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Author Topic: Billions and Billions  (Read 3244 times)

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Offline bettertomorrowamy

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Billions and Billions
« on: September 09, 2007, 10:14:53 AM »
Carl Sagan's Cosmos

This was the only television program the let us watch in school that I didn't fall asleep to.
Perspective is the greatest thing about this show.  Everyone experiences events on such a small scale, but when you step back you realize what is truly important.

Pale Blue Dot is a great book too.

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« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 10:33:08 AM by bettertomorrowamy »
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Offline Plastic Self-Cleaning Duck

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2007, 10:30:12 AM »
Was watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann the other night (they were doing the story about the Lightsabre going into space and the fake UFO video in Haiti) and they got talking about alien life.  The guy he was interviewing said that Sagan would never let interviews be tape recorded because he was worried about someone editing the tape to make it sound like he was saying that UFOs (or certain siteings) were real or whatever.

I loved the Cosmos show too.  One of the things I taped with my brand new Betamax all those years ago.  I'd love to get a copy if I could afford it - and I knew it was mostly up to date still.   I mean, when Hawkings changed his mind about black holes and who knows what else they've changed their minds about since Hubble, etc.


Offline bettertomorrowamy

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« Last Edit: September 09, 2007, 10:36:51 AM by bettertomorrowamy »
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Offline Junkyard

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2007, 10:43:59 AM »
Yeah, love Cosmos.

Sagan manages to surf the edge of "athiest you want to hit" and "athiest you can't help but respect."


Offline bettertomorrowamy

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2007, 10:46:59 AM »
Why is he an athiest?  I always figured him for agnostic.  You can not prove the existence of God, but you can't prove God doesn't exist either.
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Offline Junkyard

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2007, 10:52:15 AM »
How many times do you have to lecture about how Religion is an outdated intilectual crutch that we need to move beyond before you can call yourself an Athiest?


Offline bettertomorrowamy

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2007, 10:59:01 AM »
That still doesn't mean he's an atheist.  He would have to not believe in the existence of God to be an atheist.  Not believing in religion is entirely different.  Martin Luther didn't believe in the Catholic Religion, and the Protestant Reformation began.  Sagan doesn't believe in the dogmatic rules that humans follow in regard to God.  Agnostics don't know what to believe, which is more logically accurate.
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Offline Plastic Self-Cleaning Duck

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2007, 11:09:21 AM »
How many times do you have to lecture about how Religion is an outdated intilectual crutch that we need to move beyond before you can call yourself an Athiest?

How long before people realize that God and Religion are two different things.

We only have other men's (and very few women's) word on it that these religions are God's idea, you know.

It is possible to believe in one and not the other.


Offline GregMcduck

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2007, 11:13:32 AM »
I love Cosmos, if for the evolution episode alone. I've never seen it explained better.


Offline Junkyard

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2007, 11:18:06 AM »
Regarding Religion, God, Athiesm, Agnosticism, and what not: Even though I've observed that Sagan seemed more reverent of the Universe than any religious nut alive, he asserted again and again that he felt God was just an outdated explination for everything. If he wasn't an athiet, no one is. (Which many people beieve to be true, actually, but there you go.)


Offline Plastic Self-Cleaning Duck

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2007, 11:40:28 AM »
.....he asserted again and again that he felt God was just an outdated explination for everything....

I can't speak for Sagan.  But saying that thinking that God wasn't the explaination for the Universe isn't saying that God doesn't exist.  He could be saying that there could be something more or different to it and that we shouldn't give up looking for it.


Offline Junkyard

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2007, 11:46:11 AM »
I won't speak for Sagan either, but.... yeah, he didn't seem all that interested in finding a God replacment or reinterpritation or anything. From Cosmos and the one other book I've read by him, HE JUST DID NOT THINK THAT A GOD OR ANY OTHER ABSTRACT BEING EXISTED, AND THAT EVERYTHING COULD BE EXPLAINED BY SCIENCE, GIVEN TIME.
That, as much as anything else, seemed to be what made him such an advocate of stopping war and helping the environment: No one but us can pull our asses out of the fire.

Can I ask where you're getting the idea that he was not an athiest?


Offline Plastic Self-Cleaning Duck

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2007, 11:52:52 AM »
Can I ask where you're getting the idea that he was not an athiest?

I'm not saying that I have anything tangible to base that on.  But I hadn't seen anything really that said he was.  So I was more playing Devil's Advocate than anything.

Now if you have seen something where he's stated that absolutely, I'll believe you.


Offline bettertomorrowamy

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2007, 12:09:20 PM »
Yeah, that's what I'm saying too.
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Offline Junkyard

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Re: Billions and Billions
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2007, 12:14:37 PM »
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. [Carl Sagan, 1996 in his article In the Valley of the Shadow Parade Magazine Also, Billions and Billions p. 215]

This of course only says he doesn't believe in an afterlife, but this is just one of billions and billions of quotes that all seem to point seem to point in the same direction.
I will admit, however, that I don't rememebr him saying straight out that he doesn't believe in God. But at the same time, I don't think he ever said ANYTHING is completely impossible. If keeping open the possibility that you may be wrong makes you an agnostic, then I suppose he was agnostic. But again, most athiests ARE like that.