British government officials are planning to deploy search-engine optimization in their war on terror, working with certain Muslim groups to push "positive" depictions of Islam up in the Google rankings.
Also in today's links: watching your kids like a hawk, living like a pig, and more.
- You might think that, if you were getting a cell phone for a 10-year-old, you'd get them something cheap that could basically call home and call 911. But some parents now need to get their kids smart phones, the only ones able to run some arguably creepy monitoring programs. Some parents say it's a way to keep alert for predators; others are looking for "insight" into their kids' lives. I'm going to call bullhockey on this statement by one father who secretly added such a program to his child's phone: "When Green's [15-year-old] daughter discovered the software on her phone, she wasn't angry, he said. 'She understood that I cared about her.'"
- I'm also going to call bullhockey on the claim that a new study invalidates the theory of beer goggles. Researchers found that men who'd consumed alcohol were more likely to rate pictures of women unattractive. Sure -- but looking at a photograph is a pretty different experience from drunkenly flirting in a bar late at night.
- We can study pigs endlessly, but will all the data ever really capture what it's like to get a loving nip on the ear from one? One man tried living high on the hog, although the portable toilet seems like it invalidates the authenticity of his experience.
- The turkeys will be fine, bighorn sheep and mountain lions not so much. Conservationists are worried that the wall being built along the Mexico border will dissect some species' natural habitats and hinder their migration.
Islam isn't that good.
neither, for that matter, is Christianity, Judaism, or any other religion that will harass or kill 'non-believers' because their God tells them so.
I'll counter your point njdevil, though I see your angle.
The problem isn't the religion itself, as the ones you listed have many great teachings that do encourage people to be good.
It's extremism/perversion of these religions that leads to the killing. I site the Crusades, Islam Extremism, really any inherently good teaching that get's perverted and convinces enough people to do ignorant things.
Don't get me wrong, there's a bunch of stuff I disagree with (Hell, I'm athiest). I'm just saying that for the most part the Torah, Q'uran, and Bible all have good MORAL direction. PEOPLE do not however.
I get what your saying about morals. I think that it shouldn't take a Bible or a Torah or whatever to teach morals, they should just come naturally. Religious texts can lead to extremism because people take them literally.
Jesus didn't really cure the blind or walk on water, it's just a story designed to get a message across. a message designed to make people better, but when people stop looking for the meaning of the story and start preaching it as fact, which is what has been happening for thousands of years, then I think it would be better to abandon the stories and sermons. Let people learn that you shouldn't be moral because some God demands it, you should just decide for yourself what is moral and what isn't, or at least let the majority of people decide what is moral and what isn't.
I take it you two are atheists, I'm just going to make my point quickly then I'll be back for your comments. There is nothing physically wrong with Islam, excluding extremists, but it is wrong spiritually, yes I'm what you two would call " religious extremist" because I am crazy for/and about God. Islam restricts rights for women, how they can act in public, and it demands prayer five times a day, " voluntary " giving of alms, and a trip to mecca. There is more but I have to get off the computer soon.
Now back to those comments. 1st, how are Christianity and Judaism bad? Any "Christians" going around killing people for their faith, probably aren't Christians, in the actual meaning of that term. Jews are being attacked by muslims, and other peoples who just hate them or their exsistance.
Just so everyone knows I believe the Bible LITERALLY! I believe that Christ died and rose again three days later, I believe He actually walked on water, raised others from the dead, gave the blind sight, the deaf hearing, the cripled the use of their limbs again, turned water into wine, fed FIVE THOUSAND people with a small child's lunch, and many other things.
I take personal offense at your saying that every thing in the Bible is figurative, or just a good story with good moral teachings. How many atheists do you see being attacked for their thoughs that there isn't a god, or other divine creator, and sustainer. Not many, but you guys can't just be happy with your selves,you need to beat down other religions. If athiests think the Bible is fiction, then it deserves many awards for the all time best selling book in history, also one of the oldest complete books.
