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Old 10-21-2011, 05:21 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facepalm17 View Post
Neither 1) nor 2) are sound.

There are common events which violate 1). For example, a quantum fluctuation does not have a cause that precedes it in time.
Am I just supposed to take your word for it?

Is there any empirical evidence to support this assertion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Facepalm17 View Post
2) is incorrect because the universe cannot begin to exist if time is a property of the universe (the same goes for space). Therefore, the universe does not exist within time.
Non sequitur. Your "if" in this instance, does not logically support the "therefore" conclusion.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
It seems to me, that as creatures, we are logically limited to what God chooses to reveal about himself through scripture and science. What is it about God's revelation that causes you to conclude that God acts capriciously or arbitrarily?
Since you appear to be specifically discussing a Protestant Christian conception of God, I'll constrain the discussion to this concept of God. One example of this is the contrast between the story of Moses and Jonah. In the case of Jonah, God sends a prophet in his name to condemn the city, and then makes a liar of his own prophet, in order to show mercy to a repentant people. The same god, in the story of Moses, artificially forces Pharaoh to 'harden his heart', in order that he can heap repeated punishment on a repentant man. The only way to reconcile this behavior is the old canard, "God's ways are higher than our ways" or "We'll understand when we get to heaven".

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
You state the God does "what appears to be evil." Would you care to elaborate?
I did elaborate in the next paragraph...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Specifically, where does God command murder, genocide, rape and infanticide?
In addition to Boxcar's quote, I believe there were several places during the leadership of Moses and Joshua both, where entire towns and ethnic groups were to be killed including the children. One exception to this was when all the young unmarried women were to be taken as 'wives'. I hope you are not going to quibble that watching your family be slaughtered, and then forced to sexually service your captor, while being treated legally as chattel doesn't qualify as rape...

As far as murder, Jael, who drove a tent peg through a sleeping man's skull and
Ehud who gutted Eglon with a dagger, are two examples. Also see Elijah's slaughter of at least 450 of the prophets of Baal (it is a little unclear if he also killed all 400 of the prophets of Ashera who were also present, so the number might be 850, but who's counting...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
How about this: If there is no God then everything is ultimately nonsense and there really is no such thing as 'good' or 'evil,' only personal preference.

Some cultures encourage people to treat their fellow human beings with kindness and consideration. Other cultures encourage cannibalism. Do you have a preference?
Of course I have a preference. I tend to like the morality of the culture in which I was raised. Specifically, I am very partial to an American interpretation of Western Enlightenment era virtues. I am not naive enough to think that other cultures always share these values. As time passes and cultures evolve, the notions of what is right and wrong change.

The problem with an absolute morality based on scripture is that no one really seems to take it seriously. If rebelliousness in a child merited death in the OT, why is it not so serious now? If slavery is immoral now, why was it acceptable when god established the law? Why is polygamy now considered a perversion, but was evidently acceptable to God when he gave the law? Why is marriage to the rape victim by a rapist or financial compensation no longer considered a morally appropriate response to rape? Remember these are all issues that are either spelled out or implicitly condoned in God's law. I understand the Christian response that we are no longer bound by the law, but is the action spelled out by the law a morally acceptable one? Even if the law is not binding, God's moral imperatives shouldn't be changing, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Again, it all seems pretty straight-forward to me. Following these two commandments will automatically encompass the entire law and the prophets.

The Bible condemns "polygamy" and "homosexuality." Where does the Bible command Christians to condemn those who engage in "polygamy" and "homosexuality?"
You have actually made my point for me. From those two commandments, you cannot logically derive the entirety of OT law, or NT instructions to believers. To get the rest of these things you have to reference other sources, namely the law and the prophets (and the rest of the NT).

As far as behaviorally, I am sure that there are Muslims, Baha'i, Unitarian Universalists, and a host of others who are following those commands as fervently as any Christian, but who would clearly not be following the morality of the Christian God. These two commands are only useful as a summary to those who are already familiar with the details of the Christian interpretation of morality.

Your last point again makes my point for me. I am not referring to how Christians are to treat homosexuals or polygamists. Christian doctrine condemns homosexuality and, to a much lesser degree, polygamy. There is no way to derive this doctrine from the two commands, love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Therefore these two commands cannot be the complete absolute morality you speak of, unless you are willing to agree that homosexuality is not immoral.

