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Sand
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31 Aug 2009, 12:55 pm

This item indicates that science and religion can work together.

The Shinto temple Kanda Shrine, near Tokyo's version of Silicon Valley, does a brisk business blessing electronic gadgets, according to a July dispatch in Wired magazine. Lucky charms go for the equivalent of about $8.50, but for a personal session, the temple expects an offering of the equivalent of at least $50. The Wired writer, carrying a potentially balky cell phone, approached the shrine with a tree branch as instructed, turned it 180 degrees clockwise, and laid it on the altar. After bowing twice and clapping his hands twice, he left, looking forward to a glitch-free phone. [Wired, July 2009]



Henriksson
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31 Aug 2009, 1:02 pm

Looks more like a parasite than a symbiotic relationship.


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ruveyn
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01 Sep 2009, 7:21 pm

Nowadays religion has nothing whatsoever to offer to the physical sciences.

This is particularly true for religions which take their holy books literally.

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Apple_in_my_Eye
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01 Sep 2009, 8:19 pm

Those Shinto priests seem to have a very pragmatic view of things. And seem to have avoided whole the science vs religion idiocy/fallacy.

I've heard nuclear power plants at some point have construction halted, so a priest can come in and bless the site. And the same for new homes being built, a priest delivers blessing, i.e. "may the family that lives here have good health and good fortune" and so forth.

Seems like a good and traditional use of religion -- to help buffer people from fears about things they can't do anything about.


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Sand
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01 Sep 2009, 9:56 pm

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Those Shinto priests seem to have a very pragmatic view of things. And seem to have avoided whole the science vs religion idiocy/fallacy.

I've heard nuclear power plants at some point have construction halted, so a priest can come in and bless the site. And the same for new homes being built, a priest delivers blessing, i.e. "may the family that lives here have good health and good fortune" and so forth.

Seems like a good and traditional use of religion -- to help buffer people from fears about things they can't do anything about.


There's nothing wrong with being scared when you should be scared.



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01 Sep 2009, 10:45 pm

Sand wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being scared when you should be scared.

There is if it's paralyzing or happening continuously over things one has no control over.


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Sand
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01 Sep 2009, 11:02 pm

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Sand wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being scared when you should be scared.

There is if it's paralyzing or happening continuously over things one has no control over.


Paralysis is, of course, debilitating, but to remove the concept of danger where real danger exists is a very dangerous procedure and extremely stupid. If there is no remedy the sensible thing is to learn to accept and live with the reality and assiduously pursue possible methods of fighting the threat, not invent fantasies with no basis in fact to ignore real threats.



Apple_in_my_Eye
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01 Sep 2009, 11:36 pm

Sand wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Sand wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being scared when you should be scared.

There is if it's paralyzing or happening continuously over things one has no control over.


Paralysis is, of course, debilitating, but to remove the concept of danger where real danger exists is a very dangerous procedure and extremely stupid. If there is no remedy the sensible thing is to learn to accept and live with the reality and assiduously pursue possible methods of fighting the threat, not invent fantasies with no basis in fact to ignore real threats.


The bold part is what you're referring to as "fantasy." Call it what you like, but there's a difference between taking sensible precautions for the things that you can & just "crossing your fingers" for the rest, and saying "everything will be fine, always." Getting out of bed in the morning requires a some faith that not every negative, logical possibility is going to rain down on one's head on that day.

Stanley Kubrick had an aborted takeoff once, because he forgot to turn off both his magnetos. He never flew again because he couldn't accept that he (or any other pilot), even with full concentration, could make a mistake that could kill him. I suspect all pilots know that's possible, but they just do their best and hope it all works out. And maybe some of them pray or have their airplanes blessed to feel better about that fact.


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Sand
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02 Sep 2009, 12:02 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Sand wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Sand wrote:
There's nothing wrong with being scared when you should be scared.

There is if it's paralyzing or happening continuously over things one has no control over.


