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Blood Bath In Jan 09


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A.steve

Agnositic actually

I'd argue that religion is not the home of morals and ethics. Religion merely confiscated the ideas and principles that bind humanity together, distorted the principles and created intolerable differences.

I'm interested that you think religion is an intellectual tool, I understand many religious people do.

I'd suggest though, that freedom of thought inspires more thought provocation.

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I always like to log from time to time as I've learned alot from some of the more educated, erudite and insightful posters that use HPC - what really f*cks me off however, is the moronic mentality of the few who start threads like this.

I've got a wife, family and mortgage, work hard for a living and live within my means. We are struggling to make ends meet at the moment

Cheaper house prices are one thing, to wish for job losses and the pain & poverty that that brings is quite another

Grow up

Agree.

Some posters need to realise that no-one will be immune to all this, please don't start patting yourself on the back for a job well done. You might need that vulture fund to live on, that's my mindset now. As much as that will pain me as it's been tough saving mine, we may have no choice if this economy gets half as bad as it's starting to appear.

Even those that still have their job and a nice stash of money to put into a house may find that when they can afford one, they can't get a mortgage or that once onto the property ladder, their job goes and have to relocate to the other side of England (happened to my colleagues) not being able to move with the house round their neck.

Don't count your chickens yet!

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I became interested in non Christian religions from an academic perspective in around 1999. My take, for what it is worth, is that there isn't a great deal of difference between Judaism, Christianity and Islam - in the same sense that there's not a lot of difference between football fans of different teams. I will always have a Christian approach, because I grew up with Christian traditions... but I fail to see a significant theological distinction between the Semitic faiths.

The biggest distinction I see between these religions is maturity... Christianity arose as an alternative to a well established Judaism; Islam arose as an alternate to both - each having a period of maximum influence on secular life. For example, six hundred years ago, Christianity was taken far more seriously in the context of practical matters than it is today. From my perspective, Islam seems to command the fervour today that Christianity achieved during the dark ages... By that, I don't intend to suggest that it is archaic, on the contrary - it seems to command significant commitment even in the modern world.

I believe that the aims and sincerity of all three Semitic faiths are extremely similar... the perceived differences principally arising in the degree of reverence and the importance placed upon religious observance by the adherents. Geographic and linguistic factors necessarily lead to cultural differences, but - that aside, I can see similarly absurd ideas presented as fact by all three... and being based upon a cannon of scripture, each is open to exploitation by charlatans who aim to use a veneer of faith to justify dubious secular objectives. In the West, Islam has received bad press - which, irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the situation, places a burden on believers to express their faith clearly. I expect that prejudices and conclusion-jumping will subside in the future - though, as is the way with these sorts of matters, this might take centuries. Perhaps what is needed most is that all three religions need to accept that they don't have a monopoly on insight.

While I've been exposed to the ideas of the Christian Church - which are interesting and engaging, today I remain interested Islamic ideas. I've not pursued this (beyond reading about Islamic Banking, for example) for a variety of reasons... not least of all being the idea that Islam is a sensitive subject - and I intend neither to be converted, or to waive critical thought. For example, reading Tarek El-Diwany's "The Problem with Interest" (which I'm lead to believe is a broadly Islamic perspective) raised lots of interesting ideas... but was a position I felt to be significantly flawed. Like with Christianity, I'm not willing to accept divine revelation as being a source of truth... which sets me at odds with the devout... who likely (correctly) perceive me as being irreverent.

If Islamic Banking were to guide the west as to how to amend its financial systems to afford a better quality of life for all, that would be the best gift a culture could offer. Conversely, I've no intention to pray at regular times of the day - or to shun bacon or beer... so I don't believe that Islamic banking should be adopted as is. In fact, perhaps, is is best to draw the best abstract ideas that - I hope - can be used in the context of regulation of the finance the uneducated public is blissfully ignorant. I feel that the ideas of a prohibition of interest and gambling can be justified independently of Islamic context... and that this would be the most effective way to embrace the advantages of the ethical perspective that Islam offers.

Top post and very brave. Religion has acquired some very bad conotations for very good reasons. However, there's nowt new - its pretty much all been covered to the n'th degree.

Good to see someone really thinking and taking in all knowledge.

HAL

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Guest portwinestain
Job losses in 2009? Ruddy loads of em coming.

Will I be one of them? Possibly...I'm sure many that frequent these pages could feel the pain.

Anyway, lets all forget about the doom and gloom and have a HPC Christmas Carol Sing Song to lighten the mood:

One, two, threee, four ALL TOGETHER NOW>>

"Little Wonke...I mean Donkey, Little Donkey, on the dusty road...."

A blast from the past, thanks : )

http://www.creditcrunch.co.uk/home/article...081126004911238

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Agnositic actually

I considered agnosticism, but couldn't make my mind up. (Boom Boom!)

Agnosticism is, itself, interesting - since it refutes itself. If you believe that it is impossible to know for sure about 'god' - then how can you trust even this stance?

I'd argue that religion is not the home of morals and ethics. Religion merely confiscated the ideas and principles that bind humanity together, distorted the principles and created intolerable differences.

