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The Role of Religion in Space Travel

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:46 pm
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The Role of Religion in Space Travel 

Are you religious?
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The Role of Religion in Space Travel 
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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:39 pm
Dan is hardly a tyranny. Nor is Fred Phelps. Nor is Richard Dawkins.

They are however, militant for better or, more generally, worse.

The threads question is not about the existence of God, but about how space travel will impact various belief systems.

For example, not finding life on Mars or other planets will be quite problematic for 'life forms easily' or 'panspermia' origins theorists. Finding Life there will be problematic for others as it is not mentioned in many 'holy' scriptures.

Some threads of Christianity have already begun to adapt to the idea of ET Intelligent life however, for example a verse from an old Larry Norman song, U.F.O.:

And if there's life on other planets,
Then I'm sure that He must know,
'Cause He's been there once already,
And has dies to save their souls...


Such interactions will modify dogma if not the religion itself as surely as the assimilation of the facts that world is not flat, nor is it the center of the universe.

Hindu Cosmology is, of all religions, probably the most resilient. It had no problem with the arrival of the Big Bang theory when even athiests were squeamish. The cosmology predicts a very large universe filled with life. The existence of the Universe is cyclic and runs of vast periods of time. As science comes up with new and different estimates of the age of the universe Hindu cosmology will barely blink.

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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:53 pm
idiom wrote:
Dan is hardly a tyranny. Nor is Fred Phelps. Nor is Richard Dawkins.


I beg to differ. Except Richard Dawkins. He's certainly not a tyrant.

Phelps psychologically dominates his family with his calvinistic ideals and fear of hellfire.

Tyrant: Rules by fear.

Dan has publically claimed that others who disagree with him are 'dead', and demanded they repent.

Tyrant: Demands obedience and dismisses any opposition.

And Garrido... Yep, I noticed you didn't disagree with me there. :)


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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:02 am
To idiom: I'm sorry, but this very much is about religion vs atheism, because the opening message of this thread contained 3 somewhat shocking "snookers" in which not only did the author of the thread attack his own integrity as a scientist (implying, I suppose, that we all were just as guilty), but also swiped at Richard Dawkins, a noted atheist scientist, after reading a religious attack on him in an old online discussion thread. I explain this on the previous page of this thread. If those 3 things had not been done, I would agree with you... but you yourself just tried to "snooker" us by mis-paraphrasing a previous message and lumping Dawkins in the "tyrant" category with Phelps, when these people have completely different approaches to how they assert what is real, and they have completely different desires as to what should happen to other different-thinking people. One clearly desires their death and wants an end to any semblance of secular liberty and democracy in America (why do you think he says "God Hates the USA?") The other does not do or say anything of the sort.

I agree with you that Hinduism has a robust dynamic and self-correcting somewhat secular philosophical side to it that can accept things like the big bang, women's equality, sexual freedom, human rights, scientific inquiry and so on. It shares this with Buddhism. It is yet another snooker, another literary trick commonly used by religious people to put mystical beliefs like Buddhism and Hinduism in the same category as monotheist religion (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) just long enough to try to take a pot shot at atheists - when Hinduism and Buddhism are very different from monotheism, and are some of the only surviving pagan beliefs and societies left from the rampage the monotheists made around the world to convert everyone (they are doing this to Africa now because Africa has been divided and weak and never united in time like India and China did). All the rest of the great pagan societies were destroyed by the monotheists and the only reason Hinduism and Buddhism still exist at all is the sheer number of people who believed them by the time the monotheists arrived - they could not kill them all so they simply put them to work.


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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:56 am
Orion Soyuz wrote:
I agree with you that Hinduism has a robust dynamic and self-correcting somewhat secular philosophical side to it that can accept things like the big bang, women's equality, sexual freedom, human rights, scientific inquiry and so on. It shares this with Buddhism. It is yet another snooker, another literary trick commonly used by religious people to put mystical beliefs like Buddhism and Hinduism in the same category as monotheist religion (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) just long enough to try to take a pot shot at atheists - when Hinduism and Buddhism are very different from monotheism, and are some of the only surviving pagan beliefs and societies left from the rampage the monotheists made around the world to convert everyone (they are doing this to Africa now because Africa has been divided and weak and never united in time like India and China did). All the rest of the great pagan societies were destroyed by the monotheists and the only reason Hinduism and Buddhism still exist at all is the sheer number of people who believed them by the time the monotheists arrived - they could not kill them all so they simply put them to work.


I think you could add Confucianism to this broad category as well.

