What in the world are you people thinking? [YOU RESPOND]

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What in the world are you people thinking? [YOU RESPOND]

From: paigeaworthy@gmail.com
Sent: Sunday, May 17, 2009 7:34 PM
Subject: [Defend my God!] Confusion and Sorrow

Paige sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.

 What in the world are you people thinking? BELIEVE IN GOD? WE CAN FIX
THAT!!!! That is wrong on SO many levels. THE GOD WHO WASN'T THERE! UGGH!
But more than my disgust and confusion of you, is my sorrow. I'm sorry you
can't live or understand or maybe grow up in a Christian home. I'm sorry
you don't CHOOSE to have a life filled with the love and respect for God,
the One that DOES exsists. I'm sorry you CHOOSE not to live a life knowing
you will one day die, but live again. In heaven. Or getting to see and hear
God telling you and thanking you for what you did to help His kingdom and
to show people that He lives. But most of all I WILL PRAY FOR YOU. I'll
pray that you soon are touched by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for allowing
me to express what God has told me.

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Vastet
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Intriguing. Since I have the

Intriguing. Since I have the ear of a few people knowledgeable on the subject anyway, what about learning your first language, before preconceptions alter your thinking patterns? Have studies been done to see what languages seem to be easier for children to pick up?

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Thomathy
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Vastet wrote:Intriguing.

Vastet wrote:
Intriguing. Since I have the ear of a few people knowledgeable on the subject anyway, what about learning your first language, before preconceptions alter your thinking patterns? Have studies been done to see what languages seem to be easier for children to pick up?
I'm not entirely sure if anyone has done a study asking just that question.  There are differences in the way different languages are acquired by children.  There are, however, definite patterns in the development of language in children that aren't different between languages.  Essentially all languages are equal.  Equal in the sense that they can all be learned and that none of them are 'harder' or 'easier' to acquire.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Vastet
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But surely some languages

But surely some languages are fundamentally simpler than others, with smaller vocabularies and fewer grammatical rules to get twisted up on.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Thomathy
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Vastet wrote:But surely some

Vastet wrote:
But surely some languages are fundamentally simpler than others, with smaller vocabularies and fewer grammatical rules to get twisted up on.
No.  Not with grammar.  With the number of words, yes.  Not simpler, but fewer.  If there were a language that would be easy because of 'fewer grammatical rules to get twisted up on' (which doesn't strictly make sense, since all languages have a 'complex' grammar and if we're talking about first language learners there isn't a difficulty in acquiring language) it would be a language like English, where there isn't a lot of inflection.  That still doesn't make English easy though, since, as meaning still has to be imparted in the language, the language has to have other grammar.  Don't mistake grammar as just being when to add an 's' to make a plural or when to change the tense of a word, it encompasses every aspect of the language.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Vastet
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The number of words in a

The number of words in a language has significant impact on the complexity of grammar. The more words you have, the more complex it must be, by definition. So I vehemently disagree. You even acknowledge as much with your last sentence.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


Thomathy
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Vastet wrote:The number of

Vastet wrote:
The number of words in a language has significant impact on the complexity of grammar. The more words you have, the more complex it must be, by definition. So I vehemently disagree.
That's not true at all and it doesn't make sense, vehement as you may be.  Any language, even one with 'few' words (though I can't imagine relative to what, since languages must be able to handle everything a person may want to talk about) can handle any new words it must.  It doesn't have to be more complex to have more words.  In English, to form a sentence, for instance, you only need a subject, followed by a verb and followed by an object.  I went to the store.  It doesn't matter that English has tens of thousands of words (perhaps the largest lexicon of any language), it doesn't make it more complex than any other language for that fact; it just means it has more words that could be placed in the same grammatical constructs.

Quote:
You even acknowledge as much with your last sentence.
I acknowledged no such thing, I simply wasn't specific enough.  My last sentence reads:

Thomathy wrote:
Don't mistake grammar as just being when to add an 's' to make a plural or when to change the tense of a word, it encompasses every aspect of the language.
What I meant to say is every aspect of how the language is formed.  I'm sorry for the omission and understand that as I phrased it it is misleading.  You can verify that grammar has nothing to do with the size of the lexicon on even Wikipedia.  What grammar would have to do with the lexicon is the rules by which words are formed and carry meaning.  Every language, as I've said, is capable of supporting any words.  The words would simply be placed into sentences accordingly.  They have nothing to do with the grammatical constructs themselves.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


butterbattle
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Thomathy wrote:Equal in the

Thomathy wrote:
Equal in the sense that they can all be learned and that none of them are 'harder' or 'easier' to acquire.

I disagree.  

Sure, every individual is different, and every language can be learned, but, at the same time, there are some languages that are objectively more complex, require more memorization and/or are more counterintuitive than others. 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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butterbattle wrote:Thomathy

butterbattle wrote:

Thomathy wrote:
Equal in the sense that they can all be learned and that none of them are 'harder' or 'easier' to acquire.

I disagree.  

Sure, every individual is different, and every language can be learned, but, at the same time, there are some languages that are objectively more complex, require more memorization and/or are more counterintuitive than others. 

I'm not talking about second language learners there, I'm talking about first language learners, child language acquisition.  Surely you don't believe that English, for example, is intuitive because it uses prepositions and Chinese counterintuitive because it uses postpositions?  There is nothing about the grammatical structure of any language that is intuitive except to a speaker of that language.  It makes very little sense to talk about intuitiveness when talking about first language acquisition in children, unless you're talking about a grammatical structure that is universal.

