Ouroboros

Senior Member
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About Ouroboros

  • Rank
    Innominatus, 3/4 Curmudgeon, arrogant übermench bully
  • Birthday 07/31/1965

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    California
  • Interests
    Beer, cooking, gardening
  • More About Me
    Married. 5 kids. 3 dogs. Christian 1972-2002. Agnostic Atheist 2002-2012. Naturalistic Pantheist 2012-now.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Naturalistic Pan(en)theis

Recent Profile Visitors

7,902 profile views
  1. I am very intrigued by your conception of pragmatheism. I am a theistic believer, however, I find religious devotion, at least in an outward sense, frustrating and depressing. Activities like prayer and temple-worship seem repulsive to me, not obscene but pointless. I am also intrigued by your admission that you used to be an apatheist, which is also a relatively new concept to me. Personally, although I believe that a higher spiritual dimension exists like I believe in the nose on my face, and accept the label God as a name for it, I find the divine extremely mysterious and obscure, so much so that religious activities like prayer and worship make no sense to me. Slowly I have come to believe that some sort of "compassionate secularism" is really the most fulfilling way to express my spiritual values and beliefs, which is basically not expressing them at all. I have a growing hunch that even though I believe there is a spiritual reality, there is no real way to respond to it but to basically ignore it. Inwardly, however, I am full of spiritual zeal, hope, inspiration, and idealism. Although I don't outwardly do anything religious, inwardly I gravitate toward a vision of the universe as fundamentally benign and loving.

     

    I like the idea of pragmatheism so much that I've introspectively dubbed myself a pragmatheist. I think it's a more positive and optimistic response than pure apatheism, which focuses on the negative aspect. I would like to read more about pragmatheism. If you have any material or just want to write, please let me know. Peace, David.

    1. rjn

      rjn

      "I find religious devotion, at least in an outward sense, frustrating and depressing. Activities like prayer and temple-worship seem repulsive to me, not obscene but pointless."

       

      I believe the purpose of exoteric practices is to outwardly express the esoteric, and direct ones focus towards the divine. Then of course, there are the cultural and social implications of religious practice. Most religious people are predominantly focused on the latter, especially fundamentalists, who - it seems to me - completely lack an interest in the esoteric dimension.

  2. Rick Scarborough needs to read his Bible again, especially this part: Matt 5:33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
  3. The Eagle from Space:1999. In my opinion, one of the coolest designed space ships in sci-fi.
  4. And that water is too salty to use for irrigation or consumption. It's the freshwater that's running low. Hopefully the desalination plants will help with this, but I'm sure there will be some resistance when it's discovered how much those plants hurt sea life. We're in deep trouble. Very deep.
  5. Dragon's Drawings

    I like it more when it's "raw". I'm not a big fan of perfection or too realistic. That picture is amazing!
  6. Your Closet Hobby Or Habit

    I misread the title as "Your Closet Hobbit or Habit." I can ensure you that I don't keep a hobbit in my closet against his will. Promise!
  7. Evolution

    Weird. As I explained in the existential fallacy thread, I get lost in vocabulary. I have a learning disability that screws with my head at times. The word "theory" always gave me the impression that it was an educated guess, the way a forensic scientist approaches a crime scene and theorizes about what happened based on the evidence. Think of scientific theory as a model. It's a model to explain the facts. When it comes to evolution, that species evolve is a fact. We do know with quite certainty that this is happening. The Theory of Evolution is the model, or explanation to how and why those facts of observed evolution happens. So it's two different aspects of the same thing. Evolution as a fact comes from the evidence we have found. Evolution as a theory is the process of hypothesis and eliminations to explain how it works. Also, the theory of evolution is extremely wide, and there are a multitude of other sciences involved in it, like biochemistry, geology, paleontology, anthropology, and much more. By the way, I used to be a young earth creationist as well, but not anymore. I took some classes at the local college, and o'boy... I never knew how wrong I had been. --edit And to add, the facts of evolution won't every change, but the theory of evolution goes through revisions all the time. And one of the facts of evolution is that mutations are real, natural/sexual selection is real (and all the different forms of pressure), the fossils are organized in time from simpler to more complex, unique genetic code and markers are shared by closely related species (or individuals in the same species, which is why DNA testing is used for checking parenthood when in doubt), and much more.
  8. An Appeal For Justus

