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  2. The theory of evolution and big bang ARE man made. Nobody disputes that. The thing is, even IF I reject all of it, I still don't end up in some Hell, or of I accept it, will end up in Heaven. So it is hardly a " replacement" of religious revelations.
  3. Your explanation make less sense to me than the Jewish Rabbis I listened to. I recommend listening to those rabbis. Tovia Singer is a good example, but you can find many on youtube nowadays.
  4. I understand that, and agree with some of your comments about home defense. I think you rightly point out that a shotgun is probably the best for home defense. I actually have no issue with using lethal force against someone that has invaded the sanctity of your home. However, where you and some others lose me is in your support for tanks, MOAB's F22's etc. Or on the topic of home defense - where AR-15's come into play. There is being prepared, and then there is being obsessed. I think some of the points being made here point out that the US, more than any other Western Country seems obsessed with firearms. Maybe it is because it's such a violent country? Sure we have murders and home invasions here in NZ, but nothing of the sort that would lead me to support people wearing firearms in public. This might lead us to the question of why is the US, apparently the greatest nation on earth, so violent? It has the highest incarceration rate as well - 655 per 100k. (https://www.statista.com/statistics/262962/countries-with-the-most-prisoners-per-100-000-inhabitants/) (Question about your laws - are you allowed to keep firearms at the ready (loaded) in case of home invasion? )
  5. Today
  6. When I first came here, the ToT was 'open'. Anybody could just see it, and it was way more heated back then. These days things are mild by comparison. We are generally very supportive (as a forum) when someone introduces themselves and makes threads about problems they are having with religion we jump in and offer our support and advice. Also we need to be careful about 'de-converting' people. We are not here to de-convert people per se. We are here to help others, whether they be just seeking help, or de-converting, or just wanting some conversation with fellow atheists. Note, no one here tries to 'de-convert' Leia from her current theism. We might disagree, we might ask for some evidence when a claim is made, but we don't say you should de-convert. This topic is not a call for help, its basically a direct challenge to those among our members who may be anti-theist. It basically says "hey atheists I think you are wrong about something, watch this". I don't expect someone who is willing to put out a thread calling out atheists to then get upset when some of them counter back as to why they think the other person/people are wrong. And I don't expect "atheists" to have to take this, nod quietly and slink away without voicing their thoughts. Swings and roundabouts so to speak. Pro's and anti. And horse meat. Like I said in another post, there is a safe space where you can talk about your gods and your theism and your spirituality, and that's the spirituality section. Generally the atheists stay out, or if they come on they are told off. (Notwithstanding that if you make a topic specifically telling atheists to watch something in that forum then said atheists are well within their right to respond.) As a final word, sometimes in order to support someone it is better to respond in a way that they won't necessary like or agree with. None of us made it thus far in life by everyone constantly telling us what good boys and girls we are, and how we are right all the time. I had quite a harsh smack down in my first weeks here. When I re read the posts in which the exchange and smack down took place, and thought about it, I realized the smack down, though harsh, was warranted. To this day I'm grateful for having received it.
  7. Which one of you is my daughter from Melbourne? (I mean Christian daughter from Melbourne?) I figure you're here under some account or account's.
  8. After reading some earlier replies to this thread, I feel I should add that there is a difference between being "afraid" of something and being prepared for something. I don't sit around my house thinking that someone is going to break into my house and attack me. It doesn't cross my mind, doesn't sit at the back of my mind, and isn't something that impacts my daily life in any way. I am, however, as prepared as I legally can be to deal with it if it does. I also don't expect China and North Korea to invade California, the US Government to melt down and Civil War to break out, or some despot ruler to take over the country. Though, again, I would like future generations to also be prepared for the world to go sideways as it has so many times in the past. That's not a fear, no one is fretting about it, it's just wisdom to want to have and not need, rather than need and not have. If anything, the prepared have less to be afraid of and worried about. That's one of the perks of being prepared in the first place.
  9. Ugh. Your just used to a different culture. As @ContraBardus said. most of us dont want to kill people. But a lot of us do have a mind to think of the possibility of different circumstances where lethal force would be needed. Maybe instead of critiquing american gun culture you should just be thankful for your own. DB
  10. I came here to help people go through de-conversion in a respectable manner. But lately there seems to be very little de-conversion going on, and the discussions have taken on a different flavor. Incessant arguing, negativity and even disrespect seems to be increasing. If someone comes lurking around thinking about de-conversion, would they feel like this is a safe place to come, or be scared off by the negativity? Are we a support group for people going through a rough time? Or what?
