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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/04/2019 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    I just recounted this on our podcast, but I wanted to tell it here. My college roommate and I had just left a women-only Bible study and were walking back to our dorm. All the girls at the Bible study were talking about how they want to get closer to God...so they will be ready to meet their future husbands. In evangelical terms, the saying about you have to work on yourself before you are ready for a relationship is painted over with cherry-picked Bible lingo. I actually was upset on my walk back to the dorm. I was getting fed up with everything having to do with guys, so I turned to my roommate and said, "That's it. I'm avoiding guys. We should want to get closer to God for the fact that he's God, not because we want a husband. None for me. Just me and God." On the quiet road to the dorm, a large bus pulls up. A long-haired guy in short shorts jumps out (this is the 80s which might put the outfit and why we walked alone at night in perspective [we were all idiots]. He asks us where Juno Beach is and says they needed to be there in 5 minutes. "Well, you passed it by about an hour." He asked if I could give directions to the bus driver, so we hopped up the stairs and were in the midst of 25 oiled down guys. "We're the Chippendales." They were great and funny and in the end, I had to pull my roommate out of the bus because she was having the time of her little Baptist life. When they pulled off, we looked at each other, laughed, and talked to God about what a great sense of humor he has! Yes, we believed God caused the Chippendales to be late, or even miss, their show, drive by little ol' me so that God could show his humor about me swearing off guys. Not a question in our minds. Oh, that divine prankster!
  2. 3 points
    Thank-you all for your support, you have helped me to stay strong for my kids. I still haven’t filed a police report, I will be keeping that up my sleeve until the inevitable custody battle and division of assets. I have a lawyer, psychologist and lots of support from friends. I no longer consider my husband a threat physically, he is very apologetic and has agreed to an 18 week anger management course. In the meantime I am not letting him see our son. My son doesn’t want to see him either. He has high-functioning autism and is seeing a psychologist to help him deal with the trama. It has been 2 weeks since the separation and I’m feeling suprisingly calm. I just want peace. My kids deserve to live in a peaceful home. It feels scary but at the same time wonderful to finally take control of my own life.
  3. 3 points
    The point in the wiki entry about black swans is just a point about logical induction in general, and also of abduction (inference to the best explanation). Inductive conclusions do not have the same logical force of necessity that deductive proofs (e.g. in math). This is an inescapable fact of epistemology that one just has to accept. Theories are not facts in some simple sense. But, it may be helpful to think in terms of probability. The better tested a theory is, that is the more opportunities there have been for empirical falsification, and the wider the range of phenomena for which the theory has been tested, the more likely it is to be correct, or to put it another way: the space of possible phenomena under which the theory might fail is smaller. Think of Newtonian mechanics here: that theory still works, we use it all the time. The theory was not "wrong" within the domain it was originally supposed to explain, it just turned out that it was inadequate to cover the entirety of physical phenomena. It fails at relativistic speeds and when dealing with sub-atomic behavior. With relativistic mechanics, the theory was mostly just expanded so that the scope in which it failed became even smaller. So, the problem with saying "oh, that's just a theory" (in the sense of not having complete certainty) is that this way of thinking collapses knowledge into a false choice where we either know something with certainty or not at all. But in truth there's a wide range of certainties. I am very confident in the correctness of the theory of gravitation, especially within the limits of the applications I might use it for. But it might turn out to be incomplete with respect of black holes, say. Yet saying "it's only a theory" pretty dramatically understates the reasonable level of certainty we can have, given the empirical support for the theory. Other scientific theories may be less certain, but still the best explanations we currently have. It's probably also worth keeping in mind that for some theories we judge them on usefulness. That's why we still use newtonian mechanics. It's not "correct" in some sense, but if you want to write a computer simulation of a billiards table it is highly useful. There are degrees of "correctness", if you will. Mathematically there is the concept of error, especially in statistics. If the error is small enough to not matter for your use case, then why worry about it?
  4. 3 points
    Here's what it comes down to. And that the believer doesn't try to put their beliefs onto other people. I think what most atheists object to is proselytizing. And, unfortunately, this sometimes goes beyond just persuasion to forcing a religion onto others through extreme social pressure or even legislation. We see that happening here in America regularly.
