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Orbit last won the day on January 17 2015

Orbit had the most liked content!

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About Orbit

  • Rank
    I'm a planet
  • Birthday July 21

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  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    Somewhere under the rainbow
  • Interests
    Meditation, Tao Te Ching, Science, Art, Music, Mystic Panentheism, Advaita Vedanta
  • More About Me
    I'm an academic

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. Dave (webmdave) has graciously given me permission to pursue a research project on the extimonies. I've been on the forums a few years now, and I'm a sociologist by trade. When the forums went down, I was concerned that the extimonies would be lost--I think they are very valuable for people deconverting. After the forums came back up, I had an idea. Why not do a sociological analysis of the extimonies? What would this mean? Using data mining software to get aggregate statistics like how many male/female, ages, country/states, issues faced, and emotional tone of posts. I would then randomly sample about 100 of the 2,000+ extimonies and analyze them more closely to shed light on the deconversion experience. Perhaps patterns will emerge that show different paths to deconversion, different types of reasons/challenges. I would share the results back to ex-c for comments before publishing in a sociology journal. It's a way to let people outside the forum know that they are not alone. Why? Because having one report on all the extimonies might be helpful to people deconverting, and be of interest to the secular community. It also helps correct a pro-xtian bias in the sociology of religion. What I wouldn't do: name the site, or any people/screen names/any info that would identify someone. Anyone who doesn't want their extimony to be involved can opt-out, and I wouldn't use it if it came up in the random sample. If you want to opt-out, let me know. Thanks, Orbit
  2. Moral law

    Humans construct everything in society. They collectively decide what law is, where it applies, and to whom. The earliest known law is the Code of Hammurabi, and it was written by men, at the behest of their king. All law, moral or otherwise, comes from people. Why do humans construct law? To prevent disputes/murder/revenge and to keep the social order, in any given time period.
  3. Moral law

    All law is a human construct. You're welcome.
  4. The American Scientific Affiliation

    I ran across this today and found it interesting. Some scientists-turned-theologians have started a trend called "critical realism". Can we still call them scientists? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theological_critical_realism Note: I'm not endorsing the premise, but thought it interesting in light of the OP.
  5. The American Scientific Affiliation

    It's an organization for the few who follow "intelligent design" imo. It's not a recognized and respected science organization. In fact, most people would think the 'ASA" refers to the American Sociological Association (asanet.org) which is a respected social science organization. I would call this a Christian "front" organization, with a probably very small, wingnut membership.
  6. About Clubs

    There's a green rectangle on the right that says "Start a Club" after you click the Clubs tab at the tob right of all the tabs.
  7. I'm having a panic attack

    My strategy with this, with my mom who believes all kinds of End Times nonsense (and that the Presbyterians are a lost tribe of Israel) is simply to not react. Just an uninterested "uh huh". I just let her say whatever nonsense she wants, because it would be an utter waste of time to try and convince her otherwise. I suggest the same with your dad.
  8. Is Righteousness a Mechanism

    The age of the Earth isn't going to change. It's been established. Perhaps we will get more accurate, but the difference is not going to be in favor of the version in the Bible. The way the universe came to be is not the way Genesis says, and while science may have competing theories about how it did originate, all of them point away from it happening in 6 days. Science already shows the Biblical explanations for these things is impossible, and a "new" science that agrees with the Bible will not emerge, because the facts don't point that way. Your argument that our ability to make measurements with science will change is true, it will, but it will BUILD on existing discoveries, as science does--it won't go backwards. You can't seriously say the Earth was created in 6 days, or that some future "science" will say it was when there is a mountain of evidence that declares that to be impossible.
  9. Is Righteousness a Mechanism

    But you are ignoring the passage of time, and the way science corrects itself and changes with new discoveries, technologies, and ways of measuring. You can't use a model that says the sun goes around the earth any more; (which was a theological construct anyway); we now know that the earth goes around the sun. That's science. You can't ignore all the advances that have been made over time. Are you trying to say "well that's how they understood the world to work in the past, given their limited instruments and methods for measuring things? That may well be true, but the fact remains that their conclusions, in the past, were often incorrect because of these limitations, and science progressed to change what we understand about how the world operates. The problem is that what the Bible says reflects the explanations and observations (science is what you've been calling that, but it's not) of a time long past. That's because the Bible was written by Jews (the OT anyway) whose culture had observations that are not what we call science today. They observed, but they didn't do science. They made up myths to explain what they observed. Those myths became Genesis. That's why the Bible is inaccurate on Creation, the age of the Earth, and so on, because it was written by tribal people thousands of years ago, not by God. If God wrote it, it would be true today right? But science tells us it is not true. Therefore, God didn't write it. Why? Because God was invented by tribal people, not the other way around.
  10. Is Righteousness a Mechanism

    Everything is defined by the culture(s) you live in.
  11. I wish

    You realize that according to Biblical scholars, hell as you think of it wasn't invented until the Middle Ages, as a way to control people and keep them dependent on the Catholic Church. Early Church figures/saints did not believe in hell that way. The Jews did not believe in hell. In the NT, when Jesus talks about what is translated "hell", he uses the word "Gehenna", which refers to a garbage dump outside Jerusalem where the funeral pyres of the poor burned. Look into the history of the development of hell--you'll find Jesus didn't believe in what you think of as hell.
  12. That is where secular humanism starts - asking ourselves why we. collectively are such shitheads to the poor and needy. The question becomes, what can any individual do to help, even in a small way. Voting for candidates who support humane social and environmental policies is a start. Get involved with your local Food Not Bombs chapter (they collect food from grocery stores that would be dumpstered and feed the homeless with it). There are things we can do, however small. Your question is an excellent one.
  13. Thoughts on Christianity

    Just a quick comment: I especially appreciate Alan Watts' (who I love anyway) comments on xtianity because he started out as an Anglican priest. I think his observation about xtianity as based on the idea of monarchy is spot on, with a despot at the top. I also like his explanation of how being *required* to love god is not love freely given, and doesn't make sense. I could listen to him all day, on any topic.
  14. The internet as a truth

    Only if they are reputable. There is a difference between census.gov and infowars.com. The latter is not an acceptable source. The internet is just like a library, only bigger, and with more self-publishing. One has to use critical thinking to evaluate the quality of the material.
  15. American Gods (series on Starz)

    I've been watching this with my husband, who is a big fan of the book. His main complaint is that the series is moving too slowly to be engaging. For me, I love the opening montage and the idea of it, but the execution is dragging a bit.