  11. So, like, Pink Panthers? I can dig it. Usually groups that are tied to a social movement like that are the sort that go out and guard protesters. Basically standing around being visibly armed around them where legal, but not really directly engaging in protest themselves. The idea is to be entirely defensive, and not do anything that might be seen as aggressive at all. It's a very careful line that needs to be walked, and you need to know the law regarding firearms in the area you'd be operating in and stay firmly within it. You'd ideally want a lawyer in your group to parse that out for you. At the least someone who knows their way around that scene that won't land you and your group in serious legal trouble. The Black Panthers were masters at trolling their opposition using the letter of the law. Groups like that probably already exists, but it seems surprisingly difficult to dig up info on organizations like that that are all women. I tried looking it up and pretty much the YPJ-YPG militas in Syria were it. Them and some Civil War and Women's Suffrage era groups in the US.
  12. Yesterday
  13. I want to be part of a militia like that except I want to create a feminist militia
  14. One definition of spirituality: Spirituality is a feeling of something positive that is benevolent and greater than yourself...or a feeling that you are greater than your physical body or that you transcend your physical limitations somehow. Or that there is a benevolent transcendent being you commune with that gives you some positive experience or positive benefit. Spirituality might be sacred and personal or maybe you share it with other like-minded people. Physical, mental and spiritual sounds cool, but if you have a strong conviction that spirituality is baloney, then just go with physical and mental well-being. You'll be just fine. Spirituality is whatever you decide it is.
  15. I have a super-futuristic theory about God. Nothing that God creates can end up living with God. Because a creator of the existence we live in is beyond that existence itself To end up with God, is to be God. Question for the Christian: If God is an eternal being and everywhere it is, then where will you be when you end up with God?
  16. I was involved in the Baptist Student Union at James Madison University in Virginia between 1977 and 1981. I began de-converting during that last year and subsequently became agnostic, as I still am today. If anyone else on this forum happened to be have been involved in that fellowship during that period, I would find it very interesting to compare notes and memories. 

  17. No, the video looks at everything wrong with Genesis. Starting with the many contradictions within the texts, as well as the old near eastern cosmology of Genesis of a flat, round disk, geocentric earth. Genesis is internally inconsistent and doesn't gel with observable nor theoretical (BBT) cosmology. It doesn't work out with the geological record, historical record, etc., etc. The questions you face from Walter are difficult to answer, no doubt. Hopefully you can try and answer them without leading into mindless trolling like the last guy......
  18. Hello again InamBerea. Since you're a fairly new member you may not know about a feature that appears on the front page of this forum. Near the bottom of the page this can be seen. WHO'S ONLINE 4 MEMBERS, 0 ANONYMOUS, 19 GUESTS (SEE FULL LIST) When you click of the Full List option you can see the name of forum members who are looking in (lurking) but who haven't Signed In. Over the past twenty hours or so I've seen you lurking... at least twice. So I know you have been covertly watching the goings on here. Would you please be so kind (and have the integrity) to answer the question I put to you in this thread? Do you accept that that the big bang has been confirmed, just as your source (and Hawking) says? Thank you. Walter.
  19. I'm pretty sure you can still get it at IKEA in certain parts of the world.
  20. Not really. An advanced firearms user that goes to the range on a fairly regularly basis, hunts, or does other activities to remain proficient might be better off with another weapon, but the average person who is only buying a firearm for home defense and won't ever fire it for anything else should get a shotgun. Everyone who buys a gun should fire it at least a few times so they know what to expect, but generally you can just put a shotgun in a secure place and leave it for years and it will be fine. You just need to replace rounds and clean it every few years. Generally speaking, a shotgun is easier to use than a handgun.Long guns in general are also more stable, accurate, and easier to aim, even for a smaller person. The kick is the only issue, and it's not so bad that it's debilitating. A nine year old can fire a shotgun and not get knocked on their ass. I know this because both myself and my sister were skeet shooting at that age, and we were doing it with others in that age range. On a related note, long guns are safer, especially in the hands of children, but also for inexperienced adults, as it is much more difficult to accidentally shoot one's self with any type of long gun than a handgun. The size of the weapon alone makes it difficult. All firearms should be safely handled, stored, and secured, but it's more difficult to unintentionally shoot one's self if the firearm is too large for someone to easily reach the trigger with the barrel pointed at themselves. At the sort of ranges you'd be dealing with indoors, the spread is not that wide. Maybe somewhere between the size of a fist to the size of a softball. Again, real life is not video games where you end up with a three foot spread at six feet out because of game balance reasons. You still have to aim a shotgun and do need to be accurate, just slightly less so than with a standard round. It's more forgiving, but also not spraying led all over the place. That sort of weak structure is generally