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Everything posted by VonNoble

  1. I heard an interesting discussion today between a Unitarian (lifelong) and a muslim. They were delving into mythology and were debating the origin of the concept of hell. Not hades per se - but hell as a place for those who "sin against God(god). At one point they sort of paused thinking it was a spin off of an Egyptian concept (as they muddled through it though they decided maybe not...it did not fit 100%) Since this Forum has some pretty learned scholars....does any one know the origin of the concept of hell as a warehouse-punishment place for sinners? (add on curiosity - is that strictly a Christian concept?) thanks von
  2. Recently I heard the distinction between a film production and a stage production boiled down to the very basics. In a film, the words matter less. Films rely on stunts and special effects far more than a stage production ever could. Therefore, a stage production by nature of the event requires far more emphasis on the words and also the ability of the actors. Agree? Preference? HATE live performance? How does that translate to music (going to a concert versus a recording?) ......and even to a sporting event (attending a game versus watching it at the local sports bar?) Personally, while I enjoy a good tailgating party, I have to admit I prefer the comfort of my recliner at home. von
  3. There is zero point in pretending I even understand remotely the electronic devises I already have.... 1) I am certain the devices can do way more than I use them to do 2) I am sure I am an easy mark when I go into any electronics place to buy something... I ask questions but often feel my head start to spin when sales people explain it I have a low dollar Apple wach. After a decade plus if not needing or wanting a watch... I was intrigued with the fitness watch craze. I like it as a reminder- record type tool. I really like the little reminder gizmo to stop and take a minute to breathe. i had intended to get a new one as a package deal with the X phone around the end of the year After looking at reviews online... there seems to be connectivity issues with the new version of the watch ( that I do not understand) so I am folding the money over and skipping any upgrade. The one I have now is working fine. There is no need to change that But my phone is getting old (like me) and more than one place this past year told me I needs new version of it. ( planned obsolescence?) as the guts ( my understanding) although currently- working... are less able to keep up. I am told I need a " smarter" version of my smart phone. I am reasonably confident the 8 version of the phone will handle all I need to do. I am Wondering why anyone would want an X version? Am I missing something? Is there any reason a non-jet setter would have a use for a X? Thx von
  4. VonNoble

    Sunrise, sunset.....

    Actually...... that is HELPFUL to know! Thank you. von
  5. My ignorance is as boundless as my curiosity apparently. In a discussion with 12-year old boy from the neighborhood - he stumped me. He was admiring a sunset photo I snapped years ago. I had it enlarged... the colors just happen to be particularly stunning that night. The photo was propped up against the wall minding its own business The kid looked at it and said....”Is this a sunrise or a sunset?” I clarified it was a sunset. Then he asked, “ how can you tell the difference?” Is there a way to tell the difference? I have seen some pretty cool sunrises as well. Are sunsets inherently more colorful? I have no idea? Are there unique differences between the images of a sunrise and a sunset? Kids are interesting humans and often think in ways that allow me to learn von
  6. One of the wonderful perks to being on a university campus is getting to attend free lectures. NASA sends folks out colleges to recruit and to promote their programs. When I was in college ages ago - I attended a NASA presentation hosted by "Scotty" from StarTrek. He was well schooled to discuss actual science bu the big draw was the blooper reel from the show never before seen other than on this tour. The current NASA presentation was entertaining but the speakers are actual scientists with a sense of humor. They brought mind blowing photos and artist renderings and actual footage of what is coming and it is astounding. The James Webb Space telescope - which will be launched in 2019 will not orbit earth - but rather shoot out to a distance well beyond our moon. Watching the engineering required to fold (origami style) a telescope bigger than the space craft carrying it..... is a marvel in and of itself. Has anyone checked out the footage online? NASA has lots of info and you will be impressed to see what they have been up to. The new James Webb Telescope will see back in time to infancy of space as we understand it. BTW, you do not have to have a Phd to understand it. Nor is one required to request time for experiments. Time is allotted by peer review. NASA is searching for the best ideas (from anyone) - you have till spring to get your proposals in there. Is anyone else following this story? We have come a LONG way, baby. There is no way to see it and not be impressed in my view. von
  7. VonNoble

