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Posts posted by Yiuel

  1. Religion left more than we might think, and I agree with Klaas on that idea.

    In Quebec, we were, until the Quiet Revolution, almost ruled by catholicity. What the church wished, that was the law. This left a lot of influences in our society, as until recently, birth registration was made by the Church, not the State.

    As for morality, indeed the Church influenced a lot, but we must not forget other influences. The idea of a crime being repaid with a fine is typically Germanic (perhaps, indo-european, but clearly neither christian nor semitic), but we have the idea all around Europe since the germanic invasions.

  2. There is indeed one Roman Jewish source (some Flavius Joseph) about Jesus, or someone so named. This is why it isn't so easy, when were speaking of its possible non-existence. The problem arise when we compare the source with others, there are details that do not agree with our other sources. On the other side, we have plenty of references to other groups which may shed some light. Some people believe that there were a few "messiah" in these years, and a lot of popular assemblea. Perhaps there is something real in it.

  3. Though I have great problems with this guy (I have heard of him before), I don't think he took the right way to express his doubts.

    I myself came to have doubts about Jesus's existence (yes, you may throw whatever you want at me now), but, for me, it doesn't matter very much, as the message itself can remain relevant, with or without him as real. Other cases of such debating has turned around Gautama (know as the Buddha) and Muhammad. There are also strong doubts about Moise (I read, years ago, a series of articles on those doubts, which were well built). Gautama seems to be one who achieved "realhood", but the other seems unclear yet. (And regarding Muhammad, we won't be able to investigate before long...)

  4. Your drawings about how you represent the world have made my think about an exercice we did in Intercultural Communication. We were asked, in a small drawing, to represent ourself and the Universe. Here are four versions of the drawing, the commonest being on superior-left corner :


    They may be overly simplistic, but they reveal important details.

    Those two which are upper, contrast in two different ways. First, in the left drawing, we see the Universe (represented by the circle) with, besides, a human. In the other draawing, you see that the human is inside the Universe. Are you a part of the Universe? Then, you can also see the difference in size : on the left side, the person is huge, while on the right side, the person is small. As if in the first picture, you could have some sort of control.

    Between the on on the upper-right and the lower-left one, you see a slight difference. In the upper-right one, you see the individual in the middle, while in the lower-left, the individual (a point) is on the bottom. This leads to ask yourself if you are under the whole universe, or most of it (L-L) or if you're something within it, not something under everything, but not over everything as well, only an ordinary part of it.

    Finally, you can see a difference between the lower-left and the lower-right one. In the lower-left one, the Universe is bounded (always the circle), while in the other one, the universe is boundless, no circle, no border, no limit.

    These few images are really interesting. I drew the upper-right one, when I was in class. In fact, I take myself as part of the Universe, bound to it, and as being nothing special, except being some ordinary kind of thing ("lambdicity"). My girlfriend, and my Japanese teacher, both drew the fourth (lower-right) one. To them, they are under the universe, and the Universe is boundless, borderless.

    Finally, are we strangers in the Universe, as it is suggested in the first image?

  5. However, here is perhaps the most educational science experiment about viscosity. It is... not that liquid :P


    Pitch seems to be a solid, but if you wait enough time, well, you get that awful drop, and within a few years (around 8 years) well, it falls down, and everybody is happy to see the event happen. But, you can break it as ice or glass. So, glass's liquidity is myth, but a highly thick liquid do exist.

    There are still two years before the next drop, will we be patient enough :S

  6. I don't think that being of completely different lines (or regna) for that matter would completely barren any possible interbreeding. What you need is a convergent evolution, where genes will be able to communicate their differences. Indeed, it would be especially unlikely, but then again, in Arda, Eru's will is around to arrange things :P

  7. As the question of immortality, my being a conworlder, has dealed with some of those problems, to some extent, and I may compare.

    I have that species (the Taasaweans, but their name isn't important) which do not live any senesence in the way we do. Their cells can reproduce indefinitely, as long as they have some other being in their body, which I could call the reparator. Its task is to make sure that any copy is identical to the original written on him. It usually takes one hundred years to make him disappear, if not constantly nurtured with some chemical product (it is found in great quantities in the sea). So, they essentially stay young for, usually, two hundred years. (Some are lucky enough to live a few more years, some very lucky will not die...) But then, they die of an horrible death (cancer, growing on all cells within a few minutes, very painful)

    So, they may repair themselves in the same way, or something close. As for their tanning, well, there are other ways to protect yourself, melanin isn't everything that can protect from sunburn, I believe. That all mammals may produce melanin does not necessarly means Elves are... mammals, even if they are mammal-like. They could be genetically close, because of convergence in their genetic code, but they can still have a few differences, superficial. Now, it is to wander what, and how it would express itself.

