Orbit

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Orbit last won the day on January 17 2015

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About Orbit

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    I'm a planet
  • Birthday July 21

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    Somewhere under the rainbow
  • Interests
    Meditation, Tao Te Ching, Science, Art, Music, Mystic Panentheism, Advaita Vedanta
  • More About Me
    I'm an academic

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

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  1. An Ex-C member recently asked me if I would talk about my journey and spirituality, so this post is by way of an answer. If you are still questioning, and haven't completely severed from Christianity, this post may be triggering for you, so exercise your judgment. I myself have been comfortably severed from Christianity for about 5 years, and don't subscribe to any religious dogma, organized or disorganized. Some think of exploring spirituality as a stop on the path to atheism; for me however, atheism was a necessary step to jettisoning religion, leaving me free to explore spirituality. What do I mean by "spirituality"? I mean human psychology, emotion, philosophy, and systems of meaning. I see spirituality akin to self-therapy. For example, studying Hindu and Zen Buddhist philosophy provides insight into the human condition. Meditation provides self-insight, and less stress/more clarity of mind. Those are all very practical things, and they make me feel good. There's nothing wrong with endorphins! My basic practice is regular meditation. There are quite atheistic strands in orthodox Hinduism, and of course in Zen Buddhism, but even theistic religions can have value if you control how you use them. For example, meditating using the Buddhist goddess Quan Jin, or the Hindu Avelokiteshtevara, or even gasp! Jesus (don't go there if you're not fully ready) as bodhisattvas of compassion is treating them as symbols of human qualities, not deities, giving a symbolic face to relate to as you begin the meditation. As you continue the meditation, the faces that served to focus you on the human quality meld into your own, and you absorb the idea and the associated emotions. It's a meditation technique. All gods/bodhisattvas etc are symbolic archetypes that spring from the human mind, they are psychological vehicles and you can use them therapuetically. They are symbols, tools. Again, this is my take on it; your mileage may vary. You'll have to find what you're comfortable with and works for you. This lets me use symbols that resonate with me from around the world. Besides, I like candles and incense. Do I value internal consistency in this? No, because emotions and human psychology are not consistent,. The subconscious doesn't care about logic. So in my journey I moved away from the black and white thinking that was useful early in my deconversion (religion=bad/atheism=good) towards an entirely different interpretation of religious symbols and rituals. Am I an atheist? Yup. But I find religious mysticism can provide the symbols and tools that are psychologically powerful and emotionally satisfying. Would I ever join a religion? No. Would these religions approve of the way I use their symbols? No. I could say more I suppose, but this is probably more than enough to generate discussion. I'm happy to talk about meditation if anyone's interested. I list my religion as "Dinner". That's pretty accurate.
  2. I think you can guide, can encourage someone to explore their own feelings about spirituality, but I don't really think it can be "taught". You can give someone tips on meditation, but their insights are their own. You could suggest readings, but it's up to them to evaluate and interpret them. There's nothing wrong with helping, but as Alan Watts says, "anyone offering to sell you enlightenment is like someone who picks your pocket and sells you your own watch".
  3. I've read it, and thought it was very good fwiw
  4. I might be able to arrange for a chat thingy--give me a week or so
  5. Where did ExC chat go?
  6. Happy Easter, End.

    1. end3

      end3

      Thank you! Hope all is well.

