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lunertic
2007-Oct-14, 06:46 PM
Having read a closed thread on science vs. creationism this may be inappropriate for my first post and will understand if it is pulled.

It seems to me that one point was overlooked in favor of the moral issue between viewpoints. Creationists of all genres won't give up any ground because to do so in their minds would set the stage for giving up on eternal life rather than the question being so much of a moral issue. This is something most human beings cannot accept or conceive of: non-existence.:confused:

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-14, 08:20 PM
non-existenceI don't know what you're talking about :)

Welcome to BAUT!

Neverfly
2007-Oct-15, 12:47 AM
Excellent point. I hadn't thought of that...

But also not so much standard as much as instilled. There are many ways to "live on" after death. Carl Sagan "lives on..."
And welcome to BAUT too.
Don't eat my doughnuts.

Leave my Dr Pepper alone...

And there should be no problems;)

Noclevername
2007-Oct-15, 02:18 AM
Death is death, the end of life. That's why it's called Death.

Van Rijn
2007-Oct-15, 02:44 AM
Quite a few people who profess a belief in an afterlife seem to have no difficulty with having science taught in the classroom, so I doubt this is a necessary conflict in beliefs.

The Backroad Astronomer
2007-Oct-15, 02:52 AM
I think the a lot people do not like the idea that they are not the center of the universe or we are not the reason the universe exists.

astromark
2007-Oct-15, 06:43 AM
I do not suppose to tell what others might think. Until I ask them I do not know. I do know my own thoughts well enough to be an authority on them.:)
I note that others have begun with what others might think. That is a mistake... Well no, it only might be... The finality of death is distasteful but unavoidable for me. I hardly need to say that I have no religious belief. I do not except the existence of the paranormal. To live on after ones death is only made possible by the living remembering my existence after my death. For me this is a true statement of facts. It is as I see it. I would not sagest this is the only truth. I can see little harm in having misplaced beliefs. For some it is very important that they live by and practice their belief structure as handed down to them. It gives them the society structure they are used to. I would fight for those peoples right to do just that. As wrong as I think they are, I do not uphold the view that they are wrong.
This is an astronomy forum and, as such we should be tolerant of other opinions and belief structures. Not at the cost of the facts however.
If we say that this universe is over 13.7 billion years old then that is a truth that no religious fundamentalist has the right to refute. Evidence can and has been presented to support this notion. Fundamentalist extremism is the enemy not ignorance. With education we can fight ignorance. Fundamentalists extremists are not so easy to persuade. Having a mind that is willing to receive new and better information is not the realm of the young alone. Learning not to judge but to reason.

Whirlpool
2007-Oct-15, 09:17 AM
Having read a closed thread on science vs. creationism this may be inappropriate for my first post and will understand if it is pulled.

It seems to me that one point was overlooked in favor of the moral issue between viewpoints. Creationists of all genres won't give up any ground because to do so in their minds would set the stage for giving up on eternal life rather than the question being so much of a moral issue. This is something most human beings cannot accept or conceive of: non-existence.:confused:

I think because it's what they hope for.

I also observed and this is not only to creationists but it's commonly the interest of the many is -- about life:

And these are the questions commonly asked :

how to prolong life?
how to stay young ?
how to preserve youth ?
how to have eternal life?
how to stay strong ?

Well , it all asks the same thing only have different versions and that is
'How to stay alive?"

:think:

antoniseb
2007-Oct-15, 12:34 PM
Creationists of all genres won't give up any ground because to do so in their minds would set the stage for giving up on eternal life rather than the question being so much of a moral issue.

The reason that a topic like this is problematic is that you have made a statement that dismisses faith as a selfish activity, when many religious people see themselves as less selfish than average. Your statement also reduces a very complex set of feelings and thoughts that these people have to a simple issue. While worded relatively gently, it still could potentially be the start of a pointless heated debate.

I will close the thread if it turns into that.

