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Ser Scot A Ellison

Wisconsin Plan to eliminate Liberal Arts at the University of Wisconsin

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On 3/24/2018 at 10:42 AM, TrueMetis said:

No. Where the fuck did you get that from? Unless your definition of a bully is "points out when someone is full of shit".

Take some jars, heat lamps, and containers of CO2 gas. Fill jars with various mixtures of regular air and CO2. Set under heat lamps. Watch as the ones with more CO2 heat more. There proof of CO2's heat absorption capacity. If you cannot from there make the connection on why increased CO2 emission would effect the earth's climate and how, well that's on you.

Never claimed to prove any such thing. How about you speak to the points I've actually made?

Though given that there has never been any proof of any god there's no need to disprove one anyway.

1- Maybe it’s just me, but it seems, to me, that you typically respond to my posts with profanity, rancor, and being an absolute smart ass.  Now maybe you’re just young, or think yourself so smart that anyone who disagrees with you is worthy of nothing more than scorn; I assure you that you are wrong.  Or maybe it’s just the internet allows you complete anonymity; I doubt you’re so cocksure and aggressive face to face.

2- I never said CO2 emissions didn’t affect the climate, only that as of now it’s still a theory, right?  I could be wrong in that as I quit paying attention some time ago.  Mainly because the left, collectively, talk out of their ass so much and push an obvious agenda that anything that fits their agenda is considered truth.

3- To the point of the existence of a God, in most cases you’d be right; just not on this forum.  Go read the thread “Christians, we are an advent people” if you care, there were plenty of board warriors who came in with ridicule and scorn, maybe you were among them, talking about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.  Complete and utter scorn and ridicule was accepted and ignored in that thread; can the same be said for the LGBTQ thread, the US politics thread?

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On 3/24/2018 at 4:51 PM, DireWolfSpirit said:

Just reposting this question to King Ned, I didnt catch his response?

I don’t know.  It seems to be first and foremost the destruction of the coal industry (which I have no connection to) with no answer for their immediate poverty or how to provide energy to the majority of the us as cheaply as coal.  Honestly, I don’t know, it’s the left who complain incessantly about it.

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On 3/25/2018 at 4:53 PM, baxus said:

 

Until God's existence is proven, God's nonexistence is the current state of affairs.

I disagree, it’s my opinion that more people in antiquity believed in a higher power; it’s only within the last 50 years or so that people got so arrogant and tried to prove otherwise.  They are still trying, as I understand.

I have no problem if people think we came from a mud puddle, or a higher being, or anything in between.  It’s the other people that feel a need to make me believe something; I often wonder why that is.

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13 hours ago, Matrim Fox Cauthon said:

The issue is fundamentally not about proving the existence or non-existence of God, but, rather, about disproving the hypotheses propogated in 'creationism' as the most probable explanation for the origins, development, and current state of the world. In this regard, creationism utterly fails in providing a satisfactory explanation of the available evidence. Also, I think that creationism kinda misses the point of the "creation account" in Genesis.

Read above, no one has a viable explanation to our existence, IMHO.  I’ll take faith in something bigger than myself, and the Word of Jesus; as that is the best teaching I’ve seen so far on this earth.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

1- Maybe it’s just me, but it seems, to me, that you typically respond to my posts with profanity, rancor, and being an absolute smart ass.  Now maybe you’re just young, or think yourself so smart that anyone who disagrees with you is worthy of nothing more than scorn; I assure you that you are wrong.  Or maybe it’s just the internet allows you complete anonymity; I doubt you’re so cocksure and aggressive face to face.

Yeah I swear? So fucking what? How does that effect my point? The answer is it doesn't. But then if you didn't complain about the words I used you'd instead have to actually engage with the points being made.

Quote

2- I never said CO2 emissions didn’t affect the climate, only that as of now it’s still a theory, right?  I could be wrong in that as I quit paying attention some time ago.  Mainly because the left, collectively, talk out of their ass so much and push an obvious agenda that anything that fits their agenda is considered truth.

Then why would you ask me about proof of CO2's effect on climate? What the hell's the point of doing that? This is incredibly disingenuous.

Also you sound like a goddamn creationist calling evolution "just a theory" a theory in science is a well substantiated explanation of a phenomenon. The theory regarding CO2 impact on climate is every bit as proven as the theory gravity. Which is to say, not actually as much as a lot of people think but more than proven such that it's no longer of matter of if we are right, just how accurate we can become.