  7. I don't see that defining the role of one denigrates the role of the other; both are useful. "Society" didn't invent the differences between men and women, it simply builds around them. Social differences are social, not biological. And gender roles change over time, so they are most definitely not biologically determined.
  8. http://www.upworthy.com/a-short-comic-strip-explains-how-our-double-standard-about-feelings-hurts-men-too?c=ufb3 A very good read
  9. If it takes a book to do it, how do you think I have the time to do it in a message board post? Blacks are killed more than whites by cops according to 2015 data. Those are the only facts relevant here. You want to digress into denying racism exists in the criminal justice system, which is kind of like denying the absolutely uncontroversial, obvious fact that there is. You cite several racist red herring arguments that the book will debunk. Sometimes issues are more complex than a message board post can address completely. Racism is real. http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/07/bias-reduction/491195/?utm_source=atlfb Except I don't buy the whole blacks are shot more frequently because racism narrative. That's where your conclusion differs from mine. I gave you some reasons as to why I've come to it. I also didn't deny that blacks get killed more frequently or the existence of racism as a whole, that's related but beyond the scope of the conversation. Here is a statement from my colleagues on the Ferguson issue which encapsulates all of our professional experience researching these issues: https://sociologistsforjustice.org/public-statement/
  10. If it takes a book to do it, how do you think I have the time to do it in a message board post? Blacks are killed more than whites by cops according to 2015 data. Those are the only facts relevant here. You want to digress into denying racism exists in the criminal justice system, which is kind of like denying the absolutely uncontroversial, obvious fact that there is. You cite several racist red herring arguments that the book will debunk. Sometimes issues are more complex than a message board post can address completely. Racism is real. http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/07/bias-reduction/491195/?utm_source=atlfb
  11. Yes, it's why I'm called RealityCheck. I'm guessing it has something to do with our sensitive social climate but I could be wrong. Here is an expanded chart depicting all crime from 2013 and percent distribution. Again, take into consideration that blacks only consist of 12.3% of the total population. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-43 Their percentage distribution for all crime is MUCH higher than 12.3% with the exception of drunk driving and violating liquor laws. If a group is that prone to criminality, they'll come into contact with police more often. Probability takes over from there in regards to getting shot. It's poverty that is correlated with crime. There is also racial profiling, differential patrolling, and "broken windows" policies that encourage police to harshly punish small infractions, like selling cigarettes on the street. Cops kill blacks disproportionaly for minor infractions, traffic stops, unarmed and legally armed in open carry states. See this: http://usuncut.com/black-lives-matter/black-on-black-crime/ and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/07/13/1547966/-The-most-well-known-astrophysicist-of-our-time-discusses-a-dozen-times-he-s-been-racially-profiled?detail=facebook The black community is indeed the victim of poverty. This is the end result of 50 years of government meddling. I'm currently in the process of reading this book https://www.amazon.com/Please-Stop-Helping-Us-Liberals/dp/1594037256 and will have more thoughts to post when I'm done. Here's a lecture from the author https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9wWF1_YFBA. Also, black immigrants tend to do better than U.S. born blacks http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/06/26/survey-shows-black-immigrants-educated-make-money-african-americans/. This puts a dent in the systematic racism narrative. The real problem is American black culture itself. Regarding the first link: 1. "84 percent of white murder victims were white." If blacks are mostly dying at the hands of their own, it only logically follows that it's true for whites. Who else is left to kill? This proves nothing except that races prefer to murder themselves. Never mind that again, blacks are 12.3% of the population yet are committing half of all homocides. Taking that into account, a black person is still more likely to die from a black than a white from a white. 2. "Whites kill more whites than black people kill each other." This implies that black on white killings are more common than white on black. The discrepancy has to go somewhere and by the numbers in the chart, this is actually the case. You're not exactly helping the "whites are racist" narrative here. 3. "Whites commit more crimes than any other race." Uhm, yeah. That's because whites are the largest demographic. The article states that 31.9% of thieves are black. If all the races committed theft equally, that number should be at 12.3%. 4. "White people kill more members of vulnerable populations than any other race." 70% of black households are single mothers, the black family unit is practically non existent. This can probably account for the higher ratio of whites killing family members, it's because they're more likely to have families to begin with. This isn't even taking into account the 12.3% of population to 50% of murders disparity. If you do that, then any given black person is still more likely to kill someone vulnerable than any given white person. 