Typically over half of the news in the U.S. is covered by sports, celebrities, and stuff that really doesn't deserve all that much attention. TV is infested with reality TV shows featuring these celebrities and the like, complaining incessantly about how their life is tough while living a lavish lifestyle. Real news is typically skipped over because many people love to stay in their bubble of good feelings. Then you have the people gawking at the screen learning everything possible about a famous person when most of them will never be able to meet said famous person. Gossip of what's popular floods conversations at schools, workplaces, and just about everywhere. Many people can't seem to survive without their phones and rudely interrupt conversations when they feel that buzz when they hear the buzz. These things are no where near as much of a problem as religion, but it certainly plays a factor in keeping people ignorant.

 There are lots of nasty people who use their politics and religion to exploit other people. Many of these said people will claim that there freedom of speech is in jeopardy when they are faced with criticism. Another issue with this country is that many people believe that freedom of speech comes with a "lack of criticism" policy. At the end of the day, we all have opinions and we are beings that are swayed by emotion more than logic more than we even realize it. Although, it must be said that there is a difference between criticism and discrimination.

Morality in America is typically owed to Christianity, another one of the obsessions in the general public. Each to their own, but the problem is that many feel the need to place their beliefs on others. Many atheists among other non-believers just want to move the people hogging the streets so everyone can pass through more evenly. We are all open to criticism no matter our beliefs. I wouldn't be so much upset by the fact that someone thinks that LGBT people are evil, but it is because of that widespread hatred which tears down LGBT people on a personal level. Religion is especially dangerous in countries where secular values haven't been set in place. It is essential that there is middle road that most people can agree on to prevent any religion from having the moral advantage. Religious people shouldn't need their religion to say killing is wrong because there are many observable consequences that have nothing to do with mere "spirituality".

Talking about absolutes, do any absolutes exist or are they just concepts? To say something is absolute is to assume that a particular event will remain constant always. Always in itself is a word that is an absolute as well as never. What do you think about absolutes?

 

 

 

Tags: Ranting

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The problem with religious ethics is that they are based on edicts from the deity. Thus, to commit murder isn't intrinsically wrong, it's wrong because the deity says so. And if the deity said the opposite, then THAT would be wrong.

It seems relativism isn't avoidable no matter where the ethical prescriptions come from! Instead of a man's opinion or a group's consensus it is the opinion of the deity which decides, and in the case of Christianity, apparently God has been known to revise his opinion.

One of the properties of absolutes is immutability.

The problem with religious ethics is that they are based on edicts from the deity. Thus, to commit murder isn't intrinsically wrong, it's wrong because the deity says so. And if the deity said the opposite, then THAT would be wrong.

It depends on the religion, I suppose.  Mine would argue that some ethics are based on Natural Law and can be ascertained through reason.

The problem we might have from a sociological point of view is what percentage of the population is capable of that sort of abstract moral reasoning?  Referring to divine positive law is considerably easier, and quite possibly more effective when we are talking about lots of people or creating a common culture.  Religion is useful as a theory.

You do raise an important point above, however.  Absent Natural Law or divine positive law, what basis do we have for imposing our version of ethics on anyone else? 

What the hell is Natural Law other than the laws of physics, which have nothing to say about ethics or morality?

We have no basis for imposing our interpretation of morals or ethics on anyone else, we simply do so when we have the power and intent. We take away their power and impose our own. This is in parallel to Proudhon's declaration about property: "Property is theft." We might say "Ethics is dictatorship."

This is the way it is. We might as well call a spade a spade, as they say.

The speed of a photon is absolute.

Has there ever been a proof that every single photon always conforms to the cosmic speed limit, or is that assumed?

Speaking as a physicist, it is assumed.  Along with a lot of other things. 

Besides, @Gregg must be referring to the speed of light in a vacuum.  The speed of light definitely changes in different materials.  Since there's really no such thing as an absolute vacuum, it's more proper to say that c provides an upper limit on the speed of the photon.

The speed of the photon doesn't change (it has no mass) it only appears to change to the observer because of the reflectivity of the medium (the photon just takes a longer route).

Which scientist proved that and where/when was the proof performed? If that's the way it's always been, that's evidence not proof.

@ Bob:

Where did you go???

I'm probably wrong.

Photons may indeed slow down and reflectivity is the wrong word, I should have typed refractive.

But back to absolutes, there seems to be no argument as to the absoluteness of the speed of a photon in a vacuum.

Which would confirm that there are absolutes.

I may be misinterpreting you. Are you saying that because there seems to be no argument as to the absoluteness of the speed of a photon in a vacuum that that somehow proves that there are absolutes?

One problem here is that the word "argument" has two not totally compatible meanings. One can be a "a spirited discussion or dispute" and the other can be "the case or evidence on behalf of an assertion." Which meaning of the term are you using here?

Ethics requires absolutes if ethical statements are to be true/false and not just someone's notion or opinion about conduct.

But as you admit, the speed of photons is variable in some circumstances.

@Unseen:

Sorry for the confusion.  I was responding to Uncle Bob, he had posted up a comment disagreeing with me and as I was researching what he had said he deleted his comment.

Here's the whole thing:

Sorry, that's not the way it works.

The velocity of light definitely does change substantially in different media.    So does the wavelength (while the frequency necessarily stays the same).  The fact that the photon has zero rest mass is irrelevant.   The characteristic of substances associated with a change in the speed of light is termed the index of refraction, not reflectivity.   The route of individual photons is indeterminate, and photon location can only be described by a probability density function resulting from the respective wave equations (which themselves are not readily calculable).  The route is not, however, "longer", as light in any continuous transparent medium travels in a straight line.  The speed of light is independent of the reference frame of the observer.

I'm not sure why he deleted it.

But since we were talking about absolutes, I will stick with the speed of a photon in a vacuum.

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