion. What is the point?

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      Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Out of curiosity, who are the witches being hunted in modern times? 

      And, why is it that when someone chooses to remove themselves from an argument, which, in truth, they may be unprepared for - such as a liberal arts student who chooses not to debate evolution with students of evolutionary biology or physics with doctoral candidates in physics - does that mean they are afraid of anything?  Alternative views are what they are.  Not everyone agrees with them, but also, it's possible that not everyone chooses to debate them.  I also find it more productive to agree on definable truths than to simply argue against them to make others feel better, or to drone on endlessly about things in order that simple repetition will make someone jump the fence to one side or another. 

      Yes, there are moderate Christians who are equipped and willing to debate evolution as a true thing, an indisputable fact.  There are others who know where they stand on it and would rather not get into a debate because they don't feel equipped to do so.  And, as you've stated in the past, since consensus is not a mark of truth, why is it necessary that everyone MUST agree with someone?

      Some of us really do our best to refrain from name-calling, insults, personal attacks, etc.  In many instances, that has resulted in our being the victim of such many times over.  Whether it's caving to public opinion or it isn't, there are times when it is indeed more fun to laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.

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        Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I like that smile

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        Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Well said

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        Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        For the purposes of this discussion, let's assume those playing the part of the witches are anyone who doesn't entirely agree with conclusions arrived at by some who think the theory of evolution somehow negates freedom of thought in the area of religion and philosophy, and those who bow to, or participate in, the attempt to negate the value of alternative ideas.



        I have absolutely no idea what that has to do with the statement at the start of this thread.



        I think most people agree on definable truths. I think there are those who ignore the things agreed upon simply beside conclusions drawn by opposing views are not the same. You can certainly attempt to defend the practice of calling out round about insults in an attempt to discredit alternative views, but that is the point of the thread. To attempt to understand why those who consider themselves moderates would do so.



        You either failed to read the OP, or you apparently didn't understand it. This is not a question of ignoring facts. It wasn't a rant opposed to evolution.  And, I was commenting about those, apparently such as yourself, who fail to think beyond the crave of consensus. Those who think everyone must agree. This isn't a forum for evolutionary debate. It is religion and philosophy. Yes, it is necessary to incorporate all available data into a final view, but enlighten me. Where does the theory of evolution address philosophical questions? Where does it say that all must draw the same cosmic conclusion, or be laughed at and ridiculed by others? I missed the memo.



        If laughing with some to the detriment of others is your idea of fun, far be it from me to put a damper on your festivities. A word of warning; I consider such behavior to be contributing to the attempt to clamp down on alternative views so my responses here may be considered offensive to you.

        Edit. Who determines who are the sinners and who are the saints? I find that statement offensive in its intent.

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          Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, you and I seem to have lost the ability to communicate clearly, Emile.  I'm sorry for that.  You specifically mentioned in your OP those who seem to ''fear'' joining in open dialogue.  I was pointing out that perhaps they are not afraid of anything.  They simply choose not to participate. 

          In all honesty, much of what you say offends me.  But that's my issue, not yours.  And you may believe that I meant that I like to laugh at people to the detriment of others.  What I meant was that there are many, in order to consider my comments even palatable, demand from me that I line up with their point of view or be damned.  If that's what they think, I'd prefer to hold to my truth and be damned then. 

          As to how evolution and its discussion have a place in a religion and philosophy forum, it's because the majority of people who hold tightly to religious ideals argue vehemently against it because they feel it removes the credit for the universe from God.  Other people try to point out that either, yes, it does, so there must be no God, or no, it doesn't.

          You seem to have an awfully large chip on your shoulder these days, for pretty much everyone but Beth.  Oh well.  I am now exiting this conversation.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I have absolutely no idea how asking a question equates to a chip on one's shoulder, unless I fall back on my previous observation that for some bizarre reason open mindedness doesn't exist in the moderate camp.

            I feel that both camps expect conformity, or they damn you. So, conform all you please, in order to find what you hope to be common ground. But, with each voice silenced your philosophy becomes one step closer to being the next target.