I'm interested that you think religion is an intellectual tool, I understand many religious people do.

"Tool" might not have been the right word... definitely not after you've shifted the context. Maybe I'd have expressed the idea better if I'd said that religion provides a syntax. In order to communicate with someone you first need to establish an understanding of common ground. After one establishes a suitable basis (however factual or fictitious; historic or fanciful; literal or symbolic) it becomes possible to strive for consensus. I see little value in debating the minutia of differences between religious accounts (which could all be fable for everything I care) but lots of potential in forming common ideas and perspectives on complex ideas about the systemic effects of choices we make.

I define god as being the emergent behaviour of an extremely complex society. This makes a defence of monotheism against agnosticism and atheism a trivial matter. It leaves open all the important questions... for example: what emergent behaviours are desirable? How does an individual influence group or global outcomes? How should they? How should opportunities be considered - and what obligation does an individual have to society? I'd argue that morals and ethics have no home without belief - and that belief is synonymous with religion.

I'm not religious in the sense that I don't observe religious ceremony; I don't follow any religious leader; I'm naturally extremely irreverent - and reject the absolute authority of individuals, groups and their documents; I reject divine revelation and doctrine. I am religious in the sense that religion represents a rare insight into the human psyche. I consider it blinkered and small minded to reject religion - it has arisen, in one form or another, in every civilisation ever recorded... to me, it is self evident that it is important. If people matter, so does religion.

I'd suggest though, that freedom of thought inspires more thought provocation.

I consider that, where religion is abused to quash freedom of thought, that this is a travesty. I consider it the duty, however, of those who are religiously minded, to comment on the free thoughts of others from their perspective. All thought should be open to critique - be it inspired by 'revelation' (scientists call this a conjecture) or by induction from axioms.

Edited by A.steve
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Almost all religions are a method of control.

believe the pope?

believe the mullah?

believe the sovereign?

believe the rabbi?

What's scary is nearly all faiths in there basic teachings promote tollerance of others!

Religion corrupted is just another form of control. Be you Hebrew/Muslim/Christian ... Any faith that promotes unfounded hate, has been compromised by man.

Religion does not teach morals or ethics, Religion regardless of where it came is just a guide.

Parents/Society and above all JUSTICE are the teachers.

A society without proper JUSTICE, will always fail and that failure will always consume it and spill over into it's neighbours, through hate/greed and corruption. Much to the profit of those that bank on it!

What is really amazing is we are at that point where we have the technology to give everyone in society a voice... We could literally vote on everything worldwide thanks to technology. (A bit Zardos I know) but without global justice, you will always have divided people.

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Almost all religions are a method of control.

True... but the question remains, control of whom, by whom (and, not, I've not gone spiritual, I mean which demographic groups)?

Another question that I consider significant is this: is justice (or, even, democracy) best served by voting? By empowering people without first ensuring they understand, are we not simply orchestrating unthinking mob rule? Relinquishing positions of responsibility to the most effective Machiavellian propagandist? This idea pervades modern politics; the collegiate electoral system; bipartisan politics - etc.

Western democracy is an awful system - sadly, it is difficult to think of something better.

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I define god as being the emergent behaviour of an extremely complex society. This makes a defence of monotheism against agnosticism and atheism a trivial matter. It leaves open all the important questions... for example: what emergent behaviours are desirable? How does an individual influence group or global outcomes? How should they? How should opportunities be considered - and what obligation does an individual have to society? I'd argue that morals and ethics have no home without belief - and that belief is synonymous with religion.

I'm not religious in the sense that I don't observe religious ceremony; I don't follow any religious leader; I'm naturally extremely irreverent - and reject the absolute authority of individuals, groups and their documents; I reject divine revelation and doctrine. I am religious in the sense that religion represents a rare insight into the human psyche. I consider it blinkered and small minded to reject religion - it has arisen, in one form or another, in every civilisation ever recorded... to me, it is self evident that it is important. If people matter, so does religion.

I'm not sure what you mean by the first sentence?

I'm also not sure what you mean by "i reject divine revelation and doctrine." Do you mean you've never come across a recorded revelation that you believed actually was divine? Or that you flatly refuse to consider any recorded revelation or document as divine?

Anyway the final bit is right on the money. Many atheists, the scared of religion types especially seem to think that as they consider it to be nonsense they can just wish it away :lol: Not very sensible to think of forward planning for humanity without taking it in to consideration at least. The communists tried their best and failed to eradicate it and what they made up to replace it was junk. It's undeniably something that fits well a part of man's psyche. The question remains is a system we invent, such as communism or free market capitalism, ever likely to be more useful to us than what is offered by the systems put forward in religions. As the only religion that covers complex financial law in fact i'm only talking about Islam. It has some really radical differences to our current system like no interest at all! How does that work?!?!?, profit and loss sharing helps prevent wild speculation, principles that promote working for profit instead of trying to make "easy money" which is inevitably at some other fools expense, and other regulations covering trade and finance that you can logically understand would shape an economy to have much more solid foundations than our "credit driven retail economy" :blink: In the light of our current problems it's looking very much like a worthy successor.

