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And Then They Call Our Minds Closed

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posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 01:36 AM
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reply to post by Gigatronix
 


ME!!!

gigatronix......well said!!!!

Just to take some of the wind out of your sails.....I'm not sure I'm an Atheist, because that involves being as much of a 'believer' as the 'theists'.....

I prefer rational thinking, personally.




posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 01:48 AM
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Originally posted by weedwhacker
reply to post by Gigatronix
 


ME!!!

gigatronix......well said!!!!

Just to take some of the wind out of your sails.....I'm not sure I'm an Atheist, because that involves being as much of a 'believer' as the 'theists'.....

I prefer rational thinking, personally.
There's nothing wrong with believing, so long as you don't put too much weight on a belief that's too open to interpretation. Would I die to defend my beliefs on spirituality? Nope. Would I die to defend my right to choose that belief? Yes.

Rational thinking and logic appeals to me too Weed, when you discover a label that applies to you, let me know and I'll try it on for size hehe.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 02:10 AM
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reply to post by Gigatronix
 


Gig.....a Label???

Isn't that part of the problem, for centuries???


Assigning labels???

Probably one of the best 'recent' science fiction TV shows to deal with this subject......and there were many.....but, I want to focus on a Star Trek: TNG Epidode titled 'The Measure of a Man"

It was a 'Data' heavy episode, but with the undercurrent of a potential former love interest with Picard.....which made it quite complex, for about 48 minutes....!!!

BECAUSE it was, really about Data.....or, to be more specific, about WHETHER it was socially acceptable to 'create' a race of subservient beings.....and there was a love story, as a secondary plot-line....to engage the audience, (there ALWAYS has to be a secondary 'plot-line'....rule in HollyWood)....but really, the story WAS about slavery....plain and simple!!!!

WHAT is more relevant than that????

I have read, and seen, a LOT of Science Fiction in my time.....but I still think this is a Stand OUT story.....well deserving of attention, whatever your pre-conceived opinions of Star Trek might be!!





BIG EDIT for gigatronix....I cannot come up with a 'label' to define me.

I don't think that ANY Religion is correct....because, either they ALL are correct, or NONE of them are correct.....in fact, it is the height of arroagance to think that ANYONE can 'know' god....

I've rejected atheism, as much as I've rejected 'theism'!!!!!

There is no 'either/or'...well, there probably is.....but we'll never know for sure, untill we die.


''





[edit on 2/22/0909 by weedwhacker]



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 03:03 AM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 

Im a Trekkie myself, and I know the episode you're talking about.

Labels aren't so bad, they can be useful. It's attaching an assumption to a label that's problematic. And I mean beyond assuming I don't believe in God(s) because I'm an Atheist. Like assuming because I'm an Atheist I have no moral compass for example. People don't like labels because of the response they get as a result. It's not the labels fault, it's the person making assumptions fault.

Big edit for Weed:

If you reject the school of thought that posits there is a god and you reject the school of though that there isn't a god, where are you left with? Is there a 3rd option?


[edit on 22-2-2009 by Gigatronix]



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 



Matrix....what an important concept!!!


Thank you.



Focusing on what I think this thread is steering towards, seems to be religion, and religious 'belief'.


This is where I get my knickers in a twist!


I realize that Dawkins perpetually uses the term religion when it comes to a belief in a power with consciousness. Yes, I read his God Delusion book.

I came out of Christianity. I no longer am a Christian or religious. But here is the interesting thing about the definition of religion (besides that connected to a God or orthodox religion):


Religion: "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe...a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects...the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices...something a person believes in and follows devotedly." - Websters.


This definition can be applied to many groups with united thinking!!


There is a place for a 'closed mind'....because, that 'mindset' helps in demying every scientific endeavour.


It acts as a resistance for our growth, don't you think? It also shows our limitations - if we are willing to admit that we have any.

I believe in a God or power with consciousness and have had overwhelming evidence in my own life. But I know better than to convince anyone else of it. THAT is freedom to me.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 04:08 PM
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reply to post by Gigatronix
 



I guess I'm safe then. i have no Pope or Guru, and I don't absolutely know anything, except that I don't absolutely know anything.


I only say that because of the evidentiary ones there are in religions and also...Dawkins is referred by his critics as Pope. Also the evangelizing he is openly doing for atheism.


