What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 16, 2008

Wow How Odd That Sounds

During a recent Press Conference:
"My administration will value science," [President -Elect] Obama said, in what sounded like a pointed reference to his predecessor. "We will make decisions based on facts."
So odd to have the Commander-in-Chief that's a member of the Reality-Based community. The guy with his finger on the nukular button actually values science.

I think I have to sit and ponder this a while.


Sherry said...

i am so excited for this administration to begin. i don't expect miracles but the sense of hope for the future is a blessing.

Anonymous said...

The Enlightenment's making a comeback.

John K. said...

John K: Of course Hussein Obama values science. If right comes from man and not God then you liberals can make those rights say anything you want. It is all about power over other people. Something liberals crave.

EdHeath said...

#1 (John K.) which God? Are you discriminating?

#2 Science has nothing to say about rights or power over men. Science does investigate specific religious claims, but doesn't care whether people believe in a god or not. Our government is prohibited from promoting religion by the first amendment to our constitution, so it would be illegal (and insensitive) to say that rights came from the god of a specific faith.

#3 Science is the basis of technology, which is the basis of capital (in the sense of business machines, not in the additional sense of money). Machines that make work more productive made the explosive growth of the period from the renaissance to today possible, making trade and a much more affluent lifestyle available for many people, perhaps one day all people. It’s no surprise that democracy started up around that time as well. If anyone can make money, and the ability to make more money is often enhanced by more knowledge and does not seem to depend on how devout you are, then people will (and did) turn away from religion as the most important thing in their daily lives, and turned toward worldly issues. That included the examination of how to make a society democratic. Science doesn’t care about how much money you have, only whether you are smart or not.

#4 Republicans/conservatives certainly seem to crave power as much or more than liberals/Democrats. Look at how President Bush has taken on the power to ignore Congress through signing statements. Look at how the Republicans used to boast about obtaining a permanent Republican Majority of voters.

John K. said...

John K: Science has lots to say about rights. Which is why our founding fathers, most of them Masons, non of them catholics, established "...that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights..." and from that flows govt. If rights come from science, established by man, then those rights can be altered by man. "In God We Trust" is not an idle phrase. Look at the religion of global warming and what it is trying to do. Look at communists and what they tried to do. If science establishes rights, then I am at the mercy of people like uhhh Sherry. God forbid.

John K. said...

John K: By the way Ed, exactly what religion did I mention?

EdHeath said...

Last point first, I don’t know what religion you had in mind, but since you mentioned God I think it is safe to assume that you had a particular religion in mind. Or are you saying all religions are exactly the same. I am assuming you are not saying there is only one true religion, or are you that willing to insult millions of people by saying they worship a false God.

Science (biology, physics, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, etc) has nothing to say about rights. Philosophy, social sciences and literature all literature all have lots to say about rights, but Obama said science. Which is why your original comment made no sense and was simply an attempt to slam liberals, not to make a legitimate point.

I would make a distinction between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The Declaration was a statement of politics, the reason we felt justified in separating from England. But the Constitution is a document by which we govern and are governed. It was created with the history of European oppression (up to that date) in mind, so it has tolerances built in for different religions. Since a Christian God has not blotted out Philadelphia or New York just because Jews and Muslims (and others) live there, it is evident that we can afford to be tolerant of all religions. Muslim women may wear the burka if they wish, but all American women are not compelled to wear it. That is a religious obligation altered by man, and I think we are the better for it.

At one time, slavery was justified in the South with the thought that if God wanted it ended, he would do so. But when the rest of the United States asked the South to at least stop expanding slavery into new states, we ended up fighting a bloody civil war, with both sides convinced God was on their side. Surely you are not so foolish you are not aware that many rights have been taken away in the name of God, and many people have been killed in the name of God. Science does not conduct genocide.

It is only conservatives who call global warming a religion. It was only communists who called communism a science. If you can present convincing scientific evidence that global warming is either not actually happening, is not caused by man or is not going to be harmful, I, for one would be willing to listen. As long as you consent to do this in a scientific manner, that is, to listen to what other people say about your methodology.

