Quantum phenomena as shadows

My Yahoo groups have been very philosophical of late. Yesterday, I pulled my discussion on free will and omniscience from a discussion I was having on one group, and today I am going to pull another topic off of one of my groups for my post. Its funny how a single comment can sometimes open up a floodgate of ideas, and thats sort of what happened in this case.

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On free choice and omniscience

Prairie Cinema 02A recent conversation on one of my Yahoo groups has brought up an old issue for me, one that goes back to my university days. Ever since my early days in my first philosophy class, and even before, I’ve been fascinated by issues of free will. Though I’ve never been particularly religious, the discussion of the interaction between free will and Christian omniscience is one of the “classic” issues in early philosophy classes, something of a clash of opposites. The classic line in answer to the problem tends to be that fore-knowledge of an event does not predestine the event.

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Drowning in the Sea of Information

Seth Lloyd, over at Discover Magazine, writes a fascinating story, You Know Too Much, about the exponential increase of information in general, and science in particular, that we are subjected to in today’s world. Its fascinating to me not just because he uses one of my posts as an illustration of “The development of the scientific history of the universe, which now threatens religious creation myths” … its fascinating because he makes some excellent points about the glut of information that floods into our consciousness every day and the ways we must deal with it.

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I was hungry, did you feed me?

I haven’t raved much about The Hour this year … I like their new format, and I continue to enjoy George’s direct style (I do wish he’d get a bit more in-depth in some cases, but in others, he does fine), but he’s fallen into the curse of excellence … the expectations are so high, it takes something even more spectacular to provoke comment. This past week, he had an especially wonderful interview with Tony Campolo, Bill Clinton’s spiritual adviser. He said something so profound, I’ve rarely heard it from another “Christian” since the main Man himself …

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Stereotype thy neighbour?

For several weeks now, the town of Herouxville, Quebec has been embroiled in something of a controversy over some guidelines published by town council for immigrants to Canada. I’m the first person to be in favour of Canada, and supporting Canadian identity, but the tone of voice you use in that is vitally important, as is the focus of your comments. The town of Herouxville is finding that lack of tact in those departments is a dangerous thing in today’s world of media sound-bites. Its easy to see how many of the pronouncements generated the controversy they did … here’s a small sample:

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The limits of religious and parental freedom

We tend to think of religious freedoms in the west as absolute, and on the face, we will defend very vigorously our right to believe whatever we want without criticism, without sanction, and the right to act on those beliefs in private reflection of our relationship with the divine. Even atheists claim this right, even if they do it by denying religion all together … without the freedom to believe anything, or nothing, an atheist’s belief’s are just as ridiculous to a religious person as the other way around. To demand the right not to believe in anything, we MUST accept the right to believe in anything.

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Past and Future Paradigms

I haven’t raved lately about Modern Mechanix, that ultra-modern purveyor of the yesterday’s tomorrows for us, but day in and day out they put up articles from the past that are both fascinating and challenging, making us think about yesterday, as well as today and tomorrow. One of the key themes there that I find so compelling is the idea of showing the “mistakes” of the past, the eddies and backwaters of history’s rivers. Whether its the electric harpoon and its efficient aid in the whaling industry, or the plans for the “do-it-yourself dive helmet,” many posts at Modern Mechanix use real examples from the past to remind us the things that didn’t quite work out as planned in all cases.

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