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Technical Difficulties With Automated Blog Posts

[20100131] The blog is still refusing mail from gmail. I've stopped the forwarders. When the mail server stops trying to deliver mail (probably by the 5th). I'll try another strategy.
I'm trying to find the equilibrium between Google News Alerts, Gmail and Blogger to permit automated posting of Google News Alerts to the blog so I can have them for reference and work on other things. My goal is not to focus on one news topic, but to have the varied topics in the news feeds automatically posted in the blog daily or weekly because I can capture more unique data that way.

Suicide Bomb News Feed

The Jihad News Feed

Witch News Feed

Ritual Abuse and Killing News Feed

Faith Heal News Feed

Female Genital Mutilation News

Exorcism News Feed

Child Bride or Marriage News Feed

Church Abuse News Feed

Animal Sacrifice News Feed

Religious Exemption News Feed

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Devil Is In The Details

This is a kind of commentary and overview of my observations after participating here for a year.

Reasoning is a discipline. There are several heuristics you can use for reasoning that speed up the process, but the process depends on the quality of detail and evidence you introduce into the process. I solve problems for a living. My bread and butter depends on how well I provide solutions to other peoples problems. I became an atheist after I started using the tools that contribute to my success to my personal philosophy. My religion.

Stephen Toulmin, Richard D. Rieke and G. Thomas Goodnight all talk about spheres of influence or reasoning. The concept goes that there are schemes of reasoning that are more successful depending on the field they are applied in. For example you don't use the same reasoning schemes in critiquing art that you use to convict criminals or determine a drug is safe for use. However, there have been plenty of artists and writers that have discovered and investigated, in their own way, concepts that have been incorporated into science. The most notable ones are that Natural Philosophy has a relationship to Science, the exploration in literature of Human Behavior and Psychology has a relationship to modern day Cognitive Sciences. Artists discovered the Golden Ratio as a perspective that just "looked good" and it was later described in mathematical terms and has a relationship to Architecture.

Religion is and always has been a philosophy about life. A way of thinking about life. This is what it has in common with art, music, law, medicine and science. Dealing with the questions of life. Since all these disciplines share this commonality, and since we know there is overlap, the principle of science can be used to investigate religion.

Christianity depends on the Bible. What is the bible? It is scripture. Where did this scripture come from? That is the question. It says it came from God. But applying the principles of Science, Law and Medicine to this question necessitates another form of validation, or another form of ID. Something to verify that it is what it says it is.

This is where looking at the details comes in. Looking at where these scriptures came from. Tracing the source. Doing this will take you from textual criticism, to sociology, to psychology, to biology, to paleontology, to archeology, to philosophy and not in that order.

Most of the arguments that Christian use here are some kind misrepresentation or misunderstanding of the world. They are referred to commonly as "straw man" arguments. Their philosophy is outdated, needs an upgrade, it doesn't represent an accurate picture of the world. They need new information. Decision making depends on new information. People should change their minds according to assessment of new information. It shouldn't be discouraged or looked at as being indecisive or wishy-washy, it should be demanded! It should be a virtue!

Solving peoples problems requires looking at the details and following the evidence. It requires suspending the tendency to follow authority, tradition and personal bias and instead use logic and inference. We should depend less on authority, consensus and tradition and more on principle, inference and strong criteria for evidence.

In my mind, to Debunk Christianity, or Break the Spell, requires people to follow George Santanaya's advice and don't forget the lessons of the past. Learn about the past, learn about where we came from, find out where those Virtues first appeared, find out where that "let your light shine" came from, find out which god was the first to die and go to hell and come back and have a son, how most of the kings in antiquity were sons of gods or gods incarnate or somehow related to gods.

People need to take the principles they use in the practical application of living their lives and apply it to their religion. When this is done, it brings to light how silly eternal punishment is compared to rehabilitation or just scrapping everything and starting over. How silly it is punish other people for the 'sins' of another group. How silly a human sacrifice is, or just a sacrifice to appease a god is. How silly it is to depend on premises that have no precedent and then create a philosophy of life around it. Just try to plan and execute a project using premises without precedent, and see how successful you are.

Here are some hints to Debunk Christianity. Apply your practical principles to your religion. And do your homework. Find your heritage.

Look up syncretism, sumeria, mesopotamia, ancient egypt, indus valley, harrapas, the axial age, greece, minoans, phoenicians, canaanites, hittites, fertile crescent, hellenism, Byzantium, trade between the indus valley, sumeria and mesopotamia, and follow the water, and pay attention to ancient peoples whos culture and religion idealize life as a journey. Key word "Journey" as in spiritual and economic and trade. Learn about World History between 40,000 bce and 500 ce. Learn about what was important to those people. Learn about their religions.

You will find, the Devil is in the Details, but so is your solution.
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