    Films or live performance

    ANYONE see RENT? I am thinking that has to be better as a live performance, right? von
  8. VonNoble

    history and faith

    First my admiration for your continued reasoned and reasonable responses. 2nd... kudos for your gracious handling of the age of the cosmos-I have zero reason to doubt your number... I never looked it up....I took the number from two biology students who sit in front of me (arguing about it after their mid-term).... I took the more conservative number of the two numbers they were tossing about .... I do suspect neither of them got a 100% on the mid-term.... my apologies for being lazy and not actually looking it up. For purposes of the discussion -your number works just fine. i am familiar with punctuated equalibrium and for me the jury is still out... we share an interest in needing a bit more evidence to accept that as VERY LIKELY. with continued respect von
  9. VonNoble

    history and faith

    I can appreciate your reasoning. For evolutionary biology - with a historic reckoning in the neighborhood of 65 billion years in the making.....even the much briefer history of life in this planet requires a wee bit more than 100 or do years to reconstruct in detail...perhaps. Mankind has had the mere blink of an eye to process the information coming to us anew. Arriving daily. From a myriad of sources. Allowing young people to understand the process and allowing them to marvel at what is possible might well expedite the few missing proofs. Eh.... not to mention not all physical evidence survives millions of years in the making .... organic material does decompose over time. However the fragments, bones and DNA collected so far has caused proofs to leap forward at exponential rates of late. I find it all pretty amazing in the last 50 years. It is amazing what is knowable now. Adding to that is big chunks of information made possible by the Hubble telescope. And in less than two years the data streaming in from the new Webb telescope will jump our understanding forward at rates that will astound us still. Compters are cranking out lots lots of proof of lots of things. We need more scientists to collaborate, coordinate and share things known only to a few currently... but it is being released as quickly as it is verified, tested retested as valid. It is encouraging that speculation items are able to predict outcomes with such pinpoint accuracy. It is also a good thing that science is more than willing to correct the record whenever better evidence is provided. I am happy the record no longer is offered to us to have a “flat earth” point of view. I feel fortunate to have lived long enough to see what is likely ( or even possible) to know. I won’t live long enough to see the conclusion of the story but it is grand to see how far we have come. I am happy with the chances humans have for the next 1,000 plus years. On whatever planet they might add for inhabitation. In the last three million years the evidence points to an ever increasing brain power for humans. I have met a couple of people that might cause a person to question that as fact .... but a glance at our collective advances is convincing. von
  10. I just read that Pew research indicates agnostics/atheists tend to be more often male (64%)..... And I am wondering why that would be so? Additionally the majority are white? i have no idea what to conclude about that-perhaps nothing at all. The majority of the population the last time I looked was female.... additionally there are much higher numbed if women entering colleges now....especially areas of science..... I just found that a quirky statistic...... i wonder why that that is the statistic? von
  11. I find we are very much on agreement on this one. von
  12. Some variation of this has been around - apparently since the days of ancient philosophers, however it is new to me. It seems some wise old guys gathered a random few children around and encouraged them them to have a piece of candy even though the old duffers were well aware that the mothers had admonished the kids NOT to accept sweets before their next meal. The story goes...the kids thought it over, knew the men in question (or at least some of them) and knew they were important men...authority figures recognized in the community. Perhaps, in the mind of a kid wanting candy - perhaps even more of an authority than mom. So they each accepted the candy and enjoyed it. Before leaving the authority figures (who were doing this experiment just to see the impact of being authority figures with the children) put a second "test to the kids"......they asked them to come into another room in pairs. Once in the room one kid was then asked to punch the other. For no reason. Just punch them. Just punch them in the face ! But the children would not do this. They refused to punch another kid for no reason. They refused to punch another kid even for greater rewards than on piece of candy, for refused for praise - or simply because the authority figures ordered them to do so....they even refused when there was a threat to tell mom that they did not do as asked by people with even greater authority (after all that was the rationale for taking candy).......they refused flatly to punch someone with no reason. The conclusion was that kids seem to be able to sort out some degree of right and wrong - possibly even in spite of authority. They show signs of having a fairly balanced sense of right and wrong on their own. If that whole thing were true - - can we conclude kids to some extent develop a moral compass naturally most of the time? Just curious. von
  13. I agree. We add and delete traits etc as they prove useful to us..... or so it seems. I am told that others disagree with that.... and I am not particularly well read on the matter. It is just an observation in my own life. von
  14. For my intro to Philosophy class each student must write an agrument supporting one of the following three choices: 1. Belief in existence of God 2. Being Agnostic 3. Being atheist Those are the only choices. You have to select one of those options. Our supporting “evidence” will in some fashion or other be dissected in class (I am assuming like minded students will be grouped to “defend-explain” their position.) I peeked ahead to the assignment following this one....where we will be assigned to take one of the other two options and repeat the exercise. So anyway we go ...we will need to “defend” two out of three positions. Since none these necessarily are my belief.... which two would you strategically select.... I am thinking the first round pick will garner the most lively exchange? Which would you pick for the first round draft? I am am leaning towards atheist.... but not sure I wanna be that busy in class discussion....this is not a moment I expect to foster lots of positivity (I might be surprised) Which is the easiest? Your prediction? Withdrawing from class or calling in sick that day are not options. von
  15. New input.....interesting quote... attributed to more than one person ( I am choosing to believe it was Aristotle) ”....morals are the child of habit...” This would indicate not so much of it arrives with us at birth.... Woukd that then also be true of the many who choose immoral behavior? All (largely) a matter of habit? von
  16. Our last “ God project” today Eight people on a team.... 45 minutes to complete our assignment. Before beginning the assignment we each had to share our inner most feelings about of God with the group. (We did not take that as a literal requirement in our group) As a group we had to write a 75 word essay for the three major positions (theist, agnostic, atheist). Then condense each essay into a standard form argument. The group sharing went well. Four theists ( 3 of them Catholic....one generic Christian) ..... three Agnostics .... one very strong atheist. When we were done sharing.... we had less than 30 minutes to go. We cheated. Rather than ALL OF US WORKING AS a single unit..... we divided into three small groups.... the atheist working alone ....and finished with a whole 1.4 minutes to spare. As far as I could tell those who tackled it as a larger group got bogged down and did not finish. Next up..... ethics von
  17. Thank you VERY MUCH! We receive our final exam topic the end of the month von
  18. I could not tell. The question was put to me. I could understand how the person explaining it to me came to the conclusions (so I could see the end picture was likely suppose to be a duck..... ) However my own thought processes could derive other options -so I was curious where the normative range if conclusions might fall. (Since we know from class I am not in the normative range in Philosophical thought) (that teacher is a doozie) Then again I have seen some parenting with extremely liberal hands off approaches produce some rule following kids.... so there may be no cause and effect ever... I am just mulling things over von
  19. Ta da! I actually recognize the format! I learned something in this class after all. I was pleased I got it ( are you helping me prep for the final?) i didn’t have anything to add to the conversation so I am .... but happy this morning (before yet amother quiz) that I “got” something. It is an omen I am making progress von
  20. VonNoble

