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Passions in Poetry

"The Americans are not entirely unsophisticated"

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moonbeam
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0 posted 10-27-2008 08:35 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

This from our regional newspaper comment column recently.

I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry, and which facet of it to laugh or cry at!

"By Peter Clarke

According to those confused but determined folk the creationists, today is the day that God created the Earth. It was in October 4004 BC that he decided to make the planet and all the life upon it.

This figure was derived from the biblical scholarship of James Ussher the Anglican Bishop of Armagh. He asserted the event occurred at nightfall. I do not quite understand that, as nightfall over Northern Ireland is daylight in Fiji. I don't doubt the Bishop's venerable learning but his reasoning seems comical to everyone that comprehends, however vaguely, the eons of evolution.

It is laughable but also worrying that Governor Sarah Palin and her like-minded Americans adhere to this failed hypothesis still. Can they not read? Can they not think? Can they not learn?

The Americans are not entirely unsophisticated. They accept there were many "bio-epochs" in which The Creator tinkered and tested diverse creatures, eventually discarding the dinosaurs and myriad other organisms for Homo sapiens and the mammals.

Theologians spent much brain power trying to assess the earth's antiquity but they limited themselves to the Old Testament in the search for evidence.

Anyway, if you have any lingering creationist sentiments we can all say happy birthday to our planet today. I don't know, but I assume the other planets share this happy if daft nativity.

Religion is a very curious force."
rwood
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1 posted 10-27-2008 09:02 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

In this instance?

I think it would be perfectly proper for sophistication to be left at the door, where Palin would then face Peter Clarke and very effectively mop the floor with him.

I've never underestimated the power of a mammal vs a canard.
WTBAKELAR
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2 posted 10-27-2008 01:05 PM       View Profile for WTBAKELAR   Email WTBAKELAR   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for WTBAKELAR

I read the thoughts of an other here,  What are your thoughts on where the Earth and the rest of the universe came from?
If you believe in the big bang theory, where did the big come from for the bang?  What is at the end of the universe?  What no end?  How far does it go?  Does it go into the distance, future, or past?  Do you believe that we are the only living creatures in this universe?  
Ease to ask questions,
Do you have the answers?  
God theory is not so hard to handle.

The answer is always NO, Until the question is asked.

moonbeam
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3 posted 10-27-2008 03:00 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

rwood

You may be right, she certainly seems like a ruthless person with a single minded conviction that she is always right.  People like that always win the battles, and always lose the war.

WTBAKELAR

I wasn’t really fired up so much by what he thought, as by the manner he said it which I thought was a bit patronizingly smug with a kind of English public school attempt to be witty.

As for what I think, I suppose that once you accept the “reality” of matter, as to which my mental jury is out, then you have to admire the work of someone like Stephen Hawking.  I largely subscribe to his position that “proposed that space and imaginary time together, are finite in extent, but without boundary. They would be like the surface of the Earth, but with two more dimensions. The surface of the Earth is finite in extent, but it doesn't have any boundaries or edges. I have been round the world, and I didn't fall off.”  This concept of finiteness without boundary is difficult to grapple with but neatly gets round some of the apparent paradoxes you suggest in your questions.  Are “we” the only living creatures in the universe?   I presume by “we” you mean life on Earth, then that’s easy: no.

“God theory is not so hard to handle.”

I have no idea what you mean by that comment.  What is “God theory”?  If by “God theory” you mean a theory that proposes that a spiritual being “made” a material world - then I’d say that was pretty illogical and unbelievable.

[This message has been edited by Ron (10-27-2008 03:59 PM).]

rwood
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4 posted 10-27-2008 04:04 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
You may be right, she certainly seems like a ruthless person with a single minded conviction that she is always right.  People like that always win the battles, and always lose the war.


Wait. Didn’t you post an article by a man named Clarke that blatantly degraded a woman and “like-minded Americans” because their beliefs were not the same as his own? He seems pretty convinced his findings are all-knowing and sophisticated above “confused but determined folk the creationists.”

I could be wrong, but I have a hunch that in a battle he’d be as flatulent as his writing, and in a war he’d be as absent as his humility.

I don’t adhere to a label of belief, but no human is all right and all-knowing above any other.
WTBAKELAR
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5 posted 10-27-2008 04:17 PM       View Profile for WTBAKELAR   Email WTBAKELAR   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for WTBAKELAR

Yes, we Earthlings,  I am a firm believer that if we can be here, they can be out there, because, after all, where does out there go?  One other thought: our time on Earth is but a heartbeat in the infinite time of being. Yet here we are communicating over the vastness of space via a keyboard. 50 years ago such things were a dream, and one hundred years ago we would have been called crazy to imagine such foolishness.  We have only become moderately advanced in the past 100 years.  Why not the past 1000, 2000, or BC4004?  Why just the past 100 years?  Are the beings out there in their 100 years of advancement, or are they at their 1000 years of advancement?  Could we be decendents of a far greater advanced civilization that once was here on Earth and left, or did they come here and leave us?  
God only knows!!!   Hey, thats funny!

