X-Message-Number: 15137
From: "Dani Kollin" <>
Subject: RE: CryoNet#15120
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 22:14:11 +0200

Let me just open by saying....it's a boy! it's a boy! That's right two of
them this past Sunday am. One at 6.5 lbs the other at 5.5lbs. May they live
a really really long and happy life. If I don't get back to this list for a
bit it'll be because I'll be too bleary-eyed to notice my inbox is
overflowing. That being said.....

Sorry, there was not an attempt at sarcasm. It seemed to me that someone
could beleive in a god and equate that belief with ethics without beleiving
in any other that claims to have the answer to deep philosophical problems
of life. A lot of people say that they beleive there is a god as a
philosophical concept but they don't follow any organised religion - you
could have been one of them. "Ethical Monotheism" could be a name given to
such a philosophy. There are, of course, many religions that do not beleive
in the Judeo-Christian bible and yet beleive in a single God.

Apology accepted and per the above, true enough.

the intitial conditions must have contained the seeds of the world as it was
long before man appeared - animals were eating each other during many
geological periods that were bounded by impacts, super volcanos, tsunamis
and so on. This carnage was not brought about by the "fall of man". If the
fall of man story had any reality in history (a tribal leader making a wrong
decision, for example),  at that time the planet would in geological terms
have been very little younger than it is now.

Quite right. Which is why most people view the story of creation more as
metaphor from which many lessons can be learned and not as actual
chronological event (barring of course the ultra orthodox). It would be no
use arguing chronology between a metaphor and a factual period of time. What
is interesting though is that though God "saw that it was good" apparently
it wasn't good enough in that the first commandment given to man is to go
out and subdue it (some read the verse as "improve it"  - God's first
homework assignment?). Most commentary on this points to the earth being in
a raw state and that man represents its potential (and hence back to the
metaphor...see what I mean?).

It was a straight forward question. Apologies for any offence taken.

No problem. If I overeacted please accept my apologies as well.

> Just saying I don't need it as an incentive to act ethically.

Maybe, or maybe no one can really analyse precicely what the incentive is
that makes them act "ethically." [I put it in quotes because I am not really
sure what the word means, it is elusive like discussion about "The Bible"]
It is a bit like the discussion as to the true nature of "selfishnmess" or
"selflesness", which also crops up in cryonics circles from time to time.

But why can't they? I can show you cadres of observant people who can tell
you EXACTLY what makes them act ethically. And I still don't agree that
ethics is as elusive as you claim however I think at this point it's
probably safe to say that we agree to disagree.

I think there are two possible arguments:

Life is a precious gift and how better to show gratitude to the donor of a
precious gift than to look after it.

or the doubters about cryonics may say:

God has told you that there is more life after death and you must not
distrust him.

Interesting in that according to Judaism both of the above scenarios are
part of the dogma.

Of course the difficulty many would have with this is that who can really
know what a god thinks, even if he does exist as a being that can carry out
processes we would recognise as thought and speech? If there does exist a
being that has the attributes of God, it could be so alien that we could
never even recognise it as a being let alone communicate with it.

Precisely. Though you'd probably get a lot of argument with regards to
communication (lots of people believe and I mean beleeeeeve in prayer).

The writings and speeches made by "holy men" are generated from their
brains, nowhere else.

Thereby wiping out the whole notion of "divinely inspired".

That is why this thread is called " destroying symbols
of coercion":

Perhaps it should have been called, "destroying the idea that symbols
neccesarily represent coercion" ;)

The concept of "Do as I say because God speaks through me" is
one of the most powerful tools of coercion ever invented by men to have
power over other men. The British monarchy, for example, relies strongly on
this power.

To compare the British Monarchy to vaunted figures of religios movements is
probably not a proper analogy. I'd hardly put Jesus or Moses into the same
category as King George. While they're both leaders they certainly can't be
put into the same category with regards to how they led and what was the
inspiration behind not only their leadership but the acceptance by the
masses of it (I'm not talking about later manifestations..the inquisition
comes to mind). How a nation or religious group chooses it's leaders says
alot about who's coercing whom. I've actually seen kids trading baseball
style cards of the great rabbis of years past. To these children the "best"
cards to get were the ones of the rabbis famed for being the most learned.


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