5. "Gang murders are most common among white gangs." Yes but the average black is more likely to be in a gang than a white person https://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/demographics. By percentage of population, a black person is still more likely to commit a gang related murder than a white. The chart also doesn't differentiate between Hispanics and non Hispanics. It's probably grouping Central American immigrants with the total white population. If it seperated these groups, the rate of homicide and crime for non Hispanic whites would be even lower. Regarding the second link: As much as I respect Mr. DeGrasse Tyson, this story is still an anecdote. I can counter with my own because I get pulled over and harassed by police even though I'm a Hispanic that looks white. If you comply with them, don't do anything stupid, and don't build a criminal reputation in the community, you won't get shot. It's as simple as that. I'll have to get to your second post (and your statement on racial profiling) tomorrow. Driving while black is not anecdotal, it's empirical. This is a pattern in society. As a white-looking person, when you pull over and reach for your license, the cop doesn't shoot you, as happened in a recent case. Racism is real. Unconscious bias is real. The only reason you think it's not real is because you don't have to deal with it; because it's not directed at you. Police have more contact with whites overall, but it is blacks who are getting shot out of proportions to their representation in the population. The problems is that Blacks are being shot disproportionately. My first link in the OP with 2015 data shows that very clearly. The data in the OP demonstrates that whites and blacks get shot at roughly the same ratio that they commit crimes. It's in line with what I said about more contact with cops = more shooting. Here are some stats regarding each race group and violent crime, notice how this data roughly correlates with that of your post. http://www.amren.com/news/2015/07/new-doj-statistics-on-race-and-violent-crime/. Oh BTW, notice anything in the pie charts? The DeGrasse Tyson article itself is an anecdote because it doesn't cite any data. You're committing an argument from authority fallacy And yes, I don't deal with it because I don't break the law, act stupid around the police, or have a reputation as a criminal. Never mind that you ignored my statement on getting stopped by cops for no reason (well, probably it's because I'm a lone male walking around by myself at night). I just happen to fit the profile of those who commit the most crime in this town. Again, I don't do stupid shit like get aggressive or reach for my pocket. Once the police realize I'm not a threat, they apologize and explain why they stopped me (usually because there is some guy stealing in that area). I see where they are coming from and don't fret over it. It's a shit high stress and underappreciated job. This guy didn't get the message (oh and notice he's white, WARNING graphic) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-14/fresno-police-release-video-deadly-shooting-unarmed-white-man(yes, the police drew weapons first...he was reported to be armed though not when he left the vehicle). You are ignoring things that are obvious. Here is some info on the systemic nature of police bias: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/14/ex_seattle_police_chief_condemns_systemic Another race baiting article on a left leaning website with minimal citations (except one Time Article). You've yet to address all the data that I've presented to you and my counterpoints even though I've addressed yours one by one. You've ignored the correlation I made of blacks getting shot to their criminality. I can wait though. / Race baiting? Pointing out racism is left wing? All of the issues are discussed here, and all of it supports my position: https://www.amazon.com/Race-Crime-Shaun-L-Gabbidon/dp/1483384187/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468528923&sr=8-1&keywords=race+%26+crime
  12. Yes, it's why I'm called RealityCheck. I'm guessing it has something to do with our sensitive social climate but I could be wrong. Here is an expanded chart depicting all crime from 2013 and percent distribution. Again, take into consideration that blacks only consist of 12.3% of the total population. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-43 Their percentage distribution for all crime is MUCH higher than 12.3% with the exception of drunk driving and violating liquor laws. If a group is that prone to criminality, they'll come into contact with police more often. Probability takes over from there in regards to getting shot. It's poverty that is correlated with crime. There is also racial profiling, differential patrolling, and "broken windows" policies that encourage police to harshly punish small infractions, like selling cigarettes on the street. Cops kill blacks disproportionaly for minor infractions, traffic stops, unarmed and legally armed in open carry states. See this: http://usuncut.com/black-lives-matter/black-on-black-crime/ and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/07/13/1547966/-The-most-well-known-astrophysicist-of-our-time-discusses-a-dozen-times-he-s-been-racially-profiled?detail=facebook The black community is indeed the victim of poverty. This is the end result of 50 years of government