  5. 2 points
    The reason for the paragraphs is to point out that you're probably asking the wrong question to begin with Like I said, the labeling has more to do with the use of scientific methods than anything else. It would still be called a theory if it were proven false. It would just no longer be used in the same way. For example, you could refer to the idea of the "aether" as a scientific theory, it's just one that's been disproven.
  6. 2 points
    God needed 10 and you did it with one. Brilliance. Shear, unadulterated brilliance!
  7. 2 points
    Not bullshit at all. You treating me respectfully and kindly is much more likely to result in me reciprocating that behaviour. However if you are an arsehole to me, depending what context and how arseholey you are I will go out of my way to 'get even'. Simple human nature. A simple bit of personal experience should help demonstrate the concept. My neighbour and I recently had a.... misunderstanding. That's being kind, the neighbour was being a jerk. Looking at my text I thought shall I rain down on this moron or shall I handle this responsibly and see if I can talk sense and salvage the relationship. I chose the latter, and treated the neighbour respectfully, but firmly in the matter. In the end he closed off by saying I wish we were all as mature as you. In the end he reciprocated my behaviour. Now what would have happened if I'd gone nuts on his arse? We'd probably be in in court or something. The rule probably isn't so much a rule as a behavioural observation. Another way of putting it is "Thou shalt refrain from being a dick".
  8. 2 points
    That is precisely the problem. Sex feels good, it’s pleasurable. Anything that feels good and gives pleasure must be sinful. I thought everyone knew that. The sight of a beautiful naked woman incites a man to lust for her. Therefore, beautiful naked woman are sinful. That implies the human body is sinful and thus sex is sinful. A basic truth of life. If it’s fun then it’s sinful or illegal and probably both. Religion is all about being miserable and feeling guilty all of the time.
  9. 1 point
    The definition of a scientific theory varies somewhat by discipline, but there are definite commonalities. The essence, I think, is that a scientific theory must meet three criteria: it must be descriptive, predictive, and falsifiable. That is to say, a scientific theory must accurately describe our observations about some aspect of the universe, it must make definite predictions about what we should observe under certain conditions, and it must able to be shown to be false, at least in principle. Usually, the falsifiability follows from the predictions; if the predictions turn out to be false, then the theory must either be amended or rejected. Another way of putting this is that a scientific theory is a model of some aspect of the universe. We use these models as long as they work. When they don't work, they need to be replaced or updated. So it is true that scientific theories are never 100% proven fact. I would argue that 100% fact is not actually the business of science. Science doesn't prove anything. To explain what I mean by this, I'd like to consider an example of an actual scientific theory. Let's look at Newtonian mechanics. This is a really good, really well-established scientific theory. So much so, that it's tenets are called "Laws". The Laws of motion. The Law of gravitation. The Law of conservation of momentum. And so on. The fact that these principles are called "Laws" can give the illusion of absolute certainty. It may even tempt us to think that the theory is no longer held to be falsifiable. Not so! The theory definitely is falsifiable, it's just that we have billions of pieces of experimental data, and they all agree with the theory. So it seems pretty damn accurate. Now, of course, it does break down under certain conditions (see: relativity, quantum mechanics, etcetera), but on a macroscopic scale, under "normal" conditions, it just works. And it's a good thing it does: it lets us build planes, trains, and automobiles. It let us go to the moon. It definitely isn't perfect, but it's pretty damn good. Now, some people would be inclined to say that Newton's laws of motion, for example, are facts. I would be inclined to agree with this, subject to the qualification that they are scientific facts. Scientific facts are never 100% certain. 99.9999%, maybe. But not 100%. Now I am tempted to ask what facts are, what knowledge is, what truth is, and so on. We can go down these roads if you want, but I'm going to leave this aside for the moment. If you want to pursue it later, I'm game. By now I hope it's clear that it's true that a scientific theory is never 100% sure, but it isn't exactly "what we believe until we are proven incorrect". In the strictest, literal sense of the words, that's what it is. But the phrasing gives the wrong impression. There comes a point when there is so much evidence that we don't really question a scientific theory. Nobody bothers to question Newtonian mechanics anymore for this reason. We know that it works, and under what conditions it works. It just works. In general, though, I think there is an important underlying point here. I've written before on these boards that I think it is incorrect to speak of Laws of the Universe. My feeling is that is the Universe, and there are our models of the Universe (read: scientific theories). And it is our models that have Laws. Some models are better than others, and when a model is very good, we grow tempted to refer to its Laws as the Universe's Laws. But this is incorrect, in my view. I agree with Haldane, that the universe is probably "not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose". And I also agree with Bohr (who, for my money, may well be the greatest physicist ever to have lived) who, speaking of the implications of quantum mechanics, said "There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract quantum physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we say about Nature." That final quote is particularly pertinent, I think. Physics, and science in general, is not so much about what Nature is like as it is about our attempts to describe and understand Nature. We may not actually be equipped to do this properly. But science is our best attempt. And scientific theories are the models we build when we try to do science. And, the good ones seem to work. So there's that.