Now that I'm done ranting I need to say I'm sorry that you have given up, and just decided there isn't a God, and you become your own. God desires your love and desires to give you His.If you think you don't deserve it, that your sins are too great or too bad, nothing is impossible for God, no one deserves Heaven or forgivness, but God loved us so much He sent His son, His only son, to die for our sins. I know some people will hate this, and me even, but I want this to impact someone, if anyone has any questions or wants me to give them more information, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, remember, God loves you.
I think there's enough evidence to suggest religion has played a part in the slaughter of plenty of people, on all sides of the spiritual spectrum. I think they should can it and practice what they preach and be as good to others as they would themselves. However, they're too righteous to keep it to themselves, and the battles continue over rights, morals, money and territory.
how many religions say anyone is worthy of eternal life, and all they have to do is repent? one. lets say that you believe what i believe, what would you do. you see hundreds of millions of people dieing to find purpose in this world, what would you do in my shoes. if you knew what they were looking for, would you hole it up in your mind? only if you weren't human. but yes i agree RELIGION has played a part in many deaths, but how many have been caused by christians, I'm not talking about the ancient roman chatholic church or current radical branches, I'm talking about born again christians.
I just want to point out a few things
1: the subtitle of this article does say "(This headline is helping to boost a Google-based counter-terrorism effort)" and is not actually in favor of islam (but who knows POPSCI's perspective)
2: I'd agree that almost all religions have basic rules that are bound to moral behavior and also that extreme perversions of these rules that have lead historically to many a massacre, but worse, hatred and closed-mindedness throughout the world. For it is the nature of religions that once they start they try to grow, yet some are more appealing than others and some are more likely to be perverted and used by radicals, because talking about the powers of GOD is a very powerful device that is extremely easy to abuse by people who should and probably do know better.
3: It is just ridiculous that people actually believe the bible word for word and don't see how most of the stories they believe in clearly have come from centuries of similar stories before them, most of which are based directly on the movement of the stars and other objects in outer space. I couldn't believe it when I found John Milton's Paradise Lost in the nonfiction section of my local library. An epic poem whose main character is the devil and whose characters are Adam, Eve, God, the angels and archangels - how can anyone believe this is fact? Christ died and arose three days later because December 25th is the Winter solstice when the days are shortest, and three days later the day starts getting longer - Many religions throughout history have this same belief. Some of the other things you say you believe from the literal interpretation of the bible are just ridiculous and you should know better.
Why is everyone saying how ridiculous the posibility that christianity is true, when there are far hardder things to believe in, evolution, i don't see many tearing into that one, even just critically thinking people. May i ask you how the winter solstice/Christmas raised someone from the dead 'cause I'd like to know, did the 'heavenly forces align' for this one person? How hard is it to believe that we deserved the perfect wourld, but gave it away to 'be like God' and became cursed because of it. And I'll agree that religions are faulty, yes, every one of them, but, true Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with our creator and savior.
In closeing, I just wanted to say that I am praying for all of you, that you will find the truth in God, not in man. you all probably know John 3:16, but I think we need to review it, " For God so loved the world, that he gave his only, greatly loved son. That whoever believes in him, won't die, but will have everlasting life."
Again, if any one has spiritual questions, or want me to elaborate my point, please refer to my previous comment for my e-mail.
Criticalscience, I find one thing in what you said unfair, you assume that atheists are unhappy with themselves and have 'given up'. Its not because I feel God has let me down that I am an atheist.
I just don't believe. I need proof. An ancient book Isn't good enough. But that doesn't mean is that I sit in the dark all day because if there is no God there is no point to anything. The complete opposite. I have a happy life, I go out and make the most of it. Because I believe once you are dead, you are dead. No eternal life.
and also I don't see how making Google say Muslims are great is going to help any anti-terror war.Its just trying to change people's opinions subliminally It sounds like something out of George Orwell's 1984.
Its very easy to say something is ridiculous when there are no facts supporting claims that go against thousands of years of common sense and understanding of our world.
No one will ever be able to explain how the winter solstice/christmas raised the dead - thats the point - because it didn't happen (by the way its hard to raise from the dead someone who only exists in a fictional book). You can say that something completely unbelievable like that happened, and the only defense you have is that heavenly forces align - I mean you just really sound stupid, but its almost impossible to make your argument and sound smart.