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          Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          What alternative ideas? Do you mean the ideas written in a book a few thousand years ago which state the earth is only a few thousand years old when every once of evidence indicates billions of years?

          No they don't.




          While I like what you are doing here and you know I find you an interesting and complicated and intelligent person, the people you are defending here don't think for themselves (generally speaking of course). They don't believe evolution because of their faith, which teaches them not to think. You know that whole fruit from the tree of knowledge thing.

          Why?

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I'm not going to belittle others by claiming they don't think rad  man and, again **bangs head in frustration**    this is not about evolution. It is on conclusions of a cosmic nature one cannot honestly arrive at through information on evolution. We can all disagree on cosmic conclusions, but we have to either be honest and admit we don't have conclusive proof to cement our views, or we can attempt to hide behind a smoke screen. But, the smoke screen does not allow growth. It doesn't broaden knowledge.

            I didn't understand your last comment. Why what?

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              Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Emile, It's those believers who claim evolution to be false for religion reasons who are bringing evolution into the debate. The ones how have taken the time to understand the world around them and think for themselves are the ones we can discuss the heaven with.

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                Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                One of us appears to be missing some part of the dialogues on this site. It could be me, of course. But, since you have brought evolution up twice now; the zealous on both ends embrace standards of evidence within the argument so shady that they would never be accepted in any other circumstance, other than driven by the blindness associated with the emotions of love or fear. As long as there are multiple examples of evidence that are considered anomalous within the broader spectrum of the debate no one can, while claiming intellectual integrity, vilify another viewpoint. And that is exactly what we are witnessing. Not simply here on this site, but across society. 'Unapproved' thoughts on cosmic questions are broadsided with arguments unrelated. From my viewpoint, these are designed for the sole purpose of ensuring uniformity of thought. It is, while less violent than the Inquisition, no different from it. Evidence and merit are not the guiding principles within the dialogue. The thrust for conformity has replaced the desire for objectivity. Why? What are we afraid of?

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                  Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Can you give specific example so I can understand your direction better please?

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                    Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Well, I suppose your posts on this thread are a start. You accused people of certain philosophies of not possessing the ability to think for themselves. And although the viewpoints I had in mind when I started the thread aren't the viewpoints you think I'm defending, it doesn't matter.  You have attempted to belittle them with your words. You have attempted to negate the value of their thoughts with your accusation. All, because they don't share your cosmic view. You have no idea how they came to the conclusion they did. You are assuming you do. You are assuming you think for yourself and anyone who followed suit would come to your conclusions. Unfortunately, those who share a cosmic conclusion run a greater risk of being led because no two minds are identical. You have acquiesced to someone else's conclusion. Which is your right. I'm sure you feel you have accepted compelling arguments. I just don't understand belittling those who have, in your opinion, done the same.

                    Edit. Was I supposed to be addressing the point I started the thread with, or the side point you brought up. If the latter, disregard my reply.

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          Motown2Chitownposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          In my opinion, only God makes any such determination, but I have on more than many occasions been told that I will be frying in hell because I don't immediately jump to defend or agree with fundamental religious belief.  Maybe you've never heard that, but I've heard it enough that I've given up fighting about it.  In a very narcissistic way, did you seem to think I meant you in any way?  I didn't.  I meant the people it appears that you're arguing for these days.  They've condemned me, and I'd rather be condemned for who I am than saved for who I'm not.

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I don't give a hoot what anyone thinks. They aren't in my head. I am. I suppose it does appear that Iam defending the side who damns you. I'm not. I disagree with that side also. However, I see absolutely no reason to allow one belief free reign to attempt to negate the value of another belief, while passing off questionable conclusions as somehow superior to other questionable conclusions. They are beliefs until we have solid answers, no matter how much any may wish otherwise.

    2. profile image71
      Robertr04posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Good thought Emile smile

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      Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You're spot on here. An impressive observation.