Romanus
2007-Oct-15, 12:53 PM
Though few will admit it, I don't think the real issue is immortality. I think it's something that comes to the surface when some people see a chimp, either at the zoo or on TV, doing something "gross" or "unhuman", creating a revulsion at the thought that beings as noble as we are can't possibly be related to uncouth creatures. If only chance and evolution is separating you from swinging naked through trees, our dominance of the planet--indeed, our very culture--looks absurd at best.

Michael Noonan
2007-Oct-15, 02:19 PM
Mostly we just don't know. That is something that is not acceptable to people who believe we should know. For one belief is stability and allows people to be noble.

For me I try to keep an open mind. There are all sorts of things people want explanations for such as the ghost in the castle that frightened Princess Mary. So we try to control our existence by belief and discover it through experiment. Sometimes these two ideas clash and people argue.

If you put all your trust in people then someday (and it usually doesn't take long) then you are going to get hurt. Having said that sometimes people with even the best of intentions cause pain. Life is about a certain measure of stability and growth through exploration.

Since we are all different then it takes all those different means to ensure people find that niche where they feel most safe or adventurous. That is it. Each system exists and must exist due to an expressed need. To argue is pointless and a waste of time but we still argue.

Have you ever listened to two people prepared to listen to each other with two very different views. If they listen they may understand why the other person thinks that way. At best if they listen they might learn that the other person does not think the way they do.

Gillianren
2007-Oct-15, 05:23 PM
After all, kids, the Pope--who most assuredly believes in an afterlife!--also accepts the evidence for evolution. (At least, we're pretty sure this one does; the last one certainly did.) I'm not yet sure what I believe about an afterlife, but I sometimes believe in one, and I certainly accept the evidence for evolution. A lot of theists do. It's just a handful of loud ones and a larger number of ones who just don't know any better who don't.

korjik
2007-Oct-15, 05:39 PM
I think there are two sources of creationism.

First is a response to percieved attacks on the basis of faith from science. The attacks dont have to be real, tho I think some are, but the perception that has grown that science is trying to disprove faith has caused a response.

The second source is a desire to belive that the bible is the literal truth. This causes a response to try to give genisis a more scientific explanation in a desire to compete with the 'obviously' wrong evolution theory.

Fortunate
2007-Oct-15, 06:27 PM
The reason that a topic like this is problematic is that you have made a statement that dismisses faith as a selfish activity, when many religious people see themselves as less selfish than average. Your statement also reduces a very complex set of feelings and thoughts that these people have to a simple issue. While worded relatively gently, it still could potentially be the start of a pointless heated debate.

I will close the thread if it turns into that.

I don't have much time now, but I wanted to post something here. Religion impacts people's feelings, so purely logical arguments and analyses may miss the crux of the issues. A jumble of powerful feelings including love, hate, fear, and a longing for security come into play and, in fact, are central.

Second, every person is different from every other person. Every person who would answer "yes" if asked "do you believe in creationism?" has a different makeup from anyone else who would answer "yes" to the same question. Stereotyping them is just as misleading as stereotyping Serbs, Croats, or Americans.

RalofTyr
2007-Oct-15, 07:42 PM
Believers in Science/Evolution*: Fact based and most see it to believe it. The build from known facts that follow logic.

Believers in Creationism: Faith-based, feelings oriented. They belive in creationism because that's what their gut tells them.


*Not making it seem that evolution is a belief system like religion intentionally

Fortunate
2007-Oct-15, 09:46 PM
Wikipedia gives at least two different definitions of the term "creationism." If the term means simply the belief that the universe was created by a conscious entity, then I do not see any incompatibility between that belief and science. The fact that we can understanding how an automobile works, for instance, does not preclude the possibility that someone created it.

