The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today

2010, Religion  -   253 Comments
Ratings: 9.04/10 from 179 users.

The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary that tells the compelling personal story of the late Vashti McCollum, and how her efforts to protect her ten year-old son led to one of the most important and landmark First Amendment cases in U.S. Supreme Court history - the case that established the separation of church and state in public schools.

The case is little-known by the contemporary American public, yet the McCollum decision continues to have important ramifications for current conflicts over the role of religion in public institutions - from displays of the Ten Commandments in government buildings to student-led prayers at public school graduation ceremonies.

The Constitution is not self-executing; until there are disputes about its meaning, it is largely ignored. It usually takes an incredibly brave, courageous person to step forward and dispute some part of the Constitution, often resulting in terrible consequences for the individual and/or their family. Yet most of us know nothing of those struggles. They just become names in a law book. The McCollum case is a perfect example.

We just assume, for instance, that there is separation of church and state in public schools because the First Amendment says so. But that's not the reason. The reason is because someone fought for it.

Directed by: Jay Rosenstein

253 Comments / User Reviews

  1. oQ

    I was thinking what will the doc be this morning? Science? more spoon full of To God or Not to God.
    Yum Yum!

  2. Imightberiding

    Worth the watch. Very interesting doc. I wasn't familiar with the details of this case. Thinking back on my religious upbringing, it amazes me at how ahead of the times & the general populace Vashti McCollum & her family were. Especially her father with his evil ideas of "free thinking". Very strong, brave & intelligent woman. I have no doubt that her sons were forever proud of her.

  3. willymayshayes

    Agreed, too much from the drama dept., more science docs please top doc.

  4. willymayshayes

    Why is the wide world of logical reason and sanity does ANYONE want religion to be taught in school. School is for empirical research and practical learning. It's not for practicing beliefs.
    I will never understand the importance of spreading the word. Keep it to yourself please!

  5. Paul Gloor

    Someone needs to get up again and make it fresh in the minds of church and state that religious views will not be tolerated in schools and end this 'teach the controversy' crap.
    Religions are free to have private and sunday schooling teaching their own brand of belief just as atheists are free to advocate nonbelief. Anything in the public domain however, belongs to everyone regardless of religion and must remain unbiased towards one or the other, teaching only the facts and leaving the beliefs or non beliefs up to the individual.
    Rome fell because they got lazy and let slip their most important rights.

  6. robertallen1

    Agreed except for the statement about the fall of Rome.

  7. Achems_Razor

    I know what you mean, but, not TDF fault, most top flight science docs are copyrighted, so pulled off in due course, then everyone bitches not available. Solution?, put (one) science link on yourself for the general public on the appropriate docs of course.

  8. robertallen1

    I'm glad Vashti McCollum lived long enough to tell her story. She stands as one of those obscure yet major figures in the struggle for true religious (or anti-religious) freedom--besides she was also a good-looker.

  9. robertallen1

    I, for one. am happy with the selection of documentaries on TDF, even if most of them are of no interest to me, for I realize that I'm not the only one following the site.

  10. Paul Gloor

    I saw a doc that mentioned it at any rate. Perhaps not the reason it fell, but the public grew complacent and let their rights slip away.

  11. robertallen1

    Gibbons thought it was Christianity. However, complex structures generally fall for a varfiety of reasons.

  12. Jo McKay

    Good doc, happy to see the story behind the stories. Like women's reproductive rights, I thought freedom of and freedom from religions was a finished debate in schools. It is not, school boards hide out from anyone who wants to talk about prayer in school, or science classes, evolution or climate science. God knows (pun intended)what is going on in (various kinds of) religious schools (in Canada, also funded by the public). Who cares about truth anymore? We have a Prime Minister in my country who doesn't 'beleive' in climate change, he 'believes' in the love of his cat, who he pets through photo ops (his family won't stand next to him is my guess), funny his 'photo cat' is always a kitten, some weird kinda science going on over there.:)...who has energy to fight, what battle lines to choose? Pipelines, fracking, acid rain, de-forestation, nuclear power, clean air and water, oceans , wildlife of land, air and sea, plants/seeds and species extinction,(inadequate research of GMOs), education, housing, fair wages, a disintegrating middle class ...seriously?...and now I have to find time to defend the laws we already have to keep fanatical religious crazies out of schools? HELL, the 'insane' are running our countries!! ( i feel myself falling off my soap is it i can get soo angry so fast...scary sometimes). Anyway- yep, if you have not researched this story before, it is worth the view for background - sadly it may also remind you of how far we have NOT come since then.

  13. Jack1952

    The answer in one word is "hell". If I were religious and I believed in hell, it would concern me that anyone would not, at least have the opportunity, to save themselves from the eternal pit of fire. It's a silly concept, but they believe it to be true. My mother, a deeply religious person, told me, on her death bed, that she could go to her maker in peace, if only I would accept Jesus. She was devastated with the thought that I would end up there. I actually thought about lying to her and saying that I had seen the light, but she's my mom. She always knew when I was lying. This salvation from retribution is the driving force behind evangelism. The Koran is even worse. Every chapter seems obsessed with the idea of an ever watchful God, who is tallying every move you make to judge whether you should go to hell and how long your punishment should last. I know many believe that religion is a quest for power but it wouldn't work if they could not convince people of the afterlife and it's implications. It's why so many people give their hard earned money to evangelical causes.

  14. 1concept1

    The fact that we separate "religion" from State is the math that defuses the false power of false concepts of "god"

  15. Rogue Medic

    Rome fell for a variety of reasons and more than once.

    One big reason why Rome fell was political intrigue. People conspired with enemies of Rome for their own particular interests, at the expense of the interests of the country.


  16. robertallen1

    Or put another way, Rome granted citizenship to those who had greater allegiance to their patriae than to Rome itself.

  17. 1concept1

    The Roman catholic church edited the bible, there were 39 gospels not four, they extracted one that said all souls will in time rise out of hell, (para phrasing).

    The pope knew that would loosen control over the

    masses within the organized religious concept.

    There is a unilateral consciousness this I know to be Fact! One that "we" all share in, in various ways at various times. (I am not sure, (yet), if my individual thought process is in fact individual or too one and the same as the whole)?

    The Unilateral Consciousness give credence to Emerson, "The Over Soul"

  18. Jack1952

    I have heard of unilateral neglect. This is a symptom of brain damage where one is not aware of one side of his body or anything external on that side of the body. This unilateral neglect has been a part of a discussion about the basis of consciousness. I'm not sure how legitimate this idea is. It sort of rings like pop psychology. I could be wrong.

    Christianity would lose it's hold on it's adherents quickly if the idea of heaven and hell were to be proved false. That is the basis of power that the churches holds over their followers. Do what our holy book says or face the consequences.

  19. robertallen1

    So you know unilateral consciousness, whatever that is, is "Fact!" Then you must have a lot of hard evidence to back it up. How about providing some--Emerson won't wash.

  20. 1concept1

    It takes awhile to answer that question, I will but not tonight. In the meantime think about this, Have you ever had a thought at the same time as someone else?

  21. Rogue Medic


    "Have you ever had a thought at the same time as someone else?"

    As in - have you ever been in a group of people with similar backgrounds, been presented with similar stimuli, and had the same though in response to the same stimuli?

    Of course.


  22. robertallen1

    In addition, Newton and Leibnitz came up with the fundamental ideas behind calculus at about the same time. The question is loaded. What is meant by "at the same time?"

  23. William

    Lol you went off for a minute right there

  24. 1concept1

    I was expecting this type of reply when I post my question, "Have you ever...........etc"

    Yes you are correct but that is a very very very small part of it and that can and I am sure does happen in a group of like minded individuals in a like minded group of people working together on like minded project etc and so on But no there is a whole lot more to it then that.

  25. Honeybadger

    I think it would be helpful if you were more succinct. It is hard to follow your logic or get the point of your rambling with so many digressions and such over-usage of ellipses and parentheses.

    If you are upset about having to defend laws that already exist I suggest you look into the former "Jim Crow" laws in the USA. They are a good reminder that just because something is law does not make it above questioning. A healthy and prosperous society is one that constantly reviews, renews and rejects its laws.

  26. Honeybadger

    There is a difference between teaching something and indoctrination. Learning about how other people view the world is a worthwhile pursuit; forcing people to believe in ghosts and fairy tales is quite clearly not.

  27. awful_truth

    An excellent documentary that explores the nuances of integrated society, and the impact that one individual can have when they stick to their guns. I really like how it exposed how McCollum was used for alterior motives by those for, and against her position. I also like the exposure of the simplistic connections, (atheist/communist) which are continuously used today to divide, and conquer the populace as a whole. (man vs woman, black vs white, republican vs democrat, capitalist vs communist, etc.)
    In my opinion, the treatment of her son was lost in the rhetoric, as was the importance of the decision. Personally, I don't have a problem with the teaching of religion in public school, as long as it is by choice, and not as a prerequisite course,(theological studies) and more importantly, that it is not brought into the science class as a competing theory. Contrary to popular belief, science and spirituality are not in conflict, and anyone who insists otherwise, is implying disparity where none exists.

  28. Jack1952

    That is the truth. Unfortunately, its hard to teach religion in the primary schools without bias creeping in. Somewhere along the line, anyone who wants a complete education should know the basics of the different religious faiths. In the west, we should learn about and understand Christianity. To understand modern life and who we are would be incomplete without understanding one of the major influences of our history. How to achieve this and avoid the proselytizing is the challenge.

  29. Kateye70

    I agree that this was an excellent documentary; and you're right about simplistic, 'right/wrong' connections.

    The only thing I don't agree with is your statement that "science and spirituality are not in conflict," if by spirituality you mean religious belief.

    In Richard Dawkins' book, "The God Delusion" he points out that religion is the antithesis of science, since it takes any unknown and substitutes 'god' for the answer, thus effectively shutting down further inquiry for an answer, and thus ending scientific research.

  30. Kateye70

    I read something about the influx of foreigners outnumbering the native Romans. To combat the Roman's declining birthrate, Constantine turned to Christianity to set a more rigid moral climate and discourage birth control, abortion, and exposure of unwanted infants. Didn't work, apparently; Rome was conquered by the Vaticans. o.O

  31. Kateye70

    I agree with you, but as the Jesuits so famously said, "Give me the child, and I'll give you the man." It doesn't make indoctrination right, but it certainly explains the motive.

  32. Kateye70

    I see your point, but as an American born after this case was tried, it's actually the first I've heard of it. I found it really interesting. But we should find something more fun for you. =)

  33. yellowmattercustard

    The Supreme Court deserves a lot of credit also.

