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Luddites and Lunatics

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posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 06:25 PM
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It's to be expected that any sentient species would develop a number of different opinions and beliefs. As an (apparently) intelligent species, humans certainly have no shortage of those. But it is a bit concerning, to me at least, that we would evolve and develop as far as we have, only to reach a point where our progress is kept in check by the very ability to imagine and believe things that has driven us to our position at the front of the evolutionary race.

We can do amazing things in genetics, but we are afraid of "playing God." We can do amazing things in transportation, but we don't want to live too close to the tracks. We can build amazing buildings, but we don't want to "ruin" the "natural skyline." None of this make any sense to me.

I am a technological extremist, apparently, because I believe in some things that to me are obvious but to many others are tantamount to blasphemy.

I believe that the purpose of biological life is to give rise to sentience; because without a self-aware mind to experience nature's beauty, that beauty is meaningless. Because of this, I believe our only moral obligation to the "natural" world is to ensure that nothing we do to it results in our own extinction or the degradation of our own standard of living; and further I believe that sacrificing any benefit to ourselves simply to preserve that "natural" world is morally repugnant.

I believe that if we have the technological means to improve life for ourselves, or to cure disease, then we have a moral imperative to pursue that technology. That means stem cell research, genetic engineering and modification of any and all genomes including our own, revolutionary space travel technology, and anything else we can build and invent. To stand in the way of scientific advancement because of "ethical concerns" is treason against the species. Cloning, cybernetic implants and enhancements, every kind of communication technology, these should all be pursued without the slightest reservation.

I believe that continuing to allow billions of people to behave in a way that furthers the backward, scientifically incorrect cultures and beliefs of our ancestors is wrong. There is no God, or if there is one, it is absent. Either way, we do ourselves a disservice by allowing our progress to be stunted by those who insist in blockading scientific, social, and technological progress on religious grounds. The only valid way of dealing with religion is to eradicate it completely. Not violently, but by ridiculing it, actively campaigning against it, and teaching children how ridiculous it is regardless of their parents' beliefs, until it is gone or at least its influence is.

I believe that we owe each other the best possible standard of living. Technologically, we have the ability to provide the basic requirements of life to all of us, and therefore we are morally obligated to do so. Nutrition, shelter, and health care should be human rights, not privileges. All economic systems that exist expressly for rewarding some over others should be abolished. Political and social systems that disadvantage anyone for any reason should be abolished. We can do it, and the only reason not to is short-sighted self-interest.

I believe junk science should be stamped out with every ounce of prejudice we can muster. If you get your "science" from TV personalities, kooks, debunked conspiracy theorists, or if you just believe what you are told by anyone without doing the research into the facts yourself, you need to be corrected. Firmly. Not because you are worthless or stupid, but because you will become a reservoir of misinformation that will only spread and infect more people.

I believe humanity has the potential for greatness on a cosmic scale. Our most fanciful science fiction could be reality. But we cannot achieve that potential without admitting, as a species, that our future depends on abandoning our ignorance. If we freed ourselves from the bonds of ignorant superstition, nationalism, political allegiance, junk entertainment, and junk science, we could reach levels of progress unimaginable today.




posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 06:35 PM
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If we freed ourselves from the bonds of ignorant superstition, nationalism, political allegiance, junk entertainment, and junk science, we could reach levels of progress unimaginable today.

First you need a clear definition of "progress" but in principle I agree for the most part. Superstition (and the fear inherent), entertainment (junk is probably in the eye of the beholder), and junk science (you mean pseudo?) are absolutely non-starters. But nationalism and politics are probably deeply ingrained with humans as survival mechanisms, it's the distortion and exploitation of those mechanisms which becomes problematic.

edit on 4/25/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 06:55 PM
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a reply to: vexati0n

On the one hand, you "believe" these things.

On the other, we have countless examples of well intentioned science creating catastrophic results.