In second language learners, you're correct to point out that there are languages they'll encounter that will require more memorization or will be counterintuitive to them.  Postpositions are counterintuitive to English speakers, for example.  Complexity, however, is an appearance and it's certainly not objective.  A second language learner may believe the language is more complex, like the English learner of Japanese who encounters the pitching of words in Japanese, but this isn't objectively more complex; it's not more complex than inflection or derivation in English, it's just another way to make words.

I'll say this once in response to this bit about objective complexity: No natural language (and I have only been talking about natural languages) is simple.  Any natural language is, if anything, more complex than it needs to be for expression.  English carries around a whole lot of excess grammar, needlessly complicating, to the outside observer, communication.  German suffers from the same problem as does Swahili.  There actually isn't an exception in natural language.  By direct comparison any two given languages will appear to carry around at least as much redundant or useless grammar and can each be parsed down to, by comparison to themselves, a simpler (that is with less or no redundancy or useless grammar) and perfectly understandable version.  There is no language to which anyone can point to as having a level of complexity to which other languages can be compared and scaled against.

Every single idea in English that needs to be expressed in the future or past can be expressed and understood in the present tense.

I go to store tomorrow as opposed to I will go to the store tomorrow.

Both sentences impart the same meaning.  The important part of either sentence, even to the speaker of English, is not the conjugated verb, it's the word tomorrow because it tells that the event will take place in the future and that it's specific to a particular time in the future.  The second sentence tells the same thing twice (redundancy), in terms of the temporal placement of the event, lacks specificity (depending on how much the person wanted to say) and includes the quite irrelevant (in that instance) article the.

The point is, there isn't some perfect idea of a complex language by which others can be compared.  How could a language be complex except in direct comparison to another and then against what criteria, if every language contains both redundancy and useless grammar and must have a grammar to function?

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Jeffrick
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2 stories

 

 

 

                 I believe human language is incredibly complicated,  but also simple  to the original user.   Chinese is incredibly difficult to me but not to a new born infant  in Canton.   I   will give you two story's  and you can decide from there.

 

 

                Otto  Von Bismark was known for his long  winded speaches,  he  was addressing the Berlin Chanchlery sometime in the 1880's .  In the news gallery there were a collection of English speaking Journalists with their German/English translator.  The translator was doing her job,  word for  word when suddenly she stops;   while  Bismark keeps speaking for ten (10) minutes.  The journalists get antsy and start poking the translator about "whats' up? "   The traanslator says, "shhhhhssshh!!,   I'm waiting for the verb."

 

 

                  Put a Texas 'good ole'boy' and a Highlander Scot in the same room   for thirty minutes;  and use a Guyanese   'çoolie man'  as a translator.  THEN try to convince all three  that they are speaking the SAME language.

 

 

                 Good luck and tell me about the results. 

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


Thomathy
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Ha ha!Love the thing about

Ha ha!

Love the thing about German.  Is the account true?  It's certainly possible to have to wait a while for the verb.  I've had professors in the past relate stories about learning German whilst abroad in Germany and having to wait a couple minutes for the verb only to forget what they had tried so hard to translate and remember up to that point.  By the time you get the verb the only thing you're likely to know is what the verb is telling you.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


Jeffrick
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Yes Thomathy.

 

 

 

         Has far has I kown, based on German speaking friends and the Readers Digest and other sources.  German translations to English is based on the 'Verb".   Also  Bismark could, and often did,  out windbag Castro.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


luca
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the thread necromancer

I speak Italian, ha! pwnz0r!


Ryan McDade (not verified)
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What are we thinking?

I appreciate your concern. Honestly I do.

However,

I can tell you that I was raised in a Christian community. I have studied the texts and contemplated their significance. The reason I choose to be an atheist is because I have no more of a reason to be a Christian than I have for being an adherent of Shinto, or Buddhism, or Jainism, or Judaism, or Hinduism, or Sikhism, or any religion whatsoever.

What proof can you offer in support of your SPECIFIC beliefs? In the absence of any evidence to sway you one way or another how do you know that you are not violating the dogma of Judaism or Hinduism when you adhere to the dogma of Christianity? How do you know that when you die you will not be confronted with a devil of a religion you didn't even contemplate?

For myself I choose to believe that we live in a glorious universe of which we are an integral albeit infinitesmally small part.

For myself I choose to believe that at the end of my life I will live on through my deeds.

For myself I choose to believe that at the end of my life, the energy which I am composed of will rejoin the soil and feed a new life.

The Christian belief set is horribly depressing and in the absence of any proof WHATSOEVER I choose not to bind myself to a dogma that tells me that my flesh is evil, that my desires are evil, that this universe is the domain of evil that I am inherently sinful and that I should feel unabated guilt and plea with an invisible and silent entity to forgive me for transgressions against a code of ethics created by oppressive, mysogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic, desert marauders who then used that code to justify massacre and oppression after massacre and oppression.

So enjoy your guilt, take your sense of shame that you feel when you experience sexual desire, take your divisiveness and your hatred for outsiders. Go elsewhere and suffer.

In the meantime I will hope for you. Hope that the light of reason will liberate you from  the oppression you willfully bind yourself to.