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Benefits of being PhD?

category: general [glöplog]
What is the meaning of the question?
Maybe things just exist.
Ok, going to sleep now.
added on the 2009-06-19 00:29:07 by Optimonk Optimonk
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Then I guess they don't and scientists are all delusional and insane. Our "faith" in established science is an amazing testament to human creativity and imagination (of which religion is a shining example) when you consider the fact that every "accepted" theory of science is derived from axioms. In other words, nothing in even the religion of science can be derived if nothing is assumed by our imagination to begin with.


The difference being that in science, assumptions are tested. This is what mystical solipsists tend to forget - science really, really works. And that makes it reasonable to think that the underlying axioms are not only more useful (as in instrumentalism) but also truer to reality than alternative ones that don't really seem to relate to reality.

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Hence you see the emergence of a new sciences and way s of thinking such as grey-logic and Quantum Physics which, as I understand it, are the sciences of possibilities not measurable definite certainties.


Quantum physics is not a reinvention of science. It's all from the same method that gave you relativity, thermodynamics, etc., the same naturalistic principles and methods of objective study. No meditation is involved. This is an example of how objective science is not limited. You can carry on inventing new models when the old ones aren't good enough.

And the supposed connection to consciousness is entirely made up by new-age mystics, mostly based on the misunderstanding that observation can affect the outcome of an experiment. It's all wooly thinking. Science needs to be sharp, like, some sort of razor. And objective. Quantum physics is no different in that regard.

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And for the non-PhD'd masses to grasp what it all means and make any sense of it all it all, a sense of spirituality is probably required.


No, for anyone to attach his own interpretation to it, as happened to magnetism, x-rays, DNA, and what have you, mysticism is required. It is not constructive.

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are you high? Belief is (in the context) defined as "something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat by dictionary.com, and fact (in the context) is defined as "a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth."......


If beliefs and facts were opposites, it wouldn't be possible to believe in facts. I don't think that makes for a very useful definition. The question is still whether belief (that which is held to be true, or, that which is thought to be factual) should be rooted in evidence or not. Science says yes, religion says no. They are two completely different attitudes, and I don't see how they can get along easily. Is what I'm saying.
added on the 2009-06-19 04:35:57 by doomdoom doomdoom
fact is something you can observe even when you're not thinking about it. beliefs are what you are thinking about when you just happen to be observing something.
added on the 2009-06-19 04:43:51 by hexen hexen
are*
added on the 2009-06-19 04:44:02 by hexen hexen
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added on the 2009-06-19 07:17:11 by Optimonk Optimonk
what does that even mean
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And the supposed connection to consciousness is entirely made up by new-age mystics, mostly based on the misunderstanding that observation can affect the outcome of an experiment.

Awww, but Ramtha teaches us we can shape the universe to our own liking by mere conscious thought. :(
And Ramtha is definitely not made up by some new-age mystic. He truly is a 35.000 years old spirit-warrior from Lemuria.

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Science says yes, religion says no. They are two completely different attitudes, and I don't see how they can get along easily.


Frank Tipler does. He sees God as a consequence of physics, hihi.
added on the 2009-06-19 09:06:01 by spinor spinor
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If beliefs and facts were opposites, it wouldn't be possible to believe in facts


you are not making any sense here mate. You do not believe in a fact, a fact is a fact regardless of your personal held beliefs. But knowing a fact can change a belief.

Belief is the stuff we fill into our gaps of knowledge. Scientists aswell. We can both believe something to be true, and know something to be true, and facts are what seperates both from eachother. If you believe in something contrary to the facts, you are an idiot, i think we can both agree on that.

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Science says yes, religion says no


It is not quite so simple though.point in case:

"Why do they not reflect on the camels and how they are created? And the sky and how it is raised. And the mountains and how they are constructed.And the earth and how it is built.You shall remind, for your mission is to deliver this reminder."

These are quotes from the quran (verse 88:17- 21). I know there is a link of interpretation now, but isnt the above a direct encouragement to do science? To find out how things work by observing them? The Qurans philosphy is that by science you shall know and reckognice God. So you may ask yourself, what happened to Islam then? The answer; I have no idea, but the Quran if quite different in attitude from the muslims and how they behave, and that is a FACT!. ;)
added on the 2009-06-19 09:30:58 by NoahR NoahR
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added on the 2009-06-19 09:32:13 by Optimonk Optimonk
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a fact is a fact regardless of your personal held beliefs.


If you believe something to be true, you might well call it a fact. So to say that the two are opposites is what doesn't make any sense.

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To find out how things work by observing them?