Now let me be clear here, I am arguing these points based on your viewpoint that the information in the bible is to be treated as a factual revelation from God. Even assuming this, there are too many issues that don't add up for me to be able to give the idea of a divinely revealed absolute morality any credence. I personally think that this entire conversation is as ridiculous as arguing about the moral natures of Thor and Odin.

NoCapo
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Am I just supposed to take your word for it?
Nope.

Quote:
Is there any empirical evidence to support this assertion?
Yes, quantum fluctuations have been observed. Example:

We observed quantum fluctuations of the superconducting phase θ in single domain Sr2RuO4 single crystals using a transport measurement. The temperature dependence of the resistivity of submicron Sr2RuO4 shows that a finite resistivity below the superconducting transition temperature of Tc = 1.69 K. The results may suggest that the finite resistivity is occurred by the flow of vortices due to quantum fluctuations of the superconducting phase θ in the same way as one-dimensional Josephson junction array systems. (Observation of quantum fluctuation in nano Sr2RuO4 p-wave superconductors)

Quote:
Non sequitur. Your "if" in this instance, does not logically support the "therefore" conclusion.
It's not a non sequitur at all. If I ask what's north of the north pole, what's your answer? To say that the "universe had a beginning" is the equivalent of saying that the "Earth has a north pole". To ask "what happened before the big bang" is to ask "what's north of the north pole" - or "what happened before time"...an impossible concept. I hope you'll appreciate that the statement "the earth went north today in its orbit" is absurd, because latitude is a property of the Earth's surface. That's the parallel. To make statements about the entire universe in relation to something "external" in terms of properties dependent on universes is equivalent to making statements about the entire earth in relation to external space in terms of properties dependent on planets (or bodies, to be more general).
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:41 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facepalm17 View Post
Yes, quantum fluctuations have been observed. Example:

We observed quantum fluctuations of the superconducting phase θ in single domain Sr2RuO4 single crystals using a transport measurement. The temperature dependence of the resistivity of submicron Sr2RuO4 shows that a finite resistivity below the superconducting transition temperature of Tc = 1.69 K. The results may suggest that the finite resistivity is occurred by the flow of vortices due to quantum fluctuations of the superconducting phase θ in the same way as one-dimensional Josephson junction array systems. (Observation of quantum fluctuation in nano Sr2RuO4 p-wave superconductors)
I didn't ask whether or not they (quantum fluctuations) were observable. You stated that they are not caused. I ask again, do you have any empirical evidence or data to back up such an assertion? There is a vast difference between not knowing the cause and stating categorically that there is no cause.

Would it be too much for me to ask you to put it into your own words instead of the old cut & paste?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Facepalm17 View Post
It's not a non sequitur at all. If I ask what's north of the north pole, what's your answer? To say that the "universe had a beginning" is the equivalent of saying that the "Earth has a north pole". To ask "what happened before the big bang" is to ask "what's north of the north pole" - or "what happened before time"...an impossible concept. I hope you'll appreciate that the statement "the earth went north today in its orbit" is absurd, because latitude is a property of the Earth's surface. That's the parallel. To make statements about the entire universe in relation to something "external" in terms of properties dependent on universes is equivalent to making statements about the entire earth in relation to external space in terms of properties dependent on planets (or bodies, to be more general).
Go up to the north pole and look straight up. If you continue on that line you will observe what it is that lies north of the north pole.

I'm sure you find this sort of thought process to be compelling and convincing. To each there own I suppose.

If the scientific community ever gets to the place where they stop asking why or how and determine to ignore logic, it will be the end of true science IMHO.
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:11 PM
 
Location: OKC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post


Go up to the north pole and look straight up. If you continue on that line you will observe what it is that lies north of the north pole.
Seriously, or is this some sort of play on words?

The North Pole is one of the earth's rotational axis points located on the surface of the earth in the northern hemisphere.