We're on the cusp of great change right now, i don't want us to reject something out of hand because of bigotry when it might well have been the best way forward. We can argue about it's origin later. That this has come down unchanged from a desert town 1400 years ago is opening my mind up to the possibility that here might be something worthy of the tag "divine". I simply haven't ruled that possibility out. What other explanation can there be?

Edited by athom
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Good post...I know what it's like to go against the grain...What I find Incredible is that even with friends and family belatedly saying how right I was about the housing market ( with no apology for labeling me a crank at the time ). I now find they are taking the same attitude when I endeavor to warn them about the coming severe recession/depression. They say it won't happen, they won't allow it, that was then this is now etc....and yet again I am ignored and a crank.

:P Just sit back and watch the children cry!

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I'm not sure what you mean by the first sentence?

I'm also not sure what you mean by "i reject divine revelation and doctrine." Do you mean you've never come across a recorded revelation that you believed actually was divine? Or that you flatly refuse to consider any recorded revelation or document as divine?

...

We're on the cusp of great change right now, i don't want us to reject something out of hand because of bigotry when it might well have been the best way forward. We can argue about it's origin later. That this has come down unchanged from a desert town 1400 years ago is opening my mind up to the possibility that here might be something worthy of the tag "divine". I simply haven't ruled that possibility out. What other explanation can there be?

I'm not sure I can improve upon "I define god as being the emergent behaviour of an extremely complex society." - so, as unhelpful as this might seem, I'm letting it stand on its own merit. Someone who's written extensively about this idea (though, as far as I'm aware did not use the phrase) is Carl Jung - in the context of psychology - particularly with respect to his notion of a collective conciousness - where ideas and behaviours emerge in a community that could not exist in the mind of an individual alone. To me it is banal to consider a god to be an ectoplasm-realised being that makes decisions as might a human... but rather one should think about there bing a 'nature of mankind' - a shared affinity between people. I think that Adam Smith alludes to "the invisible hand of god" in the context of economics - I think this is the same sort of concept.

I can clarify the second quote. I reject divine revelation. I reject doctrine. By divine revelation, I mean that I reject the idea that any source of information, irrespective of its providence, can represent the whole and accurate truth. For this reason when clergy tell you that "Jesus is the only God" or "Mohammed is the final prophet" or whatever, I can be certain that these assertions are misguided... If ever someone says "all you need to know is" - then they are either malevolent and arrogant or stupid and arrogant - in either case they're certainly also wrong. It can never be justified to reject an idea simply because it is not already known/documented or because it can't be derived from a particular set of axioms... to do so would be the epitome of arrogance and hubris. For this reason I reject doctrine - i.e. the idea that there is a fundamental difference between people whose background is from a different culture. I do not consider the aspects of religions worth heeding to be mutually incompatible... but, obviously, the teachings of various churches (and the equivalent for non-Christian religions) appear contrary to this. I reject the idea that "only Christians will avoid hell" and that "only Islam can suggest the right way to live" or that "only the Jewish are the people chosen by god." I think these concepts arise as a consequence of misguided interpretations of communicated ideas that have been manipulated over many centuries to pursue secular political objectives.

I also believe that we are in/approaching a time of great change... I think the world in 30 years' time will be indistinguishable from the world today... and that it would not be wrong (in a Christian context) to describe the scope of the upheaval that society faces as being biblical in scope. It has not escaped my notice that, for the first time in my life, to the best of my knowledge, Christian leaders have decided to comment on secular matters and have been reported widely by the press... Until the past 18 months, I can't recall a single such politically relevant statement by any significant UK Christian leader... until recently, the taboo of church and state has been given a wide berth... recently, I've noticed much relevant comment.

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Wow, what a thread. We have gone from an obnoxious first post to some meaningful debate on the merits of religion and lots in between.

Yes, there are a few posters on here that seriously need to stop and think about what they are wishing for but the majority just what to see house prices return to some sort of sustainable level.

2009, is going to be a truly terrible year and unfortunately many innocent people will lose jobs / houses etc. We should remember that not everyone can be an economics / finance expert, a lot of people simply do not earn enough, in rip off UK, in order to save for a rainy day and it takes a brave person to go against the "perceived wisdom".

A few words on Hong Kong just to give you all a flavour. The economy is crashing at a frightening speed, everything appears to happen quicker here. Property prices, both rental and purchases, are falling, fast. Rentals are already 20-30% down and I am now seeing "make an offer" for sales.

All shops, including all the high end ones, are already having their new year sales with the discounts in the 30-50% range (the highest I have seen is 60%). The number of ex-pats is also declining, with all the job losses people are going "home".

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I think that Adam Smith alludes to "the invisible hand of god" in the context of economics

I've started to view the ebb and flow of economics in a similar way to tides, a force as natural or divine as all other forces in the world. No end to boom and bust then.

