The Cataclysm Sentence

This is for encouragement, ideas, and support for people going through a faith transition no matter where you hope to end up. This is also the place to laugh, cry, and love together.
Post Reply
User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 4469
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:40 pm

Today I listened to an episode of RadioLab called The Cataclysm Sentence, which refers to a rhetorical question posed by physicist Richard Feinman: “If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence was passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?” Then they asked people from different fields of study to answer that question from their own perspectives (I won't spoil it and tell you Feinman's or anyone else's answer, but here's the link: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/ra ... m-sentence).

For myself, I couldn't decide between two sentences:
Our similarities are far, far, far, far more important than our differences.
...and...
Make transparent disks with curved surfaces.

Then I started wondering what sentence I would leave if some cataclysm wiped all organized religion off the globe. Mine would be:
Don't believe anyone who claims they know what invisible beings want. Especially if they ask for money.
Then I wondered what message I would teleport back to the 1820s Burned-Over District. I'm still working on that one.

I'm curious what message my NOM brothers and sisters would leave the world in any of these situations.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
moksha
Posts: 3158
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by moksha » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:55 pm

Formulate your ideas based on evidence and reasoning, eschewing supernatural explanations, oh, and be kind to one another.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

User avatar
Hagoth
Posts: 4469
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:13 pm

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:46 pm

Two more:

Be excellent to each other!
-Bill and Ted

Just keep rubbing those sticks together, guys!
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

User avatar
alas
Posts: 1556
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by alas » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:48 pm

Boil water before drinking.

User avatar
deacon blues
Posts: 1294
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 7:37 am

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by deacon blues » Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:28 pm

For voters in 1828: "A vote for Andrew Jackson is a vote for racism- vote for John Quincy Adams."

For southern slave owners and politicians: "You may either give up your slaves or your children will lose a war trying to keep them."
God is Love. God is Truth

Reuben
Posts: 1234
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by Reuben » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:15 am

I think my sentence is the same for both cataclysms.

If you are not willing to doubt the stories you tell about yourselves and about your enemies, you will cause tremendous suffering.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

User avatar
Not Buying It
Posts: 1118
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:29 pm

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by Not Buying It » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:29 am

deacon blues wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:28 pm
For voters in 1828: "A vote for Andrew Jackson is a vote for racism- vote for John Quincy Adams."

For southern slave owners and politicians: "You may either give up your slaves or your children will lose a war trying to keep them."
Slightly off topic, but it took me years to realize the ridiculousness of claiming that Joseph Smith predicted the start of the Civil War - even 30 years before the fact it was widely believed it was coming sooner or later, and the supposed "prophecy" was largely wrong about slaves rising up against their masters, help coming from Great Britain, and war being poured out upon the world from there. The war starting in South Carolina wasn't even a lucky guess, there was a great deal of commotion there at the time the supposed "prophecy" was received.

But one thing that strikes me about the "Civil War prophecy" is how amoral it is - God doesn't say anything about "I command the states of the south to free my enslaved children". A "you'd better fix this now or you have no idea what kind of problems you'll have come 2020" would have been nice too.

Which brings me back to the OP - Hagoth's Bill and Ted reference "Be excellent to each other" gets my vote.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

User avatar
blazerb
Posts: 810
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:35 pm

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by blazerb » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:29 am

Wash your hands before delivering a baby.

I think they'd figure out a lot if they start there.

User avatar
RubinHighlander
Posts: 1646
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:20 am
Location: Behind the Zion Curtain

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:59 pm

Haggoth already had the same thought as me but I'll elaborate:
Tribalism leads to religion which leads to wars and sorrows, so evolve beyond both because we are all one tribe and we are all made of star stuff on this small planet.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

User avatar
Give It Time
Posts: 1244
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: The Cataclysm Sentence

Post by Give It Time » Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:18 pm

Follow the money (find out who benefits from whatever they are trying to push).
At 70 years-old, my older self would tell my younger self to use the words, "f*ck off" much more frequently. --Helen Mirren

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: nibbler and 6 guests