Quote

3- To the point of the existence of a God, in most cases you’d be right; just not on this forum.  Go read the thread “Christians, we are an advent people” if you care, there were plenty of board warriors who came in with ridicule and scorn, maybe you were among them, talking about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.  Complete and utter scorn and ridicule was accepted and ignored in that thread; can the same be said for the LGBTQ thread, the US politics thread?

Oh I absolutely did. Because stupid things deserve ridicule. IE claiming something that's never been proven exists is really stupid, hence I'm free to mock. This fairy tale doesn't get a special exemption because more people believe in it than Bigfoot. Nor does me mocking it suddenly shift the burden of proof. God has not been proven, full stop. As such there's no need to prove it doesn't exist anymore than there's a need to prove Russel's Teapot doesn't exist. Regardless of how much I or other scorn or belittle something the burden of proof is on those claiming god's existence.

But then, you're just going to take this a validation of whatever the fuck it is you're rambling about so whatever.

51 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

I don’t know.  It seems to be first and foremost the destruction of the coal industry (which I have no connection to) with no answer for their immediate poverty or how to provide energy to the majority of the us as cheaply as coal.  Honestly, I don’t know, it’s the left who complain incessantly about it.

The "destruction" of the coal industry is due to automization and cheaper alternatives, include other fossil fuels. The left isn't destroying coal, the market is. And it's very much the left trying to answer the problems that come with lost job via retraining initiatives and the like. Since the left recognizes coal is dying while the right is attempting to revive a dying beast.

45 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

I disagree, it’s my opinion that more people in antiquity believed in a higher power; it’s only within the last 50 years or so that people got so arrogant and tried to prove otherwise.  They are still trying, as I understand.

I have no problem if people think we came from a mud puddle, or a higher being, or anything in between.  It’s the other people that feel a need to make me believe something; I often wonder why that is.

So? It doesn't matter how many people believe something that doesn't change the facts. If everyone tomorrow suddenly believed the world was flat the world would still be round and to paraphrase baxus the flatearth's nonexistence is the current state of affairs.

Also I love the twisted viewpoint that it's the people who don't think we needed to be created by a "high power" are the arrogant ones.

41 minutes ago, King Ned Stark said:

Read above, no one has a viable explanation to our existence, IMHO.  I’ll take faith in something bigger than myself, and the Word of Jesus; as that is the best teaching I’ve seen so far on this earth.

We're a peculiar species of mostly hairless monkey's that evolved from simple self-replicating chemicals that had their start in the most basic of chemical reactions coming about on a chunk of rock the formed from the remnants of a star that formed out of hydrogen that came from the original expansion of the universe.

Or go with the being who sacrificed itself to itself pointlessly because a couple of people were convinced to eat a fruit by a talking snake. Totally viable.

Why do I feel like when you say "viable explanation" you mean "makes me special"?

You keep your faith, I'll go with the method that discovered the facts that made the computers we're using.

Edited by TrueMetis

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6 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I will also point out that this is thin ice to tread on: if you say research that "matters" is the one that makes it to the public debate and might sometimes be translated into policy, the researchers themselves often have a significantly different idea of what "matters."

They might, but I think my definition is closer to reality: something that remains the exclusive province of a handful of experts is very unlikely to be as important as something that affects hundreds of millions of people.

6 hours ago, Rippounet said:

While academics in some fields are left-leaning, it doesn't follow that their research is biased in any way.

In some fields it doesn't and in some fields it does. A mathematician can be as biased as any person on the planet and it wouldn't make any difference whatsoever to their work (although it may affect, for example, the hiring and promotion of mathematicians in that department). On the other hand the work of a, say, historian, is always going to be biased by his or her attitudes simply because of our inability to comprehend the entirety of history.

6 hours ago, Rippounet said:

Well if unbiased research is used by politicians then the researchers are blameless.

Not necessarily. Research results can be wrong without being biased -- sloppy statistics or an unwillingness to look for sources of uncertainty can yield bad results even if the researcher was not predisposed towards a specific conclusion.

6 hours ago, Rippounet said:

I'm curious: i) what policy changes are you thinking about? ii) is this about the research or the personal ideas of academics?

One example in the US is immigration -- a substantial number of professors and universities openly support overt violation of federal law. In this case, it's mainly personal ideas which directly lead to policy although there is also quite a bit of research which aims to justify the ideas.

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Does the research aim to justify the ideas, or does the research justify the ideas and that's why the people hold them? One think your own bias' are coming into play.