  34. DigiWongaDude

    I'd call that the Dawkin Delusion...quite simply religion (as much as I don't agree with its teachings) does not exist in the gap between knowns. To me that is a typically contrived statement by Richard Dawkins. God exists in all things, everywhere, not in the question marks (according to most religions). Dawkins is well aware of this, making him unscrupulous in his though a scientific truth removes god from the picture. His eyes would be blinking profusely (knowingly lying) if he said that in an interview. It's not even that it is done blatantly maliciously either, it's just a typical confrontational joust of an intellectual mind, little different from a clever chess move.

    If a religion rejects curiosity and inquiry over blind faith, then that religion is living on borrowed time. Making it not the antithesis of science, but instead wilfully ignorant.

    Spirituality, to which awful_truth referred, is not necessarily closed to inquiry or curiosity as it is more of a philosophical reflection (i.e. Buddhism). It too does not reject science or claim to live in the gaps left behind by it.

    Dawkins' science often uses false logic (as seen in this example) and circular arguments to promote a scientific paradigm above all else. I wonder if you can see the language trickery that is employed by Dawkins to infer science as infallible? It is not unintentional by any means.

  35. awful_truth

    @kateye70: Since science can neither prove nor disprove the unknowable, it's judgment of preconceived systems of philosophy/belief only have merit regarding issues of certainty. In contrast, issues of philosphy/belief that conflict with what we know to be certain, must be adjusted accordingly. (and seldom are)
    Dawkins view by it's very nature is 'one dimensional' thinking like his religious predacessors because he refuses to accept that science (the newest gospel) will never answer everything, let alone even come close. There is so much more going on they we could ever hope to understand as human beings, and the second you think you have it all figured out, (science or faith) I can guarantee you, that you haven't got a clue, and are merely deluding yourself. Science of today may answer some things far better than religous belief of yesterday, but this does not make all religious/spiritual belief invalid. In the end, this type of thinking is what creates close mindedness, preventing further research of the unknown.
    Ultimately, Science and philosphy/belief are complimentary by nature, not the atithesis purported by Dawkins. It is really not a question of whether (god/ the universe) exists, (it clearly does) the question is what analogy/belief best describes it. Since we will never completely know what that is, it will forever be open to debate.
    Since the universe is imperfect, yet composed of all possibilities, I leave you to decide for yourself (choice/heretic) what you wish to believe. Hopefully, it will be composed of both the truth of certainty, and the creative possibilities of the imagination. (like the zen master who ordered a hot dog, you know, one with everything) Anything else, is incomplete!

  36. jackmax

    Religion has no place in schools they are there to educate our young and not teach them about some fairytale at school at best it should be treated like the bedtime story it is the same as little red ridinghood.

  37. Rogue Medic


    The "God of the gaps" did not originate with Dawkins.

    The "God of the gaps" is the excuse of many people for their mysticism/spirituality/religion.

    You claim that there is a God and that this God exists in everything, but that is not what Dawkins is saying.

    Dawkins is saying that the lack of scientific understanding of something is often used as proof of God.

    The comments of awful_truth are excellent examples of this logical fallacy. I don't know, therefore God (or whatever spirituality/mysticism I want to justify).

    "It too does not reject science or claim to live in the gaps left behind by it."

    You cite what Dawkins describes as the "God of the gaps" in your comment claiming that there is no "God of the gaps" argument by the religious.

    "I wonder if you can see the language trickery that is employed by Dawkins to infer science as infallible?"

    Please provide some direct quotes of Dawkins claiming that science is infallible.

    Or is Dawkins not making this inference?

    You appear to be assuming this in order to pretend to have something to criticize.


  38. robertallen1

    "It is really not a question of whether (god/ the universe) exists, (it clearly does) . . . " So in other words to bring god (that is your god) into existence, you artificially tie this entity to the universe and therefore it must exist. So much for the "creative possibilities of the imagination." You're not fooling anyone.

    So the universe is imperfect. Compared to what? And what makes you think you know so much about it? Your study of zen?

    " . . . and the second you think you have it all figured out, (science or faith) I can guarantee you, that you haven't got a clue, and are merely deluding yourself." Really? So with all of modern science, we haven't got a clue. In case you haven't noticed it, the one-dimensional way of thinking (which you dishonestly term closedmindedness when it is actually intellectual discrimination) against which you cavil has produced and continues to produce results which trumps anything you have to offer. If anyone is delusional, it's definitely you. If anyone is dishonest, it's definitely you. If anyone is incomplete, it's definitely you.

  39. Deborah Macaoidh Selim

    Nice pagan-influenced Maypole dance at 13:20 or so. Most Christians don't even realize how pagan they actually are.

  40. Manfruss

    Fully agree.. :)

  41. Manfruss

    Except Little Red Ridinghood has not had the same impact on the world as religions. So it's a bit more than that.

    World Religions can be a class, as long as it taught objectively and not there to persuade someone of the "one right way". To solicit a choice of one over the other.

    It could be an objective class that teaches about each religion (not just one), the foundation, development and growth. Like a history/literature/philosophy class all rolled into one and on a specific subject.

  42. over the edge

    when you say "It could be an objective class that teaching about each religion (not just one" do you mean EVERY religion? there have been over 28 000 000 gods worshiped how would that be possible? if not who gets to decide what gods/religions are discussed? would atheism be included in these classes?

    i have no problem with the factual impact that religion has had on historical or political events being discussed in the classroom. when discussing events and attitudes both good and bad. but if a holy book (or books) are presented as fact the facts must first be established.

  43. Manfruss

    Yes, a world religion class should say that there have been 28 million gods worshiped. It should be stated that there are so many we can't begin to cover them all. Then the courses can focus on a variety of topics, including atheistic views and ideas as well as agnostic. I imagine that it would require several classes akin to Eng 101, 102, 151, 152, 161, 162..... 241, 242 .... ect....

    What's in the course? Is that not something usually set by a panel of people? Sitting on a curriculum committee board at university, we had many people give input on what should be included on the course. Usually outlined and plotted by those who were going to teach it/department heads, and approved or rejected by committee. There are plenty of ways to set that up, and it should be according to the institutions standards and polices. Which naturally evolve over time.

    I would not presume to represent any "holy book" as fact, not in the terms "fact" should be used. And I think that "holy" books should be tested as best as they can.

    As for use in the course, merely part of the study material. As anything it should be laid out as information, with teachers to assist and enable students self-exploration of the subject, not mold them into thought robots.

  44. DigiWongaDude

    Jo that was wonderful to read...(sorry honeybadger)...I could feel your passion, contempt and dismay. I wish more people would write like you! Powerful conclusion too (always a nice touch). I'll be looking out for your other posts.

  45. over the edge

    sorry i misunderstood. if you are talking university then teach away.

  46. Manfruss

    I don't believe in a "hell", never have. I think a more fitting analogy for death would be like a birth. For example, birth maybe terrifying to a child in the womb, may even seem like death to that child, leaving one world for another. The child would have no way to know what's happening, and would have no concept that this other world outside the womb awaits it. Interesting idea.

    Like a child in the womb develops arms and legs and other physical aspects (tools) to be used in this world, maybe we develop something similar with spiritual qualities that help in the next (if there is one)? When one looks at it that way, it's less about accepting Jesus, or Mohammed at the one right way, and more about trying to be a good person. Someone who hasn't developed those spiritual tools would be hindered in the next world?

    An interesting idea anyway, regardless of belief stance. Anyway, just a point of view that I enjoyed thinking upon.

  47. Deborah Macaoidh Selim

    This is a really unbelievable story, but I don't know why I'm surprised. I remember thinking as a kid that the idea discussed here was the reason all the kids were going to hell because of their heathen parents.

  48. Manfruss

    It's likely to be the best place (university) for the subject. Everywhere else seems to cause too much friction. ;)

    I went to a high school that had World Religions, and we covered as much as we could over grades 9 - 12 in a non-bias way. Looked at everything from history, to sects and ideology. Simply, here's what it is, where it came from, and what they believe, why there are different sects (yes, Henry split from the church so he could get a divorce (in part anyway)). No conflicts arose from those classes, and it's always interesting to have good open discussion.

    Either way, I agree with the principle of keeping religious indoctrination out of schools. Heck, I don't even think private schools should do that, but then that's not my call. I can only choose to not send my kids. :)

  49. robertallen1

    I agree with this, provided these criteria are met and the classes are not used to tell people how they or others should lead their lives..

  50. Manfruss

    They never should be told how to lead their lives, people should always be allowed to self discover, self actualize and discover the consequences of their actions.

  51. robertallen1

    That is discover the consequences of their actions not only on themselves, but on others. That's what I mean: morality works from the ground up, not from the top down--it's situational. .

  52. Manfruss

    What about art classes, English literature, poetry? Often not practical and almost never empirical in evidence.

  53. Jo McKay


  54. awful_truth

    @Rogue Medic: It is not that science is infallable, just that it will always be incomplete, because we are very limited in what we can observe and measure on the grand scheme of things. (can never know it all)
    Since our own life is partly what we make it, one should never dismiss the potential of thought itself regarding the outcome of what will be. If you choose to see yourself as meaningless, or only physical, that choice limits the potentiality of your own possibilities. Ultimately, without the perception of existance, (life) all you have is sterility. (non existance)
    One just need look in the mirror to realize that life is everywhere, not just on the planet, but the planet itself, even the sun, and yes, the universe. If you do not see it that way, that is okay, because it is neither right or wrong, only a choice. The only limitation of choices are the ones we place on ourselves.
    This is just my opinion, take it for what it is, but everyone has one, and that is what makes life interesting. (the possibilites)

  55. 1concept1

    That sounds good on paper? Sometimes peoples action bring adverse consequences to others? And anyway isn't that the way it is, don't we create our own consequences?

  56. robertallen1

    How did the victims of the Holocaust create their own consequences other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time?

  57. Rogue Medic


    There is nothing wrong with our knowledge being incomplete.

    Those who insist on complete answers about the world have to settle for lies.

    Those who pretend that they know what goes on do not have knowledge. They only have self-deception.


  58. 1concept1

    That's a good question robertallen1, one I can't answer? However for what ever reason I don't believe things are random? I do believe we seek the right answers to the wrong questions? and worse yet we get or receive the right answers to wrong questions? And that is where the MentalMasterBation begins!

    I always liked what Richard Nixon said, "In life there are 99, rounds and I still have a few left".

  59. robertallen1

    Moderators: Clicking on the names of posters no longer brings up their previous posts. Is something wrong with disqus?

