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Magnificent Desolation
2002-Mar-17, 09:51 PM
Who: Rev. Mary Katherine Morn
When: June 10, 2001
Where: First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville

URL:

http://www.firstuunashville.org/news/sermons/se010610.htm

"Magnificent Desolation"

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Mar-18, 12:05 AM
I hope she watches Pax TV tonight.

Jigsaw
2002-Mar-18, 02:06 AM
Sheesh.

Trust and faith are two of the most important things in my life. Especially trust and faith of people. Fundamentally I believe that humanity is good. And I try hard to live my life on that assumption. At the same time, it would be irresponsible of us to believe everything and everyone we heard.
Okay, so, she says that trust and faith are important, so, evidently at first she trusted NASA and had faith in NASA that the moon landings were real ("By 1969, when footage of Apollo 11 astronauts reached our homes we were used to the idea and not the least bit surprised that “our boys had done it”!)

But then Aneel gave her a moon landing hoax video, and suddenly she doesn't have trust or faith in NASA any more, but she DOES have trust and faith in Aneel and his video...

So, what if the BA were to meet with her, and give her a video that showed her that Aneel was a Grade A Idjit--would she then have trust and faith in the BA, and believe that the moon landings were real, again?

And what if she then watched the Fox moon hoax special on TV--would she then have trust and faith in Fox TV, that the moon landings weren't real?

So, what if she...

And then, what if she...

Sheesh, I'm getting a headache, and I can't imagine what Sister Mary Katherine's head must feel like. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif


For me it seems very difficult to believe that this reality of my life, the moon landings, was fabricated. And yet as I said earlier there is a way in which I’ve never believed we flew to the moon.
So, she believes these two things:
1. The moon landings weren't faked.
2. We didn't really land on the moon.

My head reeeeeeally hurts. Going away now.

Roy Batty
2002-Mar-18, 08:21 PM
Ok, the getting on with each other bit is fine but;
"Finally, in my life, I do not have to know."
bothers me.

MMmmmmm... sweet sweet ignorance. Dunno if it is a Homerism but it sounds like one /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Kurt Jensen
2005-May-02, 06:10 PM
Rev Morn does not say she does not believe that astronauts walked on the moon. Rather, she was trying to explain the process by which people view things like the moonwalk as a hoax. This is difficult and she does a fairly credible job.

Lurker
2005-May-02, 08:25 PM
Rev Morn does not say she does not believe that astronauts walked on the moon. Rather, she was trying to explain the process by which people view things like the moonwalk as a hoax. This is difficult and she does a fairly credible job.

I agree. I think the pivotal paragraph is this one:

Frankly, all of this just confirmed what I’ve known all my life. Of course we can’t fly to the moon. I’d also like some confirmation of other things I’m sure cannot be real. Like cellular phone technology. The internet. Heck, I don’t believe I’m really going to get on a plane in a little over a week that will fly me to General Assembly in Cleveland. How could I believe these things? I cannot begin to understand them.
Her point being that we to think that things we cannot understand cannot be real; cannot be true. I like the way that she points out that this should apply to air travel, the cellular phone technology, and the internet as well as flying to the moon. The difference, as she points out, is that most people are involved in the first three, but only a very few have direct experience in the last. Hence, the first are real to most people but the last is harder to identify with.

She's a minister, so she then uses this as an argument for faith. I don't agree with her conclusions, but it is an interesting approach. Most people are not able to become experts in all the physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc. to the extent necessary to understand all of the human race's accumulated knowledge. Therefore she argues each of us must take some things on faith. A molecular biologist may, for example, not have the time or background to satisfy themself as to the details of the theory of relativity. She suggests that therefore there is a certain amount of faith the the molecular biologist exercises. As I say, I do not really agree, but it is an interesting argument.

JayUtah
2005-May-02, 08:27 PM
Yes, I remember reading this years ago when it was posted and now I wonder why I didn't comment then. It's clear in her sermon that she equates disbelief in the moon landings with disbelief in cell phones, airplanes, and other seemingly miraculous technology. Thanks for bringing this back to the fore.

Swift
2005-May-02, 09:01 PM
<snip>
She's a minister, so she then uses this as an argument for faith. I don't agree with her conclusions, but it is an interesting approach. Most people are not able to become experts in all the physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc. to the extent necessary to understand all of the human race's accumulated knowledge. Therefore she argues each of us must take some things on faith. A molecular biologist may, for example, not have the time or background to satisfy themself as to the details of the theory of relativity. She suggests that therefore there is a certain amount of faith the the molecular biologist exercises. As I say, I do not really agree, but it is an interesting argument.
The problem with that argument is that as a chemist (in my case), even if I don't have the time to understand the details of general relativity or molecular biology, I could. I know the basic idea behind the methodology (the scientific method) and could repeat all the study and work if I wanted to, and reach the same conclusions. That does not work for faith, there are no experiments to repeat. I'm not saying that faith is bad, but it is very different.