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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:00 am
Monkey Liar wrote:
SA_Rocket_Guy wrote:
My two cents.

If there is no God, why do Atheists react so forcefully to something which they don't believe in?

Personally, I ignore things that don't exist.

"Reality is that which,
when you stop believing in it,
doesn't go away".
Philip K. Dick


I also ignore things that don't exist.

However I find it very hard to ignore people who don't ignore things that don't exist. They tend to run into trouble sooner or later. The kind of trouble that will likely impact me.

Like our Friend Dan hassling folks in a thread in the Armadillo forum. I'm not about to sit there and let him go on insulting people and basically threatening them with damnation. He's plain bad. And he is very real.

As real as a suicide bomber, or Fred Phelps, or Phillip Garrido. These are horrendous people who must be stopped. That is tyranny and it will not stand.


This.

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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:39 am
Orion Soyuz wrote:
To idiom: I'm sorry, but this very much is about religion vs atheism, because the opening message of this thread contained 3 somewhat shocking "snookers" in which not only did the author of the thread attack his own integrity as a scientist (implying, I suppose, that we all were just as guilty), but also swiped at Richard Dawkins, a noted atheist scientist, after reading a religious attack on him in an old online discussion thread. I explain this on the previous page of this thread. If those 3 things had not been done, I would agree with you... but you yourself just tried to "snooker" us by mis-paraphrasing a previous message and lumping Dawkins in the "tyrant" category with Phelps, when these people have completely different approaches to how they assert what is real, and they have completely different desires as to what should happen to other different-thinking people. One clearly desires their death and wants an end to any semblance of secular liberty and democracy in America (why do you think he says "God Hates the USA?") The other does not do or say anything of the sort.

I agree with you that Hinduism has a robust dynamic and self-correcting somewhat secular philosophical side to it that can accept things like the big bang, women's equality, sexual freedom, human rights, scientific inquiry and so on. It shares this with Buddhism. It is yet another snooker, another literary trick commonly used by religious people to put mystical beliefs like Buddhism and Hinduism in the same category as monotheist religion (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) just long enough to try to take a pot shot at atheists - when Hinduism and Buddhism are very different from monotheism, and are some of the only surviving pagan beliefs and societies left from the rampage the monotheists made around the world to convert everyone (they are doing this to Africa now because Africa has been divided and weak and never united in time like India and China did). All the rest of the great pagan societies were destroyed by the monotheists and the only reason Hinduism and Buddhism still exist at all is the sheer number of people who believed them by the time the monotheists arrived - they could not kill them all so they simply put them to work.


Dawkins is a self-described 'militant' atheist who exhorts others to become 'militant also. How much violence has Fred Phelps actaully engaged in? Or is he simply guilty or trying to persuade others to his peculiar world view?

The Opening post has not a barrage of snide remarks poke at the question of how religion and science, speifically space science mix. You seem to be of the opion that was speculated that science and religion are somehwo mutually exclusive?

Hinduism didn't accept the Big Bang Theory, it predated it. It has a hypothesis as to what preceded the Big Bang, its hypothesis was written down thousands of years ago by quite religious individuals.

You seem very very angry and are taking slight at the mildest of remarks. I am suprised people find people like Dan to actually be threatening.

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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:48 am
Militant Atheist.

Interesting phrase. What does it actually mean?

Because the picture I've got in my head is Teal'C from Stargate-SG1.

So basically a fictional character. And a good guy at that.

I think you misunderstand me about Phelps. His tyranny is directed at his family - its about keeping them under his control. Empowering him over them. He does this by spinning his calvinistic yarn. Go find and watch all parts of this Louis Theroux documentary:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSFrNOnvtls

.. And I dare you not to be horrified by the power Phelps exudes over his family in the part where he delivers his sermon.

What if your child went to a school with a teacher like that? Would you like your children being preached at in such a way? THAT is tyranny.


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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:43 am
Well I guess it is a good thing neither Phelps nor Dawkins feels compelled by their beliefs to build rockets then.

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Post Re: The objectivity of God   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:31 pm
Beliefs based on what God says are objective because:
1) God exists outside of time. Therefore, he never changes his mind.
2) God is omnicient. Therefore he is the only being able to determine anything.
3) God does not have wants or desires. Therefore he is the only being able to be objective.

Compare this to humans: we change our minds all the time. We are never sure if we are correct, because there might be some information that lies outside our knowledge. We are influenced by our own wants and desires. Therefore we are never able to be objective.

