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Everything posted by older

  1. I agree with Walter’s hypothesis; that there are different ways of thinking and that cross communication can be difficult or impossible. Just this week I was thinking about a book written back in 1972 titled “Fire In The Lake” by Frances FitzGerald, which is a history of Vietnam and America’s involvement in it. She makes the same point: that the world views and thought processes of two different peoples, in this case Americans and Southeast Asians, were so different that it was impossible for them to communicate, and certainly impossible to accept the viewpoint of the other. And what I read in this thread goes to the definition of what truth means to each different party and the difficulty of finding some common ground for understanding. While this is an interesting issue to discuss, I would suggest that the problem for those of us who are not Christian is that part of the Christian truth is to push their view onto others. Personally, I have no issue with anyone holding something true that does not match my truth. I do, however, have a problem when someone tries to push their notions onto me. And just as America’s self-righteous attitude did not work in S. E. Asia, Christianity’s self-righteous truths do not work for many people everywhere. One of those self-righteous truths is Christianity’s insistence that it is right and that everyone should follow its precepts, and its tendency to force those precepts upon others, through brute force, the force of law, or overt or covert social pressure. ' In short, have your own truth, just leave me alone with mine.
  2. Hi KD: Glad you've contacted a secular counselor. One of the things that counseling does is to show you that you are not alone with this; and that in itself is a big help. It's hard when your rational mind and your emotional mind go in different, conflicting directions. All of us have those conflicts; it just depends on the specific issue and the severity of it. You will beat this.
  3. Well, at least you will get some rest for a few days. Unfortunately, when she is "stable" she'll be back. Yes, do pursue the restraining order. What are the other neighbors' positions on calling the cops and/or getting restraining orders? Can you get them to back you up on the record?
  4. That really sucks, Fuego. I'm surprised that the lawyers aren't encouraging. I would think that you could get a restraining order on this nutcase. In the mean time I hope you're collecting evidence, photos, videos, recordings, etc., in case it gets to the point where you have to find a lawyer who will work with you. Sometimes I think the only answer is to buy 140 acres and put the house right in the middle. But then I suspect that true assholes would still find a way to annoy us. When traveling in rural areas I totally get it when I see fortress-like gates and big signs warning of serous consequences for trespassers (My Pit Bull Can Make It From The House To The Fence Line In 14 Seconds. Can You? Or This Property Protected By Smith & Wesson).
  5. One issue in understanding other cultures is the bias, intentional or unintentional, that arises on each side of the cultural divide. (Another of those issues is that the history of a conflict is written by the victor.) I'd recommend two books as providing some insight as to this bias. One is An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. This is not a fun book; it's a look at the history of this country from a perspective not taught in K-12 schools, and the story is how one culture was essentially wiped out by another. Another is A People's History of the United States, by Howard Zinn. Again, much of what is in this book is not in the traditional histories. I think what one learns from reading these books is how one culture can overwhelm and dominate another, and that Western culture, and American culture in particular, is one of those that is filled with hubris and thinks that its way of being, doing and thinking is the best way and should eagerly be accepted by everyone else.
  6. ^ ^ ^ Good advice. And you are right in wanting to talk to someone. While we can listen and encourage you, you need some instant, one-on-one feedback. Hang in there. It does get better.
  7. X2. International travel is one of the most educational and worthwhile things a person can do. And that travel should be individual and not within packaged tours which tend to keep you within your group and comfort zone. Meeting people from other cultures and discovering how they think expands one's world view and teaches that there are many ways of thinking and being, all of which are valid, and none of which is particularly superior to another.