I give you the benefit of the doubt that you have some interesting reasoning for your statement, and I just must not see it.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:10 AM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Since you appear to be specifically discussing a Protestant Christian conception of God, I'll constrain the discussion to this concept of God. One example of this is the contrast between the story of Moses and Jonah. In the case of Jonah, God sends a prophet in his name to condemn the city, and then makes a liar of his own prophet, in order to show mercy to a repentant people. The same god, in the story of Moses, artificially forces Pharaoh to 'harden his heart', in order that he can heap repeated punishment on a repentant man. The only way to reconcile this behavior is the old canard, "God's ways are higher than our ways" or "We'll understand when we get to heaven".
A rather extraordinary and curious hermeneutic. Some may actually find it convincing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
In addition to Boxcar's quote, I believe there were several places during the leadership of Moses and Joshua both, where entire towns and ethnic groups were to be killed including the children. One exception to this was when all the young unmarried women were to be taken as 'wives'. I hope you are not going to quibble that watching your family be slaughtered, and then forced to sexually service your captor, while being treated legally as chattel doesn't qualify as rape...
Would you agree that everyone is going to die at some point? If death is a natural given, then, logically, the only question left would have to do with timing and methodology. If God exists, is sovereign, and has predetermined our destiny, then all we are logically left with is the actual methodology to be employed. It seems to me that death is death. Dead is dead. The person who dies in their sleep is just as dead as the person who dies in battle.

I would also dare to "quibble" over the rape charge. Logically, there is a vast difference between taking a woman as a lawful wife and committing gratuitous sexual assault. Still, I am trying to keep an open mind. Are there perhaps any other supposed examples of God commanding people to commit rape?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
As far as murder, Jael, who drove a tent peg through a sleeping man's skull and Ehud who gutted Eglon with a dagger, are two examples. Also see Elijah's slaughter of at least 450 of the prophets of Baal (it is a little unclear if he also killed all 400 of the prophets of Ashera who were also present, so the number might be 850, but who's counting...)
The Bible often presents a historical sort of 'warts and all' narrative. Sometimes, history (truth or factual accounts) can be quite ugly and disturbing. We find accounts of murder being perpetrated in days past in much the same way that murder is perpetrated in the modern era.

My Biblical hermeneutic is obviously quite different from yours. I honestly fail to see how any of these accounts that you site here are examples of God commanding murder. If one is going to adopt your apparent view here, it seems to me that they must view each and every death that occurs as "murder" by God.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Of course I have a preference. I tend to like the morality of the culture in which I was raised. Specifically, I am very partial to an American interpretation of Western Enlightenment era virtues. I am not naive enough to think that other cultures always share these values. As time passes and cultures evolve, the notions of what is right and wrong change.
Right, you have a preference and people like Adolf Hitler had a preference. Which preference should we all ultimately prefer - yours? Are you stating that everyone who agrees with your view is moral and that everyone who disagrees with your view is immoral? Who sets the standard - you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
The problem with an absolute morality based on scripture is that no one really seems to take it seriously.
I notice that a whole lot of people don't seem to take the speed limit seriously. Does that make speed limits nonexistent or cause them to become null and void?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
If rebelliousness in a child merited death in the OT, why is it not so serious now?
Do you have any examples of children being put to death due to rebelliousness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
If slavery is immoral now, why was it acceptable when god established the law?
Are you interpreting anything evil that happens as being given the stamp of approval by God? Yes, the Bible records slavery as being commonly practiced in the ancient world. Does that mean the God commanded it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Why is polygamy now considered a perversion, but was evidently acceptable to God when he gave the law?
"Evidently." An interesting choice of terms. Again, where does God specifically command people to engage in polygamy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Why is marriage to the rape victim by a rapist or financial compensation no longer considered a morally appropriate response to rape? Remember these are all issues that are either spelled out or implicitly condoned in God's law. I understand the Christian response that we are no longer bound by the law, but is the action spelled out by the law a morally acceptable one? Even if the law is not binding, God's moral imperatives shouldn't be changing, right?
Again, you have a very confused hermeneutic. There is a perfectly logical and practical reason (which has absolutely nothing to do with not being "bound by the law") that most of the Old Testament Hebrew law was not carried over to the New Testament. However, I get the distinct impression that you're really not interested in being reasonable. You have your view. If it works for you, go with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
You have actually made my point for me. From those two commandments, you cannot logically derive the entirety of OT law, or NT instructions to believers. To get the rest of these things you have to reference other sources, namely the law and the prophets (and the rest of the NT).
In reference to the bold text, YES, you can logically interpret all the law as being summed up in those two commandments. Sin is a problem of the heart. If one's heart is right, they will fall in line with God's commandments - not in the sense that they become sinless but by an inner conviction of that which is morally right and that which is morally wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
As far as behaviorally, I am sure that there are Muslims, Baha'i, Unitarian Universalists, and a host of others who are following those commands as fervently as any Christian, but who would clearly not be following the morality of the Christian God. These two commands are only useful as a summary to those who are already familiar with the details of the Christian interpretation of morality.
Where did I infer that non-Christians are incapable of behaving morally or that certain portions of non-Christian religious practices and dictates do not agree or appear to coincide with Judeo-Christian morality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Your last point again makes my point for me. I am not referring to how Christians are to treat homosexuals or polygamists. Christian doctrine condemns homosexuality and, to a much lesser degree, polygamy. There is no way to derive this doctrine from the two commands, love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Therefore these two commands cannot be the complete absolute morality you speak of, unless you are willing to agree that homosexuality is not immoral.
Please answer my question: Where does the Bible command people to condemn homosexuals and polygamists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoCapo View Post
Now let me be clear here, I am arguing these points based on your viewpoint that the information in the bible is to be treated as a factual revelation from God. Even assuming this, there are too many issues that don't add up for me to be able to give the idea of a divinely revealed absolute morality any credence. I personally think that this entire conversation is as ridiculous as arguing about the moral natures of Thor and Odin.
Fine and dandy. However, you've provided absolutely no logical reason for anyone to accept moral relativity as being any less ridiculous than "arguing about the moral natures of Thor and Odin." People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:16 AM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Seriously, or is this some sort of play on words?