About aliens: If we found aliens somewhere out there, it would pose no more problem than dinosaurs. Dinosaurs weren't written about explicitely in the Bible, because they weren't important to the human mission. Neither was Stalin prophesied about explicitely in the bible. The rebirth of Israel was. Because that was important.

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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:42 pm
I have to be honest I love Richard Dawkins because I just feel he speaks common sense and looks for evidence.

Here is a really funny video I found on Facebook today, its about Religious people saying their is no evidence for evolution and it made me smile :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrpT5X8y ... r_embedded

Rob

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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:14 pm
Those who say that there is a conflict between Judaism and Science, don't know Judaism or don't know Science, and probably don't know either.
There are Rabbis who insist that the Judaism conflicts with Science. And there are Scientists who say that Science conflicts with Judaism. But there isn't anybody who knows both who believes that there is any conflict.

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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:13 pm
"Militate" means "to operate against". A militant atheist would imply a person who operates against religious stuff actively - explaining perfectly why Richard Dawkins behaves as he does. Let's cut Richard some slack people. He's one of a handful of people verses millions of religious extremists. He makes our world more interesting because he's not afraid to call religious people out and hold them responsible for ethically wrong things they are doing, while most of us would be too afraid to. He is one of those "candles in the dark" that Carl Sagan talked about. (Many extremely brave people like Dawkins have been religious people too - none of them ever canonized as saints.)

As for who's belief would "lead one to build rockets", Dawkins is the type of person (a secular scientist) who supports the space program. Evangelical religious people are far less interested in it. idiom, please stop putting Dawkins in the same categories as these extreme religious people like Dan or Fred. We aren't falling for it, but it is somewhat insulting to the intelligence.

As for Judaism & the space program... all 3 monotheisms have more moderate people in them that don't mind scientific stuff. If that hadn't happened, we wouldn't be here today talking about this stuff. There likely wouldn't even be an Internet. Religious people who tolerate science do not exist because of their religious background... they exist in spite of it.

Sagan has said that there is no specific reason why religion has to have been the way it was in the Dark Ages, or in the militant fundamentalisms of today. In New England we have a huge number of moderate religious people (though the fundamentalists are trying very hard to change this, it seems).. I hope Sagan is right about that, because it's not a very good idea that these religious extremists would have access to nuclear weapons arsenals in the future as they grow and spread their fundamentalism through more and more strictly religious schools for children.

Finally, yeah, Confucianism and Taoism are in the same category as Hinduism and Buddhism. Shinto and Sufism could be, if it were true that Sufi actually predates Islam - and Shinto has a bad case history in Industrial Japan.


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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:14 pm
Orion Soyuz wrote:
[Dawkins] makes our world more interesting because he's not afraid to call religious people out and hold them responsible for ethically wrong things they are doing, while most of us would be too afraid to. He is one of those "candles in the dark" that Carl Sagan talked about.
What relation does Richard Dawkins have with ethics?

As for Judaism & the space program... all 3 monotheisms have more moderate people in them that don't mind scientific stuff. If that hadn't happened, we wouldn't be here today talking about this stuff. There likely wouldn't even be an Internet. Religious people who tolerate science do not exist because of their religious background... they exist in spite of it.
That is simply untrue. Maimonaides is accepted throughout "religious" Judaism as one of the primary figures in Judaism, and one of the great Mideaval authorities on Judaism. Yet, he was greatly involved in the sciences of his age (such as they were). The Talmud and other religious texts require great mathematical knowledge to understand. Religious people don't "tolerate" science - they just don't live for science. Believers in Judaism don't live for science, science lives for us.
Sagan has said that there is no specific reason why religion has to have been the way it was in the Dark Ages, or in the militant fundamentalisms of today. In New England we have a huge number of moderate religious people (though the fundamentalists are trying very hard to change this, it seems).. I hope Sagan is right about that, because it's not a very good idea that these religious extremists would have access to nuclear weapons arsenals in the future as they grow and spread their fundamentalism through more and more strictly religious schools for children.

Judaism hasn't changed fundamentally from the time that the Torah was revealed at Mount Sinai, over 3,000 years ago.

Finally, yeah, Confucianism and Taoism are in the same category as Hinduism and Buddhism. Shinto and Sufism could be, if it were true that Sufi actually predates Islam - and Shinto has a bad case history in Industrial Japan.

What category?

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Post Re: The Role of Religion in Space Travel   Posted on: Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:57 pm
Rob Goldsmith wrote:
I have to be honest I love Richard Dawkins because I just feel he speaks common sense and looks for evidence.


I also recommend Bill Maher's Religulous :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religulous

And to end this with some fun:
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