No, it tells you to find out how things were made. You'd be violating that commandment if you concluded that camels were not created, the sky was not raised, mountains were not constructed and the Earth was not built. Pointless semantics, one might say, but creationists (i.e. Muslims) would be quick to point it out which is why a scientist should frown on those implications, however vague. Fuzzy language makes for bad science. Leave it to the politicians.

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The Qurans philosphy is that by science you shall know and reckognice God.


That's your interpretation. Its philosophy is also that whatever Mohammed says goes because he is God's favourite because he says so and death to anyone who disagrees, that women are inferior creatures designed to make men's lives easier, that if you want to marry a six-year-old girl, you have the blessing of the creator of the universe, that homosexuality is morally wrong, and so on. And then, sure, there's the odd sensible passage which seems to promote some sort of scientific mindset, but cherry-picking is decidedly unscientific.

The simplest answer is that the Quran is not the word of God, and that's the answer you can keep finding evidence to support. Hence the point, if you want to be religious, there are certain questions you can't ask about your religion. That's what faith means.

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the Quran if quite different in attitude from the muslims and how they behave, and that is a FACT!. ;)


Your favourite passages are different from how your least favourite muslims behave, sure. But the FACT remains that to practise the religion of Islam you must accept some core dogma without evidence. The existence of God (singular, male, omnipotent, jealous, etc.), the reality of sin (crimes against God), the idea that things have ordained purposes, etc. Those are very big claims, and if you don't accept that they are true then you're just an atheist with an academic interest in the Quran.
added on the 2009-06-19 14:32:50 by doomdoom doomdoom
As for that quote, here is a bit of context:

[88:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[88:1] Are you aware of the Overwhelming?
[88:2] Faces on that day will be shamed.
[88:3] Laboring and exhausted.
[88:4] Suffering in a blazing Hellfire.
[88:5] Drinking from a flaming spring.
[88:6] They will have no food except the useless variety.
[88:7] It never nourishes, nor satisfies hunger.
[88:8] Other faces on that day will be full of joy.
[88:9] Satisfied with their work.
[88:10] In an exalted Paradise.
[88:11] In it, no nonsense is heard.
[88:12] In it, a spring flows.
[88:13] In it, there are luxurious furnishings.
[88:14] And drinks made available.
[88:15] And pitchers in rows.
[88:16] And carpets throughout.
[88:17] Why do they not reflect on the camels and how they are created?
[88:18] And the sky and how it is raised.
[88:19] And the mountains and how they are constructed.
[88:20] And the earth and how it is built.
[88:21] You shall remind, for your mission is to deliver this reminder.
[88:22] You have no power over them.
[88:23] As for those who turn away and disbelieve.
[88:24] GOD will commit them to the great retribution.
[88:25] To us is their ultimate destiny.
[88:26] Then we will call them to account.

It's a passage about what God intends to do to some people (torture them) and how he will reward others by giving them free drinks somewhere with wall-to-wall carpets. Somewhat out of place in the middle of it then is this reference to God's creation (his CREATION!). As a reminder to stay skeptical about how stuff works it sure would be oddly placed. It's much safer to assume it means, "look at all the amazing stuff that God made. Can't you see that God is fucking awesome and blah blah blah OBEY! OBEY!"

Even if you take it to mean "God wants you to be skeptical", then why do you take that to be "the attitude" of the Quran? What about the blazing hellfire? What's that, then?
added on the 2009-06-19 14:50:07 by doomdoom doomdoom
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If you believe something to be true, you might well call it a fact


ok, I believe in God ergo it is true. That's just not how it works. To the facts, the things observed, my beliefs are irellevant.

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Fuzzy language makes for bad science.


bad understanding, bad everything,. For a good example of this, look at the last quote in this post.

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Its philosophy is also that whatever Mohammed says goes because he is God's favourite because he says so and death to anyone who disagrees, that women are inferior creatures designed to make men's lives easier, that if you want to marry a six-year-old girl, you have the blessing of the creator of the universe, that homosexuality is morally wrong, and so on.


what Quran have you been reading, because none of those things are mentioned in any version I have ever read. In other words, you are running with rumours here, and fail to distinguish between the scripture of a religion and it's (mostly illitterate) followers. If i have learned anything from ym study of islam it is that there is no "islam". what there is, is an umbrella of beliefs loosely based on the Quran and then depending on sect, a wash of different documents that pass as historical documentation of the Prophet of islam. All the above is destinctively traits of salafi wahabism, the most well known sect, allthough people usually think that this sect itself IS islam because it is dominating mecca though finance and royalty. however salafi wahabism is also the sect within islam that relies the least on the Quran for their teachings. The western press and Pia K loves salafi wahabis...they make for good press, and as i can see here, good debate material to throw around. but they are not islam and their interpretations is deemed highly suspicious by the large majority of muslims in the world, just letting you know.