meddling. I'm currently in the process of reading this book https://www.amazon.com/Please-Stop-Helping-Us-Liberals/dp/1594037256 and will have more thoughts to post when I'm done. Here's a lecture from the author https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9wWF1_YFBA. Also, black immigrants tend to do better than U.S. born blacks http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/06/26/survey-shows-black-immigrants-educated-make-money-african-americans/. This puts a dent in the systematic racism narrative. The real problem is American black culture itself. Regarding the first link: 1. "84 percent of white murder victims were white." If blacks are mostly dying at the hands of their own, it only logically follows that it's true for whites. Who else is left to kill? This proves nothing except that races prefer to murder themselves. Never mind that again, blacks are 12.3% of the population yet are committing half of all homocides. Taking that into account, a black person is still more likely to die from a black than a white from a white. 2. "Whites kill more whites than black people kill each other." This implies that black on white killings are more common than white on black. The discrepancy has to go somewhere and by the numbers in the chart, this is actually the case. You're not exactly helping the "whites are racist" narrative here. 3. "Whites commit more crimes than any other race." Uhm, yeah. That's because whites are the largest demographic. The article states that 31.9% of thieves are black. If all the races committed theft equally, that number should be at 12.3%. 4. "White people kill more members of vulnerable populations than any other race." 70% of black households are single mothers, the black family unit is practically non existent. This can probably account for the higher ratio of whites killing family members, it's because they're more likely to have families to begin with. This isn't even taking into account the 12.3% of population to 50% of murders disparity. If you do that, then any given black person is still more likely to kill someone vulnerable than any given white person. 5. "Gang murders are most common among white gangs." Yes but the average black is more likely to be in a gang than a white person https://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/demographics. By percentage of population, a black person is still more likely to commit a gang related murder than a white. The chart also doesn't differentiate between Hispanics and non Hispanics. It's probably grouping Central American immigrants with the total white population. If it seperated these groups, the rate of homicide and crime for non Hispanic whites would be even lower. Regarding the second link: As much as I respect Mr. DeGrasse Tyson, this story is still an anecdote. I can counter with my own because I get pulled over and harassed by police even though I'm a Hispanic that looks white. If you comply with them, don't do anything stupid, and don't build a criminal reputation in the community, you won't get shot. It's as simple as that. I'll have to get to your second post (and your statement on racial profiling) tomorrow. Driving while black is not anecdotal, it's empirical. This is a pattern in society. As a white-looking person, when you pull over and reach for your license, the cop doesn't shoot you, as happened in a recent case. Racism is real. Unconscious bias is real. The only reason you think it's not real is because you don't have to deal with it; because it's not directed at you. Police have more contact with whites overall, but it is blacks who are getting shot out of proportions to their representation in the population. The problems is that Blacks are being shot disproportionately. My first link in the OP with 2015 data shows that very clearly. The data in the OP demonstrates that whites and blacks get shot at roughly the same ratio that they commit crimes. It's in line with what I said about more contact with cops = more shooting. Here are some stats regarding each race group and violent crime, notice how this data roughly correlates with that of your post. http://www.amren.com/news/2015/07/new-doj-statistics-on-race-and-violent-crime/. Oh BTW, notice anything in the pie charts? The DeGrasse Tyson article itself is an anecdote because it doesn't cite any data. You're committing an argument from authority fallacy And yes, I don't deal with it because I don't break the law, act stupid around the police, or have a reputation as a criminal. Never mind that you ignored my statement on getting stopped by cops for no reason (well, probably it's because I'm a lone male walking around by myself at night). I just happen to fit the profile of those who commit the most crime in this town. Again, I don't do stupid shit like get aggressive or reach for my pocket. Once the police realize I'm not a threat, they apologize and explain why they stopped me (usually because there is some guy stealing in that area). I see where they are coming from and don't fret over it. It's a shit high stress and underappreciated job. This guy didn't get the message (oh and notice he's white, WARNING graphic) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-14/fresno-police-release-video-deadly-shooting-unarmed-white-man(yes, the police drew weapons first...he was reported to be armed though not when he left the vehicle). You are ignoring things that are obvious. Here is some info on the systemic nature of police bias: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/7/14/ex_seattle_police_chief_condemns_systemic You can find a complete treatment of all the issues here, and none of the data dispute my position: https://www.amazon.com/Race-Crime-Shaun-L-Gabbidon/dp/1483384187/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468528923&sr=8-1&keywords=race+%26+crime