The second meaning of "creationism" is the belief that God created man "as is," rather than through evolution.

phaishazamkhan
2007-Oct-15, 11:18 PM
Hopefully this question will get the thread locked down or someone will sneak in an answer.
How come Jewish rabbis understand that Genesis and the creation myth are just a way of showing the power of their god rather than a literal interpretation of how the universe might have come into being? Why are fundamental dispensationalist evangelicals (et al) so literal when it comes to their book?

hhEb09'1
2007-Oct-16, 12:56 AM
Why are fundamental dispensationalist evangelicals (et al) so literal when it comes to their book?The fundament in fundamentalist?

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-16, 01:00 AM
Excellent point. I hadn't thought of that...
But also not so much standard as much as instilled. There are many ways to "live on" after death. Carl Sagan "lives on..."
And welcome to BAUT too.
Don't eat my doughnuts.
Leave my Dr Pepper alone...
And there should be no problems
Yes, welcome to BAUT!

Don't touch my sushi.

Don't insult Robert Ballard

And I will also be your friend.
Of course he lives on- he is one with The Force. ;-)

transreality
2007-Oct-16, 01:02 AM
Hopefully this question will get the thread locked down or someone will sneak in an answer.
How come Jewish rabbis understand that Genesis and the creation myth are just a way of showing the power of their god rather than a literal interpretation of how the universe might have come into being? Why are fundamental dispensationalist evangelicals (et al) so literal when it comes to their book?

Not just on this issue, not just religous issues, but in the west there is a very black/white, right/wrong way of looking at things, it actually underpins science, but doesn't transfer well to moral affairs, is the truth of it.

imo.

George
2007-Oct-16, 01:04 AM
I think there are two sources of creationism.

First is a response to percieved attacks on the basis of faith from science. The attacks dont have to be real, tho I think some are, but the perception that has grown that science is trying to disprove faith has caused a response. Yes, though I would say it may not be so much that creationists see science as trying to disprove faith, rather it is more likened to a view by creationists that the growth of science is casting a longer shadow upon a foundational literal interpretation of a few chapters in Genesis. YEC is active in trying to get light to shine on the shadows. They know that faith can trump theory, but they also know plausibility to any belief is critical, since blind faith is very limited. But you are correct, it is a response in dealing with what modern science is saying.


The second source is a desire to belive that the bible is the literal truth. This causes a response to try to give genisis a more scientific explanation in a desire to compete with the 'obviously' wrong evolution theory. Yep. It would be wonderful if their literal interpretation walked harmoniously with mainstream science. It doesnít. The first big stumble came from within their lower ranks: Galileo. The literal interpretation of Geocentricity failed. A new interpretation emerged that proved perfectly fine and the subsequent swallowing of some humble pie for mankind was overdue. This exemplifies the crux of the problem; a new interpretation is overdue that allows scientific illumination upon those passages. Not surprisingly, it isnít happening, partly because we all tend to believe what we want to believe. Time, however, will allow only the plausible to remain.


How come Jewish rabbis understand that Genesis and the creation myth are just a way of showing the power of their god rather than a literal interpretation of how the universe might have come into being? They join a large body of Christians and other faiths that do not see science in conflict with creation accounts. But it is a good point.


Why are fundamental dispensationalist evangelicals (et al) so literal when it comes to their book? Because reading it appears more literal than metaphorical. Also, these leaders become less powerful if they suddenly find themselves in a turbulent nebula of contradictory views. Both leaders and followers want clear and logical answers to life. Who doesnít? Science has benefited enormously from objective constraints to get answers, but this limitation prevents much that can be imposed on religion. A new literal interpretation might actually be correct and science, though limited, will have some influence upon it if the interpretation is to be seen as plausible.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-16, 01:13 AM
Because reading it appears more literal than metaphorical. Also, these leaders become less powerful if they suddenly find themselves in a turbulent nebula of contradictory views. Both leaders and followers want clear and logical answers to life. Who doesnít? Science has benefited enormously from objective constraints to get answers, but this limitation prevents much that can be imposed on religion. A new literal interpretation might actually be correct and science, though limited, will have some influence upon it if the interpretation is to be seen as plausible.
And they give us progressives, who do accept science, a bad name. :-(

Neverfly
2007-Oct-16, 01:53 AM
Not just on this issue, not just religous issues, but in the west there is a very black/white, right/wrong way of looking at things, it actually underpins science, but doesn't transfer well to moral affairs, is the truth of it.

imo.

