We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Is Atheism a Specifically Western Phenomenon?Peter Berger - We know atheism in its Jewish or
Christian context, as a rejection of the Biblical God. What would
atheism mean in a Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist context?
"In Nature organic growth proceeds according to a Master Plan, a Blueprint. Such a ‘master plan’ is missing from the process of growth and development of the world system. Now is the time to draw up a master plan for sustainable growth and world development based on global allocation of all resources and a new global economic system. Ten or twenty years form today it will probably be too late." - Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point
In Nature organic growth proceeds according to a Master Plan....Bull. Natural growth proceeds consistent with the forces that impinge upon it, including dozers and chainsaws. There are tons of hard, factual evidence supporting that statement. There is no such evidence supporting the Master Plan assertion. Only religious or quasi-religious (e.g. environmentalist) faith.
Ah, the Club of Rome. I remember it well. It was the Age of Aquarius but apocalypse loomed dark in the future. Paul Ehrlich, winner of the Nobel Prize for Being Wrong About Everything, told us so.
As a newly-minted FORTRAN programmer with an interest in numeric modeling, I read Limits to Growth cover to cover, including the appendices. It was gloomy, especially the appendix where they talked about playing with the models in order to find some scenario with a survivable outcome. This was rather suspicious - no matter how the inputs were changed, the output was still the same. A couple conclusions rise to the surface: either Humanity was truly and utterly boned, OR there was something wrong with the models.
In hindsight, we know it was all numerical hippy-nonsense. Models are not the territory. Models can help check your understanding of a process. Good models are useful for prediction and playing "What If?", but they are not evidence of anything. By the way, how's that Global Warming thing working out?
In my humble opinion the basic claims of the club of Rome are true. Over 7 billion people on earth and the population increase is excellerating. The large numbers of humans and the large population centers increase the probability of a pandemic of biblical proportions. The probability of a major famine increase with population growth as well. The list of potential problems made worse by an ever increasing population is quite long. I think the mistake that the club of Rome makes is that they believe that they can do something to mitigate this. Let me say that I do agree that there are things the human race could do to make life better for everyone, but understand that most of those things are contrary to our self-interest and history shows that in the end we always choose to not do those kinds of things. Best case is that one group does do the right things to prepare for worst case scenarios and when those worst case scenarios occur some stronger group simply takes what they want from prepared group.