I identify myself as Atheist because Atheism is the closest general label I can apply to myself so everybody has an idea where I'm coming from. My theory and philosophy is very spiritual and open-minded, it just doesn't include a God. Doesn't mean I'm opposed to god or the theory of a God, it just mean I don't feel a God fit's into my personal beliefs at this time. My belief system is flexible enough to accept new information and give it a fair shake though.


Thank you. I appreciate your humility. I certainly couldn't care less who is an atheist or whatever. What I have a problem with is; contempt prior to investigation. Or grand assumptions based strictly on opinion. Just as we all have an arse, we all likewise have opinions, but I ask; "based on what?"

We each have different realities that make up our existence. It does not nullify the reality of another.
Which is why I view science as having its limitations.


reply to post by weedwhacker
 



Just to take some of the wind out of your sails.....I'm not sure I'm an Atheist, because that involves being as much of a 'believer' as the 'theists'.....

I prefer rational thinking, personally.


Oh, wow!!! Appreciate that! Not many can take this stand that you have. VERY open-minded.

I go rounds with my friends: noob, Gw and nj, - all atheists. But I have not heard one of them admit what you just did.




posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 



Assigning labels???

Probably one of the best 'recent' science fiction TV shows to deal with this subject......and there were many.....but, I want to focus on a Star Trek: TNG Epidode titled 'The Measure of a Man"


I know you weren't talking to me but I had to interject: I have been a big follower of TNG also. In particular - Q. I put the Gods into a similar category as they depicted it. A heavenly congress with its many characters and roles.

Also, Babylon 5.


I don't think that ANY Religion is correct....because, either they ALL are correct, or NONE of them are correct.....in fact, it is the height of arroagance to think that ANYONE can 'know' god....

I've rejected atheism, as much as I've rejected 'theism'!!!!!

There is no 'either/or'...well, there probably is.....but we'll never know for sure, untill we die.


I agree. The only part I differ on is the last statement. I believe he/she/it is available now, but one needs to take off the conditioned religious filters.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 12:30 AM
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reply to post by Gigatronix
 


No....'Trekkie' is a pejorative term.

Sorry if you didn;t know that already.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by Gigatronix
 


To your edit, Gig....

I wish to have the chance to respond, because I've struggled with that question for a very long time.

I see a 'mindless' observance to a 'God' as not much different from what the ancient Egyptians, did, or the ancient Greeks did...idiotic 'reverance' to a 'god' or 'gods'.....

Not going on the 'atheist' bandwagon either, because that is much the same. It still requires a 'belief'......whether 'theist', or 'atheist'....requires a commitment.

Not sure how to explain my position.....'open minded'????

Seems to work.

By rejecting everything that many, many, many Humans have tried to inflict upon us for century after century, telling us WHAT to believe, and WHAT to believe in, I think it's time to use our brains.

An OPEN mind will not fall out!!!



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 01:56 AM
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Gigatronix, MatrixProphet, weedwacker: thank you all for your contributions. They have been quite interesting to read. May I gently remind you, however, that the thread is about something else.

It does not matter a whit whether or not a convinced atheist has a similar kind of mind to a convinced believer. The issue here is that of people deliberately refusing to accept genuine, evidential, gilt-edged facts because they happen to contradict what the believer wants to believe in.

This cartoon, which I found on a friend's ATS profile, shows what we're talking about.


I'd really love to see us return to the topic, which is one I am quite strongly exercised about at the moment. Thank you.

[edit on 23-2-2009 by Astyanax]



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 02:12 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 



Asty, I very much appreciate your point (although the cartoon didn't come through, entirely).....

Just for grins' sake....I seem to have lost your original focus......my bad.

At what point did I 'jump the shark'?

I'll say this, in my defense, before you respond....I thought that the title of your thread was inviting a broad discussion....I did NOT mean to deflect off-topic, since I believed EVERYTHING to be fair game.

Sorry.....



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 02:54 AM
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reply to post by weedwhacker
 


Asty, I very much appreciate your point (although the cartoon didn't come through, entirely).

Thanks for the appreciation, WW. Click on the cartoon to see all of it.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 03:49 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


That cartoon is so funny Astyanax!

I can only imagine that people who see conspiracies in nearly everything must have very unhappy lives. Take the Jupiter Igniting thread for example. So much good evidence has been given to show that it's untrue.

On the other side of the fence, you have people who put so much energy into ignoring the evidence, and consistently throw more conspiracies into the mix to muddy the waters further that one must assume that they truly want this type of disaster to happen. That they want to prolong the 'magic' as long as is humanly possible! It seems important to them that this stuff is actually happening.

