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Name: Paul
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Mar 31, 2010, 03:20 PM
Number of posts: 3,404

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That logic doesn't work in this situation.

That logic does work when we're talking about evolution, for example. Creationists make the mistake of claiming that the odds that a particular critter could have evolved a particular way are extremely small, so there must be a god. But particular critters aren't the goal of evolution. Evolution is going to evolve critters in some direction.

But the odds that an interesting universe could have developed, such as one that can evolve life, with only one attempt, are extremely small. Not all outcomes are in the same category. Our universe is in the category of a very interesting universe, which would be extremely rare if created by pure chance.

When you see an identifiable pattern on an old analog TV set you know that a signal was sent from some place. That pattern will not be there by pure chance. There are a huge number of ways to create a pattern on a TV (the vast majority of patterns are just static), but an identifiable pattern needs an explanation, unlike pure static.

From my selfish perspective, it is legitimate for me to contemplate what version of reality gives me the best odds of existing: one where my odds of existing are next to zero or a version of reality where my odds of existing are quite good. I think it is obvious that the version of reality where my odds of existing are next to zero can pretty much be eliminated.

Some people seem to have a faith-based version of reality where they accept a certain version of reality, even when shown that their version of reality is virtually impossible, and their version of reality violates everything we know about nature. (nature doesn't make things in ones, for example) Nature is giving us clues. Many of the best scientists believe an explanation is needed.



During the 1948 Palestine War, an estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled, and hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were depopulated and destroyed.

Israel is violating international law by occupying Palestine, and violating the Palestinian's right to self determination. Israel is stealing and destroying Palestinians homes, stealing most of their water and their freedom. Only someone from the far right can support this evil.

Israel was created by expelling the natives. The Nakba hasn't really ended. The Palestinians are about the most oppressed people on earth. You consistently support this evil here on DU, a liberal site.

Albert Einstein's letter:

Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the "Freedom Party" (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.

The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin's political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.

Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin's behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.

The public avowals of Begin's party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.

Attack on Arab Village
A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants (240 men, women, and children) and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin...

The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism

OK, then also put on the label

that there is no scientific reason to believe that GMO's are at all dangerous and the only reason this label is marked as containing genetic modified food is the anti-GMO lobby wants to scam the scientifically illiterate customer into believing there is an inherent danger.

That label would be far more useful and informative. What is there to hide?

Still no one has ever answered my question concerning the alleged dangers of GMO's.

What's with the arbitrary hatred of GMO's?

Can someone, in your own words, explain what is it about GMO's that make that method of genetic modification any more dangerous than any other method or process of genetic change?

And it gets back to my original question.

In your own words, what is it about GMO's that make that method of genetic modification any more dangerous than any other method or process of genetic change?

It's arbitrary to just be concerned about GMO's, and to not be concerned about any other method of genetic change that has happen in almost everything we eat. And including genetic changes that constantly happen in nature, everything we eat have gone through massive genetic changes over time.

There is no good scientific reason for this special concern about GMO's. There is no reason for this hype. It's propaganda by people with an agenda.

Many top scientist do believe that our "fine-tuned" Universe does need an explanation

and pure chance is not an explanation. The multiverse is the most popular explanation. Direct evidence for the multiverse is currently impossible.

Contemplating my own existence, I believe an explanation (within the realm of scientific possibility) that gives me the greatest odds of existing is likely the best explanation.

With only one universe, the odds of me existing ever, let alone me existing only once and at this very moment, are close to zero. The odds would be greater for me to win every lottery I try this year, if I were to buy a ticket every week.

If there is a huge multiverse with various properties, my chances of existing greatly increase. With a large enough Multiverse with enough variation in the individual universes, my existence might be guaranteed.

Our Universe had a starting point at the Big Bang. With only one universe there would have been a time=zero moment, where something just came from nothing. Since nothing doesn't exist, nothing can't create something. So the Big Bang must have come from an already existing realm with already existing physics.