    4. bBerean profile image60
      bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Emile, as one who tries to play it down the middle, you have boldly made yourself a target of the witch hunt, and I must applaud you for that.  Good analogy, by the way.  All anyone would need to do to realize the validity of your OP is take a truly objective look at the thread which I believe prompted this, "The Dispute on Evolution".  In the OP of that thread, the first words below the title are "There is no dispute on evolution".   From there, the OP nicely sets the stage and digs their heels in, with the premise basically that one must be stupid, ignorant, delusional, or all of the above, to disagree.  At least the "witches" should be forewarned by this, as the OP leaves the impression that honest dialogue about evolution is not the intent, but rather seeking an opportunity to intimidate and silence opposition to this sacred doctrine, or for any who do respond, insult and ridicule them for daring to think outside the box of public school and academia's indoctrinations. 

      In the following 4 pages we see one attempt to present facts and valid arguments, by silverspeeder.  What is the response?  An honest consideration and debate of the points presented?  No, most totally dismiss the presentation, with a couple bothering to comment about how laughable they found the first point to be, and how they therefore couldn't seriously consider, or even be bothered to read any of the further points.

      So, true to the witch hunt analogy, it appears the thread was nothing more than an attempt to draw folks in so they can be told how stupid, ignorant, scientifically illiterate, delusional, etc. they are.  Too bad there isn't a way to get an honest overview of the IQs involved, as I suspect the results would be telling, (and not in the way the self proclaimed scientific folk expect). 

      Those claiming to be all about evidence, will find little in those first four pages of any attempt by "evolution faithful" at open dialogue.  Nothing exemplifies it better than the responses to Silverspeeder's attempt.  I hope some folks will try and clear their minds before making a sincere attempt at objectively reviewing those first four pages, (all that was there as of this writing).  Perhaps then, they will see just what this looks like to those they purport to want to debate with, as well as to those who don't have a dog in the fight.

      I will still contribute on these topics in threads where it appears someone may be listening, but in spite of being named in that one, it was clear there was no point.  So again, credit where credit is due, I appreciate your drawing attention to the issue, particularly when you yourself, were not the intended target to begin with.

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I disagree that Emile is trying to play it down the middle.  She has obviously developed a position, the fact that its the same position as yours might be slightly clouding your judgement.  I also think that the reason she started this thread was precisely because she was not the target of conversation, instead of being in spite of that fact.

        With that being said, an opinion on the intelligence of a theory is also a valid opinion.  There is no more proof required for believing an idea is stupid than believing it is intelligent.  There is no ban on expressing either of those opinions.  Politeness is not required in open forum discussion and in fact has never existed outside of formal debates except at the discretion of the people involved in a discussion.

        Internet forums are not formal debates.

        You cannot force anyone to acknowledge validity of points, or even to listen to them. Neither action is  required for participation in forum discussions. In short, no one has to give your (universal) opinions any consideration whatsoever.  It is rather naive to think they do.

        In addition, there is no witch hunt... no persecution.  The fact that your opinions have been freely posted on a public forum blows the persecution theory out of the water.  No one was hunted down.  They CHOSE to post their opinions for public consumption.  To say that someone is being persecuted or it's a witch hunt is like saying that a bull is persecuting a matador after he waves a red flag.

        The root of the matter is a desire to be able to say whatever you wish while controlling the response to your statements.  It's unrealistic at best, self-righteously indignant at worst.

        This entire thread is hypocritical at it's premise.  All things considered, it's not really all that surprising.

        1. bBerean profile image60
          bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Emile and I are far from being on the same page, including in regards to the issue of evolution.  In fact, some of the most scathing accusations I have received in the forums have been at her hands.  I am not going to let that stop me from agreeing when she has a point, and here I believe she does.  As for it being about her, not to any greater degree than any of us, (you included), like to draw attention to ourselves with our comments.


          True, so it is okay then for me to comment on my impressions, correct?  That is all I am doing, and the fact that I see disingenuousness in the conduct on the thread in question, is just one more opinion.  Who am I begrudging their conduct?  My not condoning it, is not censoring it.  I do think if there were a video capability in that thread though we would have just seen lots of folks sticking their tongues out.   