I don't know if they think talking about it on a forum means they are going to make some kind of difference (whatever they might imagine that to be). I really don't understand the mindset.

Griffinrl even supplied pictures he kindly took in the last 24hrs with his telescope showing Jupiter to be completely normal but certain members have already commented that they are not convinced! Is this caliber of denial a mental disease? It's certainly not 'normal'.

IRM



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 04:31 AM
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Sorry, I havent had time to read the whole thread. As someone who has participated in "skeptics-bashing" and has even made a few threads on it, I do feel the desire to respond to your OP though.


Originally posted by Astyanax
It seems that not a day passes on ATS without someone posting a new thread berating 'closed-minded sceptics' - you know, those awkward folk who demand reasonable evidence before accepting the latest bizarre report or theory as true.


The "believer" types can be just as closed-minded as those "skeptics". Having been labelled as a "believer-type" and "skeptics-basher" myself I can and will confirm that some of us are skeptics too. Skeptical in another direction. Skeptical of the "official story". Doesnt that make us skeptics as well?

Our resentment of consensus-reality probably derives from cases of broken trust in our childhood, of having placed trust in the word of "authorities", and that trust being shattered by experiences to the contrary. If I didnt have that many paranormal and UFO-Experiences in my own lifetime, I´d probably place more trust in the mainstream.




The boot of gullibility is on the other foot. Your average conspiracy theorist, New Age visionary or Indigo Child will swallow anything as long as it accords with his cherished beliefs. He'd swallow a whale if it swam up to him and professed undying belief in his pet theory. But offer him the tiniest shred of evidence contradicting that theory and watch him explode in fury


The people you are describing are often younger, more inexperienced believer-types. I may be a believer in UFOs and the Paranormal...and yet I dismiss all the examples you are citing as nonsense.

At the same time I would like to protest the "Skeptics" tendency to cherry-pick many of the most cheap and silly examples of non-mainstream thought to attack.




A sceptic - to use the terminology so much in favour here on ATS - is obliged to change his views when he is given compelling evidence for doing so. If he doesn't he is obliged to resign the position of sceptic. The thing about sceptics is that they refuse to believe against the evidence.


This does not work as a general rule. An example: A murderer will remove all the evidence of having killed someone. A police officer who says "There is no evidence of a murder having happened" will not have any drive to do an investigation. A good policeman must follow his suspicions and leads even if they sometimes lead nowhere.

"Skeptics" offer a lot of Discouragement that can lead to many stones unturned.

Furthermore: Who ever said that this specific site was primarily meant to collect scientific evidence? It wasnt. It was meant to stretch and speculate beyond what is known.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 05:05 AM
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reply to post by InfaRedMan
 


One must assume that they truly want this type of disaster to happen. That they want to prolong the 'magic' as long as is humanly possible! It seems important to them that this stuff is actually happening.

Quite often they'll admit it, too. 'Why does everything have to have an explanation? It takes all the fun out of life!' Keats griped that Newton had taken all the fun out of nature by 'unweaving the rainbow'. Keats was, of course, a somewhat extreme case.

How can any amount of rational, objective explanation reduce by one iota the wonder, the beauty, the pity and the terror of the world?

Believers have their explanations for things, just like sceptics do. They even have explanations for things that don't exist, such as 'Morgellons disease' and human auras. So it isn't having an explanation that's the problem: it's the type of explanation.

An exciting, evocatively-written piece of nonsense, replete with flights of fancy and mumbo-jumbo factoids, has many advantages over a real scientific explanation. It is less technical, more enjoyable to read and the illustrations in it are a lot more attractive. It is easily grasped at a single reading (so long as one does not demand too much of the arguments presented). It gives the reader the illusion of understanding and makes her feel intelligent. Above all, it is inspiring - at least to the uneducated.

Contrast this with the average scientific paper. It is usually difficult and highly technical, relying on specialist knowledge and often - Heaven forfend! - mathematics. It takes time to read - often, a single paragraph must be read five or six times before it is completely grasped. If it contains maths it will take even longer to read, since mathematics is really a highly compressed form of shorthand. The illustrations, if it has any, are minimal, utilitarian and hard to puzzle out - at first glance, more offputting than not. Rather than flattering the reader's intelligence, it is far more likely to make uncompromisingly evident the limitations of that intelligence.