The answer is always NO, Until the question is asked.

moonbeam
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6 posted 10-27-2008 05:48 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

rwood

"blatantly degraded"

uh?! lol

You make it sound as if there is some doubt that the creationists are “confused but determined"


WTBAKELAR

A lot of what you suggest seems to me a lot more probable than a god who created the world one dark October!  

rwood
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7 posted 10-27-2008 06:46 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I don't argue for argument's sake but I do have a second question.

How are non-creationists less confused or determined?

You make it sound like everybody else has got it all figured out.
moonbeam
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8 posted 10-28-2008 04:34 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

rwood

I rather doubt that anyone has got it "all figured out" - especially the "all" bit.

I can't see anywhere that I suggested that everyone else had it figured out.

Moreover I feel that vigorous advocates of natural selection like Dawkins are as guilty of inflexible thinking as advocates of "extreme" creationism.

Before I can answer your question "how are non-creationists less confused?" I need you to tell me precisely what YOU mean by the term "creationist"?
rwood
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9 posted 10-28-2008 08:28 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Thanks,

though it was Darwin on natural selection

I believe a creationist is someone who believes that a God created the world, all within the world, and the universe, rejecting evolution and origins of man.

I don’t knock anyone’s belief unless that belief knocks on my door and tries to force its way in to harm me. And I certainly wouldn’t depreciate one’s belief based on my own as if I’m above another as a species, despite my above average height.

I think we are all on even ground, here, despite my Appalachian location. Nobody knows everything.

Much of this ado about something is based on physicalities, but faith is internal and I can’t paint it but I sure draw from it every day. So if someone wants to believe that God created us as beautiful as we are who am I to be ugly?

besides?

I probably would have been the first cavewoman to create high-heeled shoes. That wouldn't have went over too well with the clan and I'd been tossed outta the cave.

Grinch
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10 posted 10-28-2008 09:54 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Darwin or Dawkins?
http://richarddawkins.net/
rwood
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11 posted 10-28-2008 02:33 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Ah cool! Thanks Grinch.

Learn something new everyday.

The names are close, the kindred ideas, fascinating.

I'd read "The Extended Phenotype" long ago, but my mind didn't allow me to connect the two today.

I don't like where the evolution of my memory is going...

moonbeam
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12 posted 10-28-2008 02:56 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Of course it was Darwin, lol.

Richard Dawkins however is the contemporary exponent of Darwinism, and a lot more irrationally passionate imo.
http://richarddawkins.net/
  
http://www.amazon.co.uk/God-Delusion-Richard-Dawkins/dp/055  277331X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225201983&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blind-Watchmaker-Richard-Dawkin  s/dp/0141026162/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225201983&sr=8-2
http://www.amazon.co.uk/River-Out-Eden-Darwinian-Scie  nce/dp/1857994051/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1225201983&sr=8-15

I see your definition of a creationist, I'm still not clear as to whether that means that a creationist is someone who puts an actual date on the creation of the universe or just vaguely believes that it was created "sometime" by god.  

Of course everyone has a right to believe whatever they wish to believe.  I suppose I take a somewhat more robust view than you in that I believe everyone also has a right to try and show why what someone else believes may not be correct, politely of course.  It's not really a question of being "above another" or superior, but simply a matter of intelligent informed debate.  For instance, I'd contend that if you believe in a god who is spiritual as opposed to material, it is hard to sustain an argument that that god would create a material world.  Obviously if you believe in a god of flesh then perhaps you at least have the basis of a logical premise, although you then bring yourself "down" to the level of physical science and come up against sort of arguments that Darwin and Dawkins put forward.  

I told you my views about the creation of the universe, what are yours?

(oops, sorry, I see that Grinch posted a Dawkins link)

Ron
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13 posted 10-28-2008 07:38 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
For instance, I'd contend that if you believe in a god who is spiritual as opposed to material, it is hard to sustain an argument that that god would create a material world.