          I am not, and never have been, under the illusion that anyone is listening.  Back to our point of everyone throwing their opinions out for a bit of attention, perhaps?  It is nice, however, when folks calling for debate, listen to that debate or explain why not rather than just proclaiming how "scientifically illiterate" their opposition must be, especially when the accuser's only evidence is typically that someone isn't buying the scientific interpretation of real facts, that they do.  It seems the difference between interpretation of facts and facts themselves, is rarely recognized by those promoting certain perspectives that would be compromised by making that distinction.



          Buzzwords and taglines in media are used to draw attention and illicit an emotional response.  Looks like Emile's title to this thread worked like a charm. As for the implied drama the heading invokes, that is all part of it.  She was just drawing attention to the lack of discourse in favor of insulting and demeaning the opposition.  I appreciated the analogy, not in the seriousness of the matter, but rather in the comparison where it really didn't matter too much what the accused witch had to say in their defense.



          I would say you completely missed her point.  It was a commentary on the demeaning nature of the responses, not a call to silence them.



          Failing to see the hypocrisy, I also miss the innuendo.

        2. profile image0
          Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Coming from someone who resorted to calling me a troll because she couldn't support an unfortunate statement she made off the cuff; I'm not at all surprised that you are attempting to divert the focus of this thread.

          1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
            MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Oooh... poisoning the well.

            Nice.  Not hypocritical at all, considering the thread. smile

            Keep going Emilie.

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              Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Well, let's break it down. You missed the point. You have repeatedly insisted that you know what I meant, when I have repeatedly told you that you are not on target. You refuse to discuss the OP, but simply continue to post off topic comments. I realize this may be your idea of fun, however, if you can't discuss the subject at hand; I'll pass on future dialogue.

              1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Good, self-righteousness always makes me vaguely nauseous.  Have a good day Emily.

                Oh, and I AM discussing the OP.  I'm just not discussing the part of it you would like me to discuss.

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                  Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Melissa, can you turn off your emotions for one moment and think? If so, let's talk. I, at times, find your opinion interesting and open minded. I'm not sure what set you off on this one but, trust me, you've misinterpreted something.

                  1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                    MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Emilie, the only emotion that I am feeling is boredom.  I swear to God.  I don't get emotionally involved in these conversations.

                    Personally, to me the personal motivations of a poster need to be considered in any argument.  As such, I pointed out what I believed to be yours.

                    If you looked at your statements subjectively, you would see the inherent hypocrisy. 

                    I don't know about anyone else, but I did get your point.  My reading comprehension is quite good.  I just think at it's essence, its basically a statement just like the statements you are complaining about.  It's just from a different side.

                    Hunting the hunters doesn't make you not a hunter. Sorry.

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        Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Kudos on getting the point. It appears to have flown over some heads. Oh well, the need to be accepted isn't in my stars and I can't begrudge someone their need to suppress their opinions in order to ensure others think they think. It's actually funny that, by standing up for those I consider unfairly maligned, I have been labeled by one respondent as self righteous. I thought I was attempting to be unbiased in my assessment.

    5. A Thousand Words profile image80
      A Thousand Wordsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Just reading this made me want to read one of your hubs. Not the topic, but the way you worded it, it was just so beautifully said that I wanted there to be more to read.

      On topic, I suppose that they are not "open-minded," first of all, in the kind of all-encompassing way that most people are referring to when they use that term. Most people aren't open-minded to everything. There would be chaos. However, when it comes to seeking out the origins of the Universe and/or at least finding out how we originated on this Earth, the scientists who act that way in my opinion have lost sight of the nature of science. Science itself is ever evolving/changing as we understand more and more about the world around us. I do think it's right for them not to come to conclusions that can't be proven, but to choke the atmosphere for honest conversation isn't what a scientist should do. But at the end of the day, people are people.

      However, a post I read the other day on the Huffington Post mentioned that the younger generation is actually more open-minded even to the idea of being openly scientifically-minded and religious/spiritual. Not sure what the numbers are, but look into it, it might interest you.