  10. 1 point
    All good. I guess I get peeved off because I get statements like yours from Christians who are not having fun. They really mean it. Then I have to explain it. Then they say scientists just want to destroy God.... and yeah. So when I come here I like to have a decent discussion. Possibly BO's interactions in the science forum has also made me inclined to get peeved easily.
  11. 1 point
  12. 1 point
    Another thing I like to think about, regarding knowledge in general: One of the classical definitions of knowledge is "justified, true belief". That is, we can say we "know that P" if and only if we believe that P, we are justified to believe that P, and P is true. There are some interesting issues with that definition (cf. Gettier problems), but I think that really all of epistemology boils down to just that one element: justification. Putting aside technical terminology for a second, what makes science valuable as an approach to knowledge is just the effort to justify beliefs in a more rigorous way. That's what all the talk about falsifiability, or observability, repeatability, and the qualifications of scientists (as fuego mentioned) is for. That is the essence of "scientific method". So if we call one idea "scientific" and doubt that another is equally scientific, then what we're really doing is evaluating epistemic justification, and I think it's more accurate to put it that way than to say we're evaluating some level of certainty. The other reason this framing is useful is because it tells you how to evaluate ideas: look at the how the idea can be arrived at -- the methods used to collect, analyze, and make generalizations from data (observations). This is why a theory which may be rather uncertain can still be scientific, if the theory is formulated following scientific methods. This makes sense because science is not just the body of accumulated knowledge about the world, but also the accumulated body of knowledge about the epistemic reliability of various methods for gaining knowledge in general.
  13. 1 point
    I concur that you do not have to explain why "some" prayers go unanswered. But, you do have to explain why all valid scientific statistical studies of the impact of prayer, outside of the placebo effect, show zero correlation between prayer and desired prayer outcomes before you can rationally claim prayer, and not some effective ramdomness, caused some positive result.
  14. 1 point
    Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Silver Rule: Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you. Brazen (Brass) Rule: Do unto others as they do unto you. Iron Rule: Do unto others as you like, before they do it unto you. Nepotism Rule: Give precedence in all things to close relatives, and do as you like to others. Tin Rule: Suck up to those above you, and abuse those below. Tit-for-Tat Rule: Cooperate with others first, then do unto them as they do unto you. - Carl Sagan from Billions and Billions
  15. 1 point
    That's right. Maybe I want to be bitchslapped while wearing a latex suit and a ball gag. (Not that I've really thought about it much)
  16. 1 point
    I'm sure you can. It's the landing that would be the hard part.
  17. 1 point
    Whatever works for you is the important thing. I think if you're going to have a belief in God it really needs to be on your own terms, not someone elses. And not from some bible.
  18. 1 point
    Thank you, but I'm a bit confused. I was under the silly impression that the bunny was to watch over my virility. (for the record I have no children. What's up with that Doc? Just sayin'! )
  19. 1 point
    You know, @midniterider, having a heater for Jehovah's Witnesses home invaders is not so off-putting. Mrs. MOHO on the other hand... "OH MY GOOOOOOOD! An atheist! Quick! Where's my street sweeper!
