Snowflakes aren't special, you have no meaning, and that's good

#1
Ugh, I was longing for a skeptiko and didn't have one so I delved into other podcasts. This made me so aggravated I had to turn it off. Of course Joe didn't question any of this scientific mumbo-jumbo as nefarious as any new age spiel... try and find the part where he tells us how wonderful it is that we're a random accident with no meaning, but the meaning we give the universe ourselves. (But where did that meaning come from?)

 
#3
Posting this comment from the article to remind myself to read this book :)

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving that they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." -Alfred North Whitehead,

"The Function of Reason" (1929)



Whitehead was perhaps the 20th century's most capable mathematician, physicist, and philosopher. It is unfortunate that he is not still around to deflate the non-thought of know-nothing anti-intellectuals. Krauss does a service to no one by pretending cosmology has or could ever take a single step forward without philosophy. Yes, indeed, Krauss is mostly a bad philosopher and not a scientist (at least when he speaks and writes for the general public).
 
#5
I find Krauss thoroughly disingenuous and worst of all, arrogant.

He has a worldview, a metaphysics, a "faith" that appears to me to be in no way different or better than the religious fundamentalism to whom he constantly rails against.

Want to watch something fun? Seek out the video of his mutual admiration interview of Johnny Depp. I mean, seriously?
 
#6
Thanks for the discussion, folks. I haven't read Krauss's book, but I think I get the idea. You can argue that something came from nothing if you redefine "nothing" as ... man, this is too easy. I'll stop right there. Funny thing is, Krauss is almost certainly much smarter than I am.
 
#8
"When I mentioned Ellis’s critique to Krauss, he claimed that Ellis, although once a physicist, is now a “theologian.” Ellis, a Quaker, has indeed written about religion, among other topics, but he is renowned for his work as a physicist. He co-wrote with Stephen Hawking the classic work The Large-Scale Structure of Spacetime, published in 1973. Just in the past five years, Ellis, now 76, has edited one book on quantum gravity and co-written another on cosmology and has co-written more than a dozen papers on physics"

This is easily the most intellectually dishonest thing I've ever seen a scientist do..
 
#10
Want to watch something fun? Seek out the video of his mutual admiration interview of Johnny Depp. I mean, seriously?
Not just to be a critic (because I'm being honest here) but 34 minutes into that video and I'm appreciating it very much - even if only because it's focussed on the incredible talent of Johnny Depp, and the man's own insights into his path. I don't mind at all that it's Laurence Krauss drawing out those insights - I'm sure that, despite my deep differences with his worldview, Laurence is a man I could potentially relate to in some meaningful way. OK, maybe not as Johnny Depp! But we don't have to hate on materialists, do we? Anybody can fall prey to bad ideas, and surely Laurence is at heart just as much a decent guy as any of us (including gals too).
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#11
Not just to be a critic (because I'm being honest here) but 34 minutes into that video and I'm appreciating it very much - even if only because it's focussed on the incredible talent of Johnny Depp, and the man's own insights into his path. I don't mind at all that it's Laurence Krauss drawing out those insights - I'm sure that, despite my deep differences with his worldview, Laurence is a man I could potentially relate to in some meaningful way. OK, maybe not as Johnny Depp! But we don't have to hate on materialists, do we? Anybody can fall prey to bad ideas, and surely Laurence is at heart just as much a decent guy as any of us (including gals too).
I suggest seeking out Krauss and telling him about your paranormal experiences.

Let us know the results, specifically how he treats you.
 
#12
I suggest seeking out Krauss and telling him about your paranormal experiences.

Let us know the results, specifically how he treats you.
Nah, man. I mean, fair call - what you say wouldn't go well, but don't we have to manage differing worldviews with many of our friends? Why would I approach in that way a man whom I know that would go down badly with? Some of my closest friends are materialists (I studied physics, chemistry and maths in high school with some of them, and computer systems engineering in university with others of them, before *#@! got weird and I dropped out), but that doesn't stop me from loving them. If there's one thing I've learnt from some of the most influential people in my life, including my mother, father, and a close university friend, it's that there's always a way to bridge the gap - to reach out, to form a new friendship... you just have to be open to the novelty of a human being you've not encountered before, but who has something mutually beneficial to share with you.
 