I reject divine revelation. I reject doctrine. By divine revelation, I mean that I reject the idea that any source of information, irrespective of its providence, can represent the whole and accurate truth. For this reason when clergy tell you that "Jesus is the only God" or "Mohammed is the final prophet" or whatever, I can be certain that these assertions are misguided...

ok, but then you say

It can never be justified to reject an idea simply because it is not already known/documented or because it can't be derived from a particular set of axioms... to do so would be the epitome of arrogance and hubris.

Sorry if it seems i'm just being picky but is there not an obvious contradiction there? Aren't you by your own definition being arrogant to feel certain about anything that you can't prove to be wrong?

In this life we don't know anything is true beyond doubt. That is about the only thing that any of us can be certain about. But we equally shouldn't feel certain anything is false beyond doubt. I tend to work by a process of elimination to determine what i believe to be true. What does not hold up to reasonable scrutiny i hold to be false. What i'm unable to find holes in might just be true. Believing it is true would be after exhausting reasonable doubt. Eventually it makes sense to believe to be true what isn't clearly false. Where ever i find it. That would be a logical belief as opposed to blind faith. I don't follow your reasoning which seems to say that if anyone else says it's true, it must therefore be false. Seems like you haven't thought that through very well.

until recently, the taboo of church and state has been given a wide berth... recently, I've noticed much relevant comment.

I agree that it's a serious sign when the church feels times are so desperate that they have to speak up but i'm pretty sure if they had anything to offer in the first place they'd never have lost their power. There's a common phrase about society having "lost it's moral compass" which just about sums up their reasonable insight but lack of wisdom. They can just about spot the symptoms but have nothing to combat the disease.

There was a very interesting newsnight interview a few months back with the archbishop of Canterbury. He basically threw in the towel when asked what answers the church had to societies problems. He said what difference would it make what he said? He clearly knew it would make no difference. The people of this country have soundly rejected Christianity and no amount of trying to popularize it with modern and funky versions of "the word of god" will convince people to take it seriously, quite clearly the opposite. Once they change for the times they are doomed to be wrong in the future times. To keep up with the times would mean they are not using the revelation they claim to have but are making it up as they go along, just like the rest of us. It is what it seems, the word of man dressed up as the word of god.

Islam on the other hand is much more interesting, much more than rehashed bible stories. From what i can tell it has never been modernized but is actually very relevant today. It's quite brilliantly general and yet specific (!?) It speaks good plain sense on society, human rights (look before you laugh) law and order, war, marriage, finances and economics. I'm growing ever more impressed with it.

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It's true that many of the people are dumb bovine morons but before we blame entirely them for their ignorance, it's worth pointing out that the state education system in the UK (and America) has been designed to churn out dumb, stupid people.

The last thing statists want, be they Conservative, Labour, Democrat or Republican, is intelligent people capable of critical thinking. They want dumb bovine morons who have just enough intelligence to push the buttons and shuffle the paper that keeps their system going.......for THEM, not for the people.

Everything in modern society is geared up to keep the political elite and the corporatists in their s*****y mansions and their overpaid jobs. They don't give a stuff about the people. When you hear about hedge fund managers paying less tax than the office cleaners who clean the wax out of their telephone earpiece, you'd think people would twig what an insane system we are living in.

But no....There's always another load of $hite on the tube to keep dumb people dumb and anaethetised.

When I hear politicians say, 'This time it's different,' I chuckle to myself and think "Like hell it is"

But this time, the consequences of what the paper money currency system and 65 years of statist socialism have done are so serious and so all encompassing, it'll be THE PEOPLE saying "This time it's different".....

because (hopefully) they will finally twig what a godawful mess the politicians and the bankers have left us in.

Roll on the revolution. It's well overdue

Good luck with that without guns. :)

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I've started to view the ebb and flow of economics in a similar way to tides, a force as natural or divine as all other forces in the world. No end to boom and bust then.

I think that it is fallacious to consider economic forces as being "natural" (i.e. conforming in a predictable way as in the "natural world" understood by Newton and Euler.) I think this error of judgement was crucial to the mispricing of risk... Economics is not 'natural' because the participant entities communicate - leading to non-linear behaviours. Another way to think of the same idea is that people can't be successfully reduced to inanimate and exploitable agents - mankind is intelligent. We are not radioactive decay; our behaviour is not Brownian; it is not Gaussian or log-normally distributed; people can't be reduced to Poison curves - with or without jumps.

Aren't you by your own definition being arrogant to feel certain about anything that you can't prove to be wrong?

I am extremely arrogant - but I am not wrong (in this instance.) I am, and can be, certain of no facts (all facts can be called into question in the context of new evidence) but I can be certain about my own beliefs, because these are, by their nature, not dependent upon evidence - they are beyond proof. I can be certain about deductions - because these are verifiable... but they are not useful outside the context of a shared belief in the axioms that underpin the derivations.