In closing I just want to say that your prayers are useless and unheard, and I hope you start using your own brain to think instead of just regurjitating biblical quotes.
I was just reading through the older comments and just wanted to point out how ironic it is that criticalscience said of atheism
"but you guys can't just be happy with your selves,you need to beat down other religions."
Just compare for a second the difference between how atheism has spread throughout history and how Christianity has spread - no one has ever started a war over atheism, yet how many wars have been fought, and people killed in the name of God?
Talk about beating down other religions! Christianity and Islam are notorious for violently spreading their ideas.
Sounds like you are very unaware of your intitial assumptions about reality. Or at least think that you can use those to prove anything about a paradigm which does not start with the same assumptions. And you need not go into anything about your assumptions being 'provable' because if they were, they wouldn't be assumptions. And observation is always interpreted through a paradigm built off assumptions. So claiming observation agrees with your particular paradigm means nothing unless it dissagrees with all other paradigms. Which means you've shown somthing about all other possible initial assumptions. And unless you are the All knowing God you claim doesn't exists....I think you'll be hard pressed to do that.
You're argument is completely irrelevant, and it sounds like you just got out of a philosophy 101 class or something. And I never said I was atheist or claimed God doesn't exist, I remain skeptical and reserve my judgment. Although our observations are built on assumptions, that doesn't make them useless, we just have to understand where the limits of senses are - you can continue to live in your made up world where nothing is knowable and your senses are useless - is this conversation really happening?
I merely was pointing out how uncertain some of your absolute statements are. I am all for making absolute statements, but I just realize that they are only as good as the paradigm in which I make them. So when I go to argue against another paradigm and their absolute statements, I try and first go into an use what the paradigm I am arguing against proposes. You on the other hand, attack what you call religion with arguments formed from a completly different paradigm than those religions are in. So they are useless arguments. If you want to disprove the stories in the Bible, first assume the Bible is true, and then try to work out a contradiction. If you want to disprove the Q'uran, then assume it is true and work out a contradiction.
If you want to disprove The Church of the Flying assumit it is true and work out a contradiction.
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Lets lighten up... I don't really mean to hate on anyone's beliefs. I just think George Carlin said it best
"I don't know what the **** is going on, and wouldn't know what to do about it if I did."
....like I said, everyone should just keep it all to themselves, that's why you're all bickering. The sooner we leave each other alone about what we think is true and moral, the better... in the end we don't really know anything, except that we disagree because we are not all the same. Some people need hope, some just want to make it the best, some don't need anything to be happy... just let it be.
Let it be... its a great song and all but when we're living together under each other's laws and many of those laws are guided by the backwards thinking taught to the public through religion there are problems - we need a reasonable basis for our laws. The only way to achieve true understanding is through confrontation. I'm sorry but we live in a world where other people's opinions do have a significant effect on the state of the policies in place.
Sadly this ended up boiling down to a personal attack type thread. Sad that so many do.
I have no problem with the major religions, I just don't believe - I don't have faith. My personality doesn't allow me to blindly believe things. My mind will only grasp what logically makes sense in my mind. Nothing against those that have faith, it's just the way I think.
Yes, I consider myself athiest as previously stated. I say this because there is no word in the English that defines the idea that I neither believe nor disbelieve, as I haven't seen enough evidence to support either enough to state one is "true."
To address the "born-again have never done this" quote, I site the South... which is mostly Baptist, Episcipelian, etc... the "Born Again" protestant groups (I was once a practicing Pentacostal and later Baptist) that were around for the civil war, for slavery, for the KKK... I'm not attacking the group, simply saying that all humans, regardless of creed, are not immune to ignorance. We are ALL victim to the plague of ignorance and indifference.