  60. robertallen1

    What you believe is only so much garbage. It's what you can prove. One way or the other, what does your answer have to do with the documentary?

  61. Graham Ash-Porter

    Jesus in Church, not Schools.

  62. pwndecaf

    Worked for me?

  63. Lynley Ruth Butt

    My father went along to take a religious class once a week at Shirley Intermediate school....Christchurch NZ. By the time I went to intermediate school the practice was discontinued... So I only know what my father preached from the pulpit of Shirley Methodist, because volunteer Sunday Superintendents and members of the congregation taught the kids while a university prof took the older bible class group tues night ...others did Choirs and girl guides and Scouts.... Women's fireside group and guilds and missions and hospitality events for the Maori boy apprentices from the North Island , Hospices and hospitals for the elderly , charity fundraiser events and interfaith ecumenical retreats and bake sale and handmade crafts bazaars, the flowers and Organ voluntaries and hymnal accompaniments, stewardship and Offering collection and accounts- with heavy input and involvement from my mother, the Parson's wife. But the whole set up in my youth boasted a surge to become the largest and i felt the socially liveliest Youth group in the whole of NZ.
    I did feel a difference in attitudes from early childhood discrimination on sectarian lines when I lived out of the city in a town ... and feel this US ruling separation of Church and State had a carry on effect into NZ with promotion of more ecumenical inclusiveness between Protestant denominations and between Pakeha and Maori.... And the outward looking Pacific missions to Papua New Guineaand Solomon Islands.

  64. Wayne Siemund

    It is apparent people have not learned their lesson since this ruling. Some wish to continue nibbling at this ruling hoping to weaken it for their own ideological empowerment.
    As they say, freedom is not free, it has to be guarded every day.

  65. TheMessengerProphet

    One might infer to this decision as the day America began its decline for it is written in Exodus 19:6 concerning the correct decision analysis which should have been made available in argument concerning "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"!
    Exodus 19:6

    And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

  66. Manfruss

    I understand what you're trying to say. I'm curious though, what do you mean by situation?

    For example, Many Hutu's were able to kill Tutsi because they were sub-human, terms like "cockroaches" were actively used and the Tutsi people de-humanized. This de-humanization seems to have disabled empathy. Where as other Hutu's that did not share that view point, even though they were in the same situation as their fellow Hutu's, were able to Empathize and see the morality of the situation differently. Why would I care what my actions do to others, if I think they're on par with a cockroach infestation? I see empathy playing a huge role in morality, not just situations.

    I begin to wonder (again) if we are merely debating semantics, and yet do mean the same thing.

  67. Rodney Graham

    You must not know science, religion, or both... I'm sorry you want your cake and eat it too, but they are indeed at odds with one another. Holy books make claims that are not backed up by facts and must simply be believed. "Spirituality" follows the same concept. When you are a spiritual person you believe things simply because you want them to be true, not because they are true. Science is a way of discovering actual facts, and not a belief system.

  68. Rodney Graham

    Those words were written by scribes almost 3 thousand years ago for people living in Canaan, not Americans living during the present day.

  69. awful_truth

    @Rodney Graham: Love, compassion, and morality can only be addressed by issues of philosophy/faith, and are beyond the purvue of science. Furthermore, science will never be capable of answering everything, so, while you put all your eggs into one basket of what you believe to be factual, you have only dismissed imagination, creativity, and most importantly, the 'power of thought' to be valueless, because of their lack of certainty. Science and faith are complimentary by nature, not antagonistic as you believe. Right or wrong, that is your belief, and perhaps you have arrived at your conclusions, because you fear life after death, as much as those you accuse of fearing death after life. Either way, on either extreme, be careful what you ask for, (believe) you just might get it!
    P.S: If you wish to test my knowledge regarding science, we can continue this discussion on a science documentary, where we can pontificate as to what we really know with certainty. (not much) Take care, and best wishes Rodney Graham.

  70. robertallen1

    While science will never be capable of answering everything, by their very nature, philosophy and religion are incapable of answering anything--and don't insult the intelligence by confounding quackery with creativity.

  71. Rampage

    If I show one example of philosophy answering "anything" than that would disprove your assertion. Philosophy is the fundamental basis for all of science. Not some thoughtless ramblings like you seem to point out every now and then. How do we know that the scientific method(like other logical methods) work. Its because it gives us sound and valid results, but without philosophy and more specifically logic how would we even begin to agree how to go about it.

    People that assert philosophy is dead or assert it is somehow like religion need to take a critical thinking class. Philosophy is not unlike mathematics. And yes the scientific method is the best method for testing anything in the universe but because it is derived from philosophy; that method was and is directly influenced by philosophy and more specifically logic.

    In a nut shell:
    There are scientists("doers" of experiments) and there are philosophers(thinkers, creators, and discoverers of ideas) and of course there is everyone else. But who cares about them! :D
    I would argue to be the best scientist you could be you must be proficient at both philosophy(logical thinking) and of course a specific field of science.
    I am not an experimental scientist and have no intention of becoming one. I would rather have a solid understanding of all fields(or at least as much as I could learn in my life time). From there I can use philosophy and a broad knowledge of science to come up with a big picture idea of existence. This is why I love the idea of getting a degree in philosophy of science.

    Philosophy is about clarification and thinking into existence concepts, new ideas and other ways of looking at already known things through the use of logical methods. It's not just a place to store untestable concepts within metaphysics and ethics.

  72. robertallen1

    Any scientist worth his salt doesn't need a philosopher to tell him how to go about his business.
    The scientific method was developed from the ground up, not from the top down--and it didn't need philosophy or philosophers. Its success derives not from some overblown tin-can-on-the-tail-of-the-dog codification yclept philosophy, but rather from people rolling up their sleeves and producing tangible results, a practice unknown to philosophy and philosophers. In short, you have things backwards.
    Philosophers are no different from religees trying to justify their existence and incessantly caterwauling about how much they are needed when in truth they are not. How many philosophers were employed on the Higgs-Boson project? How many philosophers are employed by major medical research companies? How many philosophers are employed in biology labs?.

    "From there I can use philosophy and a broad knowledge of science to come up with a big picture idea of existence." Which philosophy? Whose philosophy? Let's see the current results of this "broad knowledge of science." Let's see this big picture idea (whatever that is) of existence to which philosophy (that is some philosophy) has made a major contribution.
    Unlike science, philosophy never answered anything; philosophy never did anything; hence, it is as worthless as your post.

  73. Rampage

    Lets clearify what philosophy is to you before I reply. Because we dont seem to have a meeting of minds as far as the definition goes.

  74. robertallen1

    Philosophy is in essence talking about something rather than doing it.

  75. Rampage

    But we can't do something if we don't think it first.

    Robert we are currently having a philosophical discussion now. And it is not worthless in the least bit. Please define what it means to you, and what we "could" learn if the discussion doesn't go south. I learn the most from deep conversations like these; maybe others will as well.

  76. robertallen1

    Planning ahead is quite different from philosophizing--and the last thing a scientist needs is some philosopher telling him how to go about his work, just as the last thing an author needs is some philosopher telling him how to write a novel, a composer how to write a symphony or a painter how to depict a landscape.

  77. Rampage

    I want to point out that a lot of what I type is bull*(in other words filler). That said; the only thing for a skeptic, logical positivist, empiricist, logician, atheist, debater, troll, etc. is science to justify arguments, and maybe rhetoric if they think they can get away with it. If you use logic to win arguments and not scientific data, than by your own rules you've broken the first and only rule. However, most of the time logic alone is plenty justified to win arguments. The known rules of logic is a philosophy, one that you yourself use constantly! I don't mean to pry but I am surprised you advocate that philosophy is useless and yet you yourself use it more so than anyone else on this site. This is just, in general, thinking about issues(arguments) and using logical rules to defuse them and express truths.
    -Can you tell I am a lover of wisdom(philosophy).. as are you.

    Your understanding of philosophy is some sort of old slow useless discussion about metaphysical concepts. There is so much to philosophy people don't even recognize it anymore. For instance when they are thinking about "how odd it is that the universe can have conditions where life can arise evolve and then those life forms can ponder their own universe", they are philosophizing.

  78. Rampage

    If a Philosopher steps into a scientific field then he had better come equipped with the scientific method. That does not mean that philosophizing didn't lead him there. And that it is at any point any less viable as a tool in the thinking process. Its like what are we doing when we are pondering or discussing music, art, or a novel as a whole(not the story itself) but things like what is art. Or what is the reason I study physics. Is it to eventually figure out that the universe is a giant quantum computer which can almost completely if not completely be described through math, and is somehow built into it (at least once for a fact) the potential to produce a conscious being that can then learn for itself and then ponder its existence.. philosophy is like poetry without the emotional drawback. Philosophy is the meaning of life (that isn't to say there is actually a meaning to life).

  79. robertallen1

    Once again, if philosophy is so valuable to science, how many philosophers do NASA, CERN, Merck or any other mainstream scientific organization employ?

    Your problem is that you put philosophy ahead of science and it seems just about everything else.

    P.S. Logic alone is not enough to win many arguments. It must be tied to fact/evidence and no scientist needs a philosopher to point out the weaknesses in someone's scientific argument.

  80. robertallen1

    As philosophy has no answers, it cannot validly comment on the "meaning of life" (which is subjective) much less can it validly comment on morality, ethics, etc. which develop from the ground up, not from the top down.

  81. Rampage

    "As philosophy has no answers, it cannot validly comment on the "meaning of life" (which is subjective) much less can it validly comment on morality, ethics, etc."


  82. Rampage

    I don't put philosophy ahead of science, but I sure as heck don't assert philosophy is worthless. You have insisted that no scientists ask philosophers for help, that's because most scientists (edit)should(obviously they would most if not all have a basic understanding from basic intro courses -at least-) have some background in philosophy themselves. Again you clearly have a misconception of what philosophy is. An example of an engineer with expertise in philosophy is Seth Lloyd. He is one of my heroes. And he is a leading quantum physicists/ and engineer. The stuff he says is very thought provoking!

    Furthermore, we are not having a scientific argument we are having a philosophical one :)

    PS why do you insist on down voting our discussion, do you want me to down vote every response you make, that I don't agree with regardless if its a thoughtful response or not.. Is this not a valuable discussion, after all you are "wasting your time" in it.

  83. robertallen1

    Name me one institute of higher learning which requires science majors to take courses in philosophy other than those required of the general student population. Once again, name me one philosopher employed by NASA, CERN, Merck or any other mainstream scientific organization.
    And as long as we're discussing quantum physicists, there's Laurence Krauss who hates philosophy with a passion.
    And get this straight, science came up with the scientific method, not philosophy and also get this straight, philosophy is at best the tin can on the tail of the dog.