  13. Yes, it's why I'm called RealityCheck. I'm guessing it has something to do with our sensitive social climate but I could be wrong. Here is an expanded chart depicting all crime from 2013 and percent distribution. Again, take into consideration that blacks only consist of 12.3% of the total population. https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-43 Their percentage distribution for all crime is MUCH higher than 12.3% with the exception of drunk driving and violating liquor laws. If a group is that prone to criminality, they'll come into contact with police more often. Probability takes over from there in regards to getting shot. It's poverty that is correlated with crime. There is also racial profiling, differential patrolling, and "broken windows" policies that encourage police to harshly punish small infractions, like selling cigarettes on the street. Cops kill blacks disproportionaly for minor infractions, traffic stops, unarmed and legally armed in open carry states. See this: http://usuncut.com/black-lives-matter/black-on-black-crime/ and http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/07/13/1547966/-The-most-well-known-astrophysicist-of-our-time-discusses-a-dozen-times-he-s-been-racially-profiled?detail=facebook The black community is indeed the victim of poverty. This is the end result of 50 years of government meddling. I'm currently in the process of reading this book https://www.amazon.com/Please-Stop-Helping-Us-Liberals/dp/1594037256 and will have more thoughts to post when I'm done. Here's a lecture from the author https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9wWF1_YFBA. Also, black immigrants tend to do better than U.S. born blacks http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/06/26/survey-shows-black-immigrants-educated-make-money-african-americans/. This puts a dent in the systematic racism narrative. The real problem is American black culture itself. Regarding the first link: 1. "84 percent of white murder victims were white." If blacks are mostly dying at the hands of their own, it only logically follows that it's true for whites. Who else is left to kill? This proves nothing except that races prefer to murder themselves. Never mind that again, blacks are 12.3% of the population yet are committing half of all homocides. Taking that into account, a black person is still more likely to die from a black than a white from a white. 2. "Whites kill more whites than black people kill each other." This implies that black on white killings are more common than white on black. The discrepancy has to go somewhere and by the numbers in the chart, this is actually the case. You're not exactly helping the "whites are racist" narrative here. 3. "Whites commit more crimes than any other race." Uhm, yeah. That's because whites are the largest demographic. The article states that 31.9% of thieves are black. If all the races committed theft equally, that number should be at 12.3%. 4. "White people kill more members of vulnerable populations than any other race." 70% of black households are single mothers, the black family unit is practically non existent. This can probably account for the higher ratio of whites killing family members, it's because they're more likely to have families to begin with. This isn't even taking into account the 12.3% of population to 50% of murders disparity. If you do that, then any given black person is still more likely to kill someone vulnerable than any given white person. 5. "Gang murders are most common among white gangs." Yes but the average black is more likely to be in a gang than a white person https://www.nationalgangcenter.gov/survey-analysis/demographics. By percentage of population, a black person is still more likely to commit a gang related murder than a white. The chart also doesn't differentiate between Hispanics and non Hispanics. It's probably grouping Central American immigrants with the total white population. If it seperated these groups, the rate of homicide and crime for non Hispanic whites would be even lower. Regarding the second link: As much as I respect Mr. DeGrasse Tyson, this story is still an anecdote. I can counter with my own because I get pulled over and harassed by police even though I'm a Hispanic that looks white. If you comply with them, don't do anything stupid, and don't build a criminal reputation in the community, you won't get shot. It's as simple as that. I'll have to get to your second post (and your statement on racial profiling) tomorrow. Driving while black is not anecdotal, it's empirical. This is a pattern in society. As a white-looking person, when you pull over and reach for your license, the cop doesn't shoot you, as happened in a recent case to a black man. Racism is real. Unconscious bias is real. The only reason you think it's not real is because you don't have to deal with it; because it's not directed at you. Police have more contact with whites overall, but it is blacks who are getting shot out of proportions to their representation in the population. The problems is that Blacks are being shot disproportionately. My first link in the OP with 2015 data shows that very clearly.
  14. Corrected link: How police training results in preventable deaths: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/12/police-gun-shooting-training-ferguson/383681/