I would question what you mean by "the west."

If anything, Western Europe and The United States seem entirely too open minded to me. Very liberal, social and the exact opposite of what you just described:neutral:

Robert Tulip
2007-Oct-16, 03:07 AM
The reason that a topic like this is problematic is that you have made a statement that dismisses faith as a selfish activity, when many religious people see themselves as less selfish than average.
"Eternal life" is one of those religious terms which are misunderstood. Defined as "immortality", taking eternal life as the object of faith is indeed selfish and wrong. However, eternal life can also be understood fruitfully and coherently as participation in timeless reality. My take on this sees eternity in terms of Plato's three subjects at the academy - logic, physics and ethics. For logic, eternity is found in mathematical relations such as pi, for physics, eternity is found in everlasting laws such as those of motion and thermodynamics, while for ethics, eternity is found in timeless values such as goodness, beauty and love. On this interpretation, the statement in John 3:16 that believers would have eternal life did not mean their souls would exist for ever but that their lives would demonstrate the timeless values of ethics. This is an example of how a spiritual teaching can be interpreted in accordance with modern empiricism, rather than as a magical inversion of science. The task in renewing theology in accord with science is to interpret heaven along the lines of the phrase of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer 'the beyond in the midst of the world', rather than as the traditional myth of an afterlife. E-ternity literally means 'outside time' not 'lasting forever'. It is a property of relations, laws and values, not of objects.

EvilEye
2007-Oct-16, 03:26 AM
We all live on after death.....just as we were here before life as we understand it.

There is no more or less energy in the universe than there was at the beginning.

It just changes form. You existed before yourself, and will after.

But your consciousness is a pattern that ends, and chances are when you die, so it does.

I am part star, but I don't glow.

You are part supernovae, but you aren't glowing brighter than me right now.

Neverfly
2007-Oct-16, 04:09 AM
Originally Posted by antoniseb
The reason that a topic like this is problematic is that you have made a statement that dismisses faith as a selfish activity, when many religious people see themselves as less selfish than average.
(snip) This is an example of how a spiritual teaching can be interpreted in accordance with modern empiricism, rather than as a magical inversion of science. (snip)

Robert Tulip, I think you gave a good example of interpretation at work.
In given the unknowns of one thing or another, we are left guessing.

So I agree in principle.:D Lined as an example... To all readers:
Let's prove Antoniseb wrong in how civil and well we can discuss this.;)

EvilEye
2007-Oct-16, 04:10 AM
Sometimes I wonder if what they knew back then was misinterpreted.

Let me fix it...

From Stardust we were made, and to stardust we shall return.

transreality
2007-Oct-16, 10:21 AM
I would question what you mean by "the west."

If anything, Western Europe and The United States seem entirely too open minded to me. Very liberal, social and the exact opposite of what you just described:neutral:


I'm not referring in this sense to fundamentalism vs. liberality etc. But rather to a western (I think) concept of the importance to the individual of being seen to be correct (think of the wall pink floyd was complaining about being a brick in). I am sure this underpins the heat in many of the debates on this very forum, as it is important to the integrity of science and 'professionalism'. So each individual is free to champion his point of view on the assumption it seems the correct one...