  84. Rampage

    Have you ever taken critical thinking?

  85. robertallen1

    Krauss and Dawkins have made significant contributions to physics and biology respectively. What are Pigliucci's contributions except to self-aggrandizement.

  86. Rampage

    Yes and they are great. Did you read the article? It should have cleared this all up...

  87. robertallen1

    Krauss is right: the philosopher's definition of nothing (if same exists) is worthless, as it is far from evidence-based and it is this lack of evidence and the emphasis on speculation which cuts to the core of philosophy, rendering it useless except to other philosophers. According to Pigliucci, the so-called philosophy of science exists not to advance science but to "understand" it, as if people like Krauss and Dawkins need a philosopher's assistance to keep them apprised of what they are doing. In short, Pigliucci is merely another philosopher trying to justify his existence, something Krauss and Dawkins don't need to do, as their accomplishments speak for themselves and Pigliucci's (if they exist) don't and can't.

  88. Rampage

    "the so-called philosophy of science exists not to advance science but to "understand" it," -right

    "as if people like Krauss and Dawkins need a philosopher's assistance to keep them apprised of what they are doing." - When they are understanding it they are doing philosophy(aka logical thinking), not the profession but the act of putting ideas together(HOW?) and developing a picture, idea, meaning, understanding of whatever it is they are doing.

    "Pigliucci is merely another philosopher trying to justify his existence, something Krauss and Dawkins don't need to do"
    So what? Every philosopher doesn't do that. I don't. I am agnostic to that, in other words I probably will never know if there is a purpose for existence. OR unless you mean "justify his existence" to his profession. I don't need to respond to a fallacy.

    Also "merely another" is downplaying fallacy.

  89. robertallen1

    Once again, they don't need philosophers or philosophy to accomplish this.

  90. Rampage

    If they want to call it thinking and not philosophizing that's their problem. And when you do the same thing because they do it, then that's your problem. This is why we needed to clarify what philosophy is at the beginning. "Philosophizing doesn't get credit for thinking logically", according to you. that's a definition well, half of it. What is philosophy to you now that I know what you think it isn't.

  91. robertallen1

    Considering their accomplishments, they're the best judges and if they feel that they (and science in general) can do without philosophers and philosophy, more power to them.
    Go back a few posts. I've already told you what philosophy (especially the science of philosophy) is--and Krauss is right about it.

  92. Rampage

    Any mods around? Did i lose my response?

  93. over the edge

    went to moderation due to a link. took a while due to sunny day and a beer on the deck :)

  94. robertallen1

    Does Vlatko allow moderators to drink?

    By the way, I've just finished "A Universe from Nothing" of Laurence Krauss? Have you read it and if you, your thoughts?

  95. robertallen1

    Speculation is fine as long as there is hard evidence to back it up. When there isn't, you have philosophy.

  96. over the edge

    i have not read it but i have watched a lecture by the same name. while i find the topic interesting my knowledge/understanding is limited and any thoughts i have would be baseless.

    as for drinking. you get to see the posts after we finish with them (if at all). trust me drinking is a requirement

  97. pwndecaf

    I've had this discussion with Robert before. I understand that guys like Feynman and Krauss have found philosophy useless, as does Robert.

    I agree with Rampage that we must have two different ideas of what philosophy is. It is the only explanation that makes sense to me.

    I define philosophy as thinking, or pondering, or questioning in general - or more like learning to think, ponder and question, such as critical thinking mentioned above by Rampage. Perhaps I am wrong in that definition, but it is what I mean when I say philosophy. I can't think of a better word, I guess. I suspect Rampage thinks the same?

    Wikipedia says, "Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language." That sounds more like the definition of the subject that scientists object to as useless.

    I don't care so much, but I'm confused about the dismissal of philosophy as fervently as the dismissal of religion. Perhaps they are being considered the same thing.

  98. Rampage

    "as long as" x then fine; not x therefore not fine, and therefore philosophy; I don't agree with that entire assertion.

  99. Rampage


  100. robertallen1

    I like a lot of his ideas (especially about philosophy and fundamentalism) and his practice of not trying to pass conjecture off as fact.
    Forgot to tell you, I have also finished, "The Greatest Show on Earth" of Richard Dawkins, one of his better efforts. Have you read it?

  101. robertallen1

    As Dr. Krauss so well points out, like religees, philosophers depict a universe based only on their own imaginations and predispositions, i.e., no evidence. The concept of "nothing" which philosophers as well as religees idealize is a prime example.
    I suggest you read about Leo Strauss.

  102. over the edge

    yes i have a while back. i enjoy everything he writes but i prefer his docs/lectures more

  103. robertallen1

    You're right. He's a better speaker than a writer. However, I enjoyed his discussion of Miller-Urey, the e-coli experiment and John Endler and his guppies.

  104. Rampage

    I did*, its like an intro book to physics :) Makes my life easier after reading it that's for sure.

    *Well I read over half of it. I had to put it on hold when class started.

  105. Rampage

    I am a huge fan of Richard. I wanted to write my research thesis on evolution so I could possibly get an email interview with him :D, but I wasn't aloud to write a thesis on Evolution vs creationism. So I moved to Americas education system

  106. robertallen1

    Then you obviously didn't get to pages 178 and 179 from which I quote in part:
    " . . . The great discoveries of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have not only changed the world in which we operate, they have revolutionized our understanding of the world--or--worlds that exist, or may exist, just under our noses: the reality that lies hidden until we are brave enough to search for it.
    "This is why philosophy and theology are ultimately incapable of addressing by themselves the truly fundamental questions that perplex us about our existence. Until we open our eyes and let nature call the shots, we are bound to wallow in myopia."
    " . . . Either way, what is really useful is not pondering this question, but rather participating in the exciting voyage of discovery that may reveal specifically how the universe in which we live evolved and is evolving and the processes that ultimately operationally govern our existence. That is why we have science. We may supplement this understanding with reflection and call that philosophy. But only via continuing to probe every nook and cranny of the universe that is accessible to us will we truly build a useful appreciation of our own place in the cosmos." I have deliberately not highlighted the more salient points for I'm sure you will discover them on your own, but two things are abundantly clear SCIENCE BEFORE PHILOSOPHY AND WE DON'T NEED PHILOSOPHY.

  107. Rampage

    "science before philosophy" is ambiguous. I would argue that yes science comes before philosophy obviously in the advancement of science. however I would also argue that philosophy, that is thinking logically, is required to come up with meaningful ideas. "We don't need philosophy" is wrong(unless your trying to discredit philosophy by calling thinking logically just plain ol thinking) which I don't accept. Also I understand the rejection from Krauss as that's exactly what hes doing as well, and it's to bad that he feels that way. A theoretical physicist is always trying to think up new ways to describe the universe(or properties of it) based on what they know and what they have shown and been shown to be true, that is what they know based on science. I think hes disagreeing just for the fun of disagreeing because he has a substantial knowledge of "what is", and he likes to debate. For I call what he and all good "thinkers" do when they are formulating logical ideas, Philosophizing. Which he and you clearly do not(as Ive said before). If you take my definition of philosophy then this debate should have ended already, as I am clearly right with the definition that I have emphasized(what I thought most other educated people knew it as)

    Lets just agree to disagree, we are arguing about two different meanings clearly.

    PS good debate :)

    In response to theology and philosophy; Theology is a belief system with unchanging rules and no questioning the rules is aloud, theology is by definition willful ignorance. Philosophy is a system of logical methods for questioning the rules, and a strong emphasis on knowledge a lot like science, the difference being that science has taken all of the empirical aspects of philosophy and called them its own, (which is fine) just don't pretend that philosophy doesn't also use these same methods or that it doesn't play a role in how they are ultimately understood(yes, based on the evidence brought forth by the scientific method). It takes a human mind to put these ideas together whether its expressed in math or language, a mind had to decide what made the most sense, or a computer did or a math problem did, but philosophy gave you those.(in other words lots of thinking from a thinker, regardless if he called it thinking or philosophizing which was more common 200 years ago)

    " . . . The great discoveries of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have not only changed the world in which we operate, they have revolutionized our understanding of the world--or--worlds that exist, or may exist, just under our noses: the reality that lies hidden until we are brave enough to search for it."
    Like this quote is very true I agree completely. And I don't see why "thinking logically" cant lead to a better understanding of these discoveries.

    I agree with this as well, well minus the first sentence which is ludicrous."what is really useful is not pondering this question"
    I would like some evidence from a materialist, or anyone as to what makes questioning the universe not useful, for I would argue that the desire and wonder to do just that is the only thing motivating the journey in the first place.
    " . . . Either way, what is really useful is not pondering this question, but rather participating in the exciting voyage of discovery that may reveal specifically how the universe in which we live evolved and is evolving and the processes that ultimately operationally govern our existence. That is why we have science. We may supplement this understanding with reflection and call that philosophy. But only via continuing to probe every nook and cranny of the universe that is accessible to us will we truly build a useful appreciation of our own place in the cosmos."

  108. TheMessengerProphet

    Rodney these words are as relevant today as they were back then! And yes it's not the LORD God who is on trial it's rather the peoples themselves and who have taken of invention and have set themselves above Him!

  109. robertallen1

    Obviously Krauss, Dawkins and any scientist worth his salt don't need some philosopher to instruct them on how to think logically or to apprise them of the nature of science or the direction in which science is heading--so much for the "philosophy of science" and so much for Pigliucci and, for that matter, Karl Popper.
    Once again, how many philosophers are employed by NASA, CERN or any scientific organization? Once again, how many institutes of higher learning require science majors to take courses in philosophy other than those required of the student body in general? The proof is in the pudding.
    Have you had time to read up on Leo Strauss, another jerky philosopher?

  110. Rampage

    Yes I read up on him.
    So what your saying is that I call it 'philosophy of science' and you call it 'thinking about science?'

    Your a big fan of mathematics right? Take a critical thinking class, and your definition of philosophy will change.

  111. Rampage

    As a philosopher why cant I use evidence?

  112. robertallen1

    I suggest that you re-read what Pigliucci, your hero, has to say about "philosophy of science" i.e., it doesn't solve scientific problems, but rather--well, read on. I can't think of anything more worthless except perhaps religion.
    Now, let's hear your thoughts on Leo Strauss.

  113. robertallen1

    Because as Dr. Krauss so clearly points out, philosophers have no evidence to use.