By definition, I can only have a belief in something that can't be disproved - because, if my belief were amenable to scientific test, it would need to be doubted. Beliefs are about what is "right" - the basis for induction... even if, in common language, I might use the phrase "I believe ..." to indicate a hunch - someone intelligent might eventually convince me to reconsider... for example, in the context of convincing contrary evidence. Real beliefs I actually hold include, for example, that there is a relevance in mathematical structure; that there is a point to communication; that I have free will - etc. None of these can be proven - but they are what is important to me... I act as if they are important - and, by so doing, they become self-fulfilling truths. Things get very tricky when we try to explain our beliefs - because, frequently, all our language is insufficient to be concise - I think that this is a necessary constraint on the effectiveness of symbolic communication... though I remain to be convinced that there is any other kind. This observation opens up many interesting avenues - for example the linguistic ideas of Wittgenstein and his followers. Do words define reality, or do words only reflect observation?

My fundamental beliefs, like everyone's, are beyond any doubt. Of course, one should not confuse the beliefs one is told are fundamental with fundamental beliefs - people are always fallible and often confused. I also think that a lot of people will regurgitate rote-learned beliefs because they want to "fit in" - but that descriptions of these will often be littered with syntactic nonsense... they can sometimes be caught by inadvertent logical contradiction. Beliefs are the mechanism to bootstrap thought... without them, nothing has meaning... establishing one's own beliefs is clearly non-trivial. Establishing our beliefs accurately might even be impossible - if our minds process thought symbolically, for example.

Islam on the other hand is much more interesting, much more than rehashed bible stories. From what i can tell it has never been modernized but is actually very relevant today. It's quite brilliantly general and yet specific (!?) It speaks good plain sense on society, human rights (look before you laugh) law and order, war, marriage, finances and economics. I'm growing ever more impressed with it.

Islam is fascinating... not least because it has roots in Christianity and Judaism. Unlike yourself, however, I find the 'never been modernised' aspect of Islam to be comical. The Koran, for example, if one were to be strict, can't be translated from Arabic. The reason given for this is that the words are not the words of man, but are a transcription of God's words - when he provided his final say... in Arabic. A key convincer from 1400 years ago was that Mohammed, allegedly, could not read or write - so, where his words coincided with the ideas of other religions, this affirms their absolute truth and divine origin. Frankly, I think it is hilarious that everyone overlooked the possibility that he might have remembered stories read aloud... or that illiteracy should be evidence to support a hypothesis of his being a divinely appointed prophet with access to an unquestionable transcendental truth. Mohammed was clearly a very successful, clever man - probably a very benevolent, charismatic and brilliant man... but on being a channel of unquestionable divine revelation, I call this idea as bull. (OK, OK - PM me the fatwas.)

I agree, however, that the Koran is, to the best of my knowledge (since I do not read a character, let alone word of Arabic) an extremely significant document... I think it contains a broad range of practical, pragmatic and honest ideas that hold much relevance in modern life. I think an understanding of Islam (as well as other religions) is critical to understanding people in today's global context... and the relevance of the expansion of numbers of followers highlights this relevance. While I reject the ultimate authority of these (as all) doctrines, I think they raise a number of extremely pertinent questions that the West may only ignore at its peril.

Edited by A.steve
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A few words on Hong Kong just to give you all a flavour. The economy is crashing at a frightening speed, everything appears to happen quicker here. Property prices, both rental and purchases, are falling, fast. Rentals are already 20-30% down and I am now seeing "make an offer" for sales.

All shops, including all the high end ones, are already having their new year sales with the discounts in the 30-50% range (the highest I have seen is 60%). The number of ex-pats is also declining, with all the job losses people are going "home".

I think that your "few words on Hong Kong" apply equally to much of the UK.

The number of "International Removers" lorries that I see in traditional ex-pat areas in London amazes me. They are all loading rather than unloading.

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Amen.

The chip-on-the-shoulder, jealous, foreigner-hating types.

Thick too usually, they can't spell properly, have you noticed that?

Anti racist racist bigot. Just because you are racist against foreigner hating types, doesn't mean you are any better than they are. :lol:

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Yeah more job losses yeah more repossessions yeah more poverty.....

Ooops its getting a bit close now....

Oh heck even social inadequates who sit in eating Netto baked beans and recounting coppers aren't immune......

Not enough food to go round now. Landowners hold the whip hand and allow the common man small plots of land in return for a days labour....

Yes for all those that desire a complete economic breakdown keep on going - we'll get to a good old fashioned feudal system soon - you bl**dy idiots.

I am against unsustainably high house prices and as a personal choice I have no borrowing and wince at the borrowing some others take on. But equally I don't want to see a depression, families broken up, kids suffering. If you do you have no place in modern society.

Its all very well saying this if you didn't vote for this sham, but if people looked at what Labour have done throughout history this is no different. After all not all countries have left their people in this postition have they? And they have decent healthcare and schooling, and less alcohol and obesity problems(we could go on!). The fact that this is global only means the difference between a mild recession and a full blown depression. I wonder which we'll get! :ph34r:

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I think that it is fallacious to consider economic forces as being "natural" (i.e. conforming in a predictable way as in the "natural world" understood by Newton and Euler.) I think this error of judgement was crucial to the mispricing of risk... Economics is not 'natural' because the participant entities communicate - leading to non-linear behaviours. Another way to think of the same idea is that people can't be successfully reduced to inanimate and exploitable agents - mankind is intelligent. We are not radioactive decay; our behaviour is not Brownian; it is not Gaussian or log-normally distributed; people can't be reduced to Poison curves - with or without jumps.

