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?
No. No absolutes. The term itself should be avoided if not discarded by atheists and humanists.
Good point, Davis. :) No one can just go around slinging around absolutes. I felt really uncomfortable when my sister said that death is an absolute and that's the reason I decided to make this whole rant. She isn't worried about death itself and she believes in the fluffy blanket of Heaven to transcend to after death. If she were to have that image taken away from her and see death as an unknown, like me, then I'm sure death would be a lot scarier. I don't take anything for granted and I see this life experience as a moment that I must enjoy as much as possible before anything stops it in its tracks.
It isn't easy imagining that the universe we live in is mostly chaotic with safe spots that are only safe for so long. I think about all of the dangers here on earth and then I think of any of the dangers outside that can completely obliterate us today. I understand how most people wish to believe there is a place where everything is tranquil, painless, and endless unimaginable beauty. There probably is no inherent meaning or purpose to life but we have the ability to make meaning. Religion is a major mistake because it keeps people fixed on ideas that obviously aren't coherent with our reality. I personally think that if so many people wish there to be the best possible world for humans to coexist, we all have to work for that. Many people will say, well life is completely pointless if there's no final justice and reward afterwards.
If you want, you can look on my profile and find the Menschsein song I put up and it summarizes human beings very well. :)
So, there are absolutely no absolutes?
There are absolutes in the universe, though. Pi will ALWAYS equal 3.14159... The golden ratio will ALWAYS come out to be 1.618...
These are absolutes. As Obfuskation stated (a very common conundrum), saying that there are no absolutes is an absolute statement in and of itself. To avoid embarassment, it is best to accept that there are absolutes that are observable. However, absolutes are very rare, and one should be careful and very thorough before labelling something as absolute.
Does anyone have anything to add/change?
Pi will ALWAYS equal 3.14159...
Except in a computer's memory where in binary (base-two) notation pi's whole number part is 11.
In an on-screen or printed memory dump its whole number part is the same whether expressed in octal (base-eight) or hexadecimal (base-sixteen): 3.
Whoops, scratch the final sentence in the above post.
Had we 3 fingers and a thumb on each hand we would count in octal and would approximate pi (if I did my arithmetic correctly) with 1145457.
1145457 = 1 x 8^6 + 1 x 8^5 + 4 x 8^4 + 5 x 8^3 + 4 x 8^2 + 5 x 8 + 7
(8^2 means 8 x 8; 8^3 means 8 x 8 x 8; etc.)
In a computer that value is in one memory location. The octal point's position (6) is in another memory location. (Damn, I haven't done math like that since the mid-1970s! Were I more compulsive and had we 7 fingers and a thumb on each hand, I would show you the hexadecimal for how we would approximate pi.)
I always give my age in Hex.
Ok, I'm a compulsive. I can approximate pi in hex with 4CB2F, or
4 x 16^4 + C x 16^3 + B x 16^2 + 2 x 16^1 + F.
The hex point's position value is -4, so count 4 to the left and put the point between 4 and C.
What, you want me to count in hex?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F, 10, 11, 12, 13, ....
Once a Catholic not always a Catholic, but once a nerd always a nerd.
My age in hex, base 16, looks better: 53.
In base 20 (fingers and toes) even better: 43.
You are referring to a tautology. It's not useful to talk about them as absolutes because the word is so loaded with cultural, historical and religious baggage. It should be seriously avoided. Especially by atheists and humanists.
...and Pi and the Golden Mean are conceptual realities (as is all of mathematics), and thus are not really part of the universe. Otherwise, what part of the universe would one go to in order to locate them?
You got it, Ob. Yours is the only absolute I know.