  114. Rampage

    Uhm, hes not my hero, he happen to make a point that was very close to my own thoughts. And if you think that formulating ideas is worthless than we are done.

    I love what he says about reading on his wiki page!

    Also I don't have to agree with everything people say. People have different experiences, and values.

    In this case I value knowledge and the ability to compare and contrast the knowledge in various ways. Like the connection between the very small and the very large. This is just general logical thinking, uses various methods some we may even make up on our own, and someday they may lead to a hypothesis, or even a new field of science. Some people just don't understand the value in thinking as best you can. Lets take Einstein for example when he imagined that space-time was a 3D "flexible fabric", is this not philosophizing?

  115. Rampage

    men are mortal
    I am a man
    Therefore, I am mortal

    Is that not a deductive argument and is therefore a fact(given that I really am a human). I use logic and evidence, the evidence is very weak(it is 1. men are mortal, and 2. I am a man) but we dont require much sense we know there are no other things in the universe (so far) that can display the level of consciousness that I myself have in the last several comments displayed. Therefore If you accept that men die, and that I am a man as evidence which you would be crazy not to, then there is proof that logic can and does use evidence.

  116. yellowmattercustard

    I am sided with you Rampage but you're cutting our own throats with this line of reasoning.

  117. Rampage

    I'm still learning, if you have a correction please show me.

    Also the reason I made a stupid deductive argument is because I don't think Robert knows that that is one common aspect of philosophy, and I needed to show him a common example.

  118. yellowmattercustard

    No, you're doing just fine. Any reasoning that we do must be true not only forward but backward. I am mortal because men are mortal therefore I am man?

  119. robertallen1

    No, this is drawing conclusions BASED UPON EVIDENCE which all scientists do, not just sitting back, staring into empty space and pondering or claiming originality or profundity for mere codification after the fact.
    Once again, compare the accomplishments of Pigliucci and those of his ilk with those of Krauss. The proof is in the pudding.

  120. robertallen1

    And just how is this supposed to justify philosophy?

  121. robertallen1

    And it takes science (read empirical evidence) to ensure the correctness of the premise, not philosophy.
    You still haven't answered my question about the accomplishments of Pigliucci and his ilk as opposed to those of Krauss and his.
    You still haven't answered my question as to the number of philosophers employed by NASA, CERN and other scientific organizations.
    You still haven't given me your views on Leo Strauss.
    I wonder why.

  122. Rampage

    It is an example of one way that philosophers use evidence which youve asserted they cant ---which is wrong

    Once again look into critical thinking methods please.

  123. Rampage

    False dichotomy fallacy. Not to mention you don't answer my questions either

  124. yellowmattercustard

    Why do you assume that philosophy must be justified? Are you saying that everything must be justified according to science's definition of justified?

  125. robertallen1

    Once again, come up with something better than your silly syllogism.

  126. robertallen1

    All Cavendish bananas are yellow, my shirt is yellow; therefore, it is a banana. So much for silly syllogisms.
    I repeat--and will continue to do so:

    You still haven't answered my question about the accomplishments of Pigliucci and his ilk as opposed to those of Krauss and his.

    You still haven't answered my question as to the number of philosophers employed by NASA, CERN and other scientific organizations.

    You still haven't given me your views on Leo Strauss.

    I wonder why

  127. robertallen1

    What can't be justified is worthless.
    And when you are dealing with science, nothing other than scientific justification will do--which leaves philosophy out.

  128. Rampage

    How many fallacies are in that last comment? I don't have to look that crap up you do it if you want to use it to make a point.

  129. yellowmattercustard

    You are prepared to defend that "what cannot be justified is worthless"? Your words exactly "What can't be justified is worthless" ?

  130. Rampage

    Your deductive argument attempt is a fallacy, your false dichotomy is a fallacy, and Leo Strauss had some interesting ideas.

  131. robertallen1

    All Cavendish bananas are yellow. Anything wrong with that?

  132. Rampage

    Yes because they are not, I could show you a case where they aren't all yellow. This stuff is covered in critical thinking.

  133. robertallen1

    A scientist wouldn't just call them fallacies; he would prove them to be.

    Leo Strauss was the philosopher who felt government was justified in lying to its citizens--i.e., Plato's noble lie. That says everything about his sense of honesty and everything about him.

    You still haven't answered my question about the accomplishments of Pigliucci and his ilk as opposed to those of Krauss and his.

    You still haven't answered my question as to the number of philosophers employed by NASA, CERN and other scientific organizations

  134. robertallen1

    Would you rather I wrote "all ripe Cavendish bananas?"

  135. Rampage

    How else do we ponder things? Everything that we know of is based on evidence, the stuff that isn't is (hopefully)easily removed by any informed human mind. And there isn't much, a few pseudoscience ideas and God(s).

  136. yellowmattercustard

    You're letting him off too easily. Let the standard be the same that he requires from anybody. He said "What can't be justified is worthless".

    That is his assertion now let him show the evidence. That is what is asked of you by RobertAllen and I see no reason to change the game now.

    If that is your assertion RobertAllen then it is incumbent on you to provide the evidence. By your rules.

  137. robertallen1

    Really? And just which evidence did Aristotle use to draw his conclusions about what constitutes the various virtues. Just which evidence did Kant, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, etc. use to draw their conclusions? Once again, the proof is in the pudding.

  138. yellowmattercustard

    Where is your proof of "What can't be justified is worthless?" since we're on the subject of proof? Where is your "pudding"?

  139. robertallen1

    You obviously have not been reading. The proof is in the accomplishments of which Pigliucci and his ilk have next to none as they are merely talkers and not doers.

    Of what use is something which cannot be justified?

  140. yellowmattercustard

    No. Show the proof of what you said. F**k the tap-dancing,

    Do you have proof of what you stated or not?

  141. robertallen1

    Yes, you have obviously not been reading, so I'll repeat. The proof is in the accomplishments of which Pigliucci and his ilk have next to none as they are merely talkers and not doers.
    And speaking of accomplishments, of what use to science is something which can't be justified (i.e., makes no meaningful contribution, has no noticeable effect on) like "philosophy of science?"

  142. Rampage

    So the thing is, that scientists, regardless if they have philosophy degrees or not, advance science, I never said they didn't, and if in the case where a philosopher contributes to a field of science he is a scientist as he is doing science. They are not opposites, I can be a scientist, say a QM and I could use my specialized training in science to do tests, and when i don't do experiments I maybe pondering the next things(philosophy) i want to look into testing. There are some people in the world that are so anti-gray(as in only black or white) they will even reject philosophy which I would say is the second most close to perfect group of ideas and systems that we have, right next to science. and far from worthless. you can give it less value if you want. I dont know why you would want to if you had a real understanding of what it means. This is clearly a problem of definitions. Science works that doesn't mean philosophy is worthless or useless or anything approaching that. If people begin to think its worthless I fear people will turn into robots with no wonder, and that sounds horrible. This is why I started this argument with you because you have a misconception of what philosophy means as Ive seen you say a few negative things regarding it. "Philosophy is the meaning of life", that is a joke but it makes sense if you look at it like a philosopher would, sorry to say you may never be able to understand the joke.

  143. robertallen1

    Prove me wrong by listing a few of the philosophers employed by CERN, NASA or any other scientific organization (and I don't mean those who are primarily scientists). Prove me wrong by finding a few institutes of higher learning which require their science majors to take courses in philosophy other than those required of all students. Name me a few scientific accomplishments for which philosophy is directly responsible. Once again, the proof is in the pudding. Once again, the only ones who count are the doers, not the sideliners such as your Professor Pigliucci.

  144. over the edge

    from the fire to the frying pan from what i can see. mine was on the overuse of disinfectants /antibacterials if you need a sleep aid:) and off topic so i will end here

  145. terrasodium

    Are you familiar with the psycological term " gaslighting" if you haven't you should look it up, some personas excell intuitively at the process , you may have witnessed the online version, enjoy the bait and switch.

  146. Rampage

    If that's what in fact is going on here, I don't think, at least at first, that it was intentional. I think that Robert is very much an empiricist very much like the classical definition of the term. Which is in and of itself a philosophy of science.. so unless we are at this point debating just to debate I am pretty sure the discussion is ending here. As far as me and Roberts debate of whether or not philosophy is useless.

  147. kicknbak60

    "speak unto the children of israel" you are now speaking unto the children of America ! the day we should infer to as the decline of America is the day we granted privilege to churches and a tax exempt status serving to further inflate their oh so righteous ego. This country was founded on freedom. The bill of rights established your freedom "of" religion and in the exact same measure it established my freedom "from" religion. the founding fathers knew full well this country should be run on rights and not beliefs. The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another ... in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State' ... That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."

  148. kicknbak60

    Love, compassion, and morality can only be addressed by issues of philosophy/faith, To which philosophy and or faith does your love, compassion and especially your morality come from from ? who is to say what to the uncountable varying forms of philosophy.. basically the wine of the dreamers. As to faith that's another matter, my study of the major books of faith would indicate anything but a loving. compassionate morality. Misogamy, slavery, blood sacrifice, aggression to any one not of the particular one true faith.Is this compassion and morality.. worship me do as i decree, believe or burn forever in hell. quite frankly to my way of thinking this is certainly not love, compassion or morality.

  149. terrasodium

    Within every " ist " there is a seeded "izm". Dogma is always the truck of the "izm".

  150. awful_truth

    You are correct that history is riddled with examples of bad philosophy/faith, and anyone who embraces stupidity is far more foolish than the ones they follow. With that said, nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, are scientific bi-products of the worst of all addictions (greed) which is running/ruining the planet, and is far more destructive than any philosophy designed so far.
    Thus, if your intent was prove science above philosphy/faith in regards to which is less evil, you have failed miserably. My above blog was only to acknowledge that items such as love, compassion, and morality cannot be addressed by science, because it is beyond it's purvue. Good people come in all shapes, and forms, but good deeds only come from reflecting on one's actions, and their impact on everything around it. (philosophy) Sadly, science, and philosphy/faith are not to blame, only the people who exploit them for their own reward! Take care, and best wishes Kicknbak60.

  151. awful_truth

    @Rampage: Well done, and well said regarding the implications of philosophy. Keep up the good work!

  152. robertallen1

    "Make no mistake, philosophy (and the philosophy of science) are not about doing science. Instead, these fields ask entirely different kinds of questions. They explore the relation between the possible and the actual, the correct links between an argument and it's [sic]conclusions or the tension between theoretical models and claims of evidence for those models." In other words philosophy and especially philosophy of science do absolutely nothing.