    Yeah. I can agree with that. He wasn't a skilled philosopher, but he did "philosophize" like we all do. Trying to reason and rationalize things, however successful that might be at times.
  9. An Appeal For Justus

    CS Lewis lived a very long time ago. He didn't know about all the information, facts, and experiments we have today. Besides, he was a philosopher and author, not a scientist. Just because someone is smart doesn't mean they know everything and understand everything. What about the intellectual giant like Hawkins? He has a higher IQ than Lewis, so therefore he must be right? No. That's not a good argument, is it?
  10. An Appeal For Justus

    That's not logical. There are people who believe that God created life first, then evolution happened. Evolution as the tool of God to create species. That means, the beginning of evolution is a separate issue. Believe in a God starting evolution or believe abiogenesis, life from non-life, it doesn't matter, because evolution that happened after is true and we know it to be true. ---edit It's important to understand that abiogenesis is only necessary for a full naturalistic understanding of the world. Evolution is naturalistic, but only in the area of how species evolve (develop, come about). Even if astronomy and physics have answers to many things, they don't have answers to all things. We don't know what quarks are made of, yet we understand particle physics. It's the same thing here. We understand evolution even though we don't know yet how it started. We know how a comet can traverse around the sun, but we don't know where it came from. Understanding evolution doesn't require that we understand abiogenesis, but if we have to have a naturalistic support for everything in this world and how it works, then abiogenesis would be required. It's a problem for naturalism, not evolution.
  11. An Appeal For Justus

    Abiogenesis: Amino acids, simple sugars, and other organic matter exists in space, even complex organic molecules. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29368984 There's been research showing that metabolic systems can arise without cells, naturally from non-living matter. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25471-spark-of-life-metabolism-appears-in-lab-without-cells.html 2 (or 3) of the 4 nucleotides have been produced in laboratory. Single cells naturally evolving to multicellular (I think it was brewers yeast used in the experiment). And much more. Abiogenesis isn't a mystery anymore. What's missing is the exact order, steps, conditions, etc when and where it happens. Besides, our body uses non-living matter, metabolize it, and produce living matter form it, through chemistry, so it's ridiculous to argue that nature can't produce living things, since that's what we're doing constantly, internally, each one of us.
  12. Speaking In Tongues?

    It's a natural thing. Other religions have had similar practices. The way I see it is that it's similar or same as improvising on instruments or singing. It's a practice of using some parts of the brain, while circumventing others. I spoke in tongues as a Christian, and I can still do it if I want to. I can make up words on the fly. I used to play piano, flute, and guitar, and I improvised quite a bit on the piano, and at the same time sing in tongues to it.
  13. Why Is The Word "deconverted" Being Used?

    It is a proper word. Examples of usages, already from 1933: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Citations:deconvert#English 1933, Sinclair Lewis, Ann Vickers, Doubleday, Doran & company, inc., p. 80 Oh, I'm not going to try to deconvert them. No! Let them keep their faith, if they like it. or 1961, Catholic University of America, Herman Joseph Heuser, The American Ecclesiastical Review, Catholic University of America Press, etc., p. 236, The very devout and older Catholics are naturally inclined to see in the sudden North American fury to deconvert and decatholicize Hispanic America an enterprise that is not inspired by Christ but by the Devil, some sort of spiritual rape of the Latin republics. The word is used even by religious people. Another word, a synonym, is apostasy or religious disaffiliation.
  14. British Police Urge Citizens To Surrender Knives

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4581871.stm It was in the news in 2005, so it's old.
  15. Biggest Life After Death Study Ever

    One interesting part of this research which is downplayed in the article is that they secretly placed images and newspapers on top of cabinets and dressers, out of sight even from everyone, just to see if anyone of the subjects would recall the images of them. Not a single one did. That would suggest that they did not actually see the room physically from above, but rather imagined it. A construct of the mind.