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  1. Hi, everybody...it's been a while I noticed that nobody mentioned the movie adaptation of Stephen King's "The Stand"...I guess it's not about a "struggle of faith" as you put it because the good and evil sides are pretty much polarized from the beginning. But it absolutely drips with religious overtones and "preachiness". I actually liked the movie despite the preachiness...but hey...it's Stephen King
    2 points
  2. Nothing to do with religion. But I'm exchristian and this is my life so.... meh. Whatever. Reached a point at my workplace that I think it's time to move on to hopefully greener pastures. I have an impeccable resume for my particular trade but every time I get to this point I have a lot of anxiety. Even though every time I've made a move it has worked out for the better. This place in particular, I really originally thought I would retire from. Then another company bought it out and it's been an ever increasing point of stress in my life. Now the favoritism for promotions is unbearable. Basically I was just informed today that an employee that has 4 months experience in this field, who was 3 tiers lower on the scale than myself is being made a lead which is the top of the hourly pay scale. The only qualification being that his brother is in a high position in management. No one else even had a chance to interview. It was just given to him on a silver platter. Ugh. Fuckn shit. I can't work for a company like this anymore. I have a meeting scheduled with my boss' boss Monday morning and if he doesn't give acceptable restitution I'm filing complaints with corporate and starting the process of finding a new job. Then I'll quit.
    1 point
  3. The end is finally in sight for my "official" work life - I'm less than a year from my 65th birthday, and pension documents have automatically started arriving in my mailbox. I may stop altogether, but more likely I'll request a part-time position (say, four hours a day or three days a week) where I can work from home. It's been quite a ride - My college degree is in media arts, but I've worked at a lot of things: Accounts clerk, product demonstrator, dishwasher, waitress, painter's helper, printer, executive secretary, IT technician, teacher, medical transcriptionist. Seriously thinking of something that expresses my love of writing and of clarinets - writing or proofreading by day, playing in a band by night.
    1 point
  4. I went back to college when I was 35, after over 10 years in the electrical trade. I got my degree in biotechnology and went into the pharmaceutical industry. It's had its upside and downs, and I also walked away from a really good company because of new management making work more stressful than necessary. But it was well worth it.
    1 point
  5. Ok, I've extrapolated a bit from the what this new technique can currently do, but if it can be successfully integrated into future planetary probes, then who knows? https://www.unibe.ch/news/media_news/media_relations_e/media_releases/2021/media_releases_2021/scientists_detect_signatures_of_life_remotely/index_eng.html https://www.aanda.org/component/article?access=doi&doi=10.1051/0004-6361/202140845 I can think of several locations where this technique could feasibly be used in our solar system. Venus Last year the gas phosphine was detected in the upper atmosphere of Venus. Currently there is no known non-biological source of this gas, so scientists are scratching their heads, wondering how any airborne living organisms could survive the acidity of the Venusian clouds. Phosphine could be a biomarker or there could be some unknown, exotic chemical reaction happening on Venus that is new to us. So, no life, but a weird series if reactions that seem to be mimicking the appearance of life. An orbiter equipped to scan for the polarized chiral signature of life would be an ideal tool to investigate this mystery. Mars There's another gaseous mystery on this planet too. The gas methane has been detected in small amounts in the Martian atmosphere, with its concentration waxing and waning over time. We currently understand that methane can be generated not just by living organisms but also by inorganic geological sources. So, which is it on Mars? Finding the chiral polarization signal generated by life would settle the issue. Conversely, not finding that signal would also be a useful result. If Mars turns out to be sterile, that's actually a plus for human colonization. No need for stringent decontamination procedures as a part of daily life. Europa, the second Galilean moon of Jupiter We know that there is a large subsurface ocean of liquid water several kilometres under the icy crust of Europa. Our space probes have passed through huge plumes of ice crystals jetting out of cracks in this crust. If there is life in the dark oceans of Europa, traces of it could be found in the plumes. Scanning by a chiral polarimeter could reveal the presence of life-bearing molecules in them. Enceladus, the second moon outside of Saturn's rings Chemical signatures consistent with hydrothermal vents have been discovered in the plumes coming from cracks in the icy surface of Enceladus. Deep under the oceans of Earth there are hydrothermal vents surrounded by rich ecosystems teeming with microbial life, plants, crustaceans and other weird and wonderful living things. So, could there be the same in the Saturnian system? Once again, scanners calibrated to find the chiral signature of living molecules would tell us. Thank you. Walter.