  153. awful_truth

    @yellowmustardcustard: There is no evidence for Robertallen1 to provide, because he has dismissed the textbook defintion of philosophy, and follows Richard Dawkins belief (pardon the pun) that philosophy is the antithesis of science, when in fact they are complimentary. This is why it has no value to him. With that said, you are right that Rampage let him off the hook to easily, but it is for the best, especially if you have better things to do with your time than convincing others of their own contradictions!

  154. pwndecaf

    I wouldn't call this evidence of anything, but one of Rampage's links had these two posts by someone going by the handle "Eamon."

    Eamon (Paraconsistent)March 07, 2012 3:31 PM

    There are quite a few interdisciplinary departments consisting of mathematicians, logicians, philosophers, computer scientists, and others. See, for example, Cal Berkeley's Group in Logic and Methodology of Science, Carnegie Mellon's philosophy department (notably their programme in Logic, Computation, and Methodology), and UCLA's Logic Center.Reply


    Eamon (Paraconsistent)March 07, 2012 3:43 PM

    I should add that quite of a few of the affiliate faculty (yes, even the philosophers) in the above and similar departments are doing research funded by DoD contracts, NSF grants, and private concerns such as Intel, IBM, Raytheon, and many others.

  155. Rampage

    I agree for the most part except for the claim you made at the end, and I don't agree with this "Instead, these fields ask entirely different kinds of questions". - I emphasize 'entirely' for clarity.

    "Philosophy and especially philosophy of science do absolutely nothing" -which you yourself have just shown to not be accurate.
    Also, you have used rhetoric and a hyperbole fallacy.

  156. pwndecaf

    "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

    The only real test of something is as what it is intended to be used for.

  157. robertallen1

    The word is complementary and it applies, for example, to the relationship between science and mathematics and not at all to the relationship between science and philosophy. As usual, you don't know what you're talking about.

  158. robertallen1

    I don't see scientific institutions such as CERN, NASA, Merck, etc., the ones bringing forth results, hiring philosophers.
    I don't see institutions of higher education requiring science majors to take courses in philosophy other than what is required of the general student body.

  159. robertallen1

    Would you rather I wrote that this amounts to virtually nothing?

  160. Rampage

    False dichotomy fallacy again....

  161. robertallen1

    No, the only real test of something lies in the results produced.

  162. robertallen1

    Wrong. These are some of the institutions producing results. No false dichotomy at all.

  163. Rampage

    Let me philosophize on that for a moment ^.^ after all we are mostly nothing right :)

  164. pwndecaf

    You said that already,

    You are discounting the National Science Foundation? I know you sold your soul for $10 as a donation to the NCSE. And the Department of Defense? And the rest?

  165. Rampage

    See the problem is that you imply that one must have a degree in philosophy to do philosophy which is wrong. And then when you insist I must show you where philosophers somehow do science and not as scientists which makes no da*n sense. That's a false dichotomy fallacy.

  166. Rampage

    I love science so much, I wanted to be a scientist when I was young, but there was so much I was interested in; biology, psychology, evolution, chemistry, atomic physics, astronomy, quantum mechanics!, astrophysics, oh, and I also enjoyed video game programming(which was a lot of logical thinking)... I wasn't sure how I could take classes for a degree and learn about all of those things, and then I discovered what philosophy really was.

    If I happen to enjoy a specific field more than all of the other ones I may specialize in it; that is I may take more specialized science classes, and be known as a scientist if I come up with anything of value, but am a philosopher regardless. That is I love celerity, logic, big questions, potentials, and science.

  167. pwndecaf

    Nothing that you won't argue, is there? Even the correction of your erroneous quote is up for debate.

    That definition came right from Wiktionary as a direct cut and paste. Not a word was mine.

    Just because the phrase has been bastardized to remove all meaning and accepted as such doesn't make it right.

  168. robertallen1

    Just which philosophers are these? Sounds like a terrible waste of money.

  169. robertallen1

    You've obviously forgotten, I did not ask about those hired as scientists. Now, how many are hired by CERN, NASA, Merck, etc. as philosophers?

  170. Rampage

    WHY would they hire a philosopher we need experts in physics first and foremost, once again you have a black and white view of this and its getting silly now.

  171. Guest

    His comment was a joke expressed from the Socratic method, ever heard of it? Clearly he has a point..

  172. robertallen1

    If you regarding yourself primarily as a philosopher, don't expect to accomplish anything in science. "That is I love celerity . . . " So you're a speedster.

  173. robertallen1

    So what if it's from Wikitionary. Results are all that count.

  174. pwndecaf

    I can't verify it as it was posted by Eamon. I did look at the NSF site but they give out lots of grants every week.

    Perhaps these philosophers have some real skills, such as fetching coffee.

  175. robertallen1

    That's right. They don't hire philosophers. If you wish to wax philosophic, I suggest you ponder why. And by the way, I haven't heard of Merck hiring any physicists, mostly chemists, biologists, mathematicians--BUT NO PHILOSOPHERS.

  176. robertallen1

    Perhaps they do.

  177. pwndecaf

    And the only result that matters when making pudding is whether it is good eating, or not.

    What other proof could pudding offer?

  178. robertallen1

    That's right, results.

  179. Rampage

    Referring to CERN, wtf is this, are you kidding me..

    Its like saying that they don't hire linguists ether, so language is worthless but turns out we still need language don't we.. you are impossible.

  180. robertallen1

    You've obviously missed the point. If philosophy were so important to science, why don't these scientific organizations hire philosophers?

  181. Rampage

    My analogy expresses how.

  182. robertallen1

    How what?

  183. Rampage

    "How its important."

    If you refuse to understand then that's your problem. My analogy is nearly perfect .

    Let me ask you something. (in your opinion) Do we have different definitions and therefore understandings of the term philosophy?

  184. robertallen1

    Once again, if philosophy is so important to science, how many philosophers are employed by CERN and other such scientific organizations?
    If by linguists, you mean translators, do you think that scientists employed by CERN, etc. from throughout the world all speak the same language and with equal fluency?
    In short, there's a greater need for janitors at CERN, etc. than for philosophers.

  185. Rampage

    I don't mean translators. I mean those that study language.

  186. pwndecaf

    I've worked in engineering and maintenance most of my career, which is winding down. Engineers are a fun bunch for the most part, but they generally can't spell or use proper grammar or punctuation without help.

    They are smart and get lots done, but don't seem to care about their writing abilities, regardless of how it makes them look ignorant, or worse, sloppy.

    Still, when you need an engineer, a philosopher won't do. An engineer has specific knowledge for the task in increasingly specialized and esoteric engineering fields.

  187. pwndecaf

    You do see now that you will not gain any ground in this debate, don't you?

    It seems wrong to even call it a debate. Robert has a religious zeal about this topic. 8-)

  188. robertallen1

    Probably of no use to CERN, but again neither are piano tuners. This does not mean that pianos are worthless. So much for your silly digression which in your egotism you have inflated to a nearly perfect analogy..
    Once again, if, as you claim, philosophy is so important to science, how many philosophers (once again, not scientists who have studied philosophy) do CERN, NASA and other scientific organizations have on staff? Furthermore, to what extent do these organizations take into account an applicant's philosophic background when considering this person for employment as a scientist?

  189. robertallen1

    And engineers do not need philosophy or philosophers to help them perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively, the same with scientists such as those employed by CERN, NASA, Merck, etc. The philosophy of engineering sounds as idiotic as the philosophy of science.
    P.S. Mathematicians (and by this I include those who write mathematics textbooks) seem in general to suffer from the same deficiency in writing skills as engineers.

  190. Rampage

    Thank you

  191. Matt Anderson

    Well, I got some good news for everyone. We have done a good job of getting Christ out of American schools and government for awhile but was it worth the effort? Our future has a thousand year date with Christ on the earth as its government and center of teaching. We had a real chance at the beginning of America to get a small taste of that future glory but we opted out. I can turn on the evening news and see what we opted for instead, so I look forward to the day the earth will be ruled with real righteousness, truth, and understanding.

  192. Rob Lee

    That's what private schools are for. You realize that not all tax paying americans are christians right? We opted out? American is the #1 superpower in the world and also the richest. We have been tremendously successful in the short amount of time we have been a country. I don't understand your logic. You want to teach your kids Christianity....go ahead! no one is stopping you! Don't force other people to do the same. This country is a melting pot of people and ideas. That's why we are successful and that is the only way we are going to be successful in the future. Go ahead and turn on the evening news, you know what you will see? You will see priests being arrested for child molestation. You will see corruption in the church both morally and financially. You will see die hard christians committing crimes just like everyone else. Why don't you do some reading up on statistics of the percentage of people that are in jail that are atheists. Pretty interesting the mental gymnastics you have to do to avoid the obvious and stick by your falsehoods. Live and let live, forcing people to be like you will get you enemies not friends.

  193. LIFE Church

    Very true! Suddenly the mainstream's more popular consensus of what's to
    blame for ever-increasing school shootings & such as a result of
    violent video games, for example, that's triggered by social persecution
    or bullying. But it's not the things added in today's culture at the
    root of such behavioral changes, instead it's what's been taken away,
    ..these radical actions are a symptom of the problem. The problem is
    actually better described as 2 separate issues that are directly akin;
    1) an impairment to cope AND 2) the perception of lost hope,
    insignificance, being void of purpose. This is in result to not only
    withdrawing faith from our educational institutions but progressively
    banning it while increasing the emphasis on indoctrinating a largely
    "Theistic" culture into adopting "Atheistic" teaching of sciences
    established around darwinism, theories having no basis of fact. One
    can't believe in the God of the Bible AND evolution & atheists know
    that. Mutations in cells & species doesn't contradict the Bible or
    Creation by intelligent design but evolutions are a different animal,
    literally & aren't proven in fact but theory alone. Evidences
    available only compliment mutations and do not help evolutionary theory
    at all. Give our youth back their significance both in life and the
    universe that God our Creator instilled in us.. as the moral fiber of
    our being & our culture ...then at that moment will an aimlessly
    lost generation find their direction again. We took out the Sword
    "Bible" & Guns took it's place!

  194. GoodGodAmericaSucks

    That woman is a true hero.

  195. tmpope

    Agreed! There is a reason I no longer choose to practice Catholicism or any organized religion, for that matter. I agree--go ahead and raise children as Christians, or Buddhists or Hindus or whatever you want to raise your children. Look at the Mormon dude MacNeil, the Mormon with 8 kids, who killed his wife and is being sent to prison for her murder. Yeah he's really God fearing and followed the "do not kill" Commandment. It's not like the Christians of the "Bible" were non-violent people either. The Bible is filled with violence, war and the slaughter of innocent people. Keep the church out of my state and send your kids to private school. There's a reason we live in the United States of America--it's called the freedom to practice or not practice a religion.