    history and faith

    It seems perhaps those choosing faith in Christianity do so hinged on the operative word “faith” In the New Testament..... after Easter Sunday..... Jesus appeared to the disciples. Thomas was not there. When told the Lord had appeared Thomas did not believe and said he would not believe until he himself examined the Risen Lord....which eventually happened. When they met up Thomas recognized it was Christ and fell down to worship Jesus. Jesus gently put things aright ..:but noted those who believe without proof (all those to follow this...his last appearance till the Rapture.... all the millions of our times who believe without concrete evidence... those will be found virtuous for being faithfilled. They believe without the benefit of direct physical evidence Therefore anyone searching for proof is out there more than likely to shut up the faithless. The faithful have accepted the story as reality.... and go about their business (most of them) without need to prove anything except their loyalty ....to God. von
  21. VonNoble

    history and faith

    I am by far not the most learned person in this Forum about such things. if I can try a rephrasing? Since Genesis begins with creation of all living things.... and notes the Garden if Eden and the serpent...& the Apple and the fall and banishment.....with that provided .....it does allow for some question. Or maybe curiosity. If the Torah’/old testament provides detailed ancestors linking the roots of the one true belief back to the beginning of time.... the the question (I think?) is placing Christianity as claiming to be there in the beginning.... maybe 1. I am agreeing with Pastie Dave....it seems Christianity does not claim to be Christian..... until AFTER THE APPEARANCE OF CHRIST! 2. The Old Testament-Torah established the reason for the Arrival of the Savior.... and indicates the lineage necessary to “ know Him” 3. Only after the arrival of Jesus who fulfilled the aforementioned predictions.... articulating the new covenant (New Testament) did the Christian (followers if Christ) emerge 4. If you want an archeological item dating to the Garden of Eden .... an instrument that actually was in play ...a tangible between God and man...... the Muslims have it. As I understand it the original altar used by Abraham is in Mecca. if I managed to screw any of this up.... my apologies to true believers.... I am hoping I got the basics correct. von
  22. VonNoble

    Feed Your Frankenstein

    Just to be clear....I applaud Rabbi0’s diplomacy and kindness. To which I add my thanks to you, Rabbi0...... Although she (my mother) practice no religion..... my maternal grandparents are Jews.... making me (according to custom) a Jew as well. I know absolutely nothing about it.... but one of my sister’s keeps a kosher house..... is fluent in Hebrew.....and I certain she would be far less diplomatic making her points. Rabbi0... shalom and my thanks von