    1 point
  6. I seem to remember seeing a statistic saying that the average adult changes careers something like five to eight times during their professional life. Doesn't seem to be unusual.
    1 point
  7. You may have heard about what they’re calling The Great Resignation: lots of people leaving their jobs and finding something better in the same field or doing something different. It’s definitely a seller’s market for many skills now. Of course you have to consider whether you’d have to move etc but if you’re not happy in your job I’d definitely pursue it.
    1 point
  8. @florduh?! From FC? Dropped the stoner personas but always valued your thoughtful posts. Studied viral genetics in the 1980's. Worked across the hall from Katie Kuriko, whose work made mRNA vaccines possible. (She was full of wiry energy and thought circles around almost everyone.) We just don't know everything. The questions you and others raise simply reveal that we've missed some pretty important things in epidemiology and other disciplines. No shame in that. Science leaves room for uncertainty. COVID is absolutely captivitating on so many levels. Delta has combined numerous distinct mutations in the blink of an evolutionary eye. Breathtaking. It passed up the South African mutation that evades immunity. Obsolete. Predict all will work out in a few years. If we'd vaccinated enough of the global population before delta, we would have fewer casualties, but we probably never had a chance. Once kids are exposed repeatedly while most can handle infection, COVID will take its place beside the coronavirus cold viruses. The rest of us will have to make do with boosters. (If you've had the Pfizer, recommend a Moderna booster.) With a population of eager hosts at its disposal, COVID made some quick evolutionary leaps, but it may have run out of easy opportunities. Evolution's power is truly awesome, like that of a deity. COVID's success is a check on invasive pest species such as ourselves.
    1 point
  9. https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/you-asked-we-answered-do-the-covid-19-vaccines-contain-aborted-fetal-cells "As a practicing Catholic, I think the moral balance of indirectly benefitting from an abortion that occurred 50 years ago in order to take a vaccine that will prevent further death in the community is a no-brainer – especially considering that so many of the over 620,000 American deaths have occurred in the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society. We need to focus on saving lives right now. We need to care for our neighbors. The Vatican and bishops agree. The Vatican has issued clear guidance that permits Roman Catholics in good faith to receive COVID-19 vaccines that use fetal cell lines in development or production. Read the Vatican's comments on the morality of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. " The Catholics would rather not lose members of the flock. I guess the fundys dont mind thinning their own herd.
    1 point
  10. Guessing several arguments will end up in the court system....thx.
    1 point
  11. I like what they did in "The Others." Kidman is acting very preachy from the outset and then realizes that the afterlife has nothing to do with God or the bible. Still supernatural, but takes a shot at the bible as bullshit. With church attendance and religious affiliation in steady decline this century, I'd expect that to translate into more and more of it showing up in Hollywood and pop culture. As trends change so will the entertainment world....
    1 point
  12. What was the one about the Jews in the Auschwitz who put god on trial for not stopping the Nazis? That one was pretty good, although I disagreed with the verdict; though I do respect the manner in which it was reached.
    1 point
  13. Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is about a Jewish man who can't get rid of a woman with whom he had an affair. He struggles with her threatening to go public and being found out, or having her killed to preserve his own reputation and well-being. He struggles because he expects God to smite him if he has her killed. When god doesn't, he has his first astonished look into the non-existence of his god, and the belief that previously shaped his life. So like it or not, his life was upended but in a way he never expected.
    1 point
  14. The first one to come to mind for me is "Frank vs. God", about a lawyer who lost his wife in a traffic accident deciding to sue God after a tornado destroys his house.
    1 point
  15. I don't remember the title of the film, but Liam Neeson plays a father who destroys evidence after his son kills someone. A discussion comes up about Abraham being willing to sacrifice Isaac as a sign of his faith, to which Liam replies, "People miss the point of that story. The point is: who'd want Abraham for a father?" Even as a christian, that line struck me.