  196. Dorin Nita

    The constitution guarantees the freedom of practice of all religion but most important provides protection for individuals against all religious groups .That's what I think the founding fathers had intended.May all Gods bless America,Canada and Romania and may all poor and uneducated people be protected from all churches .

  197. Justin Steckbauer

    and now we have moral depravity, and twerking. hormones in milk, children having sex at age 10. and thats just the beginning.

    We need Jesus Christ, so very much. Open your heart

  198. Dorin Nita

    You need Jesus the same way as children need Santa Klaus , Muslims need Mohamed and Jews need Jehovah, Buddhists need Buddha.You need Jesus the same way , people on the remotes islands of Philippine need food and shelters before Bibles and Korans. You need Jesus the same way I need my beliefs to be truth.Regarding the moral depravity and twerking ,.. well..., it is easy to see the stains on a beautiful painting but is your choice to focus either on the stains or the painting.

  199. Bennyballbags

    Religion is the root of all evil, what a horrible way to treat someone who smart enough and logically thinking enough to protect her kids from the "religious" mind disease. You do not see Atheists knocking on peoples doors trying to spread their opinions, but they do get treated outcasts if they dare speak out against religion(even killed)

  200. ZImabob

    This woman is an inspiration. Thank you, Vashti McCollum for your hard work.

  201. Bennyballbags

    Moral depravity?? Like religious people have the moral high ground….You people discriminate against other religions and non-believers more than anyone else, not to mention all the pedophile priests and with hunts. All because you believein a book that is full of lies and made up stories, and a character that is a plagiarism of many other mythical characters like Thorus and hercules. You my friend sound mentally disturbed, like all the other happy clappers who say they are good people but only good people to people who believe in the crap you do.

  202. Bennyballbags

    Brainwashing your kid into any religion is a form of child abuse….i am very glad that my parents did not put me through the fear of hell. What a horrible thing to put your children through. There is no such thing as a Christian child or Muslim child, children are innocent and its only when adults corrupt their minds usually through fear that they start being mean to other kids who don't believe in the same crap their parents do.

  203. Achems_Razor

    Before you go any further, you must show proof that there is, or was, such a deity as your Jesus Christ, the most amoral in my books is the hypocrite religee's spouting their holier than thou attitude, you apparently have the religious virus disease of the mind, yes it is a disease.

    funny religee's

  204. Anomalous Hominid

    You have the same critical faculties as a caveman exclaiming "Why mountain angry!?!?"

  205. Anomalous Hominid

    If you need make-believe to lend life a sense of meaning then clearly you already presume it meaningless: this makes the believer the most faithless of all.
    And look, religious institutions attempted for thousands of years to monopolize purpose and morality, so if people feel lacking in those things because superstition (er, religion) doesn't stand up to time and scrutiny, then the fault truly lies with the church for claiming that they were the sole dispensation of virtue and meaning while simultaneously eroding their own credibility over the years. Wake up.

  206. Anomalous Hominid

    Besides, I reject the notion that making blatantly fallacious knowledge-claims about the supposed veracity of a totally extraneous ancient myth (I think you call it "believing") is a virtuous act. How you religiots buy into the idea that self-deceit is the exclusive path to truth is beyond me. When it comes to truth I've always found honesty to be more productive than willful delusion.

  207. misscellaneous

    Thought it was Christianity and spreading themselves to thin, militarily.

  208. Quietstorm88

    geeez does everyone really believe that all Christians are prejudice, hypocritical, religious, discriminatory, prideful, arrogant zealots??!!! Why as human beings do we even put people in such biased groupings? Sometimes we don't even realize how prejudice and hateful we are when we call others the same thing. May God help us all.

  209. Shane Atchison

    7:51 "One Nation Indivisible." No "under God" anywhere to be found.

  210. Lapierre

    Man, I'm an Atheist and the post on this thread are seriously harsh. Let's stop Christian bashing... everyone has the right to believe whatever they want to believe. I'll let you be if you let me be.

  211. Rogue Medic

    Criticizing Christian misbehavior is bashing?

    But it is not bashing for you to criticize others because of what bit of logical fallacy?


  212. Brad Walter England

    No offence, but as a historian, I just want you know the facts are in and.....(drum roll)....."He" never existed. If he did though, which one are you referring to? The Prince of Peace, or the horse-top warrior with a bloodied sword smiting nations (Revelations)? Or both? Open your mind.

  213. Rampage

    "Probably of no use to CERN, but again neither are piano tuners. This does not mean that pianos are worthless."

    Pianos are sort of worthless to CERN I'd imagine. I would use a better field to compare my language analogy. What about computers and programmers in place of pianos and piano tuners!

    Hello Robert! How are you? Whats new!!

  214. Dareal

    yo i look at alot of these religious documentaries and ive noticed a serious bias when it comes to the descriptions. the ones that are anti religious have an epic summary whereas the pro-religious videos seem to always have descriptions that are borderline hateful. i really don't want someones personal opinion when im trying to see what a video is about...annoying

  215. Carl Goldsmith

    Why are people focusing their verbal attacks on Christianity? What about islam? They are beheading children and now they have moved on from that to burying children and women alive because they do not want convert to islam.

  216. prakrttika

    you are scared for you religion.A documentary can't make any change in the mind of a true followers

  217. Jesus was a rooster!

    -Standing Applause-

  218. Maya

    Everyone please calm down and stop religion bashing...soon Obama will impose his "New World Order" where religion doesn't exist, law doesn't exist,freedom doesn't exist...and we will all be nothing but branded sheep. And he has us to thank...because of our ignorance and inability to tolerate and respect one another.

  219. Porcino

    Being Human means having the ability to think and rationalise. Being human also means that we can imagine and invent as we have done with religion. Reality is different for different people because the arrival at a perception is a journey that starts from birth and that journey is different for each one of us. The perception of truth is nothing more than majority thought. When this is challenged it becomes problematical because beliefs and 'truths' are revealed in a different light. The world is changing and governments, religious institutions, the media and people of influence are continuously driven by power and the control it gives them. For some of us, we are saddened that society has yet so far to travel before attaining a state where critical and rational thought dominates each mind instead of religious and political doctrine and a culture largely manufactured by the media. The American Constitution's First Amendment recognises this and I think it is amazing for what it represents and the intellect that developed it. I also think it is amazing that a nation that can have such a wonderful underpinnings continues to do what it can to deny the brilliance of thought upon which it is founded.

  220. Maxine Godfrey

    ... kicking and screaming ...

  221. Maxine Godfrey

    i enjoyed that bit immensely.

  222. Maxine Godfrey

    the problem is in your last sentence -- there are religions (not naming names) that aren't happy unless and until all the "yous" become "wes."

  223. Maxine Godfrey

    probably the best point that Dawkins ever made.

  224. Maxine Godfrey

    no, we need more people like Vashti McCollum!

  225. Maxine Godfrey

    hey, Hollywood -- instead of all those sequels, prequels, superheroes and video game movies, how about a thrilling tale about Vashti McCollum and her quest for equality for all? or do you think we're all too stupid to appreciate such a story.

  226. Rogue Medic

    Not all Christians are prejudiced.

    A lot of Christians are prejudiced.

    Look at all the laws made/proposed based on Biblical prejudices.

    If the Gods of the Bible were more moral, you might have a point, but the laws discriminate (exhibit prejudice) against non-Christians.

    The number of these discriminatory laws that pass suggests that there is a lot of prejudice among Christian voters.


  227. walterbyrd

    > everyone has the right to believe whatever they want to believe

    But you don't have right to use tax dollars to impose those beliefs on others.

  228. walterbyrd

    Can you specifically link depravity, and twerking, and even hormones in milk; to a lack of Christianity?

  229. Maxine Godfrey

    "... but he loves you." -- George Carlin

  230. Rogue Medic

    Science does not make claims about certainty, that is the purview of religion, which is regularly shown to be wrong. Science deals in probabilities.

    Look at the big moral questions addressed by the Bible, such as slavery.

    The Bible supports slavery, but almost everyone knows that slavery is immoral.

    How did the Gods of the Bible get that one some completely wrong?

    Morality does not come from religion, but plenty of people find support for immorality in the Bible and other religious books.


  231. awful_truth

    All science, (above the plank scale) deals in certainty. This was the premise of science to begin with that any experiment can be reproduced to verify the same results for confirmation of validity. Only the science of quantum mechanics (below the plank scale - very tiny) deals in probability. (different rules - superposition, entanglement, Heisenberg uncertainty principle)
    Morality does not come from religion, nor did I say it did. I stated in my previous comment, that only philosophy/faith (improvable concepts) can address issues of morality. As Albert Einstein stated so eloquently,(paraphrasing) " morality is a man made concept that is not governed by super human authority".
    It would seem that your desire to defend science while attacking religion has prevented you from absorbing the point of my comments.
    If religion didn't exist, humanity would kill just as many people as it does now replacing it with greed/power, patriotism, or 100 of the other 'isms' that exist. (political ideologies - nationalism, communism, socialism, capitalism, fascism, etc)
    It should be noted that science (like religion) is not to blame for people dying, but has sure made it a lot easier to kill a lot more people, more efficiently. If I was to follow the same logic you have expressed, then I can guarantee you that science has killed far more people in the last 100 years that religion killed in the last 1000!
    P.S: Violence is neither good nor bad, it is what motivates our actions that determines it's morality. (subjugation bad, defense good) Take care, and best wishes Rogue Medic.

  232. awful_truth

    Proving that love is real is about as likely as proving god exists! Apologies, but science can't help with either of these.
    P.S: George Carlin rules.

  233. Rogue Medic

    All science, (above the plank scale) deals in certainty.

    Science deals in probabilities.

    If you wish to defend your statement, then explain the use of p values and error bars in certainty.

    If religion didn't exist, humanity would kill just as many people as it does now replacing it with greed/power, patriotism, or 100 of the other 'isms' that exist. (political ideologies - nationalism, communism, socialism, capitalism, fascism, etc)

    How do you propose to test your hypothesis with certainty?

    If I was to follow the same logic you have expressed, then I can guarantee you that science has killed far more people in the last 100 years that religion killed in the last 1000!

    How does science give people motivation to kill?

    If you were to follow my logic, you should not have confused the religious claims that morality comes from religion with the claims of science that science has learned something new.