The North Pole is one of the earth's rotational axis points located on the surface of the earth in the northern hemisphere.

I give you the benefit of the doubt that you have some interesting reasoning for your statement, and I just must not see it.
Does the axis of the earth run north and south?
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:03 AM
 
Location: OKC
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Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post
Does the axis of the earth run north and south?
The axis runs North and South, but North and South don't follow up and down the axis. North and South follow the surface of the earth, all the way to the poles which lie at a point on the surface of the earth. When you've hit the pole, you've gone as far north as one can go.

Last edited by Boxcar Overkill; 10-22-2011 at 09:17 AM..
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:10 AM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
The universe may have began to exist or it may have existed forever.
Both choices have logical implications. An answer of 'I don't know' fails to address the issue. However, I suppose that when one has a vested interest in denying logic it makes for much better argumentation to answer 'I don't know.'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
If it is logically impossible for the universe to have always existed, it is also logically impossible for a god to have always existed.
Is there ANY scientific reason to presume the universe has always existed? Is there ANY logical reason to presume that the universe has always existed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
If the universe logically required a first cause, god (or any primary agent) required a first cause.
You're stating that if God exists, then God must have a date of birth. Is that your assertion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
I don't know whether an infinite regression is possible or not, but if it is logically possible it is possible for the universe as well as god. If it's not possible, it's not possible for the universe or god.
Right, whenever logic gets in the way just answer "I don't know."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
It would be a special pleading to suggest that an infinite regression is not possible for the universe, but is possible for god.
A primary cause agent logically solves the dilemma of infinite regression. That is, if one actually chooses to be interested in logic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Thus the argument that for a primary mover is incoherent. If it is required for the universe, it is also required for the primary mover, which would make it not a primary mover. The only way to avoid this incoherence is to posit a special pleading, in which a first cause is not required for a god (or any other first cause) but is required for the universe.
You are asserting hyper-causality. I get that. The problem is that you have no logic or science to back you up.

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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
You seem to rest your position on the notion that science has shown that the universe had a first cause. I don't believe that is the case.
You disagree with Stephen Hawking? On scientific grounds or on philosophical grounds?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
There is no settled theory about what came before the big bang. There are some that believe that the universe always existed. There are some that believe that there was a cause of the big bang, but of those I know of none that have explained what caused the cause of the big bang. We simply aren't there yet.
Agreed. Scientifically, we aren't there. Thus we are left with speculation and revelation. What makes theistic speculation any less acceptable in comparison to atheistic speculation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post

On to purpose:

You parents may have a purpose for your life. You may have a purpose for your life. God may have a purpose for your life. You get to decide which purpose you want to adopt. There is no reason to accept that a God's purpose is more organic to you then a purpose your parents chose for you or one that you adopt for yourself. God's purpose is just one of many purposes you may chose from. Certainly, there may be consequences to choosing a purpose, but if you have free will you are free to choose whichever purpose you deem most worthy.

