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Astreja

Regular Member
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Astreja last won the day on December 17 2017

Astreja had the most liked content!

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About Astreja

  • Rank
    Springy Goddess
  • Birthday 08/07/1957

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Winnipeg, Canada
  • Interests
    Music, writing, gardening, meadmaking, astronomy, sleight-of-hand
  • More About Me
    I'm a cranky and eccentric polymath who, for most of her life, has had a morbid fascination with religion and society.

    If you talk to the left hemisphere of my brain you'll get a skeptical, science-friendly humanist who periodically engages in activism -- I have broken a metatarsal bone in a five-mile protest march; yelled at a prime minister; waved gay-rights signage; and videotaped Laura Secord's cow at Portage and Main.

    If you talk to the right hemisphere, I'll cheerfully tell you that I hang out with the Æsir and Vanir; that my older sister is the Bodhisattva Guan Shi Yin; and that my guardian dragon would like another coffee and donut, please.

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Humanist and agnostic polyatheist

Recent Profile Visitors

4,635 profile views
  1. Check with your local library. They might have some of his books available for loan.
  2. Thanks to everyone who did watch the video and took the time to comment on it. I've got an unusually low tolerance for BS, and my boss would have looked at me funny had I put my fist through a perfectly good 23" flatscreen monitor.
  3. Sorry, but no. The length of the video is not relevant. I simply am not interested in watching it. Perhaps ask your "Christian friend" to sign up here to tell us why he or she finds Hovind convincing, if you are unwilling to do so.
  4. I am not planning to watch Hovind's video. Kindly sum up his key points in text form. I give it a 95%+ probability that it's a PRATT (point refuted a thousand times) and that it is not up to the Ex-C standard for evidence. (My own standard, by the way, is that I require a physical encounter with any purported god-like being, in the physical world. I reject all scripture and all apologetics, as they are mere philosophizing and not actual evidence.)
  5. I'm going on the optimistic track -- my paternal grandmother lived to 102. I'm slated to retire in three years (just turned 62). Yes, we do have social security, but it won't finance everything I want. I take music lessons, pay membership fees for two concert bands and an astronomical association, and like to go to the symphony and the ballet.
  6. For me it would actually be a boost in disposable income, especially after I get to age 65 and get a whole bunch of additional tax deductions. I'm currently putting about $600/month into regular and retirement savings accounts, after taxes and pension deductions. That leaves me about $1600 from my take-home, which pays for gas, car insurance, house taxes, utilities and food with some left over. (House and car are both paid off.) Between my work pension and Canada Pension Plan benefits I've already got over half of that $1600 covered, so essentially I have to come up with $800 per month to maintain the status quo after I retire. (Maybe less than $800 -- I won't have to buy transit passes to get to the office anymore.) If I get my savings and investments up into the $250K range, that'll do it.
  7. The money is there for future needs -- salary replacement. Counting the money I've already saved, I'd still have $1M after spending $100K on stuff. At a withdrawal rate of 4% per year, which in an average stock market would keep most or all of the principal intact (because an increase in stock prices plus dividend payouts would put money back into the account), that would give me a $40,000 annual income for the rest of my life.
  8. What would I do with a million dollars? Probably put $900,000 of it into my savings/investments accounts and retire three years early, and spend the remaining $100K on completing home renovations, upgrading my car (which just turned 16 this year) to a slightly newer one, donating to various charities, travelling a bit more, and buying the E flat sopranino clarinet that I've wanted for several years.
  9. I speak here from the POV of someone who spent a number of years studying magic and still wishes it were real (although I'm now convinced that if there is such a thing as magic, science is our best bet to find it). There are several very significant psychological phenomena in play when you muck about with things in the general category of "magic." One involves cultivating skills like visualization , concentration and willpower. In my opinion these all act upon the physical brain and help remodel it -- ideally, in a positive way. The mental power that you develop can make you more effective in dealing with real-world problems. The one aspect of the art that disturbs me is appropriately called "magical thinking" -- the idea that your thoughts, gestures and rituals are powerful enough to affect events at a distance and even bend the laws of nature into unlikely or impossible configurations. This is where you are most likely to crash and burn, to suffer disappointment, so if you do go down this path my advice is to guard your emotions: Keep a curious, experimental, almost playful attitude rather than intense hopes and desperate flailing. And in closing, here is my personal definition: Magic is the art and science of controlling the effects by controlling the causes.
  10. I think theology in general sucks -- in my eyes, it is no more than post hoc world-building that attempts to provide a consistent foundation for utter mythological rubbish. It has no more credibility than a map of a fictional continent in a fantasy book Even then, there is no one consistent theology that all believers can agree on, so theology fails there too. As such, theology is not particularly useful when one is discussing whether or not a religion is true. I hereby recuse myself from this discussion, and from all further dialogue with you. I've wasted far too much time on you already.
  11. About Christianity focusing on the worth and dignity of people, as opposed to insisting they confess their worthlessness (e.g. with the infamous Sinner's Prayer) to avoid eternal torture. Nope. Not buying it.
  12. No, it's your turn to answer some questions. How do you reconcile this alleged "inherent worth and dignity" with: Original sin People killed in the Noachide flood The concept that we can only by saved by faith, not by works The many people slated to die as a result of the plagues, wars and other disasters in Revelation And the concept of hell? There seems to be a profound disconnect between your assertion and many of the central ideas in Christianity.
  13. Well, for starters, you treat people as valued members of society, rather than seeing them as worthless, depraved sinners deserving of eternal torture. Then you teach them to take responsibility for their actions and fix their own mistakes, rather than asking a long-dead rabbi for forgiveness. That'll do for a start.
  14. Well-informed human actions. Not prayers to a god that was either never there, or that can't be arsed to do anything.
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