Tides are not entirely predictable, they are effected by the moon's gravitational pull and the weather systems which are effected by solar radiation and cosmic rays. Tides are predictable to an extent because of the moon's predictability but with some unpredictable variation due to the complex nature of the weather systems. I think in the same way we are largely predictable but with an unpredictable element. Or one just like the weather's effect on tides which can't be predicted far in advance. Economies are a product of man, man is governed largely, whether he admit it or not, by hormones and instinct which are natural forces within us. This to an extent makes us predictable. Linear. The booms are created by desire, the busts created by fear. We move in a herd like way in either direction. But the complexity of our society makes exact predictions impossible, fooling people into believing it is entirely non-linear therefore perhaps it can be tamed and controlled. Big mistake, as we're finding out. It would save us a lot of trouble if we learned to live with our nature.

I am extremely arrogant - but I am not wrong (in this instance.) I am, and can be, certain of no facts (all facts can be called into question in the context of new evidence) but I can be certain about my own beliefs, because these are, by their nature, not dependent upon evidence - they are beyond proof.

Has anyone ever said to you "you always think you're right!" I suspect so. I find it a funny phrase as of course we think we're right, who thinks they are wrong? "these are my beliefs which i think are wrong!" :lol: Our beliefs are naturally what we believe to be right.

I also think that a lot of people will regurgitate rote-learned beliefs because they want to "fit in"

MOST people unfortunately.

Beliefs are the mechanism to bootstrap thought... without them, nothing has meaning... establishing one's own beliefs is clearly non-trivial.

Absolutely, which is why a non-perfect process of elimination is valid in the absence of absolute certainty.

Islam is fascinating... not least because it has roots in Christianity and Judaism.

the claim is not that it has roots in Christianity but that it has the same source, which given that by 1400 years ago the message was well and truly muddled by the Romans, let alone the mess the Pharisees had made of the Torah, would make more sense. IF there is a distinction between a man and a prophet then it's not logically possible for a man to know what was right and wrong in a muddled revelation unless he was also a prophet. This is what modern Christian priests would have you believe, that they can correct or add to a revelation. It is also what the Pharisees said. They clearly can't.

Unlike yourself, however, I find the 'never been modernised' aspect of Islam to be comical.

I should have put " " around modernized, i meant it in the sense of people changing it's meaning to make it easily "acceptable" by the masses.

The Koran, for example, if one were to be strict, can't be translated from Arabic. The reason given for this is that the words are not the words of man, but are a transcription of God's words - when he provided his final say... in Arabic.

What you're thinking of is that they don't claim a translation is still the "word of God" not that it can't be translated at all. It would not be the same word for word, just as no translation is ever word for word but the concepts of the words can give a translated meaning which is adequate for understanding. I.E. the message is still clear in other languages as we share the same concepts in the same shared reality. The fact that Arabic is still a widely used language means translations are reliable.

A key convincer from 1400 years ago was that Mohammed, allegedly, could not read or write - so, where his words coincided with the ideas of other religions, this affirms their absolute truth and divine origin. Frankly, I think it is hilarious that everyone overlooked the possibility that he might have remembered stories read aloud...

I'm sure no one has overlooked that possibility, it is very obvious. But the fact is the Quran contains far more than rehashed bible stories. So even if you discount anything that is similar to the bible there is a lot of interest besides.

I agree, however, that the Koran is, to the best of my knowledge (since I do not read a character, let alone word of Arabic) an extremely significant document...

You mean you haven't read a translation yet?

I think it contains a broad range of practical, pragmatic and honest ideas that hold much relevance in modern life.

It's like a slice of Yorkshire from the Middle East :lol:

Edited by athom
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But the complexity of our society makes exact predictions impossible, fooling people into believing it is entirely non-linear therefore perhaps it can be tamed and controlled. Big mistake, as we're finding out. It would save us a lot of trouble if we learned to live with our nature.

Erm, plenty of cross-purposes here. "Natural" was used in the technical sense of systems for which observations are (log) normally distributed. Non linear systems do not necessarily preclude being tamed or controlled... though linear approaches to controlling non-linear systems almost always results in catastrophe. More important, in my opinion, is a question about how an economy should be controlled and tamed. If one were to accept that a free market best allocates resources - then controlling this otherwise free market will necessarily affect its efficiency... arguably... always adversely. Even if this is not the case, in a controlled economy, we have to ask for whose benefit the economy is controlled - and at what cost.

Has anyone ever said to you "you always think you're right!" I suspect so. I find it a funny phrase as of course we think we're right, who thinks they are wrong?

I recall people trying to use sarcasm saying "you're always right" - which clearly demands a Calsberg "probably." Actually, on any subject of fact, I am keenly aware that I am always wrong (just as is everyone else) but that the challenge is to be the least inaccurate; the most coherent; the most easily verified - etc. Only very rarely does anyone say something that is completely wrong - and then, quite often, the reason is either an aberration - or syntactic error.