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48 minutes ago, TrueMetis said:

Does the research aim to justify the ideas, or does the research justify the ideas and that's why the people hold them? One think your own bias' are coming into play.

I cannot read their minds so I don't know the order of operations here. From what I've seen, the research is a mix of stuff mostly irrelevant to the ideas, of stuff that is obviously worthless trash (e.g. work by people who can't even be bothered to get basic statistics right) and of stuff that is inconclusive or presents a trade-off as the result.

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4 hours ago, Altherion said:

They might, but I think my definition is closer to reality: something that remains the exclusive province of a handful of experts is very unlikely to be as important as something that affects hundreds of millions of people.

Yeah, but if you're making sweeping generalisations about academia then you have to take into account the fact that you're basing your assertions on what is really a fringe phenomenon.

Especially when you say:

4 hours ago, Altherion said:

Research results can be wrong without being biased -- sloppy statistics or an unwillingness to look for sources of uncertainty can yield bad results even if the researcher was not predisposed towards a specific conclusion.

If it's sloppy research because of methodological errors, or because of the use of unsubstantiated or cherry-picked facts, people in the field are likely to view such research as unrepresentative of what they do. In fact, even people who would agree with the conclusions would still view the research as poor and unsatisfying.

4 hours ago, Altherion said:

In some fields it doesn't and in some fields it does. A mathematician can be as biased as any person on the planet and it wouldn't make any difference whatsoever to their work (although it may affect, for example, the hiring and promotion of mathematicians in that department). On the other hand the work of a, say, historian, is always going to be biased by his or her attitudes simply because of our inability to comprehend the entirety of history.

Oh, in the grand scheme of things that's only a minor problem. The weaving of a historical narrative is necessarily subjective. The choice of a topic, what facts are relevant, the way they are told and linked together... In a way, all history books are biased.

And yet, for the purpose of this discussion we are talking about something way more specific: the liberal-conservative divide.

The will to tell a compelling narrative is a much greater threat to most historians than political bias. The latter is easily avoidable in most cases (it's part of the training, ha!). The former is not. You seem to be confusing the two as if they were the same thing, and yet they aren't.

Looking at my own library, I have put works that are inherently subjective in a special section in which most books are not even written by actual historians. On the other hand, in most cases it's difficult for me to tell whether a historian is liberal or conservative simply by reading their books. In fact, most historical theses are far removed from current politics.

4 hours ago, Altherion said:

One example in the US is immigration -- a substantial number of professors and universities openly support overt violation of federal law. In this case, it's mainly personal ideas which directly lead to policy although there is also quite a bit of research which aims to justify the ideas.

But is your "substantial" number statistically significant? You could have hundreds or thousands of academics supporting immigration in the media and they might still be a tiny minority.

Plus, while there is research to support the idea that immigration is a good thing, how important is this research, quantitively speaking, within any given field? And are the academics that are involved in the political cause necessarily the same ones who did the research in the first place?
If you're talking about something like "supporting overt violation of federal law" this has nothing to do with research, and everything to do with personal ideas and activities.
In this case you're talking about the way academics use their intellectual authority to promote policies that are not necessarily the logical conclusions to draw from the research (theirs or other people's). That is not what I am talking about, because from the start I've been focusing on the research, not the people.
And if we're talking about abuse of intellectual authority, this is a problem that is at least as important on the right as it is on the left. Left-wing academics may be successfully promoting policies in the social realm, but right-wing academics are successfully promoting policies in the economic one. And the dominant economic policies are far more problematic, if only because they are at the source of most of  the social problems that the left seeks to address.
From the start you have been talking about the problem of political involvement of academics, while I have been talking about bias within the research. hey are not the same thing.

And I have taken pains to explain why the impression you have is unlikely to be the reality of academic research. A simpler way for me to proceed would have been for me to simply ask you to provide facts: statistics, names... etc. In other words, to proceed in a scientific way. You have a hypothesis, that academia is biased. To prove the assertion you should have to define what you mean by bias, and then to look at both the political activities of academics and their research. The point being to find what percentage of academics are actually biased, and how this affects the research.
What you have done is the very opposite: you take some examples that matter to you, and from there you generalise.
This is the very opposite of science, and the very thing you seem to accuse academia of.
It might be the very reason why you have such opinions in the first place too. You probably assume that academics do the same thing: that they start from the conclusion they want to reach, use sloppy methodology and analytical tools, cherry-pick the facts, and then go on to reach sweeping conclusions that will be used to devise government policy.
But this is not how academia works, as a rule. There are many counter-examples, but as a rule, this is what distinguishes researchers from journalists and politicians. If an academic gets involved in politics, then most of the time he is acting as an intellectual rather than as a researcher.
 