I encourage an open mind. Read the Q'uran and you will see it is not unlike the Bible. You will find numerous overlaps. The Q'uran accepts everything except that Jesus was the Son of God. Read it and you will find they believe he ascended to heaven in body and soul! Just like Christians! Read any of the holy books and you will also find things you disagree with. Multiple wives etc. But, if you consider the times they were in and the social structure at the time, you can understand why you should "Marry your brother's wife" if he passed away. It was so that you would be her caretaker. Back then she would have fallen into poverty as the area did not allow women to own land or work for wages (for the most part).
I reiterate my point. Tolerance and understanding are the keys to the peace many seek. Ignorance is the common enemy. Personal attacks solve nothing and close-mindedness will only encourage hatred to continue.
But the initial assumptions affect everything, including science. So if no ones religion can ever get taught, then since that religion is hardwired into the initial assumptions of the paradigm they operate in, the only things that can be taught are things which are formed from only what everyone could agree on as initial assumptions. So not much of anything can be taught. What science does in a paradigm is affected by what religion someone chooses. You throw out religion, you throw out almost everything. And naturalists are just as faithful in their non-belief in a god as any other sect who believes in one.
How can you learn with people who do not hold the same basic assumptions as you?
1. Figure out what they know built up from only the axioms you hold in common.
2. When needed, show an internal inconsistency in what they believe, so they can either adjust their initial axioms, or abandon their whole paradigm as needed. And if shown an internal inconsistency of your own paradigm, fix it or switch paradigms.
But quit saying religion causes all the problems in the world ('specially when you claim there can be people who actually are non-religious). You say it as if you aren't yourself religious. It wouldn't matter if you didn't believe in a god, or some holy book, or the FSM, you put your faith in something which is not provable. Using reason only tells you whether or not a set of axioms is consistent. You can’t make laws or do science which you can prove to be true to everyone. So either go on a crusade to switch everyone else’s paradigms (like the current academic crusade by the naturalists) or just go to sleep at night knowing that tomorrow your particular paradigm may not have much sway.
How can they hope to create good feelings about anything, let alone Islam, when it is being artificially driven by people with an agenda pushing up google rankings? I fail to see how this will prevent the radicalization of marginalized people, even here in North America, where we are marginalized and most people don't even realize it, covered by the luxury of our surroundings or circumstances.
Food. Shelter. Personal Safety. Those are the things that prevent radicalization.
Humans are the problem, regardless of the religion and at the same time the answer. The power that humans wield economically, politically and in religious terms has been abused, misused and used against humans. Until every single last one of us is convinced we need to be nice to each other, and take the power back from those who would enslave us, it will all repeat over and over again.
Bagpipes you should heed your own advice. So many inconsistencies have been shown already in religions, maybe its time for you to abandon your paradigm (now you got me talking your nonsense too) because of its many internal inconsitencies. You can’t make laws or do science which you can prove to be true to everyone because some people are too stubborn and tied up in their own beliefs that they refuse to see the truth. And their is an important difference between being religious and being a spiritual person, the main difference is, as a spiritual person you are not tied down to any beliefs and you're allowed to change your mind. The words of the bible will never be changed no matter how much new information is found, it is unable to adapt. Being non-religious just means not being so closed minded as to limit your beliefs to a single book or teacher.
Who has shown that there are already many inconsistencies in what you call religions? Have you yourself done enough studying in any particular one to know this? Or is this something you blindly have accepted? Or is it just that you have accepted one thing to be true, and therefore these other things simply cannot be?
I’m not sure your notion of a spiritual person is a consistent one. Because you are in fact being tied down to a particular notion and you aren’t allowed to change your mind about it. That notion is that you shouldn’t be tied down to any belief. It is self contradictory. You are allowed to change your mind…so long as you never pick any particular belief to be true. So you really aren’t allowed to change your position. That kind of notion is not tolerance, it is arrogance. A consistent paradigm allows you not to tolerate certain things and is honest about it.
You also have already assumed (as a basic assumption) that the Bible (and I guess any other religious text) is not the absolute truth it claims to be. Fair enough, you can do that. However, you say that it is unable to adapt and therefore is bad, or flawed in some way. And you use this as a means to try and convince someone who would accept it to abandon it. Problem is, the contradiction you have is only because you assumed that the Bible is flawed. You’ve assumed what you are trying to prove. (Something which most mathematics undergrads get hammered over early on.) However if you step into that paradigm, then the bible is truth, and if things don’t match up to it then there is something flawed about them, and they need to be corrected.
