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Comment author: ScentOfViolets 23 March 2009 11:15:00PM 3 points [-]

I thought this was all very standard stuff; as I was taught going on half a century ago, the atomic theory of matter simply says you cannot indefinitely divide a sample of something like nitrogen in half. That is, there is a smallest discrete unit of nitrogen that retains all it's chemical properties as opposed to the notion that nitrogen is like an infinitely divisble continuous fluid.

How is it being taught these days?

Comment author: ScentOfViolets 18 October 2008 06:28:51PM 7 points [-]

Would that other systems get the same favorable treatment that Elizar advocates for capitalism. How about looking at the virtues of Communisms from the inside, as Elizar would have it. Anybody feel motivated to do more than a superficial hack job? How about Socialism? Monarchy? Plutocracy?

Speaking as someone who has no problem with capitalism, I'd say that people's reaction to it have a lot more to do with the people who promote it. Sort of like most people who don't care much for Heinlein turn out to have an appreciation of his writing, but absolutely detest the fanboy adulators who surround his remains.

Comment author: ScentOfViolets 03 August 2008 03:53:48PM 0 points [-]

No doubt there is also a privileged historical reference as well. Angels? Disembodied souls? Positively medieval. Dualism? A bit dressier, but still discredited. Free will? That's something still being disputed, but the free will of modernists is not the free will bandied about half a millenia ago. That seems to be yet another convenient myth. So how about consciousness and 'internal' states? I could see quite easily a future where the 'consciousness' of the late 22nd century is not the consciousness of today. This is not too far from modern consciousness being a relatively new historical phenomenon ala Jaynes, btw. And points to the difficulty of acquiring evidence that such is the case; the absence of fossilized remains being something of a hindrance.

Comment author: ScentOfViolets 24 December 2007 07:38:06PM 1 point [-]

Thank you - that's exactly what I've heard, but I didn't want to get lost in quibbling over the details. Since we are in agreement then, why post this story? Given the existence of Jesus (one can argue persuasively that there is not sufficient historical evidence that such a creature ever existed), this story would never have happened, would have been, well, silly. If it's about the priors of committed Christians, it doesn't work - a god that can create an entire universe in seven days just to lavish attention and affection upon the peoples of a certain small globe certainly wouldn't cavil at a virgin birth.

Comment author: ScentOfViolets 24 December 2007 06:07:13PM 2 points [-]

This may be the stuff of urban legend, but . . . wasn't this just an issue of mistranslation? I had heard that the Hebrew word (or whatever the extant language was) for 'young woman' or 'young bride' had picked up some virginal baggage before making it into the Canon. Is there any basis to this version of events?

In response to Lost Purposes
Comment author: ScentOfViolets 26 November 2007 02:30:50PM 2 points [-]

I have seen one or two occasions when he has denied it. But I give more weight to actions, and I have not seen anything he has posted which runs contrary to that assumption. If he truly is a contrarian, you'd expect to see more posts arguing for points that are more commonly associated with socialism or communism. I haven't seen them.

In response to Lost Purposes
Comment author: ScentOfViolets 25 November 2007 11:20:23PM 2 points [-]

It means that contrary to his protestations, Robin really is a libertarian, and he is trying to push the meme that libertarian positions are really vanilla mainstream positions. Someone who is doing the exact opposite of overcoming bias, iow.