And presumably, moonbeam, you also contend the obverse: that no corporeal human being has (or would) ever create anything spiritual?
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14 posted 10-28-2008 09:34 PM       View Profile for TRACE2RYM   Email TRACE2RYM   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for TRACE2RYM

I have 5 material things that were created by a spiritual manifestation.   5 children with spirits that are all above anything material When a woman and a man can love each other and create such miricles, I find it hard to believe they were created from the dust of a big bang in outerspace.
I guess thats what faith is.  I respect other peoples choices as to what they want to believe, or not,  I am OK with knowing there is someone greater than me with a plan for the salvation of his children.  I also believe that there may be others on or in different universes.
When someone says How can that be?  I ask for a better explanation.  I have never heard one yet.  Big Bang?  Indeed,  Where did it come from? And why didn't the bang destroy any living thing that may have been present?     Things that make you go,  WHUMMMMMMM.
moonbeam
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15 posted 10-29-2008 05:35 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam



quote:
And presumably, moonbeam, you also contend the obverse: that no corporeal human being has (or would) ever create anything spiritual?

Ron

Yes, that's obviously a given.  Though your choice of the word "would" is not a happy one - "could" would be much better.

Still, you make that comment in the tone of "voice" you reserve for occasions where your subtext is: "don't you think your contention is hilariously illogical?"

So clearly you must be using the word "spiritual" to mean something different from me.
quote:
I have 5 material things that were created by a spiritual manifestation.   5 children with spirits that are all above anything material When a woman and a man can love each other and create such miricles

Postulation 1: "I have 5 [children] that were created by a spiritual manifestation"

Postulation 2: "a woman and a man ... create such [children]"

Does this work?
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16 posted 10-29-2008 11:36 AM       View Profile for WTBAKELAR   Email WTBAKELAR   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for WTBAKELAR

QUOTE
For instance, I'd contend that if you believe in a god who is spiritual as opposed to material, it is hard to sustain an argument that that god would create a material world.

I contend that If there is a God, That He could do or create as He wished, Spiritual, or physical. If He is all powerful and capable of creation, why not experiment with both material and spiritual.

Trace2rym, I don't feel her first paragraph needs disection, they may be personal feelings and thoughts. I give her a pass
I think her second and third paragraphs deserve comment

I feel that  she has a point on the big bang theory, but at the same time where did God come from?  Have we always been?  Has He always been?  The "IT" I presume would be the makings of the bang theory?  Where did "IT" come from?   GOD?  
I'm So Confused!!
rwood
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17 posted 10-29-2008 12:32 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
For instance, I'd contend that if you believe in a god who is spiritual as opposed to material, it is hard to sustain an argument that that god would create a material world.


It seems only natural to me. Rocks and water can make things materialize without thinking, so why wouldn’t a thinking being create or want a materialization of that which is inspiring, enriching and appealing to the spirit?  

Thought processed into an objective task is only one way that things materialize. Subjectivity is in direct association with the spirit--of the mind, a person’s feelings and a person’s will. All things have an energy that extends from within and beyond. It’s not any wonder to me how humans would feel a force from beyond at work within them, within the world. The argument is sustained with passion, conviction, and faith, among many other human senses, unless you believe those senses cannot scratch the surface of anything material.

As long as there are elements of the unknown, the unexplained, the basis for debate is indefinite and indeterminable

quote:
Obviously if you believe in a god of flesh then perhaps you at least have the basis of a logical premise, although you then bring yourself "down" to the level of physical science and come up against sort of arguments that Darwin and Dawkins put forward


People can champion anything they want but thankfully and logically, freethinking requires us to seek out our own conclusions from many sources and some are undefined by logic, alleles, and heritable traits, especially since science still can’t exactly define what makes me me, and I’m just a simple human being.

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Oh well.  I also prefer "Fire, water, earth, and air" to the excessive details of the periodic table.  Why should I be expected to recite the whole periodic table every time I wish to generalize about the elements?  "Fire, water, earth, and air" give much more confidence, since I can actually remember them all and understand a strong sense of wholeness without losing that sense in a clutter of detail.  In likewise, creationists "condense" the world into a more convenient generalization so they have a greater sense of understanding it, without needing to recite a longsome and misty clutter of details and specifications whereof no man may remember half of half of it let alone all of it, nor have much sense of wholeness in the bottomless pit of specifications and terminologies.  Therefore more spiritual generalizations that may be materially very inaccurate, but still succeed at encompassing very important things, giving people spiritual confidence and a sense of wholeness, shall always have a legitimate place among humans.

moonbeam
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19 posted 10-29-2008 02:36 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
I contend that If there is a God, That He could do or create as He wished, Spiritual, or physical. If He is all powerful and capable of creation, why not experiment with both material and spiritual.

I guess if you believe in a god that can "be" both of matter and of spirit then yes She would be capable of this.  The premise seems very weak to me though.
quote:
but at the same time where did God come from?  Have we always been?  Has He always been?  The "IT" I presume would be the makings of the bang theory?  Where did "IT" come from?   GOD?  

I think you need to get your thoughts clearer about what "god" might be before you start suggesting what She might or might not be able to do.  Perhaps if you think about the possibility that matter may not dwell in spirit nor spirit in matter, you may make progress.  

quote:
It seems only natural to me. Rocks and water can make things materialize without thinking, so why wouldn't a thinking being create or want a materialization of that which is inspiring, enriching and appealing to the spirit?  