  8. I like the guilt part of that cycle. Christianity is big on guilt.
  9. As LF wrote above, you are programmed to see that. (Like LF, I bought a Subaru. I hadn't seen many of them around but since I bought mine, I'm shocked by how many folks have seen me driving around and then gone out and bought one. Amazing. I see them everywhere. I should get a commission from Subaru. ) Jump over to this thread and scroll down to LogicalFallacy's post about ten posts down. He makes a great argument that might give you some things to think about:
  10. You are making an unfair generalization about indigenous cultures. All cultures have their positives and negatives including Christianity. For example, while Christians don't practice head hunting, many of it's practitioners support capital punishment. And I'm not aware of Asian cultures sacrificing virgins. And from what I know so far I see much in the Native American culture that is superior to Christianity. For example, their attitude about their relationship to the earth. And the concept of total war was brought to Native Americans by white Christian men. And while I can't find my source for this, I once read that Lewis and Clark returned to Washington with an Indian chief who was surprised to see poor people on the streets. The chief said that in their culture no one goes hungry, while in America today, according to a story on CNN, there are 13.1 million households where children go hungry. Yes, I acknowledge that these cultures have their negatives, but I can't agree with the notion that Christianity is superior. Such an attitude is part of the problem I have with the religion.
  11. Here is a rebuttal posted on the Friendly Atheist website. The author makes some good points: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/10/28/blaming-blowhards-for-why-were-not-a-christian-nation-misses-the-point/
  12. I've mentioned before on this forum a distant relative who went to a Greek island to build houses, after which they went around handing out Bibles. In telling us about this, he said, "And some of them threw them at us," and he chuckled. What an idiot. All these folks just don't get it.
  13. I just read a column by Jay Ambrose, a conservative columnist, about Attorney General William Barr's recent speech on religious freedom. Ambrose repeats the claim that Christians are being persecuted, and goes on to write: "Christianity has been a major force in giving us science, universities, liberty and the values that still instruct to at least some extent the values of many nonbelievers." Christianity gave us science? Liberty? Values? Are you kidding me? Anyone who spends two hours studying the history of science and religion knows that Christianity has been anti-science for 2000 years. The father of modern science, Galileo, narrowly escaped death for demonstrating heliocentrism and was sentenced to life of house arrest; and at least one other person was burned at the stake for it. And Christianity has fought against science ever since; even today with significant numbers of Christians insisting that the universe is only 6000 years old, denying evolution, and more. As to liberty, for centuries Christians used horrific brute force to impose their religion on others, and they continue to pursue such an imposition through legislating their beliefs, and through overt and covert social pressure. Finally, the notion of "Christian values," is a commonly heard but specious claim. Most of the values Christians self-righteously label as their own are, in reality, universal values shared by many cultures. The only values that can rightfully be labeled "Christian" would be those that are not found anywhere else, and I have yet to hear a single one that is that exclusive. I urge you to read Ambrose's column. It's yet another mind-bending screed from someone who knows little of history and who follows the real Christian values of defying logic, ignoring the facts, and denying reality. https://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-tns-bc-ambrose-column-correction-20191025-story.html
  14. When people ask me what I believe, I answer that I believe in the inherent goodness of man. I believe that almost all people try to do the right thing (and many of them only because it is the right thing to do, and not because they are afraid of some diety). I also believe in the opposite of some of Christianity's basis: I believe that the human body is good and beautiful, that sex is good and wonderful, and that death is normal and final. As MOHO wrote, I believe in science, reason and logic. I accept fact and I am not concerned about finding answers to everything; I am willing to accept that there are things we just do not understand. I do not believe in spirits or gods of any sort.
  15. It depends on the relationship and the nature of your rent-free deal. Was it an invitation or a demand? Option 1: Just pretend you're at a poorly written and produced play with bad scenery, costumes and lighting. Consider the plot to be a farce, albeit a boring one. Sometimes there are snacks mid-way through but you might not get any. And when it's over you might get to shake hands with the director on the way out. If there is a balcony, sit up there and spend the time counting the bald heads below and the number of other hairstyles or whatever you can see. Option 2: Assert yourself and tell him that, thanks but no thanks, you don't care to go. Don't get into a discussion of the reasons. Just say that you don't care to go. (Google "Assertive Rights.")
  16. It would be easy. Come up with a religion or life philosophy (involve health cures in some way) and set up a web page to promote it. You'll soon be wealthy beyond your imagination. How about Marinism? Marinism brings the life force of the sea into your body through mindful approbation of the inherent translucency of the either, intertransifying your center to dissipate illness and regenerate the synergy of serene consciousness. Intertransification is accomplished through slow ingestion of our organic blended peanut butter/sweet pickle compote, which you can order through our website. Our full line of Marinisitic products, including osmotic fish oil and anemonic body cleanser can be ordered there as well. I hereby offer this to you without condition other than I get ten percent of the gross.