  234. awful_truth

    If you are unable to comprehend the basic premise of science, then I will be unable to help you. (P values deal with statistical analysis, not scientific certainty) Statistical analysis is used to predict 'probability' because uncertainty exists due to unknown variables which cannot be expressed in a testable, reproducible experiment. There is a reason we still use 350 year old Newtonian mechanics because it is based on certainty. (the rules and effects of gravitation, and electromagnetism are not debatable - certainty) Thus, only an aspect of science (quantum mechanics) assigns probability, and at least does it with great accuracy. Statistical analysis is not even scientific, not to mention that statistics can be bent to support any hypothesis.
    This is precisely why it is inappropriate to request scientific certainty regarding the effects of religion. (nothing scientific about it) My statement was based upon the understanding that religion can be used as an 'excuse' to justify unjustifiable actions. (as is the many others ism's I mentioned in my previous comments) So, if you wish to assign blame to the method (religion) instead of the motivation behind it, (power, subjugation) then you must blame science as well. (you can't have it both ways) I thought I made this clear in my previous post.
    It is disappointing that you chose to imply that I stated morality comes from religion when I made it very clear that the premise of morality comes from philosophy/faith. (I even added an Einstein quote) These 'beliefs' are structured from the emotion of empathy, to create a stable construct for society. (how would I feel if I was in someone else's position?) Logic stems from consistent thinking that doesn't contradict itself to support a position, (bias) nor create circular arguments. (chicken or the egg)
    Thus, to answer both of your questions, is as follows:
    1) Russia (communism) drove out religion, and it didn't stop the endless other motivations from replacing it to justify unnecessary violence.
    2) Science is incapable of motivating immoral action, but like religion, is a powerful, and more efficient 'method' at the disposal for those in positions of power. (government and church are both based upon greed, and power, ergo same crap, different pile) In a nutshell, one does not require certainty to predict human nature. Religion, science, even guns don't kill people; people kill people, and they will use religion, science (advanced weaponry) and anything else (political manipulation) if they think it will work. (do you get this now?)
    The bottom line is I am not going to defend the negative impact of religion, because, like science, it has both positive, and negative attributes. This is not just my opinion, this is a scientific premise. (For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction) If you find the taste of this unpalatable, buck up, and don't shoot the messenger, because I didn't create the universe, nor the rules that govern human nature.
    You really need to look closely at what I have stated to you before responding.
    P.S: I am very spiritual, but not religious. ( I am capable of making this distinction, but not everyone can) Take care, and best wishes Rogue Medic.

  235. Rogue Medic

    Since you do not appear to have understood my original comment, read it again. Or you just do not understand that there is more to science than physics.

    Science does not make claims about certainty, that is the purview of religion, which is regularly shown to be wrong. Science deals in probabilities.

    Look at the big moral questions addressed by the Bible, such as slavery.

    The Bible supports slavery, but almost everyone knows that slavery is immoral.

    How did the Gods of the Bible get that one some completely wrong?

    Morality does not come from religion, but plenty of people find support for immorality in the Bible and other religious books.

    Science and religion (a form of philosophy) do overlap. Where they overlap, religions lose. Creationism is just one example.


  236. awful_truth

    I understand your comments. You hate religion; you believe the bible is immoral for supporting slavery, and you keep re-iterating that morality does not come from the bible. (did I miss anything?)

    Question: How do you prove any religion, or the bible to be false? Since what happens after we die is beyond proof, it cannot even be addressed. If you are referring to what can be proved wrong regarding the here and now, it is from the 'certainty of science'.
    (Is it your position that religion is probably wrong???) LOL
    I have the same concerns as you regarding organized religion, but I don't allow it to impact the neutrality of logic.
    The only way you are going to recognize your incongruity, is when you remove your personal bias regarding religion from your thinking process, which is even preventing you from learning about the history of science, what it is, who actually created it, and how they arrived at their conclusions, (with certainty)
    There is no overlap between religion and science. (opposite ends of the spectrum) One is based on belief, the other is based upon proof. (certainty - not to be confused with statistical analysis) You should also realize that Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, etc were all profoundly religious, or spiritual individuals, and they never allowed their 'faith' to interfere with their thinking, or scientific investigation.
    Note 1: there is only 1 god in the bible. (monotheism)
    Note 2: corporatism, and the governments they control also believe in slavery. (global slavery to be precise) It would seem that the vast majority of humans either support slavery, or are too powerless to prevent it.
    What is the origin of life? Since science is incapable of answering this question, (science will never know everything) the 'belief' in creationism will continue to exist whether you 'believe' it, or not.
    (of that, I am certain!) Take care Rogue Medic.
    P.S: Look below, and learn!

    Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
    'Word Origin and History for science'
    mid-14c., "what is known, knowledge (of something) acquired by study; information;" also "assurance of knowledge, certitude, certainty," from Old French science "knowledge, learning, application; corpus of human knowledge"
    science: (sī'əns)
    The investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation. ◇ Science makes use of the scientific method, which includes the careful observation of natural phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis, the conducting of one or more experiments to test the hypothesis, and the drawing of a conclusion that confirms or modifies the hypothesis. See Note at hypothesis.

  237. Rogue Medic

    I understand your comments.

    Obviously, you do not, or we would not continue to disagree.

    Some of theoretical science involves certainty, but that may change. Science deals in probabilities.

    Rather than play with a dictionary, demonstrate the certainty of the science of evolution.

    As far as your claim that I am blinded by religion, I am opposed to any philosophy that justifies immorality and irrationality.

    You seem to have chosen to defend immorality with the deflection that others are also bad, as if that washes your hands of the problem of immorality. It certainly does not.


  238. awful_truth

    Defend immorality??? (I get it, if I am not attacking organized faith, or the bible, I must somehow be a supporter of it - if I am not with you, I am against you - George Bush mentality) Better yet, you state that 'I do not understand, or we would not continue to disagree'. So, you believe that no one can understand your position unless they agree with you? Who are you, Hitler? ( a rogue in need of a medic) Since you are obviously one of those 'people' who perceives the world with a bi-polar/binary mindset (A or Z, nothing in between) there is no point in furthering this discussion. You have refused to address the logic of the issues I have raised, (parallels in power structure) and any reasoning that threatens to expose the contradictory nature of your hate is just outright ignored. (sounds a lot like the church to me!) So, believe what you want, (no one can't say I didn't try) and best wishes to you Rogue Medic.

  239. Rogue Medic

    You are the one changing the subject.

    You claim that science is about certainty, show how evolution is an example of certain science.

    Or keep changing the subject, rather than providing any valid defense of your claim.


  240. awful_truth

    I gave you a textbook definition of science. Grow up!
    P.S: They offer courses in political science, but there is nothing scientific about it. (evolution is merely a theory, and has not been determined with certainty)

  241. Rogue Medic

    A textbook definition means that evolution is a science of certainty?

    Be serious.


  242. awful_truth

    No, it tells you how science began, and what it's criteria is. The simple fact that evolution has not been determined with certainty, (it still has holes in it) is why it remains a theory! When science can tell us where and how life began, (evolution does not address this) we can continue this discussion! (don't hold your breath)

  243. Rogue Medic

    Gravity is also a theory.

    Most of science is less certain than evolution.


  244. awful_truth

    Your attempt at equating evolution with gravitation shows how ludicrous your position really is. LOL
    P.S: The certainty of gravitation (Newton to Einstein) is not debatable, and this is precisely why it isn't a theory, like evolution. I am obviously dealing with someone who hasn't a clue about science, nor its history, and I can no longer ill afford to waste time spoon feeding pabulum to a child that isn't mine. Good day!

  245. realist

    That woman is sitting in a dark corner of hell right now wishing she would have had a drinking problem back in the 40's

  246. realist

    So, lets see how this affected public schools today. I see the free public school system not teaching students a damn thing. All you see is a majority of African American kids getting educated in public schools, and we see the affect that has. I see people graduating and still can't read or write. They have no moral base, or money. Colleges don't want students who are pushed through the public school system.

  247. realist

    What a credit to us all this woman was (not). Nobody in their right mind would put their child in a public school today if they want them to have a good future.

  248. Leigh Atkins

    oQ & willymayshayes,
    The site is called Top Documentary Films, not Top Science Documentary films. Some of us appreciate a variety of knowledge from a wide arena of experiences & some of us aren't so narrowly minded. Some of us also wish to be informed, not just entertained.
    All knowledge is useful to some degree, you just don't know that yet, so stop complaining & eat your vegetables...

  249. Tommy

    I just found a great show on Hulu that took 6 episodes before introducing a fantastic loving homosexual couple and then introduced Christians as hateful. With Hollywood setting the modern compass of societies, it is amazing that anyone is still a Christian because Hollywood hates them - not to mention colleges filled with anti-God rhetoric. It turns out that God has never proven himself to someone without faith.....instead, He rewards faithfulness with supernatural events. So while the world confuses the media with science, several of us are seeing supernatural intervention that our pragmatism cannot write-off as coincidence.

  250. Police State

    hmmm..... does anyone think there's any harm in kids reading "Thou Shalt Not Kill" as they enter school everyday? I know this all sounds like a good idea on the surface, but it actually began an era in which the government has been tasked with declaring what we should and should not do - The Offense Police. No where in the constitution do i read "....has the right never to be offended." And so fast forward to today, we've become a police state! The problem wasn't in the content, it was in the way it was forced and delivered. Asking the courts to control other's behavior doesn't seem to be how a democracy should exist. There's too many unintended consequences that adversely affect all of us as a whole when the courts make such decisions because the Court has no mechanism with which to deal with the many nuances that all of us as human have. We've lost the awareness and freedom of what it means to allow give and take and the importance of never allowing outside people or things to dictate my happiness. Now we're in a world where Victimhood is a badge of honor. If I was teaching this as a lesson, I would ask folks to name 3 things that could have been done, in retrospect, that would have more favorably solved the issue besides going to court. It's called effective conflict management and the court system is to be used in the most serious of instances and when all other attempts have been exhausted. Otherwise, we all lose in the end and our democracy begins to look more like an Oligarchy.

  251. artie

    if those people were real christians and were bible believers they would pray for her instead of attacking her and her children they were no christians only by name

  252. john

    Christians seem to always be on the side of hating. Haters they are and haters they stay. They really should be Jews and stick with the Old Testament which is all about a hater god because the New Testament's message of love is totally wasted on them. What a strong woman to stand against haters. Wow, now if only humanity was filled with people like her.

  253. Alan

    There's not much good in being called something you're not. Calling America Christian when the reality is far different is confusing at best and deceptive at worst. There is a beauty and hope and power and reality to Christianity that is not seen or known when people fight to be called Christian. The name should follow the reality.

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