This by necessity precludes the correctness of different views, a position which is actually rather unnecessary when it comes to many moral issues.

davedrum
2007-Oct-16, 12:30 PM
There can only be one resolution to the eternal quest which conciousness itself raises within the mind of humans and that is to accept how mysterious and confounding it is that our biological minds,subject to all natural parameters found therein,will t death, cease to exist and what naturally emenated from the mind/brain will cease to question the nature of its own conciousness. The problems/questions arising in life and purely existential and should be celebrated on purely their own terms! yet i wish it were still possible to remain always chilled and cool about such a statement!:)

John Mendenhall
2007-Oct-16, 01:11 PM
There can only be one resolution to the eternal quest which conciousness itself raises within the mind of humans and that is to accept how mysterious and confounding it is that our biological minds,subject to all natural parameters found therein,will t death, cease to exist and what naturally emenated from the mind/brain will cease to question the nature of its own conciousness. The problems/questions arising in life and purely existential and should be celebrated on purely their own terms! yet i wish it were still possible to remain always chilled and cool about such a statement!:)

Keep in mind that the hidden agenda in current biological research, and especially genetic research, is immortality.

We probably won't make it. Our children might.

Sleep well.

Jerry
2007-Oct-16, 04:33 PM
Keep in mind that the hidden agenda in current biological research, and especially genetic research, is immortality.

We probably won't make it. Our children might.

Sleep well.
I would settle for a cure for memory loss. I had another point to make, but I forgot it.

astromark
2007-Oct-16, 06:12 PM
Yes, Jerry. I would tithe for memory retention...

Even our old friends "Star Trek" used the Q as an example of a very lonely eternity. The poor chap was board with his lot... Its an interesting quest. Unobtainable I would think.

Every culture has its own slant on this subject. Not being selfish and having the tolerance of understanding is the ticket forward. Interesting to me was that comment regarding being right. I try to be, but fail often. I am the better for that.:)
As long as the attempt is made to understand that divergent view without ridicule we win.

John Mendenhall
2007-Oct-16, 07:39 PM
I would settle for a cure for memory loss. I had another point to make, but I forgot it.

I forget what this was about.

sunspot
2007-Oct-17, 12:04 AM
My first post... of many I hope. Lots of interesting ideas are well presented here without flames for the most part.

I too forgot the point, so I re-read the top post.
The question: Is it all about eternal life vs. non-existence for a creationist? That was an Apples/Oranges question:
Apples - creationists care about how we got here.
Oranges - eternal life is about where we are going.

You can believe in God and evolution.
You can believe in eternal life and evolution.
But... I don't think you can believe in evolution and be a biblical literalist. (Unless you say that God made the world "look like" it evolved. Far fetched? Is it any less believable than "God created a singularity!" It's all just a difference of time, similar to a museum diorama coming to life - no jokes about Ben Stiller as God please!)

I can only make sense of the question if it meant "American biblical literalist" (as in the case of the midwest "Creation vs. Evolution" trials) instead of "creationist". PLEASE don't also confuse the question by adding "fundamentalist" here. There are many types of religious fundamentalists, and not all believe in the christian bible.

So my understanding of the question leads to the answer:
NO! American biblical literalists are not all about eternal life. They would seem to be more about insisting that their children not be taught in school that what they learned in church is wrong.

Remember, those who manipulate this feeling into a political wedge against science are just POLITICIANS! They smell an issue, and being morally bankrupt, create polarization. If other politicians find that they can manipulate scientists by similar wedges (threat of funding cuts, anti-religious feelings, references to Galileo's trial 400 freaking years ago!, etc.) then the politicains win. Religion doesn't win, Science doesn't win. Politicians win. Election year is coming. Don't be manipulated by those who profit by confusing creationism, fundamentalism, religion, and literalism.

Hope this adds something new to the thread.

Neverfly
2007-Oct-17, 12:12 AM
I think you make an interesting point.
However, this is not a blanket description, but a description of those who stand to profit by enforcing their beliefs, regardless as to whether they truly believe them or not.

But to a common religious or spiritual person off the street, they usually believe. They may even be a bit misled.