      My own opinion is that it's possible that there is some sort of intelligence out there, but it is impossible to know that entity personally because of the nature of our emotions and ability to create that which is not there when we have our minds set on it, and sometimes when we don't. (Think about the nature of schizophrenia. People can grow up thinking someone was real, they could see them, talk to them, and who knows maybe even actually "feel" them and "smell" them, and then it turns out they are only figments of the imagination due to a defect in the brain. I'm not saying that religious people are defective. I am saying that the brain can be extremely deceptive. A desperate man in the desert will sometimes see that which he most desires to see.)

      So you could say that I'm close-minded to ideas that are inconsistent or are later found to be inconsistent, but I am open-minded to the fact that maybe even the Universe itself may be some sort of intelligence, but it's likely I'll never know because such things are likely unknowable (I'm Agnostic).

      1. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Very well written. I couldn't agree more.

    6. Haunty profile image83
      Hauntyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Imo, the problem is that people cant see that science itself is mythology. Its a way of thinking about and making sense of the world. The only justification for the scientific way is that it supposedly works. However, that has never been proven and ofc it cannot be through scientific methods. Why? Because the whole idea of "works" is a metaphysical one.

    7. Don W profile image84
      Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Give someone a side to be on, a faction to be in, a group to be part of, and they will fight for it. I think this, like all human conflict, is a manifestation of the biological imperative to compete with 'others'. So I don't think there is a purpose as such, although people may try to rationalise their behaviour by assigning such purpose to it. I think they are fooling themselves. The same mechanisms that causes people to form cooperative social groups and compete with other groups for resources, is at play here. The only difference is that rather than physical resources, that which is being fought over is culture. Rather than a witch hunt I think we're in the midst of a culture war, which is amplified by the world wide web.


      One of those mechanisms at play is the propensity to self-identify with a group. Technically our family is just a group of people we are genetically similar to. In practice they are an aspect of our identities, to the point where we are willing to risk life and limb for them. Apply the same mechanism to cultural ideas. People self-identify with beliefs; A world-view becomes part of who they are. So although we are not always conscious of it, a challenge to our world-view is a challenge to our very identity. In the same way we are willing to fight for our family, we are willing to fight (on web forums) for the cultural ideas we identify with, and the groups that share those ideas.


      I don't think it is about deservedness. I think we are biologically compelled to behave this way (that's part of my world-view). We all have differing degrees of success in overcoming certain biological imperatives, but I don't think anyone is able to escape them entirely. We are not only at war (physically and culturally) with other groups, we are also at war with our very self. The thing that causes someone to label a theist mentally dysfunctional, is the same thing that causes someone to label a non theist a blind fool. Identifying differences between us and 'others', and assigning a negative value judgement to those differences, is a way to rationalise competing with them. The fundamental truth (that we are all materially the same) does not allow us to rationalise competing with others, either culturally or for resources. Such rationalisation could be a form of dissociation, without which the tension between our biological nature, and our self awareness becomes traumatising. So we behave this way because we are compelled to, but we rationalise it to avoid the existential trauma of what amounts to biological determinism. All in my opinion of course.

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        Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Very good answers to a very good series of questions.

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        Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I agree with Beth. Good thoughts.

  2. Zelkiiro profile image84
    Zelkiiroposted 3 years ago

    Trying to argue against evolution is like trying to argue against heliocentrism or gravity. All three of which, I shall remind everyone, are theories.

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      Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, well, as long as we accept that these theories are theories devised around the information which fits the theories; without attempting to extrapolate conclusions in another area.

      My primary problem is that many times, even when all scientific protocols are followed, if results don't fall in line with accepted theory attempts are made to trivialize the value of the information. The public will take notice. Not everything is written in stone, so belittling those with alternative views appears to be an attempt to pretend that things are, in fact, written in stone. Why would one, seemingly delusional, belief be of more value than another? Why attempt to steam roll consensus prior to the end of research? It comes across as New Age religion to me.

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        riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        What you call alternative views are simply 'dishonest communication'. As long as you are not willing to make a honest communication where both sides understand each other precisely without any misunderstandings, there is no discussion either.

