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Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 01:18 AM
edited to add this link
In regards to this thread http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=9341

The nature of almost all topics associated with this website touch on either Politics or Religion or both. Astronomy and astrophysics is an investigation into the nature of the universe. This is a direct relationship to cosmology and touches into territory claimed for millenia by religion and religious scholars. Moreover, many of the articles and posts appear to illustrate the fact that the pre-emminent agency responsible for space research and exploration is itself an extension of a political organization. Indeed, its mandate and much of its funding is appropriated by a political institution, the US Congress.

So the point of this post is a request that the arbitrary prohibition of topics and fora be somewhat less arbitrary. I can understand forbidding a thread that has degenerated to ad hominem name-calling or something less than scholarly discussion. However, pre-empting a topic in current events that, although tangentally, may be related to astronomy and astrophysics that has not so degenerated, seems a bit excessive.

Remember, Gallileo was also prohibited from the combined discussion of science and religion and politics.

Respectfully submitted,
JPax

Musashi
2003-Nov-14, 01:24 AM
Well, I think the point is that discussions focusing on religion and politics a) are off topic for an astronomy board, and b) usually turn into a fiasco of some sort. It may seem arbitrary to you, but it is Phil's board and he makes the rules. If there is a particular topic that you want to taqlk about, there are always other avenues. So, if you really want to have that religious/political discussion, have it somewhere else.

Furhtemore, since Phil has stated up front, since the formation of this forum and probably the whole board that religion and politics are off limits, I think calling it arbitrary would be a little harsh.

Wolverine
2003-Nov-14, 01:49 AM
Well, I think the point is that discussions focusing on religion and politics a) are off topic for an astronomy board, and b) usually turn into a fiasco of some sort. It may seem arbitrary to you, but it is Phil's board and he makes the rules. If there is a particular topic that you want to taqlk about, there are always other avenues. So, if you really want to have that religious/political discussion, have it somewhere else.

I agree completely.

Gmann
2003-Nov-14, 01:58 AM
The current rules set by the provider of this board, The BA 8) , have been put in place to keep the discussions on track, and to keep this board from becoming something like GLP. I would not even let my dog look at GLP. This is a place where people can pass on knowledge, or learn something new without having to endure ranting trolls, foul language, or suggestive statements. If you look into past threads that have been locked, you will find that most of them involved either Politics or religion, and had a tendency to degrade into a digital food fight. The BA 8) has a good thing going here, and it doesn't really need to change.

freddo
2003-Nov-14, 02:03 AM
Religion/Politics = disagreement = fiasco...

- Religion does get discussed when it has an astronomy focus, you've got some grey area to work with
- I don't want to see politics on this board. Not only is it irrelevant to people (from a location point of view), it could not have less to do with Astronomy. I know this is a chit chat forum but it's beside the point.
- Religion and Politics are the two most contentious subjects that can be discussed, anywhere, ever. No two people have the same opinion/view, and invariably these opinions/views are quite strong. This means any discussion is all but guaranteed to become heated. I don't want to see this kind of thing either.


The BA 8) has a good thing going here, and it doesn't really need to change.

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 02:06 AM
Well, I think the point is that discussions focusing on religion and politics a) are off topic for an astronomy board, and b) usually turn into a fiasco of some sort. It may seem arbitrary to you, but it is Phil's board and he makes the rules. If there is a particular topic that you want to taqlk about, there are always other avenues. So, if you really want to have that religious/political discussion, have it somewhere else.

Furhtemore, since Phil has stated up front, since the formation of this forum and probably the whole board that religion and politics are off limits, I think calling it arbitrary would be a little harsh.

Arbitrary is the correct word. It's definition is appropriate. Its usage is accurate and precise.

dgruss23
2003-Nov-14, 02:11 AM
Its really better if politics and religion are left alone on BABB except in the places where they truly intersect with astronomy. Unfortunately even in those cases it seems that the discussions eventually get so far off the target they have to be locked.