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But the FACT remains that to practise the religion of Islam you must accept some core dogma without evidence. The existence of God (singular, male, omnipotent, jealous, etc.), the reality of sin (crimes against God), the idea that things have ordained purposes, etc.


while this is true, it is entirely irrelevant to how people behave, and speaks nothing of how people interpret their scripture, that is, if they had even bothered to read it. And to get back on trac. the very verses i posted inspired the period in which arabs actually managed to make some intellectual progress before they again stagnated and become dogmatic in their ways. While the golden era of the arabs is not as good as they themself likes to point out, it was definately there. So it is not just my personal pet interpretation of those verses even if it is given that their intend is that discovering things would make you discover order, and thus reason your way to God's existance.

Going from burrying newborn girls alive in the sands of the desert to algebra and democratic models is one hell of a step and it was inspired by religion, Islam in this case. so I insist that just saying "Science says yes, religion says no" is a too simplistic way of looking at it.
added on the 2009-06-19 14:58:03 by NoahR NoahR
So, you didnt manage to spot the break between 88:16, 88:17. It is two destinct passages you have quoted, sorry if that wasnt obvious enough. The Quran is structured strangely.

You are not well enough versed in the Quran that I want to debate it with you, simply because it is a waste of both of our time. There are so many parts of the Quran that needs to be taken into concideration everytime you touch upon any subject. The short answer to your question is that Heaven is defined for as the definition of those "who reason and think" while hell is the punishment for those who refuse to atleast behave themselfes. The words "those who spread corruption in the lands, those who spill the blood of the unarmed, those who call themself peacemakers but commit mischef are used to descripe those who end up in hell. And I am a Deist with an interrest in religion, religious history and thus the Quran.
added on the 2009-06-19 15:05:36 by NoahR NoahR
definition= destination
added on the 2009-06-19 15:19:23 by NoahR NoahR
eeblis: what I don't get, is what happens to all the people who never get to hear about the quran (or bible, or whatever other religion). Do they get cast into the pits of hell for not believing? If so, a god that creates people that are certain to get cast into hell is pretty evil in my view. It's like breeding kittens so you can sell them to some sadist for torturing.

Another benefit of doing a phd: do philosophy, and you can discuss this stuff and get paid for it :)
added on the 2009-06-19 16:52:06 by psonice psonice
That is a very good question. the Quran states, and I think the Bible states it aswell, that those who never get to hear the word are without blame. In world with highspeed internet this obviously makes no sense. There is another fundamental question from these scriptures that bogs me personally:

The scene; A race of beings called the jinn who were in every way superior to us, have by divine intervention lost the right to govern earth because they created blodshed and caused mischief in that land. The jinns leader called shayt'aan are furious and refuse to accept this as he well understand that he is mans superior in just about every aspect, and he pose a threat against God that he will destroy these ridiculous humans, and any future they may have. Being a reptillian shapeshifter (now i wonder what inspired David Icke...hmmm) or atleats a shapeshifter of some kind, his kind can move unseen amongst people but still corporate with them. God allows for arrangement, the Jinn can wreak havoc in human society as they so please, only limit is that "true believers" will be outside of their influence. The jinn will be punished for their bloodshed, hell is for them, but they have been allowed to catch as many humans as they can on their way down. In other words, if the Quran is to be taken for money, our suffering is due to God proving a point to a being he allready punished and is far superior to, and not only that. We are said to be as good as powerless against the influence of jinns manipulations, thus many people will be punished simply for being too weak to resist the influence of an evil allowed upon people by God himself. ...now put that in your pipe and smoke it scholars!

All muslims know the story, but no muslim ever hear it retold in this way that for sure. I know scholars bend their minds over this question and others like it.
added on the 2009-06-19 19:56:47 by NoahR NoahR
all this suffering merely to prove a point to satan.....

added on the 2009-06-19 19:58:45 by NoahR NoahR
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That is a very good question. the Quran states, and I think the Bible states it aswell, that those who never get to hear the word are without blame. In world with highspeed internet this obviously makes no sense.


Then the kindest thing you could possibly do to a newborn child is murder it before it gets a chance to sin. Right? In fact even better, get pregnant over and over again, and keep having abortions. You may go to Hell, but you'll be sending a lot of souls straight to Heaven. What could be more selfless!
added on the 2009-06-19 21:52:30 by doomdoom doomdoom
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So, you didnt manage to spot the break between 88:16, 88:17. It is two destinct passages you have quoted, sorry if that wasnt obvious enough.


Two or three distinct passages? Cause, immediately after the bit about reflecting on creation (CREATION!), it's back to describing the fires prepared for the unbelievers. It really looks out of place there. But you're right, I'm not capable of the mental contortions that you are, obviously.