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          Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Gee riddle, please explain how we can move forward with honest and open communication. From your own post it appears that assumptions take precedent over any dialogue.

          Look at Melissa's posts. The same holds true. When you can't start a conversation from a position of mutual respect there is no hope of open and honest communication. From either side.

  3. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 3 years ago

    Where does the theory of creationism address philosophical questions? Where does it say all must draw the same cosmic conclusion, or be laughed at and ridiculed by others?

    The answer to the first question is, among theological scholars, most definitely. Among regular folk who accept the theory of evolution but also believe the Bible has some good information (although not to be taken literally), very likely.
    I don't see many people (here) who admit to believing the two theories are not mutually exclusive and might both be true in different ways.
    For that, I fully expect to be laughed and and ridiculed. Not by present company participating thusfar...

    1. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The reason I didn't sub categorize this under Christianity was simply because it doesn't, in my opinion, address the question of right wing Christian thought. This wasn't addressed at the creationists. I think we all have a good idea where they stand. This question was put forth in order to understand why open dialogue isn't supported by those who appear to advocate open dialogue. We know many things. We are still in the dark on many things.

      Each generation naturally, assumes itself to be smarter than the last. I suppose you could say it is a part of our make up. I actually read a post the other day by someone who thinks since IQ's appear to be rising that our brain capacity is increasing. Failing to take into account the fact that the Flynn effect appears to be disappearing in developed nations. Failing to think about the fact that we change the information that our children learn at younger ages as we learn and grow. What this observation has to do with the question at hand is that we fail to attempt to understand that the how and why of life is open for vastly different interpretations. We are not at the end all pinnacle of knowledge. If we assume this position we lose the ability to explore the possibilities we arrogantly assume don't exist.

      Unfortunately, this belief that we are smarter than the last generation has mushroomed into the belief that we are somehow better equipped to come to conclusions than our neighbor. Unfortunately, we are accepting conclusions willy nilly. We aren't in a position to minutely study, in mass, the entirety of the web of conclusions that we have accepted as truthful; in order to come to our final conclusion. Knowledge is not a house of cards; but it should be viewed with skepticism. When we attempt to negate the value of the observations and/or conclusions of others we aren't viewing our own knowledge with a level of skepticism. Without proof of our stand, without proof of the stand of another; should we not honestly admit it? Are we in a position to, honestly, throw out accusations?

  4. MelissaBarrett profile image60
    MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago

    Basically, what I'm getting here is everyone is allowed to have an opinion... as long as it isn't one that the OP disagrees with.

    Because then we are hunting witches.

    Instead of making threads to condemn those who hunt witches.

    Because those who are hunting witches are wrong to do something that the non-witch hunters disagree with, like expressing opinions with surety.

    Because non-witch hunters are absolutely sure that's wrong.

    I stand in awe of those who are able to do philosophical back-flips while standing on narrow pedestals of self-righteousness.  (See, I can use big words too.  That proves I'm smart. The ability to use a thesaurus is always an indication of superior morality)

    1. cherihut profile image84
      cherihutposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Indeed, Melissa. I begin to think we are all witch-hunters. The hunters hunting the hunted, and the hunted hunting the hunters (which would  make the hunted the hunters in that case). Hm. I'm getting a little confused by all the bloviating in this thread. big_smile

      But I guess I (sort of) understand some of what's being said, and I find that, while I don't agree with anyone on here on everything, I find something in everything that everyone's written to have some value or truth.

      So, am I middle-of-the-road enough for everyone? Will I be judged by what I say? Am I to be hunted? Or do I appear to be hunting?

      Actually, normally I am very opinionated. But I like to think of myself as "fairly" opinionated, in the sense that I usually have an opinion, will speak my opinion, but am fair enough to listen to the opinions of others. If, after I have listened to their side and find myself agreeing, I will admit to it. I usually don't have a problem admitting it if I find myself to be in the wrong. But if not, I will stick to my guns and generally end up agreeing to disagree. And if I can't decide upon which side to take on an issue, I will say I have to think about it. And if I think the other person is enacting the witch-hunt mentality that is being spoken of here, then I confess I sometimes respond in kind out of sheer exasperation and, I confess, perhaps a little bit of defensiveness (I like to think it's understandable... perhaps not entirely acceptable, but understandable). So... I am both the hunted and the hunter, I suppose.

