07 NOV 2017 by ideonexus

 Scientists in New Atlantis

"These are (my son) the riches of Salomon's House. "For the several employments and offices of our fellows; we have twelve that sail into foreign countries, under the names of other nations, (for our own we conceal); who bring us the books, and abstracts, and patterns of experiments of all other parts. These we call Merchants of Light. "We have three that collect the experiments which are in all books. These we call Depredators. "We have three that collect the experiments of all mechanical...
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21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

 God Gets Smaller as Knowledge Grows

“The progress of religion is defined,” writes the early-twentieth-century philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, “by the denunciation of gods.” Gods become fewer in number until there is only one—or a Father, Son and Holy Ghost adding up to one. And the qualities of the lonely God that is left are also denounced. He loses His home: God is no longer to be found inside a temple or even, after airplanes, enthroned atop a cloud. He loses His physical form: His beard, His voice, perhaps H...
Folksonomies: science religion
Folksonomies: science religion
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From many to one, from personification to invisible.

28 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Prejudice of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

Our Sunday mornings began with the smell of a big breakfast. Our traditional Sunday “worship” took place in our kitchen. We worshiped each other and thanked the adult income-makers for providing us all with good food, a roof over our heads, and all the comforts we never took for granted. Sunday breakfast was a time for planning the upcoming week (we all brought our calendars to the table), discussing the events of the past week, distributing allowances, enjoying good food, and a lot of jo...
Folksonomies: atheism discrimination
Folksonomies: atheism discrimination
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Story of a child being subject to heartbreaking discrimination for being an atheist.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Shelley's Obituary

This obituary was immediately followed in the same issue of the Gentleman’s Magazine by a short notice of the death of one Percy Bysshe Shelley, son of the Whig MP for Horsham. ‘Supposed to have perished at sea, in a storm, somewhere off Via Reggio, on the coast of Italy … Mr Shelley is unfortunately too well-known for his infamous novels and poems. He openly professed himself an atheist. His works bear the following titles: Prometheus Chained [sic] … etc.’69 For good measure a Lond...
Folksonomies: atheism obituary shelley
Folksonomies: atheism obituary shelley
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Called him "infamous" and condemned his atheism.

12 SEP 2011 by ideonexus

 A Wish for Children to Understand the Physical Sciences

If one might wish for impossibilities, I might then wish that my children might be well versed in physical science, but in due subordination to the fulness and freshness of their knowledge on moral subjects. ... Rather than have it the principal thing in my son's mind, I would gladly have him think that the sun went round the earth, and that the stars were so many spangles set in the bright blue firmament.
Folksonomies: education wonder children
Folksonomies: education wonder children
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Thomas Arnold speaking about his own children, and his wish for them to understand and appreciate the grandeur of the cosmos.

09 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Benjamin Franklin on Vaccinations

In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.
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Franklin regrets not getting his son the small-pox vaccination, which resulted in his death.

12 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Defects in Christ's Teachings

I am concerned with Christ as He appears in the Gospels, taking the Gospel narrative as it stands, and there one does find some things that do not seem to be very wise. For one thing, he certainly thought that His second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at that time. There are a great many texts that prove that. He says, for instance, "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come." Then he says, "There ar...
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There are some serious flaws in the teachings of Jesus Christ that clearly indicate he thought he would return in the lifetimes of those he was preaching to.

03 JAN 2011 by ideonexus

 Spinoza's Reasoning was Childish

There's a tendency to pomposity in all this, to make it all deep and profound. My son is taking a course in philosophy, and last night we were looking at something by Spinoza--and there was teh most childish reasoning! There were all these Attributes, and Substances, all this meaningless chewing around, and we started to laugh. Now, how could we do that? Here's this great Dutch phiosopher, and we're laughing at him. It's because there was no excuse for it! In that same period there was Newton...
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Feynman talks about reading the great Dutch philosopher with his son.