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If you could have one super power, what would it be? 

31%
10 deviants said Teleportation (instantaneous, not subject to relativity)
16%
5 deviants said Flying (superman style)
16%
5 deviants said Telepathy (ability to read others' thoughts and communicate with them mentally)
13%
4 deviants said Invisibility (at will)
9%
3 deviants said Other (please comment) ^_^
6%
2 deviants said Ability to change the laws of physics (warning, may accidently destroy the universe, and yourself if used recklessly)
6%
2 deviants said Super strength (being able to punch through mountains, jump to the top of sky scrapers, etc...)
3%
1 deviant said Immortality (not aging or being able to die ever)

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Oct 21, 2014
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Oct 15, 2014
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Oct 6, 2014
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Activity


On Beliefs, Reality, and Societal Conflict

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 20, 2014, 12:05 AM

This is going to be a bit of rant. You’ve been warned. :XD:

 

So, I was recently asked by somebody I knew on social media what the phrase "true religion" meant to me. I thought about it for a while, and gave this reply.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Belief and truth are not compatible concepts. Truth can be approached by constantly refining a set of conclusions drawn from numerous and rigorous observations that rule out all alternatives. Beliefs do not follow the same sets of guidelines. We all be
lieve many things that may or may not be true. Obviously if we believe them, then we think they are true, but beliefs are conclusions that inherently lack sufficient empirical evidence to prove them.

Religions are sets of beliefs. Some of these beliefs may have more evidence to support them than others, but none of them can be positively identified as truth, because then they would cease to be beliefs and become facts.

I should emphasize that our beliefs are very important. They define us as individuals, and guide our interactions with the world. Yet we must remember that they are beliefs. Working in a framework of uncertainties is a requirement for peacefully interacting with others. If we always remember that there is a chance our beliefs may not actually be true, we might be able to live wiser and less destructive lives.

This is just my opinion on the matter."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
That was my post, and I was rather pleased with it.
Of course, since it's the internet, somebody had to call me out by name and respond that no, I was wrong.
They weren't overtly offensive about it, but they did use one sentence that really bothers me.
They said: "Theological truth is eternal and infinite."
I can understand other parts of their argument, that all of our methods of establishing facts can sometimes be erroneous and misinterpreted, but I never said truth could be attained, only that it could be approached through the scientific method.
In any case, their rebuttal to my statement made me think of a number of other people I've encountered who have referred to their beliefs, or their religion as "truth". I once encountered an group of Christian extremists in a MMORPG who called their organization "The Truth" and they would spam the message board of the entire server with messages about their beliefs, and why you should embrace them. This really pissed me off, and here is why.

Stating that your own beliefs (that are mutually exclusive with other people's beliefs) are "the truth" is, through the process of exclusion, stating that other people's beliefs are false. Nobody likes to be told that the things they believe are wrong. This in itself is aggressive, and a bit offensive. However, I firmly believe that all of us should question ourselves, our thoughts, and our beliefs, so I am always willing to hear somebody out and consider whether they might be right, and I might be wrong. 

Here's the thing, you need evidence. If your entire argument is based upon other people’s opinions or assumptions without any hard evidence that you are right, and the other person is wrong, then you have no business trying to convince them of anything. Also, if you aren't willing to question your own beliefs, then what right do you have to try to force somebody else to question theirs?

I've had people tell me that [science is just another belief system, and is therefore isn’t any better a way of understanding anything than religion]. I’ve repeatedly had people tell me that truth can’t be grasped by our limited brains, so there is no point trying to figure it out, and that I should just accept the Bible as the final word on all of reality. I don’t respect a single person who has ever told me that.

Galileo himself quashed that argument hundreds of years ago because it’s a complete surrender to ignorance. The idea that “mankind can’t understand reality, so we shouldn’t try” stifles progress, and is just wrong. Look around you. Every technology we have is the result of the application of scientific understanding that we have gained by trying, and by not believing the people who said “oh, it’s useless.”

 

It’s easy to say “things are the way they are because some supernatural being says so”, but that line of thought produces no insight, no innovation, and doesn’t make anyone any wiser.

