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Everything posted by older

  1. I've quoted Mark Twain on this board before: “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” I'm figuring it will be just like it was when I was knocked out in a roll-over accident: nothing. And yes, I do worry about the process of getting there. I'd like to go out in a headline grabbing way, but I'll probably just decline in a slow, painful way. What would I say? "Why are you such a jerk? Why do you let kids die slow painful deaths from cancer and other diseases? Why do you let some of them starve to death? Why do you create some of them with horrific defects? You have the power to stop that and you don't. Fuck you, asshole."
  2. Ditto my town. We call the nightly local TV news "The Murder Report." Just recently two kids got killed in separate shootings by bullets intended for someone else. And the communities where this most often happens don't trust the police and won't help them find the perps. The leaders of these communities want to start a diversion program based on things that have worked elsewhere, while the police chief wants the $200K to be spent on a new assault vehicle instead. So far the mayor and city council support the chief.
  3. Here's an article from Slate on this same subject: https://slate.com/human-interest/2019/08/sarah-silverman-pastor-hate-comments-new-independent-fundamental-baptists.html?
  4. Well, Georgia seems to have left us like so many of them do. When they discover that their position isn't defensible, they go away. Too bad. It would have been nice to continue the discussion.
  5. Welcome, Knighterrant. You are in the right place here. What Nontheistpilgrim and Fuego have written is well put. I’d add that you might ask yourself what it is or was about the Catholic church that you found valuable. Could you find that in another church? Do you need a church to supply that, or could you get it some other way, either on your own or through a social group of some sort? Did you have a social connection there that you will lose? If so, what might you do to replace that? It might be worthwhile to work out these issues on paper, as a list or in narrative form. That helps to crystallize thinking and prevent vague, cloudy thinking that misses the target. As to beliefs, Fuego addresses those well. Most of what Christianity claims as “Christian values” are universal values. Even animals have been observed to show caring and compassion to others. So I guess I’m saying that a formal church structure isn’t needed unless there is something there that a person finds personally worthwhile. (By the way, if you haven’t noticed, many members here are atheists and although spiritual people are welcome, the atheists can be rather strident at times. If you remain spiritual, don’t let those folks bother you. We hope you'll keep the dialog going.)
  6. I've heard very, very little but what I've heard is about as exciting as a bowl of cold oatmeal.
  7. I've previously compared this to many consumer products. Convince the gullible that they have a problem and then introduce the product you're selling that can solve the problem. Your hair is too straight, too curly, too oily, too dry, and the wrong color, you stink, your teeth are too yellow, your feet smell, and your sex life sucks. But if you buy my hair gel, my deodorant, my toothpaste, my foot powder, and the sports car I'm selling, all your problems will go away.
  8. There is nothing that could cause me to believe in or follow a Christian god. Even if the dude came to me in scientifically provable form, he is such a sonofabitch that I want nothing to do with it.
  9. I would suggest, however, that theology includes all religions, not just Christianity. And I would also claim that the two are not equivalents on a balance scale. Science is based on fact and has significant implications for mankind. Theology, while also having implications for mankind, is not based on fact, and the negative consequences of that can be much more severe than the former.
  10. I fear many of these conservative judges as also being Christian oriented and thus undermining the separation of church and state. We just got back from our fourth visit to the UK. Any trip there cannot avoid the history, two-thousand years of which is enmeshed with Christianity. And when you study what happened there for most of that time, you come away with an understanding of why our founding fathers wrote the First Amendment and why they did not want a government combined with religion. And the horror isn't just tied to the infamous Henry VIII. The depth and breadth of the depravity is astounding. That we should slip into a theocracy is a worrisome thought, and we have already seen incremental movement in that direction by some of the courts and elected leaders.
  11. An interesting study of the intersection of religion and science in Western Europe is the era of Copernicus, Galileo and others during the 16th and 17th centuries. Religion and government were the same, and its reaction to scientific discoveries that contradicted religious dogma was severe. It was abundantly clear to both Copernicus and Galileo that their ideas would not be accepted. Copernicus kept a low profile but Galileo did not and ended up sentenced by the Inquisition and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. As to the o.p., my thought is the same as some of the others above: religious scientists are either maintaining the cultural orientation of their upbringing and ignoring the contradiction; are keeping it mostly for the social elements; or are hedging their bets.
  12. If you haven't encountered The Onion, America's Finest News Source, (https://www.theonion.com) you might check it out. It's a satire on the news and I frequently get a good laugh from it. They also hit some biting satire that can be quite cutting on society's insanity from time to time. Their site includes a horoscope which is almost always a good laugh. But today's horoscope includes one that explains why some preachers go into the business: Pices: You will soon make a comfortable living exploiting other people's deep-seated anxieties and crippling fears. Makes sense to me.
  13. Hi Blue: Please share this with your sister. It was on a holiday card I got a few years back and that I've kept on my desk. I hope it helps you as it has helped me: Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. — Arthur Ashe
  14. They are really good at this, aren't they? And guilt is how they exert control. We hope you'll stick around and contribute to the forum.