Musashi
2003-Nov-14, 02:18 AM
1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law <the manner of punishment is arbitrary>
2 a : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power : ruling by absolute authority <an arbitrary government> b : marked by or resulting from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power <protection from arbitrary arrest and detention>
3 a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something <an arbitrary standard> <take any arbitrary positive number> <arbitrary division of historical studies into watertight compartments -- A. J. Toynbee> b : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will <when a task is not seen in a meaningful context it is experienced as being arbitrary -- Nehemiah Jordan>

1: Yes
2a: Yes
2b: No
3a: Basically
3b: No

Here is the way I see it. It would be arbitrary if Phil said, 'Today there will be no talk of religion or politics. It will be back tomorrow or the next day.' Or if he said, 'Saying the phrase 'steady state' will constitute religious talk and will result in banning!!' But for him to say, from the board's inception, 'No religion, no politics,' is very straightforward and easy to understand.

Now, if you take 1 and 2a to be the definition you were looking for, then there is no way for it to be 'less' arbitrary, since it will still be resting on Phil's individual discretion, and he is not limited or restrained in the power he exercises over the board. If you wish to use 3a, then it boils down to the same thing, since, once again, this is his board and it is his preference to not have religious or political wars on the board. But you must certainly agree that 3b does not fit this situation, and 2b is obviously disproven by the recent banning of JS Princeton. Also, the word arbitrary usually has connotations of despotism or tyranny which I think would be unfounded in this situation. So, while you may think that arbitrary fits this situation, I find that it falls short on several levels.

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 02:25 AM
Its really better if politics and religion are left alone on BABB except in the places where they truly intersect with astronomy. Unfortunately even in those cases it seems that the discussions eventually get so far off the target they have to be locked.

I agree, for the most part.

The thread was not about religion and politics, per se. It was about Constitutional Law and individual rights which might be interesting in light of recent litigation in regards to space and property rights. I know that's a stretch. Other threads exist about the commercialization of Christmas, which can be considered a religious topic. The fact that the Christmas Star intersects with astronomy, is also a stretch. Moreover, it was not a matter under that discussion. Yet that thread was not locked.

I expect the rules of the board to be arbitray. I was simply asking for delineation of the rules as they are applied. And the poll is simply asking people what their opinion is.

Musashi
2003-Nov-14, 02:48 AM
I expect the rules of the board to be arbitray. I was simply asking for delineation of the rules as they are applied. And the poll is simply asking people what their opinion is.

Oh, ok. The way I see it is that if a topic becomes (or starts as) an argument about religion or politics, it will get locked. If a topic touches on religion or politics, but manages to stay 'on-topic' it won't get locked. Sometimes religious or political threads are left alone, but usually, if they are mainly about religion or politics they get locked. As far as constitutional law and individual rights, this is a private forum run by Dr. Plait, who is allowed to make up whatever rules he wants. He can censor posts to his heart's content, ban posters, lock threads, delete threads, none of that impinges upon the constitutional rights of the posters, because it i shis forum and he has the right to run it in whatever manner he wishes. Nobody is prohibiting anyone else from discussing science combined with religion and politics, you just don't need to do it here.

ToSeek
2003-Nov-14, 02:48 AM
The thread was not about religion and politics, per se. It was about Constitutional Law and individual rights

I agree with this. I was initially chary of the thread, but it seemed to be focusing on legal issues more than politics, so I didn't see the need for it to be locked (though I can't entirely blame the BA for doing so).

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 03:04 AM
1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law <the manner of punishment is arbitrary>
2 a : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power : ruling by absolute authority <an arbitrary government> b : marked by or resulting from the unrestrained and often tyrannical exercise of power <protection from arbitrary arrest and detention>
3 a : based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something <an arbitrary standard> <take any arbitrary positive number> <arbitrary division of historical studies into watertight compartments -- A. J. Toynbee> b : existing or coming about seemingly at random or by chance or as a capricious and unreasonable act of will <when a task is not seen in a meaningful context it is experienced as being arbitrary -- Nehemiah Jordan>

1: Yes
2a: Yes
2b: No
3a: Basically
3b: No

Here is the way I see it. It would be arbitrary if Phil said, 'Today there will be no talk of religion or politics. It will be back tomorrow or the next day.' Or if he said, 'Saying the phrase 'steady state' will constitute religious talk and will result in banning!!' But for him to say, from the board's inception, 'No religion, no politics,' is very straightforward and easy to understand.