  8. Quacker : This is actually what I believe, as I think that the spirit is the product of all relations between matter in the brain. It is not matter per se, but all its relations.

    Caesar : I never heard it was a theist argument, and actually, I find it rather... unuseful. I take it as an atheistic argument, or at least, a secularist argument, because the further you go in science, the further has become God, about natural explanations.

  9. Let's say that he is nowhere, perhaps as he is eternal ("nowhen"). Quite hard to imagine.

    So, would you classify yourself more as an agnostic, rather than a full atheist?

    We could say that I am an atheistic agnostic. That is, I am not really fond of believing things (evne though I know I need to have some axioms, in which I can be sure, from experience), but I'm not really interested by the "God Solution" (ever heard of the "God of the Gaps" theory? This is what I feel when people talk to me about God or gods.). I prefer to stay open to other ideas as well, and, as far as I know, I believe I don't need to think about metauniversal matters to live in the Universe, I just like it, because it can be mentally relaxing. (In that manner, people could say I am secularist)

  10. In general, I think that if you can laugh of everything that makes you yourself, it is always a good thing. Because it gives you another perspective, sometimes a really deep one. I also have beliefs, but I can also have fun with them and laugh a good load about them when I'm into it. It's just so relieving.

    Does the abuse of a power give justification for taking it away? To what degree? and in what cases would their be the opposite of what you answered?

    I tend to think that if you go beyond your given (or shared) power, you've done too much and you should be sent away. You must stick to what you've been given as powers. If you're given more, it is alright though.

    In terms of individual rights, such as Freedom of Speech and Expression, I believe that the line should be drawn where the intentions are.

    Perhaps not. Maybe any right's line should be drawn where another right cannot be given. As far as I know, to say something does stop anyone to do something else. That someone laughs at my political ideas doesn't mean I cannot believe in them.

  11. It seems it was a demented mother, more than demented parents.

    As for why we were speaking of this, is that it is another example where one might go to far. Did those girls (and their mother) go to far? This my question.

    As for the bounty, perhaps it's for the one who draw Muhammad with the bomb...

  12. Sorry for the double post, but now, I shall also but my grain de sel. Canadian Public Radio is really interesting, at least on the French side. In the same show where I heard this muslim scholar, I also have heard in a "review of magazines (revue de revues, in French)" about some special girl duo from California.

    Prussian Blue

    This has shocked me (and my girlfriend) a lot. I thought is was at first a joke, but then it was clear it was not, and that such speeches were still held somewhere. I already knew about the presence of such highly genoisolationist people, but I never imagined that...

    Worse, here, it's not even satirical. They do think it deeply. Yiuel's worst nightmare.

    They speak about the virtues of white supremacy. They wish the coming of a State reserved for white people, somewhere white would not have to live with other people. It seems they think that national socialism is great. About the holocaust, the girls said that it was a way for the German people not to genetically mix with Jewish people.

    I wonder...

    [i have fun with one argument about "white supremacy", it is way they quote that famous graphic about IQ vs raciality. They show that the IQ of Mexicans, Natives, and Blacks are lower than the Whites... But they never speak about Asians, who... it seems, are generally higher. If we go simply, we should be ruled by China. I wonder if white supremacists would agree.]

  13. Cosmological Argument - This is where we have problems. The deepest resaearches in cosmology do not take it to that point. In fact, they have great problems with the first measureable moment of the Universe, they cannot describ it. If we follow Relativity, time and space is within the Universe, that is, something not even relevant when we discuss the origin of the Universe. But we try hard. But if time and space is within it, as is maybe causality, so discussing any cause autside the Universe is irrelevant. But it goes beyond the Universe, beyond our knowledge. To me, it is no proof of God, but the showing of our limits.

    Mathematical Argument - Mathematic is merely a tool. It is a way that describes the Universe, in, sometimes, a very bad way.

    Ontological Argument - This cannot convince me, or otherwise because I can conceptualise the Universe of Ie Ien, in therefore exists. Some speak of God's perfectness, and that perfectness means existence. I wonder what is perfectness, and before finding its correlatives, perhaps must we find the definition of perfectness.

    Pantheistic Argument - This has been probably the best argument I heard. The flaw here is proposing a second level for everything, therefore explaining nothing. Yet, truth might be a second level, but then again, there are thousands of way to imagine that second level, not only a god.

    Empirical Arguments(based more on assumptions than logic)

    Teleological argument - It is hard to defend any randomness when you can only see one sole example of what you are trying to describ. Logic relies on relation, but the Universe is unique, as far as we know, so therefore no relation, no logic, nothing to be able to relate about.

