This whole reply was one big "Nuh uh". Moreover, you said Brandon was the only one who debated you on this, but you seem to be forgetting you and I went round and round until I saw we were getting nowhere, and suspected you were being willfully contrarian rather than honestly debating in good faith. For crying out loud, you totally discounted anything outside of rational explanation, yet elsewhere we’ve talked about art, music and philosophy. You totally argued against the notion of faith, and insisted it was purely a religious concept with no value. You argued an absolute, mechanistic view of the world and even tried to insist that the universe is one big lump of matter and energy and ignored anything I said to the contrary. Dude, I’m a physicist and I suggest you read A Brief History of Time. The order of events, time, space, and some other things are kind of important, so it’s not as simple as "matter and energy".
I’m not entirely convinced that it is failing. That’s your pessimism talking.
Actually, I’m a rather optimistic and idealistic fellow, but there are some warning lights going off that we need to get our ass in gear in this country. The world is changing, and we need to change with it or we are going to be run over. Much of that change is good, but we need to prepare for it. On the other hand, I see a lot of areas where we are failing to change, and worse, abandoning some things that were good that we need to preserve to move ahead. You and I should be in agreement with much of this, but you often seem to shift your opinion to be argumentative or something, because one of the things I’ve been arguing is the need to improve our education system, among other things. Meanwhile, I see a lot of lack of sense of urgency in this country about getting this stuff fixed and the attitude that nothing really matters. By all means, let’s fiddle while Rome burns so you can enjoy the music.
To reiterate, you need to read Rising Above the Gathering Storm by the National Science Foundation, The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, and some other indicators that we collectively need to get our heads out of our butts. If you want to deny there is a problem, fine, but meanwhile take a look at the world around you—they are ramping up, and that’s a good thing. It starts to get really bad when we sit around while the rest of the world produces all the scientists and engineers.
But if it is, adapt. Face the modern world. Stop trying to drag us back into the last dark ages. Recognize that religious "truths" are at best metaphorical and let’s get on with finding real solutions to real problems.
Holy crap you are frustrating. You continually try to portray me as some luddite and I don’t think you read what I write here at all. No matter what I say, you keep coming back to the same thing, and I think you have a fixation. You should be completely agreeing with me about science education, and I talk about Socrates or Confucious, and you keep coming back to try to make me into a 15th century monk. I propose real solutions and don’t even mention religion, yet that seems to be all you can talk about.
The world always changes. It’s our job to learn to adapt to the changes. If we can’t, our society will fail. It’s not about building walls to prevent change, it’s about facing change and adapting.
That’s what I’ve been saying all along!!!! It’s the desire to learn and the willingness to put forth an effort that’s failing. The vitality in civilization, the belief that something matters and is worth working to build and strive to improve ourselves. That’s where civilizations start to decline—when they decend into self-gratifying decadence and failure to strive to improve and grow in productive ways. I’ve mentioned Friedman about 96 times now, and if you were paying attention, I’d said about 94 out of those 96 times that building walls is counterproductive and futile—in fact, it too is arguably a reason why great societies have failed—by turning inward and delving into self indulgence rather than learning and innovation.
Those "dark ages" you mention are what you get when people turn toward religion, not away from it.
Not necessarily. By the way, the pilgrims in New England had the best education system in the world at the time, and the highest literacy rate precisely BECAUSE of religion.
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