Now, if you take 1 and 2a to be the definition you were looking for, then there is no way for it to be 'less' arbitrary, since it will still be resting on Phil's individual discretion, and he is not limited or restrained in the power he exercises over the board. If you wish to use 3a, then it boils down to the same thing, since, once again, this is his board and it is his preference to not have religious or political wars on the board. But you must certainly agree that 3b does not fit this situation, and 2b is obviously disproven by the recent banning of JS Princeton. Also, the word arbitrary usually has connotations of despotism or tyranny which I think would be unfounded in this situation. So, while you may think that arbitrary fits this situation, I find that it falls short on several levels.

I see you referenced Mirriam-Webster (www.m-w.com), also my reference. I also referenced the paperback The New Mirriam-Webster Dictionary 1989 Edition

1-Autocratic, Despotic
2-determined by will or caprice: selected at random.
Ok, I see we basically agree on the definitions. The difference is if something can be "less arbitrary." If "it will still be resting on Phil's individual discretion" is your definition of arbitrary, then resting it on something other than "Phil's individual discretion" would make it less than arbitrary. I see that as being possible, if Phil is so inclined. This may prove to be implausible, but to suggest that it is impossible, is untrue.

To the matter of connotations, you're on your own. Arbitrary does indeed connote despotism and tyrannism, but shall we use their primary denotations (which are appropriate), or continue tail-chasing connotations? While one definition seems to imply randomness, I was not using that definition. I do not feel that using a word requires application of all it's diverse meanings. Indeed, many words have opposite meanings. (I forget the lexiconagraphic word that means it switches to an opposite meaning.) Many words have varied meanings, so it should be best practice to use the primary meaning when context dictates. Definitions are ranked for a reason (usually primacy of derivation or preference of usage). I agree with your definitions except 2b, which I do feel is appropriate as unrestrained seems accurate since we don't restrain Phil, and I already commented that the denotation of tyrranical is not inappropriate. The fact that my post was respectful and not all "blankety-blank" would indicate that I was not suggesting anything that would be construed as an insult.

I am not familiar with JS Princeton. I can not negate this argument without more information. I agree with your assessment of definition 3b.

The Bad Astronomer
2003-Nov-14, 03:07 AM
Arbitrary means "for no reason", or randomly. I have a reason, and it isn't random. Discussions on volatile topics tend be volatile. I have seen threads on non-volatile topics degenerate into name-calling, so I don't feel the need to provoke anything by starting off with touchy subjects.

There are religious threads on this board: several on creationism, geocentrism, the nature of the Universe. But if someone comes in and wants to start a thread about Christianity or Islam or something like that, then I can guess how it will end (hint: I will wind up having to lock it).

BABBling doesn't need to be all sweetness and fluff, but I certainly don't want it to be a Flame Pit.

Yes, I make the rules here, but I try to be fair. Just because I have a rule doesn't make it a good. I prefer people question some things around here; how else will I know if I did the right thing? But in this case, I'm pretty resolute.

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 03:09 AM
As far as constitutional law and individual rights, this is a private forum run by Dr. Plait, who is allowed to make up whatever rules he wants. He can censor posts to his heart's content, ban posters, lock threads, delete threads, none of that impinges upon the constitutional rights of the posters, because it i shis forum and he has the right to run it in whatever manner he wishes. Nobody is prohibiting anyone else from discussing science combined with religion and politics, you just don't need to do it here.

Not a point of contention. The matter of Constitutional Law and Individual Rights was the subject of the referenced thread., not this one.