      But perhaps this kind of duality is not so reprehensible as all that (Melissa, I, too, find a thesaurus a most useful tool wink ). There are several quotes which I find to offer considerable insight: “Where there is an open mind there will always be a frontier.” And: “An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought in it." Thus we see that open-mindedness is surely a good thing. Yet, being too open-minded can be dangerous:  "One should be open-minded, but not so open that his brains fall out." And: “You can have such an open mind that it is too porous to hold a conviction.” And being single-minded, having conviction about something (a nice way of saying opinionated, perhaps) also has value: “There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake.” (OK, don't ask me why I wrote all that... it seemed like a good idea until a moment ago, but what the heck... I'll just leave it - just because I feel like it. big_smile ).

      All that being said, I believe perhaps Emile's point (in my understanding) was to wonder why those who claim to be open-minded and "tolerant" are anything but. I have often experienced this. I find it exasperating to be in a discussion with someone who is accusing me of being ignorant, self-righteous and judgmental because I don't agree with him/her, while at the same time they are bragging on how open-minded and tolerant they are towards everyone's right to have an opinion. It is especially aggravating when they spout off a plethora of fatuous affectations which only serve to prove how arrogant and imperious they are, as if they are better than everyone else (with the possible exception of those who agree with them - with them, they are amiable and gracious in their words and actions). They are, in a word, hypocrites. Yet aren't we all, to some extent? Again, we are both the hunters and the hunted. I suppose perhaps it's human nature (I imagine someone will want to argue about just what that in itself entails. I find that almost anything a person writes is fodder for mastication in these forums smile ).

      Anyway, forgive any silliness on my part... what can I say? It's waaay after midnight (my predominant excuse for absurdity - if it actually is after midnight.) smile I'm just a little punchy. I should have been in bed hours ago...

      1. bBerean profile image60
        bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Welcome, (while we have you).  I expect your tenure here will be short, however, as surely a career in politics awaits you.  Best I can tell, you just spent 600 words saying "I feel strongly both ways."  wink

        1. cherihut profile image84
          cherihutposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Ah, bBerean, you found me out. When I get into a writing mode, even I must admit that if there were a race to see who could use the most words to say nothing, I would probably win hands down. big_smile

          But... a politician? No... I would need a teleprompter more than the Pretender that's in the White House now. Oops. That was probably a taboo thing to say since we're all supposed to be so tolerant of each other and not express any opinions. wink

          Seriously, though, I am not a great orator. And I'm too thin-skinned. I wouldn't be able to handle all the media attacks. Fact is, I'm still trying to find my niche - even at 50 years old. Sad, huh? But I've gone way off topic, so I'll stop now. You're just lucky I have someplace to go today so I have to leave. big_smile

        2. profile image0
          Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I so enjoyed that. lol

      2. profile image0
        Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Excellent point that we are all, at times, the witches or the hunters. That is exactly right, imo. The problem is, we can't seem to see that. For those who are traditionally viewed as the hunters (i.e. the religious) I have no confusion. Where I get confused is when people claim open mindedness and then attempt to clamp down on other trains of thought. Are we blind to the hypocrisy? Or, are we hoping that no one sees it?

        1. cherihut profile image84
          cherihutposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Emile, just to point out a tiny bit of irony... "For those who are traditionally viewed as the hunters (i.e. the religious)"... think about that for a minute. Doesn't that imply something? If you're confused about people who "claim open-mindedness and then attempt to clamp down on other trains of thought" maybe you could ask yourself why you imply that the religious are "the hunters." Coming from that side, I'd say it's the "other side" that are the hunters. big_smile But that is merely my opinion, I suppose. You are entitled to yours. Each "side" is naturally going to think of the "other side" as the culprit. It seems we are all wearing our black cloaks and witch hats. wink

          Before you jump all over me, I know what you're trying to say... and I do appreciate it. But I couldn't resist pointing out what looks a little bit ironic to me. smile

          1. profile image0
            Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I wouldn't jump all over you. I see what you are saying; however, I didn't say they were the hunters I said they were the ones traditionally viewed that way. But, if it makes you feel better then, yes, the statement could very easily be perceived as hypocritical.