Education for the public is very important so that people can understand these issues better. When they do, those who stand to profit will have an ever decreasing fan-base to provide them with money and power.

I agree with the OP that yes, there are those people that do fear eternal death,even those who feel it is better to be safe than sorry.


The literalists ofentimes fall in the same catagory as a moon-hoax believer.


Meanwhile, welcome to BAUT:)

Please be sure to browse the rules of the forum and looking forward to more posts.

Unless they are bad posts. :neutral:

If they are bad posts I'm not looking forward to them in quite the same way as I would if they are good posts.:p;)

George
2007-Oct-17, 01:49 PM
My first post... of many I hope. Welcome aboard


But... I don't think you can believe in evolution and be a biblical literalist. Actually, a literal view can be held that is seen as compatible with evolution. [For example, a "day" could simply mean the day the observer witnessed the events; six different days for six different landmark moments during the billions of years of evolution would still be a literal interpretation.]


So my understanding of the question leads to the answer:
NO! American biblical literalists are not all about eternal life. They would seem to be more about insisting that their children not be taught in school that what they learned in church is wrong. Yep.


Remember, those who manipulate this feeling into a political wedge against science are just POLITICIANS! For the most part, I think not. A religious leader is something quite different and that is the strength to creationism, though some are politicians, of course. [On second thought, you are probably right when it comes to the political wedge to which you refer.]


They smell an issue, and being morally bankrupt, create polarization. They are not morally bankrupt, at least not the ones I know. They have elected to hold fast to their faith which is based on a single simplistic interpretation. The YEC people I know are quite generous and congenial, though these are not ones on pedestals pushing an agenda.


However, this is not a blanket description, but a description of those who stand to profit by enforcing their beliefs, regardless as to whether they truly believe them or not. Yes if we recognize that "profit" can mean things other than pecuniary gain.


But to a common religious or spiritual person off the street, they usually believe. They may even be a bit misled. Yes, it is an issue of subjective faith that is not easy to change.


Education for the public is very important so that people can understand these issues better. When they do, those who stand to profit will have an ever decreasing fan-base to provide them with money and power. Yes, which is why they represent a minority in the Christian faith. The education system is something the Church has supported for centuries and most [Christians] respect the value found in science.

Noclevername
2007-Oct-18, 02:04 AM
Keep in mind that the hidden agenda in current biological research, and especially genetic research, is immortality.

We probably won't make it. Our children might.

Sleep well.

Not exactly a "hidden" agenda, some researchers are quite open about wanting to do away with the aging process. Death would then become a possibility rather than an inevitability.

Kaptain K
2007-Oct-18, 05:54 AM
Immortality is worse than useless if you spend all but the first 70 years or so as a mental vegetable!

SMEaton
2007-Oct-18, 05:56 AM
Not exactly a "hidden" agenda, some researchers are quite open about wanting to do away with the aging process. Death would then become a possibility rather than an inevitability.Well, heaven and hell both suffer without death.
Who, then, will wait tables?
I'm wondering if John Mendenhall wasn't being satiric. He should really use smilies... how else are we to know?
Anyway, I don't see how the study of genetics and the eradication of disease is synonymous with a 'hidden agenda' for immortality. How do you have a hidden agenda for not-dying? If research points towards a fix for cell oxidation, how should we respond?
Scientists typically deal with data. Vague, revisable concepts like "immortality" are stuff for philosophers.
I like Stephen Jay Gould's concept of 'NOMA' - non-overlapping-magisterium - and how both science and religion can liberally operate in this world. So optimistic.

Noclevername
2007-Oct-18, 05:57 AM
Immortality is worse than useless if you spend all but the first 70 years or so as a mental vegetable!

Well, since that's a result of the aging process, it seems that it's part of the same group of problems that need to be overcome to extend life indefinitely.