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7 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

I disagree, it’s my opinion that more people in antiquity believed in a higher power;

Higher powerS actually, which makes a considerable difference here.

7 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

Read above, no one has a viable explanation to our existence, IMHO.  I’ll take faith in something bigger than myself, and the Word of Jesus; as that is the best teaching I’ve seen so far on this earth.

No one can explain why the universe is (instead of isn't). How humans came about within it, otoh, is fairly clear at this point. The mysteries that remain are the exact nature of our consciousness and whether existence has a deeper meaning or purpose.
Christianism is an adequate answer to some spiritual or metaphysical questions, as it can give meaning to an individual's existence on a daily basis and provide some very decent moral guidelines (providing you do follow Jesus's actual teachings). It says nothing about the universe's existence though. Adding a benevolent creator to the problem of existence only displaces the problem, as you then have no answer to the why of the being's existence, or of the reason for him creating the universe and humans. In a way, God then is, just as the universe is. All you've done is project anthropomorphism on the universe. It doesn't even come close to being "a viable explanation."

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8 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

I disagree, it’s my opinion that more people in antiquity believed in a higher power; it’s only within the last 50 years or so that people got so arrogant and tried to prove otherwise.  They are still trying, as I understand.

I have no problem if people think we came from a mud puddle, or a higher being, or anything in between.  It’s the other people that feel a need to make me believe something; I often wonder why that is.

You can disagree all day long but saying that something exists doesn't mean it does, just as saying something doesn't exist doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

That being said, if someone wants to claim that something exists they need to present the evidence for their claim. And no, "they wrote this down thousands of years ago and it's the word of God(s)" is not evidence. It doesn't work for Greek gods, Roman gods, Nordic gods, flying spaghetti monster etc. so it doesn't work for Judeo-Christian God or Allah or Hindu gods...

I'm not claiming that God doesn't exist. I AM claiming that there hasn't been any proof of God's existence yet (from either science or religion) and quite a few of religious teachings have been proven completely wrong, often at cost of numerous human lives. I mean, why would an omnipotent being tell his worshipers to write down that Earth is flat, knowing full well it isn't? Just for laughs? Until something comes up that can prove, or even indicate that there is a God, I am not accepting anyone's word for it. Not going to harass people who do believe there is a God in any way, of course, but not going to listen to them claiming that God's existence is a fact either.

Your opinion is your opinion. There's no guarantee it is correct, nor that what you are saying is true. Even when it does seem correct, as it does in this case, what people believed in antiquity has absolutely no relevance on whether what they believed in was true. Greek people believed Zeus threw around lightning bolts and now we can say with 100% certainty that's not the case. And let's not even get into his other antics such as having sex with cows and producing offspring and things like that.

You say that trying to prove otherwise is the sign of arrogance, which only serves to discredit you from taking part in any discussion that's even remotely related to science. Is it arrogance to ask for evidence about something that's been taken at face value for centuries? Is it arrogance to come out and say that some of the religious claims are utter bullshit?

Let's not forget - scientists are not trying to prove that God doesn't exist. They are trying to uncover the way something happens (or happened) and the reason why it happens (or happened) in such a way. For example, the theory of evolution is not meant to disprove God's existence (which hasn't been proven in the first place so it can be disproven), it's meant to discover and explain how life on Earth developed and evolved. Heliocentric model or round Earth weren't meant to disprove God's existence, but to explain the nature of our planet and it's movement through space.

I also wonder why religious people have the need to impose their religion as something that can not be questioned and yet get annoyed and offended (often even aggressive) when called out on the bullshit aspects of their religion. And let's not kid ourselves, there are TONS of bullshit aspects in each religion out there.

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8 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

Read above, no one has a viable explanation to our existence, IMHO.  I’ll take faith in something bigger than myself, and the Word of Jesus; as that is the best teaching I’ve seen so far on this earth.

I received theological training and education in seminary. I have been attached to various seminaries and theological faculties for the past 11 years. So please don't think that I am some sort of "evil atheist" trying to take away your belief in God. Far from it, in fact. You are welcome to believe in God, the Word of Jesus, etc. But there are several issues that I have with your statements.