            1. cherihut profile image84
              cherihutposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Emile, I did consider that you said "they were the ones 'traditionally viewed' that way." But at the time, I also FELT that it expressed your own view. Perhaps I was mistaken. But whether I was or wasn't, you didn't actually say that it was your view, so I probably shouldn't have assumed. I stand corrected.

              1. profile image0
                Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                In fairness, don't stand corrected. At times, I do think that and at times I don't. As you said at first, sometimes each of us are the hunters and at other times the hunted. It all depends on the moment and the situation. Unfortunately, as evidenced by my protracted exchange with Melissa, some can't see that.

                1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                  MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  LOL....

                  Petty snippery.

                  Typical of you.

                  That's why no one really takes you, or your act, seriously.

                  1. profile image0
                    Beth37posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Why do mommy and mommy have to fight? sad

    2. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Hmmm. It appears you feel the OP hit close to home. Sorry it irked you to the point that you didn't take the time to think about what it actually said.

      1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        LMAO... nope actually I was more aware of what it said about the poster than what the poster said.

        You don't really have the ability to irk me Emilie.  You do amuse me though.

        1. profile image0
          Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I suppose misspelling my name is to be expected from an English major. Trust me, you didn't get anything other than what you wanted to out of this thread. Pity. I would have hoped that you might have been open minded.

          1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
            MelissaBarrettposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Oh thinly-veiled petty jealousy cloaked in a superiority complex smile

            This is fun.

            It's not at all hypocritical to imply I deserve pity for expressing my opinion, you know considering the topic of the thread. It's also not hypocritical at all for you to imply that me not agreeing with you means I didn't get your point.

            Keep going... smile

  5. Jerami profile image77
    Jeramiposted 3 years ago

    If civilization were to blow itself up with nuclear weapons today; What kind of evidence do we think will still be available to examine 200,000 years from now?    When we consider the possibility of thousands of earthquakes, a dozen super volcano eruptions, maybe a couple of Ice ages, and the shifting of the poles of the earth.  (I feel pretty sure that the equator will not be as it is today).  Plate tectonics being such as it is.  Throw in a couple of major meteor collisions.  And a few things as yet unimagionable!
    There might not be any evidence for them to contemplate, to prove we ever existed ?
    Imagine ???   we may someday become nothing more than a myth! 
    Does the absence of any proof of our existence (in the future) mean that our version of reality no longer exist?    Would this mean that we are but a figment of our own imagination?
    Can reality be changed on a whim and the passing of enough time?
    According to scientific evidence, our understanding of reality does change or evolve?                                As our understanding of a thing evolves, the thing itself evolves to some degree, cause after all:  EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE.

    1. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Good point. I've often wondered the same myself.

    2. profile image0
      Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Hey Jerami. Your thoughts are always interesting. How many times do you think civilization has waxed and waned? How much do you think is buried?

      1. Jerami profile image77
        Jeramiposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Thank you Emile R. ...   I also salute you for your open minded comments which I find thought provoking and most often a more elequent expression of my thoughts as well.  Thanks for saving me the trouble of having to say these things myself.
        The Hopi (sp?) Indians say that civilization has risen and fell four times I think?
        And I see no reason to argue with that.   
        The way things are going these days,   I think we are due for another fall. It may be past that time?
        Everything has its season …   back in the old days the farmers and ranchers used to burn their fields each spring to get rid of brush and unwanted insects (eggs) so that the new grass can be much more bountiful, and the cows aren’t bothered so much with flys ticks and flees.
        This is the only thing wrong with life today, Somebody needs to do something about the flys ticks and flees.

 
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