Absolutely, which is why a non-perfect process of elimination is valid in the absence of absolute certainty.

No, scientific deduction is an entirely different beast to belief and induction. From the former, one can only establish that which is definitely false; from the latter, it is only possible to establish what is necessarily true. I think it was John Stuart Mill who famously pointed out that a single negative observation can disprove an (existentially quantified) scientific theory - whereas any number of affirmations do not prove any hypothesis. No such issue exists with beliefs - because beliefs, by their very nature, preclude experimentation that either confirms or refutes them.

the claim is not that it has roots in Christianity but that it has the same source, which given that by 1400 years ago the message was well and truly muddled by the Romans, let alone the mess the Pharisees had made of the Torah, would make more sense. IF there is a distinction between a man and a prophet then it's not logically possible for a man to know what was right and wrong in a muddled revelation unless he was also a prophet. This is what modern Christian priests would have you believe, that they can correct or add to a revelation. It is also what the Pharisees said. They clearly can't.

To be honest, I consider such arcane minutiae to be a distraction. I have no reason to assume that any person involved with any religion was intrinsically anything beyond intelligent, insightful and well meaning - so, I apply Occams Razor and assume they were not. To my mind, much that appears supernatural has been invented by confused adherents over the centuries to fend off ad hominem attacks. Caesar presented himself to his subjects as a god - though, I strongly suspect, no one at the time was confused that this might literally be the case. Much of communication is about using poetic licence to convey a point - I'm not surprised that every tool available was employed. Obviously the source of Islam and Christianity were the same - they are both human religions. Islam also has Christian roots - since Christianity was practised before Islam was conceived.

What you're thinking of is that they don't claim a translation is still the "word of God" not that it can't be translated at all. It would not be the same word for word, just as no translation is ever word for word but the concepts of the words can give a translated meaning which is adequate for understanding. I.E. the message is still clear in other languages as we share the same concepts in the same shared reality. The fact that Arabic is still a widely used language means translations are reliable.

On the contrary, any translation requires an interpretation of the semantics of the original before a translation can be made. This necessarily means I would need to trust the translators - yet I have no reason to assume that their judgement won't be clouded. Of course, with Christianity, I have to trust the judgement of King James (or someone similar) - and all those whose previous anonymous work he adopted. In fact, I suspect the message cannot be clear in any written scripture - for the simple reason that there are not necessarily shared beliefs on the basis of which information can be inferred. If you consider that god is the emergent behaviour of a complex society (as I do) then it stands to reason that either the claim of divine origin to scripture is false - or (blasphemy alert) all words are the words of god. Of course, I do not suggest that authors always have the best intentions - or that all authors have similar clarity.

I'm sure no one has overlooked that possibility, it is very obvious. But the fact is the Quran contains far more than rehashed bible stories. So even if you discount anything that is similar to the bible there is a lot of interest besides.

You mean you haven't read a translation yet?

I've read some extracts - and some commentary - I've not read a translation from cover to cover... but even from this, I've discovered a number of interesting ideas. I am apprehensive because, if the original text is anywhere near as dense as the Bible - or requires as much effort to interpret and understand - then understanding what I read might easily prove to be a significant challenge. I'm aware already of significant concepts dealt with by the Koran which, to the best of my knowledge, are almost entirely absent in a Biblical context. I have a translation as an e-book, but I expect I'll only get round to reading when I have a dead-tree copy.

It's like a slice of Yorkshire from the Middle East :lol:

You can see why the Lancastrians might be worried. ;)

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Its all very well saying this if you didn't vote for this sham, but if people looked at what Labour have done throughout history this is no different. After all not all countries have left their people in this postition have they? And they have decent healthcare and schooling, and less alcohol and obesity problems(we could go on!). The fact that this is global only means the difference between a mild recession and a full blown depression. I wonder which we'll get! :ph34r:

Nice avatar

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Bubb left to run his own forum (the link to which I will not provide out of respect for HPC). He took quite a few of the gold bugs with him too, namely CGNAO and Goldfinger.

Just out of curiousity I looked up CGNAO's last post (June 08):

ZCZC CGNAOGLD2 ALL

TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

BULLETIN

MAJOR DERIVATIVE MELTDOWN ALERT

NWS TPC/CGNAO

SUN JUN 08 21:26:46 UTC 2008

...BOND INSURERS DOWNGRADES TRIGGERING A FRESH

COLOSSAL WAVE OF DERIVATIVE LOSSES

...UNPRECEDENTED CREDIT MARKET PROBLEMS AT LEAST

ONE ORDER OF MAGNITUDE LARGER THAN AT THE HEIGHT

OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION

...MONETARY SYSTEM ONE STEP AWAY FROM TOTAL COLLAPSE

DERIVATIVE LOSSES SURGE, DESPITE MASSIVE INJECTIONS

OF EMERGENCY FUNDS WORTH HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS,

A GIANT $150BN US ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE AND WHOLESALE

REWRITING OF RULES TO ALLOW COMMERCIAL BANKS TO PLEDGE

RISKY ASSETS TO SECURE HIGH QUALITY CENTRAL BANK FUNDS.

