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Local TV shows

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Description: A couple of shows on this weekend which might be interesting
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ArgumentumAdHominem
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« on: July 11, 2008, 13:43:38 PM »

I caught the end of a (what looked like) a good episode of the local show "Issues of Faith" this past Sunday.  Entitled "Science & Religion" it appeared to be a more balanced view (more balanced than usual for a Sunday morning) of the debate.  I only caught the last twenty minutes so the first half may have been very different, but from what I saw at the end they even gave a voice to religious scepticism in addition to the scientists who were defending science against the usual creationist assertions.  There were some who even opined that "These days Religion finds Science to be an increasing threat, and with good reason".

The reason I mention it is that (from the adverts playing during the week) it looks like the same episode of "Issues of Faith" will be repeated this Sunday 13 July on SABC2 at 9AM.  Right in the middle of the usual woo-woo-marathon on that channel on Sundays.

Then on the other hand (as if some karmic balance must be restored) SABC2 is showing "Phantom" on Friday nights at 9PM.  Michael De pina (you know, that Vodacom advert guy) hosts a show where he visits the small towns of South Africa and tells us the local haunting stories.  From the website:

Quote
Phantom showcases and explores places in South Africa that remain relatively unknown to many of our viewers. In tracking down the famous ghost stories of different cities, towns and regions, Phantom takes viewers on a rollicking tour of the country and gives them some food for thought along the way.

Whatever we believe about supernatural phenomena, we love to hear about them. We love to feel the hairs on the back of our neck rise at the feeling that there might be more around us than are visible to our eyes.

Stupidity is invisible to our eyes and that gets the hair on my neck standing-up, so maybe they are right in some respects.
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ArgumentumAdHominem
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 10:23:27 AM »

Okay, so the episode of "Issues of Faith" this week was not a repeat of the episode which I caught part of last week.  And having watched the entire episode it makes me wonder how balanced the previous episode was.  In this episode there was about 15 minutes of rational discussion about the evolution versus creation debate but then the wheels came off again.  Towards the end of the episode there was a cascade of slippery-slope arguments and it was all about how "Science doesn't teach ethics or morality", so left unchecked it would clone the world or detonate nuclear bombs without a second thought.

Of course it is not the job of science to teach ethics or morality, for that we have humanism (or even the understanding that ethics appear universal -across all religions- so it is a natural phenomena anyway).  If I wanted to be pedantic about this; Science is a means of discovering how things work, how the interaction of atoms can produce massive amounts of energy (so the Philosophy of Science teaches us) but it is the job of the Technologist to find applications for this knowledge (so the Philosophy of Technology tells us).  Interesting that scientists are blamed for the H-bomb but not credited for fission (or fusion~ in the future) electrical-energy generation using these original principles.  Extend that to eveything else we know from the atomic sciences which lead to the technologies of X-rays, CAT scans, PET scans, radiation-therapy and I wonder why they insist on "evil" science intending to kill more people than the "saintly" religions.  I don't have enough fingers to count the deaths to prove how wrong they are on that, and my head hurts with really big numbers.  Wink

There were places where I scoffed aloud at the tripe issued forth by these "learned" Professors of Theology.  The representative of African traditional faiths didn't accept the teaching of evolution because he said that evolution was being taught from "western" books, books "written in England, America and Europe where they have been distorting history for their own purposes for centuries" and how evolution was just an extention of this distortion of history.
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 12:56:39 PM »

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The representative of African traditional faiths didn't accept the teaching of evolution because he said that evolution was being taught from "western" books, books "written in England, America and Europe where they have been distorting history for their own purposes for centuries" and how evolution was just an extention of this distortion of history.
If you think long enough you will find an excuse to make your beliefs fit no matter how wrong they are. By giving traditional healers "Dr" status lots of people will believe them without question. They should not be not be recognised as anything except fraudsters.
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 10:01:39 AM »

Phantom sounds interesting. I'll try to remember to watch it. Nothing wrong with a few ghost stories... unless you believe it's true Wink
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Mefiante
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 12:20:13 PM »

It is undoubtedly true that many local TV shows are guilty of fostering various delusions.  Particularly prominent in this respect are (as already pointed out) the Issues of Faith series, followed very closely by Free Spirit, which is also broadcast on Sundays and is a veritable and seemingly inexhaustible cornucopia of New Age baloney, usually expounded on with suitably hushed gravity by one or more of an interminable succession of “Masters” of the particular craft under scrutiny.

While these TV shows are often exasperatingly delusional, their content and presentation rarely go much beyond being irritating.  But for real, positively down-home infuriation and galling irksomeness, I doubt that any publication medium in SA can match the Brobdingnagian depths plumbed by SA’s leading tabloid, The Daily Sun.  It is simply astonishing that this rag is not repeatedly held to account for journalistic irresponsibility, for committing acts of grievous bodily harm on the truth, or possibly even for recurrent bouts of fathomless stupidity, because this newspaper easily and regularly manages to exceed the unmitigated inanity of its British and US counterparts.  As a self-control exercise for all sceptics, I recommend buying the occasional issue (it’s around R2-00 a copy) and trying to read selected articles without undergoing a radical change in demeanour, but caution is advised as overexposure could result in permanent brain damage.

'Luthon64
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