Warren Platts
2007-Oct-18, 01:48 PM
Not exactly a "hidden" agenda, some researchers are quite open about wanting to do away with the aging process. Death would then become a possibility rather than an inevitability.
I read somewhere that actuarials have figured out that even if all natural causes of death were eliminated, a person's life expectancy at birth would only be about 600 years because traumatic injuries from various accidents, homicide, and suicide would still take their toll. Six hundred years is a long time, but it's also a long ways from immortality.

Jerry
2007-Oct-18, 01:52 PM
Remember, those who manipulate this feeling into a political wedge against science are just POLITICIANS! They smell an issue, and being morally bankrupt, create polarization. If other politicians find that they can manipulate scientists by similar wedges (threat of funding cuts, anti-religious feelings, references to Galileo's trial 400 freaking years ago!, etc.) then the politicains win. Religion doesn't win, Science doesn't win. Politicians win. Election year is coming. Don't be manipulated by those who profit by confusing creationism, fundamentalism, religion, and literalism.

Interesting prospective. Politicians are not inherently evil, and many of them try to avoid polarizing issues because they afford little room for compromise.

The first rule of politics is not to side for or against dogs because the general population is evenly split between dog lovers and dog despisers. Perhaps the second rule should be not to examine/exploit the cleavage between religion and science. Those who do are evil; evil being the pretension of a virtue in order to perpetuate a vice.

Frankly it is evil to stand on a political pulpit and whine about vice, knowing full-well a freedom loving society has no mechanism or desire for curbing such desires, which would require substantial loss of freedom for all. The politician who selectively attacks scientific arguments that enrage the zeolots represents the lowest of bottom feeders. (Don't ever follow one into the airport lavatory!)

sunspot
2007-Oct-18, 04:34 PM
[QUOTE=Jerry;1091982]Interesting prospective. Politicians are not inherently evil, and many of them try to avoid polarizing issues because they afford little room for compromise.
QUOTE]

Actually, I regret using the judgemental term "morally bankrupt politicians", as these phrases tend to splatter like a thrown tomato on people that I didn't mean to hit. Actually, YECs were not my target, nor were the scientists who oppose YEC's agenda.

Maybe the best term for my target was the "wedgy" (not to be confused with "wedgie" which is a painfully different term). The wedgy is the person who polarizes people into "us and them" by driving wedges of confusing terms into an otherwise clear disagreement. This may include, but isn't limited to politicians.

Back to the OP's question, I don't think immortalists (those who believe in an immortal soul) are all creationists. And they differ from scientists seeking physical longevity. Immortalists who teach their children a literal bible may beleive that a personal God is telling them exactly how to behave in order to be a good, responsible person, and to make a better world for everyone. The objective need not be attributed to selfishly "getting to heaven". To paraphrase someone:"Never attribute to malice, <or stupidity> that which can be adequately explained by <good intentions>.

PS. Thanks for the gentle welcome folks.

Noclevername
2007-Oct-18, 04:36 PM
I read somewhere that actuarials have figured out that even if all natural causes of death were eliminated, a person's life expectancy at birth would only be about 600 years because traumatic injuries from various accidents, homicide, and suicide would still take their toll. Six hundred years is a long time, but it's also a long ways from immortality.

Well, if you can't believe statistics...

Oh, wait.

Jerry
2007-Oct-18, 06:43 PM
Maybe the best term for my target was the "wedgy" (not to be confused with "wedgie" which is a painfully different term). The wedgy is the person who polarizes people into "us and them" by driving wedges of confusing terms into an otherwise clear disagreement. This may include, but isn't limited to politicians.

Both types of wedgies are pains in the butt.

Driving a little of coarse, I know many scientists who are also true believers across a broad range of religious philosophies. It is my observation, that during their careers they are much more adherant to good scientific principles than after they retire; after which time many wacky hypotheses emerge. The retired Apollo astronaut who went looking for Noah's ark (and by some accounts, found it) is a prime example. It may also be stated that the voice of the atheist becomes more strident if they are financially secure.