A scientific paper, or any rational explanation of anything, can be inspiring, too. Ideas, no matter what guise they appear in, usually inspire other ideas - this is one of the atributes of an idea. Rational, particularly scientific ideas give rise to other ideas as attention and understanding move from one context to another. Irrational, mumbo-jumbo ideas just inspire more mumbo-jumbo.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 05:21 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


The people you are describing are often younger, more inexperienced believer-types.

Most Believers fall into this category, for the simple reason that few sane grown-ups can possibly continue to believe in rubbish unless authorized to do so by religious or political authority (given which precondition eighty percent of the human race will obediently believe anything). The tiny handful of older Believers invariably fit into one of three categories:
  1. the certifiably insane;

  2. the clingers - people of such desperate mental frailty that they will fall to pieces if their self-defining belief systems are punctured;

  3. the professionals - those for whom Belief is a livelihood.

The last group doesn't necessarily have to believe, of course; they only have to pretend they do.


Our resentment of consensus-reality probably derives from cases of broken trust in our childhood, of having placed trust in the word of "authorities", and that trust being shattered by experiences to the contrary.

Come now - I, too, in my turn, discovered that Santa Claus was a figment and that when Mummy said 'we'll see' she really meant 'no'. I accommodated these revelations without any great difficulty, drawing from them the lesson that authorities are not to be trusted on their word, but rather on their record of telling the truth and being right. I think you make too much out of a bagatelle.

Your other points are just the usual special pleading, I'm afraid. They have already been discussed in the thread and comprehsively defenestrated.

[edit on 23-2-2009 by Astyanax]



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 05:31 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


By that narrow definition I would either be insane, a professional-scam-artist or a "clinger". Thanks.


Since you avoided the main points brought up, let me repeat them:

1. I am skeptical of mainstream information. Doesnt that make me a Skeptic?

2. Is it important for a police officer to follow claims of crime even if there is no evidence (yet)?

3. Is this website more of a place for scientific research or for speculation?



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 05:53 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


By that narrow definition I would either be insane, a professional-scam-artist or a "clinger". Thanks.

No, you could also be one of that rare but nonetheless extant group of professional believers who actually believe. Which is, for what it's worth, what I have always understood you to be. Such people have an obvious incentive to believe that trumps mere mental disturbance.


I am skeptical of mainstream information. Doesnt that make me a Skeptic?

No, it just means you have chosen your side and are sticking to it. Have you ever investigated any of this 'mainstream information' using rational, or scientific, or forensic or whatever-the-heck-you-want-to call-them methods to find out whether it is true or not? It is a commitment to reason and evidence, not an expressed disbelief in so-and-so or such-and-such, that makes a sceptic.


Is it important for a police officer to follow claims of crime even if there is no evidence (yet)?

It is not, and police methodology makes this clear. Lacking any evidence of foul play, no police department in the world is going to open a murder investigation. If someone is making a claim of murder, the claim will be investigated; but if no substantiating evidence is found the case will be closed. You sound like a man who likes reading what the French call policiers - and believing what you read. That speaks well for you, Skyfloating; it suggests that you truly are a Believer and not a charlatan.


3. Is this website more of a place for scientific research or for speculation?

Neither. It is a recreational site and nothing more.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 06:05 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Have you ever investigated any of this 'mainstream information' using rational, or scientific, or forensic or whatever-the-heck-you-want-to call-them methods to find out whether it is true or not?


Yes. My career as a skeptic (of mainstream reality) started when my teacher taught me that Columbus discovered America. This was accompanied by pretty pictures of seafarers arriving at the cost of the Americas. My young, impressionable mind took it for granted. Later, when the SKEPTIC in me began questioning that, I found out that Columbus did not discover America.

My career as a Skeptic of apparent reality skyrocketed when on my very first job I found out that my boss is not actually the nice bearded Mr. Uncle he pretended to be and everyone believed him to be for years but a coke-snorting illegal trafficker and exploiter of underage prostitutes.

You see, we had no evidence and knowledge of that until the police came dragging him away. A colleague of mine once voiced suspicion, but I said "Dont be paranoid. He`s a nice guy".




If someone is making a claim of murder, the claim will be investigated


Thats right. Before there is proof there must FIRST be investigation.



posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 02:58 AM
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Hi Ast,

I am stubborn. I proclaim Jesus all the time.

I am here to tell you that Jesus saves.

I do this on every thread.

Yeah for Jesus!!!!



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