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The short answer to your question is that Heaven is defined for as the definition of those "who reason and think" while hell is the punishment for those who refuse to atleast behave themselfes.


Unless by "those who reason and think" you mean "believers", and by "those who refuse to at least behave themselves" you mean "unbelievers", I don't recognise this interpretation of the Quran. It certainly is not a straightforward one. Could you point me in the direction of the relevant apologetics?
added on the 2009-06-19 22:10:30 by doomdoom doomdoom
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Even if you take it to mean "God wants you to be skeptical", then why do you take that to be "the attitude" of the Quran? What about the blazing hellfire? What's that, then?


I've can't say I've studied the Quran but I guess the hellfire stuff from those Abrihamic religions could just well be allegorical metaphors. :P I doubt heaven and hell and all the damnation stuff was ever supposed to be taken literally, by the original relatively wise scribes.

My interpretation is that they describe and warn of various internal states of mind experienced during life (you kill someone, you go to "hell" [aka guilt and remorse] unless you're the "devil" [aka a psychopath]). But of course, over time, lesser men have twisted "the word" and convinced Muslims that Jihad is not an internal battle. Just as we in the West were convinced to go on our little Crusades and battles for Kings.

Our conscious (God perhaps?) doesn't generally allow non-psychopaths to do things which we know are "bad" without "being cast to hell". In turn I feel Go(o)d when I do something good for other people. "The Kingdom of God is within", "look within and you shall find" as The Book itself says.I guess there are equivalent phases in the Quran.
added on the 2009-06-19 22:32:38 by button button
doom: i have a feeling you're bored and purposely missing people's points here :P
added on the 2009-06-19 22:34:45 by button button
Doom, just let it go. Have a nice evening mate :)
added on the 2009-06-19 22:50:45 by NoahR NoahR
im pH neutral!
Namaste, I know modern interpretations allow for both heaven and hell to be metaphors, but I highly doubt it is how they were understood at the time of the writing of these scriptures.

One of many pet ideas I have had myself on the subject was: what if your last breath, the last emotion, the last thought is your eternity. What if that last thought you ever had before lights out, when time grinds to a halt because it becomes irrelevant to your being, what if that thought was :" OMFG..I was such an asshole!!!"?.

If i somehow gained knowledge about what death is like, but survived it to come back and tell the tale and it was anything remotely like my pet idea. There wouldnt be a single threat of fire and brimstone i wouldnt curse at people in the hope that their last thought may be one of satisfaction, one of "job well done". "life well lived".

Ironic as it is, study implicates that our own happiness is directly related to how concerned we are about others. the more you do to make other people happy, the more likely you are to become happy yourself.

Many religious ideas are perfectly alligned with what these kinds of studies concludes. I do not see this as strange or divine, as people have observed eachothers behaviour and written boring papyrus and books about it since Thoth told man how to. Western universties did not invent this, contrary to their attempts at patenting it by applying new names.

From a purely rational perspective free of my pet ideas the Unfortunate situatio so far, is that, human society has found no greater authority than fear to make people behave well towards eachother. Police force is not enough by itself, people have to fear consequences, and even then the most stalbe societies are always but a few shouts away from a riot. This was properbly also observed a long time ago, because it was certainly written down in various ways by differeny observers, I actually think Plato included.

To use christian terminlogy. "if heaven is within, then should hell be inside the planet earth, or under it. either we are dealing in methaphor or we are not, we cant have it both ways is my oppinion.
added on the 2009-06-19 23:18:33 by NoahR NoahR
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I've can't say I've studied the Quran but I guess the hellfire stuff from those Abrihamic religions could just well be allegorical metaphors. :P I doubt heaven and hell and all the damnation stuff was ever supposed to be taken literally, by the original relatively wise scribes.


Well the Quran is quite clear on Hell, unlike the NT which is vague on that issue. In the Jewish tradition there is no punishment of the dead. But according to the Quran, it was God who prepared the fires of hell for unbelievers, (cause, you know, he has no love for them). You can let that be a metaphor, but since we were talking about science relating to religion, a scientist would be interested in the most straightforward interpretation. Not necessarily the literal interpretation but the one that is least contrived and seems most likely to be intentional.

Also, you might ask, if it was meant as a metaphor, but taken literally by everyone for hundreds of years, isn't it a little too poorly written to be taken seriously anyway?

But even if everything that seems disgusting is really some sort of metaphor, that doesn't always make it less disgusting. Hell is one thing if it's something we "create for ourselves" or whatever, but take the story of Isaac's sacrifice (or Ishmael). This is a disgusting message whether or not it's meant to be a literal account of anything. And in what way is it less sexist if a man is only "metaphorically" worth twice as much as a woman?
added on the 2009-06-20 01:14:21 by doomdoom doomdoom

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