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Down to One Modest Proposal for the Instructables Site Answered

Proposal 1: ***Addition***I seem to be the only one who feels this way, so it's probably a problem with my perceptions and not a real problem. So, unless someone else decides this is a problem too, I withdraw the suggestion. Originally it was that we not discuss politics or religion on the site, enforced by squid labs. Proposal 2: Assigned Group Contest. I'll explain: I've tried posting forum topics that somewhat unite the community following divisive posts (Heal the World, what's your favorite book, Maxims to live by, etc.) Allowing everybody to share things that they enjoy helps a little with unity. However, something that works even better(!) is collaboration. Heal the World failed at that. So this proposal would require people to sign up and be assigned to a group by Squid Labs, given strict limits on goals and resources, etc and let loose. Also, I think a leader ought to be assigned by squid labs, just like if you want to get anything done in the real world. The main point of the contest would be to build trust in the community and have fun, so the prizes might need to be well-thought out and mailable. Nothing builds trust like working together towards a common goal. Thoughts? Suggestions?


Make Allsteps default.

Oh. I read fast, and since some steps are like one sentence, I get tired of waiting for it to load, and stuff. I see what you mean, though.

that would be nice, but they should not. it would be a nightmare for people on dialup for some of the instructables.

Yeah, got your point. They might could make it selectable on your profile, though. Like you would select if you wanted to view your instructables as one page with all steps, or several pages with the steps one to a page.

Like you would select if you wanted to view your instructables as one page with all steps, or several pages with the steps one to a page.

I thought this option was already available? Or do you mean something different from the current set up?

? Well, it is, at the beginning of every instructable page.

I meant something that you'd select when you entered your info when you signed up.

Well, sometimes when I write, I don't write clearly, too.

There's also an instructable for how to set it up automatically with firefox. Search for it . . .

If by it you mean the allsteps thing, then, thanks a LOT!



Not content with censoring Where's Waldo you want to censor instructables. Provided people abide by the "be nice" rule I see no need to add a layer of censorship or to restrict discussion on any subject.

Are we mature enough to discuss politics and religion without getting angry, personal, or namecalling?

Yes I think I am. However, I do note that in a recent post of yours you referred to Steve as being a "punk" - and you weren't saying he had green spiky hair. Just because someone doesn't share the same beliefs as you doesn't mean you should insult them or censor them!

I respect, and defend, your right to hold your beliefs even though I don't share them. Please respect the rights of other's not to be censored, and to be able to discuss openly and maturely any subject they wish. Other peoples points of view can only be understood by open discussion not by avoiding the subject.

I honestly believe that the lack of discussion (and hence understanding) between people of differing religious beliefs is responsible for many of the problems in the world today. So if you really want to Heal the World start talking, and more importantly start listening to the opinions of others.


Pat. Pending

Let me add one more thing on censorship. I don't think you should take my comments on Waldo as supporting censorship, meaning government controls. Sorry you don't feel I'm listening to other opinions. I think I understand where you're coming from, what you're saying, and what some of the ideas you have about me are. I think when someone is being rude, they should be called on it. "You're being rude." The might give a response (as has happened on the site) no, I'm just telling the truth. Wherein there lies the censorship? I've seen people banned from the site for I think, two distinct uses of racial slurs towards another. Blatantly rude in the opinions of Squid Labs (and rightly so) and worthy of banning. However, religious insults don't hold as much weight, though they may be equally rude. Here's what I mean: You can insult me with racial slurs and it doesn't bug me. But malign my religion and that gets my goat. My primary identity is based on my religious views, not my skin color. My religion is my life, truth is indivisible, true science and true religion are the same thing. Skin just keeps your muscles from drying out.

RS, on the one hand, you want your beliefs respected and that is understandable. You have your faith, and it is precious to you. However, one hand must wash the other.

When you make a statement like ...true science and true religion are the same thing, then I must join in the discussion to contradict you. Such an assertion offends my sensibilities. Whereas a personal faith is jut that, personal, and does not require external validation or consistency, statements like that are beyond personal and into the public domain, most especially since the statement is demonstrably untrue.

So, without intent to be insulting or rude, I must ask you to refrain from making statements that are both untrue and clearly at odds to your own first proposal.

This does not mean, of course, that one can not have a scientific outlook on one's religious beliefs, or even have scientific evidence for what one believes. This does not, however; give anyone the right to demand that a belief system the "only one" correct OR that a belief system is not to be followed because someone thinks it is "stupid" (immorality is another ball of wax).

Personally, I consider faith and science to be mutually exclusive, due to the varying attitude to evidence: religion requires that people have faith (belief without evidence), whereas science (done properly) will not accept anything without some form of independently-verifiable evidence.