It is untrue that "no one has a viable explanation to our existence." "IMHO" does not cut it as a source. The Bible is also a terrible science book, because it is not one nor does it try to be one. Sorry, but it's true. Furthermore, you can "take faith in something bigger than [yourself], and the Word of Jesus" while still believing in the Big Bang, evolution, etc. For many believers, including others on this forum, these are not incompatible positions. The Big Bang and Evolution are agnostic about the existence of God or the redemption of Jesus. Nevertheless, the Big Bang and Evolution provide the best models based upon current evidence for the associated phenomenon that these theories describe.

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8 hours ago, King Ned Stark said:

Read above, no one has a viable explanation to our existence, IMHO.  I’ll take faith in something bigger than myself, and the Word of Jesus; as that is the best teaching I’ve seen so far on this earth.

I missed this one.

Sure, there is no definite explanation for existence of life on Earth, but science doesn't claim it's found one. Scientist all over the world are trying to find bits and pieces that are slowly beginning to show the big picture, and one day it will be explained.

On the other hand, religions are filled with "explanations" that are very questionable even when taken as metaphors, let alone when taken literally as is too often the case.

I mean, I don't see many scientists protesting the idea that Earth is 6-7000 years old, though they are finding evidence that such an idea is nonsense. On the other hand, quite a few people get insulted when someone presents them evidence that humans and dinosaurs didn't live at the same era and that Flintstones aren't a documentary.

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Posted (edited)

Hm, bit of a topic drift here.  a discussion on the Wisconsin Plan to Eliminate Liberal Arts at the University of Wisconsin has morphing  into a discussion on God and religion.:D

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, GAROVORKIN said:

Hm, bit of a topi drift here.  a discussion on the Wisconsin Plan to Eliminate Liberal Arts at the University of Wisconsin has morphing  into a discussion on God and religion.:D

My apologies. As someone who works primarily in the Humanities and Liberal Arts, I obviously am not thrilled about the increasing social marginalization of these studies. Academia, colleges, universities, trade schools, etc. do need a major overhaul and rethinking of approaches, but attempting to strip universities of liberal arts degrees is not the answer. Its purpose does not seem intended to address any actual problem apart from a perceived attack on "liberal" studies. Mind you, liberal arts were originally devised and pushed hard in the '50s and '60s in America by conservatives for the purposes of supporting American values and combating Communism.

Edited by Matrim Fox Cauthon
missing an important negative

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, baxus said:

I missed this one.

Sure, there is no definite explanation for existence of life on Earth, but science doesn't claim it's found one. Scientist all over the world are trying to find bits and pieces that are slowly beginning to show the big picture, and one day it will be explained.

On the other hand, religions are filled with "explanations" that are very questionable even when taken as metaphors, let alone when taken literally as is too often the case.

I mean, I don't see many scientists protesting the idea that Earth is 6-7000 years old, though they are finding evidence that such an idea is nonsense. On the other hand, quite a few people get insulted when someone presents them evidence that humans and dinosaurs didn't live at the same era and that Flintstones aren't a documentary.

4.5 billion years . 

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Matrim Fox Cauthon said:

My apologies. As someone who works primarily in the Humanities and Liberal Arts, I obviously am not thrilled about the increasing social marginalization of these studies. Academia, colleges, universities, trade schools, etc. do need a major overhaul and rethinking of approaches, but attempting to strip universities of liberal arts degrees is the answer. Its purpose does not seem intended to address any actual problem apart from a perceived attack on "liberal" studies. Mind you, liberal arts were originally devised and pushed hard in the '50s and '60s in America by conservatives for the purposes of supporting American values and combating Communism.

How much if this move minimize Liberal arts is driven by PC Correctness ? 

Edited by GAROVORKIN

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2 hours ago, GAROVORKIN said:

4.5 billion years . 

Read my post once again, but try to understand it a bit better this time around. ;) 

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I have a weird question that is somewhat tangential to this discussion.  Do you (you being those of us participating in this discussion) believe it is possible for all things to be known, that knowledge is finite?  Or, will knowledge forever create new knowledge from the questions new findings and scholarship prompt, is knowledge infinite?

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I'd say it's infinite. If it's not, then it's close enough from where we stand.

If you look at it, we're nowhere near eradicating disease, nowhere near colonizing new planets, nowhere near mapping our skies...

Just discovering all the stars and planets is, by our definition of universe (endless, forever expanding), infinite task.

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