The idea that this physics that created our Universe didn't create any other universes is far-fetched. On Earth, if something is proven scientifically possible once, that same thing has then been proven to be possible any number of times. If this weren't true, science wouldn't work and nature could never be understood.

Here's Leonard Susskind's version of the multiverse:

This gets into the extremely low odds of a single universe existing that can have life. The video up loader had his own agenda, believing that our "fine-tuned" Universe is evidence for a fine-tuned god. That argument is self-defeating:

Not surprising, coming from a leader in the brown-lives-don't-matter movement

which is popular in the US.

Expect more obliterated brown people from around the world if she becomes president, smashed like roaches, since their lives mean little to the bigots.

There's a thought process, that when one group of people have more wealth or power than another, they consider themselves superior and the weaker as inconsequential. For example, drivers of expensive cars are less likely to stop for pedestrians, presumably they feel superior and entitled:

Rich people often look down their noses at poor people. Americans sometimes look down their noses at brown people in poor countries. People in position of power in all walks of life often look down on the weaker.

Liberals, or anyone else, shouldn't do this.

Check out this disgusting racist shit from Hillary:

"And I believe that at the same time that we have to make clear to the Iraqis that they have been given the greatest gift that a human being can give another human being – the gift of freedom. And it is up to them to decide how they will use that precious gift that has been paid for with the blood and sacrifice and treasure of the United States of America."

Definition of religion from Merriam Webster:

- the belief in a god or in a group of gods

- an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods

- an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group

There is zero evidence for any god and no reason to believe that such a critter is even remotely likely. A god is a huge step backwards from an answer for how we got here. Plus, all of the particular claims consistently made about this god are self-contradictory.

For life on this planet, evolution has allowed complex animated life to evolve from much simpler life forms which originally started from chemistry – the more complex comes from the less complex.

In religion it is the opposite: the less complex comes from the more complex – god creates everything. But where did this god come from and how does it poof everything into existence? How is this god an explanation for anything? God is no different than claiming everything came into existence by magic.

Let's think of all the potential starting points for all of existence. What would be far more likely? A large existence made with dumb matter and energy or the most complex thing imaginable: a god.

For the sake of argument, let's pretend that a god could potentially be possible. How many parameters would have to be set just right for this god to exist? For such amazing superpowers, it would have to be many. How did all those parameters get set just right?

We don't need to believe the impossible to get some understanding on how we got here. There is a huge or infinite existence out there in our Universe and very likely far more beyond our Universe. A lot is going to happen in such a large existence. It may all start with dumb matter and energy, but this dumb matter and energy plays a lot of lottery tickets and occasionally some really interesting things can happen – like life on this planet.

Thank you: it's good to see that many people can see Sam Harris for what he is.

I also found where Sam Harris blamed the Iraqis for the failure of the unprovoked war against them:


The war in Iraq, while it may be exacerbating the conflict between Islam and the West, is a red herring. However mixed or misguided American intentions were in launching this war, civilized human beings are now attempting, at considerable cost to themselves, to improve life for the Iraqi people. The terrible truth about our predicament in Iraq is that even if we had invaded with no other purpose than to remove Saddam Hussein from power and make Iraq a paradise on earth, we could still expect tomorrow’s paper to reveal that another jihadi has blown himself up for the sake of killing scores of innocent men, women, and children. The outrage that Muslims feel over U.S. and British foreign policy is primarily the product of theological concerns. Devout Muslims consider it a sacrilege for infidels to depose a Muslim tyrant and occupy Muslim lands—no matter how well intentioned the infidels or malevolent the tyrant. Because of what they believe about God and the afterlife and the divine provenance of the Koran, devout Muslims tend to reflexively side with other Muslims, no matter how sociopathic their behavior. This is solidarity born of religious delusion, and it must end—or a genuine clash of civilizations will be unavoidable.

Sam Harris is very much a right-wing neocon kook.

Sam Harris blames the Iraqis for the failure of the Iraq War, saying that they could not accept the great sacrifice America made to give them the gift of civilization.