I suspect I'm "preaching to the choir" in this group. :wink:

Lurker
2005-May-02, 10:04 PM
<snip>
She's a minister, so she then uses this as an argument for faith. I don't agree with her conclusions, but it is an interesting approach. Most people are not able to become experts in all the physics, chemistry, mathematics, etc. to the extent necessary to understand all of the human race's accumulated knowledge. Therefore she argues each of us must take some things on faith. A molecular biologist may, for example, not have the time or background to satisfy themself as to the details of the theory of relativity. She suggests that therefore there is a certain amount of faith the the molecular biologist exercises. As I say, I do not really agree, but it is an interesting argument.
The problem with that argument is that as a chemist (in my case), even if I don't have the time to understand the details of general relativity or molecular biology, I could. I know the basic idea behind the methodology (the scientific method) and could repeat all the study and work if I wanted to, and reach the same conclusions. That does not work for faith, there are no experiments to repeat. I'm not saying that faith is bad, but it is very different.

I suspect I'm "preaching to the choir" in this group. :wink:

I agree and, yes you are, but her point would be that until you have done so, you cannot know for sure that there are no mistakes; that the result is valid. After all, until others repeated the experiment cold fusion had been discovered. :wink: You know the methods, but until you repeat them, or at least study them in detail, you are accepting the result without proof. Some pretty ugly scientific frauds have depended on this.

It is not a strong argument, but it is an interesting one.

Astronot
2005-May-02, 10:17 PM
Rev Morn does not say she does not believe that astronauts walked on the moon. Rather, she was trying to explain the process by which people view things like the moonwalk as a hoax. This is difficult and she does a fairly credible job.
Kurt, welcome to the board and thanks for pulling that thread up. I had not seen it before and I found the sermon very interesting. Particularly how she discussed the moon hoax and her parishioner who had this unusual idea in a very sympathetic way by addressing the human side of belief, not the facts of the moon landing. Quite appropriate for a social setting. If Aneel Pandey came here to address his argument, he would get a polite but decidedly unsympathetic discussion.

Lurker
2005-May-03, 02:09 AM
Kurt, welcome to the board and thanks for pulling that thread up.
Hey yeah... I NOW I notice his post count!! #-o

Welcome aboard, Kurt!! 8)

Jason
2005-May-03, 05:17 PM
The problem with that argument is that as a chemist (in my case), even if I don't have the time to understand the details of general relativity or molecular biology, I could. I know the basic idea behind the methodology (the scientific method) and could repeat all the study and work if I wanted to, and reach the same conclusions. That does not work for faith, there are no experiments to repeat. I'm not saying that faith is bad, but it is very different.

I disagree. I gained confirmation of my own faith by following the same steps my parents and ancestors followed - I listened to the testimony of others, carefully studied the religious texts of the faith, prayed, and received a spiritual confirmation.
The experiment was and is repeatable.

Lurker
2005-May-03, 05:35 PM
I gained confirmation of my own faith by following the same steps my parents and ancestors followed - I listened to the testimony of others, carefully studied the religious texts of the faith, prayed, and received a spiritual confirmation.
The experiment was and is repeatable.
Ahhh... but there are issues here. The experiment does not have deterministic repeatability. I have Catholic parents and yet as "carefully studied the religious texts of the faith, prayed" but ended up turning away from their spiritual path and chose a path of "paganism/buddhism".

In this regard, there is not a definable set of inputs that can be said to always produce the same set of definable results in a deterministic fashion.

ToSeek
2005-May-03, 05:40 PM
The problem with that argument is that as a chemist (in my case), even if I don't have the time to understand the details of general relativity or molecular biology, I could. I know the basic idea behind the methodology (the scientific method) and could repeat all the study and work if I wanted to, and reach the same conclusions. That does not work for faith, there are no experiments to repeat. I'm not saying that faith is bad, but it is very different.

I disagree. I gained confirmation of my own faith by following the same steps my parents and ancestors followed - I listened to the testimony of others, carefully studied the religious texts of the faith, prayed, and received a spiritual confirmation.
The experiment was and is repeatable.