enough to slow down pellet rounds from a shotgun to non-lethal velocities. Again, this is because of the spread, as the force is not all concentrated in a single round that is designed to penetrate, but rather lots of very small balls that flatten out and spread the force out on impact. A bullet will flatten out, but it will also concentrate that force in one spot. Some pellets will probably get through, but they likely aren't going to still be going fast enough to seriously hurt anyone. Based on what an assault rifle ban accomplishes, which is nothing. The only thing anything that can be added to a weapon that makes it an assault rifle does is make it look scarier. You can literally buy the exact same weapon without the add-ons and it will do the exact same job just as well. Bans of these weapons doesn't accomplish any public safety objective. No one is safer because someone can't affix a bayonette to on the end of their rifle. The point is that shooters specifically target "gun free zones" because there will be less chance of armed resistance and response will be slower allowing them to do more damage before they are stopped. I already addressed the "fantasy world" point. We aren't planning for right now, and cannot assume that the world will remain as it is forever. The 2A isn't meant for times like today when everything is stable and relatively safe. We can't assume that the US will have the strongest military forever and just assume that it will always be that way because that's how it is now. That won't last forever and never has before, just look at the British Empire, the Romans, the Ottomans, etc.... As I said, we can't expect to be able to roll back after giving up rights and power. Once taken, those who have it are rarely willing to return it. The point of the 2A is to ensure that the public is able to defend themselves from both foreign and domestic threats. That means personal defense, and military conflict on US soil. It's intended to cover both, not be one or the other. Right now is not forever. Just because our government wouldn't do something to us right now, doesn't mean that it won't in the future, especially if we give up our rights that are intended to check that sort of thing from happening. Just because no one can feasibly invade us right now, doesn't mean that someone won't become a threat in the future. Even if we assume that our current leaders wouldn't abuse the power they would gain by weakening our rights, what about the next people to hold those seats, or the ones after that, or after that, or the ones a hundred years from now, or two hundred, etc...? Suicide rates artificially inflate those numbers. People are going to kill themselves regardless of whether they have a gun or not, and it isn't difficult to do. They can just hang themselves, lock themselves in an enclosed space with a running engine, overdose on any number of over the counter drugs [aspirin will do it if you take enough], etc... Guns don't cause people to commit suicide, nor are the particularly more convenient or faster than other methods. While I also support promoting mental health and getting people who need it help, I'm also for the right of someone to end their lives with dignity. How many of those suicides were people suffering from something terminal who just wanted to die with dignity? I don't expect anywhere near a majority, but I think it would be a fairly large chunk considering. We pay a higher price for cars than we do for firearms. It's also to the point where we don't really need to, especially in an urban environment. It's just a convenience for the vast majority of the population. AI drivers would already lead to far fewer fatalities on roads, public transportation could easily be built up to eliminate the need for personal transportation in urban environments, we have the means and technology to save thousands of lives a year and have had both for a few decades. It wouldn't eliminate vehicle deaths, but we could easily lower them by 30 thousand per year, simply by regulating motor vehicles more. Yet we don't, for the sake of convenience and personal freedom. Which in my view is a less worthy reason to put up with that many deaths than personal and national defense.
  21. I googled 'horsemeat forum'. Nothing. You just can't get that anywhere else but here!
  22. That's reasonable. But I would just caution that even in NZ you probably don't want to get too cozy with a false sense of security. You could face down a knife, or someone just plain getting into a physical confrontation and over powering you. There's a lot of variables where life and death are concerned. I feel safe most of the time even with armed people all around in this state. But that's because it's easy to get caught up in a false sense of security. Take surfing, for instance. When I was kid I couldn't stop thinking about the sharks out there. For years. They're out there. You see them sometimes. They come up by you at times. But after so many years of not getting attacked, I feel cozy out there most of the time. Unless there's some out of the ordinary situation. But the truth is that I can be attacked at any time.
  23. I hear this and it makes me sad that people live with such fear in their lives. Depending on where you live that fear may be quite justified. I'm very thankful I live somewhere where such fears are not a reality for life. I can walk the streets at night and feel safe. I can live without guns in my house and have no fear of being in a position where I need them. If I'm confronted by an angry person I can feel safe in the knowledge that they will not be carrying a gun. It is rare to ever be in a life or death situation, as the thing that usually makes situations life and death is the introduction of deadly force. I recognize that my experience is not global, and hence why I support gun rights for people in situations where that fear is real. Unfortunately the media love to spread the fear.
