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    Thread: New XKCD: Beauty

    1. #1
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      New XKCD: Beauty

      xkcd: Beauty

      Title text:
      "The best hugs are probably from hagfish, which can extrude microscopic filaments that convert a huge volume of water around them to slime in seconds. Instant cozy blanket!"
      Mario92, kookyinc, nina and 1 others like this.
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    2. #2
      Terminally Out of Phase Descensus's Avatar
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      I love xkcd.
      The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended. - Frédéric Bastiat
      I try to deny myself any illusions or delusions, and I think that this perhaps entitles me to try and deny the same to others, at least as long as they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves. - Christopher Hitchens
      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

    3. #3
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      My 2 favourites are the one called "Rocks" (I think) and the one about screen resolutions, how to a PC user things like "1080p" shouldn't be impressive at all.

    4. #4
      DuB
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    5. #5
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      LOL US NERDS HUH xDDD we understand xkcd comics

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    6. #6
      Xei
      UnitedKingdom Xei is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by DuB View Post
      Philosopher

      A thousand times later and we still have no basis for thinking it will happen again.

      Quote Originally Posted by Marvo View Post
      LOL US NERDS HUH xDDD we understand xkcd comics
      tbh when xkcd misses as it often does, it's because it's clearly just trying to make nerds feel cliquey and special rather than having a decent joke.

      However quite regularly it'll do something genuinely smart, funny, or pretty.
      Last edited by Xei; 03-26-2011 at 02:18 AM.
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    7. #7
      DuB
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      LOL I'm so witty and chic I can spout ironic commentaries on social situations xDDD

    8. #8
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      Don't click on the wing.

    9. #9
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      The epitome of extended discussion.

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    10. #10
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      It's actually a very true, if admittedly cliche, point that the first one is making which is why I thought it was worth posting.

      A lot of people like to think that science separates us from nature. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because of science, we know that we are literally the cousin of every other living organism. Some people feel that that's not connected to nature enough1 and want to meditate with crystals and spirit guides because they think that that makes them more connected to nature.



      1. That's assuming that they've even thought deeply enough about biology to realize the truth of that statement. When I point it out to them, they generally get very uneasy with it. Maybe it's a little bit more connected to nature than they'd like to be. People seem to be very attached to the idea of a "soul" or "spirit" which separates us from other species and makes us somehow special. (edit: This is carried over into the "scientific" point of view by postulating that we're somehow free from instincts and don't essentially operate the same way that every other mammal does.)

      EDIT:

      Also, my rant has nothing to do with the actual point of the comic. Oh well.
      Last edited by PhilosopherStoned; 03-26-2011 at 03:51 AM.
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    11. #11
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      Neither science, nor spirituality or ones affiliation to any school of thought has anything to do with ones individual capability of appreciating beauty and wonder and ones individual reason for doing so. This comic works well as a response to the generalization of science in its entirety (as presented) and is appropriate, but accusing anybody of the inability of feeling quite "the same level" of astonishment is quite arrogant and furthermore impossible to compare. While the notion that a scientist, for removing intelligence or intent, is incapable of feeling true beauty in things is ridiculous, it is equally futile to accuse a spiritually inclined person of being blinded by a false sense of beauty. I would like for these kind of arguments to end in future a/theistic debates, as I see them made quite often.

    12. #12
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dajo View Post
      While the notion that a scientist, for removing intelligence or intent, is incapable of feeling true beauty in things is ridiculous, it is equally futile to accuse a spiritually inclined person of being blinded by a false sense of beauty. I would like for these kind of arguments to end in future a/theistic debates, as I see them made quite often.
      I'm not sure exactly what you mean by a "spiritually inclined person". Could you elaborate on the differences between a spiritually inclined person and a non-spiritually inclined person?
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    13. #13
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      Well, since atheism opposes any theistic models and models of intelligent intent, I wanted to present the other side not only as christian, but include other non-materialistic world views (other religions, universalism, buddhism, even new age, etc.) - so I chose the term spiritually inclined. I am aware that there are many grey areas as there are atheists that would consider themselves spiritual and atheists that will allow for nothing beyond the material.

      So just to illustrate what I mean, although I am aware of the futility of such a simple model:

      A spiritually inclined person would believe consciousness being at the core of existence and the material as we observe it being a product of said consciousness.

      A materialistic inclined person would believe that consciousness arises out of the material (brain) and that the only thing that objectively exists is matter.

    14. #14
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      You seem to be drawing a false dichotomy between the spiritual and the material. First off, I want to clean up the term "material" a little bit as I do consider myself to be an unrepentant materialist. I do not think that it means matter. I simply think that it means what the universe is made out of. Whatever that happens to be. It's almost definitely not matter at this point.

      Quote Originally Posted by dajo View Post
      A spiritually inclined person would believe consciousness being at the core of existence and the material as we observe it being a product of said consciousness.
      I can agree that material as we observe it is a product of said being. I can certainly agree that my consciousness is at the core of my existence.

      A materialistic inclined person would believe that consciousness arises out of the material (brain) and that the only thing that objectively exists is matter.
      I would say that "a materialist would believe that the only thing that objectively exists is that which objectively exists and that consciousness arises out of that." Does that feel like a tautology? Then it must be right
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    15. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by PhilosopherStoned View Post
      You seem to be drawing a false dichotomy between the spiritual and the material. First off, I want to clean up the term "material" a little bit as I do consider myself to be an unrepentant materialist. I do not think that it means matter. I simply think that it means what the universe is made out of. Whatever that happens to be. It's almost definitely not matter at this point.
      Weeelll ok. I'm pretty sure we've been over this before.

      If I were to believe or to argue that an intelligence exists, or even a collective intelligence, I would obviously argue that it would very well fall into the category of natural and material since "not of the universe" and "supernatural" by definition, do and can not exist. But I am not the only one making this dichotomy, nevermind which side is doing the arguing. But since you are throwing out: "Whatever that happens to be. It's almost definitely not matter at this point." our point of views don't seem to be THAT different after all. I'm rather open to ideas, generally.

      Anyway, I think this has been discussed at length, so we should probably get back on topic, no?

    16. #16
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      I consider myself spiritual, yet I believe that consciousness arises out of simple chemistry. Your head asplode?

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      Not at all. But I am interested in what you mean by spiritual.

    18. #18
      Dionysian stormcrow's Avatar
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      I'm a little confused as well when people say they are "spiritual". I once considered myself spiritual because I meditated (still do) often and believed in supernatural things without evidence (like charkaras, esp, soul, etc) as well as a general cynicism towards science. Ive undergone some considerable changes and nowadays consider spirituality as a basically meaningless label that one attaches to oneself. I know Im gonna get some shit for this from the new agers but they hate me anyway so whatever.

      I consider most spiritual claims to be either baseless, meaningless, or self evident. For example some consider themselves spiritual because they realize "we are all connected dude!" this is not only meaningless and self evident (obviously yes we are all connected) it just seems entirely trivial to me. I know Ive probably offended some people and they are entirely free to enlighten me or talk shit to me without discussion, either way. I just don't find someone wise just because they do mushrooms and use healing crystals.

      Edit: And yes I'm an asshole if you didn't already know.
      Last edited by stormcrow; 03-27-2011 at 02:55 AM.

    19. #19
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      I don't believe in any of that New Age nonsense. My spirituality stems directly from the findings of mainstream science.

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