Musashi
2003-Nov-14, 03:17 AM
Ok, I see we basically agree on the definitions. The difference is if something can be "less arbitrary." If "it will still be resting on Phil's individual discretion" is your definition of arbitrary, then resting it on something other than "Phil's individual discretion" would make it less than arbitrary. I see that as being possible, if Phil is so inclined. This may prove to be implausible, but to suggest that it is impossible, is untrue.

Yeah. Impossible is too strong, yes. However, It will always be resting on his individual discretion, even if he asks for opinions, he makes the final call. It is not a democracy, no one else gets real votes.

As for 2b, I think Phil restrains himself. He does things with reason, so maybe it would even be more proper to say that reason restrains Phil. It is usually pretty easy to figure out where he is going to come down on an issue. If he were totally unrestrained, this would probably not be the case.



Not a point of contention. The matter of Constitutional Law and Individual Rights was the subject of the referenced thread., not this one

:oops: Yeah, I noticed that after I posted... sorry. (Although, the 'refrence' is a bit confusing.)

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 03:26 AM
Arbitrary means "for no reason", or randomly. I have a reason, and it isn't random. Discussions on volatile topics tend be volatile. I have seen threads on non-volatile topics degenerate into name-calling, so I don't feel the need to provoke anything by starting off with touchy subjects.

There are religious threads on this board: several on creationism, geocentrism, the nature of the Universe. But if someone comes in and wants to start a thread about Christianity or Islam or something like that, then I can guess how it will end (hint: I will wind up having to lock it).

BABBling doesn't need to be all sweetness and fluff, but I certainly don't want it to be a Flame Pit.

Yes, I make the rules here, but I try to be fair. Just because I have a rule doesn't make it a good. I prefer people question some things around here; how else will I know if I did the right thing? But in this case, I'm pretty resolute.

Thanx, BA. I understand your concern about maintaining a sense of decorumon this site. I simply was suprised at the rapidity with which the referenced thread was locked. I didn't think it had degenerated.

This board seems to have developed a sense of community. I've even seen threads about some people asking for advice on personal issues. It is a testament to the people here. Many people probably come to this site first as Hoax Believers, some may learn to think critically and decide to stay. Many hoaxes are propogated by religious sects and often involve "government conspiracies." It would be natural that some people might ask related questions in their search for truth. The posters here are mostly considered to be well thinking learned people. It would be expected that such people might have good insights on other topics as well. I think that's a compliment to the website and the board.

Perhaps the main point of contention on *this* thread is the use of the word arbitrary. Assuming that the Mirriam-Webster definition is accurate, can this inquiry be satisfied?

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 03:42 AM
Yeah. Impossible is too strong, yes. However, It will always be resting on his individual discretion, even if he asks for opinions, he makes the final call. It is not a democracy, no one else gets real votes.

What if there were a methodology, something of a reference for all of us to follow. Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm too new here. I didn't see it coming. I thought it was on the level. While it may have become contentious, it may not have degenerated. That thread was a request for information, not an invitation to debate.


As for 2b, I think Phil restrains himself. He does things with reason, so maybe it would even be more proper to say that reason restrains Phil. It is usually pretty easy to figure out where he is going to come down on an issue. If he were totally unrestrained, this would probably not be the case.


I didn't think arbitrary meant unreasoned. I know it can be used to mean caprice, but I didn't know it made anyone's hair stand on end. :D

Musashi
2003-Nov-14, 03:53 AM
What if there were a methodology, something of a reference for all of us to follow. Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm too new here. I didn't see it coming. I thought it was on the level. While it may have become contentious, it may not have degenerated. That thread was a request for information, not an invitation to debate.

I think I see the point. I also think that if someone needs information about constitutional law, property rights, etc. this is not the best place to look for it, but I don't really see a problem with it, here in the Babbling thread.

I think the basic refrence to follow can be found in the thread decription, however. It says to try to stay away from relgion and politics.


I didn't think arbitrary meant unreasoned. I know it can be used to mean caprice, but I didn't know it made anyone's hair stand on end.