  20. 1 point
    Yes, dear. I think you're right. We need guns. I'd like a .500 S&W magnum. Maybe a 12 Gauge. And a 9mm for a backup. Who needs to fight Satan off more than an atheist? You could end up with some nice toys out this.
  21. 1 point
    One of the busybodies in my old church was one of those people who liked to whip up the fear of Satan with the church members. One day during the sermon the pastor reminded us all that Satan was just a fallen angel and not all powerful like Jesus. Jesus and Satan were not equals locked in a mighty battle for the fate of the world. Now I see the same bullshit by noob Christian friends on facebook talking about fighting against the Enemy... Of course it turns out that neither Jesus nor Satan do any speaking on the matter. Only people.
  22. 1 point
    Wow (once again) LostinParis how quickly things have changed for you! Good for you with your quick recognition of a potentially dangerous situation and making the appropriate response. Sadly so many women here in the US are unable to recognize or tragically underestimate the threat that domestic violence poses. " From nonprofit Violence Policy Center (FBI reports): in 2016 there were 1,809 women killed by men and of those 962 were wives, ex-wives, or current domestic partners. On average almost 3 women in the US are killed every day by their male partner." I doubt that the situation is very much better in Australia relative to it's smaller population. I see older posted a domestic violence helpline for here in the US so I will post an additional one for there in Australia: https://au.reachout.com/articles/domestic-violence-support I am sure you will have many challenges ahead in creating a new life for yourself and your family. Please know that my hat is off to you for the courage you have demonstrated in taking this on. Give yourself all the credit in the world because as difficult as this transition will be I believe the rewards will ultimately far outweigh the costs. There is nothing so exilerating and rejuvinating as taking control of your own life. This may seem a little premature but congratulations. I hope you have the very best of luck and are able to enjoy your journey whenever that is possible. I would suggest as little face to face contact with your husband as possible. If you do meet with him i think it should only be in a very public place and try to get a friend to go with you there and back home after. The next year will probably be the most dangerous time. Anyhow you are doing so great! Keep us up when you can.
  23. 1 point
    So glad you are out and hiding. In case you need this, or someone else reading this thread does, here is the contact info for the National Domestic Violence Hotline: https://www.thehotline.org/help/ 1-800-799-7233 Calling from a secure phone is the best, or using a computer at a library. Remember that home computers can be checked for activity.
  24. 1 point
  25. 1 point
    You did the right thing in leaving. Stay strong. And get the authorities involved if necessary. Mental health issues in particular can make people do utterly crazy things.
  26. 1 point
    Sorry to hear this @LostinParis Have you called the police? That might be something to consider. Glad you've managed to get out of there.
  27. 1 point
    That is simply terrifying, I'm so sorry you're in this situation. Again, I'm glad you're safe though.
  28. 1 point
    It's kind of humorous to me, even when I was a believer how there is such fear surrounding the Satan character. Spoiler Alert!...according to their own story...he loses! I mean seriously, it clearly is a fear tactic to keep people in line. However, if they read their own book, they should know that the believer has the Holy Ghost within them once born-again, so they literally have the presence of God in them, so why the fuss over some loser with an inferiority complex?
  29. 1 point
    It depends what he was yelling about, was he just venting frustration over the issue? Or was he yelling at you that you're going to hell, in a dominating way? I'm curious, because domination is all part of the patriarchy thing, ie "you're my wife, you should be listening to ME, because MY opinion matters." First off the bat, if yelling starts, I would wait until he's finished, calmly tell him you both need a time out and you should return to the discussion when you've both calmed down. But before you do that acknowledge each others frustration etc. Geez I'm starting to sound like a counsellor here etc, I'm just thinking what I'd do in this scenario, because I know yelling is a major trigger for me and I easily yell back and no that doesn't help.
  30. 0 points
    Mrs. MOHO is reading two xtian study booklets designed to reinforce the fear of Satan. Yes, I've read them. The cover of the book, the Strategy of Satan by Warren Wiersbe, is dominated by the word SATAN with the second A an obvious copy of the generally recognized atheist symbol. There is an effort in the xtian community to link atheists with Satan and potentially cause them to fear atheists like they are to fear a mythical monster from generations ago. This could bode very badly for the aforementioned innocent party. Just bringing attention to this.