 

Yesterday I watched a debate between 2 American politicians. Both were white Christian men, and both were asked directly how they reconcile discrepancies between science and religion on issues like the age of the earth? Scientific evidence that (among other things) has examined the ratios of uranium and lead in asteroids and the earth has shown pretty conclusively that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. This can be calculated because we know the rate at which uranium decays into lead. Judeo-Christian creation myths hold that the age of the Earth is approximately 6,000 years. Here scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the idea that the Earth is 750,000 times older than this creation myth asserts.

 

Neither candidate was willing to take a stand and say how old they thought the Earth was. One of the candidates did talk about taking about how he thought it was important to act responsibly in response to scientific insight. The other candidate just talked about how important faith was to him and his family without providing any example or instance that the use of scientific information is ever useful in policy making.

 

This is a problem.

Our beliefs are important, give us strength, and deserve to be respected. However, when there is overwhelming evidence that one belief you hold is false, and you fail to at least question it, there is something wrong with you.

I don’t say this because I want to insult anyone, I say this because being able to cope with occasionally being wrong is a fundamental tenant of sanity.

There is a large population of people in my country who are actively against science. I don’t truly understand their point of view. Perhaps they feel that somehow their beliefs are under attack by people who are trying to objectively uncover the truth about how our world works, or perhaps they are just carrying on the long standing tradition of religious organizations of mercilessly persecuting any free thinking person.

Whatever their reasons, there is blood on their hands, then and now. I’m talking about people who refuse to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases and thereby put not only their children, but entire communities at risk. I’m talking about people who point-blank refuse to acknowledge that dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year is affecting atmospheric chemistry, and that that might have some deleterious impacts on our world.

This is why I have little tolerance for anyone saying that the information recorded in a little book that some people wrote thousands of years ago is all that our species needs to know. The world has changed because of science and technology. Our global population is more than 20 times what it was in 1 AD due to medical innovations. Not a single bit of the surface of the earth is unaffected by our actions today, and together we know millions of times more about this world than any person living over a thousand years ago did.

 

We have a responsibility to think about our actions, and to try not to do things that hurt other people.
We have a responsibility to build a brighter future for our children, and the generations to come.
If we ignore these responsibilities, and recklessly sow destruction and suffering, then the world would be better off if we didn’t exist.
That is not something that I want said of me, and I hope that it’s not something you’d want said of you either.

Everybody has the right to believe what they want. Nobody should be discriminated against because of their beliefs. However, science is not just another belief system. It is the best understanding we have of this world. Science should of course be questioned, science is science because it is constantly questioned and doubted. The conclusions that come out of it aren’t always right, but they are far more rigorous and objective than conclusions written down in ancient books, and they are the best thing that we have.

 

When individuals, and particularly politicians, turn their backs on science, they are turning their backs on reality. When world leaders turn their backs on reality, we have a problem.

 

Yes, we have many societal problems, and few have easy solutions.

 

A good leader does what is just, what is wise, and what is right for the future. In democracies, most “leaders” just try to do what is popular. Appealing to greed and paranoia are almost always useful in gaining popularity, and because of that, almost all of our national and global political systems are very good at mortgaging the future for the sake of the present.

 

We have to change this. I feel sad that I don't know how to bring about that change.

Unfortunately, nobody else seems to know how to either.



  • Mood: Rant
  • Listening to: Trance
Spinning Webs of Fate by UniversalKinase
Spinning Webs of Fate
The seamstress who exists only as the culmination of each moment as it progresses to the next.
I'm uncertain whether I believe in a quantum universe, or a primarily mechanical one. I also don't know how predictable quantum properties can be.
Fate...
We all think we know some measure of what the future holds, but do we really have any idea?

~This fractal was created in apophysis
Loading...

On Beliefs, Reality, and Societal Conflict

Journal Entry: Mon Oct 20, 2014, 12:05 AM

This is going to be a bit of rant. You’ve been warned. :XD:

 

So, I was recently asked by somebody I knew on social media what the phrase "true religion" meant to me. I thought about it for a while, and gave this reply.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Belief and truth are not compatible concepts. Truth can be approached by constantly refining a set of conclusions drawn from numerous and rigorous observations that rule out all alternatives. Beliefs do not follow the same sets of guidelines. We all be
lieve many things that may or may not be true. Obviously if we believe them, then we think they are true, but beliefs are conclusions that inherently lack sufficient empirical evidence to prove them.