    Anthropic argument - To me, it is rather the proof of the existence of the Universe. Or, at the very list, the proof of my own existence. (Cogito ergo sum)

    Majority argument - It may be more probable that a minority might be wrong, but "truth" doesn't rely on probabilities. It is, or is not, or it is irrelevant. It cannot be both at the same time, when we look at it.

    Moral argument - As far as I am concerned, I have developped a morality, indeed quite different as it is not relying on overlords, but relies on our mutual relations. Indeed, I don't proclaim it perfect or absolute, it is relative to our relations, and it is always changing. But, I have one, without anything else.

    Note how I do feel there is some truth BEHIND reality. Being atheist doesn't mean pure materialism. It is just that I question the nature of this reality. Also, from an other idea (that reality is all what I need to know how to live), any reflexions on truth will be useless, unless it has itself a reality, which we could ultimately control. (As if a character of my stories was aware of the book's reality, and changed the words in my book, to change his own reality...)

  14. I have just listened to a strange interview, today.

    It was with Soheib Bencheikh, a French muslim from Marseille, probably the wisest person I have heard since a few weeks, in the media.

    Yet, I have been surprised (and deeply pleased) by his reaction. In the interview, they were speaking of islam and the cartoons of Mohammad.

    First thing, he says that those cartoons were probably the best thing that could ever happen. Not because people are now angry, but because in confronts people. He says (since 2001, at least) that any religion sure of itself should be capable of withstanding any derision, and that the fear of mere critics, especially cartoons, is not a sign of attacking Islam, but the fear that Islam is falling in front of the world.

    He says that Islam has been too long in the Dark, obscurantism. He says that Islam has no confrontation, that noone, within the Dar Al-Islam, is ever confronted with other ways, and, indeed, critics. And now, afraid of being lighted (it is the word he used : "éclairé"), muslims cannot answer. Those who aren't afraid of being shown (the probably actual sense of his word "lighted") won't be afraid of critics, if they are sure.

    About Mohammad himself, if was... really open. Mohammad is not only for Muslims. Having been shown to the world as a prophet, it is to everyone to listen to what he has to say, and then answer as they please. Some may embrace him (the Muslims) some may pay some attention, some may not agree with him, some may joke about him, whatever. To Soheib Bencheikh, he is a great man of History, and as such, is someone for All of Earth.

    He also spoke of the Clash of Civilization, wether if there is or not. To him, there should be no clash at all. Muslim civilization has been (and to him, could still be) a part of Occident, in a wider sense of the word. He says that Muslim civilization have been the caretakers of Greek and Roman philosophy, while Europe was being transformed in the middle ages, until the Crusades brought those philosophies in Italy and then in all of Europe. Muslims shouldn't be foreign at all with the values of Occident.

    He was really interesting, I was impressed by what he had to say. I think that what he said is really relevant. He added, close to the end, one thing about freedom of speech : Anyone should be able to say what he wants, and critics should be accepted as they are, critics. If you are afraid of words, ask youself why you are afraid of them, if you can accept them, you have shown your deepest confidence...

    I would add that if you can understand them... You can answer to them positively.

  15. I actually am in favor of keeping them. There are possibilities, as far as I could imagine. When ever I write a story, I ask myself how is their life in the story. To me, it is a mere story (well, no, actually, but here is not the point), but for my characters, as far as their existence is our topic, their whole existence is within that book, it's their world. Their life, their pleasure, their pain, everything is there, in that book or within its diegesis ("context", briefly explaining). And to us... a mere book.

  16. Back on the cartoons, I have come about a new way to understand them.

    I have been reading a little on the subject, how most people felt about it. (I also now know that Japan is totally puzzled by this issue.) And I have found some meaning in those incentive drawings. They rather show us what most people in Occident think when they are in front of the idea of Islam...

    For example, there is one cartoon where you see a Muslim with classical weapons, and you see him completely except the eyes. But you see with him two people, covered with black chadors, through which you can only see their eyes. In mass media, about the women, we care about their eyes, their personality. While, about the men, we care about their actions, what they have, we do not care who they are.

    The most incentive one, with the bomb, is probably a common idea when we think islamist. Always hiding a bomb, a danger only by standing. This is perhaps the best imagined cartoon to confront them and ourselves.

    I like the one with the carnoonist. He is drawing Muhamad, but most importantly, he is scared, nervous, looking his back, as if drawing his head would kill him (and perhaps, he wasn't that mistaking).

    Those pictures show, I think, what most people think about. Perhaps to some people it might not be the exact image, but I could say that to most people, those pictures are meaningful, they are not mere images, not even mere satire.

