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# Sister Mary and Me

.Fifth grade, Catholic School, Sister Mary's math class. She makes the startling statement that you can take half a distance between any two points on a number line -FOREVER ! I was stunned. When I drop my pencil it doesn't seem to fall forever. It's velocity ends up being zero? I raise my hand. Off to the dean's office I go. Seems that Sister Mary did not command complete knowledge of all the points she should have.

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This sounds like that old saw: To get from Point A to Point B, you must first move half-way between Point A and Point B, then half-way between that mid point and Point B, then  half-way again and half-way again and so forth in what is supposed to be an infinite series, approximating the goal, but never achieving it ... which of course is bullshit.  Movement is in no way necessarily asymptotic; indeed, we all experience it as linear, whether we're walking, biking, driving a car or whatever.

Seems to me Sister Mary needs to pull her head out of tailbone.

As long as Sister Mary had the TENETS of theology, superstition and mythology her grasp on worldly matters was insignificant.  I was recently listening to a sister pontificate about the soul, heaven and hell with such cocksure certainty that it made me wonder how in the living fuck an adult with even subpar intelligence can buy what she is selling.

OK fellas, I may be stupid, but isn't the wretched sister referring to a number line, not a circle or a discrete linear line? Is it not possible to imagine the possibility of going to infinity if the line consists of a numbers line and not a circle as implied by "asymptotic" or dropping a pencil in a discrete line as implied by your version of "linear"?

Where does the number Pi end? Where is the halfway point on Pi?

I know, How does one begin the halving if on a numbers line? The line has to be defined (from A to B) in order to use the sister's claim. Is there a possibility or of a name for cutting a line in half that has no end?

Who is the foolish one in this conflict?

The good sister did not have the knowledge to explain to a 5th grader that a mathematical point is a non-physical concept and occupies no space, unlike pencil molecules. I wonder of she ever figured it out. I doubt it. Instead I got in trouble for questioning her authority.

Incidentally our Biology books were missing two chapters....cut out with a razor. You are welcome to guess the subjects those two chapters covered. They clergy at my school were on loan directly from Ireland and they did not really care about much except for severe discipline. I actually heard the sound of one kid's ear cartilage separate from the rest of his head. He never really looked the same after that, poor bastard.

I don't suppose she was charged with the crime of physical abuse, as well as mental abuse! I have a thing about such violence as you and your classmates experienced. When I was calling "hitting a child" as irresponsible and outrageous, I faced challenges that at times seemed overwhelming. Times changed, using fear and physical pain as training tools hopefully no longer exist.

I have some pet words feel like fingernails on a blackboard: obedience, yield, pray, obey, turn the other cheek, forgive have all led to tragic outcomes.

When I say, "follow the evidence" these words tend to confront me. Paying attention to the attitudes, beliefs, customs, traditions, and values of the person using these words and I often found the scaffolding upon which family violence occurred.

Cutting out chapters in our history books: Mexican-U.S. War, Philippine-U.S. War, Vietnam (My Lai Massacre), Gulf War (Highway of Death), Afghanistan, Iraq, out-sourcing the "War on Terror to Halliburton & Blackwater, mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina recovery, to name only recent historic distortions fed by propaganda.

Read Shock Doctrine, for one book that tells the history of U.S. crimes against nations and humanity.

And I've shared this article before, about the current U.S. president* as not an outlier, but a symptom and culmination of the shock doctrine, and how we can resist:

Naomi Klein: Now let's fight back against the politics of fear (The Guardian)
"Political shocks, security shocks, climate shocks – however unstable the world seems now, things could get a lot worse. But we can unite for a better future."

Ah! there is the rub!

IME, absolutism pervades Catholicism and infects the thinking of children exposed to it.

When I first saw the posts of people here who said they started questioning years earlier than I did, I wanted to know how they did it. I started questioning late, in eleventh grade, probably because my parents or other adults in my extended family never said anything that differed from what I’d heard from nuns or priests.

Yet, my answers to the questions I asked in 11th grade were not enough. Without some trauma when I was in college, even after two years in the Navy (which included some combat), I might not have been able to break free.

That’s why, IMO, childhood religious indoctrination is a mental form of child abuse. I put some of my money where I mouth is; I contribute to three church-state separation organizations.

Discrete Data can only take certain values. (a defined number of miles: From A to B)

Continuous Data can take any value. (an infinite number of miles.)

Did your sister, principal, or mother define the data to which the sister referred?

Or, did anyone talk to you about obedience? That was the real issue here. If you believe there is a god, it follows that you must obey god. How do you know that god is telling you the truth? If there is a god then there is god-truth.

How does one know god-truth? Attitudes, Beliefs, Customs, Traditions, and Value and sacred literature.

How does one know the ABCTVs and sacred literature tell the truth?  Beliefs, faith, trust in external information.

If there is no god, from where does one find the truth? Follow the evidence to find a differential diagnosis. That diagnosis (or "truth") may or may not be the answer. If/when one has no answer to defend, the judgment may change; follow the evidence.  Trust internal information.

@Joan: from where does one find the truth?

I studied some science before some trauma helped me break free.

I give credit for remedying the damage to the science I studied after I broke free.

And yes, I know quite well that my skepticism here at Nexus irritates a few people here. The Big Bang is a religion.

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