Religions are sets of beliefs. Some of these beliefs may have more evidence to support them than others, but none of them can be positively identified as truth, because then they would cease to be beliefs and become facts.

I should emphasize that our beliefs are very important. They define us as individuals, and guide our interactions with the world. Yet we must remember that they are beliefs. Working in a framework of uncertainties is a requirement for peacefully interacting with others. If we always remember that there is a chance our beliefs may not actually be true, we might be able to live wiser and less destructive lives.

This is just my opinion on the matter."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
That was my post, and I was rather pleased with it.
Of course, since it's the internet, somebody had to call me out by name and respond that no, I was wrong.
They weren't overtly offensive about it, but they did use one sentence that really bothers me.
They said: "Theological truth is eternal and infinite."
I can understand other parts of their argument, that all of our methods of establishing facts can sometimes be erroneous and misinterpreted, but I never said truth could be attained, only that it could be approached through the scientific method.
In any case, their rebuttal to my statement made me think of a number of other people I've encountered who have referred to their beliefs, or their religion as "truth". I once encountered an group of Christian extremists in a MMORPG who called their organization "The Truth" and they would spam the message board of the entire server with messages about their beliefs, and why you should embrace them. This really pissed me off, and here is why.

Stating that your own beliefs (that are mutually exclusive with other people's beliefs) are "the truth" is, through the process of exclusion, stating that other people's beliefs are false. Nobody likes to be told that the things they believe are wrong. This in itself is aggressive, and a bit offensive. However, I firmly believe that all of us should question ourselves, our thoughts, and our beliefs, so I am always willing to hear somebody out and consider whether they might be right, and I might be wrong. 

Here's the thing, you need evidence. If your entire argument is based upon other people’s opinions or assumptions without any hard evidence that you are right, and the other person is wrong, then you have no business trying to convince them of anything. Also, if you aren't willing to question your own beliefs, then what right do you have to try to force somebody else to question theirs?

I've had people tell me that [science is just another belief system, and is therefore isn’t any better a way of understanding anything than religion]. I’ve repeatedly had people tell me that truth can’t be grasped by our limited brains, so there is no point trying to figure it out, and that I should just accept the Bible as the final word on all of reality. I don’t respect a single person who has ever told me that.

Galileo himself quashed that argument hundreds of years ago because it’s a complete surrender to ignorance. The idea that “mankind can’t understand reality, so we shouldn’t try” stifles progress, and is just wrong. Look around you. Every technology we have is the result of the application of scientific understanding that we have gained by trying, and by not believing the people who said “oh, it’s useless.”

 

It’s easy to say “things are the way they are because some supernatural being says so”, but that line of thought produces no insight, no innovation, and doesn’t make anyone any wiser.

 

Yesterday I watched a debate between 2 American politicians. Both were white Christian men, and both were asked directly how they reconcile discrepancies between science and religion on issues like the age of the earth? Scientific evidence that (among other things) has examined the ratios of uranium and lead in asteroids and the earth has shown pretty conclusively that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. This can be calculated because we know the rate at which uranium decays into lead. Judeo-Christian creation myths hold that the age of the Earth is approximately 6,000 years. Here scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the idea that the Earth is 750,000 times older than this creation myth asserts.

 

Neither candidate was willing to take a stand and say how old they thought the Earth was. One of the candidates did talk about taking about how he thought it was important to act responsibly in response to scientific insight. The other candidate just talked about how important faith was to him and his family without providing any example or instance that the use of scientific information is ever useful in policy making.

 

This is a problem.

Our beliefs are important, give us strength, and deserve to be respected. However, when there is overwhelming evidence that one belief you hold is false, and you fail to at least question it, there is something wrong with you.

I don’t say this because I want to insult anyone, I say this because being able to cope with occasionally being wrong is a fundamental tenant of sanity.

There is a large population of people in my country who are actively against science. I don’t truly understand their point of view. Perhaps they feel that somehow their beliefs are under attack by people who are trying to objectively uncover the truth about how our world works, or perhaps they are just carrying on the long standing tradition of religious organizations of mercilessly persecuting any free thinking person.

Whatever their reasons, there is blood on their hands, then and now. I’m talking about people who refuse to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases and thereby put not only their children, but entire communities at risk. I’m talking about people who point-blank refuse to acknowledge that dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year is affecting atmospheric chemistry, and that that might have some deleterious impacts on our world.

