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  1. nilsz

    Is religion somewhere between fact and fiction?

    To say that separation of church and state originates in Christianity, I think is about as accurate as saying that Norwegian cultivation of the potato originates in Christianity, in that Norwegian priests played a pivotal role in promoting the vegetable. It still does not make it specifically...
  2. nilsz

    Is religion somewhere between fact and fiction?

    It is my understanding that secularists' schism with Christianity is in part due to Christianity's failure to maintain clarity in this distinction, and that the distinction's emphasis has much more to do with Enlightenment ideals, inspired by pre-Christian philosophers, than with Christianity.
  3. nilsz

    Is religion somewhere between fact and fiction?

    The way I understand it, true statements remain true if we understand them to be implicitly specific to the contexts in which they were made. For instance, if I say there is an apple on the table. Then the apple is removed. The statement I made remains true for the moment in which I said it.
  4. nilsz

    Is religion somewhere between fact and fiction?

    By fact I here mean that which claims to present an accurate reflection of reality. Presenting this in an aesthetic fashion ideally comes second to it being accurate. Fiction is typically formed primarily to have an aesthetic or otherwise entertaining quality, and we don't expect its content to...
  5. nilsz

    Are secular societies prone to moral decay?

    Do you think the following reasoning is reasonable? In a moral society, people do not sabotage each others' efforts, but instead complement them, creating a synergetic environment. Therefore, a moral society tends to become more prosperous overall than an amoral society. How come then, that...
  6. nilsz

    Why do people often seem to have problems admitting ignorance?

    I attribute most of my mistaken statements about things to faulty inference, which can be difficult to discover in yourself when your understanding seems to make sense most of the time. I am quite confident that I am not the worst example of this though, as someone I know in my daily life seems...
  7. nilsz

    How do you understand the words true and truth?

    If I were to try to define 'truth' the way I understand it, I would say that it is the set of statements which accurately describe reality. Reality being the circumstances which we experience in common. Truth then describes an objective reality, while being expressed through language, which is...
  8. nilsz

    How do you understand the words true and truth?

    An exercise that I suspect would help us answer the question, is to present a number of example usages of the words, some which declare the words' meaning in relation to other words, and then hear whether you think these sentences make sense to you: "I was told that I would meet someone at the...
  9. nilsz

    Is "pro-birth" offensive?

    Labels are useful as (imperfect) descriptions and short-hands. In this case the label describes someone who favours a policy, while often leaving their motivations out of scope. To write "neutrally" I think is to make few assumptions about what conforms to the outlook of the reader. It is...
  10. nilsz

    New idea for a game.

    I really like Knytt Underground. The game is largely the undertaking of a single man. While it is not the main objective of the game, it explores questions concerning religion in its conflict between the two main factions within the game, inspired by the developer's own experience and...
  11. nilsz

    Norwegian radio show on intolerance towards atheists

    "public social security nets" is my rather direct translation of a Norwegian term for such things as public health care and other publicly funded services.
  12. nilsz

    Free Speech Under Attack From Liberals

    I think it is generally unreasonable to expect the political process to have the maturity to regulate freedom of speech, which is a major reason why the law should be relatively permissible. Within private venues however, like this web forum, I think it should be acceptable to enforce stricter...
  13. nilsz

    Norwegian radio show on intolerance towards atheists

    "They lose their jobs" "They get divorced" "Friends leave them" This is how the show starts out, describing the experience of atheists in the USA. Wednesday, 6th of May the Norwegian radio series Ekko had a show concering intolerance towards atheism in various countries. The show guests...
  14. nilsz

    SJW-ism Takes Aim at STEM

    @Nietzsche: I suspect you are misreading the tweet by missing out the word "sermon". She is responding to a speech, not the entire project. @Revoltingest: Do you believe white people are equally authoritative about black experiences as black people?
  15. nilsz

    SJW-ism Takes Aim at STEM

    With many attempts to find incidents that conform to the narrative of a flood of overreaching social justice activism, I think it is important to be critical and see if things are really as described. I read the article linked to written by the one criticized, When discussing humanity's next...
  16. nilsz

    (Strong) Atheism's Burden of Proof

    I might describe myself as a strong atheist. I can not prove the non-existence of what I call God with absolute certainty, however I also recognize that I can neither prove much else with absolute certainty either. So I argue that I only need to prove that the existence of God is infinitesimally...
  17. nilsz

    Religion & Logic

    I try to understand this perspective, but I find myself frustrated. I start to wonder if you subscribe to a different understanding of what it means to believe? I appreciate wonder and mystery, though this does not lead me to religion. It rather leads to imagination that strives for...
  18. nilsz

    Laser procedure can turn brown eyes blue

    Gender reassignment therapy is typically due to transsexualism, and not a mere aesthetic adjustment. I am not convinced that they are comparable.
  19. nilsz

    Laser procedure can turn brown eyes blue

    Having grown up in a pre-dominantly blue-eyed population, I find brown eyes alluring and mesmerizing. I notice that when I do a Google Image search for "blue eyes", the results seem unrealistically saturated in colour. This is not how blue eyes look, they are really more greyish.
  20. nilsz

    Is truth relative or absolute?

    I believe the human mind attempts to understand an absolute truth, in the sense of a physical reality. In doing so, it employs abstract concepts and systems such as mathematics to describe the phenomena it observes. Mathematics is not so much "absolutely true" as much as it is a useful language...