Most people I’ve talked to who have been honest enough with themselves have just admitted that most of the religions they are opposed to aren’t any more or less consistent than their own beliefs, they just don’t like the other beliefs. Fair enough, but if there are consequences, hopefully they end up making the right choices of what to believe whatever that would be.
Actually I have studied many religions and their holy works, and was brought up jewish and have done enough studying to know that these works are full of inconsistencies. Personally I was brought up in a jewish household and early on I was told to read about the many different religions available and was told I am free to believe in whatever I think makes the most sense. I guarantee that you nor most other religious people were ever told you have a choice and you're faith is a mere consequence of your upbringing - not thoroughly thought out, but completely accepted so early on as to remove your ability to think beyond it.
Bagpipes you clearly can only think in Black and White. The key to consistent thought is to remain skeptical, new information will always arise and prior knowledge must be adjusted. To claim to know anything with infinite precision is to be precisely wrong, but thats what you do when translate the bible word for word.
Maybe you didn't get the point of the Flying Spaghetti Monster argument but within paradigms as convoluted as religion and the bible it is not actually possible to prove a contradiction because the bible exists in fairyland - so any logical argument is countered with an illogical argument based on nothing but faith. For example, common experience would hold that the universe is billions of years old, this is inconsistent with the bible's notion that god created the earth 5,000 years ago. That is a logical contradiction, now for the magical religious part: Well God has placed all this evidence around us to make us think the world is much older than it really is because he is testing our faith.
Any time someone comes with a good logical argument against religions, they counter with an argument that is so outside of reality that there just can't be a logical counterpoint.
I'm not really opposed to any religions, I'm opposed to people like yourself who use those religions to scare people into believing in them. Yes if you don't believe in god he will smite you to Hell, but if you don't believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster you'll spend the after-life being smothered in tomato sauce, so I hope everyone makes the right choice.
"...there is no word in the English that defines the idea that I neither believe nor disbelieve, as I haven't seen enough evidence to support either enough to state one is "true.""
I think the word is Agnostic.
"I'm not really opposed to any religions, I'm opposed to people like yourself who use those religions to scare people into believing in them."
I see careful, logical discussion coming from bagpipes, and no scare tactics.
You are entitled to your own opinions, not to your own facts.
and i quote from bagpipes
"Fair enough, but if there are consequences, hopefully they end up making the right choices of what to believe whatever that would be."
meaning there are consequences for not believing in god and it involves spending eternity burning in hell.
Smells like scare tactics to me.
"If you're entitled to you own opinion, than I'm entitled to mine, and in my opinion, you are not entitled to you own opinion so **** you"
If you don't believe in God or hell, then why should you be afraid of either? By logic, one cannot scare someone into believing in god based on a threat of hell; hell can only be used to scare people who already believe, most of whom also believe they are immune to hell based on whatever religion they believe in. It's hard to scare someone with something they don't believe in, and hard to scare them into believing it if they already do.
Besides, it's more likely that this was nothing more than a simple statement that we both already know and acknowledge; actions have consequences. You are doing a lot unnecessary of reading between the lines.
You still appear to be unable to leave your paradigm for a moment. The mindset you are displaying is exactly the one you are railing against. You don’t see that it is not common experience that the universe is billions of years old. That understanding of observation comes from a particular paradigm which has already assumed certain things. If you took a biblical paradigm, then you would see that within that paradigm the universe is shown to be quite youthful.
You have not brought any good logical argument against religion. The only thing you have done is shown yourself to be part of a religion which won’t even acknowledge itself. That’s blind faith there.
And dude, I don’t mean to scare ya if I was. Within the paradigm/religion/whatever you want to call it, that I operate in. I only need to say what is true. The person who hears it is responsible to deal with it from there. I don’t have to change anyone’s mind.