  17. We have a big-time fundy friend who has been through a number of these. At the moment, it's essential oils. According to her, all problems can be traced back to some sort of imbalance that can be fixed through the use of these essential oils. My wife has world-class orthopedic problems including four rods and ten screws in her back and a steel plate in her neck. She's in constant pain. But according to this friend, if she rubs essential oils on her back that should take care of the pain. Said friend sent some of this junk, which is rather expensive, as a gift, but of course it was worthless. (By the way, cannabis is legal here and she finds that CBD oil works and is more effective than the prescription pain killers, which make her feel sick.)
  18. It seems that these were first offered at $1425 (after Matthew 14:25, a Bible passage that describes Jesus walking on water) but they sold out in less than a minute to resellers who are offering them for $3k to $4k. But if anyone is interested, I can fix you up with a pair of shoes worn by one of the most wonderful and amazing persons ever to exist on this planet* for only $500, a substantial savings over the Jesus shoes, and offering every bit as much excitement and pride of ownership. The soles of these shoes are contoured to match the soles of the original feet, which will give you an unparalleled feeling of closeness to the original owner; the character of the uppers revealing significant moments in the life of this outstanding individual. This is a rare opportunity and quantities are limited. _______ *That would be me, according to my grandchildren.
  19. Public restroom sight lines.* Every once in a while I encounter a restroom wherein someone out in the main public space (restaurant, store, etc.) can, without any trouble, get a clear view of me while I'm standing at the urinal. Once in a while, it's the mirror over the sink that aids the view. Why don't architects and interior designers think of these things? And another thing: parking lots wherein the aisles and spaces are so damn small you have to be some sort of Houdini to get your vehicle in or out of the space. ______ * Note I did not start with, or even include anywhere, the words "so" or "well." Do I get extra likes for that?
  20. So all those folks who responded to Trinity Broadcasting's pleas for donations can now see how their money went to great works for the betterment of humanity. Scroll down to the slide show and take a look at the 33 photos of their spartan, strictly utilitarian headquarters. And please send money. https://www.ocregister.com/2019/10/14/whats-inside-the-former-tbn-headquarters-in-costa-mesa-marble-mirrors-and-gold-3/?te=1&nl=california-today&emc=edit_ca_20191015?campaign_id=49&instance_id=13088&segment_id=17899&user_id=823d51a6d594d2a20165da8b03433e0b&regi_id=77726513
  21. older


    Uh.... isn't that what you do every Sunday? And perhaps daily in between? Who's the troll here? You came here, we didn't invade your world. Just a side question here. The premise of Christianity is that there is an all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent deity who sent himself to earth and killed himself in order to avenge himself for a curse that he put on us because one of our distant ancestors ate fruit off a magical tree after being told to do it by a talking snake. My question is: Do you believe this because it makes sense or do you believe it because other people convinced you that bad things will happen to you if you don't?
  22. I'll add that part of recovery is understanding that we are all human and all of us commit major fuckups, and in some cases, the other person may not forgive. It's just the way it is. What's important is to look at the big picture. On balance, over a lifetime, you more than likely fall on the good side of ethics and behavior. The errors are one way we learn.
  23. I was active in the mid-terms, serving as a precinct captain for my party and supporting a particular candidate. We had a very good reason for unseating the incumbent but the national party decided that the seat was not attainable and thus did not provide any financial support to our candidate. Our candidate raised $9 million on his own from small donors while the incumbent raised significantly more, mostly from large donors from out of the area. And when it was all over, 40 percent of the members of our party did not vote. The vote was close enough that if all those in that 40 percent had voted, we would have won. Further, the presidential debates used to be sponsored by the League of Women Voters, a non-partisan organization. But in 1988 the two major parties put unacceptable demands for control of the debates on the League and the League withdrew. Currently, the debates are controlled by the two major parties. Only once, in 1992, was a third party candidate included and that was Ross Perot (he wanted to participate in 1996 but was blocked by the major parties). I personally do not believe that we will ever again see a third-party candidate in the debates.
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