As for stupidity, I think it is the way a religion is followed that can be stupid (for instance, declaring publicly that the Bible is inerrant shows that you haven't actually read it properly)

Morality is a matter of personal choice, and does not require religion. In fact, in my experience and observation, religion is often used to justify patently immoral actions that would horrify anybody who considered them in a non-religious context.

By the way, I don't define religion as having deities or deity. In fact, it seems evident that science is your religion and that your view traditional Christianity as a very bad thing, hence being offended at the comparison.

Name one religion that lacks a deity. However, if you wish to exclude deities from the definitions, a religion is any set of beliefs based on faith - that is, belief in things for which no evidence exists. Since science requires evidence, religion and science are mutually exclusive. The old cant "science is your religion" is false and ignorant of the nature of science. Now, I'd like to leave this thread, especially this strand, before I let frankness over come the "be nice" policy.

Since you don't want to keep talking, is this a de facto support of proposal #1? Or what? I mean, do really want the answers to your questions or do you just want the last word or do you just want the whole thing dropped? Because I'm up for any of that. Sincerely, Royal

Name one religion that lacks a deity.'

You only want one :-)
Theism has no "substantial" god, but believes "nature" is the controling power, and ergo, god of sorts. But not really.

Some forms of buddhism are essentially without a god.

There are a number of Wiccan groups that do not believe in anything beyond nature.

Since science requires evidence, religion and science are mutually exclusive.
Kiteman: I am not trying to anger you, just show you what I mean: the Bible declares that faith is to be based on evidence or it isn't "true" faith, but rather blind acceptance. Blind acceptance and faith, according the Bible then are mutually exclusive.

Do you see my point of view?

I agree to a point: still I feel that I have applied scientific principles to the reasoning behind my "faith". Again, I am not trying to convince anyone of anything, but just trying to explain what I mean, the Bible itself tells me what faith should be: "faith is the evidence of things unseen". This means it can not be totally blind, but must be backed by what I see, hear, feel, and gather as information about everything around me. I feel I have done this, but that is another matter altogether.

As for stupidity, I think it is the way a religion is followed that can be stupid (for instance, declaring publicly that the Bible is inerrant shows that you haven't actually read it properly)...

Of course, the opposite could be true, one could also demonstrate that a lack of understanding could result in such an attitude. But declaring that any translation of any work had no errors in it, would be indeed ludicrous at best.

I just meant by my comment on stupidity that I have heard a "loose" definition of stupidity being a person that is ignorant AND refuses to learn.

'Morality is a matter of personal choice, and does not require religion.'

Actually, to be honest, this would depend on one's definition of a "religion" I suppose.

Still, even with the understanding that a religion can be misused to justify immoral actions (and there are those of us that find the actions you describe as immoral also even considering them in the supposed religious context), doesn't vilify all religion, but simply the one belief; much the same way that the atom bomb does not make nuclear energy a bad thing.

Tikkun Olam ;-)

The definition of religion would be a crucial point in any further discussion, I think.

"Belief in, and worship of, a (usually non-corporeal) deity or deities with supra-normal abilities."

The word has been used in the place of dedication also: He goes to the Pub on Friday nights at 8, religiously. :-) On a more serious note: So, if one believed that the/a deity did not operate outside the realm of the laws of physics, that would not qualify? I don't mean to egg you on, but I find this distinction fascinating.

If the being operates within the recognised limitations of reality, then the being would not be a deity, just a normal (if powerful) mortal being, part of the universe, not creator of the universe.

Simply by limiting a being to the speed of light robs them of omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence - all defining characteristics of the judeo-christian pantheon-set.

Hmm, I believe I could contest that, not with argument, but as an exercise, if you don't mind ?

For instance:
Simply by limiting a being to the speed of light robs them of omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence - all defining characteristics of the judeo-christian pantheon-set.

Why do we think in terms of "one" = "single". What about a family? It is a single unit, it works "together", and if the "son/daughter" goes out to do business in the name of the "father" (last name here), are they not, for the sake of argument, doing the same and therefor of the same mind? A singular deity of equal units with some diverseness, yet all with the same goal, would that not fulfill both omniscience and omnipotence; that energy that was both at "creation" and "did create", In quantum physics a "particle" can be in two places at once, or no place at all. I don't find it at all that far-fetched, but I do have to say that many of the "present day" concepts of a deity, are very illogical.

There is a doctrine in my church that teaches that God is outside of time. That solves a lot of physics problems. It also teaches that God employs the laws of the universe (including those we don't know or understand yet) to perform miracles, he does not set those laws aside, for how can God be a God of justice and not obey the laws himself? The contradiction would be impossible. PM me and we'll continue! :)

And that is one definition of "real" faith, something not yet, but where there is evidence for it.