Let's play "Harris or Malkin?"

"The only future devout Muslims can envisage — as Muslims — is one in which all infidels have been converted to Islam, politically subjugated, or killed."

"I am one of the few people I know of who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror."

"The people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to Europe are actually fascists. To say that this does not bode well for liberalism is an understatement: It does not bode well for the future of civilization."

"When I search my heart, I discover that I want to keep the barbarians beyond the city walls just as much as my conservative neighbors do, and I recognize that sacrifices of my own freedom may be warranted for this purpose. I expect that epiphanies of this sort could well multiply in the coming years"

"We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it."

Elsewhere he sees Islam as violent, anachronistic and opposed to important Western values, notably free speech. Harris accuses Western liberals of being more concerned with political correctness and with avoiding accusations of racism than with defending Western freedom. Given some statements Harris has made, even within the book, it's possible he may actually have some sort of bias, but he is surely not a bigot, because everyone is only taking his statements out of context! Statements like:

"We are at war with Islam. It may not serve our immediate foreign policy objectives for our political leaders to openly acknowledge this fact, but it is unambiguously so. It is not merely that we are at war with an otherwise peaceful religion that has been ‘hijacked’ by extremists. We are at war with precisely the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran."


"We cannot let our qualms over collateral damage paralyze us because our enemies know no such qualms. Theirs is a kill-the-children-first approach to war, and we ignore the fundamental difference between their violence and our own at our peril. Given the proliferation of weaponry in our world, we no longer have the option of waging this war with swords. It seems certain that collateral damage, of various sorts, will be a part of our future for many years to come."

We have to be monsters because, writes Harris, we are fighting Islam, and thus fighting Muslim monsters. But, no doubt, it is unfair -- an exercise in political correctness -- to treat Harris's text as if plain words carry plain meaning.

The poor misunderstood Sam Harris

In a post titled The saga of Slippery Sam, PZ Myers derides Harris and his acolytes, writing: "Sam Harris has an amazing talent: he can say the most awful things, and a horde of helpful apologists will rise up in righteous fury and simultaneously insist that he didn’t really say that, and yeah, he said that, but it only makes sense." Myers also observes about the constant demand for a Talmudic approach to Harris, "you must parse his words very carefully, one by one, and yet also his words must be understood in their greater context."

Glenn Greenwald, in a livestream with Kyle Kulinski, noted that Harris is one of the only public intellectuals who does not own what he says. Rather, he publishes provocatively titled articles littered with equally provocative assertions and when people criticize him for it, he then insists not only that you didn't understand what he said, you're lying about it. Harris follows that up with "clarifications" that, according to Greenwald, are comparatively banal. Given that Harris is quite intelligent and must know what he's doing, it's reasonable to consider that he may be being intentionally controversial for the publicity.

Cenk Uygur has particularly received flak for his criticism of Harris, receiving a relentless barrage of negativity on Twitter and Youtube. Harris disciples accuse Uygur of not understanding Harris or, as some sort of personal vendetta, of intentionally misrepresenting him. When Uygur received word that Harris would honestly vote for "an imbecile" like Ben Carson rather than Noam Chomsky, and that he defended Ted Cruz's preferring Christian refugees over Muslim ones from Syria, Uygur completely took off the gloves.

He denounced Harris for packaging heinous arguments as "thought experiments," focusing specifically on Harris's vile proposal mere ponderings that the West's only option against certain Islamists "may be" a nuclear first strike that would, so sadly, entail killing "millions of innocent civilians in a single day." Uygur rhetorically inquired how this thought experiment would sound if those civilians were in the State of Florida or the city of Tel Aviv. After showing the moral depravity of Harris's "non-endorsement" of such a position, Uygur addressed the Harris fans who contact him every time he covers Harris and his views:

“Even though I’ve given you full context, tell me how the beloved Dr. Harris is once again misrepresented by his own words, and misunderstood by feeble minds like Noam Chomsky.”
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