This is why I have little tolerance for anyone saying that the information recorded in a little book that some people wrote thousands of years ago is all that our species needs to know. The world has changed because of science and technology. Our global population is more than 20 times what it was in 1 AD due to medical innovations. Not a single bit of the surface of the earth is unaffected by our actions today, and together we know millions of times more about this world than any person living over a thousand years ago did.

 

We have a responsibility to think about our actions, and to try not to do things that hurt other people.
We have a responsibility to build a brighter future for our children, and the generations to come.
If we ignore these responsibilities, and recklessly sow destruction and suffering, then the world would be better off if we didn’t exist.
That is not something that I want said of me, and I hope that it’s not something you’d want said of you either.

Everybody has the right to believe what they want. Nobody should be discriminated against because of their beliefs. However, science is not just another belief system. It is the best understanding we have of this world. Science should of course be questioned, science is science because it is constantly questioned and doubted. The conclusions that come out of it aren’t always right, but they are far more rigorous and objective than conclusions written down in ancient books, and they are the best thing that we have.

 

When individuals, and particularly politicians, turn their backs on science, they are turning their backs on reality. When world leaders turn their backs on reality, we have a problem.

 

Yes, we have many societal problems, and few have easy solutions.

 

A good leader does what is just, what is wise, and what is right for the future. In democracies, most “leaders” just try to do what is popular. Appealing to greed and paranoia are almost always useful in gaining popularity, and because of that, almost all of our national and global political systems are very good at mortgaging the future for the sake of the present.

 

We have to change this. I feel sad that I don't know how to bring about that change.

Unfortunately, nobody else seems to know how to either.



  • Mood: Rant
  • Listening to: Trance

deviantID

UniversalKinase
刘雨
Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
United States
As a 23-year old Ph.D. student, there are many things in this world that I have yet to learn. I tend to take tasks very seriously, and the creation of art is important to me.

I began making fractal art back in 2006, shortly after I joined DA. Since that time, I have competed in a number of fractal contests and won several. My techniques vary significantly from some that you see among other fractal artists. I have remained on the outskirts of the community, which has in some ways stunted my growth as an artist, but simultaneously challenged me to develop my own techniques and gain a better understanding of the underlying mathematical principals that govern fractals. However, I have learned that it doesn't matter how much time you spend on techniques if you don't put your soul into the art you're making. It doesn't matter what median it is, without passion all you get is a hollow image, devoid of feeling.

While most of my art consists of fractals, I love to write, and I value my prose and poetry just as highly as my best fractals.

I am always eager to help people out, so if you have any questions about how I make my art, or if you would like me to make something for you, feel free to ask. B-)

Personal Quote: "If the door is locked, become the key"
Interests

Critiques

Paradisia falls by bib993
by bib993

When I first saw the thumbnail for this in the fractals category, I thought to myself "this has to be a mistake." Upon clicking the lin...

The deep is mine by sanguisGelidus

I could say that this piece is stunning, but that doesn't really seem adequate for an artistic work of this caliper. The color scheme i...

Groups

Art

Art is the ultimate expression of the mind and soul. Within all of us lies the omnipresent potential to find peace, agony, joy and ire in all walks of life. How we choose to percieve situations is what defines us as individuals, and how we react is the ultimate test of our character.

The community on DeviantArt is truly incredible because of the amazing people who devote vast amounts of time energy to make it so. Always remember to be respectful towards others and their art, for a stray callous word against something of extreme individual importance can cause far more torment than intended.

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconcricketumpire:
cricketumpire Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the very encouraging llama  UniversalKinase  :iconllamatruckplz:
        :iconmultifaveplz:  ..and for faving all the additional photographs. Keep watching!
Reply
:iconcricketumpire:
cricketumpire Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Although I can be content on my own I'm very happy that you wanted to share the experience of the shy cat Pusheen Emote  in "I like being on my own..."
                            Thank you UniversalKinase  thank you note Please do keep on watching???
Reply
:iconshirokibo:
Shirokibo Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the llama badge! :D 
Reply
:iconoztrich1994:
OzTRICH1994 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  New member
I love your artwork! :la: Explosion :BombingEscape: 
Reply
:icongry-z:
Gry-z Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the :+fav: :)
Reply
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