#13
Not just to be a critic (because I'm being honest here) but 34 minutes into that video and I'm appreciating it very much - even if only because it's focussed on the incredible talent of Johnny Depp, and the man's own insights into his path. I don't mind at all that it's Laurence Krauss drawing out those insights - I'm sure that, despite my deep differences with his worldview, Laurence is a man I could potentially relate to in some meaningful way. OK, maybe not as Johnny Depp! But we don't have to hate on materialists, do we? Anybody can fall prey to bad ideas, and surely Laurence is at heart just as much a decent guy as any of us (including gals too).
To each his own I guess. Depp doesn't impress me and Krauss fawning/mutual idol worshipping was intolerable. The egos involved there were just too daunting for me to navigate. ;)

I don't believe he's a decent guy though. He derides others in rather ugly and dare I say unethical ways. Tries to take the intellectual high ground while not only failing at it, but managing to seek the empathetic underbelly.

Just do not appreciate his approach and treatment of others with differing views.
 
#14
Not just to be a critic (because I'm being honest here) but 34 minutes into that video and I'm appreciating it very much - even if only because it's focussed on the incredible talent of Johnny Depp, and the man's own insights into his path. I don't mind at all that it's Laurence Krauss drawing out those insights - I'm sure that, despite my deep differences with his worldview, Laurence is a man I could potentially relate to in some meaningful way. OK, maybe not as Johnny Depp! But we don't have to hate on materialists, do we? Anybody can fall prey to bad ideas, and surely Laurence is at heart just as much a decent guy as any of us (including gals too).
I'm not sure what your position is on ID or Darwinism but I find it interesting to watch some debates on the subject. Of those I have watched, I've been most impressed with Stephen Meyer who always manages to keep his calm and dignity intact despite some really quite nasty attacks on his character and intellectual and professional standing. Usually he also manages to stick to the point by discussing the science behind his views on ID while his opponents insist on attacking his religious views.

Which brings me to Krauss and why I don't believe he is a decent guy, as you suggest. Here is a video of him in a staged debate with Meyer and a Christian Darwinist, Denis Lamoureux. Meyer was clearly ill and when his turn came around he was unable to focus on his slides due to a severe migraine (if you are interested, you can watch Meyer on top form in many other debates - this was certainly not Meyer on top form). My point is to ask whether you still think Krauss is a nice guy after watching this debate.

One final point. You are right about bridging gaps. I love my son dearly and discuss such matters with him often but he is an avowed atheist and he thinks his dad is slightly nuts for taking any of this afterlife stuff seriously. We somehow manage to keep our differences friendly though, thankfully, we are much closer on politics so we can both rant about Trump and Brexit and be in complete agreement.

Here's the video - it is a long one.

 
#15
Fair enough, guys, it seems you know the man better than I do - maybe I was being a little too lovey-dovey "everybody's OK at heart" without really looking at the facts. Will check out that video when I next have a nice chunk of laptop time, Kamarling. As for my position on ID, I haven't looked into it very closely, but what little I have looked into it has impressed me. I have always found raw, unmodified evolution / natural selection to be... quite a difficult story to swallow - for so long though it had seemed to be the only game in town (Creationism is even harder for me to swallow).
 
#16
Definitions get a bit messy. To an atheist, any thought of God-the-designer is creationism. Meyer points out that, while he is a Christian and he does believe that God is the designer, he does not claim that ID demands that but rather shows evidence for design without specifying how the design came about. In my view there is no need to invoke the Abrahamic God (which many atheists and most religious people blindly insist is the only concept of God). That concept of God is an easy target. Mine is a concept of the source of infinite creativity, not some anthropomorphic personality viewing his creation from above. If I get close to any religious view it would be this:

Wikipedia said:
In Hinduism, Brahman (/brəhmən/; ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind the diversity in all that exists in the universe.
 
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Brian_the_bard

Lost Pilgrim
Member
#19
In my view there is no need to invoke the Abrahamic God (which many atheists and most religious people blindly insist is the only concept of God). That concept of God is an easy target. Mine is a concept of the source of infinite creativity
There are actually many perceptions of the Abrahamic God and the early Jews and early Christians were more philosophical than one might think. That's the God I believe in, as is the source of infinite creativity also. I personally make no distinction. I think it is the usual case of religion distorting the message and missing the point that has produced the narrow views of God.
 
#20
Definitions get a bit messy. To an atheist, any thought of God-the-designer is creationism.
I agree in the binary nature here. The atheists like Krauss must be strict materialists. They can leave no "definitional" wriggle room. It is an affirmative "no God" stance.

Thus, the word salads used by those who believe or may believe in a God are not relevant in the dialogue with a guy like Krauss. He's not going to give ground to someone believing in a "source of infinite creativity" while hammering the Abrahamic believer. Both are tossed in the anti-science, anti-materialist, woo woo, "all religion is bad" pile without distinction.

This is why folks like Krauss are intellectual frauds. Utterly so. He has a clear, anti organized religion agenda that is not supported by science. Yet, he attempts to use whatever scientific authority he possesses in this crusade (and that's what it is). Its dishonest and dare I say unethical.
 
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