Anonymous said...

Wow, John.

So, our rights come from God and therefore are unalterable by man?

So, exactly how did we amend the Constitution to give the right to vote to women, which is not something the Founder's believed in(so, it must not be one of those rights that comes from God)? And what about all those other times we amended the Constitution? I don't recall God making much of a fuss about it.

That is some of the most tortured logic I have ever encountered. Truly breathtaking for its stupidity.

Are you suggesting that, like Moses ascending the mountain to receive God's List of Big Ten Do's and Don'ts, Jefferson and the other men largely responsible for crafting our founding documents received those words from God?

You do realize that many of them were men of science and all of them were reared and educated during the Enlightment, the so-called Age of Reason? They were quite fond of science; and like most intelligent people, didn't regard it as a threat to their religion.

But government "flows" from God? That is such an undemocratic idea that it's not even worth responding to. It's on the level of using the banana to justify Intelligent Design.

And "In God We Trust" wasn't added until the 1950's - are you contending that Dwight Eisenhower was a Founder?

And what's with the dig against Catholics? Is it because unlike their brethren in the rightwing evangelical churches they've managed to acknowledge things like evolution and the great advancements made by science without sacrificing their beliefs? The Church certainly isn't perfect, but they did have the good sense after 400 years to apologize to Galileo.

Many of the more prominent Founders were actually Deists. Notice that Jefferson says "creator"(not capitalized) and never makes a reference to God or Christianity. If you read David McCullough's excellent book 1776(and he's by no means a godless liberal) you'll learn that Washington never mentioned God - he talked about Providence(which was a Deist concept).

Anonymous said...

To hell with science!

Milk pastuerization is the Devil's Work, I say!

And the combustion engine!

Plus electricity!

All the work of evil, godless scientists!

"And, lo, Thomas Jefferson did ascend the heights of Monticello, where God appeared to him, saying, 'Thomas, I give unto these words: That all my are endowed by their God with certain inalienable rights..."

"I actually I already got that bit from John Locke, you see. I've changed a few of the words - for instance, instead of 'property,' I use 'pursuit of happines.'


"Yes, I'm afraid so."

"Well, that is unfortunate."

"And I choosed a more ambiguous term - 'creator' - I really didn't care for the notion of you as an anthropomorphic being. In fact, I don't agree with it at all. Quite a few of us don't."

"I know George Washington..."

"Well, apparently you don't. Not only does he not attend church, he never refers to you. He only talks of Providence. Seems he's a subscriber to the Clockwork model of the Universe. Besides, John Adams didn't appoint you to right the thing, did he? He asked me. You might also be interested to know that I've been revising the Good Book."


"Yes. I've removed all the miracles, choosing to portray Jesus as a man. Think of it as Jesus the Ethicist."

"That's really not what I had in mind."

"Well, I'm really not asking for your permission. I envision a country were one is free to practice the religion of their choice. I believe in a strict separation of church and state, as if there was a wall between the two. It's all in the statues on religious freedom I wrote for my state of Virginia. I hear John Adams hopes to one day amend the Massachussetts constitution to allow the free practice of Judaism in his state."

"That's not very much fun."

"You're not very much fun. We haven't forgotten that nonsense in Salem all those years ago. In fact, such religous intolerance has informed the opinion of many of us. We seek to undo such things, as students of the Enlightenment. This is the Age of Reason, after all."

"Well, we'll see about that."

"Yes, I suppose we shall. But I must say, you're not faring so well. All over the world people are throwing off the shackles of superstition and tradition. No more decree by divine right for one thing, though the British really did that in with the Magna Carta. I'm afraid your friends in the monarchies of Europe are in for a rough time to come."

"I still have France."

"For a while. Until the Rights of Man is written. I will be quite fond of it. Death to tyrants who rule by God's decree and not that of the governed!"

"Hold on one second."

"No, you hold on. The governed are who count and who set the course of state. It is the people that matter and they are free to determine their own course as a nation. If you don't like that, you should not have given us free will."