I've tried for a while to understand what you are saying here, and can't.  Please could you elucidate.
quote:
Thought processed into an objective task is only one way that things materialize. Subjectivity is in direct association with the spirit--of the mind, a person's feelings and a person's will. All things have an energy that extends from within and beyond. It's not any wonder to me how humans would feel a force from beyond at work within them, within the world. The argument is sustained with passion, conviction, and faith, among many other human senses, unless you believe those senses cannot scratch the surface of anything material.


Sure, human thought can cause human physical endeavours to arrange preexisting particles into different shapes and sizes - usually called creative work or invention.  I'm not talking about human thought or human emotion or human spirit though.
quote:
Therefore more spiritual generalizations that may be materially very inaccurate, but still succeed at encompassing very important things, giving people spiritual confidence and a sense of wholeness, shall always have a legitimate place among humans.

I have no problem at all with that Ess.  Endless experimentation and speculation about the origins of the material universe may be fascinating, and also useful in advancing our knowledge about, and abilities to create, weird and wonderful new gadgets - yet I have a feeling that it all may be just a dead end - or a circle - or an illusion.
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quote:
So clearly you must be using the word "spiritual" to mean something different from me.

Clearly so.

quote:
I think you need to get your thoughts clearer about what "god" might be before you start suggesting what She might or might not be able to do.

Exactly so.

It is very normal, of course, to assign our own limitations to the rest of the universe. Doesn't usually work, though.
moonbeam
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21 posted 10-29-2008 04:33 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam


quote:
quote:So clearly you must be using the word "spiritual" to mean something different from me.


Clearly so.

    quote: I think you need to get your thoughts clearer about what "god" might be before you start suggesting what She might or might not be able to do.


Exactly so.

It is very normal, of course, to assign our own limitations to the rest of the universe. Doesn't usually work, though.
  

Lol Ron!

You are quite right, mea culpa. I have no set view about what god is.  I do however have such a view about what he/she/it isn't, and it was upon those views that I based my comments above.

I'm glad you agree with me about assigning our limitations, that's exactly the error I was suggesting many people make.  

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22 posted 10-29-2008 06:46 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Ahhhh!  Ussher was an Irishman, which probably explains a lot.

As to the date of creation, it would have helped to have been there and taken notes.  Apparently, Adam and what's her name were, but neither kept a diary.

And how did Sarah Palin get into this discussion?  As far as I can tell, all she ever created was a stir.  And quite recently.

I stand firmly behind Kurt Vonnegut and the Tralfamadorians.  These are the residents of the planet Tralfamador, who, when confronted with the unknowable, raise their arms. wiggle their fingers, and chant "Busy, Busy."

M -- which perhaps six not entirely unsophisticated Americans was the quote referring to?  In your opinion, of course.

Not laughing at anything specific, just life in general, happily digging holes and planting olive trees.  Cultivating my "jardin," so to speak.  

Grinch:

I encourage Richard Dawkins
And even Stephen Hawking(s)*
To keep right on a-talking
Regardless of the balking.

*  An indication the brilliance of Internet posters is how few can spell his name correctly. I was going to add, "particularly by those who don't like him but haven't bothered to read him." but that would be snarky, so I won't do it.

Snarkless in the Mo-jave, Jimbeaux     

[This message has been edited by oceanvu2 (10-29-2008 08:23 PM).]

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Well, not entirely snarkless.  Apparently, Ussher believed Adam and what's her name were kicked out of the Garden on Monday, November 10, 4004, less than a month after the Creation.  Yikes!  Even today's kids are "innocent" for a little longer than that.

Do we don Sackcloth (available at any WalMart) or throw a party?


http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm

Snarky again after only ten minutes, Jimbeaux  
rwood
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You said: “if you believe in a god who is spiritual as opposed to material, it is hard to sustain an argument that that god would create a material world.”

If a rock can make something happen with water, without any thought: meteorite crashes into the ocean changing the tides and eco systems, flooding landmasses etc. etc.

Why wouldn’t a thinking, feeling (spiritual) being want to utilize its energy and power to propagate life? Again, it seems natural to me that such a spiritual force would want to make something happen, to create, and to animate the cosmos. How and when? I wasn’t there. But I’m thrilled to be filled with wonder about it.

quote:
Sure, human thought can cause human physical endeavours to arrange preexisting particles into different shapes and sizes - usually called creative work or invention.  I'm not talking about human thought or human emotion or human spirit though.


I believe I mentioned the extraordinary presence of: a force from beyond at work within [humans,] within the world. Which many refer to this force as the spirit of God.
 
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