  17. It's hard for me to tell if cooperation in the conditions we are in can be benefic. There are big problems when you don't relate according to the same laws...

    We can imagine a small group of people, in a small village. In the village, there are a few neighborhoods. Each of the neighborhoods have different laws. Imagine that in some neighborhoods, they have a "social democraty" where each household is assured to have that much, what ever happens, and that in others, that "social democraty" is nowhere, you're neither way assured. Most people will actually all try to move in the place where they have insurrance for their life (in the s-d), ceteris paribus. And indeed, in insurrance-less regions, it is easier to invest, because you have nothing to assure yourself about, nothing to care about. So, you can easily become debalanced. Would we be ready to get rid of those differences...

  18. The Universe may be a mere Illusion, but I do not think it is a delusion.

    I wonder a lot in that little brain, I wonder about the Universe and what it is made from. I have postulated once an odd thing. What if, in the Universe, existed some being which forces are completely unrelated to those we can feel (the four forces, electro-magnetism gravity weak and strong), thus being invisible to us, in either way. It could exist, without us even noticing. This gives the Universe thousands of possibilities.

    We feel what we can relate with. We can relate with matter and energy, as far as we know. We also know that gravitation is the greatest assembling power in our existence. Yet, when we go deeper, there is ever less differences, the Universe is made of the same substance. We recently discovered that physically, we are merely empty, about one hundred years ago... And perhaps, what is left, is a mere reflexion of the Truth of existence. I give the image of a harddisk and its information, and the screen. Perhaps are we mere information on some harddisk, and that we relate only on-screen...

  19. The name of the Japanese book is the "Kojiki", (The Chronicle of Ancient Facts). A little tedious, but another way to our beautiful world.

    Caesar :

    To Japanese people, Existence itself has no cause. The cause of the Universe is that Existence. Shintou tells that nothing is Outside Existence, because there is no Outside. There is only Existence, the Universe being an "evolution" of that Existence. Existence isn't neither time nor space, both evolved with the World. Existence is just there, it never became, it will never become. It has no will (neither good or evil) it just is there, and nothing more. (That doesn't mean parts of the Universe will not end : everything may end, except existence, which is out of time, space (the universe).

  20. Laws aren't manners.

    As far as I have been told, in Netherlands, doing an abortion is a shame, yet it is legal. A lot would ask, how is that possible? But the logic is simple : when everything is well explained about sex and possible results, when you are especially aware that there are some contraceptive techniques, being infatuated in such context, without wanting it, is being STUPID. So, it became a shame. (You're stupid, because you did not use contraception.)

    The reverse can be true, some acts may be illegal, but they may be highly used because of some problems that arise when you don't do it. Uninformed about a few things, perhaps misinformed (as it happens so much in a lot of places out there), you have a higher fecondity rate. Yet, since a few decades, abortion became "sure". In the past, abortion was very dangerous : it could kill the woman easily. Now, you must do a blatant mistake to kill the woman in the process. Finally, what is worse : being cought carring a baby out of mariage, or being cought aborting yourself?

    (Oh and yes, I am in favor of the right of abortion, but remember I am not Christian, so to me arguments of "we Christians" doesn't work.)


    Klaas's reflexion

    Well, at last, perhaps, will we finally create our "own and distinct" way. The world we wish isn't necessarly the world of "we don't bother", rather "we don't bother you as long as you don't bother me". This would be progress, I think. But a lot of people would have problems with this, a lot.

  21. My way of thinking freedom is that, in one given society, we choose rights. Those rights are what we permit ourself to do and not to do. And my own guide is that those rights, when chosen, must be chosen in order that when someone else takes his own freedom to so some action, doesn't impeach you to do any of your own freedom. Hence, killing is hardly a right in such system.

    But I must note that is valid in a "society", that is, a group of people that live together. Even though we live on the same earth, people of various countries doesn't feel as being in the same society, and nothing yet is clearly a link between everyone (the UN is way too weak).

    So, any of my reflexion do not stand, and actually, when OUT OF SOCIETY, I favor the OUT OF LAW principle, that is, nothing is illegal, as far as no other society comes out. As long as there are no agreement.

    [A small reflective example : In my idealized Melville (my ideal state), you have thousands of small communties. Some are grouped in Cities or Regions (depending on their economical function), but what is important is that within them, there is law, and that outside them, any law that may apply within doesn't apply there. To me, this part is important : some people just wish to be outlaw, and to give them a place to be so is a possible choice to give them. - On the other hand, communities and Regions might not agree on all ways : there can be treaties that defines only a small portion of rights that all agree with. But, at the beginning, there is no law and all possibilities, and only society for me defines any law.]

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