Maybe I have just run into it in an 'accusatory' mode one too many times. You are right that it has a much fuller definition, and you are also right that it made my hair stand on end. All that aside though, I probably came off a lot harsher than I meant to.

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 05:21 AM
Maybe I have just run into it in an 'accusatory' mode one too many times. You are right that it has a much fuller definition, and you are also right that it made my hair stand on end. All that aside though, I probably came off a lot harsher than I meant to.

No problem, I am just looking for opinions, not necessarily advocating a change in policy. I just like posting to this board. It has a good layout, easy to find topics, and a good cast of characters. I've lurked a few times at GLP and when I leave I feel like a fish in a blender. (reminds me of an old flash or shockwave game)

"Caprice: [fr. Italian capriccio lit. head with hair standing on end" Fr. capo head + riccio hedgehog]" See illustration of Ron Jeremy.

Do we have an emoticon for that?

informant
2003-Nov-14, 09:04 AM
I think the rule should be left as is. The BA has been tolerant of conversations that digress from astronomy so far, and even of a few exchanges that, really, had turned political or religious, but he has to draw a line somewhere.
I like the way the BA moderates very much. I think it's the main reason why these message boards are such nice sites.

Further, the BAís decision was only ďarbitraryĒ in the sense that he makes the rules. However, those rules have been posted on the board (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/index.php) for everyone to see all along.


This is a general forum for chit chat and other non-astronomy issues. You can talk about different things here, but try to stay away from big time argument topics (like, say, politics and religion). Keep it light, keep it fun, but most of all KEEP IT POLITE. This is a test forum to see how things go.


I can understand forbidding a thread that has degenerated to ad hominem name-calling or something less than scholarly discussion. However, pre-empting a topic in current events that, although tangentally, may be related to astronomy and astrophysics that has not so degenerated, seems a bit excessive.
I donít see how the topic of the "Separation of Church and State" thread could have ever been related to astroomy. Then again, it was posted on the BABBling forum, where posts not related to astronomy are common and accepted.
However, this thread did not degenerate into a conversation about politics/religion. It was one from the get go.

gethen
2003-Nov-14, 01:28 PM
I agree with Informant. I like the way this board is moderated. That's why I keep coming back.
Bottom line: This is the BA's website. We're here as his guests. Good guests accept the house rules of the host.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2003-Nov-14, 01:56 PM
I clicked on more relaxed because I feel that people should be adult enough to have discussions such as these without getting into a shouting match. I did not create the thread with the intention of creating bad feelings. My apologies if I did...

Chemist
2003-Nov-14, 02:18 PM
Basically, religion is a powerful force in the US and the rest of the world. Denying people, including government officials, from practicing it is a recipe for disaster.

Of course no church should have any political power in the government but you simply can't stop a politician from making decisions for religious reasons.

TriangleMan
2003-Nov-14, 02:30 PM
Musashi pretty well summed up my view on the matter:


Well, I think the point is that discussions focusing on religion and politics a) are off topic for an astronomy board, and b) usually turn into a fiasco of some sort. It may seem arbitrary to you, but it is Phil's board and he makes the rules. If there is a particular topic that you want to taqlk about, there are always other avenues. So, if you really want to have that religious/political discussion, have it somewhere else.

Like others such as gethen have said the moderation on this board are what keeps me here, if that means no discussion on politics/religion or whatever else the BA decides then that's fine by me, I can always go to other sites to discuss such issues. For example, JREF (www.randi.org)

informant
2003-Nov-14, 02:45 PM
Here is another good message board for those who enjoy a good exchange with intelligent, informed people on "hot" subjects:

http://www.snopes.com/message/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_daily;p=1

And of course there's the Apollo Hoax Forums (http://www.apollohoax.com/forums/index.php).

(Edited to add link.)

Captain Kidd
2003-Nov-14, 02:51 PM
The Darwin Awards (www.darwinawards.com[/url) has a forum dedicated to religious dicussion. Usually evolution vs. religion, but other things get discussed there too.