  24. Debated by experts, but certainly that is a perfectly fine choice. Especially if you own a shotgun for any of the many tasks they can be used for (hunting, sports, pest control etc) then using the weapon you already have to defend your home makes sense. Whether it is better than a handgun is debatable. If you want a weapon to carry with you on a day to day basis, then have it available as home defense, then a handgun can do both roles. Having both weapons means higher cost and more training requirements. You also need to consider the less capable people, the unfit, single women, elderly etc. A shotgun is heavier with a kicking recoil, so fine for bigger guys who are used to that but not so much for smaller/weaker people. Your average internal wall is made of very little solid structure. A couple bits of drywall, maybe some insulation. A shotgun will punch through a couple of sheets of drywall with no problem. Your spread, while making it easier to hit your intended target, also increases the chance of some shot missing and travelling where you don't want. At the end of the day these kinds of events are so rare that such differences are very minor. Based on what? That sounds like what the fear mongers would like to say, a slippery slope, but I don't see any evidence that such a plan exists. As we've said this is a question of where do you draw the line. What level of firepower is too much? There are certainly people who advocate a complete ban, they are the fringe of the gun control crowd and its a ridiculous position to take. Most people have a much more reasonable view in that they have no problem with sports shooting, hunting, armed professionals and, depending on your region, on personal defense. Absolutely. This was in response to the original article which said "98% of shootings occurred in gun free zones", which could be seen as inferring such zones are more dangerous. Its just another stat which is used to sound scary but the numbers are highly debated and alternative studies found the number to be as low as 10%. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/05/10/do-98-percent-of-mass-public-shootings-happen-in-gun-free-zones/ No, I'm making the assumption that all of this talk is fantasy. There is no civil war close to happening anywhere in the western world. In fact I don't think there has ever been a civil war in a modern democracy (correct me if I'm wrong?). There is no external threat to the US, and no obvious internal one. There is a large heaping of fear, and lots of people preparing for events that will never happen. And yes we should absolutely ignore any talk of foreign invasion, its a ridiculous thought that should be shelved along side zombie apocalypse and alien invasion Yes its an extreme example, but it simply to highlight that this is not a black and white question. It is not "ban everything" vs "everything is allowed", it is a nuanced question with many valid discussions about restrictions (mag size, armour piercing ammo, bump stocks, automatic weapons, explosive weapons, energy weapons/future tech). For example you can be pro-gun but not want explosive weapons in public hands. Depends if you are pro-gun for self defense, or pro-gun for military scale conflict. True, but there is a high price to pay. "In 2017, gun deaths reached their highest level since 1968 with 39,773 deaths by firearm, of which 23,854 were by suicide and 14,542 were homicides." They are useful tools and I think we all agree a ban is impossible, but we have to accept that the loss of life from such things is very high. The gangs have them, the drug dealers have them, the cartels have tons and there is zero chance to get those back. That is why I support guns for personal defense. If you have that risk then absolutely keep yourself safe. In America's case the best argument for guns is that its too far gone and there's no getting the genie back in the bottle. For the rest of the western world I think we can avoid going down the same path.
  25. Now, who was it that brought up about being anti about being anti? If only we could find out. So much negativity about being anti something... @Weezer Mate if we had nothing to bicker about this forum would be nearly dead! Imagine if we all agreed - we'd have no need to discuss anything because we'd already know what the other people thought. I for one find this "bickering" (I don't think the correct term has been used here, but lets run with it) rather refreshing. I can discuss topics that I can't do in real life because my fundie family blow foofoo valves if I do. We also discuss a wide range, from magic voodoo, to gun control. Leia know's where the safe space is for spirituality talk, but she obviously wanted to open a discussion with atheists about anti-theist positions (See the title). A discussion was asked for, a discussion was had. We also discussed the semantics of being anti being anti, and also horse meat. I don't see any issue??
  26. @ContraBardus I also have limited time for these kinds of things. Seeing how as I don't have an actual point to advance here, I'm very happy to leave it there.
  27. Think of Pandora. The connections between the planet and the people (intelligent life forms). They portrayed that well. Spiritual to people in the rain forests is a very interconnection with nature, the planet, and natural order type of thing. Not everyone is naturally inclined to it, though. I've found that it's like surfing or playing an instrument. Either you're inclined to it or you're not. Not everyone can take to playing music no matter how hard they try. Other's may go straight to rapid advancement as if they've known how to do it all along. Spiritual thinking is very similar. Those who have it were pretty much wired that way. And even in the absence of god belief, you'll find spiritual minded people who take it in a different direction. I've gone over some magick issues with midnite over the years. And have found that it's not uncommon to find completely atheistic mages. In fact, non-theistic thinking seems to have gotten more and more common in esoteric circles between the 19th century and today. I think that as long as the fact remains that humans are material and whatever else, the material and whatever else IS the universe itself personified, and we're not separable from the realm we exist within - a spiritual dynamic to the human persona will always persist. Even in the face of non-theistic thinking. Because it wasn't about gods at the base of it, before the concept of gods even existed. It's more about nature and the environment which was later personified in different directions and mythologized. It has been de-mythologized. And yet it still persists in these cases.
  28. Thanks. And by page 6 we seem to have reached dead horse #2. The bickering has been going on forever, it can be odd at times. Sometimes you just have to laugh at it and move on. Someone once said that the forums are dominated by a bunch of grumpy old men. It's hard to argue with that analysis. Poor Leia is getting a fresh taste of it. With two dead horses now beaten to a bloody pulp!!!
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