As Lurker indicates, if the experiment were truly repeatable, then everyone would come up with the same answer. That there are so many answers shows that it's not.

Jason
2005-May-03, 05:57 PM
As Lurker indicates, if the experiment were truly repeatable, then everyone would come up with the same answer. That there are so many answers shows that it's not.
I only claim that it's a repeatable experiment with my own specific faith, not with all faiths.

Lurker
2005-May-03, 06:22 PM
As Lurker indicates, if the experiment were truly repeatable, then everyone would come up with the same answer. That there are so many answers shows that it's not.
I only claim that it's a repeatable experiment with my own specific faith, not with all faiths.
But can you show that all members of your faith will always come to the exact same conclusion. Can you show that no members of your faith have ever, or could ever repeat the experiment and reach a different result??

This is the essence of the scientific method. If I drop an object of known mass in a gravitational field of 1G I need not see it fall to know that it must indeed fall, and that the rate of acceleration at which it must fall, given that no other forces act against it, is directly proportional to the mass of the object.

Jason
2005-May-03, 07:02 PM
But can you show that all members of your faith will always come to the exact same conclusion. Can you show that no members of your faith have ever, or could ever repeat the experiment and reach a different result??
I am unaware of any published studies on the subject, but it is a well-known procedure and often referred to as reliable by the leaders of the church.
Certainly everyone I have met who has performed the experiment has said they received the same result, and that includes people who are not currently members of the faith.
The real difficulty I had during my time as an active missionary of my faith was in getting people to complete the necessary steps - I never had any doubt of what answer they would receive once they carried them out.

Of course, you're probably all sitting back and shaking your heads at yet another naive and foolish religious fanatic at this point, and are spending more time thinking up your own response than you are thinking about anything I've said. Can't say I blame you, really.

Gillianren
2005-May-03, 08:00 PM
gotta go w/Lurker on this one, though I suspect our branches of Paganism are radically different.

also . . . well, the church leaders would say everyone returns to the church, wouldn't they?

Lurker
2005-May-03, 08:14 PM
Certainly everyone I have met who has performed the experiment has said they received the same result, and that includes people who are not currently members of the faith.
This would appear to be counter evidence to your argument. If they have performed the same experiment, then the result would have been the same.



Of course, you're probably all sitting back and shaking your heads at yet another naive and foolish religious fanatic at this point, and are spending more time thinking up your own response than you are thinking about anything I've said. Can't say I blame you, really.
This is uncalled for sir!! If you cannot discuss an issue without suggesting unscrupulous motives on the part of those who choose disagree with you this would suggest that you are not particularly open minded. I have carefully examined the points you make and responded with reasonable counter examples. I for one am insulted and do not intend to continue this discussion with you.

Good day to you sir!!


Edited to Add:

I would suggest that such an attitude will not win you many friends on this board.

CJSF
2005-May-03, 08:50 PM
Lurker,

I didn't get the same sense you did from Jason's post (though I can see where there is room for misunderstanding). I got the sense that he was saying some of us are undoubtedly going to disagree with him, and that he can see your POV (sorry if I'm mis-representing you, Jason).

No need to lose one's cool.

8)

CJSF

Jason
2005-May-03, 09:06 PM
Certainly everyone I have met who has performed the experiment has said they received the same result, and that includes people who are not currently members of the faith.
This would appear to be counter evidence to your argument. If they have performed the same experiment, then the result would have been the same.
I'm sorry - I did not make myself clear. People who are not currently members of my faith performed the experiment and received the same confirmation that my faith was correct, but have remained outside of the church.

If you cannot discuss an issue without suggesting unscrupulous motives on the part of those who choose disagree with you this would suggest that you are not particularly open minded...I would suggest that such an attitude will not win you many friends on this board.I'm not trying to win friends. Nevertheless, my intent was to acknowledge that others will disagree with my opinions, not to insult you.

Jason
2005-May-03, 09:09 PM
I didn't get the same sense you did from Jason's post (though I can see where there is room for misunderstanding). I got the sense that he was saying some of us are undoubtedly going to disagree with him, and that he can see your POV (sorry if I'm mis-representing you, Jason).
Essentially correct. I was trying to be a little self-depricating to show that I wouldn't get too upset if you did disagree.

Jason
2005-May-03, 09:20 PM
also . . . well, the church leaders would say everyone returns to the church, wouldn't they?
They don't say that everyone returns to the church.
They say that everyone who attempts the experiment gets the same answer. What they do with that answer after it has been provided can vary rather widely.