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Assuming "bit string" means "machine code", this isn't true. The same machine code will not result in the same logical operations being performed on all computers. It may not correspond to any logical operations at all on other computers. And what logical operations are carried out depends entirely on "the molecules bouncing around" in the computer. You aren't making DNA sound different from machine code at all.


How do most of these objections not apply also to computer programs? Computer programs are physical objects, and what the program actually does depends entirely on the physical machinery that runs it.


The assumption of the adversarial mode is that if the other person loses their temper, it's because their position is weak.

Wouldn't this reward trolling?


There are alternatives to monarchy, and an example of a disappointing monarch should suggest that alternatives might be worth considering, or at the very least that appointing a monarch isn't invariably the answer. That was my only point.


Why would you believe that something is always the solution when you already have evidence that it doesn't always work?


In the earlier period, Uruk was in fact substantially larger, thus the quibble. Marc Van De Mieroop, The Ancient Mesopotamian City, p.37:

But many aspects of Uruk show its special status in southern Mesopotamia. Its size greatly surpasses that of contemporary cities: around 3200 it is estimated to have been about 100 hectares in size, while in the region to its north the largest city measured only 50 hectares, and in the south the only other city, Ur, covered only 10-15 hectares. ... And Uruk continued to grow: around 2800 its walls encircled an area of 494 hectares and occupation outside the walls was likely.


Historical quibble- in "The First City" section, you seem to be partially confusing Ur with Uruk. Uruk is generally regarded as the first city in Sumeria, during the eponymous Uruk period (4000-3100 BC). Also generally believed to be the center of the "Uruk phenomenon" during which cuneiform writing and a number of other features of Mesopotamian civilization were developed. Ur was the capital of the Neo-Sumerian Ur III empire c.2000 BC, which built the Great Ziggurat of Ur shown in the picture.


You're right, you didn't "imply mass murder, theft, and enslavement are okay", you neglected to mention them entirely, despite them being relevant to your claim that "the actions of the Aztecs are a far better example of religion causing people to bad thing", unlike disease. You made no argument against the claim that the suffering inflicted by the Spanish directly exceeded that caused by the Aztecs (#3 in TimS's post). Instead you simply noted that disease caused "the main suffering", and restated your previous position. What would you accept as a charitable interpretation of that?


Mass murder, theft, and enslavement don't become okay just because contemporaneous plagues have a higher death toll. And yes, the former tended to justified in religious terms, for whatever you think that's worth.


Plunder and glory?

edit: To put it another way, I'd argue the conquest of traditionally Christian territories under the Rashidun and Ummayad Caliphs was due to religion in the same way the Spanish conquests in the Americas were - enabled and justified by religion, but motivated primarily by the desire for wealth and fame. I can go into further detail if anyone wants, though I doubt that is the case.

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