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Everything posted by older

  1. She was Christian and she was psycho. Isn't that redundant?
  2. I recently read an article about the differences in education between the U.S. and one of the Scandinavian countries (I don't remember which). The author discussed how American education concentrates on job skills while the system in the Scandinavian country concentrated on teaching a sense of community. Now that is a major simplification of a long article, but I do think we in the U.S. have become quite narcissistic, and the internet (think Facebook and Instagram selfies) has aided that. Add in our historical chauvinism (manifest destiny) and our lack of understanding of other cultures and you end up with a culture full of individuals who put the self first. Yes, there are notable exceptions, but I think there is an overall lack of community here. How can you "love your neighbor" if you not only don't understand how he or she thinks, or anything about his or her culture, but you don't even know his or her name?
  3. Hi Zen: Glad you have an appointment tomorrow. Jot down this phone number and tuck it in your wallet in case you need to talk to someone between appointments. It's called the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline but it's not just for suicide; if you just need to vent, they are there. Their website says, "The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals." 1-800-273-8255
  4. You have me thinking. Right now I can't narrow it down to a single book. In the last ten minutes I've thought of at least 20 that were powerful or influential. Some fiction, some non-fiction. I tend toward those with strong social messages or revealing historical narratives. My three most recent reads are: The Art of War, by Sun Tzu (the Michael Nylan translation). Written 2500 years ago, it is a short but insightful discussion of how to anticipate the strategies and motivations of our competitors. Useful not just for war but for any competitive endeavor. And it shows how we continue to fail to understand our enemies and even our friends. Galileo's Daughter, A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love, by Dava Sobel. While the relationship between Galileo and one of his daughters is the pivot point for this work, it is as much about the repression of science and the oppression of the Catholic church in the 17th century. And one can read into it a warning for the return of such repression if we allow our education to be dominated by special interests. Longitude, The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, also by Dava Sobel. In the early 1700s the Greenwich Observatory was established to solve the problem of determining longitude on ships at sea. Astronomers tried but failed to come up with a means of using the predictability of the stars. It took a carpenter to come up with a clock that was accurate enough to do the job. And the result of this was the English dominance of the seas for at least 100 years.
  5. One of my granddaughters is that age. She'll spend the weekend with us, along with her four siblings, while her folks are away. I'm going to give her some extra hugs. How these things happen is just a mystery to me. How can anyone hurt a child? And these kinds of things prove to me that the Christian god cannot possibly exist.
  6. But, unfortunately, not in the House or Senate. It could be argued that the Speaker of the House and the Senate leader have more power than the president. Yes, the pres has the nuclear codes but lots of other kinds of damage can be caused by the legislature.
  7. What Fuego writes is, I think, very true. I just saw the movie 1917, and the line that stands out most in my mind is when one of the soldiers said, "Some men just want to fight."
  8. I do. I'm not good at thinking on my feet. IOW, an in-person debate. Given time, I can write something up but even then I can sense something that doesn't make sense but I don't see the logical fallacies easily.
  9. Well written, UmNo. I'll take a look at that book. I hope he details some of the ways the church, which more often than not was the same as the government, dealt with those they were unhappy with. Today's capital punishment, inhumane as it is, doesn't come close to what happened to folks back then. (It's interesting that so many of today's alleged Christians support "tough on crime" efforts including capital punishment.)
  10. And welcome. Please stick around and join in the discussions.
  11. My reaction includes parts of all the above: I agree that LMTO was one of the better Christians, and I'm glad he was here. The Lion's Den is the place for such chat, and I think it is worthwhile to have our notions challenged from time to time. And for those of us who are not strong debaters, we can learn more about how that works by reading those of you who are skilled at it. The obnoxious trolls can be cut off by the mods and those who are decent but boring and circular can just be ignored.
  12. But we are not out shopping. We have chosen to leave the store. You are the sidewalk barker, beckoning us to come in. If you want us to come back inside, you will have to provide tangible, independently verifiable, logically consistent, reasons why we should do so.
  13. The comments above lead me to thinking about how Christianity seems to be the default position here in the US. It seems to me that when people talk to each other about philosophical topics, they are more likely to ask, "Which church do you go to?" than to even suggest that the other person might not be a church goer. And, as someone suggested in another thread here, what happens to an atheist who lives in a community that is very heavily Christian, such as some of the southern states, if that person comes out? It has been noted on this forum that there are groups out there who would do violence to such a person.
  14. Refreshing, isn't it? And welcome. Do stick around and join in the discussions.
  15. Winnie-the-Pooh, who was a great philosopher, once said, “One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.”
  16. Bah humbug. I went out to my workshop this morning and started to play with my hobby. I pulled an Item out of my parts department and set it on the workbench. I turned around and the Nasty Shop Fairy had taken it and it was nowhere to be found. I searched everywhere, including down on the floor looking under the workbench, and in the trash. And it should be noted that I keep a clean shop, no piles of junk or loose tools, nowhere for the Item to hide. Lots of Navy language. Ruined my whole morning. Closed up the shop, went back into the house and sulked the rest of the morning. After nap and some chocolate, I returned to the shop and discovered that the Nasty Shop Fairy had hidden it in a box of parts that I had previously spread out on the workbench and then gathered up and put away. So to the Nasty Shop Fairy, I defer to Willy Shake-a-spear: [Thou art] a knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver’d, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch. …. You are not worth the dust which the rude wind Blows in your face. And no, I would NOT have been better off in Church!
  17. Yeah. I've looked for an emoji that would symbolize a conversation that is going around in circles, but I don't see one. But that looks like where we are.
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