    1 point
  16. These aren't exactly what you mean, but stood out to me: A Buddhist version of this is The Razor's Edge, although it is more a realization that his faith should be lived in normal life out among people instead of a monastery where he had been staying. He is up on a mountain freezing and ends up burning the scriptures to keep warm. That's where the change from religion to life happened. A horror version is 30 Days Of Night where a woman facing a vampire exclaims "Help me God!". The vampire pauses, looks up at the sky and then at her. "No god". Munch. It really annoys me how many horror films are based on Christianity being true. The Exorcist, Hellraiser, and a zillion others that can't let go of the Devil/Christian God paradigm. A sci-fi film Prometheus shows how an android watches his human creators and develops a disdain for them and their creators (the Engineers). When he sees an engineer die, he says "Mortal after all". A subtext to this part of the Alien series is that Jesus was planted here by them, and that the Engineers are a blood cult that worships an alien whose blood let them breed again after having engineered their own genetics too much. The alien they worship is shown in art in a crucifix pose, and they were heading to Earth to destroy it because we killed Jesus. The movie makers left out 90% of that.
    1 point
  17. Finally admitted this week to myself and to my church that I can no longer call myself a Christian. Been a few years in the making and was a huge sense of relief when I just admitted it to myself; daunting to admit it to others though. The lockdown here in the UK during covid and the separation from going to church gave me the space I needed to see what is important to me. Seems the answer after two years of not praying and only reading the Bible where it crosses my interests is that what is important to me isn’t God. More a case of being interested in religion rather than being religious. Any attendance at church has been more about peer pressure for a few years now than actually a desire to be there. Feels somewhat like breaking up a relationship though when thinking of the people I know. Not exactly bouncing with joy about it, but convinced it is the right decision Currently tutoring some people on the Greek of the New Testament. Luckily both groups decided to stick it out when I told them and gave them the chance to drop me. All friends have been really good so far, so that is a relief. Family aren’t religious so no issues on that front. Anyway, I hope the use of a reformed theologians name as my username isn’t a sign of apostasy from my reluctant agnosticism
    1 point
  18. This just came up. Carrier and MacDonald discuss the dying and rising godmen issue:
    1 point
  19. Found myself at the weekend listening to some things on humanism. Think I need to ban myself from looking into any systems of thought for a while. Danger might be jumping from a Christianity to something else to just fill the gap
    1 point
  20. Welcome. I can relate to your sense of relief: I call it being 'surprised by joy' (after C S Lewis!). It's the real world, still a pilgrimage but a better road.
    1 point
  21. Welcome to ex-C.net. Glad to have you here.
    1 point
  22. It can be scary, because it is a huge step to admit that what you have based much of your world view on is not true. anyway, welcome.
    1 point
  23. I'm not sure why Christians find it unacceptable to sincerely call God out on stuff that makes no sense if he were in control and cared about us. Just sincerely ask him why? And when there is no answer they have to make up something about why there is no answer.
    1 point
  24. I'm agnostic. There may be a God. I just dont think he/it necessarily aligns with the loving personality of the God as described in the bible or Christianity in general. Yes, we still have murder, rape, child sex trafficking, seemingly under the watch of what Christians say is a loving God. How does that work? It reminds me of Epicurus: “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” ― Epicurus If his claim to good fatherhood is null, is he worthy of praise? If he allows innocents to suffer or die, is he worthy of praise? If he 'loves' us but never communicates, is he worthy of praise? Why or or why not? If God lets his creations burn in hell , is he worthy of praise? If he lets good people who dont believe in him burn in hell, is he worthy of praise?
    1 point
  25. Thank you for bringing that book to my attention.
    1 point
  26. I came across this and picked up a digital copy. It’s the second book by this author on Epicureanism and I’m looking forward to reading both. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WRGSZ2D/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_K2JAPK2STTJY1KXRE6R7
    1 point
  27. Sounds like a good book but jeez it’s expensive! $57.99 for the Kindle version, $65 for paperback. I do think Epicurus is a valuable source of wisdom for ex-Christians and others. It can be found here and elsewhere: https://classicalwisdom.com/people/philosophers/epicurus-the-nature-of-death-and-the-purpose-of-life/ Epicureanism, like Stoicism, is undergoing somewhat of a revival as people leaving Christianity look elsewhere for wisdom. Neither philosophy truly matches the common perceptions, of Stoicism as grim acceptance and Epicureanism as the eat-drink-and-be-merry approach. They’re both well worth exploring.
    1 point
  28. "Hell is... other people". - Sartre "... is a metaphor"... Yeah, every portion of the bible is the inerrant word of God. Except when any given passage is a metaphor. And of course, it's on the believer to understand and discern which is which. With your "eternal soul" in the balance, God plays mind-tricks and word-games with the truth. I've been a fool all my life. But at this stage of life, I'm no longer quite foolish enough to follow that line of totally subjective 'reasoning'.
    1 point
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