PS: you can get a little of what I am talking about by listening to the RadioLabs podcast I have linked to somewhere on one of these threads. Especially the last 10 minutes of it.

Actually, I think I will step away from this conversation for the sake of maintaining civilised relations.

Indeed, as there are those that would apply the word "religion" to anything believed. And this could cause all kinds of neat problems. Like, do you "know" that the chair you are about to sit in will not collapse under you, or do you only "believe" it will not. In a way, it is a faith based on past evidences (BTW: I have had a chair collapse under me, that had been sturdy for years). Anything really, can be discussed, even the prospect of discussing something ;-)

To branch into semantics, I trust that the chair will not collapse.

Trust is based on a faith in the past performance, no?

Trust is based on a faith in the past performance, no?

In this context I would prefer probability based on past performance rather than faith ;-)

Pat. Pending

Well, if you sit in a new chair it is not the performance of THAT chair obviously, but past experience with chairs. A baby can demonstrate this by not wanting to crawl out onto a glass pane overhanging a desk, wherein it can see the solid desk, but after the edge, even though it can feel the glass, it lacks experience to know it will support him, despite the reassurance of the solid feel (I have seen this experiment done).

The past performance is also evidence. (Rats, I left this thread already!)

Ahh, exactly. I don't know that the chair won't collapse, I assume it won't, based on past experience. Most of our interactions with the world must be chalked up as rules assumed to be true based on empirical evidence, but they could be proven wrong at any moment. In counterpoint the few things I actually KNOW are religious principles. I believe and assume quite a lot of things, but know only a handful.

This is interesting to me, because my denomination greatly stresses the importance of finding out for one's self. In essence, no one can know truth for you. And I don't really know anyone with belief without evidence. Certainly I have belief without Mosaic miracles, but there's evidence aplenty. And I know that everyone has the capacity to experiment and receive evidence for themselves.

Well, I already withdrew proposal #1 before posting this, and was well aware of the apparent hypocrisy, though trying to discuss my reasons for making the proposal requires that one discuss the subject. Naturally. As for being offended, I can only say that I'm sorry to have offended you. I feel certain it must be because we have different ideas of what science and religion are. In essence, we're not speaking the same language. Perhaps I can rephrase what I was saying above in an innofensive manner: The disciplined search for and employment of eternal truths I call "True religion" is the same as the regularized search for understanding of the universe based on empirical evidence we currently call "the Scientific Method". An crucial adjective to the phrase is "true." One cannot expect falsehoods to be equivalent to empirical evidence. One of the other problems I think in our communication, is that you are making some assumptions on what my beliefs are. So far, I haven't really mentioned my beliefs on the site, except for one comment on the atonement being infinite. I guarantee that my understanding and employment of religion is very much experimental, as in "experiment upon the word." Now I've given myself away with that phrase. There are certainly religions that do not require faith, but that reward the obedient. As far as I know, only Christianity absolutely requires faith of it's adherents. So blanket statements against "religion" requiring faith lead me to believe that you aren't really understanding my words. That's probably mostly due to there being very little trust between us, not something that is easily remedied over the internet. But proposal #2 would help with that, at least according to the psychology class I took a few years ago . .. and it did seem to be a true principle. Hope you're not offended by this comment.

If we define a religion as a belief-set with a deity or deities, then any religion requires faith - any of the religions based on Judaism, all the Euro-pagan religions, Native American religions, Hinduism, even Buddhism. The only "religion" that does not require faith is (Secular) Humanism, and even then I find it uncomfortably reliant on ceremonies and rituals that are similar to paganism.

Ah, I see that I've not made myself clear. I mean faith is a requirement for the Christian practitioners to receive their "eternal reward" or indeed, even to make progress. Not necessary as far as I know for Others. Others are merely required to keep the law or pursue the goal, as far as I know.

I've seen people banned from the site for I think, two distinct uses of racial slurs towards another.
However, religious insults don't hold as much weight, though they may be equally rude

Religion is a choice. And when it's not (because your parents taught you it), it's still possible to change it if you feel the need of ...

Race is not a choice. And it's not possible to change it (because it's genetic).

You can't put racial slurs at the same level than religious bashing.

You said it yourself : religion is at the same level than politics ... It's all about ideas, opinions, belief and philosophy, no more.

Religion is more culture, I'd say, especially if sincerely held. Changing culture is maybe not as impossible as changing race, but excessively difficult, and still again, one of the primary reasons for many settlers to come to the States. I didn't put it one the same level and racial slurs below it. You can't utter racial slurs without consequence at my workplace, either. I think, as all these things refer to usually core characteristics (i.e. deeply held principles and ideas of lasting cultural significance) of people, there are in the same realm.