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-14, 05:04 PM
I can understand forbidding a thread that has degenerated to ad hominem name-calling or something less than scholarly discussion. However, pre-empting a topic in current events that, although tangentally, may be related to astronomy and astrophysics that has not so degenerated, seems a bit excessive.
I donít see how the topic of the "Separation of Church and State" thread could have ever been related to astroomy. Then again, it was posted on the BABBling forum, where posts not related to astronomy are common and accepted.
However, this thread did not degenerate into a conversation about politics/religion. It was one from the get go.

Sorry if I misplaced a comma. When I wrote that I meant a discussion that had not degenerated to "ad hominem name-calling or something less than scholarly discussion" not a discussion that has degenerated to "a conversation about politics/religion." I agree: "It was one from the get go."

OscartheGrouch
2003-Nov-14, 08:25 PM
I must say I can't disagree with the no politics and/or religion on the BABB Community board. In a better world, we could have calm discussions about these things, but somehow that's almost never the way it goes, not least because we have many different opinions and somebody is always going to take something the wrong way. I thought the latest locked thread had promise, if only because it was in large part about the law of religion and state in the US, and people manage to disagree quite civilly in the court system about that. But yeah, sooner rather than later it would have blown up.

If we want to talk about politics and religion, we can all easily enough find other boards to do so. I'd rather stick with less contentious matter here.

Sister Ray
2003-Nov-14, 09:42 PM
I like rules of no politics/religion. I have an incredible phobia of political issues (as anyone who's seen me on the snopes board would know) and like the fact I don't have to worry about running into a thread like that. Snopes, which I love, can occasionally have a thread be a politics/religion debate from out of nowhere. I don't like that. (Although the religion threads do tend to be polite, occasionally someone will turn that around. The board had a 19 page thread where we tried to prove to someone that the medievals (whom I happen to study, as well as a few others there) were not better behaved than us. It got funny when he wouldn't believe the scholars that study the time, but before that it was just annoying.) I don't have a phobia of religion. But I really feel whatever I believe is my own buisness. If someone asked me to describe them, I would, but mostly I just keep it to myself. Some religious arguments get hysterical, though, and I understand why they are prohibited.

informant
2003-Nov-14, 10:07 PM
Welcome to the BABB, Sister Ray! :)

Sister Ray
2003-Nov-15, 05:34 AM
Welcome to the BABB, Sister Ray! :)

Are you from snopes? I don't recognize your name.

kilopi
2003-Nov-15, 09:46 AM
Furhtemore, since Phil has stated up front, since the formation of this forum and probably the whole board that religion and politics are off limits, I think calling it arbitrary would be a little harsh.

Arbitrary is the correct word. It's definition is appropriate. Its usage is accurate and precise.
As Mushashi points out later, the word has more than one definition, so its use can't be perfectly precise. In your OP you say that the point of the OP is to request that topic prohibition be less arbitrary, but I'm not sure after reading this thread which definition you intend in the OP.

Which definition are you using?

informant
2003-Nov-15, 12:42 PM
Are you from snopes? I don't recognize your name.
No, but I do lurk there every once in a while. Nice place, too, and political/religious topics are allowed there.
I remember seeing your username in the ULMB now, but I had not made the connection here until you mentioned Snopes in this thread. #-o

Sister Ray
2003-Nov-15, 06:31 PM
Are you from snopes? I don't recognize your name.
No, but I do lurk there every once in a while. Nice place, too, and political/religious topics are allowed there.
I remember seeing your username in the ULMB now, but I had not made the connection here until you mentioned Snopes in this thread. #-o

I seem to be the only Sister Ray around, as every board I've registered at lets me have the name. So if you see a Sister Ray it's probably me.

Jpax2003
2003-Nov-16, 03:53 AM
As Mushashi points out later, the word has more than one definition, so its use can't be perfectly precise. In your OP you say that the point of the OP is to request that topic prohibition be less arbitrary, but I'm not sure after reading this thread which definition you intend in the OP.

