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Re: FT

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  • walto
    ... You are even more sanguine than Pinker, who doesn t believe in any sort of historical determinism himself. Your brand of optimism seems sort of religious
    Message 1 of 111 , Nov 21, 2012
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      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@...> wrote:
      >
      > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "walto" <calhorn@> wrote:
      >
      > > --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, "roy_langston" <roy_langston@> wrote:
      > > > Evolution is moving toward higher specific energy use, history toward an Enlightenment view of human rights.
      > >
      > > What would you take to be disconfirming events for these theories.
      >
      > A decline in the dominance of warm-blooded animals over cold-blooded would indicate evolution was moving toward lower specific energy use, and the emergence of a major world power whose government system was based on the divine right of kings would indicate a retreat from the Enlightenment view of human rights.
      >
      > > Do elections in Peru count?
      >
      > As much as any others.
      >
      > > African massacres?
      >
      > As much as any others. It is indisputable that the fraction of the population dying by violence is far lower now than in former centuries.
      >
      > > The growth of various religions?
      >
      > Most religions are actually in decline, and I expect this to continue, though it will take time. The Net is enabling a fearsome winnowing. Religious people try to defend their beliefs in online forums, are invariably demolished and humiliated, and this is witnessed by millions of smart-phone subscribers who would otherwise never have been exposed to reasoned argument on the subject. I suspect that in 30-50 years, Islam will be the only remaining significant religion, and it will have to be sustained by oil money, overt violence, and brutal suppression of dissent.
      >
      > > The increased resistance to anti-biotics?
      >
      > For all its microscopic significance in the evolutionary scale of eons.
      >
      > -- Roy Langston
      >

      You are even more sanguine than Pinker, who doesn't believe in any sort of historical determinism himself. Your brand of optimism seems sort of religious to me, but it's sweet nevertheless. Hope you're right.

      W
    • Harry Pollard
      JDK, Those who survive are presumably the fittest to survive for the fittest just describes those who have survived. With regard to your last sentence –
      Message 111 of 111 , Nov 23, 2012
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        JDK,

        Those who survive are presumably the fittest to survive for the "fittest" just describes those who have survived.

        With regard to your last sentence – Stalin got there first.

        Harry

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        On Sun, Nov 18, 2012 at 9:54 AM, JDKromkowski <jdkromkowski@...> wrote:
         

        Evolution is not really: the survival of the "fittest" It is just survival of that which survives. Evolution is a way of describing the process of how variation within a population will lead to variation eventually of species.  There are plenty of genes along for the ride which are not particularly "the fittest".  

        Yes the survival of the two apostolic lungs of Christianity (Catholics and the Eastern church) despite its massive weakness and in fact embracement of weakness of the god who becomes human and is rejected and put to death is a puzzle and crazy on its face. It drove Nietzsche crazy (well that and syphillus drove him crazy).  It also drove the communists crazy too.   Massive defense? How many tanks does the church have?

        Jdk



        Sent from my iPad

        On Nov 16, 2012, at 11:26 PM, "mattbieker" <agrarian.justice@...> wrote:

         

        --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, John David Kromkowski <jdkromkowski@...> wrote:
        >
        > On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM, mattbieker <agrarian.justice@...
        > > wrote:
        > >
        > > The catholic church has one real function: serving the clergy. When it
        > > was able to, it dominated a large swath of the earth in an imperial form.
        > > It can't now, so it fills out whatever niches it can; but the main thing is
        > > ensuring that members of clergy don't have to go and get real jobs.
        > >
        > Thanks for sharing this one too. I'm getting better picture of Land Cafe.
        > It really is best if we get it all out in the open. It's for the same
        > reason I won't hide my background.
        >
        > This isn't a cocktail party, where we need to avoid the topic for
        > charitable purposes - or at least for the purposes of not interfering with
        > mutual love of beer or gin or your choice. I'd still have a beer in
        > Baltimore (once), with any of you clowns.
        >
        > JDK

        *shrugs* Whatever one thinks of Roy's evolutionary basis for morals, I think there's fairly clearly a pseudo-evolutionary basis for ideas and institutions. Dawkins made this case in his "The Selfish Gene." Basically, ideas are duplicated, with variation, in the minds of individuals; from there, it's survival of the fittest. The conceptual equivalent to a gene being a "meme." Why do religious institutions survive despite being a load of crap that generally act as a drain on society? They're very advanced critters in the world of memes; they've evolved a whole host of defenses to offset their massive weaknesses, such as the notion that it's not polite or even acceptable to question a man's faith, or that without beliefs in these memes, we have no basis for social behavior.

        Catholicism isn't necessarily the most egregious case of this sort of memetic virus (that has to go to Scientology, don't you think?), but that's what it is, and all the bottom line of them all is the same: enrichment (both financial as well as emotional) of clergy. Still and all, its senseless and generally ad-hoc opposition to contraception, even in the light of AIDS epidemics, is horrible enough in and of itself to give me a fairly thoroughgoing distaste for it in particular, and I'd pretty much rather not see any meme I deem useful or good to be mixed up with it.

        Personally, I think one of the best parts of online discussion is that there's less tendency to hold back one's beliefs; many lament this, saying that the internet just makes everyone rude because they don't fear social repercussions, but I believe there's inherent value there, as it allows for a more rapid evolution of memes. The noise and nastiness comes with the territory, and I think people will just eventually find a new normal.

        One common Christian meme is certainly right though: hate the sin, and not the sinner. I agree, I'd have a beer with any of you. It's worth making a conscious effort not to take attacks against our beliefs too personally, because it turns out everyone tends to be wrong quite often.


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