To be honest, i will take reality over beliefs every single time.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 06:56 PM
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Yah, what the hell, remove al the mountain tops to get the coal, dig bigger pit mines to get at lesser copper and gold deposits. Drill ever deeper to get deeper ocean oil deposits and manufacture huger machines to do all this. Larger, bigger, more everything…

Then we can have some really big, never before, unheard of environmental disasters, melt downs, burn ups, blow outs and toxic spills…



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 07:03 PM
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I could be a tree hugger, and am definitely 'humanity first', so morality means people and the planet are taken care of first and foremost. If high tech has to sit on the back-burner for a while at times then so be it.

I do however completely support any research, such as medical advancements, which add to the care and comfort of human life, and the health of our planet.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 07:09 PM
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a reply to: ladyinwaiting
nothing will be placed on the back burner that shows a hint of profit.
we live on Money Planet after all!
we chase the buck with greed and haste.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 07:25 PM
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a reply to: vexati0n

It sounds like you want to see some topics forbidden in science.

If a Nobel prize winner says something like, "Quantum theory is now being fruitfully combined with theories of information and computation. These developments may lead to an explanation of processes still not understood within conventional science such as telepathy, an area where Britain is at the forefront of research," should he be punished? Sent to re-education camp? Have his Nobel taken away?

If a world-renowned mathematical physicist says, “If one believes, as I do, that ESP exists but is scientifically untestable, one must believe that the scope of science is limited,” should he be harassed?

I mean, how firm would you like to be with such 'kooks'.

👣


edit on 082Saturday000000America/ChicagoApr000000SaturdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
a reply to: vexati0n

It sounds like you want to see some topics forbidden in science.

If a Nobel prize winner says something like, "Quantum theory is now being fruitfully combined with theories of information and computation. These developments may lead to an explanation of processes still not understood within conventional science such as telepathy, an area where Britain is at the forefront of research," should he be punished? Sent to re-education camp? Have his Nobel taken away?

If a world-renowned mathematical physicist says, “If one believes, as I do, that ESP exists but is scientifically untestable, one must believe that the scope of science is limited,” should be be harassed?

I mean, how firm would you like to be with such 'kooks'.

👣



I have no problem with believing that ESP exists. But until a method is devised to test it, the idea should be shunned. When such a method of testing is devised, it should be exhaustively researched, and the resulting scientific results respected. If he is disproved but continues to spout on about how he's pretty sure he's right anyway, he should be be locked in an asylum for the rest of his life. If, however, ESP is shown to exist, it should be documented and the knowledge passed to as many people as possible, and any "spiritual" explanation should be eradicated since the phenomenon would be scientific at that point.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: vexati0n

Until a method is devised?! Many methods have been devised! Parapsychology has been researching psi for a century using a variety of methods. Didn't you know that?

1. Research on parapsychological phenomena (psi) is being carried out in various accredited universities and research centers throughout the world by academics in different disciplines trained in the scientific method (e.g., circa 80 Ph.D.s have been awarded in psi-related topics in the UK in recent years). This research has continued for over a century despite the taboo against investigating the topic, almost complete lack of funding, and professional and personal attacks. The Parapsychological Association has been an affiliate of the AAAS since 1969, and more than 20 Nobel prizewinners and many other eminent scientists have supported the study of psi or even conducted research themselves.

2. Despite a negative attitude by some editors and reviewers, results supporting the validity of psi phenomena continue to be published in peer-reviewed, academic journals in relevant fields, from psychology to neuroscience to physics.

3. Increased experimental controls have not eliminated or even decreased significant support for the existence of psi phenomena, as suggested by various recent meta-analyses.

4. These meta-analyses and other studies suggest that data supportive of psi phenomena cannot reasonably be accounted for by chance or by a “file drawer” effect. Indeed, contrary to most disciplines, parapsychology journals have for decades encouraged publication of null results and of papers critical of a psi explanation. A psi trial registry has been established to improve research practice.

5. The effect sizes reported in most meta-analyses are relatively small and the phenomena cannot be produced on demand, but this also characterizes various phenomena found in other disciplines that focus on complex human behavior and performance such as psychology and medicine.