Which definition are you using?

Precision does not imply perfection.

Musashi and I went over this extensively in earlier posts. I hoped it would be clear now. The primary definition in the referenced dictionaries means "depending on individual discretion."

I understand how people can misunderstand the meaning and intent of a word, even the BA himself seemed to misinterpret my post. Do the people reading this topic simply not know the meaning of the words I use, or do they assume I do not? Are people so paranoid on this board that a poster's intent is automatically assumed to be hostile?

genebujold
2004-May-12, 03:07 PM
Interesting comments, all.

The point most people seemed to miss is that, historically, few, if any, discussions concerning astronomy did not include religious beliefs, and I'm including those discussions that have occurred well into the 21st Century.

Man is a spiritual animal. If he doesn't accept one religion at his father's knee, he invents another. For many men, science is their "religion," and has, for all intents and purposes, replaced God in their lives.

Regardless of the consequences, religion MUST be discussed on an astronomy board because religion is at the heart of man, and astronomy is ultimately man's attempt to discern God.

HAVOC451
2004-May-12, 03:45 PM
I'm a member of many boards. This is a wonderful community. I love what the BA 8) has done here. I don't see a need for politics and religion as there are countless boards for such discussion.
This board is an oasis, a great place to space out for a while.

SciFi Chick
2004-May-12, 03:48 PM
Man is a spiritual animal. If he doesn't accept one religion at his father's knee, he invents another. For many men, science is their "religion," and has, for all intents and purposes, replaced God in their lives.

Regardless of the consequences, religion MUST be discussed on an astronomy board because religion is at the heart of man, and astronomy is ultimately man's attempt to discern God.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. And that's why religion is banned on this board. Not everyone believes in god, and some people actually hate religion.

Insisting that humans are spiritual without empirical evidence is nothing more than a philosophical argument that can't be proven.

Some people participate in astronomy to understand how the universe works, not "to discern God."

edited for spelling

captain swoop
2004-May-12, 04:04 PM
What Sci-Fi Chick says.

Lurker
2004-May-12, 04:35 PM
Some of us from the early days remember how difficult it used to be to maintain technical discussions of any merit. I don't think we see problem with the policies that Phil has instated.

Jpax2003
2004-May-13, 01:44 AM
Interesting comments, all.

The point most people seemed to miss is that, historically, few, if any, discussions concerning astronomy did not include religious beliefs, and I'm including those discussions that have occurred well into the 21st Century.

Man is a spiritual animal. If he doesn't accept one religion at his father's knee, he invents another. For many men, science is their "religion," and has, for all intents and purposes, replaced God in their lives.

Regardless of the consequences, religion MUST be discussed on an astronomy board because religion is at the heart of man, and astronomy is ultimately man's attempt to discern God.Sometimes it's better to leave an old topic in the dustbin and start fresh.

Kebsis
2004-May-13, 01:54 AM
I voted 'is there another opinion'. It's the BAs board, the rules should be whatever he feels like making them.

Normandy6644
2004-May-13, 02:58 AM
I voted 'is there another opinion'. It's the BAs board, the rules should be whatever he feels like making them.

I think this has been discussed to death, and invariably we arrive at this conclusion.

Gruesome
2006-Apr-05, 12:49 AM
[QUOTE=FredFlash]
The Presbyterian's Argument (Circa 1834) That The National Religion is Atheism

We proceed now to establish the charge of immorality against the Constitution of the United States....[QUOTE]

Uh...whatever, dude.

Let me respond by reference (http://odur.let.rug.nl/usa/P/jm4/writings/memor.htm).

I voted to keep it as is. If I want religious or political discussions, the internet certainly has no shortage thereof.

Musashi
2006-Apr-05, 12:53 AM
Yeah. Um, this thread is nearly 2 years old.

Nereid
2006-Apr-05, 12:56 AM
And there's no need for it to be revived.

Locked.