  15. Blue: This is very serious shit. Dan has good ideas about child protective services. On your sister's thread I suggested calling the National Domestic Violence hotline: 1-800-799-7233 from a safe phone. Having just read both your and her posts, I urge you to do this without delay. Here is a link to their website. https://www.thehotline.org (And never use a computer at home for anything you don't want your father to see. It's almost impossible to erase everything. Go to a public or school library.) I also suggested to her to Google "assertive rights." On the sites that come up you'll find validation for what you're doing in a concise, well-worded way. Check more than one link as there are variations on the theme. Please stay with us and keep us updated.
  16. I hope you'll call that hotline. Is there a women's shelter you can go to? Here is an idea for some support for a position you've already taken: Try a Google search for "assertive rights." The ideas on the sites that will come up are what you are already doing but worded in a strong affirmative way. I wish there was more we could do. But we are here to listen, and want to be kept abreast of your progress.
  17. Dreamer: Your story is sad and horrible. It's hard to imagine what it must be like. As your father is/was a military chaplain, the military mindset combined with the religion make for a seriously troubling brew. It is abuse and you can get support from various sources. Being in college, I urge you to check in with the college women's center or counseling center. A little face-to-face support is good to have, and they might also have some ideas on how you can become independent. And when you finally make the break, consider that you might have to take extreme steps to conceal your contact info and location from your parents. Here is the phone number for the 24/7 Domestic Abuse Hotline. Religious abuse is discussed on their website. They can help you formulate an escape plan. 1-800-799-7233 And the website is: https://www.thehotline.org . There is some good info there on tech and social media safety. Don't rely on just Damian alone to help you escape. The folks who run this website look like they have experience with this stuff and know how to do it right. They are sponsored in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. You have probably already thought about your digital tracks. If you have a laptop at school, don't ever take it home. Don't use a computer at home for anything you don't want your folks to know about. A library computer will protect you. Here's a link to the digital safety page on the hotline I mentioned above: https://www.thehotline.org/help/tech-social-media-safety/ Please keep in touch here. We'll give you as much support as we can.
  18. The camera is upside down. I've been to New Zealand and I can verify that it does exist. But the Kiwis know what a good deal they have and are very good at hiding it from the rest of the world.
  19. Hey Georgia, a question just to get a better understanding of your position: As to the Bible, are you a literalist? Do you believe that the entire contents is true exactly as written? Or are you (what would be a good antonym for "literalist"?) an allegoricalist? Do you believe that the Bible is a symbolical narrative, a guide, but should not be taken literally? Thanks.
  20. Ho hum. Another day in 'Murica. As to carrying, what about this: You carry. You see a bad guy with a gun. You pull out yours and you both start shooting at each other. A cop comes along and you are the first person he sees. What might happen then?
  21. Thurisaz: Try the ATT DSL service line. Look, the people who finally answer the phone are nice. After all, they are just doing their job. But the system SUCKS! There is no way I've found to get past the telephone tree to an agent without going through a bunch of crap. And then the agent, who is just a poor slob who has to follow the script, has to take me through all sorts of basic diagnostics which I've already run before I called. Look, I'm not an expert, but I supervised the installation of two computer labs at the university where I worked, so I think I know a little more than the average dweeb. And I am willing to bet $500 that my current problem is NOT at my end. But the agent still has to run the script. A couple of years ago, it took 12 technicians three months to straighten out my service. I have four pages of notes about what they had to do, including calling in an outside expert. Everything between my router and the terminal box two miles away has been worked on as well as some stuff in the c.o. When I get zero on one speed test and then 2.47 on another, that tells me that the problem is in their c.o., not here. But they insist on sending someone out anyway. They were supposed to show up yesterday, and I waited all afternoon and no one showed. What a thrill. Grumble, grumble.
  22. Drifting a little off topic here, but this can be a challenge. When I told someone about my Very Serious medical diagnosis, I got the "We'll pray for you" response. When I said that what would really be helpful is to vote for politicians who support stem cell research, which their religion opposes, I just got stares. Obviously I offended them, and I learned that in the future, accept such efforts as well meaning. I recently read a short book about what NOT to say to someone who is suffering. Can't remember the title but two takeaways I remember were: - Center your comments on the person who is suffering and what they are feeling. Don't talk about your issues or make comparisons to them. And never say, "It could be worse." - Don't just say, "If there is anything I can do...." Make a specific offer. I can give an example of this: A good friend died last year. He was a hobby machinist and there is a huge shop full of machine tools and equipment. Two of his other friends and I have offered to come over when his widow is ready to help sort out the gear, estimate its worth, and help dispose of it. She has thanked us and has said she'll let us know when she's ready.
  23. The geocentric model cannot be supported outside of the bible. The heliocentric model is supported by overwhelming, independently confirmable and testable evidence.
  24. Thanks for the link, Fuego. That article spoiled my dinner. Fortunately, the closest hospital to my house is secular. Now all I need to do is find secular doctors.
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