6. Although more conclusive explanations for psi phenomena await further theoretical and research development, they do not prima facie violate known laws of nature given modern theories in physics that transcend classical restrictions of time and space, combined with growing evidence for quantum effects in biological systems.

A CALL FOR AN OPEN, INFORMED STUDY OF ALL ASPECTS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

👣


edit on 078Saturday000000America/ChicagoApr000000SaturdayAmerica/Chicago by BlueMule because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 08:22 PM
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a reply to: vexati0n




If he is disproved but continues to spout on about how he's pretty sure he's right anyway, he should be be locked in an asylum for the rest of his life.


And from your OP


To stand in the way of scientific advancement because of "ethical concerns" is treason against the species.


Asylum? Treason against humanity.

You sound like a middle ages inquisitor. What do you have to offer for the greater good of mankind? Is this the best you can offer? Should you be put out to pasture



Political and social systems that disadvantage anyone for any reason should be abolished.


But there is no such system that is all inclusive in existence today. High ideals you spout...you should fall on your own sword as there exists no unbiased ethical scientific oiligarchy in power on the planet today.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 10:23 PM
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originally posted by: BlueMule
Until a method is devised?! Many methods have been devised! Parapsychology has been researching psi for a century using a variety of methods. Didn't you know that?

...And over a century later, they still have absolutely nothing in the way of testable evidence or repeatable results. Funny thing, that.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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Could you please give me a scientific explanation for dowsing? I'd really appreciate it because I've never been able to find anyone who could do so.
I've had a lot of folk tell me that it is superstition. And yet when I get my little rods and go looking, I can find every underground pipe/line in their yards.
I'd really appreciate it if you could give me the scientific explanation since I've been practicing this superstition successfully for over 30 years now.

I find it troubling that there are folks like you who promote ridiculing people who have spiritual beliefs that differ from yours.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 10:30 PM
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a reply to: diggindirt
some people just will not believe..even when the proof is staring them in the face they will still demand proof.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 10:39 PM
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originally posted by: autopat51
a reply to: diggindirt
some people just will not believe..even when the proof is staring them in the face they will still demand proof.


That is not true at all. If there were legitimate scientific proof of anything, no matter how far out it may seem, I would believe it (legitimate being the key word).

As far as the dowsing thing, there have been a number of studies done with people who claimed to be able to dowse, some with "100% accuracy", and in every study, the dowsers statistically fared no better than they would by chance.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 11:59 PM
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a reply to: vexati0n


I believe that the purpose of biological life is to give rise to sentience

Oh dear. This shoots your thesis in the foot before it leaves the starting-block.

If biological life has a purpose, then the onus is on us to determine what that purpose rather than second-guessing it as you have done. Until such time as the purpose is self-evidently clear (which it manifestly is not), we had best leave nature alone.


edit on 25/4/15 by Astyanax because: of paragraphs.



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 12:04 AM
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"Luddites"..... Put some more tags on it. All in the name of independent and do-goodie "technology" of course.



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 12:05 AM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: vexati0n

On the one hand, you "believe" these things.

On the other, we have countless examples of well intentioned science creating catastrophic results.


Yeah. Pretty much everything in sight is a perfect example of that. I don't know whether to laugh or cry about how screwed up everything is. I'm not even an environmentalist and frankly, I think the sooner the human race goes extinct, the sooner the planet can move on to better things. It doesn't take an environmentalist to see that this species is a freak of nature.



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 12:07 AM
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a reply to: BrianFlanders



I think the sooner the human race goes extinct, the sooner the planet can move on to better things.

Don't have kids, do you?



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 12:10 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: BrianFlanders



I think the sooner the human race goes extinct, the sooner the planet can move on to better things.

Don't have kids, do you?


Nope. And I think it was a smart choice not to.



posted on Apr, 26 2015 @ 12:10 AM
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a reply to: BrianFlanders

I used to think that. I got a late start.
I know better now.
edit on 4/26/2015 by Phage because: (no reason given)



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