Paralysis is, of course, debilitating, but to remove the concept of danger where real danger exists is a very dangerous procedure and extremely stupid. If there is no remedy the sensible thing is to learn to accept and live with the reality and assiduously pursue possible methods of fighting the threat, not invent fantasies with no basis in fact to ignore real threats.


The bold part is what you're referring to as "fantasy." Call it what you like, but there's a difference between taking sensible precautions for the things that you can & just "crossing your fingers" for the rest, and saying "everything will be fine, always." Getting out of bed in the morning requires a some faith that not every negative, logical possibility is going to rain down on one's head on that day.

Stanley Kubrick had an aborted takeoff once, because he forgot to turn off both his magnetos. He never flew again because he couldn't accept that he (or any other pilot), even with full concentration, could make a mistake that could kill him. I suspect all pilots know that's possible, but they just do their best and hope it all works out. And maybe some of them pray or have their airplanes blessed to feel better about that fact.


Blessing aircraft magnetos is, at least in my my opinion as a pilot, a bit less sensible than conforming to a written check list before taking off. I used to fly a piper cub with a defective engine cylinder but, like all good pilots, I always flew with an eye to an emergency landing over whatever territory I passed. That is the practical ingrained training of a good pilot. I never mumbled prayers over my course of travel and I am sure I was lucky and never had any problems.



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02 Sep 2009, 12:19 am

Sand wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Stanley Kubrick had an aborted takeoff once, because he forgot to turn off both his magnetos. He never flew again because he couldn't accept that he (or any other pilot), even with full concentration, could make a mistake that could kill him. I suspect all pilots know that's possible, but they just do their best and hope it all works out. And maybe some of them pray or have their airplanes blessed to feel better about that fact.


Blessing aircraft magnetos is, at least in my my opinion as a pilot, a bit less sensible than conforming to a written check list before taking off.


He did check his checklist, and was extremely anal about it, and failed anyway. Any pilot can do that.

Quote:
I used to fly a piper cub with a defective engine cylinder but, like all good pilots, I always flew with an eye to an emergency landing over whatever territory I passed. That is the practical ingrained training of a good pilot. I never mumbled prayers over my course of travel and I am sure I was lucky and never had any problems.


So what rationalization did you use to overcome the fact that you can't predict every failure, and that despite your checking as best as possible you still might not have a safe place to land in an emergency? That you could die or kill people despite your best efforts. Isn't it irresponsible to fly knowing that can happen? What's the justification? (those questions are facetious)

You might not have mumbled anything, but you did justify something to yourself.

"Oh lord, please don't let me f*** up." -- Alan Shepard's prayer


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Sand
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02 Sep 2009, 12:29 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Sand wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Stanley Kubrick had an aborted takeoff once, because he forgot to turn off both his magnetos. He never flew again because he couldn't accept that he (or any other pilot), even with full concentration, could make a mistake that could kill him. I suspect all pilots know that's possible, but they just do their best and hope it all works out. And maybe some of them pray or have their airplanes blessed to feel better about that fact.


Blessing aircraft magnetos is, at least in my my opinion as a pilot, a bit less sensible than conforming to a written check list before taking off.


He did check his checklist, and was extremely anal about it, and failed anyway. Any pilot can do that.

Quote:
I used to fly a piper cub with a defective engine cylinder but, like all good pilots, I always flew with an eye to an emergency landing over whatever territory I passed. That is the practical ingrained training of a good pilot. I never mumbled prayers over my course of travel and I am sure I was lucky and never had any problems.


So what rationalization did you use to overcome the fact that you can't predict every failure, and that despite your checking as best as possible you still might not have a safe place to land in an emergency? That you could die or kill people despite your best efforts. Isn't it irresponsible to fly knowing that can happen? What's the justification? (those questions are facetious)

You might not have mumbled anything, but you did justify something to yourself.

"Oh lord, please don't let me f*** up." -- Alan Shepard's prayer


I had the maturity to recognize the dangers of my enterprise and accept them as part of being alive. There are no guarantees in life and manufacturing childish nonsense by a mature individual as some sort of imaginary safeguard is beyond stupid and very likely to engender confidence where is not appropriate. Kubrick at east had the good sense to realize the limits of his acceptance of danger and not surrender to idiotic gullibility.