SO FAR CENTRAL BANKS HAVE ONLY BEEN PREPARED TO LEND GOVERNMENT

SECURITIES AGAINST PLUMMETING MORTGAGE ASSETS, BUT THE SITUATION

IS EXPECTED TO GROW EXPLOSIVE IN THE COMING WEEKS.

AS MAJOR BANKS, INSURERS AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

AROUND THE WORLD ARE HIT BY SPIRALLING DERIVATIVE LOSSES AND

COLLAPSING COLLATERAL VALUATIONS, CENTRAL BANKS WILL RUN OUT

OF HIGH QUALITY GOVERNMENT SECURITIES.

AT THAT POINT THE NEXT DESPERATE MOVES OF WESTERN GOVERNMENTS

AND CENTRAL BANKS ARE EXPECTED TO BE

1) A COLOSSAL BAILOUT SCHEME FOR LARGE SCALE OUTRIGHT PURCHASES

OF MORTGAGE SECURITIES, FUNDED BY STRAIGHTFORWARD CREATION OF

CURRENCY WHICH WILL IGNITE A DEADLY HYPERINFLATIONARY PRICE SPIRAL

IN VIRTUALLY EVERY COMMODITY ON THE PLANET AND SKYROCKETING LONG

TERM BOND YIELDS WHICH WILL FURTHER COMPOUND DERIVATIVE LOSSES

WORLDWIDE.

2) DRACONIAN CAPITAL AND EXCHANGE CONTROLS

3) CONFISCATION OF PRECIOUS METALS

PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT FINANCIAL HOLDINGS OF ANY KIND, BUT IN

PARTICULAR GOLD AND SILVER BULLION, BY MOVING THEM AWAY FROM

THE USA, UK AND THE EURO AREA SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION

AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Not too bad, so far!

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Ahhh diddums, had to settle for a 2 bed instead of a 3 bed ?

Nobody gave a fvck about me when I was priced out.

Life is a game, wake up or let your concience rule your life.

It is going to be one long never ending nasty ride from now on.

I don't give a fvck anymore, but I still care, if you know what I mean.

Hold tight.

Edit: dont give a fvck.

Edited by the anti krust
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No, scientific deduction is an entirely different beast to belief and induction. From the former, one can only establish that which is definitely false; from the latter, it is only possible to establish what is necessarily true. I think it was John Stuart Mill who famously pointed out that a single negative observation can disprove an (existentially quantified) scientific theory - whereas any number of affirmations do not prove any hypothesis. No such issue exists with beliefs - because beliefs, by their very nature, preclude experimentation that either confirms or refutes them.

You seem to be saying beliefs are necessarily based only on feeling rather than thinking. I'm sure there are many people who have illogical beliefs, in fact that's a given. But personally as i explained i try to arrive at my beliefs through a rational process of elimination. In doing that i'd take in scientific knowledge, general observation, logical deduction and whatever else seems relevant. I tend to feel a level of certainty based on the amount of evidence i've acquired and the time i've spent pondering it, sometimes measured in years. I definitely don't come to a belief before experimentation that either confirms or refutes them has been considered. So i'd dispute that that was the essential nature of belief. (i'm assuming we both take belief to mean "what we believe to be true" without getting over complicated)

Obviously the source of Islam and Christianity were the same - they are both human religions.

This is obviously the tipping point between a "believer" and a "non-believer". The test would be do you believe it is possible for a human to write such a thing? Looking at what the great thinkers of recent times (such as the one's you've mentioned) have come up with i'm beginning to wonder. The quran and the sunnah (which muslims say is essential to understanding Islam) are so broad and definitive that i really wonder if it's humanly possible. Could even a whole university full of individual specialists come to agreement and produce something like it. That would stand the test of 1400 years of time. In fact if they could why haven't they?

I've read some extracts - and some commentary - I've not read a translation from cover to cover... but even from this, I've discovered a number of interesting ideas. I am apprehensive because, if the original text is anywhere near as dense as the Bible - or requires as much effort to interpret and understand - then understanding what I read might easily prove to be a significant challenge. I'm aware already of significant concepts dealt with by the Koran which, to the best of my knowledge, are almost entirely absent in a Biblical context. I have a translation as an e-book, but I expect I'll only get round to reading when I have a dead-tree copy.

Yes reading on the screen isn't the same is it, i agree. Still i found the program below to be the most useful one, searchable, with commentary and a number of translations. The Al Muntakhab expanded translation is really worth having (I looked into how it was expanded and it seems to hold up to scrutiny) I also found it very dense to begin with, sometimes i find it hard to know what it's driving at, but the most useful thing to remember i found was that officially if it says it then that's what it says, if it doesn't say it, it doesn't say it, it really is supposed to be that literal. Some of it is written in allegory but most of it is very plain. I didn't find any of it was like bits of the bible that just doesn't make sense at all.

http://www.download.ba/download.php?program=6745

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  • 442 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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