"Maybe not."

"Well, it's too late for that, isn't it? And don't expect us to give it up any time soon or without one hell of a fight."

EdHeath said...

My fear, Jaywillie, is that we have backslide since the days of Jefferson. All the people who listen to Quinn and Bannana...er Limbaugh, for example.

John K. said...

John K: Ed Heath, so you had no idea of what religion I had in mind but just assumed. Lefties do this a lot which is why they are always wrong.

John K. said...

John K: We have backslid to the days of Jefferson when all of Washington's officer corps were Masons. Or we back slid to FDR when he asked God to help out during World War Two. Or perhaps Lincoln when he asked God for help, on a daily basis, over the civil war crisis. Backsliding to the towering figures of this country does not sound bad to me.

John K. said...

John K: Sidebar--KQV is running a poll asking people to vote of whether they endorse Cheney's idea of waterboarding. 67% of those who vote on line endorse the idea. You lefties are on the wrong side of this issue. I think it is because you just assume.

EdHeath said...

What did I assume, John K.? That you claim that Barack Obama and "leftie" want ("crave") power over people and are using "science" to get it? Was I wrong?

Am I wrong that many wars have been started in the name of religions? That many people have been killed because of religion (not least in Iraq)?

And by the way, back up that fucking lie that "lefties" assume a lot, and that they are always wrong. Prove it. Show us evidence. Show us evidence. Find every statement ever made by a "leftie", nad prove it is wrong.

What do Free Masons have to do with anything?

And you should take a class in statistics. Then you would know why phone in polls have skewed results.

John K. said...

John K: What do Freemasons have to do with anything? Gee Ed, you really are lame. Freemason thought forms the core of western political thought. The influential founding fathers were all Freemasons. Ed, stop reading the communist manifesto and pay more attention.

John K. said...

John K: But not to fear left wing kooks. One of my purposes in life is to make sure left wing kooks get the education the public school system failed to deliver.

EdHeath said...

So instead of responding to what it was I was assuming, or taking responsibility for your statement that a) Lefties assume a lot and b) that's why they are always wrong, you assert that Masonry is the core of western political thought (a claim so ludicrous and stupid I am surprised even you would make it). I have nothing against Masonry (a tolerant civic organization), but I know Jefferson was a Unitarian (a tolerant religion), so I would be just as justified in saying that Unitarianism forms the basis of American political thought.

See, a real (intelligent, of which there are many) conservative would back up what he says. He would explain or defend his remarks. Like I keep on saying, you are making conservatives look stupid. I mean, the Bush White House and the Republican Congress January 2003- December 2006 did a really good job of making Republicans look stupid and unprincipled, but you are singlehandedly making conservatives look clueless in Pittsburgh. Quinn and Limbaugh (no great intellects themselves) would both be embarrassed by you (you might drive Limbaugh back onto oxycontin).

John K. said...

John K: Ed Heath, go read "The 5,000 Year Leap." Available on Amazon and in DVD form if you have trouble reading big words. All this assuming you do is making you look, well like a liberal.

EdHeath said...

Yeah, OK, I will read the book by the Mormon if you will read "A Problem From Hell" first.

Infinonymous said...

We agree on the need for education, John.

Did you acquire that dictionary yet, or at least put it on your holiday gift list?

Ol' Froth said...

WHile a number of FOunders were Unitarians, I don't think Jefferson was, especially since you pretty much had to be an ANglican to be politically involved in Virgina prior to the adaption of the Statute of Religous Freedoms. He was though, about as close as you could get to an agnostic without actually saying it. And as pointed out before, lots of the founders were non denominational deists.

EdHeath said...

You're right, Froth, I think I have made that mistake before (not sure what got me started thinking Jefferson was a Unitarian). I did see that at least on one occasion Jefferson said he would like to be a Unitarian, but that there were no congregations in Virginia. Apparently Adams and Adam's son were Unitarians, maybe that turned Jefferson away from committing to it.

I'm not sure, but it appears John K has decided not to acknowledge my counter offer.