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02 Sep 2009, 1:24 am

Sand wrote:
I had the maturity to recognize the dangers of my enterprise and accept them as part of being alive. There are no guarantees in life and manufacturing childish nonsense by a mature individual as some sort of imaginary safeguard is beyond stupid and very likely to engender confidence where is not appropriate. Kubrick at east had the good sense to realize the limits of his acceptance of danger and not surrender to idiotic gullibility.

Kubrick was no different than any other pilot except for his inability to accept any degree of risk or uncertainty. Every pilot who flies has that idiotic gullibility, and if they don't it's because they have the dangerous delusion that they are infallible.

A lack of appreciation for the fact that accepting that all actions, and even being alive, involves risk, is exactly the same thing as 'crossed fingers' or (to some people) a prayer or a blessing, is also not so good. You're taking on faith that some things will hopefully just work out, but not admitting that that's what you're doing.

Maybe you're thinking of people pray instead of prepare, rather than pray after they'd prepared as best as possible. Some do fall into the former category, but they're not the same as the latter.


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Sand
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02 Sep 2009, 1:30 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Sand wrote:
I had the maturity to recognize the dangers of my enterprise and accept them as part of being alive. There are no guarantees in life and manufacturing childish nonsense by a mature individual as some sort of imaginary safeguard is beyond stupid and very likely to engender confidence where is not appropriate. Kubrick at east had the good sense to realize the limits of his acceptance of danger and not surrender to idiotic gullibility.

Kubrick was no different than any other pilot except for his inability to accept any degree of risk or uncertainty. Every pilot who flies has that idiotic gullibility, and if they don't it's because they have the dangerous delusion that they are infallible.

A lack of appreciation for the fact that accepting that all actions, and even being alive, involves risk, is exactly the same thing as 'crossed fingers' or (to some people) a prayer or a blessing, is also not so good. You're taking on faith that some things will hopefully just work out, but not admitting that that's what you're doing.

Maybe you're thinking of people pray instead of prepare, rather than pray after they'd prepared as best as possible. Some do fall into the former category, but they're not the same as the latter.


Me taking on faith. Come on! The smell of intellectual garbage is rather overwhelming and exceedingly repulsive. Accepting the possibility if disaster has nothing to do with faith. It involves thinking about how to react to extreme circumstances. Praying is a naive bit of nonsense whether or not you have the good sense to prepare.



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02 Sep 2009, 2:35 am

Sand wrote:
Me taking on faith. Come on! The smell of intellectual garbage is rather overwhelming and exceedingly repulsive. Accepting the possibility if disaster has nothing to do with faith. It involves thinking about how to react to extreme circumstances. Praying is a naive bit of nonsense whether or not you have the good sense to prepare.

Sure but why not. Maybe it's irrational, but lots of people do it anyway, even some of the ones who think they don't.

What about the extreme circumstances where you are just doomed? Those are totally possible. They get swept under the rug? Unconscious (or conscious) denial? Or, "gee I sure hope that doesn't happen..." <-- 'prayer'


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02 Sep 2009, 2:40 am

Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
Sand wrote:
Me taking on faith. Come on! The smell of intellectual garbage is rather overwhelming and exceedingly repulsive. Accepting the possibility if disaster has nothing to do with faith. It involves thinking about how to react to extreme circumstances. Praying is a naive bit of nonsense whether or not you have the good sense to prepare.

Sure but why not. Maybe it's irrational, but lots of people do it anyway, even some of the ones who think they don't.

What about the extreme circumstances where you are just doomed? Those are totally possible. They get swept under the rug? Unconscious (or conscious) denial? Or, "gee I sure hope that doesn't happen..." <-- 'prayer'

There's a bit of a difference between hoping something will or won't happen to believing a transcendant entity maybe will change the outcome of a situation. Hoping that something does or doesn't happen doesn't imply that one's hoping will change the outcome of a situation.

The guys praying to god that they will be all right might as well pray to their aubergines.


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