God may have a purpose for your life, but so may you. You get to choose which purpose you want to guide your life, even if you are a theist. So even if you believe god had a purpose for your life, it is not necessary for you to adopt that purpose anymore than if your parents had a purpose for your life or if you had a purpose you derived on your own.
Being that you've already freely acknowledged that there is no intrinsic meaning to life from an atheistic perspective, I would say that this discussion has become rather moot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
On to Absolutism

If God exist, and if God made the ten commandments, it would morally absolute to the following extent:

1. This must be the entire set of laws. No other relativistic laws would allowed to come into place.
Incoherent. Please clarify or elaborate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
2. The ten commandments must be absolutely applied to everyone at all times in all circumstances. One could not claim that Jesus came and changed some of the laws of the old testament, particularly the one about which day to worship on. One could not claim that the killings in the old testament, even the ones committed by God, were morally permissible. The laws must exist absolutely, applied to all beings, at all times, in all circumstances.
Application of the objective law has absolutely no bearing upon whether or not the moral absolute actually exists. This entire assertion is a non sequitur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
3. They must be applicable in all circumstances. If one could save 1000 innocent babies by dishonoring their father, they must let the innocent babies die if they are to do the moral thing.

I don't know of any Christians who have that belief. The ones I know think the Jesus changed at least some of the old testament laws, that the laws do not apply to everyone in all times in all circumstances, and they would all say that the morally write thing to do would be to save the children's lives even if you had to curse your parents.

So let me ask you, if you could save 1000 children's lives by telling a lie about what the time of day was, what would be the moral thing to do?
I really don't get where you're going with this 1000 children's thing other than to say that there are times in life when one may be left with only two choices - the choice to do the lesser of two evils. How would this negate the existence of objective morality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
If you believe that God has laws which do not apply to everyone (including him) at all times in all circumstances, you have theistic relativism.
I believe that God has provided objective moral standards that apply to everyone at all times and in all circumstances. However, there is no guarantee that such laws will always be obeyed or that God will hold offenders immediately responsible for transgression of such laws.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Utilitarianism - Utilitarianism is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "good". It is form of consequentialism, meaning that the moral worth of an action is determined by its resulting outcome. It is not a theory that advocates "what is moral to you may not be moral to me." Instead, it advocates that what is moral is that which does the most amount of good to the most amount of people.
Hitler apparently believed that genocide would accomplish a greater "overall good" for mankind. Does this same view of morality comport to yours?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
Kant - Kant very specifically said God was not required for his catagorical imparatives. It you read it's premises, his theory is worked out by reason alone and no where does it require a God. Kant was a theist, but his theory was atheistic. Outside of his theory, he pondered that people would want to do good to avoid god's wrath, but he was very careful to note that his theory was derived at from reason alone, without reference to a god.
You're free of course to form whatever personal view of Kant's philosophy that you choose. I happen to believe that Kant had good REASON for choosing to be a theist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
My world view isn't based on hope. It's based on a logical analysis of what I think is most likely. That's why it doesn't require faith in anything. Whatever I think is most likely true, I will believe, despite whatever I may or may not like or hope for. Accordingly, I think it overwhelmingly obvious that sapient thought is derived entirely from a working brain. You see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and think with your brain. Just like you can't see without your eyes, you can't think without a brain. After death your brain will not work and therefore you will no longer have thought. That's not a hope, it's just what I think is most likely.

If there is any possibility for an indefinite lifespan, it comes from science like biogerentology or transhumanism. But I think that is a very improbable.
Right. Then you would agree that your world view is based on hopelessness?
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:25 AM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
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Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
The axis runs North and South, but North and South don't follow the axis. They only go as far as the poles. North doesn't suddenly take a 90 degree up turn at the poles. When you've hit the pole, you've gone as far north as one can go.
You do know what the axis is - don't you? Simply extend the line in either direction through the universe and you will be traveling north or south in relation to the orientation of the earth. If a spaceship lies over the south pole, it is south of the earth. If a spaceship lies over the north pole, it is north of the earth.

Earth's Axis
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